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

Email me at: jennifer.hansen@myldsmail.net
Mailing address:
Sister Jennifer Hansen
Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission
Post office box - 242
Ulaanbaatar post office - 49
Ulaanbaatar Mongolia, 13381

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Homecoming!


[Note from Jen's parents: The text below is how Jennifer began her homecoming talk]

The first part of the 10th article of faith says: We believe in the restoration of the ten tribes and the literal gathering of Israel.

In approx. 722 BC, according to the Old Testament’s Book of Kings, the house of Israel was lost or scattered as 10 of the 12 tribes were carried away into captivity. The Bible, Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants all refer to them someday returning from the North Country, or from the North.

For thousands of years after Christ’s earthly ministry, as the apostasy spread around the globe, Nomads inhabited a vast land in North-Eastern Asia nestled just south of Russia’s Siberia and just north of the Wall of China. This land of meadows and mountains is called Mongolia. Mongolia’s Nomadic tribes squabbled until late in the 12th century, until an incredible leader emerged. You’ve probably heard of him. His name is Chinges Khan, or as you probably know him, Genges Khan.

Chinges organized the Nomads, and over the following decades they expanded their civilization at an un-comprehendible rate, from the Caspian Sea to the Sea of Japan. By the end of the 13th century, under Khan’s successors, the Mongolian Empire expanded to most of Asia, most of Russia, Eastern Europe, most of China, and became the largest Land Empire in the history of the word.

Over the next few centuries, the Mongolians would be unable to hold onto such a vast empire, and it collapsed. You can imagine what this violent expansion and contraction might have done to the lost 10 tribes, as they were further scattered.

Almost a thousand years later, by the early 20th century, the Mongolians had dwindled, and came under the reign of the Soviet Union.

In the 1992, after the fall of the cold war and collapse of the Soviet Union, Mongolia became an independent democratic country. And a ray of sunshine, freedom, shown down on Mongolia. A year later, in 1993, Elder Neil A Maxwell dedicated the land for missionary work. The restored church grew amazingly fast as Mongolians eagerly accepted the gospel.

Initially, since there were no stakes in Mongolia, there were no Patriarchs, and no Patriarchal blessings. It was only as Mongolians left Mongolia on missions, and returned with Patriarch blessings that they began to learn their linage. Surprisingly, some were from Reuben, and Naphtali, and Gad, and Simeon, and Levi, and others of the 10 lost tribes. Over the next few years Mongolians realized their blood carried the linage of all 10 of the lost and scattered tribes of Israel.

In March of 2016, when I arrived in Mongolia, suffering just as bad, if not worse, of jet lag, President Benson took us up on a hill called Ziason, which offered a panoramic view of the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. It was also the same spot where Neil A Maxwell dedicated Mongolia for missionary work just 23 years before.

We sang a hymn and we read Maxwell’s dedicatory prayer. Then, together we read Jacob chapter 5 verses 14 & 15:

14 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard went his way, and hid the natural branches of the tame olive tree in the nethermost parts of the vineyard, some in one and some in another, according to his will and pleasure.
15 And it came to pass that a long time passed away, and the Lord of the vineyard said unto his servant: Come, let us go down into the vineyard, that we may labor in the vineyard.

And the realization that I was in the nethermost part of the vineyard, was accompanied by powerful feelings of incapably and inqualification, but also those of empowerment and determination, and my purpose of a servant began to come together, like a puzzle.
. . .

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Homecoming Time and Place

[From Jen's parents]

18 months has come and gone. Jennifer will be home and report her mission on Sunday, 30 July at 11:00 am.



Farmington Oakridge Stake Center: 1955 S 350 E, Kaysville, UT 84037

Monday, July 24, 2017

I love you, my family, my friends, my Mongolia

I'm going to keep this short to avoid getting way too sentimental and feely.

I love you...my Mongolia!
I've gotten to go visit and say goodbye to many wonderful people I've grown to love so much in Mongolia. We did an FHE with Solongo's family, and so many Jargalant members came! It was so much fun! That ward has become my family, and Mongolia has become my home. 

My Jargalant ward family

I guess my not-wanting-to-leave-ness was getting too much for my companion, because she told me to write a list of reasons why I AM excited to go back to America.




There are so many good things to look forward to. But this last year and a half has been such a sculpting period in my life, and I will be eternally grateful for the amazing opportunity and blessing that Heavenly Father has given me to come here and be a tool in His hand. I love this gospel, I love the organization of this church. I know Jesus Christ is our Savior and only through Him we can become clean and whole. The Book of Mormon contains guidance and revelation for our lives- it is true. God lives, and He is our father, and He loves every one of His children.






Thank you to all the family and friends and strangers that have read and supported my blog through this incredible journey of mine. Your love and prayers have been felt and so appreciated. I look forward to seeing you all back in the homeland!!


