Monday, June 12, 2017

June 4, 2017 - Final Letter

Well everyone this will be my last email to you all as a collective group while I am on my mission and as Elder Webb. I have served a wonderful 100 weeks and I will finish off with about 101 weeks. 
My time here has been amazing. I had no clue what was in store for me about 2 years ago but now looking back it just seems so crazy! I am so so so happy that I served a mission and it really has been the best 2 years of my life (so far) Before my mission all I would do is go to school, hang out, play video games and I thought that that was the life right there. But now that I have been here and I have met some of the most amazing people, felt such an amazing spirit I have realized that God has blessed me so much. I always thought before my mission before I came out was that I wanted to make sure I could come home and say that it was the best 2 years of my life. And now I can proudly say that it really was. Its actually pretty simple all you have to do is be humble, teachable, obedient and hardworking then you will be amazed at what the Lord will do for you. I also experienced some of the hardest times of my life here, but because of those experiences I am who I am now. I have come to know that Gods plan is so amazing. His plan is SO simple but also SO deep. The gospel is amazing really it is on how much you can learn. It never ends. I have seen this gospel change peoples lives right before my eyes. They go from lost to fulfilled, sad to happy. I have laughed harder then I have ever laughed, been happier than ever, I just have been filled up so much. I pray and hope that I will can continue to help others feel the joy. So I am so happy that I have done this and I thank each and everyone who has supported and helped me through this. Especially my parents who have sacrificed a lot for me to be here and also all those who sent motivating letters, emails, care packages, I am very very grateful! Recently I have been thinking a lot about the priesthood and eternal families. How blessed are we to be in the church that holds the true power of God? The power to bind in heaven and in earth. I have been thankful to use this as the main topic of my contacts this week, asking people "Brother or Sister, do you believe that after you die that you will still be married to your husband or wife? Do you believe that you will still be the mother and father of your children?" All of them responded in a way for us to testify that Gods plan is meant for us to be with our families forever, God gave us our families and He wants us to be with them forever. A big joke phrase in the Philippines is "WALANG FOREVER" (meaning there is no forever) But we always love to tell people there IS a forever and we can help you get there. I Have seen a lot of miracles happen in our area with finding new people and also helping those we have found to come unto christ. This upcoming saturday Nathaniel will be baptized! So we have an upcoming baptism and we are so happy for Nathaniel. Then the following week we will also have a potenial baptism if they pass their interview for my favorite investigators Jack and Anna Manalang:)))) So no question that the Lord has blessed so much. I am so grateful for his personal love for each and everyone one of us. 

So I love you all I hope that you have enjoyed my lame letters, I have enjoyed writing them, have a good week. See you all soon:)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May 30, 2017

Hey everyone how goezit? So this week was pretty awesome. We had our first baptism in SJDM! Sister Ging or her real name is Cheryl Arellano (see picture below)

Well the rainy season is officially here!! It has rained everyday so far :/ Its kinda a blessing and a curse cuz when it rains the weather gets a little cooler and it also feels really good when we sleep because the sound, the downside is that we get SOAKED when we work. That is the worst haha. I am fine if my shirt (AND IT JUST STARTED RAINING RIGHT NOW AS I AM TYPING) and pants get wet because that dries up pretty quick but once my shoes get wet then I start to get a lil frustrated... Because then they stay wet the WHOLE day and it is just a mess. So yeah since last wednesday it has rained everyday. Hopefully it doesnt effect our trip that bad here:/ But yeah its pretty fun though walking around in the rain.

