Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Week 22 - A new stake in Mongolia!

I had another great week!  What else is new? :)

After emailing, Sister Wilkins and I shopped and came home and cleaned.  Then we rewarded ourselves with some KFC! :)  And then we did a Family Home Evening with our investigator.  It was really fun.  We taught a little thought about making good choices and then played some basketball afterward.  It was super fun, and the weather was perfect.  They live by a lake, so it felt like my favorite summer nights.  

On Tuesday, we had an English meeting and found out we will be teaching English teachers this June.  Our classes at the University end this week, and then we will pick up teaching teachers next week.  We will teach 3 days a week.  We will give the teachers ideas of how to teach English.  It should be fun!  Then, we went to our English class.  I love the students!  It has been fun to get to know them and their lives.  They are truly amazing, and we can't wait to have an end-of-the-year party with them this week! :)  Sister Wilkins and I are making cookies! :)

Wednesday was funny because nobody came to English.  So we sang songs and planned our party for next week.  Then, 45 minutes into the class, a girl walked in, so we talked for a few minutes.  If we taught the lesson, we would have to reteach it next week.  So we talked and learned more about her.  We had to make up some language study time, so we had to study that night.  It seemed like it was taking forever.  So we went outside.  It wasn't super warm, but we just decided to do it anyway. 2 minutes after we sat on the bench outside, we decided to go back inside.  On our way back inside we met some cute little boys.  They were playing with "walkie talkies" they found in the construction debris (made of 2x4s).  They were super little, but they were so cute!  They were playing police, and we decided to stand nearby and just listen to them.  Then, they approached us.  The one asked if we were Korean or Chinese.  We said we were from America, and they asked us why the heck we were speaking Mongolian!  They asked us if we were twins. haha  So we asked them, too!  One little boy said, "yeah, but he's way shorter than me."  They started measuring themselves to prove who was taller.  And neither of them came up past my waist.  haha They were both 6.  And so cute.  They said they were playing a police game, and they arrested us and escorted us to the storefront in our complex.  They said that in order to get free we would have to buy them something.  We didn't have money, so they started chasing Sister Wilkins.  It was hilarious to see 2 tiny little boys chasing my companion with 2x4s.  Kinda scary but mostly funny.  We all became friends when we decided to go back to our apartment and grab some bouncy balls.  They thought they were the coolest things.  Basically that was the best language study ever.  I practiced speaking and made two new friends! :)

On Thursday, I taught a brand new investigator.  She also lives at the top of a mountain, and it was so awesome to be there.  Not as awesome to climb the mountain in a skirt, but hey, you win some and lose some.  The lesson was amazing.  She is such a wonderful woman, and her children are super sweet.  They have such pure, loving spirits about them.  I can't wait to continue meeting with them.  

On Friday, we did our weekly plan and then met with a cute little grandma.  She is awesome, and she is super hilarious.  We taught her about prayer and prophets.  Then, we taught another couple of lessons.  My very favorite thing is to tell people that God loves them.  Their eyes light up.  And I feel the Holy Ghost.  I know that God loves and knows every single one of the people in Mongolia.  He is mindful of them.  That night, we got caught in a crazy dust storm.  When I washed my face, the water was pretty gross.  I pulled a few rocks out of my eyes. haha  But I'm ok!  Don't worry, mom! :)

On Saturday, our investigator had her baptismal interview! :)  She will get baptized on June 5, and I couldn't be more happy! :)  She is so ready, and the Gospel has truly changed her to be better.  I also got to meet with a really nice lady who is inactive. She very kindly fed me cow liver.  And it was kinda gross but I prayed and God helped me eat it.  Yum.  And I also got to teach my cute new member girls!  They are always awesome to be around.  

Yesterday was AMAZING!!  It was warm and beautiful.  And Mongolia got a new stake!! 2 members of the 70 were there to create the new stake.  Many branches were turned into wards.  And we felt God's love as the stake was created.  And some amazing talks were given, and I just felt so happy.  We also got to meet with our cute new investigator family, and the mom has already read 40 pages of the Gospel Principles book on her own.  She is awesome! :)  And so kind.  We taught her about prophets and prayer and Jesus Christ.  She truly wants to know the truth.  And we brought a cute ward missionary who kept ooh-ing and ahh-ing after every sentence I said because she was so proud of my language skills.  We will be taking her to more teaching appointments! :)  

I have seen some truly amazing miracles this week.  I am so blessed to be a part of this great work in Mongolia.  I have been so blessed, and I cannot help but see the hand of the Lord every day.  I love you all!

