Monday, December 30, 2013

Welcoming the New Year with.....

Dearest family and friends, 

Well I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas because I sure did! I received many letters, cards and packages and I felt so loved and blessed! Thank you very much! :)

Christmas Eve was spent first at the Serrano's home. All 6 of us missionaries were invited. We ate wonderful food and then with their 5 children we acted out the Nativity story. I got to be an Angel. :) It was a wonderful reminder of why we celebrate Christmas and it was so wonderful to see how excited the children got about the story. After my whole district went caroling to a few of our investigators! That was so much FUN!!! President Cottle committed us to doing that and it has really helped many of the investigators feel loved and accepted by us. :) (And they didn't really care if some of the Elders couldn't hold a tune. lol) 

Christmas day was fabulous! We opened presents as soon as we woke up! :) And then we had breakfast at the Clancy’s with the Elders. For Lunch we ate at the Morgan’s and then we got to call our families!!!!! I loved seeing/hearing everyone and how life is going. :) Christmas day was just a chill and relaxing day. 

Friday and Saturday were exchanges with the sister training leaders. I went to Rincon Georgia. There I helped teach a 12 year old girl. Her grandparents are members and have made a deal with her to go to church for a year and take the missionary discussions to see if she would like to be baptized. She is pretty nervous to ask her mother for permission. She knows this is the true church but she has a lot of fear holding her back. Her grandparents have a pretty neat story though: The Grandmother has been a member her entire life. She married a non-member, the grandpa. She has been active and never given up hope that her husband will one day join the church. Well 44 years later in their marriage he was baptized and then this past summer they were sealed in the Temple!  Wow! Talk about a lot of faith and patience she must of had. It was a beautiful testimony. :) 

So over half of my district has been sick this past week, including my companion. I was doing pretty well at avoiding it but it got me yesterday. :( So I will be welcoming in the New Year with a cold and whatever else this is... only 2 elders haven't gotten sick yet. But lucky for me my mommy sent me with emergen-C. Thanks Mom! :) 

Oh also since Tuesday is New Year’s Eve we have a lock down. We are not allowed to be out after 6pm. So Sister Pulsipher and I will have to find something productive to do inside our apartment.... The Elders are talking about playing Risk. lol. 

Well I love you all so much, Thank you for your support and love. Sorry I didn't have much going on this week with it being Christmas and us being sick, it wasn't the most productive week. :( This week is going to be better though! :D 

~ Sister Tara Willie

 By their tree and with all Tara's presents from everyone :)

 Having fun at the Clancy's

With their sister missionary cookies!! :)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Tis the week of Service!!

Dearest Family and Friends,

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with lots of laughter, singing and eating! :)

This past week has been a week of mostly doing service! First off we went over and helped Sister Snow (a new convert) clean and decorate her apartment. She is a MAJOR pack-rat! She loves collecting pig things... so that was an adventure cleaning around them and removing some of them. Many are now sitting in boxes!  Woot! We also helped her decorate for Christmas by putting up her tree, hanging pictures and tinsel and lights. It was a lot of fun working with Sister Pulsipher and Valery (a member). Also Sister Snow is a hoot and half! She has no teeth and can pull the funniest faces! 

Another service that we did was with Miss. Mullen. She has been terribly sick with bronchitis the past week. When we were visiting/teaching her I felt like we should ask her if she would like a priesthood blessing. We first explained to her about receiving a blessing and she wanted to receive one, she knows this gospel is true but she is having a hard time living it. :( So we called the English Elders and they came over and gave her a blessing. She had great faith that she would be healed! She told us that when the Elders were giving her the blessing her hair felt on fire, like a good fire though. She then said that is started spreading all over her body and was very comfortable. (So cool right?!) We then explained more about the power of the priesthood and the Holy Ghost. She pretty much inhales everything we teach her and accepts it but she is just afraid to leave the life she has always know and also is concern about what her fiends in the other church will do. Our lesson with her on the Plan of Salvation went beautifully! The spirit was so strong and she knows this is true! The process is slowly moving forward... real slow though. 

