March 10, 1945

10 March 1945

My Beloved Darling Sweetheart:

Well my Dear, this is the last day of our detached service. It is late now and I still have to pack but I want to write you. We are supposed to leave here early in the morning for the Hilo airport. It was really cold when we got up this morning. I got up and built a fire in the fireplace which certainly felt good.

Willis and his friends in their trip to Hilo.

We decided to go down to Hilo today. But before we left camp I used the time to write two letters while Captain Wilson and Major Ender played ping-pong. I wrote to Doug Powell and Bill Hill. We left here on the 10 o’clock o’clock bus.

We shopped around for some things, Captain Wilson and Major Ender bought some gifts for their wives. I saw one thing I would like to have bought for you but I didn’t have enough money, for I still have to settle up for these days over here. And of course, I want to keep a little until the end of the month for I may need it for some unexpected things. After having our dinner we bowled four games. Darling, I cannot explain it but for those four games I averaged 216 which is unusually high. My high game was 234 and my low 192. I have never bowled many games, but they are teasing me and calling me an expert and holding out on them. While looking around I found some more snapshots which are very very good. I know you will like them. I’ll send them to you in letters from time to time. It was certainly a beautiful day. It is cold again tonight.

A Chaplain who used to be in our division was here tonight and we had a good visit. Chaplain Kern also made a lot of trouble for him, he finally got out by going to higher authorities. He was a Catholic so it wasn’t as difficult for him. I’ll stand by my convictions and pray that something will happen. I don’t like to bother you with such things, but Dear I have never known such a double crossing individual. I never told you before, but last week I talked straight to him, and told him about himself. I didn’t get angry, but I meant every word I said. When I finished telling him about himself he was crying and ased me to forgive him and give him a chance to prove himself. That man has done more to hinder the Lord’s cause than you can imagine. I cannot go into details now. But when we are together I’ll tell you. 

After talking to him I came to our quarters and wrote two letters, one to Marguerite Simonian of Tremont Temple and Mr. and Mrs. Powell. Dear, I must close for now and pack my val-pac. God bless you, Beloved. Give the folks my love.

Yours alone for the ages of the ages in

The love of Christ our Lord,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. Enclosed is the last letter I got from Marguerite Simonian and a cartoon.

March 9, 1945

9 March 1945

Sarah, My Darling:

Well, one more day of my detached service is passed. Tomorrow is the last day and early Sunday morning we are supposed to fly back to Oahu. Dear, I certainly miss your letters. I will be glad when we get back for there should be some letters waiting for us. Your letters mean more to me than you will ever know. I brought all of your old letters with me and have been reading them again. I got up early this morning and started the fire in the fireplace. As soon as Captain Wilson and I shaved we had our breakfast. Major Ender decided to sleep until later. Captain Wilson and I played three games of ping-pong.

Pictures of Willis and his friends on Hawaii during detached service. March 1945.

We came back to our quarters and decided to rent three bikes and take a trip around the crater. All together we traveled about 20 miles. We got to see some beautiful plant life. And the different craters and lava tubes were very interesting. It took us a little over 3 1/2 hours hours to make the trip. It rained a couple of times and as a result we were pretty well soaked. As soon as we returned here we ate our dinner. After dinner, Captain Wilson and Major Ender played some ping-pong. In the meantime, I came over to our quarters and wrote a letter to my father. Later we played some horse shoe. And then we went to the library here at the camp. I looked at several of the latest magazines. After that, I came back to our quarters and answered two other letters from soldiers at my old assignment. By that time our evening meal was ready. So we had our dinner which was brown gravy, mashed potatoes, peas, turkey, cranberry sauce, vegetable salad, milk and raisin pie. It was very good.

