Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December 28, 2015



What a wonderful time of year it is! It is a special time of year as it is the time our Savior was born. We are so blessed to be able to live with the knowledge that this gospel has provided for us. May we remember our Savior and His life and the many things that He has done for us. He has given us everything and as I have reflected this week about Him and His life I have realized that His whole life was spent giving to others and He never once asked for anything in return. I was thinking about how hard the mission is at times but then I turn to my Savior and think about His life and how if it wasn't easy for Him, why would it be easy for me? Preaching the gospel is hard and not everyone is interested or willing to keep the commitments we extend them but it is a message that is continually worth sharing because you never know when you will find the one person that will accept it. I thought of how the Savior willingly gave his life and that He knew not everyone would accept him. He knew that many would reject what He did for us, but the Savior still made the sacrifice. I am so grateful for His example and for the chance I have to continue to strive to be more like Him. May we press forward with steadfastness in Christ and a perfect brightness of hope. Life isn't easy but as we remain faithful and keep our eyes on the Savior, we cannot fail. We must continue to take the next step. We only fail when we stop trying. As Peter walked on the water towards the Savior, he had the faith to do so until he saw the waves and the storm and he began to fear. That was when he started to sink and he cried out to his Savior for help. It says that Christ immediately stretched forth his hand and lifted Peter back up and questioned why he had so little faith. Our Savior will always be there to immediately stretch forth his hand and lift us back up. We can't let worldly distractions, doubts, fears and things like this that take our eyes off our Savior. As long as we stay focused on him and make him our foundation. We cannot fall. 

Christmas day we were able to Skype with Kristin. She is doing great and looking good. She was not able to write this week as the internet was down but was able during the week to send us some pictures she wanted to send us. She sent us the thought above which we wanted to share with everyone. 

 





                                                                                                                                 Kristin with her new hair cut










Going out with the district to hand out gifts to those who didn't have a lot. Kristin said this was the best experience of her mission so far. She really felt the spirit as she gave to those who didn't have much.














To the right and below are areas that she is either teaching individuals or visiting members. The round tent like homes are Yurts.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

December 11, 2015




Hello Everyone!

YES I AM ALIVE AND GREAT! There is nothing better you can do with your time than teaching the gospel! Especially to those who have no idea what it means. In Mongolian, gospel is actually translated to "good news" so when we talk to them they are always like so what is this good news. haha. How some of the words translate over doesn’t quite mean the exact same thing so we have to explain it really well. Our church pretty much has its new language that our investigators have to learn as well so I am in the same boat as them. haha

Well another week has flown by and it is crazy to think that is almost the end of December! Transfers are this week so I will find out whether or not Solongo and I will stay companions for the next 12 weeks. I hope so because although it is difficult getting used to a companion and we have faced a few challenges, having a Mongolian companion truly is a blessing and I have learned a lot from her. I have also been able to learn a lot about myself in the process. This truly has been an eye opening experience and I only continue to hope that I will work on becoming the missionary I need to be to best serve these wonderful people. The people in Mongolia are so special and they are so different here. They are such a hardworking people and they are caring. I am blessed to have the opportunity to serve here and I am only beginning to realize what a blessing this has been to me. I didn't realize before what a unique opportunity I have to be here and this has been what has helped me change my attitude. Mongolia is being prepared to receive this gospel and I have the opportunity to be one of the few servants that are able to help push this work forward. No matter how difficult it may be or challenges I face along the way. I am making experiences here that I wouldn't change for the world. I have been able to come to know my Savior and learn more of Him and the knowledge and testimony I have gained since being on my mission is one that I will never give up.

Most of my group are with American companions. There are only about 3 of us who were able to have a Mongolian companion so I should consider myself fortunate to have that opportunity to learn from her. 



After our English lesson, we don't take time to prepare for the next one. We leave our school and take the bus back to meet with our companions. After we get back together we either have to finish our studies or we go and teach lessons to the people we planned to meet with that day. The way that our program is set up for English makes it so that we don't have to prepare a lot to teach the lesson which is really nice since we don't have enough time to prepare. But we are prepared enough so that when we do teach, the students are able to learn as much as they can from us. 






