Wednesday, June 25, 2014

"The yellow ones don't stop!"

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.

Sister Tanner <3
 Marissa I found it!
 Inside our apartment
The City

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Everyone is in such a rush and run everywhere they go!

 Hello familia! How's it going? Sounds like you are having so much
fun with everyone at home now! I loved the pictures from Jax’s bday
party! So adorable! Again, happy birthday Jax and Shay and happy
Father's Day again! Hope it was wonderful!

Okay, so I'm totally getting used to being in the city. So far the weather has been fine. Today is the first day it's been super hot - so that's funnn! I feel like it was a slow week but I have nothing to compare it to so I don't really know. Next week will be way busier so that's good. I've had some NY pizza, NY cheesecake and even some street meat off a cart, so needless to say, I feel pretty cultured. The elders talked me into getting lamb like them from the cart and it was really good.

 To answer some questions, we do go tracting but it's really hard because at most of the apartment buildings we have to buzz people to open the door or we have to have an appointment with them and we have to go through the front desk guy.
 We have even tracted the government buildings..aka the projects. However, sometimes it's sketchy and it usually smells bad and looks disgusting but hey that's okay. Some people answer their door and start talking to us, and then realize who we are and then pretend like they don't speak English, but that's okay. We did an area proselyting activity in the projects and got 4 possible investigators from it so hopefully that goes well.

In my district there are 2 elders and 6 sisters. So sad for those boys
haha. My mission is over 42% sisters right now so we are gettin there! They are all fun though. Our zone is about half and half ratio right now too.

Okay so you asked about my companion, I'm not sure how much I told you last week. She's from Montana, her name is Sister Orme and she's really nice. She's been out 6 months and in the city for 6 weeks. Not sure what else you want to know about her!

So we live in Harlem. Not in the city. Which is super lame but also
nice cuz it's actually quiet where we live. The elders live in the
city though. It's about a 20 minute subway ride/walk to the church. We cover one ward and it's 42nd – 86th , and then from the water over to 5th avenue. So we have Time Square and Central Park in our area. And we live on 139th ish.

I'm getting super good at getting around. Yes, we take the bus and subway, and then walk everywhere. The first couple days when we were looking up less active members we played a little game. My companion would give me the paper and say “okay take me to the next place”. And so we would walk and even if I was going the wrong way she would wait for me to fix it and not say anything, haha!  This made me learn real quick so that we didn't have to do a ton more walking.  But now I pretty much know the subways and walking routes. Not so much the bus though because we hardly take it.

On Saturdays we wake up at 5:30 and go to the Harlem building to
exercise/play sports with the Harlem zone so that's fun. I get to see
my MTC friends serving in that area. It's a nice building too. It's
weird getting used to having the church buildings being like 4 stories
high but it's fun.

So we are always at the Manhattan Temple/ ward building. The hardest part about going to church there is that there are always visitors from out of town. It's hard to know who is in the ward and who is visiting so we are working on getting to know the members better. But it's also really fun because we see lots of visitors. And with summer coming its gonna be craazyy. If anyone happens to visit New York City this summer,  you should go to the 1 o'clock church- It is the best... Just sayin.. :)

Actually the rule with that is that if someone you know is in NYC for
any reason other than to see us then we can get permission from the pres to meet up for lunch or something and it can be for 1 hour and they have to pay for the companion too if we go out to eat.

Church on Sunday was excellent! I gave the opening prayer, which I didn’t expect being so new and all so I felt a little weird. Oh, and it’s such a small world that the girl aunt Carrie knows is in my ward so that's fun! She seems super nice and fun. And then, Brian Tanner from Chino Hills, the guy we went to the Laker-clipper game with was there too. I'm glad they sent you those pictures! That's the best I could do as a substitute for talking to you on Father's Day dad, haha, sorry that they don't let us call home for you.

Okay so I guess I was right. During the last transfer you get to do a
bunch of things as long as you set it up and pay for it all yourself.
Like go to a Broadway play, go to the Statue of Liberty, go to the
temple one last time. Stuff like that. So that’s pretty lucky. Hopefully it
stays that way! Not that that is what I think about or anything because I really don't!

Yesterday after we did some service at the food pantry we had a picnic in Central Park for lunch. That was fun :) and then for dinner we went to Brett and Jenny Leavitt’s house and they are a new couple that moved in 6 days ago! They got married in the Newport temple and are both super cute. She's from somewhere close to Mission Viejo. They both served missions too. They are super cute and so that was fun to go there for dinner. We don't get fed every night but it's getting better. Hopefully as we get to know the ward better we will get more dinner appointments.

Today we cleaned a bit, which was much needed. Let's just say I am SO thankful I lived where we did. Also, I wouldn't live here on my own if I wasn't a missionary. But that's okay. I'm getting use to the holes
in the floor and the cockroaches that roam. Life is good! And we live
by a beautiful small park that we exercise at in the morning so it's
okay. Sometimes I would rather live in the subway. Not the stations
but the actual subways.

