January 20, 1945

January 20, 1945

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

I had hoped that I would receive some mail this evening, but none arrived so I will have to hope for some now on Monday. It is certainly a lonesome feeling when I don’t receive mail, even though there are thousands of men around here. Nothing in all this world can ever take the place of your wonderful inspirational letters. I got up early this morning and my assistant and I returned to our regular area and sought to get everything lined up for tomorrow’s services. He made the bulletin and put out the church calls while I finished preparing my sermon and washing out the clothes that I got dirty while going through jungle training. After eating a late supper, I came back to my quarters and wrote a letter to Charlie and one to Nettie. I am going to enclose her v-mail letter in this letter for you to read. Darling, I think it would be grand if you two could get together for awhile, especially since both Charlie and I are overseas. I think it would be nice for you to write her a letter and ask her to spend one night with you. Nettie is certainly a wonderful sensible Christian woman. In fact, I think she is one of the finest it has ever been my privilege to know. And when you know her background you will even love her more. I never receive a letter from Charlie or Nettie, but what they tell me how much they think of you Darling, of course I let them know that they don’t even know the half of it. They will love you much much more when they know you better.

Picture of sunset in Hilo Bay. Sent from Willis to Sarah.

You would have enjoyed the sunset tonight, it was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen since being up here at my new assignment. Actually, the top of the mountains looked like they were on fire with reflection from the clouds which were so filmy and transparent. Such scenes are so very difficult to describe adequately.

Darling, now I am going to answer some more of your questions and make comments on other things you said in your letters. Tonight I’ll start with your letter of December 27th. I was glad to hear that the coconuts got through to you. I can just see you and Mom trying to pry the lid off of the box. No, the tiniest one is not ripe. I sent it along so you would have an idea how a small one look as it developed. I was very glad to hear that Maurice and Edith were able to go to his folks home for Christmas season. I am sure they must have enjoyed it very much. You were wondering how old Dr. Edson is,  I’m not sure but I believe they said he is 38 or 40, at least it is somewhere in that locality. He is a very fine pastor and has done a wonderful work in that church.

It is good to know that the folks’ picture will soon be done, I can hardly wait until it arrives. I will be so glad to have it right there with yours, Dear. Darling, it was in your letter of the 27th that you told me about my father’s injury. You are such a blessing to my heart in every way and I am so thankful unto the Lord that you wanted to help him with the operation. I have already told you how I feel about it, and all I would add is this, ”Thank you for being such a wonderful Christian wife.” Only in heaven will I ever be able to let you know how much I love you, Dearest.

I’m sorry to know that Joe Large hasn’t been feeling so well. I do hope that he soon gets back to normal. This Army is unpleasant enough without being sick on top of it.

I was surprised to hear about the accident my father had had, he never did mention it to me in any of his letters. I’m glad he wasn’t hurt any worse than he was. Darling, you were wondering if I asked for combat duty, I did not, I had nothing to do with this assignment whatsoever, that is as far as asking is concerned. However, I have been told since my arrival up here by the Chief of Chaplains that I was chosen out of seven different chaplains for this job on the basis of the work I did at my former station. If I could tell you a few things, I’m sure you would understand, but I think it is unwise to do so now. Perhaps sometime later and if not then, I will tell you when we are together. Some good things were said and my recommendation was alright, but I would rather have someone else tell you.

That sounds just like my grandmother to say that she went through Connie’s operation a week before she did. In November she wrote me a letter which said the same thing in about three pages. So I wrote back and told her as kindly as I knew how to trust the Lord and quit trying to check up on everything for the Lord. People of her make up are so very unhappy. As long as I have known my grandmother, I can never remember the time when she wasn’t complaining about something. That is surely a contrast to dear Grandma Norman. I have tried so many ways to help my grandmother out of that awful rut, but she seems to enjoy staying in it so there is little that can be done for her.

Well Dear, I am going to close for tonight and may God richly bless you in all things. I love you so very much.

Yours forever because of the oneness

Which is ours because of the

Love of Christ.

