Monday, September 27, 2010

Catia got baptized!!!!

Ok I'll start off with the news.
I just finished your letter today with every detail in it and I'm about to send it home, but just so you know, I sent my pictures home too. They should be there very soon. Ok so I didn't get transferred so you can just write to the same address. Elder Kessler is going to Lisbon, and I have a companion named Elder Carter. I hope he is a good companion. We will see tomorrow. Now for the bad news. Last Monday, me and Elder Kessler ate some chestnuts from a street vendor, and they were poisoned or something. The next day, I threw up 4 times and Elder Kessler threw up 3 times. So we were in bed for both Tuesday and Wednesday. It was crazy. But on Thursday, we were ready to get up and work and our work paid off because yesterday, we baptized Catia!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so awesome and the Spirit was so strong. We are still working on Derrikson and his family, but they definitely seem way interested and they are moving right along. So the work is going great!!!!!
Hahaha that's really funny that you didn't know about the phone. I can't believe I forgot to tell you. Yes, each companionship gets to carry a cell phone and it makes it really easy to set up appointments and such!! Its very convenient.
About the music!!! yeah we listen to music everyday and we use my speaker!!!! It works so great!!! If you could, could you send some Disney music over? like from the show Brother Bear, and Lion King, and Mulan and such!! I know it sounds ridiculous, but Elder Kessler did that and it was a great idea!!!
So, yesterday was our stake conference, and the primary sang for the opening hymn!! They sang the song that goes "a long time ago in a beautiful place, children were gathered around Jesus" It reminded me of primary. I miss it a lot. The whole time I sat there and sang to myself the words in English while they sang!!! It was so cool!! The people in the stake of Oeires are all so loving and kind. In Utah it's like everyone is a Mormon so it's not such a big deal when you get together for stake conference ya know? But in Portugal, it's like every single member loves each other and everyone is friends with each other. It's really a great feeling!!!
I'm sending a 6 page letter in detail about my mission and the questions you asked in your letter, but until then, I have to keep being vague. I'm so glad to hear about things at home though!!!! That's awesome Karter plays soccer now!! I can't wait to play with him. And it's great to hear you're back in Weight Watchers. Never give up!!! You can do it!! We are going to run the Peach Days race as a family when I get back!! How cool would that be!! Just so you know, I think the beginning of my mission was the chubbiest I've ever been because of the MTC, but now, I have to wear my belt a hole tighter than I had to even at home. Haha I'm turning into a scrawny guy from all this walking!!!
Well I better go!! But my letter and pictures should get there soon. I'm so grateful to have you as my mom!! It's such a blessing!! I love you and I love our family!!! I'm thankful to be here doing the Lord's work. The Lord has been so good to me in my life. I'm not really sure why, but He has, and the mission is the least I can do for Him. I know He lives. I love you!!!!
Elder Willes

Friday, September 24, 2010

More baptisms coming up!!!

This last week has been great!!! Just so you know, I haven't gotten your letter yet, but I'm sure I'll get it very soon. I did however get the camera card, and I am ready to send it back to you!!! We had our first zone meeting this week and we got all our mail. I got to see a bunch of my MTC buddies so it was really cool. This week has been really great!!!! We committed our new investigator, named Catia, to be baptized on the 26th of September!!! She is golden. She said yes and as long as she comes to church on Sunday, we can baptize her that day!!! We also have a family of 3 that we are teaching and they are golden too. The mom is named Antonia, the dad is named Joaquim, and the son is named Derrikson. He is about Caitlin's age. They are from Angola and they are awesome. Derrikson is really into our message. He came to church with us on Sunday and we are going to commit him to be baptized on the 26th as well. I hope he says yes. Speaking of, the 26th is the last Sunday of the transfer. That's right... transfers are on the 28th and we figure out who is being transferred the day before so I'll let you know!!! The work is going great here though!!! I'm really enjoying it and I'm growing so much closer to the Lord everyday!!!! I love this gospel with all of my heart and I'm so blessed to be a part of this family!!!
I'm sorry to hear about your eyes!! That's no fun at all. It means a lot that you still emailed me though!!! I love getting your emails despite the limited time I have. Now I can write letters though so that's good!!! It's good to hear that everyone is getting ready for Halloween back at home. Unfortunately, the Elders here said that Halloween isn't really a big deal over here in Portugal, so I'll miss that.. ha. The trees are different here. They stay green but they are really weird. They are either palm trees, or super tall skinny trees with long lanky branches that hang down... so no fall colors, but it is beautiful here!!!!
Oh, just so you know, I spent from my account for the first time today. I took 40 Euros out of the ATM and got 2 ties and a Portugal soccer jersey. I have about 5 euros left from that. I don't remember how much one Euro is worth, but I know it's really close to a dollar. I hope it doesn't charge me when I go to the ATM. Apparently almost every place here doesn't take my card... ha. I'm really glad to hear that Grandloot is getting better. Tell her I love her and I'm praying for her. I love you all so much!!! You're everything to me. I pray for you all everyday. I can't wait to get your letter and finally start sending letters. I love you momma. Everything is going great here.

