Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Transfer---New Town & New Companion


Well I'm in my new area. I'm in Gonzales... little south of Baton Rouge. It's a nice town. There are 2 wards here and 2 sets of elders. My companion is Elder Damron. He is from Idaho and has only been out about 6 more months than me. He is pretty cool. He likes sports so we got that in common. All 4 of us missionaries live together. We have a 2 story apartment so it's pretty nice. It's fun being with another set of missionaries. I know Matthew said the favorite part of his mission was living with another set of missionaries. I can see why he said that. It's pretty fun. Haha.... I think sometimes we might have a little too much fun together. The first couple days here were tough but I'm getting more comfortable now. The members here are awesome. My area is a pretty wealthy area too. We have our groceries paid for so that's sweet. I guess the members love the missionaries here. The work here is pretty slow though just like it is all over Louisiana. Oh well it's just something I have to deal with. We have dinner appointments here almost every night which is sweet. I really think I'm going to like it in this area. I also found out there is a family in my ward from Snowflake and I knew 2 of their kids. It's the Bonhams. I knew their son Michael and Joe. Joe was in my Efy group and I knew Michael from basketball. So they had us over for dinner last night. Joe wasn't there because he is at college but he will be home for Christmas so hopefully I'll be here for Christmas so I'll be able to see him.  Michael is back in Arizona right now. Yeah small world huh? Haha anyways nothing really happened this week except for transfers. My old companion was pretty ticked he had to stay in Opelousas because it's a super slow area. I think he was a little bummed out that I got transferred  because he really liked me. He would always tell me that his prayers were answered and that he finally got a companion he really liked. That's crazy that football is already over for Jaden. It seemed like the football season just started. I guess it's time for basketball to start. I miss playing sports so much. Just continue to keep me updated with sports and stuff. And if you could sometime send me some jackets or sweaters to wear. Lately it has been getting a little nippy. Ones that I can wear with missionary clothes and ones with normal clothes too. Sorry this letter wasn't too exciting because this week was a crazy week. Hopefully next week I'll have some more cool stories to tell. Anyways you're in my prayers always.
Love Elder Willis

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Sounds like the wedding went well. Thats awesome! I'm so happy for Matt and Helen. Well last night I got a call that I'm being transferred tomorrow. It was pretty surprising because I have only been in Opleousas 2 transfers. Things were just starting to get going in our area too. Oh well....so it will be exciting to find out what area I'll be in now. I'll let you know my new address and everything next week. So don't be sending me anything this week. I tried packing this morning and it was hard. I just got the suit cases out and I'm like "where do I even start?" Haha anyways this week was a pretty good week. It went by fast. It's still like 90 degrees here. I guess it doesn't start cooling down until like December. I got a couple cool stories this week. The first one is me and my companion were in Target getting some stuff.  This guy comes up and asks us if we are mormon missionaries. We are like yeah..so we start having a little friendly conversation. He talks about Mitt Romney and just what we believe. We had to correct him on what we believed. By the way this guy is a Catholic. So what started as a friendly conversation turned into this guy bashing on the mormon missionaries and trying to tell us we are wrong. Then he asks me if Joseph Smith practiced polygamy. I said "Our church believes...." Then he just interrupted me and was like No I asked you a question! Did he practice polygamy? Now he really ticked me off. So with a little anger in my voice I looked him straight in the eyes and told him Yes he practiced polygamy. It was commanded of God at the time. Then he started going off about something else. So the whole time I was just squeezing the shopping cart as hard as I could praying that I would have the strength to not punch this guy in the face. I felt disgusted the whole time and right then I felt again that our church was the true church. So that was a pretty crazy experience. The other one is like the complete opposite. So my companion had to go to an eye appointment in Baton Rouge. So that morning getting ready to leave I had a strong urge to bring a copy of the Book of Mormon with me. I just thought I didn't need it cause we were just going to an eye appointment but I brought one with me anyways. So while I'm sitting in the waiting room waiting for my companion to get done. I'm just reading the Book of Mormon. This older guy sits across from me and he asks me what I'm reading. I tell him the Book of Mormon and he asks me what it is and everything. So I tell him where it came from and I gave him a run down of the restoration. Then I tell him he can have this copy. He was like I don't want to have your book. I told him to read the intro and if he is interested he can have it. So he starts reading and reading and reading and reading. He just reads for like 45 min. I just look at him and I say it's yours. He looked at me and said Thank you. Thank you so much. It was awesome. I know the spirit prompted me to bring the Book of Mormon. Well that was pretty much my week. I'm still moving along! I love you and you're in my prayers.

