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 

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