Contact Elder Tommy Webber

Contact Elder Tommy Webber

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

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Silverdale: A Christmas Skype to home and a Baptism of Faith

Wonderful Family,

It was such a great experience to talk to you on Christmas! I am really out of time this week, but I hope you liked all the pictures! I loved the ones of you guys in Utah with the snow.
Faith's Baptismal Service

Faith's Grandpa
Faith was baptized on Saturday!!! It went amazingly smooth and the spirit was so strong. Her whole family came to the baptism and her grandpa baptized her. She was confirmed in Brownsville ward by Brother Suggs and her mom came to all of sacrament meeting! (a major miracle ha, ha). When I asked Faith how she felt when she was baptized, she told me one word, "warm." I thought that was funny because I only remember one feeling from my baptism when I was 8: "warm" I know she felt the spirit there!

I love you all so much!

Elder Webber

Mission Christmas Party

Old Companion - Elder Hansen

Old Companion - Elder Schaffner

Old Companion - Elder Green

Gifts to the Missionaries

Melting Snowman - Gift from Mom (Christmas Eve)

Christmas Eve Dinner

Christmas Eve, Hot Chocolate and Reading Luke 2

Christmas Morning - Legos, Chocolate, Socks, Books

Christmas Breakfast

Christmas Day, Skype from the Warren's home

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Silverdale: Christmas is Coming!


Wow, I cannot believe it is already Christmas week! I hope and wish the best Christmas ever to you guys and that you can have a ton of fun and warm memories made. I love you so much and I cannot wait to see you on Thursday. We had a very fun week, getting ready for Christmas. We've gotten a lot of cookies/fudge/cake and written a lot of Christmas thank you cards and given out dozens of "He Is the Gift" pass-along cards.

Tommy's missionary Christmas display
We are super excited for Faith's baptism this weekend. She is SO ready! We also got to meet Faith's family this week, and talk with her mom who is not really active. Her mom grew up in the Church but has had a lot of negative experiences with members, even in her family. So she has no problem with the teachings or principles, just in going to church or anything like that. This makes Faith's story so much more amazing to me. Without the stellar Suggs family, she might not have had this chance. But Faith is so good, so brave and sweet and pure and full of excitement. She is an example to her family, making sure she says her prayers at home and reads her Book of Mormon :) We will have her baptism this Saturday the 27th at 11:00 a.m. and her whole family will get to be there and her grandparents from California. She asked me to give the talk on baptism! You'll get pictures for sure!

We had her last lesson on Sunday, after the Suggs fed us dinner. We taught Faith about the temple and there was this moment I just felt love for Faith and the Suggs family. Almost sad it was the last lesson before her baptism since it has been such a joy and privilege to teach someone so prepared. I repeat my mission scripture: 3 Nephi 9:22!
A family of deer that frequently travel through Tommy's back yard

Close-up of the "Dad"
Yvonne has been back and forth still :( currently she's not on date for baptism, but she did come to our ward Christmas party on Friday which was AMAZING! There were tons of people there, including several less-active families and at least 15 non members, half of which we didn't even invite, the members did. Yvonne, Faith, Ginger and her family, the Creas, and June and her family, Khalil and his mom! And a few more part member families! It was so much fun.

One of Tommy's favorite snacks - Goldfish crackers, Christmas colored
I love you all so much, I'll get to talk to you more on Thursday. I know Christ lives and we have the chance to accept his Christmas gift to us: love, peace, and hope. He is the Light and the Life of the world. I love Him and will serve Him all of my life. By losing our lives in service, in giving, in these little opportunities (especially at Christmas time), we find our life - true happiness. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Love Elder Webber

Scripture: 3 Nephi 9:22 (see above)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Silverdale: Yvonne, Faith, Kahlil

Dearest Family,

I am so grateful for you this time of year. It is hard to be away for Christmas, obviously, but I'll get to talk to you via skype and see all your beautiful faces. I am so glad this week you could go to the temple for great grandma Mary's baptism! I loved the picture you took outside. I hope she has a good 100th birthday tomorrow :)

Elder Tommy Webber conducting the Missionary Choir in Sequim, WA
This week is very hard to explain in words. Lots of up and down, back and forth. I know I've said that before, but it's the only way I can describe missionary work sometimes. ___ is back on date, like I said, for the 27th! She also has been going through crazy hard trials. I probably have never met anyone so prepared as her, but she struggles so much to stay on track. She sends us texts almost every day expressing concerns and we try and respond with love and confidence. She doesn't have a lot of confidence in herself. Our lessons with her are amazing. We visited Saturday with Brother Green, she said that as she read the Book of Mormon (2 Nephi 2) she and pondered it later that day as she was driving and just cried thinking how she has another chance in life. She cried as she told us this experience and we were all a bit teary. We testified of how much God loves her and how much potential she has as a daughter of God. On Sunday she came to church, but afterwards had a bad conversation with her parents over the phone. ___ is in her 40's but her parents are not supportive at all of her joining or even studying the Church. They told her she was being ignorant and foolish, and she fears they will not talk to her anymore. We tried to help her have courage and faith to do what is right and that things will work out. She gets stressed very easy too. But again, she is SO prepared! We think she will make it.
Choir group picture

Faith on the other had is cruising right along. She is so solid. We are hoping to meet with her less active mom this week for her last lesson!
Tommy and other WA-Tac Elders
We finally got to talk with Kahlil's mom and she wants us to talk with her about what the Church is about and what baptism means for her son. Kahlil is only 11 years old but is soaking in the gospel. He loves meeting with us and brings his children's picture scriptures to school :) We have another FHE lesson tonight with June and her boys. Sorry out of time!

Love and Merry Christmas thoughts,
Elder Webber

Scripture: 3 Nephi 15:9-10 and 3 Nephi 27:20-21  (hopefully I will finish the Book of Mormon this week! I read in Mormon today)

P.S. thank you grandma for the wonderful Christmas tie. I'm wearing it today, I love it!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

"Silverdale, Silverdale, It's Christmas Time in the mission..."

Hello family,

The title of the e-mail should be sung to the tune "Silver Bells." Even back when I was with Elder Mosbrucker we were singing this because we thought it fit perfect and we were excited for Christmas! Christmas is the best time as a missionary. We get to see holiday lights and trees, pass out easy "He Is the Gift" cards and wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Plus everyone seems to be filled with an added measure of goodwill, kindness, gift giving, and the Spirit of Christ. We had dinner last night at the Masons again (Brother Green's daughter's family) and their 7 kids. I love that family so much. After dinner we got to stay and watch the First Presidency Christmas devotional which was awesome, and Sister Mason made gingerbread cookies and hot chocolate :)

Found a bird named Ferdinand
The primary in our ward made Elder Sharp and me a ton of Christmas cards!! It was super sweet, they ranged from green and red scribbles to cards with kind notes. I even got one from Faith, the girl we are teaching, since she goes to primary. She wrote, "Dear Elder Webber, I just wanted to thank you for meeting with me so I could learn more about Heavenly Father. Thank you and Merry Christmas. - Faith" Is that not the cutest thing ever? Faith is doing so good. We taught her the 3rd lesson on Saturday, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She gets it so well and asks perfect questions. She said she read 1 Nephi 1 on her own but didn't understand it ha, ha so we told her to keep trying and she will understand. I think she has the picture BoM which would help.

Also - CHRISTMAS MIRACLE - guess who is back on the radar?? Yvonne! We had texted her again since we felt weird about how things ended, and she had been thinking a TON about all that we had said when we left off and what her ideas are. And she said she would let us come by again.We brought Brother Green and let her just talk about her feelings and ideas, which were very interesting and deep, a lot about science and spirituality. Turns out they all fall in line with LDS doctrine, she explained how she believes in a premortal life and freedom of choice and the opportunity to progress eternally. Wow, it was amazing, she is tentatively back on date for Dec 27th, same day as Faith. "A white Christmas." She wasn't at church because she had to finish a final, but we have another appointment on Tuesday.

Found a waffle iron

Jolene is hanging in there, we taught her about modern prophets this week and gave her a talk from President Monson. She believes it all, but is still aught up on her church. Sister Barrett and Sister Mason offered to go by today to invite her to a Relief Society activity on Thursday which is perfect!

We are also teaching a friend of June's son Isaiah. His name is Kahlil and he lives in the same apartments. June is a great missionary to a lot of her friends, including Kahlil's mom. We started teaching him Saturday night. His mom is very supportive of him taking lessons, coming to church, and even baptism, although she is not interested herself. It was a fun lesson, Kahlil is a great kid who knows very little about God. He's excited to learn! We have an FHE with June's family and Kahlil tonight.
Found Yoda

I have learned so much this week about myself and about the Atonement, which is very difficult to explain in a short amount of time and with words. The most important lessons are experienced, not taught. I learned about the enabling power of the Atonement which allows us to act instead of being acted upon. It enables us to chose to be obedient, to chose to be happy and free. The fact that we can be happy amidst difficult time or situations is evidence of God's love and the Atonement at work. I love my Savior Jesus Christ for what He has done for me. I love this time of year we can celebrate His miraculous birth and matchless life. And I love all of you!

