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.

Monday, October 26, 2009

October 26, 2009

hello family!!!
Thanks for the e-mails as always, but I love you all, I really think I could win "the most blessed person in the world" contest with the church we have in our lives, and you as family. Thanks! Dad I am glad work is slowing down, sounds busy but you are amazing, mom thanks for the e-mails and updates!! I want to see the "alaska" living room when it is done ;) hope you kids are also all doing good, sarah you have a byu account!! you all are growing up!
Things are good here, it was an interesting week for a variety of reasons, but things are good and I continue to learn :) I read in a conference talk that President Packer once said "I know exactly who I am. I am nothing. And you are nothing too. And if you ever forget it, the Lord will remind you of it instantly, and it won't be pleasant" haha, I laughed when I read it but it is so true ;) This week we stopped by a family that was investigating a year ago to see if we could teach them again, and we were sitting around their ger which was lit by a single candle, and I was trying to teach and talk and a visiting neighbor made quite a scene trying to understand my mongolian, it would have been pretty funny if it weren't for such important truths getting lost in transit, I am wanting to talk more and more and I have no shame anymore and don't get embarrassed to say the same thing, really slow, over and over and hope people understand. It was cute while the man was laughing a little girl in the family came over and whispered to me that I was speaking good mongolian and she could understand, it was really cute and sweet ;) We found some more new investigators this week that I am excited about, we found this adorable grandma and grandpa, the grandma was going to get water from the well and we walked with her and carried her water, then we went in and got to teach a lesson to her and her husband, who is a really old but really bright and alert grandpa. We told them about church and they said they would come, but I was still very happily surprised to see them walk in a little late to sacrament meeting, walking cane and all! they had made the trek up the dirt roads to the church, and stayed for all 3 hours and liked it! I am really excited to teach them! And Teresa is doing great, she is growing and learning and it is really fun to teach and be able to say what I need and want to. I will keep you posted, she is awesome!
It gets dark around 6:30 now but we are learning the area better so it isn't as big a problem, we need to meet a lot of people now because people aren't too happy about two strangers showing up at their door after dark ;) um I am trying to think if there is anything else, my companion is good and a hard worker which is great! oh and we smell like camp fires all the time, every home burns coal or wood fires so the air is always thick and smoky, it’s cool as we are walking around I keep being reminded of all the camping trips we have been on, its kinda fun ;) english is going okay, the director of one of the universities invited us to his office and talked to us and thanks us which was really cool, gave me and my companion some books from the school as a gift, and asked if I could stay the whole year ;) I am the first girl American teacher they have ever had. It was cool and these people really are hungry to learn english, it is a good opportunity for us to serve. I think that is all, we only threw rocks at a few dogs and I haven't had to wear the reallllyy big coat too much yet ;)
I know God hears our prayers, and knows exactly where His people are. It is cool to step back and see God's hand in our lives. Like how we made a wrong turn and got lost, but talked to a lady that lived there and then were able to teach her and some of her friends the next day. Not a wrong turn after all ;) or even the timing of passing someone on the street like the grandma getting water, or deciding to stop by a store where an investigator lives even though she said she wouldn't be free, and then finding out she was free and being able to teach. There are so many times that the Lord reaches down and directs us even without us realizing it. If we are humble and simply trying to do our best, the Lord can guide us. I look out at all the gers in our area, and I know the Lord could light up the houses of all His prepared people if he wanted to, and we could walk right to their door. This truly is an amazing work!! love you all and have a wonderful week!! sister mansfield

Monday, October 19, 2009

October 19, 2009

hello family!!
Sorry not much time today, things are good :) my new companion is sister tingis (sea) and she is good and hard working!! she is also a relatively new missionary which is fun, we are figuring things out together and both want to work hard :) we found 7 new investigators this week, and 5 came to church which is always so exciting, I’ve never been so nervous at church before haha, every person that comes in you hope is one of your investigators ;) and when they come its awesome!! and I started teaching a girl from England this week!!! a sister found her and started teaching her out in the country side but she moved to the city and I am the closest American sister so I get to teach her, it is so fun, she is awesome and I am really excited to work with her. she has been living here for 3 years teaching English, and knows Mongolian but our church vocab is pretty different ;) I got all excited to teach her in english, it is incentive for me to learn mongolian better because I want to talk to all people like I can to her about the church.
And it did get cold. really cold. and it isn't even winter yet haha. we got more snow and it is consistently below freezing now so we have the ice, but it is all good, I bought a reallly big coat today from the market. reallly big. I’ll send a picture later ;)
That is all for now, we are learning this new area and only got off at the wrong bus stops a few times this week ;) God helps us in this work and it will go forth, thank you all for everything and love you all!! sister mansfield

