Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March 20, 2012 extra email

This is a pretty humerous article we got from our mission president this week, if you want to forward it on to people... its really good:

In a local newspaper in Provo, Utah, there had been an ongoing series of articles written by individuals who wanted to persuade LDS Church members to leave the Church. In response to the highly critical and spirited remarks, a local member wrote this rebuttal:
I have been thinking of quitting the Mormon Church. Yes, if I can, I am going to get even with that church. As soon as I can find another church that teaches about the Gathering of the House of Israel; the return of the Ten Tribes and their mission; the return of the Jews to Palestine and why, and how they are going to build the temple; the building of temples and what to do with them; the mission of Elias, the prophet, as predicted by Malachi; the method for the salvation of the people that died at the time of Noah in the flood; the origin of the American Indian; the complete explanation of why Jesus of Nazareth had to have a mortal mother but not a mortal father; the explanation of the three degrees of glory (three heavens) as mentioned by Paul; the complete explanation of why Elias and Moses did not die but had to be translated (since they both lived before the resurrection was introduced by Christ); the restoration of the gospel by modern revelation as promised by Peter and Paul and Jesus himself; the belief in eternal marriage and the family, and the knowledge and the place to seal for eternity; that teaches abstinence from all harmful drugs and foods ; and that sells the best fire insurance policy on earth, for the last days, for only a 10th of my income.  Yes sir, as soon as I can find another church that teaches all that, or even half as much, I will say good-bye to this Mormon Church.
The church that I am looking for must also be able to motivate 50,000+ youth, and adults, for the first, second or third time, to leave their homes for two years at their own expense and go to far-away places to teach andpreach without salary. It must be able to call, on a frosty day, some 5 or 6 thousand professors, students, lawyers, doctors, judges, policemen, businessmen, housewives and children to go and pick apples at 6 a.m. It must be able to call meetings and get the attention for two hours of more than 150,000 men. Yes, it must also teach and show why salvation is assured for children who die before eight years of age. 
Mr. Editor, could you help me find a church that teaches all that and more than hundreds of other doctrines and principles, which I have no room to mention here, and which brings solace and comfort to the soul;  peace, hope, and salvation to mankind, and above all, that answers the key questions that all the great philosophers have asked; questions and answers that explain the meaning of life, the purpose of death, suffering and pain; the absolute need for a Redeemer and the marvelous plan conceived and executed by Jesus Christ the Savior?
Yes, as soon as I find another church that teaches that, and also that has the organization and the powers to make that teaching effective, I am going to quit the Mormon Church. For I should not tolerate that "they" should change a few words in the Book of Mormon-even if those changes simply improve the grammar and the syntax of the verses-for, after all, don't you think the Divine Church should employ angels as bookmakers, and clerks, to do all the chores on earth?  Don't you think, Mr. Editor, that the Divine Church should also have prophets that don't get sick and don't get old and die, and certainly, that don't make a goof here and there. No, sir! A Divine Church should be so divine that only perfect people should belong to it, and only perfect people should run it. As a matter of fact, the Church should be so perfect that it should not even be here on earth!
So, I repeat, if any one of the kind readers of this imperfect letter knows about another church that teaches and does as much for mankind as the Mormon Church, please let me know. And please do it soon, because my turn to go to the cannery is coming up. Also, "they" want my last son (the fifth one) to go away for two years and again, I have to pay for all that. And I also know that they expect me to go to the farm to prune trees, and I have heard that our ward is going to be divided again, and it is our side that must build the new chapel. And also, someone the other day had the gall of suggesting that my wife and I get ready to go on a second mission, and when you come back, they said, you can volunteer as a temple worker.
Boy, these Mormons don't leave you alone for a minute. And what do I get for all that, I asked? "Well," they said, "for one, you can look forward to a funeral service at no charge!"... Do you think you can help me to find another church?
Thomas D. Clark

