Sorry it is really hard having a big family and replying to everyone. Individual letters to everyone might get much shorter. Just saying, I'm doing my best. But I Love you all!!
Dear Family and Friends:
Okay I promise my emails will get shorter! (..I think) I just have so much I want to tell you still. New York is just so crazy, busy and fun. At least I've seen the movie Elf so I have some knowledge of things. Haha. For example, “the yellow ones don't stop!” It's true. Good thing I have a companion to save me from dying though. Also, in a year and a half when I get home I am getting a deep tissue massage because my entire body is so sore all the time from walking everywhere and up and down stairs but I’m sure in time I won’t even notice.
Alright, so here is a little story to start off with that ended pday perfectly last week!
After our dinner appointment on Wednesday last week we went back to the church because it was only 2 blocks away and we didn't have time to tract. So we did some calling and I learned how to hand out cards in Spanish (because a lot of people pretend to only know Spanish. Ah ha, we are smart) and then we left. So we got down to the front and I realized we forgot our groceries. So we went back up and these two ladies came in (mother and adult daughter) and they said they were looking for a place to pray. I guess they are from Long Island and were just around here and saw how pretty the temple is and so they talked to the security guy at the front and they asked what we believe. The lady told us that as soon as the guy said we believe in life after death then she was hooked. So we took her into the chapel because the spirit is so strong there and she asked if she could sit down
and of course we said yes. So as she was sitting there she asked a million questions. She asked where the priest sat and what he wore and where the big cross was and what a normal Sunday was like and what people spoke on and how they knew what to speak on and literally like 10 more. And I answered most of them and my comp answered a couple or backed me up on them. And then at the end she told us how excited she was to learn more and how happy she is that there is life after death and we could see our families again. We gave them each a Book of Mormon and they were SO excited. They started flipping through it and asking more questions and stuff and asked where to start reading. At the end of our conversation, before we left the chapel, she looked at me and she said "you know what, you're happy too aren't you?" And then I answered saying yes and a short testimony about the gospel and she said "ya I can tell. You know what, you are incredible representatives for this church. Everyone should talk to you two. Good job" then we walked them out because by that time it was already 9:15 and so we needed to go and so did they. But ya that was a super cool experience for me since I have only been out a week. Only thing is, they are from Long Island so we will have to transfer them to those missionaries. But that's doesn't matter because either way they will accept the gospel and be baptized. I know it. The church is true. I know it and they will soon know it and that's all that matters! :)
Actually one more cool story that my roommates call the greeny miracle. It's really long but here is a shorter version of it. Still long though. Sorry haha.....So the very first day I got here we went to teach sister Macuilt (the less active I told you about who is now pretty active and we went to do confirmations with at the temple). So being the new missionary I had to teach 75% of the lesson. Luckily for me, that lesson was just reading the Book of Mormon with her and telling her what different words mean because her English isn't thaaat good. So sister Macuilt is an older lady and she always has grandchildren at her house. They LOVE her and they live in the same building I think so they always visit. So that first day I was there her granddaughter, Sasha, was walking around and came into the room to ask what we were
doing and so I invited her to read with us and she did. Then when we were leaving we invited her to read the Book of Mormon with her grandma and that way she could help her grandma understand words too. Then we set up appointments for the next week. So when we went back last week Sasha wasn't there and didn't read with her grandma so that
was a bummer. The second appointment of that week came and we prayed and prayed Sasha would be there. But when we got to sister Macuilts, she said she hadn't seen her all day :( so we began eating dinner and what not and I just prayed and prayed and prayeddd Sasha would come. (As a side note, sister Macuilts daughters don't allow their kids to
participate in church or anything like that). Then about 40 minutes into us being there, Sasha's mom calls and then in walks Sasha(12), her sister Natasha(10), and their cousin Leah(14). Sasha was SO excited to read with us and learn more. So again we invited all the
