Monday, June 29, 2015

Air Conditioning Though...Be Grateful!

June 29, 2015

First things first, Alberto got baptized on Saturdayy!!!!!!!!!!! It was an incredible, incredible day! I can't even do it justice with words. But it was a crazy week trying to get everything planned and for things to run just perfectly. Alberto was so happy and excited! He asked Elder Wittmaak to baptize him because he had got to know him pretty well. First, Elvin (the coolest Guatemalen ever) got up and shared his testimony. He has been a good friend and big support to Alberto. He was really nervous and did not want to do it at first, but we practiced with him and he said he wasn't scared at all once he got up there! He gave a great testimony!! The baptism went perfectly and the best part was when Alberto walked back into the room, wearing a tie for the first time (that Elder Rasmussen helped him tie) and his white shirt. He had the biggest smile on his face! We had asked him a few days before if he wanted to share his testimony after his baptism and he said he would! So he stands up in front of everyone and he shared the most powerful, mature testimony I've heard in a long time! I started to cry as I heard him bear testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and it's healing, redeeming power. How it gives us the strength not to fall into the same mistakes over and over again. He bore testimony of the Book of Mormon. And then thanked all those who have helped him and specifically my name for teaching him all that he knew. But the truth is, that I did absolutely nothing. The Spirit of the Lord is what converted, changed, and healed his soul. I can look back over the last 5 months and remember all the times in lessons and church tours that I know Alberto felt and recognized the Spirit. And then on Sunday, he was able to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and he was all smiles. Such an exciting weekend!!
  And right after leaving Alberto's baptismal service, Hermana Clark and I were just walking up the street and we see a man across the street, struggling to carry his groceries and clearly handicapped. I thought about crossing the road to go over to help, then tried to reason that we had other places to be, then clearly the thought came to my mind "Never postpone a prompting." So I started booking it across the street and asked if we could help. He tripped over a bump in the road and I was able to catch him and took his hand and walked him back to his apartment. He was so sweet and we started talking about how Jesus Christ is with us in every step of our lives. He said "Sometimes I wish Jesus could physically carry me as well, I have a hard time by myself." It hit me that we had been sent, as representatives of Jesus Christ, to lift and carry those- sometimes physically and sometimes spiritually- to better places. I am so grateful that we can be the Lord's hands as we listen and follow the promptings we receive!
  And just in case you're wondering whatever happened with our little pit-bull friend (ok he is NOT little)...anyways, we went back for the return appointment this week to find Chuckie (that's the beast's name) lurking around the fence. He saw us and starting barking like crazy and boy were we scared! Haha. Poor little Hermana Clark was about to have a heart attack. So anyway, we decide to say a prayer to give us courage to walk through that fence (to a certain death ;) haha exaggerating just a little). And we walk up again and Chuckie jumps up on the fence and has half his body sticking out, we thought he had jumped over the fence, and if I shall live to be 100 years old, I will never forget Hermana Clark's face!!! haha- sheer and utter terror! Ha I felt like a protective mom and we ran back to the car. We decided to go back later..ha. So we go back later that night, more fortified with faith, and we end up finding not the people we had the appt with, but their sister! She let us in and we started talking to her and ended up teaching her about the Restoration. Turns out she had been going through some really hard trials in her life and was starting to doubt God completely. We asked her to pray and she was a little nervous, so I offered to pray first. Then she started to pray and you could tell she was praying with a lot of power and real need. She started to cry and after she closed the prayer, we just sat there in silence for a few minutes, as she cried and we all felt the Spirit wash over us. She told us that we were a testimony to her that God was aware of her needs. If we had gone in the first time, we would not have found her and we were just amazed at how the Lord turned that experience into a real miracle!
 As you can see, miracles truly never cease!! They have occurred time and time again on my mission and I know that with a little faith and a lot of hard work, the Lord can bring to pass great and marvelous things!
-Hermana Webb
PS: I'm still trying to figure out why Washington does not believe in air conditioning!! Literally, no one here has it and we've all been blistering in the 90 degree weather lately! AY!


I met Alberto 9 days after I got to this area...and 5 months later,
I got to see him walk into the waters of baptism!!
Decided to curl my hair while we waited

He was just glowing it was so perfect!!

Getting dressed up to represent Peru in our Festival de Comida Internacional!

