I sent my son to Outer Mongolia

I remember people saying if you were bad they would send you to Outer Mongolia. In this case it's different, because James is good he's going on a mission to Mongolia.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Email From the Mission President- Oct 28th

28 October 2009

Dear Sister Cappucio,

Elder Cappucio became a zone leader in our mission recently.  He is a wonderful young man and a very faithful missionary.  He did a superb job as a District Leader.  I know that in his new role as a zone leader, he will meet and surpass all expectations.  Thank you so much for the support you give to him.  We are very blessed to have him in the Mongolia Mission.  I rely greatly on his good judgment and hard work in administering our mission. 


President D. Allen Andersen    

Finding Investigators Is No Coincidence- Oct 25th, 2009

Dear Family!

Alright, I've found a internet cafe that will let me sit in it without a mask!  
Sweet!  So you got the e-mail from Sister Hellewell?  Nice!  Yea it was neat to 
find out that Elder Horan and I had some sort of connection!  He is an AWESOME 
Elder who truly has been able to develop the gift of Charity.  He is one of the 
most caring people I have ever met.  It was a great opportunity for me to go on 
an exchange with him.  So, the swine flu is here.  But, it's not like epidemic 
status yet.  There's some 300 cases of it and they say that 2 people have died 
from it.  So far the missionaries are doing pretty good, maybe 2 or 3 
missionaries have contracted it.  They don't necessarily make everyone wear 
masks its just that some internet cafes were being really weird about the whole 
situation.  Oh, my new companion likes jelly beans so make sure to send some of 
those ok?  I would LOVE a phote album from you guys!  Everybody's changed since 
the last photos, I bet.  See if you can get some of dad's pictures in there as 

Alright, so, I plan on writing a lot because these last two weeks have been some 
of the best in my mission, bar none.  It just seems that so many things are 
turning in our favor as missionaries and miracles are being seen everywhere we 
go.  I hope that I can manage to write it in a way that you guys can feel the 
same Spirit that I felt as I experienced these events:

Ok, so the first one is about Battulga.  As I was going on the exchange with 
Elder Horan, we were walking around some apartment buildings trying to contact 
people and meet with them.  Then, out of nowhere, this slightly drunk man comes 
up and starts talking English with us.  We talk with him for a bit and find out 
that's he's been in America for 7 years so he's got pretty good English.  
Finally, he lets us into his house and we start meeting.  At first, I was 
reluctant because he was drunk and I wasn't sure how well he'd understand.  
Anyways, we went in and started meeting with him and his wife.  It was a WEIRD 
first meeting, that’s for sure.  But, he really wanted to meet with us so we 
kept teaching.  He expressed the struggles he’s been having in his life with his 
marriage and work, smoking and drinking.  We were able to teach him about God 
and then about prayer and the Holy Ghost, how he could have these good feelings 
all the time.  One thing that stood out as pretty funny was that he had this 
ashtray on the window seel.  As we were talking with him, he got up, and said: 
You see this?  This is my ashtray.  When you guys come next time, this won’t be 
here.  In fact”, and he opens the window, looking down, “I’m going to get rid of 
it right now!” and proceeds to toss the cup out of his 4th story window!  Every 
since then, him and his wife Yanjmaa have been amazing.  They came to Stake 
Conference, and they were there at church yesterday.  They look like they’ll be 
getting baptized in a couple weeks.  Isn’t that amazing?  Out of a contact with 
a drunk man, we’ve found a husband and wife that are putting their lives In line 
with God’s perscribed plan and reaping the rewards.  Everytime I see him, he 
looks happier!
The next story is also from being with Elder Horan.  We went to go visit an old 
investigator, only to find that they weren’t there.  However, the son was and so 
we sat down and he gave us some of the food he made.  We kind of just talked for 
awhile at first, getting to know him and complimenting him on how good the food 
was (it was good!).  Then Elder Horan asked him a question about church and 
about Jesus Christ, to see what his level of interest was.  The answer pretty 
much ended the conversation, “I’m not interested at all”.  However, he seemed 
like to good of a kid to not really be interested.  So, we kept talking.  He’s 
about our age so we leveled with him.  We explained why we do what we do and 
what motivates us to make this sacrifice.  Then we asked if he believed in God.  
He did.  Then we asked, “If God told you something, would you believe it?”  He 
said yes.  So, with those kinds of questions, we hooked him into a brief 
discussion about the first vision.  The Spirit was so strong in that ger I know 
that he felt it and that he recognized what Source it was coming from.  At the 
end of the lesson, we asked how all of it was.  “It was great!”  So we set a 
baptismal date with him and gave him a Book of Mormon.  He didn’t come to Stake 
Conference so I was a little worried about him, but, sure enough, yesterday at 
church, there he was!  Now he’s on the path towards baptism and his mom and 
sister will be joining him.

