Saturday, August 27, 2016


Ni Hao! Week #1
August 24, 2016

 "In my broken Chinese I taught him about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. 
It was super hard, but a good experience." 

Hello everyone! Holy cow. I don't even know where to start. This week was full of emotion --- excitement, discouragement, happiness, and everything in between. Let me tell you all about my week. 

My first day in the MTC was crazy! I said goodbye and my host walked me straight inside. I got my tags, and I was told I was going to be a "solo missionary." We took my bags to my room, and then I was off to class. My companions (who I room with), Elder Nelson and Elder Holderness, have been in the MTC three weeks now. My district and classes consist of me and one other sister, who is going to Hawaii, speaking Chinese. So I am district leader. Class that first day was 100% in Mandarin and I had no idea what was going on. It was nuts. After that, we went to an MTC Presidency welcome where we were introduced. That night I also met my zone leaders (who just left yesterday), and they showed me around the MTC. I then was able to go to my room and unpack and my first day at the MTC was over. 

Thursday was chuck full of tons of studying and Chinese class. I also met my Branch President, President Newell, which was super cool. He is such an awesome guy. On Friday we had service in the morning and then we played some zone kickball. I am pretty bad at kickball haha. Class was super awesome. I learned how to pray and bear my testimony in Chinese so I can do that now which is super cool. :) I taught my first lesson (by myself because I am a solo missionary) all in Chinese with my investigator, Li Xiao. In my broken Chinese I taught him about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It was super hard, but a good experience. 

Saturday was pretty good. We studied for a while and I prepared for my second lesson with Li Xiao. I taught him all about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration. Teaching by myself is very hard but also good practice. My Chinese has already improved so much from when I first got here! 

Sunday was such a blessing. Church was so great. The spirit here is incredible, and I especially felt this in Sacrament meeting. The Branch Presidency randomly chooses three speakers every Sunday to speak so it was super tense at the start of the meeting. I didn't get chosen so that was good. :) The departing missionaries in our Zone sang a musical number and the spirit was so strong. I love feeling the spirit through music. It is awesome. We were also able to go on a  temple walk later that afternoon. That was awesome. It was so good to see all my friends walking around here and to see Mamoo and Boppy! Sunday night's devotional was the Nashville Tribute Band and I was part of the choir. 

I taught my third lesson on Monday with Li Xiao. Seriously the best thing ever! I taught him about prayer and I asked him to pray during the lesson and he said a simple but powerful prayer. I was so happy. I felt the spirit so strong. 

I learned so much at the Tuesday night devotional given by Juan A. Uceda from the Quorum of the Seventy. He is a convert from Lima, Peru. He told us his conversion story and talked about the Book of Mormon and things we can do as missionaries to help our investigators. 

Today is p-day and this morning we went to the temple which was super great. The spirit was so strong and it was awesome to have that experience as a missionary.

I can really feel of everyone's support and love and prayers here in the MTC. It is constantly giving me the strength to keep going. Chinese is super hard, but in Christ I can do all things. I love you all so much! 

Elder Willes

Boppy, Elder Willes, Elders Nelson and Holderness & Mamoo

Emailing home

Elder Willes and Elder Bennett (a best friend from home)

Elder Willes and Elder Cunningham (a friend from home going to Cambodia)

Elder Willes and Elder King (a friend from home)

Elder Willes and Elder Cline (a friend from home going to Taiwan and also speaking Mandarin)


 "Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day." 
Doctrine and Covenants 4:2