Monday, November 1, 2010

{Nov 1, 2010}

Dear Mom and Family,
Happy Birthday today mom!!! You are awesome, and I really am
grateful for you and you lovingness and kindess. I sent some things
for you. I sent a letter and a CD of pictures and a birthday card, but
i am not sure if i put the right zip code on the birthday card, but I
hope you get it all.
So this week was really good. It is really hard for me to work the
week of the transfers because all I can think about is if I will get
transfred or not. But there is a way to get over these distracting
feelings. If you are distracted, or mad, or down, or have a bad
thought you can make a contact and you will be alright.
So this week we baptized Mateus. He is 10 years old and really
really smart. One day we were knocking on a door and he was walking on
the sidewalk and started to talk to us. He first said to me Excuse me
sir, where are you from? and then we talked to him and we got his
address and went there another day. He knows Daniela who we baptized
my first transfer. He is an amazing kid. Oh yeah and we had a talent
show. I will send pictures and videos later but I did this thing were
I was the midget missionary and everyon laughed and it was awesome.
There were 150 people there.
And for the transfers I was transfered to Benfica, my first area! I
left last night and got here this morning. The bus ride was good, I
actually slept good. My companion is Elder J Santos. He is really cool
and he is from Riberão Preto. He has almost 1 year on the mission and
we will be zone leaders here. Our zone has almost 30 missionaries.
Elder Carvalho is in my zone! Also one cool thing is that I live in
the same house as I did in my first transfer and Elder Gomes lives
with me, the goofy skinny tall calm missionary.
Oh yeah and the good thing about now is that I will be able to get
letters every week. Oh and I got the package that you guys sent. It
took about a month to get here I saw and thank you so much!! I
especially like the shorts and the hat and the drawings and
everything! Also thank you Grandma Ruth and Papa Earl for th money and
also thank you Grandpa and Grandma Tanner. I will write letters and
properly thank you guys.

Elder Willoughby

PS- the picture is of me and Elder J Santos.

{Oct 25, 2010}

Dear Family,
Well things are awesome here in the Celestial Kingdom. We are working hard and God is blessing us a lot. One cool thing that happened was Sunday morning when we were picking up our investigators to go to church everyone was ready. Every sunday we walk around and pick up our investigators with sometimes the help of members. Lots of times we have to wait a few minutes for people to get ready and lots of times we have to wake people up. Well this Sunday was really good. First we walked by Cidinha´s house and she was ready. Then a woman named Ana and her daughter Bruna went and they were waiting for us. And since Cidinha knows where the church is and already knows Ana they walked together to church and then we went to get more people. A young man 10 years old went and he went with a member girl that is 16 (Daniella that we baptized 2 transfers ago). Then we went past another house and 2 more young men came, Alef and Rian. These two walked to church with Jairo. So it was cool because 3 people that I baptized helped us. I love this place so much. I dont know if I will stay or if I will leave this transfer but up until now I have spent half of my mission in Barbalha. I am on my 6th transfer right now and this is my 3rd in Barbalha. So this Saturday we will find out what will happen. And if I do leave I will leave Sunday night and get to Fortaleza monday morning.
To all the readers and I know with full certainty without a shadow of a doubt that the Book of Mormon is true and is the word of God and is, as it says, the most correct book on the face of the earth, and by abiding by its precepts you will get closer to God than by any other book. Read a chapter and ask God if its true and He will touch your heart and you will feel the truthfulness in your heart.

Elder Willoughby

{Oct 18, 2010}

Dear Family,
This week was really good. First of all thanks for all the emails and stuff. I was surprised to hear that Brody is living in Rexburg. Sounds like all of you guys are having a good time there. Oh and I always forget to say it but good luck for Isaac Robertson, here in Ceará is hot, but everyone says that Teresinha is a lot hotter, so all I have to say for him is boa sorte. Here in the Cariri Region of Ceará they say they just have two seasons, summer and hell. Oh yeah and thanks all you guys for the letters and emails and birthday cards. Thanks mom and dad for the birthday money and card and also for the pictures that were inclosed in the card. I like to show people them and everyone says the same thing, that I was really chubby. On Wednesday, the 13th, the assisstants came and we had a mini zone conference thing and so the brought all the letters and stuff from Fortaleza. I am not sure if I had told you but here in the Juazeiro do Norte Zone, we just get letters when someone from Fortaleza comes here, which is usually 2 times a transfer. All the rest of the mission gets letters everyweek. I havent gotten the package you sent yet, but no worries I will probably get it the next time someone comes. Well anyway my birthday was good. My 5 companions got me a cake and I got some presents from some members and investigators, mostly candy, and also on Saturday after having lunch a member surprised us with a cake, cajuina, and clown noses! It was fun. This week we were able to baptize a girl named Cidinha, who is 21. She is really cool and we found her when we were teaching Jaiane. We were teaching Jaiane and before we started she went to grab her friend. Cidinha works as a maid and babysitter type thing. The first time we invited her to go to church was the week of gen conference. We stopped by her house to go with her, but she didnt go. After that she got really sad and started doing all the committments and stuff. She even answers the questions they have at the back of the Missionary Pamphlet things, which I had never seen anyone answer. I was thinking about it and baptism is so cool, because if Cidinha is confirmed and endures to the end, she can enter in the kingdom of God, but if she hadnt been baptized with the proper authority, she would not be able to do that.
Thanks all of you for your prayers!!

Elder Willoughby

{Oct 11, 2010}

Dear Family,
Well this week was a great week. We worked really hard and God always blesses us lots. Elder de Oliveira is really a great elder, and I am learning more about how a father feels and thinks. One cool thing was that we found this really good family, Antonio Marcos, Ana, and the daughter Bruna. It was a contact that we did and then we went back. We invited them to come to church and they said yes we will go, and they were really excited but something happened at the last minute and they were not able to come. I am not sure if I already said about Jaiane, but she is a girl that was playing the guitar on the sidewalk one day. We taught her and were preparing her for baptism and hopefully she will be baptized in the next few weeks. Also she brought her two friends to church and her one friend whose name is Cidinha wants to be baptized like right away. She cried during the sacrament and said she felt really peaceful. I love hearing the feelings of people who go to church for the first time! God blessed us a lot.
Those were all the good things and probably the worst thing that happened is kind of funny. We ate last THursday at a members house and I ate a really lot, and a lot of dessert too. And so I was feeling really sick that day, and it is getting really hot, and I was just like, this awful feeling in my stomach will go away. So we were walking in the street and I was like praying that I wouldnt throw up, but God said to me that all these things would give me experience and be for my good, so in the middle of the street I started puking a lot. Like a really lot. But we had an activity in the church so we went there, I met up with Elder Nascimento, who also had thrown up, and so us 2 went home while the rest of the missionaries stayed at the activity.
But the worst thing isnt anything compared to the best thing that happened. I got to help ordain Jairo to the Melchizidek Priesthood. It was so cool that someone that I taught and baptized and confirmed, I also got to help ordain and confer the melchi. Priesthood.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes and I love all of you, and pray for us!!

Elder Willoughby

{Oct 4, 2010}

Dear Stephanie and Family,
Thanks for the emails! This was a really good week in Barbalha. It is getting really hot. Seriously the last week or so has been incredibly sweltering, but the heat never really gets to me, it would take a lot more heat than this to melt Elder Iron Man (thats me). Jking, but seriously the heat never really bothers me. Elder de Oliveira is really good, but its hard being a father. I will read some conference talks and see what the Brethren have to say to help me. I have a goal to help him so that at the end of this transfer he is even more animated and excited to work than he, as a new missionary, already is.
We started teaching a man named Cícero. Jairo was walking to get the bus to conference and Cicero asked what church he belonged to and so Jairo told him and he was like I will call my friends to come and talk to you. Moral of the story is Jairo is the man and awesome. So we will work hard with Cícero. We are also teaching a girl named Jaiane who is cool. One day we were walking back from lunch and she was playing the guitar on the side walk and Elder Nascimento was with us, and plays the guitar really well, and so he asked if he could play, and then after we started teaching her. She even went with us to general conference and took her friend too.
General Conference was like this. The church payed for a bus from Barbalha to Juazeiro, so anyone that wanted to go could go. The Bus ride to the church is like 30 or 40 minutes. In Juazeiro there was a nice air conditioned room for the american missionaries. It was nice, but we got home really late on Saturday because we had to do some stuff. And then on Sunday we had to get up at like 4:30, get ready, get on a bus, and be in Juazeiro at 6:00 AM for the Priesthood Session. And then after that we had to go back to Barbalha to make sure some of our investigators came, and then back to Juazeiro. It was really tiring and really hot, and I was fasting, and I thought I was going to collapse over and die. But I didnt. Oh yeah and yesterday was the day of the Brazilian elections. And in Brazil it is mandatory to vote. If you dont you get penalized or fined or something.
Loving Life,
Elder Willoughby