Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I'm so glad I'm not picky

Hello family!!
Can you believe it's the end of September! Super super crazy. Time just won't stop flying by! This week was good of course! It's been rainy and humid and muggy so that's lame, but we have had some great lessons and talked to a lot of awesome people! So life is good :)

We had interviews with president and a training with the APs. I really do officially feel old in the mission. It's weird. Everyone in our zone is super young mission wise. It's crazy. But it's fun to learn from all them and to teach them at the same time. We all help each other!

We went and saw Jenn. It was such a special meeting we had with her. She is going through a lot and has gone through a lot in the past. We listened to her for a long time and just let her talk. We had such a sacred heart to heart conversation. We all just cried together and the Spirit was so strong. It was something I will never ever forget. The Atonement is so real. And God loves all of us. He knows her. He knows you. He knows me.
The rest of the day was awesome as well! We met this super awesome guy named Dave. Dave is from Sandy Utah! He was the last house we tracted in that particular area. He needed our message. His brother in law is a bishop in Arizona and so they are all active but Dave never joined. He moved here over 20 years ago though. He told us he didn't believe in God or anything like that and just explained his viewpoint on religion. He was a bit angry at the world and his situation in life, he lost his foot somehow(he didn't tell us how). We were able to testify of the atonement and Jesus Christ and oh how powerful the spirit was! It was SO incredible. Dave agreed with all we said about the atonement too, so he obviously believes some of it. He is moving in with that sister and brother in law that are active so I know he too will join the church when he moves there.
We also got to see a couple less actives who all fed us and we got to go to Hilals and have Turkish food! Sister Standage hated it haha. We had to eat SO much food that day though, I literally threw up. Sick, I know. But I feel like a real missionary now... Hahaha I never wanted to eat again after that day.

We got to go Conference tracting! I love conference Tracting! It's seriously the best. People get so confused about hearing from the prophet and then they get really curious so it's awesome. The best part is that they can know if Thomas S Monson is a prophet by listening to his words at conference this weekend.Hopefully some people will come. We have invited a lot! Of course we have gotten a LOT of bad reactions too and people have yelled at us a lot, but hey, that's normal right. We just have to keep thinking about how the prophets get persecuted and even Christ Himself was persecuted for teaching good truths!
In the evening we got to watch to Woman's broadcast of course! I thought it was so so good! Wow I was thinking back to those days where we all use to sit and watch it at the church or on moms bed and us girls would dread woman's conference because they were always just like "you are all so beautiful and great. Keep being beautiful daughters of God" but now I love the talks! They are so good! And I loved President Uchtdorfs talk. It was cool because everyone I have talked to got something different out of it.
Our ward watched the conference at the Danbury Spanish/Portuguese branch chapel and we had food with the Branch members before and then all watched it in our own languages. Well the conference was at the same time as Saturday night English class (which probably consists of like 50 people who come and only a couple are members) so the elders sent all the women to watch women's conference and they taught all the men haha

We had our Fast Sunday and since our ward has shrunk a lot, (lot of families moved out) I actually got to bare my testimony :) so that felt nice. I mean yea I share my testimony every single day, but it just felt nice to be able to get up there.
After church We got to get out and tract some more and invite everyone to conference :)
Oh we watched the Lunar eclipse blood moon thing! That was cool. Except everyone says it only happens like every 15 years or whatever but I feel that we watched it two years ago at BYU.. Sooo.. Ya still cool though.

We went on a Split and it was all in Spanish! I felt so useless. But it was cool to kinda know what was being said and feel the spirit of it.
It was still an awesome day and I met some super cute Spanish families :) they loved me anyway and tried to speak English to me so it's alllll good :)

We had a zone study with president Smith (that's where the selfie on Facebook came from.) It was so so good! I learned a lot. He is an inspired man. We all studied and then discussed a talk titled "begin with the end in mind" by Elder Nelson from the new mission president seminar. It just motivated us to get out and work work work. That's why I love those meetings, they keep us going!
Afterwards we had some good lessons and did a lot of look ups and Tracting. We had dinner with a recent convert who brought his less active brother and his nonmember friend. It was so great! We went and got sushi! :) it was delicious. And I tried a bunch of things I have never tried before. Just raw octopus, squid, and something That I don't remember what it was. It was all interesting yet still good. Poor sister Standage hated it though, she was like crying and spitting it out, it was so so sad. And she didn't order rice or anything cuz she thought it would be fine and then she felt sick because she hated it. I am just so glad I'm not picky! Haha

Today we get to go to the templeeeee :) it's the last time I get to go with my companion!! The next time I am able to go to the temple will be with all the missionaries going home, super weird!

Today I was reading 3 Nephi 11 and of course it was so good! It's when Christ visits the people in the Americas and has them one by one feel the wound marks in his hands, feet and sides. That must have taken so long. What Patience that would take. Anyway, I read an awesome quote about it by Elder Jeffrey R Holland. It says...

