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

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Mailing address:
Sister Jennifer Hansen
Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission
Post office box - 242
Ulaanbaatar post office - 49
Ulaanbaatar Mongolia, 13381

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Mission Music Coordinator

SURPRISE! We moved! Sister Jensen and I are now living in the super luxurious senior couples apartment with the East Zone STLs (Bennett and Hartley) and it's been pretty fun but also a crazy couple of days!

Found these lovely ladies in the mall.

So much has happened this week. I guess the first thing I can think of is Friday we taught a WHITE GUY. IN ENGLISH. And it was way too weird. Also, turns out I'm better at teaching the gospel in Mongolian than in my native language. Who knew? It was so hard. I kept getting confused about what principle we were teaching, I talked way too much, and accidentally kept using Mongolian words. The lesson was kind of a disaster. And THAT is why God chooses our missions and not us. Because if it were the other way around I'd probably be ruining peoples lives in Kentucky right about now.

Our newest living quarters

Another cool thing this week is that Sister Harper asked me to be the "mission music coordinator"! I don't know if that's actually a thing or if she just made it up, but now I will be putting together all the musical numbers for zone training's and conferences and stuff. I'm super excited!

You've asked about couch guy a couple times, and he was gone for so long so we never met with him, but we did have a super awesome lesson with him this week! We're going to invite him to be baptized on Tuesday! He's great, and I really want to see him get the priesthood. There are just some people that you get more invested in than others, and I'm super invested in this guy.

Let's play a game! It's called, try to guess which desk is mine. *Hint: Mine is the right*

Since my STL split with Sister Wilkins, one thing we talked about was keeping a miracles/tender mercies journal. So I started doing that. Every day I'll just write a little tender mercy or miracle that happened that day. Turns out, when you start thinking about it, there are way too many to write. But I love this book because now I have a record of straight miracles from heaven. It's so cool. Our tender mercy yesterday was that we had 57 PEOPLE in Selbe!! WOW! That's the most we've had since the split. It's still been hard finding people to teach, but it's getting better, and we're building it back up. It will all be ok! Because it's all in God's hands! So as long as we're being obedient and working hard then the work will get done. The church is true. God is our loving Heavenly Father. I'd better stop there because apparently when I try to testify in English it just goes downhill :) Love you all!

Sister Hansen

We wanted to do some service and make cookies for our next door neighbors. The culture is that if you give somebody a plate or container with something on it, after you finish you return it with something else on it. So when they brought our plate back, I got really excited for a micro-second because I thought this was mac-n-cheese. Nope. Just arol (milk curds) Bon apetite.

P.S Also, we were working on some English lessons this week, and one of the lessons was about the Olympics, then it all of a sudden hit me that the Olympics are this summer!!!! I totally forgot! Are you watching them? They're in Rio this year right? I love the Olympics! Also, did you go up to the farm for Pioneer day again to play in the foam and watch fireworks? I love that. Hope you had a good day.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Moving Bricks

Hi mom and dad!

Hansen, Wilkins, cute ward missionary
We don't have anybody to meet with because they all left to the countryside for Nadaam.

You know how I have that weird thing that I start to go a little stir crazy when I stay in one place for too long? Yeah, I got a little of that this week. I have really loved being in Selbe, but the city has kind of been getting to me this week.

I went on an AMAZING STL split with Sister Wilkins to Unur, which is like the super ghetto of UB, and I loved it so much. It was so incredibly refreshing to get out of the city. We did a lot of service. There was one man that Sister Wilkins knew that has been trying to build a big brick wall around his property- he's not interested in the church, but Sister Wilkins still wanted to serve him. He didn't want her to help because then he felt like he would need to pay her or feed her, and he didn't have enough money or food to give. So, the day I was with her, we put on our basketball shorts under our skirts, went to his ger, and said "put us to work, and don't give us a thing." He was so grateful. So we spent about an hour throwing bricks into a giant pile so he could build this wall. I'm sure Sister Wilkins will return to help him again, but I'm so glad I got to go that day.

My Mongolian is still improving little by little every day. I'm so blessed to have never had to deal with being extremely frustrated or discouraged with my mission or my language- of course there have been hard days, and yeah it's frustrating when I don't understand what is being said, but over all, I feel like I've kept a pretty level head through it all. Prayer plays a big part in that. And studying. A lot. But, I'm getting more comfortable when people ask me questions, and I don't always need to turn to my companion for a translation any more. I don't know completely why yet, but the Lord has seen me fit to be VERY receiving of the gift of tongues, and I am so humbled because of it.

