Monday, December 31, 2012

Handwritten Letter

Hi Hi I am up and online

Thank you mom! I only have 5 more minutes. :(
Thats super great about the snow! I havent gotten my package yet. D:
Dad, I would really like a rope for my birthday. :D A colored one, something really bright.
Mom, Pecém and Paracuru are both on the Coast, Itap. is not.
And so far I wont be able to skype on Mothers day. this was a rare, once in a long time privelege.
Thanks for all the news! Its so good to here from home. Hope all goes well!
And now my time is up, sorry! Love you all!

On Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 11:38 AM, Carol Wille wrote:
Hoy Hoy its me mom! I am so sorry HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOSHUA!

On Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 7:36 AM, Carol Wille wrote:
It is snowing here again, and it snowed a bit last night. We haven't had any big drops for a few days, but we get a little every day.

Have you gotten your Christmas package yet?

Where did you spend the night in Itapipoca? Hopefully not under a bridge.

On Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 7:34 AM, Carol Wille wrote:
Would that be Kilsa França?

On Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 7:32 AM, Joshua Wille wrote:
We just bought a frying pan, for my birthday pancakes! :) And Sister França made me a cake. Bolo mole, or soft cake. :) Its super good, I have to get and pass the recipe to you. My guess is its super unhealthy. ;)

On Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 11:30 AM, Carol Wille wrote:
Josh, you are GREAT AND HARD WORKING AND RESPONSIBLE SUPER GOOD MISSONARY AS WELL!  Oh, I am so sorry you are moving I hope you are able to find a really nice place to live! with a frying pan : D

On Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 7:25 AM, Joshua Wille wrote:
He told Elder Barbosa that he needs a great missionary in caucaia. And he is, its incredible! :)
How are you doing? Is Sarah feeling better? are you all healthy?

On Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 11:20 AM, Carol Wille wrote:
Whoa that is so cool what Pres. Souza said to you! Tons of faith in you! It reminds me of the movie the other side of heaven where elder groberg was pretty much on his own and just did what he knew was right and moved on ahead forward. You remind me of elder groberg! So cool so cool. I have great faith in you too! I am so glad you were in a different company than the mr. complainee (Monk) missionaries! I am so proud of you for your goodness and willingness to work hard with out complaining! so proud of you! : D

 I cant believe how hot  and dry it is you said in Itap! How do the people survive? do they drink lots of water? A 2.5 hour bus ride-shoot! that is really awesome Pres. Souza gave you permission to stay over night! Dude,he totally trusts you and knows you are good men!

On Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 7:10 AM, Joshua Wille wrote:
Thats not even all of it! We went to Itapipoca a few times, and we found 17is new investigators 2 weeks ago, and 13 this past week! Its the whitest Ive seen so far! And theres a member family there too, with a ton of excitement to begin the work. We have two baptisms marked for the 6th, the only problem is we arent authorized to baptize there yet. :( They dont even have sacrament meetings yet, and we have people willing to be baptized.
So, we live in Caucaia, and have to travel 2.5 hours by bus to Itapipoca (from now on itap.) so we called the President and asked permission to stay for more than a day. He gave a few conditions, but authorized us to stay overnight!!!!! yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D
Here in Caucaia, we had to find a new house, cause we're moving. :S But! we are getting another dupla or pair of missionaries this next transfer in Feb! We really need them. 11 cities makes Caucaia the biggest area in the mission. President Souza told me over the pulpit during the transfer meeting "elder wille, se vira' which pretty much means Good luck, youre a bit on your own.

On Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 11:03 AM, Carol Wille wrote:
Bom dia, filho!Holy cow! That is wonderful! I can't believe the numbers! Wow the field is truely white and ready to harvest! Hold on just a sec. I am going to take the computer in to where Dad is and see if he is awake.

On Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 7:00 AM, Joshua Wille wrote:
Bom dia! I have exciting news! the mission baptized 2046 people in just this year! 211 in december alone!

On Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 10:58 AM, Carol Wille wrote:
Hoy ya Hoy ya Josh! yup I am still here! Good morning son!

On Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 6:56 AM, Joshua Wille wrote:
Hi Mom! still there?

On Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 9:33 AM, Carol Wille wrote:
Halloa Halloa Lovie I am up and online!!!!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

A letter! a letter! a letter!

