Monday, December 29, 2014


Skyping with the fam back at home.  So fun!  Love you guys so much.  I'm so grateful
for the love and support I have back home.  
A happy me on Christmas Day!
Hello everyone! Hope everyone had a great Christmas. Everything here in Taiwan was great this week! And wet. It rained and rained and rained almost every day this week.  It was super xin1ku3 (rough) biking. We had a WHITE CHRISTMAS!  Chen2 Jie3 Mei4 was baptized on Christmas Day. How cool is that? 

Her husband is Japanese so her name is actually Xiang4Mu4 Jie3 Mei4. Cool stuff. Sean spoke at her baptism. The service was beautiful. She came an hour early ready to go! Because she has bad knees and hips we decided it would be best if Elder Jensen and I would both be in the font with her. Elder Jensen said the baptismal prayer.  After he said the baptismal prayer I had to almost go all the way under the water to lift up her legs and then slowly we immersed her in water then lifted her back up. It was very unique. I don't know if we'll ever have an opportunity like that again so it was special. When we got out of the water Elder Jensen and I realized we forgot towels haha so we had a laughing moment and just hugged it out. I was soaked and the rest of the service my shirt was super wet.  It was pretty funny. :) I will remember for next time! After her baptism, Xiang4Mu4 Jie3 Mei4 shared her testimony and shared how comfortable and peaceful she felt. Everything just felt right. It was a very good service and the member support was great! 

Xiang4Mu4 Chen2 Jie3 Mei4 is so special! At church on Sunday she kept sharing with me scriptures she likes and how they've influenced her life. She is one who has had a hard life. It's been cool to see how happy the gospel makes her and the comfort she has found in Christ. She has given up 20 years of smoking and drinking alcohol, tea, and coffee, all in about a month! To me it just proves that my favorite scripture Moroni 7:33 is true and through Christ we can do all things! 

On Sunday, President Day and Sister Day came to our ward to speak about missionary work! They gave great talks about how the work in Taiwan has grown so much. When President Day served in Taiwan as a young missionary there were very few members here but now the work has been hastened on this little Island! Xiang4Mu4 Jie3 Mei4 was confirmed by Peter, a member, on Sunday. Elder Jensen and I got to be in the circle and it was a very special moment filled with the spirit. Xiang4Mu4 Jie3 Mei4 was writing notes and looking up scriptures the whole time President Day talked. She really loved his talk! After, she asked me if I could introduce her to President Day? So I took her up and introduced her to President Day and he congratulated her and it was a cool tender moment. She's great! I'm also grateful for a loving mission president!

Brother Chen2 took us out for a steak dinner

Everything with Lai4 Jie3 Mei4, our other investigator, is going great! She has progressed so much. She had her baptismal interview on Saturday and will be getting baptized this coming Saturday! She is currently at the Taipei Temple having a temple tour :) She is so excited for her baptism! We are super excited for her :) It has been a rough 12 weeks of finding for Elder Jensen and I. But we have found these 2 prepared souls. So amazing.

Another cool thing this week. It was pouring rain and we were knocking doors by a catholic church.  We asked if we could have a tour of the chapel and maybe share a little message with them. This lady took us around the chapel and it was a cool experience! 

Love these things!

It was a great week! Things are good here and we are looking forward to continue helping Xiang4Mu4 Jie3 Mei4 build her faith and looking forward to Lai4 Jie3 Mei4's baptism on Saturday :) Happy new year everyone!

Elder Willes
Wei2 Zhang3 Lao3

Monday, December 22, 2014


Hello! I want to wish everyone an early Merry Christmas! 

My heart is full today. I don't really know why. Just so, so, so happy! At this Christmas time, yes I miss the family. Yesterday at church a 17 year old boy gave a talk about his brother who just got back from his mission and how he has been such a great example to him. Then the next speaker was the older brother who had just returned home :) Reminded me of Nate. Also, there was a brother- brother combo, one who was blessing and one passing the sacrament and that reminded me of Nate and Jake as well. I wish I could see them doing all these good things. 

But this week was another great one here in Taiwan :)  First, our investigator Chen2 Jie3 Mei4 passed her baptismal interview :) As long as everything goes well she will be getting baptized on Christmas Day! How cool is that? We are just praying everything goes well. Ever since we shared with her the quit smoking program 2 1/2 weeks ago she hasn't picked up another cigarette. So cool. 

Chen2 Ji3 Mei4 will hopefully be baptized on Christmas Day!  Isn't that awesome?!  She feeds us TONS of fruit.

Also, our other investigator Lai4 Jie3 Mei4 is by far the kindest person I've ever met. Holy cow so Christlike. She is such a good person. It truly has been an honor being able to find these 2 daughters of God and see them progress the past few months! Lai4 Jie3 Mei4 and Chen2 Jie3 Mei4 are both loved by the ward! Everyone adores them! Lai4 Jie3 Mei4 is having her baptismal interview this weekend and will be getting baptized next week on January 4th :). Every time we meet with her she feeds us food and gets us gloves and warmers to keep us warm. Mom and dad you would really love these two!

With Jimmy, our investigator from Haiti.  He is progressing slowly slowly slowly as is Huang2 Jessica and Hook.  They are all busy BUT Hook did come to church yesterday.
Also, we had another cool experience this week. Our Ward Mission Leader, Wu2 Di4 Xiong1, drove us to the farthest part of our area (30 minute drive) to find some LA's. The first few hours we had very little, in fact no success. The people we visited weren't home. But we call this random guy, Brother Yang2. He said he could meet! So we met up with him.  He had been baptized 8 years ago and about 6 years ago stopped coming to church. We lovingly invited him back into the fold and to partake of the blessings of the gospel. And he's prepared! He accepted. He came an hour early to church yesterday in a very good looking suit :) Cool miracle!! 

Elder Jensen is great. He wanted to eat at a BBQ and he payed for me! It was so nice of him!! We ate some crazy stuff.  Chicken heart, more ostrich, deer meat, squid, pig intestine, chicken cartilage. Also, we had this fish that was pregnant and the belly was full of hundreds of tiny eggs. Haha interesting. Chicken heart is really good and ostrich is really good!

Elder Jensen and Elder Willes enjoying some BBQ - Taiwan style!

This week was special because members and LA's were great to us. The Chen2 Family took us to this AMAZING hot pot place. OH so good. Also, Chen2 DX, a LA, took us out for Thai food. Elder Jensen loves Thai food and now I do too. Holy cow so delicious. 

This is the Chen2 family.  They are recent converts and are so good to us.  They treat us like kings.  I LOVE them.  Mom and Dad they want to meet you when we come back to Taiwan!

So great being with these people.  I love Thai food.  Man that was good.  Chen2 DX with Elders Jensen and Willes.

So many spiritual experiences this week. One was with a former investigator of 8 years, Bao3 Feng4. Her sister is a member but she isn't baptized because her family opposes. We had a cool lesson where we had her write down all the things the gospel has blessed her with and invited her to give it to her husband. She said she couldn't do it. Then we invited her to pray. In the middle of the prayer she just stopped... Was just crying and crying. For like 5 minutes there was just silence and then she had the courage and said one of the most sincere prayers ever. After the prayer she just started writing and writing. It was so cool! She was happy and excited to once again ask her husband to participate in church activities! Pray for her! 

Lastly we had the chance last night to go to Wu2 Di4 Xiong1's house, our Ward Mission Leader. They moved and were dedicating their house. He asked me to say the prayer. It was a really cool experience for me.  Ahh man. Things are good here :) Couldn't be happier. 

Alma 42:31. "And now, O my son, ye are called of God to preach the word unto this people.  And now, my son, go thy way, declare the word with truth and soberness, that thou mayest bring souls unto repentance, that the great plan of mercy may have claim upon them.  And may God grant unto you even according to my words.  Amen." 

This is my calling. All of my dreams are about missionary work. Haha love you all. Have a merry Christmas and don't forget the real meaning of Christmas! 

Elder Willes

Monday, December 15, 2014



"Continue to look for people to serve this Christmas season. 
Shout out to the Hidden Lake Ward for the awesome Christmas service project! Way to be!"
I love the tree.  I can feel everyone's love.  Thank you all so much for making me feel so happy and blessed.  Also, thanks to the Coreys, Mamoo and Boppy, Wendy and Mike, and Steve and Lisa for the packages and everyone else for their letters.  Love you guys so much!! Thank you so much!!

Hello everybody! 

This week was another great one just like last week. We saw a lot of miracles and are getting pretty excited for Christmas. We've been working with Chen2 Jie3 Mei4 and she is so awesome! She is loved by the ward. We finished teaching her all the lessons and she is on the stop smoking program right now that Boppy referred me to. She is over a week clean!! No smoking at all! She came to church on Sunday and is doing so great. She is having her baptismal interview this upcoming Saturday and should be getting baptized on Christmas :) We are so excited for her. She has progressed so much. Please keep her in your prayers as she puts off the natural man and is preparing for baptism. We had a really cool lesson with her and taught her about the priesthood. I felt like we should ask her if she wanted a priesthood blessing. She really wanted a blessing so we had our member Brother Xu3 give her a blessing and the spirit was so strong. She is so great! We can see the light of Christ in her. The Gospel is making her so happy and her expression is one of joy, hope and happiness.  We got to church 30 minutes early and she was already there waiting for us :) She's amazing!

Also, our investigators Jimmy (from Haiti), Huang2 JM(Jessica), and another new investigator Hook came to church. It was cool having lots of people at church. We worked with some new LA's and were able to get 5 of them coming back to church this week! That was really cool. Also, the Bishop gave us a list of people to contact (LA's) and there was this 91 yr old guy who said we could visit him. His health isn't great but we visited him last night and had a great meeting. He's hilarious and also the spirit was really strong there. We shared a message with him about the restoration and he was crying when he said the closing prayer. He told us he felt the spirit so much. It was cool! We are going to try and work out taking him the sacrament weekly now :)

Our 91 year old member.  Love him!

Our investigator Lai4 Jie3 Mei4 is doing great. She is progressing well and is looking to be baptized on January 4th. For English class (she attends the English level class that the sisters teach) the sisters taught the Word of Wisdom for spiritual share and Lai4 Jm loved it and is now obeying it without us teaching it to her yet. She told us that when she had her last cup of coffee she felt so guilty and now she doesn't want to drink those things anymore. She said it just makes sense. She is great! She gave us some scarves to keep us warm out in the cold. 

Lai4 Jie3 Mei4, Sean and Elder Willes and Elder Jensen
She gave us scarves to help keep us warm.  She is great!

I also went on exchanges this week with Elder Heaps (Elder Nelson's trainee) and we had a cool exchange in his area. We had ALL night to go find and we decided to go tracting. I told him how cool it would be if we had a knocking miracle (very rare here) and he was like lets say a prayer. So we prayed. And the last door we knocked on was a college student who we shared the He is the Gift video with and a short message about Christ. She is now Elder Nelson and Elder Heap's new investigator! Super cool. We also sang Christmas carols for people while knocking and that was fun.  Haha a little awkward but still fun! One thing I love doing here is making Taiwanese people laugh. Most people here just seem depressed and so busy and I like to make them laugh. It makes me happy. 

I couldn't wait! I opened my Christmas gifts.  Everything was so perfect!
You guys are so smart (mom ;))!  Thank you so much!

I am loving Stephen's hot chocolate!

The scripture of the week is Doctrine and Covenants 128:19 such a great verse. This gospel is so happy and I treasure it. Love you all so much! Continue to look for people to serve this Christmas season. Shout out to the Hidden Lake Ward for the awesome Christmas service project! Way to be!

Last week for p-day we went to Ying1 Ge2 to make some pottery.  Such a beautiful place.  This is the Ying1 Ge2 crew!  Sam, who is a member, came with us!

Love you all!

Elder Willes


"Another great week!  We saw a lot of miracles and are getting excited for Christmas!"  

Elders Willes and Jensen with a 91 year old member

I couldn't wait and opened my Christmas gifts!

Sam (a member), Elder Jensen and Elder Willes

Making pottery on p-day

Elder Willes in Ying1 Ge2 a beautiful place

Tuesday, December 9, 2014



"I told Elder Jensen this week that I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life. Love this work!"

A tired but happy Elder Willes

Dear Friends and Family,

I'm happy to report that this week went great! Elder Jensen and I worked our tails off and we saw so many miracles. We are dead tired today but we are happy with the work last week and look forward to a new week. We had 24 lessons this week and I think that is the most I've had (in one week) on my mission. That was pretty cool! We saw a lot of great progression in our investigators. 

Ward missionaries - The man on my right is the Ward Mission Leader.  I've decided he is my Taiwanese dad.  Man I love him.  I give him a hug every time I see him.

Contacting at a little concert

Chen2 Jie3 Mei4 is great. She is trying to quit smoking right now. We shared the Word of Wisdom and she was really accepting of it. She gave up coffee and tea right on the spot. She has smoked for 20 years and doesn't have a ton of faith she can quit, but we know she can do it! We are watching her faith building and she is awesome. We hope to meet with her 3 or 4 times this next week to help her be able to overcome this habit!

Another miracle is Lai4 Jie3 Mei4. She is a 40+ year old mom that is so nice. One of the kindest people I've met here. We met her a month ago and she is now finally starting to progress. She came to church with her son and loved it. This morning she actually called us because she lives at the apartment place next to us and said, "Come outside!! I have something for you!" We went down and she gave us TONS of bread, fruit, drinks, etc. Haha she is so nice! She has a baptismal date for the end of December. We really hope we can meet with her more to help her accomplish this goal! We also had an investigator Huang2 Jie3 Mei4 come to church. We met her a month ago and she came to church and loved it! We should be meeting with her this next week.

Cool thing: This week for English class I learned how to do the cup game! You know that song? Hilarious. Anyway we found some new investigators we are excited to work with. 

Pinatas for our English class party.  The kids loved it!

The biggest miracle this week actually happened in Xin1 Zhu2 my last area. It was Elder Marchant and I's 4th of July miracle.

Elder Willes with Zhong1 Di4 Xiong1

On the 4th of July Elder Marchant and I found a miracle -- Zhong1 Di4 Xiong1. He is super great and I found out this week he finally made the decision to be baptized. I asked President Day for permission to go and he gave us permission! So we went to Xin1 Zhu2 on Saturday night and when Zhong1 Di4 Xiong1 saw me he was so happy! Gave him a big old hug! The baptism was so wonderful. I was asked to introduce him and bear a testimony and the spirit was so strong there. AHHH so special I can't even describe it :) After he got dunked I was there again for a big old wet hug :) He bore an awesome testimony about how since high school he has wondered what we (missionaries) were doing here in Taiwan and how when Elder Marchant and I met him he had really strong feelings to give our church a try. Such a humble guy and what is cool is his boss at work is actually a member of the Church. Perfect! He's such a stud! Love this work. We need to always work our hardest because we never know when people are prepared for the gospel! Seeds are being planted and the light of Christ dots the earth. 

The crew at the baptism

I've been reading in Jesus the Christ and that book is changing my life. I love learning about Jesus Christ and how He loves everyone so much. Cool scripture for the week is in 3 Nephi 9:14. He is ready to receive everyone who is willing to seek Him. When we seek Him we Will find Him and then we can follow Him. I know He lives! 

Everyone go spread some Christmas cheer and make someone's day :) Thank you everyone for your prayers for me and for and all the missionaries throughout the world. I told Elder Jensen this week that right now I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life. Love this work! Counting my many blessings. 

Elder Willes and Elder Jensen out with Sean doing missionary work again!  He is a boss!

Shout out to the fam back home. Best parents and little brothers in the world. So blessed and I can feel your love every day. Have a good week everyone. Love you all!

Elder Willes


Elder Willes over looking part of Zhongli


Elder Jensen and Elder Willes "thuggin'  it on the roof"

"Dad I thought you would like this pic.  Can you believe I found some Twins gear here in Taiwan?!  I asked her if she like the Twins and she had no clue who they were but that she just liked the sweatshirt.  hahaha"

Elder Willes with Zhong1 Di4 Xiong1 at his baptism

Tuesday, December 2, 2014



"A difficult week.  Lots of setbacks lately but Elder Jensen and I 
are going to keep pressing forward.  
We are going to do our absolute best and have faith 
and then let Heavenly Father do the rest."

This is Michael.  He just received the Aaronic Priesthood.  An awesome family!  He reminds me of Nate and Jake back home and their great examples to me.  Jake and Michael would be great friends.  Good stuff!

Well... This week was pretty similar to last week, a difficult week, but that's ok.  A lot, in fact most, of our investigators don't want to meet anymore or aren't answering the phone. It's really sad and I don't have much to report for the week except that we are working very hard. 

We have an investigator Chen2 Jie3 Mei4.  She is great! We shared a lot of the commandments with her and she is progressing. Yesterday she didn't come to church and we didn't know why. We found out that she fell in her house and ended up at the doctor all day. Lots of setbacks lately but Elder Jensen and I are going to keep pressing forward. Chen2 Jie3 Mei4 struggles with the Word of Wisdom so keep her in your prayers as we share this with her and help her come unto Christ!

I ate stinky tofu for the first time this week! SUPER stinky haha but didn't taste horrible. It wasn't good at all though. 

Straight up snake head soup/I think alcohol
Also my companion Elder Jensen got hit by a scooter yesterday. Roads here in Taiwan are nuts! He walked away with a little scrape. Truly a miracle! 

This week was cool because Habib and Chen2 Ya3 Yi4 came to Zhong1 Li4 to visit me. :) We had lunch with them and it was awesome seeing them! They mean the world to me. They are both super busy with hard things and have some trials but they are doing great. I talked to them about getting sealed in the temple next summer. They really want to do that :) I'm really hoping they keep preparing for that goal! Really really special people!

Habib and his wife YaYi with Elder Willes.  They came all the way from XinZhu to see me (Elder Willes' previous area).  Both are recent converts that Elder Willes helped to teach and baptize.
Also we got word of an investigator living in California who is Taiwanese and she really wants to get baptized. BUT her family (who all live here in Zhong1 Li4) oppose this.  We were asked to go and visit the family to try and soften some hearts :) They live in our area but really far away.  Our area is HUGE.  Yesterday we biked all the way out there and the mom wasn't there but her college age little sister was and we taught her about the church. She was really willing to listen and we had a great lesson with her and we are going to keep in touch with her. We really hope we can get ahold of the mom so we can help her see what the Gospel is all about so she will let her daughter in California be baptized! Pray for the Zeng Family!

Probably the biggest miracles we saw this week were we had 5 LA's at church! That was cool and we have some cool new LA's that have great potential in coming back. Also, Sean our awesome LA, who has made this huge turnaround is doing awesome. He got a calling yesterday as a ward missionary!!! So stoked for him :) So cool to help a lost sheep be able to partake of the blessings the Gospel brings again! 

We also spent a full day in Guan1 Yin1 the furthest part of our area this week finding LA's. It was quite the bike ride out there through plenty of rice fields.  Really pretty.  We went on splits and so I was with our WML Wu2 Di4 Xiong1 and we drove around in his big truck finding LA's and it was really fun! 

Out in Guan1Yin1

Also, last PDay was a blast. The Chen2 family our recent converts took us to Taipei.   We took a ferry on this huge lake in Taipei. So much fun! They treated us to a great day at Tamsui in Dan4 Shui3.  This family is incredible.  They were soooo nice to us.  It was a great day.  Dan4 Shui3 is Uncle Dan's favorite place he served.  Have you been here Uncle Dan?  It is beautiful!

Anyway Elder Jensen and I had a good chat last night about how we can really help this area progress and feel like things are going to turn around. We are going to do our absolute best and have faith and then let Heavenly Father do the rest :) Love you all! 

Oh I forgot.  Do you guys remember that Zhong1 Di4 Xiong1 who Elder Marchant and I found awhile back in 
Xin1 Zhu2?? Super big miracle find?? Ya, he's getting baptized this Saturday! So excited!!! I really am hoping to get permission to go to his baptism but we will see. Have a good week!

Elder Willes