Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January 14, 2013 letter

Well, This is my last letter, and I am not really sure what to say in it. Part of me just wants to say see yall in 4 days and call it good, but I dont know if I will do that.
This week has been the same. Sister Thomsons health issues have not let up at all, So she will be coming home as a departing missionary on thursday with the rest of us. Its been a very emotional week for all of us. 
This week I feel like I have learned alot about little victories. We worked less than ever this week, but we had a few small successes. I have come to really appriciate those moments, when in any other area I would cast them aside and not really think I did anything successful or noteworthy. This week we tracked down a less active that has had a wrong address on the roster for a really long time. For us, that was a big sucess considering most days we dont even really get to leave the apartment. I was really grateful for that moment. I have been writing down 5 tender mercies a day this transfer and its been a struggle alot of the times to find them, but I have learned to really appriciate those small blessings that often get over looked. I have come to learn that life is never going to be what we plan, but having a negative attitude never helps. God is always there and his plan is much greater than ours, so if we look for those blessings we will be happy in all of lifes storms.
I will end my last testimony with a simple testimony to you all. I know that this gospel is the gospel of jesus christ restored to the earth. I know that living it is the way to be happy. I know that Christ suffered for us so that we could find happiness in the midst of our sadness, pain, lonliness, feelings of inadequacy, and weaknesses. I know that the holy ghost is real and prompts us to do the things we need to do to help ourselves and to help others. I know that God had a plan for each of us. I know that we have the commandments for a reason and they will keep us save. I have come to know and love the scriptures so much, Especially the book of mormon. I know that it can answer any questions we have about life. I know that My savior lives and he and his father in heaven love us and are watching out for us .I know I can turn to them for anything. I know that families are eternal and that they are also a big part of our heavenly fathers plan. I am so grateful for my chance to serve a mission and for all my many blessings!
I love you all so much!
See you in a couple days!
Sister Webb 

