Missionary Dan Email #9 from Choibalsan, Mongolia

Christmas was great. We had a branch party at the church. Lots of members came and had a good time. It was definitely a different Christmas than I have ever had before. Sounded like everyone there had a good time. I’ll be honest, everyone sounded really weird. I didn’t even recognize Jake. Who is he anyway? I enjoyed talking to Paul. Thanks for the good counsel, I wasn’t really speaking into the microphone. Everyone else sounded great.

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Choibalsan is located in NE Mongolia about 50 miles east of the Chinese border and 160 miles south of Russia. On our map Choibalsan is at bottom center and country borders are in white. Pan left to find Ulaanbaatar 377 miles to the west. Cannot see map? Click here.

So the visa problem is complicated. So the American elders and sisters haven’t been able to come. I don’t know if they ever will, but there still is a chance for them. So the government found out that we were sending people to be English teachers and be missionaries. Which I’m sure they knew the whole time, but this time they got mad that we were doing missionary work and threatened to throw all of us out of the country. So for the past two weeks or so American missionaries aren’t allowed to talk to people on the street. Before we would talk to 70 people a week and get referrals that way. But, for now we aren’t allowed to do that. Meaning talk to people on the street about the church to try and meet with them. Mongolian missionaries can still talk to people freely. We are getting some branch missionaries set up to talk to people for us to get some good investigators that way. My visa is fine for two more years and as far as I know the problem is calming down.

This week was a little harder to do missionary work. Everyone is busy getting ready for the new year. Elder Od Bayar and I still did alright on our work though. We found three new investigators which was quite an accomplishment. We were really blessed. Hopefully they will progress well. I really love being with Od Bayar again. He has changed since last time I was with him. Today I got this email from President Andersen:

Elder Od Bayar specifically wanted to be with you again. He thought that you were his best companion and wanted to learn obedience and diligence from you again. I think he is ready to learn this time with you!
Pres. Andersen

I was surprised to read that. It did make me happy though. It makes me want to work harder. I have been trying to accomplish some good goals this transfer and being with Elder Od Bayar has been helping me a lot. He has definitly changed in how he teaches and his desire. I can really tell that he wants to do good work and become a better missionary. He is my favorite companion and teaches me more than I teach him. It has been a great opportunity for us to be together again.

My mini missionary, Munkh Chuluun, who I was with last week came to a lot of church activities this week. He got a branch missionary calling and is doing his best to repent and prepare for a mission. I heard from the Branch President that two weeks ago he met with Munkh Chuluun and he said he didn’t want to serve a mission. He did the mini mission with me and then met with the Branch President again. This time he told the President, “I want to serve a mission!” I was glad I was able to help.

That week was truly a miracle as I see God’s hand preparing houses for us to go to and teach them. We had really good work and taught many lessons. I felt the spirit strongly with Munkh and I know it will impact him the rest of his life. He asked me for some little reminder that he can carry for when he has the desire to smoke. I gave him most of my mints before not knowing that he had a problem with smoking. He told me that he was using those when he had the desire and it was helping. So I’m going to give him some more! It makes me very happy to see him want to change and be better. I pray that he’ll become a great missionary and help many others receive the Gospel.

I know this Church is true and it really blesses many people’s lives. God hears our prayers and answers them in His own time and own way. He truly loves us and helps us every day. I know that I have been called of God to do His work among His children that they might have everlasting life.

Love Elder Willoughby.

P.S. This computer’s USB isn’t working. Sorry no pictures again :(. And I don’t have a mongolian accent.

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.
Rickety signature.


  1. Hey there! I wanted to chime in on this. I served with Daniel when he was in the Enkhtaivan branch his first transfer. I LOVED having him. Exchanges with him were fun and we both learned a lot. Elder Odbayar, one of his companions, was an elder that I taught in mission prep class in his hometown of Selenge, and he was my companion for a brief stint in June of last year. I’m sure Elder Willoughby is doing fantastic. Is he going to be reassigned? If so, where? I’d like to write him.
    I hope all is well.
    Sam Dodini

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