Monday, July 25, 2016

Week #59 - "Eat. Sleep. Teach. Repeat."

Well, this week was another one for the books. Elder Holdaway and I
kicked it off last Monday by playing some basketball at a local high
school. A member in our ward coaches the JV team so he invited us out
to come to their open gym. So of course we took it. What more could
you ask for in my case? Non members and basketball? That's like
finding a gold nugget. So we went and played and it was so much fun. I
hadn't played ball like that since before my mission. I can tell I'm a
little out of shape though when I can only go up and down the court
like 4 times before I'm dead. But hey, it's all for the experience. I
really enjoyed playing. They invited us back to play some more so
maybe we will go again soon.

Something really cool happened this week. So remember when I was
serving in the shirlington ward? I was only there for a transfer, so 6
weeks. And we didn't really have a lot of success there expect for
this one guy that we found named Bill. Well, we started teaching bill
and then I got transferred out of the area and that was the last I
heard of it. But then, about a week ago, I get a call from my old
companion at the time telling me that the missionaries in shirlington
were still teaching bill and that he was getting baptized. I was so
pumped. So I was able to go to his baptism on Saturday. It was
awesome. It just goes to show you never know what happens with people
after you leave the area. Like Bill. I went to bills baptism and he
remembered who I was even though it has been months. It was such a
faith building experience. One of those mission stories I'll never

Other than that, my week was the usual. Just grinding in Manassas. I
hope you all have a great week. Love and miss ya!

My man Bill getting baptized.  A long time coming!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Week #58 - "On a beach in Hawaii...."

I bet you're wondering why that is the title of my email this week.
Well it's because elder Holdaway and I have gone completely apostate
and took a week long trip to Hawaii (I'll send the pics)....haha jk.
It's only the lyrics to a reggae song. I wish I was there though with
how hot and humid it has been this past week. It's been miserable to
be outside. I've been sweaty for literally a week straight. Welcome to
the life πŸ˜ͺ but it really is the best. I've had a great week other
than the sweatiness. Elder Holdaway and I get along super well and we
have some awesome conversations about the gospel. Work wise, the week
was a little slower because we had a lot of meetings and switched pday
and transfers. So it's been a lot of logistics this week. It's been
good though.

Last Tuesday, we went to the zoo with a group of elders and had a lot
of fun. I'm not huge into walking around for hours on end looking at
animals but it was pretty cool and I had a good time being with all
the other elders. It's always nice to hang out with the homies around
the mission.

Then, Tuesday night, elder Holdaway and I found out that we were going
to be staying together for another transfer. I'm so pumped. We get to
stay in one of the best areas in the mission for another 6 weeks. It's
going to be awesome.

Thursday we had transfers and it was probably one of the saddest days
of my mission so far. A lot of missionaries that I looked up to a lot
were going home. A lot of the guys that have had a huge influence on
my mission are now at home. It was a sad day. We lost a lot of great
missionaries but that means there are great new missionaries that are
coming into the mission that need some good examples. It's motivation
for us to be those guys that the young bucks can look up too. Just
like we had awesome leaders, they need awesome leaders as well. But I
think the saddest part of the day was when my guy elder Merrill went
home. I don't know if you guys remember my companion from about 6
months ago but he went home this past week. It was super sad. I sure
do love that kid a lot. I'll send you the pictures I took with him
before he left. He's a stud. But, something cool from transfers. My
trainee, elder Hudson is training. Which means I am now a grandpa in
the mission. I'm pretty pumped about it. My grandsons name is elder
roper. Seems like a dope kid. He better be if he's in my posterity

On Saturday we had a pretty busy day. It started with correlation at
bishop dzarans house at 8am then we went and taught a couple lessons
before we left to go to a baptism in elder holdaways last area, the
tall cedars ward. It was an awesome service. Saturday evening we had
stake mission correlation. It's where we go and represent the zone in
front of all the bishops and ward mission leaders in the stake. We
talk about what we are doing as a zone and get things for the zone to
improve on. It's one of my favorite meetings to attend. This
particular meeting, president Dionne (centreville stake president)
asked us to share the story about how we found, taught, and baptized
the Bercian family. It was great. The spirit is always super strong.

Last night after church we were able to teach a couple lessons that
were just filled with the spirit. Not saying other lessons aren't full
of the spirit but I feel like somethings both the two lessons we
taught last night were different. Maybe it was the lord showing us his
hand in our lives or even just us noticing it more. Or it could be
Heavenly Father giving us a little hope after a slow week. Whatever it
was, it was nice. We taught our investigator named Kevin. The lessons
started off with him basically dropping us but then we talked him into
one more thing, we invited him to read and pray from the Book of
Mormon every night this week, 7 days. And if he doesn't think he has
an answer by the end of the week, we will stop visiting him. He
accepted. I'm going to be praying my heart out on behalf of him this
week. I have the faith that Heavenly Father will answer his prayers
and show him the truthfulness of the things we share. I just know he
will. He always seems to come in clutch when we need him.

I love you all. Have a great week!

- Elder Tanner Leishman

District selfie before transfers

On our way to transfers with the Fort Belvoir Elders, Elders Severe and Timothy

Me and Elder Severe. He went home. He was Elder Holdaways trainer.
One of those missionaries I looked up to a lot

The man, the myth, the legend. Elder Scott Merrill. What a stud.
I'm going to miss this kid. Yu-gi-oh, sponge bob and all.

My grandson, Elder Roper. With Elder Hudson(my son) and I. The
posterity lives on !!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Week #57 - The most eventful week EVER!

