Archives for January 2009

The Super Bowl Ad NBC Rejected

By now most of you will have heard about the ad that NBC disallowed from the Super Bowl. I rather like it and I am thrilled to be able to show the ad here at Rickety. There will be a few less viewers than the Super Bowl but you get to see it ahead of time. Also, as an added bonus, the ad will not be interrupted by any football and you won’t have to stay home from church to watch it. Produced by and as of today the ad had generated 6,475 comments on their website and 3,344 on YouTube. Here is the ad on YouTube.


20 Feb 2009 Perhaps the title of this post should now read: The Ad That CNN Rejected. The ad was submitted to CNN to be broadcast following President Obama’s first State of the Union Address — scheduled for next Tuesday. The response from CNN? A representative from CNN wrote:

Thank you for your patience. We have decided to pass on this creative. CNN doesn’t accept advocacy ads that portray personal decisions in a manner that suggests a position in favor of the advocacy message, without having permission of the persons involved.

There’s not much we can do about it except to write to CNN President Jonathan Klein.
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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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Reagan and Obama: Contrasting Views of Government

Peruse these contrasting quotes from President Obama’s inaugural speech and President Reagan’s first inaugural address. Notice how with Obama the government is not the problem whereas with Reagan the blame is placed on government and the elites. Obama spells out three entitlements the government should give the people whereas Reagan advocates self-rule and confidence in the people. Obama and Reagan both mention important points: Obama wants the light of day on government and Reagan stresses that no one group should be singled out to pay a higher price.

President Barack Obama

…not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works.

The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.
President Barack Obama

President Ronald Reagan

Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library

…government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.
President Ronald Reagan

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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 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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United States Total Fertility Rate Increases

Bryson and Grandpa

Bryson and Grandpa

Born in the U.S.A.

Recently I wrote about The Falling Fertility of Europe. Now it is the turn of the United States. The U.S. has one of the highest fertility rates in the West. The most recently available fertility statistics from the government are for 2006. Take a look at the table below and then join me in a discussion of what some of the numbers may mean. In the table below Birth rate refers to live births per 1,000 population. Teen birth rate is live births to women aged 15-19 per 1,000 of women aged 15-19 in the population. Fertility rate is live births per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years. The TFR (Total Fertility Rate) of a population is the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime. Bear in mind that the replacement fertility rate is roughly 2.1 births per woman for most industrialized countries.

Highs and Lows

By sorting the TFR column we can see that 25 states have a Total Fertility Rate of 2.1 or higher. This is the replacement rate of the population. Of course because of immigration the population is increasing. Through the sort we can also see that Vermont has the lowest TFR and Utah the highest. Why is this? In Utah the high birth rate is undoubtedly due to the high percentage of Mormons in the state, who tend to have larger families. Vermont’s low birth rate, according to the Times Argus, is attributed to its racial homogeneity and high education levels among women — factors not easily changed by government intervention. Hispanic women, who comprise less than one percent of the state’s population, statistically have higher birth rates.

The Problem of Low Birth Rates

Consider what the Vermont Governor Douglas has to say:

Employers cite adequacy of the workforce as one major concern for future success here. We have employers who have created good jobs and want to create more, but they need a qualified workforce to take those jobs.

In the last year the number of people in Vermont’s workforce fell by 2,000. The low birth rate is a component of a much bigger problem. The median age of Vermont’s workforce, at 42.3 years old, is the highest in the nation. In the next twenty years the workforce is expected to shrink annually as those wage-earners reach retirement age. Because surrounding states also have low birth rates the competition for a shrinking pool of workers will become intense.

United States 2006 Fertility Rates by State

Click ONCE on column headers to sort.

