Monday, February 29, 2016

The Spirit is REAL

Hi everyone,

Sister Roberts and I


This week I have been exhausted. You see missionaries have this thing called permatired. [perm-a-tired: a condition that missionaries get that causes excessive tiredness, dark circles under the eyes and occasionally falling asleep during your bedtime prayer.] It is crazy how tired we get! You just feel so tired all the time. You just want to go home and take a nap... But we don't have the time! Sometimes I yawn like 10 times in a lesson.... ooopps. 
Sister Roberts and I

So I have talked a lot about our friend Steve, he is just so awesome! Just imagine this huge 6 foot tall man, with a grey mullet and crooked teeth. You can't be more West Virginian than that. So anyways we have been working with Steve for a long time. He has been coming to church for a little over a month now and things are just going great! It is so funny because we are such scatter brained missionaries sometimes. Steve knows things really well! He has seen us do some pretty silly things and he just laughs at us. But it is amazing how real the spirit is, because we are NOT by any means perfect teachers. We have lots of flaws and sometimes we mess up. I mess up A LOT. But the spirit is REAL, because it has testified to Steve than even though we are crazy missionaries, and sometimes we are a little unorganized, the church is TRUE!  I just love the spirit because it really is the teacher, we are only there to help their hearts be open to it. 

Mummies in Philippi, WV - over 60 years old
#Ponderize Doctrine and Covenants 11:11-13 "For, behold, it is I that speak; behold, I am the light which shineth in darkness, and by my power I give these words unto thee. And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good—yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit. Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;"
Hanging Out With One of the Mummies in Philippi


Last Monday our District went to visit a museum in Philippi. It is where 2 of the missionaries in our District are serving. It is the smallest town I have ever seen! The museum was literally two rooms. It was cool though, to see some of the West Virginia History and there in the museum they have two mummies. It was crazy! The Elders all loved it, and Sister Roberts and I were a little creeped out. They looked gross! But now I can say I have seen the mummies in Philippi. 

Love you all and don't ever forget to pray!

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis


Eating Out with the Sisters in Buckhannon
If You Didn't Know Elkins is Really Muddy

Sister Robinson and I at Zone Conference

The Trio at 8 Months

Monday, February 22, 2016

"...angels round about you to bear you up..."

Hello everyone. 

To be honest, this week has been tough. We have had lots of disappointments and trials in such a short time. Sarah, our golden investigator who was scheduled to be baptized on Saturday, decided that she doesn't want to see us anymore. We texted her on Monday asking if we could come see her and she said no. She also told us that she doesn't want to be baptized. Sister Roberts and I couldn't believe it. It just didn't seem real. Sarah wouldn't even talk to us on the phone. After that happened with Sarah, we went to contact a less active member, named Jenna, that the Relief Society President told us to visit. As soon as she opened the door, Jenna told us that she wants us to deliver a message. She wants her name and her two daughters names off the church records. NOOO! That was so sad. It was a hard night. I love being a missionary because I get to see the Gospel change hearts. I see the joy it can bring to people. It breaks my heart when people decide that they don't want it in their lives anymore. 

We had an incredible lesson with our friend Steve this week! He has been trying to figure out if this church is really for him. We were prompted very strongly to watch the Restoration Video with hi. We watched it, in the chapel with a member and it was SO POWERFUL! I love that video and it just confirms and strengthens my testimony every time I watch it! Steve even teared up watching it! After the video, we all bore our testimonies. The next day he was at church and his hair was combed back and he was 15 minutes early in his seat! That is his 4th time at church and we are just so excited for him! He is so ready for the gospel!

This week we had Zone Conference and we talked a lot about finding new investigators. President Salisbury is so awesome and I know that I was meant to be in this mission, with him as my Mission President. He is such an amazing leading and I am grateful for all that I can learn from him. President and Sister Salisbury love us all so much. What can I say, this is the best mission in the world!! I love being a missionary.

#Ponderize -  Even though this week has been a little rough, I know that my Heavenly Father is with me and he is watching over me. He sends his spirit to us to guide us and comfort us. Doctrine and Covenants 84:88 "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." 

XOXOXO

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis

Route 3 Box 518 B
Elkins, WV 26241

Monday, February 15, 2016

It's Cold Here in West Virginia

Buuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr......

Going to a Meeting Featuring Preach My Gospel

It has been really cold here this week! It was -20 here with 76% humidity. WHOOO. Good thing I'm not in a walking area. Currently counting my blessings! So we didn't have to much of an eventful week this week. It was so cold people didn't want to leave there homes, and church was canceled! Sad day, because I need to take the sacrament. Oh well. Also, Sarah's baptism is going to be pushed back a week because we didn't have church. It is okay though, we are pushing through! She is such a good kid and I love her a lot. 

We shoveled Harriet's (the lady that calls me 'little girl') driveway one day and she is so cute. She sticks her head out of her door and says, "What are you girls doing?" She of course had to invite us in for hot chocolate and to hear the latest gossip. She likes to gossip to us about her cleaning lady and her sister and their crazy lives. Harriet is a special soul! :)
Selfie in the Car, Shout Out to Sister Roberts

Shout out to my awesome companion, the one and only, Canadian born, Sister Roberts!! She is so sweet and she teaches me so much. To have this time with her has been amazing. She is an amazing missionary and she is always there for me. I love her so much and she is such a great example of diligence and obedience. I love how she has such a huge desire to be the best missionary she can be and to not leave with any regrets. She does her best each day and we always have fun while doing it. Missionary work is fun! 

Snow and Some Nice Trees
Sister Roberts also taught me the Canadian National Anthem, and we sang it together at our Zone Meeting. It was hilarious! Thanks dad, for sending me the lyrics. 

#Ponderize Alma 38:5 "And now my [daughter, Kayla,] I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day."



XOXOXO

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis

Don't send to many letters......... Or wait, please do :) 
Route 3 Box 518
Elkins, West Virginia 26241

Monday, February 8, 2016

Missionary Miracles

Hello!

This week we had some pretty cool things happen! We have had a pretty good pool of people to teach for a while, so we haven't really been focusing as much as we should on finding new friends to teach. Sister Roberts and I made it a goal to have at least one finding activity everyday.  From that we found 3 new investigators! One of them actually was a referral from the Elkins Elders. His name is Jeremy and he has been taught by missionaries before in South Carolina! The first time we met him we went in and started to teach him the restoration. There was a woman there in his home (his cousin), but in the middle of the lesson, she got up and went outside. As missionaries, we have a rule that we cannot be in a home without another woman present. My companion and I looked at each other, not knowing how to handle the situation. We knew that we had to leave, but we were a little nervous. We tried to tactfully explain our rule and get out of there as quick as we could. I knew that even though it was a very awkward situation, Jeremy would respect us more, because we stood up for the standards that we live by as missionaries. The next couple of times we saw Jeremy, we brought a member with us and we were able to teach him the Restoration, and the Plan of Salvation! I know that he truly does respect us more and he recognizes us as representatives of Jesus Christ. He is going to be working towards March 12 to be baptized and he is already trying to quit smoking! Its amazing how much being obedient blesses each of our lives! Meeting Jeremy was truly a miracle. 

Sarah is still going strong! Satan has been working hard to try tear her down, but she pushes on through! We are so excited for her and for the step she is going to make on the 20th! We are so excited!

I want to bear my testimony of Preach My Gospel. I try to study Preach My Gospel for at least 30 minutes everyday and I have seen it bless my life! As I study and ponder, Preach My Gospel, everyday my knowledge and testimony grows tremendously! It helps me know how I can become more Christlike, a better teacher, and how I can become my best self! I love Preach My Gospel and I am sad that I have not realized the true importance of it until now. I am striving to do better, because I know that this was truly inspired of God to help us in our work. I love my mission and I love serving!

I also know that the Book of Mormon is true! It is the word of God and the keystone to our religion. I just finished reading the Book of Mormon and it has strengthened my testimony so much! I love the gospel and I know it is true. I know that Joseph Smith translated the Golden Plates and that Jesus Christ restored his gospel, through him.

#Ponderize 1 Nephi 22: 30-31 "Wherefore, my brethren, I would that ye should consider that the things which have been written upon the plates of brass are true; and they testify that a man must be obedient to the commandments of God. Wherefore, ye need not suppose that I and my father are the only ones that have testified, and also taught them. Wherefore, if ye shall be obedient to the commandments,and endure to the end, ye shall be saved at the last day. And thus it is. Amen."

XOXO

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis


Monday, February 1, 2016

Faith, Hope, and Charity

Hey everyone,
Sister Roberts and I with Sarah - when She Came to Church

Remember our friend Sarah from last week? She is doing great! She came to church yesterday! She is so cute. We did the Stop Smoking Workshop (A special workshop that lasts for a week, that was designed by missionaries to help people stop smoking) with her and she has been doing great! It is a very strict program and she has been very obedient to it and doing all that she needs to do. When we talked to her yesterday she says that she feels great! We truly love Sarah and she is ready for the gospel.

I mentioned it before, but Sarah has had a rough past. She has been through a lot and she has made some bad choices in the past. There are lots of people that don't feel like she is ready and just about everyone that we talk to about her says something like "I hope she's changed" or "Make sure she isn't lying to you". It is so sad, because they aren't giving her the second chance that she deserves. Sarah is an amazing person and I love her so much. She is changing her life and I have a lot of hope for her. She is a different person now, because the gospel changes hearts. We all need to love Sarah just as much as anyone else. She is just as much of a child of God as you and I, and He loves her just as much. We need to show charity towards her and any others who may have made mistakes (that's everyone because we ALL make mistakes), because Christ is forgiving and that is how we need to strive to be.

"Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope. And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart. If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity." Moroni 7:42-44

We have to have hope for others, just as our Savior has hope for us. He loves us and he wants us to become better through him. When we have the faith, hope and charity has He did, we can see others in a better way and hope for a better future for everyone. Forget about the past and remember that the Atonement is real. As we come unto Christ and repent, we will be forgiven. 

#Ponderize Mosiah 26:29 "Therefore I say unto you, Go; and whosoever transgresseth against me, him shall ye judge according to the sins which he has committed; and if he confess his sins before thee and me, and repenteth in the sincerity of his heart, him shall ye forgive, and I will forgive him also."

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis