Contact Elder Tommy Webber

Contact Elder Tommy Webber

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

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).

Monday, October 13, 2014

Silverdale: Staying, but Elder Mosbrucker leaving

Dear Family,

Transfer calls came (again!). They come faster and faster, it seems. And unfortunately Elder Mosbrucker will be leaving the area, but he is going to be training a new missionary in Olympia! He will do great, that new missionary is lucky to have such a great trainer. My new companion will be Elder Sharp. I don't know him too well, but he has served with Elder Mosbrucker before, and Elder Anderson, so I've heard a little bit about him. I've heard he's a great missionary and good with people. I'm actually very excited about the work this transfer! I'm hoping it will pick up and we will be having more people to teach. Change is hard but it usually brings about greater faith and miracles.

Naval Undersea Museum
Mission Training Conference
 This week went by fast too. We did a lot of service for people, especially some struggling or elderly families in our ward. We trimmed a hedge, moved in a family, and pulled a lot of weeds. It is fun :) That is one great lesson I have learned from Elder Mosbrucker, is to love others and to love to serve them. Service is so much fun and you feel great afterwards. Mom, you mentioned your lesson you are giving this Sunday, and one thing I can share is that by serving others we love others. At church yesterday, we went to priest's quorum and the lesson was on service. I love Matthew 25:40 and the verses before and after it.

June is doing alright, she had a lot of house maintenance problems this week, and so we haven't been able to teach Karine or Felicia, her neighbors. Ginger and her family is all back, so we hope their life will start calming down a bit and we can focus with them again. Another big lesson I've learned from Elder Mosbrucker is to work with less active families, I've always shied away from that on my mission, but having more love helped me to see how we can work with the ward to help them, too. Also, our ward mission leader, Brother Green us officially back in town for good and he's back in action. He is pretty much a full time missionary, the amount of service he does for this ward. We are so happy to be able to work with him again. Ward mission leaders make such a difference in the work!
Listening to select classical music is now allowed
Last thing I want to share is how much I love the Book of Mormon, I just finished 2 Nephi this morning and read about repentance and baptism, "feasting" upon the scriptures, and praying always. When we prayerfully and sincerely study the scriptures, we can always find a way to apply them to our lives. Even though this has been a difficult week for me, I feel peace as I turn to the Book of Mormon.
Conference Lunch

President Blatter, Tommy & Elder Green in the Group shot

I love you all so much,
Elder Webber

Scripture: Alma 12:24 (this life is a probationary state - meaning a time to prove ourselves, if we will be good - and a time to prepare to meet God and live with Him forever. That preparation is repentance).

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Silverdale: General conference boost!

Dear family,

I'm glad to hear you got to watch all of general conference this week! That was definitely the highlight for me. We have such a privilege to hear from our Prophet every 6 months and to hear the word of God as it pertains to our day. And even more, we can bring our questions and concerns and receive divine help and guidance. I had many prayers answered this week.

To start off, a few days this week were particularly challenging for me and Elder Mosbrucker. We feel we have been working hard this transfer and being obedient, but we haven't been able to do as much teaching or bring people to church. Because of that we don't have anyone we are teaching on track for baptism. Then on Wednesday we found no one home and then a crazy 5-7 pm knocking doors with getting kicked out of two areas and one very mean lady yell at us to leave and never come back. The next day Elder Mosbrucker and I were able to talk openly together about the challenges we were facing and pray together to decide what we should do about them. We both felt loads better after that. I'm grateful for a good companion and communication.

Missionaries are always hungry
Then we had a missionary meeting on Friday and talked about a mission goal to get more investigators to church, and we both felt this is the focus that will help get the work moving along again. That and general conference were a huge boost. I'll just list some of the things I got out of conference:

There were a few talks on the sacrament and the power it gives us to cleanse us and enable us through the Atonement
Elder Holland talked about caring for the poor and needy and the importance and blessings of fast offerings.
Hard trials come to us so that we are brought to our knees and rely on Heavenly Father. We then can see how they are a test to make us stronger.
There was a strong theme of the importance of prophets and how we should look to them for true teaching, true authority, and their unanimous say represents the will of the Lord.
We should first always ask ourselves, "Is is I?" before blaming others.
Pause to consider consequences before making decisions.
President Monson gave a great talk about following the Savior's path, which includes both trial/temptation and the joy of service
Elder Scott taught that we are here to be "tried, tested, and stretched" and gave suggestions of prayer, scripture study, FHE, and temple attendance.
Elder Bednar taught the why of missionary work!
The best and most important part of conference is now when we get to apply and live the teachings we learned. Then we experience the change and the blessings.

Thanks for all your love and prayers. I can't believe next week is transfers!

Love Elder Webber

Tommy always seems to be sitting in the back but listening intently