Hermana Lundy Willes

Hermana Lundy Willes

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

This week was soo good! We had a lot of miracles and I can just feel Heavenly Father opening the windows of heaven for us!

We hadn’t been able to find Marita for a while and I was super worried.  But, we finally found her on Friday again! It was incredibe, we could just feel how special she is.  The whole time we were talking to her I just kept feeling like I should share my testimony in English with her.  We had given her a Book Of Mormon in English because she told us she feels more comfortable in English, but I had never spoken English with her.  I just kept thinking it, so at the end of our cita, I switched into English and bore my testimony.  At that point, The Spirit was so strong and I could see that she really felt it. She didn’t go to church on Sunday, but I’m just so grateful we found her and I know that I’m here to teach her.  

Ricardo is also progressing super super well.  He should be getting baptized this Saturday, but we’re praying really hard because his daughter is traveling and won’t get back until Sunday and he really wants his daughter there.  He’s going to talk to her about coming home early and then let us know tomorrow. So, we’re praying really hard! But, he’s doing super well! This week we taught him about the temples and he was like "obviously only members should enter and members that are worthy, because it’s a sacred place".  Literally, so prepared.  I don’t know what I did to deserve to teach such a prepared investigator, but I’m super grateful!

Hermana Roxanna has gone to church twice, for the three hours! Miracle! And, we went to visit her with the Bishop’s wife and they hit it off, so she’s is starting to feel comfortable in the ward! She’s so wonderful and I love her so much!

I can’t believe I’m going to be 20 tomorrow, crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have our Christmas conference tomorrow with the whole mission, so it should be super good! Almost everyone I want to see is in Santa Cruz, so I’m super excited!

It was a really good week and I’m so excited for Christmas! To be honest, I think this has been/will be the best Christmas ever, because I’m a representative of my Savior Jesus Christ and I get to testify of Him all day long! What better Christmas present could I ask for?

I hope you all have the very best Christmas and I love you all so much! 

Hermana Willes

Sunday, December 21, 2014

I'm So Grateful The Lord Led Us to His Door

This week I almost melted from the heat, but it was still really good!

Ricardo continues to be golden.  He’s getting baptized on the 27th and is progressing so well. The elders had a baptism on Saturday and Ricardo went and loved it.  He was kind of worried about getting baptized, but after he prayed about it he told us he knows he just needs to trust in Heavenly Father and take the leap.  He’s so great! Literally, I have never ever had an investigator so prepared.  I’m so grateful the Lord led us to his door!

Hermana Roxana went to church on Sunday, for all three hours! She also brought her daughter-in-law and her son with her! I’m so sad her son and his wife don’t live in our area because I just love them so much, but that’s ok! Hermana Roxana is really great too and we want to work on getting her husband to be baptized, but poco a poco!

This will probably be the hottest Christmas I have ever had, but I’m excited for it! I’m so grateful for my Savior, who gave His life for me. And I’m so grateful to be his missionary down here in Bolivia! 

Love you all!

Hermana Willes

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It felt really good to be able to be an instrument in the Lord's hand

This week was really good! Ricardo is still doing stellar! We had him read Moroni 10 this week and when we verificed (spanglish for checked) how it went, he talked about how much he loved that it talked about charity. Then, in his closing prayer he prayed for charity.  I’ve never had an investigator do that.  When we asked him how he has felt hearing the gospel he said "I just feel really peaceful, like this happiness inside me.  It’s my time, God always knows when it’s our time." He is so golden! 

We also had a really cool experience the other day.  We went to visit Hermana Roxanna, the menos activo we found in the street the other day, because she didn’t go to church yesterday.  So, we stopped by her house and her son, who is also menos activo, and her daughter-in-law, who isn’t a member, were there.  They were putting up Christmas decorations and so we helped them for few minutes and just chatted, getting to know them.  Then we shared a message with them about service and invited them to find someone extra to serve for Christmas.  There was just a really sweet spirit there and the whole time I kept thinking "I need to give her daughter-in-law, Laura, a Book of Mormon at the end of the lesson.” So we ended the lesson and I asked her if the elders ever visit them in their house (she lives in mision norte) and she said sometimes, but they live with her parents and they aren’t big fans of the church.  Then I asked her if she had a Book of Mormon and when she said no, I offered her one.  She lit up! I’ve never seen anyone that excited to recieve a Book of Mormon! She turned to her husband and said “ Paul, look. Now I have a Book of Mormon to read!" She told us she always read her mother-in-law’s, but now she had one to read on her own.  It just felt really good to be able to be an instrument in the Lord’s hand to bless her life.  I don’t know what’s going to happen with her, but I’m so grateful for the guidance of the spirit!

Bruno also went to church again! The young adults in our ward are awesome and they have just welcome him with open arms! They invited him to their acitivies and he told us he has never had so many people be so friendly to him and make him feel so important.  He told us he is going to get baptized, si or si.  But, he’s going home to Brazil this week for Christmas and won’t get back until febuary, so we’re going to send the reference to the elders in Brazil! Merry Christmas to them! 

This week was a really good week and I’m so grateful for the spirit, who is always guiding us and leading us, even when we don’t realize it! 

I hope you all have a great week!

Hermana Willes

This was another week full of miracles!

This was another week full of miracles!
Ricardo is so golden! Seriously, he went to church again this week.  He came late so he missed sacrament.  After church, he apologized to everyone for being late but promised that next week he would be on time! And, he asked us what the topics were during sacrament so he could study.  Most of the time I forget he’s not already a member! 

We also started teaching a couple.  The wife is menos activo and her husband isn’t a member.  The husband, Ismael, at first didn’t really want to talk to us but by the end of our first visit, warmed up a ton.   They told us that they are looking for a church because they are only married civilly and want to be married in a church as well! Temple anyone? He’s so prepared and his wife really wants to go back to church.  I just love them so much!

We are also teaching a young medical student from Brazil who went to church yesterday for the first time.  Luckily, we have return missionaries in our ward who served in Brazil and speak Portuguese and they are already great friends with him! 

