Monday, March 31, 2014


Monday, March 31, 2014

Week one in Taiwan! Wow I don't know where to start. There has been so much that has happened. The flight wasn't too bad except I didn't know what the flight attendant was saying over the intercom haha. Dad it was so awesome seeing you at LAX! All the missionaries were talking about how cool that was. Jake Happy birthday my man!!! Sorry I'm a little late ;) and congrats on getting the priesthood. That is something that you will remember for the rest of your life. If you haven't yet, write about it in your journal. Mom, sorry to hear you are so sick. I hope and pray that you get better. Nate lookin’ good at that Chinese performance my man :) What a stud! Hilarious stuff.

So anyway our mission president has a rule that we can't email back and forth so this will be my only email. When we landed in Taiwan we met President and Sister Day and the AP's. They were so awesome and welcoming. We took a bus into Taipei. We stayed in the building right across from the Taipei Temple where the mission home is. It was cool. The next morning we all ran to this huge Taiwan Temple. It was crazy cool. Also, that morning we had pancakes and bacon for breakfast so that was good. We spent the first two days having orientations, getting interviewed, temple tours, role plays, and meetings talking about rules, expectations, goals, receiving our language books, etc. The second night they paired us up with older missionaries to go proselyte for a few hours.  That was when things got real. I went out with Elder Lee who is a stud. We placed 4 copies of the Book of Mormon.  This was awesome. The spirit was strong and we had great success. People speak SO fast and it is really hard to understand.

The next day we got our trainers. They had all the new missionaries come up and introduce themselves in front of all of the transfer missionaries, trainers, and missionaries going home and then President Day would say who their trainer was. I was the very last missionary to get my trainer because of the W last name. Whenever President Day called out who the trainer would be the trainer would run up and give the new missionary a big hug while everyone was clapping and cheering it was way cool.  My trainer is Elder Westover. He is AWESOME. He is from Arizona and has been out over a year. His Chinese is very good and he is very nice and willing to help me with anything.

After that meeting we left for our areas. We are in XinZhu. It's about 2 hours south and west of Taipei. Our area is kind of a rough area. Our ward has about 70 active members. We don't even have enough copies of the Book of Mormon to give out and that is very hard too.  Our area hasn't had a baptism in 6 months and right now we don't have any investigators that have a desire to be baptized.

I would be lying if I said things are easy out here. People here in Taiwan are very busy and most don't have much interest in our message. Elder Westover and I do have very positive attitudes and high ambitions for our area. We are praying for 5 baptisms. We feel that through obedience, working our very hardest, faith and prayer we can accomplish our goals. I really do have a good feeling we will turn this area around.

Our district has 6 missionaries. Ironically we have Elder McClellan who I knew from the MTC. We also have Sister Bennion who is a few years older than me, but she went to Woods Cross. Small world! The first night with my trainer (Elder Westover), because he is district leader we attended a baptism. Elder McClellan and his companion baptized probably about a 10 year old kid. It was awesome. Cool to see that. Our ward is really awesome. Our bishop is very nice and there are awesome people who are always willing to come out and teach with us (PeKe) accompany us for our lessons. There are kids who have great faith and have a desire to serve missions. Church was also great. After Sacrament Meeting I had a few ladies come up to me and tell me that even though I don't understand now my Chinese will improve and that my Chinese is already great. Everyone is so nice.

For food I’ve eaten a variety of stuff - fried rice, chicken, sausage, Taiwanese tortillas, noodles, beef, etc. It is interesting. Nothing at all like American Chinese food. It's taking some getting used to and my stomach has been sick sometimes. My companion and I make breakfast like eggs or toast. He really is just great. I feel so blessed to have him as my companion.

People here in Taiwan are very interesting. Most are nice, but most think all churches are the same. Taiwanese believe every church is good, but that they are all the same. Most don't understand the importance of baptism, and it is VERY hard to get people to come to church. We have made goals to get people to church next week.

A few miracles this week. I felt like I should have a paper back copy of the BoM with me and we met this Pilipino lady who only spoke Tagalog and English! We talked with her for like 45 minutes and she believes in God and Jesus Christ and we gave her that BoM to read it. She said she would and we are going to follow up with her tonight. While we were talking to her we saw Sui2Jie3Mei4 another one of our investigators and we were able to talk with her. It was really cool and we have high hopes that these two have a great desire to follow Jesus Christ.