Okay so mail all goes to the mission home. Then on Tuesdays it gets
brought down to the church and our district leader gets if for us and
brings it to the temple/church building. So I got a million letters
yesterday and everyone was like "wow you are loved!" Haha so thanks for the letters! I just found a couple I wrote in the MTC that I
thought I mailed but didn’t so I sent those today. Oops (sorry none
were to you family)

So my iPad is lame cuz the church took off the camera. So everyone
else can send pictures home so much easier and can make videos but all us newbies don't have the camera app :( so sad. And we can't have fb until we are done with training which is in 12 weeks. Lame. Oh and our internet doesn't work on our iPads so it's superrrr lame.

The other day our Zone leaders were on the front cover of the metro
newspaper so we all had permission to get the paper and read it haha! so that was funny because the article says missionaries don't have the newspaper and we all have one now.

 I'm learning a lot. It's super hard to talk to people here because people move fast! Everyone is in such a rush and run everywhere they go. On the subway and bus they put in headphones or read a book or sleep. I think our less active list has like 300 people on it because everyone is too busy for church apparently. But we are working on it! I have already been able to give out a couple Books of Mormon though so that's been awesome. I learn more everyday. Today I read all about how important it is to be a good member missionary and not just and observer of missionary work. So get out there and talk to people! Be an example to everyone. I love that you are talking to the neighbor a little bit. Keep up the good work. It's hard being a missionary so help me out! Everyone in the mission says we are more like farmers than missionaries. We plant seeds all day and that's enough for them. Lost of people we talk to are just visiting. So they leave after we talk to them.

I love being a missionary. It's weird thinking I live here in NY but
I'm learning to love it and love everyone here. The gospel is true.
Share it with the world. I have taught a few lessons so far and each
time my testimony of the gospel grows more and more. It's incredible
to be able to learn so much everyday. I love you all so much! Have a
good week!

Love, sister kiera tanner

 Sister (Nie Nie's niece), me, Sister Rasmussen (mtc companion) At Mission Home

Sister Orme and Me
Just arrived at the mission home, ready for our turkey feast
  Manhattan Temple
Harlem Church building

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Right In the Heart of Manhattan

Hello family!!!

So I guess I do get to email today! But I loved talking to you yesterday for a little bit! We all made it here to New York safely so that's good. My pday will be Wednesday from now on. But before I tell you about New York, let me finish up the MTC. On Monday we got to play sand volleyball against the other district for gym time and it was super fun. Reminded me of fhe at home!

On Sunday my district gave a lesson for zone conference and then we all sang in sacrament and the branch president cried. So that was sweet. haha. At first I was really afraid of President Jenkins(the branch president) because he was super tough on us, but then he turned out to be realllly nice! On the last Sunday there President Jenkins said that from day 1 he knew he didn't have to worry about me or Sister Vincent because he knew we were going to do great and be amazing missionaries! So hopefully that turns out to be true!! Love that guy. Before we left he told us he won't see us again on earth, but in the next life he will give us a big hug and kiss on the cheek. Hahah he's adorable.

Okay so on the second tiny plane that we took from Detroit to White Plains, NY we had a district goal to all give out a Book of Mormon. On that flight I sat next to a nonmember and he asked a bunch of questions. He has never seen missionaries before so he wanted to know what we did. I got to give him my Book of Mormon which was super cool! so that was a good start to the day :)

Okay so NEW YORK. I love President Morgan and his wife. they are soo nice! They fed us a delicious thanksgiving feast for dinner and fresh new york bagels for breakfast. It was delicious.

So remember how in my talk I said that I have to learn to love the place and people before I can teach? Well in my head I thought "oh i will be able to go upstate first and then get used to it and ease into the city. Well apparently there is a different plan for me. My first area is RIGHT IN THE HEART OF MANHATTAN. My trainer is Sister Orme and she seems super nice! I think this will be really fun. I'll be here for the next 12 weeks at least.

We went to Trader Joes to buy me some food today. That's where we always shop. They have the cool cart escalators there too. hahah. Tonight I am teaching my first lesson. Yikes. As a new missionary I have to teach 75% to all of the lessons so thats fun. And later we are also going into Time Square with the other elders. So that should be fun.

My district leader is Elder Torgersen and he seems super cool too. I'm currently sitting here with Elder Moss from my district in the MTC and Elder Nelson who is also new and then Elder Fronk, well and also my comp. They are all really fun as well and wanted to make sure I mentioned them in this email haha.

Oh guess what! on July, 2 we are all going to the Yankees game! Wahoo! I'll be able to see all my mtc friends. Everyone in the mission is invited.

Our church building is the one in/next to the temple. When i was going in I saw Kylees brother and dad who are headed to Ecuador today. They will actually be going with Carter Coggins so thats kinda funny I saw them

Okay so our ipads aren't set up yet and so us 3 new missionaries are all sharing one computer so I cant send pictures today or have much time to email. I didn't even get to read anyones email this week (so if you emailed me and I didn't reply, thats why!) But next week I will have a lot of pictures to send! Hopefully, if i can figure out how to get them onto here. I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week.

Love Always,
Sister Tanner

ps. send everything to the mission home. We arent allowed to have stuff sent right to our apartment. Just try not to make packages huge cuz we have to take it on the subway and walk around with it so its hard haha thanks! love you!