Monday, 26 November 2012

November 26, Hannover

Dear  Family,

Wow, I can't believe you got in a car accident, Dad. That must have been crazy! I'm so thankful that the Lord has protected you and the people around you so that no one was injured, or died. I also pray daily that He will bless you guys for the duration of time that I'm away from you.

   This has been an interesting week. On Tuesday we went to Bad Fallingbostal and taught C and R. We only had about half an hour to spend with them, and I feel like their excitement is starting to go down a bit. On Saturday we met with them again, and halfway through our lesson, their mom got home. We decided to stop the lesson and read a story from the Book of Mormon with her and everyone. It went really well, and we made a new appointment to teach the mom (B) and the kids this Saturday. We're really excited and believe that it will help a lot to teach the mom the lessons with them.

  Anyways, after we taught them on Tuesday, there was a Thanksgiving dinner at Seminary and we, the  missionaries, were invited. So we were coming back to Hannover Hauptbahnhoff, and the driver laid on the horn and slammed on the breaks and hit something on the tracks that clunked and banged underneath us all the way to the end of the train. He then stopped and told everyone on the speakers that a person had jumped in front of the train and committed suicide. It was crazy. A couple days later we found out that our investigator worked with this man, and that it really was a suicide. I'm not sure where I’m going with this story, but, ja, I, just never thought that I'd be in the train when someone would do that. Sad!

  Other than that we also got in contact with J again! He said he didn't have minutes on his phone for a really long time and that he just put them on again. He's doing well, and we watched the DVD, Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration, with him. It went well, and we invited him to baptism, but he said he still needs time to figure it all out. So we'll keep meeting but we have to try and figure out what we're going to do with him. Before this, it had been 6 weeks since we saw him.

   B is way awesome! We had a joint teach on Wednesday. R, her friend who texted us about her, taught with us and it was such a big help. We taught the first lesson and the spirit was really strong. She's excited to keep meeting with us and R will continue to be there with us as we teach her! 

Also O P (less active member) made us lunch that day! It was really good, and we read Alma 24 with him and his 12yr old son! He loved reading the Book of Mormon because it helps his reading for school, and we could tell that O really enjoyed it too. We'll be visiting him weekly and hopefully help him reactivate himself. We can definitely tell, and feel that we're influencing him with the spirit.

   The lady that came to church last week (B) met with us on Wednesday also. We invited her to baptism and she said once she finds out if this is true that she'll get baptized. She just couldn't set a date quite yet. But we're going to be keeping on her and helping her feel the spirit and the truth from our message.

 Our Chinese investigators are also doing well. Xiang met with us yesterday and we taught him a lesson on eternal perspectives, such as baptism, and temple marriage. He said that he wants to get baptized but won't be able to until probably the end of January, because he'll be gone for Christmas holidays and New Year’s Eve. So next time we'll set a date with him and help him prepare. He said he talked with his parents and not this Sunday, but the next Sunday, he and his girlfriend will come to church with us! :)

I'm so happy that I belong to the true Church of Jesus Christ. F (a member) has been asking me lately why the Restoration was so important, if this priesthood authority really is important or if it doesn't matter, and if Jesus Christ never intended anyone to need Priesthood Authority. It forced me to do a lot of studying and in the end of every study session, it made me even happier and more grateful, that I do have that Priesthood authority, and that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ. This is the truth, and it starts with a simple testimony. Then the Lord in his abundant mercy and love adds to it!

I love what it says in 1 Corinthians 2:
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

The fullness of the Gospel has been restored because of a loving Heavenly Father, and a loving Son in preparation for His second coming! 'God is Hastening His work' as President Holland said in General Conference when the change of missionary age was occurred. We don't have to serve him; rather we're allowed to serve him. Wir müssen nicht; sondern, wir dürfen! Ich bin so dankbar für die Macht des Heiligen Geistes und das tiefe Zeugnis das er in mir gepflanzt hat. Ich weiss dass Gott lebt. Ich weiss dass seinen Sohn, Jesus Christus lebt und leitet seiner Kirche auf dieser Erde in diesen letzten Tagen. Und ich weiss dass das Buch Mormon wahr ist. Durch den Einfluss des Heiligen Geistes habe ich dass herausgefunden. Ich bin so dankbar wegen dieser Erkenntnis, und freue mich auf Mission zu sein!

Thanks for everything and for all of your letters. I love you all and can't wait to hear from you again next week. Please stay safe, and keep being awesome! :)

Love Elder Luening

Translation: "We must not, however, we may ! I am so thankful for the power of the Holy Ghost and the deep testimony that he planted in my heart.I know that God lives. I know that His Son, Jesus Christ, lives and leads His Church on the earth in these last days.And, I know that the Book of Mormon is true. Through the influence of the Holy Ghost, I have found out. I am so thankful for this knowledge. and am so happy to be on a mission."

