December 26, 1943

December 26, 1943

Dearest Darling:-

You are such a wonderful Sweetheart and I Love You more now than ever. Thank you for being such a wonderful wife.

We had three services this morning and a total attendance of 34, which wasn’t bad considering the fact that we are way under strength on account of passes  and furloughs for Christmas. I spoke on this theme, “After Christmas, Then What?” It was surely a beautiful morning. I believe it was the clearest I’ve ver seen it out here. The mountains were so beautiful, they had just been covered with a new very white cover of snow.

Friday night I hardly slept at all. They were slamming doors and making noise most of the time. Too much alcohol as usual. I get so disgusted with it. It is the greatest enemy and saboteur we have in our country, besides a lot of inefficiency among our personnel. Let me give you a couple of incidents that happened in our own battalions yesterday. A man from headquarters Christmas Eve had been drinking and took a jeep out of our motor pool, sped past the guard without being identified and while driving around in this condition ran into a sailor, injuring him fatally. He managed to get back to headquarters, took his rifle and was threatening to kill himself or anyone who tried to get near enough to take it away from him. He was still drinking some from a bottle he had in his pocket. Upon being informed that the sailor died he had hit with the jeep, the soldier finally took his rifle and shot himself through the right shoulder. Of course it didn’t kill him and will live and has been taken to Fort McArthur Hospital as a prisoner patient. Another fellow took a 45 pistol which was never to be touched by enlisted men, only by the communications officer. Fooling around with the gun, he shot himself in the left foot. He also had been drinking. And Dear, that’s only our outfit. I can never understand why people will drink such poison which will make an average man a mad man, losing all sense of self-control.

The Choir of the First Church had around 45 in their choir and they surely sang beautifully. We had two big ten wheel drive trucks go to Long Beach and bring them out. We had 81 men in attendance. All of the men seemed to enjoy it very much. (This was for yesterday’s service – Christmas morning).

“Me, Miss Pettigrove, Gale and Mrs. Holly – Thanksgiving Day 11/25/43 – You know what! I Love you more than Ever Darling.

Mr. & Mrs. Holly came also, they generally always go to the cemetery on Christmas Morning to decorate their folks grave, but they said they wanted to be there so they went to the cemetery the day before. We had such a lovely time together at the Holly’s. I gave Gail a ride in the Jeep yesterday and she was surely thrilled about it.

Well, I’ll finish this letter now. I was quite tired this afternoon so went over to my barracks and laid down for awhile. I went to young peoples and spoke to the Young High School group and stopped over to the Holly’s for a little while after church for a snack to eat. They are so lovely and they love you very much, I read part of your beautiful letter to them. You inspire me so much my Dear, God Bless you.

Just before I left for church tonight the telephone rang and they said there was a long distance call from East Moline for me. And you know who it was, Louise Davis and her Mother. They were calling me to wish me a Merry Christmas and a Happy Birthday, wasn’t that wonderful? They told me that church just wasn’t the same without us. People are so good to us, are they not dear? I only hope they can see Christ rather than us. You know Darling, God has blessed us so much and we must together seek more and more to be hidden in Our Blessed Lord. I hope and pray daily that you and I can and will be worthy of the trust of the Gospel that God has given us. Thank you for being such a wonderful precious wife, I know I’ve said it before in this letter, but I’m running over for the very joy and peace of your love and I’ve got to say something, and that is the best I can do my Dear.

And when I arrived here this evening after Church, what do you think I found on my desk? Five packages, a bunch of letters and Christmas Cards, but no letter again from you. Perhaps I’ll get two or three tomorrow.

Darling, your package was among them and of course I opened it first. Thanks so much for the rest of the books of Latourette’s for my birthday – isn’t volume VI off the press? I thought I noticed he had finished his last volume. And then thanks for the book on “My Fighting Congregation” by Chaplain Taggart. I’m sure it will be good.

The socks and the sock drying frames were not marked, so I take it they were my Christmas presents. You are so precoious and thoughtful, thank you very much my Dear, I love you so much.

Stan and Lee sent me a box of twelve dozen Kraft Caramels, wasn’t that grand and thoughtful of them?

And I got a grand shaving outfit from Jeanne, Jimmie and Johnny. I was so surprised. When you see them be sure to give them a special thank you for me, I’ll write them however. Kenyon and Gen sent me a nice writing set which I also appreciated very much. And Dan and Rachel sent a “Buddy’s kit” (including a toothbrush, tooth powder, shaving cream, soap and lotion). As I said above, be sure and thank them for me and I’ll write as soon as I can, for I do appreciate all of their thoughtfulness for me.

I got a lovely letter form Paul and it surely made me rather lonesome to see them. They are surely looking forward to your coming. Thank God for such wonderful Christians.

I also got a nice letter from Charlie and Nettie for Christmas, telling me of their love and best wishes for us.

Helen Miller wrote me a sweet letter thanking us for the story of the life of Christ in pictures and the candy. She said also that they miss us more than words can ever tell. Dear, you are such a wonderful wife, you help make everybody love Christ and your constant inspiration to me goes beyond description of mortal tongue. If I’m a failure as a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ, it will be my own fault because I have Christ and I have you to lead me on to great conquests for the Kingdom. I really am persuaded that God gave me you and your precious love to show me in our oneness the joy and foretaste of what is yet to come. You know the verse that says, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself”? Well, I would say this, “Christ is in you reconciling me to Himself.” To me, that is absolutely true as I think of the full meaning of our life verse my Dear. Col 3:3.

It is very late now and I must close for now. Thanks for the socks and the books my Dear, you are so very thoughtful. God Bless you in all things my Dear.

Forever yours in Christ because of the love manifested for us on Calvary,

Willis

xxxxx

Col 3:3

Phil 1:3

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