Missionary Dan Email #21 from Vancouver, Washington

Daniel and companion with couple

Daniel (right) and and Elder Hardy with couple

We had yet again another great week. This time its full of exciting things such as baptism! We had one investigator pass an interview and another having her interview this Friday. They should be baptized next weekend.

Stephanie is a investigator that looked up the church online and went to the wrong building and at the wrong time. She remembered going there as a small child and said she enjoyed the services. The bishop there got her information and it was passed to us. I remember her saying on the first phone call she wasn’t interested in converting. I mentioned we would stop by to tell her more about the church so she’d feel comfortable coming and could answer her questions. So she has come to church about four times now and we’ve been meeting with her for that month’s time. We asked her to be baptized a while ago, but since she was living with her boyfriend she didn’t know when she could be. So this week, she is moving out and it opened up the opportunity for her to be baptized. Her boyfriend didn’t treat her with respect so she is relieved to move out. We are so happy that the Lord has helped her to improve her life.

Also we have been working with a less active couple. They had been making their way back to activity and asked us to come over and teach the lessons. We taught them lessons and the Spirit helped them. Now they feel comfortable coming to church. We saw them at the ward BBQ (see picture above).

To top it off four investigators also came to the ward BBQ and they had a great time. We got to play volleyball with them for awhile and they developed friendships with the members.

Daniel on grass painted greenThe weather here has been very dry for about two months now. We hope the rain holds off for a lot longer. It has been nice, but it has had it’s effect on people’s lawns. Since it does rain so much usually they don’t have sprinklers so in the summer it’s common to have a dead lawn. A member’s neighbor wanted to still have green grass so they painted it (see photo below). The member said of the experience, “I went to church in the morning and we both had dead grass, I come home and my neighbor’s grass was green. I thought they don’t go to church and I do, but they get the green grass.” It was funny to hear him talk about it.

All things are well and thanks for all the support. The pictures were great to see, it looks like the festival was fun.

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 #20 from Vancouver, Washington

Daniel ready for Nerf Wars

This week was just as great as last. We were extremely busy and were doing all we could to teach, find, and help people come to church. We were blessed with success and had eight investigators come to church. We are excited for a baptism in about two weeks. It has been quite the effort to find people that are ready, but we should be having more here in the future.

The Spirit has helped us so much it is the greatest feeling. We were traveling down the street on our bikes and we weren’t sure what to do with an extra thirty minutes we had before dinner. Then I had the thought to go to Eric’s house, a media referral we received two months ago and hadn’t been able to contact him yet. We went and he was home. He has a testimony of the gospel and has been going to church with the person who referred him. He is about to move, but plans on being baptized. There was a good spirit about him and I could tell he had made big changes in his life. It was great to meet him.

Our weeks this transfer have been so full of those experiences it has been so great. We got transfer calls and both Elder Hardy and I are staying. Yea! We plan on working just as hard as we have been. I really enjoy being with Elder Hardy.

We had some Nerf Wars last week on Preparation Day. I was well equipped.

It is exciting to hear about the SBOs in the ward. I think we have a long record of them now. Happy anniversary Mom and Dad. Thirty years is ten years longer than I’ve been alive so it seems like that’s been awhile. 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 #19 from Vancouver, Washington

Esther Short Park, Vancouver, Washington

Esther Short Park, Vancouver, Washington

This week was a dream come true and it continues to be that way. We had two days in a row that we were so busy we had just enough time to grab a snack for lunch between appointments. I like to have lunch as a back up plan anyway. We continue to find many prepared people to hear the gospel.

Joe is a good example. He is 11 years old and we had talked to him about a month ago and he missed our return appointment and we hadn’t seem him for awhile. As we rode down the street he called out and said, “Hey, can you wait ten minutes I want to do a Bible study with ya!” Of course we waited and we taught half the Plan of Salvation. We had another appointment so we left after a brief lesson, but he followed us and said he wanted to join us in the next lesson. We saw nothing wrong with that so we let him and it happened to be that we taught the Plan of Salvation again.

Keelin was another young man referred by his grandma to us. His mom is a less active member wanting him to be baptized. He basically taught us the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was like, “Do I set a baptismal date or do I talk to the bishop or something?” “What happens when I mess up?” “I heard after you’re baptized God gives the Holy Ghost. Is that right?” We were happy to answer those questions.

We have a few that are close to baptism and we pray that they’ll make their set dates to be baptized. Along with those we have made tremendous progress with investigators that have been coming to church for years and aren’t yet baptized. Things such as not having parents permission or fear of offending a parent stop them it seems. We continually pray to have the Spirit help them make the commitment.

