My Experiences as an English Teacher and Missionary in Mongolia Ulaanbaatar (Jan 2016 – Jul 2017)

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Sister Jennifer Hansen
Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission
(Sorry I'm home now)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The MTC is like drinking from a Fire Hydrant

"The first week at the MTC is kind of like drinking out of a fire hydrant. You get some water, but mostly just get hit in the face."

Me and my companion Sister Bottorff
Sometimes I get really discouraged and frustrated that I'm going to be in the MTC for so long, because it is really hard. Like, actually really hard. But then I sit back and think of why it is a blessing. So here are some reasons why I am grateful to be in the MTC for 10 weeks. 

1) Mongolian is so dang, freaking difficult. I'm going to make a lot of mistakes, so why not get my big ones out of the way now?

2) My district has been handpicked from the "best-people-in-the-world" bucket of names. Each come from a completely different background and contributes something very special to our group. We are all best friends and will have the next 8 weeks to strengthen and support each other.

Back Row: Bottorff, Hansen, Garcia, Cowles, Heacock, Wilding, Urness
Front Row: Olsen, Guild, ?(maybe teacher)
3) Each Sunday and Tuesday we have devotionals with special guest speakers who are often general authorities or other prominent church leader. For those missionaries speaking English or a native language, they're in and out of here in 10 days days. They're gonna miss out a lot of good stuff. Also, we figure being in Mongolia will be kind of like a drought in that sense, so we're trying to absorb as much here as we can. 

4) JANICE KAPP PERRY, YA'LL. You know, the music legend of the mormon world? She led the entire MTC in a medley of her most popular primary songs, and the spirit in that room was nearly tangible. Elder Urness is a convert, and he did not grow up singing those songs, so he didn't know any of the words. But he felt the power of music and wept the whole time. The simplicity and profoundness of the children's songs have impacted me since I was a sunbeam, and it was such a blessing and tender mercy to hear Sister Perry speak. 

5)While we're on the topic of music, I want you to imagine a room. In that room is every MTC president from around the world and their wives. Also in that room is Neil L. Anderson, and apostle of God. The rest of the room is packed to the brim with hundreds of missionaries. Ok, good. Now imagine all those people singing "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" at the top of their lungs. Yeah, I lived that. 
Sisters learning Mongolian: Bottorff, Hansen, Olsen, Guild
So, second week of the MTC was good. I can comfortably offer a simple prayer and testimony in Mongolian. We're pretty much teaching every day at this point, so it really forces us to memorize a lot. 

Here's a Jen story that anyone who knows me well might enjoy:
This morning in the shower, I am happily unaware that I am singing the Jurassic Park theme song for all to hear, then was awakened from my la la land when I noticed that I was trying to make dinosaur noises and was more successfully sounding like Chewbacca. I hope everyone else showering loved it. 

Есүс Христ бол аврагч гэтгийг би мэдэн. [from Jen's father: Google translation is: "Jesus Christ is the Savior, knowing I getgiig", which I think means: "I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior."]

I would write more but that took me like 10 years to figure out where all the letters were on an English keyboard. 

Ханисэн Эгч

Q/A:Well Dad, I'll try to answer some of your questions, but you sure ask a lot of them.

Here's a bit of info on the other missionaries in my district. Elder Cowles (pronounced Coles) and Elder Urness are both converts within the last 2 years. They're so awesome. Elder Urness is our district leader. You asked who has the most experience with other languages. Nobody, really. Elder Garcia and Sister Olsen know a bit of Spanish. Elder Heacock and Elder Cowles learned the cyrillic alphabet before they came to the MTC, so they had that advantage the first day. But everyone is pretty much on an even playing field.

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