Saturday, August 31, 2013

Los Angeles

With my great companions!
With President and Sister Weidman

 All of our mail goes to the mission home. We get it on Fridays at district meeting. They don't keep all visa waiters together but there are 3 of us in the same ward and 4 of us in the same district. 2 elders that are visa waiters going to Brazil are in my ward and they came here on Wed. too. I didn't know them in the MTC but it has been nice seeing them! There is one elder in my district going to Argentina and he has been here for 6 months on wait.

I am in a trio. Sister H (from Alpine, UT  and has been out for 8 months) and Sister  P(from Mexico city and going home in Dec.). They are actually both training me. I told someone that I must need two people to train me and keep me in line! Sister H. told me and a bunch of other people that I don't need to be trained. I laughed and said I definitely do. (Btw, her brother is in the Dover DE stake and is his ward's YM's pres.). Small world! They are super sweet and I absolutely love them! We are all 3 a lot alike and have so much in common! They are actually also Sister Training Leaders. They keep telling me that once I get to Brazil I will train and be a STL! Ha! We do get to have language study. Actually, it's funny because between the 3 of us we are learning 3 languages! Portuguese, Sister H is learning Spanish, and Sister L P is learning English! They were both called to the Visitor's Center but at least here you can be called to go full-field and they obviously were. To be a visitor center missionary you are in the MTC for an extra week for training so I won't be that. I was there the other day, though, when my comps had a meeting, so I just stayed with some sisters in the VC.  We were in a lesson with some elders and the man speaks Farsi and is from Iran and had a translator, but anyway, he committed to baptism!!! That was the first person I saw commit! I was super excited! I think I was more excited than anyone else! Ha!
There aren't any Portuguese branches but there are some Portuguese speakers around. I haven't met them yet, but Sister L P told me it is her personal goal to find me a Portuguese speaker! B/c we are all learning different languages they understand needing to use it, so I pray in Portuguese most of the time even when it's with them too. We all try to pray as much as possible in our mission language. I actually got to speak a little to a guy that was at a dinner appointment on Thursday or Friday ( I can't remember). He is from Macedonia but he knows a bunch of different languages and he saw my nametag and I said a little in Portuguese to him. He thought it was funny that I was practicing on him!
My mission president and his wife are amazing! President and Sister Wiedman  are super sweet and love the missionaries so much! They are new so they have been here for about 2 months. When I had my interview with President he talked to me about sign language. I got a little worried... There aren't any ASL sisters in the mission but if there were I think he would have put me there since I have taken it and there aren't any Portuguese wards. I am in an English one btw. I don't think I've written that yet.

Our temple pday is in 2 weeks (actually I just realized that I think it is the week of my bday!) I am super excited! The LA temple is gorgeous and HUGE! The second largest!
LA hasn't felt humid at all! It feels great b/c there is always a breeze! Oh, I didn't tell you that my first area is Hollywood! We have Beverly Hills in our area too.  The food is fine and pretty easy to handle (at least it has been thus far).  I actually really like the trio but it helps because we are all 3 so much alike. My comps have actually trained before (TOGETHER)! They trained a sister RIGHT after Sister H finished being trained and then they had 2 transfers apart and are now back together When  Sister H was being trained and when they were apart for 3 months, they were in the same ward's, so they have spent Sister H's entire mission at least around each other!
We are CLAM (contacting less active members) hunting in the area. There are 7 missionaries in the ward and we are all new to it. There are 3 of us as Brazil visa waiters. We are mostly contacting less actives, contacting former investigators and gaining the trust of the members. They had 2 elders before but we feel like they need to trust missionaries more. We are excited for all of the work that lies ahead! We were in the store the other day and a man thought I worked there b/c he saw my nametag! Ha! My comps we laughing so hard about it afterwards!
The ward has about 110 actives and over 850 less actives so we have A LOT to do. They are sweet and they seem super excited to have sisters, especially the single women b/c they can have us over and feed us. We met with a Thai woman (recent convert) that is honestly the most amazing woman! She is so sweet and her testimony is so strong! She doesn't know everything but she KNOWS the BOM is true and the church is true and that is enough for her. She doesn't expect to be able to explain everything. She is such an inspiration to me!. We also met with a woman who took the lessons a few months back. She is having a hard time but wants to learn more and take the lessons again. She inspires me because she is going through so much yet her faith is unfailing and she knows that everything happens for a reason.
We have a few service opportunities this week and we hope to have some more with the members and less actives. It has just been amazing!
I love and miss you!
Sister Tanton


I will be visa waiting in California Los Angeles!  I am so excited! The minute I saw it I knew that is where I should be for right now!  It was like opening my call all over again! 

My address will be:
Sister Sarah Rebekah Tanton
1591 E Temple Way
Los Angeles CA 90024

Map of my missions

Tuesday evening with Sister Patrick

I can't believe I leave the MTC TOMORROW!! It has already been 6 weeks! The weeks have flown by! I said bye to Sis. T- my first companion, this morning. That was super weird and hard since we have been through the MTC together and stepped into this new phase of our lives at each other's sides! I am sad to leave the mtc because I have loved it here but I am also super excited! I can't wait to meet my mission president and his wife and the people that I will be serving with and serving in LA! I already love the people there even though I haven't met them yet!
This week was really good! It was a great last week! We had some awesome last few lessons with our investigators!
I can't believe I say bye to Marie- Sister Patrick tonight.:( I am sad but we are going to sit together for choir and the devotional if at all possible tonight. We did last Tuesday which was awesome and Richard G. Scott was the speaker!! It was awesome! I will write more about that when I have time I can't wait to talk to you all tomorrow morning!
The MTC has been amazing and I have learned so much! I can't believe my time has come to a close here but I know I must now fly this nest and go teach the people in LA and Rio (once I get there)!
Sorry this is so short. I feel like I've been running around like a chicken with its head cut off today since I leave tomorrow. You know how I feel about packing! Today felt weird without my companion but it has still been a good day since I have gotten to email you all!
I love and miss you and can't wait to talk tomorrow!
Sister Tanton

8/13/13: A whole month!

This week was awesome! We got to host last Wednesday! Guess who I hosted....... drumroll please.... SISTER PATICK!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND even better, she LIVES NEXT TO ME!!!!! Like the next room over!!!!!! We were going crazy!! Pics to come later of the two of us! Having her here has been amazing and truly an answer to prayers! She is doing really well and we are on the same eating schedule so we get to at least wave during those times! We hosted the early arrivals and in walks Marie! She did a double-take because she said she thought I was already in the field. She was sad to hear that I only had 2 weeks left here. It is amazing to me that I now only have a week. Reassignments this Friday. Some people have been called to their home missions on reassignments..... A bunch to Montana, NY, ID, WA, and a few to TN. I'm excited to see where I will be going. At first I was really hoping I wouldn't be reassigned but as I have thought about the fact that I'm going to be, I know everything will work out and it would be easier to learn how to teach in English before going Portuguese speaking. It'll all work out.
My Portuguese is coming along. When we taught our lesson last night I pretty much taught it and when he had a question I was actually able to answer it and he understood! I was really nervous at first when Sis. T was clearly waiting for me to answer his question (she usually answers them b/c her Portuguese is soooooo much better than mine) but I was able to do it!
 I am feeling a lot better. I still have a nasty cough.... There are 13 of us in my district and 9 of us are sick.... I went to the doctor on Thursday (I didn't even go to class all day) and he put me on three meds. I feel a lot better and I have finished those.
The temple- We went to the temple this morning (6:30 to be exact, yes I thought I was going to fall asleep or die at that time of morning.... I had to get up at 5:45 on PDAY but it was totally worth it for the temple!) The new movie is awesome and really well done! All of you should go and see it soon! I actually helped a few sisters with the clothing.... That was a first for me! Thank you Mom for going with me all of those times to the temple! I also remembered almost everything (except for 2 words) at the veil! It felt so great to be back at the temple! Being in the Celestial room and feeling that Spirit was really something that I missed. I wish I could go more while on my mission. I hope my reassignment has a temple! It felt odd to be there without you, Mom, but it was still great! 
I forgot to tell you that two elders in my district got visas this week! We went crazy over it!!  
I can't believe this is probably my last Pday here at the MTC. I could possibly leave on Sat for reassignments.... Not likely but missionaries do have that happen sometimes so we'll see! I look forward to emailing again on Friday!
Love and miss you!
Sister Tanton
Look how excited we are to see each other!  It has been great living next door to each other.  I'm sad it is only for two weeks!

