Wednesday, October 29, 2014



"The highlight of last week was Joy getting baptized.  She is so great.  Over the 
last month her faith has grown so much."
Elder Willes, Joy and Elder Jensen

Well, what a week! I don't even know where to start! Elder Jensen and I saw lots of miracles. The highlight of last week was Joy getting baptized. She is so great. Over the last month her faith has grown so much. We ran into her on the street when we were doing English boarding the day before her baptism. She just started passing out English flyers. She is a boss! She told us she thinks it would be really cool to go on a mission. So we are really trying to help her prepare for a mission! That would be so cool. 

Elder Willes, Sophie (Joy's friend-member), Joy, Peter (Joy's friend-member), Elder Jensen and Elder Nelson

Joy's baptism was great!  A very spiritual baptism. Joy asked me to baptize her and it was a great opportunity. Before we went into the font we (Elder Jensen, Joy and I) said a prayer together and Joy said such a sincere prayer. I just love participating in helping God! Seriously how cool is that? The baptism went smoothly. The font first filled up with cold water and then with hot water so the surface was kinda hot but our toes were really cold haha. 

Joy bore a great testimony after her baptism. Her testimony was centered around gratitude. She gave everyone a shout-out that has helped her along the way. The last person she gave a shout-out to was THE Marianne Willes. Joy talked about how my mom Facebook messaged her everyday and shared her testimony and scriptures with her that strengthened her faith. Everyone's help and love towards Joy finally helped her realize that she could give up tea. She could do this. Mom, I just want to say you are awesome. Such a touching moment for me hearing about how much you have helped Joy. It was a tear shedding moment for sure!

Elder Jensen and Elder Willes 
L to R Joy, Peter, Ace (investigator), next 3 men are members, man with red polo shirt in back is the Bishop, next to him in glasses is West (investigator), David with a mission call to California, Elder Willes and Elder Jensen

We did a lot of less active work this week. Just like President Hinckley said, "if you don't hold onto the fruit that you have obtained, there is no point to doing missionary work." So true. So, we've been really trying to bring the lost sheep back! Zhong1 Li4 has a lot of them. Probably about 90 active members and over 200 less active members so a lot of work to be done. 

We met two cool families last week the Lin2 Family as well as Yao2 Jie Mei4 and her two little kids. We invited Yao2 Jie3 Mei4 to come to church and they did! They loved it. They live in the sisters area so the sisters will start meeting with her. The Lin2 Family is also AWESOME. A great couple.  The dad is really interested in religion and the wife is Catholic. They have a cute little 4 year old. They came to church and absolutely loved it. We are going to invite them to be set a baptismal date this week when we go and visit them. Keep them in your prayers!! We also met a guy from Haiti, naked Jimmy, and he speaks Chinese. How cool is that?? He came to church and loved it. We are going to meet with him as well this week. We also had 6 LA's come to church! Church was such a miracle. So spiritual and so cool to see lots of new and fresh faces at church. Life is good! 

Painting a member's roof

A member in our ward, Lin2 Guan4 You4, who received his mission call to Taichung!  I helped him read his mission call.  Cool stuff!!!

We went to the temple today.  The temple was awesome!  Sorry, we are so short on time.  

Elder Bennion is comps with my trainer Elder Westover!!!  Yaaaaaaaa!  They are my Zone Leaders!
(Seeing this picture of Elder Steven Bennion and Elder William Willes together at the Taipei Temple is a tender mercy.  Here are 2 young men, missionaries, neighbors from home, ward members, friends, almost like brothers, together in Taiwan serving the Lord.  I have always hoped that maybe sometime they would be is the next best thing....serving side-by-side in the same Zone.  I love these two missionaries!! - Marianne)

Elder Willes with Elder Westover (his trainer) and Elder Jensen (who Elder Willes is training now)

Elder Jensen and Elder Willes at the Taipei Temple

Elder Jensen and I are doing super great! Life is good! I think we are going to Taipei 101 today! Yaaaaa should be fun! Love you all! Read the Book of Mormon. It is true and will bless your life! Our spirits need to be fed! Sorry this one is a little shorter.  I wrote a little poem about my feelings and thoughts towards Jesus Christ and His Atonement I want to share:

Filled with mercy. Filled with love. He was sent down from above.
Fulfilling all righteousness. In all circumstances did He thrive.
A sacrifice He makes. To bless us throughout our lives. 
A perfect, selfless example did He set, as we follow, all our trials can be met.
Loosening the bands of death, He paved the path and opened the gate for Eternal Life.
He is risen. He is risen.
The Atoning Sacrifice.
I will always remember. HIM. I will praise forever.

So grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. Such a great example. Love you all!

Elder Willes

Tuesday, October 21, 2014



"I really like Jacob 5:72 where the Lord goes out WITH the servants of the Lord (missionaries)
to labor in the vineyard. He is with us and I can feel Him calming me when stressed,
lifting me up when discouraged, and guiding me to those people that are prepared."

This week was a good one! Loving this work! We saw lots of miracles this week. 

The kids are so cute!

We ate some pretty bizarre food this week. haha I had some pig's ear with legit hair on it. So gross.  Also had chicken bum. That wasn't too shabby either. Also, dined on some pig's liver and chicken foot. Not things I would recommend. 

Chicken bum - Not my favorite
Elder Willes and Elder Jensen

Things were pretty cool this week. We had a lots of finding miracles. We found some great people.  The only problem is pretty much all of them don't live in our area. But, we met this really cool guy that is only in Zhong1 Li4 once a month.  We also don't go finding in this particular area very often.  But, we met him and had a great lesson with him. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and he told us how his dad recently was diagnosed with cancer. We told him about the Plan of Salvation.  It was a great lesson. I referred him to Elder Marchant because he lives in Xin1 Zhu2. 

This week we also had some really cool service opportunities. We went to our member's house, Brother Bell (from England) and chipped paint off of walls and repainted it. It was tons of fun! Service opportunities are rare here so it was really cool to be able to have that. We also helped our member Xu3 Di4 Xiong1 who is a college student. He had a bunch of friends who for their school project interviewed us at their college asking us what we are doing in Taiwan? Why we are here? Stuff like that and it was really cool! Also, from that service opportunity one of the students asked if he could come to church with us. We were like of course! He brought one of his friends and they were both from China! It was cool. They loved church and even though they don't live in our area they have pretty good interest in the church. 

Elder Jensen is doing awesome. He has a great desire to improve his teaching in Chinese and he is progressing very quickly! We have been doing a lot of role plays (yaaaa buddy) and we've both been able to learn and grow together. We both love finding and it makes me happy knowing how enthusiastic he is for the work. Elder Jensen and I are making a really cool analogy list for teaching the Gospel so if anyone has any cool analogies, please email them to me at :)

Gospel teaching analogies.  Who has them?  Email me.

This week we did a lot of less active work. Our ward mission leader loves bringing those lost sheep back into the fold. We visited a lot of LA's and had some success.  4 of them were able to come to church! That was a pretty cool miracle. We are excited to start helping these less actives see how the Gospel can once again be a big part of their lives. When members become less active it makes me kinda sad and gets me down.  There are a fair amount of less actives throughout Taiwan. It was humbling as I was pondering the Savior and how He was rejected and even had disciples fall away. 

I love President Monson when he said something like, "Dare to be a Mormon. Dare to stand tall, and dare to make it known." I love love love that! We are representing Jesus Christ and it makes me so grateful for being part of HIS work. I was studying Jacob chapter 5 today and absolutely love that chapter. It just makes me so grateful for Jesus Christ and his infinite amount of love and mercy towards us all. I really like Jacob 5:72 when the Lord goes out WITH the servants of the Lord (missionaries) to labor in the vineyard. He is with us and I can feel him calming me when stressed, lifting me up when discouraged, and guiding me to those people that are prepared. So amazing. 

On Sunday, due to a speaker not showing up to sacrament meeting, Elder Jensen and I got to bear our testimonies and that was really cool. :)

As for our vineyard, we let go of a lot of investigators this week who weren't really progressing. Frida sadly moved to America to her boyfriend, but we are praying for her. Sad news about Shi2 Di4 xiong1 in Xin1 Zhu2. Elder Marchant called me and told me he pretty much joined another Christian church. BUT, we have two awesome investigators Joy and Ace! Joy passed her baptismal interview but due to work and other ward activities, she won't be baptized for 2 weeks so we are excited for her! Ace is progressing well and hopefully will get baptized the first few weeks in November. The time goes by fast. I know this is the true church. I'm grateful for the commandments. They make us free. We need to obey them in order to obtain all the promised blessings Heavenly Father is waiting to give us. Love you all! 

