Saturday, May 16, 2015

April & May, Inclusive

Behold the two-month collection of missives from Elder Eli!

It’s a wonder the other parent of this missionary didn’t take over from the original editing parent. But let’s not bicker and argue about which parent it may or may not have been...

May 12, 2015


I hope you all had an excellent Mother’s Day. It was so good to see you, family (and Colton, but whatever). Since we just spoke, I’m not sure what to say! I had an excellent birthday, so thank to all who sent my well-wishes through various media platforms. I was taken care of up here, so don’t you worry. I had more than one cake and a lot of phone calls. I’m 21! I feel no change.

The work here is still slow. Elder Killebrew and I have set some lofty goals for this week, so hopefully we’ll have the faith to back them up!

I’ve honestly got no idea of what to share with you.

Oh! Congratulations to cousin Brennan for going back out on your mission. You rock, man, and I really look up to you. I hope I get to see you before I go, but if I just miss you I love you and I’ll for sure email you.

I really hope Max doesn’t marry a Spanish-speaker.

Thanks for reading, even though this email is wimpy! Have a good week!

Keep the faith,
Elder Webb

May 4, 2015


Announcement: For the rest of my mission (I think), P-Day will fall on Tuesdays! President Manion wants us to take the Sabbath more seriously, and he feels that this will help us with that. Kind of wild, but whatever! I think it could be cool. So if I don’t email you on Monday anymore you know why!

This week was rough but good. Like I had mentioned, we got dropped by Kirsty. We also found out that her daughter Brooke isn’t interested. We had some appointments set up with some potentials, but they cancelled. Not much teaching this week! But, I was helped throughout by Heavenly Father and I felt that I obtained some important revelation. I’ve been thinking about my conversion and my motivation to obey and work. I’ve been feeling like I need to be more converted, and I’ve been wanting to be more motivated. In my prayers lately I’ve just been asking, “Heavenly Father, what’s it gonna take?” Over and over again. My answer was that I’m supposed to study the Atonement and gain a stronger testimony of it. I realized that I’d actually received this answer a few months ago, but for some reason I didn’t act on it. I’m grateful that Heavenly Father spoke a bit louder this time, but I can’t help but feel a pang of regret. If I had listened to that quieter prompting earlier, would I be having the same struggles now? I’m going to be listening so much harder to the Spirit now, and I pray that I can have the sense of mind to act on answers the first time I receive them.

I’m grateful for Heavenly Father’s love and care for us. I know He’s in control. I know that if we do what He asks, we don’t really need to worry. “Perfect love casteth out fear.” As we love God perfectly through keeping His commandments the best we can, we have no reason to fear.

I love you! Sorry I don’t have a better email. Distracted I guess. I am happy and doing well, though, so don’t fret.

Keep the faith,
Elder Eli

April 27, 2015


Familials and familiars!

This was a good week! Some ups and downs, but a theme of goodness throughout. I’ll start with a neat story.

Transfers happened this week and I got my new companion. We were also switched into another district and zone for some logistical things. We were talking to some other missionaries in our new district and one of them just got transferred out of Coronation Park. I was asking him how the work was and who they were teaching to see if I knew anyone. He started talking about this old guy they met at a bus stop. He told them that he never smoke or drank and that he’d lived a good life. They asked him if he’d ever heard about The Book of Mormon and he told them that he actually had a copy of one and that he’d been reading it! Things started registering in my brain for some reason. I was just about to ask this Elder if the old man had mentioned anything about antiques when he said, “Oh, and he’s got a ton of antiques in his house!” And the realization crashed upon me. I had spoken with that man at that same bus stop when I was in Coronation Park! He had told me about his antiques and that he never smoked or drank! I was the one who gave him that Book of Mormon! And now he’s investigating! Unreal. Heavenly Father has a funny way of working. It was a testament to me of the fact that seeds are planted, whether or not we see the fruit. I always knew that, but it was so special to see a direct application.

Elder Killebrew is a good guy! He’s been out for four-and-a-half months, and his last area was a little branch in St. Paul, which is a few hours out of the city. He’s from North Carolina! What’s up with me having two southerners in a row? I’m glad to be with him and I’m glad that we’ve got good things going on.

