ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
Posted 29 Sep 2001   For week ended September 28, 2001
Most Recent Week
Front Page
Local News
Arts & Entertainment
·New Products
·New Websites
·Mormon Stock Index
Letters to Editor
Continuing Coverage of:
Boston Temple
School Prayer
Julie on MTV
Robert Elmer Kleasen
About Mormon News
News by E-Mail
Weekly Summary
Submitting News
Submitting Press Releases
Volunteer Positions
Bad Link?

News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church

Sent on Mormon-News: 26Sep01

By Kent Larsen

A Mongolian Teen's View of America

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO -- He only has one name, comes from a country half-way around the world, and is getting educational opportunities that his friends back home don't get. 15-year-old Munkhbaatar (prounounced MUNK-ba-tar) is from Mongolia, and is attending high school in Albuquerque thanks to LDS Church members John and Carolyn Bennett.

The Bennett's met Munkhbaatar while serving an LDS mission to Mongolia in 1994. "He was just this cute, little boy who latched on to us and wanted to learn from us," says Carolyn. "We continued being friends and invited him to come to America and stay with us." But that invitation was expensive. John Bennett, a retired Albuquerque doctor, had to pay a $4,000 fee to the Immigration and Naturalization Service to get his visa accepted. Still, Bennett says he didn't have any hesitation about paying the fee, "We prayed about it and knew that we wanted to do this," says John. "The opportunities Munkhbaatar is getting here are priceless. We want him to experience America."

Munkhbaatar is from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia's capital. There, at age 15, he had already completed all the public education available. Now, attending Valley High, he is taking some courses that he wouldn't be able to take in Mongolia. He has classes in both math and in English, but says he likes the math best, "Calculus. I like calculus," he says with a smile. And, of course, he is learning English, although he isn't quite comfortable with it yet.

He says he is very grateful to the Bennett's for their help, and has a fondness for them that he doesn't try to hide, "They're American grandparents for me. They are so special to me." But Munkhbaatar also misses his home. In Mongolia he even had some modern conveniences that he doesn't have here, "For one thing, the computer he has in Mongolia is a lot faster and better than the one his American grandparents have for him here," says Carolyn with a chuckle.

"He misses certain things, we know that," says John Bennett. "It's a beautiful country in a lot of respects. Right now he misses his friends and family. That's understandable." So Munkhbaatar has found things to do to alleviate the loneliness, including scouting, church and various community activities. He's made friends here and enjoys seeing movies, especially animated movies, which aren't available in Mongolia. "My favorite American movie is 'Beauty and the Beast' " he says.

Munkhbaatar will stay in Albuquerque with the Bennett's for a year, and then return to Mongolia. He currently has a sister living in Hawaii and another in Provo, Utah. He wants to return to the U.S. to attend college, preferably at BYU-Hawaii, and then attend medical school.


Travels With Munkhbaatar
Albuquerque NM Journal 25Sep01 P2
By Barbara Chavez: Journal Staff Writer


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information