March 20, 2012 letter

Thanks for the replies last week to my email. Haha, it is nice to hear your thoughts too. Thinking back to when I would get a forwarded email of a missionary, alot of the times if it wasnt a fun upbeat story or if it was really long, I would skim over it or not read it at all. So it was great to hear that people still do read my emails even when they are just things that I am learning as I go throughout my mission.
First off I would like to start with two things: 
#1- When I get to heaven I am going to ask my dearest heavenly father what the purpose of bed bugs, fleas, and mosquitoes was. I know that there had to be one, but I have yet to figure it out. Perhaps it goes back to the opposition in all things? taking the bad with the good. Who knows, but I am going to ask him. People in the south like their porches and like to be outside, so instead of inviting us in, they come out. So each time we teach a lesson I get like 1000 bites. Never my companions, just me.... haha. So when you find yourself complaining about the bugs in Utah, just know... it could be worse. I will allow you to make your attitude more positive at my expense :) 

#2- It is getting toasting down here! Me and my companion took a walk sunday after church to go contacting... we just talked to everyone we passed. after a good 3 miles and two hours later, we were back at the church building and I had a good old burn on the back of my neck and some sweet tan lines on my feet and where my watch is. the Summer is going to be fun fun fun in the sun!! 

Ok, now to a story and some learning application from this week: 
So I dont know if I mentioned it in any of my emails, but we got a phone call a couple weeks ago from the institute missionary couple telling us there is a less active that wants to come back to church and wants the sister missionaries to come and teach her. She grew up in the church and went inactive when she was 16. She is now 36 and has only been to church a handful of times in those 20 years. We called and called her and couldnt get ahold of her, but finally got in contact with her this week. We went to teach her and talk with her about her situation and what she needs to do to start coming back. The spirit was so strong as we talked with her and I could just feel our Heavenly father joy in her desires to come back. Its experiences like this that makes being on a mission worth every second. To find someone or bring someone back or testify to someone and have their testimony strengthened is so rewarding. 

Application from this experience?.... God gives us the capacity to do things that he calls us to do. It doesnt matter what it is, if he called you to do it, he will give you a way to get through it. (1 nephi 3:7) We are 56,000(ish) 19/21/elderly missionaries teaching these people and if it werent true I dont think people as young as most of us are, could carry the work. As I sat with this less active lady and taught her and listened to her experiences and prayed over and over... heavenly father, what do I do? what do I say to help her? I was given the things to say and tell her to express his love for her. I have delt with things on my mission that are way beyond my age, and maturity level to be dealing with, but because I am called of god He give me the strength to do it all. I dont think that anyone should be able to work 16 hour days 7 days a week taking on the load of so many peoples problems, and not only listen but have the capacity to help and show them the way to get through them. We shouldnt be able to do that. I can tell anyone that is reading this email that when he calls us to do something hard, he also prepares the way for us to accomplish it. 

Transfers is next week (what happened to the last 6 weeks? I dont know.) so if you are mailing me anything, send it to the mission office address. 

