Thursday, January 29, 2015

Grounded because of the storm

Hello family!

Let's start off with a nice Bible joke!
QUESTION!! How long did Cain hate his brother?(answer towards the bottom)

This week was weird. I have been soooo sick. On Wednesday I took a 2-hour nap. Thursday, a 3 hour nap, Friday went to bed a little early, Saturday a 3 hour nap. I thought I was going to die! Sunday I got a migraine and went to bed early and then Monday and Tuesday we were grounded because of a storm. So we have been inside like allll weeeek. It's killing us. Haha so nothing too new investigator wise. It's been slow this week. On Sunday our branch mission leader was like "Sister Tanner are you feeling better? You looked terrible on Thursday at correlation!" Haha...But I think I'm almost all better. I just have that fluid in the lungs cough where every once in a while I have to cough to get it out so I can breathe but other than that, I'm feeling great and ready to work hard!

So about this blizzard that you said has been all over your news! On Monday we were told to make sure we had at least a couple gallons of water, food and a flashlight for each of us. We had to be prepared for this huge storm and it was a big possibility that the power would go out. It was all over the news, taped on stores and gas stations and everything. Signs were everywhere about this big winter blizzard.... ....and then it snowed like an inch... it was ridiculous! We were grounded for 2 days because of this storm! And it didn't even do anything! Super lame. Haha so yes, I survived the huge east coast storm.

We made homemade tortillas yesterday and had tacos and then today we made baleadas! The Spanish elders taught me how to make em. And inside we put chorizo with eggs and some queso fresco, salsa, crema and beans. It was delicious :)

Last week I forgot to tell you that church was cancelled because of the bad weather. Well we had sacrament and then the rest was cancelled so that was really different, that's the first time I've ever had church cancelled because of weather. Then this past Sunday sister Quackenbush and I had to go shovel and salt cuz it snowed like 6 inches and the missionaries are in charge of the sidewalks. so even though I was sick, I was so done with not doing anything so we went to shovel. Now one of the elders was even more sick so we told them we could do it and they could stay home especially since we never do it. They normally shovel and we salt. But anyway, we went to the church and started shoveling, then the guy who does the parking lot for the church showed up and was like "here let me just drive on the sidewalk for you with my plow and it will be a lot easier" so he did that and then helped us salt that main sidewalk. So then he left and we kept working on the littler parts. Then this random car that was driving by stopped, backed up and pulled into the parking lot. So the guy gets out but leaves his car on and so I was a bit worried but he just said he had 10 minutes and would love to help. So for 10 minutes he took my shovel and shoveled for us as I talked to him about the gospel and gave him all the info for church. He has a 6 yr old son and lives right by the church and he wants to bring his son. It was definitely SUCH a tender mercy that both those men came and helped shovel snow while I was sick. I am so grateful for them because it saved my health.

So I Lost my name tag at the grocery store last week when I was sick. So we went back to look for it but we couldn't find it. Apparently here in NY people sell them because of the Book of Mormon play so someone probs got rich off of that name tag :( I have been so sad that it's gone. I feel so lost without it. At least I had two so I have one more. Now I'm just waiting for my new one that I ordered to come. I got a new pin already and all that, but still. So lame.

Our zone does this thing called "the haps" (short for the happenings) and it's where we all send in one name and their need to our zone leader and then they put it on a fancy picture thing and then they send it back to everyone in the zone. Then at night we all pray for everyone on the haps list by name. It's really sweet, I'll send you a picture so you understand a bit more.

Since I've been sick and we have been grounded we have spent a lot of time calling people. We keep calling all the less actives and we have been calling potentials and all that. So on Sunday, our area book said we had a new referral named Paula shankledorf. However, that was an old referral who we contacted already. But it popped up as new so we said "alright we will try her again since it came up" so we called answer. We called answer, but we were able to leave a message. Then later that day, she called us back! That never happens. Turns out she was contacted in the past but wasn't ready so she never had any lessons or anything. But she has two kids and sounds
so awesome. She has been through a lot and just got over some addictions but a member is picking them all up and bringing them to church on Sunday and then they are going to come to our winter carnival next week. Hopefully they are amazing and want to get baptized. That's the dream at least. So that was another tender mercy of the week. Super awesome. Pray for Paula!

ANSWER!!  -As long as he was Abel.

