Monday, December 29, 2014

The first gift was not wrapped, had no bow, wasn't purchased online or in a store. The first gift of Christmas was a simple gift, a sacred gift. It wasn't gold, or frankincense, or myrrh. It was a gift of love, and life, and peace, and hope. Given by a father to all His children. For God so loved the world, and so loved you, and you, and you, and every single one of us. He gave His Son. He is the Christ. He is Christmas. He is the Gift. This Christmas season, discover the Gift, embrace the Gift, share the Gift.

I love this gospel. I am so thankful for Christ and His birth, life, and death, and that through Him, I can be forgiven of all my sins, and return to live again with my Father in Heaven. What a blessing it is to have this gospel in my life and I love that I get to share it with everyone.

It was a great week and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day brought so many miracles. I am thankful to be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in the Washington Everett Mission.

This week included a mission wide Christmas Conference, Skyping with my family, and enjoying the gift that is Christ.

I was thinking about when Heavenly Father introduced Christ by saying, "This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." and I was thinking how would Heavenly Father introduce me? I hope to live my life and make the changes necessary so that He can say, "Behold, this is my beloved daughter, Shelby Tennant, in whom I am well pleased."

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and will have a Happy New Year.

Love, Sister Tennant
Our district Christmas Eve morning breakfast

Shelby amused reading Noelle on her package tag.

This goob closing her eyes in all our pictures together. We got some Seahawks paraphernalia for Christmas

New Apartment
From the Christmas Conference with the whole mission. These are the elders we split the ward with. Elder Young and Elder Lindsay. They cover the Arlington Stake and we cover the Marysville Stake

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Two Exchanges, Zone Meeting Instructions,
 First experience on a Bike
What a week it has been. We have been going 100 miles an hour all week long.
As Sister Training Leaders, we go on exchanges with all of the sisters we have stewardship for each transfer, and we had to do two of them this week. We exchange for 24 hours and on Tuesday, Sis Lawson went to the other area and that sister came with me to Armar.

Then we gave instruction at Zone Meeting! We taught about sharing He Is the Gift (Have you all shared it on social medias and handed out all the cards and told all your friends??) and then about exact obedience. Our mission struggles a little with obedience and we want to help increase it. We went through the missionary handbook and found all the things that are completely in our control and can therefore be perfect at and wrote up an assessment so everyone can evaluate themselves. Some missionaries were not too happy about it, but overall, the lesson went well.

Then the next day we exchanged again and I went up to Mount Vernon! It was a good day but those sisters have a car and bikes, so for a couple hours, I was on bike. Bah. It was okay but bikes are not my friend, especially when it's cold, windy, and rainy. But  then I realized this work is not about me. I am here for Heavenly Father, so it doesn't matter that I was uncomfortable.

Today was our Christmas Conference with the South half of the mission (the north was this morning) but we took a picture in between with the whole mission so I got to see Sister Wikstrom and Sister Davis again! Then we sang and watched videos and got all into the Christmas spirit!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas! I love you all!

Love, Sister Tennant
 Also, Patricia got baptized!!! I love her so much. Since I taught her last transfer, I got to go to her baptism, even though it's out of my area. I gave her a big hug and she kept saying "Can you believe it finally happened, Sister Tennant?!" I always knew it would, I just didn't know when. But December 20, 2014, she was baptized!! She was glowing and I am so happy for her. Now I'll get to go to the 
temple with her in a year!

The Lights of Christmas Ward Activity

We went to an Organ concert at the church and got to meet Halden Toy. He's pretty amazing and will be famous one day!

 This was our sad Christmas tree. It's a folder with chocolate taped to it.
 But then we got this cute real one! It's totally a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, but it's my first ever real tree!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

First of all, PATRICIA IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY! She's the one that moved away from Port Gardner, then moved back, then dropped us. I met her my second day in the field and I love Patricia! She's been living like a member ever since. She finally decided to get baptized, and even though I'm not in her area anymore, we still get to go to her baptism! I'm so excited!!

On Monday night, Elder Craig A. Cardon of the Seventy came and spoke to us as Sister Training Leaders and Zone Leaders. It was really special because there was only 24 of us so we each got to talk with him and we learned a lot.

Then on Tuesday, he met with the whole southern half of the mission (he met with the north Monday during the day) and we all received instruction from him. It was really good and I think his coming will really help our mission.

Thursday we went on exchanges. It's weird being the Sister Training Leader instead of on the other side. It was good though. I went to Skagit Valley and Sedro Wooley with the Spanish Sisters. Now I'm more comfortable with my new assignment as a Sister Training Leader!

