Monday, September 19, 2011

September 19, 2011 letter

What a great week its been this week! I always feel like I have so many things that I want to share about the incredible things that happen on a mission, but I wont share them all.... Here are just a few highlights:
We had our Baptism on Saturday and it was GREAT! We baptised 3 chinese students (Cheng, Ting Ting, and Heather). We had to scramble a bit to find white clothes that fit them all, but we got it all worked out and had some amazing talks and the spirit was SO strong. One of the guys that baptised is named Alexander and he has only been a member for like 3 months, so that was an awesome experience for him. After we were done, we were talking to Heather and she just smiled at us and said "it feels SO good". At coordination meeting with the branch president sunday he told us some pretty amazing things about the Troy Area. He said that Troy is an area that the first presidency is constantly keeping an eye on. That they often ask about the work that is going on here because of the international program here at the school. He said that he has had many spiritual impressions concerning Cheng and Heather, that they did not come to Troy to go to school, but they came to learn about the church, to become strong members so that when they go back to China they will be instrumental in spreading the Gospel in their country. I can see that in them. They have only been taking the lessons for a little over a month each and Heather has read the whole Book of Mormon in chinese and is reading it in english now and she is already talking to everyone about the gospel; and Cheng, He is INCREDIBLE his spirit is so strong, he does everything we ask him to and is so determined to live ever commandment for the rest of his life. When we asked him to get baptised he laughed and said "I wonder what my parents will think.... *pause*... It doesnt matter what they think, I want to do it" Its such an amazing feeling to know that I get to be a part of such an important work, that the people that I am teaching will someday bring the gospel to China.
We are teaching so many people, it is great. We go to set up an apointment with someone and we have to schedule them into the next week because our schedule is so packed. We found 8 new investigators this week and that is on top of our 10 or 11 that we are already teaching consitantly. Its great to see that when you do what you are supose to that the lord blesses you and puts people in your path that he knows is ready to hear the gospel. We found one guy the other day, Kai, He was sitting on a bench in the park and we were talking to a girl close by. When we finished talking to her, we headed in his direction and stopped to share a message with him. We didnt even get a chance to really say much before he said... You are missionaries? What do you believe? So we asked him about his religious background (baptist, as most people here are) we told him about why we are so unique and told him about the book of mormon and gave him one, We challenged him to read some of the chapters in 3 nephi about christ coming to visit the americas and he said "honestly" at this point we thought he was going to say that he didnt think he wanted to, because that is what we get alot... but then he said "I will probably read more than that" YEAH!!!! we were so happy. So we gave him a couple more chapters to read and we are meeting him on wednesday.
Things are great with my companion as usual... We get alot done and get along really well which is important in a companionship. She has alot of great ideas and is very motivated.She knows why she is on a mission so she works very hard. She has spent her whole mission so far in Troy so she knows what she is doing here and where to go for answers when we need them. I am so grateful for her as a trainer, I learn alot from her.
The gospel is so amazing and I am growing more and more grateful for it each and every day. I might not know everything that I feel like I need to in order to teach people, but I know that the church is true, that God has a plan for each of us and it started before we came to earth and will continue after we die. I know that Central to that plan is our savior Jesus christ and that Without him and his atonement, the plan would fall apart. That He didnt have to suffer for all our sins, that he had a choice, and he chose to go through with it because he loves us that much. I know that the happiness we feel here on earth when we do what is right is only a small part of what we will feel in the next life if we are faithful to the end. I hope that we can all keep the eternal perspective and remember that we are all children of a father in heaven that loves us very much and only wants the best for us.
I love you all and Hope that Everything is going well.
Sister Webb

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 11, 2011 letter

Looking back on the week is always so crazy to see how much one can really accomplish in such a short amount of time. Even the emotional roller coaster that you can go through from day to day is incredible. as promised this week.....PICTURES! 

This is sister thomas, my companion from the MTC.

all the sister from my district in the MTC. sister thomas went to louisianna, but the other two are here in tallahassee with me.

The whole district from the MTC

Some other sister. We all look awkward. my companion (sister horan) is the one doing the thumbs up.

Sometimes we feed the Elders, but they arent allowed in our house... so they sit outside and we put the table in the doorway. People must think we are so strange.

So this week has been awesome. We started off with an awesome fireside last tuesday where president jensen came to speak to us about the docterines of christ. It was set up by us for invesigators so it was a small crowd, but he threw down the baptism card pretty hard and it was extremely beneficial because CHENG IS GETTING BAPTISED! he is such a stud. He is super smart and takes it everything we teach him. He has been in america for like a month and met the missionaries after being here for like 3 or 4 days. He chose to be baptised with the other two so Saturday we have 3 baptisms. Its going to be so great. We are hoping to get Li to commit soon, she believes everything but because of the culture, she has reservations with a man baptising her... So we are trying to teach her about the priesthood, and hopefully she will commit soon.

We had some really great experiences contacting this week. We found a couple gentlemen who are deaf, but they were very friendly and we talked to them with the little bit of broken sign language that sister horan and I have and we are meeting with one of them tuesday so we got special permission from president to brush up on some signing skills. Then later that day we started talking to a lady who is a janitor here at Troy and she just kept telling us to do what we do. She said that even without our name tags she can tell that we are doing good and that we carry christs name because of the light she can see in us. That even from a distance she can tell it is us because we glow. We've all heard that we have the light, but it was amazing to hear that she could see that light. I guess the sisters have tried teaching her, but she isnt really interested in another faith, but it was awesome to talk to her, she said that if she ever has anyone that needs to hear about the gospel she will get their name and number for us so we can go teach them.

