Tuesday, 28 May 2013

May 27, 2013

Dear Family,

Hey, so this week has gone by pretty fast. We're doing a zone P-day so I don’t have much time to e-mail today, but I thought I would drop a few lines. I'm going to be wrestling a few Elders, ha-ha, and I guess we'll see if I beat them all or not, lol!

  We watched the Final Champions League soccer game on Saturday night. It was so good! It was Dortmund “gegen” Bayern München. We were going for the 'under-dogs' (Dortmund) but Bayern München just scored another goal 3 minutes before the second half was over. 2-1 for Bayern. We watched it at M. J.'s house, which was so cool. He's a less active member, and we'd never met his wife before. He invited us for dinner and then to watch the game. We had a great night getting to know his family which he, and we, really enjoyed. Oh, and yes we had permission to watch the game, lol.

  E. was not baptized on Sunday. We kept up daily contact with him and he was going strong until Thursday. We met with him on Friday and played basketball with him and his friends, and afterwards we sat down and talked in the cafeteria in the university. He told us that he's not ready yet. He said he's been stressed about his English Major, because he's not doing too well in it and it is causing him to stress a little bit. He was completely honest and open with us. We really thanked him and for being open with us. He said he still has the goal of being baptized and that in the meantime he's still going to try to quit smoking. But that he needs a bit of time before he can make this step. He's so humble and I care for him so much. We're going to keep helping him, and he's going to keep meeting with us and keep working on his progress as he figures things out with school. He loves us and loves the gospel. He told us how much it means to him in his life. Yeah, it is sad that he didn't make it, but really good that he still has the desire and that he's not giving up!
  Sounds like you guys are crazy running all over the place, ha-ha. Dad good job on fitting everything in the trailer and accomplishing everything on time! It's not too long now until Charlene will leave! Crazy! You guys are great examples to me, mom and dad. I love you both and keep up the good work that you are doing at home. Have a good week! Love you! Talk to you next week!

Elder Lüning

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

May 20, 2013, Kiel

Dear Family.

  Mom, it sounds like you have been crazy busy lately. I'm really proud of you for magnifying your calling, and for how hard you're working. You've always said it's important to have a balance, and the best way to get a balance is to pray, and plan. 

   Jeremy has been writing me and he said that he's loving the MTC. It's got ups and downs like it did for me, but he's doing well! He gave me his mailing address, so I'll be sending him a post card, and a letter or so to give him a little boost.

   This has been a crazy week. E. was not baptized yesterday, but we met with him on Friday and challenged him to quit on the spot. He said, “No, I'll come to church on Sunday, and then you can come over afterwards and take all my smokes and everything.” We were so excited! We went to Church and went to a baptism in Neumünster afterwards. We then had lunch and went to E.'s. He let us in and we started cleaning his room! He gave us everything he had. His smokes, roller, packer, lighters, tobacco, everything! And then he washed all his clothes and we read in the Book of Mormon together. We then asked him if he wanted a blessing afterwards. He said, “Yeah, I believe that they work because of the last time you gave me one.” It was so awesome! He's going to try his hardest and he's got the Lord on his side helping him. He's going to need your prayers, so please add E. into your daily prayers this week.

  We also met with G. Wittenbecker  2 weeks ago (in-active). He babysat me when I was a little kid, ha-ha. We invited him to come to church and he came with his girlfriend, Tina! You can give him a call if you want, we talked a little bit about him babysitting all four of us and how crazy it was, lol. He's very good at playing the piano, too

We were doing doors at the student housing and we met 2 guys. We were on exchanges so I was with Elder S. from Rendsburg. (He's the Brazilian). We talked to them about Christ and the love and joy we feel from our faith in him. They then got curious as to why we believe so strongly on Him. We shared the message of the Restoration, and the feelings that we felt in our hearts from prayer. They then told us that they were homosexuals, and had felt this also, but are losing their faith because they aren't accepted by any religions. (Makes sense, lol). We made an appointment to bring the Book of Mormon to them and give them an answer to their concern. We found a church website called mormonsandgays.org. Our lesson with them was really good! Their names are T. and T., and one wants to read the Book of Mormon. We talked a lot about eternal marriage, and it was a really good discussion. We'll see what happens. We're going to check up on them again in 2 weeks. Right now I don't think anything will change, but the spirit has power to change people. So we'll see what happens. Yeah, it was a bit weird, ha-ha, but definitely something I'll never forget lol.

Love you guys hope you have a good week! Charlene keep prepping for the mission, and enjoy the little bit of time you have left at home! One more month! Mom and dad, keep up with the classes you're teaching. You learn so much when you prepare to teach, and feel the spirit testify of truths when you do. Our zone is doing awesome we had 2 people confirmed on Sunday and one baptized. We daily pray each week as a zone for a specific district and we're seeing a lot of miracles and unity! You're in my prayers too!

Love you, Elder Lüning.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

May 13, 2013, Kiel

Dear Family,

   Hey, just a quick email. Thanks for the email and for Skyping! It was awesome to see you guys and to be able to talk. So, I talked to President about my extension. He said that he will check to find out if I can or not, because it’s tough to get permission now, since all the new missionaries are coming in.

