Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Some additional information

I realized when I was posting the latest batch of letters that Sarah's titles weren't copying and pasting so I went back and put in the titles that I forgot.  They are great sayings that she mostly finds on church signs in the area that she is serving in.  Go back and see all the wonderful sayings.  It will be worth it.

Also, she has asked that I don't include her street address on her blog.  As a result, if you want to write to her (she loves letters and please keep writing), please email me at cynthia.j.webb@gmail.com and I will email back her latest greatest address.

Sarah's mom

August 13, 2012 letter

"One year older and wiser too!!!"

Hello hello!
Its been a great and rain filled week. Campus is super dead which has been interesting, but its been fun still! 
We spent every day this week walking around campus even though there were only like 5 people on campus we talked to all 5 of those people. We did alot of service for people moving in and out and we got a plant out of it! So here is a random story about plants because I really dont have many stories this week: 

There is a rule on a mission that says that you cant have pets. So instead of having pets, because its not allowed... we have plants! We give them all names and then its like we have pets, but we dont. So my first one was tracy. She lives in the Troy apartment and the elders had her brother herb, who they killed 3 or 4 weeks after getting him. Then in my first Tally 1st apartment we had stuart and titus. I cant remember what kind of plant stuart was but titus was a christmas cactus and he is still alive despite the fact that we havent watered him since we moved out of that apartment 4 months ago. must be the survival instincts of the catctus in him. We also had alice who has also gone the way of all the earth because we forgot to bring her with us when we moved. So then I got transfered to tally 5th and there were 3 plants in this apartment, 2 aloes and another random plant. We named them peter james and john. because the aloes are rough in texture and the other one is smooth and james and john have beards and peter does not.... yup. were nerds. So we just got another plant from one of the people we spent forever moving out of their apartment. We had a really great conversation with The husband about god and what not and so when we asked if he needed any help he said we could come back and help them move stuff. So when we got back as a gift he gave us one of his plants. We named it after him, Jason. He picked it specifically for us because its a type of tree that has its roots showing and the roots grow really deep before you even start to get a little green showing and he thought of us because as missionaries we have to have our own roots deep in our testimony before we can spring up and support other people. I thought the symbolism was cool. Plus it goes right along with Alma 32 on faith and growing and nuturing out trees to be stong and to have deep roots. So there it is random story #1. 

 Random thought #2: We had to speak yesterday in church which was fun. There were a whole 40 people there including leadership and missionaries. All the students have left for the break before fall semester starts so it was like I was speaking to a branch again! Turns out I actually like speaking now. Brother smith said it would be a missionary theme... "so talk about why you came on a mission, what you've learned on your mission, something you taught on your mission..... just talk about whatever you want." haha So really we just got to pick our topics. I decided to speak about waiting on the lord and on his timing. I think for me and my mission timing was huge. It would have been great to go right out of college or right when I turned 21, but the timing was not right. I know for certain that this is where I am suppose to be RIGHT NOW because heavenly father gave me a couple "no's" before he finally said "now is your time to go". I think we all go through times like that in our lives where we come up with a great plan for life and heavenly father says... "thats great, but here is a better one for you" We have to be close enough to the spirit by doing the things that we are suppose to be doing (aka reading. praying, church and temple attendance) so that when the promptings come to do something else, we will hear and respond. That is something that requires a great deal of faith on our part. To drop our plans that have certainty and security to venture into the unknown of a plan that you dont fully understand or see the end result of. here is a quote by richard G scott that explains that thought really well (its one of my favorites) : 
"As you walk to the boundary of your understanding into the twilight of uncertainty, exercising faith, you will be led to find solutions you would not obtain otherwise. With even your strongest faith, God will not always reward you immediately according to your desires. Rather, God will respond with what in His eternal plan is best for you, when it will yield the greatest advantage. Be thankful that sometimes God lets you struggle for a long time before that answer comes. That causes your faith to increase and your character to grow." (this is from the talk The transforming power of faith and character. Go read it!)
I know that that is true that its in the hard times where we put all our trust in God that we grow the very most. He will never force us to do anything, he will only invite us and prompt us, and it us up to us to follow his will and the way we come to know his will is by communicating with him often and developing a relationship with him. 

Well, I hope you all have a great week and that you find something to laugh at every day. Its good for the soul. 

