Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Year, New Goal - Week 53

Dear family and friends,
Honestly, can't you just feel it in the air? This is going to be one amazing New Year, and it is the ending of my 'mission year' and I hit my one-year mark on Friday, then it is all going to just fly by. How, do you ask? It is because I am setting some really hard goals, every single day, in the hopes that I make it off this mission the best person that I could possibly have become, then head right on into the rest of my life with the same attitude. You only get one life here, so you might as well make it as amazing as you possibly can.
One of my goals this year is to start journaling again. I try to take a lot of pictures each day, but I also need to start to write down the little miracles that happen each day. One that I keep thinking about happened just yesterday morning. I was doing my normal personal study hour from 8-9 AM and had just finished reading from the Book of Mormon and was getting started on Galatians in the New Testament. Out of nowhere and like a tidal wave, I had all of these thoughts just enter into my mind of what I would be doing if I was at home and at work, these kinds of thoughts are never good to have, and I was overwhelmed with it (I also never have these thoughts, I am not trunky, I promise). They were thoughts of inconsequential things, like being one of the first ones in and flipping on the lights, changing my answering machine message, walking over and talking to friends (hahah, Caren, I specifically thought about you), and other little tiny things like that. I thought about working out before work and of running during lunch. Then all of a sudden I just felt tired of everything: tired of thinking about other people all day long, of worrying over their progression, of changing my life every 6 weeks-sh with transfers, and just wanting to watch a movie and relax on Sundays.
It was a tidal wave of discouragement. That came out of NOWHERE. I was having a really good morning, I was joking around with my companion (I really do love her), I had a great plan for the day, and then when all of these thoughts came, I remember making a point of trying to tell myself that it was just a distraction and I can relax all I want--later. I also had this feeling that I just needed to read a little more in Galatians and try to finish the book no matter what thoughts were happening, so I just kind of pressed forward. Then I read this:

let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:9-10)
This was the answer to my problem. It was a miracle because as soon as I read this, I could answer back to every reason that I was tired was because I was doing something good and that I wasn't tired at all, I don't know if that makes sense, but the tidal wave descended and the waters of this negative feeling dried up. I was able to continue my studies as if none of it ever really happened, but I knew that I came off the conqueror. I am doing good and good will happen for these wonderful people that I am trying to help. I just need to not give up.
Otherwise, everything is great out here. We are in the second block of the Es (9 nine day periods where Mongolia just freezes and is simply cold), I bought some sweet warm boots, and life is great. Honestly, if your feet are warm, you feel like a million bucks and can walk for miles. When they are cold, it makes for the longest day of your life. Hahahah, I think next week I will lay out everything that I wear in a single day so that you can get a better idea of how many layers are happening. I talked with some of the Elders and they are not very good at layering, so needless to say, on any given day the Sisters dress warmer than the Elders. Let's see, I think about 12 days from now will start the coldest part of the es and it will last for 27 days, then we will start to warm up. The good news: it is too cold to snow anymore, so at least there aren't little flakes of cold hitting you in the face. Blessings.
This is the start of a great new year, I ate some buuz to celebrate, and life is great. (Funny thing, usually buuz make me want to die, but these ones where kind of good. I ate 4)
I love you all,
Sister Jessica Olsen
These are from the New Years party--bringing it in with an amazing family and we had some cake (it is like chocolate covered bread). The cake is the best part for the kids gene.

So a lot of the missionaries fall in love with the older generations of grandmas, I stinkin' love Mongolian kids. They are so cute!

So I was waving 'hi' to the sun, there is a tradition where Mongolians welcome the sun in their cultural clothing, but I accidentally mixed up the holiday. They do that on the big holiday in February and here I was basically giving the sun a high-five on New Year's morning.

Hahahahhaha, look closely and there is a full body of a sheep in that storage closet (this is why everything rots in the summer when it is hot), and my first meal out. You would be happy, too.
Then that one with the ben is when I went out of my way to buy Mongolian food. I LOVE the fried bread here, lol, my companion would not partake.


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