Sunday, March 19, 2017

March 19, 2017

Hello Family and Friends,

I hope that everyone was able to have a good week! My week has been fun and interesting as always... haha.

So Monday I was with Sister Nelson because my companion was teaching English and so we were together that day and worked in Jargalant. That was an interesting day. I don't know that area at all really and so I wasn't much help and Sister Nelson was trying to find this person's home and we were kind of struggling. She was like I feel like such a newbie. Haha. Here we are at the end of our mission and still trying to find houses.... and then when she was asking from people for help they weren't understanding her. Gotta love how even after all this time people still can't understand our accents but on the bright side the people who are ready and actually try to listen to us do understand us. I mean I think it’s pretty cool that here we are as foreigners coming to this country to preach the gospel in their own language, to me that is pretty cool! I think sometimes people don’t quite understand that or forget that. But then you run into people and you just start talking to them and they think that your Mongolian is amazing and are so surprised that we are learning it and that we speak as well as we do for just being here as long as we have. Oh well... haha. For the most part though, people are able to understand us so that is nice :) Part of it I think just depends on the type of area you are serving in. So yea our Monday was spent getting lost in ger districts :)

Tuesday was our pday and I’ll be honest I don't remember what we did.... it got kind of messed up because my companion had to go meet with immigration so we had to move things around a bit... so not really sure what happened there:) haha

Wednesday was awful... we were supposed to go out to Baganuur and do a split with the sisters that day but I don't know what I ate but I got so sick. So we couldn't make it out there that day because a 2 hour nonstop bus ride did not sound fun at all to me that day. haha.

Thursday was a good day though. I was feeling a lot better! In the morning we went out to go visit one of our members who can't really walk. Her name is Lena. She is a sweet, we shared a scripture with her and just helped bring the spirit into her home and then we asked if she needed any help and she asked if we could go buy her some milk? but was it just any kind of milk? No it was some weird milk that we had to go find that was somewhere around her house that isn't a brand name. It like comes in a bag... I had never heard of it before but we were able to find it so that was pretty awesome! The second little store that we went into had it so we were able to find it fairly quickly. She really appreciated it because they were out of milk so she was grateful that we picked some up for her. Then we also met with Hyamtsetseg who is an RM who served in Mongolia. We were going to teach one of our new members at her house but our new member never answered so we just ended up meeting with her but turns out when we got there that her sister was also there who is a little less active and so we met with her. She has two kids who are really cute. So we shared a story with them and talked about faith. It was really good! We invited them to come to church and they said they would try and guess what! Sunday they came!! :) so that was cool. We don't really have any investigators right now. Work has been a little hard and tsagaan sar didn't help at all with that so hopefully it will pick up again! i guess we do have a couple of investigators now but none of them are progressing... but we meet with members and our new members and LA's when they can and so we stay busy by trying to meet with them.

Friday I taught my last day of English! yay glad to have that over with so that I can just focus on the work my last week! Friday night we ended up going to Baganuur and finally doing our split with the sisters. It was really fun. I was with Ulziitei and it was good getting to know her better! She is really sweet. She is new and just finishing her 12 weeks this transfer so I got to go out with her and see how she was doing. The elders, Epsinoza and Bird ( from my group) also happened to go out there that same day to do a split with the elders out there and they ended up leaving Baganuur at the same time that we did and so we sat by them on the bus and got to catch up with them a little bit. At first sister guild and I didn't have seats next to each other but this old man saw that we were trying to figure out how to sit together and he actually ended up giving his seat up so that we could sit together. It was really sweet! And then the guy behind him was talking and he was surprised when he saw we could speak Mongolian and thought it was the coolest thing ever and when we got back to the city he told the elders to make sure that they protect us. haha it was really cute. Sometimes it’s nice being a white person :) it has its perks here sometimes. lol.

