June 5, 1946

Seoul, Korea

5 June 1946  Late

(Actually, it is 6 June 1946 early)

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

It is a long time past the time when this letter should have been dropped in the mailbox if I expected it to be on its way to you, but it was entirely impossible for me to have it ready in time for mailing so I’m going to write you this letter now and then enclose it with my letter of tomorrow evening. I was greatly disappointed today in not having the privilege of receiving some more of your good letters. Here’s hoping that they’ll be here tomorrow. I cannot complain at all about the mail service here lately, but I miss your good letters when they don’t come in.

Willis with friends at Ewha College. 1946.

  This morning, I went around to all of the wards giving out the last young people’s papers which I received. The Publication Society has furnished me fifty each week ever since I’ve been overseas and they are very well received. Some time ago I wrote them and told them not to send me any more after the first of April, thus the ones I gave out today are the last ones which I will receive. I had a little time before dinner, so I used that time to do a little studying and thinking on my message for this evening. I spoke this evening on Mark 1:14-20. Key verse being the 17th. The title and theme of my message was, “Untapped Resources.”  There were only 17 in attendance, but I tried to give them something to think about. With such long days and nice weather, a lot of them go out for walks and I don’t blame them. I would like to do the same, but I feel like I should continue the services in spite of small attendance.

  After dinner today, Dennis, Paul, Jeanette, and I went into Seoul and while there I checked up to see if they have done anything about getting my records straightened out. While I was doing that, Jeanette bought a few souvenirs to take home with her when she leaves. After that, we decided to drive out by Ewha College to see Miss Lee and Miss Kim for a little bit and it so happened that the physical education department was putting on a program and they wanted us to see. I didn’t like the idea of staying for it would make our time very short in being back in time for the evening service. However, they all wanted to see it and we stayed and I enjoyed it a lot. I’ll tell you about it sometime. Miss Lee insisted that we have a cup of tea and some muffins before leaving. We did and it made it hard getting back in time, so we finally reached here at ten minutes after 7 o’clock and the men were still waiting. After the service started, who should walk in but Chaplain Rendahl and  Lieutenant Johnson. After the service was over, they came up here and talked until very late and that is the reason I didn’t get this letter in the box in time. Please forgive me, but do remember that I do love you much more than ever I’m hoping that it won’t be too many more days until I’ll be able to leave here for you, Beloved. Be sure to give the folks my love. God bless you, Lover.

 Forever just yours in Christ’s love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

June 4, 1946

Seoul, Korea

4 June 1946

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

It was certainly good to have your letter of the 22nd of May today, and as always, it has been read over several times already and is in for more reading. It is so very good to have your letters and they helped me so much, it is just a foretaste of just how good it is going to be to be with you again. Lover, this being separated from you is absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure in all my life. I never realized that I would ever love you as I do, but after all, that is the beauty of love in Christ. It grows sweeter as the days roll along. It is utterly beyond human comprehension to realize just how much we will love each other over there, but as I said on other occasions, that is one of the wonders and beauties of the mystery of godliness. The only other mail I received was a good letter from Don telling me about the graduation and how much he enjoyed it. As soon as I answer his letter I’ll send it on for you to read for I’m sure you will want to read it.

Willis’ assistant Dennis with nurses Jeanette and Audrey.

  I was up early as per usual this morning and came over here to have my devotions and then after having had my breakfast I came over here and finished wrapping another package to send home to you of my things. I also had to repack two packages which came for Arnold Hodak and return them to him. As soon as we had the boxes ready, Dennis and I left for the 31st Infantry where I mailed the packages. In the letter which I received from you today, you said Mom groaned when she heard that I had sent another box home, well Dear, after all, I’ve had the opportunity to purchase these things very reasonably and we will be able to use them I’m sure at some time or other, it will be a lot better to have them and to say later isn’t it too bad I didn’t send home some of those things while I was over here.

  The three boxes with your mail to you today contain my winter clothing, altar equipment and a couple of surprises for my wonderful Darling Sweetheart. One of the surprises which I have for you was too large to enclose in the boxes so I’m sending it along later in my footlocker. When you open the box marked under CONTENTS “Personal altar equipment”, be especially careful for there is a very pretty incense burner made by a Korean potter. There are also two very nice pieces of nice tie dye. The box marked “winter clothing” contains the surprise and I do hope that you will like them, I believe they will come in very handy when we have our own home again and we have guests in for an evening. I think they are very pretty and quite unusual. And the box marked “Altar Equipment” wrapped in winter clothing is the part of the altar set I have made from brass shell casings. As I said in last night’s letter, the cross was too large for the boxes, so I’m sending it along in my foot locker at a later date.

