Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Zone Conference and Chiggers!?

Staying with the Senior Missionary couple, is something Sister Tanner loves! They started their week out by sleeping over at their home on Monday. They are a "hoot", as Sister Tanner puts it. She just loves them so much! Staying over at their house meant they were much closer to Zone Conference, which was Tuesday morning. This was the first Zone Conference of Sister Tanner's mission! The Mission President taught a training on the Atonement. His wife also spoke about it as well. Sister Tanner said it was powerful and spiritual. Something Sister Tanner learned was, "Even if we are good people, the Atonement can help us become even better and we have to pray for strength to change our circumstances and not pray for our circumstances to change." What a powerful message!

Madison Zone

Sister Tanner and fellow Sisters at Zone Conference.

After Zone Conference, the Senior Missionary couple drove the Sisters back. They took them out for ice cream, and showed Sister Tanner how to check her oil and tire pressure. She has learned more about cars on her mission than ever before!

Learning all about cars!

Wednesday started off with role playing of Preach My Gospel. The Sisters practiced how to begin teaching bullet points from it. After this, they had a lesson with the young man whom they have been teaching. He even bought the Sisters gluten free pizza for dinner. How sweet! The Sisters taught him about how the Book of Mormon is like our Liahona. He had even read 2 chapters from the last week! He opened up to the Sisters about feeling alone trying to do the right thing. That no one around him is on that path. Sister Tanner taught him that through Christ, we never have to feel alone. They plan on teaching him more about that during this coming week. The night ended after that with a game of ping pong. The Sisters ALMOST won! He beat them by 1 point! So close!
Thursday the Sisters experienced a bit of rejection and anger from the people they came across. Being the leader that Sister Tanner is, she comforted her companion through this rough patch. Experiencing this is never easy, but Sister Tanner read her John 15: 17-21. These scriptures are about how people hated Jesus. She taught her companion how people will also hate them, because they represent Jesus. Sister Tanner is so strong, and never lets those type of people get to her!
On Friday, the Sisters decided to fast to help them find others to teach. The strength of these missionaries is truly miraculous. Their hard work paid off and they found a new investigator! So wonderful! That night however, Sister Tanner found out she has Chiggers. One of the men in the ward is a doctor, and told her what she thought has been bad mosquito bites is actually Chiggers. They are microscopic bugs that burro under your skin. They are similar to ticks, but come many at a time. Luckily she found out what it was, and she is healing now!
This explains why we have never heard of Chiggers.
Saturday was the Pioneer activity! The turnout was amazing. One of the women in the branch had 2 of her nonmember friend's come. That's 2 families! Sister Tanner said how wonderful it was to get to know them, and she hopes they can meet with both families soon! She had a wonderful time at the activity! She got a bad sunburn, but seemed excited about actually getting sun!
Sunday is always Sister Tanner's favorite day. Church was amazing, and afterwards they had a lesson with one of the investigating couples. The Sisters invited them to be baptized! The couple was confused as to why they need to be baptized again. The Sisters taught them about the Priesthood and asked them to pray about it. She is so excited for their answer, and cannot wait!
Sister Tanner is a natural born leader. Her faith, courage, confidence, enthusiasm, and determination are all traits that have made her an amazing missionary! She is touching so many lives, and bringing happiness to all those around her and all of us back home who are following her journey. The lessons she teaches there, are all lessons we can learn from. She ends with this piece of advice, "Keep holding strong to the rod and continue to increase your faith!" She wishes everyone well, and loves you all so much!


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Focusing on the Members

Sister Tanner started off her week by focusing on creating spiritual experiences for everyone. Investigators, less actives, members, and everyone they come across deserve the spirit that the Sisters have to share. Doing so has brought them so many tender mercies this week. They are starting to see the fruits of their hard work start to blossom. What an amazing feeling that must be! On Tuesday, the Sisters headed off to their District Meeting. While there, everyone had the opportunity to bear their testimonies of the Book of Mormon. What perfect timing, as Sister Tanner had just finished reading the BOM again. Her testimony of it has grown even stronger, and now she was able to share that with all the other Missionaries. She said how amazing the meeting was, and how strong the spirit was. Afterwards, they had dinner with a couple. They were able to continue reading the Book of Mormon with them. The husband asked questions about baptisms for the dead, and showed a strong desire to do that work himself. He would love to go to the Salt Lake Temple! That is one of his dreams, and he finds it so exciting that Sister Tanner has been inside of that temple. The sweet couple is progressing so much in the Gospel. Sister Tanner says that the spirit is definitely strong in their home now.
Sister Missionary hair.

Wednesday morning was spent volunteering at the Bargain Boutique. Sister Tanner was able to price purses, which she loved! The owners always have so many questions for her, and need her advice for the visuals and the pricing. Sister Tanner always loves being able to use her fashion skills!

After their day at the Bargain Boutique was over, the Sisters had a lesson with their inactive member whom they have been teaching. Sister Tanner says it was the best lesson she has taught on her mission so far. It was completely led by the spirit, which was so strong the entire time. They showed him a Mormon message, and then read Alma 32 with him. The lesson was all about faith, and comparing the seed of faith to the process of our conversion. Alma 32:28 reads, "Now, we will compare the word unto a aseed. Now, if ye give place, that a bseed may be planted in your cheart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your dunbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to eenlighten my funderstanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me." Afterwards, Sister Tanner bore her testimony of the Book of Mormon, (just like at the District Meeting). This time however, she started crying. She has never cried during a lesson before, but it was so intense and spiritual. The young man whom they were teaching, said that he knows Heavenly Father has something better planned for his life. The Sisters committed him to read the Book of Mormon and find out for himself if it is true. There were many spiritual tears shed, and they asked him if he felt the spirit. They explained that he can feel this every day if he invites it into his life. Sister Tanner says of this amazing lesson, "It was amazing! I know this is a crucial time for him, and I feel like Heavenly Father is helping guide him through us. It's amazing. I love their whole family so much and I told him how much he means to me, and how much I want him to feel the happiness in his life that the gospel has brought to my life. It was just a WOAH lesson. Afterwards, we got in the car, we were like, did that just happen?"

Thursday was filled with weekly planning, and making flyers for the Branch Pioneer Activity. Afterwards, the Sisters taught a new family who is investigating. The kids are very involved and love being taught! They are all going to come to the Pioneer Activity on Saturday! The Sisters found them rides, and they couldn't be more excited!

On Friday, the Sisters went to work on Family History with their recently baptized/married couple. Sister Tanner has loved learning more about family history, and has gotten very familiar with the website. Her entire life she thought is was boring, and now she loves it! She looks forward to the day that she can do all the work for her line that goes back to over 100 B.C. The couple whom she helped start their family history, are so excited to do baptisms for the dead. They can't wait to start on their family's work as well!

The Sisters traveled to Boscobel on Saturday. It is a city about 45 minutes away from Prairie du Chien, but it is still in their area. While they were there, they tried to visit every single inactive member there. She was able to meet many of them, and get to know them. The Sisters invited them all to the Branch activity, and some seemed very excited to go. Afterwards, they had dinner at one of the member's homes. They made amazing homemade salsa from fresh veggies they grew. Sister Tanner said that it seems as if everyone there competes to make the best homemade salsa!

Church on Sunday was amazing! One of the inactive members that the Sisters had visited the day before, came to church! Everyone was so excited to see him, as it had been years since he had come. Sister Tanner was so excited! Also, one of the little girls in the branch, that adores Sister Tanner wanted to invite her to her birthday party. Sister Tanner can't attend, but it was so sweet how much she wanted her there!

After church, one of the members called the Sisters to tell them how a family close to her is going to be attending the Pioneer Activity! They are looking for a church to attend, and want to learn more about the Gospel. Sister Tanner is thrilled, and says this is an answer to her prayers! Working with members is truly the best way to find people that are prepared to learn about the gospel. This should encourage all of us to reach out to our friends and neighbors, and have them meet the missionaries. Sister Tanner is so excited for the Branch Activity on Saturday! She cannot wait!

Sister Tanner's week was truly blessed as she focused on teaching members and less actives. Sometimes Missionaries can get caught up in trying to only find new investigators to teach. Sister Tanner wants to be sure that she teaches and touches everyone's lives, including those who are already active members. What an incredible Missionary she is! I will leave you all with her testimony this week.
"Another jam-packed week behind us and another full week ahead of us! I love this work! I realized this week that I am finally starting to get the swing of things and that it's going to be weird to have to go home and find a real job. I have the best job. I love my mission and I love everyday I have to be a tool in the Lord's hands and do his work. I am striving everyday to be a more Christ-like trainer and leader and lead by example. It's helping me learn patience more than ever before in my life, but it's good. I love you all so much! I am so grateful for your prayers and love and support. I couldn't do this without you. Help work with the missionaries in your ward and don't hesitate to share the gospel with your friends. Heavenly Father is using you to help prepare people for the gospel. Read the Book of Mormon everyday and continue to grow and develop your testimony and lifelong conversion. I have been recently reading D&C and I love it. I am so grateful for Joseph Smith and the many trials he endured for us to have this marvelous book and the gospel back on earth. I know he was able to overcome the hardships because of the Atonement and because the Lord provided him with the strength he needed. He too, can do the same for us and our trials, which at times seem just as hard as what Joseph Smith had to endure."




Monday, August 12, 2013

Sister Tanner and her GREENY!

The week started off full of goodbyes for Sister Tanner. Her companion, Sister D'Addabbo was being transferred on Wednesday. They spent Tuesday packing up all of her stuff, and going to say goodbye to many of the members and investigators whom she had become close to. That night, the Sisters drove to Madison to do some "luggage jumbling" as Sister Tanner put it. From there, they drove to Bridgeport, WI, which is a city near Milwaukee. The drive was 4.5 hours from Prairie du Chien! Sister Tanner says she has driven more on her mission these last 3 months, than in her entire life. Once they got to Bridgeport, they met up with the Sister Missionaries there. Sister Debruin was one of the Sisters. She is from the Sacramento area, so her and Sister Tanner have many friends in common. They get along so well, and Sister Tanner was so happy to be able to stay with her! She loves her to death!
Wednesday was the big day! Sister Tanner drove to Milwaukee from Bridgeport. She had her first "Trainers meeting" to prepare them before receiving their new companions (greenys). She was a bit nervous, but the Lord gave her the strength she needed to feel ready and prepared. It was hard to imagine that only 12 weeks ago, that had been her arriving in Milwaukee. It truly is fascinating to see how much she has grown in that time. She received her new Sister Missionary companion, Sister Asper! She is from Pocatello, Idaho! Sister Tanner says she is very nice and a hard worker. The best part of the day, was Sister Tanner being able to see Sister Newton, (her first companion). She is training a Greeny (new missionary) again too, so she was there as well. The two were able to hang out and catch up, which was amazing! Sister Tanner said that they will be best friends even after their missions. What a special way to meet a lifelong friend.
Sister Tanner with her new companion, Sister Asper.
After receiving her new companion, the 2 Sisters hurried back to Prairie du Chien! After the 4 hour drive, they got back in just enough time for their lesson with an inactive member. They taught him the importance and power of prayer. He seemed to really grasp the message of their lesson. When he gave the closing prayer, the spirit was so strong and powerful. His family made the Sisters dinner. Sister Tanner tried bratwurst for the first time. "Way better than a hotdog. Some kind of Wisconsin thing.", Sister Tanner said.
Thursday was the Sisters first full day together in Prairie. They found 2 new potential investigators, which is amazing! I'd say that they are off to a great start together! They celebrated together on Friday with ice cream. YUM!
Saturday a new family moved into the Branch. The Sisters, along with half the branch went to help them move in! Everyone was excited to be getting a new family in the branch. Afterwards, the Sisters prepared their talks. They were asked to speak in Sacrament meeting!
Sunday was a very special day for Sister Tanner. Her talk in Sacrament meeting was on Relief Society. She talked about how it helped the Saints in the early days of the Church, and how it blesses us now. She said that through given and preparing for this talk, she learned so much about the Relief Society. After giving such a great talk, and attending another great Sunday at Church, Sister Tanner finished the Book of Mormon! She restarted it the day that she entered the MTC, and finished it this Sunday. Here is what she had to say about her experience reading it this time, "I have gained more out of this time reading the Book of Mormon than ever before in my life. After I turned the last page, I got on my knees and prayed to ask if it was true and I had the best experience ever. An indescribable feeling of peace, comfort, and truth came over my whole body. My eyes filled with tears because I knew that everything I read was true and everything I teach people is true. My testimony has grown more than I could ever put into words. I have grown so much in the last 3 months and I am a better person. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon. I don't know where I'd be without it. It truly is the keystone to our religion, and knowing that it's true means that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. I know he truly did translate the Book of Mormon by the power of God. I know that he restored the true Gospel on earth and that the Book of Mormon is the fullness of that gospel. I am grateful for Heavenly Father allowing me to receive the divine witness I did. I know that if he continues to answer my prayers and time after time gives me that witness that I am teaching truth, I KNOW he will give others that witness as well, and if they will only pray about it with a sincere heart, there is no way you can deny the overwhelming spirit that testifies of truth to your heart. I am so grateful for this experience that I had. Continue to increase your faith, pray about the Book of Mormon, read it together, continue to fight the battle against Satan that we all face everyday!"
Sister Tanner's testimony is so strong. It's inspiring and makes us all want to try harder to be the best we can possibly be. Please continue to keep her in your prayers, especially now that she is training.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Trainer and Senior Companion!


Sister Tanner has exciting news for everyone this week, "I am staying in Prairie du Chien and training a new missionary!!! I'm so excited!" What an amazing responsibility for someone who has only been out on their mission for 3 short months. We are all so proud of her! So keep those letters coming her way! She will still have the same address and same Mission Address. She would love to hear from you all!
Tuesday, their Mission district had the last meeting before transfers. They talked a lot about the role of the Holy Ghost in conversion. Sister Tanner loved it! They also talked about ticks and how to avoid getting them. Apparently getting ticks is a battle many face out there in Wisconsin. Sister Tanner is paranoid of them! We all know how much she hates bugs!

After their District Meeting, the Sisters had a lesson with one of their investigators. She is very religious in a different faith, but loves learning about the Gospel. The Sisters taught her all about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. The investigator thought it all made sense and said, "The Mormons have the strongest faith because they endured all that persecution!" The Sisters love teaching her!
Wednesday was filled with Family Research time for Sister Tanner. She was able to work on familysearch.org at the library for part of the day. In order to become more familiar with the site, they are encouraged to do their own family research. She was astonished to find out that her Grandma Tanner's side went all the way back to over 100 B.C. She just couldn't believe it! The majority of people don't have research for their families past the 1800's. The most fascinating part of her research was finding out that there were many Kings and Queens of France and other European countries in her direct line. Who would have thought there was so much royal blood in her? Everyone started teasing her that she was basically a princess! Finding out this ancestry really touched her. Her patriarchal blessing mentions that she comes from a noble heritage, and now that makes so much sense to her! She says that she can't wait to start doing temple work for all of her ancestors!
After an eventful day of family research, the Sisters had a lesson with a less active member. One of the branch members went with them, and cooked the sisters an amazing Gluten free pizza! How sweet of her! The Sisters had such a fun time with the less active member. They played ping pong and got crushed by him! They talked to him a lot about the changes he is trying to make in his life, so he can be where he wants to be! I love that Sister Tanner is able to inspire others and relate to them so much! While they were teaching, the branch member's daughters wanted to be "future missionaries" themselves. They played dress up with the Sister's name tags. So sweet knowing how much the little children look up to Sister Tanner and the other Sister Missionaries around the world.

Thursday was a trying day for Sister Tanner. There are definitely those days where things don't seem to be going your way. However, Sister Tanner never gives up. She never lets it bring her down. I really think this is something to inspire us all. Whatever we are going through, there is always something positive to see and be thankful for. Sometimes in teaching many different types of people, Missionaries come in contact with those living a hard life. Sister Tanner said it was the most humbling experience of her life. "I realized how much I've taken for granted over the years. Having a roof over my head, clothes and shoes on my back, food to eat, a loving family, a bed to sleep in, water to drink, a shower, and most of all, being able to grow up in the gospel and knowing how much Heavenly Father loves me. I've taken it all for granted."
Saturday was the day that transfers were announced! They received the text list with Sister D'Addabbo's (her companion) name on it. Sister Tanner was very excited to be staying in Prairie du Chien. She loves the people so much, and feels as if her work there is not finished! So after the news, they went and met with their newly baptized and married couple. That is when they got the phone call from the Mission President! He told Sister Tanner the exciting news, which is that she will now be a trainer! This Wednesday she will receive a brand new Sister Missionary as her companion. The Mission President said that he is very excited for Sister Tanner to have this leadership opportunity. He knows that this is what the Lord wants her to do right now. Sister Tanner is nervous, but so very excited!
Fast Sundays are Sister Tanner's favorite! She felt like everything that was said was meant for her to hear. After church, they had a big break the fast dinner at the Branch President's house. Sister Tanner asked him if he wouldn't mind giving her a blessing. So he did! She is nervous about training, and really wanted to receive a Priesthood blessing. Her blessing mentioned, that these years would shape the rest of her life, and that she will see miracles happen. Truly an amazing thing!
Overall, Sister Tanner's week has been one that she will never forget! Overcoming tough days, just made her realize how amazing her life really is. She wishes everyone to have what she does! She obviously is doing amazing as a Missionary. And her wonderful opportunity of being a trainer, shows only that! We are all so proud of the person she grows to be each week.
In closing, I will leave you with her amazing testimony. 
 "I am so happy the Lord trusts me with the great responsibility of being a trainer this coming week and I am so excited for the great miracles that will happen. I hope and pray that I will be able to be a great example of exact obedience and help the new sister develop good habits that will last her whole mission, the way Sister Newton taught me. I am so grateful for the many amazing things the Lord has blessed me with and specifically coming on my mission and I thank you all for helping me be here. I can't even imagine what my life would be like without my mission. I can't even imagine if I wasn't here meeting these people, having these experiences and being able to grow my relationship with God. I know my mission really is shaping the rest of my life and helping me become the person Heavenly Father needs me to be and knows I can become. The greatest feeling a missionary can have is being able to recognize the promptings of the spirit and I have had many of those this week. I love you all so much. Never take for granted the many things we have been blessed with. There are so many of Heavenly Father's sons and daughters who have so much less than we do and who don't have the blessing of the gospel in their lives to help them know their greater purpose. I am sooooo blessed to have such an amazing family and been able to grow up in the gospel. Please pray for me this week and pray for me to have the abilities and relay the things I need to as a trainer and senior companion. I am really nervous but I know that with the Lord's help I can accomplish anything."