Monday, 4 March 2013

March 4, 2013, Kiel

 Dear Family,

    I'm so excited for everyone and am so glad to hear that the temple trip went great! Thanks for sending me  Great Grandma’s eulogy, Mom. I look forward to reading it!

   I'm so proud of everyone at home and how you're preparing yourselves for your missions and next phases or steps for this year. It's so good to hear how everyone is doing great at home and that I can focus on my mission and am not distracted about what's going on with my family and their problems. Thanks so much for the emails and for letting me know how everything went this week. I was excited to see how things played out and it sounds like it went really well.

   So I got this basketball shirt that says 'Bishop's Bandits', and I'm wondering what's going to happen next year when I'm home. Am I playing for the Bandits or for the Young Guns? ‘Cause if the young guns got smashed by almost twice the points, then I'm thinking they might want me to help them out next year when I'm back, ha-ha!

   This week was a pretty good week. I forgot my planner at home so I'm trying to remember right now what exactly happened, lol. We spent quite some time inside again this week. But we managed to also get out quite a bit. We have 2 new investigators that we're teaching this week. One is an Uncle of a member here. We were at the uncle's apartment fixing his computer (because Elder G is a computer tech guy), and so as he fixed his computer I talked to him about the gospel a little bit and got to know his opinion and religious background. He asked me a lot of questions about how I gained my testimony, and about how I know these things to be true. He said that he's caught in the middle of believing in God and not believing. We talked for about 45 minutes, and then asked him if we could come back next week. He said, “Yes, and next time you guys can do more talking”.  J It was a good experience seeing how a simple unexpected meeting could turn into a gospel discussion.

    The other investigator is an excommunicated member, who had heart surgery 3 months ago, and would like to meet with us. I'd never met him before but I called him on Saturday night to see if he would like to meet with us this week, and he said he would come to church and we could talk about it then. He came and I was able to meet him and set up an appointment for Thursday. There's an Institute center right around the corner from our apartment (The RITZ), so we've been making appointments there so that Elder Gerhardsson doesn't have to do too much walking. Also since we can't go and do finding very much, we're going to do a lot of phone calls and area book work, to set up appointments at the RITZ, and to find people.

    V is starting to get better. He has started to try to quit drinking again. I'm still calling him every day, and sometimes he even calls us to wish us a good day. He called me on Saturday and told me that he wanted us to start involving him in activities and stuff, because he thinks it could help him. There's a member who's getting married in a few weeks (V Z, 25yrs old), and he bought a new apartment, and is renovating it. So he needs help placing down laminate flooring, and doing a bit of painting. So, V will help us do that. He's excited to help us and get outside to do something active. He hasn't quit drinking yet, but he's got a plan that he's following.

   Elder G had a rough week this week. He was in a lot of pain on Monday night, from using his foot too much the day before. Ever since he was younger, about 15yrs he started getting tension headaches all the time. He's going to therapy for it, (The doctor said the problem was in his neck and shoulder), and because he uses the crutches a lot he gets more headaches because of the strain on his shoulder. He was great for the rest of the week, except until around Thursday, so we spent the whole day inside. It was okay, I was in a really good mood because the sun was actually shining outside and it was warm! (7°C). He then was good again, and on Saturday we went to V’s new apartment to help him out. I was still in my shirt and tie, and he had forgotten that we were coming over to help, so he said not to worry about it, but to come back again on Wednesday. He then saw that my comp wasn't doing very well, and gave him a priesthood blessing. It was a great experience. He was all dirty from working in the apartment, and then all of a sudden we were in a room, music off, and giving Elder G a blessing. The spirit was really strong all of a sudden, and I could feel the sudden difference. V's uncle sat in the room and watched, (he's not a member) and it was a great experience for him to see. We then went on our way, and my comp felt a lot better.

    On Sunday we were able to fast and bear our testimonies. It was a great Sabbath day.

    I've really had the opportunity to read a lot in the scriptures. I learn something new every time. One of the Sisters here in Kiel (Sister T) asked me if I could give her a blessing. It's a great feeling being asked and being able to serve someone like that. I'm glad I'm out here, and for all the ways that the Lord is helping me and guiding me. I've learned a lot about the light and love of Christ so far this year. He is the light and the love, and as we exercise faith in Him, (actions, thoughts and deeds), we receive His love and light through the Spirit which sanctifies us. Then we become the light of the world, and through loving others, ALL men will know that we are his followers and disciples. They will see it in our loving actions, and through the “Ausstrahl” that we have around us (the glow or beam). We are a happy people, because our Hope, Faith, and Love is in Christ and is for the people around us. I have a lot of scriptures to back this up J. I'm not just making this up, it's real. I know it and I'm experiencing it every day. Smiling and having our thoughts on Christ whenever we have the chance, makes all the difference in the world for us, and for the people who observe us.

   Mom, you don't have to worry about my marriage goals for when I get home yet, ha-ha! I still have a whole year! Don't worry - I've been doing a “lil bit of praying, and thinking”, since I've been out here, about what I'll be doing right when I get home. (That was a joke, I did a lot of it). I won't do anything that the Lord doesn't want me to do.

 I love you guys, and I hope you have a great week! I'm proud of you all, and am thankful for the way the Lord's blessing you day by day.

Love you, take care,

Elder Luening

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