Thursday, July 17, 2014

It's Been a Good Week

hello! okay here are some of the happenings from this past week. its been a good one! in no particular order...
1. we went to the greenfields house for dinner. they have a newborn baby named beatrice and she is totally adorable and it was the hardest thing of life to not be able to hold her! sister greenfield served her mission in japan and so she taught us how to make and roll sushi. it was super fun and i feel more cultured now. it was funny though cause sister francis doesnt like sushi. and then we had ice cream for dessert and she hates that. haha so im being a good trainer and teaching her that she has to eat whatever the members put in front of her and finish her plate! shes really a really good sport about it. i have very little sympathy cause we're fed a quarter the amount of food here than what i got with the spanish/portuguese/creole peeps. except im still too nice to her and will put some of her food on my plate when the members arent looking and eat it for her. 
2. im been telling sister francis all about pudim and we finally found a form to be able to make it in! from this brazilian lady in our ward :) 
3. so we were driving down the road yesterday just talking and all of the sudden this dumb bird comes ouf of nowhere and ran into the hood of our car and died! and ive never hit anything while driving before and i felt so bad and just started crying and then sister francis started laughing at me and she was crying too from laughing so hard. it was so sad!
4. it was 7/11 day this week so on the way back from district meeting we went and got free slurpees! and we were happy to have them because then we got stuck in good old boston traffic for an hour.
5. we had a lesson with ashok this week. the Golds came and it was fantastic. we talked about prayer and then at asked him to pray at the end. he started it by saying "hey God" and then went into the prayer. it was great.
6. we went to barbs this week (i adore her) and she shows us her enormous collection of old jewelry! it was fun looking through all of us and she gave us each a ring to keep! also she got a calling in church which is monumental for her. shes the relief society service something. haha 
7. we had a great lesson with andrea this week. we told her about tithing and fasting. and she was talking like she was going to start paying tithing. and then we saw her walking out of church on sunday carrying a huge pile of tithing slips! haha how randomly awesome is that! we got to see jon for the first time in like three weeks cause he's been working weekends too. he is as kind and wonderful as ever! we had a lesson in the church and told him about tithing too and helped him download the book of mormon on his phone so he can listen to it at work.
8. sandra howard, our sweet less active, totally disappeared for like a month and then showed up at church again this sunday! thank heavens! i almost fell over when i saw her, ran up and hugged her, and then she chastised me for now wearing good shoes with my ankle brace (shes a doctor). it was good to be with sandra again! we went to her house with the bishop that afternoon too.
9. on wednesday we went to mutual because brother gold invited us to come help out with his deacons. they got into companionships and put on badges and pretended to teach us as missionaries. it was super cute and they did such a good job!
10. peter moved into his new apartment this week! we had a lesson with him and he was telling us that after he moves in hes going to go camping for a week and do a blueberry fast to get rid of his addiction. we feel like thats a reallyyyyy bad idea and are sincerely worried that he's not going to come back. we talked to sister mcbride. the mission nurse, about it and she said he wouldnt die but that its still a bad idea and to try to convince him otherwise. so wish us luck with that.
11. we, as in i, lost the phone again this week. which always happens to me. i really shouldnt be trusted with is. anyways, when we finally found it we had a missed call from President Packard! which always is scary cause he usually calls to be like one of you is getting emergency transferred! so we finally got ahold of him and we could breathe easy again when he just had a few questions for me. 
12. we got put in charge on locking up the church on sunday night and it took us literally and hour to figure out how to lock one of the doors and we called the entire ward until finally someone answered us. 
13. alright the final and best story of the week! we were infested with fruit flies. we woke up one morning and our entire kitchen was swarmed with them and it was totally disgusting. so we rushed to the store and got this spray thing and fumigated our entire apartment. which meant that we couldnt be there for two hours while the smell went away. so we did our studies outside. and then we had do go back in and deep clean everything. like everything had to be scrubbed to get rid of the smell and the dead flies that had fallen everywhere. it was so nasty and terrible and it took pretty much the entire day.
14. oh one more thing! we had a mission wide fast this week for the 96 people being baptized this month! and president packard got knee surgery too and we're praying for his speedy recovery.
thats about all of our adventures from this week! President shared this scripture with us, he always says "lets wear out our lives in the service of the Lord, and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, for his arm to be revealed." I pray that I may wear out my life in the service of my God.
 Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven—
Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.