They wanted me to go to the movie with them. I wasn’t too much interested. However, finally I went with them. The title of the picture was, ”The Master Race.” It was propaganda as far as I’m concerned. Of course, there were things in it which are undoubtedly true. But it behooves us as a free people to seek absolute truth. When you see a picture like that you can easily see the power it has on people as a whole. The only hope for this sin sick world is the salvation we have in Christ Jesus. Men cannot lift themselves by their bootstraps, neither can nations or civilizations. We ought to remember the admonition of the Psalmist, “Except God build the house, they that build in vain.” We have in the last decade or two seen firsthand the power of indoctrination. We who profess the name of Christ ought to catch the glory of what might be done if we yield our lives unreservedly to Christ. Our churches above all else need to educate and train our young people. I love the challenge of the BYF motto, “This generation with Christ can change the world.” Men who really love Christ out here are telling me that the church needs a real spiritual revival. And instead of trying to defend creeds and dogmas they are to go on the offensive with the marching orders of Our Souls Commander and Chief. His orders still stand (Matthew 28:18-20) and they will until He comes again. Dear, I have many more things on my heart. I only wish we could talk about them like we did when we were together.

Before starting this letter to you I wrote a short note to Harry Janisch. He is a very fine Christian young man.

I mailed the pictures of this Island to you this morning. You are to receive them in a week or so. It will probably be a while before we can get our snapshots developed. But as soon as I do, I will send them home to you, Darling.

It is late and I still have to read my devotional material so I think I will close for tonight. God bless you Beloved in all things. I love you more than ever before.

Yours alone because we are one

 in the love and salvation of Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

March 8, 1945

8 March 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

It would be impossible to try and remember how many times I thought of you today. I will be so happy that we can be together again and not have to worry about seeing each other and talking as we used to do. Darling, those times we used to talk together mean so very much now.  Often I think of some occasion when we talked about things dear to our heart.

I got up about 7 o’clock this morning and started a fire in the fireplace. It was really cold in here. Captain Wilson and Major Ender stayed in bed until the fire was going good, then they came out by the fireplace and dressed. As soon I shaved we went over and had our breakfast. I came back to the quarters for a while and later we played horseshoe. We took the bus from here at 10 o’clock for Hilo. We arrived down there at a little after 11 o’clock. We walked around for a while, then we went to an eating place and each of us had a nice Porterhouse steak. You know they have the famous Parker Ranch here on this island. The cattle they raise are excellent. (They raise Herfords or “white faces”.) We also had French fried potatoes and a nice large dish of lettuce and tomatoes. We also had nice fresh milk. It all cost $1.80 but it was worth it. I forgot to mention nice tomato soup with toasted bread squares and a chocolate sundae. The steak was really delicious. I only wish you could have had one with me.

More pictures from detached service. March 1945.

As soon as we had dinner we went to a bowling alley. Captain Wilson and Major Ender are lovers of bowling and have bowled a lot. So they said they would teach me. I bowled a few games but not many. We bowled four games. My highest game was 182, and you know what? My average for the four games was higher than either of theirs. They have been teasing me since, accusing me of being a good bowler and just trying to lead them on. After we finished bowling we were going to look around some in Hilo but it was pouring down rain and we were unable to do much. However Captain Wilson and Major Ender got their hair cut while I stayed at the bus station. While reading, a soldier came up to me and introduced himself telling me he will never forget the impressive communion service I had at the P.O.E. before coming overseas. You know, it means a lot to have a man remember you that long and tell you that he likes to hear a chaplain with such convictions.

Eventually the bus arrived so we had our ride back here. It rained a good share of the way back here. As soon as we arrived here I brought wood in from our woodbox and fixed the fire in our fireplace. I also piled enough in here for tomorrow morning.

We had a good supper and while Captain Wilson in Major Ender played ping-pong, I came back to our quarters and did some reading. I also wrote a birthday letter to Dr. Mantey. His birthday is the 17th of March. I also wrote a letter to the folks.

While downtown today I bought a set of 30 good snapshots. I will send them to you right away so you will have an idea what things look like out here. This morning I sent you a very nice book of Hawaiian flowers in natural color. It is really beautiful. Any one of them would be suitable for framing. Dear, I sent it to you by airmail. Hoping that it might receive better care that way. It cost $3.75 and $1.68 Air Mail postage. I hope you like it, Dear.

Darling, I love you so very very much. God bless you Dear in all things.

Only yours forever in the love of

Christ Jesus our Lord,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. By the way, the clouds cleared away from the summit of Mauna Kea, (13,825 feet) today and we could also see Mauna Loa (13,675) which is closer to our camp.

March 7, 1945

7 March 1945

Sarah, My Darling:

Since early this morning the three of us have been on the go.It was rather chilly this morning, being up so high you can expect to be a little cold. On our way back from breakfast, the clouds had cleared away from the peak of Mauna Loa and we could see the snow very clearly. Where we are located at the vegetation is about like you would see in our mountain country during the summer. And Hilo which is about 30 miles from here is definitely tropical, for everywhere you see palms and all kinds of beautiful flowers.

We spent the most of the morning viewing the mighty crater not far from our quarters. We took several pictures, I hope they turn out alright. I know you cannot imagine how very large this volcano is. Not more than 500 yards from our quarters there are tremendous cracks in the ground and they are pouring out steam all the time. We took a couple pictures of them. Just before dinner we played horseshoe. We had a good dinner. Believe it or not, a nice lettuce and tomato salad, boiled potatoes, gravy (brown), salmon patty and carrots. And fruit cocktail and a piece of cake for dessert. We also had a glass of milk, an item which cost us extra, but it was worth it.

Pictures from Willis trip to Hilo on Detached service. March 1945.

After dinner we rented a bicycle a piece and took a long ride. Captain Wilson and Major Ender got very tired and turned back but I wanted to see the main fire pit of the volcano and decided to go on alone. I was very tired after coming back up that long grade but it was worth it. I rode off in another direction for a while and finally decided to come back to the rest camp. Before I arrived here a rainstorm (cold) came up and I really got a good soaking. I turned the bike in and came right over to our quarters and took a good warm shower. (Notice, a treat – warm showers). By that time it was time to eat our evening meal. It was also very good, potatoes fried, corn niblets, a medium-sized piece of beef tenderloin (very good), nice hot biscuits, butter, milk and cherry pie. That is really class for us.

After supper I came back over to our quarters and read my Bible and devotional material. I wrote a letter to Paul and Gen before starting this letter to you. Monday a soldier gave me five dollars to invest in Christian work so I’m sending it to Paul and Gen. By the way, our sitting room has a nice fireplace in it, made of lava rock which has been painted black. It certainly makes it an attractive fireplace. There is a wood box right outside our door.  We have to keep the fire going all the time, otherwise it gets quite cold. When the sun comes out and you are out of the wind it isn’t so bad, but as soon as the sun goes down it becomes very cool.

Captain Wilson and Major Ender are about asleep so I will soon be going to bed for I’m tired also. I’m going to make a few comments on your letter for February 27th. Don’t worry about your history exam, I’m sure you came through with flying colors. It is a blessing to my heart to hear about the fine work and response Stan and Lee are having in their church. As I have said before, they are extraordinary. The Lord needs many more like them and Paul and Gen. Dr. Lindsell’s message in chapel sounded very very good. Sorry to hear about Mr. Catheart. I shall make it a matter of prayer. I’m glad you have been able to help Mrs. Paul during this time of Mr. Paul’s serious illness. I’m glad to know he is improving so well.

Well Dear, it is time for me to go to bed so I will close for tonight. How happy I would be if only you could be here also and see the splendor of God. God bless you Beloved in all things. Give the folks my love. 

Always just yours Dear, 

because we are one in Christ.

Yours alone,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. I am enclosing Paul and Gen’s last letter to file away in our folder.

March 6, 1945

6 March 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

We are now over on the Island of Hawaii. Captain Wilson, Major Ender and I left early this morning. From the air we got a very good view of some of the islands in the Hawaiian chain. By air, it is about as far as from Chicago to Centralia, Illinois. We arrived at the Hilo Airport before dinner so we made arrangements to come out here. A little while later we went to a restaurant and had a good steak dinner. After we finished eating, we walked around in downtown Hilo for we had some time to pass by before we could get transportation out here. While walking around I saw some things I knew you would like so I bought four different things for you. I think you will like them, Dear. I will wait until you receive them and then I’ll tell you more about them. The place where I bought the things was owned and operated by a very lovely people. They packed it for me, then I had it censored and sent out right away. I sent it first class, so I hope you receive it in better timing than you did the last box. Now you will have another gift made right here on this island. I love you so much, Dear.

Shortly after I mailed the package our transportation arrived so we journeyed out here. This is an Army rest camp. If you look up in an encyclopedia you will find some interesting things about this Island. Tonight it is colder than I have experienced since seeing you last time. We are up pretty high here. We are not far from the volcano. In fact, just before we arrived here we could see steam coming up from the earth in places. One of the peaks not far from here is covered with snow. The whole thing wrong with this trip Dear is the fact that you are not here. I shall never fully enjoy or appreciate anything without your wonderful presence.

Darling, it isn’t so late, but I have a headache from not having enough sleep last night. I didn’t get to bed last night until after one, then we had aa terrible wind and dust storm which nearly wrecked our tent. It was still going on when we left this morning. Being so cool here and with been tired we ought to sleep like kittens tonight.

I shall try to write you a better letter tomorrow evening. God bless you my Dear in all things. Give the folks my love.

Yours forever in the love of Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

March 5, 1945

5 March 1945

Sarah, My Dearest Darling:

Well Darling, another day has rolled into eternity and I am really tired. From early this morning I have been on the go and it seems very little has been accomplished. The highlight of the day it was the arrival of your wonderful letter for February 27th. For some reason or other your letter for the 26th didn’t show up. Darling, you are such a good wife and every day I find many more reasons why I can praise and thank the Lord for such a wonderful Christian wife as you are.

As I said above, the day as a whole was very much routine, and nothing of interest really happened. I did seek to help two different soldiers with problems they had. There was another soldier who has a marital problem but I was unable to see him because of existing conditions. I wanted to write several letters this evening but a soldier came into visit and stayed for quite a while. As a result, I didn’t get to write all the letters I had hoped to write. I did manage to get a letter off to my grandmother and aunt. And another to Captain Merrow, a former officer with our old outfit down below.

By the way, Chaplain Wells and I had dinner together this evening.  Of course we had a good visit. It is always good to have fellowship with those who really love Christ. I forgot to mention above that I got a very nice letter from Paul. As soon as I answer the letter I will send it on to you to read for I know you will enjoy it.

I will make a few comments on your letter for February 25th. First of all, thank John and Sherry for sending the card along with a note, I think it was most thoughtful of them. And tell them that I am very much aware of what a wonderful darling wife and sweetheart you are. Also assure them of my prayer for John in the future. I shall be praying that the Lord have His way in the matter before them. Dear, you seem to be having trouble about setting the alarm and not getting up. If I have to use an alarm I always found it the best policy to get up as soon as it rings and not try to catch another few winks. For if you do, what was the real purpose in setting it for that time anyhow? They call me the alarm clock around here because I get up so early without anything to wake me. Various ones will ask me to wake them at certain times because they say I’ll be awake. It was interesting to hear about the invitation which Dr. Wilson gave after his last Sunday’s service. Such things disappoint me very much. After all, a man by his coming is not accepting the church but he should be accepting Christ. Every invitation I give here in the Army I make it clear that men are not to come because they might please me, or their folks or loved ones,  but that they only come under the main and only reason, “a deep sense of their own personal sin and their utter inability to do anything about it apart from Christ and what we know to be God’s will.” Darling, your Sunday school seems to be coming along very well. Keep up the good work. I know the day will come when you can look back with satisfaction knowing you have done your very best.

Sad Sack. 1945.

Things seem to be coming along better for you in the Intermediate BYF now. Thank them for praying for our work out here and assure them that I think of them often. Dear, I am very much disappointed in the type of evening services they have been holding in NSBC here lately. Is that Dr. Wilson’s idea of an evening service to attract people? Or just whose idea is it anyhow? Knowing Maurice and Edith as you do, perhaps they will be able to give you a little light on the picture. Honestly, I feel very badly about the whole thing. More and more I can see NSBC will need a soul searching revival before the church as a whole will go ahead.

By the way, tell Mom thank you for sending the article about the officer whose insurance was not taken care of after coming overseas. Before I sign my pay voucher each month I always check everything to be sure that everything is correct. As a result, I can assure you that they have been taking $6.90 out of my pay ever since I have been in the Army. That is the amount I’m supposed to pay each month on $10,000. It pays to check things, especially in the Army.

My Dear, it is very late and I am tired and I still have to pack my bag before leaving early in the morning. By the way, I am enclosing a Sad Sack cartoon which I thought you might enjoy. God bless you Beloved in all things. Be sure to pass my love on to the folks.

Yours alone for all the ages of

Ages, in the love of Christ Jesus,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

March 4, 1945

4 March 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

Well, another Lord’s Day is about past and I am really tired and weary. I know you have been very busy also. I have thought of you many times today, and Dear, I love you more than ever I have before. I will surely be glad when we can be together on this day. It was always a great inspiration and joy for me to see you in the congregation. Everything about you inspires me to be my best for Christ. Thank you for being such a good wife, Dear.

Willis preparing a sermon in Hawaii. March 1945.

This morning’s service was really trying. The wind and dirt blowing all day really made it difficult to have any kind of worship, let alone have a communion service as we did. There were 67 in attendance. You will note from the program that I had the men help with the serving of the communion service.

This afternoon I did some extra work. By the way, Paul Wells invited several of us officers over to his officer’s mess for dinner. We had a very good time together. This evening I had a long talk with the other chaplain. I only hope it will work out alright.

Tonight we had 52 in attendance at our evening service. Paul led the singing which was very very good. He also sang a solo. Which was very good. I preached on Deuteronomy 6: 1-15. The title of my sermon as you will note in the bulletin was, “Now Here it is.” One man came forward this evening to make his profession of faith in Christ. It always helps to see men come forward and take their stand for Christ.

There are so many things I would like to talk to you about, but it is impossible to write about them in a letter. Well Dear, I find every day with Christ and you as my dear wife is sweeter than the day before. I’m going to enclose with this letter a snapshot of our Battalion commander, Major Elliott. He is certainly a fine man and one of the finest men I have met since being in the Army. He is quiet and really knows his business. This picture was taken while out on some of our problems. I thought you might like to see what he looks like.

Dear, this will not be such a good letter, but I am so tired I can hardly see straight so I think I will close for tonight. Remember though, I love you more than ever I have before. I will try to write you a better letter tomorrow evening. God bless you Beloved in all things is my earnest prayer. Give the folks at my deepest love.

Yours forever in the love of

Christ Jesus our Lord,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

March 3, 1945

3 March 1945

My Dearest Darling:

The wind has continued to blow today and the dust and dirt have been something fierce. The place where we are located is rather miserable at this time of the year. The rest of the island is beautiful as most pictures reveal. Darling, the highlight of this day was the arrival of your beautiful letters for February 24th and 25th. Your letters are always so good. I read them over twice right away. Really, I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t hear from you, Dear. You are such a good wife and such an inspiration to me.

Most of the morning I spent calling on men in various places. I also called Alrik and had a good talk with him. He probably won’t be here too much longer. I do hope I will be able to see him before he leaves. He has a new assignment which is about as good as you can expect in the Army. Especially out this way.

Newspaper from May 3, 1945.

After dinner, a good share of my time was taken up trying to help a couple of soldiers with problems they have. I will certainly be glad to get out of this Army. Some of the things that happen are enough to tear your heart out. As I have said before it is hard to believe that man could sink so low. We are certainly in need of a revival. By the way, I also cashed my check for this month. My check amounted to $130.80. I still have to pay my laundry bill, orderly and mess bill. I went down to the Post Office and sent two small bottles of perfume from us to my aunt and grandmother. I sent it Air Mail, they ought to receive them soon. That which I sent them from us was just small bottles without the nice wood containers like I got for you and Mom. While down there I bought a money order for $40 which I am going to send to you in this letter. The reason I am not sending you more is because beginning next Tuesday (March 6th), I’m to have five days detached service to the Island of Hawaii. I was entitled to that much last year but didn’t get it. Detached service does not count against furlough time. Captain Wilson and Major Ender and I are going to fly over there together. After returning, if I have more than I need I will send you more home to you. The reason I want a little extra along is because I may want to buy something over there for you, that is, if they have anything that looks good. I’m taking this opportunity to go over there now because in the future I’m afraid it will be impossible to do so.

Later this afternoon I studied on my messages for tomorrow and I also planned the services for next Sunday. If we leave Tuesday early we will not be back before late Saturday or early Sunday morning. While over there I hope to see the famous volcano, as well as other things of interest. Before starting this letter to you I wrote to the College BYF of the First Church Long Beach. And I also wrote a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Cable, Joan and Carl. Joan is president of the College BYF, the Cables are very good friends of the Hollys, and very fine Christians. You will remember I told you to pray for her sometime ago. She had her breasts removed because they were cancerous. She is doing very well now and is able to get around very well considering the seriousness of the operation.

Well Darling, I will make a few comments on your letter of February 24th. It was good to know that you prayed for three on the 18th. I assure your prayers are helping our work very much. The book you mentioned,”How to Help People” sounded interesting. I will be glad to have it. From what you said in your letters from time to time I’m sure that you learned some worthwhile things under Dr. Richardson’s leadership. I’ve never had the privilege of becoming acquainted with him personally, but I do remember Dr. Smith saying many good things about him. Dr. Smith took some special work under him in working for his doctor’s degree. By the way, whenever you talk to Teacher or Dr. Hepburn again, be sure to give them my love and best wishes. Assure them that their prayer is certainly appreciated.

Dear, I was really glad to know that you were able to see Mr. Paul and that you and Mrs. Paul were able to have such a good visit. I’m glad to know that they have been drawn so much closer to Christ. Dear, I am so thankful that you and I have the privilege of being their friends. Isn’t it wonderful to know them? I have always thought so much of them. Be sure to pass my love and best wishes on to them. I am certainly glad to know that you have been able to get some records for us. I know they will help us with our work out here.

I know just how you feel about the letter you received from Vi Scherenberg.  I would say just forget it all together. I was glad to know that you finally received the December bond. By the way, I got two letters beside yours, Dear. One from Dolores and the other from my father. The letter from my father was written on February 18th. As I said above, you will find enclosed in this letter a money order for $40. I am also enclosing a Sad Sack cartoon. It is supposed to be funny, but there is nothing funny about it as far as I’m concerned. You should see some of these things I have seen, that is the after effects. I’m also enclosing another article which will be of interest to you I am sure. I wrote on the side of the sheet.

Well, Dear, Captain Mason gave me a snapshot he took when we were out in the jungle. The picture is out of focus but I thought you might like to have it. I was studying at the time when the picture was snapped. I used the organ for a table. You will note my two Bibles and song book. You can just see the top of my field pack at the foot of my organ, we carry those on our back. You will note I am in fatigues. The only time I wear C.K.C’s is when I’m around headquarters. My pup tent is at the extreme right of the picture.

Darling, it is getting late and I am tired so I will close because I want to have a good nights rest before tomorrow and its responsibilities. God bless you Dear in all things. I love you more than words can tell. Be sure to give the folks my love.

Always and forever just yours

In the love of Christ Jesus,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. I am enclosing the letters from Mrs. Cable and Joan.

March 2, 1945

2 March 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

This has certainly been a miserable day as far as the weather is concerned. It has been windy and raining. It isn’t so bad on the other side of the island but where we are quartered the wind and dirt are very bad. Honestly, at times it seems the tent will be swept away with some of the gusts of wind that sweeps over this area. I was awakened several times during the night last night because of the wind. There is some mail today, but none of it was from you. I had a letter from Connie, church bulletins from NSBC and the First Church Long Beach. The last one of the bulletins from NSBC was postmarked the 13th and I note it has also been sent to my former APO.

Wagon Wheel Restaurant. Hawaii, 1945.

A greater part of the day was spent on calling on men at the various hospitals. As I have said before, that takes a lot of time because they are scattered so many miles apart. During the noon hour I took my driver and assistant to a good steak dinner in Honolulu. They are both fine fellows and I thought it would be good for us to have something else for a change. By the way, while we were calling on some of the men in one hospital, we passed by the post exchange and I happened to notice two small bottles of perfume which came in one box, so I bought them and will send them to my Grandmother and Connie from us. If I can find enough time, I think I will send it to them tomorrow. They cost me $4.50.

After eating supper this evening, I went over to my quarters and did some reading before starting this letter to you. Darling, sometimes I become so very lonesome just to talk with you. I shall never forget the good talks and times of prayer we have had together. Sometimes my heart becomes so heavy and lonesome, especially is that true when you have to put up with some people who think nothing of knifing you in the back and then fall all over themselves to your face.

While going through one of one of the hospitals today I ran into a man that used be down at my old assignment. He was very seriously burned in an explosion and was flown up here for better medical attention. He said he was certainly glad to see me. He is just now beginning to remember things. He was so severely burned that for about two weeks he didn’t know anything. From his knees to the top of his head he is a mass of bandages and scar tissue. He has a dear wife and baby daughter pack Indiana. Someday I will tell you more about the case. I would certainly like to be a hospital chaplain.

I also got to see Chaplain Lee again today, he is about the same and doesn’t know what will happen for sure. I have a feeling that he will be returned to the States in the near future. Well Dear, that is about all the news so I’m going to make some comments on the letters beginning with the 22nd. First of all, remember I love you more tonight than ever I have before. And by the time this letter reaches you I will love you even more. Dear, we do not have the book “Paul’s Joy in Christ” by Robertson and I would suggest you buy a copy if you can find it.

Darling, I hardly know how to advise you about Greek, but this is just a thought. If Dr. Mantey thinks you can take Greek by correspondence from Southwestern this summer and then take Greek Gospels this fall, I think that would be a good idea. Mainly because I hope to be home before you are able to complete another whole year of seminary. And if you take just first-year Greek, you’ll be missing the best part of Greek, for I like the second and third years of Greek the best. Of course, I know it wouldn’t be too easy, but knowing you as I do, I feel confident that you would learn it very well. And after all, if you got stuck once in a while Dr. Mantey is there in Chicago and he could help you. At any rate, you can talk it over with Dr. Mantey.  I’m sure he will advise you as to what is the best thing to do. Personally, I don’t think Greek is too difficult, it was hard for me because I never seemed to have enough time to study it thoroughly. Of course, I’m not aware of how much you have done toward your thesis and when you expect to do it. But as I said above, I think Dr. Mantey will advise you correctly and wisely.

I was surely glad to hear about the three girls who came out for full-time Christian service in Stan and Lee’s church. I feel definitely that their church will go ahead and accomplish many worthwhile things for the Lord. As you said, the three young men from the Missionary Society must have had a very fine program.

I’m glad to hear that Dr. Stiansen told you his life story.  He is a most unusual Christian and one which God can use. I think you will a little better understand why I always thought so much of him. He is the kind of a teacher and preacher I would like to be. Praise God for such men. I also think a lot of Dr. Mantey. He is entirely different but there is something about his love and spirit you will never forget. It was with a heavy heart I read that Mrs. Gleason is so ill. I’m sorry to know they will never be able to have children of their own. I do hope we will be able to have our own children, Dear. You will be such a wonderful mother. God bless you, my Dear. John Mueller has written me some very long letters about the way Brushwyler carried on in the church at Muscatine. If it is true, I cannot help but wonder about this new mission board set up. John got his information from individuals in the church. As you know, they used to be members of that church. That whole mission board controversy is a problem to me, and being as little informed as I am, I find myself utterly at sea what to think. Undoubtedly, it is going to be a question that you and I will have to face when I come back and when we take a church of our own again. It will be interesting to see where Mac and Eleanor go.

It was interesting to hear what the woman said from the Pacific Garden Mission. What she said about women of the street is absolutely true. Over here five-year-olds will lead you to such places. Darling, some things almost seem beyond the realm of understanding. We certainly need a redeemed humanity. Someday we will have an opportunity to talk about some of the things I have run into since coming into the service. I marvel more and more at the patience of the Lord.

Dear, all the records you were able to get sound very good and I will be glad to have them for I am sure it will help us with our work out here. Be sure to thank Emma and all those who helped make them possible for us out here. I will be looking forward to their arrival.

One of the officers snapped a picture of me by my pup tent during our training, if it turns out alright I will try and get a copy and mail it to you, for I’m sure you would like to have one. Yes, Dear the tent is long enough so my feet don’t stick out, I have arranged that, you will be able to see if I can get that picture.

I was surprised to hear Bob say that he thought he would be out of England soon, does he mean he thinks they will move his bomber group onto the Continent? If Germany fights all the way, it will still last for quite a while over there. That is, I mean it can last until into the summer months. And it is no telling when this thing over here will be over.

Well Darling, it is getting late and I am tired so I think I will close for tonight. God bless you Dear in all things. I love you so very very much. Be sure to give the folks my love. As soon as I can find a little time I will drop the folks a line.

Forever and ever yours in

The love of Christ Jesus our Lord.

Yours alone,

 Willis

Colossians 3:3

March 1, 1945

 1 March 1945

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

This has really been a day of a little bit of everything, and I am very very tired for some reason or other. Early this morning I talked with some of the men and then later I came back here to my tent to work on my sermons for this weekend. I also arranged the order of services and later Don cut the stencil. I wanted to get those things out of the way because tomorrow I plan on spending the whole day calling on men in the various hospitals.

After dinner I did some more studying and then spent the rest of the afternoon around with the men. After supper I came over to my quarters, but in the meantime a certain officer wanted to see me about something. I talked to him a long time about some trouble he is having back home. Darling, thank you for being such a wonderful Christian wife. If I had to be concerned about you I don’t know what I would ever do.

I had to hurry to get down to the chapel in time for Bible class. The weather has been most disagreeable since about mid afternoon. In spite of that fact and the fact that a lot are away we did have a fairly good attendance. There were 12 there and the discussion was very good. I think you would enjoy the classes, Dear.

On the back: Me coming up the back stairs, carrying coconuts.

Well Dear, now I will try to answer some of your questions and will make comments on your letter of February 20th. First of all, I wanted to tell you that it is really encouraging to know that Mr. Paul is better, as you say, I know it must’ve been very hard on Mrs. Paul. I was glad to hear that you were able to visit with Eleanor and Mac for a while. From what you said, their little boy must be growing a lot. Knowing them as I do, I will be most surprised if they go to our old church at East Moline, Illinois. Dear, I have never heard of the Christian Service Brigade before but from what you told me in the letter it sounds very good. I’m glad you took notes on his report, perhaps we will be able to do something with it in our next church.

I was certainly surprised to find out that Bob and Ralph rented an apartment without furniture. When you told me they rented a place before, I thought it was furnished. Buying all the things you mentioned must have taken a lot of money,  and I’m wondering what they will do with the things if it doesn’t work out so well. It is a sure thing they will lose money on those things. By the way Darling, I placed the pictures in my album this afternoon, that is, I mean the ones you just sent. I love them very much, they do help more than you will ever know. Be sure to keep them coming this way. Yes, Dear, I remember Mr. Stephen Habuch. He gave the same message one time when I was in the seminary. Well Dear, I was surprised to hear the other new story about a Cat’s Eye, but I think at least I know where those came from that I sent to you because I got them with my own hands and I saw them with my own eyes and it is a sure thing they were not from a fish, if it was a fish I’m mistaken about my fish.

I looked over your outline Dear and I think it is very good and shows some fine thinking and preparation. Keep up the good work. One of these Sundays I will use it. When I do, I will let you know.

My Dear, I had hoped to write you a much longer letter tonight, but I am tired and it is time for lights out so I will have to close. By the way, I was glancing through the latest Time Magazine and ran onto the following articles entitled, “Women.” I’m sending it on to you because I feel it is valuable and is indicative of what I am constantly running into everyday. Today and yesterday I had two cases come to my attention in the same category as a couple mentioned in the article I am enclosing.

Well, Beloved, God bless you in all things and remember I am more grateful for your wonderful love and life then you will ever know. Again, thank you for being such a good wife.

Forever yours and the love of 

Christ Jesus our Lord.

Willis

Colossians 3:3

Ruth 1:16, 17