Thursday, July 30, 2015

Everything fell into place SO nicely!

Hello again! Wow can you believe Its been 14 months already? That's a little bit crazy. This week was great though! It's Sad that I only have like 4-5 months so I'll just have to make it the best ever. Also, welcome home Westin! That's even more crazy!

We had a nice long Weekly planning session and cleaned up our area book. It was really helpful especially for me because I'll be taking over the area so I was happy about that. Afterwards we went to this less actives house and well, she is crazy haha she is so nice and loving but her doctrine is like way off and wrong but it was really fun to be there. We also got to tract for a while and then see Crystal and Patricia. We ended up having a really awesome lesson with them about baptism, the Holy Ghost and sacrament. Well pretty much all of the gospel of Jesus Christ lesson. It was cool for Patricia (the mom) to be there to teach Crystal (the 8 yr old) because a lot of the stuff we taught Patricia too without making it obvious. Patricia doesn't remember a lot about the church because she hasn't been active in SO long but she pretends because she is a little embarrassed so we teach both of them in a round about way.

We had a training on Joseph Smith history with the Smith family and it was so cool. So we went to go look up Gee from a few weeks back(the Buddhist Catholic guy) and so we put in his address from what we remembered and thought it was house #4. Well when we got there we realized it was actually #1 but we tracted #4 anyway. Well the lady that lives there was SO nice and welcoming and we were able to teach her so we will see where that goes. Her name is Teresa. We are headed back this week :)
Then we went to Gees house and ended up talking to his sister Bianca instead. So we got talking to her and started teaching her all about the restoration and Book of Mormon and then we decided to ask when the baby was due(she was very clearly pregnant) and she was like "oh im suppose to have him today" and we were like whaaat? Today? But your hair and makeup are all done and everything. And she was like "Ya I figured I should try and look cute for before pictures since its downhill from there"...and then we continued to teach her and testify. She invited us to go and meet her baby the following week before sister Groberg goes home and she gave us her number so we could text her. She then filled up our waters with lots of ice and water and we went on our way. It was really awesome though because she was so prepared.
And something neat is that our meeting got switched from being in Ossining to being in Danbury so if it wasn't switched then we probably wouldn't have met Bianca!
Right after that we headed to see a less active and once again timing was perfect because we pulled up right as she did!

Saturday was SO awesome. Everything fell into place SO nicely! We got to see a less active we were trying to see all week. She texted us in the morning last minute saying we could come by for a visit at 10:30 so we did and that was wonderful. Then we picked up Kaylee and were planning on heading to Jenn but then Jay texted and said we could come by right then. So we did and we had a fantastic lesson on the gospel of Jesus Christ with him and he loved it. He is still looking forward to getting baptized this next month so we are really excited for him. After the lesson he gave us all ice cream and so that was fun because he felt really grateful that he could give back to us. And it was a really hot day so it was refreshing. Afterwards we headed to see Dan and Dan so that we could read the Book of Mormon with them and it was good to have them both join us happily. And then we went to Jenn and had an awesome lesson about prophets and about church to get her prepared. The spirit was so strong as we testified to her of the importance of church attendance and taking that step of faith. We got her a dress picked out and explained it all to her. Then we headed to a less active girl named Alyssa and did some personal progress with her and then finally took Kaylee home. She is a rockstar for coming with us for so long! We love her so much. Seriously go out with the missionaries and you will be their best friend! We didn't end up getting to take our lunch break until 4:30 so by then we were beyond grateful for the ice cream Jay gave us to hold us over a little longer haha. After lunch we went and did some tracting for a few hours and met some incredible people and found an awesome new potential. after being hot and sweaty from tracting in the humidity, we finished the day off having dinner at a going away party for a family in our Ward where we hit up all the neighbors there to talk to them and introduce ourselves. So it was great!! I love being a missionary!

Oh my goodness Sunday was Super awesome!! 14 people came to church that we invited! 4 investigators and 10 less actives. It was really incredible. So Jenn came as well as Stephanie and her husband Chris and then a man named Cachi who is the wife to a less active. We had fantastic talks and hymns and everyone welcomed them so kindly and so it was perfect. They all loved it and want to come back so that's good. One of the announcements given was about cleaning the temple and they mentioned what great peace and comfort come from helping to clean the beautiful sacred building and then After sacrament Jenn was like "who do I talk to to help clean the peaceful building?" Haha so that was sweet of her.
After church we had dinner with a new couple in the ward and then headed to this members house who we saw at church and decided we should jump on the opportunity because he is never there. So we went to talk to him and his wife and his wife is this big tough catholic strong woman and he is this short little humble man who has such a solid testimony of the gospel. He use to be completely less active but now he is active and just so awesome. He is constantly driving all over the country because of work and happened to be in salt lake last week where he just spent like 7 hours in the temple doing work. He is so cool. Pretty much the entire time we were here he was just crying and sharing experiences that changed his life and touched his heart and you could tell his wife was touched by it. The spirit was so strong and I feel so blessed that I was able to experience that. It was just such a great day!

