Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Trip Back To "STALLIS"

Wow, it's already almost October! I guess I never thought this month would approach! Time is going by faster and faster by the day, I know I say this every week but it's true! It's been a great week here in Kenosha. I LOVE this place and wish I could end my mission here!

Monday was pday! We just hung out and walked around these cute shops by the lake. It was relaxing! We had dinner with the "T"s and they are so fun! Then we visited the "G"s and read with them about when Christ blessed the children in the Book of Mormon. "B"s less active 15 yr old cousin read with us and he was super into it! He even said the closing prayer! This is huge progress!! 
Tuesday we had lunch with Sister V. I absolutely LOVE her! We can all stay with her when we come back to visit. Then we had district meeting. It was different but pretty good. Then we did exchanges with Racine sisters and Sister Asper came with me to Kenosha. It was weird being companions again after a year!  We've both changed and grown a lot. It was a fun day with her. She told me about a lot of the disobedience problems in her district with other missionaries so I had to help her gain confidence to continue to be obedient even when the other missionaries try to make it the cool thing to not be obedient. So frustrating! But we had a lesson with the "P" family and taught the Plan of Salvation and set baptism dates with all of them for October 25th. :) They are all so excited and their only concern was getting their hair wet! haha. Then we had dinner with Sister "B". Love her so much! Then we had a bunch of other appointments for the night. It was a really great day.
Wednesday we saw a bunch of people! We had lunch with the "F"s. They are so funny. We had a really good lesson about keeping our covenants and continuing to try when we aren't perfect. Then we exchanged back and we headed out to the country to visit some people out there before our dinner appointment. We stopped by the ward mission leader's house because we are never "just in the neighborhood" so the one time we were we had to stop by. Sister "C" is hilarious and my favorite person ever! We had a blast chatting with her and she invited us to have a conference party and watch conference at their house for one last hooray before I get transferred! Yay I'm excited! Then later we had institute and it was Sister Z's first time teaching and she did amazing! I love institute! Wish I had one to go to while I was at FIDM! 
Thursday we had weekly planning and we had a mini freakout because we were planning for the last full month of our missions. SO WEIRD! But we were able to get ahold of a lot of people which was super good! Then we had a lesson with the "P"s. We brought a young woman with us because she goes to school with one of the daughters. She is amazing! She has such a strong testimony and is such a great example to me! Wish more girls were like her! She's our best friend in Young womens! The lesson went great! The "P"s really want to come to church but don't have a car or a way there, so that's a struggle. Then we had dinner with the "T"s and then headed off for Milwaukee to do an exchange with West Allis. I stayed in West Allis with Sister Silva. As soon as I got there I found out they are teaching this girl that I taught while I was there but kinda fell off the map. I had a dream about her like 2 days before exchanges and I was gonna tell them to try calling her but they are already teaching her again. How great is that? :)

Friday was an amazing day in "Stallis". I love it! We had a couple appointments in the morning with some less actives and then we went walking to contact potentials and street contact. We were able to talk to so many people and get a lot of great contacts and new investigators for them! We also ran into a lot of people telling us we were going to hell and that we were brainwashed. Haha. For every great solid new investigator, there was 2 revilers. Haha. Then we met up with Sarah W and had a lesson with her. She's doing sooo good. She just got her patriarchal blessing! She told us how her blessing talks about her helping the "undesired" and she was just so happy because she wants to go into Social work and she was like, "the guy would have had no way of knowing that!" Her testimony is so strong and she told us all about how she started dating some guy who tried to drift her away from church and then God told her she was getting off the path, so she broke up with him and headed back for the straight and narrow. She's doing great! I love her so much! She said she's going to camp out at the airport the day I fly out! haha. Then we met up with the RS president in West Allis, and we all had dinner together! We had a blast laughing and talking about old times. It was a perfect last exchange in West Allis even though Im secretly hoping they send me back there! 

