Tuesday, 3 July 2012

July 1,2012, Forst

Dear Family,

Hey, no worries about last week! So I didn't get to read the email until today, but I’m glad that everyone is doing well.

Wow, Champion Lake sounds so good right now! I know what you mean about the rain, it's been crazy rainy here, too. We've been getting wicked rain storm showers. But then it seems like just as fast as they come they’re gone but the clouds stay. It's so weird. It's so humid too; we're always sweating like crazy!

It's been pretty tough working here in Forst. Elder V thinks that he will be getting transferred soon. Haha! He's been here in Forst for 3 transfers already so I’m hoping that he gets to see something new soon.

Our investigators have been having a tough time. We're down to one progressing investigator, because all of our appointments seem to fall through all the time. And we've been doing a lot of finding and teaching on the streets, but the appointments we seem to make don't always follow through either. However, I've been given so many opportunities every day to better my German and learn new ways to express myself. Also, feeling the Spirit every time we bear testimony has been a huge blessing to me. I know the Lord is looking out for us wherever we go. I've been doing better in completing goals for myself. It’s tough to do sometimes because I feel like we're always on the go.

Brother G’s son, L, left for his mission on Wednesday. Elder V and I gave him a tie from us each and wrote some messages on the back of them. It's exciting to know that he's gone and you can see how much his parents miss him already. Everyone in the Ward is so proud of him though, it makes me think a lot about home.

I got a letter from the S's and from Bishop R. It was really nice of them to write me and tell them I say thanks! I'll be trying to write a letter back when I can.

Not too much new has been going on. We've just been doing a lot of finding and fasting that this place will get better. It's definitely been tough to work in but I’ve learned so much, and I've been recording what I learn in my Journal every day. It'll be cool when I come home and someone asks, 'What were you doing on this certain day?' and I’ll be able to flip my journal to it and tell them exactly what I was doing and thinking. Elder V and I have done it a couple times already. It’s pretty cool, haha.

We now have a new mission president! Crazy, we'll see him on Friday at our next Zone Conference. It should be pretty exciting.

We had an awesome “Austellung” in Cottbus on Saturday. Elder J and I talked to 2 people that didn't want anything to do with us when we first approached them. One of them was a lady probably in her early 30's. As Elder James and I started opening up to her  a bit more and told her our own experiences about how we strengthened our faith in God, she opened up and told us all the problems and questions she's had forever. We bore strong testimony to her and told her that all her questions could be answered, but not in this one street meeting. It was really cool! She didn't want to set a new appointment, but she did take a card.
The other person was an older lady that looked so much like Heidi Z. She walked by our “Austellung” and Elder J and I tried to talk to her. She didn't want anything at all to do with us and told us we were bad. She said she believes in God and that what we were doing was evil. She stopped walking away and was standing about 15ft away from us and telling us that she was Evangelisch, and then I just stopped and said to her loudly in a last and final attempt 'Duerfen wir mit Ihnen sprechen?!' She had a huge smile cross her face and said “Ja!” Then she came over to us and we talked to her for a good 15minutes. We told her why we were on missions and what we were doing. We talked about God and Jesus Christ and what they mean to her and us. We told her about the Book of Mormon and that God loves all his children, so why wouldn't he stand as a witness in front of the people on the American continent. That seemed to hit her so hard. She just had a huge smile on her face and believed that it could be true. She just said over and over again, 'He must have, I mean God loves us, He must have visited others!' It was so cool seeing the Spirit hit her as we bore testimony to her on the middle of the street and showed her the pictures from the beginning of the Book of Mormon. But she wouldn't take the book, or even a card, because she said she's had so many trials in her life and with her family because of her belief in God. She says she's finally figured out how to balance everything and that she can't afford to change anything that she believes because it might cause problems. She thanked us so much for talking with her, and said she was so sorry for all the things that she said to us, and that she was so happy that she took the time to speak with us. We asked her if she would go home and pray about what we told her, to find out if it was true, before she went to bed. She said she would. It was way cool.

Yesterday was Fast Sunday and Brother G, 2nd Councillor to the Branch President, gave his new twin babies baby blessings! He also brought friends from work to watch. It was so cool, and really powerful. It completely invited the spirit for the start of our Fast and Testimony Meeting. Brother and Sister G fed us lunch and then afterwards we set out to do some finding.
I don't think we've had a worse day than yesterday to do finding. It was tough. We got yelled at by 3 different groups of teenagers, and honked at and flipped off probably like 4 times within 2 hours. I thought a lot about Alma having to preach in the city of Mulek by himself before he received Amulek as a companion. It was on my mind because in Sunday school, the teacher asked, “Why do you think the Lord provided Alma another witness to preach with him?” I was like, “Are you serious?? Is that a serious question??” Haha, I laughed and thought about how hard it would be in Forst without Elder V. I'm so thankful that he's with me wherever I go. We keep each other laughing and moving forward.  Also, I read in Doctrine and Covenants 75 and applied it to me a lot as a missionary. I was pretty bold and a bit fired up yesterday to do some finding, which helped my mood a lot. Every time a group of kids yelled at us, I got Elder V to go up to them with me, or at least walk past them with me. They completely stopped talking once we were close to them or whenever we spoke to them. It was funny. Also the 3rd person we talked to, we made a new appointment with, just because we both bore strong testimony of God and Christ. She said she wanted a Book of Mormon, and gave us her address. We're still seeing little miracles everywhere we go.

We've been having a hard time meeting with Herr P, but hope that progress starts to pick up faster with him because his baptismal date is at the end of the month, if he's ready by then.

I'm glad to hear everyone is doing well. Nice new calling in the Church, mom, haha! I bet you'll have fun with that. Thanks for the letter Dad! I'm happy to read your German letters every week and maybe sometime, when I have more time, I’ll be able to reply to you in German, too. I love you all and thanks for all of your emails and letters.
Oh, and R sent me a letter and told me how much she misses hearing from you guys, haha. (So if you get a chance just drop by and say Hi or give them a quick phone call!) Oh and I heard about the flooding in Trail. R's basement was one of the ones that got flooded! Crazy news!
I pray for you all, all the time and hope that you’re doing well and that the Lord is continually blessing you! The Ward is in my prayers too. Love you always!

Love, Elder Lüning

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