Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It was awesome to see y'all and be able to see all the changes y'all have made.  I don't know if y'all could tell, but I was really nervous!  It was good though to be able to communicate with y'all.  
This week was an amazing week.  I love the Savior and this time we had to celebrate his birth.  On Christmas I was able to reflect back on all he has done for me and the changes and meaning in my life that he has made.  I love him dearly and am excited to be doing his work.  I got to thinking this week and have realized how fast time goes by.  I only have a year left.  So, I will make this year count!  Soon Corie will be married, and  Bailee and Kolton will be on missions.  Then, we will see Luke on a mission.  It is amazing to see y'all grow and be an example to me.  I truly love this work; it is a humbling experience to participate in. 
  We were able to go and see Bunny yesterday.  He is most definitely going to be baptized on the 18th, He is ready.  Every time we come over he is so excited and he makes us food every time too....  which is really good.  We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  When we were talking about the Holy Ghost the spirit prompted me to show him an example that we don't normally use.  It is when you take a bowl and fill it up with water.  Then, you put a lot of pepper in it.  After you have done that you tell them to put there finger in the water and to try not to get any pepper on it.  Once they notice that they can't put their finger in without getting the pepper on it we have them put dish soap on their finger and when you put your finger in the water the pepper separates.  We then relate the pepper to sin and the dish soap to the Holy Ghost and how it keeps us away from sin.  It was awesome because when we did that everything just clicked for him and he was so excited to receive the Holy Ghost. 
  I was also able to go on exchanges this week.  I was with the Elder y'all saw while y'all were talking to me.  His name is Elder Halvorson.  I had to ride his companions bike though and his companions bike tore up my behind!  haha.  It worked out though.  We had a good time and were able to teach many of their investigators and help them feel the spirit.  That was on Friday. 
  One last experience to sum up the week.  We go tracting as a zone every saturday at 3 o'clock.  When Elder Huff and I went out the very first door we knocked an older lady answered and accepted to listen to our message.  We then proceeded to teach her the restoration.  It went really well.  Her name is Jerry.  So we will be seeing her again some time this week and I will update y'all on how that goes.  I love y'all and hope y'all have a good safe week.  I am doing great and love it out here in Kountze, Texas.  And, sorry for not getting a picture of our trailer.  I didn't have time.  I will get one to y'all next week!
Elder Willden

A family who had us over on Christmas Eve and gave us remote control cars for Christmas!  Their last name was Ratcliff.

wearing a Joker smile while holding a rat!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Well I am now out in Kountze Texas!  It is very country.  And, I am serving with Elder Huff.  Our address is 635 E. Fox, Kountze, Texas, 77625.  I am doing great out here in Kountze.  We have to drive a Jeep because there are a lot of dirt roads we have already gotten stuck once too.  Our area is Huge.  It is like ten times the size of Fall Creek or more.  Anyways, we teach a lot of really humble country people. 
  I love this time of the year where we get to reflect on the Savior and his birth.  I love the Christmas hymns and their wonderful messages.  I know that Christ was born.  And, I know Father in Heaven loved us so much that he gave his son.  I love the spirit that comes as we reflect on this wonderful event that took place. 
  We had an awesome experience on Wednesday.  We were out riding our bikes to go try one of our investigators and we stopped to talk to a guy walking on the side of the road.  Turns out he was from India.  He has a really thick accent too.  He stated that he had a friend back in India who is a Branch President or something for our church.  He then invited us to walk home with him and teach him so we did.  We had a very powerful lesson and he cried the whole time and afterwards told us that he hadn't gone outside in over a month and us stopping to talk to him was a sign to him that God wanted this to happen.  He also told us all about how when he was in India he was Hindu, but one day someone talked about Jesus Christ to him and he felt a burning feeling and he knew it was true.  So he has believed in God and Jesus Christ since.  But, while in India he got into debt with his business and had to come over here to be able to get out of debt and provide for his family.  He is extremely humble.  We have taught him 4 times since Wednesday and he will be getting baptized on January 18th.  We are so excited.  And another funny side note about this guy, his nickname that he likes to be called while he is here in America is Bunny.  haha.
  We have just been going out and working hard and the Lord is blessing us... that describes our whole week.  I want to tell one more story though.  We were doing the Hour of Power on thursday night and we tracted into a family and we were able to teach them.  The spirit was so strong and we will be seeing them later tonight.  Their names are Steven and Shauna Roth.  I am really excited to work with them. 
  And Yes we will be skyping this Christmas:)  It will be sometime around 1:00.  I will have the member call all-y'all and set everything up!  I love y'all and am excited to get to see y'all.  I am loving my mission and I am also loving the work. Y'all have a wonderful Christmas!
Elder Willden

We were out in the middle of no where trying someone and there was a deer.  And the next one is Bunny when we had Lunch with him.  In India they eat with their hands at home, so we ate with our hands. It was quite the experience!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Well I am getting transferred.  It is hard to leave, I have learned to love this area and the people so much.  But, I am also excited to see where the Lord will take me next!  
This week was a good week.  We had our Christmas Conference on Wednesday.  It was a great experience.  I was able to see Elder Roundy, Elder Kalilimoku, Elder Meyer, and Elder Ynchausti.  We had a good time catching up and seeing the changes in each other.  
And thank you so much for the package.  I will be shipping one off to y'all today.  Anyways, This week we had an amazing miracle happen.  It was late at night saturday, and we still had 1 hour till we would go in and plan.  We had run out of people to go see.  Elder Rush and I felt like we should go try Charles.  Even though he has been out of town for three months and we were told he wouldn't be back till after Christmas.  So, we went over and knocked on his door and he answered.  And he looked really bad.  He let us in and we started talking.  Come to find out he has been in the Hospital the whole time, because his lung cancer came back.  He told us that it took all of his energy to come to the door and go and sit down.  He said he has really missed meeting with us, and that he has still been living the word of wisdom!  We offered him a blessing.  And it was one of the most powerful blessings I have ever given.  Afterward we shared a message and asked when we could come back.  He said that he will be in the hospital on monday so he is not sure.  But, he said that once he gets better he will get the rest of the lessons and come to church.  Please pray for him that he may recover quickly so that he can continue to progress. 
 We were also able to teach Deward Porter and his wife.  When I told them I would be leaving they said it was like losing a son.  I am going to miss that family.  We commited them to come to church this Sunday though and they weren't able to come because Deward got called into work.  I am sure they will come to church next week and be baptized soon.  
I am doing well and am excited to be able to see y'all and talk to you on Christmas.  I am not sure how it is going to work out since I will be moving, but it will all work out!  I love y'all and hope y'all have a spiritually uplifting week, due to this wonderful Christmas season. 
Elder Willden 

