Hey! Time is just flying by and it was transfer week. This Thursday like I expected I was transferred. I went down for transfer meeting on Wednesday and it was transfer meeting until 2:00PM on Thursday. I think then I got to stay with the Assistants for 2 nights and received my passport with a nice visa in it. Ha-ha! Finally! Then I had the opportunity to hear Elder Aidukaitis speak. He was hilarious and spoke in Langley. It was awesome and was about old era missionaries and new era missionaries. He told us that new era missionaries use members all the time. It was pretty awesome. After the meeting, the Assistants left me with the Willoughby Elders and I got to serve with them for a day and a half. It was awesome, we saw some pretty awesome miracles and their area is great.
Then I got back on the Greyhound with one of my new companions, Elder V who has been out a year. So I am now in Kamloops for anywhere between 4-7 days, J. I only have 7 full days in Canada. I went through my travel funds and I will replace the money I used to get my visa. I get my reimbursements in check form, ha-ha - it is hilarious. But don't worry, I still have it all. If you want you can send the package to Italy now so when I get there, it will be there soon. My second companion is Elder P. He has been out 6 months and has spent all that time in Kamloops. I don't have a lot to say for this week.
Oh! So the Clearwater area is temporarily closed; no missionaries in Clearwater except when Kamloops missionaries will go there occasionally. Me and Elder F asked the Ward Mission Leader to continue the missionary work without the missionaries and continue to teach the people we have.
I need sneakers, ha-ha! The MTC destroyed my sneakers because of 4 square and so they were just wrecked and now are probably in a landfill in Clearwater.
So obedience is awesome. I know that the Lord has blessed me so much for being obedient to the rules in ways that I did not expect. He has blessed me with more courage to knock on doors. More courage to talk to people and he has been blessing me with more patience and dedication towards this work. As we are obedient to all the commandments of the Lord without fail than we can see his hand more fully in our lives and I am so grateful for the commandments and rules that he has set up for us because they are for our benefit. This week has been awesome.
I don't have very much time right now, so I hope you all continue to be good.
Sincerely Anziano Luening
Questo settimana ha venuto e andato. Pero il successo della questa area e' megliora. (This week has come and gone. But the success of this area is better.)
This week has been pretty awesome. It is crazy to see all the changes and all the success that is gradually coming over time. The beginning of the week was rough, but we were starting to find some potential investigators so that was awesome. We have been praying for the work to progress and for new people to teach and the Lord blessed us with 2 new investigators. It is awesome. We have had a few teaching appointments this week and have been receiving a few referrals so it is starting to get better.
Our new investigators are J and A and they live together but aren't married. They are super awesome but J is quite ill, and so we don't get to meet with her sometimes because of it but whenever she is well we teach her. We always go with the hope to teach both of them and they are super open to our message and interested in learning more,. The last lesson we had to teach A alone. It was a good lesson though! We taught the full restoration; we taught baptism and confirmation; and pre earth life. I t was a little scattered J but he found it all interesting and he accepted a baptismal date for the 27 of September if he finds out its true. He understands just what that commitment means - he said, 'You are asking me to change my whole life.', because he knows some of the things in the Word of Wisdom. So we told him 'pretty much', and he said he would have to discuss it but for now, he would say yes. It is not a solid date but Elder French had the prompting to pick that day so we did. We plan on teaching him the Word of Wisdom after the Plan of Salvation to give him time to begin living it. We saw the spirit working in him as we asked him to be baptized. J is super excited whenever we come over because she studies 5 different bibles at once and compares what they all say and now she is reading the Book of Mormon. It is awesome. We think that she will accept baptism as well. She has been taught the Plan of Salvation already but not the Restoration. So yeah, it has been pretty awesome this week.
We have been tracting like crazy and people have been accepting copies of the Book of Mormon like crazy, ha-ha; and they all said they would read, ponder and pray, so that is pretty awesome. We have found a lot of potential investigators who seem solid, and so we will be visiting some this week. Well it is transfer week, seems weird to think that it has been 5 weeks since the MTC. Time has flown by and I will be leaving for Italy in just 2 weeks! I am probably going to be transferred to the mainland but I will find that out tonight. I am so grateful for all of you. I love you all so much and think about you often and pray for you all. I love and miss you and love to read your letters. Alma 56:48 and Alma 57:21 - of course with those verses that’s with you as well. I hope all is going well in all of your lives and I am proud of you all.
