Contact Elder Tommy Webber

Contact Elder Tommy Webber

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

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Staying in Soundview!

Dear Family,

We had another great week, and transfer calls came in: I will be staying in the Soundview ward with Elder Anderson! This will be my second transfer in the beautiful Soundview ward. I am very happy about that. This is a great ward with wonderful, faithful members who teach me so much. I love our Ward Mission Leader, we call him and tell him about all our set appointments (usually between 3-5 each day) and he gets a member to come out with us! Given, all but one of those usually fall through, that's still a lesson with a member present each day! And those investigators have a connection to the church then. And when they come on a Sunday, they then know that person and can sit by them and ask them questions. When that person is baptized, they have a friend in the church and will keep coming. It makes a huge difference.

Staying in the Soundview ward with Elder Anderson!
We had interviews this week with President and Sister Weaver. It's funny how different they are yet how they work as such a team. President's interview was much shorter, but he asked me a few questions and I asked him some. I learned how to better work with the ward, and learn from this ward, to share ideas in others. Sister Weaver made mention that this was their last interviews :( but shared her love and asked about a favorite scripture of mine and my testimony. As I began to share it, I thought about what my mission means to me. Yes, mom, I did tear up. I began to remember how far I have come on my mission and from the months and years leading up to it. Like President Waver says, there are not really words that can describe the experience of serving a mission. But those who have served a mission can, with a smile, understand the blibbering babblings of us who try and mutter out something with the phrase "best two years" in it. There aren't good enough words to describe a mission. It simply means everything to me. I have changed and grown. I have repented and fortified faith. I know the testimony I have of this work is true. Jesus Christ lives
and leads it.

We worked very hard this week and had 3 days in a row where everything seemed to be falling through. We would drive around all day visiting people who weren't home and go back for return appointments of people who aren't home. Then, as a backup plan, we would knock and knock and knock. "Not interested," "not a good time," "I have my church," and even a crazy woman who came out in her pajamas and told us to go away and leave her apartment complex, then followed us back to our car a half mile to make sure we were leaving. We went back a few hours later and knocked the last 20 doors.

This does end well. And isn't it funny I share that after sharing how awesome this whole mission thing is? It's awesome because we were later blessed and one of the families we are teaching made it to church on Sunday! Avery and 4 of her 5 kids came to church!! I realized how much work it takes to get a whole family to church rather than just yourself. Bless her heart. And all the Mormon moms who do the same. Avery is a single mom with 5 kids. The fifth, Bobby, was born just 3 weeks ago! She has twin girls aged 3 and a 10 year old boy and 12 year old girl. It's actually the same age and gender order as our family! (if you switch the youngest boy with the twin girls). They even stayed for all 3 hours. We had great Relief Society moms help her during sacrament meeting and in classes, and show where her kids go to Sunday School. One even invited her to dinner on Thursday after signing up to feed us that night as well! These great women in the church have bought diapers and brought over meals for Avery. We just called the Relief Society President to tell her about our investigator and they did the rest! We have a teaching appointment on Wednesday and hope to invite her to baptism soon, she's very interested and loves the church!

Transfer meeting will be Tuesday, then Mission Leadership Council with the Mission President on  Friday, and another week to work hard and be happy. Elder Schaffner will be in my district now.
I also heard Raymond had another baptism this past weekend, but I didn't recognize the name. I'm Raymond's #1 fan :)

The spring is upon us, summer around the corner, and beautiful days ahead. Thanks for all your love and support and to all you who are still reading these letters ;)

Good luck at your baptism this weekend, Connor!

Elder Webber

Scripture: Doctrine & Covenants 58:42-43 and Moroni 6:9

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Soundview: Seattle Temple and Easter Week


Thanks for making it a great Easter. I loved the cat cards, Matthew and Charlotte and Claire! And thank for the awesome package mom, the missionary book, pictures, and candy :) There is a lot of candy in our house now. And that music from Melinda is actually something I wanted. Another missionary has that CD, and I really like the songs on it, so its funny you sent something I knew about and wanted.

