Monday, March 20, 2017

Saying Good-bye to What You Know (and are comfortable with) - Week 64

Dear family and friends,

Hahahahah, I feel like this is the same dilemma that has popped itself up over and over again, I am not good with change; so naturally, I decided to go on a mission where they make so many changes every few weeks. Then, with this transfer, my companion is going back home to America, so it is a guaranteed change, and I have NO IDEA what is going to happen. There are new American sisters on there way soon (I think in about a week), but only three--6 American sisters are going home-- so with the new ones, that is only 13 American Sisters in Mongolia and due to visas, we must stay in the city, so life is becoming very complicated.

It is okay, all things work out.

This transfer has been amazing! I have been able to go on a hike just about every P-day, and with the weather really warming up, I can see this being a pattern set for the rest of my time out here. I love the peace of nature and in Mongolia, you can just feel tranquility settle into your bones when you get out far enough. I love this place and so many good things are coming. So maybe I will get an companion that I get along with amazingly well, maybe I will get a companion who is making it through the same way that I am, maybe I will train, it is all up in the air. SO I am trying to let go of my expectations--which is so hard because I HATE letting go of control. I like making decisions for my life, so this is where that humility tool comes in handy.

I have learned a lot from my current companion. I have learned what it is like to continue to tackle the mission head-on until the very end. She has made so many good relationships and I am very lucky to have been included in it. I hope that when my time comes to go home, my next companion will be able to say the same thing. 

Life is wonderful!!

I said good-bye to the other students that I came to love and had to go back to my school. They are the same goobs that they have always been, so even English will go back to what it was. This has been such an easy transfer, I came to love more people, we have helped people, but time continues to push forward. I can still do hard things, though.

I feel like I am rambling. I guess my main point is that even when things happen that you wish wouldn't (like change), just keep your face towards the sun and believe that there will still be happiness surrounding you. I think it was Walt Whitman that said, keep your face towards the sun and the shadows will always fall behind you.

Have a great week!


Sister Jessica Olsen


So this is basically how I felt when it came to my last day at teaching English with Sister Lichtenberg at her amazing school! Look at that, though, even on the last day, we were able to teach and brought in some American money for the kids to look at, they loved it.

I was, however, able to have one last day with Sister Bollwinkel, so we had to celebrate by getting the required snickers and cola to make it through the day.

Man, this school is going to eat me alive now that she is gone, but maybe I will teach with Sister Hansen, so it might all just work out.

Hiking Bogd.

It is actually really cool because this is the oldest protected area in the world! Back in the good ol' days of Chingis, there was something about this area like it was where he was born, or where he got married, or where he stole his wife back from a rival clan; something monumental happened here. So it has always been kept set-apart. 

Now it is a National Park and it is so beautiful. The hike up was fun, the hike down was slippery, it was basically packed ice. I slipped so many times. I think the funniest fall was when I wasn't paying attention and fell of my bum, then slid down like 4 feet, but my friend Nomin was ahead of me, and basically had this look like, 'I will catch you if you keep sliding past me'. It was really funny. I didn't get hurt at all, though, just learned that I am still a little clumsy.

Then we saw fun things at the end -- like a CAMEL! He was just hanging out, not caring about a thing :)

The hike was a lot of fun. Me and Sister Shreeve (with red hair) basically jogged down at the very end and it was so refreshing! The last time I was outside running was about April 2016--I can't wait to get back out there when I am home and go running with Lucky.

HAhahahahah, but look at this sign. Those were stray dogs that were clearly being a bunch of rebels!

So on Saturday, we did our Big Plan and walked over to a restaurant, but it was such an eventful walk. We went by a Gandan, a Buddhist church/temple, and they are so cool, there are probably about 2 dozen of them scattered around the city, and then on the walk home, there was a biker meet-up. Oh man, it was so great. All of these peaceful people dressed up like bikers, but still really peaceful.


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