Saturday, April 5, 2014

Letter #30: Littleton

transferring areas always makes for a crazy week. starting with transfer meeting which was wednesday night! we had to drive two hours to make it the the chapel that all of the missionaries that are getting transfers meet at. then we have a two hour long meeting where all of the departing missionaries get up and share their testimonies and we welcome all of the new little greenies. sister hileman got a new missionary to train which means that i have a little sister!! shes so cute i love her already. and i got to see sister hileman for the first time since leaving revere! that was purely glorious. i miss her! we're in the same zone now so we'll see each other slightly more often than before. after the meeting ends all chaos breaks loose with everyone trying to say goodbye to each other and get pictures and transfer luggage between the cars. chaos i tell you. 

and then i was with my new companion sister calder! she is 21 and from California and only has a few months left on her mission. she's probably finish her mission here in Littleton! We cover like 12 towns surrounding Littleton here and the area is beautiful! soooooo different than revere and brockton. i tell people where i served before and theyre like oh... this is different for you then! and im like hey, dont hate on my ghetto areas. haha but the people here are wonderful. Sister Packard called a couple of days ago and asked me how my transition is going back into English society and i told her that its been a bit of a culture shock! but little things like dinner manners and shaking peoples hands instead of kissing them on the cheek are slowly coming back to me :) so littleton ward is the biggest ward in the mission and the people here are incredible. very intelligent and very hard working. Borther Holland is in this ward. as in the son of J.R. Holland. we sat in on his sunday school lesson this past sunday. we have two elders serving in this ward with us too. elder ripplinger and elder bringhurst. i havent taken any pictures of anyone or anything yet sorry! youll have a face with the name next week. 

on friday after district meeting we went to lunch with everyone. our sister training leaders are in our district so we got to sit and talk with them. theyre amazing i want to be just like them please. so i was telling them that i was from seattle and one of the sisters was like oh, i know every single stereotype for seattle people. haha so she started listing off all these things that were actually pretty spot on. and she got the biggest kick out of it because apparently i totally fit the seattle stereotype. proud of it though. 

we've been visiting a lot of members this week which is wonderful because i need to get to know everyone! saturday was the general women's broadcast which was incredible. if you havent watched it yet go do that now itll blow your mind. then on sunday night we went to a "voices of zion" concert put on by a choir made up of people from the surrounding area. it was super beautiful. i love music so much it pains me. haha but we were there to help with refreshments and whatnot. 

and thats about it. not too much to report on since transfers made it a short week. i am SO excited for general conference this upcoming weekend! we are so blessed to live in a day where all we have to do is turn on the tv to hear the words of our prophet. I know that he is called of God and leading the church the way Christ himself would if he were on the earth. Don't take this opportunity for granted :) love you all!



TRANSFERRED. okay so im going to tell you what actually ended up happening and then the crazy story behind it. I'm being transferred to Littleton to be companions with sister calder. english speaking. so at this rate ill be spending 3 months in every language. probably next will be Haitian creole and then ill have exhausted all of the options that this mission has to offer language wise. 

so here's how transfers went down. earlier in the week we got a text from president saying that transfer text was going to come out on friday at 1PM instead of saturday at 9PM. and also that transfer meeting would be a day earlier too. as in today. which is why today is crazy nuts running all over the place because we have to leave a few hours early to make it to transfer meeting, which is cutting our p day super short. also we have to pack. lots and lots of packing.

anyways, so on friday we had district meeting and then right after t-text came so we were all together to read it. so heres the change ups.
sister cope is going to open and area in dorchester with sister gomez. aka the gomezster. 
sister carone is going to southcoast to be companions with sister wake and theyll be in a zebra area. as in half portuguese half spanish.
elder starley is going back to the area he started his mission in (central falls) and will probably end his mish there. 
sister hileman over in nashua is getting a new missionary to train so ill have a baby sister!! 
everyone else in the district is staying. 

why wasnt i on transfer text you may ask? because i didnt find out i was leaving until monday!! on friday the plan was that i was going to stay here with sister harris and we would get sister belchoir here too to be in a trio. that changed. 

