Hey, sorry it is going to be a short letter today. I am out of time. The work is progressing. I love reading all of your letters and your stories. Italy is great and I love it.
Love, Anziano Luening
This week has been awesomely hard, fantastic, discouraging, exciting and plain downright FORTISSIMO! (Ueber awesome). So this week we did a lot of finding, like a heck of a lot, and we had set up lessons and we had no shows so that was hard and discouraging, BUT, (notice the capitalized letters), we found this one guy D., and he is so awesome. We set up a lesson with him for Sunday. So, 2 other lessons with other people on that day fell through. It was pouring rain - like the streets were flooding - it was so awesome! I was soaked and laughing all the way ha-ha-ha. I'm laughing just writing this, BUT it is true. So it didn't look like this week was going anywhere and I was pretty positive about what was going on during the day and BOOOM! Miracle Fence got destroyed by awesomeness. For those of you who don't know, a miracle fence is a fence that is entrapping miracles from coming your way and it has the fence, and some barb wire, and a BIG pit with spikes. So, yeah, pretty hard to get them miracles. BUT, we smashed that down and took a miracle and ran for it. We had the lesson with D and he is so prepared. He wants the feelings the Spirit brings of peace, happiness and serenity. He doesn't know that the Spirit can give him that BUT you bet your bottom dollar we are going to tell him. Anyway, so we teach him about who God is, what He wants, and how we can follow Him. Pretty FORTISSIMO! Then we tell him how through Jesus Christ we can have those bad feelings taken away. DRUM ROLLLLLLL! I INVITED HIM TO BE BAPTIZED EXCEPT I said, (Seguirà l'esempio di Gesù Cristo Facendosi da qualcuno che detiene l'autorità di sacerdozio di Dio? Notice anything missing - thats right BAPTISM! Ha-ha-ha, nothing about baptism. It literally means: ”Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be done from someone holding the Priesthood authority of God!’ Man that was AWESOME. So funny. So, he looked totally confused and I was like, “I have no idea what I said wrong” and so Anziano W. gave the proper baptismal invite. Right after “facendosi” should be “battezzare”. Anyway, we got out of the building and tackled each other. WE HAVE A BAPTISMAL DATE FOR OCTOBER 19! He is super awesome. So, yeah, that has been how awesome of a week it is.
On a side note Mom, can you get the bank to unfreeze my card. I called them from the airport on the way here and told them I was going to be in Italy for 2 years and they froze my card. Also if you use Amazon for packages then I don't have a custom fee. Also I can't remember if I told you but there is a suit season here. It starts on the October 5th and goes until April General Conference. We wear suit jackets always unless it is super hot. Also if you tell me how to apply for a German passport that would be awesome. Also if you could possibly send me the forms preferably filled out that would be awesome as well.
Mom and Dad, well, glad to hear you have more peace in your life and I hope Auntie Kirsten will be well. I love you both and it is a Banjo. You can try to learn to play if you want or even have time but it is missing a string. Pretty cool though. Does that mean you want me to buy a new camera?
Elder Luening, Happy Birthday or Felice Compleanno! Glad to hear you are doing well and I love hearing from you and you pictures.
Sister Luening, crutches suck…. period. But glad to hear about your miracles and that you are keeping positive. Just keep on trucking because that miracle fence is coming down!
Oma and Opa, I love you both and want you to know that you both are awesome!
Kass and Scott, ???? That is what goes through my mind when my companion asks about you both, ha-ha. Glad to hear you didn't buy a house (I guess) But congrats on new apartment. Living in Style!
Well life is good and is going and can't wait for this week!
Sincerely Anziano Luening
This week has been kind of a blur! So, I have my trainer, and his name is Anziano W. He is from a place close to Manchester, England. He is awesome and he is going home in 11 more weeks. I am killing him, ha-ha! We are getting along great and are both new to the area, La Spezia. It is a nice place right by the sea. Cinque Terre is really close by! Going there will be an awesome P-Day activity.
We had some miracles this week here in Italy. But first I will start with the Duomo in Milan. It is huge, and we got there with our copies of the Book of Mormon and they told us to go and find someone. I was with one of the Assistants to the President and another Elder fresh from the MTC. We tried talking to some people and they were not interested, but then we talked to this couple that came from South America 10 years ago. They were pretty interested and so we exchanged phone numbers and they will be passed off to the Milan Elders. It was awesome. My understanding of Italian is not that great, but I can speak it okay. It has been improving daily.