We had a fantastic district meeting full of really awesome role plays that were super helpful. Afterwards we were feeling ready to conquer the world so we set out to do some tracting and we met this awesome guy named PJ! We talked to him for a while about prayer, repentance and the sacrament. It was awesome to really notice how clearly the Spirit guided the conversation from one thing to the next. He said we can come back and meet with him and his fiancĂ© so we will do that next week. They both have Sunday's off too so hopefully they will come to church.
Afterwards we went to the chiropractor. It was interesting, we asked the receptionist how often she gets adjusted and she said she tries to do it 3 times a week and since she has been it has helped her health and digestive system.

We went to meet with Mandy (the woman from last week that loved us that we taught to pray) and she didn't answer. We found out that her husband banned her from meeting with us and threatened to ban her from being friends from the member she knows as well. How sad is it that  satan is working so hard on that little family because he knows how much joy it brought her and how good it would be for them? So sad!
We went to a less active named bill after lunch and we brought two members with us and it was really nice. He was super sweet and real. He explained how he wants to come back and in the past he never wanted to come back. He got offended at the other church he was going to and then when he was praying he felt like he needs to come back. Well later on we talked to our Ward mission leader about him and he told us we can't visit with him. He said that he has anger problems and gets violent. So we will see. We are going to talk to our Ward mission leader tonight. But then again sometimes he treats us like kids and forgets that we spent all our days for man months in project buildings and lived in Harlem Sooo we will see. Haha
We also met with Jay. He is still doing awesome. Only thing is he is really sad right now because he can't find a job and so it's been rough but he is hanging on. He is going to fast this Sunday so we will do that with him!
The rest of the day we spent visiting less active members and a couple members but it was a great day!

Today we are in the city so that sister Groberg can say bye to people. We are also headed down to Chelsea Market and then also to a few stores in Harlem and to see her branch president from the MSA branch. (Mid single Adult). We got dollar slice for lunch which was delicious. We picked a good place. And it's a really hot day so we might melt but it's all good! :)

This week a lot of people asked if I like it here. Well people always ask that, but this week a lot more people asked. And it's always interesting to see how surprised they are when I say I'm from California but I love it here. People ask if I like the weather and what not and if I'm happy here. And the answer is always something along the lines of "I've never been happier. It's beautiful here, the people here are wonderful, and I'm doing what I love" and then they ask about what we do here and we explain. But I love President Uchtdorfs talk from the priesthood session that is titled "on being genuine" because he gives a good answer as to why I am here.
"I am here because I desire with all my heart to follow my Master, Jesus Christ. I yearn to do all that He asks of me in this great cause. I hunger to be edified by the Holy Spirit and hear the voice of God as He speaks through His ordained servants. I am here to become a better [woman], to be lifted by the inspiring examples of my brothers and sisters in Christ, and to learn how to more effectively minister to those in need. In short, I am here because I love my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ."
That is why I am here. I am here to declare truth to the world and to give back. God has blessed me with so much so now it is my turn to serve Him. I strive each day to follow the Spirit and to do Gods will. I learn and study so that I can strengthen my testimony to become a more effective ambassador of Jesus Christ. I love my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

I love you all so much! Have a fun week! Especially with Jax! I miss that adorable child. Xoxoxo

Sister Tanner <3

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

We just about cried

Hello again! Thanks for the emails and love. This week flew by once again but it was a good one! 

So the Statue of Liberty was good! right before we left it was pouring rain but as soon as we stepped onto the boat it stopped thankfully. We did get all wet when it was raining but not as bad as it would have been. It was fun to go though! 
While on the boat there was this Asian family in front of me and they didn't speak any English and the little boy got a nosebleed and they were frantically trying to stop it and find some tissue. Luckily I had some in my bag and so I was able to give it to them. It was cool because they just smiled and even though there were no words exchanged, you could see in their faces and in their eyes that they were grateful. It was a cool experience that I needed to have at that very moment. God works in mysterious ways. 

wow it was a quite the day. We woke up at 5:30 and went to spin class from 5:40-6:05 even though it actually starts at 6. Then we showered and got ready and left by 7:15 to head to Scarsdale. So I dropped off Sister Groberg at the mission home and then I went on a split with sisters kovac and jones while all the dying missionaries went to the temple(it will be closed for cleaning so they had to go early). Then we went to Ossining and weekly planned and studied and had lunch and all that good stuff. The APs told us to be back at the mission home around 4:30 to Unsplit/pick up my companion. So we got there around 4:45 but nobody was there yet. They said they would be there around 5:15 so we waited and a couple other sisters came. We all just talked and hung out for a few minutes but then the companionship that was dropping me and another sister off had to go and so me and that sister companion split while we waited. We ended up sneaking into the mission home through the back door so we could use the restroom and then we just chilled in there. Well they didn't get home until a little after 7. Then we had to drive two sisters to stanford which got us stuck in traffic. Then we finally headed back to Danbury. Once we got to Danbury it was time to meet sisters jones and kovac again to go on a real split with them.
Well a lot happened during the day. One of our investigators-Jamie and max with the three cute boys that we play with-dropped us. we just about cried. It was the saddest thing. She texted us about it too. Ouch! So she told us that she has been meeting with the preacher from her church and that she needs to take a break from visiting with us so she can figure out her faith. She thanked us and told us that we helped her believe in God again and for that reason she will never forget us. It was really sad and cool at the same time. She just has so much potential! her family could be sealed together if she just listened to the Spirit telling her to learn more about this true gospel. 
That morning I had read Mosiah 28:18 which says "Now this account did cause the people of Mosiah to mourn exceedingly, yea, they were filled with sorrow; nevertheless it gave them much knowledge, in the which they did rejoice."
I felt that. There was Definitely sorrow but it's also good that we helped her believe in God again. We helped her in a way she didn't think was possible. And there is a good feeling about that. We will still go over from time to time and play with the little boys outside so that she knows that when she is ready we will be here for her. 

