Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I cried...and cried...and cried...

Hello everyone!

GUESS WHO IS STAYING IN CHRISTMAS CAPITAL FOR CHRISTMAS?!?! If you guessed Sister Brown, you are correct! If you guessed are wrong. Yep that's right. I'm getting banned up to Monticello today. (It's the furthest northwest that my mission goes I think. So really far away from here). I'll be honest, I cried..and cried..and cried..and then prayed and then cried some more..and cried again..and then prayed again and cried some more..and then went to sleep many hours later..and then woke up and cried again. Hahaha it was great.

You don't have to try and tell me it'll be okay though haha I know that it's where I need to be. I know that it is Gods will for me. I knew it had to happen because I didn't want it to and that happens to be the common theme of my mission from the day I opened my call. It's just so lame because sister brown and I planned sooooo many things. We still have so much work to do. Plus,we were going to go to the Macy's day parade and then tonight they blow up the big balloons and people walk around and take pictures so that's what we wanted to do. Next week is winters eve which is this big Christmas event that the missionaries pass out hot chocolate at. We planned to get gym passes at this new gym by us that is cheap because it's new and we were told to keep up the excercise. And then Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years...and the whole time I will be the farthest you can get from the city up in the middle of nowhere. So that's lame.

Everyone was like "oh you will get to be in a house for Christmas and thanksgiving! You will get to have a car for the winter! You will get to have hot showers (we don't have hot water like 95% of the time which is awful when it's cold here. It's a major brain freeze) and a warm cozy apartment! (Our heater is broken too). And a white Christmas! It will be so much fun!" But the truth is, I don't want any of that anymore. I love it here and I love all the people here. So it was reallllly hard saying goodbye. Did I mention that I cried and cried?? Good.

At church the speakers weren't told that they were suppose to speak so right before sacrament the bishop asked me to give the talk and share my I did. It was actually really cool though. I wasn't nervous up there at all. I was calm. The spirit was with me guiding me with what to say. I am grateful I had that opportunity to share my testimony with the Ward at the last minute. It worked out perfectly.

Anyway, that has been my life half this week. Just so so sad. But it's fineeeee. Hopefully I'll be back one day. I know I'll love Monticello. I know I'm needed there. I just wish I wasn't needed there for another 6 weeks. But I know this mission isn't about me. I guess I'll just have to come back for a month or so in a couple years for Thanksgiving and Christmas :)

Packing was so stressful. Nothing fit. At all! Oh my goodness I have way too much stuff. haha

So the part of the week that was before transfer calls was good. We found the most prepared ready investigator ever. I'm not sure if I told you about how we were looking up someone and decided to leave a card on one of the doors and they called us, but we followed up with that. So we ended up meeting with the man and he is so awesome. He said he was thinking about church lately and how he wanted to come again (he came one time before about 6 months ago) and then when he found the card on his door he knew it was a sign from God to come back to this church. He already knows a lot and loves it all. He is now reading the Book of Mormon. His name is Freddie and he is incredible. I know great things will come of him.

Oh one sketchy thing that happened is that there was a crime scene right next door to us. So we got home one night and the cops were all there and they were there like all night and then the next morning it was all taped off and said that it is restricted and nobody can go inside and stuff. Intense right? That's good ol' Harlem for Ya!

I took a lot of pictures with everyone so I'll send those.

Oh and the Tanners are moving too! On Friday! They are moving to Utah. So you can go be friends with them in Provo. They are the best! Dad, Now you can talk to them about how we are related since I told you no before :) they are the best though. They gave us blankets as well and we ran into them on Saturday night and they paid for our dollar slice haha there is this dollar slice that they told us about and it's the best pizza ever. Sometimes dollar slice is cheap and not very good but this one is top notch. It's on 55th and Broadway for anyone coming to NY and needing a cheap meal!

So while reflecting back on these past 6 months I realized that my very first lesson ever while a missionary on my first day here was Sister Macuilt and It was the first time Sasha had joined in on the lesson. So last night I got to do the most incredible thing. I got to go to the temple with Sasha and sister Macuilt to do baptisms and confirmations with them. It was so neat. I felt the spirit so strong and seeing how happy they both were topped it all off. Wow I love this work.

