Wednesday, June 10, 2015

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

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