Monday, November 30, 2015

#ASaviorIsBorn

How can it be this time of year already? This is crazy. This week has been amazing!!



After Thanksgiving Dinner

Granny June's Tree After We Finished
First of all, yesterday the church came out with the Christmas Initiative for this year. It is a little 2 minute video and it is the cutest thing! Please stop whatever you're doing and go onto lds.organd share the video with the hashtag, #ASaviorIsBorn. Post the video on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and whatever else that is new cool in the real world. Share this message video with everyone! It is such a great and simple way to share the true spirit and to remember the reason for the season.

Thanksgiving was great, but weird because I was not with family. We played flag football in the morning and we had dinner and got to visit some of our friends who didn't have anyone to be with on thanksgiving. I hope you all had a great thanksgiving and remembered what you are thankful for!
Thanksgiving Day with Sierra, Audrey, and Adrianna
More Pictures After Dinner
Sister Farnsworth and I had a VERY SCARY experience this last week. I was the most scared I have ever been on my mission. We were walking around, because we were having a car fast (where we don't use the car all day) and we stopped in a park to eat and make some phone calls. We were sitting on a park bench and we were there for about 45 minutes. It was a little cold that day and I was walking over to a trash can to throw something away and this guy comes across the street and starts talking to me. Sister Farnsworth was on the phone. They guy asked me if we wanted to come over and have a cup of coffee, and I told him that we don't drink coffee, but that after Sister Farnsworth is off the phone we can come by and say hi. So after she was off the phone we started walking over. I felt weird about it from the beginning, but I ignored my uneasy feelings. 
More Pictures
Sandy, Who Made Thanksgiving Dinner
We walked into the house and as soon as we walked through the door, the spirit was gone. It was the worst feeling ever! I felt dark, and dirty and horrible. There were two men inside this house, they were drinking and smoking. The one who invited us said that his wife was home, but we never saw her. They kept inviting us to sit down but we said no. We were not there for more than five minutes, but it was so scary. Afterwards, Sister Farnsworth told me that she was ready to bolt and she felt uneasy about going inside too. It was a blessing to have the spirit leave us to warn us of what could have been a really bad situation! Don't worry I am safe :)


And More

We had an AWESOME lesson with our investigator, Susan. I don't think I have mentioned her in a while, but we have started to see her a lot again and it has been great! I am so excited for her! We brought a member, Sister Blake, to come with us to see Susan and her husband, Travis. We had a great lesson and Sister Blake shared her testimony of the Temple and how she knew that she wanted her kids to have the blessings of the Temple. The lesson was great and then after we left her house, we received a text from her. It said: "Thank you so much for coming tonight. I really needed it. God spoke to me tonight and I really really want to give this a try. I am wanting to get involved and give it my all. I feel like God is telling me this is right and this is where I need to be." We couldn't believe it. This kind of thing only happens on This Districts! Susan came to church and had a great time! She is so ready and now she is committed to give this her all! It is amazing what the spirit of a member can do!

Sister Farnsworth and I with Lexi before her Baptism
More From After Thanksgiving
We had a baptism this week! Little Lexi. She is 10 and she is so cute! She was so excited to get baptized. Sister Farnsworth volunteered us to do a musical number for the program. That was fun. She played the Piano and I sang. We did When I am Baptized. It was so cute! It is so exciting to see people be excited to follow Jesus Christ and his teachings. I am so grateful to be a missionary and to have this opportunity to serve those who are ready to receive the gospel. I am humbled each day when I hear people pray for me and for my safety. I am so grateful for everything I get to do as a missionary and for all the love I feel for those who I serve. It is really a blessing from my Heavenly Father to feel the amount of love I do for the interesting people in Ashland, Kentucky. 

#Ponderize "And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more." Doctrine and Covenants 78:19
On Exchanges with Sister Brower - She is Shorter than Me

I love you all, and I am so grateful for all the support from my friends and family back home. 
Take care!

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis

Going on a Hike in Kentucky

Going on a Hike in Kentucky-2
Going on a Hike in Kentucky-3

Monday, November 23, 2015

Teaching Simply, By the Spirit

Great week! Smile's all around! :) I am so grateful to be a missionary!

Selfie with My Selfie Stick
#SelfieStick

Last preparation day, the Elders in our ward - Elder Free, Elder Tupou, Sister Farnsworth and I all went Golfing. We went to a driving range and hit a few balls. Sister Farnsworth is the Golfer, the rest of us were making a fool of ourselves haha, but it was funny. It is so nice to change things up and do something fun! We have all been working hard and it has been amazing to see the progress here in Ashland. The spirit has been changing hearts here. 

The Ashland Missionaries
We have been working with a little girl named Lexi. She is 10 years old and she is so cute! She wants to be baptized and we have been helping her prepare for that. Her Grandmother is a member of the church and so she has been bringing Lexi to church with her. She is very hyper and she gets distracted very easily and it can be hard to teach her sometimes. But on Tuesday we had a Training Conference Call with all the other training companionship's. We got to talk to the Assistants and President Salisbury. It was so good because each companionship has an opportunity to ask a question and we asked how we could best help Lexi to be able to understand what we are teaching her and how she will remember. It was so cool because President Salisbury told us that we should be teaching in a way that an eight year old can understand it. This is something that I had never thought about before. We have to be teaching in way that is simple enough and basic enough for her. I have been raised in this gospel my whole life and I need to be able to help someone who has never known these things before to understand it. Since learning this teaching Lexi has been a lot better. We have been able to teach simply, but by the spirit. The most important thing in a lesson is for the spirit to be there and for the spirit to teach and testify to the investigator. 

Our Investigator, Jerose, at Church
Our investigator, Jerose, came to church yesterday! She is progressing so well. It has been amazing to be working with her and her son TJ. They are both deciding on a baptism date in December! We have had some amazing lessons with her and in one of them we were teaching about the Gift of the Holy Ghost. We were talking about how the Holy Ghost can help us and that he testifies of truth. I was impressed to share the story of how my parents met. (Hopefully I tell it right) For those of you who don't know, my parents met in a mall. My mom was going in to get something and she went into a store. There were two guys in the store and she started talking to one of them, the other one didn't say much. She left the store and the Holy Ghost told her that she needed to go back to the store. She didn't want to, and the Holy Ghost told her that she needed to go back because the other guy was going to ask her on a date. She decided to go back and she talked to that guy. That guy was my dad. He asked her on a date and you know the rest! I told Jerose this story and she found it so special and the spirit was so strong. She told us that she feels like God led her husband (Keith) to her, and he is leading her to the Gospel. It was such a great lesson! I love this family with all my heart. 

My Good Friend, Emily, in the Ward
Yesterday in church Sister Farnsworth and I had to teach the Gospel Principals class. This chapter was on the Priesthood. We felt kind of silly, because we don't have the Priesthood and sometimes we feel like we know nothing about it. But we prepared and we talked a lot about what the Priesthood is and how we are blessed from it. Sister Hunt, one of our ward members shared an experience on how Priesthood Blessings have changed her life. She told us how when she asks for a Priesthood Blessing, it is very humbling because she is asking her husband for help, and in turn he is asking Heavenly Father for help. It was so cool and it made me think of my dad. He is a worthy Priesthood holder and I have had many blessings from him. Sometimes I have asked him for blessings without telling him what is wrong or what I am going through, because it is so cool to hear the things that are said. It testifies to me that what he says is not from him, but from God. It strengthens my testimony and I am so grateful for my dad and my brother, who are both worthy Priesthood holders. It has been such a blessing to me to have a Priesthood holder in the home.

Just a cool little after thought. After hearing from just about everyone we talk to about what happened in Paris, we heard something really cool. Before the attack in Paris, the Mission President there had an impression to get all the missionaries out that were serving in the area that was hit. He contacted the Zone Leaders and then then called all the missionaries and none of the missionaries were harmed. Revelation is REAL! It just testifies to me how true this gospel is. Heavenly Father truly does watch over the missionaries and I am so grateful for that and for all the people all around the world that pray for missionaries and our safety. 

Waiting for One of Our Investigators at the Church
#Ponderize
"And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with their mights; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also witthem; and they did obey the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard in all things."





Another Selfie
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Don't forget to thank God for what He has blessed you with. 
I am Thankful for my family and for Jesus Christ's Gospel and the opportunity I have to be a missionary serving in the West Virginia Charleston Mission. #BestMission

Lots of love,
~Sister Kayla Marie Willis
The Ohio River

Monday, November 16, 2015

We'll Bring The World His Truth

First of all. Has anyone ever heard of sprickets? Spider-crickets. Well they are real! Yup, and there was one in our kitchen! Nasty. Watch out for sprickets.
Sister Robinson and I at the Mission Conference

This week was probably one of the best weeks yet! We had our big Mission Conference with half the mission and it was amazing! We got to meet Elder Kopishke Of the Seventy and His wife. They are from Germany and are so happy! It went so well. Elder Kopishke told us that he didn't have anything planned for the meeting, he wanted The Spirit to guide. He asked us to write down questions that we have and to be listening and waiting for the Spirit to answer the questions. We got to see the new Christmas Video that the church will put out after Thanksgiving and it is amazing! I am so excited. We talked a lot about bringing the power to our lessons. It is all about helping our investigators to feel the Spirit teach and testify to them. We need to have faith and hope in not only ourselves but in God. 

We did our musical number and it went so well! After having only 8 days to prepare and practice and Elder Free writing a harmony it was awesome! Sister Farnsworth played the piano, and Elder Free and I sang 'We'll Bring The World His Truth". We changed the words to the last verse and sang, "We are now the Lord's Missionaries, to bring the world his truth." I thought a lot about that and it is cool to think about, because the Gospel is the Atonement. I am here to help bring people to the knowledge and power of the Atonement and how we can use it our lives. Lots of people complimented Sister Farnsworth and I and told us that we really brought the Spirit. I guess I have had a hidden talent for singing all this time, because no one believed it was my first time singing. Sister Kopishke came up to me at lunch and hugged me and complimented my bangs. She told me that not a lot of people look good with bangs like me and she wants them, but she said she is old and ugly. Which is not true! She is so cute, and she was so sweet. She made me laugh really hard.
Our Friend, Bobby

We got to see one of our special friends, Bobby this week. He is doing a lot better and he is home after having surgery and chemo-therapy. He is going through a very hard time in his life as his mom is very sick and passing away. Sister Farnsworth and I have learned a lot about love from Bobby, because of the love that he has for his family and how he puts them before himself. We sang, "I Need Thee Every Hour," and talked about how much we need God in joy or pain. Bobby has been working with the Elders towards Baptism and we are so excited for him. 

We are working with a part-member family. Keith is a less active member, and we are teaching his wife Gerose who is from the Philippians, and their 14 year old son TJ. They also have an adorable daughter named Skylee, who is 7. We had a really good lesson with Gerose this week and it was just amazing to see the Spirit guide the lesson. We had planned to come in and teach her the Law of Chastity, but instead she asked us about Tithing. We talked about why we pay tithing and the blessings we receive from doing so. We also talked about fast offerings and how that money goes to members of the ward who might be in need of food or clothing. Gerose became very emotional and she said that she wants to start paying her tithing and fast offerings now, before she is even baptized. She talked about her experience being in the Philippians and she believes that no one should have to go hungry. It was such a powerful lesson, and I am so grateful for what we learned in the Mission Conference and we were able to apply it and bring the power into our lesson. 

Elder Kopishke asked us all to take a question to Sacrament Meeting and to listen for the answer just like how we did in the Mission Conference. So I decided to take a question and we told our investigators to do the same. Keith, Gerose, TJ and Skylee came to Church! It was the Primary Program in the Ashland Ward and it was so cute! I love kids, watching the kids sing and do their parts reminded me of my cute sisters. I admit, I teared up a little bit. It was such a good meeting. It was actually the most spiritual day at church I have had since being on my mission. I had my question answered and I learned so much about the Atonement of Christ. I know that Christ suffered not only for our sins, but for our pains and sorrows. The Atonement enables me and those I teach to be whole again. I know that through the Atonement I can change for the better and it can change the way I feel about myself. I am so grateful for my Savior, who is the Redeemer of my Soul. 
Selfie

My #Ponderize scripture for this week was Alma 13:24 "For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory." I love this, because angels are preparing people to hear the gospel. There are people here in Ashland, Kentucky that I need to find specifically. I know that through my faith and diligence I will find those who are ready to receive the fulness of the Gospel. 

Love you all,
~Sister Kayla Marie Willis

Monday, November 9, 2015

Temple Goals

Wow, what a week! 


Sister Farnsworth and I Went Golfing with our Zone Leaders

First week of the new transfer and we already see miracles. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and think, "Wow I'm a missionary?" It is something I think about constantly. When we walk out of really good lessons I think, "Is this even real life?" Some days it just doesn't seem real, because of the success we have been having and when I see people change before my eyes. It is amazing how protected we are, and how many good things happen for us. I am so grateful for all the prayers for the missionaries and specifically for me, because I know it has made a difference with me and the work here in Ashland. Thank you for the support and prayers!



