Monday, 29 April 2013

April 29, 2013, Kiel

Dear Family,

Wow, thanks so much for the email. Mom, I never thought that you would ever plant plastic flowers in your garden, ha-ha. But, it is a good way to save real flowers from dying while you are away for the summer holidays. How warm has it been in Trail lately? It's still hovering around 13-20°C here in Kiel. It only rained once and the rest of the time it was either cloudy or sunny. Every day is different, lol. For example today...It was sunny and beautiful in the morning, and then by 11:00AM it was cloudy and now it is raining -very unpredictable ha-ha!

   So on Saturday we had our transfer calls! Elder G is being transferred to Berlin, and I'm staying in Kiel and will have a new companion. His name is Elder R, and he's German! I'm not too sure where from Germany he's from, but I’m excited to serve with him in Kiel. I'll be training and teaching him what a Zone Leader does...which is weird because I'm still in the process of figuring it all out ha! Just kidding, I'm looking forward to tomorrow. Elder G leaves at around 8:00AM, and then my companion comes at 2:30PM. Should be fun!

   This week there have been a lot of miracles! On Tuesday I went on exchanges with the Elders in Glückstadt. I served there with Elder N for the day. He's from Utah, and wrestled since he was a little kid. He's been on his mission for one transfer now (6 weeks). We prayed about where we were going to do finding, and what exactly we were going to do and then went out and did it. It was a lot of fun talking to people and seeing how well he did. It reminded me of when I first came to Germany and barely understood what people were saying, ha-ha.

We also had an amazing first appointment with a family that he (Elder N) met once before. We taught the first lesson and they were so excited and made out a return appointment for Thursday. It's so amazing how strong the feeling of the spirit is in the room when we teach the first vision or the restoration. It's amazing. Sometimes I listen to myself tell the events that happen and see them just staring at me completely focused and I think...”Are they really understanding what I'm telling them?”? Sometimes I feel like if there was someone just listening in to what we were saying they would think we were crazy...but when you're in the moment, and feeling the spirit, you feel the truth and the power that comes from the message. Something else that I noticed is how much I love talking to and teaching people on the streets now. I think it hit me about a transfer ago that I actually really enjoy it. I just meet a lot of different people and learn how they think or feel about life. We had a great “Tausch”. And yeah, he taught me some stuff in wrestling, lol. If we really wrestled though, I'm certain he would destroy me.

   While I was in Glückstadt, Elder G and Elder C worked on a street that the K family prayed about and picked out for us. They found a girl who lives with her boyfriend and has a 3 year old son. He talked to her about families being together forever. She was interested and made a return appointment. So on Thursday, we went with Sister K to the appointment. Her boyfriend let us in and we talked to him for about 20 minutes until she got home. Then we basically taught them both the message of the restoration. It was so sweet! We all prayed together before we left and we have an appointment to come back on Wednesday. And what's even crazier is that the Sister missionaries in Kiel have an investigator with the same last name...Her MOM!! They found her mom and met with her the same week that we met up with her daughter! Both of them are interested. It's so cool! 

   We also met with the L family and also shared the message of the restoration with them. They are such a loving and awesome family. Each person in their family has different characteristics lol. The boys were way interested in the Liahona picture of Lehi, and the mom was interested in how to get a confirmation of truth, and the Dad was just happy that we were there and that his family was learning about God. Ha-ha, it was so funny! They also fed us an amazing dinner. They are seriously such an amazing and loving family! Maybe don't put their picture on the blog because I'm not sure how they would feel about it being on the internet. Thought you might want to see what they looked like!

   Elder G said goodbye to some members this week and he still has to pack so we gotta get going. Thanks so much for the emails. I love hearing about what's going on back at home. Charlene I'm excited for your mission. You're going to have a lot of experiences where you feel unbelievable love for people. Happy times and sad times depending on how people use their agency! Same with you Jeremy. I need your email and mailing address for your mission and MTC. Hope you guys have an amazing week! I love you all, can't wait to skype in 2 weeks!

   Jeremy, love your time in the MTC. It's a once in a life time experience, and enjoy every minute, every situation, and love everyone you meet, no matter what happens! You're gonna kill it!

