Monday, April 29, 2013


So it feels pretty good being 20! It still kinda feels like I'm 16 though. I don't feel like I'm 20 years old. Halfway to 40 :) Thanks for the packages. Everything turned out great. The watch is perfect. So you asked me about snacks when you send packages. I like when you send gummies and the fruit stuff. I like the jerky too. I'm just not a huge fan of the crackers. So for my birthday we went out to eat at Taco Bell. Yum...then we baked the cake you sent me. Then on with the rest of my day. I had to go on exchanges with our district leader for my bday. He treated me out to a free protein shake. There is a member in our area that owns a nutrition store and they make protein shakes. So the missionaries get free protein shakes whenever they want. We go over there quite a bit and just get a free shake real quick. It's sweet. Other than that nothing too exciting happened on my bday. There was a couple members in our ward that gave me a little present for my bday. They bought me some candy. It was really nice of them. There was an older lady in our ward that has been living with her sister for the past few months and we go over there alot to visit and she had to leave back home before she could give me her present and her sister said she started crying because she wasn't able to give it to me in person. I guess she got really close with us. The members are taking care of me down here-- don't worry. So your rental house looks pretty nice. I got the picture from Matt. It surprised me a little to see Jaden and Makenzie. Makenize is getting alot taller. Jaden is looking older and taller too. Its crazy to see how much they can change in like 10 months. Other than that everyone else still looks the same. So about my wasn't too crazy because we went on exchanges. Lately every morning at  5 30 we have been going to the track at the High School to run. I'm so out of shape. I haven't ran like that for almost a year. I could hardly run a mile. But since we have been going for a while now I'm getting back in shape. Now I can get up to 2 miles before I have to take a break. It's super hot and humid too when we run. Because of the humidity you sweat so much more down here. By the time we leave I'm just soaking with sweat. It feels good though.This past week we went to the skate park a few times to hang out with our skater buddies. They seem like they really like us but it doesn't seem like they want to change their lives right now. The other 2 investigators we are trying to work with right now we can't get ahold of them, or they are too busy it seems like. So this week was a pretty slow week becuase we weren't really able to see anybody. Hopefully this week we will be able to get ahold of them and go have a lesson with them. That was pretty much my week. Not much to talk about. Oh I was wondering if sometime you could send me some more contacts. I had a ton but somehow they all got lost. So if you could do that for me that would be sweet. About skyping....I think we are going to be able to skype again. We just need to find a member that will let us use their computer. Do you think you guys could make me an account so that I won't have to use someone elses account? Just let me know what the username and password is. Well hope y'all tryan gettin into something good this week. Love ya. Take care.

Elder Willis :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hey!!! Thanks for all the bday wishes!! I can't believe I'm going to be 20! That's pretty sweet. I thought I was going to stay a teenager forever. I don't think I'm going to be doing anything too crazy for my bday. Probably just go to taco bell or something. Last night the elders in my district baked me a cake. It was a cake mix that Aunt Laurie sent me. Make sure you tell her I said thanks for that. So we had some cake last night for my bday. It was pretty fun. So I did get that email from Reed with all the team. That was pretty neat. Make sure you tell him I said thanks too. I got those pants and they  actually fit me. So I'm finally good with pants for right now. Hopefully I can make these pants last me for the rest of my mission. So far all my clothes have been holding up. I haven't had any problems so far. I guess the pair of shoes I came out with are pretty beat up but I've picked up a couple other pairs since I've been out here so I'm good. So my week was pretty good. This transfer has been going by super fast. Probably because me and Elder Mapa have been having a blast together. We probably get along too good. The weather has been really nice. It's getting really hot and humid here. This past week was super humid. It felt like you could swim through the humidity. As soon as you walk outside it just hits you like a brick wall. I wasn't ready for the summer to come but I think I am now. Anyways we were able to teach a few people this past week. We are starting to see more success. Let's day we were driving through this neighborhood and we see this family working outside so me and Mapa decided we needed to stop and help them. So they let us help them out around their yard for a little bit. Then we get to talking to the husband about the church and he tells us he's looking for a church so we taught him for a little bit and this week we will probably go back over there and see how they are doing. There are a couple more people we are still working with right now. There's a part member family and then there is a media referral we are working with and they both are pretty solid investigators. So Friday night right before we were getting ready to go in for the night we get this call from the Prarieville sisters and they told us they have a baptism the next day and the guy is actually in our area. I don't know how they didn't know but they were teaching him for like 2 months without knowing he was in our area. So we had to go to his baptism on Saturday. They are both pretty new sisters so they didn't really know what they were doing. That's like the first thing I do when we find someone to teach is see if they are even in our area. Anyways this past week me and Mapa decided to start riding our bikes more. He wants to lose some weight so I don't mind because it's really nice weather outside. We decided to ride our bikes to the skate park. We met some pretty cool kids over there. They want us to come back to the skate park like everyday. So we have been going to the skate park lately. I'm not too good of a skater. Don't worry mom I'm wearing my helmet ;) We have handed out a couple Book of Mormons to the guys at the skate park. One of the guys goes around his high school telling people about this Book of Mormon and then he comes up to us with his friends and he's like my friend wants one of those books. So we have handed out like 5-6 Book of Mormons to some High School kids. One of the days we were at the skate park one of the kids wanted me to go down the halfpipe with my bike. So I didn't turn out too good. I don't think mountain bikes are good for half pipes. I ate it pretty hard. The bike didn't receive any harm though. But we have ended up making some pretty good friends at the skate park. We're going to try and get them to come to church with us. If it takes eating it on a halfpipe to get one of those kids to church I'll take it. Well I cant think of anything else. My week was pretty good. You guys will have to make a cake and eat it for me! I'll talk to you guys next week. I love you!

