Last week, U.S. ambassador to Mongolia, Richard. L. Buangan visited Brigham Young University–Hawaii, to meet with students from Mongolia.
Upon his arrival, Ambassador Buangan was greeted by BYU–Hawaii President John S.K. Kauwe III and Advancement Vice President Laura Tevaga, joined by the Mongolian student club. During his opening remarks, President Kauwe reported that BYU–Hawaii has had over 500 Mongolian students graduate with bachelor's degrees. Many have since returned home and have fulfilled the university's mission of preparing students to become lifelong disciples of Jesus Christ and leaders in their families, communities, chosen fields, and in building the kingdom of God.
Ambassador Buangan shared that throughout his life of constant change and movement, his perspective of the world has expanded through experiencing other cultures and having been exposed to lifestyles different than his own. Experiences that motivated him to lead a life of service for his country. Buangan related to the students and commended them for being here by saying, "the fact that you are here...taking this big step to study together, to learn together, to live together, and to discover a mission and purpose together...is evident to me that you are all examples of those who are called to service."
Ambassador Buangan continued sharing his experiences living amongst the people of Mongolia. Stating that "regardless of working on challenging issues like climate change...or geopolitical issues, it helps to have a common understanding and a sense of purpose of why we, as two great democracies in the Asia-Pacific, have to work together."
Students and anyone in the audience then had the opportunity to ask the ambassador questions. Students proceeded with vulnerable questions concerning the strength of their government's economy and democracy.
Throughout the discussion, Ambassador Buangan continued to commend Mongolia and its proud people. He encouraged students that if they desire to build their communities and strengthen their democracy, they must go out into the world and share their stories. He explained that when they communicate their homeland's captivating history and culture to the world, more doors will open, and opportunities will come.
In closing, Ambassador Buangan reminded us that though this world may be vast, we can leave it in a better position as we work together.