Wednesday, 30 May 2012

May 28, 2012, Forst

Wow! This week has been pretty intense! It is hard for me to remember what happened because it went by slow and fast at the same time! I still can't believe how Kassandra is married already, and how Jeremy is graduating from school. It is unbelievable hoe the time keeps moving forward!
This week seems like it has changed me a lot. I'm not sure in what ways, but I am just starting to feel different! I feel like I am starting to adjust and am able to be myself in the German language! I feel the spirit more as I speak and as I listen! My rate of understanding what people are saying has sped up again! I was at Church yesterday, and I could hear and understand what people were saying without having to think about it. It seemed to just come to me when I am not worrying about it so much. Every Sacrament meeting, I write down words that I don,t know and have a young man preparing for a mission in England to translate them. He keeps asking me why I have him translate instead of Elder V, but I just laugh and say that it is going to help him for his English speaking mission!
Na ya, this week has been interesting! On Monday, once our P-day was over, we had 3 hours of tracting ahead of us. We walked around and found about 20 people to talk to. Not a single one of them had more than 5 seconds for us! It was rough, but we were able to talk to each other and keep our spirits up! I am so glad that we are companions because we get along so well, and are able to share experiences that boost each other!
On Tuesday, I cut my hair. I accidentally cut it way too short! What can you do!  I went on an Austausch ( exchanges) with our district Leader, Elder J in Guuerlitz. We enjoyed it, although our 3 appointment fell through. We had a lot of time to talk to the students at the Studentenheims (student housing) and set up a few new appointments.We talked quite a bit and it was interesting to serve with Elder J because I saw how he talked to people and how he was himself! He's hilarious and he is so humble! We were able to have this really good appointment with a man who has been seeing the missionaries for 10 years. We felt the spirit so strongly in this discussion and were able to help him see how much the Lord has blessed him ever since he's met with the missionaries. It was really powerful and I realized that my German is good enough to be an instrument in the Lord's hands in Germany! Once  we got back, we went running in the rain to get some snacks for watching "The District". We got back to the apartment a bit wet, but watched "The Mountain of the Lord" and Together Forever". It was nice and it was good to have something boost our spirits when times were getting tough.
Wednesday was our district Meeting and Elder V and I switched back together again.We headed back to Forst and had a lunch appointment with B. Because he doesn't have much money, we bought the food and he cooked it with us. He made this really spicy soup with chicken and something else that we ate.  Apparently it is African food and you eat it with your fingers. It was so hot in his room. We were sweating like crazy in his hot, sweaty room, trying to eat this hot spicy food. It was awful, but we had a good time and were able to leave a message about prophets. we then went ot a few appointments that fell through do we went tracting for an hour before our Abendbrot (evening meal) appointment / Branch Mission Leader Meeting. we were able to teach 2 lessons on the street and we pleasantly surprised that people listened to us today! All in all, it was a long, but good day! Sister G made us amazing bread to eat along with the Broetchen (buns). Oh, yeah, I tried Teewurst for the first time. It was sooo good!
Thursday morning, we got up and got ready for a service project. Most of the houses in Germany are made of bricks. We had to take out a wall inside one of the houses that a member is renovating, so we spent about 3 hours bringing down a wall and removing the dirt and bricks from the house. It was a lot of work, but definitely fun! The member gave us 40 Euros which he said we could take because it was not for the work, but because he liked us!We headed to the bus station to take the bus to Gueben to tract for the day, but arrived just as the bus had left.We had no Idea what to do, so we decided to stop by some contacts. We saw Herr P sitting on the bench that he is always on, and taught him a lesson.He said he wants to be baptized and set a baptismal date!we still have a lot to teach him but are really excited that he wants a new life and feels that the Lord and us can he4lp him with that! We then went to teach B and an old contact next door. We were able to give him a powerful lesson on how faith is like a seed, and how it is hard but in the end it is worth it.We compared it to hiking a mountain.You could tell they could feel the spirit - it was so strong!We knew it was something they needed to hear and that they were appreciative of us stopping by and sharing a message with them. We were feeling so good when we went home and knew that we were doing what the Lord wanted us to be doing. Even though we didn't make it to Gueben as we had planned, the Lord used us in other ways. We got home and found out that our oven kicks the breaker so we can't use ot anymore. We had no hot water, but were able to light the hot water heater again. We have no idea what is happening with our oven! Oh, and apparently when I was on exchanges in Guerlitz, Elder V woke up to a flooded kitchen because our kitchen tap was broken. We had a new kitchen tap installed on Saturday! Crazy, but it's all good! On Friday, we had our Zone