Willis

Colossians 3:3

January 19, 1945

January 19, 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

We have just returned from some night maneuvers and you should see us, we are covered with mud from head to foot. I really enjoyed being with the men. They are a good bunch of fellows and they are interested in being well-prepared. I have been out all day with two different groups and I am quite tired, especially in that is so very late.

Pocket Bible that Willis carried with him throughout the war.

I’m only going to take enough time to drop you a note tonight and try to find some time to write you a better letter tomorrow evening. Before I can go to bed I will have to go and take a shower, which of course will be a little colder than usual because it will be taken at a late hour during the night.

Several times during the day we had breaks and I had my Bible along (the one Kitty gave me) and I read from several different places and decided to preach from Hebrews 11:8-16. I have decided to take for the title of my message part of the eighth verse, except I will entitle my message, “When You are Called to Go Out.”

When I returned this evening I found that a little mail had arrived for me, it had gone to my former A.P.O. and had been returned, it was a nice v-mail from Nettie, (as soon I answer it I will mail it to you), a nice Christmas card from Hildur Anderson, a very good friend of the Normans. I believe you met her on one occasion, she is a very fine person, two overseas additions of the Boston Herald from the Riley’s in Boston, a bulletin from Tremont Temple Baptist Church and a bulletin from NSBC.

Darling, in that it is so very late and I am tired and I will have to get up early tomorrow morning, I will close for now, remember I love you more than ever, Dear. God bless you in all things is my earnest prayer.

Ever yours I am in the love of

Our blessed Savior Jesus Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

January 18, 1945

January 18, 1945

Sarah, My Darling:

Troops in the Pacific Theater of Operation. 1945.

Well, another day has rolled by and we are that much nearer being together again, as for me, that day can come none too soon. While we were slogging our way through the mud, climbing slippery banks, fording swift mountain streams, I often thought of you because I know you would have enjoyed the beauty of some of the majestic mountain peaks. I know you would not have appreciated the mud, for on several occasions men dropped down into muddy swamps clear up to their hips and I would seek to help them out. It isn’t easy to fight your way through all kinds of undergrowth and swamps when you are carrying heavy equipment. I am staying with the men on every bit of the training, for I want to be fully prepared for whatever may come in the future. Personally, I think they’re a fine bunch of men and I am going to do my very best to fully represent Christ to them by my own life among them. It isn’t pleasing to come in covered from head to foot with mud and soaked with jungle rains, but I, with the Apostle Paul, have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content and only pray, that my life will be a clean enough vessel for the Master’s use. There are so many more things I would like to tell you, but as I said before, that is out of the question now. Someday we will be able to talk about it and thank the Lord for all His goodness and blessings to us in this time of our separation. I will probably be with this outfit now until I am through with the Army, if not, I have learned many things even in the short time I have been with this division.

Well Darling, I will have to make some comments on more of your letters, for that is all I can tell you now. Of course, first of all, I am sure you realize I love you more than ever. Darling, you are surely an inspiration to me in every way. I am going to start out tonight with your letter of December 25th. I could surely see all the excitement around Mable’s house when the children opened their Christmas presents. Your dinner sounded very good, and I would have been very happy to have been there with all of you. I’m glad you took pictures of each group as they arrived. I will be looking forward to having those pictures to place in my album with the rest I have that you sent to me. There is nothing like pictures from those you love.

I’m glad that the bracelet arrived alright. I thought I told you I made it a little large, so you could adjust it to your own wrist size. I’m sorry it was too large, I thought it would be better to make it a little too large and then you could cut it down. If I made it to small you would have had a hard time wearing it. You will probably be surprised to know that the glue was Capt. Wilkinson’s and my own fixing. We took the handle of two old toothbrushes and put them in acid and they really made good glue. That is, they seemed to be holding very well when I mailed the bracelet to you. I am so surprised to hear about Sylvia. It seems you never know what she is going to do next. Sometimes I wonder about her. If her husband is a good man like my father says, I do hope she will stick by him. Darling, how did my grandmother and  Cornelia treat my father when you visited them? If you will remember, the last time he saw them was in 1938 at my mother’s graveside. At that time, Cornelia was the only one who talked to my father at all. My grandmother made all kinds of remarks and carried on so. You will remember I told you about it. I shall never forget that moment. I am so thankful unto God for the salvation which I received through the Lord Jesus Christ. When I look back to the place where I was before I became a Christian, I cannot help but praise the Lord for His wonderful goodness to me. How thankful I am that we together can look forward to the future with bright hope because of the promises of our Lord.

Again, I want to thank the Chief for his kindness and thoughtfulness in providing the new teeth for my father. I know it will help him a lot. And Darling, thank you for wanting to pay for them, you are such a good and thoughtful wife. Again I say, what I have so often said, if the Lord had given me a piece of paper and said, “Willis, you list everything you want in your wife to be,” I could have never thought of all the things you are Beloved. I so long to be partially worthy of you and your wonderful love.

It was good that my father got to see the Norman’s again. They are such wonderful people. When you see grandma again, be sure to tell her that I pass my love on to her. She is the sweetest mother I know. Darling, as strange as it may seem, she is more like my own grandmother. I have never been able to fully realize that my mother’s mother is my own grandmother. I know this, I do love Grandma Norman so much more that there is no comparison and it is because she is such a sweet humble Christian. When you see her, perhaps you will be able to tell Grandma Norman that for me. I am also glad to hear that Leonard is now home to finish Northwestern. By the way, is he no longer with Horace Heidt’s band? I hope he isn’t. Darling, I think that was very nice of Edith to give you the stationery for Christmas. When I have a little time I will try to write them a letter, but in the meantime give all of them my love and best wishes, and tell them that I often think of them. Normans mean more to me than they will probably ever know. Wesley is absolutely one of the finest men it has ever been my privilege to know.

Well Darling, I will close for tonight and try to answer more of your questions tomorrow evening. God bless you Beloved, and remember, I love you much more than ever. Be sure to give the folks at my deepest love.

I shall forever be grateful to God

For the privilege which is mine

 in being your husband.

Only yours in Christ’s love,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

January 17, 1945

January 17, 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling Sweetheart:

This has certainly been some day, we came in from our training tonight soaked to the gills. It poured rain most of the day and it really made our jungle training more difficult. As soon as I returned tonight, I took a cold shower which made me feel a lot better after being covered from head to foot with volcanic mud. Such training is good for us I am sure. The cooks had a nice hot meal for us that really helped a lot after going through all we did.

As soon as I could get cleaned up and eat a little, I made arrangements for our regular midweek service. We only had six in attendance, but that isn’t too bad when you consider the fact that many of them couldn’t come tonight because of certain other training. Just before our meeting our mail orderly brought several letters from you, they were for January 6th, 8th and 9th. Now I have all of your letters up to and including the 10th of January. That is about the quickest your mail has reached me since my arrival overseas. Besides your letters, I had a letter from Dan Flickenstein (Phyllis Van Valey’s fiancé), Harold and Buena, Capt. Wilkinson, Gail Holly and a bulletin from the First Baptist Church of Long Beach, California.

Darling, it was certainly good to have your letters, to read them meant so much to me. I wish I could let you know just how much those letters mean to me. Now I think I will try to answer some more of the questions and make comments on all of the letters I have received from you here recently.

Downtown Chicago. 1945.

I am glad that everything worked out alright and that the Chief was able to take him out to dinner and that you didn’t have to come downtown. So you think I look like my father, a lot of other people have told me the same thing. I was glad to hear that Pfc. John Stroo wrote you such a nice letter. He asked for your address, but I wasn’t aware of the letter, I thought he wanted to send you a Christmas card. He was a mighty fine Christian fellow and I know you would like him very much, he too was lonesome for his dear wife.

From what you told me in your letter, my father must have enjoyed all the shells and pictures that you showed him. I think it was very sweet and thoughtful of you to prepare a box of shells for him to take home with him to give to the children at Hampton. From what you told me in your letter of December 23rd, you must have received several very fine Christmas presents. People are certainly good to us.

Your description of the services at North Shore was very good, and I am sure they must have been a blessing to all those who were there. I’m glad my father got to see the church at this time of the year. Darling, I would have given a lot to be able to be with you, sometimes I become so lonesome for you that it seems my heart will break, I only hope it won’t be too much longer.

I’m glad my father had the opportunity to meet the Bohart’s, they are such very fine people and I have always liked them so much. It was certainly a blow to me to hear that Mrs. Anderson lost most everything in a fire. She is such a sweet, sincere Christian. I only hope things will work out alright for her. If you should happen to see her, be sure to give her my love and best wishes and inform her that I was sorry to hear about her misfortune.

It is good to know that my father was able to meet so many of the people at Buena. I know he must have enjoyed meeting them. Darling, you are such a good wife in every way, I shall never be able to thank the Lord enough for you and your wonderful love which inspires me in so many different ways. I know my father must have been interested in seeing the cottage. I will certainly be happy when I can see it again.

Well Darling, it is rather late and I will have to close and get some rest because we have to get up very early tomorrow morning to go out on some more training problems. God bless you Dearest in all things, remember I love you more tonight than I did it last night.

Yours always in the love of Christ

Jesus our Lord,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

January 16, 1945

January 16, 1945

My Beloved Darling Wife:

As I said to you in last nights letter, I am not going to be able to tell you very much about my activities this week because of military security. I will have to try and answer a few of the many questions that came in your wonderful letters of last night. Darling, I have been very busy today, but nonetheless I thought of you in many different ways and was hoping everything was coming along well for you back there.

Early this morning, or I should say during the night, it started to rain and as a result all of our training was very wet. Most of the men looked like they have been rolling in mud. It is strenuous and tiring training but if it will prepare us better for days ahead I am willing and ready to go through all of it along with every one of the foot soldiers.

I did have a few moments this evening, so I took the opportunity to read part of your letters over again this evening. I do wish I could convey to you in someway the feeling which is mine when I read your very fine letters. I know all of you were very good to my father during the Christmas season and I appreciate more than you will ever know.

Willis’ letter from January 16, 1945.

In your letter of December 20th, you told me about purchasing the Norma pencil for me. Darling, that is a wonderful present and it is something I have wanted for a long time. I knew it was impossible to buy them, and I was surprised to hear that they had released some for sale. You are such a wonderful thoughtful wife in every way. Please keep it there Dear, and use it for your own work. I would like to have it but with the future so uncertain out here I think it would be most unwise to mail it out here. You are such a wonderful wife and companion to me. I love you more than words can ever tell, Dear.

I am certainly glad to hear that Arthur is improving, I do hope that he will soon be able to get around and do anything any other normal child would do at his age. I’m sure it must be quite a problem for them to care for him when he is so old and not able to do the things in normal child should at his age. I never knew that Dr. Wilson always had a Christmas party for members of his church before. From what you said in your letter, the party he gave must’ve been very very nice.

It was good to hear that that one box reached you so very soon. I am happy you liked the things the box contained. As I said before, I send all of those things to you with all of my love attached. How thankful I will be when we can be together and not have to mail our love gifts to each other. You were wondering what kind of shark teeth they use for the swords, they usually use sand shark teeth, and those large ones I sent to you were the teeth taken from the mouth of a 350 pound Tiger shark. So John is not going to have to go overseas, I know that Claudia must be happy about that.

Darling, I am going to try and answer more of your questions tomorrow evening. However, find enclosed in this letter a poem which I found and like very much, it is entitled, “Be With My Love”. I find it expresses my feelings concerning you in a very good way. God bless you Darling in all things, and remember, I love you more than ever. Be sure to give my love to our dear friends. 

Yours I am forever in the Love of Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

January 15, 1945

January 15, 1945

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

We were all up very early this morning and on our way before daylight. I certainly like training like this. In spite of being very busy, I thought of you many times and was hoping some more of your back letters would come through. And to my great joy late tonight all of your letters from December 20th to January 10th arrived, that is, there are three of them missing. They are for the following days, January 6th, 8th and 9th. Sweetheart, words cannot in any way whatsoever describe my joy in receiving those wonderful letters of yours. I am certainly thankful unto the Lord for such a wonderful Christian wife as you are.