Anyway things are good in Taiwan. Riding a bike is harder than I thought. My legs are dying. One day we rode about 5 or so miles in pouring rain to visit a less active teenager. We had a great meeting with him. I like singing hymns when I'm riding my bike. It helps me think of my missionary purpose and all of my investigators. I hope everyone has a great week! Love you all so much! Sorry this was random.  I'm still getting used to writing from the field :) All in all I'm doing great and feel good about our goals to turn things around in this area.

***So this is where the "mommy blogging" starts.  We received an email from William's trainer Elder Westover on p-day telling us how great William is and how he will take care of him.  A true tender mercy. We love him already for that gift.  I found his mission blog and copied Elder Westover's letter below.  It makes us so proud.  My sister Allison and I were talking today and she said, "It is a hard time in the world to be a missionary."  Yes it is.  Keep working hard William.  We are praying hard here at home.  Send him a quick email if you have time. It would mean the world to him.  His email address is

So I am officially a dad. :) And thank you so much for your prayers because I'm still in Xinzhu with my Trainie. He got here last Wednesday Night and I got him on Friday. Elder William Willes (sounds like Willis) is from Bountiful, UT and is such a wonderful missionary. Like stellar!! It's crazy how they just get better and better!! We have seen a ton of miracles and are learning so much!! One of the miracles is just that after another companionship's baptism that we were asked to attend, I asked Elder Willes what he felt like we could do on the list of Finding Ideas in our planner, and we both decided that it would be good to invite people to come to church. So after a very sincere prayer we went out! We talked to three people, and on the fourth we talked to a woman who was willing to come!! She couldn't come this week but committed to us as Representatives of Christ that she would come next week! It was so good. for only being our 4 days, my companion is awesome with his Chinese, and we are going to continue to see miracles through our faith and Help 5 souls be baptized this transfer! :) This week was alright until I got my baby boy (Elder Willes)... and then it got a whole lot better!!! He is so great! I am learning so much with him so much, and it's only been 4 days! Haha. He has got so much faith and is so excited to be working to help them according to their needs and build a testimony. His Chinese is so good. It's so much better than mine was when I got here, and I know it's because he is such a hard worker. He really has a great desire to help these people obtain a testimony of the truthfulness of our Father's Gospel and develop faith in Christ. He is not scared to invite to baptism and is super willing to get into everything. We took the opportunity to kneel down on Saturday morning and ask Heavenly Father what he sees happening in this area with in the next transfer and we feel that He would like us to specifically work really hard on working with the ward to accomplish our ward mission plan. The goal is to get our area caught up with our baptisms for the year. We would like to help 5 people receive the blessings of baptism and establish good footings for the rest of the year. We are still working on our plan, but Heavenly Father has given us the vision, and we are going to go forth as Nephi with faith and follow the teachings of the prophets in the scriptures and PMG, and seek the guidance of the Spirit by being exactly obedient. Happy belated Birthday to Savannah, and Laci!! I love you!!! :) The next family that goes over to visit Grandma Dixie... Give her a hug for me, and tell her I love her. Jia You!!!! Hurrah for Israel!! Love, Elder Westover
Much love,

Elder Willes

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Elder Willes' all Mandarin name tag. 

Elder Willes just got his travel plans.  He is heading to Taiwan and is so happy.  "So stoked!"

This is the last weekly update I will send from the MTC. In 6 days (Tuesday, March 25, 2014) I'm Taiwan bound! Provo to SLC to LA to Taiwan. Couldn't be more excited! This week has been kind of a week of reflection. I'm gonna miss the MTC. I have learned so much. I know I'm going to get to Taiwan and appreciate this experience even more.

Elder Willes, Elder Dexter and Elder Warner with their TRAVEL PLANS

This week was awesome. On Sunday I was able to bless the Sacrament for the first time in Chinese. That was a pretty cool experience. Even though it is in another language the Sacrament is holy and sacred and you can feel the spirit no matter what language you are speaking. We also got to teach a girl who lives in Taiwan this week through Skype.  Awesome stuff!

This week Elder Warner, Elder Dexter and I have been working on our teaching. Through hard work, preparation, and prayer we have got both of our “MTC investigators” baptismal dates. One of our investigators, Cheng2Di4Xiong2, didn't really know if he had faith. His parents didn't approve. We shared how Nephi endured and trusted in the Lord even when his brothers didn't approve of him and his decisions. We talked of Christ and how even though He was persecuted and crucified He still loved and served everyone and fulfilled Heavenly Father's will. We promised him that if he trusted in the Lord his family would accept his decision. So I asked him to be “baptized” and after like a 10 second pause he accepted for this Friday! After the lesson we went outside and were jumping around! Haha we were so excited. Even though it was just a role-play the spirit was still there and it was a cool experience.

Elders Willes, Warner and Dexter in classroom studying

The MTC is awesome with the spiritual boost. The spirit is always here and that's awesome. Devotionals are also awesome and TRC is awesome! We love it. I just want everything to be real. Real investigators, real everything.  I'm stoked to leave!

These 3 Elders "got to go off campus on shuttle.  Elder Dexter had a cavity.  Awesome."

"Driving by your building Dad on the way to the dentist."

I received packages from Steve and Lisa, McNevins and the Coreys. Thank you guys so much!  Also thanks for the dear elders and emails.  Good hearing from the Tribe's this week!  I appreciate everything!

Elder Warner flies to Hong Kong and then to Singapore. He's the only missionary on his flight! Crazy huh? We are all so excited to leave and I pray every day I will have an impact on people in Taiwan. I met two Taiwanese Elders yesterday. One is going to Minnesota and the other to Seattle, WA. They are the only members of their family and flew all the way around the world to serve the Lord. They told me to baptize their families.  I will try my best. :) 

Elder Willes' Zone heading to Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, New York, New Zealand, California, Canada, all over!

I've learned so much at the MTC. Patience, humility, kindness, and charity stick out the most. These are all qualities that at times can be very hard to have, but if I have them I can accomplish all things the Lord would have me do.

Boppy, Elder Willes (and his companions) and Mamoo got to have dinner at the MTC

Singing in Chinese is also a highlight. On Sunday our district did a musical number in Sacrament Meeting. We sang Nearer My God to Thee in Chinese. Pretty cool stuff. I'm going to miss having meals already cooked for me everyday. I'm going to miss my teachers. Brother Durrant and Brother Harris are awesome and have taught me so much. But I am ready for a change. I am ready to go and I am going to serve the Lord with all of my heart, might, mind and strength. Have an awesome week everyone! 

Next time you hear from me I will be in TAIWAN.


Elder Willes

To write to Elder Willes:

 Elder William Willes
Taiwan Taipei Mission
4 Fl, #24, Lane 183 Jin-hua St.
Taipei, TAIWAN, ROC 
(through Sunday, March 23rd)
Select a Mission: ProvoMTC
Write a letter
Departure Date: MAR26
Mission Code: TAIW-TAI
Unit 17

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Elder Dexter, Elder Warner and Elder Willes

So much to write this week! This week was by far the fastest week. Super busy, but it feels like yesterday I was emailing home last week. Anyway we got about 8 new missionaries in our district. One sister is from New Zealand and one elder is from Australia. They are all very nice. They are very quiet and don't talk much to the elders and sisters that have been here awhile unless we initiate it. They are very nice though and working hard! 

To answer some of your questions. I have not received my all character name tag nor do I know when we receive it. I hope soon!  When I get it I for sure will send pictures! Yes I am healthy. I feel super tired all day everyday, but I am healthy :)  Yes, we do have Mandarin evaluations. We had one last week. It was interesting. There are about 8 questions. A few you have to teach principles from Preach my Gospel all in Chinese. One question asked you to say a memorized scripture. Others were asking questions, meeting someone, etc. I scored a 4.5 on it out of 7. The average for our class was a 4.0 so that's good. Most Mandarin speaking missionaries leave the MTC around a 3-4 on their evaluations. We have another evaluation I think next week so we will see how it goes. 

No word on my visa or flight plans or anything. I think we should be getting info next week or something. We go to the temple every p-day. Surprisingly a lot of elders and sisters in our zone don't go because they are busy cleaning, writing letters, etc. We always go and we made it a goal not to miss an opportunity to go the temple so that's awesome. 

Sister Smith, Elder Willes and Elder Warner with Elder Dexter photo bombing

The MTC is awesome. I love mornings when we have personal study, companionship study, language & additional study. Personal study is awesome because you can just do your own thing and study what you want to study.  Class is also awesome. My teachers are really cool and we have had many spiritual experiences in roll play teaching, sharing scriptures or experiences etc. I will miss the routine I guess.  I'm just very comfortable with the schedule here and all of our meals are cooked for us so that's nice. 

This week was awesome. My companion Elder Warner's parents spoke at the Sunday devotional. Crazy huh? So we hung out all Sunday night with the MTC Presidency and Elder Warner's family just walking around the MTC. It was so awesome. President and Sister Nally (MTC President and his wife) kept us company and were very friendly. We also sat on the front row and got a nice camera shot when his mom said her son was in the MTC.  It was way spiritual. The whole congregation sung Called to Serve and when the chorus hit everyone stood up. It was SO cool. We knew the harmony too so we did that ;) Overall awesome night!

