Contact Elder Tommy Webber

Contact Elder Tommy Webber

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

Monday, May 11, 2015

My Last in Lacey! Goodbye, Beautiful WaTac

Dear Family,

Thank you for everything!!! It was fun to see you on skype yesterday, I hope Mother's Day was great for you, mom. I can't wait to see you all on Wednesday!

Departing missionaries temple trip
This week was our temple trip for the departing missionaries. It was wonderful. I love the temple and the spirit there, and I felt a sense of love and success towards my mission. Honestly, there is a giant jumble of emotions right now, but on the top is happiness. I look back with a smile and look forward with determination and excitement. My mission won't end as long as I keep serving. 

The Espinoza's all came to church, and we'll get to see them again tonight. They are so awesome, I hope you can meet them. After transfer calls came it started to really hit more that I'm leaving. But Elder Bradshaw is staying and getting Elder Guymon. He was trained by Elder Sharp. They'll have fun together and do well in Lacey. Elder Bradshaw is very competent and will do great the rest of his mission. I'm so glad I could serve with him my last transfer.

I want to close with my testimony and what my mission means to me. I have been doing a lot of reflecting and writing and pondering on the last two years, and I come back to my testimony of Jesus Christ. He is the center and the focus of all that we do. I know that He lives and I have felt His love. He has been with me on the most difficult parts of my mission, and gave me strength to do what I could not on my own. That is why we have trials, and that is how I know that God lives. It is so evident that this is His Church. It is led by a living Prophet. I have felt in my heart and heard in my mind that the Book of Mormon is true. Joseph Smith really did see The Father and The Son and restore all things onto the earth.

I am so grateful Jesus Christ has allowed me to serve Him here in the WaTac and I will forever love this blessed land. It will be so hard to leave these people I love. Companions, members, converts, and others I have taught. As well as President and Sister Blatter, they are so wonderful. But like I said, the future is bright and the gospel is true, so what is there to fear? My trust is in my God and all will be well because of Him.

All my love,
Elder Thomas Webber

Scripture: Psalm 62:8

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Lacey: "Amazing Grace"

Dear Family,

I really don't have a lot of time now to e-mail but I am grateful for all of your e-mails! Lots of thoughts still buzzing around, but they have been centered on my mission experience and the theme of Amazing Grace. I love that hymn. I'll share my "final report" with you later.

Elder Webber stops by the chapel and the cubs are doing aviation merit badge
This week was pretty busy, we went on 2 exchanges with Lacey 3rd and Lacey 2nd and did a LOT of service. And we'll have a lot this week too. Helping people move, doing yard work, etc. The sun has been out and people are out and things are growing like crazy. We have been trying to find more people, and that is the mission goal this week too. Last week Elder Bradshaw and I called it exact obedience week and this week we want to have exact diligence week :) I'm excited to work hard.

We had a good church tour with Daniel on Tuesday and another lesson on Friday. He was going to come to church but he got called in to work last minute :( And this weekend he is going to his older sister's graduation from Gonzaga in eastern WA. So hopefully the 17th! The Espinoza's are still doing good. Their older daughter came to church again with a  big smile on her face. I love Lacey.

More beautiful Washington lakes
I had my last interview with President Blatter on Tuesday and it was pretty much all about home and my future and helpful advice. I am so grateful for President Blatter. He has helped me grow tremendously since he got here. And the same with President Weaver. I am so lucky! Blessed, I mean :)

Well, there's so much more I could say, but I will just see you on skype on Sunday for Mother's Day and then, well, next week! Love you all, have a great week!

Love Elder Webber

Scripture: Mosiah 16:8-9 (one of my favorite scriptures on the Resurrection)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lacey: Espinoza's Baptism!

Dear Family,

A lot happened this week, and a lot is on my mind now. I'll tell you all about the baptism first though :)
Espinoza family at baptism service
We had our last lessons with the kids and the interview this week, then the baptism on Saturday. Everything went smooth! It was a very spiritual baptism, and Sister Espinoza was smiling the whole time. I had the privilege to baptize Jose (reminded me of my first baptism, Xavior, in Bremerton) and Elder Bradshaw got to baptize Alaysah. It was the first time on my mission that two individuals from the same family were baptized the same day. I felt the spirit so strong during the opening hymn (Children's hymn "Baptism") and in the font, and during the closing prayer, as I thought about the Savior, baptism, this family, and my mission.

Elder Bradshaw and Elder Webber with Alaysah and Jose
The kids were so excited. All 3 were there, plus their dad and their older sister, who was baptized at 8. The ward helped and had a great showing. Jose said that he knows that he should be baptized in this church. On Sunday, Elder Bradshaw and I got to also confirm the same two. Jose came up to me after with his new clip on tie and said "Thank you" and gave me a big hug. I love that family so much and I have seen first hand the gospel change their life. The best image is after church when Sister Espinoza came around the corner with a huge grin on her face and her first tithing envelope in hand, looking for the Bishop, ha, ha. Her older daughter also came to church and had a great time! It has been like 10 years. We even got her records and she wants to keep coming! We are still working with Savannah, but we all think she will come around soon.

