Monday, August 29, 2016

Week # 64 - "Transfer Week"

Wow, this week has been a busy one. we had transfers this week. Let's
get right to it. It started on Monday when we went into DC. We decided
to go to the holocaust museum because some people had never been there
before. I have bitter sweet feelings about that museum because it's
really sad but it's a great exhibit. It goes in depth on a lot of the
things that happened in WWII. I learned a lot. After that museum we
decided to just kinda walk around and hang out with some other
missionaries. It was a pretty relaxed day.

On Tuesday, elder holdaway and I did our weekly office run. We got to
the office and President Huntsman was there and told us both that he
would like to talk to us. So if any of you know me and know how my
mind works, it immediately jumped to "oh shoot, what did I do wrong?
What am I getting punished for? Is he sending me home?" All those
things ran through my head. But I went in there and president asked me
what I thought was going to happen with transfers. (Usually we would
find out on Tuesday night around 9pm) But I told him that I had no
idea. He asked me if I wanted to know what was happening so I told him
sure. He said that elder holdaway is getting transferred to a new area
and I will be staying in Manassas. But he said he doesn't know who my
new companion is yet. So when the transfer doctrine comes out it would
have me still with elder holdaway, but then he would also be in his
new area as well. It's real to confusing to explain. But I thought it
was pretty cool and just decides to go with the flow. He told me I
wouldn't find out who my companion is till Thursday at the transfer

On Wednesday, we spent a lot of time packing elder holdaways stuff and
then saying goodbye to the members of the ward that elder holdaway got
pretty tight with. It was a good time and we were able to still teach
some lessons throughout the craziness. We had dinner with one of my
favorite families in the ward, the Najera's. They are so awesome and
sister Najera makes the best food! 👌🏼

Then Thursday rolls around. It was mine and elder holdaways last day
together which was pretty sad. But we got to the transfer meeting and
I got a call from one of the assistants and he said that he was my new
companion. He explained the situation to me and said he was excited to
me my new comp. so my new companion is elder Winn. He is from Rexburg,
ID. He graduated in my class just a little bit early so he could come
on a mission and he like to play sports too. I'm pretty excited about
the upcoming transfer. It should be really good. We are super pumped
the help our zone out and move the work along.

I'm still pretty sad elder Holdaway and I aren't companions anymore
though. We had a great companionship. I don't think we had one
conflict at all. I really enjoyed my time with him. He taught me how
to be a better leader and how to lead with love. I love the way he can
relate to everyone and just be an example to others or even a helping
had. He's going to do great things in his next area though. 💪🏼

This week I spent a lot of time reflecting on the knowledge I've been
able to gain since coming on a mission. Maybe it's just me being on a
mission but I just want to read like every book out there and learn
all these new things. It's going to be exciting when I can just sit
down and read for a while. I sure didn't like reading before my
mission but I'm confident I'll be an avid reader at home. In D&C
88:118 it says, "118 And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and
teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best dbooks
words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith." We
are commanded to gain as much knowledge as we can here on earth
because the things we learn and the knowledge we gain will be taken
with us to the next life. I'm grateful for the chance I have to study
and learn as much as I possibly can while on a mission. I'm lovin

I love and miss you guys!

- Elder Leish

We were taking a selfie at lunch in DC and the workers at the pizza
place yelled at us and said they wanted to be in it. So they ran out
and joined our selfie. Pretty funny 😂

We went to one of the other districts district meeting this week
and got into their picture.

Our district pic. Don't try to fit 4 guys on a two person couch, just FYI

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Week #63 - "For Sparta"

