Monday, December 28, 2015

Miracles

HOLY MIRACLES! 

I don't know how many people in the world are praying for the missionaries at Christmas but we felt it.  We felt a lot of it!  This week we picked up 11 new investigators... OUR GOAL IS USUALLY 2 PER WEEK!! It takes about 10 new investigators to get 1 that will really progress, so we'll see what happens. 

To get a new investigator in our mission you have to say an opening and closing prayer, teach something, and set a return appointment.  Finding a new investigator is one of my favorite things.  It is so much fun to walk up to someone and pull crazy religious stuff out of your pocket that they have never heard.  

Some people don't talk to you at all though.  It seems like the younger people are willing to engage in conversation easier than older people.  I love talking with teenagers and it's fun to go up to a group of big college boys and talk about the Bible.  They think we are pretty funny . . . and I even had one of them tell me I was "super beautiful" (not gonna lie, that made my day)!

We had a really good Christmas. We spent it with some of our favorite investigators (M & L) and we went to a few member's homes.  We went caroling in the evening and watched a movie on Sister W's big couch on Christmas Eve.  That is the first time I've watched a movie since I've been out and the kissing scene was crazy uncomfortable.  I threw the pillow over Sister Similai's eyes :)

It was a good week.  Thank you for all the love, support, and prayers!

Love, Sister Webb



LOVED skyping with her!


They had Christmas breakfast with this family in their ward


Caroling with her zone on Christmas


Gifts from generous ward members


Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas Everyone

Merry Christmas!!!!

I'm not going to lie, I wish I was back home with my family for Christmas. I love my family a little too much, but the Christmas spirit as a missionary is almost tangible. I've never ever felt anything like it.  If you can remember, think back with me to those Christmas Eve nights when you were so excited for Santa to come :)  You had your stocking laid out, the carrots in the front yard for the reindeer, the cookies in the house for Santa Claus, and everything was perfect and exciting!  Every feeling associated with the Christmas spirit was hanging in the air, along with the lights and Santa's reindeer :)  Since I was little, I have missed that feeling.  As a missionary, I feel like I've felt that again, but it's different this time.  There is a pure sweet spirit that I would hope accompanies so many missionaries around Christmas.  It comes because our Heavenly Father loves his missionaries way too much, and it comes because we talk about Christ and share his glorious Christmas message all day every day.  

This feeling of Christmas can come to everyone though . . . not just the missionaries.  This feeling does not come from the music or decorated tree alone.  It does not come from gifts, boxes, or your favorite Christmas candy.  It only comes from Christ.  I can't give you an exact prescription on how to obtain this spirit- but I can point you to it's source - our Savior!  Perhaps it gives all of us a chance to reflect on where we are lacking and impressions will come of how we can make up the difference with a little more effort :)  

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas.  I hope you enjoy the lighted trees, music, candy, and family, but I hope you find a way to put Christ above everything.  I promise that Christmas is better with Christ at the head.  I promise that He will refine your holidays.  

I love you all, thank you for the cards and emails!  

Love, Sister Webb

ON A SIDE NOTE . . .

Jessica has been staying in the home of an older single woman who is a member.  Last Thursday her grandson arrived for Christmas break.  Because of this, Jessica and her companion had to move out for two weeks.  The Bishop got up over the pulpit asked the ward members if anyone would be able to take in these two sisters missionaries.  A kind elderly woman from Finland came right up to Jessica after Sacrament meeting and offered her home.  She has a grand daughter living with her.  Here was Jessica's response to my inquiry about her move:

Our move went AMAZING!  We still have most of our stuff at Sis. L's but the new lady we live with has a nice house.  She has it all decorated for Christmas and she has a heater that WORKS!!!  Plus our beds aren't bunk beds so you don't wake up when someone moves and she has drawers in the bathroom.  We are pretty much living in paradise. 


Jessica spent most of Friday with Grandma & Grandpa at a zone conference! 


Friday, December 18, 2015

Nothing is by coincidence!

Merry Christmas Everyone!  I can't even remember what I did this week!  It's been busy, but I want to share an ongoing experience we have had.

About a month ago we went to see a inactive member.  The bishop asked for her address but we were having the hardest time in the world trying to find the house number.  A man walked out the house in front of the one with the hidden address and we asked him if he knew the number.  He did so we got it from him, said thank you, and started talking to him... because that is what missionaries do.  

Turns out he is a MACKAY!!!!  The Mackay's are legends in Cypress.  Everyone knows who the Mackay's are and they are well loved.  We know so many Mackay's because the majority of them are Mormon and they serve in leadership throughout the stake and in our ward.  We started talking to guy, and it turns out he was baptized when he was eight and went inactive around 12 years old.  He was so kind to us and his fiancee was too.  

