Wednesday, November 25, 2015


This is going to be a crazy awesome week. So as part of the mission we are allowed to see a Broadway musical right during our last cycle.  Today, We are all going to see Wicked(therefore I have no time to email), Tomorrow is thanksgiving, Friday is my companion, Sister Standages birthday, Saturday is my "18 months" mark, Sunday the new Christmas initiative begins, Monday is my exit interview, Tuesday I am going to the temple with all the departing missionaries, next Wednesday is my last pday with sister Standage, and next Thursday is my last MLC! Weird. Time flies folks. It's crazy.

Friday night we had an incredible lesson with the Rakestraws. The Rusts had us and them over for dinner and we taught the plan of salvation. We asked the Rusts before hand to teach a couple parts of it too and it was all really good! The spirit was so strong. They definitely felt it. They also felt Gods love and the love of the Ward. We warned them of satans temptations and forward to Sunday, they didn't come!!! We just about cried right there in sacrament. Tears may or may not have been on the verge of flowin. Nah, but it was SO sad and we wanted to cry. Such a disappointment, Satan is lame. We did everything we could!! Their son ended up being sick. It was sad. But hey, what can we do? Agency is still a thing I guess. Hopefully they will come next week.

Sadly I think they got me a Little sick cuz I haven't been feeling 100% either. But don't worry mom, I've been taking emergen-c but I'm not better.. Oh well. I don't have time to have a sick day! It's starting to get cold though. It's been in the 40s during the day, so not too bad but it'll be 60 on Friday and then cold again next week. No snow yet though! Wahoo! :)

-We have been on a couple exchanges this week. I stayed in my area both times. The first time sister Thompson came to this area and it was so fun because she served here before. I actually took her spot when I came to serve here. So we went and saw a lot of people that she wanted to see. She goes home mid transfer next cycle for school and so we had a lot of fun on a split. She is going to the play with me today too.
-I also went on a split with Hermana Fink. We did a lot of Tracting and found a wide variety of people. We met a really nice Catholic man who was actually semi interested. Usually we get "I'm Catholic! *slam door*) and that's like every house. But He was open to hearing our message. We shared the Book of Mormon with him and gave him one. As we testified we could tell he really felt the spirit. It was cool. Then we met a super crazy man who kept getting closer and closer to our faces. He wasn't mean or anything, just super knowledgable, not interested, and crazy. Idk how to even explain him. Anyway, we also met a guy named Chris. He was probably in his mid twenties. Boy was he happy to see us and talk to us. He was very quick to tell us that he did not have a church that he was going to and that he would gladly come to ours. He wanted us to come in but we kindly declined and so he invited us back for next week. Don't worry, we will most definitely bring a third female.

So we got like 6 media referrals for people in Carmel, which never happens. So we went to look them all up. They were all 17 year old boys who have never heard of the church and they don't know anyone that is Mormon either. We didn't get to talk to all of them. Some of their parents were very mad we were there. Others thought it was kinda funny. I guess one of their friends wanted to "play a joke" on them, it's okay though. There is an elder here in my mission that had that "joke" played on him and he ended up getting baptized and is here today serving a mission! So "jokes" work sometimes!

1. "Follow through: stopping at third base adds no more to the score than striking out." -Alexander Animator?
2. "Since we see things more and more, we tend to notice them less and less" -Mormon message "thanksgiving daily"

So December starts next week! There is an Advent calendar from the 1989 ensign that you should Do!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE! I am so grateful for the past 18 months I have had to serve the Lord here in New York and Connecticut.  I am thankful for all the Ward members here who welcome us in like family and love us and care for us. I'm thankful for the trust that the Lord has in me, trusting me with Gods children. I am beyond thankful that I get to represent Jesus Christ every single day. I am thankful for the atonement of Jesus Christ that makes this all possible. I am thankful for the Spirit who helps me every single day without fail. I am thankful for all my family and friends, you guys, who love me and support me while I'm here. I'm thankful for the many prayers that are offered for me and for my investigators everyday. I am thankful for the Book of Mormon. I am thankful for this restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I am thankful for my life and all the blessings I receive every day! I could go on and on, but I have never been happier. This is such a joyous time that I will forever be thankful for.
I hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving and take time to really think about all you are grateful for. I love you! Xoxox

Sister Tanner <3

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Lady Liberty

How's the best family ever? First off, Happy Birthday Rory!!! I can't believe I haven't even met that cute girl yet and she is 1!! Wow! I love her so much already though :)  Shout out to cousin Dee on her b-day too!
I am glad the Cancer 5k went well! I wish I could have been there to run with you all and help support! I'm praying for you Carmen! :)

This week was busy!  the Statue of Liberty was so much fun, we walked all the way to the top and it was so cool, it was just us four sisters up there (the four in the MTC with me) and so it was really good and refreshing. I'll send some pics, we took a lot!

