Sunday, November 4, 2012

October 2012

October 2nd
Dear Family,

This week has been a good week.  We didn't find anyone new to teach but we do have this investigator we love teaching.  Her name is Princess.  (Real name, not a nickname. isn't that sweet?)  She came to church with us this week and she loved it.  She is a single mom with 5 kids.  It is sad but she is a hard working lady.  2 of her kids have special needs and one just came home from the hospital yesterday, he had been in there for months, I think about 7, he had something wrong at birth and they said he probably wouldn't make it.  He finally is home but had to have a tracheotomy.   She is from Louisiana but said that after all that has happened she doesn't believe really in the Baptist church so she is investigating others.  Yesterday she told us the Book of Mormon is so clear compared to the Bible and expands on so much more.

In other news I get to go to General Conference.  The Saturday afternoon session.  And we get to sit up front!

Next week is the last week of the transfer..... It’s crazy how fast time goes by.  I miss you all.

October 9th
This week hasn’t been much different.  We had a good week.  We found out we aren't getting transferred. It’s the first time in 6 months!

Nothing eventful happened this week sadly.  Our investigators are all still set to be baptized on the 20th and 27th. 

Sorry this letter is so short.  We had a busy day and are now going to the driving range with a member.

October 16th
So this week has been alright.  Last Tuesday was great we went to play Frisbee golf, we went to Costco, and we also went to the driving range and DI.  Today we will probably do the same minus Costco.  

We are still working with a few people to get baptized soon.  But 2 of the ones we are teaching we think want to get baptized for the welfare which is sad because when it comes down to it they don’t want to live the commandments or make any changes in their lives.  

Other than that life is good other than Elder Reid getting the day flu yesterday and then me getting it last night, thankfully it is gone by today.  It sucks being sick on a mission.  We had to call other missionaries to get them to come over and go with me to my lessons so we could still go and then that’s when I found out I was sick too.  Now I am back.  If there was one day I wouldn’t get sick it would be p-day. 

This past week we didn’t do any service.  We usually try to do an hour or two but no one needed us this week sadly.

I love and miss you all!

October 22nd
It has been a good week. We found a new family to teach by tracting. He name is Aurora and her son is Rueben. They are so ready for the gospel I love that they accept everything we ask them to do and they are finding out for themselves what we’ve shared with them. We asked them to read 10 pages. We come back the next day and they read 20. I love teaching them.
Other than that we have had a good week. I found this return missionary who is going to sell me his almost new bike. It's sweet too. It has disk brakes and it’s got the works. It's worth the money it is a bike I will sell or take home with me. 

At a garage sale this week I got a Canon A1 film slr camera. It came with 3 lenses and a power winder for the film and a flash and yeah for free. 

Other than that not much new. I got the package thank you! Love you.

October 29th
My week was great! Of course it was since it was my birth week.  Thanks for the cards and the packages!  I love you all!

This week we are struggling to find new people to teach.  We know they are here but we can’t find them, but I know we will.  We hopefully will start teaching a new family tonight. The ones we have been teaching don't want to live commandments and then decide to either stop meeting or want to move their baptism date.  It is sad to watch them because you want to help but you can only help them as much as they want to be helped.  
We have been trying to do all we can and I know there is more to do so I won't give up.  

For my b-day someone took me to Texas Roadhouse for lunch! :) It was good! Then someone else bought me a cake and another made me a cake. Then Sunday night this family had me over for dinner for my b-day since they couldn't do Saturday and they made us tri-tip steak and twice baked potatoes and also deep fried ice cream for dessert.  It was so delicious.  

Elder Willis

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sept 11-25

Sept 11th
This week was good!  We had a baptism on Saturday for Stephanie.  She is great and so prepared.  I loved getting to teach her the past 2 weeks that I have been here.  On Friday we took her to Temple Square and she loved it.  We took a tour of the "God's Plan for his Family" exhibit and it is great! You should see it if you come down here.  Then we walked around the Temple with her and her boyfriend as they have plans to get married in it in a year or so.  Then we went to the conference center and went to the top floor with the gardens and we got to look out at the temple and stuff with her.  

We have a baptism coming up this weekend too for Bradyn!  He is a great kid.  He is 9 and wants to get baptized.  

This week was good as well because we had a specialized training.  That was cool to go to and then also we get tomorrow to go to Ensign Peak and also this is the Place.  We have like a little mission field trip I guess but it’s all day!  It should be good.  

This coming week should be good!  I am excited for it and to go find some people to teach.  We are working on finding more people we have a few but we always could use more. 

Sept 18th
This week has been great!  We had a good week and also were able to teach a few new people.  We ended up not having a baptism for the little boy we were supposed to, his mom ended up having him wait to get baptized because she wants him to go to primary more.  We are going to hopefully have his baptism the 29th since next weekend is the Brigham City Temple dedication and we have no church to confirm him in.  