It has just been amazing to see the hand of the Lord in our area this week! He has prepared so many people for us and everyday showers miracles upon us.  I’m so grateful to be a missionary and to be serving the Lord in Bolivia! I’ve really come to know my Heavenly Father and feel His very real presence in my life.  I’ve gained such a strong testimony of my Savior and of the scriptures.  I know that Heavenly Father is aware of me and has been with me every step of the way!

I hope you all have a great week!

Hermana Willes

Thursday, November 27, 2014

It was a really great week!

This week was a week full of miracles! I don’t even know where start!

First, on Tuesday, we were walking in the street in the morning and this woman stopped us and said "are you two working in this zone now?  When are you going to come and visit me?" Turns out she is a menos activo who was baptized in Spain, even went through the temple over there, but has been less active for a while now.  We went and visited her that same day and we have been teaching her ever since.  She’s super interested in family history and so we’ve been really working with her on that! Her husband isn’t a member, so little by little we are working on him too! They are both super great!

Also, as we were going through our carpeta de area to make sure we know all the menos activos we found one for a jovencita named Marita who we didn’t know. So we went and visited her and it was incredible! She told us that last week two elders just randomly gave her a Book of Mormon and she was super confused why and then a week later we called and visited her! She actually grew up in the states and was baptized in New York and was even preparing to go on a mission but went inactive when she moved down here.  She’s really great and I already love her so much!

We also have another investigator who is just golden.  We found him finding following up on a reference and we ended up inviting him to an activity for all of Santa Cruz to celebrate fifty years of the church here! As missionaries sang at the beginning and then all the wards danced.  He ended up going and then went to church on Sunday for all three hours, which in itself is a huge miracle! He’s really progressing and has a baptismal date for the twentieth of December!

It was a really great week! There were a lot more miracles but those are the big ones! I’m so grateful to be a missionary and I know the Lord is truly in the details of our lives! 

Love you all!

Hermana Willes

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Opening a New Area

This week was super crazy! We ended up splitting areas with the elders and so we are now opening a new area! So, lots of time trying to find people and getting to know members! But Hermana Garcia and I both feel really strongly that the Lord has lots of miracles prepared for us in our new area and we are really excited to find more people to teach!

We have one new family that are old investigators hace anos but we met with them yesterday and they seem really great, so hopefully they will be ready to progress!

I really love my new ward.   It’s in the same stake as la villa, where I was a few months ago, so I’ve been able to see members from that ward! I saw Maria Elena, which was so great! She’s doing so well! She’s getting ready to dance in a festival for the church to celebrate 50 years in Bolivia!

The elders had a baptism yesterday, a joven with about 20 anos.  It was incredible because when I got here for my first Sunday he was handing out programs for ward conference and I thought he was a member.  He even helped us teach a lesson this week. It’s just incredible to see how quickly someone can embrace the gospel, especially when the members just accept them!

I hope you all have a great week! The church is true and I’m so grateful to be a missionary in Bolivia! I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!

Hermana Willes

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Spirit does the Teaching

Well, I had a change! I’m now in a new area, Guapilo, with Hermana Garcia! She’s super sweet and my new area is a lot like the villa, which I love.  The people here are so humble and the members are so willing to work.  I know we are going to have so many miracles in this area. 

On Tuesday,  we had a conference all based on chapter four in Preach my Gospel, como reconocer el espiritu.  It was incredible.  President got up and,  instead of speaking himself, called up two new gringos up and told them that they were going to give his talk for him.  It was incredible, because as they spoke in their brand new, halting Spanish,  the spirit was so strong.  It made me remember when I was new in the mission and I didn’t know Spanish but it didn’t matter because The Spirit always gave me the words.  It made me want to be a new missionary again!  I’m so grateful for how merciful the Lord was with me and still is with me.  And I’m so grateful for The Spirit who does the teaching.

Sorry this is so short, (hearing this way too often now :) the internet here takes years to load! But,  I love you all and I hope you all have a great week!

Hermana Willes

I Know My Savior Lives

Sorry this email will be super short but this week was good!   We were able to work hard and the Lord gave us some wonderful miracles! I know He is preparing wonderful things for us!

I know the church is true and, most importantly, I know my Savior lives.  He has walked with me every step of my mission and I’ve come to know Him in a very personal and real way.  I know the power of His atonement is real and very personal.  I’m so grateful for His sacrifice and the privilege I have to testify of Him all day long!

Have a great week!

Hermana Willes

My Testimony Grew So Much

This week we weren't really able to work in our area a lot because my companion was really sick.  I took the time to read Jesus the Christ and to really study the New Testament and it was amazing.  I loved reading the stories of Christ and seeing how merciful He was, so full of love.  My testimony grew so much that He really is my Savior and Redeemer and that He loves me so much! 

On Saturday we did an activity with the ward where we went to a park and passed out cake and folletos and got a ton of references.  It was awesome, to see the members so excited to talk to people and to help us.  We're definitely going to do it again!

Sorry this email is so short, but I don’t have a lot of time.  This week we should be able to work more and I know the Lord has a lot of miracles prepared for us! 

Love you all so much!

Hermana Willes

Sister Power...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Huge Miracles

First off, some very big thank yous are in order! Amber, thank you so much for the letter! It was so sweet and it made my day! Marianne and Keith, thank you for both of the letters!  And Mamoo and Boppy, thank you so much for the packages! You guys are the best! Love you all and thank you so much for all the support you give me!

This week was super crazy, but full of miracles.  The Family Ortiz are doing so well! We had an incredible experience with them.  We went on Monday and showed them the a video of the restoration.  The spirit was so strong! We then both just bore our testimonies and closed the noche de hogar (FHE).  Then Hermano Saul, with tears in his eyes, said  "I too know that it is true.  Right now I feel the spirit so strongly, and while I may not be perfect, I will never deny that it is true." Turns out he had actually given a book of mormon to his niece that day and explained the restoration to her that day.  So the video helped remind him even more of his testimony.  I can't even explain the difference in him.  He was glowing!  After the lesson he told us how we could work with our ward better and he was so animated telling us.  He literally was a different person.  I know that he will be an incredible leader in the church someday. He has already taught us so much.