So we had our sisters conference this past week. It was soo good! I'm preeetttty sure that every single talk and activity was planned just for me. Haha but really it was great. Afterwards while driving home I was thinking about everything that was said and all we learned and I was feeling really overwhelmed and trying to plan out what I would study first so I can improve and become a better missionary. But as I was thinking about all the things I needed to work on I remembered the scripture ether 12:27. Everyone that attended seminary should know that one. It says "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." I love that scripture so much because while on my mission I realized that if we are feeling weak then that means we are coming into Christ. And so if we put that faith and confidence in Christ then He will help us to make that weakness strong. I truly believe that. He wants to help us and He is waiting to help us. We just have to be humble enough to recognize our weaknesses first. Sometimes it's rough being a missionary. Being sick makes me miss a loving mom who knows all the right medicines to give. Sometimes I wonder how it is I got here. But when I think about all the good, all the lives we change, the people I've met, the laughs, the smiles, the Spirit, the knowledge I've gained, everything makes it all worth it. I wouldn't trade this time for anything. I am so lucky to serve here in New York, it's my favorite place. I don't know why anyone would ever hate New York City! ;) I really love it :)

I hope you have a good week! Keep being amazing missionaries! Make the elders and sisters love you by giving them people to teach! :) I love
you so much!

Sister Tanner <3

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

He caught me by surprise...


How are you all doing? Thanks for all the love and support!

This past week was pretty different than the rest. I wasn't going to share this but it is awesome and shows that this isn't all sunshine and smiles. So To be completely honest, On Saturday and Sunday we had really rough days. Then Sunday night the ZLs (zone leaders) called us "to see how we were doing" and the STLs (Sister Training Leaders)and our DL(district leader) and It really hasn't been all that great but we were fine. But the weekend was rough and Sister Quackenbush and I
were not working together too well. It's really hard because one thing she struggles with is pride and so it's been hard for me to find the balance of letting her make the decisions for everything like she is supposed to because she is new and not fueling her fire of pride. (President told me that I really need to work on that with her ). And little things kept happening that she was opposed to and would not do, but we were asked  from our leaders to do them, so it was a little frustrating. (Like role plays and such). So Sunday night I just prayed and prayed and prayed so hard just to love her more and that we would be able to work together to get new investigators and what not. So then we had a mini comp inventory and each said one thing we could each work on and when I told her about following our leaders she got so mad and made
excuses. then we went to bed. So I just prayed again and was practically in tears with how hard and frustrating it was. Because when there is contention, the Spirit leaves. And when the Spirit isn't present, we are commanded that we cannot teach. And I really wanted to teach and have a good week so that we could be really focused on the work. But then the next morning she apologized for getting mad and making excuses and we had the best day ever. We taught tons of lessons and planted tons of seeds and got good info about less actives and found some good potential investigators and Ya it was just amazing! God blessed us so much. And At night we made a delicious meal together and now it's all good! :)
I know God answered my prayers. I know he sent everyone to check up on us and pray for us because we needed it at that time. I know he helped us to work together and get work done like we wanted to do. I really feel like that trial had to happen so that we could get through it and work together in the best way. So I am thankful I was able to turn to the Lord for help and He was able to answer my prayer.

On a brighter note, I got another letter from the HB stake presidency (Ya my name is still spelled wrong but oh well!) and it was about thanksgiving so that came a little late haha..I also got a letter from the Eynons that had Christmas messages from the ward and it was stamped for December 20th so it must have gotten lost in the mail or something, Im not sure, but that was nice to get! :)

We taught sister McCreary this past week and it went really well, on Wednesday we talked about the Word of Wisdom and she gladly accepted that. She told us she believes Joseph Smith was a prophet and she believes that prophets can receive revelation from God. But she was still confused. So we had a whole lesson pretty much talking about her concerns and what not and the Hsiehs were there which was so helpful because they are converts themselves. The Spirit was SO strong in that
lesson it was amazing!

On Saturday we took Elder and Sister Hsieh to a lesson with us and then took them to look up some lesson actives and potential investigators. At one point we weren't sure the number on the house and since I was driving I asked sister Quackenbush to run and look at it really quick but she wouldn't do it so I said okay fine I will, so
I just parked the car and got out and walked over to look at the address on the door. Elder Hsieh came with me too. Before you know it, Elder Hsieh and I were knocking on the door and tracting together while sister Hsieh and sister Quackenbush watched us from the car. We were still in sight and sound...just not both at the door. Oops, haha but it was fun.