Monday, October 12, 2009

October 12, 2009

Hello Family!! thanks for the e-mails, I love hearing from you and you all sound good! I’m glad the new house is coming together and that dad got to go back to the operating room, you all sound good and are in my prayers too! Things are good here, it was an interesting week, my companion's legs started really hurting, so we weren't able to do much work. I want to take a moment and say how amazing all the Mongolian missionaries are. Many of them are the only members in their families, and many of their families have rejected them for believing in Jesus Christ. Their families don't understand missions or what they are doing, don't write to them or support them, but they still come on missions and serve so well! many are serving a few minutes away from their homes, it is like me serving in Provo Utah or down the street from you all, but they serve so well! they have learned so much about the gospel in just a year or two, and are powerful and selfless teachers, I have learned so much from them :) there are about 40-50 mongolian sisters, we have the most sisters of any mission other than temple square!! there are 5 of us sisters from America right now and 6 more on the way :) so back to my companion, we weren't sure what to do, I taught English but we weren't able to go anywhere else, she decided she wanted to finish her mission 3 months early so we met with the mission president and doctor several times, and things were all set for her to be released, but then she decided she wanted to finish her mission!! she is going back to work in the office and I am getting a new companion today :) I got to be good friends with sister Nemaa, I am really glad she will still be at the office :) My new companion doesn't know the area either, so we still don't know the area or members, but now we can learn. Hopefully this week we will be able to work a lot :)
oh and we moved to a new apartment, haha, our other one was really expensive so we had one hour notice, and then moved everything to a close by apartment two elders had been living in. We cleaned our old apartment for several hours, then came home to our new place and cleaned up after the elders haha ;) I washed dishes for 3 hours ;) but our new place is nice too and will be good :)
conference was amazing!!! we watched it with the American missionaries at the mission home, and it was soooo good! Elder Holland's testimony was unlike anything I have ever heard from conference, and each 2 hour session seemed like 30 minutes, it’s funny when I was young I never would have thought that I would wish conference was longer, ;) it was really good and really helpful.
I think that is all for now, this starting from scratch in an area is interesting, and the language is a challenge as always, but it is coming ;) So I am well, it is not too cold yet, I think there is still some Alaskan in me because even when my Mongolian companions are cold I am not. I actually kinda like the cold air :) I love you all, hope you are well and thanks again for everything!!! sister mansfield

Monday, October 5, 2009

October 5, 2009

hey everyone!! That is great you are in the new house!!! please do send pictures, it all sounds good :) Have fun with the unpacking, you all will be very familiar with all our stuff when this is done ;) love you all so much!!
things are good here, i really like our new area, our branch is so strong! i heard it is one of the strongest in mongolia and i think that is true, the members are amazing and there a several branch missionaries that are really willing to work with us (which is great because neither me or my companion know the area at all ;) we went with some of them this week and it was really helpful! We are trying to get to know people and find our way around, so work was a little slow this week but with time it will get better :) My companion is great, she has a strong desire to teach and be a good missionary and i have learned a lot from her already. Her legs are really hurting her so we try and teach at the church when we can so we don't have to walk as much, she is way strong :) I am teaching english, i teach three classes at a univerisity called chinggis khan, three classes at a language university, and one class at the church. It keeps us busy for sure, but the students are fun to work with and are eager to learn. Our apartment is pretty new and really nice, quite a lot nicer than my previous one so i feel like i'm in a hotel ;) there isn't much more to say this week, we are learning the area and people :) oh and it hasn't gotten too cold! it was really cold for a while but warmed up again, this is supossed to be a really cold winter, but this will be a relatively mild month. The winter will be interesting, it gets dark really early like alaska, right now it gets dark by 7, and it is hard to teach in the dark because our area is all ger districts and there aren't lights, and it isn't necessarily the best place to be wondering around at night so we will have to be creative about how to keep teaching lots of lessons in the winter. But the church building is great and central and we can use that :) The language is coming as always ;) I need to repent, i am envious of the 6 months that the elders get haha, i only have a year left and i am just barely figuring things out ;) time really is going so fast. okay i'll write more next week, love you all!! sister mansfield
ps mom i am getting better at cooking! ;)
oh and we get to watch conference this weekend, i am really excited! i have never been so excited for conference before.

kat- oh my goodness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i am sooooooooooooooooo hhhhaaappppyyy for yyyyoooouuu!!!! ah!!!!! I wrote a letter and can hopefully send it today! i got your two letters and congrats!!!!!!!
cate- hope you and morgan are well and classes are okay! how is photography going?!
alyssa- i hope you got back to colorado okay! have fun with the family!!!