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