Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Beginning of the End

So it has finally happened, I have entered into my final transfer here and I feel like I am still 100% checked in for the duration of it all. It is crazy how everything works out. Not a lot is changing at all for the end because I am still with Sister Shreeve (she is going to kill me), we are still in Sukhbaatar, and I am going to keep visiting and teaching my investigators for the whole time. It is amazing how everything works out and I know for a fact that I am where I need to be with my specific companion for a reason. 

In other news, everything is going well here. We had our big Deseret International Charities English Conference where the heads of the ESL departments from the BYU's come and give a one-day conference to all of the English teachers of Ulaanbaatar who signed up to come. The most amazing thing about this is that while they teach us how to better teach students, I couldn't help but make some strong goals for my language now and for after my mission. I have been putting in so much hard work, I might as well keep up the pattern. However, in preparation of this visit, our mission home/Bayanzurk church received the annual scrub down of the outsides and fences. All the missionaries got together and donned on a pair of gloves and went to work scrubbing away. When I got here last year, I thought that it was the craziest thing that we were washing the outside down with soap and water, but now that I have experienced how dirty everything becomes due to the pollution in the winter, I totally understand. Scrubbing the fence is a vital thing and it was just a lot of fun to be with all of the other missionaries. We don't have the opportunity to get together too often, so it is always a lot of fun when it happens. Sister Hansen and I technically had an English class to teach at the time, but do to good luck (and a blessing from above), our entire class decided to ditch. SO after waiting for the appropriate 5 minutes, we took off running--or walking at a speedy pace--to get back to her apartment, change, then get to the church. We made it there about 30 minutes late, but worked for a few hours.

I loved it! I may have taken an excessive amount of pictures. It was wonderful and I was able to just chat away while scrubbing away.

Also, I have decided to start writing in a journal again--there have been so many points on my mission where I have HATED journalling because you only have a limited amount of free time and I didn't want to use it writing, but I have about 50 days left in Mongolia and I have about 50 pages left in my journal, so I figured why not. It will be good to look back on, I suppose. I have also seen where blessings are coming into my life.

An example: on Friday after the cleaning, my companion and I decided to go have pizza for dinner to reward ourselves for the work (after also running other errands) at the Emart next to the church. Before going, we had to run over to Sis. Hansen's and Guild's apartment to pick up my abandoned clothes, and while leaving Sis. Shreeve had just put some personal money into her wallet and then put it in her purse. In the elevator, during this time, there were these two Mongolian men that entered, but it was that semi-awkward oh-there-are-already-people-in-this-tiny-elevator-so-we-are-going-to-squeeze-in-but-not-make-eye-contact-or-talk sort of event. Then we walked over to the store and after I ordered the pizza, my companion was going to get a drink. However, to her horror, the wallet was gone. Our minds went first to the guys in the elevator because you can be pick-pocketed from in a heart beat out here and in her wallet was the mandatory Alien ID card. Without the card, we can get kicked out of the country and the government makes you jump through hoops to try to get a replacement.

We immediately called the STLs and asked them to retrace here steps, no luck.

However, literally 20 seconds after hanging up, we received a text message from President asking if my companion lost her wallet. Crazy, right? We gave him a call back and it turns out that there was a worker in our Missionary Service Center that received a call from a random person saying that she found a wallet and then the employee called President, who called us. The employee worked it out as to where to meet and how we could pick it up within 10 minutes. During all of this rush and franticness, our pizza was being made and literally finished as soon as the time was set where to meet. So we grabbed our dinner, then basically took off running back. Along the way, we ran into Nomin, a really good friend of ours outside, and she was able to come with us to act as interpreter (I don't know how to say wallet in Mongolian, so I was first just planning on improvising, but with Nomin, there was no need). Oh my heck, we made it there about 4 minutes late, but sure enough, there was the lady that called the Employee, who called, President, who called my companion.

The wallet was intact. The cards were all there. It was an honest miracle. We ended up offering the Good Samaritan a reward the equivalent of $20 (if she would have just taken the wallet, she would have ended up with the equivalent of $5). SO many blessings in that little story!!!

So now, I am trying my best to remember all of these good little moments and to note them down. I still take about 10 pictures a day, but now there is some writing to go with it. 

I love my mission and Mongolia is becoming so beautiful with the good Spring air.

I love you all,

Sister Jessica Olsen

So because this day was so much stinkin' fun, here are some more pictures of us missionaries cleaning.

HAHHHHAHAH, so in that last picture, I look like a crazy khun, but it was the beginning of the adventure with the wallet.

The picture with the two older men are of some of my favorite members. They are always in the Bayanzurk building and are the happiest and nicest members in the whole world. 

This is from our STL split. Yeah, we did our 'split' together because we all get along so well!!! Tacos and then I went with Sister Guild out to a members (and picked up a souvenir along the way). It was the first time that I really went on a split with Sis. Guild and it was the most amazing thing, we were MTC companions and could not speak Mongolian at all in the beginning. Now, here we were, months and months down the road, being the most senior sister missionaries and just walking around Mongolia, teaching lessons without a problem. 

So here was our countdown for the end our our transfer, but now we get to make one all over again. Also, guess what! Mongolia is warming up and I do not have to always wear a jacket now and the tights are coming off. 



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