Thursday, July 31, 2014

I saw a little too much skin this week

Hi family!

This week has been pretty good! We went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art today and it was actually better than I thought. But you know me, museums are not exactly my thing. But that's okay, my companion wanted to go so I went, and I really enjoyed it :)

Okay First of all, remember how I told you Elder Marcos Aidukaitis of the seventy spoke at my stake conference at byu and then he spoke at general conference, Sunday afternoon session? Well he was here last week(I forgot to tell you last time) and spoke in the singles ward but I saw him and met his family and talked to him about how he spoke in my byu ward at the beginning of the year and he was like "oh ya, so you are newer on the mission aren't you?" And we just talked a bit and he wished me luck and shook my hand and went on his way and then I told my comp who he was (she was talking to his family while I talked to him and didn't talk to him) and then she freaked out. but that was cool to have him here. And next Thursday we have to go clean the church because a "very important person" is Thursday night. Not sure who but sadly we won't be able to see that very important
person :( oh well, we are still cleaning the church for him!

Happy birthday on Saturday to Andrea Vasquez! Everyone better wish her a happy birthday! 

It's sooo crazy that Wes has been out a year already and Tanner just about has too! Where did time go? Seems like just yesterday we were all having a bonfire at the beach together.

I Got the best package ever from the Hills and Holmes and it melted my heart. It was seriously So adorable reading all the notes from them. And it had ALL my favorite things. I definitely miss those families! Thank you!!! :)

I saw a little too much skin this week.. First we saw the naked cowboy in time square..and then while walking to union square there was a little bit older and a bit bigger lady who was shakin her booty around without any clothes on... It was quite Awkward. Crazy people of New York - but I love them!

Something that is kinda when it rains here, the buildings drip for a couple days. And so when we go to the government funding buildings we always have to watch out. But those times we get dripped on is always followed by "I've been shot!" (Pitch perfect fat Amy voice) And then we proceed by lathering on the hand sanitizer. :)

On Saturday we had a Picnic in Central Park with the ward and then did some more look ups and contacting at Juilliard School and then we went to the Russian ladies house again where we were fed mysterious meat in our soup. I think it was pig foot or something, it was impossible to eat though. It was all bone, thick skin, and cartilage pretty much- But Don't worry, the elevator worked that day!

Okay now for the stories...So we found a lot of potential investigators this past week and it's been so awesome. I've seen the miracles unfold this week and it's incredible. Tender mercies are all around is week. So last week we were tracting in building 60 of the projects and we only had a few minutes but one door we knocked on started like growling stuff about satan and worshiping satan and all this really creepy gross stuff so we were like uhhh we better not leave our number on a card we just left a blank card :) but for real it was pretty scary. Everything they were saying and how they were saying it was just gross and creepy. I don't even know how to explain it. But it's totally fine. WE DIDN'T DIE!
So then 2 weeks ago we met a guy named Fonzy who came up to us and asked who we were and asked if we could teach him more. He lives in building 60 of the projects too. So last week we went back to see if he was home so we could go outside and talk to him a bit more. When we got there he opened the door and started talking to us a bit..I'm pretty sure he was really high or something like that. He walked back and forth in his house while talking to us, we stayed outside of his apartment of course, but right when he started talking another young man came out and walked to the end of the hall so that I could see him to my left. When Fonzy was on one of his walks turning away I looked at the young man and he said "NO. Not with him. Be careful!" So I start gettin a little nervous of course!!!!  haha-- and so I passed it on to sister Orme as well. Then the guy walked back towards his apartment and I stopped him and he said "I heard Fonzy's voice and then I heard sweet voices so I thought I should make sure everything was okay and just warn you and that's why I came out here.
 Be careful and don't go in his house. Who are you anyway?" So I proceeded to tell him we were missionaries and all that and he asked if I had a book or pamphlets to read. His name is Ozzy by the way. (Sister Orme was directly next to me still talking to Fonzy). I gave Ozzy a Book of Mormon and he asked me to write down some page numbers to read so I did. Then after the convo was over I went back to standing there with sister Orme and Fonzy showed us random pictures and random stuff. About a minute or 2 later Ozzy came back out and tapped on my shoulder and said "I tried to start reading but I can't navigate this book" then we left Fonzy and decided not to go back there again. But thanks to Fonzy we found Ozzy who is normal and actually reading the Book of Mormon. 
Then we knocked a few more doors in that building and another lady proceeded to warn us. So then I turned to sister Orme and said "I know we always tract these project buildings but if one more person tells us to be careful and safe then we are leaving" so she agreed and we proceeded to one last door.

