GOOD DAY, LOVELIES. I'm going to try and go in chronological order,
since SO many things happened this week.
Pero first... Can someone find me the quote from David O. McKay, in
which he says "if you don't want to do something, do it anyway! It
helps build self-control."? I need it, and I can't find it on LDS.org.
I've heard everybody and their mother quote him, but I want to see him
say it before I go around taking peoples' word for it. I need sources
Ok, so last Monday:
Monday night at FHE, we finished the lesson, we said a prayer, then I
asked if we could all take a picture. Before I could even say porque,
half of their faces were white as ghosts. I told them I was leaving on
Wednesday and they all went "Ooh noooo, no me digas..." All dramatic
and Hispanic like... It was so sad and hilarious at the same time.
People were literally sobbing in my arms. That part was not hilarious.
I was so sad to go.
Wednesday morning my landlady gave me the best gift ever, and it made
me CRY. When she was in her twenties, she stitched a picture of a
leafless tree with one flower/leaf/a heart (depending on how you look
at it). I'd told her I loved it MONTHS ago. I came upstairs to pack
some of my food, and she gave it to me in a little gift bag she made.
SHE REMEMBERED that I loved it. I don't know how she remembered. It's
not like she saw it often, it was downstairs in our basement apartment
in a dark corner. She's got a good memory. Man, I cried like a baby.
If anyone is looking for a landlady, I highly recommend her. Hahaha
She's so cool. I love her. She went in the other room to copy down a
recipe for me (I have so many good recipes from her to try when I get
home!) and I heard her holler from the other room "I'm gonna miss you
so much..." Then I cried a little more.
Packing was easier this time around. Thanks Adam, for housing my box
of winter clothes! :) I'll let you know when I need them. Hahah
Transfers: My companion is Hna Braddy. She's from North Carolina, and
KNOWS HARKERS ISLAND! WUT. Yes. I was so excited. We're Provo East
Bilingual! That means teaching in English... I guess The Lord really
qualifies who He calls, because I usually HATE teaching in English,
but it seemed pretty ok even on day one. We also work in the Provo
City Center temple booth! It's cool. We answer questions people have
if they come in. Also we have an apartment, and I'm in love with it.
It's not even a particularly nice apartment. I just love having my own
place. And a sink. And a stove/oven. I got there and cleaned the poop
out of the kitchen. Haha Really, honestly, truly though, I want to end
the mission here. I know I've only been here for like 4 1/2 days, but
I love it. The members pray for us BY NAME everyday. Everybody I met
came up to me and said "So you're Sister Willis! I got an email from
the stake president letting me know there was a change. We've got to
be praying for the right people!" From the stake president to the
nursery leaders, they all pray for us by name. And they're always
saying "Hmm... Who else do I know that you could teach..." It's
I AM SO HAPPY. I love this area. I'm HAPPY! I finally feel like a good
missionary. I finally feel like I'm doing an ok job. There's still
things I wish I could change or do better, but I finally feel good. I
love Provo. So. Much.
Day 1: GET THAT KID ON DATE! We went to a lesson with a 17 y/o kid
from Ecuador. He wants to get baptized (and I don't know why he wasn't
given a baptism date earlier... Haha) So we asked him how he feels
about baptism, and he was just like "Well I know I want to do it, and
I feel like God is really happy with my decision, blah blah, I'm
amazing." Hahaha So we extended a date and he kind of hopped around
it, saying he wants to learn more before he gets baptized. I told him
it's just a goal; something to work towards. Then this awesome
fellowshipper made this analogy that has changed my missionary
teaching forever. If you're playing soccer and you don't have a goal,
nobody's going to progress in the game, and nothing is going to
happen. He just ran along with this analogy, and I was amazed. The
Lenin (investigator) was just like "Ok, yeah. September 6th sounds
And this, my friends, is why we have fellowshippers...
Day 2: We stopped by a chapel (the oldest standing chapel existing in
Provo! It's got fireplaces, a balcony in the chapel, and three
stories. Adorable) and the new RS president of the Spanish ward came
up to us and asked us to come meet this woman who's living with her.
