Elder Tanner Brooksby

Elder Tanner Brooksby
Rancho Cucamunga California Mission is getting one great missionary! Tanner has chosen to serve the Lord by giving 2 years of his life to dedicate his heart to testifying of the Savior. Thank You Elder Brooksby! We are so proud of you.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Is it the Fourth Chapter Already? Aug 29th 2016

Hello and goodbye! (Except that last part is wrong.)

Folks, I have an announcement to make. It has been a month since I stepped through the doors of the MTC and put on my nametag. Time has flown!

Something my trainer tells me often, and something I've been working really hard on, is the taking of things one day at a time. Sometimes I get caught up in looking too far forward and missing the awesome stuff that's going on around me, so I've been practicing with just taking things as they come, and viewing life in todays, tomorrows, and yesterdays. We learn from yesterday, plan for tomorrow, and live in today :)

Funny story! So me and my companion share the Rancho Park ward with another set of Elders, and so when people sign up for dinners they either feed one set or both sets. On Saturday Elder Croft and I were doing studies when we got a text that the dinner for that night (One we had planned on) was only going to feed the other Elders. We were like, "Naw, what??? No food???" But we soldiered on like good missionaries, and eventually found ourselves at the home of the ward mission leader. While we were visiting he was like, "Do you guys have a dinner?" And we were like, "Nooo...." And he was like, "Then you're eating with us tonight!" And we were like, "YESSS!!!"

It was a good time. Someday we will get revenge on the other Elders. Someday.

A somewhat more spiritual experience occurred this Sunday that I think is cool :) So on Sunday we can't do our studies in the morning when we usually do because of church, so we do them in the afternoon instead. This afternoon, however, we weren't able to do companionship study either! So when we got back to the apartment that night we had a choice. We could either do our missed studies then and then go out, or go out and visit people and do our studies later on. We decided to visit people, and we got to a less actives house right as she was doing some yard work she needed help with! We got to have an awesome visit and thought, and we would have missed that chance had we studied instead.
Sometimes the Lord leads us down unknown paths, and we just have to take a chance. But I've seen consistently through my time on the mission that the Lord provides tiny, everyday miracles for us, if we are willing to be led by His Spirit to find them ;)

I love you all, and I hope you are all doing as awesomly as I feel all the time out here.
Goodbye for real this time,
Elder Brooksby the III  

The Chapter In Which Everything Goes Wrong, Very Quickly, OR, Chapter Three August 24th 2016

Hello to everyone who is reading this! Hello to everyone who is not! Hello in general!

Firstly, my P-day is normally Monday. It just so happened that my first P-day in the mission was a temple P-day! So don't get used to this, because it's not the usual ;) (I'm in the Redlands temple district, BTW)

So I'm sure you are all wondering why I have so direly named this email. Tis a fun story that I will explain in detail! So, ship out of the MTC on Monday the 15 feeling pretty ill, but not TOO ill. A whole bunch of guys had gotten sick in the MTC a few days before and recovered quickly, so I wasn't worried. Got to the mission and met President Taylor (Who is only a month more experienced than I am) and went to the mission office, which is a church building in Rancho proper. I was feeling pretty bad now, to the point where I wasn't able to eat anything at dinner at all. After dinner we drove to some random ZL's apartment to stay the night. It went okay, except I threw up the next morning. Water. All that I'd been taking into my body was water. So I was throwing up WATER.
It was no fun.
I then spent the next couple days fighting off this illness whilst my trainer, Elder Croft, did his best to prop me up and get me to all of the places we needed to be. It was a gnarly time! And now he is sick. (Not with my illness, mind you.)

Okay! So death story aside, here are some helpful facts about Elder Brooksby's RC Mission Extravaganza.
1. California is hot.
2. ???

I've been too sick to do much actual missionary work, so though I've been here for a week and a half, I've only taught one lesson, and that was to a less active :) Me and Elder Croft whitewashed into a biking area called Rancho Park B, so I'm in the valley! Elder Croft's also been in Big Bear for the past 7 months, and Hisperia (A desert area) before that, so he's new to the valley as well. We are both sick newbies, still learning to walk in this strange, orange scented, Spanish speaking world. Rancho Park B is in Ontario, for those who care about exact locations, and we are so close to the airport that we can hear planes taking off all the time. We are on the extreme western edge of the mission, so much so that me and Elder Croft, along with our wardmates in RPA, wandered into another mission looking for a drugstore :D

But enough about woes! I have learned a great deal that I would wish to share with you all.
It's hard to be sick. It's especially hard to be sick on your mission, where you are told that work is the most valuable thing you can do. I struggled for a while with the idea that I had of what I had to be doing to be successful on my mission, and the Lord really taught me humility and patience. Work is good, yes. Teaching is good too. But the Lord knew I wouldn't be able to do either of those things these past few days, and taught me that it doesn't matter what you are doing, as long as you know that it is what the Lord would have you do. Don't run faster than you have strength, simply because you see marathon runners outside. Wait for the opportunities the Lord provides, and don't let up once you've begun. It'll all work out in the end :)

All right! I love you all, and I'm looking forward to writing you again soon! Pray for me and Elder Croft, because he's awesome and he needs it.

Don't every let Satan tell you who you are, because all he knows is how to lie. Listen to your Father and Brother! They know you, and where you are going!

With all the brownies in the mission, I wish you all a good Christmas!
Elder Brooksby the III

Chapter Number Two! August 10th 2016

Much salubrations, esteemed Romans!

It is now my last P-Day in the MTC.

I'm not kidding, I feel like I first walked in here yesterday, and now I'll be in California in less than a week. My teacher, Brother Armstrong, said that "Every day feels like a week and every week feels like a day" and I quite agree.

Speaking of leaving the MTC, I am the travel leader for all 21 missionaries heading to RC. Some, like my companion for instance, have never flown before because they are Utah kids and have never left the country before. So yes, I will be herding a flock of new missionaries through an airport next Monday. Good thing i have practice child wrangling!

Okay, so our classroom has this space on the whiteboard that we use for quotes, just for fun. 90% of the quotes up there are mine. I've never actually written on the quote section myself. Every time I speak it's just like, "On the quote board it goes!" and I'm like, 'No! That wasn't even that good!" but they do it anyway.
We got to hear from Elder Neil L Anderson! It was a world wide MTC broadcast from the Provo MTC on Tuesday, and he was the speaker. He talked a lot about how the elect of God are not easy to find, and how some in some missions we are fishers of men and in others we are hunters. I'll let you figure out the difference :D He also spoke about how we shouldn't let our flame of faith flicker just because the work moves slowly sometimes. I like the flame analogy, but I think my faith is a bit more like a garden of my soul. Sometimes it rains heavy downpours that water the whole garden, but other times I must water each plant by hand. Either way, I don't intend to let my garden shrivel and die. To be honest, I'm dying to be sent some where that they haven't baptized in WEEKS! It'll be so great to be trained in the worst of circumstances so that I can fully appreciate the good ones :)
I figure that's how it is with life, too. Sometimes it rains, sometimes it doesn't, and it's our job to make the most of what we're given.

Thus far I think I've gotten the least mail out of everyone in my district. *Hint hint* Not that I'm really dying for mail, but it would be nice.
Some words of advice for anyone going into the MTC anytime soon! I tried a sip of the orange juice, and it didn't seem off to me, but that's just me. Be careful around juices. Tricky things, they are. Also! Don't worry if you don't learn it all at once, or if your teacher is so good that they make you feel like you'll never measure up. They had two years to learn, plus whatever time they've spent teaching, and you'll only have a few weeks if you're going stateside like me. Don't hold yourself to impossibly high standards, because it'll only make you sad to constantly fall short. I had to learn that lesson the hard way :D

So! To close, I will quote myself. "Various screaming noises from Elder Brooksby." You may think I'm kidding, but I am not.

Tally ho, good men of Greece! This chapter of the story closes, but the next one comes forthwith!

Love ya all, even the ones I don't! (Pssst, that's nobody, by the way.)
Elder Brooksby the III

Thursday, August 4, 2016

So begins the epic of Elder Brooksby the III.

And it begins with a CRAZY first week at the MTC! Seriously, things here are so busy, 24/7. I halfway believe that they conspire to make the MTC as stressful as possible so that you get to the mission field and go, "Huh. It's so... Quiet."
Be that as it may, though, I'm still having a great time! My first companion, Elder Matthews, is really great. He's shorter than me, so there's that :D We balance each other out quite nicely, because I talk a lot and he likes keeping quiet most of the time.
So I suppose this is gonna sound canned, but my District is totes fab. All of us are really putting in 100% to get to know our purpose but we always have time for a laugh. Mom, the cat shirt is a big hit with everyone ;D
I've never been so tired as I've been this week. Is that just sort of a missionary thing? You're just in a constant state of being tired until you go home? I don't know whether to want that or not.
Alright, sub-chapter time. So me and Elder Matthews were stopping by the bathroom after dinner when we heard a faintly familiar tune. It sounded, and I kid you not, like someone was playing "Halleluja" on a kazoo in the bathroom stall. Another Elder (I assume his companion) was singing softly along. It was so surreal.
Oh! I had a ghost room! The first day me and my host wandered around the residency halls for a while because the room on my paper didn't exist. Turns out that that was ma' classroom number.
Okay, jokes and funny stories aside, it's been a difficult few days. I've questioned more in a week than I've ever questioned before. But I've also gotten some much needed answers, and I'd like to share one of those answers with all of you now.
For a while I've been wondering why exactly the Atonement was so central to everything in the gospel, and specifically why it mattered so much to me. I knew that it was impossible to return to heaven without it, but other than it's power to redeem sins, I just didn't get what it did. Then, on Sundaywhile I was watching Character of Christ by Elder Bednar (Fabulous talk, by the way), I found my answer. The Atonement mattered because it is the only way for us to improve, to become more than we are today. While I was talking to an investigator I made the comparison between sunlight and starlight, and how you can't live in starlight your whole life and then just walk out into the sun without being badly hurt by its brightness. The Atonement lets us, who are star people, become sun people. Without it, we would all be in the dark :)
Another thing I've learned is that Elders are silly sometimes! The other Elders in our district (Who are going to Las Vegas West, I know, way cool) stole our chairs and bunk bed ladders and hid them, then pretended like they didn't know anything about it. My comp pointed out that they were gone; I doubt I would have noticed until I tried to get into bed and had to jump up the bars. I was pretty chill about it, but a few of the elders in our room got a little hungry for revenge. I'm staying out of it, but I'll keep you guys posted ;)
You know what I'm grateful for? Having a large lamily, because I know how to live with lots of people, and also how to entertain large groups. It's been an invaluble skill to have here.My imagination is great, too. So far, my current quote on the whiteboard in the classroom is, "She could believe that God is a chicken."

On that note, I need to sign off for now, close this chapter in the story. But now is not the end! I will write again soon!
Love you all! The church is true! God is not a chicken! Kazoos are cool!

Love, Elder Brooksby the III

P.S: Anyone that didn't get this email didn't get it because I didn't send it to them. This is most likely because I don't have their email. Please remedy this problem as soon as possible, and preferebly by dragon messenger.