The ward put on a Live Nativity last Friday and they asked all the missionaries to help out. It was a lot of fun! We dressed up and sat outside in a make shift stable by the busy road that runs trough most of Beaufort. So many cars would honk as they drove by. I was the Angel! Until Elder McCullough (who was a wise man) asked to trade me, so I also got to be a wise man, lol. :) I look pretty sweet in my big turban hat tho! The next night was the ward Christmas party! We went early to help set up, decorate and cook. The party was a success! We had TONS of less active and non members there! Then on Sunday was the Christmas program. Sister Pulsipher, Me and the English Elders all sang in the choir. We sang about 10 songs and there was also readings. It was very beautiful. Debbie (the lady from last week who came cause of the tracking cards) came again! We were so happy cause all of last week when we tried to find her, we couldn't. She came up to us and asked why she hadn't heard from us? Then we find out that we had messed up and had the wrong numbers. lol. So we will be visiting her for sure this week! 

I am loving it here! Beaufort is such a great ward! They are sure spoiling us and fattening us up! lol! :) Our little Christmas tree is bursting with things from our families and mostly from the ward member! They are all very good at embracing our investigators whenever we bring them to activities too! 

Thank you everyone for your Christmas letter/packages! They really do mean a lot to me! :) I haven't really opened a lot of them yet cause I want to wait till Christmas morning! :) 

Merry Christmas everyone, remember Christ is the reason! I love you all very much! :)

~ Sister Tara Willie

 With Sister Snow

 At the live Nativity

Gorgeous South Carolina sunset!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Tracking miracles, Parties and getting FAT!

Dearest family and friends!

Hey y'all! This past was kind of a struggle. All of our investigators but 1 dropped us! Sad right? Ya so to drown our 'sorrows' we tracked and ate lots of goodies from the ward members, planned, ate some and ate a lot more... ya so I may be getting fat. lol! The ward here takes really good care of us, so I will never starve or probably loose weight. lol ;) One of the most exciting things happened to me while tracking! I finally got a door slammed in my face! YAY!! I loved it! but according to Sister Pulsipher its not a 'real' slamming. The old man said "no thank you" and tried to slam the door, but it got caught on his foot so it really didn't slam. LAME! ;) lol. I can't wait for a 'real' one to happen though. And then before that happened a lady yelled at us for being non-Christians and that was a fun conversation. It ended on a pleasant note at lease.

Last Tuesday was our Zone Christmas party! President let us watch Ephraim's Rescue! It was really good. They also gave us lots of candy, nuts and fruits! And at the very end they had us all open little presents. It was a pen and written on it was "Georgia Macon Mission, Macon Miracles!" and on the end of it was a stylist. This was his way of announcing that we would be getting ipads in the next year! So cool! :) 

Yesterday at church a lady came in and said that she had received a pass along card the other week when we had been down town. She remembered my face! She just decided to come because of my smile and the message on the card! It was so awesome and its great to know that tracking really works! :) She even stayed for all 3 hours and loved it! We are gonna start teaching her this week!!! :) 

Well know that I love you all and I am praying for you! I love my mission and Beaufort! The ward here is great and they are spoiling us! :) They have started doing the 12 days of Christmas for all 6 of us missionaries! :)

Luv ya all! 
Love, Sister Willie

 At Miss. Pearls place... she has lots of hats! lol :)

 Ya sometimes you find random statues and you have to take a picture. :)

 A member gave us some of the lemons off of her tree! I may have been excited! :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

75 degrees for my December Birthday!

Dear Family and Friends!

