Monday, September 29, 2014




This week was a good one and went by really quick. It was a tougher week with not a lot happening with our investigators progressing, but the things that did happen this week were spectacular. A few funny things that happened this week: We always like asking people deep questions to help them realize the importance of our message. We often ask, "What is the most important in your life?" We had 3 people answer us this week and say Chi1 bao3 le jiu4 hao3 le. Which means eating! People really just think as long as they have a full stomach then they are happy. It was really bizarre.

Our ward had a concert on Saturday night.  Ace came with us.  I have no clue what those instruments are called.

I also had a cool opportunity this week to give a priesthood blessing. One of the sister missionaries in our district Lu2 Jie3 Mei4 was feeling sick and our ward mission leader asked me to give her a blessing. It was a really cool experience. Doing it all in another language too is pretty remarkable. Using priesthood power is so cool. We truly are acting for God to bless His children. I love the feeling I get when I use the priesthood! 

This week was also awesome because I went on exchanges with the one and only Elder Westover! (William's trainer)  He came to Zhong1 Li4 with me for a day and we had a blast. I love that guy so much. It's crazy he has been out on his mission 1 1/2 years now! We went out finding and found this homeless guy that was really sad. We sat with him and taught him about God, Jesus Christ, and how they know him and what he's going through. Even though we both knew this guy probably wasn't going to progress towards baptism I learned something interesting. Missionary work isn't about numbers. It's about helping people feel God's love and the influence of Jesus Christ in their lives. We sang for him "I am a Child of God" and it was a really spiritual experience. Elder Westover is a boss!

Elder Westover and Elder Willes had lunch with a less active member who came to church on Sunday!

We also had one of the coolest miracles on my mission this week. We were out English contacting on Tuesday and I approach this girl and she had really good English and also said she wants to come to church! We got her number and called her and reminded her about English class and she came! We pass out so many English tracts when we English board, but it's rare when someone actually shows up. We had a really cool spiritual share after English about the Life of Jesus Christ. We then talked to her after and set up a time to meet with her and share with her more about Jesus Christ. We met with her on Friday and she told us growing up she always wanted to go to church, but her parents wouldn't let her. She got older and went to lots of Christian churches, but didn't feel like any of them were complete or doctrine was completely sound and she said a month ago she started praying to God to help her find the most correct church and HIS path. We were like WHOA. I told her, "Well, we know this is God answering your prayers." We shared with her about the restoration and our testimonies of the BoM. It was so great. Elder Nelson and I felt like the spirit really helped us in teaching that lesson. One problem is that her boyfriend is Catholic and really doesn't want her to go to our church so we are hoping this won't stop her! Pray for Frida Lu2 that she will be able to come to church! SO Cool!!

Also, an 8 year old member was baptized in our ward this week. It was a great service yesterday. The dad was just crying and crying after. He was so touched that he could baptize his daughter. So cool. This work is hard, but who said it would be easy? I truly do love representing Jesus Christ. Such a great opportunity. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever! We just need to have faith. (2 Nephi 27:23) He can help us overcome any trial, any setback, any sin, we just need to believe. Love you all!!

Elder Willes

Monday, September 22, 2014



"I was just sitting in the hall reflecting on how blessed I am to see people come unto Christ and participate in God's work on earth. Seriously how cool is that??"

Dear Friends and Family,

This week was incredible! First, I passed off Phase 2. [William's mission has 3 language phases.  Phase 1 religious speaking, Phase 2 secular speaking, Phase 3 reading and writing.]  So now I am learning Chinese characters. My comp, Elder Nelson, has been teaching me how to text and write in Chinese. Elder Nelson is super good with characters so that is a big blessing. 

This week Andy Huang2 Di4 Xiong1 got baptized! It was so special. He has progressed so much and it was such a wonderful day.  Andy came to his baptism like an hour early and was so excited.  We were a little bit worried because the water was filling up really slow, but we left the font filling while the talks were going on in hopes it would fill up. Our ward mission leader was announcing the program and said, "We will now hear from Elder Willes." Haha he didn't tell me I was supposed to give a talk but it went good. I shared how the Holy Ghost will bless Andy's life. I shared 2 Nephi 31:20 of the requirements for Eternal Life. It went good. 

