Dear family and friends,
This week has been amazing: stressful, cold, fun, overwhelmingly humbling, and a good turning point. The purpose of a mission is that you are taking the thing that you hold most precious to your heart and you try to share that with everyone around your through word and deed. Yes, life is hard. Yes, you get cold (or really hot, depending on where you are and the season). But as my mission president once said, 'wake up every day and expect to see a miracle.' Miracles I have seen this week and I feel like a different person for it.
I was a little arrogant when my mission began and said that I hope that this mission doesn't change me. I hoped to remain the same person on the hopes that I was already a good person, so there wouldn't be many changes that are needed. Boy, was I wrong on that. I was a good person, but now I am becoming an even better version because I am really learning how to do hard things. I am learning how to go from good to better in the hopes of becoming truly great some day. After all, we are all children of God and hope to be exactly like Him some day, so a lot of growth is necessary.
Most of this started with seeing my first investigator that I had the privilege to see take the first lesson to stepping into the baptismal waters this week, then receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. She was like a beacon shining by how bright and happy she was all along the way from when we extended the baptismal invitation, when she passed the baptismal interview, and when she bore her testimony after becoming a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I feel better because of the example that she has set for me on truly loving what you believe.
Then I had the opportunity to have a really good companion who is diligent, funny, and pushes herself to learn as much and as quickly as possible. Just an example, during a companion study we were getting ready to plan for the day's lesson and I asked her what she thought we should teach, her response was that she wanted to teach a harder topic that she had never tried before (repentance)--funny thing is that I had never taught it either without someone more experienced taking the lead. So, because she was brave enough to push herself to grow, I had to grow also. She is great and extremely smart; I am learning at an accelerated pace.
Hahah, and then the weather started to drop this week. All of the buildings are made of stone here with a layer of Styrofoam to try to insulate the stone from the cold, but the cold just kind of radiates from everywhere--the floor, the walls, the ceiling. Despite the best efforts of the radiator, I am always cold (and this is still the warm part of winter). I am now wearing about 3 shirts, 4 layers of tights, legwarmers, and don't dare to leave my house without a beanie, mittens, and scarf. I love Mongolia even though it is not in love with me. Lol, but I feel like a marshmallow and between all of the layers, I look like one of those kids that can't put their arms down. Life.
Life is good, I still have all 10 fingers and toes, and I am learning that 5 degrees really isn't too bad, this week we are supposed to drop to -27 degrees, and again, this is still the warm part of winter. All of the older generation keeps telling me that this is the year that it is going to be the coldest in 60 years and all of the livestock is going to die. That sounds like fun, but on a positive note, I hear that we do not go outside when it gets to -50, so that is a plus. That and Spring is right around the corner, right?
I love you all,
Sister Jessica Olsen
PS- I currently do not have my card reader, so all pictures are donated from my comps. Thanks!
I LOVE Mongolia and the Ger districts
Hahahah, it is like a behind the scenes shots.Yes, this is how I always look.
These are pictures of the Ger districts with snow. It is like hiking up solid blocks of ice right now and you start to slip everywhere--seriously.
The ground is packed dirt, so the dirt and ice just kind of blend together and it makes for an interesting walk, but look at how pretty it is.
Starting next week, my P-days are now on Tuesday, so it is going to be one day later than usual, but do not fret, it will come. :)