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

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

I hope Sister Guild and I stay together

I was so thrilled to read about the wonderful funeral service that happened for grandpa this weekend. I laughed the whole time while reading Kelly and Kevin's talk, having a very clear picture of grandpa saying each of those semi-insulting one liners :) From the pictures it looks like everything was so nice and everyone is happy and in wonderful spirits. I wouldn't expect it to be any other way.

We are never together to take pictures, so we did our own little photo shoot in our newly renovated apartment. 

This week we moved on very short notice. Sister Guild and I were on an exchange, and had to pack everything in one night and the next morning- not only our personal things, but the apartment was getting shut down so we had to pack EVERYTHING. There had been assistants living in that apartment for years, so the amount of books and random things that have built up were totally out of control. But, Elders Ames, Hansen, Bird and Johnson were there to help, and we couldn't have done it without them. We got it done, and I am now living for round 3 in my last apartment! The same one that I lived in while I was training with Sister Gardiner, then was there again with Sister Shreeve, but now it is refurnished and we have all new walls, floor, kitchen, couch, and closets, and it is so much better! I will probably live here for the rest of my mission.

Moving: I definitely won the compact packing contest. *high five to myself*

New apartment, same ol' washing machine :)

This last week I was able to go on a split with Sister Weaver, and Sister Bottorff! They are both doing really great- I am so impressed with the 3 new sisters that have just arrived. They are all rocking it in the language as well as just loving missionary life. As always, being with Sister Bottorff is just a blast and we talked and talked and talked the entire day.

Freak dust storm thing that happened last week.

We've also received several new referrals this week, and we are just so busy and happy all the time, but Sister Guild and I hardly have any time to ever work in our area, but we are trying to manage everything well to give these people the love and attention they need. One of the referrals is cute 18 year old girl named Orhon, who we've met twice already, and she said she wants to meet every day because this is so cool!! Hahaha I wish we had the time to meet her every day! I would really love to see another investigator baptized before I come home.

Next Monday and Tuesday we have the big English symposium again, where the professors from BYU and ELC and stuff come in to do the conference for the Mongolian English teachers. It should be super great. Then transfers will come out that night. I hope that Sister Guild and I stay together. We've hardly been companions this transfer, and it went too fast!! But as always, we just take it as it comes and make the best of every situation!

Sister Hansen

Monday, April 17, 2017

In honor of my Grandpa Hansen

Happy Easter everyone, and what a wonderful Easter it was. Sister Guild and I had the opportunity to speak in the long-distance branch, which I always enjoy doing.

Guild, Olsen, Hansen, Bottorff (The MTC gang!)
I also went to my first MLC (Missionary Leadership Conference) this week, and it was wonderful to be taught up close by President and Sister Harper as well as our other mission leaders. The Harpers talked a lot about being positive energizers in the mission- he referenced Elder Mark Bragg's talk from this last conference about the heliotrope effect, how plants will follow the light of the sun, and how as we look towards the light- the positive- the Lord will be able to work through us so much better, and we will also be able to lift the spirits of our other missionaries.

Clockwise, starting from 12 o clock: Shreeve, Bottorff, Tilleman-Dick, Guild, Olsen, Hansen

Sister Guild and I also went on an exchange with sisters Battsetseg and Gangabymba in Baganuur. It was a beautiful 3 hour long bus ride through the countryside, and a tiny, quaint little town in the middle of no where. I guess I've just gotten use to the hustle and bustle of the city, because everything felt like it was going in slow motion- but I really loved it. I felt a lot of feeling when I was meeting people in Baganuur. Most of the people I met were very sick and struggling with health. My heart broke for a woman with a bum leg that was wrapped in a slab of sheet metal because she couldn't afford proper care or treatment, when I myself had a sprained ankle but had a nice big walking boot to prevent any trouble. Yet they don't complain. They never complain. I don't know what it's gonna be like to leave this place.
Visiting Baganuur

Elder and Sister White, Sister Sutphin, Guild, Me, Elder (Dr.) Sutphin, Pres and Sister Harper

To close, I want to share my quick testimony about the Plan of Salvation. In honor of my Grandpa Hansen departing from this life, I want everyone to know that there is not a passing doubt in my mind that because of the atonement and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we will meet again. When we do, he will be strong and happy and healthy. That is the glory of this gospel, that death is not the end. I am so grateful for the faith and hope of my grandma and family, who I know have unshakable testimonies of the restored gospel. I'm love my Savior, Jesus Christ. He lives, and because He lives, we all will live again!

