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.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

August 24, 2009 a few days late

Hey there again :)

Thanks for the e-mails!! Tori and dad hope moving into the apartment goes well! remind me what classes you are taking? Mom your seminary class sounds sweet :) We met a family with a little boy with cerebral palsy (they are not sure what it is, I am pretty sure it is cerebral palsy) and he is so sweet, it made we really miss the people I worked with before the mission, we are trying to help them get a wheelchair. Linds how are things in illinois? is the humidity manageable? any fun nursery stories? :) Sarah and jake let me know how school goes :) I have no idea about the pouch mail, if they say it is working it is working youm shiig (there are all these crazy convenient mongolian words I want to use, that means “seems like”) I got a dear elder last week so it is still coming :) and jake that was a crazy rafting story!!!! man I am glad you made it!
Things are good, I am learning a lot, about the people, culture, and missionary work in general. We are asking people to completely change their lives forever and it can be hard, but it is so worth it. I am just realizing that it can be an interesting process to help people realize that, and once they do realize that, helping them have the strength and faith to commit to it can be hard too, but the Lord helps us and His children :) missionary work is hard for a whole new set of reasons now, I know these people better and we want soooo badly for their success!! okay sorry I am rambling. Tamer and her two kids are still doing great, it is fun to teach people who are so ready to hear the gospel :) in our investigator sunday school class dashbelig accidently introduced himself as a missionary, it was really funny! several missionaries had just introduced themselves, and he copied, the mom's reaction was funny :)
um, a lady cooked a whole liver for me and my companion this week, I've had it before but this time it was rough mostly because of the amount. A liver is a decent sized organ even in a sheep and when you are eating half plain, yeah, I think love for people can actually help food taste better (or at least make you think it tastes better;) really its not that bad. We had a fun little birthday party with one of our new part member's families, these are some of my favorite kids!!
um I'm trying to think what else happened, sorry not many other stories for this week, oh! we stand out here right? I'm one of the only american girls in the area, maybe the only one, we are in skirts and carry scripture, etc, but the funny thing is that tons of people think my companion is from china because I am foreign. Mongolians and the chinese don't have the best relationship and she does not want to be chinese, people will ask her if she knows mongolian, and people will say "there go the american and the chinese again". We get a laugh out of it ;)
Thats all for this week, I love you all sooooooo much and think of you all often! take care!! sister mansfield

kat- thanks for the new address!! I wanted that! will you and alyssa send me your school one when you get it? have fun with the fam!!
cate- it was great to hear from you!!!!! love ya and keep having fun with photography!

August 17, 2009 a week or so late :)

hey family!! thanks for the e-mails as always :) love hearing from you! my e-mails keep saying they are sent, and then they come back to me saying they didn’t send, I am not sure why, sorry, could you send me maybe tori's, lindsays, and the kids email addresses too and maybe one of you will get the e-mail ;) I'll try sending two weeks ago again, let me know what gets to you. haha I am having the hardest time typing, some of the letters are misprinted on the key board, and a p is now an r, and h is an n, and I haven't typed much so it is not as normal anymore haha, and yesterday we helped someone move some cement bags and my arms and hands are so spent haha! sorry, moving on, you all sound good! tori I can't believe you already go back to school! that will be so fun, and have fun with that sports pass! take pictures for me :) sarah and jake I'm glad band was cool, you will have to let me know more :) and have fun with the jet skis this week!!! it has been hot here, and I have missed the water a little bit ;) have fun!
Things are good here, this was a bit of a harder week, Satan is aware of this work too and sometimes he fights hard. Jargalsaixan, the lady who could hear, we were getting her ready for her baptismal interview and she was really excited, and then this week we met with her and she told us she had went to a monastery and talked to a Buddhist monk and asked what church was true and you can guess what he said, and now she said she doesn't want to be baptized and said she won't come to church again. It was really sad and out of the blue, she said she believes in our God too, but helping her see that there is only one God is hard, we are trying to help her receive her own stronger answer through prayer again, but she is pretty against it now. and we weren’t able to teach very much this week, we have started teaching so many people and have a lot of investigators, but this week everything kept falling through, work, or other things came up, etc. and I can't remember if I ever wrote anything about a funny drunk, but if I did I take it back, I don't think there is any such thing as a funny drunk, it is all sad. But all is well, a friend wrote me a letter in the mtc with a quote that said "the obstacle in front of you is never as great as the power behind you" and that is true, so all is well, or hopefully will be ;)
Tamer and the twins (dashnamjil and dashbilig) are doing great :) I accidentally told them that we need to do bad things during this life while trying to teach haha, and that it was really cool dashbilig's bike broke. I am learning ;) we do street contacts everyday and I can do one by myself now kinda okay, but yesterday I tried talking to a man and was talking about the church, and he thought I was lost so he started giving directions to the church, and my comp had to step in and say we were missionaries, it was pretty embarrassing. ;) I have a long way to go ;)
Time is flying!! in two months I only have a year left! I don’t know if I like being a sister ;) jk. It was half transfers this week, and I am staying in my area with the same comp for the next 6 weeks and I am glad :) I want to keep working with our investigators and my comp is awesome and fun, she is this fiery girl who is really happy (and she is only angry when it comes in handy ;) so she is way fun to work with, and a hard worker! I think we went to a departure devotional that was really good, a lot of missionaries are with "mini missionaries" for the next 6 weeks (branch youth who act like full time missionaries) because so many left. And Elder Godfrey, the tall one from my mtc group, is sick, he has a muscle disease that runs in the family, and had to go back to america this week, it was really sad, you get to be good friends with the missionaries in your group, but I think in 6 months he will be back! he has a great attitude. Now there are just three of us from my group here.
This week the hong kong temple president and his wife came and we went to a good fireside, the members here go to hongkong to go to the temple, trips are organized every year and the members sacrifice a lot to go, it is neat. someday there will be one here!!
I think that is all, Love you all sooooooo much, hope you are well and good luck with school and tori and dad have a safe trip to utah! say hi to byu for me
;) love you and best wishes, sister mansfield :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