Sister Jones joined me in this area for a split and it was awesome! She has only been out for 4 weeks so it was a lot of fun. She said it was the best day of her entire mission so that was cool. During companionship studies and the hour of 12week we had some really good gospel discussions and I was able to answer a lot of questions about the mission. We addressed some of her concerns and were able to turn to PMG, the scriptures, and personal experiences for answers so it was really cool and the Spirit was really strong. Then we picked up Camille(a 17 yr old girl who wants to serve a mission) and we went to a couple lessons. It was so much fun being with the two of them for a few hours because they just have such a wonderful spirit about them. it was really stress freeing. 
So we started off with Jay! Jay is doing SO awesome! He first explained in such great detail all about what he read in the Book of Mormon from chapters 1-4. He loves reading it and he said he knows it's true because of how he feels when he prays about it. Then We taught him the plan of salvation and he LOVED it! He was glowing with excitement. Probably not as much as me, but that's okay haha. Seriously it was so cool! I felt the Spirit so strong. We invited him to be baptized next month and he was like "well ya of course! Why not? I want to go to the celestial kingdom! This is great!" I wish I could explain in words how much joy I felt as he just accepted all we taught him. Wow it was a great lesson.
After that we were feeling goood! So we headed to Dan and Dan. Big Dan freaked out at first again just saying he is Christian not Mormon but since I already heard that before and since I was so filled with the spirit we just easily explained how it's okay, we are Christian too. We don't worship Mormon and then he was like "okay great let's read!" So we read from the Book of Mormon with them again and of course that was good.
We then did some Tracting and got ice cream because it was so hot and eventually went to the Lopez/Rocha home for dinner. Let me tell ya, it was delicious but boy were we full. She was like "how many enchiladas do you want to start with?" And then her husband was like "just give them three to start" and in my head I was thinking "to start??!? I will die tonight" so she gave us 3 but there were more like burritos. Super delicious. We put queso fresco, creme, avocados, and salsa on top and it was delicious. Then after she said "how many more do you want? 2? 4? 6? 7? 8? 10?" So we went with two more and still died. Then after that she was like "I have a surprise!!" And she pulled out ice cream. We walked out of there ready to explode. 
We did some Tracting after to work some of that dinner off and ended up Tracting into a member from the Spanish branch and he was really nice but he told us that Tracting isn't effective haha we were like weeeeell actually that's where all of our investigators are from. Either members give them to us or we knocked on their door. Anyway it was a great day and at the end of the day we Unsplit. 

We had a lesson with Jen but it went really well! We had it at the church so that we could give her a church tour and it really helped her. She really felt the spirit which is so key for her because she fights it a lot of times. We ended up setting a baptismal date with her for September 19th and she is really excited for that. She is really trying to change. She had this ring that she got from some girl in Ecuador that she felt she should get rid of. So we took the ring for her and As I was playing with it I realized that it was the exact same size as my ctr I gave her my ctr ring to replace it. It was the cursive ctr one that I bought at the byu bookstore. So that's what I want for Christmas, a new ring! :) it's weird not having it because I wore it like everyday but i know Jen needs to remember to choose the right and that's what she needed right now. 
Afterwards we went to visit this Cute old couple because the wife just had surgery. They were so cute. We had a little lesson and they told us some stories and then they fed us supper. Haha it reminded me of being at grandma and grandpa Harpers. Just all about it was so similar especially hearing the stories about the missionaries from grandma. I loved it. 
We went to do a media referral lookup for someone named Jose. So we went to his house and his parents were not very nice. They said Jose was not home and that they didn't know when he would be and kinda just gave us the "you should leave now" tone. So we left and as we were walking away there was this kid so we said "hey are you Jose!?" And he said yes and stopped so we explained how we got his name and address and came to bring him a Book of Mormon. We asked if he ordered it or knew someone that could have ordered it. Then he said "no I ordered it. I did some research on Google and it brought me to a website that I ordered it from. I'm really interested in reading it. It doesn't replace the bible right? It supports it? Because my stepdad tries to tell me that it replaces it but I don't listen to him" and then later in the conversation he said "do you believe in personal revelation if it's what the commandments follow? Because I believe that stuff. And you believe in a living prophet right? That's so cool! I believe that." It was incredible. That was definitely a miracle. 
After some more Tracting and look ups and getting Attacked by dog, we headed to spend the last 30 minutes of our day using Facebook. We ended up having a really fun search to find Bruce (the member that Jay knows but can't find the phone number for) and we were able to search him out and then message him to explain the whole situation. It was really hard to find him at first but once we did it was gold and we were really excited haha. It's so cool what we can do on Facebook! It's the coolest tool that I have become converted to. 

