Thursday, October 29, 2015

Last Transfer - but I'm staying here!

Hello everyone! This week has been awesome!!
First off, THANK YOUUUU FOR THE PACKAGE Aunt Carrie and Uncle Ray!! You're the best! Also, Happy Halloween everyone!!
So I'm getting down to the end and it's weird. People keep asking how I feel and I'm not really sure how to even describe it. But I'm excited! Let my last cycle begin!

Saturday was a crazy day. We got a text in the morning on Saturday saying that Transfer calls would be made over a mission wide Conference call that night. Well it as such a stressful day. I found out that I will be staying here in Danbury with Sister Standage for my last cycle. I tried my best to go into the call with an open heart and open mind, knowing that I need to do Gods will and that He has a perfect plan for me. It was kinda hard to hear I will be staying for my last cycle, but it was good too. I know sister Standage really wanted me to stay and feels like she really needs me. One of our less actives also told me that if I were to leave then she would cry(she is not like that at all either). And I just know there is someone here that still needs me and things I still need to learn while here. It will be good that I don't have to get to know a new Ward for my last six weeks too. So it's happy. It will be good. I can feel it. It'll be good to be here for Halloween, our wards missionary month, thanksgiving, sister standages birthday, the beginning of Christmas, and all that Good stuff.

There were a lot of little ones but here are just a couple that made me happy..
1. So there is this girl named Fantasia who I tracted into with sister Kovac while on a split In her area 5 months ago. It was the same day that we tracted for like 5 million hours straight and we tracted in project buildings and it was super refreshing. Well we gave a Book of Mormon and testified to her about how it will change her life and bless her family. Well last week I got to go on another split with sister Kovac in her area and we were able to see her again and teach her the restoration! She has been coming to church and going to mutual and all that good stuff and she is SO cool. They have taught her a lot of things pertaining to her questions so it was cool to start fresh with her. It was just a little message from God telling me that I needed to stay here a long time to see fruits of our labors so it was awesome.
2. Yesterday while doing less active look ups we went to this house that we were kinda afraid to go to but we didn't want to "fear man" so we were brave and went with the Spirit haha anyway a man answered. He was tall and built, but older and had a white beard and such with a rumbling voice. He looked at us and he said "oh my goodness you have got to be kidding me!" And we were just thinking "oh noo, he's about to yell!" And then he was like "come in!!" And he opened the door and motioned us in. So we asked if there was another woman home and he said yes his wife was. That's when she came out and at this point we were still super confused and a little scared but he said to her "look! They send out young ladies now! This is so incredible!! I saw their cards they wear and was in shock! Come on in ladies!" And then we ended up staying for like 30 or 40 minutes just hearing them talk and talk. Turns out, they just needed some sisters and didn't want the elders! It was such a miracle that they let us in. They pretty much became our best friends and offered to buy us a bunch of stuff but of course we didn't take it cuz it was unnecessary stuff even though it would have been nice haha. It was such a cool meeting though and crazy how the timing worked out perfectly

So on Sunday we were at a members house for dinner-the Hippens- and two of the Brazilian elders were with us again and one of them that I have been serving with the past 6 months turned to me and said "Sister Tanner, is your first name Kiera?" So I said ya and then he said "so I met your cousin, Susan at the airport in Atlanta and she took some pictures of me to send to my mom! I was reading my journal and there was a little paper that said to find sister kiera tanner" haha so tell her that we met! We took a pic together so I'll send that to you too. He's just this tiny cute Brazilian who we help with English haha cute like baby foreigner cute haha

"You can't be right by choosing wrong; you can't be wrong by choosing right. Your personal conscience always warns you as a friend before it punishes you as a judge." -Pres. Monson

This week I have been studying Hebrews 12:1-2 which says, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
I have really enjoyed studying this scripture and relating it to me right now. I can see the finish line in this race so I know I need to sprint, but with patience. I can't jump to conclusions, but I can't walk either. I know that there are a "cloud of witnesses" who in this case may be angels of the people I am to teach, or other people who are cheering me on as well as all my family and friends who support me. However, ultimately, Jesus Christ will help me finish strong. That "sin which doth so easily beset us" is Satan working to make being lazy sound nice, or okay. Or those thoughts of after I'm home that he tries to send to me. But through Christ I am able to rid those thoughts and increase my faith. I am able to follow my leader, Jesus Christ, as I work to finish strong. As I go into my last cycle in the mission, I am reminded how important this time is because it is my last chance to fully give all my time and energy to the Lord 100% of the time. I'm so grateful for these past 17 months and all I have learned and I look forward to learning a whole lot more this next month and a half :)

I love you all so much! Have a great week! And HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

Sister Tanner <3

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Happiness in family...


