Cove Fort

Ira Hinckley's Coalville cabin relocated to Cove Fort shown as two stitched photographs

Ira Hinckley's Coalville cabin relocated to Cove Fort shown as two stitched photographs

While in southern Utah, Jill and I visited the Utah Shakespearean Festival, Mountain Meadow Monument, and Old Iron Town. On our way home we visited Cove Fort. Click on the images to enlarge.

Cove Fort

Cove Fort

Cove Fort

Cove Fort is located on Cove Creek a mile northeast of the I-15 and I-70 junction in Millard County, Utah. It was founded on 29 April 1867 by Ira Hinckley at the request of Brigham Young. Ira Nathaniel Hinckley is the paternal grandfather of Gordon B. Hinckley. Other workmen were called to the site, including Ira’s brother, Arza Erastus Hinckley. The fort is made of volcanic rock and dark limestone, rather than the wood used in many mid-19th century western forts. Lumber, mostly cedar and pine, was used for the roof, twelve interior rooms, six on the north and six on the south, and the massive doors at the east and west ends of the fort. The fort is 100 feet square, 18.5 feet tall, 4 feet thick at the footings, and 2.5 feet thick at the top.

The site for Cove Fort was selected by Brigham Young because of its location approximately half way between Fillmore, then the capitol of the Utah Territory, and the nearest city, Beaver. It is the only fort built by the Latter-day Saints in the 19th century that still stands.

Safe Shelter

Jill by the north wall of Cove Fort

Jill by the north wall of Cove Fort

It provided a way station for people traveling the Mormon Corridor. The abandonment of Fort Willden in 1865 left travelers without shelter from hostile Indians during the Black Hawk War or from severe weather conditions. In addition, it was also necessary to afford safety to carriers of the U.S. mail, operators of the Deseret Telegraph, agents of the stagecoach line, and freighters.

A town would have been constructed at the Cove Fort site, but the water supply was inadequate to support a sizable population. Another key factor in the selection of the site was the prior existence of a wooden-palisade fort, Willden Fort, which provided shelter and safety for the work crews who constructed Cove Fort. Willden Fort was erected by the Charles William Willden family in 1860.

Cove Fort Interior

The fort has two sets of large wooden doors at the east and west ends, originally filled with sand to stop bullets, and contains twelve interior rooms. The six rooms along the south wall were used for business, domestic, and social activities. The last three rooms along the north side of the fort served as a private residence for the Hinckley family.

Hinckley family residence

Hinckley family residence

Postal express riders delivered and picked up mail collected at the fort from nearby residents, ranches, and miners. One mail carrier, William Anderson, would leave Fillmore at 6:00 a.m. on Monday and arrive in Cedar City Wednesday evening near 6:00 p.m. He would average 47 miles a day.

As a daily stop for two stagecoach lines as well as many other travelers, Cove Fort was heavily used for many years, often housing and feeding up to 75 people at a time. In addition to providing a place to rest, a blacksmith/farrier resided at the fort who shod horses and oxen, and also repaired wagon wheels. With its telegraph office and as a Pony Express stop, it also acted as a regional communications hub.

Selling Cove Fort

In the early 1890s, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints determined that the fort was no longer required and leased it out, selling it outright on 21 August 1919 to William Henry Kesler, who had leased the land since 1903. In 1988 the Hinckley family purchased the fort and donated it back to the church. On 9 May 1992* LDS general authority Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the newly restored fort.

Ira Hinckley with one of his wives

Ira Hinckley with one of his wives

What has been done is a great and significant thing from the point of view of the Church, the state, and the nation. Once forts were found in abundance across this great land. Now there are very few left. Cove Fort is the only one of the pioneer Church forts which still stands in its entirety.
President Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, at the dedication.

The Church also transported Ira Hinckley’s Coalville, Utah cabin to the site, constructed a visitor center, and reopened the fort as a historic site.

