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.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Elder James' First Email

Hi! So this is my first chance to send an e-mail out. It's pretty cool! So wow, I don't know what to write, so much stuff has happened here in my first week. Lets start with the language. Mongolian is an amazing language and definitely one of the most challenging things I've come across. It's so different from any other language i've come in contact with. I thought that maybe it would be like Chinese or Russian, but it's not at all! The sentence structure is very interesting, it goes subject, object, verb. So, instead of in English where you can just listen to the first part of the sentence and pretty much know what's going on, you have to listen to the whole thing! Our teacher says that when we get really good we can just catch the beginning and end but I don't think that's going to be any time soon. Besides the fact that there are a bunch of different rules, they have an entirely different alphabet! Basically, they use the Cyrillic alphabet that the Russians gave them and then added a few more. There are 35 letters! Anyways, there are a lot of rough sounds in the language and I'm sure you'll get a kick out of me speaking it when i get back. Lots of kkkh sounds haha. We've already transitioned into saying our testimonies and prayers in Mongolian. We're not able to say as much as we can in English but it's pretty cool. The ability to learn this much of the language is a great testament to me of the power associated with missionary work, especially the gift of tongues. We spend a lot of time studying the language but it definitely feels like we're not doing all of the work. K, so enough about the language. Uhm, another cool thing is my District. We have a lot of great Elders in the district and they're all pretty different. My companion is Elder Finuf and he's actually from Phoenix. He went to Desert Vista, ran track, and played soccer. He's a good Elder. We've really gotten along well. It's kinda funny because the first few days we were just amazed at how many similarities we had. We both had the same pinstripe suit, we were both from Arizona, we both played soccer, our dad's both work at Intel, we even had the same mini-hymn book! The teachers and leaders here are often talking about how it's hard to get along with your companion because it might seem like they are the exact opposite. Whenever they say that, Elder Finuf and I just look at each other and laugh. I love it here. I cannot think of a better place to be learning and growing in all aspects. The days are long but they seem like they just fly by. I remember the very first day I was here it seemed like an eternity yet now I've already been here a week. It's amazing! The Spirit is really strong here too. In every setting I am able to feel the Spirit, in the classroom, in my residence hall, in the firesides and devotionals. It's constantly just this overwhelming feeling of God's love and the importance of the work. I've definitely grown to a better appreciation of Jesus Christ's Atonement and how necessasry and how absolutely vital it is to us. I've also gained, and i'm working on growing it, a greater love for all people. We're all God's children and to treat one less than the other just doesn't make sense. I have the ability to experience this in the RC. That's the Referral Center. Basically you call people that have requested Church materials, follow up on it, and try and get them to visit with the missionaries. It's a great opportunity to feel the Spirit and touch people's lives through your testimony and sincerity. I was able to talk to a middle aged man the other day from Louisiana that wanted to bring his family closer together and so he watched a video by the Church called Family Answers. I was then able to talk with him about it and how families don't have to end with death, but that the joy we experience here on Earth with them can continue on in the next life and I sent him a copy of Together Forever (i think that's what it's called). It was an awesome experience. Uhm, like i said in that letter I sent you, the Branch Presidency called me as District Leader for our district of Mongolian Elders. This calling has really been an experience that has humbled me and brought me to call on the inspiration of the Lord. They definitely stress that in my calling I am here to lead but also to serve. That i am to lift, encourage, inspire, and bless the other Elders in my district. As I've tried, it's been amazing to see what the Lord has been able to accomplish. The district, like I already mentioned is filled with excellent Elders and they have helped me so much to bring the district closer. As I've been here, I've really began to understand how very, very important it is to be worthy. That is a huge thing both in the MTC and anywhere in the church. If i had not been worthy, I would not be able to experience the Spirit as I do now, and I wouldn't be able to go forth in this great work. Uhm, so i don't know what else to put, I see friends of mine almost everywhere here and it's really exciting. I LOVE getting letters and packages so please do send me some! The other day one Elder got a package of cinnamon rolls delivered through the service called DearElder. I definitely suggest that you send me some Mom! Alright my computer time is almost up so I've got to go. I'll write more next week. I love each and every one of you Cappuccios! Joseph, Cali, Crystal, Amy, Dad, and Mom! I love you! Thanks for being such a great family to me and giving me all that I have! ~Elder Cappuccio It was great to hear his excitement about learning Mongolian. I know he will work hard to figure it out. I also liked the subtle hint about cinnamon rolls...

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