Karly in the field

Karly in the field
Write to Karly at:karly.willes@mylds.net

Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy New Year! Things are looking nice.

Merry Christmas! and Happy New Year! Thanks for everything. If you can just be in charge of everything that would work out perfectly for me. Otherwise I kind of sort of forgot my email.. but I'll look at dad's email and tell him the details of passwords and stuff so I give you everything you need.
734 Palm Blvd N
Niceville, FL 32578
(YES the N after Blvd IS supposed to be there (:  )
Sister Blake will be going to Navarre- so we're being split. it really is for the best. This whole week and a half I have been with her it just hasn't felt right at ALL. I've kind of really not enjoyed being her companion: not because I don't love her. We get along fine when we're not doing missionary things. But as soon as we try teaching a lesson/ street contacting/ anything mission related we butt heads. It was SO hard. I would try to help her, but I don't think she really trusts me. That's one thing I have really learned on my mission: you have to trust your mission companion FULL-HEARTEDLY. And just pray that they won't break that trust.. and if they do: still trust them.
I'll be serving in a trio (: So that should be really fun! I think we're going to the zoo today! Sweet! Sister Blake and I are still in Pascagoula, but we're leaving in a couple of minutes to drive to Navarre- then my companions will come pick me up from Niceville. They are not having sister missionaries in Pascagoula anymore ): Only Elders. and the Senior couple.
This week we set a baptismal date with Herman again! (: Only difference: he was the one who set it.. and brought it up> We were talking about the law of tithing. And he just said, "So when I get baptized on, well: what's the first Sundayof February?" ha (: February 1!! I'm so excited for him!! He is SO SO ready!! Just a small law of chastity issue: and that's it! He's SO CLOSE (: I can't wait for him. His baptism will be so neat. I'm really sad I won't be here in person to see him, but I know that I will see him again. And then he will be on the path to return to live with his Father in Heaven (:
My invitation this week: set a goal to help SOMEONE ELSE grow closer to Christ. But remember: if you're not close to Him, how are you supposed to help someone else get closer to him?  (:

*This is Wendy =  I am so happy for Karly to get this transfer!  I LOVE that she is going to Florida, and a place called Niceville...how NICE!T

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


This picture is courtesy of Janeen Bezzant who's friend sent this picture out.  THANKS for sharing. :)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Almost Christmas

Well! I'm training Sister Blake from Blackfoot, Idaho! She's 5' 10" and fresh out of high school! So far I absolutely love her! She's a bit shy, but we're working on that (;
This week was very hard. We had two days of travel since I had to pick up Sister Blake in Tallahassee (about a 5 hour drive one way). It was really fun, though, since I got to see Sister Hawkins! She's training, too! We're both very new to the mission so it was great being able to talk with someone who felt just as inadequate as I do.
Romar is still investigating, and sort of progressing. Herman was really sick again this week ): We found out that his daughter has cancer, too! I'm not sure what kind she has though, but she has been going through chemo.
Something I've found this week: it's very hard to work with someone when you don't have the same goals! That's why it is CRUCIAL to set goals TOGETHER as a companionship. But not just set them, find out why we the other person wants to accomplish it and find productive means of reaching it. That's why it's also so important to pray! If we don't have our goals aligned with God's, they will NEVER be accomplished. Or at least not in the best way possible.
Something that was really fun: Last night we met with a member and turns out she used to live over in the Oceanside area (where Kyle is serving!) So I have a couple referrals for the elders serving there (;
Love you lots; I'll see you this week!
Sis Willes

Monday, December 15, 2014

Wendy Willes 

8:25 AM (10 hours ago)
to Karly
I have Christmas off.  Lets skype at 11am Utah time.  gma and gpa walton will be here.  And Austen if I tell him to.
We got your letter today.

I have a new work schedule.  I am working 9- 5:30 now.  Every Sudnay off but one rotating week day off.  Usually tue or wed.