Sunday was alright... the bishop called us Saturday night and was like hey so our person cancelled last minute can you two give talks tomorrow? So of course we were like suuuure.... so we ended up giving talks in our sacrament meeting yesterday... that was fun. I have given so many talks on my mission... I talked about the atonement because that is something that I have been studying this transfer a lot and it was really good. I have learned a lot about the power of the atonement and the strength that it can give us. It is such a great gift from our Heavenly Father and I don't think that we always are able to recognize it as much. It is something that we should be using every day. A gift is always better when it is used. And if we aren't using the atonement, we aren't showing our gratitude for the great gift that it is. I continue to learn new things as I study this topic and it truly has helped me be able to do all the things that have been asked of me. There is no other way that I’d be able to do it.
Another picture from Tsagaan Sar week

I hope that you all have a great week! I love you all!

Love, Sister Kerby

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

February 28, 2017

Hello Family and Friends,

Its Tsagaan Sar this week, one of the really big Mongolian holiday’s and so our week is really busy celebrating with families. So our p-day has kind of been spread throughout the week. haha. I am really glad that I get to be here for another Tsagaan Sar! Notsure about all the buuz that people will be giving us but at least I have learned to speak the language now and so I can tell them when I’m done or at least tell them that I will only have a couple. Anyway we actually went to our first house yesterday and visited with our less active family which was really fun! So Tsagaan Sar is pretty much the Mongolian new year and it’s a time where families really come together. It’s a total of three days but technically they make it a weeklong celebration because they have to go to all of their relatives. The first day is usually a family day where everyone goes and visits the older people. They go to their grandparent’s house and celebrate with them and pretty much eat and talk. We actually are lucky this year and have been invited to several houses for this first day. We will be going down to Unur to go to the bishop’s house that is in that area. Neither my companion nor I have served there but the bishop of Unur is a guard at the Baynzurkh church (a.k.a our mission home) which we are always at and so I have talked to him a lot and he invited us over so that will be fun. This holiday is all about having family and people over and eating and all that fun stuff. haha. They have some pretty great traditions here I think! It’s a lot of fun! Then we had a couple of people from the ward we are serving in invite us over so that will be fun! So yea this week is pretty much going to be a lot of eating... but it will be a great opportunity to get closer to our members and get to know everyone better!

So it’s been a great week, last p-day on Thursday I went on a really pretty hike and guess what we were able to find.... we found yaks! We got some pretty fun pics with them. They wouldn't let you get close enough to touch them but we got fairly close. They are pretty much cows with fluffier tails... they are really cute though. Then as we were hiking down the mountain there was this one spot that was perfect for sliding so we all took turns sliding down the mountain in our coats. The coats made it so it was slippery enough to slide.

So this week we met with our new member Anaraa (Anargul) the individual who got baptized on Christmas Eve. We ended up having a really cool lesson with her! She told us during our last lesson that she wanted to serve a mission and so we decided that this next lesson we would talk about missionary work and talk about the things that she needed to do in order to serve a mission and so I got her a notebook so that she can start writing her 42 principle book and then a mini preach my gospel so that she can start studying from it and we told her to start preparing. We spent the lesson sharing our mission experiences and bearing our testimony and helping her see if this was something she really wanted and she really does! She was really grateful because we taught her exactly what she was desiring to hear about and she was really glad that we were able to answer all of the questions that she had. So now she feels a little more prepared and understands a little bit more about it. But yea it was a really neat lesson!

This week i also went on a STL split with Sister Shreeve. She is seriously an awesome missionary. She has been in Mongolia since December 8 and so she is still pretty new to everything here. She was supposed to be here in November but because of Visa issues she couldn't come and so she ended up serving in CA for that transfer. But the great thing is that she ended up coming. She is going to bring a lot to the mission especially with her optimistic and kind personality. So yea we were in my area for the split and we went and taught a couple of different lessons and just got to know each other better

This morning Sister Guild and I got up early and we went to Zaisan in my old area (khan-uul) and we welcomed the sun. It’s another tradition that they do for Tsagaan Sar. On the first day they hike up to the top of a mountain and "welcome the sun". They throw milk and shout and literally welcome the sun of the New Year. It’s really cool. Right as it peaks over the mountain, they all begin shouting and saying prayers to welcome it. The sisters were all up at Zaisan and then the elders went on an actual mountain. Only men are allowed on the mountain because it’s a culture thing and disrespectful if women go up there so we stayed at this monument thing and welcomed the sun but there were several people there with us. Sister Breziinski brought some milk with her and so we all took turns tossing milk. We got the full cultural experience this time, nothing half way down :)