This week has definitely been on for the books. Literally records
broken haha. All I can say is elder Holdaway and I worked our tails
off this week....💪🏼
So I bet you're wondering why I used a quote from the movie "300" for
the title of my email this week. Well, it's because our mission set a
goal to find 300 new investigators in a week again. But this time we
threw a little twist on it, all of those new investigators had to be
invited to baptism In the first lesson or they didn't count towards
our goal. So last week we met together as a zone and decided that our
zone wanted to find 50 of those new gators. On average we usually find
20 and the last finding fest we found 39. So we were really trying to
step up our game to meet this goal. And then after we knelt down as a
zone and asked for the lord hand in accomplishing our goal. It was so
sweet. So this week rolls around and our whole zone is pumped about
finding. So they text us every time they find a new one and we send it
out to the zone. So we get to Saturday and we had found 35 as a zone.
Well, on Saturday we planned this zone finding fest within a finding
fest haha. I know it's kinda confusing but stay with me here. So we
asked all the members of our zone to block off their whole Saturday
afternoon. Well, on Saturday at 1pm we all met and had a little
testimony meeting then we all exchanged. So everyone went with a
different companion then normal and we all went out finding. We found
until 5pm when we all met back up again and had dinner and a testimony
meeting. Well, remember how I said we had found 35 up till Saturday??
Yeah, on Saturday alone, we found 25 new investigators as a zone!! It
was so dang sweet. We passed our goal of 50 new gators and ended up
getting 60 by the end of Saturday. Then we still had a whole day to
find more people. So we ended the week finding 68 new investigators as
a zone that we invited to baptism. It was so sweet. It was so amazing
to see us come together as a zone, unified towards our goal, then pray
and ask the lord for his help. And he did help us. He helped us more
than we could have imagined. He put so many prepared people in our
paths and we were able to teach them and invite them to be baptized. I
have such a testimony of goal setting and working hard to achieve that
goal. When we really work hard and show the lord we are committed to
his work, he will shower blessings on us.

That was definitely the highlight of my week this week. But throughout
the week elder Holdaway and I were able to find some sweet people. We
found a couple families who we were able to teach a lesson too and
also some of our former investigators that we had lost contact with,
we were able to reestablish contact. It's always so interesting who
you meet when you are out walking the streets. You come across some of
the most humble people ever as well as some of the weirdest people
I've ever met. It makes it all fun though and I love it.

On Wednesday we were able to have dinner at the Bercians and then have
a lesson with them. They are doing so great, Sandra is already in Alma
with her Book of Mormon reading 🙀🙀. And the boys are just the
biggest studs.

There is also a family in our ward that elder holdaway and I have
gotten pretty tight with. Their name is the najeras. They are so
sweet. They told us that whenever we don't have a dinner to text them.
And usually I never text people when they say that because I don't
like inviting myself to places. But for some reason we texted them one
of the days we didn't have dinner this week and they took us out to
eat at a place called guapos. It was so good 🍴🌮

This week is the last week of the transfer. I've been here in the
Manassas 1st ward for 4 transfer/6 months. I'm not sure if my time
here is up or not. (I sure hope it's not) But if it is, I love this
ward with all my heart. The members, the investigators, less actives,
recent converts. I love them all and they have a special place in my
heart. Hopefully I can stay another transfer but if not, these past 6
months have been awesome!

I love and miss you guys!

- Elder Leish

Ps. Sorry I'm sending his pretty early, we woke up early so we could
get our work out and stuff done so we can go into DC!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Week #62 - "Email titles are mainstream"

My email is going to be pretty short today. But, What a wonderful week to be in the service of the lord. Elder Holdaway and I were pretty sick this week though which made it kind of tough. But we will get over it here soon! We had a lot of great things going on with some of the less active members of our ward. There are like 3 of them that are SOO close to coming to church. Most of them I've been working with about the whole time I've been in Manassas. I've really grown to love them a lot and want nothing more than to see them experience the blessings of he gospel. 

Our mission is having a huge finding fest next week and we are going to try and find 300 new investigators as a mission again but is time we are going to invite them all to baptism in the first lesson. I'm excited because it will really boost our teaching pool up and we can get some more people to teach! 

Today for pday we went to the boarder of the mission and went on a little hike/trail thing that has some sweet places to stop for some views. It was awesome. It took up most of our pday. I'll make sure I send some pics. Also, we stopped at this place called Cooters. And if any of you are Dukes of Hazzard fans. You'll know what I'm talking about and you'll enjoy the picture. 

And finally, shout out to my boy elder simpson. It's his birthday today. ☝🏼️😏

I feel like I've had so many experiences in the past few weeks that have helped me really solidify my testimony. I went from being a new missionary and not even knowing if I believe this stuff to now having a rock solid testimony. I love being a missionary, I wouldn't trade this experience for anything! 

Much love!

- Elder Leish

Zone activity a couple of weeks ago

Pday adventure

Visiting the border of the Washington DC South Mission

At Cooter's - the old guy from the Duke's of Hazard still lives there.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Week # 61 - "One love, One heart"

This week has been awesome. It's been filled with a couple exchanges
and a couple trips to the temple and even a MLC meeting. But first,
last Monday, we had our zone activity. We did it at this huge park in
Haymarket that had some basketball courts, a baseball field, a
football field, and some gazebo type things. It was so much fun. We
grilled up some hot dogs and had a little BBQ. We had the people
bring chips and fruit and things like that. I thought it was a big

On Tuesday, there was a youth temple trip. William and Brian were able
to go on this one and it was their first time so we got to go with
them. I went on an exchange with a Elder Burleson (my previous
companion, we found William and Brian) and we went up to the temple to
do baptisms with them. It was a beautiful experience and the boys
really enjoyed it and felt the spirit. Then, on Wednesday we had a
lesson at the Bercians house and William and Brian had two friends
that were over and they invited them to sit in on a lesson with us. So
they did, and we taught them the restoration. It was another miracle
of the week.

On Thursday, we had our MLC meeting which was awesome. President and
Sister Huntsman were able to address us. And they just had their son
return home from his mission in France. He was able to talk to us as
well. You can tell he was a great missionary. Daniel Huntsman
addressed us. He is presidents like 13 year old son. And he said
something that really stood out to me. He said "the harder we work,
the more prepared for success we are." He told us a story about how
him and president were training to climb a mountain and how the
training and practice was hard but that it was all worth it in the
end. At the end of his talk he said something else that stood out. He
said "being successful was determined before I even started." Remember
this is like a 13 year old boy talking to all of us. I thought that
was so awesome and it's so true. when we make up our mind that we want
to be successful, nobody can stop us. It comes down to all the hard
work we put in and the mindset we have with the situation we are in.
Determine now that you are going to be successful!! We also had
another exchange with a member of our ward that day named brother
Darrah. He's probably one of my favorite members I've served around in
my mission. He served his mission in Russia which is pretty dope. But
we were out visiting some people and got to hear some of his stories
from his mission.

Friday, we had our exchange with the the assistants in Fort Belvoir.
Fort Belvoir is a ward but it has the military base in it as well. We
were able to go to a members house who lives on base for dinner. That
was a pretty cool experience. Then we went out and worked. At the end
of the night we were walking back to the car and one of the elders
said he couldn't find the keys. So we got to looking and looked inside
the van and saw them sitting in the back seat with it completely
locked. So first, we tried to unlock the he door using a hanger. (Not
really a good idea, especially with the area we were in. Looked a
little suspicious haha) Then we just decided we would go get the
spare. But the spare was at the mission office which is like 20
minutes away from Fort Belvoir. Remember, this is the end of the
night. So by now it's like 9:45. So call the other guys to give us a
ride to the mission office and we get there and realize the key to the
mission office is on the keys to the van....😑 so we then have to
drive to the office elders house to pick up a different let to the
mission office so we can get in to get the spare. We finally get the
spare and head back to Fort Belvoir and we get to their apartment and
realize that we forgot to go get the van because we were so tired, the
whole reason this happened in the first place. By the time we got home
I think it was 11:30. Let's just say when I woke up at 5:45 the next
morning, I was a little tired....but it was fun to hang out with those
guys for a little bit.

