Monday, October 31, 2016

Inside the mind of Tanner Hart

Dear family and friends,

The goal of this email will be to give everyone an idea of all the thoughts and feelings I´ve had this crazy week.  It may be long, and it may be boring, so feel free to move on the the next one if you want;)

Wow! The first week in a new area is always tough.  I miss Virú! The people, my companion, the city, the members.  But, the members and people here really welcomed me warmly.  The best welcome I´ve recieved from a ward so far! And only the third one...

One of the hardest things has been, of course, having to learn all the streets and names and faces! I normally talke lots of time during the week, just as we´re walking or in the apartment, to think about the work.  What we´re doing, what´s not working, possible solutions, stuff like that.  Well, all that pondering time has been replaced with learning all the new stuff! So in that regard, it´s been a temporal-rather-than-spiritual week, if you will.  

My companion is super interesting.  He´s a recent convert, who joined the church because of his girlfriend, who introduced him to the missionaries.  He was baptized, and one year later came on the mission! He´s from the jungle; his town has no internet access.  He found out what facebook was when he was 16!  When I got here, I was kind of suprised to find that the work was kinda slow, and that the missionaries, though not lazy, were just a little more inclined to having fun than what I was used to! I love having fun, but there´s a time and a place, right?  It´s completely to be expected though; I live with three other Elders (for now) and I´m the only one who was born in the gospel! So I´m looking forward to jump starting the work a tiny bit and just getting to work! Elder Fernandez is super willing, and I´m excited to work with him.

One interesting thing in this mission is that we do 0 street contacting.  Nada.  The "Talking with everyone" is lacking to say the least.  It´s true that the best chance to find prepared people is through the members, but I feel that sometimes we have the mindset that we´re only missionaries from 2:30-9:00 (proselyting time), and the rest we´re something else.  I have been feeling the need to really be better at opening my mouth, talking to people everywhere.  I feel like at least it will help me feel that I´m a missionary 24/7!  I´m sure that experience will be the best teacher, but any advice from past, current, or future missionaries would be helpful.  How do you just start up a conversation with someone??

One thing I really want to work on is being more assertive, as a missionary and as a leader.  I´m...not that assertive haha.  All the good leaders in the scriptures were bold when they needed to be bold! It´s something I lack right now, but I´m really focusing on that and trying to be more like Ammon; on his third day, he took charge and saved the Lamanite flock!

I´m loving the war chapters of the Book of Mormon.  Again, learning about leaders, one thing I love about Moroni is his ability to change weaknesses to strengths!  I love that principle: a good leader makes strong what was weak.  What a blessing to have Christ as our leader, the perfect one to make weak things become strong unto us!

And of course, Happy Halloween!!

Love you all, hope you have a stupendous week!

Love, Tanner

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