Monday, 18 June 2012

June 10, 2012, Forst

On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 10:15 AM, Christopher Luening

Wow! What a week. This week has definitely been a tough one for me and my companion. We did 3 hrs of tracting on Montag, 3 hrs on Dienstag in Dübern (30min bus ride away), 3 hrs on Mittwoch, 6 hrs in Güben on Donnerstag, 2 hrs on Freitag, and 5 1/2hrs in Forst on Samstag, and 3hrs Gestern (yesterday). So all together we did at least 25 hrs of finding. Walking around on foot, ha-ha. Elder V and I were completely focused this week and 'Locked In'. My body hurts and I’m so glad its P-day, hahaha!

So yeah, Tuesday Elder V and I went to Döbern, to check it out and see if there were people that we could find. It's about 30mins away by bus. So we got there and started talking to everyone that passed by us. We had an old contact that we wanted to go check on, so we picked that neighborhood to do some tracting. We met an old man on the way and taught him about the Book of Mormon. He said that he would like to read it so we set up a new appointment with him, and decided every Tuesday we're going be teaching there and doing finding. We checked up on the contact but his wife said he was out of town for a while. We spent a total of 3 hrs finding and didn't see any more success other than that first guy we talked to. I had a lot of time to think about what I read in 1 Nephi 17. If you get a chance to read it this week, do it, it’s really inspiring.
  On Wednesday, we had our District Meeting. It’s funny because the e-mail you just sent me dad was what our theme was on. Alma was so upset because he was trying his best and wasn’t seeing any success. But the Lord cared about him so much that he sent an angel to minister unto him. The Lord definitely blesses us with the people around us and with the spirit to keep on going hard throughout the day. Elder C and Elder O gave the theme. It was sweet. We take the train to Gürlitz with the Sister missionaries every Wednesday, because it’s cheaper for the church when we all travel together. So we got to know Sister N a little bit better. She's from Switzerland, so she's a bit nervous to speak in English still, but she and Sister M are getting along fine. We're gonna miss sister K though who left our District and is now serving in Dresden. We spent about 3 hrs doing finding and Elder V was locked in like crazy. We talked to everyone we saw and felt good the whole time even though we didn't see any success from it. It just felt good to know we did our best. We also checked up on Herr P. We set a day to meet with him and talk to him about baptism. He said he had a lot of questions about it and wants to prepare for the end of July when his date is. Definitely sweet to see that he wants to learn and that he's still reading in the Book of Mormon when he has time.
  On Thursday, we went to Guben at 7:30 AM. We walked around and talked to everyone we saw before our appointment with the young couple and their baby at the gas station. Well 9:30 AM came and they weren’t there. We waited around again for another 10 min and then Elder V asked “Is that them?”. We saw them walking with their stroller, crossing the street and walking towards us. We both looked at each other and said, “No way!” Haha! It was way cool. We gave them a brief explanation about the Book of Mormon and shared our testimony of it. They were excited to start reading it, but said that they didn’t want to give us their number or house address because they've had bad experiences doing so. They said that they would call us next Thursday and tell us if they have time to meet since the man works shift work and his schedule is always different. We were happy they showed up but a little bummed that we couldn’t set a firm return date. But we're praying for them. We did more tracting until 12:00 noon, and then stopped at another man’s house to deliver a Book of Mormon to him. He wasn’t home so we took a lunch break and then went back. He was there, and we were able to give him an explanation of the Book and bear our testimonies to him.  He wants us to come back. We then trecked around for a bit more and left at 3:30 PM. We met with Herr P but he wasn’t feeling well, so we set a new appointment with him. We then went home to do our morning studies that we didn’t have a chance to do. It was a long day and we were pretty exhausted, lol. But I read and studied 1 Nephi 18-20 and man, Nephi is a hero! I set a few goals, too. I want to get my 'basic missionary level' challenge, in my Golden Packet, signed off by my district leader by the end of this transfer. I think I can do it, but it’s going to take quite some work. I'm pretty motivated to get it done, though.
  On Friday, we did service at the Tafel, and had a good time with the people that work there. They definitely love it that we're back to help them now, since we haven’t been there for 3 weeks. We also had lunch with Brother and Sister G (Horst). They showed us their property and it’s so big. They are so nice and they love having us over. After we went tracting, and then went to our appointment on the bench across from the church. Herr P didn't show up but we found out that he got the time mixed up and waited for us for an hour. So we set an appointment for Saturday. We then had weekly planning, and hit the streets again for 3 hrs. We've been feeling so good and the Lord has been blessing us with motivation and with people to talk to. We often see people who even cross the street to avoid running into us, but we cross to meet them on the other side and talk with them anyways, haha. We're just ready to spend this whole transfer on finding so we can get some steady appointments and baptisms in Forst. My studies are going really well, too. German is coming along. Better every day.
