Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tanner waiting in the Santiago, Chile airport June 17, 2014

 A super sweet stranger found Tanner and his fellow missionaries waiting in the Santiago, Chile airport today and took a picture and then sent it to me- and assumably the other parents of the other missionaries. What a sweet gift from a stranger. We're soooooo excited to see Tanner tomorrow at the LV McCarran airport at 10 a.m. Delta airlines coming in from Atlanta, GA. If you can make it, come join us at the airport for his triumphal entry!
Waiting in the Santiago, Chile airport to come home!

Last letter home until he's home! June 16, 2014

My beloved family! I just finished my last interview with my dear friend, mentor, and mission president. He has helped me sooooo much over these past few years. How weeeiiiiirrdddd to think that I've been here for two years!

I certainly can't express my deep feelings of gratitude and comfort as I've felt Heavenly Father's Spirit confirm to me that He is pleased with my humble offering. Thank you so much for your prayers that I would feel that spiritual confirmation. What a blessing. I'm so filled with gratitude towards the Lord and President Martinez. It has been an immense privilege to serve with them. It's such a surreal feeling that it's suddenly over. I wish I could keep working with the next presdient, President Bluth, and continue learning and growing, but I understand that the Lord has new challenges and opportunities to learn planned for me. 

Fun facts about serving in Pitrufquen: I hadn't seen the sun pretty much since I arrived because it is CONSTANTLY raining. We have ''waterproof'' clothes (that really stop being waterproof after about an hour in the rain), and an umbrella, but the wind makes the rain come sideways. Actually, I'll be coming home with some pretty ripped arms from fighting wind with an umbrella... more or less. 

This past week was rather perfect. Tuesday I had the WORST exchange of my entire mission; it was pouring rain and NOONE let us in the entire day. Ha. But then came Wednesday morning, and Marco and Alejandra were married, and she was then baptized Saturday afternoon. What a huge joy and excitement to complete that family and see them now so strong in the church! Immediately after the baptism I ran to take a bus to travel up north to Los Angeles. Sunday morning I attended church with my beloved ward Villa Obispo, ate lunch with my dear Pauvif family, and had a farewell party in the evening with families and friends that I met since the beginning of my mission. 

The best part of all was listening to my converts testify of the gospel, rejoice in their temple marriage, and feel their love. It's a joy that I can't describe. What a huge blessing to see them and be with them again. I can leave Chile trusting that they will continue strong and happy as they strive to live the gospel. I love the Lord. I hope to always remember His mercy and generosity. Who knows what the Lord has in store for me in the future, but I trust Him and all of His wise decisions. Family, I love you. Thank you so much for you support, prayers, and emails over these two years. I'll see you Wednesday morning at 10 in the Vegas airport. This is my last time signing off as ''Elder,'' and I do so with gratitude in my heart and with joy in my soul for the opportunity to serve my Savior and Master. 

Much love,

Elder Long :)
July 2012-2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Join us for Tanner's Homecoming from Chile!

Elder Tanner Long has completed an honorable 2 year mission serving in the Chile, Concepcion South mission for the LDS church. We hope you've enjoyed all the pictures and posts so you could experience a part of his service with him virtually! He has learned so much and loved sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the beautiful people of Chile.
Please let us know if you'd like to join us for any of 3 events:
1. Triumphant entry into the United States and Las Vegas at the airport!
He arrives at 10 a.m. Wed. June 18th on Delta airlines from Atlanta, GA to the LV McCarran Airport. He will have been traveling for over 24 hours including his layovers. We'd love to have you join us at the airport to scream and cheer and greet him with hugs and posters. Please let us know if you can join us and call me (his mom Tracey) at 702-301-9560.

2. His formal homecoming talk will be Sunday June 29th (my twin and my birthday!) at the Hacienda Heights Ward building at 1 p.m. during sacrament meeting.  Address: 6325 W. Hacienda Ave. LV, NV 89118.

3. Homecoming meet/greet/eat at our home that same day after church Sunday June 29th at 5 p.m.
Please email/rsvp me at longforhome@gmail.com and I'll give you directions.

Thanks for all your support of Tanner while he served his mission!
Love, Tanner's family who are so excited we could scream!
Goofball Elder Tanner Long serving one smile after another!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Warming weary feet

Warming wet shoes by the fire

Tanner's last pday letter home!

My dear fambam! My beloved companion keeps reminding me that today is my last P-day....ha. However, I'm pretty sure I'll get to send off a quick message next Monday before leaving.

Oh, by the way, surprise! I have pday today! haha. In my last letter I said I wouldn't, but then President changed his mind so that we could get some last-minute shopping done and cut our hair before our conference on Friday. This is going to be quite the crazy week. We have four baptismal interviews to do on Tuesday in varias nearby towns (best types of problems to solve) and then Friday is our last mission conference. I have just three full days of intense work to make it the best week ever, and then we'll have a baptism Saturday afternoon and I have to start my travels up north immediately afterwards. I'm soooooo excited and grateful that the Lord has blessed us soooo much that I'll be able to end my mission with a baptism!

Alejandra is the girlfriend of an inactive member, Marcos, who strongly opposed his participation in the Church when he was baptized two years ago. However, after his brother was killed, the missionaries gave a blessing of peace to them and their home, and she's done a 180 degree change. The both of them have progressed soooo well because they ALWAYS read the Book of Mormon every day, they always read the pamphlets we leave them, and they have attended church each week. They get married this Wednesday and she'll be baptized for the remission of her sins Saturday so that she'll be worthy to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying of hands on Sunday. What a wonderful opportunity to know about and participate in such sacred ordinances of Christ's plan of our salvation and eternal happiness. Wahooo!!! :D

Speaking of the importance of the Book of Mormon, this week my testimony of it's power was renewed. We entered into the house of a young mother and father (each only 20 yrs old) and their three young children and began discussing about the gospel. As Evangelicals, their entire focus of everything is the Holy Ghost, or Spirit of God. Actually, they told us that earlier that afternoon in their church service, three or four people were ''baptized by the Spirit and spoke in languages.'' They taught us about the Pentecost and the importance of speaking in languages to prove that someone has received the Spirit. We had a rather long and non-progressive discussion as we shared scriptures like Acts 19 to try to help them understand the difference between feeling the Spirit and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and the importance of the ordinance as Christ's chosen Apostles teach it. The young father didn't let us talk much, and it was frustrating. They struggled to understand (and frankly didn't want to), and I didn't know what else to do. While I silently prayed, I felt very strongly to simply explain and testify about the Book of Mormon.

I pulled out a copy, explained the importance of the restored scriptures and their extreme usefulness in knowing the correct way to receive the Holy Ghost as a constant companion, and my companion and I testified. The two young parents were completely silent. Captivated. They asked for copies and began to immediately scan the pages. We left them with an assigned chapter to read and with the invitation to pray to ask Heavenly Father of the book's veracity. 

Wow was the Spirit strong in that house as we testified about the Book of Mormon. There could be no argument that I knew for myself that that book is completely true and divinely inspired and protected. Heavenly Father is so merciful to allow young teenagers and 20-yr-olds preach His gospel for the salvation and happiness of His children. I'm certainly no expert at doctrine nor even in the Spanish language, thus I am so extremely grateful for God's powerful tool to conversion--the Book of Mormon, which can be read, studied, compared to the Bible, and put to the ultimate test of prayer. I know for myself that this restored gospel of Jesus Christ is true. And I know it because I know that the Book of Mormon is true scripture from our loving Heavenly Father whose sole desire is to prepare us to return to live in His presence and become like Him. What a blessing!

Have a wonderful week! I sure love you. See you next week!

Elder Long :)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Missionary moments

Zone meetings and more new missionaries!

An average evening on the streets of Pitrufquen

First ceiling fan Tanner has seen in 2 years- check out how it's fastened to the ceiling!

Letter 6/2/14

Hey fambam! I sure hope you're enjoying the sunny weather because it's been raining ALLLLLLL week here!!! Sometimes it helps us get into more houses because we can try to use a pity factor, but other times they don't want us getting their house wet or muddy...haha.

First off, happy birthday Lacey and Tyler!!! Have a fantastic week you old geezers!!! I sure love you both.

Para que sepais, we don't have Pday next Monday because we're going to have a mission activity on Friday the 13 and that will count as our Pday.

This week our power got cut, so Elder Trudeau and I lived by candle-light for a few days haha. It was pretty fun yet certainly renewed my gratitude for electricity!!!

We're teaching a part-member family that Elder Trudeau found with his companion the day before I arrived. Marcos (member) and Alejandra (girlfriend) have been progressing really well. They have been soooo great about always reading what we assign them. They plan to get married this next week and she'll be baptized on Saturday the 14th, my last weekend in the mission!!!! :D I'm praying soooo hard that all goes well and especially that they can get married ASAP so that there are no problems with her getting baptized. What a joy to get to teach a young family and help them affirm themselves to Christ while they raise their little 2 yr old daughter. 

This morning in my personal study I came across a verse in Alma 38:5 that I really liked. It reads:

''And now my son, Shiblon, I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day.''

It made me think about how God doesn't take away our problems or give us a worry-free life; rather, He strengthens us through confidence, trust, and hope that will carry us through life's trials and difficulties. I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father loves me, and it helps me trust that all will be well as long as I am obedient to Him. I love the Lord and I love serving Him. Have a wonderful week!

Elder Long :)