Easter Bunny found Tommy

More Easter Gifts from home

From local member friends

 The highlight of this week was definitely the temple! It was so fun, so spiritual, so memorable. I got lots of good pictures there, and I'm sure there's more on the blog. We went up with both the Tacoma Zones, and the Port Angeles and Silverdale Zones. That meant that Elder Zastrow, Elder Hansen, and Elder Green were there with me going to the temple! We started with a devotional meeting in the chapel across from the Seattle temple (which is really in Bellevue). President and Sister Weaver spoke, and we all shared stories about the "Because of Him" video. That was another focus of this week.
Elder Webber's picture of Seattle Temple
We went out to take pictures and then entered the Temple. It had been SO long since I have been, and handing the temple workers my recommend, I just felt happy and at peace. I thought a lot about the last year of my life and the experiences I have had, the miracles I have seen and how much happier, stronger, and understanding (of myself and others) I have become. Of course, there is still so much to learn and so much to become, but I think it is sometimes good to look at how far you have come, and then look forward again, with hope, at what there still is to do. Anyway, we then met in the chapel with the Temple President, President Olsen, and he and President and Sister Weaver gave us a few more words. The session was remarkable. I had never seen the new temple video before, and it brought me new insights, and brought to my remembrance many things. It was a sweet and peaceful thing to renew those sacred temple covenants. I felt personal prayers answered and perspective and calm assurance gained within those hallowed walls. The temple is a place of learning, of reflection and understanding. Not all my problems were resolved, not nearly, but I received the strength and stamina to continue "enduring to the end."

Six Elders who all currently live in same apartment w/ Tommy

Tacoma West Zone

I had almost forgot about how many times, in going to the temple, some miracle, some "coincidence" has happened to me. And it happened again. Three members of the Steilacoom ward were working at the temple that day. Sister Macuguy, Sister Steinacker (who helped during the session) and Brother Agor, our beloved ward mission leader whom we lovingly refer to as "Papa." Of all the times to work at the temple, they were there. People I knew and was comfortable with. Not only that, but Brother Agor was the one who helped me into the celestial room! And when I entered I got to see my big WA-TAC family, welcomed in by my mission president. All I can say is that God knows me, He loves me, and all of you, too. I felt that love and sense of belonging there.

Elder Webber and Elder Green at Seattle Temple

Elder Webber, Elder Anderson and Elder Green

Easter Sunday was great. We only had one investigator come, Christina. We had invited everyone and were expecting five more who made commitments to come. That was pretty discouraging, I admit. One family we have been working with for a long time now. We stopped by in the morning and were actually surprised to see her home (she's been working every single day) and getting ready for church! But somehow, they had surprise family come in right before they were about to leave and take them to lunch... Another couple was also supposed to be there, we had an amazing lesson with them on Friday night, but we think something came up. We're meeting with them this week. Prayers for all of them (Rachel, Lolita & Tom) are greatly needed and effective. As well as for Tim. The Soundview sisters are teaching him and he has been trying super hard to quit smoking so he can be baptized this Saturday.

Also to note: crazy, this Saturday is transfer calls again! It keeps coming faster and faster. I really hope to stay because I've only been here one transfer, but you never know!

On Sunday evening we got to attend a multi-stake musical performance called "The Lamb of God" which included a choir, soloists, and - wait for it - a live orchestra! We could only come if we had investigators there, so of course it was my main proselyting approach for the week ha, ha. We had 13 people say they were coming and none did.... Gotta love missionary work. But we still went, as we were expecting them, and it was a good performance. They sang/ narrated the last week of the Savior's life. I liked hearing an orchestra warm up and tune. I missed those sounds. :)

I hope you all have another great week. Thank you for your prayers on my behalf and for those I am privileged to teach. Keep up what you're doing and love and live the gospel. It is true. I know Christ lives.

Elder Webber

Scripture: Mosiah 16:7-9

P.S. Maike is doing great. At church every week. We gave him a full set of scriptures in Spanish and we're working on getting him the Aaronic priesthood.

More Pics this week:
Elder Zastrow and Elder Webber

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Soundview: Six Days of Sun, Short Sleeves, and Salvation for Maike!

Dearest Family,

Happy Almost Easter!! First off, if you haven't seen it yet, watch this video about the Easter message: The video is called "Because of Him." We may marvel at the many inventions and miracles of our day, but there is no marvel or miracle so great as the first human to live again after death, with an immortal, glorified body. That human was Jesus Christ. And because of Him, all of us will also live again. And as Elder Christofferson so powerfully spoke, that means that Jesus truly was the Divine Son of the Eternal Father and all other points of His Doctrine are true.