State Birth rate Teen birth rate Fertility rate TFR
United States 14.1 41.4 68.4 2.10
Alabama 13.7 53.5 67.0 2.03
Alaska 16.4 44.3 76.7 2.32
Arizona 16.6 62.0 81.6 2.44
Arkansas 14.6 62.3 72.2 2.18
California 15.4 39.9 71.8 2.18
Colorado 14.9 43.8 70.2 2.11
Connecticut 11.9 23.5 58.8 1.90
Delaware 14.0 41.9 67.3 2.09
District of Columbia 14.7 48.4 58.4 1.70
Florida 13.1 45.2 67.3 2.09
Georgia 15.9 54.2 72.4 2.23
Hawaii 14.8 40.5 73.9 2.23
Idaho 16.5 39.2 80.9 2.42
Illinois 14.1 39.5 66.8 2.03
Indiana 14.0 43.5 68.3 2.08
Iowa 13.6 32.9 69.1 2.14
Kansas 14.8 42.0 73.3 2.23
Kentucky 13.8 54.6 67.1 2.05
Louisiana 14.8 53.9 70.6 2.11
Maine 10.7 25.8 54.5 1.77
Maryland 13.8 33.6 64.2 2.01
Massachusetts 12.1 21.3 56.9 1.78
Michigan 12.6 33.8 61.7 1.93
Minnesota 14.2 27.9 68.7 2.14
Mississippi 15.8 68.4 75.7 2.26
Missouri 13.9 45.7 67.9 2.06
Montana 13.2 39.6 69.5 2.13
Nebraska 15.1 33.4 75.1 2.29
Nevada 16.0 55.8 77.9 2.36
New Hampshire 10.9 18.7 53.4 1.75
New Jersey 13.2 24.9 64.5 2.05
New Mexico 15.3 64.1 74.7 2.23
New York 13.0 25.7 61.1 1.89
North Carolina 14.4 49.7 69.0 2.13
North Dakota 13.6 26.5 68.7 2.14
Ohio 13.1 40.0 64.7 1.99
Oklahoma 15.1 59.6 74.7 2.20
Oregon 13.2 35.7 65.4 1.96
Pennsylvania 12.0 31.0 60.6 1.93
Rhode Island 11.6 27.8 54.6 1.72
South Carolina 14.4 53.0 69.6 2.14
South Dakota 15.2 40.2 78.5 2.40
Tennessee 14.0 54.7 67.5 2.07
Texas 17.0 63.1 78.8 2.36
Utah 21.0 34.0 94.1 2.63
Vermont 10.4 20.8 52.2 1.69
Virginia 14.1 35.2 66.3 2.05
Washington 13.6 33.4 65.2 1.98
West Virginia 11.5 44.9 59.4 1.82
Wisconsin 13.0 30.9 64.0 2.01
Wyoming 14.9 47.3 75.9 2.24


Higher Teen Birth Rates

2006 saw significant increases of teen birth rates in 26 states. My table doesn’t show previous year’s statistics but an article in USA Today has a useful map comparing 2005 with 2006. Some blame the increase on a more sexualized culture and greater acceptance of births to unmarried women. Others say abstinence-only sex education and a possible de-emphasis on birth control may play a part. According to USA Today, Sarah Brown, CEO of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, says she is less inclined to believe abortion is driving higher teen birth rates and suggests that increases in high-profile unmarried births in Hollywood, movies and even politics is a significant factor for impressionable teens. Sarah says:

In the last couple of years, we had Jamie Lynn Spears. We had Juno and we had Bristol Palin. Those three were in 2007 and 2008 and not in 2005 to 2006, but they point to that phenomenon.

Total Fertility Rate Details

The TFR was 2.1 births per woman in 2006, a two percent increase compared with 2005 (2.05) and the highest reported since 1971 (2.27). This is the first year the U.S. TFR has been above replacement since 1971. From 1990 to 1997, the TFR decreased substantially (from 2.08 to 1.97), but has generally increased since 1998. The increase in the TFR in 2006 reflects the increase in birth rates for nearly all age groups, especially for those women aged 15–19 and 20–24 years. The TFR also increased for nearly all race and Hispanic origin groups between 2005 and 2006 with the rate increasing 1 percent for non-Hispanic white, 3 percent for Hispanic, and 5 percent for non-Hispanic black women. (Source: National Center for Health Statistics PDF)


If not for immigration, the U.S. population would merely be replacing itself. In future years the birth rates will likely be declining, along with world birth rates in general. Because many have been indoctrinated with the “population explosion” myth it will be difficult to convince sufficient numbers that there is even a problem with low birth rates. What is required is an emphasis on family and the preciousness of children. Governments need to be friendly towards traditional marriage and encourage all to support family life.

External Articles

This list is updated occasionally, with newer additions listed first.
Census: Number of U.S. youth shrinks — Decline of more than 260,000 from 2010.
U.S. population grows at slowest rate since 1940s — A growth rate of 0.92 percent.
A Connecticut Town Adjusts to a Graying Population — Connecticut’s median age was 40 in 2010.
Is economy best birth control? US births dip again — Total Fertility Rate fell to 1.9 children.
Will the housing bust produce a baby bust? — A likely contributor to a baby bust.
Older Populations Soar as Age Trend Accelerates — Eastern and “rust belt” areas are aging rapidly.
Census reveals plummeting U.S. birthrates — There are now more households with dogs than children.
Where have all the children gone? — Number of kids declining across the country.
Census: New Hampshire population aging, growing — Median age jumps from 37 to 41.
The Baby Bust of 2009 in the United States — Births fell from 4,316,233 (2007) to 4,131,019 (2009).
Driven by the Recession, a Baby Bust Hits the U.S. — Threatens already-strained social programs.
Report: U.S. births hit all-time high — More babies in 2007 in the U.S. than ever before.
Babies — Expensive, Intrusive and Too Few for the Economy — $286,000 per baby.
3 Utah metro areas among fastest growing in U.S. — Utah’s continuing baby boom credited.
Birthrate drops in multiple states — Pregnancy falloff began months before economy’s troubles.
Population drop-off vexes Maine residents — Stems mostly from young people leaving.
The Family: The Hope for the Future of Nations — Happiness and the future is linked to children.
U.S. Birth Rate Decline Linked to Recession — An analysis of state fertility.
400 Million People Can’t Be Wrong — Why America’s new baby boom bodes well for our future.
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Utah Solar Farm Has Potential

Dixie Solar Farm

I read last January this interesting story in the Deseret News about a Dixie solar farm. It is not quite ready for the masses but should appeal to early adopters and the environmentally sensitive. With the tax credits and the future cost of electricity sure to rise I would be tempted to buy into a similar project if it was offered locally.

More Power To You

The city of St. George Energy Services Department and Dixie Escalante Electric have built a large solar photo-voltaic facility, allowing residents to purchase solar power to supplement the energy supplied by more conventional means. This takes advantage of the 310 days a year of sunlight, increases the use of renewable sources, provides local power, and increases sustainability and energy security for the growing community.

Own Your Own Power Plant

Residents of St. George can now invest their money locally, lower their carbon footprint, and control a portion of their power supply. They can purchase a whole or half SunSmart solar unit of 1 kilowatt installed solar PV capacity and own it for 19 years. Thereafter the panels will be replaced or repaired with the purchaser having the choice to pay the cost. The economies of scale make SunSmart an affordable, maintenance-free way to take advantage of solar power. The power generated by the SunSmart solar farm will be sent to one of the city’s substations and then the power is transported throughout the community via existing distribution circuits.

SunSmart solar panels using existing distribution systems

SunSmart solar panels using existing distribution systems

Solar Credits

Those that own one of the 466 black and gray solar panel units pay no more fees after the initial $6,000 and receive a credit on their monthly power bill. One St. George resident reported in December last year a solar credit of $3.90. A small amount but as electric rates increase in the future, the value of the energy credit will also increase. Each unit is priced to cover the cost of the equipment and installation. The city is not making any money off of this project; all of the savings go to the purchaser. By having a solar farm of this size the purchaser benefits from the economies of scale. Residents have a limit of four units or eight half units that they can buy. One unit will generate about 140 kWh per month and has a guaranteed minimum output of 800 kW hours a year. When I checked today the solar farm had produced 466 kW hours of power. Not bad for the dead of winter. Check to see how much power was produced today.

Sunsmart solar panels

Sunsmart solar panels

Tax Credits

There is a one-time Utah income tax credit of 25% of the purchase price up to $2,000 but no Federal tax credit. The person receiving the tax credit must live in St. George and they must also be receiving the credit of energy. The city worked with the state legislature to make it possible for homeowners to receive state tax credits for renewable energy investment not on the homeowner’s own property. St. George is the only city that currently offers a program that takes advantage of this tax credit for an off-site system. In a refreshing move by the city, it has not forced anyone to pay for the project if they did not want to be a part of it.

Environmental Impact

Every kilowatt hour of solar electricity produced offsets 1.8 grams of nitrous oxides, 0.9 grams of sulfur dioxide, and 986 grams of carbon dioxide, if the kWh was produced at an average Utah coal-fired plant. The offset in carbon dioxide is equivalent to driving 2.2 fewer miles.

