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

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