Missionary Dan Email #12 from Vancouver, Washington

Taco building in Mongolia

The baby looks great and I’m glad the vacation went well.

So we mowed someone’s lawn this week for service. I took some before and after pictures. It was really exciting and was fun to have grass flying everywhere and all over us.

Before mowing the grassWe also got to participate in a dance festival that was held for all the youth that live here. Over 1,800 of them had prepared for six months working on dances to where they performed three times. Once on Friday and twice Saturday. We were ushers for the shows and were also able to be part of the youth conference on Saturday morning. At the end of the show while all the 1,800 youth were on the field singing “How Firm a Foundation” we walked out with white flags on both sides of them. There was about 80 missionaries that walked out in two lines of us on both sides of them and it was a very powerful effect on the crowd.

There was many non-members that danced in the festival and many that attended to watch. In youth conference we were the main event and the youth stood and cheered as we came out on the field. We recited the “Standard of Truth” in unity and powerfully. Afterward President Belnap spoke followed by Sister Cook, First councilor in the General Young Women Presidency.

After mowing the grassWe also had many opportunities to talk to the youth between performances and youth conference. That was a great and lots of fun to get to know them and for them to interact with missionaries. Overall the festival was really fun and a great influence with everyone that went. Even though it took two days from normal missionary work, we got a lot of missionary work done among our own church youth and non-members that came. They say that a movie of the whole event will be made, but it probably won’t be out till September sometime. Hopefully all missionaries will get a copy.

I talked to Sister Cook after youth conference was over because she told of her experience while she was in Mongolia. Her husband was the first mission president there. She talked about a very tall, sail looking building in Mongolia that had a poor foundation and couldn’t be used (all the missionaries there called it the “taco building” — see picture). She went right along with the theme of the dance festival of “Firm Foundation.”

Mary N. CookAs she was talking I showed missionaries near me a picture of the building which I just still happen to have on my camera (no worries, I have made picture backups). I showed Sister Cook too and she was excited to talk to me about Mongolia. She told of how she had just been there and how the members and missionaries have been stepping it up. Their goal is to have a temple there and they are still headed in that direction. And many other things did she say unto me. It was wonderful to hear about it.

It was a great week and we look forward to meeting our new president on Thursday. Thanks for all the support.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.
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