"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.  Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." 2 Nephi 31:20

Elder Nelson, Andy and Elder Willes at Andy's baptism

We then went to the font and the water was literally like perfect height. Such a miracle. After Elder Nelson baptized him I gave Andy a big old hug and you could literally see the light of Christ in his eyes and a big smile. The spirit was so strong. When they were changing clothes I was just sitting in the hall waiting for them alone and reflecting on how blessed I am to see people come unto Christ and participate in God's work on earth. Seriously how cool is that?? I am so blessed! Also there was supposed to be a big old typhoon this weekend [Typhoon Fung-Wong] and there was talk about church maybe being cancelled. Most Taiwanese never go out in the rain so we prayed hard for clear skies. And sure enough clear skies!  And the downpour of rain came AFTER church.  So on Sunday, Andy was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So special.  Can't even describe the feelings I had as I participated in the blessing he received when given the gift of the Holy Ghost. So special. 

Also a few funny experiences this week. My comp Elder Nelson told me that I was sleep talking in Chinese one night. He said he woke up and it sounded like I was trying to set up an appt or something hahaha hilarious. And for exercise our apartment complex on the 2nd floor has a work-out room with a sweet ping pong table so we've been playing ping pong daily. So great. Also some good motivation to get up at 6:30! We also went to Taipei because Elder Nelson had a district meeting so I had two hours to catch up with Elder Dethloff as our comps were in meeting. That was great. Also Sister Smith from my MTC district just moved to Zhong1 Li4 and is now in my district so that's fun!

We also have started meeting with the sister's investigator Luo2 Jie3 Mei4 because she is really ai4shuo1hua4 (talkative) and for some reason she listens to us better. We met with her a few times and finished the lessons with her and she will be having her baptismal interview this week so pray for her. We also met with Ace and taught him the word of wisdom and it was really cool. He accepted it and has started obeying it! His baptismal date is 10/18/14. Also, Joy is doing great. Came to church yesterday and loved it. She took notes in gospel principles class. I love seeing that! She still really struggles with tea but she is trying! We are going to help her. She is gonna do this! Her baptismal date goal is 10/25/14. 

Pictures from FHE last night sent to us from Ya ShiuanHan (front left)

We also met a guy English contacting that came to English class and loved it! He also loved the spiritual share. We also played basketball with him one day this week during our exercise time. And he came to church! We are going to start meeting with him this next week. His name is Ken. The rest of our investigators were busy this week. But such a great week filled with miracles. 

A package from home complete with Mac-n-Cheese and CupCakes
Elder Willes setting up appointments

Passion fruit - so yummy!

So blessed to be a Taiwan, Taipei missionary! We also got 20 lessons again! So grateful for the Book of Mormon and for a latter-day prophet President Monson. Elder Ballard once was asked, "besides the BoM and priesthood authority what is different from your church than any other christian church?" He responded and said, "If Moses were still on the Earth would you listen to what he said?." We believe we have a Prophet just the same as Moses who has the authority from God, receives revelation and leads the TRUE church of Jesus Christ." How cool is that? The church is true!

And go Cougars!

Elder Willes

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Ben whispered to me in sacrament meeting, "Can I come to church every week? I love church!"
Elder Willes outside a large Buddhist Temple in Taiwan
Dear Friends and Family,
This week was a great one! We saw so many miracles I don't even know where to start. We had 23 lessons this week, but the best part was we found 5 new investigators! So great. We met this guy at a stoplight and I asked him to pull over and he did! Turns out he was baptized in another Christian church last week! But he really wants to keep coming unto Christ so we had a lesson with him and shared the Book of Mormon and he came to church yesterday and absolutely loved it. He is coming with us to FHE tonight as well. I am a little worried when we bring up [the principle of baptism by immersion] but we are just going to trust God! His name is Zheng4Di4Xiong1.