“However dim our days may seem, they have been a lot darker for the Savior of the world. As a reminder of those days, Jesus has chosen, even in a resurrected, otherwise perfected body, to retain for the benefit of His disciples the wounds in His hands and in His feet and in His side--signs, if you will, that painful things happen even to the pure and the perfect; signs, if you will, that pain in this world is not evidence that God doesn’t love you; signs, if you will, that problems pass and happiness can be ours. Remind others that it is the wounded Christ who is the Captain of our souls, He who yet bears the scars of our forgiveness, the lesions of His love and humility, the torn flesh of obedience and sacrifice. These wounds are the principal way we are to recognize Him when He comes. He may invite us forward, as He has invited others, to see and to feel those marks. If not before, then surely at that time, we will remember with Isaiah that it was for us that a God was ‘despised and rejected … ; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief,’ that ‘he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed"

I love that so Much. I know Christ lives. I know He suffered and died for me. I know He knows exactly how I feel when things get hard and I know that we can find joy during trials because of Him.
I hope you have a great week! Happy General Conference weekend!! :) I love you all!

Sister Tanner <3

Monday, September 28, 2015

A Gated Community...

SEPTEMBER 23, 2015

This week has been SO good. A lot of awesome little things happened. Former Investigators we have been trying to get in contact with reached out to us this week. We were able to really see the Lords hand in so many appointments this week as we completely changed the lesson plan at the beginning of the lesson and both of us had the same thoughts as to what we needed to share. And Less actives who never talked to us let us meet with them. It was great.
It's been getting a little more chilly especially in the mornings. I broke out the boots and tights this week! :) and Today we are headed down to china town!! :)

Okay so on the way to go Tracting we passed by this girl who we see probably 3 times a day walking up and down this busy road in Danbury and sometimes in other parts of Danbury. We decided it was time to find out what she was about. So we turned around and went up ahead where she would be walking, we parked and said a prayer and then walked towards her to make it look like we were just contacting haha. Well we went up to her and started talking to her. Her name is Kelly. She is Christian. She doesn't take cards, or pamphlets, and she doesn't want to hear about the gospel but other people walking along the road do according to her Haha it was really interesting. But we finally talked to her and I have been wanting to talk to her. So now that we know who she is we are going to talk to her again sometime and find out more about her life. Haha
Anyway, when we went Tracting we met the cutest little family! They would be the perfect addition to the ward. Except it was a babysitter who was home and it was really dark out when we knocked on their door(it was like 7:30) and I think we scared the babysitter half to death. It was so sad. But we are going to go back and talk to the parents this week so I hope they are interested!

We switched designated drivers because sister Standage got her tiwi card and wow I was so terrified! Hahaha she is a good driver but our car is super wide and tiwi is stressful when you first use it and she hasn't been driving the past couple months. I was so terrified the whole time. Good thing tomorrow we are getting our airbags fixed so I will be safe if we get in an accident ;) just kidding she is good now! She just gets really frustrated with tiwi (as we all do) and then gets grumpy and it's just awkward but we are working on it hahah
While Tracting we Met a man who knows other members in our stake and he said he wants to set me up with one of their sons who is serving a mission out of the country right now hahah he was like "ya you should date him when he gets home. You would really like him". Awkward! 

Friday was so awesome!! Everything about it was great. We started out by going to a prayer meeting at the Jericho center which is a Christian community service group. All the Christian churches joined together to help Danbury become better pretty much. So our Ward is joining in! It was really interesting. At the end of the meeting discussing all the needs, the head lady invited one person to pray for our congregation and another man to pray for a different project that was going on and then she said she was going to finish. So the first woman prayed, then the man, and then like 6 other people all said prayers! I was so confused and taken back haha I was going to jump in when there was a pause but I was just so surprised that it was too late and the ending lady started praying by the time I was able to think clearly haha so next time!
Later we got to have a lesson with Jenn and our relief society president came with us. She was in shock after. I guess we didn't really prepare her well enough for Jenns personality and whatnot haha so I don't know if she liked it, but it was an awesome lesson and our relief society president said a lot of awesome things that helped Jenn a lot. Later we went Tracting for a couple hours and we found an awesome Christian family. Well we talked to the kids who were super nice and fun and cute. Probably like 9 and 14 yrs old. So we are going back this week to talk to the parents and so hopefully the parents will be open. We also met this other guy named Christian who doesn't know really anything about the church but he is so awesome and open and so we talked to him for a while.
We had an awesome lesson with Hilal and Tible(Turkish family) and at night we were able to see Kimberly and she committed to coming to church!! Wahoo! She is so cool! She is super cute. We love her. She loved the restoration pamphlet as well.
Overall, everything that happened was just happy and good. Life is so good!