Dear Family,
I have my new companion! His name is Élder Barbosa (lock up, ya bloomin' cockroaches!!! Ahahahaha!!!! ~Pirates of the Caribbean) And he's from Africa! How awesome is that??? Cape Verde, or Cabo Verde, and they are native speakers of Portuguese. Hes a big guy, really awesome, but a tad white for being African. :) Sarah would go nuts, I will see if I can introduce him via skype or something. His accent is pretty much awesome.
The transfer meeting went really well, pretty short. I got a bit of special recognition, cause Pres. Souza talked about how some missionaries complain about the size of their area. I think theres more than 50 areas in Fortaleza city itself, so everyone has a small piece. He mentioned that Caucaia has 11 whole cities, plus Caucaia itself. He phrased it more gently, but the idea was 'Please dont complain, your area is really pretty small.' Afterward, the Bishop of our ward gave us a ride (nos deu uma corona) which I called in the previous night. Buses and Taxis and trains werent going to cut it for the trip from Montese to Caucaia. (The meeting was in Montese Chapel. I dont know how far it is from Caucaia, but its really far)
Élder Barbosa hasnt been to Caucaia yet, so I get to show him the whole area! I hope I paid enough attention to where everything is... :O
Mom, my feet are normal, with maybe a bit of a high arch. Very rarely, I get an ache in the middle, and I cant curl my toes. Is that lack of arch support? It only happened once, nothing to worry about. Im walking normal, better than when I started. :) No, I dont need new shoes.
Garments are holding really well. I kinda wish I had a few more pairs so I dont have to wash as often, but thats just a creature comfort and I need to stop being lazy.
I did get the lyrics, thank you so much! Now I can sing them all day and all night! I also got Sarah's cookie (That really made my day Sarah. I laughed so much, thank you!) and havent gotten either of my Christmas packages.
Im still doing really well, healthy. Élder Nascimento was a bit sick when he left, but he'll be alright. Hes probably at home now, playing pokemon after kissing his namorada (girlfriend). :)

What is your Nicer neti pot?

Its very nice to know that my absence is felt. :) I never really talked a whole lot, maybe mine was just kind of that big quiet but friendly one. I didnt expect a whole lot of people to ask about me so much. But again, its nice to know and gives me warm fuzzies. :)
For Danielle, one week is like one very long day for a missionary. It was two months for you, but it felt like a long-ish week. I think its the p-days, our day of contact to the outside world. Im sorry I didnt get one off to you sooner. I really liked the letter you sent me though, I will get another one off to you soon.
By the way, skype will be on the 24th, Christmas Eve and my p-day. Oh wow, its coming up next week! I will call and tell you what time I will be on the day before. Please answer the home phone that day. :D
Ah, gotta go, bye!

Monday, December 3, 2012


Dear Family,
Wow! My second transfer is drawing to a close. There is only 5 weeks in this one. My companion will be going home, I will miss him very much. Most likely, I will stay in Caucaia (cow-KAI-uh) and recieve a senior missionary.
Elder Nascimento is very knowledgeable about the Church. He has asked and read and searched about much of the structure of it, and told me the basic layout. Its amazing, and really is perfect. I learned the importance of Home Teaching as well, and the role of the President of the Elders Quorum.
To everyone who reads this, I encourage you to hit up youtube and watch Elder Hollands Testimony on the Book of Mormon. Its simply powerful, and hit me really hard. He has a gift in public speaking.
I learned an addition to a well known saying that I think is pretty cool. "When it rains, it pours. But just remember where the rain comes from."
Okay, story time. Elder Nascimento and I were getting on the train, the kind where its just one big tunnel and you can walk from car to car without opening a door or anything, and inside the train were 2 groups of street musicians and tons of people. It was absolutely packed in there, I couldnt believe it. People were dancing, having a good time, even drinking. :( Ive never seen anything like it in my life. That train was completely full.
This past Sunday, we had a baptism!!! Yay! His name is Tiago, 11 years old, and I got to baptize him. :)
Theres more to that day as well. The Stake President told us that the group of Tapipoca is going to be added to the Caucaia Ward! It was really neat, and we had a very special guest present, who also was there for Tiagos baptism. A very very very special guest. Youll all have to see in the pictures that I send in my Christmas package. hehehe. :D I will also send a print of the picture of Marcelo and Francenilda's baptism. I forgot my camera that day.
This next Sunday, Stake Conference, President Monson is giving a Declaration specifically to the areas of Manaus and Fortaleza. I dont know what its about, but itll for sure be very exciting! Manaus is another mission, by the way.
I havent gotten my mission ties letter off yet, sorry. Itll be there soon with details about investigators.
Well, thats all the news I have that I cant spoil for you yet. Im excited and very happy to be here doing the work of the Lord, its hard but thats how it is supposed to be.
I know the Lord lives, I know he loves each of us, and knows us personally. Our hopes, our dreams, our wishes. He is there for us any time we need someone to turn to.

