Thursday, October 31, 2013


A sister in the ward Jace is serving in sent me an email with a nice update about Jace and his companion. It was really fun to hear from her!

She also sent a bunch of pictures. It's a beautiful place!

Elder Webster and Elder Jones

Linda and Lynn Hunt (who sent the emails)

The Andes... She has a view of this from her front yard! Wow.

One of many Mary shrines where people can stop to pray.

Bricks used for the poorer homes.

Wine country

Monday, October 28, 2013

Finally in Argentina!


Glad my letters got there! Sounds like you guys are keeping busy and are getting ready for an awesome Halloween! Haha good luck Mom with that ring! Haha this whole computer is in spanish so its telling me I´m spelling every single word wrong...slightly annoying.

Anyway, I´m here! I think we were traveling for almost 30 hours (including like 8 hours in Buenos Aires) before I actually got to Mendoza. Pretty sweet! Its like I´m in a foreign country or something! Haha the streets are crazy. I´m pretty sure there arent really rules in the streets, and my companion says that police here dont really have any if there are rules no one seems to follow them. Haha and then we flew to Mendoza...airports are cool here. For the flight to Mendoza we had to go to a different airport, and security basically meant going through a metal detector, setting it off, and then a security guy looking at me and telling me it didnt matter and to just keep going. Haha customs or whatever was awkward though. We got there and told them we planned on being here for 2 years, but apparently right now the church only has tourist visas for us, so they talked for a long time and told us if we don´t get some other visa we need to leave in 3 months. So not sure what will happen there.

Anyway, I´m in an area called Mayor Drummond with Elder Jones. We also live with the zone leaders, one of whom is latino, so we mostly speak spanish at the pench. The accent here sounds crazy. I can understand it okay-ish, but it basically sounds like some of these people are trying to speak spanish with an italian accent sometimes. Sometimes I try to talk with their accent, but I feel super stupid when I do it. Like Im overdoing it and making fun of their accent or something. Their accent is called castellano, and some of them are 100% sure that its a different language than spanish and that they don´t even know spanish...but whatever. Haha another cool thing is that almost everyone I´ve met, the 2nd or 3rd question they ask me is what team I support, and if you say the wrong team sometimes they kind of stop talking to you. So my companion has been trying to teach my what team I´m supposed to support to be able to be friends with more people.
But yeah, its kinda crazy here. The nice parts of my area remind me of the sketchy parts of Tucson, and the bad parts remind me of the ruins you find out in the desert in Arizona. Pretty sweet. The city also has sequias (no idea how to spell that), but they´re like these big drainage things on the side of the street with water and trash in them. They´re like deep enough for a dog the size of copper to walk in and you wouldn´t see him (I know that because there´s quite a few dogs walking in them). They´re uncovered and I have a bad feeling its only a matter of time until I fall in one. Also I just attached a couple pics, but they´re both from while we were driving in Buenos Aires...which was probably the scariest drive of my life. I´ve already been spending a lot of times in buses here, and when you sit by the window and look down, its generally impossible to see the space between the bus and the car next to you. Fearless. And ¨bus stops¨ basically just mean the bus is going to have its doors open for about 5 seconds, stop for about 3 of those seconds, and then keep going. Way fun.

I feel like there´s tons of other stuff to say about here, like how I haven´t found a single toilet that I could figure out how to flush with help or looking for like 5 minutes, but I´m not sure what else to say.
Oh, verse of the week. Mosiah 29:26-27. Yesterday was the election here so I felt like that applied pretty well. Almost everyone here kind of seems to hate their government and don´t want to vote for anyone, but they have to because there is a fine if you don´t vote here. They´re all pretty worried about the country.
Anyway, everything is going pretty sweet. Its kind of weird because almost everyone here totally looks American, so sometimes I almost forget that they speak spanish. The spanish is coming along alright. I can generally say what I want to say (simply), but it will be a while before I fully understand everything they say to me. Oh well. I think my spanish is pretty good considering I didn´t bring the main spanish grammar book everyone else studies, and this is my first transfer ever talking spanish with other missionaries. Not that I´m looking for excuses to not be able to speak spanish.

Well other than that its all good. Fun stuff. I´m super stoked to be here and its way cool. President Avila is way funny and nice and my companion is pretty sweet too.

Hope you guys have a great Halloween and rest of the week!

Les amo,

Élder Webster

PS Oh and I got to see Elder Wengert! He´s with one of the people that came down with me and was in my District in the MTC. So close to being his companion!

PPS and you 2 make an awesome Señor y Señora Increíble

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Elder Webster Has Arrived!

Dear Webster Family,          

We are happy to inform you that Elder Webster has arrived here in Mendoza alive and well!

 Following a short orientation and a dinner with President and Sister Avila, the new missionaries were then brought to the mission home to eat dinner, recuperate from the flight and have a brief testimony meeting.

Today they will meet their trainers, receive trainings from the assistants to the president, and have their first individual interview  with President Avila. After this they will be off to their first assignment area. I am putting with this email a few pictures we took the first day in Argentina and you can even follow the blog of the mission.

May the Lord continue to bless you and your family for all that you do in order to support your missionary.

Elder Wells
Misión Argentina Mendoza

Monday, October 21, 2013

How Do You Say Pizza In Spanish?


So that was way cool that we got to talk on the phone for like a minute! Wasn't expecting to get to do that. Haha sounds like dad and hailey had a fun weekened. I don't know if I'll have time to respond to Hailey's email, but make sure she knows she's awesome! Haha you're all awesome. And I'm super glad to see the things Hailey and Jaxon both sent me. That was really cool.

So obviously I'm super excited to fly down to Argentina. Thats cool Kollin is going the same time. Maybe I'll see him! And I hope I get to see my companion from the MTC, because he's going down on Wednesday. Oh, and tell both sets of grandparents thank you so much for the packages! And tell they YM/YW thank you for taking a mutual to write to me, that was cool.

So cool week. We taught one guy the first lesson, and he took notes the whole time and said he believed us. I love it when people listen and want to believe. Most people listen, think its weird, and don't want to talk to us, but other people listen to the first vision like we're teaching a history lesson and get super interested and want to know why the people at their church never told them about it, because it seems like it should be a big deal (which it is...). Oh, and yesterday we knocked on a door and just taught the whole first lesson while we were standing at the door, and by the end I had this feeling to ask about baptism, which usually we wait a bit longer to ask about, but I asked and she said she'd be willing to get baptized! So that was way cool. We also went to teach a less-active family about the Word of Wisdom, and at the end we blessed the house and they went, grabbed all their coffee and tea, and threw it in my companion's backpack so we could go throw it away for them. Haha so lots of cool stuff this week. We also set 2 other baptismal dates with people, although they might have to get pushed back. One of them had a date before, but was living with her boyfriend and didn't stop..but...he got deported so now there's no problem. Haha I guess I should feel more sad about her boyfriend being deported... haha its crazy how many illegals we meet. Weird stuff.

Hey so I tried to attach some pictures, but I'm on a library computer and it says theres some sort of restriction on them. So I'm not sure if they'll show up or not. Hopefully. Oh, haha a native speaking missionary told me yesterday that my spanish is actually pretty good, and he was surprised when I told him that I never speak it with my companions or in our apartment. Haha I think I let compliments like that go to my head way to easily.

Speaking of which, when I called you guys asked me to speak spanish and asked what I ate for lunch...? haha what did you expect me to say?? Saying "pizza" doesn't exactly require spanish. Pero, estoy dispuesto a escribir en espanol. No mas quiero compartir mi testimonio acerca de nuestra Iglesia, y que se' que el libro de mormon contiene la palabra de Dios y la plentiud del Evangelio.

Anyway, I think verse of the week could be Genesis 19:15-17. Our mission president has been sharing that chapter a lot lately, relating it to the hastening of the work, and how it wasn't enough to leave the city, but they had to leave the plains and go to the mountains (mountain->mountain of the Lord->temples). I thought it was interesting. He also related missionary work to Noah trying to tell people to get into the Ark. We were picturing what the people must have thought when it first started raining, and how they must have felt when they realized that after a couple days or whatever, that it was really going to start flooding. He urged us to treat missionary work like that, how we're literally trying to save their lives. I thought it was pretty cool.

Well I'm going to keep trying to get these pictures to go through. I can't really think of anything else to say. Oh, and mom, I assume I'll just email next p-day, I don't think I'll be calling or anything before then. But I also didn't think I was going to call yesterday, so I have no idea.

I'm glad you guys are doing so good, and I hope everything is going well! I'm glad Jaxon had fun at camp, I hope Jordan likes his new job, I hope Hailey keeps being perfect, and I hope you guys keep guys!

Con amor,

Elder Webster

Monday, October 14, 2013

Transferred To A Trio

Hey guys!

Thanks Grandma Nielson and the Lawrences for the emails! Hopefully I'll have time to respond to you guys. Sounds like you guys have had a way cool week. And yeah, I can't wait for Jordan to get his mission call! That would be so cool if he went spanish speaking too! Also, I'm super sorry, I was planning on sending some pictures today but I got transferred today and didn't put my camera in a very easy place to get to... Now I'm in the North Salem area in a trio, since I'll be leaving next week. I still haven't really heard much else about the travel plans though. Super excited to get to Argentina, but I'll miss the people here too. They're so great! Haha whenever latinos do their impression of an Argentinean accent, I can't understand anything there saying...but I'm sure I'll figure it out soon enough. Haha yeah it would be easier to send stuff to me now, but I don't really need anything, and I still have to make sure my bags won’t be overweight for my flights to Argentina, so I'm fine.

Mom, that’s way cool about the stake missionary thing. It reminds me of something said at church this past week. He was talking about how he had never been released from a calling until he was released as a full-time missionary, and he was expecting them to do it by laying their hands on his head and everything, but that’s not how it works. So he's technically released, but he says he never really felt released, so he still feels like a missionary. That was like 2 years ago, but he still acts like a missionary and he loves coming to lessons and teaching and stuff. He's way cool. He was talking about his mission in Mexico and how he baptized almost every week.

Jade is still hesitant. She kind of just shuts off whenever we start talking to her about church stuff. Armando still wants to procrastinate. I mentioned Isabel before right? We went by this past week and she had read half the Book of Mormon in a week and told us she believed it all and now she has a baptismal date for Nov 2nd! So that was pretty cool. I'll be long gone by then, but still super excited for her. Other than that it was a pretty slow week. Only taught 8 lessons... which is the lowest I've ever had, and the lowest my companion had ever done too (which is saying something, since he’s been out for about 16 months). But it was still good. I'm trying to think of other cool things this week, but honestly it was more walking around looking for people than actually doing things, unfortunately.

But yeah, I got transferred. I'm actually serving in the spanish branch I was in at the beginning, but they have 2 sets of missionaries in this branch, so I used to be in the other area, and now I'm not. So now I have a week to meet these people and learn my way around the area. I'm in a trio with a visa-waiter going to Brazil (so he doesn’t really know spanish, just portuguese) and a native spanish speaker (well, bilingual). So should be fun. Haha I wonder how long it will take for me to start considering myself bilingual? Because even though I speak spanish to people and understand what they say back (generally), I don't really feel like I know spanish yet.

So for a verse for the week. I was thinking of Ether 12:27 (pretty sure thats it, I don't have it written down with me). Normally I read that and see how it talks about how weakness makes us humble, but this time I focused on how it says that God gives us weakness. I know only good comes from God, so I was just thinking about that and trying to see what good there is in weaknesses. Cool stuff. 

Speaking of cool stuff, I don't remember if I told you guys or not. This mission is starting to do this "strengths assessment" thing. It’s like this online test that tells you your top 5 strengths. Not gonna lie, stuff like personality tests make me skeptical. But it’s still cool and it’s been really accurate with like everyone that’s taken it here. It says my top 5 are learner, intellection, achiever, responsibility, and belief. There’s like a page long description of each of them, but, you get the idea. Except for maybe with intellection...not sure if that’s even technically a word. Haha, whatever.

Anyway, super glad to hear from you guys as always! And I really am sorry, I was going to send you some pictures today but I don't have my camera with me right now...probably could have planned that a bit better. I'm looking forward to my week in this area, meeting the people, sleeping on the couch (3 of us, missionary apartments have 2 beds...), and being a missionary. Sounds like some cool stuff has been happening at church over there, have fun inviting the missionaries over for dinner. Oh and thats way cool that you were with Chris and Sherie! Hope they're doing well, and have them tell hi to Josh for me if they can!! They're so cool.

Que vaya bien

Elder Webster

Monday, October 7, 2013

Visa Approved!


Sounds like you guys have been going crazy. I don't think I'll recognize the house when I get back. That's way cool that you got to meet that guy and give him some salmon! He sounds way cool. Glad Jordan didn't get bit by the snake, and that's cool that he'll have a new job! I hope everything is going well and that you guys have a fun break from school. I'm sure you'll find something fun to do! And thanks for the card and money for McD's! That'll be awesome to use.

Yeah Conference was pretty sweet. We watched all the saturday ones at the church, the sunday morning one at the Creswell's house, and the sunday afternoon one at the church. We tried to get all the spanish people at the church for the sunday afternoon one so we could all watch it in spanish together...but only 1 person showed up, out of all the members and investigators we invited. And he's already a member. So we ended up giving him headphones to hear in spanish and we just watched it in english. Still fun though, lots of great talks. I'm not sure what my favorite was, but ElderEdward Dube had to be one of my favorites. Haha we already have the whole conference in our car listening to it again.

So...Jade. We were over at her house Tuesday choosing speakers and hymns for her baptism, and then went over Wednesday and all of a sudden she had more doubt than I've ever heard of/seen before. Honestly, if I was doing a role play with some to practice teaching and they used the doubts she had, I'd get mad at my partner for being so ridiculous. We still have hope for her, but the baptism was cancelled and we're hoping to set a date in the future. Haha that family is crazy/fun to work with. The mom is super motivated/spiritual, but no one else is nearly as dedicated as her and she can't figure out how to help them. Haha but Jade won homecoming queen this past I guess thats something to celebrate.
Oh, last night I ate dinner with the Thompson's. They're super nice, fun, and generous. One of our investigator families lives on a 2nd house on their property. They're also pretty good cooks and sent us home with a bunch of extra food too. Anyway, they're snowbirds or whatever and they're going to be in TUCSON for the next couple months. I gave them your address and told them to stop by, so maybe you'll get to meet them!

Let's see...anything else interesting this week....? Oh, umm.... my visa got approved!! Ya know, no big deal. I was told I'll be flying to Argentina on the 22nd of this month, but I'm not sure if they know all the details yet. So that's pretty nifty. I'll definitely miss Oregon and the people I've met here, so I feel slightly bad feeling excited to leave them but...I'm excited. Deal with it.

Oh, fun story. Evelina and Ramon. First of all, every hispanic person will tell you their catholic, as far as I can tell. But these two are the first that have proved it to us. The first time we met them they told us we could try coming by late on a weeknight, but they'd probably be busy praying, or that we could try a sunday, but that they'd probably either be at church or reading the scriptures. Yeah. So we went by last night. The whole conversation was about how active they are in their church. When we told them about the restoration, they basically said "oh, so you're church is only like 200 years old. Ours is 2000, so ours is right. Maybe one day you guys will catch up." (in a nutshell). Then they told us that if we believe in praying we should pray that all the satanic people that sacrifice little kids for halloween would be stopped. So...umm...yeah, fun people.

Anyway, I was thinking of Luke 9:62 as a verse of the week this week. It practically sums up Dube's talk, and its pretty cool.

Not sure what else to say, but I hope you guys are having an awesome time and I want you to know that I'm having an awesome time.


Elder Webster

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tracting In The Rain and Homemade Chocolate


You're putting in hardwood floors? That sounds fun. Yeah I'm super excited for conference this week. Oh and I got a package from the Lawrences, which was pretty awesome! I also really like that scripture you said, about how the rain falls on the just and the unjust...especially because its been raining for since like last Wednesday. And we don't want to go over our mile limit for the month, so we've been out walking in the rain/wind for the past few days as much as possible. Haha Saturday we even some trees that had fallen over from the wind. Haha something about tracting in bad weather is fun. Not sure why...

You asked about the investigators. Yeah, Jade's baptism should still be happening on the 6th, as long as all goes well. Her dad should hopefully get baptized sometime in the near future also...we just need to get him to believe that there's a God...but other than that he seems ready! With her dad, we watched a mormon message called "mortal father, heavenly father". I love that video! My companion and I watched it like 4 times this week during studies. Armando...hasn't really changed since last time. He still thinks baptism is good and wants to do what he should...but is willing to wait until next year.. We also contacted this old potential investigator named Isabel. She told us she had read the whole restoration pamphlet, liked it, and told us she'd be at church this week...but didn't hopefully she ends up being as aweseome as she seemed when we talked to her.

Oh, last P-Day was pretty cool. We went to where Armando lives (he lives with a member family), and one of the members there is a chef and is training to go to national cooking competitions or something. Anyway, she had some cocoa beans that her brother had harvested at their house in mexico and had sent over here, so we went and made chocolate from scratch with her. Took like 3 or 4 hours, and honestly, I think store bought chocolate tastes just as good or better, but it was pretty fun. Then they fed us mole, which as far as I can tell, is like enchilidas covered in chocolate/spice sauce stuff. I have no idea what they are, but they taste good. Then for dessert we had super expired bananas with cheese and sour cream...and... umm....yeah...

Haha random quote from this week... "Oh, a native american examining a stereotypical." -Elder Madsen. Not really sure how to explain that...thats just exactly what happened. Not really sure why I thought it was so funny, because now as I write it out, it looks pretty stupid.

Oh, yesterday was the primary program. We got to sing with them for one of their songs, because they wanted to sing I Am A Child of God in spanish, so that was fun. My companion translated the first half of the program and I did the second half...but afterward we found out that the headsets we had passed out were all dead and that no one had been able to hear us the whole that was awkward. I guess we'll have to learn from that.

So I was thinking of Alma 5:15-16 as a verse of the week. The other day I was studying hope (because DyC 4 says you need hope to be qualified for the work), and afterward I went to read in the book of mormon, and those were like the first two verses I read, and they're awesome. Alma 5 is like a self-interview, and if you can answer yes to verse 15 and 16, I'd say that qualifies as having hope. I especially like the phrase "eye of faith". Today I happened across another verse in Alma 32:40-43 that uses that same phrase. Pretty cool. So today I ended up going and studying all the scriptures I could find that talk about eyes. Kinda weird I guess, but super cool.

 Oh, other random thing. Did I ever tell you guys about "THE LIST"? Its amazing...but we think it might be illegal. Not sure. Our area book has a list of every hispanic sounding name in Redmond and a few other cities. My companion says he thinks we got it from a member that works at a cable company or something...but its great. There's not a ton of hispanics here, and its not like they all live together in the same neighborhood, so its like a list of addresses of where to find them. I guess you could theoretically get the same info from a phone book, so it shouldn't be illegal...but its just funny/creepy that we have it. We joked around the other day saying that if anyone saw our apartment they'd think we were some sort of weird border control people, because we have spanish names written all over our whiteboards. We look especially creepy out in the rain because our jackets look like trench coats. Interestingly enough, little kids still talk to us all the time, even though I'd say we look exactly like a stereotypical "stranger" that parents tell their kids not to talk to. We can get them to tell us their names and addresses and everything. Haha well other than that, not sure what else to say today. Hope everything is going good! Super stoked for conference! Hopefully by next p-day we will have baptized Jade, if all goes well. Love you guys!

Elder Webster

haha one other thing I was planning on saying. Since we've been walking around a lot more, we've noticed how people react to missionaries and notice us (we knew before, but this past week made it obvious). It seems impossible to walk anywhere without some members honking and waving at us! Super cool. Haha but at least once or twice a day, people will also stick their head out their window and yell at us. Usually they either just yell "Mormons!" (in a mean way) or "Satan!"...its weird. Not really sure why they yell that. Honestly though, for some reason, we end up smiling and laughing just as much or more when people yell at us compared to when they wave nicely.

Haha oh, other funny story. The other day we asked this guy how he was doing, and he launched into a 15 minute story about how all his sons had passed away, and some story about Portland, police, jail, guns, pain, death... not totally sure. He had like no teeth and half the time we werent' sure if he was speaking english or spanish, and he kept switching between the two... It was the only time we'd ever met him. We really enjoyed talking to him and have tried to visit again, but haven't managed to find him home. He's pretty fun to talk to though. Haha at the end we invited him to church, he asked when it was, and we're pretty sure he said he'd be at the bar during that time, but that we were welcome to come with him if we wanted. At least we think thats what he said. Haha, writing that reminds me of the kid in our last area that kept asking us about marijuana...yeah...random. Haha you get to meet some interesting people on your mission. You kind of end up specifically looking for the people that most people don't look for...or want to find. Pretty fun.