Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas-Time in Angola

Nothings new, just doing the usual work and having fun. I had a couple
of cool divisions this week in which i learned a lot. Its always fun
to be able to head off with other missionaries to learn from them and
to see what they have to say and how they teach. The christmas season
is here in angola and all the branches had super fun branch parties
which might be one of the best things about serving here in angola..
the members love christmas a ton so its easy to miss the season back
home with snow, lights, and all the goodies but its all good. FOr
christmas ill be calling home around 19h my time... which i have not
idea what time that is for you guys.. i think maybe 11.. if it doesnt
work out youll have to email president and let him know.

WE are having a ton of fun finding new people and working together..
this transfer is flying by and elder mills is a boss. i have had a ton
of fun with him.. though at times it can be a little trying to hvae to
head out in the burning heat to go and talk to some people but its all
worth it and we find ways to make it fun.

Other than that i dont really have much to say.. nothings new and we
are just donig our thing.. ill talk to you guys on sunday and give you
the more detailed scoop then.

Elder Webber

Monday, December 12, 2016

And "Lovin' It..."

This week was a blast from the past, it was super cool to go around and see a lot of the old members and investigators that i taught over a year ago... CRAZY!! My companion is super cool, Elder mills.. if i could use a few words to describe him i would say chill, hippie bro.. hes super cool and super easy to work with. Just likes working hard but having fun while hes doing it. I am also in a house with Elder Dube from South africa and Elder Bradshaw.. yes thats right its the same bradshaw that was in the MTC with us. He might be one of the funniest kids i know. Theres nothing like coming home after a long day of work and coming home to him and laughing about something, it keeps life interesting and fun. When i first came in the first thing i heard was that Marilia my recent convert is one of the strongest members in the branch and that she is one of the best recent converts that elder mills has ever taught... it was awesome! There is truly nothing better than hearing that your recent converts are strong and helping the church out. 

I also got to baptize Fernando this week... and of course as it was a group baptism a million things had to go wrong. Turns out he had to go to work in Musulu an island off the angolan coast and that he was gonig to be about 2 hours late.. it was all good though because even though we cleaned and left the font to fill in the middle of the night it ran out of water so when we got there, there was only about 1 foot of water.. so we had to cut the top off of 2 water containers and fill it up mannually. It took about 1 hour and a half to fill it up to a level that was satifactory. The baptism went super well though and we got our traditional jumping pic so everything is all good. I saw benficas branch president, Nataneil, there and he is a boss.. i got to be super close with him in benfica and i didnt get to say goodbye to him before i left, but i saw him saturday so it was a nice little reunion. Zone leader work isnt anything special here in angola.. over rated id say.. but its been fun to help other missionaries out. 

Also a lot of missionaries who are going home around the same time as i am and who are studying at BYU are already about to choose classes and what not, im just curious on the process on this and when we should start worrying about this stuff, and how you guys did it with josh and zach. Its always good to get a nice head start on things

Elder Webber

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Late, Short and Sweet...

Well transfers are finally here and i'm going to be heading back to the first area that i served in here in angola. I'll be going back to Nova Vida, and will be serving with Elder Mills from Arizona as Zone Leader of the Luanda Zone. 
I'm pretty excited to be heading back and to see the progression of the area from the time that i and elder conde opened to now. 
Since the last time that i wrote you nothing happened, just a lot of good byes and finishing up my work here in the office and in Benfica. Its been real and its been great. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Busy, Busy Stress, and a Cryptic email

Well this was probably the most stressful 2 weeks of my life, for reasons that I cannot say at the moment but will be revealed soon. Lets just say Elder Mitchell and I had some great life and marriage training these last 2 weeks, training that was once in a live time and is better than any other kind. These last two weeks we cried laughing, balded a little, fell asleep in lessons, saw things no other man wants to see. Its also been a long time since ive emailed, but it feels like a emailed yesterday because these 2 weeks have flown by. Last week we had an awesome baptism with junior! He loved it, he might be the funniest kid I have met here in Angola, and it was awesome being able to teach him with his brother Taric. We had a ton of fun teaching Junior and seeing him grow from a shyer kid to having friends and a huge testimony. Its very interesting how the gospel helps us in more ways than just spiritual. Also Taric has grown to be one of my great friends here in Angola and I will miss him dearly as I am leaving this area here in a couple of days. It makes me terribly sad to know that it has finally come but I am ready to go and be a normal missionary. I loved being in the office, I learned a ton of live long skills that will be very helpful after the mission. I have loved serving in Benfica and being in this area. I also love love love the recent converts here.. my only wish is to see them all get sealed  or go on missions, that would be amazing! It will be very heart aching to have to say goodbye to all the great members here in Benfica. I hope I have a chance here in the future to come back and visit with them all. Many have already offered places to stay, Valdemiro and Vanusa said they want me to come back with my something something “wife”.

Another reason why it was so stressful this week and why we didn’t have p-day on Monday was that a auditor from the south Africa area office came in and did an audit. That was a very stressful very tiring 4 days.. we would get to the office early and leave late. Thing was that we still tried to get some lessons in, which we tried our best, but didn’t do really well. Fernando however is progressing really well and is being interviewed today. It feels like I’m ending one of the bigger chapters in my life. I feel like i've learned more in this area and calling than I have the whole time I was in high school. Elder Mitchell I will probably miss the most however, these 2 transfers have flown by and I would have to say it is all because of him and his help and fun. Its been a really fun and exciting way to end my time here in Benfica and here in the office. Happily, I already know where i'm going and where im serving.. I am very excited, even though it will be a little bit of a déjà vu.

I have a lot to say but not a whole lot of time to say it, this will just have to be all explained when I go home or when I see you guys in a couple of weeks. Ill let you know where i'm going on Monday, I send a small email to say hello and inform you all what the transfer is. For other news theres not much, im alive, working, sad, but very excited!

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Wonderful Mother...

Not a lot happened this week, just more of the usual work. We really didnt do anything special other than junior, tarics little brother, is prepared and ready for his baptism next week. We are all pretty excited for that. Other then that i really have no other kind of news or anything cool that happened this week.. more of a ho um kind of week as we just did our usual lessons and helped our investigators we currently have work and progress better. Maybe the coolest thing that happened this week was the love of a mother we saw for one of her kids. After we visited this potnetial missionary we later started speaking to his mother who began to express her desire for him to serve the lord and go on a mission.. after almost 10 mins of her venting and telling about the problems facing this young man i started slowly seeing my own dear mother in her eyes and i could have sworn hearing moms voice.. it was pretty crazy.. it was a nice little slap to help me remember how much love mothers have for their sons and how much they wish and hope that their children do what is right. After you are on the mission for the long time you slowly start to forget more and more about your family and the feeling its like when your with them, but it seems that heavenly father every now and again puts a little reminder into our lives to help us remember that we have a loving family back at home and that i have a great mother who wants the best for me and who has taught me what to do and how to do it correctly... and for that i will be eternally grateful.. Thank you mother.