T.H.E. Mission Christmas Conference

Waiting on car brakes to be repaired in Humble, TX

Monday, December 9, 2013

Merry Christmas!  Wow how the time flies by!  This week was a great week for Elder Rush and I.  I love this Christ centered season.  To help others, and remember the Savior and his great sacrifice for us.  On Saturday morning Elder Rush and I were looking at our map and he pointed out a spot on the map that is marked out.  He asked me if I had ever been down there and I told him that I hadn't.  We both felt inspired to go there that day.  And, after an appointment we drove down there to go knock some doors or talk to people.  Once we had arrived we noticed that this was a place where the state was going to develop a community and built roads, but no one bought land.  There was one main street with little streets that broke off of the main one and there was one house per little street.  We decided that since we came down we were just going to knock each one.  The first one we knocked didn't answer so we got back in the car and drove to the next one.  There was a lady sitting outside smoking (It was really cold outside).  We parked the car and began to talk to her.  We established that we were missionaries and she said she had heard about us and our church and quickly stated that she is fine where she is at and didn't really want to listen to our message.  We asked her what her religious background was and she told us she was baptist and she began to talk about her problems with the baptist churches and why she hasn't been back.  The spirit then guided us to teach her restored truths that make those problems she had right.  We read part of Moroni Chapter 8 with her because she had a problem with children getting baptized.  And, afterward the spirit directed us to talk about Joseph Smith and we recited the Joseph Smith experience.  The spirit was so strong and I began to cry as I testified of the truthfulness of the experience Joseph Smith had and the Book of Mormon.  She then broke down also and told us about how she has had some bad things happen to her lately and that she has been really mad at God.  She told us that we were messengers to help her break the wall between her and God.  We will continue to meet with her and I will tell y'all about her progression her name is Michelle.  
  I am loving it out here in the great state of Texas.  Although we don't have snow and the temperature isn't nearly as low.  I am freezing!  I guess that's what happens when you acclimate.  I am going to die when I get home!  Elder Rush and I are doing great I love y'all and pray for you often.  I love my mission and love the work!  Have a great week!
Elder Willden

PS>  By the way transfers are coming up and I am pretty sure I am going to get transferred.  So, don't send any letters next week to this address.  If you are going to send any letters or anyone else wants to send letters that will arrive next week send them to the mission office just incase.  I love you!

This is the email that Chase sent in response to his Dad's weekly email:

Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement.  It really helps.  I relate many of the experiences that I had with you to my investigators.  I hope I can follow in your footsteps and become the best missionary I can be.  I love what I am doing.  I love you!
Elder Willden

Monday, December 2, 2013

This past week was great.  Thanksgiving was a good day.  Very quiet also because it was just Elder Rush and I for most of it.  But, dinner was really good we had it with the Atkinson's (I missed your home cooked food though mom).  The mom is a member and the husband isn't.  And, Grecia is the mom's niece, so we got to have it with her also.  It was interesting because they invited over their neighbors whom were not members and were an older couple from england.  It was a good day over all and Elder Rush and I played YHATZEE pretty much the whole day.  We were extremely excited to get back to work on Friday though!  
On Monday and Tuesday it was freezing cold and raining.  And Elder Rush and I were on bikes.  As we were riding, I was thinking about how grateful that am to be able to serve a mission, and that I will never ride a bike in the rain with church clothes on ever again, so I might as well enjoy it!  On Wednesday I was able to go on exchanges with my trainer Elder Ynchausti!  It was really fun to see him as a zone leader and to be able to go out and work together again!  
  We were able to teach Deward this week!  He is awesome.  He continues to read and pray.  We are still working on getting him to church though.  We also started teaching a new guy his name is Luis, he is searching for the truth and just wants to know more about our religion.  We were able to teach him and have a very powerfull lesson.  God also gave us another person to teach named David Soto.  He is a family oriented man, but has a problem with drinking.  We taught him the restoration and he loved it so we are really excited to continue to work with him.  We taught Jacob Davila this week and he is doing great!  He is an awesome member.  We also were able to have dinner with Natalie Marshall.  We taught the restoration and talked about how much it has effected her life.  We then started talking about how we found her and it truly is an amazing story how she prayed the day before and asked God for guidance and then during the Hour of Power on thursday we were guided to and knocked on her door.  It is amazing to see her continue to progress and change.  
  This morning I was able to read the story of the healing of the man who was blind from birth in John chapter 9.  It is an amazing story.  I love the faith and courage of that man as he stood before the pharisees and declared what had happened and allowed himself to be wrongly judged and kicked out of the place.  I also love when Christ comes up to him and declares who he was and how quickly the man believed.  I love the scriptures.  I have gained a personal knowledge of my savior and the love he has for us from reading those amazing stories and teachings about him in the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price.  I know that he lives.  I know that he has sent his spirit to comfort us and to bless and protect us.  In every lesson Elder Rush and I are given direction in where to go and what to do to help those we teach progress and learn and make good decisions.  I love my Savior and all he does for you and me.  I love y'all!  And, think of you often throughout my prayers.  Have a great week!
Elder Willden

Cold and Wet on Monday night! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Yes we will be spending thanksgiving with a member family.  So, I still get thanksgiving dinner!  And, no Elder Rush hasn't gotten his visa.  It is going to be a while we think...  Anyways, thanks for the email love you!
Elder Willden

This week was a great week.  Elder Rush and I had many spiritual experiences.  One of them being, on Friday night we were out biking and all of our appointments had fell through. We weren't sure what to do , so we said a prayer and Elder Rush had the prompting to go try one guy that we have been trying for over 2 weeks and haven't been able to teach him. We then headed over and knocked on the door and he let us in! Right when we got in he proceeded to tell us that he was not looking to join our church and never will and that he was catholic and would stay that way.  He just wanted to know what we were sharing and the differences in religion. We then began to teach him the Restoration. I have never felt the spirit so strong in my life as we were able to recite the Joseph Smith experience to him. Afterwards I began to cry as I bore my testimony on this wonderful experience. Then, we asked him how he felt and he said that he felt really warm in his heart. After the lesson we invited him to be baptized and he said he would if he came to know that the Book of Mormon is true. I was amazed to see the mighty change that had happened as we taught with the spirit, and were guided by the spirit. 
  Grecia is doing great!  She has decided to stay here.  She is still looking for a job though.  And, Deward is also doing great!  Sorry I don't have much time today.  I hope y'all have a great thanksgiving, I love all y'all! 
Elder Willden

Note from the mom: 

Well, he seems to be working and loving it...short and sweet as usual.  Sure am grateful for our missionary!!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

This week was a great week.  Elder Rush and I had a lot of success as we trusted in the Lord.  Wednesday night we had appointments booked the whole night.  We were so excited to go out and have a full night and see our recent convert and a few investigators.  Then, one canceled, then the next canceled, and finally the last one canceled.  We had no idea what we were going to do.  I was really frustrated that they canceled and dissappointed.  We proceeded to go out and try some investigators.  We went and knocked on the first door of one that we haven't been able to see in a long time and he answered and let us in and we had a powerful lesson.  And, then that happened again, and again.  What I learned from this is that sometimes we have plans.  And, sometimes they completely fall through.  Sometimes when this happens we get dissappointed like me.  But, instead of doing that, we should look to God and trust that he has greater plans.  Eternal plans that will benefit us eternally.  So, when our plans fall through, we should continue to press foward and have faith that it is part of God's plan for us. 

We were able to get in with Rodrick this week.  He is doing well.  He comes to church every Sunday.  We will continue to work with him and I know that he will eventually put in the effort and receive an answer.  We also got to see Deward!  He is doing really well.  He works a lot and is not able to meet with us very often, but we had a very powerful lesson with him and he is coming along well.  We also saw Juan and Anne.  They are doing great!  Juan told us that the next church he sets foot in is the one he will stay in.  And, they commited to come to church this week, so y'alls prayers for them would be much appreciated. 