I am so thankful to be able to have grown up in the Gospel, each day we see people who haven't had the chance to learn about what I know and I don't know where I would be today without it.  This week during church a lady talked about her son who is on a mission and when she told a few of his stories it made me think about what I would be doing today without the Gospel in my life and how many missionaries it would take before I accepted the Gospel and was baptized or how many times I would tell the missionaries no that knocked at my door or if they would ever knock at my door.  I am very thankful for the opportunity that I have to share it with those around me and come to know the truth and the blessings that the Gospel brings into our lives each day that we take for granted.  

We also ate dinner at another family’s house that had a missionary in Germany or somewhere foreign like that and I am also so thankful that I am stateside on my mission.  I know that I wouldn't be as motivated to work as hard if all day we didn't do anything but tract, or if we taught 2 or 3 lessons a week.  Those weeks go by so slowly so I have so much respect for missionaries that can go out all day and do that without losing faith or getting discouraged really easily.  

Did I tell you a few weeks ago that I met the new General Relief Society President? That was when I was with Elder Wilson.  She told us that we had a glow about us.  What a compliment.  :)  That wasn't to be boastful or anything I just thought it was a nice compliment she gave us.

Get This!!!

We hopefully will start teaching this guy this week named Matorious Jinx.  He is a guy that lives in an extended stay hotel and goes out each day and sells magazines door to door!  He is trying to turn his life around and some lady was courageous enough to share the Gospel with him when he shared his story with her.  Because of it, she interested him in what she had to say about the church.  He gave her his address and his room number and sent a referral on  She truly understands that missionary opportunities happen all day long and we have to be receptive enough to the spirit to look for them and talk about it.  I am so thankful for her and hope that he stays there long enough we can teach him and baptize him.

Sept 25th
This week has been great!! We have a baptism this weekend for Bradyn.  We are excited for it. He is the most ready 10 year old I have ever seen who wants to be baptized.  

We have found a few new people to teach this past week. Have found a little boy named TJ.  He is cool and wants to be baptized but his mom is kind of holding him back because she doesn't want to set a baptismal date because she feels like that’s too pushy.
We also found a lady who lives in an Extended Stay. We met with her after receiving this referral and asked her name and age and stuff and got to know her for a minute or 2 and then asked if she wanted to get baptized, she said yes and we invited her to prepare for the 20th of October.  She accepted.  We are going back today or tomorrow to teach her more.  
We also keep working hard with only the few people we have to teach.  I wish the missionaries had taken me out when I was still home.  I hope the new ones you have are good missionaries and obedient and are asking the youth to go out with them.  We get people to come with us to lessons and to just go find. We found that there is no better thing to get missionaries excited about missionary work other than bringing them with us to find new investigators.  We bring them tracting or following up on referrals.  It’s great. 

I am on and on the directory page. I think it’s funny how if you look at any other missionary in the stake, like Elder Knowles, you can click him and see a map of his mission and it is pretty big and includes 2 cities and you can see the ocean and stuff.  When you click me it shows me and my map. You can see each city and the freeway and a few major roads. Ha-ha and it’s sad to think that my mission is 5 miles by 5 miles. You can travel within it from any place to any other place within 15 minutes by car.

I don’t know if you had regular church this past Sunday but we had none. We had a temple dedication for the Brigham City Temple that got broadcast to our stake center.  It was so cool, I enjoyed it.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Zone Leader

August 28th

This week has been so much fun! We keep finding people to teach.  Sadly tomorrow I am getting transferred.  I am going to the Bennion East Stake and going to be a zone leader there.

I am happy to go where the Lord wants me and do and serve the way he wants me to but I am also sad to leave this area.  I wonder if this area will be where I stay more than 6 weeks!  I have yet to do that other than my first area.  My companion will be Elder Reid.  I will tell you more about him next week when I find out.  My life is about to get a lot busier now. 

I love going out and sharing the gospel, Elder Wilson and I this week have done a lot of it and talked with everyone we could find.  We go to the YSA FHE's and talk and ask for referrals and also go to ward visits with the YSA's.  It is so much fun but I am going back to a family stake now.

I love you all!

The Gospel is true and the book is blue!

Elder Willis

Sept 4th
It has been a good week! We had a baptism this past weekend.  We are finding people to teach.  I am in the Bennion East stake so right in Taylorsville.  I like it here, the people are really nice.  We have a lot of apartments in our area full of people to go teach.  Most of them are shady places but they are ones that will be good to bring the Gospel too.

Our address is 
1258 Pitchfork Rd.
Murray, UT 84123

Send all my mail there I am going to work on writing letters back to those who wrote me because I don’t have tons of time now and we were told we aren’t allowed to write letters unless it is p-day.  It’s sad but I will obey if that is the rule.  

My new companion is Elder Reid, he is from the ATL.  Just north of ATL…Ask aunt Julie what stake she is in.  

