Alright so this email is going to be so random and crazy..Sorry about that haha...
First of all. Thank you so much for all the Thanksgiving cards and the packages! I got a package from the Rasmussen's this week! It is adorable! It made me so happy to get that so thank you soo much! And mom, that Christmas advent calendar you made is adorable too! Thank you for that! You are the best! Oh and I always get those monthly letters from the stake presidency which is super nice of them! I love those letters...but they always spell my name wrong. Maybe you can pass that message along haha.
I love it here! So at 6pm last Wednesday (that's when pday ends) I decided that I have a choice to either hate it or love it. Why would I chose to be upset when nothing was going to change? So I started picking out all the good things and stopped dwelling on the bad.
We live in Monticello which is pretty small but we also cover a lot of other cities and towns. I think our area we cover is about 2 hours driving from side to side. Definitely different than the 5 minute walk from one side to the other and 40 minute walk or 4 minute subway ride from the bottom of my area to the top. It's a big change being here. It's soooo quiet.
Our district consists of us and the elders who serve in the branch with us. So that's a little weird. It's really different working with the elders so much. It's neat though. It's called a "model district" I guess. I learned that this week too. It's weird just having us 4 in this area.
My apartment is hugeeee compared to the last. We have a big room for our beds and a huge room for our study desks and then a big entry way and good kitchen and a huge family room. It is weird though because the elders live right next door. Like the same apartment complex but the building next to us. So that is kinda interesting too. But it's fun.
I drove in a huge snow storm on the way home from transfers. That was weird because it was my first time back in a car and also driving in 6 months. I'm in charge of driving and my companion is in charge of the phone. But we are still alive today so I guess I am not that bad of a driver :)...I love driving though! We had to go to Ossining yesterday for a facebook meeting because my companion just finished training and so she got facebook yesterday and it was an hour and forty-five minutes and it was so relaxing and wonderful. (Oh and dad, it's a 2014 Toyota Corolla I believe.)
The first time we went to gas we were super confused. She had never gotten gas in this car before and obviously neither had I. So she handed me the gas card and it asked for the odometer number and that was easy but then it asked for the ID for the card and sister Ballou didn't know it and neither did I so we had to go into the guy and we just handed him the card and we were like "uhhh...we don't know what we are doing. We just have this card to pay with." Hahaha he was super confused but we got it all figured out and we found the number we needed and then the second time we got gas we did it all by ourselves and knew the number and all that good stuff.
I saw stars! It's actually dark enough to see stars here. I forgot what that is like. It's amazing. Definitely can't see stars in the city.
So the other day we were making a Cheesecake for a less active in the ward who was in jail for a week (don't worry she is harmless but I don't really need to tell the whole story) and when we asked what we can do for her she said make a cheesecake. So we did. So we planned for the next day and all that and then changed into pjs. So we started making the cheesecake and realized that the recipe said we needed 3 things of cream cheese and we only had one for some reason. So we decided to go buy more. So we threw a skirt on with out shirts and put our coats on over and then went to this gas station grocery store thing that had cream cheese and bought it really quick. Then after making it all we realized the wall to the pan thing was on upside down(it is one of those circle pan things were the bottom isn't attached.) but anyway it didn't close properly. So we had to take it all out and remake the crust since we ruined the first crust and thennn make the cheesecake. Wow it was quite the process. But we laughed over it all and it was really fun and ridiculous. I'm sure she appreciated our efforts!
Our branch is so awesome. There is not one family that is the "typical" mormon family. Everyone is unique. It is going to be interesting..and really fun. The people are hilarious and Ya this area is so different, it's awesome. On Sunday there were about 30 people there. It's so different than the temple ward in Manhattan. And every time we go to the church it's just us and it's so quiet. Definitely not like the last church building where all the tourists wanted to see the temple church. I can bet I won't run into anyone to make connections with here, that's for sure.
We have a family that we teach, the Cardonas, and they are awesome. I guess they have been coming for about a year, maybe a little less, I'm not sure. They feed us every week. But the two youngest daughters are baptized. they are 8 and 9. Their 12 year old son isn't baptized but he spoke in sacrament on Sunday so that was super sweet. The parents and the 12 year old son are getting baptized in June right after the parents get married. (The moms boyfriend isn't the father of the kids, but I just call them the parents). But anyway, in 3 weeks the 9 year old girl is giving a talk in sacrament meeting too and she just gave her first talk in primary this past week. She is scared but I know she will do great.
This area needs some work teaching wise. I'm not sure what has been going on here in the past but it is not organized at all so on Thursday-Saturday we spent hours and hours organizing the area book and all the people we teach and cleaning up all the lesson reports and everything. We literally spent so many hours figuring out who we should contact and/or look up and all that. So, I am really excited about these next few weeks and all the look ups we are going to be able to do. I think we will be really busy these next few weeks figuring out who all these people are.
My companion is also from south Jordan (just like sister Brown) and she has been out for 2 cycles and so she is still really new too. She says I have already taught her a lot so that's good. She has taught me as well. She is really good with loving people so that is really awesome. She is really nice and normal and just awesome. I think we could be companions for a long time and not get sick of each other. She is 19 also, and only like a week younger than me. We have fun together and laugh a lot!
We had thanksgiving with a couple In our Ward who invited 2 investigators of ours and 1 less active and 1 other active member. One investigator is half blind and the active member is an old little Italian guy, and they got into an argument about vacuums for like 15 minutes, haha! It was the weirdest Thanksgiving ever. Definitely different and a little awkward but that's okay haha. But it was so nice to be in a home watching the deer and birds right outside the window while eating homemade pie. The rest of the day was spent weekly planning since we weren't allowed to go contacting or anything on Thanksgiving.
Oh we have a Walmart! Except apparently It was rated one of the worst Walmarts in the nation so that's fun..at least it has cheaper stuff than in the city! I miss Trader Joes though but hey, that's okay. I'll be back there soon enough, I know it.(well I hope so).
Anyway, sorry this email is all over. I wanted to tell you about my new area and I just kinda went through and answered all the questions everyone asked me so hopefully I got them all!
Alright well I can't believe it is December already. I realized today that I am a little bit ahead with The Book of Mormon reading challenge, but chapters 18 and 19 of 3 Nephi really stuck out to me. Again It's about prayer. In chapter 19 it says pray or some form of the word over 25 times. And in chapter 18 verse 21 it says.. "Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed." I love that. I am so grateful that I was raised in a house where prayer is such a priority. I am so grateful we were able to kneel down and pray together as a family every night. I know that as we pray we are only asking for the blessings God wants to give us. I continue to see prayers answered each and everyday and it Is such a blessing to me. I hope that you are all praying each day individually and with your families and if not, then start now! It's the best thing ever.
I love you all so much! Thanks for all the prayers sent my way. Have a wonderful week! Listen to Christmas music for me and do lots of fun Christmasy things! :)
Sister Tanner <3