Saturday we had correlation and then I asked for a blessing because my ankle has been killing me from running everyday. So I got a great blessing that was full of how much Heavenly Father is proud of me and he's grateful for the work I've done in this area. The blessing said HF is mindful of my needs and my families needs. :) It was very comforting! Afterward, we went to a member who's a foot doctor and he gave me a wrap and said to get it checked out after I get home. Then we had a couple lessons then it was RS Super Saturday and we took some fun classes on organization, family finances and hairstyling and sign language. During the finances one, the guy told me how to get out of debt! It was great! Then during the hairstyling one, the YW wanted me to teach them how to do my "perfect bun" Lol. Love the Young woman!  Then the ward put on a nice dinner for us all and then it was the broadcast. The Broadcast was amazing!!! I loved Uchtdorf's talk! All my questions I wrote down were answered and I am so excited for this weekend!!!
Sunday was amazing. President and Sister Cutler were visiting our ward and speaking in sacrament meeting. Our song went really well (even though me and sister reed both caught colds and weren't feeling very well) many people told us how much it touched them and how well we did. During 3rd hour, they had a combined YM/YW and President had all of us missionaries on a panel and asked us questions and stuff about missionary life and we had to answer them. It was super fun and got the youth involved. I love President!!! Also, President Mortimer from the Stake presidency was there and afterward, he came to speak to us and told us how much he felt the spirit from us and how he wishes our group of 6 missionaries in our ward could stay there for our whole missions. He thanked us for being so unified and amazing missionaries. That meant a lot to us! It was a great sunday!!!

I love you all sooo very much! Thank you for your support and prayers in my behalf. My mission is the best thing that has happened in my life and I am so glad the Lord sent me here to Kenosha. I love this town and I love the people here. They will be my friends forever. :) I hope you all have a wonderful day and enjoy watching conference! I will find comfort in knowing we are all watching our prophet and apostles at the same time. :) Also, tell Pebbles happy birthday for me this week! I love and miss all of you!!! See you in 6 short weeks!

Sister Karlie Marie Tanner <3

Monday, September 22, 2014

GAOLI "Beautiful Moon"

It's been an amazing week in Kenosha! Sorry this might be the shortest email about my week. I've been stressing to try to get my application for BYU done. It will come together!! Okay quick update, theres this girl, "M" that sent me a letter when I was in the MTC telling me that finding my blog was an answer to her prayer. Well she lives in Georgia and we kinda became pen pals. She just got baptized! I am so happy. She's been investigating my whole mission and she has written me updates of her ups and downs in wanting to get baptized and she finally did! So excited for her!!!

Monday was alright. I was sick most of the day so I just tried to rest up. I slept on the stage while Sister Reed played sports with everyone else. She won a push up competition with one of the elders. My companion is a beast everyone! Later we had dinner and FHE at the Sake presidents home and the "B"s were there too. It was hilarious! The kids were accidentally saying swear words and we were cracking up. We went to say the closing prayer and the youngest son said, "I wanna sing Hachau God" LOL, so we sang I Am A Child of God, aka Hachau God.

Tuesday was district meeting and we combined with the Racine district because our district leader was sick. Well the DL of the other district hates me for some strange reason so he was being rude and disrespectful the whole meeting. It was a very irreverant meeting and not appropriate. The struggle is real. So after spending 2 hours praying for charity, we finally go to leave. Ah! Then we went and had the best lesson ever with the new family that we are teaching. This family is so prepared. So we just met the daughter walking on the street last week and we had no clue we would find a family of 5 who have been searching for a church for over 8 years! The mom was hilarious! She asked the best questions and has a sincere desire to know if what we believe is true. They all accepted the Book of Mormon with an open heart. It's a mom with 4 daughters who are 11, 14, 16, and 21. They loved the restoration and kept asking questions about the plan of salvation so they are totally excited to keep learning. Then later we had dinner at the "B"s and Sister B pretty much told us her whole life story. It was so great to get to know her better and we had a blast talking about her experiences. I love her!

Wednesday we had exchanges in Lake Mills. I went there with Sister Alder. These are the sisters that have been really struggling this transfer so it was an important exchange. Sister Alder came out with me but the whole thing with her companion has really shot her confidence down. She's just enduring the rest of her mission, so I spent the whole day trying to show her how to work hard and have fun. It makes me so sad that people don't enjoy themselves and they just grin and bear it. Also, we spent most of the day finding and tracting. I came back to Kenosha sooo grateful for how receptive the people are here. Almost nobody would even let us pray with them in Lake Mills. I felt very blessed to be in an area that has so many prepared people. We met with a less active Hmong family in Lake Mills and he gave me a Hmong name! Mine is Gaoli which I guess means beautiful moon. Haha. Then we met the sisters at the stake center to switch back and they were having some huge CES fireside about preparing for college. So I snagged a packet and a cute BYU pen. The packet has great info! I also got to see the Bishop from the West Allis ward along with some of my favorite members there. I miss that place!