Sweetheart, in that this is very late I am not going to be able to write you a very long letter, I will seek to answer most of the most important questions in your precious letters that have arrived this evening. Because of our type of training, I’m not going to be able to tell you very much that I do in my letters this week.

Sarah and Earl Reed. December 1944.

First of all Darling, I want to thank you for your wonderful love and kindness to my father while he was there in the folks home. I probably won’t have an opportunity to write to the folks for a while so be sure to thank them for me also. Words cannot possibly describe my gratitude to the Chief for working so hard to see that my father has a good set of teeth. Be sure to thank him Dear, and let him know I love him more than words can tell and I want above all else to be a son-in-law worthy of his love and trust and hope in me.

I am also happy that the Chief told Mom and Mom told you about my fathers need of an operation. Of course I feel very badly about the whole thing, for he never did mention it to me. I feel as you feel, that we are to do something about it. I, as you feel, it would be an investment that would bring us interest in terms of my father’s better health which is much more important than all the money we can ever hope to save or put in the bank. Darling, thank you for being such a kind and thoughtful wife. Darling, I will not be able to send you any more money until I’m paid at the end of this month, but if you have $200 send it to him right away. I don’t have very much time but I will write him a short note to tell them that you are going to send the money to him from us and that we want him to get the operation taken care of as soon as possible. Thank you for telling me all about this, Dear.

Another thing you mentioned in this group of letters several times and I will answer, and that is concerning your thesis. Darling, of course I would like to see you finish it this year, but as I’ve said before, your health comes first. I hardly know how to advise you, so I will suggest that you talk it over with Dr. Mantey, for I have always found his counseling among the very best. If you finished it this year and I haven’t returned by this fall, you will even enjoy your other courses more because you will be able to take what subjects you like and read what other things you feel will be of most help to you. All I ask Darling is this, by all means don’t overwork and ask the Lord for His leading and know you will make the proper decision.

By the way, last night I was so rushed before I had to finish the letter before lights out that I didn’t have time to mention the fact at exactly 5 years ago yesterday I preached my first sermon at Lexington, Illinois. You will also find enclosed with last night’s letter and this one a bulletin for yesterday’s services.

I have no way of knowing what I will be doing tomorrow evening but if at all possible I will try to answer some more of your questions. Remember Darling, I love you more than ever I have before. Be sure to give the folks my deepest love.

Ever yours in the Love of Christ Jesus,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

January 14, 1945

January 14, 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling Wife:

This has really been a busy day for me and I have enjoyed it very much as a result. As I have said before, days like these seem to help the time to slip by much faster, and you know what that means, don’t you Dear? The sooner this Army business is over, the sooner we will be able to be back there together in the work which we love the most. In spite of being very busy, I thought of you a good many times and wondered what you must have been doing.

Today was the second Sunday for the new service I started in our regiment, and in spite of the fact that part of the men were gone out on a course of specialized training, there were 17 in attendance. Immediately following that service, a driver, my assistant and I left for the Jungle Training Center. We had a service set up for 4 o’clock for the men. I titled my message, “Freedom! What does it mean to you?” The King James version used “Liberty” in the 13th verse, whereas Goodspeed uses the word “freedom” which I think is better.

Willis with “Snookie,” on Christmas Island. 1944.

Immediately following the service up here we went back to our regular camp area where I had an evening service set up for the men back there. While there, we picked up our things that we will need for our training here at the Jungle School. By that time, we had to get down to the chapel for the evening service. I preached on Hebrews 2:1-9. Key verse being the third. We had 17 in attendance at this service also. Perhaps we will have a better attendance next Sunday when all of our outfit is together again.

Following the evening service, we had to hurry to get back here in time. On the way, it really poured rain. I was certainly thankful for the top we had on our Jeep. It kept us from being soaked anyhow. I got my bed set up and arranged things as best I could in the dark.