It is our hope that Cove Fort will serve as a modern way station—not as a shelter from physical fatigue or protection from the elements. Rather, we hope it will serve as a spiritual way station where we can be reminded of the faith of our forefathers, where we can refresh our sense of sacrifice and obedience and our dedication to duty, where we can be reminded of the values of work, provident living, self-sufficiency, and family unity.
Elder Stephen D. Nadauld of the Seventy, at the dedication

* I read of two dates for the dedication: 9 May 1992 and 21 May 1994. If you know which of these is correct, please communicate through a comment.

Missionary Jake – Part 9 of 10

This is part nine of a ten part series chronicling Jake’s Mission. It is told mostly in his own words using excerpts from his letters and photographs sent home.

March 2008

Not much time to write. The package is probably sitting in the mission office. We are not going to have a zone conference because the president wants us to work every day of this month, we are going to set a new mission record of 700 baptisms. This week a lot of our investigators attended church. In the next week we will have a lot of baptisms. Say “Hi” to Tyler [Stout]. I don’t think we’ve even written in more than two years.

I typed up a nice letter but the session timed out and I lost most of it. Congratulations Steven and Adelaide. Make a cardboard Elder Willoughby for the reception. About the letter. It would help to pull out the official letter that they sent to suspend [the scholarship] and use the same formatting and terminology. “Please reinstate the Presidential Scholarship suspended (28 March 2006, but the correct date) for religious service. It will be reinstated for the Fall 2008 semester.” You don’t have to say anything about that I am going to miss school. The first week they usually cancel classes anyway, and I still have a week to change my schedule without penalties. Paul can fill it up with the best options and I can drop and change the ones that I don’t like. I usually sign “Jake Willoughby” in the majority of cases.

Jake and companion prior to baptisms

I am going to send [photos] one by one. I hope everyone has Gmail so they don’t get maxed out. I sent some pictures of baptisms that we had yesterday and last week. We average between two or three baptisms every week. It is a lot of work but really rewarding keeping everything balanced. The ward and bishop want to help, but they have no idea how. We help them along the best we can.

This month should be records for the mission, the zone, and for my personal mission. Every day we seek to magnify better our calling of establishing the Kingdom by baptizing more and more.

Daniel. If you want to know how to prepare for the mission, I recommend D&C 11. I like especially verses 20-21 which apply to you right now. Just put your name in as if the Lord was speaking directly to you (see verse 27).

The shoes do fit. I doubt there will be anything else that I need.

Arturo was baptized yesterday. It was a neat service because a family sang and played the flute. The only problem was I missed it because I was in a meeting! It is alright because the meeting will help us to baptize more and keep our converts active. I will make sure to get a picture with Arturo and I as evidence. Everything is good to go here. If I need anything I will just buy it. Keep me informed on of the good news each week.

[Read more…]

Missionary Jake – Part 7 of 10

This is part seven of a ten part series chronicling Jake’s Mission. It is told mostly in his own words using excerpts from his letters and photographs sent home.

October 2007

I’ll buy the camera. Transfer some money from my savings to my checking so I can buy it directly from the card. I am still in the best zone in the mission going for 3 months baptizing more than cualquier otra. Who is Adelaide? Maybe a picture of them dos with her last name? Elder Ontiveros is my new companion. The mission continues progressing baptizing more than every other mission in Mexico for a couple of months. Good to see that Steven is happy as ever.

Halloween is the same here in Mexico. Just think of Mexico as the United States but with a culture twist to everything. I don’t know what you can send in the newsletter. I barely have time to get an email off to the family. Just don’t paste in things like “my mission is the best in the world”. They might not like stuff like that.

Missionaries from my zone

The camera was probably stolen from my backpack in the chapel. Another missionary had his camera stolen from the same chapel. There really isn’t a way to report it. The police would just laugh. The members are keeping an eye out, and we are thinking of setting a trap so I can at least get my pictures if they even still exist. The cameras here are about double the price as in the United States. I am going to buy a new little Canon for 4100 pesos.

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Missionary Jake – Part 6 of 10

This is part six of a ten part series chronicling Jake’s Mission. It is told mostly in his own words using excerpts from his letters and photographs sent home.