Thursday we did weekly planning and actually got it done! Then we had a couple appointments and our dinner appointment cancelled and then "R" offered to feed us. Shes so sweet! We had a nice dinner with her! We visited a family in our ward that bishop asked us to visit and they are amazing. We had a whole lesson on recognizing the spirit and the spirit was so strong there. I love lessons like that one. :) 

Friday we volunteered at the Shalom center and they made lunch for all the volunteers. It was nice. Then we came home and I got a package from Gram and the sparkle letter from Kristen. Thanks gram, I love the new Mercy River cd. :) People are going to start fighting me to burn it for them. Missionaries go crazy over new music. Then we had a lesson with the "F"s. Bro. F has a hard time accepting the details about the gold plates and Joseph Smith. he said "It's just too amazing to believe it really happened." Then he later told us, "I want it to be true!" He's getting there!! Then we had a day full of appointments then at night, the YW/YM had a talent show and it was hilarious!!!!! Seriously the greatest talent show ever! The miamaids and laurels did a glow stick dance and it was so funny because they turned out the lights and you could only see the glow sticks they taped to their body dancing. It was great! I love the young woman in our ward! 

Saturday we had correlation and then a great lesson with some of the girls we are teaching. The mom was sick in bed, but we read from the Book of Mormon with the girls and the 16 year old girl we met on the street is super interested and loved it! Things started clicking for her! Then we went with the "A"s to get my dress altered. Stressful stressful! I am praying it turns out alright! Then we ran around visting people and then had a dinner with Sister "O" and we practiced our song we are singing in sacrament meeting next week for her because shes the choir director in our ward and then we had a whole lesson on music and the power that it has to bring the spirit into our lives and she even sang a little for us. Later, we had a lesson with "R" and she's understanding the Atonement now! She's still coffee free! :)

Sunday was the primary program at church. CUTEST THING EVER!!! Then we had a day packed with appointments. We went to visit a less active sister the bishop asked us to see. The elders usually work with them because they are teaching her husband whos not a member but the bishop asked us specifically to visit her, so we went with Sister Z and while we were there, her sister in law came to visit them and was super interested. Sister Z offered for us to teach her and then kind of giggled knowing the elders might get mad if she isnt in our area, well turns out she lives right by our apartment, in our area. So we are totally going to start teaching her. Everything happens for a reason! Then we went to visit Sister "P" and then went to a BBQ and dinner with the "T"s and they had this super fun game planned for FHE called "Stump the missionaries" we had to come up with an anology with a random object with some gospel related. It was fun! They didnt stump us!
Overall it was a wonderful week and I am looking forward to the couple weeks I have left in Kenosha. I don't want to leave this place! I love it! 

Thanks for all your love, support and prayers! I feel them everyday! Have a great week! I love you!!!

Sister Karlie Marie Tanner <3

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"Apostasy, Apostasy, PROPHET"

Sister Tanner can hardly believe that September is already half over! "Where the heck is the time going? The weeks really are flashing by! 2 months from today will be the most exciting day for Kristen, Maverick, and our whole family! It's coming so soon and I can't wait to be there with all of you for that day! We've had a great week here in Kenosha! We've had a couple challenges, but the work moves forward and miracles have been happening", Sister Tanner said.

Monday was a much needed P day for the Sisters. They really took time to actually relax and rest their bodies up for the week ahead. They were able to spend time that evening with a fun family who had them over for dinner. "They are the most hilarious family ever! Love them", Sister Tanner said. She is lucky to be surrounded by so many amazing families! They ended their day by visiting a few different people, and planning their trainings for the following day.


The Zone Training Meeting was on Tuesday! The Mission President's wife surprised everyone and showed up! Sister Tanner was so nervous since she was teaching, but she did wonderful! "We gave two different trainings. The first one was on consecration, and I can honestly say it's my favorite and best training I've given on my mission. It was totally led by the spirit and I felt like our Zone actually cared about what we were talking about. Afterward, I was thinking about how that is probably the last training I will be giving and so I was really happy that it was my favorite one! The other training we gave was on working with members and the importance of finding people to teach through members. It went really well", Sister Tanner said. After the Zone training, the Sisters went to work like crazy! They were able to contact so many people! It was amazing! Then, after an amazing dinner, they headed to the church to teach Young Women's Mutual night. They had a "YW SISTER MISH NIGHT!" Sister Tanner had the wonderful opportunity to tell them all about her decision to serve, and what Mission life is like for a girl. "It was so fun, and you could totally see the light go off for some girls now going to be thinking about serving. We had a blast with them", Sister Tanner said. She loves being able to work with the Young Women!