we were at the millers house monday morning cause they wanted to cook us all one last meal before they all peaced out. so we were sitting around eating and talking and what not when president packard calls! and thats always a scary thing. so sister carone answers and then hands it over to me and i was like oh man.... hi president. and then he explained to me that a sister has gotten sick in another area and that im needed to go fill her space over in littleton. and bada-bing-bada-boom thats where im going! 

its been crazy the last two days after that trying to run around and say goodbye to everyone. cause they only think that s carone s cope and elder starley were leaving since thats all we knew so far on sunday. so ive gotten less time to say goodbye. but thats okay i think ive been able to see most everyone that i need to. saying goodbye is the worst though i was so tempted to just sneak out without telling anyone! haha but they wouldve been mad/sad so i went to say my goodbyes. 

alright so thats transfer news. im outa time cause like i said, the day is short and theres a lot to do today! 
ill be back on on monday and ill let you know how things in my new area go! 
love you all!

sister tantillo

Letter #28: Sun Came Out

a miraculous thing happened this week called the sun came out!! it broke 50 degrees and for us that was good enough to be outside walking! it was pretty funny actually it was like all of the sudden the town exploded and everyone was out on the streets in tshirts playing basketball or walking to the store. but it made everything so much more fun cause we got to ditch the car and join them. its so much easier to talk to people when their not running from place to place to get out of the cold. or more like not even leaving their houses in the first place. so we had a couple good days like that and then it snowed again. haha but it was wonderful while it lasted.

we've had a million member lessons this week because all of our investigators either have gotten baptized (YAY!), disappeard (it happens), or arent progressing. we went to go see Jayla who is 13 and offered to help her with her personal progress. and she was like yes please help me! haha her parents are super solid but her mom converted to the church as an adult so she never did personal progress. therefore jayla doesnt really have someone in the home to help show her how to do it. thats the case for almost all of the young women here actually. so we went and helped her make some goals and plan out her next couple of activities.

also this week we had my all time favorite lesson that i have been in so far. it was on wednesday and i had sister gomez here because she is my sister training leader and was doing exchanges with us. sister carone went to cambride with sister melo for the day. so i got to take sister gomez with me! i love her. anyways back to my favorte lesson ever. i talked about cindy a couple of weeks ago. she's a yw in the branch too and just turned 16. and a couple of weeks ago she got out of the hospital where she had been for a few weeks trying to recover from some psychological problems she was having. we dont know the details, just taht she was being bullied a lot and amongst other things it pushed her over the edge. so i had been thinking about her a lot and s. carone and i decided that what she really needed more than anything was a lesson on the atonement of christ. so that day with s gomez we went and shared with her 2 nephi 9:18 and talked to her about carrying our crosses. and that we all have crosses to carry but through the atoning power of christ, that burden can be lifted. we also shared the story of zeezrom in alma 15 and talked about what it meant to have the power to be healed and how joyous it feels to allow the atonement to work through you and heal you from those burdens. at the end she started crying and told us that she felt like that story was exactly her and what she just went through. it was so tender and the spirit was incredible. she's an amazing girl.

at the end of exchanges we drove back to cambridge to do the switch back. i was tempted to take a wrong turn on the way home so that we could detour through revere! haha but that wouldve made us superrrrrr late for curfew so i resisted. but guess what!? elder freeman got his visa to brasil this week! he's been here forever! but s kemp called and told me the news and that he's leaving at the end of the month! he turned in all his fingerprint stuff the same time i did, but he's been waiting a few months longer. super excited for him thouh! he's been in the spanish program this whole time and doesnt know any portuguese though... totally fluent in spanish.

okay time for the highlight of the week. WE WENT TO THE TEMPLE WITH ZA! it was exactly one week after her baptism which was incredible. it was the stake relief society trip and so the baptismal session started at 8AM. there were several women from our branch that went and it was perfect. the absolute best thing that we could have done with her. Daniella is this amazing woman in our branch who Za has become good friends with and she took care of her the whole time and showed her what to do and everything. it was so special to be in the temple. funny thing though.. so za has really bad back problems that she has to do phsyical therapy for. and she through it out pretty bad at the temple and so she was in too much pain to come to church the next day. so that was unfortunate...

