Monday, May 30, 2016

Week #51 - Transfer week

Well, I'm heading to the temple this morning to do a session with
bishop Dzaran to end off the great week. That's why I'm sending this
email so early! I'm super excited!

This week was definitely a good one. I can't believe it's already
Memorial Day and so close to June! That means I'm almost to my year
mark. Wait, what!! ☝🏼️ it definitely doesn't feel like it's almost
been a year. I feel like I was just at home the other day. It's crazy
to see time fly right before your eyes. I wish I knew as much at the
beginning of my mission, like how to do missionary work more
efficiently and what not. There are so many ways I could have improved
then and now. A mission is like a constant learning process. You're
learning a new lesson everyday and most days, that lesson is on
patience. I have seen so many ways the lord has tried my patience or
pushed me to the edge and it wasn't until a trial of my faith that the
lord came through in the clutch and pulled me out of it. Isn't it such
a testimony builder the way the lord works? He lets us endure until it
seems like our only other option is to give up, then he extends his
arm. I think everyday we experience a trial of our faith. Everything
we do on a mission is trying our faith. From getting up in the morning
at 6am, to being at studies at 8am or even being in bed by 10:30pm.
Those are all trials of faith. The lord is testing us, seeing if we
are willing to be obedient to the mission schedule. And if we are, he
has promised to pour out the windows of heaven upon our area. The same
goes for life at home. The lord has given commandments that we are to
follow and if we do, he will bless us and our families. Whenever we go
through a trial of our faith and endure to the end of it, the has
promised that he will ALWAYS bless us when we do what he says (D&C

As for this week, it was eventful. We went on an exchange with the
warrenton elders this week. I went with elder Stenquist. He is a stud.
He's from Idaho Falls, ID. He is thinking about going home and trying
to play baseball in college. We got some good work in. We taught a ton
of lessons that day. That's one thing I love about being here in
Manassas, you can teach like none other. But getting investigators to
keep commitments is the hard part. But it was a good exchange. I
always love going on exchange because you get a new feel for how other
missionaries work.

On Saturday we helped a member out with some gardening. I think I
found a new hobby. Lol. But it was fun and super hot and humid. It's
getting to that time of year again. Let the sweaty dress shirts and
slacks begin. It's all part of the experience right? Haha.

On Sunday, William and Brian got the Aaronic priesthood. It was so
cool to see them start to progress in the gospel post baptism. I'm so
happy for them and all the steps they are taking to become disciple of
Jesus Christ. Cool story, so we have stake conference this coming
weekend and Elder L. Whitney Clayton if the presidency of the seventy
is coming to preside. And he is doing a fireside especially for the
youth of the stake and our stake president, president Dionne, needed
someone to say the opening prayer at the fireside. So he was praying
about it, and the answer he got was William! So bishop Dzaran asked
William if he would be willing to do it and William said yes. I'm so
pumped. William and Brian are such studs. I wish you all could meet

What an awesome week it was! I love and miss you all! Have a good week!

- Elder Tanner Leishman

P.S. I played a little more ball this week. Check the video. It's only
like half way in the video but still fun. Haha. 🏀

Monday, May 23, 2016

Week #50 - Housekeeping

Well, I've come to the conclusion that my momma raised me right when
it comes to cleaning. I have like major OCD when it comes to being
neat and clean🚽. And so that's how my apartment looks lol. I think I
spend most of my lunch and dinner hours just cleaning the apartment.
But now, into the nice juicy stuff from this week. On Monday last
week, we had our zone activity at the mission home. It was pretty fun.
We had a BBQ with president and sister huntsman. We got to hang out at
the mission home and just chill. It was super fun.

The rest of the week was mainly spent planning the baptism of William
and Brian🛀🏽. And let me tell you. Their baptism was awesome. We met
with them probably everyday before their baptism. And when it came
down to their baptism they were more than ready. As we were teaching
them, they had no problems with anything and they were willing to live
and keep all their commitments. Brian asked me to baptism him which
was awesome. I'll send a picture of us. At the end of the baptismal
service, William and Brian bore their testimonies and it was the most
spiritual part of the week. Just a sincere testimony from a 14 and a
12 year old kid. It definitely strengthened my testimony. I love those
boys to death!

