Monday, January 30, 2012

January 30, 2012 letter

I dont even know what to talk about this week. there are always so many little things that happen but if I just talk about them all, the email doesnt really flow. Today I suppose I will talk about finding and having the faith to find. This is something I always feel like I lack in, but this week it was really great. we found alot of really great people and found them in ways that definitely took faith.
First off there was Shirley. Sister Greenwell and i have a goal to have a baptism on February 11th, the saturday before she goes home. This last sunday was crunch time as far as investigators go because someone has to come to church 3 times before they can be baptized, and so they would have had to come last sunday in order for us to have time. We were praying and praying and praying that we would have some of our investigators there.... and when we got there, there were none. We were so sad, but then One of the brothers in the ward came and grabbed us and took us to Brother Williams, who had brought a friend to church.... Her name is Shirley. We met her and she told us that she wanted to start taking the discussions this week. None of our investigators showed up but we got a new one to start teaching and we hope that she keeps coming and that she will be ready to be baptized before sister Greenwell goes home (no worries, we wont let her get baptized before she is ready, but we are hoping) then we had our lesson with her Thursday and she is definitely prepared. She was taking care of a man who was LDS and when he passed away she found a bunch of the LDS movies and a set of BOM on CD in his stuff. She watched all the movies and has been listening to a CD of the book of mormon for about an hour every morning. Shes in Omni. She already talks about how she wants to get baptized and she has been telling her family. The only thing is, she is scared of water. I love her already. I cant wait to teach her again this week.
Next was Bea. We had one of those days where in the morning we have a bunch of appointments and in the afternoon they all fell through. So we figured there was somewhere God needed us to be, But where? Sister Greenwell decided that we should go to the walking park. I was reminded of that scene in The best Two Years where kirby heyborn is running back and forth chasing people trying to share the gospel.... we decided to go anyways. We had walked around once and there was a lady that wasnt too far ahead of us that I thought, we need to talk to her, but we need to catch up. Right after I thought that she stopped and was doing something on her phone. Then I thought, perfect, now she just needs to start again right as we get up to her so we can walk and talk with her. AND SHE DID! so we talked for a long time with her and told her alot of what we believe. She said last week she was praying and told god that she was opening her heart to him and to guide her to what she needed to do. She talked about how it was not a coincidence that we met and that god had lead us to her. Sadly she doesnt live in our area, so we dont get to teach her :( but she said if she goes walking she will call us and we can go walk and talk with her again.
Lastly, Finding people/tracting on a mission is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. haha. We ran into a Guy named Brandon on the street while tracting. The first thing he says to us is "are you mormons or J-dubs?"..."mormons. we're missionaries for the church of jesus christ of latter day saints"... "ok, so I have a questions, do y'all believe that when you die you are given your own planet?" (this is a question that we get alot because of the book of mormon musical) He seemed a little bit like he wanted to bash, so we tried to just give him a card and move on, but he was genuinely curious so we talk to him for a while. He told us about how for one of his classes he had to immerse himself in another religion and he chose the LDS faith so in order to immerse himself he dressed in a white shirt and tie and carried around a helmet. Something told me that he didnt really do his research very well because not all mormons do that.. just the elders, then he proceeded to offer us some tea. Im almost positive he doesnt know about the word of wisdom. He was hilarious and fun to talk to, not really interested in learning, but luckily he was really into family history and we gave him the number to the family history center so he can be in contact with the church still.  
Wow, that is a really long email..... sorry! Love you all.
Sister Webb

