Missionary Dan Email #5 from Vancouver, Washington

Daniel with bicycle
It was a great week for us. The phone call was fun too, to tell some of my cool stories that I hadn’t yet. We did a lot of biking and walking, teaching lessons etc. We also got general conference in the mail so I’ve been reading that. It was a great conference. How come no one sent what they liked about conference when I asked forever ago? Anyhow maybe you did, but I forgot.

The best thing my companion Elder Harris and I have been improving on is teaching with simplicity. We have improved greatly and we can tell the effect it has had on the people. Danielle is an investigator that says she wasn’t comfortable at all with being in churches and she wasn’t that interested. After a week of her reading a chapter from the Book of Mormon and us teaching her again, her attitude has changed greatly. It shows the importance of having the spirit with us when we teach.

Great job on running Mom. It sounds like you’re doing a lot of things right. Enjoy the pictures of a pond in my area and me with my bike. Thanks for everything!

Love, Elder Willoughby

Vancouver pond

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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Missionary Dan Email #4 from Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver Portland bridge

1-5 bridge connecting Vancouver, Washington to Portland, Oregon

This week we had similar success in finding people to teach. We worked really hard and it was worth it. We plan on doing the same thing this week.

Congratulations on graduating, Paul and Jake. The pictures were really cool. I wasn’t sure if Mom paid you to take them or if you set up your own system to take them yourselves then allowed her to print ’em. Either way they were great.

The blog post was really interesting Dad, I had no idea that there was that kind of crazy inflation.

There is a lot of similar stories like last week I could write. The Lord truly is helping and guiding us in the work. I know it is a great work and that Heavenly Father loves all of His children.

The gloves look great! Thanks Mom.

For this Mothers Day call and I will call Sunday morning to see what time will work best. Happy Mothers Day Mom!

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.

Photo Credit: nsjmetzger
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Missionary Dan Email #3 from Vancouver, Washington

Fort Vancouver

Fort Vancouver, Washington

This has been a good week for us. I got my new companion, Elder Harris, on Wednesday and we went straight to work. He is from Springville, Utah and has been out on his mission about the same amount of time as me.

This week we had a lot of good finding experiences. We finally got to meet a family we’d been trying to for awhile. She missed our last appointment because she had a baby. We figured that was a good excuse. Anyhow she is a member and her husband is investigating. He was really open to the message with the baby changing perspectives.

We were also able to contact a member referral and teach him and his son. He wasn’t too excited about any church, but liked to talk about the doctrine. He agreed to meet with us again, so we’ll keep working with him.

Then on Sunday after church we planned to go to a certain area to contact some people that said we could come back later. As we were walking someone called us off the street and told us to come over. When we got there he said in a broken English Russian accent to come into his garden which was in his backyard. We thought it was a little strange, but followed him back there where we sat down and he talked to us about God. We taught him about the Godhead and he said a few times that he really likes the Mormons. He said to come back anytime. We felt very blessed as it’s not everyday where new investigators call after missionaries.

Then we went to try back at another house of a man that talked to us for a while before. He shared the story of when he had been driving a trailer and was delivering it to a house. He was absolutely exhausted and didn’t know how he was going to move so much stuff from the trailer to the house. Plus he had been having one of the worst days of his life, he estimated it would take 4 hours to do it all by himself. Then he asked us, “Guess who showed up?” Some missionaries came and helped him and got the job done in an hour which allowed him to get the trailer back in time and move on to other things. He said, “They were working like I was paying ’em.” It had really softened his heart and he was really open to us teaching him. We are excited and happy for the good work of all missionaries.

So in all we found 5 new investigators this week. It was truly the Lord directing us where to go and to be at the right place at the right time. Along with that we had another really good lesson on Saturday night. We “happened” to come to their house right before she went to work, after he woke up from a nap, and they had just finished discussing all of their many trials. I opened my scriptures to share a thought and it fell open to a scripture in Alma 26:27. It hit right home to her that even through all her trials, the Lord is still there for her. She went to work and worked all night and on Sunday she came to church. She came with her husband who isn’t a member and that completely shocked us as he hadn’t committed to do much by all the other missionaries. I know the Lord led us there to come right at the right time and share what they needed.

