Wednesday, November 30, 2011


If you'd like to mail Elder Willis a letter of encouragement or Christmas card his address is

Elder Brian Willis
Utah SLC South Mission
8060 South 615 East
Sandy, UT 84070

Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 28, 2011

I was adopted this week!

So this week was quite fun!  Tuesday we were out contacting a few referrals we got on the previous Saturday that we hadn't been able to get a hold of yet, and we saw this teenage boy.  We talked to him and he was excited to see us. I asked his name and he said it was Blake.  He told us of his Grandma who recently had a heart attack and was living with them. He told us to come see his grandma because she had read the Book of Mormon 98 times!  Well ok the story gets better… we get there and she says her name is Sister Rawlings and she has been on 3 missions and that when she was 30 The Book of Mormon came to her in a dream and that No One can tell her it isn't true because she knows for a fact it is.  She is so kind and says that she is living with her daughter and her kids till she gets better.  She told us her daughter’s last name and I thought to myself that I had heard it before.  I look in the back of my planner where I have the referral list and in it I have written down her name and next to it, less active.  I know that the Lord put them in our path on Tuesday because they need us that much.  I felt bad for not being able to have the time to contact them any earlier and wished I had.  Sister Rawlings said she loved us and wanted us to come back whenever we could, she told me that I should call her Grandma Rawlings because she wanted to adopt me, so now I call her grandma.  Another great grandma to add to my list of already amazing ones. 

So the story gets better too! We go back on Friday and find out that Blake has an incredible story to tell, but his mom tells us because he wasn't there.  We had just stopped by to tell her that we got someone to bring her the sacrament that next Sunday.  So his mom told us that he had anxiety and that he used to fall into temptation and used to go to parties and sneak out and drink and stuff, and that one day 4 months ago he was at a party and called her and told her he was coming home (he had told her from the beginning that he was at a friends watching a movie).  She said ok and asked if he needed to be picked up and he said no but she needed to open the apartment gate when he buzzed in.  When they got to the gate and she didn't answer the gate the driver got inpatient and turned around and left.  Blake was starting to have a panic attack and said he needed to get out but the driver wouldn't pull over, so he hopped out the door of the moving car and hit his head on the ground and was in a coma for 2 days.  The doctors said he wouldn't survive and wouldn't be alive very long even if he did pull through.  Now he is alive and well and turning his life around.  He found new friends and doesn't do any of that anymore, he sees what happened as a life changing moment and realized that his friends were going no where and that he didn't want to be around them anymore when they made bad choices.  He is doing great now.  We are planning on going back and are going to be there to support him along the way.  I love this kid, we gave him hugs before we left and he had a smile on his face knowing he made 2 new friends. 

Thanksgiving was good too!  Although I was in a food coma for the next day and a half because I had dinner at 3 houses, way too much food!  But it was good, I missed spending time with the family but I know that you guys had a good one at home. 

We had 2 baptisms this weekend, and one of them I confirmed her a member of the church, it was a cool experience!  I love all the people here and getting to teach them about the Gospel. 

I hope you are all doing well at home! :) I miss you guys and am excited to see what happens this week. 

Elder Willis

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Baptisms November 19

Short but Sweet

So this week
has been a full week. We taught 18 lessons with members present! :) And
then 3 lessons to recent converts and less active. That’s 21
lessons! We had 5 baptisms! One of
which I baptized.
So in this long week I accomplished a lot. We started teaching
girl. Her names Alicia, she loves learning about the gospel and has been
going to church for a few months. She is getting baptized this
weekend. We are also planning on another baptism this weekend. Last night we got a call from someone in a
ward that said they had a child who wanted to be baptized because they couldn’t
find her records. It is sad that they lost them, but it’s all good.
We taught a lot this week but nothing seems to stand out to me other than me
getting to baptize Aaliyah. She was sooo happy! :) I also got to do
an exchange on Saturday and go with Elder Armstrong and Sullins. They are
so funny and fun to work with. Elder Gomes went to the temple so I was
with them.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Long Days...Short weeks - Nov 14th

Wow it is already Monday.  It seems like this last week flew by.  But that’s what happens I guess when you teach a bunch of lessons.  This past week we taught 14 lessons with members present.  1 less than last week but we taught a few lessons to kids who were 7 or 8 that we don’t get to count cause they are in a family who is active in the church, so in all we taught more lessons than last week.  We didn’t have a baptism this weekend but next weekend we have a family of 3 and then another family of 2! YAYYYY!!!! That’s 5 baptisms!  I counted up last night how many lessons I have taught over the 3 weeks I have been here and its around 51.... crazy!! 

We were able to teach the investigator we met last week in a sacrament meeting.  It was great!  She understood what missionaries did and what our purpose was.  I asked her if she would be baptized and she said “Yes” without hesitation.  Then I asked her if she would prepare herself for Nov. 26th and she was surprised I said a date so quick, but she said yes!  Whoo hoo!  I'm so excited! 

On Wednesday we had dinner at this family’s house and they reminded me so much of you guys!  The wife was just like you mom! So kind and the dad is funny like dad!  It was nice to meet them.  Then on Thursday we had dinner at a couple’s house who just got back 3 or 4 months ago from serving a senior mission.  He was a mission president, I got nervous!  Then we asked if there was a time we could have our companionship study at their house so we could do some Role-Plays of teaching lessons with them and they said yes anytime they would love it!  That’s going to be my secret weapon to becoming a fabulous missionary, everyone in our mission will wonder how we got so good!  Elder Gomes said that he reminded him of our mission president, which is good because then we will be the best teachers in our mission!  Then Friday I had dinner at the Metcalfs! They moved from Seattle like 10 years ago!  They used to live by UW!  Crazy!  They know the Nelson's too!!!!! We talked about Luke and then because she is good friends with Julie Nelson, so she said she was going to email her and tell her about meeting me!

We started teaching this boy who is 7 this week, his names Peyton.  He is autistic also.  The Lord keeps putting them in my path!  And he is so funny!  He knows so much about church already but learns better in a quiet 1 on 1 environment so we are teaching him so he can be baptized either next month or in January for his birthday.  Here they do it differently since they have so many kids that get baptized each month.  The stake holds one day a month where the kids who will be baptized that month all do it on Saturday morning together one after another. 

Last week they started playing Christmas Music on Tuesday the 1st of November here!!!! :) It is great because they play it all day everyday on this radio station so we listen to it all the time in the car.  I am on a hunt today for Eggnog!  That’s my goal at the store today to find! I love Christmas time!  And it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.

This week we were on our way to our Zone Conference with about 1/4 of the missionaries in our mission.  We were stopped at a red light, and a lady rear ended us.  We were stopped for a good 30 seconds.  Luckily she only hit our trailer hitch and left a tiny scrape on one side of our bumper.  She felt bad but it was broad day light out!  We didn't get hurt though which is good!  It felt like she stepped on the break but not hard enough so she just hit us going maybe 5 to 10 miles an hour.  I was frustrated though because our mission vehicle guy wasn't answering his phone and so we got her info and left because we were going to be late and we called our District leaders and they told the Zone leaders who told the President.  So he asked us if we were ok in front of everyone!  I was embarrassed even though it wasn't our fault at all.  Utah Drivers... J

This week flew by and it’s weird to think I have been gone 6, almost 7 weeks.  That’s so fast!  I love and miss you guys.  I think about you all the time and hope you’re doing well.


Elder Willis

Quote of the week:  Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning to dance in the rain!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Oct 31 - Nov 6

So this week has been a full week.  We taught 15 lessons with members present, that’s 6 away from the standard of excellence in PMG (Preach My Gospel).  Each week we get closer and closer to that goal.  We also had a baptism for Sammy, he is 10 and such a smart little boy! We also have 6 investigators with baptism dates and 10 of our investigators were at church!!!! This area is incredible!!!  We had a goal of having 7 investigators that were progressing towards baptism, and we currently have 8! YAY!

So this week had a mission conference on Halloween.  Elder Alan came and talked to us! He gave a good talk to us!  He told us about how we can always teach more lessons and better lessons, so true!  We need to be Preach My Gospel Missionaries so that we can teach with the Spirit.  Everything anyone could ever really ask, there in an answer in that book, its crazy but so true! 

We taught the autistic boy again this week and it was so cool! He is smart and remembers like everything we tell him!! It’s so neat to watch how the Lord prepares his children.

We have an investigator who grew up Buddhist and she didn’t believe in God or Jesus or anything.  She had no concept of the Bible or anything.  She is dating a return missionary and we taught her this week.  Elder Gomes told me to be prepared because she asks really deep questions that he usually doesn’t have an answer too and that he has to rely on a scripture or something.  She did ask deep questions but I told her my best answer followed by a scripture and I bore my testimony a few times on different things and she was like... wow that makes sense.  She works at a hospital.  I don’t know what she does but she said she often goes to the serenity room and prays during her shift when she gets a second and it ALWAYS makes her feel calm and have a peaceful and a smoother rest of the day.  We talked about the Holy Ghost and how if she is baptized she gets that gift and she said "Oh that must be what I feel."  YES!  I just shouted it in my mind though and was like yeah you’re so right.

We also have another investigator.  He is 16 and is Filipino.  He is like me, Filipino mom and white dad! :)  He believed in what we said and wanted to learn more, when we got him to the baptism of another one of our investigators he said he knew what he was doing was right and wanted to be baptized!  It was so incredible!  Every day I find something new that puts a smile on my face!  

The other day we had a district meeting and one of the sisters gave me a quote I thought about all week. "If you always do what you always have done. Then you always get what you always have got." I thought about it all week as I try to improve myself to become a better missionary and help others to learn about God and Jesus Christ.  I love getting to serve the Lord and help bring others unto him. 

Another thing I got from someone bearing their testimony yesterday in sacrament meeting was "Sometimes when it rains it pours. And in that time of need you’ve got to have a umbrella to rely on"  That’s not exactly what she said, it’s what I put together in my mind though and thought about.  It is so true though, when something small goes wrong it seems that everything else falls apart then and that’s the time you need to be able to rely on your Father in Heaven for that comfort when no one else is there to help you.

Yesterday we went to 4 sacrament meetings.  Then we got a text that said there was an investigator at another ward so we hurried over there.  We sat there and got up and bore our testimonies.  After sacrament meeting we were talking with members and she came up to us.  This is what she said to me "Hi, I'm an investigator, I haven’t taken any lessons but want to meet with you."  I was like WHOA!  Ok, let’s go!  Her boyfriend is on a mission but she wants to get married in the temple when he gets home so if she gets baptized by the end of the year then she will have been a member for a year by the time he gets home so she can be married then! YAY!

Things just keep working out.

I Love all of you and hope you have a good week!

Remember, if you always do what you have always done then you always get what you have always got.  Life changer right there.

Much Love,

Elder Willis