~Élder Wille

Monday, October 29, 2012


Dear Family,
My goodness! I only have 2 weeks left in this transfer! How crazy is that?? Im sorry last weeks letter got eated by the computer, Ive resent it.
I got the newest latest greatest package from Cheneys! Thank you guys so much!!!! I absolutely LOVE their cookies! And the bag of candy is super awesome! Its a bit weird, P-Day is Monday, and we get mail on Tuesdays, so its right after we send our letter for the week. :(
Mom and Dad, do you know how I can send pictures to Mission Ties? Get a print and mail that to them?
Okay, a few things in the letter from Alisha. Did they really recall the peanut butter? And mine is probably not safe to eat? :( I guess its a good thing I havent opened it yet. Ive thought about eating it more than once, guess its a good thing I havent yet. Next thing: Alisha, I didnt get your picture on Mission Ties. Was it on there or in a different letter on its way? And finally, Im so sorry to hear that Haley Stonehocker passed away, but Im glad she is with our Father and wont hurt anymore. Could you give her family my best wishes for me?
On a more happy note, I think Ive figured out a great way to deal with mosquito bites! When you feel that youve just been bitten, massage the area like you just went in for shots. My thinking is that Ive heard mosquitos have a pain-killer type stuff when they bite, but humans are a little bit allergic to it. Makes sense, my whole arm used to swell up sometimes at camp. Anyway, I thought if it was less concentrated, the bite would be less severe. I tried it, and I think it actually worked!
Mom, I have a nice little recipe for you. Its Pudim de Leite, a Sister in the ward gave it to me. Ah man, I cant remember if its 3 or 6 eggs, I think 3. 3 eggs, ~13 oz of sweetened condensed milk, and ~13 oz of regular milk. Beat in a liquidificador (blender) for a few minutes. In a pan that makes flan, or pudim de leite or something (Im pretty sure Grandma has one, maybe you could borrow it?) put 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water, and boil over the stove. Dont mix it though, just let it sit. Then pour in the egg/milk mixture, bake at 350 degrees in a banha-maria (double boiler-type idea, a pan of water with the pudim de leite pan sitting in the water) this helps it not burn. Cook for an hour, I think. It should be a bit firm, and a knife should come out clean. I will double check and send it again next week with exact measurements and times to assuade your OCD. :D
A few weeks back, someone asked if Fortaleza was jungle. Its actually pretty deserty, surprise surprise, lots and lots of sand everywhere. It is very humid though, so its very interesting to live here. And I asked Elder Nascimento about when it starts cooling off. It doesnt. :O And Elder Nascimento says "Hi, whats up?" Mom, if you guys come to Caucaia, they have a Botanical Park that might be of interest to you and others. Oh, on a side note, I asked about family coming to pick me up, and they say its up to my mission president. And we are getting a new one a few months before I leave. :( Just an early heads up.
Dad, along with that picture to make me homesick, could you send a picture of Skeelee? I have one of everyone but her.
Trivia time. Sarah, remember how you named your Ipod Giuseppe? It means Joseph in Italian. 2nd, Brazilians pretty much as a general rule cant sing. Its...interesting. :)
Well, things are going pretty good. We werent able to confirm Marcelo and Francenilda. She didnt want to come to church, and Marcelo left early. (Sacrament meeting is last) Hopefully next week will work out. I will be sure to let you know about my investigators, your support would be welcomed very much. :)
Thank you for that story about the Temple, it was really powerful. Its just amazing some of the things that happen to people, it strengthens my testimony hearing about them.
Well, I think thats all I have for now. Id love to send pictures through Mission Ties since we have a package deal now. If you could let me know how I can do that, Id like it ver much. :) I pray for you every night, I know the Lord is with us all. He never fails, even in our weak places, He can help us when our defenses are down. We just have to come to Him. I know that The Church of Jesus Crist of Latter-Day Saints is true, that it was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know our Heavenly Father lives, and that He loves us.

~Elder Wille

P.S. I had a thought during General Conference that maybe you guys could invite the Johnsons over for dinner, or Family Home Evening, or something, and it seemed like a good idea to me. Im sure theyd appreciate, at the very least, not having to prepare dinner. :) And before I forget, Happy Halloween!

