Contact Elder Tommy Webber

Contact Elder Tommy Webber

Washington Tacoma Mission
4007 Bridgeport Way West, Suite D
Tacoma, WA 98466-4330

Monday, December 23, 2013

Steilacoom Christmas is Here with Elder Schaffner

Wonderful Family,

Well it has been a crazy week and I am excited to tell you about it and then get to see your beautiful faces on Wednesday!!! It's been over 7 months and that is long enough! I am so excited!

Fisrt off thanks to Hermana Mehner, the Osterhouts, the Chamberlins, and of course Grandma for the letters/ Christmas cards/ package!!! You are wonderful.

Wow where do I start! Not much time, but it began with transfer meeting, one of the most powerful since my first here. There was a lot of mixed emotion seeing Elder Lonas, my trainer, go home, and be sitting next to my first "trainee" or "greenie" whatever you want to call him. He gave a powerful testimony that amounted to him telling us that it is impossible for him to describe in words the feeling of his heart, and for us to develop this kind of feeling and love for our mission, we have to do it ourselves. Like the gospel, we can't have others feel or know or believe what we do until they do it themselves.
Transfer meeting, Christmas greeting (note Tommy's Moroni themed socks)
Elder Webber's new companion Elder Schaffner
I was very worried about being a trainer, it is a lot of responsibility and I wanted his first week to go well. It did! We had a church tour with George on Tuesday night and another one with Chris on Wednesday night! I told him before Chris's tour that if all went well we would invite him to be baptized. It did and Elder Schaffner committed him to be baptized. Unfortunately he didn't make it to church yesterday, so it will be later than Jan 4th (the original date) but that's ok. Haopeng and Tiffany are finally back in town and came to church yesterday! Those three are progressing wonderfully! Sorry it's short. I guess I can tell you the rest on Wednesday. MERRY CHRISTMAS I LOVE YOU!!

Elder Webber catches up with previous companion Elder Green
Lots of scriptures this week (Christmas themed!):


Elder Webber

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Steilacoom Christmas is coming!

Oh dearest family:

I love you! I love hearing from all of you and the awesome updates and things going on in your life. I'm happy to hear that so many people are sharing in the joy of missionary work and reading these letters. I would be selfish to keep so many miracles to myself. Share them with friends!

Also thanks to the Bakers for the Christmas card! That was awesome. You all look so good. I will miss Christmas "boo-ing" you :)

Some fun things this week: The WA-TAC Christmas party, Anderson Island Christmas party, a solid new investigator Chris, and TRANSFERS!

I'll start with the last because I know you're anxious to find out. I am staying in Steilacoom!!! But Elder Hansen is leaving :( and going to the Poulsbo 2nd ward in the Silverdale Zone (next to Bremerton). He is really bummed he is leaving this celestial ward. Also news: I'm training a new missionary! Yikes! I'm very excited but also very nervous, I still feel like I just got here. I don't who he is yet. I'll laugh if it is Elder Singleton :) We have a lot planned this week, so I am excited. A church tour set up Tuesday night and Wednesday night!

OK, the Christmas party on Tuesday was pretty fantastic. It was from 9:30 to 4:00 and consisted of a white elephant gift exchange (fun way to see what is left in missionary apartments...), a great lunch/dinner with a slideshow of 2013 mission pictures. LOTS of singing (some conducting) and all Christmas music! It actually got pretty wild as we sang "the 12 days of (a WA-TAC) Christmas" but we had so much fun. I'm realizing more and more how unique and special it is that our mission is so close and united, that we get together so often. Some of my closest friends are here: those who I have served with, and seeing them is SO fun!  We had skits (each Zone did one) and ended with a devotional. The most spiritual part was when our whole mission read together Moroni chapter 10 and finished the Book of Mormon as a mission! We got to bear short testimonies of the Book of Mormon and of Christ. Then we were able to hear the testimony of our mission president and his wife, and watch a powerful Christmas video of the birth, life and Atonement of Jesus Christ. We ended with President Weaver's favorite "Christmas" song "Amazing Grace." And we'll all be singing it again this Tuesday!