Karly Willes

11:49 AM (7 hours ago)
to me
Awesome! it's set! what's your skype ID? and I'll only have 30 minutes, so presents probably wouldn't work.
I received all of the packages-- they were great! thank you so much (: I'm staying in Pascagoula for this transfer! and I'll be training a new sister: so I'll probably be here for another 3 months!
Sister Karly Willes
2816 Eden St #515
Pascagoula, MS 39581
I am able to still use my debit card, I just don't have access to calling them unless I ask for permission.. Which is just inconvenient. haha. 

It's going to be CRAZY to be training a new sister. I feel like I hardly know enough, but apparently the Lord thinks I know all that I need. And since He knows all: I'll just be the servant He needs.
Last night was AWESOME. We were able to teach Herman again! (: He is such an awesome guy. His heart is in the right place- and he understands that baptism is a serious covenant. I totally cried when we taught him last night: He was talking about how he wasn't sure he had enough faith. Then Sis Maxwell and I told him we had a lot of faith in him. He was so surprised. I don't think he realizes how much we think of him and how greatly we care. He is just so awesome! We want the best for him. His cancer hasn't been too kind lately. We're just hoping that he'll be able to continue building his faith in Christ.
One of the members here told us a story of how one of the first missionaries down here (like in Joseph Smiths' time) said it would be easier to Burn down the South and do all of their work, rather than try to teach them. And for a long time I've agreed with it. But then I read in Alma 26 and I realized that the Lamanites were SO MUCH WORSE than the people I know. If the Lamanites could accept the gospel: I know ANYONE here can, too. I just have to have faith in THEM.
Cool fact: Herman fought in Vietnam, and he was stationed in Cambodia for a time. He helped fight to help some of the people I hold most dearly in my heart. I feel such a greater appreciation for our Veterans, now. I never realized how unpatriotic I was until I came down here. The Southerners LOVE America. I'm starting to grow to LOVE it, too.
Challenge: Share the gift. Moroni 7--> ALL good gifts come of Christ.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Here's some pictures. I really really wanted to decorate our apartment... and so I decorated our door (: And then one of the members had us decorate their Christmas tree for them (on the condition that we take it down as well..(;  )
This week didn't look super fantastic on paper. We tried very hard to find new investigators or to teach lessons, but it didn't work. Most of our appointments fell through, but we were able to try to see a lot of people because of that. However, most of those people didn't seem too happy to see us. 
On the other hand! I've been able to grow a lot more spiritually as of late! I've had a hard time truly thinking that Pascagoula is a pretty place. I totally love the members and the majority of the people we see, but up until a few days ago I honestly HATED the area. But: I've been praying to see this place through God's eyes. And now I wouldn't say I LOVE it here, but I am able to see why on this green earth people would choose to live here instead of Utah.
But really: Utah is the best state ever. EVER. (in my opinion.)
This week I would challenge y'all to change your perspective on something. (ideally you'd find something or someone you think of negatively and try to think of them positively!) 
Ways to do this: 
PRAYER. Ask our Heavenly Father to help you see them in His eyes.
Service. The best way to try to love someone is through Service. 
Love. By serving them you grow to love them: but loving them without them giving you a reason to can be hard. But do it anyway: just love them! Whether they're kind to you or not, you can still love them.
If you haven't: Watch the Christmas Devotional from last night! I especially loved Elder Christofferson's part. 
Sorry if I seem super preachy: I just keep growing to love the gospel more and more and I want to share that love. I know that only by abiding to the gospel of Jesus Christ can we feel complete and ever lasting joy.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Tanner: My Thanksgiving was SO great! I got to spend it with a family, they were super nice and fun to be with (: I miss you, too. But I love serving the Lord. What are some ways you think you can serve God? (Hint: God loves his children, and we're all his children. So when we serve anyone on this earth: We are serving God!) I am not feeling down, even when things get hard (: I'm so glad that you're saying your prayers!! I say my prayers at least 8 times a day (which is a lot!! I pray every time I'm about to teach someone, because I know that I need God's help to teach them. He knows everyone perfectly!) I have never had any nightmares, and I sleep really great in my bed! (: I'm very safe on my bike: I ALWAYS wear my helmet! Even if people make fun of me for wearing it. I love you, you're my favorite, Bug(:

