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)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

CONFERENCE was better than Christmas!

Well ya'll, newest additions to the "tried it" list includes camel's milk this week! Also go ahead and add it to the "never want that to come anywhere near my mouth again" list!

Regarding teaching English, not yet, we had 3 weeks of training then I was suppose to start tomorrow, but now it might be Thursday. 

Holy grail of restaurants in Mongolia - Still haven't set foot inside.
Sister Gardiner and I have become good friends and we both have the same goals and are very hard workers, so we are a good companionship.

Mongolian is still very difficult. There are days that I feel pretty good about it, then there are days that it feels like I'm chasing a run-away train. It's actually the opposite then you think... I can speak way more than I can understand. I can understand most of when my companion is speaking (or really any American for that matter) but as soon as a Mongolian starts talking to me I'm at a complete loss and don't understand a thing. But I'm still working hard and have only had one really discouraging day and I don't ever want that to happen again, so I'm keeping my head up.

Mongolian Teeter Totter

We currently have 7 investigators with a baptism date. A Mom and son, mom and daughter, and a father and husband should be getting baptized at the end of this month, Sisters and mothers will be next month! They're all wonderful!

There is another boy, who is SOO prepared to get baptized, but because he's under 18, we have to have a parent signature to teach him, and his parents live way out in the huduu (countryside) where there is no internet or mail or anything, so we are praying for a way to receive that permission so he can be baptized. He is so excited and ready and awesome.

There's a guy whenever we go to teach one investigator, we think he's like a nephew or something, probably in his 20's, and he always sits on the couch during our lessons and watches TV. We don't know his name or anything about him, so we always just referred to him as "couch guy". But after zone conference and getting all fired up about finding the shepards, we're like "Wait a minute.... COUCH GUY!"

Staying in shape for Rock Climbing

Easiest highlight of this week.... GENERAL CONFERENCE! It was better than Christmas!! (especially true because they don't celebrate Christmas in Mongolia)

I personally have never been very good at focusing during conference- my mind easily wanders and zones in and out during the talks, and I almost always fall asleep at some point. But In the days leading up to general conference, I have been praying and preparing myself to stay attentive and open-minded THE WHOLE TIME. Well, God blessed me so much.

I have a solid 10 pages of inspired notes, guidance, encouragement, and revelation from the mouths of the apostles and leaders of the church. There wasn't one talk that I didn't learn something new from or felt the spirit. I didn't want it to end. Also, the music was AMAZING! The BYU-Idaho choir was awesome! I also took a bit of my computer time today to watch the Logan Institute Choir from priesthood session, and they were SOOO GOOD!!!! I was so glad to see so many of my wonderful friends! I may have leaked a tear or two... don't tell anyone. I just love them so much.

I learned a lot during conference about raising children, strangely enough. I felt that it was a common topic among many of the speakers, and for the first time like, in my life, I felt the importance of preparing myself to be a mother. Even though I'm on a mission now and that is a long way off, I kept feeling the urge of gaining knowledge and faith for my future family. Also, the temple. Which I miss a whole lot, and cannot wait for the day when I can go again. So, pretty much when you pick me up from the airport next summer, don't even go home- just take me straight to the temple.

Ok, so here's pretty much my summary of all of conference, and some of my favorite talks. So basically all of them.

Mary R. Durham- 2nd counselor of the primary presidency- When she started to talk, I could already feel myself trying to zone out. She's talking about raising our kids, teaching our children, blah blah, I'm not gonna have kids anytime soon, not relevant. Then the spirit was like "STUPID! PAY ATTENTION!" and I was like, "What?" Then I did, and I learned so much!

Donald L. Hallstrom (70) I LOVED this talk. "Our earthly identity is not wrong as long as it does not interfere with our eternal identity". "You can have what you want, or you can have something better." He also shared a cool experience about MoTab singing the hymn "How Firm a Foundation". This was so special to me because I had a very significant experience with this particular hymn and it's power when I was working at camp last summer. It was a re-confirmation to me that I am where I am suppose to be, doing what I'm suppose to be doing.

Kevin R. Duncan (70) "We are all Saul-like individuals with Paul-like potential"

Neil L. Anderson- Reaching out to the youth of the church. Woah, this one was good.

Mervyn B Arnold (70) Rescuing the lost sheep. This man brought so much love to the podium. I could feel it through the TV screen. DO NOT DELAY GOING TO THE RESCUE. We're responsible for doing the Savior's work until He comes again.

David A. Bednar- Heavenly Father does not inted for us to experience the renewing and refreshing feeling of baptism only one in our life. We can experience it every week when we take the sacrament. Our limitations can be overcome. Our weaknesses can become our strength. There was so much doctrinal goodness in this talk.

President Monson- May we choose the harder right, rather than the easier wrong.

Bonnie L. Oscarson (YW pres) Conversion comes from searching the scriptures, not the internet. Choose faith over doubt- it's a CHOICE we make every day. We need to get this knowledge from our head into our hearts. We know it, but do we believe it?

W. Christopher Waddell- Peace of mind is not determined by our ability to avoid sorrow. Learn, Listen, and Walk.

D. Todd Christofferson- Fatherhood. Prepare your mind, so you can prepare the minds of your children to hear the word of the Lord's coming. By reading scriptures to or with your children you are acquainting them with the the sound of God's voice. Challenges are often an indication of the Lord's trust in you.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf- He knows when you are lost, and He knows where you are. God will force no one to heaven. "We are made of supernal material, highly refined. We carry within us the substance of divinity." Pretty much every word he spoke was magic.

Gerrit W. Gong- With God, there is no "point of no return"

Dallin H. Oaks- Opposition gives us a real chance to prove our willingness to endure to the end. Our opposition is equivalent to our strength. Sister Gardiner and I discussed this talk during our companion study this morning, and it helped both of us in more ways than one.

Paul V. Johnson- I LOVED this man's talk on the resurrection. He was so humble and loving. Resurrection is the cure for all earthy ailments, no matter what is broken in us. We will someday be be healed and whole, beyond the reach of any troubles. It brought so much peace to me. I studied more about the resurrection during my personal study today, and it is such a hopeful, happy gift.

Holland- This man is a legend. Post-illumination affliction (so like coming home after a mission, or literally any time you leave the temple) After each heavenly experience it is inevitable that we have to "come back to Earth". The first great COMMANDMENT is to love God with all our might, mind and strength. But the first great TRUTH is that God loves US with all His might, mind and strength.

"Bless me tomorrow to remember what I learned today."


Back together again after the MTC (Guild, Bottorff, Hansen, Olsen)

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