Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Well, this is crazy. I am typing my last email as a full-time representative of Jesus Christ. However, I know endings are just beginnings to other awesome things. It truly has been the biggest blessing every day to wear the name tag and represent Jesus Christ. Now, with only a few days to wear that tag, it will be engraved on my heart for the rest of my life. 

As I write this I am filled with gratitude. I'm grateful for goodly parents who helped me get to where I am today. I'm grateful for two awesome brothers who are incredible examples to me. I'm grateful for other family and friends who have loved me. I'm grateful for the opportunity I have had to come to Taiwan and testify of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. I'm grateful for all my companions and 88,000 other brothers and sisters who are willing to be a part of God's army with me. 

I'm grateful for the Taiwanese people. I love these people beyond words and Taiwan is my second home! The people here are the kindest, most humble, and loving people I've ever met. 

A scripture has been on my mind all morning, Alma 26:2-3

"And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?
Behold I answer for you; for our brethren, the [Taiwanese], 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 God hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work."

Every day out here, the good and the bad, I've felt Christ leading me to those people that need the gospel. I know He really does labor with His servants in the vineyard. (Jacob 5:72)

This week there were two really cool miracles I wanted to share. I was on my last exchange with Elder Clawson. We had a full day of street contacting and we weren't seeing a lot of success. Then we contacted into this super big and tall guy. We got to know him and told him who we were. We told him that our purpose here is to help people prepare to be baptized. He started telling us that for the past few years he had been wanting to be baptized and so he had talked to multiple churches.  But because he had broken the law a few times he couldn't be baptized. We taught him all about the Atonement and how Jesus Christ can help him be cleansed from his sins. We promised him that his guilt and pain could be wiped away. He said he wanted that! He set a baptismal date (in a few months) and was so happy at the hope that he could be cleansed through the Atonement. 

I've learned on my mission that everyone can experience the power of the Atonement. The Atonement of Jesus Christ has transformed who I am. The Atonement helps us to not be discouraged or sad about the past but filled with hope for the future with a realization of how much Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us. I testify of the reality of our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ's love for us. The Atonement isn't too far out of reach for anyone and everyone can come unto Christ. Every day we have a choice of who we will serve. We can choose everyday to be a light and a disciple of Jesus Christ.

The last miracle I wanted to share was that my last Sunday here in Taiwan we split the stake!! It is so cool to watch probably at least 2,000 members come together and rejoice as Zion is being built in Taiwan! The best part was one of the current stake presidents, who I worked with in the past, when I served in Taipei, has been called to continue serving as the Central Stake President. He has been the Stake President for 10 years. So, 10 years and then some! Wow. When he bore his testimony he talked about how grateful he was to be able to continue and serve. A big example to me that when we are a disciple of Jesus Christ we are always a Disciple of Jesus Christ. 

Elder Willes and President Liang2
With Elder Seamons and Wang JM, my recent convert

I know Jesus Christ is my Savior and I hope this Christmas season as we look at the lights and enjoy all the Christmas festivities, we can remember the Savior is the Light and Life of the world. He is my older brother and I know He is my Savior and Redeemer. Through faith in Him we can do ALL things! Through faith in Him the impossible becomes a reality. I'm grateful I can be His disciple for the rest of my life! 

I love you all and I am excited to see you! Mom, Dad, Nate and Jake see you guys in a few days!!! 

Go Cougars!


Elder Willes

Elder Willes and Elder Seamons with Zhang1 DX, our recent convert

"Generations" of awesome missionaries (taken from Elder Jensen's blog)

Thursday, December 10, 2015



Man, missionary work just gets me so pumped up sometimes! Haha I love it. My companion and I have had a saying this week, "Slaying Satan with God's love." We've been talking to everyone we see and spreading God's love to anyone we can find! It's been one incredible week. We met this guy on the street, Brother Chen. I asked him, "Do you believe in God?" He said, "Yes!!" I asked him why? He said, "A while back some missionaries like you on the street taught me how to pray. That day I felt peace." So sweet! That's why we teach people on the street and we ended up having a full lesson with him. Brother Chen set a baptismal date and we referred him to the Sisters! What a super cool miracle. 