We also had another huge miracle yesterday.  We couldn't leave during the day because of elections, (Their mission president had all the missionaries stay inside during elections because apparently it can get kind of crazy) so we left the house at six to proselyte.   Hermana Romero and her hijita  (greenie) have been staying with us for a couple of days (that has been so fun to  see her again!).   So we split off last night in order to teach more citas (appointments).  We went to the house of a converso reciente that has been going for a while and it turns out her parents have moved into our area.  Her mom is a member, but her dad isn't yet.  The elders in their old area were preparing him for baptism and so he's going to be baptized next Saturday! It was incredible, the spirit was so strong and, more importantly, the humility of these people! 

This week was super crazy, but great.  I love the mission and I love my Savior. I'm so grateful to be down here serving! 

I hope you all have a great week!

Hermana Willes

Hermana Willes and companion 
Hermana Lainez

 a shot of Lundy's "wall" in their apartment

 With a member of their ward

 Hermana Willes with Hermana Romero 
(One of the hermanas Lundy trained 
who is now training) and greenie Hermana Osoro

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Lord is truly guiding us in His work.

This week was so good! We had consejo de lideres (leaders conference) and then conference! So much spiritual revelation in one week.  It was really incredible to see how so many of the things we talked about in consejo were addressed in conference.  The Lord is truly guiding us in His work.

The familia Ortiz is doing so great.  Hermana Fani is sharing the gospel with her sister and was so excited to have us help her sister come to understand more of the gospel.  She doesn't live in our area, but I know that she will get baptized.  We have a noche de hogar  (home evening) with them tonight and I'm so excited!

This week we were able to find a lot of new investigators and have really been working on talking to everyone we see. We also have plans this week to do acitivies with the ward to help us find more people to teach!

Conference was so good, we were able to hear all four sessions in english (such a huge blessing) and it was especially wonderful to hear the two talks in Spanish!

I know that the Savior lives and died for us.  He is truly our Redeemer and He can not only heal us, but make us better than we were to begin with.  He is always extending His arm of mercy to us and all we have to do is have faith and take it! He loves us so much.  I can't even begin to express my gratitude for the love He shows me each and everyday.

I hope you all have a great week! Love you all!

Hermana Willes

 Hermana Willes

Hermana Willes and her companion Hermana Lainez with 
Hermana Fani and her daughter (members)

 Hermana Willes, Hermana Lainez with the two hermanas 
they  live with and Hermans Fani (member)

Hermana Willes on cambios 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

This week I've learned the power of prayer

The Familia Ortiz came to church on Sunday! It was amazing! We hadn't been able to stop by during the week and I was thinking about them all during consejo de barrio (ward council) and during the beginning of the sacrament. Then I looked behind me and there they were! It was such a miracle.  Hermana Fani (the mom) told me that she woke up and decided she was going to go to church, even if Saul  (the Dad) wasn't.   She ironed his clothes and got all ready and he ended up going too! The ward just welcomed them back with open arms.  We are meeting with them on Wednesday and we are also going to start working with the familia de Saul, all of whom are menos activos.  Saul's sister, Pamela, is a return missionary and so is her husband.  We've already met once with her and she is really great.  I really just have so much love for this family, it's crazy.  

There was yet another emergency cambio and now my companion is Hermana Lainez, one of the latinas I lived with in Trompillo! She only has two months left of her mission, so it looks like I'm gonna be the one who kills her.  She's really great and we're having a lot of fun together.  This week was kinda crazy--we had to do a bunch of intercambios with sick hermanas and work in two areas, so we didn't have that much time to work in our area, but this week should be normal and there should be more time to just work and find the familias I know the Lord has prepared for us.  Something that we have noticed is that there are a ton of menos activos that the Lord is putting in our way.  Familias that are ready to go back and just need that extra push.  I'm really grateful for all the families the Lord has put in our path and for being in this ward! The mission is great and the church is true!  This week I've learned how powerful prayer is.  I know that Heavenly Father really does listen to our prayers and that often just the simple act of kneeling and talking to Him has the power to change our very nature.  I'm so grateful for prayer! 

I hope you have the very best week!

Hermana Willes

The hard weeks just make the good ones even better

My week could be summed up by two experiences: the first being when one investigator told us she likes the church because we do sports.  And, the other when we went to contact a woman and her son told us "she says I'm home alone".  Hahaha gotta love the mission.

It was just one of those weeks when it felt like no matter how hard we tried and no matter what we did, no pasa nada.  But it's ok, because all that means is that Heavenly Father has some really great miracles in store for us!

We had cambios and now I'm with Hna Choque from La Paz! She's really sweet and we're both really excited to work together in Guracal! 

Right now we are working with a menos activo family that has taught me more than any one else on my whole mission, the familia Ortiz.  The father is a return missionary and he was the ward mission leader when he just decided to go inactive.  They just barely started recieiving us, which is such a miracle.  It's really interesting, because with his head he knows everything.  And he knows that too.  He's told us multiple times how he knows all the lessons, he just doesn't feel it with his heart.  And he knows his heart is hard right now, but he's sure it will soften someday.  It's really sad because his wife really wants to go back, but she's a convert and he makes her feel like she doesn't know enough.  But, I just love them so much and I know that I'm here to teach them.  I know they will go back, we just have to work really hard with them and pray for them.

As hard as this week was, things are great! I love being a missionary and the hard weeks just make the good ones even better! I know the Savior lives and loves us.  I've learned so much about how much Heavenly Father loves us. I hope you all have a good week! 

Love you!

Hermana Willes

Friday, September 12, 2014

My mission has changed and blessed my life so much!

This week was so crazy! Hermana Furness had to rest because she had some problems with her feet and so we did a bunch of intercambios with Hermana Feddock and Hermana Bauldridge! It was super great because I got to go back to the villa! It was so good to see everyone and be able to say goodbye!

We also had leadership training, which was amazing.  Seriously.  The spirit was incredible.  We talked a lot about family history.  I always knew family history was important before my mission, but now I understand how important it is.  It is just as important as sharing the gospel with people that are living.  There are so many people waiting for their ordinances and we literally have their salvation in our hands.  President Willard got up and testified to us that if we use family history in our lessons and teach it to everyone we can, we will have miracles.  I know that is true!