Found a cat
Love from the wonderful WaTac,
Elder Webber

Scirpture: 3 Nephi 9:13-22 (my mission scripture at the end)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Silverdale: Thanksgiving Dinners

Hello family,

I'm glad you all had a great Thanksgiving with all those missionaries. I'm sure they had a blast being all together. I thought about you guys quite a bit on Thursday and missed you. We had a really fun day though. We went to our ward Turkey Bowl with 6 of us there for a game of 3 on 3 football ha, ha. Then, later we went to TWO Thanksgiving dinners; one with the Warner family and one with the Recinos family. We had the Spanish missionaries with us at the Recinos home. Lots of good food. We then went to Ginger and her family for pie and dessert and played some games.

With transfer meeting this week it was weird to see all those sister go home that I had come out into the mission with. They all spoke with such power as they gave their final testimonies. I think I learned this week why sisters serve for 18 months and elders for 2 years. It just takes us 6 months longer to learn all that we need to on our missions. I am extremely grateful for these next 6 months ahead of me. I need it because I can be really stubborn with some things. A lot of my studies have been on the Atonement (see Elder Bednar's talk from April of this year titled, "Bear Up Their Burdens With Ease") I feel that there is some part of Atonement that I still do not understand but I really want to. I'm sure my trials are meant for that lesson to be learned.

During the sacrament on Sunday I cam across a hymn I had never read before and it meant a lot to me. It's called "The Time is Far Spent" #266:

1. The time is far spent; there is little remaining
To publish glad tidings by sea and by land.
Then hasten, ye heralds; go forward proclaiming:
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven's at hand,
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven's at hand.

2. Shrink not from your duty, however unpleasant,
But follow the Savior, your pattern and friend.
Our little afflictions, tho painful at present,
Ere long, with the righteous, in glory will end,
Ere long, with the righteous, in glory will end.

3. What, tho, if the favor of Ahman possessing,
This world's bitter hate you are called to endure?
The angels are waiting to crown you with blessings!
Go forward, be faithful, the promise is sure.
Go forward, be faithful, the promise is sure.

4. Be fixed in your purpose, for Satan will try you;
The weight of your calling he perfectly knows.
Your path may be thorny, but Jesus is nigh you;
His arm is sufficient, tho demons oppose.
His arm is sufficient, tho demons oppose.

Especially that last verse. It is true that Satan knows perfectly the callings we have and the potential for good, so he does all he can to try us and make us fail. But we know that the power of Jesus Christ is sufficient to carry us through. We just need to rely on His enabling, strengthening power.

As far as the work goes, Faith came to church again! We taught her the Plan of Salvation on Saturday at Bishop Byron (the Brownsville ward Bishop where she lives). And the Suggs came of course since they are her fellowship and bring her to church every week. And - MIRACLE - her grandparents heard about the goal of December 27th for her baptism and immediately bought plane tickets to come up for it. Faith's mom asked to make sure the date was solid so their whole family can be there :) So we are happily moving along.

Snow in November
We had a good lesson with Jolene and the Barretts came, they are awesome fellowship. Jolene knows it is true, she even had another dream and told us she wants her family to be sealed in the temple! But she doesn't want to stop going to her church. We're hoping she'll come to testimony meeting this Sunday.

Lastly, our recent convert June came to church again! She had been starting to slip away but the Relief Society brought her back. She came last week and again yesterday. She even got a calling to teach in the Primary which she is really excited about. She introduced us to a new family in her apartment complex we'll hopefully start teaching.

It has become cold in Washington, but Christmas is nearing. Everyone check out the video "He Is the Gift" on it is amazing we are sharing it with everyone!

Love you all
Elder Webber

Scripture: Helaman 14:8, 13-19

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Staying in Silverdale! A Miracle of "Faith"

Dearest Most Wonderful Family:

HAPPY THANKSGIVING this week. Although my body and food intake will be in Washington my spirit and thoughts will be in California with you and all those missionaries coming over for dinner. They are lucky to have the best Thanksgiving dinner ever. We will be treated well in Silverdale 1st ward. Three families have agreed to have us come over for dinner or dessert and many others have offered. Thankfully, for transfers, Elder Sharp and I are both staying here. That means we'll get to be here for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, etc. I am very happy about that. I really love this area and this ward and the work has really been exciting.

I don't have a lot of time this week for e-mail because I got a lot of e-mails from others (which was great - thank you!) and my friend and convert Dennis from Westport e-mails me each week with Jewish history and things he's been learning in his Hebrew translation classes ha, ha.