I have nothing else to report as we are finding new people, helping less actives and working great together.. im another week closer to leaving this area and its heartbreaking knowing that ill never work here again and that ill have to leave my great companion.. this last month has flown by.. All else is well here in Benfica.. all is quite and the work continues.. Also thank you for the report on honey, it was very sad to read and i almost shed a tear... almost.. 2 kittens you say? that would not have been my choice but thats just me.. i would like another dog again.. maybe when i move out ill get a nice little puppy.. hahahahah just kidding mom

Elder Webber

Monday, November 14, 2016

Interesting Supermarkets

Well this week was a quick welcome to the hot season here in Angola... every day this week was a battle against sweat and the heat. I cant believe i forgot how hot it gets here in Angola. Its all good because we but the foot to the pavement and went to work and found a lot of new investigators and the members were making it rain with referrals. We are teaching a new family, Job and Graça who are doing really well. Job is a boss and has a ton of questions, Graça is a lot more quiet but still loves to learn more. We had family night with them last week and once again family night comes in for the win! every time we passed by they asked when would be the next time for family night... it was a ton of fun esspecially because job taught us this weird african version of sorry and trouble... it was a ton of fun 10/10. We are also teaching the uncle of WIlma and Yolene. Hes a bit slowler but understands really well when he understands... its been fun teaching him and trying new ways to describe and explain confusing things. We are also teaching a man named Nelson who is also doing really well... he works for he Angolan CIA i guess you could say. Also Antonia and Junior and Ciara are all donig really well. They all came to church this week and Junior is really excited for his baptism. 

This week also was a tough one because the super markets here in angola are very very unreliable.. one week you could have everything you could ever want.. but the next week there could be absolutely nothing... last week was one of those weeks.. We had zero protein in our house and a whole lot of carbs.. zero veggies and fruit but a whole lot of milk.. so engery was 0% and health was also 0% but as always we can always find some kind of reserve energy that can get us through the day.. its always a mircale and seems to be the biggest miracle. Also this week Manual was baptized. His brother in law did the baptism and it was great, a lot of members came out to support him and it was a great day all around. He was taken out of our area after dawson came in since our area split so we only saw him on sundays, but this sunday he wanted us to participate in is confirmation which is always a great experience that i love. Not much else.. we dont have much time to write so i try my best to give you the scoop on what angola is like and what the mission life is.. 

Elder Webber

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Lots of Driving...

This week was aight. Nothing new really happened. We did a whole ton of driving around again and trying to find some random electrical part for the mission office. Being angola it made it about a million times harder to find that piece. It took about 4 hours driving from store to store looking for this little thing that without it the whole mission office doesn't have energy. We would get to one store and they said that they don't have it and send us to the next one.. 5 stores later we end up wayyyyyy out in Viana, we finally buy it and head back home with just enough time for the condo handy man to come over and put it in. It was pretty sweet though, we just had a nice little chat just elder mitchell and i because we received another missionary this last week so a duo split up and one of them, Elder Dawson, is now here in benfica with elder mashalaba, so in other words.. NO MORE TRIO!!! yipee!! It was only a week and it was already making my eye twitch go out of control! 

Also Carlos and Eduarda came back from visiting their daughter in england so it was super nice to sit down with them after 15 days. They are almost done with the book of mormon and carlos yesterday just received the aaronic priesthood, so everything is going very well with them. They also had a chance to go to church there in england which was super nice for them to see how big the church can be and how nice all the chapels are. 

Other then that nothing really happened here, we had an awesome lunch saturday where we went out and bought some frangueté, its just some dang good chicken roasted in a paper sack over an oil drum with onions and other spices. We went and bought 3 whole chickens for our whole house and cooked up a ton of noodles and had a nice little feast before fast sunday.. which is the hardest day of the month.. its so brutal.. At church there was no space at the inn so elder mitchell and i just went and sat on the floor in the back of gospel doctrine, and for elders quorum we stood outside the door not hearing a single word... go ahead and ask if i learned anything this sunday.... NOPE i didn't.. but its all good cause our investigators enjoyed it a lot. Elder dawson rolled up this week on tuesday and brought with him a chess board.. so in a house with 6 missionaries you can bet it gets a little heated.. Top 3 reasons for companionship problems here in angola... #1 debate if powdered milk or boxed milk is better #2 chess #3 and beating your companion in the game at family night

all is well here in angola and benfica.. just trying to ignore the fact that my time here in benfica is winding down to a close... sad day

Elder Webber

photos of the drive... 

this is suppose to be a 3 lane road but in traffic it quickly turns to be 6

the crew  

Monday, October 31, 2016

Loving the Rain

Hahah dont you worry it was all good, honestly it wasn't anything out of the ordinary happens quick often here in angola because there are many many many drunk people.. whether it be at 3 in the after noon, 11 in the morning, or 7 at night you will always have to fend of a crazy drunk man. So its all good, just another day at the office. This week we had a lot of fun working with our new son Elder Mashalaba, its pretty funny to see him speak for the first time.. but then i quickly remembered that i was once there and that i took sooooo long to actually speak Portuguese. I really do love training, i wish i can train more on my mission. Theres nothing like helping some good fresh meat turn from rookies to men of great potential. Its been fun.. This week we had a ton of work to do.. we spent 2 whole days in the car driving around picking up bunkbeds, dropping off bunk beds, picking up missionaries dropping off missionaries because this week we received a whole lot of missionaries... thats right the angola luanda mission received 5 missionaries this week!! holy moly its crazy!! We are now sitting pretty at a nice 33, president wants to get to 40 before the end of the year so we will see how that goes.. the problem is that the visas are a pain.. but its slowly getting better. 

This week we walked all the way up to manuels house about 4 times.. and i cannot describe to you how far away this man lives.. but its all good because hes a prepared man that is doing really well in his progression, so its worth the hours of walking and the nasty tan line on my neck and sweating enough to fill a pool. We also had some nice rain come in saturday night, and the people here really don't like rain.. in fact they hate it.. they will stay indoors about 3 hours after the rain stops just to make sure that its all good, also the roads are terrible and as soon as it rains it turns into a nasty mud field.. so what i'm trying to say is that sunday at church there was almost nobody at church.. members included. So that was a bad thing, but it was fun to see the aftermath of that crazy rain storm. 

Money is not a problem here, we receive enough money from the mission to pay for everything.. plus my budgeting skills are top notch... i have never even gotten close to going over my limit on my mission. The only reason i've spent personal money here is for some nick knacks and some cool african stuff that i've bought. As it says in the white hand book.. zach is correct though there are missionaries that cant stay within their budget here and it boggles my mind on where all their money goes.. This amount is inspired and if you cant stay within your means then you need to change some habits.. As to my christmas gift, some more pairs of socks, some more deodorant.. just deodorant not antiperspirant ( i need to sweat here)  some beef jerky, nuts, and some candy would be cool. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Share Your Bread!

This week was a ton of fun, and we had a lot of cool experiences so ill get right into it. The first one mom might want to just skip down to the next paragraph..... It all started when elder mitchell and i got done early with one of our lessons, so we tried to pass by our next but of course he wasn't there. Thinking that buying bread would be the most efficient use of our time before our next lesson we skidded on down to the bakery and bought ourselves roughly $6 of bread.. we then made our way back up to our home to drop it off and go out to our next lesson. After stepping into the elevator and pushing the button up to our floor we finally get to the fourth floor and the doors open revealing 5-6 large hammered drunk african men that look very mean having piercings, tattoos, grills and the sent of alcohol to match who are making a mess of the halls. We silently make our to our apartment trying not to draw any attention to ourselves when next thing we know one of the tallest men i have seen here came up to us asking for some of our bread... we of course being good missionaries said.... "no this is our bread, we bought it with the church's money" that turned out was not a good enough answer for this man and he grabbed the bag in my hand being very forceful. We kindly asked him to step away reminding him that he was hammered drunk, after handing me a 2000 kwanza bill i kindly gave it to one of his other buddies who were all standing nicely to the side watching what was happening. After some more gentle pushing and forceful encouragement to leave Elder Mitchell finally got the door open. "I broke the wrist and walked away" into our home, and the drunkard then turned to elder mitchell who very foolishly started playing with his glasses, after a firm push off i grabbed elder mitchell and pulled him into our apartment and locked the door. It all happened so fast that we stood there for a while trying to think of what just happened and to both of us as honey dew from heaven we remembered the words of our sweet president who said to never resist and give up anything... but let me tell you there was more than just bread on the line.. our pride was on the line!! I ain't given no-one my bread.... it was MY bread!!! 