Elder Willis

Monday, April 15, 2013


What's up family? So sounds like everything is going good. Those were some nice pictures you sent. I could hardly recognize the house you tore it down to like nothing pretty much. Jaden is still short haha....Makenzie is getting taller. Mom still looks the same...Dad is starting to get handsome like me!! I haven't got the pants yet. I guess they should be coming in pretty soon. If these don't fit I'm just going to start wearing shorts to proselyte in!!   Anyways week was a pretty good one. So most of the elders in our apartment are cool.  My comp and I are getting along really good though. He is from San Francisco but he is Tongan and went to school in Tonga. He is pretty big. 300+ haha. He is like a rock though. He played Rugby and was a Linebacker in football so he likes sports too. Alot of people have been looking at us funny because they see this little white dude with this huge brown dude. And I have been driving all the time too. We have designated drivers so they will drive the whole time. We never switch off. We still don't ride our bikes very much. I think I have only rode my bike like 5 times on my mission. So we got to teach a few people this past week. There was this one kid we saw while we were driving through a neighborhood that  was running around jumping over ditches and fences and stuff. So we get out and we go over to him and we're like what are you doing? He's like I'm a free runner! I'm like no way I used to do that stuff then I broke my foot. He's like yeah my mom doesn't know about this because she would be mad. I'm like yeah my mom didn't like it when I did this too. So we talked to him a little bit more and then we asked if we could share a message with him so we just sat on the grass and we taught him the 1st lesson. He seemed like everything made sense to him. He told us he would read the Book of Mormon that night and he would tell his mom about it. So hopefully we can go over to his house and meet his family.  This past week I think I have handed out more Book of Mormons then I have in my whole mission. I have talked to so many more people on the streets and stuff then ever before. With me and my last companion the work was so slow.  Now that I have a new comp, we have been working hard and we have seen so much more success in just this past week. Anyways the other day we were walking down some neighborhoods trying to find any kids that were playing basketball outside so that we could shoot some hoops with them. I keep a basketball in the car in case we ever find anyone playing ball so we could play with them and then share a message with them.  So we were walking down the street and I was just looking down and I look up and this car swerves into our path like he is going to try and run us over but then at the last second he swerves back into the other lane. I had to jump out of the way so he wouldn't hit me and he yelled something to us but I couldnt understand it. I had a basketball with me and I was about to rock it into the side of the car...I was pretty mad. He was going pretty fast too like in the 40s... alot of people do not like us down here. We get all kinds of crap from people...but it is what it is. Other than that my week was pretty good. I don't know if you remember me telling you about the family that is from Snowflake that lives here-- but they have this family they want us to start teaching. They said they are really interested and would want to meet with us so hopefully things go good there. Anyways that was pretty much the week of Elder Willis...I love you all and pray for you each day.

Elder Willis

Monday, April 8, 2013


Fefe Hake??-How are you doing?