It Started off kinda rough. Sunday's are stressful because we want everyone at church but we don't know who is going and we try so hard to do all we can to help them come. So we first went to see a less active who ended up not being home but it made us Late to ward council. Buuut then Jay came to church And he wants to come again! So that made it all better. For dinner we went to the Rochas/Lopez home last minute since our dinner appointment cancelled. So of course they are the best and want to help us out. It was really fun and crazy as always.

We had district meeting in the morning and it was all centered on prayer. It was really good and the spirit was really strong. But the cool thing was afterwards we went and looked up a referral from a member. We had asked the member where she thought we should tract and she said she had a friend on a certain street and that we should tract into her. So that's what we did. Well the friends name is Mandy. Mandy invited us in and had so many questions. She pretty much told us her life story. It felt so comfortable being in her home. She has two little kids (boy almost 2yrs and girl that is 6 months) and a husband but he isn't interested at all. But anyway, it was so cool because she is so ready. We explained a little about what we do but we mostly just listened to her. At the end she brought up the member and we told her we knew that member (the member didn't want us to tell her she sent us) and then she invited us back for dinner with that member as well. At the end she said "sometime while you are teaching me, will you teach me how to pray?" So we said "ya we can teach you right now" and we taught her how to pray. It was awesome because we had just talked about prayer and had the spirit so strongly as we discussed it that it was so easy for her to feel that spirit. Ya it was a really cool lesson. After we left she called the member and told her the whole story. We ended up leaving her house after 40 minutes which was 30 minutes later than planned which made us a little bit late to the chiropractor. Luckily it was something about air awareness day or something and so there wasn't as much traffic as there normally is. Good news about the chiropractor is I'm getting better! 
At night we went to the Wells house for dinner and it was really awesome. Serah(the one who doesn't want to go to church or anything but goes anyway because of the grandma) read 9 chapters more than we asked her to. So I mentioned how we are reading the Book of Mormon backwards and so she was suppose to read Moroni 1 which is super short. But she read all of Moroni which is unheard of for her. She hates reading it. We were SO excited. She also made us a dinner she hasn't made in years and she said she will never make it again because it takes so long. But she wanted it to be special for us. She's the sweetest. Gosh I love that family. It was a really good day. Miracles all around. 

We had an awesome lesson with Jay! We taught him the word of wisdom because on Sunday after church he said to us "members can't drink at all?" And so we thought it would be perfect to teach him then. So we had Edgar-the recent convert who comes to Jays lessons- come and help us teach and we taught him all about what we should and shouldn't eat. After the whole thing we asked him if he will commit to living the word of wisdom today for the rest of his life and he said "yes of course! God said to so I will. In fact, I was planning on buying us all coffee right after this lesson but let's get hot chocolate instead!" Haha unfortunately we had to go home because it was 8:45 but next time we will have hot chocolate. It was just so cool to see his questions about 'why no coffee or tea..' and 'well what if I'm really tired while steering the ship and I need coffee..' And then us explain that it's a commandment from God and we don't know everything but these are a few reasons. And then he was just so accepting. After the lesson he gave us another name of a member he knows in Utah and asked us to contact him too. 
Something interesting is when we asked him about church he said "bishop Kurt Anderson shook my hand and welcomed me personally and talked to me and I thought that was really nice. In other churches the leader of the congregation doesn't do that. So how does that work? Will brother Capone be the next bishop?" It was so cool because he remembered everyone's names and what their calling was. And he loved church so that's good too. 

Happy Pday!! :) today we are just doing lots of shopping so sister groberg can get a going home outfit and then we might go on a hike or something soon. We will see! 

As I was studying the Book of Mormon today I came across alma 5:12 which says "And according to his faith there was a mighty change wrought in his heart. Behold I say unto you that this is all true." So then I was going through the institute manual for alma 5 and President Ezra Taft Benson had some really good quotes that really stood out to me. Here are a couple of them:
"Yes, Christ changes men, and changed men can change the world."
"Finally, men captained by Christ will be consumed in Christ. To paraphrase President Harold B. Lee, they set fire in others because they are on fire."
"Their will is swallowed up in His will. (See John 5:30.)"
Today I like those simple quotes because I really saw that in Jay this week. He is just so willing to change. He wants to do Gods will. He really is on fire and it is so contagious. As soon as he learned a new lesson, he wants to apply it all and change everything he was doing wrong. He is constantly repenting and reading from the Book of Mormon to learn even more. He is going to change the world one person at a time. If everyone in the world was like Jay, there would be so many people getting baptized! And the world would be such a positive place. Anyway, I love being a missionary and seeing the fire in others as they come to know Christ and want to change to be more like Him. It really does bring true joy. I wouldn't trade this time in my life for anything. I am so happy here.

I love you all and I hope you have a fabulous week. And Stay out of the ER, Thanks! Xoxo

Sister Tanner <3

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Welcome home Baylor!

