Thursday, June 25, 2015

A whole bunch of cookies...

Hello again! Well transfers are today. It's President and Sister Morgan's last day, and my trainer, Sister Orme, goes home today too! Sister Groberg and I are staying together so I'll be killing her here! (That means it's her last cycle then she goes home). Buuuut, the elders (in our ward) area is getting shut down because there isn't as many missionaries coming out right now, so that means we are taking over their people as well. It will be rough trying to find a bunch of women to come to lessons with us so that we can teach men but it will be good! I'm excited. I know this cycle will fly by since its sister Grobergs last one.

We were driving to a less actives to go fishing and have a BBQ when we remembered that we told her we would bring some BBQ chips. So we stopped at the store on the way and the cashier was looking at our tags. So we asked her if she has seen missionaries before. turns out, she has been wanting to learn more about the church and has been wanting to come to church she just didn't know where it was. So she gave us her number and all that good stuff. She is awesome. Her name is Maurisa.
Then we went Fishing...sorta. I mean, who has time to fish on pday? There is no time to sit and fish! So we mostly just took pictures, put our feet in the water, and had fun. We fished for like 15 minutes haha it was fun though!
At night we went and visited a lady we tracted into named Nanette. She is super open to a lot of things and super closed off to others. It was good though. She told us about how we knocked right when she needed us and how she knows God sent us there. The spirit was so strong throughout the entire lesson so it was wonderful.

We made a whole bunch of cookies during weekly planning to go give to investigators, potential investigators, less active members and members. Food is the way to people's hearts! we made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies too so of course they were delicious.
We had a few interesting lessons and got yelled at a ton while Tracting. It was a weird day to say the least. Haha
We stopped by our favorite members house to get some water really quick and they ended up feeding us dinner since we didn't have an appointment. Just the moms and their kids were home. They were so mad at us haha they were like "you don't have dinner and you didn't call! Sit down, you aren't leaving until you eat!" And we told them we had cookies and fruit in the car but they said that wasn't acceptable for dinner. It's two young families that live there. One family is from Brazil and the other from Mexico. They both went to byu with their husbands and now their husbands are working together here at IBM for the summer. They are so awesome. we help them with their English. It's good but not perfect. They have both lived in the U.S. For about 2 years. Anyway, they ended up feeding us a ton and then cake. It was all delicious but they said our punishment for not telling them was that we had to eat a lot. Next time we will tell them :)

We were suppose to go on a hike with an investigator but she cancelled last minute. Lame. Anyway, we found an awesome new family with like 12 thousand children. Except they prefer church and everything in we had to give them to the Hermanas. But they are awesome. We tracted into them and they let us in to teach the whole family. The spirit was so strong and they loved it. So that was cool :)
We met an awesome new family while Tracting. We decided to do some family home evening Tracting. It was awesome. The family consists of a mom who was catholic and converted to baptist and a husband who was Jewish and converted to baptist and then two little kids. She is super open though so hopefully her husband doesn't shut us down haha. Her name is Amanda. She said we can come back and teach her more and also come back and do a family night with them to teach them how it works.
We also got to teach Jamie (the investigating family with the two cute boys we play with) and it was awesome. We brought a member with us and we taught the whole restoration. It went really well. Afterwards we played with the boys and the member we brought talked to Jamie for like 30 minutes and fellowshipped her so hard it was the best. We gave them cookies as well. Jamie and Max love that we play with their kids so we try to a lot. When we were leaving the boys were like "mom, I don't want them to leave! They are fun!" Haha it was so cute.

We got to teach young women's which was super fun just remembering the good old days of personal progress haha
But when we went Tracting in the rain we prayed to find the elect. We had really been seeking out more solid investigators. Well we found this super awesome guy who was wearing a Utah shirt. At first we thought he was going to be a member but he isn't. His named Jay and he is from the Philippines and is here for 6 months staying with his brother who is catholic. In the Philippines he lives next door to the missionaries and he works with a man in Utah who is mormon. When he went to Utah the boss took him to all the church stuff with his wife. He asked us why his boss didn't ask him to meet with missionaries and we said we didn't know why and so he came to the conclusion that his boss is waiting for him to ask. Anyways, it was awesome. We explained what we do and didn't teach him a ton of stuff but mostly just shared our testimonies and invited him to church and to meet with us Again.  He agreed to meet with us again so we did on Tuesday (so make sure you read Tuesday)!

