Monday, June 24, 2013

Be Still My Soul

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."
District Meeting
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."
7111 W Edgerton Ave Ste 100
Greenfield, WI 53220
(The old address is no longer in use for the Mission home.)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Green Bay Packers and Dallin H Oaks!

As every week, this was an amazing and memorable one for Sister Tanner. It was hard to get thru her email this week without tears of joy rolling down my cheeks. I hope you feel her love and joy of the Gospel as you read this.
Tuesday was the District Meeting for the Missionaries. They got to know the Elders a lot better this time. It was also their last time with their District Leader. Transfers are in one week, and he goes home after that. It was sad to say goodbye. Also, on Tuesday the Sisters saw 2 turtles just walking down the street in Prairie du Chien. Sister Tanner says this city really is "Snow White Land."
Snow White lawn gnomes.
Wednesday, Prairie du Chien had another tornado warning. The Sisters didn't even know, until their appointment they had was canceled due to the weather. However, this did not stop them! They contacted people close to their apartment, in case they had to run home quickly during the storm! During this time, they ended up having 2 much needed lessons. They visited a couple they had been talking with. They are going thru a hard time, and spilled their lives to the Sisters. They really needed them. They want to read the Book of Mormon and pray for answers. How amazing! They also met with a sweet lady who runs a daycare. The Sisters have been doing service for her, and trying to teach her. She loves them so much! They had a very emotional lesson, and she agreed to hearing more about the gospel. Sister Tanner said, "We learned that the spirit makes people spill their guts. The spirit makes people feel comfortable and vulnerable enough to tell us their concerns. It's crazy, but its truly a blessing that here we are sitting in these stranger's living rooms being told everything that they've gone through in their lives and we have all the answers they've been searching for. We have the one thing that will bring them happiness, it's the gospel.I just feel so privileged to be the one to bring that to these people's painful lives. Life is hard, but its even harder without the gospel and everyday I am more and more grateful to have been able to grow up with the gospel, because I don't know what I'd do without it."
On Thursday, the Sisters taught 2 lessons. They taught the couple, whom the man is being baptized! They taught them the Plan of Salvation. They also visited a 91 year old inactive lady who is just the sweetest! Sister Tanner was told how "bizarre" and "strange" her hair was, by another woman who was at the home. Apparently, she was wearing it in a topknot bun. =)
The following day, Friday, the Sisters taught the couple who is getting baptized again. This time it was about the Law of Chastity. The Sisters knew that this couple was not legally married, so they were nervous about teaching them this subject. The lesson ended with them agreeing to live the law of Chastity, and also with wedding planning! They decided to get married! The wedding will be this weekend, and the baptism is next week! It touches my heart knowing what an impact Sister Tanner is making on the lives of the people in this small town. The light of God's love is truly shining thru her.
Saturday was, "the best day ever!" The Sisters were up at 3:30AM to drive to Appleton, WI for Mission Conference! The lack of sleep was definitely worth it, because she was able to shake Dallin H. Oak's hand!
Mission Conference
Zoomed in. Dallin H. Oaks is on the left in the middle row. Sister Tanner is above them, on the far right!
 Along with Dallin H. Oaks was 4 General Authorities Elder Wark, Elder Funk, Elder Neilson, and Elder Clayton from the 70! It was such a blessing for Sister Tanner to be able to hear an apostle speak directly to her. She says Elder Oaks is hilarious, and exactly how she pictures President Tanner to be like in 30 years. He mainly talked about Missionary work, and how in these last days, we need to devote our whole selves to do the Lord's work. He also talked about how their missions not only will effect other people's lives for generations, but it will effect their own lives and the lives of their future children. Even if they only baptize 1 person their entire mission, that 1 person's entire life choices will be changed for the better. And for generations they will have impacted hundreds of lives just from that 1 person. How powerful to look at Missionary work that way! Sister Tanner said, "What a marvelous calling and opportunity I have! I am so very grateful for my decision to serve. I know that it will bless my life in more ways than I can see now, but I know that my mission has already made me have a desire to be a better person. I want to be more Christlike and I can feel myself aligning my desires with the Lords'. It's been such a blessing to have this calling. I am so grateful for the Lord directing me and helping me through every moment of the day. This is HIS work and I am just the tool to help this gospel be shared with the people of Wisconsin. This work would NOT be possible without my full reliance on Him and my trust in the Lord."
Sister Tanner's testimony is growing every day! It's amazing that she was able to hear Dallin H Oaks speak, and feel so proud of the work she is doing. Mission Conference ended with the Mission President and his wife speaking. It was very sad, because they are getting a new Mission President this coming week during transfers. This was their last time speaking to them.
On the way back from Appleton, the Sisters had the opportunity to visit LAMBEAU field, where the Green Bay Packers play! How exciting! Sister Tanner even got a jersey to represent!
Lambeau Field
What an exciting and fulfilling week Sister Tanner has had! In closing, I'll leave you with part of her testimony she sent us this week. I hope it touches your heart like it did mine.
"I wanted to share with each of you how much my testimony of the Book of Mormon has grown. I am in Alma, and I seriously want to cry when our study time is over and I have to stop reading. I have never in my life had this strong of a desire and love to read the scriptures. I can't put them down. The Book of Mormon has all the answers and I am so grateful for them in my life. I know they are the true words of God and tools for us to gain better knowledge of the things we need to do to prepare to meet Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the personal revelation I gain when I read everyday. I challenge each of you to pray before and after you read. Pray for a better understanding and to gain the revelation you need or to find the answers to your prayers. I promise you, it will happen. Read the scriptures every chance you get. If you are having a bad day or struggling with something, turn to the scriptures. They have the answers! I love them! "
"I am so blessed to have such an amazing family. I feel your prayers on my behalf and I am so grateful for the strength and courage they bring me. Thank you for all supporting me on this journey. It's the best decision I ever made in my life. I love being a missionary!!!! =)"
Sister Tanner and her companion Sister Newton
"Arise and shine forth, let us add to the flame that burns brightly in hearts that bear his name."
"And this torch that's a standard for the nations all to see"
"Is the light of the world"
"Shining through me!"
Fashionably trekking through Prairie du Chien
Achievement Day girls photoshoot from a few weeks ago.
Sister's apartment

