Saturday, August 30, 2014

Soccer and Stories


First, happy almost birthday mom! The big 2-0, right? And congrats to Jaxon with all the merit badges, what a boss. It looks like he might be the youngest of us kids to get his eagle. Keep up the good work!

So first of all, yes, Johny did end up getting baptized last saturday, so that was really neat. I'll be attaching a couple of photos of him. And he's already set the goal of making to the temple in Chile someday, so that was nice to hear. He's a way spiritual guy, it seems like every lesson he manages to ask us questions none of us have ever been asked by people before.

This week my comp and I also got to have some fun proselyting experiences. We didn't get to go to our area very much, but on Thursday we managed to go visit those kids that are always hanging out in the plaza. We got there and the first thing they did was challenge us to see who could juggle a soccer ball the longest. Haha so that was pretty fun. Then one of them asked, "Hey, aren't you going to teach us something? Tell us a story!" Haha so we all ended up sitting down again and we were able to teach a couple points from the restoration lesson. They weren't super focused, but we found 1 or 2 of them that really seemed interested, so hopefully we'll be able to focus on them more in the future. In fact, the sisters we share a ward with are now teaching the mom of one of them, since we passed them the reference, so thats pretty cool. Haha when we finished talking to them, they all started leaving because they were about to play soccer with another group that they had been waiting for, but before they did, one of them asked, "Hey, aren't we going to pray again, like last time?" We said yes, so he started shouting out for everyone to come back so they could pray. Everyone from their group turned around from the people they had just left to say hi to, said stuff along the lines of "oh yeah, we forgot" and came back so we could pray. Haha they're like the most spiritual gang of young teenage pot smokers ever. Haha they're way fun. 

The other main cool experience/idea was yesterday. You know how sometimes in Mexico, people would come to our car at intersections to try to wash our windows and stuff? Thats pretty common here downtown, and they also go car to car at intersections to sell fruits and other random stuff a lot too. Well yesterday we had to go to a place to get some new nametags made for missionaries, and while my comp and I were waiting, I said it would be fun to go car to car with pass along cards. He just kind of laughed and thought I was I did it. It was way fun. We were only there for like 3 red lights, but I gave away probably 30 pass along cards to people stopped at the intersection. A few people even would call me from other lanes so they could get one, and one guy had his wallet out when I got to his car because he wanted to buy one. Way fun. It looks like I found my new pass time for whenever we're downtown waiting for something.

Anyway, so the verse I chose this week is Mosiah 27:28-29. Here, Alma the younger is talking about his repentance process, and he says that he had to repent almost unto death (haha...I think thats how it would translate). It made me think of something I was thinking about a week or 2 ago. Its that everyone, from a mass murderer to a missionary that accidentally sleeps 5 minutes late, needs the atonement equally. Can any of us really say "Oh, I'm better than him, he needs the atonement way more than I do"? Or can we say "I'm pretty good, I only need a little bit of help from Christ"? We all need to be perfectly perfect to live with God again, and since none of us are perfect, we are all in need of His forgiveness. Even if we might say 1 sin or error might be "worse" than another, every single error must be erased. It doesn't really matter if one persons sins are more "minor" than another person's, if neither of them get to live with God than what does it matter? They essentially have the same punishment of not being in His presence. That thought process made me realize that really, the severity of the sin doesn't really have to be directly proportional to the degree of our repentance. When we really see the results of even the "smallest sin" and if we are able to look at our sin the way our Heavenly Father does (without the least degree of allowance), we can be brought to repent in the way that Alma the younger did. Great godly sorrow isn't limited to great sins. The atonement's impact on our life isn't so much a result of the severity of our sins, but a result of the depth of desire to be forgiven.

Well, thats the gospel according to Elder Webster for ya. I hope you all have a great week! Happy Birthday mom, again!


Elder Webster

Monday, August 25, 2014

Hey Y'all!

Hey y'all
Thats way exciting about Elder Webster reaching the mission field this week! And I'm sorry you guys have been sick this week, but on the bright side, no one died could be worse. And thats cool that grandma and grandpa got to go to see Hermana Schiess. Glad to hear she made it back alright. And congrats mom! Thats way cool about your friend accepting the invitation! Good luck! Haha if I think of any advice, I'll let you know.

This week was pretty good. Our mission got a visit from Elder Viñas of the 70, so that was really cool. He talked a lot about the atonement and about how to know if we have received a remission of our sins and how to help others recognize forgiveness in their lives. He also did a pretty intense activity. He had a list of the names of every person that had been baptized in like the past 5 years in our mission, and it was divided by ward. And he would call out a random ward, and the missionaries from that ward had to stand up and tell everything about the situation of everyone on his list. But he was actually pretty impressed at how well we did. So that was cool.

Unfortunately, this week we didn't get to go work in our area very much, so that was kind of lame. But on the bright side, Johny passed his baptismal interview on Thursday! He's set to get baptized tonight, assuming all goes well. So we're all pretty excited for that. Haha almost everyone in the office has taught him, because its been really hard for any of us to consistently be available at the times of our appointments, so its kind of like one big shared baptism. We've also been making a lot of changes in the office. None of us are particularly happy about being in the office because a lot of the time we don't really feel like missionaries really, but we realized we can change that. At least a little bit. So we've been making an effort to do a lot better at that, and I think its helping quite a bit.

So, verse(s) of the week. This one is kind of a lot. So, I read Mosiah 3 this week, and in that chapter, King Benjamin is telling his people about what an angel told him. It mainly talks about Christ and the Atonement. What I thought was interesting was verse 3 and 4. Its sort of a prologue, given by the angel, about the message he was going to share. He says that it was a message meant to make him happy, and that when he shared it with the people, they too would be filled with joy. So as I read the chapter, I thought, "Does this message fill me with joy? Why or why not?" In Mosiah 5:4 we read what the people thought about the message--that they were filled with joy because of the faith they had in the things they had heard. I really like that. That the joy they felt because of Christ and His atonement was directly related to the faith they had in it. And since faith is related to action, the more we act with faith in Christ, the more joy His gospel brings to us. Pretty cool stuff.

Anyway, I'm sure I'm leaving something out, as always. But I hope you all have a great week! Keep being awesome!

Elder Webster

Saturday, August 16, 2014

It Was A Good Week

Hey Everyone!
I can't believe there is now officially another Elder Webster out in the mission field. I can't wait to hear about it! And that's cool about the new callings, mom and dad! Hope everything is going well!
So, I've got lots of stuff to write this week, so hopefully I remember to put in all the cool things that happened--

First, we got all the new missionaries this week, so that kept us way busy! It was way fun getting to talk to all of them/see them all kind of freaking out. It was kind of funny, all the questions they were asking us. But probably my favorite part of the things we did with them was on Wednesday night. They got their comps on Thursday, but the president and his wife wanted them to go out to work as soon as possible, so on Wednesday, we all split up, and I got to take 2 new missionaries out to go talk to people in the streets. It was awesome! We got to this little plaza, and I saw about 4 or 5 teenagers sitting on a bench smoking weed so...I decided we should go talk to them. As we were introducing ourselves, I thought of the Preach My Gospel DVDs, so I turned to one of the new missionaries and told him "talk to them about the restoration". The new elder looked at me for a second, then pulled out a pamphlet and started explaining. One of the guys interrupted to ask about life after death, and long story short...we ended up teaching the plan of salvation to about 15 teenagers while all of us were sitting in a circle on the ground in the middle of the plaza. There was like 3 rows of people in the circle all trying to listen to us. Way cool. Afterwards, the new missionaries were like freaking out and asking me if I had done that a lot...haha, nope! But way cool. I ended up going back to that plaza with my new comp (Elder Magdaluyo-the graffiti artist elder that is in the office waiting to see what happens with some knee problems), and a bunch of the teenagers greeted us and started calling their friends over to show them we had come. We'll see where that all goes I guess.

As far as Johnny goes, it looks like he'll be getting baptized next Saturday, unless something unexpected happens. So we're all pretty excited about that too. In one of our lessons with him this week, a new sister missionary and her trainer sat in on the lesson also. It was kind of fun seeing the new missionary in her first ever lesson. Haha she didn't say a word, but, still cool. Its amazing how many people we've gotten to teach/talk to this week, with how busy we've been. Literally, mission rules say to be back at the apartment by 9pm, but we've had to stay out until like 11pm 3 times this week because of all the things we had to do to organize transfers and receive the new people. And we need to get everything ready for a general authority that is coming next week (Elder Viñas of the 70), so, plenty busy. But since Elder Magdaluyo doesn't know for how long he'll get to stay in the mission because of his knees, we set the goal to really make an effort to try to get out and teach as much as possible. Which brings me to another fun lesson we had with a less active. I'll keep it short but, the lesson started when the teenage son stole his dad's bag of weed, and ended when the dad threatened his son by saying that he better say a good closing prayer or he'd "break him bad" was interesting.

Anyway, as a verse of the week, it was something that I read a couple days ago that kind of stood out to me. It was really a phrase more than the whole verse, but I liked it a lot. Jacob 4:12. Here, Jacob had just finished teaching about Christ and the gospel, and in this verse he tells the people to "marvel not" that he would tell them those things, because "...why not speak of the Atonement of Christ..?" I really liked that phrase. Why not speak of the atonement of Christ? I feel like it really applies a lot to the goal that Elder Magdaluyo and I have set. And it is a great guideline for new missionaries. So often, especially at the beginning of the mission, we feel unsure of what to say, because we really want to say the perfect thing, or we don't want to mess up. But can we really go wrong if we're talking about Christ's atonement? Why not talk about that?

Well, I feel like there was something else I was going to mention to all of you but..I can't think of what it was. So, I'll just leave it there. I hope you all have a great week! Go and be great!

Elder Webster

Oh, haha I remember the other thing I wanted to mention. Another elder from the offices got in an car accident this past week. No one got hurt, but we have some pictures of the crash and I can not even tell you how tempted I was to send you an email from the official mission email with those pictures saying something like "We're sorry to tell you that Elder Webster was in a serious car accident and is currently at the hospital......." but don't worry, I'm slightly more mature than that. Don't worry, I wasn't even in the car. But I thought I might as well send the pictures, because...why not. The white truck is the mission vehicle, the black car is what he crashed with. I guess that's what happens when we have to keep running errands until 11pm trying to get everything ready on time.

Oh, I'm also attaching a pic of the new steeple they put on our chapel. It didn't have one, but this whole place has been under construction ever since I got to the offices. And a pic of us after carrying all the suitcases of the new missionaries to their hotel. That is only about half of them in that pic though.

Missionary truck

The other car

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Weekly Update Number 982635876...or something like that, I lost track

I still can't believe you're all going back to school already! And that kind of stinks dad, about having to work so far away...

And mom asked a lot of questions so... 1)Mom, you know I'm a thug:) 2) Yeah I've worn that to the bank, but I switch it up every time. Usually I just go in jeans and a random shirt. Its kind of weird going out like that. Its not a SUPER sketchy part of town, but, missionaries were robbed like 6 blocks from there a few weeks ago, so, just in case. Most missionaries don't have to change clothes, but since I pull out a whole lot more money than most missionaries, they don't want people seeing me because then they might think that all missionaries carry lots of money and then they'll be more likely to rob them. 3) Yeah it'll be easier when he can sign checks. He's gone a lot, but the main problem is that he's not on the mission bank account yet, and they can't put him on until he gets a bunch of paper work down. I think they're almost done with all that now. I hope.

This week has been pretty good. We're doing a lot of preparations for transfer week next week, especially since 32 new missionaries are coming, so we have to do a lot of planning for all of them and we're all going to be way busy next week. Haha game day for the offices. And I also spent a lot of time helping some missionaries move to a new pench...they had to do kind of an emergency move because the cops found like 7 women that had been kidnapped, trapped in one of the rooms of their little apartment complex we got them a new place. But on the more happy side... guess what happened this week! We set a baptismal date with someone!! We received an amazing reference from the sister missionaries in our ward. They had started teaching Johnny the week before, but it turned out he lived in our area, so they set up a lesson for us. He's amazing. He's so well prepared, and he even walks to the church right next to the offices so that we can teach him. He committed to get baptized, committed to live the word of wisdom, and is really doing everything he can. We met with him Tuesday and Thursday. On Thursday, he told us that he had had a dream the night before about him getting baptized. He wasn't sure if it was an answer to his prayer or because he had stayed up late reading the pamphlet we gave him, but he really wants to. I'm not sure if he'll be ready by his baptismal date (next week), but I'm positive he'll get baptized. It'll be like the first baptism in the offices since like...ever. So we're all way excited for that.

So as a verse of the week, I was thinking of 2 Nephi 16:11. Nephi is quoting chapters from Isaiah, and at the beginning of the chapter, Isaiah is called to preach and prophesy. In verse 11, he asks the Lord a question... "Lord, how long?". I love what the Lord said in response, "Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate...." The thing that I was thinking is that, obviously, that time hasn't come yet, and so the Lord's call to Isaiah is still in effect. Meaning that his efforts were to extend and affect those that he didn't even meet during his life. We too can affect more people than we may ever know. A calling to serve in an Elders quorum doesn't mean that you will only be helping the members of that quorum, for that period of time, and the same goes for every calling we have. But hey, it was Isaiah writing, so for all I know, I understood that totally wrong. But, hey, good message either way.

Well, I hope you all have a great week! Good luck in California Elder Webster II!

Elder Webster

I don't know mom, I'm pretty sure I look way thug. This is right before we went to the bank to pull out $40,000 pesos :)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Stress and a Graffiti Artist

Hey everyone!
Wow sounds like everyone has had a crazy and fun week this past week! I'm glad you all enjoyed it and that nobody died:) I dare you to go and have an even crazier week next week!

I had another good week this week. Time flies in the office, but every day is so similar so its kind of weird. The trip to Chile ended up going well (but no, I didn't get to go). Its been pretty stressful though. I've been way more stressed in the offices than I ever was out in the field for some reason. I thought I was handling it well though, up until a day or two ago some sister missionaries were at the offices and they came over to my office to say hi, but the first thing they said when they saw me was "elder, why do you look so stressed?" haha so I guess I haven't been hiding it as well as I thought. But my job will get like 5 times easier once President is able to sign checks for me. But someone told me something this week that made me feel nice and prideful. There is this guy that has worked really closely with the mission for like 20 years, and this week when he came in he told me that he didn't really know me yet, but that he had worked with a lot of office elders, and that based on the stuff he's already seen me done, he knows what kind of work I'll do and that he's excited to work with me. So, that was a nice way of getting me to be all full of myself haha.

Umm, so in other news, there is a cool missionary that got brought into the office this week. He's got some pretty serious knee problems and had to get taken out of the field, and it looks like he might become the new historiador. He's pretty fun. He used to be a professional street-artist/graffiti-artist, so we've been having him make cool art things all over the offices. So that's been kind of a fun change.

Anyway, so the verse I was thinking of sharing this week is...2 Nephi 3:17. It is Lehi quoting Joseph of Egypt's prophecy about Moses. The thing that I thought was cool is that the Lord makes it clear that before Moses was even born, He know what his strengths and weaknesses would be. He says some of the things He would do to help with the weaknesses, but He has no intention of removing the weakness entirely. He does the same with us. He knows our weaknesses better than we do, and although He won't push us beyond what we are able and He is always willing to help us, our weaknesses are OUR weaknesses. We simply have weaknesses. There is no use worrying about them or being sad about them. Like it says in Ether, we have weaknesses to help us be humble. They're supposed to be there. So I guess its a blessing that He gave me so many of them!!

Well I hope you all have another great, fun-filled week!

Elder Webster

A pic from Centro today

Me looking like a thug in my Argentina ghetto clothes.

Like 20,000 pesos