Monday, November 11, 2013

October 9. 2013, Independence Missouri

Dear Family, 

     Wow, it sounds like so much has gone on since I talked to you last. It makes it seem like it has been weeks since I have heard from you rather just 7 days. I want Jeremy to know that I am proud of him and his decision. I know that he has taken the right step that all too often is hard for people to take and I am excited that he still has the fire to get back out in the field when he is ready. I'm sorry to hear about Grandma. Tell her I love her and I hope she recovers quickly. Also tell her and grandpa that they need to take it easy....they aren't invincible like us! J!

     This week has been quite strange with transfers and everything. I love Sister S. She is a great missionary. It is funny how a new companion really does cause you to need to adapt a little differently and causes you to grow in different ways. Being with Sister A. has shown me how I can be a better missionary and she really was an example for me. Now being with Sister S., I feel like I have more opportunities to really apply what I learned from Sister A, which is cool. I am starting to see how much I am growing as a missionary through the Lord and the people he brings into my life. We were able to teach I., our Palauan investigator. Sister S. and I had really great comp unity in that lesson and were definitely led and guided by the spirit as one of us would ask the same question the other had felt inspired to ask. A lot of our time outside the Visitor Center has been filled up with trying to get each other on the same page of what is going on in the area since Sister S. is new to the Independence 2nd ward. But yesterday we finally got to go out in our area and try to find people and share the gospel with them. It was so great to be able to just approach people and even if they weren't interested, plant that seed and feel good just knowing that I was sharing what I know to be true; that I am fulfilling my purpose and being a representative of Jesus Christ.

     Conference was so wonderful ! I love conference. I missed about an hour of the Saturday afternoon and an hour of the Sunday morning session because of taking Presentations at the Visitor center. But from what I did catch from the conference, was amazing! I felt like a large focus of this conference was reminding us to stick true to God's law and that it does NOT change. "Sin even if it is legalized by men is still sin"- I just loved that quote by Elder Nelson and went perfectly with elder Oakes talk on priorities.

     On Monday I took a presentation at the Visitor Center and as I was relaying the history, I started to see some patterns of how Joseph smith received revelation and in turn how we can receive personal revelation. As I looked at Joseph Smith and the way he came to receive the revelation that Zion was to be established in Independence. He first received revelation for the saints to gather in the west (he didn't know exactly where the location of Zion would be, but as he acted on what God had called him to do and took the steps of faith and came west with the some of the early saints, he received the further revelation that Zion would be established in the place they had come to- Independence). It came into my mind that we really are given commandments and guidance, line upon line; precept upon precept as we apply into our lives the counsel and commandments that are already before us. Also, personal revelation will most likely only come as we have questions. Almost all the revelation Joseph Smith received came from a question he had. As we live the principles we already know to be true and apply them into our lives and truly seek after wisdom, having a desire to learn, we will be more ready and open to receive personal revelation through questions that come into our hearts and minds.

I love this gospel and I know it to be true. I know that Jesus Christ was the key to the plan that God had for us. That it is through Christ and his atonement that we are able to become perfect. As we align our will with God's will we are able to really prioritize the things of most importance and of eternal value. I'm so thankful for a living prophet on the earth today and for his apostles who truly are called of God and inspired to lead and guide this church. It is moving forward rapidly and I know in this crazy world of man that by being grounded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ we will be able to stay afloat amongst the harsh waves that beat upon us and that we will be that "rock, the river cannot wash away".

I love you all and I am proud of the decisions you are all making to come closer to Christ. I know that God is real, and that His Son Jesus Christ is real. They are aware of each of us and the challenges that lie in our way. They know how to help us get through the trials and tests of faith. I love what Elder Holland said: " Never lose faith in our loving Heavenly Father who loves us. God's love is always there, whether we deserve it or not. God's love is always there!....If the bitter cup does not leave; drink it and look forward to better days. Hold Fast to Hope!!"

Love, Sister Luening 

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