Tanner standing next to a picture of John the Baptist Baptizing Jesus at the Temple Square Visitor's Center in Salt Lake City.
I have so much to say because so much has happened this past week! I made a whole two pages of bullet points with stuff that I want and need to tell you about my experience so far in the MTC, but I only have 30 min to do so. If I don't finish all of what I want to say, I will continue with a hand written letter and send it today. So, I'm going to pick up with the third day in the MTC and then write about my experiences until now (June 8th).
Last Friday was a great day because it was the first time teaching an investigator! 3 days into my mission and all in Spanish!! The investigator's name was Efrain. He is from Honduras and lives with his mom, sisters and cousins here in Provo. We started from the beginning of the first Missionary lesson, The Restoration. I lead the discussion because I am the Senior Companion. The lesson was so great. The Spirit was very strong and I did so good teaching Efrain! I was pretty much responsible for teaching the whole lesson because Elder Wilson is still learning Spanish. I understood everything that Efrain said!! I could answer his questions and have a conversation with him. The Lord was definately watching over me and Elder Wilson. The only thing that I forgot was what the word was for sins (pecados). I will definately never forget that pecados is sins again! You can't remember everything your third day, so that's alright.
The next day, Saturday, we taught Efrain again. We finished up the Restoration discussion because we didn't have enough time to finish it the day before. We challenged Efrain to be baptized! He said that he would like to know more about the church before he makes that decision, but that it was a possibility that he would be baptized! We also gave Efrain a Libro de Mormon and he said that he would read it and pray to know that it's true. After I taught Efrain, that night in class, we had a substitute teacher Hermano Duarte. He was listening to me answer all the questions in class and my fluidity when I speak Spanish and came up to me and said, "Why are you in this class?" I was like umm....Idk to be honest. I feel like I am speaking and learning at a higher level than anyone in the class. He then took me to be tested so that I could be moved up to Intermediate Spanish because I was in Beginner Spanish to start with. I passed easily and the tester was like Idk why you were in Beginner to start with, but we need to move you to Intermediate so you can learn the language at a faster pace. He said the change would take place on Monday and that I would get a whole new District, Zone, and Companion. I was a little nervous, but knew it was for the best. I also knew I wouldn't be teaching Efrain anymore because of my change in Districts and everything, so that kind of bummed me out.
Sunday was good. We had a ton of personal study time and all the meetings were really great. I have to write a talk in Spanish every week! The way our Branch President decides (President Tyler) is randomly. If you get called on at the beginning of Sacrament meeting, you get to speak in Sacrament that day. Kinda crazy! But worth it because I will have 9 talks already made up when I enter the field.
On Monday, my District, Zone and Companionship all changed during lunch time. My new companion is Elder Nelson. He looks like Peter Parker from Spiderman. He is happy to be serving the Lord and we have a great companionship. His mannerisms kinda remind me of Kelland Hansen. My new District is awesome! They are alot of fun. Their names are Elder Smith, Macilwain,Wasden, Andersen and Hermanas Hale, Hansen and Ellsworth. My new maestro is Hermano Johnston. He's great. He served his mission in Guatemala. It's great to learn and be taught by him. Spanish in his class comes easily to me and I'm really picking up alot. I changed dorms and everything as well. I had to move into a new building which isn't too far from where I originally was. It's me, Elder Nelson and the two Zone Leaders in one room together. They're nice Elders and leave for Mexico on Monday.
Tuesday was my first full day in my new District. We had a great day of classes. A funny story....We were watching a video in class as a District. During the video, you had to identify the fundamentals of teaching the gospel to your investigators. Each of us received points for identifying them and Elder Smith won. Hermano Johnston, after Elder Smith celebrated, goes "Ok, now you have to sing "I'm a Little Tea Pot" in front of the class all in Spanish!" He did it all in Spanish and I was laughing so hard as he was doing it! We had a Devotional Tuesday night. Elder Marlin K. Jensen, of the Seventy, came and talked to us. It was a powerful talk. Some of the things he talked about were 1. Our goal as Missionaries is to be the best teachers we can be. If we're great teachers and work hard, we will bring many unto Christ. 2. "Everyone that we meet in this life will know what we know, and know that we know it." - Henry B. Eyring. My impressions of this were that you don't want to be asked in the next life "Why didn't you tell me about the gospel?" I want to share the gospel with everyone I come in contact with. The next scriptures, and I invite you to look them up, are incredible scriptures. They are D&C 33:9, 64:29, and 18:15-16. I don't have any time left to write the rest of my thoughts of my week so I will write it in a letter later today.....I LOVE YOU GUYS!
****ADDRESS CHANGE EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: MAILBOX #127 now instead of #335!