So I am now at transfer meeting so I'll tell you about my companion next week. I'm at the city transfer meeting so I have to go upstate to the next transfer meeting after this. It will be a long day.

With thanksgiving tomorrow I just want you all to know that I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord. I know I am on the Lords errand and so I am working hard to bless the lives of Gods children. It's been such a testimony to know that this is not my time but the Lords time. I am serving in place of the Savior and feel so blessed to be trusted with Gods children. I am so grateful for the atonement and for the comfort it brings. I am beyond grateful for prayer. I know prayer works. Pray is the only way to unlock the blessings that God wants to give us. If we don't turn to God, he can't help us. All we have to do is ask. We need to be praying everyday and giving thanks for all we have. I am so grateful for all the prayers offered for me each day. I really feel them. I am so thankful for the knowledge of eternal families. I know that while I am here I am just helping other people to live with their families for eternity. I'm excited to see you all in a year but for now I am thankful for all the people I have come to love here and the ones who have come to love me as well. The Manhattan 1st Ward will always be my family in New York and I'm excited to come back and visit them. Although I am sad to leave the city, I am grateful for the new opportunities that are ahead of me. I hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving. I love you so

Sister Tanner <3

Well in time square they are putting up a huge bill board.  It is the big event we have been waiting for. Wow. I'm sooo sad to miss it! Everything will have advertisements from now (Nov. 28-Jan 1 ) or something like that. Billboards, taxis and video boards in time square. Also on December 7th the church bought the master head on YouTube. So look at it. 220 million people will see it.

At transfers president came up to me and was like "sister Tanner I am so exciting for your new assignment!! Are you excited?" And I said Ya and he said "are you!?" And I said "nope not at all" and he laughed and said "I know" ruuuddeee haha love him though.

I am the designated driver. She has only been here 3 months. And it's been snowing all day. Pretty sure we are in for some adventures in the snow. It will be interesting. Pray that we don't die haha we have gotten a ton of snow already today.

Anyway, I can't think of what else I was going to add but I love you! Have a good week!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

" was so cold that we were all commanded to go buy winter clothes"

Dear Family and friends,

Hello again! It seems like I'm always writing you emails! Time is flying by way too quickly. 

First of all, welcome to the world baby Rory Olivia Wallace!! I'm so excited to meet her when I get a year ish! Wow that's a long time, but that's okay. Thanks for all the pictures from everyone :) it was so exciting to see those :) Give her kisses from me and just show her some pictures of me. I'll be her favorite aunt one day... 

This week has been so good! We have been doing a monthly fast with the Ward for missionary work so that someone is fasting each day of the month. This week I have really felt the power of the fast. So many small miracles have happened. Less active people are flooding back and it's been so awesome getting to know them. I love it. We keep running into Joseph (a less active that we met with last week that I may have mentioned) and he keeps reminding us to come over on Friday so we are excited about that. He is awesome. 

On Thursday we had the most incredible lesson with Richie at this cute little hot chocolate place while drinking the most delicious hot chocolate. Richie is the investigator from queens (I have no idea if I mentioned him before or not) and the spirit was soooo strong. After saying something all from the spirit we all just sat there for a second. Richie sat there with his mouth dropped open in awe and sister brown goes "wow that was REALLY powerful..." And then we all just didn't know what to say and then sister brown started laughing because it was just such a joyous time I guess so then I started laughing and he laughed. Oops...we are the worst! Haha but we are getting better so it's okay. It was really an awesome lesson though so I know he will get baptized one day. 

Some kid named Trace (I think that's his name. Something like that) came up to me at the temple and was like "I think I know your sister" turns out, he said he knows Danielle Tanner (my cousin) and Grandpa that was interesting! He acted like he kinda likes Dani?(so gramps find out) idk it was a short visit....and then that other lady who randomly took a pic of me and said she knows Tom and Michelle! So I told them I was their niece and they thought that was pretty cool haha

On Friday I went on a split with Sister Smith! It was so much fun! So I went on a split with her like two weeks ish after I got here (she transferred to this area when I got here) and we saw some of the same people. It was awesome. But ya since I have served with sister smith these past 5 months or so, I've really gotten to know her and I just love her. It was just a breath of fresh air. She is the best. 

