Monday, June 27, 2016

A Flood of Miracles

Hello all my friends,
Sister Willis is My Name, Saving Souls is My Game - really this is no game, this is serious

My "To Do" List
This week has been crazy! So much stuff is happening here! I don't know what has been on the news lately, but there has been massive storms and flooding here in lots of areas in the mission! This past week, there was a huge storm that sent Lynchburg into a flood and tornado watch for a couple hours. There was hail the size of golf balls, and tons of trees were blown over. Luckily we weren't hit too bad, and we actually weren't in Lynchburg when it happened! (Don't worry mom, we are safe!) We were out in Concord, which is near Appomattox. Even in a storm, God's work goes on! In the areas that are on the border of Virginia and West Virginia there is a lot of devastation. No missionaries were harmed, but there were many people who lost their homes, and some who even lost their lives! My heart goes out to those who are suffering, because of the loss due to the storms. 

This is John's Scriptures that He Wrote Down from His Studies
Sister Wevers and I have had lots of success finding this week! Finding can be really hard to do, and also not very fun. Who actually likes knocking on random people's doors in the heat and humidity in the backwoods of Virginia? ...Actually Heavenly Father has blessed me and helped me to find joy in it, but it can still be very, very hard! Sometimes it seems like knocking on peoples doors doesn't work, but Heavenly Father sees our diligence and our hard work. And Heavenly Father rewards his children for doing the "hard things". We have seen miracles and success from our diligence. 
I LOVE VIRGINIA - 1
One of the miracles we had happen, is that we actually started teaching John's parents! His mom and dad - Paul and Cheryl - are so sweet! We visited them and talked about the Book of Mormon. They are Baptists, but they are pretty open to listening and learning why John is doing what he is doing. We invited them to start reading the Book of Mormon and to pray about it, and they committed to us that they are going to do it! AHH! I am so excited. Cheryl is like the definition of southern hospitality! We couldn't leave her home empty handed... We left with a bottle of cold lemonade, a pan of homemade biscuits, and a bag of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from their garden! She is so sweet!

I LOVE VIRGINIA - 2
So our investigator John will be baptized this week! I'M SO EXCITED LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT IT. He has been struggling with some health problems this past week, (we know satan is really working on him) but he is still doing great and is working on finishing the Book of Mormon before he is baptized this Saturday!! WHOOOO. So one day we were just checking up on John to make sure he was still doing good and to see how he was doing with the Book of Mormon Challenge we gave him. So as we were checking up on him, he gave us a challenge in return... He challenged us, that if he finished the Book of Mormon before Saturday, we have to sing a duet at his baptism! AHHHH. We said we would do it, haha so we will let you know what happens!
We also had a lesson with John at the Family History library. He was SO excited and we were able to help him get started. He really has felt the spirit of Elijah! He can't wait to get some names together and be able to take them to the temple! The church is true everyone!
We had a tour of the church for two of our new investigators. Dylan and Kaela. (She has a great name, doesn't she?) It was so cool and they committed to coming to church this next Sunday!  I love how the spirit that is in the church building really does soften people's hearts :)

I LOVE VIRGINIA - 3
I love being a missionary! I am so grateful for this gospel and for the miracles that we get to see on a daily basis. I know that Heavenly Father really does bless us for doing the "hard things". I know that this Gospel is true, and that this is His work. I know that He labors with us in the vineyard. (Jacob 5)



#Ponderize Alma 32:15-16 
"15 Yea, he that truly humbleth himself, and repenteth of his sins, and endureth to the end, the same shall be blessed—yea, much more blessed than they who are compelled to be humble because of their exceeding poverty.
Nasty Bug That Was in Our House - it was WWII in there

16 Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without stubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe."