Other then that we also taught some really cool lessons, we found a new investigator who is a brother of a member and he was pretty well prepared by the lord. He pretty much told us that after going to church for a long time he knows that its all true and that hes just waiting on us to finish up our lessons so he can be baptized.. but with that being said he will still take some time to teach this man as there have been way to many "number hungry" missionaries here who have baptized people without teaching half of the lessons.. this results in many many inactive members that turn to be a burden more than a blessings. So as president has recently stressed a lot recently and as president Merrill stressed many times is that we are to convert and baptize prepared, and spiritual and financially self sufficient people so that they can help the church grow and stay strong. Only after the church has a strong foundation will be invite all the others to come. A house with a weak foundation cant stand. Manuel though fits the category of all those things but it doesnt hurt to make sure... our job is to save people and help them stay strong, not give them enough knowledge to be condemned.

The lord is blessing us amazingly as we work hard and diligently. We have many prepared and financially and spiritually self sufficient people in our teaching pool that we are very very excited to see how they will progress. Speaking of blessings we got the transfer news last night and you got it... Im staying one more transfer with elder mitchell.... my last one here in benfica... sad... but im very excited!! Also we will be training a new missionary Elder Mashalaba from South Africa... HES GOING TO HAVE 2 GAY DADS!!!!   I hope hes as excited as we are to train him.. this transfer is going to be a blast! 

Elder Webber

Monday, October 17, 2016

Baptisms! ...and "Muffin Faith"

The baptism this week went perfectly!!!  The first baptism im sure in the history of missionary work that has gone without any problems, the font was clean, cloths were clean, they showed up about 30 minutes before it started, branch presidency member was there, president and sister silva were there, and a ton of the members from the branch showed up for it. This is one of the many many reasons why i love this branch so much, they love to help us out in the missionary work. We took some sweet photos, we even had a ton of investigators there who loved to see the baptism. Even Celsons and lurdes son who is wishy washy showed up and really enjoyed it.. he even showed up the church the next day. It has been such a great experience to teach this family and to see them grow in their testimonies. They have learned for themselves the truthfulness of the gospel and have a strong desire to follow the savior and to help build his kingdom here in angola. We also had a super cool experience in teaching Tarics mom, sister and brother. I have really enjoyed getting to know Taric and to be able to help the rest of his family get to know the gospel has been a great experience. There truly is nothing like helping families come together and all enjoy the blessings that come from the gospel. Now my only wish is to see them all sealed in the temple, and the only thing i want is to be able to be there with them. 

Heres a cool story about faith. Elder Mitchell and i were walking to one of our lessons when we decided to stop by celsons and lurdes home to say hello. When we came around we say a box with only a couple muffins in it outside of their door. We gave a little knock and very quickly their 15 year old son antonio was there to say hello. We asked about the muffins and he said that he had cooked them and was selling them. We thought very cool, just like any kid in the US who would set up a lemonade stand to get some extra cash to buy a toy or whatever. It wasn't until we got in and started speaking with Celson and lurdes when we figured out what he was doing. Lurdes explained that Antonio last sunday was talking with Joaquim Puto (the second Councilor in the presidency) about seminary. Antonio loved what he heard and wanted to go, sadly the building were seminary was suppose to be was 2 taxis away and 2 taxis back. So to get enough money to go and come back every time, Antonio learned how to make muffins from his mom and started selling them to get money to go to seminary.. it was so great to hear.. the desire of this youngman to learn more. This is the type of faith this whole family has. 

Things are doing very well here in Benfica.. my time is short and i can see the end of my time here in this branch and it brings tears to my eyes.. but i still have some time so im very excited. I dont have any photos of the food we usually eat but the next time we eat some ill be sure to take a photo and ill send it your way. I hope you enjoy the photos from the baptism we had a ton of fun. Honestly our apartment isnt very cool to see... just imagine a 4 room cement brick with 5 plastic chairs, 5 plactic tables, a fridge thats broken and a sink that floods the house every time you turn it on. But thats about it.. nothing else is really happening. Just getting blessings on blessings and having a ton of fun with Elder Mitchell. 

Elder Webber

Monday, October 10, 2016

Some "life"...

So i got the package and it was perfect! Everything fits great and the ties are awesome thank you very much... sadly this week we had a division and i decided to wear the new shoes to "break them in"... worst mistake ever because we walked forever! I get home and counted about 4 blisters on each of my feet.. it was fun and all, but they are broken in now so they are perfect. 

Also i saw your request for me to email more about the daily life here so i will try my best. Our apartment's pretty cool, the little down time that we have we make the best of it. We don't have a lot of time to relax but we do our best. The food here isn't too bad actually, just a lot of funge which has the appearance of mashed potatoes but is actually just a super thick flour paste sort of substance, we eat a ton of that with chicken and some crushed up leaves thrown on top. We also have a ton of fish, sweet potatoes, and banana pão.. which is just plantains cooked or fried.. it's sooooo goood. There's little ladies called Mai grandes (big mothers) on the side of the street that sell a fried root, banana pão and peanuts which makes for a perfect afternoon snack. When we don't have any lunch appointments we eat at home.. which we have done for the last 2 weeks.. so guess what we had everyday for two weeks... spaghetti!! It got real old real fast.. The energy and water go out here all the time, but lucky our house is the best in the mission. There's a house in the mission that can go without water or energy for a week.. #bucketshowers.  We here in Benfica really count our blessings. The hardest part about being here though i would say would be the heat and the sand, we walk all day long in the blistering sun just to go sit in a cinder block house with a tin roof, by the end of the lesson I'm begging to go back outside to feel the "cool" "fresh" "air". I sweat from every pour and the added 15 pounds isn't helping me walk through the sand. Its a rough life here, but i'm grateful to be here. I don't know what else to say or to explain.. but if you have questions I'll be happy to answer.

Carlos and Eduarda and Alicia were interviewed and they all did great! the whole family will be baptized this week, they went to general conference and loved it! It super cool to see investigators start talking like they are members. Its my favorite part to see people truly converted to the gospel before they are even baptized. We are also teaching a lot of single people who are all doing really well, nothing new just the usual progressing and teaching. Taric is doing super awesome, we walk with him a lot and he has grown to love the gospel and it's been super cool to see the 180 turn-around in his life. We also had GC this week which is painful, because all 5 branches met at the same meeting house which was over flowing. Angola is at an awkward stage right now where it's too big for the small meeting houses but they don't have any church buildings yet.. so its a pain but it's all good. 

This is pretty much our week, nothing else really happened.  

Elder Webber

Monday, October 3, 2016

Doing "Super Great"

This week was super cool. Carlos and Eduarda are doing awesome.. but at the beginning of the week the daughter wasn't. We sat with them last sunday and the daughter said she didn't want to be baptized yet.. distraught we calming spoke with her, listening to her needs and following the spirit to try and help her realize that this was the right path to follow. We finally decided the best thing to do was to let her go, pray about it for a couple of days and read the scriptures. We came back that friday to teach them a lesson and one of the first things that they said was that as a family they took turns praying and asking heavenly father if this was the time for her baptism. Alicia gladly exclaimed that during the week she felt that yes this was the time for her to be baptised and to follow the savior. Elder Mitchell and I could not stop but smile the whole night!! what a great answer to a honest desire and question!! That Saturday they went with us to a baptism to watch how it is and they loved it. They said it was so simple and powerful, and share with us many times how excited they are for the 15th of October to be baptized. We are very excited for these next two weeks, especially for tonight because we are going to have family night with them and Valdemiro and Vanusa. We are also teaching a lot of single people who are also doing really well. Valerio the young man that Elder Palmer and i visited is doing really well, we have worked out a little system with him to get him to read the BOM more and he is doing really well, he is even inviting a lot of of friends to come to church, and helping his sister who is about to go on a mission with her preparations and his inactive brothers. I love this branch. 