Hello again! Can you believe how fast time flies? It's the middle of JULY! Crazy. Well welcome home Baylor!!! Seems like you just left! Two years flies by. It'll be fun to see all the cousins who came home while I have been gone. That's cousin number 4 right? Am I the only one left right now?
Anyway, this week was awesome. We had a lot of little miracles so that's always good.

So we had interviews with President Smith and that was really fun! It was good getting to know him more. He is so inspired and close to the spirit. He really is so wonderful.
Then we went to the city to go to the chiropractor which was good. I'm still alive so that's a good sign.
For dinner we went to kaylees house and she made us a Ukrainian meal! And they invited two families over! Neither could come sadly but it's effort that counts. One of the families is going to start meeting with the Spanish elders though so we are excited about that. He has been working with that family for 3 years and they are finally ready and interested! If only they spoke English. But it's all good! So lesson to be learned, don't give up on your friends! Keep being a fantastic member missionary!

I went on a split with Hermana Molina again and it was so good. She came to my area this time which I love because I like being the one who knows things in the area. It helps me love the people even more. We had a lot of Miracles. People who we had been trying to get ahold of for a long time we're finally home and we got to teach them. We had a couple smack down lessons with people and really told them how it is and it went really well. We also got two new investigators! One of them is super solid. Her name is Jen and she is great. I think she is probably like 20. She struggles with just about every commandment there is, but she wants to change and she is ready to change. We have to be super super bold and blunt with her and it's a lot of fun. She really listened when we tell her how it is and not sugar coat anything. We now call her every night and read the Book of Mormon with her for 10 minutes and it's really helping her. She was into a lot of dark things so we brightened up her room and threw away a lot of dark stuff. She had this creepy pendant that a past significant other gave to her and so she told us to take it and get rid of it. We took it far far away and disposed of it because it was creeeepy. Anyway, point is she needs the gospel and the devil is going to work really hard on her during this time because in the past she has easily given in. She listens to us though and is willing to act on the invitations we give her from God.
Having a zebra companionship was really helpful for Tracting as well. If they spoke English I taught them and if they spoke Spanish Hermana Molina taught them so we found new people for her area as well. It was also a really stress free day because we have been out on the mission the same amount of time and so I didn't feel so inferior like I sometimes feel even though I shouldn't. Bottom line, It was good.

We visited with a few people who the elders use to teach which was good. They seem to be doing well. We also visited the family we met last Sunday. He was really nice and let us teach him about the Book of Mormon. He said we can come back but he wants time to study the Book of Mormon first which is understandable. We gave him good websites to look on for truth about it and he said he would read it and compare it to the bible. As long as he reads it, everything will be okay.
We went to the Wells (the less actives we helped with the flood) and they gave us thank you gifts! They are the nicest. We told them they didn't need to get us anything but they said they felt bad and wanted to show how grateful they were. I'll send a picture.
We went and tried a "coxinha de frango com catupiry" which is pretty much a Brazilian style chicken roll up that has a fried outside. Pretty much it's chicken and cream cheese inside of a dough ball and the outside layer of the dough ball is fried and the inside layer is still dough. The elder from Brazil kept telling us to try it so we did. It was actually really good. Really unhealthy but really good. I bet Sam probably likes coxinhas.
Oh ya, and it was Free slurpee day!!! Wahoo! Buuut I didn't get any :(  sister groberg doesn't like slurpees so she wouldn't let us. I tried looking for one all day so we could just stop by but I never saw one. Sad day. But I hope you all got them!! :)

We went and did a media referral look up named Taylor. Well he is probably like a senior in high school and happened to be outside playing basketball when we walked up. We started talking to him and it turns out that his friends referred him to a bunch of churches as a joke. Well the joke turned on his friends when two girls showed up to teach Taylor. He loved us talking to him. Just kidding but he really was super nice and said he would love to read the Book of Mormon to find out what it's about. He knows and lives by 3 really solid families that are in the ward and one is the bishop. So we are going to go back and try to teach his whole family.
Later that night we tracked into a man named Edgardo. Well Edgardo also knows two families and he said that one moves around a lot because he will call him and he will be somewhere different every time. But he thinks he is mostly in Utah. Well it turns out that he knows the Gay family and the father is Robert Gay of the seventy so that explained traveling and Utah haha and then the other man he knows use to be the bishop of the Newtown ward (that's the ward the meets right before us). So edgardo knows two solid families. Both invited him to church and he went both times. He loved it and he thinks they are great families. He wants us to go back when his wife is there so we can teach them. Pretty much, he will be baptized in due time.
The whole day was Member missionary work at its finest. Members are key. We are just hear to help. So keep being awesome friends and setting good examples because you never know when the missionaries will tract into your friends!

We had an awesome district meeting and then went to do some service for a family that moved yesterday. Then we headed to the Chiropractor. Sister groberg got some X-rays and she is really messed up as well.
While doing another media referral look up there was a family that drove by and waved and then they came back and the man said "I think you guys knocked on my door!" So we were just like "oh really? Awesome! What did we teach you? What did you think?" And he said "It was 7 months ago. Ya I remember you two. It was around 7pm. Do you remember us??" Haha we get that a lot. He hardly spoke any English though but he was nice. We referred him to the Spanish elders.
Another thing we get a lot is people calling us "sister elders." A lot of less actives call us that because they are familiar with elders and use elders like missionaries. If that makes sense. Either way, apparently we are the sister elders!