Sister Nelson and I were walking to the bus and we found a huge Christmas tree that was set up so we decided to take a picture with it! They actually don't really celebrate Christmas here so the only thing that makes it feel like this time of year is the snow. Plus my companion loves singing Christmas songs. I just taught her Rudolph the red nosed reindeer so she has been memorizing that and we sing it a lot. 


 


















Here is my new coat!



 We also went to this place called Sara's Bakery which is so delicious! I had this caramel cake and it was so cheap! It was only about 75 cents in American money! It was one of the best desserts I have had here! They have a lot of different foods and candies that are so good; I can't wait to bring some home so you can all try some!






We also put up some Christmas lights in our apartment. You can’t really see them but they are fun! They flash and everything so it’s like a party in our apartment. haha 


Love,
The sushi thing, it was actually really good!
Sister Kerby





Friday, December 11, 2015

December 7, 2015

I know that we all have our weakness and struggles, but I have learned from the book I am reading that the closer we come to Christ, the more apparent our weakness are. I am thankful for my weakness and although they are at times hard and during the moment it is hard to overcome. The beauty of it all is that we can overcome it! Through our Saviors help, it is possible. "For when I am weak, therefore I am strong" (2 Cor 12:10) or something like that. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and to grow as I have on my mission and I know that I will only continue to grow.

We have a lot to be grateful for in this life and I encourage you to look for those blessings in your life no matter how great or small they may be. Heavenly Father is always blessing us and we have so much to be grateful for. Sometimes we lose sight of that and I know that as we recognize these blessings we will be so much more thankful for that which we have rather than that which we lack. I have realized this week that they Lord truly blesses us in so many ways and no matter how hard we try, we will never be able to give back for what we have received. The Lord blessings us 1000 times more. 

So let me tell you all about my English teaching! So far it has been great! I am so glad that I have sister nelson as my teaching companion. We are able to make class so much fun! So I teach at Orkon University and then Orkon Secondary School. I teach at the university on Tuesday and Friday from 12:00pm to 3:10 pm. I have two classes on this day and I am teaching students who are preparing to be English teachers themselves. They actually graduate this year. They still have trouble speaking English so it is good that we are able to help them as much as we can before they become English teachers themselves. They are preparing to teach English to people in Russia and Mongolia. On Friday we teach all the faculty members in the university who are interested in learning English so that has been interesting. They know pretty much no English so we have had to start with the very basics. We have a program called side by side and we use a powerpoint program that has been created for us to teach our lessons. It makes it a lot easier and doesn't require much preparation which is nice considering we have like no time to prepare a lesson. It has been great helping these students though. Most of them have a strong desire to learn the language and so it is such a wonderful experience being able to help them further their knowledge and improve their skills. The English language will change their life so I am happy to be apart of that. So many more opportunities will be available to them if they learn this language so i am happy to help. On Wednesday we teach at the secondary school for 8:00am until 2:00pm and we have class back to back so it’s pretty much 6 hours of teaching that day which is long but it’s not too bad. We have a variety of students that range from 9th grade to 12th grade. Our youngest students are 14 years old. Some of them can be a handful but we have learned how to deal with it and we make class fun and they respect us. Some of the other students also help keep them in line. It has been a great experience. Actually since I am certified it makes me want to travel somewhere else when i get home and teach English :)





Sister Nelson





We had our zone conference on Saturday which was really neat and afterwards. Sister Hill one of the senior missionaries invited us to her home and her husband and her made all the sisters dinner so I was able to talk to sis B then. She is doing great and we talked some. She truly is awesome and I am so glad she was my MTC companion. I do see my district fairly often so it has been nice. Elder Espinoza has been in Hong Kong the past couple of weeks. His visa didn't come through so they had to send him to Hong Kong for 2 weeks while they are working on getting him a visa through the church. Which is great news for him because through the church this means he won't have to teach English at all on his mission which will be cool. I am glad that out of all of us he has been given this opportunity. He is a great elder, he is from New Mexico. I learned a lot from him so it will be cool to hear about all his experiences. The rest of the district is doing well. We have all finally gotten over the adjusting period and are doing a lot better.

