Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October 14, 2013

this tuesday i got transferred down to an area called may's pond. i went from the most northern area of the mish to the most southern! driving here i got like culture shock it was super weird. there were 4 lane roads and it kind of freaked me out and overwhelmed me because i was so used to blaine and the single roads. i am in mill creek and its a really nice neighborhood we are 20 mins from seattle and most everyone here works at microsoft. super nice houses and it reminds me a lot of back home and the draper area me and the boys used to regulate. i miss blaine so much.. its really weird its like blaine has now shifted to my homesickness because utah and every there just seems kind of like a dream to me now. like the oasis in the desert that is always in the distance but never getting any closer. when i think of home it makes me so happy but then so sad! i cant beleive that my life was ever that good! all i know is this mish life :( i miss daelee and river and adell and lots more up in blaine a lot and please keep them in your prayers because austin still hasnt gotten any better. i got to see daelee, adell and natalie and aliyah at the cottage meeting last night and it was so good to see them. daelee talked at the cottage meeting about me and how i was the only missionary to ever get her to feel the spirit andd how things with her dad were going and how she has a new view of the Lord because he suffered everything that not only she is feeling, but what her dad and brother and mom and whole family is feeling as well. it gave her a new sense of appreciation for the atonement. it was really good to see them last night. so mill creek is a super nice area but for some reason we live with members in the most run down part! we have such a small space to live in in a super old house and its been stressing me out lately! i have to share a bathroom now and that totalyl blows too. we are on bike again so that is kind of nice except it is way cold up here but i like biking around everyday. i am in president bonhams ward (he never comes) but he lives like 5 minutes away. either that is really bad or really good! i like him a lot and we have a super good relationship he emails me a lot more than other missionaries and whenever we talk its really chill and i enjoy it so im glad to be really close to him! we had dinner with him last night. my companion was actually my district leader up in blaine before elder cook was so i knew him a little bit. he played football at weberstate so hes kind of a chill guy but hes really all about the %110 obidience thing so i tell him to chill out all the time cuz hes wound up so tight! i like his personality a lot better than my old companion so that is good! there were five elders in this area and now they changed it to just me and elder largent so we have a lot of work to do. i think president trusts us a lot because it really is a huge change to take all those companionships out and have just me and largent. we are super busy so that is great, there are a lot of people we are teaching. i like the members up here a lot. they are more on the normal side compared to people in blaine so thats good. i still miss blaine a lot tho but i know im supposed to be here. ive been super depressed lately and elder largent says i need to get some vitamin d so im gonna throw down a purchase at gnc today and well see if that works. i literally havent seen the sun for like 4 days and that coupled with all this change is really just stressing me out lately. im finna find me a nice tanning bed around here soon if i can and go hard with the vitamin d too so i hope that will make me feel a little better. the church is really close to us too so were going to go to the gym and shoot around every morning too so i hope that makes me feel better too. i get really stressed but i dont like it so i just dont address my problems so that is probably not good like my homesickness i just dont think about it but then when i have a dream about my friends or something reminds me of home i just try to ignore it but it makes me super sad! i need to get some counseling or something on how to confront and deal with how much i miss everything. well see how that goes! other than all that the mission life is still going! im getting really good at teaching and im really good at tracting. elder largent doesnt have the best people skills so he has me do most of th etalking. its crazy the things that i will say sometimes when we knock on doors. ill say the stupidest things sometimes and ill think haaa why did you say that! but then it was exactly what the people needed to hear and they open right up to me! its hard to get people up here to see a need in their life for the book of mormon or sometimes even religion because unlike blaine they are living the high life and dont really have too many problems. its a whole new kind of people for me to teach and i think this past week ive adjusted my teaching skills pretty well. its kind of weird but im loving studying the bible. i sort of look forward to it every day. i havent read the book of mormon for like 2 weeks haha every morning i just open up the bible and next thing you know study time is over! other than that nothing new is really going on oh we had annas baptism on saturday night i got to go up for that it was really cool to see her finally get baptised after all that we went through teaching her and stuff. i heard that the U beat stanford this week??? and byu beat georgia tech?? we watched the first half of the u dub oregon game on saturday with this part member family. it was really good to watch football again i imss it so much! marcus mariota looks so good i think oregon might beat alabama this year but who knows im so out of th eloop. i also heard that adrian petersons son was killed? that is horrible i dont know the story on that so if anyone wants to send me an article about it that would be cool. thats about all i have on the real world! oh i heard the hawks played the titans yesterday but i havent gotten who won yet so hopefully the titans pulled it off! i miss everyone a lot and even tho life is hard right now it really is flying by. im not the "new" missionary anymore and its crazy to see these other elders come in this tuesday and think that that was me a few months ago. i ahve learned so much already and i know i will continue to grow every day. as much as it sucks im grateful for this opportunity to face trials right now in my life because i know they are all taylor made from God and that each one is a lesson that will make me greater than i ever could have become without this mission. i love you all so much and i hope everyone has a great week! please pray for austin and river, adell, and daelee. love, tanner GO UTES! ;)

