Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Octobrer 8, 2012, Hannover

Dear Family.
Wow what an amazing week it has been!! Okay before I start talking about how excited I am about what’s going on at home, I'll tell you a bit about what’s happened during my week. I don't have much time though, so sorry, this will be a quick email again. It’s a busy Monday for us, and I just spent an hour reading everyone’s emails, haha - and loved them!! :)

Last Monday was October Fest. So, Elder H, Elder S, Elder W and I, checked it out during the day, and went on one of the rides, haha. It was a lot of fun, and it was a Monday at 15 Uhr (3:00 PM) so there were, like, barely any people there. It seemed just like the Fair that comes to Trail, minus all the people that are usually there, lol. We stayed for about an hour and then we left. Just “einfach” checked it out, and had fun :)

   On Tuesday we were blessed to meet 2 Africans from Zimbabwe. They were referrals given to us. We taught them the Message of the Restoration” inside the church. The spirit was really powerful and we could see the desire in their eyes to learn more. We're going to try to teach them more often. One of them looked at me and said, “I smoke, and I really want to quit, will you help me?” I'm really excited to start helping them and I wish they came to watch General Conference. It would have been nice for them to hear those powerful talks about gospel principles.

  Our Chinese investigators are doing awesome. They're keeping their commitments, and they have a Chinese Christian Bible class that they go to throughout the week, so they usually have a question for us before we start teaching, haha. They are a lot of fun, and it’s amazing to see how the Spirit is working with them!

   On Saturday we had our TRANSFER CALLS!! I guess Oma and Opa already spoiled the surprise, haha! But yes, I'll be training starting THURSDAY! I leave for Berlin on Wednesday evening, sleep over night, and then pick up my companion and travel back to Hannover! I'm excited and I’m up for the challenge. President keeps saying that there’s no higher assignment of importance on a mission than to train a new missionary. Elder Strom in Mexico is also training right now. He says he loves it, and I know I’ll love it too. Elder W got transferred to Halla as District leader. He serves his mission until March and hopes to stay there until then. And Elder S got transferred to Freiburg and will be training. He goes home in January so he'll definitely stay there till then. Elder H and I will stay in Hannover! :) woot!
Also there is a member sister in our Ward from Fiji, whose husband is a non-member. We've taught him off and on, and he wants to get baptized now! He and his wife are going to pray together and decide a date! It’s really exciting!

Wow, General Conference was wonderful! Right when the announcement came for the change of the ages for missionary service, I was so excited! All I could think about was Charlene and Jeremy being able to leave earlier!! It was so awesome. All the talks were powerful and I am really amazed that all of these messages were given to us. I love being a missionary! I love gaining council for my life through the messages of choice leaders in the Church. They are amazing and know the Doctrines of the Gospel, and understand God's plan for all of His children! I'm not going to lie; General Conference has meant more to me on my mission than it has at any other time.

I love my mission. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world right now. I have achieved my goals and have to look back and take note of the difference I feel and see. First, I finished reading the Book of Mormon “auf Deutch”, and second, I also did 30 chin-ups in a row last night, haha! Woot, 2 goals, “geschafft”! Those aren't my only ones ...  don't worry, haha! This transfer I really want to read through the New Testament “auf Deutch”. Elder Holland got me all fired up to read the New Testament because of his talk!

 I am going to see the Prophet, President Monson, this weekend in Hamburg!! And I really hope to see Oma and Opa there!! :) woot, I’m way excited to see them again! It is raining here off and on, and it’s starting to get pretty chilly, lol! But that scarf and the umbrella that you packed for me have definitely helped out!
Our Mission President is amazing. I know him pretty well, and he's gotten to know me pretty well, too. He sends us really powerful e-mails every week. Maybe I’ll start forwarding them to you so you can read them too. I'm proud of Jeremy and Charlene for starting to prepare for missions. That makes me so unbelievably happy; I know it'll mean everything to them. Now I know why your missions meant everything to you, Mom and Dad, and I’m so glad I’m out here. Don't worry Kass, I’m proud of you too, ....  ‘cause you and Scott aren't divorced yet, haha!  Joking!!! You guys are awesome! I love my family, I don't know what I did in Heaven to deserve a family like this one, but I’m forever grateful. I love you all!

   I love Christ's Gospel with all of my heart. I don't think I really understood the importance of it before my mission. Not as much as now anyways, and I know it'll keep growing and my eyes will keep opening as I learn and teach. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I'm so thankful for the Lord, for pouring His Spirit upon me as I contemplated about whether to go on my mission. I swear I wouldn't be out here right now if it wasn't for Him. Nobody could have made me come out here, nobody, - but I couldn't deny the influence of the Holy Ghost. For that I am forever grateful. It's like King Benjamin said: when we forget our will, and do the will of the Father, we will receive a remission of our sins and he will pour blessings upon us, and then we will still be in His debt. Even if we serve Him all the days of our lives, we will never be able to repay it. That’s love! I know God lives, and He loves every one of us. Jesus Christ is our Redeemer and Savior. He ministered to Joseph Smith, and He leads and directs this Church through Thomas S. Monson, and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The Book of Mormon is true; it contains the fullness of the Gospel! As we give heed to the influence of the Holy Spirit, and bring our lives in tune with its teachings, we will walk the simple way the Lord wants us to go. Alma said to never be slothful because of the easiness of the way, just like with Moses and the brass snake. If we keep our focus on Jesus Christ, we will end up with Him on the right hand of the Father. I know this with all my heart and I hope the people I teach will come to this understanding too! I share my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, (Amen)!

Love, Elder Luening
Vocabulary: “auf Deutsch = in German     “geschafft” = completed      “einfach” = simply

Note: General Conference talks are available to read on the website: There are many talks by the apostles and seventies on a variety of gospel topics to strengthen individuals and families.

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