January 7, 2013 letter

"get right, or get left" -Baptist Church sign

Well Well Well. I am now in the single digits of days until I come home. That may or may not have been a bit of a trunky comment, but I promise that I am still working hard and doing what I need to out here. Its hard to not think about coming home though. I have never been in a ward where people ask "is anyone close to going home" instead of "how long have yall been out"... except for this one. EVERYONE keeps asking that. Then there is the elders that are so nice to count down for me and remind me everytime I see them of how many days I have left. yesterday we were in the middle of ward council and they leaned over to say "Im not sure if you knew this or not, but you only have 10 days left in the field. We just wanted to make sure that you were aware" haha I got my itinerary in the mail saturday... The dreaded yellow envelope. We pulled over to the mailboxes and sister schoppman hopped out to grab the mail like she always does and after a few minutes she pokes her head out from behind the boxes and says "... uh, I think its here. Its yellow and from the mission office. You gotta come get it" So of course I had to take a sad picture of me taking it out of the mailbox. :)
This week has been about the same as the last couple. we go out when sister Thomson feels well enough, stay in when she doesnt. We are going back to the dr. this wednesday to find out her test results. President and Sister Jensen are having sis schoppmann and I go this time with her because they are on the road doing interviews with all the missionaries and cant go with her. The assistants took her to the last one, but sister jensen talked to me on friday and said that she was having us go because no matter what the results are, its going to be emotional for her and the assistants are awkward boys that wont be able to comfort her the way she will need it. I'm prepping myself for that... last week they did a brain scan and took 12 viles of blood to test; so it can go a couple different ways. best case scenario: they find the problem and its an easy fix. They said that they were going to test to see if there is a chemical imbalance that is causing her muscles not to work the way they are suppose to. Thats really the only good one. All other options will result in her going home to do more testing or to recover.
We did have one awesome day though! Saturday was the semi-anual Missionary field day in madison where they bring a whole bunch of missionaries to pair up with the youth and we take them out to see active less active and non member people in the area to see what missionary life is really like. I went to the one they had back in July and it was alot of fun. They had us go again this week and it was awesome. Sister Thomson just ended up staying with the Young womens leader while sis schoppmann and I got to go out. It was an EVENTFUL day for sure! I was paired up wth a girl named Alayna. She is actually the 1st counselor in YW, but shes only 18 so they let her go on these things still because she is a convert to the church and hasnt even been a member for a year yet. 
We started out by going to see some active members and Alayna was really ancy. We stayed for like 10 minutes at the hospital with the first lady. She was so fast I didnt even get in a word or offer to share a message. So then the next one was a non member who let us in for a second but she was sick and so we couldnt stay. We prayed with her and left. The third one was some members WAY out in the boonies and we got there and the gate was locked so we drove for a while trying to find service to call them and ask them to unlock their gate. We were there for 20 minutes or so getting to know them and I had told her before that we should share a message so we got to read from the scriptures with them and talk about the importance of bettering ourselves and becoming christlike. We were so fast with all the people that we had a while left to go tracting. She was really nervous and really didnt want to, but we found a street to knock some doors. There were a whole bunch of cars parked on the road we were on but it was a really narrow road so everyone was parked up on the grass. We followed suit and pulled up on the grass too. Well, we got 6 or 7 houses down the road when we got a call from her sister (who hates the church) asking where she was because her car was about to be towed. We ran back to the car and there was a cop and a cranky old man by her car. Luckily the cop was her sister boyfriend and so he called her to call alayna but the man just didnt like the fact that we were in front of his house so he called the tow company. We were super lucky haha. The only person who answered her door while we were tracting was a baptist lady that told us we werent christian. We invited her to read from the book of mormon and she said no and then as we were leaving she recognized alayna... so that turned out to be really awkward. It wasnt exactly the tracting experience that i was hoping to have with alayna, but it was definitely a normal day in the life of a missionary. I admire the strength converts have to stay true to what they have come to know and feel. She faces alot of opposition at home with her mom and sister, but she stays strong and true to the gospel. She bore a powerful testimony afterwards and it was good to spend the day with her and talk to her about serving a mission. She isnt sure if she wants to and is feeling alot of pressure to do so, but we talked about it all and I think it helped.
I am now entering the "this is the last time... " phase of my mission where I realize that "this is the last testimony meeting I will go to on my mission" or "this is the last ward council I will be at on my mission" or whatever it might be. Its weird. That is all I can say to explain it. I plan to finish as strong as I can and work until the end. I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!
Love Sister Webb