Eugoneia representing Mexico

Monday, June 22, 2015

Stayin Alive!

June 22, 2015

Hello Family and Friends!

How are you!?

This week was FAB.

I'm just happy like all the time! It's crazy how much joy missionary work brings.

The most exciting happening of the week: we go to contact this referral. We had to go through their fence to knock on their door. So the fence closes and out of nowhere, this huge pitbull rounds the corner and starts bounding over to us. Hermana Clark just yelps and turns her body to me curls into like a fetal position. Haha. I was just like "Hermana, dogs can smell fear. Don't be scared." Haha so I try to brave as the senior comp and I try to pet the huge beast and calm it down. And it's just jumping all over us, way taller than Hermana Clark, with its huge claws. I couldn't even get to the door to knock, so we're just standing there trapped! And then, thank goodness, the lady heard us and comes and opens the door. She was like "oh my goodness! I don't know how to control him. Just come in!" We got home that night to find some pretty sweet scratches all down our bodies. Ha. But at least we lived to tell the tale! And the family actually turned out to be super solid and we got to teach them a good lesson, so it was all worth it! (I'm just a little scared to go back for the return apt haha)

And just to show you that 11 months of the missionary schedule really starts to wear one out, let me tell you another story. So every morning we wake up at 6:20and Hermana Clark and I say a prayer together. Well, as many of you know, I am NOT a morning person. And this morning, it was my turn to pray. I start saying it and the next thing I know, I'm popping my head up again. "What just happened?" I asked Hermana Clark. She just starts laughing and says that I suddenly stopped talking during the middle of my prayer and I had fallen asleep again. haha. Whoops!! I had to explain to her about the rule that all my college roomies know: no talking to Hermana Webb for the first hour after she wakes up. Ha. Hermana Clark probably thinks I hate her cause when we go running or do some Jillian Michael's in the morning, I do not talk to her at all. Ha, so I had to explain to her that I in fact do love her, I just am not really awake for the first hour of the day!

So, good news! Alberto has resolved everything and is sooo ready to be baptized this Saturday!! Yay! He is incredible- he smiles bigger and bigger everytime we go over. The gospel has changed him so much! He is RADIATING with the light of Christ!! He works at Panda Express, so we went to visit him at work this week, and we walk in and he sees us as he frying this huge pot of orange chicken! YUM! He walks over and says "Welcome to Panda!" It was sooo funny to hear him speak English. Haha, I was dying.

I just love these people and I'm so grateful for all that I learn every single day! I know that this Gospel is true and that it changes lives! What a joy to have a front row to seat to see the miracle of the Atonement!

-Hermana Webb

Pic: Celebrating 20 years of life! :D

My birthday cake from Avelino!!

Me and Elder Allen the exact same day!! Crazy! We celebrated together!

Olive Garden for the birthday dinner! Glad I got to carry on tradition!

Happy Father's Day!!

Monday, June 15, 2015

We are ALL enlisted!

June 15, 2015

So last pday we went to the beach with our district and that was BEAUTIFUL!! And fun. And refreshing. Ah. Received a new appreciation for God's creations to say the least. Needless to say I am going to have a long "post-mission" to do list...BUT THAT'S NOT IMPORTANT right now!:) so moving on...

We had an awesome zone meeting this week in Arlington (about 30 minutes north of us)We learned a ton about praying with faith. At the end of the instruction, the zone leaders asked, "so who has the faith to find? who has faith that the Lord will guide you to those who need this message?" Of course, everyone stood up. Then they said, alright, now lets put that faith to work. They proceeded to switch everyone's companionship and assigned you to a place in the area and sent you off with the task to pray in faith and have the Lord take you to those who need this message. Our adrenaline was seriously through the roof! Ha. We all zoomed out of the parking lot to our assigned street corner and got to work. We were able to contact so many amazing people- one mom who had lost a child about the Plan of Salvation, one about the book of mormon, and one about the Restoration in just 45 minutes! So cool! It gave us all a renewed feeling of urgency for the work! Our time is short and there are soo many people to teach!