Oma and Opa, I love you both and am proud of both of you and miss you. Opa I am so happy that you got to baptize that man you have been fellowshipping. It is awesome. I love you both so much.
Elder Luening, that is so awesome with your two investigators who have been baptized. I am so happy for you and grateful for your example.
Sister Luening, haha, well seeing as I don't know how you are doing I hope all is going well and that you are killing it in Missouri.
Kassandra and Scott, haha you think your inbox would be overflowing. I hope you are both doing well but still don't know whether you bought the house or not. I hope all is going well and you are enjoying life. Love you both.
Sinceramente, Anziano Luening.
Hey! This is getting crazy weird!
I feel like I just emailed home, (last week) ha-ha! No, just kidding, like 2 or three days ago.
Well Elder French and I have been getting really stressed out because of our area and the lack of success but we found a missionary program on how to manage stress and so we are starting to apply the things and it has to help us. We are getting frustrated with each other faster and faster but we realize why now, so we are working on dealing with it. As far as this week goes we had a Zone Meeting and we all got kind of chastised for not meeting our goals but it was a really good meeting and I learned a lot.
We had exchanges with the District Leaders and I got to go with an Elder R who is going home in 9 days! That is crazy ha-ha and it seems weird that I have been away from you all for around 3 and a half months already. Time is just flying by. Anyways, so we were on exchanges in Merritt and we were tracting and having no luck until the last half hour of the day and during the day Elder R told me something that happened to him and his companion: They were tracting in a reserve and a dog ran up to them and they had no clue whose dog it was and so they called it Gidgidoni (Don't know how to spell it) and it faithfully followed them to every door. There was another house but it was time to head back so they went to leave and the dog stopped and stayed there. They joked with each other that it wanted them to knock at that house, so they decided to. The people that lived there owned the dog and I think they became investigators so that was super cool. I had a similiar experience. Me and Elder R were tracting and a kitten that we named Ishmeow after Ishmael and there was another house left, but we needed to go back. The cat kept going to the house, so we went and knocked on the door and It was a first nations family. We talked to the person at the door and explained what the Book of Mormon was and stuff like that. The cat was keeping her at the door because the cat was trying to get inside and it wasn't their cat, ha-ha. But we asked if we could come back and they said yes. They are related to some members in the ward and it was super cool. After we were done the cat ran away but it was super cool. They seem like solid potential investigators.
Once we got back to Clearwater, all of our teaching opportunities fell through and our teaching pool is getting smaller and smaller. So basically for this week it is going to be a finding week. Tracting, contacting potential investigators and former investigators. It has been a decent week though. We have been trying, so I guess all we can do is keep trying harder and harder and pray ha-ha. But I am sure things will start to work out soon.
Mom and Dad, ha-ha, sounds like you had an interesting time. Well, I am glad that you were able to make it home safe and catch your flight! I forgot to tell you this so I guess I will straight up say it : I got a drop of bleach on my gray suit. I have no clue how it happened but it did, and it is pretty noticeable. I'm sorry, it was an accident. I hope you won't be too mad - just so you know I will by another one in Italy to replace it (from my personal funds). I think I will send this one home because like I said it is noticeable and I can't fix it but maybe somehow you can. Well I am glad that you had a great trip and I hope this doesn't make either of you upset. I am glad to hear that you are starting to adjust back to normal life.
Elder Luening I am so excited for you ha-ha that is awesome. I hope to be able to see some of your pictures. By the way the blond sister in the photo, - I met her in the MTC. Ha-ha, I told her that you were in her mission. So yeah, it is a small world. I hope you get to meet with that woman again but if not your right it is a seed planted and something will come of it someday.
Sister Luening that is awesome that an investigator was baptized and confirmed, Just remember that the Lord won't make us do it on our own. The Lord is always with us and you are right, the spirit will guide us and tell us what to say. I hope things with you in Missouri continue to go well.
Oma and Opa thanks for the pictures and the email it was awesome. I am so happy that things are going well for you and that you are enjoying yourselves. I love you and am grateful for you both in my life.