General conference is played a week after here because of the lack of technology.. but us being the awesome small mission that we are and having an awesome mission president and wife we got to all go to the mission home to watch the sunday morning session. They gave us dindin and gave us cake while we watched some GC... looks like its universal to have food while watching GC. I thought it was super cool, we all thought though that it was a bit odd to have president monson speak first and be followed by the future prophet President Nelson, but he looked great and i really enjoyed his talk so i guess all is well. Also yesterday we changed things up a little at church and we went to young men's and the youth sunday school because they were talking about missionary work. It was super cool to mix things up a little and go help out the younger generation. 

Thats pretty much it.. Benfica is awesome... its almost Mango season so we are about to have mangos coming out our ears because a lot of members have huge mango trees by their homes. The weather is heating up and im starting to sweat more and more. Life is going great and we are still doing great work even while laughing all the day long. So i guess you can say my life is going really great right now. 


Elder Webber

Monday, September 26, 2016

Getting HOT...

This week was pretty cool, nothing really happened other than the fact that we got to go to the U.S. embassy to do some document work for Elder Mitchell so he can start driving.. and boy is it incredible to step back on US soil. The US embassy here is super cool, and where its placed has a beautiful view of Angola and the Luanda Harbor, so we got to see some more of the Angolan beauty and the city. We are still doing really well in our area. Carlos and Eduarda are doing very well and getting closer and closer to being prepared for their baptism. We had to move it back to the 15th due to General Conference, and they were pretty sad about that because they wanted to get baptized sooner. It's alright though because they are very excited for General Conference as well and another week gives us a little more breathing room to finish the lessons and make sure everything is going well. We found a lot of new investigators this week, and by saying found i mean were given.. These members here are amazing.. we had referrals coming out of our ears this week and we didn't have enough time to sit with them all, but somehow we managed to do it. Its pretty cool, Elder Mitchell and i have made a goal to not knock on a single door to do contacts this whole transfer, and so far so great! The lord always blesses those to are willing to work the correct way. We have had people just placed in our way, we have had great referrals from members, and from investigators. It is a great time to be in Benfica. 

Saturday afternoon while we were walking we got a nice little phone call from the branch president asking if i could give a short talk in sacrament meeting. I said sure and i began to think because he gave me the option to choose what i wanted to speak about. During a lesson, like honey dew descending from heaven, i received revelation that i needed to talk about the atonement of jesus christ. Since so many members in this branch are new, many of them don't understand truly the importance of the atonement. So with that i went home and prepared my talk that night. In essence i spoke about how christ suffered all types of afflictions, pains, and sins just so that we, if we repent, pray and keep the commandments, don't have to suffer here in this life and also for all eternity. I spoke how the atonement was more than just suffering for our sins, that we suffered everything imaginable so that he would know exactly how to help us in our times of distress, sorrow and need. After i spoke the branch president then spoke about how the family can life together forever but only because of the atonement.. soo all in all it was a very cool experience and i enjoyed it. 

Elder Mitchell and i are having the time of our lives here in Benfica.. the hot season is coming and Elder Mitchell has been sweating like a dog... and i have been sweating as just bad. The hot season here in angola is BRUTAL!! and i am not looking forward to lessons in tin ovens... buuuuuut the work must continue and it will. We also passed by Valdemiros and Vanusas house yesturday for family and boy what a time.. It has been so incredible to see them and Paulo and Helga become so strong in the gospel.. they seem like they have been members for years.. its cool. Also Darciela got a calling to the primary yesterday (Knew it!!) and Helga got a calling to the relief society (Also knew it!!) Paulo has also already received the aaronic priesthood.. soo Benfica remains to be the best branch in the world!  

Mother the smaller pair of pants fit perfectly.. after throwing them in the wash they shrunk up a little and came out perfect. The other ones are pretty big on the waist and pretty long, but still work. Thats pretty cool, i should've asked him about that, it would have been cool to talk to him about that. 

Elder Webber

Monday, September 19, 2016

Working with a Seventy

A note from Ben's Dad:  Elder Palmer referred to here is Elder S. Mark Palmer of the Seventy--who was Ben's dad's Teacher's Quorum Advisor when he was a Teacher (in New Zealand)....

This week super crazy with transfers, mission conference, and a division with a seventy... so let me get started. Elder mitchell comes into the area and we go straight out to work and are already doing great, i haven't had this much fun in a LONG time. We go to the office on thursday to help prepare it for the arrival of elder palmer, a general authority seventy for the mission tour. We weren't there to long before we had to go to make it to our lessons on time. We get home and get ready to head out just as we say the prayer to leave we receive one of the most stressful phone calls i have ever had in my life... it was president, long story short he wanted us to go on divisions Elder mitchell would go with president and i would go with elder palmer.. so we spent the next 20 minutes scrambling around trying find more people to teach. We finally drove down to the office and picked up president and elder palmer.. and boy what an experience i had.. He didn't speak a word of Portuguese, but his love for the people and desire to teach the gospel were really strong. I learned a lot about the spirit and how we can follow it, many times he would bring out the BOM and chose a scripture to share and some how it fit perfectly with what we were saying. I had a nice little one on one with him for about an hour where i could ask him any questions about making better contacts and being a better missionary and about the gospel. Dont worry i took some solid notes and wrote everything he told me down. Just being in his presence and walking in the angolan streets was something amazing, seeing how we conducted himself and his desire to share the gospel was and is a model to follow. He asked a ton of questions about the mission and what not. Needless to say i was on a spiritual high all night long. (plus his accent reminded me of papa so that was also pretty cool.) The next day we had mission conference with him, and the thing that i most remember was how many times he said that our calling is the same as his and the 12 apostles. I could write a whole lot more about what he said, my impressions and his teachings but it was took a long time so just know It was for sure an experience to remember, and one i will treasure forever. 

Carlos and Eduarda and alicia are all still doing really well, we have to move their baptism back a week due to general conference... but oh well itll still happen so i aint mad. Celson and Lurdes are getting SUPER close with their documents to get married. Their pretty much members, the come to all the activities, watch church films as a family, blast hymns for the whole neighborhood to hear and share the gospel with all thier freinds and neighbors, we have gotten some great referals from them. We are also teaching Tarics brother junior, he as well is doing really well, we passed by his house yesturday with a couple young men and he loved it. We are gonna have some great baptisms coming up in this area which we are all super excited for. 

Other then that nothing else really happened, just the usual work. Mother i measured my pants on the outside of them from the top to the bottom, they seem good and ajustable, but still the longer the better.. but honestly i need the shoes more then anything, its getting harder and harder to walk with these moon boots on my feet.. this sand is killer and these huge shoes are slowing me down and killing me, so if you could send those here pretty soon that would be awesome.. thank you very much!! Elder Mitchell is awesome, we laugh, we play, but we put in that hard work when it comes time. Im super excited for these 2 trasnfers which are just gonna fly by. The members some how keep getting better and better, and the lord blesses us with his elect and chosen.. so i honestly cant really complain, other then i know ill have to leave this area which is pretty killer. 

Thank you mother and father for everything, i cant wait to get the packages. 