I love you all! 
Sister Webb

August 6, 2012 letter

"dinosaurs and the bible. The creation- why it matters" < a lecture at one of the local churches

hello hello everyone!
first things first before I forget, because a couple people have asked- my new address is :
so you should all write me a letter and send it to that address so I will get flooded for mail for my ONE YEAR MARK... which just happens to be this friday. where did the last year go? I dont know. I was reflecting on what I was doing a year ago and I was such a nervous nellie about to go on the greatest adventure of my life. I cant believe its been a year already!
So here is the rundown of the new area/companion and a couple stories.
I got to spend wendesday (transfer day) with sister horan (who was my trainer that just went home) while waiting for my new companion to come in from niceville. I LOVED spending the day with her. we had so much fun, she showed me around campus placed her last book of mormon on her mission and talked to alot of great people. We had alot of fun reminicing about the good old days of Troy when I had just arrived in the mission field and she was 6 months out. It was especially cool to see how much Ive grown in my teaching skills since those days. We contacted this one guy and when we walked away she was blown away at how much ive grown since our time as companions. I give the credit to God. It was alot of fun.
So then we went to the mission home and said bye and I got Sister Fullmer. She is a missionary that was adopted into the florida tallahassee mission from The Macon mission (so I killed both the macon sisters off.. for those of you that dont know missionary lingo that means I am their last companion)... yep thats right, im sending her home. Which is a big honor apparently because she calls herself the black widow. She has sent 6 missionaries home for various reasons... 2 by natural means and the other 4 premature. So its a big deal to get to kill the one that has killed so many. She is from American fork utah and is alot of fun. We moved into one of the worst missonary apartments but after helping some random strangers move OUT of the their apartment saturday and seeing how gross some people live, I have no complaints, ya just roll with the punches and love it! Who cares if we have mold everywhere and nasty bugs and our air conditioner freezes over... at least its clean and livable! haha. 
Campus has been a little dead because its finals week and it will probably be even more dead next week because everyone goes home but it doesnt really matter if there are only 5 people on campus, if you have a really good conversation with those 5 people... then your day is filled. So we dont really care that there arent the usual 40,000 people there normally are. Also its a little strange to be back in a singles ward after being in family wards for a year. ITS SO QUIET! I missed that about the singles wards, The spirit is so strong, which it always is in a family ward too, but its much easier to not listen to it when you are distracted by all the cute kids running around. 4 people bore their testimonies about eternal marriage yesterday, haha. welcome back to the singles ward! Also it will take some adjusting to get use to the fact that going to activities and institute and such is all part of the work in a singles ward. but the people are great. We have 3 investigators and one recent convert that the other sisters were working with, so we already have as many as I had in 1st ward. One is named alex, she is from korea and she is ready to be baptized she just hasnt gotten her parents approval yet, they are still really skeptical and shes only 17, so she cant do it until they say she can. She is SO nice those and great to teach. Then there is jamie and tien that we havent gotten to meet yet cause of their busy finals schedules. they were working with an awsome black guy named I-jah who is almost ready to be baptized also, but we passed him onto the elders to finish teaching. Karen is our recent convert and she is such a sweetheart! I love her to death and she loves being around missionaries. 
So for 3 days now we have just waundered around campus trying to orient ourselves and my feet have become weak from being in car areas haha. I guess anyones feet would hurt after 5 hours of walking but I think my feet hate me. People would stop and ask us where to go, and we dont really know how to explain things, so our brilliant contacting tactic is to just say "we cant explain it, but we can walk you there" then they have to talk to us for at least the ammount of time it takes to walk to wherever we are going. It has worked wonders. 
We also ended up walking 1/2 way across town with this guy because he was trying to get a wheel back on his bike so he could walk his bike to the bikeshop (the tire was flat and a little bent?) and he couldnt get it on and he said he couldnt carry them both so we offered to carry the tire for him and he could carry the frame. We taught him all about the book of mormon and talked about his beliefs for the half hour (+) that it took to get there. I like being on campus again, I feel more in my element, but better because I am alot better at striking up random conversation out of thin air with people than I was on Troy campus. We're not really sure what were going to do when all the students are gone for the next couple weeks but then we'll have a LOT to talk to once school starts.
Last awesome thing that happened...Sister Hirst said that my favorite less active Kathy Came to church yesterday!!!!! I feel like she is one of the people that I was sent to first ward to help and for the last 6 months I have seen such small steps of progress in her and it has been so great! I was so happy this morning when sis Hirst said she finally came back to church.
I am excited to see the ways I grow this transfer and what the lord has in store for me now. I love the gospel and I especially love seeing it change peoples lives.
Love you all!
Sister Webb

July 30, 2012 letter

"Satan called, He wants his weather back"

