Oh my gosh, can I just say how wonderful it was to see you yesterday!!!! It seriously has become the highlight of my week, month, mission--just knowing everyone was okay and seeing your wonderful faces has brought SO much peace to me. I know that I have one amazing family and support group, better than I could have imagined. You are so wonderful and I love you very much. To top it off, you were the cherry on top for a wonderful week!
This past Monday, I was able to spend some hours for my P-day going to the Mongolian outdoor market--I think that it is also known as the black market--and there were so many things to look at and try-on (I did walk away with this tomato red skirt and a mustache cardigan). One thing that I learned: Mongolians HATE bartering, but they will do it. I have been able to barter down the price of a couple souvenirs that I have bought (you are going to love them) and on the clothes. The only place that I don't dare to barter is at an actual store, that would be like going to Walmart telling them that I wasn't going to pay the full amount. They would just kick me out, they have enough business without mine. But it was nice! It is funny because Mongolians are either about 5 inches shorter than me or 5 inches taller than me (not many are my size exactly), but I still have some of the biggest feet around. I was looking for a size 42 shoe--not because I NEEDED it, but I figured that I would look--and they basically laughed at me. I am about 90% positive that around winter time when I buy boots, I might just look in the Boy section because they should have bigger feet. One of the vendors made a comment of how 'all Americans have big feet'. Oh well, it's the truth, what can you do.
This this Tuesday was beautiful and I was so hot! I kept telling my teaching companion of how I couldn't cool down and I walked around without a jacket. It was wonderful. Mother Nature must have heard my complaints because the next day there was this crazy blizzard that hit with wet snow. It was the kind where the minute that it landed on you, it melted into a puddle and my companion didn't have a hood on her jacket and it looked like she had taken a shower outside. HJahaha, her hair was so wet! To top it off, I was attacked by a puppy on the same day. So I have been very good about not touching the stray dogs, but this one was a 6 month old puppy and he lived around a university, so you could tell he had experience with people. Well, I don't know what happened, but when we walked by, he got up and started prancing around me. He then started kind of play biting my skirt and my bag for about 5 minutes, lol, I was flabbergasted as what to do. He even looked at my companion for a minute, but decided to keep playing with me. We tried walking away and he kept following biting at my skirt, just playing around. Even a Mongolian tried to help and distract the dog by calling him away, and it eventually worked, but by the end of the encounter, he ended up having ripped my leggings. Since Mongolians are tiny and I am preserving my leggings as much as I can, I decided to sew them closed. I did a pretty good job, if I say so.
Anyway, we ended the week by spending the entire Friday day helping to clean the church and had a pizza for lunch and dinner. For as hard as the weather is here, Mongolians really take care of the city and their property, as evident by the work we did at the church. We had some missionaries scrubbing the stairs outside, I was scrubbing the chairs (including the bottoms and the legs), followed by hand-washing the fence outside. When I think of how we take care of things a home, i don't feel like I have ever hand-washed anything, we wither power-wash it or just repaint the area. It is a really cool and different way of taking care of the place. There are always dozens of Mongolians walking around sweeping the streets and picking up bottles for recycling. It is a really cool way of being a good steward of your surroundings.
Other than that, I as still being trained by my same companion for the next 6 weeks--by which time the next round of Mongolian-speaking missionaries from the MTC are set to arrive. Yikes! I will lose my 'new' status and that is more intimidating than anything else. It will all work out, I am really working on my language right now, hoping for the best.
Since I just called home yesterday, I feel like I don't know what to say. I do know that I am very thankful for family. I am grateful for technology allowing me to hear from you weekly and your letters make the sky a little bluer out here (the sky is beautiful all the time). I love this work.
Have a wonderful week and know that you are incredibly loved.
|Random Spring blizzard the blew in|
|My teaching companion|
|The hole in my leggings is from that puppy!|
|Fixing my leggings|
|Happy Cinco de Mayo!|
|Our "movie night". We watched missionary training videos|