Monday, 19 November 2012

November19,2012 Hannover

 Dear family,

  Thanks guys for all the e-mails that you sent me this week!! I'm really happy that you all wrote me! Charlene and Kassandra, I didn't have time to read your letters but I printed them off and I'm really excited to read them! Mom and dad, thanks for your letters and letting me know about what’s been happening with the family, the ward and Heidi. (Heidi passed away quietly after warmly exclaiming greetings to those surrounding her through the veil, on Sunday, Nov. 18)

 I need to apologize and let you know that this letter won't be long. I don't have a lot of time so I'll give a quick update on what's been happening this week. We invited R and C (Jamiacan boy) to baptism and they said they want to and will be talking to their mom about it. Next time we meet with them we will set a date and await their reply! :)
On Wednesday, we switched up our finding techniques and did what’s called 'teach to find' in Preach My Gospel. Within 6 people we talked to, we made out 3 appointments! Of course that doesn't happen every time, but it was funny that it worked that fast.
We also got pulled over by cops because they didn't know who we were talking to when approaching people. And we got a ticket for riding 'Schwarz' in the “Bahn” without knowing it. We had to pay €40 from our personal money because we forgot to buy new monthly tickets. It sucked. But except for those 2 things, this week was really good.
We taught Y on Thursday, and she's a really nice woman, but has some interesting beliefs. We're meeting her again, and I'll explain more next week.

  On Saturday, all of our appointments fell through except for Brother T, so we decided to do some door approaches and tract.   We had 2 “walk-ins” that night (opportunities to walk in and teach). One man was from Kenya, and had tried to read the Book of Mormon before, but it was hard for him. The other one was a lady who was Hindu, but not a serious Hindu. We taught her and her daughter about the restoration. The spirit was really strong and we made an appointment to come back again. It was really cool.
The Lord has been blessing us a lot lately. Also a member’s friend wants to meet with us now. Her name is B (25yrs old) and she wants to start taking the discussions. It's really exciting! If everything goes well she'll be baptized this transfer. I have a good feeling about it! We also had a random person come to Church yesterday, and we made out an appointment with her. BLESSINGS! :)

Well, family, I love you all! Jeremy keep up the good work and keep prepping for that mission. Thanks mom and dad for telling me about Colten and how he's been doing. Charlene and Kassandra, have a good week and can't wait to read your letters! Mom, and dad, I love you! Keep up the good work in your callings, and thanks for everything you do for me. Talk to you next week!

Elder Lüning

Monday, 12 November 2012

November 12, 2012, Hannover

Dear Family,

Wow I'm so excited for Charlene, Jeremy, and Colten! I can't believe how fast time seems to be going some days. I was just thinking about it this morning, that either this week or next week, will be the week that I received my mission call last year! Crazy! I seem to say it all the time and I'll say it again, time just seems to keep moving forward. It might be slow, or it might be fast, in the end it doesn't matter, it just keeps going. I can't wait to hear where Jeremy and Colten will be sent to! I'm guessing that Jeremy will go to a Spanish speaking mission, and that Colten will go French speaking, ha-ha. I'm not really sure what my guesses are based on, but that's my guess and I'm sticking to it.

 Here's the exciting news of the week...I'll tell it first so that you get the best part and then you don't have to read anymore of my email! Lol. Brother Francis Tamani got baptized and confirmed on Saturday Nov 10, 2012! We met with him on Tuesday, and he told us that a problem had come up about his baptismal date. He said that Nov 11th is Rememberance Day and since he's in the military he has to work. So, he wouldn't be at church to be confirmed a member. And the Sunday afterwards is when he would be gone for training. So I told him not to worry about it, and that I'll find out what we can do. We told him that he might be able to get confirmed on the same day as his baptism, or after Church on Sunday. I called the Mission President for permission, and he said that it was up to the bishop to make that decision. I asked him what his thoughts were on it. He said that if it was his choice, he would do it on the same day considering the situation. So, then I called Bishop, and he said that he would talk about it the next night with the Bishopric. So, on Thursday night I called him again with the Ward Mission Leader (Brother F), and asked him what the conclusion was. They said that they looked it up in the white handbook and said that it was the Mission Presidents choice. Well, I asked him if it was his choice, what his decision would be. So, he said he would approve it. So that's permission from both sides, ha-ha.

