March 27, 1946

Seoul, Korea

27 March 1946

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

This has certainly been a wonderful day for me as far as a mail is concerned for I received six letters from you, they were yours of March 1st, 2nd, 6th, 16th, 17th and 18th. I have just finished reading them and they have really helped me more than you will ever know. This absolutely has been about the fullest day you could possibly have. I’ve been on the go since 6 o’clock this morning and haven’t had a minute to do a bit of thinking.

  Chaplain Minor and Martin have been gone down to the quarters over an hour now and in that time I have been reading and rereading your precious letters. Those letters came around at noon but there has been so much for me to do that I haven’t had time to read them until about an hour ago. Several different things came up this morning which needed attention and as soon as dinner was over, I left for the important chaplain’s meeting at Corps headquarters. It was about 3:30 when I got back here from the meeting and I found that a seriously ill patient wanted to see me and I went to him right away and that took some time. And then we had a whole lot of new patients come in so I helped with that until I just had to go to the mess hall in time to get a bit to eat. Other things came up between what time was left and our midweek service. There were only 21 in attendance. We are really swamped with patients now. I spoke this evening on I Peter 5:1-11.  The title and theme of my message was, “What’s the Use?”

  Darling, you will also be interested to know that I received a very fine letter from Mr. Mason and one from Vol,  who is now Mr. and spending some time with his wife in Florida.

  Sweetheart, your letters of March 16th and 18th made me feel badly and intensified the ache and pain in my old heart until I couldn’t keep back the tears. In the letter of the 16th you had just received my letter telling you about the fact that chaplains over 45 and with low-efficiency ratings were to be out of Korea by the 15th of April. This one statement in your letter hurt more than you will ever know, “If you don’t make a good hard effort to be home for commencement you’re going to have one heartbroken little wife.”  Since the Japanese surrender I have dreamed and hoped to be home for your birthday and great your graduation. I’m sure I will not be there for your birthday and almost sure I won’t be there for graduation unless there is a sudden change. It is so hard to write just what I feel in my heart but BE IT KNOWN UNTO YOU BELOVED THE DAY CAN COME NONE TOO SOON FOR ME TO BE WITH YOU, but I have been earnestly praying for the Lord’s leading and you tell me from time to time that you are, so let us abide by what is taking place. Please remember, my abiding by what is taking place hurts so much at times that I cannot keep back the tears and it is all because of you, Beloved. Surely I need not inform you that my whole life, emotions, and spiritual well-being revolves around you. As I see it, in spite of a tremendous ache in my heart, this long trying experience we are going through can do one of two things, it can either sweeten our lives together or make them bitter. And knowing you as I do Lover, I know what you want for us TOGETHER IN CHRIST;  sweetness that will lead us to other souls for Christ. I’ve seen several other chaplains who have taken this thing bitterly, and as a result, their ministry and service for Christ over here has been crippled and stunted. And one of them you know, his name is Chaplain Wells. He has become known as a chronic complainer and as a result has been neglecting his work. We can talk it over a little better when we are together. And he has only been overseas half as long as I have and I have been through some tougher spots than he has but he tries to tell his were tougher as maybe Don told you. He has been quite jealous ever since I was decorated and wrote up as one of the most outstanding chaplains of the famous Seventh Division. He has been a little better toward me lately. What I say now I say without any intent of boasting of my work here in the hospital. But so often patients will say to me, “Chaplain, how can you have that wonderful smile and spread so much cheer when you have been overseas so long and away from your loved ones.”  And it is according to the occasion but I generally answer something like this, “Well, our Commander and Chief knows all about it and I’m sure He knows what is best.”  All the time I call on the patients and seek to help others to be a joy and stability in Christ, my heart within me is like lead all because I am separated from you Lover, but I cannot help but feel deep down inside of me, that you want me to be my very best for Christ. And Lover, I assure you that I’ll do my best until I receive those wonderful orders which say next duty will be within the continental limits of the United States.

From Willis and Sarah’s 1942 trip to Nebraska.

All I have said doesn’t half express what I feel because right now the ache is beyond description. But Lover, I want to be a husband and co-partner with you in Christ that you can someday look back on and honestly be able to say he did his best under all conditions and to the honor and glory of our own precious Savior.

  And then in your letter of March 18th you said, “At last I’ve got something left to tell you when you get home. Now maybe you can see a little how I’ve felt all these years when you said,  “Something very interesting happened today, but I’ll tell you when I get home.”  Sweetheart, I’m truly sorry I said that so many times but there have been three reasons (1) strong censorship during the war, of course, that is out now. (2) Some things would take a long time to write and then not be adequately explained to be clearly understood. (3)  And then there have been those nights when I was so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open. I assure you I’ll do my best not to say anything like that anymore. This all came up mainly because I was interested to know what Paul Allen said when at Northern.

  I’ve purposely not said anything for the last six weeks or so because I didn’t want you to get your hopes built and then have them dashed to pieces as may easily be the case when it comes to the Army. However, as you remember, I did mention the fact that August would be the latest because I will have thirty months overseas then. Right now there is nothing definitely that I can hope for but I’m hoping to be home perhaps for our fourth wedding anniversary. I’ve seen many men get themselves into terrible state of mind by setting dates and then become very disappointed when it doesn’t come out that way. I always think of it being just one day less. SWEETHEART, PLEASE BE ASSURED THAT AS SOON AS I KNOW ANYTHING FOR SURE I WILL DEFINITELY LET YOU KNOW. 

Beloved, I’ve said all that with a heavy aching heart and be assured that I’ve done what I could to get back to you as soon as possible, but so far the hand of the Lord seems to indicate the fact that there is still something for me to do here. I do have a feeling that is not going to be much later than sometime in June. However, there is nothing definite in that respect as far as late Army statements. There is no way to tell you how I long to hold you in my arms again and pray as we used to do.

  It is so very late that I must get to bed and get some sleep. I will have to be very quiet when I go in because I don’t want to awaken Chaplain minor and Martin. God bless you Lover and I’ll be seeing you in the near future.

 Forever just yours in Christ’s

 wonderful love,

  Willis

 Colossians 3:3

XOXOXOXOXO

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