Monday, 10 September 2012

September 10, 2012, Hannover

Hello Luening Family!!

  I want to start off by saying thanks for the emails! I love hearing from you guys every P-day morning and the stories that you tell me! That bear story that you told me happening to Kassandra and Scott was hilarious mom, haha! It makes me miss Canada because there are absolutely no bears here in Germany. Well it’s not like at home where they just come into our yard, lol. Also I’m sorry that you’re having bear nightmares mom, but glad that you’re learning something from them, haha.

   Also I got your first package that you sent!!  We had a zone training meeting on Tuesday, and the Assistants to the Mission President (A.P.'s) came and brought packages! Thanks so much for all the goodies and everything that was in there! Oh and for the money too! I wasn't sure if I’d be able to write you before you sent the other package, but I guess you sent it already...haha yay, 2 packages in 2 weeks! I'll definitely be spoiled for my birthday!

   This past week has been interesting. It's felt like the longest week of my life. I'm not sure why because work wise, Elder W and I worked really hard. We had a lot of lessons and yet the week just felt really slow. But none the less we had a really good week. Like I said on Tuesday we had a Zone training meeting. It was really inspiring and I love them, because I always feel the spirit really strong whenever the other missionaries teach lessons. Also I was able to see Elder V (my last companion) again! We were able to catch up and have a good talk. He's doing well and he's happy to be in the same zone as me. I hope I stick around long enough to hear him give his “Tschüss” testimony. He's going home December 16th. That would be cool if I’m still in the same area.

   Elder W and I went by on 2 less active members this week. One of them is 32 years old and hasn't been to church since he was 17. The other one is married to a non-member and has 3 kids. His oldest child is 16. He served a mission in Peru when he was 23, and I think he's about 45 now. He was really happy that we came by and visited him, but he's not sure when he'll be able to come to church again. Both non active members wanted us to visit them again, so we're going to try to help them rebuild their testimonies and bring the gospel back into their lives.

  We also had a great lesson with the 17yr old girl L. She came to our appointment at the church, and we had a joint teach with us. She just laid all of her questions out in front of us, and we were like, wo! Haha!  It was a really good lesson. We talked a lot about a lot of different things, but we told her that when we teach her, we can't teach her everything at once. It’s going to be  “Schritt für Schritt. We bore powerful testimony to her and she broke down because she wants an answer right way and she wants to know everything and have everything make sense as soon as possible. She'll be leaving to live in Denmark for 1 year at the end of September. So we are going to try to teach her as much as possible before she leaves. If everything works out, she could be baptized the day before she leaves! We're going to be doing a lot of praying and fasting, and hope to be able to meet with her 3 times a week. She's also coming to institute, which is way awesome!

   Also J, the investigator I do MMA with, met with us inside the Church on Thursday. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it was a really good lesson. He finally opened up to us and let us know his deepest concern. He wants to learn about Joseph Smith, and find out for himself if he was really called a prophet or not. He said he's been searching for the truth his whole life, by experimenting with all types of different religions. He said he doesn't want to make the same mistake and jeopardize himself by making the same mistake again. He wants to find out if Joseph Smith was really a prophet or not. It was really cool, and a pretty powerful meeting with him. We're meeting again tomorrow, (Tuesday).

  We've been running into some interesting people while tracting. We talked with people who have been really open and wanting to learn, but not wanting to meet with us. We would set up appointments with them and then the next thing we know they don't show up, or they don't come. But, “na ja”, we're doing our best and the Lord is continuing to help us throughout our week. Elder Wightman and I have been writing down our miracles that we've seen throughout every day in our planners or on my calendar from Sister Y. As part of our daily planning, we review the day and write down the biggest blessing or the biggest miracle we saw in the day. It’s been helping us remember how much the Lord is actually blessing us here in Hannover. One big miracle that we saw on Saturday was in Bad Falling Bostal. We went by on our investigators and contacts that we had there, and none of them were home. So we did some tracting and went by on a referral that we received. It was a 30 minute walk, and on the way there, a Fijian man yelled to us while he was in his car. We went up to him, and he was so excited to see us. We asked him if he's a member, and he's like “yeah man i'm a member!” and showed us the back of his hand. He had LDS tattooed on it, haha! He's been in Germany for 9 years now. He said that he's here because he's in the military. He said he's never seen missionaries since he's been here, and he has no idea where the church is. It was definitely a blessing for him to find us and showed us that as long as we're where we're supposed to be, the Lord will help us bless other people.

  All in all this week has been cool. I love the mission, and these missionary experiences. I'm glad that my eyes are open so that I can see the many ways that the lord blesses us and other people. I know that if I wasn't here, I would miss these things. I know that as we continue to have faith in God, God will continue to work miracles in our lives.

  I'm still doing great, way out here in Germany, haha. I miss home sometimes, but there's no place in this world where I’d rather be than here on my mission. I love learning, and I love helping others. I miss you guys, and I hope that the Lord continually blesses you and protects you while I’m gone. You're always in my prayers.

Thanks so much for telling me about C. I can't believe that happened. I don't even know what to say right now, I'm in huge shock right now. He's one of my best friends! Please let me know what happened and how it happened, and I’ll be praying really hard for his family!

  I love you guys. Jeremy thanks for your email! I loved it haha, and it made me laugh. I'm glad you’re having missionary opportunities and that you've been going on joint teaches with the missionaries. They want to teach R, and I have no idea who they are, or what kind of missionaries they are. I've seen some missionaries that I would never trust teaching somebody that I loved and cared about. Surprise to me, not all missionaries are 'Missionaries'. You can tell a missionary is good, by his obedience and his love for the gospel. His actions and his spirit will speak louder than his words. Thanks for telling me that you like them and that you're enjoying going out with them.

I hope you guys have a good week and I can't wait to talk to you again!

Bis Nechste Woche! Love Elder Luening

Vocabulary: Tchuss = farewell    Schritt für Schritt – step by step       na ja = oh well

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