  Well, after that, I drove on over to the Korean Disposition Center and told them about the error they had made in placing me in the last group to leave Korea, in other words in August. I don’t want to get your hopes up or mine, but I do believe that it helped and I will probably be able to leave here early in July sometime arriving home around the last of July. And by the way, I will be separated at Fort Sheridan and not Camp Grant. Camp Grant is no longer being used as a Separation Center. Lover, it even feels good to talk about it. Let us be careful and not let our hopes run away with us, but things are looking better than they did four or five days ago.

  Dennis and I arrived back here just in time to have our dinner. This afternoon I didn’t accomplish very much except calling in some of the wards and then studying for our Bible classes. We had eight out to our class last evening and we certainly had a blessed time. I love the Bible the more I read it and find it so filled with power and inspiration.

  It is now after supper hour and almost time for our Bible class. I wanted to finish the letter to you right away, but as usual, two different men were up here to see me about some problems. The last poor fellow just left and I will have to close. It was another one of those sad cases. Beloved, you cannot in any way realize just how good it is to have a wife and sweetheart like you are to me. Thank you so very much. Be sure to give the folks my deepest love. Here’s to hoping that it won’t be too long until I’ll be able to be with all of you.

 Always and forever yours alone in Christ’s love,

  Willis

 Colossians 3:3 

June 3, 1946

Seoul, Korea

3 June 1946

Sarah, My Darling:

It was certainly good to have your letter of May 23rd today, and as per usual, it helped me out more than you will ever know. I can see that you are busy now trying to make yourself some new dresses. From what you said in your letter today, I can imagine that your new dresses must be very nice and I’m praying and hoping that it won’t be too much longer until I’m able to see them in person with you as the model. Dear, I got a kick out of your description of the Chief’s not feeling well. Undoubtedly he can hardly wait until time for the vacation in Michigan. Now that he has been making his own flies, he will probably find it more interesting and worthwhile.

Willis and Sarah’s wedding. June 30, 1942

  By the way Dear, I know now for certainty that it will be impossible for me to be home for our anniversary, so I want you to buy yourself a very nice corsage from me for that day. It will be especially nice in that our anniversary is on Sunday this year. Darling, I’m sure I need not tell you how badly it makes me feel not to be there for our anniversary, but it is not going to help either one of us to be ugly about it, so let’s just think that it will only be a short time after that that we will be able to be together. Please remember that I love you now more than I ever dreamed possible when I promised you in the presence of those gathered at our wedding that I would cherish and love only you for as long as life shall last, (and as we know, in Christ life never ends, thus I am only just yours forever in Christ’s love).

  I know you must have been very happy to have had such a find visit with Iris and it certainly made me happy to know how well they are coming along now. It is certainly better for them to have John working daylight hours instead of the night shift. It will really be wonderful to see all of them again, and I’m hoping that we will be able to visit with them after I return and we have had an opportunity to be together.

  In your letter today, you were wondering if I am planning on going out to school and take more work or whether I have given up the idea; with things as they are now and everything so uncertain, it is really hard to make any definite decision. After all, I want to talk the whole thing over thoroughly with you before deciding definitely one way or the other, and as you know, that it well nigh impossible after having been separated from each other for so very long. I just live to receive your letters, but as you know there are so very many things in a letter which you find it impossible to talk over, and therefore we will have a lot to talk over and plan after I return. A number of those around here have encouraged me to go ahead in the field of teaching, in other words, major with young people. One of the officers talked to me about that very thing yesterday.

  By the way, your letter of the 22nd is missing and I hope it comes in tomorrow, for I am interested to know if Mary Lou Buck likes the scarf which we gave her. Of course, you may be wondering how I feel today after the accident in yesterday’s ballgame. I feel all right. My neck and right shoulder and knee are a little stiff and sore but that is to be expected. Everybody who saw me today would ask me how I was feeling, and that is about all I was able to talk about. In fact, I became tired of answering the same thing over and over again. It spreads like wildfire that I’ve been hurt in the ball game, even the patients were asking me today when I called in their wards.

There were a number of interruptions this morning, and as a result, I didn’t have the privilege of accomplishing all that I had hoped to accomplish. I did manage to get two more boxes ready to be sent back to you. One of them contains part of winter clothes and the surprise present which I have for you, and the other box contains the rest of my winter clothes and a box of communion glasses, two brass flower vases and two brass candlestick holders made from different size shells. The cross which I have of that set was too long for the box, so I’m going to send it home in my footlocker. We will be able to make a nice worship center out of the set and the other the altar equipment which Mrs. Sims sent to me since I’ve been overseas.

   This morning, just before dinner time, I went down to our post office and bought a money order for $100 to you. I’m enclosing it in this letter Dear, so be sure to let me know when it arrives then I can always keep check with the things I have sent to you knowing whether or not they reached you safely.

  The only other mail I received today besides your good letter with a letter from Dolores telling me about the wonderful time she had attending your graduation, such a trip certainly must have done her a lot of good I know. I also received a copy of the Lexington Unit Journal and looking through it I discovered an advertisement in it about Jack and Bertha’s store. I noted the special interest that they carry a line of fountain pens, and I just happened to think, why don’t you drop them a line and tell them that we would like to buy them a nice desk fountain pen for Don McClintock in appreciation for all he has done for me. And if they could do that for us, it will be helping them also.

  Darling, it won’t be too long for time for Bible class, so I will have to draw this letter to a close. I wish you could see the beautiful clouds boiling up over the mountains,  I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see it rain hard again tonight. It started raining last night around 10 o’clock and it rained until after daybreak this morning.

  Well Beloved, remember I love you much more than ever I have before. Give the folks my love and best wishes.

 Forever and always yours alone in Christ’s love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3 

June 2, 1946

Seoul, Korea

2 June 1946

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

I don’t have a lot of time, but if possible I’m going to try and finish this letter to you before time for our evening worship service. And how glad I am that another Lord’s day is past among that long string of those we have had to spend apart. To be with you again is certainly going to be a wonderful privilege. And to see you among the congregation is indeed going to be joy unspeakable. I always felt so strengthened when I beheld your presence in the congregation, for I could always know there was one who was truly praying for me to be worthy of being used as a channel for the Lord. And that you love me and trusted me in spite of all my weaknesses and shortcomings.

  Just at daybreak, it started to break and the clouds finally drifted away after a day and a half of continual rain. It stayed quite clear but around noon it started to cloud up again and now it is pretty cloudy, and from the looks of everything, it may start raining again most anytime.  As per usual, I was up early and went over my sermon again for this morning. I’ll enclose a bulletin. The title of my message this morning was, “Contradicting the Good News.”  The key verse was the seventh and I built my sermon around that idea expressed in the American Translation, turning the gospel around. The chapel was filled to capacity this morning and I certainly felt the presence of the Lord with me, thank you Beloved for holding me up on such strong arms of prayer. There is no possible way to tell you how much it means to have a wife like you who constantly can be counted upon to want me to be in the best place where I can be of most usefulness to the Lord. The service must have been helpful for a number of people said kind little things after the service and a couple of doctors told me some things late this afternoon. Shortly after noon hour Chaplain Martin (who is still on a patient basis and will probably be sent back to the States sometime this week) stopped me and told me how much the sermon meant to him. He was very kind in some of the things he said and he probably meant it for a couple of other people told me that he told them the same thing. For what good I am able to do I am wholly indebted to Christ and you, and my heart cry is the same as John’s that Christ in us may increase and we decrease. One thing that bothers me a lot is the fact that a number of people tell me that I am one of the best chaplains and preachers they have ever heard. It rather distresses me that they see me and not Christ. Please pray about that with me will you, Beloved? For above all else I don’t want to hide Christ. I certainly want to be remembered for more than being a good chaplain and preacher. For, after all, it is not by power or by might but by God’s spirit. It is going to be so very wonderful to pray together with you again. As you know, the most blessed and sacred moments of my life have been those when we were together in each other’s arms talking to the Lord. And how good it was always just to talk with you. I have so often hoped that we could have a nice new car and be able to take a nice long trip somewhere just being able to take our time and being able to talk and pray like we used to do. There are so many things we will have to talk over again. Beloved, as I sit here and dream of that good day when we can be together again, I can honestly say with my whole heart and soul, “Thank you Lord for even such a blessed thought.”  Darling, not being a man, you will never know how much it means to have a dear one like you to return to and join again in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. As I’ve said on other occasions, thank you for being such a good Christian wife. I only hope I can mean partially as much to you as you do to me.

