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.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lost Backpack, Lost Lunch, Found Faith(Oct 26th)

Ah yes, the weekly e-mail! Well, quite a bit has happened since last week. As I said, our transfer was finishing up last week and so I would either be staying or going. The call came on Thursday morning. President asked to speak to me and then told me that I would be going to Erdenet. My new companion would be Elder Byambadorj. So, that’s where I am right now; Erdenet. If you go to a map of Mongolia, you’ll probably find erdenet in the northern middle west part section, ya know? It’s north of Ulaanbaatar and west of Darkhan. Most importantly, it’s the place that every Mongolian missionary wants to serve in. Why? Well, it’s pretty much a small town, with pretty much all the comforts of a big city! It was built completely by the Russians, or so I’ve heard, and in Mongolian, Erdenet, means treasure. So far I like the place a lot! So…my last week with my old companion, Elder Alexander was alright. President challenged us to do better on our weekly numbers, especially contacting people on the street. As we did this, things really started to improve for us! So I gained a testimony of the importance of daily talking with people on the street. So then on Saturday, it was transfer time. The days before I had packed up all my stuff and prepared myself for departure. Saturday was spent mostly at the mission home because our train didn’t leave till later that night, around 8. So, I ran around with other missionaries doing whatever. I ran into a new member from my old branch at her work (The Golden Pen shop). She’s such a sweet girl! We talked for a bit and I told her I was going to Erdenet. She then gave me a pen from her store for free and said it was her gift to me! I was like, thanks! She’s awesome. Anywayssssss, the rainy cloud on that Saturday’s, Sunday’s, and a little bit of today’s parade is that my health streak has ended. After eating some of my companions cooking, I contracted something not very nice. Therefore, I spend a large portion of my time on Saturday, Sunday, and the connecting nights, expelling everything not secure stowed inside my body. Luckily, my kidney, lungs, heart, intestines, and other vital organs were fastened well enough to withstand the constant lurching. Other things, such as every item of food I had eaten for the last 2 days, was not. And, as it was before, it came out wherever was easiest. Anyways, It’s quite amazing when you realize exactly how much fluids are in your body. It’s also amazing to experience how weak you feel with all those fluids are gone! Haha, anyways, that’s all really gross to you readers I bet. The most important thing about all of this is that I am ALIVE! And that if I can laugh about it, so can you! I’m here in Mongolia serving a mission and I’m not going to let some pesky stomach virus stop me! In fact, we still taught two lessons yesterday (and the 2nd investigator didn’t mind at all that I threw up in her house!). That’s how wonderful these Mongolian people are.

On another sad, less playful note, one of my bags was taken. The odd thing was that it was taken from the mission home. I brought 3 bags to the mission home and only left with two. We looked for my backpack all over but either it was intentionally stolen or someone mistook it for theirs and headed off without checking. If it’s the latter option, I’ll be greatly relieved because there was some good stuff in that bag: a tuna fish pack from home!, my cds, Mongolian scriptures, flashlight, photo album, and camera! Other stuff as well, but that’s what I remember most. If it was stolen, well, I’ll probably never get it back and someone at the Zax will get a nice camera for pretty cheap. If it was just accidentally taken though, I could have it all back to me as soon as a few weeks which would be way sweet. Anyways, if you would all pray that the bag turns up with everything intact, that would be greatly appreciated and I’m sure things will turn out ok.

As for missionary work, I’m getting settled into the area and my companion is Mongolian. He’s a lot like me so I think we’ll have a great time. I expect my Mongolian language to greatly improve with his help! Anyways…I’ll let you know more about our investigators and new members as I get to know them more! Most importantly, I know this church is true and no matter what happens here or abroad, I’m going to keep doing my job as best as I can! I hope that everything is going well for all of you back home. I love you all very very much and I miss you a bunch. In about 2 months, I’ll be able to call you! Sweet eh? Alright, well keep working hard and I’ll do the same. Just remember that we’ve been called to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all places, to mourn with those who mourn, and to comfort those who stand in need of comfort. ~Elder Cappuccio

Dear James,

It's that time of year when you get 10-20 calls a day from people or groups wanting to get your support for their candidate or proposition. We have a few propositions to vote for, but the one getting the most publicity seems to be the Marriage amendment. We are voting to change the Arizona constitution to define marriage as only between one man and one woman. This would make it impossible for a judge to be able to rule in favor of a same sex marriage. The church is taking a stand on this and asking us to not only vote for it but try to influence others to vote for it. Speaking of marriage, Ashley Richardson got engaged last night. I don't know his name but he seems like a really nice guy.

Anyway back to missionary work. I am curious to find out where you are beening transferred to or if you are staying in the same area.?Do you see the missionaries you were in the MTC with on P-days? We do need some more picures, if you get a chance.

I ran a 12 miler last Saturday, but only 5 this Saturday, so to stay on track for my marathon goal I have to run 14 miles this next weekend. I run (if you can call it that these days) very slow, but it isn't hard to keep running at a slow and steady pace. I always wondered about the scripture in D&C 89 about running and not being weary and walk and not faint. Seems like you would be more apt to faint while running, but then I ran a marathon and it made sense. If you run within your pace you have trained, you can run and not be weary and then if you do have to stop and walk the stiffness and aches catch up to you, so you have to keep going even though it feels like torture, so it's actually harder when you start walking.(after running 20 miles)at least it has been for been for me. So if I train well enough I won't have to walk. You could probably relate that to life in many ways.

I have also been reading the " The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Covey. I found it in your room, so I decided I could use some extra help in many areas of life and try to read some each day. Well I got to go to choir practice now. I hope you are well. We pray for you always and are grateful for your dedication and desire to serve the Lord.

We love you,

Keep the fire burning,

Love always,

mom and family

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