Tuesday, June 25, 2013


A lost P-Day (we thought) turned into Bonus-Email Tuesday. We’ll let him get right to it:
Hello everyone!

Finally made it to Canada! It’s surprisingly lush here, I guess they get a lot of rain!

I’m really not sure where to start. So much has happened in this last week. My area is Peace River, which is about six hours north of Edmonton. My companion is Elder Hunsaker, from Idaho. Great guy, hard worker. We get along really well. There are about 6,000 people in Peace River. It’s a gorgeous area. We do a lot of driving. The teaching is going well, and we’ve got a feeling the area is about to take off. 
Peace River is the area closest to Yellowknife — and it’s still not even close. (Yellowknife is about a three-day drive north.) For most of the elders, Yellowknife is “the promised land,” a little mining town in the Canadian wilderness. You basically say goodbye and don’t see anyone from the mission for six months. So cool. We were all speculating about the two elders there right now (they only send two at a time), and we’re convinced they have beards and ride huge white horses. So I’m guessing/hoping that Peace River is like a stepping stone to Yellowknife. 
Berta’s first reaction: “What are they doing up at 11:00pm?” 
Second reaction: “No, really: What are those missionaries doing up at 11:00pm?!” 
It’s really great here. We email on Tuesdays because the library is closed on Mondays, which is our P-Day. Also, if you’ve sent mail to me, I won’t get it for 3-6 weeks, because the address I gave is for the mission office in Edmonton, and a previous elder lost the key to our mailbox here. We don’t really go down to Edmonton, so we have to wait until other elders get it from transfer meetings or trainings. Do not let that stop you from writing. I still have email. 
So far, I’ve seen a fox, a deer, a coyote, and A BEAR. All of them super-close, too. Waiting for a moose, but I know it’ll come. Super-excited about the bear, though. 
Went golfing with a member yesterday for P-Day. Got dumped on by rain. Now, I was never a good golfer to begin with, but it really doesn’t help when the member you played with was a collegiate golfer, and when your companion played on his high school’s three-state-championships-in-a-row team (he took state individually his senior year also). So there was a lot of time spent waiting for Elder Webb while he looked for his ball in the trees and while he had to hit three times to catch up to their first drives. I had one good hole though (and by “good” I mean that after I drove it into a pond, I made it to the hole pretty quick). My only saving grace was my putting. I still had a blast though, and it was nice to have a break. 
The apartment is great:
When I walked in and looked around I saw that my desk had a big bear head on it. No joke. A real bear head. I guess his name is Theodore, and the missionaries try to steal him from each others’ apartments. No one really comes to Peace River, though, so I’m guessing we’ve got him for a while. I’m using him to hold my pens.
In Peace River there is a little store, “Custom Computers and Music,” owned by 62-year-old twins Ron and Don. They sell guitars and computer accessories, and they repair computers. They love the missionaries (Ron is an inactive member). We spent a lot of time there the other day, talking music and things like that (Ron loves Allen Stone!!!). Elder Hunsaker had told me that he had been wanting to learn the banjo, so he asked Ron if they could order one in and how cheap he could get one for. Ron sat there for a second, then said, “I’m about to save you a lot of money.” He went into the back room and came out with a banjo. He then gave it to Elder Hunsaker. For free. It’s hard for me to think of a time when I’ve been more jealous. Suffice to say, I play a lot of banjo now (never in place of study; just when I have free time). 
Before I sign off, I need to make it very clear how important it is that you write. If you are reading this, you are already on the computer:
  • Open a new tab.
  • Sign onto your email.
  • If you have questions, ask them.
  • Send it.
I want to hear from anyone who is reading this. Please. It’s so nice hearing from people. 
Love you all. The Church is true. If you don’t believe me, pray about it. I dare you. Excited to be here and excited to serve. (Please write.) 
Love,Elder Webb