Recent development! Kirsty texted us this morning and told us that this wasn’t the religion for her. We had only met with her once! I asked her if she had prayed and she said she had, but I have my doubts. Maybe she said a prayer, but it wasn’t with a sincere heart and real intent. Heavenly Father answers those prayers! If someone really prays to know that The Book of Mormon is true, God will answer. It may not be immediate or crystal clear, and we do need to still act in faith, but we will get an answer. So, for the time being, Kirsty is not investigating. But, her daughter is still friends with a bunch of Mormons, and I texted one of them this morning and asked him to invite her to be taught, and he said he would! I feel that the door to Kirsty will be opened by her daughter. Hopefully Kirsty doesn’t hinder her progression. Keep them in your prayers!

We were able to meet with Jenny this week, and she’s fantastic! She’s got so much faith in God. All she wants to do is serve Him and be obedient. So many of her beliefs already line up with what we teach! It’s fantastic. She believes in the Godhead and she doesn’t think infant baptism is right. Way to go Jenny! Also, she accepted the invitation to be baptized on May 23rd! Very exciting. Hopefully she continues to progress and make positive changes.

Other than that, our teaching pool is about the same. We’ve got some appointments lined up with new investigators this week, however, so if those don’t cancel I should have some good reports next Monday!

I love my mission, and I love this gospel. I say it a lot, but not enough! The church really is true, and we really are happiest when we’re serving God. I’m not the most profitable servant, and I’m working on it, but God is still blessing me immensely for my efforts. Missions are worth any pain or sacrifice it takes to go. If a mission is on your horizon, start preparing now! I wasn’t very proactive about personal prayer or scripture study before my mission and I regret it! I think I mentioned that last week, but it’s so important! We need to be feeling the Spirit every day, and we need to stay worthy!

I love you, and so does Heavenly Father. And I’m sure lots of other people do too!

Keep the faith,
Elder Webb

April 20, 2015

Hey you, you’re wonderful.

This was an excellent week. Last Tuesday we got an additional companion in the form of Elder Jensen. He’s serving in the Beaumont ward, which is in a French town just south of the city. His companion was supposed to be serving in Italy but had visa issues so he got put in Edmonton temporarily. His visa came through so he was shipped off to Italy and we got Elder Jensen until transfers, which are this Wednesday. The three of us are currently covering Ellerslie and Beaumont.

Elder Jensen also came with a car! It’s amazing how easy it is to get around (I do not like Edmonton’s transit system). We’ve done so much work in this last week, and hopefully it will lead to good things! I’m actually emailing from the Beaumont library right now. Elder Jensen is a good guy. He’s from Meridian, Idaho, and he was actually in my district when I was serving in Red Deer. It’s been fun! It’s an interesting dynamic when you’ve got three missionaries together.

On Wednesday, Ellerslie will be devoid of Elder Ergas and Elder Jensen. Transfer calls were today, and I am to remain in Ellerslie with Elder Killebrew. I know nothing about him. It’s wild realizing that he’ll be my last companion. I know that I still have work to do and I’m excited to do it! I’ve loved everything about my mission. It’s been hard a lot of the time, but I’ve been able to grow and learn from any trials that I’ve received. I’m grateful for those trials and for who they’ve allowed me to become. I look forward to these last six weeks! Time flies. It’s unbelievable.

Since we have a car for now, we’ve been able to get around our area easier. We’ve been doing a lot of visits to former investigators, seeing if they’d still be interested in learning more. We’ve seen great things! At least five of the people we stopped by told us to come back, and four of them set up specific appointments! Two of those fell through, but we’ve got two more tomorrow and things are looking hopeful. We’ve got an appointment tonight with a new-ish investigator, Jenny. She was being taught by the Sisters before they were taken out of the area. We’ve been in touch with her but we haven’t been able to peg down a time to meet. Hopefully nothing happens and we can meet with her tonight! We still haven’t been able to get in touch with Brian, which is a drag, but we aren’t giving up. It’s nice that we’ve got other things we can focus on, though. We’re still talking to Kirsty but we haven’t been able to meet up with her because she’s studying for a test and she’s really nervous. But she isn’t avoiding us and she is reading The Book of Mormon and praying! I’m so grateful for that book and the goodness it contains. Consistent personal scripture study was practically non-existent before I came on a mission, and it’s a regret of mine. I also regret not saying my prayers as often. Any one of us is entitled to the blessings of the Spirit, we just need to earn them! Qualifying for the Spirit is so important, and it’s going continue to be my focus once I’m home.