girls to listen and they ALL said yes. So here are 6 of us sitting around the table with 10 minutes before we needed to leave to walk with sister Macuilt to a relief society activity. It was a bummer we were short on time. But we all read two versus and then talked about it. My comp and I got to share our testimonies and invite them to read the Book of Mormon and to come to church. At the end Sasha was so excited to ask if she could close with the prayer. Of course we happily said yes and so she asked us how to do it again and she said the nicest prayer as she sounded out our name tags and thanked Heavenly Father for us and for the chance that her cousin and sister and grandma all got to listen. As we were leaving the three girls started the Book of Mormon from 1 Nephi to read together and help each other. It turns out all the girls used to go to church with their grandma and they all loved it but then their moms wouldn't let them go anymore. So hopefully we can spark
back up their interest and hopefully their mothers hearts will be softened and open to letting them get baptized, especially Sasha because she really wants to :)
Okay so mom I just realized I didn't finish reading your last email. I'll try and answer more of those questions: -Where do I live? I really have no idea the address because they don't
tell it to us and it's not like we have a mailbox or anything but I think I sent a picture last time. It's in Harlem though I'm pretty sure. -my iPad is all fixed! The APs went in and did some stuff on it (to all the new missionaries) and now I have a camera and internet when
there is wifi so I'm back in the loop with the other missionaries so all is well I'm this technologically advanced mission :) haha -We walk through time square more than I thought actually. It's always busy and fun. I wish we just taught through referrals but nobody gives
us referrals so we have to tract which is nearly impossible. Mostly all of our contacts barely speak English or have thick accents or pretend to not speak English.
We had a lot more dinner appointments so that was sweet and bad(I’m going to get fat from eating). In fact this week we have one every night! I guess we used to only have them twice a week. People must love me. Haha jk I wish. It's been fun getting to know the Manhattan 1st ward! There are a lot of young families so lots of little kids :) -I went on my first split this week! It was actually really fun. I was hesitant about it at first because I wasn't going to my area but it was way better than I thought. But luckily for me I didn't have to leave this time. The sisters we did the split with are the ones we live with. So I jut switched beds for the night and ate breakfast with the spilt comp and did studies with them but we all exercised
together so it was fine. A lady took us out for Crepes for lunch so of course we started off the day right. It was cool to work with a different companion. We worked so hard and walked a tonnn!!! And get this, I was so bold on the subways. I went up and talked to 5 different people and we weren't on the subway much at all. I always get scared at first, like when to approach them, but once I start talking it’s fine. So I got to bare my testimony to them all which helped my testimony grow even more so that was cool.
I got a package from the Eliasons. So thank you so much Eliason family! You guys are the best!
sounds like its been a party there lately! I'm sure he kids are having a blast at efy. That's sweet! (Hunt and liv write me and tell me about it! I want the details!)
To answer another question, in our ward it is just my comp and me. In my district each companionship has it's own ward.
On the subway yesterday there was a guy playing an electric guitar and singing when my district got on. Apparently he used to be Mormon and served a mission and everything but then got into drugs and what not so that's why he isn't anymore. But he saw us and started to play "book of Mormon stories” for us hahaha he wouldn't play other church songs for us though sadly. Maybe next time.
Okay another funny story. My comp and I got on the bus and we try to split up and talk to people as often as we can. So I sat by a lady and started talking to her and my comp did the same. A good while later we looked at the street we were on and saw that we had gone the wrong way for 5 stops. Hahaha oops. At least we got to talk to those people! It's getting really hot and I'm getting lots of bug bites
Okay One question for everyone. In our district meeting this week we talked about what it means to be a "real" missionary. So what do you think? I have a lot of ideas but I want yours. We talked about a few things and one was being the missionary our moms think we are- haha. So give me some of your thoughts :)
I am so grateful I was placed here in manhattan for my first area. (Especially because everyone says the areas upstate more are super nice and the work is usually a bit less difficult) I'm glad I get to live in Harlem/NYC too which I never thought I'd say. I know The Lord needed to humble me down so that He could build me back up. It's been a blessing to be able to experience life in such a different way. I am so grateful for all that I have learned already and that I will continue to learn as I grow closer to my Savior.
Love,Sister Tanner <3
Marissa I found it!
Inside our apartment