Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Wisconsin Thanksgiving

Press play and enjoy this beautiful song as you read this week's blog post.

Thanksgiving was a very special day for Sister Tanner. Being away from home during the Holidays is hard, but the ward members in West Allis did so much to make the entire week special for all the Sisters and Elders there. We are so grateful for all of them!

Sister Tanner's week started off with lots of snow! She is slowly becoming more used to it. On Tuesday, the Missionaries enjoyed having their Zone Conference. Sister Tanner thought it was amazing, "I gained a lot of revelation and the spirit was so strong", she says. She felt spoiled being fed so much yummy food and deserts. A ward member even made her a special gluten free desert! Yummy! Later that day, the Sisters split up and went on exchanges with another Sister Missionary. Sister Tanner's companion for the day ended up being her friend, Sister Vance. They were in the MTC together, and came to Wisconsin on the same day. Sister Tanner loved getting to spend time with her, and see how much they have both changed since being in the MTC. The Sisters spent the night in Kenosha, WI.

With other Sister Missionaries at Zone Conference

South Milwaukee Zone

Kenosha was as cold as ice on Wednesday morning! The Sisters had a wonderful day there, and even found 2 new investigators just from talking to people outside. It was a great experience being in Kenosha, and Sister Tanner was happy to be able to spend it with a dear friend! That night she returned to West Allis, and realized how much she had missed it. Sister Tanner said, "I missed it so much even though I was only gone for a day! I love it here! I wish I could stay in West Allis the rest of my mission!!"

Thanksgiving day was full of so much love, and open doors for Sister Tanner. The first meal of the day was spent at the home of a family from their ward. They had so much fun, and were able to spend it with other missionaries as well. The food was amazing, and they all played games together! Sister Tanner said, "I am so grateful I was able to spend Thanksgiving with a family." The Sisters, Elders, and family members all went around the table to tell each other something that they were thankful for. Sister Tanner was definitely thankful for this sweet family to host such an amazing Thanksgiving for all the Missionaries in the ward! Afterwards, Sister Tanner and Sister Hancock went to another home for yet another yummy meal. She said, "I thought I was going to barf from all the food! Hopefully the same thing doesn't happen for Christmas!" She was very loved that day!

Friday was spent visiting with many people, and contacting others. At one point in the day, Sister Tanner and her companion came across a group of teenage girls on the street. They loved the Sisters and chatted with them for awhile. The girls all went on Mormon.org on their cell phones, and kept asking the Sisters questions. Technology really can be such an amazing tool in Missionary work! That night, the Sisters were able to attend a Thanksgiving dinner that was being held for all the Missionaries in their immediate area. Around 25 missionaries in the West Allis area enjoyed a beautiful meal at the Mission President's home. "It was so fun", Sister Tanner said. "I am just so grateful to be serving here and be able to spend so much time with them. We all went around the tables and talked about one person we've met on our mission that has changed our lives, and something we are grateful for that we weren't grateful for last year. The spirit was so strong as we basically all took the opportunity to bear our testimonies and talk about how much our lives have changed in the past year. I love the Cutlers and I love all the Missionaries around us here!"

Dinner at President Cutler's home

All the Missionaries with the Mission President's daughter

Sister Tanner had a wonderful experience on Saturday. Her and Sister Hancock went to a man's home whom they had been trying to contact. When they arrived, they learned he was not home. However, his girlfriend was there and seemed interested in talking to the Sisters. She ended up being very interested in the church, and loved chatting with them for awhile. Sister Tanner said, "She's so prepared!" Sometimes little bumps in the road bring the biggest blessings. Sister Tanner could have chosen to be discouraged when the man wasn't home, but instead she took that as an opportunity to make the situation better. In return, they met a wonderful woman who seems completely receptive of the gospel teachings. What a blessing! After that, they visited with one of their favorite women in the ward. They taught her a lesson, and were even able to provide a little service for her.

Sunday was an amazing day at Church for Sister Tanner. It was all about Christmas! Sister Tanner loved being able to internalize the true meaning of Christmas. One of the members of their ward is really in the true spirit of Christmas. She asked the Sisters for 25 Book of Mormons. She wrote her testimony in every single one, and tied them up with beautiful ribbon. She is praying diligently and fasting before she gives them out to her friends for Christmas! She is a true example of an amazing member Missionary! 

On Monday morning, Sister Tanner taught a lesson before her email time at the library. She taught one of her investigators who is so close to baptism! She even shared her testimony with the Sisters. Sister Tanner said, "I love her so much! Next lesson she'll probably be set! So your prayers are much appreciated right now!"

We are all so proud of the hard work Sister Tanner is doing in West Allis. It was hard not being with her for Thanksgiving, but we are thankful for this opportunity she has to serve the Lord! We are excited for her week to come, and hear about her first temple trip while on her mission! I will now leave you with her testimony.

"I love you all so much. I am grateful for this special season and as a representative of Jesus Christ, truly being able to understand the real meaning of this special time of year, and the true meaning of our Savior's birth.  I miss you all so much already, but I know that the greatest gift I can give to my Savior this year is to do his work. I love you all so much! Have an amazing first week of December! 
Sister Karlie Marie Tanner"

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