with Pres. & Sis. Campbell

friends in the MTC

Monday, June 17, 2013

MTC Down; Edmonton to Go

Elder Eli wraps up his MTC experience today. This is his letter from this morning:
Hello everyone!
Second week in the MTC flew by. Honestly, last Monday to this Monday was so much faster than my first Wednesday to my first Sunday. I think more and more I’m beginning to understand relativity. Thanks, Einstein!
Having such good experiences and loving it all. If anyone reading this happens to be preparing for a mission (good on ya!), then let me just give you a small taste of the temporal side: In the MTC, your “biology” goes all out of whack. Could be the food, could be the stress, could be the change (probably the food).
On the spiritual side, all I’ve got is some advice and a story: If you think you know enough, you’re wrong. If you think what you want matters, you’re wrong. If you think a testimony is all you need, you’re wrong. You always have room to learn, so don’t come in thinking you’re a missionary. You’ve been thinking about yourself all your life, it’s not about you anymore, it’s about helping others come unto Christ. If you’ve got a testimony, awesome, but if you don’t know how to work, you are in for one of the hardest times of your life.
You will be tested physically, emotionally, and spiritually. You simply cannot do it alone. You learn to rely on Christ because you have no other choice. I’m comfortable with people, so I used that as a crutch in interactions with investigators. I had an inferior knowledge of the scriptures, and sometimes I thought I had an inferior testimony.
I thought things were going well, but then my teacher, Brother Anderson, talked to my companion and me before we taught our investigator. He basically said if we weren’t being obedient or if we weren’t worthy of the Spirit’s companionship then we were wasting our time. That hit me like a ton of bricks.
For the next few hours, I was in a daze. I was seriously starting to doubt my worth and my capability. It wasn’t just what I thought, though. In all seriousness a dark cloud came over me. I couldn’t think, I couldn’t interact, I was paralyzed. There was panic, fear, and pain like I have never felt. I don’t want to even come close to comparing, but I thought of Alma the Younger and of Joseph Smith. I was going through torture. It felt like everything that was taught after my teacher mentioned that dealt with the same subject: Was I being obedient and living worthily to have the Spirit teach through me? I was remembering all of my past mistakes and I had no idea where to turn. I was ashamed to call myself a missionary. I can honestly say that, spiritually, I have never been so low.
Brother Anderson invited us to pray and ask for revelation about what we should do for ourselves. I said the most desperate prayer, asking what to do, but mostly asking for forgiveness. I couldn’t think of anything, but we moved on to the next activity. We do a lot of role-playing here, so Brother Anderson paired us up with someone else in the class and said we were going to teach them as themselves, meaning that someone would be teaching me as Eli Webb (instead of as Rupert Von Hildenbrine, my “investigator” of choice). I was paired with Sister Dougherty, a Canadian sister whom I probably knew the least out of the whole district.
We were told to pray and ask for inspiration about what to teach. I was still in turmoil, but I prayed because I didn’t want to compromise her experience. I didn’t think I really got anything, but the Atonement is what I settled on. As I was preparing, I thought I was just going to be feeding her crap. I really hoped that what she taught wouldn’t be relevant or really apply to me, because then I would feel less bad about what I taught her. We’ve all heard lots about the Atonement, right?
So she came over, we started with a prayer, and she offered to teach first. She taught about enduring to the end, and it totally applied to me. Definitely inspired. This almost made me feel worse because not only was I feeling awful, but now I had to teach her about something she probably didn’t want to hear.
So I got into it. It felt non-cohesive and sloppy. I talked a lot about the love that was required from both Christ and Heavenly Father for the Atonement to happen. It was a perspective I had never seen, so I thought that was kind of cool. But really it felt like I was sort of rambling. I was on the verge of tears from sadness and pain, because I felt incapable of having the Spirit teach through me.
I said “amen” and she sat there for a second, then said, “You know, as I was preparing my lesson I was praying that you would teach me about the Atonement.” And she started to cry. My family can attest to the fact that I have never ever come close to crying, including about anything related to the gospel. I broke down.
It was the most profound spiritual experience I have ever had. The love and comfort and forgiveness I felt was overwhelming. My prayer was answered in such a personal, perfect way. I was praying because I thought that the Spirit couldn’t teach through me, and Heavenly Father answered my prayer by having it do just that. I’ve felt the Spirit before, no doubt, but I felt it more powerfully, physically and uniquely than I ever have. Right after she (and I) started crying, it honestly felt like hot, torrential water was flowing through my head and chest, literally washing away the dark cloud. I could feel it swirling and swishing, filling every crack and corner of my soul, pushing the darkness out of my chest and ears, extending to my fingers and toes, cleansing my insides and filling me with light. I’m crying as I’m writing this because I’m remembering the feeling.
I’ve always known that God lives. I’ve always known that Christ was our Savior. I’ve never doubted. Until that night, I’d never needed an experience like that. But at this point, nothing can stop me from spreading the gospel. If my plane crashed on the way to Canada, I would will myself to live and preach to the survivors. If I were kidnapped and tortured, I would testify of Jesus Christ to my kidnappers and they would know it was true. If a polar bear were standing between me and the next house with a possible convert, I would knock on the door wearing a polar bear pelt.
God lives, he loves us, and he wants us to return to him. Prayer is real. The Church is true. Sorry for the long email. I love you all, and I love hearing from you. Please write.
Elder Webb