While Tracting We met this super awesome (who use to be catholic and is now semi Buddhist) guy named Gee who is probably like 22 or 23ish and we had a really cool convo with him. He was really open to hearing and learning more. As we taught him he asked a lot of awesome questions and you could tell he felt the spirit as we spoke. We invited him to church and to go on and all that good stuff and he really sounded like he would. Who knows. But He filled up our water bottles for us and then we left. As soon as we left his house and were at the next house, his parents drove up. It was cool to see the Lord guide us to his house first, just in time before his parents got home. If they were there we probably wouldn't have been able to teach Gee because the parents are hard core catholic he said.
We had a cool lesson with Chelsea. She is trying to figure out which church to get baptized in. She wants to get baptized in this church but her parents don't want her to. They want her to be baptized in their church. She really wants to make them happy because she is technically their niece and she just wants them to accept her and be proud of her. It's sad. She's so awesome. But she is moving in 2.5 weeks so hopefully her not living with her parents will help her to do what she wants. She is currently writing a poem about how she feels so she can try to decide where God wants her. We figured it would be good because that is how she expresses herself and so it came to mind as we were trying to help her see her answer.
We had dinner with a less active family and they were so excited, they made things for dinner that they hadn't made in years because it took a lot of work but they loved it. It was so cool to see them open up to us and be excited for us to come back. They asked when they can feed us again as well so that was cool.

Alright we had the coolest lesson ever with Jay! He is so golden! We asked a member to come who is a recent convert of about a year. 1 because we can't teach him alone and 2. They are super similar. So here is what happened. Jay wanted to meet at the church since he is staying at his brothers. So Edgar went and picked him up, we went to the house too but in a separate car just so we could introduce them really quick. Well Jay got into the car with Edgar who at that moment was a complete stranger. Talk about trust. So we met at the church and started the lesson and Edgar started telling Jay how hard this past year has been and how hard it is being a member of the church and all this stuff. And we were just thinking "ohhh noo. What is happening." Let me tell you, I never prayed so hard in my life during a lesson. I was praying that Jay would feel the spirit no matter what was said and that Edgar would say the right things. He kept going on and on about how he had to give up so many things and how people got mad at him and teased him for it all.  And of course that sister Groberg and I would say the right thing too. Well Jay loved it all. It was exactly what Jay needed. He thanked Edgar for his testimony and was nearly in tears. Jay told us that he reached the peak of his career once he became captain of the ship he is on and he has all these great things yet he still feels like something is missing and he thinks maybe this is it. He said he has a void that he wants to fill but he hasn't been able to figure it out yet. And it was cool because Edgar was just so real with him because it's true, the gospel doesn't make everyone else happy for you and doesn't take away your challenges, it just helps provide that direction and strength you need through those times. Jay said he will get baptized when he knows it's true. Actually it turns out that his family met with missionaries for like 3 months until his dad told them never to come back but Jay was young at the time so didn't know what was happening. Jay said the closing prayer as well and it was the coolest first prayer ever. He asked God to help him understand everything he reads in the restoration pamphlet and to know if our message is true and just other stuff that helped make it even more incredible. We were so blown away by the whole thing. I wish you all could have been there. Well then that would be intimidating, but I wish it could have been recorded or something. It was awesome. I love being a missionary and I love teaching the gospel! God knows what He is doing.

Today is transfers! President Morgan and Sister Morgan leave tomorrow! Or maybe friday. Anyway, President told me they are going to California in a couple months and so he started talking to me about Main Street and I told him that's where I live just two miles away so he asked if it was 2 miles back in and I said no it was south and he asked if it was by the power plant so I told him ya it's a half a mile back from the beach on the same street as the power plant and he got excited and said he knows exactly where we live. So then they started talking about the shops and about dukes and hula pie so I told him that you guys will take them to get some hula pie. He liked that idea. And then I gave him your number and address :) hula pie on you! Oh and turns out President has a time share at the Marriott in Maui too and they go in November a lot of times toooo! And they have a condo in Sans of Kahana in Maui (wherever that is) as well. So they are pretty cool.

On Sunday we talked about Christ and some of His attributes as I'm sure many of you did at church. I really loved talking about how Christ never put himself down. He never sought approval from others. He always used his energy to the fullest in the best way possible. He never rushed around from appointment to appointment. He spent time with people and was so calm and never stressed. He never begged people to follow Him or to listen to his words. He taught the humble, elect and prepared. He didn't cast pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6). He taught those who wanted to listen and learn. Sister Groberg and I thought a lot about that and so we implemented that into our work to make sure we aren't rushing too much and that we are really just spending time finding the elect. Time is so precious especially on a mission and so we can't waste time on awesome families who will be members in 20 years, but rather we have to find those who need us today. It's really brings the most joy when we do find the elect as well. I've never been happier than when I am teaching the gospel. This gospel is true. Gods plan for each of us is perfect. There are so many people who are prepared and ready to receive the gospel. It's up to you and me to find them. President Monson said, "Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lords vineyard to bring souls unto Him."

I love you all so much!! Have a fabulous week! Xoxox

Sister Tanner <3

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Authorized to Use Facebook Again

Hello again! How were the birthdays this week??

Happy Father's Day on Sunday Dad!! I love you!! Sorry that I can't skype you like we do for Mother's Day...Sometimes it's rough being a dad..

So this week was good. Last week was rough because we were gone out of our area so much and so our numbers for the week turned out terrible and we felt real bad so we recommitted to doing better this week and it's been awesome. We are on a mission wide "go super hard" kind of week because it is President and Sister Morgan's last full week! So we want to send them out with miracles and welcome President and Sister Smith with miracles. Of course we should always work crazy hard, but even more so this week. It's awesome!