This door was different though. A lady answered and we talked to her a bit about God and Jesus Christ. We ended up asking when we could come back and she said "you can come in right now" so we did. She has 3
kids (9,7 and 4) and a husband and is religious. She puts up sticky notes with scriptures for the kids to read while around the house too. They are the Jenkins family by the way. And we are going to go back and teach them more hopefully. But so that was so cool to be able to find that family. The only problem is the dad has on-call work every day and then works midnight until noon on Saturdays and Sundays and then comes home and sleeps and the mom wants everyone to go to church together. So I'm kinda sorta really praying his work schedule gets changed around or something so that they can come to church. Hopefully we can go back and teach them more this week because they are so awesome.

And then Elida. Also from building 60. We met her after meeting Ozzy and the Jenkins. We met her in the elevator and she said she is 18 and went to church with the sister missionaries by herself when she was 13
and she would love if we could come back and teach her again. So we have a lesson with her tonight. Hopefully that goes well :)

Then tracting another day also in building 60 we met anotherr guy who is so ready, his name is Jonathan and he wants to feel peace more and he wants to do the right thing always even when it's hard. He said he feels God when he prays and wants to feel that same good feeling a lot more. He is all for reading the Book of Mormon and learning more and he is so open. So hopefully we can get him comin to church so that he can progress and feel the spirit always! He's so solid.

Another story..So sister Macuilt's other nephew, Isaiah came to live with her. So it is Sasha and Natasha's cousin. He turned 18 the day we met him and he is going to live with her from now on. I guess his family situation at home wasn't very good and he has been waiting 3 years to live with sister Macuilt. So he joined our lesson on Friday and we were talking about the word of wisdom so we were thinking about how that wasn't the best first lesson for him. But he started asking all about how if you have to be Mormon all your life to be a Mormon because he has already slipped in the past and he said he "fell from the 16th floor once" so how can he repent and start over and not do that ever again). We asked him if he has ever heard of the atonement and he said no so we told him we will teach him aside from the girls lessons and so he can know more (he has to come to church every week with sister macuilt anyway). But he actually is super respectful and willing to do anything sister macuilt asks of him and by the end of the lesson he said "well I could give up coffee. I can live without it." So we will see where that goes! I think he will end up getting baptized too.

Our lessons with Sasha and Natasha this week have been sooo awesome though! Like seriously the best lessons ever. The spirit has been so strong and they have been telling their mom what their standards are
and their mom has been supportive of that so that is awesome. They are still set for their baptism on August 16 so we are excited about that (it was supposed to be the week before that but their grandma will be gone and she needs to be there). But Sasha is going to girls camp the 11th-15th so she will be in good hands before her baptism because this ward is great.

So each Monday we have district meeting and at the beginning of a new transfer we create a District VGPA(vision goals plans accountability)
so this is ours for the transfer!