About four days ago, we were walking around one of our areas looking for new 
investigators.  Elder Stephenson and I are basically white-washing 
(white-washing is where they put two new missionaries in an area) this area so 
we don’t know it that well and the work from before is pretty much non-existent.  
Anyways, we’ve been done something called Nephi Hour that an Elder from my 
group, Elder Whittle, made up.  We set aside one hour and just try and find new 
investigators.  If we can’t get into one house, we talk with whoever we see on 
the street, teach a short principle and ask if we can meet with them right away.  
So we went to check one house and the kid we had met with before came out to 
greet us.  We asked if we could meet, and to our dismay, he said he was busy 
doing homework.  However, we pressed.  We gave him a promise that if he let us 
meet with him for just 15-20 minutes his homework would go better.  We also 
promised that we would only stay 20 minutes.  Well, somehow that worked!  He let 
us in and we started to meet the rest of the family.  It was a WONDERFUL family!  
They were all so happy and united.  The dad came in later and we met with him.  
At first, he was a little taken aback, but after meeting us any of his worries 
were quickly set aside.  So, we started talking.  We started with a song and 
prayer.  Then we jumped right into the Restoration.  It was powerful.  As we 
finished up teaching these sections, our time was about up.  So we said, “we’d 
like to talk more but, our time is up.  We promised Ganbat that we’d stay for 
only 20 minutes.  When could we come back again and meet with you.”  Then the 
oldest son, who was by far the most interested, said this, “Well, we don’t 
really know when we’ll next be gathered together like this, would be ok if we 
just kept meeting for like 10 minutes?”  That was music to our ears!  So we 
turned to Ganbat and asked him, “Can we do that?”  He also agreed and we kept 
teaching!  As we left that house, Elder Stephenson and I was overcome with joy.  
We gave each other a quick hug and then offered a prayer of thanks.
Then, just two days ago, my companion caught a bad virus and was not really able 
to go out on work.  So, we paired him up with another sick missionary, and I got 
to go out on work with Elder Cardinal, my son!  He’s actually in one of the 
districts in our zone so I see him quite a lot now!  Anyways, we head out to our 
area and we’re looking for people to meet with.   As we’re walking down the main 
street, I tell Elder Cardinal, “hey, that guy probably wants to hear about the 
Gospel” and get him to start talking with him.  We follow this guy down another 
road and finish the contact.  We got his information and all, but he wasn’t very 
interested so Elder Cardinal crossed him out.   Then, to find out where we were, 
Elder Cardinal asked this guy passing by what street we were on.  The guy 
responded and we started moving on.  However, as soon as I looked at the guy, I 
felt impressed to talk with him.  I started to talk with him and share a little 
about our church.  At the end, I asked, can we meet with you…(I almost said 
later) now, and talk more about our church?”  He replied affirmatively and I 
quickly grabbed Elder Cardinal (he was doing an ITL with a drunk), and we 
followed the man to his house!  The man and his wife are high school teachers so 
they’re educated.  We started to teach the first lesson and the husband ate up 
everything we said.  At the end we went to set a baptismal date and they gladly 
accepted.  Then, we asked him if he would pray for his family and…he accepted!  
It was another miracle!  His brother was also in the ger at the time and he 
seemed very touched by the lesson so at the end we asked him if we could meet 
with him as well.  He said yes.  Then the brother also gave us the information 
for his other younger brother, saying that we should meet with him!
Just like last week we were moving into a new apartment building.  A day after 
we moved into the new apartment, we went into the elevator.  An older man also 
entered and we just started talking a little bit.  Before we got off, I quickly 
gave him a pass-along card and told him to come to church this Sunday.  I didn’t 
think muhc of it but like 2 days later, Saturday, he ran into us again in the 
entrance of our apartment.  He asked when church was again and we told him 
again.  Then, this Sunday, as we were standing outside, he came! 
Another quick story:  This last Sunday, our ward entered a new building inside 
the ward boundaries.  It’s kind of out of the way so my companion and I were 
standing on the street corner sort of as a landmark to any members or 
investigators coming to church.  As we were standing there I looked over to the 
sidewalk and saw two people walking.  I felt impressed to talk with the 2nd 
person and promptly went over and contact him.  I explained about our church and 
told him that our service was about to start.  Then I invited him to come in and 
experience it.  To my surprise, he wanted to!  So I grabbed Edler Stephenson and 
we brought him into the chapel where the rest of the missionaries and members 
quickly  friendshipped them.  Later, another missionary got his contact 
information and, to our joy, he was in our area!  So we’ll be meeting with this 
youth pretty soon and we expect great things.

