Monday, March 31, 2014

Life is like stealing candy from a Gorilla!!

Dear Family and Friends! 

Transfers are tomorrow....... but I am staying in Beaufort for one more transfer! I am pretty happy to be staying. I love this area, my companion, the people and plus I really don't want to pack. You get so many little knick-knacks on your mission, like sharks teeth and paintings. lol :) 

This past week I went on exchanges with the STL's (sister training leaders, who are kinds like Zone leaders.) Sister Waycott came to Beaufort with me! She is a great sister! We went knocking and had a lot of doors slammed in our face! But it was still fun and we just laughed it off. We also saw Scherra, the Elders investigator.... for the past 3 years she has been taking the discussions and even sets a BCD but then she gets scared and backs out. :( The Elders have asked us to randomly visit her and just become her friend. We hope and pray she will let go of her fear and move forward in faith. Elder and Sister George drove us to Savannah to pick up Sister Clouse. It was so funny! We ran to each other because we missed one another so much! lol :) It had only been 24 hours.... hehe My companion is pretty cool! Also E/S George took us downtown Savannah on the way back so we could see a little bit of it! It was pretty cool, but I think Beaufort is a lot prettier! (I may be a little bias though..)

We started teaching another 9 year old! Teyla is from a less active family and wants to get baptized, but her dad isn't too keen on her making this decision right now. Silly parents! Seriously you are not helping your child out by keeping them from salvation! But her Mom is all for it... we put her on date, but we will see how this goes. Fingers crossed... oh and of course lots of prayer! ;) 

The Women's Conference was wonderful!!! I loved how much they talked about keeping our covenants and to be unified. :) I hope you all were able to watch it, if not then it’s a good thing it’s online so you don't have to miss out! ;) hehehe. Also I spoke in sacrament meeting yesterday with two of the Elders. Our 'mutual theme' was the Book of Mormon! I spoke on how the BOM is the keystone of our religion. If the BOM wasn't true then neither would the rest of our religion. How great to know that once you have a testimony of the BOM it will help lead you to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and all the doctrine is true! A few investigators were at church so it made it even more special to be speaking. :) 

I love you all very much and I really appreciate your prayers and support. Keep smiling and always remember you are children of an almighty God and that He loves you! :) XOXOXO

~ Sister Tara Willie

Haha! We are just random! :) 

Downtown just got cooler!! 

This guy made me a bouquet of 'roses' from palmetto leafs/things. So sweet! :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

First BAPTISM!!!!! (Not that i'm excited or anything)

Dear Family and Friends! 

The weeks are really starting to fly by! Today is the start of week 6 in this transfer!? What? It doesn't feel like it at all! We will find out who is being transferred this Saturday. I am not ready to leave Beaufort or Sister Clouse yet! 

Alex was baptized by her Grandfather Saturday March 22! She is so sweet and has such a strong testimony! We saw/taught her every day this week. During one of the prayers she said "Thank you Heavenly Father for letting me have all my sins be washed away..." Sister Clouse and I both got teary eyed. It’s so beautiful to know that at 9 she understands! She is so strong and a great example to her family! :) We just love her so much! Both Sister Clouse and I gave talks at her baptism. It went very well! Her Dad even came!!! :) She was just glowing the entire time! I am so grateful that I got to be one of the missionaries to 'teach' her, because I've learned so much from her. 

Last week the Marine's Silent Drill Platoon and Commander's Own band (stationed in DC) performed on base. Apparently it’s a real treat to see them, so some ward members took all of us missionaries to see them! It was pretty cool and we even got to take pictures with them! :) Many of them were really curious about our missions, so it was great contacting work too! :) 

We are still teaching Kim Greenwell. She is great! Her husband (the member) told us that he feels she will join eventually; she just feels an obligation to remain Catholic because of her Dad. Improvement! Woot woot! They don't have children so we have "become" their children in a sense. It’s really fun to make deep connections with the people you are serving! I love the people in Beaufort so much! Missionary work is all about love. No one is going to get baptized unless they feel and know you love them. Charity is the Christ like attribute that every missionary talks about the most! It is the most desirable and prayed for one too. As a companionship we have been praying for Charity and we both have noticed a big difference in EVERYTHING!!! I would encourage you and your families to pray for Charity together. :) 

I love you all very much! Keep up the hard work and don't forget to smile! :) Also congrats to my parents: Ron and Sharon Rex for receiving their mission call to Boston Massachusetts Temple! I am WAY excited for them! Luv ya!

