Tuesday, 25 June 2013

June 24, 2013, Kiel

Love Elder Luening

Dear Family,

   Mom and Dad, I really love you and appreciate everything you've done for me. This last year is going so quick and I'm super excited to see what is going to keep happening in this life of mine and in the lives of others. I'm really impressed at how great of parents you both are. I'm always amazed at how you raised us. I know it wasn't easy, but you made sure we had the Principles of the Gospel planted within us. Thanks for everything that you've done for me and what you continue to do. I know that I still have a lot to learn, but I have a new perspective on things that is continuing to change each day and through each experience.

   We aren't affected by the high water here in Kiel. The cities that got hit were the ones on the Elbe.

    It's been really tough bringing our investigators to baptism. We have 2 that are completely ready but won't commit to a date because they’re scared. E. is such a great investigator. He's reading, praying, coming to church, coming to institute and coming to Family Home Evenings at 3 young married couple’s homes each week. His tests are almost done, and then he says that he's going to quit smoking and be baptized. He's such great guy, and he participates and socializes freely.

     We're having trouble finding more people to teach. But I know the Lords looking out for us and that he's going to continue to help us as we're prepared. “Kieler Woche” is this week. We're going to go check it out today. There are a ton of people here from all over the world. IT's really cool! I love you, and I'm sorry it's not a long email this week, but I'm trying to reach out to others through email too which is limiting my time to write you.

   My mission is the “best, most enriching experience” – better than anything else I could do instead. I always imagine what would have happened if I didn't come out here into the mission. I would have never ate from this fruit (the love of God) that was available. It's true. All of it is true, and I'm so thankful for the Gospel in my life, and for the prayers of all you guys because I believe I couldn't have done it without you. 

    Love you and have a great week. Do something fun with all the free time you now have and with the house being empty, lol. Don't get bored!

Love Elder Luening

Friday, 21 June 2013

June 17, 2013, Kiel

June 17

Hey guys,

Thanks for the emails and for the update! Wow, Charlene I'm so excited for you and I know you're going to love your mission! It's so exciting! That was a great blessing that you received, and I'm grateful I was able to read it. We'll keep in touch by email!

   This week has gone by so slow...and I'm having troubles remembering what we did, lol. We did a lot of things but it seems to be all mushed together. We are still meeting at least twice a week with E. We're going to a Family Home Evening with E. tonight at Jared and Ariana's (young married couple who got married last fall). There will also be 2 other young married couples there (E.s, and Z.'s who also don't have kids yet). Ariana's also going to invite her aunt and uncle who aren't members, and they've asked us to give the spiritual thought.- great missionary opportunity J!

We organized our former investigator list and mapped out where everyone lives using “Google Maps”. Then we numbered them all on the map, printed them off, and put their names on a list telling us who they are and what street and number they live on and if they have a telephone number. Now, whenever we are in an area, we can quickly check if there are any contacts in the area and go see if they still have interest. It's so convenient and so effective. We went by on L. to say “hello”.  She called us 2 weeks ago and told us she would like to study on her own for a while, so we thought we'd just say “Hi” since we were in the area finishing up the doors there. She was really friendly and thanked us for coming by. It was a positive little visit.

 We talked to some interesting people at the doors but none who we could teach again. We went to a Stake activity in Plön because some members brought friends and had asked us to be there to meet them. It was a lot of fun and the weather was beautiful. Some members came from Delingsdorf and I got to quickly chat with Thorsten Z.'s wife, Connie! How cool is that?! Thorsten wasn't there , I can't remember why, but I met their son and we took a picture together. You'll have to talk to her if you want a copy because she took the picture on her phone, lol. That was funny, though, running into her and being able to talk a little bit.

Things are moving forward with V. We had a powerful lesson with him yesterday about the restoration. We wanted to make sure that he understood it and that it made sense to him. And it did. The spirit was pretty powerful in the meeting, and I asked him if he had prayed to find out if the Book of Mormon is true. He said he hasn't because he's caught in between not wanting to and  wanting to find out if it is true. He said he's not scared, but just nervous to find out if it's true or not. No word can describe the feeling I have, he said, lol. He laughed about it and we committed him to do it. I know he knows it's true. He just needs to find it out for himself, by asking!

