Tanner received mail from home this week and one of the letters was a postcard with a monkey on it. He told of using it for a teacher moment. In the district meeting I was the investigator in the practices and they had to find out what my problem was and how to solve it. My wife was abusive was the problem. I used the postcard to show them a picture of “my wife”. It was a very interesting practice because Elder Gardenhire acted as my wife and came home angry at me for having the missionaries over. Weird practices. Elder Gardenhire is a scary wife and isn’t very pretty either but he does know how to cook. I am glad to know that the postcards that I send him can be used as props for teaching.
I asked Tanner the best and worst of his mission. The best thing so far is when you are able to teach a good lesson and feel the Spirit guiding you to help this person. The hardest thing is when you have nothing and you have to struggle to find people that want to listen to you.
Good week this week. Tanner and his companion were able to have fourteen lessons this week and working hard to get more. The sisters that Tanner teaches in his district tell him that they like the way that he teaches. He makes them talk by basically asking questions. He makes them read scriptures and then will ask them what they thought about the scripture. Good plan.
We told Tanner that we were cleaning his room and getting it ready for when he comes home. He asked that I not throw his guitars or CDs out. Like I would do that. Silly boy!
Tanner told us about a family that he is teaching. He said, “we are teaching a woman named Alejandra who has an autistic boy named Diego. He’s always running around naked, but it kind of helped me explain why Adam and Eve needed to eat the fruit in order to understand everything better.” I told him to use pictures because Diego would really like that and his mom would be impressed that Tanner could entertain her child. He said that when they come over to teach that the mom just has Diego take a bath. I guess that why he runs around naked all the time.
Tanner sent a link about the Philadelphia temple. He really like the pictures. http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/open-house-begins-philadelphia-pennsylvania-temple?cid=HP_TH_4-8-2016_dPAD_fFSRCH_xLIDyL2-2_
Transfer day!!! Tanner did not get transferred! He is staying in the same area and with the same companion, Elder Gomez. He is happy. He did get sick from something but not sick enough to stop him for working hard. He said, “Its becoming normal to get sick sometimes. haha!” I feel bad that he feels it is normal to get sick now. I hope that when he comes home that he will not get sick from eating the food here and drinking the water here.
I told Tanner to read Helaman 7:5 ” Condemning the righteous because of their righteousness; letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money; and moreover to be held in office at the head of government, to rule and do according to their wills, that they might get gain and glory of the world, and, moreover, that they might the more easily commit adultery, and steal, and kill, and do according to their own wills—” because it totally described the world today. Tanner said’ “Wow. Well this world really is going to hell in a hand basket isn’t it? Yesterday in church someone said the Mexican government is wants to make a law that will make it so we can’t contact in the streets or knock doors. Everything will have to be through references from members. But who knows if it will actually pass or not. But no matter what the wicked do or what Satan does, nothing will stop the going forth of this Work. It is the work of our Almighty God and it will go on and not only change the world but cover it and save those that want to be saved. See Daniel 2:44-45. ” 44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall breakin pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” Tanner commented, “Well, we just have to keep our standards up high and cling to the iron rod and never let go. The world will go against us completely sooner or later. We must be strong and continue in our path of bettering ourselves to be like our Saviour. God will protect us.”
We got Tanner’s travel iteranary for his trip home. He will be home November 14, 2016. So excited.
Last week Tanner said that they had 30 lessons but what he meant to say that 30 lessons a week was his goal. But that they had 11 lessons for the week which was double to what they had the week before.
Tanner told us to listen to this song if we wanted to cry. I did listen to it and I did cry. It is a really good song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvaIZ3voOdk
For some reason we only received one email from Tanner this week. Normally we are able to email back and forth but not this week.
He said that he had a better week. They were working hard on getting more lessons. He said that they normally have only five lessons a week but this week they have 30 lessons. Big jump!!
He is still getting along with his companion. They joke around a lot because a mission can be stressful. I am glad that so far Tanner has had good companions and have gotten along with them.
We sent him a package with beef jerky in it and he loved it. I guess that you can’t get beef jerky there so it was a nice treat fro him.
Tanner is reading the Book of Mormon aloud in Spanish to help him with his pronouncation. I love that he only has four months left and he is worried about how he pronounces things.
Tough week for Tanner. But they are going to work harder and give it their all this week. They plan to contact someone every five minutes. I can only imagine how hard that would be for someone like Tanner who would rather not talk to someone without knowing them first. Tanner said, “We put our own barriers in our minds that tell us we can’t do it. but if we increase our Faith we can rip down those barriers and have success in anything we want to. I need to give everything I can. I only have 4 months left.” Love his attitude.
Even in Mexico the people bother Tanner about his “countrymen” and ask what he thinks of them. He just tells them that he really does not know what is going on in the United States and then they leave him alone. He said that he does not want to be there when the elections happen because the Mexican people will be bothering him about who wins until he comes home. Tanner will be able to vote with an absentee ballot.
Happy Fourth of July!!! First week with the new mission president and Tanner seems to like him. He said that he was cool and really relaxed so far. No changes yet! His new mission president President De Leon is from Idaho. President Hall was from Idaho also. We told Tanner about trying a new Mexican place to eat and that his dad tried Al Pastor tacos and that he thought that they were pretty good. Tanner said that he would be the judge of that when he comes home. Guess he is now an authority on Mexican food.
Last year for 4th of July a family in Tanner’s ward prepared him an American meal of hot dogs and decorated the house with American flags. I thought it was a very nice thing to do for missionaries far from home. I asked Tanner if there was a family in the ward that was like that. He said no and that he tried to avoid families like that because they would waste a lot of valuable time with them. They were good people and only meant well.
I told him that if it made him feel any better that we were not doing anything special either. He said to watch “The Patriot” but that it probably was not a good thing that a missionary was telling us to watch a rated R movie so he said to watch this talk instead. http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/elder-christofferson-religious-freedom-under-fire
Final words for the week- “Remember that we live on the promised land” True words.
Lots of pictures this week. Another baptism. Finally pictures with President Hall and Sister Hall. Last week with mission president and ready for the new president to come. He is nervous about it but I am sure that it will great.
Tanner is trying to figure out how he can go to the MTC to see a missionary from home, Emma. He has not figured it out yet bu he still had three weeks before she leaves.
Tanner shared the final letter that he received from President Hall. It is a nice letter and shows the love that he has for his missionaries. I am grateful that they have someone that helps them learn to be great adults when they come home. Here it is:
Thank you very much for your letter. I want you to know how much I love you. Elder and I’m grateful for you. I saw young man come here who lack confidence and self-esteem and I think even like somewhat in his conversion and testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and now I see a young man his I had the opportunity why with you last week has matured, spiritually, you have matured clearly and greatly and you now have a testimony of Jesus Christ and of his atonement. You have a testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith and that he truly restored the gospel, you’re gaining a stronger testimony every day of hard work and of obedience and of your desire to give everything to the work of salvation. You’re learning that if you want to have success in life, you listen to and follow the Council of living prophets. Please follow always follow the words of a living prophet because if you do other you will see that you will have tremendous success and what you are called to do, whether it’s in the church or outside the church in your personal business. You’re a fine young man. Elder continue through hard work and obedience to increase your self-esteem in knowing who you really are a wonderful and one of the elect sons of God and I testify that you are. I love you very much and I’m grateful for the work you did in the office in the work you’re doing in the field. I will see you again. Elder, I will look forward to seeing you again in my life. I love you very much, Pres. Hall
Tanner is helping a sister in his ward with family history and he shared this website with us. https://www.relativefinder.org
Tanner was telling us about some of investigators and how it was going. “Well, we are going to start teaching one of the member’s girlfriend this week. She wants to join the church already and has been going to church for a while now. We are going to make sure she is doing it because she believes it not for her boy friend but I believe she knows its true.’
Happy Father’s Day!!! Tanner sent a picture of a old truck for his dad for father’s day. He saw it one day when out contacting and knew that his dad would appreciate it .
Tanner said “We are still trying to find new investigators, we don’t have many. Most of the ones we find lately are crazy people who tell us a bunch of insane stuff. I am getting along with him well. We’re always joking around and laughing together but of course we are working hard too. He has a harder time with the rules and doesn’t like to follow them as much, but so far he is being obedient and we haven’t had any problems yet. ” (Tanner was talking about his companion)
It is the raining season and that is not Tanner’s favorite time of the year. I told him that he will probably miss it when he comes home and it is hot and no rain. He said that he will be happy to home in the Vegas dry air until it gets hot.
Tanner is working hard and had another baptism. She had been going to church for over a year and decided that it was time to get baptized. Her two children have already been baptized and now it was her turn. Tanner said that he really had nothing to do with this baptism because she was already ready before he got there. He said,”I put a lot of hope in people, maybe more than I should. But as missionaries we are here to harvest people who are ready to follow Christ and repent. We are not here to only plant seeds. We are here to harvest. But one day it will be Antonio’s time and he will be ready to harvest. At least that is my hope.”As Tanner learns of changes at home with family, he realizes that things will be different when he returns. He quoted Ozzy Osbourne “Its like Ozzy Osbourne says in,”Mama I´m Coming Home”. He says something like,”times are long, times are strange, here I come but I ain’t the same, Mama I’m coming home.” I may have just butchered that but its been so long since I have heard it. I am glad people still remember me though. haha. I am surprised they all know the exact time I have left. 5 months, that is weird, you can count it on one hand now. Its scary.” Tanner was surprised that family beside his mom and sister know how many months he has left. I think that it makes him feel good to know that someone else thinks about him too. Not sure that quoting hard rock songs while on a mission is the right thing but that is Tanner. He said that he got his love of hard rock from his dad and mom. Great thing for us to pass on to our kids.