Elder Webber

Monday, September 12, 2016

Baptisms and Transfers...

Baptisms!!!! Paulo, Helga, and Darciela were all baptized this last week and boy what a great experience it has been to be apart of their long journey to baptism. Paulo and Helga have waited almost 3 years for this experiences, while Darciela has only been involved with the church for about a month and a half. It was still amazing for all three of them. But of course the day of the baptism it was all going and looked like everything would start at 10 like it was planned. We arrived at 8:45, font was filled, clothes were ready.. it was all a go.. then it was 9:30... no one but my companion and i... 9:45 still us... 9:55 still only us.. finally at 10 we have some teenagers from another branch show up because they had nothing else to do.. 10:10 all of a sudden everyone shows up at the same time. Branch president, branch members, friends, family, almost everyone expect for the 3 that were going to be baptized.. and so we waited again.. 10:15 we call, nothing.. 10:25 still nothing.. then finally 10:40 they come rolling and the first thing paulo says is.. "you guys know how traffic is here in Luanda" so with a little laugh we quickly get them changed and ready for the baptism, and get them baptized. I swear this whole timing thing in Angola is going to kill me.. i don't know why or how it started but it needs to change.. i cant handle it anymore.. but i still love the people so i guess its alright. 

I received my transfers almost 3 weeks ago, but they were officially released yesterday... so i can now say that my new companion is............... ELDER MITCHELL!!!!!!!!!!!! hahahaha when we both found out we were suppose to keep it a secret and we tried so hard, we were at the office at the same time one day and you would think we were 2 high school girls that both got asked to prom by their dream boy the same day, by the way we were celebrating and talking about it. However we managed to keep it a secret pretty well. It is very sad for Elder smith, because he is leaving just as we are about to have a lot more success in our area, and elder Mitchell is coming in to take all fruits from our labors which is pretty cool. Its been a long 4 transfers almost 6 months in this area.. my first 2 transfers i wanted to die.. but like i said in my last email with hard work and obedience you will eventually see some great fruits for your labors which elder mitchell and i will see a lot of these next 2 transfers. Plus we are splitting our area because we are receiving 2 new missionaries (which will make for 28 in the mission) Elder Slade is coming to live with us and he is training a newbie from Portugal, so we are all very excited. And i am VERY excited to be back to my original Benfica A area and get to focus on all the work we have here. So needless to say these next 2 transfers are going to be a blast and a half. 

Other then that not a whole lot is going on.. just the usual work being done. The members are awesome and the branch is slowly growing with married families popping out of the blue wanting to learn more. The Benfica Branch has grown a lot since i've been here and its been super cool to see all the changes. Especially with recent convert families live Valdemiro and Vanusa who shared some powerful testimonies this last sunday, and who are both incredibly strong. You would think that they have been members a long time by the way they friendship investigators, help the church and watch over their home... its such a beautiful sight.. 


Elder Webber


Helga, me, elder smith, Paulo, Branch president from Terra Nova, and Darciela 

chillin on the street  

Monday, September 5, 2016

District Conference

DISTRICT CONFERENCE!!! aside from baptisms, family night, and mission conference it is my favorite here in angola.. more photos are taken on this day and in this one spot then at an over excited group of teenage girls getting ready and at prom... in other words everyone looks fresh, and you see all your old recent converts and members that you have left behind. Also other then that you get to hear President and sister speak, along with many other leaders of the church here in angola.. i didn't get to hear a lot because i was manning the doors letting the same 6 children in and out the whole time, but the lord blessed me and i was able to pay attention and listen to president and sister talk. You can tell they are new and excited for the mission work to grow and improve because thats all that they spoke about, sister silva said that we all need to invite people, even if its hard there are plenty of people around us who will say yes. SO needless to say being in the best branch in the mission we once again received quite a few of great referrals afterwards, some more married families, some more friends, the work continues forward at an amazing pace here in Angola and in Benfica. We also got to go to the adult session Saturday night  ( we could only go if we brought an investigator.. celson and lurdes for the win!!) which was very good, until about half way through it finally hit me... your sitting in the ADULT SESSION of stake conference.. it made me sick.. the whole rest of the night i just thought.. your almost 20, about to finish the mission, in a few years you'll be married.. i'm not ready for this at all!! i still feel like i'm 14 years old.. i don't wanna grow up.. i would happily stay this age and on my mission and in this branch for a long time.. but i cant.. and i wont.. so life continues and taught me a very good lesson on living in the moment.

This week also Paulo and Helga got married!! they were so excited and happy, plus they looked great. Its been 3 long years of investigating the church and after 3 years of waiting they have finally tie the knot, stepped on the glass, and Paulo has officially put on the good ole ball and chain.. hahahahaha just kidding.. but seriously... we passed by their house many times to make sure all was going good, and surely enough it was. They got done with the marriage and instantly started looking forward to the baptism, but when we passed by yesterday that their goal was never just to be baptized but to be sealed as a family. They don't see and never saw baptism as the end but he beginning and know that the most important step is the sealing of their family in the temple. It was so great to see a family with their priorities in the right spot.. and we have been blessed big time with many people like that in our area. So this saturday Paulo helga and helgas sister Darciela will be baptized! Darciela we have taught for about a month and a half and we have not seen any one progress as well as she has.. its been really cool to see. 

All the others are doing really well,  they are progressing quickly and we are trying to keep up with them. The benfica branch continues to grow and my love for the members and the people here continues to grow and at an even faster rate then i had ever expected. All is well, very excited for next transfer... i already got my transfer news almost 2 weeks before the transfer... mom dad i don't think your going to believe it.. 

Elder Webber

P.S. also the package if you could send me a pin drive, another pair of pants or two (slim fit) (gray and black) so i don't look like a clown ill send my sizes next week i don't have them right now, some hand sanitizer (pocket size), and like 3 nice ties ( i traded all my nice ties away for ugly ones, and its pretty hard to go to the office and see president with rocket ships on my tie). and anything else you think would be cool.. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

A Great and Wonderful Branch

Man my love for this branch and for the members here continues to grow more and more as the days pass by. This last sunday is a prove of why Benfica is growing so fast and doing so well. The chapel was over flowing and we had to bring in about 15 extra chairs because of all the people that came (remember this branch split just 2 months ago). There were a ton of people there that we didn't even know, they were invited and brought by their member friends, needless to say we ran around quite a lot this last sunday trying to get everyone's names and numbers and times to pass by their house sunday. One of these people is Carlos and his wife Eduarda. They are a family that came to church from an invitation from an investigator. We passed by their house later that sunday and found out that they are a legally married family looking for the truth and a church that  worships in peace and reverence without yelling, screaming. We knew once again as soon as we started our lesson that this family was once again prepared by the savior, and once again we have the great privilege of being in their lives and helping them along the path. Carlos at the end of our lesson said many times that after church hes been having the feeling that they have just started down the correct path. So we challenged them to turn that feeling into a surety by praying and searching and receiving and answer to their questions.  It is truly amazing the miracles that can happen when the missionaries start to work with the members. We are currently teaching 5 families, 2 are legally married and doing VERY well, 2 are unmarried but one of them is about to put in their documents, and the other is going to get married this coming weekend. We are also teaching quite a few single people, mainly members of families who aren't married, and they are all doing VERY well as well. I also got word from president this week that i will stay in this area until december!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!! i couldn't have asked for anything better, so hopefully by the time that i leave there will be 5 new families in Benfica... thats the goal anyways! what a great time to be alive and to work here in benfica.... i am an outrageously blessed man. 

