Tulga Enkhbold and Janlavtsogzol Battulga are both students, hardworking employees, and parents who are balancing academics, extracurriculars, and raising three children. They are both from Mongolia and majoring in accounting. They said their lives require a large amount of management, but they put their relationship over everything.
Bundles of joy
They came to BYU–Hawaii in July 2016 and have had three children while doing their studies. Their first son, Tengis Tulga, also known as TJ, was born on April 1, 2017. When they had their first son, they decided they would not struggle but instead enjoy every moment. Enkhbold explained, “Being parents is a joyful and heavenly calling. When we have a mindset to struggle, things get harder.”
The following year, their twin daughters, Enkhlen Elle Tulga and Anirlan Ava Tulga were born on Oct. 19, 2018.
Battulga’s first pregnancy was extremely difficult according to Enkhbold. He said, “She had very bad morning sickness. She could not eat anything but threw up at least five times a day, so she lost a lot of weight. We went to the emergency room several times.”
Her second pregnancy was a little better, but they said they were so shocked when they found out about their twins. However, she went into labor when the twins were only 32 weeks along, which was too early. Therefore, Battulga had to hospitalized for two weeks in Honolulu.
Enkhbold had to go town every day after his classes. He said he and his wife are grateful for senior missionaries and their ward members who provided rides for them and took care of their son. After much pain and prayer, their twins were born at 34 weeks and both children were healthy and strong.
Sharing her optimism, Battulga said, “Of course, there are many tough days, but we try our best to stay positive. Now our son wants to play with his sisters, but the twins can’t [handle] his rough play. Even though it is hard for now, we know it will pass very soon.”
Enkhbold said anything could go wrong but taking care of his wife is his top priority. “Home can be messy, babies can be crying, but the most important thing is my wife’s wellbeing. If we do not treat each other the right way and do not keep our relationship sacred, things can go crazy very easily.”
Enkhbold advised other student parents, “Parenting is a heavenly calling, so don't struggle. Just be happy. Also, your wife is a champion. Whatever circumstance you are in, love your wife. She delivers your children to this earth. They go through lots of hormonal changes that we will never understand.”
Despite having three children, the couple shared they often do not ask others to babysit their children. They said they prefer to manage their time and take turns. Enkhbold said the hardest time is when their children get sick.
He shared last summer he was preparing for the Systems, Applications and Products (SAP) certification, an exam conducted by SAP AG, the leading provider of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Enknhbold had to study from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. in class for two weeks. However, just three days after he started studying for the test, their children caught the flu and all of them became sick.
Battulga said it was impossible for her to take care of all the children alone, so Enkhbold had to leave the class and help his wife. However, he studied hard, passed his test, and became SAP certified. Similarly, they strive to do well in their academics. They said they both study hard and earn the merit scholarships every semester.
Justin Ioane, a senior from Samoa double majoring in accounting and marketing, said, “I was classmates with Enkhbold and prepared for the SAP exam together. He is a smart and hard-working student. When we were preparing for the SAP exam, his children got sick, and he needed to help his family. We were all praying for them. Even though he missed many classes, he passed the test with good scores. I am very proud of him.”
Battulga advised other student mothers to make time for themselves and to do their favorite things and participate in social activities. She said, “I noticed mothers tend to separate themselves from society. It may make them feel isolated and stressed, so it is better to go out and participate in social activities.”
Battulga shared when she is at home with her children, she cannot do schoolwork. So she decided when she is at home, she will just be a mom and enjoy her time with her children. She said, “But in class, I strive to be the best student, and at work, be the best employee. No need to think about other things and stress over them. Just concentrate on the present.”
Service and sacrifice
Besides his duties, Enkhbold serves as a president of the Mongolian students’ association at BYUH and is a member of the professional accounting society.
Enkhbold shared, “I learned I do not have a choice to be lazy, but work hard, be responsible, and be happy. I know I do not have to do everything at the same time.”
Onon Dalaikhuu, a freshman from Mongolia majoring in TESOL, said, “I am proud of them because what they are doing is impressive. Studying and working is already tough, but they are raising three young children, plus serving in the Mongolian chapter. I am grateful for their service and sacrifice.”
Enkhbold also was serving as the Laie Married Student 5th Ward bishopric’s first counselor. Battulga serves as a compassionate service coordinator in their ward.
Enkhbold said, “Since our children were born, our time for prayer, scripture study, and the temple has decreased, but we are still doing our best to grow spiritually. We also try to set good examples for our children.”
Joe Dicenzo, the bishop of the Laie Married Student 5th Ward, said, “I met Enkhbold when I became a bishop. I was immediately impressed with him, as a new and inexperienced bishop. Luka was my guide, mentor, and friend. They were great members of our ward and always willing to support in any way they could. They are very responsible, reliable, and with great gratitude.
“At the time, they had only one son, and soon Battulga became pregnant and they needed a bigger place to accommodate their growing family. They moved out from our ward boundaries, and we miss them greatly. I became a great admirer of this Mongolian couple who has a deep relationship with the Savior and Heavenly Father. They are an amazing example to me and my wife and to those around them. I wish them only the best and know they will do great things in Mongolia.”
Having been friends with the family for more than10 years, Shijir Purevdorj, a senior from Mongolia majoring in finance and supply chain, said, “Enkhbold is my best friend who always sees things differently. I learned much from him and I look up to him. They are great parents, students, and most of all awesome friends.”
Davaasuren Myagmarjav, a sophomore from Mongolia majoring in accounting, said she’s known Battulga since preschool and they grew up together.
Myagmarjav said Battulga is a persistent, funny, loving and caring person. She added Battulga a very good listener and always has a positive attitude. Myagmarjav explained, “Some people say that your friendship will change after your friends get married. I see her becoming more powerful than before. She still does care about me and our friendship even though she is super-duper busy with her life.”
“Enkhbold supports, listens and cares for his family more than anything else. I am blessed to be their friend because they always there for me if I have needed them. They are truly a great example of facing challenges and overcoming them with the great love that they share,” Myagmarjav added.
Ganbaatar Ulziiduuren, a sophomore from Mongolia majoring in accounting, was Enkhbold’s mission companion. He said, “Enkhbold is a good friend of mine, and I have learned many things from him. Especially now, they are great examples of time management. I also see from their example if we push ourselves, we can do much more than we expect from ourselves.”
Their love story
Enkhbold and Battulga both served in the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission. They were in a relationship before their missions, and Battulga waited for him for a year and a half. Then she received her patriarchal blessing that advised her to go on a mission. Battulga went on her mission, and Enkhbold waited for her.
The day after Battulga was released from her mission, Enkhbold proposed to her. Two weeks later, they were married in the Hong Kong Temple. After one year of their marriage, they came to BYUH, the couple shared.
Enkhbold works as a student accountant at Vice President of Academics John Bell’s office. He used to work as a tour guide at the Polynesian Cultural Center and internal auditor at BYUH. Battulga used to work at the PCC accounts payables for two years and now she works as a custodian.
Battulga said, “One of us needs to work during the day and one at the night shift to take turns to care for our children.”
Enkhbold will graduate Winter Semester 2020, and Battulga will graduate the following year. They are planning to go back to Mongolia after their graduation and to serve to build the Church in Mongolia.