Archives for April 2009

Missionary Dan Email #12 from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Presented here are portions of Elder Daniel Willoughby’s twelfth email from the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission. If anyone wishes to send Daniel a message, write it in the comments and I will make sure he receives it.

It was exciting to read about what you have all been up to. I saw the pictures of my nice room I used to have. It does look better with new carpet that’s for sure. It’s very neat and organized. Thanks for the pictures, Bryson is growing up fast and looks like he is getting really big. Aurora looks like a good kid too. Don’t forget that kids like candy… I think that is how it goes.

Good Job on college Adelaide! It makes me happy that you are going to graduate. Sounds like Paul and Jake are doing well in college as well.


Elders Willoughby, Ray (Zone Leader), and McKellen.

Elders Willoughby, Ray (Zone Leader), and McKellen

Missionary Work

This week we did our best to continue teaching. Since our investigators are starting to be baptized we have increased our efforts to find more investigators. The Lord has continued to bless Altangerel and I with prepared people to hear the gospel. We are grateful for His kindness towards us.

ErdenMuhx is making progress. She brought her brother to church and went to the service project on Saturday. We are working with her to follow the word of wisdom. There are many temptations to not follow the word of wisdom since it’s in Mongolians’ culture to always give tea to guests when they come to your house. She is doing very well and we are glad for her efforts.

Hergui had her baptism interview. Her husband’s family doesn’t like the church and are strong in the Buddhist religion. Her husband is OK with her being baptized. She is always really good and keeps all her commitments.

I was very blessed with the gift of tongues this week. We were teaching one of our less active families about tithing. I was trying to say how my parents taught me to save first then buy later. They understood it as they need to save in order to go to the temple. Later we taught Xerlen about the temple too. My companion was going to set a goal with them to go to the temple. He said he already had one. We were very happy that he is making the sacrifice to do a great thing. The Mongolians travel to the Hong Kong temple by train.

Service Projects

Moving Member’s Fence

We did two big service projects this week. One was on Friday for a member in the branch. She needed her fence to be moved since the ground where it was no longer could support it. We had most of the members in our district get to work. As I was working it reminded me of my summer job. I had the thought that, “I worked all summer earning money for my mission digging fence holes, and now I’m on my mission digging fence holes.” It made me laugh. We were able to finish the project and it looked good.


Before the fence was moved.

Before the fence was moved.


Elders Willoughby, Ray (Zone Leader), and McKellen.

Working on the fence.

Moving the fence.

Moving the fence.

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City River Clean Up

The other project we attended was organized by several churches in Ulaanbaatar. We worked on cleaning up trash in the river. There were tons of people there. Our investigator came and helped us for a while. It was good to see people working in unity for a good cause. The river was really clean afterward. The story made it into the Church News.


Clean the river service project.

Clean the river service project.

Investigator ErgenMuhx came to the service project.

Investigator ErgenMuhx came to the service project

English Class

We continue to look for places to teach English. This week I taught a college class. I felt a little unqualified for the task but the class willingly talked to me in English. I teach as close as I can to 10 hours a week with preparation time added on to that. It is also helping me learn English better. I feel like I am improving so many of my abilities all at the same time. A mission is a great opportunity to learn life skills.


My eleventh grade English class

My eleventh grade English class

To Dad

I really like the rice and pasta mix they have. I’ll have to learn what they call it. I’ll take more pictures of food. Where I live a lot of the food is beginning to become westernized. There should be 12 or 13 pictures. If not let me know I’ll send some more next week. Some of the pictures I talked about in a past email. If you can’t figure it out which picture goes with what simply ask. :)

To Mom

I hope I answered all you questions. I will see if I can find out a way to send my camera chip home in the next month or so. I could use an English electronic dictionary but it’s not necessary. The package you sent was great. I used it to cook rice this week. The food I am cooking is starting to taste better. My companion said he was getting used to it. :)

To Steven and Jake

Thanks for the virus help. Fixed [the camera] right up. Thanks for the pictures as well. Keep working hard and thanks for all the things you do for me.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Related Posts

List of Daniel’s missionary posts.
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Past Pictures: 15 Free Dual Screen Wallpapers

Yesterday I was downloading a number of free dual screen wallpapers. It occurred to me to make some of my own. Here are fifteen of my first efforts. They can be used for any purpose, without attribution. Click on the images to access the 3000 x 1200 resolution photographs. Join in the voting and let me know which one you like best. I am keeping a tally at the end of the post. I used a Canon Powershot SD870 IS and a SD800 IS to take the photographs.