Okay last week pday was so much fun! So I went to the temple with the sisters that are serving in the ward I started in, Manhattan 1st. And that of course was wonderful. And then after the temple we went and got Belgium waffles from the waffle truck which was heaven of course. And I got to talk to them all about the people I love and miss.
Then I found out that Barbara is getting baptized on the 20th or maybe 27th so I get to skype into that and I am stoked!! And then after waffles we emailed and then I switched and hung out with sister Rasmussen(MTC comp) and her comp. which I love them both so so much! And we went to the roof of the building by the temple (the one with the cool view that I sent a pic of last week) and then we went to shake shack and had dinner. I felt so fat. But don't worry, It was my feast before I began 6 months to slim. So now I'm working out harddd. Anyway, so then after we unsplit and all that good stuff we got a text from our investigator Chelsea who has a bap date for June 28th said "I think I want to get baptized sooner :)" so she asked if she could get baptized. We SO excited for her. She is moving though so she will actually get baptized there since she isn't quite ready yet. Anyway, we ended up talking to some awesome people on the way home in the train and didn't get home until 9. It was a good day though!

We had a pretty good day. One thing that happened was when we were on our way home we had a few extra minutes so we decided to look up this potential from the elders named Carly. Well when we pulled up and parked by her house the elders pulled up right then as well. Since they were planning on looking her up at that exact time too, we all went up together.
We knocked and then we heard her say "the missionaries are here. I don't want them to be here! Make them leave!" So her boyfriend came out and told us all to leave haha it was awesome though because if we would have been 5 minutes earlier or later than the elders then we all would have been yelled at separately which would have made it worse. So luckily we all got there together and got yelled at together. It was much more okay. Haha

We had zone conference and it was AWESOME. It was president and sister Morgan's last zone conference and we were the last session(the city missionaries had it Tuesday, middle section of the mission had it Thursday, we had it Friday). Anyway, it made it that much better!
We had a few trainings and had some really good talks from the Morgan's and the APs. Sister Morgan introduced the smiths to us and showed us lots of pictures. They made me really excited to meet them. The smiths have an 11 year old boy, 13 year old girl and 15 year old girl. The 15 yr old is super cute already so within the next three years that will be trouble for those poor 18 yr old elders who haven't locked their hearts yet! Haha
At the end of the conference Sister Morgan had all the sisters write little notes for sister Smith (new mission presidents wife) so that she could get mail in the MTC. How cute is that?
As you probably have seen, we have been authorized to use Facebook again. I'm excited because we have SO many people that we can't see very often because they live so far away and aren't progressing enough for us to see them a lot or "stop by" but they use Facebook a ton so now we can contact them easily. At first I was kinda bummed to be getting it back because it adds so much more responsibility and it's so easy to waste time one it but then President told us that if we don't want to use Facebook then we don't want to follow the prophet and therefore don't want to follow God. So I really want to use Facebook now! Haha. We aren't allowed on newsfeed or anything and we have a set amount of time per day to use it so it's all good. Our mission has also been given the NYC subway ap and the MTA transit ap so those both are really handy and helpful!
So as you know, the mission motto was "loyal to the CORE" meaning courage, obedience, reverence, and effort. There were 4 zones at the conference so president had an elder and a sister talk about each one...well as luck would have it, I got called up to give a talk on obedience! Wow, embarrassing. I really didn't think I would get called, which is of course why I did get called, and didn't really prepare a great talk. I'll send you what I sort of threw together. It was..something. Hahaha oh well, it's done and over and there were some very interesting ones so it's alllll good.
Anyway, so president talked about recommitting to being a consecrated missionary and he gave us a few points---exact obedience, cast fear from your hearts, lock your heart, increase faith, give up pride, forsake negativism and sarcasm, and go the extra mile.
Then at the end of the conference he was speaking to us and he said "alright look me in the eyes and I'll look you each in the eyes. Pretend like we are having a one on one conversation. If we were, I'd tell you how much I love you and am proud of you and the work you have done.." And he just went on and on. He was crying, I was crying, everyone else was crying. Wow it was pretty bad! Haha it was so awesome though and the Spirit was SO strong. He really has been such a blessing for each of us and has impacted us missionaries so greatly.

Wow it was an awesome day.
We saw crystal and Patricia again! The ones that came to church. We set a date for Crystal to get baptized on July 5th so that's exciting for her! She is SO cute. She wants to get baptized so badly. The spirit was so strong as we read the Book of Mormon stories with her. She loves it so much.
Afterwards we went to Jaime and Max's house where we had an incredible lesson. They are such a golden family and they just need to get baptized. But they teach us patience because they want to take it sllloooowwww. Which is fine, but they are so awesome. So Max was busy at first but then he came and joined us for the lesson. So we showed him the earthly father Heavenly Father video since he wanted to know where a fathers video was when we showed a Mother's Day video on Mother's Day. He loved it so much and so did she but he was all in it and watched it twice even. Then we read from the Book of Mormon with her and she told us about how she has really felt a difference and seen a Change in her life since she has been meeting with Us. She said she feels more peace and gratitude and it's really helping her. How awesome is that!? we are giving them a children's Book of Mormon stories so that they can read with their kids every night and she is really excited about that because she wants them to know how to pray and know who God is. After the incredible lesson where the spirit was so strong, we played with the boys for like 12 ish minutes. They always beg us to play at the beginning so we tell them after the lesson we will. Jaime and max are so grateful that we do. They love seeing us play with them and it means a lot to them so we do it. We dropped off a doughnut and balloon for Jullian(the 7 yr only boy) for his birthday and they were so grateful for that as well so it was cool to see. Anyway, we have a good time with their perfect almost Mormon family.
At dinner we had a bbq outside and they had these vines. So sister Groberg was like "oh can I swing on it?" And they said yes they always do. She asked me to spot her as she did, just in case. So I did.....I'll send you the video of the rest... :)
***video next week***
We ended up home early because Sister Groberg wasn't feeling so great after that. Haha so sad!

