Missionary Paul – Part 2 of 10

This is part two of a ten part series chronicling Paul’s Mission. It is told mostly in his own words using excerpts from his letters and photographs sent home.

August 2004

I haven’t setup my ldsmail account yet so don’t send me any emails because I won’t get them. My area is in Richmond and is really big. I live in an apartment on Richmond Parkway. This past Sunday I shared my testimony in the Richmond 3rd Spanish branch and sang Called To Serve. My companion Elder Smoot and I are both new to the area. We have been teaching a man named Eduardo who is a really good investigator. Our branch president, President Gomez, is from Chile. His Spanish wasn’t too difficult to understand. I think the Spanish from Peru is the best, they seem to speak more clearly than others. We went to the temple on Saturday, a Spanish session.

Photo of Paul, Elder Smoot, mission president and wife by Oakland temple

Email from Elder Smoot

Hello Brother Willoughby,

My name is Elder Chandler Smoot and I’m your son’s companion. I’m from Provo, Utah and have been out on my mission for about 15 months now. I just wanted to write you and give you my thanks for raising such a wonderful son. It really is a pleasure to work with such a fine man. He has an exceptional desire to learn and studies hard. I frequently find myself learning from his wonderful example. You should truly be proud. Since he has arrived he has yet to speak a word of English to me, which makes it really fun to work with him. Well, that’s all I’m able to write today due to time restraints. I just wanted you to know that your son is doing exceptionally well out here and appears to be enjoying every second of it.

Take care and have a great week,

Elder Smoot


Hello Elder Smoot,

Thanks for communicating to me that Paul is doing well and that you think highly of him. My wife will be thrilled to hear some more news of Paul. His siblings won’t show much excitement (they have to be cool) but they are reading your email just the same.

It would appear that Paul has a great companion and that you work well together. Thanks for training him in his duties. Paul was self-motivated about his mission and would go to mission training in the Stake without any reminders from us. He would buy the discussions and church books and study them. We just gave him a room and fed him. Incidentally, we only need to buy half as much milk since he left. :)

Thanks again for writing,

Bro Willoughby

[Read more…]

Missionary Paul – Part 1 of 10

Provo Missionary Training Center entrance

This is part one of a ten part series chronicling Paul’s Mission. It is told mostly in his own words using excerpts from his letters and photographs sent home.


Paul is an Eagle Scout and an active member of his church since birth. He earned a full tuition scholarship to the University of Utah and completed a year of schooling before leaving for the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in June 2004. He returned to the university after his mission and is majoring in Computer Engineering.


California Oakland Mission Alumni

Paul served in the California Oakland (Spanish speaking) Mission June 2004 to June 2006. He worked to save the entire $9,000 needed for his mission, and also purchased with his own money the necessary attire. Here are a few excerpts from correspondence to our family, in his own words.

June 2004

At the MTC.

July 2004

At the MTC.
Photo of Paul leaving the Missionary Training Center

Hola Daniel,

Tell Jake to help Jake C study for his mission. Have him take one of those gray Missionary Gospel Study Program booklets to Jake C and to write me to tell me whether he did those things he was going to do for me. Make it happen, thanks Daniel. I got all three of the postcards, sounds like your trip was fun. Tell Mom to ask them about my suit, and tell Sarah I’ll get a reply for her letter one of these days. The zip ties are what make the T-Maxx go, good idea. When I get back I will teach you Spanish. How is your new room? I am having a good time here, I like being a missionary. Remember to pay attention during seminary and you will know how to answer people’s questions about the church. Tell the family that I’ll try to write this week too,

Elder Willoughby

Square Meal

Last Sunday we went to Steven and Adelaide’s home to celebrate Jill’s birthday with a meal made by Adelaide, our daughter-in-law. It was great food and all served on square plates. It is Paul’s first square meal in quite awhile.

[Read more…]

Past Pictures: Richard at Eight

Richard at 8

Occasionally I will post Past Pictures. This is my first. It is in the backyard of my home in Weston Estate where I lived for fourteen years. Our family rented a Council House like most everyone else. It was a pleasant home.

Wiki Tables

Consider this sortable wiki table. What is the easiest way to create it and maintain it? Here is how I do it:

  1. Use a spreadsheet such as Excel, OpenOffice Calc, or Google Docs to compile the data. I like to use Google Docs so that if needed I can share the spreadsheet online. A spreadsheet is simpler to use than a wiki table, duplicates cells easier, and totals columns. Where there are blank cells, use a non-breaking space (&nbsp) to maintain table integrity.
  2. When the spreadsheet is finished, export the data as csv. In Google Docs the csv data appears in another tab in my Firefox browser.
  3. Select all the csv data and paste it into the window of a CSV Converter. In the Convert Special Characters section select Do not convert (table contains code). Click on the Convert to MediaWiki! button.
  4. Copy the wiki table to your wiki edit page. Add in your wikitable sortable, cellspacing, border, and background color, etc. Don’t forget to add the sortbottom class before the totals row.
  5. When updating your article, put the changes in your spreadsheet and convert as before but do not replace the wiki table header. You will have to re-type the sortbottom class as this is replaced each time. If someone else updates the wiki table directly, don’t forget to update your spreadsheet.

With a large wiki table of membership records, by updating in a spreadsheet the totals are calculated for you which makes for easier going than to update the wiki table directly.

Farmington Frontrunner

I had an opportunity to take a few photographs of Frontrunner when I went to pick Jill up at the Farmington Station. I haven’t been around a train for awhile so it appeared larger to me. I haven’t ridden it yet but I will soon.

[Read more…]

Jill’s birthday

Today is Jill’s birthday. We celebrated with the family on Memorial Day so there was only one gift today (from me). A 4GB Creative Zen so that Jill can listen to audio books while she is riding FrontRunner to work. I picked the Zen because it has bookmarks which a lot of mp3 players do not have.

Daniel’s Graduation

Daniel with Certificate

Daniel received his Davis High School diploma on Friday 30th May 2008. The family was there to celebrate the day.

[Read more…]

He will be a boy

Today I got an email from Sarah:

Just thought you might like to know that I’m going to have a boy! Not very surprising considering how many boys already exist in this family, eh? Anyways, the baby is healthy and everything looked good. Now if we could just get the mother feeling well.

I am very happy that he is a boy. We all know how to raise boys.