Missionary Dan Email #3 from Atlanta, Georgia

Presented here are portions of Elder Daniel Willoughby’s third email from the Georgia Atlanta Mission. Daniel’s departure for Mongolia has been delayed.

Elders Willoughby, Kwarteng, Mitchell, and Warner in Alabama.
Elders Willoughby, Kwarteng, Mitchell, and Warner

Thanks for all the pictures. Bryson has hair! Wow he is growing up fast and I think there will be a new baby soon as well. Its fun to see the family. I enjoy seeing the pictures. I realize how blessed I have been to have a great family. I love all of you very much and thanks for everything you did for me.

President Anderson only allows one email [per week] so this is the only one I can write so I will address separate people within the email. :)

Yesterday we heard we are leaving. On Thursday at 3:00 our plane leaves, that’s all I’ve heard. It is exciting to be leaving but I’ve also learned to love these people. They are great and I’m sad I couldn’t spend more time here. I am called to Mongolia and I’m more than excited to get to work there! I know I was sent here for a reason and the lessons I learned here in Alabama I will continue to reflect on the rest of my mission. Also the rest of my life. I learned a great deal about how this is God’s work and I am His servant. He decides if He’ll use me and I must do all I can to be prepared for when that moment comes.

To Jake:

Yeah I realized that a lot of preachers here rely simply on the grace of Christ and they will be saved. If that were true life would be utterly pointless. We are saved by grace only after all we can do. There is a lot of Baptist preachers that have churches as a business. So they listen politely then they go on forever. They are God’s children and He’ll provide them with the choice to accept the Gospel somehow.

To Mom:

You decide… Like I said I can only send one email and obedience is most important to be a good missionary for the Lord. I am striving to be exactly obedient. I hope the package gets here in time, otherwise who knows what we’ll do. Also with the picture everyday I’m going to start slowly smiling then by the end of my mission I’ll have this big smile. He he. I should have took more pictures here but I did get a few.

To MTC teachers:

So I left my Book of Mormon in the class room on the shelf. In it are two pictures of my family that are laminated. Could you please find them and send them to me somehow? I’m sure my Mom will pay you. :) Thanks. If it’s not possible I will do something else.

Love, Elder Willoughby.

If anyone wishes to ask Daniel a question or to send him a message, write it in the comments and I will make sure he receives it.

Updates

11 Feb 2009 This evening I received an email from the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission indicating that the missionaries’ departure has been delayed again until next Thursday.
13 Feb 2009 I just heard, via the mother of a missionary, that the departure may be for next Wednesday. Apparently the visas did not get to the right people in time to make the travel arrangements.

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Missionary Dan Email #2 from Atlanta, Georgia

Presented here are portions of Elder Daniel Willoughby’s second email from the Georgia Atlanta Mission. Daniel’s departure for Mongolia has been delayed.

Pointing to Mongolia on the MTC map.
Mongolia on the MTC Map. Dan 5th from left.

.
My teachers want to have a forward of my emails so can you add [their email addresses]? And also Brother Rampton who was in my branch presidency wants a forward. :)

I am in Lenett in Alabama and I have no idea what our address is. It’s on that letter that the mission home had us write when we first got here. Maybe they didn’t send it yet. My companion is really good and is working hard to become a good missionary. He is from Ghana which is really cool. He said he lived close to a temple there and his dad is in the MTC Presidency. He is willing to put in the effort to work hard.

Our apartment is great! Elder Warner and I are on splits with two missionaries here. I’m with Elder Kwarteng and Elder Warner is with Elder Mitchell. They basically split the existing area in half so we are getting a lot accomplished. When we follow the Spirit I can see how many have been prepared to receive the gospel. We live in an apartment owned by a member I think.

The people are great and ready to hear the gospel. I had an interesting experience where I was talking to someone on the street. He said how do you know the Book of Mormon is true. I said because I read and prayed about it and I received a witness. Then he went on to say, “Have you looked into your heart to see if you are saved?” To that I stared straight into his eyes and said I know it’s true. Just like PMG said, it’s hard to question a heart filled testimony that has the Spirit behind it. He said, “No it’s not,” somewhat childish like. It made me sad because he doesn’t realize the happiness the gospel can bring to him.

There are hundreds of churches here. 2 Nephi 28 is a perfect description. I have a desire to help Heavenly Father reach his children. I know he loves all of them and wants to help them. The people have a lot of background on the Bible so its a wonderful foundation to start with. There are many that are ready to accept the gospel here and when they read the Book of Mormon it has the power to convert them. I know this because that’s how I was converted.

Thomas was someone the Spirit helped us find. At first he rejected to listen to us. We were waiting to teach someone who was supposed to come home soon. I felt that we should just wait in the car. Thomas at first said he didn’t believe in God. After awhile he came and said, “Well as long as you are waiting you might as well preach to me.” It turns out he used to preach but he stopped because he realized that he was teaching too much the teachings of men. He said he has probably read every religious book out there but when we sat down and read the Book of Mormon with him he said something like, “Nothing has quite explained Christ as this book does.” He has great potential and we are continuing to work with him. I know that if he reads the Book of Mormon he will be converted and baptized.

