Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Sun Has Come Out

Dear family and friends,
This has been such an amazing week and I can barely believe that it is already half-way through. Time is picking up so much now!
So, all good things are happening out here in Mongolia. I was able to talk to my family on Monday and it was this has been the highlight of the year so far; however, it was a struggle to make this call happen. Every night, we deadbolt our door shut for an added sense of security and locking the door is what any decent human being should do. The morning of the phone call, my companion and I were running around trying to look as pretty as we could possibly make ourselves look before leaving the house by 7:20 in order to make it to the church and have the computers set up for our 8 AM phone call. Everything was going fine and dandy, until we said our leaving-the-house prayer, put on some lotion, then tried to unlock the door and leave. By this point, it is all normal procedure. Then the deadbolt would not budge. We made a joke about how we should have put the lotion on afterwards, we both wiped it off, then tried again.
Nothing. It wouldn't move.
So naturally, I was like, 'there is nothing better than talking to your family, it is like going to the Temple for us missionaries out here,' and I tried to turn the lock. Nothing. Okay, okay, no need to panic, we still had time to make our call. So my companion and I tried to grab our rubber stretching band and turn the lock hoping that the extra grip would help. Then we stated to look for a screwdriver or something--neither of us have tools here. I have some in Colorado, but that didn't do me any good now. So we said another prayer hoping that we just needed to learn a little patience because we were both becoming more and more anxious as the minute went clicking by.
Finally by 7:45 when we had our calls in 15 minutes, I started to call random people--like the Whites who are in charge of apartment maintenance and started telling him how we were literally locked into our apartment. He was a little flustered and thought that we just weren't using the lock correctly. I looked out the window to  see if there was a possibility to get out a different way, but no, we are on the 4th floor and there is nothing but a solid wall outside our window. On the call, I was getting ready to somehow ask the White's to reach out to our families to cancel the call, when suddenly my companion shouted that she got it to open.
The deadbolt and the door had somehow swollen to the point that turning it was impossible but my companion basically sacrificed her thumbs to get it open. Since that point, we told each other that we were never going to deadbolt that door again. We will just lock it with the keys from the inside (our door has several different locking methods).
Then we were off, making a mad dash to get to the church within 10 minutes (normally a 15 minute taxi ride). I think that Heavenly Father blessed us with the craziest and fastest taxi driver that I have ever received a ride from. We made it to the church in 8 minutes. With our newly found 2 extra minutes, we ran upstairs to try to get set up for the call.
Then, the account that I thought that I had set up earlier, did not work. Magically, the Skype account led me through a VERY simple set-up method that did not require a phone code to be sent and I was able to set up a completely new account within minutes. I was then on and talking to my family only a couple minutes late.
However, a missionary companionship prepares you for marriage because I could not enjoy talking to my family when I looked over and noticed that my companion could not get her account up and running, meaning that she could not talk to her family. Due to some complications, it just wasn't working--just like for some reason our door wouldn't unlock in the morning. I cannot overemphasis how much a missionary looks forward to this call! So, with the blessings of technology and the patience of my family, I was able to take a few minutes and help her get set up in order to talk to her family. How amazing is it that I could set up an account in Mongolia, have a phone message sent to my dad in Colorado and he gave it to me instantly through my set up call, then complete her account and get her set up to talk to her family in Arizona? It blew my mind.
The most amazing thing is that the moment that I knew that she was happy and talking to her family, I could finally settle down and talk to mine and really enjoy every second of the call. I feel like I am still experiencing the joy and love that I felt from that call on Monday and it is going to get me through to the very end when I will see them again at the airport. Companionships work when the happiness of the ones around you are just as important as your own happiness and you do not hold back selfishly.
I love this experience because so long as you keep looking for the good and give service, it doesn't matter what else happens, you WILL find joy in the journey and the minor setbacks will seem silly in comparison.
I love you all!
Sister Jessica Olsen
These are all pictures of the Mother's Day call. I LOVE MY FAMILY! Also, funny realization, this is the 2nd time that Sis. Hansen is the one who comes in to use the computer right when I finish--I love my MTC group and my companion.

Oh my gosh, this was so much fun! We celebrated Russian Victory Day by Mongolians through Russian. There were so many military people around and other important people, I loved every minute of it.
Hahahahahah, and if any minute it started to feel too Russian, I just reminded myself that they were a bunch of Mongolians singing and dancing. I loved every minute of it (and have the pictures to prove it)

So the guy that took a picture with my companion, he is a great person. He sat next to our group and is full Russian, sang along to every song, and shouted 'bravo' at the end of each performance. He seriously loves his life. Then, because he loved it so much, we all had a better time for it. After the show, he took pictures with our group once, then ran up and posed with my companion for this one.
Seriously, this is priceless.

I have been wanting to enter this building since the first week of my mission because it always just looked so fancy. I never thought that I would actually have the opportunity to do so!! I can't even describe how happy I was the entire night, it was a dream come true.

Mongolia is so beautiful now and guess what. I FINISHED the Gospel Library--now I have a goal to read the Book of Mormon 2 more times before I go home next month.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAHHAHAHA, so the other morning, we went on this lovely walk around our area, then came home to quickly grab some stuff, then this happened.
I love my companion.
Just the other conference, Elder White told a story about an Elder that broke a chair and when the elder reported the damage, he was smiling. Then Elder White said, 'I don't find anything funny about a broken chair.' Can I just tell you, this is the most hilarious thing ever--a broken table is a funny thing.

My companion's halfway point today. :)

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