Sunday I gave a talk in Sacrament and I wasn't given a topic, so I just focused on Jesus Christ and bore testimony of Him. It was good and I'm thankful for the opportunity to speak about our Savior!

Sister Lawson and I keep working hard and I'm loving working with her and serving in the YSA ward!

Sister Tennant

Thursday, December 11, 2014

First Transfer, STL, YSA Ward
 Letter from Monday Dec. 8, 2014
What a week it's been! I am now in the Armar YSA ward! It's the singles ward for the Arlington and Marysville stakes, ergo, "Armar". I am with Sister Lawson and I love her! She's been out for 15 months and is an amazing missionary. She goes home in February, and I fear I'll be the one to send her home. It'll be sad. But we're not thinking about that yet.

Friday we had leadership training and we were there all day since I was going to be a Sister Training Leader and Sis Davis was to be a trainer. It was good.

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, I taught my last lessons in Port Gardner and said my goodbyes. So sad! The rest of Monday was spent packing up all my stuff.

And Tuesday was transfers! Sis Davis and I headed down to the mission office to discover our fate. I also got to see Sister Wikstrom again! I gave her a huge hug and we stayed together during the whole transfer. And she's training again! In missionary lingo, that means I'm gonna be a sister! (She's my mom and is having another daughter, so I'll now be a big sister since my trainer is training again). I love her so much and seeing her again recharged my batteries so I can go forward and continue working hard.

So I'm now in the YSA ward. I'm pretty sure this is Heavenly Father's punishment because I never went at home. Haha but it's good. I never thought I'd say this, but I actually enjoyed the YSA ward yesterday! It was good, the area is good, I love Sister Lawson, and I'm excited about this coming transfer!

Elder Craig A. Cardon of the 70 is coming to speak to the mission today and tomorrow. He'll be with the north today, and us tomorrow, but tonight he's doing a special meeting with all the Sister Training Leaders and Zone Leaders so I'm super excited about that. Already I love my new assignment, and I'm excited to get to know more of the sisters a little better.

Also, we have 23 days to FLOOD THE EARTH WITH HE IS THE GIFT!! By the end of the month, every single person should hear the message of He Is the Gift. Watch the video, tell all your friends about it, share it on all your social media sites. We took the big flyer out of the Ensign and put it on the back passenger side of the car so everyone will see it when we drive by. Please share this message about Jesus Christ.

Love always,
Sister Tennant 
Saying goodbye to the Manjidrebs

Saying goodbye to (LtoR) Rose, Phoenix, Will, Anjie, Miranda. I felt so honored when Miranda told me I was like a big sister to her and she was going to miss me so much. I will miss all of them too!


New Companion Sis. Lawson!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

November 27, 2014  Thanksgiving

Weekly Update

A lot to update on since it’s been a while!

Monday the 17th was a lot of fun. We met out district and went bowling together!  I enjoy bowling and like to consider myself pretty good at it.  We played 3 games, and then back to the usual Pday stuff. Grocery shop, clean the car, email……
That morning, we woke up and decided something wonderful was going to happen.  And nothing spectacular did, but having that mindset made a world of difference.  What an impact our attitudes have!
Tuesday, holy cow we were sore! From bowling.  We decided it’s because every time you bowl, you do a lunge.  So that’s like 60 lunges with weights in hand!  It’s all on the same side though so it was really just my left let that was sore but it hurt to go up and down stairs.  Haha we got sore from bowling.
We did exchanges on Thursday!  Remember my first exchange when I was so nervous? Now they’re fun! I got to go with Sis. Slade in Silverlake (YSA), and Sis. Davis stayed here with Sis. Smith.  We did a lot of finding, and I’m grateful that I got to know Sis. Slade a little better.  It felt like I was just having a sleepover with one of my friends since we’ve known each other so long.  She told me it was one of her best exchanges of all time so that was pretty awesome!  We’re totally going to hang out and be real friends at BYU!
In Sacrament on Sunday, the meeting was all about being spiritually self-reliant.   Someone talked about how when we are not self-reliant  and are dependent on others, we are to some degree under their control, and we therefore give up our agency.  It’s an interesting concept I had never thought of before.  In Relief Society, we talked about President Monson’s “Ponder the Path of  Thy  Feet”.  It’s a good one.  You should read it.
On Tuesday the 25th we got to do service!  We volunteered at a Presbyterian  Church and helped with their weekly soup kitchen and helped provide a Thanksgiving dinner to people in need.  It was so much fun and I loved getting to help.
Wednesday was our last district meeting of the transfer and since it was the day before Thanksgiving, we just talked about all we’re thankful for.  Sister Slade and our district leader are both going home at the end of this transfer so that’s super sad. 
Theresa, one of our investigators had her baptism interview on Wednesday, and she passed so she’ll be baptized this Saturday!  We’re super excited! Theresa doesn’t have a job or anything, so all she does is sit at home and read the Book of Mormon all day.  Since the beginning of October when we met her, she’s finished the Book of Mormon once and is now in 3 Nephi again!  She loves the gospel and we love her!
And today is Thanksgiving!  So many things to be thankful for.  I tried to make a list the other day, but there are just too many.  I don’t know how I got so luck to be so greatly blessed.  So here are just a few.
-         My Family
-         The gospel and all that comes with it.
-         How the gospel has blessed my family so much
-         How I get to be a Missionary and spread this gospel so others can feel the same joy it has brought me.
-         That I get to serve in the Washington Everett Mission and all the people I have had the incredible opportunity to meet.
-         And the list goes on and on!

This morning, we went and played football with our zone.  It turned out to be a lot of fun!  I know most of the rules to football, but I’ve never actually played, so it was a good experience.  Even though it was sprinkling outside and it was muddy everywhere, we still had fun with it.
After that and we’d put ourselves back together, Sis. Smith cut my hair!  She’s a hair stylist, and my hair was in desperate  need of a trim, so we went to their apartment and she cut it.  Then it was time for dinner!  The Blackmon’s invited us over to enjoy our Thanksgiving Dinner with them.  It was good, but a little hard since it was my first Thanksgiving away from my family.  It’s okay though I love being a missionary and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Since it’s a holiday, we had to be home by 6:00, and since it’s the Thursday before transfers, leadership calls were tonight.  And the Zone Leaders called.  This time with leadership assignments…plural.  Sis Davis is going to be a trainer!  And I’m  going to be a SISTER TRAINING LEADER.  What!  I don’t know what I’m doing, I can’t be an STL!  So we’ve both spent the evening freaking out but everything will be okay!  We are going forward with  
faith!  So this means that Sis Davis will probably be training here and I’ll be transferred somewhere else.  We won’t know for sure who’s going till Monday though and where on Tuesday.  It still hasn’t hit me yet but maybe it will tomorrow when we go to leadership training.
I love you all and hope everyone is doing well!
Sister Tennant 

Washington Everett Mission in Photos

Share the Gift of Christ this Christmas!

Beautiful Sunset

First Snow!
Exchanges with Sis. Slade

Theresa's Baptism !

Silly Companions
Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner With the Blackmon's
Our District

Going to do service in PANTS!


Bowling with the District

It's not even late....why is it dark!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

 Church Tour, Zone Conference, and Scriptures

It was a good week!

Last Monday, we did a Church Tour in the morning, which cut into our P Day, but obviously is more important than P Day. A church tour is where we bring investigators to the church building and explain what each room is and what happens, and we usually finish either by the font or in the chapel where the spirit is really strong. It's kinda like a baby step before coming to Church on Sunday if they're nervous about it. So we brought Stacey and showed her around. She's done so much studying and research on official church websites, so she had a bunch of questions that we were able to answer. She loves the gospel so it's really cool to see her testimony grow!

Then on Tuesday we had Zone Conference! I love Zone Conference. We meet at the mission office and get to see a bunch of other missionaries and learn and grow from one another. We also got to watch Meet the Mormons! It was so good and I loved hearing everyone's stories. My favorite was the missionary mom, and I can't wait to send my kids on missions now! :)

We also heard the testimonies of all the missionaries going home before the next Zone Conference, so that was bitter sweet. I'm so thankful for all these missionaries and the impact they've had on my life. 

We got to teach a lot throughout the week too and we had some really good lessons. We even saw Stacey two more times during the week! It's hard though because her husband won't let her come to church on Sundays, so we can't move forward with baptism or anything yet. We're praying that his heart will be softened!

Yesterday was one of my favorite firesides! It's called Cottage Meeting, where we all meet at the mission home and bring our investigators. Recent converts bear their testimonies and share how they found the gospel and share their experiences. I love Cottage Meetings. They're for the whole mission and you can only come if you bring an investigator, and Stacey came! She's hoping to get to come to all our "extra" meetings and eventually her husband will warm up to the idea of church. 

I was also hoping to see Sister Wikstrom at Cottage Meeting, but she wasn't there. I haven't seen her since transfers, but I'm sure she's doing great up in Ferndale!

Sister Davis and I are continuing to have fun and work hard in Everett and we're looking forward to this next week!
 It was a good week!
I found a scripture that perfectly describes Washington. In fact, I'm pretty sure Paul was talking about Washington when he wrote it. It's in Hebrews 6:7 "For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessings from God" It rains a lot but it is so beautiful and a blessing from Heavenly Father!