Our Investigator, Deborah, at church


Our investigator Deborah came to church yesterday!  and we have been working to get her to church for over a month. She has been taught all of the lessons, but she has a hard time really grasping why going to church is so important. We had a lesson with her on Saturday and tried to really focus on the spirit and letting it testify to her. We asked HER to pick a baptism day and she picked December 16 because that was her grandmother's birthday. We all decided that was a good day and right before we were walking out her door Sister Farnsworth showed Deborah a picture of her family. I then showed a picture of my family in front of a temple, and we started talking about temples. We talked about how important they are and that we have the opportunity to be baptized for our family members who have passed away. Then the spirit told me to tell Deborah that she can be baptized for her Grandmother on December 16. I was hesitant because I wasn't sure how she would react, but I listened and I told her that If she gets baptized the last week of November, she can be baptized for her Grandmother onDecember 16. The spirit was very present and she looked very different then when we came. She told us that she still wasn't sure about church, but we said a prayer and asked her to pray that she would be able to go. She prayed and she asked for strength to go! It was the best prayer I have ever heard her give! It was incredible. We were pretty certain that she would be at church this week, but she has a habit of calling us at the last minute and canceling. SoSunday morning came and she called us and told us that she was coming. We were stoked! Then about 10 minutes later she called us and said she was sick and she couldn't come. We said a prayer and we were so sad when out of the blue, she calls us again and said she was coming! She called us 2 more times making sure it was okay if she wore pants and what time it started, but in the end SHE CAME! It was a HUGE step for her and the talks were just want she needed to hear. She was smiling and meeting people and she even stayed for a baptism for a boy in the ward after the meetings! And now she is very excited for her baptism! It was amazing! I am so grateful for her and for the steps she is making. She is really changing her life. The gospel truly can change lives :) 

There has been a huge focus on the Temple lately. We just had a Stake Conference about 2 weeks ago and the new Stake President set a goal for the entire stake. He has permission to rent out the Louisville, Kentucky Temple on May 7, 2016 for the whole stake! He has set a goal to have 1000 people at this event! He wants adults, teens, children, non-members and investigators to be there! It is so cool and it will be so special for those families that are going to be working towards that date to be sealed as a family or those who will receive their endowments. It is so exciting! We have been sharing this news with less active members and encouraging them to work to this date to go to the temple. 

Sister Farnsworth & I with Our Zone Leaders Elder Davis & Elder Wheeler
President Salisbury has also been stressing the importance of the temple for our investigators. He wants us to be sending so many new converts to the Temple that we get a Temple in our mission someday! We are striving to get every new convert to the Temple within 30 days. It sounds like a lot, but we can do it and it will change the outcome of people who stay active.

This week, our mission has the wonderful opportunity of having Elder Kopischke of the seventy coming to speak to us in our mission! It is going to be so cool, and Sister Farnsworth and I have been asked to perform a musical number for the meeting with the Elders in our ward. It is so exciting! It is this Thursday and we have decided to do "We'll Bring the World His Truth". Sister Farnsworth will be playing the Piano, Elder Free will be singing, and I will be... Singing! Crazy right? Apparently they think I can sing, which I have never done before, so hopefully I will be able to bring the spirit in! I will keep you all posted :)

#Ponderize D&C 67:13  "Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now, neither the ministering of angels; wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected." I like this scripture because it has helped me to remember to be more patient. By doing this, Miracles have happened in Ashland! Christ is patient, and we need to always continue to become more like Christ.

I love you all so much and I hope my emails can help each of you in your lives. 

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis


Don't forget to write!
1508 Luci Mae Drive
Flatwoods, KY 41139

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

I Know Who I Am

Hey everyone! 3 Transfers gone!


Selfie with Ashley, the deer, and her dad, the Hippie, at ward Trunk or Treat
This weeks letter will be short, because there is never enough time to say everything I want to say... But this week has been amazing and full of miracles. 


We had an incredible Zone Meeting this week and we learned so much! Something that I took away that was really cool is something that one of our Zone Leaders shared with us. He told us that every morning he asks himself, "Who I am? And what am I going to do about it?" He showed us an index card where he writes these questions. 


It was so cool! I started doing it. I even shared my testimony in Sacrament meeting about it. 

I decide who I am every morning, because when I know who I am not afraid. So today I am a Consecrated Servant of The Lord Jesus Christ. I am going to do His will and be obedient to His laws. I am going to serve with my heart, might, mind and strength. I am going to declare His truth every where I go. I know who I am and I am always striving to be better. 
Selfie with Ashley

We had a Halloween party with a little fire with some members of the ward and some less actives. It was so fun and we got some less actives out that we haven't been in contact with! It was so fun. 


Fire on Halloween with some ward YSA
Selfie Stick at the Halloween Party













Also, yesterday I drove our car into a hole. The car was high centered... In my defense, there were leaves covering the hole. We managed to get it out okay though, and our car isn't damaged to bad! I will keep you updated.


Our Poor Car
It was funny, but sad


I decided to #Ponderize Alma 7:23-24 this week. Go read the whole chapter. It is incredible. 

LOVE YOU ALL 

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis