Saturday, August 27, 2016

Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite


When Missionaries Open the Mailbox...Where's the Mail?
Hello, hello my family and friends!

As y'all know, this week is transfers! Sadly, I am going to be leaving Lynchburg :( I love it here! But I know I am going to be leaving it in good hands! Sister Wevers' hands :) she just finished with her training, and she is going to be training a brand new missionary! I am so proud of her! As for me... I have been assigned to serve as a Sister Training Leader, (its like the sister version of a Zone Leader) and I am going to be going to Christiansburg, VA! I will actually be serving with one of my MTC companions! Sister Miller! I am so excited to be with her again :) I know it will be a great transfer! 

Sister Weavers and I on the Mountain
Mullins Family
Kaela and Dillon

Wow, serving in Lynchburg has been such a blessing! I LOVE this area and everyone in it, I am sad to go, but I know that I am leaving it in good hands :) I am so excited for Sister Wevers! She is amazing and I have seen her change and grow so much! I am so so grateful for all that she has taught me and for this opportunity I have had to serve with her and to help train her! We both have grown a lot and seen miracles together.

This week has been full of miracles and joy! Missionary work brings me so much joy and I am so grateful for every second! We saw some HUGE progression with Kaela and Dillon! DILLON ACTUALLY PRAYED OUT LOUD! Every single time we meet, we ask him to say a prayer, and he always says he isn't ready. But on Monday, we asked him and he said he would. It was beautiful!! As he prayed, he talked about how he has come a long way, and he is grateful for the progress he has been making. He also thanked God for the lessons and for all that he has been learning! It was so cool to be there! What a powerful experience :) I am so grateful for the time I have had to teach them and serve them! They are AMAZING! Kaela also told me that Sister Wevers and I are her favorite missionaries! So that is pretty cool!

We were also able to meet with The Mullins Family, and John (our recent convert) was there! It was amazing! We asked John to share his testimony with us and his parents, so he wrote it down and read it to us. It was such a special experience to see the ripple effect of our efforts and how it has changed his life for the better, and how it is touching and changing his parents as well! I love that family and they will always have a special place in my heart! I hope and pray that someday John's parents are able to enter into the waters of baptism :) and that they may be able to be sealed as a family for time and all eternity! That is what its all about! I am going to miss Paul and Cheryl and John deeply, but I am so grateful for this time I have had with them. I know without a doubt that I was supposed to serve here so that I could find John and teach him and help him be baptized. I have had the spirit testify it to me many times, that this is one of the reasons that I was sent here. I know that this is the Lord's work and that He is in charge, and I also know that everything happens for a reason.

No LU, go BYU with the Forest Sisters
I really am sad to leave this area, but I know that there are still good things ahead :) I am also excited/nervous about my new calling, but I know from experience, that the Lord does qualify those he calls. I know that he will help me, and I do not need to be afraid. I keep reciting the first line of my favorite scripture in my mind; "Fear thou not" (Isaiah 40:10) I am just putting my trust and faith in Heavenly Father and I know He will help me. A companion I had once told me, "When you worry, Faith goes out the window" and its true. I know that as I keep my faith in my Heavenly Father, everything will work out exactly as it is supposed to. I don't need to worry or be scared, because "With God nothing shall be impossible" (Luke 1:37
Bed Bugs, I am Coming For You

Okay, so y'all are probably wondering by now why I wrote, "Don't Let The Bed Bugs Bite" in the subject line......... Well, there is only one thing that I will miss about Lynchburg, and that is our apartment. First we don't have a working A/C for a whole month, and now we have bed bugs!!! Yep. Bed bugs! I have bites all over. On my legs, my arms, and even my neck.. Sunday night we were at a members house asking about these bites I had all over me and the member told us that it must be bed bugs. Well, okay, first thing y'all need to know is, I didn't even know bed bugs were a real thing! I honestly thought that it was just like a cute little saying. Ya know, people would say "good, night sleep tight" and I thought they would say, "don't let the bed bugs bight" just because it rhymed.... Well no! They are real just in case you are wondering because first thing we did on Monday morning is we stripped our beds and we found one on my mattress! AHHHHH! They get bigger after they have been sucking your blood and this one we found was bigger than it was supposed to be, so that is one that had been biting me! EW! Anyways, Sister Wevers and I have been spending a lot of time, cleaning, washing clothes, and spraying literally EVERYTHING in the apartment with bed bug killer. It stinks, and we have to hang out clothes up to dry after we use it, but if it works, it will all be worth it... Pray that after all of this that I won't take any to my new area with me!
Bed Bug that Was on My Mattress

Love y'all tons! And seriously, don't let the bed bugs bite!

