Contact Elder Tommy Webber

Contact Elder Tommy Webber

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

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Silverdale: Zion's Camp and the start of rain!

Dear Family,

This week was great, we got to go as a mission to Zion's Camp, a church owned and dedicated site in Belfair. The southern half went on Thursday and the we went on Friday. Both days it was rainy and gloomy and wet in the morning, but by the time everyone got there and started the ropes courses it had cleared up! Thanks Washington and Heavenly Father :)

Zion's camp

Elder Mosbrucker and Elder Tommy Webber
It was really fun to be there, and fun to be helping other people out this year. We ran through 6 different "obstacles" 3 of which were different from last year. I sent the picture of the one Elder Mosbrucker and I were in charge of. We tried to make it challenging, but possible, then spent a few minutes at the end discussing what we learned and how we can apply it to our missions. Overall, a deeper sense of unity came back to the WA-TAC. Here, we are a family and united to serving God's children here. This is the best mission in the world. To the "future" Elder Stevens, you don't know how lucky you are.

Obstacle Course Prep

Obstacle Course solved
After the outside portion we ate lunch and had a short meeting. To all our surprise, we got to view the new church film, "Meet the Mormons." President Blatter said the Church wanted the missionaries to view it and get members and nonmembers excited about it so it can come to theaters. So get excited! It was actually really cool. Mom, you will love it especially the last person on it. The movie went through and showed the lives of 6 individuals who are Mormon and who each have incredible stories. It was super inspiring and a good way to show the world that Mormons are real people too ha, ha.

Another announcement made at Zion's camp, to increase mission unity and the spirit among is the Book of Mormon reading challenge. We started on Saturday and are reading the Book of Mormon together as a mission to finish together at our mission Christmas party, December 16th (I think). It works out to 7 pages a day which isn't too bad. Last year I studied the Book of Mormon with the intent to learn more about the principle of faith. So I decided this year to study the topic repentance! I'm really excited about it and invite all of you to read the Book of Mormon too, whether with my mission or your own schedule.

To update on the work, Ginger and her family still have innumerable challenges, but find a way to make it through day by day. This week she is going up to Everett to help her mom and step dad move out, then driving their moving van down to Arizona. She'll be back this Sunday. We met with their family this week, unsure of how to help. And really there is not much we can do as missionaries, like drive them places or watch the kids, which is pretty frustrating. But we listened and shared a scripture and encouraged them to keep going. There is always help and happiness and relief ahead for those who embrace the gospel.

I haven't told you much about a recent convert family in our ward. The mom's name is June and her two kids were baptized the weekend before I got to Silverdale. She's a brave single mom and her kids are Isaak who is 9 and Isaiah who is 10. They are a great family. She has a lot of struggles too, but she finds strength and fellowship at church. Her kids can be a struggle too. This week they were particularly rebellious when it came to coming to church. I gained a great appreciation for you, mom, for always getting 5 kids up and ready to church each week for years. You're the greatest mom ever!

June has a friend and neighbor, her name is Karine (pronounced "Kar-in") who she has been a super great missionary to. She invited her to the woman's brodcast this weekend and Karine loved it! She really want to come to church and learn more. Karine is also a single mom and has 4 kids of her own. We're excited about member missionary work and a new family. Members really make a difference.

Silverdale Zone Meeting

After Zone Meeting

Zone Meeting group

After Zone Meeting Ice Cream Break

I love my mission and I love the gospel. I'm so lucky to be able to study the scriptures every day. I love learning about the life of Jesus Christ, and striving to be more like Him. It is the best life this world has to offer. Keep doing the good things, and get ready for General Conference this week!!!! YAY!!! It's going to be awesome. I'll write next week with my "take-aways" and it would be awesome if each of you sent yours'. Thanks,

Tracyton beach - overlooking Olympic mountain range
Elder Webber

Scriptures: Matthew 4:1-11 (see JST also. These verses were extremely meaningful to me this week).

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Silverdale: "God is in Charge"

Dear Family,

Happy Fall! I cannot believe it is upon us. The leaves up in Washington gently fade from green to evergreen... ha, ha no we really do get some color change, but not much. This week went super fast. I can't even remember all that happened.

I have started a new study this week on the life of Jesus Christ. I was looking through the "Harmony of the Gospels" in the Bible Dictionary (in the new edition of the scriptures it is found on its own in the back). And so I am reading the 4 Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, along with Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage. I have yet to fully get through that giant text. I am actually really excited about it, I have felt like I need to learn more about my Savior, and I feel like this will help. I am looking forward more to each personal study now. I do it after reading something from Preach My Gospel and the Book of Mormon.