Darling, I wish you could see the beautiful scenery around here, I know you would certainly enjoy it. The mountains around here are among the most beautiful I have ever seen. The sunset this evening was certainly a sight to behold. The sun shining on the sides of one great mountainsides looked so much like the mighty buttresses of some old 13th-century cathedral. I wish I could find some pictures of them to send to you for I know you would enjoy seeing them, but as it is, we are not allowed to take pictures for military and security reasons.

Darling, it is time for lights out and I must really get to bed for we have to get up very early in the morning to be ready to start our training. Remember I love you more tonight than ever I have before. Give the folks my deepest love.

Yours forever in the Love of our 

Lord Jesus Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

January 13, 1945

January 13, 1945

Sarah, My Darling Wife:

I had so hoped there would be some mail today, but none arrived, so I will have to hope there will be some tomorrow. I know you must have sent all of your letters through at the same time. Anyhow, two of them really got here in a hurry. They were dated the sixth of January and I received them on the eleventh. I am glad part of them arrived for the day that marked the completion of one whole year without seeing you. I have read your last letters this evening and will probably read them several times before more mail comes in from you. Your letters really help me out a whole lot. 

Joseph Rivard. Picture sent to Sarah by Willis.
January 1945.

This morning I spent almost the whole time working on services for tomorrow. About an hour before dinner I visited around the various company areas with some of the men. I also had my dinner with another one of the outfits. I want to do my best to get acquainted with all of the men, for it helps a lot if you know the men.

Immediately following dinner, I came back to my quarters and read my devotional material for today. I always enjoy reading the material. After that I left here to call at another hospital. I got to see five of the men while down there. While there I also met the Chaplin who is the chaplain for the hospital. He is a Lutheran, Missouri Synod. After coming back to my quarters, I started to get my quarters cleaned. The wind has been blowing very hard here today and as a result everything was covered with dirt. I also took the time to clean and polish some of my equipment. This next week all of us will be taking jungle training. I will have a service here tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock and and another at 4 o’clock up at jungle training center. And then we will return to this area so we can have our evening service in the Post Chapel. I wanted to start this letter to you rather early this evening, but a soldier came in to see me and we visited for almost 2 hours. He was very much interested in the Bible and asked a lot of questions.

Now I am going to take the opportunity to answer some of the questions in your last letters of January 1st and 2nd, which happen to be your last, all the others in between are missing. Maybe they will come tomorrow, I do hope so. Darling, I am so glad to hear about the interest the Chief has taken in studying the Bible. I’m sure he will be a fine example of what God does for those who seek to know him better. You mentioned in your letter of the first that when my father returned he was going to the office to have the Chief work on him, and that you hoped he liked his new teeth. I’m sure you must have told me more in some other letters that I have not received. I take it that the Chief is doing some work for him. That is certainly wonderful of him and I appreciate it more than you can imagine.

That was very nice of you to write to John Stroo, I know he will appreciate your letter very much. He is a very fine Christian fellow. He told me that he wrote a letter to you. It surely sound strange to hear about the cold weather back there. Your first day in school was really a full day and it was too bad that you were late because of the slow streetcars.

Darling, you got a very good grade in history, keep up the good work. It really makes me so thankful and happy to know you are doing such very good work, and most of all I am happy that you are enjoying your work at Northern.

I am glad to know that you gave Dr. Mantey the money for my birthday. From all you have told me in your letter, Mr. Sellers must have given a very fine message in chapel. I have met him on two or three occasions and like him very very much. I don’t think he would remember me though. I was very much surprised to hear that Dr. Koller has received a D.D. degree from Eastern. 

I was very much surprised to hear that Still Hines has been operated upon, is he getting along alright? Was it a very serious operation? I’m sorry to hear about little Shirley Bender, I do hope that she doesn’t have to suffer too long. By the way, are the Benders related to Mrs. Henry? That used to be her name before she married Carl.

Darling, I got a kick out of reading that statement you made about buying a new book and getting a Hershey bar with the purchase. The way you said it was so very very sweet. I know you must have been happy and glad to see Paul and Gen after the holidays. I am sure the boys must be really growing. I would certainly like to see them. I was surprised to hear that Ralph was there visiting. I do hope that the influence of Paul and Gen will help him. I am not too much surprised about Kinzer, and I do hope that something will happen to make that man come to himself. I will certainly surprised to hear about Sarah Coyne, I never thought she would change you so much, although I have had enough contact with those of the profession that she is preparing for to know that she could be easily led to think nothing of doing all the things you mentioned in your letter. Many of those of her profession over here drink and smoke and think nothing of it. I could tell you some things that would break your heart. Such as cheating on the behalf of officers, even though they are married and have families, and I know in several instances the nurses involved know they are married but it doesn’t seem to make any difference. I assure you I will pray for her, because she is too fine a girl to fritter her life away on such things.

It is encouraging to know that Stan and Lee are getting started so well with their work in the church. I feel confident that the Lord will bless them and use them for a real blessing in that community.

Well Lover, in that tomorrow is Sunday, I want to get a good nights sleep so I will be fully prepared for the responsibilities. I love you more tonight than ever I have before. God bless you in all things is my earnest prayer. Give the folks and all our dear friends my love.

So thankful to God for our Oneness

Forever in the Love of Christ Jesus,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

January 12, 1945

January 12, 1945

My Beloved Darling Sweetheart:

Well, here it is late again but I’m going to do my best to write you a longer letter than I have for the last few nights. Of course, I thought of you many times today in many ways. Just a year ago tonight I was on the El Capitan headed for Long Beach, California. I will certainly be happy when I am on the train heading back for Chicago. 

“General’s Loop” Oahu. Sgts. Crackett, Beede, Viscounti. January 1945. From Sarah’s Scrapbook.

In brief, I spent the entire day calling on men from my outfit in the various hospitals. I always enjoy this work, but the hospitals are so scattered and far apart that a lot of your time is spent in traveling from one place to another and then that way you don’t have a lot of time with each man. By the way, it so happens that Chaplain Gabrielson is the hospital chaplain at one of the hospitals where I called on the men. It was certainly good to see him again for a while. I had dinner with him and visited for about another half hour, I would like to have visited longer but in order to reach the other hospitals, we had to be on our way. He asked me to be sure to extend his greetings and best wishes to you. He also asked me to have you greet Dr. Stiansen for him when you have the opportunity. He, as we, think Dr. Stiansen is among the best. I told him about Mrs. Stiansen and he said he would be very glad to remember her in is prayer. I also had an opportunity to visit with Chaplin Brown for about 10 minutes. He was glad to see me and wondered how you were coming along at Northern. You’ll remember his wife is studying at William Jewell College while he is in the service. 

While on the way to one of our first hospital stops, we were passing by Carl Anderson’s place. I stopped by and visited with him for about 15 minutes. Lieutenant General Richardson came in just as I was leaving. Carl wants me to plan to spend a night with him in the near future. However, I will not be able to do so for a while because I wanted to really get things underway here before I take any time off. Next week, we are to have the whole week in jungle training. As a result, it will throw most of our program out of gear. I was working on my message for this Sunday morning when a soldier came into see me about a problem that was bothering him. We talked for almost an hour before he left. Shortly after he left another soldier came to see me. As you can see, my evening has been greatly broken up and I have not been able to accomplish that which I set out to do.  I don’t mind though for I am very happy to have the men come to me with their problems. Some of the things that happen almost break your heart. Please pray that I may lead of the Holy Spirit as I seek to help men with their problems. 

By the way Darling, I am have meant to tell you for several days now to send the folks’ picture as soon as possible. I am rather anxious to have it. I know it will really look nice in the frame that you sent with your lovely picture. So many times I look at your lovely picture and breathe a prayer of thankfulness to our Lord for the privilege which is mine in being your husband. 