We also had another man at church named Keith. I haven't told you much about him but we had a good church tour with him on Saturday and he got a ride to church. He suffers from some physical health challenges, but it has been a great experience helping him out as we can. We also have a church tour with Daniel tomorrow!
Elder Webber knocking on doors near Lake St. Claire
The work keeps moving forward in Lacey. Yesterday afternoon, our Bishop took us to visit a less active member whose husband past away that Sunday morning. Bishop is a very Christlike individual and I learned a lot from the visit of what Christlike priesthood service is all about.

Now, I want to talk about something. I know that the Lord has a plan in everything. I am so amazed at the path my life has taken on my mission and the people I have met and loved and the lessons I have learned through study, suffering, and experience. There is no doubt in my mind that God lives and that He is watching over each of his children with Perfect Parental care. He has been with me in every season, even when I didn't feel like He was there. He has brought me up on my highest joys and carried me through my darkest nights. I understand the purpose of trials in His plan for our eternal growth. I am so happy I chose to come on a mission and that I chose to endure. I just have to make the very best of the time I have left and give my whole heart and soul to the people of the Washington Tacoma mission. I love this place.

The new 2015 Toyota
Sending my love,
Elder Webber

Mosiah 18:30 (how beautiful is the WaTac to those who here come to the knowledge of our Redeemer).

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Lacey: 3 weeks left and a new car :)

Dearest Family,

So much good has happened to me. And it's not just because the mission gave us a new car for the rest of this transfer ha, ha. I guess I'll explain that first. So after our zone conference on Tuesday, the APs (Assistants to the Mission President) told us that the Spanish Zone has an extra car because of some switching around, and they need a place for it for the rest of this transfer until more missionaries come in. Since our district is the only one without a car, they have it in our area!! Lacey is small and flat, so it's really not that necessary. But.... it's pretty nice. A 2015 Toyota Corolla. It has a rear backing camera and a touch screen. It even smells new :) They also had some people from Salt Lake come to our mission to tell us about these black boxes they have installed in each car now. I guess they are distributing them to all the missions in North America. They monitor location, speed, and aggressive driving and talk to you if you're seat belt is not on. Ha, ha, ha.
Washington mountains
The weather has been sunny and the people are nice in Lacey. We are so excited about the Espinoza family. Sister Espinoza told us that when she started coming back to church about 2 months ago, she wasn't planning on staying. But as her kids became involved and the missionaries started teaching and inviting them to live the gospel, she said she changed her mind. She told us how much more peace she feels in her life and less anger and fighting at home. The two youngest, Jose and Alaysah are getting baptized this Saturday at 6:00 p.m.! We brought over a member (in the Young Women's presidency) last night and she was able to really connect with the oldest, Savannah. We think she will come along very soon. At church, Jose came up to me and excitedly told me he had read 3 more chapters in 1 Nephi :)

We are also teaching a young man named Dan. He lives with his parents still, but he's in his 2nd year of college. He is half Korean. He hasn't been very religious in life, but wants to know the truth and has been meeting with us for a couple weeks. On Tuesday we went over the Book of Mormon again. He wants to know if it is true. We invited him to say the closing prayer, and when he did it was very spiritual. He was pretty nervous, but afterwards he was a little quiet. We asked how he felt, and he responded that he actually felt a little guilty. He remembered when he was younger and he used to pray and the feelings he had then, and he felt he had missed out on blessings. But he definitely felt the Spirit when we were with him, and that's what it's all about. I've learned that people really need to keep commitments. It's when they actually do something that they begin to change.
Lacey Zone Conference

Lacey Zone Conference Lunch
The work is going great and I love serving with Elder Bradshaw. We're having a lot of fun and success together. On Friday we did some service, and he ended up getting a really bad allergic reaction. We think it's the pollen in the air he's not used to. But he's got these terrible red spots all over ha, ha. Well, it's not that funny, but it kind of is. He'll be alright.
Lacey Zone Conference group picture
Elder Webber

Scripture: Moroni 10:32-33 (I have been thinking a lot about amazing grace. It has been a sort of theme on my mission and in the WaTac. I know that through His grace we can be made perfect.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Lacey! Recent Convert Heather & Another temple trip

Dear family,

Saturday night Elder Bradshaw and I got to got to the Seattle temple with our new member, Heather, for her first time doing baptisms! That means I have gone in February, March, April, and I'll go to Seattle again in May, then much more than once a month :)

Elder Bradshaw and Elder Webber at the Seattle Temple
  It was a wonderful evening. The temple is beautiful at night and it is just such a privilege to go there. Elder Bradshaw and I were so happy. While we were waiting in the lobby I saw two girls come upstairs from the baptism floor with wet hair. It was Lacey and Heather, two youth from the Steilacoom ward! Their family is so awesome and helped us out a lot while I served in Steilacoom. It was so funny to see them. I love temple coincidences.