Love you all! 
Sister Webb

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March 13, 2012 letter

Usually the mass email is the first email I write each week and I have been putting it off this week because I dont really know what to say or what stories to tell. I try not to make them too dry or like a travel log and I try and say something that will be of benifit to someone that is reading, but I am at a loss this week, so I will share some of my recent thought/studies:
We have had a slow couple weeks which is not unheard of when it comes to missionary work. When you go on a mission (if no one has told you the reality of it all) you expect to be teaching people 24/7 and baptizing like crazy. You hear alot of really incredible stories about miracles that happen to find someone or being in the right place at the right time or getting answers to prayers and when you hear enough of them, you think it is a daily occurrence and that a mission will be cake. But now, after being on a mission now for 7 months my perspective has changed. I have a whole list of  those experiences (and I am SO grateful for them), but the reality is that a lot of the time on a mission (and in life) we are just trying to keep our heads up and not get discouraged. Each day my companion and I go out with the faith to find, to do good, to work hard, and to help someone in need. We hope that the spirit will tell us where to go and what to do and what to say to the strangers we meet. but we have to be listening.  If we allow the discouragement that often comes with life situations to control our thoughts we will miss the voice of the spirit. However, if we change our attitudes and allow the spirit to direct us in all we do we will see many little miracles each day, we will see the lords hand in our lives and we will become grateful and happy, even through the hard times. It all comes down to our attitude and perspective, we have to listen to the correct voice.
I was also thinking about the allegory of the olive tree in Jacob 5 earlier (which I am sorry to admit that sometimes I just read through as fast as possible because more often that not it goes over my head) but there is one part where the servant is confused why the lord wants to go plant the tree in the poorest part of the soil, and the lord tells him that he knew what he was doing when he put the tree there and that if the servant watches, he will see that the tree will bring forth good fruit. I think often times we as members (or me as a missionary) feel like the servant, asking the lord why he put us in hard situations, but his response is the same to us as it was to the servant... he knows why he puts us where he puts us and if we do our best and nourish the area and have a positive attitude, we are going to bring forth the best fruit, and in hind sight i have found that to be true. I know that I am not the perfect missionary and I have a long way to go, but I am learning more and more about loving every minute, smiling and being happy when we havent taught very many people and no one is answering their doors, pushing through the hard time, looking for the tender mercies everyday, and at the end of the day looking back and seeing that the lord knows what he is doing when he puts us through certain things, and that I am gathering more fruit than I ever thought was possible.
I am SOOO grateful to be on a mission and I would not trade my experiences for the world. There is nothing like being here and being a servant of the lord full time. I know that everyone goes through tough times but lucky for us we have a loving heavenly father to answer our prayers and a loving brother who payed the price for us to return to live with them again. I love this gospel and I love being a missionary!!

NOW, if you made it this far in the email without deleting it because of the lack of upbeat funny stories let me just tell you about a couple things I have observed and come to love about the south:
#1- You can find anything with scriptures on it. I have found an awesome nightgown at goodwill that says "I am the way the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the father, but by me". (one size fits all... its a little big on me, but i HAD to buy it). we found some folders at walmart that say "God recycles... he made you from the dust" and "love the earth, love the creator". Also, there were some sweet Jesus stickers with found the other day amongst the disney princesses and smiley face stickers. It is everywhere and it is awesome!
#2- People walk with sticks in their hands to beat off the dogs, and there are big old beat up grandpa cars with massive lifts and huge tires and really nice rims on them.
#3- When filling up gas, they removed the holder on the pump so you have to stand there and hold it for the gas to go.
#4- Phrases that dont make sense to northerner, especially when mumbled. "Everything casual?" (is everything good?), "look at them groceries on that plate" (thats alot of food on that plate), "fixin' " (preparing to) or you hear people say things like: "now that snoop-- he was crazy! the other day I came outside and he was wrestlin' an armidilla... no wait! It was a possum" or they do crazy activities such as squirrel fishing.
I will save the rest for the next boring email I write! :)
Love you all!
Sister Webb

March 6, 2012 letter

Hey friends!
I hear the weather back in Utah has been warm the last couple days. Its been rather cold here (for florida weather) The other day it POURED rain, but I think we got the best of the bad weather over here in the eastern part of the US.

This week was great! We managed to find a couple people this week to teach. We tracted alot and visited alot of members asking for referrals and our pool is slowly growing. Sister Seifert fasted to know what we need to do to find investigators and she just keeps getting the answer to work with the members and let them do the finding. Which is exactly how it should be. I think back to before my mission and I never gave my 2 or 3 friends that I knew as non-members as referrals, so I can understand their hesitations, but as we go visit members and talk to them about experiences they have had, we see that the work is starting to pick up and that they are in the first stages of missionary work by talking to their friends and getting to know their neighbors and having gospel conversations. I am excited to see where these stories go. Here are a couple stories from this week:

First off is a girl named Siera. She is 16 and just moved in with her grandmother (who is a member of the church) because she lives with her, her grandmas requirements are that she comes to church on sundays. She was just fine with that, but requested that she meets with the missionaries to learn some of the basic doctrines so that she isnt lost when she comes. She came for the first time sunday and we got to meet her. When I asked her what she thought after church was over, she said that she felt very comfortable. She had gone to church with her friends many times but always felt like something wasnt right and always felt uncomfortable but that she felt very comfortable here. I am excited to go teach her next week and help her understand our teachings and help her progress in the gospel.

