Thursday, August 28, 2014

It will be over in the blink of an eye...

Hello again! Time is flying by! I really truly believe it's important to live every second of my mission to the fullest because it will be over in the blink of an eye. So next week is transfers. I will probably stay one more transfer in the city but I'll let you know next week. Today we are having a sisters pday and just relaxing (that NEVER happens here in the city) so I think that will be fun :) all the sisters in my district are super fun and awesome.

First of all, Happy first day of school hunt and livv! Good luck! Do you still get out at 12 everyday? What sports are you doing this year? Write me and Tell me all about it!

Happy birthday on Monday momma!! I love you! Thanks for all you do for me! You're the best. I hope your birthday is awesome! I sent you a card but I put it in a random mailbox on a random street so who knows If it actually will make it to you or not. Sorry! Haha

Last week we went to look up a girl named Arily but she wasn't home so we knocked on the next door and a girl answered named Rachel. So we taught Rachel a bit and then set up a time to go back. On Friday when we went back she answered and she said "oh hi ladies! Come on it. I just got out of the shower so I don't have any pants on but that's okay, come in and I'll go put some on." So we go in thinking she doesn't actually have ANY pants. But it was true. She didn't have pants on! Or anything else for that matter! Awkwarddd. But she came to church on Sunday and loved it so that was awesome. But then we went back to teach her on Tuesday and her door was bolted and locked from the outside. It looked like she had moved out and they took her apartment because she didn't pay or something. It was super weird. We haven't heard from her since.

Ron brought us flowers again. I had to tell him that he can't bring us flowers anymore and we had to make sure everything he was doing was for The Lord and not for us missionaries. It was kind of awkward but he really is a good guy with good intentions in the gospel and not
missionaries so it's okay.

We had dinner at the Wiggintons on Sunday! It was so much fun and so delicious. They are the ones that know the Summers. Their kids are adorable and it was fun talking and getting to know them all better.

Okay so on Monday a Spanish lady had us over for lunch. When we got there she put two big platters of like mini chicken burritos with stuff on top like salsa, sour cream, cheese, lettuce, tomato and all that good stuff.  So it didn't occur to me until after the blessing that the food was ALL for my companion and me. We each had a platter placed in front of us and the lady just kind of watched us eat and she talked with us. Half way through my comp was like "okay this is so good but we are really full." And the lady said "you don't have to eat it all. If you are going to be sick later because you don't like it then don't eat it" so I felt bad and said "no it's delicious, we love it" and the lady said "okay then eat!" So I continued to eat. At that moment I wanted to shove it all in my shirt but I was wearing a white shirt so it wouldn't have worked out too well. But I continued to eat. I thought I was going to die. My comp only finished half so I was feeling embarrassed about that and decided that I do want to come back because we are trying to activate half the family and this was a crucial time that was not about to be wasted by being offended that we didn't eat her food. Luckily when I finished she looked at me and gave me a thumbs up and said "good job! You did so good eating, thank you!" At least it didn't go unappreciated! The rest of the day I thought I was going to die. I probably gained like 30 pounds from it alone but I'm working on getting back into shape so it's okay. I'll survive. I haven't been hungry since then though.

On Monday night we visited an investigator named Norma. She's actually an “eternigator.” She's been taking the lessons for like, lets just say FOREVER!  She goes to church
every single week too. And so I asked my comp why she isn't baptized cuz she had a baptism date a while ago. My comp said she asked her multiple times and didn't want to ask her again. So we got to her house and I told my comp we had to ask. So the entire lesson my comp handed over to me. She said to go for it. So I did. At first it was kinda awk and I was kinda trying to beat around the bush and see where it went but I just kept getting the feeling to flat out I did. And it was soo awesome! It's really true when we need to be bold, direct, and simple. Long story short, I learned all her concerns about baptism and she told me why she wasn't baptized yet. The spirit was so strong once I got past the fact that my comp wasn't going to say a word the whole lesson. I loved it though. I know it helped her and it definitely helped me too.

We learned that all our investigators (except Sasha and Natasha) live in the projects. And all our investigators are pretty flakey. But we are working on it. We can still help them and they are still awesome.