We got to visit 3 less active families who all needed us SO badly. They broke down in tears while we were teaching them because they were so grateful we were there. It was really neat to see their love for the gospel and their desires to come back to church.
At church we talked about how we can make the sacrament more holy which was really interesting and good to think about.

So I went to the Chiropractor again! So he gave me my xrays! I'll send them to you. My neck is 75% off. Awk.. So it's like way more forward than it should be and when I look down the cervical vertebrae don't line up smoothly. Look at the X-ray picture and you'll understand. He had a program on his computer that showed two lines of where it should be and where it is but I didn't get those emailed to me so I tried to make them up from memory so that's what hose are. They aren't exact but they are just from me and what he showed. Anyway, they are still cool. So he just adjusted me again and I'll go back on Thursday (next week) since Wednesday is transfers so Monday will be a crazy day preparing for transfers as always.
At night we felt like we should look up this family so we did and we met Kayla. Kayla needed the Spirit right then and so us sharing a message with her helped to really uplift her. She hasn't been to church in years but seemed to really want to go back so hopefully she will come on Sunday. She loved the message and asked us to come back and show the rest of her family. She also asked us to pray with her and write down the scriptures we used so she could find them again. The lord definitely guided us there so that was incredible to see.

We had such an awesome day. We went to visit a less active and it went really well. They are actually headed to California today though so we had to keep the visit short so they could pack. So we had like 15 minutes after and decided to tract around that area. So we picked which houses to go to. We knocked on two doors and both opened and both were awesome. It was so cool to teach them and just have the Lord guide us to the two people on that street that needed us right then.
We had Cleaning inspections which was really good because this place needed a deep clean. I always love when it's really clean.
Anyway, the rest of the day was Awesome. We met so many Awesome and prepared people. We had some incredible lessons And met with a lot of our investigators. For dinner we are at a less actives and they made us this delicious healthier version of lasagna. It was SO good. Probably the best kind I've ever had. He's a chef so he made it, and we are going back in two weeks to have something different!
We met some really interesting and crazy people while Tracting after dinner as well, but also got another new investigator who is so ready to learn. Ya it was just a really good day. That didn't tell you much, but just know that I love being a missionary. It's the best.

Today for pday we are going Fishing and having a BBQ! I'm excited. We have had a lot of BBQs lately so i love that.

This week I studied family prayer a little bit! At church we talked about how we should pray for our crops and animals and daily work and I thought about how dad always asks us to pray for him. The teacher asked us how many of us pray for our family members to get more work or keep up with the work that they already have and not many people raised their hands. I just thought it was cool to know that dad has always taught us to pray for him and the work he has so that concept wasn't foreign for me. In the October 2014 General Conference talk "make the exercise of faith your first priority" It says "Family prayer should be a nonnegotiable priority in your daily life."
I am SO grateful that we had family scripture and prayer each night even if some nights we forgot. It really has made an impact on me. I'm sorry for the times where I grudgingly went  downstairs for family prayer because of homework or something lame but I can assure you that I have changed! :) I absolutely love kneeling down with families after the lesson and praying with them and feeling the power that comes from it. Prayer is the best.

I love you all so much. Have a wonderful week! And Happy Fathers Day to all the dads out there, but especially to mine! :)

Sister Tanner <3

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Frog legs and escargot just for fun!

Hello again!

First of all, Happy birthday Shayla (6/15) And Jax (6/13)!! I'll be thinking of you on your birthdays :) I love you both! Have a fabulous day!! 
Alright So today I am going to the temple again because my companion is going to see Les Miserables today (our mission president allows us to see a Broadway show at the end of our missions) since she goes home soon. Lame that I can't go yet but cool for her! And I'm glad to be going to the temple :) So I'm on a split with some other sisters down here in Manhattan :) it's a party I must say. 
On Friday we will be getting Facebook back and it will be our last zone conference with president and sister Morgan! Afterwards we are having one last sisters conference as well so Friday will be a good day :) I'm excited. I think the zones that had zone conference yesterday already got FB but I'm not sure.

This week was good! We met a lot of awesome people Tracting, had some incredible lessons with less active members and new investigators, and had a lot of fun. 

