Monday, April 30, 2012

Summer is here

Well it's sure starting to warm up here. The 50 degree weather we had last week is gone and is now up in the 90's with the wonderful humidity that Atlanta has. Its great!!! yep!
Elder Steele-Tanner's greenie

Elder Wood,Elder Steele and Elder Freeman 
Monday we had a really good Noche de Hogar with the M Family, J y E came and are still staying strong in investigating the church. We taught about prophets, while we were in sacrament meeting the Sunday before I was thinking of what we could do, a couple ideas hit me so i decided to try them out. We played the telephone game to demonstrate what happened to Chris'ts church after there were not prophets or apostles or the authority on the earth to tell us what we need. They all laughed at how obscured the phrase got at the end and it made a really good point. Then I hid in the kitchen and said I am God, only for this example... never again will I say I'm God!! I as God, called a prophet (N) I had her stand where she was the only one who could see me and she could see everyone else, then I had started to make gestures with my arms, jumping ... she had to do exactly what I did and the rest of the group had to "follow" her, well then the people rejected the prophet and killed her so I kept making gestures and asked everyone if they could do what i wanted them to do. My point was made and we had a blast with it. Things like that are way more fun when they get into it like they did. R was like wow Elder that was so fun, It was a great example. It was a blast haha.
Not a whole ton happened until Thursday I went down to Peachtree for a Leadership Meeting, I drove Elder Rainsdon down who is a district leader in a district near by. Its over an hour drive down there. The meeting went great, learned a lot. It was fun seeing all the other leaders, like Elder Heimuli and Cowley and Anderson and well a ton of people. Makes the meetings even more worth it.  The long drive took a huge toll on the few miles we had left for the month, so we have been walking the past 3 days, the nearest place that we work is 3 miles from our apartment so it takes an hour of walking before we can even really start working. It was kinda fun though. got to talk with people on the streets a little bit. My shoes decided to give me problems aka giant blisters on both feet. They have been such good shoes up until now, they just are over a year old and they are trying so hard to hang on!!! I switched the insoles from one pair to the pair that was giving me big problems and it helped a lot!!
On Sunday the Presiding Bishop, Bishop Stevenson came and spoke at stake conference, it was cool to hear about his experience of being called. He was living in Japan and the first presidency called him at 3 am and his intelligent response was "really". It was a great conference and tons of members from the Cunningham branch in Smyrna came down it was so fun to see all of them. One made that comment that i am still so skinny and that clearly the Chamblee memebers are not taking care of me enough or else 
I'd be fat, it is their goal to make me fat! For some reason thats a good thing to them. Guess what though..... NOT FAT!!! still got a six  pack, yep holding up real nice..... I am worried for what this next year will  bring once the metabolism slows down a bit!
We had a productive day on Sunday we went to see some investigators and then one invited us back for a little demo thing she said, she really wanted us there. Turns out it was an AMway group and we sat there for like 40 minutes and was just thinking "Wow I love vitamins and being healthy but all the stuff the lady was saying was not true haha... spanish people love healthy things, they believe anything that says it will make you better or does something for your health *this is coming from hispanics not from me) thankfully we had another appointment and a good excuse to get out of there. the consultants were really intersted in the gospel at least blown away by what we do as missionaries... maybe something will come of it???
Dinner at Z's (my spanish mom haha) was excellent as usual. Oh man can that woman cook!!!! She loves the missionaries and helps us out so much!!!

That's the week in the nutshell, more happened it's just been a week and I can't remember anything else. Love you all.
Miss you
Love Tanner

Monday, April 23, 2012

I'm a daddy (not a fan of mission slang but when you train you're a dad )

Well I'm not training Elder Freeman, he is in the branch though. Real nice kid. So i will see him weekly!
My greenies name is Elder Steele he is from a family of 10 kids, he is the second to youngest and is from preston idaho.