Mom: Thanksgiving was AWESOME. The food here was very good: The Turkey Especially. They cook it AND SEASON it. ha Something I'll have to try when I get back home(;  I don't need tire goo/a bike pump. We already have them at the apartment(: We have bike racks on our cars, so when we're transferred our bike comes with us (: However, I do need a pillow case.. haha (: I've been borrowing one of Sister Maxwell's this whole time. SO I should probably get my own.
We did receive the food: THANK YOU! SO delicious! (: You even got Sister Maxwell's favorite Lindt Chocolate (and now it's my favorite, too!) We didn't get very good desserts for Thanksgiving, so it was way nice to have that. 
So apparently Green Bean Casserole is a big deal here: luckily I don't hate green beans anymore (; 
​Apparently Black Friday was insane. We teach an autistic girl, Maggie (17), who was recently baptized in July. She is so dang cute (: She gets SO excited over the most simple things. I am so grateful that I have gotten to know her. Anyway: she went black Fridayishopping and the only thing she cared about were the DVDs (: Whilst her grandma was shopping with her and trying to find so many other things for the rest of the family. Long story short: It's easy to get so focused on the small things that we forget about our purpose for entering the store. (or you know, in gospel analogy, life. We are here to focus on the Savior and return to God as more glorified and perfected beings. Not just to have had a good time.)
Not much is new with the people or area. Christmas time does make it easier to talk to people, though. Since we have different Christmas activities as a Stake/ Ward we are able to invite people. They are a lot more willing to listen to an invitation to an event than an invitation to come unto Christ. 
But you know, most people "have been saved" so they don't think they need to do anything else. And I suppose they don't, if they don't want to receive the fulness of joy which comes by LIVING the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
I'm still trying to learn to love the place I'm serving in, but I do love the people here (:​
​Merry Christmas. 
He is the Gift.

Here's a picture from the MTC that my friend finally sent me (: haha 
Sister Hawkins, we both went to Snow: we're both in the FTM, and we hadn't met each other until we were in the same MTC district. Small world!

Monday, November 24, 2014


​The time as a missionary is flying by oh so fast! I just don't know what to do with it!!
This week our goal was to talk to EVERYONE we saw. Which we totally succeeded at. However, we might stay away from this idea now. Some of the people we talked to were very strange. There was one man who kept contradicting himself every other sentence. Luckily, we have the gospel (: So we know the complete and whole truth through the restoration of the priesthood! yay!!
Herman is probably in the hospital again, he hasn't been home all week or answering his phone ): 
Romar continues to tell us how important it is to be baptized.. yet he won't tell us why he wants to wait to be baptized. So very interesting.
I think the most frustrating thing as a missionary is setting so many goals and not reaching them, but not having control over that. We make goals to reach our other goals, but other peoples' agency interferes. ​
That has been our struggle this week. However, we just keep working even harder (: So far we haven't seen much of our efforts; we know that we are helping people, though.
We're hopefully spending Thanksgiving with the "less active" family we met last week. (: I'm super excited.
And can I just say I hate the term "less active?" Because sometimes it means the person is completely inactive, while other times it means they only attend once every other month. Or just once a year. There needs to be more accurate terminology. I guess I'll deal with that when I get home, though (;
My invitation: Write down 5 things you're grateful for from every day this week. No repeats.

I am sending Karly some Thanksgiving treats that my mom, my cousin, and I made.  I hope she enjoys them and that I get to the post office tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dad's First email

Randy let me read his email to Karly, so I could see her response.  It was too sweet not to share:
Hey sweet Karly

Moms been keeping me up on your e-mails but I thought I might  send you one myself.

Have you adjusted to a 24/7 roommate all the way yet?
Caught on to the local language?
Staying busy?

I'm healing good and staying busy with the house/the boys/cooking ect..
Just finished my continuing education classes (12 hours of online fun) so I can 
renew my Master Plumbers licence.