We had our stake day of service! It was awesome! Our Ward went to Jericho and did a whole bunch of projects. People painted, weeded, cleaned storage closets, worked at the food pantry, tore down bushes and trees and stuff, washed cars and buses, sorted cans, etc. stuff like that. It was an awesome turn out and really fun! We worked wherever needed us and ended up moving a whole lot of cans from one building to another.
Later we got to meet with a lot of less actives and have a Skype lesson with Alyssa :)

So Nobody came to church again. Kimberly texted and said her mom wouldn't drop her off anymore. So that was really sad. But a few less actives came but no investigators! So so sad. Buuuut we got to teach young women's! So that was really fun. All the girls really participated and shared and stuff so it worked out. :)
After our dinner appointment we went home because sister Standage was super super sick all day. So she went to bed at like 7 or 8 and I just called a bunch of people and worked on our Ward list and wrote in my journal. It was quite productive for me haha but it was sad that she was so sick.

We got to see Jim Condon again!! :) we met his little family. His kids loved us! We just talked to them on their porch. He said he read the restoration pamphlet and started the Book of Mormon but hasn't read as much of the Book of Mormon as he would have liked. It was seriously so happy talking to them though. We have tried so many times to go look him up again but every time something happened, whether it was that they weren't home or it was too late in the evening or what. Every time we go though, My heart hurts because I get afraid that they are going to drop us and I just know how much good this can do for the cute family. They will be the perfect Mormon family. So I just never want them to drop us. Luckily they didn't!
We also went down to the chiropractor. Okay get this, Dr. arbuckle adjusted his oldest son at 6 hours old. The baby wasn't eating at all and so after not knowing what to do and not wanting to put tubes down his throat to help him eat, he decided to adjust the baby. He just laid him gently on his lap and felt his neck and then lightly pushed on his neck on both sides. 20 minutes later the baby started crying, they decided to try feeding him again, and he was able to eat. Super crazy! Every since then, they have adjusted their kids every Sunday after baths and pjs. Crazy but cool!

We went and saw Jenn. She made some popcorn and we watched the first half of the restoration movie with her. She has learned everything so now we are just down to helping build up her testimony and strengthen her testimony where she has doubts.
Oh and her roommate moved out!!! I don't even know if I told you about her but one of her friends was staying with her because she didn't have anywhere to live and that particular friend was nnooottt a good influence on her. It's the one that got her into the anti stuff in the first place. Well sister Standage and I prayed and prayed that the roommate would move out and things would work out. Well I guess two days later, she found an apartment and moved out! God answers prayers people! Miracles do happen. Well ever since then, Jenn has been back to feeling comfortable praying and what not.
Jenn also had a super cool dream after praying and asking Heavenly Father what she needs to do and sister Standage and I were in the dream and it pretty much was all about her deciding if she was going to listen and continue learning or not. God gave her a sign! So if she isn't baptized this next month, I don't know what else to tell her. Seriously it was the coolest dream that she told us about.
Also, some Jehovah's witnesses knocked on her door after the last time we met and they tried to get her to go to their church and to read the bible with them and she told them no because she "is already a part of the Mormon church." She's in. Haha
We will just have to keep praying for her and helping her and loving her! :)
Afterwards we helped her study for her EMT course. Wow it was a lot of fun. It reminded me of all the times me and my roommates studied for Larry's class, or when I studied anatomy with my friends. Surprisingly fun haha. We helped her a lot too. It was awesome.

Oh we got to meet with Mona!! She is an investigator from a few months ago that dropped off the face of the earth for a while! Now she is back and ready to learn. It's cool because she hadn't responded and what not for a long time so we stopped bothering her. Then last week we decided to text her and so we did and that happened to be the same week she picked up the bible for the first time in forever so she took that as a sign. We had an awesome lesson with her about the plan of salvation.
Then we met with a less active who is becoming fully active. She just got her patriarchal blessing on Sunday and so that was super cool to hear about! Just like how she felt the spirit and what not. So incredible!
We got to meet with Kimberly again as well! She is so cute! She was going to get all ready and straighten her hair(it takes her 2 hours to do that) and come to church but then Sunday morning her mom said no. So sad. Anyway, she is still awesome and now that we have her number she texts us a lot so it's good!
In the evening we got to go visit a young woman in the ward at coldstone because she works there and we got ice cream! It was so much fun! I don't remember the last time I had coldstone so it was very yummy...but she was really happy to see us and so next time we are going to try and meet Jenn there! we really want her to come out with us to teach people and so we are trying to help her love us haha

Like I said, today we are going to China town!! Wahoo, probably my last time here! I'm excited though!! We are going to meet sister Standages cousin down there and have lunch with her and shop a bit. It'll be fun :)

This week we have been talking to people a lot about how angels are preparing the hearts of so many of God's children. In Alma 13:24 it says "For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory."
In helaman I was reading about Samuel the Lamanite and how when he went to share the gospel the first time, the people rejected him but the Lord told him to go back. That would be terrifying! I can't imagine going back to declare repentance unto people who are trying to kill me! But he went anyway and he was protected.
I love those scriptures. I know that God doesn't get mad at us when people reject our message. He is happy that we did something HARD. And then He knows he can trust us in the future. He is preparing people to accept this gospel. God loves us and is so pleased with all our hard work we put forth in sharing the gospel. So we can't be afraid to open our mouths to share it. We can all learn from Samuel and be brave when the Lord is on our side.
Okay follow me on this one...We all live in a "gated community" if you will. As missionaries, we need access to the gated community of these cities. The members have the keys to get in. The members know the people within the community. When we knock doors in "gated communities" some people accept us and others reject us. But the ones that know the members are kind. So unlock the gates to the gated community by introducing the missionaries to your friends! That is how we get in. Through you all. We need your help everyday. Keep being awesome and keep Sharing the gospel. This is the truth, we need to not be selfish and share it!

I love you all so so much! Have a fantastic last week of September! Crazy. And all you women, don't forget to watch the women's conference this Saturday! Wahoo! :)

Sister Tanner <3

When you really gotta GO!

SEPTEMBER 16, 2015
Hello hello! First off, Happy birthday David! I Hope you had a great day! Also, happy birthday Carmen and Aunt Kera! 
This week has been good! It was getting so chilly. When we go running in the morning I can see my breath and I have to wear long sleeves. On Monday night a member fed us broccoli cheese soup in a bread bowl and pumpkin brownies and i was in heaven! It is officially pumpkin season again!! I am so excited :) 

Today is TRANSFERS! But I am staying here with sister Standage! I'm thinking I will leave for my last cycle, but who knows! I'd be happy either way :) it's super crazy that I only have two transfer cycles left! Time is flying a little too quickly. But it's all good!  

Last Pday was probably the most stressful day of my entire life. Okay so we didn't find anything while shopping. But it made us run out of time for emailing. So we quickly shopped and then rushed to email. We were up at the new town chapel which is kinda far from where we normally are. We were only there with the Hermanas because everyone else had left to go change because they were having a dart war. So On the way out we accidentally grabbed the Hermanas phone and no other missionaries were there for us to call to tell them. We didn't notice until we were 30 minutes away too. And we ended up being 15 minutes late to our dinner appointment. It was stressful because we had a lesson with Kimberly right after and so we were already going to try and make the appointment short. Well That dinner work out, so we were late to Kimberly too. And throughout this whole thing, tiwi yelled at me like 700 times. Luckily, Kimberly's lesson turned out to be really good. Two of The Portuguese elders came too since they first found her. We had brought her her favorite candy with a birthday card the day before too and she said that was all she got for her birthday so far because she was going to celebrate on the weekend. She's awesome though. She is 14.

We finally got to have a lesson with Jenn!!! It's been like 2 weeks since we have met with her in person I think. Well turns out, she found a bunch of anti stuff online and got scared. And she asked her friend about it (who isn't a good influence on her) and so of course they both decided maybe it was true. So we talked her through it and helped her answer her own concerns by taking about all the time she has felt the spirit and how she was blessed as she was coming to church and all that good stuff. It was an intense lesson but so so good. It is just so cool to see the atonement work so deeply within her. She realized that the anti stuff was dumb and she's back on track now. We reset her baptismal date for October 17th so we feel excited for that day because she really needs a little extra time to be able to fully commit and understand. It will be awesome! 
Oh later on when we were Tracting we met this man that told us that he didn't need a God because he has his girlfriend now. And he said he needed God before because she left him but since she came back, he is good now. Weird. Haha so sad though! We wanted to give him a family proclamation pamphlet because that would have been awesome. Oh well, next time :) 

I went on a split with Sister Jones! It was super awesome. I got to be In New York again for 9/11. It just brings a whole new meaning. People really honor the day and so Tracting was incredible. We tracted a ton and met with a couple less actives and Investigators of theirs. 
We also got Icecream from a place called the blue pig. I didn't really want to go but sister jones really really wanted it and so I wanted her to be happy! 
Oh it was cool. I really had to go to the bathroom, but I didn't want to stop Tracting because it would take 25 minutes out of the day to drive to the church and back so I prayed to find someone that would let us use their restroom. Well the very last lady we knocked let us in and we talked to her and then at the end she was like "well I know you are out and about so would you like to use the restroom and have a drink of water?" God answers prayers! It was perfect.
After we unsplit we went to the Wells for dinner again. I just love them. They are like family :) 

We had another awesome lesson with Jenn! It was about the 10 commandments. For "thou shalt not kill" she said "I Only kill cereal..." And since we are just awkward missionaries, we didn't get it at first. It took us a couple minutes to realize she was meaning she's a serial killer. Don't worry, she isn't actually! But ya, she is coming back! 

