Dear Family! Alright, I've found a internet cafe that will let me sit in it without a mask! Sweet! So you got the e-mail from Sister Hellewell? Nice! Yea it was neat to find out that Elder Horan and I had some sort of connection! He is an AWESOME Elder who truly has been able to develop the gift of Charity. He is one of the most caring people I have ever met. It was a great opportunity for me to go on an exchange with him. So, the swine flu is here. But, it's not like epidemic status yet. There's some 300 cases of it and they say that 2 people have died from it. So far the missionaries are doing pretty good, maybe 2 or 3 missionaries have contracted it. They don't necessarily make everyone wear masks its just that some internet cafes were being really weird about the whole situation. Oh, my new companion likes jelly beans so make sure to send some of those ok? I would LOVE a phote album from you guys! Everybody's changed since the last photos, I bet. See if you can get some of dad's pictures in there as well....:) Alright, so, I plan on writing a lot because these last two weeks have been some of the best in my mission, bar none. It just seems that so many things are turning in our favor as missionaries and miracles are being seen everywhere we go. I hope that I can manage to write it in a way that you guys can feel the same Spirit that I felt as I experienced these events: Ok, so the first one is about Battulga. As I was going on the exchange with Elder Horan, we were walking around some apartment buildings trying to contact people and meet with them. Then, out of nowhere, this slightly drunk man comes up and starts talking English with us. We talk with him for a bit and find out that's he's been in America for 7 years so he's got pretty good English. Finally, he lets us into his house and we start meeting. At first, I was reluctant because he was drunk and I wasn't sure how well he'd understand. Anyways, we went in and started meeting with him and his wife. It was a WEIRD first meeting, that’s for sure. But, he really wanted to meet with us so we kept teaching. He expressed the struggles he’s been having in his life with his marriage and work, smoking and drinking. We were able to teach him about God and then about prayer and the Holy Ghost, how he could have these good feelings all the time. One thing that stood out as pretty funny was that he had this ashtray on the window seel. As we were talking with him, he got up, and said: You see this? This is my ashtray. When you guys come next time, this won’t be here. In fact”, and he opens the window, looking down, “I’m going to get rid of it right now!” and proceeds to toss the cup out of his 4th story window! Every since then, him and his wife Yanjmaa have been amazing. They came to Stake Conference, and they were there at church yesterday. They look like they’ll be getting baptized in a couple weeks. Isn’t that amazing? Out of a contact with a drunk man, we’ve found a husband and wife that are putting their lives In line with God’s perscribed plan and reaping the rewards. Everytime I see him, he looks happier! The next story is also from being with Elder Horan. We went to go visit an old investigator, only to find that they weren’t there. However, the son was and so we sat down and he gave us some of the food he made. We kind of just talked for awhile at first, getting to know him and complimenting him on how good the food was (it was good!). Then Elder Horan asked him a question about church and about Jesus Christ, to see what his level of interest was. The answer pretty much ended the conversation, “I’m not interested at all”. However, he seemed like to good of a kid to not really be interested. So, we kept talking. He’s about our age so we leveled with him. We explained why we do what we do and what motivates us to make this sacrifice. Then we asked if he believed in God. He did. Then we asked, “If God told you something, would you believe it?” He said yes. So, with those kinds of questions, we hooked him into a brief discussion about the first vision. The Spirit was so strong in that ger I know that he felt it and that he recognized what Source it was coming from. At the end of the lesson, we asked how all of it was. “It was great!” So we set a baptismal date with him and gave him a Book of Mormon. He didn’t come to Stake Conference so I was a little worried about him, but, sure enough, yesterday at church, there he was! Now he’s on the path towards baptism and his mom and sister will be joining him. About four days ago, we were walking around one of our areas looking for new investigators. Elder Stephenson and I are basically white-washing (white-washing is where they put two new missionaries in an area) this area so we don’t know it that well and the work from before is pretty much non-existent. Anyways, we’ve been done something called Nephi Hour that an Elder from my group, Elder Whittle, made up. We set aside one hour and just try and find new investigators. If we can’t get into one house, we talk with whoever we see on the street, teach a short principle and ask if we can meet with them right away. So we went to check one house and the kid we had met with before came out to greet us. We asked if we could meet, and to our dismay, he said he was busy doing homework. However, we pressed. We gave him a promise that if he let us meet with him for just 15-20 minutes his homework would go better. We also promised that we would only stay 20 minutes. Well, somehow that worked! He let us in and we started to meet the rest of the family. It was a WONDERFUL family! They were all so happy and united. The dad came in later and we met with him. At first, he was a little taken aback, but after meeting us any of his worries were quickly set aside. So, we started talking. We started with a song and prayer. Then we jumped right into the Restoration. It was powerful. As we finished up teaching these sections, our time was about up. So we said, “we’d like to talk more but, our time is up. We promised Ganbat that we’d stay for only 20 minutes. When could we come back again and meet with you.” Then the oldest son, who was by far the most interested, said this, “Well, we don’t really know when we’ll next be gathered together like this, would