Monday, October 24, 2016


"Funny thing, since people need translation, for third hour of church, we go to Relief Society!! 
Hahaha it was pretty funny just us Elders chillin' in Relief Society translating. That was fun!"

Elder Willes with his new companions Elder Yang and Elder Warren

Holy cow! Where do I even start? I finally made it to California. I love it here. I left the MTC on Tuesday, October 18th, at 3:50 a.m. and arrived in California at about 9:30 a.m. Seeing my bro was a highlight and got me pumped and ready to go. When I landed and got my bags there was no one there at the airport to pick me up. It was crazy! I was so scared and just sat there for like 15 minutes wondering what I was going to do. The AP's arrived and got me so no worries :) They took me straight to the mission office, and I met my companions there - Elder Warren (from Sandy, UT) and Elder Yang (from China). They are so awesome! Elder Warren actually goes home tomorrow and so Elder Zeng (he is also from China) will be training me and I will also be companions with Elder Yang, and we will all serve in a trio. I also met with President Mullen my Mission President. He is awesome. I love him. Riverside came up clutch and we had dinner my first night here with a really nice member family... The Chubbicks. We also taught a lesson about the restoration with a RC family, the Li Family. I love them. They are the best! 

The Li Family - I love this family. They are so good and kind to the missionaries.

Every Wednesday and Friday we have an English class. On Wednesday, after our district meeting and studies in the afternoon, we had our first English class. Sadly there wasn't any Chinese people there. :( The Jiang's, another member family in our ward, fed us some good Chinese food. The food here is pretty great. We shared a short message about prophets with them and went finding at the local park that night. 

On Thursday we went to the University of California Riverside (UCR). There are tons of Chinese people walking around... It is so awesome!! We walked around campus, and talked with a bunch of people and had lunch at the Institute building there. We had a weekly planning session, ate dinner at this Mexican place, On the Border... It was sooooo good :) I also met the Bishop... Bishop Louden. He is a great guy!! 

We have a couple of investigators that we are teaching. The Ning Family, The Zhu family, Grace (a referral) and a couple others I haven't met yet. The Ning's came to church yesterday!!! It was awesome but they just moved and are now saying that they don't know if they can meet in their current house because they are renting. We will have to find another place to meet. Please pray for them! 

Friday Elder Warren and I went to UCR for the whole day. We talked to a ton of people and met this cool guy named Patrick. We thought he was Chinese and turns out he wasn't haha but we talked with him for a while. He has a Christian background and we were able to say a prayer with him on campus and said he wanted to keep meeting! We referred him to the other Elders. Then we had English class again. 3 people came - 2 from Taiwan and 1 potential investigator from China, Tang Cheng. We have an appointment scheduled with him this week! 

Elder Willes and Elder Warren

Saturday was another really busy day. I love the busy days. We had a "blitz" in the morning, where all the missionaries from our zone go to a certain area and get referrals to help the area. We found 2 really awesome referrals for the Elders in that area. We talked with one guy who used to be in a bunch of gangs in LA and felt like he needed to move to Riverside and change his life around. It was a really cool experience. Saturday night we had a dinner appointment with the Ding Family; another family in our ward. :) They fed us some traditional Chinese food, including some nice DUCK FEET. I had to eat two of them... It was alright. Pretty weird but a good experience! 

Sunday was the best. One Sunday a month, all the Chinese members come together and have a Sacrament meeting all in Chinese. It was so cool. About 20 people were there, and Elder Warren gave a talk, and I bore my testimony in Chinese at the end. It was awesome and I felt the Spirit really strong :) We then went to Gospel Doctrine class, I sat by Ning Di Xiong. He is awesome. I hope he gets baptized. Funny thing, since people need translation, for third hour of church, we go to Relief Society!! Hahaha it was pretty funny just us Elders chillin' in Relief Society translating. That was fun. 

Elders Willes, Warren and Yang

Our apartment is in Eastvale, CA. The members here are so awesome. I love them!! The weather is so sick. It is literally hot and I love it so much. I got my bike but we are also mostly in a car. The language is really hard... I get frustrated sometimes but am working really hard. That is so sad about Brother Jensen and Sister Slater. I am praying for those families. The Plan brings us a lot of peace knowing this is not the end. I'm glad I get to share this with others.

This week has been crazy busy, and so tiring, but I am so happy to be here. I am excited to keep progressing every day. Love you all have a great week!

Elder Willes

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