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.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Meeker fun


This week's e-mail will be much much easier to write because my keyboard is awesome! It works so well. So yea, i'm going to get to writing you about the events of this week. First, i'll answer some of the questions you had. I did get your e-mail last week but it was kinda funny how I got it. I e-mail'd you first and then got yours like 20 minutes later so i had time to read it but not to reply. Sorry! Anyways, I kinda...spilt grapefruit juice on the keyboard so it was fried. I was in the middle of writing Dad an e-maila nd had to just sent what I had because it wouldn't write any more :-\ Anyways...We do teach with the native Mongolians. All the time. My companion is a native Mongolian. he's from a city called Sethlenge. It's in the Sukhbaatar district. Then there are the branch missionaries. There are like 20 of them and we take them to teach with us sometimes. I don't really like it as much though because most of them are girls, and, even though they're tough, they whine a lot. They know their stuff though and they help in the lessons quite a bit. Oh, about the actively contacting. Absolutely! We call them ITL's (Invitations to Learn). Each missionary does them differently but essentially you just walk down the street and start talking to someone. You usually ask them how they're doing, how's their work or family, and then ask them if they've seen you before, or know what your work is, or know what your church is. Pretty straightforward like that. They usually say no and so you teach them a little about how our church is a restored church from Christ's original church and how it blesses families and answers all the questions we have. Then you ask them if they're interested in having us teach them more later. If they are, we take down their address and phone number and get back to them later. A lot of times people will give you their address and what not and then not be interested so you'll call them and they'll be like. No! I'm not interesting, I don't like church. haha, but on the street they're like, 'yea, that'd be great'. Kinda funny.

About the English...For the past month I haven't had to teach because it's the summer. Some missionaries teach at the church like once a week but starting on the 1st of September, we'll be teaching around 10 hours a week. So far, I have two assignments and I have to call them up to see when we'll go teach them. I think they're both companies...I'm not too sure though because I still haven't called them yet. I'll let you know more about them after I've had a week or so of them. It should be interesting!,

And then my schedule! Alright here it goes.

6:30-Wake up 630-730 do a lame workout and get cleaned up for the day. 730 make breakfast! That usually consists of two eggs and two slices of bread with butter and jam. (NOthing like the breakfast burritos i'm used to!) 800-Personal Study, I read from the Book of Mormon and and recent conference talks and then prepare for certain lessons that we'll have during the day. 900-Companion study, we go over the lessons for the day and read from Preach my Gospel and the Missionary Handbook. 1000-Language study. It supposed to be like 30 to 60 minutes. Most of the time it doesn't happen. haha, I try to do some stuff and practice but we usually have other things to do. Plus, being with a companion that only speaks Mongolian and a very limited amount of English, I get practice all day, every day! 1100-900 We're out working! Usually we have lunch before that.

On Mondays it's Preparation Day so we go play basketball and ping pong (i'm pretty good at that now ;) ), go to the tsak (buy really cool stuff for cheap), do laundry, and just prepare for the next week. On Tuesdays we have our District meeting so that takes an hour or so and then we get lunch together after that. On Thursdays we do our weekly planning session and so that takes a good 2 or 3 hours planning all the needs of our investigators and new members.

Every other day we just head out and do work! Our areas are pretty big and I've walked a lot of miles this last month. Walked over a mountain probably 5 times, and walked up tons of hills. To get out to our places its either a 15 or 25 minute drive in a Meeker or Bus. Those are a lot of fun. You're like squeezed in with 19 other Mongolians over 5 rows of seating. And the Meekers aren't very wide. It's kinda nice though because the roads aren't very smooth and so if you're packed in with a bunch of people you don't bounce around as much. If you've got space, you just bounce around and it's not comfortable. If you're on the Bus, you're still packed in there but you're standing up and every time you hit a bump you got to grip the bar real hard or you go all over the place. That's fun too. Our work is all in the ger districts which means that most of the people, if not all, live in the Mongolian gers. The entry way is real small and so you always have to duck to get in. Then you sit on one of their beds, or you sit outside on little stools. Wherever you sit, you teach them the Gospel. It's amazing to see how well they receive the message despite the fact that they've grown up without a very religious background, especially not a Christian background. Anyways, depending on the day and the amount of Referrals we have, we can teach anywhere from 7 lessons a day to 1. A lot of the times we'll set up the appointments and they'll be gone. That's always kinda disheartening but they are plenty of people that are ready and willing to hear. When we get back, we're usually dead tired!

900/930-1030 We wind down from the day, report to our District Leader, write in our journals and take care of whatever else we have to do to get ready for bed. And that's a day in the life of Elder Cappuccio, a Mongolian Missionary!

Alright, so what else can I write about? Oh, so this upcoming Friday, we're having our first baptism that i've been around the whole time for. It's our grandma called Demidkhand. She's awesome. My companion will be baptizing her and I'll be giving her the Gift of the Holy Ghost on the following Sunday. That's kinda crazy huh! All the other missionaries keep saying how rare it is that I have this opportunity and I'm very grateful for it! After her baptism, we've got i think, 12 other baptisms planned. It's all tenative and the investigators really have to attend church but I tihnk it's possible. That means in the next 4 weeks we could have 12 baptisms! That would be awesome. I think we'll really be relying on the Lord to bring these things to pass and doing our very best to bring them into His fold.