Kassandra and Scott what are you two up to ha-ha! I ask every week and hope that I will get a reply sometime J Well I hope the new place is treating you well and that you are enjoying yourselves.
Sinceramente, Anziano Luening
Ciao! Where has the time gone? Where is my week? Ha-ha!
First off, I suppose, is that I love reading all your letters - how Mom and Dad’s trip is, how the missions are going, and how your lives are going.
Mom and Dad I am happy that you are having a great time meeting all the people from your missions and that you have been remembered. I hope that is like me when I go back and visit. But it is awesome hearing about Europe and I look forward to being there someday ha-ha J!
On that note I will let you know about some events regarding my visa, ha-ha. So, Elder French and I took the Greyhound from Kamloops to Vancouver and tracted in Richmond in the Assistants’ area. We stayed the night, tracted and street contacted some more and then headed to the Italian Consulate. They dropped us off on the street and we started searching for the Consulate but couldn't find it. Eventually we found it and I waited for a while until finally someone talked to me and they asked, 'Do you have your documentation?' I was like 'What?' So, the assistants were supposed to pick up the documentation from the Mission Office but forgot. I forgot to tell them as well, so we both slipped and I asked if we could come back tomorrow with the documentation because they were closing in 10 minutes. So we had to stay a bit longer in Richmond than expected. The next day I went back with all the papers and explained some things to them and they said in 10 days I should pick up my passport with my visa. So around August 12th I wil;l have my visas, then I go to Italy in September.
So I am in Clearwater right now and it is an hour and a half north of Kamloops. Our proselyting area is app. 200 km across, so we never get to really tract most of it. They are all small towns (5000 and less) but we are on km restrictions, so yeah. We have been gone for most of this week, Tuesday-Thursday, but we returned to Clearwater at 2:00AM on Friday. Then we did service for a lot of the time on Friday at the food bank. We did weekly planning for 3 hours on Saturday and so we didn't really get to proselyte a lot on Saturday either. Sunday while tracting, I learned that the preachers in at least some of the other churches are teaching their congregations anti-Mormon things. (I heard it from the Baptist preacher). So that will be interesting, but otherwise this week has been pretty fun and interesting. I think we are going to try to get the members more pro-active in missionary work and in giving us referrals because they come to lessons and they fellowship investigators at church but we really need them more involved. Right now we are burning through our potential investigators and our formers. M told us he wants to be baptized but he is not going to move out and they need more money to get married so we are working on getting him a job but now he doesn't have a date for baptism. But at least he has the desire.
Life has been pretty good. Some days are difficult and some people can really leave you absent of the spirit but you just try to work harder and you just lift your spirits from the scriptures and hymns and most importantly prayer.
I havn't written in my journal for at least a week now and I really want to start but I also don't want to for some reason. Anyways so that is what has been going on in Clearwater and with my Visa. I really like being out in the field it is awesome and we met some people that seemed like solid potentials.
Chris CONGRATULATIONS!!! Haha Auguri (Congratulations) on your three investigators with baptismal dates sounds like you are tearing it up in Germany. I think you are a great missionary and I hope that I will leave as big as an impression and be as great as you are. I love you and miss you.
Charlene, That is so cool! I love being able to finally hear from you and learn what you have been up to. I miss our breakfast times at the MTC as well, ha-ha. I am grateful that we were able to see each other in the MTC though that was cool. I am glad that one of your investigators was baptized - that is super cool and I hope that the Lord blesses you with more success as well. Don't forget that when you are on those tours you are proselyting. You are able to share the gospel with more people from your tours than I can from tracting and I think it is super cool that you get to do that.
Kassandra What up sista! Ha-ha! But seriously ha-ha, where are you!!! J I can't wait to find out what has been going on in that busy life of yours. I hope all is well and I want pictures of your new home! I hope you and Scott are doing great and I miss you both. Thanks for letting me come over when I was in Kelowna, it was awesome. Hey Scott, thanks for helping me deal with my car! J I love you both and wish the best for you.
Oma and Opa I hope all is going well with you. I want you to know that I love and miss you both and if you both have time I would love to get emails from you! J
Vi Voglio bene e Amo voi
Sinceremente, Anziano Luening
P.S. Mom while in Europe can you pick me up a flag! (German) Thanks.