August 2007

Oakland Temple statue of Jesus Christ
This week we didn’t have any baptisms, but we found a lot of families to teach. My companion is learning all of the words that they use differently here. He is a native Spanish speaker—I have to correct some of his Spanish :). Transfers today. I am going to the Zone Valle Dorado. It is the best zone in the mission. There are 12 zones in the mission and Valle Dorado baptizes about 1/4 of the total baptisms. I still haven’t met my companion and I don’t know in what part I’ll be so I will let you know next week.

Yes, we are baptizing stakes. This month we are going to baptize even more. I am just going to tell you this for right now, but this past week I was assigned District Leader. It is exciting to be in charge of other missionaries and have to teach them how to work! The mission is great. [Dad], I appreciate your small letters that don’t distract me too much but also don’t leave me out in the cold. Feel free to write more if you would like.

[Dad] please include God in every important decision that you have to make about your health. That is what Joseph Smith did. If you do that every time you have a doubt, if are sufficiently humble, God will give you the answer “abundantemente y sin reproche” (James 1:5). He will never tell you to do or take something that will do you harm instead of good. If I can ask one thing of you it is to always do this. Ask Him if you can trust Him, ask Him if you should consult Him in this. He will give you the truth, ETERNAL truth, that will “greatly enlarge the soul without guile”.

Everyday I teach the principle of “Ask and ye shall receive”, but I myself always forget to apply it. I try and demand answers from people, sometimes getting frustrated with them. But they cannot make my decisions and give me answers that I have to look for myself. Ask God for every little answer that you want. He will give it “without reproach”. He never will say “But you did not do x or y”. If you ask for bread He gives you bread.

[Dad] please let me know what you think of this principle, and if you were able to apply it successfully in this week. Please excuse the Spanish. It is difficult to keep it from sneaking in :).

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Past Pictures: A Double Blessing

Ray with son David (left) and Rick with son Jacob

The picture quality is not that great. It is a scan of a photograph from twenty-one years ago. My brother is on the left with his son David and I am holding my son Jacob. My wife Jill and sister-in-law Susan were both pregnant and due in the same month. We all liked the name of David so we agreed that whichever child was born first would take the name David. Susan’s baby came prematurely and so we chose Jacob to be our son’s name.

The photograph was taken shortly after we arrived home from the baby blessing at Church. That is why David and Jacob are dressed in white. Though Ray is not a member of the Church I asked him if he would like me to bless David along with Jacob.

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My Faith continued

Yesterday I posted the first part of My Faith. Here is the conclusion:

“Which Church Is Right?“ quoted Bible verses and was methodical and logical in its presentation. It was the first time that I’d thought of a church that way, though I didn’t have any real feeling about it. The prophet’s testimony was different. A paragraph that stood out was:

It caused me serious reflection then, and often has since, how very strange it was that an obscure boy, of a little over fourteen years of age, and one, too, who was doomed to the necessity of obtaining a scanty maintenance by his daily labor, should be thought a character of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the day, and in a manner to create in them a spirit of the most bitter persecution and reviling. But strange or not, so it was, and it was often the cause of great sorrow to myself. (Joseph Smith—History 23)

I thought it strange too, and identified with Joseph.

Another paragraph:

During the space of time which intervened between the time I had the vision and the year eighteen hundred and twenty-three—having been forbidden to join any of the religious sects of the day, and being of very tender years, and persecuted by those who ought to have been my friends and to have treated me kindly, and if they supposed me to be deluded to have endeavored in a proper and affectionate manner to have reclaimed me—I was left to all kinds of temptations; and, mingling with all kinds of society, I frequently fell into many foolish errors, and displayed the weakness of youth, and the foibles of human nature; which, I am sorry to say, led me into divers temptations, offensive in the sight of God. In making this confession, no one need suppose me guilty of any great or malignant sins. A disposition to commit such was never in my nature. But I was guilty of levity, and sometimes associated with jovial company, etc., not consistent with that character which ought to be maintained by one who was called of God as I had been. But this will not seem very strange to any one who recollects my youth, and is acquainted with my native cheery temperament. (Joseph Smith—History 28)

I was impressed that Joseph would admit to “foolish errors”. To me, someone telling a lie would not say this so openly.