Wednesday was filled with lots of appointments! At one home, the lesson wasn't going exactly the way Sister Tanner had planned. She was a little bummed, but then she ended up meeting a completely different person while at this house! He was a super cool guy who is interested and wants to attend church! What a great ending to that visit! At the next lesson, Sister Tanner and Sister Reed helped the woman work on her family history. "She didn't think it was possible because all of her family is from Honduras, and they don't keep good records. She just thought it was impossible, but Sister Reed is a family history nut, so she figured it out", Sister Tanner said. How amazing it is that these Sisters are helping to connect others to their families. What a blessing! Later that day, Sister Tanner brought flowers to a woman in her ward. Her daughter had just had surgery, and they wanted to cheer her up. The sweet woman told them she is going to find some friends for them to teach! Sister Tanner was so excited about that! That evening, the Sisters taught a lesson at the church and then stayed for Institute after. "Always blows my mind! He is the best institute teacher ever", Sister Tanner said of her teacher.

Wisconsin finally reached fall weather on Thursday! Sister Tanner is so excited to wear sweaters and boots! Luckily, she will be leaving just as the harsh winter arrives! The Sisters had a great lesson with the recently baptized 10 year old that day. Sister Tanner had a fabulous idea to play "Duck, Duck, Goose" as part of her lesson. As she worked on her studies that morning, she kept trying to figure out why she felt the need to play that game with him! Then she realized she could use it to help teach the Restoration and the importance of prophets! So they played "Apostasy, Apostasy, PROPHET!" "The kids LOVED it! He is so smart and remembered the whole restoration and then for our closing prayer, he started it by saying, "Our Eternal Father"! What the heck! What 10 year old starts their prayers that way, especially when we 've never said that with them. He is so smart and is learning so much", Sister Tanner said. She loves this family and this young boy so much! Seeing him grow and progress so much in the gospel brings her so much happiness! After that amazing lesson, Sister Tanner rushed to a "Headquarter referral" lesson! It was a miracle referral! "She was probably my age and asked for a Bible. She is way cool and super open. We gave her a Book of Mormon too", Sister Tanner said. This young woman was definitely meant to learn about the gospel! She is so ready! Later that day, Sister Tanner met with one of her investigators. She was able to tell the Sisters that she is 5 days Coffee Free! "It's a miracle! She said she fasted on Sunday, and then on Monday she went to her coffee place and they were all out. So she just quit and hasn't drank any since! Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways! We have faith she can get baptized by the end of the year", Sister Tanner said. Fasting can bring us the clarity and the blessings we need to make a big decision or get through a trial in our life. The day ended with an amazing experience at their dinner appointment. They had dinner with a part member family, where the husband is not a member of the church. They used this dinner appointment to teach him another lesson. It went really well. Sister Tanner told him that if he decides to be baptized, that she will be there whenever it is. He told her that it's not about "if" but about "when"! She is so excited, and hopes that he makes that decision before she leaves in November! "What a happy day that will be! I think he really loves us because we are the first ones that haven't pushed him or bugged him about it. He knows we love them and that we will love him no matter what choice he makes. He told us he's been reading the Book of Mormon every day! Yay! We were so excited", Sister Tanner said!
Sister Tanner had exchanges on Friday with the Elkhorn Sisters. Sister Rousseau came to Kenosha to serve with her for the day. Together, they volunteered at the Shalom Center and then taught a few lessons. They even found a new investigator! They also were able to teach another part member family. The husband, who is not a member committed to read The Book of Mormon every day! This is huge for him! He always participates when they all read together, but has never showed a desire to do it on his own. This is a big step for him! The next appointment for the day was to contact a potential investigator. Sister Tanner went to ring the doorbell, and a 16 year old girl answered and explained that they had the wrong address number. She said, "You can come in and talk to us though!" "THIS NEVER HAPPENS! So we went in and her mom and brother were home too and the mom told us how she's been struggling to trust in God since her best friend died. So we taught the whole plan of Salvation to them and the power of The Book of Mormon. They all just sat there and listened and soaked it all in. MIRACLE! I can count on my hands the number of times strangers have let me in their house the first time I've met them. They are so prepared! I think the daughter is most interested than anyone, but the Mom is open to it too. We are so excited to start teaching them", Sister Tanner said! What an incredible experience!
On Saturday, Sister Tanner and Sister Reed were back together. They attended a productive correlation meeting that morning, and stayed for an 8 year old's baptism afterwards. It was very special! Afterwards, Sister Tanner had this strong prompting to go visit this specific less active family. So they went! They knocked on every door of the apartment complex, and no one answered. They started to walk back to their car, and a family all started walking out of one of the apartments. Sister Tanner saw them, and asked if they knew the family they were looking for. It was them! What a miracle! They were able to talk with them, and are going to visit them again this week. Sister Tanner is so in tune with the spirit to recognize these promptings! As amazing as this experience was, it didn't end there. Later that day, the Sisters were having dinner with a family in their ward. The daughter told them about an experience she had at school. She has an "I Did The Book of Mormon Challenge" shirt that she decided to wear to school. A random girl at her school came up to her and told her that she was Mormon too, but just hadn't been to church in a long time. Well, it turns out this girl is from the exact same family! This is the family from earlier! "God is so aware of all his children! Not a coincidence that we went to see them and their daughter just had this experience", Sister Tanner said. What an incredible faith building experience! That night, Sister Tanner practiced her song she is singing in Sacrament Meeting. She will be performing the last Sunday in September, which is her very last Sunday in Kenosha!

