Missionary Dan Email #12 from Choibalsan, Mongolia

Daniel with frozen eyelashesThis week wasn’t quite the adventure week like last one. We did get some good experiences though. I got a snap shot of my frozen eye lash. It really isn’t as cold as it looks like. Well maybe it is, I can’t tell because my body has adjusted to the cold.

I enjoyed reading Jake’s journal entry article. I’ve kept a steady journal since I turned 16 years old. In that time I’ve probably only missed a couple of months and that is it. Going back when I was 18 or so and reading those entries was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I am sure I’ll love it even more as time goes on. I remember the ones I enjoyed the most were the times when I recorded what I was thinking and feeling. Also my third grade teacher had us write a journal daily too as well throughout the school year. That worn out journal is more precious than gold could ever be. Reading from that allowed me to recall memories and feelings that I had when I was nine years old. Truly a great experience. It’s not always easy to keep a daily journal and at the time it seems completely pointless, but as time goes on anything you’ve written becomes a treasure of your own.

This week was a normal week for working. We had some great experiences as well. I can say it was my first real time translating from English to Mongolian. I translate all the time from Mongolian to English, but rarely the other way around. The couple missionaries needed a translator for institute. I don’t think I did very well, but the spirit was strong in the class nonetheless. As long as we’re thinking about translating, I might as well say I translated for my first time in sign language too. On Saturday the other missionaries gave me the chance to translate for the deaf people. Sometimes I did alright and translated well and other times I was completely lost and did horrible. It was really fun and they thanked me for my efforts in trying to learn. I enjoy learning sign language — it also is helping me to progress in Mongolian as well.

Daniel ready to baptize

Daniel ready to baptize Ounbelick on 2 January. From the ...Couple Things... blog.

Some of our new investigators are coming along as well. Most of them are in families that already have a family member that is a church member. It makes it a lot easier for them to attend church and keep commitments when they have that support system. In one lesson something really funny happened. First a little background information. All Mongolians think that Americans and most foreigners have big noses. Mainly because we do have big noses compared to theirs. So in our lesson a three year old started picking her nose. Her mom said, “Don’t do that, it’ll make your nose bigger.” Then her 6 year old brother said pointing to me, “Yeah like his.” Ha ha. I should probably stop pickin’ my nose eh?

My companion and I were also determined this week to find new investigators again to increase our work and get some baptisms. So on Friday we contacted every referral. It had good success and six of them said they could meet us on Saturday. We were really excited so Saturday morning we packed up six Books of Mormon and set out early to go teach them. The first lesson was a let down and then we called the next two only to find out one went to the countryside and the other had work come up. So we decided to go straight to the next referral without calling and trap him into a lesson. It turns out he gave us the wrong address. So our last hope was down to two referrals. One wasn’t home and the other was, as his family said, was slightly crazy and that we shouldn’t come back anymore. So instead of getting six new investigators we ended up with none.

But on the bright side one investigator that before was really busy came to church. He said that as seeing his dad become a member and seeing the marvelous change in him inspired him to want to be better. He said that he is going to stop working on Sunday and start coming to church. His dad is one of the most inspiring people to watch. He is 60 years old with one leg that is bad. So he walks with crutches to get to church. It probably takes him around 40 minutes to get to church and I know its not easy for him. Not only does he go to church faithfully, but he also sits in institute on Saturdays. He is one of the greatest examples to me of sacrificing to get to church and he increases daily in his gospel knowledge. Not bad for an old man.

Well that sums up my week. I know the work I am doing is the work of God and that He truly loves all of His children.

Love Elder Willoughby.

Baptism Photo Credit: …Couple Things…

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.
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