So our mission has a goal to contact 16 people a day this month (which requires A TON OF WORK) and it has given us a new enthusiasm and drive to find find find! We have met people from EVERYWHERE!!! Mongolia, Vietnam, China, Japan, Cambodia, Egypt, Russia, Ukraine..you name it, we met them. We have such a love for people we don't know...it's kinda weird, but you gotta love it!
Alberto is doing great!! He came to church for the 5th time this week and just loves it. He's started singing the hymns, and participating in the classes and it's just awesome to see how he's finding this new family and love in the branch. After church, we asked him if he'd been praying about a baptismal date and he said he's decided on the 27th of June! A little bit more time to work things out, and a little more time to study the Book of Mormon he said! Right on!!!!
Karolina came to Eugenia and Andres' baptism this week and absolutely loved it. She went around telling everyone "Me bautizara..." "Me bautizara" (I'm getting baptized). It was soooo cute! We started planning what she wants to happen at her baptismal service, and we told her we would sing for her. She straight up started crying!!! This woman is incredible!! 

Wow. As a missionary I have a new appreciation for church. For a billion reasons. But the peace has a new meaning. Missionary life is crazy and hectic, so when we get to come to church, it means the world to us. It's kinda funny. We sit in a row with all our investigators and recent converts...all men except one. It is so fun though, we really are just a big family! Sometimes we try to take the 10 minutes during the sacrament for ourselves as missionaries...but the reality is that even then it's not about us, we are always trying to help our investigators have a good experience. When it ceases to be about me, I know I'm doing the right thing:)

So I love to study the words of Elder Bednar and I was studying a talk called Ask in Faith (READ IT https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2008/04/ask-in-faith?lang=eng) and something he said that IS SO TRUE. He said:

Asking in faith requires honesty, effort, commitment, and persistence. Let me provide an illustration of what I mean and extend to you an invitation.
We properly pray for the safety and success of the full-time missionaries throughout the world. And a common element in many of our prayers is a request thatthe missionaries will be led to individuals and families who are prepared to receive the message of the Restoration. But ultimately it is my responsibility and yourresponsibility to find people for the missionaries to teach.
Missionaries are full-time teachers; you and I are full-time finders. And you and I as lifelong missionaries should not be praying for the full-timemissionaries to do our work!
If you and I would truly pray and ask in faith, as did Joseph Smith—if we would pray with the expectation to act and not just to express—then the work ofproclaiming the gospel would move forward in a remarkable way. Such a prayer of faith might include some of the following elements:
  • Thanking Heavenly Father for the doctrines and ordinances of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, which bring hope and happiness into our lives.
  • Asking for courage and boldness to open our mouths and share the gospel with our family and friends.
  • Entreating Heavenly Father to help us identify individuals and families who will be receptive to our invitation to be taught by the missionaries in our homes.
  • Pledging to do our part this day and this week and petitioning for help to overcome anxiety, fear, and hesitation.
  • Seeking for the gift of discernment— for eyes to see and ears to hear missionary opportunities as they occur.
  • Praying fervently for the strength to act as we know we should.
I cannot stress the importance of members enough. I know he was using this scenario only as an example, but he also extended it as an invitation. And that is what I will leave you with as a challenge with this week; a challenge not just from me, but from an apostle of the Lord. Follow the counsel of Elder Bednar. We appreciate the prayers as missionaries, but we need your help. The members are truly the source of success. I've seen it in realtime in the past month I have been here. The blessings are real and eternal.
I love being a missionary. Sometimes for fun I look for something to complain about, but the truth is I can't find a thing. I am on the errand of the Lord. It doesn't get any better than this.
With all my love,
Hermana Webb

Finally got to the beach!!
We found a wittle crab!! (:

Our crazy district!

My two hijas!!!