Sister Bottorff


Some fun pictures from this week:

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Week 21

I seriously don't know where the time is going.  I'm in a time warp, and the time is going by so fast!  I feel like I emailed you yesterday! :)

But a lot has happened.  I spent Monday shopping and cleaning until we found a basketball at the store and HAD to buy it and play basketball.  I am no good at basketball, but that's nothing new! :)  But the weather was perfect and we had a blast.  After about 5 minutes of shooting baskets, a whole bunch of Mongolians came and wanted to play a game.  I thought it was so funny that people just came out of nowhere to play!  Then, we went home and ate ice cream and got ready for FHE that night.  We went to a ward member's house and made dinner with them.  They had tiny newborn kittens, and one of them fell asleep in my lap.  It was the cutest.  Then, we taught a lesson and had to run home to be there on time.  We ran down the mountain, and what took us 30 minutes to climb only took us 10 minutes to run down!  We gave ourselves a serious pat on the back.  

On Tuesday, I taught English.  A girl in our class recommended a restaurant last week, but we didn't have time to go  there.  She was bummed so we are making a serious effort to go before we see her tomorrow.  I also got a package on Tuesday!! YAYY!! Thanks mom!  I loved everything inside!  I haven't ever loved mail so much in my life! :)  

On Wednesday, I taught English again.  The students in my second class really struggled with the concepts, but it was really cool to see them progressing by the end of the lesson.  At first I was at a loss and I looked at Sister Wilkins like," save me.."  But then she helped and we got the students to use the principles properly by the time they walked away! :)  VICTORY!!!  

Thursday I went on splits.  I was with Sister Guild for the morning, and then during English time, I went out with Sister Harmon's companion, who is Mongolian.  It was a great time!  She taught me some Mongolian, and it made me so happy!  We taught a lesson to one of her church members.  It was fun to go to a stranger's house and speak Mongolian!  It was a little grandma, and when we walked in, her husband was watching Rhianna music videos. hahhaa  The lesson went really well. That night, I went home with Sister Wilkins and we studied.  We make studies fun, so it was a great night!

Friday was fun because after studies, we taught 2 lessons.  They went really well!  We also went and found a girl who we haven't seen in a while.  We were so relieved to see that she was doing well! :)  I seriously love being a missionary!  

On Saturday, I was on another split with Sister Guild.  We worked in her ward and visited 3 people.  1 new church member, who is adorable and gave us turkey legs.  They tasted good.  I may or may not have felt a little weird afterward though....  She also lived in an apartment complex that I think looked like America.  I felt weird there because it didn't feel like Mongolia.  And now that I think about it, I don't think it actually feels like America.  I cant' remember... And on the way home I found a place called World Market.  Is that a store in America that I like?  I'm seriously having problems...... Anywayyy....Then, we visited some members and ate ice cream!  And then we taught an investigator who was super adorable.  She can't wait to get baptized!  I was excited to meet all of those great people!  And I can't fail to mention what a miracle it is that we made it around the city and talked in Mongolian and have only been here for 2 months!  

Sunday was fun.  We studied most of the day and went to church and taught some lessons.  It was a grand old time.  And it was pretty warm.  And I love Mongolia.  And sometimes it's hard to go to church in another language because you don't know what's going on. But then you get over it because your companion translates and you laugh a lot.  Laughter is the best medicine.  

I hope you are all happy and healthy! I love you all!

Sister Bottorff

Love the turkey legs - yes, turkey legs!

All the thinks you can think - when you think about Seuss!

Springtime in the steppes

New friends are wonderful!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Week 20!

This week was awesome, as usual!  On Monday, we went to the main church building and organized folders for the English Conference that was held this weekend.  We assembled 150 folders.  It was a great time, and it went by pretty fast! :)  Then we had a singing practice for the conference.  About 25 missionaries sang 3 Mongolian songs for the teachers in attendance. It was a hit! :)

On Tuesday, I SKYPED HOME!!!! It was so wonderful to see my family!  It rejuvenated my spirits and helped me so much!  I felt so happy the whole rest of the day! :)  It was really warm, and afterward, we went and taught English.  I love that class!  They are so awesome, and we bribe them to speak only English by providing treats.  And it totally works.  And Sister Wilkins and I ate the extra treats.  So it's a win-win.  Afterward, we got the rest of our stuff from an apartment and took a taxi to our other apartment.  The driver was a little old man who was super cute.  He said all sorts of things I didn't understand, but I sat up front to try and practice Mongolian.  I'll thank Sister Wilkins one day for making me do these things.....hahahahaha

We woke up on Wednesday to a blizzard.  Ugh.  But it was another fun day because we taught English again!  We got observed by our head people in our organization, and they kept complimenting us.  It felt good to be prepared and have a great class to teach!  Our students are so good to participate.  They really want to learn English.  Then, we taught two lessons and trudged through the snow.  But it was gorgeous and I felt like I was in a painting again.  It happens often, but the feeling of happiness just doesn't go away.  It gets me every time.  