 On Saturday, we left our residence and went to the park where there are 2 soccer fields. The Wards in Germany had their annual soccer tournament. Almost everyone there were members. We had permission to watch a bit but we weren't allowed to play in case we got injured. We talked with the new mission president and their wife, Brother and Sister K. We had a good talk and they remembered me from the MTC. We left to do some finding and then came back to have our lunch break. Then at 2:00 PM, we went to do more finding. We checked on all our contacts, but no luck. But we did meet up with Herr P and had a powerful lesson on Authority and Baptism. We invited him to come to church and he said he would only be able to make it from 9:30 AM to 11:30AM. We were stoked that he said he'd be there. We continued with our finding and ran into a man in his 50's riding a bike. We stopped him and talked to him about the purpose of life. We found out he has cancer and he’s wanting to hear about what we're teaching people. We set an appointment with him and are excited to teach him next week. We got home exhausted from the week. We did our studies and listened to the MTC address talk, given by Elder Holland - the same one that the missionaries in the Trail ward gave to me. At the end of his talk he says that he's always wondered why things are often so hard. Why in missionary work, when we do our absolute best and work the hardest we can, we often don't see any success. He said it’s because it’s supposed to be hard. We taste only a teaspoon of what the Savior did for us. And that Salvation was never meant to be easy, and that the Savior is living proof of that. I thought a lot about Nephi -  when his bow broke and how shocked he was when he found that his whole family was murmuring to the Lord.. Elder Holland said, How dare we complain about how tough we have it sometimes. They both seem to understand how much the Savior has paid for our salvation. Elder V and I really thought about that and looked at the week. We worked our absolute hardest this week and definitely saw success. Sometimes we think that we should have seen more, but we felt good about what we did accomplish.
  Sunday we went to church and had a powerful Sacrament Meeting. Three investigators showed up for church. A member invited one of them to listen to her talk. The spirit hit her like a wall and she broke down and cried from the first talk until the end of the meeting. She felt the spirit so strong. Herr P showed up and we were able to show him the Restoration film. We taught him about the restoration and we bore strong testimony to him. J was asked to bare his testimony in Spanish because there was a German man there that could translate from Spanish to German because he had served a Spanish speaking mission. He hung out with J the whole time at church and J was so grateful that he could speak in his own language for once and that he could understand everything that was going on at church. It was a big spiritual boost for him, something that he needed to get through the week of work. We had an eating appointment at Sister B’s. She is the lady that we ate 6 Klöse's with and almost died. This time we had to eat so much that afterwards we went home and rested because we were so sick, haha. It was bad. But "Missionare müssen alles aufessen". So once we recovered, we hit the streets for 3 hrs. We talked to quite a few people and when it was dead we did door to door tracting. I crossed the street we were on and talked to a guy in his 20's. He was chilling on his window sill listening to music, drinking a bit and smoking. He turned his music off and talked with us. He wanted a Book of Mormon, so we went back to our place grabbed one and came back. We told him what it was about. He then said, 'You guys will need to come back next week once I’ve read a bit and explain what I’ve read to me'. So we set an appointment next week and we're way excited to teach him. We taught 20 lessons this week and are excited for this week coming up. It was a tough week for me at the beginning to keep up my motivation. But something just clicked in Elder V and I and we were on fire this whole week. We're going to work hard until we leave, and know the Lord will bless us with success! The scriptures have been opening up to me more and more every time I read them. I'm able to liken them to my situations more and more, and things I didn’t understand before are made clear to me.

Yeah, the weather here has been pretty rainy too, lately. But we've only got soaked a few times, haha. It’s starting to warm up now, I think. Good to hear that you got your Firefighting training completed Jeremy! That'll definitely be a good experience, I'm excited for you. Happy Graduation next weekend by the way! Oh yeah, Jeremy I got a mission for you. I need you to get R's new mailing address for me. She just moved and she doesn’t have her internet hooked up yet and hasn't had time to get it to me. So when you can, maybe call her mom for it or talk to her at school, if you see her. That'ld be sweet cause I got a letter I need to send her mom.. Danke Shön  Also, I’m praying for you guys all the time and hope the Lord is blessing you. Thanks for keeping me updated about Sister S I'll definitely remember to pray for her. I Love you all and talk to you next week!
 Love Elder Lüning

p.s. I got my camera in the mail on Thursday! Thanks a bunch!! :)

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