From the moment Karlie announced that she planned to serve a mission, I couldn't wait to be in charge of her blog, facebook, instagram, scrapbooks, etc. Growing up, when Missionaries left, you barely heard a word about them for 2 years. Sometimes there would be an occasional update, or a picture every few months, but that was it. With Sister Tanner's love of Fashion and Media, it only felt normal that we would try to incorporate all of those things into her mission. She has been amazing at sending home stories, pictures, videos, emails, and USB cards full of exciting moments. With all of her help, I have been able to share all these wonderful moments with you all! For those of you who were able to attend the Missionary Broadcast this past Sunday, you will know that the internet, and social media is going to become more incorporated into missions, and the way that Missionaries share the gospel. Through the internet, you can reach and share the gospel with more people. I feel so blessed to be able to share Sister Tanner's wonderful experiences with so many of you through her blog, facebook, instagram, etc. It has already opened so many missionary moments, and I hope it will continue to do so.
Sister Tanner's week was amazing as usual. On Tuesday, the Sisters started their week with the last district meeting before transfers (this week.) Sister Newton and Sister Tanner performed a duet of "Be Still My Soul." Such a beautiful harmony from these Sisters!
Watch their Performance clip here.
Afterwards, they taught a lesson and showed Holland's "Lord I Believe" talk to one of their investigators and an inactive family. They all loved it! Sister Tanner said, "It's amazing how strong investigators can feel the spirit through hearing his words through the internet."
On Wednesday, the Sisters received their first media referral. They visited her at her home. She is getting married! Although she didn't attend church, I'm sure the visit from the Sisters still meant a lot to her. The following day, the Sisters were on edge. They knew the Mission President would be calling and making transfer calls that day. When the Sister's phone rang, it was the Mission Office calling to congratulate Sister Tanner on graduating! Thursday June 20, 2013 was her graduation at FIDM. Although she was not present, she was there in spirit. Everyone is so proud of her accomplishments, including the Mission home. At first, Sister Tanner was confused and had forgotten all about her graduation. When she finally caught on, she almost cried! She was so happy! The mission home call included telling Sister Tanner that they "have big plans for her". How amazing!
That same day, they were able to set up an appointment to teach a couple that they have been wanting to continue to teach. They cannot wait to teach them!
Friday, the Sisters were able to do service for a lady in their branch. On their way, they pulled over to save a turtle that was in the road. It was a pretty big turtle! They moved it so it would not get hit by a car. After the turtle snapped at Sister Tanner, a lady who lived nearby came and started to chat with them. She had been watching the Sisters help the turtle, and wanted to talk to them. Sister Tanner said, "It's amazing how little acts of kindness from saving a turtle can soften people's hearts. She thought we were so sweet for saving the turtle and we were able to talk with her a little about the church!"
Saturday, the Sisters received a call from their training leaders who said that the President had made his last phone call. This meant that Sister Tanner and Sister Newton were staying in Prairie du Chien together as companions! They said a prayer and thanked Heavenly Father. Then they made Gluten Free cookies, and had themselves a little dance party! Right after this, they received a text with the transfer names on it. Sister Newton's name was on the list! =( The Sisters are very sad, as they have become best friends and quite the dynamic missionary duo! Sister Tanner will be staying in Prairie du Chien and receive a new companion this week during transfers. She said, "Heavenly Father probably knew we get along way too well and so he needs to put us with other companions to help them. I love Sister Newton so much, and she's sad to leave because she's been here her whole mission so far. So pray for each of us." The Sisters will miss each other very much, but they trust that the Lord knows what is best for them. Sister Tanner feels so blessed to have started her mission with such an amazing companion, who is now a friend for life.
Despite the Sister's sadness, they pulled themselves together and went and taught a lesson on tithing to their investigators who just got married, and will be getting baptized this coming week. The Sisters performed "How Great Thou Art" to them after the lesson. They were going to sing at the baptism, but Sister Newton will be transferred before then. It was so special for them to be able to sing for their investigators who have been so touched by them.
That night, the Sisters went tracting despite the thunder and lightning outside. They continued to knock on doors, and each time people would tell them that they shouldn't be outside. As they headed home, they ended up finding 3 different people to teach short lessons to. They found a lot of potential, and were so happy. Just as they made it home, it began to downpour. The Sisters have such faith and dedication, that the crazy Wisconsin weather never stops them from trying their hardest. They even ended the night by seeing fireflies! It was a first for Sister Tanner.
On Sunday, they taught their investigator who is being baptized, his final lesson. His only concern was that he doesn't know what the prophet looks like. He was scared that if he saw him walking down the street, he wouldn't recognize him. =) He is so ready for baptism. Him and his wife were just married! The Sisters explained that they were married "until death do us part", but in a year or so they can go to the temple to be sealed "for time and all eternity." They told the Sisters that eternity and the temple is their goal, and they can't wait for that. It's amazing how much Sister Tanner and her companion have changed this couple's life. Sister Tanner said, "I can't believe I had the opportunity to teach **** from start to baptism. It's truly a blessing." The wife (who is a reactivated member) wrote the Sisters cards and thanked them for changing their lives. Sister Tanner explains, "It's not us, it's the spirit. This is the Lord's work and I am just lucky enough to be the instrument in His hands to do His work. It's truly a blessing!"
Sister Tanner is working miracles out there in Prairie du Chien. She's working so hard, and putting her heart into every minute of this amazing work. She is truly an inspiration to myself and to so many others out there! I'll leave you with her testimony this week. "I love each of you so much. I encourage you to do all you can to be a member missionary and help the full-time missionaries in your area. This work is hastening and the Lord needs your help as well. Invite your friends to church, talk with everyone you can. I cannot wait to be a member missionary when I come home from my mission. I feel soooo much more confident to talk to my friends about the gospel and invite them to come unto Christ. That's what we should all strive to be doing in these last days. Continue to read the scriptures and pray everyday. I love you all."
NEW MISSION OFFICE ADDRESS
7111 W Edgerton Ave Ste 100
Greenfield, WI 53220
(The old address is no longer in use for the Mission home.)