Well I have been having a blast here in Canada, ha-ha! This week has been pretty interesting - we lost quite a few investigators. In the beginning of the week all our plans fell through and none of the potential investigators are coming through. Sounds pretty awful but we were just resolved and said the Lord is preparing us for new people who are ready.
On Tuesday we went to visit a potential investigator but they were not home. However there were two other people there and so we talked to them. The guy had 6 degrees in religious theology and such, so I was a little nervous. We taught them the Plan of Salvation and he wasn't interested. He likes it as a theory but didn't look at it from a truth or spiritual perspective. But we gave the lady a Book of Mormon and she said she would for sure read it and find out if it is true. She didn't want us to come back, so we gave her our telephone number and said if she want to know more, to call us. She agreed. It was awesome! I hope she is one who the Lord has prepared for us.
We were tracting later in the week and we ran into someone who has a friend that is a member. With less than 20 members, that is pretty impressive! J We gave her a Book of Mormon and asked if we could come back and share more. She said, “Maybe”. So, hopefully something comes from that. We asked the friends of hers if they could follow up if she has been reading for us.
Also, we taught a guy named G, ha-ha he is interesting. He agreed with everything we said about the Plan of Salvation and so I asked him like 5 times if he would be baptized when he knows it is true on August 24. He kept on saying, “No” and I finally was just flat out said 'Why not?' He told us that he can't be fully immersed until his scar has healed from knee surgery and he needs to think about if he wants baptism or not. So I guess I learned sometimes you just need to ask them why. But I believe he will be baptized.
On Friday I finally managed to do language study and it was awesome. I have been noticing that my Italian has been degrading rapidly. When I said my first prayer here I cringed and realized how bad I had become. My pronunciation is awful but I just need to get my tongue used to the movements again, ha-ha. So we have been planning in language study now, so I will hopefully improve while on my mission.
Here in Clearwater we have tried a lot of different finding methods but it always seems to come down to tracting. We try to get referrals but everybody says everyone could benefit from your message and we think "That’s great! You should listen to what we have to say!" But rarely do we get a referral. So we were out tracting and I had two very different experiences. The first was pretty good; we were getting shut down politely and I asked him, “Where is your ancestry from?” and so we got him talking another half hour about his ancestry and his life and we would just mention some truths to go along with it and then we had to leave. But it was awesome being able to use family history as a tool to find people. We have been using it a lot more.
The second experience was terrible. We met an older lady and she was saying things and I won't write down what she said, but the moment I greeted her, the spirit fled me. My blood went chill and I was uneasy, but we continued to talk to her and finally we left frustrated and what I called 'spiritually poisoned'. The things she told us and the look in her eye - there was no light even though she claimed to believe in Christ. It took a lot of work to get the spirit back and I tried hard to forget it but I couldn't.
Luckily it was at the end of the day so we went to visit a member family and they were talking to a non- member friend so we talked with them and were able to teach the Word of Wisdom and hopefully she will want to know more about what we believe. But the spirit came back to me and I couldn't feel the effects of the other ladies words on me so I was really grateful for that. We handed out two Books of Mormon with our phone number so we are praying for new investigators.
Sunday was great because M came to church and he told us he still wants to be baptized but he wants his fiance to want to be baptized as well. He said she was going to let him be baptized. So yeah, that is what has been going on recently. But some funny things that happened are: For some reason me and Elder F decided to blend ravioli's ha-ha and it was so disgusting ha-ha. Also every P-day we destroy a hornets nest on the church that gets rebuilt every week so it is getting tricky because the wasps are catching on to us.
I hope all of your times have been going well.
Charlene, sorry I have been emailing all my emails to your hotmail! Oops, my bad! Ha-ha, but now I changed that.
Sincerely Anziano Luening
P.S. Sorry my last email was my mission president letter because I didn't have any time to write at all because the internet was an issue.
This week has been pretty interesting, ha-ha! I was transferred again and am now in Clearwater which is a small town of 5,000 people. It is so far spread out and is in the middle of nowhere, ha-ha. But it is awesome.