be ok if we just kept meeting for like 10 minutes?” That was music to our ears! So we turned to Ganbat and asked him, “Can we do that?” He also agreed and we kept teaching! As we left that house, Elder Stephenson and I was overcome with joy. We gave each other a quick hug and then offered a prayer of thanks. Then, just two days ago, my companion caught a bad virus and was not really able to go out on work. So, we paired him up with another sick missionary, and I got to go out on work with Elder Cardinal, my son! He’s actually in one of the districts in our zone so I see him quite a lot now! Anyways, we head out to our area and we’re looking for people to meet with. As we’re walking down the main street, I tell Elder Cardinal, “hey, that guy probably wants to hear about the Gospel” and get him to start talking with him. We follow this guy down another road and finish the contact. We got his information and all, but he wasn’t very interested so Elder Cardinal crossed him out. Then, to find out where we were, Elder Cardinal asked this guy passing by what street we were on. The guy responded and we started moving on. However, as soon as I looked at the guy, I felt impressed to talk with him. I started to talk with him and share a little about our church. At the end, I asked, can we meet with you…(I almost said later) now, and talk more about our church?” He replied affirmatively and I quickly grabbed Elder Cardinal (he was doing an ITL with a drunk), and we followed the man to his house! The man and his wife are high school teachers so they’re educated. We started to teach the first lesson and the husband ate up everything we said. At the end we went to set a baptismal date and they gladly accepted. Then, we asked him if he would pray for his family and…he accepted! It was another miracle! His brother was also in the ger at the time and he seemed very touched by the lesson so at the end we asked him if we could meet with him as well. He said yes. Then the brother also gave us the information for his other younger brother, saying that we should meet with him! Just like last week we were moving into a new apartment building. A day after we moved into the new apartment, we went into the elevator. An older man also entered and we just started talking a little bit. Before we got off, I quickly gave him a pass-along card and told him to come to church this Sunday. I didn’t think muhc of it but like 2 days later, Saturday, he ran into us again in the entrance of our apartment. He asked when church was again and we told him again. Then, this Sunday, as we were standing outside, he came! Another quick story: This last Sunday, our ward entered a new building inside the ward boundaries. It’s kind of out of the way so my companion and I were standing on the street corner sort of as a landmark to any members or investigators coming to church. As we were standing there I looked over to the sidewalk and saw two people walking. I felt impressed to talk with the 2nd person and promptly went over and contact him. I explained about our church and told him that our service was about to start. Then I invited him to come in and experience it. To my surprise, he wanted to! So I grabbed Edler Stephenson and we brought him into the chapel where the rest of the missionaries and members quickly friendshipped them. Later, another missionary got his contact information and, to our joy, he was in our area! So we’ll be meeting with this youth pretty soon and we expect great things. Well, that’s pretty much it! I just want to testify to you of how true this church and this work is! These past two weeks the Lord has truly blessed our work and the work of the missionaries in our zone. I know that God guides us. Not just us, but the people we need to meet with. Each of these events have been so perfectly coincidental, I know that it was not just chance, but that God was been leading us to find “those that with receive [us]”. I love this work. I love my companion. I love the mission and the missionaries! My hope is that all of you will pray for the opportunities to be a good influence, or a blessing, or a comfort, in the lives of others. As you do so, I know that you’ll feel, as I have, the guiding influence of God in your everyday tasks. I love you all! Have a great week! ~Elder Cappuccio, still not infected -----Original Message----- From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Date: Sun, 25 Oct 2009 21:47:11 -0400 Subject: Re: Missionary held captive until June 6th Dear James, Of course I always look forward to your emails and stories, so I was a little disappointed that you couldn't write much, but glad that you didn't actually have the swine flu! Then I was excited to get an email from Beverly Hellewell who's nephew went on an exchange with you one day. He wrote about the experience in his letter to his parents and she forwarded it to me. It was great to hear the stories coming from a different perspective, of someone who actually was with you and wrote about the experience. He wrote how you turned two seemingly dead-end situations into teaching lessons to 5 new investigators with one committing to baptism. On the home front we successfully dug up the dead palm tree and now have some landscaping chores ahead of us. It looks like a mine field right now. Joseph went to Homecoming and looked really nice. When he gets some pictures back we'll send you some. In fact my goal is to get some pictures together into a little album to send you for Christmas. Is the swine flu hitting Mongolia hard this year? Do they make people wear masks even when they are not sick? I didn't get the vaccine, so I just plan to stay healthy. I will send some more vitamin C packages with the next package too. I went running twice this week( well a real slow jog actually) so I hope to get that number up to 5 times this week. Starting with just 3 miles, so I have a long way to go if I want to get in shape, but i am determined to get there. Speaking of swine flew again, Jack and I are going to dress up for a Halloween dance as pigs with wings....the swine flew =) Pretty scary? Well, I hope you had a will have an amazing week. We love you. Keep the fire burning! love always, mom
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.