Love your son, Elder Willes

Monday, September 13, 2010

I'm so glad to hear that Peach Days was good. It sounds like it was the good ol' regular Peach Days to me. I would say I miss the candy and donuts, but we get fed so much sugar here I'm going to die!!!! ahahahaha. Anyway, it's so good to hear from you. I'm really sorry about Grandma. I pray for her every night as well as everyone else, so I hope she gets feeling better.
Well, I thought I'd let you know we didn't have any more baptisms this week, which is a bummer, but we are doing really well I think. We are trying to get about 4 of our investigators to commit to baptism. We also received 4 new investigators on
Saturday... a Brazilean girl and a small Cabo Verdian family. They seem golden, so me and Elder Kessler are really excited to teach them. We taught them the first lesson and they accepted everything about it.
Early this week, me and Elder Kessler were walking past the church, when this kid ran up to us asking us to help get his soccer ball out of the tree. So we decided we would help him!! First we tried climbing it, but that didn't work, so then we started throwing pine cones at it and after about 10 or 15 minutes of throwing pine cones, I finally got the soccer ball down. The kid started jumping and shouting and screaming for joy and laughing. He ran up to me and gave me a huge hug and thanked me. It was something so simple, but it made me feel great. We also helped out our donor this week. We woke up one morning and we cut down a tree for her that was taking over her yard and we hauled it off to the garbage. It was a lot of fun and she even rewarded us with lunch!!!! mmmmm!!! cod fish and potato chips. The people love fish here. So that was our little service for the week. Other than that, most of the rest of the week was spent knocking doors. Me and Elder Kessler are trying to find new investigators to teach so we have taken to knocking doors. It's tough because almost every time you are rejected by knocking doors. Elder Kessler also has me do the talking at every other door which is tough at first but I'm getting a lot better. The language is improving slowly but surely. I can understand most of what people say now as long as they don't mumble. The mission is going really well. We haven't had a baptism since the first week, but when we do get a baptism, there are going to be a lot because we are preparing a lot of people.
I'm so grateful I can be serving the Lord. I love this Gospel and the Lord has blessed me with so much. I'm so grateful for the wonderful mother you are and the amazing family I have. It is such a blessing to me. I know my savior lives and this truly is His work. I'm so happy I can share this joy with everyone. I love you and miss you so much. I pray for you always.
Elder Willes
P.S. I have a lot of pictures that I have labeled descriptions for on a piece of paper. Zone conference is this Wednesday so I should get that card. Then I can send them home to you.

- Show quoted text -

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

OK so I asked Elder Kessler about the whole mail to the direct address thing and he said to just ignore that and that it makes everything harder. hmmmm I don't know! But you got the address to the mission home right? He said that it makes it harder to write because transfers are every 6 weeks and so you have to tell everyone your different address every time you move. But I think it would be a little bit faster, but we don't know the address right now and we aren't at home so I will check it and write it down, then I will send it to you next week!!!!
That's crazy to hear about the photo shoot.. I miss those they sound like so much fun!!! That's terrible that it was that hot though. It doesn't get that hot here, but I sweat my guts out because we walk all day long and it's a bit more humid!! ha.
Well, today is zone p day, and we were going to go check out the palace at Sintra, but I think the zone is going to some cool monument in Lisbon instead. It should still be really cool and I'll take lots of pictures. I think we might go to Sintra next time.
Well, this week was pretty good, kind of disappointing though, we had this one lady named Mariana ready for baptism, we had the interview with her and everything and she agreed. Get this, she had never learned how to read or write, but she had to sign her name for the baptismal form and she was really nervous, but she signed it anyways and just sort of scribbled. The amazing thing is it actually said her name. So we felt really good about it and we had her scheduled to be baptized on Sunday but about half way through the week she chickened out. She is having real issues because she was baptized into 2 churches before and she is like"I can't be baptized 3 times." We aren't giving up on her though. We are also trying to mark several others for baptism. Aida, Aneta, and Mariana right now. The work is going great. I'm a little bit more of a help to my companion now because I can understand a little bit better and contribute more to the lessons.
As for other interesting things, as far as random goes, it was a week full of random things. For example, we were sitting waiting for our train on Thursday, and some guy walks up to us and holds a cross in front of our face and points at us, kisses his cross, and walks away. It was really weird haha. And another day, we were sitting on a bench teaching a guy about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, when out of the clear blue, he sticks his finger in Elder Kessler's ear and starts trying to clean out his ears.
hmmm well we are really staying busy. A sad thing is that one of our investigators beat his wife last night and now she is in the hospital. I think we might stop by tonight and see how he is doing. Definitely not good.
So that's pretty much how this week has been. haha. But I love hearing how things are back home!!! I'm so glad to hear Caitlin is liking high school. Good for her. Thanks for working on the scrapbook page for me. I bet it is amazing!!! Yes I took some pictures at the airport for you!! ha also on the plane too. I love hearing about all the parties and such back home!! Thank you so much for the e mail. I will send you my current address next week.
Well I've got to rap it up. I love you mom. You've done everything for me, you're the best. I'm so thankful I live in such an amazing family. I'm so grateful for this gospel!! I grow closer to it every day and I can feel the savior's love in my life. I pray for you all everyday. I love you.
Elder Coulton Willes