Last Weeks Letter

Dear Family,
Question and answer time!
So about the garments, theres two reasons. First, a pair of my shorts ran off in the CTM, and now I have an extra garment top. And... theres rumor of a first area curse, by the name of Montezuma, and I thought he would come a-calling, but so far Im okay. No accidents yet.
I havent had a chance to look for a card reader, but at the LAN House, they have them built in.
Mission Ties, I thought you meant write a letter from the website to you guys. Oops. Yes, I can send one to the Mission Ties office and itll be much faster. :) I got some mission ties letters in Fortaleza. I think they take a bit longer since Im not across the street from Mission Ties office anymore.
I can view email attatchments now, I think. Just cant download them. LAN House rules vary from place to place, we are trying to find a steady place to go to every week.
Speaking of LAN House, I talked to Elder Nascimento and we can have a set hour at 10 or 10:30 or 2. Places close for lunch here. Its a 4 hour difference, so your time would be 6 or 6:30 in the morning, or 10 in the morning. Do any of those work for you?
Mom, Brazil doesnt celebrate Dia das Bruxas (Halloween) here. How sad is that?
I dont know when itll start to cool down, we are headed into "summer" and its always hot. I can find out for you if youd like.
So who was this girl that says Im hers? Cause over here, everyone knows of Free Willie, and Ive adopted the name, because I dont have a girlfriend, I dont belong to any girl. Im Free Wille. :D
Sounds like a lot of fun stuff has been happening, I wish I could comment on it all, but I have a number of things I want to say.
So, the first week, I found out that you can get a blister inside another blister. Yay, lucky me! But I learned a way to treat blisters really fast. Use cleaned thread and go all the way through the blister, clip it with ends poking out. it allows it to stay open and drain. :) Very useful.
Mom, something intresting I think youd like is Brazilian cuzcuz. Its pretty much corn flour and salt, but you steam it and it makes this thing to eat on the side of a meal. I think youd like it, maybe take a look on the net?
And Id like to thank you for teaching me to clean up the cooking area. It helped a LOT. It was driving me crazy, and I finally cleaned everything up, and its all nice and habitable for dishes! :) Im so grateful for your wise instruction.
Today, I had maracujá (Passion Fruit) for the first time. Its pretty sour, but it tastes good. It reminded me a bit of orange snot when I ate it, but I tried not to think about that. And its got a lot of seeds.
I sent a CD with pictures on it, finally! It takes 20 days to arrive there, and I sent it 3 days ago. I hope it gets there!
Oh, I have a question. Can my friends can use the mission ties as well? And mom, dont worry about paying for pictures on Mission Ties, Id have to risk sending my memory card and losing it in the mail. So just letters. :)
I did my first baptism yesterday! Yay!!!!!! "Maybe itll even be a double hangin' " Just kidding. Marcelo and his younger sister, Francenilda, both were baptized by me. :D I wanted to celebrate, by breaking my fast with my Fast Break candybar, but someone stole it out of the chapel fridge! D: I put it there to cool and solidify, and someone took it. I even put my name on it... Oh well. In my next package, whenever that is, could you send another Fast Break or two? And more root beer? That was super fantastic. :)
An Irmã (sister) in the ward wants me to make American Brownies for her. She says she'll buy the stuff if I make it. Mom, could you send me one of your really good recipes next week? And Im not sure if they have dark cocoa powder here, I havent looked, cause my area is HUGE. So one with changeable cocoa.
Im out of time, but could you send me that?
Thanks for everything! I will send more next week!

~Elder Wille

Handwritten Letter

Monday, October 15, 2012


Dear Family,
Time is kind of crawling again, but picking up. I think its just because I dont have a rhythm going yet. Its getting a lot better, and today I have an entire hour to email! I havent asked Elder Nascimento if we can do a set time for email on P-Day yet, I will do that this week. If so, I will see if we can do it at 11 or noon. With the time difference, hopefully it will be before Dad has to go to work.
Mom, my hair is acting pretty normal down here, despite the humidity. :) Its not curling, but maybe bring something just in case?
So I did get to meet my Mission President and his wife. Theyre really nice, I like them a lot. They live in a different building from the Mission Office (which is where all letters and packages should go ;) ) The Av. Santos Dumont one, I believe. As for emails, Elder Nascimento says its expensive to print stuff off. We use a LAN House, and I guess they can put whatever price they want for printing. Mission Ties, I dont have any information on login or passwords or anything. Im not allowed to send letters to you though, Im restricted to, so no picasa either.
I have pictures of the MTC and a couple from my first week on a CD, I have to send it tomorrow. Theres a Feriado (holiday) in my area, Caucaia. I hope it gets there really soon.
The food here is very mild, almost no hot stuff at all. We have lunch at members' houses almost every day, and sometimes they have a bottle of hot sauce or something, and most of them think Im crazy when I put it on. :)
We dont tract a lot, the work here is very accelerated. Its one of the highest baptizing missions in the world, and we almost had one yesterday after church. His name is Marcelo, 14 years old, and he lives with his family. I cant quite understand through the accent, so I dont know a whole lot about him and his family, sorry. He has 2 sisters and a younger brother. Marcela is 16, Francenilda is 12 or 13, and Francenildo is 10. His parents are Josenilda and Marcelo, but they arent married. We will get them there though. :)
Conference was pretty good, I missed some time during it, because of meals and Priesthood session was at 1 in the morning or something like that. Plus, it was all in Portuguese... A bit difficult to understand, and very different from what Im used to.
The place is closing at noon, so I gotta go. Dang it. Thank you for the stories, theyre really cool! sorry for no comments on them. the wedding sounded great! Gotta go, bye!
~Elder Wille