So Tuesday we had the Zone Temple Trip and it was awesome being able to go into the Langley Temple. It was very peaceful in there and the spirit was strong. After that we did the normal P-Day things since that became P-Day - shopping and all that fun stuff, J. Once it was time to Proselyte we tracted some streets in Port Coquitlam and we went down a street that had four houses. The first three said “No” to us, and then we weren't sure whether to continue or not but we decided to and it was great! We stumbled upon a less active convert that had moved to the area recently. He was at his parent’s house and so we took down his information and asked if we could stop by and teach him and his wife. He said that would be fine and that they don't go to church because it is at 9:00 AM. We were hoping to help them remember the importance of going to church. I hope the other Elders can reactivate them; that would be awesome.
Then on Wednesday, we street contacted and I like it a bit more than tracting, just because generally the people are nicer and Bus Stops! Bus Stops are awesome because they are waiting for a bus so you can easily talk to people. I have noticed that I don't like to initiate the conversation. I like to wait for other Elders to start a conversation and after a minute I will join in because then I know how the conversation is going.
We met a lady named Amy and she said that she might come to church on Sunday. It was awesome because she seemed interested in our church and I hope the Elders saw her at church. Also while street contacting, a lady actually called us over and asked us if we were from Utah. I don't think she was a member but she was super nice and we gave her a mormon.org
card and told her to request us. She said she would, so hopefully the Elders will get that appointment soon. We taught a less active member, Brother M, who has trouble walking. He is a great guy and he misses church but his wife is showing signs of dementia and so she doesn't like going to church because she forgets the people she meets. But he planned on talking to the bishop about that and he said he was going to church. I hope he did because I know he would love it. We fasted for two meals for help in finding new people and investigators and so I hope the other Elders in Poco North have had success.
Thursday, we went and did service for Sister N. Instead of mowing her lawn we fixed some of her benches and painted some of her walkway for her. We brought a member with us and it was really fun. She loved it. Then we had weekly planning and went and taught D. D is an interesting investigator - he is Jewish and we basically answered the questions about verses that he had. Like how did they keep the Law of Moses in the wilderness and things like that. So he is super knowledgable in the scriptures but not really spiritual. He doesn't like emotion confirmations because he thinks that is all they are.
Then we met with R and asked him why he didn't think he was a church goer. We brought a member with us and it was an awesome lesson. It was great and I hope the other Elders get him baptized because he needs the church. Then we did some tracting and visited a member family and asked them how they found out the Book of Mormon was true and it was powerful. We asked them to keep on making new friends that they can share the gospel with. It was awesome to hear what families they are getting to know since they don't really know anyone outside of the church.
Friday, I went on exchanges with Elder P who is the District Leader and we were tracting and street contacting. It was fun and we ran into a potential investigator who said she might come to church so I hope that she did. It sounded really promising. I got picked up by Elder Flexhaug and Elder Smith and we went tracting in the city they were in I can't remember whether it was Richmond or Vancouver. So we were tracting and we ran into a potential family of investigators. They are Buddhist, but she wants to be taught with her husband and it was awesome.
Saturday, I hopped on the Greyhound and arrived in Kamloops at 1:30 pm and was picked up by the Elders and then Elder French and I went to Clearwater. Not going to lie, Clear water had a weird feeling to it and I don't know why. We tracted some streets and visited potential investigators but we didn't have any success.
Sunday, I felt really weird and I don't know why, but I was super uneasy and nervous and it wasn't because it is a new area. I just was. I was really on edge. Anyway, so we went to church and an investigator named M came. M has a baptismal date for the 17 of August and he was uncomfortable during church because the speakers kind of directed their talks at him. Later in the day he texted us that he wanted a week to think about what he has been taught, but that so far he still wants to come to church and be baptized.
Also, after a while of feeling uneasy we started tracting and slowly the feeling left. It was really weird because I was really freaked out, so I continually asked Heavenly Father to calm me down and get rid of those feelings and over time, he answered my prayers. I felt a lot better while we were tracting. Besides tracting, we contacted 3 referrals and we visited some potential investigators; 2 of them told us to come back another time. So hopefully they become new investigators. We ran into this one guy named Tyson and we basically gave him the First Lesson on his doorstep and we gave him a Book of Mormon and bore testimony of it but his family is against it. Hopefully he will read it and pray about it I feel like he will and that it will come to something.
This is what has been happening this week, I look forward to the lessons that we have with the investigators and potentials. I hope we gain some new investigators and that the ones we have will progress well.