First off, Happy birthday baby sister!!! Wow, I Can't believe you are 18! That sooo crazy! You were 16 when I left! I hope you have the best birthday ever! I Love you so much!

Okay so since my emails all got deleted and everyone got blank messages (so sorry by the way) then I had to cut this one short to make sure I have time for everything!

So this week was great! On October 18th we had the primary program. It was so cute, turns out there are less than 30 kids in our Ward now! Luckily, all of them were there. A lot of people brought friends and we had a linger longer after and so it was really good to meet everyone! Hopefully we will be able to start teaching some of them. Guess what else happened on Sunday, IT SNOWED!! Yep, snow. In October. So you should really enjoy your warm weather. Count your blessings. But since it snowed, we got to start singing Christmas songs in the morning :) that was the deal :)
Transfers are this next week. I find out Saturday if I'm staying or going. I have absolutely noooo idea what's gonna happen. Everyone thinks I'll stay here, so we will see!
Oh my zone found out that we have the 2015 efy cd and everyone freaked out haha they all wanted a turn with the cd. New music is a struggle for missionaries. So thanks for that. My zone loves you. Haha
I've been that's dumb. I just had a cold all week and I still kinda do. But there is no time to be sick on the Lords errand. Time is too short! So I'm just dealing with it. I'll be fine :)

1. Okay so last night our investigator, Crystal wanted to go to activity days. She just turned 9 and she is just the cutest thing ever. So we had a ride lined up for her and so we went to her house on Tuesday at 6 to make sure she was still planning on it and she was. She was about to take a shower and get all ready to go. She said she was going to sit at the window and look outside at 6:30-6:40ish. Well right after we left then her ride cancelled. So we contacted the activity days leader and found out who else goes and started calling people. Well we asked 8 people!! All of them said no!! We were stressing sooo much. By that time it was 6:30 and it started at 7 in newtown(like 10-15 mins away) so we were praying and praying and we just thought about everyone who told us at dinner appointments "let us know if we can help you out in any way" and we thought of the Lopez family. So brother Lopez goes cuz he is in scouts and so we texted him and asked if he could pick her up. Then we realized that was too weird cuz he was a man. So we said never mind. But then sweet sister Lopez volunteered to go too so that they could pick Crystal up. So brother and sister Lopez and their little 1.5 year old baby all went and picked her up and then took her to activity days and then drove her home after. It was such an answer to our prayers and so awesome. And Crystal ended up loving it! She clicked with the girls so well. They all learned a little dance to a song and she was right in the center. It was adorable, we felt like proud moms haha.

1. "The lord doesn't ask about our inability or abilities. He only asks about our availabilities. If we show our dependability, He will help us in our capability. -Neal A. Maxwell
2. "No man knows how much he can endure until he must. Strength, Patience and ability increase with necessity"-Richard L. Evans
3. "You learn to do by doing. You learn to be by being."-H. Burke Peterson

I don't know if something big is going on with gay marriage right now but this week alone we have been asked about it more times than I ever have throughout my entire mission. So many people we have talked to or tracted into asked us if Mormons support gay marriage. Thank goodness for People love that website haha. Anyway so because of that I was studying the family proclamation to the world which is just so so good. I love the paragraph that says,
"The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities."
Marriage is from God.
In the April 2015 conference talk "why marriage, why family" by Elder Christofferson, he mentions that, "love comes from you, but marriage from above, from God." He goes on to say how "A family built on the marriage of a man and woman supplies the best setting for God’s plan to thrive. ...It has never been just about the love and happiness of adults"
Satan truly is attacking families. He rejoices when anything other than Gods plan takes place. It's Sooo saddd.
I am so grateful for my wonderful family and the great examples you all are to me!!

