Karly in the field

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

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.