I love you all and have a wonderful week!!1656&authkey=!ALqj6UooVN_nP-I&ithint=folder%2c.JPG

Letter #39: 3rd of July

hello, hello! so basically all im going to talk about is our 3rd of july. so every year boston has this incredible and huge firework show right on the river. President Packard told us that we could go to a show and to get back as quickly as we could, but that curfew didnt apply. he also said to stay within our stake boundaries but we got special permission to be able to go into boston! because we're not that far from it. so obviously the show was supposed to be on the 4th, but weather warning were saying that a hurricane was coming and the worst of it would be that night, so they switched it to the day before.

anyways, so thursday got here and it was a wicked humid day here in the boston area. its like being in the grips of death i tell yah. so we went to the train station to head into boston, but the schedule was weird because of the holiday weekend and so we ended up waiting there for an entire hour until the train came and we literally could have died. we got to talk to a man who was headed to england though and that was cool.

so then the glorious train with air conditioning showed up and we rode it into boston! we got off and headed straight for mike's pastries so that sister franics could experience it. i love showing her around boston! i love boston :) so we did that and then we headed over to haymarket station to meet up with sister cope and sister gomez. i have a brace thing on my ankle because i sprained it a couple of weeks ago so a guy with a bike and a carriage attached to the back offered us a ride for only 5 bucks. so we took him up on that offer and it was fun to be pulled around boston for a while! once we found the other sisters we wandered around one of the main restaurant streets for a while trying to find something that the gomester could eat. because she is dairy and gluten free by choice (who does that??). we we ended up at this yogurt place for us and then went to 7/11 for her to get fresh fruit. 
then we hopped on the T again and headed to the firework show! we sat on a blanket and played with uno cards and met up with all of the boston missionaries. the cambridge missionaries were on the other side of the river.
the show started and it was SO COOL! we stood up and moved to get closer and took pictures and loved it. The music goes along with the fireworks. It ended kinda earlier than we expected and we were kinda confused. Then a cop got on the intercom and announced that everyone needed to evacuate immediately. We started leaving and walked past another pair of cops and heard them say "gotta get out quick. the hurricane will be here in half an hour." so the we started walking a little quicker.

We hadnt gone more than 2 minutes though when i heard a huge gush of wind and looked back. I  yelled at the other sisters to look too and we could see coming straight at us from the river whirlwind of rain. and it didnt take long to hit us. People started running and screaming and we were immediately drenched. People ran to get under cover and we kept walking to get to the train station so that we didnt miss it. who knew id get to go swimming on my mission! it was crazy. i didnt even describe it well but it was crazy.
we got back to the train station and both our trains were leaving in 3 minutes. so we said quick goodbyes to the other sister. i hugged sister cope and kissed sister gomez on the head (praying that thats not the last time i see her since she leaves in a few weeks) and we ran to catch our train! thankfully we made it and at our ending station a couple from our ward were there to pick us up and drive us home. the storm had calmed down by then.
so that was our adventurous 3rd of July! the 4th we had zone meeting for most of the day. i volunteered sister hileman to do the musical number and she sang "abide with me tis eventide" and i videotaped her like the proud daughter i am! we're with her and sister lewis today up in nashua, NH.
Other stuff going on thats more missionary related haha his that Peter got into senior housing and is getting all sobered up and looks better than ever! and Andrea came to church for the first time in an month and was totally glowing! The gospel changes lives! We also got a new investigator! her name is caitlyn and she has been through really hard things and we love her. she is one of rita's barn girls. and we had a stellar lesson with our perfect natalie and she taught us the plan of salvation while we sat on a dock and ate ice cream! gotta love that missionary life :) 
i love you all!! 

-Sister Tantillo

Letter #38: Sacrifice brings forth Blessings


okay this week has been total craziness. however, i have gained a firm testimony of the phrases "sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven" and "exact obedience =miracles". as  usual, the last week of the month we are totally out of car miles. because our area is huge and they only give us so many to get by. and so last monday we were doing the math and i was like oh shoot theres no way we're gunna make it and still be able to get everything done. so we texted the ZLs and were like soooo what would happen if we went over? and they said nothing really except that we'd miss out on the miracles. and so that got us determined to do anything possible to be worthy of those miracles! and boy did they come!!

so what we did was we went and picked up our bikes from our investigator, Peter's, house. and then we biked from ayer to littleton. google it. its far. so that took about an hour and a half in the Massachusetts muggy heat. you dont know humid until you come to littleton. and then we proceeded to either walk or bike anywhere within reason for the remainder of the week. and it killed. 