I've watched lots of movies and got lots of naps the last 4 weeks.
Off all the hardcore drugs 10 days ago and only taking Tylenol 2-3 times a day.
Its hard not being able to walk but with my kneeling scooter and the crutches 
I can go just about anywhere I need to.
Went down stairs for the first time today to get some things to make dinner.
It was not too hard but took some time. It is alot easier to get the boys to bring stuff up
but they are at school and my was sleeping in.

Its been wonderful to spend the whole morning with your mom with out anyone around.
Rather  we lay in bed/do house things/be on the computer/eat breakfast it's great just to be together
 and talk and enjoy each others company!!!!!! 

Hope your able to make many many friends while you are gone!!
Hope you always have joy in your heart!!!
Hope everyone can see the LOVE in your heart!!

Be safe, show love and know you are in my thoughts


Hi! I'm glad to hear that you are doing so well (: 
Here's my quote of the day to explain why you are just so happy to be with mom: Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, quoted the following counsel of President McKay: “A father can do no greater thing for his children than to let them feel that he loves their mother” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1971, 82; or Ensign,June 1971, 72).
I've totally adjusted to having a companion, but I do look forward (but not too much) to being alone after the mission. It helps that my companion is awesome and she's not over bearing. We're both not super touchy-feel kind of girls. We talk things out. It's just so great (:
I've met so many amazing people that I love here! It's fantastic! 
I don't think I will ever understand the Southern Language or people. I have the HARDEST time understanding what black people are saying, especially when they're in their 50s/60s. But luckily the Spirit always guides me in what to say (: 
Love you! Have a great and speedy recovery! i think of you all often!
Sis Willes

Monday, November 17, 2014

Nov 17th letter from Karly

I can't remember if I mention this story:
Sis Maxwell and I had cancellations up the wall. We had tried and failed to see all of our back ups. So we looked in the GPS, found a persons name that we knew was on the roster. Then went to his house. The first thing he says to us: "Who sent you here?"
"uhm.. No one."
"Are you sure it wasn't my mother?"
"Ha no, it wasn't your mother..."
"It must have been God then!" (Uhmm.. I guess so?)

And so now we are privileged to teach his non member fiance and her two sons (: And eat delicious Puerto Rican and Dominican Republic food.
When we told the bishop of the experience he was very surprised. He told us the Spanish elders had gone by to visit them literally two weeks ago and they said they weren't interested in having the missionaries over.

So for Christmas: I would really love "The Best Two Years" Soundtrack on CD. Or David Archuleta's Christmas album with the Mo-Tab (on CD as well). Journals. Uhmm. . . . Money for ice cream (: I'll be sending home a few clothes soon since I can't wear them while I'm riding a bike. I'm also sending my Cambodia skirt since I kind of got a hole in it ): I was wondering if maybe Grandma Willes could fix it? It just needs to be hemmed up more, ideally.
I should mention: I might not be at the same address on Christmas. So either make sure my package arrives BEFORE DECEMBER 15 (transfer day) OR wait for my email that Monday to verify where my current address will be on Christmas Week.

As for this week: We haven't been able to see Herman ): We're not sure if he's super sick, or trying to dodge us, or what. It's crazy. We keep praying and fasting, because we don't know what else to do> And it doesn't seem like it is working. But we know it is. Just not in the way we want it to, or in a way we can see yet. God knows best, though. We know our efforts are not being wasted.
Romar is still confusing us. He has totally stopped smoking. That's not even a temptation for him. He LOVES looking up general conference talks/ reading the scriptures/ praying/ and coming to church activities. He simply doesn't want to be baptized for a "few months or years." Even though he also knows that only through baptism can you reach eternal life. Which he REALLY REALLY wants to receive eternal life. He tells us that ALL OF THE time. He also tells us the importance of baptism. So we're very confused as to why he is postponing this crucial decision.

​We have been trying to find new people to teach, but so far no luck. We'll keep trying, though (:

That's about it! Remember to Pray!!