It was really peaceful and awesome. We had a really good Sabbath day. Jenn came to church so that was good. And lots of less actives as well. We did lots of tracting and went to the Hippens for dinner with the Portuguese Elders again so it was good! We had toco soup :) mom, it tasted like home and reminded me of All those times you made taco soup for me and my friends for lunch every Wednesday! I am loving this soup weather :) 

So we did lookups like allll day after our last district meeting as a district (2 of the elders are leaving) and it was pretty successfully unsuccessful. Haha we got a lot of new info and were able to clean up our area book a lot but we didn't get to teach anyone really. Except there was one little miracle we saw! 
So there is this person named Ariel that is a media referral and we looked him up last week and so we weren't going to look him up again yet but we ended up passing by his house so we decided to just stop by. Well last time we weren't able to get into the door that leads to where his door is, but this time it was unlocked. So we were able to go up and knock on his door and he ended up being there. Turns out, he requested us to come when he was in Utah with some coworkers. A bunch of the people he works with right now are members and he sees how happy they are and so he wanted to learn more. We talked for a little while on his doorstep and it all went really well. He was super attentive and even though like 5 phones rang, he said he wanted to ignore them and listen more to what we said. It was super comfortable and not awkward and he wants to come to church and learn more! So that's cool! Except he is moving to Maryland soon to be closer to his girlfriend so that's sad, but hey, he needs the gospel before he goes too! It was such a miracle that God guided us to him at the perfect time.
For dinner we ate with the Mays, they are a super cute, awesome family with 4 little kids and they feed us all the time now. That's when we had the broccoli cheese bread bowls and pumpkin brownies. And then as we were finishing up, the dad was telling us a story about his mission and we looked outside and saw one of the Portuguese companionships tracting. So brother may ran out and invited them in for dinner. It was so fun because they were so happy because they never get fed in their branch. 

We got to see Jenn in the morning and teach her about tithing and fasting so that was good. Then we did some service for a less active. It was probably the most pointless service ever but hey, it helped her! We hung up like 6 pictures on the wall... Haha 
After lunch we tracted and did potential investigator lookups the rest of the day. So like from 2-7 with dinner in between. We talked to approximately 10 people and 0 of those people were interested. It was really hard. It was good to clean up our area book more. (Elder Arnold of the 70 is coming next month and has asked to have interviews with some of the missionaries and he wants to see our area books and all that stuff and so president has asked that all our area books look good and up to date so we have been focusing on it a lot). 

Yep today is transfers. That's about all I got for today! 

I was reading in Helaman this week and as I was reading the institute manual and there was this awesome quote....
“Perhaps of all the evidence of true conversion and a remission of sins, this is the most significant: the disposition to do evil no more, but to do good continually. …
We can strengthen our disposition to do good each time we make and keep covenants. Each time we participate in priesthood ordinances, the powers from on high reach downward and draw us nearer to the heavens. Those who partake of the sacrament and temple ordinances with pure hearts and who faithfully keep their covenants require no lengthy instructions regarding modest dress, the payment of generous fast offerings and tithing, observance of the Word of Wisdom, or keeping the Sabbath day holy. They need no stern reminders to share the gospel with others, to attend the temple frequently, to conduct family history research, or to do their home teaching or visiting teaching. Nor do they need nudges to visit the sick and to serve those in need.
These are the faithful Saints of the Most High who keep the sacred covenants they have made in the house of the Lord, ‘having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins’ (D&C 20:37). Covenant keepers … live the law of consecration. Their time, talents, and financial resources all belong to the Lord.
Keeping their covenants has caused them to develop a disposition to do good continually” (“A Disposition to Do Good Continually,” Ensign, Aug. 2001, 14, 19).

I love that! Can't we all just have a desire to keep our covenants and do good continually? We need to truly make, renew and keep our convents with a pure heart and continually put forth all we've got. This is important stuff. It's been so awesome to see less actives that come back with full force. All they want to do is follow all the commandments, share the gospel with everyone, go to the temple every week, give all they have and just consecrate all their time and talents. I feel so blessed to witness The Spirit work through so many people. I love this work :)

I hope you have a fabulous week! I love you so much! Thanks again for the package and love! Xoxox 


Sister Tanner <3



Hello family!!
Well, Fall is coming!! The leaves are beginning to change colors. It's so beautiful!! Except this week it was like 100 degrees and nastily humid but hey, that's okay, fall is coming!
This week was better! Things are picking up again :) except Jen had a hard hard week. Everyone pray for her please! I can just feel Gods love for her SO much.