Some of Willis’ friends. Spring 1946

  Following the dinner hour, several different men came up here to my office to visit with me about things. I like to have the men come up here and I am glad that they like to come here. We were scheduled to play ball at 2 o’clock this afternoon. I started pitching the game and in the seventh inning, one of the opposing players deliberately ran into me kicking me in the head as he tried to get by. The catcher was backing up a throw to third baseman, the third baseman had missed the ball and the catcher threw it to me for I had gone into cover home plate to cut off the run. I had him out for sure but he rammed into me deliberately to try to get me to drop the ball. In so doing, he ran his knee into my forehead. It really knocked me out for a while, skinning my right knee and leg up quite badly. I came to after about 5 minutes or so. Please don’t worry, I’m all right and there is nothing wrong. My head aches some but that is to be expected after such a blow. Our fellows were really mad when that happened, for there is no reason for a man to be so unnecessarily rough when he sees he is out. When I was knocked out we were leading by a score of 4 to 3, but after that they lost the game to the other team by a score of 11 to 4. Evidently the team just fell apart. We had defeated this outfit twice before and they were really out for us I guess. Up to the time I was out of the game I had struck out six of their batters. So far I have pitched 20 games for our team and I’ve only walked three different men. And the pitcher who came in when I left walked the first two men up. They have really been taking care of me. Three different doctors have checked me over to see that everything is all right. And another called me. They have really been kind to me, telling me that they don’t want to lose a good man to their team. They’ve been teasing me that when I was out of the game the Lord wasn’t on their side, that’s why they lost. Please don’t worry for I am all right. The only thing I have is a headache and that will be gone by morning I’m sure.

  Well Lover, evening service is over now and there were 27 in attendance. I had Dwight, Dennis and Paul assist me with the service. In that they are all planning on studying for the ministry, I think it is good for them to have such opportunities. By the way, scripture for the evening service was from Ephesians 6:10-18. The title of my message being, “Is It Worth Defending?”  In other words, the kind of Christianity you are living is it worth defending and after you have defended it, what is the good of your position?

  Beloved, it is almost time for them to pick up the mail, so I had better drop this letter in the box. God bless you and the folks in all things. You id tow very tweet and I wuuuve you tow very much.

 With my deepest love forever in Christ’s love,

 Willis

  Colossians 3:3

June 1, 1946

Seoul, Korea

1 June 1946

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

It was surely a surprise and wonderful to have your good letter of May 21st. I really didn’t expect any mail today, but your fine letters are always received with open arms. Besides your letter, I got a very nice letter from Chaplain Schreyer and one from Jeanne. The one I got from Jeanne was the sweetest thing you could imagine. She wrote to thank me for the scarf which I sent to her as a present from us. The scarf which I sent Jeanne from us is just exactly like the one which I sent to you to give to Mary Lou Bock. This has really been some day. It started to rain last night around 11 o’clock and has been raining continually since that time. Right now it is really pouring down. My old raincoat fits me like a Ringling tent so I will keep dry except for my feet as I wade over to my house to go to bed.

  There were a number of interruptions this morning and that took a lot of time, but I did manage to do some more work for my sermon for tomorrow morning and I also got around to some of the wards to visit with some of men. Following the dinner hour, I came up here to my office but I wasn’t able to do anything for myself until after 3:3, for there was a constant stream of men in here to see me about various things. By the way, I did fail to mention the fact that I did manage to prepare my monthly report in by noon and start it on its way to the Chief of Chaplains through the long Army channels.

Earl Reed (Willis’ father) plowing the fields. 1920s.

  Following the evening meal, I came up here to my office but they were three men in here to see me. I finally decided to write Earl Minor a letter and I finished his letter before starting this one to you. I very briefly told him about some of the things which have happened around here lately and I’m sure that will help him to understand just why I haven’t been able to write to him. By the way, I just happened to think that I forgot to tell you but I wrote my father a letter last evening and also enclosed a Memorial Day bulletin for him to see.