•Be thou an example of the believers
1 Timothy 4:12

• Consecrated Conversation
• Constant Finding
• Create a Culture of OBEDIENCE

• Call everyone by elder and sister
• Talk about the work
   - No Gossip
   - Talk about all aspects of the work (Facebook, finding, teaching)
• Read "Consecrated Missionary" Talk at district meetings
• hand out a card/talk to someone every time our metro card is used.
• Follow up on 1 obedience thing per companionship

• Email it to our families (that's you guys!)
• Talk about our constant finding at dinner appointments
• Look at VGPA every week


So this week I have realized a couple things. So I realized I like to try and relate everything to the gospel. It's
part of trying to be missionary focused in all I do. So one thing I thought about this week is that when we think we know better, we don't. Sometimes it may be easy to say "well I'm going to church and praying and reading the Book of Mormon with my family, so I don't need to do personal scripture study today" and then slowly we start to fall and little things get messed up. We cant stop doing something because we think that we will be fine without it for a bit. We have to be persistent and continue on even when things seem to be fine and under control.
(Now you may think i learned this by not praying or reading my scriptures but that's not exactly the case..I learned all this because I thought I would be fine not taking the B-1 vitamins for the bugs since I started taking other types of vitamins and hadn't been bit at all. I figured I was covered and that it was in my system enough and I thought I'd be fine...and then a couple days later I got a million bug bites. Coincidence? I think not.)

But for real - one thing that I was thinking about on Sunday. We sang hymn 97 "-Lead kindly Light" which is one of my very favorites and so I thought about why it is that sometimes we have to be led In darkness, only seeing one step ahead of us. I thought about the many different reasons, such as sometimes it may be so that we can exercise our faith, and other times it may be because The Lord knows we may not be able to take it all on if we could see the whole path and so He only shows us one step at a time. But my favorite is that it is a way of
focusing on Christ more. There is a quote that says "Perhaps the problem ahead of us is not what we need to see more clearly. However it may be that what we need to see more clearly is Him." My invitation to you this week is to try and find Christ in everything you do and in every trial that is given to you. Remember that Christ knows better than we do. He knows our plan for us. Let Him guide you and keep that faith in Him.

Life is good. Serving a mission is great. The gospel is the best.

I love you all! Have a great week :)

Sister Tanner <3
  View from our Ward Picnic in Central Park

 Shake Shack for Dad!
 The MET

Saturday, July 26, 2014

For every 100 people we talk to, someone WILL get baptized in Mexico!

Dear Family, (I consider everyone reading this family)

How's it going family? It sounds like you guys had a fun week for the most part! Lots of stuff happening, that's awesome :)

Just a few random little stories about the week for ya...

So like since the air conditions here are things you put in the window when you open it then it makes it really easy to hear everything outside. So During my morning studies last week There was a lady yelling "Excuse me, God? Hello, God! Excuse me?!?" At first I was thinking, oh my how many times is she gonna yell that. But then I decided it was good that she was trying to learn how to talk to God. I really wanted to go out and tell her that God can hear her even when she prays in her head so she didn't need to yell.
 Friday was a hard day because we didn't teach anyone. Everyone cancelled! Back up plans cancelled!
Nobody answered their phones! Nobody answered their doors! Nobody would talk to us! We decided not to let that get us down! We ended up just walking around and smiling at people and asking how they are or saying hello to people just so we could get our name tags out there. However, Most people stare at the name tag but won't look at us. But I'm so grateful for days like those because they make the good days amazing.
So Then on Saturday after studies we got a call asking us to teach relief society because the lady at was suppose to teach ended up not being able to so of course we said yes. So we decided we would work on
that for a little bit and make a good lunch as a reward. So we made coconut rice and BBQ teriyaki chicken and it was so yummy we probably ate way to much!  Then we continued preparing our lesson a bit and headed to teach a Russian lady. On the way we stopped and got a Nutella, strawberry and banana crepe to eat as we were walking because we do "Sweet Saturdays" and so it was our only chance to get something sweet, plus they're delicious!  Then we got to the Russian woman's house, superrr full and sweating because of the heat, Only to find that the elevator was broken and she lives on the 23rd floor. Oh and it's in a project building and there is no air conditioning and it doesn't smell the nicest. But we walked. ALL THE WAY UP! (which we felt was a blessing because we ate too much and needed to work it off). But, when we got there, she fed us more! And she said it's "illegal" to leave food on your plate. And she dished us up. So we ate..and ate..and ate.. And then she sent us home with apples and apple juice. Oh and 2 hours later we had a dinner appointment and they brought us out to dinner and ordered us like 50 appetizers and each a meal. It was a grilled cheese place with like fancy grilled cheeses. I think Sam would like it haha but anyway, I swear I gained 5000 pounds that day.