Monday, October 8, 2012

Camera Cord

Dear Family,
First week in the field, check! Made it to P-Day, check! I only had a half hour today for email, and five minutes to write this, cause we traveled to Paracuru for lunch, so I'm sorry I wont be able to answer very many questions. I forgot to mention that I did get my package the day I got there, sorry about not saying anything! I didnt open it until after I sent the email. So THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE GOODIES! And the mini drug store. :P hahaha. Im actually not sick anymore, but I appreciate it very much. :)
My companion is Elder Nascimento from São Paulo, and hes finishing up his last few months. I get to kill him (send him home, Im his last companion) and he speaks very good English! Its amazing, he learned from his previous American companions, never been to America. Its very helpful when I dont understand things, but its also a crutch that I kind of didnt want. Oh well, I'll do what I can.
Dang, time to wrap it up already, sorry! Mom, I'll have to read your emails next week, I didnt have much time for that, or for sending pictures. Sorry! Oh, before I forget, letters to the Mission Office please. :)
I love you guys so much, thank you for your prayers! They really help. I know that the Lord lives, He helps us every day of our lives, gives us strength to face day to day challenges, and loves to hear from us in our prayers. Trust in Him, He'll always be there.

~Elder Wille

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Here's the picture

Hi Family!
Well golly, I only have 6 more days left! That is so weird to think that I'll be off very soon! Time's been going pretty fast, our latest roommates just moved out Tuesday morning. I'm kinda sad, they were really cool. One guy was from Rio, the other from around here. I got pictures of them, so don't worry. :)
Um, not much is going on. It finally rained after 2 months of dryness, and today is really cold. I'd guess it's somewhere around 50 degrees. Chilly! I thought Brazil was supposed to be hot? :D
My district is having a huge party at this cookie store across the street/Mission Ties. We're combining all the "packages" purchased online by the Elders' parents, and having a feast. 3 pizzas, 4 or 5 two-liter bottles of soda, and gobs of brownies and cookies. I'm so stoked!
Dad, I haven't gotten your Mission Ties email with the mountain in it yet. I can see the thumbnail in the email, but I can't download anything. :(
We went proselyting on Monday, each of us had to hand out 2 copies of the Book of Mormon around the CTM area. Elder Meeks and I got all ours handed out. It was really different from what I thought it would be, and the language is just killer with the accents, speed, and slurring words together.
There's quite a few cockroaches down here, even in the CTM. It reminds me of Dad's story where he had to use his napkin to guard his plate and keep his feet marching. :) It's only one now and again, not quite that bad.
I'm sorry, I don't have much to say. Every week is the same. Eat, study, teach, eat, teach, eat, sleep, eat, study..... The food is pretty much the same every day too. Meat with rice and beans on the side, and a small dessert. Oh, the cereal is frosted flakes or chocolate frosted flakes. They're a little thicker than American ones, but not by much.
That's all I have for now, my next P-day will be in the field... :O yikes. I love you all, and I hope and pray for you all every night!

~Elder Wille

Picture from

Handwritten Letter

Handwritten Letter

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September 19, 2012

Dear Family,
Less than two weeks! It's going by so fast! I'm starting to feel a little worried that I'm not quite ready for it yet. But when I think about the lessons I've taught already, it doesn't seem so bad. It's right around the corner, and I'm sure it'll fly by. Thanks to everyone for their encouragement and support, it helps me keep going every day.
Dad, I tried sending pictures with that picture info sheet, but I wasn't able to. CTM computers can't upload or download anything. The mail gets lost pretty frequently, so the memory card letter is a bit risky. I asked someone about it, and they said to make two CDs and mail one. If it doesn't get there, mail the other one. I can get CDs here for about 50 cents. I'm sorry it didn't work, I'll get them to you as soon as I can, so hold onto that page. :)
Okay, so we had the Fireside on Sunday, and the translator didn't show up, so we had a big huge CTM testimony meeting. It was really awesome. Instead of just a whatever-comes-to-mind testimony, Pres. Degn asked that they focus their testimony on Becoming a Missionary. I didn't go up. :( Afterwards, a choir group got up and sang a beautiful arrangement of I Need Thee Every Hour. After that, President Degn asked them to sing it again, an encore I guess. The second time, I swear the ceiling and heavens both opened up to meet each other. It was so incredible. More than a few people were crying. It was a super neat experience.
The next Tuesday, yesterday, we had the Devotional. All us missionaries sang the EFY Medley. (As Sisters in Zion, Bring the World His Truth) That was really cool. We were addressed by President Degn. He got a lot of time at the pulpit. :) His talk was on Agency, or Arbítrio. He went over how Satan's plan was not to redeem us, but that we would have to pay for our offenses against the Law of Justice, which he conveniently left out. I really enjoyed that talk.
I'm glad you had a fun birthday Dad! Part of me wishes I could've been there, but I know I'm needed here. Thanks for telling me about how it went. :)
Packages are discouraged in the CTM, sorry. :( In the field they're okay.
Ah, I'm almost out of time. Let me know if you have any specific questions you want answered. I love you all, I know the Lord is looking after you. I pray for you all every night. I'll see you after I've finished my work here.