January 23, 1012 letter

Hey all,
I dont have much time today because its sister greenwells birthday so we decided to celebrate by going bowling with all the elders in the district instead of spending alot of time emailing. So I dont have much time to write a long one, but I have so much I want to tell y'all so sorry if it is way scattered!
We'll start out with a few funny thing:
#1- in case anyone was wondering if you could talk to someone about dogs for an hour and a half, its possible. We went to visit some less active and they have 6 dogs. That is their life, so everytime we'd try and change the subject to something else they'd take it back to dogs. We talked about church for maybe 5-10 minutes... the rest of the time was talking about dogs. I didnt know that was possible.
#2- I was accused of being a racist by a black man. We went to see a referral and we went to the wrong address (it was the next street over) so when he opened the door I guess I looked really tired (it had been a REALLY long day) cause he opened it and he was really put off and he said that when he opened the door I looked like a little white girl that had seen a ghost, he thought I was shocked because he was of color.... nope I was just really really tired. He then proceeded to tell us all about the persecution that has happened to 'his people' since the beginning of time. that was a fun conversation.
#3- the comcast man. He came to our door and when I opened it he told us that we werent on their list of people that was with comcast. I told him that we were missionaries and that we didnt have a TV a computer and didnt have a land line, so that we didnt need internet or TV services. and he was dumbfounded, He didnt know what to say because you cant argue that at all and go at it from a different angle. So after he thought for a minute he just asked us what church we were from. I tried to teach him the gospel, but he wasnt interested. that would have been sweet because he knocked on OUR door instead of us on his.
We taught some awesome lessons, Alfonzo is the coolest 80 year black man I have ever met. There is a beehive that has decided she wasnt to do her YW personal project on helping the missionaries find referrals and coming to lessons with us.... SWEET! oh and we also have bed bugs. Nothing worse than waking up with a few more bites that never stop itching. They better come take care of it SOON cause Its the worst way to start off the morning.
Alrighty. Sorry the letter was so scattered, but I love you all!
Sister Webb

January 16, 2012 letter

Oh boy, what a week its been! I am loving it here in Florida. The work is picking up and things are going well. I cant believe i've already been here for almost 2 weeks. I thought time would slow down coming to a new area, but I was way wrong. Its going by so fast. We have had some incredible experiences this week where we were definetly guided to talk to certain people.
We spend tuesday, wednesday, and thursday morning down at the community college here in town because it is the start of the semseter they let different organizations set up a table near the student center and talk to people as they passed by. Needless to say, I felt right at home being back on a college campus. The other missionaries werent really sure how to aproach people or to get them to stop and talk but I showed them the ropes and it was really sucessful! The elders kept joking that president should let the sisters train the elders because sister Greenwell and I were tearing it up. We found a few new investigators each day and have had some lessons with a few of them this week.
One of those people is a lady named sherlynn. She was meeting with the missionaries years and years ago, but lost her house because of some financial troubles and so she has to move really fast and lost contact with them. She said she was going through a rough time in life right now and could use the message that we had, so we went and talked with her yesterday. The spirit was so strong in her lesson as we bore testimony that the book of mormon and how the atonement of christ can help her with everything she is going through right now. She has insomnia and doesnt like to take medicine for anything, so she committed to reading the book of mormon when she cant sleep. She has really strong faith and kept talking about all the prayers she sends up to god everyday. I know that if she will keep meeting with us that she will find help through this gospel with all her problems she is facing right now. She is such a sweet lady, and i am excited to go back and teach her this week!
Another person we met this week (tracting) is Alfonzo. He is 79 and let us in immediatly when we knocked on his door. When we went in his wife gave him a look like 'why in the world are you letting these people into our house' and she left the room, but by the end of our lesson she had come back in and was listening to what we were talking about. He visited utah in 1955 and saw the mormon tabernacle choir perform and LOVES them. (He is a singer at heart and we had some awesome soul music playing in the background of our lesson) he brought the motab up at least 5 or 6 times, but he just kept saying: but the thing that I was shocked by, was that there were no black people in the choir.. does your church accept black people there? so we had to keep telling him that we love black people, but that there just arent very many black people in utah. He was alive when everything was segregated and lived through the civil rights movement. It was crazy to hear his stories. He said hes going to come to church with us one of these weeks and we hopefully will get to go back and teach him this week as well.
We found alot of other people that were touched by the message that we shared with them, but they all live in other missionaries areas, so we had to pass them on to the elders, which is always really had because I just want to teach them all! Hopefully the elders will be able to meet with them and the people will be just as accepting of them as they were with us! I had an interview with president this week when him and sister J passed through and he was saying that he is not sure if there is enough work in this area for two sets of missionaries and he is trying to decide if he wants to pull a set out or not. I get the feeling that I wont be here for long, especially as we are finding all these people that dont live within our area, I feel like the lord is blessing us with finding, but they are all for other missionaries. I guess time and transfers will tell, but thats just the feeling that I get.
I am so grateful to be on a mission! Seriously, it is the best. I have heard countless numbers of stories from return missionaries talking about how great it is out here, but you really cant even describe it. I never knew just how great it really would be. I wish everyone could go on one and experience the joys you feel as just a single person listens to your message and improves their lives because of it!
Love you all!
Have a great week.
Sister Webb