BUT WE DIDNT GO OVER ON OUR MILES. in fact we came out with 40 miles to spare! a complete miracle. we ended up getting rides to places we thought it would be impossible to. and i can so clearly see God's fingerprints all over our week. when we put in the honest effort, in faith, he blessed us tenfold.

and another way He did that, which is totally unrelated, but i think he just threw it in as a bonus gift, was that we got permission from President to go to Boston for the 4th of july firework show!!! we are SO EXCITED!

for p-day we went into Boston and took the train there and back. we met up with several other missionaries (cope,gomez,harris,carone,lima,etc) lots of my favorite people and spent the day at quincy markey and on the freedom trail, the harbor and boston commons. it was a totally perfect day :) 

okay other miracle. which is attatched to a really unfortunate situation. i got pulled over for my first time ever in life. boston cops i tell yah... but it kept tradition cause my trainer got a ticket my first week with her. so i had to break the law somehow in s.francis' first week to carry that on. anyways, so the town lines here are really close together and i didnt realize that the speed limit will drop from 40 to 20 and then back up to 40 within 2 minutes. if that makes sense. haha cause in the cities (the only places ive driven) the speed is constantly whatever the heck you want it to be. but thats not really an excuse, so he pulled me over but the miracle was he only gave a warning! i dont know if i shouldve told that story.. but oh well. its a good one!

we also had the pleasure of going to clean out our elder's old apartment this week. the zone leaders e.batts and e.spears helped us and it was super nasty. i dont know how elders can live like that. we were talking to our old elders, bringhurst and ripplinger, that night and they were like oh yah that was old lobster meat in the sink. two months old! i wanted to puke. 

speaking of which, sister francis has learned the art of eating until you want to puke when members are feeding you. i just smile and tell her i love her and then secretly think about how the portuguese/spanish people feed you a million times more. but thats alright, shes adjusting. she is so stinking adorable and i love her!! we are already best friends. im soo lucky to have such a perfect baby. she met her grandma (s. hileman) and aunt (s.lewis) this weeked when we went to nashua for a fireside. it was so good President Holland put it on and it was about "why i believe". 

this week we also got a super random phone call from president packard! and i always get nervous when the happens because mostly when he calls randomly its for bad news like, youre being emergency transferred! but it was good news this time :) he had just talked to our bishop who had told him how much he loves us and having sisters in the ward and that miracles are happening here (which they are!) and so President called to congratulate us!! it was so nice of both of them!!

alright i think thats all... if i forgot anything ill include it next week! i love you all! and i LOVE my mission :) 

today in our webex mission conference president said something along the lines of "if someone falls out of the boat, dont hit them with the oars." meaning, if someone is struggling, dont be mean or judge them, help them! it will make getting back in the boat a lot easier on them!!

have a great week!

love, sister tantillo

Letter #37: My Baby Has Arrived

my baby has arrived! her name is sister francis and she is from good old orem utah. she is another product of the 19 year old age change. and i love her so much already. she is so innocent and like a deer in the headlights and i love it cause thats exactly how i was. i feel like im training myself. we're super similar in a lot of ways. 

but before she got here we were running around like craziness getting sister bringhurst ready to go home! she was in COMPLETE denial up until the very end. funny girl. we got her all packed up and then she sang and shared her testimony at transfer meeting. all of the departing missionaries always get up and give their testimony to reflect on their mission. its always really cool, spiritual, and kinda sad to say goodbye. she did a really good job though. there were SO many going home this transfer. and just as many next transfer! its weird that i actually know the missionaries going home now. before ive been so new to the mission that i would maybe know a couple going home that i had served with. but now i know like all of them and its sad!

anyways enough about that. 3 boys from this ward just got home from their missions and they put on a fireside last night. they all left and returned at the same time and went to 3 different continents speaking 3 different languages. french(france). russian(russia). and chinese (australia). it was really cool and all the youth came which was good for them to see. 

summer is awesome cause everyone is home! but its also kinda hard cause people go out of town a lot. like andrea is gone for the next week and a half so we cant do anything with her until she gets back. and one of our ward missionaries, Rita, is gone for ten days. but the work is good cause all the youth are home now and we can take them out with us a lot! just some obstacles to overcome with people traveling. the weather is beautiful though! a little too hot sometimes and soon itll get worse and just be miserable, but for now its great. we are constantly around water here and its so hard not to be able to go jump in it! especially now since its perfect water weather. and every time we see natalie shes like look at my tan! i just got back from  the beach! oh to be 17 again... haha

