Monday, June 23, 2014

Elder Poteki and I had a good week this week.  We were able to go on two exchanges, one on Tuesday and one on Saturday.  Tuesday was awesome as I was able to work with Elder Galvez.  He is from Peru, comes from a family of 5 just like us and is a good spirited missionary.  We were able to teach Bro. Duncon, I am not sure if I have told y'all about him.  He is an older man with a narly beard.  He showers every once and a while and has a good heart.  He is married to a great member of the church.  He has been through a lot of hard times like seeing his daughter die by getting hit by a car.  His struggle is believing that God exists, and if God does exist then he couldn't be a loving God and so he won't pray.  Elder Galvez and I started out the lesson by opening to Alma 32.  We got through two verses and Bro. Duncon started going into all of his problems. We went through a long discussion on how we can come to know that God does exist and that he is a loving Heavenly Father.  At the end Elder Galvez bore a powerful testimony and it stunned Bro. Duncon.  We closed with a prayer and left.  When we went back on Friday he had read 14 chapters out of the Book of Mormon.  He was diligently searching.  Something was sparked in him.  I know that if he continues down this path that he will be healed of his problems.  
  Jamie and Andy came to church this Sunday!  They are awesome.  They are going through an extremely hard time.  As they didn't receive their food stamps for the month due to technical difficulties.  Jamie and Andy have been hardly eating so that they can keep their children fed.  God continues to take care of them though and we know that as they continue to be diligent in their scripture studies and obeying God's commandments, that they will be taken care of.  They continue to press on though and it is amazing to see them exercise their faith and see miracles happen in their life.
  On Saturday we had an amazing miracle.  We were able to go on exchanges with the Assistants and I had the opportunity to work with Elder Hooker for the day.  There was a part of the day in which we had planned to knock some doors.  As we were preparing to find a road to knock on the GPS, we decided to say a prayer.  After the Prayer we found this road out in the middle of no where and decided to go to that one.  As we were driving there we weren't even sure if there were going to be any homes on that road.  We got there and it looked like Vidor with homes spread out and country looking.  We got out of the car and began to knock.  We saw a man outside behind a fence reading something.  We went up and began to talk to him from outside the fence.  We invited him to listen to our message and he said no thank you and then pointed at the house right next to his and said that they were Mormons and they would love to talk to us.  We accepted the invitation to go over and figure out if they were truly Mormon.  As we were walking up we saw a man in his office with a puzzled look on his face.  We knocked on the door and waited a few minutes and a man came and answered the door he immediately invited us in.  We walked in and there was another man sitting down at a table.  On the table were a bunch of plans for building plants.  We asked the man that invited us in if he was an architect and he said that he was.  He then told us that he was a member and his name was Bro. Stewart and that he was working on a project with one of his old friends who he has worked with for a long time named Mike.  We sat down and were able to start talking to Mike about religion.  As we were talking Sis. Stewart came in and offered us some cup cakes as she had seen us walk in.  We gratefully accepted, she then offered us a water so we got up and went outside the room with her.  She proceeded to tell us that Bro. Stewart is the Stake Patriarch and how he was a bishop twice and a stake president.  She told us about Mike and how they have never had the missionaries share the lessons with him.  After we talked for a few minutes we went back in the room and answered a few of Mike's questions and Bro. Stewart invited us to come back for dinner and Mike to have a discussion with his family.  We will be having dinner with them tonight and we have planned out a powerful lesson.  So, I will tell y'all how it goes next week.  
  That was an awesome experience to have God guide us like that.  It was no coincidence that we just happened to run across the Stake Patriarch's home while his long time friend who hadn't received the gospel was there.  
  One last thing.  While we were at church we were sitting down with Jamie and Andy and someone came up and tapped my shoulder and told me that one of our investigators was here.  I promptly got up and went to see who it was.  I didn't recognize the lady at first.  I went up and began to talk to her and found out that she is one of our investigators mother.  We had talked to her once and hadn't even sat down for a formal lesson.  She just showed up to church.  After church she called us and asked if she could set up an appointment for us to teach her the lessons.  It was literally every missionaries dream come true.  She is going out of town though for the next two weeks so we will not be able to see her until she gets back.  Her name is Mary.
  I love the Gospel and I love this church that has been restored for our benefit.  I love our Father in Heaven with all my heart.  I love y'all and hope y'all have a spirit filled week!
Elder Willden

