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