Hello hello! 
Its transfer week and I am being shipped off again..... except not really because I am going to move to an apartment that is 2.2 miles away, I will be attending church in the same building, only I will be serving in the Tallahassee 5th (singles) ward. I am going to be whitewashing FSU campus with Sister Fullmer. She will be dying this next transfer so we gotta go crazy and keep the anti trunky feeling AWAY! If I am being honest I am freaking out a little bit. Campus intimidates me! It has been called things like "Babylon".. "the great and spacious building"... and more often than not "Sodom and Gomorrah" I guess when I feel like I am getting to comfortable and pray for something that will kick me back into gear as far as growing quickly goes, FSU came as an answered prayer? God always answers prayers, just maybe not how you expect it. As anxious as I am to go to FSU I know that it will be exactly what I need to stretch and to grow and become what I need to become. PRAY FOR ME! haha :) just kidding I think I will love it. We get to work with the institute couple and the institute director, which they are some of my favorite people in the whole world. The singles ward will be different and fun too.

This week was fun.... here are some of the highlights:
Monday we went to wacolla springs and saw some gators and we had a bonus this time: we saw a manatee! that was pretty cool

Tuesday was pioneer day and there is man named Dan who is a baptist, wannabe mormon. He is a landlord and owns some of the duplexes that the elders live in, they have been working on him for the last 4 months since they moved in and he just LOVES the missionaries. He threw a bbq for us about 4 months ago when they first moved in and it was really fun. He is getting really close to being ready to take the plunge into the waters of baptism. So he found out the 24th of july was a mormon holiday and so he threw us another bbq at his lake house on lake talquin. He wanted some sisters to come and help him prepare the food and get things ready so sis hirst and I road tripped it the 20 miles out there (it felt like a road trip cause we were in our p-day clothes) and went to help... he wanted us to come help for 4 hours but we knew it wouldnt take that long, so we went for 2 1/2.... it really only took an hour to get everything ready so we taught a lesson to the cutest 80 year old woman that was there who dan has been friends with forever and she was REALLY interested. We got to go teach her friday too and she was so excited. her prayed was so humble and cute she just thanked god for sending us and said that she felt like this was the path that she thought he wanted her to take. I love hearing people pray for the first time and hearing those words. God really does prepare peoples hearts. SO the BBQ was awesome and way fun. I saw President jensen in his normal clothes for the first time. WEIRD. 

we had a "day in the life of being a missionary" with a laural from the ward. She came over to our apartment at 6:30, exercised with us. studied with us. did service, finding, and teaching with us and then went home at 9. It was really fun and she had a great experience. She seems really excited to serve a mission some day... "as long as she doesnt get married first' haha thats what she always says to us. 

is weekly planning day. I have never loved companionship inventory so much until I had sister hirst. This week she decided for our last comp inventory she would sing me a song to the tune of 'hope of israel' telling me how great I am. It was hilarious. I recorded it... but its too big to send through email. SORRY! 

 I dont really have a highlight except that we got to go teach cute Beverly our 80 year old friend we met at the lake house. We also went to dinner at the Grissetts... which are the most southern couple in our ward so dinner is always good ol' southern cookin. We had fried green tomatoes last time and so I asked her if she would teach me how to make them next time we came over so we went this week and she showed us how and let us fry some. Were going to make some more in a couple hours for the other sisters and the elders that are going home. 

s are our big finding days so we contact and tract for hours on end... it wasnt the most fruitful finding ever, but we did find one new gator who is 1/3 jewish and grew up with traditional jewish beliefs but came to know that christ was the son of god from his christian neighbor. He lived in utah for a while and went to a couple services and is interested in really learning more. that was great. we did some service this day too for sister mcclain who found out I like art and so she enlisted me to paint her mailbox for her with lady bugs on it! (I'll attach a photo) it was alot of fun. she and siter hirst hung curtain rods and wall decorations while I painted. then we went to a farwell dinner for sis horan and elder bentley. They had cafe rio style food and it was SO good. I miss cafe rio. that will be one of the first places I eat when I get home. Sister Eckles had some info that was on the DL from president saying that she was leaving FSU which we were almost postive that i was going there to be her comp... but she is actually going to Troy... so then we couldnt think about anything but what was happening at transfers for the rest of the night. 

was a normal Sunday full of the spirit and great lessons. Sundays are the best at the end of a long hard week. we had 3 investigators at church who I will miss dearly! 