Next is a lady that we havent met yet, and I dont even remember her name. She is a less active member. She stopped going to church when she was 16 and she is now 36. She called the bishop this week and requested to meet him. She told him that she would like to come back to church but that she doesnt really know how. She requested that the missionaries come teach her again so that she can remember the things she learned when she was little. We are going to go see her this week and get to know her and help her come back to church. I cant wait! (especially cause I have been so down about Less actives lately and how sad it is that they leave and never come back)

After hearing peoples conversions stories and their reactivation stories, I have been thinking alot about Gods timing and planning then I got here today and read my brother Sams email and he put my thoughts into words really really well, he said: "If you think of the grand scheme of things and how God has to orchestrate sooooo many peoples lives and promptings and experiences to have them feel the spirit and have things happen to them to make them open to the gospel and then pull you into it and everything that you have going on, its crazy to even think of the odds of that happening.  Without him it cant.  So even though he is God it sometimes takes time for him to line things up."

I love so much that we have a god that cares and that is patient enough for us to get our act together and follow him the way we know we are suppose to. He is constantly waiting for us to realize our mistakes, come back to him, rely on him, and have faith in his timing and his plan. This is a lifetime pursuit. So if you are like me feeling like you are not good at relying on him, just remember that he will always be there with outstretched arms waiting for you to get it together...haha I know I find comfort in that thought.

Have a great week!
Sister Webb

February 28, 2012 letter

Hey everyone!
Its been another week, and it has flown by. I have been in Tally for 12 days already. That means I am more than a 1/4 way through this transfer...how did that happen!?! I am loving it here, but I continually am trying to figure out what Heavenly Father wants me to learn from the different things I am experiencing. Certainly one of the biggest things I am learning is to gain a testimony of EVERY aspect of the gospel. I have a story to share, I was going to tell yall it last week, but my email was already rather lengthy and so I decided to save it. In the context that everything that happens here is strengthening my testimony, this experience strengthened my knowledge of Gods timing and him giving us the things we pray for in his own time.

About 3 months ago I was in Troy and I lost my camera. My companions and I were leaving a store and trying to get to get home before curfew, so we ran from the store doors to the car and drove home at the fastest the car would go while following mission rules... meaning like 25 MPH. I woke up the next day and went looking for my camera and couldnt find it. So i did what missionaries do best, I prayed about it. I prayed and prayed and prayed. I thought for sure If I kept praying I would find it somewhere I had already looked, God does that sometimes. We went to the store the police station the campus lost and found etc. I never let my hope die... Every time I said a personal prayer I asked Heavenly Father to return my camera to me (Because it has ALL my pictures from my mission so far on it, I was getting ready to save them to a flash drive that week) The transfer was getting close to ending and I still hadnt gotten my camera back. I began asking heavenly father why I hadnt gotten it back, why he wasnt listening why he wasnt answering my prayer. I read the conference talk where the man is looking for the quarter to get some chicken and he didnt find one until RIGHT before he got the the restaurant. I still felt like I was going to get it back, but maybe it would be right before transfers. Two days before the transfer ended and I shipped off to Lynn Haven, the police station called. Detective Ohera had just called to tell me that he had checked the stuff that has been turned in and..... they didnt have my camera. I thought for sure my prayer was going to be answered and i would get it back. Transfers came and went and i still didnt get it back. I thought maybe my will and gods will were not aligned so he couldnt answer that prayer, But I knew that I had gotten the answer that I would get it back. So I bought a new camera and only kind of forgot about my old one. Every once and a while though, I would still pray that if he wanted to give it back to me somehow I would like it back. I didnt care about the camera itself, I had a new one, but I wanted the pictures. Transfers came around again and i was packing to move out of lynn haven and i was cleaning out my 'random junk that I dont know where to put it' box and I had my old battery charger in it and I thought, well I dont have that camera anymore... So I can throw this away. but then a little part of me said "nope, I think i will still get it back" so I put it back in the box and packed it away. We got to transfer spots the next day and I went to see all my missionary friends from troy and the sisters handed me a bag of random stuff they had collected for me while I was gone and then sister Christian pointed at something in the bottom of the bag.... there was my camera. Some lady had stopped Elder Raso on campus one day and asked if He knew the Sister Missionaries because they had the camera at the campus police station. He went and got it and brought it to me.

