Monday, October 26, 2015

Week #18 (In the Field) - Let the wedding planning begin!

This week has been pretty busy! We have been visiting Mike and Tamika
everyday and teaching them a lesson everyday as well. They are
progressing super fast and are really soaking up everything that we
are teaching them! Every lesson we have with them, we commit them to
do something and when we come back they are keeping all of their
commitments. It's been amazing to see the change happen in them since
the time we put them on date, till now. But, Mike and Tamika aren't
married yet. They have been together for 10+ years and just have never
seen the point in getting a piece of paper that tells them how much
they love each other. Just recently Mike has really seen the
importance of getting married and starting his eternal family. So we
have been working crazy hard on getting Mike a new ID and a marriage
license, which have to happen before they get married. Then we have to
have the actual wedding ceremony. We are hoping to have the wedding on
Wednesday or Thursday. It all depends on when Bishop can get certified
to marry them. There have been a lot of ward members step up in really
fellow shipping Mike and Tamika and show them a lot of love. Many have
opened up their homes to them and invited them over for dinner. Some
even told them they could have a little wedding reception at their
house. I feel like I have had a million and five things to do since we
put them on date and my life has just been all craziness and running
around like a chicken with its head cut off. I'm go into continue to
pray my hardest that I can get everything done this week that I need

On Tuesday night we were able to go up to the temple visitors center
with Mike and Tamika and their family. We were able to talk to them
about temples and family history and how our families can be together
for eternity! After we finished there, we were just walking around the
temple grounds and I got the idea to ask one of the people working in
the front lobby if we could just come sit in the lobby for a second.
He let us go in one of the side rooms in the temple lobby and we were
able to sit in there and feel the enormous spirit that comes with the
temple. We were probably In there for about 10 minutes and nobody
really spoke the whole time. Towards the middle of our time in there,
I asked Mike if we could say a prayer with them and he agreed. While I
was saying the pray I felt the spirit so strong, more than I've ever
felt before and I know that Mike and Tamika could feel it as well. It
was such an amazing experience. As we were walking to the car, I asked
Mike what he thought about the temple and he said, "that was a feeling
that I've never felt before in my life, a good feeling." It was so
awesome to see them feel the spirit so strong in the temple and really
come to know that Heavenly Father loves all of his children.

Oh, and there are transfers this week and I'm not sure if I'm going to
be staying in Falls Church. I have a pretty strong feeling that I'm
going to be leaving which I absolutely don't want to do. I love Falls
Church so much and I love all the ward members here. But, "come what
may and love it" will be my motto for this next transfer. I'll let you
guys know what happens!

This week I've been really reflecting on how thankful I am that I have
parents that really taught me how to buckle down and get a job done.
They really taught me how to work hard. They taught me all the things
that can't be taught just by working a regular job or going to school.
They taught me how to be personable and to love everyone that you meet
because we are all God's children. I have also been pondering the fact
that I am so grateful for my trials. I've learned that Heavenly Father
won't give me something that I can't handle and when I do handle my
situations and endure them well, I will be so much strong in the long
run. Yes, it's very hard to have that pint of mind in the moment.
Trust me it's hard enough to notice it after the whole situation, let
alone during it. But if you really reflect on it, there are so many
things that push you to your limits and our of your comfort zone. Many
trials that we have are made specifically so Heavenly Father can teach
us a lesson or help us grow. Im thankful for parents who taught me to
embrace opposition. Embrace the grind. Only when we experience
opposition can we grow. Face your trials head on and put your best
foot forward. It's impossible to fail if you are trying your best to
be like Heavenly Father. You only fail when you give up. Motto of this
email: Embrace the Grind!!!

I hope everyone has a great week and you see the Saviors hand in your
life! Peace and blessings!

Elder Leishman

P.S. We are switching our pday next week because a general authority
is coming to visit the mission. So I won't have pday next Monday. It
will be next Thursday, November 5th! Talk to you all then!

At the temple with Mike and Tamika and their family

I dressed up as Elder Clark Kent for our ward Trunk or Treat activity

Elder Haven's mom sent me a tie

Mike's sister's Pit Bull.  Cute little puppy named cinnamon.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week #17 (in the field) - The real BEST week of my mission!!!