Elder Hansen and Elder Tommy Webber at Mission wide Christmas Party

Concerning our teaching work, unfortunately Haopeng and Tiffany were not at church today, which means their baptism will have to be postponed. We haven't heard from them since he left to get her in Seattle. We stopped by his apartment every day I think and texted and called, but we can only do so much. I feel that we can still do it in December!

Our very exciting news (Dad you'll like this), is our new investigator Chris. He lives down the street from our Bishop, he knows their great family and sees something different in them. We found him while knocking our 5-7 PM routine on one of the coldest nights (blessings for obedience!) and heard his crazy story of his wife leaving him and long story short he is very depressed and was praying that someone would come to his door to help him. That's right when we knocked. He talked to us for about 30 minutes on his doorstep (remember the cold) and we got his phone number and invited him to church and gave him a Book of Mormon. We didn't hear from him for about a week until he showed up to church one night on the same night that we had mutual, so guess who was there? The bishop he knows! Turns out Chris likes to park his car outside our church building because of the peaceful feeling he gets there. Our Bishop invited him over for dinner and a Family Home Evening night on Sunday (yesterday) which he came to. We were there and another member, a solid recent convert, came too. Chris loved it, he was included and loved with their wonderful family and had a dinner and Christmas message that reminded him of his childhood. He told us afterwards, "I felt the presence of God in that home." We have a church tour set up with him on Wednesday night with that same recent convert as fellowship. We are excited to see where he will go!

Also of note: IT SNOWED on Monday night!!!! There was snowing as we knocked doors! Not quite Provo status but it was exciting and my Idaho companion got a kick out of my excitement.

Saturday night we got to go to the Anderson Island Christmas party, and take the ferry over, very fun. But I'm out of time!

On the Ferry to the Anderson Island Branch

Much love and Christmas spirit,
Elder Webber

The scripture this week is Alma 7:7, 10-13. That is the Christmas message! I'm SO happy to hear that you guys are getting your family scripture study in! The smallest bit each night will have the most wonderful eternal blessings.

P.S. I heard at our Christmas party that Dennis has been going to the temple more! The senior couple serving there are taking him to Seattle to sit and watch baptisms. (Since it is hard for him to do them himself as we all learned, ha ha). But I can picture him, in white, watching the font with that huge part-toothless smile he always has, as all of his ancestors are baptized!!!

Missionaries at Steilacoom Ward Christmas Party

Here is a message form President and Sister Weaver they sent today I'd like to share:
"We hope this is one of the best Christmas Seasons of your life. You are doing something that is very
special, and your Heavenly Father is very proud of you. May His richest blessings be with you this
season and may you deeply feel the Spirit in your missionary efforts, and His peace in your personal
lives. We are so proud of you and are honored to be serving together with you. We love you."

I love you all too!!!

Missionary apartment sparse Christmas decorations

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Steilacoom Gets Cold, Winter is Here

Dear Family,

I've been thinking of you guys a lot this week, especially with the wonderful Christmas season here. I miss you but I love being here in Washington, engaged in the work of the Lord. Especially at Christmas where we get to say Merry Christmas to everyone who closes the door on us, ha ha. But really, what better time to share the message of our Savior.

9:00 pm, End of a cold day

It is surprisingly cold here, especially this week it dropped into the teens in temperature. I thought after experiencing (and enduring) a Utah winter I could handle Washington, but it hit us pretty fast and caught me off guard. It's especially hard when we are outside from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (with the exception of dinner and lessons) and when we bike around in the blowing frigid air. Thank you mom for the thermals and scarf and sweaters, I pile them all on and it keeps me warm enough. I can't complain too much, I know there are much worse places and I know I have a warm apartment to go home to and a nice bed. Plus I'm pretty sure Heavenly Father has been helping, because He's answered a few prayers. When it's 8:15 p.m. and we have no appointments, it's only my love for Him that gets me to bike out to find something to do or someone to visit, so we can obediently work all day. That's when blessings come, and they have!!