My bike is to speed up travel time and to be more effective. We ride to appointments, lunch, to member’s houses, to places where we are going to track, and at the end of the day we ride home. Yep I have a helmet and I wear it, ya it has reflectors too. Feel free to ask any more questions. Thanks for all you do Mom!

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.

Photo Credit: Glen Williams
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Missionary Dan Email #2 from Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver Washington

Vancouver Washington and Portland Oregon skyline

This week went by really fast! It always seems that the first week of the transfer goes a little slow then it speed rockets through the rest. So the actual transfer calls came on Saturday. Elder Schroeder is getting transferred, which is too bad because he was way cool. We only got to serve for two weeks with each other. My new companion comes on Wednesday. Luckily the area is really small so I was able to learn it well before transfers.

It is crazy to hear what is happening in Mongolia. I think I’ll finish my mission here in Washington, but I am grateful that I was able to serve there for a year. I got the CD and have been having fun listening to conference. I forgot the paper you sent on boxing gloves, but I think the red boxing glove that was like 50 to 60 dollars will do. He wanted them to be hard etc for competitions and for training. Thanks Mom!

We had a wonderful lesson with a lady that has been investigating for some time. We taught baptism and she had already been baptized Catholic. We taught her about authority etc and it made sense to her. She committed to come to view a baptism last Saturday and to come to church, but she hurt her hip and couldn’t make it. She said as we left her house, “Well if I get baptized I’ll have to get my grandson to come with me.” That was really good to hear. We’ll keep working with her. She should be good to come next week.

Other than that we have been doing a lot of finding. We contacted lots of former investigators and found some success with that. Also some member refferals have helped us out a bit. It is always exciting to find a new investigator.

They are saying Mothers Day call should be before 9am, I could probably call later somehow, but I don’t really know much about it.

I’m thinking I’ll need my bike. If it is cost effective to send it here like less than 30 or 40 dollars then go ahead and send it, but anymore than that I may consider just buying a bike here. The cost to send it here and back could be as much as bikes are being sold here. You can send it to the Battleground address that I gave last week. I hope that doesn’t cause too much trouble, but it would be very useful to have. Also I think it came with a lock or something. Anyway do what ya can.

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.

Photo Credit: Greg Dawson
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Missionary Dan Email #1 from Vancouver, Washington

Elders Clark, Willoughby, and Kelly

Elders Clark, Willoughby, and Kelly before Daniel was transferred

This week was another adventure. As soon as I think I am comfortable with an area something seems to happen. I got a call on Tuesday midday saying I’d be transferred to Vancouver Washington. So on Wednesday morning (the next day) I was transferred. I am now with Elder Schroeder in Battlegrounds WA who is from Vernal Utah. He is great and fun to be with.

Elders Willoughby and Schroeder

Elders Willoughby and Schroeder after Daniel was transferred

My new area is really small. We walk to most places and get rides from members. I may need my bike to be sent to me sometime, but I’ll wait to see if I actually stay here. Real transfers are next week and I’m fairly certain I’ll stay here, but you never know.

The ward here is awesome and I am getting to know them as fast as I can. We have a lot more opportunities to talk to people on the street etc… something we didn’t do as much in the car. I really enjoy it. The interesting thing is I prayed on Monday, before I was called to transfer, for more opportunities to talk to people. It is shocking sometimes how quickly Heavenly Father answers prayers. So be careful what ya pray for. ;) The other elder I replaced had to go home to get surgery on his knee because he got injured. Hopefully me praying didn’t contribute to that. :)

We live with a church member which is the first time I’ve ever experienced doing that. It has been great.

Vegetable oil for fuel

Vegetable oil for fuel

My old companions told me I got a letter and that they would forward it. I haven’t gotten it yet so I’m not sure what it is. It was probably conference. The picture of all the oil containers is someone in my new ward who runs his cars off of vegetable oil. He has his filter system etc before he can use it, but says he drives for about 10 cents a gallon.