Sasha and Natasha are super excited about getting their baptism set up again though so I think for sure they will be getting baptized in September. We have a few more things to teach them and then they can get baptized :)

Okay so how is your Book of Mormon reading going? I'll send a copy of the chart thing to follow. It's also on I think. It makes it super simple. Seriously the readings each day are super short so everyone should be able to do it! If you are behind (or haven't started yet) it's okay! It's not too late, start now please! It'll be awesome I promise.

Today I read 1 Nephi 7:17-18. I love how Nephi prays to have the strength to "burst" the bands and then The Lord answers his prayer by making the bands "loosed." I just think it's kinda funny how Nephi was expecting to be all powerful and strong making the bands fly off but instead The Lord answered it his own way and gently let the bands fall off and so He didn't let Nephi get prideful or anything. The Lord really does answer our prayers in His way, not ours.

Well I love you all so much! Have a good week! I'm glad you got home from Hawaii safe and had a good time :)

Sister Tanner <3
Sisters P-DAY

My friends from ASL South Mission

Always fun to read the weather comments on the sign across the street from us!

Told Ron to STOP with the flowers!

Rachel's door all locked up when we went back!

Finding a way to communicate while waiting to connect with the ASL missionaries

Thursday, August 21, 2014

It was so fun seeing them...

How is that Hawaiian life treatin ya? Looks like so much fun! I can't believe how much Hunt has grown. I haven't even been gone that long!  It's been yet another great week as a missionary here in NYC!

Just to start of with some random things...

Today we went to CHINA TOWN and that was really fun! We ate at this little restaurant place that tourists members told us they loved and it was delicious. We got sweet and sour squid and some other things and we all shared. And then I had a really blonde moment. So our district leader put in 25 dollars so I was like wait I was suppose to put in the other 5. So I took a 5 dollar bill out of my wallet, picked up the one he put down and handed it back to him and then put my 5 dollar bill in the pile of money. I didn't realize that I could have just handed him my $5 bill until another elder said "why did you do that?" And then my comp started laughing...and then I got it. Now we can't stop laughing at how blonde I am sometimes. Oops haha

So as you know, we had lunch with the Knolls! That was so much fun! They are the best! And they gave me Miguel's Jr. burritos!! Best day! It was so fun seeing them.  It was a little weird because it was like I was home.  I felt like I was breaking the rules or something even though I got permission from the mission president. Oh well, I guess as a missionary, that's a good thing! Haha

People always assume I speak Spanish and they ask me what country I'm from... Awkward. I'm white.. This Russian lady asked if I'm Armenian though. And then an Armenian lady asked me if I'm Russian. Whateves

So yesterday we had dinner at the stake presidents house (but he wasn't there) because his family is in our ward and it was really fun. So they have 5 kids. 4 boys and the youngest is a girl and one of the boys is on a mission in Lima Peru North. We started playing "what are the odds" while having dessert and I ended up having to switch out my spoon and eat my ice cream with chopsticks. Good times. They are a fun family.

I got that cute poster card from HB girlscamp! Thanks everyone! :)

Alright so everything else this week went pretty well! :)

We had a Book of Mormon event last Friday in Columbus circle. There will be a video posted about it soon too. The same guy that made the family tree one is putting together a video from that event. We got to talk to a lot of people and correct their false ideas about Mormons so that was good. I was able to talk to a Guy from Japan and teach him a bit about the Book of Mormon. He already moved back to japan though but he was so excited that we gave him a Book of Mormon for free. He said he knows missionaries In japan and I guess he lives right by the
church so he said he is going to go on Sunday because he really wants to learn more. I want to follow him around and lots of other people to see how their life changes and see the impact we possibly made on their lives but for now planting the seed is enough :)

Sasha went to girlscamp! We didn't even find out until Thursday. But she went and loved it!! And she is back on tract for wanting to get baptized :)