Sunday was a beautiful day in Kenosha! Sister Tanner had the opportunity to work with the Young Women again. She was asked on the spot to teach the Young Women about "Preach My Gospel". "We had no clue we were teaching, but we got up there and taught the coolest 45 minute lesson ever for them! It went really well! It was all the spirit, because we had nothing planned! We ended up talking to them about how PMG can help them feel more comfortable to invite their friends to church activities and to gain a stronger testimony themselves. We even did a roleplay! Me and Sister Reed were on the same page the whole time too! It was really good. We were so grateful Heavenly Father helped us know what to say", Sister Tanner said. These Young Women in Kenosha are so blessed to be taught by such strong Sister Missionaries! After church, Sister Tanner needed to stay for the ward after. During their sacrament meeting, she had a profound experience that made her think about how much she has changed this past year. "There was this really pretty, glam, young woman sitting in front of me, and it was the weirdest experience ever. It was like I was watching the person I used to be. She was on her phone on Facebook the whole meeting and kind of making rude comments about the musical performance by the ward choir, and just talking and totally distracting everyone she was sitting with. At first, I was just annoyed by her and I was quick to think, "Why did she even come to church if she's going to act like that"? Then the spirit taught me that that's how I used to be. Maybe not as extreme as her, but definitely similar. I thought about how I used to be and where this woman was now and where I am today. The only way I was able to get here is because of my mission. Then I thought about how sad it might be that I might still have been like that was it not for my decision to serve and for the Atonement changing me. I know Heavenly Father allowed me to have that experience for a reason. I know that I will be different and that I won't go back to being that person. I am so grateful for change and for those reflecting moments God let us have to help us know we are on the right track and to not retreat back to our old selves", Sister Tanner said.

Sister Tanner's Thoughts:

"It's been a fantastic week here in Kenosha! Thank you for all of your prayers and love. I hope we start feeling better today, because we don't have time to miss one beat! It's going to be a great week ahead of us! FUN FACT! The Book of Mormon has the best example of a Sister Missionary! ABISH! Alma 19:15-17. I love you all so much!"
Sister Tanner
Alma 19:16 "And it came to pass that they did call on the name of the Lord, in their might, even until they had all fallen to the earth, save it were one of the Lamanitish women, whose name was Abish, she having been converted unto the Lord for many years, on account of a remarkable vision of her father."



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"Thou Shalt Have Strength"

The past week flew by for Sister Tanner! She could hardly believe it was already Monday again! She had a wonderful week that started off with a fun P day on Tuesday. The Missionaries in her area all played an intense game of chair soccer! Sister Tanner had a blast! They even challenged each other to a cartwheel competition! "I came in 2nd place! Who knew I had hidden cartwheel talents", Sister Tanner said! That evening, Sister Tanner met with the Relief Society President in her ward. They discussed people that they want to work with more closely, and people they want to visit teach! It was a wonderful meeting.