Saturday was a packed day!! It started in Fort Belvoir at 6am. We then
drove back to Manassas really early in the morning to show and get
ready so we could be at bishop dzarans house at 8am for correlation.
We then drove straight from bishops house to President Dionne's house
(the stake president) for stake correlation and breakfast. After that,
we drove straight to the Bercians house so we could go do baptisms at
the temple with Jose and Sandra because they didn't get a chance to go
on Tuesday because of work. It was a jammed back day. It was awesome
though. Going to the temple again was such a great experience for me
and for Jose and Sandra. I was able to participate in the baptisms
this time. I did the confirmations with William and Brian but with
Sandra and Jose they needed my help with baptisms. I remember standing
in the font at the temple and thinking to myself, this really is the
work of salvation. I had been overcome with the spirit and I knew that
what I was doing was blessing someone on the other side of the veil.

This week was definitely one for the books. I really did see the lords
hand in every aspect of my life this week. I hope you all have a great
week. I love and miss ya! ✌🏼️🙏🏼

- Elder Tanner Leishman

Temple visit with William and Brian

Our late night activities with the Assistants

Elder Leishman and Elder Holdaway eating dinner at the Larsen's home (from Provo High)

Dinner with a member from Elder Holdaways last area at Olive Garden in Manassas

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Week #60 - "Jammin' in the name of the Lord"

Crazy Virginia weather this week! Monday was the hottest day of the
year AND we decided to play football that day. Bad idea because we
just all got drenched from the outdoor sauna. But, hey, it all for the
gainezzzzz...and it was still pretty fun.

One of my good mission buddies, elder Logan Frew, got picked up by his
family this week to go home so they took me and elder Holdaway out to
eat. He's going home a few weeks early for school. It was super weird
seeing someone who was just a missionary several days prior now with
his family in regular clothes.

We had zone conference this week. The topic was on following the
spirit in missionary work. President Heber j. Grant once said “I have
little or no fear for the boy or the girl, the young man or the young
woman, who honestly and conscientiously supplicate God twice a day for
the guidance of His Spirit. I am sure that when temptation comes they
will have the strength to overcome it by the inspiration that shall be
given to them. Supplicating the Lord for the guidance of His Spirit
places around us a safeguard, and if we earnestly and honestly seek
the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord, I can assure you that we will
receive it”.
One of the first steps to receiving guidance in our lives is to first
ask for it!

At the end of zone conference (we cut our presentation 15 minutes
short to hear from the rest of the zone) we wanted to have a testimony
meeting on experiences of following the spirit. So we shared our
experiences and then said "We would now like to open it up to all of
you to share your experiences, following your testimonies president
will have closing remarks and then we will sing.........." So we bare
our testimonies and sit down excited for all the testimonies and
stories everyone will share! As soon as we sit down, president stands
up and says "In closing, I just want to bare testimony in......"
...... Hahahaha the testimony meeting lasted pretty short. I'm pretty
sure he was just thinking about what he was going to share and just
missed the announcement we made about it being a testimony meeting,
but it was pretty funny.

We got in contact with a member of our ward named Phillip. Phillip was
baptized when he was 10. He's now in his mid 30s and hasn't been
active in church since he was a kid. He's literally hit rock bottom
with business deals flopping on him twice and now is jobless. He
reached out to us in an attempt to find strength in something. We had
a powerful lesson on how to increase and grow our faith. He bailed on
coming to church but is still willing to consistently meet with us.
Lots of hopes with him.

There's a couple other families were working on helping come back to
church. A lot of less active work in the area right now. On Saturday
morning our ward had a shepherding event where the whole elders quorum
had 6 names each of members in the roster who we need an update on and
they went out for 2 hours then returned and reported in what updates
were made. It was a brilliant idea and lots of progress was made.

Peruvian food is delicious, el Salvadorian food is perfect. We went
out to dinner with a family in our ward this week that took us to get
Peruvian food. I'm in love. We also went to lunch to a el Salvadorian
place. I now have 2 loves. Haha I'll send a pic of the pupusa.

That was my week! Everything is going well. Today we have our zone
activity. Im sure there will be pics next week. I'm loving my
companion, area, and mission. Love you all!

Have a great week!☺️

- Elder Tanner Leishman

P.s. Credits to Elder Holdaway. I used some of his email home because
we didn't have a lot of time to write today. Companionships that share
emails together, stay together. So thanks man!

Elder Frew - leaving to go home