On Mythbusters they did something with it and that’s what he is doing. It was so cool I had to take a picture. Before I left my old area we got to play a bit with some liquid nitrogen. I got a cool movie of that, but I’ll make everyone wait till I get home to see it.

I got to travel to the Portland Temple today. Originally my old zone was going to the Washington temple today, but since I was transferred I missed my new zone’s temple day, by a week. I got permission to go with another zone and really enjoyed it. I took some pictures. It was interesting after being away for over a year. I hope that will be the longest period in my life away from the temple.

Portland Temple

Portland Temple

Portland Temple

Daniel outside the Portland Temple

So there is in my new district a Elder Jay Lindstrom who is from Bountiful. He says he knows Byron and Shawna Ward and even went to their house once. He plays the saxophone. So if they wanted to write a little thing to him I could pass it along. Also I am sure I described as best I could some boxing gloves like 3 months ago. I honestly don’t know which ones to get so you’ll have to make your best judgement.

So now I can say I’ve served in Alabama, Georgia, Mongolia, Oregon, and now Washington. Crazy. Well 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.

Portland Temple
Portland Temple

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Missionary Dan Email #4 from Hermiston, Oregon

Sunset in Hermiston

Sunset in Hermiston

We all really enjoyed watching conference. It was great to be able to feel the spirit during it as well. Seemed to me they talked a lot about families, especially about parents and children. I really enjoyed President Monson’s opening remarks and his talks as well.

We had another good work week. There was many things we were able to accomplish. We’ve worked with the ward a lot to get us exchanges for two hours every night and it seems that it’ll work great. We have also continued doing our best to work with members to get referrals, tracting, and simply teaching current investigators. We have met many interesting people and it is really fun to talk to all of them.

It sounded like everyone had a great Easter. We were invited to a member’s home and had some good ham etc. Yeah, I got my package too. Aurora seems to be running the family well. I like her dress. I really liked the pictures too. Is that picture of the yellow bead thing really the one we had from forever ago? I can tell Jake has been putting on a little extra weight too.

It would be great if everyone could send a highlight of their favorite part or talk of conference. I know the one that caught my attention the most was President Uchtdorf with talking on patience. More growth comes from waiting then receiving, plus the concept of what you consistently focus on and work towards eventually happens.

Also the way missionaries are called was great to hear. I heard it once before in the MTC. The part when he said something like all missionaries have been assigned or reassigned by inspiration made me smile as I have a few reassignments. I know that I am called to be a missionary and assigned to where the Lord sees the need.

I had an idea. Can you send me conference in Mongolian? I have a mp3 cd player, so just on a normal cd would be great. The faster you can do it the better!

Well thanks for all the support and letters,

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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Missionary Dan Email #3 from Hermiston, Oregon

Elders Willoughby, Kelly, and Clark

Elder Willoughby (left) with Elder Kelly tasting Mongolian candy, and Elder Clark

Last Week

This week was full of exciting things. The best was Zone Conference. They taught us a new approach to use while tracking door to door. We intermediately afterward used it and to our surprise the first door let us in. It also has allowed us to meet with people that have said they aren’t interested at first. We have gotten a lot more investigators from it and it also makes tracking fun to do.

That is neat you got the package. I’m really grateful that they did that for me, it saved lots of money! There is Mongolian candy in the black bag wrapped up in the coat. I’d like for everyone to try some. Let me know what it tastes like. I have some of my own here that I chomp down on. It’s good stuff, but the other box is off limits. :) I’ll mention that the Wilsons are in my home ward to President and I’ll get back to you on what he says. Have fun on your temple trip Dad and Jake. I think I get to go in three weeks or so to the temple. The first time since one year.

Lisa, the person preparing for baptism, passed her interview and will be baptized this Saturday. It is neat that I’ve been here since the first time we met with her. She has made lots of changes in her life and you can see how it is blessing her. She met with missionaries before, like I said, so knows the material well. It is so great to meet with people that actually want to listen and keep their commitments.