Friday, January 4, 2013

December 31, 2012 letter

Happy new years eve. I cant believe 2012 is almost over! it feels like yesterday that it started. I hope everyone had a great christmas and from what I hear there is tons of snow at home.
This week has been interesting. I have learned alot this transfer, and they are all lessons that I definetly didnt expect to learn.
I think I have briefly mentioned it in other emails, but one of my companions, sis thomson, is having some health problems that are causing her not to be able to walk for very long periods of time. This week has gotten alot worse. It was the elders turn for the car and as such we havent been able to really go out and teach at all. Not the christmas that I expected at all. Each day we find productive things that we can do at the apartment and if we can, we find someone to drive us somewhere to teach a couple lessons. we dont have any investigators because we cant go find, so we teach less actives and active members.
Wednesday, after having had to stay in most of the day, she had a small break down because she cant really be a missionary in the condition she is in. We talked for a while and she started to talk about going home to get better. I told her she needed to council with president about it, but she didnt want to. Sister Schoppmann and I both felt prompted that we should suggest fasting together. As soon as I said it, she said "I was just about to say the same thing" So we decided to fast for sister Thomson to figure out what to do. Just a few minutes after we started our fast, President Jensen called. After they talked for a couple minutes they decided that its best to have her come down to tally to talk with him. SO off we went to Tallahassee the next day. We sat down and he said what are you thinking? and she said maybe home is the best option for me right now because I cant be a missionary. He looked paniced. There are a billion new sisters coming and and they have no idea how to get them all trained and here is sister Thomson, one of the best sisters telling him that she is going home. Sister Jensen, Schoppmann and I went into the other room so they could talk. I told sis Jensen what we had talked about and what I had seen over the week and she started making phonecalls to find a doctor. Its been really crazy, but sis Thomson is going to see a nurologist on wednesday to see if they can find anything that is causing it. He says shes not going home, but she feels like she is hindering the work and is pretty determined to go if the doctor wednesday cant figure anything out. SO, that is how our week went. alot of crying. alot of comforting. and alot of down time in the apartment.
Needless to say this was not how I expected to spend my last transfer. After talking to sis Thomson, President pulled me in to talk with him and he said that alot of the time he doesnt get to interview the exiting missionaries because of how long transfers take here so he wanted to have an exit interview with me. We talked about how by my standard and what we had talked about before he put me up here this transfer was supose to be another 'ideal' situation. I am in GA which is exactly where I wanted to go. I am opening an area. I am working with awesome elders, and He put me with one of the hardest working sisters we have in the mission. But despite what seems to be perfect, things happen and she started to have health problems.
I have had alot of time to think this week about the lessons I can learn from everything that has happened and from the situation that we are all in. I can tell y'all that I have learned a whole lot about mouring with those that mourn and comforting those that need comfort. I have learned to be patient through trials and definetly be more selfless. I have two companions that are going through alot of emotional struggles and as easy and it would be to think about myself and home and the struggles I am going through trying to deal with the saddness that comes with realizing that I am almost done, but I have been able to put it aside and help them through what they are going through. I looked back over my mission and thought of all the success that I had, especially in the first 6 months of my mission. I think Heavenly father blessed me with that because there would be other things that I would need to be here for besides to baptize in the later part of my mission.
I dont know how much I will get to teach over the next couple weeks. But I know that there are other lessons to be learned and other work to be done and I am grateful for the chance I have to serve my companions. I hope she doesnt have to go home, but its been great to watch her be so postive through it all. I know that she will come back as soon as she can because of her love for the work.
I hope that everyone has a great week!
Love yall!
Sister Webb

December 24, 2012 letter

Well. its Christmas eve and we are at a members house emailing, so this will be quick. I am going to be talking to my family tomorrow, but for all those that dont get to talk to me on the phone, I will send a quick Christmas message and tell yall a little about my week.
Last week sister Thomson went to the doctor because shes been having some health problems that make it so she cant really walk. Not walking makes it hard to do missionary work. She was gone for a day and sister Schoppman and I were able to do a little bit of finding, but other than that we haven't been able to tract at all because of whatever is going on with Sister Thomson. Since we just opened the area for sisters, if we cant find... we don't teach. I now more fully understand the need for balance in the work. We have tried to see SO many less actives this week its outa control. We have been sharing a Christmas message with most of them from the book of Mormon, so I would like to share a little bit of that with you all.
Most Christians at some point during the Christmas season read and ponder about the account of Christs birth as told in Luke 2. Year after year we think about what it must have been like to be Mary, having an angel appear to her and telling her that she will be the chosen mother of the Son of God. We think about Joseph, the wise men, the shepherds, and the inn keeper. We ponder on the true meaning of Christmas and what Jesus Christs birth means for each of us individually.
As Latter-day Saints, we have the blessing to have the book of Mormon to be another testament of Jesus Christ. Each prophet testifies of the coming of the Savior of the world and teaches us more about the atonement he will perform and how to access its powers in our lives.

Some of the chosen prophets were lucky enough to be able to see the birth of Jesus Christ. The account in 1 Nephi 11 is one of my favorites.
13 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the great city of Jerusalem, and also other cities. And I beheld the city of Nazareth; and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white.

14 And it came to pass that I saw the heavens open; and an angel came down and stood before me; and he said unto me: Nephi, what beholdest thou?

15 And I said unto him: A virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins.

16 And he said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God?

17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.

18 And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.

19 And it came to pass that I beheld that she was carried away in the Spirit; and after she had been carried away in the Spirit for the space of a time the angel spake unto me, saying: Look!

20 And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms.

21 And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw?

22 And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.

23 And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul.
The angel that is teaching Nephi the interpretation of the vision of the tree of life uses the birth of Christ to help him to understand Gods love for each of us.