  By the way, in today’s letter you were telling me about the proposed plan which Ray has told you for the coming retreat this Labor Day. It all sounds very good to me and I am fully in accord with all he told you at the meeting. In that we are going to be there for the Buena meeting and in that I am only to speak for them once, I wish you would inform Ray that I am willing and ready to do anything I can possibly to help with the success of the retreat in drawing those young people near to the Lord. Such a meeting is a great privilege and an opportunity to lay plans of conquest for Christ in the coming year at North Shore. If those wonderful young people with all of the privileges and opportunities they have could only see some of the things over here they would certainly cry out from the depths of their soul, “Here am I, Lord send me.”  I probably won’t be able to fit into their plans anywhere, but I just wanted them to know that I’m willing if I can help.

  You should hear it rain now, it sounds like someone pouring water out of a bucket. The Korean farmers are very grateful for this rain I know for they can work their patties much better and plant the rest of the rice. I know you would like to see them plant the rice. I’ve taken several pictures with my camera and I think it will help to give you an idea how they do it.

  It seems to me there is something else I want is you tell you this evening but for the life of me I cannot figure out what it is. Well, maybe later it will come to me, that is before I finish writing this letter.

  Darling, I don’t blame you for being put out about going all the way out to the Seminary and finding out they’re not going to have the senior picnic anyhow. You would think they would have done a better job of planning, but I know I’ve seen such things happen before.

  I was interested in mom’s comments about the women’s group and their meetings. It is unfortunate that they are not out-and-out to do things for others. It is truly a certainty that when people lose a vision for service for Christ they literally perish spiritually and in the joy which the servant of the Lord is to have.

  Well Beloved, I’m going to call this letter short tonight and try to obtain a good night’s rest for tomorrow and its privileges and responsibilities.

 Yours alone forever in Christ’s love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

May 31, 1946

Seoul, Korea

31 May 1946

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

It was really wonderful to be surprised with the arrival of your good letter of May 20th. I’ve already read the letter over three times and I was glad to hear that the scarf arrived for Mary Lou Buck and I am glad you liked the idea of us giving it to her. It is not much, but it may help to encourage her in her stand for Christ. The only other mail I received was a letter from Paul Vogel. He wrote to thank us for the $8 which I sent them some time ago. From what he said in his letter, Gen and the boys have been away for several days and I know he must have missed them very much.

  The entire morning was spent, that is I mean after 8 o’clock, seeing what I could do about hurrying them up on getting my records straight. I didn’t have the opportunity to see the man I wanted to see, but I contacted several different ones and I’m going to keep after them until they do straighten the whole thing out. To try and accomplish that which I wanted necessitated a lot of driving over the very dusty roads here in Korea, and as a result, I am quite tired tonight. Some of the roads we had to travel over are very rough and need work done on them very badly.

Willis ready to go to bat for his team. April 1946.

  I was just on my way back from dinner with a soldier wanted to see me about a problem and some trouble at home. He was here a good hour. After he left, I sat down and started to finish preparing the bulletin for this Sunday, but it took quite some time because the number of interruptions. It was about 3:30 when I had it finished and then decided to go around to some of the wards and visit with some of the patients.

  About 15 to 5 I went over to the mess hall to get a bit to eat for I was to pitch a very important game for our team this evening. You will be interested to know that we won by a score of 18 to 2. I was at bat four times and got two hits and scored twice. I also struck out seven or eight of their men.

  It has been very very hot today and right now it looks like it might start pouring down rain at any moment. It is really going to be good to change into sun tans tomorrow. It just seems that it has decided to warm up here all at once.

  By the way, one of the patients while watching one of our ball games took a snapshot of me just as I was pitching. He gave me a copy of it so I’m sending it along to you to see. The man standing up at the right of the picture and playing first base is Lieutenant McNeil. He is really one fine fellow and a real doctor.

  Dearest, in that it is so late and I am so very tired, I think I will close for tonight and try to write you a better letter tomorrow evening. God bless you and the folks in all things.

 Always just yours in Christ’s love,

  Willis

 Colossians 3:3 

May 30, 1946

Seoul, Korea

30 May 1946

(Memorial Day)

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

It is rather late and I’m quite weary so this won’t be a very long letter. It is now far too late to be able to mail this letter and have it go out tonight, so I’m going to write just a bit and then send this note along with my letter of tomorrow evening. In that this was an official holiday, there wasn’t any mail, and I will be surprised if there is any tomorrow because I don’t think they did any flying at all today. I’m hoping for some Sunday or Monday though. There is nothing in all the world that can compare with your good letters.

  I was up very early this morning and came over to the office and studied and went over my message again for today. The title of my message was, “Lest We Forget.”  I’ll send a copy of the program along. There were only 32 in attendance. I had hoped there would be more than that, but it was such a beautiful day that everyone except Duty Personnel took off and visited some of the places of interest in and around Seoul.

   That is just what Jennette, Dennis, Dwight, Paul Pierson, and I decided to do this afternoon. Jeanette had to work until 1 o’clock but she changed clothes immediately and we were able to leave here around 1:30. Chaplain Anstead, a friend of mine, is with the military government and knows a lot of places of interest, so we went to the place where he lives and he took us to many different places of interest.

 He took his Jeep and I had mine so that there were three of us in each Jeep and that made everything work out all right. First of all, we visited the old King’s Palace. It was really beautiful and interesting. I only wish you could have been along, for I know you would have enjoyed seeing such a place. The most beautiful thing of all is the throne room, which is really one whole, large building. The throne and building is almost 500 years old. It was too dark to attempt to take any pictures inside, but I did take a couple from the outside. The palace grounds are also very beautiful. We visited in the public park & zoo. Most of the animals in the zoo were destroyed by the Japanese because of the necessity of saving food and the danger of air raids. We got to see one very beautiful flower bed which was made up of all colors of peonies in bloom.

 From there we decided to visit one of the oldest and most well-known Buddhist temples in Korea. It so happens that the priests were having a service when we were there and it was really interesting. This particular temple is several hundred years old and very highly decorated. We decided to go up on the famous South Hill and view Seoul from that point. It is really a beautiful view and it gives you a wonderful idea of the layout of the entire city. Seoul is really surrounded by some beautiful rugged mountains. By the time we were able to return to Chaplain Anstead’s place it was dark. We had a little to eat there and visit for a while and I drove them back and came up here to my office and here I am writing to the most wonderful Christian wife any man could ever hope to have. God bless you, my Lover. I’ll write more tomorrow evening. Give the folks my love.

 Forever and only yours in Christ’s love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

May 29, 1946

Seoul, Korea

29 May 1946

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

Well, Beloved, about the only redeeming feature of this whole day was the arrival of your good letters of May 17th and 19th. I read your letters over several times already. They were such good letters and I really am becoming very tired and weary of being separated from you this way. I only received one other letter besides your two letters, it was from Arnold Hodak. He had written it just before going aboard ship for his return to the United States.

Samuel Zwemer.

Darling, the thing that has made me feel so badly today is the fact that I’ll probably not be able to leave here until sometime in August. I don’t like to tell you this and make you feel badly, also but there is no use trying to hide it from you. When I found that out this afternoon it made me feel so badly I could have cried. And I am still feeling badly about the whole thing. Don’t worry, however, because I’m going to see if something cannot be done about the whole situation. I don’t want to be ugly and out of the Lord’s will, but honestly Dear, I’m not going to be able to stand much more of this separation from you. It is pretty hard to see everyone else receiving the brakes and I still have to stay over here. Of course, it is still true that a lot of those going home have been in the Army longer than I have, but they have spent all but the last four to nine months of their army service in the States. For some reason or other, it just seems I cannot get a break. At least I ought to be able to leave here when Alrik does, for after all, I have been overseas 6 months longer than he has been.

  Most of the morning I spent on preparing the sermons for this coming Sunday and also the Memorial Day service for tomorrow morning. This afternoon I did call in on some of the wards and finished reading the book entitled PRAYER. I enjoyed that book very much and I’m sure you would enjoy reading the book also.

  Following the evening meal, I came back here to my office and wrote a short letter to Chaplain Hedberg. You will remember I had heard from him a week or so ago but hadn’t had the time to write to him. I was interested and glad to finally find out how you came out with Lt. John and introducing him to June Peterson. So he must have had a nice time with Billie Arvidson from what you said in your letter.

  It has really been very warm today and we finally received official word today that we are to change into our sun tans this Saturday, June 1st. As soon as possible after that I’m going to send my heavy clothes home to you. And I’m going to send the special present which I bought for you along about that same time.

  I’m glad you had the privilege of hearing Dr. Samuel Zwemer.  I’ve read a number of things he has written, but I’ve never heard him speak. I know he must be a wonderful man of God. We surely need many more men like him. From what you said in your letter, I can see that he must have given a very fine talk in chapel.