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

Sister Tanner <3

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

It was rough.

This week was very different! It's been good though! I'm glad to hear you are all doing well. Thanks for the love and emails and pictures! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY Westin!!

This week we spent a lot of time looking up part member families and it has been so good and fun. I love it! Poor sister Standage is already wearing her winter coat and it's been in the high 50s and 60s. The poor girl is going to freeze!! Haha I'm scared for her!

So like I told you last week, Elder Arnold of the 70 came to our mission. Well the first like 3 hours we had MLC(mission leadership council) which consisted of like 20 of us. Five minutes into it, Elder Arnold had Sister Standage and another sister leave who weren't STLs so that was sad but later I was thankful because she would have been in tears haha...pretty much Elder Arnold chastised us the whole time. He is intenseeeee. It was really good though. He gave us a lot of helpful and awesome tools to use. Great things are about to happen in this mission.

That night was probably one of the hardest nights though. I felt so inadequate. So discouraged. And So spiritually exhausted. It was rough. As I prayed that night I was really able to find peace and comfort through Christ. It was just really hard because during MLC there was an Elders conference and a Sisters Conference going on at the same time and those were both about how great we missionaries are. So sister Standage was on a spiritual high and I was just spiritually exhausted and so it made it hard to talk about it because we had heard different things that day. Haha it's alllll good though! Life is good! Prayer works people!

#1 we went to look up Melva and Lucas yesterday because they cancelled last week but when we went, they weren't home. So we went back to the car and decided to update a couple lessons before going to our backup plan. Well during those couple minutes we were updating lessons, Melva and Lucas got home! We ended up going back and she invited us in. We got to know them more and showed them pictures of our families and then talked about what we do as missionaries. They loved it and the spirit was definitely there! At the end of the lesson Melva was like "Lucas I want you to go on a mission! Do you want to go when you are older??" Haha it was such a cool experience. She invited us back over for dinner next week and she is going to Try to come to church on Sunday! What a miracle it was that we had waited a couple minutes and then she was home!
#2 When we went to look up this less active, we found that he moved. So we had 2 extra minutes so we decided to knock the door across the street. So we did and they weren't home. But when we were leaving we saw this man who we met like 3 months ago. We met him at the library cafe and then in a parking lot somewhere another time. So that was the third time we ran into him! Super crazy. He wants us to teach him but he doesn't want to pray about it or read the scriptures or anything so it doesn't make sense. So we will see if he comes to church or prays. It was just so crazy that we saw him AGAIN.
#3 this kid in the YSA Ward named Ravy got baptized a couple months ago and so we reached out to him and found out his aunt is a member who isn't active and her records weren't even here! So we got her information and went over there on Thursday. We ended up talking to Kyanna. (Kyanna lives with her brother, aunt and uncle). Well she is 12 and super awesome. We were able to go back last night and talk with her more and invited her to the primary program so it was awesome.
#4 one of the less actives we are working with watched conference and decided to ponderize and now her whole life is like changed!! She is so cool. She loved conference so that was awesome. And then another family (the wells) watched conference and Serah loved it! She said she cried through the whole thing because it was so good. And she watched every session! Not like her at all. She hates churchy things. So that was a miracle in itself.

"Prayer is your personal key to heaven. The lock is on your side of the veil"-Boyd K. Packer
"Obedience sometime will offend but it's the easiest to defend. " -Unknown
"Love is the measure of our faith, the inspiration for our obedience, and the true altitude of our discipleship." -Dieter F Uchtdorf
"All men/women have their fears but those who face their fears with faith have courage as well"-Thomas S. Monson

This week I was reading from 3 nephi 26 and it talked about how not even a hundredth part of Christ's teachings are written in the Book of Mormon. I thought about how cool it would be to read all about that time. Then I found this quote in the institute manual by President Spencer W. Kimball
“I have had many people ask me through the years, ‘When do you think we will get the balance of the Book of Mormon records?’ And I have said, ‘How many in the congregation would like to read the sealed portion of the plates?’ And almost always there is a 100-percent response. And then I ask the same congregation, ‘How many of you have read the part that has been opened to us?’ And there are many who have not read the Book of Mormon, the unsealed portion. We are quite often looking for the spectacular, the unobtainable. I have found many people who want to live the higher laws when they do not live the lower laws”
It's so true. We are given so much! If we want more we have to use what we already have. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that we can constantly learn from it every single day. I don't know what I would do if I had even more to try to study and learn from! I'm grateful we have what we have :)

I love you all so much! Have a fabulous day and think of me on Sunday because it's my half birthday ;) haha

Sister Tanner <3

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Don't forget to Ponderize!

Hello family!!
Wasn't conference just SO good!?! Feeling the spirit of the new apostles was incredible. And of course I love Elder Rasband because he gave the New York New York North mission a shoutout. We're cool, it's fine.

Luckily for you, I am all caught up in my journal this week so this email will be shorter! So Im switching it up a bit because I just want to! Everyone is doing great and we were able to have some great lessons and see tons of tender mercies! The gospel is the coolest.

-Elder Lawrence. SO good! Definitely a favorite! "What lack I yet?"
-Elder Holland because I have a mom just like that! And I want to be that kind of mom.
-Elder Eyring because the Holy Ghost is key.
-Elder Bednar because the prophets truly are inspired. I loved it.
-Elder Durrant because it's cool to Ponderize.

>>>#1-Kimberly!! So the 14 year old girl that we have been trying to teach is super adorable. Last week she invited us into her house for the first time rather than just teaching her outside. Well we taught her the plan of salvation and she was loving it. Half way through she was like "wait can I be baptized?? I want to be baptized!!" What a perfect question :) then she asked if she could go tell her mom right then and there. Just pray her moms heart will be softened!

>>>#2-Melva! So on Sunday between conferences we had this thought to go back to this house we tracted into. So we did. We went in search of Luca who is 9 who we met a few weeks ago. Well we ended up meeting with him and his mom, Melva, and she is so awesome!! She use to live in Peru and when she was little they had the missionaries over for dinner a lot but her mom has since passed away and she doesn't remember any of it, so she is excited to learn more! We are going back on Friday :)

>>>#3-Stephanie! So we had the thought to go to her on Monday instead of Thursday like we normally do. Turns out she was going to be gone that Thursday anyway. Well we me with her again and had an awesome lesson. At the end she was like "I want to come to church on Sunday. Is there church??" We love when people tell us they want to come to church before we even invite them :)

RANDOM STORY: Okay here is a fun story. So last week we were driving to trader joes and it was super nice weather and so we put the windows down. Well we came to a stop light and the car to the right of us had his window down too. So we smiled and said hello and then pulled up. Well at the next red light this was our conversation
Him: "wow I'm so close I could be in your conversation! Except I don't know what you are talking about so it could be really personal stuff!"
Us: So we laughed and I said "no we are just talking about Jesus!!"
Him:"oh I love Jesus!"
Us:"what religion are you??"
Him:" Pentecostal(and he said more stuff but I forgot), what religion are you guys??"
Us:"we are actually missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! Here we can give you a card" *then I grabbed a card and jumped out and ran it over to him.
Him:"wow thank you! When is church??"
well we pretty much just told him when church was, told him about conference and invited him and then got his name (it's Larry!) and shared a brief testimony. It was awesome. And then the light turned green. Now that's how you go contacting upstate!

QUOTES for the week:
"If you do what you've always done, you get what you've always got."-Elder Bednar
"If we entertain temptations, soon they begin entertaining us!" Neal A. Maxwell
"A goal without a plan is only a wish"-unknown

1. I get really carsick now if I'm not driving. Lame.
2. Elder Arnold of the 70 is coming to teach us tomorrow.
3. Today for a zone activity we are carving pumpkins and eating pumpkin pie and taco soup!

This week I was reading in 3 Nephi 17 and verse 3 stood out to me because of conference this weekend! It says "3 Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again."
I love that because we need to take the words home that the prophets provided us with and ponder upon them and apply them everyday and ask God to help us understand them better. There is so much to learn everyday! I love this gospel!

I love you all so much! So Review all the talks from conference and don't forget to ponderize weekly! And Share your scriptures with me! :)
Have a great week! Xoxoxo

Sister Tanner <3