Suggs family with Faith
The best part of this week was meeting Faith, our 10 year old girl we're teaching. The Suggs family has befriended her and is amazing fellowship. They invited us over Saturday night to teach her the first lesson. She says that she wants to be baptized because she missed it when she turned 8 and wants to follow Jesus Christ and be with Heavenly Father. So cute!!! She already knows the primary hymns and Articles of Faith. We agreed to a tentative baptism date of December 27th! a Christmas miracle. Her grandpa from California wants to come up and be the one to baptize her so it will depend on when they can make it up. They had us over for lunch after church and we watched the Restoration video with them. It is so fun teaching in a member's home and teaching a sweet, humble child. We are working on getting her less active mom to come to our lesson this Saturday which is on the Plan of Salvation.
Silverdale Zone meeting
We had a good lesson with Jolene on Tuesday night with our stake president and bishop! She said she believes that this is all true, but is hesitant to stop going to her church because she is so involved there, which makes sense. She wasn't able to make it to church with us again because her son Sergio is in the hospital again, so please pray for him!

Visiting the town of Poulsbo on exchanges with other missionaries

Have a great week!

Love Elder Webber

Seeing friends at Transfer Day

Scripture: 3 Nephi 9:13-15

And a general conference quote: "I am a witness,” Elder Ballard said, “that there is a spirit attending the administration of the sacrament that warms the soul from head to foot; you feel the wounds of the spirit being healed, and the load being lifted. Comfort and happiness come to the soul that is worthy and truly desirous of partaking of this spiritual food.” (from Sister Cheryl A. Esplin, "The Sacrament - a Renewal for the Soul")

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Silverdale: Winter is here, Mission tour with Elder Snow, and Jolene came to church!

Dear Family,

Came across a Llama farm, of course
Oh sweet agency- it's the best and the worst thing. Sad to say that our "most solid investigator ever" Y___ has had some issues this week with what we call "Anti" as in Anti-Mormon literature, most commonly found today on the internet. It's so sad there are groups who have a goal to destroy someone's faith. We had the best lesson ever Monday night and had her neighbor there and our Bishop and taught the restoration and she was taking notes and loving it, then texted us the next morning saying she thinks she is "too liberal" for our church and has discomfort with plural marriage etc. She dropped us. We were SO SAD! It was right before we left to Bremerton to go to our mission tour with Elder Steven Snow, THE Church Historian, who came to our mission for 3 days to visit and train. So we were down in the dumps and it was all I could think about, how strange that we had met someone so prepared and so perfect, unlike anything before on my mission and then it ended as fast as it started... But as I was thinking "why, why" I realized something personal during our meeting. I think that the reason I had felt so sad was because I really desired good for someone. I knew that in some small way I had been blessed with the gift of charity and that is what had me hope the best for this person. I think Christian disciples feel sorrow for others when they choose to not follow the path, but they maintain vision and diligence of what God expects them to do. It was a dramatic lesson for me this week.


Thankfully, Jolene is still meeting with us, she even came to church yesterday for her first time!! I love it when people come to church! Our ward did a great job helping her feel welcome and embracing her (literally Sister Barrett gave her a hug at the end of Relief Society when we met her to set up an appointment). And the ward gets excited when they see new faces there. The Thursday night prior we had a great lesson with Brother Barrett there (the Barretts are her neighbors down the street). We went over the Book of Mormon again and talked about what to expect at church. She said that church brought back a lot of memories, growing up Catholic, because of how traditional our services are (She currently goes to a non-denominational church with rock band/ come as you are dress code). Jolene is so sweet and open and has a pure desire to follow God no matter what. She has 4 kids ages 12, 9, 8, and 6.

Thanksgiving package from mom - with LEGOS !!

Our ward has been more and more excited about missionary work. With the tremendous help of Brother Green, our ward mission leader, we are visiting all the members giving them a little piece of paper with "Simple Ideas for Sharing the Gospel," and also a little homemade Christmas wreath with a challenge to give it to a non-member friend or neighbor.
Cold outside, while knocking
Oh I almost forgot a huge miracle!!! So a member, Sister Suggs comes up to us before church yesterday and says, "good news elders, remember Faith?" (Faith is a 9 year old girl whose family is less active. They moved here from California this past summer, where they were living near their very active grandparents. Faith was almost baptized before they moved up here. She has been coming to church because the Suggs family is friends with them and brings Faith to church and Activity Days). Anyway, she says, "remember Faith? Well I talked to her and her parents, and Faith really wants to be baptized! We just need to get the lessons in and set the date!" We just smiled and said, "Yeah we think we can do that!" ha, ha that doesn't happen every week! So hopefully this week we can meet their family, start teaching, set a date, and even more hopefully bring the family back to church :)

Package from mom has Hot Chocolate

Sharing with companion Elder Sharp

Reading on a break in the park

Finally found a couple that listened to us at the door

So things are still going well in Silverdale. People come and go but the lessons I'm learning stay for good. I started by fourth journal for my mission with 6 months left! Wow!!

Much love,
Elder Webber

Scriptures: Helaman 15:7-8 (converts are strong)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Silverdale: Possibly the Most Miraculous Week of my Mission!