  That was some wonderful coincidence you had running into that chaplain while handing in your last lessons in your correspondence course.

  It is good to know that Gen is able to do a little work at home and that her mind is relieved of so many other cares, and then besides, it will give her a feeling of great satisfaction that she is helping with all the necessary cost of the family.

  Well, Beloved, I know this isn’t such a good letter but my old heart is so heavy tonight I can hardly stand it, so I think I had better close and try to get some rest. Please forgive me for being so blue but I cannot help but hurt in being separated from you this way. God bless you Beloved and be sure to give the folks my love.

 I’m just yours, Dear, for now and all eternity in Christ’s love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

May 28, 1946

Seoul, Korea

28 May 1946

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

It was surely good to have your letter of May 18th today and I have read it over four times already. Your letter of the 17th is missing and I hope it shows up, for I hate to miss out on anything which you write to me in your good letters. There was very little mail today so I consider myself fortunate to have received in any mail with so very little coming in.

I cannot get over Lt. John calling you and being so very much interested in June Peterson. I had forgotten all about the situation. It happened something like this, one day I was calling on him and others in his ward when he happened to make the statement, “ That he didn’t have any use for the women because it is impossible to trust them.”  I told him that all depends on the woman involved, and then I showed him your picture and told him that you were a girl to be trusted unreservedly for you were true blue and a wonderful Christian wife to me and always a constant source of inspiration. Eventually, he informed me that his girlfriend had turned him down while overseas. It so happens that you had just told me around that time that June Peterson’s husband to be had walked out on her. I mentioned the fact to him that one of our friends (June Peterson) had the same thing happened to her. He asked me what kind of a girl she was and I told him she was a very fine Christian and that she was among the best. Out of a clear blue sky he seemed to be interested. He asked me if I had a picture of her and I did recall that I had a picture of a group of the white-collar girls and that she was in it. I didn’t bring it down for several days and he just kept after me to bring it down for him to see. Finally, at last, I took it down and he thought she was a nice looking girl. And I never thought any more about it except when he left here for the States he told me that he was going to try and look her up. And when I read this today in your letter I about fell over. I’m surely anxious for your letter the 19th to come to see if he got to meet June. I’ll bet June will think I’m some chaplain. He is certainly a persistent fellow and as I remember, he is a fine appearing fellow. I cannot get over the fact how interested he became in June right from the first. He certainly had a hard time locating you by phone, didn’t he? He was most kind in some of his statements to you concerning me.

  Most of the morning was consumed in calling in the various wards. As I’ve mentioned before, I always like to rise early so I can have my devotions before the activities of the day begin around the hospital. At 11o’clock I went down to the operating room and Captain Blanchard removed the seven warts which I had on my hands. My hands are a little sore this evening but that is to be expected. Two of them were bothering me a little.

Willis Reed and Paul Wells after the baptisms on July 29th.

It was rather cool this morning but it is certainly hot enough now. We are still wearing our woolens and naturally that doesn’t help matters very much. I don’t know for sure but someone said we are supposed to go into our sun tans Saturday, June 1st. Paul Wells came by this afternoon to call on some of his men who are patients in our hospital. Nothing of much interest took place today, but of course, you realize that I do love you much more than ever I have before. Again, thank you for being such a wonderful Christian wife to me.

  From what you said in your letter, Elaine and George’s wedding must have been very nice. Your description of the wedding made me think of our beautiful wedding. You were such a beautiful bride and as long as I live I shall never forget the expression on your face as you came down the aisle at Buena.  Isn’t it wonderful to have your love grow deeper every passing day? Then, I never realized it would be possible to love someone like I love you, and thank the Lord He has promised that it will continue to grow.

  It’s good to know that you had such a nice visit with Betty and Don Williams. I hope they are able to find a decent place to live, for as you said, it isn’t very pleasant to live in a small room especially when they have to pay such outrageous rent. Don is just starting his course at Garrett, isn’t he? Is he planning on taking some work at Northwestern also?

  I was surprised to hear that Dr. Wilson had preached at Tremont Temple. They must have been having a very difficult time finding someone to take Dr. Brownville’s place. That isn’t an easy church and it would take a strong man to lead them back to the place they were under the able leadership of Dr. Brownsville.

