Missionary Dan Email #15 from Choibalsan, Mongolia

Six missionaries and four contacts in Choibalsan

Choibalsan: 6 missionaries and 4 contacts. Daniel third from left. Brother Anderson standing.

This week was somewhat slow, but at the same time was a good week. We spent some time doing some service for members. We made buuz and helped some others get some firewood. It was fun to make buuz and at the same time be doing service. This week we’ll probably spend a lot of time doing service as the holiday starts Sunday and goes for 3 days.

The people prepare by making a lot of buuz. By a lot I mean some of them make 5,000 or so. Most people though I think make around 1,000 to 2,000. That is so much! Then during the holiday everyone one says, “Eat buuz, eat eat eat.” Missionaries here like to see how many they can eat during the week and set their goals etc. Last year I didn’t count, but it I ate close to 60 or so. This year I want to get to 200 or maybe 150. They also make salads, have fruit, and candy. It is quite the celebration. Missionaries are allowed to wear tradition clothing. I bought a nice green shirt that I think I’ll wear, unless I find something cool today I want to buy. They told me to tell you that I may not be able to write next week because the internet café may be closed.

Everyone’s family comes and visits during the holiday. Like I said it is like their Christmas. They really enjoy each others company, sing songs, drink lots of alcohol, tea, etc… Not the church members of course though. Because of that and the family coming to visit, we mainly meet with members and support them and encourage them to keep the Word of Wisdom throughout the holiday. Most of them do really good and it isn’t much of a problem.


Daniel (right) in a ger with companion and Brother Anderson.

Speaking about Word of Wisdom, we were teaching it yesterday. We were saying the things we weren’t supposed to use. Tea, coffee, alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug. My companion asked them if they knew what marijuana is. They said they had no idea. My companion explained further, something like its way illegal in America, but grows in Mongolia freely and most don’t even know what it is. They sat there for a while then their 6 year old kid spoke up and said, “Oh yeah I know.” It was really funny, just the way he said it. Anyway it’s a good thing they have never heard about the drug.

Church attendance went down. Next week will probably be a huge decline. Then after that it should skyrocket. We met a really nice investigator last night. He came back from the countryside and we were able to review the first lesson with him. He treated us really nicely and that made me happy. It was a good experience to be able to teach him.

Did you hear anymore from the dad that was angry about you calling his daughter? No. It is around -20 to -30 degrees C. Cold, but my coat keeps me nice and warm. I wear that ninja mask I got before I left, It works really well. Mom and Dad write me consistently every week. Thanks for the support. I get plenty of emails from everyone.

Sounds like Paul and Jake are doing good work with school and work. Keep it up; earn some money so you can pay for my return visit to Mongolia in a few years. Ha ha just kidding. If the economy gets too bad in America we could always just move here. My companion and I live off $65 dollars a week and we can basically go out to eat at restaurants everyday. It easily covers all the expenses. I think our apartment is around $280 a month, then the electric and water is like $35 a month or so. So total that’s about $400 right? Anyway that’s just fun information.

Along with that our apartment had a little problem this week. Some sewage came up the kitchen sink. It was really nasty. What is great though is our landlord came and personally cleaned up the floor for us and got the repairmen and everything. That shocked both my companion and I. It was really nice of her. Sorry for no pictures today. Maybe later if I get a chance I’ll send a few. I forgot my card reader. I love you all.

Love, Elder Willoughby.

Photographs from …Couple Things… blog: Sights of Choibalsan and A Real Ger and A Sweet Family!

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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