I now know that being impressed by these two paragraphs was the Spirit acting upon me. After over thirty years the deep convincing that I felt is still with me.
Elder Vance Burton (left) and Elder David R. Wilson (right) at my baptism

I wrote to the Bishop of the Macclesfield Ward and asked him about the Church and that I wanted to know more. He replied to my letter, inviting me to travel to Macclesfield and meet with the missionaries. I did so, and recall one memory from our first meeting. I was being taught the first discussion and my mind wandered. When I was a child my mother used to say in a kindly way that “I was off wool gathering” when I didn’t pay attention. The missionaries asked me a question about what was being taught and from then on I was attentive. After the first discussion the missionaries told me that there were missionaries in Crewe and that I would be taught by them.

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My Faith

If you have been reading through Paul’s missionary posts last month you may have noticed a reference to my conversion story. Paul asked me several times to write it and I eventually did. Here it is:

The story, to be told correctly, needs some family background. My father was born in Independence, Missouri and was baptized a member of the church at eight years old but was not active as an adult. My father joined the USAF and was stationed at Burtonwood, England during the Korea War. My mother was born in Macclesfield, Cheshire, England, and had three sons by my father before they were divorced. At age four I was raised in England with my mother and new stepfather. I knew nothing about my LDS heritage as I grew up and never came into contact with any members of the church.

My mother was Catholic and my stepfather never mentioned religion but was a hard worker and was a good influence. If I asked him to do something that he thought I could do for myself he would say, “Use your own initiative”. We never went to church as a family but when I was very young I recall my mother telling me that there was “God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost”. She said I can pray to God the Father and ask for what I needed. I could understand asking for what I wanted, a young child knows how to do that. She then said that you have to have faith. I didn’t understand that, what’s faith? Fast forward to age twelve and I am having a difficult time at school such that I felt I could not talk to anybody. I lay quietly in bed, tears in my eyes, no-one to turn to. I remembered my mother’s words from years ago and so I prayed as best I could to “God the Father”. In my mind’s eye I pictured Him as a grandfather, a real person. I started the prayer something like this: “God, I don’t know if you exist but please help me…”. It was a somewhat rickety faith but I did have my prayer answered.

I was attending a Catholic school at the time though I wasn’t a member of any church. When I was taught about the Trinity I had difficulty with the concept, it did not seem to align with my experience of praying to Father.

Macclesfield Chapel undergoing renovation in 1984

At age twenty I wanted to meet my father as I had not seen him since I was four. I didn’t know where in America he was living. I was visiting my home town of Macclesfield, where I noticed a church with a strange name—“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”. It wasn’t an English church that I knew of so I thought perhaps it was American. I went in and talked to a woman who was cleaning the floor. I told her I was looking for my American father and she took my name and address and told me that someone would contact me. Soon after, I received a letter from the Bishop of the Macclesfield Ward telling me that perhaps I should write to the Genealogical Society in Salt Lake City. My mother remembered that my grandmother lived in Utah and that she went by the name of Martha Harrison, after her second husband. I wrote the letter, mentioning my father’s mother’s name.

My grandmother was active LDS, my grandfather RLDS. Grandmother worked for the church at Zion’s Printing in Independence, Missouri. When Zion’s moved to Utah in 1946, she came with her work. When my letter reached the office girl at the Genealogical Society, the girl knew my grandmother and called her. My grandmother wrote to me saying that my father was in England on a 14 week TDY with the Air Force. Richard Sr. wrote to me, and I immediately traveled south to meet him, unannounced. He had married twice more and his third wife, my stepmother, greeted me at the door. I talked with my father and he explained how he had kept out of my “new” family so as to not disrupt it but now things were different. We saw each other a lot until he returned to the United States.