Also, since it's my last cycle for P-day next week we are going to a matinee Broadway play so that will be really fun.  I doubt I will have any email time though. We will see! Just know, I love you all and I'll reply the week after!

1. On Friday we had zone conference which was fun. We got to watch the new Christmas initiative(A Savior is born)and it's SO good! We also heard some talks. I didn't get called on for the talk this time so that was good, but we all had to prepare 10 minute talks on the sabbath day. It was my last zone conference ever! Super weird. We only did it with two zones so it was a small group. Normally it's with like 5 zones. Like all the upstate missionaries go to one and all the city missionaries go to another.
2. Yesterday I had my departing missionary meeting and lunch. It was crazy but really good!! Wow I just can't even believe it.... I did find out that I fly home with my MTC comp though so that's cool.  She goes to SLC and that's where my quick layover is. I'm happy about that though. The meeting wasn't really like a meeting. It was in the mission home and we all just sat in the family room and got to ask president and sister smith a bunch of life questions and they gave us life/dating/marriage/career advice and we just talked for 4 hours and then they bought us all chipotle for lunch. During lunch president sat with the elders and sister smith sat with us sisters and they just told us about when they were dating and then when they first got married and gave us more advice and what not. It was so fun! there are 9 sisters and 8 elders going home. Finally beat the elders on numbers.

1. this recent convert guy who is a little special invited Jenn over and she asked us to go with her so it wouldn't be awkward. He was going to sell music or beats or whatever  to her. So we went over and we got sucked into it. Here is what's happening. Jenn is writing lyrics for a song, the member is making the music for it, and Sister Standage and I are singing Hahaha... We both don't sing!! I don't think it will actually happen though. So it's okay. She wants it to be like an efy song and she is using the hymn book and children's song book and an efy cd for inspiration.. So ya,  this is going to be interesting!
2. There is this guy named Wesley that we teach sometimes. He keeps saying he wants to come to church and he has been reading the Book of Mormon. He is like 20. We just meet with him when he is outside. Well we decided that we should stop by and say hello since we know his 9 year old sister. Well we knocked on the door and the mom invited us in but she only speaks Spanish. She went down to get him and the next thing you know she comes running upstairs from the basement and out the front door. Well Wesley had run away to get away from us, idk why he was running away from us! It was strange. So we were like okay it's fine, and we left and then we saw him as we were driving to the next place.

Three times this week president has talked to me about how he is grateful for my service and how he thinks I've been an awesome missionary and what not so that was cool. One of the times was during our 3rd hour of church. He came to speak to the youth and we were talking about diligently enduring to the end and he said "sister Tanner, how much time do you have left?" And then he said "let me Tell you all, she only has 4 weeks left.." And then everyone was like "(gasp) awww!! Noo!! Sister Tanner can't leave!" So that was cute haha then he went on to talk about how the end is near but that I haven't given up and he knows I won't and what not and it was really sad but good too. It helped me fight off Satan a little bit more since Satan tries to tell us we were the worst missionaries ever haha i feel so good about life though. Like I'm excited to go home because I know that my time here is almost finished and so when I do go, it's okay and its part of Gods plan for me.

They are doing good! But they didn't Come to church on Sunday :( we met with them last week but they didn't accept a bap date for December 5th yet. We haven't lost hope though, they are still awesome and they still love the church. So we will keep praying for them and hoping that they come to know its all true. Tomorrow we are taking a recent convert with us to their house because he called and asked if he can come so he can invite them to his moms baptism on Sunday. So that will be sweet! And then on Saturday a member invited them and us over to dinner so that will be awesome as well.

1. “Never underestimate the far-reaching influence of your testimony. … You have the capacity to notice the unnoticed. When you have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to feel, you can reach out and rescue others”-Thomas S. Monson
2. "Without the atonement we are insignificant but with the atonement we are infinite"-Elder Coburn
3. "Worship is an individual activity, even at church. If one wishes to worship the lord, they may do so by song, prayer and participation in the sacrament. If the service is a failure, it is YOU who have failed. No one can worship for you." -Spencer W. Kimball

This week I studied the talk "meeting the challenges of today's world" by elder hales from this past conference. We had to review it for the meeting we had yesterday. I really like how it says,

"The Lord will always keep His promise: 'I will lead you along.' The only question is, will we let ourselves be led? Will we hear His voice and the voice of His servants? I testify that if you are there for the Lord, He will be there for you"
and then when he says,
 "If you want more than you now have, reach up, not across!"