Within the next two weeks we had two more miracle run-ins, and the next week J,.Mackay (his grandmother) passed away.  We kept visiting them and sharing spiritual thoughts, but the funeral really touched their hearts and as of LAST SUNDAY they are going to start taking the missionary discussions.  The stake president is a Mackay and wants to join us in the lessons, along with every other active Mackay in the boundaries:). 

We are really excited and we have grown to love them.  The most interesting part of our relationship with them though is that every time we have seen them, it has been unplanned.  It has just sort of happened.  We just sort of run into each other outside and we happen to have to time to sit and chat for a few minutes.  She is in culinary school and thinks it's really cool that I'm gluten free, and he is just the best.  They have a beautiful daughter and she loves softball.  We are excited to teach them.  

Anyway, I miss you all and I love getting letters (especially around Christmas).  I don't know how many people end up reading my letters but if you do read them, and if you want to write me back please do.  It is SO MUCH FUN to hear from everybody!  Even people I didn't get the chance to talk to as much.  

Have a good week everyone! 

Love, Sister Webb

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Have Faith No Matter What!

So this week was okay.  Nothing too special, just a normal week with more Christmas lights than the last!

I guess I can share a personal experience.  On Saturday we were teaching one of our new investigators.  We had gone through the whole lesson and she had tons of questions so we ended up answering her questions instead of teaching.  It worked well though because we got to testify quite a bit.  The Spirit wasn't super strong though.  The end of the lesson rolled around, and she asked me to say the closing prayer.  I started to pray, and the Spirit just overwhelmed me.  I can't tell you what I said but I knew what to say.  It wasn't a really long prayer, in fact it was pretty short but when I finished I felt really elated.  I looked at our investigator and she was crying.  She started to apologize and I cut her off and said, "That's the Holy Ghost"!  That phrase  resonated in the room for a few silent seconds.  Then we stood to say goodbye and wish her a good week.  

Another experience, we taught a less active boy yesterday.  We were talking about the Savior and we actually read Isaiah 53.  It was kind of spiritual but not really because he's kind of a tease and it's hard to get him to take some things (everything) seriously.  Then all the sudden random facts about Christ's crucifixion came into my head and I started spouting them off.  It turned into a retelling of the crucifixion and a testimony.  I think he finally felt something and if he didn't then I sure did.  He's a really neat kid, he just needs to remember what life is about. 

I've learned that sometimes you can have tons and tons of faith, and things still don't go the way you wish they did.  This week we had problems finding people. We set a lofty goal with the zone, and didn't accomplish them at all.  It was depressing, and I kept wondering what I did wrong. Sometimes though, you haven't done anything wrong.  Sometimes when things fall through you just have to say, "I promise I have faith..." and then you should probably just take a nap, eat some ice cream, and try again later.  

I love you all! Have a good week!

Love, Jess

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Temple

THIS WEEK WAS INSANE! 

Today we woke up at 3 a.m. to drive to LA and go to the temple.  The Los Angeles Temple is gigantic and really really pretty. We left for the temple at 4 a.m.and we pulled in our driveway around 10:00 a.m. (I'm TIRED)   We only get to attend the temple once every 3 months.  I love the temple SO much.  There is no place like it anywhere.  It feels like home in the temple and the Spirit that you feel is really unprecedented.  There are only a few places where I've felt the Spirit so strongly.  I was actually nervous about having to wear the temple garments originally, but I've realized that I enjoy being able to take part of the temple with me everywhere I go.  

We had Thanksgiving with the J's and the W's.  The W's are Christian family that love the missionaries.  I had never met them before but I loved getting to know them. They are incredible.  We spent the rest of the night talking with members and playing board games.  Thanksgiving wasn't too bad away from family.  

We had a training this week on the, "A Savior is Born" initiative. I've been thinking a lot about Mary recently and the example that she set for other women to follow. She really was incredible and I wish the Bible talked more about her. 

We had a few really good lessons this week with both investigators and less active members.  We had fun looking at crazy Christmas lights, (the people here go ALL OUT compared to the people in Utah) and one member gave the 4 missionaries in our ward $100 to blow at Olive Garden.  That was the best.  We had a ton of fun.  

I think the hardest part about being a missionary is trying to find people to teach.  It's hard to walk around and get rejected consistently, but it's even harder to watch someone walk away from something that is so eternally significant.  I pray that a person's opportunity to hear the gospel is not limited to missionaries street contacting... mostly because I'm not very good at it :)  If any past missionaries or other members have tips for street contacting, I'm open to suggestions! 

Anyway, good luck with life this week.  Keep me in your prayers and I'll keep you in mine. 

Love, Sister Jessica Webb

                                                       
 Jessica at Zone Conference








Monday, November 30, 2015

A Wonderful Evening at Temple Square!

