Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Halfway There and Living on a Prayer - Week 40

Dear family and friends,
Hahhahah, this song was gong through my head last night and it was so funny! I figured that it was revelation as to what to write about and how to label this letter, pretty great, right? Can you believe that I have been a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 9 months now? As of tomorrow, everything is all downhill in that I will be going home sooner than the days that I have still being out here (I don't know if that makes any sense), but I feel like this is where all of the growth is happening. I understand the pattern of Mongolian spoken language, I know a lot of the city, and I feel like I have a really good bearing of how to do my work here. The most amazing thing happened on Saturday in that I realized that I can actually start to speak the thoughts that are going on in my head rather than just memorized phrases. We went back to meet with the member that declined the finalized baptism date last week and talked to him again, and it is such a wonderful feeling to actually be able to talk by the Spirit and be understood to a certain degree. I mean I really talked with him and his wife! I am still baffled that I understand as much Mongolian as I do, it has been such a struggle getting to this point. I still read the Book of Mormon aloud everyday (I am in Alma 33--halfway done with the Book, too!)  and can now read to other people (natives) and not have every word corrected, that is HUGE because Mongolians do not understand my very broken Mongolian. I LOVE MY LIFE.
Everything is good! I celebrated my mom's birthday by almost coming down with an ear infection--it wasn't a true infection, so I was sent home clean and clear. My companion was feeling a bit ill the day before, so we also spent a day with her recuperating and me hanging out trying to do a thousand things at one time, but not really finishing a single task. What was really great was that at the end of the night, we both still really enjoyed being missionaries out here. I did learn how to make a hot pack with some rice and socks, that has changed my life out here.
Then Saturday night hit and I received some semi-terrible news. It turns out that there was a Visa approval for a Mongolian here who was serving while waiting to go to America, so she is heading to the MTC on Tuesday, meaning there was a little shuffle. I am no longer going to be companions with Sis. Bollwinkel after Tuesday. This is awful. We were told since the beginning of this transfer that we were too happy together and that we needed to share our happiness with others, so it has happened, I am getting a new companion. I think that the biggest bummer was that we had plans for the rest of the transfer and that the work was really GOOD with our investigators, but that is the life of the typical mission. So, for the 4th time in my entire 9 months, I am getting a new companion. It is a little strange because I average 13 weeks per companionship whereas the typical mission will change every 6 weeks--I was with Sis. B for about 15 weeks. Life. 
Things move on. Sometimes you get really lucky and have an AMAZING companionship, but we are still teaching companions for the rest of her mission, so everything is still fine. I am sometimes a little more dramatic than I need to be.

I love you all!
Sister Jessica Olsen

I have one AMAZING companion! Here we are at our study desk and her making the last delicious day meal for our transfer.

Shopping and planning and visiting people. That is the typical life of a mission here. :) The shopping more on a P-day than any other time, but look, Cinnabon!

And Baptism Days! These are such fun days, it is like a mini celebration every time

School is in full swing and I love these goobs. Also, here is some service and an LA that is amzing and coming to church! I love progression!!!

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