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

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