A chilly and snowy week it was in West Allis, WI for Sister Tanner. The Sisters had a wonderful and memorable week though! It started off amazing on Monday, as they are so close to having one of their investigators be baptized! She is praying and reading the Book of Mormon! Sister Tanner prays that she can be baptized the weekend before Christmas! What an amazing gift not only to her, but to her family, the Sisters, and to the Lord! After their lesson with her, the Sisters got to spend some time getting in the Christmas spirit! A lovely family invited them over for Family Home Evening. Sister Tanner taught them a lesson and gave them an activity. Then they all decorated the Christmas tree! Sister Tanner said, "It was such a meaningful family thing that they let us be a part of which I am so grateful for. It made me miss putting up the ornaments with you guys, but I am glad I got to help another family do it!" How sweet of this family to let the Sisters experience that special Christmas moment with them as a family.
Sister Tanner with her tree
Sister Tanner attended her District meeting on Tuesday. Her Zone Leaders were able to come, and it was an amazing day! Following that, her and Sister Hancock had dinner with her "favorite family ever"! The Sisters had such a fun time at their home! They invited them both over for Christmas to skype home! We are so blessed and thankful for this family to give us the best Christmas gift ever! We are looking forward to that day, and so is Sister Tanner. "Heck yes! It's going to be the best Christmas away from home that there could ever be", Sister Tanner said.
Sister Tanner was able to teach a wonderful lady on Wednesday! The Sister Missionaries in West Allis had taught her previously a few months ago, but then the lady took a trip to Mexico for a few months. She is home now, and Sister Tanner was able to meet her! Here is a clip of what Sister Tanner had to say about her. "She's back and ready to dive in to the gospel. The spirit was so strong in our lesson. She has the strongest faith ever and she told us she knows the Book of Mormon is true. We invited her to be baptized on January 11th, and she accepted. She's so hungry for more and she's been so prepared by the Lord." We are so excited for this woman, and so proud of our sweet Missionary! We know this woman's life will forever be blessed by this choice she is making.
Later in the day on Wednesday, Sister Tanner and Sister Hancock went to visit a few less active members in their ward. One woman is in the hospital, so they went to visit her and carol! They sang "Away in a Manger". Sister Tanner said they couldn't stop laughing afterwards because, they had messed up some of the words! I'm sure the lady was very touched by their visit! Afterwards, the Sisters went to visit this sweet 13 year old girl. I almost did not add this part to the blog to share. After thinking about it, I realized it needed to be shared because of how different and memorable this must have been for Sister Tanner. The young girl that they visited lives in a polygamy family. Her family used to be LDS, but the reasons are obvious as to why they are not any longer. However, this young girl is baptized into the Church. Sister Tanner felt so bad for her, because she is growing up thinking this is what is normal. The most bizarre part of the entire visit was seeing The Family: A Proclamation To The World hanging on their wall. Sister Tanner said, "It was something I will never forget, for sure." If you have any questions about the Family Proclamation or the role of Polygamy in Mormonism, please visit www.lds.org to learn more.
On Thursday, the Sisters had a lesson with a new investigator. They met her while visiting her future father in law. It was more than coincidence that they met her. She is so prepared and ready to learn about the gospel. Sister Tanner said, "She's so ready for the gospel. She has been reading the quad, and a book about Joseph Smith. She has a lot of really great questions. She said, 'You guys really knocked on the right door because I've been wanting to learn more for awhile.' It was the spirit that led us there!" What an amazing experience! Afterwards, the Sisters got treated to custard! Sister Tanner wishes we could all taste Wisconsin custard!!!
"Friday was the best day ever", Sister Tanner said. She was able to go to the temple! It was her first time attending while being out on her mission. A lady in their ward drove the Sisters to the Chicago Illinois Temple! It was a day Sister Tanner will never forget. I'll share with you what she had to say about her experience there. "The temple was everything I needed. It was so nice to go there and feel peace and for 2 hours to just be me, Karlie. It felt like I was able to let go of the stress that Missionary work brings, for just a little bit. I gained a lot of answers to my prayers and I felt a renewed strength and energy to work harder and become a better missionary. I love the temple. I didn't want to leave. When I get home, I want to go to the temple at least once a week. It truly is the one place on earth that we can feel complete peace and feel closest to our Heavenly Father. I am so grateful I was able to go!" After her amazing time at the temple, they were treated to Texas Roadhouse for dinner. Then they had the opportunity to go see the Nativity display that their stake was putting on. It was a live nativity with musical numbers as well. So many people from all different faiths were there to celebrate! Even the Sisters' neighbor attended! Sister Tanner and Sister Hancock preformed Christmas hymns in front of everyone that night, along with the other Missionaries who were there. "It was so fun to feel the Christmas spirit touch so many non-member's hearts", Sister Tanner said.
Chicago Illinois Temple
Sister Tanner was able to teach a very powerful lesson on Saturday. The family she taught only has a few children who speak English. The parents do not. So the children had to translate for them. She thought the language barrier would make it hard, but it was quite the opposite. The spirit was so strong, and everyone's hearts were touched. Sister Tanner said, "They all committed to read the Book of Mormon. The mom said she's spent her whole life searching for the truth, and every time she prays about a religion, God tells her to keep searching, so she hopes her search is over. It was really powerful." That night, the Sisters went back to the Nativity for the last night of it. More people were there then on Friday night! They were able to meet so many people! It was another wonderful day!
A crazy snow storm came their way on Sunday! Although, it prevented many people from being able to attend Church, it didn't stop the Sisters. They had a wonderful day, and were even able to start rehearsals for their Christmas Sunday performance. Sister Tanner and Sister Hancock are singing with the Elders in their ward! One of the ward members put together an arrangement of 3 Christmas songs for them to perform. She can't wait! The Sisters ended their day by watching the Christmas Devotional broadcast!
Sister Tanner's week was one that she will never forget. Getting to attend the Chicago Temple was an incredible experience. She hopes she can go again! She also loved the moment when her investigator agreed to be baptized in January! She cannot wait for that special day! We are all so proud of her and miss her very much! I will now leave with you her testimony.
"Christmas is quickly approaching! Thank you for all your prayers of warmth! I will need it! I am so grateful for the knowledge we have of the gospel. I know Jesus Christ is the Savior and I know HE lives. I know this is His work, I am just a tool through which the spirit can work. I am blessed to be doing the Lord's work and to see the miracles that come from it every day. I love each of you so much. Thank you for your examples in my life. I miss you all so much, but I know Heavenly Father is blessing you and watching over you! I love you!
Sister Karlie Marie Tanner"
Here are a few pictures from Sister Tanner's last week in Prairie du Chien before she arrived in West Allis.
Prairie du Chien district
Only in Wisconsin
Prairie du Chien LOVES Halloween!
So many festive people in Prairie du Chien!
Prairie du Chien Branch Missionary couple
One of Sister Tanner's favorite families in Prairie
The Children performing for Sister Tanner's last day.
Goodbyes are hard
Locking her Apartment for the last time.
Adios Prairie du Chien!
One of her favorite Branch members