Elder Willes with Elder Warner, his parents and brother and Elder Dexter

I also spoke in church on Sunday. I spoke on the Holy Ghost.  It was crazy!  5 minutes of nothing but Chinese but it went awesome. People told me I did good so I think it went ok. The new missionaries all had blank stares on their faces because they had no clue what I was saying. It was cool though. I also played the piano in priesthood meeting. I wish I had learned more hymns! Nate and Jake play and learn hymns! They are beneficial for the mission! 

On Monday we had the chance to host senior missionaries. We were assigned to greet them at the door and guide them inside. It reminded me a lot of Grandma/Grandpa and Mamoo/Boppy. It was so cool!  All the couples were so excited to serve! They were all so happy. I asked one couple where they were serving and they said PROVO, UTAH! They were so excited and I admired how diligent and happy they were. It was awesome. The senior missionaries are awesome examples and I hope I have that desire to serve when I get old. 

This week we also had a skype TRC lesson. We skyped a TRC member of the church. She was from Taiwan but a student at BYU. She spoke Chinese so fast.  Holy cow!  We asked her to read a few scriptures and she read them in 2 seconds. We were like hen bang (very awesome)! It was way cool though! We taught her about receiving revelation through prayer. Oh I also took a few pictures for Elder Warner's dad on the 5S! It was weird handling a phone and it seemed foreign to me haha.

Overall this week was awesome!  I'm loving this work. This week I accomplished my goal of making general lesson plans for all 5 PMG lessons. Major helpful for when we plan lessons. This gospel brings so much joy to my life. 

Love you all!

Elder Willes

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I really can't believe I've been here 6 weeks. It feels like I just got here, but at the same time I don't remember life before the MTC because it feels like I've been here so long. Anyway another pretty good week! Last Thursday we had TRC. We taught this student from BYU.  His name is Kyle Bishop. It's all in Chinese just like all of our lessons, but I'm understanding more and more each day. I told him I was from Bountiful and that I went to WX. He said he also went to WX. I was trying to piece together, while trying to speak and understand Mandarin, if I knew him or not haha. When we got back to our room I realized it was my friend Mady Bishop's older brother and the brother of the other Bishop we met with the Townsend's that one night. He's awesome! Just like his brother, he had way cool experiences he shared and was way cool with us. So, be sure to tell the Townsend's I've met Kyle while here!

At the mission conference on Sunday (every fast Sunday we have this) the MTC President's wife Sister Nally spoke to the sister missionaries. At first I was like how are the elders supposed to learn anything from this? I then realized how awesome the sister missionaries' examples are to me in here. They don't have to serve missions and have the faith to put 1 1/2 years aside to willingly serve the Lord. She had all the sisters stand up and sing As Sisters in Zion. The elders just sat there but it was really cool. The MTC probably has about 50% sisters in here right now. It's crazy and inspiring that there are so many sisters serving around the world.

Elder Chynoweth, Elder Willes, Sister Smith and Sister Kwan

The devotional last night was cool too. The speaker spoke a lot about Doctrine and Covenants 4 which reminded me of Priest Quorum and how we recited that. He broke down each verse and it's meaning. I gu3li4 (encourage) you all to read Doctrine and Covenants 4 and think about the blessings and the requisites in it. 

Not gonna lie, I'm a little sick of the MTC. I love this place but I'm ready to get out of here. Next week we should be getting our ALL character nametags and the week after that we should get our flight plans. So exciting! I can't wait to teach the people of Taiwan. Our district gets 11 new missionaries today. We got an Elder from New Zealand yesterday who is also going to Taiwan, Taipei. He plays rugby and seems like a way cool kid. 

Chinese is coming along. I'm learning a lot. We are learning the vocab for very hard principles such as Shi2Yi1Feng4Xian4 (tithing). Why does it have to be that many words? Anyway, also learning vocab for Zhi4Hui4Yu3 (word of wisdom) and following the prophet. I memorized my first scripture in Chinese this week as well. 2 Nephi 32:3 go read it.  It's a good one! 

Things are good here at the MTC. I'm leaning on the Lord more each day and He has provided answers, comfort, and knowledge. Read Doctrine and Covenants 82:10. If we do what the Lord asks he is bound to us. All we have to do is do is what's right! Have a good week everyone! Thank you to everyone who has remembered me.  It helps so much.

Wei2 Zhang3Lao3 
Elder Willes