As I reflect a little bit on my mission something I have thought a lot about is what have I done? haha I’m sure that’s something that most missionaries wonder about. We have no idea the people we have touched or helped along the way because sometimes it is just through our example that we help others. Our sphere of influence is so big and can stretch so far that we don't really know who we are able to influence in our life. Which is why it is important that we are always mindful of the things we are doing. We can have such a positive impact on those around us and we can help so many without even realizing it. We can be such great examples to those around us. We are different and people recognize that and see that we have something else and they are right. We have something different. We have a purpose to our lives and because of the way we live we are able to find a great joy in life and because of how we live we are able to have that light about us and so I hope we all continue to try to show that example to those around us because we have no idea what may come because of it. We have a power to influence many as we continue to walk on the path which has been shown us. That is the great hope of this gospel and the wonderful message we get to share. That we are able to change and to improve and become better than we were yesterday. What a great gift we are given :)

Hope that you all have a great week!

Sister Kerby

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

February 13, 2017

Hello Everyone,

I hope that everyone has been able to have a good week! This week was really good for me. The family of three we have been teaching will be getting baptized this Saturday at 6:30pm :) I am so excited for them. They have such strong testimonies and have born their testimonies a couple of times about how ever since they came into this Church they have been able to see the changes that it has made in their life and I just think that is so cool that they are able to recognize those changes and to see the great effect that it is making in their lives at this moment. They are so much happier and you see a difference in them. They have this great countenance about them and it is so amazing being able to see that change. I think being a missionary is one of the most amazing things because you get to see firsthand the miracles that come to people’s lives through living this gospel and you are able to see the Atonement also play a part in their lives and to see the change that is able to come to them through the Atonement. I still don't understand the Atonement perfectly myself but throughout my mission I can say that little by little my testimony has grown and that I know of the great power that the Atonement holds and what it can do for us. It is truly the greatest gift we have been given.

As my mission comes to a close I am recognizing more and more little things that just make me so grateful to be a missionary at this time. I have met some amazing people here. Yesterday night we met with one of our less active families and Sister Nelson and I were together for it since our companions were teaching English together so we were companions for the day so it was her first time visiting with the family and as we began we had their 7 year old daughter Baysgalan say the opening prayer and while she was praying she said my name and asked that Heavenly Father would bless me and my family and to keep me safe and bless me with health and then thanked Heavenly Father for sending the missionaries to them so that we could meet with them. It was the sweetest prayer and so simple but it meant the world to me. To have this cute little girl praying for me was just amazing to me. It made me so grateful to be serving here and to have been able to have met her and her family. It made me realize that we truly are doing a great work here and that we do have a purpose. These little moments are what have made me so happy and realized how lucky I am to be serving in Mongolia and being able to understand the people here.

So the other week I was able to go out with the Baganuur sisters and that was so much fun! It’s the farthest out that I have been able to go from the city. The only thing out there that makes it different from the city is that there are no huge buildings. It’s like as if you went out into the suburb area back home. Also there is a lot less pollution out in Baganuur which was nice. So yea that was fun. We also saw some cool ice sculptures there. They had sculptures of the 12 months of the year where like horoscopes figures. They also had a cool slide there of ice that I went down. It was a great couple of days and it was fun being with a Mongolian companion again :) It’s been really fun having the chance to be an STL. I have learned so much from these sisters. They just all have these different qualities and talents and they all work really hard to do the best that they can and its really cool being able to work with them.