January 9, 2012 letter

Hey All!
Well its official, I am in florida now.... and it is BEAUTIFUL here! (im sending a picture I took like 15 minutes ago) although we get some pretty funky smells coming off the gulf. It is a whole nother world down here. I feel like I started my mission over because things are done SO differently when you are not on a college campus, plus there are no chinese people (except for one less active lady that we met yesterday) we are in a MUCH bigger ward, and our area is WAY bigger. So like I said, its a different world.
The work here is considerably slower than the work that was happening in Troy. We have a total of 1 investigator and we tract all day long. They put sisters in this area like 4 months ago and their finding ideas from what I can gather were limited to tracting, so I presented all the Ideas that I have been bottling up for the last 4 months (because I couldnt use them in a campus area) to the ward mission leader this week, and hopefully we can start generating some investigators and do things other than tract. Dont get me wrong, I love tracting and getting doors slammed in my face as the next missionary, but if im gonna be here for a while, i'd rather be teaching and finding other ways.
We do alot of less active work here too. You could say its kind of like glorified visiting teaching because you get to be more bold when you ask them why they arent coming to church anymore if they still have a testimony. We have had a couple tell us they will try to be better, so we'll see.
I was worried about being in a car area and not walking as much as we were, but my companion sister greenwell (i'll tell ya more about her in a minute) likes to walk too, so we usually just park the car and walk around the area for hours and hours and hours. haha. not complaining, its really not bad its nice to be in a new area and to be experiencing new things. 
So sister greenwell is my new companion. She is great. She is on her last transfer, which i was worried about but she still works hard, so I dont have to carry her as much as I thought that I would have to. Back in August (the transfer I came in) they absorbed a piece of the Macon Georgia mission and the missionaries that were in that area... she was from that mission. Her president did things very differently there than President Jensen does here, so its been a struggle for her to adapt to the FTM way of doing things. But shes adjusted in the last couple transfers and is ok doing things the way president Jensen wants them done. She is pretty soft spoken, so I am again the dominant personality, which for anyone that knows me, knows that I am rarely the dominant personallity. She is from west weber and is really into running and health. She wants to be a natural doctor (so kind of like a hollistic doctor) So thats pretty cool. We get along well and work hard. I just gotta do my best to keep her from being trunky :).
Not much to report as far as stories go. It was really really hard leaving troy this week, especially the chinese friends I have made, and it is really crazy to be in a ward that functions normally instead of a branch with only a few members. I am excited to see what this new area has in store and to get things going here.
I love you all! Here is my new address if you chose to write me a letter (which I would be eternally grateful for if you did):
3913 Pisa Drive apt G-3
Panama City, FL 32405
Sister Webb