Seattle Temple at sunset
Then not a minute later another guy walked into the temple and we made eye contact with the same expression of recognition. It was Eric Shenck who was in my ward at BYU and lived on the same floor as me!! There were two groups at the temple that night doing baptisms with new members: the Lacey Stake and his Seattle Young Single Adult (YSA) Ward! Apparently he's from the Seattle area. He just got back 2 months ago from his mission in New York City. It was super fun to catch up with him, and he gave some helpful advice for the last month of my mission. I'm trying to not look at the "going home" process as a negative thing. Yes, it will be very hard to leave this mission and the people and places I've come to love, but it is another stepping stone to rise higher and become better. Meanwhile I'm going to work my heart out and love every day :)

Seattle Temple at night
Heather had a great experience. After, she said it was wonderful and that she really felt connected to the people she helped as proxy in the confirmation room. She said that doing the baptisms was the "most powerful" she had ever felt the Holy Ghost!

The Espinoza family is doing really well. They came to church again and love going. The kids are making friends in the primary and going to activities during the week, and hanging out with their church friends on top of that. The mom is single, like I said, so they spent most of spring break with their dad. Because they don't have a lot of time together, they spend the drive to and from their dad's reading the Book of Mormon. They each take turns with a verse :) and then when we come over they have great questions. We taught them the Plan of Salvation last night and had them each draw it out on paper. The 10 year old boy, Jose, is so funny. He drew a grave over the earth to represent death, and had on it "R.I.P." Then when he drew the spirit world, he drew another tombstone but wrote on it "H.I.P." which he later explained was for "Happy In Peace" ha, ha. They are praying about baptism and hopefully will be on April 25th. The oldest daughter (12) is struggling with it still, but loves church and has made some great friends there. We're thinking about bringing a young woman/ friend with her parents to a lesson or something, to connect with the daughter.

Bike Trail in Lacey
Everything else is going great. Time is flying by too fast, but Lacey is wonderful, biking is fun, I'm trying to gain weight before I go home (ha, ha I've gotten too skinny...) and everyone here is in the army and very nice to us. The members are wonderful, I want to have a family like their's someday.

Elder Webber

Scriptures: 2 Nephi 4:20-21
2 Nephi 1:15

P.S. GUESS WHO GOT BAPTIZED LAST WEEKEND???? Yvonne! yes, the same Yvonne from Silverdale! Apparently the sisters taught her again and somehow helped her overcome her challenges. Thank you sister missionaries! Maybe that's what she needed. I hope to learn more about how it all came about, but I am SO HAPPY! I love this mission.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

LACEY 6th ward IS THE BEST!!


HAPPY EASTER (yesterday)!!!! And Happy 185th Anniversary of the Church today! I have so much to say and only a small amount of time. This library has those wicked "timed" computers that shut off at an hour so I'll need to type fast.

This has been one of the happiest weeks of my mission. I'll start with Tuesday, and transfer meeting. As hard and sad as it was to see good friends go home, it was small compared to the joy of seeing them and the joy of the missionary spirit in reunion. It was another great and powerful meeting, and I even got to conduct the music again! (might be my last time). To my surprise, they did a twist on "Amazing Grace" and added in the organ during the 3rd verse! It was SO COOL. I might have thought for a moment that the angels had joined in singing ha, ha. Elder Green bore a powerful testimony of the greatness of our call and the amazing Wa-Tac mission. I love that guy! Also, I was surprised by the appearance of Sister Barrett and Jolene from Silverdale 1st!!! They both came to transfer meeting to see Elder Sharp off. Jolene is happy and good as ever. The elders still come over about once a week to teach.

Tommy and Elder Bradshaw meet at transfer meeting
Tommy gets to conduct Amazing Grace
Then, off to Lacey! I LOVE Lacey! The ward is so good and there are all these wonderful, helpful, engaged members. The area is not that big and very flat which makes for nice bike riding. It's really not that bad. I am actually way happy when I bike around and you feel better at the end of the day. And the weather has been agreeable for the most part. I'm even wearing a short sleeve today (FREEDOM!!) Lacey 6th is a nice area, very quiet and peaceful. Our Bishop is very helpful and kind as is our Ward Mission Leader.
Selfie on a bike and "I didn't crash"
Elder Bradshaw is incredible. I think this is secretly his second mission he's been on because he is so well prepared. He comes from Lyman, Wyoming from a family of 10 (8 children). He is 2nd oldest and has two younger twin sisters :) He reminds me of Elder Mosbrucker - very kind, compassionate, hard working, full of love, and he played football. He is bright with missionary passion and eager to do the Lord's work. We get along really well which is honestly a huge relief. I love all my companions but some have been a struggle, ha, ha. I learn different things from each of them, but it's nice to have someone you can relate to, talk to, and work hard with. We are very excited about this transfer.

Our district is great too! We have Elder Oliphant and Sister Diener and others I have served around. This week as a mission we got to share the Easter message by giving out #BecauseHeLives pass along cards and show the video on It's a great video showing that Jesus Christ died and lives today and because He lives we will too, and it can make a difference in every day of our life.

