So it has finally happened, I made it to Mongolia, can you believe it? I have been looking forward to this since August 29 when I opened up my call--some moments in dread and others in pure excitement-- and now it is here.
The trip here was insane with so many stressful moments! We made every flight, luckily, but the one actually taking us to Ulaanbaatar was the closest call where we were basically running back and forth in the Korea airport trying to get the boarding pass--the craziest part was that this was the airport that we had a 6 hour layover. We missed some important details like where to pick up the ticket; such a rookie mistake, for anyone else travelling, be smarter than us. Make sure that you are at the gate at least 2 hours early because we thought we could get everything done in a hour and had some major learning lessons.
However, we are here and that it is the important part. I instantly fell in love with the people and the city from the moment that we walked out of the airport and met the missionary personnel to take us to the mission home. I think this was such a tender mercy because approximately two days later on Monday night, I had my first encounter with a drunk Mongolian man and fell out of love with the people. On Tuesday morning, I would have come home. As the day progressed, I taught my first English class realized that the Mongolian people as a whole are amazing and giving, minding their own business, it is just the off-shoot that is a little awful. Throughout the week as I was able to interact with more people, I have learned how to recognize and avoid the odd ones, but I love it.
|This was the ger I was in yesterday!|
The air here is very polluted at night, it clears up at the day, and then gets bad again at night. We have these masks that keep it clean for the most part, but it will be nice when the weather really warms up and people are not heating up their homes as much because there is a lot of coal and wood that is burned.
I went into my first ger yesterday for dinner and I loved it. In the area that I am now serving in (crazy enough, I have only been here for a week and we had a transfer, so I am in my 'second' area without ever having been at the first), it borders the end of the city and it is like a mini countryside. The mountains are beautiful, the air is so much cleaner, and the people are so loving. I went to church yesterday and depsite the language barrier, I know that I am going to love them.
This is going to have to be a short letter, unfortunately, as I am going to meet others for a mini hike (expect some cool pictures), but I will try to write more next week.
I love you!
Sister Jessica Olsen
|Random cow walking around|