Well, that’s pretty much it!  I just want to testify to you of how true this 
church and this work is!  These past two weeks the Lord has truly blessed our 
work and the work of the missionaries in our zone.  I know that God guides us.  
Not just us, but the people we need to meet with.  Each of these events have 
been so perfectly coincidental, I know that it was not just chance, but that God 
was been leading us to find “those that with receive [us]”.  I love this work.  
I love my companion.  I love the mission and the missionaries!  My hope is that 
all of you will pray for the opportunities to be a good influence, or a 
blessing, or a comfort, in the lives of others.  As you do so, I know that 
you’ll feel, as I have, the guiding influence of God in your everyday tasks.  
I love you all!  Have a great week!
~Elder Cappuccio, still not infected

-----Original Message-----
From: marathomom@aol.com
To: james.cappuccio@myldsmail.net
Date: Sun, 25 Oct 2009 21:47:11 -0400
Subject: Re: Missionary held captive until June 6th

 Dear James,

Of course I always look forward to your emails and stories, so I was a little 
disappointed that you couldn't
 write much, but glad that you didn't actually have the swine flu!  Then I was 
excited to get an email from Beverly Hellewell who's nephew went on an exchange 
with you one day.  He wrote about the experience in his letter to his parents 
and she forwarded it to me. It was great to hear the stories coming from a 
different perspective, of someone who actually was with you and wrote about the 
experience.  He wrote how you turned two seemingly dead-end situations into 
teaching lessons to 5 new investigators with one committing to baptism.

On the home front we successfully dug up the dead palm tree and now have some 
landscaping chores ahead of us.  It looks like a mine field right now. Joseph 
went to Homecoming and looked really nice.  When he gets some pictures back 
we'll send you some.  In fact my goal is to get some pictures together into a 
little album to send you for Christmas.

Is the swine flu hitting Mongolia hard this year? Do they make people wear masks 
even when they are not sick?  I didn't get the vaccine, so I just plan to stay 
healthy.  I will send some more vitamin C packages with the next package too. I 
went running twice this week( well a real slow jog actually) so I hope to get 
that number up to 5 times this week.  Starting with just 3 miles, so I have a 
long way to go if I want to get in shape, but i am determined to get there.

Speaking of swine flew again, Jack and I are going to dress up for a Halloween 
dance as pigs with wings....the swine flew =)  Pretty scary?

Well, I hope you had a will have an amazing week.  We love you.

