Tuesday, December 24, 2013

December 23, 2013,Kearney, Missouri

Dear Family!

Holy smokes, life just stays crazy!! Sounds like you have had quit the eventful week with finding out you are having Christmas at home and everything. As we speak we are still trying to find a place to Skype because our dinner doesn't have Skype and can't do Skype,....oh just found out Bishop will let us Skype at his house, phew!! So from Missouri I will Skype you at 1pm so 11am your time. Be ready at 11AM to see you favorite missionary (sorry Elder Luening J ). Can't wait to see you all; I was actually freaking out the other day ‘cause I was so excited!

Anyways things in Missouri have been CRAZY!! We had a HUGE ICE STORM roll in on Saturday! We were able to go outside until about 3pm. After that we were locked inside because we had freezing rain...we don't get much of that back home and it is insane! Basically it rains mini hail and then turns everything into a skating rink. On Sunday we were also locked inside...the fleet (all the mission cars) were on lockdown, so no driving. Also church was cancelled because Saturday was freezing rain and then overnight we had 3.5inches of snow and it was covering the deadly ice. We were really bummed that we couldn't have Christmas Sunday, but we were allowed by the Bishop to have Sacrament in our homes. So the LeNeaves did a cute little Sacrament Meeting for us. He blessed the water (in bottle caps) and blessed the bagel and then afterwards he had a little script of a Primary Program. So, we all took turns reading the passages from Luke 2 about Christ's birth and then sang songs in between. It was awesome! Then the LeNeave's made us breakfast and we had snow cream (it is homemade ice cream made from fresh snow outside). So we can literally say that "Our snow cream is so fresh that the snow cream you eat today was in the sky yesterday!"

Then we all went outside and shoveled the driveway. The LeNeave's driveway is 3 times as wide as our driveway back home. It took us an hour and a half to shovel, with two people shoveling and Brother LeNeave using his blow torch to melt the 1/4 inch ice on the driveway. After we finished shoveling, I decided we should try to scrape the car...the 1/4 inch thick ice completely covered the whole car!! So after trying to hack at it, with nothing happening and worrying that I was going to break the windows, we went back inside. The remainder of the day we tried calling investigators and making appointments, with little success. But the LeNeave's had made Christmas treats earlier, so we went and caroled with some of them to a few neighbours across the treacherous ice and snow. It was really fun, then we helped them wrap Christmas gifts...they were kind of on a time crunch! So all in all it was a great day of doing service!!

Today the Zone Leaders cleared us to use our cars, but told us all the ice had to be off of all of the windows of the car. I let the car run for 30 minutes before Sister Morris and I went outside...poor sister Morris could only stand there and watch me as I hacked away at the ice because there was only one pathetic Dollar Store scraper for us to use! I hacked at it for about 10 minutes - my knuckles started bleeding and I realized it was pointless, so we went back inside for about 10 minutes to warm our bodies, since it was only 10F outside!! So we went in and I grabbed the super thick gloves and put my Russian looking hat on and went back outside. By this point our car had been running for 50 minutes. From that point it took me 40 minutes to scrape the car and the ice was literally coming off in slabs of 1/4inch thick ice, it was crazy. Sister Morris said, " You look like you are making an ice sculpture!", seriously that ice was chipping off piece by piece and flying in the air, so its a good thing I was wearing glasses ‘cause it was my eye protection! I have never, ever, never, never, experienced ice like this! It is crazy...never move to Missouri! And this is supposed to be the mild part of the winter, oh my gosh! So just so you know I would not have gone to that extreme effort of de-icing the car, except for the fact that I had to e-mail you...bleeding knuckles and all proves my love for you all, lol! When I get back home I will never complain about having to scrape the car for 5 or 10 minutes ever again!

Well, I love you all and I hope you continue to have a great Christmas season as we continue to ponder what Christ and His birth means to each of us. I am so thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. Neil A Maxwell said, "There could have been no atonement, except for the character of Christ". Yes Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and yes, as such he had powers given to him that enabled him to physically accomplish the atonement. However, he personally, just like each of us had to learn love, forgiveness, compassion. He understood the Father's will and aligned His will with God's in difficult times. In the Bible Dictionary, under “prayer” reads something like: “prayer is the act of the child aligning their will with the father." We see Christ, himself , in the Garden of Gethsemane when he went through his own agony called to God in prayer, and was able to recognize God's will in all of it by saying, " not my will, but thine be done". He turned away from the natural man, and instead took hold of the divine nature within himself and performed the one thing that allows and enables each of us to turn away from our natural man and take hold of our own divine natures. I am so thankful for our Heavenly Father who loved us enough to send us His only Begotten Son, that through him we can repent, and truly reach the potential God sees in all of us. We will not be stuck, unless we ourselves allow ourselves to be so.  I'm thankful for our Saviour who loved each of us enough that He was willing to endure all things for our sakes. Where would we be had it not been for our Savior, Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas!! I love you all and I can't wait to Skype in 2 days!!!!


Sister Luening

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