Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Hello everyone! First of all, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL THE BIRTHDAY LOVE. I had the best birthday I have ever had, let me tell you. Wow it was amazing! Thank you for the emails, packages and cards. Thank you for everyone who helped me get those flowers and card to mom on Saturday even though it was a lot more complicated than it should have been! Haha but I'm glad you liked them mom! Anyway, I'll tell you more about it all after I tell you about the beginning of last week.

Well Sister Smoot dyed my hair while we watched Meet the Mormons! That was fun. I like it though, but what do you think?? It wasn't a box dye either, it was good stuff. We bought it at Sally's. It's really great because I don't have to wash my hair everyday anymore. 

Okay so on Thursday we got a phone call from Elder Gardner, the vehicle coordinator for the mission. So first of all, I don't think I told you this but like the day before transfers a couple weeks ago he called me and told me that I was on tiwi radar and that if my driving didn't get better then I would have to have an interview with him and president Morgan. Scary. So I told him that I thought our tiwi was broken. He said he would call and figure it out and then talk to me at transfers. Sure enough when I went to talk to him he told me he talked to the tiwi people and sure enough our tiwi sensitivity was off, So I knew that after that it wouldn't tell me I had aggressive driving anymore. I told him that I would be off his tiwi radar in no time. Well since the day it was fixed, it hasn't said aggressive driving once. So on Thursday he called me and I was so scared he was going to tell me I couldn't drive but instead he said he was calling to celebrate the fact that I am off his tiwi radar completely! Yay! I'm a good driver now! I have gained a tiwi testimony! You should be proud... 

On Friday we went and did service and then headed to Middletown to get our tires rotated and what not. That ended up taking 2.5 hours. So we had lunch at panera bread while waiting. Then we headed to Scarsdale so Sister Smoot could get her Tiwi card so she could start driving.
Elder hunt said that we could baptized everyone in monticello and it would still be a branch. Sad. Haha 
We didn't get home until 7pm. When we got home we grabbed some stuff and then headed to brother kings with the elders to make chicken and waffles with him! We just brought the stuff (us and the elders) and we all ate there and he loved it. While we were there I got to talk to sister King on the phone!! She took some sort of test and if she did good then she will get to get out in September! It just keeps getting shorter and shorter :) He isn't doing quite as well...his brother got stabbed to death this past week, and his cousin died last week. SO sad. He's great though and he loves when we come over. 

Alright so Saturday was AWESOME. First of all, let me Tell you it was 80 degrees and beautiful that day! So I woke up to sister smoot screaming (to wake me up) telling me happy birthday. She tried to record it but she forgot to push the record button haha...then while I was in the shower she decorated my wall by my study desk and then flipped over all the furniture again (because that is now my irrational fear. That we will walk in and it will be upside down again haha) then we studied and what not and then headed to middle town to pick up mail! We had a little five minute party in Middletown and the missionaries all sang to me and then we headed home. When we got to the apartment the elders had come into our apparent and moved everything around and decorated all over (I'll send lots of pictures). Then we made cake because Riss sent me a premade cake to put together! So that was fun, and then I ate cake for brunch! It was delicious by the way. It was the super moist chocolate cake that I absolutely love. And then we went to language study where the elders surprised me with another cake (the box funfetti birthday one you sent me) which they found in our apartment when they were decorating it and they sang again. And then we went home for lunch, I ate some more cake and pizza and then we went Tracting for an APF!  
So for the APF we had a contest to see who could pass out the most pamphlets (chasity pamphlets were worth 2 points) and the loser had to make waffles for the other people Sunday night for dinner. The pamphlets we passed out had to be explained to the people though. So we couldn't just leave it in their door. So the elders took 2 buildings and we took 2 buildings. We ended up being able to talk to so many people! It was amazing. We won by the way..and we passed out a chastity pamphlet to one guy who told us he was naked and to come back in 10 minutes. Haha when we went back he was dressed, but he needed it! 
One guy we talked to is named Mark (a different one) and he is awesome. He told us that we saved his life by going over there because he was having a really bad day. He had so many real concerns and he is so interested! We got him all set up with the elders for them to teach him next week. He asked if it was okay that he was catholic when he was little and he asked about repentance. The spirit was so strong as we talked to him. It was amazing.Then we met this lady named Celia who is from Brazil. She is so awesome. She will be baptized This year. I know it. Haha she loved us. We talked about the plan of salvation which ended up being SO guided by the spirit. She talked to us about how her son died and she didn't think she would see him again so she loved that message and the Spirit was so strong. We set up a time to go back and had a prayer and then she gave us water, told us she loved us, and we left. we took out her trash for her on the way out too and she was just in awe. It was so awesome. 
We ended up seeing a tire swing kinda by the of course we stopped and took a picture on it. It was really fun.. 
Then we had a few set lessons with newer members and we went to help Mikayla prepare her talk for this past Sunday. We did some more Tracting and looked up some more less actives and had a lot of really good lessons. We looked up one couple though that was very set on not coming back, she wasn't very nice but her husband was super nice so it was good. He would totally come back if it wasn't for her. She said things got too hard and church was her life so she quit. Super sad. When things get hard we can't quit! 
So Then we headed home for correlation/dinner with the Hsiehs and the Elders! The Hsiehs made us dinner so that was delicious because they always make really good food. Afterwards we went back to our apartment with everyone to share cake and show them our crazy apartment haha...they ended up putting the cake in my face which I should have knew I was coming but it was still really fun and everyone still ate the cake anyway! :) 
Pretty much it was a great day! Super fun! I am now the Age of perfection! (19 is a teenager, 21 is an adult, 20 is nobody..and nobody's perfect.) it was definitely the best birthday I've ever had. What better way to spend it than teaching people about Christ?! :)

