Monday, July 28, 2014


"I've grown to love the people here in Xin1 Zhu2 so much.  It's crazy!  When I found out I was being transferred 
I was devastated.  But, I have comfort in knowing that this is what the Lord needs me to do.  Now I am excited!"

This is our first counselor in the bishopric.  His 8 year daughter gets baptized in 2 weeks.  They are an awesome family.

Transfer 3, Week 6

Well this week, not going to lie, was a rough one. First off, I'm transferring in 3 days. I've already started packing haha because I don't want to push it all to the last night. It is super bitter sweet. My companion Elder Marchant and I have had a lot of fun together. We were shocked when we found out he would be training and I would be transferring after only 1 transfer together. I love the members here so much. They've taught me so much and this ward is really special. Even though it's my first ward and area I know that this is a special one! It is also hard leaving our investigators but I know that this is the Lord's will.
After one of the many rainstorms a great rainbow.

This week a typhoon came through. And since Xin1 Zhu2 is the windy city the wind was howling for 2 days. The doors inside our apartment were shaking. It was raining really, really hard. We still went out and did missionary work. Every one of our investigators this week didn't answer their phone, were busy, etc. (I'm not exaggerating) so we went finding all week long. Finding can be really hard out here sometimes because a lot people won't give you the time of day. But the Lord will always prepare at least one soul for us to talk to. We were able to find 5 new investigators this week which was great. We are hoping they will be able to progress and come unto Christ.

Xiao1 Di4 Xiong1
He helps us with lessons all of the time.  One of the most Christ-like guys out there!
Xiao1 Di4 Xiong1 again next to Elder Marchant.  "Elder Marchant and I went on splits with these two members this week.  It was really cool seeing them preach the gospel and talking to random people on the street.  They were nervous but did great and loved it!"
There really isn't any updates on most of our other investigators. We had one of our new investigators come to church and then he told us where he lived and he lives in the other ward. He's really cool though! The sisters this week gave us 2 of their investigators because they don't know how to help them. One is a 17 year old boy named Wang2 Ming2 Qin1. And the other is a 13 year old kid Ou1 Chen2 Bo2 Yan4 (he came to church). Their situations are exactly the same as Zhou1 Chang2 Ding3. Their parents won't sign the paper and let them be baptized. It's hard not to get frustrated because we know the blessing the parents are keeping their kids from. We know what the blessings of baptism will bring and it's hard seeing these kids' faith become weaker because their parents won't let them get baptized. So, we hope we can work with them all and get their faith to increase so their parents see a change and allow them to get baptized.

The You2 family have cared for Habib and his wife so much.  They are great!
Habib's wife, Chen2 ya3 yi4, should be getting baptized this week! The sisters have been working with her, but we have also been working with her and Habib once a week! She is so great. It's been really cool seeing her change and become firm in the faith. I remember when she called us about a month and a half ago and told us that she was praying that she would receive personal revelation that our message was true. Then she flipped open her Book of Mormon and came across Mosiah Chapter 3 about Jesus Christ. And then all the sudden it hit her that this was her answer. It was so cool!  We still don't know what day she will be getting baptized, but I hope it's tomorrow or Wednesday so I can be able to be there!  We also think Habib [a recent convert] is going to be able to baptize her which will be awesome!  And then our investigator Huang2 Cheng2 Wei2 should be getting baptized this coming Saturday.  I've been praying so hard for him. His faith is so strong, but that environment in the army isn't an easy one to overcome smoking.  I'm just hoping next p-day I get an email from Elder Marchant telling me he has been baptized.  :) I feel good about it!

 The You2 Family and Habib and Chen2 ya3 yi4
shang4 xiang4 photogenic picture!
I've grown to love the people here in Xin1 Zhu2 so much. It's crazy!  When I found out I was being transferred I was devastated.  But, I have comfort in knowing that this is what the Lord needs me to do.  Now I am excited!  New place, new scenery, etc. On Sunday the bishopric member told me we are going to give you 5 minutes to share a goodbye testimony in sacrament meeting. It was cool! I just was filled with gratitude for everything all the members there have taught me. I shared Ether 12:27 about how we can be made strong. Being a member here in Taiwan isn't easy. Most people here are the only member in their family, have bad work environments, some work on Sunday, but the members here are so strong in the faith. Their testimonies are great. Every Sunday in sacrament meeting the members LOVE to give long talks haha.  Almost every week the Bishop will have to quick slip them a little note while they are talking and tell them the time constraints and that they need to end their talk soon. They love talking about the gospel here.