I love you, my family, my friends, my Mongolia. See you super soon.
Sister Hansen



NOTE FROM PARENTS: Sister Hansen will be reporting her mission on July 30th at 11:00 a.m. at our stake center located at 1955 S 350 E, Kaysville, UT. Thank you to all who have loved, prayed and supported Jennifer. Our hearts are over flowing with gratitude. We hope you have enjoyed this blog as much as we have enjoyed keeping it updated. We will miss these weekly letters from her but we can't wait to hear more stories first hand! Friday can't come fast enough! Thank you, again...so very much. We love you all!

Monday, July 17, 2017

I have been so Dang Stinkin' Blessed

Getting interviewed by a Mongolian TV station at Naadam
I'll be straight with you, I'm pretty tired of writing emails. I know that you want to hear every detail about every lesson and everything that I'm experiencing, and I want to share it with you just as much as you want to hear it, probably more, but I'm pretty tired of writing emails. I've tried super hard through my mission to send good, informative, uplifting emails every week. Just know that it didn't even describe 1% of my mission and the love and growth and beauty and miracles that I've had here. 

I guess highlights of this last week included Naadam, an awesome split in Baganuur with Sisters Dorjpagam and Javlantbayar, and my final mission leadership council. 

Here are a few pics of Naadam








It actually was surprisingly more difficult to say goodbye to Baganuur than I thought it would be. I've never even served there, but just from the 3 exchanges that I've gone on I really love that place. I also love the sisters that serve there. I'm so grateful to have served as a sister training leader for the time that I have and been so dang stinkin' blessed to work with and help the sisters in this mission. 






MLC was also amazing, and we had a wonderful discussion with President and Sister Harper on the "language of faith" which has been a central part of my personal study the last few days. 

So the goodbyes begin this week. I'm so excited to see the people that I've met and taught through the last year and a half, but so sad it has to be under these circumstances. My heart is about to take a beating. 



Have a wonderful week, and see you soon. 
Sister Hansen

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

I honestly don't know where even to start describing this week



Well, I honestly don't know where even to start describing this week. Right now I'm pooped. Sister Wilcox and I just got back to UB a couple hours ago from our weekend in Choibalsan.

Choibalsan



It was awesome. I wish I could just tell you all about it and all the things we experienced there, but it would take way too long to write, so I'll just tell you in a couple weeks. But it was hard and humbling and that we even got to go was a huge miracle which is also a story I'll tell you about later. Also my companion is the queen of taking pictures so we have tons and tons.









Sister Wilcox and I also went to an incredible song and dance concert that almost made me cry (almost). It was so amazing and it was like my whole mission was crashing down on me. I love Mongolia and this gospel so much. Sorry I just can't even adequately describe the things I'm feeling and thinking right now. Go ahead and just enjoy the pictures this week and I'll see you soon.







DOUBLE RAINBOW!!



Chinggis Khann
Tree of Life?

Practicing for the Naadam Festival, July 11-13





Sunday, July 2, 2017

My Last Zone Conference

So many exciting, good things happened this week. My last zone conference was absolutely amazing and incredibly bittersweet. President and Sister Harper gave wonderful trainings on faith and diligence, and the zone leaders (Wilding and Salveson) and Sister Wilcox and focused on ch.7 of PMG "Learning your mission language" and it went very well. Sister Guild, Elder Espinoza, Elder Rodriguez and I all offered our final testimonies. There were a lot of feelings being felt and gratitude in my heart. I really love all those missionaries so much, and they have become my best friends.

My lesson on never giving up - Half Dome Hike in Yosemite

Since I'm currently serving in Sansar . . .

I was also super lucky to go on an STL split with Sister Smoot this week! She has been here for about 2 weeks now, and is doing awesome. Her language is awesome, attitude is awesome, and I loved spending the day with her. We found out that we were at USU at the same time in 2015 and have several mutual friends. She is going to be a bright light and powerful leader in this mission, and a lot of sisters and missionaries are going to look up to her. Since our mission is so small now, she will progress in leadership positions very quickly. But as of now, she's got 2 rock star companions and is loving her experiences in Mongolia.

Sister Smoot - the other Rock Climber

Sister Wilcox and I also met some really adorable Russian girls in front of the Chinggis hotel! We could not communicate with them at all, but somehow through hand signals and some charades we talked for about 20 minutes!! They were awesome. Then I ran into them again with Sister Smoot and they had a translator with them! Turns out they are a Christian choir group traveling around performing and a bunch of different churches and venues! They were like the Sound of Music! Super fun baisan.

The Russians

I also had 2 of my wonderful ward missionaries from Jargalant receive their mission calls this week!! Oyuka will be serving in New Zealand, and Uugantuya is going to Nevada, and they leave in October!! WOW! My ward missionaries becoming full-time missionaries, I'm so happy and excited :)
Sister WIlcox and I will be flying to Choibalson this Friday for a companion exchange with the sisters there. We're so excited! We'll come back Monday, so we will probably email later in the afternoon.
Our Flight Plans

The perks of an STL
Happy Birthday to Sister Bottorff this week! aaand happy farewell to the other Sister Hansen. [Jen's Sister, Allison] So looking forward to hearing that report.

Great talk to study this week- "Overcoming the World" Elder Anderson from last conference.

Hairtai shuu
Sister Hansen