We have a baptism coming up this weekend! And then on the 15th as well.  I am excited.  The 23rd we don’t have church because of the Brigham City Temple Dedication.  

I will write more next week.

I love and Miss you!!

Elder Willis

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

July 31st - August 21st

July 31st
This week was a good week but it was slow.  It is harder training than I thought it would be. Surprisingly though I can tell that I am being blessed with a lot more patience because I know I don’t have as much as I have had to use.  Not saying my companion is bad but that I have to show him how to do everything. Which is why I am the trainer but I feel bad for Elder Gomes if this is what he had to go through with me.  I hope not.

This Sunday was a long day!  First we spoke in a sacrament meeting.  Then went and sat in a Sunday school class and taught parts of it with the teacher.  Then we went and taught a combined relief society and elders quorum and then switched with the sisters half way through and taught combined young men and young women.  Then we took a 20 minute lunch and went and spoke in another sacrament meeting.  This Saturday we are hopefully taking our investigators to Temple square. 

My address [has changed however I may be moving soon. I will know on Aug 29th]

6100 S. Mt Vernon Dr.
Murray, UT 84107

It’s where it’s at.  Our landlord is the nicest man ever!  We have the whole downstairs too.  When I get older, I want to have the missionaries live with me. 

This week we are working on increasing our teaching pool.  It is a struggle sometimes we only have 4 apartment buildings in our area so we have to rely on the members a lot to help us with their friends and neighbors because a lot of them have had missionaries knock at their doors before.

We have been stopping by the young men and women this week and challenging them to write their testimony in a Book of Mormon and give it to a less active or nonmember friend.  It has been working great they all accept the challenge and are excited about doing it.

Other than that I love you guys.  The new mission is great.  I love doing the Lord's work it is the best.

August 7th

This week has been very stressful.  Our area is not doing so hot.  We go out all day and talk to people and ask for referrals and then go contact them and no one is interested.  It is sad.  We contacted 13 referrals this week and all of them were nice but not interested in us teaching them or their kids.  I don't know if these people realize that them not allowing their kids to learn and be baptized that they will be held responsible for them later on.  D&C 68:25.

 I have been so stressed out this week with being a trainer.  It is so much harder than I imagined.  My companion feels homesick and depressed and complains all the time about everything.  I try to be happy and keep a smile on my face.  It is so hard though, the Lord is really testing me now.  It isn’t that he isn’t a great missionary, because he has potential to become one, but sometimes he gets very depressed.  I stay positive as best as I can and look forward to the future.  He has so much potential to become a great hard working missionary and I know there is a reason he is here.  I also know there is a reason why he and I are companions; we have things to learn from each other.

I love doing this work though no matter how much of a struggle it is at times.  People’s lives are being blessed even when they don't accept the Gospel with us at the door, we planted a seed and it will grow.  As long as their neighbors will nourish it for us and keep inviting them and befriending them and sharing what blesses their lives. 

August 14th

This week was such a good week!  We are starting to teach more and found a few new people to teach.  I love when you find the people who are prepared to hear about the Gospel.  So 2 weeks ago we spoke in a ward and I said that I knew people were coming to church who hadn't been baptized and no one said anything to us.  Sunday night we went to someone's house and she told us that this kid who came to her house every day comes to church every week and isn’t baptized and get this… his dad who adopted him is in the bishopric!  We work hard and we are finding some people to teach. 
Yesterday we ran into a guy who just wanted to try and make us want to go home.  He was Catholic but didn’t even really believe what the Catholics teach from what he was saying to us.  He told us he was an active Catholic too!  He told us he had a movie he wanted us to see that would make us not believe anymore and all this stuff, I bore my testimony to him and he even then tried to tell me I was wrong.  I was kind of ticked but I didn’t let it get to me, we left him be. 

The other day we went to a BBQ at the park.  There were over 200 people there and we talked to so many people.  We found this new guy to teach too.  He comes to church almost every week too with a neighbor.  He says he is homeless but he reads the Book of Mormon and we are excited to teach him!

We are doing great though and the transfer has 2 more weeks left.  My companion is staying now too he changed his mind.  I am so happy; I didn’t want him to go home. 

Tell grandma Jeannette that Harold Brockbank is my ward mission leader.  He was in their ward when grandpa Bruce was bishop right before he passed away.  He also knows aunt Joy.  Small world huh?

I love you a lot and miss you too.

August 21st
Wow this week has been sad, it’s been happy, and it’s been full of miracles!  Last Friday I got to take a trip to the SLC airport... :( My companion decided to go home.  It was a very sad and stressful day.  Then I went to breakfast with President Moffat.  Still not knowing what would be happening when I got back in my area.  I got to the mission office to find 2 Zone leaders there that I barely knew.  Then the assistants showed up, and then my zone leaders showed up.  Then we had a big meeting with everyone.  Basically one of my zone leaders went to another zone to fill the place of another zone leader who became assistant to the president.  Then I am now with Elder Wilson my zone leader working with the Young Single Adult Stake.  So for time being I am a zone leader, at least until transfers on the 29th.  It is weird because we cover half of the mission and it’s a huge area.  It’s so much fun though. 

