Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Wisconsin Mission Tour with Elder Martino!

This week was one of the busiest and fastest of all the weeks so far! So many exciting and amazing moments took place in the last several days. "This week has flown by! It's been probably one of the busiest weeks of my mission but it's been absolutely amazing, and I am still alive", Sister Tanner said.

P-day was spent trying to find outfits for the Mission Tour! Sister Tanner looked through every store at the outlets, and felt sad when she found nothing. She decided to go look at the local Target, and within minutes found the perfect outfit! "Target saves the day", Sister Tanner said. After an amazing dinner with a recent convert, it was time to go visit a potential investigator. However, when the Sisters got to the house it was different people who answered. "We seriously meet someone new there every single time we go by. I'm not really sure who lives there, but everyone we meet is interested, and then never there when we go by again! #missionarylife", Sister Tanner said. Hopefully one of these days, she is able to meet with them for a lesson!

Tuesday was the big day! It was the Mission Tour! "It was a combined 3 Zones Conference with Elder Martino of the 70. It was amazing and probably the best meeting I've been to on my mission. President and Sister Cutler gave trainings first and then Sister Martino and then Elder Martino got up and spoke about how amazing President and Sister Cutler were. He said that out of all the Mission Tours he's been to, President Cutler gave the best training out of all the Mission Presidents he's seen. Then he talked to us a lot about how Missionaries are called to a Mission for 2 reasons. 1) There is someone they need to teach there. or 2) They need to learn from their Mission President and his wife. He said most of the time, it's both reasons. Then he showed us examples of how much faith President has in us and how he doesn't care about us just being good Missionaries and how many baptisms we have but that he cares about our eternal welfare and truly wants the best for our lives, not just for our missions. It was inspiring and he had us raise our hands and tell President and Sister Cutler the things we've learned from them and they were just crying and so happy. Then he also talked a lot about bringing the RIGHT member to lessons and related the story of Alma and Amulek together converting so many people because Amulek was the right member. It was so amazing and he gave us so many ideas of things to do as we work with members. He really pushed working with part member families, prospective Elders, and child of record unbaptized over the age of 9. He said that 20% of new investigators come from working with members but 60% of baptisms come from part members or member referrals. Isn't that crazy? That 20% of new investigators progress a lot more than people we find on our own, because they already have an "Amulek", they already have that member to help them. He also talked about consecration and he said, "If you can't learn consecration as a missionary, I'm not sure you ever will. Being a fully consecrated missionary will affect your whole lives." Then he talked about some missionaries when he was a Mission President, that were mediocre Missionaries and they've had mediocre lives. Ah! I wish I could share all my notes with you guys! It was such a great meeting, and I learned so much from him. He said we were a good group, and that he could tell we were working hard. So that's a good thing", Sister Tanner said. The meeting was amazing and uplifting in so many ways. Sister Tanner enjoyed getting to spend time with her former companion, Sister King! She was also able to see her MTC companion, Sister Reese, and the Mission President's daughter, Megan. 

After their morning appointments on Wednesday, the Sisters traveled 3 hours up North for the Mission Leadership Counsel with Elder Martino. The leadership meeting was right after another part of the Mission Tour for the North Zones, so Sister Tanner was able to see a few Missionary friends of hers! She was able to see Sister Milligan from Sacramento, and her former companion Sister Hancock! It was so exciting for Sister Tanner to be able to see them both! The Leadership training was just as amazing as the Conference was the previous day. "MLC with Elder Martino was awesome! He basically took President's goal of every area having a baptism before General Conference and he spent all of MLC counseling with us on how we were going to achieve this goal. It was great! He pretty much made us all feel really cool, and said that "We are what's making the difference in the Mission. We are trying to prepare you to become great Bishops and Relief Society Presidents". After the meeting, I got to talk to him a little bit before he left. He asked about Kenosha and he said he's been to Kenosha before for work and that there is a lot of great people there", Sister Tanner said. It was an amazing day, and a great experience for Sister Tanner to meet and learn from Elder Martino! After the 3 hour drive home, they stopped in West Allis to switch cars. Sister Tanner was able to visit with a few of her favorite people from that ward! It was a great surprise to see them! West Allis will always hold a special place in Sister Tanner's heart. 

Elder Martino

Since the Mission Tour was over, Thursday was back to normal for Sister Tanner. It was a full day of appointments and lessons! At one of their lessons that day, the daughter in the family participated. This was a big deal, since she usually never does. Sister Tanner was so happy! That night, the Sisters drove to do exchanges. The drive was far, and they were running late. They ended up crashing at one of the other Sister Missionary's apartments. Sister Tanner knew that was better than trying to drive too late!

The next morning, Sister Tanner went to Lake Mills, Wisconsin with Sister Butler for their exchange. "Sister Butler served in Prairie du Chien right after I did, so we had fun talking about people in Prairie. It was an interesting day with her. Half the people they teach don't speak English, so we had like 5 lessons in complete Spanish. I pretty much sat there and tried to stay focused and follow along in the pamphlet but it was a struggle. It was interesting because even thought I can't speak any Spanish, I could understand bits and pieces of what they were saying. It was cool", Sister Tanner said. The spirit was definitely helping Sister Tanner translate the language! What an amazing experience! Afterwards, the Sisters met the nicest Jehovah's Witness family! The family invited them into their home, and they shared a "non-confrontational gospel conversation". Being able to put aside their differences, and share their mutual love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ was a powerful moment! That evening, Sister Tanner returned to Kenosha with another Sister Missionary, Sister Vance. It was a double exchange for them this week! 

On Saturday, Sister Tanner tried to get caught up with her work in Kenosha! She was able to do so, and met a wonderful new investigator! "He is super solid! Golden! He has lots of questions but totally accepted the Book of Mormon and wants to know more! We can't wait to start teaching him", Sister Tanner said. She then taught 2 more lessons with investigators before her dinner appointment. After dinner, she drove to Milwaukee to switch back from exchanges. Late that evening, Sister Tanner and Sister Reed were back together in Kenosha. "It was good to finally be back with my companion after what seemed like a week", Sister Tanner said.

Sunday was an amazing day for Sister Tanner! The non member husband of a Sister in their ward, attended Church that week! They have been working with him a lot, and were so excited he attended! It seemed like Sacrament Meeting, and all the talks were just for him. His wife told the Sisters that during church he leaned over to her and said, "We need to start having the Sisters over more." How amazing! "He's getting so close", Sister Tanner said. She cannot wait until the day he fully accepts the gospel into his life! What an amazing Sunday it was, and what an inspiring week Sister Tanner had.

Sister Tanner's Testimony & Weekly Quotes:

"I am so excited to go to the temple this week. It's been 8 months too long! I can't wait until I can go every week! This week has been incredible and crazy at the same time. The Lord continues to show me how much more I am capable of."

"Some good quotes for this week:"

"When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives."
-Ezra Taft Benson

"Perhaps it is true that we are weak. But when God works through us, no one and nothing can stand against us."

"Do you want to be happy? Forget yourself and get lost in this great cause. Lend your efforts to helping people. Stand higher, lift those feeble knees, hold up the arms of those that hang down. Live the gospel of Jesus Christ."
-Gordon B Hinkley

"I love you all so much! Have a great week!"
Sister Karlie Marie Tanner

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