Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December 12, 2011 Letter

Hello Hello Everyone!
Two weeks until christmas, I can hardly believe it! Hope everything at home is going great and that everyone is gearing up for the christmas season! Its been so incredible to be a missionary during this time of year and to not be caught up in the usual parties and shopping and gift giving that comes with the season, Chirstmas as a missionary is definatly one to remember.
This week was full of really random experiences, I have so many I could share but I think I will just tell a few... I will number them, so that if you get bored with one you can just skip to the next one:
#1- Tuesday I had my first official run in with a Baptist minister. We tracted into him the other day and we knew something was up because he seemed to know alot but was trying to act a little ignorant about mission things, he said he has talked to a few of the other missionaries here but that he was willing to meet. We wanted to just see why he kept meeting with us and what he knew, so we set up an appointment. After asking the elders if they knew anything Elder Olsen said that he thought there was a youth minister that kept meeting with missionaries, and to just beware. We met him at one of the local restaurants and again he was very friendly and asked us lots of questions about being missionaries and what we do and why we do it and the rules we live by etc. We didnt want to spend forever talking to him if he was infact a minister and wasnt really interested, so we kept asking questions about his work and what he did and why he was in Troy, and finally he did tell us that he worked for a baptist church. It was a very interesting converstation, because he just kept saying that he knew that nothing he said was going to hinder our faith, but that he felt like it was his duty to tell us that everything that the LDS faith teaches is a Lie, but of course in no way wants that to offend us or demean what we are doing as missionaries. We talked a little about why everyone things that LDS people are not christians and then we went our seperate ways. So that was interesting. Its weird to have been in the bible belt for 4 months and to only have had a run in with one preacher. I know I'll have plenty more of these stories to come when i get Transfered out of Troy.
#2- Every so often we decide to spice up our day with a prank on the elders. We had like 1000 appointments fall through one day and so when we were walking past their house we decided to take a short break and go pull a prank, The original plan was to short sheet their beds, but when we got inside we discovered that they dont actually make their beds, so that really wasnt going to work. We were frantically trying to find something we could do to them that wouldnt take too much time and would be funny and that is why I saw Elder Olsens Closet..... he had about 100 ties hanging in there. We decided it would be funny to tie them all together and string them through the apartment so they had to go through and untie them one by one and follow the maze we created for them.... Sister Christian was designated to stand watch and we tied them together. We got them all tied and began to string them together when sister Christian Yelled "CODE RED, CODE RED, THEY'RE HERE, THEY'RE HERE!" So we dropped what we were doing, grabbed our stuff lept down the stairs and out the back door in time for them to see me bounding outside. They chased after us thinking we had decided to steal something else of theirs but we got away in time. It had the potential to be a really great prank, but was foiled. We have a couple more up our sleeves though!
#3- Saturday we went with one of the members to a guys house for a indian celebration. It was a weird mix between india indians and native american indias but it was awesome! We had an india indian food dinner that was cooked by a guy named tarun, who we use to teach that is from India... So it was authentic and delicious. Then the guy who's house we were at (Robert) is 1/8 muskogee Indian, so we had a fire and he taught about his tribe. We said indian prayers were you breath your prayer into this powder stuff and then throw it in the fire and the smoke takes it to the gods. Then He taught us the fire dance and we just marched around the fire chanting and shaking rattlers, he played the flute for us and then told indian stories about the constelations and how the rabbit stole fire from the sky people and lastly we did the owl dance welcoming the animals to come and take the fire. It was crazy and so much fun!
#4- Lulu has decided she wants to get baptized! Lulu is a friend of Sarah and Ting Ting, who both recently got baptized in the last couple months and we have been teaching her for about a month and a half now. She is super energetic and way funny. She laughs through everything she says because she knows her english is not very good, but she loves that there is a god and has a very strong desire to come to know him better. She says that she just wants to be able to feel the spirit stronger, which is amazing! I am so excited for her! She hasnt set a date but wants to do it after sarah and ting ting get back from their trips they are going on for the christmas break.
This gospel is Incredible and I have so much love for my savior and my heavenly father. I am so grateful to be a missionary right now and that I get the chance to bring others the happiness that can be found through it. If anyone has any doubt that it is true, that it is Jesus Chirst Church here on the earth and that we are infact building his kingdom for him to come and rule and reign over, all you have to do is pray. Read the book of mormon and ask heavenly father to give you that witness of its divinity and he will. This method has been tried and proven by millions of people, including me on many different occasions in my life. It doesnt matter if you have never known it to be true or knew it once and have just forgotten or still believe and just need another confirmation, heavenly father ALWAYS answers our prayers.
I love you all and hope you are having a great christmas!
Sister Webb

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 5, 2011 letter

Well, I think that each month I will just start out my letter by saying CAN YOU BELIEVE ITS DECEMBER ALREADY?! Cause I sure cant. I've been here for 4 months. That's out of control. Its even more weird to think that life is just going on back at home without me. Everyone is gearing up for Christmas, going to see the lights, spending time with family (cleaning up trees from what I hear) etc, and I'm in a tiny little town in Alabama 2000 miles away. It doesn't feel like Christmas really here, because its still warm enough outside to wear short sleeves most days.