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Taking the Lead

Sister Tanner started off her week with Zone Conference in Madison, WI. She had such a great time, and got to see many of her missionary friends from the MTC. After Zone Conference, it was time for Missionary Exchange. Usually the Junior Companion (Karlie), goes to the new area with a Senior Missionary, and vise versa. Instead, they did it the opposite this time. Sister Tanner, and a different Missionary went back to Prairie du Chien. The new Sister had never been to the area before, so Sister Tanner lead the way. She drove them back, and showed her around. Meanwhile, Sister Newton (Karlie's companion) stayed in Madison with another Sister. Sister Tanner was so nervous to be "taking the lead with everything" for the first time. She did amazing though! Fortunately, they have a device called TiWi. It is an electronic for your car that will yell at you if you are going over the speed limit, or driving aggressively. If you listen to the device you won't get "Yellow Dotted." If you receive a yellow dot, you lose your driving privileges while on your mission. Anyone who knows Sister Tanner well, will know this device is a necessity in her life! =)
During the missionary exchange, Sister Tanner learned a lot. Being with a new missionary made things very different, and at times more challenging. These challenges however, help her grow more every day. She realized how grateful she is to have such an amazing companion, Sister Newton. They have so much fun together, laugh, sing, and find the joy in everything they do, while being obedient and working hard. Sister Tanner says they will be best friends even after their missions are over. Sister Newton is such a loving and kind person. They are both so lucky to be each other's companions.
During Sister Tanner's time with the new missionary, they were able to tract and find a new investigator, and a potential investigator! They both seemed very interested in the church. Sister Tanner even has a lesson with one of them this week! How exciting!
After the missionary exchange ended, Sister Tanner drove back to Madison, WI. The new missionary that she had been working with complimented her on what a strong missionary she is. She couldn't believe she has only been in the field 3 short weeks. The entire experience really boosted her confidence in herself as a missionary. She is so excited for everything to come! The Zone Conference and Missionary Exchange even closed with exciting news! The Stake President announced that DALLIN H. OAKS is the apostle coming this Saturday! He will be speaking at the All Mission Meeting in their area.

This is amazing news! Sister Tanner cannot wait to meet him and hear him speak! It was also announced that in the next transfer there will be MANY new Sister Missionaries coming to their Mission District. This means that some of the Sisters will be trainers even after just 6 weeks of being in the field. Sister Tanner thinks this may be why she was asked to go back to Prairie du Chien on her exchange and "take the lead" this week. Maybe she will be one of those Sisters who will be trainers very soon!
On Friday, Sister Tanner and Sister Newton taught 2 lessons to different investigators. At one of the lessons, the couple invited the Jehovah Witnesses over so that they could "Bible Bash" with one another. Luckily, Sister Tanner's dad has "bible bashed" with the Jehovah Witnesses a few times growing up at the Tanner home. So this came as no surprise, and didn't scare her at all! She taught the Restoration to them, and the entire home was filled with the spirit. The woman even cried because she was so touched by the spirit. She is even going to start reading the Book of Mormon. Sister Tanner and Sister Newton taught so well together, and were completely in synch with one another.
On Saturday, the Sisters made a cute dinner calendar in hopes of getting a dinner once in awhile! They put Enos 1:4 on the calendar which reads, "And my soul hungered and we knelt down before our members and we cried unto them in mighty hunger and we did desire to teach them." On Sunday, everyone laughed at how cute the calendar was! Also on Sunday, 5 investigators came to church! How exciting! The Sisters are really working hard out there. In church, they taught about the new familysearch website. One of the investigators was so impressed with it! He even logged in and found out that his Grandfather's temple work is already all done. He can't wait to learn more with the new website!
Sister Tanner has grown so much this week, and we are all so proud of her. She says thank you to everyone for all the supportive letters and emails. She loves each and every one of you!
Program from the Prairie du Chien Branch, representing the Sacramento Temple for Sister Tanner.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


What an exciting week Sister Tanner has had! It amazes me at what she has accomplished in such a short period of time.  She says, "This is probably the best week so far on my mission." On Wednesday, she braved her first tornado! It hit the small town of Prairie du Chien. Luckily, the Sisters were out of town at a district meeting when it occurred. She said that she has never seen weather so scary in her life. That night, they came back to their apartment and saw the entire street torn apart. Trees had fallen over on homes, leaving many destroyed. The tornado had come right through their street, and lifted right before her apartment complex. The lord must have been protecting them! The following day, they helped as many people as they could. They moved branches, helped with yards, and shared the gospel with many people whom they never would have otherwise been able to talk to. The lord really does work in mysterious ways. Apparently, this is the worst tornado the town has ever seen. Sister Tanner was even able to save a few baby birds that were hidden in a fallen tree.
Friday was a very special day for Sister Tanner. She met with a couple whom the woman is an inactive, and her significant other is investigating. She taught them about the restoration, and they were truly engaged. The man committed to baptism on June 29th. Sister Tanner said, "He is like a sponge and just soaks everything in that we tell him. He had read the BOM before our lesson and had a few questions on how the church started and we were like, 'that's exactly what were going to talk about today'. He's so excited to get baptized." It is amazing how much she is touching other people's lives.
Saturday, the sisters had their very first dinner appointment! How happy and thankful they were! Things are definitely different than in California. The Sister Missionaries clean up and do dishes after their dinner. They did not mind, and probably would have cleaned the entire house. They were so grateful for the yummy pot roast and potatoes.
This Sunday was fast Sunday, and Sister Tanner's best day on her mission so far. She was able to fast, and bear her testimony. It was amazing for her to hear the branch members testimonies. Two of them even bore their testimonies about the Sister Missionaries. How special! Sister Tanner was able to read the June Ensign. It is all about Families this month. She encourages everyone to read it! There is a specific talk  by James E. Faust titled, "Dear Are The Sheep That Have Wandered." She encourages parents to read it. It's an amazing talk! "To those brokenhearted parents who have been righteous, diligent, and prayerful in the teaching of their disobedient children, we say to you, the Good Shepherd is watching over them." -James E Faust.
Sister Tanner and her companion met an amazing family on Sunday night, while outside. They loved the Sisters, and agreed to attend church next Sunday. They were even excited about what they could bring for the potluck afterwards. Sister Tanner kept telling herself, "I love being a missionary." "It was a great day to be a missionary. I absolutely LOVE this work. Yes, there are hard days where we see no success in our tracting or contacting efforts. We start to question if we are being the best missionaries we can be and then there are days like yesterday, or when *** (name not used) accepted to be baptized that makes every door we tract that seems pointless, it makes it all worth it. I am so grateful for the opportunity to do the lord's work, especially now. I know there is a reason I am here, with Sister Newton and in Prairie du Chien. The Lord needs us here together right now. I feel so privileged to have the time we get to study the scriptures everyday. I have learned more than I ever have this time reading the BOM (Book of Mormon). I have grown such a strong testimony that every word I read is true. And every word is written for us and to guide us today. I am so grateful for the BOM and the strong spirit that is always there every time we read from it with our investigators or tracting."
Sister Tanner is so exciting for the coming week! She has Zone Conference, and Missionary exchange. She also has her 6 week training on Wednesday, even though she hasn't been out 6 weeks! In a few weeks, it will be Mission Conference. One of the 12 Apostles is coming, and she gets to meet him! Can't wait to find out who it will be!
Sister Tanner is so grateful for all of your prayers. She feels the blessings of them every day! What a wonderful week it has been for her!