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January 3, 2012 letter

Hey everyone!
This email is going to be a quick one because we have ALOT to do to get ready for transfers. I got my assignment and I am off to Lynn Haven Florida. It is down by panama city and from what I hear we go to the beach quite a bit for district things. I'm pretty excited. I will be with Sister Greenwell, and she is on her last transfer before she heads home so I will be killing her off. I'm gonna have to do my best to help her not to get too trunky. I am also going to a ward, which will be quite the change. I am looking forward to getting to know more people and the changes that are coming, but I will miss all the people that I have met here for sure!
We managed to make it through the holiday season without having too much time to kill. We taught alot of recent convert lessons and made sure they were all still on the right track as far as their post baptism progression goes, and they are! I am glad that president tipped me off because so many of them left this last week to go on trips before school starts up again, so luckily I got to say goodbye. I am going to miss all my chinese friends alot. I did notice however on my email from president that they baptized a chinese man down in Tally 1st ward, which is where sister horan was transferred down to. Doesnt surprise me at all that she moved out of troy and immediately found a Chinese person to teach!
I wasn't sure if I was suppose to be telling people that I was getting transferred because we hadn't officially seen the transfer schedule, So we decided to keep it on the down low at church. But then we got to church Sunday and we were sitting in missionary coordination meeting and president salmon called on me and elder Olsen to say the prayers (he is getting transferred too) and then we got the program and the two speakers said "by invitation".. so we knew that everyone knew we were leaving. I dont know how I managed to be here for 4 months and never get called out of the audience to bear my testimony or to speak but I did. I wasnt so lucky this time. As often as we talk of the gospel and bear testimony as missionaries, it is still very nerve racking to get up in front of everyone and speak. I had no idea what to talk about but the verse in alma 32 about first having a desire to believe then letting that desire grow enough till it can be a seed of faith planted in your heart kept popping into my head, so i talked on faith. Its been something I have been thinking alot about lately.. what it takes to develop the kind of faith that they show in the book of mormon. so many times the BOM the lord says "never had I seen such great faith as.....", so what does it take for him to say that? I dont know the answer, It is something it will probably take me my whole mission to figure out, but after talking about it in comp study the other day, we came to the conclusion that the first step is to develop the Christlike attributes. The more Christlike we are, the more faith we have. Just something I have been thinking about the week that I thought i'd share with y'all as well. :)
I dont have my new address in lynn haven yet, but I will send it as soon as I get it!
Have a great week!
Love, Sister Webb

December 27, 2011 letter

Hey all!
How was everyones christmas? our christmas here was a warm one. Its weird to spend christmas in short sleeves and without snow, but from what I hear there isnt even snow back home. thats the worst. I had a great christmas day. We woke up at the usual 6:30, only my body didnt retaliate as much as it usually does (im not a morning person, and the mission hasnt changed that fact) because it was excited to open the packages under our little christmas tree. After, we went to an hour of church. which was great. the Branch presidency spoke of christ and his birth, life and atonement. I really liked having christmas on a sunday. It was nice to have the spiritual along with the joys of opening presents. We spent the rest of the day with members families and talking to our own families. Which, was the shortest couple hours of my life!
At one point we went to one of our chinese friends apartments (Lan) so that sister H could attempt to skype with her parents and sister at the same time. Lan just left us there and gave us her key to lock up. Her apartment was FREEZING she had windows open and the heater off, and we assumed she didnt want us to turn on the heater, so instead we wrapped up in a couple blankets we found and turned on her toaster oven that was in the middle of the room and crowded around that to keep warm while sis C was talking to her family.
We spent Christmas eve at walmart ringing the salvation army bell which was a blast, and then that night we went caroling with some of our Chinese friends, which was a first for them. This week really was a great one with lots of service opportunities. It was great to see the generosity of people during the Christmas season, and I hope that we can all carry it through the new year.
Speaking of which, HELLO! its 2012 in a couple days! that is so crazy. Everyone should make some new years resolutions and commit to being a better person this next year. Everyone has thing that can be improved on, bad habits you can give up or commandments you can try a little harder to live by. Although I think that we should always be making goals and striving to achieve them, the new year is a great time to re-evaluate life and priorities!
I love you all so much. Keep praying for me and those around you, and I will do the same!
Sister Webb
PS I have been tipped off by president that I will MOST LIKELY be transferred next week, so if you are sending me any mail... either send it in the next couple days, send it to the mission office and I will get it when i get it, or hold off until I can get you my new address!

