Wednesday, July 26, 2017

ANOTHER AMAZING WEEK IS IN THE BOOKS

"We continue to see the Lord's hand in our work every single day and I am so so so grateful 
to be able to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent the Savior, Jesus Christ. 
I love Him and I am grateful for his atoning sacrifice for each one of us."


Another amazing week here in the CRM is in the books!!! I love this work and I love the Chinese people here!! Christine Xiong was baptized!!! It is always a special day to see someone enter into a sacred covenant with their Heavenly Father. It is definitely the highlight of any missionary's week to watch faith in Jesus Christ that grows in someone you love.

Elder Willes and Christine Xiong


Our investigators are just awesome. Last Tuesday afternoon we had the opportunity to go to Shanon's and have another lesson with her. We followed up on her commitments and taught her about the Word of Wisdom. Shanon has agreed to live the WofW for one week. She likes to drink tea. Tea is really part of the Chinese culture so please pray for her, that she through living the commandments, can know of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a great lesson and she is super awesome! Guns and his wife Anna came to church and Guns came in a white shirt and tie too!!! It was awesome. Also, we texted Hank (who was recently baptized) and he said that he is going to help with their Ward Trek!!! How cool is that? I love that guy. We are also trying to get Evangel to the temple in the next couple of weeks.

We had an exchange this week with the Eastvale English Elders. Elder Porazzo (Elder Gulbranson's new trainee), came to be with me in our area. We had a great day together! That afternoon we had an amazing lesson with Bao Jie Mei!!! We taught her about the Plan of Salvation and the spirit was really strong. Bao Jie Mei really has a strong desire to learn and we are excited for her to continue to progress and Come Unto Christ. That night, we had another awesome English Class. We had a ton of people there too! After our class we had a lesson with Zoe, one of our new investigators. Zoe has been coming to English Class for awhile. It was a great lesson and Zoe was really happy! 

Thursday morning we had our first interviews with President Hammon. I love that guy. He is so awesome. You can feel of his love that he has for the missionaries all of the time. It was super awesome!  

Friday was another great day too! That night, we had another awesome English Class. We had a lot of new Chinese people come. After our class I taught Wang Di Xiong and his wife, Song Jie Mei (who we found through our English Class). Literally while I was teaching them, in the same room, Elder Nelson was teaching Michael! We had a lot of lessons that night. Isn't that the best problem to have?! Immediately after teaching Wang Di Xiong and Song Jie Mei I then sat down with Li Di Xiong and taught Jacky! A busy and awesome night.

Saturday morning we had our Weekly Blitz for some other missionaries in our Zone. Elder Williams (one of my Zone Leaders) and I went out again together. We found one awesome referral!!! He mentioned to us that his Grandpa passed away three weeks ago and also he had a 12 year old daughter that had passed away. It was so sad for him but also so powerful as we talked about the Plan of Salvation in his garage. His name is Javier. Please pray for him! It was such an amazing experience and one that I will never forget. I love that through the Gospel of Jesus Christ we are able to be with those we love forever. That is a gift of hope that just simply cannot be replaced with anything else. 

This week we were able to attend the best Ward Party ever. Our Chinese Ward Activity is one I've gone to before. Everyone brings stuff they don't want and everyone exchanges items. It's like a giant White Elephant Ward Party. Sunny, Vivian, and Sunny's 11 year old daughter, Isabella all came too! It was fun and a good opportunity to invite some of our investigators to attend as well! 

We had another lesson with Guns and his wife Anna, Bao Jie Mei, and her daughter Grace. It was so so so cool! We taught them all the Plan of Salvation. During the lesson, Guns told us that ever since we have been coming by it has planted a seed in Anna and given her an increased desire to follow the Savior, Jesus Christ. Elder Nelson and I were looking at each other like holy cow!!!!!! We had the biggest smiles on our faces. Guns and his wife Anna are on date for baptism for August 20th!!!! Keep praying for them.

Sunday was so awesome. Christine was BAPTIZED!!!! It was a special day and I will never forget it. Brother Miao and Brother Jiang spoke at her baptism. Brother Xiong, Christine's dad, baptized her. I felt the Spirit so strongly and it was a really special day for me. I hope and pray that the entire Xiong Family will continue to learn and grow in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Elder Crowther, Elder Willes, Christine, Brother Xiong and Elder Nelson


This week has been amazing. We continue to see the Lord's hand in our work every single day and I am so so so grateful to be able to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent the Savior, Jesus Christ. I love Him and I am grateful for his atoning sacrifice for each one of us, so that we can repent and truly develop a personal relationship with Him. Love you all have a great week!

Elder Willes 


8 INVESTIGATORS AT CHURCH



Hello everyone! :) This week has been another amazing week here in the CRM!!! We had 8 investigators attend church AND we picked up 5 new investigators this week!!! To top it off, Christine Xiong had her baptismal interview on Sunday and was found WORTHY to be baptized!!!!!! Christine will be baptized this coming Sunday. She is awesome and super excited for her baptism and we are so excited for her! 

We taught Michael Li this week, a new investigator. We contacted Michael a long time ago and he wasn't super interested at the time, but we planted some seeds baby. Michael called us recently asking for help translating a document. So of course we helped him with that and also taught him the first couple of points about the restoration of the Gospel. It was a great lesson and he even said the closing prayer. We also continue to teach Shannon and shared with her Alma 32 this week to help her faith grow stronger. The spirit was really strong during that lesson. I love teaching the Gospel and love when you see that someone is feeling the spirit and learning.

We met our new Mission President this week, President Hammon! President Hammon is such a great guy. I love him. You could tell from the second he walked into the room that he loved all of us missionaries. He introduced himself and also shared a lot of cool "spiritual things" with us. I can tell he is going to be a great blessing to our mission and that I will learn a lot from him. I am excited to serve around him.

On Thursday morning we went down to Lake Elsinore to have a recent-convert lesson with Evangel and Blair!!! It was awesome. I feel so blessed to have met and taught these 2 great ladies. We are also teaching Ada, one of our new investigators. She is a member referral from Sister Yu. Ada is super great. Please pray for her and her family to accept the Gospel! We taught Michael Xu this week. He is doing well and still keeping all of the commitments that we have extended to him. He is so awesome! On Saturday, we went to Hemet (which is quite a long ways away from us), to have another lesson with Cher. We taught her the Plan of Salvation. It is a long distance, well over an hour, for her to come to church. So please pray for her to receive the help she needs so she can come to church and progress. We also taught Steven and Jerry. They are awesome. 

Elder Willes and Elder Nelson (thanks to Kenzie for the best themed packages ever)

This week we did some service at the Jensen Alvarado Ranch. I always enjoy the time when we give service. Also, our English Class is booming and we are so grateful. We usually have around 15 people coming now!! It has grown so much. On Saturday morning we had another weekly blitz for the Jurupa Elders. It was so fun. Elder Williams (one of the Zone Leaders) and I found some referrals for them! 

Sunday was super amazing! This past Sunday, I had the opportunity of giving a talk in Sacrament Meeting about missionary work. We had 8 investigators come to church which was awesome! Sunday night, we had an AMAZING lesson with a new family that we found, Guns, and his wife Anna. We met Guns at Orchard Park awhile ago. We taught Guns and Anna along with Sister Bao and her daughter Grace. It was an amazing lesson. Please pray for all of them so that they can Come Unto Christ.

This week has been amazing. I am so excited to continue to work hard and help people Come to Know the Savior. Love you all and know that I am praying for you so you can all have the best week ever!

Elder Willes

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

6 IS OUR LUCKY NUMBER




Hello everyone! :) Ah, I love this work! This week has been another amazing one here in the California, Riverside Mission. We have seen a lot of miracles this past week, and we are excited to continue to work hard. This past week, we were able to find 6 new investigators, as well as having 6 investigators at church! It was amazing. 6 is our lucky number!

We have been so busy this week and I love it! We had a lesson with Bao Jie Mei on Tuesday. Sister Bao has been coming to our English class recently, and has become interested in learning about the Gospel. She told Elder Nelson she wants to be missionary one day! We taught her about the Restoration, and it was a great lesson where was spirit was strong. We are really excited for her! That same afternoon, we had another lesson with Shanon! We followed up on her commitments, and also taught her the importance of making the Gospel your #1 priority. When we show Heavenly Father how important the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to us, we can expect to receive answers to our prayers and a great feeling of peace and joy. It was a really great lesson!

We also had another awesome lesson with Christine this week. We taught her more about the plan of salvation, and she loved it! Christine is so smart, and she is so ready for baptism. We are really excited for her, and to see her progress is super amazing! Her new baptismal date is July 16th. Wednesday night, we also had an awesome English class. Our English classes have been so great lately! We are getting around 10+ people every time. We have worked really hard to build this wonderful tool and the Lord is really blessing us. That night after class, we had the opportunity to visit Ding Di Xiong, one of the less-active members in the Eastvale Ward. It was awesome and I am always reminded that the Lord is mindful of each one of us wherever we are. We taught Ding Di Xiong about the importance of the Sacrament. That guy is super awesome and we are going to do our best to help him come back to church!

Thursday morning I had the opportunity to attend the District Leader Meeting for all of the DLs in the mission. Right before the meeting started, President Mullen called Elder Ly and I out to talk to us, and asked us both to give 7 minute trainings -  pretty much on the spot! I gave a training on receiving revelation through church attendance. It was an awesome experience, and my message went well! 

This week we also had another lesson with Vivian who is in Riverside. Vivian is progressing and is praying everyday! She also brought her friend, Sunny Sun, and her 10 year-old daughter Isabella to the lesson. We picked them up as new investigators and taught them a couple of points about the Restoration. It was a great lesson! We had the opportunity to teach Michael Xu again. We followed up on his commitments, and also taught the Word of Wisdom, and the Law of Chastity. He agreed to obey these commandments and we changed his baptismal date to July 23rd. Please pray for him! 

Saturday morning we had a lesson with Sadie, and her mom. They have attended our English class before. Sadie used to live in England, so when she speaks English, she has a British accent! It is funny and a little unexpected. We taught them about the Restoration of the Gospel and it was a pretty good lesson! Please keep them in your prayers. Sadie is having a baby soon and they are leaving to go back to China soon.

Sunday was so awesome. That morning, we went and visited Winter! She is doing pretty good. We invited her to pray everyday, and she agreed! After that, we raced to church, which was amazing! We had 6 investigators come to church! Shanon, Michael, Christine, Steven, Jerry, and Jacky all came to church!!! It was amazing to be there and worship together with each of them. What a special experience. When we got to the church we quickly setup for translation, I started translating (it is an English service) and Elder Nelson was coordinating with and helping all of our investigators get in and settled. That afternoon, we drove to Hemet which is a pretty long drive, to visit Cher and Wendy again! We finished teaching them about the Restoration! Vicky Vu, their friend, who also works at the restaurant China Garden, also sat in on the lesson, and is interested too! It was awesome, and we have seen so many miracles from this past week. Overall, it was an amazing day!

President Hammon is our new Mission President. I haven't met him yet but we have a meeting tomorrow where I will. I am super excited! He seems like an awesome guy. Elder Nelson and I are doing well. We are often tired and hungry and always hot, but I am grateful I get to serve with him and love him lots. We know Elder Crowther is out there doing awesome stuff.

This week has been amazing. I am so excited to continue to labor in the Lord's vineyard, and to help the Chinese people Come Unto Christ. I hope that's what you are all trying to do too. Love you all have a great week!

Elder Willes

Monday, June 26, 2017

LISTEN

"We were all so grateful that we listened to the Spirit."


Hello everyone!!! This week has been another amazing one!

First off, I just wanted to give a little shout out to Kenz, who was called to serve in the ALPINE GERMAN SPEAKING MISSION!!!!!!! So excited for you!!! I testify and know that Heavenly Father calls us to a people, and that He is in the details of everyday missionary life. He matches our attributes, talents, gifts, and other qualities to specific people who need the light and hope of Jesus Christ. 

Congrats to Sister Kenzie Kasteler

Some sad news, they are breaking up the trio. :( Elder Crowther was transferred to Corona, to serve as an English speaking missionary. It is sad for sure, but I know that he will do a great job, and we will be able to serve around each other again. I am excited to continue to serve with Elder Nelson! Here is how my week went down!

Our week started Monday evening with a lot of time out seeking with faith, trying to find the prepared Chinese souls. Tuesday morning we had our weekly DLC and DDM meetings. It was awesome! We also had an exchange with the Eastvale English Elders. Elder Cousineau and I went and worked in their area. We spent most of the day out seeking and trying to visit with former investigators. That night, we taught one of their investigators, Tony Garcia. Tony hasn't been coming to church recently and so we tried to address his concerns and answer some of his questions. It was a pretty good lesson!! Wednesday was another day of exchanges. I went out with Elder Brown (my Zone Leader) and worked that area with him. The day was full of more seeking with faith and visiting former investigators in their area. We also had a home visit with a really cool family in the Jurupa Ward -  the Turner's! 

Elder Brown and Elder Willes making a contribution to the free book exchange library


We taught Jacky this week. He is a referral from the Arcadia missionaries. We met him in the middle of the 99 Ranch Chinese Market and taught him several points about the Restoration. He really loved it! He is a cool guy. Please pray for him! It is amazing that missionary work and the spirit can be felt anywhere and anytime if we are ready.

Friday night after our English class we had a really good lesson with Michael Xu. He has progressed so much over the last couple of weeks. Please pray for him as well! He is scheduled for baptism on 7/2 but we will most likely have to change his date! We had an awesome lesson with Christine, Xiong Di Xiong's 10 year old daughter. We taught her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and put her on date for baptism on 7/9!!!!! We are also super excited for her. Please also add her to your prayers. This week we met with Winter and Catherine again and taught them about the importance of families. It was another good lesson!

Sunday was amazing! We had 4 investigators come to church. Michael, Shanon, Christine and Vivian all came! It was so so so awesome. We also picked up 4 new investigators on Sunday! We drove all the way down to Hemet to meet with Cher, a referral that we received from missionaries down there. We taught her and her friend, Wendy, about the Restoration. We taught them in a restaurant that they own - China Garden. It reminded me of Yang Chow in downtown LA!!! It was a great lesson. Sunday night, we also met with Steven and Jerry, some guys that we met recently at Orchard Park, and taught them about the Restoration. At the end of the lesson, we were sharing with them Moroni 10. We asked Steven to read verses 3-5, and instead he proceeds to read the entire chapter out loud! All three of us (Elder Crowther, Elder Nelson and I) were prompted not to stop him, and so we let him continue to read until he finished the chapter. The Spirit was so strong and Steven was excited to offer the closing prayer. We were all so grateful that we listened to the Spirit. 

This week has been amazing and I am so excited to continue to work hard and serve the wonderful Chinese people of California! Love you all have a great week!
 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

BACK-TO-BACK AMAZING

Hello everyone! This week has been amazing! I am so grateful for the back-to-back amazing 2 weeks that we've had here. EVANGEL AND BLAIR WERE BOTH BAPTIZED on Sunday! Wow, such an amazing experience. It was the coolest thing ever. I am so grateful to be here in the CRM serving as a missionary. I'll give you more details later, but here is how this week went down.



On Wednesday, another pretty awesome day, we had a lesson with one of our new Investigators, Jessica Yu. Jessica was actually a former investigator who we recently got in contact with and taught her about the Restoration of the Gospel. She is super cool and we are praying that she can continue to progress. It was a great lesson. That night we had a super awesome English Class. We had about 10 people attend! It was super fun and good to have a big group there. We also had a lesson with Michael after class. Michael has recently been going through some really hard times. His wife was deported back to China and he has also lost his job. We taught that despite these difficult things going on in his life, he can ALWAYS find comfort in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a powerful lesson and always a good reminder for each one of us. 

Thursday we were finally able to meet with Shanon again! The Spirit was so strong, and we taught her the about the importance of the Book of Mormon, and prayer, and also how to recognize the Spirit. I shared my testimony and Shanon and I were both crying. It was a powerful experience and one of those times when the Spirit is felt so easily. I know Shannon has a testimony but still won't commit to be baptized. Please please please pray for her! That night, we also got to meet with Hank and Tina! Hank and Tina moved up to San Francisco for 3 months. Hank has an internship there. They will return in 3 months but it was really great seeing them one last time before they left! They are amazing.

Friday was awesome too. We had our last multi-zones conference with President Mullen. President and Sister Mullen both bore their testimonies. They will be completing their mission at the end of this month and returning home. I am really going to miss President Mullen. He is such an awesome guy, and I testify that he receives revelation to guide and direct the California, Riverside Mission! 




This week we also had a Chinese Ward BBQ Activity. I love being with these people. They have a lot of faith. We had some really good Chinese BBQ. It was awesome. 我很喜歡中國的烤肉! 

Elder Willes at the Chinese BBQ


Sunday was super awesome and one of those days that are just super super special. We had a total of 5 investigators that came to church! Evangel, Blair, Michael, Shanon, and Vivian all came to church! It was so awesome. Right after church, EVANGEL AND BLAIR WERE BAPTIZED! The program was so special. Elder Crowther baptized Evangel and I had the opportunity to baptize Blair. Evangel's husband came to support them which is also a big miracle. The Spirit was so strong. After they were both baptized, Evangel and Blair got up in front of everyone, and shared their thoughts. Evangel bore a really strong testimony and shared scriptures that she had memorized from the Book of Mormon!  Blair also said that she felt so happy. They both shared how the Gospel has helped them to be happy. It was such an amazing experience. 

Blair (Evangel's daughter), Elder Willes, Elder Crowther and Evangel



This week has been so awesome. I love this work and I am so excited to continue to bring souls unto Christ! 

Also, Happy Father's Day SHOUT OUT to my Dad, the one and only Beef51! He is one of the best examples to me and has helped me so much become the missionary and person that I am today. Love you Dad! Excited for another awesome week in the sunny CRM. It is hot here in the dessert. Love you all have a great week!

Elder Willes

A WEEK OF MIRACLES




Hello to all of my family and friends. :) This week has been so so so awesome. I can't wait to tell you about it. We have seen so many MIRACLES - truly, a week of miracles. The Lord continues to bless the work here. 

Yesterday I had one of the most powerful experiences of my entire life. It is next to impossible to put words to it. Jenny's husband recently passed away about a month ago. Sister Flynn, the member, gave Jenny's number to the Church headquarters, and they gave her our phone number. Jenny called us, and we told her that we were the Chinese missionaries. She wasn't even looking for or hadn't requested the Chinese missionaries, but was given our phone number. Jenny is from Shanghai, CHINA!! We went over to see Jenny with Sister Flynn and taught her about the Plan of Salvation. It was the most powerful thing testifying to her that she WILL see her husband again. The Lord is so aware of Jenny and her loss. After the lesson, we couldn't even drive before we stopped, prayed, and thanked Heavenly Father for that experience. Please pray for Jenny. We are so excited for her!

We spend any free time seeking with faith. We are looking and trying to find more people to teach! This week I gave a DDM training on receiving revelation through the Sabbath Day. It went pretty well! I am grateful to have this opportunity. On Tuesday night, we had a dinner appointment with Lorenzo, Jian, and their son Arthur. Lorenzo is Hispanic, and a less-active member of the Church. His wife, Jian, is Chinese, and has not been baptized! We ate dinner with them and shared a message with them about the importance of faith and prayer in our lives. So we now get to teach Jian and Arthur as new investigators and hope that Lorenzo might be strengthened in the process. It was so awesome. We are really excited for them as well.

Wednesday was really cool too! Wednesday night, Elder Crowther and I went down to Lake Elsinore, to be with Evangel as she had her next interview for baptism. She was interviewed by President Crippen, who is a member of the Mission Presidency, and Evangel was found WORTHY to be baptized!!! She will be baptized this upcoming Sunday the 18th. :) I love seeing those I love come closer to Christ.

Thursday we went down to Lake Elsinore again to teach Blair and Evangel. They are progressing so fast, and it is so awesome to see. That evening we were able to meet with Hank and Tina, and help them with their family history. We also reviewed the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. It was awesome. They are so strong and so full of faith. 

