Monday, September 29, 2014

A Tough Week, But Good...

To start, I had double, back to back, intercambio with the zone leader elder Jorgensen from Highland Utah tuesday, then with elder Shurtz, a new missionary, he has about 4 months in the mission and he´s from Delta Utah. Good kid, still really struggling with the language, the zone leaders said I would basically be working alone that day. Sure enough. It was hard, but I really enjoyed it. Elder Shurtz is enlisted in the national guard so we had some good talks about stories from there and talking about if he gets on active duty during the mission. Friday we had a baptismal interview for a young woman called Cinthia. She´s about 21 years old and was taught by sister missionaries years ago in argentina. We found her a few weeks ago and put a fecha for this last week. She did great and turns out her little sister wanted to be baptized as well. So friday we did her interview. Sunday came around and it was hard. One of the most stressful days of my life. I keep saying, well at least it cant get much more stressful. But then the next week rolls in. Sunday morning we went to go pass by some of the less-firm investigators like we always do, of course they didn´t want to come. Oh well. We still had a good 6 investigators in the church. Including Cinthia and her sister, who are pretty weird, they didn´t want anybody to know about the baptism because they are pretty shy and just wanted it to be family event, the bishop didn´t agree and announced it in sacrement and she got mad and left right after the meeting ended and didn´t give us a chance to explain. Didn´t help that we were supposed to have 5 confirmations as well but they didn´t show up because they´re grandma was having health problems. Ugh so we went by their house after church, the baptismal font was already half way full and she said that we had lied to her by saying that there was not going to be anybody just like she wanted, and now the whole ward was going to come. Then her mom tried to curse us and put evil spirits on us with her Makumba junk. Cinthia didn´t want anything to do with the church or with us. We just said sorry and said we would wait until they were ready to continue teaching again. So we went to lunch to ponder and think about what we would do. Called the zone leaders and elder gave me a three word sermon. ¨just fix it.¨ Ughh... ok. Just then, we ran out of minutes on our cell phone and we got a text from cinthia saying sorry that she acted childly. Needless to say we sprinted out the door of lunch and down the street to put more minutes on our phone to send a text saying more or less, that we were still ready to baptize her if she wanted and we would be waiting at the church. And the rain started. Not just rain, but hail, like the size of the bigger marbles. Huge bad boys, and we were stuck outside without umbrellas in our suits. Oh well. Hop on a bus and finished filling up the font and cinthia answers us saying, ok, she will be there. Yesssss. We called a few members to have some witnesses and somebody to pray, baptized her and there it is. The mom of the two sisters showed up, who does Makumba, and she was crying after and saying that she had never felt such joy before. Yessss. What a change. The little sister couldn´t be baptized because she is still a minor and her dad didn´t want her to. Ok. But the mom promised her, in the church, that if God wants it, she will be baptized this week. Oh... God wants it... yes he does. We called the zone leaders and said we just fixed it and they were really impressed, said that there are few missionaries who can do what we just did. Ugh. I´m just happy that general conference is this week. Its a good spiritual break. Coming to the end of the change. Happy for that too. Oh... and my shoes are basically dead and gone. Sooooooo. haha. But anyways that´s about it for the week. Doing pretty good, its starting to get pretty hot now. Summer time is coming. I´m not really looking forward to that. 

Thanks and loves,
Elder Webber

Monday, September 22, 2014


This was another pretty crazy week. I guess to start off we had the leadership meeting monday and the zone leaders wanted to know why we weren´t going to baptize that family of alba, angia, leonardo, mystica and andrew on sunday. Usually we don´t do baptisms on sundays, so we talked to the family and they were really excited to do it sunday, because they wanted to saturday, and so they would come in the morning to church to meet the requirements of coming to church several times and then they would be baptized in the afternoon. But we´ll get to that later.

I had my  district meeting and it went good, they´re slowly getting better I think. That same day I had an intercambio with Elder Perkins, from california. Who is also a professional Jazz Pianist. Yeah it was cool. We were in the zone leaders house and he is a district leader too, so we got to talk about the zone and more plans we had as leaders. It was fun, but all good things must come to an end, and I had to return to bella Italia. But it´s good because we had alot of work to do with preparing that family. We were in the church talking with the bishop about it and in runs this crazy brazilian dude yelling portugese, and alittle spanish and alittle english. It was hard to understand but we got enough to understand that he was from brazil and he was doing a bicyle trip from brazil through uruguay and argentina to chile. He had already been at it for a good 2 week and had crossed almost all of uruguay. He was a member and needed a place put his tent and some food. It was about 8 at night so we told him to come with us and we let him put his tent in our backyard. He was crazy. But he gave us his email and stuff so we can communicate. We cooked him some rice and gave him some milk and locked all the doors and slept with our knives because he was a sketchy dude. But it went good and he woke up at 5 and we unlocked the gate and he left, to continue his adventure. 

Friday we had all 5 baptismal interviews and the zone leader was dead by the end. a good 2 and a half hours of interviews. But it went smoothly and we spent the next couple days inviting members and people to come to the baptism, trying to find enough white clothes to baptize them all. Sunday rolled around and it was the most successful sunday I´ve ever had in my mission. We had 13 investigators in the church and 8 less actives and 4 recent converts. The total church assistance was 70 sooooooo. about 20 percent were our investigators.  That afternoon we filled up the baptistry and got all the white clothes ready and I learned how to play Venid a Mi on the piano. I dont remember what it is called in english. The family showed up at about 530 and nobody from the bishopric, or from the relief society presidency, or from the young womens presidency or from primary presidency showed up. Members.... your best friends and your worst enemies. I mean we baptized two older women, a young woman, and two kids for the primary and nobody showed up. Oh well, no me importa, the ordinance is the important part. We didn´t even have enough priesthood holders there for witnesses so I had to be one of the witnesses and a priest from the ward baptized them. Afterwards they all shared their testimonies, pretty spiritual. Sometimes you just want to rest after a big event like that, its a lot of stress. But we still have investigators who need to be baptized this coming saturday so there´s no time to stop. Woohooo. I´ll try to include a photo.

Anyways, I think that´s about it for the week. This saturday we should be baptizing a woman called cynthia. She´s been to church a few times in argentina and a few times here so we will see. She is kinda weird, really shy and doesn´t want anybody to be at her baptism. Ok, easier for us! but thanks 

Elder Webber

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Week In Review (Busy)...

bah, where to start. I´m just going to a review of the week by day.

 So ,monday, last p-day I just spent most of the time cleaning and preparing my district meeting for tuesday. 

Tuesday we had the zone breakfast and I gave my district meeting, the district did really really good two weeks ago and this week they just needed some encouragement to keep it up. It was a solid district meeting with practices and what not. Turns out the district had a pretty bad week, number wise, even though we did have 2 more baptisms. But we´ll get to that later. 

Wednesday I had to take the 45 minute bus ride to the city called Pando again to do another baptism interview, a girl who is the daughter of a member. The member went in-active for a while but recently came back. That went well. We only had time to work for a few hours, when we were working we saw what we thought was a woman and said hello but it was not. Not a woman and not a man. It was gross, then he told us we were beautiful men and we should come by some time. hmmm nooooooooo. Take a pamphlet and come to church if you want. 

Then thursday we spent most of that day preparing for our baptism in our area. Felix. We went over the baptism interview questions and everything and he was ready to go. Had a really strong testimony in priesthood power because something like 10 years ago he  had a blessing by a member in the ward. Who now is inactive, but Felix wanted him to baptize him. So we had to talk to the bishop and the bishop okayed it. It works because I think it helped the member become alittle more active. The sister missionaries had their baptism on thursday.  And I had to travel to a ward called Properidad, to do an interview for another district leader, District Leader Kamimoto. So it was pretty busy in general. That night we went to the church to make sure things were good and the lights were on and we could feel a breeze. We walked around and there were bloody handprints on the doors and a broken window with blood everywhere. It was like something out of a horror scene because it was night time and only some of the lights were on. All the doors to the closets and the security rooms were kicked in and a bunch of the chairs were missing. Turns out somebody robbed the church the night before. The bishop already knew and he was going to come and clean it the next morning. 

Friday.Temple trip! woohoo. Which was really fun, but also really stressful because we still a lot to do back in the area and I didn´t want to loose any time. We went to the temple then had a 6 HOUR conference with president. Just our zone. Ugh. I was stressing like nobody´s business. We got back late and just invited everybody to come to the baptism, just calling and texting like crazy and visiting all the less actives and inviting them. 

Saturday we had our baptism. There is a rule that there has to be somebody in the church while the font is filling up. Usually there is a member who is willing but there was a stake activity so we stayed and filled it up and studied our scriptures, played around on the piano, set up the chairs. It took a very long time because the hot water came our very very slowly. 730 rolled around and we were ready to go. We had a few investigators show up and they were really excited for their baptism which will be in a two weeks. or it better be. If they don´t I think the zone leaders might murder me. We had our leadership meeting this morning and they are really banking on this family getting baptized to reach the zone goal. Of course I want them to be baptized too, they are a really awesome family. Really understand the doctrine and keep their commitments. 

Sunday morning and I had forgetten that I had to give a talk. Oops. But I put one together and it was looking pretty good. about the divine nature of man. How we have the potential to become like God. But SOMEBODY went over their time by like 10 minutes. My companion. He talks alot. Too much. So when I got up the bishop held up 4 fingers meaning four minutes. Ugh. Its ok. We had lunch with the elders quorum president and they all made fun of him for taking too much time. They said they liked what I said, even though it was little. 

All in all a pretty crazy week. Alot to do and not enough time. And it doesn´t stop, I still have to prepare the district meeting for tomorrow and get working more with this family. Alot of work and alot of success. Really really happy that Felix got baptized. He is just a great guy with a really strong testimony. 

My shoes are good. They should last for a good while longer. I don´t think I need anything. I got the talk this week too. It time traveled because mom put the date as september 23. woooooohooo. Thanks mom.

Elder Webber

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Crazy Week....

An interesting week. Alot happened. We are working with this family, Alba, Angie, Mistica, Leo, and Giermo. They should be baptized the 20th, they came to church yesterday and are still looking pretty strong. One of the little kids said he wants to be an Elder when he´s older. They´re a great family, Alba and angie are mother and daughter and both of their husbands left them, well their boy friends, so we don´t have to worry about getting them married. Then we have an investigor called Felix. He is the father of a member and he showed up to church by himself last week and he came this week and should be baptized this saturday if he can stay strong and not smoke. We had a lunch with him because he´s a really nice guy and they made a special lunch called an asado, which is like a bbq but with the left over parts of a cow. All the good parts go to the states. 
Earlier this week we had a family home evening with some converts and they gave us cebada, which is like a barley drink and it looks and smells alot like coffee. It´s what all the converts drink when they have to stop drinking coffee because they say it tastes the same but doesn´t have the caffiene or anything. So they gave us some and I was shaking some sugar in mine and the lid to the sugar came off and filled my cup half full with sugar. I didn´t want the member to notice so I drank it anyways. It was gross. I almost threw up later that night because we had to run home to get home on time. We ran through the streets and we could hear stuff in the piles of garbage on the sides of the road, I thought it was dogs or cats but my comp said that they´re rats. I didn´t believe him until I saw one. Oh good gravy. Those things are huge. Without its tail, the body is probably a good 10 inches. Rodents of unusual size. Just weird experiences the whole week, one of our investigators told us he doesn´t like to be in his house because they used to practice makumba there and he ¨feels things¨. Makumba is creepy, comes out of brazil. We found a woman who´s 14 year old child was killed in a car crash a few months ago and her heart was pretty hardened against God but we shared the plan of salvation with her and she was crying by the end and we thinking, yes yes, this is going good until her husband came in and said they weren´t married and we never going to and she agreed with him. ughhhh Its the worst. 
We do have a few investigators who want to get married and are working in the paper work and official stuff. That and drugs. Drugs are a tool of the devil. Really. We will find people in the street that will tell us their stories, they had families, homes, jobs and now they collect plastic bottles to get enough money to buy their next high. We call them Perdidos en la Pasta. Lost in the pasta. Which basically means they´ve just lost their marbles, zombies to the drugs. Ugh.. 
This week I also had my first two baptismal interviews as District leader. One old man called Ramon and a little girl called Augustina. My district had the only baptisms in the zone this week. woo hooo vamos arriba Bella Pando. (the name of our district because its Bella Italia, Pando A, Pando B, and Pando C.) My district is doing pretty well, we are still going to go forward with the plans that we have, which is invite every single new investigator to be baptized, have daily contact with the investigators with a date to be baptzed, and work without zeros. In spanish it´s sin ceros, which sounds like sinceros, which means sincere. So if we work without zeros we are working sincere. Woohoo. Just a crazy week, just all over the place, trying to get our area good and the district working good too. I have to do another district meeting tomorrow and I have nothing prepared, but I will look at the numbers for this week and see what we need to change and we will do practices to help us. 

I don´t think I need anything, I´m pretty good for now, my shoes are getting pretty worn in, thems calles Uruguayas aren´t too nice. I´ll try to send a photo of what we walk by everyday. 

Elder Webber

Monday, September 1, 2014

Bella Italia....

Bella Italia, beautiful italy. Its not beautiful and its not Italy.The zone is called MaroƱas and the only thing I can think of that would be interesting are the horse races that they have. The rest is pretty....dreary. Really really poor. I´ve seen some bad areas but this one tops them. They say its pretty dangerous and it looks like it too. Chau Minas. Tuesday night I said goodbye to Elder Williams at 4 in the morning and then went back to sleep because he was going to go train so he had to be in Montevideo before us and he went with the zone leaders. We left at about 7 to get on ¨the change bus¨ with all our bags and stuff and I found my MTC companion Elder Taylor there. Changes was pretty normal, just swarms of missionaries all running around trying to find people or their things and where they´re going. I found my van and loaded my stuff and got all the stuff I needed for my District. I got the package too! woo hooo yeah I made some carmel popcorn the other day and I  will make some for my next district meeting. I couldn´t find my companion because he didn´t come to changes, he had to stay and work in his area with another district leaders companion. Hes... a good guy. Real hard worker. From nicaragua and got changed here for visa reasons I think, I´m not really sure because he doesn´t talk much. Our house is pretty nice though, just us two and Shakira which is a chicken, the owners of the house said that this chicken has lived in our yard for almost 10 years now and it lays eggs. One of the rules is that missionaries can´t have pets, even if they do give us eggs so I was about to get rid of it but my comp said that its approved by president. I will have to check on that... but until then, free eggs. I had my first district meeting on friday too. I was really nervous of having to speak or conduct a meeting for an hour and a half, thinking I didnt have enough material but I ended up not having enough time. I feel like it went really well. We have some district goals to work without zeros, so no zeros when we verify at the end of the night and to invite every new investigator that we find to be baptized and to put a fecha with them. Easy enough. My district is me and my comp and six sister missionaries. The old district leader left a paper in the house with the names of all the progressing investigators in the house and it was titled, Fechas, (dates) of the relief society. Ugh. Verifications are always interesting, I learned to never ever ask how they feel. Or you´ll be stuck there for a while, and then you´ll be late giving account to the zone leaders of your district. The sisters work hard. The ward is pretty sad, we went to visit the bishop my first day to introduce myself and see what the plans were and he only has one counselor because they are lacking worthy preisthood holders in the ward. I thought thats just a joke or they aren´t really looking but sure enough, there is nobody. Even our ward mission leader is in-active and we think he might be ¨studying the bible¨ with the JWs. It doesn´t help. We had about 35 members in church, thats even smaller than the BRANCH in Minas. Its going to be an interesting change. But early this morning I was in the lidership meeting with the Zone leaders and other district leaders and we all have the vision to change this zone. Its been a pretty sad zone but President has sent two zone leaders who really tend to transform zones where ever they go from sad and slow to powerhouses. Im really looking forward to it. 

Anyways, thanks for the package. We really enjoyed that. I don´t think there´s anything more. We will see what this week has in store. 

Elder Webber