December 19, 2011 letter

Hey Everyone!
My emails always seem to start like my daily journal entries "today was...... " fill in the blank good, bad, frustrating, discouraging. Except my emails always mention how fast time is going and then I tell you that my week was great. This week is no exception. December has gone so fast! Christmas is in 6 days, I cant believe it. This week was so good. I keep hearing from my family that people like my emails... which means people are still reading my emails. Thats great news!
For some reason our teaching always tends to go in cycles. We end up teaching a particular lessons over and over and over some days. This week the plan of salvation has been heavy on our teaching as well as in other ares of our work, So since its been a big part of my week, I think I will just talk about that.
First off we had some of the most incredible lessons with Emma, Ting Ting, Sarah and Lulu about the plan of salvation. We took one of those little kid drawings of it and showed them that and the visual just opened their eyes. After we had finished explaining it to Emma she said that she has learned this lesson from a couple sets of missionaries and always had alot of questions, but never knew how to ask it to them, so never did. We cleared up alot of the things she was confused about and for the first time since she has been meeting with missionaries, She got it. What a great feeling.
The more I learn about the plan, the more incredible it is to me. It just makes sense. We came from somewhere, we have a purpose of why we are here and we have a destination. The fall was absolutely necessary for us to come to this earth. Our heavenly father knew what was going to happen so he gave us a way to still return to him, that was was Jesus Christ. Everything in this gospel does and should revolve around him and the atonement he performed for us. All things from the beginning down to present day point to christ being our savior and the need for him to suffer for our sins. We are here to learn and to grow and to go through trials and temptations and to learn to have faith and rely on Christ and our Father in heaven. We cant, and shouldnt have to do it alone. Then when all is said and done christ does a little more by making up for our short comings. It takes work to be good and to be faithful, but in the end it will all be worth it. Some of my favorite scriptures are in Doctrine and Covenants when Joseph Smith is in Liberty Jail and he thinks that god has forgotten him. Heavenly father then tells him that this life is but a small moment and to endure it well and that it will all be worth it. How true is that. and when you think about it, if life is but a small moment, the moments we have IN life are even smaller. We just need to endure it well and the happiness will far outweigh the pain and sadness that we go through. So we see the big picture. Thats incredible to me. All of this leads back to the first point in the first lesson. God is our Loving Heavenly father, and he is. We are his children and he loves us. Everyone has a chance at some point in time to hear this great message. I love that.
We have been able to see different parts of this come into reality this week starting with Marriage. Our good friend/investigator Miss hassie renewed her vows with her husband on Saturday. She was nice enough to invite us, so we went and watched. It was great, however in the back of my mind I couldnt help but think how much better it was to attend the sealing of one of my good friends right before I left on my mission. Families can be eternal through this gospel. I hope to see Miss Hassie in the temple someday being sealed to her husband. Then we had the baptism of Grey. Another vital step in heavenly fathers plan for each of us. We had two of our most recent converts (heather and hector) speak at his baptism and he bore his testimony at the end. It was amazing. He has now entered the gate that leads right back to living with Our father in heaven.Yesterday we attended a funeral. As we sat in the back and listened to President Salmon talk about the Plan of Salvation to a group of people that maybe only 4 or 5 of which were LDS and had a knowledge of where granny had gone, I felt grateful to know and to have a testimony of this plan and to not have to be sad when loved ones die, but to know that we can see them again. Lastly, being christmas, the thoughts and messages of christ have been everywhere we go. I am so grateful for him and for his sacrifice in my behalf. His atonement should be a part of our everyday lives and I am so excited to celebrate his birth in just a few short days!
I love you all so much and hope you have a great christmas!
Sister Webb
PS. The post office no longer will be forwarding mail, so dont send anything to the mission office! my address here in troy is:
408 Elm street Apt 1-A
Troy AL, 36081