I really enjoyed Easter yesterday and our entire general conference weekend. We got to watch the Saturday morning session with a recent convert named Heather at the stake center. She was baptized last week! She's very strong in the gospel already and loved conference. The Lacey stake has a recent convert temple trip this Saturday and so we are working on getting her there! If she can go and bring family names, we might even get to go with her! I'll let you know next week. We watched the afternoon session at our Bishop's house. He also drove us to the priesthood session and to get Dairy Queen after :)
Easter bunny still delivered a basket to Elder Webber, 21 years in a row
On Sunday we watched the morning session at the Kirkwood's house (like a perfect family - all their small kids were well behaved and watched conference with everyone). They fed us breakfast before the session too. Cinnamon rolls and bacon, yum. We got to go to the Flinks' house for the last session, and even paint a few Easter eggs while we were there. Their family is great, and they invited another recent convert to their home to watch.

Again, general conference fed my spirit and answered my questions. I loved the Wa-Tac shout out from our formerly President Pearson (presided over Wa-Tac 2005-2008). He once gave a famous sermon in this mission titled "Stay by the Tree" and seemed to use a lot of that in his talk yesterday. Plus it seemed to be a personal address to Wa-Tac RMS (or soon to be RMS...) "Read the Book of Mormon every day, every day, every day." I also loved of course Elder Holland's powerful testimony of the Savior's outreached hands and Elder Ballard's charge to all prospective, current, and returned missionaries in the priesthood session. My favorite might have been President Monson's words on the temple. I will always make that a priority in my life. There also seemed to me to be a theme of marriage and family.

Lastly, we are teaching this great family, the Espinoza's. The mom is single and less active and has 3 kids living with her (ages 12, 10, 8) and she is coming back to church super strong! We taught them on Tuesday and Sunday nights and they are reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church! They watched the Sunday afternoon conference together. Last night we committed 2/3 kids (oldest girl is still unsure) to baptism on April 25th!!! I love that family they are awesome! More to come later.

All my Love,
Elder Webber

Scriptures: Matthew 28:6 (He is Risen!)
D&C 76:22-23 ("He Lives" - testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith of the Resurrected Christ. I'm grateful for modern prophets)

P.S. Mosbrucker e-mailed and said he's engaged!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Manette ends early! Hello Lacey :)

Dear Family,

To my dismay, I am being transferred out of Manette. Two transfers was not enough! Seriously I love this area and wanted to just stay one last transfer and finish here, but alas, God has other plans. I am going to the Lacey 6th ward, which is funny because I've said my whole mission I would like to serve in Lacey. I've heard only good things about it and that the members there are awesome. It will be a bike area (NOOOO!! just kidding, I'll make it) but I've heard it's very flat. I will be serving with Elder Bradshaw, and follow-up training him. He was trained last transfer by Elder Brinkerhoff, who I served around in Silverdale. At least I'll get to go to transfer meeting tomorrow. All my close friends are finishing and going home, I'm definitely bringing tissues :'(

Mission map with arrow to last city he'll serve in

Anyway, to wrap up Manette, we had a crazy week. Lots of success actually, we found 11 new investigators and they are actually pretty solid. One guy is named Josh, he's like 21 and recently is living on his own, trying to figure out his life. We knocked on his door (he usually had work that day but for "some reason" was off) and he let us right in. He has had lots of LDS friends growing up and said they were always so happy with big strong families. He said he is actually looking for a church and it was funny we came by. He said he feels there is something missing in his life and he needs God to fill it. Never was religious growing up, but he recognizes his need for a Heavenly Father. I won't get to teach him, but it's a cool feeling, experiencing being in the right place at the right time and finding those who are prepared. He lives in these apartments that we got kicked out of 3 different times before, ha, ha.

This is the story part of the week, a fitting goodbye to Bremerton and its crazies. Yesterday we had a fast and testimony meeting since next week is general conference. It was a nightmare. We met a guy the week before and only talked to him once or twice, but invited him to church, yano as we do. Well he showed up with an agenda of his own. He gets up half way through a spiritual testimony meeting and goes up to the pulpit. Immediately my heart sinks, my eyes grow wide and I feel about half the size of an ant. He grabs the microphone and yells "Happy Palm Sunday" and says he has never used a mic like this and needs a rock band behind him and starts waving his arms around. Then he goes on about this terrible conspiracy rumor having to do with Mexico and how we all need to send weapons and "large rocks" to help them. At this point our Bishop stands up next to him and calmly explains this is for testimonies on Jesus, and he keeps blabbering so they cut his mic and then he starts yelling! Thank the heavens our Bishopric 2nd Counselor is a security guard for the government so he gets up to escort him out as he yells "VIVA LA MEXICO" down the isle and something about Katy Perry. His last words out the door were "thanks for the invite MacCarthy and Webber!" and I just about died. I felt SOOOO bad like I had ruined sacrament meeting and all member relations. But the good members got up quickly and put things back on track and were able to laugh about it. I hope someday it will all be just a funny memory...

