Sister Tanner's journey in Prairie du Chien has come to an end. She has grown to love each and every member of her Branch there. She has enjoyed teaching so many different people, and is grateful for the opportunities she has had to work with the Community. Hearing the news that she would be transferred was bittersweet. She is so excited to meet more amazing people to whom she can share the Gospel with. However, saying goodbye is hard to do. This Wednesday, Sister Tanner will start teaching the people of West Allis, Wisconsin! It is a city in the Southern part of Milwaukee County! She will be near the Illinois border, and just an hour drive from Chicago. This was exiting news for Sister Tanner! She feels so blessed that she will be in an area that is able to attend the temple. The nearest temple is in Chicago, so she was never able to go while serving in Prairie du Chien. We are all so happy for her, and excited for her opportunity to serve in West Allis!
Sister Tanner's last week in Prairie du Chien was bittersweet. It was hard knowing with every lesson, that it could be the last time teaching that person. On Tuesday, the Missionaries had their last district meeting of the transfer. It was all about working with the members while teaching investigators. The members play such a vital role in teaching new people. After the meeting, the Sisters went to visit one of their investigators. She told them a story about how earlier that week her friend was taking her grand daughters on a walk. They passed Sister Tanner and Sister Asper racking leaves. One of the little girls turned to her Grandma and said, "Why are those girls racking leaves in skirts?" The Grandma explained to the girls about Missionaries. One of the girls said, "Oh, I want to be a Missionary! But I can't rake leaves in a skirt!" What a sweet story! It made Sister Tanner realize what a strong impression the Sisters make to others. It strengthens her testimony just knowing that even if they aren't directly talking to someone, they are making an impact. Sister Tanner said, "Service softens hearts, and other hearts than the ones you are serving."
Wednesday was a fun day spent volunteering at Bargain Boutique! Sister Tanner has loved the time she was able to work there! It was wonderful being able to put her fashion skills to use, while helping people at the same time! She will definitely miss Bargain Boutique! After that, the Sisters were able to visit with some of their investigators. That night, Sister Tanner taught a lesson to a couple about the Word of Wisdom. She made a deal with them! If they gave up drinking coffee, she would give up eating Reeses for the rest of her mission! Sister Tanner said she is confident she can do it! So no sending her anymore Reeses!
Halloween was a crazy day for Sister Tanner! They were able to spend the Holiday with a family from the Branch. The family is obsessed with Halloween! Sister Tanner said that they go all out, and have lots of creepy decorations and scary noises! Between trick or treaters, they were able to squeeze in a short lesson with the family. It was a really fun night! Afterwards, they went to the Church building. Sister Asper practiced piano, and Sister Tanner was able to study. Sister Tanner had a wonderful Halloween!
Sister Tanner was able to volunteer at the Nursing Home on Friday. She loved being with all the residents, even though many of them were quite tired from the previous day's festivities! That may have been her last time volunteering there, and she is so grateful for the opportunity. She is grateful that the Nursing home allowed them that opportunity. Hopefully the Sister Missionaries to come can take part in that wonderful experience! Later that day, Sister Tanner was able to teach one of their investigators all about the Apostasy and the role of Priesthood Authority in our Church. For such a strong topic, their investigator really grasped the concept of the Restoration.
Saturday was a special day for Sister Tanner. She was able to teach the family who is preparing for Baptism. She taught them all about the Plan of Salvation. The husband said, "This means we can be together forever." It was so special for her to see this family experiencing the happiness of the Gospel. She was able to help the husband set up the App on his phone so he can listen to the Book of Mormon while he's on the road for the next 3 weeks. This family is so amazing, and so eager to learn more. The spirit was so strong the entire time. Right after the Sisters left their house, they got the transfer text! This is when Sister Tanner found out she would be going to West Allis. She was sad at first, but she found comfort in knowing that Heavenly Father will send her where he needs her. And that is in West Allis.
The rest of Saturday was spent visiting as many people as possible. Sister Tanner was treated to lunch and ice cream. She will be missed by so many people in Prairie du Chien. She is so loved!
Sister Tanner said, "Sunday was the best Sunday of my Mission so far!" So many less actives and investigators all showed up! What a great surprise for her last Sunday in Prairie! Also, it was Testimony meeting. Sister Tanner felt the spirit so strong, and bore her testimony. Afterwards, one of the less members whom she has taught over the last 6 months, got up to bare his testimony as well. He shared his conversion story from the 1970's, and talked about how the Sisters have helped him find God again! How special to know that Sister Tanner had such an impact on his life! The spirit was so strong, and so many people had tears in their eyes. A member of the branch also bore his testimony about Missionary work. He said how there were so many people in the congregation that would not be there without the Missionaries. Sister Tanner looked around, and felt in her heart that she had made a difference. She said, "Although I haven't baptized many people while I've been here, I know that I've helped people find the happiness of the Gospel again."
That afternoon, Sister Tanner and Sister Asper were able to visit another one of their investigators. She told them about how when she was little, the Missionaries would come over to her grandparent's home, whom were members of the Church. She has amazing memories of those times. She told Sister Tanner how much she is influencing children's lives, even if she doesn't know it. This brought tears yet again to Sister Tanner's eyes! It was hard for her to say goodbye to this special lady whom she has loved getting to know and teach. Afterwards, the Sisters had another lesson with an investigator. She called them and invited them over for dinner and a lesson. She told the Sisters, "I've been blessed to meet and get to know many of the Mormon Sisters, but for some reason you have a special place in my heart!" This was so touching! That evening ended with visiting the young man whom they just recently met. He was interested in getting to know more, so when they went to meet him, his mother answered the door. She ended up being the woman whom they did an interview with about Mormonism. What are the odds? "Everything happens for a reason", Sister Tanner says.
Sister Tanner has made such an amazing impact on the city of Prairie du Chien. She has blessed the lives of those in her branch, the community, and the one's she was fortunate enough to teach the Gospel to. We know she will continue to be an amazing Missionary in West Allis, and wherever she continues to serve after that. I will leave you with a few words from Sister Tanner.
"It's going to be hard to leave this week, but I know that the Lord needs me in West Allis for a reason. Prairie will always have a special place in my heart. I can't wait to bring you all here one day, so you can meet the wonderful people that I've come to love. Member, non-member, less actives, so many people that I will never forget. It's been a blessing to have been able to serve in Prairie du Chien for the last 6 months. The work moves forward and I know blessings and miracles will await me in my new area! I will need your prayers because we won't have a car. I literally am going to freeze this winter. I'm excited and anxious about this change, but I know the Lord truly has a plan for me on my mission, as he does each of us for our entire lives. I know Heavenly Father will place me where the people there need me. What a blessing it is! I love this work! I love being a missionary and I love Prairie du Chien! Now to the city! I love you all so much! Thank you for your endless prayers, support, and love!"