Ron is still doing so good! He only smoked one cigarette this past week rather than 3 a day!! I can't wait until he gets baptized. He is so awesome. He asked for more pamphlets to read too so that he can fill out all the questions in back and do the additional studies for them. He really has learned so much it's incredible. However he still hasn't really came to church yet so we are going to have a lesson about the sacrament again. Funny story about Ron this week though. Okay so he was supposed to come to church but again he had to take his mother in law to her church. And so he showed up at 3:35 ish and pulled us out of relief society again (awkward we feel so bad) and told us that he asked the pastor if he could have his own time to read his own 'book of the Mormons' [that's what he calls it] and then he gave us 5 bouquets of flowers!!! Like what the heck?? Haha. Then he left and went back home. As soon as he left we started laughing so hard in shock and confusion. Then at 4:30 he called us and said something along the lines of "I hope you sisters like the flowers. I just wanted to give them to you
guys so you can forgive me for not being at church and so you will still pray for me to be strong and keep the word of wisdom. I'm going to call you tomorrow because I watched the film again that you gave me and filled out the other restoration pamphlets. I think I did good and I want to talk about them. Also I want to meet more of the same faith because all the people you introduced me to are very nice people and it makes me happy so I know it's from God."  Oh Ronald!

This past week my bishop had us over for dinner and we were talking about the work and he got all teary and told us that we are the best missionaries he has seen and that he has seen some great missionaries. So that was cool to know that we are doing something good and something right! We are so blessed to be here.

So last week during weekly planning we knew we needed to get some new investigators and so we decided to plan to teach a new investigator about the Book of Mormon on Friday the 22nd. Then after forgetting all about that goal (oops our bad for forgetting) we met a lady while tracting on Sunday named Rachel and We invited her to meet with us on Friday the 22nd to talk about the Book of Mormon. While putting it into the area book calendar we were reminded of our plans from weekly planning just a few days before and it was just another testimony that
God is mindful of our prayers and plans and when we put forth the effort then anything is possible. I can't wait to teach Rachel more on Friday.

We had zone conference yesterday and it was the best thing ever. The spirit was so strong the whole time and it was really fun and just awesome. It was really long but it went soo fast. I love President and Sister Morgan. They gave us Scarsdale New York bagels which are delicious and you know how I love bagels. So that was great. And they also gave each companionship a loaf of homemade banana bread. So delicious. But anyway, Afterwards I went to thank President for all he does for us and for the conference and he gave me a big hug and said he loved me and said some nice things and then he told me he really liked the cardigan I we as wearing haha I love him, he is awesome!

So at zone conference one thing we were challenged to do is to start over and read the Book of Mormon together as a mission in 120 days. We are starting on August 25 th (Monday). So I decided that i think it would be cool if you all joined in too. So I want to invite all of you to read the Book of Mormon from start to finish in 120 days. That
means we should finish on Christmas Eve. You could read individually and then read together on the last day or something if you want. Then we can talk about your experience on Christmas Day when I skype you! But I think it would be super cool if you took the challenge with me. All of you. mom, dad, Riss, David, Shay, Sam, Liv, Hunt. You can Do it :)  it'll be awesome :) and anyone else who reads this letter can do it too, then tell me about it :)

I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I know the Book of Mormon is true and that it really does contain the fullness of the gospel. I know God has a plan for each of His children and that He loves us and knows each of us individually. I'm so excited to continue teaching the wonderful people of New York.

***Goodbye to Andrea!!! Good luck in Peru! You will do great things! I'm excited to hear about your adventures! See you in a year and a half!!

I love you all so much! Have a good week!

Sister Tanner <3
The knolls came to town!

And took us to lunch!

And brought me a California favorite!

Oh Ronald! 

Ice Cream with chop sticks while playing "what are the odds" at the Stake Presidents house

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I love agency...

Family and friends, Hello hello!
How is everyone? Are you ready to leave to Hawaii tomorrow? I hope you have so much fun and think of me the entire time. I'll be workin hard, so relax extra for me!

We just went to the temple. I love the temple. It was really neat! Missionaries filled the entire room besides like 10 other people. It was awesome. And it was the newest new film so it was sweet. I love the temple. It was soooo peaceful and quiet in there despite the loud chaos of the NYC life.