What happens when we have absolutely no time for dinner...haha

Monday, June 8, 2015

Better and Better

June 8, 2015

How does this just keep getting better and better? Really, I don't quite understand! Being a missionary brings the most pure joy. I was studying about charity this week and found this definition: "It is the highest, noblest, and strongest kind of love and the most joyous to the soul." That basically sums up a mission. I'm filled with charity and I've never been happier. These people truly hold my heart in their hands!
To tell you about a few of these special people,
First of all, Karolina!! Ay! This woman is literally the best! She is the most prepared person I have ever met and she soaks in every word that we teach her. We left her with a pray,read,write assignment in the Book of Mormon. She's always had the question Why do bad things happen to good people? So we told her to prayerfully read 2 Nephi 2 to find her own answer. She told us at church on Sunday that there was a part that made her feel that God was talking right to her. She said "you girls told me that signs would come as I kept learning, and they are coming! God is telling me this is the right path for me!" I'm soo grateful for the Book of Mormon. It truly contains the answer to the questions of the soul. And at the end of church, it felt so natural to turn and ask her: so when do you want to get baptized? She told us "I already thought about it, and I want it to be after I get home from my business trip." So we decided on July 3rd. We are so excited for Karolina! Wow! She is truly converted after only 2 weeks.
The other is Alberto!! We had to push the baptism back a bit to work out a few things, but he is still growing so much and so determined to take this step!!
Another exciting thing this week was when we got a new car! We were the only ones in the mission driving a van and that thing is so hard to park/drive/everything. Sooo.. we called our vehicle coordinator, and he told us to come to the office. We got there and he looks at us and says "Gray or silver?" Me and Hermana Clark just look at each other like giddy children and say gray! So he takes us out to this brand-spankin new car with 16 miles on it and hands us the keys! It drives sooo nice. 

And last of all, congrats to my big sis on her engagement!!!!! Skyler is one lucky guy! I'm so excited for them!
-Hermana Webb

Rain, rain go away! Don't come back until Summer's gone awayyy!

Pullin out some big old weeds!

Kimberly!! The coolest RM from Uruguay! She has been the biggest blessing!
(This is the way they say something was super awesome in Uruguay!)

This is Karolina!!!!!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Agency Though!

June 1, 2015

Hola! Que tal!

This week was fabulosa!! We have been so busy and I've never seen this area so hopeful!!

Our miracle investigator this week is name Karolina. She actually lives just up the road from us, and was a referral from another missionary. We started teaching her and from the very first lesson, just has this fire in her eyes of excitement! She prayed at the end and thanked Heavenly Father for sending two angels. The next lesson we taught her about the Book of Mormon and she promised us she would read it all! And as I'm sitting there trying to testify of this sacred book, Hermana Clark's sitting there with Karolina's 7 year old daughter who has a strange habit of collecting bugs. She kept handing Hna Clark huge caterpillars and a large array of creepy crawlers to her delight. Haha. And at the end of the lesson, she asks "what's my homework, what do I have to do?" I ask her if she wants to come to church with us, and her face just lights up and she says "ME ENCANTARIA!" (I'd LOVE to!) I will never forget that moment! And the coolest part was when we found out that she already knows Hermana Terry, the strongest member in our area and had already been invited by her to come to church. So she came on Sunday and absolutely loved it! She's had some bad experiences with other Christian churches in the past, and couldn't stop telling us how much she loved church! And as we're walking her out, her little daughter runs up to Hna Clark with 3 new caterpillar friends! Haha, how she finds these things just baffles me! And on the way home, she starts asked us things like "Let's just say I want to keep learning about the Mormon church, would I be baptized again? And "Would I have to baptized after I come to church a certain number of times?" I explained to her about the word "invite" and how it will always be completely up to her. And when we explained about asking God to know if these things are true, she was just amazed that we wanted her to find out for herself! I love the eternal principle of agency and seeing the joy in Karolina as she learns about it!

Also, Alberto came to church!!! He is doing so awesome. We showed him the baptismal font on Saturday and he told us he could feel how sacred it was. And when they announced his baptism at church yesterday, I looked over at him and he was just glowing! We have been teaching him pretty much ever since I got here in January, so I've been able to see the whole process of conversion. He's so much happier now and he is able to feel and recognize the Spirit consistently in his life! He's looking for a lot of peace in his life, and I know that he will find exactly that this Saturday! Please please please pray for him this week to overcome anything the adversary throw his way!

The pic is of Aura's sweetest ever little grandkids. We made nametags for them so they could be missionaries and we had them practice teaching us. Haha. SO Cute! They even tried door approaches. Going to be the best missionaries!! We've got to invest in the future generations! :)

I know that this Gospel is true and I know that it's totally up to each and every one of us if we're going to accept it! I'm learning to treasure this valuable gift of agency and how much our Heavenly Father loves to see us make good decisions and how much He hurts when we abuse this gift.

My FAV scripture of the week:
"Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perishyea, even the verythoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble." (Mosiah 28:3)

-Hna Webb

Kinari left to Mexico! :(

I'm bringing home a baby watermelon!
Won't my mommy be so proud of me!

Filling out Alberto's baptismal record!