"​ Which parent in Book of Mormon times would have let their sons march out to the front of battle without a breastplate and shield and sword to protect them against the potentially mortal blows of the enemy? But how many of us let our children march out the front door each morning to the most dangerous of all battlefields, to face Satan and his myriad of temptations, without their spiritual breastplate and shield and sword that come from the protective power of prayer? The Lord said, “Pray always, … that you may conquer Satan” (D&C 10:5). As parents, we can help instill within our children the habit and power of morning prayer. "


I asked Karly in my letter what she wanted for Christmas.  That is why she gave me her wish list.  I hate the thought of having Thanksgiving and Christmas without her.  But I remind myself that we will get to skype with her on Christmas!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Time flies by so fast! (:
This week was rough at first, but then everything changed!  (: We were able to get in contact with someone that we've basically been stalking for the past month and a half. He hasn't been home, and we didn't have his right phone number, so there was no way for us to contact him. Then one night we decided to stop by his house, and vuola! He was there! I about cried. He had a baptismal date back in September, but since he has cancer he needed to go to Houston for the hospital there. But now he's back! He was so happy to see us! He has no idea how thrilled we were to see him! (: I about cried from joy.
ANd Romar seems to be turning around. Last night he called and apologized for hanging up on the phone a few weeks ago (: It was so sweet. He has been coming to church, and he has started reading/watching General Conference reports again. SO I think he understands the importance of feeding our souls DAILY.
I hope you guys are able to find ways to come closer to God everyday. Including family prayer. That could change your world. Start making it a part of who you are, not just what you do. Others will catch on.
People here say "i want my kids to decide for themselves if they want to be baptized." Which is great. They should decide, but how are they supposed to know it's even an option if they don't go to church?! Or how are they supposed to understand what baptism really means? Church is important. That's why God commands us to go. Every commandment we are given is given from Love. Lots and lots of love. Because He is bound when we do what He says, and then we get Blessings (: (Doctrine and Covenants 82:10 and Matthew... 18:18?)
And there are such things as "bLessons."

I asked Karly if her address was the same, and what clothing I could send her.  Here is her response:

my address is the same (: sorry this is short: i'm out of time!
but i've been able to be warm: don't worry! it hasn't gotten too bad!
love you!

Don't you just love how she adds her southern touch?  I sure do!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Getting ready for Christmas

I forgot to add Karly's email address to her Blog.  You can reach her at karly.willes@mylds.net
I also decided to mail her packages from the post office.  They have a pretty large box that I can mail to her for a flat rate.  I think it was about $17.  And I brought a box home so I can start getting her Christmas packaged up.  I could still use some idea's though.  I bought the cutest sister missionary stockings!  Yes, I got two because I know she will be worried about her companion.  So this way they have matching stockings. :)
Please feel free to leave messages on her blog, and ideas for what to send her. :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

First Transfer

Transfers were this week: surprise! haha (: me and Sister Maxwell are staying in Pascagoula. We had a chance to go up to Mobile last week and I got to see a cotton field!!!!!! (: it was so pretty, and a much needed tender mercy. 
I'm glad that dad is doing well. Work will be great, phones are hard: but if you keep your attitude and spirits high you will be able to do anything (: 
Something which I need.... sweats. My MHS ones from track would be great. And one of my hoodies, too. It really DOES get cold here. Today isn't so bad, but Saturday was quite chilly. Luckily I have warm tights and good cardigans. I'm buying my coat today, so don't worry about me (: haha I'll be prepared for any future weather.
This week was pretty hard. It seemed like everyone was trying to avoid us. . . (: Like, they walk to the other side of the street when they see us walking/biking on the same side. haha. People are funny (: But while we've had a hard time finding new people, working with less-actives and part member families has been GREAT. The people we taught this week were truly answers to our prayers. They were so kind and willing and eager to learn more about the gospel.
Something which has been frustrating for me: people complain so much about how hard their lives are and how terrible Hurricane Katrina was. Which I'm sure it seems hard, and it was hard. But Katrina was almost 10 years ago. Most people have homes and are still with their families. There still are schools and universities for higher education. Compared to the Cambodians... the people here are VERY well off. Being down here has made me want to go back to Cambodia again, to help them continue to cherish and value the education they receive. people here don't seem to think that education is important. And because of it, the community struggles.
Please value the education you received! And continue to strive to get more! Even if it is just reading a book, especially the Book of Mormon. (: I know that as you read the Book of Mormon and act on the principles taught in it, which are Christ's true gospel, that the quality of your life WILL IMPROVE.
Anything that I can do you for you guys? How are you holding up this week? Did you celebrate Grandma Willes' birthday?
Do you mind sending me Trevor's address so I can write the girls late happy birthday cards? (:
Through Jesus Christ, the bands of death were broken. So now we can live as an eternal family forever as long as we are faithful to the covenants we have made. We will see Ryan again (:

Looks like I need to send my first large package in the mail...ever.   Any tips?

Monday, October 27, 2014

The gum delivery

I sent Karly a package with her medicine and I threw in a package of gum, because she loves gum.  I almost didn't get gum, I almost got tic tacs instead.  I also asked her what her Halloween plans were going to be, and if I needed to send her anything.  Here is her response.

I'll be eating dinner at a members home on Halloween, and right after that we have orders from the president to go straight home. So I won't be seeing any ghosts or ghouls! I got the package from you mom, and I also got the one from Grandma Walton. I should probably mention that one of the weird missionary rules is that I can't chew gum(: So any more gum packages are kindly discouraged.. haha. I can chew it while I'm in my apartment, but normally I eat food instead. So I should have enough gum to last me the next 17 months. That's right 17. I've been a missionary for a month and ten days! (: Pretty exciting!
So our dear investigator, R, isn't talking to us anymore. And that's kind of really frustrating and sad. However, I'm sure that the Lord is blessing him and that he will continue to strive to live worthy of living with God. Sister Maxwell and I have been working on trying to find ways to work with the members more. We have so many less active people, it really hurts the ward ): So my advice to y'all: LIVE the gospel and stay true to your callings. Because God can bless you. And who doesn't want blessings?!?
Also: they have the BEST ice cream here. Blue Belle is the brand. Pumpkin Spice Pecan is the flavor. It's perfect, blissful, and probably my ultimate favorite: even more than vanilla bean.
I'll talk to y'all next week (:

There's a (Lutheran? Methodist, I don't remember which) Church in the city that has the perfect sign for missionaries (;  haha So Sister Maxwell and I took our picture next to it. 
Also: Personalized License Plates are a HUGE thing down here.

.  praise him plates.

So all of your missionary parents out there.  What do you send your state side missionary for Halloween?  Or Christmas for that matter?  Do they have time to shop?  I want to send clothes, but I don't know her size.  I thought about candy, but she can buy that without a shipping charge right?  Maybe I could shop online and have it delivered straight to her?  Feel free to leave comments.  Thanks.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Adorable Karly writes us Oct 20, 2014

You asked me so many questions... and I'm trying to remember them all. But what really matters: I'm doing well (: haha. I have a bike. It has two wheels. And sometimes I have to pump up the tires so I can ride smoother. I ride a bike a lot. But it isn't hard, I haven't fallen... twice. Just once. haha (: but  I didn't even get hurt. We also drive a car. It's a Chevrolet.. I think? The food here is just like the food at home... except for pralines, banana bread pudding, and creole sauce is a lot bigger of a deal. 

So far our goal to have Romar come unto Christ through baptism is going well (: He quit smoking! so he just needs to be a non smoker for forever, and at least these next two weeks, and he'll be baptized!  (: He wants it SO much. It's so easy to teach him. He mostly teaches himself most of the time (:

We're trying to get better at talking to EVERYONE we see. It's hard to try and sincerely share the gospel with so someone when you're stopping them on the street. But I know that we will be blessed in our effort to share the Lord's love for them (: 

This week was Stake Conference, which was AWESOME. Their stake president is probably 35. And he is a lot like Uncle Blake (: Goofy, but a good priesthood holder who can be serious when it is necessary. They talked about Hastening the work of Salvation. 