Last week Jessica asked us to reach out to M&L over the Thanksgiving weekend.  M&L are currently being taught by Jessica and have embraced the gospel with love and gratitude.  They were in Lehi visiting M's daughter for the holiday.  I texted L on Tuesday, inviting her to dinner and Temple Square on Saturday evening.  She immediately responded back accepting our invitation!  We were SO excited to meet this wonderful couple that Jessica loves so much!

M&L are in their 50's.  They were married 22 years ago after both of their first marriages ended in divorce.  M brought 5 children into the marriage and L brought 3.  They really love each other and L told me over and over that they are a great "team" together.  It was apparent they are!

Last year L's 32 year old daughter took her own life.  It was very unexpected.  She had been struggling with endometriosis her entire marriage and it became so painful they prescribed pain meds.  She developed an addiction to them, but with the help of her sweet husband and M&L she had broken free from the addiction.  Then she had a horrible recurrence and went into the hospital on  a Friday.  The doctors felt they needed to give her some relief, so they prescribed some meds again and sent her home.  M&L live 2 house away from their daughter and her husband.  On Monday morning L found her, passed away, in her home.  It was devastating for all of them.

Shortly after, the LDS missionaries knocked on their door.  M described it like this to me.  "We were  both raised Catholic, but hadn't been practicing Christians since we were young.  We needed God more than ever, but were too grief stricken to seek Him out.  The missionaries found us and helped us find God.  It was meant to be!"  He told me about some very sacred experiences that confirmed to him that God cared and was close by.  He was much quicker to accept the gospel than his wife, L, was.  He started attending church and felt so much peace there.  After awhile, L said she decided to join him.  She said they had always been a great team and she knew they needed to continue to be.  She was much more skeptical of the church.  They ended up taking the lessons several times from the Elders and attending several churches.  She then told me about being able to feel the "Holy
Spirit" so strongly when she was at the Mormon church and when the missionaries would visit their home.  When the sister started visiting them, it changed a lot for her.  She could relate to the sister missionaries easier than the Elders.

She describes the day Jessica landed in Long Beach.  M&L were the first house she visited!  L said she had red, puffy, watery eyes from crying.  She was very timid and quiet.  Now L is a larger than life woman!  She has SPUNK!  She loves DEEPLY!  She immediately took to Jessica and loved her.  She grabbed Jes and embraced her and told her there would be "no crying at my house!".  Jessica smiled and over the next several weeks a wonderful relationship ensued.  L calls the sisters "my girls" and she really means it!  They meet with them twice a week for lessons and she is SO generous with them.  She buys them shakes at In-And-Out, she spoils them with gifts and looks over them like their mother.  She  said if an appointment falls through, they will stop by and say Hi.  She told me she can imagine how much we must miss Jessica because she is the "apple of my eye".

As we visited with them on Saturday night at Costa Vida with all of our girls, they had a sparkle in their eye!  They kept taking pictures and next thing I know, L is texting Jessica and her companion!  She told me how annoyed she was that they only had a flip-phone because they couldn't get pictures or emoticons.  She also told me how badly she wanted to take them to Knotsberry Farm, which is just a few miles from their home, but that LDS missionaries "can't do anything fun!".  We laughed and laughed together.

They loved temple square! As we visited with them about the history and the purpose of temple square, it became apparent very quickly how young they were in the their knowledge of the gospel.  We both came home and commented how we take for granted our knowledge and understanding of the gospel!  The highlight of the trip for L was the Christus.  As you can imagine, it was crowded!  As we waited for our turn to  view the Christus, there was a feeling of reverence.  When were got up there, the  big group sat down and the sister missionaries shared their testimony of Christ.  L was overcome and felt the Spirit so strongly.

Next we went to the Conference Center.  We had a quiet moment, away from the crowds there.  M & L shared some very personal feelings with us.  I was struck as M talked about faith and L talked about a desire to believe.  They said that they had learned that this was the key to feeling the Spirit.  As they exercised faith and belief and then ACTED on those feelings, they had felt a peace that surpassed their understanding.  They had also felt their daughter closest to them during these times.  M then expressed gratitude for being with us right there.  He said he knew there were no coincidences and that God puts people into our lives for  a reason.  Scott was able to share his own powerful witness of Jesus Christ with them.  It was an incredible moment together.

On the way home we found out that these two own Harley Davidson motorcycles and LOVE to ride!  It's about their only hobby, next to their 12 grandchildren.  They also told us how important their ward family is to them.  Upon attending, they were immediately embraced and welcomed!  They rely on these ward members so much and get together with them outside of church often.  I was reminded how important this is as members!  We must get to know, love, and embrace those who are being taught by the missionaries!  It is vital to their conversion and fellowship.

M&L are still unsure on a date for baptism, but they said they are close.  I have had many impressions of how I can continue to reach out to them and support them in the gospel.  It has been a neat experience for me.  L told us that they heard through the grapevine that when the Elders found out the Sisters were teaching them again, the Elders jokingly said, "Why are you wasting your time on M&L?".  L told me that Jessica quickly responded, "We will never give up on M&L!  We love them!  This touched both of them!

















Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sail Your Ship!

This week was crazy busy. 

I had my first Zone Meeting on Friday and I got to see my Grandparents! That was a ton of fun! We had a member of the seventy come and talk to us, and he talked about how important love is in missionary work and life in general. 

An elderly sister in our ward died this week and that was really sad.  We spent some time preparing for her funeral. It was hard, but it was good.  We visited her every week, and she passed away unexpectedly after a stroke.  I will miss her.  

We had two less active members at church this week which was a miracle.  I really enjoy talking to them and helping them remember things they knew.  It's fun to be their friends too! They are usually really nice.  Sometimes they tell you to go away and never come back, but in general they are usually nice. 

We had really good Thai food this week at a place called Sweetie Thai, but we also got to try Nigerian food!  Hillary, a recent convert, made it for us and it was so much fun.

Even though I'm only in California, we see many religions and nationalities every day.  It's crazy.  Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Evangelical, Catholic, JW, and a few creepy evil religions. We also meet many who are agnostic and atheist. It's insane.  Most of them are not "from California".  This is truly a melting pot of cultures and religions.  It reminds me of my Singapore experience!  

This week I was reading in an old Ensign and I read, "A ship is safe in the harbor, but that's not what ships are for". 

Ships were made for adventure and travel, but the adventures and travels are long and hard for the ship.  It could stay parked in the harbor, but then it wouldn't really be accomplishing anything.  There are two ways to get out of the harbor.  You can move the ship yourself, or nature can move it for you.  It's always important to be moving.  Maybe you can rest at a harbor occasionally to refuel, but put yourself out there.  Learn new things, try to improve.  There will always be another harbor but enjoy the adventure while it lasts.  

I love you all, Have a good week!  

Love, Jess

Monday, November 16, 2015

Members & Hugs

Most awkward mission moment so far:  M., our new investigator, started coming in for "The Hug" and I made a super weird squeaking noise and freaked out.  My companion was dying from laughter, and M felt super awkward.  No offense to the person who made that rule, but SERIOUSLY!! WAS THAT RULE REALLY NECESSARY!!

This week was fast (I'm praying that next week will be the same). We had a lesson with M, and we saw him on Saturday.  It was a ton of fun.  He is so nice to us.  We also had a two lessons with couple in their 50's, and THEY SET A BAPTISMAL DATE! It's in January on the 23.  We are really excited. 

We also saw a less active member who is hardly ever home. She is really nice.  Bishop was excited that we made contact with her.  

I want to talk about a few of the members here that I love!

Sister P: She is Filipino and is one of the ward missionaries. She comes to many lessons with us and is always serving us.  She gives us food, she makes sure we are well, and she pushes us to work hard and do our best.  She really cares about us, and is always there for us. 

Brother L: He reminds me of my dad.  He tends to get pushed to the background because he is quiet but he has a heart of gold.  He is the ward clerk and fulfills his calling 110%. His wife passed away and his daughters have moved out. He is alone but he does his best to be happy.  We talk a lot and we get along really well.  He is so kind to me, and we both need friends so we are each others friends. 

Sister P: She is pretty much my ward mom. She always wants to know if I'm okay and she is always making sure we are well fed and cared for. She loves us so much and shows it by serving us.  She comes out to lessons with us constantly and helps us with anything we need.  I love her so much.  She has been such a blessing.

I want to be like them.  I want to be the member that the missionary writes home about and says "I love them. They helped me." A missionary cannot be effective without a members help.  Members touch lives, and those members that go above and beyond change lives. It's so important to recognize where you are weak, and where God wants you to be better.  Many times we can become better by trying to be a better member of the church.  The kind of member that a missionary would write home about :)

I love you all!  Love Sister Webb

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Gratitude and Continued Patience

Hello Everyone!

I know this is strange, but ever since college I get really excited for church on Sundays.  There is something about sacrament meeting and all the classes that feels like home.  Sundays are probably my favorite day of the week.  

There wasn't anything to abnormal about this week.  The zone leaders (who are in our district) had a baptism that we got to go and see, and I had to play the piano at the zone meeting.Sister Larsen (the member we live with) has a grand piano in her living room.  I play it all the time and love it!  The Relief Society President took us to go get Indian food on Friday and it was a ton of fun. She lived in Logan for a while, so we had a lot to talk about. 

This week I've been trying to be patient and grateful.  It has been going okay. 

I thought for the longest time that God wanted me to be patient with others and their decisions, so until Wednesday I was working on that.  I was trying to be patient with everyone else, but I was still feeling tense and disappointed at times throughout the day.  I was wondering, "What more can I do?"  I wanted to get rid of that feeling. 

So I prayed long and hard for an answer to what more I could do.  We packed up and went to visit Brother M. He is an old man who can't go to church anymore because he has a hard time getting there.  We sat on his couch, and he randomly started talking about patience.  The first thing he said was, "Sometimes we forget that patience involves being patient with ourselves."

I almost started crying right there.  

I find it hard to be patient with myself.  I still get pretty homesick at times, and I still have a hard time talking to everyone.  I have so many goals I am trying to accomplish, and even when I narrow them down to one at a time, it's hard to see the leaps of progress I want to have.  I need to be patient with where I am and who I am.  If I try, God will do the rest.  He really is there and He blesses me more than I understand.  He is my best friend, and He knows me better than anybody. 

My favorite part of being a missionary is bearing testimony of Him every day.  I love Him so much, and He has helped me out here so much. I feel so blessed to be able to tell others about Him. 

We have some great investigators right now.  One couple are in their 50's.  We spend a lot of time with them and they are growing to love the gospel.  They come to church every Sunday.  I feel so close to this woman.  She reminds me of my aunts that I love so much!  They are going to be in Lehi for Thanksgiving Mom, so maybe you could connect with them!  I know they would love to meet our family!

Have a good week everyone and please continue to write me! 

Love, Jess


Monday, November 2, 2015

Funny Stories . . .

I don't have a lot of time this week, but this week was a ton of fun!

I'll share two funny stories: 

First: We were at the car wash and we were vacuuming the car... and I sucked up my skirt.  Anyone that was looking saw my garments... lots of my garments... and it was so much fun trying to get my skirt out of the vacuum.  Yep. My companion was rolling on the ground she was laughing so hard. I didn't think it was that funny till we got out of there.

Second:  Our appointment with a new investigator had fallen through and we were both frustrated and tired. We were street contacting and a lady opened the door and she had a parrot on her head.  A REAL LIFE PARROT ON TOP OF HER HEAD.  She looked and said "I'm not interested today" and then closed the door, and my companion shouted back, "WELL WHAT ABOUT TOMORROW". 
I don't know why it was so funny but we laughed for a while and kept working :)


This week was fun, I'm working hard and trying to do my best. I love you all, and we had spiritual experiences this week too...THANK YOU for your letters, your love, and your prayers!


Love, Sister Webb


**Side note from an email with Jessica and her Mom today***

Mom:  Please be careful with the 19 year-old investigator (whom you told us was using drugs) you are teaching!   I would really prefer you send the Elders over there!!

Jessica:  Okie Dokie, but he's the BOMB.COM and I have to hand him off to the YSA Elders anyway.

PHEW!!!!!! 



Sunday night was the "Departing Missionary Fireside".  The Elders and Sisters who are not leaving for home are invited if they bring an investigator or perform a musical number.  Jessica and her companion brought an investigator and met MOM AND DAD!!  It was a JOYFUL reunion for all of them and Jessica told me she will do what it takes to make it to these every 6 weeks so she can see Grandma and Grandpa!!


Jessica found out this weekend that she will stay in Cypress with Sister Similai through the next transfer (which is 6 more weeks).  She loves her companion!!


Monday, October 26, 2015

Finding Week

On Tuesday we had exchanges with the STL's.  I learned how to street contact better.  

I thought that the reason we weren't finding investigators was because people didn't want to talk to us, but as it turns out,  I was trying to find people the wrong way . .   If there is a wrong way...

Anyway, before this week we had only found two new investigators . . .this week we found eight!  

I won't share every experience, but I will share one.  On Friday night we were out late.  We had about 20 minutes before we had to head back, so we pulled up to a street to get out and walk.  There was a big buff black kid who walked up to our car and told us that we were parked outside of his house.  He asked us if we needed anything and we said that we really wanted to share a scripture with him.  He said that would be fine, and so we got out of the car, and he walked over to his friends to smoke weed for a second...  My companion was across the street looking at the house number for a potential investigator and he just started running over to her (he was limping) and I freaked out.  I thought he was high, so I told my companion to get in the car.  She was freaked out too...it was kind of a scary street for us to be on at night.  We probably shouldn't have been there, but anyway we got in the car to leave and this kid came up and told us he needed the scripture.  He was really serious about it so we got his address and told him we would come back later. 

The next day, we went to the same street to try the same potentials, and he just happened to be outside again.  He seemed normal (not on drugs) so we talked to him.  He is 19 and going to college, studying accounting.  He doesn't have family around, he lives with a friend, he works and pays for everything himself, he was raised in a boys home, and had just torn his Achilles yesterday.  We listened to him for awhile and then started talking about our Heavenly Father.  We taught him how to pray, and we told him that God does love him, that he is his Father, and is always there for him.  He started to tear up, but the most powerful moment was when he looked at me, still wondering if I was telling the truth.  I could see the wheels spinning in his mind, and I knew he was just trying to take everything in.  He looked at me straight in the eyes and I could tell he was wondering if I was telling the truth.  I said "I PROMISE".  

I knew it.  I could promise him that I wasn't lying.  He told me there was something in my eyes that made it real, and he absolutely broke.  I want him to be converted, and I want to help him, but even if he doesn't get baptized, someone now knows with me that Heavenly Father is really there. He needed to know he was real, and I ended up being the tool in that process. 

We had many experiences this week that were wonderful, but even if we only had this one, it would have been totally worth it.  I love being able to testify every day that God is real and He knows us individually.  I'm excited for this upcoming week and I hope everyone has a good Halloween!

Love, Sister Webb

Monday, October 19, 2015

Finding Hapiness

Hey, thank you for all of the letters and emails!  They mean the world today.  I love getting letters, especially because I can get them any day of the week!  

This week went by really fast. I hope next week goes by fast too.  On a sad note, the mother and daughter we committed to baptism dropped us this week.  That has been disappointing. We are going to drop by and figure out what happened tomorrow or Wednesday I think.

We have exchanges tonight with the Sister Training Leaders (STL's)  It will be good to go out with a different companion and I'm excited to get to know the STL's better!

Saturday was a really fun day.  We got up and did personal and companion study.  Then we went to a zone service activity. We ran the booths at a carnival type thing, and me and my companion did face painting.  It was fun for the first two hours, but the last three hours were a little long.  It was fun being with the zone though, and I love working with little kids.  They were so excited to get their faces painted!  After that we stopped by a home with two less active girls. They are twins and they are 16.  They go to different schools and one of them was going to homecoming that evening!! So we stopped by to see her dress and stuff.  She looked really pretty, and she was really excited.  Then that night the district did a movie for investigators and less active members at the church.  We watched The Restoration and that was a ton of fun.  We brought Eric.  He is less active and a recent convert.  (This is not a normal missionary day by the way... and it was fun!)

Anyway, my insight this week revolves around happiness.  I've been thinking about the movie "Inside Out", and about the relationship of the characters, Joy and Sadness.  I've come to recognize that many times you can't live and be satisfied in one state or the other.  In mortality you need both, but God didn't send us here to be sad.  2 Nephi 2:25 says that "men are that they might have joy".  Because of the fall we can experience joy and sorrow.  Part of our purpose here on earth is to have joy. There are times when joy will seem distant.  It's important to realize that God does not create that distance.  We do.  Our loving Heavenly Father wants us to be perfectly happy. That's why we have the plan of happiness.  That's why He sent His Son. So we can reach that end state of perfect happiness with Him and our families. It's important for us to experience sorrow so we know what it is, but never forget how close you are to joy.  Sometimes it comes in the form of ice cream at a friend's house, or a good book and a blanket. 

I feel like I have finally found that joy out here.  God has blessed me more than I deserve.  I need Him.  I love you all, and I hope everyone has a good week.  Keep writing me.  

Love, Jess

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Talking Is My Struggle

This week was better than the last!  It gets easier and easier every day, but that doesn't mean it's easy.

So as it turns out, it's important to talk to everyone. I've learned that the Lord will purposefully put people in your path that you need to run in to, but if you don't get out of your bubble and say, "Hey, we're the missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints", then you pretty much just missed that chance to teach and invite.  I have also learned that most people don't really care about the missionaries.  So after you introduce yourself and what you are doing, and before you close the door, you have to slip in something about them.  You have to say, "Wow, you really pull off a pixie haircut!" or "Do you have a son, are these his shoes?" or "How many dogs do you have".  If you can strike up a conversation, then you make a new friend.  People see that you're not crazy . . .you may even seem normal.  Plus you can get referrals, and sometimes teach them a lesson if they aren't busy.  

This week we were out knocking and there was a couple on the street.  I didn't want to talk to them because it was hot, it was almost dinner, and nobody was opening their door for us.  I didn't think they would be any different.  But we went up and talked to her anyway.  She works for the FBI and is less active.  Her husband didn't care for us much, but the Bishop had a field day when he found out that we were going to go back and see her later.  

Anyway, I love getting letters and I love hearing from everyone.  I hope everyone has a really good week and I miss you all.  If anyone know's if Rachel Webb is still alive, and if anyone is planning to talk to her within the next week, tell her that it is either death or an email by next Monday.  

Love, Jess
My AWESOME district at the MTC


A beautiful sunset on our street


My and my companion that I love!

Monday, October 5, 2015

My Listening Mission - Week #4

So this week was better than last week.  I'm happy when I keep busy but the second I start to think of home that big old hole in my chest opens back up.  The solution is to not think of home until the hole goes away I guess.  Just keep praying that it will go away fast!  I want to think about home more. 

I've decided that I've been sent on a listening mission.  I listen to people all day long and I'm not kidding.  We visit a lot of people and mostly we just sit and listen to their lives and ask questions about how they are doing.  People really open up to missionaries.  It's pretty incredible.  I don't get to teach investigators and members as much as I thought I would.  I mostly just listen to people and try to help them the best I can.  I'm okay with that though.  People around here have really fun stories.

Here are three experiences from this week:

1) The less active Korean member from last week: So as it turns out, she doesn't like Mormons a whole lot.  She was baptized a member and sealed to her husband, but she doesn't want to be a member of the church.  She asked us to visit her and we went over to her house and listened to her nag about the church for like an hour.  She didn't even ask us what our names where.  Me and my companion think she's a little crazy.  I guess she can stay Jehovah's Witness if she want's.  She's just giving up eternal life and eternal happiness.  Her choice.  Only so much we can do.  

2) There is a less active family that is almost active again.  They are really cool but the dad in the family (who is not a member) has stage four prostate cancer.  I might have mentioned them last week. I don't remember.  Anyway, the son who is about six years old said the closing prayer.  In his prayer, after saying the basic things, he paused for a minute and said, "and please help my daddy to live longer...".  I have never felt my heart break for someone that I don't know very well.  I almost started bawling right there because I felt so helplessl. 

3) We were knocking yesterday and we started walking up to this lady's door and she comes out and says "Come in, come in, I've been waiting for you."  We went inside super confused and apparently every time she is going through a hard time in her life the missionaries come.  Her husband sells drugs, and she doesn't affiliate herself with him.  The cops are after him, and her husband is after her.  The cops follow her thinking that they will eventually catch him if they follow her.  It's a hard situation.  She can't come to church because of people who don't want her to go (and there are big consequences from those people if she does go). And the same thing happens with the missionaries.  It's really hard, but we listened to her for a long time and cried with her.  Then we told her how much the Savior loves her and how much we love her and will help her with whatever she needs.  It's a hard situation but I'm sure the Lord will extend every bit of mercy to her he possibly can. 

4) BAPTISM!  We showed a young mother our church and she loved it.  When we got to the chapel I sat down and thought of a scripture that I had read that morning.  It was about the Savior's atonement. It's 2 Nephi 25:13.  I opened to it and bore one of the most powerful testimonies I have ever given on the Savior's atonement because I have been needing to rely so much on it lately.  I was prompted to then invite her to be baptized and I did and she said yes! So her and her 9 year old daughter will be baptized on October 24th. Keep them in your prayers :)


I'm having fun, and I'm trying to keep busy so I don't think about home too much.  I love getting emails and letters from everyone, family and friends.  It's been such a blessing to be able to rely on the letters to make my day better.  I love the people here, and I have been so blessed as I've been out here.  Keep me in your prayers, you have no idea how much they lift me when I can't lift myself.  I'm sorry if my replies are shorter than what you want but I only have so much time. I love you all.
Love, Jess

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sister Webb Week 3

This week was hard.  I'm not going to lie :)

God is so good to me though. He blesses me with little things.  Like having a washer and dryer in the house, getting to sleep on the bottom bunk (I hate the top) and being able to eat dessert at a members house.  It's the little things that mean the most. 

I live in a member's house, her name is Sister Larsen.  EVERYONE in California has cats and dogs (both, and usually more than one). The trees and bushes look like they came out of a Dr Seuss book. My companion's name is Sister Similai and she is from Tonga.  She came to the US for her mission and speaks pretty good English.  She is easy going and so kind to me.  She is always helping me.  So for those of you who prayed I would get a good trainer, THANK YOU! She is an amazing trainer.

We have three investigators, a married couple and another lady.  All of them are catholic.  Most people here are religious but not active. 

We visit lots of inactive members.  The ward here just got split last week, so I wasn't the only new person in the ward.  Anyway most of the people are elderly in this ward, so we spend lots of time going to the homes of members that are too old to come to church.  Most of them have been active their whole lives but now have conditions that make going to church hard.  We go see at least one person like this every day.  The ward is great though.  The bishop is incredible. 

One of the members names is Sister Phillips, and she is like the missionary mother.  The first night I got here, we didn't have a dinner appointment scheduled.  Sister Phillip's rule is that if you don't have dinner you HAVE to go to her house hahaha.  So we went to her house and had dinner. She is making me a towel with my name embroidered on it. We go to her house all the time, and she comes to many of our lessons with investigators.  She's really incredible. It's nice when the members want to help. 

We found two people yesterday, when we were street contacting, that could be investigators/people we teach... and the way we found one was really cool.  So the STL's (sister training leaders) had to go to a training and they are in a trio.  So we got to be with Sister Kwon because she isn't an STL.  She is Korean.  We pulled up on the bishop's street to say hi to the bishop and there was a Korean couple walking down the street.  Sister Kwon started talking to them. They were Jehovah Witnesses, and they told her we are polygamists and that she needed to be careful.  They brought us to a group of people and one of the people used to be Mormon.  She was baptized and married in the temple, but had lost her way when she had to move from Korea to California.  She is not on our ward list, but she's in our ward.  So we are going to start meeting with her. We wouldn't have found her though if we hadn't decided to see Bishop and if we hadn't walked into these Koreans at that exact time.  It was a cool miracle. 

When I was little, we lived in Meridian, and me and my dad were outside waiting for the ice-cream truck. We could hear it and we knew it would pull around the corner eventually but we didn't know when. I was hot, tired, and we had been sitting in the sun on the curb for a really long time.  I remember asking my dad if we could just go  find it.  He then told me about patience and how we needed to just wait.  He told me that even if it was hard, we needed to sit and wait instead of running away because if we ran away we might miss it.  I feel right now like I am back on that same curb with my Father in Heaven waiting for a mended heart. The mission schedule in general isn't too difficult.  I actually like the schedule, and I don't mind having a door or two slammed in my face.  It's the emotional part of feeling alone and in an unfamiliar place that is brutal. I know that the Savior has helped me so far and I'm counting on Him to keep helping, but it's really really hard. For now though, I'm sitting on the curb waiting on the day I can say, "I love it here.  This is where I am supposed to be. I know what I am doing, and I love being a missionary." I want that day to come so badly and I pray all the time for the Lord to let me get to that point soon so I can be one of his happier servants.  For now though, I'm just sitting here being hot, tired, and overwhelmed, and picturing Heavenly Father telling me to be patient and not to run.  

My favorite scripture this week is Mosiah 24:14. Read it if you have time. I love you all, and hearing from people is really helpful for new missionaries! 

Love, Jessica

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sister Webb Week 2

Jessica arrived in Long Beach today.  She will miss her P-Day this week, but my Mom & Dad were there to greet her and sent pictures!!  She is doing great and excited to be in California.
Mom loaded up her trunk with gluten-free groceries for Jes:)


I LOVE this pic.  This is the mission president and his wife.  Look at their excitement as the missionaries walked off the plane.  My mom's expression is the BEST.


Love my dad's text



These are the sister missionaries who were in the MTC with Jes.  Love mom photo-bombing in the back!


Jessica woke up at 3am to catch TRAX and head to the airport.  She looks pretty good for not getting any sleep!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sister Webb Week 1

9/16/2015 - Week #1

THE MTC IS SO MUCH FUN!  I love it.  My companion's name is Sister McGarry and she has one of the kindest hearts in the whole world.  The other two sisters I am rooming with are Sister Abbot and Sister Montague, and they got here the same time we did.  And ALL OF US are going to Long Beach.  My district is really cool, honestly, we are the closest district I have ever seen. There are 10 of us and none of the other districts are like us.  We have a Ton of fun together and we do everything together.  We build each other up by talking about religious things, but we laugh and have fun all the time.  

I don't know what to talk about so I'm just going to rant for a while.  The food here is pretty good, I end up eating more salads than I usually would but they have a pretty decent sized gluten free menu so it works well.  I actually like gym time.  It's a stress reliever and most of the day is class and study.  It's nice to have a time to get your energy out.  

We are teaching two investigators now- Brian and Tayla. I love them both a lot.  Tayla is only looking into the church because of her cousin who told her to meet with us, but last time we talked about the Book of Mormon and the spirit was really strong.  I'm interested to see what our next lessons with them will bring.  

Our teachers are Brother Pemberton and Brother VanBloem.  They are both young and recently returned from their missions.  They are super good teachers and I'm pretty sure that I have learned more about our church in the past week than I have ever learned in my entire life. It's incredible how the Lord has already blessed me in the lessons.  For example at my setting apart President Mortensen talked about what the gospel of Jesus Christ is.  When I got to the MTC and I sat down, the very very VERY first thing that the teachers asked was "What is the gospel of Jesus Christ".  The scripture passages that President Mortensen told me about immediately popped into my head and I was able to tell them that the gospel of Jesus Christ was described in 3 Nephi chapter 27.  Everything that I memorized in seminary and church I remember when I need it.  Little scriptures, quotes, examples, things that I didn't know that I even knew.  It's absolutely incredible.  Now I know why it was important for me to go to seminary and other church activities.  

One thing that I have learned since I have been here is that the Lord and his Prophets have a reason for everything.  Even if we don't fully understand what is going on or why we are doing something they know what is going on and they know what they are doing.  I've had to rely on the Lord here in a different way than I have in the past and it has been such a testimony builder to have to ask Him for help when I can't do anything myself.  I love the Lord and I love his gospel.  I wish I could tell you every miracle that has happened since I have been here but my district is about to go to the temple so I have to go.  I love you all and if you are reading this letter, PLEASE send me an email.  I want to hear from you!

Love, Sister Webb