I love you! Thanks for your love and support. I’m excited to see you.

Keep the faith,
Elder Eli

April 13, 2015

Hello to all!

This was an excellent week. If you recall, things have been slow for quite some time now. We’ve been working and trying to figure things out, but our patience has been tested. And it paid off! We got two new investigators this week! One of them is a woman who lives in the same area as a few members and her daughter is in the same friend group as those members’ children. Her name is Kirsty. Her daughter was asking a lot of questions about the church and what we believe, and her friends were doing good missionary work! Kirsty decided to check the church out to see what it was all about, so she requested a Book of Mormon online! We went to give it to her and taught her the first lesson on her porch! She said that her kids haven’t been baptized and it’s something she’s been thinking about a lot lately. That’s where we come in! We talked to her daughter’s friends at church and they agreed to invite her out! Hopefully we can start teaching her daughter too and they can progress together. What a miracle!

Another night we were tracting and someone actually let us in! His name is Shah, and he’s from India! He’s a Muslim so we spoke about our different beliefs and what sets us apart. He was so nice, and for now he’s just learning for information, but he agreed to read the Book of Mormon! We’re getting him a copy of the Book of Mormon in Urdu, which is apparently the language that most people in India speak, and they just call it Hindi! I even shared with him some of the “Hindi” I know and he told me it was actually Urdu! Who woulda thunk? Craziness. So now we’ve got those two as well as Brian (who cancelled our appointment), and things are looking up!

Funny/weird story. When we pray, we’re counseled to spend some time just listening for an answer. A few weeks ago I was doing that during my nightly prayer, seeing if there was anyone I needed to pray for. The name “Burkina Faso” came distinctly into my head. I couldn’t remember where I heard the name before, but I figured it must have been on a list somewhere. So, I ran and checked the area book and ward list. Nothing. I texted all of my past areas and told them to check their area books and ward lists for a “Burkina Faso”. Nothing. I was racking my brain and nothing was coming up! I told Heavenly Father that I didn’t know what to do, but that I’d keep my eyes and ears open for this mystery person. About a week later, we were talking to a member and she said, “You know what’s a weird city name? ‘Ouagadougou.’” She said it was the capital of some African country. I asked which one and she said, “I don’t know! Something with a ‘B’? ‘Buh’ something.” It hit me like a freight train. I almost yelled, “Burkina Faso?!” “That’s it!” What the what? Why did that come so clearly into my mind when I prayed? The only thing that I can think of was that it was a test. Heavenly Father was seeing if I would be obedient and do what I could, even if there was no fruit (or even if Burkina Faso is not a person with a weird name). I hope I passed! Either that, or something’s going down with Burkina Faso the country. So weird! Especially because after I found out I was straining to remember the last time I heard any mention of that place! I can’t think of it! God only knows why I thought of “Burkina Faso”, but I’m pretty sure it was a test. It’s a country, dork. (In my defense, nobody I asked knew that it was a country! Weak defense, I know.)

Thank you all for your advice and encouragement! Mom, I am so proud of you with that mayonnaise. Honestly. I’m not sure I’ve had anything close to that wonky, and I’m the one who’s out of the country! You go, girl.

[Ed. note: Elder Eli’s parents are serving an inner-city mission to a Spanish branch in Kearns, UT, and Hna. Webb had a semi-traumatic experience having to eat a mayo-based meal at the home of a member. Hna. Webb and mayo do not get along.]

I find it hilarious that Dad in his last letter reminisced about my Peace River letters, yet those were pretty weak. Give ’em books and they tear out the pages. Love you!