Its a funny little story and I sometimes felt a little ridiculous for praying for the thousandth time for a camera that really didnt mean anything, but because i cared so much god gave it back to me. However he didnt give it back to me right away he allowed me to wait a while and when he felt like it was time I got it back. I can tell you once again (like ive said many times before) God ALWAYS hears our prayers, and he ALWAYS answers them. Even when it is something as minor as wanting a camera back so I can have my memories. As President Uchdorf said in his 'you matter to him' talk this last conference "This is a paradox of man: compared to God, man is nothing; Yet we are everything to god" Because we care, god cares.

This week has been a good one, They always are in their own way. The last of our investigators stopped responding to our phone calls and knocks on the door, so we have zero investigators right now, but we will find some soon. There is something Heavenly father is trying to teach us and in Hind sight we will probably figure it out. Our ward mission leader chastised the ward counsel for not giving us referrals and doing their part (the elders here only have 1 investigator right now as well), Hopefully we will get some soon.  We did get to go plant a garden with one of the members for service. we also go to the homeless shelter once a week for service here, that's really cool. We have been trying really hard to figure out how to listen to the spirit when it tells us where to go. Sister Seifurt and I are on the same level as far as that goes and i think that is something we are suppose to learn together, because for the first time we dont have a companion that is better at it than us. Im really excited for that, because its something I have thought about and studied and prayed and prayed and prayed about and thought about some more. I love this gospel and i am so grateful for it. I know that everything we do in the gospel is for a reason and it is 'simply beautiful and beautifully simple'

Love you all!
Sister Webb

February 21, 2012 letter

"honk if you love jesus, text if you want to meet him"

Hey everyone!
So transfers were this week and I did in fact get transferred. I am no longer living with the bedbugs in Lynn Haven, I was moved to the Tallahassee 1st ward. Transfers were crazy, we thought we were going to have all day Wednesday to say goodbye to people but we found out that we needed to take the car to transfer spots at 9:00am for another set of missionaries to take it (they took sister out of Lynn Haven all together so they took the car) so we woke up at 4:30 in the morning and I cleaned for 4 hours while sis Greenwell got all of her stuff packed and we just had to ride the transfer van all day long. It made for a really long 10 hours in the car, but I got to spend the day with Sister Haidenthaller which I loved. (She went home as well as sister greenwell) and she got to update me on everything that has happened in troy in the last 6 weeks since Ive left it.
Tally 1st is great. There are alot more people that are open to listening here than there were in Lynn Haven. We have a few investigators and have pretty regular appointments to meet with people. They had one baptism last transfer and we dont have anyone that is really even close, but we are going to do our best to find someone. My new companions name is Sister Siefert. She is great! She is from layton (actually the same ward as sister H is from). She is also an Art major and wants to do illustration. She loves anime and drawing animals all over her notes that she is taking. She is really reserved and quiet around alot of people but she is a TALKER when its just us in the car or the apartment! We get along really well and have fun. She has been in this ward for 7 months so she will most likely leave at the end of this transfer.
Also, I have been made designated driver. which really probably doesnt seem like that big of a deal, but its been 6 months since I've driven a car and it was GREAT to get behind the wheel and drive again. I love to drive. I also asked president about bikes and he said that I felt like they could make any of the areas into a biking area that he would buy the sisters bikes in that area and allow us to ride them again. WOOT WOOT. I hope he puts me somewhere where that is possible, because I really want to ride bikes too. He is way open to suggestions. I love president Jensen.
Our Apartment is in the middle of the woods and I feel like I am at girl camp every morning when I walk outside. There are bugs buzzing and birds chirping and our apartment is like a little cabin duplex. Also, We no longer have bedbugs, but we have another bug problem here in tally.. we have spiders living in our air vents in our car. Sis S said that the other week they saw one crawl out and it took them a couple weeks to find it again to kill it. Then the other day we were driving down the road and i turned on the defrost in the front and out comes another spider. I pulled over, found a napkin and killed it, then started to drive again. Two minutes later sister siefert started freaking out screaming "ah there is another one on you!" there was one crawling across my shirt. I panicked, brushed it off (whilst managing to maintain contol of the car) and made it to our appointment. So now we are raid-ing our car trying to get rid of the spiders in our air vents.
We had Elder Clark from the 70 come and talk to us this week for a 1/2 mission conference. He talked alot about what real conversion means and when we teach people that are really converted they will never fall alway from the church. Then we talked about less actives and how 60 percent of most ward rosters are less active. It made me so sad. I never really knew that before my mission but being here trying to help people rekindle their testimonies is hard. It makes me so sad every time we go visit someone that just doesn't realize the importance of coming to church and renewing their covenants in relation to their eternal salvation. They were offended some 20 years ago and arent willing to come back because of something someone said, when in the eternal scheme of it all... that doesnt matter. This life is so short compared to eternity and we are all here to learn. we make mistakes we are trying our best. Just because someone that was also trying their best fell short and offended them, they are willing to sacrifice exaltation because of it. It just makes me really sad. I know this gospel is not a sit down church. It requires work. Then again, we dont deserve exaltation if we are not willing to put in the effort here... Just whats been on my mind lately.  
My new address here is:
3740 Maria Circle
Tallahassee FL, 32303
Love you all,
Sister Webb