Newcastle-under-Lyme Stake Center where I was baptized

I corresponded with my father and my grandmother. After some months, I asked my grandmother about the church I went into in Macclesfield. She responded by mailing to me two pamphlets: “Which Church is Right?” by Mark E. Peterson and “Joseph Smith’s Testimony”. I did not attend any church but thought there was something to the Bible or else why do so many people have an interest in it? However, I did remember in my childhood when all was despair I had prayed to God the Father and my prayers were answered. I also owned a Bible I had purchased and read portions of it. I especially liked the book of Proverbs and enjoyed many of the wise sayings. I was curious about the Ten Commandments and found them in Exodus and read them several times.

These two pamphlets were my first exposure to the Church. I was not interested in them but I felt obligated to at least glance through the pages because my grandmother had taken the time to send them to me. While lying in bed in January 1974, I read through them very quickly to fulfill my obligation. I put them down and decided to sleep. However, I could not sleep and picked up “Which Church is Right?” and read it cover to cover. I also read “Joseph Smith’s Testimony” in its entirety.

I will post the conclusion of My Faith tomorrow.

Mongolia Specifics

Last week our family received an email from Sister Jill Andersen, the wife of the Mongolia Mission President. She sent some information to help Daniel prepare for his mission, as well as a map of Mongolia. The information that Sister Andersen sends to the missionary families isn’t in her own words. It started out as something that was used by the previous mission president and has had a lot of editing and updating done by her. She has no idea who first wrote it or how long ago it was written. It may have predated their predecessors. Regardless, family and friends will probably be interested in the contents.


Ulaanbaatar is an interesting city with varied and unusual architecture. The countryside is some of the most beautiful in the world. This land is very special. You will love it all, especially the people. They are sincere, kind and are so ready to receive the blessings of the Gospel in their lives.

Map of Mongolia

Missionary Work

Mongolia is relatively new to organized missionary work. The first missionaries actually began their service in September of 1992, prior to Elder Neal A. Maxwell’s dedication of the land to missionary work in 1993. There are now nearly 8,000 members in Mongolia with two districts and 20 branches. This is likely one of the more challenging missions in the world. That is why we believe that some of the very best and most qualified missionaries come to serve here. Missionaries are only allowed in Mongolia under the direction of Deseret International Charities, a foundation directed towards teaching English in schools, businesses and government offices. All missionaries are required to teach English 12 hours per week. One cannot mention the Church while teaching English, but if people ask about it outside the classroom, the missionaries may teach them. We are confident that you will love this mission experience. We anxiously await your arrival and the blessings you will bring to this work.

Dramatic Changes

Mongolia, commonly known as the Land of Blue Skies, is located between Russia on the north and China on the south. It is a developing country, after having been under Soviet domination for a rickety seventy years. Since 1990, Mongolian has seen dramatic changes with new businesses, new products, new ideas and new government. Ulaanbaatar is the capital city with approximately one million people living either in ger districts (long strips of fenced-in housing plots that surround the city) or in apartments. The rest of the 2.9 million people live in the countryside — in small cities or out in open spaces.


Temple, Darkhan, Northern Mongolia

The dominant religion in Mongolia is Buddhism, but Christian religions are taking hold. The membership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is growing steadily. Two new chapels were dedicated in January 2007, bringing the total number of LDS-owned chapels in Mongolia to ten. We have two districts and twenty branches in the cities of Ulaanbaatar, Baganuur, Nalaikh, Sukhbaatar, Darkhan, Erdenet, Moron, Zuun-Kharaa, Khovd and Choibalsan. Our mission’s compliment is 130 young missionaries and 14 senior couples.

What to Bring

You are probably most concerned about what to bring (and what not to bring) with you to Mongolia. You will experience four seasons, but primarily short summers and long winters. The clothing list sent by the Missionary Department covers basic needs, but we will add a few insights. There is an old Russian saying: “There is no such thing as bad weather, there is only bad clothing.” Winter can begin quickly, usually in September and it can still be quite cold into April and May. Our missionaries use public transportation and taxis, along with much walking to get around. Sturdy walking shoes and durable, simple clothes are most practical here.