  It made me feel badly to think that you felt that Betty Roos didn’t look so happy. I hope that Fred comes along alright, for after all, Betty is a very fine girl and she deserves the best. I never did know Fred too well, therefore it is hard for me to tell you what I think of his future.

Well, Beloved, it is almost time for Bible class so I had better bring this letter to a close and drop it in our mailbox. God bless you and the folks in all things.

 Always yours only because we are forever each other’s in Christ’s wonderful love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3 

May 27, 1946

Seoul, Korea

27 May 1946

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

Well Beloved, as I had anticipated, we didn’t receive any mail whatsoever today. But don’t think I’m complaining for really the mail has been coming through very well lately, however, as you know I always miss your wonderful letters when they fail to arrive. It is going to be such a  blessed privilege just to be with you again and talk and love like we used to do when we did have the good privilege of being together. By the way, I wrote a letter to the folks before Bible class this evening and I sent the Chief a number of flies which a patient made here in the hospital. In civilian life, he made them for professional fisherman, and since being in the Army he has been making them and returning them to the States to sell. It is not much of a gift for the Chief but I thought I would seize the opportunity to send him something, for it is entirely impossible for me to explain just how much he means to me and how much I appreciate all the kind of things he has done for us from time to time.

George Buttrick.

  Also in their letter, I mentioned the fact that there is no use expecting me to be there in time for the privilege of spending any time with them under vacation, and of course Darling, I’m sure you realize the fact that means there isn’t any use for looking forward to my being there for our 4th wedding anniversary. I’m going to be absolutely honest with you, even at the expense of maybe making you feel worse, but Darling, I confess to you that it hurts me more than words can tell to think that I’m not going to be able to be with you for our anniversary. First, I had always hoped to be home for your birthday, and after that graduation and then I hoped for sure I had to be there for our anniversary. But it now looks like it is not the Lord’s will. I’ve been praying for His will and I know you have so we must go on carrying our aching hearts hoping that in His good pleasure that it won’t be much longer. I do hope this doesn’t make you feel too badly Dear, but I just felt I would like to confess to you just how this whole thing makes me feel. From the looks of things, at this present time I will probably be lucky to be able to leave here sometime around the 15th of July. I so pray and hope that it will be before that date. I’m counting on you to pray to that effect.

  This day has been very much routine and I haven’t accomplished very much I’m sorry to say. In fact, for some reason or other, I was pretty weary and tired today. During the noon hour, I retired to my quarters and rested for about 40 minutes. I feel perfectly well this evening and as soon as I finish this letter I’m going to go to my room and retire for the night. It still becomes very cool during the nights here, in fact until about 9 o’clock in the morning it is actually chilly, but I suppose it will become very warm here soon.

  Early this morning, I had my devotions and read some more in Buttrick’s book on PRAYER. I only have two more chapters to read now. It is really a splendid book, and I have found it very helpful for my reading. He has some very fine ideas and  I would certainly enjoy knowing such a man personally.

  This afternoon I was called in some of the wards and then took care of a couple of cases which came up. One of them was one of the sad cases of a wife running off and leaving a small son with the husband’s parents. She has been missing now for 7 weeks and no one knows where she is or any more about her.

We only had seven out for our Bible class this evening and I do think perhaps that it proved thought-provoking and helpful to those who attended. They entered into the discussion very well.

  From what you said in your letter, Dr. Stiansen must have given a fine talk in the chapel concerning the Northern Baptist Convention. I wholeheartedly agreed with what you told me that he expressed in his talk to those in Chapel. I was surprised what you said about Paul Vogel not being too much impressed with Dr. Stiansen’s message. I certainly hope that Paul doesn’t become involved with the attitude that a lot of the brethren have taken concerning the convention. I am still very much for the convention in spite of its weaknesses and I am going to do all I can to seek to serve Christ through the convention. My Army experience has indeed been an education and I am going to talk over a lot of things with you when I return. It is about time we quit fooling around with the name-calling and analysis of our brethren and preach the fundamentals of the word. To me, Christ is much larger than our petty differences. I believe the average person doesn’t have enough biblical knowledge to distinguish between a liberal and a conservative. It all reverts back to a great responsibility of training in our church schools and young peoples groups.

  Darling, it is almost time for the mail to be picked up so I had better sign off and drop it in the box. God bless you Darling and the folks in all things.

 Yours only and always in His love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3