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“I want to become a member of the church.”

December 30, 2013

Are you interested yet? 😉  It’s a really good story.

But first, Happy New Year!  I still feel like it’s Christmas, sort of.  You know how every year after Christmas you get that blue feeling because Christmas is over and you have a few weeks of purposelessness before school starts where you eat too much candy just because it’s there and overthink all your New Year’s resolutions?  That did not happen to me this year! =)  Honestly, this was a really beautiful and special Christmas for me.  We spent a lot of Christmas Day at the senior sisters house and it was fairly mellow.  I had some time to really ponder and meditate on the birth and life of my Savior (while I listened to music, naturally–Candlelight Carol from WC a few years ago really got to me) and it was a really tender time of reflection and renewal.  Kind of like the sacrament.

Ok, now I’ll tell you the coolest story EVER.  Once upon a time (Thursday) Sister Bowden and I were sitting at our desk doing our companion study and we get a text.  It’s a referral from Church HQ and the source is  I get super excited because I’ve been one of the missionaries who answers chats on and helps connect people with missionaries.  It looked promising.

 We called the number and Mr. Wills actually answered (It is Wills, not Willis.) and set an appointment with us for the next day. (Friday)  Friday at 4 rolls around and we arrive at the appointment perfectly on time (that’s sometimes a struggle for us because I like to overbook things… oops!).  We pray in the car and walk up the walkway–oh, and it’s a real address too!  Chasing fake addresses is not my favorite.  There are little kids peeking through the curtains and one of them opens the door before we even knock.  Mr. Wills and his wife are standing there in the doorway, each holding a child with 4 more around.  They welcome us into the living room where they’ve set up chairs so we can all sit in a circle. 

 We sit down with their WHOLE FAMILY and I’m about to pass out with joy at being with a WHOLE FAMILY who wants to listen to us.  We get introduced to all six of the kids ages 16-4.  And then Mr. Wills says, “I’m the only person here who is not a member of the Church.”  So I start flipping through the branch roster in my head and there aren’t any Wills on there.  Sister Wills sees my confusion and explains that they moved in from the branch just east of ours back in July and asked them to hold the records there because they were having a rough spot and didn’t want Church contact for a while.

 Brother Wills goes on to explain that he’s been thinking about the Church for awhile and knows he needs to be a part of it so he can be a good father and help his children develop their relationships with God.  He wants to be the example and the spiritual leader in his home.  It was a really beautiful testimony about what it means to be a good father.  He spent 13 months in Iraq and that’s when he really came to know that the spiritual life is important and when he really started to want that more for his kids.  His problem is that he’s addicted to chewing tobacco.  He’s tried to quit several times unsuccessfully and hasn’t wanted to commit to the Church until he could live it fully. 

 We asked them what their goals as a family were.  That’s when Brother Wills said “I want to become a member of the Church.” And Sister Wills said they wanted to get active again and make it to the temple as a family.  I think my chin was on the floor by that point.  We asked each of them to share their testimonies of the Savior and His gospel. The 13 year-old daughter was just glowing so we asked her to share hers first.  She testified with power and you could feel her excitement to be coming back to church.  The 16-year-old son was the same way–in a 16 year-old boy way.  After that, we did the only thing we could think of and taught the Restoration.  Before we left, Sister Wills asked when they could sign up to feed us dinner.  We made an appointment for today and I’m so excited!!!  I’m half worried that it was all a dream and that their house will be gone when we show up this evening, but their records arrived in the branch yesterday so I think they are real people. 😉

 Ok, sorry about the novel.  (As always, and I probably shouldn’t apologize because I’ll probably do it again…)  This work is the work of our Lord and Savior.  I LOVE it!  It gets me so excited every day.  I know the Lord gives us strength and power as we wholeheartedly engage in His work.  Know it, live it, love it!

 I love you!

 Sister Rackham

1. Cows.  Loved them since I could talk.  They’re still my favorite.



2. Santa came! I guess we were good this year!


3. Sitting on the stairs, youngest to oldest.  I’m still in the back. Surprise surprise.



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