~Elder Wille

Handwritten Letter

Handwritten Letter

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Hi Mom, Dad, Alisha, Todd, Sarah and Family!
I've sent my snail mail letter to you guys with the big details of the CTM. Not much has changed, so this letter will be kind of short. Maybe.
We went to the Churrascaria again today, and they had something Alisha would really love. It was a big ball of melted cheese, warm gooey delicious-ness. Mmmmm. :) They still didn't have the grilled pineapple, I have yet to see any of that here in Brasil.
If you guys want to hear something really cool, look up the Hino Nacional do Brasil on youtube, preferably a piano version. That's what we get to sing every Sunday evening at the fireside, with President Degn on the piano. It sounds like a carnaval song, and it's really fun.
We go to the Sao Paulo Temple every P-Day at 6:30, and that was really nice this morning. It was closed a few weeks ago for cleaning, so we went to the Campinas Temple. I only have pictures of that one, they wouldn't let us bring cameras after that. I'll hopefully send the card soon.
Mom, I haven't been able to ask the Degn's how long they'll be here. I'll see what I can do, though. Fortaleza is kinda far away from the CTM in Sao Paulo.
Dad, thanks for the tip on Mission Ties. The place is actually right across the street from the CTM entrance. :) But thank you anyway.
Oh, so one last funny thing. Almost every Brasileiro that I talk to notices my name and asks "Is that like Free Willie?" It was odd at first, but now I just take it in stride, and laugh with them.
I hope everyone is doing great up there, thanks for all your letters! I really enjoy hearing from everyone! I'll write again next week. Maybe something more exciting will happen by then. :) I love you all, may the Lord watch over and bless all of you.

~Elder "Free" Wille


Hi everyone!
Another week has gone by, wow! I have just 20 days left here in the CTM, in three weeks I'll be up in the heat and humidity. :) It's a little humid here, but not as much as it will be when I get up to Fortaleza.
Mom, I don't get to print off the emails from the computer, sorry. :( I wish I could.
I'm doing just great! I'm sorry something happened with the mail this week, and I've re-sent last week's email. :) Hopefully you get to read it, and my snail mail letter gets there soon.
Not much has changed. They had cereal for breakfast twice this week instead of just once. I think that's really all the big news for now. On Mission Ties, I'll send some pictures I've taken, and a bigger letter. :)
I love you all, I hope you're doing well and everything is great up there, I miss you all very much!

~Elder Wille

Handwritten Letter

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Dear Family,
You guys bought a camper?! Awesome! I can't wait to see it when I get back! It sounds like a very nice one, lots of creature comforts.
I'm sending a pretty detailed letter about the CTM snail mail, so I hope you can wait for a couple weeks for it to get there. I tried to add as much detail as I can, and I'll send it off later today.
When I read about Skeelee in the box of dirt, I groaned inside and laughed. That's just like her! She's super smart when she really wants to be. Maybe she just plays dumb for us. :)
All my stuff is in the hand written letter, so I'll let you get the whole experience when it gets there.
I love you all, I pray for you every day. May the Lord watch over and protect all of you.

~Elder Wille

P.S. Dad, I just remembered that I didn't get around to cancelling my credit card. When you have some time, would you be willing to help me with that? The card itself is on one of the middle shelves of the set that you made in my closet. It's the Platinum visa card.

Handwritten Letter

All I can say right now is wow. I'm about halfway through the CTM today, more or less. Time has been flying by! 1/24 is almost over, how crazy is that?? I've really liked it though. They feed us really well, I have to be careful to not gain a ton of food babies. The rest of my district has some odd eating preferences. They have frijoada (bean and pork stew, for anyone wondering) and nobody likes it, except for me. I love it, even with the pieces of bone floating around. They had flan too, or pudim de leite, as the Brasileiros call it. I finished it off for 3 or 4 other Elders in my district. It wasn't even burnt, I thought they were crazy.

