|This is the Mission Home and Church building that my branch meets at. On the top floor was where I stayed for my first night here in Mongolia.|
|This is also my district, the two Elders, the Ward Mission leader, me, one of our Ward Missionaries (she is putting in her papers this year) and my companion|
So the most wonderful feeling came to me yesterday while I was on a bus to go out and visit a member, and oh my goodness, I am in Mongolia. Mongolia. I was sitting there and thought, who would ever picture me here. This is the land of the blue sky and everyday is getting a little warmer and you can see that the plants are going to start to come back to life soon. It is great! I went to church yesterday and realized that I think I know more Mongolian than I give myself credit for; I am starting to become friends with the members of the ward and more people are trying to talk to me. That is such a double-edged sword because as soon as they talk to me, they want me to talk back, and then I get all flustered because I didn't understand what they said originally... so I just smile and say, "I am learning Mongolian. Can you repeat?" Lol, there was this really cute little 8 year old girl who was just baptized about 2 months ago and she wanted to talk to me, but I couldn't understand her. It was also in the middle of Sacrament, so I was trying to whisper that we would talk later, when she ran off for a few minutes. I thought that she gave up. It turns out, she went to find someone to translate her question into English and then cam running back and again shouted it to me in the middle of Sacrament. What was more awful was that I still didn't understand, but after Sacrament she went missing, so I couldn't follow up.
I am pretty sure that we are going to be best friends, so I will find her again next week. :)
|This is the center of the town|
|A view of the city. Look at those clouds!|
This week, we were able to watch the Women's Conference and that conference basically had me tearing up every two seconds. There are so many opportunities to do good, I had a thought come to mind (that originated during the full General Conference), I think that I am going to try to teach an English class to the Denver 4th ward when I get home. There was a thought that came to mind saying that I was sent here for a reason and one of those reasons might be that I am learning skills that will bless the lives of those in Colorado. With my schedule and assuming that I move into the family ward eventually (Denver 4th, I'll be there soon), I am going to have more free time because there won't be as many activities as the Singles Ward. So, since we cannot do activities on Monday because of FHE, maybe I could set it up for Tuesdays or Thursdays for about an hour, also assuming that I will be hired again with a similar schedule of 8-5 PM. It would be such a good missionary tool for the Elders and Sisters to invite investigators (or even find investigators) and Less Actives to learn a good skill, it would give me something to do with my extra time, and I would be able to give service to others. This is just a thought, I mean I have more than a year to think about it. I just wanted to throw it out there, what do you think?
|Look at the snow!|
|The view from my window. It's so beautiful!|
This week has been very good. We had two surprise snow storms and I was able to get a really cool picture, it did make for two very cold days. I am going to really have to dress warmer by the winter because with these two little storms, my face froze off. I carry around a scarf with me everywhere I go, but then the next day it is nice outside. Mongolia is a lot like Colorado where the weather changes every two minutes, except Mongolia is a little more extreme with the temperature changes. For a minute this week, I thought that my camera was lost! My mind immediately jumped to the idea that it was pick-pocketed, I was really sad/frustrated about it (pick-pocketing is about the worst thing that happens here, it is very safe otherwise). The Lord let me sulk over that for a long 2 hours before suddenly I found it wedged into a crevice by my bed. I am learning my lesson and will switch out my memory card so that at least the beginning part of my mission will be saved--I have taken so many pictures. At first here in Mongolia, I have been very hesitant to take pictures out in public, but I don't think it will be a problem so long as I am smart about it. You know, don't look like a tourist.
Bah, the biggest change is that I finally started teaching my English class. Oh my heck, I am teaching middle school aged kids (6, 7, and 8 Grade). It is a hot mess. So the school is a private institution, I believe, and all the kids are in uniforms, but I am teaching the pre-teens who feel like they do not have to listen to anything and it is like herding cats; some of the kids really know English and have lived in an English-speaking country previously, and others do not know a single word. There is such a huge spread, I teach for 12 hours a week, so Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 AM to 2 PM. The first time that I taught was on Thursday and I felt like I had to basically shout the entire time, and I don't like shouting, but you had to get their attention some how. I tried to do that thing where if you speak quietly, they will quite down, that doesn't work. It is crazy trying to get order in the classroom because the disciplinary principles are different, Mongolian teachers are allow to give a swift swat to get a student's attention. We cannot do that and the student's know it. I think the 6th graders are the hardest to teach because they don't want to be in the class and they want to be 'cool', but it gets easier as you go up in grade. The 8th graders were the easiest, but there was also a Mongolian teacher there for discipline.
I am determined to somehow get the student's respect and find a way to want them to learn English. This is a huge part of my calling here, so I might as well find a way to enjoy it. I have a companion teacher, so there are two of us in the class and we'll hopefully be able to figure something out.
|Ger district that I serve in (Harhad). It looks warm, but it is actually FREEZING COLD.|
|This is a family that we met, we had visited the Grandma a couple times already and called another member to visit her, only to find out that it was her daughter. Hahahah, it was a funny moment, but I love them.|
I love you!
|This is the ger district that I serve in (harhad)|
|This was taken during our big planning session for the week.|