On Thursday, we had an English Training for missionaries.  Our organization flew out the top professors from the 3 BYUs and one who has been overseeing some English teaching in Asia.  They are amazing at what they do, and they provided some great ideas for me!  They served Burger King, too!  And I saw all the people from my MTC group.  I love reunions! :)  

The next 2 days were filled with more English Training.  It was really fun to see over 200 English Teachers from Mongolia getting new ideas from the people we flew in.  We all learned and got to know our colleagues at the Medical University better!  One is going to BYU Hawaii to learn English for a semester.  We are all a little jealous....but it's fine.  I'm not bitter.  I'll just be here freezing.  But it's fine.

On Saturday night, after the English conference, we had an adult session of Stake Conference.  There were many uplifting messages shared, and I felt the Spirit.  There are some YSAs here who are competing in Mongolia's Got Talent, and they sang some beautiful hymns as the musical numbers.  They are amazing!

Sunday was really great because we found out that Mongolia is getting a second STAKE!!!!!! This is something that we have been praying for, and Heavenly Father is truly blessing us!  The new stake will be created in 2 weeks, and we couldn't be more thrilled!  After church, we taught a family about the Book of Mormon.  They inspire me every time we meet.  They are humble and kind and give freely.  They love the Book of Mormon and will continue to know, for themselves, if it is true.  I know they will come to know it is true!  

I love being here!  I love the Spirit that is filling my life!  I am so grateful to be a part of this great work!  I love teaching English.  I learned so much this week, and I am really excited to implement what I have learned over the next several months.  Life is good! :)

I love you all!

Sister Bottorff

Friday, May 13, 2016

Week 19 - Happy Mother's Day!

Hey everyone! Happy Mother's Day!

I can't wait to Skype tomorrow!!!!

This week was another great week!  After I emailed last Monday, I shopped and then took Mongolian pictures.  Haha It was a great time!  I am with Sister Wilkins, Sister Bennett, Sister Guild, Sister Kofed, and Sister Khandsuren.  Sister Khandsuren finished her mission on Wednesday, so we took some pictures! :) 

On Tuesday, I taught English.  I love teaching, especially on Tuesdays, because my students are pretty advanced, so they get a lot of my humor.  Most Mongolians don't get sarcasm at all.  So it makes my humor a little hard to understand.  But this class gets it.  And we were making inside jokes and having a good old time. 

Wednesday was fun because I taught two English classes.  And Sister Khandsuren finished her mission.  That was sad, but it was fun to hang out with her for some of the day!  We had to do language studies later that night, so Sister Wilkins made it fun by taking me to the little store in our apartment complex and teaching me food words.  We finished our study by buying some treats.  But she only let me buy them if I talked to the store owner.  He seemed a little weirded out that I was asking him about how many kids he had, but we just laughed and went home and ate our treats.  Luckily he was a good sport! :)

Thursday was my favorite day this week.  I did weekly planning.  And then I had the opportunity to meet with my favorite family!  They are awesome!  And we met with all of them except the son.  But Their house has my favorite view.  They live at the top of the mountain, and I finally got some pictures this time! :)  Aren't they all so cute?  The Spirit was so strong in the lesson.  We taught about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  And I loved it.  And they loved it.  Everyone is so interested and they all have faith.  It is amazing to find people who are ready and accepting.  They fed us some amazing food, too!  We got out a little later than expected, but then, when we were almost down the mountain, the parents called and said we forgot a bag.  So we ran as fast as we could back up to their house.  Maybe 3/4 of a mile uphill.  And then we had to run back down.  I kept coughing, but we made it home in time!  And then we got the phone call we had been waiting for for days.  And afterward I was so happy because I found out I'd be staying with Sister Wilkins in Unur!  It's gonna be a party!!!

On Friday, we cleaned the main church building.  Our job somehow ended up being the literal worst.  We cleaned the tiles outside because in the wintertime, they glue rugs down so that people don't slip.  And we got the job of cleaning off the glue.  But afterward I got pizza!  So it was all worth it!  Then, I moved into my new place, and I live with Sister Kofed and Sister Hartley!  This is going to be a great transfer!!

On Saturday, we taught 3 lessons.  The first was to some women who aren't really interested in our message.  But their little son was super cute, and we had a great talk!  The second lesson went really well!  We taught a whole bunch of women about the Book of Mormon.  And they were so excited to learn more!  I love teaching!  The last was at a member's house, and we had a lesson about trusting in God.  We had a great discussion, and it was a really good visit. 