It was really great to have all the students back this week. The last couple weeks in December are going to be rough, but I think we will be more prepared for it than we were for the Thanksgiving break. We have been brainstorming things that we can do and if nothing else we will just go and find service opportunities like crazy because after all, that's what you do during Christmas time!

I know I say this every week, but seriously, this week was awesome. There are always so many great things that happen on a day to day basis that just make me so happy to be here and to be a missionary, even the bad things always turn out to be really great learning opportunities So even then, I cant complain. So highlights this week:

It got really really cold at the beginning of the week so we decided it would be fun to give away hot chocolate to people on campus and wrap Mormon.org cards around them as the cup rings. So we got everything all ready and woke up Wednesday morning to do it and... it was not very cold. We were so disappointed, but we had a 5 gallon cooler full of hot chocolate so we decided to go give it a shot anyways. It wasn't as successful as it could have been but people still came and got some and we got to talk to alot of people. We found a less active girl that came from Tallahassee (where sis Hai came from) that she really wanted to find when she got here, So if for nothing else finding her made the whole event worth it! We are going to try again when it gets colder and we can pretty much guarantee that it will be freezing enough for lots of people to want hot chocolate.

Every week we go visit a less active lady over at the Senior center (she works there) and this week they did a 5k to raise money for the Center, so all the missionaries and one of our recent converts decided to run it to support her. This is the first time in my LIFE I have ever run that far. I can proudly say that I ran the entire thing, but the whole site and sound rule with being on a mission made it hard, really though, I'm just impressed that I could run that far without stopping. They had a bunch of free giveaway stuff that was all sponsored by Budweiser and other alcoholic beverage companies so we got a bunch of stuff that has beer companies all over it. woot woot. It was alot of fun, but we were all DEAD for our usual Saturday afternoon sports we play with Recent converts and investigators.

We had alot of really awesome lessons this week, but one of my favorites was with Jason, who I have told you all about before... He is the bomb.com, seriously. He says that he wants to get baptized but that he feel like he needs to know enough to be able to share it with people after he is baptized (which is seriously awesome, he will make a killer missionary when he finally decides to do it) So we convinced him that every other lesson we have with him he will teach us. He was hesitant at first, but agreed to it. So we gave him alma 32 (faith) to teach us about. He did so good! I learned alot from the things that he shared with us and the insight he gained from studying it. I Loved it.

Sharing the Gospel with people is a scary thing. Its scary when you are wearing a name tag approaching strangers whom you may or may not every see again and doing it full time and its even more scary when its someone you care about and dont want to offend, but as it says in preach my gospel... the more we come to understand about the atonement of christ, the great desire we will have to share it with people. Christmas is an awesome time to be able to share a message about christ with people without offending or stepping over boundries. I am so excited to be a missionary during christmas, and I hope that all of us can study a little more about the saviors life and the atonement and grow a little closer to him and become more like him by serving others without any expectation for recognition or repayment, and as we do so we will have to desire to share it with those that we care about the very most.

I Love you all!

Sister Webb

The missionaries at the 5k

Sunday, December 4, 2011

November 28, 2011 letter

This week I learned that being on a college campus during a holiday is terrible for missionary work. The students are back today, which makes me way happy but we are going to have a 3 week break for christmas, that will probably be the longest 3 weeks of my life. 
Well, As I told you all before... I got a new companion. which I will tell you about in a moment, first I have to tell you what we decided to do to celebrate sis horan leaving. Here is the preface to the story: Sister Horan is the most competative individual ever. She is also really good at beating everyone in things like chugging contest, eating pie really fast, eating the hotest things ETC. So elder raso was talking about his crazy food challenges hes done and one of them was to drink 12 koolaid squeeze-its in half an hour. Sounds easy. So we decided to try it. NOT THAT EASY! except if your name is sister horan. She did it in 15 minutes. Elder raso finished 3 seconds after 30 minutes, sis C and I got through 9 and elder olsen gave up around 7. We all may or may not have been sick enough to puke. We drank somewhere around 80 fl oz of koolaid and WAY too much sugar, but once again sis horan dominated the food challenge. Pictures attached.
So back to my new comp. We are still in a Tripanionship (me S. Christian and S. Haidenthauller). Sis. Hai is great. Honestly, I wasnt worried... I get along with pretty much everyone. She is From layton and has been out 16 months, so she is on her last couple transfers. She is Hilarious. We have alot of good times, She tells crazy mission stories and we laugh alot (which, you all know me, I LOVE to laugh). She has spent pretty much her whole mission white washing areas and teaching baptists, so the chinese are a bit of a shock for her. we get to an end of a lesson and she only understands like 1/2 of what they said. Been there done that.

This week was also thanksgiving, and I have now eaten 6 thanksgiving dinners in the last 2 weeks. Three of which were actually on thanksgiving day. I never want to look at turkey again. We were even invited to a couple more, but couldnt fit them in, which I am grateful for because I dont think i could have packed any more thanksgiving dinner in even if I wanted to. Weirdest thing I ate: Gibblet gravy. Its just regular gravy, but they chop up the gizzard and heart and lung or whatever insides come with the turkey when you buy it and stir it in to the gravy. It wasnt terrible. I also had the traditional southern Dressing, which I was quickly corrected on when i tried to call it stuffing. it is NOT stuffing. 
So just to recap on my food experiences this week: I never want koolaid or turkey again.

I am grateful for so many things in my life, first and formost being my family, my friends and this gospel. I am excited for the next month and to celebrate christmas! Nothing like celebrating Christ while representing him on a mission.
I love you all and Hope you have a great Week!
Sister Webb
Me and my comps. sis Hai, m, Sis Horan, Sis Christian

all our chinese friends

all the koolaid we drank in 1/2 an hour.


November 21, 2011 letter

What a crazy week this has been! Sometimes at night we joke about how this cannot be missionary work because we are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, organizing everything here and there and calling people and finding rides and throwing events together and its nuts. It is so crazy going from a ward at home to a branch and seeing how much good strong members that are willing to serve are needed! I dont know how else to tell you what happened this week except to go day by day!
Monday: ok a little bit of back ground info on this one. We had an international thanksgiving this week so that all our chinese students could have a thanksgiving dinner and they could bring stuff from china and friends for us to meet and what not.... Ok back to monday. We bought a giant 20 pound turkey to cook, (which none of us had ever done) and got home and realized it needed to thaw for like 3 days. We didnt have 3 days, we had one. So I said that we should just put it in water and let it thaw, but it was too big for our sink. So sister horan decided that she would put it in the tub. BRILLIANT! she took it back there turned on the water, came out to switch over her laundry and forgot about it. half an hour later she remembered and i think you can all guess the rest of what happened. yep, we flooded part of our apartment. So we frantically ran around gathering towels and blankets and anything else we could find to soak up the water and called people to bring over their box fans and it was nuts.
Tuesday: this was our thanksgiving dinner day. We woke up and realized that none of us knew how to cook a turkey and really the whole dinner was riding on this turkey. So we mixed up some crazy spice concauction to season it, called sister jensen and prayed over our turkey in the hopes that it would turn out good. I think its our prayers that worked because it was SO good! we had 16 or 17 people at our dinner (which seems little but its actually alot for one of our activities) and thats not including the elders.
Wednesday: The elders locked themselves out of their apartment AGAIN. This is like the 5th time. We luckily can break into their apartment with our key (things you'd never thing you'd learn on a mission) so we have now saved them somewhere around 200 dollars for all the times they've locked themselves out.
Thursday: Planning day. We realized that none of us know how to plan for a week like this upcoming one because everyone will be gone for the thanksgiving holiday. that means that all 25 of our invetigatiors will be gone and we cant really contact because campus will be empty. Then in the middle of this all sister horan realized that if she gets transfered everyone will be gone and she wont get to say goodbye, so she decided to call president and he told her that she IS getting transfered. So we needed to say bye to all the students before they peace out for the break. We told mei mei that night (who was suppose to get baptized on december 3rd) and she said "so you wont be here for my baptism?" she said "no" and she said "well can i get baptized tomorrow then?"....."uh, yeah, we could make that happen".. so the rest of the night was spent making that happen. Finding speakers and telling people and getting someone to baptize her and it was maddness!

