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
Post office box - 242
Ulaanbaatar post office - 49
Ulaanbaatar Mongolia, 13381

Monday, January 30, 2017

I love this mission

You know you have been in Mongolia too long when it gets to 5 degrees and you start stripping layers because you're too hot..
With Sister Olsen
So you all have pretty much heard by now the new changes to the missionary schedule and key indicators! The Mongolia missionaries are not terribly affected by it because we already move our studies around so much because of our English assignments, but there are definitely still changes and we are all going to adjust and try to use our time more effectively to become better servants of God. 

We currently have 16 American sisters in our mission, and once the next group leaves in March, we will be down to 10. 

Remember my favorite investigators Myagmar and Sunjidmaa from Selbe? Sunjidmaa's daughter Buyanhishig got baptized last week!!! It was so amazing!!! Oh my gosh it was so much fun to see them again. It was such a beautiful, wonderful baptism. Buyanhishig was just beaming, and they also asked Sunjidmaa to bear her testimony even though she isn't a member yet. She is still working through a marriage bump, but she has incredible faith and was so proud of her daughter. It was so much fun!! I'm so grateful to have been a little part of that. I wish Gardiner could have been there! :) 

We also received wonderful news from our investigator Solonga (her daughter is currently serving in Idaho Falls). She received all the lessons with her 2 daughters and wants to be baptized so bad, but also has a marriage problem. She was married many many years ago to a man who disappeared and she hasn't seen or heard from him. She married her current husband, Erdenbayar, who they have 4 wonderful children with. But because the other guy is gone, they never had an official divorce, so she couldn't get a marriage certificate to Erdenebayar. BUT when we went to visit her last week, and I have no idea how, but somehow she contacted this man from over 20 years ago, and he agreed to meet and sign the divorce papers!!! Then there is a 3 month layover period until she can get her new marriage license, then she can be baptized!!!!!! MIRACLES!!!! How amazing will it be for Namuuna to come home and have her mom be a member!!! WOW! It was so incredibly happy news. I love that family, and their goodness and faith. 
Yoko got his mission call this week! He was called to Mongolia and will start an April 1!!! That will be missionary #8 from the Jargalant ward!! He opened it right after mission prep, and I was teaching English upstairs, so we ended speaking club a little early so we could be there :) Then everybody broke out in Called to Serve and it was so awesome! Welcome to the army, Elder! 

I love this mission and I love this gospel. Have a wonderful week. 
Sister Hansen
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Monday, January 23, 2017

Perks of being an English teacher!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! Wow I hope you have a really great day, and eat some really good cake!!

This week went by really fast. I think we also hit a personal record of being outside in -35 degrees. *high five*

Believe it or not, all these clothes were on my body at the same time

I got an email from a random lady last week named "T", and she said she got baptized 8 years ago but hasn't gone to church in years but now she misses it but doesn't know what ward she is in. She included her phone number so I called her right away and found out that she lives in Selbe! So I handed her off to the Selbe elders and they immediately contacted her and gave her the information about church on Sunday, and she said she'll be there! It was so cool to see how within minutes of reaching out this woman was pulled back into the loving arms of the church.

This pic was stolen from Sister Olsen's blog

We also have recently reconnected with a less active woman who has been so difficult to meet with, but we miraculously got into her house while back and we started talking about learning English. We offered to teach her English in her home if we can also include a spiritual lesson as well, and she got so excited!! Now we are consistently meeting with her at least once a week. Perks of being an English teacher! We're still fulfilling our calling!

Mongolian Judo! This guy was in the Olympics!! 

So, believe it or not, "O" is entering her baptismal interview this Thursday!!!! WOW! If all goes well, she will be baptized on February 3rd. Please keep her in your prayers that everything will go smoothly, and we can help "O" enter the waters of baptism.

Horse intestine (tastes a little slimy)

I am so grateful that through the atonement we can be completely cleansed and healed and leave all mistakes and sins behind us and nothing ever has to hold us back. We can shake the chains of past guilt and pain and move forward, always led by the Savior, Jesus Christ.

These are the 2 sisters that I met at temple square before my mission! The second one just got home a week ago! 

Have a great week,
Sister Hansen

Sledding with Sister Mason

Monday, January 16, 2017

The wind will just blow right through you!

We're in like week 4 of the "9". The 9 really cold weeks. Definitely felt it the last couple days. It doesn't really matter how many layers you put on, that wind will just blow right through you! It's just really dang cold!

This week I got to go on splits with Sister Bollwinkel and Sister Olsen. It's always fun to work with the other sisters in the mission and learn from each other.

This week we had a couple miracle meetings with people that I've been trying to meet with the entire time I've been in Jargalant! One really awesome young family who are very interested in the temple, and really want to go there as a family. We had a great lesson with them reading Alma 32 and the steps of gaining faith. The spirit was very strong in their ger, and Sister Mason even got a round of applause for her Mongolian!

I have been so grateful for my calling as an English teacher this week! I have made some really great relationships with some of my students at the Bayanzurkh and have really felt like I've been making a difference in some people's lives.

I read Elder Holland's talk from priesthood session last conference on being emissaries for the church. Although it was focused on home teaching, we all have the responsibility to care for and serve our brothers and sisters. I'm so grateful for the guiding and advising words of the prophets and apostles. The make me want to be a better missionary and servant of Christ, and give me a lot of hope for my life after my mission ends.

I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love the light and power that clinging to our covenants brings. I love that we can continue to progress forever. I love that the priesthood doesn't change. I love my life!

Have a great week.
Sister Hansen

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Monday, January 9, 2017

I will never forget my time spent in happy hills

This week was jam packed. I passed a year as a missionary! Who would've ever thought the time would go so fast.

This week I reconnected with Monkhtaivan, the sister missionary that we met at temple square when I received my call to Mongolia! I didn't recognize her at first, but she remembered me! I don't know how, but it was so much fun to talk to her, then she came to my English class! Also that same night, I has 5 infantry officers sit in my class, and they were all very excited about learning English. They were very fun to talk to. A couple of them had been to military trainings in America, and spoke pretty good English.

Sister Monkhtaivan
This Wednesday, Sister Harper came and joined Sister Mason and I for companionship study and 12 week study. I don't know why I was nervous about having her come, but I kind of fretted about it the day before. But, Sister Harper is amazing. She didn't come to judge, she came to edify, and she always has amazing insights and advice that make me want to be a better missionary and mother some day.

I received a very kind note from Elder and Sister Aston in California this week! Please send them my thanks!

A couple weeks ago at "B"'s baptism, I told you of the homeless dad and daughter that showed up. Well, just the other day we were out on the road and saw them again, and Sister Mason had happened to pack a few extra hand warmers in her bag, so we showed them how to shake them to make them warm, and handed them to the little girl, and her face lit up and was very thankful for the little bit of warmth to her hands.
Our Happy 1 year Cake!
This week I kind of started getting a little bit sentimental about Jargalant. I've been here for nearly 5 months now, so I assume I will leave with this coming transfer, and that thought actually makes me really sad. I love this place. I love this ward! I started taking pictures of random roads and hills and things so I will never forget my time spent in happy hills. I've grown up a lot here, and have absolutely loved serving these people. We're working pretty closely right now with 2 member families that are preparing to go to the temple, and I love it.
When kids leave broken water containers around.... (Nomin pulling)
I'll be honest, I'm kind of dreading how fast these last 6 months are going to go. I love being a missionary of the Lord.

Also, on an un-spiritual note, next week there is an international judo competition, and we got permission from President to go watch next pday! We're gonna watch Mongolian Judo! I'm so excited! Ok, have a great week :)

Sister Hansen

Monday, January 2, 2017

365 days in the service of God.

"B" got baptized!!! Finally! She's pretty much been a member since I came to Jargalant, so now it's just official :) It was so fun. Her mom came as well, and she was very tuned in to "B" when she bore her testimony. She has wonderful parents that I hope will also accept the gospel someday.

Right as the baptismal service was about to start, a dad and daughter showed up at the church, and I immediately knew they were homeless. We invited them into the chapel to be part of the baptism. They stayed for the whole service, and the little party afterwards- we had little sandwiches and snacks and people were talking to them and they were very grateful to have a warm place to be for a couple hours. We sent them out with a bag of leftovers and an invitation to attend church on Sunday. They seemed like very kind people.

Oh yeah, mini-transfers garsan. None of the sisters changed, but Elder Mulder got shipped out to the countryside to finish his mission, and Elder Lamb is still our zone leader but is now white washing Enkhtaivan with Elder Money. So Sister Mason and I are covering Jargalant all on our own! We got put in a district with Khan Uul and Tuul, which means Elder Cowles is my new district leader!! It's so fun! Groupies are the best.
Some of my favorite English students. They all met and are super good friends just from coming to English! 

Also, it has taken me nearly a year, but I'm going to finish reading the Book of Mormon in Mongolian soon! It's been a slow process, but such a good one! I believe that reading the Book of Mormon in Mongolian has helped my language progress the most.

This Friday is one year as a missionary!!! 365 days in the service of God. Yamar goe yum be. I've loved it all. Have a great new year! Be valiant!!!

Sister Hansen