Thanks so much for the emails. I honestly love being a missionary and the things that I've learned so far in the field. We bought our pumpkins today for carving and it was just another reminder of how quickly the time is moving by. Mom, dad, you two are amazing. You're so diligent in planning and sacrificing time for the church. You two, with your solid testimonies and missionary experiences are a huge help in Cranbrook Stake! I get letters from members telling me how much they appreciate you and all that you do out of your personal lives to help build up the Kingdom of God on earth. You're “Großartige” examples for me. (“great” sounds better in German to me, ha-ha).
So this week was a week where Elder McK and I learned a lot. Our District Leader asked us to study Ch. 9 from Preach My Gospel this week, and so we did. On Tuesday we started at the beginning and made it to the end of the second page before we ran out of time because it was like instant revelation. We reflected on how we talk to people and approach them on the street, how we plan to use our time as we find people to teach, and how we listen to the spirit. There's a quote which says 'Finding by the spirit is just as important as it is to teach by the spirit.' Also it says that the people we find who are prepared for us will want to listen to our message and meet with us again. We really tried to apply what we learned into the rest of our weekly work and we saw the effectiveness of it. When someone would want to talk with us more, but didn't want to meet or learn from us, instead of continuing in discussion with him we ended the conversation in testimony, gave him a card and moved on as quickly as we could. It helped us tune more into the spirit and discern if this man is ready or not. It's amazing how it works. In doing this we've been able to find people who want to meet with us. We found 20 people with who we have contact information with.
Once we have our planned time of finding, we would stop and talk to each other if this is what we should do or if we should be somewhere else. Sometimes we get sudden promptings that tell us to get out of the bus suddenly, or to walk in a different direction, and sometimes the plan stays the same. But through this tuning in and double checking if this is where we should be, we've been able to find these new people who want to meet again.
One girl we found last night is called J. She's a German girl probably about 28yrs old and from Hannover originally. Before we went finding we said okay, which way are we going, I looked at the map again while we were in the train, and picked out the way. As we just got out of the train stop Elder McK. said to me, 'This is perfect, I just got revelation, we should walk to “Haupt Bahnhof”', I laughed because that was exactly the way I picked out, but I guess I forgot to tell him, so I said, “I feel the same way”. Well after talking to a few people we found J. who was completely open and said that since she left Hannover, she doesn't really have a ward to go to, so she wants to come see ours and meet with us this week sometime. We got her number and gave her a Book of Moormon and pamphlet and testimony to go with it. It was great!
Another story is about a man named R. He was walking in front of us and as we were passing him, I talked to him about Christ, and he said, “Yeah I believe but I don't have anything to do with a church. We talked a bit more and then suddenly he said he was from Canada. Bwahh! My first CANADIAN! Right then we started talking in English and I told him where I was from. His whole countenance changed. He told us he'd met missionaries before but didn't understand too much about the Book of Mormon. So we set up an appointment with him and he wants to learn more. Before walking in that direction we were on exchanges, so I asked Elder G. how he felt about the plan and the direction we were going, He paused and said really good. These small pauses to tune in to the spirit, and double check to see if we are doing the right thing is what I learned this week. And it works the same way at home.
A missionary told me once a long time ago, the things you learn in Preach My Gospel and the White Handbook, are really for MEMBERS with a few extra rules and tips for specifically set-apart missionaries.
One more thing, Opa gave a great talk the week before. I forgot to tell you that last Monday. It was about the importance of General Conference, and really, really well done! He gave solid testimony and it was really touching. Ha-ha, he said he was really nervous because it was the first time in 20 years that he gave a talk but he didn't show it at all! He's a natural! Oma and Opa are doing great! I love them so much.
Thanks for everything you guys are doing and for the emails you write me. Charlene, your emails are so long I print them off and read them when I have time ha-ha. And Jeremy thanks for the small email and your testimony about prayer!
Love, Elder Luening