To My Beloved Family:

I am not sure how I'll be able to adequately write about this week since it was so crazy. Like God just decided to put in our paths two of the most prepared individuals on the face of the planet. And I learned some really critical lessons from Heavenly Father I will try to tie in.

So it started on Tuesday, we were just knocking doors, you know how we do from 5 to 7 pm. And it was a little bit of a rough 5 to 7, not very nice people, and it had just gotten dark so people think it's midnight. Then we come to this one door on Tracy Avenue of a lady named Jolene. She opens the door and is on the phone then sees who we are and says, "I'm going to have to call you right back" and hangs up. The next thing she says to us is "I believe God sent you here for a reason." Thrown off guard we ask her what is going on and she says that two days ago her good friend Jim, who is a member, told her she really needs to meet with missionaries and she had been trying to find us. She is a single mom of 4 kids, and one of them, an 8 year old boy, has a very rare and life-threatening bone disease in his right leg. This summer he has had a dozen operations that nearly took his life. She has been praying more than ever in her life, and having answers to her prayers. She told us that she has been having dreams, she called them "visions" and asked if we could explain to her what the celestial kingdom meant. By this point we are totally baffled. She says that she is about to head out but would love to set up an appointment for the next day to talk more. Of course we say yes!!!!

On Wednesday we go over and meet for a lesson. She then explains these dreams she has been having. Keep in mind her family is from the Philippines, she grew up Catholic, but goes to a non-denominational Christian church now, and has never talked with Mormon missionaries before, knows nothing about our teachings. She then explains that in her dream she was in heaven, but it was before we were born. She said that there were tons and tons of people there, but immediately around her was her family that she has on earth and people she knows in this life. She said that God the Father was there and that He was teaching us things, and teaching us that we could choose to come to earth and have experiences and important lessons. She said He loved us and whenever He spoke, we grew in brightness. She said that He was different from us somehow. We asked in what way, and she said that God had a body but we were just "beams of light" but in person form! By this time Elder Sharp and I had chills down our spine and we were in awe. We showed her the Plan of Salvation pamphlet and just read the first few pages with her about our Pre-Earth life and choice to come down. She said yes! She said that God taught us there, but there were things we needed to learn on earth, and even things we needed to learn after our earth life. There were three parts of the plan, she said! By the end all three of us were just smiling and in amazement, and the spirit was so strong. We told her there is more we want to share about these truths and how we believe in this, so we set up another appointment.

We went back Friday. Jolene is so sweet, and humble and open. On Friday we taught her the Restoration and she was all on board. When we described the Great Apostasy she said "that makes so much sense, I knew that this wasn't all God had for us" with her hand on her Bible. "This is what's been missing," she said holding the Book of Mormon we had given her. She told us there should be some way that God brought all the truths back and we taught her about Joseph Smith and the Restoration. By the end she said, "I believe the Book of Mormon is true. I believe Joseph Smith is real." We then invited her to be baptized and she said she will really think and pray about it. She is very involved in her church, because she loves to serve and so it is hard for her to stop going there. she agreed to make other arrangements and come with us this coming Sunday, the 16th! Our next appointment is Thursday night.

NOW! You think that is a crazy story it gets BETTER! We met the MOST TOTALLY PREPARED person on Saturday night, again while knocking doors. The cool thing is, just as Jolene was first introduced to the church by her member friend, so was this lady we met. Her name is Yvonne (pronounced "E-von"). We were knocking these apartments that I had been kicked out of twice before ha, ha, but I had never gotten to this last section of it. To start the tracting session, Elder Sharp prayed and said in it, "Heavenly Father, help us to find a golden one tonight." Six doors in we meet Yvonne, and start with a normal door approach, "We're Mormon missionaries..." she looks and us and said, "Oh! I went to church last week. I'm sort of investigator the Mormon church right now" !!! Ha, ha turns out this lady was invited by her co-worker to another ward last Sunday November 2nd and she loved it. This same friend gave her a Book of Mormon and an LDS edition of the Bible. she let us in and we started talking about things. She is a computer scientist and loves science and religion (Elder Sharp and I love to talk about that kind of stuff) and we start to explain parts of the Plan of Salvation. She kept saying "Yes! Right! Nice!" and was agreeing with everything we said. She told us she has been looking for a church and really wants to serve. She has been recently very interested in genealogy and wants to have a stronger relationship with God and a new start, a "clean slate" she said. We told her about baptism and her eyes lit up! We said we're having a baptismal service on November 29th and she responded, "Oh! So I don't have to wait like a whole year?" (she had been baptized Catholic at age 13 after a year of catechisms) we said no! You can be baptized as soon as you want, our job is to teach you a few lessons and help you have faith and repent and so we set a DATE for NOVEMBER 22nd! she was so excited about that. I have never met anyone so humble and willing and ready to go!