There are 4 Elders in La Spezia. Anziani M, Ma, W, and I. Anziano M was the only one that has been here for before, but he has only been in La Spezia for 6 weeks. Anziano W and I found some potential investigators through "strada", street contacting. We got their numbers and set up an appointment with one but she never showed up. It was disappointing, but oh well, keep moving forward ha-ha. We do "casa" which ringing apartment buildings, for about an hour and have almost had a few investigators from it, but unfortunately something always comes up. We were talking to this one lady and she was getting upset and told us that she has been very blessed in her life but just cannot find happiness. So Anziano W told her that this is what she has been looking for. We tried to set up a return appointment with her but she said, “No”. We told her we will be back on Saturday. We had both had the feeling that we should not give up on her.
Tuesday was a disaster for Missionary work. It started with us accidentaly getting on the wrong bus! It took us out of our city but still in our area. We were 20 miles out of La Spezia and then after about 20 more minutes it took us back to La Spezia. We were on that bus for like 1 hour 30 minutes it was awful. Then we had a lunch appointment with a member family. They are awesome. It was the father’s birthday, so that took a long time. Then we missed our bus so we had to walk back to our side of town, ha-ha - so yesterday was not the best. We did strada and there was literally nobody on the street. We did casa for the last hour and nobody listened to us. Ha-ha, but I have been loving it here. This mission is awesome. Even when the days are not the best, I am happy to be here. I miss Canada, but I have been too tired to really think about it, ha-ha. Jet lag was brutal ha-ha - talk about delayed, but when it hit me, it hit hard!
Oh Mom, so I have to let you know some things. I had to take out 100 Euro for the bike fund because they did not want to take my American money because it made everything more complicated for them, so I took money out and gave it to them. I now changed the American “bike fund” money into Euros and am using it to buy the following: satchel, a pair of jeans, sneakers, and bed sheets. I have to get a side bag (satchel) because new missionary standards do not allow backpacks. Second thing, my backpack got left behind with the Assistants and they will be sending it to me. Third thing, I have to pay for customs on packages, so it might be easier if you are sending packages with food and things like that, to buy them on amazon.com
- but make sure it is the Italian one so shipping is less and such.
I do not have enough time to write individually to all of you but I love you all and am happy to be able to read your emails each week.
Love Anziano Luening
Well, the time is finally here! It is strange to think of where I was at with my mission in the MTC and where I am now. I have learned a lot serving in Canada and I think that that is why the Lord sent me here. He knew that there were some things I just needed to learn before I got to Italy.
My week in Kamloops has been pretty good. We found a less active lady from Nelson, named W H. She moved to Kamloops about 18 years ago and said she would come to church this Sunday. She didn't show up but the other Elders will go back and see her.
We also had an interesting experience. We chose a road to tract on, and were driving down it, waiting for the spirit to prompt us when to stop. All three of us got the same spiritual prompting at the same time, and so we stopped and started tracting. We had tracted for a while and needed to be going to an appointment, so we knocked on the house that we parked in front of and an old man answered the door. We talked to him for a little bit and he told us that he was lonely and that his wife had died. I testified of the Plan of Salvation and asked him if we could share more of our message. He declined but we know that he felt the spirit and so the other elders are going to stop by in a week or two.
An Assistant to the President stayed the night with us and he told us that something was wrong and that we needed to be more obedient. I had thought I was being pretty obedient, but I took it to heart and read the whole white hand book during the next morning’s personal study. I wrote down all the things that I either was not obeying or was getting a little slack on. I was surprised! Almost all of it was small things, but I noticed that the small things make a huge difference. I have been working on the list and as we worked on it I noticed that our work was improving. So, yeah, if you feel like you are being pretty obedient read the rules and see what you need to work on.
It is strange for me to think that I am leaving Canada tomorrow morning. I am not going to lie - yesterday I was pretty sad to be leaving. I am going to miss this mission and the people that I have met. But I am sure I will love it in Italy.
Oh, before I forget - Mom you will be getting a package from me soon. Ha-ha, don't freak out!!!! We were helping an elderly member family move and he gave it to me because he never uses it, so I sent it home.
We helped a lot of people move today and gained a potential investigator from a move.
I am getting nervous for the flight and hope all will go well. I learned that each piece of my luggage can only weigh 50 pounds, and I can have a 22lb carry on! The airline didn't mention if a personal item was allowed with carry on, so I sent a box of stuff that I don't need to Kass via Zone Leaders, so it might get to her around October. That is “Zone mailing” for ya!
Glad to hear that you all are doing well. I hope everything continues to go well.
Sincerely, Elder Luening