October 12, 2013: Anna's Baptism

October 7, 2013

hey so this week river and daelee and mariahs dad Austin Markusen was in a really bad car accident. he was life flighted to seattle and now hes in some sort of an induced coma. the whole left side of his body is crushed and he had a bunch of internal bleeding and he broke his neck and all sorts of stuff. they all thought he was dead and the doctors are still saying he is most likely going to die. he has huge brain damage and from what they have said if he does live he will be brain dead or mentally ill or something. please keep him in your prayers. please keep River and Daelee and Mariah and Adell in your prayers as well. I am really worried about them. the day it happened we got a text to go to adells immedialtely so we went over and she was just getting back from picking the kids up from school. I have never seen someone cry like how they were crying. at first I was just sad but then all of a sudden I was freaking out. I start crying so bad. its not that I was close to Austin, but I am so close to daelee and adell and river. I didn't realize how much I really do love and care for them until then. when I saw them I felt so bad. their world is literally coming down around them and there was nothing I could do about it. we all cried for a little bit in their hall and then adell said lets pray. river could hardly speak through his tears but he was the first to say a prayer. I have never felt the spirit as strong as I did then. the FIRST thing he said was "heavenly father, we are thankful for this day" I know its probably out of habit but it was so hard for him to even get those words out it was so crazy that he didn't blame god for what was happening, he thanked him for another day. then he prayed for his dad. we were all just weeping it was so sad. then adell said a prayer and I said a prayer. it was so hard. they had to leave for seattle and we couldn't go so I gave daelee my missionary tag and I gave river my book of Mormon and they left. Austin since then has not gotten better at all and im afraid that it is his time. I don't know how this is going to effect river and daelee. daelee was saying that she would never play sports again because he was gone and they were all so worried because he was never in their life like he should have been and they just love him still. adell keeps saying river is going to get into drugs now just like everyone else. it isn't fair with all that they have been through to have this thrown at them as well. they put up with so much in their life already this just seems like too much for them. please pray for them. we have fasted and I pray for them constantly throughout the day. its crazy because I didn't know that I cared for them so much. I would literally do anything to help them right now but I cant. there is nothing I can do. this is a really hard time for them please keep them in your thoughts and in your prayers. I love you all very much. love, tanner

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Week 2: July 29, 2013

A picture Tanner's Mission President sent of a lighthouse in Washington. Week 2: ayyy everything is going great here in dubtown! we are working really effectively I am usually the one that will get us into doors or start the conversation with people and he is the one that will know the sctricputes by heart and stuff like that so were like a one two punch and weve been really successful. we found 4 new investigators from tracting but the best one her name is Jackie. it was toward the end of the day and we knocked on her apartment and she opened it and you could tell that she wasn't into us, I started just making convo with her and then she was kind of backing up from the door but then I asked if she had ever met with Mormon missionaries and she was like uhh noo and I was like what! you have never met with Mormon missionaries??? that's definitely something you gotta do for your bucket list ya know!? I don't know why I said it cuz that's so stupid to say but it was the end of the day and I was tired and I guess the spirirt wanted me to say it, and it worked because she laughed and let us right in. we have had two lessons with her since then on the restoration and faith and she is like the perfect investigator. were meeting with her tonight and im really stoked shes progressing so much every time and she doesn't have a problem with anything we teach her. so yaaa shes probably the investigor that is closest to baptism and stuff like that. so ya weve been having a really good week and it is flying by. we have a little DVD player that we got some music on a USB and we listen to normal music every night and it keeps me sane so that is good too! weve been doing a lot of service for people and were basically remodeling this chicks house who close to our apartments her name is Adell and she and her son and daughter are members but she still uses meth and she has a problem with cutting herself but every time we go over (almost every day) she will give me her razors in a bag so that I can throw them away for her. she always goes and gets new ones but its progress for her to realize that its not good for her and her wanting to stop. we have cleaned her whole house and I went and bought some paint stuff and we painted her kitchen and living room because it was really bad and its still nothing like what I am used to living in, but it is so much better and I rthink its really good for them just to start somewhere ya know. we got them to come out to this dinner and testimony meeting at a members house last night so there is definitely progress being made we just gotta keep going! if you guys would please pray for Adell, River, and Daley I would really appreciate it! love, tanner