The Guv’nor Likes Solar

At the SunSmart solar facility opening ceremony Governor Huntsman cranks out the puns with the words charge and potential:

Utah is poised to lead the charge in energy efficiency, renewable and alternative energy development with new and innovative technologies. Projects like St. George’s SunSmart are the perfect example of our state’s great potential being put into action.

During the late 20th century, Utah had already begun its journey on renewable energy with the development of hydroelectric plants in canyons adjacent to population centers. At present, renewable resources account for about 923 gigawatts of electric generation capacity in the state. This includes solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydro production. The state has supported the growth of renewable energy by funding such projects including the installation of solar panels on the visitor’s center at Goblin Valley State Park, the headquarters for the Utah Department of Natural Resources, and Yuba State Park. The state continues to encourage renewable energy through direct purchase, policy, and incentives.

I agree with the Governor. We have the land, the entrepreneurs, the technology, and plenty of sunlight. With the current move to solar Utah’s star is indeed shining.
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The Falling Fertility of Europe

Europe's birthrate is falling

Europe's birthrate is falling

Total Fertility Rate

In Europe there are significant decreases in birthrates. The replacement fertility rate is roughly 2.1 births per woman for most industrialized countries. The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of a population is the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime. All of the European countries have a TFR less than the replacement rate of 2.1. The average is 1.53 and Lithuania records the lowest TFR at a rickety 1.22 (see the table at the end of this post).


So why are women in Europe having less babies? A New York Times article No Babies? attempts to answer this question. It concludes that there would seem to be two models for achieving higher fertility: the neosocialist Scandinavian system and the laissez-faire American one. The socialist model helps families with generous government support. The U.S. has a much more flexible work environment which can be helpful to families. In the article, Arnstein Aassve, a sociologist, put it this way:

You might say that in order to promote fertility, your society needs to be generous or flexible. The U.S. isn’t very generous, but it is flexible.

The article briefly mentions that some blame the low birthrate to secularism. That “the West has divorced itself from God and church and embraced a self-interested and ultimately self-destructive lifestyle abetted above all by modern birth control.”

Religion and Fertility

In 2007 the TFR in the United States rose to 2.1, the highest since the 1960s. A factor contributing to this healthy birthrate is the conservative and religiously oriented nature of American society, which encourages larger families. Closer to my home, Utah has a TFR of 2.6, attributed to the 69% Mormon population that traditionally have larger families primarily motivated by religious belief. Even closer to home, my wife and I have five children. Prior to my adult conversion to the Gospel I had planned for no children. As a member of the Church my views on children changed as I learned about the purpose of life and why God has placed us here on Earth.

A Warning

Not only in Europe but world-wide there are declining birthrates. The world TFR has fallen to 2.61 in 2008 from 2.80 in 2000. But Europe is in the most critical situation. Carl Haub of the Population Reference Bureau, in discussing Spain and Italy said:

Maybe tinkering with the retirement age and making other economic adjustments is good. But you can’t go on forever with a total fertility rate of 1.2. If you compare the size of the 0-to-4 and 29-to-34 age groups in Spain and Italy right now, you see the younger is almost half the size of the older. You can’t keep going with a completely upside-down age distribution, with the pyramid standing on its point. You can’t have a country where everybody lives in a nursing home.

And a more direct warning from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets. (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

Children are so often seen as boat anchors, a drag on society, and consumers of resources. But children are the future. Only by populations increasing into the millions have many advances been possible. Let’s not throw it all away.

European 2008 Total Fertility Rate by Country

Click ONCE on column headers to sort.

Country TFR
Albania 2.02
Andorra 1.32
Armenia 1.35
Austria 1.38
Azerbaijan 2.05
Belarus 1.23
Belgium 1.65
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1.24
Bulgaria 1.40
Croatia 1.41
Cyprus 1.79
Czech Republic 1.23
Denmark 1.74
Estonia 1.42
Finland 1.73
France 1.98
Georgia 1.44
Germany 1.41
Greece 1.36
Hungary 1.34
Iceland 1.91
Ireland 1.85
Italy 1.30
Kazakhstan 1.88
Latvia 1.29
Liechtenstein 1.51
Lithuania 1.22
Luxembourg 1.78
Macedonia 1.58
Malta 1.51
Moldova 1.26
Monaco 1.75
Montenegro 1.83
Netherlands 1.66
Norway 1.78
Poland 1.27
Portugal 1.49
Romania 1.38
Russia 1.40
San Marino 1.35
Serbia 1.69
Slovakia 1.34
Slovenia 1.27
Spain 1.30
Sweden 1.67
Switzerland 1.44
Turkey 1.87
Ukraine 1.25
United Kingdom 1.66
Average 1.53



CIA World Factbook
European Demographic Data Sheet 2008 (PDF)
Population Growth Rates — Pick your own countries to compare with Google Public Data Explorer

External Articles

This list is updated occasionally, with newer additions listed first.
The vanishing workforce — Germany will lose 20% of its workers.
Lithuanian census reveals population slump — Dropped 10% in a decade.
Germany Faces Economic Downturn with Falling Births — Aging also a factor.
The new baby boom — Average number of children a woman has is 2.8
Spain’s cash-for-kids plan fails to boost birth rate
Hungary Population Drops to Less Than 10 Million for First Time Since 1960 Population Counter — Watch the German population decreasing.
Latvia: The Demographic Price Of Procrastination
Population Consequentialism
In need of a miracle
Eastern Germany Confronts Skilled Labor Shortage

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Missionary Dan Email from the MTC #10

Elders Willoughby, Apo, and Nelson at the Provo temple.

Elders Willoughby, Apo, and Nelson

Presented here are portions of Elder Daniel Willoughby’s tenth email from the Missionary Training Center. Daniel’s departure for Mongolia has been delayed.

Thanks Steven for the pictures! They are wonderful. I especially liked the picture of Sarah and Derek playing the Wii with the baby in the background by himself laying on the couch. He he. I really enjoy how you take pictures Steven, it lets me be a part of what happened because they aren’t just posing all the time.

As for our visa delays I am not exactly sure what it means that we are going to be recognized as ministers. As you know, we’ve been allowed into the country on the fact that we are just English teachers. With the little change, I think all it is, is that we are recognized that we are from the LDS Church. We still teach English and no I do not believe we can tract. As of what my teachers have said it is getting a little less strict on when you can mention the Church to people. As far as I know we still wait for them to ask us why we are there and then we can tell them. The last Mongolian elders went through a similar thing. I really have no idea what being recognized as a minister is so don’t quote me on it. As far as I know nothing has changed as to what missionaries are in Mongolia.

[I will guess that] the new baby will be born Feb. 11 at 12:45 am. Sorry Adelaide. :)

We’ve continued our studies of the gospel and language. We are learning more about “Invitations to learn” that we say to people we meet on the street. I personally love the MTC and am grateful for every moment I’ve had here. I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t enjoy the MTC. Elder Holland come for his third time to speak to us Tuesday. Each time I gain so much more from what he says.

I didn’t really unpack that much so I think I could be ready to leave in like 20 minutes. The temple is open still and we get to go today. We finished off our ESL training and received our diplomas.

I had a great experience in the RC. I received a call from a man who was calling to thank an elder for helping him to be baptized. The elder was called to the MTC because of a disability (I think he can’t walk very well). The man wanted to thank the elder personally for all that he did for helping in the process. He expressed to me how much the elders meant to him. It was really exciting to hear that the work is moving forward.

Thanks for all the wonderful advice Paul, it has helped a lot when I’ve talked to others in the RC. Thanks to Jake as well. I love you Mom and Dad thanks for being great parents.

Love, Elder Willoughby.
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Missionary Dan Email from the MTC #9

Dan and Elder Van Weezep at the Provo temple.

Elder Van Weezep with Dan at the Provo temple

Presented here are portions of Elder Daniel Willoughby’s ninth email from the Missionary Training Center. Daniel leaves for Mongolia next week.

Today has been quite the week. We started ESL training and things. Last week we hadn’t done anything yet so I didn’t say anything. We learned how to teach English grammar from like three classes then they had us teach the missionaries that are learning English. I really enjoyed it. Since I already know English it’s not very hard to teach it. We mainly introduce a new topic and then have them practice. We get over the “I’m not correcting them because we don’t want to be rude” feeling and always correct sentences, pronunciation, etc. We are also careful not to overwhelm them and keep it simple. Similar to how we teach the gospel. It has really helped me with my language. It allows me to see what it is like for my teacher teaching me Mongolian.

So my mission president only allows one email a week so I can’t write to others separately in email. I’d like to be able to address separate people and if they don’t want it posted on the blog then no need to :) (thanks Dad).

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