Second, thank you Las Flores Activity Days girls (Jocelyn, Bailey, Brinley, Sister Sampson and Sister Rodriguez) for your letter! That was so kind of you and fun for me to read! And thanks for other letters that I hope to get back to soon! (Amy, grandma, & Megan Mittleman)

And CONGRATS to Sister Baker, and (2) Sister Mittleman's!! I'm so happy you have your mission calls and I am excited to hear about each of your experiences, they will forever bless you

We had a pretty amazing week, ending in a baptism and another fireside! Not to mention 6 days (and counting) of sunshine in a row. I think on Sunday it even got up to 70 degrees. And people say it rains in Washington... And that also means it's time to pull out those short sleeve white shirts! Now I will look like a missionary again :)

Zone P-Day Frisbee activity - It's sunny
Sunny, green and lots of water in the Puget Sound in Soundview

We had a Zone Meeting Thursday, and had a training from two sisters on the "Daffodil principle" which is from a story from SisterWeaver. In short, it's about this woman who lived by Mount Rainier who for 50 years planted daffodils one by one until she had planted acres and acres of bright yellow daffodils. Really it's the story of diligence. And yes, dad, I did the math and found that she had actually only planted 2-3 daffodil bulbs per day. And what do you know, that is our mission average for the number of baptisms! So if we are as diligent as this woman in the story, the wonderful WA-TAC will have tens of thousands of new members of God's Church after these dedicated decades.

Maike's Baptismal Service

Most important of the week, and one of those baptisms is our dear friend Maike!! What a great young man this Maike is. Elder Anderson and I would keep saying to each other, "Isn't there usually some more obstacles to have a baptism?" But not for this guy, Maike was as prepared as it comes. My favorite thing about him is his deep desire to do good. That's all he really wants to do. And the best "good" thing he could do was to make a covenant with God "to do good continually" for the rest of his life (Mosiah 5:2). I testify that by him making this covenant and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost the following day, Maike has entered a promise of eternal life, if he is faithful unto the end. He has entered into "the gate by which ye should enter," the "strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life... And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God" (2 Nephi 31:17,18,21). What a marvelous work this is! I am so grateful to be a participant, and to be worthy of God's blessings. Because not only does this bless Maike, but me, and you, and all his family and people he will baptize on his mission! (ha ha I really hope he goes in a few years. He's 16 now).

He asked me to be the one to baptize him, and that was a special privilege. Like I've said before, he doesn't speak any English, and all the lessons have been translated for him by either his cousin or his uncle, both members of the ward. So his baptismal service was one I won't forget. Conducting the service was our assistant Ward Mission Leader, Brother Bateman, who also speaks Spanish. He would say something, then explain it to Maike in Spanish. The welcome to the ward was translated by his uncle, the talk on the Holy Ghost translated by his cousin, and the talk on baptism was translated by a sister missionary serving in our zone, Sister Lechuga. And when we got into the baptismal font, I said the baptism prayer first in English, then in Spanish, then baptized him. I don't think I'll ever be able to do that again, it was memorable. "...Yo te bautiso en el nombre del Padre..."

When we were changing back, I wanted to talk to him but obviously couldn't say much. All I got out was "How do you feel? Como estas?" and he responded with a huge smile and said something I don't understand, but I caught the word "feliz" 

Then in priests' quorum Sunday, the priests started learning Spanish so they can talk to him :)

Visiting Priest at Musical fireside, Tommy 2nd row back on right

Lastly, we had the Lakewood fireside, where I got to see the Steilacoom Bishop, the Gehrings, the Brothersons, Brother Bishop, and a few from the Soundview ward came too. It was a powerful, great fireside. ElderSchaffner and Elder Green were there :) Elder Green and I will be in the same group this Thursday for the temple!

Quick Taco Bell between session of General Conference

Super excited for the Seattle temple this week!!! Life is so great.

Elders Anderson, Smith, & Webber at the Office

Love from the Beautiful WA-TAC,
Elder Webber

Scriptures: Job 19:25-26; Luke 24:36-40; Alma11:42-45

Monday, April 7, 2014

Soundview: A Great General Conference Weekend!

