On Tuesday, Sister Tanner had a lesson with one of her investigators. The woman has a slight disability, which has inspired Sister Tanner to find new ways of teaching. "She loves the gospel. We teach her as if we are teaching a child, so that she can grasp the basic principles. It's good though. She's so excited for her baptism", Sister Tanner said. After her lesson, the Sisters attended their weekly district meeting. It was all about the power of prayer. The District leader used Sister Tanner and her companion Sister Peterson as the example. The woman who was recently baptized, told the district leader all about how amazing the Sisters treated her. She told him that they always made her feel like the greatest person in the whole world. The District leader told everyone that this is what they should all be doing. Sister Tanner is such a great example! After the District meeting, the Sisters went on exchanges. Sister Tanner stayed in Kenosha, and had another Sister come with her. It was an amazing learning experience for her. She truly felt like she made a difference during this particular exchange. "She is trying really hard as a missionary, but doesn't have the strongest testimony, and used to be inactive for a long time. I tried really hard during the whole exchange to work really hard and have fun with her, and help her feel inspired to strengthen her own testimony of the Book of Mormon. I shared a bunch of quotes with her, and we had some really good conversations about testimonies and how we strengthen our own. I think the exchange was really good for her. I love being able to help the Sisters", Sister Tanner said. What a great example she is to her fellow Missionaries! Missionary work isn't just about baptizing or teaching new people. Sometimes the greatest missionary work is helping to inspire and strengthen someone else's testimony.
Sister Tanner finished the Book of Mormon AGAIN on Wednesday! "It never fails that every time I finish the Book of Mormon, my testimony of it is strengthened. I LOVE the Book of Mormon. I refuse to go a day without reading it. I was able to use my studies to help strengthen Sister P", she said. After her morning studies, she had a good day contacting and visiting less active members and investigators. Then the Missionaries exchanged back, and Sister Peterson came home to Kenosha with her. As soon as they returned home, they met a new investigator! They also were able to teach a lesson at the lake! It was gorgeous, and Sister Tanner loved being in the sunshine! That evening, Sister Tanner had the privilege of teaching a new member lesson with the Bishop. She ended up learning so much from the Bishop! "We ended up learning more about the Priesthood from the Bishop than we ever thought we would know! It was good", Sister Tanner said. Her night ended in the "ghetto" as she put it. She was teaching an investigator who lives in the scariest of areas. "Where she lives is like the most ghetto street in town, but it's all good because all the ghetto people know who we are and call us "the Church people". Hahaha", Sister Tanner said. Luckily, Sister Tanner is safe since they all love "the Church People."
Thursday was a busy and rewarding day for Sister Tanner! She started her day by teaching an investigator about tithing and fast offerings. At lunch time, the Sisters ran into their neighbor's daughter. She asked the Sisters if they could help her mother clean. Of course the Sisters wanted to help! When they got inside, it broke Sister Tanner's heart. She has a hard time seeing people live like that. She was grateful to help this woman have a cleaner home. It took the Sisters over 3 hours to do the dishes and 1 bathroom. "It was really bad", Sister Tanner said. "It makes me so sad when I see people living like that. Anyway, we were glad to have the opportunity to help." What an amazing act of service that was to this woman! That evening, Sister Tanner was able to have dinner with an amazing family from her ward. "Such an amazing family. I feel like I say that about every family in our ward. We have so many really awesome young kingdom builder families in Kenosha", she said. Kenosha truly does sound like "the promised land". Sister Tanner feels lucky to be a part of such a strong ward family! After dinner, the Sisters went tracting. "We were determined to at least give 1 Book of Mormon out, but everyone was so rude! We finally found one girl that was interested and she accepted a Book of Mormon. Answer to our prayers", she said.
After volunteering at the Shalom Center on Friday, Sister Tanner was able to meet with the woman who was just baptized. "She's doing really good and still feasting in the Book of Mormon", Sister Tanner said. "She loves it! She let us read her journal entry from the day of her baptism. She said she's never felt as much love and happiness as when she was baptized." What a special daughter of God this woman is! That night, Sister Tanner had a lesson with a less active Sister that she has been teaching. She has been to church for 2 weeks in a row! She told the Sisters that she will be there every week, and that she just needs to work on gaining more faith. Sister Tanner shared the perfect scriptures with her about faith replacing fear. "She's awesome", Sister Tanner said.
Sister Tanner played BINGO on Saturday morning! The Sisters visited a woman in their ward who lives in the manor care facility. They love getting to visit her and play games. She just adores them! The Sisters had a full day of lessons and visits after they left the care home. They met a group of teenage boys who are interested in learning about the gospel! The Sisters plan on referring them to the Elders though. They also met an amazing new family while they were tracting! Sister Tanner is excited to start teaching some of these new families she has found!
Sunday was an exciting day! A new brother was called as the Ward Mission Leader in Kenosha! "We are so excited! He is awesome! This is going to be a really good change for the ward", Sister Tanner said. She was also excited because the woman from the care home also attended church again! Then the Sisters had the opportunity to be in Young Womens, and next week are going to be teaching them! Sister Tanner is so excited, and adores the Young Women in her ward! After church, the Sisters went over the final baptism questions with one of their investigators. "She's ready! She's getting so excited and so are we", Sister Tanner said. It is amazing that yet another woman who Sister Tanner taught, will be baptized so soon! How exciting! That evening, the Sisters met a bunch of people while out tracting! Then they had a great dinner with a family in their ward. "They are the cutest family and they both served missions and so they spent the whole time telling us crazy Mission stories. They are way fun! It was a great day", Sister Tanner said.
Monday was Memorial Day! If major holidays fall on Monday, the Missionaries in Wisconsin move their p day to the following day. So this Monday was spent tracting and teaching. It poured all day in Kenosha. After leaving a lesson at a less active member's home, a random man approached the Sisters. He is a part of the Bahi religion. "Have you ever heard of that", Sister Tanner asked? After that, the Sisters received a great referral and had dinner at a fun home! That evening, the Sisters felt prompted to visit one of the less active members in their ward. It ended up being the most amazing experience. Sister Tanner knew she was supposed to be there. "She was really depressed. I know the Lord lead us to visit her. My heart sank and I felt a small portion of the love Heavenly Father has for her. We were able to cheer her up a bit and then we went to buy her dinner, because she hadn't ate anything all day. Another day in the life of a servant of the Lord. It was great", Sister Tanner said. What a wonderful spiritual experience! The Sisters were definitely led there by Heavenly Father to help this Sister. And I'm sure they truly lifted her spirits!
Sister Tanner had such an amazing week full of service and love. She truly is a great example of selflessness. Reading about her week reminded me of the hymn, "Have I Done Any Good In The World Today?" Every day, Sister Tanner cheers up the sad and makes others feel glad. I hope we can all work harder to spread happiness to others this week like Sister Tanner does.
Sister Tanner's Testimony:
"I was reminded this morning of how God gives us trials to strengthen us and shape us into the people he needs us to be. I know every day this is what he's doing. So many miracles have happened this week, so many times where God has led us to people at the exact time they needed us. I know this is HIS work. I love it! I love being a missionary every day, even though sometimes it's really hard. Looking back, I can see how muvh stronger I am now. My testimony is stronger, my faith is stronger, my ability to laugh off the rude people is stronger, my teaching abilities are stronger, my relationship with Heavenly Father is stronger, my knowledge of the scriptures is stronger, and yet there is still so much left to do and so much more to learn and become. Heavenly Father has a much higher potential for us than we have for ourselves and he will help us accomplish the things he has planned. I am so grateful for every experience, every trial, every miracle, every day. It's the greatest blessing! Here's a quote I love,
"Most of us have not reached that stage of compassion and love and forgiveness, it is not easy. It requires a self discipline almost greater than we are capable of. But as we try, we come to know that there is a resource of healing, that there is a mighty power of healing in Christ and that if we are his true servants we must not only exercise that healing power in behalf of others, but perhaps more important, inwardly."
-Gordon B. Hinkley
I love you all so much! Thank you for your examples to me and many prayers! I feel them and they help get me through the hardest and best of days! I love you!"
Sister Karlie Marie Tanner