She's not a member, but she wanted us to introduce ourselves to her
and work magic. We talked to her and set up an appointment. I was
really excited to teach her. She didn't seem super interested, but I
still felt really good about the appointment though, and I couldn't
wait. Her name is Addy.
Day 3: We told Lenin he needs permission from his parents to be
baptized, and he said "Oh, well I'm going to talk to them tomorrow,
I'll ask them then!" He seemed totally chill and confident they'd say
yes. He said his mom would probably even be excited for him! What?
AMAZING. His fellowshipper said he hadn't heard anything about it yet,
but he did go to church on Sunday :) We're meeting with him tonight,
so we'll see how it went!
Fun fact: getting people to go to church in Provo is easy as PIE. In
Orem, we had to go to peoples' homes and walk the 2-3 blocks to the
chapel in order to get them there, and even sometimes that didn't
work! Everything is golden here... We invited them to go to church,
and they just DO IT. It's so cool.
Day 4: We taught Addy! Throughout the lesson I felt like the spirit
wasn't getting to her. Even when we did the first vision, still
nothing. I could feel the spirit, but her eyes looked blank, like she
didn't feel anything about these things. Then we invited her to
baptism on September 13th.
...guess what happened...
SHE STARTED CRYING.
*I* felt the spirit when invited her to baptism, but I felt like her
eyes had been so blank throughout the lesson, there was no way she
felt the spirit teller she should get baptized. WRONGO. She started
crying and accepted the date! It was AMAZING.
Soooo... Yesterday was my 13 month mark. That means 5 months left.
This isn't right. Time is going faster! I remember when I came into
the mission, Hna Hernandez had 5 months left. When I got Hna Morla she
only had 5 months left, too. When they went home I felt like it went
so super fast. I can only imagine how much faster it's going to go for
FUNNER FACT: Brian Kershisnik is in my stake! I WANT TO BE HIS BEST
FRIEND. He is so cool. I met him before a ward counsel meeting, but
didn't tell him I knew who he was. That would be weird. Hahah He's one
of my favorite artists. He's even more of a favorite than James C.
Christiansen! And I love James C. Christiansen... Bro Kershisnik has
got a full beard now, so he's even COOLER. I didn't recognize him at
first. There was a bearded statistics professor at FSCJ with a
Russian-like last name, and he reminds me of him a lot. He has an "I'm
a Mormon" video. Mormon.org/Brian It's another one of my favorites.
Surprise! Wednesday morning, the new missionaries were introducing
themselves and there was a sister from Lake City, FL. We had a
Spanish missionary meeting the next day where I saw her and freaked
out. I said "You're from Lake City, right?" She said yes, and I said
"No way, I'm from Jacksonville!" And she said "I know!" Hahaha It
turns out, she's a friend of Sydney's and knows Luke! Her name is
Emily Duren! What what!! So fun.
In our apartment there was an Arabic BoM I found. I added it to my collection :)
Jacob, there's a Caribbean restaurant in Nephi owned by a family from
Trinidad & Tobago. I didn't go. Our stake missionary couple went
though, and they said it was awesome.
Friday night when there was a huge storm, some creepy guy called once
(when I answered it) and two other times (which I did not answer) from
a restricted number. I was freakin out. I called the ZL's and talked
to them about what to do and we just decided to turn off our phone and
we'd call them in the morning if we had missed calls from the creep.
I'm such a scaredy cat. -_-
So there's this big project we're going to be doing in Utah missions
to test it out. ONLY IN SPANISH! They're Mormon.org cards with
questions of the soul on them. They have a link to
Mormon.org/preguntas, where they can be lead to a lesson page that
goes with the question they had. It's going to be awesome. It starts
September 1st. One of the general authorities (I don't remember which)
said "If we can't get Spanish missionary work down in Utah, we won't
be able to get it in any other part of the world." So we're piloting
this program from September to December. It's 1st presidency approved,
and is being driven forward by Elder Nelson and Elder Bednar. I'm
stoked about it. I think it's going to make the work blow up.
So yes. I'm in the best mission on earth, I love the area, and I'm
doing well. I'll write you another novel next week. And next week IT
WILL BE SEPTEMBER! That means only twenty-something days after THAT
until it's OFFICIALLY FALL! Yo. I'm stoked.
Happy birthday Ben and Jess! I LOFF YOU!