Keep the fire burning!
love always,



Email from a friend about Nephew doing an Exchange with James-Oct 19th

Hi Athena,
I told my nephew when he first started his mission that a member of our ward was 
serving in Mongolia, but I guess he forgot.  In his letter today, he told me 
that he met your son.  I'll copy a few of the things he said in his letter about 
your son.
On Saturday I went on an exchange with an elder named Elder Cappucio.  We were 
asking each other where we were from and he said he was from Chandler Arizona.  
I said, hey I have an aunt who lives there.  I said the last name was Hellewell 
and he said, Beverly?!  
Anyway, I found out that he is from Beverly's ward :)  

Anyway the next 5 investigators will be from the exchange we did 

We were going outside to a house to try and contact a referral with a bad phone 
number. When we went there they didn't answer the door, but they yelled through 
the door asking who were and said that the person wasn't home.  Anyway, as we 
left we were kind of pointing around which area to go next to try and do ITLs 
and maybe get a lesson from an immediate ITL.  As we did this a man came up to 
us from a distance and asked in English 
if he could help us.  My companion ended up asking him what he wanted in life.  
He said he wanted to go to church.  My companion then told him the way he could 
help us was to meet with us and come to church.  He ended up asking us to follow 
him ( he was a little bit drunk )  We didn't have anything else better to do, so 
we followed him.  He then told us a little bit about his life and how he lived 
illegally in America for 7 years. That is how he learned English.  He then asked 
us to go to his house with him.  We were 
kind of hesitant, but we went anyway.  He had met with our missionaries about a 
year earlier and had a 1st lesson pamphlet in is room.  His wife was there.  She 
didn't speak any English, but this man insisted he wanted to speak only in 
English with us.  He told us how he is an alcoholic and when he is drunk he 
loses stuff or does stupid things, so they lost like everything they owned and 
really they had nothing in their house except a pad in the corner to sleep on.  
He then showed us a cup he used as an ash tray.  He threw it out his window from 
like the 4th story and told us he would never smoke again.  
He then had a thing of alcohol.  He said he would drink it right there and never 
drink again.  My companion asked if we could share a message first, but he 
insisted he drink his last bottle of alcohol first.  We finally started to get 
to talk about spiritual things and we asked if we could start with a prayer.  He 
wanted to pray immediately, but we thought it may be better if we prayed and let 
him say the closing prayer.  We started singing Love at Home in Mongolian.  Half 
way through the 2nd verse he stopped us and told us he wanted to sing in 
English.  Anyway, we finished the two of us singing in Mongolian while they 
listened.  After we prayed he went back to the window and yelled out to 2 of his 
friends.  He said, hey!  American missionaries are at my home right now, hurry 
and come in to hear their message.  This man and woman then come into the house 
and we taught them about the holy ghost and praying to know about truth.  We 
then talked a little about the book of Mormon.  The spirit was powerful there.  
The drunk man ended up giving a 
really nice heartfelt closing prayer.  The other couple couldn't come to church, 
but the drunk man and his wife went with us to Stake Conference yesterday.  It 
was awesome.

We went to check on an old investigator that I had the first time I was here.  
She was really open to the church and had come to the last stake conference when 
they made the first stake ever in Mongolia.  Apparently she had gotten married 
while I was gone, so it would be okay to teach her again.  We saw smoke coming 
out of their ger, so we knew someone was home.  We went there and just her son 
was there.  He told us to come in and offered us some really good food he had 
just made.  We just kind of asked when his mom would get home, but it turned 
slowly into asking him if he was interested in church 
things.  He said no, so I was sort of going to just leave it with that.  Elder 
Cappucio turned it around somehow with asking if he believed in God and he did.  
He turned it around into just asking him about who he thought God was and what 
kind of person he was.  He ended up sitting close to us as we taught him a 
powerful first lesson.  He told us he would come to stake conference the next 
day by himself and meet us there.  He accepted a 
baptismal date also.  He didn't come to stake conference, but right after it 
started he called me 4 times and I couldn't answer the phone because the meeting 
had started.  He called this morning again and told us he wants to meet with us.  
He is really good and somehow my companion turned him from not being interested 
into a really interested investigator.  

