Friday, December 27, 2013

Got to talk to our missionary in person this week :)  We all thought he looked very good.....we love that smile....We felt bad because the mail was pretty slow and he didn't have any christmas presents from his family to open up..:(    Boy, I felt so bad..... He is doing great but says the work is slow....That can get discouraging at  times.....We are proud of his positive attitude and willingness to serve.  He sent us a couple of papers with his Christmas presents and I wanted to have it written down somewhere....He and Elder White wrote this when they served together in Covington....We had a few laughs as we read this.  He also sent one of his favorite poems about being a missionary.....cuz it tells it like it is I guess..:)   Hope you enjoy reading both of them.   We love our missionary and can't wait until Mother's Day to skype again.

     Ghetto Ball for Dummies (Mormon Missionaries):

    General Guidelines for Ghetto Ball
   *Get a tat to fit in
    *Forget everything you've ever learned about BBall
    *Keep track of the score in your head because they will try to change it
    *Don't get discouraged if you're the last pick because of the color of your skin...(exceptions: most of the         time the people you have come with is your team)
    *Shirts are optional
    *When in doubt, pull it
    *Assists don't matter
    *In Ghetto Ball there is an "I" in team
    *No blood, no foul
    *Shoot it every chance you get
    *Be as fancy as you can
    *Don't bring money to a Ghetto Ball game, they will hustle you out of it
    *Don't underestimate anyone by their age or size
    *It doesn't matter how high you can jump because they can jump higher
    *You make it, you take it
    *If you have not received the following you didn't play a real game of ghetto ball:  untucked shirt, bruises,       black eye, fat lip, blisters on feet, cuts, strained muscles, chipped tooth, throbbing pain somewhere on
    your body
IMPORTANT:  show no signs of weakness because they already think you are a sissy

WAYS TO KNOW YOU ARE NOT PLAYING REAL GHETTO BBALL:  less than 30 swear words said in 1 game......more white people than black people.......if at least 1 person does not have a tear drop tattoo.......full court game or 5 on a game to more than 15

   *If you lose more than 3 times in a row, never go back
   *Don't schedule pick-up games because they won't show up
   *If they say yes to a pick-up game by text don't get too excited.....chances are they will flake out on you

He sent us a copy of a poem that he really likes:
Highs-n-Lows  By Jack L Brinkerhoff

A mission is a strange experience.
It's a trial and a test.
A mission throws at you the worst,
yet teaches you the best.

They told me this would be the best period of my life.
But I guess they didn't explain it all too clear.
I came out looking for a bed of roses.
I just wasn't expecting all the thorns I've found out here.

Since I've been out I've never been so happy.
I've never been so depressed.
I've never felt so forsaken.
I've never felt so blessed.

I've never been so confused.
My mind has never been so clear.
I've never felt my Heavenly Father so distant.
I've never felt him so near.

I've never been so discouraged.
I've never been so full of hope.
I feel like I can go forever.
I think I've come to the end of my rope.

I've never had is so easy.
I've never had it so tough.
Things have never gone so smoothly.
Things have never been so rough.

I've never traveled through more valleys.
I've never ascended so many peaks.
I've never met so many neat people.
I've never met so many freaks.

I've never had so many ups.
I've never had so may downs.
I've never worn so many smiles.
I've never worn so many frowns

I've never been so lonely.
I've never had so many friends.
Man, I hope this is all over with soon.
Gosh, I hope it never ends.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hey!! So I was about to email you (Mom) yesterday to tell you Happy Birthday but I decided to just wait until today to tell you Happy Birthday!! So Happy late birthday!! I love you! So yeah today is pday because i'ts transfer week. Me and Elder Smith are staying the same. I'm pretty happy because Elder Smith and I get along really good. We have a lot of fun together. The other 2 in our apartment are staying the same. They were happy too because they wanted to spend Christmas with us. So nothing happening this transfer. Elder White told me that he had to get Emergency Transferred up to Deridder. Which is way up north. I guess a companionship wasn't getting along up there so President put Elder White up there to help the Elder out I guess. So Elder White is really far away now so I probably won't see him that much anymore. But tha'ts sweet to hear about the RV tournament. I guess Jaden is showing me up. Tha'ts awesome he got all-tournament team. I bet he was happy about that. That's better than I ever did. I'll still have to show him whose boss when I get home. :) So the weather is getting pretty cold over there? Haha well this week we had a zone meeting and when we got out of the meeting at like 2 we got in the car and it said it was 90 degrees. Haha it was so hot. It's weird to hear christmas music but yet it's so hot outside. But then towards the end of the week it got really cold. Like in the 40s-50s something like that. So hopefully from now on it will be cooler weather. This past week we ended doing a lot of service for this family. They were putting in a tile floor so we helped them out with that for a couple days. Now I can pretty much say I've done it all on my mission. I've put in tile floors. I've put in wood floors. I've torn down hundreds of houses at the first of my mission. Put in drywall. Just all kinds of stuff. It's cool to learn how to do all things. We did get to watch the Christmas devotional. Just all the missionaries watched it at the church by ourselves. It was pretty good. It's always good to hear general authorities speak. I thought it was pretty cool how Elder Nelson was doing his with the video clips and different voices. It was kind of throwing me off sometimes though but it was good. So I'm pretty sure we will be able to find a place to skype. Nothing set yet but this week we will try to find somewhere to skype and I'll let you know. Well I can't wait to talk to you guys on christmas. I'm excited!! Well i love you guys and pray for you!!
Love Elder Willis :) 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sounds like you all had a very good Thanksgiving. Lots of food and upset stomachs I bet.. haha mine was a pretty good Thanksgiving. We just had a big lunch at the church with a few members. That was pretty good. Just the normal turkey and potatoes and that stuff. We did have a ton of pies. We did have another family tell us if we wanted we could come over around 3 and eat some more but we decided to skip out on that meal. We were too full. Then for dinner this hispanic family invited all the missionaries over and we ate beans and rice. Not exactly what I was expecting to eat for my thanksgiving dinner. But my thanksgiving was a good one.  It was pretty cold this past week but once December hit it was warm again. Yesterday was like 80 degrees. Last year was like that too. December hit and I was confused because it was super warm. So did you guys go to black friday? Thursday night before we had to go in for the night we decided to stop by Walmart and JCPenney to see what kind of deals they had so for the next day we could come back and get stuff. I don't think I have ever seen so many people in my life. There was people running around everywhere in the store. It was so chaotic. Friday we went to JCPenney so I could buy some pants and sweaters. They had some pretty good deals on clothes so I got me a couple sweaters and pants. There was still a ton of people on Friday afternoon. I guess people take black friday down here seriously. I saw a couple people wearing shirts that said something like "On black friday i will kick, punch, and trample to get what i want" haha..Anyways this past week we didn't get to see very many people because of Thanksgiving and everyone was with family. So yesterday at church something cool happened...there was this black member that brought one of his black friends to church with him and he was wearing big chain necklaces and big diamond rings and it was fast sunday so everyone was bearing their testimonies and right when we were about to end the testimonies the guy gets up and starts walking up to the pulpit and I am sitting in the back and I'm like "oh yeah this is going to be good" so he starts talking to the congregation while he is walking down the isle to the stand and he probably bore one of the best testimonies I've heard. He gets up there and he was like "When I hear the word testimony, I think of the word Test. A testimony is a test of what you have been through." Then he was just like thank you for having me and walks away. I was like dang that was powerful. So that was a pretty cool experience. I hope he comes back to church. He is in the other missionaries area so I wont teach him. Hopefully they will jump on that. Well I hope you guys have a great week. I love you all.
Elder Willis :)

Thanksgiving at the Ward Thanksgiving Feast!