We had Stake Conference this weekend which was great. Brother Green, our Ward Mission Leader spoke Saturday night and shared all of these cool stories of missionary work and the Book of Mormon. On Sunday our stake president, President Gillespie, who is the head engineer at the shipyard, gave a great talk. He started by talking about how he came to be an engineer (piqued my interest) and how everything has an order and how things happen in a certain way of cause and effect. He related it to the gospel by explaining how "God is in charge" and there are "coincidences" in our lives when paths cross with a friend who changes our life or we change theirs. "If we are faithful," he said, "we will recognize miracles." It is true and I have seen many miracles on my mission, which I think about often. One night this week before I went to bed, as I was starting my prayer, my mind started to remember all of the powerful spiritual experiences I have had in my life. All of them have a direct tie to my decision to serve a mission. It is life-changing, as it affected me before my mission, during, and the time that will be after I return home. Truly, God is in charge and He has a plan for each of His children.
Sisters, Elders at a baptismal service
So many people we have met this week are struggling. Elder Mosbrucker and I keep noticing the different challenges people go through. Even people who are already struggling, they keep having more put on them. I don't have time to tell all the stories, but there has been family emergencies, hospital trips, and even deaths. An example is after we had a good visit with Ginger and her family this week, they texted us this morning to say that a family member passed away yesterday of a sudden heart attack. Of course we can all keep them in our prayers. It is hard to answer when people ask us why these things happen, but perhaps it is the same statement, "God is in charge." Elder Mosbrucker's favorite scripture is Mosiah 4:11, which teaches us to remember the goodness of God, those of us who "have tasted of his love." And that we must "humble [ourselves] even in the depths of humility." Even when we are struggling, when we feel humbled, that's when we need to humble ourselves and stand sure in the faith of the great promises God has in store. I love the people here and want to help them understand God's plan.

This week we are excited to be able to go again to "Zion's Camp" which is in Belfair. Our mission got to go there last summer, it was really fun and beautiful. We'll be there this Friday. I'll tell you more about it next week. Keep up the good work family! I love you,

Elder Webber

Scripture: Matthew 16:15-19 (Peter promised the sealing keys)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Silverdale: "Pointed Toward Perfection"

Dear Family,

This week we had interviews with the mission president! Our district in Silverdale was interviewed on Wednesday after district meeting, and the rest of the zone is this coming Saturday. It was fun to see President and Sister Blatter, it felt like it had been a while since leaving Tacoma. We saw them again at our meeting Friday. President Blatter is such a great mission president. Looking back, the transition was incredibly smooth, and he is starting to make appropriate changes and new focuses for the WA-TAC. We are always inspired by their example of being a missionary. Every so often they share a story of talking to someone at Safeway or talking with the moving guys and giving out pass along card. They've found a lot of investigators through their efforts! And they always encourage us to "Open Your Mouth" and talk with everyone. It's even one of our key indicators we report weekly now, which helps us to remember to do it!

During interviews President told me something I think I already knew but needed to hear it. He said, "You know you're kind of a perfectionist." We're not supposed to be perfect here, just pointed toward perfection." It hit me when he said that and that phrase stuck with me: "Pointed toward perfection." I'm still trying to figure it out, but I think he meant we need to be constantly improving, and not expect to make no mistakes. Mistakes are human and we need to realize our weaknesses. We are given weaknesses so that we will be humble (see Ether 12:27). In companion study this week Elder Mosbrucker said something in passing that also hit me, "God gives us things we struggle with so that we can turn to Him for help." When we turn to God for help, his grace is sufficient to strengthen, or enable, us to work on our weaknesses until (through patience and faith) they become strengths. I hope to get there someday. Anyway, I think I knew I am a perfectionist. Connor will probably laugh when he reads this because he knows it's true :) But it doesn't matter so much where we are but what direction we are moving in.

Members drop off dinner, love the local ward members

Our meeting on Friday was all about working with members, We had a great training on the importance of getting to know the members and being a good example when we visit members or see them at church. We all know this is what we should be doing, but it helped us to know how to go about doing it. The Silverdale 1st ward is pretty great already, so I am happy to be here and excited to get to know more of the members and work with them with their missionary goals.

We didn't really have any investigators at church. One of our recent converts brought her son, Bryan, since he was not at his dad's this weekend. Ginger was out of town, but she did go to the Relief Society activity this week, and we didn't even invite her! She's starting to be well fellowshipped with the ward which is super important. Sadly, we're not teaching Sharon anymore. We think she received anti-christian material and like we said she is pretty sensitive so she probably is afraid of Mormons. We did what we could! This week we found a couple of new families we are excited to teach. There are a lot of young military families here, that work on the Bremerton shipyard. A lot of engineers in our ward too. The work is good!