Yesterday, I had church, and I understood about 10% this time!  YAYYYY!!!!  I'm getting better! :)  And two ladies asked me questions, and I TOTALLY ANSWERED THEM!!! Miracles happen every day! :)  Then, we went to teach our investigator, but she wasn't home.  So we asked to meet with her mom, and she agreed.  We taught her about the Book of Mormon and asked her to read it.  She said she would.  I can tell she was feeling the Spirit.  That is a really cool feeling.  We went home and studied and made pancakes.  And only wanted to cry a little when we didn't have chocolate in the house.  We made a weekly goal to be prepared with cookies next Sunday.

I'm loving my mission!  I have moment's I can't believe I'm here.  It hits me fairly often, but I think each time is a little gift from God.  It makes me feel so grateful!  This week should be awesome!  I'm SKYPING HOME tomorrow! :)  And then on Wednesday, I will be observed teaching English.  And then the rest of the week we are having a big English conference where they are flying in people from BYU and BYU Hawaii to teach us to be better teachers!  I'm really excited!  I love you all!  Have a great week!!


Sister Bottorff

It takes a village!

Beautiful sisters in beautiful traditional clothes!

Ice cream! Always appreciated!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Week 18

This has been another great week! 
On Monday, after emailing, Sister Wilkins and I taught a lesson at a new investigator's house!  It turned out to be really great!  He is so nice, and he really wants to learn more.  In fact, while I was on splits later that week, Sister Wilkins taught him again!  He is doing really well! 
On Tuesday, we taught English.  It went really well!  I feel like it's getting easier to teach as I teach more.  I hope that I continue to get better.  I taught one class and Sister Wilkins taught the other class.  Afterward, we headed home and worked there and ate ice cream! :)
Wednesday was filled with more English class.  I taught with Sister Guild.  We had about 20 students, which we will break into two classes this coming week.  20 students is a lot.  But the class went great!  The students really want to learn, and they are really funny!  They don't really get sarcasm, though.  So I was being sarcastic giving them an example of how I want to go to Mongolia because I hear it's so warm all the time.  And they all just stared at me until one guy raised his hand and said, "um it gets really cold in the winter....uhh...I mean it gets warm in the summer....." hahahaha  It was a little awkward, but I just moved on...haha
On Thursday, I was on a split with Sister Guild.  We worked really hard all day on nuts and bolts kinds of things.  And we went to English.  On Thursday we teach the workers, but nobody came.  So we studied Mongolian.  And it was fun.  And a little long since we just sat for four hours.  Luckily we brought some stuff to do.  When we switched back to our regular companions, we got some cake, so it made my life happier! :)
Friday was super great because after weekly planning, I was able to teach a lesson to an investigator about temples.  I love temples!  And it was fun to teach her that her family can be together forever.  She is really excited! :) 
Saturday I was on a split with Sister Bennett.  We started off with an English training all morning.  It was really productive because we talked about curriculum and how to present it.  I think some good changes are coming that are going to really improve the program.  I'm sure our students will appreciate them!  They also fed us pizza, which was a bonus!  Afterward, we studied and then taught a lesson to one of Sister Bennett's investigators.  We taught her about trusting in God.  And it was really cute because afterward, she said, "Thank you!  That was a lesson I really needed!"  We shared Alma 36:3 (I think) where Alma is telling his son, Helaman, to trust in God.  We then read in Alma 56 about how 10 years later, Helaman leads the 2000 Strippling Warriors to battle.  They fight for their freedom and for their families, and they trust in God with perfect faith.  Nobody dies.  God didn't take away the problem from Helaman, but because he trusted in God, he was protected.  And that is how it is with us.  Even when life doesn't go our way, if we trust in God and know that He will lead us to the best things, we will be blessed. 
On Sunday, we had church.  And our investigator came!  And another investigator came!  And another!  It was SUCH a great day!  I loved being a part of the three kids in a family all coming to church and sitting together!  All are really busy adults, and they just looked so happy to be all together.  Also, someone found out I could play the piano, so I played for Sacrament Meeting and Relief Society.  It's good to be playing again! :)  After church, we taught two lessons.  The first went well, even though they asked not to meet with us anymore.  They are a really great family, and they asked for just occasional visits.  We are grateful for their honesty, and we look forward to dropping by and sharing a spiritual thought every once in a while! :)  The second lesson was really fun because we taught a whole bunch of super awesome and cute girls!  One investigator and 4 new members.  They are adorable!  And so strong!  And kind.  And patient with me and my Mongolian!  I love the people here for being so patient with my Mongolian.  And I'm learning that actions work too! :) 
I love you all and am grateful for your emails and prayers and support!  I hope you're all happy!  I sure am!  And that's what God wants for us! :)
Sister Bottorff
"This is what happens during weekly planning, It's tiring. haha"

"The lake and some of the houses in our ward! :) They are so cute and colorful!"

"My cute friends. :)"