On Saturday I realized how important it is to be more bold when I teach.  I 
always like to share a heartfelt testimony throughout all of my lessons, and 
when I do ITLs.  Elder Cappucio taught me about being more bold.  Like when the 
person asked him how he could help him, he replied with a question.  He asked 
him what he wanted in life, and then after he answered he told them how we could 
help them achieve that.  Then in another lesson after we were done he asked them 
how they felt during our lesson.  When they said good, he immediately just said 
it was the Holy Ghost.  Things like that are important to be blunt and just tell 
your investigators what they are feeling and how we really can help them.  We 
ended the day with only 2 lessons, but they were two spiritually uplifting 
lessons that boosted me up.

Hope things are going great for you.

No Mask, No Email, Silly Mongolians-Oct 18th

Dear Family, 

Due to the swine flu, they say they will not let me write my e-mails because I 
am not wearing a mask.  Silly Mongolians.  Anyways, work is good.  I might not 
be able to finish this e-mail...I'm very sorry!  But we'll be writing very soon 
ok?  I love you all!

~The non-infected Elder James Cappuccio

-----Original Message-----
From: marathomom@aol.com
To: james.cappuccio@myldsmail.net
Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2009 23:40:47 -0400
Subject: Missionary held captive until June 6th

Dear James,

Well at least it's a good captive....captivated by the spirit of missionary 
work!  I don't mind if  you stay a few extra weeks, it's normal to want to keep 
working as long as you can, you're only a young missionary once!  Next time you 
go you will be old, well at least older. And you could still take a summer class 
if you wanted to, I think.  Or just find a summer job and have some fun before 
starting school in the fall.  I hope my parents keep their house, but I don't 
know if you could work enough to earn it from them.  It's worth a lot of money.  
You could buy it form them when you are a doctor, but don't you have to travel 
where ever they send you for 12 years after school?  Do you want to live in 
Provo after you get out of the Army?  I have even thought about moving up there 
to take care of them, but haven't really discussed it with them or anyone yet. 
So, are you still going to marry the first girl you see when you get off the 
plane?  If so, I am going to sell tickets to your arrival and do thorough 
interviews of those wanting to hopefully catch your eye!  JK  

So what town or city are you on now.  You said you were transferred again and I 
didn't even know the place you were at for a short time.  I don't think there 
was ever a sequel to the Series of Unfortunate Events movie, but you did make me 
curious about what unfortunate events might have occurred in Mongolia.  In our 
neighborhood we had a unfortunate event on Thursday, where a 4 year fell out of 
a 2 story window 2 house away from your dad's house.  I think he was okay 
because he was screaming, but they took him out by helicopter, so we had a 
helicopter land at Provinces Park. 

Another good thing about being in Mongolia for an extra few weeks, is that you 
will be safe from the dangerous roads in Chandler for a little longer- Joseph 
got his Drivers license yesterday.  He is pretty proud of the accomplishment, 
but he does not have any wheels he can drive to school on a regular basis yet.  
I am not letting him take the truck. Maybe he can get a job and save up some 
money to buy his own car and insurance.

Today's meetings were good.  It was ward conference and we had the stake 
president, his councilor and the bishop speak in sacrament.  The choir sang and 
i was told we sounded really good. Joseph, Cali and I all sang in it. I think I 
have a musical number for you and your friends to sing when you get home.  Maybe 
not for your homecoming, but it is a male voices group of Called to Serve.  Have 
you done much singing in Mongolia?  I know you said your last companion( 2 
companions ago?) was a good singer.  Cali is taking voice lessons now and is 
counting on being famous.  She's already written a few songs.  

Hope you have a great week! Love and prayers are on their way daily.

Keep the fire burning!

Love always,



Lost in the Translation- Oct 12,2009

Dear Family,

Well, I guess I probably have told you I became a Zone Leader, but thanks for 
the headline! I thought it was pretty funny.  well, I'll pass on your greetings 
to Elder Nasanbold, but sadly, due to a serious of unfortunate events (did a 
sequel movie ever come out for that?) I'll be going to a different zone to be 
with Elder Stephenson!  So...I'll lose one great companion but gain a great 
companion.  Both of them are really good.