Last week was fantastic!! We had a great family home evening with the M family with an Investigator and her two 5 year old girls (yes they are twins incase you missed that) after the lesson we went to El Rey de Taco which is a super good authentic mexican taco place. I ate 7 large tacos there are mini and regular sized i ate the bigger ones but whished i would have gotten the smaller ones so i didnt end up as full lol. I ate 4 carne asada and 3 champinon (mushroom) tacos... oh they were so good. 
Tuesday was a really special day. We had the baptism for C, from the D.R. she is really great. We had a couple bumps in the road and she was almost not able to be baptized that day but she fought through it all and we made it happen. The service was so fantastic. The spirit was so strong she was so happy and relieved that she could be baptized. The trial she made it through made it even more special and showed God how devoted she really was. During her confirmation the spirit came in like a hailstorm. It was a very special blessing she was given and I realized how special this baptism really was. She returned to the D.R and called her member friend here and he told us she is doing good and that she is probably the happiest girl in the entire world right now. And that she has a huge family and there will probably be a large number of people coming into the church now. 

Elder Stockman- Tanner's companion for 9 days. Baptism day
The week went by so fast but when I look back it seems like it was forever ago. Wednesday I picked up my little boy and we headed back got him unpacked and then we went to dinner with the M family, J and E came. They really are just meshing right in with the Branch and the Branch namely the M family and a couple other people have really taken them in. J and E said they had not been out or even hung out with anyone for a really long time. That all their friends kinda just faded away and they didn't feel like getting new ones. They just stuck to them selves for a long time, but now they are love the members and love the church, the best part is they have testimonies that are strong so the social life is not the only reason they come. Last night he told me that they used to go to a Christian church that started at 11 and they would make it there around 12 because they didnt care it was not important but they they wake up at 8 and are to church at 9:30 and pay attention and love every bit of it. We had a really good talk with them last night. In priesthood a little bit of false doctrine was taught so we we went over and explained to him the resurrection and how what was taught was false and it turned out really good. He never believed it in the first place. we talked about praying to find out answers yourself just like Alma did and others in the book of Mormon.  They really are becoming very close are dear to me each day. J even got me a Spanish text book called Mastery of Spanish so that i can get the little details down. He really helps me by correcting the little things I miss now its great. 

Elder Steele is really chill and we get a long great. He is really nice and very quiet, but that's okay it wont hurt for me to learn to be a little quieter right? 

It's going really good here, I love this area and the members here. It gets better everyday. Its nice speaking this much Spanish again as well. We really have a lot of people who are willing to love to go out with us, N someone who I have been close with since I first came here last august is a return missionary and is on fire with testimony now that she has gone back through the temple and really turned things around. she is a huge strength in the branch and always goes with us to lessons or calls and invites our investigators to her house for dinner or to go out she is a friend to everyone. 

Brenen I heard you scored some goals that is awesome I hope your birthday went great. I wrote you a letter but was not able to send it today but i was thinking of you!!! keep working hard at LAX love you buddy!!

Brenen said in his letter that You guys got a new car??? or were getting a new car??? what did you get, i want pictures!!! 

I hope everyone is doing great, its so weird that Grandpa is retired now. Whats he gonna do with all that time. I bet he builds some sweet crazy contraptions at the farm cause he did that when he didnt have all this time si i cant imagine what he will think up next. I love and miss you all... yes all of you haha.

Elder Haycock  aka Nolan a best friend from Spanish Fork. He was the  first missionary Tanner met in Atlanta

Love Tanner

Monday, April 16, 2012

Stockman's last week

Elder Stockman heading home
Well this might have been one of the busiest weeks of my mission so far and it was fantastic!!! Never really had a chance to relax but that is okay by me!!!!

We teach J and E every day. They are eating everything up like crazy! They just want more and more. The best part is once they learn something they put it into practice. We taught them about Family Home evening and left the "guide for the family" that the church makes and told them to study it. The next day they asked where they could get hymn books so they could sings hymns like it says to do in the family guide. So we told them we would take them to the church book store right by the Temple than realized hey lets take them around the outside of the Temple. THEY LOVED IT. We had such a good time. J was really moved by it. He said he couldn't wait to get his family in there and then get his kids on missions haha. It was a great experience. One I will never forget. They are such an incredible family. I learn a lot from them.

Later that day we went to Presidente Garcia's house and had some pizza. Talked for a bit and then drove the hour back to make it to the Temple for the 8pm Spanish session. Ni has been working hard to get back to the Temple. She was away from the church for a lot of years but she is probably the strongest member in the Branch now and thats no lie. We got into the Chapel and there were like 7 members from the Cunningham branch (where I started my mission) and to my surprise they all recognized me!! The Spanish session was really good and I left the Temple feeling very happy and at peace. No huge experience but it lifted me and gave spiritual fuel that I will need.