 So a bit about my week...
 Okay so a couple in our ward made a reservation 2 weeks in advanced and then took us to serendipity for dinner last week. We had to get special permission to go. Before hand we went to the candy store that we bought our Easter candy from last year haha I was surprised that I remembered my way around! But it was really good and fun to go to since the last time I was at serendipity was with you(mom), Jax and Riss in DC and before that last year here in NYC with the fam! When we got there they said "okay so we will order you dessert first. Frozen hot chocolate. A couple minutes later they brought out 4 frozen hot chocolates. One for each of us. I was full before I even got my food! Members here are crazy because when they take us out they buy us tons of food and we are like dying by the end because we are so full and the bill is like 12 thousand dollars and we feel so bad and they don't care at all.

So I realized it is a really Good thing I grew up walking dad's pace so often. Learning to keep up with dad has really benefitted me because I've definitely got the New Yorker walk down when we need it. I also learned that the white man and the red hand at stop lights mean absolutely nothing here. If there are cars, you stop. No cars, you walk. Cars coming, you run. And after living in Utah where they ticketed j-walkers like crazy.

This week has been kinda rocky but that's okay. I think The Lord just needs us to show Him our faith and the blessings will come :) For example, yesterday we did "inspired tracting" and my comp and I got the same thought of where and what floor to go on....and nobody was home/they said don't ever come back. So sad. But that's okay. We left cards for them all. Agency can be a tough thing sometimes.

Okay so At the temple/church there is a guard that sits in front and it's not through the church so they aren't all members. We are really good friends with all of them though because we talk to them like 4 million times a day. One of them was in an article in Deseret news I guess. He invited us to his endowment last week but sadly we weren't able to go because he wasn't our recent convert or in our ward. But he is awesome. I'm sad we weren't able to be there. But read the article if you can find it! :) Another guard we call Aunt Millie. She is so awesome. Every time we go in she gets really excited and we just say "aunt millieeee!!!" And she says something along the lines of "I've been waiting to see you sisters!" She is hilarious and always trying to do her job as best she can. So we gave her a Book of Mormon and she has been reading it!! She reads it every time it's quiet there. We all wrote in it and wrote our favorite scriptures and bore our testimonies to her. I'm excited for her to learn more :)

Jonathan is so awesome but apparently his mom isn't on board even though he is 26. He has been loving the lessons and eating up everything we are teaching him. But when we went by on Saturday the mom answered through the door and asked why we were there and we told her we are missionaries and we were looking for Jonathan and she paused and hesitated and then said there is no Jonathan that lives there so we could just leave. So that was weird.
      The life in the Macuilt home continues to get crazier. We spend tons of hours there because we meet with Sasha and Natasha separately from Isaiah and also try to meet with just sister Macuilt sometimes too. And on Sunday sister Macuilts son (Isaiah's father) came to live with her as well. There are like 40 million people living there. Sasha is doing better than last week though. Having Isaiah on board helps a lot because those girls really look up to him. But lately we haven't been able to get ahold of any of them.. That is agency again.. On Sunday the Bakers came and said hello! So I am glad you got that picture from her :) it's so fun seeing familiar faces! I felt bad because it was a super crazy Sunday so I didn't really get to talk to them. None of our investigators made it to church and a few of our less actives that have been coming didn't even come! It was so sad and stressful! Once again.. Agency..

 Alright for real I love agency though. This email makes it sound otherwise but it is a good thing!