So, I thought last week was the best week of my mission, but this one
was definitely a chart-topper! On Tuesday night we had our usual
dinner at the Cram's but this time, brother and sister cram decided
they were going to invite Mike and his family over for dinner as well
as the Mason family (the old bishop). Mike and his family came and
sister cram made some awesome food! After dinner we taught the
restoration. Mike and his family have already been taught the
restoration but we decided that we were going to teach it again in a
sit down, formal setting. So we got teaching the lesson and I noticed
about half way into it that Elder Havens and I were doing most of the
talking and we were starting to lose their interest really fast. So I
decided I was just going to ask them questions. I started out with
Tamika who is Mike's fiancé and asked her a question about Jesus Christ.
That got her thinking and made her open up a little about her desire
to follow Jesus. Then Mike started to make some comments and he
expressed some of his worries and concerns. We got talking about
trials and faith. Elder Havens shared a good scripture about how only
when we experience a "trial of our faith", will we receive the
blessings Heavenly Father has for us! And so after he finished talking
about that, I decided to add some comments to the subject and while I
was talking I got the strongest impression I've ever had that I needed
to ask them to be baptized, right then! And so I did... During the
middle of my thought, I said "one trial of our faith is whether or not
we will be baptized. So with that said, I feel impressed to ask you
guys (Mike and family) if when you come to know that the message we
share is true, will you be baptized by someone holding the proper
priesthood authority of God?" After a moment of silence, Tamika said
yes. And then a moment later, Mike shook his head and said yes as
well. I've never felt the spirit so strong in my life. Never have I
ever received an impression so clear. It was so amazing to see the
hand of God working through me and touching the hearts of the people
we were teaching. I am nothing, I don't know the exact thing to say
that will convert everyone I teach. But I do know that if I am
attentive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, he will impress on me
what I should say and what I should do in those times. I am weak, but
with God I am powerful beyond measure. We have decided that we are
going to try to meet with Mike and Tamika everyday until their
baptismal date which is October 31st. I have seen so many miracles in
their spiritual progression I can't even explain it.

Another amazing thing that happened this week was the fact that I got
to see my best friend, Ryan, get baptized on Saturday. I got special
permission from my mission president to Skype into the baptism and
watch the whole program. I can't express how happy I am for Ryan. Ryan
is my best friend and he made an amazing choice in being baptized and
it made me happy as well as our Heavenly Father! I still remember the
first time I met Ryan, freshmen year, in our Spanish class. I knew at
that time that I would have a friend for life. Ryan has been such a
great example to me in following the savior. I have seen him
completely change his life and it's only for the better. I can't wait for
the time when I come home and Ryan and I will be able to go to the
temple together and preform sacred ordinances. He is such a stud and I
love him to death. I know that he has a great life ahead of him and
the straight and narrow path that he is on now is the only way to go
through this life so we can return to live with our Heavenly Father
again. I'm so grateful for his example of a follower of Jesus Christ
and as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!

I've have been so spiritually blessed this week. I have seen so many
miracles happen and my life has been changed for the better this week
because of the savior. A few times on my mission I have thought to
myself, "is this really worth it?" It's the times like I had this week
that make every painful, anxious, nervous, sad, lonely feeling of the
mission worth it. This week alone has made my whole mission worth it.
I wouldn't trade any of these experiences, blessings, or friendships I
have for the world. I love this gospel and I love how it changes
lives. Let it change yours.

Elder Tanner Leishman

Last pday - at the National Geographic museum.
A picture that was sent to me from Ryan's baptism.

One of my favorite quotes.

Selfie with Jesus while waiting to skype into Ryan's baptism.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week #16 (in the field) - Best week of my mission so far!!

