At age 22 while living in Mongolia I developed a severe chronic pain condition that effects every aspect of my life. Continuing this blog reminds me that life's challenges are stepping stones meant to lift us, not roadblocks meant to defeat us.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

May 14, 2009

Hello my family!!
In mongolia the greeting for "what’s up?" is literally asking " what is new and beautiful in your life?" so what is new and beautiful in all of your lives? :)
Thank you all sooooo much for the letters, I love hearing from you! I got the pictures of sarah at prom, and she looked gorgeous!!! Some elders saw the pictures sarah and they asked for your address, I told them you were a bit young for them, haha, but seriously you looked so beautiful! I love the dress! Linds thanks for the letter, that is fun you painted the house and I laughed so hard about the chopped snake! That is gross! Say welcome home to josh for me, I’m glad he is back and that you all had a safe trip. Tori thanks for the wedding update! Oh my gosh I wanted to be there so bad, I was thinking about it all day
saturday, it is a good thing that this church is true and that missionary work is really important, or I would have had a hard time not being there! I would love pictures, printing some and mailing them would be the best if you are able to do that, thanks sooooo much! I'm so glad you were able to go! have fun back with the fam! Jake thanks for the letter! You and sarah do sound super busy, good luck finishing up school. And dad, you are amazing as always ;) Mom happy late mother's day! sorry I didn't mail the card in time for sunday, hope you had a good one!
Things are going really good here, its crazy I have been here a month, the time is flying but its a little scary only having 17 months of my mission left! I have so much to learn. But the language is coming, we taught last week and our lesson went really well, it is so cool to bare simple and pure testimony about God's love for us, the need for a restoration, and the truthfulness of this Gospel. Elder Pickett and I taught for 30 minutes in mongolian and you could feel the spirit and what we said is true! Even if it is said in poorly pronounced mongolian ;) This week language has been a bit hard, we are teaching about the plan of salvation in mongolian tomorrow and it had been hard translating all we want to say with the new vocab and I was a little frustrated, but I was lucky to have a really good experience last night. My elders are zone leaders now and had a meeting so I got my teacher from mongolia to my self, and she sat right in front of me and said she was a mongolian investigator and told me to teach her. So I did! I talked with her about God, prophets, scriptures, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, prayer, and Jesus Christ in mongolian for 45 minutes! It was cool, it was the first time I taught without using a "script" of memorized lines, she would ask questions, I would try to answer and it was really broken mongolian and I broke a lot of grammar rules I’m sure, but it was so cool to realize I could share what I know about God and explain it, in mongolian! Wow the Lord has blessed us, there is no way I could talk for 45 minutes in another language after 4 weeks without his help. :)
My weeks are pretty much the same, so I want to take a minute and tell you about my teacher sister Marta. She is one of the most amazing people I have ever met! She is mongolian, and joined the church in mongolia 8ish years ago. When the missionaries found her there were only a few chapters of the Book of Mormon translated into mongolian, but after reading those few pages she knew it was true, felt the Church taught the truth, and joined the church as a young women with no family support. She decided to serve a mission even though her family was really against it and she left a really good school opportunity in Mongolia. She served in the Colorado mission and learned english, and finished reading the BOM for the first time on her mission in english. Her sister joined the Church, and after her mission her parents joined the church, and now her family and extended family are members and strong in the church in mongolia, and some have served missions. She is now here blessing our lives and she has such a strong testimony! She just graduated from BYU, and majored in Biology in her second language! She has been away from mongolia for 5 years, but is going back next year so I will hopefully get to see her in mongolia :) She tells us that she is the product of missionary work :) If I can find one "sister marta" in mongolia and help them join the church, all of this will be worth it!!
Our teachers are way more available now so we have been getting taught regularly and it is great :) Some funny language mix-ups from the week are …
"God Gave Joseph smith a new shadow" - elder in my group
" So do you eat God?" - said by me, to our teacher (ah!)
" What is your favorite leg? which one?" - I asked our mongolian volunteers this by accident while trying to get to know them, it was really funny, she pointed to one of her legs and said it was her favorite ;)

We have been playing way fun softball games in gym, it feels so good to hit and field a ball again! My companion played on the BYU hawaii team, we have a lot of fun!

okay, funny story of the week...
The elders at the mtc are all super nice, and always hold the door open for us sisters. This week, I saw the funniest thing I have ever seen in my life, and I don't share it to be mean, it was just so classically funny, and shows how great the elders at the mtc are. Me and 4 other sisters were walking out a building and there are glass doors inside at the top of the stairs to open to go down them. An elder was at the bottom of the stairs but saw us coming and wanted to open the door for us, so he sprinted up the stairs but tripped, and fell right into the glass door a foot in front of us. His face squished the glass and he slid to the ground with his face squished on the glass. It was soooo funny, but he popped right up, and still opened the door for us! it was amazing! It totally made my week :)

K, I am out of time, I love you all and wish you the best! have a great week!!

ashley (sister mansfield)

cate- you are married!!!! thanks for the letter! love ya!
kat- thanks for the letter, good luck in vegas!
alyssa- keep up the amazing work, you are amazing!
britt! I am soooo excited for your mission call! love ya!

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