Missionary Dan Email #30 from Vancouver, Washington

Halloween costumesWe went to the Halloween trunk or treat. Raberta came and showed off her costume. I decided to turn my suit jacket inside out. It definitely is awesome. Yes, there are dragons on my bright gold yellow inside of suit. It is my favorite. We’ve been working with Raberta more and more and she is progressing well.

We have also worked a lot with Keelin. He is 10 years old and understands very well. We were teaching him about the baptismal covenant and were saying that we can renew it when we partake of the sacrament. He added in, “Yeah and doesn’t the bread represent his body and the water represent his blood?” We were taken back a little as we aren’t used to investigators saying things like that — even though it is common knowledge. He is simply a very smart kid and taught a bit by his member grandma.

The candy was great. Thanks for sending the shirt as well. We stayed at our apartment for Halloween because President told us to. We have been working and recently found some new investigators which always brightens what will come. It is awesome to have served for 2 years. It is somewhat strange to still be serving, but at the same time I am very grateful. There is no better way to spend the time I have.

I’ll see if someone in the ward can measure me for my tux. I’m sure that they can work with measurements I get. It sounds like the wedding plans are working out quite nicely. Happy Halloween. Today we are going on a hike with our Zone. So it is exciting! Thanks for all the support.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.

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Missionary Dan Email #29 from Vancouver, Washington

Daniel by a woodThanks for all the great emails. I am glad that everything is working out good. We had a great week again. It always gets better and better.

Raberta (the 73 year old investigator) came to church again. She is not shy at all and has lots of energy. She loves Relief Society and calls them her sisters. She absolutely loves church. She tells everyone how many churches she has stopped going to because she wasn’t comfortable. She feels comfortable around us and she told Relief Society how she was going to be baptized. They told her to then learn the lessons and make sure she understands things. It is quite the experience. Raberta is really excited for the Halloween party or trunk or treat. She is going to be a witch and she gave us a preview of her witch laugh. It was so real it freaked us out. It’ll be lots of fun.

Daniel fixed his bikeWe experienced a little bit of the rainy season on Sunday and yesterday. It poured buckets of rain and then rained some more. We were tracking for part of it and got really wet. Lucky we had a dinner appointment soon and the members helped us dry off.It looks like I’ll be using my winter Mongolian clothes that I kept in my suitcase, so that works out well too. The wool socks have been a great investment. Steven’s rain coat he never used works really well.

I fixed up some broken bike fenders that were here in the apartment. I adapted a coat hanger and attached it to the bike. It wasn’t quite long enough so I cut some plastic off of a cinnamon roll case and it works just like a normal fender. I was very pleased with it so I sent a picture.

The scholarship looks great. I had no idea it was four semesters. That is even better! Sounds like everything will be taken care of for me.

Thanks for all the sacrifices you have all done to allow me to serve my mission. I know the Lord has blessed me as I have served and continue to serve.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.

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Missionary Dan Email #28 from Vancouver, Washington

Daniel by mailbox

Elder Powell and I have been doing great. We have continued to work to find those prepared for the message we have. With that we have increased our finding efforts and are seeking people who are ready to make commitments and leaving some behind that haven’t progressed for a long time. It has slowed the work up a bit, but in the long run will help the area the most.

We have one investigator that is 73. She always asks us when we come over that she feels something different about us and that she is comfortable around us. She is quite the crazy lady, but has a very sweet spirit. She came to church with us and loved church. She was a little more outspoken we heard in relief society, but nothing to worry about. :) I hope the best for her.

As a good brother would do, I knew that Jake was planning to get engaged for about a month now. With that it made me really think about extending for quite some time and made the decision rather tough. I think I said before, I really enjoy being a missionary so any extra time here would be great. So I went ahead and made a decision and found out last week when the actual wedding was.

As it turns out, I’ll be coming home December 14, my flight leaving around 1:15 pm (with some special arrangements from President). It seems it’ll be quite exciting having so many big events so close together. I don’t think I’ll have any jet lag from the flight for the wedding so that will be a bonus. Just think about it Mom, having one son get married and one come home from a mission is a great Christmas present that happens to be 10 days later.

I think I’ll count Rachel lucky. Usually there is a series of tests I do in order to see if I’d be willing to have a new sister-in-law. Adelaide did fairly well on the tests… ha ha.

Anyway I was thinking it would be a good idea to get my college figured out before then. What do I have to do? What information do you need from me? I think I can get permission from my President to arrange some things online here if I have to. I’d like to start as soon as possible to clear things out of the way. Especially since it is a week by week communication going on.