so heres what i learned this week. sister carone and i were having this really good talk about time. because people are always giving us the excuse taht they dont have enough time. not enough time for church or scriptures or prayer. basically, not enough time for christ. and we decided taht thats just ridiculous. all we have is time!! literally nothing else. the thing thats wrong is how we're deciding to USE our time. we all HAVE time. we're just choosing not to spend it on the things that REALLY matter. it's amazing though when we decide to put Christ first in our life how everything else falls into place.

i love you all! have a good week :)

sister tantillo

Letter #27: Baptized!

DANILSON AND ZA ARE BAPTIZED!!! oh my goodness its been such a crazy week! but so incredibly worth it because on saturday they were both baptized and on sunday they were confirmed and it was the most happy and incredible weekend of life i could not be happier!! 

okay lets start with danilson. first of all we've been spelling his name wrong this whole time because sister lima told us that it was spelled like daenielson which is jsut totatally and completely wrong and doesnt even make sense because no one spells their name like that. but for some reason we believed her and then danilson thought we were crazy when we showed him how we've been spelling it. we met with him a couple more times before saturday to teach him all of the commandments and holy cow he is the most solid and genius 11 year old i have ever met. we asked him how him book of mormon reading has been going and hes arlready in mosiah!!! i didnt break past 1 nephi at his age! elder carvalho came over after one of our lessons and gave him is baptism interview and he nailed it of course. he was so cute when he showed up on saturday. he was all dressed up in a suit and tie and looked SO proud. and oh my he brought so many people to come watch! his whole family that lives in this area came and it was such an amazing missionary opportunity for him. his mom isnt a member but is our investigator (aurizandra) and his dad is an inactive member who hasnt been in church for years. we told him earlier in the week that he should invite his dad and he was super bummed about it like "no... he wont come." BUT THEN HE DID!! and guess what else?? he even showed up to church on sunday to see him be confirmed!! it was soooo incredible he hasnt been in church for years! 

aurizandra had a party at her house after with their whole family to congratulate him and she invited us over and we me the most legit guy. it was danilson's uncle and he's a chef at harvard and was telling us about how he cooks for the senate and president when they come and all this crazy stuff. we had a super cool talk with him and gave him a book of mormon and he told us he would read it and call us about what he thinks. 

okay now za. it was a bit more of a stressful experience getting her to her baptism day. we went over on wednesday to talk with her and review some things and she started telling us that she didnt feel prepared enough to be baptized and she didnt feel like she had a strong enough testimony and just wanted to KNOW and have as strong of a confirmation as everyone else seemed to. it looked for a little while like she might postpone her baptism and it broke out hearts. so we left after talking to her for a long time about it and went home and just prayed to know what to do. and we both felt super strongly like Za was ready and that saturday was her time to be baptized. we found this talk about how we dont need to KNOW, only to BELIEVE. and that we cant focus on our doubts, but that we need to built our testimonies on the faith that we do have. so we went back that same day and read through this talk together and it was amazing. her heart changed and she decided that she was ready! so that very night we had her interview and elder carvalho said that she was more than prepared. we were really worried about her the rest of teh week though cause we could tell that the adversary was working hard against her. (because she's so awesome). and then on saturday after she was baptized she got up and shared her testimony and it blew us away. she KNOWS. it was absolutely incredible and we and SO HAPPY FOR HER. her two little girls Eliana and Dalia are also the cutest people you will ever meet and it was sooooo cool for them to see their mom get baptized. they love coming to church with her and are having so much fun in primary. 

so we've started a youth book of mormon class at the miller's house every other sunday! yesterday was the first one and it was AWESOME! we were worried that no one would come but their house ended up packed with most of the youth in the branch and the millers lead a discussion about the book of mormon. it was so cool to see all the youth together like that. the millers are the best. they treat us like their own chilren and having senior couples is the best. sister miller always feeds us healthy food and makes us these weird healthy tea things that we call her potions. 

okay im out of time!! love you all!! church is true. have a good week!!

sister tantillo