The weather isn't that bad, I mean it’s cold all the time but I am handling it really well. The coat and my scarf/ boots are keeping me warm. The orange scarf in the picture I bought and it is super warm. I am getting my jacket today and will send a picture of that next week. My boots have been good. The lowest it has gotten here is negative 20 degrees but the thing that is nice is that although it is cold it doesn't snow. There is snow on the ground but that happens at night, it never snows when we are walking around because it is just too cold for that but I have been fine. No complaints there, plus our apartment is really warm as well as our investigators home so while inside we are fine.

INVESTIGATOR TIME ;) so I absolutely love our investigators, they are awesome and are wanting to learn the gospel. It is so amazing. It has been fun teaching them. Right now we have 3 progressing investigators whom we are working with and have baptisms set for January! They are always so patient when I speak and they even help sometimes with the words and they try to understand me. They make me want to be better and they are what keep me going. I think about them and they keep my mind focused on what is really important. Last night we had a lesson with one of our investigators and we had it at a members home and while I was teaching this time I felt more confident. I spoke more than I usually do and really tried to say all that I could. Even if I didn't make 100 percent sense and they didn't understand me all the way. What was important is that I opened my mouth. I have been trying to be better this week and last night I really took a step forward by opening my mouth even though I was scared. I realized it doesn't matter if I can’t speak the language, I am trying and they see that, plus it is the spirit that speaks to them, not me and I know that unless I open my mouth I won’t get better. The members also helped me out because they understood what I was trying to say so they helped me explain it. It was a great experience and it helped me realize that I can do this. Little by little I will improve and I just need to have the patience to do so.



I hope that you have a great week! 

Love,

Sister Kerby






The closest thing that comes to Sushi! haha











Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30, 2015

As you all know, last week was really hard for me and while being here I have realized plenty of places where I have seen many weakness. I thought that I knew the Savior before I came on my mission but this week I have learned what it means to truly rely on Him. I rely on Him every single day and I have come closer to Him than I ever have before and I know that I will only continue to draw closer to Him and to learn more of Him each day. During part of my personal study I have been reading "Our Search for Happiness" by Elder Ballard and I have learned a great deal from reading his experiences and how he explains the gospel in such straightforward terms. One thing that has stood out to me this week and has helped strengthen me is when he wrote about how much our Heavenly Father loves us. I know this and even though this sentence is so simple, it means so much to me. As I study the Plan of Salvation and teach it to our investigators, it didn't hit me until today how perfect this plan really is. This plan shows us how much our Heavenly Father loves us. This plan is all about us coming to Earth so that we will be able to receive a body and to learn of the 5 pieces which this gospel entails: Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End, after this we are able to return home to our Heavenly Father and live with him once more. He has provided the way for us and has told us what we need to do in order to live with him again. Not only to live with Him again but also our families. Our Heavenly Father wants the same from us, we are his children and he wants us to return to live with him too. Sometimes I don't think we realize that He is our literal Father and that we have inherited some of his divine attributes, it is for this very reason that we are able to become like Him. We have the potential to be like our Father in Heaven, how amazing this is and this is all possible through the atonement. Jesus Christs Earthly Ministry was to teach his gospel and to do the Atonement. Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ knew that as humans we would fall short and that when- not if- we made mistakes that we would need to be forgiven. Because we have such a loving Heavenly Father, he provided us with a way to be forgiven and because our Savior loves us just as much, he was willing to be the way in which the Father was able to fulfill his plan. We are asked to follow our Savior and his example. We are asked to be perfect even as our Father which is in Heaven is perfect, but even though we are asked this, our Heavenly Father knows that we are not perfect. He only asks us that we try our very best each day and to be better tomorrow then we were yesterday. 