 Haha Okay so more about Sunday. This is the long story for the email...So Ron was suppose to Come to church. Then he wasn't home when we went to pick him up. So we went to church so sad. So then he called during the second hour and we called him back after and he said he was coming right then(at 3) and that he had to take his mother in law to her church. So we were thinking alright at least he is coming. So we go down to wait for him..he doesn't come. We call him..he says he is leaving.. Then it was 4! We were so sad that he didn't come. At 4:05 (church was over) he shows up. He was all dressed, but he smelled like smoke and he said "I have to leave. I have to take care of something for my mother in law. So I was jus thinking "Ron why did you even come." So he left. Now he was supposed to come to dinner with us that night at a members house. (The members told us to invite an investigator. We picked Ron). Then Ron called us and asked if he could still come to dinner. Of course we said yes. Before we left to dinner my companion and I said a prayer because it was just such a rough Sunday. Then at 5 we headed to his house to meet him to walk over with him to dinner. Luckily, he was allll ready. He had showered and changed. And no longer smelled like smoke. So awesome. So we get to the members house(the Merritt's)and Ron pushes the doorbell twice and knocks. So embarrassing. He is 59. Luckily they are home and ready. We go in and it's a huge apartment. 5 bedrooms which is unheard of here because of how expensive it is. They had just moved in from Connecticut and wanted to downsize. It was sooo fancy though. We had full on fancy appetizers and then the dinner table was set up soo nice and fancy. Here we are, in these rich peoples house, with an investigator from the projects who has fake teeth and they always wiggle and look like they are going to fall out. He was In heaven, we were nervous and praying our hearts out that it would go well. Luckily he followed us with everything we did manners wise and it went well. After our fancy delicious meal we were able to teach the word of wisdom and the Merritt's helped as well and the lesson was so good! Like it couldn't have gone any better. God really does answer our prayers. Ron used to smoke a pack of cigarettes a day and now he is down to 3 cigarettes a day. Since we were like out of time because the bishop was coming over to meet that couple we had to wrap things up so we invited Ron to pray about some goals he could set and accomplish to stop smoking. Then he randomly called US the next day. We didn't call him. He called us. And he said that he set some goals and has been praying and reading the Book of Mormon and he is really excited and thinks it will go really well. He's awesome. Although it'll take time, he will get baptized. We are so excited for him.

 So we were teaching our investigator Jonathan this past week and we talked about the priesthood. We asked him what he thought it would be like to be able to access the power and be able to act in Gods name. While in awe, He replied by mentioning how much responsibility would come with it but how it would still be so incredible. So I began thinking about that more. Growing up in the church, it's often easy to overlook the true power of the priesthood and the responsibility that comes with it. It's easy to remember that through the priesthood we have special, blessings, ordinances, sacrament, etc. but the true power of it is often overlooked. As members of the church, we know we all have the ability to access the power to act in Gods name. Why then do we so easily forget that? It really is an incredible gift we have to be able to have that opportunity. We all need to be worthy of that priesthood power. It is a huge responsibility that God gave to us as members but we are so lucky to have it. Each day we can focus on one thing to better ourselves so that we can act in Gods name worthily. God doesn't ask us for perfection right now but he does ask for progression so that's what we can do. 
I love you all. Life is good, the mission is great! Have a good week! Be safe in Hawaii! :) Love, Sister Tanner <3

The hall at church because everyone walks
Frozen Hot Chocolates

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Dreams come true, Bronx Zoo

Hello hello! So this week was wonderful because I was able to see so much progression In both investigators and less active members. It's been incredible to see their progression. That's my favorite part about the mission. Seeing so many people grow and change. Members, less actives and investigators. It's awesome!

One of the less actives, Thelma, came to church again for the second time in a row which is sooo awesome cuz she hasn't come in foreverrrr I guess! I'm talking years. When we met with her this week she talked about how she has realized that God is always guiding her and helping her through all her hard times and so she knows she needs to do her part. She said she was lying to herself about what she did for God before and she knows that she needs to go to church and all that because of the blessings God sends her all the time no matter what. She talked about how she has been reading the Book of Mormon everyday even if it was late like 1 am because she got home late or something and how she takes notes so she can understand better. She mentioned how she can
understand the scriptures way more now because she has the spirit with her and she is praying regularly and church helps her to be a lot happier and positive. It's awesome.