We also met another really cool investigator, Alyssa. We went finding by a park and she was the first person we talked to. She was really cool and we had a great lesson with her. She is really busy with work because she works at the airport, but after she tried praying she said she felt hope for her future as well as "that her dreams can come true." It was really cool! Also we met Xu2 Di4 Xiong1.  He is an 18 yr old and he had left the house to walk his dog because he got in a fight with his mom and was really sad. We shared with him the restoration and baptism and his expression changed so quickly. He set a baptismal date for November. He's really busy starting college, but we hope to meet with him this next week!

Also Huang2 Di4 Xiong1-Andy passed his interview and came to church again so he is set to get baptized this coming Friday! So awesome. He asked Elder Nelson to baptize him so we are both really excited to see him in the water :) He is so great! I will send pictures next week! Also Joy and Betty are kinda struggling with the Word of Wisdom. We met with Betty and I felt like I should ask her where she buys her coffee?  She told me that it was in the same mall we were meeting her at (Starbucks). So I was like, "OK. Lets go to the coffee place and tell them that we don't want to drink coffee anymore." She loved it! We went with her and she told them because of her religion she didn't want to drink coffee anymore. We then asked to see a menu and the owner showed us a ton of other good drinks that didn't have tea and coffee in them that she could try. I think she will have more faith to zun1 shou3 obey! It was really cool. 

Cool random things: I saw a guy with BYU shorts. I was like NO WAY.  I sped after him on my bike and starting talking to him and his friends. He has a friend in Los Angeles who is LDS and bought him those shorts. We gave him a Book of Mormon. Super cool. 
Elder Nelson putting a better and more sturdy kick-stand on Elder Willes' bike
Our member David who is really cool just got his mission call to San Francisco! Super cool! We also went on exchanges this week. I went with the ward mission leader and we met these 3 kids all were like 17ish and we had a lesson with them. In the end they all wanted to pray. So there were 5 prayers during the lesson. It was awesome. It is so touching seeing members out on the street proclaiming the gospel.  

Also here in Taiwan the fruit is SO good. Bai3xiang1guo3 passion fruit is soooo good and these tiny thick bananas that are really good. 

Eating some really expensive American food last p-day
Our ward also had a ward dinner party and last minute they asked me to speak at it. It was cool! I shared my thoughts and testimony on Alma 36:24-26.
["Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.  Yea, and now behold, O my son, the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors;  For because of the word which he has imparted unto me, behold, many have been born of God, and have tasted as I have tasted, and have seen eye to eye as I have seen; therefore they do know of these things of which I have spoken, as I do know; and the knowledge which I have is of God."]
Also a sister missionary who was speaking in sacrament meeting shared Alma 26:2-4 and I read it and it hit me deep.
["And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us?  Can ye tell?  Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren, the Lamanites, were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God!  And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.  Behold, thousands of them do rejoice, and have been brought into the fold of God."]  
Such a great blessing it is to serve a mission. So many blessings Heavenly Father gives us.
Every 6 weeks at English class we have a party.  Here we are doing a 1 Nephi 1-4 skit.  Hilariously Fun!
At church we had 3 LAs come and 4 investigators!!  Zheng4 Di4 Xiong1, Ace (who had some sick leather shoes), Ben Jian3 Di4 Xiong, and Andy! We saw so many miracles.  Ben whispered to me in sacrament meeting, "Can I come to church every week? I love church!" I told him of course! haha We met him the same time we met Ace. Super cool. Too many miracles.  Also I learned while studying this week that Joseph Smith's grandfather predicted that someone in his posterity would have big religious influence. So cool. I know this is the only true and living church on the earth. 

Elder Willes and Elder Nelson - together another transfer

Elder Willes

Monday, September 8, 2014



Dear friends and family,
First off go Cougars!!!  What a sweet win. A member who knows I love football told me at church and I was so stoked. I hope they keep it going! 

This week was a great one. We had 24 lessons this week! Elder Nelson and I are working our tails off and Heavenly Father has been blessing us with so many miracles. And we don't have to worry about parting ways because the missionaries in the MTC haven't gotten their visas. Super sad. We don't know when they will get them, but it is looking like Elder Nelson and I are together for one more transfer. I'm not complaining about that! Elder Nelson is a stud.

An awesome member family the Liu2 Family!
Elder Nelson and I had some cool things that we did this week. We started contacting by switching off who talks every two sentences to help improve our teaching unity. We saw miracles. Our unity while teaching lessons is great and we know that we have each other's backs. Also we really wanted to get members to work with us this week so we went on splits with members and that was great. We also invited a dad and his 12 year old son (members) to come English contacting with us (hand out English tracts). It reminded me of if Dad, Nate, and Jake were out with the missionaries. They showed up in white shirts and ties. The kid asked me if he could practice his approach with me. He said to me, "Hello we are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and we have a free English class every Wednesday night. We also share a message that can bless your family." It was the cutest thing ever. While out we bumped into a less active and he wanted to English contact with us too! Haha so all 5 of us went English contacting for a few hours and it was great!
We also have started calling members on their birthdays! We've been doing this now for a few days and have got hung up on, etc, but we are excited for this fang1 fa3 this method of building relationships with members. 

Andy, our investigator, called me last Monday night and told me that he went to his previous christian church and that is why he didn't come to church. I was heartbroken but we just loved him. We went and met with him and Andy told us that he went there because he feels more familiar there.  So we had a lot of members meet him and help us with his lessons. We also asked Andy if he could be our member pei2 ke4 for our lesson with Betty! Andy bore an awesome testimony! He improved so much over the course of the week. He hasn't drank tea in 3 weeks. He came to all 3 hours of church this Sunday and loved it. Every time someone shares a scripture he flips to it so fast. His baptismal interview is this week and should be getting baptized on 9/20. Keep praying for him. Such a miracle! I also randomly asked when his birthday was and he has the same birthday as you mom :)
No other investigators came to church because of Zhong1 Qiu1 Jie2 - The Mid-Autumn Festival. The culture here is cool. People ride around in the back of trucks and bang loud drums, have puppet shows on the street, huge barbecues on their driveways, firecrackers and fireworks haha. I also ate pig ear this week! That was interesting as usual....
Our other investigators are doing great. Joy is progressing well! She still struggles with tea and coffee. Also Betty. AHH her faith is so strong but she can't give up coffee for some reason and has trouble coming to church. Ace is great! Super busy but loves the book of Mormon! We found 2 cool new investigators this week: one Cai4 Jie3 Mei4, she is a 30 yr old lady who really is looking for direction in life. We are meeting with her on Thursday. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and that was a cool miracle finding. Also Liu2 Jie3 Mei4 who is a referral. We met with her and the first thing she said was "Can you teach me how to pray?" It was super cool! She is busy and works in Taizhong but we are really excited about her!
Members in church yesterday were talking a lot about how they feel China is SO ready to receive the gospel. It's an exciting time to be a missionary in Asia! Our member's testimonies are so profound and powerful.
Also, this week Elder Hopper and Elder Tsai4, the other elders in our district both ban1jia1'd (moved areas).  We think it was companion problems but anyway we are now in charge of their area too so we have A  LOT of work to do. Also Elder Nelson was just made the new district leader.   I am happy for him. 

Fan3 Zheng4 it's been a crazy week but I'm loving the work. I just started reading Our Search for Happiness by Elder Ballard. That dude is a boss! Things are great here. Heavenly Father has blessed us a lot lately! Diligence and obedience brings blessings! Have a great week everyone. If any of you haven't read the Book of Mormon, just like President Monson says, READ IT!  Best book on Earth!
Elder Willes

Monday, September 1, 2014



Hello friends and family.
This week was a great week. We had a cool opportunity. The whole mission got together in Taipei for a memorial service for the two Elders that passed away, Elder Thredgold and Elder Xiong1. It was really cool. It is a rare instance that the whole mission got together, but man that meeting was spiritual. I got to sit by Elder Westover haha :) There were a lot of testimonies from past companions of Elder Xiong1 and Elder Thredgold. It was really cool. We all shed a few tears but we all rejoiced in the plan of salvation. The Plan of salvation is so perfect.  The service gave us all a lot of comfort and a lot of desire to go out and work.
Last night there were transfer calls and I was told I will be training! That will be super exciting. Next week (so in like 8 days) there will be transfer meeting. There are 31 new missionaries coming on island [21 elders and about 10 sisters] so that is pretty crazy! We've heard the new missionaries are struggling to get their visas. So it isn't for sure that transfer meeting is next week. Pray for them that they can get visas!

We went contacting by the baseball stadium for our English class.  It was super cool.  Our area is huge.  It takes an hour to bike from one point to the other.
We also had a cool chance this week to go to the mission prep class. They combine about 5 or 6 wards and hold a mission prep class for people preparing to go on missions. There was about 24 Taiwanese that came. The teacher called Elder Nelson and I and wanted us to come and do a role play of a street contact. So we did and it was super fun. Really cool giving them a chance to practice teaching us missionaries as well. Made me feel old haha. Really awesome! The Taiwanese pioneers are going out to serve!
We had a really cool lesson with Betty this week. That day I really wanted to find a scripture on baptism that could help her. I felt really strong about Mosiah 18:8-11 and President Day actually shared that at the memorial service as well. So in the lesson we shared it and she loved it. She said she felt really close to God and almost like He was there with us. The spirit was really strong! She didn't come to church but we really hope she can start coming every week! She argues with her family so she goes to Taipei on weekends to get away from them.

"And it came to pass that he said unto them:  Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light.

Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life---

Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?

And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts."  Mosiah 18: 8-11
Also we have a new investigator named Joy! She was also taught in Ankang, Elder Nelson's last area, but she just moved here to Zhongli. She is super cool! Joy came to church yesterday and is doing good! She has already been taught a lot so we shared with her the word of wisdom yesterday.  She really struggles with drinking tea and coffee so pray for her!

Andy Huang2 Di4 Xiong1 - We don't know what happened. He didn't come to church and didn't answer our calls. I personally am not worried though. I think he should be fine. Just bao3chi2 xin4xin2 maintain faith! We also have another new investigator named Paul who is actually a member referral (white guy from England in our ward) and he came to church yesterday as well! We are excited to start working with him.
Also Ace is doing great. He loves the BoM. He works at the airport though and is super busy so he can't come to church and can only meet once a week. We are meeting with him tonight though! Should be good!
Interesting stuff:  This week I ate little fish that looked like goldfish.  Yummy :) The weirdest animal I've seen here is a camel.  There are tons of cockroaches and weird bugs.  The last hour of church the bishop gave a talk about the sabbath day and then opened it up for questions the last 5 minutes. Bishop just pretty much called everyone out and stressed the importance of the sabbath day. Like a boss! Super cool. This lady gets up (so bizarre) and talks about how she lives by the train station and the catholic church is a lot closer to her house so she switches off going there and to our church and she is an endowed member as well!  Crazy. She asked if it is OK to go to both churches? Really interesting. The bishop just talked to her a little after the meeting.

Elder Nelson and Elder Willes
"Love you all.  Keep pressing on.  Jia1 You 2 Elder Willes"

Anyway this is my last week (we think) with Elder Nelson. He is such a great companion. He hit his year on island this week! He has loads of patience and love and I think that is one of the reasons we have been together. I need more patience sometimes. I just want our investigators to progress! He is so great! We've worked really hard, had a lot of fun together and eaten a lot of good food together. :)

Elder Nelson and Elder Willes writing notes to their investigators

"Got a really bad haircut last week.  It looks BAD!  AHH at least the helmet pushes the top down.  It was too late or I would have said something to her.  I will get it cut again in 2 weeks."

Love you all and hope you have a great week! The Church is true.
Elder Willes