Monday, August 26, 2013

Iron = Fe = Faith


That storm sounds awesome! Haha I'm sure the missionaries were stoked about getting pizza. We eat with members every night of the week...Quite a bit of rice, beans, and chicken (we have that like 4 times a week). I like the food here, the hard thing is they give you so much. I've had several times where I thought I was going to throw up because of how much food we had and how fast we try to eat it so we have time to talk with them, so thats fun.

Dad, I have no idea where to get that candy. One of the less actives gave us some and I have no idea where he got it. Its like a mini marshmallow with a tiny bit of jam on it, and the whole thing is covered in chocolate. It sounds kinda weird, and my companion doesn't really like them, but I think they're awesome. Mom, yeah I've been hearing things about them changing the rules about backpacks? Something about it being too difficult to take off a normal backpack when you're getting least thats what I heard. I haven't been told of any official change and everyone here still uses backpacks. I could wait and try to buy one when I get to Argentina, because I don't really have extra room to take more stuff with me right now. Oh and thanks for all the pictures!

Speaking of more stuff, there's a less active that wants to get me a raincoat... Basically, everytime we go there, we just sit for like an hour and he talks about how he knows the church is true, really wants to start getting better, talks to us about work (he's a painter-he makes these really cool paintings that he sells at swap meet type things). This time he talked about his baptism, about a new house he's trying to buy, and his marriage problems. He was super thankful to have someone to just sort of vent to because I guess he was feeling sad. He's always trying to give us stuff, like extra ties. I hope he decides to not get me the raincoat though, I have no room for that.

Anyway, this week was a bit tough but good. We didn't have nearly as many lessons as we wanted. Literally every single lesson we had scheduled didn't happen this week, so that was a little annoying, but we ended up getting to do a lot of work with members and less actives, so that was good.

Dad, thanks for always bringing me to help people move. Good mission prep. I'm pretty sure I've helped at like 6 moves during the last 4 weeks I've been here. Unfortunately, our only family that is progressing super well and that seems likely to get baptized in the near future is moving:( Half of them are moving to Mexico and the other are moving just outside our area (they aren't married...which is the only reason they aren't baptized yet... although now that they won't be leaving together, I guess they could get baptized more easily). But yeah, you guys asked about our investigators. They were our closest ones, and they're leaving. We've been making good progress with several of the less active families though! For some reason they are much easier to get a hold of than our investigators.

Anyway, lifes good. I heard that the rainy season usually starts in september sometime, but I don't know how much longer I'll be here. They told us 6 weeks for the visa is kinda normal, so if thats true I could be leaving right when the rains start coming. It sounds like the monsoon season is in full swing though down there. That sounds like an awesome storm you guys had.

So, I'm thinking verse of the week is DyC 45:62. Short, simple, cool, motivating, all that good stuff. Also, I've been thinking about the vision of the tree of life, and why the rod was made of iron...? Not sure why. But I did realize that the symbol for iron is Fe, and "Fe" is the spanish word for "faith" so thats kinda cool...although I'm pretty positive that's not why the vision had a rod made out of iron, its just kinda cool.
Well, have another awesome week!!!

Elder Webster

Monday, August 19, 2013

What Are We Supposed To Be Learning?


Sounds like things are coming along! Sorry about the AC! Hope school is going well for everyone!

So one thing I've been thinking about a lot recently is about how we're supposed to be here to learn and progress. So I started asking, "what are we supposed to be learning?" For that, I really like 1 John4. There was also a scripture in like Alma 39 or something but i can't remember where that one was. Basically, the idea is that we're here to become like our Heavenly Father, and 1 John 4 is all about how God is love. So we need to have more of that in our lives. Alma 37:35 is pretty sweet too.

Okay, cool story. So for a while we've been stopping by this less-active family trying to talk to the dad, but he never really wants to talk to us.Yesterday we went by and found him sitting in his car in the driveway thinking/being sad. We read him a chapter in the Bible about Jesus healing a blind man and the people asking if the man was blind because of his sins or his parents sins. Christ said it was neither. We started talking about how some trials are just there to help us learn. He then went into like his life story, about looking in dumpsters in mexico for food, being super poor, saving for months to buy a bike that got stolen a week later, never being able to provide for his family, and his problems with drinking/smoking (there was some other stuff but it was in spanish and I didn't catch everything). He also talked about some condition he had and how he wasn't afraid to die, but after all that, he agreed with us and wanted to try learning from his difficulties. It was way cool and all of us were basically in tears. experience.

Other than that, the works been moving on. Learning everyday. Bubu Lubu candy is pretty awesome/interesting.

Also, sorry for not sending pictures. I'm attaching some right now, hopefully it works. It's of my district at the MTC, my apartment, my current companion...and whatever other pics I find.

Hope everything is going awesome! And sorry if this is kind of short... we got locked out of the church and now we don't have a ton of time to email. I won't have time to write back to grandma+grandpa, but make sure they know I got the email and am thankful!

Thanks for all the support and everything!

Best wishes

Elder Webster

Also...verse of the week. DyC 1:29. I like that includes His mercy. Every word of the BoM is a gift of his love and mercy.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Thanks For All The Emails!


Sorry, not a ton of time to write today, somehow I got 24 emails today from everywhere. So I want to give a shout-out to the Lawrence family and to grandma and grandpa for writing me, I haven't written them back yet and i don't know if I'll have time, but thanks for the updates! I'll try to reply to everyone, but I may run out of time.

So this week was super awesome, and my companion said it was one of the most productive (number-wise) weeks he's had in forever. We did like 20-something lessons, got 9 new investigators, and got a family to come to church with us!!! It was Lucia y Fidel, the ones I mentioned last week. We were waiting for them at church and called them, but they said they couldn't come because they had to wait for someone that worked in the apt. complex to come for some reason. We decided not to take no for an answer, so we went home, grabbed some waffles, and went to go make them breakfast. As soon as we showed up they got excited and got ready to go to church. They all loved it, and Lucia kept telling me during sacrament how amazing the hymns made her feel. It was sweet. Also, members are awesome! I've never seen so many members make such a good effort to come meet the visitors! Possibly because its been like 3 months since real investigators have visited the ward, but whatever the reason, the members were amazing!

You asked about dinners. We have dinners with members every day. I'm not sure if they volunteer or are assigned or how it works, but we have a schedule for dinners about a month in advance. You also asked about money. They give us all the money we should need at the beginning of every month, so no, I don't need you to send me any. Thanks though!

That's awesome that the house sold so fast! I've never heard of a house selling in 3 days. That's probably a huge relief.

Oh, and about the car. Yeah, we drive everyday, and my companion isn't allowed to drive (something about taking right turns to hard?). We drive basically everywhere, averaging like 40 miles a day or something like that. Its cool, we get to listen to conference talks like all day while we drive. The mission is starting to move more towards bikes, but we're trying to postpone that a bit, since I don't really want to buy a bike and then have to leave it here as soon as I get my visa. So we'll see how that goes.

Umm, I just realized I forgot to look for a specific scripture of the week. There's one I really like in Proverbs that says "where there is no vision, the people perish" but i can't remember where it is. I like it because it shows how important it is to have a goal in mind. Pretty sweet.

Thanks for all the support and emails! I love hearing from you guys! I feel like so much has happened but I can't possibly write it all down.

Love you,

Elder Webster

Monday, August 5, 2013

First Week In the Field


I'm super super sorry that I wasn't able to call when I told you I would. Like I said on the phone, I was sitting in a chair near the phones in the airport waiting for a turn when somebody came up and started talking to me and another Elder about the church. At first it was cool and he seemed interested, but as soon as we started to teach he started bashing us with random unrelated verses from the Bible and wouldn't listen, but he also accused us saying that missionaries always give up and walk away whenever people like him have real questions, and we didn't want to give him the impression that he scared us or that we didn't want to talk to him, so we ended up talking to him for like an hour...super sorry!

Anyway, once my plane landed I found out I was re-reassigned to the Oregon Salem mission, which was just formed like a month ago. Things are going pretty good. Haha guess what happened at the very first door that I knocked on for my mission!? It got slammed in my face after it was open just long enough for the person to yell at us saying she didn't have time for us. Haha pretty classic. It's all good though. We've mostly been focusing on the less-actives here and knocking on a lot of doors trying to find new investigators. There have been a lot of little miracles every day as we try to do what we're supposed to do. Also, guess what my first meal was in the mission field. That's right, pizza! That was sweet. We have dinner with the members every night, so I'm learning pretty quickly to just eat everything.

So one of the coolest things was our lesson last night (there were lots of cool things, but this is the most recent and easy to remember I guess). Anyway, we were with this family that has been investigating for almost a year. We brought along 2 members that are engaged. In fact, the Brother that came with us used to be a missionary in this area and was the one that knocked on their door a year ago that started their interest in the church! So that was way cool to be able to have him there. Anyway, we after teaching the plan of salvation and eternal families, his future wife shared the importance of temple marriage, and then I explained that we needed to prepare for the temple, and invited their whole family to be baptized. They (basically) said yes! The parents aren't actually married, but the mom said she is determined that their family will do what they should for God, and when the father said he wanted to but jokingly said that marriage was a lot to ask of them, the mom basically told him that if it came down to it, she'd leave him so she could do what she had to do! Hopefully it doesn't come to that, and that they'll follow through with what they said. She even said she's going to buy a skirt for church because they haven't actually gone during the whole year they've been meeting with missionaries.

Anyway, that was just one of the super cool things that happened this week. Oh, my companion is Elder Benson. He's the district leader and he's an awesome missionary. He's been out for about a year. He actually reminds me a ton of my roommate at BYU. They like the same music, the same tv shows, and everything.
Most of the hispanics here are at least slightly bilingual, so I don't feel super immersed in the spanish, although I'm definitely trying. In fact, yesterday I got to share my testimony at church in front of our ~80 person spanish branch. Sharing your testimony in spanish to 80 native spanish speakers is a little scary...but it went fine. I don't remember the last time I shared my testimony in sacrament meeting and only took like 30 seconds, but it was still fine. A lot of the members have been telling me that my spanish is really good for only being here a week, but I can't wait for it to get better!

Anyway, that's awesome that you already have a potential buyer for the house! I hope that works out. I hope everyone has an awesome first day of school! I'm a little jealous that you guys will get that  first day of school snack...oh well! Oh, scripture of the week. I had a hard time choosing, but I'm going to go with "And my father dwelt in a tent" from Nephi. It's our district scripture. It's a great example of sacrifice and humbly doing what the Lord asks. Plus...the whole district has to memorize it and its really short. But there's a lot to get out of that scripture and its there for a reason.

Good luck with everything!

Les amo,

Elder Webster