We have two new investigators! they live on our floor of our apartment building. His name is Ashok and he has a wife with a name i cant pronounce or spell and a 2year old son. they are from india and we had our first lesson with them and another one tonight! Bishop is coming with us. And  Ashok came to church on sunday and just loved it. we met them in the hallway and he said mentioned how we are always happy and he wants his son to be happy like us. so we told him that its the gospel of jesus christ that makes us so happy! and now he wants to learn all about it :) 

other fantastic thing of the week was getting a picture in front of jon's company truck! its huge and always sitting in their driveway. he's a handyman and does painting and repairs and whatnot. 

i love you all! oh and everyone MUST watch this video! ill put the link it. first of all the website was made and is run by mbm missionaries. most of the articles are written by missionaries serving here. and this video is the voice of our very own president packard! enjoy his brilliance. it will change your life.


-Sister Tantillo

Letter #36: Quick Update

hey all! im way super short on time today but heres a quick update...

IM TRAINING!! #PREGNANT#BABYONTHEWAY#ITSAGIRL. my trainee gets here on wedensday at transfer meeting, also when s. bringhurst goes home! weirdness.

Natalie's baptism is postponed to November when she turns 18. but its actually a really good thing cause it'll give her mom more time to hopefully be supportive of it. its worth waiting if it doesn't cause stress between her and her moms relationship.

BARBARA PRAYED. barbs is our sweet little less active that has NEVER prayed for us. she thought she was doing it wrong and was too shy and embarrassed to pray for us. and she finally did! it was a complete miracle and her prayer was BEAUTIFUL and PERFECT.

okay last miracle of the week and then I gotta go (sorry). we had dinner with the Anderson family! and let me tell you why this is a miracle. they have been SO angry at the church for years because they have autistic boys and apparently they weren't treated well because of that in their last ward. bishop has been working with them for months but last we had heard they still didn't want any contact from missionaries. so this week the andesrsons showed up on our dinner calendar and we didn't really think anything of it. until we showed up at their house and realized that it was THE andersons! it was a great appointment and we are so excited that they are on the road to come back :)

okay gotta go. the internet crashed in Littleton today and so we're at the library. buts its closing in 5min. ill write more next week. love you all!



Letter #35: Church, Pray, and Read Scriptures (CPR)

"God will either be personally discovered, or remain a mystery." 
- President Packard

I've been thinking a lot this week about how much I wish that I could give people desire. A desire to know God, to discover Him! to come to church, to study the scripture, and to pray. I KNOW how happy it would make them and sometimes i find myself wishing i could just do all of the hard work for them so that they could find that happiness! But i cant. God would never take away a persons agency. I can teach and testify and pray and do everything within my own power to help them come unto God, but they have to take the steps toward Him themselves. Even though i want to just throw them over my back and carry them there myself :) 

I don't even have words to describe to you how much i love Natalie. I told her this week that its like how one could never understand a mother's love for her child. and she could never understand a missionary's love for our investigators. so much love. we got to see her a lot this week! we had a lesson at the Berrey's home and had her and Anna Berrey and Sam Berrey be the missionaries and we pretended to be the investigators. They taught us about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and did SUCH a good job! we were so proud! The next day the young women had a temple trip. Natalie cant go in since she's not a member yet. so we went too so that we could hang out with her out on the ground while all of the other girls went in. we took her into the lobby area and taught her right there about temple work and the covenants we make there. it was powerful, to say the least. Natalie is incredible and absorbs everything. She takes it in with the Spirit and lets him testify to her. She's excited to go herself someday! 

Natalie is supposed to be baptized this upcoming Saturday, but we're having some setback with her mom not being supportive. The last thing we want to do is tear their family apart in any way. so if we have to postpone the baptism to help her mom feel more comfortable with it, we will. but we're definitely praying for a miracle and that things will pull through for saturday! Natalie is so strong and has so much faith and i love her. 

This weekend was Stake Conference and they reorganized the leadership. Our new Stake President is President Holland from our ward. the youth are really upset about losing their sunday school teacher! it was a good surprise cause they've only been in the ward for less than a year. Elder Gifford Nielson and his wife came and spoke to us too which was a special treat. 

On Saturday i went on exchanges to Billerica with Sister Staley. We had a way fun day together and then watched the adult session of stake conference together that night. Elder Nielson was talking and asked if anyone had had any missionary experiences lately. and anna berrey stood up and talked about natalie!!! and then he asked her missionaries to stand and i was so sad that i wasn't there! but s. Bringhurst and s. layton (who was on exchanges there) stood up and i was so proud! 

we found a brazilian woman to teach! well im teaching her and s.bringhurst plays with the kids. she's the nanny of a woman that comes to church sometimes and used to investigate. and we went over to see her one day and met Merinalva! i asked her to help me with my portuguese and when i went back to practice with her i explained what we do as missionaries and asked if i could teach her about our church. and she said yes and asked if she could come to our church! ahhhh how I've missed their culture. SO open to the gospel. so ill have to find the closest building with a portuguese group for her to go to! 

blast from the past moment! i found out that Cindy (my adorable friend from the Revere ward, the one that called me Miley) got married this week! to Chris, her boyfriend of the time who got baptized just a couple weeks after i left!! SO HAPPY. she's completely done a 180 and i couldn't be happier for her. 

We had a lesson at the Edwards with Karina Sheeran again. Her husband couldn't make it this time but we taught her the restoration and gave her a Book of Mormon and committed to reading and praying about it. She had a bad experience with organized religion and doesn't believe that it can remain not corrupt. So we talked about how any religion run by man would have the potential to be corrupted. But that Christ is at the head of our church and directs us, and thats why the doctrine and organization of this church remains pure and cant be tampered with. She seemed to like that a lot :)

Transfer text is this week! ill definitely be getting a new companion because sister Bringhurst goes home. which she is in complete denial about haha. but ill let you know next week what the changes are! 

have a great week and i love you all!!

Sister Tantillo

Letter #34: Blessings, Miracles, and Tender Mercies

i don't even know where to begin with talking about the blessings/miracles/tender mercies of this week.  it was unreal. 

lets first start off by addressing the fact that the Apostle, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, came to our mission this week! Words couldn't even begin to describe what an incredible man he is. We've known that he was coming for several weeks, but we got an extra bonus and his wife decided to come too! 

so starting back at Monday, we polished ourselves up to meet him! and our car. President told us to be in top shape for the meeting and to please wax our cars. something that S. Bringhurst and i had absolutely no experience with! haha be we're pretty sure we did it right... took a while but it seemed to be a bit shinier in the end. 

Tuesday we had a mission wide WebEx and President and Sister Packard gave us the lowdown for the meeting with Elder Holland that week and told us to be on our best behavior. Afterwards Sister Packard came out to Littleton and took Sister Bringhurst and me out to lunch. That was a special treat! we LOVE Sister Packard. and its always fun chatting with the Packards cause they tell us everything thats going on in the mission. They had been with the Hollands over the weekend so we got to hear all about that. 

Wednesday was an exciting day for the entire mission because Brent Packard came home from his mission! the Packards were SO excited and it was so cute. they invited everyone that lived close enough to come to the airport to welcome him off of the plane. funny story. we wanted to go superrrrr bad so we asked a member to drive us so that we wouldn't waste our miles. and there was a big miscommunication and she thought she was taking us to the mission home, not the airport, and we didn't realize that she was totally headed to the wrong place until too late and then we missed it! ughh. oh well. we heard all about it and it was a very happy reunion for everyone! i am so happy for the packards :) 

Thursday!! ahhh i cant even handle it so im just going to say it right away! NATALIE IS GETTING BAPTIZED!! we had a lesson with her that night and at the end she told us that she had been thinking/praying about it and she had decided on June 14th :) ! i almost fell out of my seat/ refrained myself from tackling her with a hug. she is so perfect and i don't think ive loved anyone so much on my mission. she's 17, don't know if i mentioned that before, and she is adorable. she was introduced to the church through her friend Anna Berrey - a stellar young woman in our ward. and she's been coming to literally everything for the past month. church, activities, seminary! and now she's getting baptized! we're praying that June 14th will work out. her dad is on board but her mom isn't convinced yet. but natalie seems pretty confident that there wont be a problem and her mom will agree by then. YAY! she wrote us both the most adorable letters telling us thank you for teaching her and it took everything i had not to cry in front of her. 