Also, I found a new favorite mission scripture:
Alma 29:9 "I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy."
I love that last line, This is my joy. the word 'joy' is so much more all encompassing than 'happy'. Right now, being a missionary has brought me so much joy and I love it. Sharing the gospel with people brings me so much joy. This is my joy.

Sister Tennant 

 Doing FHE with Tanalynn Manjidreb and her cousin, Kirete.
 (Kirete is taking the picture)

Thank goodness we have a car with this rain!
I think People know I like Kit Kats!

So Many Sweets for My Birthday :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

 Turning "20"
A Hard but Good Week

It was a harder week this week. I've felt kinda sad. Not for me, I'm totally fine, but for the people around me, and the people we're working with. I've grown to love these people so much, and it seems like a lot of them are having a lot of things going wrong lately. 

First of all, Marysville. Some people in the ward know and work with the families who were affected by the shooting, and are still struggling with it. Today, they welcomed the students back to school and had a nice memorial/ceremony to help with the transition, but it's still hard. Hearing about all the sadness is tough but it makes me so grateful for the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. We know that in the end, everything will be okay, and Heavenly Father has a plan for us. 

Last week, one of my favorite people dropped us. She's one of the people I feel like I was sent to Everett specifically to meet her, and she has made everything worth it. Which is why it's so sad that she's decided not to continue learning about the gospel. I know that one day, she will have a change of heart and decide to come back. It might not be while I'm here, or anytime soon, but one day. I have faith. And I will not give up on her.

Sister Davis has been sick the entire time she's been here, and she finally couldn't take it anymore. So Thursday, we stayed in for a long time so she could sleep and recuperate, and again all Friday morning we were in. I've made some good progress on the Book of Mormon! Haha

And Friday, I turned 20. What. TWENTY. I feel so old. No longer a teenager! I still feel 16 though! Our Sister Training Leaders came over for cake and sang Happy Birthday. We also went on a mini blitz with them, meaning we were on exchanges but both in our area, so we had 2 companionship's working in our area and got more done! We had to be in by 6 since it was a holiday, so Sis Davis and I ate more cake and partied! It was a good night and we went to bed early which made it an even better night :)

Saturday was great because we had a lot of lessons and now we have 5 people on date! Things are going great here and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else!

So overall, hard but good week.
Sister Tennant

Halloween Decorations

The Birthday Stash!

Halloween Costumes!
We were each other for Halloween! Look how angelic those shoes look,  switched clothes and name tags.

The YSA sisters/ our Sister Training Leaders came over to have cake and celebrate!

Celebrating "20" with the YSA Sisters

Birthday Dinner.... Homemade Baked Macaroni 

 From a sweet sister in the Ward

 Beautiful views of Everett

Add caption

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

 Saying Goodbyes and Welcoming Sis. Davis
This week was pretty much the usual missionary week.

We have 2 new investigators, Theresa and Mike, mother and son. They've been meeting with missionaries in another ward, but they moved here and now we get to teach them! We wanted to get an idea of where they're at, so we reviewed the Restoration, and they both accepted baptism! It was really cool to have them share their testimonies and tell us they believe it all and just want to learn more and more.
We also met with one of our investigators, Stacy, on Thursday and talked a lot about the Book of Mormon. We'd given one to her in the past but we hadn't seen her in a while so we weren't sure where she was at in wanting to learn more. So we read 3 Nephi 11, when Jesus comes to the Americas with her, and she kept saying how much she loves how it goes hand in hand with the Bible. We have a church tour scheduled for later this week, so hopefully good things are coming for Stacy!
Friday morning we got the news about the school shooting in Marysville. So sad. All the missionaries are safe. They brought all the kids to the hospital that is literally 30 seconds away from where I live. We don't watch the news, but from what people tell us, they're still not sure if any of the kids are going to make it. We are sure praying for all those kids and their families and everyone else affected.
Saturday was the ward Trunk or Treat! It's still strange not going to the Keller 1st party and celebrating the big day with my family, but it was still fun! It was actually pouring that day, so the trunk or treat was moved inside and the kids went around to different classrooms. Sis Davis and I switched nametags and went as each other. Pretty much as good as it gets being missionaries!
Hope everyone is still doing great!
Sister Tennant
Doctrine and Covenants 123:17

Sister Davis on our first night as companions

Saying goodbye to Sis Blackmon, our "mom figure" in the ward  and her daughter.

Sis. Wikstrom and I Celebrated our Birthday's together before her transfer

The View