We have done so many things this week that i can't go over them all so i'll talk about to best ones. We had dinner at I house on Saturday who is from the Dominican Republic, she made whats called Mongu its mashed platenos and you put eggs sausage and onion sauce and fried cheese on it. It is sooo good Ii had it once when i was in the DR. 

Sunday was a crazy day!! We went by and met some investigators so they could follow us to church. They were the worst behaved kids I have ever witness like no joke the kids from HELL demon children. They didn't sit down once. They ran around everywhere in the church, were just horrible. They even left the church and ran down the street. Played in the baptismal font and I can't tel you some of the other things that they did. I don't really want to give you more detail than that. oh man it was insane!!! All this was going on during Stockmans goodbye party which turned out great. 

We went to teach a lady named C.. She told us she prayed and knows there was an apostasy and that Joseph Smith was called by God. So we set a baptismal date for the 26th of May. It went really well. She is excited for the lesson we will have next week. She understands things very well and is not afraid to pray to get answers. 

We had a Noche de Hogar (family night) at Hermana Z house. N a, I, J and E all came. We put it together to show J and E an example family night. It turned out so well. We did a visual lesson on the Atonement and repentance for the kids and then read about it in the scriptures then we turned it over to have anyone share their testimony if they would like. N and Z both shared very powerful testimonies that touched everyone! After that we played Jenga, but this Jenga is on steroids. We wrote an action you have to do on each block so when you pull it out you have to act it out, like tell a scary story or act like a t-rex or dance its so fun when people get into it and we had a great group to do it with. Oh it was a blast!!

This was such a good week. During the fun of Jenga I got the call from President telling me that I am training and taking over as district leader. So I have a lot of work to do. Don't know who I wil be training, hey maybe it will be the kid that Kim went on a date with. That would be funny huh?

Jared good job at your meet! sorry you didnt make it the nationals, next year though right?

Guppy send me picks of your new room decorations I heard it was cute!!

Love you all,
Love Elder Charlesworth

Monday, April 9, 2012

emergency transfer

Well this was a very unexpected turn of events. I am now in Stone Mountain due to an elder going home for medical reasons. So glad to be back in the Chamblee branch!!
Gifts from Elder's Klus' friend
Bulldog fever must be contagious
They all have too much fun
 I got a call from president while we were at "city wings" with the L family. I was not really ready for what I was told. I knew this Elder was going home but assumed that it would not effect me as much as it did. President told us that we would be leaving our area for the rest of the transfer. That I had to go to Stone Mountain because there is a lot going on here (3 baptisms and a marriage coming up) and that the elder who went home, his compaion finishes his mission on the 18th. His name is Elder Stockman he is my new Comp. I knew him before we get along great no worries here. So I had all of friday to get the area ready to be white washed if needed (two new elders going in) had to pack everything and talk to the Bishops and other leaders to inform them  what will happen. It was really nice though I got some good compliments from the Bishops. He told me I had been carrying the ward and that he was sad to see me leave and some other way nice things. Its nice knowing you left area better than when you go there. That's really my main goal when I go to a new area is to leave it better than I found it.
 Friday we narrated parts in "the Broken Bread" an Easter Cantana. The choir sang and we quoted scripture about the easter story. The AP's came up and spent the night. We left pretty early Saturday morning to head down to drop me off in my new area.
The week had been going pretty good. We had a couple really good lessons with investigators and less actives. Had our first English class that I'd been working on since I got here and we were not even able to go cause it was on Saturday. It was a really good week and then it got even better! I love the people there in Cartersville but the area is really rough on you. I had served in the Chamblee branch before and was so excited to go back.
 Saturday started out with meeting J y E and their two kids. J and E are going to be married and then baptized really soon. They were just waiting for the Gospel when elder stockman found them. They are so great! We then went to a Branch Activity which was, well what else do hispanics and bbq carne asada! I tried slipping in unnoticed I wanted to act like I had never left but I didn't tell anyone I was coming. I guess its impossible for a six three blonde guy to not be noticed in a spanish branch cause the second I got out of the car people started saying my name "elder principe" I was surprised at how many people remembered me. I have been gone 4 months. The soccer was so fun and the carne was sooooo good it was a great way to start off my new area.
 Easter Sunday was just not the same without being home and having little kids wake me up to get eggs and an Easter basket. The Branch is doing really well I was very surprised at the amount of people that were there and how good everyone has been doing. We taught a sister named C from Dominican Republic who is here visiting and working for awhile she does something with beauty pagents or something of that nature and has been going to church and wants to go to be baptized here because this is where she found the church. She goes back to the DR the same day as Stockman goes home. Presidente Garcia told us that we needed to teach her and baptize her this week. We had not planned on doing that, we thought it best for her to go back and then be taught and join there, but we were asked by out priesthood leader so we said fine its on your hands then we'll teach her. So we taught all 4 lessons including all commandments in 2 and a half hours. Wow! that was insane don't think I ever want to do that again. The Spirit was so so strong though and she has a spiritual conversion thats for sure she believes in the book of mormon in fact she said she likes it more because it talks of the same things but is more simple and clear for her than the Bible is. After that we went over to N for dinner where the other elders, A, j and E were waiting so we could eat. WOW WAS IT SPICY haha we had carnitas en salsa verde it was super good though just really hot I had not had spicy food like that since i left chamblee 4 months ago. Its been a good turn of events for me I love it here, I already know the branch very well and I'm so excited to be here.
hope easter went great for all of you and everyone is doing well.
Love Elder Charlesworth

Monday, April 2, 2012

General Conference

This was a very brutal week. Stomach monster was on attack mode! It would not go away. So we went to the doctor (not by choice) and they did nothing. Gave no answers just said keep drinking water. Well I'm feeling much better now! A week and a half of torture finally gave way and I can sit comfortably again!
Because of the stomach monster out week was slowed up pretty bad. Every chance we had to go out and work no one was home, our appointments were cancelled etc. it was a long hard week. We spent two days trying to help a less active member get his drivers license. He has a visa but apparently not the right kind for a license cause no one would let him get it. We went back twice. They really cracked down on the rules for that.  Luckily he works for a member who owns a food joint called BBQ street (place the Dustin's took us to eat, we eat there every week actually) his boss says he will help him get Permiso de trabajar (workers permit) after he gets that he can get a license. We focused on trying to get less actives General Conference. Everyone uses the "I can watch it at home" excuse. F the member I talked about last week who we had a really good lesson with promised is three times after three different visits he would be at the afternoon session and priesthood well we called him before and he said he'd come and he never did. You get accustomed to let downs like this all the time on the Mission.

General Conference was great! I loved it. My favorite talks were Elder Eyring's about over coming trials. Elder Scott's for Receiving Revelation, Revelation is such a important tool for life. Especially as a missionary you need revelation daily we are constantly seeking that to help ourselves, our area and specifically the people we are working with. I also really enjoyed the talk by the 70 who spoke of teaching your kids agency and letting them use it correctly. I was very grateful for the way that I was raised and given so much room to grow and become who i needed to be. I feel like if you as parents would have tied me down I would have not grown like I was able to. I would not of been as independent or would be able to be as strong by myself. I really do feel bad for kids especially those on a mission right now who never had that room or time to grow. It really does make it harder for them. They don't have to spend so much time figuring things out, how to act alone how to make your own decisions. If a child has to chance to grow and to even live away from home before the mission that is the best case I think. There are so many kids who come from high school to the mission which is great you need to be here, but the only reason they are here is because mom and dad said so and if they don't they will be mocked, shunned and disowned by Mormon Society which is a huge problem that I am not pleased with about the Mormon culture. If a child has the chance to live, to choose to grow then Mission life is much easier and their testimonies and the reason they are on a mission is in the right place. Every man needs to be on a mission that's a commandment, or at lest worthy to serve a mission. I feel bad for the ones who come straight from home and have no life experience or even a real testimony. You cannot convert anyone else more than your own conversion. So thank you mom and dad for raising me the way I needed to be raised. For giving me those choices.

Two more weeks in this transfer! I  can make it haha. its been a rough one, but I'm learning a lot about myself. That's the whole reason we have experiences that we are not particularly fond of. We are supposed to learn so I welcome those challenges (I just don't ask for mountains)

Love you all. Brenen good luck with all the brain stuff you are in my prayers.

Love Tanner