Monday, August 29, 2016

The Fall of Mongolia - Week 35

Dear family and friends,

Guess what has decided to come to Mongolia this week? If you guessed a very bipolar autumn, you would be completely right. I have busted out the jacket (one that was gifted to me by a departing sister) twice this week and the weather no longer feels like it is going to melt me on the spot. I love it. From what Diana told me a couple weeks ago and something that I have been real-life living: the weather will be nice for another few weeks, then it will drop about 10 degrees every week until January, then it is like a quick descent into the sub-negatives for about 1-2 months (March wasn't too bad this year). Every person that I talk to just kind of laughs when I say that this is going to be my first winter here, but that it okay, it will be my first and only winter. I think that I will be able to handle it and everyone says that after a certain temperature, it all feels the same and you just start to dress a lot warmer (i.e. 4 layers of tights).

More good news! After my apartment hitting an all-time low last week, this week has been amazing! We went and told the Mission Office about everything and, miraculously, they came out and had everything fixed within two days, were were even given some extra funds to replace all of the food that was a casualty to the dying fridge. Then, the night before the new missionaries arrived, we even had the hot water restored. Taking a shower from a working shower head and not having to heat up the water in a teakettle first is the most rewarding feeling in the entire world. Seriously, I felt so dignified. It was one of the best showers in my life and we even bought a new shower curtain, so I felt like I was in a 5 star hotel with all of the working appliances and other luxuries. So this is count two in a great week.

Then, we had transfers this week and it was a HUGE transfer where everyone changed companions or areas... except me and Sis. Bollwinkel! We were the only Sister companionship that stayed the exact same! Blessings!! We did adopt another Sister that lives with us for 48 hours while she waited for her new companion to come from America, but we had a lot of fun as a Tri. We did some major service knocking down a brick foundation with a pick axe and then scooping it away in a shovel (my body was so sore for 2 days after that, but we are going to help again this upcoming Friday), and I am learning how to make some delicious Mongolian bread/dough. It is the equivalent of tortillas, but Mongolian style. They make this flour dough and use it for everything including bread, noodles, shells (like for buuz). It takes a lot of skill to make the dough thin enough, but it is my goal to master it by this transfer. I love it.

And for the cherry on top, my language is making leaps and bounds. I have made a goal to read the Book of Mormon within 90 days and I am completely on schedule right now. I am in 2 Nephi 15 right now, so that is about 100 pages that I have read out loud in Mongolian and I KNOW that I am better off for it. I have also realized that I am now at that perfect spot where I understand the language well-enough to really start to incorporate new vocabulary and learn new terms/phrases, so keep your fingers crossed. This is going to be a pivotal transfer for me, I hope, and I know that the Lord is helping in every aspect of the work. I am still aiming to become the missionary that I hope to be and this is one huge step forward.

I know a lot of it is because I have a wonderful support group at home. I love you all very much and am grateful for your kind words, thoughts, and just general friendship and love. You mean the world to me and I love you.

With all of my heart,

Sister Olsen

So my comp and I went to make Buuz, it was a fun night, but these are one of the major culprates that ALWAYS make me sick and my body does not do well with them. Lol, mine are the gimpy looking ones. :)

Hahaha, sometimes you have to walk down a dark and creepy hall to meet people (the ones who live here are absolutely wonderful)

And then at other times, Mongolia is absolutely beautiful

Then random moments happen

All in all, it was another great week

Hahaha, this is when you are absolutely exhausted and start to just put things on (nothing matched in my outfit and I am wearing tennis shoes)


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