Sister Tanner taught a very inspired lesson on Wednesday. "Totally by the spirit! We went there with a totally different plan than what we ended up teaching. But somehow the spirit guided us to teach about the Atonement! My favorite thing", Sister Tanner said. After the amazing lesson, it was time for the Sisters to head to their District meeting. It was inspirational! Then it was back to work! Sister Tanner and Sister Reed taught a bunch of lessons that afternoon, including a new member lesson to one of the recent converts. Sister Tanner taught about eternal marriage! It was wonderful! "The family's sons had a bunch of friends over so they all stayed for the lesson and asked us questions and it was really good. They called us "Jesus Freaks" but it's fine. I guess we kinda are to the rest of the world", Sister Tanner said.
Sister Tanner felt so inspired and motivated by her companion for the day, Sister Ormsby. It was a day of exchanges on Thursday, and Sister Ormsby came to Kenosha to serve with Sister Tanner. "She's awesome! She came out with Sister King! Love her! She is an amazing Missionary and has lots of health problems with headaches and different things but she never ever uses it as an excuse not to work, which a lot of Missionaries do. She's a beast! We had a great day together and she is a great example of a consecrated missionary", Sister Tanner said. What a wonderful example to all Missionaries! This Sister has a lot of adversity, but she never complains or lets it interfere with her work! Sister Tanner felt so motivated by her! It was a successful day of catching everyone at home! Together, they taught some inspiring lessons. That evening, Sister Tanner went to teach the recently baptized 10 year old boy. His 15 year old cousin was there, as well as a bunch of their friends. They were reluctant to talk to the Sisters at first, but eventually they warmed up to them and started to participate in the lesson. The boys decided that they even wanted to sing! They performed "Amazing Grace", and had beautiful voices! They started to ask more questions, and before you knew it the Book of Mormon was being taught to them. They want to learn more! "You could tell he was kind of shocked that all his friends were so open to it. All his friends kept asking us really good questions about what we do as Missionaries and stuff", Sister Tanner said. At one point another friend showed up, and asked who Sister Tanner and Sister Reed were. A boy told her, "They are Missionaries. They are really cool!" Sister Tanner was excited to find out that she is still "cool" as a Missionary! It was the greatest lesson and the greatest day!
Sister Tanner and Sister Reed were back together on Friday, and headed off to Oshkosh for Mission Leadership Council. It was an amazing training that focused on the book, "How To Become A More Consecrated Missionary", by Tad Callister. Sister Tanner has been lucky to have known about this book, and had the opportunity to read it since the start of her Mission. Mission Leadership was spiritual and uplifting! After the long journey home, the Sisters had a lesson with one of the recently baptized members. "She's already in Helaman! She's crazy! She remembers more details about the Book of Mormon than I do", Sister Tanner said. It's wonderful to see the progression of these sweet converts as they progress further in the gospel. 

MLC on 9/5/14
Saturday morning was filled with teaching a few amazing lessons! Sister Tanner taught a lesson on the Restoration and the Priesthood with a sweet Sister. Later on, she taught an investigator the importance of attending Church and keeping the Sabbath day holy! "It was an amazing lesson! She will get baptized soon", Sister Tanner said!
Sunday was an amazing Sabbath! Two investigators came to church! The woman Sister Tanner taught the previous day attended Church! "She was crying and loved it so much! She stayed all 3 hours", Sister Tanner said. Also, the non member husband of a Sister in the ward attended Church. "We really feel like he's getting so close. Pray for him", Sister Tanner said. After the wonderful church meetings, the Sisters headed out to the country to visit people and to have dinner.  A few weeks ago, Sister Tanner had a very intense dream about a family she hadn't visited in awhile. This family has a son who is disabled and cannot walk. "I had a dream a couple weeks ago that he was totally fine, and he was walking around and telling me all about his experience being handicapped, and after I had that dream, they started coming back to church", Sister Tanner said. She is unsure what this dream means, but she is happy that they have been coming back to church. She went to visit and spend time with them that evening. The son had just gotten back from his Disney World trip with Make A Wish Foundation. He loved telling Sister Tanner all about it, and how his favorite character is Flynn Rider from "Tangled." So sweet! Sister Tanner loves this special family!
Sister Tanner's Testimony:
"Overall it was a great week full of miracles and wonderful lessons. I love getting to preach the gospel and help people make changes every day. I read this week in D&C 24:7-9 about how our strength comes from Christ when we are devoting our service in Zion. I know that on my own, I wouldn't have strength to work as hard as we do every day but that because I am doing the Lord's work, I have strength to do everything he needs me to accomplish. I know that every day when I collapse in exhaustion, that He gives me the strength to wake up and do it all over again. And I love it! I trust in Him because I know I cannot do it on my own. I love you all so much! Hope you have a great week! Thank you for your continuous prayers! Know that I am praying for all of you as well!"
Sister Karlie Marie Tanner
D&C 24: 7: For thou shalt devote all thy service in Zion; and in this thou shalt have strength.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Enduring To The End

As Sister Tanner's Mission is quickly coming to an end, she is working harder than ever. She has the drive and determination to accomplish all she can in these next 2 months. "It's been an amazing week full of miracles and a rollercoaster of emotions! We have been running every morning for 2 weeks now, and it has helped us so much! One of the members in our ward asked us to be her workout buddies, so knowing someone is outside waiting for us helps motivate us so much more! It's been amazing! We run a little further every day, pushing ourselves inch by inch. So now, I really am running to the finish line", Sister Tanner said.