Planned and got ready for alma activity. Looked up less actives super awesome.  Went out tracting and we accidentally tracted into someone's back door thinking it was the front door. They were so confused again. I don't know how we keep doing that! They lived on a corner so we went to the door closest to where we were Tracting but it turns out their front door was on the other side.
The houses are weird though. A lot of times Within each house there are like 3 or 4 houses. So when Tracting a lot of times we will try opening the door to see if there is stairs to more doors. Sometimes it's actually the front door and you just hope they don't see you or hear you opening their front door. The houses are just crazy. It's fun though 

We met some incredible less active families and they all agreed to coming to church next week so that's awesome. Their testimonies are so incredible. They just fell out of the habit of going to church and slowly things went down hill but they are on their way back up. It's awesome. 
We also had a Skype call to plan the Alma activity a bit more and finalize things and what not. It's so cool how we can do missionary work in this digital age. We used 7 iPads and a phone to plan an activity with other missionaries none of which served in the area where we set it up. So cool. 
For dinner we went to this super fancy restaurant to try frog legs. The meals there were 60 each and we spent 10 dollars each haha we got Frog legs and escargot just for fun. We were the only ones in the restaurant too. They hated us since we didn't get much. Oh well haha

We woke up bright and early, 4am, left at 5am, and headed to the city for the Alma academy! We all met in Stamford and then we traveled together with the APs down to Manhattan. It was such a cool day! 
So the plan was for me and sister Groberg to work in a trio for the day but then last minute another girl showed up and she didn't have a companion and so I got to be with her. Her name is Aubree and she is so cute and so awesome! We had the most incredible companionship study that morning all about faith and I just saw myself in her so much. She is headed to BYU this fall and plans on putting her papers in in January as well because her birthday is in April so she wants to go after a year of school. Her testimony is incredible. When we did roll plays with the other missionaries everyone was blown away at how strong the spirit was when she testified. So after our breakfast, comp study and some trainings, roll plays and activities, we had lunch and then headed out to contact for like 3 hours. Let me tell you, afterwards all the youth were like "we are SO tired, how do you do this everyday!?! You guys are amazing" Haha it was cute. 
So the first contacting APF we did was focused on family history, we talked to some awesome people but it was pretty hard, as always. Lots of rejections of course, but those people that did stop and talk were awesome. we pretty much helped people to start doing their family history work since a lot of people are interested in that. 
The second APF was the Book of Mormon one that I did before and that one was so much fun. We talked to some really incredible people and were able to testify of the Book of Mormon a lot. Aubree was able to give out her first few copies of the Book of Mormon and explain what is is all about to them. One guy told us we should probably go get married instead, but it's fine haha. I think the youth were able to really see how missionary work is super hard and we get rejected way more than people listen, but it is so rewarding. The happiness that comes from sharing the gospel is just so incredible. Overall i think she had a really good time. I learned so much from Aubree in the few hours we were companions. I know she will be an incredible full time missionary as well. I absolutely love this gospel and I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that we can find comfort and peace from reading and praying about the Book of Mormon and the things we learn from it each day. 
It was really cool to see the youth who were fasting and praying about whether they should go on a mission or not, receive their answers to go at the activity as we took them out with us contacting and studied with them. Ya it was a really fun day. 

To end the day we went to stake conference which was SO amazing. The speakers were like general conference status. I want to get them printed to reread them all the time. Something cool was that Elder Gordon H. Smith of one of the quorums of the Seventy talked about how he has worked with so many mission presidents. He said they were all excellent but that he has never seen a better mission president than president and sister Morgan. And he said it so genuinely and you could tell he doesn't just say that to everyone. Seriously, everyone loves president and sister Morgan. They are just the best ever. I love em. 

Sunday we had Stake conference again! It was super good again. I love stake conferences. They are incredible. I learned so much and received so much personal revelation as I listened. The Spirit really does speak to us as we attend church when we seek it out. 
That night Sister Groberg got to skype into a baptism of a kid that she taught in one of her past areas. There were like 6 or 7 missionaries skyping in since they were taught for so long but it was really cool to see. It made for a great Sunday

We had cleaning checks for our cars and one requirement was that it had to be washed within the last week. Well we washed the inside on pday but not the outside. So we went to the Car wash on the way and asked for just the outside cheapest one. They looked at us like we were crazy since it was raining. Right after the car wash, it started pouring rain so hard. But we could still say we washed it so we were happy! Haha 
After district meeting we headed to the Chiropractor down in the city! It was really fun. We were looking for a parking garage when we ended up getting forced onto a bridge..that went to queens.. Well queens is out of our mission so that was awkward. We drove over the bridge into queens and then got right back on it and drove back. That's twice now that I have left the mission! First to Jersey and now to queens. Oh well, it was an accident! 
Okay so the chiropractor was really fun. I've never had my neck adjusted before but it felt so nice. I didn't know you can pop or crack or whatever that much at once! So I went to Dr. Arbuckle who I actually knew from serving in the city. He was like "wait, I know you!" I worked a lot with his daughter when we went to activity days as well so it was fun. He is awesome too. He is super positive and fun and really nice. And he said that it's free for missionaries so that's good. 
Don't worry, when he asked me my pain, I said 8! And then my comp and I quoted some Brian reagan and told dr Arbuckle to watch it since he has never seen it and was really confused why we thought it was awesome to say 8. 
So ya he took some X-rays of my spine and found some stuff that needs some fixing and so I have to go down once a week to the city, it's sweet cuz I love the city and I love when he cracks everything in my body and X-rays my spine, but it's lame cuz it takes a lot of time to get there and back.