Letters are welcomed at:

8925 51st AVE STE 305

Tuesday, June 11, 2013



Letter today from Elder Eli:

Hello Everyone!

So glad to be here in the MTC. Super hard at first, but each day gets better. I was made district leader, which basically means I check the mail and go to extra meetings. Kidding, it’s wonderful. Just another opportunity to serve. 
Seeing so many people I know just walking around. It’s great being surrounded by so many people who have your same purpose: building God’s kingdom.
Loving my district and zone. Lots of good people. Learning a ton. Studying a TON. Seriously, I’ve never done anything for so long in one day. With the exception of meals (two hours, combined) and preparation, we study from 6:30am to 10:30pm. My district’s breakfast starts at 6:30am, which is when most missionaries wake up. We wake up at 5:40. It's nice not having a line for showers, though (yes, I am showering*).
Super excited to get to Canada. The food here gets old fast (bonus: free Cookies & Cream milk and Cactus Cooler at each meal). But, even if I had to eat food that was twice as bad and get half as much sleep, it’d still be worth it.
I’d love to hear from anyone reading this! Email elijah.webb@myldsmail.net, or use DearElder.com. (Unit # 136, Mission Code CAN-EDM, MTC Departure 18 June)
The Church is true, the Book of Mormon is true, and God loves all of us. Keep the faith (and if you aren’t of the faith, there’s still time).
Love you all. Thank you for the support and love and prayers, I feel them every day. 
Elder Webb
* Parental/editorial note: The mission already has evinced changes in the boy that not we NOR his college roommates NOR THE REGULAR COMPANIONSHIP OF A CHARMING YOUNG LADY could bring about. Hallelujah, heavens be praised.

Not included in the official release:
  • Eli’s companion is Elder Monks, of Arizona, who “just went pro in motocross. That means he can go race in the X Games or Supercross. He’s got sponsors and everything. Thank heavens he’s cool.”
  • He also reports seeing “Elder Todd a lot, so that’s cool.” (We all know him as “Jeff,” so for Eli to call him “Elder Todd” definitely is cool.)
  • Missionaries apparently get a Photo Day on the Provo Temple grounds. 

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013


It ... Is ... ON!

Elder Eli Webb commences his mission to Edmonton, AB ... by spending a few hours in Provo, UT.

Eli was last seen pulling luggage up a sidewalk at the Missionary Training Center today.

The luggage was heavy, because Berta knew Eli would want to be the Most Prepared Elder du Jour. (She made sure those bags were packed to maximum tensile capacity. Yay, moms!)

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