 Our Ward Mission Leader presided at the baptism because the members of the Bishopric couldn't attend, but it was a really powerful baptism! Brother C (a Fijian member) baptized him and Elder W (“Ehepaar” - couple missionaries) conferred the gift of the Holy Ghost upon him and confirmed him a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! Sister Tamani was so thankful and was really happy :) It was all in English too, and a few English speaking families attended. The other elders also managed to bring their investigator with a baptismal date and he really enjoyed the service.

Our other investigators are also making progress! We haven't been able to meet with our Jamaican (G) family, because of how busy the week was, but we're hoping to see them this week. On Wednesday I “tauscht” (exchanges) with the District leader (Elder P) so that he could do the baptismal interview. I let Elder B stay in Hannover and take charge for the day as I went to Hildesheim. I prepared it and had it set up pretty easily so that they would only be in one area for the day, which he said ended up working out really well. They never got lost, so that’s good! Ha-ha. In Hildesheim I was able to catch up with Elder Myrabo who was in my district in the MTC! It was a lot of fun, and we talked a lot about how our missions been so far and memories we had in the MTC. It was a blast!

  Our Chinese investigators are awesome! X and his girlfriend J Q S, have committed to live the word of wisdom, and they invited us to eat 'Real Chinese' food with them this Sunday night! Ha-ha, they asked us what we like, and we said everything! They said 'we'll see', so we're a bit nervous now but still super excited lol.

S is also doing really good. We met with him on Thursday and we read Moroni 9 with him and explained to him how important the Spirit is in the world, and in his personal life. He understood it really well and we asked him to think about baptism. He told us that his labs have been stressing him out and asked us both to pray for him while we were with him. So we all took turns saying prayers together. The spirit was really strong and he thanked us a lot. He said that he always feels better after meeting with us and that he feels it’s because of the Holy Ghost! On Sunday we met with him again, and he told us that he solved his lab problems. He said he's been praying every day and that all of a sudden the solution just came to him while he was lying in his bed. We bore testimony and invited him to pick a date for baptism. He said he'll think about it. We also taught him the Law of Chastity and he committed to live it. We read Jacob 2:26-32 with him, and explained how much it means to God when we stay chaste. It was awesome!

  We also came in contact with a few people who have met with the missionaries 10 months ago, but then stopped seeing them. They invited us back and want us to explain to them the Book of Mormon. We're excited to teach them. They're a big African family (7 people altogether) from Ghana, and have been living here for 3 yrs. Also I called Y from last week and she's planning on calling me today for an appointment.

  Things seem to keep moving forward, and our living area seems to be getting better too, ha-ha. We now have a drier in our apartment! And we got new mattresses so everyone has been sleeping really well throughout the night! We got real rolling office chairs to sit on by our desk now, instead of metal kitchen chairs! It's looking pretty good here in Hannover, and we love the work.

   Thanks for telling me what has been going on in the ward, and I'll be sure to keep Brother Ius in my prayers. Next time you visit with Granny make sure you tell her that I love her and that I'm really happy that she's doing good and that she's as healthy as she is! I can't believe it’s starting to snow around the area at home now. Here the weather's been a bit wet lately but it hasn't been too cold. It’s been staying around 10° which isn't too bad yet.

We're getting really excited for Christmas ha-ha. We're planning on doing a few nights of Christmas Caroling by Kröpke (am beschaeftigsten Teil der Statt - the busiest part of the city) and are way excited to sing to people and hand out Joy to the world DVD's! I hope that it snows before Christmas but I’m not getting my hopes up too high, because the chances aren't very great. Naja, we'll see. I got a letter from the Smee's again, and from Sister Romney, please tell them thanks for me when you get a chance! :)

  I'm proud of all of you, I hope you have a safe trip, dad, and that Heavenly Father always blesses you and mom with enough energy and strength to fulfill your responsibilities and continue to bless others in their lives!

Love you all, “bis nächste Woche!”

Elder Lüning

Monday, 5 November 2012

November 5, 2012, Hannover

We didn't have candles, so we put paper in it and lit it on fire for pictures, ha-ha!

Dear Family,

This week went by way too fast. I woke up this morning and couldn't believe it was Monday already! I had a really good week, and had a lot of fun, so that's probably why it went so fast.

On Tuesday we went to Bad Fallingbostal, and taught the G Family. We made some music and beats with R and C, and also taught them about the Kingdoms of Glory. It was a really cool lesson. They got really excited when they heard that we had a modern day Prophet, and Temples, and that the Priesthood has the power to seal families together for eternities. We want to teach them about those things so bad, but we're contemplating on how far we want to get ahead without teaching their mom too. Their mom hasn't been around for the lessons lately, but has no problem at all with us teaching her boys. We're debating on whether we just continue teaching the boys, or if we stop and teach them all together. It's not that big of a deal, but we're praying about it and trying to figure it out.