I've thought a lot this week week about some of the things I have learned as a missionary. I kept thinking of what Elder Stevenson taught us last week; going PRO for the Lord. I have learned to have much Perseverance. To be consistent every single day through all circumstances (D&C 127:4). I have learned to live with Ren Ai (which is charity in Chinese). I love these people with all our heart, mind, and strength. I have learned to Open my mouth and teach and talk to everyone and proclaim the Gospel!

This week I had my final interview with President Jergensen. It was pretty surreal and President Jergensen described it best when he said to me, "Elder Willes you have had a storybook mission." I really believe I have had just that. These 2 years have been full of so many amazing experiences. I have met more amazing people here than I can even tell you about. My companions have been rock solid and made me a better missionary. Most important to me is that I've been able to be an instrument in the Lord's hands every single day! (Alma 26:2-3) I still got more gas in the tank though! (On the bus ride home from my final interview we sat by a lady from Malaysia and taught her the entire Restoration while on the bus ride while eating McDonalds. It was pretty cool.)

This week I was also able to go on exchanges with my MTC companion, Elder Dexter. It was super sweet. Our first exchange together 2 years later. It was cool to see how far we've both come. We went out finding and found a really cool new investigator, Sophie. Later Elder Dexter and I meet a group of friends out together. There were 5 of them. On the street we sang Silent Night for them and taught them how to pray! 4 of the 5 said a prayer. It was really cool.

Also, on this exchange with Elder Dexter we met a guy from Australia who was just bashing Christianity and everything that we believed. As I sat there listening to him I kept thinking about what I could possibly to say him. The only thought that came to me was "testify." I shared with this man that God loved him and throughout the last 2 years I have witnessed miracles, and I know that Christ lives and is the Savior of the world. I know the spirit pricked his heart.

Elder Dexter and I also drank snake's blood! I am not kidding. There is a Chinese tradition. You choose a snake, the guy butchers it and drains the blood. He puts the blood in a glass and we drank it! Elder Dexter and I each had our own warm, nasty cup of snake's blood. Probably the craziest thing I've eaten here in Taiwan. It was nuts! We also went to The Grand Hotel for a gourmet breakfast together! It was great to be back with my first brother in Christ!


We had 7 investigators come to church! 3 kids from our English class, Grace who finally came for her first time, Zeng DX (72 year old guy), and our new investigators Bao1 DX and Shen3 DX. It was super cool and they all loved it. This place is something special. Sunday was my last time attending the YiLan ward because this coming Sunday we are SPLITTING the STAKE! So the new Stake in this area will be organized my last Sunday in Taiwan. Building Zion baby!

The 2nd miracle happened with our 72 year old investigator, Brother Zeng1. We've been meeting with him and he's progressing and progressing. He has the possibility of getting baptized on December 17th so please keep him in your prayers! We had a really spiritual lesson with him and he committed to never drink tea again! We asked him to give the closing prayer. Brother Zeng1 started his prayer and then went silent. Then he started singing, "Israel Israel God is Calling." He sang the whole song, then ended his prayer. That's just how he felt. Come to Zion, Come to Zion. It was a really touching moment. 

I've still got a lot of things to do here so I'm gonna keep working my very hardest! I read a scripture in Philippians 3:13-14 "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ." I will press forward and finish with my best effort. Come what may and love it!

The church is true. Have a good week. Love you all.

Elder Willes

Last p-day was a blast. We went to this little place where you stick your feet in water, there are a bunch of little fish and they eat the dead skin off of your feet. Haha I was pretty ticklish but it was fun! 

Sunday, December 6, 2015


"...I saw an older man out in the distance and felt so prompted and impressed to go and talk with him, so I walked over and started talking to Brother Zeng1. He is a 72 year old Christian man who converted to Christianity when he was 50. He was super willing to allow us to share the Restoration with him. We met with him 4 times this week and he came to all 3 hours of church on Sunday! We bought Brother Zeng1 an alarm clock so he could wake up and make it to church on Sunday. It is a super big miracle! He's older, has bad eyes, and doesn't have teeth, 
but he does have a desire to follow Jesus Christ and return to Heavenly Father."

Beautiful LuoDong

Hello from Taiwan!

This week was a great one! One of the coolest things that happened this week was Elder Stevenson from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came and spoke to our mission! Finally, after almost 2 years of being a full-time missionary, I got to see in person and hear from an apostle of the Lord. So cool! 

The guy is incredible and taught me so many things. One was to help our investigators go PRO. Pray, Read, and Obey. So cool. Also he talked about how the motivation for companionship unity should be for the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Elder Stevenson encouraged us to be in a tripanionship with the Holy Ghost. He praised President Jergensen and told us multiple times how lucky we are to have him as our mission president. Super cool. I took so many notes. It was so powerful to be in his presence. Apparently they moved into our Bountiful neighborhood a couple of years ago. When I shook their hands and told them I was from Bountiful Sister Stevenson asked if we knew each other? I told her no but that I think we live in the same neighborhood. Super cool! 

The most profound thing for me that Elder Stevenson said was simply when he bore his testimony. He bore such a powerful witness of our Savior Jesus Christ and of the restoration of the Gospel. I will always remember how powerful the spirit was in that room was when he said, "I know without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that this is His church on the earth." I wish you all could have been there. We all sang, "The Spirit of God" to close the meeting. I am so super grateful that Christ's church has a foundation built upon Prophets and Apostles. 

This week we saw incredible miracles. Our investigator Grace is progressing well. Still unable to come to church but she for sure will come this Sunday! Grace was hit by a motorcycle on the street and cut up her lip. It happened to be that we saw her for an appointment right after all this happened. We prayed for her and the spirit calmed her and she will be ok! This week as I was biking, I also got hit by a taxi. We both walked away fine! No worries here. :)

Our investigator Grace. She has read through 2 Nephi 2!

We were out finding this week and as we were talking to this guy I saw an older man out in the distance and felt so prompted and impressed to go and talk with him so I walked over and started talking to Brother Zeng1. He is a 72 year old Christian man who converted to Christianity when he was 50. He was super willing to allow us to share the Restoration with him. We met with him 4 times this week and he came to all 3 hours of church on Sunday! We bought him an alarm clock so he could wake up and make it to church on Sunday. It is a super big miracle! He's older, has bad eyes, and doesn't have teeth, but he does have a desire to follow Jesus Christ and return to Heavenly Father. We are pumped and excited for him. He has set a baptismal date for the end of December! One day after cleaning his house for him and sharing a message he hugged us and said, "Jesus loves you and I do too." Brother Zeng1 is the sweetest old guy in the world! 

The first night we met Brother Zeng1

Elder Willes, Brother Zeng1 and Elder Seamons 

Another cool thing happened this week during our planning session. Elder Seamons called a random potential investigator and he set up to meet with him 30 minutes later. Robert, had just been laid off from his job, his girlfriend had broken up with him, and he was miserable; drinking and smoking to comfort himself. We met with him and shared a message of hope through Jesus Christ and the Atonement. It was so powerful! He came to church as well! Mom, the former RSP that we found from the LA blitz, also came to church and she brought her 9 year old nephew with her as well! Our investigator Jimmy came to church too! 

For Thanksgiving I treated our apartment to some yummy hot pot. So so delicious. Incredible. In addition to the amazing all-you-can-eat hot pot, I also ate some fish jawbone and frog. Super weird and not my favorite. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I have so much to be grateful for.

As we were biking this week I saw this lady walking in the opposite direction and I felt like I needed to turn around and talk to her. We taught her a full lesson and Nora became another one of our new investigators! So so cool. I will miss times like these being an instrument in the Lord's hands. Everyday is a day to bless others and help them feel God's love. Nothing is more satisfying than this. Love you all! Have a great week! The weather here in Taiwan is spectacular by the way. :)

Elder Willes

This is a really Brother Chen2, a really cool guy we met on the street. When we prayed for him he said he couldn't describe his feelings except that he felt super warm. 

Gave this sweet lady a Book of Mormon

One last thing. My recent convert, Chen JM, came with her friends and treated us to a fun p-day last week. We biked around this lake. It was super fun.

Who knew that Willes's had ups?

Do you remember my dogs and cats at church story?