Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Rise in MIGHT!

Hello all. This week was CRAZY!

Maybe the Last Time I See My Pal, Sister Rowley

Sister Nelson and I started a new transfer, and the weird thing about this transfer is that we had to say goodbye to some of our friends! :( Because they were finished and went home... So that was sad, but we are still super excited for this transfer! Sister Nelson and I getting a lot better than ever... we even say things... at the exact same time... in the exact same tone. So that is a little weird, but we love it. This week was kind of slow again, Sister Nelson and I both weren't feeling good this weekend. Not to mention it is WINDY and COLD! It has sounded like the old Spanish Fork winds around her lately. The leaves that were left on our trees are now gone. We were studying and the wind was so loud, and we look up at each other and make a comment about how windy it is. Sister Nelson was reading in 3 Nephi for the White Christmas Challenge and there is a verse in chapter:

8... "And there were some who were carried away in the whirlwindand whither they went no man 
knoweth, save they know that they were carried away."(3 Nephi 8:16

So she shares this with me and we are like wow, we are going to get carried away in this whirlwind! We laugh and say, "Seriously though," at the same time.... Then we looked at each other and laughed again and said, "But really," again at the same time! Oh man... we spend way to much time around each other.... :) just kidding!

Funny story of the week comes from a dinner appointment that we had with an investigator and his less active girlfriend! His name is Buck. Now Buck is very, well, different. Bless his heart. He is an older man, but he is so kind! Haha, he met us on the street, and we started talking to him about the gospel and he told us that his girlfriend was a "Mormon". We asked him if we could come back and teach him. He said yes, and he actually invited us back for dinner! You have to be a special kind of person to invite random people you just met off the street to your home for dinner! So anyways, we are at his house for dinner the second time, and he is making us laugh left and right. Then he goes on to start telling us about all of these people he knows that are in jail, and how his cousin's brother was a serial killer and then his son was too and all this stuff. His girlfriend says, "How did we get to talking about such unpleasant conversation?" and then Buck, without even hesitating says, "We're talking about Ironic Situations!" AHAHAHA. Oh my goodness. You had to be there :)
Pictures of the Sleepover we had with the Bluefield Sisters for the Conference

So this week we had the opportunity to have a General Authority from the Quorum of the 70 come and tour our mission! It was SO cool! His name is Elder Peter F. Muers and he is from Australia! (He also has a sweet accent!) You can look at the most recent General Conference for him, he gave a great talk on the Sacrament! He is now my favorite General Authority! (If you can really pick a favorite, because they are all wonderful) He and his wife were so sweet to all of us and the spirit was really guiding this meeting that we had. So before I get into that, I need to explain what had happened a few days before.....
I Got to See My Old Partner in Crime...SISTER ROBERTS...

So on Friday... Sister Nelson and I were just getting out of a lunch appointment with our Relief Society President, and we check the phone to see that we have a missed call and voicemail from the Assistants to the President. So we were thinking that they are calling us to confirm a few things in preparation for the Mission Conference. Because our mission is so spread apart, we were having some Sisters that were farther away, to stay with us. So we listen to the voicemail and we were surprised because they asked us to call them back. So we did, and they didn't call us to finalize our plans for the Sisters staying with us...

So the Assistants say something like, "Hey Sisters, we just wanted to call to tell you that you both need to be at the Roanoke Chapel for the Mission Conference at 7:30 because Elder Muers is going to interview you."

.......... Silence........ Sister Nelson and I look at each other, jaw dropped. Then we say, "Oh wow, umm okay. Thank you."

"How does that sound?" the assistants say, probably feeling a little uncomfortable at the silence.

"It sounds good" and we finish the phone call.
Sister Roberts

Sister Nelson and I look at each other, and start freaking out! WE WERE JUST ASKED TO BE INTERVIEW BY A GENERAL AUTHORITY. Oh my goodness, what do you even say? If he asks you if you have any questions, WHAT DO YOU ASK HIM? Oh man, we were super nervous, but at the same time we were very, very grateful for this wonderful opportunity. For the next couple of days we pondered about this and prayed that we would be prepared for the interview and for the meeting.