The last P-day of the transfer is always super fun! Instead of the usual gym sports, the missionaries all went and played mini golf! It was a fun day! For dinner that night, Sister Tanner went to an amazing family's home. They wanted to introduce them to their non member neighbors. Sadly, they weren't home, but it was such a blessing that they were willing to do that! "It was amazing that they were that confident about sharing the gospel that they were willing to do that", Sister Tanner said. Member missionaries are the greatest!

Tuesday was the day of cucumbers in Kenosha! Wherever Sister Tanner went, it seemed like someone would offer her cucumbers. There must have been an abundance in the area! She was very thankful! It ended up being a very productive day. Sister Tanner and Sister Reed decided to walk most of the day. They were able to get ahold of and visit many less active members and potential investigators. It was wonderful! That evening, Sister Tanner had to say goodbye to one of her investigators who was moving to Milwaukee for college. She was able to refer her to the YSA Sister Missionaries there!

Wednesday morning was spent helping a family paint their house! They are getting ready to move to the Bay Area! Small world! Sister Tanner can't wait to visit them after her Mission. After painting, Sister Tanner was able to teach an investigator whom she hadn't been able to contact for awhile! It was amazing to visit with her again. As they were leaving, they lingered near her driveway for a minute to think about what was next. Sister Tanner expressed how much she really wanted to find a new investigator soon. Sister Reed confidently replied, "We will find that person today." Right then and there, a girl walked right past them. They started talking to her, and she is very interested! She just moved to the area and is looking for a church to join. It was truly a miracle! "Prayers are answered and miracles happen! After we left, we were like, woah, that was a fast answer from God! I know that he is so aware of us and that he's on our side. I know he wants to bless us with our righteous desires and he's willing to help us achieve them if we are doing our part as well", Sister Tanner said. As the day went on, more blessings came their way. They were able to meet a lot of amazing new people! That evening, Sister Tanner had a lesson with the recently baptized young boy and his family. She had planned on starting his new member lessons, but quickly changed her mind when she got there. Instead, she taught and read from the Book of Mormon. They read and discussed how Nephi forgave his brothers. She ended up teaching a lesson about forgiveness. "It was really good and totally directed by the spirit! So grateful for those experiences", Sister Tanner said. She just loves that family so much!

