Presented here are portions of Elder Daniel Willoughby’s first email from the Missionary Training Center.
The computers are really handy. They are just in the laundry room so on Thursday, my pday, we do laundry and write email. The MTC is way exciting. I am doing great! I have two companions so we are a three-some. Elder Nelson is from Paradise, Utah near Logan. He is the youngest in his family with 4 brothers and 4 sisters. His parents are going on a mission in a week so we’ll see his parents around in the MTC soon, so that is interesting. Elder Apo is from Samoa. It’s a small island in the ocean. He is great! He is always telling us about his home and culture. Where he lives it is always really humid and hot. He said it has never been below 75 F degrees. He is “enjoying” the cold weather.
Food and Teachers
The food is delicious. I get three meals a day. I usually eat lots of fruit with each meal. My leg is much much better. I can run up stairs, walk around fast, do anything but sprint. I have three teachers, Brother Cannon, Sister Infinger, and Sister Marta. Sister Marta is native to Mongolia so we are blessed to have her. Sister Infinger has tons of energy and if anyone says they can’t learn Mongolian she says she’ll eat our arm off. We believe her. Brother Cannon knows how to throat sing. He is way cool.
My Branch President is awesome and so is his wife. Elder Nelson, my companion, has the position of district leader. I have seen tons of Elders I know. I have seen Elder Van Weezep, Elder Wiser, Elder Hill, Elder Davenport, Elder Buttars, Elder Jensen and many others. I always say Hi to them. I have been amazed at the spirit here. It is constant and very helpful. It keeps me on task and always wanting to serve my best.
Mongolian is great and is making sense. I can see how greatly blessed missionaries are when learning a language. I am able to focus all day — when at home I had trouble focusing for an hour. I bore my testimony to a new Elder yesterday and many times before that.
My companions and I like to walk around after lunch and speak Mongolian to the other elders. It’s helping to get over the fear of talking to everyone. It’s really easy at the MTC to talk to people though. This Friday we’ll be doing the lessons in Mongolian. Tomorrow we have special permission to teach in Mongolian early since there isn’t many resources for Mongolians here to speak Mongolian. Our lesson last Friday in English went well. Mongolians have no background at all so we are taught to always start from scratch when teaching. We emphasize that God loves them and they are his children. My teacher, Sister Marta, said when the missionaries told her that God loved her she had never heard it before. She always thought of God as someone who punishes. I have learned so much so fast and I am working my hardest everyday. My district has seven elders including me and three sisters. They are great. I am extremely busy but I am enjoying every minute.
Sounds like everyone else is enjoying life. I hope my room was clean enough. The candy in my suitcase was yummy. Bryson has grown a lot of hair! The grayish color he has must come from Rickety. Well my time is up. I enjoy hearing what is going on at home.
Love Elder Willoughby