Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Taking the Best Guess and Moving Forward - Week 47

Dear family and friends,
May I tell you about the most amazing experience that has happened on my mission thus far? Well, that is not really a fair statement, how about one of the best moments that I have recently experienced? It was on Sunday and we were having our Stake Conference for the West Zone. Due to the far that our Stake Center is under construction (maybe, all I know is that I have heard rumors about getting one), we had our Conference in a rented auditorium and it is in a different location, one that I did not really pay attention to getting to until Saturday night when I was told by the ZL's that we were meeting in the different place.
Anyway, so my companion and I jump on a bus and I just go for it and it turns out that I really am learning the bus routes because I navigated purely by signs and remembering my routes, we made it there with plenty of time. I then was able to spend 25 minutes before the conference greeting different members and it was like a mini-party every time I saw someone from my ward show up--I was so proud of their diligence in coming. It is like being a little momma of this ward because I take so much pride in their success. Then, as not to be rude, I tried to give equal enthusiasm for other members in different wards that I didn't know, but was still proud of them for braving the icy roads and stinkin' cold wind to make it.
About 2 minutes before the meeting was about to begin, I was settling down next to Sis. Brezenski, one of my really good friends and roommates (but not companions), when I looked around and noticed that one of the American brothers who was here for work was sitting completely alone. Now this brother is amazing and is the husband of one of the mission office workers (he came here for his work) and does not speak any Mongolian, so my companion and I moved to go sit by him. As we sat there, I made a little joke where I told him that I couldn't translate because I only understood 1 out of every 15 words spoken and he said that it was fine because the church usually had a translator come. Well, after about 10 minutes in, the translator never showed up and so he was sitting there, having braved the elements, and was not getting anything from the conference. I have been fighting off a semi-terrible cold all week and so I was halfway to falling asleep (sorry!) before this thought came to my mind: quit being a slacker. I realized that I had the luxury of semi-dozing and still getting a  little out of the meeting whereas this brother sitting next to me did not. So I had to change.
Suddenly, I knew that I had to try to translate. The most amazing thing happened, as soon as I tried, suddenly I was understanding almost everything. I was able to translate for him 1.5 hours of conference and I have never felt more in-tuned with what was happening during a church meeting. It wasn't perfect and I was not able to translate verbatim, but he was given a very good synopsis of what was happening. There were moments where I wasn't sure what exactly was being said, so I would make the best guess possible, then as soon as I said my guess, the speaker would say something that correlated. It was a correct guess! This is the gift of Tongues in my books: taking a guess and guessing correctly. My dad was the one who gave me this idea and it has changed everything.
I just need to guess. I need to try to understand everything that I possible can, then just take a leap of faith. I need to guess when to get off the bus in order to attend conference and turn out that I was correct, I need to guess as to what is being said and be okay with not having absolute surety. That will come, but only after I act. It was like a lightbulb falling from the ceiling and breaking on my head (hahahahahaha, this actually happened to one of my poor comps) with the clarity that this idea brought. I just need to act.
That is all that faith is: being okay without the absolute certainty, but knowing that you have sure hope that what you are doing is correct. I don't want to make too light of this when I say just guess, but that is really what happens, you guess. The Lord will help you learn how to guess correctly and grow.
I am going to keep moving forward with this mentality and make my way through this mission. IT really works. The Lord loves His children and will give them guidance when they ask and when they are in motion.
I love you all,
Sister Jessica Olsen
So this picture happened where there were cows feet away from where I just walked out of a ger teaching--so cool! Then if you look closely at my comps glasses, it is so cold that they will frost over and then that frost freezes (hahahahahahahahahah, I love her so much. She is resigned to the fact that life is hard in Mongolia with glasses), then that is my 12 hourly allotment of pills to get over my cold right now.

We had tacos! I now teach English until 5 PM on Wednesdays, my comp teachers until 7 PM, so we have dinner with the STL's on Wednesday because of our English switches (4 comps in one day, that is a normal thing here).
It was delicious

So this is what happened while planning this week, my desk is such a mess. This is how I plan who to meet with, more pics of the snow. I was decorating my planner (putting a picture on the cover) and that is why is was torn apart)

This little girl is my pride and joy, I love her so much and she is INCREDIBLY smart.

These are more pics that I took 2 weeks ago, but wasn't able to send home

Just a quick note before I log off:
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, do some Black Friday shopping (my other favorite part of Thanksgiving), and enjoy the people you are with.
I love you all!
Sister Jessica Olsen

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