Oh I didn't mention yet, Elder MacCarhty is also getting trasnferred! He is going to Kingston (Silverdale zone!) with Elder Hanson (the same one I served with in Steilacoom!!) Another double out for Manette! But it is because Manette is becoming the new Bremerton Zone Leader area, and the Spanish elders are taking over Bremerton. Crazy! So Elder Goodwine will be coming here, and we're writing down everything and leaving enough notes for them to come in and make a smooth transition. I am happy to say our area book is pretty good, just saying...

Lastly, Jeremy is doing great, no worries about him. He always comes to church. We weren't able to get him to the temple yet, but it is a personal goal of mine to always stay in touch with Jeremy and go with him to visit the temple someday. He is a really great friend of mine and someone I felt I was sent here to teach. We tried visiting Tina to say goodbye but she wasn't home. Maybe we'll try again tomorrow before we leave.

We had Russell come to church again, and Donald (another man who showed up at church a few weeks ago we started teaching) and Fono. There are a lot of investigators for the next elders to keep busy with. Manette has lots of missionary work, which has made it so fun. We have a lesson with Dave tonight so we'll get to see him one more time.

Well this letter feels like I've just been rambling. There has been a lot on my mind. I love my mission so much. The more days pass by, the tighter I grasp each one. I am grateful for inspired leaders and for the opportunity to receive revelation and a stronger testimony this weekend with general conference!! I love the Savior. I know He lives. And Because He lives, we can too. And we can change. That has been the miracle of my mission: I have changed.

I love you all,
Elder Webber

Scriptures: more scriptures on Christ - also sort of a jumble - but they're great!
1 Nephi 22:25
D&C 45:3-5
3 Nephi 11:10-11
2 Nephi 2:6-8

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Manette: Visit to Seattle Temple!

Dear Family,

I think I mentioned last week getting to meet with President Anderson (the Bremerton Stake President) as he came to our ward council and ward conference last Sunday. Well, this weekend we had stake conference, and I learned so much more! We went to the Saturday night adult session and Sunday morning. The Saturday night session was on ward councils and how to make them more effective. I really liked it, they had a strong focus on the ordinances of the gospel and our responsibilities to help people receive them.

St. Patrick's day
Ice Cream social after Bremerton Stake Conference
Another focus from President Anderson (from Elder M. Russell  Ballard really) is to challenge each member family to provide one referral to the full-time missionaries each quarter. the genius of this idea is that we visit families and extend this invitation and as they commit to it on a quarterly basis, we build this "referral machine" of members who will continue to provide referrals, and it gets bigger and bigger. So far we've visited 5 families who have said yes. You all should too!!!! Since the first quarter is already almost over (Jan-March) we can start in the second (April-June). I made this commitment too, since well, never mind, I don't want to talk about it, ha, ha...

Missionaries meet at Bremerton Stake Conference

Elder Webber visits Seattle Temple, annual mission trip
Best part of this week was definitely the temple trip :) Like last year I went with questions in mind, specific things that I was desiring revelation on. I also noticed how I sometimes have this sense of expectation with very spiritual or significant events, like going to the temple or a big meeting or going on a mission or going home or anything, and part of me is almost doubtful if it will live up to the spiritual experience I expect it to be. I decided before I went in to the temple to just relax, trust that Heavenly Father would let me feel an know all that I needed, yet put forth my best effort to seek and ask and be open. I already felt more at peace when I did that and began pondering once were in the chapel waiting. One by one answers came to my questions, either by a thought or a prelude hymn or the words of the temple president who spoke to us before the session. It is hard to explain it all, but it was a wonderful experience. Of course being in the celestial room with so many loved ones and talking in the moment was great.
With companion Elder MacCarthy

Temple sign at entrance

We worked very hard last week, with our crazy goals that we set, and we ended up with 18 lessons total, which is above average, but not the 50 we worked towards. Either way, it inspired us to work harder than we would have otherwise and try to have fun :)
More Seattle Temple pictures

Reunion with Elder Slavens
Next day Wendy visits with Sister and President Blatter at the Temple

Wendy surprises Tommy's companion when in Raymond - Elder Green!
On Friday I didn't feel too well, and Saturday I was pretty sick. Like runny nose, headache, tiredness... maybe a fever (We don't have a thermometer ha, ha) But I did NOT want to go back to our apartment because there's no time to waste in the WATAC! Don't worry though, I made it through and actually feel a lot better today. Thank goodness it's P-Day and I can sort of relax. Part of me felt like it's ok to take a break or go back in early, but for some reason I thought about people I have known or read about (like Church history) who persevered through sickness and continued in the work of the Lord (think of the Prophet and Apostles - they're like 90 years old and they don't give up! What had I to complain about?) so maybe it was a small thing, but it made me more grateful. I also don't get sick very often, maybe 3 times on my mission now.

One more picture from knocking doors on St. Patrick's day
So, family, I love you and miss you and think about you a lot. I'm working my heart out here in Manette. We'll hear this Saturday for the next transfer call! Ah, my last transfer! I hope to stay and end my mission right in Manette.