I was so happy to get all your emails but unfortunately I don't have a lot of time right now sorry. I had computer trouble. I look forward to hearing from you all next week. I love you all and miss you.
Sincerely Anziano Luening
Well, I am finally in a mission field and it is awesome. I said goodbye to my district last night. It is kind of weird being out of the MTC, but I am getting used to it. I am in Poco North/Port Coquitlam and it seems like a hard area. I was forgotten about, as usual, ha-ha. I was told by the Assistant Presidents that they didn't know I was coming until noon, so they had two hours to get ready. They took me to Subway and that was so good after the MTC food. My companions didn't know I was coming and so when the Assistant Presidents called them, they rushed over here. They are some cool and funny Elders. Elder A and Elder H. Elder A has been out a while, but has only been in the area for 6 weeks and Elder H has been out 6 weeks and I actually was in the MTC before him, J. So, I was picked up from the airport and taken to our basement apartment which barely fits the two of them - but they had a great attitude about it. Elder H volunteered to sleep on the floor, however I told him I would - but he actually likes to sleep on the floor, ha-ha.
I forgot my camera at the MTC, so I won't be able to send pictures until next Monday. I arrived here in time to go to the Temple today for P-Day and it was awesome. Oh, so I had a my bad moment with TSA in Salt Lake. My backpack got taken aside after it was x-rayed and they asked if I had anything sharp and I was like, “Nope!” But when they searched it they pulled out my scissors and I was like I forgot I packed those but they said scissors were fine. BUT then they pulled out the Leatherman that Brother Wight got me and they confiscated that. It sucked, but the only way I could have kept it was to check my third bag and that would have been a lot of money. They were nice about it because they knew I was a missionary. I had originally packed it in my luggage with the scissors but to save weight I moved it to my backpack and forgot about the TSA rules. So, yeah. = (my bad).
I had an interview with the Mission President here and he told me that if I am diligent and obedient we will have 2 baptisms and he told my companions that we need to have 2 baptisms in the next 2 weeks. So I guess we are going to work hard. After I unpacked we knocked on doors and we were being rejected from everyone. I knocked on a door and my first door someone answered and she was a Jehovah's Witness and told us to come back. So we are going back on Monday. Elder Anderson told us that they are going to Bible bash us. She wanted her husband to be there so that is why she asked us to return. But yeah, not looking forward to that, but I hope Heavenly Father will bless us and they will actually listen and become interested. Anyways so we continued and then we saw a woman from Poland who has been in Canada for 5 years and so we talked to her and set up a return appointment. She didn't seem really interested but I think she will be after our lesson with her. We knocked on another door and there was a lady answered it and said 'Oh! Dinner guests!' Ha-ha! It was funny! She wasn't interested but she was really nice. We met a lady who was an ex Jehovah's Witness. She got burned by them really badly and she wasn't interested in religion at all. She had a stare that could pierce someone through a wall. She was nice but kind of curt, but that was because she thought we were Jehovah's Witness and once we told her we weren't, she was nicer to us. She still wasn't interested but we all felt like she would make a great Mormon, so I think we might go back. Another door we knocked on was a lady who only opened the door a crack and invited us to return before we could even ask. So I have good hopes for that. I think we will be tracting in new areas that these Elders haven't been tracting yet.
I haven't met the investigators that they have. I know a little about them, so these are their backgrounds. D is Jewish and might be a Rabbi, he is very smart with the Old Testament and Hebrew things. He doesn't believe Jesus is the Christ and he thinks Joseph Smith made up the Book of Mormon. He has read the Book of Mormon twice but we suspect the old Elders in this area didn't explain anything he read so he is still learning. I want him to gain a testimony of Jesus Christ so that he will know that an atonement has been made. It is really important that he gains faith in Christ and also in the Book of Mormon.
Another investigator is E. His background is that he believes in everything the missionaries taught him but he doesn't understand why priesthood is necessary. He told the missionaries that he would get baptized, but that he just thinks it is being dunked in the water. I think I will make sure he has read 2 Nephi 31 and explain it to him and the covenants we make and also why the priesthood is important.
There is another investigator - I think his name is S and he is a great investigator. It is just hard to meet with him and he works Sundays. Today was P-Day it has been pretty good. We bought groceries and food. I bought some GOUDA cheese! I am so excited to eat it. That is about all that has happened.