Monday, June 16, 2014

I now have a new companion named Elder Poteki.  He is about 6'6" 350 pounds.  He is huge!  He is from Tonga.  His parents are really good friends with Kurtis Taufa's parents.  He has a heart the size of his body though.  He would give anything to anyone if they needed it.  We are continuing to work with Jamie and Andy.  They are doing good.  They weren't able to make it to church this week because their tire was so run down it is about to burst and they didn't want to risk taking their kids in it and they don't have any money to fix it.  Trials continue to come their way but they continue to push through them with faith in Jesus Christ.  As we have been working with them it has really made me check myself to see how grateful I am for all that I have.  We are so greatly blessed.  My problems are so simple and easily fixed whereas there are those who's problems are so great that they almost seem too great to handle.  But, I know that Heavenly Father does help his children, nothing is too great or too big for God.  
  As Elder Poteki and I were out tracting this week we were able to run into a man who has an older family.  We were able to sit down with him and share the message of the Restoration.  His name was David.  He was so actively engaged as we spoke of Prophets and how God had once again reached out his hand and called another Prophet here on the earth today.  It was amazing!  We shared one of my favorite scriptures for the Restoration in Acts 3:18-21 or so.  It is the Prophet Peter speaking.  I love how he says that Jesus Christ will ascend into Heaven until the times of Restitution of all things!  And, then he speaks of a Prophet being called.  As we shared this scripture he was in awe.  It was a wonderful lesson and we are excited to go back and share more.  
  We also had Stake Conference this week.  It was all about Hastening the Work!  It was awesome!  I love it when we talk about the work of salvation because that is what we missionaries do all day!  It was President and Sister Crawford's last Stake Conference and they did a wonderful job in the talks they gave.  It is so crazy that their time is already over.  It blows my mind.  I am going to miss them and all they have done for me!  Like I have said before though.  It will be a good experience to meet the Drake's and get to learn from them as well. 
  I love all y'all and hope y'all have a wonderful week!  Elder Poteki and I will be attending the Temple this week so we will have some pictures for y'all next week!
Elder Willden

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Today the internet was down and I have about 20 minutes to type y'all up something, so have patience.  I will have a better report next week!  This week was awesome!  We started teaching a guy for the singles ward named Joseph.  He had been taught by missionaries before, but he felt like they weren't down to earth, they were just pushing the Book of Mormon at him instead of helping him understand it.  We taught him all about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration of the Gospel.  It was an Awesome lesson!  The spirit was really strong.  He was excited to start reading in the Book of Mormon and he was really excited to come to church too.  He had work this week though so we are planning on having him at church this week.  
  Well Elder Hoyt and Elder Davis are going home...  It is sad to see Elder Davis leave, but y'all will have fun with him!  We are still teaching Jamie and Andy and they are doing fantastic!  Andy got a promotion and will be getting more money so they can be more stable, but he had to work this sunday so he had to miss church.  He won't have to work any other sundays though, so that is good!  Jamie and the kids came to church and I sat in between their 7 year old son and their 6 year old girl and had them drawing pictures the whole time!  Kids are so hyper active in church!  But, Jamie loved church.  It was all about missionary work and it was ward conference for us.  Jamie and Andy are progressing so much.  Every time we go over to their home they are full of questions from the Book of Mormon.  They read daily and are soaking it all up.  You could definitely say that the spirit has touched them.  
  I am excited to find out who my new companion is and will let y'all know next week!  I love y'all and hope all is going well out in the island of Pleasant View, Utah.
Elder Willden
Mosiah 18

Monday, June 2, 2014



Sister Willden,
Hey!!! its elder Davis, thanks so much for the cinnamon rolls! You are awesome! I loved serving with your son chasey cakes :), he is a great missionary and you can be proud of his hard work and dedication to the Lord. You raised a great son! I am excited to see y'all in a couple weeks! Thanks again, have a great day!
Elder Davis

Thank you!  It is also your special day, if it weren't for you I wouldn't be here!!!  I would like to put a special scripture on that plaque.  Alma 4:3-4 only parts of the verse though.  In verse 3 using, ..."Therefore they were awakened to a remembrance of their duty.", then in verse 4 using, "And they began to establish the church more fully; yea, and many were baptized in the waters of "Texas" and were joined to the church of God..."  Thank you for all you do!  You are the best mother I ever could have asked for!  I know that I choose you and Dad to be my earthly parents because of your greatness!  Love you!
Elder Willden
ps. I am 20 olds.

We had a good week this past week.  We didn't teach too much, but when we did it was awesome.  We were able to teach Jamie and Andy quite a bit.  We taught them the rest of the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  They came to church this Sunday and want to continue coming back.  Jamie received her answer to know that the Book of Mormon is true and that what we are teaching is true she said, "After we prayed and asked Heavenly Father if the Book of Mormon was true we got in bed and I fell asleep immediately.  I was in a bright white room.  There was a door directly in front of me and it was very white.  I reached out and opened the door and a rush of light came at me and I woke up!  I jumped and Andy asked me what happened and I told him."  Isn't that amazing!  God answers in many different ways, it is amazing to hear those few great stories though.  I too know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  As I have been able to study and ponder the teachings inside of this Book I have been able to understand our Savior and our Father in Heaven.  I have like Jamie received an answer from God, not in the same way though.  As I continue to pray and ask God of its truthfulness a powerful feeling overcomes me every single time.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that it is a divinely written Book.  I also know the Bible to be an inspired Book as the translation is correct.  I love scripture it is so great isn't it?
  This past week Elder Hoyt and I weren't able to find any new people to teach we have been struggling with that lately.  I know the Lord will bless us this week as we have created specific plans and will follow those plans we have made.  This week we had a meeting called Zone Conference.  Our Zone came together and met with President and Sister Crawford and the AP's.  We talked about the Drakes and how exciting it is that they are coming.  We also had a chance to talk about family history work and how to use it in our missionary work.  (President Crawford asked us to ask y'all to fill out a My Family booklet for us and send it too us so we can use it when introducing people to Family History).  It was really good to be trained on how to use it to get people interested in the Gospel.  
  Overall I am doing great and Loving it here in Texas!  Love y'all and hope y'all have a good week!
Elder Willden


Hello Mother of Elder Willden, Here is a picture of your son.  He is AWESOME!!!  Thanks for helping him on his mission.  He is a great companion.