Nov. 25, 2013

So another week down.. i hope everyone is doing good. I'm doing pretty good. This week went by pretty fast. So that's pretty cool that it was snowing up in Heber. I'm glad i don't have to deal with any snow over here. Even though this past week was probably cold enough for it to snow. It was only like 60 degrees and i thought it was so cold. I guess im not used to the cold weather so when it gets a little cold i think its freezing. I haven't had a chance to go buy me any sweaters or pants yet but I'm going to try to this week hopefully. So thanksgiving should be pretty good this week. We have like a little branch thanksgiving lunch thing at the church on Thursday and then we have a dinner with this nonmember that we did a service for a week or 2 ago. She told us to come over on thanksgiving because they have like 30 dishes....haha I'm probably going to have to do alot of working out this week to burn off all that food. It should be fun. Then on Saturday another member wants to feed all the missionaries here a big feast. So this week I'll probably be getting fed really good. For like traditions down here...its not really any different from back home. I guess people down here always season the food real good. Some people have all depends. Alot of people deep fry everything. It's really fattening. I'll tell you next week what we had for thanksgiving. But this week was like every other week. Just pretty slow. Not really teaching very many people. So you know how I was talking about the guy named Julius we helped move in and he was interested. Well this past week I was standing outside the apartment and he walked out to go to his car so I started talking to him. For some reason we started talking about football and he told me he plays on the semi-pro league here in New Orleans. We talked about that for a while ..  he seemed like he was not interested in the church anymore. Oh well...he still says hi to us every time we see him. I guess it will just take time. Another cool thing this past week is that we visit this less active guy named Travis Lewis. So this last time we were visiting with him we started talking about rapping...oh by the way this guy is black and he has a gold grill and big diamond necklaces and all that stuff. So we were talking about how he raps and he told us he works with Eminem and 50 Cent. So he showed us some albums that he is on or helped with. It was pretty cool. He told us he is trying to get Eminem and all those guys he works with to come to church with him. Haha...I don't think that will ever happen though. The gospel is for everyone though. I asked him what his stage name is and he said "Cheese" It's for real too because he showed us the albums. So if you ever hear any songs from "Cheese" know that I visit him alot. Well that's about all for this week. Yeah I get on Ashlee's blog alot. It does sound like her mission is alot like mine. Very hard to find anyone to teach. Well I can't think of anything else that's going on. Can't wait to talk to you guys on Christmas. I'm looking forward to it. Love you guys!!
Elder Willis :)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I'm bummed to hear about the football game. I was waiting all weekend to find out what happened. Yeah I looked at the website to watch it but you need an account. So I'll use your guys account and maybe watch a little bit of the game. Well at least Jaden still has another year. I'll be home for his senior year. When I get home tell him I'll take him out and go train with him to get him ready for the football season. Anyways this week was a pretty good week. The weather was nice again. It was really humid this past week so it was a little warmer. The weather is so weird here. I have no clue when it's going to be warm or cold now. I'm sure it will start getting cold now though. So here's something crazy that happened....someone was telling us how a Grandpa and his little granddaughter were out walking one night and they got shot and killed. And it was right over by where I live. Pretty's so messed up down here. I think that's why Hurricane Katrina wipe out all the wicked. But there probably needs to be another hurricane like that. But I guess that's what I'm down here for so there doesn't need to be another hurricane! The work here is still pretty slow...we aren't really teaching anybody right now. Last week I was telling you about the guy we helped move into his apartment..well we still haven't heard from him. He probably went online and read alot of anti-stuff. Everyone down here always reads the bad stuff about mormons. I think we will just go over to his apartment and knock on his door or something. This past week we got some names some people in the ward wanted us to go see what their situation is. So this one guy we go to served a mission and everything so we decided he might be a good one to go see. He answers the door and we talk to him for a little bit and we tell him where the church is and he says you probably won't be seeing me there. I was like how come? He was like well...I'm gay...we kinda just stood there for a while because we didn't know what to say. Finally I was just like well.....there is a website the church put out for gays you should check it out. It was probably one of the more awkward times on my mission. But that's about it for this week. Yeah I heard about the typhoon in the Philippines..that's really sad. I guess it was the biggest typhoon ever? I don't know. I'm pretty excited for Thanksgiving to come up. We have a couple appointments so far. I think only 2 will be fine enough for me. Haha Um...I'm pretty sure I'll be able to skype for Christmas. It's a month away. I guess Mom is just so excited to talk to me :) I'm sure there is someone here that will let me skype on their computer. Well yeah not too much has happened this week. The work is really slow on a bike. You dont get as much accomplished. Anyways love you guys.
Elder Willis :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

So nobody said anything about Dad's birthday so I don't know if you guys are trying to test me but I'm pretty sure yesterday was dad's birthday! Happy late Birthday!! Hope you had a good one. Anyways that's great to hear about Jaden's game. I was anxious to find out how they did.  I'm sure Jaden is excited about that. I bet he will be pretty nervous. That's pretty cool we both played in the state championship our Junior year. Just tell him he will probably be really nervous at first but after the first couple minutes it will feel just like a regular game. Tell him to play that game harder than any other game he's played that season. I can't wait to find out what happens on Monday. Anyways my week went pretty good. I'm pretty comfortable in this area now. I'm starting to like it a lot. They people here are so much different than any other people in the state. The whole area is pretty much dominated by african-americans. I hardly ever see any white folk. This past week the weather was pretty bad. It was super windy this week. I hated it. Trying to ride your bike in the wind is so hard. It got pretty cold at night too. I think it was the first time this year I have worn my long sleeve shirt. My short sleeve shorts are getting worn out but the long sleeves are pretty much brand new still. But I will probably wear them a lot this winter since i'm not in a car. Well this past week there was this guy named Julius that was moving some furniture into our apartment complex so we asked if we could help. So we helped him and everything then the next day or the day after I think he came up to us and was like "Hey I've been trying to find you guys because I  want to know more about what you guys do"  So we talk to him a little bit and give him our number and he says he wants to learn more. He is trying to fix his life up and wants to start going to church. So we're excited about that. Hopefully we can teach him. Then we are teaching this other guy named Russell and he wanted to come to church and we told him to be ready at 8:30 so we can come pick him up with a member. He said he would be ready and we go over there on Sunday to pick him up and he didn't answer his door. I was pretty upset. I shouldn't be but it's hard not to at this kind of stuff. So those are really the only people that have potential. Still pretty slow in this area. The members feed us here alright. A little bit better than in Covington. So yeah the branch there is a lot of blacks. No the branch president is white. My comp is from Ogden, Utah. I guess I forgot to tell you that? The other 2 I live with are from Draper, Utah and the other one is from Mesa I think or one of those towns over there. He went to Desert Ridge High School. They are all pretty cool. We all get along really good. So yesterday for pday I got to see Elder White and my other buddies from the Denham Springs zone. They all got permission to come to New Orleans. So we went to the Stake Center and we played a lot of basketball. It was cool to see all those guys again. Well I cant really think of anything else. Nothing crazy has really happened. Well I love you all. 
Elder Willis :)

 His dream car :)

Book of Mormon Musical in New Orleans....People thought they were in the musical when they saw them on the street.

