Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Just Being Happy - Week 56

Dear family and friends,
I don't think that I have mentioned this before, but I really cannot sleep ever since my mission started. It was day 2 of being in the MTC where it started that I cannot fall asleep until about 1 AM every single night, despite how tired I might be. Then will come the one magical night once a week or two where my body just crashes and I sleep for most of the night because I am so stinkin' tired. I can usually last about 5-6 days of the little bit of sleep, but after that, if I don't get the full amount, I feel like I am going crazy and I cannot keep my emotions under control. Suddenly anything has the power to make me cry, not because I am sad, but because I have too many feelings. Example: the PMG gets me (even if I have read the same section 100 times), I cannot read Liahonnas ever (they make me seriously cry), if my companion shares something really good that they felt or learned, I cry. EVERYTHING. MAKES. ME. CRY. (especially when I am tired). Again, though, it is not because I am sad.
So on Sunday, I felt myself getting to that point of just pure exhaustion where all I want to do is sleep, but since my mission, I have also lost the opportunity and ability to take naps during the day. I gave my companion ample warning that she could expect a 'Weepy Monday' where I am just a hot mess all day long. Then that night happened and it was the worst thing that could have happened, I thought: I didn't sleep. I think I finally passed out around 2 or 3 AM.
In the middle of the night, I just got up and sat in the middle of my living room floor kind of throwing a mini temper tantrum of how all I wanted to do was sleep.So I turned on my camera and started to look at some of the pictures that I have taken within the last 2 months. Then I went and pulled out my couple of memory cards from pictures that I have taken throughout my entire time of being here in Mongolia. I looked at pictures during the Spring when I was with my trainer and one where I was able to pet little baby calves that were just wandering around a ger district. Pictures of some of the people that I could never really talk to, but they still let me into their home and shared their food with me.
I saw pictures of the Summer where Mongolia was green and so pretty. The skies where deep blue, the clouds stark white, and I had fun every single day. Every picture had a smile on my face, but that was also the slowest time of my mission where we did not have any investigators, but I had fun with my companion. It was of being in the sweltering heat, hiking up mountains, eating ice cream from street vendors, and pictures with all of the members that I came to love.
Then I looked at pictures from the Fall where I had my fist Mongolian companion, of making Mongolian food, of my first Investigator baptism. Again, every picture I had a smile on my face. When the weather started to change and my companion's glasses would fog and then freeze over, she never got made, but was more resigned to it. Of the snow and the slippery sidewalks. Of the members, again, and having find FHE activities with them.
Then I switched back over and looked at pictures from this transfer and being here in Mongolia in the Winter time where it is just cold all of the time, there is tons of pollution, and the craziest thing, I still had a smile on my face in every picture. I really do love Mongolia. I love the weather and the strong people that it produces here. I love the peacefulness that you experience usually because everyone here is pretty quiet (there was one morning that I was on the bus at 7 AM with 100 other people, and nobody said a single word. Seriously, not one word for at least 5 minutes), but the buses are loud with their squealing brakes. Even the dogs are quiet here. There are your 'bad apples' here just like anywhere else, but there is not a lot of violence or noise here.
Then on Monday, I had the best day of my mission because I realized that I am so happy here in Mongolia. I didn't cry at all yesterday (I spent the day on a split with Sister Hansen, took more pictures, met with members, and played more Shaagai). I was asked by my dad if I knew the reason why I was sent here on my mission and I think that I am slowly learning, it is because this is the best place suited for me. It is a little bit of a different mission, every missionary here is a little older and has a story as to what prompted them to go on a mission, I don't wear my badge all the time, I wear a mask outside 24/7 (even more than some of the other missions, but I also don't plan on getting sick, so the mask is vital), I wear about 15 layers, but I love it. I am here in Mongolia to learn how to listen to the quiet promptings of the Spirit. I am here to learn how to make friends and be determined to show them that I want to spend time with them even if my accent is still off, and I am here to show to the Lord that I am determined to do my best. There really must be a reason that I am happy in almost every single picture that I took and that has to do with being content with my life and the direction that it is going. I know that the Lord sees my effort and is getting me to where I need to be.
Yeah, I still don't sleep at night, but that is okay. All things will become beautiful (Bukh zuil saukhan bolno).
I love you all,
Sister Jessica Olsen

Washing my coat as to not offend all of Mongolia with just how dirty it gets. Then lunch with the STL's (oh my heck, look at that delicious fajitas, it was a luxury lunch), and fun all around

So I was trying to walk up this monster mountain and kept slipping. I had to put icepicks on my shoes to make it up, but look at that view!

Anyone need a ride? I can help get you there!

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