Tell Kinsey congrats! She'll love Chile.  Spanish is so beautiful! If she has any questions tell her to email me! 

My mission has changed and blessed my life so much.    I can feel His atonement changing me everyday and I can't even put into words how it feels.  There is so much I didn't understand that now I do.  But the most important thing I have learned is that He lives.  He truly does live and it is only through His atonement that we can do anything.  How grateful I am for the atonement and for my Savior!   I am so grateful for the gospel and this opportunity I have to be a missionary. The mission is great!   Everyday is a blessing.  I hope you all have a great week! 

Love you all!

Hermana Willes

Hermana Willes and Hermana Furness
in their apartment

En la calle...

Hermana Willes and Hermana Furness
in front of the church building

Hermana Willes and Hermana Furness 
with ward members

Elizabeth got baptized on Saturday!

Well, Elizabeth got baptized on Saturday! It was a beautiful service and she`s so full of light.  I love her, she's just so great! 

We also taught Leticia and she just bore her testimony of The Book of Mormon to us.  It was incredible.  I know the Lord put her in our path because she is so ready to hear the gospel and accept it.

This mission is the hardest thing I've ever done, but it's also the best thing I've ever done. I can't even put into words how incredible it is and how grateful I am.  I'm so grateful for the gospel and the plan of salvation! The church is true and Christ lives! 

Have the very best week!

Hermana Willes

Hermana Willes, Elizabeth, 
and Hermana Furness

With Elizabeth and her family

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

This week was full of miracles!

This week was full of miracles! 

Hermana Furness and I are working so hard to find new investigators and this week we were going through our carpeta de area and we found a family that we decided to visit.  We went to their house, but they had moved.  We taught the woman that lived there and then just assumed that that was the end of it with this family.  Well, a few days later, we were walking in the street and we saw this woman with her daughter.  We went up to contact her and I literally thought she was a member, because she was like "hermanas! how are you?" Then we asked her name and it was the woman from our carpeta de area, Leticia! We're going to visit her this week, I'm so excited!

We also have a baptism this week, Hermana Elizabeth.  She is the sweetest person ever.  Her sister is a member and she's so excited to get baptized.  She is so ready.  I love her so much! 

This week has been full of miracles and I know that they will just continue coming! I love being a missionary and I love Bolivia! 

I hope you all have the best week!

Hermana Willes

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Atonement is Everything

Last week, Lundy's email was just a couple sentences, just letting us know that she was doing well. Her companion, Sister Feddock had been in the hospital most of the week with some ongoing medical problems and Lundy spent the week with her, sleeping on the hospital floor next to her bed.  (I've tried really hard not to think about the germs on a Bolivian hospital floor....)  Lots of Prayers going Hermana Feddock's way! 

Well, emergencia cambio otra vez! I'm now serving in the barrio Guarrcal with Hermana Furness and we are sister training leaders! Hermana Furness super great, I love her so much! It was really hard to leave Hermana Feddock,  (pray for her!) she has become one of my best friends and we accomplished so much together.  But, I'm super excited to be in this ward.   It's in the same zone as my first area, Trompillo, and it's a super strong ward.

We are really working right now on finding families to teach.  We talk to everyone.  I love it. On Thursday, we were riding home from district meeting on the micro and I was able to talk to this woman for about twenty minutes.  She was so great. I gave her a Book of Mormon and took her reference down.  She doesn't live in our area, but I could just feel how special she is and I really hope she'll have a desire to learn more and get baptized! 

On Tuesday, we had a zone conference for all of Santa Cruz and it was all about Christ.  We all stood in a circle and said The Living Christ from memory.  It was incredible.  Then, at the end, President Willard and his family (his three daughters were there, they are all so great) sang Families can be Together Forever and we sang with them during the chorus.  It was so powerful and such a strong reminder of why we are here, to help other families be forever families.  

I've learned so much during this time on my mission, but the most important thing is how essential the atonement is.  The atonement is everything, without it we can't do anything. I'm so grateful for the atonement and the power it gives me.  I've felt it's power everyday. I know that Christ lives and that he has borne all our sorrows and with Him we can overcome all. 

I hope everyone has the best week! Love you!

Hermana Willes 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Joselin was baptized!

Well, I stayed in the Villa! and Joselin was baptized! It was such a special experience! She just glowed and glowed.  Right before she got baptized, she told us that the night before she had a dream where she was in a garden all in white with her grandparents and they were hugging her, telling her she was making the right decision.  All during her baptism she could feel their presence with her.  It was so wonderful. I hugged her before she came out of the font, soaking wet, because I was just so happy! Then yesterday she was confirmed and she just looked like an angel.  She is a really special daughter of God and I'm so grateful to have the privilege to teach her! 

We also started teaching this wonderful woman, Maria Lorena! her husband is a less active but she came to church last week and told us she wants to get the lessons.  When we started teaching her she told us that she wants to get baptized so she and her husband can get married in the temple.  We're going to set a goal with them this week for getting married so that she can get baptized.  But seriously, she's golden.  When we gave her the Book of Mormon, we asked her to read the introduccion.  Usually, that's a huge deal for people.  But, she told us "if you guys want me to read more, I can read more." Our jaws dropped.  We told her that ya for sure, if she wants to read more, then read more!  Yesterday when she came to church she said "I'm on the testimonio of Jose Smith...it's wonderful!" Seriously, she's awesome.  

This week was really good, I love being a missionary.  Yesterday we helped with the mission prep class in the ward for a few minutes and the teacher had us share why we came on the mission and how it has blessed our lives. It just reminded me of how blessed I am to be here.  I'm so grateful for my mission, I can't even say the number of ways it has blessed my life.  I will eternally grateful for the opportunity I have to serve and especially to serve here in Bolivia.  There is nothing greater!
I hope you all have the very best week! Love you all!

Hermana Willes

Hermana Willes, Joselin, & Hermana Feddock

Hermana Willes with her zone

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I Hope Someday to be as Wonderful as All of Them

Jose Carmelo didn't end up getting baptized this week.  He told us he needs more time, which is ok because I don't want to baptize someone who isn't quite ready.  It was really sad, but we realized maybe we were rushing him to baptism more for us and less for him.

Joselin continues to progess and is getting baptized this week.  She's really sweet.  The bishop's wife is teaching her to read.  She's taught someone to read once before and she's really great.  Joselin had a dream about her grandparents who died and they told her to accept the gospel so they can be baptized.  Then, she told us she knows the church is true and went on to explain to us why it is important to keep the commandments.  Super powerful and amazing.  Hermana Feddock and I were like "yeah, ok, so when is the earliest we can fill up the font?" So I'm really excited for that!

Cambios are this week and we don't really know what is going to happen.  But, I love this ward and am so grateful for the time I've had to serve here.  They are all so amazing.  In Preach My Gospel it says the work we do with the leaders in our wards will bless the rest of our lives.  So true.  They are all so humble and ready to work.  The work is just exploding in this area and it really is because of the dedication of the members. I hope to someday be as wonderful as all of them.

The church is true and the Lord is hastening His work.  We have miracles everyday, like finding a menos activo in the calle or a woman just showing up to church on Sunday and telling us she wants to be taught (that was nuts).  I'm so grateful to be serving down here! 

Love you all! I hope you have the very best week!

Hermana Willes

Santa Cruz Sunset

 The Hermanas of the apartment

Missionaries and Members of the Ward


At Church

Monday, July 21, 2014

I'll be eternally grateful for the opportunity to serve

Well, I hope everyone had a great week! This week was really good.  Leonardo Pedriel was baptized and confirmed! He is such a sweet kid.  The young men's president baptized him and it was so sweet to see how happy they both were! Now all we need is to baptize their dad! 

This week the Choque's son, Jose carmelo, is getting baptized.  He's thirteen and is a little different, but is really sweet and I'm so excited for him.  His dad is going to do it, which I'm soooooo excited for! They are just so great.  I love them so much.  

I always forget to talk about Maria Elena Gil, the menos activo that we have been able to help come back to church.  She's so great.  Her mom is in the presidency of the relief society and her brother is menos activo also, so the elders have been working with him.  But it's really funny because we literally visited her once and then she started coming back to church.  She got a calling the second Sunday she came back and hasn't missed a Sunday since.  So she's been active now for about a month.  She accompanies us on visits, is doing her visiting teaching, and is fufilling her calling to the fullest.  She's 22 and is so great.  I just love her. The best part is she acts like she's been active forever.  We taught her the other day about the plan of salvation and mid lesson she asked us "hermanas, why do some people leave the truth and the church?" Hermana Feddock and I were like, well hermana, there are a lot of reasons.  After we had to laugh a little because like three weeks ago that was her.  But she's so great, the other day she showed us the metas (goals) she has and one of them is to go to the temple and be married and raise her kids in the gospel.  

Hermana Feddock and I always have lots of fun and I always forget to write about those stories too! But, this week on Thursday night we were walking to our very last cita and it was kinda raining, but not a ton.  Anyways, in Bolivia rain equals flood and it started to pour.  We're talking Noah and the flood pour.  We huddled under a little tienda roof for about five minutes and then decided to ask the lady for plastic bags to put our bagpacks in so all our stuff didn't get wet.  So, we stuffed our backpacks in plastic bags and took off running.  We were completely soaked in about .5 seconds.  The water was up to our mid calves and it was hard to see, but we ran on.  We rain past the church and some members were waiting outside and when they saw us running past they started cheering us on.  It was hilarious.  I was dying.  I wish you could have seen it. 
Anyways, the mission is great.  It's hands down the greatest thing I've ever done. I'll be eternally grateful for the opportunity I have to serve. I'm loving every second of it.  The church is true and this is the Lord's work.  I know that because everyday miracles happen that make me so grateful that He is in charge and I'm not.  I hope you all have a great week!


Hermana Willes

Baptism of Leonardo Pedriel

 Hermana Willes after surviving the downpour

The power of members

This week was great!  Shout out to Mamoo and Boppy for the package!  Thank you!  

We had zone conference on Tuesday, which was just amazing!  As a mission now we are memorizing The Living Christ in Spanish for a conference we're going to have in August when we will all stand and say it together.  I'm sooooo excited.  Hermana Feddock and I are working hard to memorize it.  We already have the first two paragraphs. 

This week we started teaching a family that is so wonderful.  They are really poor, they only have ten bolivinas ($1.50) for lunch everyday and they are a family of ten.  Their oldest daughter is 17 and from the age of five she has stayed home taking care of her siblings.  Because of that, she doesn't know how to read.  Meeting them has been a very humbling experience, but I know that the gospel can change their life and and make it better.
The Choque familia is doing well.   We're working on teaching their thirteen year old son.  He's a bit of a special kid, and he doesn't like going to church because he just wants to sleep.  BUT poco a poco.

This week we went to visit the Pedriels and their fifteen year old son, Leonardo, told us he wants to get baptized.  Before he's always been super hesitant and we didn't really know what else to do, because we had prayed with him, had super strong experiences with him, and he goes to church every Sunday.  But recently the young men's president sat down and talked to him.  After that, he decided to get baptized.  Goes to show the power of the members!  So, he's getting baptized this friday and that will be really great.  Now,  all we need is for the dad to get baptized as well. Pray for him!!

Right now we're working with a lot of menos activos, who are all really wonderful.  I love the ward I'm serving in so much and I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve here.  The church is true and missions are the greatest thing ever.  Have a great week!

Hermana Willes

PS--Mom, (this was in response to some of the things I told her about Nicaragua and wondered if things were similar in Bolivia) yes, there are dogs everywhere.  Are there not in the states? honestly that seems weird to me.  Also that people live in houses with connecting rooms.  Are the houses there made of mud or bricks? and do they have actual doors or just cloth?  There are paved roads here, in the central. but as you get farther out into the rings there are only dirt roads.  Where I am now it's about half and half.  and the humidity is 100%.  You walk out of the house and you're wet.  That's also why, when it gets cold, it get's freezing.  And I know what you mean.   It does change you. Things that seem sooo essential aren't anymore.  I know that will be something that will be really hard for me when I get back.  But, it really does teach you about what is important and also just the importance of being grateful.  The people down here are so grateful, they will also tell us "we are so blessed.  We have food for our table, we all have our health, everyone in the family is living" and they will tell me this sitting in a shack with millions of bugs and animals crawling around and only having ten bolivinos for their lunch.  It`s very humbling. 

Hermana Willes and Hermana Feddock 
celebrating Hermana Feddock's birthday

This is His work

Hey Family,

First off, sorry I didn't have time to write last week.  I went through three computers trying find one that worked!  Also, shout out to Gama for the package, the candles are awesome and so was all the food!

This week was great. I had an intercambio with Hermana Cladera and that was super fun! She is honestly my best friend from my whole mission.  Which is super weird because we speak different native tongues, but it doesn't matter.  I really want you guys to meet her someday.  She's seriously the best.  She says thanks for the package. Also, we had a conference with Elder Uceda, the President of the area.  It was awesome.  He talked about how we have left behind the time of splitting wards and now we are in the time of multiplying wards.  He said that if there are seventy people in a ward, that's a ward family, 150 is a branch and 300 people is a ward.  He then talked about how we have to strengthen the wards down here.  So right now that is our focus, strengthing the wards.
Things are going well with our investigators and we are in the process of finding new ones.  Also, we're working a lot with the menos activos and converso recitentes! The Lord is opening up paths for us.  I think one of the most important things I've learned is that I can't do everything on my own and the Lord doesn't expect me to.  It is a good thing, because this is His work and before I was running around, trying to do the work of Hermana Willes, because I felt like I had to be the one to make everything happen.  To be honest, I was lacking faith.  But I've begun to learn that Heavenly Father does not expect us to accomplish the miracles or fix other people's problems, He just needs us to do our part and rely on Him so that He can do the miracles and the fixing.

The Familia Choque is doing really well.  I love being here, the mission is the best! Seriously, I just love the ward I'm in. I care about them so much and I want to help them become a stronger ward! 

Mom, I'm so excited for you and for Joseph to go to Nicaragua! That will be so awesome! I haven't been able to flush toliet paper in six months, sometimes I forget that it's possible in other places. But I forget a lot of things wouldn't be normal to you guys, like dogs in the streets and unpaved roads.  Have so much fun! Try to pick up some Spanish, whenever you don't know what to say just say va a discupar.  Bueno, no se si ellos dicen alla pero trate no mas! 

I finally got that package you sent several months ago.  The bottles of onguard were in the boxes and all the face wash and everything.  Thank you soooo much.  You're seriously the greatest! Have the best week.


Hermana Willes

Baptism of Josue and Luis Choque

 Santa Cruz has been really cold and with the humidity it's freezing!  
Just trying to stay warm!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I know that I am suppose to be teaching them, but they are really teaching me

JOSUE CHOQUE WAS BAPTIZED!  and his son Luis Angel!  Seriously, the greatest day of my entire life.  When Josue came up out of that water, I can't even describe the feelings that I felt.  He is just so great! Their whole family is amazing. The bishop gave them a picture of the temple on Saturday night and by Sunday afternoon they had framed it and put it up in their room to remind them that's their next goal.  Josue and Luis are preparing to recieve the priesthood this Sunday.  I just love them so much, it's nuts.  We had a cita with them yesterday after church and we showed up and they were reading their scriptures as a couple.  We taught Josue's brother on Saturday and when we gave him a Book of Mormon, Josue said "brother, this book deals with problems we have.  Any question or problem you have, you can read the Book of Mormon and find your answer.  All the answers are in there."  And on Sunday, their family bought a subscription to the Liahona.  I just can't even explain my feelings for them.  

The people here are amazing.  I know I'm supposed to be teaching them, but they are really just teaching me.  They have so much faith and they love the Lord.  They don't always understand everything, but to them it doesn't matter because they have the faith to carry them through.  I just love them and it's a privilege to serve them.  I love them with my whole heart.  

I hope you all have the best week!


Hermana Willes

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

On Saturday, Miguel Angel was baptized!

This week was great! We had an a amazing miracle. The son of Rolando, the dad who didn’t want to get baptized, really wanted to get baptized.  He’s 11 and is so great.  We knew he was ready and so we had the goal to have him be baptized this past Saturday.  But, in order to do so, his dad had to sign a permision slip allowing him to be baptized, because he’s under age.  We met with his dad and his dad told us he had his permission, but he refused to sign the paper.  We tried explaining in everyway we could think of, we even tried getting him to pray with us to ask Heavenly Father to help him understand why he needed to sign the paper but he refused to pray.  He just wouldn`t.  This was Thursday afternoon.  So, Hermana Feddock and I left the house just completely destroyed.  We went back to the house to eat something for dinner really fast and we decided to kneel down and ask Heavenly Father to please give us a miracle, so that Miguel Angel could get baptized.  We did that and then we prayed the entire way over to their house.  Miguel Angel was home this time and we asked him if he had talked to his dad, and he told us no.  I told him that his dad needed to sign the paper so that he could get baptized.  He said "ok" went inside his house and about two minutes later came back out and said “He said he’ll sign it.  Where’s the paper?" Hermana Feddock, his sister, and I could not believe it!  We gave him the paper and he came back out with the signature!!!!!! I still can’t even believe it.  So, on Saturday, Miguel Angel was baptized.  He’s just the sweetest thing.  Everytime he prays, he asks Heavenly Father that he can wake up on time on Sundays to take the sacrament because his family was struggling with getting to church on time to take the sacrament.  I know that this experience will help soften Rolando’s (his dad) heart and poco a poco he will come unto Christ.

Josue Choque is getting baptized this week! He’s just de oro! Yesterday we taught them about tithing and when we put the compromiso about paying tithing after he was baptized, he said "well of course hermanas.  I’m going to be baptized, which means I’ll have promised to keep the commandments.  So, of course I’m going to pay."  He`s just wonderful.  

Lidia should also be getting baptized this week.  She still has some doubts, but we’re going to work really hard with her and I have faith that it will all work out!

I love this gospel, I have honestly never been so happy in my whole life.  As hard as it is sometimes, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.  In such a short time I have come to love these people so much, not just the investigators, but the members too.  The Church is true and Christ lives.  

Hurrah for Israel! Have a great week.  I love you all!


Hermana Willes

Hermana Willes and her 
companion Hermana Feddock

 Hermana Willes, Miguel Angel and 
Hermana Feddock at Miguel's baptism

Thursday, June 12, 2014

I finished the Book of Mormon in Spanish!

Hermana Romero and I had an emergency transfer and now I’m training a gringa, Hermana Feddock! She’s super great, we’re having a blast!

This week was really good, we had a miracle with one of our investigators.  He received a blessing to help him overcome the word of wisdom and he’s super excited to baptized in a few weeks! 

The fila Choque is progressing really well, they are just golden!
Lidia’s fecha is this week, but we don’t know if she will be ready! So pray for her!

Sorry this is so short, but I love you all and I’m loving it down here! The Church is true and so is the  Book of Mormon! I finished it in Spanish today and as I prayed to know it was true I just felt the spirit testify to me so strongly that it is! I just love the Book of Mormon! Have the best week!

Hermana Willes

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I'm just so happy to be a missionary!

Well this week was great.  The Familia Choque is just progressing sooo well! They went to church on Sunday and were early--and the members don't even do that!  They are reading the Book of Mormon and praying and I just love them with all my heart.  Hermana Estaquia said something really cute to us the other day.  She was telling us how she and Josue, her husband, read the Book of Mormon together and prayed.  Then she said "after we prayed, I felt something, something peaceful, right here (as she touched her heart), and it was something different."  Hermana Romero and I were just exploding with joy. 
Yesterday we started teaching a new investigator, Leonardo.  He's sooo great.  Literally everything just screamed "prepared".  He told us how he doesn't think the Bible is complete, because sometimes it's confusing and it doesn't explain everything.  Also,  he knows that God has laws and if we follow the laws, then we will be blessed but if we don't then we won`t.  It was nuts.  He committed to read the Book of Mormon and pray and we have a cita with him and his wife on Thursday!

We had a lot of miracles this week, but also one really sad experience. We have a family that we have been working with, the mom and the daughter are members and the dad and the son are investigators.  The sons, who are ten and fifteen, are super great.  They're reading their Book of Mormon and are preparing to be baptized on the fourteenth.  Their dad told us last night that he doesn't want to fead the Book of Mormon and that he doesn't want to be baptized.  It was super sad.  We're going to keep working with their family and we're praying really hard that his heart will soften and that he will change.  I know that his heart can be softened, we just need to follow the spirit and he'll show us what to do.  

As hard as that experience was, the week was still so great.  We had so many miracles and I'm just so happy to be a missionary.  I know the Savior lives, that He loves us, and that He died for us.  His atonement is real and people really can change.  

I hope everyone has the greatest week!


Hermana Willes

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bolivia is my Holy Ground

First off, shout out to my cousin Andrew for getting his mission call! GHANA! that's so sweet! You're going to love it. Missions are the greatest things ever!

We had zone conference this week and President Willard said something that I loved.  He told us that we can be Doctrine and Covenants for our investigators, if we follow the spirit and teach to their needs.  I definitely want to be the that kind of missionary.  

This week was super great. Josue Choque accepted a fecha! We went on lunes and I was so nervous, because I just love them so much.  So, we started talking and then I was like "Hermano, do you remember what you told us?" and he said "Yeah, Hermana, I remember everything."  So then we put the fecha and he accepted!  And his son did too! It was so great! And it was super sweet, because we said "Hermano, you need to prepare for your fecha" and He said "Hermanas, tell me what I need to do!" He's so great!  On Thursday, we were teaching them about the Book of Mormon and he said "Hermanas, I know that the promise in the introduction is true.  I read the Book of Mormon years ago and I found all my answers.  I know it's true."  I can't even explain how much I love them! 
The biggest miracle we had this week was with an investigator named Lidia.  She's had all the lessons for about two years and her husband is a menos activo.  When I was with Hermana Cladera I only taught her once and she told us she would never be baptized.  So we were like ok, we'll work with your husband because he can be rescued.  So, we had a lesson with them two weeks ago and put the compromiso to go to church and they both said they would go.  And two Sundays ago she came to church, but her husband didn't.  So on Tuesday we went to their house with this awesome member, Hermana Lousia, and only Lidia was there.  We thought "ok, she did go to church so maybe something is changing."  We started talking to her and she told us about her brother who had died.  We taught her the Plan of Salvation and the spirit was so strong.  Hermana Romero asked her to be baptized and at first she was like "no se, no se" and then I asked her if she had ever prayed to know if the church is true.  She said yes, but she didn't feel anything special.  I then explained to her that the spirit doesn't always talk to us through our feelings, it's different for everyone.  We gave some examples and then I felt like I should tell her that just because she hadn't felt something, doesn't mean the Lord wasn't listening to her prayers, that He loves her and maybe her answer is that we are here, teaching her.  AND THEN SHE SAID SHE WOULD GET BAPTIZED.  It was literally the best thing! She is going to be baptized on the fourteenth, and she's reading her Book of Mormon and MARKING it, and she's going to church.  She's golden, but she wasn't golden before.  It's just so amazing to see how the Lord can change people, when we follow the spirit and teach with the spirit. 
We had a lot of other miracles this week, the spirit has been so strong in our lessons.  I'm so grateful for the spirit because he honestly puts words into my mouth and I could not teach without him.  I love being a missionary, seriously everyday I'm just so grateful to be here.  In zone conference, one of the elders that is going home bore his testimony and he said something that I really loved.  He said "we talk of Jerusalem and the Sacred Grove as holy ground.  Well, Bolivia is my holy ground, because it's here I've come to know my Savior.  And I don't ever want it to end." That is exactly how I feel.  I don't want to be anywhere else!  

I love you all and I hope you have the best week!


Hermana Willes

Monday, May 19, 2014

Holy Hannah this week was soooo good!

Holy Hannah this week was soooo good! We had so many spiritual experiences, I don't even know where to start.

