Tuesday, 21 January 2014

January 20, 2014, Hamburg

Jan 20

Yup, another week come and gone lol. What a blessing we have to be alive! Thanks for your emails Mom and Dad!

 We had an investigator call us, ( B., who hadn't met with us for 2 weeks because of work) telling us that he would be coming to church and that he needs to be baptized. He said,” I already know the church is true and that baptism is essential for my salvation.” He then said, “I've been blessed every day to be alive but anything could happen and I must live with the knowledge that I have be baptized and made a covenant with the Lord.” He's such an awesome man. He's 30yrs old and from Ghana, and has met with missionaries about a year ago in Russia. We need to go through the baptismal questions with him to see where he's at with his testimony and what he needs. We told him because of his crazy work schedule that if we met even for 15 minutes during the week, we could help him get ready. He participated in the class at church and asked how he could do better missionary work with his friends. He's got such a strong love for the Gospel it is amazing.

  Our other Baptismal candidate is Frank and he's doing great too. He's been to Church 3 times now and we've met with him 5 times. Because he speaks French we have a member there at every appointment and he's loving the Gospel. He told us that he started meeting with us because he was impressed that we were young, white, and had a strong love for Christ. It made him curious and respect us a lot. His testimony is growing too and he's very honest! We might have to move his baptismal date to the 15th of February from the 1st, but we'll see how it continues to go. He keeps all his commitments J

  We were also blessed with a new investigator from the Back Seniors. They invited a Chinese girl who's been here for about 10yrs now, over for lunch after church and we taught her the restoration right afterwards. She had met with missionaries for 4 years and stopped meeting with them about 5 years ago. The Lord has blessed her with another chance and she wants to meet with us again and learn more. She definitely felt the spirit during the lesson and asked good questions about prayer and answers to prayer. It was great! Go member missionary work!

 Charlene, great stories and miracles that happened to you! Thanks for sharing them! I was so excited about hearing all those things. It's like President Hinckley said, “if the members would do their missionary work the number of convert baptisms would double”!

  I'm loving the mission, I'm not “trunky” yet, ha-ha. Elder Cannon and I are working hard and we've made a game that helps us talk to people in the Bahns and buses which has been working really well! We're stretching ourselves and talking with more people than ever before! (I took some more modeling pictures but forgot my camera so you'll see them next week J )

Love you all and have a great week!


January 13, 2014, Hamburg

Dear Family,

Another week come and gone! I'm glad the Lord is protecting you throughout the bad winter weather. We have no snow at all, and last week Monday we ran around without a jacket on because we were too hot! It's cooled down since then but still doesn't get under 5°C. It's also a bit rainy now but hopefully that starts to clear up again soon. We dropped some people with whom we couldn't contact again, and found some new ones. We found a cool family. The wife is German, and the husband was born in India but has been here in Germany already for about 10 years. I gave them a call yesterday to see if they had time to meet and they did, so we'll be meeting on Tuesday. I went on exchanges with a District Leader in Pinneberg. He just got transferred there from Dresden. We worked hard together and did something cool. So, Elder C., (my companion) and I made a plan to talk more with people in the trains and buses by making a game out of it. We have to talk to at least 2 people every day, no matter what, and if we talk to 4 people we get a bonus point. If we talk to 5 we get 2 bonus points. These points can only carry over one day. If you have 2 bonus points you can buy yourself something from the bakery at the end of the day for Abend Brot. If not then “pech”(too bad)! Lol. So I told this Elder from Pinneberg about it and decided to do some Bahn-tacting (train contacting). It was a lot of fun. Since we're not allowed to proselyte in the trains and buses it gets you outside of your comfort zone. I used to do it a lot but got out of the habit about 4 transfers ago. I forgot how fun it is to talk to people about random things and how it always comes freely back to the gospel because you have a big black name tag on that says Church of Jesus Christ, lol.

   We also have an investigator on baptismal date for the 2nd of February but will probably have to move it one week back to make sure he understands everything. He's from Ivory Coasts in Africa and speaks French, and basically no German. But we have 4 members who also have their mother language as French so it works really well. We've taught him the three lessons from Preach My Gospel already, and made sure he understood everything during the last meeting. We went through the interview questions with a member to see where he was at and to show him what kind of questions would come up during the interview. He said he needs to find out if Joseph Smith is a prophet and is working on reading and receiving an answer from the Book of Mormon. He's a really solid guy and really sincere. He's been to church twice now and likes it a lot. So we're praying and hoping that he'll receive an answer and continue to build his faith in the restored gospel of Christ!