  I also thought a lot about if I want to see you guys or not when you come to Germany. I decided today that I'd rather not see you Mom and Dad, lol. I do need Presidents permission and I did ask him. He said he would allow it if that was something I wanted, but I did really think about it a lot and I decided that I don't want to see you guys. Ha-ha, that sounds bad, but I feel like it would be dumb seeing you for a little bit and then having to wait until we Skype or until I'm home again. I think I'd rather do without the little distraction. I hope that all makes sense. Thanks for being willing to, but I'd feel better if I don't see you.

  But yeah, definitely visit the families in Forst. I'll send you their address next week. Dad, you know Brother B. a little bit, you spoke with him on the phone last year on Fathers-day :). They a great!

   Also we're hoping that our Investigator, E. gets baptised this Sunday. He needs to quit smoking, and if he doesn't make it then we have to push his date back and help him to not give up! We know he can do it and he knows he can too. We're meeting with him today and we'll see what happens.

  I love you guys.

  Thanks for summarizing the talk for me, Mom. I also have a little spiritual thought:

John 13:36 ¶Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.

I thought about this, and this is before Christ goes through the garden of Gethsemane. We could not ever go through what he went through. But we know that we will all at one time or another go through our own personal Garden of Gethsemane if we want to return and live with God. Thankfully, we have someone who's been through it for all of us, and can help us when the time comes! He is the one that can give us a stronger back!

Love you guys, hope you have a good week
Elder Luening

Monday, 6 May 2013

May 6, 2013, Kiel

 Dear family,

 Wow, life at home just seems absolutely crazy right now! This is also going to be a really crazy month isn't it?! There are a lot of celebrations coming up. Oh, and since you guys (Mom & Dad) mentioned going around and visiting families to celebrate, I heard from, "entweder von einen Spatz, oder eine Meise" (a little birdie), that you guys are planning on making a trip out here to Hamburg in June or July...is this true? Guess I'll find out on Sunday when we Skype lol. So I will try to Skype exactly like last year on Mother’s Day. I'll try to be on at around 8:00 AM your time and then we can Skype! If I have a problem or if there's a mix up I'll call the house on Saturday and let you know what we are doing. But plan for 8:00 AM on Sunday. (That would be about 5:00 PM for me on Sunday) Oh and heads up, I'm only aloud to Skype for one hour. That's the maximum time we have, so if you have something specific that you want to say write it down so you don't forget!

  So as usual, I don't have very much time to write today. But I just want to say that I love Kiel so much. On Wednesday I was able to see the beauty of it when we had a church activity in the City Centre. It was a lot of fun. The sun was shining and it warmed up here a bit. I'm starting to feel the effects from it. My pollen allergies are going crazy and the pills aren't doing too much to prevent it. Could you please send me some more sometime...I think I have enough for another 2 1/2 weeks. Thanks!

  Also Elder R, my new companion, is from Freiburg, and he can speak perfect English and of course German...because he's German, lol. He's helping me with my German a lot. He's a lot of fun and we get along really well. We even wrestled a few times this week, and then he got me sick, because he came here with a cold. So, I have bad allergies and a cold at the same time, lol. We also don't have a car any more. On Thursday, we gave it to the senior couples in Hamburg. Now we get to go everywhere by bus, and have to learn how to get around without a GPS, lol. It's a lot different, but the buses aren't too bad here. They all drive pretty frequently and get us where we need to go.

"My First Leadership Council"

   So, Thursday night we dropped off our car in Hamburg, took a train to Berlin and stayed the night with the APs because we had a Leadership Council there the next day. We were supposed to leave with 2 brand new bikes and go back to Kiel. The meeting went long and we had to run like crazy to try to get to the train stop on time. We then found out that we could not take the bikes on the bus so we thought about riding our bikes to the train stop so we would get there on time. The problem was that we didn't have helmets, and we aren't allowed to ride bikes without helmets. It was so tempting, but we decided to call the AP's and have them drive us. They did and we made it on time and found out that we could not take the bikes on the ICE train either! So if we would have been disobedient and rode our bikes there, we would have had to leave the bikes somewhere or miss our train and wait for the AP's to come pick up our bikes. It would have been a 180 Euro ticket wasted, because it was the last train going to Kiel from Berlin that day. So it's always better to be obedient, especially with little things, because those little things could turn into big ones.

   Our investigators are doing really well.
E. is on  for the baptismal date of May 19th, and we got him excited again to quit smoking. He set a date for when he will quit, and we'll keep him motivated. We're going to go over the baptismal interview questions with him to make sure he's ready for this step! It makes sense.

   We are still finding people to teach, and I feel like this week is really going to fly by because we're going to be pretty busy.

  Anyway, I'm out of time now. I'm really happy for everyone, and I'm glad you're all healthy. Happy Birthday Kassandra!! I hope you still had fun with all the crazy stuff going on. Can you believe that you're so old already? 24...and married??!! lol. You're an old lady, ha-ha. Joking! I'm proud of you all and can't wait to Skype! Till Sunday!

Love, Elder Luening