After teaching them, we went to the T's for dinner. We taught Brother T twice this week: Word of Wisdom, and Law of Chastity. Both of them went really well, and were really powerful. He's like a sponge, just soaking everything up! And he's way excited for his baptism coming up this Saturday! He has asked Brother C (a Fijian man in the Ward) to baptize him and we're really excited for the day! It'll be Saturday Nov 10th at 6pm. :)  So we're doing all the plans and getting the meeting organized! He has 1 more lesson with us and then an interview and that’s it! Then he's ready!

   We also visited the B's this week. They have 2 daughters ages 9 and 8, who they would like us to teach, so that they can be baptized! They are a crazy bunch of kids, ha-ha. But really cute kids! It was tough at first teaching them because they made fun of mine and Elder B's German, but then the Spirit came into the lesson and the paid attention! Well, we had a picture book that we used, but I'm still convinced that it was because of the Spirit, ha-ha. We tried really hard to meet with J (African) this week. But he had absolutely no time to meet, so we'll have to change the date for his baptism if that’s still something that he wants.

    On a cool note, we had another cool finding experience. We talked to a lady who was probably in her late 20's/early 30's, and she was not interested. As she was about to leave, I asked her where she was from because I heard an accent. She told us she was from Ukraine, and then we had a real conversation with her about life and how we all ended up in Germany. Elder B and I bore strong testimony about why we're in here and we found out that she's a Christian. She ended up giving us her address and a time to come by to teach her. We found out that she has 2 kids but weren't sure if she had a husband or boyfriend. At about 9:30PM she texted our phone and said that she wouldn't be able to meet with us. She said that she was sorry but wished us luck and all the best. It sucked! I wondered if I should reply or not, and I decided not to. In the morning at about 10:00AM, she called us and asked if we had received her message. I told her I did, and thanked her for sending it. She then said she was sorry but she had to pick up her husband at that time and asked if we could still come by on another time and day! I said, “You bet!” And she was really happy when we said goodbye. Miracle! We're so excited to visit and meet her again this week!

  On Friday, we spent the whole day in P-day clothes, lol. We helped the K family move into an apartment on the top floor of the building (5 stories), lol. They fed us some really good chilli soup afterwards and stuffed us with brownies and cake :) There were 2 young 24 year old guys that helped out too, and they drove us to the Church. We gave them a Church tour and had a good talk with them as we waited for people to show up for Ping-Pong. It was good, and one of them was really interested, so we'll try to meet with him again. On Saturday and Sunday we had a huge Stake Conference in Hannover! A lot of members showed up from the surrounding areas and it was full! Afterwards we had lunch at the B's and then we taught X, J Q S, and S (our Chinese investigators) :) We taught them this week about prophets, and the Ten commandments. They were so into it too, and wrote down every commandment they found. We asked them if they will keep them and they laughed and said yes. They’re like, we live pretty much all of these already! So it went well. I love them; they’re so awesome.

   We'll that's a little bit about how my week went. President Kosak gave us some good advice about when we're out on the streets. He said 'laechel und strahl!'(laugh and beam), haha! It seems to be working! Elder B and I laughed because after every appointment, as we're sitting on the train, we're smiling about something! At the end of every day, I always tell myself or say out loud, I love this place! (Hannover) Things will be different in January, but that's a ways away still.

I'm so glad that I'm on a mission. I love it. I'm glad everything worked out with your calling as Relief Society President, Mom. And I'm glad that Grandpa's surgery went well! Sometimes I get caught in thoughts about what I'm going to be doing when I get home. ‘Cause right now, I have no idea. Well, I have some ideas but that's just what they are, ideas and possibilities. Don't worry I'm not worrying about it, and it's not distracting me or anything. (Just fun sometimes to think and wonder about.) 

I'm really excited for Jeremy, Charlene, and Colten! That's awesome news! I can't wait to find out where they will serve and when they will leave. Keep me updated, I love about hearing what they've been doing!
The package came on Tuesday! (The one that got sent back to dad's boss.) I laughed so hard when I opened it and saw what was in it. Not bad, Mom, ha-ha! And the Advent Calendar is hung up on my wall! I can't believe you took so much time to make something like that! Thanks so much! We carved pumpkins for Halloween and found that we didn't have candles, so we put paper in it and lit it on fire for pictures, ha-ha! I also made pumpkin seeds and Elder H made pumpkin bread. It was a good night and a lot of fun. I love you guys. Thanks for letting me know what's been happening. You're in my prayers always.

  Love Elder Luening