After a really busy day dreaming about eating my American Halloween candy!  Thanks!!

Elder Willes

Monday, October 13, 2014



"Remember to take what you learned from Conference and apply it to life. That is the whole point. 
Take the inspiration and continue to improve."

I finally learned how to text in Chinese.  This is the first text I sent.

Hello everybody,

What a wild week this has been! Just so everyone knows I am not sick anymore. I'm feeling great and loving life. This week was one I will remember for a long long time. We went to Taipei on Monday for training meetings. So grateful these 30+ missionaries could get their visas and thanks to everyone for the prayers on their behalf!  In Taipei we went out "babysitting!"  I took a new missionary around town finding and to teach. I went with an Elder Griffin. So cool!  He was really nervous but was really excited. Elder Dethloff and I took these 2 new missionaries to the MRT train station and just got off a random station and went outside on opposite exits. Elder Griffin and I saw lots of miracles. We had 2 lessons on the street that night We found a cool guy who was really excited to read the BoM. It was tons of fun. 

The next day was transfer meeting. I got to see Elder Bennion so that was good. He was translating for the Chinese missionaries.  He is such a boss!  At transfer meetings they have the new missionary introduce themselves in front and then President Day says who their trainer will be. I was like 10th or something but when I was called to be Elder Jensen's trainer I was like CHAHOOO and ran up and gave him a big old hug haha. 

Elder Willes and Elder Jensen hitting the street

Eating a box lunch

Elder Jensen is such a stud. He is from St. George, UT and went to Snow Canyon and graduated from high school this summer. He has great Chinese and that makes me really happy. :) Also he is so enthusiastic, faithful, and just excited to be here. We have already seen so many miracles together. Our first night back in Zhongli a member told us of her 11 yr old son who had been in an accident and wanted a blessing.  We went to the hospital and gave him a blessing. That was really cool! Then we went out finding. Elder Jensen fears no man! Haha he just says hi to everyone and loves sharing the gospel. We met a lady Chen2 Jie3 Mei4, a Christian, that was super cool. We taught her the Restoration and she was really excited to read the BoM. We had a lesson and set her up for this next week so we are excited to meet with her. We also somehow managed to have 21 lessons so that was really cool despite our week being shorter due to transfer meetings and trainings. Heavenly Father blessed us so much. 

Elder Jensen isn't afraid of foods either!  He got me to try some crazy foods this week.  I had chicken neck, fish eyeballs, squid, pickled beets, and more. Squid is soooo good! Love it!  We also had a cool experience last night of getting chased by a dog.  We seriously were biking so hard and fast because that dog was gaining on us!! Somehow we out ran it.  You can see we've had some crazy times already together. We have a great relationship and I'm excited and honored that I have the opportunity to help him progress and be able to help him become the best missionary he can be. 

Joy is doing good!  We gave her a priesthood blessing! She is going for it. She committed to obey the word of wisdom and if all goes well she will have her baptismal interview this weekend and be baptized in 2 weeks. Keep her in your prayers. Also, Ace and Frida came to General Conference and loved it! General Conference is really inspiring. Frida loved President Bednar's talk during the Sunday afternoon session. When he said he was sharing his thoughts for people not yet of our faith I was so pumped. YESSS!!! So inspiring. I myself felt the spirit in every talk and got a lot of great insight. We Thank Thee O God For a Prophet. He is leading us and guiding us in these latter-days.

We had a cool finding experience last night. I pulled up at this light and had this feeling there was a guy who would pull up to my right and I needed to pull him over.  To be honest I didn't really want to because I wanted to get home and make calls but I asked him to pull over anyway. He said YES! This 18 yr old shuai4 ge1 really wants to come unto Christ. He is an honest seeker of truth. He doesn't live in our area but he has great potential and is excited for the ping2 zhen4 sisters to start meeting with him. We also saw other miracles such as finding two lost sheep (LA's) on the street.  What?? So many miracles. Love this work! Love you all. Remember to take what you learned from conference and apply it to life. That is the whole point. Take the inspiration and continue to improve.

Elder Willes

Sunday, October 5, 2014



"God knows each and every single one of us."

The baptism of Luo2 Jie3 Mei4 "The best part of the week."


This week was a wild one for sure. Time is short because Elder Nelson and I are off to Taipei for training meetings. We found out he will also be training too so we will both be having a baby! Haha We are in meetings all today and then we get to take a new missionary on the street tonight for their first missionary experience. Tomorrow I will be taking my new companion back to Zhong1 Li4. Elder Nelson will be training somewhere else. 

This week was cool because we had an outdoor zone conference. Our zone went to Taipei and hiked Yang2 Ming2 Shan1. It was really cool. We had mini trainings on the way up and the views were gorgeous. Mom you are going to love me this week because I have lots of pictures!

On our way up!

Elder Nelson is a great comp!  I will miss him for sure.

We also had a really great English class this week. We planned a really cool spiritual share. We had everyone bring a family picture and introduce their family and answer the question "why their family makes them happy?" It was really cool seeing them talk about something very precious. Then we shared the same and taught a little about God's plan for Eternal Families and more specifically that through temple ordinances we can be with our Family FOREVER. We showed them a really cool temple video. The spirit was so strong. Everyone was so touched. We set up two new investigators - one for the sisters and one for us and another student wants to meet with us now. English class is such a great tool to share the gospel. When we use it right and effectively, Heavenly Father will bless us. 

We also saw a lot of progress with our investigator Joy. She has been able to improve a little bit and not drink as much tea, but most importantly she is really gaining a testimony of the power of prayer and the Book of Mormon. Pray for her! Also, we had to stop meeting with Betty. She just wasn't progressing. So sad. We also got a referral. A guy from Canada that is really cool. His name is John and he came to church. I translated for him in Priesthood meeting. He really liked church! He's busy but wants to meet with us!  Also, we met a couple English contacting that came to church. Zhang1 Jie3 Mei4 and Yang2 Di4 Xiong1. They liked church too so we are excited to work with them. 

This week I got a little bit sick just with a cold so the weekend has been a little bit harder, but it's OK because I'm starting to feel better. At church yesterday (the other ward because we took a less active to the other ward) I sat next to their RC Ye4 Di4 Xiong1. A 16 year old kid that was baptized a few months ago but doesn't come to church very much. But he came and I sat by him. I felt like I should encourage him to go share his testimony. He said he doesn't have enough faith. I shared with him Moroni 7:33 and promised him that he will have a very spiritual experience. [And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.]  I told him of my little brothers who are 16 and 12 and sometimes share their testimony too. I actually invited him to go and do it.  He finally just knew he needed to do it. He just went up and shared an AWESOME testimony!  He brought tears to my eyes. When he sat back down I put my arm around him and he said "thank you that was awesome." It was really cool! 

The best part of the week was Luo2 Jie3 Mei4. The sisters wanted us to finish the lessons with her so we have been teaching her and she passed her other baptismal interview. Luo2 Jie3 Mei4 told me she wanted me to baptize her! So it was my first in water baptism experience. The water was soooo warm. Ahh so nice :) It was such a cool feeling. The experience reminded me of temple baptisms and my own baptism 11 years ago.  It was a really special experience.  After she was baptized she said, "Tian1Fu4 lai2le!!." (Heavenly Father and His spirit are here with us.) It was really, really special. One I will never forget. 

Luo2 Jie3 Mei4's baptism
This work is incredible. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. This Church is true. God knows each and every single one of us.  So pumped to start training tomorrow! Wish me luck!!! Love you all.  

Elder Willes and Elder Nelson pictured with Chen2 Nai3 Nai3 the person in their ward who has been a member of the Church the longest.  She is blind and one of the sweetest ladies ever!
Elder Willes on the phone scheduling appointments

Love, Elder Willes

-Jake always asks William about the food there which inspires his food pictures.  No food pictures this week but William told Jake this week, "...Fish. They have lots of fish here! I had a new fish this week called the milk fish :) Look up pictures! Also we eat tuna and shrimp a lot (with the legs included) :)  Most places just have a fried fish you can eat. It is just a big, dead fish with the head and everything." :)  We love and miss William but want him just where he is...on the little island of Taiwan...eating fish!  Marianne

We went bowling for p-day last week.  I was so rusty but we had so much fun.