Friday, 16 August 2013

August 12,2013, Hamburg

Hey Family,
So I was happy to hear about everyone’s experiences this week! Mom and Dad I didn't get to read your e-mail because it was way, way, way, too big – ha-ha! So I printed it and will read it later at home this week!
So we have 2 baptisms that will be going through this week. S, from the Bronx in New York, and H from Ghana. The ward is really excited about the baptisms coming up. It's been a little while since they've had one...and you can tell too...there are spider webs and spiders in the baptismal font, ha-ha. I'll send you pictures next week!

               This last week was pretty good. Not too much happened but I'll share some things that I really appreciate. There was a Ward BBQ this week and we invited everyone we talked to, to come to the activity. At around 8:10PM on Wednesday, I was starving and tired and had the thought to just go home by bus and eat dinner. But then I felt like, no, walk home and find people on the way. Well, we talked 2 really cool people. One of them was a 22 year old girl who stopped and talked to us for about 30 minutes straight. She was really interested in what we were doing, and the thing that intrigued her the most, she said, was that we stood so firm behind our testimonies and that we would take 2 years out of our lives to do this. We tried everything we could to get her to meet with us again, but she said she would maybe come to the activity. She didn't end up coming, but I'm glad I listened to the spirit and the prompting to keep going. I think what we said to them was something they needed to hear at that time in their lives. It's good planting some seeds. Those first impressions can last a life time.

               The ward activity was on Saturday and really nice. We gave about 8 church tours all together and from 3 of the tours and visitors we now have teaching appointments. There were probably about 20 visitors including children. The ward was really excited about it. Oh, and during the whole activity it looked like it was going to rain! But we prayed, and even though the clouds were black, it didn't rain on us!! It was so cool  J. We definitely said a prayer of thanks!
We were at Oma and Opa's for lunch and showed them the Restoration DVD and Opa thanked me for bringing the spirit into their home before leaving. Uncle Jan also came spontaneously to church on Sunday! The whole theme was on “Walking Steadfastly in Christ”. That's the Stake theme this year, and it was Ward Conference, so all the talks were tied to it. It was very spiritually uplifting.

I also read Mosiah 4: 4-13 this week and King Benjamin promises us how we can live a joyful life. And his thoughts were focused on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and His love.

 And king Benjamin again opened his mouth and began to speak unto them, saying: My friends and my brethren, my kindred and my people, I would again call your attention, that ye may hear and understand the remainder of my words which I shall speak unto you.
 For behold, if the knowledge of the goodness of God at this time has awakened you to a sense of your  nothingness, and your worthless and fallen state—
 I say unto you, if ye have come to a  knowledge of the goodness of God, and his matchless power, and his wisdom, and his patience, and his long-suffering towards the children of men; and also, the  atonement which has been prepared from the  foundation of the world, that thereby salvation might come to him that should put his  trust in the Lord, and should be diligent in keeping his commandments, and continue in the faith even unto the end of his life, I mean the life of the mortal body—
 I say, that this is the man who receiveth salvation, through the atonement which was prepared from the foundation of the world for all mankind, which ever were since the  fall of Adam, or who are, or whoever shall be, even unto the end of the world.
 And this is the means whereby salvation cometh. And there is  none other salvation save this which hath been spoken of; neither are there any conditions whereby man can be saved except the conditions which I have told you.
 Believe in  God; believe that he is, and that he  created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not  comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.
 10 And again, believe 10 And again, believe that ye must  repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in  sincerity of heart that he would  forgive you; and now, if you  believe all these things see that ye  do them.
 11 And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have  tasted of his love, and have received a  remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own  nothingness, and his  goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of  humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.
 12 And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the  love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.
 13 And ye will not have a  mind to injure one another, but to live  peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due.
 14 And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.

If we always have him and his love and goodness and patience and etc, in remembrance and repent daily, we will ALWAYS rejoice; “And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the alove of God, and always bretain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the cknowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.”(verse 12)     He's done everything for us. Love is the best 'driving force' there is.
Have a great week! Love you all!

Elder Luening

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