Thursday, September 12, 2013

September 11, 2013 Indepenence

Dear Family,

     This last week has been great!! Sister Allen and I have been able to see so many miracles. It has been kind of bummer with my foot since only walking on it for about 20 minutes causes it swell up quite a bit. So we are only able to walk around in our area for about 1 hour before we are back at the Visitor Center to ice it. We have mainly been staying in our area closest to the Visitor Center, since we haven't had any car days. But I can see that the Lord sees the desire of my heart and my willingness to work my hardest and as diligently as I can. He has blessed us with so many opportunities to share the gospel and I am definitely improving with talking to people about the gospel in a more casual and personable way. It is all thanks to a great trainer and a loving Heavenly Father. Of that I am sure!

      So on Thursday night as we were trying to get into our apartment to do our daily planning and go to sleep,  Sister A and I realized that my key with my key clip and everything, had fallen off my pack sometime when we were in the area. We called some of the senior couples, and they tried breaking into our apartment, but it didn't work. Our landlord didn't answer the phone, so we stayed with the other sister missionaries in the apartment above us. It was so gross! We had to wear the same clothes the next day and weren't really able to brush our teeth. But at least we had a place to sleep. The next morning a senior missionary couple took us to our area to retrace our steps and our keys were nowhere to be found. Our landlord finally got back to us and we were able to get some keys cut and get into our apartment. I had never been so thankful for clean clothes in my entire life!

     Saturday Sister A and I were on exchanges, so I had a different companion that day in my area. It was fun getting to know Sister R. Unfortunately all of our appointments fell through and we had to go to the Visitor Center early because my ankle kept swelling up. So we spent the last hour of our day making phone calls to potential investigators in our book. As I was flipping through the pages,  I came across a name which I thought would be a woman. I gave the number a try and a man answered. It was soo cool! I was able to have a good 10-15 minute discussion with him about the gospel. He said I could call him back in a few days to get his address to go teach him. It was such a miracle and such a cool experience.

     On Sunday we had another miracle happen. After church and our visitor Center shift, Sister A and I started walking over to our dinner appointment. As we were walking, Sister Allen pointed out a house and said we should knock on that door. An older man came to the door and we started talking to him. It turned out he used to be RLDS, but had left that church and was attending a restoration branch. As we were getting to know him, and telling him about the gospel, we mostly focused with him on the scripture Helaman 5:12. He said just an hour and a half before we showed up he was praying to God to receive more guidance and direction for his life. As he said that I had to control myself from letting my jaw drop to the floor. Sister A and I looked at each other. We testified to him that it wasn't a coincidence that we knocked on his door. We let him know that he was the only door we had knocked on all day and that us arriving at his house was God's answer to his prayer. He seemed to slightly agree with us, and he said he would have to pray about it to know if this is what God wanted him to do. We set up a return appointment. It was amazing! Out of all the houses we walked past that day, Sister Allen followed the prompting of the Spirit,  knocked on that man's door who had been seeking for direction and there we were.

      ".....has the day of miracles ceased? Or have the angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them?.....Behold I say unto you, Nay! for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister into men...." Moroni 7:35-37

     I am so thankful for the gospel in my life. I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to be a servant of the Lord and take part in these miracles. I am thankful to have the privilege to be a servant in the Lord's vineyard. And I know that as I thrust in my sickle with all of my might, that the Lord continually blesses me. I know that for me, "the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matthew 26:41). I know the Lord recognizes the desires and intents of my heart and although I am not able to spend as much time in my area as I would like, I see the Lord blessing us with miracles. I'm so thankful for the atonement. I am beginning to understand that it truly is more than just a cleansing power, but as President Uchtdorf has said, " a healing balm". It is not just there to strengthen us from sin, but it is there to comfort us and give us aid when we are in times of desperation or in times of despair. It is a gift given to us to cleanse us, comfort, us lift us and help us endure all things that come our way. I am so thankful for that and I am so thankful for my saviour who endured it all patiently and willingly.

     I love you all and hope you have a great week! Please pray for my foot. I got it checked out again and the doctor said if it does not get better in a week, I should get an MRI to make sure nothing got torn....torn things could mean surgery. I don’t think anything is torn, but my Zone Leaders, District Leaders and my companion have ordered me to stay completely off of it for two days to see if it gets any better, so I am going to have a lot of phone time in the VC. But as a missionary my purpose will still be the same, inviting others to come unto Christ and for that I am grateful!

     Mom,      I'm sorry the lesson went kind of rough, and I know the Lord is recognizing all of your efforts in what you are doing. Keep it up, I'm sure it is not always easy, but I know that the Lord is always blessing you and is aware of you. If you get a chance, I would love for you to read about Joseph Smith's experience in Liberty jail and the Lord's answer to his prayer it is so powerful! D&C 121:1-9

     Dad,       Thanks so much for all of your encouraging and kind words. I love you and mom so much!  I hope you keep having a great week and continue to be a great light to those as you fulfill your calling in high council!

Elder Luning,      HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I hope your day is wonderful and that you see miracles! What better place to celebrate a birthday than in the service of the Lord! Keep up the great work, I pray for you :)

Anziano Luening,      You lucky dog! I cannot believe how beautiful the place is where you are serving. I know that as you go forth continuing to plant seeds, the Lord is blessing you. I will continue to pray that the language will come to you quickly. Good Luck out there and slay it! J

Love Sister Luening 

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