Gobi Desert

The countryside cities are exceptionally cold in winter, and there is more walking and more exposure to the elements there. If you already have warm winter clothing, bring it, but the cold air here is probably colder than you’ve ever experienced before. Having said that, our missionaries all seem to adapt and find ways to cope with the climate. Faces get the coldest because they are exposed. Everyone wraps scarves around their necks and mouths. They pull hats down over their ears, leaving only their eyes and noses out in the open. Once inside, it can be quite warm. Your apartment heat is regulated by the government for the majority of the cold months and you can not adjust the temperature. Summers are generally delightful.


It is important to layer your winter clothing so as to block out the cold and wind. You will need a warm layer under your suits, such as thermal garments or an extra pair of long underwear. However, we do have a supply of thermal garments that missionaries have left behind in Mongolia having only been worn once or twice during their mission. You may not need as many sets of these as you think. Two or three pairs would probably be sufficient. Two coats are needed for different times of the year – one being a three-quarter or full-length down-filled coat, and the other a raincoat with or without a zip-out liner, both big enough for a sweater or suit coat under them. Both coats may be bought here, keeping in mind that winter coats aren’t sold until October or November and they are gone by February or March. Considering weight restrictions on your luggage, if you will let us know, we can usually lend you a warm coat upon your arrival until you can purchase something. If you arrive in the early winter, plenty of warm clothing is available. Winter coats cost $35-50. If you arrive during spring/summer, you can wait until fall to purchase winter clothing. Spring/fall coats cost $25-35.


Winter boots should be insulated, waterproof, and roomy enough for heavy wool (not cotton) socks to be worn inside allowing the toes to wiggle. They should have good tread for walking on ice! Mongolia does not get much snow. What snow does fall is compacted into ice on the roads and sidewalks. Fur-lined boots are available here for $25-90. Many who brought minus 50 degree boots from America have only worn them once. In talking with the missionaries we have learned that many get by without boots altogether as they find it difficult to remove and put on boots at the homes they visit. Doc Martin shoes will crack in the cold weather. Shoes are available here, but sizes 12 or larger may be difficult to find. Good insoles are important for walking comfort.

Cold Weather Clothing

Altai Mountains, where four countries meet

A warm winter cap is necessary. Frostbite is a concern with the cold wind, so you will need warm coverings for your ears as well as your neck and chin. Ear bands, neck gators and 180’s are good. Scarves, hats, gloves, and wool socks are all available here in winter. Leather gloves should be fur-lined. Thermal and regular garments can be bought here. Shoe shine kits, laundry bags, duct tape, and umbrellas are available here. We suggest bringing one or two two-pant suits. You can have suits tailor-made here. The cost for making a suit in Mongolia is $40-50. The legs of your slacks will get dusty and muddy quickly.


Missionaries live in furnished apartments with blankets and pillows provided. You should bring towels and personal items as listed in the Missionary booklet. The electricity here is 220 volts—adapters and transformers are available. Barbers are inexpensive. Bring needed medications for the full duration of your mission (see the list below). Most items needed for basic cooking, including fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, breads, pasta, rice, and dairy products are abundant in Ulaanbaatar. In outlying areas, fresh produce is usually available, but with limited selections.


National University of Mongolia

You do not need to bring hangers. Bring a small key chain flashlight for dark stairwells and apartment entrances. Bring contact lens solution, and sunscreen. Sundry items such as razor blades, shampoo, soap, lotions, deodorant, toothpaste, etc. are readily available. Bring a few photographs of you and your family to share with the Mongolians – they love pictures. The Mongolia Mission rules limit the missionaries’ music selection to church music only.