So, this week was hands down the best week of my mission yet.
Honestly, I can't remember what we did on Monday-Saturday. But Sunday
was the best day of my mission. On Saturday night we got a text from
our investigator, Mike. He asked if we could come get him and his
family for church the next day. As soon as I saw this text, it made me
so happy!! This is someone we have been trying to get to church since
I came out on my mission. We have been working for about 4 months for
this. But I was kind of reluctant because he has said he was going to
come to church in the past but never came. But this time, something
felt different. So we arranged for a ride to come and get them in the
morning and everything went as planned and they came to church.
Everyone In their family enjoyed church. Mike even told us that they
will be coming back next week as well because they like it so much.
This has been something that I have been praying about for a while and
it has finally happened and I couldn't be any happier! This is someone
that we even set up a ward fast for a couple weeks ago. We fasted that
he would have his heart softened to coming to church and to listening
to the message of the gospel. And what do you know, Heavenly Father
answered our prayers and gave us the blessings because of our
dedication in our fast. Fasting WORKS!! If we ever need help from
Heavenly Father, fasting is one of the best ways we can receive
answers to our prayers and questions of our hearts. I honestly believe
that the only reason Mike and his family came to church was because of
the fast that was put on by us as missionaries and also the members.
After church, we were at Mikes house and I asked him, "What made you
text us and ask for a ride to church?" And he said, "I was just laying
in bed and this voice came into my head and said that I needed to go
to church the next day, so I texted you guys!" It was hands down one
of the greatest things I've ever experienced. It has been tough
because we haven't had a lot of people to teach so we have just been
resorting to tracting or street contacting. It's very hard to find new
people to teach through those methods but it is a way that we show
Heavenly Father our commitment to follow him. And in return, he will
bless us In other aspects of our missionary efforts!! It's such a
beautiful thing, the way the lord works on us.

Other than that, nothing too mentionable has happened this week. We
had some awesome dinners at members homes this week which was awesome.
We have been resorting to tracting and street contacting lately which
has been kind of tough. I absolutely love talking to people on the
street and I'm trying to instill that same desire to talk to people in
elder havens. It's so cool to just talk with people and hear their
stories and what not and where they come from. That's what makes a
mission so memorable is all the people you talk too.

Well, I am so grateful for this time I have to be a full time
missionary and it's crazy that I've been out for 4 months already! The
time is going super slow but it is also flying by! I only have 20
months may seem like a super long time but for what
everyone says, it goes super fast. I'm just trying to make the most of
the time I have to be fully consecrated to the lord for these two
years and serve him with all of my heart, mind, and strength. To
close, I want you guys to look up the scripture I decided to Ponderize
this week. It is D&C 4 : 5-6. It's a great missionary scripture and
one I hold dear to my heart. I love you all and appreciate all the
prayers on my behalf!

Elder Leishman

Me and my main man D

A note from mom - we never got to see Tanner's mission tag - loving these pictures with his "Elder Leishman" name tags.  Miss this kid!!!

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Week #15 - In the Field

So this week has been pretty eventful. A lot of stuff went on here in
Falls Church. To begin with, on Tuesday we had an exchange with the
district leader, elder merrell. So elder havens went to elder
merrell's area and elder merrell came to our area. It was fun. We had
a lesson at the Stewart's and invited them to share a copy of the Book
of Mormon and we are going to follow up in a week or so. It's always
fun going to the Stewart's because they are family haha. It's pretty
awesome having cousins in my ward out here.

On Wednesday we played volleyball at the church with a lot of
nonmembers. It's always fun to go and play sports and feel kind of
normal again haha. We have a good opportunity sharing the gospel with
the people that show up as well. Every time I have gone I have a good
conversation with someone about missionaries and the church and what
not. If anything, we are planting seeds that will later be harvested.
Those people will be exposed to the church later on in life and will
remember the Wednesday nights of volleyball and the spirit that they
felt in the church building. Such an awesome thing to think about.

This weekend was awesome because we got to listen to General
Conference! We got to hear from the prophet, Thomas S. Monson. We got
to be spiritually uplifted by all the speakers and the great spirit
that was evident during the sessions. It was amazing to actually sit
down and listen to all the sessions of conference. That was probably
the first time in my life when I have actually say down and watched
and not fallen asleep during conference. It's such a special time to
hear from all of them. My favorite speaker (besides Elder Holland,
because let's be real, his talks are always great) was Elder Robert D.
Hales. He said so many things that I loved, "never deliberately fly
into a thunderstorm" "God always has a plan for us whether it's in
this life or the next" and "if you want my council, be prepared to
take it". I could go on for days on all the things he talked about,
those were just some of the few that really stood out to me.

I'm so grateful for the blessing it is of having a living prophet and
modern day apostles. They receive revelation specifically for our day
and how to better combat the adversary. I want to take all of the
advice they give me and implement it into my life. It would make us
all so happy and have so much joy if we perfectly followed their
guidance. I'm so grateful for the love and support I get for everyone
at home. I can't thank you enough. I hope everyone has a good week!

Elder Leishman