Elder Webber

Scriptures: D&C 109:22 (promises of the temple)
Isaiah 2:3 (prophecy of the temple)
Psalm 24:3-4 (requirements of the temple recommend)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Manette: Week 9 - so much to tell


There is so much to tell you this week I don't even know where to start. I tried to take more notes during the week than I usually do, so I could tell you more of what happens from week to week, but it just made me realize how much the ups and downs happen. I know I've said that so many times before, but this week had CRAZY ups and downs. Like every other day. I'll try and just go day by day. 

Monday: We spent our zone activity at Lion's Park in our area. It was cloudy (first day in a week) but then the sun came out :) Monday night we went to the "mid-singles" FHE group they have ha, ha. It's always soooo awkward, but there's a nonmember who goes that we're trying to start teaching.

Starting to rain again
Tuesday: Lots happened. We did an exchange with Seabeck elders, I was with Elder Nebeker in Manette. Elder Nebeker was trained in Raymond by Elder Hansen! So we had a LOT to talk about. He gave me some updates on Raymond. Brother Oneto (was in Bishopric) is now their ward mission leader, and the Morenos (we baptized Israel) are ward missionaries and Terry is preparing to receive the Melchizedek priesthood! Some sad news: remember Machel? She was someone I found and was baptized after I left, but had problems, relapsed on her drug habit, and overdosed. Her son AJ who was also baptized is living with his grandma now. Super tragic. On the other had, her friend Kelsi (I also found and was baptized after I left with 3 of her kids) is super active and went through the temple a little bit ago for her endowments! It is amazing to see the effect of missionary efforts in the long run. Elder Nebeker also met this super weird angry old man who kept telling us we weren't Christians and that the foundation of the Christian world is the Council ofNicaea (utterly and totally false). He slammed the door before we could defend the faith, so we just kept knocking. 

Wednesday: We had a great zone meeting on planning, and using tools like "grouping" where you organize the area into groups and save time in visits. Elder Anderson and Slavens and I did it in Tacoma. I also read something called the "Elder Ricciardi letter." A letter from a returned missionary to a friend about his trainer. He wrote about a lot of things this stalwart trainer had done, such as opening his mouth always, being bold and loving, working hard all day + obedience = success, praying a lot and courageously following promptings, rejoicing in persecution, dropping noncommittal investigators to focus on the elect, the doctrine of teaching by the Spirit of Truth, and why God calls us on missions (our own conversion/ that "one soul" unto Him). Anyway, lots of good stuff that I cannot fully explain but I have loved learning, applying and experiencing. There are so many good ways to do missionary work. Wednesday was a good day, I felt happy and successful and confident. Elder MacCarthy opened up more by sharing some personal things and a powerful testimony with this lady we met. He is great.

Thursday: We applied all that we learned about planning in our "mega" weekly planning session and set crazy goals for next week!!! Like 60 lessons! I did the math on how many lessons per day we need to reach our area baptism goals (March-3, April-6). It's about 9 lessons a day which is A LOT. But we will work crazy hard, pray with super faith and see what happens :) We also went to Lion's Park to talk to people and  met a nice family that seems interested.
Exchange day with Elder Goodwine back in Bremerton
Friday: Friday was a blessing straight from Heavenly Father. I got to go on an exchange with the ZLs with Elder Goodwine in BREMERTON!!! MY FIRST AREA! It was so so so fun and brought back dozens of wonderful memories. I could remember doors I had knocked on, streets where my trainer taught me things, and people we met. I even got to go visit my converts! We tried Kyla, but she wasn't home, only her brother and her mom. It was funny saying, "Remember me? I baptized your sister!" Chris, Annette, and Xavior have all moved, but I did see Amick!!! That was so cool! It took him a few minutes to recognize me, but when he did he smiled and we got to reconnect. He said he's meeting with the Bishop next week to prepare for the Melchizedek priesthood!! Ah! 

Saturday: The opposite. Bad news, guys. We finally saw Tina, but she told us that she has decided to stick with a church more like the one she grew up with, so she's going there with a friend. She is no longer interested in visits :'(   Inside my heart broke and my mind was pleading, "no, no.." but as we talked I realized she had not understood the Restoration doctrine, plus she had stopped reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church. It's hard to keep the spirit with you when you stop keeping commitments. We told her we loved her and that the doors of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are always open and invited her to receive the future missionaries. Planting seeds or something. As devastating as it was, I had the odd comfort and assurance, from the Holy Ghost, I think, that she was always in Heavenly Father's care and not ready at this time. I hope we fulfilled our purpose. I was bold in testifying of the truth of the Restoration, and we left it at that. We also got dropped by another investigator family, and passed our most solid guy over to Spanish. Then we had these investigators feed us dinner. The husband is from Nigeria, I think. He made us goat. The first time I've had goat and I hope the last. Let me tell you, it was weird. Had a different taste and was tough and lean. We had it with this fried kale and corn meal. We usually don't get weird meals like that in the WaTac, so hopefully it was a good experience, ha, ha.