So onto the miracles.  Every day it seems like we have seen them.  Saturday we had 2 baptisms and then we went out to work and couldn’t find anyone to teach.  Finally at 8:45 we felt impressed to go to this apartment building by our house.  We found this stairwell and went to the top.  We knocked on one door, they didn’t answer.  We turn to walk down the stairs and see this guy who just went into his door.  We looked at each other and knew it was him.  Went and knocked on his door. 
It went like this. Knock Knock Knock.
"Hello we are representatives of Jesus Christ; will you follow his example and be baptized by someone holding priesthood authority?"
"uhhhhhhhhh, no"(not in a rude way though)
"What would be holding you back from joining his restored gospel f you knew it was true?"
"Well I am a Christian."
and the rest is history we had an appointment to come back and he wasn’t home.  We will find him tonight.  He is ready and by the time we left his door he said he would be baptized if he knew it was true.

Sunday at church.
We went to have 2 confirmations.  After the first we found out the second guy was nowhere to be found.  We called him and texted him and nothing.  We had to go to his house with a member and still not there.  We got the member to drive us to his moms and finally found him.  In the end he got confirmed and also got the priesthood right after church.  It turned out he just slept in because he lost his phone the night before. 

We are on the way to dinner.  I said wait turn right and go down that street lets go talk to this one house.  In the past when I have gone there no one has been home.  DJ was this person’s name.  He is 18 and opened the door and asked us in.  We went in and turns out he isn’t baptized but said part of his extended family is.  He said if he found out the Book of Mormon was true he wanted to be baptized.  Perfect.  Set up a time to come back tomorrow I think.

So basically though, on the 29th I find out what happens.  I got the package! Thanks so much!  Elder Wilson and I love the bread.  I don’t live at my house currently so anything that is sent there might take me a day or two to get from the time that it arrives in the mailbox.  I will try to write people back when I have time.  It might not be for another week. 

I love you and miss you so much!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A few more weeks...

July 10th
I had an excellent week this week.  To start it off last week we had dinner at a Filipino families house.   She made me some lumpia and adobo chicken.  
Then when we were talking I told her about how mom’s side of the family is and they took us downstairs and hooked us up with rice and soy sauce and shampoo and everything!!   She told me I could have pancit noodles too if I wanted to make some and when I said yes she gave me a sad face... she said “unless you want me to make it for you!!”  That topped it off.  I was such a happy boy all week eating chicken and rice for lunch.
We didn't teach much but we did find 2 families this week to teach.  Both of which only speak French so I need to brush up on my French plus we have to bring a fellowshipper because I don't know any gospel words.  It will be fun teaching them.
So in our new mission we had a conference last week and found out a lot of things new.  Not only do we get new planners and the 2 new SLC missions are the only ones who get them right now but it has so much for us to do... and so much for the ward mission leader and his missionaries and this mission secretary to do.  The month of July here is called the Month of Perfection.  I don’t know if you have it there too but the wards have to contact every household (members, nonmembers, less actives, …everyone) within each ward boundary.   They have to find out who lives there and about them and report.  It will be good for us.
We found out we will not be using bikes in our mission. We will soon cover 1 to 3 wards.  If we had bikes then we would get way too much work done and not be able to talk to as many people who are out and about.
We also no longer get to go to the temple once a transfer. :(  I am sad about that one.  We now get to wake up at 630 instead of 6! That’s a plus.
So this French family is so cool!  She grew up on the Ivory Coast.  Well, actually both families did.  One is a mom and a son(14) and a daughter(7) and they love learning about the Gospel.  So much so, that they ask us to come back every day.  It is great!  We showed her the Restoration DVD last night and she told us that she believed he was a prophet and would be baptized after she talks to her husband.  Her son said the closing prayer and he prayed to know that the Book of Mormon was true and that what we came and taught him about were messages from God.  I love this family even though we have to have an interpreter.  But I know the Lord puts people where they need to be.  Out of the whole stake the ward they live in have about 4 people who know how to speak French fluently and went on missions where they spoke french whether it was Africa or France or Canada.  They all love to fellowwship these families.  Fellowshipping is the key too.  I learned that on my mission.  Every investigator and new member needs a friend, a calling, and home and visiting teachers.  This is so essential because without a friend they don’t know anyone when they come to church.  Without a calling they have no need or don’t feel as important when they come to church.  And without home teachers there is no Gospel being brought into their home by someone else.  I love seeing them converted to the gospel instead of being converted to the missionaries.  So if you are ever asked to fellowship a family or anyone don't turn the missionaries down, step up and do it.  It is so much fun!  It may seem a little more work but when you do the Lord's work everything in life seems to work itself out in your own life.  In fact, maybe you could ask the missionaries if you can help fellowship someone.  I feel like I should challenge you to do that.  I know the Lord will also put someone in your path who needs you specifically if you pray for an opportunity to share the Gospel with someone you know.
I love you so much.
Elder Willis