  I love this work, and love the Gospel. I also have awesome missionaries in our apartment. Elder S. has made huge changes in his life and missionary work and is an awesome hard working Elder. Elder S. is now new in the apartment and a lot of fun. He's from Brazil and I was his Zone Leader in Kiel as he served in Rendsburg. He just got here from Cottbus so he told me lots of stories about Forst and caught me up on the members there, lol. Elder Cannon and I are killing it here and having a great time. I love you all and hope you have a great week! Stay safe! Enjoy the SNOW! :)

Love Elder Lüning


January 6, 2014, Hamburg


Dear Family,

Hey, well I'm down to my last transfer. We had transfer calls on Saturday and I received the good news that I will be staying in Hamburg! So it's my last transfer to give it all I have. I appreciate what you said mom about Trail and about the things that I've learned on my mission needing to change me as a person. They have and I agree with you about Trail. I don't want to stay there any longer than 8 months. That's like the max amount of time that I could stay, lol. Germany's so awesome! I also noticed this week how much I have changed this last year on my mission. I think that came with the blessing of being called a Zone Leader so young on my mission and staying one until the end. So nothing has really hit me yet about the idea of coming home so soon, probably because 6 weeks is still a long time. But the one thing that has hit me is how I've been stepping up my game a little bit more each day. I seem to be imperceptibly more intense about doing everything I can before my time is up.


   Elder Cannon and I are working hard. We had a lot of appointments fall through this week, but have had good back up plans which have been helping our program. There's nothing we could do about those ones that fell through; we had confirmed them and everything. We also have a big teaching pool, and have our focus on 3 specific people now who we feel can be baptized before the end of the transfer. I hope things work out and that we keep finding new people. The ward here is so cool. We're really trying to involve the members more and more, but it's tough when we're not sure if appointments will go through or not. We decided that we would tell the member beforehand that we have a back-up plan and if they want to do it with us if the appointment does end up falling through. That seems to work a lot better and seems fairer for the member.


    Something funny...we got into the bus which was really full and sat down at the back. We watched others get into the bus too and it was getting pretty full. We started driving and Elder Cannon looked at a lady who was sitting beside us and suddenly she YELLED at us 'DON'T LOOK AT ME!!' Elder Cannon jumped - ha-ha and I did too because I wasn't paying attention and it surprised me. This lady cursed at us for the next 3 stops just because we were LDS missionaries. We bit our tongues and didn't say anything at all to her, which I'm thankful for. Some people are just crazy...even in the west, ha-ha!


On New Years Eve it got dark at about 4pm so there were fireworks going off everywhere. We tried to go by on a member and got pretty close to his house. It sounded like a war outside, or a battlefield so Elder Cannon and I were having fun and made it seem like we were trying to get to a check point in a battlefield. I told Elder Cannon that I felt weird and that we have the rule to be home by 6pm because of this exact reason. I said to him we probably shouldn't be out here. Well, we came around a corner of a cul-de-sac, and there walking into the middle of the street was a big man, who had tattoos all over him (looked like a drug dealer) with his car door open. He lifted his arm up into the air and all of a sudden we heard five gun shots and saw the ignition from his hand gun in his hand from each fire. We just froze, turned around and walked from where we came from, and decided it was time to go home! We couldn't believe it, but we are thankful that we're always protected. We spent the rest of the evening with the Senior missionary couples and it was a blast!


Thanks for the love and support. I love you all so much. 


December 30, 2013 Hamburg


 That was great being able to Skype and see you...or talk to you! J I hope you enjoyed your Christmas and that it was a good one! I don't really have too much to talk about, lol.

There were a lot of people that we managed to come in contact with last week after not giving up and continuing to call them every day. A lot of the new people we found made appointments with us and we have the opportunity this week to teach them. There are 2 people that we came in contact last week who are really very cool. One of them is a member and the other one is his friend. They're both from Ghana but met each other in Russia as they were studying there. The non-member was taught by missionaries for quite a while, and yesterday as he was in church he said,  “I hope and expect to be baptized soon.” He's so prepared, and we basically have to go through the lessons with him and then he's ready! They're having a hard time finding a place to live right now. The landlord kicked them out of the place they were staying because the apartment had 5 extra people sleeping there and they got caught. So they slept on the streets and then came to church in the morning. I couldn't believe it! But they just kept saying to us, 'it's no problem, we just pray and the Lord takes care of us. We are meant to 'sweat for our bread'. We all have our trials but we have the hope within us that the better days will come. We don't need to worry because we trust in God and he will help us through our trials.' They're so humble, but made sure they had a place to stay that night ha-ha, and the bishopric is helping them out too. It's such a blessing being part of this church, Christ's church!

I hope you all have a great week and enjoy the New Years!! J


Elder Lüning