I LOVE VIRGINIA - 4
Love you all so much! 
XOXO

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis

410 Alta Lane #11
Lynchburg, VA 24502

A Flood of Miracles

Hello all my friends,
Sister Willis is My Name, Saving Souls is My Game - really this is no game, this is serious

My "To Do" List
This week has been crazy! So much stuff is happening here! I don't know what has been on the news lately, but there has been massive storms and flooding here in lots of areas in the mission! This past week, there was a huge storm that sent Lynchburg into a flood and tornado watch for a couple hours. There was hail the size of golf balls, and tons of trees were blown over. Luckily we weren't hit too bad, and we actually weren't in Lynchburg when it happened! (Don't worry mom, we are safe!) We were out in Concord, which is near Appomattox. Even in a storm, God's work goes on! In the areas that are on the border of Virginia and West Virginia there is a lot of devastation. No missionaries were harmed, but there were many people who lost their homes, and some who even lost their lives! My heart goes out to those who are suffering, because of the loss due to the storms. 

This is John's Scriptures that He Wrote Down from His Studies
Sister Wevers and I have had lots of success finding this week! Finding can be really hard to do, and also not very fun. Who actually likes knocking on random people's doors in the heat and humidity in the backwoods of Virginia? ...Actually Heavenly Father has blessed me and helped me to find joy in it, but it can still be very, very hard! Sometimes it seems like knocking on peoples doors doesn't work, but Heavenly Father sees our diligence and our hard work. And Heavenly Father rewards his children for doing the "hard things". We have seen miracles and success from our diligence. 
I LOVE VIRGINIA - 1
One of the miracles we had happen, is that we actually started teaching John's parents! His mom and dad - Paul and Cheryl - are so sweet! We visited them and talked about the Book of Mormon. They are Baptists, but they are pretty open to listening and learning why John is doing what he is doing. We invited them to start reading the Book of Mormon and to pray about it, and they committed to us that they are going to do it! AHH! I am so excited. Cheryl is like the definition of southern hospitality! We couldn't leave her home empty handed... We left with a bottle of cold lemonade, a pan of homemade biscuits, and a bag of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from their garden! She is so sweet!

I LOVE VIRGINIA - 2
So our investigator John will be baptized this week! I'M SO EXCITED LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT IT. He has been struggling with some health problems this past week, (we know satan is really working on him) but he is still doing great and is working on finishing the Book of Mormon before he is baptized this Saturday!! WHOOOO. So one day we were just checking up on John to make sure he was still doing good and to see how he was doing with the Book of Mormon Challenge we gave him. So as we were checking up on him, he gave us a challenge in return... He challenged us, that if he finished the Book of Mormon before Saturday, we have to sing a duet at his baptism! AHHHH. We said we would do it, haha so we will let you know what happens!
We also had a lesson with John at the Family History library. He was SO excited and we were able to help him get started. He really has felt the spirit of Elijah! He can't wait to get some names together and be able to take them to the temple! The church is true everyone!
We had a tour of the church for two of our new investigators. Dylan and Kaela. (She has a great name, doesn't she?) It was so cool and they committed to coming to church this next Sunday!  I love how the spirit that is in the church building really does soften people's hearts :)

I LOVE VIRGINIA - 3
I love being a missionary! I am so grateful for this gospel and for the miracles that we get to see on a daily basis. I know that Heavenly Father really does bless us for doing the "hard things". I know that this Gospel is true, and that this is His work. I know that He labors with us in the vineyard. (Jacob 5)



#Ponderize Alma 32:15-16 
"15 Yea, he that truly humbleth himself, and repenteth of his sins, and endureth to the end, the same shall be blessed—yea, much more blessed than they who are compelled to be humble because of their exceeding poverty.
Nasty Bug That Was in Our House - it was WWII in there

16 Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without stubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe."

I LOVE VIRGINIA - 4
Love you all so much! 
XOXO

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis

410 Alta Lane #11
Lynchburg, VA 24502

Monday, June 20, 2016

Strengthened by the Atonement of Christ

What an amazing week, full of miracles!
One Year Mark

When We Got Our Car Back
As I said in my last email, we didn't have a car this week! But hey, soon we will be getting a brand new car! So that is cool. We spent a lot of time walking. It was hard, and what makes things even harder, is that we don't even live in our area! We have to walk about 10 minutes to get into our area where we can actually do missionary work. I learned a lot from this experience though. The whole reason that we didn't have a car, was because there were scratches all over it from previous Sisters that drove the car. We weren't the ones who caused the damage, but we were the ones who had to pay for it. It makes me think about the Savior and for what he did for us. He took on every pain, every heartache and every iniquity for all the mistakes that we have had, and he paid for it. He took the damage that we had caused, and fixed it. Because of this experience, I have gained a little more understanding about the Atonement and what it must have been like for the Savior. I could see Heavenly Father blessing us and watching over us, because it was very hot, and we walked a lot. We spent lots of time tracting, and it was hard! But we didn't ever get too hot, we didn't get dehydrated, and we always had the strength we needed. I know that we were given the strength that we needed. I know that because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, he can take on the pains and hardships that we feel and give us the strength that we need to overcome them.  
Happy Father's Day

Our investigator, John, is doing amazing! HE'S GETTING BAPTIZED ON JULY 2ND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry I am such a spaz, but I am seriously just so excited. :) He just had his baptism interview this week. We also had an amazing lesson with him about family history and Temples and he just loved it!! We invited Brother and Sister Mays to come to this lesson with us and it was so cool because Brother Mays actually had the key to the family history center! So we were able to take John in to show him around! Ah, it was SO cool. The lesson was amazing and John just understood it so well! He was very excited and enthusiastic to start doing family history. We set up an appointment to meet him in the family history center, to help get him started and he said he couldn't wait! The spirit of Elijah has touched his heart :) We also gave him a challenge that would help him throughout the next couple weeks before he is baptized. We challenged him to finish reading the whole Book of Mormon before he is baptized! He said that he would!! I am SO excited.
I LOVE Missionary Work

One last thing, Sister Wevers and I were walking outside this morning for exercise and we were walking past this apartment complex that has a huge dumpster in front of it. Well, as we passed by this dumpster, we saw a raccoon sitting in it eating something in the trash! A real raccoon! WOW. We stopped and I took some pictures of it with the phone, haha it was cute, but I think we really freaked it out.

#Ponderize 1 Nephi 16:29 "And there was also written upon them a new writing, which was plain to be read, which did give us understanding concerning the ways of the Lord; and it was written and changed from time to time, according to the faith and diligence which we gave unto it. And thus we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things."
Part of My Missionary Family Tree - Sister Farnsworth, My First Baby and Sister Lively, My Mom

Love you all so much! Have a fantastic week!

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis

410 Alta Lane #11
Lynchburg, VA 24502




Missionary Tan Line 1

Missionary Tan Line 2

Only 6 Months Left?
Only 6 Months Left 2

Only 6 Months Left 3
Only 6 Months Left 4

Sister Keller and I on Exchanges - I Love Her



Monday, June 13, 2016

The Transfer Scoop

Hello!

Last Pictures in Front of the Apartment

What a fantastic week! I love my new companion. Her name is Sister Wevers, (pronounced like weavers, like you weave yarn) and she is from Spokane, Washington. She has been a member her whole life and she is awesome! She wants to be obedient and she is really smart. She is turning 20 in july so we are about the same age! She went to 2 years of school at BYU Idaho before her mission and she is the oldest in her family of 4. I am SO excited that I get to be her trainer. She is ready to work and she has that new missionary fire! I love it!
Last Pictures #2

So Thursday was Transfers and where we are serving, down in the Lynchburg/Appomattox area, we are in the very bottom right corner of the mission. We are literally on the edge of the mission boundaries. so it takes about 6+ hours to get all the way up to Charleston, West Virginia, where the mission headquarters are. To save ourselves a little bit of time, we drove to go and stay overnight in Lexington with the Sister Training Leaders out there. We got there at about 9 o clock and night (just before curfew because we are obedient missionaries :) ) and then we all went to bed. We had a sleep over in the living room haha, we all slept on the floor. Sister Tafea and Sister Keller (the Sister Training Leaders) and I stayed up until like 11:15 talking, and then they went to bed. I felt so excited/nervous/anxious about what was going to happen tomorrow (Sister Alligood leaving and me picking up my new missionary) that I couldn't sleep. I remember just lying there and I looked at the clock around 12:30. Then I looked at the clock again around 1. I think I fell asleep a short time after that, but it was bad for me because we had to wake up at 3:00 amto get ready so that we could be to the church to get on the Transfer Train (its actually a big 16 passenger van, but everyone calls it the transfer train. Its how we do transfers in the mission, we go from one end to the other, picking up and dropping off missionaries along the way) by 4:15 am. I only really got 2 hours of sleep! I have never got less sleep before in my life! (You should be proud of that mom) I felt like a zombie, but I was still getting nervous to meet my new companion. When you are training someone new, you have no idea who they are! They don't tell you their name, where they are from and you don't even know what they will look like! That is something that makes me kind of nervous, because I don't know what to expect. Anyway, we get ready and we get on the Transfer Train and we are off! We make a couple stops along the way, picking up missionaries and what not and finally around 10:00 we get to the Charleston Stake Center, where we have the Transfer Station.

My New Companion, Sister Weaver
The new missionaries and their Trainers get to have a meeting with President and Sister Salisbury. It was super cool. There were actually only 3 new missionaries coming in, 1 Sister, and 2 Elders. The new Sister obviously knew that I would be her trainer, so we sat next to each other. President Salisbury told the other missionaries who would be training them, and then he started talking to us about the important of obedience. He shared a video from The Districts about the first day for a new missionary. Then we got to listen to a recording of Elder Holland at a seminar for Mission Presidents. He was talking about the importance of following the missionary schedule; specifically the mourning routine. It was so cool! It helped me remind me of the importance of my calling and how everything I do really does effect the rest of my new companion's mission. My obedience and my commitment to the Lord and to Preach My Gospel will speak louder than anything I can say to the new missionary. I hope and pray that I may be able to be the Trainer that Heavenly Father wants me to be, and that I will learn and grow from this experience. I am so grateful for President and Sister Salisbury, for their love and for everything they teach me :)
Quick! Lets take a picture before the humidity ruins my hair! #southernmissionprobs
I'm sure you all want to hear about John, because John is AMAZING! Wow. He came to church yesterday and I was actually giving a talk! So it was cool because I talked about Obedience (because I just really love obedience, you know me) and the covenant of Baptism. John said he loved it! YAY! We also went over to see John at his house, because his parents were both there and he wanted us to meet them! They were so nice and they are actually Baptists, but they support John in what he is doing and they know that John wants to be baptized and they are excited for him! So cool! We got to talking to John's mom and we asked her if we could come visit their family and share our message with them. They accepted and we set up an appointment! Then as we were walking out we asked John if he would come to a baptism on Saturday that was being held for one of the children in the ward. John asked us if it was this Saturday and we said yes and then he said, "Does there have to be only one baptism? Can their be two?" He wanted to try to get baptized this Saturday! IS THIS REAL LIFE? THIS NEVER HAPPENS PEOPLE. We are hopefully going to be having his baptism in 2 weeks from now. He is so ready! I can't wait! :)
Sister Alligood and I with John, our Investigator

Another cool thing that happened with John is that he actually drove the Lynchburg Elders up to Roanoke for Transfers this last Thursday! After Transfers, the Elders told us that it was really cool, because John basically bore his testimony to them. He was telling them about how he was going to become a member of our church soon! He told them that he loves how he feels so included and how this church is truly like a family to him. He also said that he likes how we live what we teach, and we are not hypocrites. He likes how we are real and we truly care for him and the other members do as well. WOW! I am so excited for him and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to teach him. This week were are going to be teaching him about Temples and Families. I am so excited to talk about how he can be with his Grandma again!
Our Car is About to Die - Hello New Car

She is Leaving
This next week we will not have a car. It's going into the shop, TOTALLY NOT MY FAULT in case you were wondering. Our car is about to 'die' because it just hit 50,000 miles. The church buys brand new cars and then when they hit 50,000 miles they sell it and get a new one. So after our car has some body work done, we will be getting a new car!!! So there are a bunch of scratches all over the front and back bumpers, and anything bigger than a golf ball has to be repaired. The scratches were there when I came to the area, so we were responsible missionaries.  We just have to get it fixed. This week we won't have a car, but I know that the Lord is still hastening the work. We will be walking a lot and relying on members to drive us places. I pray that we may have the strength that we need :)













#Ponderize

"That the fulness‍ of my gospel‍ might be proclaimed‍ by the weak‍ and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings‍ and rulers." 

I may be weak and I may be simple. But I have been called by a prophet of the Lord to come and to proclaim His true gospel. I know that this is His work. I know that this gospel is true. And I know that the Lord qualifies those that He calls.

Love you all so much! Hope you're having fun and staying cool (seriously, stay cool. it is so hot!) :) XOXOXO

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis

410 Alta Lane #11
Lynchburg, VA 24502

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Mission Babies

Hi friends,
Mustache Missionaries

We have seriously had a crazy, busy, fantastic week :) so obviously I am not pregnant. But as missionaries we have weird lingo. So your first companion, your trainer, is your mom/dad depending on if it's a sister or an elder. So the new missionary is the 'baby' to the trainer. So everyone, I'm having a baby! A missionary baby :) Sister Alligood and I were riding up to a meeting with a member and some other sisters, when President Salisbury called us. I immediately freaked out, because President Salisbury doesn't just call anybody for no reason! (I know, I am a spaz.) President Salisbury asked to talk to me, and he extended the call to me of being a Trainer for a new missionary. I accepted his call and he told me that there was only one new Sister coming into the mission this Transfer, and so he said that he has great trust and confidence in me that I will be able to be an example of obedience and diligence to the new missionary. Whoa. I was a little overwhelmed. Training a new missionary is a HUGE deal. A missionary's first companion has a lasting influence on the rest of their mission. No one could ever be better than my Trainer (shout out to you Sister Lively, you are my Sister at heart) but I am so grateful for her example to me, of getting me where I am today and helping me become who I am. I know that the Lord will be with me, to guide me so that my companion and I will be able to grow together.
I Made a Welcome Sign for the New Sister

My current companion, Sister Alligood goes home on Friday! (Transfers are tomorrow, and she will stay the night in Charleston, and then her flight leaves Friday) It has been sad to see her pack her things to leave the WVCM (AKA the best mission in the world) for good, but I am so grateful for this time I have had to serve with her, here in Lynchburg. She has blessed my life in more ways than she may even realize. I will never forget all the times we sang Disney Songs (mostly the songs from Frozen and Hercules because they are the best) and for all her hilarious jokes. Sister Alligood has taught me in more ways than one, what it means to truly love someone. She is such a great example of charity and kindness to everyone she meets. Seeing her go makes me scared to go home; wait, never mind, I am staying here forever :) It is a bitter sweet experience. But I am so grateful that she made the decision  to serve a mission and to bless the lives of those she served and to also bless mine :)
Sister Alligood's Last Zone Meeting

Our investigator John is doing SO well!! WOW! We know that Satan has been working so hard on him, but he is coming off conquerer! :) We had a very powerful lesson with John at the church with a couple members. We talked about the importance of Personal Study and of Sabbath Day observance. Along with talking about the Sabbath Day, we told him a story. Back in November we had a General Authority come to the mission to talk to us, his name was Elder Kopischke. He promised us that if we took a question that we had to church, and listened to the spirit during Sacrament Meeting and the classes, that it would be answered. Elder Kopischke also promised us that if we promised that to our investigators that it would be answered. I have promised this to investigators before and the question is always answered! So we told John this and then committed him to bring a question that he had to church. He told us right away that he does have a question and it is a really important question. We promised that it would be answered when he comes to church. And guess what, HE CAME. So we set up a time to see him on Monday, and we ask him about his question. John told us that he is pretty sure that it was answered, but he is stubborn so he wanted to ask us. He started getting emotional as he asked us his question, "Am I being selfish, if I am doing this so I can be with my Grandma again?" Picture this: a very big man, over 6 feet tall, with tears were rolling down his checks. The spirit was so strong as we immediately all started testifying of temples and eternal families. John cried even harder. We assured John that he wasn't being selfish, and that his Grandma probably very proud of him, watching out for him from the spirit world. It was an AMAZING lesson. It is one of my top 3 favorite lessons on the mission. I am SOOOO grateful for the spirit and for it leading and guiding us to know what we needed to do to help John. I am also very grateful for the 'ministering of angels' that prepare the hearts of the people, so that they are prepared to receive the Lord's message from us. I LOVE MY MISSION.
I Just Really Like Virginia

















#Ponderize 1 Nephi 3:7 "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will‍ go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments‍ unto the children of men, save he shall prepare‍ a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." This is actually Sister Alligood's favorite scripture. I am relating it to me in my situation, as I have been called to be a trainer. I may feel inadequate and anxious, but I know that the Lord qualifies those He calls. He would never give us a commandment, without preparing a way for us to be able to follow it.
I Love Cloudy Days the Most
Saw This on the Back of a Car and Had to Take a Picture


Just for Fun

Selfie with some favorite Lynchburg ladies, Sister Davids and Sister George
I LOVE Virginia


Love you all so much!

XOXOXO

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis

I'm still here!
410 Alta Lane #11
Lynchburg, VA 24502

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Time Keeps Flying By

My Mom Always Sends Me Paper/Plasticware - She is the Coolest!
Wait... Where did this transfer go?? I feel like it just started!

Next week is transfers, so this Saturday night we will be getting transfer calls. It is when we find out who is staying and who is leaving. It is weird to me that my companion, Sister Alligood will be going home! (She and I are both freaking out btw) I will be getting a new companion and hopefully (most likely) staying in Lynchburg :) I will let y'all know next Wednesday in my email :)

Sister Alligood Made Me Birthday Pancakes in the Shape of 
ALSO. THANK YOU SO MUCH for everyone who sent a Birthday card or gift to me this week. I really enjoyed my birthday out here :) it was a lot of fun! This is my first email as a 20 year old...


We did find a new investigator this week, it was pretty crazy! We knock on this guy's door, and he opens the door; he is tall, really skinny, he is not wearing a shirt and he has tattoos all over his chest. We introduce ourselves and we ask him if he has ever heard of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints before and he says, "Yes, I used to go to that church with my grandma when I was little." WOW! Part member family :) (cue the Hallelujah Chorus, because Part Member Families are where its at!) So his name is Douglas. He told us that his mom is a member and she is actually in one of the other wards in Lynchburg. Super cool! His mom does have some health problems and isn't able to go to church very often, but it sounds like she still has a testimony! We had a lesson with him and as we were teaching the Restoration, we got to the part about Joseph Smith and how he read James 1:5. We read it with Douglas and he told us that his mom had actually shown him this scripture a few weeks ago! Angels truly do prepare the hearts of these people and he has been prepared! :) He even said that he would come to church next week with his mom! I am so excited to be working with him!

Eating Mexican Food with family in ward for birthday dinner
We have been having a hard time with our investigator, John. He has been struggling lately. He didn't show up for 2 lessons this week and he didn't come to church. We are hoping that we can help him and continue to teach him. We have a lesson scheduled for tonight with him, so hopefully it all works out! Please pray for John that he might have the strength that he needs.
Selfie Sunday








My Face when I Realized that this is my First Picture as a 20 Year Old

























#Ponderize John 13:17 "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."Relate this to the Commandments. We are "happy if we do them" :) be obedient and you will be blessed! That is a promise to you from a representative of Jesus Christ.

Love you all so much!

XOXOXO

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis

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


Did You Know That Daisies Grow Wild Here?
P.S. You know John Luke from Duck Dynasty? He is Willy's oldest son.... Yeah him. So guess what. He lives here in Lynchburg. He goes to Liberty! Cool huh? Anyways, I just found that out this last week.