This guy takes care of the whole world pretty much!  Liu2 Hu4 Zhang3
Some of the awesome youth here.  On the left he is 13, on the right he is 12 and the one in the middle, Jerry, is 17, and the only member in his family.  He plans to go on a mission and is a great help to the missionaries.
I'm excited for a my new area. I hope I go somewhere in Taipei or on the east coast where it is really pretty.  We will see! This morning during personal study I came across a cool scripture in 2 Nephi 9:52. Praying morning and night will let our hearts rejoice. If you aren't praying every morning and night then do it! 

Chao1 Ji2 Hao3 pizza!  
A look at what I eat almost every day.  You've got the standard meat, some veggies and RICE.

It's cool thinking about my cousins Lundy, Megan, and Haley out serving with me along with all my friends. We are all on the Lord's team. Loving my mission. Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Transfer 3 - Week 5

"We are going to do all we can and let God help us with our human weaknesses 
and help us magnify our callings."

Elder Marchant and Elder Willes

Another good week here in Xin1 Zhu2. 

To start it was really cool!  The Morphis family from Canada, are Mormon and apparently travel around and do singing performances.  They came to Taiwan to do a tour. (They sing religious/church songs). They came to Xin1 Zhu2 and we got to go! It was awesome. They have like 8 kids and all their voices were good. We had our investigators Yan2 Di4 Xiong and Lin2 Jie3 Mei4 come and Kelly, and Huang2 Jie3 Mei4 and they loved it. Their last song was I am a Child of God. They sang it in French, English, and the last verse in Chinese. The whole congregation sang the last verse with them in Chinese. It was really cool and the spirit was strong. Also cool seeing a white family in Taiwan haha.
The Morphis Family with Elder Willes and Elder Marchant and one of their investigators.

Our investigators are doing good. They all have their own challenges, obstacles etc. Huang2 Cheng2 Wei2's army schedule is 2 weeks away with the army and then 5 days at home. So he was home temporarily and we met with him three times this past week. We finished all the lessons with him and gave him a priesthood blessing to give him strength to quit smoking. His baptismal date is 8/2/14 and he gets back from the army the day before so we are praying and hoping that he doesn't smoke at all until then. Please keep him in your prayers. We have no way to contact him while he's away with the army so all we can do is pray for him. He is so great!

Picture with Shi2 Di4 Xiong1
"I love this guy!"

Also Shi2 Di4 Xiong1 has been really busy. We met with him and read 2 Nephi 31 about baptism and the spirit was so strong. The miscommunication is cleared up so that's good. His problem is his wife's dad is really sick in a Taipei hospital so they go up there every weekend to take care of him.  So he can't come to church. We invited him to pray about a baptismal date and hopefully this week we can help get him started on the path to achieve that goal.  Also, Zhou1 Chang2 Ding3 is the same. He is really good, but his mom won't let him get baptized. She thinks it's too early, he's too young, and has to test good before he can be baptized. So we are kinda stuck. We don't really know what to do there. It's hard not to get frustrated with the situation. Why does a less active mom stop her 12 year old kid from being baptized? Chang2 En1 is such a good example to him. [He is 13 and was recently baptized.] I love that kid. He comes every Sunday and I help him tie his tie every Sunday.
Also Kelly Huang2 Jie3 Mei4 came to church!! That was really cool. We found out she hadn't been coming because she was scared people would pass a bowl around and people would have to donate money.  She was scared she would have to donate money at church. Haha but she absolutely loved church. After sacrament meeting the relief society swarmed to her and met her and got to know her and talked with her. So, so cool!  We hope we can help her desire continue to grow and progress to baptism. 