We took Kaylee out with us for a few hours and we were able to see Jay from the Philippines and teach him! He is back from his business trip in Texas and ready to learn. He has been reading the Book of Mormon and his prayers are incredible. They are so sincere and bring the spirit so much. He is awesome. We got his address back home so we could send missionaries to his wife because they are going through a hard time. Jay wants to live here for a better life but she doesn't want to so he wants the gospel to help them see the eternal perspective of their family.
We also met with Dan and Dan! I think I told you about them. Dan was an investigator from the elders and his son, Dan, is 13. His mom Just died so he just moved in with his dad and it's been hard. They are going through a lot and the dad is wheelchair bound. But we had an awesome lesson and read from the Book of Mormon a bit with them.
While finishing up dinner at this little cafe we love, this man named ray came up to us with all these questions. He really wanted to know and understand faith and God. We talked to him for about 40 minutes. It was really cool to see his whole demeanor and countenance change. He went from being fired up and confused and having all these questions to quiet and calm and at peace. It was cool to see him really feel the spirit as we began to testify and teach him. He went away knowing a lot more than before and we left him with a cliff hanger about the plan of salvation so that he would have to meet with missionaries again. He spoke Spanish better so we referred him to the Spanish elders.

Today we are going to the Statue of Liberty! It's for sister Groberg since she is dying (finishing her mission) in 3 weeks. I got dragged along because I'm her comp. oh well, it should be fun!

So I was thinking about how neat it would be to actually hear the voice of the Lord or hear the spirit whisper to me an answer or warning or anything. I have never had that experience where I actually heard a voice. I always seem to receive answers other ways such as through thoughts I have or things others say etc.. Well a couple days ago I was doing an activity in a preach my gospel chapter 4 under the section titled relying on the spirit and the scripture that stood out to me most was D&C 18:32-36. I thought of it differently this time and looked at how if I put myself in that position then It talks about how understanding the scripture is hearing and knowing the Lords voice. Verse 36 in particular says "wherefore, you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words." I really liked that because it confirmed to me that I don't have to literally hear a voice to know (even though it would be cool) but that I already do know and I have heard the Lords voice in a way that I understand. We can all learn the Lords voice as we study the scriptures and His teachings to us. It truly is incredible.

Overall it was a great week. A lot more happened but of course, I can't write it all as much as I try sometimes!! The gospel is true. Life is fantastic as a missionary! I love you all so much!! Have a great week! Xoxox

Sister Tanner <3

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Yankees, MOTAB, and Getting completely Soaked!

July 8,2015
Hello again! Wow this week flew by again!
Okay this week we had some CRAZY adventures. Saturday kinda has a funny story and Tuesday has quite the adventure. It's been a good week though with a lot that went on! :) Today for pday we cleaned our apartment for like 4 hours straight. I did some repairs. Fixed doors and vacuums and rearranged things. It was really good. I've gotten to be quite the handy woman. Just kidding. But at least I'm better than before!

So after pday ended we went to dinner at the Lopez and Rochas home and it was a lot of fun. They made a super cute cake. And the inside was Brazilian cake I guess. I don't know what made it Brazilian but it was good! I'll send you some pictures!

So we went to this cycling class that we found because that's what sister groberg wanted to do for her birthday. It's pretty much 50 minutes of nonstop cycling and let me tell you, our legs were so sore for like 3 days. It was awesome though. They turned off the lights and turned on these tvs with bright fun pictures and then put on upbeat music and instructed us on what to do for the hour. Like whether we had to go faster or stand up while riding or go uphill. Stuff like that. It was a good class and the music was great haha. We were SO sore after.
Then we went to the Chiropractor and just got adjusted and what not. Sister groberg did it too this time because apparently her spine is messed up too. He said that everyone should go to the chiropractor because getting adjusted before the pain comes is much better. It was funny cuz sister groberg thought she was fine but she had him check anyways and so then he was like "it's like the gospel. You might be reading your scriptures, going to church, and praying and think you are perfectly fine but really, there is a lot more too it and you have room for improvement. That's how your body is. You might feel good, eat right, exercise and feel perfectly fine, but really you need help. So get help before it's too late. Find out if you have a problem before it hurts"
After that we had to go get a small offering/gift for our mission president for MLC just for fun. But we both had bad headaches and were exhausted from the long drive so it was pretty bad looking for something. One thing We ended up getting was a pig that we filled with yorks for him to put on his desk. This is the Yorktown zone and its the only area with PORtuguese speakers and there is a lot of Brazilian BBQ places with tons of meat and PORK. So we changed it to the porktown zone. Lame right? But everyone loved it so it worked out haha

