Monday, February 24, 2014

Elder Davis and I had a wonderful week.  We were able to go on two exchanges this week.  The first one was on Wednesday and I was with Elder Nikolaus and I don't have a picture to go with that one (sorry).  The second one was on Friday and I was with Elder's Lattin and Rust on the left hand side in the picture.  It is so fun to be able to go help other missionaries in their areas.  On the other hand I learn so much from it.  I love being able to constantly improve. 
  Being with Elder Davis has been a real blessing to me.  He has taught me so much and it has been nice to be able to have a companion that has been out longer than you, and can teach you the effective ways to do missionary work.  Our area has been struggling though with finding investigators who are solid and will meet with us often.  A lot of our day we are out tracting.  It gets taxing at times, but every morning we are able to get up and keep going.  We know that as we continually seek guidance from our Heavenly Father and as we apply our Faith that we will begin to find those who have been prepared by the hand of the Lord, because the field is white.  
We have been teaching this teenager named Lambris; he is 15 years old.  He is black and really skinny.  He loves religion and absolutely loves it when we come over.  He is just soaking up our message.  His family is catholic though and they are fine with us teaching him, but they haven't been letting him come to church.  Hopefully as we continue to teach him his family will sit in also and they will all come to church.
  I have been slowely reading the Pearl of Great Price because I have never read it before.  As I was reading there was an awesome scripture I came across.  Abraham 1:2, Abraham is telling us the desires he has and all the desires he had he accomplished.  Along with that in Alma 29:5 It tells us that whatever our desires are we will receive.  I know that as we have righteous desires and we work diligently to get them we will receive them.  I love y'all! 
Elder Willden

Ha Ha...look at street name!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Elder Davis and I had a great week.  We had meetings all day on Wednesday and  Thursday with one of the seventy, Elder Aidukaitis.  It was an amazing experience.  We were able to eat lunch with him and just ask him questions and it was awesome.  He taught our mission that a goal of zero is not a goal and that we should be baptizing weekly.  He read D&C 4 with us about how the field is white already to harvest.  He taught us that we should be harvesting weekly and setting goals weekly to do so.  He also taught us that we should be keeping our lessons down to 15-20 min.  It has been an awesome experience implementing those things.  He also read Alma 31:5 with us and explained that in teaching we shouldn't be using examples, we should be using scriptures.  The Mission was uplifted and inspired after being able to listen and give heed to his words. 
  Thank you so much for the valentine's gift.  That was the best ever.  
This week I was able to go on an exchange with my MTC companion Elder Kalilimoku.  It was awesome to be able to be with him and see how much he has grown.  It is so fun to be a zone leader and to work with other missionaries and train them in how to improve in missionary work and for them in turn to help me in how I can do better in my missionary work. 
  We had an awesome experience yesterday with one of our investigators.  We haven't been able to see this guy named Marcus in a while.  Elder Davis and his companion before me taught him part of the restoration and we haven't seen him since.  On Sunday we had an appointment and we had a member coming with us.  The appointment fell through.  Elder Davis had the idea of going to try Marcus.  We went over and knocked on the door and his wife answered.  She then proceeded to tell us that he wasn't there, so we were about to leave, when he came walking around the corner and asked us how we were doing.  The lady walked away of course, we asked him if he had a minute for a lesson.  We were able to teach him the Joseph Smith story and the spirit was so strong.  We committed him to be baptized and after everything he told us that next time his whole family will be listening to our message because he is going to convince them to.  It was awesome. 
  I am doing great.  I love it here in Baytown, it is a lot different then Kountze,  seeing that it is all city, but it is fun.  We are able to share our message with many and it is a blast.  I love my mission and love to talk about our Savior.  Love y'all!
Elder Willden

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

This week has been so fun!  I have been moved to a place called Baytown.  I am serving with Elder Davis and I love it here.  We started out the week a little rough because we don't have very many investigators.  We did a lot of tracting and searching for those who would be willing to listen to our message.  On Saturday night we were bound and determined to find 2 new people on Sunday to achieve one of our goals.  We decided we were going to fast the next day for it and we set apart 3-4 hours to go out and knock doors until we found those 2 new investigators.  The next day we went to church and afterwards headed out to find-em.  We went the whole 3-4 hours without finding anyone that would be willing to listen to our message right then.  We continued to have faith though as we went out later and tried some people that we had knocked into the past few days.  We were then able to teach a young man and will be going back to teach him again, so we got excited because we only had to get one more.  We went and tried a family that we had run into and likewise they let us in and we were able to teach them.  It was by our faith that we were able to find three new people to teach, the Lord truly blessed us and by so doing I have gained a stronger testimony in Fasting.  The Family's Parents names are Jose and Veronica.  Ya'll will probably be hearing more about them in later emails. 
  Elder Davis is an awesome missionary.  He is from Bountiful, Utah.  He has been out for 20 months so he will be returning home soon.  We work really well together and we work hard and have fun. 
  We also had an awesome experience with one of our investigators Sandra.  She is a really nice, older, black lady.  We talked about the Book of Mormon.  She had thoroughly read the introduction, the testimonies, and the first few chapters of 1 Nephi.  We talked to her about what she read and she was able to testify about the Book of Mormon and how she knows that it has to be true.  I will keep y'all updated on how everything is going with her. 
  I love y'all and hope y'all have a wonderful week!
Elder Willden

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Brother and Sister Sherman in Baytown, TX needed some help painting.  They found some really good looking Elders, Elders Davis and Willden,  to help them! Feb 7, 2014

Monday, February 3, 2014

This week was a terrific week.  I got some sad news though, I will be getting transferred.  I also got a call to be a Zone Leader, so I am excited to see what that is all about and be able to help other missionaries.  
Anyways, Bunny took it pretty hard that I am leaving, but he will be okay. The ward will take care of him. 
 This week we were able to teach Betty again and she is just amazing.  She already knows that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith is a Prophet and that Thomas S. Monson is a modern day prophet.  She also told us as we were teaching her the plan of salvation that  she already believed what we were telling her, but she just hadn't heard it before.  We were able to explain to her that we were taught all these things before we were born ...we already knew it.  And that our purpose as missionaries is to bring remembrance.  Betty is amazing and I am so excited to come back for her baptism. 
  We are also teaching 2 kids named AJ and Denine Gore.  AJ is 9 and Denine is 12.  Their mom is Mormon and their dad is Baptist.  Their mom and dad got a divorce when they were very little and somehow the dad got custody.  AJ and Denine have been trying to get baptized for quite a few years now.  But, their father never would allow them.  They recently asked him and he gave permission!  It was a huge miracle to be a witness of.  But, we have been working with them and they will be getting baptized on the 1st of March.  I will also be able to go back for that one. 
  I have learned a lot since I have been here in Kountze.  I love this place and am going to miss it and the people .  I have been doing great though.  On Sunday I went up and bore my testimony.  I told the story of when I was in primary and whoever had the spiritual thought wasn't there.  And, Luke volunteered to give it.  He grabbed my scriptures and flipped open to Moroni 10:5.  After I talked about how the Holy Ghost really is how we can know of truth and etc...  Later on Bunny got up and bore the most powerful testimony.  He told is life story and bore testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and how India needs it.  I was so lucky to be able to work with him. 
  On Monday of last week, we were doing service, helping an older gentlemen move his Barber chairs.  An Elder and I picked one up and started carrying it and the heaviest part of the chair somehow slipped off and smashed my toe and the other Elder's foot.  Everyone thought my toe was broken.  But, I just didn't worry about it.  Eventually, I was convinced to go see a doctor and turns out it should have broke under all that weight, but the Lord protected me and it didn't.  But, my toenail is going to fall off, so that is exciting!  I will send a picture right after this.
 Anyways I love y'all and am absolutely loving this work!  Y'all have a great week!
Elder Willden