We had an APF this week in Washington square park and it was freezing. The cold has come! Yesterday it was in the 20s all wind chill. So it was so cold walking around all day! Since we are on an island and surrounded by water it's even colder especially because yesterday everyone we wanted to visit happened to live right next to the water. It was crazy windy there. We just couldn't stop laughing because it was so cold. In fact, it was so cold that we were all commanded to go buy winter clothes yesterday if we didn't have them yet and to not go outside if we didn't have any winter clothes. Let me tell ya, the California girl in me has arrived.. Good thing you sent me that super amazing warm coat! I wore it today for the first time. Thanks mom!! ........anyways back to the apf, so we passed out free hot chocolate and had a thanksgiving turkey. Everyone wrote what they were thankful for on a feather and posted it onto the board. It really is so important just to be thankful for what we have. We have been given so much. 

On Sunday one of the senior couple temple missionaries came up to me and shook my hand and said "sister Tanner how are you? you have been here for a really long time. Since we got here. It's about time you are leaving isn't it? Best of luck to you!" So that was sad because I don't want to leave yet...but sweet because I didn't know him at all but he knew me! Haha I guess I'll let you know next week what happens!   
On Monday it was rainy and kinda a gloomy day so we decided to say hello to everyone (more than usual) really enthusiastically. So many people were shocked and said hello back as if it were a question haha and some people just got really happy because of it. As we were walking I couldn't stop smiling and I just started giggling with joy hahaha it was so awesome, I love doing that! :) 

This week I am thankful for something I have been thinking about a lot this week. I am thankful for all the families (and individuals) who kneel down together each day and include me (and all missionaries) in their prayers. I have really felt your love this week. It's so amazing to know that so many people are praying for me. I am so blessed. The power of prayer is so real. I have seen so many prayers get answered. we are so blessed to be able to talk to our Heavenly Father everyday. 

I love you all so much! Have a good week! Give Jax and Rory kisses for me! 


Sister Tanner <3

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The whole subway car went silent and they just listened

Hello again!
This week has been so good!
First of all, thanks again for all the love and prayers sent my way! I feel sooo blessed to know so many people are praying for me. Even random people on the streets say "God bless" every day and people are just so thankful for what we do as missionaries but I feel like we get way too much credit! It's all the Spirit and the Ward members who are so awesome to us. Life is good as a missionary though, so ya, thank you!!
I got delicious cookies from the Coggins yesterday! They are so yummy, so thank you soo much! :) and thanks so much for the CD Livv. I Love youuu!

So a bit about this week...actually I have a strong feeling this email will be really long because this week just kept getting better and better!
We went Running in Central Park for exercise in the morning for the last time probably. It's starting to get super cold. The low for today is in the 30s and word on the street is that it is going to start snowing....I now truly believe I am a California girl. It's freezing. Thank goodness I'm not in Russia or something.

 After one of our dinner appointments, our member gave us Hershey's kisses to take home and on the way out sister brown turned to the doorman who opened the door for us and said "do you want a kiss?!?" And then she handed him a chocolate kiss and he just said "ohhh I thought you meant an actual kiss!" And he was dead serious And just like still in shock haha it was really awkward and funny.

Then at a dinner appointment with the Leavitt’s (one of my most favorite couples. They got here when I did) we went to say bye and I hugged sister Leavitt and then I went to hug brother Leavitt and was like oh wait, handshake! And it was just all super awkward and we were all laughing and then we just left cuz it was awkward. My bad. Sometimes I forget about that small detail of a rule. Haha

