Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Finding Gratitude in my Heart - Week 55

Dear family and friends,
Have you ever had those moments where you get stopped in your tracks because you realize how little you have been grateful for? That happened to me this week. I have recently restarted the Book of Mormon again and have been reading it more slowly than usual (only reading one chapter a day) and I just started Mosiah. Let me tell you, I have the biggest 'leadership' crush on King Benjamin and I want to be a leader exactly like him. He is such an awesome guy.
When reading about King Benjamin, it is really easy to only pay attention to the last address that he gave to his people (Mosiah 1-4), but pay attention to the books before and then you can actually see that he worked HARD to get the people to the state that they were in. He really had to labor and live the life that he wanted his people to follow, giving an example, and then constantly looking backwards--not in longing--but to always remember how far he has come. Always realizing how much he has to be grateful for. That was when it hit me how much little gratitude I have in my heart at times, so I have decided that I need to change.
I need to be grateful for everyday little things, like not having a hair in my eye, like getting to an appointment on time and safely, like when my companion and I have a really good study together. She is a genius at learning the language and is starting to teach me how she is learning and guess what, it is kind of working. So I have started a Sticky Note campaign.  I am carrying around one little sheet of paper and writing down good things that are happening all around me. It is not perfect, I am still missing things, but I am trying. The more that I try, the more that I notice and the happier that I become. It is a really good little habit and I want to expand it, but I am not quite sure how yet. Maybe also starting a gratitude jar?? I don't really know, but it is happening (becoming).
This week, though, I had the best FHE of my mission life!! It was with my new Member, Bilguun, and his family and I loved every single minute of it. We crossed so many barriers with that one activity! It was a night where we helped make Buuz, shared a lesson, and then played the ankle bone game called Shaagai. Family, I am bringing this game home with me and it is so much fun! It was a really long lesson in that we were there for about 2 hours, but man, it was amazing! Horoloo, the mom, was so patient with us while teaching us how to make the food and even proved her talent by making some within 20 seconds WITHOUT LOOKING, no joke, these things are hard. It takes me like 2 minutes to do one and they are still crazy looking. We were talking about the big holiday coming up next month and she is going to make close to 700, that is a lot of food. (Buuz still make me feel like my insides are going to die, but I have worked it up to being about to eat 6 in one meal.).
Then, after the spiritual thought, we were going to head out, but I heard the dad quickly say something like, 'I guess we are not going to play Shaagai after all.' He is a less active member that we have been trying to friendship lately, so as soon as I heard that, I stopped in my tracks and even though we were kind of running out of time to be there, I asked to play the game. That was 100% the right thing to do because he lit up and all of the kids joined in on the game and it was SO MUCH FUN. It really was one of those moments where I knew that I was allowed to understand the need, and the Family Home Evening was a smash hit. We finally left and basically had to run home to make curfew, but it was worth it. While leaving, every single one of them asked us to come back next week for another family home evening.
That was one of the most gratifying moments!
Also, we had another baptism this week! His name is Ganzorig and we even made a flyer for the service--one of the members came up to me and was like, 'this is just like America'. Paper is not really given out here freely like it is at home. It was such a good night and I was so humbled by how reverent he was about everything. He just looked so happy and peaceful about making this covenant.
With all my love,
Sister Jessica Olsen

Really, this was a perfect night and I made a perfect buuz, too

I did an STL split and there were a couple dogs that made an appearance, there was this dog that followed us for a bit. Hahahah, I would turn around and look at him and every time I did, he would also turn around to look at what I was trying to see. Not realizing that he was the reason, lol, dogs.

Then I did a split with Sis. Hansen again this week (I love her so much) and there was this dog that sat outside of his home door, intently waiting to be let in. he would not even turn his head to look at us, but patiently waited. It was so funny, he was in the exact same position after seeing him an hour later. Then puppies! He was an outside-inside dog (really rare here) and was so cute.

Side story on the one with the group. So I had this picture on timer and as I was walking/running back to get in my place. I totally slid and fell on my face. I have become so clumsy, if I do not fall at least once a day (even inside) it is not a normal day. Everyone is kind of laughing because the picture was taken 1 second after I sat up from falling.

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