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis
The View from Liberty Mountain

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

VISION QUEST: Becoming



Hello!

Okay... So you will never guess what happened.... Read the story to find out :)

Sister Weavers and I in our Sunday Best

Sister Wevers and I had some time before our dinner appointment and so we tried to contact a new investigator that we picked up this week so that we could set up another lesson with them. We pull up to their house and park on the side of the road and then we say a prayer. After we said the prayer, we look over at the house, and we see this dog in their yard. We didn't even know they had a dog! So The dog is just chilling there and we get out of the car and start walking towards the door. For those of you that don't know this, I am not really used to dogs, especially big dogs. I don't really like them much. So I am just thinking to myself, "Okay, they can smell fear, Sister Willis. Stay calm, just walk up to the door. Everything will be fine!" You know, I am just trying to give myself a mental pep talk here. I am walking in front of Sister Wevers and the dog starts barking at me. I ignore it for a minute, still trying to stay calm, and then out of no where, this dog (we are pretty sure it was a pit bull or at least a pit bull mix) starts bearing down his teeth at me! He showed his teeth and made some intimidating noises and I was out of there! I ran back to the car and hoped in, with Sister Wevers close behind me. It was scary! That dog would have bit me or attacked me! I am just glad that the Lord protects His missionaries. He sure blessed us with safety!
I got a New Dress from Sister Elder

We had a pretty good week, we have been trying to see Kaela and Dillon. They have been to church 4 times now! It is so awesome! They are also reading  from the Book of Mormon. We spent some time this week and read with them, because they had some questions about it. Dillon told us that after we read and explained some of the things going on, it made so much more sense to him! He explained it to us as before, when he didn't understand super well, it seemed like he was watching a budget film, where some guys got together one day and said, 'hey lets make a movie in the backyard!' Then after we explained more of the back ground and what was going on, he felt like he was watching an IMax movie! I liked that analogy :) It is amazing to see the hearts that are changing right before our eyes! 

We got to meet together with our mission President and his wife this week for Zone Conference! It was amazing!!! It was the best Zone Conference I have been to on my mission. My absolute favorite one! I learned SO MUCH. The spirit was SO STRONG. And I feel such a huge increase of love for my Father in Heaven and His work. 
We Had a Party, Drawing on the Table at our Dinner Appointment
Driving in the Country - You Never Know What You are Going to Find Around the Corner
We did an activity our Mission President calls, "A Vision Quest." We talked a lot about who we are and how we can truly become who Heavenly Father wants us to become. I LOVED it. It really helped me think about who I am and who I want to become. I know that Heavenly Father loves me, and that I was sent on this mission at this time, for this reason. I know that this is his work and that he labors with me. I know that He has great expectations for me and that I can accomplish anything with his help.

#Ponderize Nephi 5:13 "Behold, I AM a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life."

Love y'all so much! See you next Wednesday :) 

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis
The Spider that Was on Our Mirror



( I think I am going to get Transferred next week, so if any of y'all write me, send it to the mission office.)

888 Oakwood Road Suit 310
Charleston, WV 25314
Table Graffiti

Monday, August 8, 2016

Righteous Desires

A Cute Basket Made for the Mullins Family
Greetings from Virginia,

Things are going well down here in land of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sister Wevers and I tried doing this really intense workout.... its called the 100 workout... I have never been so sore in my life! So if you like being so sore it hurts to stand up, sit down, walk up or downstairs, move or breath, try it! 

We haven't had too many crazy things happen lately, we have just been trying find! Knocking on doors all day :) We are so good, we could be saleswomen :) haha. Anyway, we have a couple of cool families that we found that seem like they are interested! We are excited about that. We have also been able to see the Mullins' this week. We brought a 'get well' basket to them, because Paul hasn't been doing too well this week. But it is amazing to see how happy and positive they are about everything, even if bad things are happening :) it makes me want to be better and more positive. We have been trying to help them to be able to understand the Restoration. Once someone really understands the Restoration of the Gospel, they can understand and accept the other truths of the Gospel.
Miget - Of course I am going to take a Picture
Kaela and Dillon came to church again! They are so awesome. I don't know how much I have told y'all about them, but they are awesome. They have been dating for 3 years and right now they are living with Kaela's mom. Kaela actually has muscular dystrophy, and so she is in a wheel chair. They haven't really attended one specific church, but they have really enjoyed being able to learn with us! They are loving church, and they started reading and praying almost every day! It has been amazing to see their progression. They are changing and that is the process of conversion! In the Webster's Dictionary under Conversion it says:

