I was happy to receive a call on Thanksgiving day from Bayarsaihan. She is a native Mongolian that met her husband at BYU Hawaii and moved to Vancouver several years ago. I knew that she lived here, but despite all my efforts to contact her, I was never successful.
She was told by a missionary serving in her ward that I would love to talk to her. On Saturday I called her and talked for 10 to 15 minutes in Mongolian and she invited us to her house to have some buuz (Mongolian food). I was so happy that I was able to understand still and that I hadn’t lost it all with the 8 months of not speaking to a native.
Today is very exciting because we are going to her house and enjoying some food and my companions get to see how wonderful the culture is. It truly has made me very happy. I look forward to meeting more Mongolians in Utah as I hear there are many there.
Thanksgiving dinner was great. We had tons of food and pie. And then we had more food and pie. Followed by some more pie. Then we just had some pie. The next day we had Zone Conference. President had all missionaries at Zone Conference for the first time stand up and had their companion introduce them. It was fun introducing two.
I bore my final testimony to all the missionaries there and enjoyed the things I was able to learn. I was asked how I achieved success throughout my mission and how was I able to do it. I said simply, “1. Rely on the Spirit and the Lord 2. Work hard! There is no substitute.” It was great to be seen as a great missionary to others, even though I have so many things I can improve on.
We continue to work and find people to teach. We set a date with Phillip for his baptism on Jan. 15. That was very exciting to see him make that step of commitment. His dad and step mom are Mormon and call him on the phone and follow up with the lessons we teach him. He was referred to us back in September and has been very busy, but now is making great progress.
I am also happy with the progress my companions have been making. I need to get them to a point where they can take over the area and be each other’s first companion past their trainer. It is such a crazy situation, but has been going great.
As it so happens my zone’s temple day is next Tuesday and I’ll be going to the temple again the following Tuesday in Kennewick with President and Sister Greer before my flight. I am really looking forward to spending some extra time there. It will be a great time for reflection.
I know this is the work of God and that it continues forward. He truly loves all of His children. Thanks for all the support and good luck with the wedding plans.
Love, Elder Willoughby
Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.