Happy Father's Day! You know, if there were a policy change and we could call home three times a year, this is definitely the day that I would chose. My life is so completely blessed and amazing because of the influence of my loving and wide dad. He is one of the most wonderful people that I know! I LOVE YOU, PAPI! (note: I think Jessica is one week early in her sentiments, but that's alright! (: )
I got my package!
So, in other news, I have the best family and friends in the world. Yep, you are all just that amazing and wonderful. This week has been amazing in that my parents sent me a delicious (and highly coveted) box of American goodies, including my favorite cereal! Mongolia has become just a little more American for a short time. I also received a bunch of letters from members in the Laredo Branch! I think that they were probably written around the beginning of April, but they have finally made it and I loved it. This week was one of those times where it took me by surprise just how loved and supported I feel. Really, how could I have ever forgotten for even a moment? All of these good things from home led toward my great week here in Mongolia.
This week has been a busy one. With school being over, I now try to fit in random times during the day to make the English slides for the new curriculum while also trying to meet with as many people as possible and it makes for one busy week. It is great, though, because we are being blessed by having more success with meeting people and having them follow through on the appointments that we set, so our schedule is full and effective. Tuesday was probably one of the most peaceful days of my mission so far because the weather was beautiful--one of those days where the air is warm, there was a small breeze, and the sun was out, but not scorching--and my companion and I had to take a 45 minute walk to get to one member's house each way. We were kind of just chatting when, as we got closer, there was a cute herd of cows just hanging out in this valley just outside of the ger district. Then, 45 minutes later when we were starting to make our trek back after a good lesson with an investigator, the cows were gone, but in their place was a herd of horses! Oh my heck, this does not happen in Colorado! They were beautiful and I took so many pictures, my next goal is to find a herd of camels and reindeer (this will only happen if I ever serve in the country, so keep your fingers crossed).
Also, guess what I did on Thursday morning?? I went running, outside, in the rain-ish (it was like a light sprinkle). This was such a fun day! I had an exchange with the STL, Sister Harker (who I just love so much), and we went running before our studies and then later meetings. So, the coolest thing about this run was that I have not been outside running since about November and I was bummed because I had spent so much time last year building up my endurance to be able to jog and I thought that it was just gone, a lost talent since I wasn't using it. However, I was wrong, on Thursday I ran 2.5 miles with Sis. Harker setting a pretty fast pace and I could do it! I was winded and sweating by the end, but I can still run. Going on a mission does not mean sacrificing talents, but the Lord has a way of preserving them. (I think and hope that the same thing is going to happen for all of the time that I spent trying to learn the piano--we are discouraged from using the church building except for Sundays and English-related business, so I do not practice at all). The Lord has a way of helping and blessing the things that are important, which makes it easier to keep my focus completely on my mission. I do not need to worry about running or playing the piano (or a hundred other little concerns) because the Lord will allow everything to work together for my benefit later on, I just need to hold strongly to my faith.
So lastly, I had two really nice comments given to me, both about smiling. The fist was one that an LA said after our lesson, she said, 'your smile makes me want to smile' and the second was said to my companion at church yesterday, 'she is always smiling.' This makes me so happy! I love the people here, I want them to know it, so now I know that even with the language being a little crazy, they know that I want to spend my time with them. I love what I am doing. I love Mongolia.
Some days are harder than others, but all in all, every day is a good day in this beautiful country of the blue sky.
I love you all!
Sister Jessica Olsen
From my peaceful Tuesday
Look how bright it is! This was taken at 11pm.
My day with Sister Harker!
My box full of american comforts! And my favorite cereal!