I bunk with four other Elders, two in my district, and two in another. And my companion, of course. His name is Elder Meeks, and he's from the suburbs of Chicago, IL. He's pretty cool, but we don't have a lot in common. He's met a handful of people that he knew before, and I haven't met anyone I know yet. The closest is Elder Blair in my district, who went on a date with one of Alicia's friends. He knows a lot of people who know Kelsey and Terra and them, but no close friends in common. Oh well.

We have gym almost every day, and yet another Elder in my district has this workout that is crazy. It's a deck of cards numbered 1-10, 4 sets of those plus eight more 10's. He picks five exercises such as lunges, pull ups, push ups, etc, and we turn a random card over to do that many reps. Next exercise, flip the card, do that many reps, and so on until gym is over or the deck runs out. Or you puke and quit, but luckily that hasn't happened to me. The Elder's name is Elder Eliason, great guy. He's in the Army, as a combat diver. 

It's pretty insane what these guys do. Most are already highly trained soldiers, like Rangers (A-Team Mom!) or Green Berets. They don't stop for pretty much anything. The stories are intense. They're kind of like Navy Seals, but with combat experience and less regard (or even no regard) to physical needs. I say no thanks for me, but map props to those who do it.

So, we're teaching this guy, Alexandre, and we've almost got him baptized. We're sooo close! He's really an instructor posing as a pesquisador (investigator) and he's really funny. I love him to death. He knows when to be serious and work, and that makes him all the better.

Mom and Dad, I heard from a couple people that if you look up my mission on and if it's a pouch mission, postage is free or something like that. Would you be willing to look into that? I think it's something worth checking out. Thanks for all the favors you guys do for me, I really appreciate it!

Today is P-Day, one of the few days that isn't the same routine as the others. We go to the temple and do endowments for the deceased and then we eat lunch when we get back and do the things we need to for the week. Laundry, send e-mails, letters, buy cookies, and whatever else. We usually have from around 1:30 or 2 until 5:00 to get everything done. Mom, that dryer trick for white shirts is so useful, thank you for showing me. It saves so much time.

Other than Sundays, every day is pretty much the same. Breakfast, study for 3 hours, lunch, classes and teaching for 3 hours, dinner, classes and teaching for 3 hours, plan, snack, and bedtime.

We walked around the boundary today to explore a little and try to find this park we heard about. It has chess boards and lots of open space. We found it, and this part of the letter is being written at the park :) We have only been out to eat once, when Irmão Costa took us to the Churrascaria. The CTM asks us to not eat at the local places. I hope to eat at a few more places before I go. Supposedly, São Paulo makes some of the best pizza anywhere, even people from Italy love it, but the places only open at night D: Maybe I'll come back with Dr Pugh and get a chance to try it.

Well, I think that's about it, my life isn't terribly exciting right now. At five we go back in and learn some more, teach Irmão Costa/Alexandre. On the way in, I'll stop at Cheney's across the street, eat a cookie, and mail this letter off. Oh, the Mission Ties place is in the cookie store, Mr. Cheney's Cookies. It's "The Place" to hang out for missionaries. Some Elders' parents buy them stuff from Cheney's. It's kind of funny sometimes all the other Elders oggling a big place of pancakes or a cinnamon roll. I don't have anything more to write, I've exhausted all my experiences. I hope you guys are doing well, everything sounds like it's going just great. I'll leave you with a definition.

Missionary: someone who leaves their family for two years so that others can be with theirs for eternity.

I love and miss you all, and pray for you often.

Love, Elder Wille

P.S. The streets and stores are very much like the ones in Mexico. Graffiti, bright paint, cracked sidewalks, etc. Plus crazy drivers. One last thing. Could you ask Alisha to check her e-mail? Thanks!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Hi Family!
Well, the days are starting to go by really fast now. They're a bit monotonous, and I'm about to the point where I look forward to P-Days and Sundays to keep my sanity. Almost, not quite. :) It's hard to believe I'm 1/3 to 1/2 the way through the training! I've enjoyed it very much. :)
Mom, you asked about how to say the President and his wife's name, it sounds like Dane, or Great Dane. ;) They're really good people, everyone loves them.
I just got over being a little sick, there's a nasty respiratory virus being passed around. Sore throat, cough, etc. It was a challenge to get to sleep, but it's passing now, thank goodness.
We've been teaching some investigators (it's really just instructors acting as ones) and this past week it was so cool. I felt the Spirit even while speaking my rocky Portuguese, and it was so strong! The guys name is Alexandre, played by Irmão Costa, and he's said he'd like to be baptized, but is pretty hesitant.
Already I've had experience with the Gift of Tongues after praying for it, and it was amazing! Things just pop into your head, and you know what you're supposed to say. I love it!
We started getting taught our Portuguese from Day 1, but it was basic stuff that I knew or almost knew, and all I had to do was un-plug the every day language and plug in the Gospel terms. We're about to where I can speak now, but the other Elders haven't had the practice and discipline of a college class and High school years, so they still struggle and look up stuff. It's hard for me as well, especially with my new Brazilian roommates. They talk so fast, and when asked if they could "Fala devagar" (speak slower) he says that he can't. :S It's getting better though, talking with native speakers helps so much.
I hope all is well, I know the Lord is with you guys, I think about you every day. I'll send more detailed letters in Mission Ties where I have all week instead of a half hour. I love all of you!