August 24, 2009

Hello all, this is tori. Just wanted to let you all know that we haven't forgotten about this blog. We never received an email from Sister Mansfield last week and this week we only got a quick note. She is doing fine and getting used to the customs, language and the work. It seems she writes emails each week but the internet is shifty and for some reason they haven't been coming through very well recently. When we get something we will post it. Hopefully one day we will get some from the weeks that haven't come through. Thanks for your love and support and we are waiting anxiously too.

Monday, August 10, 2009

August 10, 2009

hey family :)
The e-mails and pictures were great! holy cow sarah and tori you are cute girls ;) and jake is sooooo tall! crazy! Thanks it was fun to see you again ;) sorry last week's e-mail didn't come, let me know if you still didn't get it. Sarah and mom good job on the talks ;) sarah i heard you did great, you really are a good public speaker and sarah and jake let me know how band goes! Dad glad your boss is here and mom good luck with seminary :) califoria looks cool! That will be fun to come back to :)
Things are good here, each week feels more and more normal, I finally started dreaming about missionary work instead of you family and that makes it a little easier to wake up in the morning ;) we are teaching some people that are (this is going to be cheesy, but it really is kinda true) the light my life and when we teach them I get excited like Christmas haha. The first family we started teaching 3 weeks ago and have two 12 yr old twins, and a mom and they are soaking up the gospel, and have come to church 3 weeks in a row! We taught them two days ago and there was no power in their house, so we couldn't read 3 Nephi 11 like we had planned because we were sitting in the dark and couldn't see, so we talked about the word of wisdom, and it was really cute, my comp asked if they were ready to start following it right now and at the same time they said "ready!!" and the mom started following it too. They had offered us tea 20 minutes before, and have already stopped drinking it completely :) and we are teaching a way sweet lady named Jargalsaixan (don't how know to spell that
english...), but she is a little older, and can hardly hear, and can't see very well. We have been teaching her little short lessons, but this week she told us the coolest thing!!! this is a highlight of my mission so far...she said she didn't want to come to church again because she can't hear anything, but she decided to come one more time, and she could hear! "even soft sounds!!" she said. She heard all the lessons and classes, and then she said she even can hear and "clearly understand" me when we teach (and I don't speak clearly). Older people call most younger people their child, etc, (its really endearing, I love it) and she calls me "her daughter", and she said, I can even understand when my daughter speaks! clearly! haha :) she said "I’m not kidding, I can hear, and if I tell other people they will think I am crazy, but I am not kidding, its true!" she bore a great testimony, and said she is always coming to church, and is ready to be baptized :) we started teaching her my second week, it is so fun to see the progress. Miracles do happen! and we talked to a mom and a daughter on the street this week and started teaching them, they came to a baptism and to church so that is also really exciting. As always I wish I could say more, but the people are loving and it is fun to work with them! The language is like college, the more you learn the more you realize you don't know haha, but it is coming ;)
Today for p-day we went to the country side with our zone's missionaries and some of the branch youth and it was reallllllyyy fun, we went to this old monastery and the country side is sooo pretty, I will send pics next week. and then we hiked through this place that looked just like alaska!! Forget-me-nots and everything! I was kinda flipping out my comp was laughing, I felt like I was back in alaska ;) and dad I do play when I can ;) sometimes on p-days we play soccer, and I can't play soccer well at all but I run around and try because it is a sport and its way fun, and some missionaries started calling me the crazy sister (I don't think I’ve done anything crazy haha, don't worry;) but the youth have been fun to get to know and the branch missionaries are great here :) pretty much everyone is a recent convert so there're all really excited about missionary work.
um, other things..., my comp made fried chicken and a cake this week, that was exciting, our little oven was smoking like crazy but she kept saying "its okay its okay" and she was right, the chicken tasted great. oh and at the baptism this week a lady I don't know came up to me and talked and it took me a long time to figure out what she wanted, a few weeks a go someone took a picture of her with me, and she wants the picture, she gave me her name, phone number, and a huge hug and I am supposed to call her when I get the picture. Not sure how I am going to do this one ;) haha, people are so loving here, and love pictures.
k that’s all for me, sorry it is long, love you all sooooooo much, thanks again for the pics and I hope you all are well. love you!!
sister mansfield

kat- I got your dear elder!! thanks!!! you are awesome and hilarious, thanks again! made my day :) have fun sailing and hope all is well!
cate!- hello! :) hope you are well! I hear you are quite the photographer! good for you and that is sooo fun! :) love ya and say hi to morgan
alyssa- how is romania?! when do you get back? sounds like it has been quite the experience, love ya!!
grandma and grandpa mansfield- thanks so much for the letter! I got it last week, and it was fun to hear from you :) love you and the family!

Her email never did come from last week, hopefully we will get it someday and will post it :) Thanks for your love and support. -Tori