So last week we had our Zone activity and it was too fun. We Didn't think it would be so we only planned to stay an hour and then we ended up staying like 3 or 4 hours, so it was like our entire Pday. We all went to a members House and they had a Big yard in the middle of nowhere with lots of Apple trees and a big barn and such and just ate lunch and played outside. We played blow darts, baseball, soccer, and had some apple toss contests, "ya know" just a bunch of Mormon teenager and young adult fun. Haha It was really good and refreshing.
Afterwards we went to our bishops house for dinner. Throughout the week we were feeling  bit discouraged. We have been trying so hard to find people to teach and we have been trying our best to be exactly obedient and we have been praying harder than ever to just find people to teach, and yet we have not had much success. Well at bishops we went over the list of names he gave us that we asked him for last week and then he went through the ward directory to find more people for us to visit and we had seen them all recently or had appointments set up with them for that week. He was very impressed. It really helped to boost up our spirits and remember that this mission truly is three fold and that we need to build up the ward and less active members as well. Not to toot our own horns but out of all honesty we were feeling so good. Humbly good that is. Haha

We had a miracle line call in the morning and it was so good. At the end of the call president told us about how his son William (age 11) had a hard first day at school and how he had to eat lunch all alone because he was the first on in the lunch room and nobody sat with him. So then president gave us his number and had us all text him and tell him how much we love him. It was so cute. Imagine being 11 and getting over 100 texts from 225 ish missionaries! He's the luckiest kid ever. we were all praying for him and then he ended up having a much better day and made some friends!
Oh something that happened later in the day was we were doing look ups and looking up less active members that nobody knows anything about and one house seemed so nice and cute on the outside but as soon as we knocked we both got a bad feeling. So we waited a second to see if it was actually a bad feeling or if it was us being lazy and then the thought came that we needed to leave. So we got out of there. The Spirit is the coolest thing ever.
In the evening we went to a Relief society activity and it was so cool. It was all about addictions and protection from them within our families and just tons of things like that. She has four boys so she focused on pornography because she is passionate about that safety. This lady who researches that kind of info gave it and the spirit was so strong and it was just really cool to hear and get ideas from. It was powerful.

We had MLC and it was so good! As always. We talked about a lot of ways to improve and to help our mission continually become more consecrated. I really do have the best mission. Let's be honest. It was Bitter sweet though because we talked about reading the Book of Mormon in 100 days as a mission and finishing the day of the mission wide Christmas party which is December 18th. It was sad because I won't even be here to finish and I won't be here for the mission Christmas party. Ya, I'll be home so that's cool, but so sad because this is where my heart is right now. This is where my people are. This is what I am use to now. I love it here so much. I am so so grateful I still have 3 months left. I know it will fly but I will make each second count. I make sister Standage practically run from door to door with me because our time is short and we need to talk to as many people as possible! (And between doors is really long and far so it takes a lot of time) haha

We had a really good Saturday. We had breakfast with edgar and his little brother Mike. Edgar was baptized a year and a half ago and Mike was baptized this past March. They are awesome. We had a delicious breakfast at a nice and popular diner. We'll guess it was brunch because it was kinda late. It was after our studies and all that in the morning.
We did some look ups and tracted for a little while. Which felt really good. I really wanted to just tract and I was getting super anxious because we didn't have time to tract too much that day so when we did it made me feel a lot better.
We got to teach John Elliott again. He is just such an interesting fella. It went well though. His mom goes to a different church so she was just staring us down the whole time so that was awkward but hey, it's all good.
For dinner we went to the Hippens house which was SO good as always. They are so great. Two of the Brazilian missionaries came with us because one of them is the son to sister Hippens speaking partner that she got assigned to from the pathway program. It's a long story but it was so cool seeing her meet him. It was a really spiritual night.

We had a nice fast Sunday. It was weird. None of our investigators came to church so that was sad...buuuut it made Sunday really peaceful and spiritually uplifting. Rather than worrying the whole time about whether we need to explain something or help them in any way, I got a chance to really sit back and just listen and learn.
For dinner we went to this families house. It was the moms birthday and the dads birthday two bdays before so it was a little "Birthday party." We had a Brazilian meal and then a cold stone ice cream cake that their home teacher (edgar) gave them.
We spent the rest of the day Tracting. Well everyone was mean or wouldn't answer. Gosh we were so set on finding someone solid too. It was another super rough week for finding. These last two weeks have been some of the hardest of my mission finding wise. It's been soo slow. It's all good though because there is a family here being prepared for us! We will find them soon!! :)

We had zone meeting on Monday. It was really cool. We talked a lot about giving our all and being exactly obedient, the spirit was really strong and a lot of people cried good it must have been good haha
We got to meet with another super awesome less active who hasn't been to church in many many years. We talked to him outside his house for like 40 minutes. He just kept asking questions and bringing up things. He talked about how every Sunday he thinks about church and how he knows he needs to be there. It's sad, there are just a couple things that hold him back but we were able to really bring the Spirit to him and help him remember that church is where we all need to be no matter what.
Then we started our split with the Hermanas.
I went with Hermana Pressley to her area. We first went to this FHE with this cute old couple and all the people they invited and it was the cutest thing. They picked out the songs and made dessert and then we had a little lesson about the Book of Mormon. They absolutely loved it. I guess they invite people every week but nobody really goes and so they were overjoyed when we showed up to support them.

