Tuesday, June 21, 2016

"Get Your Hand Out of my Bag" - Week 25

Dear family and friends,

So, guess what happened this week? There was some guy who had his hand in my bag trying to pickpocket from me, luckily, I literally saw it and hit his hand away saying the above, 'get your hand out of my bag.' Do you know what made it even worse, it was a middle-aged man--probably about 40 years old--and now I have trust issues. I first thought that it was upstart teenagers that I had to be worried about, but now everyone is eligible to be a pick-pocketer, even the little old ladies. Lol, the poor guy, his hand was in the front pocket of my bag where I had just opened the zipper to pull out my bus card and he was pick-pocketing while I was getting on the bus; but there wasn't anything valuable there. It was all just a bunch of Mongolian flashcards with words like, 'repentance', 'godly sorrow', 'prayer', and the like written on them. Maybe he should have taken those cards and changed to become a better person; he also jeopardized my chapstick and I think that would have just been irritating if it was taken. I haven't really seen the Chapstick brand out here, so I am cherishing all of the ones that I have (I brought about 10 anticipating this). They do have other chapsticks, it is just not the Chapstick brand. Ah well, that was all fun, but hopefully it won't be repeated. One of the other missionaries had their wallet taken and another money out of their pocket, so foreigners beware. This is about the worst thing that will happen here.
View from a ger district. It was a stormy day where it kept raining, but look how beautiful the clouds look!

On to better things, though. This week has been amazing! So I have told you before how I am working on the English project, well, this week we had a bit of an upgrade. I was selected to be part of a small group (two companionships) to also go to a college and pitch a new idea for them as to how they could more effectively have the Volunteer Teachers help at their school. This was amazing and had concreted the idea in my mind that I finally know what I want to do when I get home, I want to pursue an MBA in Project Management. I think that Regis might offer this degree and it would be able to be fit in after work and during the classes that I want to do at home. I remember talking to Diana about how I might go back and get a second bachelors in computers, but this way seems more efficient. As a Project Manager, I would basically be doing what I am doing right now, working with groups trying to assist in completing a new endeavor, like what is happening in Mongolia with the English teachers. I love my life and am so excited to see what else I learn out here because these are some amazing experiences that are helping on every aspect of my life. 

On Wednesday, it was a day of tender mercies from the Lord. I know that He saw how we were working hard on every aspect of the day and He blessed us with efficiency and help. So the morning started by our regular studies and then my companion and I went over to the church to work on English for about an hour. By 1:30 PM, we were heading back to the University to do a second pitch on opening an English lab and explaining how it would be staffed and how the services offered would benefit the school. The pitch went amazing! I know that there are going to be great things happening in Mongolia soon!! One of the blessings was that we bumped into an LA that we were scheduled to meet with at 5 PM at here house, about 30 minutes bus ride out of the city, and she canceled on us. So, the merciful part of that was that we knew she wouldn't be there, so we did not waste time on a bus and were able to move on to a different person to meet with. 

We were kind of at a loss as who to visit, when suddenly the idea of visiting Nandaa (she is a new member who has absolutely stolen my heart), but she moved to a new Ger district and if you do not have someone guide you to their house, it is basically impossible to find people. Luckily, we called the Elders and they happened to be in the exact same part of town, going to visit someone else, but had enough time that they could get us there. Oh my heck, we are never in the same place at the same time, so this is miracle number 3 within hours. We were able to visit with her and she had the biggest smile when we got there, I know that we were there for a reason. (When I saw her yesterday at church, she gave me the biggest hug, even the kind with a squeeze because they are so happy). This worked out perfectly because where she lived allowed us enough time to get over to our next appointment without a problem.

Miracle 4 happened when we went that night to give service to an elderly couple in our ward. We went over and pulled weeds for about 2 hours, I loved it! It takes about 40 minutes to get to their house, so by the time we arrived, the sun was low and the weather was cool. We worked hard and, as we were working, the neighbor came out and he had a granddaughter from America who spoke perfect English. It sounds crazy, but after working with the students at school who move from America, they have told me how there were times they just wanted to speak English to someone and have them understand. So that is what we did, we spoke with the neighbor for a couple minutes. Not only that, but the Brother that we were helping also came out and was able to tell the neighbor why we were there (both giving service and as a missionary), since we are not allowed to proselyte, their kind of introduction is exactly what we need to meet new people. A new seed has been planted. But after the hard work, we went in and shared a quick message, and guess what, I led the discussion. Completely! Without pre-rehearsing what to say, I just went in and told them what I knew, it worked. I taught my conviction.
Do you see how tall these weeds are?!

More of my service

We were able to pound them down into this pile that we're sitting by. 

Finally, by this point it was about 9:15 and the buses stop running at 9:30 and we were still 40 minutes away from home. So we booked it to the bus stop and just HOPED that there would be one final bus. After waiting for about 8 minutes, almost ready to give up and get a taxi (which would be EXPENSIVE), a bus showed up! So we made it back to the exchange stop, by this point, we were at a bus stop that was 30 minutes walking distance from where we lived, or a 10 minute bus ride. It was 9:45 and there really shouldn't have been any buses running, but would you believe it, the minute we got off the first bus, the other EXACT bus that we needed came to the stop. This bus shouldn't have been running, but it was probably behind schedule! We were able to jump on it and get home with 1 minute to spare before the 10 PM curfew. Oh my gosh, how could you not count both of those buses as blessings?? 
Buses in Mongolia. Not the ones i was talking about above, but similar. 

This experience was the testament that I needed for the day that the Lord is in the details and that He cares about the little things in your life. So, moral of the story, be wise with your time, but trust on the guidance of the Lord. If you are doing everything with a full-purpose of heart, He will lead you along.

I love Mongolia (even with the pick-pocketing) and love being a missionary.

I love you all!

Sister Jessica Olsen

One amazing meal! (from my package)

Soup, just like at home! 

A picture of my district

First time I curled my hair in over a month! I had to memorialize it. 

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