I know that if we turn to the Lord, He will be there for us. We need to have the faith to follow the council we are given though. He never breaks his promises, we are the ones who break it. I have loved seeing this really Come to life. I know we can always turn to the Lord for advice and He will help us. I love this gospel and I am so grateful for the guidance of the Lord in all I do.

Have a great week! I love you all! Xoxoxo

Sister Tanner < 3

Friday, November 13, 2015

Raking leaves

Hello! How's everyone doing? I hope well! This week has been so fabulous! It's been happy, that's for sure :) Well today I am headed to the Statue of Liberty! So I'm pretty excited :) oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY Kristy!! For some reason I always remember her birthday :) not sure why I can't remember everyone else's haha

We have been doing lots of service this week. I have become a pro mover and packer to say the least. And we have been raking leaves SO much. It's like "oh I need my leaves raked, I'll call the missionaries!" Haha it's fun though so it's okay

Okay so on Sunday we had the greatest day ever. First of all, 6 of our investigators came to church and a lot of less actives! We gave talks so we were inviting people to "come support us so we wouldn't be nervous" well it turned out great!! Jenn came and so did the Rakestraw family!! And then a few others that we love. I felt so good after giving my talk. It was the greatest feeling ever. Not only was a weight lifted, but also I really felt the spirit as I was talking and I felt so comfortable up there. I talked all about how the gospel has blessed my life and how it can bless us all and so we need to share it and we should want to share it.
The third hour we taught the young men and young women. I know, we were the center of the show today. Haha well we had a little mini MTC and just taught the plan of salvation and then talked about how to teach by the spirit. It turned out SO good! The youth really were engaged and seemed to have a great time. Goodness I love being a missionary! At the end of the lesson they all got a mission call and next week they are going there. They will have dinner and teach a lesson. So for example, one "companionship" is going to Brazil and they are going to a Brazilian family in our Ward. Another is going to France and they are going to our bishops because they lived in France for a little bit.'s super awesome though!
All day I just felt so good. I felt right about the time I have spent. It's been so easy to get discouraged especially when we have big meetings with people from salt lake because they just tell us all we are doing wrong, or all the ways we can improve and so it's easy to think "welp, I've been doing missionary work wrong the past 17 months" but there is hope! I feel good and I just know I came here when I did for a reason and I'm leaving when I'm suppose to for a specific reason. Life is great as a missionary. I love it!

So on Tuesday night we helped the young men and young women practice teaching the plan of salvation. They were SO good. My mind was blown. Seriously it was awesome. We did a practice role play with the elders from the branch and then they got into groups and taught each other. Then at the end after we were finished all the little activity day girls came into our room and gave us thank you cards and a basket full of goodies and our favorite candy and we just about cried it was so adorable. Oh and this is adorable, so last Sunday we taught the 6-8 year old kids and we asked them all their favorite candy from Halloween and 3 of the activity day girls were there and they remembered what we said our favorite candy was and they gave us that candy! How cute are they? So cute. Sadly the pic we got with them was so gross but I'll send it anyway! Haha
Then after mutual a part member/less active returning to activity family called us and asked if we could stop by their house on our way home(they live one minute from us) so we did and they gave us a box full of cereals, milk, bread, fruit, yogurt, peanut butter, stuff like that! Just all this breakfast food that they got for us since they have been working super late and so having us for dinner doesn't work for them. It was so nice!
Pretty much the Ward just loves us now so it's fine. We got invited over for thanksgiving by like 10 people too. I'm just in awe with how great they are to us.  President Smith is coming to our Ward on Sunday to meet with the youth so good thing they already love us so they have all good things to say :) haha

1. So we went and looked up this less active and he was crazy. He was so excited to see us "elders" and he was saying things like "did you know that we can call the Holy Ghost the Spirit too?" And we were like yaaa and then he goes "oh you knew that one! Okay what about this..." And he just kept going haha then he told us about how he is into polygamy and that's why he doesn't come to church and then a minute or so later he invited us inside. We were like Noo thankss.. But ya, idk why all the less actives call us elders. Whateves
2. On Friday we had an extended MLC with brother Donaldson from the missionary department. He was Also the mission president of the San Diego CA mission when they filmed the district 2... When he was introducing himself he told us that he was the one that taught the elders how to teach the law of chastity lesson hahaha only missionaries or people who watched the district would know what that means though. Let's just say those elders did a terrible job teaching it. Go watch all of it.
3. We met with another less active and she asked us if we knew that there is 3 kingdoms of glory... I'm not sure why less actives think we know nothing! Haha