[conversion] n. a change in nature or form.
Sister Wevers and I - I love her
Hearts are changing and Heavenly Father is blessing us!
We had an amazing meeting this last week, and we talked a lot about our desires, and a scripture in Psalms. I reflected upon what my desires are and what I need to do to have those desires granted unto me. A desire is something that you want with all of your heart, it is almost like a longing. Desires are also related to faith, as our faith increases our desires become more righteous. I am working on trying to increase my faith, so that I may be able to have more righteous desires, in missionary work.I know that this is truly the Lord's work, and that as I increase my faith, he will give me the desires of my heart.











#Ponderize 

Psalms 37:4 "Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."
Love y'all!



~Sister Kayla Marie Willis
410 Alta Lane #11
Lynchburg, VA 24502
The Basket We Created

Fields of Wildflowers are My Favorite

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Faith and Covenants

Soaked from the Rain
Hello, Hello!

Guess what! Virginia weather is crazy! It's been so hot and then on other days it rains and pours like a hurricane. Sister Wevers and I had a lesson with Kaela and Dillon, and it was going great! We invited John to come with us (our Recent Convert) and it was good to have them get to know one another a little bit and friendship! We talked about the Priesthood and why it was necessary, and why there needed to be a Restoration of the Gospel. We asked John to share his testimony of the Restoration and the Priesthood and it was so cool to hear! John talked about how he hadn't said a prayer for 11 years, since his grandmother had passed away. His grandma was like his best friend, and they were always together. John was angry at God because he felt like He let his grandma die. So when he met us in March, things started to change. He finally started praying again, and he voluntarily stopped swearing. He also stopped drinking and he didn't get super angry like he did before. He shared with Kaela and Dillon, how the Gospel has blessed him to be able to change and become a better person, and even to make him happier. It was an amazing testimony to hear! 
Selfie with a Towel, because I'm Soaked

So back to the rain... after the lesson, we go outside to our car, and there is lightning flashing every other second, and thunder is shaking our bones! It was almost curfew too, so we were trying to be safe and get home on time! I couldn't even see the lines on the road because there was so much water coming down on the window. There were people driving off the road, and some cars were hydroplaning. I was so nervous and so Sister Wevers said a prayer while I was driving and with the hand of Heavenly Father, we managed to get home safely and on time! It was a huge testimony to me that Heavenly Father does listen and answer prayers! He took the wheel from my hands, because I felt the car being guided by something that I could not see. 

We met with a member this week that is very dear to my heart. She hasn't been able to come to church for quite some time due to mental illness. The past couple Sundays she has been coming to church, and it has been amazing to talk with her and see how she has seen the blessings in her life from attending church! She said she she doesn't go to church to be blessed, she goes to church to worship the Lord, but in return of being obedient, she has received so many blessings! This just testifies to me, again and again, how important it is to be obedient to the Lord and his commandments. 
Heat Wave in VA - Temp was 114 with Humidity

These past few weeks I have been studying and pondering about Faith. I have been striving to build and develop my faith. Something in the True to the Faith booklet, really stuck out to me. 

"You can strengthen your faith by keeping the commandments. Like all blessings from God, faith is obtained and increased through individual obedience and righteous action. If you desire to enrich your faith to the highest possible degree, you must keep the covenants you have made."

We strengthen our faith, by making covenants, or promises with God. He will always keep his promises with us, He takes them very seriously. So we have to do all that we can to keep our part of the promise. I know that through covenants, we can gain greater faith and understand of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

This Squirrel is Upside Down
I want to invite all of you to reflect and remember the covenants that you have made, whether they are baptismal, or temple covenants. Try and recognize the blessings that come from keeping covenants. 

I know that this work is true.  It is His work. I know that the church has been restored to the earth by a Prophet of the Lord. I know that the Book of Mormon is a true book, because I have gained a witness by the power of the Holy Ghost
I love y'all! 
xoxoxo

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis

410 Alta Lane #11
Lynchburg, VA 24502