We met with 16 different investigators this week and I have never before had such an awesome week in my mission. Our plans simply worked out and people were home when they said they’d be. The Spirit lead us to people and we were teaching full-time this week. It was the best. Zone Conference was great too and it helps keep our spirits high. President said to us, “Your area is on fire isn’t it?” We said “It sure is!” We feel so blessed for the things we’ve witnessed. I could probably tell stories from this week for a long time.

Well transfers are this next week, so I hope I don’t leave here.

Thanks for all the great emails.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Photo Credit: Cory Barnes

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 #18 from Vancouver, Washington

Climbing a mountain (Daniel on right)

All the mission leaders met this week for a four day training for missionaries. It has a lot to do with how to follow the Spirit, teaching skills in general, and the importance of certain commitments. It’s hard to summarize four days of excellent training, but we were able to role play each day to practice. I’ve already had the chance to use the things I learned and it has been great.

Daniel (left) and other eldersElder Hardy worked hard with another Elder Draper he was able to be with. We arranged for priests to come out with Elder Hoskin (Elder Draper’s companion) so both areas would have missionaries in them. It was as if I had never left. Both my companion and Elder Hoskin grew a lot from the experience and it was good for them to take the area over for awhile.

We had seven investigators at church and they all had a wonderful time. I am so happy that they were able to come. The Lord has been leading us to so many people to teach, our days are full with appointments two to three days in advance. It is honestly one of the busiest times of my mission and I love every moment of it. We are very grateful the Lord has trusted us with so many great people to teach.

While I was in Kennewick I was able to be with Elder Derges and Elder Kelly again. They were both my companions before and we had a blast sharing old memories. They are both really good friends to me. We stayed at Elder Derges’ apartment and did his work in the evenings after the training.

We decided to climb a mountain at six in the morning before our meetings at eight. See picture. Also the member’s house we stayed at there was a llama. Practicing the every soul is precious principle I attempted to share the Book of Mormon. Unfortunately the llama didn’t show much interest.

It was a great week here and I’m glad everyone had fun camping and at Bear Lake. The pictures are great! Thanks for sending them.

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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Daniel proselytizing

Missionary Dan Email #17 from Vancouver, Washington

Daniel knocking on doors

Because of recent mission rule changes they have asked us to knock on every door we see. They have told us to wait for someone to come to the door before we leave. At one door we were there for a while so we took a picture of it.

This week was absolutely incredible. Possibly the best week of my mission. We had several situations a day where we followed a thought we had or a feeling and recognized that it was a prompting from the Spirit. We felt like we went where the Lord would have us go and do what He wanted us to.

I usually don’t care much at all about numbers, but in this case I’ll talk about them for a bit. This week we were able to teach 19 lessons to investigators. Only a couple were repeat lessons, which 12 of those lessons we had a church member come with us to the lesson. Along with that we were able to teach 9 lessons to less active members and a few of them we hadn’t ever met before. That is a total of 28 lessons which the standard of excellence in the mission is 20 lessons a week. With all that we had accomplished we were grateful that the Lord blessed us.

We also had the opportunity to have a mini missionary come with us for 2 days. We were excited and ours had fun biking with us the first day, but the next day his stomach was upset and couldn’t come. It was fun to have him with us. I don’t think they let priests go with the full time missionaries for 2 days in Utah because there is simply too many priests. So it is a wonderful opportunity for the members here.

Daniel weedingI hope Grandpa goes through tests alright and things. His story was really great and inspiring. I laughed when he drove himself to the doctor, but it makes sense to do that.

So we got to work in Rick’s (one of our investigators) yard and helped him trim some bushes. He is always very grateful for the help and said, “If we could get you to come back every day for 2 hours I could put my yard on showcase.” He was joking and we always refuse to accept money from him.

Thanks for all emails and 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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Daniel holding gun

Missionary Dan Email #16 from Vancouver, Washington

Daniel (left) with Elders Hardy, Hodson, and Draper

Daniel (left) with Elders Hardy, Hodson, and Draper.

This week went very well. We had some of the best work I’ve had since coming to this mission. The Lord really blessed us and we were grateful.

There are many exciting stories to share, but I’ll just mention one. We have been meeting with an investigator that has been thinking that he doesn’t have nice enough clothes to come to our church. We didn’t really know that was his concern, but we left him with a commitment to read Alma 32. He read the chapter and when we returned he mentioned to us that it talks about people being kicked out of the churches because they were poor. It teaches that it is more important to have faith.

He said, “Did you know that was in there? You hit it right on with that chapter you gave me to read.” We were again grateful for the guidance of the Spirit and were able to resolve his concern. It opened up the opportunity to resolve other concerns as well. We are hoping he will come this Sunday.