Life's been going pretty good.  We saw conference over the last two days and I 
got to watch it Mongolian!  It was a good test of my language skills and I 
defintely didn't catch all of it.  The translators sometimes spoke pretty slowly 
and evenly.  but sometimes if they got behind the speaker, they would start 
speaking really fast.  It was funny.  In one of the talks, the translator got 
waaaay behind the speaker, like two paragraphs, so he just skipped it and went 
right to where he was speaking at the time.  That was funny.

I learned a lot of things from conference, one of the most important is that we 
need to continually work to make ourselves more like Christ.  It is a life-long 
pursuit.  So, if you haven't made it yet, it's ok.  Just keep pushing.  One of 
the most important parts is having Christlike love.  Every other single 
commandment flows from the first two greatest commandments: Love the Lord thy 
God will all your heart might mind and strength & Love your neighbor as thyself.  
So, in seeking to follow the Lord's other commandments, we should always seek to 
make sure we are doing it with love it our hearts for God and man.  If there is 
no love in our hearts, it is like the gift spoken of in Moroni.  If we give a 
gift grudgingly, or serve the Lord grudgingly, it's just as good to not have 
served! So serve with a smile and love in your hearts and then we can reap the 
greatest blessings of all!  As it says in Alma, everything that we put out, 
comes back at us.  Good for good, bad for bad.  So we decided for ourselves what 
we receive.  But, it doesn't always come right away so don't get discouraged!

Alright, well I love you all!  Uhm...about Grandpa's house...I kind of wanted to 
live there....I definitely want to help Grandma and Grandpa out.  BUt instead of 
selling that house, can I just get it?  Like, I'll work for it.  And I'll 
definitely maintain it.  But like...that' would be AWESOME.  I was actually 
thinkinga bout that before and then you reminded me.  What are your thoughts?  
Of course, if I get married it'd be nice to live there.

K, well my companion's rushing me so I gotta go!  Love ya all!

~Elder Cappuccio

P.S.  It looks like I'll have two options for when I can go home: April 24 or 
June 6.  Each is 3 weeks from my 2 year mark.  When do you think I should come 
home?  I want your opinion mom!  My thought is to stay till June 6 but let me 
know what you think!

-----Original Message-----
From: marathomom@aol.com
To: james.cappuccio@myldsmail.net
Date: Sun, 11 Oct 2009 22:02:19 -0400
Subject: In the Zone


 Dear James,

It was good to hear from you and your new companion, say hi to him for us. 
Sounds like you will be keeping busy as a zone leader now. I hope you have more 
good stories for us this week. We had a good trip to Utah, my parents are 
thinking of selling their home and getting a condo, because the house is too 
much for them to take care of. I was hoping that you and Amy could stay there 
when you get back and help them out while you go to BYU. It would take quite a 
bit of cleaning and getting rid of stuff to get the house ready to sell, so ti 
won't be anytime soon. I counted and you have less than 8 months to go, don't 
know if you thought about that yet. Ben and Devin are getting home in 3 
months or less.? It will be cool to have you all back and compare notes and 
scars. =) I was thinking you probably
need all new clothes, because you have grown taller and are skinnier
now. Does your suit still fit? They have tailor's there that make
suits inexpensively if you need a new one. Or I could send you some 
suspenders.....also, I should be getting your Christmas stuff ready pretty 
soon. Do you have anything you might want to request? 

Hope you are ready for the winter weather. We are having nice weather finally 
and my air conditioning bill should be under $300 a month now. The watering 
system in the front yard has been leaking and I didn't get it fixed for a few 
months now and so it killed the palm tree ( the whole top fell off, it looks 
really sad) by rotting out the roots. I was always good at killing house plants, 
now I moving on to the bigger plants....so anyway, now I have to fix the 
watering system and dig up the palm tree. 

Hope you have a wonderful week and thanks for all the great experiences and 
testimony you send up each week. We love you and pray for you.

Keep the fire burning!

Love always,