Because medications are not readily available in Mongolia, this is a list of suggested items you might want to bring with you in addition to the basic list in the Missionary Booklet you receive. Be sure to bring any personal medications, such as for allergies or acne etc. Bring enough personal medications to last the full duration of your mission. The medical problems we encounter the most here are: intestinal upsets, head colds and coughs. You will need the following:

  • Lotrimin (antifungal cream for athlete’s foot) – one tube
  • Pepto-Bismol (upset stomach) – one box
  • Imodium AD 9 (diarrhea) – one box
  • Ibuprofen or Tylenol – one bottle
  • Keflex 500 – 80 pills
  • A cold/cough medicine – one bottle or box
  • Claritan (loratadine) for summer allergies
  • Wart remover solution
  • One-a-day vitamins
  • Insect repellent – 1 spray bottle or can
  • Neosporin or antibiotic cream/ointment – one tube
  • Vaseline


Mongolia 1000 Tugrik Note

Missionaries are provided with debit cards which access only their allotment account set up by the mission here in Mongolia. No other funds are put into that account except the monthly allotment allocated by the mission office. The allotment is generous enough to fund all expenses except souvenir purchases. If a missionary needs more personal money occasionally for film, gifts, clothing, etc., it would be best to use a Visa debit card from a home bank. We suggest that a parent’s name also be put on the debit card account to ease replacement if the card is lost or stolen. Please do not make deposits into a personal account for a missionary to use on a regular basis. Not all missionary companions have substantial financial means, and it is important for companions to work together financially. A mission is a good time to learn about budgeting and use of sacred funds.

Mail / Email

Trans-Siberian railway

Proverbs 25:25, “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” Missionaries look forward to sending and receiving mail. Mail comes by Missionary Pouch from Salt Lake City each week and is delivered to all missionaries as soon as possible. Those serving in the countryside will not receive mail as promptly as those in the city. Beginning November 1, 2007 only the following items may be sent through the pouch.

  • Postcards
  • Letters that are single sheet, folded into three panels, and taped at the top only.

No envelopes are allowed. Letters sent in any other manner will be returned to the sender. All letters should be sent to the mission office. Delivery to a personal address is not possible because there are no mail boxes at private abodes. This method for mailing to our mission would probably be most useful for letters coming from North America. Correspondents from other countries would mostly likely want to use the direct mailing address. The mission office does not have US stamps for missionaries using the US pouch, so bring some with you. Pouch mail to the States leaves here on Tuesdays. Missionaries have access to email through public internet cafés. This is to be used for one hour only on missionary preparation day (Friday) and is restricted to family use only. All missionaries are to email from a secure site, using only “”.


It is expensive and sometimes unreliable to send packages to and from Mongolia. Parents sometimes send items which can be purchased here or which the missionaries really cannot use. Parents should be practical when considering items to send to you. Do not have them send expensive items. Missionaries quickly learn to be flexible and adapt to the conditions here. We have one special request for parents: When you send a package, it would be nice if you could include a card or even a small gift for the companion — it’s always fun to open boxes together and share the surprises.

Two Years Hence

When the time comes, if parents are interested in coming to Mongolia to pick up their missionary, they should contact the mission office for specific information.


12 Feb 2009 The source of this material has been clarified.


Today Daniel was ordained an elder. This was done by those with priesthood authority to lay their hands on his head and receive this ordinance. Present and pictured in the photograph are (left to right, top to bottom) Derek, Paul, Steven, Brian, Sarah, Jill, Rick (Rickety), and Daniel. Brian is a Stake High Counselor and a dear friend who was present as the Stake representative. I was voice for the ordinance. To have the authority to perform this act of laying on of hands, male members of the Church must receive this authority by the laying on of hands from a priesthood holder who has the proper authority. This has been passed down in the Church from the Apostles Peter, James and John, who received their authority from Christ. These Apostles then visited Joseph Smith as angelic messengers and gave him the proper priesthood authority. From Joseph Smith the priesthood has been passed down in an unbroken line from Christ. Having the authority of the priesthood is different from having the power to use that priesthood:

All of us who hold the priesthood have the authority to act for the Lord, but the effectiveness of our authority—or if you please, the power that comes through that authority—depends on the pattern of our lives; it depends on our righteousness (H. Burke Peterson, “Priesthood—Authority and Power,” Ensign, May 1976, 32).

Daniel has now transitioned from the Aaronic priesthood to the Melchizedek priesthood as he continues his preparation for his mission to Mongolia. The only sad thing in all of this is that there are now no Aaronic priesthood in the house to boss around.