Daniel at Lisa's baptism

Daniel (left) and Elders Clark and Kelly at Lisa's baptism

We also had a cool finding experience while we were trying to meet with members to get referrals. The member wasn’t home so we were walking away when we saw across the street someone working in his yard. He had a sling on his arm and his friend was helping him move some dirt. We asked if we could give him a hand and he agreed. It was kind of shocking as most people don’t let us help them. Turns out he met with missionaries a long time ago, so he knew how to “take advantage” of our help. He thought highly of our church because he said we are willing to help first, then preach, just like Jesus did. We’ll see how he progresses.

We found another family that recently moved in. Their names are Jenifer and Nat with five children. They were really receptive and open minded during the lesson. They especially liked how we focus on youth and taking care of their needs. When we first knocked they said they had their own religion and weren’t interested. We asked them a simple question and taught short doctrine and they allowed us to come back at a better time. It does seem though that everyone says they’re not interested at first. Once again the Zone Conference approach works great and I think it increased our faith when we track.

So you might be asking yourself… What is the new approach… Well let me tell ya. Instead of saying, “We are missionaries from the Church… etc.,” we just up front ask them a question. Example: Have you ever considered our relationship with God? Have you ever wondered what is the purpose in this life? It opens up their mind and allows us to teach a short principle to almost everyone we meet before they cut us off. Our President was the one who taught us. Of course we have still gotten the door slammed on us, but that just makes you want to keep going. :)

Columbia River Washington Temple

Columbia River Washington Temple

Looks great Dad! [The temple photographs] I really like going to the temple. I’m also happy that you raised me good enough to get me there. Thanks for everything you do. The temple is just like missionary work, but for people that have died. I took the temple picture when we had transfers about a month ago.

With all of that we also had many opportunities to do little acts of service to those around us. It is great to follow the example of Jesus Christ and represent him as we travel the streets. I know that this work is true and that God truly does love us. He answers our prayers and is aware of our needs.

This Week

Sorry that last’s week letter didn’t send… I can’t seem to figure out why these computers don’t like my camera either so no pictures.

This week was full of working hard and finding people to teach. We tried to get members to come tracking with us. It was a mission wide thing we did, and the members that came seemed to like it. Lisa was baptized and it went very well. It was neat to see how much more she is smiling etc.

We had a great experience one day while tracking, one lady called after us and said, “I’m one of yours!” So we talked to her and in what she said had lost her way, but was a convert to the church and wanted to go back. We set up for her to get a ride from some members and she came this Sunday.

We are really excited for General Conference. I really enjoy listening to the leaders of the Church. Anyhow I think I’ll get all the doctor stuff figured out. I’ll let you read last weeks letter today, it was really good, too bad it didn’t get sent. Let me know how you like that Mongolian candy.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Travelling to Zone Conference

Travelling to Zone Conference in the Tri-Cities area

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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Missionary Dan Email #2 from Hermiston, Oregon

Extracting the sheep's eyeball

Daniel (in Mongolia) carefully extracting the sheep's eyeball for consumption

We had transfers here, but I stayed in the same area. We got Elder Kelly from Gilbert, Arizona to replace Elder Seymore. He is a lot of fun and we’ve been getting along great, so Elder Clark is still with me. We had a great new investigator that you could call golden. She had been taught by missionaries before, but couldn’t be baptized. We met with her for the first time and she said she wanted to be baptized and when her kids get old enough that she’d want them to be baptized too. We were excited and are planning on her baptism soon.

We have been doing some tracking and it brought back memories of my Atlanta Georgia Mission when I was in Alabama. Seems that there are less preachers at doors here, but people have very similar responses. That they have their own religion and aren’t interested. It is interesting here though we still take the opportunity to talk to those people and teach them a principle or two at the door. So with my “third” mission I’m getting better at teaching and talking to people.

At the transfer site I met Sara Hewlett’s brother. He was actually companions with Ben Jacobsen’s best friend, Aaron. It was cool to meet one of my best friend’s best friends and also the brother of another friend. They said they both saw me and said, that looks like Dan Willoughby. Then were thinking, no it can’t be because Ben was his friend and I think he said he went to a foreign mission. So we eventually saw each other and talked for awhile. Other than that I don’t know many other missionaries, but I am meeting them.