While trying to find new people to teach, we went and looked up and his lady that had stopped the Hermanas on the street a week or so ago. Well she gave them her address but didn't say which apartment she lived in. So we decided to just knock on a random door and ask if they somehow knew her and knew where she lived. Well the very first man we talked to knew exactly which apartment was hers. So we were able to find her which was so happy and exciting because a lot of times when people give us their address on the streets, it's a fake address. But this woman was different. So now they have a new investigator which is so exciting!
The whole day was in Spanish, which is fun. During studies we sang the hymn in Spanish and read the white handbook in Spanish and all that good stuff, so it was awesome. I'm practically fluent now!
After our split, Sister Standage and I headed to the church because the young men and young woman were having a combined activity and they were playing chopped and asked us to be the judges along with a member of the bishopric. So we did. It was a lot of fun. We tried a lot of weird things. They made ice cream Sunday's but since it was so hot it was more soupy haha and we had to try icecream with pickles. Never eat that in your whole life. It was so gross. There was also pepperoni, hot sauce, gold fish, French fries, nerds, and yea, stuff like that. It was interesting to eat but fun to be with the youth! And then at the end we gave them all awards so it was good!
We called Jenn after and she answered in tears. It was so sad. She preceded to tell us that she had made a lot of dumb choices the past week that she felt so ashamed of. After talking her through things for a while and using the opportunity to explain the atonement to her again, she felt so much better. We are going to see her tomorrow since she had work today. It was so cool to once again feel God say to us "don't give up on her. She needs you and she needs this gospel more than ever right now." She is so so so awesome. She has trials and some of them are a result of others and the stress it brings her and it's so sad. She just wants to change. The Atonement is the greatest blessing in the whole world! I love it :)

Today is a hot day! But We were able to go to the mall...and I didn't buy anything! I just can't find anything good because I hate shopping when there is nothing. Oh well.

This week we have been focusing a lot on Gods love for us and our love for Him.
This past week I read the talk "The Love of God" from the October 2009 general conference by Dieter F Uchtdorf. It is SO good. He talked about how we need to love God and how we can increase that love. One thing I really liked that he said was, "No, God does not need us to love Him. But oh, how we need to love God! For what we love determines what we seek. What we seek determines what we think and do. What we think and do determines who we are--and who we will become." It is SO true. We want to become like God so we need to follow The teachings he has provided us with and love him completely.
He also said "My dear brothers and sisters, don’t get discouraged if you stumble at times. Don’t feel downcast or despair if you don’t feel worthy to be a disciple of Christ at all times. The first step to walking in righteousness is simply to try. We must try to believe. Try to learn of God: read the scriptures; study the words of His latter-day prophets; choose to listen to the Father, and do the things He asks of us. Try and keep on trying until that which seems difficult becomes possible--and that which seems only possible becomes habit and a real part of you"
I love that because at times it is hard. We make mistakes. But we can keep trying and God will keep loving us no matter what. The gospel is good and is true. I love being a member of Gods true church!

I hope you have a great week!! I love you! Xoxox

Sister Tanner <3

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sticky Note

 September 2, 2015

Hello family!! I hope you had a great week!! I'm glad to know you had a good birthday mom! :) this week was good. Kinda slow but still awesome! We have been trying our very best!

So the Temple last week was fabulous. I'm excited to go again next month! It's just so nice letting go of everything for a while and just feeling peace.

We had such a good day! The best day of the week. We got to see Stephanie and teach her. She is doing so well. We talked about the plan of salvation and focused in on eternal families with her because she lost her 21 ish year old son this past year. She loved it. She is so awesome.
We also looked up a ton of less actives. On person we looked up was Richard. So we had went to his house a few weeks ago and left a sticky note on his door. Then we went back on Thursday and the note was still there but he was clearly home and the light was on in his apartment. So we went up, took the sticky note off and then knocked. Well he opened the door and then came outside and was like "oh your note is actually still on the door!" And turned around to grab it but we were like "uhh no actually we took it off" so That was awkward Haha and then he surprisingly exclaimed how did you find me!?" Well we ended up talking to him for like 15 minutes. He is super awesome and has just had a rough time. He is the oldest of 6 kids and all his siblings married RMs or they are RMs and they are all active but him and he's not married. So it's sad. We had a nice chat with him and he invited us back for dinner sometime so that was nice of him. We will have to bring someone so we could go inside his house but that's okay!
We also got to meet another less active for the first time who is so awesome and wants to serve a mission with her husband in the future so we got to have a nice long chat with her.
And to finish off the night we went to teach Sue Brady who I just love so much. We sat outside around her campfire and roasted marshmallows and had a nice lesson. It was so much fun. I love that family! They are the greatest. It was a perfect way to end our day. Except we got eaten alive out there.

We went and helped a family pack up and move. We also did a whole lot of tracting and talked to a total of 2 people so that was good.
At night we went to the Wells home and Serah prayed for the first time in years!! It was the coolest thing. It was a simple prayer but it was so awesome to hear her pray, we have been trying to get her to pray for like ever. The spirit was so strong. It was truly incredible.

We went to do a bunch of look ups and ended up meeting this woman named Teak. Teak is the fiancé to pj who we met a month or two ago. Well teak was so nice and open to our message, after talking to her for a while we gave her a Book of Mormon and we are headed back this next week! She was so grateful for our message. We are really excited for them to come to church and learn more. Hopefully they stay interested!

It was such an awesome sabbath day! We had 15 people at church that we invited! Only two investigators but having less actives at church is just as grand! Our class was so full it was so awesome. Gosh it was a happy day.
After we had a delicious dinner with a fabulous family, we looked up Katherine again and this time her daughter Kimberly answered. Kimberley is in 9th grade and is so cute. We talked to her for a while and had a good lesson with her. She seems really interested and really wants us to teach her, I think the struggle will be getting her mom to allow it. We will have to wait and see and just pray that her moms heart will be softened!
So in the evening I started to think maybe I was getting chickenpox because I had all these bug bites all over. I figured it was because we had 3 lessons outside this past week and got a ton of bites. I knew it wasn't my bed because I had just sprayed it with bedbug spray and washed my sheets so I knew I was fine there. But I didn't know for sure because I've never had chickenpox so I don't know what to expect! Well I started getting a little fever at night so I got worried. But it's okay.

On the way down to the Chiropractor I called sister Macuilt from my Manhattan 1st Ward. She is doing SO good. I just love her, every time I talk to her on the phone she makes me so happy! She is just so solid and trying her very hardest. Hopefully she will be going through the temple before December so that I can go with her because I would absolutely love to see that. She was my very first lesson as a new missionary. Right when prayer ended at 6:00 that first night. I love being able to see that change in her.
So we were suppose to go on a Split Monday night but then sister standage and I cancelled it. We cancelled it because I still had little itchy bumps all over my body all day Monday and half of Sunday. They were on my back, legs, arms, stomach, neck, all over. Not a ton, but enough to be itchy and annoying. Now neither of us have had chickenpox and when we asked the other missionaries what it was like, they explained it all perfectly. We kept it on the DL though. But then it went away Tuesday morning. Anyway, it was so good that we cancelled it though. Everything that happened was just perfect that it was sister standage and I there to talk with them.

One miracle was that we went to look up Kimberly (a potential investigator we have) and she wasn't home, however her neighbor, Wesley, came outside right at that moment. We had met Wesley 2 weeks ago and talked to him all about the Book of Mormon and gave him one. Well we never heard from him after that. At that moment, he walked outside seeking peace. He was having a really rough day and really rough family situations. Because we both met him already, he opened up to us all about his struggles and how he read the Book of Mormon for comfort and answers. He said he has loved reading it and he wants to come to church but that he works during church. Well it was such a miracle because he speaks Spanish too, so we were able to set him up with the Spanish elders so that he could go to church on Sunday's at the Spanish Ward until he gets work off. It was truly a miracle that we were guided there at that very moment. I love how the Lord works!
For Another example, we met with a less active who hurt her back and she expressed that it was hard because she couldn't clean her house. Well being the sister missionaries that we are, we were like "oh we will come over on Tuesday and clean for you!!" Yay, service is fun! Well it turned out that she needed us Tuesday evening and if we would have been on a split we wouldn't have been able to go. They live in a little tiny studio that probably has not been cleaned in..a long long time. It was so bad though. Like..yaa... I can't even explain it because I don't want to dwell on negative things. But it was much needed for them and for their health! We were happy we could help!

Today we are having a zone activity at a member in the stakes house. It should be fun. Idk what Will be happening but I'll try and take some pics and send them next week!

Today as I read Alma 50:23 ans related it to myself, I was again filled with joy. I thought again about how the people of Nephi were so happy in 2 Nephi 5:27 because they were
1. keeping the commandments(10)
2. Reading their scriptures(12)
3. Working and laboring and(15&17)
4. Going to the temple(16)
And then I related that to myself. Yea there were times in my life where I was SO happy. For example when I went on trips with the family, or built bathrooms in Fiji for those who didn't even have running water, or when I won a tennis match that determined if our team went to finals. All of those times were good things, and I felt so overjoyed. However, as a missionary, 100% of the time dedicated to the Lord, I truly have never been happier. I love seeing and helping people change and come closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I love feeling the spirit every single day as we testify of the truthfulness of is gospel. I love keeping he commandments, working as hard as I can, studying and sharing the Book of Mormon and going to the temple as well as helping others go to the temple. I love being a missionary!

Have a great week! I love you all! Xoxox

Sister Tanner <3