Monday, November 26, 2012

3 dinners

So this week was pretty crazy! I'd have to say the most crazy part was the 3 Thanksgiving dinners we ate and how full I was and how bad I slept because of it! The food was great though!

 We have been working with a family that has recently been reactivated and there is a 13 year old girl named A. When I got here I realized she was not baptized so I turned to my companion and said lets get on that. She comes to church every week why is she not been invited to be baptized yet, I don't know. So we grabbed her at church and said A, you want to be baptized right? She said YES! so we said okay we are going to start teaching you. She will be baptized this Saturday and she is very excited a long with her mom. 

We are working with a lot of fantastic families and people right now. One them is named M she is Guatemalan but spent a lot of her life in Mexico where she has two kids that are members. She really wanted to have her son her to see her be baptized but have had troubles getting a visa in the past. So she was going to wait. We had an incredible lesson with her. We talked about acting in faith and leaving the rest to the lord. We concluded that if her son was supposed to be here and she did every thing in her power to get him here then by the 22 of December he would be here if it was the will of the Lord. She is so devoted and such a great lady. He son has no idea she has even been taking the lessons from us and especially that she is going to be baptized. The Elders went by her house for years in Mexico.

 E is also a great man we are working with. He has history with some of the members here and lives with the M Family. He really wants to be baptized and is trying so hard to make the changes in his life that he feels he needs to do. He wants to be baptized on the 24th (Mexico Christmas) So we are preparing him for that day. On top of these three people we are teaching some great and amazing people that are really trying to find the truth.The Lord truly is hastening his work here and around the world! 

Its great to be back here in Chamblee Branch things are just moving along great!!! 

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!!! Sure do miss those family parties. No one does Thanksgiving like the Dukes! 

Love Tanner

Monday, November 19, 2012

Transfer Surprise

Elder's are so easily entertained

Sooooo....remember how I thought that I was going English? Well they pulled a big one on me and they kept me Spanish. I thought for sure i was going english because they told me that I was staying zone leader and being transferred. Well turns out they turned my old area Stone Mountain into a zone leader area and sent me back and now i have a new companion who i get to train to be a zone leader. Yep I'm back in the Chamblee Branch for the THIRD time hahahaha. I'm not complaining though I love it here. I really do miss the Shenandoah branch though. I loved it there.
Watch your head Elder Charlesworth
Family from the Shenandoah Branch
 It was a great welcome here though. On Thursday we went over to someone I had taught and got baptized right after I left and was not able to come back. She now lives with Alex and another member that we helped activate when I was there last. They are doing so great!!! They do "family prayer" together every night. Read together and do Family home evening each week. We also met up with someone else that I found last time I was here. He was baptized shortly after I left as well. He came out of his car and gave me big hug. He is so legit. He showed up to our lesson with his white shirt and tie on and his scriptures. He got baptized only like three months ago! What a stud! We went and taught someone else that I found  last time I was here. Her name is Marta she is the one with twin girls. When she opened the door she did a double take and her little girls came running out to greet me. She told me she was very happy that I was back and then as we sat down she told me she wants to be baptized!!! We were having a great lesson when suddenly this man walked in and ruined it by trying to argue with us just for the sake of arguing. It was cool though cause Marta stood up for what we had been teaching her and basically told the guy he was wrong and that she believed what we taught her and what he said didnt matter to her. She later also texted us and apologized for him. No big deal... that happens all the time. Its really hard for me to hold back and not tear into them with the bible. I've been really good and keeping my cool, smiling and telling them to read and pray about it. Dang thats hard sometimes its so easy to prove them wrong, with the same bible they are trying to use against us I can prove it all to them...But that really does not go any where does it? If they don't have a witness from the Spirit it means nothing and does no good for them. The Spirit really is the most important part in missionary work
 This week must have been a test of my patience when someone tries arguing. We were teaching a family when there came a knock at the door. 3 people came in, one came over and set his Bible on the table for us to see....yep he was a pastor from another church and two other people. He asked the typical thing that most of them do. "tell me about Joseph Smith" then did the typical thing and interrupted me half way through. He was trying so hard to pick a fight. I nearly lost it on him. He quoted scripture after scripture and said nothing to do with what what he was trying to prove. So I just bore my testimony about the church and the priesthood authority and told him to pray about it. (he's Evangelical, they think the holy ghost is the same thing as authority) and then I asked to bless them with a prayer and we left. Well no real damage was done by them thank goodness cause we saw that family last night and they welcomed us in and the wife was actually more open than she was before. We were expecting the worst and got much better haha.
 Church was great! It was full, everyone was so friendly and nice and welcoming me back. One of the coolest things in the world though is when your recent convert comes up and gives you the biggest hug ever. Kenny a guy that got baptized 3 days after i left the area and literally cried when I left saw me as he was walking in late and stopped dead in the aisle and stared at me for a good 30 seconds. Afterwards he came up and wrapped his arms around me. He is looking so good! He shaved his nasty little chin scruff and was in a white shirt and tie. Such a cool sight. Sitting there next to his wife and new baby. I have been blessed to just see a couple fruits of my labors and it made every thing worth it. As sad as I was to leave my last area this made it all worth it. To see the change that the Gospel has in the lives of people is so worth every hard day. A day like yesterday is more powerful than even 2 weeks of the worst days ever! Clearly I have been sent back here for a reason, and with the little time I have left I need to figure out what that is!
Have a great Thanksgiving. I love you all
Love Tanner

Monday, November 12, 2012

Busy is good

This was a great week! BUSY BUSY BUSY!!!!....We were only in our area for like 2 of the 7 days. 