Lake Waughop in Steilacoom
Aside from two miracle lessons this week, it was hard work. No one seems to ever be home, so we can spend hours each day visiting potential investigators or knocking more or walking around to talk to people. I have felt discouraged because of how hard I have been working and not having much to do. Thankfully my great companion Elder Hansen has been reminding me that perhaps I'm looking in the wrong areas for success, and with your note, mom, I can understand more of what success is. It is not how many lessons or baptisms or referrals we get but how committed we are to the work, how we love the people, and, simply, how hard we are really trying. Even with that, Heavenly Father has seemed to bless us again.

me at Lake Waughop in Steilacoom

We had the privilege to have President Weaver in our district meeting on Wednesday, as a surprise (a little scary for me at first), but after he was saying how he is supposed to be working with the missionaries more directly and we told him about our scheduled lesson with our main investigator, Haopeng. He agreed to come with us to help us teach that night! Haopeng was found last transfer, by talking to him as he was walking home to his apartment. He came from China about a year ago and is here studying at college. He has no background in religion but he is one of the most humble people I have met. He sits on the floor at our feet when we teach and soaks in everything we say. He keeps all his commitments to read the Book of Mormon and pray! He is very busy with school, that is our only difficulty. Anyway that night with President Weaver, we taught one of the best lessons I have experienced. We taught the Plan of Salvation, it was only 45 minutes, but it was simple and the Spirit was very strong. I was at times subtly aware of the Spirit guiding me to know in the moment what to say or what questions to ask. We committed him to baptism on the 21st!

Sadly, he slept through church this week, so we went over to visit. He and his girlfriend Tiffany (came from China about 3 years ago) were there and were talking and it transformed into teaching her the Restoration. She heard Haopeng talking about all his awesome experiences and the Spirit came again! She has accepted to be baptized on the 21st as well!! We are very excited but have a lot of work to do now. There are more miracles coming. Let's keep praying for them!

Farrell's Marsh in Steilacoom (Bike shortcut)
Scripture this week is Ether 3:4, one of my favorite examples of faith. The Brother of Jared had exceeding faith. We can too. We know God can do this work, and we will do our part as best we can. I am excited to finish the Book of Mormon tomorrow by reading Moroni 10 with the whole mission at our Christmas party!!

Merry Christmas!!!!
Elder Webber
me at Lake Waughop in Steilacoom

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Steilacoom Thanksgiving

Oh My Wonderful Family,

Seeing pictures of you guys made me so happy!! You are all so good-looking, ha ha. I'm glad to see all the fun things in your life. I don't have much time, but I'll tell you the highlights from this week.

Thanksgiving was very fun, we visited one investigator for a short while who was alone, then had dinner with a member in our ward. It included all the delicious traditional Thanksgiving delicacies and filled me up. We visited our ward mission leader's giant Hawaiian family who fed us even more! Then we had the privilege to go to the mission home for the night. Only the Tacoma and Lakewood Zones went, since we are closest. It is nice to be back closer to the mission home! We played some games, all said what we were thankful for, and sang Christmas songs and "Amazing Grace" of course. I LOVE the Weavers! They make this mission a family. I am thankful for them. I also got to talk with Elder Green again. Very fun.

Elder Webber meets up with former companion Elder Green at Thanksgiving at Mission Home

We had two exchanges this week, one in Lakewood, the more populated and much lower class part of the city. Lots more poverty, but not nearly as much as Mexico, where you guys got to go this week. We have SO much. It was fun serving with the Zone Leaders, there are some amazing missionaries that I can learn from.

Elder Webber and current companion Elder Hansen at Zone Conference

I have been thinking a lot about my mission recently and how far I've come and where I can still go. We haven't been teaching as many lessons here in Steilacoom and I have a bad tendency to blame myself. I continually think, study, and pray about how I can do better. Yesterday at fast and testimony meeting (yes I did get to bear my testimony), and with the sacrament I thought about it and had a great feeling of happiness and peace. It had been two weeks since I had the sacrament (because of stake conference) and I could actually feel it! The sacrament to me is a spiritual reboot. Like food to the body, the sacrament is to the soul. I felt that things would be okay if I keep trying.

Missionaries at the Mission Home

Scripture this week is a lot. 3 Nephi 17 is just an amazing chapter. There is so much pure love and joy! Also, 3 Nephi 19:9 we can be grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost, which (3 Nephi 19:21, 28) purifies us.

View of Mt. Rainier

Elder Webber