And then Ron. Good ol' Ronald. We set a baptismal date with him for the first weekend in September. We gave him a tour of the church building and explained how church goes and invited him but he said he couldn't come because he had to help out at his mother in laws church this week (He lives with his mother in law). And then Sunday at church sister Orme and I were sitting in relief society and a man came knocking on the door and waving and then all of a sudden my companion got up and started walking out so I followed her of course.
Turns out, Ron decided to come to church. He said he was having a hard time and his mother in law was annoying him and so he knew that if he came to church he would feel peace. He proceeded to tell us that he
was in sacrament meeting (the mid single adults ward meets at 3) and that people were going up just like they did in his church that day too. He told us he remembered the tour and so he remembered we would be in the back room with the women at that time and so he wanted to tell us hello. Then he asked if we wanted to go listen in sacrament with him so we said sure and went in and sat in the back behind where he was sitting since there was no room by him. And about 2 minutes later he stood up and walked up to bear his testimony! We were freaking out a bit and praying real hard that it wouldn't be awkward. It was good though. He said some,thing like "I am so thankful I can be here today. I feel I have a new found freedom here where I can learn and increase my faith. I am so glad God sent me two angels, sister Tanner and sister Orme, and for their willingness to help me. I know that I need to listen very closely to what they tell me because it is how I can strengthen my faith. I love studying to learn more to be a part of this faith because it is truly freedom...(and some more that I forgot) thank you" and then everyone said amen and he sat back down. It was a true miracle. A minute later he got a text from his daughter saying she was at his house so he had to leave but he is so excited to come next week. He said "next week I'm going to come and do the 3 hours. All of it. It's awesome. We met with him yesterday as well and the lesson was so awesome. The spirit was just incredibly strong and ya, I just can't wait until he gets baptized.

Sasha and Natasha were doing SO good and then they went to Long Island with their family where the cousin and aunt talked them out of getting baptized! Families are the worst... Jk. ;-) But ya, they told Sasha all
this stuff like "you can't get baptized. You don't know enough. You don't want to get sucked in. It's terrible and scary." And just all this stuff. And Sasha being 12 believes them because her faith isn't strong enough yet. And Natasha just kinda was like ya we probably can't get baptized. Lame. But we are still meeting with them and sister Macuilt has so much faith that they will change their minds. For now Natasha asked to just push the date back another week so we will do that. Hopefully Sasha will be able to go to girls camp next week and have a good experience with it. They were doing SO well. Satan is very strong. Lame. We are just gonna keep praying for them. They are wonderful girls. At one point it was just sister macuilt and my comp and I in the room
and her grandson Isaiah came in and he was like "who died? It seems sad in here" (it wasn't we were just really tired and about to leave) and then he left and my comp and I looked at each other and said "Sasha's eternal salvation" haha awkward.

Okay so we have a new investigator named Katrina but she is in the YSA ward so we are in the process of sending her over to the elders but she is so awesome! She's from Hawaii. She's a dancer now. She was an
NFL cheerleader. she is super bubbly and happy and fun. She comes to church on her own and knows a ton already. She wants to become temple worthy and raise her family in the church. She will be baptized this
month or next month. Im sure of it. She comes to church every week already too. She asked us what she needs to do to become Mormon and what she can read to learn more. She lives the word of wisdom and the law of chastity besides the modesty part. And ya she is just golden. On Sunday she was walking up to the YSA ward and she was with a kid In the ward she met and she pointed at us and was like "look those are my

So last night we had dinner with a less active member and he took us to a really good Greek place. I got a gyro type thing and it was really delicious and I thought of Shayla because every time I went to her house she would always ask if I wanted to go to the gyro truck because she loves it. But anyway, he told us before hand that "he would love to take us out to dinner or frozen yogurt but he isn't into the whole Mormon thing anymore so there was no need for us to talk to him about that". The crazy thing is that it turns out he is the brother of the girl from my ward at byu that is coming to this mission next month! Haha he showed us a pic of his sister and I was like wait I know her! She's the one that has the same birthday as me too. So that was fun. He's hilarious though.  But it was actually a really fun dinner appointment and we got to talk about the work a bit and he told us about his mission and so ya it was good. And he sent us home with a carton of really
expensive fancy gelato that I love because members give it to us a lot here. It's delicious.

So today for part of our p-day, we are going to the BRONX ZOOOOOO :) 

Okay so does anyoneee have any referrals for me? For anywhere in Manhattan really? Let me know and I'll find them! Everyone seems to know someone here.

The church is true. It's the best. Stay strong. Keep up the good missionary work. Have a good week!! I love you all!

Sister Tanner <3

I guess it was wear RED DAY!