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."




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