Monday, June 27, 2016

Apples and Oranges

Dear family and friends,

My first week training is in the books! I´m loving it so much.  Elder Ricse has come in, fresh out of the MTC, just wanting to work with all the excitement in the world.  So that´s what we´re doing! Working, working, working.  We taught the restoration a bunch of times this week and were blessed to find lots of people in their homes.  I´m loving it so far!

I can´t remember if I ever said this in an email, but it´s a new rule in the mission that two companionships can´t live together, which we were doing.  Elder Whitney, the senior missionary that lives below us, found an apartment right around the corner that was just put up for rent, so we´ll be moving the other companioship out this Friday.  It worked out nicely, because I wanted to stay and they wanted to leave haha. So that´ll be a fun thing!

The Pereda family, some recent converts who were baptized in May, are progressing quite nicely which is sweet to see.  Carlos, the dad, passed the sacrament for the first time yesterday.  It was neat to see the cute little kids with big old smiles on their faces as they partook of the sacrament from their dad.  Also, the two sons, Carlos and Mathias, are going to be baptized on July 23 which we´re pumped for, and Isela, the mom, is going to be called as 2nd counselor in the relief society.  I´m amazed at how converted they are, even moreso than many of the old members! Pretty crazy how completely the reception of the Holy Ghost can change a person!

This past week, I bought 5 pounds of oranges and 5 pounds of apples for $2.50 in this fruit market.  Boy oh boy are they tasty! Especially the mandarins.  Imagine the most juicy, flavorful mandarin orange you´ve ever eaten.  They´ve got a whole patch of them down here in Perú that they were hiding from us! 

I read this past week in Mosiah about Christ "suffering with His people."  I think it´s in chapter 8 verse 20, but I don´t remember.  When we´re sad, he´s sad! Oh, how he wants us to have the blessings of the gospel! He´s so willing to just pour out all those blessings on us, and when we sin and deprive ourselves of those blessings, or when we are passing through an especially difficutl trial, he suffers with us! Quite literally! Already suffered for each and every one of us, and now suffers with each and ever one of us.  I´m so thankful for His infinite atoning sacrifice, and the grace which he is so willing to bestow upon us!

Hope everyone has a super good week!

Love, Tanner

Monday, June 20, 2016

A week to remember

Dear Family and Friends,

What an unbelievable week.  My pensionista´s son was killed in a motorcycle accident on Thursday.  He was 22 years old with a wife and a four year old son. I could write a book on what happened and my feelings from this past week.  Just a few things though.  I´ll never forget the scene there in my pensionista´s house, the room where we eat three times a day.  There she was, that sweet lady, just broken.  I was crying, thinking of the love of a mother for her son.  Oh, it was so hard!! I was able to give her a priesthood blessing, and they even asked me to speak at his funeral on Saturday.  In both cases, I had no idea what to say.  What do you say in a situation like that?? The Spanish wasn´t perfect, but I was just trying my best to say what Christ would say, and praying that the Holy Ghost would lift those clunky words and take them into some broken heart.  

There were three other ladies in the ward that offered to feed us for one or two weeks, just to be able to let my pensionista mourn a cope a little.  We approached her on Thursday, the very day of the accident.  Her answer was something like this: "I won´t lose my place in the Lord´s work even for a day.  I want you to keep coming." We did, and there she was every time.  Right in the midst of the funeral and programs and everything going on, ready and waiting with our food.  What a faithful woman!!

In lighter news, I was talking to a guy in our branch this past week.  He lived in the United States for a bit and likes to practice his English and talk to me about the US.  He got a tiny bit confused, and began talking to me about the "philly cheese cakes."  Oh boy it took everything I could muster not to bust up laughing.  If there are any marketers reading this, maybe an idea for a new product was just born??

Also, we were playing checkers with the two sons of a couple that was recently baptized.  These boys are 10 and 9, and are right there on the brink of baptism too.  There are a few key differences in Spanish checkers and American checkers.  For one, they call "jumping," "eating." And the other, there´s a rule that if someone doesn´t want to move his back line the other player can move all the way up the board and "blow" the other players back line right off, making a space for a king.  It´s interesting.

Transfer news: I´m training this transfer! Oh man I´m so excited for it.  I´ll meet my "son" tomorrow in Trujillo.  It´s gonna be a lot harder, but I´m so ready to really get to work!

To close, I was reading the words of Abinidi this week about the Law of Moses.  If the people back then just performed the ceremonies without keeping in mind the symbolism and the Savior, the law lost all of it´s purpose.  The Law of Moses has been fulfilled, the New and Everlasting Covenant instituted again, but the principle remains, I think.  If we pray, read the scriptures, attend church and partake of the sacrament, go to the temple, have family home evening, and do all the other gospel things without the Savior in mind, the gospel loses much of it´s power.  I hope that we can always remember the WHY of gospel living, that we can always remember Him, that we may have His spirit to be with us.

Hope you all have great weeks!!

Love, Tanner

Monday, June 13, 2016

Fathers and Sons!

Dear family and friends,

We had a pretty good week this week! Just working hard like always! There were a few interesting and funny things, however...

We had a campfire night on Friday.  There is a street with tons of less actives that borders this river, so we thought it would be sweet to have a campfire and testimony night and invite everyone on the street.  The attendance was good, the refreshments were tasty, and it would have been so reverent and nice...except for the next door neighbor Catholics who were blaring their traditional Spanish tunes super loud and drinking up a storm! It was kinda frustrating, but oh well! The next one will be better haha.