Love all of you!
Elder Luening!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

April 22, 2013, Kiel

Hey everyone,
 So, I'm at the Institute Center right now writing emails. There was a carnival in Kiel with rides, so we checked it out with the Sister missionaries from here and the Sisters from Elmshorn, and S (a YSA member). We put our wallets, keys and cameras in one of the Sister’s bags from Elmshorn, and before they left for home, we took out all our stuff but forgot the keys! So they are in Elmshorn with our keys to our apartment and to our car. Yeah...but luckily we have a spare key to the apartment, and we're doing exchanges with Glückstadt Elders tomorrow so we get our keys from them tomorrow. They are at an appointment tonight with the Elmshorn Sisters so they'll just give the keys to them to give to us tomorrow when we see them! Fun! lol.
   Thanks a bunch for your talk, Dad. I'm going to print it and read it later when I have some time! Mom, I'm sure your talk was great too. Does Jeremy have his still? If he does, I would love to read it too. This week went really fast. I can't believe you only have one more week at home, Jeremy! Enjoy it!
   I can't remember if I told you or not but Elder G planted some tomato seeds and flowers in our apartment. They're growing! We were so pumped when we saw green hah. They are now about 2 inches tall and looking pretty healthy. I went on exchanges with the Elders in Delingsdorf on Wednesday. I served with Elder L in Delingsdorf. He was in the MTC with Elder B  (my companion in Forst), and I actually met him for the first time while I went to Berlin to meet and pick up Elder B. We had an awesome day together. They don't really have any investigators besides one person, and so we had a lot of time to do finding. (About 7hrs). Even though it was a long time it went really fast. We had a good plan which we made through prayer, and we were excited to see what was going to happen. We talked to a lot of really cool people who actually took the time to talk with us. It was a lot of fun and the time went really fast. We got at least 3 contacts out of that day that they can go back and visit again. Elder L asked me how I keep motivated to talk to everyone I see. It made me think and I think the biggest part was seeing what the outcome was going to be. I mean we prayed, made a plan, and now if we did our part the best we could, we could see how the Lord's going to bless us.
   On Friday we had a lesson with the new family that we met in a neighbourhood called Hühnaland. She's the lady that said we could come back and teach her 2 sons. It was so cool! Her whole family was there and they all talked to us and got to know us. The Bishop was the best joint teacher ever, and they are excited to find out more and want to meet with us again! It was a huge blessing. None of them believe much about God, but they’re not ruling it out. They want to learn more and develop the belief and faith that they've seen from us and from other people. It's so cool because that was an area where members prayed for us to work, and even though we had door after door shut on us, we didn't give up and found people and are still finding people there. It's really exciting! We also met with E, and he'll be baptized on May 12th! We prayed for the date and he agreed with it when we told it to him. He's really happy. He's going to try the quit smoking program, and then he'll be baptized! Also our Mission President sent us this link for Chinese investigators!
   We watched the General Conference Sunday afternoon session at church on Sunday. I was so tired because the night before I was up until 3:30am with a stomach ache. I threw up at 1:30am. I must have ate some old sandwich meat or something. It sucked, but I'm still alive! My body was back to normal once I woke up at 6:30, and after I ate breakfast I was fine again. General conference was really good! I liked the talks a lot.

Other than that my week was pretty normal. The weather here has been so nice! It was 22° C last week Tuesday! The rest of the week it hovered around 15°. It's been so nice to see the sun for so long and not have to wear a coat over our suit coat. Transfer calls are this week on Saturday. Hopefully I'll stay for a long time! I love it here, and I don't want to leave again. Elder G has been here since the beginning of October so chances are that he'll be the one leaving. Guess we'll find out.

I hope you guys have a good week this week! Anyone can be there for when we Skype. It doesn't really matter to me anymore J Anyways I love you guys! And I'll talk to you next week. Can't wait to Skype on May 12th!

 Love, Elder Luening

April 15, 2013 Kiel

Elder Luening's District

Meine liebe Familie,
   Vielen dank für die Emails! Ich mag dass Ihr dem Hitchhiker Zeugnis gegeben habt, und finde es krass dass ihr 'Ride the Wave!' noch weiter machen! Ich bin überzeugt dass wenn ich wieder zuhause bin, werde ich so viel wie möglich die Missionare unterstutzen! Ich wünsche mir dass ich weniger Kampfsport gemacht hatte um mehr mit den Missionare zussammen zu arbeiten. Na ja, ein Balance zuhaben ist wichtig. Ich habe was von Verkundet mein Evangelium gelesen. Es gibt ein Abschnitt oder ein Satz von einem Propheten. Er bezeugte etwas wie; “We will attain our exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom only on the condition that we share with our Father’s other children the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ and observe the commandments that will enrich our lives here and hereafter”. Oder etwas in der Art. Steht am ende des ersten Kapitals. (Quotes about missionary work from the Prophets of the Church). Es bringt man zum nachdenken und zu erkennen wie wichtig es eigentlich ist! Ich freue mich dass ihr die Missionare unterstutzen. Ich glaube dass es in Trail schwierig  zu dienen ist. Es hilft den Missionare sehr viel wenn die Mitgliedern mithelfen! Ihr habt ein Familiemissionsplan gemacht! Krass! :)
   (Thank-you for the emails. I like it that you picked up that hitchhiker and bore testimony to him, and find it sick that you follow “ride the wave”! I am convinced that I will support the missionaries as my=uch as possible when I am back home! I wish that I had spent less time in MMA and more time with the missionaries when I was at home before my mission! Oh, well, it is important to have balance! I read something from Preach My gospel: there is a paragraph or a line from a prophet (George Albert Smith). It says,” We will attain our exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom only on the condition that we share with our Father’s other children the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ and observe the commandments that will enrich our lives here and hereafter.”.” Or something like that – it is at the end of the first chapter. (Quotes by the Presidents of the Church). It makes one think and realize how important it actually is. I believe that it would be difficult to serve in Trail. It helps the missionaries a lot when the members work with them.  You have made a Family Mission Plan – sick!)
  Meine Woche ist ganz gut gelaufen. Die Zeit an dem computer geht zu schnell! Dass heist dass ich wieder auf Englisch schreiben muss. lol.
  (My week went very well. The time on the computer is going by too fast. That means that I need to write in English again!)
   Today we played sand volleyball with the Sister missionaries, the Neumünster missionaries and 2 young single adults (S and M). It was a lot of fun. We had to buy a volleyball, (25Euro) but we're splitting it among the four of us (us and Kiel sisters) so it is worth it! We're planning on playing a lot more now that it is getting warmer. There's also a Fußball court right next to the sand volleyball court so it is perfect! And the position is right outside the Sisters apartment (2 minutes away from our apartment with the car) so yeah,” ziemlich günstig” (very convenient)! The weather was about 16°C today!! But it is supposed to drop back down again. Vorgestern (yesterday) it was 3 or 4 degrees and it should drop back down to around there.
  Our investigators are doing well. We told E that we would pray for a baptismal date for him and he was happy about that and excited to get our answer. We have a meeting with him tomorrow. V has been free from alchohol and tobacco for over a month now! He's changed for the better in so many ways, it is amazing. He's sober in thinking now, so he's taking our lessons and meetings seriously. His fear right now is in finding out if it is all true or not, but we're helping him out, and the ward is helping too! Everyone else we still haven't been able to get a hold of. We were way away from hitting our goals this week mostly because things kept coming in the way of it. I have a really good feeling about this coming week, though. I feel the Lord is going to bless us and our investigators. We also fasted today for V, because we're starting to worry about his progress. We're hoping and praying that he'll feel the Spirit and put his trust in his feelings.
  We had a Zone Training Meeting on Wednesday. It was cool the whole zone to see. J Wow, I just kicked my verb ha-ha! (My German is messing up my English.) We taught a lesson about involving the Lord more in our work during our planning and working! We based it on the scripture in John 15:4-7 
aAbide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the avine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without bme ye can do nothing. If a man aabide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye aabide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall bask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
    Then there was also a lesson about Motivation, and the Standards of Excellence for our mission. It was a really good zone meeting. Later in the week areas in our zone sent us text messages telling us about miracles they just experienced from prayer. It was cool, and we sent the messages throughout the zone. Everyone's excited for the work. We also are praying as a zone, for specific districts, that they will find someone prepared in their area that will commit to baptism. It's sweet!
   I don't have anything to say for Jeremy's farewell. Just that I don't think there is anything better than a mission so far. It really is something special. I love you all and hope you have a great week.
   Stay strong Mom, ha-ha. You'll be fine without all of us gremlins at home, lol. Thanks for the paragraph from Lorenzo Snow. I listened to the lecture series on the Presidents of the Church from Truman G. Madson. I recommend listening to them, they’re really good!  Oh, and thanks for letting me know how much I have on my card. Lol, I find it funny that you want me to spend money, Mom, ha-ha. You know you pretty much just sent me money in a card right?? I can't spend money that fast ha-ha. (I did buy a chin-up bar like Jeremy's that I can use throughout my mission! 25 Euro) J
 Oh, P.S. How are we skyping for Mothers Day?? Let me know!
Love you guys!

Easter fun "Thanks for the cool hat Mom!"

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

April 8, 2013, Kiel

 Dear Family,

  I agree with you about the General Conference sessions on Saturday and Sunday. (The sessions can be read or viewed again on It was great being able to take notes and listen to the Prophet and apostles of Jesus Christ! We are so blessed to be able to go to Conference at the Church and listen to these powerful talks broadcast by satellite twice a year. I learned quite a bit from the Conference and need to review what I learned and like you, make some goals and plans now. John 4: 34-35 talks about Jesus looking at the fields and seeing that they're white and ready to harvest. This was meant spiritually of course, and you can also apply it to things that you want to change about yourself. Now is the time to apply the things that we learn. President Kosak (Mission President) told us that there are 5 types of people. 1. They don't listen. 2. They blow it off because they've heard it before. 3. They heard it before but don't want to change. 4. They say it's a good idea and that they'll try it someday. 5. They say it is a good idea and will try it today. It was also interesting to see how many of the same scriptures and topics came up from all of the speakers: “Stand in holy places”, “Stand as a witness of God”, “Come to the light”, “Obedience will give us power to draw closer to the Savior”, “We are sons and daughters of God”. I need to review my notes again and set some goals. Each 2 hour session felt like it went by really fast. That is probably because I'm so used to our 6 hour Zone Leader Council meetings, or Zone Conferences and Zone Training Meetings J!

   This was a pretty eventful week. On Monday the mission office called and said they needed my companion, Elder G, to come to the office and help the computer tech with the computers. So he left by train on Tuesday at around 4:45PM and I stayed with the Senior Couple until the Elders in Rensburg came. So we were in a “Dritt” (threesome) Tuesday night. I didn't know what time Elder G would be back at so I called him at around noon, after District meeting and lunch in Rensburg. I asked when he'd be coming back. He said he didn't know. So I asked around what time he would be coming back. He said he also didn't know. So I asked if he was coming back on that day. And he replied and said that he didn't know that either, ha-ha, I said, “Great, when you know, give me a call me back”. He didn't call me! We were going to have a Zone Leader Council in Berlin on Friday. He was supposed to come back Wednesday evening so we could hit all of our appointments on Thursday, and in the evening drive back to Berlin. Well, I called him back at around 9:00PM, and he said he'll be staying in Berlin and that I need to drive out there on Thursday night with the elders from Hamburg, who will be taking the train to Kiel on Thursday and get there at around 7PM. Ha-ha, everything worked out okay, but it was crazy ‘cause no one knew what was going to happen or what was going on, lol.

   I had a good time with the Rensburg Elders. Elder K (District.Leader) is from California, and Elder S ( new missionary since 3 weeks) is from Brazil. (he's white but has a thick accent J). We played soccer on Tuesday night, and then in the morning we worked in Rensburg and Kiel. We went to appointments, and tracted a lot of doors, finding together. We talked to a lot of cool people, and the funniest was when someone asked if we were from UTAH. Ha-ha! We all would look at each other and say, no, we're from Canada, California, Brazil, and my companion is from Iceland! It was so funny and we used it to have some good teaching opportunities with people. I had the car so we spent half the day in each area hitting all of our appointments. We then did the same thing on Thursday. It was fun teaching investigators and searching for interested people together. They're great Elders and work really hard.

  Mom, I still didn't get your package, lol. What I thought was your package was actually a package from the Benka family in Forst! They sent me a big package for Easter with chocolate, meat, pictures and a fleece blanket in it! It was a big surprise and really nice of them! Your package came on Thursday while I was gone and I'm going to pick it up today! J I got a letter from the Gibbs, and Bishop Redekop. Please tell them thanks for me!

   I also received a random letter from a person in Germany that had been investigating the Church and wanted to know how to contact the missionaries in her area. This person looked online and found my blog. They then wrote me and told me their experience so far with the gospel. The letter didn't have a return address or anything, just a first name on it, so I have no idea where it came from. It was really cool though, to get the letter and hear the way the Lord is influencing them in their lives. I was very surprised!

For anyone reading the blog and interested in learning more about the Church, you can contact the Mission Office and request a missionary visit:
Germany Berlin Mission
Zerbster Strasse 42
12209 Berlin
Tel.49 30 7152 2807

You can also contact the local Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzten Tage and they will send missionaries or search online to use LDS maps to find places of worship, congregations, directions, and other Church resources worldwide.

Google: Mormon Church Locations or

    I'm glad you guys are doing great at home. I'm way excited for Charlene and Jeremy and their missions - just a few more weeks for both of them until they leave. (Jeremy will be in the MTC on May 1st and in Italy on June 14th.) The weeks are going way too fast, lol. I hope you have a great week! I'm out of time, but I love you guys! Thanks for everything!

Love, Elder Luening

Friday, 5 April 2013

April 1, 2013, Kiel

Hey guys,

    Happy Easter and thanks for the email, Dad. I hope you all enjoyed your Easter weekend and your time in Kelowna. It sounded like it was great! I got your letters mom, ha-ha. Thanks for the halfway mark card. I'm over the hump! lol. Also the package came, but the man left it with a neighbour...who has been gone all weekend for Easter! So I still haven't got it, lol. Maybe tomorrow! Oh, and Sister LaRocque sent me a letter, please thank her for me!

   My week was pretty good! We have 3 really awesome investigators who are making very good progress. V is still holding strong and staying away from smoking and alcohol. He's building his faith every day and I can see the difference that it's making for him. His apartment is clean -  really clean - and the black circles around his eyes are almost all gone. He's taking care of himself and the Lord is helping him a lot! He is letting himself be helped by Him which is how he's staying strong. Christ's grace is playing a big role.

   DB (Johannes's Uncle), is also making progress. We went by to see him on Saturday to give him an Easter card and see how he was doing.  He's read almost the entire Book of Mormon already, (3 weeks) and has a lot of questions that he's preparing to ask us at our next appointment. So far we've only met with him once because he's been sick lately. He's about 56yrs old and has diabetes. He also had a present for us, haha! He bought us ties! So now I have a new tie, which is stain proof, very convenient!

   Then E, our Chinese investigator from back in January who went to China to visit his family, is back! We went to the student buildings to hand out fliers for English and German class and thought that we'd stop by and see if he was home. He was! But he was really sick, so we said that we could pray together and let him rest, but he's like, no no no, I want you to stay and talk with me and catch up! So we did J! He's doing great. He starts school next week again. We then read Alma 7:27:
"And may the peace of God rest upon you, and upon your houses and lands, and upon your flocks and herds, and all that you possess, your women and your children, according to your faith and good works, from this time forth and forever."
We tied it into faith and good works. He then stopped us and said that he was thinking a lot about baptism while he was in China. He talked to his friends about it. He talked to his mom about it, and he's decided that he wants to be baptized once he's healthy again! We were so excited and just talked to him for a little while about it with him. He really wants this because he knows it is right for him. We then gave him a blessing for health, strength, and comfort. We're really excited for him!

   The Lord is taking care of us and blessing us! We haven't been able to meet with S lately. We tried once last week but she wasn't home, and the other times that we did want to go by on her, something else got pushed in the way. But we hope to meet again this week with her. We did some doors around her area on the day she wasn't home and met a really nice lady. She talked to us for about 15 minutes in front of her door while it was freezing and windy outside J. She got to know us pretty well and loved my Canadian accent, lol! She said she didn't have much interest but said we could come back and ask her kids if they want to learn from us. One is 18 and the other one is 14. She said they're both starting to research a lot about religion and Christianity, so they might be interested. It was really cool! I hope we can get them active in some youth and YSA activities, that'd be way cool!

   Other than that, not too much has happened. On Wednesday, we had a multi- Zone Conference. Oldenburg zone, Hannover zone and Neumünster zone (my zone), were all together in Hamburg. I was able to catch up with Sister M from my first district, and with Elder B, and a few other missionaries that I know. It was really cool to hear stories from them and hear how they are doing in the mission. Thanks for all your support and love. I love you guys and hope you have a good week!

Love, Elder Luening