Monday, October 24, 2016

The Sound of Running Water in the Church

Cascades
WHAT A WEEK! Probably one of the best! It is so true that when you have something great about to happen, bad things are thrown at you left and right! Sister Nelson and I were a little sad because of lots of appointments falling through and people not being able to meet with us, but the highlight was defiantly ELIZABETHS BAPTISM!!!!!! Oh my goodness what a special day!
More Cascades
Well, our week started out awesome! Sister Nelson and I drove about 40 minutes to go on a really pretty hike to a place called the Cascades. It was SO PRETTY! We got to walk up around pretty looking rocks and really cool stairs and bridges along a river that lead up to a huge waterfall! It was the perfect time to go too, the trees were turning and so beautiful! So the funny thing is, we kind of ran out of time. If you don't already know, missionaries have one day a week, called our Preparation Day. That is today because I am emailing you all. It is the day that we get to email our families, go shopping, wash our clothes, and do other things like hike the Cascades for example! It is a fun day, but it only lasts until 6:00pm, then we have to go back to work. So Sister Nelson and I went up to the Cascades a little later in the day thinking that the hike would only take a half hour to get up to the waterfall and a half hour to get back. We quickly learned that our information had been false, because an hour later, we hadn't reached the top! We were starting to panic a little, so we walked faster, took less pictures, and finally we got to the top! It took us an hour and a half to get to the top, and we had to be back home in an hour and 5 minutes... we also have a 40 minute drive to get back to Christiansburg! So we take a picture of the waterfall, and Sister Nelson and I start hauling down this mountain, around rocks and trees and leaves, it is also a little slippery in some places. I fell midway down, of course haha, but nothing too bad! Just came away with some nasty bruises on my knees. We ended up getting down the mountain in 40 minutes! We cut off 50 minutes! I thought I might die, but here I am typing this email to you. It was so crazy! We got home on time, I still don't know how we made a 40 minute drive a 20 minute drive, but we did it. (And we also didn't speed, because we have TiWi, the speed monitor) We were also on time to our appointment! So crazy. I don't know how we did it, but I know that because we were trying to be obedient, Heavenly Father helped us after we put in our effort! It is kind of like Grace. We did all we could do, we ran down that mountain, around the curves and twists, and then just when we thought we could go no more, He strengthened us. He helped us be able to have the strength to keep going down that mountain, and do that work we needed to that night. It was so cool! Heavenly Father truly does protect and watch over his missionaries!
Waterfall at the Cascades
Elizabeth's Baptism
Elizabeth also got baptized this week! It was so special! It was a very sweet service for her. The spirit was very strong! We were able to have lots of Recent Coverts participate in the service, which made it even more special! Elizabeth's good friend Sister Queensberry said one of the prayers. Another new member, Brother Davis gave a wonderful talk on Baptism! We also had another member, Brother Huffman, who just hit a year since his baptism be able to baptize Elizabeth! While the actual baptism was going on, Brother Huffman said Elizabeth's name wrong. He said her middle name first. I was really confused and concerned. As soon as he brought her back up, I looked at Sister Nelson and asked, "Did he say her name right?" She said "I don't know." So I panicked, and went up to the font as Elizabeth was walking out and called out to her. I asked her what her full name was and she said it. Brother Huffman had switched her first name, with her middle name! Everyone was really confused what I was doing, and then everyone understood as my face went CHERRY RED as I explained that he had switched her first and middle name. Elizabeth was baptized again, which was kind of crazy because she is scared of water! It really built my faith, to see her be baptized twice, even after she had been so afraid of doing it. I know that God provides a way for us to fulfill the commandments that he gives us. I know how important and essential baptism and conversion is, but the proper authority. It was very special to see Elizabeth in Sacrament meeting the next day and to see the smile on her face as she received the gift of the Holy Ghost. I love this gift the God gives us so that we may have his guidance with us all the time. It brings peace to my life and I know that it will for Elizabeth! :)
Selfie at the Baptism

I love being able to do this as a missionary, and to help bring people to the Gospel of Jesus Christ; by Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End. There is a song that we missionaries listen to sometimes. All you missionaries will know it, but there is a line in there that says "The most wonderful sound I've ever heard, is the sound of water running, in the Church. As someone I'd come to love got dressed in white, my eyes saw their first glimpse of Heavens light". I just think about this time and time again, no matter how cheesy it may sound, it is true! I think the most beautiful thing to see as a missionary, is to watch someone that you have got to help bring to Jesus Christ, make a sacred covenant with him. I know that this church is true, and that it CAN and DOES change and soften hearts! It is the only thing that can bring peace in this life, and eternal joy in the life to come.

Sacred Grove or Cascades?
And I want all of you to know that I know that this church is true! I know that it is lead by living prophets today. I know the spirit is very real, and we can be guided by its whispers. I know that we build our faith by action. I know that Christ is my Savior, and that He died for me. I also know that He lives for me!
I love my mission. It is the best thing I have ever done. I wouldn't trade these experiences for anything.
XOXOXO
~Sister Kayla Marie Willis
1389 Dow St. #B
Christiansburg, VA 24073

Sunday, Funday

My bruises from falling down the cascades - they are worse in read life
Sister Nelson is the Best!


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