She came to church the next day! She wore a dress that she had bought Saturday, before we met her, since she really wanted to come to church again. She also said when we met her that she wanted to find a more local congregation than where she went with her friend. So she came to our ward and LOVED it! All three hours she was smiling and taking notes, participating in class, etc. Literally a golden investigator fell into our laps. We have our next lesson set up for tonight. Her neighbors the Scarrs in the same apartment building are members and they're coming to our lesson tonight and our Bishop too. We'll teach the Restoration and she already believes it ALL!!! Hallelujah!

Out of time, but pray for them, it's going to be a great next few weeks in Silverdale!

Elder Webber

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Silverdale: Halloween fun

Dear Family,

Sorry no pictures of our whole zone. We have a zone lunch today so we'll make sure to take a picture together. There are such great missionaries serving around in Silverdale! We did an exchange with the Brownsville elders this week and it was really fun. I always like being with other missionaries and learning from them. Wa-Tac is the best!

Elder Tommy Webber finds more cats
On Friday we had a Halloween Zone meeting and played "General Conference" jeopardy! The categories were: Who Said It?, World Problems, A Prophet's Counsel, Application (to missionary work), and Miscellaneous. It was fun to go back over notes and remember all the things we learned from this past conference. And it was so fun to be with the zone. We stayed together the rest of the night since we weren't going out tracting and they wanted us all staying out of trouble. We had pizza, and a bunch of candy and treats, then we got to watch "The Best Two Years" movie ha ha it was super funny and especially because it has so much missionary humor - things I probably wouldn't have laughed about before my mission. I don't know how I had never seen it before since I had always heard about it.
Zone Conference

Yesterday at church was great. Ginger and two of her kids came to church! And we had a ward fast for missionary opportunities! It was Brother Green's idea and he got the Bishopric and Ward Council involved. Several testimonies were about missionary work and the prayers offered included it, which was great. I'm hoping a lot of cool experiences to come this month.
For Halloween, 4 Elders wore 4 Hogwarts ties (Missionary Costumes?)

Ginger is doing really well. For our lesson this week, a war member came with us who is a lawyer, so he was able to help her figure things out so that she can finalize her past divorce and marry Bryan, the member she is living with now. Bad news is there is a 90 day wait before it is official, but the good news is she really is being converted along the way. She told us she has been praying about the Book of Mormon and continues to feel peace, like this really is the path she wants to take.

The Silverdale Zone meeting
We're actually teaching 3 Jamie's, ha ha. Two guys and one girl. We haven't seen Jamie the less active this week, and we found a new guy who's older named Jamie. And the Jamie and Deena! Deena left for two weeks with the military so they weren't at church this week, but they've been keeping up with their Book of Mormon reading!

Anyway - out of time but I hope you have a great week!
Love Elder Webber
Scriptures: Mosiah 7:33

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Silverdale: Lots of Lessons "With" and Trusting in the Lord

Dear Family,

Hard to believe October is already almost over and Halloween is this week! I hope you all have lots of fun and eat too much candy. Our mission will be having zone meeting that day at 3:00 and will be spending the rest of the day together, going home early at 8:00. And we'll get to watch some surprise movie! Last year it was "Ephraim's Rescue." I think it would be cool to watch "The Saratov Approach" or whatever it's called. It sounds really good, kinda scary, and still missionary-themed ha, ha.
Tommy gets to see Elder Schaffner again at Olympia musical fireside

This week was filled with fun stories and lots of cool, little miracles. I am learning a principle this transfer, to "Trust in the Lord." Like it says in Proverbs 3:5 to "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." On Tuesday we had an exchange where we got doubled in, so there were 4 of us in our area for 24 hours. That meant Monday night we had double the planning to do and my planner looks like a 3 year old child got a pencil and a pen and went at it. We were both a little nervous, but really what happened is we trusted in the Lord, not in each other or in ourselves. And this has happened before, at the start of a transfer, on any exchange, or giving a training, preparing a talk, going to the MTC, etc. When we realize that Heavenly Father will guide us by His Spirit, we worry less and trust more. and the result is a bunch of tiny miracles.