Anywho, that's a tiny snip-bit of what's been going on lately. Grandma sent an email about the amazing experience in Oklahoma, and that is so wonderful.

Mash ih hairtai shuu,
Sister Hansen

Monday, July 11, 2016


Opening Ceremonies - NADAAM
Nadaam is the huge summer festival of Mongolia, and cultural overload, and it was so amazing. We were allowed to go to the opening ceremonies, and it was so incredible!! We had so much fun, and saw so many cool things! I think my mission is making me more travel hungry than ever before.... there's just too many wonderful things in the world that I need to see and experience! I've been so blessed to have experienced so many things, but I think that my mission has definitely been my greatest adventure yet :)

Genghis Khan is back!

Jensen, Hansen, Harmon, & Harker enjoying Opening Ceremonies on P-day

So, even though Nadaam was amazing, it makes it really difficult to meet with people, so our lessons have been next to nothing this week. It's been pretty frustrating to not be meeting with people and doing lots of good work, but there still have been little miracles, and next week will be a lot better.
The Eagle Huntress
Am I starting to look Mongolian?
Hahaha little fun story, some people know that the 4th of July is my favorite holiday, and I was not homesick, but a little bummed that there were no fireworks that day. But last night when we were praying before getting into bed, we heard fireworks going on outside! We opened the curtains and because our new apartment has an amazing view of the city, we were able to see the fireworks all the way from Sukhbaatar square!!! It was so cool. It was like Heavenly Father saying, "Hey, I know you're working your butt off, and I'm sorry I can't give you people to teach right now, but here's some fireworks to make you feel a little better. Happy 4th of July." Then Sister Jensen and I sang the Star Spangled Banner and went to bed, and I felt a little better :)
Let the games begin!

Don't let President and Sister Harper know we are here. OOPs that's them right behind us.

Have a great week ya'll. Love you lots. Come to Nadaam.
Sister Hansen

[Dad Question: What is the 42 book]
The 42 principle book is our lesson plan notebook. In PMG there are a total of 42 principles through chapter 3, and Pres. Benson challenged us to write a lesson plan for each one of those principles by the time he completed his mission. I had it completed in English, Mongolian, checked and edited by a Mongolian, and re-written in Mongolian by the time he left. So I can now successfully teach any principle out of PMG ch.3 :) Yay!
Mongolian parking lot.

Regarding Mongolian clothing... it wasn't required for Nadaam, although it would have been pretty fun if I would have bought something. There was a pretty top that I liked (sent a picture) but I wouldn't wear it until Tsagaan sar in Feb, so I don't want to carry it around for 6 months. I'll probably buy something around Christmastime. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Cow Eyeball Juice

Well ya'll, this week is 6 months! Pretty hard to believe. I still feel like I'm just getting started.

So the view from our new apartment is pretty sweet!

This week was pretty bumpy- it's the Nadaam holiday this week so EVERYONE goes to the countryside. It's been super difficult to find people to meet with, but we've been doing our best and visiting with members and trying to get lots of referrals so once Nadaam is over we can get back to work. Last week was also the big election for a new president, and apparently sometimes there can be riots and crazy stuff that happens so we stayed inside that day and did our big weekly plan. There were no problems.

Hangin' with Lenny boy.

Little funny thing that happened this week- we were invited to a member's house for dinner and she was mixing up a drink and I asked what it was, and she said "uheriin nuudnii shus" which translates to "cow eyeball juice". Ok. I'm in Mongolia. I can do this. I think I must have looked a little nervous because she just laughed and said "it's just the name- it's not really cow eyeballs. It's just turnip juice." Whew. I was ready though. I was gonna drink it all. It's not like I haven't had any other sketchy things since being here.

This week we did have a wonderful mini-zone training with President and Sister Harper!! They are AMAZING. I am SO excited for them to be here. President Harper began by saying how happy they were to be back, and that they "left home to come home." He was very emotional throughout the training, and I know that he has been called by Heavenly Father to futher the work done by the Benson's and they will be incredible leaders in Mongolia.

I'm eating unborn fish.
Since I've been with Sister Jensen I have felt an incredible amount of responsibility to maintain the work that Sister Gardiner and I did the last 3 months. I've really stepped up my language game and have definitely seen the gift of tongues working the last couple weeks. My understanding has improved- it's still not great, but I usually get the gist of what's going on. I've had some great experiences with following the spirit for little things like remembering where people's houses are and who we should ask to be a gerch for a lesson. It's been quite a humbling and yet empowering experience.

I'm excited to see what kind of changes happen in the next couple months. Please pray for our little wards- they need all the help they can get right now.

Lots of love,

Sister Hansen