Well now Dear, I’m going to devote the rest of this letter to answer some of your questions and making comments on other things you said. I was surprised to hear about Mary Lindner moving to Honolulu. If we don’t leave here too soon, perhaps I will have the privilege of meeting her and her husband. Do you have any idea when he will be able to get transportation over here? I too am sorry to know that she or her husband are not Christians. I am certainly happy about the Chief. It is wonderful how the Lord has answered our prayer concerning him. I’m glad to know that they have such a good teacher in the men’s class and I am glad that he likes Dr. Wilson’s sermons. I am happy to know that someone is going to give a stained glass window to Buena for that place back of choir. You can be assured that I will keep it to myself. Yes, I remember that wonderful stained glass window at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California. 

Darling, I assure you that it is entirely all right to give the folks one of the outriggers with the sail. As I have said several times before, I am perfectly satisfied with anything that you feel you should do. I am glad the Chief likes the little outriggers, and I am also glad he will be happy with the shells when they arrive. 

You certainly went to town with your Christmas shopping and I am sure all of the folks will be happy with the things you gave them. All of the things you bought sounded very good to me, Dear. I’m glad you bought yourself another new pair of shoes. I do hope they will be all right for you, because I don’t want you to have trouble with your feet. I’m sorry you had a bone out of place in your back, but I am glad to know that you have it in place now. Please don’t hesitate to keep yourself feeling in the best of condition. Whenever you have a bone out of place like that have it taken care of right away. I enjoyed the quotation you mentioned about Frank Sinatra. I think the writer really hit the nail on the head, that is in the quotation you enclosed in your letter. 

Thank you Dear for sending the wedding present from us to Bob Peterson. By the way, I think our Christmas letter was very nice and I like the way you fixed it up very much. The varied colored ink added to the beauty of the whole letter. Darling, I like very much the part you wrote, and thank you very much for cutting my part down. Your selection of gifts for my father, brother, Verla and Arthur were very good and I think they will like them very much. 

It was certainly good to hear about Clarence Ivert. I know he will be happy to get out of the Army, and I know she will be happy to have him back again. Won’t it be a grand day when we can be together again, Dear? 

Darling, it has grown very late, so I will close for tonight and write to you tomorrow evening. Remember Darling, I love you more tonight than I ever have before. God bless you Beloved in all things is my earnest prayer. Be sure to give the folks my deepest love. 

Yours I am for the ages of the ages

In the Love of Christ Our Lord,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

January 11, 1945

January 11, 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

I’m sure I need not try to remind you of the many times I have thought of you today, for just a year ago today was the last time we saw one another. It seems like a lot more than a year ago to me. Tonight after I came back from the assault course I had a pleasant surprise of finding two envelopes from you postmarked the sixth of January. They contained your letters of December 17th, 18th and 19th  and yours of January 1st and 2nd. I missing all of your letters of December 20th to December 31st inclusive and your other letters of January 3rd, 4th and 5th. I am happy that a few arrived on our anniversary of being apart, for it did help. I shall never be completely happy though until we are able to be together again. 

Picture sent by Willis to Sarah. Field of Pineapple. January 1945.

Immediately following supper I had hoped to come to my quarters and write you and Paul and Gen a long letter but two problem cases came up, and besides, I was asked to write a report which I’ll tell you about sometime. Now it is very very late and I’ll not have enough time to write you a good letter, but I’ll try my best tomorrow night. I must try to get enough rest for tomorrow’s tasks. 

Why I was training with men under fire today, I had my assistant go to the post office and buy a money order for me for $10. Paul Vogel’s birthday is January 19th so I thought that would make a nice present from us. Perhaps he can buy a book or two he has been wanting.

By the way Dear, I wasn’t paid for last month. That is the reason I haven’t sent home a money order to you. I will be paid for December and January together and will send you the money order as possible. Don’t worry about me, I’m getting along all right. Remember Dear, if you need anything, be sure to buy it. 

Well Darling, it is very late so I will close tonight and answer questions and make comments in tomorrow nights letter. I hope a year from tonight we can be together, as far as I’m concerned as soon as possible. God bless you Dear in all things. 

Yours, I am forever and ever yours in 

The Love of Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3