Sui2 Jie3 Mei4 is hard too. She ended up not coming to church. Her problem is she can't leave her 90+ year old mom to come to church unless she finds someone to take care of her. She is too scared to leave her mom alone because her mom has cancer. It's a super sad situation. We taught Sui2 Jie3 Mei4 the Word of Wisdom.  She is the first person I've ever taught principle to that didn't have a problem with any of it.  She is so golden!  She has a baptismal goal for 8/9/14.  She just needs to come to church and then she can make that goal. Keep her in your prayers.
We also taught Yan2 Di4 Xiong1 and Lin2 Jie3 Mei4 the law of chastity. It seemed to me their desire to change wasn't really there. We asked them why they meet with us and they said to find friends and stuff. So we are kinda confused. We are going to keep trying to help them see the big picture in life. 

Ji2 Di4 Xiong1 also came to church. He is so funny. I need to take a picture of that guy. He looks like an ancient Asian like from olden times.  I don't know how to explain it.
Zhong1 Di4 Xiong1 came to church for the 3rd straight week in a row. We met with him last night and found out he lives just barely outside our area and actually outside of our ward boundaries. So as sad as it is we will have to refer him to the Xiang1 Shan1 Elders. Zhong1 Di4 Xiong1 is going to Japan for a month but will start meeting with them in a month when he gets back. He's so golden!  
A few cool things happened at church. Last week when we were knocking doors I felt like we should go down a little road and knock this apartment complex. The 2nd door we knocked on they let us in and it was the mom of a member. She let us come back the next day and teach them. The member is an endowed, Melchizedek Priesthood holder but has been going to the Xiang1 Shan1 Ward because he didn't know he lived in our ward's boundaries. He is also the only member of his family. But Sunday he came to our ward and is going to start to come to our ward. We hope to meet his wife and help her find the gospel. He's a big asset to our ward.  It's like just signing a big free agent in football or something but he's going to help our ward a lot. 


One other thing.  We've been working with this less active ever since I got here, Cai4 Di4 Xiong1.  All the sudden he has had this change and has been to church every week for the past 4 weeks. We meet with him every Sunday after church. And he got a calling! That is kinda rare here.  He is a young men's advisor. Really cool!  Elder Marchant and I were like yes!!
"Elder Marchant hit 1 year "on island" this week so we celebrated by drinking Martinellis and chilling on the roof of our building before we went to bed."

The view from our roof

This week was good. Elder Marchant and I have been growing a lot as missionaries. The guy is hilarious. We feel like our families are really similar too. The most important thing is we both love our investigators so much and want to help them so much. Last night we were both just getting emotional talking about how much we love these people and want them to come unto Christ. We are going to do all we can and let God help us with our human weaknesses and help us magnify our callings. Anyway gotta go eat at CPK ;) Have a great week everybody! Love you all!  

Nate and Jake good luck tomorrow! Elder Fisher good luck entering the MTC this week!
Elder Willes


 Happy 6 months Elder William Willes this Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014!  We love you!

Monday, July 14, 2014


"The little miracles you see on a mission are awesome!"

Elder Marchant and Elder Willes having lunch with Thomas Chen on his birthday

Transfer 3 - Week 4 - This week was an up and down week. Our investigators were really busy and weren't able to meet very much but we were able to see miracles like we do every week.
Something pretty crazy happened last Saturday night. The Zhu San elders were having a baptism and they started filling  the baptismal font and we were just making calls to invite people with them.  All of the sudden a member runs into the chapel where we were and was like "water! water! water!" haha in English. They had left the font on too long and it was flooding throughout the church! Everyone (about 10 of us including some members) was super frantic trying to stop it. Elder Marchant and I spent a few hours vacuuming the water out of the carpet in the bishop's offices. We were able to stop it before it got too big, but the main hallway was super wet. Elder Atwood (friends with Steve and Lisa) performed the baptism and that was cool.
Font flood clean-up 

