Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Working Hard - Week 36

Dear family and friends,

I cannot believe how quickly these days are changing and how time is flying by. Come Sept. 20, I will have been in Mongolia for 6 months, my mission (tomorrow) will officially hit the 8 month mark and I feel like I just got here yesterday. Except life is not completely overwhelming and I actually know a thing or two by this point. I still have not trained and with the amount that I speak, I am totally okay with that, but at the rate that there are new missionaries coming from America, I don't think that it is going to be too long now. I think that there are 3 more sisters coming in about 7 weeks, so that means that everyone in the group that came right before mine will probably be training, then my group's turn might be next. So, to test it out, I did a split this week with Sister Guild!
She was my MTC companion and has just come back from the countryside and there is something special about the MTC companion, they are just someone that you end up loving for the rest of you mission and life. So she is covering the old ward that I started my mission in and whitewashing, meaning that both missionaries are new and start from ground zero, so we had permission to give them a tour of people that we know. I split and Sis. Bollwinkel ended up with Sis. Bottorf (the other sister from my group) and we two were on our own--for a split second I panicked because Sister Guild depended entirely on me to know the area, know the people, and then we were going to teach without a 'senior' missionary with us. We were just two juniors running around. The most amazing thing is that I was able to find all of the houses, lead a discussion, and realize that I could make my way through life here. It wouldn't be easy, but I know how to figure out the buses and I can understand enough in a conversation to try to teach. It was like getting pushed off a cliff and realizing that I could fly instead of plummeting to the ground.

Luckily, after my couple of hours, I was able to partner back with Sis. Bollwinkel and safely know that she was there to understand the conversation and keep people happy where my language ends. It was a very empowering moment and, I do not want to train soon, I know that it will be fine when the moment comes.

Also, I have spent a large portion of this week working on English. All of the schools began on Sept. 1, but we do not start teaching until Sept. 15--this has been the same project that was initiated back in the middle of June. So all summer long, we would split our time meeting with people and working on the English (for about 12 hours a week, or 3 hours for 4 days of the week). It has been a lot of work and I started first making the slides, then moved to the review team (making sure that all of the content was smooth and it looked professional), then moved to the Feedback team (after the slides were tested, we would make tweaks to make the slides more cohesive), then was part of the singing group, and then became part of the Handout Team where were organized all of the slides to be printed out and made into a book. So on Thusrday, we thought that we were in the final run of it all and done, where it turned out that there was one major flaw. Everything looked great when printed individually, by when scanned in bulk, parts became unreadable for the books. So on Saturday, there were four of us who made a mad scramble to fix the problem and to then redo all of the work that it took me and Sis. Bollwinkel a week to do. Our deadline is Tuesday, but we were ale to figure it out. Now, everything is perfect and I feel like a proud momma with all of the work that has been put into these English progams that are going to be taught this upcoming school year.

This entire project made me realize how much fun it will be to be a project manager. It is just like real life where someone has an idea, then you do everything in your power to make it happen. Since there are bound to be bumps in the road, you also need to be able to adapt to the different circumstances and stay optimistic through it all. Life. Missionary work. English projects. They all boil down to the same feeling of giving everything that you have got and being a wise steward of your time. We had to be efficient to have everything completed in short blocks of time because another part of my mission out here is meeting with people and sharing the good news with them.

This has been an amazing week and I have loved how much I have been entrusted with out here. I work hard everyday to prove that 'worker is worthy of the hire' (or something like that; also I am still enjoying every moment out here. Yesterday, we were finally able to meet with a family that is partally inactive, I felt the spirit, and knew that every effort is completely worth it. I am here in Mongolia to help serve the people, with or without a badge, being able to call my self a missionary or not, I am always here to serve the Lord.

I love this country and people.
I love you, too!
Sister Jessica Olsen
PS - pics to celebrate all of the hard work and my group is back together!

Here is my District, my comp celebrating her 1 year mark in country, and today's hike

This morning's hike

I love Mongolia

These are some random English moments. I will send random pics of Mongolia scenery next week

These are my friends! I love them :)

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