Keep the faith,
Elder Webb

April 7, 2015


[One of Elder Eli’s best friends] Jaren is going on a mission! Huzzah! In my first interview with President Manion when he was introducing himself to the mission, he asked me why I was out here. I told him that obviously I was out here because I knew it was my duty and that people needed the gospel, but I shared that one of my biggest motivations for going was that maybe I could help set a good example for my older brother and for my best friend, and that maybe they would get out on missions. That was in July of 2013. I’m not taking credit for either of them serving. I always knew Max would serve, it was just a matter of time. But it is nice to see those answers to prayers. I’m sure Heavenly Father has enjoyed hearing my prayers for Jaren evolve over these last 22 months. Not to say that they’ve become more faithful and refined, though. Maybe more towards, “Please, please bless Jaren to be wise.” I’m dying to see where he goes. It’s going to be a bumpy ride for him, but it will change his life. It’s changed mine! Maybe I’m still not good at communicating to Mom and Dad what they want to hear, but I do have a stronger testimony! I do know more than ever that this church is true and that Heavenly Father loves us! I’m better about prayer and scripture study, and I hope that I’m at least a little more Christlike.

This week was frustrating, aside from Conference (more on that later). I’m upset with myself because I didn’t work my hardest. President Manion says I’m doing great, but I personally know I can do a bit better. I don’t know. I think Satan is working extra hard on me for this last little bit. All the more reason to fight!

Conference was phenomenal. There were definite answers to prayers from a few talks. Elder Bednar’s talk was maybe my favorite. I had a really cool experience with it and that subject that I want to tell y’all in person because it’s special. I’m grateful that we have prophets and apostles on the earth today. I’m grateful that Heavenly Father loves us enough to give us direction that’s clear enough to understand and follow, yet through an avenue that still requires the exercise of our faith. I’m grateful for a good family that tried to make the gospel the center of our home, especially since that was what so many of the talks were about. Marriage and family! Sheesh, you’d think those things were important or something.

I’ve been on my mission for 22 months, and it’s been wonderful. It’s been hard and taxing and stretching and exhausting, but still wonderful. I’ve got two more months of stretching and taxing and wonder, and I’m trying to make the most of it! Please pray that I can finish strong. One of my favorite adages is one that Dad shared with me years ago, and one that I’m trying to apply: The pain of discipline is better than the pain of regret. Pray for me to be disciplined! Satan is working hard on me and I can feel it! Luckily, I’m on the winning team.

I love you all!

Keep the faith,
Elder Webb

March 31, 2015


I wish blessings and wellness upon your heads! I feel both blessed and well this week, particularly because the weather has been nice! Today it’s 10 degrees Celsius, which is some amount in Fahrenheit. I forget the conversion. Anyway, normally I don’t think that 10 degrees Celsius would feel nice, but it does after a Canadian winter.

As for the work: still slow! I hate to keep sending this update, but it’s the truth! Brian is good but a little bit stagnant, and other than that we still haven’t been able to meet with anyone else. We’ve got some less-active members we’re working with, but we’re nowhere near as busy as I’d like to be. I guess it just means we need to work that much harder! I think this is a test for the end of my mission. I’m really going to need to work to make things happen and to make sure that the missionaries replacing me have something to do. I want to plant seeds for the next missionaries to harvest as much as I want to see the fruit myself! It’s discouraging coming into an area without much going on, and I don’t want to be the reason for some other Elder’s discouragement. I know that if I do what I’m supposed to, things will work out the way Heavenly Father intends them to. It’s just a matter of diligence and patience! Both of which, by the way, can be studied in chapter six of Preach My Gospel. Chapter six is on Christlike attributes. So, if I focus more on becoming like Christ as a missionary and person, things will work out! That’s an appropriate formula for any person in any circumstance. The more we pattern our lives after the Savior’s, the better off we’ll be! I love chapter six.

I had a dream the other night where I came home and was really excited to hold babies. I grabbed baby Oliver and for some reason he was really top-heavy! So much of his weight was in his head and I nearly dropped him because I wasn’t expecting it! He looked normal, though. I’m not sure that it means anything, but Sophie, I promise I won’t drop your baby when I hold him. I will, however, smother him with kisses and hugs and I won’t give him back for a while. Love you!

I registered for classes, and guess what! I got it worked out so I only have classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I’ve still got five classes! This way I can work on the off days and still have time in the day to do homework and not go crazy. Or I can not work and have a five-day weekend! Mostly kidding. I’m still looking into housing, but it’s getting figured!

Thanks for your love and support and prayers! I pray for you too! Probably. Unless I forget, which happens sometimes. Maybe I should sort of lump you into a category of “letter readers” so that I can ask Heavenly Father to bless my letter readers. If we can pray for missionaries, I can pray for letter readers, right? I’m going to try. If you notice any extra blessings this week, you’re welcome.

Keep the faith,
Elder Eli

March 23, 2015

Loved ones,

I hope and pray that you are all doing as well as I am, and I hope and pray that your wellness doesn’t involve a foot of snow such as mine does. That’s right! On the weekend that heralded the beginning of spring, Edmonton received a solid foot of snow. That being said, it is more of a spring snow than a winter snow. Spring snow up here tends to happen when it’s only around -10 degrees Celsius instead of -25 and lower. So happy spring, everybody! And there was much rejoicing.

This week was pretty good! We were unable to meet with Brian, and we don’t really have any other solid investigators, so that’s a drag, but we’re staying positive! The ward is supportive and helpful, which is such a blessing. It’s interesting to see the correlation between our efforts and obedience and the way we feel. We may not have much going on, and the work is slower than I would like it to be, but I’ve noticed that as I’m doing what I’m supposed to within my power, I’m happy! It reminds me of the quote from Elder M. Russell Ballard: “It is impossible for us to fail when we do our best when we are on the Lord’s errand.” It’s a comfort to me to know that our agency is the only thing that we’re judged on. The church is true!

This week we had a Zone Training Meeting. Nothing spectacular, but it’s always good to see other missionaries! Funny: one of my friends from home, Austin Winnie, is one of my zone leaders! He came out three transfers after I did, and it’s always fun to see him. It’s always hard to call him Elder Winnie, though. He’s a good egg.

I hope to have more to report next week! I just want you all to know that I love my mission, I love you, and I love this gospel! Thanks for reading!

Keep the faith,
Elder Webb

March 16, 2015

Greetings to all!

I hope and pray that you’re all doing well. I sure am! This was a good, quick week. I feel like that’s been the case for the majority of weeks on my mission: good and quick. No complaints!

We moved this week! We were previously living in a house all by ourselves, but then some changes had to be made with areas being shut down and more missionaries going home than coming in so we needed to relocate. We’re just a few streets over and in an apartment, but it’s actually quite nice! It’s the biggest apartment I’ve stayed in so far, and it even has a fireplace! Elder Ergas and I are looking into getting some firewood and roasting some smokies. Neat! I thought that I was done moving until the end of my mission, but I thought wrong! I think that’s the case now, though. It’s so strange to think that the next time I pack my bags I’ll be headed to Utah! And what’s stranger is that that’s in under three months! Fret not, I’m staying focused and I’m working hard. I’m not sure I’ve actually been homesick once on my mission. Don’t get me wrong, I love y’all more than anything else and I’ve missed you oodles, but that hasn’t been detrimental to my missionary work. Thank heavens!

Brian is doing well. Since he works in Calgary during the week we got to Skype him for a lesson on Thursday. It went well! He’s a good guy and so far he’s kept every commitment he’s made. Let’s see if that translates to baptism! It was cool to teach over Skype again. The last time I did that was when I was in Peace River and we were teaching Stephen! Stephen is doing well, by the way.

We had Sister missionaries in the ward previously, but since more went home this transfer than came out they shut our Sisters down. They were both really cool, so it was hard to see them go! We amalgamated their investigators with our own so our teaching pool increased a bit, but things are still a bit slow. We’re staying positive and working harder, and I know that blessings are coming, whether or not they come in the form of investigators!

Remember when I was serving in Rainbow Valley with Elder Ganley? Well, he’s Max now, and this weekend Max came up to visit the mission! It was so good to see him. He took us out to lunch and there were a few members from Rainbow Valley who came! It was so good to see them. I’ve loved all of my areas so much, but in Rainbow Valley I made some friends my age who will definitely be a part of my life for years to come.

Hey you, are you thinking about serving a mission? Well, if you’re a man, the answer is yes, you should. It’s something we’re expected to do. If you’re a woman, have you prayed about it? I’m not talking about casually throwing it in a few of your prayers, saying “amen” then getting on with the next thing. I’m talking about setting some time aside, going somewhere totally private where you won’t be interrupted, saying a prayer from the bottom of your heart, then sitting in silence, waiting for Heavenly Father to talk back. Stopping a personal prayer right after we’re done talking is like hanging up on a phone call as soon as we’ve said what we wanted to say, then wondering why we haven’t heard anything from the person we were talking to. Fellas, you can and should pray too! Just because you know you’re expected to do it doesn’t mean that Heavenly Father won’t confirm it for you! He loves each and every one of us equally and more than we can comprehend. For the most part, I’m sure that any lady would benefit immensely from serving a mission, but that’s between you and the Lord. If it were up to me, I’d say do it. The learning and growth you experience can’t be had anywhere else. My testimony has been strengthened, and I’ve been blessed to have helped others build their testimonies as well. So set some time aside this week and do what you need to do. The church is true!

Thanks for reading! You are a loved, cherished, wonderful person, and you can contribute good things to mankind. Don’t you forget it!

Keep the faith,
Elder Eli

March 9, 2015

Hugs and kisses to all!

Crazy times here in Canada. The craziest being that I have three months left on my mission! Unbelievable. Time has flown, and it’s not slowing down! I’m happy with where I’ve been, who I’ve met, what I’ve learned and what I’m becoming. I’m grateful for all of the changes we go through that make us stretch and step out of our comfort zones. Learning and growth happen when we’re outside of our comfort zones.

Transfer calls were today, and I’m staying in Ellerslie with Elder Ergas! I like him a lot and we’ve got good work to do. This was kind of a crazy experience with transfers. On Saturday we got a call from President Manion asking us to meet him at the stake center to talk to us, so we went over and had quick interviews with him. He told us he wanted to meet because he didn’t know what to do with us for transfers and he wanted to get a better idea. We both had interviews with him and then he asked us to give him a blessing! It was such a humbling experience. Apparently it was the first blessing he’s received since he was set apart as a mission president. It opened my eyes even more to the reality of his love and care for us. Every missionary is important to him, and he wants to make sure that he does exactly what we need. If President Manion, a flawed mortal, has that much love for the missionaries he serves with, imagine how much love our Heavenly Father has for each of us! My testimony was strengthened this Saturday, and I’m grateful for that experience. President later realized that he wasn’t supposed to make a change and Heavenly Father confirmed that. It’s amazing to be so involved with the revelatory process. The church is true!

We met with our investigator Brian this week, and he’s great! He read what we asked him to read, came to the appointment, participated, and agreed to be baptized! We’re working toward the end of April or early May for his baptism. The next day he drove himself to church! These things may seem simple, but it’s rare to find an investigator who follows through with all of the commitments they make. We’re going to be meeting with him twice a week: once over Skype and once in person. He works in Calgary during the week but he agreed to Skype with us so that we could have a more consistent communication. He’s great! We’re trying to focus on finding new investigators in the meantime.

An effort I’m making in these last few months is that of consecration. Consecration is the law of the Celestial Kingdom, and it’s the law of a Celestial mission. I’ve always tried to work hard and do my best, but I think that my best can be a bit better. Amazing things happen when we give everything up and submit our will to Heavenly Father. I’m going to do my best to let go of anything holding me back. I know that I’m not expected to be perfect, but I don’t want to have anything left in me by the time June rolls around. I’m grateful for the opportunities we have to change and become better, and it’s my prayer that Heavenly Father will bless and guide my efforts for this final stretch. Pray for me to be consecrated! Also, look for ways to be more consecrated in your own life. I promise you won’t regret it!

Thanks for reading!

Keep the faith,
Elder Webb

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