Also is week i learned a lot about external and internal drives. The 2nd councilor in our branch Joaquim Puto, had taught me a lot about this. As missionaries in Angola we love to teach about families and marriage, but a lot of the time that desire to have people keep the commandments and be married turns to be our only concern and teaching point. I was like that until Joaquim sat with us and shared some of his 19 year old young father wisdom. In essence he said that a man with a testimony is more willing to follow the commandments then a man who is pressured from outside sources to follow the commandments. It was so simple but yet so profound... and gave us a little slap to wake us up..  I thought back to leaders and bishops ive had in my life and the best ones i ever had were the ones that never pointed out the bad and what i needed to change, but the ones that strengthened my testimony and helped me have a desire from within to do my best and to follow the savior's example (Shout out to Ma and Pa and the NUKE). So we decided to stop teaching "marriage" and to start teaching repentance through our saviors atonement. The family that we had stressed marriage a lot with was Celson and lurdes when we first found them.. but we stopped that and started to strengthen their testimonies and what a difference it has been. Celson is working like a mad man because he wants to keep the commandments, and Lurdes is playing hymns daily to try and bring the spirit as much as she can into her home. Its been really cool to see the changes in their lives because of their testimonies and not because some 19 year old punks are telling them they are breaking some commandments. So that little principle on strengthening peoples testimonies and knowledge of our savior instead of beating on them repeatedly to change and to keep the commandments has helped make some HUGE miracles happen in Benfica.    

Thats pretty much my week in a nutshell.. our investigators are doing really well, members are awesome, the leadership is great, and we are being blessed every single moments and without his help or his tender mercies i would still be in the gulf of misery i was in the first couple weeks i was here in Benfica... ohhh those were some of the worst weeks of my life.. but now i am having some of the best experiences ever and never wanting my time here in benfica to end and getting blessings on blessing on blessing.. just goes to show what a little hard work, obedience and diligence can do.. it my be super hard at first.. enough to make me want to break my leg... but itll all turn out and youll be rolling in the blessings that you will receive. And for that i will be forever grateful to my father in heaven and my savior.

hahahahaha good ole zach and joseph huh... that was a solid laugh! Thanks for the lovage and the prayage it is muchly appreciated. If you are thinking of sending a package let me know because of i some stuff that i want but dont really need, so its no big deal. 

The magic lives on

Elder Webber

Monday, August 22, 2016

1 Nephi 4:6...

This was super cool, especially Saturday we had a very cool experience. We set out of our house with almost all of our lessons fallen, so we decided to make an effort on visiting members less active and regular members to get some referrals for people to teach. After what i would call a mediocre attempt at trying to get some referrals we finally decided to go and bate some doors. Which i have grown to hate more then anything else... we walked aimlessly around for about 5 minuets until we finally decided to chose a door and knock on it. We walked a little more and reached a fork in the road.. both of us without saying a word stopped.... stood silently then walked to the left.. we then walked a little more and took the first road on the left with out saying a word to each other... and we then walked up to the first door on the left... (choose the left my friends) Turns out the door we arrived to we had already knocked once but no one was there the last time to we decided to once again knock it. We knocked it and heard someone coming so we waited... and waited.. until finally someone came to open the door and without us saying a word they instantly let us in.... it was all very strange... as soon as we entered we could feel the spirit give us a quick slap and say why are you surprised.. this is not your work this is his work... do it his way and you will find those prepared to receive you. we sat with a family legally married, Milton and Elizabeth..   The lesson was powerful and the spirit present as we bore testimony and taught about joseph smith.. when we ended we invited Milton to pray and ask god if what we taught them was true.. and it was the most powerful prayer i have ever heard on my mission.. his desire to know the truth and to follow it was amazing.. We are very excited to sit with this family agian as we both had the confirmation that this family had been prepared for this message.. We hope all goes well with them.

I thought a lot this week as well about obedience, love, and christlike attributes.. i dont have much time to write what i have learned and i also dont want to because im going to save them for a raining day when i have to give a talk i want my material to be fresh and new.. so i wont share it all. but i started last week reading the gospels in the NT with a list of the christlike attributes that are found in PMG and a couple of colored pencils. each color represents an attribute of christ.. and as i have read the life of the savior focusing on his attributes and how he acted and taught my knowledge has grown amazingly on how i can become more like him, many attributes are connected and when we grow in one we grow in another.. also the more we grown in them all the more we see the need to improve and how much we truly lack. It has really been an enlightening experience to focus on the savior life and his will and trying to mold my life so that i am able to reflect his will. Its been very cool.

All is well here in Benfica.. all our investigators are doing great and progressing nicely.. we´ve reached a point where we are going to baptize all our investigators but dont have anyone to fill their spots.. so in other words we will be doing a lot of contacts these next few days. Just doing the usual work and having a lot of fun with the investigators, members and people here in angola. Its been a great time serving here in this area and im excited that i have at least 2 more months here before i leave this area. Sounds like home is fun.. back to school, back to school, to prove that you are not a fool.... have fun with that...

Elder Webber

Monday, August 15, 2016

A Baptsm

This week was fun, because a big highlight of the week was the Valdemiro baptized his son Luzolo. It was really good, and was very cool to see a new member of the church use the priesthood to bless his family for the first time. Plus Vanusa received a calling this week at church, 2nd councilor in the YW... if this calling isnt perfect for her i dont know which calling is. They are doing really well. Célson and Lurdes got one of the big documents that they need to get married, so thats one big step closer to them getting married. They are also doing really well and the sons antonio and eddy are growing in their desire to read the BOM and to come to church so its been a ton of fun seeing the whole family come to church. Darciela said she knows the book of mormon is true and is progressing very nicely with the help of some members in the branch who are taking her under their wings and befriending her. Helga and Paulo came to our branch for the first time since they moved here and said that they loved, everything is going very well for them to get married on the 2nd and to be baptized on the 10th so we are very excited for them as well. Once again this week, Family night comes in for the win.. its very interesting how something so small as a 5 minute spiritual thought and a 45 minute game can bring the spirit so strong to help reactivate members and have investigators grow in their testimonies. While on my mission it has become one of my tools to use and one of my favorite nights of the week, mainly because i actually get to dance and have fun without being judged by children and people on the street.. but also to see the changes that take place in a family. 

We also walked with our branch president. President Nataneil.... in other words he drove us in his car... ohhhhhhhhh its so nice to get rides from members to lessons and not walk in this loose sand that makes me feel like im 20 pounds heavier... or maybe its because im 20 pounds heavier then i was before the mission... i dunno either way its nice to get a ride from members. He left a great example for how a leader in the church should be though.. he is always looking after the one that has gone astray, and is always looking to increase peoples testimonies by helping them personally and loving them for who they are. Which is also somethings i learned on my mission.. ive learned to love these people as the lord sees them, it really changed my perspective on my teachings and the way that i work and serve others around me. It use to be hard to head out the door because i felt obligated to go, but now im happy to leave because i know that the gospel will bless these children of god who need it. I have grown in my love for these people, also this week we saw 2 elders who came back to visit/ do buisness here in angola. I got to talk with them a little, and after i did i thought the whole time.. yes i would love to come back and visit this place.. yes its hot, yes its stinky and no one follows the laws or rules here.. but these people are awesome and i love them! and thats all that matters

Well done zach on the rugby torny.. im excited to come back and play with him and BYU and this 7s team.. if im good enough.. but i know with the blessings i recieve from my father in heaven i can do it. Sounds like some good stuff back at home... and jared.... get married you bum.. stop waiting "scrawny". Magic Man out

