Well I am here in Choibalsan. It is wonderful and I love it already. We actually have cars here. I attached a picture of our car. It works very good, but we walk most of the time. The other picture is the sunrise when we went out for a little walk to see the river in the morning with my district.
The day after I got here we went walking around. It felt very peaceful and quiet. I knew that was probably because there are few cars and no buses, but it felt so very different. Completely different… I wondered why… Then I realized. There are no mountains here. It is completely flat. That was a great discovery! Afterward we continued walking around. While walking, I felt like some burden had been lifted off my back. I was so relaxed and felt so good. I thought about why I felt that way the entire day. I couldn’t accept that just because I came here some burden would be gone from my back. Then I realized… I wasn’t wearing my backpack. Ha ha. That was funny. My backpack came later with my luggage by truck. It really isn’t that heavy either.
My companion is Elder Armstrong. He is from Hawaii and is 26 years old. This is his last half transfer. He goes home in December. He is a good companion and we get along really good. We have quite a few investigators that are progressing rapidly. It was fun to meet everyone. We had a wonderful experience when we taught an investigator that had met with my companion before, but had just returned from the country side. We taught her the first lesson and asked her how it made her feel. She said she felt feelings of peace and comfort. That made me feel very happy and thankful. Also when we asked her if she had any questions she asked one after another after another. She told us that she had been reading the Book of Mormon while she had been in the country side. That was one of the best things she could have said. After resolving the questions she set her baptismal date.
This whole week the church hasn’t been allowed to hold any sort of meeting at the church. The government isn’t allowing it because of the swine flu or what’s it called. So we have had lots more time to go out and meet people for about the next week or two. This Sunday there wasn’t any Sacrament Meeting at church, so all the elders in my district were given permission to take the sacrament to all members in our area. I think every elder in the mission did the same thing actually. It was a good experience. We gathered members that lived close to each other and administered the sacrament eight times to probably forty people. I felt really good to be able to give people the chance to renew their covenants, but at the same time I’m glad we don’t always go to everyone’s house to give them the sacrament. I felt the spirit strongly as we prepared and blessed the sacrament. I know that it is a very important ordinance and covenant that we make.
It was strange on Tuesday it was really warm. We didn’t even wear coats. Then Wednesday it got freezing. Well not that cold actually just around a mere -15 degrees F. That was only in the evening though. It hasn’t been that cold lately. When the wind blows it pierces your skin etc. If I am wearing enough clothes and my coat it doesn’t affect me much though. I am excited for when my eye lashes will start to have ice on them and all that good stuff. That comes in December and January when it is around -35 degrees F. My companion said you can’t tell the difference between -20 and -40. It is just plain cold. Anyway I need to get going. Thanks for the pictures Dad!
Congratulations on losing all that weight. I still weigh what I did when I left. A while ago I was 175 pounds, but then I dropped right back down to 165. It is impossible to gain weight here. I am surprised I still weigh the same. My apartment is the same. It has rooms and walls. We have a cleaner that comes once a week. That was exciting to find out. She is a member that has been to the temple. So for the first time in my life since I was eight years old someone else is going to do my laundry. That’s cool. Ummm…. Things that I need. I need a new watch battery CR2016. That would be really cool to get. Nothing else that I can think of. Thanks Mom, I love you!
Thanks for the love and support.
Love Elder Willoughby.
Presented have been portions of an email from Elder Daniel Willoughby serving in 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.