29 March 2009
Dear Elder and Sister Lasson,
We were thrilled when we received notice that you have accepted a call from the Lord to serve as missionaries for the Church in Mongolia. We know you will have an experience that you will never forget. We have read your application and are so impressed with the experience that you will bring to this mission. We are especially excited as we can see the inspiration that has gone into your call; your desire to try new things and serve the Lord anywhere you are called. Your talents and abilities will greatly help the work to progress here in Mongolia.
Ulaanbaatar is an interesting city with varied and unusual architecture. The countryside is some of the most beautiful in the world. This land is very special. You will love it all, especially the people. The wonderful Mongolian people are sincere, kind and are so ready to receive the blessings of the Gospel in their lives.
Mongolia is relatively new to organized missionary work. The first missionaries actually began their service in September of 1992, prior to Elder Neal A. Maxwell’s dedication of the land to missionary work in 1993. There are now nearly 8,000 members in Mongolia with two districts and 20 branches.
This is likely one of the more challenging missions in the world. That is why we believe that some of the very best and most qualified missionaries come to serve here. Proselyting is not allowed in Mongolia. Missionaries are only allowed in Mongolia under the direction of Deseret International Charities, a foundation directed towards teaching English in schools, businesses and government offices. All missionaries are required to teach English 12 hours per week. One cannot mention the Church while teaching English, but if people ask about it outside the classroom, the missionaries may teach them.
We are confident that you will love this mission experience. You will be greatly blessed with the skills needed to accomplish all that you need to know and we will be greatly blessed to have you here with us. Studying the language in the MTC will help to enhance your experience here. You will grow closer to each other and to the Lord as you seek the Spirit.
Senior couples are greatly respected by the members of the Church in Mongolia. They look to you for leadership and guidance. Most of the members have limited leadership experience and knowledge of the restored Gospel, but their spiritual strength is strong, and they are anxious to learn. Most of our membership is under the age of 30. Many of our branch leaders are in their 20’s. You will be assigned to attend and accept a calling in one of the branches. You will also enjoy the opportunity to accompany the young missionaries to teaching appointments in the evening.
The mission is progressing well. There is a need for more men in the Church who are able to serve as experienced Priesthood leaders. The women are very strong in the Gospel, while young men and women are joining quickly.
Enclosed is some information that we hope will help answer some questions you may have. Please feel free to email or phone us if there is anything else that you need to know. We anxiously await your arrival and the blessings you will bring to this work.
President and Sister Andersen