   I'm so glad that I've received an answer through the spirit that this Church is true. Joseph Smith was really a prophet of God. I've learned so much about him and about what kind of a man he was. The message of the Restoration is a miracle. I know it's true, and I know the Book of Mormon is true. The story of Peter walking out onto the water is always clear in my mind. I love that Christ answers Peter by telling him to come unto him, and Peter being so focused on Him that he does. In Alma 5, Alma testifies that the Lord Jesus Christ is calling to us to come unto Him, and that if we do we may eat from the tree of life, (which fruit is the most joyous to the soul 1 Ne. 11:23) for the good Shepherd is calling us and wants us to be a part of His fold. I know that as I continue to bring forth fruits of righteousness and keep focused on Him and His marvelous work, he'll continue to make me an effective instrument in His hands.

   I love you guys, and I hope you enjoy this week and reach out to help someone receive some of the light that we all have inside of us. This light that we've received from our faith on our Friend and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Love Elder Lüning.

June 10,2013, Kiel

June 10

So sorry about last week - that I didn't write you guys much at all. No, it didn't have to do with the floods here in Germany, but now that you mention it, you can check out the mission blog and see all the work that the missionaries have been doing in helping with keeping the floods under control. http://germanyberlinmission2012-15.blogspot.de/

The main reason that I didn't write is because I didn't have much time. We went to Laboe on Monday J.  I was so scared that I was going to get transferred that I wanted to see the beach and go up the tower that's out there. Lol, and guess what? I didn't get transferred! I'm staying another 6 weeks here in Kiel!! Woot!

Last week we went to Berlin on Thursday at 5:00 PM and were in bed by 11:00 PM after picking up some other elders at the Berlin train station with the A.P.'s. Then we were up at 6:30 AM, and in a meeting from 9:00 AM-4:30 PM, then on the train to Kiel from 6:00 PM -12:15 AM, and finally in our beds by 12:45 AM.

Then all of Saturday we had planning and meetings with our District and District Leaders...we were exhausted! Thank goodness that it's now P-day.

   Last week we had E. at a Family Home Evening at a young married couple’s house. (K's). We shared a spiritual thought about ways that we can live in a “manner of happiness” found in 2 Nephi 5. It was great, and then we played a goofy game where you make up dances, answer goofy trivia questions, draw pictures, and do a bunch of other funny things. They fed us dinner too, and E. liked it a lot.

We then had E. at a member’s house yesterday too, to watch 'The Testaments'! We chose Jared S and his wife Ariana (both 25 years old) as members that we want to do a lot of missionary work with. We told them and they said that it was like an answer to their prayers because they'd been praying about receiving more opportunities to share the gospel. So they’re 'In'! lol. It was a nice home to be in and to feel the spirit. It was good for E. because now he's getting a bit closer with the members. He tells us all the time that he's really thankful for the church and learning more about it because he enjoys the feeling that he gets from us and from reading in the scriptures. His English exam is in 2 weeks, so we're trying to help him get ready for it.

V. is also doing well. We're going through the Gospel Principles book with him and soon we're going to have him prepare lessons to teach us so that he has to think more and learns more J.

Thanks so much for your emails. I really appreciate it and I printed them all out last week so I could read them. You guys rock. That's tough about what happened to Jeremy. I'll be praying for him. That's so tough! I couldn't even imagine having to go through something like that. I'll write him a letter.

 I'm so excited for you, Charlene...9 more days until she's outa here!! She's going to love it. Some might say the MTC is an emotional roller coaster, but even if it is, she'll love it. I love you guys and don't worry about me. I'm doing fine. Have a great week! I'll write to you next week.

Love Elder Luening

June 3, 2013, Kiel

 Hey guys,

Something came up and I can't write much this week. Well, actually not at all.

E. is still making progress! And yes I'm loving Kiel still. Transfer calls are on Saturday and I hope I stay one more! Please pray that I do stay, lol, I don't want to leave this place.

I'm sorry I can't write but I'll explain things next week. I love you guys so much, Hope everything goes well for you this week! You're always in my prayers.

Love Elder Luening