But yeah just this last Saturday Ging was baptized. It is actually pretty cool on how we found that family or more on how they found us. So Gings family consists of her and her husband and 7 kids... Her first 4 kids dont live with her so we barely see them but her last 3 kids Fairy, Anna, and Shine and also her husband were all baptized last december 2016 in a different mission. So one day in early April Elder Slade and I were out doing some finding trying to add to our teaching pool. Then we stopped by this cool street vendor thing that sold these cool little souveniers and he is there only once in a blue moon so we stopped to buy something. Then as we were there this teenage girl walked up to us and held out her hand and said "Hello Elder!" So we talked to her and found out that she and her family were members but her mom was not yet (Ging) and she said that they have been living in their house just around the corner from where we were for like about 3 weeks or so and they have been looking for the missionaries. Then we got her address and we went to them a few days later and met all of them. So we were super excited about this new awesome part member family. But as we started teaching her Ging was still a little hesitant and she didint quite want to go to church yet so we taught her for about a 1 week and it still seemed iffy. But then we expected them to come to church the next sunday but we got a text friday night saying that they were going back to their province for the weekend so we were disappointed but that Sunday we went to church and we walked upstairs and we saw all of them sitting down! We were shocked and so happy! Then from then on out she just kept on coming and we finished the lessons and now she is baptized along with her family! So it is a pretty awesome story and we are so happy to have met the Arellano family. 

Jack and Anna Manalang are also doing really well. THey came to Gings baptism and sister Anna cried as she witnessed the baptism and heard the speakers so they are on their way as well to being baptized this upcoming June. THey are probably my favorite investigators ever I love them a lot.

Brother Nathaniel (see picture below) is also doing really well. He has his interview this upcoming Saturday and will be baptized on june 10th which will be my last baptism to be witnessed in the mission. Pretty crazy. But he is also a great guy and the future of the church!

This past week I had a really cool experience as I was pondering about Covenants. Saturday and Sunday were days full of covenants. On Saturday I interviewed 6 people to be baptized in which covenants were brought up and discussed a lot then we had an actual baptism which is a covenant then we partook of the sacrament on sunday which is renewing covenants and then we did a special sacrament for this older man in our ward and then last we taught a lesson to a less active about covenants. So it was a covenant filled weekend. So as it says in True to the Faith a covenant is a sacred agreement between God and a person. So as I was teaching about covenants to our less active I just felt like I had a realization. Maybe a spiritual realization. I kind of thought about why God makes us make covenants to return back to Him. So I realized that God loves us so much that me makes us make a promise to Him that we will do our part to return back to live with him, He loves us so much that he wants us to promise that we will go back to Him. He wants us to go back to Him so badly. But then some people might realize "Well if He loves us so much why doesnt He just save everyone regardless of covenants or not?" Its not that he cant but that he wont because if he just saved everyone regardless of what they did then it wouldnt be possible for us to be happy in His presence then that would make Him not God because everyone is happy in Gods presence. So I just got a deeper understanding on really how important covenants are. I am not sure if that made much sense from what I said but hopefully it did a little bit. Anyways love yous all:) I will write you my LAST letter next week... woah I cant believe it.








May 22, 2017

So this letter will be all about the Manalang family. So we will start off on how we found them. I have mentioned them a few times in my letters but I dont know if I have talked about them that much.

So about 3 or 4 weeks ago I think Elder Slade and I had about 2 hours right off the bat in the afternoon to do some finding. We had been lacking new people to teach and so we just hit it and went to go knock on some doors. So as we were finding we got the usual responses from people "were busy" or "next time" but we kept going and we taught someone but they were not very interested for us to come back, then we knocked more doors. As Elder Slade was talking to this one lady I looked to my left down the alley of many houses I saw this lady walk out and she looked at us and I looked at her and I waved and then she waved. Then she went back inside but then I walked back to her and started to talk to her. After a little bit of small talk she told me that she is really familiar with us because missionaries taught them about 2 years ago. So she let us come in and teach her. They really liked the lesson and she told us that we had to come back so we can meet her husband because he really loved the lessons before as well. So we came back and that is where me met Annas husband Jack. THen they invited us back to have lunch at their house and Jack fixed my watch and we were just so amazed at how nice they were. I mean most all Filipinos are so nice but Jack and Anna were just so nice. So now as the weeks have gone by they have been to church 3 weeks in a row and they are our favorite investigators. They were very very prepared to be taught. We went over to their house last saturday for Annas birthday and we showed them the Joseph Smith video (picture below) They loved it. THey were very touched about and they both agreed to baptism on the 10th of June. So we are so excited for them. I really do love them, they are such amazingly nice people and I am so glad that we have met them. I really hope they will continue to progress and accept the gospel fully in their lives. 