Anyways, I am doing great and loving the weather as well as Elder Rush.  I Love y'all and hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Willden

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The following is an email letter that came to me on November 13, 2013 from a lady in Elder Chase Willden's ward in Humble, TX.  Elder Rush's mom received this as well:


We had the privilege of having your sons in our home for dinner a few days ago and I just wanted to let you know that they are doing well and they are wonderful missionaries. We had a fun time talking about the perils of riding a bike in a trench coat, as they had been stuck out on their bikes during some big rainstorms over the past few days. 

Thank you for raising your sons to be servants of our Heavenly Father. They are great examples for my children in a time and place where that is difficult to find. We have seen a lot of wonderful things happen because of the missionaries in our area over the past several months, and your sons are part of that. They work very hard and I know it can't be easy for them, but they are happy. 

I've attached a photo of them with my 3 year old daughter, Addie. She enjoyed talking their ears off throughout the evening. 

Please let me know if we can do anything here to shorten the space distance between your families and these Elders!

Cassidy Allen

Wow!  We really miss this guy!!!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

How y'all doing?  I am doing really good.  Looks like I will be staying here in the Crik for 1 more transfer!  I love it here and will be sad to leave.  
Anyways,  We haven't been able to see Rodrick in a while because they have been really busy.  We hope that he is doing okay.  We did see Gracia and she came to church!  She said that she really liked it.  But, she just told us that she is looking for a new job that pays more or she is going to have to move back to New Jersey.  So, pray that she will be able to find a job to support herself.  Hector.... we were not able to get in with this week.  We keep missing him.  And, same story for Austin, but we set an appointment with him for thursday; so hopefully we can get in with him.  And, Deborah just hasn't been home because her family has been having to take care of her.  So, we haven't been able to get in with her. 
This week was a little slower, but I know that as we continue to work hard the Lord will bless us.  Elder Martinez won't be coming back after all.  He is going to be sent to a different area on tuesday.  Elder Rush hasn't heard anything about his visa in a while now; so we are not sure when he will be leaving yet. 
 I have been learning a lot as I have been reading about King Benjamin this week.  He was an amazing teacher.  I love his profound words in Chapter 3 verses 8-11 when he talks about the Savior and the Atonement.  I continue to learn and grow in the knowledge of the scriptures and am loving serving our Heavenly Father's children.  
Before I close, I wanted to talk a little about Juan and Anne.  We were able to teach them the Plan of Salvation and they loved the part about Adam and Eve and the scripture in 2 Nephi 2: 22-25.  It went really well and I am excited to continue working with them.  One thing that I love as a teacher is when you are teaching and something just clicks in the person's head, like a light goes off.  It is the best feeling ever and Juan and Anne had many of those in our lesson.  I love y'all and hope y'all are doing well!
Elder Willden

After an exchange with the Zone Leaders we took all the crazy stuff missionaries have left in our appartment and put it on!  haha.

Monday, November 4, 2013

How y'all doin?  I am doing really well.  Elder Rush and I had a really good week!  At the start of the week it was really slow and on Wednesday night I got down on my knees and prayed and asked Heavenly Father why it was going so slow and why we're only able to have 2 lessons in the past two days?  And, I received the answer that His ways are not our ways and He was teaching me that I must always seek his guidance and always lean on him.  I accepted that and was humbled and the rest of the week went great.  Heavenly Father strengthened us and blessed us immensely.  
We were able to teach Hector again this week.  He is doing great we committed him to baptism and to a date and he stated that he feels confused, but feels like he has finally found the light.  We are excited to continue working with him.  
We also met with Gracia this week.  She is doing great, but she hasn't been keeping her commitments.  We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ as outlined in Preach My Gospel in Chapter 3, Lesson 3.  She really liked it and committed to read at least one verse a night.  She is also working at a job where she has to work Sundays; so she isn't able to attend church.  We committed her to go and ask her boss to let her off on Sundays so that she can attend church.  She said that she would do it next week.  So, please pray for her as she does this.  
We have also now started teaching a young man named Austin Mansfield.  We were out riding our bikes one day and felt prompted to stop and play some basketball with some guys outside and afterward we got down Austin's information.  We stopped by and he was really excited to see us. We had a powerful lesson.  We are excited to continue working with him.  
We also got in with Deborah Gibson, if y'all remember her?  We haven't taught her in quite a while.  And, she has finished stem cell and she stated that she didn't have any problems while she was going through it and she recovered extremely quickly. She said she thinks it was because of our prayers for her.  We are really excited to continue teaching her. She is awesome.  
And thank y'all for your prayers for her because a miracle was performed.  Anyways, I am doing great and continue to pray for y'all every night.  I love y'all!
Elder Willden
PS. Kolton and Luke, those were awesome costumes haha.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

This week was a great week.  Elder Rush blew his tire on Elder Martinez's bike, so we have had to fix that up.   The weather here is extremely nice around this time, so I am enjoying it.  And, Elder Martinez won't be back until the end of the transfer according to President Crawford.  
Rodrick is doing well, he just needs to read from the Book of Mormon and I think he will get baptized.  This week was a slower week.  I have been working on Charity lately, so I prayed for opportunities to strengthen that attribute and they were given.  I testify that when you pray for God to send trials they come!  haha.  
Elder Rush and I are doing well though.  Elder Rush went to the Consulate on Wednesday and the Angolan Goverment didn't accept his paperwork; so, hopefully when he goes back next it will work out.  
We taught Vicky this week and she told us that she feels like the date that we set with her is the date she will get baptized!  She said that she had a warm feeling come over her when she thought about it, so hopefully all works out and she quits smoking by then.  
Jacob Davila received the priesthood this week.  He is doing extremely well.  We had a very powerful lesson with him about the Plan of Salvation the spirit was extremely strong.  
We have started teaching a new man named Hector and he is awesome.  He is from mexico and his father is a mormon.  He talked a lot about how much he loves his family and how important God is to him.  I will keep ya'll updated as we continue to teach him. 
  I am really enjoying being a missionary at this time.  God has been preparing so many people to receive his message.  Everyday I wake up happy as can be.  I have never been happier in my entire life.  The gospel is what makes us happy.  I always thought that I could find happiness by being popular or being the best at something.  The way you find happiness is in the knowledge that you are progressing, that you are becoming a better person.  Nothing else is a lasting happiness.  It doesn't matter if you can shoot a ball better than the guy next door.  Heavenly Father only cares about if you are improving, if you are shooting the ball better than you did yesterday.  I know this to be true.  I love our Heavenly Father. He is our Father.  I love my Savior.  I love my amazing earthly parents and their great guidance.  And I love my great siblings and their example.  I know this church is true.  I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God and contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel.  For I have read it and prayed and asked our great Father if it is true.  I Believe. Love all ya'll!
Elder Willden

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hey Everyone, 
This week was a great week.  We were on bikes all day every day.  We found a lot of people to teach this week.  Thank you for all of your prayers. 
We are now teaching a young lady named Gracia.  She just barely moved into one of our members homes and the members introduced us to her and she wanted to take the lessons.  She is awesome.  She said that every time we come over it feels different.  And, she is more than willing to read and pray about the Book of Mormon.  Gracia is from the Dominican Republic but speaks perfect english.

