Wednesday, March 7, 2012

First email from Nashville

Hey Family!

I'm doing great! Tennessee is awesome, its very beautiful here. Its also pretty different from the North West. There are TONS of different churches here and a million church buildings. There was even a chapel with a buffet built into it. I met President McKee last week and he is really cool, they were really excited to get 8 Spanish speaking visa waiters. and he put all of us into the Spanish speaking zone so I get to teach in Spanish and practice it. My companion is Elder Monson (and his dad is named Thomas S. Monson but hes not the prophet) and he lived in Hawaii for about 7 years and then moved to Utah. He even worked at the Polynesian Cultural Center when he went to BYU Hawaii. Hes pretty cool, hes only had four months out in the field and I was hoping to get a trainer with more experience but he seems to know what hes doing.

We were assigned a new area that was taken out of a larger area in Providence (which I think is near to the city of Nashville or is a part of it). It is the only place in the entire mission that we have a full Spanish speaking ward (theres like 400 members but 125 frequently come). They didn't have anywhere for us to stay, so they rented out a motel room long-term for us. Its pretty small and smells like cigarette smoke but we're doing fine. We should be getting some dishes and stuff in a day or two and we can finally buy some food today. We have been super blessed by getting alot of food from members and having them invite us over for dinner. Our Zone leaders live fairly clsoe to us so they give us rides to members houses for meals and they are soooooo delicious. These people can COOK. Mom, you need to learn how to make Horchata, it is delicious. and papusas.

My first time in a Spanish Ward yesterday was interesting, it was a fast and testimony meeting. They speak soooo fast and it is so difficult to understand them. I feel like my ability to talk in Spanish is pretty good but it is going to take a lot of hard work to be able to understand native speakers. My companion is really good at Spanish so he'll help me out. The members are super friendly and they love us missionaries. Right now there are 7 missionaries total that are assigned to the ward. Oh, and the 1st counselor asked me if I would give a talk next week during Sacrament Meeting. I'm excited but a little scared.

Because we've kinda started a new area, my companion doesn't know the area or any of the members. We also haven't had any investigators so we've mostly been tracting. We haven't found anyone really to teach yet, but we have taught the first lesson to a couple people. The Hispanics are so friendly when you knock on their door and they'll welcome us in and talk to us for a while and let us teach them. The tough part is finding the Hispanics, it feels awkward when an english speaking person answers the door and we have to talk in English.

Apparently there were tornadoes in Tennessee on Friday. We were walking to some apartments like 45 minutes away when we heard a Tornado warning siren and it started getting pretty windy. Then someone pulled over and told us that a tornado was coming so we decided to head back to our motel. Then we got a call telling all the missionaries to go back to their apartments. we were like 30 minutes away from our motel so we walked really fast and people kept stopping their cars to tell us to go home or find shelter. We got back to our motel and everyone was really worried and outside their rooms looking at the clouds. I didn't really feel scared or like we were in danger. After like an hour and a half, the storm headed another direction, hte wind died down, the sun came out, and nothing happened. We heard that some tornadoes had touched down in some parts of Tennessee but we didn't see them. We also heard that there was some pretty large chunks of hail in some areas but we didn't get any in ours.

I have to go now though, it was great to hear from you and I'm glad that Kaitlyn and Kelsey had a good time at Tolo. Also, the humidity here reminds me of Hawaii a bit so I am basically in Hawaii (we had the most delicious Pina Colada at a members house yesterday). Here is my mailing address and I am going to send some pictures.

Elder Tanner Eric Johns
105 Westpark Drive, Suite 190
Brentwood TN 37027

make sure you send packages and mail through the US postal service (thats what they told me) and if you could post that on facebook so my friends know where they can write me that would be awesome!

con amor

Elder Johns

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