I'm starting to get sick so I have been taking vitamins and medicine and resting today for pday and what not. Because we all know what happens when I get sick. I'm just praying it's not bronchitis or pneumonia or anything again. But I have been taking vitamin c everyday so I am disappointed that didn't help me.

Anyway, So last week on Friday we went down to Scarsdale for the new missionary meeting and it was so good! I loved hearing from president Morgan and the APs and relearning what they taught me in the past as well as learning new things. I was able to understand so much more of it so I could definitely see how far I have come already. One thing president Morgan talked about was goals and gratitude. He mentioned sister Bolton and how she set a goal to teach 50 lessons and then taught 48 or something and I just kinda shook my head to myself because I have heard that story just about 60 times and he always tells us numbers don't matter. And then He talked about how effort is emotional and work is physical. After making the point that when we put forth all our effort, works, faith, and desires, then we need to
be grateful for the results. For example if we pray for 4 new investigators and we get 2 then we need to spend zero time being upset about the two we didn't get and just be thankful and happy for the 2 we got. Then he caught me by surprise and called on me and asked me to stand up. He then said "Sister Tanner, I know you have had experience with setting high goals, tell us about it." And I was a little taken back at first and then I remembered that one time in my weekly email to him a few months ago I told him about our goal of teaching 50 lessons a week (to put that into perspective, this past transfer president told us the average number of lessons a week is 9). So I just talked about how when we set high goals and give it our all then
we learn how much we can actually do and how hard we can work and it helps set the tone for the rest of our goals for every other week and even though numbers don't matter at all, it helps to motivate me to work as hard as I possibly can ..stuff like that. I just answered the question pretty much. And then he asked me to share what our goal was and what we actually taught. So I told everyone that it was 50 and we
taught 30 something lessons. And then president was like "and you told me what you thought about that. Tell everyone" so I just talked about how I really like setting high goals because it pushes us to do better and how I was thankful we were able to teach over 30 and how it has changed my mindset on how many lesson we can teach when we have faith but the numbers didn't matter because nowhere in PMG (Preach my Gospel) does it mention any numbers. They are just there for motivation....then finally I was able to sit down and sink into my chair in slight embarrassment haha

But then I started thinking about that. What a great lesson. I learned once again how president Morgan knows each of us. From that, I learned that he really reads and remembers each email we send him. He loves us individually and knows our needs and concerns and strengths and weaknesses and I love that. I am so grateful for him because it has taught me more about my savior. If a mission president has 250+ missionaries and remembers each one, then imagine our Heavenly Father's love for each of us. Although He has so many children, I have no doubt in my mind that He knows each of us personally individually. He wants us to be happy and he is mindful of us. He remembers our prayers and he answers our prayers. He is thankful for our good works and our efforts. I am so grateful for a
Heavenly Father that loves me :)

I love you all so much. Keep up the good missionary work! I love love loveee hearing about your missionary experiences! Have a good week!

Sister Tanner <3

This is Sariah Mulholland.  She is six and we are best friends.  I love her!

Mulholland girls danced for us!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It all starts with that seed of desire

Hey family!

This week felt like a month. It just seems like it was forever ago when we had transfers. But that's how the first week always is for me. It'll pick up again. We have had a good week and have been able to teach some good lessons. Our investigator (Corrina) opened up to us so much this past week. She is well on her way to baptism. She just has to quit smoking and she will be golden. We had a really good lesson with her about setting goals for this new year and we showed her the mormon message "New Years: look not behind thee." She loved it so it was super awesome.

On January 10th the new mission presidents were announced but I don't know If you saw that or not. so last week at transfers president Morgan told us all about them so that it wouldn't be new news to us. So Our new mission president will be David L smith and his wife is Rebecca Smith. They are Coming at the End of June of 2015. They have 3 children ages 15, 12 and 11. They are from Keller Texas which is North of Fort Worth Texas. He is a Bishop right now. And Ya, he is going to be awesome I'm sure. It'll be sad to see the Morgan's go but awesome to be able to have a different president and see how things change and what not.

Last week the weather was in the negatives way too much! I have been so cold! I think the wind chill has been in the negative teens like all week. We literally run to the car each time and look ups are NOT fun at all. And tracting...don't even get me started on Tracting in this weather. Way too cold for that haha but I am still alive so it's okay! Every time we go tracting my toes freeze. I can honestly say I am so glad I'm not in Russia!

On Wednesday (on the way home from transfers) we lost the Hsiehs on the freeway hahaha they were following us and then they started going super fast and so we were following them and then they got off the freeway randomly for some reason. Turns out that they thought they were suppose to follow the elders and not us so they were looking for them and then they thought they followed the elders off the freeway but it wasn't them. So we called them and called them and finally they answered and they met us at a gas station off of one of the exits and we had them follow us the rest of the way haha it was greatt.

Alright so sister Quackenbush is 20 and from Vegas. She went to BYU for 2.5 years. She is the first to serve in her family. Her older brother didn't go and neither did her parents. It doesn't sound like they are too active in church, but they were happy for her. She is a really good missionary though. She is really prepared and already knows all the lessons. She wants to work hard and so that's wonderful. I'm excited. It's been fun getting to know her.

We went to Scarsdale last week for sister Quackenbush's new missionary interview. We are going this week to Scarsdale for the new missionary meeting. And we will go to Scarsdale next week for a sisters conference, car rides for days... It's fun though! I love seeing president and sister Morgan. They are awesome!

This week has been good. I have been studying faith a lot this week. We can always work on strengthening our faith in Jesus Christ. In the bible dictionary it talks about how faith comes by righteousness and is a gift that "must be cultured and sought after until it grows from a tiny seed to a great tree." I love that. Faith is so important in everyday life. We need to continue exercising our faith so that it can become a big tree one day. But it all starts with that seed of desire. That desire to repent or change. To become better And do better. As we show our faith and act upon the desires we have, miracles come. In the bible dictionary I love how it says "Miracles do not produce faith, but strong faith is developed by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ; in other words, faith comes by righteousness, although miracles often confirm one’s faith." I know that this gospel is true. I know that sometimes things may seem too difficult or impossible. However, we have to take a leap of faith and act upon righteous desires and as we do that Heavenly Father will see our willingness and devotion to Him and in return He will Bless us in ways we may not even imagine.

I love you all. Be good and Have a good week! :)

Sister Tanner <3
Me and my new companion Sister Quackenbush

Happy Noggins!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

It's quite a big responsibility...


So this week was good! We really didn't get to do much. We did a whole lot of driving and we were grounded on Saturday. We now have a good amount of snow. It's been super cold this week and it's getting colder. On Tuesday we drove to the city because the sister we are in a trio with had to go to the doctor there. But bishop Nixon is that doctor so I got to see bishop Nixon! It was so awesome. But the best part about that is that I drove in the crazy busy city and we didn't die!! It was awesome!

Anyway, to the good stuff. I am training sister Quackenbush. Yep that's right. She has the coolest name ever. I haven't actually met her yet. We are waiting at transfers for them to all come.

Sister McCreary (our investigating neighbor) is doing so well. We went over to teach her on Friday and she asked if we had another pamphlet and we said no and she just about cried. So next time we will bring her another pamphlet. She totally loves the Book of Mormon. She hasn't admitted it yet but she says it seems true and it makes sense. we cleared up her beliefs about prophets and told her about President Monson and general conference. She asked what president monson talked about and so we gave her a quick version of his talk and she loved it. She came to church on Sunday as well so that was good.

Like I said, We spent most of this past week driving and saying bye to people for Sister Ballou so it was a really busy week, just not much to say. Sister Ballou has been pretty sad. It was funny cuz when we said bye to people she would cry and they would say "most people are excited to leave this area! You are different!" Haha..she is going to Harlem so that's cool!

I'm excited to be able to learn from sister Quackenbush and to help her as she begins her mission here. We went to a train the trainers meeting (which I saw sister smith and sister brown at because they had a different meeting there after and that was soo good to see them. They ran and hugged me for like a good 3 minutes. It was awesome. I love them.) Anyway, the meeting was really intense. It made me really overwhelmed but president said if we didn't feel overwhelmed then we weren't listening so that's good. He talked to us about how a missionaries trainer sets the tone for the rest of that missionaries life. Intense right? But it's so true. How the mission starts sets that expectation for the rest of the mission and the mission is the MTC for our lives. It's quite a big responsibility when you look at it like that. But like I said, I'm excited. I'm ready to learn a lot and have a good time!

How are your New Years resolutions coming? Work hard on them! Tape them on your mirror or something and read them everyday! Each day is a new day. It's the start of a new year. Forgive and forget. Move on. Work a little harder. Be a little better. and watch the Mormon message
"New Years: look not behind thee" or something like that! It's really good!

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

Sister Tanner <3

My District before todays transfer