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..