So we wake up Monday morning feeling anxious, but excited. Moments before I went into my interview, I was very nervous, but after I shook Elder Muers' hand, and sat down to talk with him, all my anxieties went away. He is SO KIND! He asked me a little bit about myself. Then he asked me about some things I have learned on my mission. I mentioned the Atonement and how I have learned how it is so individual to each of us. He then started to teach me a little bit more about it. He told me that the way that we access the atonement is through Repentance, and that in turn is how we become like Jesus Christ. He also talked to me a lot about how since I am at the end of my mission I need to "Make these last 6 weeks the best". It was very cool. As we were walking out of the Interview, he told me that I have a sweet spirit, a beautiful smile and that he could tell that I loved the Lord and his work. He is just so sweet! He is also SO inspired. The things he told me were exactly what I needed to hear that day.
Some of the Last Leaves

It was such a good conference. One of my favorite highlights was something that we did after lunch. He had us all get up and sing Hymn No. 259 Hope of Israel and during the chorus we sang it a little differently. The first line is "Hope of Israel, rise in might". During this part, Elder Muers had us get louder when we sang "rise in might" It was very powerful! Then the second line of the chorus says, "Sound the war-cry, "Watch and pray!", and he had us sing "watch and pray" two beats slower. It was super cool. He talked to us about how we need Rise in MIGHT! He let us ponder some ways that we could elevate ourselves in our missionary work, to be able to truly Rise in MIGHT! Then he talked about "watch and pray". He asked us if any of us are spending too much time praying... of course no one raised their hands. Elder Muers told us that we could spend a little more time watching and praying and listening to the Spirit. He had us each reflect on how we can better listen to the Spirit, and I learned that I need to be better at acting upon my promptings, and living in a way that can allow the Spirit to work through me. Sometimes I get to caught up in what I am doing that I don't take the time to stop and listen to the Spirit. I know that receiving constant daily revelation is one of the reasons that we are on this earth. I need to be able to make sure I am pausing, to listen to the Spirit.
More Funny Cars in Christiansburg

There were so many things that I took away from my interview and this conference that I simply cannot send them all in this email, so stay tuned for next week. Tomorrow, Sister Nelson and I have another great privilege to be able to attend an MLC meeting with the other mission leaders and President and Sister Salisbury, and Elder and Sister Muers will also be there! I am so blessed to be serving in this great mission at this special time. I know that this is the Lord's work and that He labors with us. I know that God answers our prayers and that He keeps his promises.

I love you all, and have a Happy Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for my wonderful and supportive family, each of you, for Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ and his gospel, and for every day of my mission.

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis

You can send me cute letters here;
Sister Kayla Willis
1389 Dow St. #B
Christiansburg, VA 24073

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Ripple Effect

Hello Friends,

Exchanges with Sister Huntington - From the Magical World of Spanish Fork

Isn't it weird, that you grow up and you always hear your mom say, "Don't talk to strangers", "Don't go into strange houses", "Don't walk around late at night when its dark", or "Don't knock on doors in questionable places". And then they say, "But please go on a mission!" (Where you have to do all of these things and much more :) haha)

So I am emailing on Wednesday because it is transfers! Sister Nelson and I are............................................. Staying! :) We are pumped to be together again! This will be my last transfer which is super weird. I feel like I just got here, what in the world? 

Also, just so all you know for next week, we will be having Elder Muers of the 70 coming to our mission for a Conference and Mission Tour! Super exciting and all, but since this next week is Thanksgiving, we have to have the Mission Conference on Monday and Tuesday. So for the southern half of the mission (that's me) it will be on Monday and so I won't be on again to email until next Tuesday

After Being in the Car for 2 1/2 Hours - So Tired
This week a sad/funny thing happened.... So our cars are a huge blessing to the mission! I cannot imagine what it would be like to have to walk the narrow roads of Virginia, all the time, everyday, trying to get all the places we need to go! But with the cars, we have a limitation on the amount of miles we can use on the cars. Depending on the area that you have, is the amount of miles that we are given to use for the month. So we depend a lot on effective planning, and on members to help us a lot. Since Sister Nelson and I are the Sister Training Leaders, we have to go out to the other Sisters in our zone for exchanges every week! Some of the sisters are close, and others are far away. Specifically Bluefield, WV. These sisters are an hour and a half away! We went on exchanges with them this week and we had a ride with members to get there and exchange on Friday and then to go and exchange back on Saturday. Well, I was in Bluefield on Friday and Sister Nelson calls me from Christiansburg says that our ride for Saturday canceled... AHH! So its 9:00 on a Friday and she starts calling all these members to try to find a last minute ride (someone that can sacrifice at least 3 hours of their time on a Saturday afternoon). At the end of the day we decided to just sacrifice the miles, because there was no one that we could find that could help. So Sister Nelson drives all the way up to Bluefield, (75 miles) and then we exchange and get on our way.. about 30 minutes out, I find the Bluefield Sisters phone in my bag...... AHH! Nice one, Sister Willis :) So we have to turn right around and go all the way back to give them back their phone, and its not like we can call them and tell them that we are coming! It was a struggle! So after about 2 and a half hours of driving and 220 miles... we got home! Oh man.. We have to be really careful with our miles now! Oh man, good thing we have good walking boots :) 

Amy's Endowment

Amy, Evee and Jared All in White
I also wanted to share something really special from an email that was sent to me today. This is such a Ripple Effect experience! Way back in my first area, in Ashland, Kentucky over a year ago.... I met Amy and Jared, and their daughter, Eevee. We were working with Amy who was a non-member, and her husband who was a member. In the months that I knew them, Amy gave up drinking coffee, they both started coming to church frequently, and Amy accepted a baptism date! In September of 2015, Amy was baptized by her Husband! I love this family so much, and they have brought lots of joy to my life :) the joy continue to grows as today, I learned that Amy and Jared went to the temple yesterday, and Amy was able to receive her own endowments! I am so so excited for both of them, because I know that this is what the gospel is all about. Bringing families together to feel this JOY! The gospel changes lives, and the Ripple Effect is real, the good things you do as a missionary can still effect the lives of those you touch for years! This is a testimony to me of how real and important the ripple effect is. I love my mission. My purpose is to bring souls to Christ. And that is what He is helping me to do. 

Trying to Wink - Instead Looking Like Creeps

Love y'all! 

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis
1389 Dow St. #B
Christiansburg, VA 24073
C Flag
Frost on the Car the Other Morning
Interesting Trucl
Another Interesting Truck
Sweater Selfie
When You Go Back to the Investigator You Just Picked Up Last Week
Can't Say We Didn't Try
Out Teaching with Sister Copeland

Monday, November 7, 2016

Birthdays and the Eye Patch

This week was kind of slow.  Sister Nelson and I are still having a blast, but we don't have too much to report for this week.
Happy Birthday, Sister Nelson!

It was Sister Nelson's birthday! It was fun, we were actually on exchanges, so I couldn't wake up early to make Sister Nelson birthday pancakes, because she wasn't here... So instead, on exchanges when Sister Johnson was here, we blew up a ton of balloons and filled up our living room with them. Then we put up a 'Happy Birthday' banner up in the living room and it was a Minion one! So cute :) So then we head over to Radford to exchange back. Sister Nelson had no idea when she walked into our house to see all the Balloons everywhere! It was fun to see. We had a blast! We went out to Macado's for dinner.  When I told the waitress that it was Sister Nelson's birthday, she asked how old she was turning. When Sister Nelson said 21, the waitress asked if we had any fun plans for tonight and if we were going to go party... Haha no! We don't do that kind of thing, and the waitress just looked at us like we were weird... :) oh  funny missionary things.

So I had an interesting experience while I was on exchanges. Sister Johnson and I were knocking on a door and they weren't home.  We start to leave and we see a man across the street. He looks kind of creepy, wearing sunglasses, a hat and some old tattered looking clothes. I say, "We should talk to him," so we walk over to the edge of the street, and call out to him. "Hey, how are you doing? I have a question for ya!" Then some cars started up the street, and so we had so wait on our side and he was on his side. The streets are already tiny in Virginia and so we are trying to not get hit by a car! Anyways, this guy comes over and we see that under his sunglasses, he had an eye patch. 
Decorating the House for Sister Nelson's Birthday

