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, December 31, 2009

Hong Kong Update

Hello everyone, this is Tori. First we would like to thank you all for your fasts and prayers, we know they have helped with Ashley's health issues. My dad was able to go over and meet Ashley in Hong Kong late last week. Ashley was delayed getting there staying in Beijing overnight. She has had several tests with more scheduled next week. Her return date to Mongolia hasn't been determined. Thanks again for all your prayers and support. We love you and wish you a happy new year. -Tori

Monday, December 21, 2009

December 21, 2009

Hello everyone :) Merry Christmas!! time has flown, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, this truly is my favorite time of year :)
So it has been an interesting week ;) we had transfer calls, and I have been assigned to go to......... Hong Kong! Yeah so I didn't know that was part of my mission boundaries either ;) I know my family knows all this, but for others who are reading, I have been having stomach pains for about 2 months, have met with many doctors, and narrowed it down to a malfunctioning gallbladder that might need to be removed. I actually hope it gets removed, it hurts quite a bit now ;) So it got to the point where I couldn't work very well, so I called my president and told him as he was making the new assignments. I was worried about my area, I have come to love that branch and the many investigators we have been blessed to find, and being with a mini missionary there isn't a missionary to leave behind that knows the area or people. Phone calls were made, I had one interesting night waiting to hear what would happen (hong kong was a possibility, but the other possibility was going home, and no offense family, but after only 5 months in this blessed country, the thought of going home was heartbreaking). I do get to go to Hong Kong, and I will be leaving a few days after Christmas :) I am in a threesome with the new sisters in my area, one is a really good missionary, who is training a sister who just started this week. I get to introduce them to investigators, and try to teach the area a bit. White washes are hard, hopefully I can help a bit this week. So this has been a really good chance to grow in faith. I have realized that the Lord is realllllly good at testing and helping us grow. But I do know he loves us, has a plan, and I know he doesn't like to see us suffer, but he loves us enough to let us experience what will make us stronger.
So I get to go on a vacation to hong kong! That is a pretty cool way to spend new years huh? ;) and then if all goes well, in a few weeks I will be back here working. So that is the update :)
Our area is amazing, soooo many people to meet with and so many are reading from the scriptures, praying, coming to church or at least trying to, and I have found many reallllllyy good friends is this smoky, icy, ger district of mongolia :) the grandma and grandpa are wonderful, probably the most rewarding experiences I have had were with them. The grandma was the lady we found carrying water 2 months ago. Now their baptism is scheduled for the first of January, what a great day to start a new life! They come to church, pray, bare wonderful testimony, and are being blessed in return. They have been praying for their children to come and visit, (haven’t come in months, and they can't contact them) and we were able to help contact them, and they both came, brought food and clothes, etc. and our family of 3 teenagers is wonderful. These three kids are the bravest kids I have met :) I love them like siblings now, and they are also going to join the church in January :)
Yesterday was the first district conference in mongolia! we all met at a really big, nice theater in the city, and we had planned on taking 3-4 investigators that are closed to baptism, but as we were walking to our area that morning we met a group of kids I had just started teaching, all heading to the church. That was a sight to see :) 5 kids, (12-17) all carrying Book of Mormons and heading to church. We told them about the big meeting and they wanted to come, so we planed to pick them up at a bus stop after getting grandpa ;) when we pulled up with the taxi, there were 10 kids, from age 8-17, waiting for us. We piled some into one taxi and sent it, and the rest of us piled into another taxi, and my two companions and I went with a 70 year old grandpa with a cane, and 10 kids following us into this meeting. I felt like a mother/babysitter during the 2 hour meeting, but all in all they enjoyed it, and one girl said, "from now on, I am always coming to this church!" :) it was fun :)
Boy there are so many people that I want to tell you about! Each person has an amazing story and I am learning soooo much from them. There are truly many of Gods choice children living in these gers on these hillsides.
I hope and pray I will be back here working soon. Thanks for all your love and support, I have never been so sure that God lives, and that He loves us. I can now confidently promise with everything that I am, that there is a God in heaven. He has a plan that is personalized for each of us. He is ready, and waiting to let us feel his love. He cries when we cry. He rejoices when we do what is right, and He sends angels round about us to bare us up. I promise that. I didn't see Christ when he lived on this earth, but I know that I will. I know you all will too. Merry Christmas, love you all, and I’ll let you know how China is!!!
Sister Mansfield

Monday, December 14, 2009

December 14, 2009

Hi everyone, this is Tori. Ashley's email for the blog didn't come through today but we got a short note and she is doing well, although very cold. I will definitely post it if and when it comes though. I will also post some pictures she sent home on a CD soon as well. Thanks for the prayers and Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sister Mansfield with investigator

December 7, 2009

Hello everyone!!!
Merry Christmas!! it really is starting to feel like Christmas, I can't believe how fast time is going!!! things are good here :) the church was open this week, and there was a baptism friday and six of our investigators were able to come! and then 10 of our investigators came to church yesterday!! it was really exciting :) we have about 20 progressing investigators right now and only half of them made it, but it is still amazing, we are close to baptism with the grandma and grandpa, and another awesome 15 year old girl :) and we area teaching a family of 3 teenagers that I am starting to love, they asked if we could come teach them everyday, we are getting to be really good friends, and it is exciting to think about how the church can bless their lives and futures.
English teaching is getting more fun! I know the students now and actually really enjoy it :) and this week several students asked about the church, and said they are interested!! That makes the teaching so much more worth it :) my companion is great, life is great, time is going by crazy fast, and I know the Lord blesses and helps us. I have never felt alone in this work and I am also realizing that the best missionaries don't wear name tags, we just teach, but the members really have the best ability to bring people into this fold. So this time of year, each of you please open your eyes to the opportunity to share the good news about Christ’s birth, and the fact that he still lives and is guiding us today. Sharing the gospel is so much easier than I ever thought!! I love you all, sorry not much else this week, my district went out to the country side today and got back late :) Mongolia looks amazing covered in snow :) love you all!!!! sister mansfield