Alriiiiiight, so I’m typing this up on a Word Document so there ain’t no way I’m losing it! Hello everyone! I’m back in the PC café.
Ok, so I’ll start with the bad news so that the letter can get progressively better and there’s no sad feelings at the end. Alright so right now I am sick like a dog! All last night I found myself at the toilet numerous times getting rid of every ounce of liquid in me from whichever direction it came from. (If you don’t put this in the blog that’s totally fine). So last night was pretty restless. I’m not exactly sure what you call the sickness I have but it felt a lot like the flu. I was sweating and shivering and aching. So yea!
Alright, away from that boring subject. Mongolia is crazy! There’s no way you could understand it unless you lived here for quite a while. It is just so different from anything I’ve ever experienced in America. As I already mentioned, the roads are wild. Like, they do have traffic lines and some stop lights, but for the most part it is just a free for all. Yet, of all the crazy driving I’ve seen, I haven’t seen 1 accident yet. Not 1! They’re just really good drivers. (Then again, if we could use the sidewalks and parking lots as part of the road I think a lot of things could be avoided too). So let’s see…
The food! Alright so a lot of the food here taste the same. All the meat tastes the same, all the rice tastes the same, all the potatoes taste the same, and all the dairy products taste the same. Yea, so that means your cheese your milk and your yogurt pretty much all tast the exact same. Oh, and they’ve got this stuff called ааруул which is dried milk. I’ll definitely bring some of that home for you all to try. But yea, it’s very strong and very bitter. I think I’m getting used to it though! Then there’s the айраг. That’s the fermented mare’s milk. Most of it is alcoholic but if you get it new then we’re allowed to drink it. So I did! And WOW. It’s like got the tangy taste that yogurt does with the cultures and what not. But it’s multiplied by probably…1000x. And then you’ve got the half-milk half-cheese taste that all dairy products have here in Mongolia. The restaurants here don’t really have any health codes or anything so that’s why it’s so easy to get sick. If you could send a lot of stomach medication in your care package that would be much appreciated. So yea, as of now I haven’t eaten anything extreme. I’m on the outskirts of the city in the сонгино (congin, Mongolian for Onion) branch so it’s still pretty urbanized. I’m sure that I’ll be eating a head or two in the near future. Our teacher in the MTC told us that by the end of his mission he had eaten every part of a sheep at least once. So that’s most likely in my future as well.
My companion! He is Mongolian. His name is эрдэнэбат (air-den-bat). In Mongolia all their names are word combos. Like for instance, сүхбаатар. If you translated that to English it would be ‘axe hero’. Then there are ones like ‘firm iron’, ‘sun beam’ couple joy’ ‘eternal joy’ ‘new joy’ ‘eternal light’. So yea, I’m sure for the Mongolians it is just like having names like John is for us in America. I don’t think they really dissect it like we do. But I still think it’s funny. Who knows, I might just name one of my kids like a Mongolian! “Firm axe” has a nice ring to it.
Anyways, I diverged. So he is awesome, when we get into lessons he can just speak so well and he has tons of great ways of explaining the doctrine. I’ve definitely taken some of his ideas and tried to use them. I hope he doesn’t mind because I’m sure I butcher then when I use it. Compared to him, my Mongolian is like…a 2-year olds. However it is a goal of mine to leave this transfer (11 more weeks) speaking like he does and understanding him. It’s a very lofty goal but I think, with the help of the Lord, and diligence, I can make it there.,P> Our investigators! Alright this week we had a baptism and we set appointments for two others which means we’ll be having at least 4 baptisms after a month. As of now I still can’t exactly follow everything that happens in the lesson but afterwards my companion tries to explain it. I’ve had experiences with new contacts where they’ve wanted the 2nd lesson and I’ve had others where they don’t want the next lesson. That’s always disheartening. You want so much for everyone to accept the message and when they say no, or that they already are Buddist, I want so bad to just tell them what they’re missing out on but I can’t. Those that do accept the message are so uplifting though. It’s awesome to have them say they would like the next discussion.
We had this neat experience this week where we were about to take a bus out to one of our areas to do work out there. We were waiting for some time but the bus didn’t come. Then this girl approached us and identified herself as someone we were supposed to teach earlier that didn’t show. We decided to teach her back at the church so we headed back that way and just as we were leaving the bus stop, the bus to take us out to the area we ere headed to showed up. I truly believe that God provided for us to be there still so that she could catch us. She received the first lesson very well and went to church the following day so it’s really exciting.
Alright well I guess I’ll end this weeks e-mail, I can’t really think of much else to write. Plus, I’m not feeling very good and I need to rest. So I hope everything is going well! I’m going to send another e-mail with just a couple pictures. One is of a hat I got Joseph for his birthday. I think over the next few weeks I’ll try and get something for the whole family and then send it all out in one package. I’ll have to see the feasibility of doing something like that. Well, I love all of you!
~Elder James Cappuccio
To Sister Infanger/Brother Cannon: Hey, Mongolia is great! At the Congin church I met this man called намсрай that says he knows you Sister Infanger! He’s pretty short, about your height and he’s working as a security guard for the church building. Oh, and maybe it’s just the area I’m in but like the whole whistling in buildings doesn’t apply and the ‘don’t touch anyone on the head or shoulders’ doesn’t apply. Oh and one thing you can teach the new batch of missionaries that will really help is to do ITL’s (invitations to Learn). We do them all the time here. Have them practice talking to people a lot. Like they don’t even have to be round about it. Just say that they’re missionaries for the church and then have them practice talking about the church. Then have them practice taking down addresses and numbers. That would be such a help.
To Elder Hatch: Hey! How’s the Czech Republic? If you can have your family forward your e-mails to me so I can hear of all the great work you’re doing over there.,P.