#1- Miss Shirley Hayes and us at her baptism.
#2- Posterity Picture. My daughter (sis christian) is training. So my and sis H are her moms, then there is sister christian, then her greenie sister thomson.
#3- Sister Siefurt put on my crazy 80's glasses..... She is awesome.
#4- About to raid the car to kill the spider

February 13,2012 letter

"Jesus says 'follow me' what will you say"

Hey everyone!
So, first things first. SHIRLEY GOT BAPTIZED!!! I am so excited for her and am so blessed to have been a part of so many baptisms already in my mission. The service was great. She was baptized by brother Williams, who has been her friend for a really really long time and has only been a member of the church for a couple years, so it was a great experience for him to be able to baptize her. They were both so nervous, and he forgot the words... but he made sure she went ALL THE WAY under the water so he wouldnt have to do it again. Her whole family is really anti (because they are all holiness preachers) but her sister and her daughter came still, which was amazing. I know that she wont regret this decision as long as she stays strong. Its always hard when a family doesnt support your decision and you have to put your relationships on the line. But when you have a solid testimony you are willing to sacrifice those things and just be able to trust that the lord will work it all out if you stay faithful.
But really, there is nothing better as a missionary than to see someone you get so attached to enter the waters of baptism. Which leads me to my second point, which is that I am being transferred again... so I am WAY glad she got baptized when she did so that I could be here for it. We were trying to deal with our bed bug situations last monday, which turns out it might be fleas... which I dont understand why its just me getting bit (sister greenwell never gets bit), but whatever. (Im pretty sure its just a trial heavenly father is putting me through.... 'here sister webb, I am going to put bug bites all over you that never stop itching and I want you to try and figure out how to focus while you are teaching and NOT think about how badly your legs itch) anywho... so we were trying to figure it all out and I was talking to sister jensen about it and she said she wanted to get it taken care of so we dont take them with us where we are going, so I asked if I was moving and she said that at least sister greenwell was going home so we needed to get them taken care of. Then President called me back like 5 minutes later and said that he decided to just tell me what was going down at transfers and that he was moving me to tally 1st ward. So I am off again! I was going to bring my new address with me to give yall my mailing address, but I forgot it.
So just dont send me any mail or anything until next week when I get my new address, or send it to the
1535 killearn ctr blvd ste C-3
Tallahassee FL 32309
address and I will get it.
I think president figured out that I really like change because we talked about it in my last interview and he said that he always needs missionaries that like to be moved around because for the most part people like to be put somewhere and stay there. So I have a feeling I will not be in an area for very long. I am excited to go to tally, but its always hard to leave people behind. My new companion will be sister seafurt. she has been sister Horans companion for the last 3 months so if she didnt work hard before Im pretty sure sister horan whipped her into shape.
I love you all!
Sister Webb

