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.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tsagaan Sar, aka Buuz Eating Fest- sent Mar 1( yeah i caught up!)


Well, let me first extend my congratulations to Cali! That's awesome! She's gonna go all the way!!! Haha, that's way cool. Yeah, the Japanese internment camps! That's a good subject. The other day we were meeting with the Relief Society President and her son (who is inactive). We somehow got started talking about racism in America and they asked me how long racism was a problem in America and I couldn't remember when it all happened! Man, I'm getting rusty.

Anyways, this week was Tsagaan Sar! The long awaited Tsagaan Sar. It was well, to say the least, interesting. Let me describe kind of what happens on Tsagaan Sar. First, everyone makes tons and tons and tons of buuz. Usually like 300 or more. They're like dumplings but not the same, because the ingredients are meat, fat, onions, and seasoning. Then they freeze the buuz and wait till Tsagaan Sar. When Tsagaan Sar starts, they start to steam their buuz as people come over to their house to spend time with them! So then for the next three days people just go visit relatives and eat buuz and sing and talk. When you go and visit, you have to do this greeting where you put your hands under theirs if you're younger than them (on top if you're older) and ask them, "Is there peace?" or "Are you peaceful?" and then the older person kind of gives you a kiss on your cheeks. LAtely, they've just started to just sniff you but yea. that's what you do. Then, they give you their boiled water-down milk with salt and you slice off pieces of boiled meat that's lying in a tray and wait for the buuzs to be ready! Then the buuz come and you eat potato salad and buuz and anything else that is white. Now, if you're a missionary, that means you're going to like all the members houses and eating all the buuzs they put in front of you! Over the three days of Tsagaan Sar we probably went to 16 houses and I ate...I didn't really count, but it was like over 110. My companion ate like 185. He's a good eater. :) He really loves the people and so he sacrificed his body to show his love. I guess I just don't love them as much as he does?

Anyways, we'd get home every night and just be stuffed to the brim and not want to eat anything anymore. However, we did eat more, day after day. I'm kind of interested to find out how much I weigh now...haha.

So yea, with Tsagaan Sar going on this week, there wasn't really anything else that happened and we weren't really able to meet with our investigators or find new people. We did have two neat experiences with our investigators. We went in to teach them and they were just so prepared. They had read, thought about it, wrote down questions, and it was awesome! One investigator asked really good questions, like "Without being baptised can I feel the Holy Ghost?" "Why did Jesus Christ have to leave, why doesn't he just stay here and keep working among the people?" Yea, so it was really neat, and we had the opportunity to really get her hooked on asking to know the truth through prayer. As we taught about Adam and Eve, she had a hard time understanding because when she was in Germany earlier, she had learned some basic stuff from the Jehovah's Witnesses. So we had her in a situation where she really wanted to know which accout was correct, which doctrine was true. So we told her to pray and promised her that she would get an answer! Sweet eh?

SO yea, I still love my mission and I still love being here among the Mongolian people. They're such a great people that have been dealt a hard lot. But this GOspel is changing their lives and it's a awesome thing to be able to witness!

Well, I hope everything goes well for you! It looks like each one of you has one adventure or another planned out! I love you all so much!

~Elder Cappuccio

-----Original Message----- From: marathomom@aol.com To: james.cappuccio@myldsmail.net Date: Sun, 01 Mar 2009 19:34:31 -0500 Dear James,

It's starting to warm up here, so I hope it is warming up there in Mongolia too. This week has been very busy, Cali had o get her board done for the City competition of National History day. She did it on the Japanese internment camps during WWII. So she had us make a large board out of plywood and we put a rusty fence and some barbed wire across the front of the board after she glued everything down. Jack helped get the supplies and helped us get it all put together late into the night. It all payed of because she got a superior rating and 68/70 points and gets to move on to state competition in April. If she does well there she can go to Nationals in DC this summer. She also competed in the Chandler Gold Cup talent competition on Friday, where she sang very well, but didn't win. She was already trying to think of a song to sing next year so she can win. So since it's here Birthday today(sort of) I guess it's okay to talk about her so much this email.