Mom and Dad I am glad you are having fun on your trip, You should pick up a German flag for me so I can bring it with me to Italy!
Elder Luening I am glad you are having a great time and I hope V just decides to take the leap of faith and pray, I hope your investigators continue to progress.
Sister Luening, What is this –you’re not emailing me. I hope your mission is going well and you are enjoying yourself.
Kassandra and Scott, Did you guys buy a place - I am so confused, but I am glad you like it. I hope you both continue to enjoy yourselves and make your home a spiritual place. I love you both.
Oma and Opa How are you both? I hope you are doing well. I miss you and pray for you both.
This is my report for the week.
Sincerely Anziano Luening
Hey! So this is the news - I am being reassigned to Vancouver! Surprise! I will be leaving Monday morning at 8:30 AM Utah time and will be in Arizona for an hour around 9-10 AM Arizona time. Mom and Dad if you happen to check your email and see this, send me a telephone number that I can reach you at. But if you can't it is all good. I am doing well now that I am leaving. I am excited and will finally be in a mission field! J
Have fun on your trip, Mom and Dad, I love you.
Love, Anziano Luening
Excerpts from Elder Luening’s testimony in one of his letters.
All is going well in the MTC. I will be heading to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada for a temporary re-assignment. I will probably be there for 6 weeks then I will be going to Italy to spread the gospel there. This week I set a lot of goals for myself and the first few days I failed pretty bad at reaching them, but in the last four days I have gotten better at accomplishing them. I never accomplish all of them, but I am doing a lot better than I was before. Italian is coming along well; I am excited to be able to share the gospel in Italy. Even being told that I possibly could be leaving the MTC before 12 weeks is up got me really excited and happy to be able to do the Lord’s work. I know that if I go to Vancouver, it is for a reason and Heavenly Father has a plan for me. I look forward to finding out what His plan is. Right now I am just grateful to be able to spread the gospel.
There have been some ups and downs this past week. It has been a struggle remaining focused and understanding that God's plan is different than my plan. But the scriptures have helped me realize that. I was reading in Alma about the sons of Mosiah and their missions to the Lamanites. I was inspired by their faith and the fact that they were completely okay with whatever the Lord had in store for them. Then my thoughts turned to Job and how he lost everything - he lost friends, he lost family and he lost all that he owned but through it all he remained faithful.
It has helped me bounce back, and ever since I was told my foot has healed enough and was cleared by the doctor for the field, I have regained that fire for missionary work. I just need to make sure that I keep on feeding the fire with the scriptures, prayer, fasting, and the sacrament. I am really grateful for the sacrament and that we are able to renew our covenants that we make with the Lord. I am thankful that the sacrament was established by the Savior and that he told us the importance of it. I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to feel of the Spirit in Church and to be able to learn the teachings of the Savior and the prophets. The joy that I receive from this gospel is too much for me to express. I will always know that this is the truth, for the Lord has told me through the Holy Ghost. I am grateful that through the ordinances of the temple and renewing our covenants we can be an eternal family. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father loves us and has prepared this for us.
Mathew 16:19, D+C 132:46. I am so grateful for the power of the priesthood and it truly is only able to be used to serve others and how great it is to have this power delegated to us.
I love you and miss you, but I am happy that we are in the gospel. I teach my teachers in the MTC as proxy investigators, and I have truly come to realize that the 5 steps to Heavenly Father and for eternal families are
1) Faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement
4) Receiving the Holy Ghost
5) Enduring to the End.
I have learned since being here, that after you receive the first 4 principles, it doesn't end. Enduring to the End includes keeping our Faith through scripture study, church attendance, and prayer and always Repenting of our short coming because we are not perfect. Baptism through partaking of the Sacrament, when we partake of the Sacrament, it is similar to being baptized because you renew the covenants. It is the main reason we go to church. Receiving the Holy Ghost - we are entitled to the Holy Ghost to be a constant companion but in this step we need to make sure that we remain worthy to have it as a companion. When we constantly go through the first four steps we are enduring to the end. I am so grateful that we have this gospel and the fullness thereof. I look forward to going to church in Germany when I visit. Just remember that families are forever and that I love you.
Love, Anziano Jeremy Luening