Sunday: Church turned me upwards again. Even though Dave didn't make it (still works Sundays, fell off his baptism goal date, but we're still teaching him), we had Ward Conference and Ward Council, and the Stake Presidency came to both. Our Stake President, President Anderson, is amazing. He's one of my mission heroes. He is a scientist and incredibly brilliant. His gospel knowledge is exceedingly great ha, ha. His training blows my mind and expands my understanding. He applied Preach My Gospel chapter 8 to ward councils and probably changed my church service for my life. I feel like a mission is sometimes just leadership training for the rest of your life. We get to meet with so many experienced, smart Church leaders. We are having dinner with the Andersons tonight, they live in our ward. I'm excited :) I'll probably bring a notebook ha, ha. We also had dinner right after church with the Frazier family, they fed us venison stew (ha, ha I know right?) from their backyard and homemade apple and blackberry pie, also from their backyard orchard. This meal was delicious though. We challenged them to prepare a friend to be taught by missionaries and they accepted! That night we also got to knock in the rain again. Finally!

Tommy's apartment with St. Patrick decorations from Mom
Well, my family and friends who might have actually made it through this exhaustive e-mail, I love you and I love my mission more than words will ever express. I love being dedicated to God, living my covenants with Him, and striving to have my will "swallowed up" in His. There is no greater joy, I can testify. 

Have a lucky St. Patrick's Day, and a very happy birthday, Mom. 
Love, Elder Webber

Scripture: *Mosiah 15:7

P.S. I can't wait for our mission temple trip this Wednesday!! It's going to be great!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Manette: Elder Maynes visits the WaTac!

Dear family,

This week was alright, the ups and downs as usual. Bad news is Tina fell off date for baptism, which would have been tonight :( We taught her the law of tithing and Word of Wisdom this week, and she felt she couldn't quite do it. Our Bishop agreed to meet with her and reassure her about things. We know that with every commandment the Lord provides a way (1 Nephi 3:7), but that takes faith. She also has still been having a hard time with her recent family member who passed away. We are going to visit her today to say Happy Birthday and try and get her on track again. Satan works extra hard on investigators the week before their baptism. Anti, self-doubt, crazy outside influences, you name it. It's really sad.

The positive this week was definitely the visit from Elder Richard J. Maynes, of the Presidency of the Seventy. We had a mission wide meeting Saturday morning, and then he came to the Bremerton stake (one of ten options) for a special stake conference we held! Our meeting Saturday was my favorite. We all got to shake his hand, then we read some familiar scriptures and got SO much out of it as he explained things and asked questions, then he taught some techniques on missionary work. He talked about how to set goals and plan and always focus on our missionary purpose, especially the central commitment to baptism. He taught about the opposition of faith and fear and how we need more faith than fear when it comes to things like opening our mouth (OYM) at all times and making bold invites, not weak ones. One missionary trap is to have weak invites that don't offend, or help, progress our investigators, then we keep visiting people who are not prepared. We are looking for those who are "truth seekers." He told us how well the Church is doing and bore his "especial witness" of Christ. I can tell you the Spirit filled the room as we heard that.

Elder Thomas Webber finds another cat
Our stake conference was great too, and our stake president, President Anderson, has such excitement, vigor, and vision for the work of the Lord in Bremerton. He sees stakes here and a temple some day! I love that our Church is always growing, from Joseph Smith + 5 more initial members in April of 1830 to President Monson + 15,000,00 more in March of 2015. We are making the history of the Church right now in our lives and it is so exciting.

Washington Blossoms
The sun continues to shine in Washington, we will all go as a zone to the park today to play some outdoor games. Even when all our appointments fall through in one day, it helps me to see the grand picture of the work of Heavenly Father, and to remember with gratitude the "many mighty miracles" (Alma 26:12) he has blessed me with on my mission. I pray for a few more while I'm here. I know the work is true.

Day-light savings means more tracting doors before dark

Elder Webber

Random Scriptures of Strength:
Ephesians 6:12-13
Hebrews 4:14-15
Alma 15:8
Romans 13:14
Mosiah 3:7

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Manette: Interviews, Diligence, and Tina progresses

Dear Family,

We are excited about March and all that is on the horizon of the WA-TAC. We have a 2015 goal of 800 baptisms for the mission and we are always praying and doing daily obedience to work towards it. President Blatter is a great leader, motivating, likable, and inspired!

This Saturday we get to have a mission meeting in Tacoma with Elder Richard J. Maynes (Presidency of the Seventy) visiting, and some area authorities, Elder Nielson and Elder Bussey. I have met Elder Bussey before, he came to a training and a ward council in Soundview. We are excited to receive inspired training, have questions answered, and also get together as a mission :)

And then we will have a temple trip! Our zone is going on Wednesday March 18th! Happy Birthday mom! I am so excited to get to go (again) and be with all the missionaries.

District meets with President Blatter
Our district had interviews with President Blatter on Tuesday, which is always great to get to talk to him. We don't see him as much as we do in Tacoma, when we lived so close to the mission home and the office. I felt great after the interview and also got a copy of Elder Steed's final report which made me realize how short time is on a mission, and how fast it goes, and how short my time in Manette may be! So Elder MacCarthy and I re-energized and agreed to work extra hard from now on! We are going to be more effective and spend as little time in the apartment as possible (lunch/dinner breaks) and knock more doors and be more bold in our testifying and inviting. There is a sense of urgency in this work and the field is so white in Manette! We set a goal to knock every door by the end of the transfer! We mark on a map at home where we have knocked and it's cool to see it grow.

