Monday, July 28, 2014

Bringing Families Together

"I can't believe summer is coming to an end so soon! I can't believe it's going to be August next week. I already feel like August is going to be an amazing month full of miracles", Sister Tanner said.

Sister Tanner's week started off with saying goodbye to Sister Barnes. It was fun spending the week with 2 companions instead of 1. By Tuesday, Sister Tanner and Sister Reed were back in the swing of things, being in a twosome again. Sadly, Sister Tanner got sick! It made the day a little more tough, but she was a trooper! In the morning, the Sisters visited a few potential investigators. Then it was off to District meeting! It was the first district meeting of the new transfer, so it was fun meeting all the new Missionaries in their area! A new Senior couple was transferred as well, and are part of one of the Spanish Branches. "Yay! Senior Couples are the best", Sister Tanner said. After the district meeting, a few of the Elders gave Sister Tanner a blessing since she was sick. "So I got a blessing, then we went out and worked HARD", Sister Tanner said. That evening, Sister Tanner had a lesson with one of her investigators who is being baptized soon. "We went over the baptism interview questions with her and she's so ready for baptism! She loves the gospel and it's changed her so much", Sister Tanner said. She cannot wait for her baptism on August 2nd! That night the Sisters packed up and drove to Elkorn, WI for exchanges with the Sister Missionaries there.

On Wednesday, Sister Tanner came back to Kenosha with her new companion for the day, Sister Smith. "She was awesome. She's been a Sister Training Leader before, so it was nice to have someone with me who I knew would work hard and help me out since I wasn't feeling too great. She's awesome! She was a dancer too, so we chatted a lot about dance and our families", Sister Tanner said. Sister Tanner is so blessed to serve with such amazing women! Together, these 2 Sisters taught an amazing lesson. They taught the 9 year old son, of one of the Sisters in the family that Sister Tanner has been working with. The Sisters have been inactive for quite some time, and just started getting back into the gospel. Their children are young, but one is 9! He really has a strong desire to be baptized! "He is so cute and the smartest 9 year old ever! We taught the Plan of Salvation and we were talking about the spirit world and he said, "Is that why we do baptisms for the dead?" Like, how the heck does he even know about that? Little kids are still really close to the veil I think. He kept asking us super deep questions like, "What happens to the earth?" "Is there more than one God?" Haha! So we tried to keep it as basic as possible. After we went through the whole thing, we said, "Do you think this is God's plan for us?" And he said, "Yeah, everything except I don't think the earth should be destroyed!" So we had to explain to him everything that's going to happen and he loved it! He's going to make a great Missionary some day", Sister Tanner said. She loves this young boy so much, and his family! She says countless times how much she KNOWS her Mission was to find this family and bring the gospel back into their lives.

Thursday was a very productive day! After weekly planning, Sister Tanner had a bunch of appointments and lessons set up! She also helped a Sister in the ward with her visiting teaching. They were able to help her visit some of the less active members on her visiting teaching list. It was a great success! That evening, at dinner, the Sisters received a referral for a close friend of the family they were with. "Score! Referrals are the best", Sister Tanner said. Working directly with the members makes for the greatest Missionary experiences! After a few more lessons, Sister Tanner visited the home of a part member family in her ward. The husband is not a member, and since she has been teaching him, she has slowly helped him open his eyes to the gospel. That night, she had a great experience while teaching him. "He had lots of questions about the spirit world and we showed him scriptures from the Bible about Christ teaching the spirits in prison, and he totally gets it now! He's slowly but surely getting there! We went home and I was like, I can't believe I remembered that scripture. It's weird when you have moments where you can see how much you've changed. I would never have been able to do that a year ago", Sister Tanner said. As a Missionary, Sister Tanner has grown so much in her knowledge of the scriptures. Using that knowledge, along with the promptings of the spirit, is the ultimate teaching tool. 

Sister Tanner volunteered at the Shalom Center on Friday. It was a wonderful day of service like usual! After volunteering, the Sisters had a full day of appointments. They had another wonderful lesson with the woman who is being baptized next week. "She is so ready for baptism! Now that we have to teach Lesson 5, we started teaching about Priesthood, and she asked questions about the temple and family history and eternal marriage, so we ended up almost teaching all of Lesson 5. She just glows now! She is so much happier! She smiles and laughs all the time and she wasn't like that at all when we first met her", Sister Tanner said. What a miracle! The gospel completely changed this woman's entire life for the better. Afterwards, Sister Tanner had another amazing lesson with one of the recently baptized Sisters in her ward. She has been praying hard about personal things going on in her life. She felt strongly about something she should do. Sister Tanner explained to her that she is receiving revelation from God! It was a special moment with her! What a wonderful and spiritual Friday! "Friday nights are always crazy here in Kenosha", Sister Tanner said. A GOOD crazy!

Sister Tanner had another amazing teaching moment on Saturday! As she was teaching one of the Sisters she has been working with, she was able to show her how to do Family History. "We were able to help her find her great grandpa and his birth record and everything. She was so excited because her Mom knew nothing about him! She was freaking out! It's so cool to be teaching her son and helping him prepare for Baptism and at the same time, helping her find their family and get the names ready to do the baptisms for them. I feel such a connection to this family for some reason and I'm grateful I get to help both sides of the veil a little bit. The gospel truly is about strengthening and bringing together families. I truly believe that their ancestors on the other side are ready for the gospel and are helping soften the hearts of this family to come back and to help their son join the Church. I LOVE WHAT I GET TO DO EVERY DAY", Sister Tanner said. This is what the gospel and Missionary work is all about! Bringing families together! After that amazing lesson, Sister Tanner went to Sister (Z)'s home to practice her song for the baptism next week. The woman being baptized asked the Sisters to sing her favorite song, "Amazing Grace". "It didn't sound too awful, even though I was sick. There is definitely a lot of practice that needs to go into it! Sister (Z) is the best! We had the best conversation with her and we left feeling spiritually renewed. Sister Z is our Mom away from home and totally helps us with everything! She talked to us about how crazy the world is and how much our Missions are preparing us to be Moms. She's the best", Sister Tanner said.

Sunday was an amazing day for Sister Tanner! The Bishop found out that she was singing at the upcoming baptism, so he asked her to sing this coming Sunday as well! "Yikes! I'm super nervous, but it will be good I hope", Sister Tanner said. So many people were at Church that day! The Sisters came with their families, and the soon to be baptized member came as well! "The Sisters leaned over to me after Gospel Principles and they said, "It's going to be hard for us when you guys get transfered because we just love you so much." Awww! They make it all worth it! They are the sweetest", Sister Tanner said. After a wonderful dinner that evening, the Sisters taught the part member family again. The husband isn't a member, but is getting closer to the gospel every day! "He got super deep and we started talking about deep stuff but it made sense to him. He's going to be an amazing member of the Church someday", Sister Tanner said. What a perfect Sabbath!

Sister Tanner's Testimony:

"It's been a great week! I feel each of your prayers every day! Hey, I'm trying something fun and I need your help with it! I would love if each of you could send me your favorite scripture and why! I will greatly appreciate it! I'll share mine with you today! Mosiah 2:17 has always been my favorite scripture, but has taken on a new meaning since I've been on a Mission. We are the means by which God can help his children on earth. =) I hope you all have the best week ever and an amazing start to August! I love you so much!"
Sister Karlie Marie Tanner

Sister Tanner would love to hear all of your favorite scriptures and why. Send emails to: 

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