I wish I would have studies more on other beliefs before I got out here. Its been really interesting talking to people about what they believe. We had a guy tell us that he believed that the gods mated with giants and that earth was a punishment for that, and we talked to a man about being agnostic and another about the hindu religion. We also went to an old abandoned masonic temple this morning and maybe besides the first guy, most of the time you can see that every religion has a little bit of the truth. You can see where the apostacy has played its role, but that so many people are searching for the truth.

Sundays are always great. Sister Horan and i switch off teaching primary each week, so It was my turn.. 7 children between the age of 5-7... they were out of control haha. I brought one of the chinese students with me (temporary splits so that some of them can go to RS)... it was a disaster to say the least haha. I think they took advantage because i was knew. They were all really funny though. We also got to watch the CES fireside with the YSA sunday night and it got me so excited for conference in a couple weeks. I had prayers answered through elder oaks and his wife.

This upcoming week is jam packed, We have so much going on and not enough time to do it, which is every missionaries dream I suppose so I am grateful to be in an area where the work is going so well!

I hope everyone is doing good. I love the work and I love the gospel. Study the scriptures and pray often and you will see miracles.
Sister Webb

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September 6, 2011 letter from the mission field

Hi All!
P-days are usually mondays, but because it was labor day, everything was closed yesterday.
Welp, I made it through my MTC experience. The last couple days of the MTC were great. We were all ancy and ready to get out in the field and the lessons we had got us way pumped to get out and serve. The final lesson we had in the MTC was one that my teacher (brother prawett) decided to teach based on prmptings of the spirit and it felt like it was for me. We talked and practiced teaching how the savior would teach. In our role plays we taught the first lesson (the restoration) and halfway though he stopped me and my companion and we talked for a while and he said that although we were teaching great and that we had the spirit that the story seemed insignificant; that besides the atonement of christ the story of the restoration is one of the greatest moments in history. So we tried again. I then got one of the most powerful witnesses I have ever recieved of the reality of what happened in the sacred grove. It was so amazing... so that is what I will try to do through my whole mission. Teach as the savior taught and try my very best to become like him.
We spend tuesday traveling. I got a whole 2 hours of sleep before we had to wake up and take sister thomas to the bus to head out to baton rouge. I got a chance to talk to most of my family in the airport which was great! President and Sister Jensen are incredible people. When they were called to serve they got rid of everything. they sold all that they had, gave their cars to their kids, invited a less fortunate family in the ward to live in their house, rented out their land to be farmed and sold or DI-ed everything inside the house because as sister jensen said 'it was all just stuff we didnt need to think about while we were serving the lord'. i thought that was such a great attitude and something that I could work on... not worrying about anything but the work I am doing. We came out with 16 elders and sisters, which is a HUGE group so we all just got to know eachother talked about the mission rules and went to bed. Sister Jensen made us breakfast and we left to go meet our trainers!
So I am in an area called Troy. I am in Alabama...the most northern part of the mission. There are two sets of missionaries here. My companion (sister Horan) and I are assigned to the Troy campus and the surrounding apartments. The elders here are Elder Olsen, who has been here for about 6 months and Elder Egbert, who is also new and is on his last transfer before he heads home. I love it here, it is so different than the missionary work i was expecting because I am on a college campus but it is great. We participate in alot of the YSA activities and when we contact people we just walk around campus talking to students instead of tracting (although we do tract the apartments every once and a while) There are great things happening here. We are teaching a handful of people, half of which are students that are here from China. Troy university had a great international program, so alot of the students here are from other countries. Its so great teaching them because of the simplicity of everything we are telling them. They learn about the most basic things to our gospel and it changes their lives.  It has really even helped me to take a step back and remember the most basic things we base our testimonies on. Its so great. We have 2 investigators that are set for baptism on the 17th of September (heather and ting ting) and a couple more that are getting really close. We also do things like scripture study, where they come read the book of mormon outloud to practice their english and we teach an ESL class and help them with any questions they have with classes and to help them with their pronounciation.
Let me tell you about my new Comp.... She is awesome. Her name is Sister Horan. She is from colorado and has been on her mission for about 6 months. I am the second missionary she has trained (she was only out for 6 weeks before she trained her first missionary) and she is such a strong missionary. She has been in Troy here whole mission so far. She is a music major that plays the trumpet and sings really well. She is way funny and very outgoing which is great. She is super patient too, which is also great because you need that to be a trainer. They started a new training program where you are with your trainer for 12 weeks instead of 6, so I will be her companion for at least 3 months.
There is so much i feel like I could tell you! I would be lying if I didnt feel inadequate from time to time. I want to be the best of the best and instantly good but that doesnt usually happen. It takes time. I feel like I have so much to learn and to grow that how I can teach these people when i am still learning myself. But they I follow and prompting of the spirit and I realize its not me teaching anyways, its the spirit. So i continue to trust in that and amazing things happen.

My favorite part of the work so far is the simple prayers of an investigator. They are so incredibly humble and sincere. They bring the spirit so strong and you cannot help but smile. Prayer is powerful. There is nothing like it. heavenly father hears and answers them.
I love you all and hope the best for everyone!
Scripture of the week: either 12:27
Sister Webb