Elder Webber visits the famous 'Hollywood' sign
We have been working with Tina as a focus this week. We helped her on Saturday to get some more furniture for her apartment, a bed and a couch and bookshelf. She was very grateful. It was from another member who was going to get rid of it. Our wonderful Relief Society President helped organize it. We then went with her to the church to watch a baptism for the Bremerton ward! Elder Smith and Elder Goodwine's. Tina loved it and it helped her feel more comfortable and ready for her baptism. She said she got butterflies watching it. Sadly Sunday morning she woke up with a bad migraine, and couldn't make it to church. We should be meeting with her tonight and teaching the last few lessons. She is still planning on being baptized on her birthday, March 9th. So next week in my Monday e-mail everything should be planned and ready to go that evening!

Found a local place called 'The Manette'
Dave has still had to work on Sundays, but we should be meeting tonight and will try and work something out. We haven't been able to see him this week, either. And then Jeremy is doing good. Been struggling with work and some things, and still trying to adjust to a new lifestyle. I think he needs new friends, and we've been talking about getting him more involved in the YSA activities and stuff. He went with us to the family history center to get him started. Hopefully a temple trip soon!

Tommy says if you park your car over the weekend in WA, then...
Time keeps marching on, but I love my mission. The sun has been brilliantly present this week and so has the work progressed. I love my personal study time and have been getting wonderful insights on the Atonement of Jesus Christ from Book of Mormon scriptures. I'll share a few below. I love you all so much. Can't wait to see you in a few months.

Love Elder Webber

Alma 34:8-16 (Amulek)
Mosiah 3:7-11 (King Benjamin)
2 Nephi 2:6-10 (Lehi)
Each is a powerful testament from a different prophet to the Divinity and reality of Christ. Each teaches a unique aspect of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Without that timeless act, all would be lost. Because of it, we have everything to gain. We just need to live His teachings.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Manette: WA-TAC Sunshine and Early Blooming

Dear Family,

This week was surprisingly sunny and that makes a Californian happy. All the Washington natives talk about how rare this is to be having sun and so little rain this year. We also hear about how terrible the weather is on the east coast. Because of the early sun and warmth, the beautiful cherry blossom trees (I think that's what they are) are already showing all over, which leads to the first story.
We met a guy named Dave our first or second week here, while knocking. He is in his 40's and married and works at a Dairy Queen. He previously worked at a Jack-in-the-Box for several years. He likes it. At first he seemed a little hesitant to meet with us, but we kept coming back and began teaching him about the Book of Mormon on his doorstep. We could never come in because he lives with a roommate he didn't want to bother plus a loud yappy dog and it wasn't clean, so we just talked on his porch. Not ideal, but it worked. Finally we were able to set up a church tour with him on his day off. Church tours were the goal for last week, so we really focused on it.

Cherry tree as a sign from God
Friday afternoon came and we met him at the church with a member there. When we showed him around the chapel and lobby and classrooms, and then talked about the Restoration by the First Vision painting, we asked about his reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. He said he did start praying that morning, and when he left his apartment he saw one of those early-bloomed cherry blossom trees, which are his favorite. He felt good. When he came to the church, he saw the same tree, the only one not bare, in front of the building! He believes it was a little sign from God he is on the right path! We showed him the baptism font room and invited him to set a goal to be baptized March 28th and he accepted! He still needs to ask for Sundays off for his work but he wants to be here. Church tours are awesome.

Tina is still working closer. We taught her the third lesson this week, the Gospel, and she said she got chills when we taught about baptism. She is excited about her birthday baptism. Sadly, she had a family member pass away Saturday, so she wasn't at church, but we got to talk with her about it.
We haven't been able to see Russel, or Carolyn, but we have a lot more potentials and part member families, I just don't have time to tell about all of them. I usually just share the stories and updates that stand out to me. Also Jeremy is still doing well, he had a rough day at work this week, but keeps coming to church and has a lot of faith.

Unseasonably warm in WA

Last, I have really enjoyed my personal studies this week. I figured out how I can study the Book of Mormon this time. I have picked just one topic to study. A big topic- Jesus Christ. I go through each entry in the Index under His name, His titles, other topics that go with it (like Jesus Christ, Atonement through). It was inspired by President Boyd K. Packer's talk from last conference, "The Reason for our Hope." I've learned something helpful. I often look at my name tag, like when I put in on in the morning, and think about taking upon me the name of Jesus Christ. I would think about His perfection and glory and my goal to be like Him. I realized this week another meaning. His name is the means that we can use to get there, the grace that enables us to overcome our continued mistakes and weaknesses. He is the Standard and the Means. He is everything. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I love being a missionary to help others come unto Him.

View of Mt. Olympus at sunset

I hope you all have a great week! HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!!!!!

Love Elder Webber
Scripture: D&C 6:36-37