MLC(mission leadership council) was awesome with President and Sister Smith. They are so incredible! We learned a lot and Taught them a lot about this mission and the zones. I really felt the Spirit speak directly to me and teach me what I needed at that very moment. It's really incredible receiving personal revelation during meetings like those because it's so powerful. Each zone present the Smiths with gifts/offerings so it was cool to see what people came up with. They got some cool stuff.
Afterwards we went to the Yankee's game! It was really fun. We sat next to the smith family so that made it even cooler. President Smith was taking pictures and posting them on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook all right there. He's up to date with the technology stuff! Haha well we left about the 5th inning maybe but we heard the Yankees won in the 12th inning! So that's pretty cool. I bet there were awesome fireworks after. Too bad we were sound asleep by then. It's okay, when you are way up high surrounded by a ton of friends then the game part isn't even very exciting haha but it was still awesome to be there! :)
Random jokes from the Yankee game!
QUESTION: What do you call a waffle on a California beach?
ANSWER: A Sandy eggo
QUESTION: Why can't a bike stand on its own?
ANSWER: It's two tired.
Okay that was lame. Anyway, Motab was really good! It was fun because every time the screen showed Motab or missionaries then you just hear all the missionaries scream and cheer really loud. So it was really fun.
Oh so I met Sister Boud who knows the Harpers really well! Like Uncle Jim and Aunt Robin. I guess they would have family nights together all the time. So that was kinda funny because we found out after the game once we had been talking all day.
Oh ya, while we were at the game we found out Elder Boyd K Packer had passed away so that was sad. And we heard Elder Scott isn't doing too well either and probably won't make it to the next conference. So that's potentially 3 new apostles next conference. Craziness!

So we woke up exhausted from the day before since we didn't get to bed until midnight because we got home late from the game. But we decided we needed to go to one of the city breakfasts to support the scouts and meet people. Since both of us had bad experiences tracti on the Fourth of July last year we decided it would be best to go to the people. So we gave all our strength and faith and got up at 6:15 and went to the pancake breakfast. Weeeelll, when we walked in this guy was like "oh are you guys in the parade?" We said no and so he asked if we would hold their sign and walk at the front of the parade. So we texted our APs and they said sure. 30 minutes later we were in the parade holding a random banner! So the banner was for the lions club which i guess is a big community service club possibly mainly from the Catholic Church but their float was on marriage and family so that was pretty cool. It was hilarious seeing members at the parade who were watching because they had to do a double take and then they screamed and cheered for us and then asked what in the world we were doing. It definitely wasn't as cool as getting on national television like you mom and dad. It was fun though!
Later we went tracting and it was pretty much a fail. Nobody answered. Except we met one man that said we can come back another day so we have full faith and hope in him. So hopefully he is awesome. We ended up going to kaylees aunts house with her for lunch and crashing their party. Her aunt is very very less active but she let us in and fed us delicious Brazilian food because her husband is Brazilian and was BBQing. It was SO good. Anyway, we now have access to her aunt because we made friends with her. It's awesome.

It was fast Sunday so of course it was amazing! Church was great because tons of less actives came that we are working with. Like 12. It was cool. They are so awesome. Oh good news, that family that came last week that we promised would make it to work through Thursday if they stayed at church, made it to work through Thursday. Miracles are real. It's the wells family by the way. God is good and blessings come when we do what we are suppose to! So they came and stayed again which was another huge step because they refused to ever go to church on a fast and testimony meeting Sunday. Gosh I love them! They will get to the temple soon.
We had dinner with a cute awesome family and then asked them which of their neighbors we could talk to. They pointed us to their neighbor who just moved in and is solid Christian. so we knocked it and met an awesome family that we have been praying to find. There are two kids and a baby on the way and the dad was so open and nice. So hopefully he doesn't find anything anti because he invited us back on Saturday. Their family will be so perfect though so we are really praying for Everett and his family!
Something funny from Ward council. So they were giving a report about girls camp and I guess a few of the young men had gone up before camp to help set up and one of them made a comment that those boys got a lot of the girls numbers. And then one of the men in there said "they should have seen the girls do the Hookah!! That was hilarious!" And the young women leader was like "they did not do hookah. Hookah is a drug. They did the Hakka. That would be the dance" haha

We had zone meeting which was fun because sister groberg and I along with the zone leaders teach those. It was really successful and we had a lot of participation. Then we went and did lots of Tracting and potential investigator look ups which was really awesome. It was so successful. We found a few families for the Spanish sisters and Portuguese elders which is what we were praying for so that was such a blessing. For dinner we decided to go to this random little place that we drove by. The sign said "waffles, coffee, burgers, Colombian and Ecuadorean food." Well we went in and asked the guy what we should get because it was our first time and he told us what the most common thing was. We ended up getting a Colombian dish I believe, I'm not too sure. It was really good though. I'll send a picture. We had already started splitting it onto two plates when I took the picture though haha good thing we shared because I would have died. Oh and before the food came out they gave us popcorn. Popcorn is my favorite so of course it was amazing! Good thing we don't eat like that everyday though, I'd be SO fat.