~Elder Wille

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

One more thing

Hi Family!
Wow, time is starting to get going faster for me! The first few days were super slow, each one really felt like a week. Now they're going about normal speed. :)
We went to the Temple in Campinas today instead of the one in São Paulo. It's a very beautiful and magnificent building, and it was such a neat experience!
Thank you for all your letters! I really enjoy reading them all. Someone says that letters are missionary fuel. :) I have to agree with them.
I found out from someone that in Fortaleza, they don't have black beans, only pinto beans. I'm a little put out about that, but food is food. :) Another guy, Elder Cetraro, says that my Mission President is really laid back and completely awesome. On P-Days, to keep us busy, he lets the missionaries watch Disney movies! I'm so stoked to be out there and work to bring others to Christ. :)
So about Mission Ties, if you could sign up for that, I would really appreciate it. I'm not supposed to email friends, so snail mail is the only other option other than Mission Ties. I can send hand-written letters and specify the email address, and that's super nice. If that's okay with you, would you sign up? Thanks. :)
One more small request, would you be willing to look up Alex Richey's mission address on facebook for me? I'd like to write him now and again. :)
I have to be going now, but let everyone know that I love and miss them, and think about them every night!

~Elder Wille

Temple Visit - Brazil MTC

Dear Family,

We are pleased to be able to send you a picture of your missionary´s recent visit to the Campinas temple.  The morning they enter as a group is a very sacred experience for them, and it is an experience that is always anticipated with much excitement. We know they will treasure this remembrance. 
It is a great honor to serve with each of these fine young people and to watch their growth as they learn more about their sacred calling of a missionary.  We have a great love and respect for each one of them.
Thank you for your support for them.  They love to receive emails and letters from you, and feel of your love.  We know that your family will feel the blessings of their service.


President and Sister Degn

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Handwritten Letter

Photo from

First P-Day

Hi everyone!

So I got a few emails asking for my mission address, I guess that hasn't come yet. They had us write a small letter with information about letters and packages and stuff. I can't remember the address myself, but there is this other great way to write me. It's the Mission Ties thing, and it does cost some money, but I think it's worth is. It's about $1.15 to send a letter from here. :( Dad, could you forward my emails to the family and such?

I'm doing just great, and I'm so glad you guys are already recieving blessings from my serving a mission. I feel blessed because they feed us really well down here. I love most of the CTM's food, and they give you a lot. Do you remember the Guarana soda from Braza Express? They have a fountain drink machine with that in it. :)

I only have 30 minutes in the lab to write, so I have to be fast. Today was my first P-Day, and it was great! We went with one of our instructors to a Churrascoria, the real Tucanos in Brazil. :D it was fabulous, but they didn't have the grilled pineapple.
My companion is from Illinios, and he's a great guy. We have our rough areas, but I think everyone does. He's doing very well on the language. Nobody in my district knew any Portuguese when we first came down, and only a couple took any Spanish. The class I took was a great investment. I also had Brazilian Roommates that left for their areas this morning. They're great guys, all of them were super funny. I got pictures of most of them, plus a few neighbors. :) I'll send them as soon as I can. They won't let me send pictures through here, but Mission Ties will let me, with a package that is not the most basic one, or something like that.

I was wondering if you could do me a favor. Terra gave me a letter and didn't have any of her information. Could you email me her address and email address so I can write to her? Thanks.

Well, that's about it. I'm using my Portuguese a lot, and I can understand most Americans who speak it. Brazilians are a whole different story. I hope you guys are doing okay without me, and I'm sorry I can't reply to each of your emails, but I really appreciate them. I have to go now, but I want you to know that I love you guys very much! I'll be back in no time with a sweet accent. :)

~Elder Wille

P.S. What is the CTM's elevation?