Tanner with his first Companion

Tanner & Elder Cook

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Week 1: July 22, 2013

Week 1: hey everyone sorry that i ddnt have time to respond to all the emails i had like 50 when i got on and there was only 30 mins that i have to do this. i am doing better and better each day! already i have met like 5 people that i know would not talk to the missionaries at all if it wasnt for me because of my laid back approacch on everything! my companions name is elder cook, he has been out 20 months and this will most liekly be his last area here in blaine. it is a really small town an its a really drug controlled town. almost everyone we have talked to (members included) have been addicted or are currently using meth or heroin. its crazy how poor everyone here lives and how almost everyone is into these drugs. each small house that we visit has like 15 people living in each of them. it madde me so grateful for the town we leave in and how belssed we really are. i love so many people up here already i cant wait to further progress with them. i will tell you about one of the guys we met, his name is josh. ok so first off there is this house pretty close to our apartment (were on bikes) and we go there like every day. a lady named Adell lives there. she has two kids, river and daley, who are 14 and 12. Adell is an inactive member, she uses meth sometimes, has told us that she cuts herself, and is currently not working. she loves the missionaries however because she says she wants good examples for river and daley. she gets mad when we dont come over for a day. she so funny and awesome i love going over there even though shes doing a lot of not so good things, she knows our church is true and has an awesome spirirt about her. at her house there is about 8 other people living there. i ahve only gotten to know a few of them because some of them dont want anythng to do with the missionaries but one of them that i have gotten to know really well is named josh. he didnt want anything to do with us the first day, but me and river and elder cook were playing basketball outside and josh came out to shoot. i started being myself and joking around with him (maybe a little innapropriately ;) ) and he openend right up to me. he couldnt beleive that the missionaries were normal people. me and him rreally started talking and he told me he is going to rehab at the first of auguest to try and get clean. he has a little son named JJ that is about 4 that lives at Adell's right now as well. JJ really likes me and he always runs up to me whenever we go to Addels's and gives me a high five and starts telling me what he has been playing with or doing. josh isnt around much at the night times when we go to adells but the last time he was i talked with him alone away sort of from the group and just felt inspiried to bear my testimony to him just about gods love and stuff. he really felt it i could tell and he started tearing up and we talked about what he beleived in. it was really awesome and i was just telling him while hes in rehab to pray and stuff and he would be able to stick it out. hes going to do it for JJ and i think thats so awesome. josh is just one of the many i hadve met so far and they all have a different but similar story. we have so many appointmemnts next week with mpeopel we met out tracting so well see how it all goes! well we gotta bounce this commmputer is oging to turn off but i love you all and i lvoe to hear from you! hopefully i will be able to get on a little later and if not i will have more time to email next week! write me because its a lot easier and i have more time to write! the letter address is: Elder Tanner Smith Washington Everett MIssion PO Box 13390 Mill Creek, WA 98082 much love! namaste tanner

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tanner with President & Sister Bonham

Dear Bro. and Sis. Smith: this is just a short email to let you know that your son arrived in the Washington Everett Mission yesterday. It was a busy and rather long day but all of the new missionaries are now with their trainers and out working in their areas. You should hear from him on Monday. Thanks for sharing him with the Lord and us. President Bonham Washington Everett Mission The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints