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, June 25, 2009

June 25, 2009

Hello my family :)
oh my goodness you are moving next week! I hope it goes well! and thanks S000 much for the letters and awesome package!! those books are perfect, and thanks so much for the contact solution, and all the other great stuff, it felt like Christmas :) and that is perfect traveling food!! Grandma and Grandpa Mansfield sent a package too with great stuff so it was a really good week for our whole district ;) mom, I am soooooo sorry I didn't get a letter to you by your birthday! Time is really weird at the MTC and I had no idea what day of the month it was, the weeks go by like days, hopefully the little letter got to you by now, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! :)the German restaurant sounded fun, sarah should have played her accordion;) Dad hope you had a great father's day :) dad and jake I am glad the fishing trip was fun, sorry the catching wasn't that great but that is a way cool story about how jake caught a fish off a snagged line! Hey jake if you have time (and it is summer so I hope you do ;) write a dear elder or something about the trip, and the waterpark! did they have any of those 6 story drop slides? how does a water rollercoaster work? Sarah I got your letter and it totally made my week. thanks so much! I will write you today! tori thanks for the letter too, I love them :)
Things are good here, This is potentially my last p-day in the states!!! We are slightly freaking out haha, we might be leaving on tuesday. Mongolian districts have a history of being banned from the travel office because they go there so often ;) and we have checked on visas a few times so they told us not to go back until friday, so tomorrow we find out if they have them or not. Even if they don't have them yet it is a day-by-day thing, so even if we don't find out tomorrow we still might be leaving tuesday. Ah!! it is scary not knowing but its exciting, we got our "flight plans" last week and just seeing them was so exciting, we are so in the MTC mode it hasn’t seemed like we are leaving until this week. There is a phrase in mongolian that means "excited" and if you directly translate it, it means "it became a heap of holidays!" ;) when we get our visas, it is going to become like a heap of holidays haha.
The language is interesting, we all know we aren't going to be able to understand or talk when we get there so as one of the elders in my district put it, we are buckling down for the storm, boarding up the windows, and doing whatever we can to make the learning easier in mongolia, we are all making little handheld notebooks with grammar rules and really important vocab, etc. oh man! I am so antsy! (it that is even a word!) but so excited!
We had "culture day" this week with one of our teachers and it was really exciting, they brought in traditional mongolian clothes, games, tons of pictures, etc and got us all really excited. There is a game you play with sheep ankle bones that is so fun! I can't wait to teach you!
And funny fact, I was telling aunt kerry about the fermented mare's milk people drink before I left, and she thought I had said urine, and we were all laughing about it but I found out she was right! In mongolia, it is not unusual for people to drink their mother's urine (has to be their mother's) when they are sick. It is getting less common, but my mongolian teacher drunk it when she was little and my other teacher was offered it, haha. They also used to use a variety of animal urine as a cure for a sore tooth, craziness, stigma in eyes, etc. kinda interesting ;) Aunt kerry was right!
oh and language mix up of the week- shar = yellow, umce = pants, sharsan = fried, tumce= potatoes. I got a plate without french fries and we had the following conversation, "why didn't you get fried potatoes? I love fried potatoes!" but we were really talking about yellow pants. I totally understood what the elder was trying to say and didn't notice until elder godfrey asked why we were talking about yellow pants. it was funny ;)oh! and all the mission presidents are getting trained at the MTC this week! we have a special devotional tomorrow that we are all really really excited about :)
woah this is long, family I will send info about my flight plans and when I can potentially call from the airport. I love you all sooooo much, good luck with the moving and everything this week, thanks again soooo much for everything and all of your support. This gospel message is so important and so true. It is humbling to be a part of this work and to have already seen how the Lord blesses and helps us accomplish what He needs us to do. Hopefully next time I write it will be from mongolia! love you,
ashley (mansfield egch/edge)

grandma and grandpa mansfield- thanks sooooo much for the package!! my district and I love the candy, that is some of our favorite and that is the nicest toothbrush I have used! :) and thanks for the print out! :) love you both! and the shoes are amazing!!

Cate- hey there friend! love and miss ya! congrats on the Sunday school teacher calling! ;) it is scary but you and Morgan really are both great teachers, you will do great! hope work is good! and you are sooo right, I don't feel anymore at home than when I am at the temple too :) love ya!

alyssa- thanks so much for the letter and blog post, wow that little boy sounds amazing and it would be so hard to see him leave! It is so comforting to know God knows and loves each and everyone of us, especially those little orphans in romania. love ya and keep up the good work!

kat- hope the vegas heat isn't killing you! hope the internship is going good and that you have found some volleyball buddies :) love ya!

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