Friday was the Mission Conference!! We got there super early to get the best seats! we chose the third row exactly in the middle :) and saved seats to sit next to all my favorite people - sisters cope, gomez, hileman, and lewis. best day ever! so since we got there so early we had lots of time to visit with the other missionaries while we waited. the whole mission has never gotten together all at once and it was way too fun to even be allowed. i just love everyone so much.

they also had the traveling visitor center set up for all of us to see. its incredible. it includes several displays with ipads on a stand that are connected to tvs that show videos. and they all have different themes - the savior, families, joseph smith. they're breathtaking. and some sisters in our mission have been working super hard to get them going. and its exactly that! a traveling visitors center! they take this displays around and can set them up anywhere and turn a place into exactly what you would find at visitors center. super cool.

anyways. so we were all freaking out and no one could even sit still because we were too excited! and then about a half hour before the meeting started it was time for all of us to chill out and actually stay in our seats so that we weren't embarrassing when he came. and sure enough Elder and Sister Holland along with President and Sister Packard walked into the chapel around 1:00PM. 

He started things off with shaking all of our hands. and then told us afterwards that he interviews each of us when he shook our hands and looked into our eyes and that we were a good bunch of missionaries. He brought the President of the 70 with him who spoke to us first - Elder Hallstrom. and then the adorable Sister Holland spoke to us. and then Elder Holland! He talked to us about the importance of staying strong in the gospel after our missions. it was really cool. he spoke up on the stand for a while and then said "i feel a sermon coming on!" and got down to walk around the rows and keep talking to us. it was way cool. He ended with talking about something that hit me super hard. Its a poem that goes like this -

"Come to the edge"
No, I'll fall
"Come to the edge!"
And so I came. He pushed me, and I flew.

I think it means something different to everyone. what it really means to come to the edge and how we do that. But i know that we ALL get knocked off the edge sometimes. We feel like we're falling and really we only have two options in that moment. to hit the ground or hurry up and learn how to fly. and the only way we could ever learn how to fly is if we fall in the first place! so we have to let the Lord push us. We have to come to the edge.

So there were rumors that Elder and Sister Holland would be coming to our ward on sunday. even Sister Packard told us that it was a good possibility! because their son and grandkids are in the Littleton Ward. and so it was like 10 minutes before church started and we were trying not to hope for it. but sure enough, in walked the Hollands! They sat in the pews with their family but we got to shake their hands again and he got up at the end of the meeting to tell the ward how impressed he was. He didn't tell anyone he was coming other than his family (and the missionaries just know everything) and he said it was really amazing just to see an average day in the littleton ward. they went and spoke to the young women during third hour. they're so lucky. and guess what?? they talked to our investigator Natalie and she told them her baptismal date!! we passed them in the hall several times and Sister Holland told us we are adorable - i died. what a day. I was sitting by a returning inactive during sacrament meeting and when he finished speaking she leaned over to me and asked "who is that?" haha and i was like uhhhh let me tell you. after i explained she said "that makes sense. i could feel it." 

so that was our week with Elder and Sister Holland! i couldn't even begin to explain everything that he said to us during the mission conference but it was beautiful and inspiring. and i felt so happy afterwards! 

thats all for now! have a wonderful week and I’ll talk to you again next monday! love you!

Letter #33: First Week of Transfers is Longest

Ive decided that the first week of every transfer is always the longest and i literally dont know what happens to the other five they go so fast! but this was week one so it went at a nice and slow pace as we got back into the swing of things and introduced Sister Bringhurst to the area. I dont remember a single thing that i talked about last week so sorry if i repeat.. but this is S. Bringhursts last area so we've made the goal to help her go out strong and kill it this transfer. Littleton wont know what hit it! 

Since the Elders left we've picked up all of the stuff that we had them covering before. So we're not necessarily busier, we're just filling our days with different things to cover what they did too. 

for example, their beautiful and golden investigator natalie! they were working with her for just a week before leaving and now we get to be blessed enough to teach her! she is perfect. she is 16 and coming to everything. EVEN SEMINARY. who does that? she does! we got to go in and teach her seminary class one morning this week which was super fun. their teacher is brother gold and he invited us in. and then later his wife told us that he was impressed by our teaching skillzzz which is a huge compliment coming from him because he is (no joke) a genius. anyways, back to natalie.

we had two lessons with her this week, both in the berrey's home. anna berrey is her friend and the one that invited her in the first place. the first lesson we had her mom came to because she wanted to check out what the deal was with the mormons. so we answered all of her questions and she seemed really okay with things after that. the problem is that she wants natalie to wait a while to be baptized and is kind of putting a brake on things. which is sad because natalie would get baptized tomorrow if her mom okayed it. but we had a good visit with her mom and sent her off with her own copy of the book of mormon!

the next visit was her dads turn! they didnt come at the same time because things are rough at home and theyre going through a divorce. but her dad was much more chill. they both said that they wouldnt stop natalie from doing what she wants and that theyll support her "even if she wants to be a mormon." but her dad listened to us teach our lesson and participated and also took a copy of the book of mormon! he said he'd come back for our next lesson too :) 

natalie gets a long with her dad a lot better than her mom. but we're concerned cause we dont want this to ruin her relationship with either of them. so we'll be super careful and respectful moving forward. and the berreys are a stellar family. they have a son who just got home from his mission in australia and theyre just on fire. 

on sunday andrea came to church with her kids. jon didnt come :( andddd my heart broke. his life is getting crazy with work. the summer is his busy season and he'll be traveling like 80 percent of the time now. nooooooooo. not good. we've gotta find a way to work around that and keep him progressing. so we had a lesson with just andrea and the ostaszewskas came. (Sister O is my favorite person here but dont tell anyone). we had a lesson about the plan of salvation and andrea started talking about how she had read in the bible about another woman who was in the garden of eden before eve and we were like uhhhh what translation are you reading?! haha we asked her to find it for us and show it to us another time.. 

This week we had dinner with the Agles! it was super fun cause i got to hear the update on how Cami is doing in Peru. Shes almost done which is wayyy cray. and then we talked about mikilah and ashlyn and jessica and afton and everyone all around the world serving! Sister Agle is so cute and keeps up with all of there blogs and stuff. also she's just an amazing woman. She's been working with some of the missionaries here on a portable visitors center that would just blow your mind. so impressive and beautiful. 

okay now lets talk about the tender mercy of the week. well, theres a lot of them. but ill just talk about the one that stands out the most! It happened on Friday. So we had reached the end of the day and had only like 40 minutes left before curfew. Bishop gave us this list of less active people to go and visit because he doesnt know them. so he wants us to go find all of them and report back to him. anyways, so it was the end of the day and we realized that we were one lesson short of our goal for the day. so we were bummed about that and couldnt think of anyone to go see with only so much time left in the day. so we decided to hit up some people on the less actives list. which never results in anything. usually people just tell us that they arent interested or theyve moved like two years ago and they new people living there arent interested either. so we picked a house at random and ring the doorbell and this woman answers saying "what on earth are you poor sweethearts doing out there in the dark and the cold? come inside right now!" TENDER MERCY. haha turns out that this sweet woman hasnt been to church in years because of health issues but all she wants is to come back. Bishop has never even heard of her but apparently some of the woman in the ward still go and visit her. and so we had a little lesson with her and told her we'd come back soon. and there you have it, God throws us a bone at the end of a long day sometimes just to say "Dont worry Sisters. I'll help you meet your goal for today just because I love you." 

So that was our week more or less! Its been a good one. It always is! No matter how high or low the weeks, days, and moments are, I am still in awe every single night when I kneel down to thank God for all the He has blessed us with. How active He is in our lives. And how incredibly much He knows and loves us each personally.

all my love,

Sister Tantillo

Letter #32: Two Incidents

This week i discovered that my dear companion has a condition. aka a laughing problem. i dont even know how to completely explain to you just how serious this condition is other than the fact that she turns into a complete crazy person. 

We had two incidents where the crazy person came out this week. the first was in front of our investigator!! dear paige was chatting with us and the Elders when Sister Calder completely lost all sanity that has ever existed. the second incident was at dinner with sandra howard (a returning inactive) and sister hansen (this really sweet old lady who is trying to quit smoking). luckily they think we're adorable so the hysterics didnt get to them too much. im not even exaggerating this though. once she starts it doesn't stop!  
Andrea experienced miracles this week! through a lot of intervention from God, everything this week was catered exactly to her needs. we had this big lesson planned with their whole family and another family in the ward. but due to work conflicts and people getting sick all of those plans changed into us having a lesson with just andrea and sister ostaszewski (our relief society president and my favorite woman in the ward). and that lesson was exactly what andrea needed. to have the chance to focus on JUST her and HER needs and answer her questions. she is progressing so quickly! 

then on sunday more divine intervention happened! she wasnt planning on coming to church cause she had a meeting that she couldnt miss. but it got cancelled and she got to come! and im not even kidding you every single talk the entire day was catered DIRECTLY to her. and she knew it! during sacrament meeting she got hit with this wave of the spirit and realizing that the speakers were answering these questions that shes always had. and all three of us started crying and people were staring but we didnt even care because it was beautiful! after church we talked super openly about her getting married to john and getting baptized. she wants it! we just have to help her get there. and we need to help john experience the conversion that andrea had this weekend too. 