See also 12 Free Dual Screen Wallpapers.



Water fowl at the Utah Botanical Center in Kaysville.


A train somewhere between Keller and Kaysville.


Saint George Temple, Utah

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Missionary Dan Email #11 from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia


President Bush in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in 2005.

President Bush in Ulaanbaatar in 2005

Presented here are portions of Elder Daniel Willoughby’s eleventh email from the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission. If anyone wishes to send Daniel a message, write it in the comments and I will make sure he receives it.

Thanks for all the wonderful pictures. I got the package and my companion loved the tie. He said he is going to use it and the calendar as well. He said, “This calendar is best. My trainer had one.” I love how my companion says the word “best”. He says thank you. Thanks Mom for the calendar. I really enjoyed the peeps. They were good.

It looks and sounds like the house has been all fixed up. It is wonderful to hear how happy you are with it mom. You’ve worked hard and deserve it.

Missionary Work

Mongon Od was baptized by one of the members in the branch. At his house before his baptism he was trying on a suit. His Mom was helping him. It was a little too big for him and I smiled because it reminded me of my childhood. I was always wearing things that didn’t quite fit. It was exciting for the branch to have a baptism. The branch president and his counselor came and welcomed him to the branch. There were about 37 people who attended the baptism meeting. There were two others baptized from the other branch. We travel to a different building to baptize since the font in our building is broken. It’s about a 20 minute drive.

One of our investigators, Yyang, had great opposition from her family. We had to stop meeting with her. She was a good investigator. She did say though we can meet with her again in June. ErdenMohx, our other really good investigator, came to general conference. She also paid tithing. She is doing her best to prepare for baptism. She knows the Book of Mormon is true. We have been greatly blessed by the Lord to have her.

Many of our less active members are doing great. Many of the Mongolians struggle with the name Willoughy. Withhhoobooo. It at times is hilarious. One of our investigators is always saying it trying to learn how to say it right. Pyrvabbat.

English Class

I had many good classes this week. I was happy because my students are talking to me. After they get over the fear that I won’t understand them, they start talking freely. Many of them have good English. I am happy to help them learn English. It will bless their lives forever.

General Conference

I don’t think I ever remember General Conference being so amazing. The past three weeks I’ve been deeply pondering and studying Isaiah. I was figuring out the prophecies of the last days and then General Conference said almost everything I was studying and more. We are in the last days in fact we are at the time when all the prophecies are starting to be fulfilled. I think I know where the ten tribes of Israel are as well. I could very well be teaching them everyday. I’ve been thinking about their record of when Christ visited the lost tribes of Israel. It is will come forth maybe before of after Christ’s Coming? I am not sure. Either way when their record comes many will believe it and it will do wonderful things for missionary work. General Conference had one theme that occurred to me. Prepare for the second coming. We are on the Lords side. Prepare for it, I think it’s sooner than we realize.

Love, Elder Willoughby

P.S. I think I figured out the virus thing. It would have been good to know to lock my card. I know now. He he. I will send pictures next week, I ran out of time today.

Related Posts

List of Daniel’s missionary posts.
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Missionary Dan Email #10 from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia


My district with member family. Daniel second left.

My district with member family. Daniel second left.

Presented here are portions of Elder Daniel Willoughby’s tenth email from the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission. If anyone wishes to send Daniel a message, write it in the comments and I will make sure he receives it.

I always enjoy Dad’s sense of humor. I need to learn how to translate it into Mongolian. :) You did well on your talk Dad. Not bad for such an old man. [Rickety note: Referring to me as “old man” started when I danced around energetically one morning and said to Daniel, “Not bad for an old man.”] Thanks for all the letters and updates about what everyone is up to. It will be exciting for Mom to get her carpet finally. Ha ha. Dad is a good man Mom, he does good work.

Thank you Mom for all the things you taught me. I’m getting better at cooking rice. My first time I cooked rice here, I put way too much water in and it was overflowing. On Tuesday, I made some rice, potato, meat mixture that my companion taught me how to make. I knew it didn’t taste good but everyone in my district ate it. I almost laughed that they ate it, but then decided not to. I liked it. My companion is really good at cooking and he teaches me how to make things. I really respect that about him. He is a great cook.