We are in the middle of the "Copa Centenario" right now, which is actually being played in the US.  Everyone is happy to tell me, upon seeing the whiteness of my skin, how the US is doing.  They finished at the top of their group, which set up a meeting with...Ecuador, which is where my companion is from! He´s already talking all sorts of smack, as well as the other Ecuadorian I live with.  We´ll just have to wait until Friday...Also, Perú beat Brazil yesterday, in a game that I didn´t even know who to cheer for (for obvious reasons;)) We didn´t have to watch it to know what was happening, the noise in the houses gave us a good indication.  Perú came out on top, much to the delight of everyone here!

One fun thing: the nice members and less actives and investigators sometimes offer us a snack after our lesson.  Pretty much 100% of the time, that snack is either saltine or ritz-type crackers with Inka Cola or Coca Cola.  Always! And the staple at ward activities is a juice called chicha morada and popcorn.  It´s funny how traditions get passed down and spread!

Two lessons to be remembered from this week: in one we invited a lady to seperate from her husband to live the law of chastity.  He doesn´t want to get married at all!  Her response: "Yeah, I´d be fine with that.  I´ll talk to him tonight.  If he wants to get married, I´m fine with that.  If not, I´ll just leave.".......okay.  It was not the response I was expecting! Man I´m thankful for my family.  The second, there was a lady who was testifying to us about the blessings of heaven.  She used the example of when she stole 100 soles from her brother and as he went to count his money, she was praying that he wouldn´t notice.  He didn´t, and the lady took that as the answer that Heavenly Father really blesses her.  We had to explain that her faith was real, but that stealing like that...is not okay.

I don´t know if Father´s Day was yesterday or this coming Sunday. Here it´s this coming Sunday, but I could have sworn it was always the second Sunday in June.  Anyway, a little tribute to fathers, especially my own.  I was thinking a little while back about the Father Son relationships in The Book of Mormon.  That book is built on fathers and sons! Lehi. Jacob. Mosiah. The two Almas, the two Helamans, and the two Nephis. Mormon and Moroni. It´s pretty cool! And how many of our precious teachings and truths are counsels from their fathers to their kids?  The beginning of 2 Nephi and Alma 36-42 immediately come to mind, with the closing chapters in Mormon and Moroni.  If there were such a thing as "The Book of Tanner" I think pretty much the whole thing would be full of precious truths that I´ve learned from my dad.  Of course, the one example I didn´t mention is that of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, which is testified of all throughout. I´m grateful for the divinely inspired pattern of fathers and sons and families!

I love you all tons and tons and hope you have a great week!

Love, Elder Hart













Monday, June 6, 2016

Hugs

Hello family and friends,

This week we had a multizone conference with the two zones in Trujillo.  It was probably the highlight of the week just for being something different! It was fun to see a lot of the missionaries who have been in my zone and get caught up on how they´re doing.  One thing that´s kinda funny here in Perú is the tightness of the missionary hugs.  It´s good manners when you enter a room here to shake hands and greet EVERYBODY, so everyone was shaking hands for like the first 10 minutes.  When you saw someone you knew, of course you go for the hug to show a litle more affection than just the average handshake, right? Well missionaries here hug tight! I was used to doing like the manly types of hugs, maybe just a one sider.  Or maybe a grab the hand in armwrestle formation, then bring it in with a good pat on the back.  Missionaries here go full on, two arm, rest the head on the shoulder, prolonged hugs! It kinda wierded me out at first, but I´m used to it now.  I don´t give them yet, but I´m used to receiveing them haha.

It was also kinda funny, we took a group picture after the training was over.  As we were in the big group of people just after the picture had been taken, people dispersing, some missionary comes up to me and goes, "Hey, you got a 36 on your ACT right?"  At first I was like, "Oh boy here we go again!", which led to, "Whoa I haven´t heard that in a while actually..." to "Hey, I haven´t heard it because I´m in Perú, how did he find out about that!?" All in a split second.  We had a fun little talk, he´s from Arizona and goes home soon.  Still don´t know how he found out, I asked him and he said something like, "I just found out" or "Someone told me" or something like that that gave me absolutely no information at all.  It was wild though.  

I hit day 200 in the mish this past Friday.  Crazy! And it´s also crazy that I graduated one year ago! That flew.  Congrats to all my friends who have now graduated and will begin leaving one after the other throughout the world.  What a time in my life that was. 

There were elections this past week, and a North American won.  We´re taking over the world I think! Good work everyone, it´s working out just as we planned it hehehe....Also, because of the elections, we weren´t allowed to leave until 4:00 yesterday, so we made brownies in our branch president´s house which was sweet!

Meanwhile, the work continues! We found 10 new investigators this week, which was a good success.  A few are very promising, a few not so much, but at least we´re rasing a voice of warning and love and casting seeds of truth! We don´t have to worry as much about where they land as about our responsibility to get them out there!

That being said, there are some confused people in this world.  One of our new investigators asked us 1) If it´s okay to eat food prepared by someone in another religion, or if we have to throw it out, and 2) showed us a youtube video and claimed that Heavenly Father himself was the one narrating the video.  Some ideas that her pastor had put in her head.  Thank goodness for the mercy that Heavenly Father has for those who don´t receive or understand the law because of the wickedness of past generations! It can sometimes be discouraging to see just the inability to understand something that would make people so happy! However, we take comfort in knowing that all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.

I love you all dearly! Have a great week!

Elder Hart

P.S.  Hart family farewell, 6400 W and 13786 S, this Sunday and 1:00! Be there! :)




The homecoming of our pensionista´s daughter.




Had to take a picture of the Papa John´s that we had on Friday after the multizone!