Monday, May 23, 2016

"Not I, But Christ"

Hi friends, I don't think I have told you all (other than my family) much about the area I am serving in right now. So I thought I would share a few things about it today.
The Puppy Posted for the Picture

I am in Virginia right now, and we live in Lynchburg. It is a HUGE city. It is also a college town, there are 4 colleges! The biggest one however, is Liberty University. Okay so let me tell you about Liberty.... It is a Baptist University. Lots of people that go there are becoming ministers or preachers or whatever they call it. It is like the Baptist version of BYU! They actually aspire to become bigger than BYU and they want to be just like BYU, only they are Baptists. It is crazy, when they heard that BYU has a Y on the mountain near it, and that people hike up to it, Liberty decided to do the same thing! There is a big 'LU' on the hill (its not really a mountain) next to it. Of course, Liberty hates Mormons and won't even let members go to their school, except for the medical program.
So Liberty is a big thing here in Lynchburg, but there is also this HUGE Baptist church here. It's Thomas Roads Baptist Church. Everyone knows it, and the preacher who formed the church here was a very good business man, and so the church basically owns all the stores, business's, and restaurants around it! The members of this church are known for giving away church material. They have these stickers everywhere that say, "Not I, but Christ" and they give away cards and books all the time. It is crazy! They are hardcore Thomas Road Baptists, and they are not changing!
Selfie While Tracting
Visit to the Museum
Sister Alligood and I spent a good amount of time this week tracting and we ran into lots of Baptists :) that is always fun. It is interesting how lots of our doctrines are the same, but the principals are taught so differently. We are not saved by grace :) So a while back, we found some awesome places to tract and we did A LOT of tracting. We found some awesome potentials and we also received a few referrals! We actually have some return appointments for tonight and through the rest of this week! :) YAY! Something cool actually happened while we were tracting in a trailor park. We came up to a woman who was waiting for us on her front porch. I was totally expecting her to tell us to leave and that she wasn't interested, but it was actually the complete opposite. My companion said, "We are from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!" And the woman said "I know, I used to meet with some nice guys a few years ago, I have a Book of Mormon and I would love to come to your church!" It was not what I was expecting at all! We exchanged phone numbers and set up a return appointment with her right there! It was awesome. We will be seeing her on Thursday!

We were also able to have a great lesson with our investigator, John! We talked about the priesthood and the different offices of the Priesthood. He is so awesome. He trying to remember everything we teach him, even though he doesn't need too. It is cool because he really takes the time to soak it all in and think of ways to remember what he learns. How great is that!
Really Cute Puppies - Savannah and Sami Jealous?

So one last thing. It has been really nice in Lynchburg lately, the temp. has been in the high 60's. It is supposed to get really hot this week and so pray for me, so that I won't melt in the sun!

Love you all!

XOXOXO

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis

Don't forget! Sister Missionaries need love too :)
410 Alta Lane #11
Lynchburg, VA 24502


Historic Appomattox
General Lee's Uniform
Museum of the Confederacy



Historic Appomattox

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Historic Appomattox -

Me and General Lee
Museum
Me and the Museum




Museum

More Museum



Appomattox 

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Selfie with the Rebel Flag

Puppies!!!


Really Cute Puppies


Can't Go 3 Houses without Passing One of These
#Letschangetheworld

Monday, May 16, 2016

"have done with lesser things"

What an awesome week!!
Exchanges in Lexington with Sister Tafea

Our investigator John, came to church yesterday! Super awesome, and we had an amazing lesson with him on Baptism. He is so ready! Sister Alligood and I were having a hard time trying to decide if we should still try to help him prepare for June 4th to be baptized or if he needs more time. After talking to Tom (our ward mission leader, and he is also our fellow shipper or friend for John) he told us something that John told him while they were talking after a lesson we had. Tom told us that John was telling him about how when we share our experiences, it seems so real to him. And as John continues to learn and study, he is realized that IT IS REAL. Friends, the Gospel is TRUE and the spirit is REAL! I am so excited for John.
I Love Sister Tafea

This week we had Zone Conferences with President and Sister Salisbury and it was wonderful! I know that I am truly meant to be in this mission and to be serving with them. President Salisbury talked a lot to us about the things we need to "have done with". We sang the Hymn, "Rise Up, O Men of God". The first verse goes:

"Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and soul and mind and strength
To serve the King of Kings."
We Went Exploring on a Bridge

President Salisbury wanted us to focus on the second line: "Have done with lesser things." He gave us each a note card to write down the things we need to change. It was SO cool as we learned how we can be better missionaries and to stick to the Doctrine of Christ while we teach. But what was even better was how the spirit guided us to know the things that we need to change and do away with. I love my mission and know that striving to be better each and every day will bless me, my companion, the people I serve, and my family. I love this work!

We also went on exchanges this week, after our Zone Conference. I stayed out in Lexington with Sister Tafea. She actually came out with me, and she is awesome! :) Their car was in the shop, so we had to walk everywhere... and it was so hot and humid! AHH. But don't worry I am still alive.. its crazy how all of a sudden I can't deal with heat, because of the humidity! Anyways, it was fun, we didn't get to teach very many people, but we did get to talk a lot as we walked. It was good!

Tracting in a Trailer Park - Gotta Love It
#Ponderize Mosiah 4:9-10
9 Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created‍ all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend‍ all the things which the Lord can comprehend.
10 And again, believe that ye must repent‍ of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity‍ of heart that he would forgive‍ you; and now, if you believe‍ all these things see that ye do‍ them.

Love you friends!

XOXOXO

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis

The mail box has been kind of empty lately... :)

410 Alta Lane #11
Lynchburg, VA 24502

Monday, May 9, 2016

Taught by MY Mother

Happy Mothers Day to all the wonderful moms out there, and to all the women in my life! 