  Anyways, we also met with Vicky this week.  She is still struggling with smoking.  Hopefully as she continues to try she will be able to overcome it.  

We also met with Mack this week.  It went really well.  We hadn't seen him in quit a while, but when we met with him he had read part of the Book of Mormon and liked what he has read so far.  We taught him the Plan of Salvation.  He really liked it.  He said that it is different from what he was raised to believe, but it makes sense. 
We also went and saw Natalie and Rodrick.  Natalie is doing great.  She just received a call to be the Assistant Secretary to the Relief society.  She is loving being part of the church.  Her family doesn't like it at all, but she has a thick skin, she said that she doesn't really care what they say.  And, Rodrick has been really busy.  He still hasn't put in the effort to read the Book of Mormon.  If ya'll could pray for him too that would be terrific. 
 I am doing great. The weather out here has been awesome.  It's been down in the 70's during the day and gets a little chilly at night so I am loving it!  I love it here in Fall Creek and am so glad that I have the opportunity to serve.  I love ya'll and hope you have a great week!
Elder Willden
John 8

We got rained on my pants are on the right!

Monday, October 14, 2013

That's so crazy that Brayden is home and JJ is leaving.  
Anyways, the work is going great.  Jacob Davila got confirmed today.  He is doing great.  They have us over often to feed us. They are awesome.  
We weren't able to have a lesson with Rodrick this week because he has been so busy.  We talked to him on Sunday and he hasn't been reading and praying about the Book of Mormon.  So, we are going to have to hold off on his baptism again.  We had a talk with him and asked him if he even wanted to know if our church is true.  He then replied and said that he does; he just hasn't taken the time yet.  Pray for him, so that he will put the time and the effort into receiving an answer about the Book of Mormon.  We are going to shoot for another date and I will inform ya'll when we find out when that will be.  
We have been teaching a guy named Bobby now.  He is a really nice guy and studies hard.  He has been reading a lot and coming to us with a lot of questions, so I will update ya'll next week a little more on how he is doing.  
Other than that we have been struggling finding new people to teach.  If ya'll could pray for us to find people that are ready that would be awesome. 
  Natalie is doing great.  She is going to have a calling by next week and she is excited for that.  And, their two kids will be participating in the Primary Program, so that will be awesome to see!  
I am doing great though.  It seems like I never have downtime, but somehow I am able to keep going.  I am loving serving for our Father in Heaven.  I love this gospel.  I have been reading in Mathew and I love the teachings of the Savior.  There is so much we can learn from him....  From the way He acts to the way He teaches.  It is truly amazing.  I love ya'll and hope that all is going well at home.  Have a great week!
Elder Willden

Monday, October 7, 2013

This week was an amazing one to say the least.  I absolutely loved conference.  My favorite talk was the one by Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf in the Priesthood Session when he talked about rising up.  I love his statement that it doesn't matter how many times we fall down, it just matters how many times we get up. The getting up is all made possible by the Atonement.  The Atonement is a wonderful thing. It is the most extreme expression of love from Heavenly Father toward us as his children and of Jesus Christ toward Heavenly Father and us as his brothers and sisters. I love this. It truly is amazing. 
  My district has been struggling with finding people to teach.  And Friday night I had the prompting that Elder Rush and I needed to go out and knock doors for each companionship in the district for an hour.  As I was on the phone with one of the sisters I was prompted to promise them that if they would pray for a place for us to go, that we would find someone for them to teach.  They did so.  And, after the second session of conference we went out and began to knock doors.  People were being really rude.  We weren't able to talk to anyone even close to being interested in hearing our message for 45 min.  Elder Rush and I then recieved the prompting to go knock a home directly across from the door we had just knocked.  We did so, and a lady answered the door said, "Oh my gosh!" and began to cry and tell us that she had been praying for Heavenly Father's help.  She was 20 years old, pregnant, and the father wanted nothing to do with her anymore.  We then began to teach her about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  And, she wanted us to send the sisters over right then.  It was amazing.  I know that Heavenly Father will fulfill righteous promises from his servants.  
  Being a district leader and a trainer is tiring.  But, somehow every morning I am able to keep on going.  I love Heavenly Father he is truly amazing.  He is blessing my life.  Thank you for all of the prayers in my behalf.  
  We didn't see Rodrick this week because he had to go out of town, but we will be seeing him tonight.  I am excited to see how he is doing.  Pray that his heart will be softened and he will be ready for baptism on the 20th.  Thanks for all ya'll do for me.  I love my mission and love the work!  Love all Ya'll.
Elder Willden
John 8 

By the way, the weather here is terrific right now.  We have been in the 70s the past few days. I am loving it!

Elder Willden's District

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

How ya'll doing?  I am doing great.  I am extremely busy now though.  I got the call Sunday night and am now a district leader.  So, I am a district leader and training and Elder Martinez is coming back, hopefully, this week; so I will be in a trio.  I will be tired to say the least!  
This week went great!  Jacob Davila was baptized.  His service was awesome, the spirit was so strong and Jacob and his wife were crying.  I can't wait to see them go through the temple in a year!  
We are kind of low on investigators now; so we are having to do a lot of finding this week.  
We set a baptism date with Rodrick!  It is for the 20th of October.  I am excited.  I really think that he will follow through on this one!  
So, Elder Rush and I were in the car one day last week and we were right next to a hobo waiting for the stop light to change.  I got the prompting to hand him a Book of Mormon.  And, then I thought to myself "he won't take it unless there is something else".  Then, Elder Rush reached in his wallet and pulled out two dollars and said that he was prompted to give it to him.  So, I grabbed my Book of Mormon and said we will give this to him too then.  And, we gave it to him and he thanked us for the "bible" and we drove off.  It was an amazing experience to see the Lord work through both of us.  I am absolutely loving the work.  There is no greater work.  
The signs of the second coming are real.  One of them is the fact that missionary work is having a great push.  People are being prepared and are ready to accept Christ's gospel.  There are also the bad signs, "Wars and Rumors of Wars".  We need to stay strong and hold fast to the rod of Iron, so that we are not swept away by that river of damnation.  
I love you all and am so glad that I am part of such an amazing family.  This church is true. 
Elder Willden

Elder Rush, Jacob Davila and Elder Willden

Houston Tx Temple trip on Sep 25, 2013

Elder Willden and Elder Rush at the Houston, TX temple

Houston, Texas Temple

Elder Chase Willden

Monday, September 23, 2013

Well, I got another companion on Wednesday. His name is Elder Rush.  So we worked together all last week and Elder Martinez is heading out for surgery today.  Elder Rush is a visa waiter.  He will be going to Angola, Africa once he gets his visa.

How are ya'll doing?  I am doing terrific.  This week like I said I got Elder Rush.  So, I have been double training this week.  Finishing up one and starting the other.  I know that the Lord is helping me because I have never been this tired in my life! 
 Anyways, I was dissapointed that Rodrick decided not to get baptized yet, but am excited to keep working with him.  The plan was for Elder Martinez to baptize Natalie and for me to baptize Rodrick so once Rodrick is ready, I will be the one dunkin him!  haha.  They really loved the gift ya'll sent them!  Thank you so much for putting that together so quick.  It was awesome! 
  Jacob Davila is going to be getting baptized this week and I will be the one performing it.  He is awesome and I am glad that I got to work with him.  He has come so far so quick, it is awesome to witness the gospel change people! 
  Anyways, Elder Martinez will be going in for surgery tomorrow.  He is a great Elder and I pray that everything will go well. 
  I was reading in Moroni this morning in chapter 7 verse 48.  It tells us that those who have the gift of charity are true followers of Christ and when they see God they will look like him.  I find that really profound and seek to have charity everyday.  I am not very good at it, but am getting better every day.  I love ya'll and hope ya'll have a terrific week!  
Love my mission!  Love the work!

Elder Willden
John 8

Elders Rush, Willden and Martinez


Natalie's Baptism

Note from Elder Willden's mom:
I am missing my boy a little more than usual today!  These pictures bring joy and tears.  I feel there are no words to express the depth of this work in serving God's children throughout the world.  I love this work!  So happy to have a son engaged in it even though I miss him so much that it hurts some days.  Could not be happier for what he is doing and learning.  I feel love for those he loves and I do not know them.  Any work that evokes these kinds of feelings is God's work.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

How are ya'll doing?  I am doing good.  This week was a good one.  The picture I sent ya'll with the family is Natalie and Rodrick.  They are doing really well.  Natalie is totally ready for baptism and Rodrick is still saying he isn't sure about it; so we will find out how he feels on Wednesday.  
Elder Martinez is getting ready for surgery.  We have to go to down town Houston again this week for his Pre-Op.  He is doing well though, he is happy that he doesn't have to go home for the surgery.  
We saw Vicky this week.  She is not doing too great.  I think it is because she has been trying to quit smoking for so long and hasn't been able to kick it; so she is getting down on herself.  We are going to introduce a stop smoking program this week to her and hopefully this helps her kick it.  
Jacob is doing great.  He really likes all of the things that have to do with the church and enjoys learning about it. 
Elder Martinez are having a hard time finding people that are ready to be taught; so if ya'll could pray for us to find people that are ready, that would be great!  
I love ya'll and hope that all is going well at home.  I am loving serving the Lord!  My clock keeps ticking though, so I will put in the best effort that I have whilst I am here.  Love Ya'll!
Elder Willden
Galatians 5

Elder Willden with Rodrick and Natalie
they are scheduled for Baptism on Sept. 22, 2013

Biking in Humble, Texas

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hey ya'll.  This week has been a great one.  
Natalie and Rodrick are getting ready to be baptized on the 22nd.  They are so ready.  We had a lesson with them on Sunday and Natalie said the closing prayer and thanked Heavenly Father for sending us missionaries and for the "Mormons". It was awesome.  We also showed them the font in our church and practiced baptism with them.  I am really excited.  Anyways, Elder Martinez and I are doing well.  But, he has to get surgery next transfer and his mom will be coming down to take care of him after, because he has a problem with his eye.  He is doing okay though.  
Jacob is doing great!  We pushed his baptism back a week to saturday the 28th, so he can make sure that this is what he wants to do; and so he can come to church one more time.  He is awesome though. He has already finished reading 1 Nephi and is half way through 2 Nephi.  
Anyways, Bobby had to drop us this week.  His wife essentially told him to stop meeting with us or get a divorce.  He told us that he will keep working on her.  I am going to miss meeting with him.  We exchanged information and he asked for our home address; so he might write ya'll a letter or something.  Who knows?...  
We also met with Charles this week and he is doing great.  We committed him to live the Word of Wisdom and he was totally fine with it.  He wants to get baptized, but has to wait until he is off probation.  
Conrad was at church also this week.  He had to leave early because his knees were giving him grief; so we will see how he liked it later this week. 
   I am doing well and loving the work!  I love ya'll and hope all is going well at home!  And Happy Birthday LUKE.  Hope you had a good birthday.  Love ya'll!
Elder Willden

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hey Everyone.  This past week was a great one.  Elder Martinez and I are working hard.  We taught many and had many amazing experiences.  We taught Natalie and Rodrick.  They are so awesome.  We watched the restoration video and then they started asking questions and we talked about temples for a little bit.  We taught them about how families can be together forever and how they can be sealed in the temple.  They loved it.  They are progressing really well.  They will be baptized on the 22nd of September. 
   We have also been working with a guy named Conrad.  I am not sure if I have mentioned him or not in past reports, but he is an older man with a handle bar mustache, and has a lot of Japanese videos and loves weapons.  haha.  Anyways, this week we went over and read some of the Book of Mormon with him because he has been having a hard time comprehending.  It went really well.  The Book of Mormon is an amazing book. 
  We have been working with Jacob Davila again.  He has been sick for a while and we haven't been able to get in with him, but we finally got in and taught the Plan of Salvation and he came to church.  He will be getting baptized on the 22nd of september as well.  He is a great man. I am so excited for him. 
  Bobby is doing great.  He finally got work situated to where he will now be able to come to church this coming Sunday.  I think I mentioned that he wants to meet ya'll haha.  I was thinking maybe ya'll could just come pick me up at the end of my mission and we could drop by his house before we left.  He would really like that!  haha.
  Yesterday morning I was reading at the end of Mormon in the Book of Mormon.  Those last few chapters are amazing.  I love ya'll and hope all is going well at home.  Love my Mission, Love the Work.
Elder Willden
John 8

Monday, August 26, 2013

Hey this week was a great week. We had a great experience last week. We were out riding our bikes in the heat. It was so hot and sweat was just dripping down both of us. I finally decided that we needed to get some water, so that we could keep going. We road into the closest gas station and were locking up our bikes, when a Blue Bell truck pulls in right in front of us. A man stepped out and said, "Hey Elders, I want to give you some ice cream." I know that our Heavenly Father knows everything that is going on in our lives and he will help us.
  So we have been teaching this couple and we met with the husband whose name is Juan this Wednesday. At the end we gave him the Restoration Video and commited him and his wife to watch it. Then, on Friday afternoon we got a call from him and he told us that he and his wife watched the video and then he watched it a few more times and they decided that they wanted to come to church this Sunday.  And, they actually came and it went really well! 
  We have been working with Natalie and her husband Rodrick quite a bit.  They really like our church and love coming.  It is amazing how quickly they are progressing.  Charles is also doing well.  He reads and prays about the Book of Mormon and knows that it is true.  Once he gets off of probation he will be able to come to church, so we have to wait until September.  Bobby is also doing well.  He wants to meet all ya'll after my mission.  haha.  He is working on Sundays at the moment and promised us that once his schedule calms down; he will be at church which should be in the next week our two. 
 I love ya'll and hope all is going well.  Love my Mission and Love the Work.
Elder Willden

Monday, August 19, 2013

This week has been a special one.  I have gained a very strong testimony in the work that all of us missionaries are doing.  I will start out with the negative to get it over with though... We went to try David this week and his kids answered the door and told us that he didn't want to talk to us anymore.  It was sad, but God is a true believer in Agency.  He wouldn't have let 1/3 of our brothers and sisters in Heaven choose to follow Satan if he didn't. 
 Anyways, now to the positive.  On wednesday we had run out of things to do so we were trying to think of somewhere to go and we decided to go visit this Part-Member family, the wife(Claudia) being a member and the husband(Jacob) isn't.  When we got there they let us in and we were planning on sharing a short message with them.  Then, Jacob just started asking all these questions about our church and eventually allowed us to teach him the restoration.  The spirit was so strong and he fully committed to be baptized.  He was really sick this sunday and wasn't able to attend, but Claudia did.  
And, this Sunday Natalie was supposed to be gone on vacation with her husband who recently got home.  And, we got a text from her saying that they were coming right in the middle of sacrament.  We hadn't even met her husband yet, but he came too.  His name is Rodrick.  When they got to the church it was the beginning of sunday school so we took them to class.  Then, at the end of church Rodrick told us that he really liked it and wants to continue going and meet with us.  And FYI, Natalie's baptism date is the 1st of September. 
  So, Dad asked me how I am doing.  Well I am doing great.  I am always tired it feels like, but through the grace of God I am always able to keep running.  I have been doing a lot of my studies by topic lately and this morning I studied Christs name in the Old Testiment, I AM.  I came across my favorite chapter of all the scriptures John 8 when Jesus Christ declares that he is the Light of the World.  I can't read that scripture without bawling my eyes out!  haha.  So, yes I am doing really well. 
  Dad also asked the question what places am I seeing.  Well, I am in the Ghetto kinda.  Its not as bad as Pasadena, but you see things that you would never see in Utah.  People, if they are bored, will just go outside and walk.  I thought that was a little weird.  But, there are a lot of humble people and it is amazing when you hear their stories.  We got our miles cut in half from 1000 to 550.  So, we are riding bikes a lot more. 
  Dad's last question was what do I do on P-day.  I clean the appartment...  My companion doesn't like doing it; so I do most of the cleaning.  We get groceries.  And, then we either play B-ball or write ya'll.  So, ya that's what happens. 
  Love ya'll and hope ya'll have a great week.  Love my mission, love the work.
Elder Willden

Monday, August 12, 2013

  This week has been a fantastic one.  I was talking to Elder Martinez today and found out that he is really good friends with Lindy Hyatt.  Anyways, I will talk about the downers first and end with an uplifting and terrific message. 
 We haven't been able to get in with David he has been really busy and hasn't been able to talk with us.  So, hopefully through prayer Heavenly Father will open up some time to where we can see him.  Now that the downer is over, let's talk about the terrific stuff. 
 So, Natalie is doing Great!  She is coming to church and the ward loves her, she will answer questions and purpose questions in sunday school and relief society.  It is awesome.  Her husband gets home this week, so we will begin teaching him as soon as he gets here. 
    We are also now teaching an older hispanic couple that we tracted into, Bro. and Sis. Castillo.  When we first met them they were not interested at all, in fact they wanted us to just leave; but we insisted that we just leave them with our first message, The Restoration.  The lesson went so well and they invited us back and are wanting to learn more! 
    We gave a Blessing to Pat Hosea this week because she got in a car wreck and when sunday came around she was healthy enough to come to church!  So, she is now doing really well.  We also saw Billy this week.  And, he hadn't read anything from the Book of Mormon, so we read the introduction with him and the 1st chapter in 1 Nephi.  Hopefully when we see him this week, he has read and prayed. 
   I don't know if I have mentioned Charles yet, but he is one of our investigators.  He is a tall old black man.  He is super nice and loves Christ.  He is also on probation right now, but he is almost done.  We went over and he had read the introduction of the Book of Mormon and the first two chapters.  It was awesome.  He said he prayed and he knows it is true.  So, now we just need to teach him all the lessons and wait until he is off probation. 
   We also had a lesson on Friday with Nicole and James.  Elder Roundy and I had been working with them, and we haven't been in since.  But, Nicole's mother was there and she was a preacher.  And the whole time her mother was saying all this bad stuff about us and we didn't even say a word because Nicole was defending us.  After the lesson we invited her mom to pray with us and she declined and after the prayer we left.  I thought it was so awesome that someone who hardly knew us would defend us from their own family.  
Anyways, this week was a good week.  The work is moving forward.  I love ya'll.  Love My Mission and Love The Work.
Elder Willden

Monday, August 5, 2013

 Elder Martinez and I are doing great.  We saw Bobby this week and he is doing good and still planning on coming to church this Sunday.  We had to clear up some issues because Elder Roundy left and he started to think that all we are here to do is convert people and leave.  We then explained that we can still communicate with him and after our mission we can still go by and see him.  It was all fine afterwards.  
Anyway we weren't able to see David this week because he had some family fly in and he has been really busy.  He wasn't able to show up to church either, so hopefully we will be able to get in with him this week.  
We saw Natalie and taught her the Plan of Salvation.  She liked it and it went well.  She also came to church Sunday and she is loving it.  Her son Jeremiah tried to take off with a toy truck from church, it was so funny.  So, she is doing well and her Baptism Date is the 1st of September.  
On Thursday we had a lot of appointments fall through and a name popped into my head.  James Ogbivorne.   He is a former who we have tried once or twice.  We went to try him and he was actually home this time.  So, we started talking to him and he wasn't interested at all.  Then I felt inspired to talk about God and his love for us.  And, afterwards he wanted to meet with us again and invited us in to pray.  It was a mighty change of heart.  
We also met with a guy named Mack.  I don't know if I have told ya'll about Mack or not, but anyways we had a Restoration lesson with him and it went really well.  He is willing to do the things we invite him to do.  I have learned so much and will continue to grow.  I Love this work, Love my Mission, and love ya'll.
Elder Willden
Ps. It is okay to email me pictures.  And, Bailee looks way different... 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Wow that is crazy that EJ Rios is home already.  It shows what little time we have as missionaries.  This week was the best week I have had here in Fall Creek.  We taught a lot of lessons and committed many to baptism.  On wednesday we went on exchanges and I was with Elder Yukon whom is a zone leader.  As we were out working we tried by a guy named David whom we have been trying for over a month.  As we walked up to the door he came outside and said, "How yall doing?  Wanna come to work with me?"  We were a little confused so we asked some questions and found out we would be driving around because he is a tow truck driver, and so we agreed to go.  While we were going, he asked a lot of questions and we ended up teaching him the whole Restoration.  He then asked us to show him our church building so we took him there and he was amazed at how beautiful the building was.  Then, we invited him to go inside and he agreed.  We then taught him about our chapel and about what we do at church.  We then took him to the baptismal font and taught him about baptism.  He then asked us if we could fill up the font right now and baptize him.  We explained that there are some things you have to do before you get baptized and then committed him to a date to prepare for.  We then left and he took us back to the car.  It was an amazing experience, the spirit was so strong.  He also came to church on sunday.  
Anyways, on thursday during our Hour of Power we tracted into a lady named Natalie.  She is a young black mother.  Her kids are so funny!  She has a 4 year old girl named Allayna and a 2 year old boy named Jeremiah and her husband is out of town for right now because he works for a oil company.  So, we started talking and turns out when she was a teenager missionaries used to come over and talk to her dad, but she knew nothing about us.  So, we taught her a short lesson and set a return appointment.  We, then went back with a member and had an awesome restoration lesson and commited her to baptism and to come to church.  And, on sunday they showed up and they loved it!  It was amazing.  Anyways now to my last story.  We have been going over to see a guy named Bobby like once a week.  I think I have told ya'll a little bit about him.  Anyways, we went over last night and were talking and he asked the question, "Why do people do things in the name of Christ that are wrong?"  We then told him that our message can explain that.  So, we taught him the restoration.  The spirit was so strong and he committed to read the Book of Mormon and Come to church in two weeks.  He is a really good man and I am so excited to see what happens with him.  
Well, I love ya'll and hope all is going well at home.  Elder Martinez and I are working hard and loving it!  Love my Misson! Love the Work!  Love ya'll!
Elder Willden

Elder Chase Willden and Elder Yukon

Monday, July 22, 2013

 July 8:
My knee still bothers me, but I dont think it is worth it to see what it is.  I would rather push through it and figure out what it is if I need to at home.  I agree Patience is one of the toughest virtues for me.  And, I didn't get transfered, but my companion is being transfered and I am going to be training.  Transfers are tomorrow.  I am excited about training, but a little stressed because it can be rough.  Anyways, Love you.
Elder Willden

July 22:
All is going well in the Fall Creek West area.  We were not able to see Lee Knott this week because it was pouring at the time of her appt. and we have to meet outside.  We met with a lady named Pat Hosea whom we have been working with for the past two weeks.  I will tell ya'll her story really quick.  One day went to try a former investigator and we knocked on the door and no one answered.  Then, a lady yelled from behind some bushes, "Elders"  and we walked over and it was an older lady in our ward.  We then sat down with her for a while and gave a lesson and asked if she knew anyone that was struggling.  She then told us about Pat and how she had recently moved back here and hadn't been to church in a long time.  She told us where she lived and we left.  Then, we felt like we needed to go see her right then.  So, we went over to her house and she was out on her swing chair.  We went up and talked to her for a while and it went well.  We continued to go back and she opened up more and more every visit.  She came to church yesterday and is now preparing to go do temple work for her parents.  It is amazing how the lord guides us as his servants, there is no way we could've ever found her without going and trying that former because we felt impressed to do so.  
Anyways, I also have another story.  We have a recent convert in our ward named Cynthia O'balle.  And, she recently was called to be an Usher for church.  Right before church started Elder Martinez and I were waiting to see if an investigator would show up and while waiting I watched Cynthia for a minute.  She was holding all the programs and passing them out as people walked up.  People were coming up quickly so she was frantically passing them out.  And, as one person was waiting for her to hand them one she said, "Sorry I am not very good at this."  I felt the spirit so strongly at that particular moment.  God doesn't call us to do something that we can already do.  He calls us to help us learn and grow.  Cynthia was fulfilling her calling even though she wasn't comfortable doing it. She did it because she was called by God.  
Alright now one last thing.  One night last week we ran out of things to do so we decided we were going to walk up and down the street and talk to everyone we see.  As we were walking we ran into a young man named Jasper in his 20's and we set an appt. with him.  We then went to the appt. on saturday and had a lesson and he was soaking up every word we said.  So, I will talk a little more about him in my next email.  I love ya'll and hope all is well!
Elder Willden

Monday, July 8, 2013

Well because ya'll are on the lake, you won't even be able to read this; so I am going to just type up some extra stuffage for ya'll next week.  FYI transfers are this week and the way President has been moving me, you never know if I will be transfered or not.  And, mom I have decided to not get an MRI.  It is too expensive.  I would rather just deal with it than pay that much so they can tell me to take vitamin c or something.  Love all ya'll.
Elder Willden

We also had a baptism for Trey Woods.  Here are some pics.

My companion fell asleep while we were driving to Beaumont haha.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Our mission is growing really fast.  I am not sure about anymore changes.  I won't be surprised if there were more changes to be made.  We are going to go from now to the end of the summer from 120 missionaries to 170.  Its crazy!  That's a lot of missionaries for our small mission.  Thanks for all your emails; I love reading them.
Elder Willden

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hola Brethren and Sisteren.  Elder Roundy and I have had a good week!  We are still working on getting more investigators.  I don't know if I told ya'll or not, but our area was split this transfer and all of the investigators went to the other area, so we pretty much started at zero.  But, it is going well.  We are working with a man named Bobby Harris.  He is an older gentleman and is really smart.  When we first met him, we had a long discussion with him and after; he said that if we had just talked about something he already knew he wouldn't have listened to us.  He has a different personality, not weird just different.  He wants to learn more, but our appointments keep falling through because he is too busy.  He isn't coming to church either, so we are really hoping to get in with him this week.  
We had a crazy experience that consisted of Tuesday and Wednesday.  Tuesday night while we were planning, I got the distinct impression to visit an older lady in our ward who can't ever make it to church because of medical issues and no one hardly ever visits her except us.  So, on Wednesday we went to go see her and she came out and we started talking and she said it was her birthday.  And, right then I knew that we were Heavenly Father's gift to her.  Heavenly Father loves us.  I have seen it over and over again.  His love is unconditional.  He is a perfect Father.  He knows what we need when we need it.  And, he will do all he can to bless us.  The way he blesses us is through commandments.  He gives us commandments so that we can live them, so he can bless us.  It is truly amazing.  
Anyways, we are also working with a 10 year old boy named Trey Woods.  His mother is less active and wants Trey to be baptized.  But, you can't be baptized unless you are coming to church.  So, we finally got them to church this Sunday!  Trey is really smart he is a quick learner....  Like Luke.  He reads the Book of Mormon every night now and wants the Holy Ghost to be in his life.  He is a good kid.  
Anyways, the reason why I didn't email yesterday is because our mission was meeting with a General Authority.  Elder Golden from the first qourum of the Seventy.  It was really good and he taught us a lot.  Anyways I love ya'll and hope all is going great.  Love my mission.  Love the work. 
Elder Willden

Monday, June 10, 2013

Howdy!  Hottitude just continues to rise.  My clothes are begining to turn yellow from my sweat, so thats always a beautiful sight!  haha.  Anyways, Elder Roundy and I have been working it up.  We had a lot of appointments fall through this week from people we tracted into or talked to on the street but thats okay because the lord has a plan in everything.  I got to go on an exchange this week with Elder Ek.  Who is a spanish missionary.  I didn't really say anything in any of the lessons except for Hola haha.  It was a good experience though.  So, we have an Investigator named Esther, she is an older spanish lady(74) and is a strong believer in Christ and likes the Book of Mormon and she teaches english in High School, and we went and had a lesson with her on Friday.  I asked her a few questions and even though the other missionaries have been through the lessons with her twice she still didn't know what preisthood authority was.  So, therefore we are going to reteach the lessons and make them as simple as possible.  I had an interesting experience Saturday night.  We went over to a mans home whom we had talked to in the street and he came outside and talked with us for a bit.  And, he was trying to preach to us and every time we would say a few words he would just start talking again.  And, then he started talking about why we don't need and shouldn't have the Book of Mormon and I got the impression to just bare my testimony about the Book of Mormon.  So, I did so and then he started going of on how I was wrong.  And I said a prayer in my head asking Heavenly Father to bring the spirit to the conversation if it was his will.  Then, I saw a devil standing next to the man whispering into his ear and smiling at me.  It brought tears to my eyes realizing that this man has made his decision at this point in his life.  All I wanted to do was help him.  But, he would not accept.  Anyways, I told that story because Heavenly Father has given us all agency.  We all have the ability to choose the light or the dark.  I hope and pray that, that man will one day choose the light and that we all will continue to choose the light and if we arent doing so at this point to change our direction and start on the true and living path to Christ and our Heavenly Father.  I love this work my mission is the best thing that has happened to me so far in my life.  This church is true and I bare witness of it in the name of Jesus Christ amen.  I love all of you and pray for you every night.  I feel your prayers in my life and thank you for them.
Elder Willden

