Contact Elder Tommy Webber

Contact Elder Tommy Webber

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

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!