The focus this week was lessons with members present. The week before the Weavers left we tried super hard as a mission to get 500 and soared to 697! this week we set another goal of 500 and made it all the way past 600 again!!! On that exchange day, we got 6 in our area, which is way above average for us. It was cool. We were able to contact some investigators that were never home the 10 times we'd tried before, and they were home that day. One lady named Maria we talked to and set up an appointment, another named Bernadette, While we were tracting, (knocking) we had prayed to know where to go and were led to this one small apartment complex. No more than 3 doors in the manager comes out and tells us we have to leave :( so we kept going down the street, knocking and knocking and then turn back up the street around 6:10. On the other side we come up on Sandra Ln. and try to decide whether to knock that, or keep on the main road, which led towards the car, where we started. I had the tiniest feeling to try this street, nothing that screamed "This is a Prompting From the Holy Ghost!!" or any powerful emotion, just a tiny passing thought; I would not have noticed it if I hadn't been trying to follow the Spirit. And so we knock Sandra Ln. and on the second to last door before we finish, at 6:58 p.m. we knock on a door of a woman named Jamie. She tells us she is a member of the church , and hasn't been in years. Her husband is not supportive, but just left for a year on deployment and so she had been thinking about coming back to church and getting her 3 kids involved. Wow!! So we set up an appointment to come back. I really hope it continues somewhere.

Also, remember John, the 94-year-old Catholic Democrat? We were with our Ward Mission Leader one morning visiting people, and we thought to go back and see him. He was home and we went in and talked some more, about his family and his life. And Brother Green then says,"I can tell you're a reader, and we have a good book for you!" he then gives him a Book of Mormon and invites him to read. At first he tells us he will never be a Mormon, but we said that was ok, we just wanted him to read the book. I honestly never thought we would get that far with this guy, but Brother Green has more faith than I do, ha ha. It was cool to see him change his mind about us Mormons :)

We are super excited about Deena and Jamie, a new young couple we are teaching. I don't think I mentioned them before. Elder Mosbrucker and I tracted into Deena about 3 weeks ago, and Elder Sharp and I started teaching them. They have very little religious background, both grew up in families that just didn't go to church. They have a lot of fun interests in Star Wars, Harry Potter, and lots of comic books. They also are starting an organization for childrens' cancer awareness called Lion's Heart. Great people. They are very open to learning and we had a great lesson this week on God being our Heavenly Father and Creator. We read Acts 17:16-34 with them and Alma 30:44. They said they are like the people in Athens, knowing there is some sort of God, but not knowing who He is, and we are helping them learn about Him! Then yesterday they came to church!! YES! That is the first time I've had a new person at church since I've been in Silverdale. And even better, yesterday was our primary program so all the cute little kids sang and read lines about Heavenly Father and forever families. Jamie was in tears at one point, and laughing during the rest of it. And our ward did a great job greeting them and being friendly.
Knocking doors with Elder Steed (an AP visiting) and a reunion

There are even more stories to tell, but not enough time. The Lord is so good to me. I love my mission, even when it starts to get cold and wet and dark. And yes, mom, Saturday night we had a big wind storm, and dead pine needles and even tree branches were flying everywhere! One hit a power line near our ward mission leader's house and his power has been all out. The lines were just dangling in the street, so he called 911 to have them repair it, And there was this really big tree branch that fell right next to our car, but not on top! Phew. But anyways, despite all of that everything is good!

 Tommy sees Elder Mosbrucker again at Olympia fireside

Yesterday, we also got to be a part of the Olympia fireside, since Elder Sharp's recent convert from Lacey was giving his testimony. That meant I also got to conduct and it was really fun. It was the best performance of "Amazing Grace" I'd heard in a long time. I'm lucky to be able to participate and attend all these great musical and spiritual missionary gatherings.

Elder Sharp makes lunch (w/Pumpkin) for AP's
(missionaries who Assist the Mission President)

Close-up on Quinoa and cous cous

Have a Happy Halloween and remember that little old witch will forever sing "H. A. LL. O. W. EE. N. spells Halloween - ha HA ha ha ha ha ha haaaa..."

Love Elder Webber

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (the mission sent out this scripture today and I really like it)
Also Proverbs 3:5 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Silverdale: The Firesides are back, Cool people, and a Chili Cook-off!

Dear Family,

This week was crazy, a lot happened, and it was all really good. Transfers were on Tuesday and my new companion is Elder Sharp. He's from Lehi, Utah and has been out just longer than I have. He is a very talented missionary, really good with people, and an incredible teacher. He can relate to just about anyone. We've been getting along pretty well, and we had a busy week, so we're excited about this transfer. 
Elder Tommy Webber and new Companion Elder Sharp
Elder Sharp prepares Quinoa for Tommy for Breakfast
Also, it was so fun to hear about all the stuff you guys are doing. I love the fall and the school activities. I think the "Donuts and Disney" club you're doing, Claire, is awesome! I love hearing about it all, because it makes me feel close to you and makes my day and week happier.