Traceyton beach

Love Elder Webber

Scripture: Acts 10:38-43 (prophets and apostles are our special "witnesses of all things [Jesus] did" and by listening to their testimonies of Jesus Christ, we can "believe in him [and] shall receive a remission of sins").

PS We had monthly Mission Council Training 

Seminar - serve and open your mouth

Tommy Conducts



Group close-up

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Silverdale 1st ward Starts

Dear Family,

Again, so much has happened this week! I don't know how it keeps happening but I have another amazing area. And another amazing companion, Elder Mosbrucker. After leaving Soundview on Tuesday (with some sadness in my heart) I resolved to make Silverdale my new favorite area before I even got there. I admit I was a little worried going there from Tacoma, which is a great area with a strong ward and lots of people to talk to. But it worked - I love Silverdale so much. not only is it beautiful but the people here are great. There's also a super funny "coincidence." On our way to Silverdale on Tuesday Elder Mosbrucker told me our ward mission leader is Brother Green. I started thinking, I knew a Brother Green is Westport (in Raymond's area - the same one who was such good fellowship for Dennis when he was baptized and who was one of the best member missionaries I've met on my mission). I thought, I know Westport was his beach house and he had a home somewhere in Bremerton/Silverdale..... Turns out it is the same guy! So I already knew my ward mission leader and he is one of my favorite people here.

Welcome to Silverdale
The ward up here is a little smaller, but still very strong. The area itself is tiny, so we don't do much extra knocking outside of our usual 5-7s. It is a beautiful place, with a good view of the Puget Sound, mostly the "Dyes Inlet" and has some "beaches" in Tracyton. A lot of great missionaries have served in this ward, so there are big shoes to fill. Our apartment is very nice. Not quite the "mansion" but second best I've seen. We live in a duplex, kind of, and our neighbor is Sister Korp, she's a convert of about 7 years and our meal coordinator. One of the sweetest ladies ever. We'll come home sometimes and there will be a box of healthy food or a new cleaning supply for us. She's either really nice or trying to tell us something... ;) 

Good-bye to the "mansion" in Soundview (Tommy's bike and bags packed)
Elder Mosbrucker is great. We are getting along very well. He is really good at being kind, and even made me pancakes this morning. I returned the favor by sharing my nutella ha, ha. He is from Fort Collins,Colorado and played football in high school. He loves snowmobile-ing and promised he would take me after our mission if I make a trip to Colorado! Elder Mosbrucker is one of the most humble and loving guys I've met. He is obedient for the right reasons and we are able to work hard together. He's very easygoing and appreciated my ideas. I think this will be a great transfer for us and this zone! 
Elder Tommy Webber and new companion Elder Mosbrucker
We are teaching a lady named Sharen, sort of off and on. She is very sweet, but also sensitive, I would say. She takes the gospel and her relationship with God very seriously, which is good, but is easily confused and strayed by some of her "Facebook friends" who have their own things to say about the Mormons. But on Saturday we had a good lesson with her where we just shared what the Book of Mormon is and its truthful, pure testament of Jesus Christ. She asked us if we knew the Lord's prayer, almost testing us and I started thinking, "I think it starts with 'Our Father'..." Thankfully Elder Mosbrucker had it memorized because his football team would say it before each game. After that I showed her 3 Nephi 13: 9-13 where Jesus Christ teaches the Nephites the same prayer in the Book of Mormon and that really helped her. She was supposed to come with us to a baptism the Silverdale 3rd sisters were having, but didn't show for some reason.

We are also teaching a part member family. The mom's name is Ginger and has been an "eternal investigator." She is living with a less active member but their kids have all been baptized. She came to church this week with her oldest daughter and youngest baby. We had a lesson Thursday about family prayer and scripture study and coming to church. We called it "Spiritual CPR:" Church, Prayer, and Reading. They really liked that and Ginger is really excited to start living the gospel as a family. A few things and changes have to happen first, but they can do it!
Elder Mosbrucker helps some kids get their football out of a tree
Other than that we are exercising our faith to find. I feel like we can find a family this transfer that is ready for baptism. We'll see what the Lord has in store! We have both been very happy this week - more than usual missionary happiness. I am super excited to be in Silverdale, it is a blessed land. The work is going forward! 