I don't have a lot of time today as we are going to DC today. I'm
actually typing my email on the metro as we speak. I love being able
to go into DC. I love my mission. I love this gospel. And I love and
miss you all! Peace and blessings! Oh and don't mind the hideous
haircut I got. Never going to that barber again....😬

- Elder Tanner Leishman

At William and Brian's baptism with Elder Flowers and Elder Burleson

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Week #49 - "Crusing down the street in my 6 4"

This week has been an amazing one to say the absolute least. It all
started out on Tuesday, we had zone teaching. Elder Burleson and I
were able to instruct the zone on the things we learned from MLC last
week. It was pretty sweet. We had the Chinese missionaries in our zone
present as well. Props to those guys. 1. for learning Chinese. 2. For
trying to find Chinese people out here that are prepared. Those guys
are studs. Shouts out to my boy Elder "Big Z" Simpson over there in
the fairfax area speaking Chinese, represent💪🏼🈵. After zone
teaching, we had an exchange with the APs. It was awesome. I love
going down to Fort Belvoir (the APs area) and working with them for
the day. I went with Elder Jones this time. He's one of my best
friends out here on the mission. He goes home in like a week though
which is crazy. We had a good day contacting people and teaching some
lessons. We biked around for the day which was fun, I hadn't biked
around since I was in the Wakefield ward. I kinda miss it. Shhh...
Don't tell President Huntsman though. I don't want to go back to a
bike area haha. But at the end of the night, him and I walked over to
this little pond thing had just talked for a while. It was so nice
just to be able to be real with someone and not have to worry about
time or a schedule or anything else like that. Hands down the best
exchange I've gone on my whole mission.

On Thursday, we were going to pick up a dinner that one of the members
in our ward made when we saw some guys out playing basketball on a
street court, immediately my spidy senses were tingling. We needed to
get over there. So we hurried and picked up the dinner and wNt over to
the hoop. We got talking to the guys and asked if they wanted to play
2on2. And they were down with it so we started to play. Literally the
rest is history, dunked on one of the dudes(see video) and we beat
them pretty bad both games we played. But the best part of it is that
we made a deal with them that if we won, they had to listen to a
lesson. After we beat them the first game, they said double or
nothing. So we took it. And we whipped up on them again. So after we
got done playing, we taught them the restoration. We now have two new
investigators from it and we have already had another lesson with one
of them. Finding through basketball, I'm starting to think that's my
specialty haha.

Another cool thing that happened this week, so our ward has elders and
sisters that serve here. And the sisters had a baptism this past
weekend but they had nobody to baptize two of the daughters in the
family. So they asked us to baptize them! It was awesome. It's always
so nice to be a part of someone's conversion process. I'll send come
pictures from their baptism. Also, some great news regarding William
and Brian, they are getting baptized THIS week. There was some
building complications so we had to bump their baptism up to this
weekend! They were totally cool with it. I'm super excited as well
because Brian asked me to baptize him! They are hands down the most
prepared kids I've ever met. And, it gets even better. I know you're
probably thinking "how could this get any better?" But don't worry, it
does. We put William and Brian's parents on fate for July!! It has
been such an eventful week for them. It's so cool To see their
progression. This coming week is going to be fun! I'll let you know
how it goes next week! I hope everyone is doing well. I love and miss
you all! Be good!

Peace and Blessings! ✌🏼

- Elder Tanner Leishman

"We made a deal with them, if we beat them, they had to listen to a lesson."

The Sister missionaries in our area asked us to baptize some sisters that they had been teaching.  It was so awesome!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Week #48 - "I love my momma and the rest of my family - including Ryan!" and African Dance Party

Happy Mothers Day to all the wonderful moms out there. I'm so glad I
got to talk to my mom on Mother's Day! She's a Saint. She's beautiful,
fun, smart, and determined to have her kids stay on the right path.
What more could you ask from a mom? I sure do love my momma. I'm glad
I got to talk to her, dad, the boys, and Ryan. It was such a good
little one hour reunion.These times in the mission are always so
bitter sweet. I love seeing my family but it's super hard to jump back
to normal missionary life. But, it does give you extra motivation to
get out and work. Knowing that you have your family rooting for you
and praying for you just makes it so much easier. But it's still
difficult. I'm blessed to have an amazing support system so close to
me. #Blessed

