Monday, December 26, 2016

26 December 2017

Hello, hello!

It was awesome seeing you guys yesterday!  Looks like you're doing awesome!  Thank you for the gifts that I have received so far!  Sorry I wasn't able to respond very much during the Zone Activity!  I'm doing a lot better about being where I'm at physically and mentally, haha which is a big difference from when I was at home.  We played a lot of knockout, played signs, made gingerbread houses, and then finished off with a white elephant gift exchange!

This week an investigator actually bought us a tree and lights and a stand, so Christmas did reach Valrico, lol.  We strapped it to our car and drove it home.  We've been getting a lot of referrals lately, and it's exciting to see where they'll be going!  Nothing else, really interesting....Holidays are hard for teaching...I love y'all and pray for you often.


Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, December 19, 2016

19 December 2016

Yesterday, I was at the live nativity saw a few pics and videos of me and Mal, hahah.  It's unreal being able to see her.  I can't believe it's Christmas already!  It's really the time you get this...I'll see you in a couple days.

This transfer, we have a motto, and it can be found in 2 Timothy 4:6-7.  We read it every time we leave the apartment because we are both coming to that time when our missions are done (at least full-time officially) and we want to be able to say the things in verse 7.

I am reading in the New Testament right now, and something that stood out in my studies yesterday was Matthew 14:34-36, if you read it with the footnote to 35a, it makes a difference.  As soon as the men "recognized Him", they sent forth into all that country round about and brought unto all."  I am not too sure how many members recognize what this church is, the only true and living church on the face of the earth, the only one with the authority from God necessary to receive eternal life.  If we did, I believe our attitude toward sharing the Gospel would be different, we wouldn't limit ourselves to just our friends/family, we'd desire for all to be brought.

Recently I've been reading/listening to "Ask in Faith" by Elder Bednar in the April 2008 general conference and I think it would be a great one for the family to read if you had time.

I love you and I'll see you soon!

Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, December 12, 2016

12 December 2016

I just wanted to share an experience from this week:

Just to start out, if you could read Doctrine & Covenants 84:85.

This week, I have made a big focus on my studies.  Referring to the scripture, I was treaure-ing up the words of life.  It's amazing to see the scriptures speak out to me.  I feel like I've improved so much on my study, but the Lord helps me to continue to raise my vision!  It's hard to explain the feelings when Doctrine & Covenants 24:6 is happening, when you are teaching someone, and a question comes into your mind, as you are bearing your testimony, and letting the Spirit guide, especially when I am acting as voice during a blessing.  The power, the words cannot come from those of us below.  I know of a surety that they are blessings from on high.

So...I guess to describe the experience, we were teaching one of our Dates Set, and it was going well, we were reading the account of Samuel the Lamanite, and as we were talking about it, I was observing our investigator as my companion was teaching, and the thought came "has he prayed to know the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon?" and so I asked.  Boom! to find out he hadn't!  It was kind of like a "whoop! There it is!"  moment.  It totally changed the course of the lesson and he was able to draw closer to Heavenly Father.

I know the Gospel to be true.  The Spirit WILL guide.

I love y'all!

Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, December 5, 2016

5 December 2016

How's it going?  By the time y'all get this, Mom's birthday will have passed....So how was it?

It's hard to beat Florida winters....the weather is awesome!  This week had to be one of my favorites on the mission, mainly because of all the service opportunities that we had!  It is so satisfying to be an answer to someone's prayers.  To help someone truly in need.  i hope that this is something I can continue to do after the mission, to continue to be searching for opportunities to serve.

On Saturday, we had a ward Christmas breakfast and we had 9 investigators come, as well as 2 more guests that we met!  lol, we also sang a hymn with an ukulele from one of our investigators, "Nearer My God, To Thee"  We're planning on singing with our investigator in the next couple of weeks hopefully.

Joined the ward choir with our investigators, lol.  It's pretty funny that was the most efficient choir practice ever!  The director was in and done in 45 minutes and it was non-stop:  here's your part, your part, your part, ok, put it together, NEXT!  I was struggling to keep up!

I was listening to a talk by Elder Holland and he was talking about how the first and greatest commandment is to love God, but the first and greatest truth of the gospel is that He loves us.  The first principle in the Restoration is our loving Heavenly Father.  I know that this is true, one of my favorite scripture can be found in Romans 8: 35-39.  His love is infinite and eternal.

I love y'all!!!

Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, November 14, 2016

14 November 2016

Hey Hey Hey!

We are meeting with this family that I absolutely love, they are investigating and one thing that he shared with us on Sunday was this:

He talked about how he sat back after church and realized how amazing this all was; the church, the feeling, the Book of Mormon.  He said that he'd never been happier and he can see his family happy, and he thought, "wow, this is a good thing".  Never did he ever think that he would be attending the Mormon Church or would even be looking forward to Sunday's!

I know this gospel to be true.  I have seen the joy and happiness that it brings.  I am truly blessed to have been brought up in it.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  This is the truth, Jesus is the Christ.  God is our Loving Heavenly Father, He answers prayers.

I love you,

Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, November 7, 2016

7 November 2016

I really don't have much to share except for a cool experience that happened this morning.  I was asking a lot of questions, those that really weren't applicable like "why are people tone-deaf and others aren't" during companion study.  anyways, I was actually wondering and we literally flipped open my companions quad and flipped to Matthew 25:15.  I searched the definition of "several" and the origin of the word means "different", so we are all given certain attributes or talents varying because we are different.  Not because one is loved more than the other, but rather some will need different things in this life, while some might necessarily not use them at all.  Anyways, just a thought.  I love you!

Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, October 31, 2016

31 October 2016

Hello, hello! I always love getting to "talk" to you on Mondays, it's such a blessing.  Transfers are always a spiritual experience for me.  There is such a bitter-sweet turmoil going on inside of me, bitter because i will be leaving (for a time) those whom I love, but sweet in the sense of new experiences.  Change is good if you allow it to be.  I am so thankful for the experience of serving a mission.  It's hard to describe these experiences, but it makes it easier knowing that you've both served missions and can relate.  I love you!

Your son,

Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, October 17, 2016

17 October 2016

Thank you for your continued love and support. It makes all the difference.  I know that god is real, that He loves and cares for all of us.  This is His work and His glory comes from our happiness.  I am grateful for an eternal-loving Savior, and thankful for the opportunity I have to represent Him officially at this time.  He is at the head of this work, and I see many miracles every single day.  I am grateful for the talents and blessings that I've been given, and I am striving to better use them every day.  you have helped to make this possible and I am so grateful for you.

Your son,

Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, October 10, 2016

10 October 2016

I have been seriously blessed with the people I am surrounded with right now, those in the past, and I know that the Lord will put people whom I am supposed to meet.  I want you to know how much I appreciate your 100% support with not only this decision with education, but really my whole life.  It is a huge burden that I have not had to feel and I wanted you to know of my gratitude.

It is sad to see lots of missionaries only caring about numbers.  I wish I would've had the attitude earlier of really just strengthening everywhere I am.  This new  mentality has brought a whole new sense of joy and drive.  Doctrine & Covenants 108:7 has been one of my favorites and is my goal right now.  To always be strengthening.

Thank you for always doing so for me.

Your Son,

Elder Tanuvasa

P.S.  love ya!

Monday, October 3, 2016

3 October 2016

3 October 2016

Thank you so much for all your love and support, I am so thankful that I was blessed with angels as parents.  It feels like my body is falling apart, I have been struggling with illness since the temple trip.  Satan is really working on my body.  My lower back has been giving me a lot of problems recently.  I am blessed to be in a ward with a chiropractor who is a member, lol.

I am grateful for the experiences in my life that have influenced who I am today.  I was reading a talk: "Turn to Him and answers will Come" by Elder Martino in the October 2015 conference and I thought of a quote.  Speaking of Laman and Lemuel, he said "It is interesting to note that their choices allowed them to access potentially faith-building experiences."  Every trial/experience has potential, with good or bad outcomes depending on our choices.

I am thankful for the experience that the mission has brought in my life.  I know our Father in Heaven loves us.

Your Son,

Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, September 26, 2016

26 September 2016

For District meeting, the Assistants send out a topic, and then leave the rest up to us, to figure out training, etc.  Elder Wadsworth and I had a cool experience with teaching by the Spirit.  We were holding a less active family's first FHE, and for scripture study/lesson, the mom (who was conducting) flipped open to a random chapter in the Bible and decided to read, we had planned a lesson, but not in where she had turned....she turned to the Old Testament in 2 Kings my hear, I was praying for the Spirit to help us discern and expound the scriptures!  Anyways, long-story short, the Spirit took over, the lesson went amazing.  Everything in there applied to them and the Spirit, it revealed to us the meaning.  I believe it was because we still planned and made the effort, and should, but that we cared about this lesson that He really took over.

Sure love you!


P.S. The talk "Teaching After the Manner of the spirit" in October 2011 is super good!


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

12 September 2016

Season 4: Episode 16 "The one with Principles and Standards"

Good morning Brother's and Sister's,

I apologize that I haven't written in a few weeks. These past few weeks have brought an emphasis of living gospel principles and standards. When I say principles, some examples are Faith, Hope, Repentance, Obedience, etc. When I say standards, an example are the commandments found in scripture. The Savior's teaching on the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5 are brought to my mind: 

27 ¶Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

As Christ was teaching us the Higher Law, He did not discount the Law of Moses, in fact he asked them to keep the same commandments (standards), but then required them to not even think about breaking the commandments (principles). 

With this Higher Law being given, not only was there a higher requirement of obedience, but also a greater capacity to exercise the God given gift of Agency. Which, through obedience, allowed greater blessings to flow.

I am grateful for the Savior, for His teachings that we have so readily available. They contain His word, His will for us. It is my prayer that they not be taken for granted, that they are studied and used. I am so thankful for the opportunity every day that I have to study, and to serve the Lord, and to truly come to know Him.

With Aloha,

Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, September 12, 2016

12 September 2016

First Aid kits delivered to missionaries 

Monday, August 29, 2016

29 August 2016

This week has been a huge eye opener to see how things are working right now, and how they should be working.  In the training with the General Authorities, I learned that the keys for the work of Salvation reside with the Bishop and Stake President.  That it is not the Mission President's vision that we should be accomplishing, but rather the Bishop's.  So that is what we did on Sunday, we got what his vision was for the ward and what he wanted us to do to help him get there.  It includes more visits with those who don't make it to church.  So all I do is take orders and do what it takes to accomplish that vision. So much to do, and so little time to do it...I love you both.  Thank you for continuing to support and uplift me.

Your Son,

Elder Tanuvasa

Friday, August 26, 2016

22 August 2016

Season 4 Episode 13 The One with ....

This week on paper wasn't a very good week, and we realized this as we were emailing some leaders of the Church about our week.  The interesting part is that this week has been amazing for me personally.  I have truly seen the Lord use as an instrument in His hand, and have seen the effects of it not only in my life, but in the lives I meet every day.  I am so thankful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for His Atonement that gives me the opportunity and strength to change for the better, to love deeper, to serve more fully and to follow more closely.  I know this gospel to be true.  Heavenly Father does answer prayers.  If we will sincerely seek His counsel and follow the direction He gives us, we will see greater peace and joy in our lives, I promise anyone who does this because I have done so myself and continue to do so daily.


Elder Tanuvasa

Sunday, August 21, 2016

21 August 2016

Got an email from Debbie Thomsen and a picture of the missionaries working in Winter Haven.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

16 August 2016

Season 4:  Episode 12  The One with Training

Had the chance to see Sister Sackley, now Mallory, before she left for home!  It's always great to see her!  At the same time, I dropped off Elder Brandon, so he could fly home to Utah.  Elder Garcia ended up getting transferred to Palmetto in Sarasota and I stayed here in Winter Haven!

My new companion's name is Elder Wadsworth, he is a really cool guy and we're a day apart in age!  He's super awesome and we get along great!  He's from Alamo, Nevada and fun fact, his high school football team has the longest winning streak in the nation!  Pretty cool stuff.

This week there was a lot of changes with so many new missionaries coming in.  Lots of changes in our District and Zone.

Love you all and thanks for all you do!

Elder Tanuvasa

Friday, August 5, 2016

26July 2016

Season 4:  Episode 9 "The One Where Everyone's Sick"

Good Morning!

So everyone wasn't sick this week, but it sure seemed like it!  On Tuesday, Elder Brandon had a slip disk in his back, so we spent some time at the chiropractor;  Wednesday, it was in the ER for a little bit just cause I had pain in my lower right abdomen and they wanted to make sure it wasn't appendicitis.  On Thursday, I had a few doctor appointment and we had received a notice that there was a safety recall for our '13 Ford Focus.  Anyways, we found out why there was a safety recall, cause our rear right door latch wouldn't close!  So one of us had to hold it closed as we went to the nearest dealership.  LOL, we were stranded there for a few hours before someone came and picked us up.  We ended up leaving it there overnight so it could be fixed.  On Friday, we took the bus up there, and by 4 when we got there, it still wasn't fixed!  So we waited a few hours until we finally got it out....Saturday, Elder Brandon was sick with the flu so we were confined to the house for a time, everything was fine for Sunday which was a relief, couldn't wait to get out of the apartment, hahah anyways, we're doing well.  Thank you for your prayers and support!


Elder Tanuvasa

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

3 August 2016

(An email we received from Elder Tanuvasa today regarding news of the death of his Uncle Pika)

Hi don't worry, I got permission from President Cooper to send an email...

I don't quite know what to write... when I first got news of what happened I didn't know what to think. I was shocked to say the least. Please send my love to all of the family. You're all in my prayers.

Today has been a real testimony builder to me... when I got the call from President Cooper, I was actually at a high school, prepping some food to feed the high school football team after their first practice during two a days. I stepped out to talk with President and was emotional... I took a few minutes before I went back in to say a prayer. I don't remember exactly what I said, but I do remember asking for strength, for comfort to be with the family, and for me to "forget myself". As I walked back in, it was obvious to my companions that something was different, no matter how hard I tried to hide it.. not going to lie it was hard to stay focused on what I was doing.. but as the boys came in, and we fed them, they gave us a chance to say a few words to the team. I had the opportunity to say something first, and it was exactly what I needed. The spirit was so strong as I bore testimony of the Savior, of His love for us, how he knows us specifically, and individually. I truly know that He knows what He is doing. Might be a little weird, but through this experience my testimony was reconfirmed that our Savior does know me. This whole day so far, the spirit has been comforting me and literally feels like its walking with me right now. I know that this comfort is available to all of God's children and I hope and pray that this comfort is with y'all, and with Misiona, PJ and them.

I know that our Savior Jesus Christ is our LOVING brother. He is my best friend. I am truly grateful for the love that He brings in my life every day. It is my fervent prayer that we allow His love to fill our souls. 

I miss you all and pray with all my heart for you every day. I was given the chance to call home, but I felt that me keeping my eye single to His work at this time would bless you more than I could with a phone call. I leave you with my simple and sincere testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Your loving and devoted son, brother and friend,

Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, August 1, 2016

1 August 2016

Season 4 Episode 11  The One with the Car

Another tough week...this one was mainly our car....

Spent hours a day at the dearships doing different things here and there, went a few days without a car and all we could do was walk because Elder Garcia can't ride a bike.  Also, he was sick with the flu and had to rest as well....both of my companions have been sick now back to back...seems like I'm up next! lol.

As I was reading today in the Book of Mormon, I was in 2 Nephi 8:7 and it talks about how the law must be written upon our hearts, and Christ can't force us to do so, we have to invite him in and let him "engrave", change us to fit the will of the Father

The Spirit truly does give customized guidance to help us let Christ in our hearts.  If we will seek and heed his counsel, it will show us greater happiness.

Hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Tanuvasa

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

18 July 2016

Season 4: Episode 8:  The One with Interviews

Good Morning

This week has been really awesome, very spiritually fulfilling.  Especially these past few days, the Spirit has been so strong and I think a lot of it has to do with us focusing in on what the people we are with need.  Not covering material if that makes any sense.  I feel a greater sense of love for those that we are teaching as well as those who we meet on the street.  In Moroni 7:48 it says "Pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart that ye may be filled with this love" (speaking of charity).  as I've been praying for more charity, I truly have had to do so with "all energy of heart" and it works.  I am starting to get a small glimpse of the way that our Father in Heaven looks at us, all of our potential for good.

Had the chance to sit down with President Cooper and I can say that he exuded charity.  You can really tell this guy cares about you and wants what's best for you, even though I just met him.

Elder Tanuvasa

11 July 2016

Season 4:  Episode 7  "The One with a Family"

Good Morning!  This week we met a family of 4 and they came to church yesterday!  We are really excited for them!  We've met with them almost every day since we first met them!

We helped a member move earlier today.  Moving his mom from here to Colorado, gotta love doing service.

Hit my year mark a few days ago, loving being here.  Never been happier.

Elder Tanuvasa

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

4 July 2016

Season 4: Episode 7 "The One with my Birthday"

This week was a very interesting week, leading up to my birthday...I didn't really know what to expect.  I truly learned how to "forget" myself, and that was awesome!  I saw a video today, I think of a man talking about missions, and he was talking about how the church takes young adults at their most selfish stage, and asks them to be self-less.  It's an interesting concept that Christ himself taught in Matthew 10:39, "He that findeth his life shall lose it:  and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."  Birthdays are a day where it is expected to be "your day" and I was so thankful for the opportunity to use "my day" and truly lose myself in the service of others.

Elder Tanuvasa

27 June 2016

Season 4:  Episode 6  The One with New Mission President

This week nothing really happened too much out of the normal.  We biked, talked to people, it's really hot.  I'm know, the regular.  we will be getting another missionary named Elder Garcia.  We'll be in a trio, which I am really looking forward to since I had a really good experience at the beginning of my mission with it!  He'll be coming in tonight, more info on him to come.

Also, we will be meeting our new Mission President this Thursday, really excited for that, mixed emotions...change is good.

Not too much this week!

Stay Classy San Diego,

Elder Tanuvasa

20 June 2016

Season 4: Episodes 4 & 5:  The One with Father's Day

Sorry for not writing the last week.

This week I'd really just like to focus on Father's Day.  For Fathers Day in the ward I'm in right now, they did something for all the guys, 12 years and older.  During the meetings, one thing really stuck out to me, and it was about how we get so many of our interests/hobbies or whatever we do from our parents, specifically Fathers.  I am so thankful for my Dad, and the wonderful example he has been in my life.

One of my favorite passages from the Savior's life comes from the Book of Mormon, as He ministers unto His sheep here in the ancient America's.  It says, "what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am."  Our Savior is our perfect example to me, and a great example to all those who have imperfect fathers.  I am thankful for all the father-figures I've been blessed with in my life.


Elder Tanuvasa

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

6 June 2016

Season 4: Episode 3 "The one with Graduation"

This week we went on an exchange with the Zone Leaders which was a lot of fun.  I was with Elder Helvo again (I was with him in the MTC) and it was great to get a chance to catch up with him!

On Friday, Kirby was baptized.  His family was able to be there to support him, and the Elder that I replaced (Elder Lesa) was able to come back and baptize him!  It was a great service and the Spirit was so strong!

On Saturday, we went to Kirby's graduation.  It was outside from 8-10 am and it was like 85F already and super humid....I think I got a shade darker after that morning, haha.  It was a little weird being there.  Experienced a bit of a throwback.  It was a huge shocker to me that I graduated a year ago....I have had a time to reflect and to see the miracles the Lord has worked in my life from the past year alone.  It was truly humbling to see.

I love y'all and hope you have a great day!

Elder Tanuvasa

Sunday, June 5, 2016

30 May 2016

Season 4:  Episode 2  The One with the Highest Point in Florida

There wasn't too much that happened this week, just a lot of the regular (bike, meet people, bike some more).  One thing I've found out since being here is that there are hills in Florida!  Yes, I'm not kidding!  There even a mountain and we got a chance to see it this week.  When we were on the highest point in Florida (or so I'm told) and it was a whopping 150 ft!  I am just glad I didn't have to bike we drove up it and I was just in awe!  Haha but there are a few hills in Winter Haven and no lie, they had me huffing and puffing at first.  But now it's alright hahah.  I'm really enjoying being here and love my new companion, Elder Brandon!  Hope y'all have a great week!


Elder Tanuvasa

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

23 May 2016

Season 4:  Episode 1 "The One with Gladys Knight"

This week I was transferred again.  This time to Winter Haven!  I'm super excited to be here, especially with my new companion, Elder Brandon.  He goes home pretty soon, so I'm trying to learn all I can from him!

Like the title of this episode says, Gladys Knight and her Saints Unified Voices choir came to Tampa!  She did a few showings, and we were able to bring a few people to the 8:30 pm showing!  It was truly amazing, both the singing and the testimony that was given.  The people we brought definitely felt the Spirit, and I know that I did.  The show ended at about 10:30 pm.  The missionaries stayed to clean up, and it was all finished by 12 am.  As we started to head home, we saw this car stuck in the middle of the road with its hazards on at about 1 a.m.  We jumped out and helped push the car to the side of the road.  As we pulled over to see how we could help her, she had been stuck in the road for hours, waiting for roadside assistance.  There was something wrong with her battery.  We left two missionaries with her, and went to a Walmart down the street and got some jumper cables to help her.  When we came back, her car wouldn't start, no matter what we tried.  In the end, she said that roadside assistance was on its way.  We ended up leaving her with a prayer and got her contact information to met with her another time.  I don't know why we were meant to stop and try to help her.  I don't know the good that it died her, but I know the impact that it had on me.  Service has a special way of looking outside yourself.  Though we ended up getting home about 2 a.m. and only having less than 4 hours of sleep for the next day, I never once regretted helping her.  The next day, the Lord blessed us so much, because we were perfectly fine, we had so much energy and felt so good.  At 6 p.m. that day, Elder Brandon and I were talking about it, and we were like "shouldn't we be tired?"  It was then that we recognized the Lord's hand in helping us.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Tanuvasa

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

18 May 2016

New companion, not sure if new area.  We will know on Monday when he emails

Monday, May 16, 2016

16 May 2016

Season 3: Episode 14 "The one with Thaddeus"

Hello hello!

This week was really awesome! We have been working with this man named Thaddeus for about 2 months now! We have been calling him everyday and checking up on him, as he asked us to do so. Anyways, we give him a call on Friday, and he has been doing really Well these past 2 weeks! During the call he mentioned how we were planning on him getting baptized on Tuesday. We explained to him that we were actually planning for this Sunday after church. When he heard that, he was so pumped! Anyways, long story short, we only had a few days to get it all organized, but the baptismal service was so spiritual! There was a ton of support from the Ward and he truly feels at home there, one of his concerns was that he doesn't have very much family support as they are all out of state. We explained that the Ward was like his "church family", we explained home teaching and the role that it plays in everyone being helped! After he was baptized and confirmed, he had the chance to bear his testimony and the spirit was so strong! He has such a burning testimony, he mentioned us and referred to us as his "guardian angels" haha it has been such a great experience for me to watch this man's grow closer to his savior. It has definitely strengthened my own testimony, and my own desire to find those who want to come closer to Christ. I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have to be here serving the lord and those in the Tampa area.

I love you all,

Elder Tanuvasa 

Monday, May 9, 2016

9 May 2016

Season 3: Episode 13 "The one with Mother's Day"

Good morning!

This week, Elder Ellsworth's bike was really giving us problems.. I think the past two weeks he's gone through 5 tubes. He ended up having to get a new tire, and that seems to have fixed things. It really sets back the work when all you do is bike, but, luckily we were able to use the car to get to those appointments that we had set up!

On Friday, Elder Ellsworth and I were biking through a parking lot and talking with everyone that we met, and we ran into a woman who greeted us very warmly, so we knew she was a member haha. But anyways, she asked our names and she recognized mine! I was confused for a moment until she introduced herself! Her name is Sister Jordan, and when I was in Palm Harbor (8 months ago) she called us and referred us to her two grandsons who lived in our area! Anyways, we found out that they finally got baptized last month and she was so excited! It was a tender mercy from the lord for sure to hear those people that I had previously met and taught, and how they're doing now!

Like the title of this episode, it was Mother's Day on Sunday. I am so grateful for all of the "mother figures" in my life that have been such great examples that they have been in my life. But I am most grateful for my wonderful mother that I was able to skype that day as well as the rest of my family! It was so amazing getting to see them! I shared with them that as I reflected on the lessons that I took away as I was growing up (at home), it wasn't from their words per say, but their actions that I learned many of the lessons that have shaped who I am today.

I am grateful for an amazing family, and for all that they do for me. I am so happy to be here in Florida, in the service of my Lord and Savior. I am so grateful for a Savior who knows me, and my struggles and strengthens and comforts me on a daily basis.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

-Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, May 2, 2016

2 May 2016

Season 3: Episode 12 "The one with campus"

Hello hello!

This week was a great week! On Monday, we had a Zone Development Day, which meant that after we had gotten everything that we needed to get done in preparation for the upcoming week, we met together as a Zone and did some activities together that included charades and volleyball! It also included a some training on how we can better help the areas in which we all serve! It was a really fun day!

On Wednesday we had interviews with President, and I always enjoy those. We talked about my previous areas and how they were doing as well as companions. We discussed how I can better improve and such. After interviews, while we were waiting for the other missionaries (with whom we share the car with), Elder Ellsworth and I got a chance to go on the University of South Florida campus! There are people walking around EVERYWHERE haha I was in heaven! It was a little strange talking to people that were close to my age, and strange to think that this is where I'd be if I wasn't serving a mission.

On Thursday, our phone died. Actually it split in two.. We have one of the old school slide phones, and normally (how it should work), there are two pieces together that slide into a QWERTY keyboard, and the other side has a touch screen. Well, the pieces holding these two together had been getting looser throughout the week, and finally Thursday Afternoon it fell apart... I never realized how hard it was without a phone, we couldn't call to get a new one, we couldn't confirm any appointments that we had that day, we weren't able to try to set up appointments! Luckily, it was a night where there were people at the church, so we went there and used one of their phones to call the missionaries who are responsible for phones, and was able to get a new phone the next day. But it definitely was an eye opener!

This week has been really exciting because a lot of the people that we have been working with have been coming to church and are progressing towards baptism!

Thank you for all of your prayers, I hope y'all have a great week!

-Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, April 25, 2016

25 April 2016

Season 3: Episode 11 "The one with the move!"

Good morning all!

This week, as the title of this episode states, we moved apartments! It's really exciting for us because the old one wasn't the best... But it's all good because now we're in a really nice one, a little farther away, but we're not complaining!

I don't really have much to share other than that about our week, but I would like to share something that I learned in my studies!

I was reading in the book of Ether (in the Book of Mormon) and I was reading about this people named the Jaredites, who were commanded by God to travel across the sea to a "promised land". As I read about their preparations, I read how they relied solely on the Lord and his wisdom in crafting the barges, making them exactly to his instructions. I read how they prepared "all manner of food, that thereby they might subsist upon the water," and this included livestock that they brought with them. Later in the verse we read that they got on board their barges with all of their cargo and "commended themselves unto the Lord their God". I imagine this people and the amount of faith it would've taken to "commend themselves". I imagine them sitting there, waiting, some doubting, but waiting patiently until in the next verse it reads: "And it came to pass that the Lord God cause that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land;". I was a little taken back by the implied aggression in the word "furious" as I looked it up, the word "furious" is only used 9 times in the standard works of the church, and the other 8 are in the Old Testament.
One of the definitions for "fury" is 'violence or energy displayed' as I defined violent (lots of definitions, I know, I promise I'm getting somewhere) it's origin is 'having a marked, or powerful effect'. This made me think of why we have trials, and from this I have learned that they are not a punishment, rather an opportunity to have a 'marked or powerful effect' wrought on you which will lead us to change. In the case of the Jaredites, it caused them to "cry unto the Lord" when they were buried deep in the ocean, to "sing praises unto the Lord" all day and all night. The record shows that they did so for 344 days. And when they landed on shore, they still did not forget, "and when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord,"
I hope and pray that the trials that we all go through, will have a lasting and powerful effect on us that will change us for the better. I hope y'all have a great week!

-Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, April 18, 2016

18 April 2016

Season 3: Episode 10 "The one with Elder Anderson"

Good morning!

This week, we did an exchange with our district leader. To make a long story short, one of the companionships was out of commission. One of the Spanish elders had a doctors appointment that would put him under (on drugs). And so, Elder Blomquist and I took over two areas for the day. It was really awesome, cause I didn't have to speak Spanish when we met someone Hispanic! I really wish that I had payed more attention in EspaƱol dos... On the exchange, since we were working both of our areas, we went to a Spanish funeral. It was interesting in that I could pick up words here and there, like "White and Black Zebra shirt" pretty random right? I would explain more but I don't really know what happened. It was a little awkward when everyone started laughing, I just chuckled and pretended like I got it haha. We were able to meet a lot of people, and a few of them we have continued to teach, so we're pretty excited about that!

As per the name of this episode, I had the chance to meet Elder Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Sunday! Turns out that his wife had grown up here, and had lived here when they were first married. They attended our sacrament meeting and were able to meet some of the people that we are preparing to be baptized! The spirit was so strong when I met him, as we explained how he was an Apostle to those attending, they expressed to us how "they could feel it" it was a huge testimony builder of his divine calling and the love that our Father in Heaven has for us because he has given us prophets again here on the earth to give us direction. Later that night he held a devotional for the stake and we had the chance to hear him again!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The stake center was so packed, and we were able to hear his special witness of the savior.

I think that that is all for this week! Hope y'all have a good one!

-Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, April 11, 2016

11 April 2016

Season 3: Episode 9  The one with the Good Shepherd

This week, we did a lot of finding, and found some very prepared people! On Friday, we were able to meet Joseph and Kerri. They are both looking for a church home and for more in their life. They are currently reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, please keep them in your prayers!

There wasn't anything really unique that happened this week, so I'll share something that I learned from my personal study of the scriptures:

I was reading in the Book of Mormon in Ether, and it was talking about how a man and his brother prayed and pleaded with the lord to not confound their language. It reads that "the Lord had compassion upon [him]" As I defined compassion, it tells us that it is derived from Latin compati or 'suffer with'. Earlier in the Book of Mormon we read that Christ suffers with us so that he can help us in the exact way that we need it. He knows us by name, he knows our trials, it is He who said "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep" 
In the words of a hymn:

The Lord is my shepherd; no want shall I know
I feed in green pastures; safe folded I rest
He leadeth my soul where the still waters flow
Restores me when wand'ring, redeems when oppressed
Restores me when wand'ring, redeems when oppressed

Thru the valley of shadow of death through I stray, 
Since thou art my Guardian, no evil I fear. 
Thy rod shall defend me, thy staff be my stay
No harm can befall with my Comforter near 
No harm can befall with my Comforter near

He is the good Shepherd and He does know his sheep, he hears our prayers, he suffers with us, he is the Comforter, the Prince of Peace. As we draw near unto him, he will draw near unto us. I know this to be true, in the name of our Lord and Savior, even Jesus Christ, Amen.

-Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, April 4, 2016

4 April 2016

Season 3: Episode 8 "The one with General Conference"

Good morning all!

This week was so great! We had the chance to serve two families! At one home we were able to do some yard work for them, and the other, we used a wire brush to peel off paint off of one of their walls. 

As per the title of this episode, General Conference was this weekend. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this term, I will do my best to explain. When Christ was here on the Earth, he called "apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers" and it was "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (Ephesians 4:11-12). He also called seventy others to go forth and preach the gospel and prepare for His coming (Luke 10). This church or organization that Christ established did not remain on the Earth after the passing of Him and His apostles. But in 1820, another prophet (like Moses or Noah) was called, and was instructed to restore the same organization that was established when the Savior walked the earth. Today, we have a prophet, twelve apostles, seventy others, as well as many church leaders, and twice a year we have a chance to hear them speak to us on whatever topics the Spirit prompts them to speak about, and it is broadcasted worldwide. They speak on what God wants us to hear, and how we can come closer to our Savior Jesus Christ. We know that God has always spoken through prophets in the past, and that He doesn't change. 

One of my favorite talks that was given was by Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Quorum of the Seventy. He spoke of our divine origin as sons and daughters of God, and how that should influence all of our decisions. Often we define ourselves by our employment, calling in the church, etc... It was a great reminder to remember who we all are, and who He wants us to become.

I am grateful that the Lord has again called prophets and apostles on the earth to give us further light in knowledge. I know that as we follow their counsel, that we will come closer to our savior, which will ultimately lead us to be happier in this life!

-Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, March 28, 2016

28 March 2016

The One with Concrete

This week we had a great opportunity to serve.  One of the people we are teaching needed some remodeling done.  So Elder Ellsworth and I were able to go and help him!  he had us breaking up a concrete slab in the backyard.  We used sledge hammers to break them and then wheeled them to the front yard!  After a few hours in the heat it was all done!

I have really gained an appreciation for service and helping others out.  As we read in Matthew 25:40; we are serving our Lord when we serve others.  As missionaries, we are always looking for opportunities to serve, it's just frustrating when no one will let you!

On Wednesday we met this really cool guy named Sean.  we taught him about God's love for him, prophets and the Book of Mormon.  He was really excited to read it and pray about it.

On Saturday we got a text from Sister Sackley and her companion, Sister Huber.  They told us about a person who wanted to learn more, and had scheduled a time that we could meet with her.  Long story short, we met with the person and she is AMAZING!  When we introduced the Book of Mormon, she wanted to read it all that night.  We really are seeing miracles on the dearly, some more apparent than others!

I know that we are all blessed in different ways.  i know that as we look for them in our lives, we will see God's hand.


Elder Tanuvasa

21 March 2016

Season 3: Episode 7 "The One with Easter"

Good morning everyone!

This was a very spiritual week, as we were all able to recognize and celebrate the last week of our Savior's life. I had a great opportunity to study Christ's life and His Atonement or Sacrifice specifically this week. It was a huge realization to me to recognize where we all would've been, and where I would've been without having a Savior. He has literally saved us all. During my mission so far it has been a tremendously humbling experience, and this week was no exception. As I was sitting in church, listening to the speakers and specifically one speaker talking about "Grace".  One of my favorite scriptures came to mind that I feel impressed to share, and it is Alma26:11-12 and it reads 

11 But Ammon said unto him: I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.

12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

And it hit me so hard that I have been relying too much on my own strength and my own abilities, and it was holding me back. It came to me that I needed to give myself over to Him, and instead of relying on myself, I need to rely on Him. As I am yoked with Him (as well as my companion Elder Ellsworth) we will be able to accomplish way more than I ever could by myself.

I am so grateful for our savior Jesus Christ and for His love that we are able to feel constantly. I am grateful for the hope and the strength that His gospel, atonement, life gives me and gives us all. I know that as we rely on him, he will be accomplish miracles in our lives. 

Last thought really quick: Also while reflecting this week, I had the opportunity to look back and to see God in my life, and to see how he has gently but firmly led me in the direction that I needed to go. And I know that everyone will be able to see the same thing as you reflect. 

Have a great week!

Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, March 21, 2016

14 March 2016

Season 3:  Episode 6 "The One with Steve"

This was a very eventful week, on Tuesday we had Zone Training Meeting.  Which is basically when a lot of missionaries gather together for a couple hours and receive training on how we can better help those we are teaching!

We went on an exchange on Thursday.  Meaning that I was with another missionary for a day!  We were in an area where a lot of people speak Spanish...and the limits of my Spanish is....iHola!  Haha let's just say I didn't do much talking that day, it's a good thing the missionary I was with spoke it well!  I should've paid more attention in Spanish....

On Saturday was Steve's baptism, there was a lot of people there from the local congregation to support him!  It's so great to be a part of the Lord's work, and get to see His power work int he lives of not only me, but everyone!

I am so grateful for this opportunity to be serving the Lord full time.  Though there are a lot of challenges and distractions, I can feel the strength of all of your prayers.

Elder Tanuvasa

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

7 March 2016

Season 3:  Episode 5  "The one with Good, Better, Best"

This week I have had the chance to do a lot of reflecting.  One of the people we have been meeting with has been preparing to be baptized.  As we kept getting closer to the day, it seemed like more and more problems were arising, employment, etc.  He expressed to us that he didn't know if he would be able to provide for his family.  I was able to share my experience of putting my trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and putting Him first.

Both my companion and I bore testimony that He knows him, and that He cares and will not allow you to fail.  I know that to be true.

I know that we have been blessed with the Spirit to lead and guide us and lead us to do right, it will never lead us astray.

Elder Tanuvasa

Sunday, March 6, 2016

29 February 2016

Season 3: Episode 4 "The One with Food Poisioning"

This week was very slow.  A lot of people were canceling their appointments and people in general were saying no to us more often.  Anyways, fast forward to Thursday, I started to get chills, my stomach wasn't doing so well, and I was light headed.  My companion ended up calling the nurse for me, cause I didn't want to.  Anyways, I was told to rest until I felt better and my symptoms went away.  On Friday, I slept 20 out of the 24 hours and was only awake to throw up, use the bathroom or eat, haha. On Saturday we tried to go out again, but had to return early that evening.  

Sunday I received a blessing, and was able to make it through all of the church meetings.  We had 3 people there that we were teaching, and they really enjoyed it!  Rested the rest of the day and that brings me up to now! I am starting to feel better and I hope that this is the end of this sickness, hahah. 

Hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Tanuvass

Thursday, March 3, 2016

22 February 2016

Season 3:  Episode 3  The One with a Broken Bike

Good Morning!

This week someone's bike broke down...but it wasn't mine!  Elder Ellsworth's bike broke down about a mile from our destination on Wednesday.  We ended up having to walk that mile, and then walk another 2 miles to wait to get picked up by other missionaries.  I was just grateful that I am in Tampa, and that there are missionaries close by!  If we were anywhere else, it would have been a lot longer.

One of the things that this week has really brought to my attention was the importance of prayer.  The importance of keeping our Father in Heaven in our lives at all times.  In the scriptures we always read about how people would go through a cycle where they would be righteous, and then receive blessings.  Eventually they would turn prideful, and lose the strength that they had previously because of their righteousness.  In Alma 63 we learn how we can continue to be blessed without being prideful.  We learn that we should 1) remember all of what God has done for us and 2) pray continually.  As I've continued to pray continually, I've noticed a change of attitude and I am much more receptive to the promptings of the Spirit.

Elder Tanuvasa

Friday, February 26, 2016

15 February 2016

Season 3: Episode 2   The one with Speaking in Church

Yesterday at church my companion (Elder Ellsworth) and I were asked to speak.  It was very short notice, but I really enjoyed it!  We had the chance to speak on Faith and Obedience.  One of my favorite parts about a mission, is that I can have set apart time to study the scriptures, it's definitely something that I will continue to do.  This time has really blessed me, in that I now find solace while reading.  The scriptures answer so many questions, and I now find it enjoyable to bury myself in them!

One of the blessings about serving in Tampa is that there are so many people walking around!  We will bike to our set appointments, and then talk to people along the way! You never really know who you're going to meet, so it's always engaging, haha.  I haven't biked in awhile, so I've started to get my biking legs back.  It's not uncommon for us to bike 20-25 miles a day.

Transfers are today, and we will find out what's happening pretty soon!  I'll probably write it in at the end of this, once we find out so.....yeah.


Elder Tanuvasa

p.s.  no transfer

8 February 2016

Season 3:  Episode 1  The One with the Transfer

Good Morning!

So I am now in Tampa Florida!  I am serving in the Carrollwood ward.  Sister Sackley (who is serving in Tampa 2) is north of me!  We are in the same zone, but not district! I am now with Elder Ellsworth he is super funny and hard working!  We get along great!

The Tampa Bay Bucs stadium is in our area, so I HAD to get a picture of course, haha.  Also, had the opportunity to cut my own hair, and it's not too shabby!

Anyways, not much happened this week other than that.  On Saturday, it was raining all day, so we weren't able to be on our bikes.  We ended up walking to our appointments, and talking to people on the way!  We walked for about 5 hours!  My feet are starting to low-key blister, hahah

I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, February 8, 2016

1 February 2016

Season 2:  Episode 4

Good Afternoon Family and Friends!

On Monday, we went bowling and I STILL GOT IT!
Today, we went golf, and I STILL GOT IT!

Lol, anywho last week we had a baptism, so that's always cool.  It's awesome to see someone change their life, and follow Christ and His example.  I was also able to meet someone who served his mission with my Dad!  So it was pretty cool.  I believe that there is a picture, hopefully mi mama will put it in.

I was on an exchange with Elder Bowden on Tuesday and it was so much fun!  Elder Bowden and I were companions in the MTC together, so it was awesome to see him again!

Sorry, nothing special this week.


Elder Tanuvasa

 The Former Elder Kirkland of the Oregon Portland Mission

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

25 January 2016

Season 2:  Episode 3 The One with the Funeral

So this week, the funeral for one of our friends' mother.  I was asked to sing Amazing Grace as part of the service.  One of the things that was consistent as these family members/friends were saying brief things, was that they regret not showing/telling the other person how much they loved her.  It really hit me that, hey, you never know when it's someone's time, so always express your love, and leave no regrets.

On a slightly less somber note, I finally got my hands on an ukulele and a guitar!  One of the people that we are teaching had them and we jammed for a few minutes, and that was a lot of Fun!

Not really too much this week, just cherish those whom you love.


Elder Tanuvasa

18 January 2016

Dear Mom,

Sorry you are getting an answer to a question that Dad asked me in a letter, I hope you will both read this and share them with everyone you feel prompted to, even the blog.

Some things that I have learned about myself on my mission:  I look at myself in the mirror, and I'm changed physically.  But I ask myself, how else have I changed.  And something that I have noticed is that I'm self-motivated.  Not that I wasn't before, but I was always with someone else, like during workouts, I always had at least Dad to help me.  And now, I'm on my own, that accountability is gone, it's just me and the Lord, sure my companion can help motivate, but for the most part, it has to come through me.  I've learned that hey, I can be diligent on my own and obey with exactness.

Second, I've always been a leader, but I believe so far, the Lord has been teaching me how to be a follower.  How to take some correction with the best attitude.  And that has been a huge blessing.  I have a testimony that He knows me personally and desires my success, so he puts me with people and in situations where I can have the opportunities to do so.

Love you!  Your son,

Elder Tanuvasa

Thursday, January 28, 2016

21 January 2016

Side note:  Elder Tanuvasa has family in Mission Viejo.  Turns out Sister Felt (and Sister Sackley - another Summerlake Ward Missionary -  are companions) had home teachers in Mission Viejo by the name of Tanuvasa - Shawn (uncle) and Kanoah (cousin)!  Small world

18 January 2016

Season 2: Episode 8  "The one with the Storm"

Hello, hello!

As per labeled my episode this week, there was a storm.  It was from Saturday night to Sunday morning.  At 4 a.m. we were woken up by our Hazard Alert radio that was blaring (it sounded like someone pulled the school fire alarm, if that helps).  Anyways, I got up, and was listening to the emergency radio that was going off too; it was talking about tornado warnings or something like that.  I was like "oh snap, it's going down!" and that excitement lasted all of about 3 seconds before I crawled back in bed and fell asleep, lo.  You could hear the thunder booming and you could see lightning flashing, my attitude was "hey, if it's my time, it's my time."  It wasn't my time, we got up in the morning, got dressed and went outside and saw trees that were blown over and a whole bunch of debris was in the streets, so we spent a good amount of time clearing those.  As we were talking to some people at church, they said that winds were anywhere from 40-70 mph, I don't know how true that is, but yeah.  That's my weather excitement for the week.

One of the people at church's mother passed away this week, it was really scary cause we had no joke talked with her 2 days before.  She never had any health problems, was super active, she was 55!  She woke up, didn't feel good, and went back to sleep, and's just crazy to see how fragile life really is, you never really think anything is going to happen to you.  As we were comforting the family, it caused me to reflect on this.  Please keep the Barnes family in your prayers.

Something that I have noticed this week was how planning and telling the Lord your plans will bless you. As we've made our plans so specific, they are almost tedious, and as we inform the Lord, where we are going to be at a certain time and place.  He is able to place people in our paths, that we never would've seen if we decided to just go do something else.  And I think that is very applicable to life, as we express to Him, our goals, and our plans to achieve those goals, He is able to open opportunities that wouldn't have been there before!

Anyways, love you all!

Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, January 18, 2016

11 January 2016

Season 2:  Episode 7:  "The One with the Snake?"

Dear Friends and Family,

So much happened this week, I'll try and get it all down.  On Monday, we made an impulsive decision to go hit 9-holes of golf, so that was a ton of fun!  There was a lot of people there, and we didn't even hold anyone up!

On Thursday, we were meeting with this girl whose dad is a member, but her mom isn't.  they live way out in the country.  So we went out out see them, and the meeting went really well!  The spirit was so strong!  And after we met, they gave us a tour of the farm, and it just so happens that two days earlier, one of their mama's had a kid.  Hence you see me with a tiny goat.  They were not potty trained.  There were poop pellets ALL over the place.

On Saturday we were talking to people in a parking lot, and we met this guy named Jose, who didn't speak English, used my Espanol dos skillz and was able to teach a little, and say a prayer in Spanish!  So yeah, language barriers are basically gone, totally fluent in Spanish right now, hahha.

On Sunday the YW President had us come in and show the Young Women how they could use the Book of Mormon to answer their prayers.  We started off by getting a question from them that applies to their life.  We then all knelt down and had that person pray, and ask the question to Heavenly Father and to ask him to place one word in their head to look up in the Index of the Book of Mormon.  Afterwards we looked up the word and she went through, reading the brief summaries in there, and when a scripture stuck out to her, we went there, and BANG! Found her answer.  The spirit was so strong.

I've put this to the test, I dont' know how many times but every time, it's answered!  Sometimes we kneel/wait longer than we thought we would, but without fail, or question is answered!!

I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God, as well as the Bible and know that our Father in Heaven can use it to answer our questions, and I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love you all, until next week,

Elder Tanuvasa




(From his email:  "And we found a dead snake in our dryer.. had to get it out cause it STANK, and of course, I had to get a pic with it!")