We find out his name is Tyrone and he goes on to tell us how he lost his eye...... A bungee cord was stretched out and then the hook end flew into his eye and well... he doesn't have 2 eyes anymore! So crazy.. So we start to teach him about the Restoration and when we motioned the Book of Mormon, he said that he had one! It was really cool. He told us that years and years ago, he had met with two young guys with white shirts and ties... Oh man, I love that! We challenged him to pick up his Book of Mormon and read from it, and we are hopefully going to be meeting with him this week! I love how REAL the ripple effect is. EVERYTHING you do, matters. It effects the investigators you are teaching, the members you are serving with, and the missionaries to come after you for YEARS! I have had a goal on my mission to leave a positive ripple effect, everywhere I go, in everything I do. I know how important it is, and how sometimes the people you are finding and teaching now might not be ready now. But the missionaries down the road might be able to harvest the seeds you have planted. I LOVE THE WEST VIRGINIA CHARLESTON MISSION!
Exchanges with Sister Johnson

Love y'all too :)
~Sister Kayla Marie Willis
Carving Pumpkins on Halloween
Finishing Up the Pumpkin in a Skirt
1389 Dow St. #B
Christiansburg, VA 24073

Sister Nelson with Her Pumpkin - Deathly Hallows
FINISHED PRODUCT - The Potterhead Symbol

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Harry Potter Enters Missionary Work

Hello all,
West Virginia Tin Man

This week was good for me and Sister Nelson, but also bad.... We found out that we are both the BIGGEST Harry Potter fans in History! It is so nice to be able to talk to someone who actually knows who the characters are, and what the movies are missing and to know what a "Squib" is :) Now, not only do we have even more things in common and to talk about, but we can freak out about Harry Potter together and completely understand one another! We have been laughing and talking about it for the last 5 days! (When we aren't teaching lessons and talking about missionary stuff of course!) We have both read the Books and seen the movies over and over again. So the bad thing is that we can get distracted sometimes....  

We Love Fall!
So one night, we were talking about the 3rd Harry Potter, and the story and we started talking about how cool the Night Bus is, and how they did such a good job with it in the movie, and then I say, "Man, I cannot remember the Conductors name on the Night Bus..." and that's where it started.... Sister Nelson couldn't remember his name either!! AHHHH. It was awful.​​. Our pride was hurt, from being the biggest Harry Potter fans and not being able to remember a characters name... The Missionary Veil is REAL! (It is the line that missionaries pass over when they are set apart as full time missionaries and it prevents us to remember things like songs, movies and things from the normal human world.) We stayed up way too late talking about it, because we just couldn't remember. The next day, we take it to our district and ask them (moment of silence for them, because they are not Harry Potter fans) and no one has the answer. We go home and we are making lunch and still bothered about it! 
Then Sister Nelson says " his first name Stan?" 
Me: "I think so.... but what is his last name?" 
Sister Nelson: "Does it start with an S..?"

I CANT BELIEVE I FORGOT HIS NAME. But besides that, we figured it out together, even though our pride was hurt a little bit :) now we can move on, because our OCD wasn't going to last much longer. I love Sister Nelson and her love of Harry Potter.

Sister Nelson and I also had to put together a dresser one night; By the way, we are probably not qualified to do that. Where is the "dresser assembly" requirement in my call letter? :) We were going on exchanges with some Sisters the next morning we had to stay up and do it. It was a mess! The dresser we were using before literally fell apart, so we definitely needed a new one! We get one sent to us, and turns out, we have to put it together! Since we have no time to do it, we had to stay up doing it, and we were exhausted the next day... The struggles we have as missionaries are so funny :)

This Statement is True
This week we were able to go teaching with Elizabeth, our new convert! She is so cool. We took her out and there were not a lot of people home. But each time, she was still ready and excited to come! She is so sweet! One time, after we were done visiting her, we asked her if she knew anyone who we should try to visit. Then she actually suggested that we try and visit her friend across the street! He invited us in and we were able to teach him about the Book of Mormon! It was super cool. She is already a great missionary! :) 
Elizabeth Came out Teaching with us!  She is Awesome!

I can't believe it is almost November... Time sure flies when you are saving souls! :) I hope you all have a Happy Halloween! Be safe :) 

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis
1389 Dow St. #B
Christiansburg, VA 24073

Building a Dresser in the Middle of the Night - Don't Recommend it.

Exchanges and Cool Wallpaper

Exchanges with Sister Gale