So, I'm sorry for not emailing everyone yesterday. We had to switch
our pday because president huntsman scheduled a meeting for all the
zone leaders and sister training leaders to meet with Senator Orrin
Hatch at the Capitol.πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ It was a once in a lifetime experience, I'll
talk about it in a little bit! Also, I'm sorry I'm sending this email
so early, we are going into DC for our actual pday today and going to
visit the zoo so I need to send off some emails before we get in

Holy cow, where do I even start? This week has been filled with so
many miracles and great experiences. Elder Holdaway and I worked super
hard this week and got a lot of things done which was awesome. The
week days were pretty normal, taught a lot of people, did some serve
and helped someone paint, got blood drawn haha, went to the mission
office, and did a zone service project! It was such a great week.

There were so many highlights from this week, I don't even think I
could pick one. We can start with the baptism of Jose and Sandra on
Saturday! It was such a great service. You know that the adversary is
trying to do all he can to stop someone from getting baptized when the
whole baptismal program doesn't come together till about 5 mins after
it was scheduled to start. But it happened and it was awesome. Jose
and Sandra are so awesome. I love them and their family so much. I
baptized Jose and elder Holdaway baptized Sandra. After they were
baptized, Jose stood up and bore a powerful testimony about how the
gospel has blessed them and how he wants to share it with others. The
spirit was super strong! Then we went and got Mexican food with them
after and I about exploded with how full I was....🍴 Bishop Dzaran
confirmed them in church on Sunday and it was so sweet, they were
given the gift of the Holy Ghost and are now ready to battle the
storms of life. Then, on Sunday night, William and Brian spoke at
what's called a New and Returning Member Fireside. It's put on by the
mission and it's where recent converts or less active members who are
returning to activity come and bear their testimony and share their
story about how they came to know the gospel was true. So William and
Brian spoke at it. They were so funny and had the best story, they
both talked together which was pretty sweet too. They bore awesome
testimonies about the Book of Mormon. I'm so proud of those boys. They
are like my adopted little brothers! William is now at youth
conference this week πŸ‘πŸΌ

Yesterday, we went to DC to visit with Senator Hatch. It was actually
really sweet. We all met at the Centerville Stake Center and carpooled
to the district. Let me tell you, I'm so glad I don't have to drive in
DC normally. The traffic there SUCKS! People cutting you off left and
right. The struggle was definitely real. But we got to his office and
were in one of his board rooms and we got talking to one of his
interns, I think. He was a member as well and served a mission in the
Netherlands. He was a pretty sweet guy. He was also from Las Vegas
☝🏼️! But then senator hatch came in and talked with us. He was
running a couple minutes late because he was opening the floor for the
senate. Usually he is the one to open the floor because he is the most
senior senator, he is actually 3rd in line to be president of the
United States, he has been in the senate for 40 years!! That's a super
long time. So when they open the senate floor, they usually start with
a prayer which I think is super awesome. But he made it in to talk
with us and he shared some awesome stories. He really left the time
open for us to ask him questions. There were some great questions
asked about politics, life, the church, leadership, etc. but what was
really cool is he related everything back to his mission. All of the
stories he told were from his mission. He sounded like a great
missionary. He told us that he would trade his 40 years in the senate
for his 2 year mission. He said that his mission was more important
and better for his life than the 40 years in the senate. I thought
that was super cool. I mean, being a senator? That's a pretty dang
important job. But he said he would give it up for his mission. That
was such a testimony builder to me of the purpose the lord calls
missionaries. Not only does a mission bless the people we teach, but
it blesses our lives forever as well. We will learn things and have
all these great experiences that can shape us to be the people we are.
I'm so grateful I had the chance to go, really a once in a lifetime
experience. I'll send the pictures of our trip up there. It was so

This week, with everything that's been going on, I've had the chance
to reflect on our purpose as missionaries. We are called to INVITE
other to come unto Christ. We aren't called to go out and just
baptized everyone or just teach everyone. We are called to bring them
closer to Jesus Christ. Look at this promised blessing from the Book
of Mormon if we just "seek to bring forth Zion."

"37 And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that
day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and
if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day,
and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso
shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the
mountains shall they be." (1 Nephi 13:37)

We are just called to invite, we are called to seek to bring forth
Zion and there are so many blessings that follow. Now, let's all seek
to bring forth Zion because I don't know about you, but I want to see
the view from the tops of those mountains. Much love everyone!!

Elder Leishman

All the Elders that taught Jose and Sandra

The whole gang back together again.

Me and my man Jose

After we met Senator Hatch

Senator Hatch's office

The man himself - rockin' the Nike's

Handsome crew!
At the Zoo in DC

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Week #56 - Happy 4th of July!!

Happy 4th of July everyone! What an amazing time to be alive. This is
always my favorite time of the year. Not necessarily as a missionary
but definitely at home. My companion said this last night and it
really hit home...."this is our last 4th of July as a
missionary"....what the heck. Might as well make it a fun one then

Well this week was awesome. We went up to the temple visitors center
with Sandra and Jose and their family. See the pics.... Sandra and
Jose are super excited for their baptism! Jose asked me to baptize
him. I'm really excited. So stay tuned for this coming Saturday and
their baptism. But they loved the visitors center. We were able to
have some of the sister missionaries up there that speak Spanish show
us around. So it was good for all of us! Also, their son, William, was
called to be the second counselor in the teachers quorum! What what!!
This family is so solid.

Well, today we are going to try and find some fireworks to watch.
Apparently, the city of Manassas puts on some great firework shows.
I'll have to see what I can find! I hope everyone has a great week! I
love and miss you guys!

- Elder Tanner Leishman

Zone activity last week

At the temple with Sandra and Jose's family