First, on Tuesday, we had a cita with Estaquia and her husband.  When we got there it was kinda weird because they had friends over and so after we were pretty sure we might have been in some planned meeting of another congregation. But during the lesson, her husband said that he knew the church was true.  So after we left we were like, ok we'll see what happens.  On Thursday, we went and we had planned to teach lesson one.  But as we were sitting there, I just keep thinking "I need to ask him why he never got baptized with his wife.  I have to know why and leccion uno is not gonna do that for me!"  So when in doubt, always talk about Christ right? So I asked him how he felt about Christ.  Then I shared Marcos 9, which talks about a father, whose son is sick, and Christ asks him if he has faith that his son can be healed.  The father says "yes, help thou my unbelief."  After I shared that, I asked him if he had faith in Christ and he just unloaded.  He told us he knew the church was true, he just never got baptized because he was scared that he couldn't change and that after he got baptized he would fall away.  He told us that he understands that baptism is important and that he is going to get baptized someday.  When he said that I was like "ahora es el momento!"  (now is the moment!)  He committed to be baptized, but he is going to give his answer for sure tonight.  He also comitted to read and pray everyday and on Sunday he told us he is going to go to church next Sunday.  He couldn't yesterday because he had to work.  He's so great and I was so grateful for the spirit, because he really put the words in our mouths and opened the heart of Josue.
The menos activo that we found in the street, Carlos, is de oro! (golden) We had a lesson with him and his wife, who isn't a member, but is going to be in just a short time.  The first time we taught her, we taught her how to pray and she was like "wait, I need to write this down so I can know it for sure!" We showed her where it was in the phamplet, but she wanted it in her own words.  Super sweet.  Then we had another lesson with them on Saturday and wow, the spirit was so strong!  We taught them lesson uno and then I bore my testimony to her and I felt impressed to tell her that many times the Lord answers our prayers through other people and that when we found them on the street it was because the Lord had heard her prayers and loved her so much and wants her to have the truth in her life.  She started bawling and we asked her to get baptized and she said yes! We then prayed with them on our knees to know if the church was true, because her husband asked us how we could know if there are so many churches.  After we prayed Carlos told us that he knew the church was true and he was going to come back! It was sooooo great! They came to church on Sunday all by themselves, we didn't have to recoger (get) them or anything! And they met with the bishop and we are going to have a noche de hogar  (FHE) with them on Wednesday, with their hermanadores.  I just love them sooooo much!

We also have another family, the mom is a member and the daughter is preparing to go on a mission.  Her dad has been an investigator for a while and we were thinking about dropping them, because he didn't seem to be progressing.  But on Saturday, we had an amazing lesson with them, where the spirit was soooo strong.  His sons aren't members either and when I asked his son to be baptized (he's ten) he was like "I don't know..." and his dad cut in and was like "they need to prepare, they need to do their part.  But I'm going to prepare and I'm going to be baptized. I'm going to do my part" It was awesome! And yesterday, he came to church, stayed for all three hours, and wore a white shirt and dress pants! It's amazing to see the changes the gospel works in the lives of people as they come unto Christ!

We had a lot of other wonderful experiences this week too, but those were my favorites.  I'm so grateful for the spirit, because he's the real teacher and I'm just instrument! 

Have a great week!

Hermana Willes

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

We had a super great week, full of miracles!

Skyping with Hermana Willes on Mothers Day.  
The picture wasn't great--about ultrasound quality--but we'll take it!!

It was so good to see your faces yesterday! Mother's Day is the best!

So I'm training! Super crazy.  My companion, Hermana Romero, is from Colombia and she is just the cutest thing in the whole wide world.  I'm learning so much from her and I love her sooo much! 

We had a super great week, full of miracles.  On Tuesday, we called Daniella to make sure we could visit her.  She told us "yes" and so we went to her house.  I asked her how her prayers are going, and she said "Hermanas, I just had a really cool experience.  I was praying to Heavenly Father this morning and then after I ended my prayer you guys called me! It was an answer to my prayers!" It was sooooo awesome.  We committed her to baptism, the 31 of this month.  She went to church on Sunday and she said she really liked it, so we'll see! She's incredible.

We also had a lesson with our new menos activo, Eustagcia.  The Bishop went and visited her on Sunday and she was super happy about that.  It was hilarious, because we had a lesson with her and her daughter and son and her niece and nephew.  When the lesson finished she was like, "Hermanas, I can't go to church but they are all going to go to church on Sunday.  And I want you to start teaching my husband and my sister-in-law!"  We were like of course! And on Sunday when we went to recologer them, she told us she woke them all up super early so they wouldn't be late and that they aren't ever going to miss another Sunday! I love them so much, I know the Lord has prepared them for us!

We also had another really cool miracle.  We have the goal to talk to every couple that we see and every family.  So we were walking in the street on Friday and we saw this couple and contacted them.  We went up and before we could really introduce ourselves the man said "I know who you are! You're mormons! I'm a member of your church!" Turns out he's a menos activo that was baptized in Argentina and has been less active for a long time, but he wants to come back. He looked at me and said "I have everything, a hymn book, a Book of Mormon, everything.  I don't know why I don't go to church. I keep thinking I need to go back.  But, why did you stop and talk to me? I always see missionaries from the church and from other churches, but they never stop and talk to me.  Why did you talk to me?"  I looked at him and told him it was because Heavenly Father loves him and wants him to come back.  It was incredible.  We have a visit with him tomorrow. I'm so excited!

I love being a missionary.  It's the greatest thing I've ever done.  I love the spirit I feel all the time.  The Church is true and the Lord loves us all so much.  More than we can even imagine.  I can testify of that with all my heart.  Have the best week!

Hermana Willes

Crossing the street after the rain...

 What the rain does to the streets...

Hermana Willes and Hermana Cladera 

Hermana Willes, Hermana Cladera, and their district

Hermana Willes, Hermana Zapata (from Chicago), 
Hermana Zapata's companion, and Hermana Cladera.
 The woman sitting down is their cook and to her right is her husband.

 Hermana Willes and her new companion, Hermana Romero (from Columbia)