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Willie puts faith ahead of fear

“I was a troubled boy,” he said. “I didn’t know what to do with my life. I felt something was missing.” Born in Pohnpei, Micronesia but raised in Guam, Willie had grown up in a tight-knit family with eight siblings. He had loved being on the beach with his siblings and spending hours playing sports. He had thought he was committed to the gospel, but now he was not sure.

The genuine interest and love of friends and ward members helped Willie regain his faith and remain active. He decided to give back and serve a full-time mission. In 2012, he was called to serve in the Santa Rosa, California English-speaking mission.

His first time off the island brought Willie a totally new perspective on life. He knew he could do more than he had ever considered, and when he returned from his mission, he soon had several business ideas and projects in mind. Willie decided to open a lending business. Soon after the launch, he discovered that his knowledge was insufficient to manage such a company. He knew he needed to find the best educational opportunities.

Good friends told Willie about LDS Business College. Although he was trying to run his own business and paying all the expenses, he was intimidated at the thought of returning to the United States for college. Nevertheless, his faith was bigger than his fear, and after making the arrangements needed, Albert flew 6,285 miles from Guam to Salt Lake City.

Although he was excited, getting used to the snow, keeping up with all his assignments, and understanding the different concepts taught in class soon became a challenge for Willie. To address this, he increased his spiritual focus. “Prayer before starting each class and hearing a spiritual thought keep the Spirit with me as I’m going to classes,” he said.

One element Willie enjoys the most about LDSBC is its diversity. Students come from fifty states and sixty countries. “The mix of cultures helps us understand each other and learn from each other,” he shared. Not only have good friends helped Willie enjoy his surroundings, they have motivated him to do better in his classes.

As he looks toward his future, Willie would like to earn a bachelor’s degree as well and return home to Guam. “I would like to help the youth there get an education,” he said. “I would like to help them know what their dreams are and encourage them to work persistently toward them.”

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