Friday: Mei mei got baptized. All the bishopric was out of town AND the ward mission leader. Bishop was busy but he luckily could rearrange his schedule so he could come and conduct for us. it was AMAZING though. Seriously. Watching someone get baptized is incredible. there is such a powerful spirit there. and mei mei is someone we've been meeting with everyday for the last 2 months to get her ready for it.
Saturday: Another baptism.Sarah got baptized. She didnt tell anyone and didnt want anyone there exept the missionaries, her best friend Ting Ting and whoever baptized her. It has taked us a LONG time to get to the bottom of why she didnt want to be baptized and when she finally told us we figured things out and she was so happy that we could work with her situation. She has wanted this for a long time but didnt think it was possible for her. It was amazing experience. We also had two dinners this night because we always eat with wanda saturday nights but the chinese students wanted to make a dinner for sister horan to say goodbye to her. So we had a huge thanksgiving dinner and then another HUGE chinese dinner. I didnt eat much sunday haha
Sunday: Finally sunday. Nothing overly crazy happened. We had charelton come to church finally. which is good because he has a baptism date and needs to start coming to church. We visited a couple people that sister horan wanted to see before she left and then went to dinner at a members house. They all had fun trying some of the hottest chili pepers in the world and it was hilarious to watch!
WOW! Crazy. So this next week will be crazy too. Sister horan is leaving and i am pretty much taking over troy. We are getting a 3rd sister who will be on her last transfer before she heads home. She requested to come to troy, but is coming at the worst time. There wont be any students here to teach over thanksgiving or christmas break. we gotta find somethings to do to fill our time so she doesnt get trunky! It will be insane. Thanksgiving will be my first big holiday away from the Fam and i am missing you all dearly! I am so grateful for each and everyone of you!
OH! one last thing, My mission president has previously allowed us to email whoever we wanted, but is changing that to just family (brothers sisters parents grandparents) so if you write me an email, I will write back but PLEASE give me your home address so I can handwrite you a letter! I would love to hear from all of you and hear how you are doing.
This week you should all say a prayer of just gratitude and be thankful for the things you've been given!

Have a great week!
Sister Webb

November 14, 2011 Letter

Hi everyone!
Its mid november and i hear it is snowing in utah. It is still sunny and fall weather here, Its easy to forget that Thanksgiving and Christmas is right around the corner! That being the case I have really been trying to focus in on just being grateful for things that I have been given, and not so much on the things that I need from my heavenly father to make up for my shortcomings and imperfections I have as a missionary. It is easy to pray with a list of things I think I need, but when i really stop to think about all that I am given it is INCREDIBLE.
I was thinking about things that I could tell you in this letter home (because there is always so much that happens) and really, I dont even know how to convey to you how miraculous every day is on a mission. I could tell you about the 4 more people that have committed to being baptized this week, or the incredible lessons we've been able to teach, the  promptings ive recieved and personal revelation I've gained, the funny experiences we have everyday as we interact with people, the gospel choir we were invited to by a potential investigator where we were 5 of like 10 white people of like 200 people in the autitorium, but instead I think I will just bare my testimony.
I want you all to know that I have never in my life been more sure of the truethfulness of this gospel. I have many many elements that make up my testimony, and MANY experiences to back it up. 2 nephi 28:30 explains it best when it says "For behold, this saith the Lord god: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little there and little..." that is how I have gained my testimony. It all starts with a desire to know if it is true. I remember the first time I really had that desire to know if the book of mormon was true. I was a freshman in college. I read it all the way through by myself for the first time and took the challenge to pray about it. I got my answer. I knew it was true. A simple verse in 1 nephi that I had read numerous times, spoke to me and was an answer to my prayer. I continued to read and to pray and to have simple things in my life fall into place, as they do when you are obedient to the things god asks you to do. I began to love church and to really appreciate the sacrament. I gained a testimony of christs, and his atonement. I know that he did suffer for my sins. I know that he died on the cross, and I know that he was ressurected. That it is through him that we can make it through this crazy life with joy and happiness. That if we look to him, all the other meaningless things in life melt away because we realize what is really important. I have watched friends struggle and find happiness when they have returned to the gospel. I have felt and seen the power of priesthood blessings. I gained my own testimony of fasting, and prayer, and the spirit, and tithing, and families, and personal revelation, and church, and the prophet, and so many other things. All of these things I know because I had that desire to know and I decided to act on it. THEN I was prompted to come on a mission, thinking I had a very strong testimony of all of these things I decided to come and share what I knew with others. but I did not even begining to comprehend how much deeper they would go in such a short amount of time. Now more than ever I can tell you that this gospel is true. That it is the only true gospel. that the book of mormon is more than a book, it is the word of god. it contains all that we need to have happiness and success as we face the trials and the troubles that comes with life. That prayers are answered when they are given humbly and sincerely. That If we try to become like our savior and do all that we can do that he will make up for the rest.
I love you all and I know that everyone is struggling with something, we all do, but we are all very blessed also. So I ask you to take a look at all the things that are going good in your life, to recognize gods blessings that he has given you and to pray to him and ask for his help in those struggles, help will come. Help always comes. Rarely in the way we want or expect, but it does come. 
I love reading emails and letters and would love to know how everyone is doing if you get a chance to write. 
Sister Webb

 The picture is of my favorite old lady sister newman. We go visit her every couple weeks. She is too old to come to church so we go read her conference talks. She is incredible. She makes me laugh so hard!