Meet my companion Sister Bayasal. First name: Erdententsetseg. (Haha. For real.) Nickname: Eegii (Eggie). Hails from Mongolia where right now it is snowing every single day! Approximate time of English study: Nine weeks. Age: 22. Year of Baptism: 2006. Number of people in Mongolia: 3 million. Number of members in Mongolia: 1,000. Complete sentences used in the last six days: 8.
Well as you can see it has been an interesting few days here in Visalia! Sister Bayasal was at the MTC for a little over two months, and then came straight to Fresno. As we were waiting to see our trainees on Thursday, President called me aside. I thought I had done something wrong, haha. Turns out he wanted to chat with me about Sister Bayasal and her language situation. He told me there was no one else he thought of to be her companion--that I was exactly who the Lord had set up a LONG time ago to train her! Well, that puts a little bit of pressure on. :)
Since that time in Fresno Sister Bayasal has been thrust into the craziness of California life. She had Mongolian companions at the MTC and was able to speak Mongolian up until last Wednesday. She is probably the most humble and smartest person I've ever met. :) She is studying technical engineering at school in Mongolia and loves physics and is attacking the English language with such tenacity! I myself am learning Mongolian and know how to say all of the important words: curly hair, crazy, awesome, hello, how are you, perfect, do you understand, good, wonderful, and tired.
In Monglian they use the Cyrillic alphabet and it sounds more Russian than Asian. We have many many dictionaries ALWAYS at hand. I carry the English to Mongolian dictionary and she carries the Mongolian to English dictionary. It's funny to watch us. We're always huddled together somewhere with our nose in the dictionaries trying to communicate. I have learned to talk very very slow, and to use VERY simple words. What lessons the mission is teaching me. Haha.
When she bears her testimony, although simple in language, it is the most powerful thing! All of her brothers have served missions, as well as all of her sisters-in-law. The work is progressing well in Mongolia and she wanted to share the blessings of the gospel with all those she comes in contact with! She prays and it is so inspiring to see her living her faith. I know this experience is so different from any other she's had, and that I'm probably the craziest person she's ever encountered, but she's going for it! She prays at night in Mongolian and I just want to cry with the Spirit that fills the room as she pours out her soul to her Heavenly Father. She truly is an amazing daughter of God and I feel so so so blessed to help her and learn from her at this time.
We have a baptism this Saturday of a truly awesome man. His name is Todd. He's in his fifties and has gone through a LOT of hard things in his life. However, he is making the changes that he needs to and it is wonderful! His only Word of Wisdom problem was iced tea. Hahah. Talk about golden!
Things have taken a change of pace with Sister Bayasal coming as she gets really stressed out with all the English. She got sick her third day here from all of the crazy English people and so we take some time when we don't speak any English at all for her to relax. :) But, I have learned to simplify and truly talk about the basics! It has been such a blessing. I find myself talking REALLY slow to all others now, and so maybe more people can understand me. Haha.
I am just overwhelmed with all that I am learning about myself and about the gospel. I didn't realize how off track I was before the mission. While I went to church, paid my tithing, and did everything that I was supposed to, I just didn't get it. I now am starting to actually put everything together and recognize all that I have been given and all that I have to do! You'd think I could have understood the eternal significance a little bit earlier. Haha. But no.
I love the Lord. I love Visalia. I love Sister Bayasal. And I love the word of God and the power it contains!!
Until next week!