This is the view from his it downtown and across the river

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hey Family!
I hope everyone is doing good. Sounds like the Football team can have a pretty good chance to win it all. Tell Jaden he better work his tail off these next 2 weeks. I hope they can win it all. I never got a chance to win a state championship so I hope Jaden will at least be able to win one. That would be cool. So I'm sure you have been wondering where I got transferred. I got transferred to New Orleans :) Yeah it's pretty sweet. The part of New Orleans I'm in is called Algiers. It's like right in the heart of New Orleans. It's one of the worst parts of New Orleans too. I'ts really sketchy everywhere. My companion is Elder Smith. He's from Ogden, Utah. He has been out like 3 months. He's pretty cool and we get along really good. We live with 2 other Elders. I like living with other Elders. The mission is funner when your around other missionaries. I'm in a bike area again. I don't mind it because it will keep me in shape but sometimes it's nicer to have a car. Plus the weather is starting to get colder and it will not be fun to bike in cold weather. So I'm in the West Bank Branch. It's a pretty good sized branch though. It kinda reminds me of the branch I was in in Opelousas. The branches down here in Louisiana are ran a lot differently than other places. I like this branch though. The people are very friendly here. Most of the branch is African-Americans. Which I kinda like. I love seeing black mormons for some reason. There is not much work in this area either. This area hasn't had a baptism in like 2 years I think. But I think the work here will be a little better than the work was in Covington. So the weather here has been pretty chilly lately. There was another big storm that came through but it ended up just being really windy. There was hardly any rain. So all I know about Elder White is that his companion is Elder Stewart. I don't really know anything about him but he is really short and wears glasses. He will probably email me and tell me how his companion is. So my first night here we went and visited a less active guy and when we left we went outside and there was 5-6 cops busting some kids for something. Welcome to Algiers. Then the next day we go to the library and some lady comes in and was like there was a bike that just got stolen outside. It wasn't our bikes though because we lock them up. But this area is pretty bad. I guess I need to be careful down here. We actually live in a pretty bad area too. We are pretty much surrounded by the projects. It's scary. There are a lot of houses and buildings around here that are still boarded up from Katrina. It's crazy. It honestly feels like I got transferred to a different mission. I'm seeing a whole other side of the mission now. New Orleans is for sure the craziest place I've ever been. I can't wait to bring you guys down here someday and see how you guys feel about this place. I know mom will probably be too scared to get out of the car in a lot of places. Haha. Well that's about it. I can't really think of anything else. Remember you guys are in my prayers. I love you/
Elder Willis :)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hope everyone is doing good. Sounds like Jaden and Makenzie are tearing it up in sports right now. So this week is transfer week and I got called and found out I'm getting transferred. So on Wednesday at the meeting I'll find out where I'm going. I have no clue to where I could be going. It's all a mystery. I think I'm ready to leave though. These past 3 transfers in Covington were rough because there was no work. So I think I'm ready to move on. It will not be fun getting a new companion though. Me and Elder White had some fun times together. So next week I'll let you know what happens. So this past week not much happened. I was sick pretty much all week. There was like a big cold front that came through so the weather got super cold real quick. That might have been what caused my sickness. But now the weather is back up to normal again. I don't know though but I was sick for a few days. We still tried to go out and try to do something but we didn't get too much done because i wasn't 100%. Yeah I got the package you sent. The way you named all the candy in it was pretty funny. I got a good laugh at it. Me and Mitchell and Ashlee all email or write each other pretty often. We keep in good touch with each other. You will have to tell Justin my email so when he gets on his mission he can email me. Maybe we will just start a big group email between all 4 of us. So last Monday i told you guys how we were down in New Orleans. It was sweet. I took pictures but I forgot my camera at the apartment. I will try to email some pictures next week. But we took pictures of the theater where the book of mormon musical was playing and people were walking by us looking at us weird probably because we were dressed up exactly like the missionaries on the billboard. Then while we were walking down by the downtown area some guy stopped us and told us he played one of the missionaries in the musical. So he wanted to take a picture with us. It was a fun time down there. Next week ill let you know on everyhing that happened if you don't somehow figure out before i tell you. Haha. I love you guys.
Elder Willis :)

This is the Ory family that took good care of Elder Willis & Elder White.  He had to say good-bye as he will be transfered this week.  Thank you Ory Family

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

So were emailing on Tuesday. Yesterday the library was closed because of Columbus Day.  Isn't that like Canadian Thanksgiving? hmm...i wonder if Matt is celebrating his Canadian thanksgiving. Ha. So yesterday for P-Day we went fishing again. We have been doing a lot of fishing lately. We can't catch any fish though. We aren't very good at fishing. I went and bought one of those cheap kid poles at Walmart and tried to fish with that thing. It broke like 3 times and then I was done fishing. It was pretty fun though. It's still really hot here. They say it's supposed to get cooler this week. I hope so. I'm ready for winter to come around. Last year it didn't start getting cold until the last part of December. I actually think it was pretty warm for Christmas. Hmm...anyways this past week went pretty good. We had zone conference and it went alright. Sometimes zone conferences can be a little too long. We go from like 8 in the morning to like 5 or 6. With only like 1 break. We learn a lot of good things though. Our zone is very young. We have a lot of new missionaries. I still feel like a brand new missionary most of the time. It goes by fast. We still can't find really anybody to teach. We talk to a few people about the church but no one seems really interested. Everyone already has their own church. You can't throw a rock without hitting a catholic or baptist. The ward here is still the same. A couple weeks ago we thought things were going to start changing when we had a couple more dinner appointments. Now it's back to normal again with hardly even 1 dinner appointment a week. Yeah we eat cereal a lot. Most of the time I have cereal for breakfast lunch and dinner. It's probably not healthy but it's the easiest thing to make. We have a ton of cereal at our apartment. I'ts not bad because I love cereal. I don't think I have any vitamins. If you want to you can send me some. I bet Makenzie is excited for volleyball to start. I know that's probably her favorite sport. Oh this past weekend we got to play basketball with a ton of nonmembers. One of the youth in the ward always invites his non member friends to the church to play basketball. We probably play once a week. That's always fun. We play a lot of basketball. We haven't been back to the ghetto courts lately. They are probably sick of seeing us around anyways. We might try to go there sometime soon again. Transfers are on the 30th....So in a couple weeks. I don't know if me and Elder White are going to stay together. I might end up getting transferred. Who knows..? Well that's about all I can think of. I love you all and pray for you.
Elder Willis :) 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sounds like everyone is doing pretty good. My week was pretty good. We are emailing a little later than usual today because we just got back from fishing with this crazy swamp guy. He is a less active member and he always talks about how good he is at fishing and everything so we told him to take us fishing. We hardly caught any fish. I think he got like 1 or 2 catfish that weren't very big. It was pretty fun though. It was super hot today though. I think I got sunburned a little bit. So conference was really good. We watched all the sessions over at the Ory's house. They are a sweet family. They are like the only family in the ward that does anything for the missionaries. There were a few talks that I liked but I likeed M. Russell Ballard's talk. Because during this past week I was thinking of how we can get more people to teach and I read a quote online from a talk...I can't remember who it was by but he said that if you talk to a few people you will baptize a few people, if you talk to a lot of people you will baptize a lot of people. So I thought I probably needed to start talking to a lot more people on the streets and stores and everything. Then Elder Ballard said something like if you want more investigators you need to talk to more people. So that was cool. I think I might try that out and see what we can get going. I really enjoy conference because it like spiritually refuels you. Before conference I was completely drained and then conference pumped me back up. I'ts crazy that I only have 1 more conference on my mission. Anyways this past week we had a zone training meeting which was pretty good but afterwards we had a zone volleyball tournament. It was district vs district. That got pretty competitive...even as a missionary I still don't like to lose. There are like 6-7 districts in our zone. My district did alright. We took 3rd place. This past weekend they had a parish fair. A parish is pretty much a county so it was a county fair so we spent a couple days at the fair trying to talk to people. That was probably one of the most awkward times on my mission. There were so many people and everybody was just staring at us. We stuck out pretty bad. We did end up talking to a few kids though so it wasn't that bad. Yeah there was a tropical storm-hurricane thing that was coming our way but it didn't do anything here. It was just a little windy. I guess right when it was about to hit land it died down a lot. So it wasn't that bad. Well that was pretty much my week. Just another week. That stinks to hear that Jaden still isn't 100% hopefully he will get better pretty soon. I don't think I need anything at the moment. I'll let you know if I ever need anything.  Just keep me in your prayers.  You al are in mine. :)  Love you!!!  Elder Willis :))

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sounds like a pretty crazy week for everyone. That stinks to hear about Jaden..  I hope he gets better. I bet it's not fun being hurt. I'm surprised I didn't ever really get hurt. There probably were a lot of times where I should have been hurt really bad but I never was. I think the worst for me was getting hit in the chin and spitting up a lot of blood. That was pretty much all. So who did Jaden end up taking to homecoming? I saw the picture but I can't tell who it is. Or I don't even know who she is. I also saw the picture of Makenzie and her friends. That was pretty funny. That's really exciting about Justin. Trevor and I found out a couple days ago when Justin emailed Trevor and told him. He didn't email me though. Oh well...I hope he does well. So this past week was alright. It was super slow because we can't find anybody to teach. That's how it's been my whole mission pretty much. Super slow...but this week was a little better because we had a couple more dinner appointments. That was nice...I love home cooked meals. I'm getting tired of eating cereal for breakfast lunch and dinner. So other than that nothing really too exciting happened this week. I'm pretty excited to watch General Conference this weekend. It's always nice to take a break and watch meetings like that. I think the members here are getting more missionary minded. Yesterday for the 5th Sunday lesson it was on member missionary work so hopefully that gets the members a little more excited to do missionary work. A lot of members yesterday at church come up to me and were trying to give me shoes. They were like I saw those shoes you were wearing and I think you need new shoes. I do have some pretty beat up shoes that I wear sometimes. I just tell them it's how hard I'm working. I have those nice pairs you sent me but I only wear those for meetings. something cool about the church here in the south is that sometimes after church the members will have a big pot luck luncheon. We had one yesterday. Right after church we go into the cultural hall and have a big lunch. It's pretty cool. It's a good way to invite friends to church...just tell them there will be food right after church. Well that's pretty much for my week. I did get your package. Thanks for that. I'm excited to eat some of those treats in there. Well I love you all and pray for you every day.   Love, Elder Willis 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hey!! The weeks are starting to go by fast huh? It is for me at least. So that's funny about the crawfish you got. Did it say where the crawfish were from on the package? Ha ha I'm a little sad you guys didn't like it. I know it wasn't the real deal though. I honestly think crawfish down here is so good. I've only been to a couple crawfish boils and I honestly probably ate like over a hundred crawfish. They are so good. I'll just have to buy you guys some crawfish seasoning and send you some. Or maybe you will just have to come down here and try the real stuff! I'll have to figure out how to boil the crawfish. Anyways sounds like sports are going good. That's good that we finally beat Joe City. It's about time. I bet Makenzie is super excited to start volleyball. So the 2 new elders we got here in Mandeville are pretty cool. One is brand new and the other one has been out as long as me. They will be fun to hang out with on pdays and stuff. So this past week for me was alright. Not too much happened. Things are back to ground zero for us pretty much. We found out that the 2 black kids we beat in basketball and started teaching lost their phones. So we cant get a hold of them at all. Then we also found out the girl we brought to church who was our neighbor ended up moving. So she's gone now too. The only 2 good things we had going in this area both went down the drain. It's a little discouraging but that's what a mission is.  A 2 year roller coaster with ups and downs. The good thing this week is we have a few dinner appointments with the members here. That was a miracle. I guess one of the members we are close with is getting on all the relief society to sign up for us. Now we have a few extras. I'm excited for that. I can't really think of anything else. This week was a pretty boring week. So if you send me that package it would be cool. I need some more contacts. That's all i can really think of. I don't really need anything. I'm fine. Well you guys take care. I love you all.
Elder Willis :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hey Family!!
Well I bet everyone is doing pretty good. I hope so..well about transfers umm..Elder White and I are staying together. So that's pretty cool! The two Mandeville Elders are getting transferred. And then one of the sisters here is getting transferred. So pretty much everyone in our district is getting transferred except Elder White and I. It will be interesting to see what's happening. So that's the news on transfers...nothing really exciting happened this past week. It was another slow week and we didn't really get to teach anybody. This past week we were riding our bikes and we come across this old black guy who stopped us and started talking to us and then he started telling us how white people haven't worked for anything in their life and how everything is given to them. He was pretty racist. He doesn't like white people at all. So we pretty much stood there while he was telling us how much he hated white people. It was interesting. There are a lot of parts here in the south that are still pretty segregated. Some parts the whites and blacks still hate each other and don't engage with each other in any way. It was funny talking to him though. He was telling us how the Mormons have always hated blacks and how we think blacks are of the devil. Then I told him how in the beginnings of our church in the 1830's we had some leaders and missionaries that were black. He wouldn't believe it though. Haha. Oh well...This past week we also had interviews with President. Those are always pretty cool.  I don't know if mission presidents can get trunky but I really think President Wall is getting trunky. Every time I see President he talks to me about basketball. So during the interview the majority of it was talking about basketball. He challenged me to a game of horse one of these days. But he said he gets to shoot it from half the distance from where I shoot it. I'll take him up on the challenge one of these days. That was pretty much my week. Oh...yesterday we were tracting and we came across a house with a limo so I told Elder White we need to knock on that door. So we start talking to the guy and he seems pretty cool. We told him we liked his limo and he's like come on I'll show you inside of it. So he gives us a little tour of his limo. It was sweet. We ended up giving him a Book of Mormon and he said he will read it. He told us to come back in a couple weeks so we can teach him a little more. We will see what happens with him. So that was pretty much my week. Tell Jaden and Makenzie to keep up the good work in sports. Yeah I got those sports articles. How did we lose to Valley Lutheran? And get shut out? That's ridiculous.. Jaden better start working harder....and get the team working harder. High School sports are only really fun if you win games. It's not very fun if you lose every game. Well all you guys are in my prayers. I love you all.
Elder Tyler Willis <33 :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

This week went by pretty fast. So it's still super hot here. Yesterday was way hot. I am sick of this heat and humidity. It's ridiculous. Anyways so you guys liked that picture of us in the "hood"? Haha yeah we like to go over there and play with them. It's fun to play out in the streets because it's so much different than a regular basketball game.  People tell us to be really careful when we go over there because it's a bad area. But since were church people they respect us. We still try to be pretty careful though. So my week went pretty good I guess. A few weeks ago we ran into a Catholic priest and talked to him a little bit and he told us he wanted to take us out to dinner. So this past Tuesday we went out to dinner with him. He said he didn't want to talk any religion he just wanted to have friendly conversation and get to know us a little bit. So we go to the restaurant and we end up staying there for like 2 hours just talking to him. It started out as friendly conversation than it turned into religion. We got to talk a lot about religion and we told him all the differences between the Catholics and Mormons. It was a nice long discussion we had. We invited him out to church and he told us before one of us leaves he wants to come to church with us. We will see if he ever ends up coming to church with us. Then another cool thing happened on Saturday night.  We have this neighbor that we would talk to whenever we would see her and she would ask us questions and we would answer them for her and show her Mormon messages. This has been going on for the whole transfer. We never got an opportunity to invite her to church. So on Saturday night before we went in we went to the store and we saw her there as she was leaving. So Elder White and I were like if she is sitting outside when we get home we have to invite her to church. So we walk back to the apartment and she is sitting outside. We start talking to her and we invited her to church. She seemed like she was happy we invited her to church. She came to church with us on Sunday. She said she liked it and wants to come back. We will see what happens with her and if she wants to learn some more. Hopefully.  That's pretty much all that is happening right now. The work is still slow right now. It's been a little better since Elder White and I have been companions. It's only up from here! So last night we had a stake priesthood meeting. We are in the New Orleans stake so I got to go to New Orleans again. I love that place. It's a whole different country. But we got to go across the long bridge that goes across the lake. I think it's the longest bridge in the world or one of the longest. So that was pretty cool too. Next week is transfers. So we will see what happens. I think Elder White and I might be together for another transfer but you just never know. I'll let you guys know next week. I love you all and pray for you.
Elder Willis <3

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hope everyone is doing good. Sounds like you guys had a pretty good week. Those pictures turned out really good. Everyone looks a little different. Mostly just Jaden and Makenzie.  Jaden looks like he's getting pretty big. We will have to see who gets bigger by the time I get home. . Makenzie looks likes shes growing a lot. That's sweet. Sounds like the football team did pretty good. I miss football a little bit. Now that football season is starting over here everyone is all crazy for football now so it makes me miss it a little bit. Anyways my week went pretty good. Yesterday for Labor day was pretty fun. We went over to the Ory's for a bbq. We had a water balloon fight too. That was pretty fun. Then another family invited us to play volleyball with them at the church. So my labor day was pretty good. Not too much else really happened this week. I did have a problem with my bike. I had a hole in my tube and we couldn't find anywhere that would sell a patch kit or a new tube. So we went to the bike shop and the guy there tries to patch it up with a piece from another bike tube. He said it should work for a little while. That night we had a dinner appointment. We were riding to the appointment and my bike tube popped again. So I just carried my bike like a mile to the dinner appointment. The next day we spent all day trying to find a bike tube because we had to ride to a lady's house to cut her lawn. So we just ended up walking like 6 miles to Wal Mart. Now my tire is all fixed up though. I'm kinda getting sick of being in a bike area. I'm ready to be with a car again. So Laura did send me the talk with Grandpa Jones in it.  Elder White and I read it together. She also sent like this paper with the quote that he said so we put it on our door. I'll send a picture of it. You will have to tell her about it and tell her thanks. So this past Saturday was a pretty crazy day for us. It was the day of the opening game for LSU so people were having bbq's all over town. We decided to go check out North Covington which is the ghetto and where we go to play basketball. We were riding around that part of town and there is black people everywhere. They are crowding the streets and it's hard to get through. A lot of people had big speakers outside playing music before the game. It was crazy. There was this little black kid that was like "Hey white boy" so we stopped and talked to him for a while. Then other kids saw us and came over to us. We had like 8 kids around us. We talked to them for a while. We saw a lot of kids that were asking us if we were going to go to the courts to play so we said yeah. Later on that afternoon we went to the courts. We played a couple 2 on 2 games and won. Then these 2 other kids came over and they are probably like 17 or 18 years old and ask if we want to play them. We're just like "yeah". Then we're like let's put something on this game. We said "if we win we get to teach you a message." They are like "ok." They said what happens if we win. We're like "you don't get the embarrassment of losing to 2 white boys in white shirts and ties". So they are like ok. We ended up beating them pretty bad. They were actually pretty good too. But we had God on our side. Then they wanted a re-match so we played them again and beat them. So we got to teach them the restoration. They seemed like they were really interested. They want to learn more now. So on Thursday we are going to meet up with them and teach them again. So that was a pretty cool experience. Other than that not too much. Just still moving along and doing good. All you guys are in my prayers. Love you.
Elder Willis <33

Monday, August 26, 2013

Hey!! Well sounds like everyone is doing pretty good. Yeah it's crazy that August is about over. Time is just flying by.
I hope school is going good for you guys. So the weather here is still really hot. I remember last year it didn't start cooling down until like November. So it will probably be a while before it starts cooling down. That's cool to hear about Jaden's scrimmage. Hopefully they have a good year this year. So I don't know what people do for Labor Day here. Haha yeah there are no mountains here at all. I think the highest point in Louisiana is like a couple hundred feet. It's just really flat. For Labor Day I think we are going to have a bbq at the Ory's or something. The family that always sends you pictures. They are sweet. But anyways....things with me and Elder White are still going good. We are not sick of each other yet! We have been trying to work really hard to get something going in this area. This past week we decided to do a lot of tracting and see if we can see any success from doing that. Not much happened though. We decided we would try to work our butts off for a few days and see what would happen. We decided we wouldn't take any breaks until we handed out like 2-3 Book of Mormons. Something like that. I guess we weren't too committed to that because we would be tracting for like 3-4 hrs and be soaking with sweat and haven't given out any Book of Mormons and we gave up and had to take a break. We keep telling each other that things will start to happen because Grandpa Daniel Webster Jones is watching over us. That gives us some encouragement. We both got pretty discouraged this week because we are trying our hardest to get things going but nothing is happening. We still get no help from the members. I'm pretty sure the members don't even like missionaries. We have a pretty big ward and we only get 2 dinner appointments a month. And those are like from the same family. It's pretty sad. I guess we just got to keep doing what we have been doing. We're just planting seeds right now. It's alright though. So this past Wednesday our zone had a service day. So we went to Hammond and helped clean out someones yard. Me and Elder White got stuck on cutting down trees. That was fun. Then we traveled over to Amite and did some trash cleanup throughout the city. So we ended up doing a ton of service. It was good to take a little break from proselyting and just do service all day. This past week the family that just barely got sealed took us out in the swamp lands to see some wild alligators. That was crazy. They would come up pretty close to us. We had to be pretty careful because they were wild. One of these days I'm going to wrestle a gator. The family told us they were going to take us again and we were going to feed the next time. It will be a little more dangerous next time. So don't get all freaked out one of these emails when I tell you my arm got bitten off or something. Haha just kidding. So we didn't get a chance to play ghetto ball this week. We have a few kids numbers in our phone that we have played with before so we texted them to see if they wanted to play and they said Yeah. So we showed up and they never showed up. We probably won't call those kids up again. Anyways that's about it for this week. Not anything too exciting because its pretty slow in this area. I'm just hoping these next couple weeks a hurricane will build up in the gulf. That would be sweet...Well here's an experience where the hand of lord was with us. We have been tracting for like 3 hrs maybe and haven't really got to talk to anybody. Then it starts raining real hard and we are just soaked. We continue to tract and nobody cares that we're soaking wet. So right when we were about to give up and go in there was a lady working outside and she sees us and lets us come in and get out of the rain. So we talk to her for a while. We didn't get to teach a lesson to her or anything but she let us get out of the rain. Experiences like that really show you the little tender mercies the lord gives you. The lord is watching over everybody and he's in everyone's lives. I really believe that. Well that's it. I love you all.
Elder Willis :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sounds like everyone's week was really good. Those were some good pictures of mom and Makenzie.  Makenzie looks like she has grown up a lot. That's cool. So things with Elder White and I are going really good. We have been having some fun. Haha we still get a lot of missionary work done don't worry. So my last companion got transferred to Luling. I think that's down by New Orleans somewhere. I'm not sure. So yeah this past week we did get to go to the temple.  A family that got baptized like a year ago were getting their endowments and then they were getting sealed. So we got to go with them and some other members in the ward.  It was fun. No... Elder Mapa isn't in my zone. I wish haha. The Short family...the ones that got sealed went and picked up all the missionaries that taught them or they were close too and had them be there with them through the temple experience. So there was only like 4 other Elders that came. Umm...that was at Chili's. It was pretty good. The new temple video was way sweet. I liked it a lot. I think the next time i go through the temple will be right before i go home. That's only the 2nd time I have been on my mission. So chances are that I won't go to the temple again for a while. So anyways my week went pretty good. It was really wet. I think it almost rained every day this past week. I think these next couple weeks are the high chances for a hurricane to start up because the gulf is really hot and active right now. I wouldn't mind another hurricane. Those are pretty sweet.  This past week we had our zone leader come on exchanges with us. We got a lot of work done. It was pretty sweet....this one day we ended up handing out 6 Book of Mormons and got like 3 return appointments I think. Also we were walking out in the rain and this guy stops and asks if we needed a ride so we took up the offer. By the time he dropped us off he wanted to take us out for dinner one of these nights. So this week we will probably go out to dinner with him and see what happens from there. We had a lot of cool stuff happen this past week. I think things are starting to pick up now. Haha well the only way we can really go from here is up. This past week we went to our ghetto court to play ball again and see if we could redeem ourselves. There were a bunch of black kids from high school there. So we asked if we would play. At first they didn't really want us to play because I could tell they thought we would be terrible. So we started playing and they were acting like they were playing against some kids or something. They weren't really trying. Then we get the ball and I lob one up to Elder White and he lays it in. They were pretty shocked. Then they were like oh man these guys are cold. So then a couple plays later I get the ball and they double team me with my back against the hoop and then I go through the legs right between both of them and lay it in and they started going crazy. It was pretty funny. They started yelling and running around the court. There was a couple kids we were playing with that were pretty good. We won a couple games there that day. It was fun. We got a few of their numbers and they want to play with us again. So next time we might play them for a lesson or something. Elder White and I want to take a group picture with all of them and send it home to you guys. We will try to get a picture with them this next week and send it to you guys. They even gave us nicknames. They call us Frosty and Flake. Haha ..they are funny.  My week went pretty good. I think altogether we ended up handing out 9 Book of Mormons. Elder White and I might set a goal to hand out like 30 Book of Mormons in a week. Well ya'll have a great week at school. I love you.
Elder Willis <33

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hey!!! Well I hope you all are having a good time at school.  I'm glad I don't have to go to school. Well......I bet your wondering who my companion is.... Let's see you were asking me what my companion is like....I did know him, we know each other pretty good... he likes sports like me..... he's from Thatcher, Arizona..... Well it's pretty companion is Elder White!!! Yeah it's pretty awesome. We were at transfer meeting and people kept getting called to be companions and me and Elder White were still left and we both looked at each other and we're like we could be companions. Then next thing we know President was like Elder Willis will be with Elder White!!!  It was crazy. I thought we would never be companions but I told Elder White a while back that I have the hook ups with the Assistants so I put the word in with the Assistants and now we're companions. We have already had a ton of fun together. It's hard to call him Elder...there was a couple times I slipped and called him Trevor. It's still kind of weird that we're companions. Back home when we would hang out I would have never thought we would be missionary companions. We were just barely talking about what everyone back home is going to say when they find out were companions. It's sweet. So yeah hopefully we get some work done. It's pretty cool that the past few days that we have been together people have been talking to us like crazy. We have probably seen more success these past 3 days or so than the whole last transfer. Well my week went pretty good. There still isn't a whole lot to do in this area but being with Elder White will make it a lot easier in this area. So the other day Elder White told me he's never played ghetto ball on his mission yet. So I took him to the rough part of town here where they play pick up basketball . We ended playing a few games with some of the black kids there. They were really good. One of the kids was 14 and was making us look like we have never played basketball before. I was getting mad...he was making pretty much every shot. So I tried to play really tight defense on him and he still was making everything. I think Elder White and I won only one game while we were there.  In the next week or so we are going to go back and see if we can  beat that 14 year old. It was pretty embarrassing. There were other kids on the side of the court watching us play and they were talking smack about us. The only thing nice they said was that I have a nice shot.....  On Sat. night the youth in the ward invited  us to go play bball with some of their nonmember friends. That was pretty fun. So lately we have spent a lot of time just contacting in the ghetto. That is like the only place people will talk to us. . One lady told us to pray with her and Elder White starts saying a prayer and this lady just starts taking over and praising Jesus and rambles out all this stuff. 

                           Elder Willis and Elder White (Their grandmas are first cousins!)

My old district

So that's pretty much all that happened this week. So Jaden is going to play a Corner like I did? That's pretty sweet. He will probably be better than I was. So my area is pretty big into football. Pretty much the whole state of Louisiana is big into football. So me and Ashlee email each other almost every week or so. We keep in pretty good contact. Well you guys have fun at school doing homework haha! About the package...the shoes fit fine. Thanks. The belt is a little too small. I might have to send it back for Jaden or something. Its like a size 30 or something. I'm not that skinny. Haha.. Well talk to you later! Love you.
Elder Willis :)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hey Fam!! So sounds like everyone is doing good. This week is transfer week and my comp. is getting transferred. That is kind of a relief. I was stressing out yesterday waiting for transfer calls but when I found out he was getting transferred it was like a big burden lifted. Now I can get back to doing real missionary work again. Well...if my next comp is a good missionary! So I wont know until the transfer meeting tomorrow who it is. Hopefully it's one of the missionaries I know. Transfer week is always really stressful. I'll let you know next week what all happened with that. I did get that little package. I really liked the talk in it. I've never read that talk before and it was really good. Thanks. So I don't think I need anything else in that package that your sending. Anyways my week went alright. It was sooo sooo hot this week. The first of August is supposed to be the worst. It was getting up to like 95 with a heat index of like 105-110 or something like that. I think my shoes are melted. Haha.. So this past week we went on an exchange with the zone leader. We had his car so we were able to do so much more and see more people. You can do so much more work when you have a car. With a bike you can only bike so far to see someone. It was good to get  a lot of work done. Lately we have been trying to just track down people on the ward roster that no one knows who they are or anything. Most of the time the people don't want anything to do with the church anymore. We did run into a girl probably in her 20's that's living with her fiance whose not a member. We got to talking with her and she has a brother on his mission in Wyoming and her parents live in New York and are really active. She was super nice and told us we can come back and visit again. So now we will probably focus on getting her back to church and seeing if we can make any progress with her fiance. We also got to visit with a couple less actives this past week. This one couple hasn't been to church in years but when we got to their house the wife was reading the Book of Mormon and we ended up having a nice discussion about what she was reading. So it's been cool to see the little progress they have been making since we have been working with them. We did a lot of biking and walking this week. It was rough. I think I know why people don't let us in their's probably because we are so sweaty they don't want us to get all their furniture wet and stinky. Haha. Yesterday we tracked for a couple hours and we were soaking with sweat. It wasn't just my shirt that was wet. My pants were soaking with sweat too. I know some missionaries will change clothes in the afternoon but I don't. I'm just like "I'm going to get wet with sweat again so what's the point of changing?" When we are biking or walking and I run out of water it is so tempting to just drink from the swamps on the side of the road even though they are way nasty. So we don't get to go to the temple very often at all. I have only been on my mission once so far. I got a picture of the house. It looks really good. Hey so I think Jaden's glasses are sweet. You should get me a pair like that!! That would be sweet. So the ward here is getting a little better. We still don't get invited to ward council or PEC. We hardly ever have coordination with the ward mission leader. They are clueless here about missionary work. They think all missionaries do is service. But it's getting a little better. Well that's about all for this week. I'll let you know next week about all the changes. Love you!
Elder Willis <33

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sounds like everyone is doing pretty good. So is this the last week of summer vacation? It's crazy that it's almost August. So I noticed that it was mom and dads anniversary on Sunday. Well happy late anniversary. I also realized that Makenzie's birthday is this Thursday! Happy 13th Bday Makenzie! I'ts crazy how old you're getting. So it's been pretty humid in Heber lately huh?  Haha I wonder what it would be compared to the humidity here! Yeah about the mosquitos....they are everywhere. They are like the size of birds too.! I get so many mosquito bites. I think I need to buy some Off or something. All the bugs here in Louisiana are like super-sized it's ridiculous. So about Elder Hunt....I don't really remember him but I remember meeting him at transfer meeting when he first got here and he said he was from Show Low so we talked for a little bit. He seems like a really nice kid. About new things I need. Yeah \I really need some new dress shoes. I think like a 10.5 would work. And a new belt would be nice too. Just any kind would be good. So let's see about my week...not much really happened again this week so I'll just try something new and just pretty much tell you what we did every day this past week. So on Monday we had a family home evening with a family. The ones that sent you the picture of us. They are like the only family in the ward that likes the missionaries. So we had dinner with them and family home evening. They have us over almost like every Monday. Then on Tuesday we had district meeting. Then we got to meet with one of the Recent Converts. We had a little lesson with him and taught him about Temples. After that we did service for this less active couple. We helped them put in a Air-Conditioner unit. That was pretty much all we did on Tuesday. On Wednesday I don't think we really did anything. I think we just rode our bikes around seeing if we could talk to people...didn't really see any success from that. No one likes talking to us. We did go get a milk shake in celebration of Pioneer Day. On Wednesday night at like 1 o'clock in the morning we got a call from a recent convert and he needed us to go to the hospital to give his niece a blessing. So he picked us up and we went over to the hospital. His niece was taking illegal drugs and she was tripping out. So it was pretty weird trying to give her a blessing while she was out of it. That was just a weird experience. I'm glad they trusted us enough to call us at 1 in the morning for a blessing. That was cool. I can't really remember what we did on Thursday or Friday I guess nothing too important. Probably just walking or riding around the town again. Oh on Friday there was a car show that we went to to see if there was anyone that wanted to talk to us. The only guy that came up to us was drunk...and he tried to convince us that Angel Moroni was from another star cluster or something and our religion started from another planet. It was weird. On Saturday we helped a family move and that's about all we did on Saturday. Then Sunday was  Church. So that was about all for my week. Still struggling to find things to do but I feel things are starting to pick up slowly. So next week are transfers and I have no idea what will happen. So I'll let you guys know next week what is happening. Well that's about it for this week. I love you guys!!!
Elder Willis :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Talk from Tyler

A few weeks ago the Bishop asked Tyler to send a letter to be read to the ward about being a missionary and his thoughts & testimony.  I (his mom) got to read it in church along with other missionary moms.  It was a really good sacrament meeting and we got a lot of positive feedback about what Tyler had written.  I wanted to just share a little bit about what he wrote:

I'm supposed to write something I'm learning or experiences I'm having.This is hard because there are so many things I could choose from.  My mind kept going back to some verses in the Book of Mormon.  Mosiah 4:6-12.  My mission pres. changed these verses up a little bit and gave it to all the missionaries and said, "This is what I want you to become as a missionary"  This is what he gave us:  I say unto you, I have come to a knowledge of the goodness of God, and his wisdom, and his patience, and his long-suffering toward the children of men, and also, the atonement which has been prepared from the foundation of the world, that thereby salvation might come unto me who puts my trust in the Lord, and I am diligent in keeping his commandments, and I will continue in the faith even unto the end of my life.....I humble myself even in the depths of humility calling on the name of the Lord daily, standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come....And I say that:  I will be diligent in doing these things, I will always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of my sins; and I will grow in the knowledge and of the glory of him that created me, or a knowledge of that which is just and true.   This explains what things I have come to learn on my mission.  I have come to know God.  I know of his goodness,.  I know of his patience.  I have come to know of the atonement.  I know that salvation cannot come through any other way only through Jesus Christ and His Atonement, which makes it possible for all of God's children to return to Him.  I know that I can't do this work alone.  I need Heavenly Father's help.  My favorite part of that scriptures is the part which reads:  "I will continue in the faith even unto the end of my life."  From coming to know and learn these things it has changed my life.  I know the truth and I know the love that God has for me,.  I will continue to serve him throughout my life.  Another thing I have learned on my mission is where true happiness comes from.  Before my mission I thought I knew how to be happy.  I thought hanging out with friends made me happy.  I definitely thought playing sports made me happy.  Even though that did make me happy it is nothing compared to the lasting happiness I get from seeing the gospel of Jesus Christ touch someone's life.  I find happiness in bearing my testimony to a complete srranger about the Book of Mormon.  Knowing that I let them know of the truth...letting that person know that it's a Book from God.  True happiness comes from the Gospel,   Now I guess I could give some advice to those that want to serve missions.  I think Elder Holland can do that for me.  This is a talk he gave to missionaries in the Brazil MTC mission in 2000. (My favorite talk of all time!!) He says:
"Plan right now!  Plan right now for the stories you will tell your children about your mission.  Live right now in every way to look them in the eye and put them on your knee and rock them on your lap and tell them as I am telling you, that you loved every day of your mission.  That you worked your head off!  That you've never worked so hard in your life....And I promise you that your children will remember and never forget it, and they will cherish it and hold it dear for their mission and so the generations go....Live now for those generations.  Live now for the deacons and beehive girls who will one day have you return and sit up and watch you in Sacrament Meeting, who don't have a blessed idea what a mission is, and have no idea what it means to to to (Louisiana).  And then you look them in the eye and say that they too can serve, that they've got to go take their turn in the relay race of eternity.  They've got to step up and pace out their two years or eighteen months.  You live right now in a way that you can pierce their hearts and touch their lives.    I wish I was there to look at everyone that wants to serve a mission right in the eye and tell them that they need to take their turn in the relay race of eternity.  They need to plan right now to serve a mission because they will affect generations.  It will change your life forever.  The gospel is true!  The Book of Mormon is the word of God.  I know it.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

To read his e-mail from this past week look at the next post!
Hey!! How's everyone doing? Sounds like things have been going good. My week was nothing too crazy. So I don't know how good this email will be since not very much stuff has happened this past week. I did get your package. It was good thank you. The Cliff Bars really help me out through out the day.   I have been trying to eat healthy the past few weeks. That should make mom happy! :) So last week we went and bought some khakii pants. Except I can't really wear them too often because I sweat so much that all the sweat will show up on my pants so I haven't really worn them that much. Once the winter comes around I'll probably start wearing them more often. So during this week it has rained about everyday. Almost everyday around 4 the rains starts coming and lasts for an hour or so. There were a couple days this past week when we were out riding around and we got caught in the rain storm. It was not fun! We were soaking wet trying to ride home real fast. There were a couple times that I was so mad I was about to get off my bike and just throw my bike on the ground. Plus it's so hot that it's like warm rain. Then when the rain stops the steam just starts rising from the pavement. It's so hot. I won't lie this transfer has been really tough on me. Just not having anything to do. We can't find anybody to talk to. The ward doesn't really help the missionaries that much. I think I'll be able to make it though. Hopefully...haha! This past week we did get to have dinner with this less active family. So that was something that went good this past week. They are a real cajun family so they made us rabbit stew. Yumm...I actually thought it was pretty good. I have had all kinds of stuff out here. They also were watching Duck Dynasty too. I think that was the first time i have seen a little bit of duck dynasty since I have been out here and it makes complete sense to me now. Watching it back home I was always like man these people are crazy but when I saw a little bit of it I was just like oh yeah that's pretty normal. It's funny. Out here it's not as popular as it is back home because it's normal to people out here. I guess back home its super different for people so it's really popular. So that was pretty much all that has happened this past week. Matthew sent me those pictures of the house. I couldn't recognize it was G-Mas old house. It looks completely different but it looks really good. Are you guys ready for school to start? I don't have to go to school haha! That's a good thing about a mission. You don't have to worry about schooling and homework and all that stuff. So that's about it for this week. I can't really think of anything else. It's good to hear that everything is going well. Y'all are always in my prayers. :) Love You.
Elder Willis