This past week has had pretty sweet weather. It's rained probably 6 times or so and a lot of the streets have pretty big patches of water in them. One of the mornings was clear and beautiful but it was like maybe 40 degrees! You could see your breath and everything. I can only imagine what it's going to be like come the 10th month when it actually starts to become winter. What i've been told is there's these series of days where it gets progressively colder each day. It's a series of 9 days and there are 9 series (I'm not entirely sure). Anyways, by the end of the 9th day in the 9th series, its REALLY COLD! haha. It should be fun :)

Oh, the Mongolians LOVE the Olympics. Especially when they win medals! Yesterday they won a Gold and a Silver and like tons of cars had Mongolian flags waving and pictures of the athletes on the car windshields. Everyone was honking their horns and tons of people got drunk. That's Mongolian National Pride. :) I think they ended with 2 Gold and 2 Silver so that's pretty good eh?

This week we had Zone Conference and the big focus was Tithing. Our Mission President gave a powerful lesson on the importance of Tithing and the blessings that extend from it. I'm convinced that paying Tithing is one of the most important commandments because it is one of the hardest for most people to follow. However, we can be assured that if we pay our tithing in faith, no matter what our circumstances, the Lord would bless us so much. There are countless accounts of people who paid their tithing when they had nothing to live off of and how the Lord provided for them. Each one of us has the great opportunity to pay tithing and receive from the Lord the bounteous blessings he is willing to give if we'll just pay our tithing in faith and with a glad heart.

On the subjects of drunks, I hate alcohol. The other day as we were leaving our area, a drunk entered our Meeker and started saying he wanted to pray. He started praying in the Meeker and I kind of wrote him off. When he started praying it was one of the most desperate things I had ever seen. It was terrible. He was bawling and I knew that even though he was drunk, this prayer was sincere. He was pleading for help, his life had been ruined by alcohol and he was in the depths of sorrow. He kept asking us for money and help. He wouldn't leave the Meeker and people tried to get him out but he wouldn't budge. FInally we got out and he followed us constantly begging for our help, but of course, we couldn't help him in the way he wanted and what we had to give him was of no use to him because he couldn't comprehend because he was drunk. WE finally were able to escape from him and as we got back on our Meeker and headed home, I cried a little bit. I pitied that man so much. When he looked up and me and pleaded for money, pleaded for my help, it was so sad. He had been taken hostage by the bonds of alcohol and him from whence all that comes from and it had wrecked his life. I wish I had been able to do something for him, but with the rules we had, I couldn't. I guess I just wanted to tell that story so you could get a feel for what we're up against here. Some of the drunks are angry and aggressive but this one was just broken and desperate. I really hate alcohol and all the other terrible things that have gripped so many of this people in bonds. And at the same time, I'm grateful for what I know and the opportunity I have to offer healing through Jesus Christ and his restored Gospel to those that are ready and willing to listen.

Alright, so that's about it for today's e-mail. I love you all and I'm so grateful to have a family like you! I can't wait to get the package from you and Brother Young but tell him I think that's cheating to correspond packages like that! haha. just kidding.

~Elder Cappuccio P.S. Forward this letter to dam98@myldsmail.net That's Elder Miller's address. Send it to Ben's and Tylers if you can too. And send theirs to me. That's be great. Thanks! My previous email to james:

Dear James, I hope you got my last email from last week, I enjoyed your email, especially the cognitive skills practice I got, I must not be getting too old because I could read the whole email with no problem. However, the eating the goat story really got your Grandmother concerned. She wanted me to tell you she doesn't want you drinking goat blood...I told her that was not the case, but maybe you should just pass on any cooked blood sausage or whatever they make from it, so I don't get worried calls and requests for from her for your mission's handbook to see what you are allowed to eat. Do you have rules about what to eat and where to eat? I don't worry too much, because I know the Lord is watching over you.

So on to more palatable news, Jacque's baptism was Saturday. It was so great to be a part of it. I gave the talk on the Holy Ghost. The missionaries gave the first lesson while she was getting dressed. it brought a few tears to my eyes because I pictured you teaching the same lesson only in Mongolian on the other side of the world. That is so amazing. I hope you? know how much it inspires me to know that you are serving the Lord with such a strong desire to help people, even people on the other side of the world.

I saw Joan Oakey on Friday and she said to say"hi." She enjoys reading your emails and forwards them to Dan, who is on a mission here in Mesa. She also said she is glad her son is somewhere where they have normal food!

We sent you a package with the treats this week. Brother Young is sending it to you. He said the Reese's and Butterfingers would not make it, so we took those out and had to eat them ourselves(sorry), but we did send some other good stuff, like pop tarts, gushers, mashed potato mix, pancake mix, instant oatmeal, hot cocoa mix, Gatorade powder, some Vitamin drink powder to keep you healthy and? other snacks. I did also get a CD player and speakers for you and put in you Carnegie hall CD. I hope it makes it to you soon, now that I got you hungry....Let me know what stuff you liked the best and I will get you another package out for Christmas with your little calendar request. I know I used to make those for my parents, so I will have to get some pictures together and make one for you.

As far as cooking skills and recipes, I guess I should of had you cook for me a few times....I'll see if there are any easy cookbooks for missionaries, something along the lines of " Just add water and stir."

I look forward to hearing from you again, broken keyboards an all, makes it more fun. Take care and know how much I love you. Sending love and prayers your way. Keep the fire burning, Love always, Mom

1 comment:

bets said...

I'm finally focused on what's important people, thanks Athena for roping me in. I loved reading the emails to and from, not sure if james can read this, let me know i'm new to this. All i know is that all of you rock. I had a similar experience in Africa with a drunk man it does rip you up with pity for them. go elder