Liebe Luening Familie,
It is going really well. I definitely had an interesting week, but it was way cool! Thanks for your letter and for letting me know a bit more about how things are going.
So, this week, on Tuesday, it was a German holiday, "Maifeiertag". It is like labor Day. We had a big bike ride and picnic with the Ward. It was cool! We only had one bike, so we told the Ward that we probably wouldn't go, but they made sure to find us a bike because they really wanted us to come! It was so sunny and nice, and we were able to see a bit more history on the city! I got sunburned pretty good. Then we went to a few appointments which fell through. We managed to get some new appointments which was really good. Then we had volleyball night with a few members! It was a lot of fun!
Wednesday, we had District Meeting, which was sweet! We told a bit about ourselves and where we were from and then to make things fun, we had Zombie invasion questions. So, if we were in an invasion, what would our weapon, wing man and song be. Haha, I picked a battleaxe, Mufahsa, and "In the Jungle" or New York remix by Jay Z. It was fun, but we did share a lot of spiritual experiences and the District Meeting was really cool. We then had exchanges, so I went to Dresdon with Elder B. He's one of the Zone Leaders! We went to a few appointments and were able to teach 3 lessons. We had a bunch of kids following us around asking questions about all different kinds of things about us - it was funny! In one of the appointments we had, the young woman we taught has 2 daughters. We asked one daughter to give closing prayer and she did it! We can totally see the way the spirit works in others lives when we visit them.
Thursday I got back to Forst and had a dinner appointment right away. Dresdon is 3 hours away from Forst so I was ready for some lunch - haha! we had ultimate grilled cheese sandwiches. (grilled cheese with burger meat, tomatoes and this really good sauce.) the members are nice all the time!I decided to try and speak more no matter whether I couldn't really say exactly what I want to because I don't know the vocabulary. It doesn't matter and it is the only way I will learn faster. The members love me and my sense of humor! Elder V and I get along great which really helps a lot. when we went to our appointments today, they all fell through so we talked to a lot of people on the streets and took turns approaching. some people listen and some don't. The last war affected a lot of people here and pretty much no one believes in God. There is a lot of work to do!
Friday was really tough for finding people to teach and having teaching appointments. We set a baptismal date with E. She is a single African mother from Kenya. We taught her a really good lesson! She has had all three Preach My Gospel lessons already, so we read the Book of Enos with her. The spirit was really strong and she said she would come to Church with us. It was way cool!
Saturday, we finally got our bikes! We got a new one and on the one that worked, we had the chain fixed so that it stops falling off. We had lunch with the B family, and ate enchiladas. It was really good. They are a family of 7 and are awesome! We try to teach 4 lessons a day and we only managed to get 3 on Friday, so that meant we needed 5 on Saturday! It was really tough. We pressed forward with faith and the Lord blessed us with 5! We had taught 4 lessons and needed one more. it was pouring rain and we decided to stop at one more person's place on the way home. He buzzed us into the building and then saw that we were soaking wet and let us come in. We shared a message about Heleman 5:12, 22-52 about if our faith is built on a rock, we will make it through the storm! It was really good and he asked a lot about me because he hadn't met me yet. it was really cool.
Sunday was Fast and Testimony meeting. E came to Church with her baby and stayed for Sacrament meeting! Her baby is 7 month old! Brother B shared how we as missionaries influenced his family to do missionary work. Our message to their family was on missionary work and they were trying to figure out who they could invite. So, one of the kids suggested that they should invite his friend and his friend's family.
They did and they will be coming to Church and some activities in June! It was really cool to hear that!
We then had lunch with a widow sister. She made us so much food. It is a rule that you have to eat whatever they give you or whatever they make because otherwise they will have too many left-overs and we will not be allowed to come back. I had 4 potato Kloesse (dumplings), 2 huge chicken drumsticks, lots of Rotkohl ( pickle red cabbage), and carrots. I was stuffed after my first serving, but had to pound down another plate full. And after that there is always dessert.. So, she got out the ice cream and I was like, I can do this- I can eat ice cream, but that is it! All of a sudden she goes to the fridge and says, " Oh, I made you guys pudding too, missionaries love pudding!" It was the funniest thing ever and Elder V and I burst out laughing because we were so full! So, she asked if we wanted syrup on the pudding, and loads us up! Then as we're eating this pudding and pretty much dieing, we see her loading up two bowls with ice cream and loading strawberries on top! Ohhh, it was soooo bad! We ate it all! It was terrible. I wanted to go to the bathroom and puke so badly! Elder V had 6 Kloesse - I don't know how he managed to keep it all in. It was crazy! It definitely made it into my journal!
Our appointments fell through so we did some old fashioned door to door tracting.we were able to teach 2 lessons through tracting which was really, really cool. Everyone has really been affected by the war and it feels great bringing them closer to God and Jesus Christ!
We also ran into a group of people who we thought were Jehovah's Witnesses, but hey turned out to be just regular Christians. They were really surprised that we could speak German to them!
So, yeah, this week has gone pretty fast, but lots has happened. It's good to hear that you are still doing P90X, Dad. Keep it up! Thanks for the letters you are sending me in German! Jeremy, it is good to hear that you are doing really well preparing for your mission. Do as much as you can because every little bit helps.
Mom, thanks for your letters every Monday, Haha. I know that the wedding is really soon, but I'm sure that it will come together nicely!
I hope Kassandra had a nice birthday and that Mom and Charlene have a good birthday too! Happy anniversary, by the way! I hope it was fun! I will try to send some packages this week if I have time! I hope the Ward is doing well - thanks for telling me about Sister Scott. I will be praying for her!
I have set up my skype account for Mother's Day! We will be skypeing at a member's home at around 8:00 AM your time on Sunday. I'll e-mail you back later today to find out the exact time. I won't be able to call because I will be at a member's house, so you will have to make sure that you are signed in and waiting for me!
I hope all is well, and the Lord is blessing you!
Love. Elder Luening