Solongo's mom got baptized. It was the most perfect baptism I have ever been to, just because it was so cool to see my trainers mom be baptized and to see how Solongo finally has a member of her immediate family that can be there with her and I just now see them with that opportunity to go to the temple and to be sealed as a family. They just need to start working on that dad :) It’s so cool though, she is this amazing new member and it has been so cool to witness the miracle of this gospel and the joy that families feel when they are doing it together. I will never forget that! This gospel is so great :)

Love, Sister Kerby

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

January 24, 2017

P Day

So this week... yea a lot has happened! We have had some great experiences this week! So when I first got to Sansar, I asked from the bishop to print out a list of all the ward members for us so that we could call that list and get to know the members better and so this week we were calling from that list and I saw a name that I thought would be good to call and so I called her and she said we could meet so we go to her house the next day and it turns out that when we met with her she hasn't been to church for a couple of years now. She still does those things like praying and reading the book of Mormon but she doesn't come to church but her whole family is members. All of her children served missions and all of them served in America. All of them except one are actually living in America with their families. But it was cool because the one that still lives in Mongolia ended up coming in just a little while after we had arrived and so we started talking with him. His English is amazing! He served in Ohio. He hasn't been to church in about 3 or 4 years now but he has had a couple of moments where he has thought about coming back but he just hasn't and so it’s really cool that we found him because he still is awesome, he just needs a little push to come back and so it will be great trying to help him. The only problem is that he is super busy so we hope that we will be able to meet with them again and that this isn't just one of those cool experiences that don't turn into anything. This week we also met with our family that’s investigating. The mom and the two kids are doing awesome! They are so excited to be baptized but the husband is now going to Korea next week for work and won’t be back until April!! :( but it’s okay! IT will all work out its just kind of sad now because we won't get to be here for that but we trust in the next missionaries that they will continue the work. We have just had a great week meeting with all our people :)

My last family that was baptized are now living in Unur and the Elders, one of them actually from my group Elder Malin, is currently meeting with them and was able to give a letter I wrote to them. They are doing awesome he said. and then my companion during that time that they were baptized, Ariuntungalag is now training a new missionary and that new missionary happens to be our new members niece and so she was telling Ariuntungalag about them and says that they are great members.

Other news, the long distance branch is doing great! As I called this week, they were talking to me more and they are doing good and really enjoy that I call every week to them so that they can sit in sacrament. It’s a really cool opportunity that I’ve been given to do this. Then one of them actually lives in the Gobi and because we are starting to begin visiting our people we might get the opportunity to go out there:) not sure if we can get permission to go out that far but how cool would that be? haha. There is no church at all out there and so it would be good to go visit some of the members all the way out there. The member I called said that it would be great if I came out there and she said if she was ever able to come to the city she wants to meet with me so that was really cool to hear:) ahh! Everything is great right now :)

English is going great as well! The classes are fun this year and are students are doing a lot better learning this year than they did last year. They do know that we will be leaving soon and they are really sad! They don't want us to go. They won't be putting more missionaries at our school. They are doing things differently next year. It’s changing and for the better too so that will be good.

As I have contemplated everything that has gone on. There are so many changes that have happened and yet at moments I think what has really changed. It’s really funny because it’s like we can distract ourselves with so many different thoughts of, well what have I really done? or have I really changed? And the answer is of course! It is so easy to forget that we are changing because Satan will fill our minds with thoughts that are contrary to what we hope to believe. I have found that while being on my mission our thoughts can be the most crucial thing because our thoughts become our actions, our actions become our habits and our habits become our character and our character becomes our destiny. It is interesting to think about how one little thing can influence us so much but it’s true! Our thoughts lead us to do things or even to not do things. What are our minds truly focused on? As my mission comes to an end that is something that I have been thinking about lately, that when I am focused on the work, I am a lot happier, and just like when my mission does end and also for the rest of our lives when our mind is focused on our Savior and His gospel and as we continue to live in accordance with his doctrine we will be happy. We will experience that fullness of joy that is promised to those who keep his commandments! But it is only when we are focused on those things and don't let those worldly distractions hinder our progression that we are able to do so. Of course we will have our moments of struggle for after all that is life but I have also learned on my mission that His Grace is Sufficient. For those of you who have never read this talk it is by Brad Wilcox and it is awesome! I have learned that as we rely on our Savior we will be able to receive all the help that we need. Sometimes I think we forget to truly rely on Him and that he is the one who knows us perfectly so we should be turning to Him and realizing that through his power are we able to overcome all that we face. As I have studied grace this past week I have recognized the connection between grace and hope. Hope is what allows us to believe and trust that we will be helped and that grace is the power by which we actually are able to be helped. We don't need to be everything or have everything in order to receive his help. As Elder Holland says, The First great commandment is to love God with all of our heart might mind and strength but the greatest and first eternal truth of all is that God loves us with all of His heart might mind and strength. Of this truth I testify and I know with all of my heart that God loves us. He knows us perfectly and he knows exactly what we need to do in order to receive the greatest happiness possible. He knows our needs and he wants us to receive all of his blessings. But we must first turn to him and be willing to open our hearts to all of those things so that we may truly receive all that He hath. I am so grateful for this knowledge and to be able to know I have a Heavenly Father who loved us that he sent us His only Begotten Son so that through Him we may be able to partake of His grace and receive of his strength so that we may do all things.

