Tuesday, February 14, 2017

I Survived Mongolia Winter - Week 59

Dear family,
Can you believe it? I actually survived the Mongolia winter! Technically, there are about 18 days until the Es is officially over (9 weeks of 9 days of cold--totaling 81 days), but everything is thawing out. I got so excited about it that I took my mask off last p-day and just walked around nice and clear during the warmest part of the day--then I came down with a cold. Go figure. Just because the weather is starting to warm up doesn't mean the sicknesses are gone. However, with all of the Dayquil and Nitequil, I can do anything, even sleep at night. I am officially going to retire my heavy duty boots today (except for maybe hikes that I am going to go on) and then by the time this transfer ends, I am going to also retire my heavy coat.
I survived with all 10 fingers and toes intact.
Also, speaking of transfers, I have a new companion. Her name is Sis. Lichtenberg and she is my SENIOR companion from the group ahead of me. I am so psyched to get my one last shot at a senior because that is a really great opportunity to learn and really sharpen my teaching skills--with three new American sisters coming in March, it kind of makes me more prepared for what probably will happen. My mission is shrinking on the Sisters side of life where there are, at this very moment, only 16 American sisters. You basically know every single person here very well. I made predictions for how I thought that this transfer would go, I was right about 3 companionships, but completely off about the other 5 (including my own). Oh well, needless to say, I am still not the President of the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission.
Also, they made more changes and I had to say good-bye to teaching with Sis. Bollwinkel at New Generation for the next 6 weeks (and with her permanently), so even my 'constant' was changed. I am now going to teach at a different Secondary School with Sis. Lichtenberg until she goes home next month, then we'll see what happens. I am about 99.9% positive that I will go back to my school, but anything could happen. There have been changes everywhere, but the good news is that Spring is right around the corner.
Today is Valentine's Day and a perfect time to just think about all of those that you love. So, just as a parting note, i wanted to let you know that I love you very much, I can't wait to see you again, and I hope you get some chocolate today to celebrate you.
Sister Jessica Olsen
PS- So let me tell you this funny story that happened last night. So we had transfers and I was helping my companion get to know the area when we were going to go and visit a member for dinner. I had just confirmed the day before at church, but she decided it would be a good idea to call again. It is a good thing that we did because she wasn't home, so we suddenly had this last minute 'opening' come up, so we decided to Heart Attack this member who was becoming too busy to come to church. So we jumped on a bus after making the hearts and went on the attack.
So about 40 minutes later, there we were, in the dark street, standing on ice, cutting tape and sticking hearts on the metal ger fence. Well, the tape wasn't sticking too well, se we had to press harder, which then caused the metal to bend in and make that loud noise (you know, when you bend metal and it makes that whooping noise), then we saw the door open and it looked like someone was going to come out. We wanted it to be a surprise, so we both took off running as fast as we could down the street. after we turned the corner, my companion and I just stood there and laughed for a few minutes about how ridiculous and cool this experience was. Imagine it for just a minute, these two foreigners in the place where you least expect them, running on ice in the middle of a dark alley. Life. I wish I took a picture, it would be so funny (especially since we were both in our dorky face masks).

These are from day of transfer

So This is one of the daughters of my investigator, after they accepted their baptismal invitation, they pulled out the mutton ribs to celebrate (yep, you eat all of the fat chunks and everything) and she braided my hair.
Also, I pulled out a new mask to use, you change it pretty much weekly, and look at that color difference.

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