May 17, 2017

Hey everyone! So I dont have a ton to say this week, we just got back from a session at the temple which was awesome but we dont have a ton of time left in our pday. I have 3 more emails left in the mission so I am curious if I should continually send weekly ones or just wait 3 weeks and send out a big one of everything that has happened. But lemme know what you think. This week was good, we had a good turn out at church and had some good experiences this week. After Elder Slade and I did so much finding a few weeks ago we kinda fell of the finding train for a couple weeks which isnt good. We have been trying to hop back on it this week so we can keep finding those new people that need the truth. But one family in particular that I would like to talk about is the Manalang family. They are so awesome. So the family is The dad Jack, the mom Anna, and they have a few kids but the only one that came to church and listens continuously is Jackilyn. But they are so great especially jack. So last Saturday we went over to their house to teach them and we taught about our life before earth and why it is important for us to know where we came from to help us to make the right decisions while we are here in this life. So Jack really loves the lessons and loves church but he feels held back because he really needs to feed his family of 5 kids with a small 4 year old child with a disability. One of the jobs he does is watch repair and on sundays he sets up his station in a place where he makes good money for that day. So sunday is a great day for him to make money. So we committed him to come to church but he said he really wasnt sure if he would go because he really needs the money but then Elder Slade and I shared with the whole family 3rd Nephi Chapter 13 Verses 31-34 Seek ye first the kingdom of God. We promised and told Jack that if he would not work on sunday and do his best to keep the commandments and read the scriptures and pray. We promised that God would help them obtain their needs for their family, it felt good to promise that because it was from the scriptures it was truth, we can always rely on the promises from the scriptures. The next day at church Jack and his family came to church. So it felt really good to see him make that sacrifice. 

Well that is my short story for this week. I love you all and will talk to ya next week!




May 7, 2017

Hey so this letter isnt going to be as long and detailed as the last one but I hope you enjoyed the last one. I just am not into the whole writing thing... I guess that rules out one major for when I get back and go to college. But yeah this week has been pretty good, got our goal of having 12 investigators at church. There were so many people at church yesterday 174 people in our small meeting house, it was so crowded. But so awesome. My favorite family that we are teaching is the Manalang family they are the NICEST people I have ever met forsure... I can believe how nice they are. They want us to eat every saturday at their house and teach them. The mother and father of the family are the heart of that family, Jack and Anna. THey are the best. They have so much care and love for other people. They are a great example of christ like love even though they are not members, yet... Jack and Anna came to church yesterday and seemed to enjoy it which was awesome and we will head back to them on Wednesday. I sure love them.

So one thing I have seen through out my mission is change. Such an amazing thing. I have seen change all over the place and in so many people. The Gospel changes many people. One particular that I have seen this week is our investigator Bro. Nathaniel. He is 21 years old and has not made a lot of good decisions in his past. He has a 1 year old daughter that his mom (who is a member) takes care of. I first met Nathaniel in about the beginning of March and when I first met this guys I thought to myself this guy is kind of a screw up (bad on my part, I repented) but yeah I just thought man this guy is something. So we taught him a couple times but it was almost impossible because he literally did not listen or understand anything. He wouldnt look at us, he wouldnt read, he wouldnt do too much. Basically we thought, well maybe he will be ready in the future but he isnt ready now. So we stopped going to him for a couple of weeks but his mom who is a returning less active kept coming to church so we decided to go back and give Nathaniel another try. So in the beginning of April we started teaching Nathaniel again, we took things very very slow with him, and he seemed to open up a bit. Then as we continued to go to him and do our best to help him he started learning and listening. And now after a month of teaching and him going to church 2 times he is soooo much different then he was when I met him 2 months ago. He is now keeping all of his commitments, he is understanding, and he told us that because of our message he wants to stop smoking, and drinking, and fighting. It is just very cool to see the great change that happens.

Hope all is good back in the woodhood. Miss you all and will see you soon







May 2, 2017

Yeah so I dont really know what happened but all of a sudden our area just got super awesome. Well I guess I do know what happened, we worked super hard the past 2 weeks. So this week we worked very hard to help our investigators feel the spirit of the lessons and give them the best chance to be able to choose the right and come to church. Right now we have 21 baptismal dates extended to our investigators with more coming this week. Some of my favorite investigators that we are teaching is the Buenaflor Family, Brother Alfredo (he is the guy with the tattoo and all the cigarette boxes) The Fernin Family. Well honestly I love all of them and we have quite a few so I will just talk about some of them. So Brother Alfredo has to have one of the hardest lives ever. His wife has stage 4 colon cancer, and she is not doing well, and he he is constantly up all night on the computer trying to make money to keep them a float. That doesnt sound that bad when I type it but just seeing him and his family its pretty hard. BUT they are still super happy and it is pretty inspiring. He really wants to be baptized but he has like all of the obstacles in his life right now to keep him from being baptized such as the law of chastity and the word of wisdom.  But this past week we taught him both of those lessons and we made sure we had members present to provide him support. He has been to church 3 times now and he is doing his best. He actually is not married to his "wife" but they have been together for 17 years. So we really want to help them get married so they can have a chance of being sealed but honestly his wife is in very, very bad condition. One night we went over to share and she was just on the couch crying from the pain she was experiencing so we gave her a priesthood blessing. But Alfredo just keeps pushing forward and is doing his best to learn and get rid of his smoking problem. Look at all those cartons that is just from 1 month... so it is a pretty big problem but he is determined to get rid of it.

Elder Slade and I found this family about 2 weeks ago. The Fernin Family. They consist of a mother and a father 2 daughters and one daughter in law. We just walked up to their gate and they let us in to teach so we have been teaching them the past 2 weeks and they have been making some good progress. They are like most normal Filipinos. They are Catholic but dont really read the bible, and go to church sometimes. So they are learning a lot and are starting to kind of realize that maybe their really is a better way that God has prepared for His children, the restored church. We had a pretty intense lesson last saturday night. We had planned to continue our lesson in the Plan of Salvation but upon following up their reading of the Book of Mormon and asking god if it is true we kind of saw that they didint quite understand the whole point of us being there and our church. So we very clearly taught them again about the restoration and focused on the Priesthood. Then finally it hit them on what they really had to do. They had to read the BoM, pray and ask God, then go to church. So we strongly committed them to attend church the next day.

We also have this part member family that we are teaching the Arellano family. They are all members recently baptized in another mission except for the mom. SO we miraculously ran into them a few weeks ago and we had been teaching them and they are awesome but we were sad to hear that they went back to their home town for a few days and they wouldnt be able to come to church here.

We were pretty disappointed about how last week turned out at church so we worked really hard this last week and knelt in prayer as a companionship on Saturday night and prayed that God would help prepare the way and help our investigators make the right choice. Then the next day we just went forward with faith that things would work out. So we got to the meeting house (picture below) at about 8:30 and waited for our investigators. None were there yet so we went around the corner to see if our investigator Elsa was going to come and she said she would run a little late so we went upstairs and we saw that the Buenaflor Family was there (yes!) We were happy, then we were so shocked to look to the left and see the whole Arellano family!!! We were so happy to see them there, they came home early. Then we had another part member come in brother Rey. And then a little late Alfredo came! But the most exciting was when we were about half way through sacrament meeting we got a text from the Fernin family saying that they were coming!!! WOHOO! They texted us saying they were downstairs and we went down there brought them up and they attended gospel essentials class and our combined relief society and EQ. Jack pot. Heavenly father really helped us out. It was so great. We ended up with 11 investigators at church. So God really does care about each and everyone one of his children. He works miracles daily.

More miracles:

Remember the lady we met last week that had the dream of two men visiting her home with a message? Well yeah we have been teaching her Gina and her son Lance. They are so fun to teach. Sister Gina is on chapter 11 now of 1nephi and she is really loving it. We taught them about where we come from last night and we we taught about Adam and Eve they were so surprised about how clear the BoM describes their story. It helped me to remember that we really need the BoM to fully get what God really means about things. I feel blessed.

So last Saturday we had a few hours to find in the heat of the afternoon, we knocked a lot of doors and didint seem to find too much success but we know how it goes so we just kept going. Then I saw this lady come out of her house while Elder Slade and I were talking to this lady and I just waved at her and she waved back. So Elder Slade kept talking to this lady but it wasnt really going anywhere so I walked over to the other lady I saw and we started talking and she is like "Wanna come in?" So Elder Slade went in to teach. Her name was Anna and she mentioned that her mom died last year so we taught about the PoS and it was a great lesson. We actually found out that whe was taught by missionaries two years ago and they had not gone back to her. So we set a return date and we went back yesterday, then her whole family was there! Her, her husband, and her 3 daughters. The husband was so thrilled to see us because he didint know where the other missionaries had gone, but they were soooo dang nice! Anna and her husband have been reading the BoM and they are already on page 160, then they invited us over again on saturday to have have lunch and teach again. They are sooo prepared. The Manalang family.

So there you have my week, it was awesome. I am officially in my last transfer of my misison, 6 weeks left. Time to kick it into gear. Love you all:)






April 24, 2017

Yo yo yo yo yo yo yo yo whhhaaattt upppp. Thank you all for your awesome emails, I love them. Especially the pictures they are great. Things are starting to heat up here, literally and in our area. The weather is super hot now. I am pretty used to it by now but still summer is here! We live right next to a swimming pool and Elder Slade and I just walk by that thing in envy on those hot afternoons when we walk out of our apartment haha. 

This week was one of the busiest weeks of my mission it was pretty dang awesome. Last week our zone leaders set up a weekly goal for the whole zone. It was called the Armor of God. This contained a different piece of armor for each day of the week. So the goal was to obtain those different pieces of armor by accomplishing a finding activity each day. For example, get 2 new investigators and give out 3 book of mormons. So each and everyday each companionship had to try and accomplish the different finding activities. I wasnt to gun hoe about it at first because I have seen stuff like this done before but when Elder Slade and I found out that their was a prize to who ever won, we were all over it. (we work pretty hard anyway but a prize sounded pretty cool) So we hit the pavement hard that monday to get things going. Then every other day we accomplished the challenge. So Elder Slade and I beat the whole zone :) (not saying that that is important at all but we won) We ended the week with 21 new investigators and 17 baptismal dates extended. So it was an awesome week. BUT it ended out pretty bad... We didint have anyone at church which totally blew but that is okay. I wasnt too upset because I know that next week will go a lot better. But the week was really fullfilling, we came home at the end of the day with no regrets. 

This one day we had to find 2 investigators and give them baptismal dates but it was getting late and we said to eachother "How are we going to find people to let us in and give them a date at this time?" But we kept going and we turned down this street and it was empty except for this one guy who was hanging up some clothes so we approached and talked to him and we saw that his wife was just inside their front porch washing clothes and they were a little bit more on the Elderly side so we figured it wouldnt really go anywhere but we said "Can we have a short amount of your time to share with you a message about Christs church?" And the lady said yes and STOPPED WASHING HER CLOTHES... You guys dont understand how big a deal that is but when a Filipino is washing their clothes nothing is going to stop them even if their house catches on fire but she stopped and told us to come in so I knew something good was lying ahead of us. Then we sat down and she said "This is so weird because last night I had a dream the 2 men were going to come to visit me to share something" THen I just froze and was like wwwwhhhaaaattttt. Then the pressure hit haha I was nervous because I felt like God completely set up this lesson and I didint want to let him down. So we proceeded and taught them and got a return date and we should be going back this Tuesday.

Elder Slade has a cool saying that his grandpa told him before he left. "There are two kinds of people in this world, the one that drains you and the one that lifts and fills you up" So I was thinking about how true this statement is and I really like it. I want to strive everyday to be the the person that fills and lifts. Even though it is super hard this is exactly what Christ did. He was a lifter and a filler. Anyone that was around him just felt happier and more alive. We should do our best to contemplate our behavior around others. Are we the type that drains or fills? God is the lifter and filler, satan is the drainer. IF we turn to him and do what we need we will be filled and we can help fill others. 

I hope you all have a dope week this week and do some filling/ I love yous :)))))