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)

Monday, September 26, 2016

I got blessed by a Monk

Sain batsganuu ta nart!!!

Sorry for the delayed email this week, we decided to go a little crazy for p-day and take a little road trip out to Nailakh to see the giant Chinggis Khan statue! I've been there before with the Selbe ward, but Sister Lichtenberg and Kofoed had never been there and this is probably the last opportunity they will have before their mission ends. (They don't leave until March, but the rest of their mission will be winter. We've got a heads up that this winter will reach easily to -45 degrees. Buckle up!)
It was so fun. The pictures don't do a justice. That statue is like 200 feet high. It's huge.

Here's a fun story. We didn't have a ride back to the city from Chinggis. So we hitch hiked. (Don't freak out, it's totally normal here.) The guy that picked us up happened to have 2 guys from China that didn't speak Mongolian, and he was showing them the sights. On our way back, he pulled over on the side of the road and there were these giant camels!!!! WHAT?! So cool! So, happy early hump day to me! (next Thurs. btw) Then, the guy was so nice and didn't even charge us for the ride back to the city. He said he was going there anyways, but it was still a long ride, and he wouldn't let us give him any money. That guy needs the priesthood.

Anyway, thanks for all the birthday wishes this week! It was so awesome!  We had Sister Bottorff and Guild over for lunch and cake, then we had the most perfect day scheduled and taught some beautiful lessons, and didn't get burned once and things just worked out so beautifully. That never happens!! It was like Heavenly Father just said "Happy birthday, have the best missionarying day ever!" So awesome.

Then daylight savings happened. Haha. We had no idea, had gotten up and worked out and gotten ready and were starting personal study when someone called us and told us the time changed. Perfect. That's what you get when your district leader is in Khovd!!! So we were up for an extra hour, and man, did it hit us at the end of the day! I'm afraid my mission is turning me into a morning person. It's weird.

Sister Kofoed and I also got blessed by a monk! We had some stuff go down at school and left early, but neither of us had keys to our apartments, so while waiting for our companions to finish teaching, we walked through the Buddhist ghandin. It. Was. Amazing. I love Buddhist temples. I don't have any pictures from the inside because it's a sacred place, but they are so beautiful and elaborate, and we got to observe the monks praying and doing their rituals. It was a really interesting experience, and such a stark contrast from our ways of worship, but we got a lot of really incredible spiritual insight from that experience. As we were leaving, a monk waved us toward him and motioned for us to bow and as we did he tapped us on the head with his prayer scroll. It was done in a very respectful and kind manner though, and we think he was giving us some kind of blessing of luck or something! Cool!

Since you all seem to be so star-struck by little Erdenebayar, his parents are both less-actives who are becoming more active!! They are wonderful people, but very poor. They live at the very top of a mountain in a ger, and just repainted their noil door bright orange, and were so excited to show us! Mongolians are so amazing. So giving and loving.

Doing some service at the church! (This is like, the nicest building in Mongolia btw)
I am so happy that you're having good experiences with the Mongolian names in the temple. It makes me so happy, and just know that you will get some giant Mongolian sniff-kisses in the next life :) Have a great week you all!

Sister Hansen

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