 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoeverbelieveth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
The true meaning of Christmas is just that, God loves us enough to send Jesus Christ to come down to earth, to pay the price for each of us to be able to return to live with our heavenly father. I know that He truly does love each of us. That he knows and cares about us individually. I know that the atonement is the single most important event that has ever occurred and that through that atonement we can find strength to keep going when we feel like we don't have anything left to give. We can find forgiveness for the things we do wrong and feel the peace and the hope that comes from that forgiveness. I hope that each of us can take the time to read of Christ and to rededicate ourselves to live his gospel a little more fully in the coming year.
Hope you all have a very merry Christmas!
Sister Webb

December 17, 2012 letter

Hello everyone!
So we are still trying to figure out how to get everything done we need to get done p-days while in a car share with the elders, So time is REALLY short because we finally got the car and the housing couple showed up to inspect our apt so we waited around for them for a while and an hour later finally got to come to the library.
PHEW! Ok. So my mind is going a million miles an hour, but I will attempt to tell you about our week this week because it was great! I cant believe ive already been in Thomasville for almost two weeks. This area is so great! the people, the culture, the ward, my companions. Its just awesome. I love it.
So weve been trying to get everything all ready and set up as far as maps and getting to know members go, also done alot of finding. We dont have any crazy awesome finding experiences, but we did get a new investigator at one of our dinner appointments which was cool. We were super stressed because we let the elders borrow the car to go out to contact a media referral and they were suppose to have it back to us in time to go to our dinner appt at 630. well it came 620 and they still hadnt gotten it back to us, so we called them and they had gotten boxed in and were trying to find someone to come move a car to let them out and couldnt, so we ended up having to get a member to come get us and we were 45 minutes late to dinner. Luckily we had already met this sister and she was ok with us being that late and that is when dustin was there. at the end of our dinner we were talking about her studies and what she has been learning and he kept coming in and out of the room (he is her nieces friend) and finally he just sat down and we started to talk to him. He has had alot of bad experiences with churches but he is saerching for God right now because he is going through a rough time. So we gave him a book of mormon and we are going to teach him this week.
We also had the 1/2 mission christmas party this week which was fun. President and Sister Jensen put so much work into it, it was incredible. We watched clips of the savior and listened to christmas music and he had a bunch of missionaries testify of the savior and then at the end we got to watch Brave. haha. They let us watch a movie every year, which is cool. Sister Jensen talked about how brave we were for coming out and serving the lord and then we watch it. I was really distracted the last 15 minutes or so because I knew that as soon as it was over I was going to have to give my final testimony, so I wasnt really paying attention but it was a really cute movie. SO yeah, I have now given my final testimony that they make all the missionaries do their last zone conference. I kept myself together while I was up talking but I cried forever afterwards. I cant belive its so close to being over. Its a really strange feeling to be in my last transfer. Dont worry though, im not trunky, there is too much to do to be trunky :)
Other fun things that happened this week. Thomasville has a christmas event every year called victorian christmas. Downtown thomasville still has old cobblestone roads so they shut down the streets for a couple nights in December and a whole bunch of people from the community dress up in old victorian style get up and walk around and there are a bunch of booths and performances and what not that are all over the place and you can go look through all the old shops down town so we went contacting there one night. It was really cool, the best part was probably where they had a small fenced in area where they created a pile of snow and let kids come in for a couple minutes to play in it haha. It was really cute.
We also had our ward christmas party saturday. The ward here is amazing. they are so giving and love the missionaries and are excited to do missionary work. There were some less actives that came to the party, so that was great to get to meet them there. The ward gave us a big old christmas box full of little things like toothbrushes and soap and toilet paper and a scarf and the elders got ties and snacks and such. it was really cute. They had santa come for the kids and they all got a treat.
Church was great again. We ended up going to help with the primary because they were short on teachers so we were in with the 4 year olds. haha there were like 10 of them and they are a handful! We went and drove through a church
Christmas is next week and I hope you all enjoy it and that you have gotten some time to think about Christ and all that he has done for us.
I am so grateful to be spending another christmas in the field and that I have the opportunity to teach of christ while celebrating his birth this season. Merry Christmas.
Love.Sister Webb