What I got from it? MEMBERS are so CRUCIAL to missionary efforts. Y'all are SO important. Without you, there would be no reason for missionaries. 

So what are you going to do?
And remember: Missionaries don't only exist on earth. There are so many angels who need us to do TEMPLE WORK: their investigators are struggling because we are not doing ALL we can. The temple is so important. I know some of you don't recognize that. But I challenge you to find out WHY. 

Our desires are the same on earth as they will be in heaven. If we desire to invite ALL to come unto Christ while on earth, imagine our joy when we continue to do that while in heaven (: 

Gospel's true,
Book is blue,
God loves you,
and I do, too!

I got two emails  from her this week!  Here is the other one:

i'm glad dad is good! i got the package from the yw, it was so sweet (: i absolutely loved it! i have a bunch of letters I'll be sending to you soon for you to (please) give to people who i don't have their address. it's the thank you cards from my farewell... haha. 

how's the new job? I hope you don't get discouraged too quickly, remember that the Lord loves you and everything will work out for the best (: we just have to keep trying our best for that to happen.
sister willes

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13th From Mississippi

Here is Karly's letter and pictures for the week of Oct. 13th.  I can still hear her voice when I read what she writes. :P

I should have clarified: I have my cord (: I had just left it at my apartment.. sorry! 
Thanks for helping figure out everything! Could you get me James Cosgrove's contact information? Like his email? And Can you do the same for Allie Neff?? I want to write her.   I hope that dad's surgery went well, please tell me the details!

Can you ask Tanner if there is anything that I can do for him? I'd love to help him in anyway I can! 

And the same goes for the rest of the family!
This week was full of so many interesting things! It started out pretty slow, we didn't have a lot of people who were home when we scheduled to meet with them. So we would go from one person to the next, with the same result. But finally we were able to ask the bishop if he needed us to visit people: and oh did he! He gave us a list of probably thirty people. And so we've been working on checking on those people (: It has been such a blessing to meet these less active members and to hear their conversion story!
The highlight of my week: WE TAUGHT A FAMILY!!!!!! Not only that, the spirit was there through the whole lesson testifying of the truth. Especially when we told them of Joseph Smith's first prayer. The power didn't come from our words, though. We have been memorizing JSH 1: 16-18 ish when it says "I saw a pillar of light...... This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him."
Dang. SO powerful. Every time I say it during a lesson I feel weird copying the scripture, but I never regret using it (:
If y'all get a chance to see "MEET THE MORMONS" please do> Because I can't. And so many of the members down here aren't able to, either /: The closest theater playing it is in Hattiesburg.... and I don't even know where that is. haha. 
But anyway: Appreciate what you have. Because God loves you and blesses you with EVERYTHING. Especially Families. Continue to pray EVERYDAY. 
I love you all and hope that you'll find something every day this week to be grateful for (:
Sister Willes

Oh! Here's pictures:
Me and My MTC companion, me and my friend Gabrielle (She's in Paris now!) (:, and then the pascagoula beach.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Map stocking

I went to google maps and found Karly's residence.  It is a very nice place.  She is near a Jr. High school.  Here is the link:  https://www.google.com/maps/@30.3629782,-88.5306675,3a,75y,87.02h,86.18t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1s89acroXb9PFWRfJtgikDeQ!2e0!6m1!1e1
The surrounding area looks nice and safe.
The inside is very nice as well.  The kitchen even has granite counter tops. https://www.google.com/maps/@30.3629782,-88.5306675,3a,75y,87.02h,86.18t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1s89acroXb9PFWRfJtgikDeQ!2e0!6m1!1e1
Margie from our ward left us a message tonight.  The YW are going to mail her a package.  That will be a neat surprise for Karly.  I should really send her something too. :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday Oct 6th 2014

