Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July 26, 2011

I also look forward to email time every week. I dont have much time here so I am glad that blog is going to other people can hear how I am doing. This was a much better week than last week. I realized my testimony was pretty weak within a few days of coming here, but I have had a few experiences that have really helped me to strengthen it. I have been to the Preston temple three times now, and I had really good experiences the first and last time but the second time I was just really tired and slept for a lot of it so I didn't really feel the spirit. I have been having pretty bad caffeine withdrawls, and was just exhausted all the time, but I think Im just about over that. I was waking up in the night and falling asleep during study and other times, so I spoke with the mission president and we have done some things that have really helped me feel better. The London South mission has about twice as many missionaries as the London mission, and does cover part of London. The missions are split across the Thames river. Big Ben is in the north side but we have the eye of London in the South. I have already made some great friends here that I will be very sad to leave. Unfortnunately my companion is not in this category. I have made plans with some of the guys going to the London mission to meet them at the midpoint of the London bridge at some point on our missions. I am getting pretty sick of the MTC to be honest. I can't wait to get to London. We went on a church history tour through Preston on Sunday, seeing important places in the missions of Gordon B. Hinckley and Heber C. Kimball. It was great to get out into the city and see the people. I talked with a couple of people on the street, which will be good practice for wednesday. bWe visited a stream that they used as a baptismal site, and there was a great spirit at that place. We then came back and had a fireside followed by a recorded talk given by Bednar. We had no leaders of teachers with us at this poing, but our district then walked to the temple singing hymns, and eventually found this secluded grove surrounded by tall hedges on the temple grounds where we just sat for a while and sang a few more hymns. We eventually had an impromptu testimony meeting. That was probably the second time in my life I have had a strong spiritual experience. I had been praying for my testimony of the Book of Mormon to be strengthened all week, and I know that my prayer was answered on sunday night. All the questions I had about if I had made the right choice by coming here vanished in that moment and I was completely at peace with my decision. I have been trying to focus and allow myself to be guided more during personal and companion study because I realized that I need to have that spirit and that peace with me for the next two years if I want to be successful and not get distracted.

If it wasn't for gym and P-day, I would be going crazy here. On saturday during gym time we got to go play a game of football against a bunch of local church members. It was proabably the most fun i have had the whole time I have been here.

The weather here is great and I am getting used to the food. i am eating cornish pasties and nutella and fizzy fanta and so far its all pretty good considering it is cafeteria food.

My MTC president is awesome. He served as the temple president of the Salt Lake Temple a few years ago, and is a very spiritual, nice, and understanding man.

I would like to ask that you dont edit my emails... People reading it just won't really get the feel of the real me. (you can take this line out though)

Good luck as you continue with your biking. Keep me posted on how Riley is doing at Trico center and what the little kids are up to. I miss the great outdoors and hope that you guys continue to enjoy them. Mom i hope that one day I will be able to feast on the scriptures like you do. You've been a great example of dedicated study and I am now trying my best to do the same. We actually had 35 minutes of unbroken silence in our districts one hour personal study time, which is actually amazing considering we have like by far the rowdiest district.

Ill write again next week, but by then I'll be in London.

Love Tanner

Sunday, July 24, 2011

July 19, 2011

Hey, thanks for the emails. I think I will respond to yours and dads in one go. Sounds like you guys had fun at the reunion. I'm glad dad isn't dead. I wish I could have seen all my cousins and done some white water rafting and chased down those kids on bikes in fish creek park. But I'm doing other cool stuff I guess. The other Elders arrived. They are a pretty good group of guys. We have people from Switzerland, Finland, Brazil, Germany, Australia, New Zeland, France, the States obviously, one other guy from Canada and only one Elder from England. And he is my companion. He is from Manchester, and his name is Elder Banks but I call him Banksy.

I'm always really tired so he is always asking me if I'm okay and I'm always like "I just told you I'm fine like ten mintues ago." He takes the be with your companion at all times thing to a whole new level... he paces the in the bathroom behind me whenever I have to go. But he is a good match for me. Among other things, he is teaching me patience. He was a convert to the church two years ago. He is much more spiritual then I am, he always has us praying and asking for the spirit and has a very strong testimony. He works hard all the time and so do I.

So far my most overwhelming feeling here has been exhaustion. I'm tired. The MTC this first week has been draining both spiritually and physically. I have visited the temple twice, taught two first lessons to fake investigators, and have read more scriptures and preach my gospel than the rest of my life combined. The jet lag was brutal. I was waking up and one in the morning and falling asleep in the middle of my day classes. I think I'm just about over the jet lag but this whole wake up at 630 thing is still killing me. I'm so glad it's p-day today. I'm going to take a nap after this.

So far all we do is wake up and study the scriptures/preach my gospel from like 8am until 9pm. We have had a couple chances to go play basketball in a nearby stake center or do a few other activities but most of the time we are dedicated solely to preparing to enter the field.

I'm out of time. I shouldn't have responded to Alyssa first. She told me Tanner Brooks got his call but hasn't opened it... I want to know where he is going. Tell him to send me an email.

I love you guys and miss you already. I've already had to iron two shirts, and I want mom's cooking instead of this guy Luka who makes all the meals. And I miss my bed. I'll write back next Tuesday. Have a good week.


Elder Steed

First day in the MTC - Preston, England. July 14, 2011

I made it! The flights were long and I couldn't sleep much. Brother Mount picked me up from the airport along with Elder Frary. I am in the MTC which is actually in Chorley, a small town just south of Preston. We arrived and met the MTC president Walker and his wife and his counsellor president Williams. Me and Elder Frary are the only ones here right now except for President Walker and President Williams and their wives. The MTC is right next to the temple, and it's a beautiful place. It was 19 degrees and sunny when I arrived in London, which was a welcome suprise. 36 more Elders and Sisters arrive tommorow for our three week session, so tonight I have a room to myself and I am going to bed soon to deal with the jet lag. President Williams just took us to a nearby pub where we ate dinner. I had my first authentic fish and chips, and it tasted great. I'm going to have an interview with President Walker right now, but I will be able to write to you again next Tuesday. So far it has been great here, have a good time at the family reunion and tell all my Skinner cousins I love them and will miss them.

Love Elder Steed