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, June 26, 2017

May we all try to serve more and expect less.

I can't believe how fast this week flew. I don't know how another week ended and started so fast.

Tomorrow is my final zone conference and I'm having a lot of weird feelings and I think tomorrow is gonna be very strange. I'll be giving a training on learning your mission language, and plan on incorporating my experience of climbing half dome a few years ago, and how after hiking so long and coming so far, there were some people that stopped on the saddle right before reaching the peak, and it broke my heart. As missionaries, especially at the end of our missions, we can't just stop on the plateau and think that we've made it. We're so close. Just keep working hard for that tiny little last stretch and make it all the way to the top. It's so much better up there.

Flashback to 2013 - Hiking Half Dome
Yesterday at church a whole group of travelers from Utah showed up at church. They were doing the trans-siberian railroad, and came to church on their last day in Mongolia. They were so cool and fun to talk to, and I got to translate for them and they had such a great experience. They introduced themselves in relief society and said really sweet things like wherever they go in the world, even though they don't understand the language, they still feel the same spirit in the church. It's true. I've experiences that in my own travels. Then we were talking and they were asking me about how I was feeling about going home and I honestly told them that's it's gonna be really hard. But, I'll be fine.

Trans -Siberian Travelers
We got to go see the baptism of one of Sister Wilcox's investigators from Unur, and it was a wonderful service. Her whole non-member family attended, and it was a very touching and spiritual experience for all of them. They now have a great example and leader in their family, and hopefully now she can help bring them all into the light of the gospel.

Sister Wilcox and I were studying President Uchtdorf's talk from this last priesthood session titled "The Greatest Among You" which is all about serving without expectations of anything in return. As I thought about it I just couldn't stop thinking about President and Sister Harper. I really don't know how I got so lucky to have the greatest mission president in the world, but they really are the most humble, hard working, honest people I know. I will miss them so much. May we all try to serve more and expect less. 

Have a great week, 
Sister Hansen 

My Sister Allison's Blog

[From Jen's parents]

If you have enjoyed following Jennifer's mission blog, you may want to check out her sister, Allison's blog. Allison leaves on her mission to the California Modesto Mission, July 12th. You can signup for email updates on the right side of her blog.

Click HERE for Allison's Blog.

Sister Allison Hansen

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I feel so many good feelings inside of me

Transfers: FINAL ROUND
I am staying in Sansar with Sister Wilcox! She is so great. We have already worked so hard together and I know that it will be an awesome 6 weeks. She brings new ideas to the table that may be just what Sansar needs. I just feel so many good feelings inside of me and really want to use these last 6 weeks to the absolute best of my ability. I really just can't describe it, but I can't believe that this is it. I can't imagine having to tear myself away from this work.

New (and final) companion, Sister Wilcox

I guess other transfer updates: Sister Guild moved to Sukhbaatar with Sister Shreeve AND the newly arrived Sister Smoot! They'll be rolling 3 deep for her last transfer! They'll have so much fun.
Sister Bottorff and Austin are now STL companions in Tuul, Elder Ames became the new zone leader in Enkhtaivan with Elder Cowles, and Elder Salveson is the other new zone leader with Elder Wilding. Elder Bird is our new AP in Selbe with Elder Espinoza.

One way to experience church...
Sister Wilcox and I got to hang out with Sister Olsen her last 2 days in Mongolia, then bring her to the BZ at 5:30 am to see her and Elder Lamb off. Elder Lamb had a baptism scheduled for Saturday, I guess he didn't tell them that he was leaving Friday morning. But when they found out, they changed everything last minute to Thursday night so Elder Lamb could be there and baptize his convert, on his LAST day in Mongolia! That was so awesome. They both were such great missionaries.

Sister Wilcox, Sister Olsen, Sister Hansen

Last...Thursday, maybe? I got a call from Elder Rodriguez who relayed to me this message. He was walking down the road with his companion, then a guy pulled over to them and said "Hey, are you Mormons?"
"Like 20 years ago, I was studying in Salt Lake, and I really love and respect the Mormon people. My daughter is about to go to Southern Utah University this fall, and she will have 2 Mormon roommates, and I want her to learn about the church and become a member in America. But I really want her to learn as much about Mormons and the church before she goes."

Well, Elder Rodriguez knew I was from Utah, so he told him a little about me and said we would go and meet with her. Well, we did, and she is amazing. She was so receptive and said things like "This all sounds so familiar to me" and "I'm so relieved that you came" and "I want to be active in church activities before I go to America". The whole thing was just beautiful. Unfortunately, she lives just outside of our area, but she will continue to meet with Sister Bottorff and Austin, but I got her FB info, and promised to connect with her in Utah, and I will definitely make the trip to her baptism!!! That is what you call "one who has been prepared".

Another miracle was when we were moving Sister Guild out, and an old lady stopped us and said "Are you church people? I want to go to church." She lives 4 floors down from us. How convenient! She wants us to come and pick her and her daughter up for church and go together.

THEN we got another referral from the Nalaikh elders of a man who they also thought lived in our area, but he's in BZ. But we met him and he has been reading from the bible on his phone and wants to know more and asked if his whole family can come to church with him and listen to the missionaries.

Ward Mission Leader's mother

See? Things will happen. I figure if we keep passing investigators to other areas, it's gotta come back around and someone will send us some pretty soon, right? Probably.

