Contact Elder Tommy Webber

Contact Elder Tommy Webber

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

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.