So, I forgot to tell you guys a funny story last week. I remembered it
right after I sent my email last week. So this one afternoon we were
out and about. We were in this one neighborhood trying by one of our
new investigators who we had street contacted and he just gave us his
house number. So we are looking for the house and can't find it. His
house number was like 9025 and the houses only went up to 9024 so we
decided to knock on that one because it was the closest. As we were
walking up to the door, we hear some like African tribal musical just
blaring. Straight up bumping this stuff. And so as we get closer, I
start to dance a little bit, get my shake on. And then my comps start
to join in. So we are dancing I front of this door when the people
inside see us and open the door and tell us to come in. We then
proceed to have a 5 minute African dance party with some random people
we'd never met before. It was hands down the funnest part of my week.
They started video taping us and taking selfies with us. So if you see
some Mormon missionaries getting jiggy with it on some YouTube video.
It's probably me and my comps hahaha. AND......yes wait, there is
more. We come to find out that our investigator actually lives at that
house. He just gave us the wrong number before. Pretty dang sick huh!!
Gotta love how the spirit works.

Our most progressing investigators, William and Brian, are now on date
to be baptized on May 28th!! I'm so dang pumped. The rest of their
family is going to hold off a month and wait for their dad to get
baptized with them as well. (His progression is a little slower
because we started teaching him later) but I'm so pumped for them.
They are so excited for their baptismal date. It's going to be sweet.
There are also some investigators in our ward that the sisters are
teaching that asked elder Burleson and I to baptize her daughters, so
we might be baptizing some people this week haha. It's going to be a
real few weeks for the Manassas 1st ward.

I'm so glad I'm getting the chance to labor in the lord vineyard. I've
seen the hand of the lord in so many ways of my life. I see it on a
daily basis. I wish you all could see it as first hand as I am. I
encourage you all to look for the lords hand, even in the small
aspects of your life. You will amazed to see it. I love you all! Have
a good week!

- Elder Tanner Leishman
Pictures from the mission leadership council this week!

With the Stake President and his family

At Leadership meeting

Monday, May 2, 2016

Week #47 - Another day, another dollar

How is everyone doing? I hope all is well with you guys. I'm doing
great down here in Manassas, VA. We have been keeping busy the three
of us. We have had a lot of finding this week and checking back on
people who said we could come back. It was pretty sweet. There's this
one part of our area, its not the best part of the area. A lot of low
income people. But we have been finding a ton of sweet people there. I
think in the span of 3 blocks, we have 7 investigators. It's been
awesome. We haven't been able to play ball over there yet though. But
when we do, it's going to be sick. No cool basketball stories from
this week. It has been raining a lot so not a lot of people have been
out playing. But, just you wait haha.

This week we got a new bishop in the Manassas 1st ward. Our old
bishop, bishop jones, is mov into Kansas here pretty soon so we were
in need of a new one. They called one of my favorite ward members to
be the bishop. His name is Brother Dzaran. Well no, Bishop Dzaran. He
is a sweet guy. He is a convert to the church of probably 12 years.
Coolest guy I've ever met. Absolutely loves missionary work which
means it's going to be sweet for the missionaries that serve here.

This week I have been able to study about Ammon in my personal study
and man, is he one stud. All of the sons of Mosiah are studs. Ammon
particularly stands out, no because he chopped off a bunch of bad guys
arms, but because of his courage and his faith. To be able to
withstand King Lamoni's dad and eventually converting him. I think a
prime example of this is found in Alma 20:17-18. It says:

"17 But Ammon stood forth and said unto him: Behold, thou shalt not
slay thy son; nevertheless, it were better that he should fall than
thee, for behold, he has repented of his sins; but if thou shouldst
fall at this time, in thine anger, thy soul could not be saved.

18 And again, it is expedient that thou shouldst forbear; for if thou
shouldst slay thy son, he being an innocent man, his blood would cry
from the ground to the Lord his God, for vengeance to come upon thee;
and perhaps thou wouldst lose thy soul."

That's got to take some guts on the side of Ammon to say that. He had
completely faith and trust in the lord at that particular moment. If
only I could have that when I go teach. I definitely try my hardest.
But I feel it's something that doesn't come over time. You have to
constantly being trying to turn your will over to the lord and have
complete faith and trust in him.

I hope you all have a good week!

Much love!

- Elder Tanner Leishman