Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Don't Stop On the First Floor

Hello friends, this week was outstanding!

Exchanges with Sister Christopherson in Blacksburg
We went on exchanges with the Blacksburg Sisters. I got to go to Blacksburg and we had a great time! Blacksburg is a college town, because that is where Virginia Tech is, so that is always fun haha. I love being able to go on exchanges with these wonderful missionaries, I learn SO much from them! The secret is out! WVCM has the BEST missionaries :) It is also the best mission and I'm pretty sure that is doctrine :)

So this week I have been thinking a lot about my purpose and studying 3 Nephi 5:13. This is a scripture that we as missionaries were asked to memorize. I love it! 

"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."
The Blacksburg Sisters

It really helps me understand and know who I am, why I am here, and what I have been called to do. I am here to do HIS WORK. My companion, Sister Miller, is wonderful and she has actually started using it in lessons while we teach people. It is awesome to see what happens when we tell someone that we have been "called of Him to declare His word". I LOVE how important and significant this work really is!

We had an awesome lesson with one of our investigators, Steve. He hasn't really been progressing well, so we have been trying to help him build his faith. He is also a heavy smoker. He smokes two packs a day! We decided that we would teach him the Word of Wisdom and then do that Stop Smoking Workshop with him. We were able to teach it to him last night! It went really well. There is a part in the program at the beginning, that we ask the smoker to get all the cigarettes that they have. Then we ask them to crush them. Normally people hesitate and maybe crush them just a little bit, but Steve went all out! He got both of the packages that he had, tore open the packaging, and broke every single cigarette in half as well as crushing it to pieces. After throwing the Tobacco mess in the trash, he came back to sit down and said, "My blood sugar is really high right now". It was amazing! He is going to quit smoking! 
More Exchanges with Christopherson

We picked up a new investigator this week named Jeffery! He is awesome! He is so willing to learn and he is excited. He is recovering from a head injury that happened some years ago and he knows that God has defiantly been watching over him. We put him on date and invited him to church, but he had a bad headache so he wasn't able to come :( hopefully next week though!

Okay, so I absolutely LOVED the General Woman's Session of Conference! If you are a woman and you didn't get the chance to see it, I would invite you to repent :) and GO WATCH IT. And if you are a priesthood holder, GO WATCH IT. I love and sustain the leaders of our church and I really enjoy the wonderful opportunity that we all have to listen to the Lords representatives on the earth today. I loved each of the talks and I especially loved President Uchtdorfs words. I have been focusing on developing my faith for about the past 6 months now, and so I felt like that talk was for me! I mean especially the story on those missionaries because people, I AM A MISSIONARY! :) I loved hearing about the great faith of these 2 missionaries and how they didn't stop on the first floor when no one would listen to them, or even the second floor when no one would listen to them. They kept going until the LAST floor and the LAST door! We need to have the faith that God WILL answer our prayers. BUT WE CANNOT STOP ON THE FIRST FLOOR. We need to be diligent in seeking answers. I also love how President Uchtdorf talked about the Lord's promise that is repeated though out the scriptures: "Knock, and it shall be opened unto you". President Uchtdorf said, "God rewards those who knock, but the reward usually isn't behind the first door."  I LOVE THIS. It not only applys to literal missionary work, but to all of us in our lives. Do not forget the Lord and his promises, he will give us answers, we just need to be faithful and diligent in seeking them.
Double Rainbow

Some other thoughts I had from conference:
  • We need to strive to have faith, hope, and charity.
  • Know and understand the Doctrine of Christ (2 Nephi 31)
  • Keep your temple and baptismal covenants!!
  • Use the atonement more in our lives 
  • Sometimes we need to "listen differently" :)

As a last note the members here are awesome! We had a dinner appointment this week with an awesome member who just moved here with her husband for school. They moved from Provo, Utah and they are so great! She knows that Sister Miller and I are both from Utah, and so when we went over for dinner and she surprised us by making home made Cafe Rio! It was delicious! There isn't a Cafe Rio in the mission, the closest one is in Richmond, VA. When we thanked her for being so thoughtful she just said, "Everyone needs Cafe Rio!" :)
Is it Fall yet?

Love you all!! 

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis

Lately the mail box has been filled.... with cobwebs.... send me mail :)
1389 Dow St. #B
Christiansburg, VA 24073

We Went Tracting and Found Some Papers on our Windshield

The Papers on our Windshield

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Did I Just See a Utah License Plate?


This Was Taken at Our 15 Month Mark

So This week was wonderful! I feel like I am finally getting the hang of things here. :) Christiansburg is awesome! It's kind of weird, because everyone here is from Utah! I am not used to my own kind. I need more country folks in my life! But that's okay, the ward really is amazing! There really are lots of young families here from Utah because of the College in the neighboring town. Virginia Teach is in Blacksburg, VA. Many people are students and so there are lots of turnovers in the ward, with people moving in and out with the semesters. It is pretty great though, the ward really trusts us and they love missionary work! It is so awesome to be in a ward where they are more than willing to help us with the Lord's work. 
Sister Miller and I with the Bluefield Sisters

Sister Berger and I on Exchanges
We Both Got Minion Pajamas
This week was great! Sister Miller and I have been working on teaching in unity and being "equally yoked" in our teaching. We get along very well, and it isn't that we aren't working together, but sometimes it can be hard to teach with someone who teaches differently than you. It is amazing to see how much more our investigators understand when we are constantly trading off and testifying. I was thinking a lot, and I started looking through one of my old study journals to some notes that I took at a District Meeting about 6 months ago. In this meeting we were talking about companionship unity and teaching by the spirit. Something that I wrote down just hit me like a wall. "The Spirit isn't going to tell you to take over in a lesson." I know how true this is! Contention will drive the spirit away and we need to be unified with our companion. The Missionary Handbook says to "talk openly with your companion" and I know how important that is for us to be unified as a companionship. I have learned how important it is to rely on the promise in Chapter 10 of Preach My Gospel "Your teaching WILL be more powerful and interesting if you and your companion work together in unity." I love the Lord and His promises. I know this is true!

We were able to see one of our investigators, Elizabeth! We think she might have a bit of a learning disability, so we try to really break things down even more to the pure and simple basics. She has been coming to church pretty frequently, but she has some concerns with baptism. We really tried to understand what her concerns were and how we could help her. We found out that she is afraid of drowning, and also of getting water in her ears. Sister Miller and I taught the principal of 1 Nephi 3:7 - how God will not give us a commandment without first providing a way for us to be able to do it. We were able to help her know that she will be okay and we put her on date for Oct 22! It was awesome :) teaching by the spirit to fit peoples needs is the only way to teach! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY AND BRINGING OTHERS UNTO CHRIST.
I'm a Minion
Love y'all!

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis 

Write me :)
1389 Dow St. #B
Christiansburg, VA 24073
I Really Enjoy the Virginia Sign

How we feel about our 15 month mark...

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sorry, this is a short one...

Hey everyone! 
Sunday, Funday

So sorry, this will be another short email, we just have too many things to do!

This week has been great, I forgot to tell y'all that Sister Miller and I will be going on exchanges every week! So last week I went and spent the day in Radford with Sister Johnson! It was so much fun, and I learned a lot! This week I was able to go to Blacksburg in the YSA area with Sister Schoemig! She is so sweet and we had a blast! I am learning so much. Sister Miller and I have a lot of things to do. We spent our entire Tuesday up at a meeting in Charleston! We met with all the other leaders in the mission and President and Sister Salisbury. I am really excited for the Christmas Season coming up.  There are going to be some exciting things happening in the mission! :) No details yet though haha. 
Exchanges with Sister Schoemig in Blackburg YSA Area

The work here in Christiansburg is going well, Sister Miller and I are working hard and having fun! We have some awesome investigators and I promise I will tell y'all about them soon. The ward here is great! Lots of members willing to help us with the Lord's work :)

This week I have been thinking a lot about how Heavenly Father helps us grow. It isn't always easy, in fact, it usually isn't. It is like we are being thrown into a fire. But it's the "refiners fine". God is the one throwing us into the heat, he pushes us until we feel like we can go no more. We feel the heat and the pressure, but that is how diamonds are made. He purifies us and rids us of our imperfections, and this I know is true. 
They are in a Walking Area

Doctrine and Covenants 112:28 "But purify your hearts before me; and then go ye into all the world, and preach my gospel unto every creature who has not received it;"

Love y'all! 
Say your prayers! 

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis

:) send me mail! 

1389 Dow St. #B
Christiansburg, VA 24073
All the Sisters in the Zone We serve Around

Exchanges with Sister Johnson - I Love Her

This is Our Study Room with Sister Miller on the Phone

Monday, September 5, 2016

Missionary Work and the Atonement

"The field is white all ready to harvest..." A picture we found in Goodwill
Hello, Hello!