Right after the Russian woman's house, At our lesson with Ron (I think I mentioned him last week) we were finding a spot to sit outside and he said "oh I see you have juice for us to drink so let's sit at a table" I was like "yeeeeaaaa..I did bring juice!" And just went with it haha awkward. But our lesson ended up going really well with Ron. We've only taught him twice now though. He is really open to knew ideas and loves everything we have taught him. He even said he wants to get baptized. We taught him about the celestial kingdom and he was
so excited and then we mentioned how you have to be baptized to go there and he got really serious and said "I've never been baptized. I would remember it. I can be baptized at your church right?" except he just needs to start coming to church and then he will be golden. He goes to his own church and loves it but he said he loves the Book of Mormon and believes it so we need to clarify some things Saturday when we meet with him again.

So ya The work is going well. It's pretty hard here compared to places like Mexico where everyone gets baptized but that's how I like it :) we just continue to work hard and say that for every 100 people we talk to, someone WILL get baptized in Mexico. At first I thought we were just lame missionaries that couldn't get anyone to teach, but then my comp said that we have been teaching more lessons than she ever has so that made me feel better haha apparently my desire to teach everybody is just a little too strong so maybe I should think about being more realistic. There are a lot of people that need help here but are so closed off to everyone but it's okay because we still find some that are willing to listen and that's all we need. I still love everyone here even all the crazy people and people that tell us to never come back again, it makes for an exciting mission :) it wouldn't be any fun if everyone said yes! That's too EASY. ( Jk) that would be great! but that's okay.

Today is the start of the second transfer and tons of missionaries just finished their missions so that was sad. 5 missionaries in my zone left and I got to know 3 of them really well so I'll miss them. But at our last district meeting of the transfer our district all went around and "spotlighted" each person and we all said something we
loved and learned about that person. It was really cool to think about how each member of our district impacted me and helped me in some specific way. Then hearing what everyone said about me was so awesome
as well and really helped me to see that I actually am progressing and learning a lot! :) at the end of each transfer meeting we sing hymn 293-"each life that touches ours for good" and all the missionaries leaving were so sad and a bunch of people were crying. It's really cool singing that together though.

Yesterday, I was studying the Christ like attribute "patience". I read from Mosiah 28 since I love that chapter and I also read in Alma where the sons of Mosiah continue to try to teach the Lamanites. It got to a point where they were depressed and were going to turn and go back home. But then The Lord told them to be patient and continue on. I love that. Patience is needed in everything we do. Whether it's patience with someone or something or ourselves, patience is always something we can work on. Faith is also tied to patience. We need to
have faith and patience in the Lords timing for everything and know that He knows each of our plans better than us. We have no need to get angry, stressed, upset, or agitated. Patience tied with faith can help to cure these negative feelings and thoughts we have. It just takes time.

Alright well I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week! I love you all so much. Thanks for the prayers and love!

Sister Tanner <3

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

All we wanted to do was give them free lemonade!

Hey family and friends,

How is it going? You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Especially little Jax and the Wallace family. I love you guys.

     Alright so first, Sasha and Natasha finally came to church on Sunday! And they LOVED it! Except their mom said that after they get baptized they can only come every other week. So we are going to talk to them about that because church is where they need to be every week. That lesson is planned for  tonight so hopefully it goes well!
     Remember how last time I told you we planned to get shakes at “Shake Shack” but it wasn't In the Lords plan for us so we didn't? Well this week The Lord definitely planned for us to get free 7-eleven slurpees on 7-11-14 :)...side note to that though, did you guys get free slurpees? I remember before I left you said there are tons by you now so you were going to go. So I hope you did. Because we even got them twice throughout the day....but anyway, before we left the house I thought "oh i should grab a Spanish Book of Mormon to give to Alberto since we will be In that building later" (a guy we tracted  two days ago that is interested in hearing more, but speaks Spanish so we referred him to the Spanish sisters). So I grabbed the Spanish copy on the way out. Fast forward to after lunch, we decided to get free slurpees cuz it was a block away and so of course we needed to. After getting our slurpees (I got piña colada the first slurpees time and piña colada/mango the second time because I decided it's the closest I'll get to Hawaii.)
     We got on the subway to go to Alberto's building. I sat down on the subway and this lady sat right next to me and I remember looking and thinking "why didn't she leave one seat in between us since the rest of the bench is empty" and then I thought "oh since she is close to me I'm going to pull out my restoration pamphlet and flip through it to a page with an awesome picture or something interesting to non members. So I did. And then right away the lady pointed at it and said something, not sure what cuz I was In shock that "my" plan had worked. Turns out she spoke Spanish. She pointed at my tag and said "ohhh no espanol?" all I could say was "Somos las missionaras de la iglesia de JesuCristo de los santos de los ultimos dias" then I called my comp over and she finish the convo. Buuuuut I got to give her the Spanish Book of Mormon and she was so excited! It was awesome. Yea definitely all that was the Lords plan. Not ours. It was His plan for me to grab that Spanish copy at first. His plan for us to get on that subway in that particular car. His plan for me to flip through that pamphlet. His plan for the day. It was so sweet and that lady is going to get baptized. I know it. Her name is Viviana :) we also got her number to forward on to the Spanish sisters. (Sadly we ran into Alberto afterwards because we were on his floor and he was getting home and we didn't have his Spanish Book of Mormon but that's okay because we know where he lives).
     Yesterday we did an APF(area proselyting activity) here at the church/temple and handed out free  lemonade just to be nice and talk to people who wanted to talk. It went pretty well except it was pouring buckets of rain but that's okay because it was still super hot outside. It was actually really fun. A few times we ran some lemonade out to the cars along the street, like the taxi drivers or truck
drivers haha they loved us. It was interesting to see some people take the long way to avoid us even tho they had to go through a big puddle. All we wanted to do was give them free lemonade! Whatever New Yorkers. Guess they can make their own. Haha
     So this last week we met a guy named Ron. I don't think I told you about him. But we are going to start meeting with him once a week until he lets us meet with him more often. He said he wants to
strengthen his family relationships, be more forgiving, strengthen his relationship with God and he doesn't want to lose his faith. So he asked us to teach him more about what we believe and he asked if we could help him with that. So of course we said yes, because his answer to all those questions really is the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I really wanted to just be like Ron we know just what you need. Get baptized" but of course I didn't. But as we got to know him and had that first mini lesson the spirit was so strong and it was so awesome so I hope something good comes of this. He is going to take a week off from his church and come to ours on Sunday so I'm hoping he really feels the spirit and it's just what he needs :)
     Oh by the way since you were asking, Transfers are next week, but me and my comp should both be staying because I'm still in training. But lots of missionaries are going home this transfer so that will be
interesting. I got lots of letters this week!! First of all, I'm very grateful I  was named after Aunt Colette so thanks mom and dad :) and Thank you for all the love from everyone else that wrote me! I loved getting letters from all the pacific shores relief society too! It was fun getting to know everyone a little bit through a letter :) that is seriously so awesome that the focus is missionary work this month! That should be the focus every single day too! Just being a missionary and focusing on others builds you up individually as well without even realizing it. I definitely feel all the love and prayers so thank you so much!! So we have not been getting fed from the members like at all lately. There was one or two good weeks and the rest we have been fending for ourselves sadly. But that's okay. Everyone is gone for the summer. Seriously everyone! Our ward is always pretty much all visitors so it's hard to get to know everyone. But our sweet bishop is the kindest man ever. We saw him one night and it was like 6:30 and he asked if we had dinner yet and we said no and so he invited us over that night and made us a nice meal and for dessert he made us waffles with ice cream and strawberries and chocolate and everything else you can think of on a Sundae. It was so good. He's the best. He tries to feed us whenever he can now and he tries to get the ward to feed us too. He's a cute grandpa and ya just so awesome.
     There is a lady in our ward that got baptized in March. She has some health conditions, can only have a liquid diet which makes her very skinny. She has a French accent and also has some speaking problems because of her health. She always reminds us of her ADD and says if she gets off topic to just say A.D.D. haha.But she is the cutest lady ever. AND she has an incredible story! She was going to end her life but ended up seeing the family history sign outside the temple and came inside and ended up learning more and getting baptized. Now she is the best missionary and example ever. We recently talked to her about the Liahona because she read It in first Nephi and she absolutely loves saying L i a h o n a (she wants us to name a daughter that haha). But we taught her about patriarchal blessings and the temple this week and the lessons went wonderfully. After the lesson one day she was going to go visit another lady with us who speaks French too. But the lady ended up being too sick to talk so we weren't even able to see her. So Francine was like "let's go to the park!" So we went to the restaurant in Central Park ( Tavern on the Green) that I guess just reopened and looked inside and then we came out and a lady asked us if it was open and Francine was like "ya it's open but do you know who these girls are? They are missionaries!! You should get to know them. They are wonderful ladies!! The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints changed my life. Obedience is key. I went to the LDS Church and it was so wonderful! But God is so wonderful! And the Holy Spirit is so kind to me and is always with me! People are so nice at church and I feel so safe there" and she went on and on and then invited them to church! We were like OH WOW what just happened! Haha then she told us she was going to think of some ways we can find new people to teach and she told us she might call us every once in a while just to say hi.  haha she's adorable! I love her. I learned so much from her. She said that every single time she talks to someone she tells them about God because He changed her life so she thinks they deserve to know about Him.
     It's so true! I think we can all learn from Francine. We can learn to not be afraid of sharing the gospel. We can learn to speak up a little more, and be more determined to share what we know. We can be bold and loving to everyone. At first I was worried to be walking around with her because she talks to everyone so I thought it would be awkward but I was so wrong. She is the best missionary ever. Who are we to be embarrassed to talk about the gospel? Without the gospel we are nothing. It's important to help others come closer to Christ as well. We need more Francine's in this world. She's the best. We can all be like Francine from now on! Little by little we can do it :)

I reread this talk recently because I love it. It's Dieter f Uchtdorf "Grateful in Any Circumstance" Here are some parts I love.....

"Being grateful in our circumstances is an act of faith in God. It requires that we trust God and hope for things we may not see but which are true. By being grateful, we follow the example of our
beloved Savior, who said, “Not my will, but thine, be done.” True gratitude is an expression of hope and testimony. It comes from acknowledging that we do not always understand the trials of life but
trusting that one day we will. When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience
gentle peace in the midst of tribulation. In grief, we can still lift up our hearts in praise. In pain, we can glory in Christ’s Atonement. In the cold of bitter sorrow, we can experience the closeness and
warmth of heaven’s embrace."
Having an attitude of gratitude really does make a huge difference. Gratitude brings peace and hope. Even though hard times do come, being grateful makes those times seem a bit easier to bear. President Uchtdorf said it perfectly.

Anyway, I love you all so much. Thank you for the prayers and love. I really feel it. Know that I am praying for you as well! Have a wonderful week! <3

Sister Tanner <3