WHAT?!? 75 degrees in December...? Yep that's right, all of my childhood dreams of having a summer birthday came true this past week! ;) My Birthday was awesome! I didn't expect to be spoiled but I was. :) Sister Pulsipher decorated the apartment and wrote me a sweet card, The English Elders wrote me cards and they kept calling me in the morning and would yell HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! then hang up. lol! They did this like 3 times and then the Spanish Elders called and sang to me in Spanish. I have a great district! For lunch we went out as a district to a Japanese place... I got my sushi! And it was a lot of fun. :) Sister Cottle (Mission Presidents wife) called me and wished me a happy birthday. So sweet of her. :) For dinner we went over to the Fife's house. Sister Fife is so awesome! She made my favorite foods and I even got to blow out a candle! :) She also bought me a present! She is the best! After dinner Sister Pulsipher and I went and taught our new member Makerria! She is really cool and is searching for more truth. We talked about the restoration and the BOM. She is committed to reading it, but told us that it might take a while. We are seeing her again this evening! 

Another amazing thing happened last week! So in your first week out in the field you are challenged to commit someone to Baptism. Well I did that... to two, not one, people!!! :) Last Monday evening we were teaching this newly married couple: Julian and Jessica. We taught them their first lesson and after we had committed them to read the BOM I invited them to be baptized and the said yes! Their date is for December 28th! They were going to be at church with us yesterday but they got nervous and said they didn't have the right clothes. We told them not to worry about it but they promised us that next week they will come. I hope so cause they are great! We are also seeing them again tonight!

Last night the Christmas Devotional was fantastic! It is a little different watching firesides at 8pm instead of 6pm. For those of you who didn't see it I would highly encourage you to watch it online. All of the talks were great and I loved them all but Elder Nelson's stood out to me more. :)  Plus you will see a little boy winking at a little girl while he is suppose to be singing "I am a child of God" lol! We couldn't stop laughing about it. :)

This week in Beaufort there has been a lot of community events going on. So we have had lots of contacting opportunities! They have had festivals and parades. In less than one hour I contacted 23 people, well they were the ones who said yes and took the cards. A lot of people turned me down and said no... I love it!!! :) lol. For some reason when they say "no" I smile bigger and just want to find more people! I am loving my mission! 

Well I gotta run, but thank you to every one who has wished me a happy birthday in one way or another. and thank you all for sending me letters/emails of encouragement! They really do help! :)

~ Sister Tara Willie!

 Found a Hermit Crab on the Beach!!

Spanish Moss hanging from the Trees

At her birthday lunch with L to R: Elder Wright, Elder Brimacombe, Tara, Sister Pulsipher, Elder Bingham and Elder McCollough

These trees are called Angels trees because the branches touch the ground and then go back up

Beaufort Sign!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Greetings from Beaufort, South Carolina

Dearest Family and Friends,

WOW! There is so much to tell you and so little time....

I will start first with where I am. I am in the beautiful town of Beaufort South Carolina! I love it here! We are right by the ocean, so i get to see it almost every day! :) My trainer/companion is Sister Pulsipher from Mesquite Nevada! She is so AWESOME!!! I love her so much! :) We get along great! She is so patient and gentle and very understanding.... just what I wanted in my trainer!!! :) (I have been praying for my trainer since the first day in the MTC!) She is a little more quiet than me, but thats ok we work very well with each other! :) She only has 2 transfers left... :( But she hasn't gotten trunky yet! In the only ward here there is also 4 Elders: 2 English and 2 Spanish. So this ward has a lot of missionaries to feed. (And from what I can see, the sisters usually get more places than the elders...) The ward is a young ward and takes in a lot of Marine and Navy families cause of Parris Island boot camp. It is a lot of fun tho! :)

My mission President (Cottle) and his wife are very wonderful and loving. :) The night I was at the mission was very tiring but also a lot of fun. Sister Cottle gives the biggest hugs and lets us know that we are very much loved. :)

Thanksgiving day!!!! OH WOW! We did not go hungry at all! lol. We had 3 places to eat! We had a early and light lunch at the Johnson's with the Elders. It was SO much fun! they are a young Marine family and are just goofy! (They may be my favorite so far... yes I shouldn't have favorites, but its really hard not to with the Johnson's!) Later we ate at the Fife's, they are very sweet and Sister Fife called my Mom to ask her for my favorite recipe to make for me on my Birthday! (This Thursday!) I could't hear my Mom's voice, but I was sitting right next to sister Fife when she called! It was very nice and sweet of her! And right after the Fife's we joined the Elders at the Sarrano's! They are a very strong and cool family! Brother Sarrano is from Ecuador, so we ate a yummy shrimp, tomato, cilantro cold soup! :) We have decided with the Elders to start a "Biggest loser" challenge within our district. Most of the Elders gained 6 to 12 lbs on Thanksgiving!!! Sister Pulsipher and I did a lot better! (only 3ish lbs... we we have already lost it cause we are jogging each morning)