This coming preparation day will be on Monday. We are having a 4 day mission-wide leadership training from Tuesday to Friday next week. It will be exciting. The elders currently in my district are great and I’m glad to have them. Thanks for everything you do, I love you all.

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 #15 from Vancouver, Washington

Elder Hardy and Elder Willoughby

So Wednesday we picked up our new companions. My companion is Elder Hardy from Atlanta, Georgia. He lived close to where I served for three weeks, so that was really cool. He plays the guitar and had a job working at a pest control company selling door to door. He has lots of good ideas that work for tracting, but we keep in mind that following the Spirit is most important. We have had many great experiences already, which comes from working with new missionaries. They are fresh from the MTC full of faith, desire, and excitement which does wonders.

I was prompted to turn down a street that I’d never really noticed before. As it so happens we talked to a man and he allowed us to teach him about the restoration. We gave him a Book of Mormon and said we could come back. The road also was a shortcut to where we wanted to get to. I was grateful for the guidance of the Spirit and it strengthens my testimony that the Lord uses us as instruments. I think rarely do things happen by coincidence especially in the mission field.

At church there is a girl that has been coming to church for about three months. With family problems etc it has prevented her from being baptized and meeting with us. We hope to meet with her soon and she’ll be baptized. That should be exciting.

With the push to have effective plans for each hour and increased desire to find people to teach I expect great things to happen. The Lord has blessed us already. Thanks for all the emails. Good job posting on Mormon.org Dad. It looks like its getting really high-tech. Where are you going on a cruise again? Ask Matt if I’m still vice-president of Fence4u too. Thanks.

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 #14 from Vancouver, Washington

Riding scooters. Daniel on left.

Transfer calls created chaos (kind of). Every companionship in my district is changing. Only three Elders (including me) are staying and the rest are going to be different. It was quite surprising. Elder Draper and I are sticking it out in the apartment with two new missionaries to train. We were both humbled by the call and excited at the same time. We’ll get to meet them tomorrow.

The hike last week was really fun and it was nice to be with the whole district. The picture in front of the waterfall is with Elder Draper.
Elder Draper and Elder Willoughby by waterfall

My bike had an interesting experience. The back tire’s bearings fell out making it out of commission. That is okay because today is the best day to fix it. It’ll be good to go soon. We decided to ride some scooters around while it wasn’t working (see picture). The person on the training wheels is Nathan in the ward leaving on a mission soon who likes to go around to lessons with us.

Church was great. We were able to have five investigators there. Mostly the ones that have always been coming regularly. Hopefully they will make the commitment to baptism soon. The members are sad to see Elder Derges leave. I am too, we did lots of great work together and had lots of fun.

Thanks for all the support and letters. Keep up the great work.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Vancouver North District A

Vancouver North District A. Daniel third from right.

District hike

District hike. Daniel front left.

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 #13 from Vancouver, Washington

President and Sister Greer with missionaries. Daniel is third from left rear.

President and Sister Greer with missionaries. Daniel is third from left rear.

The 4th of July was lots of fun. We got to watch a few fireworks from our apartments backyard. We were completely surrounded on all sides with people launching fireworks into the air. Since they are legal here they are everywhere.

We were riding our bikes at the usual quick pace that we do and we were coming up on a driveway that leads down a slight hill. I was just about past it when I glanced over and saw a lady washing her car. I slammed on my brakes causing my companion to almost hit me and went and talked to her. She happened to be a member who’d been less active for 20 years. She was married and sealed in the temple, but now is divorced. We invited her back and we’ll see what comes from it. It was great to have the Spirit direct us like that.

We met our new president and his wife. I sent a picture of the zone with them in it (see above). He is really cool and seems like he’ll do great.

New fence

Elder Draper and I worked on a fence while I was on an exchange with him. It was fun to get back into fencing. We got the hang of it and got a lot of work done.

Sister Mary Cook with Elders

Sister Mary Cook with Elders, Daniel on left.

I included pictures of the dance festival and also with Sister Cook. It was a good week and today we are planning on going hiking. It should be a hot day. Thanks for all the great emails and support. I’m not sure if Elder Od Bayar got his gloves yet, but I’m sure he’ll let us know soon. The lawn we mowed was not for a member, but lived right next door to one.

Dance Festival

Dance Festival with 1,800 youth preparing for six months

Many non-members danced in the festival

Many non-members danced in the festival

 We walked out with white flags on both sides of the youth

We walked out with white flags on both sides of the youth

The Truth Of God

We recited the “Standard of Truth” in unity and powerfully. Daniel on right.

After the Dance Festival

We also had many opportunities to talk to the youth between performances. Daniel holding cup.

Rickety Note: See last week’s email for a full account of the Dance Festival.

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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