December 6, 1944

December 6, 1944

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

I’ve been busy all day but it seems I have accomplished very little. As always, I thought of you many times and thank the Lord for the wonderful salvation which is ours and the joy and happiness we have found each other’s love. As for me, it far surpasses anything I ever dreamed or hoped for, isn’t our Lord gracious to us? I know I am not worthy of love and a wonderful life like yours, but in spite of all that, I have you my Dear. Sometimes it is hard for me to realize that it is true. Darling, this one thing I pray for earnestly, that daily I will grow in Christ that I may in a sense be worthy of your wonderful love and devotion. I find it so hard to express that which is in my heart on paper. I have said some of these things so many many times. But beloved, I want you to know I will never want to love another. I was just thinking of what the grand old hymn, “I am satisfied.” I would change it just this much, “I am satisfied with you Dear”. Perhaps there are things in my life you are not able to be satisfied with, but with your patience and help, as well as that of our Lord, I will do my utmost to overcome them and thus be a better husband to you and a better servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

It was rather hard to do the things I wanted to do today because my jeep is in the hospital for a little necessary work. However, Captain Wilkinson came to the rescue and helped us, for which I was most grateful. A man came in to talk to me about a home problem. Another one of those which makes me more grateful than ever for a good Christian wife. However, I think this fellow hasn’t been exactly fair either and I told him so after talking with him for quite some time. I asked him a lot of questions. I would give most anything to talk to you about these things. Darling, there are things in my heart that almost overwhelm you at times. When I come back we will have so many many things to talk about. You were always so good and I found great comfort in good advice from talking things over together. Do you remember how we promised each other in the front room while sitting on the Davenport, that we would always tell each other everything, no matter what it might be? I always intend to do that, but under existing circumstances it is impossible to do so now, but there is nothing that will keep us up from doing it when I return. I may not remember everything at once, but they will all eventually be recalled. Isn’t it good to be able to tell one another everything? That is one of the things I miss the most at the present time.

We went up to the Air Base for a few minutes and then Captain Wilkinson and I went down to the native village. We saw the natives for a few minutes. They were telling me that they felt very badly because I’m going to leave. Wait until you see some of the things they gave me. They about swamped me with presents. Darling, I cannot understand why they are so very good to me. When you get this box I sent, you will see what they gave me.  I know you’ll be surprised as I was with all the gifts they had for me. We returned to headquarters just in time to have our dinner which was about the same as usual. I realize it isn’t the best, but I do wish the men would quit complaining and thank the Lord for what food we do have.

Willis’ driver Johnson and the chief of the natives, Mofete. 1944.

As soon as dinner was over I came to my quarters and started to prepare another box to start on its way home to you, Dear. I certainly hope it arrives safely. And I hope it doesn’t take too much time to reach you. I’m going to give you some idea of what is in the box. There are two tiger shell bracelets in the envelope, these are a special farewell gift from Mofete to you, in appreciation of all I was able to do for him. In that same envelope, you will find two envelopes folded up, in one you will find the famous Fijian Cat’s Eyes, there are two of them, one for you and one for Mom. In that same envelope you will find two small Christmas Island Cat’s Eyes. The Fijian Cat’s Eyes are often set in rings, pins, necklaces and so on. There are three small outriggers, one I marked for Dr. Koller, one is a special gift from Maulo as an appreciation for taking care of his son’s funeral. The other, which is not marked, you can do with what you like. You will find in the box three separate rolls of necklaces. One is for Mrs. Koller, Carolyn and Evelyn. I wish you would give this to them personally from us in appreciation for all their kindness to me while a student at Northern. Some afternoon you will probably have a little time and can drop over to their apartment. Tell Carolyn and Evelyn the necklaces are from “Uncle Willy,” that is what they always called me when I was a student. Kollers were always very good to me. And when you have a chance you can give the outrigger I marked for Dr. Koller to him with our thanks and appreciation for their many kindnesses.