I am on a mission to serve others and to bring them the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that even though I don't know everything, I know enough. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and I know that through the Atonement I will be able to do all that the Father has asked of me. For like the Savior I will say, Not my will be done, but thine. I am so grateful for this gospel and even though I fall short sometimes and have my weaknesses, I know that my Heavenly Father will take me where I am and mold me into the person that he needs me to be. He will make me stronger for "when I am weak therefore I am strong" He makes weak things become strong and I will strive to be as Nephi and say, I know that whatever the Lord has commanded of me, I will be able to do. For the Lord has performed many miracles so if he has commanded me to build a ship, I will build a ship. (This is like 1 Nephi 17). I know that the Lord continues to perform miracles even now for he has not forgotten us. If he was willing to perform miracles for the children of men before, why can he not do the same for us?

My purpose for why I am serving a mission is what keeps me going. I am here to share this gospel so that those I share it with will be able to partake of the promised blessings that are in store for us. I have left my home for a short period of time so that other families may be with their family for forever. This is why I am serving. I know this gospel is true with all my heart and I have learned so much since I have been here.

                                           My Companion Sister Solongo








English teaching is going well and I will write more about it next week. I just wanted to take the time this week to share my testimony


                                   Sister Kerby and Sister Nelson
                                    English Teaching Companion

Entrance to
University





                                                
                                                                                                                                      Love Sister Kerby

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

November 9, 2015



сайн байна уу!

It is officially my first week in Mongolia, crazy I know! I have already been here for about 4 days now and it has been an interesting couple of days. So far I love it! The people are so friendly and even though I have no idea what they are saying to me I already love them. It is definitely a different place here but it has been exciting. My pday was actually supposed to be yesterday however that didn't happen because they called us and told us to come to the Mission Home so that they could drive us to the Mongolian hospital where I had to get x-rays and blood drawn... that was a fun experience. When they did the xrays they didn't even protect the parts they weren't xraying so if I don't die from the radiation poisoning it will probably be from the pollution in the air... haha I am just kidding. They only use coal here so most of the time the air quality isn't the best and we have to wear masks, but so far it hasn't been too bad. 
 
Although I did get sick on Sunday because we had to run a couple blocks to our church building so that we could get there early and greet people so the cold air and everything didn't help. On another note the food isn't too bad, although all the fat they use is going to take some getting used to. My companion and I went to this little restaurant and I ordered this ramen soup and when I got it, it looked nothing like the picture of course and there were these chunks of fat in it... I guess it adds flavor right? Another thing I tried is this candy they call airag (that’s not how you spell it but that’s the Mongolian English version of it) anyway, that is the fermented milk candy that they have that tastes as my teacher quoted, "A petting zoo in your mouth" or "baby vomit", gross I know but now that I have tried it I can officially agree with her. It is definitely not my most favorite thing in the world and it will take some getting used to. 
 
The transportation here is also crazy. We take the bus a lot and I am not kidding when I say that it feels like I am riding the bus from Harry Potter! Sometimes though it is so packed that you can't even move, you pretty much will move like 2 inches but then you will bump into the person next to you and they will stop you. They don't have any laws when it comes to driving so its pretty much do what you want, but somehow they make it work. I am just thankful we don't have to drive here. The taxi system is pretty cool here, its not even really a taxi. You basically just stick your hand out and then someone will stop and give you a ride. If they feel like making some extra money then they will stop for you and then you can bargain with them the price you want to pay.

My companion is so cute! She is this tiny little Mongolian missionary and she is so fun. Even though we don't understand each other all the time we get along great. She has been extremely helpful in teaching me the language and I know that I will learn a lot from her. It has been hard learning the language, not going to lie but I know it will just take time. I am also looking forward to teaching my first English class here. Sister Nelson is actually going to be my teaching companion since we have the same sponsor and are at the same University so it will be nice having someone from my MTC district with me. She is actually in my ward as well so I see her quite a bit. Since this is such a small mission I have actually seen most of my district quite a few times since I have been here so I consider myself lucky. I have missed them so it has been nice to see them the few times I have. 

I haven't taught any lessons with investigators yet, I actually have my first lesson tonight and I am really nervous for it. We met them at church on Sunday and they seem really sweet so it shouldn't be too bad. All I know is that no matter how simple and short my testimony may be, I believe it 100 percent and I know they will be able to see that as well. 







I hope everyone is doing well and that you have a great week! I love you all and will write to you next week!

хаиртай шүү,

кэрбий эгч

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Ninth Week in MTC



сайн байна уу!

This week is going by so fast, it's crazy how these last few days are just flying by. I am supposed to leave in just 6 days. I just want to thank you all for the support that you have shown me and the encouraging letters that you send me each week.

So this email is going to be a little short, but I wanted to share a few things that I have learned here. We had the opportunity on Tuesday to hear from Elder Neil L Anderson, this was one of the most powerful experiences I have had. I was 3 rows away from where he was speaking, and it was incredible. When he stepped in the room and we all stood, there was an overwhelming feeling of the Spirit. It was so neat being able to hear from an apostle of God in such a close setting like this and to know that the message he had was specifically for us. 

He shared with us these 4 topics: Sacrifice, Opposition, Adversary, and Deliverance.

When he spoke of sacrifice he mentions how we all give up something in life. "Sacrifice is an eternal principle" We continue throughout our life to sacrifice things. For example he mentioned how we all had to sacrifice something to come on a mission. What really stood out to me though was when he asked the question, "Is my sacrifice enough?"

This is something that I had been pondering before and wanted to know that if what I was doing was enough. D&C 97:8 says every sacrifice is accepted of Him. No matter how big or how small our sacrifice is to the Lord it is enough, we are enough. What we are doing is great in the eyes of our Heavenly Father. As we are doing as we should with diligence, a sincere heart and real intent, it is enough. We also can't compare ourselves to others. We will meet some exceptional people in our life but that doesn't matter. Who we are is perfect and God takes us where we are in our life right now and He will mold us into the person who he desires and needs us to be. Discouragement, doubt and fear are our biggest enemy and Satan uses this tool to his advantage. We should only be comparing ourselves to ourselves. Who we were a year ago is different than who we are today and who we will be tomorrow is different than today. We are not the same, we continue to get better each day and that is what our Heavenly Father asks of us. Every sacrifice we make, the Lord gives back 1000 times more. Keep that in mind the next time you ask, How can I give this up? Because what we gain in return is worth far more. I for one am thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who is so anxious to bless His children. I know he loves us with an unimaginably and unconditional love. He knows us, he knows our needs even before we ask him. He knows our desires and he will answer our prayers. He will come unto us if we need help, but it is us who need to come unto Him. 

We are enough. Heavenly Father will take us as we are. As we turn to Him and ask for his assistance in our life, His hand will be there to lift us up. Heavenly Father will not take our trials from us, but he will be there to strengthen us so that we will be able to bear them. This is how we are able to grow in this life for without trials, there is no need for us to change and become more than we are. Trials allow us to humble ourselves and turn to our Savior for help and recognize that we can't do it on our own.

This truly is the Plan of Happiness and it is perfect. I am grateful for a prophet and the fact that we get to be led by one today. I know Thomas S Monson is the current prophet on the Earth today. He is God's mouthpiece and he will help guide us back to our Heavenly Father. I am grateful for the 12 apostles and I know that they have been called by God. They are His servants and what a great responsibility they hold. What better way to show that Heavenly Father loves us than the fact he gave us a prophet. We are able to know God's will through our prophet and we need to recognize what a great blessing this is. Heavenly Father has not left us alone. I am so grateful for this gospel and for the joy it has brought to my life. This gospel is true and I know that with all my heart. I am excited to be able to share His message with those in Mongolia who are being prepared right now to receive it. My only hope and prayer is that I will continue to be worthy, diligent, obedient, and have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost so that I may be able to reach and teach EVERY single person that my Father in Heaven needs me to reach at this time. I am not perfect, I have my shortcomings and my weaknesses but through the beautiful gift of the atonement we are able to overcome those faults and become better each day. We are not perfect but we are destined to become perfect, not by ourselves but through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the enabling power it provides. It is more than just a cleansing power, which is one of its great gifts but it also gives us the power and strength to do so much more.

 
хаиртай шүү,

кэрбий эгч