Monday, June 12, 2017

A Full Allotment of Joy

Dear family and friends,

So this is it, my last email and I have been thinking a lot of what to write about. I was sitting at breakfast this morning and Sister Mason described the feelings of a former departing missionary, 'my heart is pounding and I feel like I can go a run a full marathon right now, but I can't because I can barely move.' I understand that, it is a really weird feeling to be so excited about going home, but there are times that I don't feel like I am leaving, it is just another exchange coming up, and that I will be here for another couple months. I don't know, I have never been so happy and anxious at the same time, but I know that the minute that I see my mom for the first time again, everything will become perfect and all of my anxiety will completely disappear. Home is where the heart is and I love serving those around me. 

The thing that I kept thinking about in regards to this email and my service here in Mongolia is that I have never loved nor served this well in my entire life. Every moment that I am awake, I feel better if I am helping someone else. There are the moments of being absolutely exhausted and all I want to do is sleep, that is just a normal part of being a person, but I love knowing that I can help make someone's day a little easier if I just take a minute to help them any way possible. I am still the same me ready to debate with anyone at the drop of a hat, but I think a little more before I act/speak and my life has become a lot more peaceful because of it all. I am learning how to become a peaceable follower of Jesus Christ. 

But man, that joy! I am happy all the time. I go to bed knowing that I am contributing my little part, not really completely knowing the full affects behind it, but knowing that just the effort alone will cause a difference. This week, though, I have been able to visit those that I call my friends and family here. I have been able to go back to Songino for a day and say good-bye to Binderiya (my first baptism and the apple of my eyes) and Tsenjaw (the emee that has been bed-ridden since last Spring when she broke her hip; but guess what, she is walking now! I almost cried in happiness when I saw that, she is healing and I love her like I love my own grandmother). I have been able to spend time with every single one of my former companions (who are still here) and I can see their growth and leadership here on the mission as they start to become the senior missionaries and confidently lead wherever they are placed. I have been able to relax with my MTC sisters and take comfort in knowing that we have made lifelong friendships and that they have become my best friends--knowing secrets, goals, and eating lots of junk food together. This has been the greatest blessing of my life.

This week has been a very crazy one: emergency splits and moving apartments 9 days before going home, ward missionary activities, saying good-bye to my Mongolian friends, and finding myself back in an apartment with 4 roommates again. The thing is, it is all the same. This is the Lord's work and I love it all, there are so many blessings around me all the time. I know that God is. I know that Christ lives. I know that the Heavens were opened once again, revelation flooding the earth, due to the simple faith of Joseph Smith to find counsel in the Bible and to follow it. We have a loving Father who is full of wisdom and desires to help you, we just need to ask. Then once doing so, get up off your knees and get to work because faith without works is dead.

It is like accepting a mission call. You don't quite know where you will go, who you will meet, what you will be asked to do, but you have the confidence that everything will work out. I truly testify that coming on a mission and serving the Lord has been the absolute best decision of my life. My joy is full.

With all the love possible,

Sister Jessica Olsen

So one Wednesday, we received a call from the Zone Leaders saying, 'hey, there was a split and you and Sister Shreeve need to move across the street into the Jargalant apartments and then our apartment would be taken by other sisters.' What the, I only had 9 days left of being in the country and was a little bit of a bad sport about it (as demonstrated by the picture), but my companion was a champ. 

I just didn't want to think about packing up COMPLETELY, but it was a good dry-run. I still have too much stuff.

Look at that, here we are all comfy and slightly moved in. I have downsized once again and will need to go through one more round on Thursday, but I get to sleep on the top bunk in the meantime and it is like an adventure every single night. 

It is like being back in my second apartment all over again in Unur, except this apartment is nicer and the washer machine is awesome.

Some of my favorite families! One is a little blurry, but what can you do.

So let me tell you about this day. My quads were absolutely dead for some reason and my legs kept buckling on me as we were walking, so we ended up changing some appointments so that I wouldn't fall on my face. 

We had to run a quick errand to the Bayanzurk and on the way home, we ran into a member from Unur and had a great conversation. I told her that I was still in contact with Sis. Wilkins and she lit up saying how much she loved here (another testament of the longterm love that members have for missionaries and vice versa).

As we kept walking and arrived at home, this little girl ran up to my companion and gave her a yellow flower. Then, she ran to her little brother and took his flower (giving him a gentle pat on the head saying that it was a good thing that he was doing and that it was fine), and then ran up and gave me the flower. This has become the most precious flower that I have ever received because it was given to us for no reason at all except that the little girl was being nice (I think that she is the landlord's daughter of the complex that we moved into 2 days earlier).

It was so incredibly nice and they are alive and doing well on our kitchen table at this very moment.

So many of the trees here are cottonwood, which means that there is fluff flying around in the air like a spring blizzard. My companion and I decided to add to the fun

Here are the last of them.Just random ones and the last that I will send from this side of the world.



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