i got to go on two exchanges this week! the first was with our sister training leaders. sister calder went to billerica with sister blair and i got to have sister layton for the day here in littleton! they are exact replicas of us and its weird. sister blair=sister calder and sister layton=me. so it was like spending the day with ourselves! and i learned so much from that! the second exchange was last night. there was this big meeting for all of the missionaries leaving in the next 6months to encourage them to finish strong. sister calder and sister hileman had to both go so i got to have sister hilemans companion (sister lewis) here with me for the night! so that we wouldnt have to shut down the area. she's my baby sister here in the mish since we both have the same amazing trainer. 

funniest moment of the week. elder ripplinger got sick and so we were super good sister missionaries/friends and went to the store to get him orange juice and crackers. so we went to deliver it to them and were too lazy to walk it upstairs to them. so elder bringhurst said "thats chill just through it up to me and ill catch it through the window!" we agreed to this (the regret came later) and ended up completely missing and watching the orange juice carton explode against their brick building. and when i say we, i mean me. totally my fault. harder to throw than it looks. 

anyways, the theme of our week has been "if you ask with real intent, you always receive." God wants to speak to us and bless us. 


<3 Sister Tantillo

Letter #31: Boston Marathon

i just wrote on Wednesday but a surprisingly large amount of stuff has happened! so last sunday we had a zone fast to find new investigators cause its been a little dry around here lately... and guess what? WE HAVE 8 NEW INVESTIGATORS. that's right. life is grand.

three of those include that family that live right behind the church! john, andrea, tyler(8), and Tessa(4). oh my goodness those kids are so cute you have no idea. but theyre sooooo wonderful. they came to church on sunday and after relief society andrea turned to us and basically said that shes not ready for baptism today, but she will be after she learns more. the only road block we've come across so far is that we found out that theyre not actually married.. so we'll have to cross that bridge when we get to it. we had an incredible lesson with them this week though. we invited the relief society president and her family to it because they have kids about the same age and they totally hit it off and love each other and its awesome. then they came to church on sunday and then we went over to their house after to read the book of Mormon with them and answer their questions. one thing that they keep saying that i think is so awesome is that theyre impressed by the church because all of the people seem to sincerely WANT to be there and to serve. it seems like more of a blessing than a burden.

one of our other new investigators is Paige. she works at the grocery store that we shop at so that's how we met her. turns out that she knows one of the families in our ward, the olsens, super well though. they walk their dogs together. so we had our first lesson with her in their home and it went SO well. she started crying and told us that she felt so calm and at peace in that moment. it was so touching. she also came to church on sunday and sat with the olsens. unfortunately her work schedule is crazy so she could only stay for the first hour. but it was good!

easter sunday was wonderful! we had a polish dinner with the Blosil fam and then spent the day visiting a bunch of members and sharing a short easter message. it was fun and the members treat us so well! that night we came home and were headed into our apartment when we ran into a woman and her little daughter. we got talking about easter and told her that we had been sharing a message about Christ all day and asked if she was interested in hearing about it. she said yes and so we went into her apartment (two doors down from us) and shared a message with her, her daughter and husband. theyre from india and are leaving this week to be in india for a month. but they want us to teach them again when they get back!

today we started the morning at the temple! what a perfect way to start the day :) it was super good and i got to see a bunch of the old Brockton crew there. also i an into hemana paula from the revere ward! i didn't recognize her at first and she just came up and hugged me and started going off in Spanish and i was so confused at first until i realized who she was! but it was fun to see her and she is too sweet.

then we got to go into boston and watch the boston marathon! it was a gorgeous day and the city was insanely busy. which i loved. we parked at the Cambridge building and then took the T in to boston commons and walked down newbury street with all the shops until we got near the finish line and could see the runners! it was so fun cause people kept yelling at us like "look its the missionaries!" and "hello sisters!" all the Mormons in the city that day made sure to let us know that they were there! we walked so stinking far and our feet were killing and so we treated ourselves to giant burgers before heading back. sister calder was obsessed with finding this one burger joint that she insisted was "just a couple shops farther" but im convinced that this place never existed and finally we settled on a different burger place. several blocks and a few blisters later...

anyways its been a fantastic week!
humility brings blessings.

love you all!