Happy Mother's Day!  Love you, Mom

I am grateful for all the Teachers and Young Woman Leaders who have played a part in my learning in the gospel. I am grateful for the moms and families that are supporting me and my mission. I am grateful for all the "moms" that I have out here, and for their willingness to make me feel right at home and to serve me. I am grateful for my grandma and for all the love she has for me and all that she does. Most of all to my amazing mom. Mom, I love you so much, thank you for serving a Mission and for being the great example of living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have been taught by a wonderful mother, and you still teach me! I am so glad you are the one who got to be my mom! The things you have taught me reminds me the 2000 stripling warriors in the Book of Mormon. They had to fight the Lamanites and they were not afraid. Their mothers had taught them of God and they knew that because of what their mothers had taught them, God would be there to protect them. I am grateful to also have a mother, who has taught me about God, and that I know that Heavenly Father will always be there for me to watch over and protect me.
Keltsey's Birthday

Mother's Day
I got to Skype my family yesterday, which was great! It's so weird to do, but it is so good! I also got to see one of my best friends! HAPPY BIRTHDAY KELTSEY! I sure do love you! I hope you're birthday was filled with joy and goodness :) you're just the cutest.

This week seemed to be very long, I don't really understand why. But none the less, it was pretty good. We were pretty disappointed though, our investigator John, slept in and didn't make it to church. Hopefully he can come next week! 
READ ME!!!

We had a pretty interesting experience with a family we went to see thing week. They are an agnostic family, so they speculate the belief that there is a God. They wanted a Book of Mormon and we went back to see them. It was just crazy. They came at us with all this anti-Mormon stuff. I am not really sure what they were trying to do, but the funny thing is, is that it just strengthens my testimony even more! I know that this Gospel is true! I know the Joseph Smith was a true prophet. I know that fear and doubt are the opposites of faith, and that is why the people that doubt are so confused. Satan is trying so hard to fill our hearts with doubt and confusion. I know that this is true and what we teach (the doctrine of Christ) is how we are truly saved.
This is probably the hardest area's of my mission so far, but I really do love it. I love the challenge, because there is room to grow. I am so grateful to be serving here at this time with Sister Alligood. I am very grateful for the ward and the people we are working with. I LOVE Virginia, and I am so grateful to be here as a servant of the Lord :) I love being a missionary!
So Excited for New Pamphlets - #missionarynerd


















#Ponderize Alma 56:47-48
47 Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty‍ of their fathers‍ than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.
Tools for the Missionary - Collection of Stuff in My Bag
 48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do‍ not doubt our mothers knew it.
I sure do love y'all!!

XOXOXO
Virginia is SO Green 
Anna, Sister Alligood 
Sister Alligood and I 

Just in the Car

I Really Like this Book - It is So True
~Sister Kayla Marie Willis
410 Alta Lane #11
Lynchburg, VA 24502




Cool Building in Downtown Lynchburg - don't go there at night



Monday, May 2, 2016

Happy May

Hello my friends, and Happy May! 
Sister Alligood in Lynchburg

Isn't it crazy that the year is half over? AHH slow down!

We had another great week! Well, all my weeks are great, because I just love being a missionary and doing the Lord's work, no matter what trials come my way.  There are always miracles that can be recognized. :) Serving others just brings me so much joy!

Our awesome investigator, John, is still doing awesome! We were able to teach him the Word Of Wisdom and the Law of Tithes and Offerings this week! And they went great. John is so willing to change and so honest with us. As he has been meeting with us, on his own, he has decided to work on his language and stop cursing. This was not something we asked him to do, we actually had not even brought it up with him before it. It is amazing to see his desires to repent, just by changing the way he talks. John was unable to come to church this week, because he had to work, but he is hoping he can come next week! He is so awesome! He has even been reading the Book of Mormon! He has read the first chapter and he is trying to read a chapter every day. It's awesome because he is really trying to gain an understanding while he reads, so he will come to us with questions, it is so awesome! He is so prepared for the gospel. 
Sister Alligood has the Curliest Hair I Have Ever Seen
We had a cool experience yesterday with a less active that we try to visit every week. We had been trying to call her and text her all week without any answer. When we planned for our day Saturday night we did not plan to see her. Then while we were out near the area where she lives, we both felt prompted to go visit her, even though we didn't plan to see her. She wasn't even a back up plan. When we went by to see her, we found her in distress. She had just gotten back from being out of town at a funeral for a family member, and she was struggling with other family matters. She takes care of her two grandsons, and while they were visiting their father, Child Protective Services showed up, and because of a situation their father was involved with, the children were taken away and put into Foster Care. She really needed some support and comfort at that time and that is why we were led to her. We were able to help her out a little bit and she was so grateful that we showed up. The spirit really does lead us to where we need to be so that we can bless lives. MY MISSION IS TO BLESS.
Downtown Lynchburg #1
Downtown Lynchburg #2


I love being a missionary and being able to serve in this mission. Bringing souls unto Christ really has brought me so much happiness and it has brought me closer to my father in Heaven. 



#Ponderize Mosiah 26:18-21 

18 Yea, blessed is this people who are willing to bear my name; for in my name shall they be called; and they are mine.
19 And because thou hast inquired of me concerning the transgressor, thou art blessed.
20 Thou art my servant; and I covenant with thee that thou shalt have eternal life; and thou shalt serve me and go forth in my name, and shalt gather together my sheep.
21 And he that will hear my voice shall be my sheep; and him shall ye receive into the church, and him will I also receive.

A Pipe Broke on our Way Home - Spraying Dirt and Rocks Everywhere

I sure do love y'all!!

XOXOXO

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis

410 Alta Lane #11
Lynchburg, VA 24502
Rainy Day in Virginia