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.


  1. What’s a ger?

  2. Melissa,
    Ger is Mongolian for yurt and looks like a big tent.

  3. This Mongolia series of posts is interesting. It is great to see the internet used to share the diversity of culture that exists today.

  4. Hollie,
    Daniel does well in writing his emails every week and sending photographs home. I went over and watched some of the videos on your blog. Terrific job.

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