February 6, 2012 letter

"Life is fragile, Handle with prayer"

So last week, I told yall about our goal to have one more baptism before Sister Greenwell leaves and ITS HAPPENING! Shirley is getting baptized this saturday (february 11th) and I got a letter from Ting Ting (one of my converts in Troy) today, who told me that Lulu (a chinese girl we were teaching when I left) has also decided to be baptized on the 11th! I am so happy!
I dont even know what to tell you about this week, The elders had a baptism a couple days ago and it was the first one for both of them, so they were pretty stoked to finally see some fruits of their labors. I feel very fortunate to have already seen so many and to have another one after only being here for a month.
Something that Shirley always says to us is what I will talk about today because I dont really know what else to talk about. Everytime we meet with her she tells us more and more about what it was like growing up going to different churches. she was raised nazarine, then went to baptist. She has also been methodist and her whole family is a long line of preachers for various churches. She has never been baptized because never felt good about it. She tells us about how there are cliques everywhere you go and how more often than not the preacher runs off with the pianist. That when the preacher is done preaching he sells the church and makes a profit off the money that it is sold for when he didnt do any of the work to help get it going. How every sermon is not of love but is of hell fire and brimstone. that if you do something wrong and the church disowns you, there is no going back. How the children are shoved to the side during the meetings instead of being taught like the adults. How the doctrines conflict. Then, after every one of these stories she says "I dont know why I had to wait so long to find the truth, I just hope you know... Y'all are blessed". She came to Tims baptism this week with us and afterwards I asked her what she thought and if it was alot different than other baptisms she has seen. She talked about the reverence and the feeling that was there. That the Latter day saints really care about one another and take care of eachother... "Like I've been telling you... Y'all are blessed to have been raised in it"
I have been thinking about that phrase for the last couple weeks now since we started meeting with her and how blessed I really am. I grew up in a home with a loving mom and dad and I have two incredible siblings that I can honestly call my best friends. I am blessed. I have had good friends all my life that kept me on the right path. I am blessed. I have had leader after leader that I could look up to, and go to for advice. I am blessed. I have had the chance to see the world and I am 23. I am blessed. I had the opportunity to go to college and get a degree, then work in my field. I am blessed. I have been given a personality that allows me to laugh during the hard times and let the stresses of life roll off with ease. I am on a mission, serving the lord and have already seen a handful of baptisms. I am blessed. I have developed a testimony of prayer, church, the book of mormon, joseph smith, the atonement, the temple, the plan of salvation, modern day prophets, church callings, priesthood blessings and many more things. I am blessed.  I didnt have to search for the truth of the gospel, I have had it all my life. I dont know what I did to deserve all of this, but I am so very, VERY blessed. I was thinking this morning about how much I have learned over the last 4 years of my life since I really started to care about learning the gospel and starting to proactively learn about it. I have taken leaps and bounds in my faith. I can only imagine how much I will know when I am older if I continue on this path. Watching people come into the gospel and seeing their thirst for knowledge and truth makes me wonder why I was so passive about it before. I struggled to get through a chapter of the book of mormon a day before my mission and now when the alarm goes off after an hour of studying I am sad because its never enough time. To anyone reading this email that is passive about the gospel, stop.... because as shirley says. "I just hope you know... Y'all are blessed" We have been given so much, and the rest of the world is searching for it, even if they dont know they are.
I love you all so much! Hope you are doing well, Keep praying for me and I will keep praying for you!
Sister Webb