Elder Willes, Hank, Tina, and Elder Nelson


Saturday was such a special day! Hank and Tina went to the temple to do the baptisms and confirmations for their ancestors!!! Who even does that?! Find the missionaries, be taught, choose baptism, do your family history, and take family names to the temple. I am so proud of them. Elder Nelson and I had the opportunity of going with them to the temple, along with some members from the University Heights Ward. The Spirit was so strong. Elder Nelson baptized Hank for his grandfather, and I baptized Tina for her grandmother. It was amazing. At the end, Elder Nelson and I got to baptize each other. It was so so so amazing. It is a day I will never forget! I am so grateful for the work that goes on inside the temple! 



Sunday was also awesome. We had 3 investigators come to church - Evangel, Blair, and Jian all came! Sundays are always pretty hectic and busy, but super good and full. That afternoon, we had a lesson with a couple of former investigators, Winter and her mom Catherine. It was an awesome lesson. They are from Taiwan, and are super cool. Please pray for them!


This week has been amazing. I am so excited to continue to work hard, and labor in the Lord's vineyard. I love this work. Love you all have a great week! 

Elder Willes

Monday, June 5, 2017

CHASING CHICKENS

Hello everyone!! Thank you for the love and support and prayers. I can feel of your prayers everyday and it helps me so so much. This week has been another great week here in the California, Riverside Mission. I am so beyond thankful for all of the many blessings which Heavenly Father has given us. Here is how our week went down! 

Chasing and catching chickens which needed dusted off for a service project




Shanon, one of our investigators, had us over for dinner and she is continuing to progress!! She is so awesome and is really seeking truth. She asks good questions and really wants to understand if she is feeling the spirit and what that means. We are really excited for her!! We picked up a new investigator this week. Elder Crowther contacted Lawrence Zhu on a blitz. We went and knocked on his door and he let us in! We shared the first couple of points from the Restoration. He is very active in another Christian church but has a strong desire to learn more about Jesus Christ. He is really cool! 

We went down to Lake Elsinore to have another lesson with Evangel's 11 year old daughter, Blair. She is progressing really well and is so smart for her age! I am praying earnestly for Evangel and her family. We were able to finally meet again with Michael after our English class this week. We talked about the importance of keeping commitments and doing the things that you need to do in order to know that these things are true. The basics of prayer, reading from the scriptures, and going to church bring more blessings than we can ever think of. That is when the Lord can really help and guide us. The Spirit was really strong and Michael committed again to do his best to follow Jesus Christ! 

We went to Riverside this week for a lesson with Vivian. She is an investigator from the last area where Elder Nelson and I served! We taught her more about the importance of keeping commitments. A similar lesson to what we taught Michael. It was a great lesson. Also, Elder Nelson and I went on splits and had the opportunity of going to visit Hank and Tina!!! We gave them a Family History training and helped them to set an lds.org account. They are preparing to go to the temple this upcoming Saturday with their own family names and we will most likely be able to go with them!!! How cool is that? I am so excited!!

I went out for our weekly blitz this week with Elder Williams and Elder Clark, who is one of my Zone Leaders. It was a blast. We were able to talk to a lot of people and it was fun!!! When we are not teaching, we are seeking. Seeking with faith and looking for those who are ready and prepared to hear about the Savior.

Sunday was awesome. We went to the sacrament meeting at the University Heights Ward. After sacrament meeting, Hank received the Aaronic Priesthood!!!! Elder Nelson did the ordination and the Spirit was so strong. Hank and Tina are so amazing and we are so lucky to know them! At the Eastvale Ward we had 3 investigators that came to church! Evangel, Blair, and Shanon all came! Funny little experience at church. Evangel also brought her 2 year old son, Ceri. He was literally running around everywhere during Sacrament Meeting, including up on the stand! When we finally caught him, Elder Nelson and I basically watched him for the remainder of the meeting so that Evangel could focus. It was so stressful but looking back it was a funny experience!!! Evangel sadly won't be baptized this upcoming Sunday, but please continue to pray for her and her family! I know she is ready but the adversary is working hard on her.

This week has been awesome and I am so excited to continue to work hard and labor in the Lord's Vineyard. Never ever forget Jesus Christ and the sacrifice that He made for each one of us. I love Him and I testify that it is and only through Him that we can become clean. Love you all have a great week!

Elder Willes