So last week was a bit of a struggle, we had a hard time getting lessons and finding people because of the holiday and all. We went tracting and I decided to pray and tell Heavenly Father that I was gonna be cheerful and notice the small and simple things, the next minuet We came upon a stone SQUIRREL!!! (Yep I have decided that I really love squirrels!) :) right in front of a door way! So of course I get a picture with it! My enthusiasm started rubbing off onto Sister Pulsipher and then we found 3 NEW investigators!!! (Down here we call them 'gators') It was such a small and simple thing, but it blessed us so much and changed our attitudes! :)

Another day after getting lost, not finding the referrals house and using a lot of miles, we found ourselves out on St. Helena's Island. So we got out on the beach and took a walk and guess what we saw?!?!? A DOLPHIN! Yep that's right! :) We also got lost getting back home and it was getting dark (We are not allowed to be on St. Helena's after dark cause its not a friendly place then...) But we did make it back to Lady's Island just in time! :) The Lord blesses us and protects us! :)  We have also done a lot of contacting in the Historic downtown. We were there later last night and this homeless guy comes up to us and asks us for money, but instead we offer him a card with Jesus on it. He takes it and says he already has Jesus, but he wants to show us something. So he reaches into his pocket and is trying to find something, Sister Pulsipher and I freak out a little bit and start backing up, when he then pulls out a coin with a scripture on it! lol :) It was freaking and then funny to us anyways. :)

Most of the people that we are teaching are in a rut right now.... kinda frustrating but we keep praying and are loving them. :) All the older black women are called 'Miss. (either there first or last name)' if they are married or not. :) Miss. Dee, Miss. Mullen, and Miss. Pearl. They are very sweet and loving! :)

Also I will try to be better at emailing everyone back who has sent me personal emails. but I am a slow typer so usually I will take a picture of it and then write you a letter back. :)

P.S. Happy late Birthday to Erin!!!! I love ya lots! :)

Love you all SO much!!!

~ Sister Tara Willie!

Here is her address that she is at for the time being:

Sister Tara Willie
1 Taft Street #114
Beaufort, SC 29902

 With the Squirrel :)

 Sister Pulsipher, Me and the Johnson's friend with their Lord of The Rings swords!! :D

We are making fun of our DL (Elder Bingham from Perry) :)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Leaving the MTC!!

Dear Family and Friends!

Thank you all for your emails and letters! I sure do appreciate them! :)

So this past week has flown by super fast. I remember on Monday, thanking "I can't wait for P-day on Friday but that’s forever away!" and now in a blink in an eye it’s already Friday! I'm leaving the MTC Monday morning and I'm excited! My zone and I call the MTC 'heaven's prison'... but we all love it too. lol :) Last Sunday and Tuesday I sang in the choir for both devotionals. It was so wonderful! I really loved it (plus I liked getting out of class too) We sang "Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer" WOW! What a spiritual and profound song! It’s become one of my favorite! Our Tuesday Devotional speaker was Marcos A. Aidukaitis of the 70. He is from Brazil. He talked about choosing what kingdom we wanted to end up in NOW! I loved it! He told us all to write down what kingdom we want to end up in and how we are going to achieve it in our journal. So i did that! :) 

Most of the days here blend together but me and my companions have been teaching Lawanna in TRC. She is considered a 'real' investigator. She is such a beautiful person and has lived a hard life. She grew up on the streets in Arkansas and Georgia. She didn't go to school and is now around the age of 30 learning how to read. Her mother sold her for drugs... and things like that. We got to know her and talked to her about God. That’s what our first lesson consist of, that she has a heavenly father who loves her. Our second lesson we talked about the plan of salvation. Man she grilled us HARD!!! But it was way cool seeing how much I know and how I can tell it simple to her. Sister Curtis mentioned Heavenly Mother.. man that was hard to clean up, but eventually we did. lol. Sister Owusu face palmed when Sister Curtis said that! haha! Yesterday we found out that she has been a member for 5 year, but her story is true. She is very loving and has one of the strongest testimonies I know! She praised us all and said we will make really good missionaries! We even got pictures with her! 