Missionary Work

We had many changes over transfers. My companion and I stayed together, we were excited about that. There was a lot more American missionaries transferred to our branch. We got a new district leader. He interviewed Mongon Od on Sunday and he passed. We are excited to baptize him this Friday. My companion has been working with him for a long time. He is a good investigator. The Mongolians are really good people. I love working with them.

We talked to a man yesterday. He asked, “Do you really believe that Christ appeared to the American people?”
“Yes I do, the book of Mormon is true.” I replied.
He said, “I believe that God created things, but I don’t believe in the golden plates.”
He had met with missionaries before but because of work had to stop investigating. He will with time know of the truth. It will bring great peace to his life.

Mongolian Culture Observations

The greatest thing about Mongolians is that most of them are still nomadic. We had a great first lesson with Ehx Tabah and his father. We went back three days later to see if we could teach them again and they had moved to the country side. There ger was gone. They simply pack up their house and move in one day. We had a good referral from our investigator and wanted to teach her, but my companion said she was leaving to the country side the next day.

There is so many grocery stores around. They go and buy what they need that day. I think the concept of saving food for a couple of days is still new to my companion. It’s awesome that this part of their culture is still alive. It makes them wonderful missionaries, transfers are simply a part of their normal life. Packing up and moving really quickly is what a lot of the culture does anyway. I am in no way an expert on their culture, just simple observations.

To Mom

Yes I got your postcard, thank you. It makes me happy that Andrew [Steinicke] got my letter as well. I haven’t received a package yet. Keep up the good work. I love you.

P.S. My camera card has all sorts of viruses so I won’t be able to send pictures until I figure out how to get rid of them.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Related Posts

List of Daniel’s missionary posts.
Rickety signature.

Jesus Christ Teaches About Money

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This is my Easter Sunday talk I will give at church tomorrow. For a more traditional message watch the video.

Speaking In Church

I got a phone call from Brother Platt on April 1st asking me to speak in sacrament meeting. I thought it might be an April fool. When Brother Platt said that the bishopric needed a good speaker for Easter and they thought of me then I knew for sure it was an April fool.

On the 22 January 2009 President Obama signed an executive order that in part says, “…to be sure that our policies and practices comply with all obligations and are sufficient to ensure that individuals do not face torture and cruel treatment….” It appears that Brother Platt is not complying with this executive order — he’s still asking members to give talks.

My family enjoyed listening to all the sessions of General Conference. But half way through the last session on Sunday afternoon all of our family fell fast asleep. Two of Jake’s friends who were with us were most co-operative — they fell asleep also. We awoke to hear President Monson give a special message which we felt was just for us:

May we long remember that which we have heard during this conference. I remind you that the messages will be printed in next month’s Ensign and Liahona magazines. (Thomas S. Monson, “Until We Meet Again,” 179th Annual General Conference, April 2009)

The Life of Jesus Christ

I was requested to speak on the life of Jesus Christ. You all know a lot about His life. You know about the birth of Jesus; the friends of Jesus (John the Baptist and the twelve Disciples); the teachings of Jesus (the Sermon on the Mount and Parables); the miracles of Jesus (His power over nature, disease, and death); and the trials of Jesus (death, burial, and resurrection). In the time I have alloted I will concentrate mostly on the parables of Jesus and what he taught us about money. I will quote from our leaders and also I will add my own two shekels.

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Missionary Dan Email #9 from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia


Daniel at a recent baptism with branch members

Daniel (in blue tie) at a recent baptism with branch members

Presented here are portions of Elder Daniel Willoughby’s ninth email from the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission. If anyone wishes to send Daniel a message, write it in the comments and I will make sure he receives it.

Thanks for the wonderful letters. Wahoo Andrew Steinicke made SBO! I knew he would. I sent a letter of how to run for SBO and tips to follow like two or three weeks ago. It will probably get there in a week or so. It was a good letter, seems like he already knows how to get elected. Mom, when you give the letter to him, can you tell him to keep those things in mind through out his whole service as SBO? It will help him have a great time. Keep up the wonderful attitude. As Thomas S Monson said in December, “Become more focused on people than on things.”

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