8/6/13: Wow....a whole month!

 I can't believe it's been a month! Time has gone slowly and flown by all at the same time! I am hosting tomorrow!!! I really hope I get to see Sis. Marie Patrick! I think she comes in tomorrow! I hope I can host her! I told one of my sister training leaders about her. She is hosting tomorrow as well and said she would send her my way if she sees her.

The MTC is strict but it isn't bad. I guess it's normal to me so I don't even think about it but I know that it bothers a LOT of people here. I guess because of being in the gym and the way I was raised it feels normal to me... one of my saving graces! Haha!  I am getting enough sleep. I have felt tired on some days but for the most part it hasn't been bad at all. The Lord definitely provides for His missionaries! 
This week was good. I had a big jump in my Portuguese speaking ability. I still have trouble with understanding it when reading and hearing it but I talked with Bro. Whitaker about it and he gave me really good ideas that worked for him while he was learning Portuguese. We are getting another investigator this week. We're going to be teaching a companionship in the district (don't know who yet, I think we find out Thursday) and we will be investigators for someone else. In TRC this week we skyped an RM that's from Brazil! I really liked it!  We are skyping again this week!
 Last Tuesday evening was bad... We had a devotional which was amazing as always and it talked about how a mission is supposed to be hard. After the devotional we had our review as a district and afterwards I broke down and couldn't stop crying. Idk why, I really think it was 3 weeks of holding it in and when the speaker said that we may ask the question 'why is a mission so hard, why can't it be easy' and then he related it to the suffering of Christ it really touched me and Pres. Radebaugh (branch pres) told me that there is no shame in being homesick and missing your family I completely lost it. Sis. T and I went out in the hall and she just let me talk and complain about life and cry a whole bunch.... I got a blessing from our elders. It was a really good one and I have been SO much better ever since. I've had a great week! I was sick on Thursday... just not feeling well and Sis. T was still sick so we went back to the residence and took naps. I slept for 3 hours straight! The sisters had to wake me for dinner.... I felt fine after sleeping. I'm sick again.... stuff speads around here like wild fires. Idk what it is. I have an appointment at the health center in about 40 min.  I'll be fine but my throat just hurts really bad and it hurts to swallow anything.  I'm having trouble breathing at night. I just want to be sure it doesn't make my asthma go crazy and make sure it isn't strep.
Sorry to end the email on a sickly note... But this week was good and it's getting so much easier.  This week Elder M told me that after a bad week a good one comes and that has been so true regarding last week and this week. When I got your dearelder on Wed. and you said you were really worried... it was crazy to me to know that even so far away you sensed something was wrong and you didn't know about Tuesday night. When I got your dearelder saying you were feeling better about me, I had had a really good day and was feeling so much better! !
The temple opens this coming week!!! I can't wait to go!
Love you!
Sister Tanton




Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Another week has come and gone....

I can't believe it will be three weeks tomorrow!  This week was a hard one.  I was super homesick for a few days and just felt ready to give up.  I feel bad about having those thoughts.  I'm fine now, but something really had me going for a few days!
I love our second teacher (our first investigator)! I had an interview with him yesterday.  He is just so sweet! He's just one of those people that is super easy to talk to! I really hit the jackpot on teachers.  Our other teacher has only been home for about four months, but whenever Portuguese speakers hear he is my teacher they talk about lucky I am and how great he is. They are right! 
I didn't do the dips this week. I will try to set the record next week.  I did fifteen pull ups....I know, not very many, but I hadn't done them since February and I'm used to a gymnastics bar and not a slippery padded one!
The food here is okay....not great, but not bad.  I find plenty to eat because there is plenty of fruit and salad.  There is quite a bit of breaded meat, but the breading comes off easily. I can usually find something that isn't breaded for lunch and dinner. It's definitely cafeteria food and I just haven't had to deal with that before!
This week -all in all- wasn't bad.  I didn't mean to start off on a bad note!  It was hard for a few days there, but I know this is where I need to be and the Lord is helping me through the rough days.  I miss you! I miss having someone who understands me so well! 
Love you,
Sister Tanton
A view of some of the missionaries Tuesday night at the Marriott Center. (Don't worry- we had permission to take pictures!)

Monday, July 29, 2013

7/23/2013: pictures

I understood even more in church Sunday! I actually got most of what was said! I haven't been called up to speak yet, but now if I am it must be in Portuguese. (The first two weeks can be in English.) I don't know if I told you, but I'm singing in the choir here!  We practice two days a week and sing at the Tuesday night devotionals!  I love it!

7/23/2013: I'm a missionary, too!

I had one of "those" moments today..... Sister C. and I were writing letters in the laundry room when two elders walked by.  They were not in P-day clothes and we both thought, "Oh, look, there are the missionaries!"  We then remembered that we are missionaries, too! I had that kind of moment on Sunday at the devotional, too, when two elders walked by and I thought, "I wonder why the missionaries are here!" It is still completely surreal that I'm a missionary now, too!

For service day we cleaned and we thought we were going to have to do the bathrooms.  I got us out of that one! I told Sister T. that I just CAN'T do toilets! You know I really CAN'T!

I DO love it here!  I feel more and more like I will go to school in UT after my mission. My hair loves it, too!  It isn't even frizzy....ha ha!

The "investigator" we were teaching committed to baptism!! We were so excited even though he wasn't a real investigator! He is now our other teacher and he is great!

I broke a record in the gym yesterday!  It was the pull ups record!  I'm going to try to break the dips record this week, too.  Tell Jay!  He'll be proud! *Jay was her long time gymnastics coach.

The devotionals here are amazing!  I especially like the Tuesday night devotionals at the Marriott Center.  Our district has a devotional discussion after those. The Spirit is so strong here and I can't even begin to second guess my decision to come out when I feel how strong it is all day long!

We didn't get to go on a temple walk this Sunday because of interviews with the branch presidency, but we got to do one before emails today. It was so spiritual to do our personal study there! I think that was my best personal study thus far!

This week has been really good!  I can't believe it has been almost two weeks since I arrived. The saying that the days feel like weeks but the weeks feel like days is really true! That truly is how it feels. It hit me on the way to the temple today that new missionaries are coming in tomorrow again! It feels like yesterday was last Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

7/16/2013 The First MTC Message

The MTC is great! Portuguese is super hard, but it's coming! I know how to pray and bear my testimony. I will keep everyone in my prayers! Church on Sunday was great! My district and I realized right before sacrament started that it would be in Portuguese.. haha! I understood about every other word, so I could piece together what was said! I do love learning Portuguese though! It has been super frustrating at times, but it is such a beautiful language and it is coming quickly since I can already understand some things and it has only been 5 days! 
The temple is closed until Aug. 11.... We only get to go once.
My district is great! I didn't feel like I was behind after my crazy trip here.... I got here for the last half of orientation. (Elder T. was right....I felt a bit brain dead!) The start to my mission was a rocky one and a nightmare, but it has also been a learning experience. I know for sure that we are never alone!  As the many stranded people tried to find their way, the Lord provided me with the knowledge of where to go and who to call. I think one day I will laugh at that travel experience......maybe!
The Watts are the best people ever! They are super sweet! On the trip to the MTC, Bro. Watts pointed out a whole bunch of chapels and all the temples! I love the mountains! You should definitely move here! The dry air was awful the first day, but now I love it! 
Oh, I about freaked when I saw my schedule..... We have b-fast at 6:30... yes, 6:30- which means we have to get up at 6, but we still go to bed at 10:30.... I've gotten used to it now though! 
Love and miss you,
Sister Tanton

Photo: I headed straight from work to pick up my 'adopted' sister, Sarah Tanton, from the airport to drop her off at the MTC today.Photo: I headed straight from work to pick up my 'adopted' sister, Sarah Tanton, from the airport to drop her off at the MTC today.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Snail- mail addresses while I'm gone


MTC (missionary training center) address-

Sister Sarah Rebekah Tanton
2011 N 900 E Unit 231
Provo UT 84602

Rio address- (It'll take about 3 weeks for a letter to get there but I will write you back if you write me!)

Sister Sarah Rebekah Tanton
Brazil Rio de Janeiro Mission
Rua Dois de Dezembro 78 salas 703/704
22220-040 Rio de Janeiro - RJ