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hey Y'all!!
Hopefully you had a good week. Mine was a pretty crazy week I wont lie. It was super tiring. But first off to answer some of your companion is a little different than the other companions I've had. I guess other missionaries have struggled with him before but I think I'll be fine. He's from Las Vegas. Umm...we get like 2 dinner appointments a week. So I'll be making  a lot of my own meals for a while. Most of the people in Covington...well in the ward at least work for like the FBI or Law. Stuff like that. There are a lot of Southern restaurants and a lot of sea food places too. And the normal fast food restaurants. So yeah there was some big rule changes with the Dress and Grooming things with missionaries. We can no longer wear backpacks. That rule crushed me. I loved wearing my backpack around. Now I have nothing to carry all my stuff. Plus I'm on a bike so it's hard to carry things. I ended up just stuffing a Book of Mormon in my pockets while we ride around. I guess we can wear shoulder bags though. I'll try to look around for a cheap shoulder bag or something. Yeah we can wear khakiis now. That's sweet. I think today we are going to go shopping for some khakiis. Speaking of clothes and stuff.... I need some new dress shoes. My black ones have huge holes in the bottoms and it's killing my feet. So if you ever run across some black dress shoes that would be sweet. Anyways about my week.... Well nothing happened this week. We did our numbers last night for the week and they were pretty much all zeros. It was pretty depressing. I think that was the first time on my mission where we got like all zeros. It's super hard right now in this area. There is nothing going on. We can't even work with less actives because they all live too far away. I really hope the work picks up soon. I think like Tuesday or Wednesday we had to go help a less active-part member family move into the area. We ended up riding about 14 miles to their house. Then we had to unload a huge uhaul full of furniture. Plus it was really hot. I think that was the most I have ever sweated in my life. Hardly ever when I exercise or something like that my shirt gets completely soaked but my shirt looked like I just took a shower with it. It was nasty. Good thing is that they ended giving us a ride back to our apartment because they didn't want us to pass out while we were riding back home. The 14 miles we rode that day wasn't even that bad. The next day or the day after I think it was we ended up riding 35 miles!! And we didn't even get a chance to see anyone or talk with anyone either. So I did a lot of sweating this week. And the worst part of the year is in the first part of August so it's still going to get hotter for another month or so then it will start to slowly cool off. Hopefully I can survive all this. On Saturday we had nothing to do so I decided we should go down to the ghetto and play some basketball. We got to play a little basketball with some Junior High kids. They said they could beat us but they were all talk. We smashed them. It felt good to just play around for a little while though. That was pretty much my week. A lot of biking and sweating. At first I was pretty excited to be in a bike area for once but now i know why all the missionaries hate going to bike areas. So does Jaden do the passing leagues? Or did they stop doing all that stuff? Is he lifting weights at all. He's probably bigger than me. I am so skinny right now. With all this biking. And I drink so much water I don't have an appetite so I don't eat that much either. That is probably not that healthy huh? Well hopefully everything continues to go well with the house and everything. I hope this email was a little better since I had something to talk about. I can't think of anything else so I guess it's time to wrap this up. Love you!!
Elder Tyler Willis

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hey!! Sounds like the 4th of July celebrations were sweet. I still can't believe it's been a year. Holy Cow!! Everyone says the last year goes by super fast. I don't know if I'm ready for that yet. I think  Elder Wittig and I are going to go get some milk shakes to celebrate my year mark or something. I might burn a shirt too. Haha.  Sometimes it feels like it has gone by pretty slow but other times it feels like it's gone by super fast. It's a pretty good feeling to get to the year mark. Anyways my week was a pretty good week. It was really hot and I was super tired a lot because of all the biking and the sun just drains you. Oh I was wondering in the next package you send if you could find some protein drink mix or like energy drink mix. And some energy bars. Just stuff like that so I can have some more energy. My week went pretty good though. For 4th of July we just got invited to a member's house to have a BBQ and then when it got dark they started lighting off fireworks. It was pretty fun. That's about all we did for the 4th of July. The work in this area is super slow. We have nothing to do. We have no investigators or anything. Pretty much all we do all day is ride around and see if there is anyone on the streets we could talk to. And there is hardly anybody we can find to talk to. It's really hard. We're not really supposed to do tracting anymore so we don't do that at all. The best thing we can do is just talk to people on the streets. We are trying to find different things to do to be effective but not too much is happening. It's kinda depressing. When we get in at night I'm kinda depressed because I feel like we haven't really accomplished much. I just hope the work in this area can start to pick up. This area has a ton of potential. But anyways this past week we also had a Zone Training Meeting. That was alright. I got to see Elder White again so that was sweet. We got to go out to lunch with him after the meeting also. It was fun to get to talk with him for a while and have lunch. Yeah we did have our baptism for Jimmy this past Saturday. It went really good. Elder Wittig got to baptize him since he has been here teaching him the whole time. I spoke on the Holy Ghost. The baptism was really spiritual. Jimmy is really sincere. He has a good heart. He actually quit smoking the week of his baptism because he wanted to get baptized so bad. It was awesome. So that was pretty much my week. Nothing real crazy has happened. Oh about the talk for 2nd ward...uhh I'll try to to mail it to you guys in the mail either today or tomorrow. So I wont email it. I will just write it out and send it. Oh I did bring my camera so I'll see if I can send you guys a few pictures. Well that's about all for this week. Sorry if this was a short email. It's hard for me to remember things throughout the week. I'm trying my best though. :) I've never really been a big e-mailer anyways.   Haha.  Love you guys!!!
Elder Willis <33

Here are a few pictures...These were all in Gonzales.  The baptism with & my favorite member in Gonzales....and when me and Elder Mapa got some sweet bikes from members to ride around for a day  Enjoy!!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1, 2013

Hey!! So I probably should have answered your questions before I sent this email because I'll probably answer a lot of the questions over again. Oh I got transferred to Covington. It's a real nice and pretty area. It reminds me of Santa Barbara.  Pretty wealthy area too. It's on the banks of Lake Pontchartrain so it's kind of like a beach town. This is one of the areas all the missionaries want to serve in. A lot of missionaries were pretty jealous of me because I went from one really good area to another really good area. There are 2 areas in this ward. Covington and Mandeville. My companion is Elder Wittig. He's been out 3 months. He was actually Elder White's MTC companion. Elder White is still in Denham Springs and his companion is my  MTC companion. So I think that's pretty funny that we're both serving with each others MTC companion. I got to talk to Elder White for a little bit at transfer meeting. He is doing good. I'm pretty excited were in the same zone because we will see each other more often. The only bad thing about this area is that it's a bike area. I finally get to use my bike more often. It's like the worst time to be in a bike area too. Right in the middle of the summer. It's been pretty rough the past few days. It's been getting up close to 100 degrees. Once we get to an appointment or something we are just soaking with sweat. I guess I'll be getting back in shape though. We have to buy our own groceries too. So looks like I'll be living off of cereal again. So far this area is pretty sweet. The members here really like the missionaries. We get fed dinners pretty good here. It was pretty easy to adjust to this area. I still miss Gonzales though. I think that's probably going to be my favorite area of my mission. I hope I really like this area too. I got to this area and we have a baptism for this Saturday. I just walked into a baptism :) It's for a guy named Jimmy. He's like 40. I've got to teach him a couple times already and he seems pretty cool. He asked me to give a talk on the Holy Ghost for his baptism. The work in this area is pretty slow. This area has a lot of potential. This past week has been rough for me and Elder Wittig because he is brand new and hardly knows what he's doing and I just got here so I have no clue about the area either. I've been trying to help him out the best I can but I only know so much about the area. Hopefully we can get the work to pick up. Most of the time we just ride our bikes around trying to find people to talk to. Being on a bike is really good when you want to contact someone because you just ride right up to them and start talking to them. Yeah the 4th of July is this week. I think a couple of the members invited us over to have a bbq or something. Then they said they were going to shoot off some fireworks. I guess you guys are probably doing the normal for 4th of July? I remember last year. It was like my last week in Heber for 2 years. I cant believe its already been that long. Well I hope i answered some of your questions. I forgot my camera again so I'll try to remember it for next week hopefully. That's about it for this week. I can't really think of anything that I need. I think I'm good for right now. Oh we are in hurricane season right now. If there is a hurricane it usually will come like August or September. I wouldn't mind going through another hurricane as long as we don't have to do another huge clean-up haha. Well I love you guys!
Elder Willis
Here's my address..
518 S. Jefferson Ave. #103
Covington, LA 70433