I love my zone so much! We are all really close and good friends! The elders feel like younger brother to me and they love yelling "Sister Willie!" Then they throw a gang sign or something. lol! All 18 of us are leaving on Monday and we are not sitting by each other! :( We understand why but still it would be the coolest party if we did! ;) 

Today I got to go to the Temple and it was so splendid! The sisters at the Temple loved on us, which I have missed motherly hugs. 

Love you all! (sorry its shorter this week)

~ Sister Tara Willie

 Her zone at the map!! Georgia here we come!


Tara and her companions with Lawanna!! :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

First 'half' P-DAY!!!!

Dearest Family and friends!

Life here in the MTC is very busy but still fun. :) I am in a trio with Sister Curtis (from Honeyville UT) and Sister Owusu (from Ghana). They are both pretty awesome! Sister Curtis just turned 19 a few days ago and is full of life. lol, She enjoys making me and Sister Owusu squeal! :) haha! Sister Owusu moved to the states 3 years ago, but still has her "African" blood in her! She is so full of life and loves to laugh! She makes me laugh a lot! lol :) She has tons of 'you so white' jokes. She has a great capacity to love everyone too. :) We get along pretty good, but at the same times its hard being in a trio. I LOVE my distract!!! Its me and my companions, Sisters Kendall from Vernal UT and Szilagyi (sa-la-gee) from Kirkland Washington, Elders Call from Montana, Hunsicker from Florida, Shelton from Nibly UT and Vaughn from Farmington UT. They are so funny and great! :) We are all going to Macon Georgia! Which we are told in not normal for a whole distract to be going to the same mission, but you know whats cooler than that!!?! Our Whole ZONE is going to Macon!!! This never happens we've been told. :) The other distract has 5 Elders and 4 sisters... So 18 Missionaries total! :) My zone is pretty awesome too! (There is a sister in the other distract who is 26, and yes we have bonded.) :) 

I have only unpacked my smaller suitcase... I don't feel as bad for having a lot of stuff anymore. Most sisters have TONS of stuff!!! My roommates (my comps and sisters Kendall & Szilagyi) have really big bags and some have 3 bags + a carry on and purse!!! 

I have seen a few people that I know! Sister Lauren Hilman (USU), Sister Moore (Timari Moore Bingham's lil' sis), Elder _________whats his name...?!?(from Oklahoma!) and I'm hoping to find Sister Tanner Moody (also from Oklahoma).

We have been studying so much that my bum hurts from sitting! lol :) We all ready have 2 investigators we are teaching! Ian and... a crazy black lady's name... we are starting to teach her on Monday! We talk a lot about our missionary purpose and how it effect us. A scripture that has stood out to me is D&C 11:21: "Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men." My teacher (who is like my age... all the teachers are pretty much around my age) Brother Johnson, brought this scripture up and it really stood out to me about why I need to be at the MTC before I can just head out to Georgia. It also gave me comfort that I don't need to be perfect with my knowledge before I start teaching tho.

~ Sister Tara Willie

P.S. We got our travel papers and we leave SLC Tuesday November 25th at 8:30am.

 Tara's District
 The sister missionaries in her district
 Lunch Time
 Tara and her comps with their dork dots :)
Sister Owusu, Sister Willie and Elder Hobbs from OK

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Missionary Training Center

Tara has entered the MTC!!

Tara, Mom and Dad :)

Can't believe the time is here!!

So excited!!


There she goes!! :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dear Sister Tara Nicole Willie

Dear Sister Tara Nicole Willie, you are hereby called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latte-Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Georgia Macon mission.