Thanks for everything you do family!

Love, Elder Willoughby

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.

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Missionary Dan Email #27 from Vancouver, Washington

Daniel and Elder Powell

Daniel and Elder Powell

My new companion is Elder Powell. He is from Gilbert Arizona and is a great person to be with. I’m excited to work with him with the short time that we have together. We worked very hard to get investigators to church this week. After transfers we spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday teaching our investigators what church will be like, setting up rides, and confirming that members can take them and sit by them. I don’t think we’ve ever made more phone calls and talked to more people in attempts to get people to church. All of them were excited and were very willing to come.

With every forward effort there is opposition. On Thursday I got a bloody nose and a flat tire (I’m okay now). Sunday morning as we saw our hard work fall apart I got another flat tire in the rain. Calls from investigators and talking to them later we found out that one investigator had to care for his mom’s poor health, one got sick and couldn’t come, another her parents didn’t want her to go, and the other had to go pick up her kid last minute. Two completely forgot even though we were at their house the night before, three went on vacation and one mentioned that she doesn’t want to come because she feels she doesn’t belong at our church.

I admit I was discouraged sitting at church. With the high hope that all could make it, we were sure we had at least six that would be there. I realize that we did all that we could and things just happen.

But it wasn’t until our new member Stephanie came in and she sat next to us that made me feel much better. It instilled in me a new commitment this coming week to again attempt to get people to church, teach them with the Spirit and help them feel of Heavenly Father’s love for them.

With all our efforts to do something good, it seems sometimes the opposition will overwhelm and win. I know if we press forward with faith great things can happen. This is the Lord’s work and he will be there.

We ended up having two investigators come, that have come before, and continue to enjoy coming to church. To see them smile makes it all worth it. I love being a missionary! Thanks for all the letters of support.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.

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Missionary Dan Email #26 from Vancouver, Washington

Daniel_and_other_elders_at_general_conference_time

Daniel (bottom left) and other elders at General Conference time

General Conference was great! I really enjoyed everything that was taught. It felt like they gave all the members encouragement and I could feel the love that they have for us. My favorite talk was from President Uchtdorf on simplifying our lives. I try to live a simple life. For example you will notice for the past four and a half months I have worn one tie per transfer. It started with dark green, then light green, now yellow. The same tie every day for 42 days.

The next transfers tie (which starts tomorrow) has been selected, but I haven’t yet selected a tie for my month extension. There is competition among missionaries in my zone campaigning for the tie which I will wear. They want theirs to be picked. This in turn simplifies my life more because I don’t have to buy any new ties. Other ways to simplify my life are: Wearing a white shirt and slacks every day.

I really enjoy General Conference. I hope to become more positive and express more gratitude for all that I have. Elder Hardy and I had a great last week together. Transfer calls came and Elder Hardy will be transfered. I’ll get a brand new missionary tomorrow to train. I’m excited to train again and at the the same time sad to see Elder Hardy leave. He is a good companion. He’ll be great missionary!

President comfirmed my extension, but so far I don’t think there is any more updates on flight plans. I’m sure they’ll figure it out when it comes time. Thanks for all the support and have fun on your cruise!

Love you all, Elder Willoughby

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.

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Missionary Dan Email #25 from Vancouver, Washington

Daniel at the Portland Temple

Today we got to go to the temple. It is a great place to be and I always feel the Spirit. Today it reminded me of the MTC because our zone came together. It was an awesome experience.

We continue to work hard and the area is doing very well. We found several new people to teach and a few investigators we’ve been teaching came to church for the first time. They enjoyed it. Stephanie has met a lot of people and is progressing very well in the ward. I’m excited to see what will happen at transfers. The roads for my bike are safe and great to ride my bike on.

Thanks for all the support next week will be more exciting to write about.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Daniel at the Portland Temple

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.
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Missionary Dan Email #24 from Vancouver, Washington

Daniel's birthday balloons

So after talking to President, I decided to accept his invitation to extend my mission for 30 days. President Greer asked me probably about 3 to 4 weeks ago if my Mom would be upset if I extended. I said she probably would be, but at the same time she’d be fine. So I thought about it for a week or two and I thought that the Lord would be pleased with whatever decision I made.

Then I sent an email to Mom that I might be extending and for my birthday present she should let me. I also thought that more time in the mission field would be a privilege. Either option sounded great to me, but I decided that I’d be happier with staying here a month longer than going home.