Elder Webber

Monday, August 8, 2016


Not gonna lie... i hated sundays on the mission. Coming home after 3 hours of not understanding a single word of what was going on... looking through the shelfs trying to find a can of beans or some rice to eat for lunch cause you ate it all during the week, heading out the door and seeing that all your plans had fallen through and doing hours upon hours of contacting and having doors closed in your face... yeah i was not a fan at all of sundays.. but in this area sundays have come to be my favorite days of the week.. (more than p-day). We take a nice little walk over to the church, where we see such amazing members welcoming our investigators into church. There's bonding and happiness all around, the presidency is awesome, the members share strong and power testimonies and help investigators grow theirs. We have members wanting to fed us every sunday, and always have someone to visit. This last Sunday was especially awesome, Taric the less active has made some hard decisions in his life to do what is right and shared a strong testimony about that, Also Joel a potential missionary we have been working with shared a great testimony about that, and even Celson our investigator got up and shared a really strong testimony about the church and the book of mormon, plus elder smith and i team taught like champions in the gospel principles class... second week in a row even! I love this branch and the members, being the only 2 missionaries in the branch has helped out a lot, the lord has been blessing us greatly with members willing to help, the spirit in our lessons, and investigators taking the initiative.  We have been asked several times by our investigators what they have to do to be baptized... what a great blessing it see to be a humble tool in the hands of the lord in doing his work and seeing the lives of so many change. I am so grateful for all he has blessed me with, he was done such a great work with this branch and I'm happy to see it and be apart of it. 

Celson and lurdes are doing really well, they are doing as much as they can to get married and have the money to be married. They have a lot of trails and difficulties but their testimonies of the gospel and the blessings from our father in heaven keep them going and doing whats right. Along with their sons. We have another family joao and carla, they are recently married and are searching for something more then the worlding things, they don't go to a specific church and are looking for the truth... well well well just so happens we have the truth and the lord has blessed us with his spirit and the chance to teach you! They are doing well in other words. Another family we are teaching is Paulo and Elga.. they have been investigating the church for over 3 years now and are finally about to be married on the 2 of September. They recently moved into our area from another branch, they shared their story and testimonies with us yesterday and have already been preparing to go to the temple to be sealed. We are also teaching Darciela, she's the sister of Elga and she as well is doing really well. Luzolo Valdemiro and Vanusas son will be baptized this coming saturday and Valemiro is very excited to baptize his son. We have a whole lot of work to do in this area and not a whole lot of time... 

I have come to the point now to when i close my eyes for an opening or closing prayer in our lessons i quickly sneak in a little nap. There has been many times where during a lesson i start nodding off and i have to muster all the strength that i have to stay awake.. its a daily problem.. but its a good sign. I love this area so much, the recent converts, members, investigators, all of them are amazing. Its a good thing i am guaranteed to stay here at least one more transfer.. to be honest.. i would not mind staying here for the rest of my mission. Hello welcome to Benfica, where the street dogs are my biggest concern, and the road rules don't matter... 

I miss the olympics, we get to hear a little here and there about it but not a whole lot.. angola doesn't have a lot to compete for so the people here aren't too interested in following it. But i would love to have a couple updates on how the rugby 7s is in the olympics, 

Thank you, the magic will live on,

Elder Webber

Good bye to the worlds greatest senior couple ever!! we will miss the henrys dearly... We love you!!

Chillin on the street with the bois.. 

Monday, August 1, 2016


Stress overload, sickness, constant headache, and painful legs are the things that i would use to describe this week. To start it off Elder Dlamini made lunch for us, he was in a hurry so we don't think he cook it the way it should have been because my comp and i all this last week have had the feeling of our insides exploding.. not fun. It appeared to be a parting gift for my comp and i because this week he got transferred.. (NOOOOOOO not my swaziland warrior/witch doctor!!) along with his companion Elder Paulino.. so you know what that means.. yup yo guessed it, elder webber is once again white-washing an area.. i have only served in 3 areas, but i have white washed or opened 5...... it doesn't make sense to me either. I am however very grateful for the opportunity and for the trust that president and the savior have in us. We were surely put through the ringer as we more than doubled our area and our work loaded. It´ll be fun, because know we have the whole branch to ourselves, and in my humble opinion i think that the Benfica branch is the best one.. so i am very excited to visit all the members, and investigators now. 

This week president fernandez past away during a church meeting on saturday (he was my first branch president here in angola and the father of my current branch president) The church is still very small here in angola so when something like this happens every single member knows. It was great to see so many church members, support and love this family that has done so much to help the lords work move along here in angola. the african culture here is not something that loves or welcomes death, yet seeing the differences between the church members who have a knowledge and testimony of the plan of salvation and those that do not have that testimony was quite amazing. You see much whailing and weeping, yet with the members they had peace, they had comfort, they had the knowledge the everything was alright. our father in heaven has a plan, its perfect, i teach it and testify of it daily. His family was sealed to him and what a great comfort it is to know that they will once again be back together for all time and eternity. It was sad to this news, but like any situation we can look at the positive, see it as one more step closer to our father in heaven and living with our families forever.

This week i walked a lot, which means my legs are about to exlpode, but it also means that i had the chance to think a lot. We are having fun in this massive area we currently have, dont have to many experiences to share this week, just doing the usual work here in benfica. Nothing to special. Other then celson is doing really well with his wife, they are close to getting married so we are very very excited for them. their sons are also doing really well, setting a great example for thier friends which is bring more people to learn more, so its all good in the hood! Im grateful to be a missionary, to look back at my life and see who i was to who i am know. Im so grateful to change that i have experince as i serve the savior here in angola, 

Elder Webber

Monday, July 25, 2016

Baptism(s) And Family night

Valdemiro and Vanusa Joao were baptized! what a great experience it was, and for the first time ever i can actually say that this baptism happened without any serious problems.. ohh what a great blessing, it was all happiness and joy with very little stress. It was such a great baptism as well, you could truly feel that they had changed so much and were ready to make their first covenant with god. Its been a great blessing to be apart of this journey with them and to help them follow the true path. We had a huge lunch with them yesterday and also had family night, and once again they invited 2 families to join in and talked about the gospel and how much it has blessed them, it was really interesting to sit and listen to them share their newly found testimonies with their friends. Its been a great blessing helping this family, and they will be a great blessing for this branch.

Also my testimony about family night has grown more then anything else. Wow... this once a week activity has brought more families into the gospel then any thing else. Because of this one activity once a week ive seen families turn 180 degrees.With Celson and Lurdes we started doing family night a few weeks ago, the first time we did it their second oldest son (antonio) join and wanted to participate, not only that but also wanted to learn about the church. Then last week we had family night the oldest son (Eddy) joined in and once again wanted to learn more and study with the rest of the family. Then Eddys friend heard about all this and wants to learn more about the church as well, and wants to start doing family night with his family. If its with Celson and lurdes family, Valdemiro and Vanusas family, or any other family, i have seen their homes filled with the spirit, love, and peace because of this little activity they do once a week. It is truly ordained of god, the family is ordained of god and family night is i believe one of the best ways to strengthen the family. Its a miracle worker. 

Also this week we had a service project.. which is actually really weird here.. we are always looking for chances to serve but everyone here never accepts. They think its a little taboo for the elders to serve and to do manual labor. Finally Celson accepted and it was so much fun, to work and do some physical labor for a little bit.. boy how i have missed it.. digging dirt, making concrete, building stuff. I havent realized how long its been since ive done anything like that. It was so nice and hopfully more of the members will see we can actually do physical labor service for them, cause i need to do more of it badly!! 