Elder Willis


Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Sounds like everything is going good so far with the wedding. Sounds pretty crazy though too. Well I'm doing pretty good. Honestly the weeks are just going by so fast. It seems like everyday is P-Day. Haha. So the regular season is over? What seed is the team going in as? Jaden got an interception!!!! Wow....I remember when I got lots of those :) Maybe by the time he is a senior he can break my record. I guess I'll have to teach him some stuff. Well my week was pretty good. Last P-Day it was my comp's birthday so we got a few other elders and we all went ice skating. Yes there is an ice skating rink in Louisiana. It was fun but I ate it pretty hard a couple times. I'll have to send a video of all the times I fell. It was fun though. After a while I got the hang of it. This week was pretty slow with our lessons. We only taught 2 lessons this week. That's pretty much a normal week for us. But those 2 lessons were way good. The family that has a baptisimal date for Nov. 10 is doing pretty good. We taught them this past week and it went so good. They know the church is true. The wife was like the sooner I get baptized the better and the the husband was like I don't have to get baptized in the Bayou do I?   haha it was funny. So hopefully everything continues to go well with them. Then they told us to go see their moms. So we go visit their moms and they are so interested in the church. They want to come to church and want us to teach them. They told us they see the change in their kids so they want to see what's different about our church. So it will be cool to teach them also. Other than that it was pretty much just a normal week. We had dinner with a member a couple nights ago and had some gumbo with duck so that was a little different. Today I get to go play some basketball. Yayy...I love playing basketball. Every chance I get I'm trying to play basketball. I can't think of anything else to write... Transfers are next week. I'm pretty sure I'm staying where I'm at again. My companion might get transfered. I don't know we will have to see what happens. Our church cards don't get money on them until the first of the month. But I should be good for the next couple weeks. Thanks for putting money on my card. If you want anything from over here just let me know and I'll send you guys something. Just continue to keep me updated on the family and sports and everything. I love hearing about everyone :) well I cant wait to hear from you guys again.   I love you!

Elder Willis

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hey Family!!
How is everyone? Hope everyone is doing fine! I'm doing pretty good. Another week has gone by. I've already been out 3 months!! What?!! It's going by so fast. Haha well anyways conference was awesome. We just watched it in our branch building. It was pretty much us and the Sisters and 2 other people. The missionary announcement was pretty crazy. Alot more missionaries will be serving now. It just shows how much the Lord needs his missionaries and how important this work is. That whole Saturday morning session was kinda alot about missionary work. Yeah Nelson's talk was pretty cool. Ask the missionaries....haha whenever he was saying that I was just thinking to myself would I be able to answer those kinds of questions? I think my favorite talk was Holland's. He always gives such good talks. So I'm sending our family a letter today. I wrote one for each person in our family. Except Matthew because he doesn't live at home. :) But this week was pretty good. We had some pretty good lessons this week. We had 4 lessons this week!!!!!!! That's like a record for us!! :) One of the lessons was to a family of 3. They are so sweet. They just love us so much. They have a baptisimal date for Nov. 10. So hopefully in this next month or so we will be having a baptism for this family. They have been coming to church and they came to conference with us and they loved it so much. It's like the best feeling in the world when you help someone into this gospel. Even though I have had some pretty hard times out here so far I have also had some of the best times when I help someone gain their own testimony. It just builds my own testimony seeing someone elses testimony grow. That's crazy that Mitchell is going to Hawaii. That would be so sweet.  We write each other every week so he told me and I have been trying to help him through this. We are just open with each other about our problems and try to help each other through it. I'm so grateful that he is out here with me because  it helps me to know that he is out here doing the same thing I am doing.  Don't get me wrong...  it's still really hard at times but not too extreme. I'm doing fine. Anyways if you dont mind can you put some money on my ATM card :) I really don't have any money. My church card is almost out cause I have spent most of it on just the little things I need. Like I need some money for food.  We don't have any food in our apartment. I haven't had breakfast at all this week. For lunch and dinner I have just been having crackers. I really don't even know how I'm still alive right now. So if you could help me out with some money I would appreciate it and maybe I can buy you guys some cool stuff from here and send it home. Oh and a few days ago I got a package from  a Heber/Overgaard Community Thank You box. That's who it said it was from. It had a bunch of different snacks and stuff in it. So I dont know who it's from but I'm thankful for them because those are the snacks I ate to survive through this week with food. Anyways you guys take care. I'm thankful for all your prayers. I love you.
Elder Tyler Drake Willis

Saturday, October 6, 2012

E-mail from Oct 1, 2012


Wow...another week down huh?! Thats crazy...time just seems to fly by sometimes.  I hope you all are doing fine. Anyways just a normal missionary week. Nothing really happened this past week. We are done with the hurricane clean up...thank goodness. I finallly got to go back to church this Sunday. I love going to my branch it's so cool. It's way different than going to a ward.  Since I have been here we have never started on time. We usually don't get started until like 10 after the hour. So branches are just so laid back. General Conference is this weekend!! Boo-Yah! Im so pumped for general conference. Back home I didn't really get that excited for general conference but now as a missionary it just pumps me up. It should be awesome. So a few days ago something crazy happened to me. So my companion finally gets his bike fixed up so he wants to ride it that night. So we decide to ride our bikes for the night. So we are riding around going to a couple peoples houses. It's like 8 at night now. So we decide to go see one more person. My companion can't remember where he lives but I'm like I remember where he lives so just follow me. I'm just cruising along on my bike leading the way and I reach the person's house. I get off my bike and look back and my companion is just gone. So I'm like okay I'll just wait a little bit and maybe he will show up. I'm just standing outside for like 15 minutes by myself and he never shows up. I'm like okay well maybe I should go look for him. I start riding around and I can't find him. Then  I'm just like okay I can't find him so I'll just go get a milkshake at burger king right down the road. So I just ride my bike to burger king by myself. While I'm riding he just shows up out of nowhere and he's like I thought I knew a faster way and I got lost. I was pretty upset at him for not just following me. Anyways that was pretty much my week. I'm still doing pretty good. Sometimes I have those struggles that most missionaries have but I don't let it tear me down too bad. Can't wait to hear from you again.   I love you all and miss you.

Elder Willis :)