My president is President Belnap. He actually lives or lived in West Kaysville. He helped me to get nicely adjusted. The ward and branch is great. We work with a lot of less actives and have quite a few investigators. We have a car so we don’t do much walking. It is strange to go from full-time walking to full-time riding.

There isn’t that much wind here at all, it has been really good weather. The biggest change in culture would be simply how big everyone’s house is, paved streets everywhere, landscape, Walmart, etc. The food is all different, everything is different and very modern. All of it is a huge change and took a bit of adjusting. I really miss being in Mongolia, even though it lacked all those things. The people here are very kind and nice, but I will always like being around and talking to Mongolians. I’m not sure of my release date, probably will be the same, who knows now…

Looks like the trip was lots of fun. Don’t forget to send those boxing gloves :). I am going to be sending a box home with some members that are driving to Utah this weekend. They said that they could stop by and drop it off so I took the opportunity. I’ll give them Dad’s cell phone number so if they need to call they can. I’m not sure when they will get there, but don’t open the box when it comes. If I decide to send a bag with it, you can open that, and it will have some Mongolian candy in it for everyone to try.

I know this work is true and that the Lord is guiding me. I am happy to serve Him and do His will no matter where He decides to put me.

Thanks for all the support and love. I love you all.

Elder Willoughby

Photo Credit: Check out the Anderson’s blog with the story of Daniel eating a sheep’s head and eyes.

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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Missionary Dan Email #1 from Hermiston, Oregon

Daniel at Hat Rock State Park

Daniel (left) at Hat Rock State Park with Elders Seymore and Clark

The plane ride took a long time. I got to sleep from Korea to America a bit. I think total flying time was 20 hours. Plus the layovers which added up to around 17 hours. It was good flights with opportunities to share the gospel on the way.

I’ve been very shocked to be back here. Everything is huge and there is stuff everywhere. I’m quite in the culture shock. My companions have been great, asking lots of questions and showing interest. I have two right now. Elder Seymore from Arizona and Elder Clark from Utah.

Leaving Salt Lake City

Daniel was in Salt Lake City for three hours

It has been fun to teach in English, but also very different. Just the things people talk about here is way different. It was interesting hearing words I haven’t heard in forever. The members are awesome. I learned what the meaning of dinner appointment is. We have one every day. We work with one ward and one young single adult branch. Everyone has been very friendly.

So I am in Hermiston, Oregon. I wasn’t jet lagged at all. I don’t know if that’s because I’m used to being tired or that I got to sleep on the plane, but that has been a blessing. Luggage was fine and wasn’t over weight. My Mongolian president was glad to hear I made it safe and is doing all he can to get us back. No I didn’t pay a thing for the phone call.

My new area is a small, warm community. I mean it really is warm here 50 to 60 degrees. I find that I’m kind of cold when it’s warm but the colder it gets the more comfortable I get. That has confused my companions a bit. It is a very safe neighborhood and similar to how the houses are laid out in Kaysville.

Well I got to get going. I think I’ll send some things home next week or so. Once I send that home though I’ll probably need just one suitcase. :) I gave a lot of my clothes to people who needed them in Mongolia. From 11 white shirts to 4 and things like that, just more than I needed.

Sounds like the trip is going well. Thanks for everything. I love you all.

Love, Elder Willoughby

P.S. I can’t seem to get my new pictures to work here, but the one with the sheep’s head is a good one. I’ll talk more about that later. I took a picture in front the Parliament Building. Then flying out of Salt Lake. Yes I went to Salt Lake to get to Washington and was there for three hours. :) Then the picture with my new companions is in front of a state park called Hat Rock. Hope that explains them all. Thanks.

Daniel holding sheep's head

Daniel holding sheep's head

Daniel enjoying a meal

Daniel enjoying a meal

Camels in Mongolia

Camels in Mongolia

Mongolian Ger

Mongolian Ger

Parliament Building in Ulaanbaatar

Daniel outside the Parliament Building in Ulaanbaatar

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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