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 21, 2009

May 21, 2009

Hello my family!!
how are you all doing? Thanks so much for the letters, mom and dad thanks so much for keeping me posted with things at home, you all sound good and busy as always ;) Your letters really help :) Thanks for the pics of josh's graduation! you all look good, tell him conrats, and lindsay, I love your dress! ;) And sarah, dad told me about what happened this past week and I have something to say to you, How could you?! how could you be so darn smart?!!!!! haha my sister is amazing! congrats on the test score :) I am so proud of you and not surprised at all ;) I'll see you at BYU when I get back! :) Linds thanks for the letter, your primary kids sound sooo cute and sweet, for relief society this week (we have it with all the sisters at the MTC, the MTC president's wife is the relief society president, and it is great!) they always get really great speakers like Sherry dew, and Sister Cook from the Young Womens presidency, and this week we heard from the General Primary President. It was a great message about the opportunities there are for us as sisters to teach the children specifically as we are teaching families, and she told some great stories of the faith that children have and it made me think of your primary music time and the truths that you are teaching them :)
I hope you were/are able to get the jet-skiis! Play a little extra hard for me ;) Jake, it is now your obligation to be the driver that knocks people off. Keep me posted ;) Tori hope you are having fun at home!
Things are going good here, all is well :) I can't think of much to write this week, no real funny mixups or anything, so this letter might be a bit on the boring side ;) Dad you asked about visas, and they sent out for them a few weeks ago. They had to wait until it was closer to our departure date to apply for them, the past two groups have had problems and were delayed, so we will see what happens, I really hope they come in on time! We are scheduled to leave July 1st, and one of the biggest mongolian holidays starts the following week, its called nadaam and it is like the Olympics of mongolia, huge traditional sporting competitions, etc and the missionaries got to go so we really hope we get there in time for it. I had forgotten to type up a resume to go with my application (I don't remember seeing I needed to write one, oops) so my teacher let my use his laptop to type one real fast, hopefully it was what they wanted.
Our teacher Brother Cannon has been thinking about the mongolian curriculum a lot, and he is deciding to make some changes, and I am so glad! Usually we teach a different section/lesson each friday in mongolian, and so we have to spend the whole week working on it, and neglect everything but our lesson. We cram for our lesson all week, and then go back to class and immediately start translating our next lesson and trying to learn that. It is frustrating because it feels like we are constantly cramming and memorizing just to spit it (literally with mongolian ;) back out in a lesson, and then we move on and never really cement what we learned. My teacher has been talking to missionaries in mongolia and found that they leave the MTC burnt out rather than pumped up so he made some changes. Every other week we teach in english so we have two weeks to prepare lesson, and so we can take the time to learn the lesson well, work on teaching skills, and know what we should from preach my gospel. It also gives us time to work on general conversational stuff, which we really need. So things are better and it feels less like school, (cramming just to pass the test, or teaching appointment). This is a crazy language, but it is fun :) we can have really broken conversations with each other and I am still butchering the pronunciation, but the words are sticking a little easier now :) A return mongolian missionary said to treat learning the language like drinking a cup of hot chocolate, Don't rush it or you will burn your throat, sip it slowly and enjoy it. There is an incredibly sense of urgency with missionary work, but the language will come when it does. :) I am still loving this and working hard.
Thanks again for all your love and support, I am so blessed to have such a great family! I hope you have an amazing week, and good luck with everything!

mansfield egch (or edge, as the elders now call me, it is spreading so I now answer to the mongolain word for "mother")haha, love ya!

alyssa- thanks for the letters, it sounds like you are having quite the experiences! it sounds hard, keep it up, you are amazing and even if it doesn't feel like it, you are helping those kids!

steve, ashley, and jake- thanks so much for the cookies and letter! that was awesome!! and I am jealsous of the hiking, and falling into the water was inevitable, thanks for being the one to do it steve ;)

kat- hope you are liking your internship! thanks for the letter!

cate and morgan- hope you had a wonderful trip!!! :)

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