So we had a pretty crazy day. We went to cycling in the morning and took it easy by accident pretty much. We still went the whole time but we didn't put as much resistance or Something because we were not super sore after. So that was the good. We got super lucky with the rain the first half of the day. Every time it was raining we were already in the car or we were in a house. And since we had a member with us all day it was good that we weren't all wet. For dinner a member took us to a stake house and it was delicious. During dinner everyone in the restaurant phones started beeping at the same time saying flash flood. Well it wasn't even raining so it was fine.
Then we went and picked up kaylee to go to the Wells house because kaylee is their visiting teacher. we got there right on time. They told us their windows in the basement were leaking from the crazy rain and that they needed to clean it so they couldn't sit down for a lesson. So we went down to take a look. Well while we were there we thought it would be a good idea to get all the important stuff off of the floor and out of the wet cardboard boxes because there was probably a centimeter of water all over the bottom floor. The boxes contained all of the pictures and special items that they had from the sister/mom/daughter of the three people in the wells family. After we finished getting all those boxes to safety, the rain came and it wouldn't stop. It was like Turning on the bathtub full blast and having 4 of those. Two from each window. Pouring out into their room. It was crazy. So we said "we have to pray" so we prayed with them asking the rain to stop. Then we got to work. Our first thought was to make a funnel so that the water pouring in could go into buckets and then we would just keep so wrong them out and dumping them. The water was completely to the top of the window on the outside. It was very fast moving and it worked alright but not good enough. So sister groberg ran up to the outside to check out the amount of water and to see what we could do from the outside. First of all, the rain stopped, so that was a huge blessing answered. but it made it nice and hot and sunny. Anyways, there were two window well type things filled. They were about 3 or 4 feet deep, 4 feet long and 4 feet wide. Complete filled.  ( the drains at the bottom don't work because they are clogged). But it was working better getting water out than trying to control it inside. So me, tiny little kaylee, and sister groberg all took these little buckets and as fast as we could started shoveling the water out of the wells onto the sidewalk. So it wasn't just like dip in, dump out. It was kneel down, dip the bucket in, pull it up, run it over 15 feet, dump it out, run back. Over and over again for a long time. These wells were filllllled. And all the water in the grass around them was going into the hole as well so it kept getting higher. Well luckily we worked fast and God helps give us the strength we needed. We were soaked though. Literally after a couple minutes every time I bent down to dish out another bucket of water as fast as I could and then picked it up I thought to myself "I am strong! I can do this! Just a little bit more!!" And then I would precede to dumb the water out of the bucket by practically throwing it down. Most of the water went all over me instead of the sidewalk but it was fine because by that point it was like we were swimming anyway. Sweat was dripping down our face but it was hard to know if it was sweat or water. (Apparentky sister groberg had the same thoughts and was doing the same thing I was too. At that point we were SO thankful that cycling class didn't make us sore that morning! That was another Blessing of this story. Well finally we got one well half way cleared out and the other well about a quarter and the Spanish neighbor comes over with a drain hose that helps to empty the one still 3/4 the way full and we keep working on the one we made progress. So the three of us finished up the one side while the neighbor did the other with his machine. It was such a workout. I was so exhausted. Just when we finished the well, kaylees dad showed up because we called him and he brought a wet vacuum to dry the inside and some fresh hot cookies that his other daughter made for their own family but decided the wells needed them more. So that was nice. So for the next house we all worked in their basement with all the towels they had and all the fans they owned just drying everything. There were inches of water and everything was soaked. Luckily it wasn't feet of water like it could have been. Finally we got it as good as it was going to get. We all had to get going. Kaylees own house was flooding a bit so we are so grateful they sacrificed their time and their own house to help the Wells family.
We ended up having trouble getting home too. Our poor car couldn't make it up the slippery hills. We burned a lot of rubber. We were safe though. Fire trucks and ambulances were all over the rest of the city. Everyone was running around. Streets were closed down because of all the water. It was just super intense. While driving home, since our clothes smelled so bad and were soaking wet, we took off our skirts and drove home in our underwear.... It had to be done. Our skirts were baaaad. We showered and cleaned up once we got home since there were slugs all over us. But anyway, it was quite the adventure and so it was really awesome being able to help them.
God answers prayers. He knows us. He wants to bless us and help us.

Oh I read a good article from the ensign this week! I'm sure many of you have read it but I loved it. It's called "filled with life and energy" and it's by Randal A. Wright.  It talks about how we can best receive personal revelation in the morning. No wonder we always went to early morning seminary and missionaries wake up early and study. He talked about how that is the key to following the guidance of the Lord. He gave a few examples like in Genesis 19:27 how Abraham got up early to stand before the Lord and in exodus 34:4 how Moses got up early to go to mount Sinai and in Joshua 6:12how Joshua got up early to learn and receive guidance as well and most importantly in Mark 1:35 how Christ himself got up early to pray. And ya, just read the talk. It's really good. But anyway, I have really seen that throughout my mission. Studies have to be first in the morning. If ever there is an important conflict and we have to go somewhere and then do studies, our studies are a lot less effective and it's much harder to focus on the guidance of the Spirit. We can't ever go a day without first opening up the scriptures and receiving the reflation God is waiting to give us. I find it so refreshing and relaxing to just sit down in the morning after exercising and eating breakfast and just reading from the Book of Mormon and other scriptures. I love it so much.

Well I am glad you all had a great 4th of July! Have a fabulous week! I love you all!

Sister Tanner <3
Yankee Game - Cheap Seats!

President Smith's girls with us Sisters at the Yankee Game

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir at Yankee Game

Photo Bombed the AP's with President and Sister Smith

You can't tell - but we are SOAKED!