Other random bits of news: 
#1- Im having another granddaughter! Sister hirst will be training the new sister coming in. I am so excited for her! she will do so great.  
#2- I have been in the south for almost a year now and I FINALLY tried gator! We got some fried gator tail nuggets today from a restaurant called po-boys for lunch. Turns out it just tastes like chicken... for reals! 
#3- I just love you all so much! 
#4- The church is TRUE!!!!

July 23, 2012 letter

"Down on My Knees, I Learned to Stand"

Hey everyone! 
Sorry for the lack of letter last week, I wish i would have had time to tell you some stories, but things happen. :) 

This week was GREAT. We saw so many miracles and that was mission wide. President decided that we were going to have a 'power week' where every companionship set their goals ridiculously high and then try their very hardest to achieve them. He decided to do this to see what we were really capable of when we dont limit ourselves to our normal goals or just trying to achieve the bare minimum. 

We were pumped at the beginning of the week and EXHAUSTED by the end. We were trying to think of things that we could sacrifice to show the lord that we wanted his help and that we would give up things for his blessings and all we could think of was to do a fast to start and then cutting our meal times short. We felt like we learned some really great lessons this week from doing power week: #1 that an extra 15-20 minutes at lunch makes all the difference. I have never been so tired in my life.#2 We actually give everything we have. We tried so hard to do more and push ourselves harder and in the end our numbers ended up pretty much like they do on any other week. This was a good realization for both of us, we really are working as hard as we can every day. #3 this is not our work. We've always known that, but especially this week, seeing all the miracles was really cool. We did however work alot harder to give everyone we talked to a Book of Mormon. We usually give away 6 or 7 a week but we wanted to try to give away a whole box during power week (40).... we made half of it, we gave away 20 book of mormons this week. We became alot more persistant when people would say they werent really interested. We testified like crazy and eventually they took one. There is one less active lady that inspires me to get people to take one because she had one for almost 15 years before she picked it up and read it, but because it was there in her house, she is now a member.... not active, but still a member :). 

So here are a couple really great stories from this week: 
#1- We started off power week with an incredible miracle. Last week were were out street contacting on our way to see a less active and on our way home we passed a man, we stopped to talk to him and he was a little sharp when he said "do you REALLY believe his coming again after 2000 years?"... we answered with an "of course we do, absolutely he is coming". He then told us about how he was raised christian, has read the bible, and even prayed and everytime he does he just feels like he is talking to the air and has never gotten an answer back. We didnt want to argue with him so we introduced the book of mormon and asked him if he'd read it, and he said he would. We promised that if he read it that he would come to know the savior for himself and he started to walk away so as he is leaving we practically yelled "read it, and WHEN you know its true. Call us." and that was that.... well monday morning we got a phone call from this man who said "I dont know if this is the girls who gave me a bible last week, but I just wanted to call and let you know that I read some of your book and prayed for the first time in a very very long time and I got an answer. I was about to become homeless because I didnt have a job and today I found a job. I just wanted you to know that after I prayed a peace came into my life that I have not felt for a very very long time" We offered to teach him and he said that he didnt want to be pressured into anything so that when he is ready he will call us. So we are just waiting, and hoping that he calls soon! 

#2- Saturday we got a little change of scenery. The Maddison FL branch was doing a youth activity that required more than the 2 elders that are serving there so 8 of the tally missionaries took the transfer van up to help out. They were having a missionary youth activity where each of the 10 youth got paired up with a missionary and got to go out and do "missionary things" we went to a member who was expecting us, a less active who was not, and tracting. my companion was named kimberly and she was 16 yrs old. she just because active again a couple years ago and loves the gospel. She was such a sweetheart and we had so much fun. They had a testimony meeting after and each of the youth bore their testimonies. It was incredibly powerful and each of them had such strong testimonies to share. The cutest were the two 12 year old boys who talked about being chased by a cat and a dog and having no success but being so happy to give people pass along cards and to talk to people and share their testimony and even though they kept getting rejected, they felt SO good sharing the gospel. It was a sweet experience. 

I love to see members have missionary experiences and seeing how great they feel after doing it. The spirit is so strong when you bare testimony and share what you know to be true with those around you. I know that there is no greater work right now than to share the gospel with everyone around you. I hope each of you will watch for these opportunities in your everyday activities.

love you all! 
Sister Webb

July 16, 2012 letter

Sorry everyone, no letter this week. 

The family history center is down, so we had to share one computer and I went last. P-day time is over because we have a mission wide conference call in 15 minutes, so y'all will just have to wait till next week to hear how I am doing.... just kidding I am doing great.... at least you know that much. 

Hope you're all doing fantastic and things are going good at home. 

Sister Webb