June 17th
I found out last night that tomorrow morning I will be transferred back to Murray... Sad.  But I am getting a son!  Elder Willis is going to be a Dad!  Tomorrow I go to Murray to a new stake, right next door to my last stake and my first stake, it’s like in the corner.  I think that there are still people in Murray that need to see me.  But I get to go and get my son from the mission office tomorrow also.  I am excited to do that and serve others.
Other than that my week went great!  The work here in this area is picking up and I am happy with it enough to leave it with Elder Conley and the new companion he gets. 
Oh so yes we had a run in with the cops this week.  We came to the church on Saturday to use the restroom.  We felt inspired to walk around the building for a minute.  Then we felt like we needed to go in a few rooms, so we went in the library and then the family history center.  As we went in the family history center it was dark and we walked in the room as Elder Conley came in behind me a guy popped out from behind the door and booked it out of the room and down the hall.  We didn’t know what to think at first so we looked around the room to see what he was doing.  Nothing was gone but we found a lighter and some spit on the ground.  We thought this was fishy so we took 15 to 20 minutes searching the building to make sure he left.  As we were leaving we saw him walking and walked back in the church so as we followed him a cop drove by and stopped in the turn lane and looked at us so we flagged him down and told him what’s up.  He called for backup and 2 more cops showed up by the time he got out of his car.  They went with us into the building holding their guns.  We showed them where we found him the first time and he searched the rooms all around it.  He found the guy hiding in a dark room in a corner behind some chairs and he pulled his gun and started yelling at the guy. "Freeze!  Get your hands up.  They put him in hand cuffs and interrogated him.  The guy kept lying to them.  (We were in the hall listening with a bishop who was in the building also)  so the cops started making fun of him too "Oh we have a fibber"  and all this stuff, it was kind of funny.  Then they searched him and found some cigarettes and stuff but nothing illegal.  He wouldn't tell them what he was doing or why there was spit on the ground.  They said they thought he might have been doing heroin or spice some other kind of drugs.  They kept him in hand cuffs and called his dad and his dad asked the cops if they could charge him with something and send him to jail and they said no and made the dad come get him.  He was like maybe 18 or 19.  But yeah so this took an hour or so of our Saturday to protect the Lord's house.
Other than that I am excited to start a new adventure back in Murray.
Love you guys!
Elder Willis

July 24th
My green companion’s name is Elder Elliot.  He is from Oregon.  The great NW is doing great things to me I tell you!  We are in the Murray, Little Cottonwood stake which has Fashion Place mall in it.  We go to the food court for lunch sometimes.  Other than that the week has been great we found some people to teach and to share the gospel with.
We found a family this week.  They have 2 kids, ages 8 and 5 years old, both boys.  I am so excited to teach them.  They were literally prepared.  The Spanish Elders tracted into them and they have a quad already from the father’s friend and then the mom asked for her own too.  They pray and read every night and everything.  They asked us where they needed to go to church before we could even invite them!  It was so great to see a family so ready to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ into their lives.
We are on bikes now and I still have my red bike. "Bullseye" is what I call him after like the horse in Toy Story.   We live in this member’s house and he is like the nicest guy you could ever meet.  He always asks if he can do anything for us and is always asking to go on splits with us or do anything for us.

I am back in the same district I was last time I was in Murray.  Elder Jackson is my district leader again, it’s crazy but it is so fun.
I love and miss you all.
Elder Willis

Monday, July 9, 2012

June 18th
This week was stacked.  It was nice we took an investigator to Temple Square.  She was ready to be baptized when we had her baptism last night.  She loved going to Temple Square.  She told us when we walked into the North Visitors Center "Wow I feel weird and I don't know if it’s because I am nervous or scared or calm or what kind of feeling this is." I explained that it was the spirit and she was like “wow” I like this feeling.  I thought it was so cool.  Two Temple Square sisters gave us a tour and we ended at the Christus and Tarah started balling when she looked up at it.  It was a great night.

Another thing that happened this week was that we had a mission conference where Elder M. Russell Ballard came and visited with us.  Some of the things I loved that he told us were:
1) Conversion, activation, or change of heart always comes with the spirit and a feeling.
2) "This is the Church of Jesus Christ, not a club or a society but the Kingdom of God"
3) "There is no need to worry about anything in the church.  Because it's not mine, it’s the Lord's church, he can worry about it.  I just do the best I can."

He is really inspirational.  His son was on his mission in like Japan or something and he was having a hard time with the language and finding people to teach and he asked his dad what he could do better.  He told us his answer to his son "What does he expect?  Just because I am an Apostle I should have some magical answer for him. So I took it to the Lord"  He told us that every night he should go to the Lord and tell him about our day and be able to say that we have done our very best that day and there is nothing better we could do, until then we need to work on improving and improving.

We also had a baptism last night for Tarah.  She is the one we took to Temple Square.  It was a great baptism.  Elder Jackson baptized her and her son watched through the window when he pulled her out of the water Geo (her son) said "Meanie Elder Jackson!!"  He is only 3 but he said it really loud during her baptism because he didn't fully get what was going on.  It was memorable.  Other than that the baptism was really great.  

I love you guys.  Hope you had a great Father’s day.  I miss you!

Elder Willis

June 25th
This week we had a great week!  We had a baptism of Mike.  We had a combined baptism with the sisters in our stake.  Shawn Bradley baptized the two girls the sisters had.  Yes Shawn Bradley lives in our stake!  The one from Space Jam. I love that movie! (Brian is 6'1''if that tell you how tall Shawn Bradley is.)

One of the people I taught in my first area was baptized this weekend too.  Rexton, he was excited to see me when I came back to see his baptism.  

Other than that, I found out that Elder Jackson is going to be training so I will be transferred probably Wednesday.  It will be a fun week I guess.

Elder Willis

July 2nd
So this week determined it... If I stayed in the Salt Lake South Mission or if I got transferred to the Salt Lake Central Mission.  The Lord has sent me to the Salt Lake Central Mission.  It’s small but I know there is a reason why I am here.  I have a new companion his name is Elder Conley from Moses Lake WA.!!!!! :) He and I are like brothers, it is great.  I love him already even though we may only be together 3 weeks.  We have a 3 week transfer then go back to 6 week transfers.  So I am in Taylorsville and we are white washing it like Elder Grimley and I did.  Elder Conley has only been out 3 months but he will be a great missionary.

This week has been great though we found 4 new people to teach.  Also they had Taylorsville Dayz which is like Tour De Terrace but a little bigger and its crazy.  We went there a few nights for a little bit and talked with a lot of people.  I love it here already.  The new mission currently doesn’t have any cars though so I will be biking the rest of mission if they don’t get cars.  I bet I will be on a bike though because each stake will have 2 sets of missionaries and a senior couple and some stakes will have a set of Spanish missionaries. 

So my mail now gets sent to the house I am at so the week of transfers don't send me anything and I will make sure I let you know when I transfer so you can send it to my house.  My current address is 5072 S. 2200 W. Taylorsville, UT 84118

I am thinking of getting a new bike.  The one I have is on its last leg and I got it from another missionary.  Since I have to be on it for over another year I might just buy one at Costco. 

Other than that I love you guys.  I miss you.  Pray for rain too it’s been close to 100 the past week each day.

Elder Willis

Monday, June 11, 2012

May 14th thru June 11th

May 14th
So last night I met a guy that is just like dad.
Chickens, huge 2 story shed in the back yard, loves to keep a nice clean and trimmed yard, grows plants in the back yard.  Dad would love his house.  It has a fire pit build into his yard and a gazebo with a huge barbeque in it and a shed with a chicken coup in it.  He is a retired ER nurse but still works a few days a week in insta-care or something.  This guy is like dad and Steve put together though.  He has a grease pit in his garage so he can work on his cars.  I want to go ask him to be my "mission dad" or just make sure I can come visit after my mission and introduce him to you!

I loved talking to you on the phone and hope you had a great Mother’s day.  This week was slow but we had a baptism.  His name was Micheal.  I forgot my camera at home but I will send you pictures next week.  I miss you guys.  Oh and I am getting transferred this week. :( My comp just got the call that says he is training next transfer.  :( I don’t want to move again.

Elder Willis

May 21st
Wow! I had a great week! :)  I am back in Murray..... I am currently in the new mission.  If during the next transfer I stay here I will stay in the Salt Lake Central Mission the rest of my mission.  I live in an actually apartment complex which is cool and a first.  My companion's name is Elder Jackson.  He is from Gig Harbor.  Yes, from Washington!   The Spanish Elders across the hall are cool too.  One of them is from Kirkland.  So 3 Washingtonians in one building.   My companion and I get along so well!  It’s like my last transfer! I love him!  We are like cousins, and that’s what we tell people sometimes as a joke even though we don't look like it.  

I live right off State street.  These apartments are retirement apartments.  They were a maternity hospital at one time and turned into one bedroom apartments.  I will take pictures for you next week.  Just know that I have a living room, half a kitchen and a bedroom and bathroom and all handicap accessible.  You could fit a bed into my shower!  I now have to go to a laundry mat though now which I don’t like but it’s not too bad.   

We had 2 baptisms this past weekend.  I will send you pictures.

Elder Willis

Quote: memorizing scriptures is like filling a cabinet with friends, values and truths that can be called upon anytime, anywhere in the world.

May 28th
This week has been really slow.  We have been working on finding new people to teach and it seems to be hard for us right now.  We know the Lord will bless us for our efforts though.  

We were going through a list of people that have a spouse that isn't a member and felt inspired to go to this one particular house though.  We stopped by and the wife told us she was a member and to come by and see her and her husband the next day.  We thought this was odd because she had a gigantic picture of the temple on her wall behind her.  We come back the next day and we found out that he wasn't a member and when he was a teenager he had his records removed because his parents told him too, sadly.  He was more than willing to have us come over and teach him and the family.  We are going by this week and hopefully start teaching him and his son.  It will be great to see them together as a family in the Gospel.  We explained to him that our purpose was to help him and his family to be sealed together forever in the temple so that they could live together even after this life and we could tell that he really thought about that.

I love you guys.

Elder Willis

June 4th
This week seemed to be so long.  We are working on finding new investigators.  It is hard right now and I don't know why it is being such a struggle it has never been like this for me before.  But I keep doing the things I need to and have a hope that the Lord will bless us this week with some new people to teach, because he will.

Other than that not much is new.  This week we are bringing our investigator to Temple Square.  It should be a good week.  We have a few people we are going to start teaching and hopefully they are prepared to learn about the gospel.

I don't have much time to write since we had to switch buildings because the power went off in the middle of my email.  Next weeks will be longer.

I love you.

Elder Willis

June 11th
This week the weather has been great.  It has been really windy though.  I love this sun because it makes the work seem to go by fast when it isn’t raining or snowing on you.  Especially since we walk.

It has been a good week, we found 2 new investigators.  One of which is ready to receive the Gospel into her life.  She is excited about learning and wants to be baptized.  She kept putting us off and seemed like she didn't care and was going to be a flake for the past week and a half but we didn't give up.  We stopped by and she told us "I am not avoiding you, I am sorry can you call me and set up a time?"  Finally when we got in the door this week we had a solid lesson with her.  I invited her to pray to know Joseph Smith was a prophet and her answer was "I already know he is, and that the Book of Mormon is true also."  We thought that was great and asked "when did you come to know it was true?" and she went on and told us about her sister and how she converted but no one invited her to learn so she didn’t get the chance.  We now have her on date for the 30th. 

I love doing the Lord's work.  It is great that I only have to worry about those I teach and no one else.  It is also the hardest thing ever sometimes but so amazing to see how I can help others when I do it.

Elder Willis

Monday, May 7, 2012

Here are the letters from Brian for the past 5 weeks.  Sorry we got behind in the posts. 

April 9th
I got moved to Kearns.  I love my new stake.  We had 2 baptisms and this month we should have 4 or 5 more.  We are in one of the highest baptizing stakes in the valley.  Last year they baptized 48.
My new companion is Elder Grimley.  He is from Oklahoma.  We get along so great.  We have a Subaru Impreza and once again I get to drive.  We have fewer miles than my last area so now we ride bikes half the time.  Which is fine with me it’s sunny here and I get one stake.  We cover the Salt Lake Jordan Stake.  Technically we live in Taylorsville but we are in the Kearns zone.  It will be a good transfer in this zone.

Also I like this stake; it is weird going from 19 wards to 5.  We had 2 baptisms this past weekend. And hopefully we will have 2 more next weekend.  It will be a good week!  I love the sun right now it is making it nice to ride my bike.  I will take pics of my apartment this week and send them to you.

Oh yeah and we are white washing our stake.  That means both old missionaries left and 2 new ones come in.  It was a change in preparation to open our new mission. 

Well I don't have much to tell you other than that and that the church is true.  I love the mission and love sharing the gospel. 

April 16th
This week has been great, long and kind of stressful.  The Bishops in this stake like to take over missionary responsibilities and it gets tough but I am working on patience with them, until they get it down and don't have to overdo their jobs.  We had 2 baptisms set up for this weekend and one of them got bronchitis and had to move her date back a week and the other hasn't fully quit smoking yet :(

I am excited for the next 2 weekends though; they will be good and have a baptism or 3.  So I have been riding my bike a lot.  I love it when it is sunny but the past 2 or 3 days it has been rain, and not Seattle rain more like Salty rain that leaves white residue on stuff.  So we have been driving.  I was going to email pics of my new apartment but I forgot my camera at home.

Right now we are at the Riverton family history center emailing before we go to Air Born.  Like a trampoline place with basketball hoops in it like slam ball and they also have dodge ball I guess I have never been there.  It is around the corner from Ashley furniture though.  I will steer clear of there.  

My area is doing great.  We have some good investigators, I will write you a letter home about each one this week but if you want to keep them in your prayers theirs names are Jessie, Cheryl, Gilbert, Zoey, Harry, Courtney, Michael S, Michael, Zach, Maylynn and Sorria.