I'll tell you what, at this time in my mission, I feel a lot of urgency, but no stress. I am completely confident that everything and everyone is exactly where the Lord needs them right now, but there also is a big push for missionaries to put their absolute best foot forward. Maybe that's just me get antsy.
Have a great week,
Sister Hansen

Pouring rain that flooded the streets

Sister Pujee Nyamaa

Monday, June 12, 2017

I'm alone out here but not really alone.

This coming Friday we are saying goodbye to Sister Olsen and Elder Lamb. It's always so sad to send missionaries home! Especially now that our mission is so small, it's hard to give up anyone of them.Today we are having a little farewell party for Sister Olsen.

Sister Uree also got home from her mission, and it was so good to see her again! She's the one that we met in the MTC that taught us how to say "hairtai shuu" and that Corey met at temple square. She spoke at stake conference yesterday and did a wonderful job. 

Guild, Uree, Me
Stake conference was super great. President Funk  from the Asia area came again, and focused on temples and eternal marriage. Pretty much told all the missionaries to go home and don't postpone getting married. No pressure. He also announced the new policy that the temple patron fund can now be used not only for receiving personal ordinances, but also to be a witness for immediate family, which will make it possible for people to make it to the temple more often, and urged every member to always carry a temple recommend, even if they don't think they can make it back to the temple for several years. President Harper spoke about faith. One thing I love about my mission president is that he never tries to blow your mind with incredibly deep or profound doctrine. He always teaches the basic, simple truths, and bears pure testimony of things that he knows.

Sister Guild had an investigator in Bayangol last fall named Narmandakh, around 60 years old, who she loved, and he wanted to be baptized so badly, but is really addicted to alcohol. A lot of other missionaries gave up trying to teach him, but Sister Guild hasn't. A couple months ago, he got run over by a car and both of his legs were terribly smashed. He can't walk and can't receive proper medical treatment. He was bed ridden at home, and us and the American Denj elders were meeting with him for a while, and he wanted to be baptized. But then he had a friend who brought him alcohol at his home and he relapsed. He felt so terrible and guilty that he moved out of the city and is now in a ger all by himself with a dog and a cat so he can completely avoid alcohol. We've gotten permission to continue teaching him over the phone, so each week Sister Guild and I have been calling Narmandakh and visiting for a while. His faith is amazing. He reads his scriptures every day and understands them. He says "I'm alone out here but I  know I'm not really alone because I can always talk to God. And my dog and cat." We call him each week for the long distance branch and he offered the closing prayer a couple weeks ago. He has more desire than a lot of people I've met on my mission, he is just so trapped by the chains of addiction. But he wants more than anything to overcome it so he can become a member of the church. He is a very sweet, good man, and we are praying and pulling for him to receive help and strength. 

We saw a lot of answers to prayers and the power of fasting this week in tiny miracles. I love this work that I'm doing, and can't believe how fast it's coming to an end. This week I will begin my final 6 weeks. I love Mongolia, and don't like to imagine what it will be like to have to say goodbye. I guess there's still a lot of work to do at home too. 

Have a great week.
Sister Hansen

Monday, June 5, 2017

I was the victim of a drive-by!

Good morning! Now that we've entered the warm summer months, our schedule has changed to waking up at 7:00 and can be home at 9:30 now. I know that I'm still getting the same amount of sleep, but waking up at 7 makes me feel like I'm sleeping in :) 

Here are some highlights from this last week: MLC! It's been a month since our Book of Mormon focus, and it seems to be that the whole mission is still on a Book of Mormon high. We're all just pretty in love with it right now, and it has been apparent in meetings with members, investigators, less-actives alike. 

President and Sister Harper gave a great training on opposition, and Sister Harper said something that I really liked that trials and challenges "unlike Jesus Christ, it won't kill you. But like Jesus Christ, you will save others."

The work in the Sansar area has been very slow and difficult this transfer, and Sister Guild and I have struggled finding new investigators and people to teach. Because our work was slow, we found our studies getting more lax, and we were kind of becoming a little mushy. But one thing was always consistent... we were getting our butts kicked by Shaun T every morning during our work outs. So we re-evaluated, and figured that if the majority of our efforts were during our daily exercise, then something needed to change. So we have now implanted what we call "Shaun T Studies". We're channeling the same focus that we use for our squats to sharpen our spiritual saws (that's a President Benson analogy). We're trying to utilize our very short amount of time to find people to help. So far, nothing has happened, but we sure feel better about the work we've done. And how can we expect Heavenly Father to place people in our paths if we are not personally prepared? So now, whenever someone is ready, so are we :) 

Here is a Yak picture

Just some random funny things from this week as well. I've been telling my companion all transfer about my secret dream of getting stuck in an elevator. Then what do you know, last night we got a call from our district leader, Elder Ames, to tell us that he was stuck in an elevator!!! No fair!! His companion, Elder Hansen got off, then before Ames could make it out the elevator dropped half a story so he was looking at the wall. He said he probably could have tried to climb out, but at the risk of the elevator dropping again and chopping him in half. So he just hung tight for about 20 minutes until some people came to fix it and get him out. He just called to say "Just in case I fall 8 flights and die tonight, I just want to say thanks and I love you both!" Haha he didn't die.

I also was the victim of a drive-by yesterday..... with squirt guns. Hahaha some teenage boys drove by and I got nailed. My companion was laughing her head off. It super took me by surprise, but it was really hot out, so it actually felt pretty good. 

Have a great week everyone, 

Sister Hansen