Other then that not much happened this week, i love our investigators, members, and people here in this area. We are having a ton of fun and putting in some serious work here in Benfica. I'm started to find a lot of joy in things that i use to hate at the beginning of my mission and before my mission and im starting to have more of a fire to do the work like i had at the beginning of my mission. The branch just split a few weeks ago and already the chapel is full, the members love helping the missionaries in the work and when they do we truly see miracles happen. I love this branch

Mother i recieved your package this last week with the nutella and PB... thank you very much!! it was a little beaten up but it still tasted amazing... its already about half way gone..  

Let the Magic do the work

Elder Webber

Service with Celson and having cake after with his family

Monday, July 18, 2016

Another Day Another Dollar...

Another day another dollar.. Not much happened here in Benfica.. we are teaching the same people, and having a ton of fun with the less actives and families we are teaching. Celson and Lurdes have decided to stop selling alcohol in their canteena, so they are making huge steps with their faith and will be a great blessing to this branch here in Benfica. Valdmiro and Vanusa are getting ready for their baptism this next week, we passed by their house to watch the restoration and Valdmiro said that the whole time he was watching the movie he was thinking about his baptism and how excited he is. This family is awesome... when we first got here to now the difference is amazing! Almost everytime we come over they have a referall for us or they have a family member they want us to teach.. They are excited for their baptism and we are as well.. Its been a long fun journey and the lord has been ever present in their lives showing them the way and now its the time for them to take the next step. This saturday is the day!!

Other then that nothing much happened this week, we are teaching a ton of super cool less actives and recent converts.. One is Taric, he use to never open his door to let us in and was never home.. until about a month and a half ago when he got into a serious motorcycle accident, he nailed his head on the ground and was knocked out.. while unconscious the by standers came up and robbed him.. watch, backpack, phone, wallet, when he woke up it was all gone.. So after the horrible experience we were led by the spirit the day after the accident happened to teach him, we got in and we asked him that if he died would be ready to met with god.. he said the answer was no... so we have passed by his house twice a week to help him come back to church, change his life and repent.. and the change we have seen in him has been amazing! Hes happier, hes coming to church every week, hes treating people better.. Its been pretty cool to see, and this last week we've decided to walk with him (since he doesnt go to school or work we thought it would be better to take him to our lessons) and he has grown a lot in his desire to serve a mission, he turns 22 this next month and has already started the process in speaking with the branch president and priesthood leaders to start the process. Taric is a cool guy

We've been extremely blessed in this area to be working along side the lord, we can see him work miralces in the lifes of our investigators and in the lives of the members. We have seen many people take a 180 degree turn completely changing their live around for the better. The lord truly has many people here in this branch that were chosen to do great things and he is using us as tools to change the lives of these people so they can do what the lord has wanted them to do... Its pretty cool to see and awesome to be apart of.. Other then the fact of the pregnant dogs that almost ate my companion.. sworm of children wanting magic, the pigeon stuck in our house, the JWs knocking on our house, and the crazy crazy drivers here in Angola, along with everyone thinking that we are chinesse twins... its all apart of the fun and keeps the mission interesting.. Haha

Elder Webber

Monday, July 11, 2016

TWO Baptisms...

We had a fun little experience this week at the baptism of Yolene and Wilma. We got up in the morning, everything was planned and ready to happen, the branch presidency was going to be there and all was ready.. until Elder Smith said  "I think this baptism might go without any problems" and boy did he jynx us.. We arrive at the chapel with no problems... walk around back to the baptismal font and what do we see but 2 other missionaries standing over and empty font... They said that the other branch ward mission leader came yesterday and filled it up.. but this morning wayyyy early another member came and saw the font filled and thought to himself "why is it full?" so he undrained it... lucky angolan time was a blessing because the meeting didn't start until and hour and a half later so we at least had a enough water to baptize. Also while we were there trying to figure fill it up we get a call from Wilma saying that her uncle is sick and wont be able to make it, and out back up baptizer hadn't shown up (i've learned here we always need a back up.. and now even a back up for our back up) so with that my comp and i had to run around the chapel looking for a spare change of white clothes, we didn't bring anything thinking all was good.. we found 2 pairs of pants, mine fit well but my comps.. not so much... so we changed our pants, we didn't find a shirt so we used the one we were wearing and baptized Yolene and Wilma... It was all pretty stressful as we tried to figure out what to do.. but as always everything turned out alright and they were baptized.. what a miracle.. they are the 2 strongest girls i've ever seen.. the same day of their confirmation they were call to the laurel and mia maid presidency.. pretty cool!

other then that we are having a ton of fun teaching the Nascimento Joao family and Celsons family.. The Nascimento Joao family got interviewed and passed so they will be baptized the 23rd of this month!! what a great blessing!! and Celson is slowly getting his documents for their marriage is actually going really well, the branch has decided to come in and help them with the search and the process which has been a great blessing! We are also doing a lot of work with less actives which is going well, we had 4 less active members come to church this last week, all priesthood holding men.. so it was a great blessing for this newly split branch..

All is well and quite here in Benfica... just the usual work going on.. nothing special.. some fun things happen during the week just to keep the mission fun and its all good.

Elder Webber

Monday, July 4, 2016

A New President..

President Silva and Sister Silva are super awesome, they are a lot different then what all the missionaries thought they would be. President Silva is a really cool guy, loves to laugh, really loving, sister silva is more quite but shes still really cool. Itll still take some time for the hole that the merrills left to heal over but we are very very excited to start working with president and sister silva. We had our mission conference with them this last friday and that was very cool, following the mission conference president silva interviewed each missionary to start early on getting to know the missionaries which was very cool. Saying good bye to the merrills at the airport was a tough one.. but its a good thing they only live in Arizona.. maybe while im there playing rugby or going back to visit the ward i served in for a month i can quickly stop by and say hello.

I love this area, i love this branch, i love the members, and i mostly love the awesome investigators we are teaching now.. Yolene and Wilma had their baptismal interveiw and did amazing they will be baptized this coming friday.. it still breaks my heart that paula their mother cant get baptized with them.. but she is showing great faith in continually going to church, reading, and supporting her daughters. The Nascimento Joao family has their baptismal interview this week, and they are super excited. They said after their baptism they will have all the missionaries who have ever entered their house over to eat some of Vanusas world famous shrimp!! Celson and Lurdes are doing great.. they came to church as a family and slowly the children are getting more of an interest. Ribeiro Carlos came to church for the first time this week after being out in the provencies for three weeks and he loved it.. We also met a new younger fella called Lorenzo who is really good friends with a less active member that we are teaching, so they are going to help one another go to church and read and stay active so thats very cool. We have been incredibly blessed to have so much success here in Benfica.. we are having a lot of fun and can really see the lords hand in all of our lessons and as we walk.. Its been a great blessing. 

Yes mother i got your package with the flip flops and tie almost 2 weeks ago.. THANK YOU!!!! it was getting real old walking in broken flip flops... but i have not yet gotten the other package.. so ill wait patiently..  As for advice i would tell them to take some time to sit down and really look at whats most important for them in their lives.. not now but for all live and eternity.. once they make that list make another list of things that they are willing to do to change their lives to improve those parts of higher importance. As the missionary you have a lot of regrets and spend a lot of time thinking about things you should have and it distracts from the work.. not only that but the mission you really have to learn whats more important.. obedience or disobedience.. staying up extra 5 mins to talk to your friend.. or going to sleep at 1030 so you have energy to work the next day. It really comes in handy to step back and look at whats most important and make the changes so you improve in those spots.. that and just generally growing your testimony, not only reading but pondering about what you have read.. start replacing your thoughts with thoughts about your savior and his work.. when you do that you have the spirit and you can be a better missionary. 

Make your priorities.. Start thinking continually about the savior... these two things will help BIG time as a missionary.

The Magic Man is always watching