Like I said, the work boomed this week. We met a lot of really cool people I want to tell you about. Not to mention those we are currently teaching, since we had a lesson with each one of them. A few nights ago, when we were tracting, it had just started to get dark (which happens at about 6:45 p.m. now) and we went up to this old house right on the water. We saw through the window and elderly man sitting and eating dinner alone in his kitchen. He got up to the door to greet us and let us in. He welcomed us to sit down and offered to share his dinner, which consisted of dry meat loaf, rice, and beets ha, ha. We politely declined, and he started talking telling us he is an "Irish American. A Catholic. And a Democrat," and he didn't want to know anything about Mormons! but we kept talking and learned he was born in 1920 and had been a widower for the last 20 years, in this house. At the end he gave us some rock hard cookies to go, which he made himself, and we prayed with him. Well, he prayed, reciting the Lord's prayer. It was a cool experience. Not sure if he'll ever accept a Book of Mormon, but he really appreciated the company.
The neighborhood we were tracting (knocking doors)
Yesterday during tracting we were having a rough go. We knocked early, because we had the fireside to get to that night. After about a hundred "not interested" replies, we came to our last door (it is funny how it's always the last door, in fact, I write down what time of day that we find people who are interested, and it is so often either 6:59 or 5:01 - the very beginning or the very end). We met a man named Mark. He lives right next door to our High Priests Group Leader's home. He let us in and we got to meet him. He's an assistant principle at a local middle school, and is very knowledgeable about the Bible. In fact, he learned Greek and Hebrew and spends about an hour a day translating the Bible for his own study. Most people we meet like this are sometimes rude to Mormon missionaries, but this man was really nice! He had just finished doing a study on the Book of Mormon and had sincere questions for us. Pretty tough questions, but we set up another time to discuss. He is a very friendly guy.
Last day with Elder Mossbrucker
The rest of our investigators are doing well. Brother Green is back in action as the best Ward Mission Leader ever and we had lots of lessons this week. The best part was our ward activity Friday night. It was a Chili and corn bread and cobbler potluck. All the kids dressed up like Halloween and had a costume parade. We had been working all week to invite everyone there. We were so happy when we got there and we saw June, and her friend Karine and Felicia, and all of their kids! And Ginger and her whole family made it, and the Butterfields (another family we are working with). Plus a few other less active members, and an entire non member family that one of the ward members had invited, and we got to meet them! During the night, the ward did a great job talking to our investigators and getting to know them. Sister Stoddard even offered to drive Felicia to church. Later, she told us that Felicia had joined the ward's facebook page and told everyone that she was a "new member"!!! We talked to her about the discussions and how to actually become a new member of the church! What a miracle. Unfortunately, none of these people were able to make it to church Sunday, for various reasons. So that's the only let down this week. 

Musical Fireside - Tommy w/ President Blatter

Sunday night was the Bremerton/ Silverdale/ Gig Harbor fireside. We had a little practice before, and it was sort of stressful because the APs put me in charge of the practice. Everyone was all excited and chatty, but we were able to pull it together, no doubt with the help of the Spirit ha, ha. The fireside had 5 recent convert testimonies, each of which were powerful and spiritual. One of them, from a YSA ward announced that he was putting in his mission papers this week! And the music came along great. It's fun to sing our mission classics: "Called to Serve," "We'll Bringthe World His Truth," and of course, "Amazing Grace."

Elder Tommy Webber reunites with Elder Zastrow at fireside

Elder Tommy Webber w/ current comp Elder Sharp

After the fireside, I was talking to Elder Zastrow who told me that one of our converts was there at the fireside! Chris Bone, who was baptized in Bremerton, June of last year! I didn't get to see him, but it was so cool to hear that he is still active at church! 

Tommy conducted at the Fireside

And here is some more amazing news: 
I heard from the elders in Steilacoom, and guess who was baptized? Rebecca!! Remember her? She's the one that Elder Hansen and I found knocking in November of last year, then Elder Schaffner and I started teaching. Elder Schaffner and I sent her a letter to say congratulations. 
Also, I heard from Raymond, and remember Machel and AJ who were baptized after I left? And then her friend Kelsi, who was baptized after that? Well turns out Kelsi's 3 kids were baptized just a few weeks ago!!! 
Last one: remember Ronnie from Soundview? The guy who never could come to church then came my last Sunday there? Turns out he kept coming, and was also baptized a few weeks ago. Each of these is a miracle and shows that the work is moving forward. I love each of my areas!

Tommy gets reflective at edge of Puget Sound 
Entrance to a local church, everyone follows Jesus, especially Tommy

I love you all so much! Keep being awesome,
Love Elder Webber

Scriptures: I've been studying Preach My Gospel (PMG) lesson 2: The Plan of Salvation, so here's some good ones from the lesson: 
Genesis 1:26-27 (we are made in the image of God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ)
Alma 42:4 (this life is a "probationary" state. Our purpose is to repent and prepare to live with God)
Alma 34:32-34 (remember not to procrastinate that repentance)
Alma 11:42-43 (the resurrection of the body promised to all because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ).