Thursday, April 28, 2011

I'm Back.

This seems to be the only creative liberty I've got left...haha!

Just some Easter fun! I hope you all had the happiest of Easters!

Friday, May 28, 2010


I'm off to California for Memorial Day weekend! Hope you all have a great one! I'll fill you all in on the details soon!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What I've been up too.

I know, stupid, but the strawberries here are just so good, so red, and so juicy!
Hello snakeskin heels.

I've no idea what Amanda is doing in this picture.

My mission trainer!

Garrett and I hanging out in the basement.

I get to see my mom every day!

My cute little brother Jared.

Jared being really weird...

This really isn't a what I've been doing post, but who I've been doing it with!!! It's so much fun to be around family again. As for what I've been doing...what haven't I been doing? BAM, baby!

Dejame en Paz

Dedico este cancion a los que no me dejan vivir mi vida: vayanse y no me molestan mas.

Perdóname por lo que vengo a decir
Hace tiempo no me acuerdo de ti
No no no
No entiendo porque ahora preguntas por mi
Si fuiste tú el que me dejo partir

Ahora hay otro en mi vida
El curo mis heridas
Me devolvió la alegría que daba por perdida
Ahora hay otro en mi vida
El curo mis heridas
Me devolvió la alegría que daba por perdida

Da la vuelta y déjame en paz
De ti no quiero saber más
Ya hay otro en mi vida que me hizo olvidar
Da la vuelta y déjame en paz
De ti no quiero saber más
Ya hay otro en mi vida que me hizo olvidar

Sal por esa puerta y no vuelvas más
Baby ya yo te olvide y no te quiero ver más
No insistas que nunca te voy a perdonar
Lo pasado, pasado ya no vuelvo más

Yo tengo a otro que me hace vibrar
Ya tengo a otro que me hace soñar y suspirar
Ahora soy feliz no te lo voy a ocultar
Lo mejor es que te vallas y me dejes en paz

Ahora hay otro en mi vida
El curo mis heridas
Me devolvió la alegría que daba por perdida
Ahora hay otro en mi vida
El curo mis heridas
Me devolvió la alegría que daba por perdida

Da la vuelta y déjame en paz
De ti no quiero saber más
Ya hay otro en mi vida que me hizo olvidar
Da la vuelta y déjame en paz
De ti no quiero saber más
Ya hay otro en mi vida que me hizo olvidar

Date la vuelta, Ya no regreses
Porque mi amor tu no mereces
Yo tengo a otro, que si me quiere
Se fue mi tiempo de mala suerte

Date la vuelta, Ya no regreses
Porque mi amor tu no mereces
Yo tengo a otro, que si me quiere
Se fue mi tiempo de mala suerte

Tu mentira y tu engaño
Ya yo olvide
Ahora hay otro en mi vida que me hizo entender
Que las cosas no son papi
Como las predicaba
Engañando, lastimando, esa era tu jugada
Pero bueno es el tiempo y existe el olvido
Aquellas cosas ya murieron así es el destino
Yo se que vas a pasar, lo mismo que yo pasé
Y te arrepentirás, por no haber sabido querer

Ahora hay otro en mi vida
El curo mis heridas
Me devolvió la alegría que daba por perdida
Ahora hay otro en mi vida
El curo mis heridas
Me devolvió la alegría que daba por perdida

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I'm sorry blog, I really am, tomorrow I will update you.



Monday, May 3, 2010


I won't always post my apartments but since I did it throughout my mission I thought I would post about my post life experience!

My Dad even built the vanity. He's very talented, did I tell you that he got a 97% on his physics test? ...and has a 4.25 gpa?


I have seriously missed my books!

Living room.

I know that the closet looks really messy but it's actually very organized!

Friday, April 30, 2010

My Sister the Mom

Melissa N. and baby Guillermo (William Jared).

Under Pressure

Okay, post-mission adjusting...not so hard.

not with Jen and her cheesecake...

Not with a little Godiva cheesecake from Cheesecake factory...

or with your best friend Jen...

or with my mom...

So, I start classes next week at UVU, and I'm looking for a part time job to tide me over. I'm also on an insane pregnancy hormone diet-HCG. It is basically condoned anorexia that entails having injections everyday and eating 500 calories a day. I just polished off 2 crackers with turkey and mustard and asparagus for lunch. Not too bad and definitely better than chicken foot soup.

As this is what I've eaten I'm wondering...have I completely lost it? I suppose my 55 pound weight loss in Ecuador didn't quite cut it for me and now I will do anything to hit my target weight which I'm not sure is in accordance with what I should weigh.

So yeah, I would just like to say that I am back in the USA. Where else would this diet be thought of as anything but crazy?

Loving it.

Friday, April 23, 2010

My New Car

How cool is my dad? Totally thought I'd be driving my mom's car!

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Julio Astudillo, Sandra Córdova, Mishell, and Alexander (whom I adore).
Feria- The fair where I was at 5:00 am buying a pig...we promised Sandra (Córdova) that we would help out.
It was a huge mistake to name her Matilda, I was the only person who cried when they killed her. I pulled her all the way from the fair. Interesting experience though...I´ll never eat pork again...maybe. I guess after 5 years of killing a pig every week stops affecting you after a while. Ese Alexander!
Zone Otavalo and our Jersey´s. Some of my best friends are here in this zone!

The view from the balcony of my new apartment! I love living in Centro, life is so much easier...and pretty.

So this is it, my last least as Hermana Whitney Tanner.

I can hardly believe that it has come to an end! I´ve loved my time here with all it´s ups and downs. I´ve had success but really the only person who benefitted from my experience is me (and maybe a few of you who learned to love me more-absence makes the heart grow fonder). It´s definitely been a crazy but amazing experience that will never cease to bless and enrich my life. I know that I´m a harder worker, more loving, and all around better person for all of the experiences I´ve had. Thank you too all of you who helped me along the way. My leaders in the Mission field, family and friends at home, and the people who let me be a part of their lives here in Ecuador. I love you all, and I´m so grateful for each one of you.

I am ending things on a really high note! Sandra Córdova and Julio Astudillo were baptized yesterday April 16th, 2010. It was a really stressful week. They both needed additional interviews and we really wrangled every possible source that we had to get it done. President Montoya, first counselor to President Sloan was actually going to be here in Otavalo so we were able to arrange a meeting with him. He was so great and waited even when Sandra and Julio came late! We were so grateful for him, he has also been called as a Mission President in the Valencia, Venezuela mission and leaves in June for the Provo MTC. Anyway, Sandra and Julio are officially the newest members of Barrio (ward) Rumiñahui (Room-in-ya-wee,there isn´t any translation).

For those of you who cared about the pig story. Sandra sells Fritada, which is like fried pork (I´m not the biggest fan), and what with her baptism she has been really busy so we promised that we would help her out this Saturday. It was an unforgettable experience to say the least. We woke up at 4:45am to buy the pig at the fair, it was quite a process but we finally found the right one for $90! I had to tug her all the way to Sandra´s, we bonded, and the name Matilda Tanner was tossed around. I couldn´t do it so Julio had to put the knife in the heart...yeah, horrible, I cried. The skin is a valuable comomadity here and I didn´t know it but they blow torch the outside of the pig to sell the skin (yes, to eat). Anyway, I miss Matilda and now understand why we can´t eat pork here in Mission Ecuador Quito.

It´s been tough to say goodbye and to have to keep saying goodbye. I love Ecuador so much!

Loving you from Ecuador,

Hermana Whitney Tanner

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Week 69

I forgot to mention that I have actually been in the mission field for over a year and a half now. CRAZY.

For all of you who keep asking me about the bomb, I´ve never had vichos (parasites) and I don´t think that they give us the bomb here. It´s really not as dirty here as you all is dirty but not that much.

This week has been another week of looking for apartments, and today we finally found one (after 2 that fell through). We move in Monday, just in time for me to pack everything up, unpack and then pack again. Yeah, but I´m excited to have a new house. Away from the crazy landlady that looks through our stuff. She keeps telling everybody that we don´t clean...the zone leaders checked and said it was cleaner than theirs. Yeah...end rant. Oh, how I hate finding her inside of our apartment.

Julio Astudilio and Sandra Cordova are still doing well and have a gazillion questions, mostly because Julio has a friend who works with him on the bus and is a member of one of those scream and shake churches and keeps teaching them crazy stuff. Julio told us not to worry though because he didn´t believe any of it. Julio did have a little set back with the bottle but we set him straight and he was pretty humble about it. Just for the record he did need setting straight because he didn´t come home at night. He definitely knew that he was in trouble, it´s pretty funny to see a grown man hide from 3 twenty-something missionaries.

Fernando Garcia isn´t doing to well, he hasn´t been eating or taking his medication and his daughter, Miriam is pretty worried about him. So are we and I´m not sure that he will be ready to be baptized next weekend. We are praying for him though as is his very numerous family!

Our other investigators are doing well but our program is a little lagging due to our house hunt, now that that has been resolved we can focus on getting everything going again.

I love you all and look forward to seeing you in 11 days!

Hermana Whitney Tanner

Flight Information


American Airlines AA932 Quito, Ecuador- Miami, Florida 6:25am-11:35am
American Airlines AA887 Miami, Florida- Dallas, Texas 1:30pm-3:40pm
American Airlines AA1925 Dallas, Texas- Salt Lake City Utah 6:15pm-8:00pm


Monday, April 5, 2010

Week 68

This is me with the majority of my zone for general conference- we are dressed like the indiginous people of Otavalo- have I mentioned how cool it is here?

Sandra Cordova and Julio Astudilio

...and Elder Edgington...grrr.

Sandra Cordova and Julio Asudilio were also finally married this week. After weeks of driving the poor lawyers and judges of Otavalo completely crazy the legal papers were finished and Sandra and Julio got married (inspite of me wacking the judge in the face...accidental, of course, it was still super embarrassing). They are now all set for their respective baptism on April 16th, 2010.

Carlos, Estefanía, and Micaela

I think I look pretty ridiculously happy.

Carlos Espinosa was baptized! To my surprise I ended up having a talk but it really worked out fine. They said they had been waiting for me, it made me really happy. Guess what? We are going to the temple together next year... so that he and Estefanía and Micaela can be sealed together forever. It was probably one of the most spiritual baptisms I´ve ever had. Carlos gave such a beautiful testimony and really I am so proud of him.

General Conference was pretty amazing too! I got to watch one session in English but the rest in Spanish. It´s a pretty darn good thing that I now understand everything that´s being said. Although President Holland´s talk cost me a few minutes before I understood the theme...I got it though. It´s funny as a kid I used to just count the minutes until General conference ended, but now I dread it. I loved that the focus was all about families, because really that is what is most important!

The only down side to this week is that we´ve been looking (without success) for a new apartment. Our landlady likes to look through our stuff and well, we aren´t big fans of that. Apartments are really hard to find here in Otavalo...wish us some luck because we have to move really soon!

Love you all,

Hermana Whitney Tanner

Ps. I completely forgot to post about our baptism last yeah. Read week 67 again...there is a picture.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Week 67

Evelyn Varela and her family!

Well I don´t think that I can say anything to top that I have a nephew but here goes.

Evelyn was baptized this week! Wow what a disaster another ward had a baptism and had drained the font. Yeah, we bucket filled it but still was so low that Evelyn had to be baptized sitting down. She was a little traumatized but everything turned out okay. Until the next day when the church was flooded because the bishop forgot to turn of the water in the font...yay! It was definitely an interesting experience though.

I don´t actually have a Preparation day today because President Sloan gave me permission to go to Ibarra because my investigator Carlos Espinoza is getting baptized today. It´s pretty much amazing. This is Carlos and his family for those of you who don´t remember. I also will get to be with Hermana del Aguila overnight, so really there isn´t anybody happier than me today.

We also had a pretty interesting week, I got a little legally involved here in Otavalo because our investigators Sandra Cordova and Julio Astudillo are only waiting for one legal document and they can be married and then baptized. We´ve been waiting 4 months, I was tired of it so we went to talk to the judge. It did the trick and Sandra and Julio should lhave this paper by next Tuesday and Julio and Sandra can finally be baptized!!! It´s super handy to have Julio because he works in the public buses and we get free rides a whole lot lately. Anyway, I´m so happy that we are almost done with these silly problems and we can get to the good stuff.

Have I mentioned that I´m now an Aunt? Yeah.

We are still working with Anabel Garces, but it looks like I won´t be here when she gets baptized because she needs to work a few personal things out before she can be. She is so great though and we are working with her to help her out. She really has had things pretty rough.

Everybody is counting down the days until I go home and it´s pretty tough but now I have a new little reason to be home with you all. Remember that I love and miss you all.

Chuta, soy tia.

Tia Tanner





Saturday, March 20, 2010

Photos ll

I got to see mi compa again! Mi Favorita.
We totally won the prize for the best food in Zone Conference...Tacos, I even made tortillas by hand.
I just really love this picture. Verde o plaintains.

Photos l

Yep. We passed cleaning inspections...take that! ¡TOMA! They left us cookies.
I realized I have no pictures with my Mission President and his wife Sister Sloan.
I´m finally in Elder Morris´ Zone, it´s the first time that we have been together since the MTC.
You will always be in my you don´t forget what I look like.
I just like this picture, washing laundry in the river, we don´t see things like this back at home.

Week 66

Well this week was a conference week so not much got done at all. It was really strange though because I gave my final testimony and had my final interview with President Sloan. He will be in Peru so I won´t be able to have my final interview in April like I hoped for. What can you do though? It was really all about picking my spouse…yeah…no.

We have a baptism today, Evelyn Valencia, the majority of her family are already members and I´m not sure why she was holding out, but she is really excited and so are we. She is 15 years old but really quick and knows that the church is true.
Anabel Garces also has a baptismal date for April, but the Elder who did her interview sort of freaked her out. He told her that she was impure and couldn´t enter the church…yeah, we are working on it though. She pretty much decided to get baptized on her own so I was a little irritated, she is tough though and I know she will pull through.

Sandra and Julio Asudillo also have a baptismal date for April but we are having a hard time getting their papers worked out so they can get married first. All their children are members but they have been unable to because of legal problems.
My companions are seriously spectacular and I am having the time of my life. Hermana Chu is pretty crazy (like me) and Hermana Chonay has just about the purest heart that I have ever encountered. I also was able to see Hermana del Aguila in zone conference, it was pretty great!

Zone Conference was great though, I really learned a lot and encourage everybody to read Alma 32, we studied it pretty in depth. It kills me that soon I will be home when I have so much learning to do! I do love and miss you all though , so here is the good news. ..ready?

I will officially be in the Salt Lake City Airport at 8:00pm on April 21st, 2010.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Week 65


Mis Queridos-

It´s definitely different being back in the Sierra after so much time in the Coast. I can´t say that I´m loving the cold because it has already given me one...with a cough. It´s freezing here, but with the mountains it looks a lot more like home. There is so much to buy here, it is insane, but they are trying to rob me blind and I´m now used to the prices so I know that they can´t charge me so much. I haven´t actually purchased anything but a hat!

It is pretty great here, it´s so different, there are indiginous people everywhere. My ward and sector is Rumiñahui (Room-in-au-wee) and it happens to be 1 of 2 wards that speech spanish. The others all speak Kitchwa, I´m relieved to be sticking with spanish I´d like to get it a bit better before they ship me off to the States.

We have some great investigators here already. The family Villacreces (Via-cres-es), Carlos and Soledad have a baptismal date for 17th of April. It took a lot of work and a lot of scripture power but they did say yes. They have already been investigating the church for 7 months, which down here is a really long time. They already know that they want to be baptized but they just like to wait. They are a great little family, they have two small children too. They have been attending pretty regularly too!

We are also teaching Evelyn, her family are already members and I´m not really sure why she was holding out but she has a baptismal date for 20th of March.

My new companion...or companions are (yup, I´m in a Threesome) Hermana Chu from Peru, and Hermana Chonay from Guatemala. They are both a lot of fun and I really enjoy them both. Hermana Chu is crazy, disorganized and totally lovable. Hermana Chonay is quiet but really sweet and always willing to help. I already love the both and am glad that they will be my last companions. It´s a whole lot easier to work in three because we are able to do a lot of divisions with members.

I´m having a blast and please everybody stop counting down...I already know that I only have 35 days left and it´s not making me all that happy.


Hermana Whitney Tanner

Monday, March 8, 2010

¡Ya Me Voy!

I will officially be home the 22nd of April 2010!!!!!! Can you believe it?

In other news:

I´ve been transferred for the last time- I´m off to Otavalo and unfortunately that means that P-day is now Saturday so that the missionaries can shop in the otavaleno market! So I´ll be updating everybody Saturday!

I love you all and you are in my prayers.

Hermana Tanner

Monday, March 1, 2010

Week 64

NO I´M NOT DEAD!!! The 2 mormon missionary deaths were reported incorrectly and I´m alive and well!

Mis Queridos-

I hope this letter finds everybody well! I´m doing great as per usual, I think the last months are definitely the best ones, that could be because I finally have a grasp on what I´m doing here! Mostly because I can speak spanish and I can get done what needs to be done.

We made some really great contacts this week that I´m sure are great baptismal candidates. The family Mesias-Muñoz is a great family, Maria, Johana, Fernanda, Jessica, and Eduardo. Maria is the mom and the rest are her kids, her spouse lives in Spain. They have asked us to come everyday and have already prayed to know if José Smith was a prophet of God. They all recieved an answer in the affirmative (except for Eduardo because he wasn´t in our first lessons be he has that homework now). It´s not a very common thing that investigators want us to come everyday and in one week have answers to their prayers. We are excited to say the least, they really are amazing and seem to really love everything that we have taught about the gospel thus far.

We are also teaching Wilmer and Yadira, they both came to church last week and this week Yadira came with us to Santo Domingo for Stake Conference (Wilmer couldn´t attend because he had to work), it´s about an hour in bus so you can imagine the sacrifice. I think a counsler of the mission freaked her out a bit when he asked her if she had a baptismal date...hopefully no, because pretty soon we are going to challenge her to baptism. She and Wilmer and so willing and eager to learn. They are married which is a huge relief and have the cutest little girl I have ever seen. Emele Michel was a bit hard to keep quiet but so cute!

Anyway, I´m still learning so much and can´t believe that my time is running down so quickly. I´m not even close to being ready to go as much as I miss everybody.

By the way...I´ve been really bad about birthday wishes:

Happy Birthday to Rachel W., Alyssa C., Phylis R., Christa B., Aunt Jeannie! I love you all so much and didn´t forget!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Week 63

Mis Queridos-

First thing, the church has finally updated it´s emailing system, it´s gmail...yes! if you still would like to keep in contact with me.

We had a great week and 10 of our investigators came to church this week. We are mostly excited about Wilmer Rizzo and Yadira Andrande. They are married!!! Which means so much more than you can all imagine. They came to church after only one week of knowing us and they really seem to be happy, it is such a rarity. Wilmer only wanted to know if we were allowed to play sports in this religion, he seems up for pretty much anything else. Yadira is a bit tougher, she has been attending a Evangelical church. She seemed to really enjoy it though and we will definitely be focusing in them this week!

Jorgeluis Chica is another new investigator, he told me pretty clearly that he only wants to learn more about the Word of God and he´s not interested in getting baptized. I think he will come around though. He had an accident a few months back and has about 6 nails in his leg, he can´t bend his knee at all. He is at home all day long and has all the time in the world to listen to us. He´s a good kid and he seems to really want to change his life (did I mention that he was drunk when he messed up his leg?).

Gabriela Loor is still coming to church every week but still isn´t married and so cannot be baptized. She is pretty intense, I think Juan would come around if she would calm down a little bit...jiji.

My companion and I are doing really well and busy looking for new investigators. Thank you for your prayers and letters!

Hermana Whitney Tanner

Ps. I´ve noticed that nobody comments unless I have pictures...not cool people.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Week 62

Mis Queridos-

I know I´m a day late but this week our Preparation day was moved until Tuesday because this week is Carnaval. I was here last year for Carnaval but it is about a million times worse in the Coast. It´s basically 4 days of people throwing water, flour, eggs, and other things at people. The kids have no mercy. I can imagine that as a normal person it´s actually a fun holiday, however, as a missionary it means trying to avoid getting soaked for the entire day long...sometimes with fishy water. Ewwwwwwwww.

This week was pretty great, we always have some setbacks but that is life. President Sloan has asked us to step-up with our contacting efforts and I´ve really been trying to work on that. It´s not something that I particularly enjoy doing because after a couple of scary experiences one loses her nerve (think creepy old guys asking me to marry them). This week though I really tried to go out and get to know people. Sunday we found a whole trove of new investigators who really look promising. Many of which are families. I´m so excited to work with them all. I remember knocking a few doors and having people hide. I said a quick prayer, something like this: "Heavenly Father, thou knowest that I´m just no good at this...please help us find somebody." Needless to say that my prayers were answered and I´m very, very grateful.

I was also feeling that I wasn´t making a great difference here in Ecuador and that my efforts to teach the gospel were only benefitting me. Nobody seemed to be progressing. I had to teach The Holy Ghost in Gospel Principles this week and I really tried to stress that the Godhead was one in proposito but were 3 separate persons. Yesterday a less active member told me that she was able to teach some of her neighbors of a different faith what she had learned and that they understood and seemed interested. It made me feel so much better that I was able to help somebody.

Rosy Parraga is also getting baptized. She was always an investigator that we kept on the back burner but now has a baptismal date for March. My companion and I realized that she didn´t really know anything about the gospel and so we had started everything over again. She has changed so much and I´m grateful that yet again I get to see how 5 simple lessons change peoples lifes. The gospel really does work miracles.

So that was my week in a nutshell, I´m very happy inspite of passing a few days without being dry...what with Carnaval and the rain. Torrential downpours, I love rain so much!!!

Hermana Whitney Tanner

Monday, February 8, 2010

Week 61

Friends and Family-

Thanks for all of your Birthday Wishes! I think more of you remembered than ever before. Le me tell you that I had a killer birthday, hands down best ever! It started out with my ward throwing me a surprise party! Yeah, who knew. It was pretty much the nicest thing anybody has ever done for me. All of my favorite members where there and I had 2 types of cake (chocolate and tres leche), bolitas de yuca and deditos con queso (can´t really explain what they are but they are really good). It was an all out party latin style and I wouldn´t have it any other way. I was serenaded all night and they stuffed my head into the cake.

I can´t believe that in a few months I´m going to have to say goodbye to all these wonderful people that I love so much, I won´t lie it´s starting to sink in and it hurts.

So in other cool things that I didn´t think would happen on my mission. We had a contacting activity in which we needed permission from the mayor of the city to use the local park. I got to contact the mayor. I have to say that in an unstable 3rd world country I thought the idea was pretty excited. Hugo Cruz Andrande was pretty intimidating but he gave us permission for Saturday! Unfortunately we got rained out hard-core and ended up having the activity in the church and only one person showed up. I can´t really blame the people though, it was pretty much a monsoon. I felt bad that all 22 Elders from Santo Domingo showed up just to help us out here in El Carmen!

Rocio Mero is still doing well, it looks like separation instead of a wedding in her case though. She didn´t really luck out with Clever (husband´s name) and I feel bad but she really wants to be baptized and it´s really time. She is also our new mamaita for Friday´s, she makes some really decent chicken and rice! They love the missionaries.

We are doing well and my companion is great, she is talking now which is a big relief for me and it turns out that she is a pretty great companion. I know that we are going to have a lot of success and fun together.

I love you all and have you in my prayers!

Hermana Whitney Tanner

ps. Apparently my camara has a virus and I can´t load pictures. Still working though I just don´t know how to get them on the web...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Week 60

Friends and Family-

I have to say that I am impressed! I have 23 emails this week from all of you wishing me a happy birthday! I just wanted to tell you all that I love you and am grateful that you all remembered. Sorry if I can´t respond to all of you but know that I´m thinking of you and will try to get back to you all a little later! I also completed 16 months in the mission today, it´s weirding me out, I got my trunky papers this week!

My companion and I are doing well. I think I´ve broken the ice a little bit. I think my being a gringa freaked her out a little bit, it does most people. She´s still what you call painfully shy, but at least she´s talking to me more. I´m working on eye-contact this week. We are doing really well together though, and she pretty much gives me free reign, I would like a little more imput from her she has some good ideas. It´s stange to have a companion who isn´t from Guatemala, she simply doesn´t understand my hatred for rice.

We have a great program going and so hopefully a lot of weddings for the month of February. Rosio Mero is one of our newest investigators, her sister and daughter are members and she was close to being baptized as well but her daughter doesn´t like her boyfriend so she didn´t get married. We will be talking to Alejandra (daughter) to get that all worked out. Lilian Mero is another sister who didn´t get married because she isn´t married. Also Vanessa who is the daughter-in-law of Maribel, who is a member, and has a lot of interest in the church. She also has to get married. I´m not joking when I say that nobody gets married here!

We are also teaching the Zambrano-Whitong family, Galo, Karina, Tais, and Adrianna. They are former investigators who left the font full. We formally asked them for the chance to prepare them for baptism again and they said yes. I´m not really sure what happened the first time. I asked Karina and she just told me it was Satan. Galo and Karina even got married to be baptized so I really don´t understand. I have a good feeling about them though.

We also knocked some doors this week and found Araseli Santana and Betty Leones, both accepted us into their homes and seem to be interested in our message. It was an answer to prayer that day because NOBODY wanted us! The Lord really does work in mysterious ways sometimes, I think it´s probably good to get rejected a few thousand times.

All my love from Ecuador,

Hermana Whitney Tanner

Monday, January 25, 2010

Week 59


Changes happened and I can´t believe that for the first time in my entire mission I am going to be staying in a sector and am receiving a new companion. My beloved Hermana del Aguila has gone to Ibarra! I will miss her dearly more than I think anybody realizes she has been my best and favorite companion by far.

I now have Hermana Alava, who is not from GUATEMALA! I´m shocked to say the least, and a little sad because I feel like Guate is a part of me now. My companion is from Ecuador and I actually feel a little sorry for her because we are about 4 hours from her house and she has 3 months in the mission field. I hope it won´t make her too homesick. I´m looking forward to our time. I think it might be a little bit of a challenge because she doesn´t talk much, but she seems nice enough.

Julio Cedeño is doing really well and turns out that he is quite the calling material, they gave him 2 pretty important callings this week and I know that he will be great for them both. He will be a Young Men´s Advisor and also one of the Ward Secretaries. I´m pretty proud of him. He also came to church this week in a shirt and tie and not the same ones as last week! People really can surprise you. He claims that he is allergic to ties, any advice to make them more comfortable?

El Carmen is doing really well, we are working a lot with less actives because the Ward (and Ecuador) is full of them. We really need them to come back to church and help the ward grow. They are really missing out too! We will be working really hard this week to find their houses…quite the feat, wish us luck!

Hermana Whitney Tanner

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Week 58

Friends and Family-

I hope you are all doing well back at home! I´m still doing great (I know it´s sounding repetative that I´m always doing so well, but it´s the truth and I can´t deny it) and loving my area.

The best news is that we had two baptisms this weekend. Julio Cedeño and Fabricio Ibarra. It was definitely an interesting baptismal service. Fabricio went first, he really is sort of a clown. I love him though and he is really good for a laugh. He has his girlfriend who is a member of the church and he is pretty obesessed with her, I think she probably is his biggest reason for being baptized, but he was ready. He´s left the font full in the past, I´m just glad he was ready sooner than later.

Phrases of Fabricio:

"Sister Tanner, I´m handsome right, you know I am?"
"I had to get baptized because God gave me so much beauty."
"He chupado la piña, la manzana, la naranja, hasta el banano" I can´t really translate that last one...but if you served here you´ll understand how funny it is.
"When I marry Angeley, I´m going to rent a car and drive all through El Carmen so that everybody can see who I married". He´s only sixteen years old.

The best part of the day was when Julio was baptized. He really was so ready and sooooooo nervous. His friends are still pulling some pretty nasty tricks and are really bothering him. The other day they locked him in the bathroom with a girl to try to tempt him. They all keep calling him "Brother Julio" and mocking him wherever he goes. I really admire his strength. Even his family is giving him grief, his father punched him in the face the day of his baptism. Not exactly a great home life. There are more girls folling him around than ever. I think he is my most tested and tried convert. One thing I´m sure of is that if there is anybody who can overcome all of this, it´s Julio.

After the ordenance was complete Julio dived back in the water! I´m pretty sure he took everything seriously though because he didn´t stop smiling after everything was finished. The next day Julio came to church in not only a white shirt and tie, but dress pants and dress shoes. He is also a worth priesthood holder! I´m so proud of him.

We are still looking for new investigators and have found some, but we are really hoping for some references from the members this week!


Hermana Whitney Tanner

Monday, January 11, 2010

Week 57

Amigos y Amados-

Everything is great in Ecaudor, I feel busy which is always a nice feeling!

This week has been great, we had zone conference which meant a lot of travel to Santo Domingo. President Sloan is still out of comission so it changed the chemistry a little. It´s not quite as fun, but we still get gigged up and inspired again. We really do have some great leaders and they work so hard for us.

The best news is the Julio Cedeño finally was able to get an interview with President Montoya (acting president of the mission) and we have a green light for his baptism. I´m so excited I can hardly stand it. I´ve never had an investigator so ready for the gospel. He may not know as much doctrine as others but he´s so incredibly prepared spiritually. I love that he feels the difference that the gospel brings. He said for the first time he can feel again. He is by far the best part of my days and weeks here in El Carmen. I´m literally bursting at the seams for Saturday when I get to see him all in white! Now I´ll have to work on getting him to go on a mission, he´s only 20 years old.

Fabricio Ibarra will also be getting baptized this weekend and he seems to be really excited too. He´s what they call a "little gift" in the mission because he wants to be baptized all on his own, no help from the missionaries or anybody else, makes it easy I guess! He has so many questions though, I´m not sure that we could answer them all if we spent every waking hour of every day with him...we are trying to get them all answered before baptism though!

We had 8 investigators in church this week! We usually only have about 3 so you can imagine how happy we were. We are getting a nice pool of new investigators and it is fun to be starting out with a bunch of new people. It´s like a clean slate all over again.

We are coming to the close of another transfer (just 2 more weeks) and I´m sure that I´ll be saying goodbye to my favorite companion La Hermana Del Águila, I don´t know what I´ll do without her! It has definitely been some of the happiest times of my mission! She´s been here six months though and it´s time for her to go.

Healthy and Happy in the Coast!

Hermana Whitney Tanner

Monday, January 4, 2010

Week 56

I am so glad the Holidays are me scrooge but after 4 days of not working I never want to see my apartment again. It is no fun when you can´t leave the house. We did have to leave New Years Eve for Santo Domingo for our district meeting. It was insane, and a lot different here in the coast. On the way back there were men dressed as women everywhere. We locked the doors and tried to get back to El Carmen as quickly as possible. You have to give them money or else they try to kiss you...not my idea of a great tradition, but what do I know. At midnight we took a peek and there were fireworks and burning muñecos (effigies) everywhere. I have to admit that it looked entertaining.

For New Years day we really just got stood up a lot, everything was closed and I have never seen so many empty bottles of alcohol in my entire life. I really can´t see the entertainment in drinking, call me naive but I just don´t see it. All of the women were soaking their feet from dancing so much.

Things are going really well though, we have a new investigator with a baptismal date! Fabricio he is a former investigator of my companion and he came to church the other day and said that he was ready to be baptized. I think it could have something to do with his member girlfriend but he really wants to do it.

Julio Cedeño is still doing great he is definitely one in a million. He told us that this was the first week he didn´t feel strange being at church. The first few times he came he said he couldn´t feel his hands and was so nervous that he couldn´t move. I guess it really freaked him out, he said that he could feel the spirit so strongly and was worried that he would burst into flames. Although I thought it was funny, I´m not sure I blame him for being a little worried, he has had a pretty tough life, poor guy.

President Sloan is still out of comission right now but our Zone Conference is coming up this week it should be sad without him. I really miss President Sloan, he is such a great motivator and he really loves us so much. He makes a big difference in all of our lives.


Hermana Whitney Tanner

Ps. I wanted to post pictures but the Ecuadorian Internet doesn´t want to work with me.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Week 55

Friends and Family-

Ecua-fact: Musical notes are not a, b, c, d, e, f, g in Latin America, they are: do, re, mi, fa, so, la, si, da. It is only slightly different than a sound of music, but I thought it was interesting.

I have gotten quite a few compliments on my blog lately...THANKS. I was not aware that people are actually reading about me. I will try to step it up for you guys, I feel as though I have been getting increasingly lazy with my blogging skills.
Christmas means things slow down a bit in the work of the Lord…or a screeching halt. As we are so close to so many great beaches our entire pool took off this week. It worked out though because my companion and I took an emergency trip to Quito to renew my Censo or my Ecuadorian card that says I legally live here. We took off pretty last minute Tuesday night for our 4 hour bus ride through the fog covered Andes. It still has not ceased to take my breath away. Even better now that we are in winter and there is constant fog and rain. The great part of the Quito trip was that we got to stay the night with Sister Groesbeck and her companion Hermana Bojorge (beau-hor-hey)! That is right! I was able to see the other Gringa! It was so nice to see a familiar face especially when we are the only 2 female North Americans in the entire mission and she just happens to be from my stake, good old Edgemont. We had a lot of fun together I was able to see a lot of the missionaries from my group in the MTC. I would have liked to post photos but the internet is a little sketchy and I am unable to. Next week.

For Christmas we were on lock-down. No leaving, contacting, or pretty much anything. It was needless to say pretty quiet but it was so nice to be able to talk to so many of you! Thank you for all the Christmas Wishes. I really appreciate that you remembered me.

We were able to get some work done. Mostly with members and less actives, new converts as well. Henrry and Yomaira are still doing really, they just seem so happy. Henrry had even purchased a new white shirt and pink tie for church this week, it was pretty cool that they really just progress by themselves.

Hermana Miriam was also a great help this week by loaning us her phone for Christmas, she is a member of about 28 years. She always helps us out more than anybody. She has 6 callings but somehow always finds the time to accompany us to our visits. We are really lucky to have her in the ward. She is also the best cook. YUMMMMMMMM, fried shrimp, verde frito, gapingachos (?), oh so good. She is such a great example for my companion and I because the majority of the members are not accepting callings right now.

On the downside, I pretty much spent the week speaking in English and it is affecting my Spanish speaking skills pretty fiercely. I have no idea what I will do when it is English all the time again.

Love Hermana Whitney Tanner or the Amazon Woman

Happy New Years

Monday, December 21, 2009

Week 54

Merry Christmas!

It´s been a good week and full of rain. We are also in Winter here in Ecuador and that just means a whole lot of rain. I have always loved the rain though and am not complaining, it also means that it´s not quite as hot here in the coast and that is a very good thing. On the other hand...Rain really brings out the mosquitos and they are biting.

It´s a bit difficult to catch people at home during the Christmas season but we aren´t doing too badly. We have been visiting Julio Cedeño everyday because he really needs daily contact. He had a bumpy week and slipped a little in the Word of Wisdom but he felt pretty bad about it. We really need to get him at a level where he trusts himself. He has really had a rough life and really wants out of it. With President Sloan out of duty we are going to need Salt Lake permission for his baptism, but I feel sure that it will come because if any of my converts have wanted a baptism, nobody as much as Julio.

Gabriela is still doing well, but can´t be baptized. We really need to work on Juan her boyfriend, I´m sure that he will come around though. Gabriela has had a good share of homework in the Book of Mormon so we decided that it was time that she read the entire book, she is getting along really well and understanding eveything.

Henrry Chila didn´t come to church this week (gggggrrrrrrrrrrr) but Yomaira says that he has a good excuse. Yomaira is still so happy to be a member, I think she really likes the clean feeling. Henrry has been gone all week, I´m sure he´s just busy with work. They both seem so much happier now.

Consuelo is our newest progressing investigator but it´s always hard to get her to attend church. She lives so far away and with 5 children it takes a lot out of her. I think next week we will swing by to pick her up. She says that she has always loved hymns and is really interested to see how the church is run. She always has so many questions and most of them are related to baptism. It´s nice to finally have her trust and that she will sit down and listen to us now!

Merly Giler (Hill-er) is another favorite of ours, we see her almost everyday when we make our daily calls because she works in the Cabina´s right next to our house. She´s a bit of a challenge to catch at home because she almost always forgets that we are coming. She really is interested though and says that we are able to answer a lot of her questions. She has a sister who is a less active member, Ligia (Lihea), who we will be working with too.

Merry Christmas from Ecuador, even though I´m miles away I love you all and wish you Happy Holidays with your families.

Hermana Whitney Tanner

Monday, December 14, 2009

Week 53

Ecua-Fact: Christmas isn´t all that big here but everybody hands out chocolates and cookies and candies. It´s more like Halloween than Christmas. You can buy pre-made candy bags and the local grocery store.

I feel like Couldn´t be Happier is becoming the slogan of my life here in El Carmen. I love it and the people more and more everyday. The best news is that after 6 weeks together my companion, Hermana del Águila, and I will be staying together for Christmas. I´m so happy and relieved to have my favorite companion for the Holidays.

Julio Cedeño is still really doing well and was able to come to church this week which is a pretty big sacrifice on his part. We are trying so hard to get him his second interview but with President Sloan on bedrest it is proving to be quite the difficult task. He finally decided to gift each of us a pair of his earrings and we are working on the other pairs. He also hasn´t been to the Discotecha in 3 weeks, I feel bad that he can´t dance but it´s better if he avoids the whole drug, alcohol, women scene because those are his biggest vices.

Gabriela Loor is also doing really well, she came to church this week on her own. We usually have to bring her, but this week she told us that she really felt that she needed to attend. We also found out why we have never been robbed in Union Popular where Gabriela lives. Turns out that Julio Cedeño and Gabriela used to be a couple and he told us that the reason nothing has ever happened to us there is because Gabriela´s brothers are pretty notorious for gang behavior. It´s pretty sweet that we have a protection order from Gabriela. Nobody can touch us in all of El Carmen. Sweet.

Henrry and Yomaira are also still doing really well and seem to be fitting in nicely in our small ward. Henrry recieved the Aaronic Priesthood this week and he seems so happy with Yomaira. They still have their ups and downs but seem to be working through things much better.

We are getting excited for Christmas here in Ecuador and hope that everybody back home has the Happiest of Holidays! Remember it´s all about Christ not the money ya spend.

Merry Christmas,

Hermana Whitney Tanner

Ps. I had the most amazing Encebollada for breakfast (ie. tomato fish soup with banana chips.......yummy, in a non-sarcastic way) I´m going to miss Ecuador.

Week 53 in Photos

We had changes and I get to stay with my favorite companion in my favorite sector for CHRISTMAS 2009.

Julio Cedeño...

Who finally caved and gave my companion and I his earrings!!! No we just have to get his other 18 pairs.

Gabriela Loor, I hate that nobody smiles in their photos here, she really is so beautiful. This photo doesn´t do her justice.

Bridgit, Gabriela´s new little girl.

This is Diego, he´s a very terrible toddler, always crying. He is super blonde, and blue-eyed, and trying to quit diapers.