We had a referral from the elders for this girl they found Tracting so we went and had a lesson with her. Her boyfriend came too and they both loved it. They met at their church but have only been attending for about a year and so they were really open to learning more. Turns out the girl knows all the Mormon kids and she wanted to ask one of the boys to prom haha she thinks he is so cute and sweet (he is kind of awkward) and she knew he probably wouldn't go to prom. But he ended up going on trek and so she didn't ask him haha but it was cool to see how big of an impact he made on her along with the other Mormon girls. Little do they know, the elders tracted into her and now we are teaching her! Her name is Cassie.

We also got a Media referral from church headquarters for a girl named Jessica who requested a bible so we looked her up. It turned out to be the most legit media referral I have ever received. We went to her house and a man answered so we asked for Jessica. Normally they said "nobody by that name lives here" but he didn't. He got Jessica and she came out and was like "oh wow! I didn't know I actually followed through with that. And I didn't know I would get a free book and new friends out of the deal! So we ended up giving her the bible, and threw in a Book of Mormon of course, and set up a time to meet with her again! She has never been religious but something on Instagram caught her eye right when she needed it most and so she decided she wants to learn about God and read the bible. She absolutely loved it. It was such a blessing and miracle and definitely a highlight to the day.
We also volunteered at a senior home place and one of the old lady's told me that when my companion goes home that I need to get a boy companion instead hahah I told her I'll work on it. It was awesome. 

We also had a big flash flood..again.. That seems to happen a lot here. I guess that's why it's so green. We went into a building for like a minute and it was sunny and then we came out and it was pouring like crazy. we ran to the car and we still were soaked. 

So like I said, today I get to go to the temple again which is AWESOME. I'm so glad we have a temple in our mission that we can go to so often. It is such a blessing! 

This morning I was thinking and studying about obedience because we all have to prepare a talk on obedience for zone conference. There is a quote I love that I don't think I shared with you yet.. but anyway it says "On the straight and narrow path there are no corners to be cut." I know that's so true. We can't choose what commandments we follow and what things we do or don't want to do and not expect consequences. We have to hold to the rod and do things Gods way if we want to return to him. We can't forget commandments altogether and expect it to "not matter" 
I know how important obedience is. It's always the cool thing to do. I know obedience brings true happiness. I've definitely seen that in my mission. We can always improve and be more obedient as well. As we strive to be obedient everyday, God blesses us and helps us to feel His love more abundantly. I love being a missionary, I love this work. I love you all! Have a great week! Xoxox 


Sister Tanner <3

Goodness it was perfect!

June 3, 2015
It's been another beautiful week here in Connecticut and New York! It's weird, there are cotton trees everywhere so there is always a lot of cotton in the air. It's like it's snowing all the time even though it's sunny. Everyday I am still so surprised how green it is. There are so many beautiful lakes and trees and ya just so much beauty. It did rain for a few days but today is beautiful again! :)

The temple was amazing on Wednesday! Goodness it was perfect. It felt so nice to just have all our worries and cares lifted for a bit. I took a nice long nap on the train the whole way home. It still was like a 2 hour train ride on metro north so still far from the city but we live next to a train station so it's much more convenient.
After the temple we had dinner with the best family ever. They have 4 girls and 1 boy too! The girls are 6, 8, 11 and 14 and the boy is a baby. Anyway, all the kids made one thing for dinner. They always all cook together. And it was delicious! They made us cauliflower mashed potatoes which I am going to do forever. Smartest idea because they only use one small potato and the rest cauliflower and it was delicious and still just like mashed potatoes. Anyway, their family is amazing! We asked their favorite things and they said "family night and scripture study" haha and they asked us to come back next week too since they loved us so much. It was great.
That night while we were driving the weirdest thing happened. We were going down a hill and another car was coming up the hill and a steady medium-slow speed with its flashers on and it was on the wrong side of the road coming right at us. We had to swerve around it into the other lane, luckily there were no cars behind him. And then he headed for all the cars behind us but since it was a steady speed they all moved too. Not sure what was happening but it was really weird and scary. Seemed like a drunk driver but not really. Idk, anyway, we are safe and alive but it was weird.