Where's your sting now, grave?!

[Note from Jennifer's parents: Grandpa Bruce Hansen passed away on April 13th. We notified the mission home, and they notified Jennifer when she returned from her splits in the country. She got a special pass to call home and talk to us and Grandma. We read her dedication to him (above) at the funeral.]

Grandpa (from my farewell). He told me he would see me in the Spirit World

Grandpa and me from a few years ago.

Sister Hansen

a.k.a cheese raptor (name given by my companion, Sister Guild and the Sutphins after devouring a whole plate of grated cheese at dinner. I haven't seen cheddar in over a year, give me a break.)

Two Sisters who came into the city

Monday, April 10, 2017

We will miss Dr. and Sister Sutphin

This was a busy busy busy week for Sister Guild and I with English schedules back to normal, covering both East and West zone conferences, general conference, and my beautiful, wonderful Sunjidmaa getting baptized Saturday night!!! It was so special, and she has prepared herself well for this day. She is completely converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ, has shining faith, and I cannot wait for the day she and Myagmar make it to the temple. What I wouldn't give to be there. I love them.

Me, my beautiful Sunjidmaa, Sister Guild

General conference was amazing. So many wonderful words and testimonies were given. I really liked President Nelson's thoughts about not giving credit to the atonement, but giving credit to the Savior, who DID the atonement. I've been pondering that for a couple days.

We went to the Hard Rock cafe!!!! It was so fun, and the food was AMAZING!

Me and my companion, Sister Guild

Doctor and Sister Sutphin gave their departing testimony after conference on Sunday. They will be leaving in a couple weeks, and we will miss them. We'll miss the stories, quirks, home cooking, "toilet tree" guilt trip lectures, and just having them around. I'm so grateful for our missions and the relationships we've made.

The school where I teach English
Because everyone is asking about my ankle, everything is fine. The bruising and bleeding is nearly gone, it's still pretty swollen, but I can walk in the astronaut boot just fine and still get to school and appointments and such, so don't worry. I even went to the circus on crutches!

At the circus. Front row seats!

This was awesome. 

President Harper shared this scripture at one of the zone conferences: D&C 60:2-3, 7. Open your mouths my friends, share your light and goodness. Talk with everyone, and lift others and yourself to a higher plane of living.
I love you
Sister Hansen

Our whole MTC group finally together!!! And, as always, we can't get a good picture.... 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Mongolia on crutches

Luckily the MRI results came back showing no rips or tears, only bad sprains in a few ligaments. Navigating Mongolia on crutches is something I wouldn't wish upon anyone, but we're making it work, and it's only until Monday, then I'll have to find a new work out that will keep up the new muscles I have in my back!
My crutches and Sister Guild

I was able to go on an exchange with Sister Brezinski this week, and it was so fun. She did an internship in India about a year ago, so we had plenty to talk about. She also is currently serving in my first area, so it was fun to get updates on all the people that I met and taught while I was there. So good to hear that my first baptism, Mendjargal is still doing awesome and is preparing to go on his mission this summer. He is about to hit his year mark as a member in just a few weeks! So amazing. So much has changed in that time.

We also met a wonderful new family who came to church last week and were able to teach them about God and prayer. As we described to them the Holy Ghost, they said, "Oh, we felt that when we were at church!" I love when Heavenly Father prepares people like that. I'm very excited to meet them again with my companion.

Sister Guild and I are having so much fun together. It's so awesome to see our progress from when we were in the MTC. We both love missionary work and Mongolia so much, and we've become even better friends since being together. She is also so patient with me crutching around the country, and just makes me laugh instead of getting frustrated.
I love this picture of me and the sisters from my group (Me, Guild, Bottorff, Olsen)

I am so excited for conference this weekend, and to hear the guidance and direction of our prophet and apostles. Having a hard time believing this will be my last conference as a missionary. Recently I have been having a hard time picturing myself being home. I mean, I go through phases of being excited, ,but also dreading leaving Mongolia, because I love it here so much. There is a saying here is Mongolia that goes like this: "Suusan gazaraasaa shoroo atgah" meaning, "From where you are, hold the earth". I know that we can do good wherever we go, we just have to actually get out there and look for it, and do it. We can make a difference right where we stand.

Sister Hansen

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