Missionary Paul – Part 3 of 10

This is part three 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.

October 2004

The building I am in has fourteen apartments in it I think. We live in the basement. Out the window we look into a hill which ramps up to the car dealership behind which you can’t really see because the hill is steep and tall. The Hilltop english ward is the exact same chapel as the rock gardens with a different color scheme. Our apartment is in the Hilltop Bay View complex. These computers are really locked down tight! Sarah’s email has a little bit of news for Mom. Tell her to get well.

The Malara family has three more weeks until their baptismal date. We taught them a third discussion yesterday. The Dad is really neat because he somehow managed to learn everything correctly from the Bible and already knows all of the doctrine. Usually if you run into someone that knows the Bible they fight every point and nothing gets accomplished. He is working on changing around his work schedule so he can come to church.

[Sarah,] what is happening at your work? Mom said you were working full time. Have you moved out of the grunt work yet? How is your new computer working? School started didn’t it? What classes are you taking? Do you have one more year left after this one? Ok, talk to you later.

I am well. The apartment locks the packages in a closet and puts the key in your locked mail box. My indoor soccer shoes are in there right? Put in my allen wrenches, the two sets that fold up into a metal handle if you can find them. The missionary work is good. This past week we had a big party in the Centro de Estacas, I think it is called the Inter-Stake Center in English, where all of the Spanish wards and branches in the mission came. There was a lot of food and a dance after. It was good, the Malara family came and my Colombian bike racer friend came with his two teenagers that are not members. Photo of Paul with little girl

Tomorrow, Tuesday, we are going back to the ISC (interstake center) to watch the BYU ballroom dancing company. The Malara family is coming again and hopefully William the Peruvian will come too. The Colombian former professional bike racer is fun. His name is Don Carlos Vargas, a recent convert and 50 years old. My companion and I went on a bike ride with him. 48 miles with a 7 mile uphill at the end to the top of a mountain. It was tiring. I couldn’t keep up with Don Carlos but I came in a couple of minutes behind him, the first missionary to ever make it up the mountain at the end. Our branch president, President Gomez, as well as another member named Walter are the only ones from Chile. There are not very many people here from the countries that are well off like Chile and Argentina. Most of the members are from Mexico and El Salvador.

It drizzled for a couple of days, not too much rain. For Christmas send me those laptop speakers that Steven has with a power adapter and will run them and the cd player. If someone has an old one that will be perfect. I think Daniel has one that he might want to sell. If not there is one here for 12 dollars, nothing fancy, it only has to play the Book of Mormon cds. Also if you can find the Hymns in Spanish that would be really neat.

I can usually understand people pretty well if I focus. Like this Spanish guy who is talking to his friend sitting next to me using the computer. When I read I understand a lot. I’m not too bad at reading out loud, however, I don’t speak very well. Those pictures sound interesting, how did your camera work out? It has been good. We are currently teaching the Malara family and committed all three of them to baptism yesterday. We are also teaching William, Miguel, Eduardo, Jarbaf and Ayuso. I buy a little bit of food like bread milk and cereal but we usually have dinner with a member so I don’t need much. There is a Food Max across the highway that is close. I usually buy my cereal, bread, and milk from Costco. You just missed the letter I sent to Jake C, I’ll have to him to go to YSA next time. I’ll write it in my planner.

This week it was a little cold in the chapel when we got there. I didn’t think much of it and went to Sunday school. A few minutes later my companion called me out and we went to the heater room. He says to me, We’ve got to get the some heat in that chapel before everyone leaves. The chapel was 57 degrees. I tinkered with the thermostat computer for a while until I figured out that everything was good to go on that end. I felt the vents and they were cold. I felt the pipes going into the heater and they were cold as well. We followed the pipes into the boiler room and the temperature gauges read 60 degrees, no hot water. I tinkered with the boiler a bit and got the pump motor to start humming but not turning. I pulled out my pen and jammed in in the shaft to start it turning and it fires up. I cut the heat to the rest of the building and had the chapel up to 68 degrees before sacrament meeting. It was good.

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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

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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