Monday, 30 April 2012

April 30, 2012, Forst

April 30, 2012, (10:25AM) Forst, Germany

Hallo Familie Luening,

My new address:
Elder Christopher Luening
Hermann Strasse 6
03149 Forst (Lausitz)

So, I made it safely to Germany!! I landed in Berlin at 9:00 AM on Wednesday! Our district woke up at 3:00 AM on Tuesday to say good-bye to everyone that was leaving for Frankfurt and then we stayed up until 8:00 AM when our bus left the MTC for the airport. We got rushed through our terminals and I didn't have time to phone you back. I flew from Provo to Seattle, then to Amsterdam and then Berlin, where President and Sistrer Pimental picked us up. They were very enthusiastic and way cool! We probably slept a max of 2 hours it total on our journey so we were exhausted by the time we arrived in Berlin. But we made it through the day!!

We went tracting for about an hour before we went to bed, and it was way cool! I had no idea what some people were saying, but, hey, that's why I have a companion! We slept in a hotel for the night and then the next day (on Thursday), we found out where we would be serving and who our trainer would be.
They call greenies "Goldens in this mission. There is a lot of power and light that comes from Goldens and they love it in Germany! haha!

So, I was assigned to serve in East Germany, in the Dresden Zone, in a little city called Forst. My companion Is Elder V and he has been out on his mission for about15 months.He is way cool and we get along great! He is from St. George, Utah! Our friendship is already so good that we can rip on each other all the time and "es macht Spas"! But we can also open up to each other a lot which has strengthened our friendship. We clicked pretty good and it is going well!

It is weird thinking that I'm all the way across the world from you.

The first week was crazy!  We took the train from Berlin to Forst, and then it was about 6:00 or 7:00 PM so we did some tracting (proselyting from door to door). We managed to get 2 appointments before going  home. The people are pretty friendly and everyone seems to know who we are! So, some of them swear at us in German, but others politely listen and than tell us they have no interest. It's tough but I'm loving it!

I have had 3 dinner appointments at member's houses so far! It's been really cool!

On Sunday, I bore my testimony and said a little about myself. Everyone was surprised that I could speak so well for the short time that I have learned it. It's still really hard to understand most of the time, but it's coming quicker every day. When we tract people mostly say the same thing, so now I understand when they have interest or not!

Forst has about 20,000 people in it, but it is really spread out, so walking is long and boring. We don't run into many people. But the weather has been really nice - sunny and warm - about 25 degrees or warmer everyday! If it is warmer than 20 degrees, we don't have to wear our suit jackets . Actually, we are supposed to have bikes in this city, but one of them is completely broken - the chain.  spokes, seat and brakes. That is why we are walking everywhere. Oh well. "es macht Spas". We will hopefully be getting a bike on Friday or Saturday!

 The members are awesome! They are all really friendly and happy that I have German blood in me!!

A lady from Kenya accepted the baptismal challenge if she finds out he Book of Mormon is true. She is probably about 28 years old and has a baby. We set a date for her and are going to work with her 3 times a week. we also found a lady that is really interested in the Church. She seems to be pretty religious but doesn't go to any specific church. She has a beautiful yard. I'll have to take pictures of it sometime!  We are seeing success and I am excited to teach them the gospel.

My companion doesn't like to exercise much, so in the morning he will sit on the couch and I'll go out on the balcony and do push-ups and sit-ups! I talked him into running outside every second day, so hopefully it works out. I can't stand not exercising in the morning! I know we pretty much walk all day, but it is still disappointing not being able to exercise before we study from 8:00-11:00AM. Aber alles ist Gut! (but it's all good)

It feels good to be out of prison (the MTC) -just kidding. I can actually walk around and talk to people about the gospel, and listen to uplifting music, and listen to people speak German everywhere I go!!
I love the MTC, but I'm really happy to be in Germany finally!

I miss everyone so much! I am glad to hear that Kass' dress is done and that her and Charlene are figuring things out with their apartment. It is good to hear that you are losing weight, Dad. You guys should e-mail me a new photo of you all together... or at the wedding or something! lol! Good to hear that Charlene is doing well, too and that Jeremy is having fun!

Mom, thanks for all your letters and for sending me uplifting things! Just want you all to know that I'm doing my best to be a good missionary and that I'm on my way to being one! I'm being obedient and learning lots from my trainer and from my mission president! I'm not scared or afraid to talk with people. It was weird - I would just speak and when I didn't understand, my companion just took over. It's disappointing when people are rude, but hey, we're missionaries and everyone needs the gospel.

Thanks for the letter in German ,Dad, and for Oma and Opa's mailing address.

Oh, yeah, I forgot my camera at the MTC, but they found it and they will either mail it to me or to you in Canada. I can't take any pictures until I get it back. Thank goodness they found it! It was scary- mein Fehler (my mistake)!  Hope you all are doing well and if you ever run into R, let her know that I miss her too!May 13, I can call home or Skype! So, if you want to set up a skype account and buy a cheap camera, we would be able to see each other when we talk! lol!

I'll let you know more about what is happening with me and my mission next week! I love you guys and hope the Lord is blessing you all! Stay strong and stay sweet.

 bis Montag,
Elder Luening

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