~ Sister Tara Willie

With some of the silent drill platoon peeps. :) (The guns aren't real... at lease we think... but they were heavy!) 

'Gang-sta" Elders! lol :)  

Alex's Baptism! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

What a Week!! :)

Dear Family and Friends,

The weeks keep flying by and the days seem to be messing together. It’s a good thing I am writing in my journal every night or else I wouldn't be able to remember all that has happen in the past week! 

Alex is doing great! She will be baptized this Saturday! Keep her in your prayers please! :) Her Dad has given her permission to be Baptized and she has her interview yesterday and did very well! :) She is so much fun to teach! I feel like I am learning from her! Her level of faith is incredible and unwavering! 

We have been visiting a part member family for the past week and the wife asked us to start teaching her the discussions! Woot woot! We are pretty excited! :) This week has been mostly a tracking week. We have found many "hidden" places around Beaufort to track! My favorite of these places has to be the most humblest of all the areas. We meet all types of people there... mostly drunks who love Jesus but feel uncomfortable talking about him because of the state they are in (At least they are being honest) or this funny/goofy older lady! So we were saying a prayer with her on her doorstep. She wanted to hold hands while we prayed... sure why not. Well Sister Clouse was saying the prayer and the lady was mumbling the typical southern Baptist "yes Jesus, mmmhmmm, yes Lord, thank you lord" while she was praying. When we said amen the lady hollered and screamed that her hand was on fire! But she didn't let go of my hand. Lol! Apparently she felt the spirit overwhelmingly from Sister Clouse or something.... It was pretty funny and we've had a good laugh about it. :) I really do love tracking... all the beat stories come from meeting random peeps! 

Yesterday we were asked, along with the English elders to help out in primary. We played the roles of Mary Magdalene, a Nephite woman, Thomas, and Joseph Smith. We shared in first person their accounts on seeing our Savior resurrected. I was Mary and it was very humbling and spiritual. :) You should all read John 20: 1-18 to get her account and try to put yourself in her place. It is a wonderful experience! :) The children really enjoyed it and behaved themselves well... but I really liked Jr primary better. ;) 

Something a little random, but last Tuesday we had dinner with a younger couple from Germany! It was so much fun! Sister Cooley (a ward member) had friends visiting and she invited us to eat with them. They had many questions and were very curious about our missionary lives. They told us that they see Elders in their home town and feel sorry for them because Germans are not too friendly to them. But they gave us their information and told us we were welcomed to go and visit them any time! :) Pretty awesome! Sister Clouse and I may be going to Europe in 18 months... :) hehe

Well I hope all is going well. I love you very much and pray for you all the time! Keep smiling and Happy St. Patrick's day! 

~ Sister Tara Willie

Visiting Parris Island!!

 Happy St. Patrick's Day :)

Primary Performance of the Resurrection!!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Island full of monkeys....WHAT?!?!?!

Hey Peeps!!! :) 

This past week flew by pretty fast! We had Interviews with President Cottle and Zone Training meeting, so that made us busier. It was good seeing President and Sister Cottle, they are SO busy though! 

We had to drop Jeanette this past week. :( We dropped in to see how she was doing and talk about baptism once again. She finally came out and said she doesn't want to be baptized. She said she will take her chances with her baptism without the priesthood authority. Sister Clouse and I had no intention of dropping her, but we followed the spirit and it was pretty awesome how smooth it went! Jeanette was sad to see us go, but she understood and wasn't bitter about it. We really hope and pray that she has a change of heart soon. The next day we had plan on doing service for her, we felt like it would still be ok to go and do it. The Elders were nice and helped us... well they more did all the work to be honest. hehe :)  They dug her a "poop hole" as we say it, but really they were just widening her drain/trench from her septic tank/hole. She lives in a shack so we weren't really sure what it was. BTW, I totally would have dug but there were only 3 shovels... I’m not afraid of dirt and poop. ;) But the Elders are awesome for doing that! 