While waiting for the subway this girl came and stood by us and just stared at us. I could see her out of the corner of my eye so I turned to her and said hello and then looked at sister brown. After noticing that she was still looking I thought "well I guess we better talk to her!" So we turned towards her and she saw our tags and said "ohhh that's why you guys are so nice. So we asked her if she has heard of the church before and she said ya and went on to ask a million questions about our mission and who pays for it and all this stuff. She asked us what we do as missionaries and we just had a nice friendly conversation with her. She told us she is Jewish and we told her that was awesome and asked about what she believes and all that. Then the train came so I asked her what her name was, she said Rebecca, and we wished her a good day and went on our way. Then when we were getting on the train these two girls were like "oh sisters!! Hey we love upstate more!" (Rebecca didn't hear that). And then after we all got on the train, we turned to the members and asked where they lived upstate. And then Rebecca said to us "wow you guys try really hard" and then she turned to the two girls we were talking to and said "don't listen to them. They are trying to baptize you to Mormonism" and the two girls turned towards Rebecca and said "well they don't have to try very hard because we are already converted" and then Rebecca looked at us and we just said yep they are members. And Rebecca didn't say a thing after that. It was so awesome. After being so nice to Rebecca and not even trying to convert her at allll, she was rude and then it backfired on her haha. And then after that a million people were so nice to us. When we got out of that station, we pulled out the iPad to check where we were going and we noticed this big tall man stepped off to the side as well, about 15 feet from us. About 2 minutes later as we were standing on the corner of Broadway and 86th, the man came up to us and said "do you guys need directions?" And sister brown goes "uhh, ya!! Where is this one? (and she pointed to a dot we had on the map because really we didn't but we wanted to talk to him). And it happened to be the easiest one to find. And he excitedly said "oh it's one block that way. And stay on Broadway. Wow, what could be easier!" And then he walked away haha it was really weird and nice and funny. But it just goes to show that there really are nice people here in NYC! Tons of them!

So we had some really good lessons with Richie this week(the one from queens). He is super awesome and ready. He is in the process of praying about a baptismal date so that's sweeeet. We were talking to him  about church and he was just so amazed at how much he loved it. He said he really felt welcome knowing he was allowed to take the sacrament and sit on the bench with us and everything. He loved the testimonies and he said that he wanted to raise his hand and say "wait my turn, I want to say something about these two little ones over here" haha so that was funny. But ya he loved it and the lessons have been going really well!

On Friday night we got to hangout with the Activity day girls!(8-11 year olds in the ward)  It was so much fun! They had missionary night where they all got name tags and mission calls so we talked to them about what it's like to be a missionary and we told them our regular day schedule. We also bore our testimonies and sang "called to serve" with them. I also got to be in charge of the two California mission call girls. They went to Huntington Beach and I told them it doesn't snow there and they were SO excited. They wanted to go there right now. It was so cute haha

So on Saturday for our district APF we went and sang in Columbus Circle and on the subway. At first I was thinking in my head "ya this is going to be so awkward and embarrassing. we don't sing. People are going to get so mad at us like they do every other church person on the subway or singer on the subway. But I'll have a good attitude and it'll be fun and go by quickly. Hopefully nobody takes pictures of us because I didn't wash my hair and I just feel so gross today" (I'm trying to get my hair to where I don't have to wash it as much so it can be healthier) then we went to Columbus Circle and at first it was kind of awkward...but then it was SO fun!! It was the most incredible thing in the entire world. Don't worry, I repented of the negativity I had and wow it was amazing! Sooo many people stopped and took pictures. Awkward. We are probably all over random peoples Facebook or instagrams. Tons of people just stopped and listened and smiled and thanked us or said "God bless" or something kind. As people walked by they took out their headphones and listened. It was so incredible to bring people together through hymns. You could see their eyes and faces glow as they felt the spirit. It was incredible. Words can't even explain it. We spent the entire time in Columbus circle and it was freezing but so worth it. By the end I was shivering haha. But then when we got on the subway to head back to the church we only went one stop and the subway was packed. So picture a super jam packed subway with 8 missionaries standing very closely with other people as well. The subway was loud and noisy, but when the train started going, we started singing and the whole subway car went silent and they just listened as we sang "families can be together forever". The spirit was so strong. Then we ended and as we got off the train, people thanked us. Ya I just love singing hymns together for all of NYC. We are going to start doing it once a week. Definitely a highlight of my mission so far. Did I mention how amazing it was? Goodness I loved it.

We had our "Come and See Sunday" this week! So church was only one hour
and then we had treats after. It was so good! It was also the primary program and those kids are so cute. I miss kids! It's so hard not being allowed to hold little kids or babies. The kids in my ward are so adorable they make me miss the kinder class I helped in and all the kids I babysat for.