It’s been good to hear from all of you and I am grateful to serve a mission. My testimony has grown so much this one week I have been here. I know this is God’s work and it is an honor to be an instrument in his hands. I will continue to work my best to improve myself so he can use me better. Thanks for all that you do for me and for the pictures, Steven. I love you mom and dad. I love Steven, Sarah, Paul, and Jake too, in no specific order. :)

Thanks MTC teachers, I truly learned a lot from you that has already helped me.

Love, Elder Willoughby.

If anyone wishes to ask Daniel a question or to send him a message, write it in the comments and I will make sure he receives it.

Related Posts

List of Daniel’s missionary posts.
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Missionary Dan Email #1 from Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta Georgia.
Atlanta, Georgia

Presented here are portions of Elder Daniel Willoughby’s first email from the Georgia Atlanta Mission. Daniel’s departure for Mongolia has been delayed.

I made it to Georgia and the plane ride was great. We had the transfer meeting today and I met my trainer. It is his preparation day today so I am able to email. The mission president is really nice and I sent a letter to you that should come soon. We haven’t done anything yet so far except drive. I’m somewhere in Alabama. The people have a different accent. It’s really exciting to be here and I am excited to be able to talk to others. It will be a good experience. My companion is from Africa. He went to school for three years before his mission at BYU studying Computer engineering. I told him my whole family basically has done things with computers. He seems really nice and a good missionary. I met one of the members too, Brother Wilson, who gave us a ride. I am really happy to be out in the mission field, I want to work hard here and do as much as possible as I have no idea how long we’ll be here. I love you all and hope everything is going great. Thanks for all the pictures.

Love, Elder Willoughby.

If anyone wishes to ask Daniel a question or to send him a message, write it in the comments and I will make sure he receives it.
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Missionary Dan Email from the MTC #11


Daniel's letter in Mongolian.

Daniel’s letter in Mongolian

Presented here are portions of Elder Daniel Willoughby’s eleventh email from the Missionary Training Center. Daniel’s departure for Mongolia has been delayed. Instead he leaves on Tuesday for Atlanta, Georgia while waiting for his visa for Mongolia.

Wow Adelaide! There is no nice way to put this but your stomach is much bigger than I remember it. :) It’s exciting that there will be another baby soon.

Jake, thank you so much! Yes, send all the advice possible, I am seeking as much knowledge as I can get. I couldn’t ask for a better idea. Your experience is one that I had just yesterday. I don’t recall a time where I bore my testimony that someone could find out for themselves of the truth of the Book of Mormon more. I invited the lady three times to meet with the missionaries but when she found out we worship on Sunday she stopped listening. She believes firmly that we need to keep all of God’s commandments but she thinks Saturday is the real sabbath. She doesn’t belong to a religion — she is searching the Bible for truths. I couldn’t have been more excited for her and my companion said I said, “You found it!! This is it!! This is Christ’s true church.” Something like that. I think I could teach the first lesson better. She kept showing all these interesting things in the Bible. I thought of a few ways I could maybe prove her wrong but the Spirit prompted me to just bear my testimony that I know this is Christ’s true church. Perhaps I was just meant to plant a seed. I have no doubt that she knows I firmly believe and know this is Christ’s church and that she can know for herself by reading the Book of Mormon.

As you are saying I know I could have talked to more people but I wanted so badly for her to realize how close she was to finding all her answers to her questions, that I think I ignored some promptings from the Spirit. The really long phone call had some good in it. She wanted to send me something in the mail so I gave her my address. The Spirit prompted me to commit her to visit Mormon.org and send in her letter something she learned about our church. I know that if she continues searching she will find the truth and I promised her that.

Thanks Jake, I have really searched out the question you told me to. I don’t have the time now to tell you my answer but I really am thankful for the help you are giving me.

Mom, sounds like you are staying extremely busy. Kelsey really likes the Davis Park ward. Thanks for the encouragement — it’s great to hear. My leg is awesome. An elder here runs track and yesterday he “made” me run a mile really fast. He is insanely good at track. He paced me to run a 5:31 mile on the crazy weird indoor track here. That’s nine seconds off of my PR for the mile so I think my leg is completely healed. I have lost five pounds which is weird.

So everyone knows I am temporally assigned to Atlanta, Georgia. It’s so exciting to be able to go out and do missionary work! I know I am called to go to Mongolia so I am not worried about getting there soon. All I truly want to do is show Heavenly Father how much I love Him by doing all I can to help His children. I lack many of the skills of a great missionary but I rely on Him to teach me what to do and say. It doesn’t matter where I serve as long as I can be serving others. I know there is a reason for everything and I may not understand all of it at first. The Lord has a great purpose for me and I will be an instrument in His hands.

Thanks for all you do family! I love you all and I am always grateful for your example.

Love, Elder Willoughby.

If any reader wishes to ask Daniel a question or to send him a message, write it in the comments and I will make sure he receives it.
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