So I called President Greer last week and made my decision. He said the reason he asked me is because he’d like for me to train another missionary, and it is better for the new missionary to be with his trainer past 6 weeks. So I am happy to say that I’ll be coming home on December 15. The other details I have no idea. I’m sure President is figuring out the fine details.That’s the best part of missionary work, it’ll all work out eventually. I sent a letter home saying all this, it must not have made it there.

My birthday was great. The presents came right on time (on my birthday) and the hard drive is the best! Thanks everyone. I sent a neat video of using the toy cars and Smarties that I got. I’ve spent awhile putting all my pictures on this hard drive. I think it’s just about done.

This week was a good work week. We had a few exchanges with the other missionaries. It has been fun. My knees are getting tired from all the biking. Since we live a mile and a half outside of our area we put a lot of miles on our bikes. We figure about 20 miles a day. My bike is holding up great too. Well… kind of… for being a free bike it works great.

A follow up on the Relief Society versus Priesthood presentation. I forgot to mention we accomplished the same thing in both presentations. The only difference was in Priesthood it took 30 seconds, in Relief Society it took 13 minutes. :)

All the activities everyone is doing looks like lots of fun. Thanks for your continued support!

Love, Elder Willoughby

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.
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Missionary Dan Email #23 from Vancouver, Washington

Baptism

Stephanie and Crystal were baptized. The Spirit was really strong and was a great experience for them. Elder Hardy said it was “Super duper cool” to baptize Stephanie. It was his first time baptizing someone. Stephanie couldn’t stop smiling at church and it was great that I was able to confirm her. Stephanie’s mom who isn’t active in the church but a member said it was the best decision she ever made and was really proud of her.

We used the opportunity to get the members excited about missionary work. We gave a short presentation in Priesthood Meeting before everyone separated to their classes and asked “What are some of the reasons we do missionary work?” After a long silence one high priest raised his hand and said, “Because we have to.” Then I asked “What stops us from doing missionary work?” and there was a lot more responsive answers.

We did a similar presentation in Relief Society. After asking “What are some of the reasons we do missionary work?” five to six sisters raised their hands and gave awesome answers. They continued to discuss missionary work and reasons they don’t do it. It was an interesting experience. I’ll not comment further on the situation.

There has been many awesome experiences here and they continue to come. We are doing our best. I really enjoyed all the birthday emails. The letters have started to come again too. I noticed that the Ward’s letter had the wrong address, but it still made it to me. My address is 13608 NE 72nd St B14. The mistake was the “3” was a “2”. Thanks again for the great birthday cards. They were funny and the pictures are awesome.

I’ve been thinking about extending my mission for 30 days [after being asked by President Greer] and at the same time thinking about not extending. So I’m going to call President Greer today and make a decision. Next week I’ll let the family know. The President is allowed to extend any missionary for 30 days without Seventy approval. Any longer after that requires their permission and it’s difficult to receive it. The President is curious to see what I’ll do.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Baptism

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.
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Missionary Dan Email #22 from Vancouver, Washington

Old Apple Tree Park by the Columbia River, Vancouver, Washington

Old Apple Tree Park by the Columbia River, Vancouver, Washington

This week went great. We got things all lined up for Friday where we have our two baptisms. That is really exciting for us. Elder Hardy gets to baptize Stephanie and Brother Brown is going to baptize Crystal so it an awesome opportunity for everyone.

We had three investigators drop us this week. It seemed that each of them had talked to a friend and they told them something. They were all really nice telling us not to come back again. Things like we believe in a different Jesus or we only believe in half of a God and Jesus was their mix up. One the investigators, about two hours after dropping us, gave us a call. She expressed how horrible she felt for rejecting us. She said she saw the love we had for the scriptures and how we were like Christ going to the people and visiting them. She also said that someone at her church had told her not to meet with us. She didn’t agree with that and said as she was reading her scriptures she felt she should call us. She apologized and then invited us back, not to share much about our religion, but to share the love we have for God. So we will let the Spirit work with her for a bit longer and stop by.

So as I was writing this email another person called me and said she wanted to discontinue meeting with us. I said we’d give her some time and perhaps stop by later when she figures things out. She accepted and we look forward to still meeting with her.

It has been a testimony to me the opposition that is towards this work, but also how much the Spirit actually does. I know we are servants to spread the message of the Restoration of the Gospel and that we can truly know for ourselves that it’s true. We help others find out for themselves whether or not they want to act on the message we share. I know its true and that’s why I am here sharing it.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Photo Credit: Sheryl Todd

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.
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