Random note..Okay so in Central Park the other day we were contacting and there was a guy who had just got off the phone and he looked really upset so naturally we wanted to talk to him..and so we walked up to him. He ended up telling us he wasn't in the mood to talk buuuut I'm pretty sure it was a famous person. His name was jason, but we kept calling him josh because he looked like and actor named josh but ya his name is Jason and I think he is famous so there ya have it, finally talked to a famous person in NYC.

Alright so yesterday was zone conference. We talked about a lot of things and it was amazing. First we talked about some of the rules. So he mentioned that we can read emails the day we get them during lunch or at night before bed. So therefore, since marissa is the only one that sends her emails to me before Wednesday's, she gets the best emails back because I have time to think about what to say to her. He also said that since we are here in NYC, since lots of people come to the city to visit, we are allowed to see family and friends when they come. As long as it's appropriate of course. Like we can see friends our age if they are the same gender. They just have to call President Morgan so he can tell them the rules (1 hour and stay in the area the missionary is serving in and no bringing someone the missionary dated) and then we can. Another rule he talked about was music. So actually we can have EFY music still even though last week I told you we can't. We just have to make sure all our music is about the gospel and Christ and we can feel the spirit when we listen to it. So that's easy :)   that means everything on my iPod is still good! After talking about all the rules we talked about knowing Christ and HOW we know Him. I love how if we really think about it, each and every one of us has had an experience with Christ. If we open our hearts then He will open our eyes to see His hand in our life. He loves us each individually and personally and wants the best for us. We also discussed how a mission isn't supposed to be easy all the time, we aren't suppose to have people flock us wanting to be baptized. President Morgan said, "a mission isn't supposed to be fun like Disneyland. It is meant to drive you to your knees so you know Heavenly Father. He wants you to feel dependent so He can inspire you." I love that. It's so true. It's not a walk in the park. We can't be lazy. We have to always be doing something even if it's just walking around trying to contact people.

Then after having that amazing discussion, as a companionship we picked numbers from a basket and all got into those groups and made videos! It was so much fun! Usually zone conferences are super formal and we do a lot of role-plays and have lots of talks and stuff, but today president said we all needed to do something fun. So he just told us to make a video with the theme "I believe in Christ," use two scriptures, and have fun. So everyone went to different places and filmed their video. It was so nice to just take a little time to get to know other missionaries and have fun with them. We filmed ours on the top of the temple building because it's a nice view of everything created from the 40th floor. After filming them on our iPads, we all got to watch them all and have popcorn and soda(no I didn't have soda. I've been good this year!)

So we are in the last third of reading the Book of Mormon! I've liked reading about the two thousand stripling warriors. I love how Helaman calls them his sons and they call him father[alma 56:46]. I think it's really relatable how because they followed the commandments of their mothers and applied what their mothers taught them, they were able to follow their "fathers" commands with exactness and be saved. I think that is what we do here on earth. I'm so grateful that I have been taught the gospel by a wonderful mother (and father) and because of that I can follow my Father in Heaven much better and strive to follow with exactness. I know that as we consecrate all our thoughts and actions and do what the Lord has asked, we will be saved and return to live with God again. I also love how in Alma 56 at the beginning (verses 16-17) it talks about how they were depressed because they tried so hard and gave it their all, yet they had to suffer great afflictions. Then when the stripling warriors showed their faith by helping them out, their depressed hearts changed and they had great hopes and much joy." I think we can look at that as our relationship with Christ as well. When Christ came to earth, he was spit on, mocked and crucified, yet He was only being kind and showing love and giving His all. That must have been so tough. So now when we show that we are on His side and we fight the battles we face with faith, I'm sure Both God and Christ rejoice and have great hope and much joy. So let's give it our all and not make God and Christ sad because we aren't keeping the commandments or trying our best.

Anyway, sorry it's so long this week! It's just been such a wonderful week! I love you all so much! Be safe in all your travels this next week! Send me pictures of Jax when you get to DC mom! You are all loved :) have a good week! I love you!! Xoxoxox
Sister Tanner <3

Singing hymns in Columbus Circle

Activity Day Girls - Missionary activity