The rest of us are good. Joseph is getting ready to go on the Trek. I am writing his letter this week, should I put in a good word from you?

The primary children loved your letter, and the adults too! Today's meeting was very good, Brother Haught started it off with his humble but strong and caring testimony. His wife is not doing well. Brother Marlin ended it by bearing his test imony for the first time. He and his family were sealed in the temple this week. It was pretty neat. Joe bore is testimony also and related a lesson from seminary about not ignoring the spirit calling you like you might ignore someone calling you on your cell phone because you are too busy.

Amy said she might be working on a fishing boat in Alaska this summer to earn money. She has some friends that are going and she applied but hasn't heard yet.

I bought a big stash of pop-tarts for my next package to you. Do you need anything like shaving supplies or stuff like that? Also Wells fargo keeps taking $6.95 out of our account each month so it would be good if you could call them.

We love you, keep the fire burning!

Love always,


Apostle Nelson Visits and 15 months left!-sent Feb 23

Alriiiiight. Well this is me, Elder Cappuccio again. Just a little trivia fact. Did you know that i've been on my mission for over 9 months? That's a LONG time. However, Elder Clawson and Elder Miller are way ahead of me! They'll be done before this year closes out!

Anyways, this week has been a good week. We had an Apostle of the Lord, Elder Nelsen, come and speak to the missionaries and the Mongolian church members. It was an amazing experience. Also, on a smaller scale, my companion and I have had some rather neat spiritual experiences lately.

Last wednesday, for preparation day, we went on an outing as a Zone. I didn't really want to go because I didn't trust the planning and coordination of it, but my companion wanted to and so i agreed and off we went. Well, it turned out to take a lot longer than anyone had intended, the weather was pretty rough and it was just not like people intended it to be. I was not to happy about it and the rest of the day really closed off what I felt was my first day as a missionary where I didn't really do anything a missionary should do. That's what it felt like to me. Anyways, the next day I was rather broken up about it and, rather undeservingly, upset towards my companion about it. I felt it was his fault and that if he would just trust me more, we would have had a better day yesterday. So with that attitude, I worked through the first few hours of the day wondering and praying to know how to feel better and get on track. Oddly enough, our cell phone for some reason would not make any calls and would not receive any calls. That was frustrating. If we couldn't call anyone, we wouldn't be able to make to the important assignments we needed to make or confirm any appointments. Finally, companionship study rolled around. As we started up, I decided to bring out my issue with yesterday in front of my companion. I stated my frustrations and why I wasn't happy. Amazingly, we were able to clear things up well and I was able to release the anger I had towards my companion. At a certain point in the discussion, the Spirit whispered to me something amazing: the phone will work now. I waited until we had settled everything and then calmly said, "I think our phone works now" and called our District Leader. It worked! It was amazing! I honestly know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord caused that to happen as it did. I learned a valuable lesson that day: We must love our companions and when we have things against them, we can't expect to be successful in the work, the Lord won't help us with the work. I also gained a more powerful understanding of the ability of the Lord to command all things, even our cell phones, to the obeying of his will.

Well, things are going great for us and I just want to let you know that I love this work and I'm going to do everything that I can to fulfill my calling to the best of my ability. I love you all so very very much and want to thank you for helping me to be successful in a lot of the things I do. I know this church is true and that it leads us where no other organization or idea or philosophy or path of life can lead us; It leads us to eternal life.

~Elder Cappuccio

I am adding an email he wrote to someone in Mongolian just for fun:

Sain bain uu! Yooe! Mongoloor bichixed aimaar xetsvv bna! Bi chinii mailiig unshaxad barag l oilgoogvi! Gexdee oilgoson! Yamar ch gecen, sonin caikhan? Bi yhenxeer ta nariig sanijinaa! Manai Erdenet barag Mongold xamgiin caikhan gazar yum aa. Bi sain mongoloor bichijinuu? Oh, tegeed, be tursan. Xeveree bambroska mun uu? Xaxa, togloson, yamar ch gecen, daragiin udaa chi nad ruu neg jixene zaxia bichij chadxuu? Ern bid nomlogch nar e-mailaar uur xvmvvc rvv bichij boloxgvi. Tiim uchraas manai eej cham ruu eniig yavuulna! Za, tegvel, chi shvv! Yrgelj sudraas sain unshaarai! mun mash sain zalbiraarai! Xairtai shvv!

~Axlagch Cappuccio

In Harmony with the Lord- sent Feb 18th

Wow, it sounds like you just go from one adventure to the next! That sounds like a lot of fun to go out and just ride around. Today we kind of did that for our Preparation Day. We went on a little trip to this place called Turtle Rock. We didn't spend much time at the rock itself but instead hiked to this monastary tucked up in the mountains. It was pretty neat but I felt really wierd sitting there looking at some of their paintings describing hell. I took pictures of it because they were really interesting. I'll probably send some home to you. Anyway, it looked really neat and all with all the colors and stuff. Pretty mysterious. Unfortunately, it was locked today and so we couldn't go in.

As for work, things are doing good! We've continued to increase in the lessons we teach. I'd say the best part of last week was just seeing the way that the SPirit was able to work through us. I wish I had more time today to write all about it, there really were several instances this last week where I just really felt the Spirit lead our work. And it was awesome. I think I'll write them next week so that you can read them. I really love that feeling. Knowing that your life is in harmony with the Lord and that the work you're doing is what He would have you do. Unfortunately, we're not perfect and that's not always how it is. But, we're trying and so eventually we'll get it all down just right. Well, to close I just want to let you know that it's getting colder here, not warmer. However, after hearing the inspired words of Elder Nelsen and the people that came with him, I feel a lot warmer inside and excited to carry that fire to the rest of the people of Mongolia. I don't know if I've really explained this well yet, but I really love this people. It's getting hard for me to see the hard situations they go through and not be able to just take them out of it. But yet, some people let us help them, and I love it. Well, I hope everything will go well for you. I keep hearing the economy isn't too good so I hope and pray that God will keep protecting you guys. I love you all!

~Elder Cappuccio,P> -----Original Message----- From: marathomom@aol.com To: james.cappuccio@myldsmail.net Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2009 20:41:00 -0500 Subject: Fun in the snow

Dear James,

Aloha, No I didn't go to Hawaii, but it would be nice. We went to Pine though, which is just north of Payson for the weekend. Joseph and I went to stay at Jack's cabin/house there. We went riding around in the mud and snow on the go-cart, ATV and Jeep Jack has. The go-cart works much better now too, jack fixed the steering. We got stuck in the snow a few times, luckily we made it out or I wouldn't be writing today! jk

Chelisa Lantz wanted to tell you that she said Hi and is thinking about you. Her son really loved the people there also. So, as I was singing in church today, I was wondering what hymns you sing in Mongolian? Do you have the full hymn book or just a condensed version? Do you need your own Mongolian hymn book? The Relief Society sang in church today and since I am the RS chorister I directed the choir, which is my first time doing that. It turned out pretty good. Do you have any musical numbers in your meetings there besides hymns?

I gave your letter to the Primary today and they were excited to get it. It was hard to tell the difference from the Mongolian sentences from your english ones, but then again your going to be a doctor, so don't worry about the handwriting. Elder Burgoyne wrote some of his letter in Cambodian, which looked really different, not even like letters. Sister Fisher said to say thank you and said you can email them next time if you want, instead of mailing it.

Leslie Hodgson says Hi too, I forwarded your last letter to everyone and she and Brother Toolson responded back, in fact let me put in what he wrote:

"James sounds so good. Very excited for James and the experiences he continues to have. I can tell he is hard working and very obedient in his missionary travels. Thanks for sharing." Mike

Also, I haven't been very good at keeping the blog current in December- january. I was wondering if you have the emails on your account that you sent in December. I have January forward but my AOL account erased the older ones. sorry.

Well, I hope you had a great week and wish you more of the same this week. We love and pray for you.

Keep the fire burning!

Love always,


Drunks Becoming Best Friends and Dead Dog Face-Eaters sent Feb 8th

ALright, it's me again, the Son you banished to Outer Mongolia. Well, this week was good, to be honest, it was good. Statistically, we had an 800% increase in lessons taught. BUt well, that's cuz we may or may not have only taught 1 lesson our first week together... ANyways, the point is, we're building this area up and it's exciting. At first I wanted to cry because our area was like, a mess! It seemed like nothing made sense. Now, I'm not saying that it makes sense now, but we've spent enough time in it that we understand where weneed to go to meet with most people. It's sweet, I love it.

One really neat experience that happened this week is that we started teaching my companion's older sister. She was taking the lessons before but forsome reason stopped taking them. We met with her and it was away awesome lesson, now she's taking the lessons again and we've got a baptismal date set with her. I'm so excited for this because I know itwill mean so much to my old companion. I know he loves his family a lot and wants them to know of thejoy in the gospel.

Outside of that,we had some interesting experiences. One day we were harassed bya drunk and his friend. Turns out hemessed up his leg and needed like 5 dollarstotake an x-ray. He wanted to hit me with his cane because we wouldn't give him money. HOwever, like 2 dayslater after escaping, we ran into him in a very small alley. This time he was sober and hewaslike our best friend! Then last night we saw him again and he was drunk so he was asking for money again. I think by the time this transfers done, we'll be really good friends,maybe he'll even be a church member!

Another kind of scary incident is that apparently thereis a dead dog face eater in our area. Everyday day you see about 5 or 6 dead dogs on the side of theroad. Some are prettier than others. Well, just the other day, we started noticing that the dogs that were just plain old dead the other day were now missing faces! There are not like 3 dead FACELESS dogs in our area! Scary. Now we're starting to wear facemasks when we gothrough that area just incase it decides to go afterliving humans. Haha.

ALright, well I don't know of anything else to write...Elder Nelsen is coming to Mongolia next week so we'll getto hear from him twice. I'm pretty excited aboutthat! As for AMerican food...there are American stores in Ulaanbaatar and theysometimes haveapretty good varietyof things. Unfortunately, I have yet to see Poptarts. They do have all the major candies though and I even got capri-sun and fruit by the foot one time. You definitely should put TONS of pop-tartsin there. I love them. They do sellpeanut butter here but it's hard to find and expensiveso maybe if you sent me a big one that would beawesome.

Sorry to hear about the ankle! THat's no fun atall! SOrry about writing the wrong dateon that letter, I keepdoing that in my journal too! It takeslike a few months to adjust I guess...Alright, well Ithink that's it. I love youall! Thanks forwriting me. I love these people they are so awesome. Keep looking out for people thatyou meet everyday that may be ready to hear your testimony about the restored Gospel!

~Elder Cappuccio -----Original Message----- From: marathomom@aol.com To: james.cappuccio@myldsmail.net Date: Sun, 08 Feb 2009 20:05:10 -0500 Subject: Re: Hello!

Dear James,

Sain bainuu, is that Mongolian for Hello? Learning German out there too I see! I got your letter for the primary this week too! it looks like it only took a week, except for the fact you put the year as 2008! in that case it was really slow.... Anyway I forgot to take it to church this week, so I will put ot in my bag so I won't forget next week.

Pop tarts are on sale this week, so I'll be grabbing you a few boxes for your next package. Anything esle you need besides the pictures? Do they sell American food like poptarts at the grocery stores there? Just wondering what kind of food they sell.

I took Cali to see The Lion King Musical at ASU Gammage on Thursday, It was amazing, we both had a good time and then walking out I missed the last step on the staircase and sprained my ankle. I tried to walk it off, but it didn't work too well, limped about 1/2 a mile to the car. By Saturday night it was feeling pretty good though, so I healed pretty quick. So that was the exciting news of the week.

We love you and hope you are keeping warm.

Keep the fire burning!

Love Always


Awesome Revelation Experience- Sent Jan 18th

Hello everyone! This is Elder Cappuccio, live from Erdenet, Mongolia! This week was pretty neat! We were supposed to have a baptismal interview this week but he not exactly ready yet. If everything goes according to plan, we'll have 3 baptisms in 2 weeks! Yea! I love meeting with these people and seeing them catch fire as they experience the SPirit in their lives. Today I had the opportunity to go into an interview with President Andersen. That was awesome! He so wise and so helpful. We talked about how to improve the quality of our investigators, how to really speak to them. He taught me it's all about the questions. We need to learn what their desire is, and then make promises to them according to the Spirit about that desire and how the scriptures have the answers. I'm excited to study this more and apply it to my lessons

This week I went on a companion exchange. My companion went with our District Leader so I was with Elder McClellan, an Elder from my group. It was a fun experience, we both have trouble with the language and it was my area so I was pretty much in charge. Although we got burned quite a few times, we were able to get some good lessons and contacts in. At one place it was way neat because it wasn't a planned appointment but after we were burned by one person I was impressed to visit another investigator that really haden't been progressing. As we entered, I didn't know what exactly to teach to her but it was awesome when that revelation came and I was able to share a scripture that really applied to her. It was awesome! The spirit was there and we were able to leave that place knowing we had done what we were meant to do. Sadly, she didn't really act according to the spirit's confirmation. That always hurts, but I'm still able to think back on that occasion and know that we did exactly what needed to be done and that when she's ready, we'll be there to help her.

Anyways, the work is moving along. We had 210 people in church! They reorganized the Branch Presidency and the District! This year in Erdenet they will have 2 branches and 1 new one in an adjacent town called Bolgan. That's exciting ain't it? Well transfers will happen this week. The American missionaries are having trouble with visas agian, poor saps. We had no issues and then the next group started all the trouble! It's because the governemt is getting serious about our English teaching and getting suspicious of us... ANyways, pray that the work continues to progress! I love you all. I got Grandma and Grandpa's package! It was awesome thank you! Keep up the good work that you do and improve the other stuff!

~ELder Cappuccio

Epic New Apartment- sent Feb 1,2009

Gunten Tag! Hola! Sain bainuu! Hello!

I don't know why I gave you the multi-lingual greeting, but I did. Anyways, I'm here in the PC cafe by my house writing you this e-mail. A lot fo things have happened since the last e-mail. We now have a house. It's not just house, it's like a penthouse when you consider most mongolian apartments! It's like brand new and it's got an automatic washer! Sweet eh? It's all wood tile which is good and bad and we got all new appliances for it all. I love it. If I have time I'll send pictures of it so you can get an idea. In the middle of our Apartment square there is like 4 statues of women and one of a horse. It’s pretty epic. Anyway, the word is that the power is going to cut out in this PC café really soon so everyone is typing frantically. It’s like a tornado is coming or something. That’s what it seems like. Haha, but it’s just the power. Anyways, we have a cell phone. That’s news. Usually it’s only the Zone Leaders and Assistants to the President, and the Sign Language Elders that have cell phones but we got a cell phone because we got no phone line in our new house. It’s pretty cool and handy especially because in our new area if we get lost or can’t find somebody’s house we can like call them and have them come out and find us. We haven’t tried that yet too much though because we got the phone on Thursday night. At first it was way annoying because I would call people and like they couldn’t hear me talk but I could hear them talk. It was frustrating for sure. Then we got a fixed phone so everything was better. As for our new area, is going alright I guess. Our Area makes NO, absolutely no sense. Some sections are neat and orderly because they are apartment complexes but the majority of it is all ger communities and they just through numbers and fences and all that stuff. So yea We did a lot of talking on the street and just finding people to teach. On Friday we had our first success getting into a home and it was way exciting. We were leacing an apartment complex and this man was outside his door smoking. We were about to pass him by and exit but then I felt like I needed to go back and talk to him So we did and we talked to him for a bit and then asked if we could talk more inside. He agreed and we had our first lesson! He was kind of weird because he asked a ton of random questions about America and churches there. He wanted to know how much percentage of Americans are LDS and I didn’t really know so that was weird. Anyways, the power won’t go out anymore so we’re safe. Phew! So we taught him and his son. His son seemed quite a bit more interested. Unfortunately, they didn’t come to church this week so we’ll have to see what’s the matter. At church we did have some other glimmers of hope though! When I was contacting, I called this guy named khatanbaatar and his wife answered. She was kind of confused on how I had his number but anyways, I invited her to come to church and she came with her relative! It was cool so we’re going to meet with them latter this week and hope everything goes well!

Another experience we had was quite a sad one. We were on a bus to head back to the city from our area and we got on and sat down next to some poor children in the back of the bus. We talked to them and became pretty good friends with them there. Then we decided to kind of show them our church so they could get an idea of what it was like, they looked like they needed that. As we got closer to the bus stop, some argument started up between the kids and the younger brother and sister started to get off. Well the big brother wouldn’t let the littlest one go for some reason and so he started to cry and get angry and try to punch his brother. At first the brother was really patient and just held him back from the door. Then, for some reason, he lost his patience and punched his brother in the face twice. It got really quiet and the boy started to cry a lot more, he was really hurt. Then the older brother realized what he had done. You could see it really hurt him seeing what he had done to his brother and he was on the verge of tears. I knew what it was like to because I’d been in similar experiences with Joseph. It was so sad, the way they had been raised had led to such a stark violation of real brotherhood and it stung the older brother a lot inside. To be honest, I almost started to cry as I saw this happen because I understood what was going on. So we got off together at the bus stop and walked to our church. The older brother tried to get back on his brother’s good side but it was practically useless. Then we entered the church building and I gave them a short explanation of our sacrament meeting and the room and then invited them to come back tomorrow for church. Anyways, I just thought I’d share that account of what family relations sometime come to in Mongolia. It’s a very rough, cold country sometimes.

Well, I love you all. I love doing this work and we’re going to work really hard with our members and investigators to find those wheat and rescue those lost sheep. I hope everything goes well for you back at home and sorry that the Cardinals didn’t win. It’s ok.

~Elder Cappuccio

-----Original Message----- From: marathomom@aol.com To: james.cappuccio@myldsmail.net Date: Sun, 01 Feb 2009 20:46:50 -0500 Subject: !

Dear James,

It's half time of the Super Bowl and the Cardinals are down by 10 points. They were down 10-7 with 18 seconds left and had the ball 1st and goal on the 4 yard line and a defensive lineman for Pittsburgh intercepted the ball at the goal line and ran it 100 yards back for a touchdown! He was a big guy and just mowed down the small guys that tried to knock him down. He had to lay down for a few minutes to catch his breath. Anyway, if you haven't written me by the time the game is over, I will update you with the final score later tonight. How is it going back in the big city? I know you liked Erdenet a lot. The keyboards work better there too! Do you have your own house or apartment yet? Yousaid you were in a new area, is it just a new area to you or is it a new area they are just opening up for missionaries to teach? I don't think I can get you a prescription without seeing a doctor, unless I buy some in Mexico. Having a huge zit may come in handy for opening up a converation about the gospel.

I am keeping busy at work and I hope it pays off next month with funding more loans. Cali is working on a big project board for National History day competition. She won her school competition and is going on to regionals. We're making her board out of plywood. She's pretty creative and likes to make things so I think it will be awesome. Joseph did the 4 mile run for the Trek this saturday. The trek is during spring break this spring intercession. I know it will be a good experience for him.

Take care andI hope to mail you some pictures in my next package, not sure when that will be but sometime before your Birthday!

Keep the fire burning!

love always, mom

Sorry for the missing posts

I have say that I lost a few emails due to not posting them until they were already deleted after 30 days. I have some excuses like working too much overtime and having a good-looking boyfriend. I will try to catch up and then keep up(sounds like all my journal entries) Athena