Another roll of necklaces are special gifts from various natives to you. They asked me to send them to you especially. I showed them the picture you sent me for Christmas and they liked it very much. They told me to send them to you with their blessings and the Lord’s. And Mofete said he hoped the Lord will be able to use you greatly and that we soon will be together. These men are certainly a graphic example of what Christ can do with those who will trust and obey. The large package contains 12 necklaces which they gave me as a going away present. You do with these what you think best. You may be able to use them as a gift to the girl in BYF who is best over a period of two months. It is entirely up to you, Dear. There may be other friends you would like to give them to, you do what you like and it will be entirely all right with me. After all, it is not “me” or “my”, it is “us” and “our.” Isn’t it good to trust one another unreservedly?

There is a cigar box of spotted shells that can be used to make turtles. There is also a little pink box of white shells. And there is a special sack for “The Chief, with my love.” By the way, I wasn’t able to clean those shells as thoroughly as I normally do, so tell him as soon as they arrive to take them and wash them twice in water, letting them soak for about an hour each time. And let the sun dry them on the back porch for a couple of days. You will find four short trousers and four shirts with short sleeves. There are also four overseas caps that became too small after washhing. (I thought maybe you could use them for something sometime.) You will also find two sun helmets. From all indications, I will not need them where I’m going, so I thought it best to send them on to you. You will find an envelope (manila) with a lot of pictures in it. Most of them I have clipped from various magazines. I thought you would like them so I mailed them all to you, perhaps you will be able to use them someday. The one I have clipped together and have the note on, “I love these”, I’m sure you will understand why I do love them. I don’t mind saying it is because I hope someday we will be able to have our own children. And as for me, that day can come soon. You will be such a good mother, I am so thankful you love children, Dear.

There is a billfold and other various items. Those three canvas straps I found in the junk pile. I think they will come in handy someday, that is why am sending them home. I will be anxious to know if this box reaches you safely, for there are a lot of important things in it.

I also mailed home all of your letters which I have received up until the first of the November. I wrapped them separately, because they had to go as first class mail. Those letters are very very precious to me Dear so please save them for me. The only reason I am sending them home at all is because I have to cut my traveling load to a minimum. As soon as these things arrive, be sure to let me know. The letters ought to arrive quite some time before the box. I am anxious for you to get the box because I think you will enjoy the things that are in it.

Before we had the box ready to mail, a soldier came to see me. I talked to him about a half an hour and then Captain Wilkinson took me to the post office. While up that way, I met the new Catholic chaplain who is going to take my place. He arrived last night but I’m going to stay here until Christmas Day for Christmas Eve services. And if there is a plane Christmas Day or the day after I will leave for my new assignment. I will tell you about it later.

I read your letter of November 25th over again and found it helped even though I have read it several times before. I was glad to know that at last you got the finished pictures of the negatives I sent to you. That one picture where I look so bad, why don’t you throw it away? You were wondering if I had a metal watch band. Yes I do, you perspire so much down here that a leather band doesn’t last at all. So I got ahold of a piece of stainless steel and made me a band. You mentioned the National Geographic in your letter. Did you subscribe to it again for this coming year? I am certainly happy to know that Jeanne enjoyed herself so much at WMBI. I think she is a wonderful girl and I believe she could become a fine servant of the Lord. I like her letters very very much. She may be used to draw and win the whole family. I know Jeanne thinks a lot of you, Dear.

After supper we went to the AirBbase for our midweek service. There were only seven in attendance, but we did have a fine time of fellowship. Raymond and I came back in time for the news reel. I stayed for the news and left. The main feature started off with a cocktail lounge setting, so I left. I become so sick of the glorification of that bottled poison.

Darling, it is very late and I’m tired so I will close for this evening. God bless you and remember I love you more each and every day. Your picture is lovely, sometimes it looks just like you are about to say something to me.

Yours alone forever in Christ’s Love,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

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