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

Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving and Urine


Thanksgiving Pot Luck (Sister Nelson recovering in pink on the right)

I am grateful for...
MY PARENTS- who were married in the temple and have raised me to love the gospel of Jesus Christ, be obedient and righteous, but also have a lot of fun and enjoy life and all the good things.
MY GRANDPARENTS- who have never stopped sending love and support through whatever phase of life I am in, and set beautiful examples of happy, faithful lives.
THE HOGANS- who actually are just my second family. They taught me what a bell pepper is for crying out loud. May the Hogan-Hansen-Highway be an everlasting symbol of our friendship, and really late night nertz games.
KAYLENE HARRIS- who out of the kindness of her heart extended her work hours to teach me piano lessons. Kaylene is not only the best piano teacher in the world, but also one of my dearest friends, and if not for her, I would not have had as many amazing opportunities to serve.
THE BROS- who made my college experience amazing. Let's not count all the questionable decisions that have been made, and just say that we've had a lot of fun, and I'm really grateful that we always (usually) have each others' backs.
LOGAN YSA 32nd WARD BISHOPRIC- who were basically my 3 dads at USU. For always caring about my life and leading our ward with love and by the spirit.
PRESIDENT and SISTER HARPER- who are the most perfect example of a unified, loving, eternal companionship, and work so hard to lead this mission and move he work forward in Mongolia.
MY MISSION- there is no way I can tack down one thing I am most grateful for on my mission. My entire life has been changed. I've met some of my very best friends. I've learned about the Atonement and Plan of Salvation in such a way that I see my life and others' through totally new eyes.
HEAVENLY FATHER and JESUS CHRIST- who love us SO MUCH and have given me so many blessings and opportunities that I don't deserve.

And a lot of other things.

Tuesday split with Sister Kofoed (left) and Nomin?

Anyways, a little bit about this week, Sister Nelson is doing well- she is currently on crutches for a while, but is in good spirits and will be walking again soon.

Reunited with one of my favorite companions. Me, Lichtenberg, Jensen, Bollwinkel

Interesting cultural experience: I thought that after 8 months I had pretty much experienced all the normal Mongolian things.... then the other day meeting with a less active family, their little kid had to pee, so his dad held up a little cup for him to do his thing (this is normal). What took me by surprise was when the dad drank it. I was a little bit shocked for a minute. He saw that on my face and chucked and said it's healthy. Um, I'm pretty sure there's a reason why our body gets rid of that stuff. I talked to Elder Moulder about it later if that was a Mongolian thing or if this family is just weird, and he said he has seen it before. So, yeah, gross.

Look what happens when your companion (Sister Mason) is an art major!

"O" and  "G" are doing well! "O" has been coming to my English classes! We told her that Dec 23 is Joseph Smith's birthday, and she got super pumped for her baptism. It's going to be a great day!

Teaching with Sister Kofoed

Have an awesome week. Listen to some classic Christmas carols for me!

Sister Hansen

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

I am grateful for traffic laws

You know those days where everything just flows perfectly and all goes exactly as planned?
Yeah, me neither. Like the time I went on a split with Sister Nelson and she got ran over by a bus.

On splits with Sister Nelson (just before she got ran over by a bus)

We had just come from teaching a great lesson with my investigator "B", and were going out to meet the bus to head back to the BZ for adult session of stake conference with Nomin. Sister Nelson and I both slipped on the ice at the same time, but I regained my footing, and Sister Nelson went all the way down and the back tires of the bus ran over both of her legs. She was screaming, I immediately called President Harper, and Nomin dragged her out of the road before she got plowed over by another car, then she called an ambulance. It was a miracle that Nomin was with us, because in the adrenaline of the moment, I could not understand any Mongolian that was being spoken to me, and she saved the day, and Sister Nelson's life. There was a lot of traffic, and we were still in Jargalant, which is a pretty far drive from the BZ, so I knew it would take President and Doctor Sutphin a long time to get there, and it was really cold. I wrapped my scarf around Sister Nelson's legs and Nomin even gave up her coat so she wouldn't have to sit on the ice.

I was never grateful for traffic laws and medical care in America, but please do not take our blessings for granted. We sat out in the freezing cold for over a half hour, not knowing if both of Sister Nelson's legs were broken or not, waiting for the ambulance to come, because in Mongolia, it doesn't matter if the sirens are running or not- nobody moves, and you are stuck in traffic just like everyone else. Once they finally arrived, it took nearly another hour to get to the hospital- sirens running the whole ride there, don't ask me why, it didn't make any difference.

In the Ambulance with Sister Nelson

The hospital was so cold! All the patients and people there were still wearing their snow coats and hats inside. It was a mess. Nomin was running around like a mad woman talking to police men, doctors, and I was trying my best to translate for President, Sister Harper and Doctor Sutphin who met us at the hospital shortly after.

Now let me talk about the miracles. We received the x-rays, and neither of Sister Nelson's legs were broken. They had been severely crushed and bruised, and her right shin bone has been bent and dented a little bit, but that was the extent of the damage. The girl got run over by a freaking bus and didn't break a bone. How? Because Heavenly Father watches out for and protects His missionaries, that's how. We can be so grateful that it was only her legs and not her head, and after a few days of rest she can return to her missionary service.