Monday, June 3, 2013

How ya'll doing?  I am doing well.  It is crazy how President Crawford is moving me all over the place, but it's working out.  Elder Roundy and I have been working hard.  Fall Creek got split into 2 different areas when I got here.  So, we don't have very many investigators. So we have been working really hard on finding people to teach.  On Thursday we had to go to Beaumont because of my knee(football injury).  It was not wanting to work anymore! haha.  We saw a man named Doctor Hayes who is a member and he gave me what's called a Cortisone Shot to fix my knee hopefully.  We will find out if it worked next week.  So, until then we will be driving around in a car.  Anyways, later on thursday night we went to teach a man named Arlen.  Arlen is an older gentleman and has slightly lost his mind.  We started talking to him and he really loves music.  He especially loves listening to the piano.  So, he sat us down and pretty much forced us to listen to his favorite piano song and while it was playing he was moving his hands in the air dramatically like he was playing it!  haha.  Then, once that was over we tried to have a lesson with him.  It  was the craziest lesson I have had.  Everything we said he wanted to tell us that we were wrong.  He was at one point talking about how the story of Christ forgiving the Adulterous woman wasn't a real story and told us all this false information about why it is then he asked us "do you believe that?"  And I was straight forward with him.  I said,"No."  And he looked stunned and Elder Roundy told him a few things about the Book of Mormon and I testified that those things were true and that the Book of Mormon is true.  The spirit was there and he blatently ignored it.  From this experience I have truely learned the meaning of Agency.  People have thier ability to choose.  We did all we could but this old man just wasn't willing to accept.  
Anyways now for some positive!  We were out tracting for an Hour on saturday and we knocked on a house and no one answered.  We turned around and started walking to the next house and we saw a man outside.  The spirit told me go talk to him.  I kind of shrugged it off thinking it was just my thought.  Then, it came again. Go talk to him.  I stopped right where I was and said hey Elder lets go talk to this guy.  And, I started running!  We got up to him and started talking he was a nice man.  He said to come back because he was really busy at the moment so we will be seeing him this week.  
Thank you for all the prayers on my behalf.  I have really felt them, this past week, working in my life.  By the way, Elder Roundy has just finished training. He is a good Elder and wants to work.  He is from Moroni, Utah.  This will be a good transfer with him.  I want ya'll to know that I know this church is true.  Christ is the head of this church.  I love my mission.  I love the work.  And I love ya'll!  Have a good week!
Elder Willden

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Thanks for all you do mom; you are amazing.

Howdy ya'll.  I got transfered again.  I am now in Fall Creek, Houston.  My new companion is Elder Roundey.  I had a good week last week with Elder Meyer.  We had a really cool experience with a man we were teaching named Sam.  We went over to have a lesson with him and he wanted to do it outside because he had a friend over that didn't want to be around us.  And, there was a man across the street blasting music out of his truck.  We were trying to have a lesson, but the spirit wasn't there because of the music.  So, in the middle of the lesson I said a silent prayer asking Heavenly Father to please make it so that the spirit could be here and closed.  Then, I looked up and a lady came out of the house that the guy with the truck was parked in, holding a phone.  He then turned off the music and went inside.  Heavenly Father answers our prayers it is amazing the way he works.
 I was on an exchange Friday night with my district leader Elder Halter, and our Zone Leaders knocked on our door.  They then proceeded to tell me that Elder Meyer and I were going to be transfered and our area was going to become bigger and they are going to put sisters into it.  I was really sad.  But, I once again referred myself back to 1 Nephi 3:7.  
I just barely got to Fall Creek, so I will tell ya'll more about it next week.  Thank you so much for the package and tell aunt Mimi and Grandma and Grandpa thank you.  It really made my day when I got those, so thanks again. 
 President Crawford said that he is excited to see what I will do with this area now, so I need to work my behind off haha.  Elder Roundey said that they have been struggling with investigators and that the area in general is struggling.  Elder Roundey and I recently decided to just put our shoulder to the wheel and the lord will do the rest.  
I love ya,ll and I wrote a letter... I just need to find the time to send it.  Thank you for all ya'll have done for me to prepare me for this opportunity.  Love my Mission.  Love the Work. And Love ya'll.
Elder Willden

Monday, May 20, 2013

Elder Willden and Elder Meyer

Elder Willden and Elder Meyer in front of Houston, TX  Temple

Elder Willden looking at Houston Temple

Elders touring Battleship

Elder Willden and a BIG Gun

Olegario Garza's Baptism on 5/18/13
Pasadena, TX

This is Olegario.  I will be confirming him this coming sunday!  It was an amazing baptism.  He bore his testimony after and it was awesome!

Howdy Ya'll!  We had an awesome week this week!  We had the Baptism of Olegario Garza.  It was so good.  He was so excited for his baptism.  He had a dream two nights before of getting baptized and he went in the water and came out and he said everything looked different.  Then, the night before he couldn't sleep.  And, at his baptism he was really excited and after he got baptized at the end of the meeting he bore his testimony.  It was so powerful.  Everyone who was there could feel it.  He told us that after he got baptized, as he was getting dressed he looked into the mirror and saw a new him.  He said he saw a grown up version of himself.  It was an amazing experience to teach this great son of God and get him baptized by proper authority.  He was supposed to get confirmed by me on Sunday.  But, he spent the night in the hospital, because he ran outside on the pavement without shoes and was missing a huge chuck of skin on both feet.  He still showed up, but it was too late; so we will be doing it next week.  We have been working hard and have seen the hand of the lord in the work.  The family that we met during Hour of Power is Shurly(70's), Tracy(40's) and Crystal(15).  We got to meet with them twice last week.  And, they are reading the Book of Mormon and have committed to be baptized on the 29 of June.  So, that is going well.  They are struggling a bit though because Crystal (Tracy's daughter) is failing all of her classes except for one and is really stubborn and won't listen to what they say.  So, they weren't able to show up to church because they were having problems with her.  Anyways, we are teaching another guy named Kenieth(16).  He is a black boy and plays football.  He is really athletic, so we get along well.  Haha jkjk.  We have been trying to get him to church, but like every other teenager in the world all they want to do is hang out.  So, every time we go to pick him up he is gone hanging out.  If we can get him to church, I am sure he will want to keep coming.  His baptism date is the 22 of June.  Well, I don't really know what else to say besides I love ya'll and it is getting extremely hot here!  I sunscreen myself twice a day haha. 
Elder Willden