Dear Family,

What a great weekend it was with general conference. Now we just have to wait to have the talks printed so we can study them more :)

We met a great new family last night, Tom and Rachel. They both have some Christian background, but are looking for a church to go and feel welcome. They both have felt and recognize the Spirit and our need for it every day. They were open to the message of the Restoration and should be at church this Sunday. They accepted the invitation to be baptized if they know this is true, and committed to read the Book of Mormon. They want a church for their two young boys to grow up in. We're excited about them. We found them knocking doors :)

We taught Maiki this week, and he is very ready for his baptism this weekend! We are super excited for it. We taught him most of the commandments. He told us that there are two major things he loves about this Church: (1) that it teaches us that we should do good, and (2) that it teaches us what good things we should do. And when it comes down to it, that is the purpose of our lives here.

We've been sort of struggling with our other investigators, we weren't able to get any others to watch general conference; and one family has been really struggling. It is a trend that when a prepared individual begins to make steps closer to God, the adversary will make extra notice. It's very annoying, really.

Tommy and Companion at Mission Leadership Council

Entire group at Mission Leadership Council

We do have a rather ambitious Zone goal of 27 baptisms in the Tacoma West Zone in April. It came from the sum of the ward baptism goals for the 5 wards in the Zone, which has 18 missionaries. We are praying for it all the time, and praying not necessarily that we will have just that many, but that it will make us stretch and expand our vision and increase faith in what we can accomplish when we rely on the Lord.

Some of my "take-aways" from general conference:
-We can be grateful in any season for what we have, even in trials or persecutions
-We should focus on worthiness and purity as we strive to have and keep safe our families
-The world will not glide calmly to the Second Coming of the Savior - we live in perilous times
-The Apostles and Prophets are a source of truth - they teach the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, independent of worldly influences.
-God will not leave us comfortless, He will come to us as we come to Him
-As we do temple work, we are saviors for our ancestors; as we live righteously and set good examples, we are saviors for our posterity.
-NEVER give up on others! Anyone can return to the path of gospel living!
-We should share testimony with our family
-Have daily family prayer and scripture study. I am so sure that if we make an effort to do these little things every day, over time it will have a more lasting effect on our testimony and ultimately our salvation and exaltation that most other things we could do. (Probably only exception are the saving ordinances. We should also do those!!!!!)
-We should be obedient because we love the Savior
-Priesthood power is available to bless all of us.
-We can escape any addiction or sin with the help of Jesus Christ
-Have COURAGE, real courage.
-We should follow-up in missionary work! Keep trying
-Members have a responsibility to read and study Preach My Gospel and invite, at least every 3 months, a friend to meet with the full-time missionaries
-We should not pray to have our burdens lifted, but that God will give us strength to bear them and press forward cheerfully
-Show simple loving kindness to others. The impact of such is more than we think, it extends into the eternities.
-We should recognize others' needs, and then go and help and love them
-The Resurrection of Jesus is a critical principle in the Doctrine of Christ. If that event really did happen, then Jesus was Divine, His teachings are Truth, and every principle of the Gospel is validated, and we have living Apostles and Prophets who are special witnesses of the Resurrection of Christ.

Most of all, I gained a stronger testimony that God lives, He knows us, loves us, and answers our prayers. I had very specific, very personal and private prayers that certain questions and concerns would be addressed this conference. And I testify that God answers prayers and speaks to us through His chosen servants, His prophets. For this reason, my favorite talk was the one from President Packer. It was as if he was speaking directly to me, and it answered my prayer in the right timing and in the right way. I know that for those who take part in the gospel ordinances and make sacred covenants with our Father in Heaven, that no blessing will be withheld. In this life we might be unsure of what may come, but for those who embrace the gospel, all blessings will come. It will all be right in the end.

This Sunday is the Lakewood musical fireside!!! I am excited to go back and see members, converts, and investigators hopefully :) It's April 13th at 7:00 pm.
And the following week is the mission temple trips!!!! AHHH!!! So excited.

Tommy at the Port Angeles Missionary Musical Fireside - He is the conductor

Entire Missionary Choir at Port Angeles Musical Fireside

Some more updates on past areas: I heard at our meeting Friday that Saira and Thomas from Steilacoom are to be baptized on the 19th!!!! And there was an unbaptized boy from a family in Bremerton who we were always trying to see, Lucas, and he was just baptized this weekend. Also baptized was a woman named Maria that now lives in Lakewood, but Elder Schaffner and I knocked her door the first night Elder Schaffner was in the mission! They were a part member family, but now they're a full member family. :) yay missionary work!!

Elder Webber

Scriptures: (sorry I've been slakcing) 1 Timothy 1:12 - I am grateful to be counted one worthy to represent the Lord
D&C 9:8-9 - we can ask God what is right and he will cause us to feel what is right, lead us to truth.
D&C 1:39 - the words we heard this weekend are the words of Christ! They are the same.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Soundview: Maiki is solid, another fireside, work pressing forward!


Life is so good. I am thoroughly convinced that serving a mission, this tiny glimpse of two years is the most wonderful, fulfilling, best life that this world has to offer. (Although I am very biased, and have little other experience). But it is good enough for me. It is amazing that religion is not just one piece of my life, it is my whole life, because Jesus Christ is the Life, the Way, the Truth and the Light. And I can feel and know that it is right. If in these letters I seem a little optimistic it is because this gospel is true and it is the best thing ever. I actually am this happy :D
Elder Tommy Webber & his companion Elder Anderson visit the mission office
Elder Tommy Webber (back right), the mission president and others stop for yogurt

Thanks for the package family!!! I know Charlotte and Claire helped, thanks girls! I am always happy for more goldfish, you seem to always send me some, right when I run out.

Our top investigator is Maiki, he is the 16 year old from Panama, who moved in with his aunt, uncle, and cousins in this ward, who are all members of the Church. He has been on a fast track, and is so prepared. He has chosen a date to be baptized - April 12th. We thought there might be a difficulty for him to understand in the translation, but we were wrong. The Spirit attends our lessons so powerfully, and it does not matter what the language is, the Spirit is teaching him. On Monday evening we planned on starting the third lesson, but as we talked, we ended up going into more of how we can get an answer in prayer, that the Book of Mormon is true. The Spirit directed our lesson to his needs, and that is what he needed. We all shared our testimony on how we came to know that the Book of Mormon is true, and he was so excited to keep reading and praying. He told us he believes it's true, he wants it to be true, he just wasn't sure before.

On Wednesday we had invited him to attend a baptismal service for someone in the YSA ward (Young Single Adults), so he could see what it was like. We met with him for about 20 minutes before the baptism. We asked him (in English of course) if he had read and prayed about the Book of Mormon and if he got an answer yet. Before our question was even translated, he was smiling. He told us that he had in fact prayed, and that a warm peaceful feeling had come over him and that was his answer. Maiki knows the Book of Mormon is true. With that critical moment in prayer with his Heavenly Father comes a knowledge of the reality of this work and His restored Church.

We taught him again Thursday night, the third lesson on faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. He told us what we say makes sense to him and he was so grateful he could come to America and learn these important truths. He said he wants his family in Panama to know this too, and he prayed for them. He was our only investigator at church (yay! and bummer, because there are others that should be coming and would be as happy as Maiki is!)

Tommy, his current companion, previous companion (Green) and others

Sunday night, we had another missionary singing fireside. Being one of the choir conductors, I get to go to all of these, it kind of feels like I am touring the whole mission. It's pretty fun, I don't think every missionary in every mission gets to do that. It was a beautiful drive up north, past Bremerton, past Silverdale, across two bridges, and lots of water and lots of trees. I have the best mission! I got to see more missionaries, two past companions, and sing and hear testimony. It was a great fireside, very spiritual. One recent convert bore her testimony and it was very powerful. She now knows that the Book of Mormon is true.

I bear my testimony that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, a living, real person who is the way to a happy life and the Eternal Life after this one. His full gospel is on the earth again, and contained in its fullness in the pages of the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I know it is true.

Roommates, and Mission President get Yogurt on P-day
A few updates from other areas! Cesar from Steilacoom has decided he is going to serve a mission!!!! And I heard from another missionary that Dennis, Israel, and Terry are all doing great and coming to church each week. Kris and his family have been going through a rough time, so they could use our prayers too.

I am more than excited for General Conference this weekend, what a blessing that we have a living prophet on the earth and living apostles to teach us the pure gospel of Jesus Christ. I am preparing this week and reflecting on what I need to hear, and I believe God will speak to each of His children through His servants this weekend. Let's get ready! (D&C 1:39)

Elder Webber and Elder Smith at the mission office

Elders from Tacoma zone go on a morning jog over Narrows Bridge

Tommy with missionary tag on a sunrise run

More Tacoma Narrows Bridge run at sunrise
Love from the beautiful WA-TAC,
Elder Webber