We went on exchanges with some Elders down in Thomaston, its about 65 miles away from us. I went with one of our District Leaders down there and it went so well!!!!
I had to go do two baptismal interviews for them and on our way we stopped by a referral. We had one of the most amazing lessons I have ever been in. This email will not do any justice to the experience and the Spirit that was felt there! He is an older man who is a Deacon in his church and said he was comfortable and he had accepted Jesus as his personal savior so at first we thought oh he just wants to talk the bible. We continued to talk with him and did whats called beginning teaching basically it is just setting expectations of what we do as missionaries. After he responded well to all that we said we prayed and began to teach him the restoration. He pull out his bible (one of 9 he has around the house so he can read whenever he feels the urge) and his note book and took notes. We taught about the apostasy and how Christ's church fell and he loved it, it made so much sense to him. We then went through the Joseph Smith story. After the first vision and the Spirit was burning inside his home he said "confirmation" so I invited him to be baptized by someone who holds the authority of god and he said "amen" we continued to teach and introduced the Book of Mormon and he said " I read about that on and I'm anxious to begin reading it" he committed to read it daily. I then invited him to be baptized on the 24th of November, He accepted and asked how often the elders should come by to get him ready. We said at least 2 times a week if not more and he said come everyday if you want I'm retired and i'm ready to learn. He asked about where the church was and said that every time he drove by he felt his heart turn towards it like it was calling him. We blessed him and his home with a prayer and left him with tears in his eyes. It was an amazing experience!

The Lord is preparing his children for the gospel. I can promise you that!!!

The next day was not near as good. I took off with the same Elder on bike and we started tracting when we got a call that was very broken up. bumper..... cross streets.... hurry.... so we took off on our bikes and made it to our companions about two miles away who had just been t-boned. Not exactly the news you want to get. No one was hurt the car was wrecked pretty bad but no injuries not even whip lash! Good thing they are elders hahaha.
we got it towed and a very nice senior couple came and got us fromThomaston. Which is in the middle of no where with no cell service hahaha. 

The next day we did a Zone Training meeting it went great! President and the AP's came. Elder Anderson and I tried to direct a lot of conversations and communications and get everyone involved by using the church's new teaching program which is using smaller sub groups to discuss things and then have a spokes person talk about the findings. It went really well we all enjoyed it! 

Saturday we had a baptism!!! R was baptized and he was so excited all week he keeps telling us can't Saturday get here already!! This week is so long, i'm so ready for this! A lot of the branch showed up and it went great. Elder Anderson Baptized him and I confirmed him in sacrament meeting the next day! He is so solid and such a good guy. He was interviewed to get the priesthood next week and is studying and loving what he is learning. 

May the Force be with you- The Griffiths family
Saying goodbye to this branch has been hard. This is probably my favorite area. Things really got going here we have two baptisms set up in two weeks and many others who are very close. The Branch has been giving us their friends to teach and helping us out a lot. When I told the Branch President I was leaving even though Elder Anderson is going home he said he's calling the mission president hahaha. We told the high council man over missionary work in the stake Brother Griffiths about it  and he said the same thing. He invited us over for dinner last night. They are such a good family. They are both from Oregon and know the Ainges  actually. They love Star Wars so we had light saber battles. They are such an impressive family I was so glad we got to work with so many stake leaders as Zone Leaders, we got a lot more opportunities to meet so many other people than we other wise would not have. They are one of those families that just gets it, they live and share the gospel.

This Branch is so great and now I have to move on to other places,in English, which will be a big change. They won't tell me where I'm going all they said is I'm staying Zone Leader and need to go take care of some things. I am really sad but looking towards new opportunities that the Lord has for me.

I love and miss you all!
Something about that southern food.
love Tanner

Monday, November 5, 2012


This week was fantastic!!!! Such a good week. Everything is falling into place now.

Atlanta temple
We have been teaching a newly married member's husband and he will be baptized this coming Saturday the 10th! It has been such a treat to teach him. He really just wants to learn and change his life. He is from Puerto Rico! He married the granddaughter of a Emeratis 70 that lives in our branch Hno. Sanches. So he is in good hands when we are not there. Hna. Sanches reminds me so much of Grandma Charlesworth!!!! SOOOOO much its literally makes me double take every time we are there. The way they look,dress,cook and help and love everyone! She is just the sweetest little lady! We have spent a lot of time over there teaching "titto" and its been so great. Makes me miss home a tiny tiny bit though!!

Yesterday in church for the first time EVER we had to bless more water for sacrament because we ran out. We added it up and based on the cups that were used there were 99 people. Normal attendance when i first got here was about 45-50 on a good day its doubled!!! We had a bunch of investigators there, Less actives a lot of people. And we even have active members that are out of town!
What a problem we had right, so many people we had to bless more cups!!!!

The members have really gotten on board! They are giving us referrals, inviting friends over to have us teach them. This is how missionary work should be! Just last night we went by a members home and she had friends there and said. "elders I have promised them a book of mormon for a few days now and have not gotten it to them can you give them one and explain it to them" So we taught the restoration and then Blessed them with a prayer that the end and then We gave their 8 year old daughter a priesthood blessing because she has been struggling in school. Everyone was touched and we testified to the father that as the leader of his home and when he is baptized he can bless his children like we just did.

 We are looking forward to what this week brings. We will be running crazy busy all week! Even get to go up to the temple in Spanish on friday!!!

Love you all, hope everything is going great.

Love Tanner