Willis did not write a letter on September 5, 1943 but instead wrote 2 letters on the sixth of September. The first one is here and the next will be posted tomorrow.
Stationary: First Baptist Church Moline, Illinois
September 6, 1943
Today has been a day of a lot of events. Of first importance is the fact that I got a letter from my Darling wife and it was so very sweet. I’m so glad you had such a nice time before Prayer meeting with the Lord in the auditorium. It is really wonderful to be quiet and feel Him so near. Darling, I as you want to be a better husband when it’s all over than I was when I left you and by God’s grace I will be. It’s very very hard being away from you sweetheart but I wouldn’t have it any other way, for I’m convinced that it’s God’s will and I have peace now in my heart that I definitely did not have since last January.
No Dear, the Army does not tell us what to preach. That happened to be an assignment of one of the teachers and involved the problem of dealing with men involved in sex indulgence. The speech was to be an indoctrination message to new recruits, as far as I know I got along with it O.K. Here’s hoping. Our two new courses are an Advanced Course in “Chemical Warfare.”
Sweetheart, when anyone asks you how I like it here at Harvard you can inform them that I think it is wonderful and what experience I have had all ready money could not buy. The thing, or rather the reason, I’m enjoying it so much is this – I know it’s God’s Will and the rough spots are made sweet by the fact that it pleases Him. There are many things I would love to tell you but I will reserve that for a time when we are together. I will mention this however and you can see a little of what I mean when I say we need the weight of a man of Paul’s convictions in the ministry. “Last night one of our Chaplain brothers was picked up and held by the Military Police because he was unable to take care of himself having had indulged in the drinking of too much hard Liquor.” All I can say is poor soldiers, to whom he ministers. “What an education!” Well, I’m getting it and they don’t grant degrees for it either, except that it makes me want to know the Lord Jesus more than ever.
And personally that I believe is greater than a PH. D or any other equivalent degree from this school or any of like standing. I’ve seen men here who’ve gone as high as they can in the academic field who are spiritual icebergs as far as the Word of God is concerned. The main thing is to know Him and be found in Him (Phil 3:9, 10) and the power of His might. There are a few very spiritual men in our school. Pray for them to be anointed with the Holy Spirit’s fire that when they reach their new camps that they’ll lead men to the feet of Christ and the salvation He provides for those who believe.
I’ll bet you can’t guess who I saw today? Well, I had the privilege along with 10,000 other service men here at Harvard of seeing Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Harvard granted Churchill a Doctor of Law’s degree today and I was able to have the privilege of witnessing his message, Conants’ (pres. Of Harvard) granting the degree, and seeing Governor Saltonstall of Massachusetts, Admiral King of the Navy who is head of the Atlantic fleet. Churchill’s Minister of Information was with him, his wife and daughter Mary and several other high ranking officers in the British Army. I was privileged for out of the 10,000 or more service men here at Harvard for the Navy, Army, and Marines, I was chosen along with 23 other men of the Chaplains school to make up the front guard, so you can see I was very close to Churchill. Men were chosen from the Navy also and waves as guards. All together there are around 150 of us who were front guards. All 10,000 gathered in Harvard yard, so you can see it was really something. Some of them were so far away that they couldn’t tell for sure which was Churchill but I was as close as anyone could be, except his immediate party, British generals, and American high ranking officers. So much has happened lately that it almost seems I’m dreaming. I have to pinch myself to really see if it’s true. I never dreamed I would see Churchill and never so close. There are people who would have given $100.00 to stand as close to him as I did.
Well sweetheart, there is a lot of studying to do tonight. So long for now.
I love you more all the time.
In Him forever dear,
Written on the side:
Give the Norman’s my love and I’ll try and get a minute or so to write them a note.