Thursday, February 23, 2017


Dear family and friends,
So a while ago, I was thinking about how I really just blew my opportunity during my first 12 weeks of being a missionary in Mongolia because I didn't learn well enough from my trainer, well good news, repentance is a real thing. I love my companion this transfer. She is in the group ahead of me and has been teaching me basically everything that she can, we get along great, and we are both determined to stay as stress-free as possible. It is amazing what the difference a good attitude can make. Her mission ends at the end of this transfer, so in just about 4 weeks from now, and it is such a nice time. Speaking of ending, then to know that I was in the group right after her, so I will be in the most senor group with the next 'heading home' date. Times flies.
Miracles are still happening and I have fallen in love with the new students that I teach at, all of the 6th and 7th graders. Mongolia is Mongolia wherever you go, and kids are still kids, no matter where you teach. All of the changes in teaching assignments came with such a big surprise to everyone, that all the missionaries were thrown through a loop, but the attitude of it makes a difference. I was talking to one of the Elders who had experienced the same thing as me where he was unexpectedly removed from his school that he loved, and he had a bad attitude about it. He was still being an excellent teacher, but he kept saying how he was only loyal to his school and couldn't possibly come to love the kids quickly. I just looked at him in disbelief because I had to do the same thing and loving more students doesn't replace the ones that you knew earlier, rather your heart learns to accommodate more and just has a way of growing. I love these goobs at my second school, too (even though I will only be there another 4 weeks at the most). It also makes the experience a lot more fulfilling instead of dreading 12 hours a week of your mission for 6 weeks.
We also had an excellent Zone Conference on Tuesday (hence the delay in writing) and I learned some great things. Our Zone is so tiny, there are only 8 Sisters, so you really get to know everyone pretty well. We were fed American food and it was so delicious that I had seconds on everything... then the worst stomachache because I overate. Oh man, it was so delicious that I do not regret a single bite, but I can't handle it anymore. Also, something tragic has happened, officially as of yesterday, I can't eat the Burger King burgers in Mongolia anymore. I had a really bad experience about 3 weeks ago, so I have avoided the place for a while, but I had it yesterday and could barely swallow it down. What is going to happen without my burgers for the ending portion of my mission?? Hahah, an ironic thing, though, was that I had Mongolian food at a teaching appointment and it was really delicious even though it was something that I never thought I would really like. Next week is Tsagaan Sar (the biggest family celebration here, a Mongolian version of Christmas) and I am going to be fed buuz everywhere I go. Those things make me so sick, but my companion has a plan to keep us healthy. She was here last year and was one of the few who survived it without getting a stomach bug.
Also, this is a transfer of hiking!!! I went on the most beautiful hike on Valentine's Day ('What are men to rocks and mountains?') and we are planning on another 4 this transfer--I am even going on one as soon as I finish emailing! It was beautiful, but my shoes had no traction last time and I fell about 100 times. Then we almost got eaten by these two bear dogs, but luckily there was a fence that blocked the way on the only dog that I have actually been really scared of. I was so worried that I didn't even try to take a picture, but was about to scramble away on hands and knees because I kept falling so much. I don't think that I will go back to that one until the snow melts, but I also saw a furrow horse! It was so Mongolian. I survived and will be at it again soo. :)
All in all, this has been one amazing week. Next week I will wear the traditional deel all the time and visit all the people that I love, it will be great. I will survive the buuz.
I love you all!
Sister Jessica Olsen

Here are a few of the pictures, I will be sending more. :)

Here are some more :)

Oh my heck, I love these kids that I have the opportunity to teach this transfer. Just look at all of them, it is a perfect mix of angels and... well, the opposite of that, but I love them.

We were playing a game with them last week and they just love it. It was a Stop and Go where they had to file throughout the classroom and it was so stink' cute. This is one where about 1 pf them were trying to shuffle behind me while my comp wasn't looking.

Here are some fun pic from Zone Training and my entire Zone.

Then this week I also kind of learned how to play a murinkhurn (I really misspelled that!)

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