Have a great week everyone at school / work / seminary

Elder Webber

Scripture: 3 Nephi 12:20

P.S. Some exciting news from past area. Remember Avery and her 5 kids? She and her daughter Miley are going to be baptized this weekend in the Highland Hills ward!!! When we passed her over, the sisters there started teaching her and after many visits, she is now prepared! She's been coming to church and has really strong friendships with some of the ward members. I'm not sure I'll be able to go, but it still so exciting and makes me happy to see those who I have taught finally make it :)

Good-byes in Soundview

Good-bye to companion Elder Slavens

Good-bye to Elder Slavens and Anderson (Returning home)

Seeing Elder Green at Transfer Day

Labor day Lunch at the Mission President's home

Labor Day Group picture

Monday, September 1, 2014

Sadly Soundview Ends, Next Adventure: Silverdale!

Dear Family,

Happy Labor day and start of school! We got to use the computers today at the family history center at our church building, since all the libraries are closed. So, surprise! email from me on a holiday! Also a surprise, I am being transferred out of Soundview to the Silverdale 1st ward. We got our calls on Saturday night. Elder Johnsen served in the Soundview ward over a year ago, and went from there to Silverdale. It's actually right up next to Bremerton, I think that my area borders the Bremerton ward. I will be serving with Elder Mossbrucker, who was my zone leader down in Lakewood, when I was in the Steilacoom ward. He is awesome, I am very excited to be his companion, and learn a lot from him. He served in Lakewood with Elder Anderson and then Elder Johnsen so we have a few mutual friends already. I've heard good things about the Silverdale Zone (which is its own stake, like most the zones in our mission). Good members, and family focused missionary work. Mixed with the anticipation and excitement is some sadness to be leaving the Soundview ward, they have been so good to me here. I might not notice it until I leave but I love these people. I have grown tremendously while serving here and had my most difficult days. I am also really going to miss Elder Slavens. I have been so blessed with good companions. he is a very close friend to me and has been very patient with me and all of my flaws. I learned so much about the gospel from him and had many questions answered. I am really glad that so many people from my mission are either going to BYU, or live in Utah ha, ha. Blessings of state-side missions!

Elder Tommy Webber and Elder Slavens

D-Land Shirts from Mom

Candid while out knocking...

This means we get to attend transfer meeting tomorrow! It always pumps me up and gets me excited to go out and do work. It will be weird tomorrow because Elder Anderson is going home!

We had a few miracles this week I want to share about. I've gotten into a very reflective mood again because I'm pondering the past 6 moths here in Soundview which have flown by. I have had more investigators come and go in this area than any other I have served in. A lot of people the Lord has let me meet and whom I have gotten to know and love. I have so much love for the recent converts. Maike, Syreeta, and Tiffany. And also those I haven't made much mention of, whom the sisters taught here and baptized: the Rodriguez family, the Thompson family, Abraham, Monica, and Christa. Each has their own unique story of conversion. Tiffany came to church this week which we were super excited about. This Friday our ward has a new member temple trip to do baptisms. Sadly I won't be here for it, but I am so excited for all of them. The mission has gained a new focus on retaining converts. Across the mission we have seen more new members stay in the church and make their way to the temple.

Soundview Elders, Ward Mission Leader and Sisters
As for the investigators, we had an amazing church tour with Larry this week. I don't remember if I have mentioned Larry yet. But we hadn't been able to get him to commit to church, so we thought about giving him a church tour. At the start, he was saying that he wasn't sure, but as we went into the chapel, then the classroom and showed him the baptism font, he opened up and strongly committed to church.

On Friday we got a phone call from a former investigator, Ronnie. He was met through a member referral last February, right before I came to Soundview. He had always promised he'd come to church but never came. He spent the last few weeks with his sister who is a member. She kept telling him to try attending church and meeting with the "Tacoma missionaries" and so he gave us a call, announcing that he was coming to church and that he wanted to meet with us Saturday. And he did!!!!! That was a major miracle.

Sadly, we haven't seen D___ this week. We think she is still struggling to quit smoking and so she is avoiding meeting with us. Good news is her mom, Cleo is still strong. She has come to church like 5 or 6 times now and is living the word of wisdom, and coming to our Book of Mormon classes, and hopefully going to the temple for baptisms soon. It has been incredible to see the change in her these past 6 weeks.

Just another day walking the streets in Washington (Bambi is on the right)
I love this work, the Lord has been so good to me and provided for my needs. He continues to challenge me and try my faith. It's always about faith, and the test is if we will remain true, because I promise that He always will.

From Soundview (East Tacoma) to Silverdale
Elder Webber

P.S. Thank you mom for the package this week! Elder Slavens and I love the Disneyland shirts (Elder Slavens says thank you) :) and thank you grandma for your package as well with all those yummy snacks. It means a lot to me!

Scripture: 3 Nephi 18:32