Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a great week!  We went on an exchange on Friday.  So Elder Sullins and I stayed in my area and we got work done.  We had such a slow day so we were early for dinner.  We decided to stop by the ward mission leader in that ward because I hadn’t seen him in like 2 months.  We get to his door and I was like “huh” his house is empty.  We knock anyways and the guy painting answered the door and says they moved 3 weeks earlier.  I thought that was strange that he moved and no one told us so we went to talk to bishop.  He told us it was true and that no one had been called yet, this made me a little confused and sad.  I asked the bishop who we could stop by to could share the gospel with.  He was a goldmine for investigators!  He gave us 6 names and told us to stop by the primary president for more because kids were inviting their friends to come with them in that ward and there was a lot in the Christmas pageant who hadn't been baptized.  So we were like OKAY!  We decided the next morning we were going to contact them and we got 2 return appointments with families.  One family the cousin comes up from BYU every Sunday to bring his cousins to church.  The two girls would love us to come teach them.  And mom and dad aren’t members either and we start teaching them tomorrow!  Then there is another family where mom is a less active member but we heard she is a return missionary.  The dad grew up in the church but is less active now also.  They have 3 kids that come to church also and dad told us “yeah you can come back and teach them they would love that.”  I was so excited!  Missionary work truly does start in primary, kids aren’t shy to invite their friends to come with them to church, and I don’t know why it is hard for adults.  I still have a few more to contact because they haven’t been home yet but it should be a good week and a great start to a New Year. 

On Saturday night we had Elder Russell M. Nelson come and speak to our mission.  His wife and he are so inspired it’s crazy.   Sister Nelson told us a good way to fall asleep is to count and alphabetize your blessings, naming one for each letter of the alphabet.  Starting with Atonement, Baptism, Confirmation, and so on.  It works, and you go to sleep in such a good mood!  Elder Russell M. Nelson is such a cool guy he should have a book written about him.  He was a Thoracic Surgeon before becoming an Apostle in the church.  He was the pioneer of open heart surgery.  Before him they thought that if you touched a beating heart it would stop and the person would die, he proved them wrong.  He invented the heart-lung machine that bypasses your heart during surgery and so on.  Sister Nelson asked us to think about what we don't see happen in our lives when we don't follow the spirit.  In other words, what are you making not happen in your life when you don’t follow a prompting.   She also said 2 things happen in life.
1) You will be asked to do something that will seem illogical by the spirit to test your faith.
2) You will be asked to do something you don't know how to do, and at that time you have to be able to rely on the Lord for guidance and help. 
Elder Nelson told us that you have to show faith to have things shown unto you; just like Joshua and the Israelites when they needed to cross a river at flood time and they were told that they would be able to cross on dry land.  They didn’t know what to do but when they put a foot in the water they stepped onto dry ground.  He also told us that God asks people to do things that are hard, and he asks people who seem like they wouldn’t be able to do it, to do it.  So he calls the seemingly impossible to make it possible.  Crazy huh?  He also said that being a missionary is just preparation to go among your own people and share the gospel with your friends. That's so true!   
Yesterday we had a baptism for the girl who grew up Buddhist.  She was so excited!  The spirit was so strong and we had so much support from her singles ward.  I loved it, I wasn’t sure how many would show up considering that it was New Year’s Day and people being out of town or busy but we got a good size group!  She thanked us so much and was thankful that we didn’t give up on her. 

Well that’s my week, it was amazing!  I love and miss you.  I hope you all are doing well and being blessed.

Elder Willis

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