Monday, September 26, 2016

"Are you Asian or What?" - Week 39

Dear family and friends,
Guess what started again this week? If you guessed school, you are right! I am so happy!!! This year, I do not teach as much or as many students as I did last year, but they are all a bunch of goobers now just as much as before. I feel so lucky to be in this mission where we have the unusual assignment to teach at an actual institution as a part of my missionary assignment, being around all of these teenagers is a lot of fun and it really makes me want to be a seminary teacher in the morning (hint, hint). I was thinking about it and I would love to work with the teenagers in the morning to help build up their testimony and knowledge of the gospel enough to prepare them for their own mission or to just give them the courage to make good decisions throughout their life.

Back to school, though, walking into our first day of classes was the best feeling in the entire world. As Sis. Bollwinkel and I were walking to class, we were both extremely worried about what would happen if we walked in and all of the students absolutely hated us--I actually pictured them throwing chalk erasers at us and big puffs of chalk dusk choking us as we ducked and ran out of the classroom (lol, they don't even have those erasers here, just to show you how over-dramatic I was being). It was the opposite as it turns out, the older kids felt it, but the younger ones expressed it. We walked into the 7th grade class (we taught them as 6th graders last year) and every student had this same expression on their face of a surprise turning into a smile. A couple ran up and gave us a hug and were so happy when we said that we would be their teachers all year, we jumped right back into the swing of things and they have been SO GOOD. Our classes vary from 32 students down to 20 at a time, but it is a lot of fun. Lol, on Friday, one of the 12th graders became very confused about my ethnicity (it is really common out here as I feel like I am one of two Hispanic people in the entire country) and I heard them talking to themselves saying something about the Philippines, then finally came the question, 'Are you Asian or what?" Nice and blunt. Not many of them know where Venezuela is, but there was a really popular movie about 30 years ago about a Venezuelan that they use as a point of reference. Also, we subbed in for the 6th grader class and they were so sweet, they said that we were the prettiest and nicest teachers in the whole world. Ahh, I want to teach all of the students again!!

In other news, we had a really funny experience on Saturday when it came to extending a baptismal invitation. So we are meeting with this amazing couple, the wife being an RM (who was amazing, you can just tell) who just happened to become an ALA along the way, and for the past 2 weeks, we have been having a little difficulty meeting with the husband. However, every time we teach them, I get this feeling over and over again how they are a very special couple and once they start to progress, they are going to be amazing. So, on Saturday, we go and both of them are really sick with a cold, but they still let us in and share with them a message. My companion and I also knew that no matter what, we needed to extend the baptismal invitation that night. So at the end of our lesson after teaching about how families can be together forever and happy (they are pregnant due in December), my companion finally asks. He said 'ugyi' (no) and we were both confused. So we asked again in a different way. This time, he gave a longer explanation, but was talking too fast that I didn't understand almost anything. So, my companion asked again, this time he slowed down, but it still ended with a no, but not a 'shut door'. He said that he needed to learn more, he needed to read the book of Mormon, he needed to go to church, but the invitation was made. He now has a bigger goal in mind rather than us just telling him about what we believe for fun. Right before walking out the door, I did turn around and gave a very loud, 'please read the Book of Mormon' request and he said, 'za za, unshina' (okay okay, I will read). I still feel really good about them!

Then came Sunday when we were teaching another wonderful investigator, Bindriyaa. We finished teaching about the Savior's earthly ministry and then mentioned how He was baptized. As soon as we brought up the word, this huge smile started to form on her face. We talked about how important it was and when we extended the invitation, she said 'yes' right away and made promises of how she would completely prepare herself for the day. Let me tell you, if I ever believed in anyone, it is her. She is going to be such an amazing influence for good everywhere she goes, I just know it. As a matter of fact, when the lesson was ending and we were bearing our testimonies, she then asked if she could also bear hers. She gave the sweetest testimony of just pure truth. The contrast between the two invitation acceptations is so illustrating. Where would you rate yourself? Are you willing to do whatever you need to do to reach a goal, or do you need a little more prodding to get there? Both are getting there, but one is a little happier about it.

It has been an amazing week here. I am happy and it is getting COLD!! Ack, the weather decided to get cold two days ago and it has not warmed up since--good bye warmth  until April or May. It was nice knowing you. I am now going to turn into a 3-5 tight layer-wearing missionary in my chunky jacket, beanie, face mask (the pollution is also starting again) wearing missionary and I will love every minute of it.

Enjoy General Conference this weekend!!! We'll get it in 2 weeks after it has been translated into Mongolian, so let me know the good ones.
I love you,
Sister Jessica Olsen

Here I am with all of the Ward Missionaries and Mission Leader

Hahaha, so on our second day of teaching, it rained all day (this is where the weather turned and hasn't been warm since), we decided to make 'donuts' for dinner. My companion took the dough that I was going to make flour tortillas with and tried to morph it into a donut. Hahahahahahahaha, we probably added 6 cups of flour and way too much sugar, tried to fry it, and took two bites and threw the rest away. It was so dense and tasted delicious and like death all at the same time. Lol, I might need a donut recipe sent to me for next time.

SO, here is a mini tour of my apartment. This is our kitchen, our bedroom (those little mats are really comfortable, it is like memory foam--or at least that is what I keep telling myself), our kitchen and my closest. The closest picture of the bunch is my companion and I celebrating our first successful day at school. Hahahahahaha, it was a long day and we taught for about 5 hours, then had to make our way home and then do studies at night. It makes for a bit of a long day, but you'd never know with all that celebrating!
Lol, and yes, this is a picture of our literal toilet room. When you sit down, your knees literally hit the door. Someone was a little off in their measurements when they made this room, but I love you guys so much, I didn't want you to NOT know this information. :)

My comp and I basically taught a mini Mission prep class on Sunday for all off the ward missionaries through Mongolian, here are come fun pics from yesterday. I love it here.

Here are the pics from Sunday again :)

No comments:

Post a Comment