So, this past week has been a little rough around the edges. I am trying to get back into the groove of the MTC. I was just getting a little tired of being here for so long. But I am slowly getting back into the groove. I found that for every step backwards I take in regards to attitude and diligence, it is three times harder to get back to where I need to be. But I am gaining it back.

I have been reading my Patriarchal Blessing and my scriptures continually to find solace and comfort from them. It is all good! I am coming to terms with the fact that I will probably not be going to Italy for another 9 weeks. If I don't go to the Italian consulate this week, I will probably not be getting my visa in time for this group’s departure. If I get my visa then I will go, if I don't, I will wait. Whatever the outcome will be, I will serve the Lord. I will be teaching his children and be doing my purpose.

There was a devotional talk last night and it was really good. I was writing in my Journal and these words came to me as I was writing. "I need to do better, I can do better and I will do better". I am going to try to set daily goals every night. Today some of my goals were to write my talk for when I get to Italy, street contact 3 missionaries and bear my testimony in Italian, exercise, nap on P-day, email, study my blessing, and following it up with a search for the definitions of things in my blessing from the scriptures. So far today, I have exercised, napped, studied my blessing, studied the scriptures and am emailing now. When we go back to the residence I will contact an Elder and after dinner I will contact 2 more elders and study the scriptures some more.

This week was up and down with my attitude with being in the MTC. I was just so tired - physically and mentally. Physically because of having troubles falling asleep sometimes and also from not being able to play sports. When we go to the field it is hard because all the other Elders go and play soccer and I either get to sit and watch or read my scriptures, or I play a throwing game. I never realized that being able to burn energy playing sports is so good for my attitude. I played volleyball yesterday - I just couldn't sit and watch people play sports, so I played volleyball and it was so much fun. It helped my attitude that day so much. I was careful while I was playing so it was all good. But I know I can't play very much. I feel mentally drained because I'm not challenging myself enough with the language, I need to try harder. Also, I am  just mentally tired of being in the MTC for so long, even though it is great.

I just need to gain that new attitude that I am trying to gain. I will do that by setting daily goals that I want to accomplish, my goals are going to be more geared to my purpose as a missionary.  I will read my scriptures more frequently with a specific topic in mind, I will study the language; review things I have learned; study flash cards; and study new vocabulary for conversations with people.  I will pray more regularly; I will read my patriarchal blessing every day along with my setting apart blessing and mission call letter. I will write a talk in Italian each week and street contact someone every day. Those are my goals to help me remain focused and get my good attitude back.

Other than that the week has been good. I have been getting more involved in the lessons with our investigators. Before I would let Anziano Trevino speak more because he is learning, but I need to be involved otherwise I get bored during the lessons. We taught Gianfranco about prophets, apostasy, restoration, and dispensations.  It was a great lesson and he said he might get baptized, ha-ha. It isn't the best answer, but it is good. We also taught Sandra this last lesson we were building more trust with her and then she asked us who the head of the church is and she asked if we had a pope. We had already taught her about Joseph Smith's first vision, and so we told her that Jesus Christ is the head of the Church and the prophet receives revelation for the church and guides the church. We read her one of the articles of faith about the organization of the church, and told her just like when the Church of Christ was on the earth and established by Jesus Christ, we too have apostles and prophets. She asked us if we pray to Joseph Smith and we told her No! We told her we pray to Christ, we believe in Christ and that it is through Jesus Christ we are cleansed from sin and return to God. Joseph Smith was a prophet and restored the church with the power and authority of God. It was great -  the spirit was strong, and I think in the next lesson we are teaching the Plan of Salvation.

On Sunday I learned a lesson that was kind of interesting. We were going back to class after Sacrament and there was a baby bird that had fallen from its nest. Its nest was difficult to get to but we tried for a while to get the bird back into the nest without touching it with our hands. We finally succeeded after a while and then 5 minutes later we were leaving the building and the bird had fallen again out of its nest. I was thinking, “You stupid bird don't you know that you are hurting yourself. Don't you know that when you leave the nest you are going to fall?”  A thought popped into my head and it was that sometimes people are the bird and Heavenly Father tells us “Come on you know that you are hurting yourself!  Don't you know that when you do that you are going to fall?”  But he always loves us and helps us return to him and return to the safety of his nest. It was just something cool I wanted to share.

The devotionals have been really good. I watched ‘The Characters Of Christ’ by Elder Bednar, again this past Sunday. We listened to a really good speaker this Tuesday who talked about remembering to always ask yourself, “What would a real Missionary do?” So that is something I have been doing.

Charlene is doing well. She is sad that all of their Elders left but she is excited. I am happy I get to see her every day. It is awesome being able to talk to her about her day and see how much she enjoys it.

I hope all continues to go well with you all! I look forward to hearing from you next week. I look forward to knowing how you all have been and it always hits me on Monday, ha-ha. Dad when is you trip? Kassandra and Scott what have you been up to? Chris, hope you are having a great time in Germany and in your area. That is so cool that Easong is getting baptized on the 21st. I look forward to hearing from you next week.

Sincerely, Anziano Luening


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