We are still teaching Lita and she is really excited for her baptism! We taught her about the Word of Wisdom, and that was kind of hard to be honest. She smokes a pack a day and doesn't think she can quit even though she wants to. We have given her the motivation though! This Gospel can do anything!!! :) She is willing to try at lease. We will be fasting with her this week to give her added help! :) She is excited for that too! :) Lita's fiancĂ© Josh doesn't want to learn.. so he says, but whenever we come over he listens and answers questions and helps Lita with finding scriptures. He even says he will come to church with her. People are funny. :)  

SO what I am super excited about is Alex! She is the sweetest 9 year old! She really wants to learn and loves having us over! Her BCD is March 22! Her Grandparents are active and she receives support from them, we actually teach her at their place. Alex's 12 year old sister Laney was anti at first but now she is at all the lessons and she even came to church with all of them yesterday! :) She gets excited for us to come over too! :) We love teaching Alex and seeing her enthusiasm for the Gospel! She loves reading the BOM and telling us what she learned! She wants to be like Nephi and do what the Lord asks of her by being baptized. I am very proud of her and love her example to me, others and her family. :)

So about this monkey business... well we were visiting a less active family (They are pretty cool) and they told us about this Island really close to Lady's Island that the locals call monkey Island. Apparently a big firm or the government owns it and they raise monkeys there so they can be used in scientific experiments. They told us that you can only get there by boat (so I won’t get to see it... sad) and people are not allowed on because they don't want the monkeys contaminated. But the family said that you can see thousands of monkeys in the trees when you get close! Anyways there is your random thing from me this week. ;) hehe. 

Hope you are all doing great! I'm loving the weather over here! 70 degrees! :) I love you all and keep up the good work! 

~ Sister Tara Willie

Ya I'm a Harry Potter fan :)

 At the waterfront in downtown Beaufort!!

With my District after Church :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

A busy week in Beautiful Beaufort, South Carolina!!

Dear Family and Friends,

This past week has been the BOMB!!!! We have been so busy and productive that the week just flew by! We are teaching and finding many people! I love working hard, but having fun doing it! :) 

We found Lita and Brandon.... both in their early 20's and good friends, last Tuesday. We have taught them twice and they have committed to Baptism! They are both very excited about the gospel and want to keep learning more! Miss. Mullen opened up to us that she knows our church is true, the BOM is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet! She also told us that she is looking at changing churches but it is hard for her and asked us to have patience with her. We are very excited though! She has been seeing missionaries since July/August and did a few times like 10 years ago! She is so amazing and we love her very much! :) Jeanette is doing a lot better! She came to church with her daughter yesterday and loved it! She is starting to understand the priesthood and is keeping her commitments! She is so funny! We were supposed to go see her at 2 pm on Saturday but needed to go earlier because we were helping someone move at that time. We went at 11 am and when she looked out the window she yelled "IT'S NOT 2! IT'S NOT 2! WHAT IF I HAD A MAN HID UP IN THIS HOUSE?!? YOU WOULD HAVE CAUGHT ME!" Lol! She is so funny and then just laughs cause she no longer wants to break the law of Chasity. She even has established rules for her 18 year old daughter to not have boys come over anymore! We are so impressed with her! :) 

The Lord is so wonderful and truly blesses us! So I was pretty sick on Thursday.... like up most of the night with the toilet.... ;) But anyways I was determined to still go out that morning. We went to visit a less active, when we entered into her house she apologized for burning something and told us we should reschedule. It was a good thing too cause the smell made me so sick! Sister Clouse looked back and told me later I looked green! I was going to puke! I had two choices, either puke in their house or on their drive way... I figured they would prefer the drive way. So I booked it outside with Sister Clouse trying to have it still look professional (bless her for that!) and keep the lady for noticing... lol oh she noticed but was more confused anyway. Well it is pretty funny now to be honest. :) So we went home because I was out of it. Heavenly Father really blessed us and had all of our appointments call us and reschedule! Wow! It was perfect! I felt so blessed! Plus the Elders came over and gave me a wonderful blessing! :) Even with me being out for a day we still had a very busy week! :) 

Also at Church an older man came up to me with his granddaughter and she said "Hi I'm 9 years old and I want to be baptized. Will you teach me please?" So cute!!! Of course we will! :) Sister Clouse was over talking with Jeanette and Jeanetta at the time so I didn't get to tell her until we were in Sunday school. We were both giggling and jumping around in our seats! lol! :) I just love my companion! :) 

Also remember how last Monday I said we were going to the beach?! Well we did and it was awesome and so BEAUTIFUL!!! I we got to climb this old lighthouse too! I will send pics! :) I love you all and pray for you too! Much love!

~ Sister Tara Willie
 With my District at the bottom of the Lighthouse!!

 With Sister Clouse :)

At the top of the Lighthouse!