Conference in Leipzig- it was awesome! It was the Dresdon and Leipzig zones together. It was way cool! We had good lessons about how we can feel the love of God and Jesus Christ for us more in our lives. we were also made aware that all of Germany is going to be fasting and praying for finding, It is called "Esprit de Corps like never before!". We are all fasting from last night to today and praying that we will be able to Find "Golden investigators" to teach and bring to Christ! We feel that the Lord will pour out his blessings to all the missionaries when he sees us all fasting together and praying on the same day and working hard to find 100 golden investigators. People who are ready to receive the gospel. we are going to be expecting miracles. At zone confernce Iwas able to share my "golden" testimony and the missionaries who were "dieing" (going home this transfer) gave their departing testimonies as well. The spirit was strong and I absolutely loved it there!
On Saturday, we did some service at a sister's house. We mowed her lawn and did some garden work. She gave us a meal and we headed home to change. We went to a member's little birthday party.Their baby just turned ! year old and they wanted us to reflect our message on Mickey Mouse. We compared the Church to the Mickey Mouse house and how he is always happy because he invites his friends to his house to have fun with him! We shared it before, but there were more members here this time and they all loved it! We then checked on a few investigators to confirm whether they still planned on coming to Church. They said that they were. we shared a message with B and A again. this time it was on Mosiah 24 and how the Lord strengthens us enough so that our burdens seem like they are not there anymore, and that through His grace and our faith, He will always look after us and ease our burdens. They loved it and I know they felt the spirit. We felt good being able to influence their lives and bring the spirit into their homes whenever we visit them. After  that we were able to talk to 3 people while tracting and one person took a card from us. we still needed to make an appointment to reach our goal for the day, so Elder V called a person we have never met before and he said he would love to meet with us on Sunday! We were pretty happy about our day and i have just been feeling more and more like a missionary every day! I have been reading the book "Our Heritage", and learning how much faith the prophet and the saints had in their lives. It's been really inspiring and I feel like I have been applying things that I learn in my own life and seeing ways that the Lord is blessing my life personally every day!
On Sunday, we went to Church and Elder V was translating all the talks during all the meetings into English for the Spanish Member, J. I gave him an English and a Spanish Book of Mormon. He is so happy to be able to have them and read whenever he wants to. He told us that work is so hot on the solar fields. Also he is the boss there so he sits around and makes sure that everything is in order, but is also really busy all of the time. It is inspiring to see how much he loves coming to church. He said his coworkers party almost every night and he is just glad to have a break on Sunday when he can get away from all of that and feel the spirit! After church we went to Familie G's for dinner. His wife made us Rouladen , Kloesse (dumplings), and Rotkohl (pickled red cabbage).It was so good and we had a really good visit with her. Once again all of our appointments were "ausgefallen" (fell through), so we decided to stop by some more contacts and talk to everyone we met in the street.Then we ran into j, the man we called the day before. We walked to his house with him and had a lesson with him. His heart was completely closed and it wasn't reaching him. But we felt the spirit so strongly as we testified of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon. we left feeling really inspired from the spirit and so good about how we were directed by the spirit in that lesson. Even though his heart was closed and we don't think we helped him at all, we felt really good because we testifies. We then went to do some more tracting and stopped by B's place again. A was there too, and we talked to them both a bit to see how they were doing. Both of them are from Kenya and fled to Germany to escape things that were happening there.They left their families and are just waiting to get their papers so they can go back. they have been in Germany for about 4 years now and are Christians.We left a message about hope, faith and charity, and how these three things can create miracles. We have seen them.We told them that we loved them and that we always were impressed with how patient they were while waiting around and working in Germany. We knew that they felt the spirit and left with such a happy feeling.
I am really starting to feel myself change and I love the Lord more each day. I'm not sure how to describe it but I just feel like I am more useful each day! The days seem long sometimes and I feel like I am going to be away from home forever, but time keeps moving forward and I am feeling the Lord push us forward to do whatever He wants us to do! I'm so glad the Lord is taking care of all of you and that He is helping you get through your trials and hardships! You are in my prayers everyday and I am proud of all of you. I can't wait to see pictures of what the wedding was like. I am proud of all of you for making righteous decisions and moving forward in the gospel.
I'm doing well!
Bis Montag,
Elder Luening

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