Well that’s it for the week! Love you all and have a great week!

Love, Sister Kerby
Part of her P Day she went to the snow.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

January 10, 2017

Hello Everyone,

This week has been really good :) this past Saturday I went on a split with Sister Bottorff and it was a lot of fun. I was able to go to the Baynzurkh area and visit with her people. It was my first STL split and I loved it. Solongo (my trainer) lives in that area with her mom and her mom is an investigator and so we had the opportunity to go meet with her. It was so much fun! Solongo ended up not being home but it was fun because her mom was there and I showed her some pictures of when I was with her daughter and she just loved it. They were having family come in from "the countryside" It’s just a couple hours from the city and so they were having one of their little Mongolian party things that they do and it was a little awkward because it’s just a bunch of people there talking and we didn't know they were having this and so we are just sitting there like okay... haha. but it ended up being really cool because I asked Dolgorsuren (Solongo's mom) if we could share a scripture and so she gathered everyone and we shared Mosiah 4:9 and talked about God. It was really cool because her other family members are not members and so we were able to talk to them and teach them and then because we had a book of Mormon that we could give away, I ended up giving it to the husband of one of the wives there and he was just like all excited and asking questions about how it was different from the bible and was just like okay I will read it! Hopefully they will start meeting with the missionaries in Nalaikh. That would be awesome! I was going to get their number and pass them on to the missionaries but they said that they would go to our church that is down by where they lived on Sunday and so I said okay. It was cool because then on Sunday, Solongo ended up sitting in our ward on Sunday and was like hey I heard that you came to my house yesterday and gave my family member a book of Mormon and I was like yea, and she told me, yea he said he was going to read it, and it just made me feel happy that I had done that. I wasn't thinking much of it, I was just like yea you should take it and if you are able to please read it and meet with the missionaries down there so who knows what will come of that experience but you never know. Hopefully something does :). It was a good day. Although we ate so much, I felt like I was going to die... we literally kept getting fed house after house... haha.

Our work is going good in Sansar right now. We have some good investigators that we are working with. We were having trouble finding some less actives to meet with but we have been meeting with the members a lot more and so this week we have been able to find a lot more less actives thanks to them. The members know this area so much better than us and so I have gained a strong testimony of member missionary work and how the members can really help with the work. We actually met with one of the less actives on Monday and did a family home evening with them. Turns out the dad is a return missionary and served in the Ogden Utah mission and hasn't been to church in a while. So we are teaching his family now. So it’s him, his wife, and they have three really cute kids. The family is awesome! I’m excited that we were able to find them. They even gave us a referral of another less active woman that lives close to them and they were like go meet with her. It’s really cool how these things happen when you are trying to do the Lords work. Everything truly does just fall into place and there is such joy to be found when you get the chance to be able to help these people. It truly is amazing!

Last pday we went to this mall in han uul and went to this 3D museum and took some fun pics and then we went and rode go karts that was really fun! So even though we didn't go sledding we had a lot of fun doing those things!

Hope that you have a great week!

Sister Kerby