Thursday morning was filled with amazing lessons! Sister Tanner had the opportunity to teach a lesson to a woman about Patriarchal blessings. It went wonderful! She then went to visit the girl she met the previous day. She ended up meeting yet another interested girl! So many new potential investigators! Heavenly Father is showering these Sister Missionaries with blessings. After a few more lessons, it was time to get some weekly planning done. The Sisters had a fun dinner appointment that night, and then headed off to the Church. It was the ward's "Basketball- Invite Your Friends Night". The sweet 10 year old came and his entire family too! "He's better at basketball than most of the Elders", Sister Tanner said. He had so much fun!
Life size calendar and info board in Sister Tanner's apartment.
Sister Tanner enjoyed a wonderful interview with her Mission President on Friday. "It went so well. We sat down and said a prayer, and then he was like. "This is my last interview with you before your final interview before you go home, how are you feeling?" Ah! That was weird! The whole interview he basically reassured me that I'm doing a good job and that I'm a good missionary and to keep running to the finish line. We talked about the Sisters we're over and how we can help them. He also talked to me about things that are going on in Prairie and also how much I've helped Sister Reed's confidence grow! I had no idea I had helped her with that! He told me to set goals for the first year home from my mission. He thanked me "for the changes I'm making in the Mission". I thought that was really cool. I told him I was scared to go home, because I don't want to go back to the person I was, I want to be a new, better version of myself. He said, "Sister Tanner, I am not worried about you at all. Continue to set goals and you will be great." That was reassuring", Sister Tanner said of her interview. How amazing and motivating President Cutler is! For lunch, Sister Tanner went to this yummy Mexican restaurant. The Sisters ended up teaching their waitress all about the gospel. It was a great moment! After lunch, the Sisters ended up running into a woman that they used to teach. "She still wants to get baptized and learn more about the gospel! It was a miracle that we caught her at the right moment", Sister Tanner said. Her wonderful day ended with a lesson at the home of a Sister who was recently baptized. Sister Tanner has been teaching her new member lessons and working with her non member husband. He is so fun and always challenges the Sisters to do crazy things! That night, he challenged Sister Tanner to eat "tongue tacos". If she eats them, he will come to church! "NASTY, but I told him I'd do it if he would come to church. The things we do to help people feel the spirit! I think he's looking for an excuse to come to church now, and just doesn't want to admit that he actually wants to come! We will get him there! I didn't eat any this week, but he's going to get them next time we go over! Yuck! I'll need your prayers", Sister Tanner said. We hope this "tongue taco" eating adventure gets recorded! Sister Tanner truly is a brave one! She is willing to do almost anything to get others to accept the gospel!
Sister Tanner received her "trunky papers" on Saturday. Trunky papers are something you get towards the end of your mission. The purpose is to keep you motivated and also to help prepare you for returning home. "It's basically a letter from President about "your going home soon, make goals, and stay focused", and then this talk about enduring to the end and finishing strong. I read it once, put it away, and had a good cry, and then went out to work", Sister Tanner said. She wastes no time! The first lesson she taught that day was on "enduring to the end". Sister Tanner was also able to help out at a charity fundraiser. It was an event held in honor of the grandson of a woman in her ward. He passed away a few years ago, and they continue to hold the event in his memory. They collect school supplies and donate them to families in need. Sister Tanner loved being a part of it. She was also able to meet a lot of non member family and friends there. She ended her night by stopping by a Missionary farewell for a young man in her ward. He is leaving for Guam this week, and went by to wish him well and congratulate him! It's amazing to see Missionaries support other Missionaries! Onward ever onward!
Sister Tanner had a beautiful Sunday at church! All the talks seemed to be for her. Most were about "enduring to the end." That seemed to be the topic of the week in Kenosha! Sister Tanner also had the opportunity to teach the Gospel Principles class. "Our lesson was on Honesty and it went really good! We planned a fun activity with different scenarios and what people would do. It was great", Sister Tanner said. It was amazing to have a few investigators and lots of less active members attend Church! Afterwards, Sister Tanner decided to have some personal scripture study time. "I'm in Alma 40ish, and I had a question about something about the resurrection and then I wrote down my question and kept reading, and my question was answered almost immediately! I've been getting lots of quick answers to my prayers lately! It was really cool", Sister Tanner said. That evening, the Sisters went to teach a woman a lesson on humility. Before they started to teach, they decided to sing the hymn, "In Humility Our Savior." It changed the outcome of the lesson, and brought the spirit into her home so strongly. It ended up being an amazing lesson. The spirit that music can bring is so powerful!

Monday was Labor Day! It is considered a "prime proselyting day", so the Missionaries don't have their scheduled P-days. It was a great day for Sister Tanner! She was able to go into a part of town that she hasn't been to before. She met a lot of new people, and was able to contact many that she has been reaching out to. The Sisters worked very hard that day, and were exhausted by the end! Sister Tanner had a really powerful experience about the Holy Ghost protecting her. "We went to contact this part member family that we had a note somewhere is only available on Monday evenings. So we went there and we both had this really bad feeling, so we knocked once and no one answered. There was lights on inside and a car that drove by really creepily staring at us, so we ran to our car, got inside, and immediately felt protected. No clue what was going on, but I'm so grateful for protection of the Holy Ghost in warning us of danger", Sister Tanner said. The Holy Ghost is always there to protect us from harm. We just need to be in tune and worthy to hear it's still small voice. If so, we will more easily be able to avoid dangerous and negative situations.

Sister Tanner had an amazing and successful week! So many of her lessons and experiences can be used in our daily lives to help inspire others, and to motivate ourselves! Her theme of the week seemed to be "enduring to the end." This is something we can all apply to our own lives. If we endure to the end, through every trial and every bump in the road, we can achieve eternal life.
Sister Tanner's Testimony:
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
-Hebrews 4:16
"This week I was studying sacrifice and made a list of the things I have sacrificed and a list of the blessings I've received because of my Mission. The list of blessings was significantly longer than that of the sacrifices. And surprisingly some of the things on the list were the same. The blessings I have already witnessed and received from my mission are incredible! I know that I will continue to receive blessings for this time for the rest of my life as well as all of you and my future family. The blessings always outweigh the sacrifices and in the end, we end up gaining much more than we thought we would. Most importantly, we gain a change of heart which brings many more blessings. I am grateful for the change of heart that I've had as I've come to know my Savior better and as I've understood how the scriptures apply to me. When I left for my mission, I was excited to witness people be changed by the gospel, and that still is my favorite part of this work, but I never would have anticipated the change within myself. I love this gospel and I love that Heavenly Father is always preparing us to come home to him."
Sister Karlie Marie Tanner