I am grateful for traffic laws and obedient citizens that clear way for ambulances. I am grateful for warm hospitals. I am grateful for a loving mission President and wife who care for us as their own children. I am grateful to be serving a mission so I could learn to be grateful for all these things.

Sister Mason crossing an icy road
Teaching English in the BZ in amazing. Everybody that is there is there because they want to learn English. I have already made connections with several students, and have even met a boy in 11th grade who wants to go to USU! So cool!!


Sister Hansen

Right after I melted my coat on a hot stove. Sister White has fixed it since then, so we're good.

When its too cold for my favorite boots, I wear these Reindeer Boots. It was -30 degrees F this week.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The person on top of this mountain needs to feel God's love

Mongolia mission- every day an adventure, just to keep you on your toes. After this week, I think there is just too much happy in my life for my heart to hold. The happy is just too big. Too much happy.

Sister Mason & I

 First, one of our great investigators "O" finally said she wants to be baptized! She's been progressing and learning really well, but has been a little on the fence about baptism, then when we had an awesome lesson about prayer and obedience, she said she really wants to have the gift of the Holy Ghost and is excited to be baptized!!!! Yes! Such a wonderful feeling. Now, just to get her brother, "G" :) He is also awesome, doing well, so we're all praying and pulling for him! Their date is December 23, which means they will get the gift of the Holy Ghost on Christmas!! What a great day!

How I keep my face warm.

I also had a cool experience where we were in a little store getting a snack, and the lady at the cash register noticed we were speaking Mongolian, and asked if I could help her translate something. It was like, a legal document about some Al-Anon Family Group thing in Texas, about like their democratic policies and stuff, and I hardly understood the thing in English.... but I tried my best and I think she got kind of the gist of what it was saying! It wasn't perfect, but a fun service opportunity and great language practice haha.

First time tasting Skittles

Another beautiful experience that happened yesterday was when we were going to visit a lady "Oy" who's ger is way up on a mountain. It was snowing pretty hard and I was having a hard time breathing through my face mask. I had  fleeting thought of "Why are you climbing this mountain in a blizzard?" and in less than I second my mind responded with "Of course I'm going to climb this mountain in a blizzard because the person that lives on top of this mountain needs to feel God's love gej baihgui uu." "Oy" cannot walk and has a mentally disabled daughter. They never leave their ger. As we were visiting with them she was talking about how she use to be a great athlete and played volleyball and was a swimmer, and now she has 2 useless legs and can't get her own water. As I listened to her speak, I once again felt an overwhelming gratitude for the Great Plan of Happiness. I felt a lot of love pour out as I testified to her of the gift of resurrection, and how she and her daughter will both have perfect bodies and minds, and faith in Jesus Christ brings hope in the future.

The lady that owns our apartment came over and said, "I'm going to make your windows warm" 
Good, because we could feel the cold air coming through them! Hahaha then we watched as she stuck newspaper in the seams and then taped it up :) Well, it's helped! :)

As my mission and language progresses, and I have less "THAT was the gift of tongues" moments, I have started to recognize them more as "gift of love" moments. Being able to feel Heavenly Father's love for someone else is a beautiful thing. Then she asked if we could bring a hymn book next time we visited so we could sing together. I don't know why I didn't think of that before!!!! :)

I love my mission! I love being a missionary. I love being a missionary in Mongolia. Do you understand? Good. Love you!

Sister Hansen

Monday, November 7, 2016

Everything is just, so good.

Everything is just, so good.

Me an Sister Mason (my greenie)

I was pretty nervous about training at the beginning, but it's been so fun. My biggest worry was the language, because up until this point I've always had a companion older than me in the mission, so I could always depend on them to understand. I was afraid I wouldn't understand a lot, but living obediently and worthily of the gift of tongues has blessed me immensely. I have not stressed or worried about the language at all, and everything is just going very well.

Sister Mason

It was a really cool experience to go to Zaison hill with my new companion, because I haven't been there since I first came to Mongolia nearly 8 months ago. When I stood at that memorial the first time, I was a totally different person than I am now- a totally different missionary. It was really awesome to see how far I've come, how the Lord has led my life, and to rededicate myself to the last half of my mission. We can never be stagnant, and must always be learning and moving forward. What do the next 8 months have in store?

Pres Harper, me, Sister Harper

So English stuff has just gotten a little crazy, and I teach on Mondays and Wednesdays, and my companion teaches all day on Tuesdays and one Thursday each month. So Sister Kofoed is pretty much my half-companion, and it's great!! I call it- Kofoedtei Tuesdays! (tei=with)

Sister Kofoed

Home made Pizza

I also just want to talk a little bit about my friend Nomin. This girl has just been my saving grace and best friend since serving in Jargalant. She has helped me so much, and will soon be embarking on her own mission! She will definitely be somebody that I will be friends with for the rest of my life, and will miss her so much. I hope you all have the opportunity to meet her someday, as well as many other wonderful people I have met and learned to love while being here in Mongolia.

Time to break out the pollution masks!

Have a great week! Be righteous!
Sister Hansen

Decorating with Snowflakes!