Well I hit my YEAR MARK. It was really crazy thinking about it. Thinking about how two years ago I never wanted to serve, and one year ago I would have never expected what was to come. This past year truly has been the best year of my life. It's been one of the hardest, yet most rewarding. I would have never expected all the people I've been able to influence, and all the people who have influenced me. I would have never been able to even imagine the joy that I have felt that has come from sharing the gospel and having the messages received. I would have never imagined the friendships that I have created and the many people in my life now who mean so much to me. If I knew it was going to be this amazing, I would have always wanted to serve a mission! I know I am needed here. I know that I have been able to be an instrument for the Lord as I serve here. I absolutely love this place. New York and Connecticut are amazing. I love being a missionary. I love feeling the spirit so strongly everyday. I love learning, growing, hurting for investigators and then helping them. Serving these people brings me so much happiness that I can't ever explain. All I can say is, these next 6 months are going to have to be the best ones yet! I am excited for what is to come. Life is crazy, but it's perfect.

We went and got ice cream to celebrate of course and it was free!! I guess a member from the Spanish Ward owns it and so she gave it to us for free. It was quite delicious too.
We also had some awesome lessons and two of them were with investigators with members and we didn't set up either of them.
So the first one was with a woman named Ana who a member referred to us and set up the appointment. Sister da Rocha is from Brazil and her and her husband and here on internship. Her friends Ana is also from Brazil and that's why they bonded. We expected sister da Rocha to translate it all, but it turns out that Ana knows better English than sister Rocha does. We taught the restoration and it was awesome. It was so comfortable and the Spirit was definitely there. It was cool.
Then it started pouring rain and became a flash flood. It was crazy how fast it started raining and how much there was. It rained SO hard.
Anyway, then we went to dinner with the DeWitt family. They are awesome! They have two kids out on missions right now and so they really want to help us. It's the best. So they drive Chelsea(our investigator) to church and this past Sunday they invited her to dinner. She said yes so they had us and her over for dinner as well as their less active cousin, Corey. During the lesson they all participated and taught so clearly, it was the best family member present lesson.
This Ward really is the best. They all want to help us in every way they can. They are SO awesome. I love it. That's how missionary work really should be. We need to teach everyone's friends. So go find a friend and invite them to dinner with the missionaries. Do it.

We had mission leadership council on Friday and it was awesome! It was President Morgan's last one so it was a little emotional for him. He is so awesome though. You can always feel how much he loves us.
Here is one little tiny part from the meeting.
He gave us each a leaf from the sacred grove that He got with Elder Holland. He pointed out that each is distinct and colorful. One side is very colorful and one side is dull. The side facing the sun draws color and it has character and definition. The side that faces down doesn't get the same color or have the same experience. The side facing up faces heaven and receives everything God designs it to be. That is what we need to do. We need to continually face up. We have to Turn to our savior and face the heavens. That is how we will reach our fullest potential and receive all the light and color God has intended for us. If we don't face Christ, we can't receive the brightness and color that we deserve.
It was longer than that but there is a little for you to think about!
That lasted all day practically. When we got home we had a few lessons with some less actives and then we had dinner with a family who gave us breakfast for dinner. It's always glorious when we get breakfast for dinner. They also gave us 2 tomato plants to give away while we tract hahaha they are moving and they wanted to give us all this random stuff but that was the one thing that would fit in our car. Well when we got home we put the plants next to our neighbors plants so that they wouldn't be in the way or die in the car. A couple days later they had taken in the plants as their own and added to them haha so now they are keeping them.

I went on a split with the Hermana's and it was so fun! Everything was in Spanish. All the lessons, all the tracking, everything. I pretty much just shook my head and smiled :) I actually did understand what was going on the whole time but I definitely couldn't tell you word for word. We taught English class but it was practically all in Spanish because they are new at it. We also went to the park to play soccer. It was awesome. There were like 4 investigators there, 1 less active, 2 recent converts and 2 members and then the Portuguese elders, Spanish elders and us(for the day being the Hermana's). It was really successful. We started with a prayer and ended with a spiritual thought and prayer. And everyone committed to church.
We tracted into some really awesome people and half were in Spanish and half in English so it was perfect having us both there because she hates tracting in English so I did those doors. (She hates it because the English speaking people are a lot meaner).

Okay so Saturday was super hot, like we were sweating a ton. And then Sunday it was freezing and Pouring rain. Lame.
Anyway, it was SO sad to hear that Elder Perry passed away! It was like 7 months ago that I shook his hand and he was going strong! That man is awesome and I'll miss him. I'll forever love Elder Perry.
So a few weeks ago the Spanish elders tracted into this lady named Patricia. They referred her to us because she is English and a woman. Turns out, Patricia is a member but hasn't been active for many years. Her husband is Brazilian and super nice and awesome. She has an 8 year old daughter named crystal and a 2 year old daughter. Anyway, we talked to her at her door a few times and we also left many many sticky notes because they were home and ignoring us. we could hear them inside and their car was there but they wouldn't answer. Lame. We weren't going to give up but we considered giving them a break for a bit. However we decided to continue to be persistent. She finally let us in this past week. And then Patricia and crystal both came to church! It was crystals first time at church and she loved it. They said they would see us this next Sunday as well (but its stake conference an hour away so we will see) but so awesome. Patricia wants us to teach crystal and her husband and she wants to bring the whole family to church next time. She said she is ready to come back to church and she really wants it for her kids.  It really was no coincidence that the elders knocked on her door at this time because they are so prepared and ready now.
After church it was raining buckets and buckets. There were two people at the door with umbrellas and they ran people to their cars for them So that was nice and really awesome.