(that's PASS- KUH- GOO- LUH) (OR PASS-A-GOO-LUH, depending on how southern you are (;  )
My address:
2816 Eden St. #515
Pascagoula MS 39581
So I'm about 4 hours away from Tallahassee. So I'm only an hour ahead of Salt Lake (: Which isn't so bad.
The humidity hasn't gotten SUPER bad yet, and since it's almost winter it shouldn't be getting any worse.
I love the people here. The members ARE SO NICE. Every single day this week someone from the ward is feeding us dinner. Our bishop here is SO DEDICATED. He works so hard, and is so willing to help us with anything we might need. His family owns chickens, so they give us eggs whenever we need them (:

My companion is the most beautiful girl ever! I forgot to bring the cord to my camera, but I'll show pictures next week! Sister Maxwell is from Draper, UT. She is a little bit taller than me, and has the most beautiful smile (: I love working with her. She's been on the mission since July, so she's fairly new, too!
Our apartment is SO nice. We have our own washer and drier. There's a small gym here, so we can work out in the air conditioning (: instead of the humidity. I feel so sticky sometimes, but it is NOTHING compared to Cambodia.
The people here are absolutely darling. They have honest hearts beyond compare! Sometimes it is hard for me to understand what they're saying, but apparently my Utah accent is hard for them to understand, too (;
Right now we are teaching two recent converts. Krissy is in her 20s, and just has the most awesome desire to continue to change and live the word of God. 
Maggie is 16 and just the cutest thing (: She has Autism, but her understanding of the gospel is SPOT ON. She understands that you can only receive joy by acting on the faith which you have in the Lord.
One of our investigators, Romar, should be getting baptized on November 1! He just needs to finally kick the smoking addiction. But he has the desire to stop! So we're almost there (:  
General Conference was AWESOME. Romar was absolutely thrilled with hearing the words of the prophet! His testimony is so strong, and his willingness to seek the word of God and find if HE thinks it is true continues to amaze me.
Well, I wouldn't be a missionary if I didn't invite y'all to come unto Christ in some way:
SO. I invite you to choose ONE thing you can do this week to come closer to Christ. 
And mom, Could you please say a morning prayer with Tanner every day? And if Cooper will let you, you can do it with him, too? I know that as you pray as a family you will experience more tender mercies in your life.
Love you lots! 
Sister Willes

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Karly arrived in Florida

I just opened this email tonight from Karly's mission president.

Dear Brother and Sister Willes ;

Sister Willes arrived safely to the Florida Tallahassee Mission. We were delighted to meet her and look forward to serving together in this wonderful part of the Lords kingdom. This entire mission is truly a great place to serve and we are confident your daughter will love the area and its people. There is truly a purpose she was called here by a Prophet of God.

After completing routine details and having an interview, we conducted training about matters that pertain to her faithful service as a missionary. It is our desire to do everything possible to offer leadership and support as your daughter becomes the missionary the Lord expects her to be.

Foremost in our efforts will be to insure the safety and well-being of your missionary. Beyond that, we will do all possible to help her meet her potential. It is easy for us to love missionaries and yours will be no different. We will try to be the best parents away from parents possible.

As you pray for your missionary, pray for us to know how best to lead and guide your daughter. Write your daughter positive letters and emails that encourage obedience, effective study, hard work, and complete devotion to God.

We commend you for your willingness to send a choice daughter away for a time. Your faith and goodness is reflected in your daughter and you should be very proud of her. We know that you will be blessed through your daughters service, and your testimony will be strengthened as her testimony grows in the gospel.

This is a great time to be a missionary! We look forward to serving with Sister Willes for the next eighteen months.


President and Sister Bradley J. Smith

Karly's flight was Sept 30, 2014.  She called us around 6 a.m and talked for about one minute to me (Wendy).  It was so good to hear her voice.  After we hung up I shed some tears, went to her room, and hugged her pillow.  I am glad that she is safe and happy.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

First Pictures from the MTC

Karly is doing well and loving the MTC.  I was able to get some new luggage to her in time.  (Thank you Mr. B) She will leave this Tue Sept 29th for Florida, and she said she will call us.  She will be limited to 5 min.