Contact Elder Tommy Webber

Contact Elder Tommy Webber

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

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