So sorry, this email will be short. Sister Miller and I are emailing today at the church (the libraries are closed for Labor Day, so normally we would be emailing on Tuesday) we wont be able to email tomorrow though. We have a big meeting up in Charleston with President Salisbury and the other mission leaders. It is basically a day long meeting. We have to wake up at 4:30 so that we can get up there in time for the meeting to start at 9:30. WOW! We have so many things to do... I don't think I have ever been so stressed out on my mission! It's good stress, but it has still been tough. I have been thinking a lot about how it's the toughest things that make us grow the most. But how do we get through the toughest things?
I have been pondering a lot of this talk. If you are a missionary I know you have heard this talk. It's by Elder Holland and it is amazing. I have been trying to put it in context of my own struggles and trying to apply it to me specifically.  I would encourage all of you to try to apply it to your own lives as well. ENJOY :)

"Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? [Or in my case, why am I so stressed? Why do I feel unqualified for this task? Why is Satan working so hard to bring me down?] It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?

You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.

Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.

For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul.

If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry, “Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass,” then little wonder that salvation is not a whimsical or easy thing for us. If you wonder if there isn’t an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn’t an easier way.

The Atonement will carry the missionaries perhaps even more importantly than it will carry the investigators. When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made a hiss and a byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions."
I know that Christ knows exactly what we feel because he suffered for e v e r y  s i n g l e  o n e  o f  u s. Because of what he did for us, he can lift us up. Even if we hit rock bottom, Christ is the rock. I know that is true, and I know that he can help each one of us in any trial we face. Jesus Christ is our Redeemer, He is the Savior of the world, and he loves YOU! He can and will help us. And when we labor in His service, it will be hard, but it will be worth every tear, every trail, every hardship. I know that this is true.

I love y'all so much!!

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis

:) send me mail! 
1389 Dow St. #B
Christiansburg, VA 24073

Friday, September 2, 2016

Companions Reunite

Hi friends! 
Sunday Funday

Okay, so everything going on has been crazy! But, I got to Christiansburg, and hopefully I haven't taken any bed bugs with me :) no signs yet, so I think I am safe! I love it here! Christiansburg is a smaller town than Lynchburg (but everything is smaller than Lynchburg haha) and it is so cute! Everything is a lot closer together which is nice :) So far, I have met a few of the members and recent converts here. There are so many people to work with - with tons of potential and I am very excited to be a part of it! I am also very excited to be with Sister Miller again! We were in a Trio together in the MTC. She is amazing! She is so sweet and she really loves the Lord and the people. I am also so excited to be here because one of my Trainee's (Sister Farnsworth) just served here! She is amazing and I am defiantly standing on her shoulders! I am so grateful for all she has done here and I am excited to serve in this part of the Lord's Vineyard!
Reunited with Sister Miller - Comps Again

We are already seeing miracles! Yesterday, we got stuck at church for longer than we had hoped, because we asked for a ride because we don't have too many miles left for the rest of the month. We finally got home and we didn't have too much time, and the appointments that we had set for yesterday ended up not working out. So Sister Miller and I made some phone calls, and then it was 8:30 and then we said, "Okay, we are going to go work in this neighborhood for 20 minutes, and we are going to see a miracle!" So we got out, and walked to this neighborhood. The first two houses we knocked on had no answer, but we were walking up to the third door when the woman actually pulled up to her house in her car! (Let me just say, it was awkward don't get me wrong, but it would have been even more awkward if we didn't talk to her!) So we start talking to this woman and at first, she is totally against what we have to say. She says she isn't interested and we start talking to her. She told us that she isn't very religious, but that she has tried to study and learn different things about different religions. She told us that she really wants to understand what her purpose is, and "why she is still here". She told us that she has stage 4 cancer and she has still stuck around for 4 years! WOW. What an amazing opportunity to share God's plan, and what our purpose is in life! We are going to see her soon and tell her all about it! :) I am super excited. 
Last Picture with Sister Wevers

I know that the true Gospel has been restored to the earth and that President Thomas S. Monson leads the church on the earth. I know the Book of Mormon is true! I know that it does draw people closer to Jesus Christ. I know that obedience to the commandments of God does bring us Joy. 
My Missionary Family Tree - My Trainees, with their Trainees

I love y'all, and never forget to pray.

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis

Okay, y'all! Here is my new address :) send me mail! 

1389 Dow St. #B
Christiansburg, VA 24073
Hello Blue Ridge Mountains

Saying Goodbye to John 
Saying Goodbye to John 2