Oh yeah Sorria is Buddhist, just like Lori! I am excited to see her progress in the gospel.

April 23rd
This week was packed.  Our investigators are doing well; the baptism we had set up for this past weekend got pushed to next weekend.  Next weekend we will have 3 baptisms!  I am so excited. 
So one of our investigators, Cheryl, is such a cool lady.  Satan is doing everything he can to keep pushing her baptism back and discourage her.  She has gotten bronchitis and then also got knee surgery and now finally 3 weeks later she is going to be baptized this weekend.  She is getting evicted though because she has 4 cats instead of the 3 limit.  We never even saw the cats though until after she told us she had them.  She wants to get baptized before she moves though so we are going to do that this weekend.

Another one of our investigators is named Michael.  He is in his 60's and knows the church is true.  He just has to get married before he can be baptized.  He has a hard time believing in commandments other than the 10 commandments though.  He wants to see them in the bible.  The other day during our lesson it was great though.  We were talking about the word of wisdom and he wanted to know why he needed to stop drinking.  I showed him in Leviticus about it and before he read it as soon as he saw it he goes "Awwww" ha-ha he knew he was wrong and that he needs to stop now and that he needs to stop smoking as well.  He is one of my favorite investigators though right now and will be baptized in June hopefully.

I had a good week though we taught 17 lessons with a member.  We should have some good baptisms coming up in the next couple of weeks though. 

April 30th
This week was great!! We hit almost all of our goals.  And we exceeded the standard of excellence.  We almost jumped for joy yesterday we were so proud of ourselves.  We had 3 baptisms!  They were great and went so smoothly.  It was nice and so exciting to see them be able to receive the blessings that can be brought to them through the Gospel.  I want to see them go through the temple so badly in a year and be sealed together as a family.  That will be my most treasured accomplishment while I am on my mission if I can see that happen.

Cheryl got baptized this past weekend and it was so exciting to see her enter the waters of baptism.  She was so excited and wasn’t letting anything stop her.  Then we had Jesse get baptized and he was so happy also he is one who has gone through many sets of missionaries and wants to be sealed together as a family one day.  We also had Courtney’s baptism and she was great too.  She is 9 and it was a challenge teaching her but we put our minds together and taught her with the spirit every day for like 2.5 weeks and we finally got her to learn everything and some extra.  It was a great day.

Saturday night we counted numbers and we were so happy that we had had 19 lessons.  We knew we needed at least 3 more on Sunday to meet our goal.  We did everything we could.  We found a priest to drive us around for an hour and a half and we stopped by a few potentials and some investigators and found 3 lessons and we even got a phone call with a referral and we got to go stop by and teach.  We had 21 lessons this week. 

Also this week I found out how much I love the lifesavers gummies and skittles riddles. hint hint :)

This is something I heard this week that I loved.  "Church is like a health club.  Where skinny people go to stay skinny and fat people go once.  If you don't keep going it doesn't do you any good."  I thought that was funny but really true. 

I love you guys.

May 7th
This week was great! :)  It wasn’t as productive as last week but it
was good.  No one was baptized.  But we found a few new people who
will be baptized this month hopefully! :)

Nothing exciting really happened this week.

I am doing great! It’s nice weather all week! In the 70's.  It’s perfect
except dry heat no moisture in the air. It’s alright though.

I get to call you this week! Happy Mother’s Day soon!

Love Elder Willis

Monday, April 2, 2012

Conference and a Christian Pastor

This week was great!  So conference weekend was so uplifting!

Saturday we went to a member’s home and watched both sessions.  Elder Mariner went downtown for the Priesthood session.  So I went with Elder Sehestedt to one of his stake centers to watch it with him and his investigator Hunter who is getting baptized on the 14th.  Then Sunday we went to a member’s house who fed us waffles with ice cream on top for breakfast and another member’s house for lunch and the afternoon session.  We got to watch it with our investigator Brian.  He is my favorite investigator.  Now I know what you’re thinking, either "that’s not nice to have a favorite" or "You like him because of his name..." Which I do but that’s not why.  He asks such good questions.  He is logical and wants to know why things are the way they are which is exciting because we use scriptures and he knows that it makes sense.  He doesn't ask questions just to get us confused.  

This week we are starting discussions with two couples.  I am nervous and excited.  One is an evangelical pastor and his wife.  They seemed really cool.  Another is a Christian pastor and his wife.  I should have a good week, if not some good stories for you.

Tomorrow is transfer calls and I find out if I am getting transferred or what is happening.  No one knows what will happen.  The Presidents Assistants told us that this transfer is going to be like none other.  I can see Elder Mariner and I getting split and one of us taking 1 of our 3 stakes and the other one taking the other 2 and both of us getting new companions.  But I really have no clue.

Easter Sunday is coming up and I am excited!  Oh yeah, our mission had 194 baptisms this month.... We were 6 away from our goal of 200!

Well I love you,
Elder Willis