I just love being a missionary so much. I have never felt so much joy. There is no doubt that this church is true. If it wasn't, I wouldn't be here. A lot of less actives have been asking us about that article that came out and I just think about how the prophets and how God knows so much more than we do and to think we know more than God is ridiculous. It's sad that it leaked out before they could explain it and then it blew up wrong. But that video by elder Christofferson is so true. Last night I was praying about how to help those people that are questioning it and I just thought about how When we were little we always thought "if the prophet said to do this would you do it?" And the answer was always yes because he is called of God. Or how the prophet Lehi brought his family into the wilderness and although they thought it was crazy at first, it was what was best. Prophets of God know. But then people think we are brain washed or something. But in reality, our minds are clear and at peace because of the trust and faith we have in God and in His servants. That's what daily scripture and prayer does. Builds that faith. Although the vision of some people who are questioning is a bit foggy right now, we are glad that we can help them and remind them that "it's true isn't it? Then what else matters?"
I am so thankful for the knowledge we have and that I get to share it all day, everyday right now. Miracles are happening daily. This is truly Gods work. I love it.

I love you all so much. Have a fabulous week :)

Sister Tanner <3

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

They will have extra room in their cupboards!

Hello family!!

Thanks for the Halloween package! And for all the Halloween cards I got! And thanks for all the cute Halloween pictures! It's been such a good week! I've just been so full of joy this week. It really helps me finish strong and forget that I don't have too much time left.

We got to go to our Ward fall festival/Halloween party from 11-1 on Saturday. It was SO awesome!! We had 10 investigators there and a lot of less actives that we invited! Goodness it was a happy time. After the awesome party, we went and did an APF with the elders in our district and we passed out candy with cards taped to the candy as well as handed out pamphlets and talked to people about the Book of Mormon. It was really good! We then went to the Rakestraws again which you will read about in the next paragraph! And then we had to be home at 6:30 so we pretty much caught up with life when we were home but writing in our journals and cleaning and eating dinner and such.

Okay so when I was on an exchange in Ossining a couple weeks ago, the sisters introduced me to their neighbor (the Rakestraws) who was moving to Brewster, ny which is my area. So we found out when and then planned to meet her at her house and unpack the truck. The Ossining sisters and elders helped them pack up in Ossining on Friday and then we got our Ward mission leader as well as the Portuguese elders to come and help and we moved them in on Fridaynight, it was fast and easy. They were SO grateful for the help. They said they were in dire need and they prayed and then the missionaries came into the picture, and not just in Ossining but here too. It's a little family. Bridget and Ricky are the parents and then they have a 4 year old girl named Emery and a 2 year old boy named Reese. They are the most loving cutest family ever.
So the next day they went back for another load and we helped them unload for like 30 minutes or so since we had to be home by 6:30.
The kids have been going to a day care in Ossining that is run by a member who is the most awesome member missionary and talks to everyone about the gospel. She invited the Rakestraws to stake conference 2 weeks ago and guess what. Apparently THEY WENT! It was the first time they ever went to our church. Our stake president, President Checketts, met them at stake conference and started talking to them. Ricky told president Checketts that he had been having health problems with his heart. President Checketts told Ricky that he would give him a priesthood blessing this upcoming week and told him to fast. We didn't know all of this until this last Sunday as sister Standage and I were sitting in ward council and president Checketts peeped his head in and started talking about this family. We got all excited and told him that we actually knew them already and helped them unpack the previous day!!
Then on Monday we went back at 5:30 and we brought them pizza because we felt they needed it since last time they were too busy they didn't even eat. We told them before hand that we were going to bring it and they said they would reimburse us. Well we brought the pizza (just two so it wasn't expensive) and when we got there she asked if she could reimburse us and we said no and she said "ya I thought you would say that, so I bought you a pie" and she gave us this huge fresh apple pie which was actually really good, we had a slice then gave the rest to the elders haha. Anywayy back to the story. So we had planned to just help them unpack more but we prayed before that we would be able to teach them as well. We didn't want it to be like "let us serve you so that we can baptize you" though. Well as soon as we sat down to eat pizza with Bridget and the kids, Ricky got off the phone with his doctor and sighed because his heart rate was really high that day at a random time. He told us that he was suppose to be blessed on Sunday by president Checketts but he woke up and ate and then remember that he was suppose to be fasting and then he couldn't find the box with his suit in it so he couldn't. Well that led to asking them about stake conference and over the course of the next 20 minutes or so they asked us questions and we taught them the restoration because all their questions were answered in the restoration. It was the coolest lesson ever. Bridget wants her husband to lead them in religion and she said that he is the one that got them to stake conference and she loved that. They talked about how this church feels right and true and like it came from God to them at the Perfect time. They want religion in their life and when they wake up on Sunday's and aren't at church it makes them sad. Their only hold back is that we have an "extra book" so we explained the Book of Mormon and gave them one with some scriptures to read after reading from it with them. We go back tomorrow and they are feeding us this time and we are going to see how the Book of Mormon reading is going and invite them to be baptized on December 5th! They are so prepared. It is truly incredible. They are the most prepared family I have ever met my entire mission. If I didn't stay in this area, I wouldn't have been able to teach them. I love them and I am so excited for them to get sealed in the temple!
Oh funny story, while unpacking them we unpacked their wine, coffee, tea and hookah and she was so at least we know what to talk about for the word of wisdom lesson coming up hahaha. Hey, soon they will have extra room in their cupboards!! What a plus.
Oh yea, it was so cute. After dinner and the lesson before we started helping unpack Emery said her little prayer to us that she learned at her catholic school. It was the Lord's Prayer or a version of it, but it was SO cute. And then when we went to say a prayer with them before they left, the Spirit was so strong. It was probably my favorite prayer I have said on my mission. Haha, it was so cool though! And we all help hands even though I don't think they normally do that cuz Emery was so confused but they wanted to so we did. It was cute. Wow what a great week it has been with the Rakestraw family! And then while unpacking the kids kept asking for pamphlets of their own so we gave one a plan of salvation pamphlet and the other a gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet, so now they have all three! Haha it was a good move :)

1. Sooo we knew it was daylight savings but when our alarm on our phone went off at 6:25 we woke up and we're just laying In bed talking for a bit and saying "nooo I don't want to wake up" then When it was just about 6:30 I had the thought to check the other clocks so I checked my iPad and it turns out our phone didn't change on its own and it was really 5:30! So we got to go back to sleep :)
2. We had MLC last week and then Tomorrow is and extended MLC again because someone from the missionary department is coming to our mission. Our mission is popular I guess. Haha
3. So we had a really interesting but awesome Sacrament meeting. This guy named Michael got up to share his testimony very first. He is such a sweet man. He is a little special but so awesome. He's a recent convert as well. He signs up for all the service things without fail and signs up to clean the church every week. Well he got up there and he had written a talk on the priesthood to give. He started giving this talk. It had scriptures and quote and all this stuff. After about 10 minutes the 1st counselor had to get up and help him close. Rather than making it awkward he just got up and put his arm around him and asked him a few questions such as "how does the priesthood make you feel?" "Why does it make you feel that way?" "How did you come to know this church is true?" "How do you feel about your baptism?" And like 5 more. Michael told us that he wrote that talk because he feels ready to receive the priesthood and he has been working hard for it. It was so tender. Well when the counselor told him that he is on the list to receive it soon he got this hugeee smile on his face and looked at everyone in the audience and was just like "really??" He just glowed. It was so awesome. It made me really think about what a blessing it is to have the priesthood. It's not just something you get when you turn 12. Or 18 and preparing for a mission. It means so much more. It's a huge blessing.

This week we have hopes to set baptism dates with 5 other investigators for December 12th so we will see if that works out! :)

I am in Moroni now! I love Moroni because he didn't think he would be writing any of it, so it just goes to show how important it is. I read chapters 1-5 today. I can't imagine the Book of Mormon without these important chapters! While reading in the institute manual i found this quote I love by Henry B. Eyring.
“Start with remembering Him. You will remember what you know and what you love. The Savior gave us the scriptures, paid for by prophets at a price we cannot measure, so that we could know Him. Lose yourself in them. Decide now to read more, and more effectively than you have ever done before”
The scriptures are the best! I love it! Today we can decide to read and study them more and better than ever before. Don't decide tomorrow, decide today, they are important! I love the Book of Mormon so much, I am so grateful I have been able to really understand it so much more on my mission. We are so lucky to have it. The gospel is true!
Have a fabulous week! I love you all! Don't forget to keep the Rakestraws in your prayers, I feel so good about them! Xoxo

Sister Tanner <3
Sister Standage and I with our Halloween bags!

amazing fall leaves 

And just like blink and the leaves are gone! AhhWinter is coming!

MLC with my favorites (we all came out together)

All the packages MY COMPANION gets in a week!

This is Pip Hippen.  She is Kiki for Halloween from (Kiki's Delivery Service)  I told her that was my nickname at home and it made her love her costume much more, especially because  a lot of the kids have never heard of that show before. 

Sister Muth and her mom with dementia. I love her mom!

The Wells.  Sister Wells was a witch and Serah was Urcela and Jordon was a pirate!

Sister Muth was a pile of fall leaves!