Here is the update on our investigators. Sui2 Jie3 Mei4 couldn't come to church. She feels like someone needs to watch her mom because of her poor health. She feels scared to leave her. Yan2 Di4 Xiong1 and Lin2 Jie Mei4 are great! They came to the baptism on Saturday and absolutely loved it! We taught them the word of wisdom.  They both drink tea, coffee, and alcohol and also both smoke so keep them in your prayers.  They are doing their best to quit. They asked us if at their baptism they could bring their camera and take pictures. We said of course! They really loved it! We are going to teach law of chastity to them this week.  So again keep them in your prayers for that as well. They live together but are not married.
Also Huang2 Cheng2 wei2 is back from Dang1 Bing1 (the army) this week so we are going to meet with him tomorrow and hopefully find a time we can set a date for him to be baptized. The same goes for Shi2 Di4 Xiong1. The miscommunication is resolved. We visited him and he isn't mad anymore. He has been really busy because his wife's dad is sick and in the hospital in Taipei so he goes up there every day. We hope to meet with him this week. We hope he will set his own baptismal date and start preparing for it. As for Zhou1 Chang2 Ding3 he came to church again. His mom just feels like he is too young and it's too early for him to be baptized. We went to a printing shop and printed pictures of Chang2 En1's baptism and gave them to the boys and told them to write their testimonies on the back of the pictures and give it to their mom. We are praying her heart will be softened. Keep him in your prayers!
Zhong1 Di4 Xiong1 our golden investigator is great. He came to church again on Sunday. We met with him and our bishop pei2 ke4'd (came with us). We taught the first lesson and the spirit was really strong. He is great. The problem is he leaves the country next week for 3 or 4 weeks so we hope he can start reading the Book of Mormon every day. We aren't worried about him. He already has a testimony. I called him the other night and asked him if he prayed about the BoM and Joseph Smith and he says he's been praying every day and that he just already knows it's true. He says he's had peaceful feelings and stuff. So incredible! 

Our investigator Chen2 Mei3 Yun2, a mom and her 8 year old cute daughter, came to church as well! It was great. They walked in and she saw a member she knew who is actually her neighbor. Our member Lin2 Jie3 Mei4 helped her go to classes. It was perfect! Chen2 Mei3 Yun2 says she really liked church. She is a practicing Chuan2 Tong3 (Buddhist) so keep her in your prayers that she will be able to accept the message and come to know the truth. Also, our other mom investigator Kelly Huang2 Jie3 Mei4 is good. We met with her again this week. Her problem is church. We have been having bishop's wife Huang2 Jie3 Mei4 help us with our lessons with her and they have a good friendship already. They were talking after the lesson for like 20 minutes.
Ji2 di4 Xiong1 came to church as well. We met him at our English class. He doesn't have a ton of interest but likes church so he comes.  We are working with him. He asks us why we need religion?  I've been trying to figure out how to best answer that question.

A member went to Italy and brought us back some Italian chocolate

This week we had a lot of finding time and it wasn't too successful. Not a lot of people would listen this week, but we are grateful for the investigators we already have. We were knocking doors the other day and I had a feeling to turn right on some little road. We starting ringing door bells and one old lady let us in. Turns out her son is a member and is in our ward but his wife isn't a member so we are hoping we can start meeting with her. It was really cool that we ran into them! He has been going to a different ward because he wasn't fully aware of the boundaries for the wards. He will start coming to our ward now. The little miracles you see on a mission are awesome!
Taiwan has amazing fruit. Right now it's mango season so anything mango is delicious. Mango smoothies, ice cream, or just mangos and it is awesome. They also have this purple fruit called dragon fruit here that is really good too.

Things are good here! Taiwan is so so hot! Over 100 degrees plus humidity so we eat lots of ice cream and drink lots of water haha. Summer is blazing hot here. I sweat like a beast! The humidity kills me out here. It is so so re4 hot!  Elder Marchant has been on Island for a year on Wednesday! Crazy. He came on with Steven Bennion and the last area he served in was Dan4 Shui3 which Uncle Dan said was his favorite area he served in. 

"This one is for you Mom.  I'm getting the hair cut today!"

I forgot to answer mom's question about my Chinese. Everyone says my Chinese is really good for only 4 months on island. The Lord has blessed me to be able to learn Chinese pretty quickly. I just need to keep learning. I'm on flashcard #600 in Phase 2. Phase 1 is teaching the lessons. Phase 2 has 2000 flashcard words and is your daily vocabulary phase. Phase 3 is characters. Specifically learning to read the Book of Mormon. I'm hoping by November I can start learning characters! Super cool. 
This week I finished the BoM! I started again on day 1 in the MTC and just finished. It was really cool and I felt really calm and peaceful after finishing. I encourage everyone to pick it up and read it. You will get closer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book in the world. I'm starting to read the Doctrine and Covenants right now! Lovin' the work. Have a great week everyone! Jake have fun at scout camp. Nate you are in my prayers. Love you all!
Elder Willes
Wei2 Zhang3 Lao3
Ye1Su1Ji1Du1 Hou4 Qi2Sheng4Tu2 Jiao4 Hui4 de Chuan2 Jiao4 Shi4

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Time is shorter today because we got back a little bit late from the temple. [P-Day was Wednesday this week and included a trip to Taipei to go to the temple.  A long wait for a letter for us at home.]  The temple was so amazing! Such a peaceful place and so great going there with Taiwan's Army of Helaman. 

Elder Willes and Elder Marchant at the Taipei Temple

This past week was really incredible.  I will just get started with the miracles:
Shi2 Di2 Xiong1 is improving. We stopped by his work and gave him a note. We also made contact and he's not mad at us anymore but his wife is super sick in Taipei so he's been up there. He said next week he really wants to meet though so that is really exciting!
Ok I have to tell you about the biggest miracle. Elder Marchant and I were out finding and we only had about 30 minutes and we decided to say a very specific prayer that Heavenly Father would help us find 1 prepared soul for us to teach. A really prepared soul who was ready for the gospel. After we prayed we just looked around and pondered. After about 5 minutes we both felt like we should talk to this guy walking our way so we got up and talked to him. He tells us he has talked to missionaries before, but this time it was different. He said it felt right that he was talking to us. We started by telling him how the gospel has blessed our lives and how it will bless his. He asked if we could sit for a minute and share with him. We sat with him and he told us about how badly he has been searching for a religion for him. We told him about prayer and I volunteered to give him an example of what a prayer is like. After the prayer he said, "I think I've found my destiny/future."  We were just like yes!  We know this will bless you. He came to church (all 3 hours) two days later and we met with him on Monday this week and he is super great! We are meeting with him tomorrow. Truly a miracle. His name is Zhong1 Di4 Xiong1 and he is such a prepared soul. I know Heavenly Father prepared him for us and it was through the spirit we knew we were supposed to talk to him.
Our other investigators are great! Kelly and her kids are awesome. Still trying to get them to come to church. They are busy on Sundays but we are working with them!  We still haven't made contact with Huang2 Di4 Xiong1 since he left for the army but I'm not worried. He is a stud.

Biking on their way to Zone Conference in ZhuBei
Church was filled with blessings. We had 6 less actives come to church AND 6 investigators come to church!  We really focused on the importance of church this week and were so blessed. Sui2 Jie3 Mei4 came for the first time!!  AHH so so cool. She loved it!  Also Chang2 Ding3, Chang2 En's brother also came!  Keep praying for him that his mom will let him get baptized! Also the couple Lin2 Jie3 Mei4 and Yan2 Di4 Xiong1 both came to church!  And we have a new investigator 
Ji1 Di4 Xiong1 who also came to church. And Zhong1 Di4 Xiong1. It was so cool. It felt like about half of the congregation was investigators. It was incredible! This week we are going to focus on getting our investigators to progress towards baptism. Look at the big picture!  Super exciting.
We also had 20+ people at English class last week which was cool. Our investigator Cherry is also great. She asked if her dog could get baptized with her haha super bizarre. We also had some guy who shook our hand on the street and wouldn't let go. We had to like pull our hands away lol.
Yesterday was sick too. We went over to Habib's house to start his new missionary lessons and for his new member lessons we skyped the missionaries in Turkey!  They are going to teach him the lessons in his own language. Haha it was super cool seeing these other missionaries in Turkey doing the same thing we are doing.
The first presidency has a new rule where missionaries have to teach all 5 lessons in PMG before and after baptism. So before baptism we get to teach a bit about the temple, family history, eternal marriage and stuff. That will be exciting!

Elder Willes in front of a huge escalator that leads to a movie theater in the Big City Mall.
This mall is where Thomas took the Elders to eat last week.
What a treat!
I got to see Elder Westover at the temple today and that was cool. I told him about Sui2 Jie3 Mei4 coming to church and he was jumping around haha it was great. Anyway time is about up. I love you all!  Nate you look like a stud!  Jake way to be with the flop in!  Dad lookin' good on the surf board.  Mom thanks for just being the best mom out there. :)
Love you all! Have an amazing week!
Elder Willes