While at church on Sunday we were in relief society talking about how to be valiant and what it means to be valiant. Sister Mccreary raised her hand and said "when I think of someone being valiant, I think of Sister Tanner. She is the most valiant person I have ever met! We have been meeting for about four months now and she never sways left or right, she is firm and knows what she believes. She is so valiant" and she just went on and on saying more about that. It was kinda awkward but sweet too! Haha she is the sweetest lady ever. Gosh I love her. 
After church we taught a few less actives and then everyone else fell through. Backup plans fell through, less actives weren't home, everyone we looked up didn't answer, it was just awful. So we were sitting in the car and we decided to pray to ask Heavenly Father to guide us to where He wanted us to go. Then we went to look up a less active...who wasn't home. So we went back  to the church with the intentions of walking across street to look up Monique (our Jehovah's Witness friend). When we pulled into the church parking lot there was a person sitting on the curb. At first we thought it was this less active guy but we have bad eyesight. It turned out to be this 16 year old boy who needed our message. He is so cool though. He is trying out for American idol in July because he loves to sing and his dream is to go to California. He was so funny, and he is actually A really good singer! He really believes in himself too. His name is Michael. We invited him to the talent show we are having on Friday so he is going to come sing and I'll record it. We just felt bad recording it right when we met him haha. We gave him a tour of the church and taught him and he said he is going to come to church. So ya, he's awesome and God answers prayers. 

On Monday we had to go to Middletown last minute for "a very big announcement". Turns out the announcement is that every companionship must do 3 hours of finding everyday (like tracting or contacting) no exceptions. Even pday(so from 6-9). I guess that is the revelation that president received for our mission to help us improve. For some companion ships that is crazy. For ours, well we have been doing that anyway pretty much so it's not that big of a change. But I'm glad, I think it will be really good for each area so that no area is dead. during the meeting the zone leaders told us everyone has to do it for three hours and then they said "even in Monticello" and we were like "hey don't be hatin on Monticello. We have been working hard" and then they agreed and told us we got the most lessons of all the districts this past week. Which is really sad because there are 2 companionships here and 5 companionships in their district and 3 in the other. So pretty much we killed it last week. We have been doing work here.

So Tuesday I went on a split with Sister Tzeng from Taiwan. I became good friends with a few people in that ward so that was fun. I helped one girl learn all about a mission because she is working on her papers and she didn't want to go but got the answer that she needs to. So she's like me. It was fun though. But anyway, let me tell you what happened in my area during the split! 
So they went back to Celia's house (met her Saturday^) and she talked about how she loves that we bring her new things, she feels so good when we come, and how she is so excited to go to live with he family again. Nobody has ever told her she can see her family again. She loves that we help her to improve so she can return to live with God again. I guess most people just bring her the bible and talk from the bible but it's nothing new that she learns so she doesn't like it. And she gave us 2 referrals for her friends that want to learn more! 
Then they went to Barbara's house (tracted into her a couple weeks ago and taught her. Then we went back Monday and Taught her again and then they went yesterday) so at first she said no because she was busy and all this stuff so she told them to leave and they were thinking "oh she hates us" but then she told them to come back at 7:30. So they did. They ended up teaching her a lot of things but the main thing is is that her and her 16 year old daughter now are getting BAPTIZED on May 24th! :) so that's awesome. They are so awesome and she loves us too. She always thanks us for knocking on her door. 

Today we got together as sisters in our zone and had lunch at this cute little Mexican place with real Mexican food. However, I'm not the biggest fan of real Mexican food. I'd rather have some Miguel's Jr. or Cafe Rio or something haha but they gave us free quesadillas and chips and salsa at the beginning of course and so that was good. I bought some summer shoes but then we got home and it was pouring rain. LAME. Oh well. I'll send you pictures from today though!

This week I finished up the Pearl of Great Price. As I was reading in Joseph Smith-History, the persecution that Joseph Smith received really stood out to me. He says...

22" I soon found, however, that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the cause of great persecution, which continued to increase; and though I was an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a bitter persecution; and this was common among all the sects--all united to persecute me.
23 It caused me serious reflection then, and often has since, how very strange it was that an obscure boy, of a little over fourteen years of age, and one, too, who was doomed to the necessity of obtaining a scanty maintenance by his daily labor, should be thought a character of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the day, and in a manner to create in them a spirit of the most bitter persecution and reviling. But strange or not, so it was, and it was often the cause of great sorrow to myself."

I think that is a testimony in itself. Satan is so real and he tries so hard to destroy the kingdom of God here on earth and stop our progression. Although it would be nice for satan to stop tempting us when we make good choices and come closer to God, that's not how it works. We always have to warn our investigators of satans tactics and how just because they learn more about the gospel doesn't mean life will automatically become easier. However, as we come closer to God we have more strength to resist temptation and our testimonies increase. It's that testimony we have that will carry us through everyday life. Just as Joseph Smith received great persecution and felt the force of the adversary, Heavenly Father gives us that strength to overcome it. He helps us to strengthen our testimonies so that we do not have to doubt.

I love that Joseph Smith really did restore this church and is a prophet of God. I know that God will help us through hard times just as he helped Joseph. This gospel is true. I love you all so much! Have a good week! Xoxox 

Sister Tanner <3
Marissa sent a cake already baked and I just had to frost it!  it tasted
amazing and was cute too!

Elders snuck in and decorated while we were out working!

This is their idea of decorating!

Michael, the new friend we met to teach
his voice is amazing!

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