Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 1: MTC

Hello family and friends!
I miss you all so much, but I love being out here on a mission. So some of you may not know, but I did not receive my visa, so instead of going straight down to Mexico, I got sent to Utah instead.
I flew out Tuesday morning from Appleton, to Minneapolis, to Salt Lake! I got to spend some time with family that day, before I reported to the MTC on Wednesday. My two last meals were In n Out and Chick-Fil-A, how much more could you ask for?!
My sister, Kylee, drove me to the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo, Utah, right by BYU! I got to eat breakfast with a few friends, Danielle, Sarah, Perry, and Thomas Montgomery! It was awesome seeing you all. 

I reported to the MTC at 12:45. I said bye to Kylee and was immediately greeted by missionaries! They helped me take my bags and guided me to get all the stuff I needed! I got a bunch of Church-y stuff in Spanish.  One of the first things I got was my tags, which was so great!! It feels so awesome to be able to represent God as a missionary of the Church. For two years, I get to wear Christ's name on my chest as an official representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know that this is the true Church and that this Church has the truth that God desires to give to the whole world. Everyone at the MTC is so happy and I feel so blessed to be able to feel God's love for me so strongly here. 

I got to go to my room and drop off my bags, but we got to work right away! I didn't even get to unpack my bags! It was a little intimidating but also pretty motivating. The way that the missionaries are organized here is in Districts (small classes), and there at 8 missionaries plus me in the District. They are all super awesome. We are each assigned a companion, who are to be with pretty much everywhere! His name is Elder Arguelles and is from Orlando, FL. He is super awesome. 

BIG NEWS. BIG BIG NEWS. So I was originally assigned to be in the Intermediate level in the Mexico MTC, but when I got reassigned here, somehow I got switched to the Advanced Level class. Which is a pretty big deal, because first of all, pretty much everyone is Hispanic and already fluent, and second of all, that means I will only be in the MTC for TWO WEEKS instead of six weeks. They are all super good at the language, but it is helping me become so much better much faster than I thought I would. One of my instructors did a little evaluation of me to see my language skills because I wasn't sure if I could do it, and he said I did really well and that I belong in this class. I love my District so much. 

We have a lot of classes each day, in studying scripture and becoming a better missionary. Our goal is to be able to teach people what we believe--effectively and powerfully. Our schedule is 6:30am to 10:30pm every day, and besides meals and some exercise time, it's work work work!! Lots of studying, sometimes it's hard to focus, but I have improved so much. It is amazing the wonders that God can work in helping me learn the language better to become as good as other members in my District, I know that God is blessing me with that ability. After just a couple days I was able to understand almost every single word that people are saying. Trying to teach in Spanish is hard though! We have lessons with 'investigators' which is like a practice for what we will be doing in Mexico. There are some (a lot haha) of words that I don't know, but I am learning more and more each day. 

I have really felt the Holy Ghost so strongly here, and I know that this is where God wants me to be. I know that we can be healed through Jesus Christ suffering for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane. I am so grateful that Jesus Christ came to Earth and paved the way for us so that we can all be forgiven of our sins and be clean again. I know that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, similar to the Bible. If you take the time to sincerely read it and know that it is true, I promise you will be able to feel that it is true. It truly does testify of Christ. It is additional scripture that God wants to give to us. The Bible is not the end of scripture. I know that we are all children of our Heavenly Father, and that He loves us so much! There is so much He wants to give us, but we have to come unto Him before we can receive all the blessings He desires to give to us. I know that God understands our struggles and pain, and if you feel alone or helpless, you can pray to Him and you can and will be strengthened. I encourage you all to read the Book of Mormon. It is true. This Gospel is true. I love you all so much, and it is because I love you all that I want you to find out for yourself to see if this Church is true. It will bless your life. 

I love you all and want you to know that I am so so so happy to be bringing people to Jesus Christ! 

Elder Tanner Daines


Tanner and his companion: Elder Arguelles

"The best zone ever!" 


"Where I sit all day." 

The classroom 

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