We had zone meeting on Monday which was good. And then we went on another split! I went with Sister Kovac from Switzerland. My MTC comp actually trained her. She has been out for 8 months now. So anyway, it was awesome. It was exactly what we both needed. I went to her area which is Yorktown/Ossining and we went Tracting ALL day. Most of the time we spent in a project building! It was so fun. It was just like being in the city again. We both love Tracting and it makes us really happy and since neither of us have gotten to really tract in this area (it's her first cycle here too), we decided it would be refreshing. We ended up getting 3 new investigators and like 7 potential investigators from 2 floors of the project building. We talked to some people for a good half hour. When we were leaving we saw this guy at the entrance to the building that looked like a kind guy so I asked him where he got his hat(I thought it was a Yankees hat but it turns out it wasn't. He explained where the store was and then asked what we were doing. (His name is Tyrone by the way). So we talked to him for like An hour all about the plan of salvation and Book of Mormon and answered a bunch of random questions and then told him to pray about a bunch of other questions he asked us. We gave him a BoM with our testimony in it and wrote some scriptures for him to read. (All the missionary-ish ones. Like alma 32, 2 Nephi 31, Moroni 10:3-5, etc) and he told us he would read it. He was really genuine about it too. Oh and he asked about how we choose where we go so I showed him the video of me opening my call and he thought it was sweet. Anyway, so He said he learned about this church 6 years ago but then wasn't ready to be baptized so he stopped and now he wants to try again. So finally we shared our testimonies and ended the conversation and left him with our number and the Book of Mormon. It was a really cool experience. He is super knowledgable and had correct facts. Oh and he knows Jimmer apparently. Which is funny because that night is when I got the stalker pics of jimmer from dad in Hawaii haha
At night we had a dinner appointment at which she gave us half of the of the pie she made. So after leaving we wanted to tract her street (we parked far away and we planned to tract back to the car) buuut we had a pie. So at each house we set the pie down and then walked up the log driveway to there house. It was always fine until one house didn't have too long of a driveway. So we knocked, they all looked out the window and waved but wouldn't talk to us or open the door. And then they watched us the whole walk back leaving their house. So we left the pie and tracted a couple more then went back. well they were still looking out the window, so we just went and picked up the pie and left. It probably looked really weird to them because they couldn't see the pie until we picked it up, and then they saw it. I don't know if that story even made any sense but I already typed it so why delete it? Haha

After studies we got a call from..guess who..Tyrone! He said he had read the scriptures we left for him and he had questions and wanted to know more. He asked if we could meet him in an hour or so. We told him that we couldn't but that our friends who are boy missionaries could. (We can't say elders because everyone thinks they are old if we do) he agreed and the elders went and taught him a few hours later. He will be at stake conference on Sunday as well.
After a little more Tracting we had lunch and unsplit.
We finished off the night with a few awesome lessons. One in particular was with a less active who we met a couple weeks ago and she really wants to go to the temple. She presented her plan to us about how she is going to get all her tithing paid and what not and then she is going to go to the temple and she asked us to help her feel ready to get there and then go with her. So that was awesome.

Pdayyyy! Yay :) it always relaxing to breath for a day. today we went to Costco! We bought a bunch of stuff that we can keep in the fridge/freezer for this cycle. Mostly smoothie stuff because we love smoothies. Tonight we should have some awesome lessons so we will see!

So what have the missionaries been teaching you since you have had them over so much? Do they ever do roll plays with your or teach you the lessons we teach investigators? You should ask them, I bet they would love it! It's really helpful for both the missionaries and for you as members.
This week we really focused on making sure Christ was in every lesson again. We have been doing much better.
There is a quote by Sheri Dew that I read this week that says "Is it possible to be happy when life is hard? To feel peace and uncertainty and hope in the midst of cynicism? Is is possible to change, to shake off old habits and become new again? Is it possible to live with integrity and purity in a world that no longer values the virtues that distinguish the followers of Christ? *Yes. The answer is yes because of Jesus Christ*, whose Atonement ensures that we need not bear the burdens of mortality alone. Through the years I, like you, have experienced pressures and disappointments that would have crushed me had I not been able to draw upon a source of wisdom and strength far greater than my own. He has never forgotten or forsaken me, and I have come to know for myself that Jesus is the Christ and that this is His Church...I testify that in this, the twilight of the dispensation of the fulness of times, when Lucifer is working overtime to jeopardize our journey home and to separate us from the Savior's atoning power, *the only answer for any of
us is Jesus Christ*".

I love that. I have such a strong testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ. I know He lives. I love being able to wear His name everyday. I have seen so many people change and become better. They leave their past behind and become better because of Him. I have felt the love of Christ and seen that same love in others. I know anything is possible through Christ. I know He paid for my sins, sorrows and weaknesses. We are so blessed and lucky to have that knowledge. I love sharing it with others.

I love you all so much. Have a good week! Xoxox

Sister Tanner <3