Monday, 14 January 2013

January 14, 2012, Kiel

Hello Loving Family!

 I'm a lot better this week than I was last week. I was pretty sick with a cold this past week, and what’s worse is, is that Elder G also got sick from me. On Tuesday night we played indoor soccer and Elder G had a big bottle of water that he left in the car. So, after the game, we got into the car and I received a phone call. He offered me water when I was distracted, so I drank some, and then he drank more without even thinking because he was trying to listen to the phone call too. So there you have it, now he's sick! So this past week it has been pretty hard to do missionary work, but we've been doing as much as we could.

   On Thursday I went to Flensburg on exchange, and served for a day with the District leader there, Elder S. I was also able to do a baptismal Interview for a 14 year-old girl named J, who had a baptismal date for Sunday. It was such a cool experience. She is so smart and it seemed like she was teaching me at certain points in the interview!
J Her biological father was not a member, so she was never baptized. But her mother has been married to a member for a while now, and J decided to start learning the missionary lessons and meeting with  missionaries. She also put a lot of thought into who should baptize her and she picked Elder S. He thought it would be better if her step-dad performed it. So, she prayed about it again and chose Elder S! J. So yesterday he baptized her. It's so exciting! I learned a lot from Elder S on the “Tausch”. It's only his 4th transfer right now, and he's working really hard. He's also got the whole Ward excited to do missionary work, and they're doing it! His excitement about the work rubbed off on me a lot.

   So I came to Kiel, and watched Elder G for the first 1 ½  weeks to see how he worked, and how he taught. We're a lot different, but I'm pretty sure that's why President Kosak put us together. This last week I figured out how we can work really effectively and well together. On Friday we prepped a lesson for our Zone Training Meeting that took place the next day. Then on Saturday we had our Zone Training Meeting, and it went really well.. Our lesson was about “Working with the Members”.

After the Zone Conference, we had a member lesson -  perfect!
We had dinner with the members and got to know them really well. Then we gave them a spiritual thought which completely invited the spirit.
(1 Ne 7:4-5 “And it came to pass that we went up to the house of Ishmael, and we did gain favor in the sight of Ishmael, and also his household, insomuch that we did speak unto him the words of the Lord. And it came to pass that the Lord did soften the heart of Ishmael, and also his household, insomuch that they took their journey with us down into the wilderness to the tent of our father.”
2 Ne 33: 1 “And now I, Nephi cannot write all the things which were taught among my people; neither am I mighty in writing, like unto speaking: for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men”.
We invited them to invite someone to Church this week and they accepted! We also gave them a couple tips on how they could do it. They want us to call them on Wednesday to remind them, and then on Sunday they'll report to us and hopefully have a friend there! It was so cool, and they were really excited. Then again yesterday we had a member appointment after Church. We helped them cook lunch (Grünkohl! Kale, yum!) and we got to know each other, and had a really good time. Then we asked them to invite someone to be there for lunch with them the next time we eat with them. They accepted and are really excited to do it. It was really cool to see how when we're excited to do missionary work, it rubs off on the members. When we let them know how hard we're working and about the exciting things we're experiencing and seeing! They want to be a part of it!

  I'm really excited to work in Kiel with Elder G. He's from Iceland and can speak perfect German because his mom's German. He's also a computer Tech person. He's a genius when it comes to computers. He's got a strong testimony and knows how to explain things so they make sense logically. We're going to kill it here in Kiel, and see a lot of success!

I also love being a Zone Leader. I'm really trying to be there for all of the missionaries and am trying to help them as much as I can. I know all of them by name already and got to know them during Zone Training Meeting. It’s also fun preparing and teaching lessons ha-ha. I love feeling the spirit as I teach truths.

   I met one of our really cool Chinese investigators. His name is E, and he is so prepared to be baptized. He has a testimony on everything. The only thing holding him back is his addiction to smoking. His friends don't support him at all. The last time he quit with the missionaries, he stayed strong for 3 weeks, and then fell back into smoking. Now he doesn't trust himself, and said that he won't get baptized until he knows that he can endure to the end without falling again. He's going back to China in 2 weeks for 2 months and he said he's going to do a lot of praying about baptism. Then when he comes back he's going to prepare himself again. He's such a humble investigator. And he's really sensitive to how the gospel has affected his life. He just needs to recommit and try again! We're really excited for him.

Other than that, not too much has been going on now. Thanks for all of the cold medicine, Mom. Yeah, it's coming in handy!

I'm making a dentist appointment this week because I've had a tooth ache on one of my molars which has been giving me big headaches on the right side of my face. The dentist is a member in Hamburg and he gladly checks the missionaries. So, we'll see what’s wrong with me ha-ha! Other than that I'm well.

Mom, you buying all that whipping cream because it was so cheap doesn't surprise me! But have fun trying to make it all into butter ha-ha! 

What's the weather like at home? It snowed here like crazy the last couple days! Big snowflakes that  made me think of home. 

I still can't believe I've almost been out a year on my mission. It has made me think a lot and evaluate how I have done. I know this year will be a lot more effective because of all the things I've learned so far. Jeremy, I'm sure that if you call and find out if you can go on your mission sooner, they won't send you somewhere else. But at the same time, maybe the timing is there for you to help someone in need at a specific time. Maybe someone at the MTC, or in the time before your mission. Everything happens for a reason, and the Lord knows what he's doing. Either way, you'll learn something from it, and someone else will be helped by meeting you at a specific time. You're doing the right thing. Pray about it and let the Lord guide you in what you should do. He's the one with the master plan! I'm so excited for you. Also for Charlene! Hurry up and get those papers in J!

I love you guys! I hope you keep up the excitement for missionary work and keep preparing yourselves. Mom and Dad, I love you - you are great examples to me and I've learned a lot from you both. 

Spiritual thought for you for the day, Mom is:
Doctrine & Covenants 88:
3. Wherefore I now send upon you another Comforter, even upon you my friends, that it may abide in your hearts, even the Holy Spirit of promise; which other Comforter is the same that I promised unto my disciples, as is recorded in the testimony of John.
4. This comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom;
5. Which glory is that of the church of the Firstborn, even of God, the Holiest of all, through Jesus Christ his Son- He that ascended up on high as also he descended below all things, it comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth;
7. Which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power by which it was made.
11. And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth you understandings:
12. Which light procedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space- The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God, who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.    

Love it!

Have a good week you guys. Until next week!
Elder Luening

PS. My new address is:

Elder Christopher Luening
Eckenfoerder Str. 11
24116 Kiel 

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