So I guess you already saw who my new companion is. Elder Mapa. He is Tongan. He's already teaching me to speak Tongan and I'm picking it up pretty good. He has been out like 7 months. At the transfer meeting when I first saw him I was like Oh my gosh...I hope this guy doesn't eat me because he's pretty big. But then we started talking and we have just been clicking ever since. He's super nice too. We are going to get along really well. Remember at the end of the movie the R.M.? How he gets in the bunk bed and the big Tongan guy is on the top and the bunk breaks and falls on the guy on the bottom bunk. If not go watch it again. That's exactly what I thought was going to happen our first night together. I told him I'd move up to the top bunk but he wouldn't let me. He said he would sleep on top. Thankfully our bunk bed didn't break. haha. So how our transfer meetings work is that all the missionaries getting transferred in the mission go to the Baton Rouge Stake center. Then President Wall will say like so and so will be in this area with so and so. We stand up if were called and go sit down with our new companion. So it's pretty nerve racking. The other 2 missionaries in our apartment are alright. It's a little weird living with 3 new people but pretty soon things should be getting back to normal again. So I got to see Trevor...Elder White now. It was super cool. During our luncheon after the meeting I sat and talked with him for a while. He let me know how everything was going back home. I talked with him about what to expect out here in Louisiana. It was so nice to see someone you know. He is in the Denham Springs zone so I probably won't see him for a while. The area he is in is really nice. I think he is in Denham Springs North. That is a pretty wealthy area so he won't get to experience real Louisiana for a while. I told him that I'll make sure before my mission is over we will be companions or at least in the same district. I told him I got the hookups with President Wall. Denham Springs zone and the Baton Rouge zone are the 2 zones everyone wants to be in. Probably because of the areas in them. Everyone wants to go to the Covington-Mandeville area the Denham Springs area or the Gonzales area. And I'm in one of them. So conference was way sweet. I really enjoyed it. We just watched it at the church. We were the only people there too. It was pretty nice being the only ones there though. My favorite talks were probably Monson's during priesthood session. I really liked Russell M. Nelson during the Saturday afternoon I think it was. I forgot. And I liked Christoffel Golden Jr's talk Sunday afternoon. Those were probably my 3 favorite. L. Tom Perry's and Jeffrey R Holland gave really good talks too -- those 2 were like spiritual spankings. So about those ties you sent....umm we have a thing in our district that on Friday we wear the ugliest ties we have. We call it Dusty Monkey tie Friday. Those ties you sent me are perfect for Friday's now. Thanks for them though. They aren't going to waste. So right now in our area we are going to try something new. Me and my last companion didn't really see any succes so I decided that with my new companion I'm going to try something new. I got an ubaptized child record in our ward and also a part member family list. So me and Elder Mapa are going to be working on that for a while and see if we can see any success with this. This past week we didn't really get any work done because we were busy with transfers and everything. So I just barely got an email from Garet and Amanda with their baby girl.. I guess she just had her. That's awesome. So Jaden and Makenzie are still busy with sports. Sounds like Makenzie is going to be a little track star. Tell her if she wants to get faster she needs to sprint up hills or mountains. Or sprint up the stairs a bunch of times. That will make her faster. Well I don't have much more to talk about. I can't wait to talk to y'all at mothers day. That's coming up soon. Anyways your in my prayers. Ofa Atu-I love you...

Elder Tyler Drake Willis

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Sounds like things are still giong the same over yonder. So you liked that seasoning? That is some good seasoning. They have some other seasoning the people here like to use and its called" Slap ya Mamma". Haha it is really good too. I don't know if they sell that at Wal mart but those are probably the two most used seasonings down here. People put seasoning on everything. Everything is so spicy and super good. Well about companion is getting transferred. Also the other elder that was with us is getting transferred. So I'm the only one staying in the apartment. There will be 3 new elders coming in to live with me. That's probably going to be a little weird at first but it should be fun. Tomorrow is our transfer meeting where I will get my new companion. And Trevor will be there. So I'm pretty excited to see him tomorrow. That would pretty sweet if he is one of the missionaries living in my apartment.....probably not though. Next Monday when I email I'll fill you in with all the details that happened. There might even be 2 sisters in the other ward instead of 2 elders. We are going to get a new district leader too. It might be my companion. Anyways next monday I'll let y'all know. So when you told me that dad got his new calling I was thinking that he was probably going to get Jaden to speak with him alot. I guess Jaden is too scared to do that. Haha just tell him it will be good practice for when he goes on his mission. If I was home I would go speak with Dad every time he has to go speak in a ward. That would be sweet. I guess once I get home I will be dad's speaking partner. So Easter was pretty good. I got your easter package and all the jelly beans and gum were all over the package. All the eggs broke open and gum containers so there was jelly beans and gum everywhere. Our ward gave us like 6 easter baskets. We have so much candy in our apartment. I don't eat very much of it though. So I'm pretty excited to watch General Conference this weekend. None of the members have invited us over to watch it yet so as of right now we will probably be watching it at the church. It will be cool to hear what they have to say this conference. I'm going to try and send those pants back home today. If not today sometime this week I will. I have no idea what I want for my bday. It snuck up on me. It seems like it was my bday like last week. I'm going to be old....20 :( Maybe buy me a walking cane? Just kidding ummm.....I don't really need anything. Maybe another watch. Since I've been on my mission I have been in love with watches. Probably since that's the only cool thing we can have. I guess maybe another Nixon watch or I don't know the name of the watch but I have seen it before. It is a wood watch. It's pretty sweet. Maybe you could get Jaden to look it up. I'ts all wood except the face of the watch. I don't know the brand or anything except that it's wood. Anyways my week went by pretty fast. We didn't get to really teach anybody. We haven't been back over to the Dubois. I'm pretty sure that has died for right now. The other day we were driving around and tried to see this part member family we haven't seen in like 5-6 months. They were outside and we got to talk with them and they invited us back another day. So we had a lesson with them. And the dad that's not a member came to church on Sunday and we have another appointment with him this week. Other than that that is pretty much all that is going on in my area. Hopefully with my new comp we will start seeing some more success.

I guess I will just have to work harder to find more people to teach. Well hope you guys have a great week. I love you.  (These are pictures of us at a member's house catching chickens!)

Elder Willis