Monday, December 16, 2013

November 25, 2013, Kearney, Missouri

Dear Family, 

Thanks for taking the time to write and tell me what has been going on in your lives. Things in Kearney have been going well. It sure is cold here! The other day Sister Morris and I were tracting in -8C weather!!! Brrrrrr! 

It's been interesting out here in the country!  The other day we went to get the sisters who live in the basement of a member's home and there was a deer gutted and strung up to bleed out,! It was pretty nasty but we got some awesome pictures. Also there are about a million dead possums on the side of the roads here and Sister Morris and I almost hit a hawk that got startled by us as it was feeding on a dead possum. It jumped up, startled by our car racing towards it on the highway going 55 miles an hour. It started frantically flapping around in path our only about 4 feet off the ground. I had to lay on the breaks and pray that we wouldn't hit it with our windshield....we barely missed it. The ironic thing is the other day as we were driving, we saw a dead hawk on the road and Sister Morris and I looked at each other and said, "how do you hit a hawk?!"....Well now we know, lol!! 

Some more fun adventures this last week included Sister Morris and I buying Christmas onesie pajama's together on P-day. It's pretty awesome! Also, we tried making pumpkin waffles....they wouldn't cook because they were too dense, so we resorted to trying to cook them in the microwave, which sort of worked. Then we tried to make them into normal pancakes over the stove, but that didn't work either, so we resorted to leftovers.

We did have a miracle last week. So last P-day a guy called us and said that he wanted to meet with us. We never met him before and set up an appointment to meet with him the next day. Sister Morris was a little “wierded out” and skeptical, because you know things like this do not happen everyv day to missionaries. Well we met with him the next day. His name is M. and he is 18 years old, and said he thought that learning about our church would help him out a lot because he was having a hard time emotionally lately. So far we have taught him the first two lessons, but we have realized he struggles understanding what sets this Church apart from other churches because instead of coming to our Church on Sunday, he went to his neighbour's church.....yeah, we'll need to work with him some more, ha-ha!

Sister Morris and I have really been focusing on less-active members this last week and have been trying to figure out how we can make reactivation a greater focus in the Ward. President Gordon B Hinckley said, “There is absolutely no point in doing missionary work unless we hold onto the fruits of that effort. The two must be inseparable....Every convert is a great and serious responsibility." When I read that in PMG, it hit me that in this ward we need to help the members realize that our converts and less-actives are not just numbers. They are precious children of God who have made sacred covenants with God and are now held under greater accountability. Their salvation depends on the decisions and actions they make and the efforts and actions we take to reach out to help them, strengthen them and fellowship them. I was also reading a talk from the Relief Society General Conference that reminded me that, yes, there are standard promised blessings God promises to all of us when we keep his commandments, but he also knows each of us personally. He will bless us according to the things we personally know when we keep our covenants. The covenants we make in this life are covenants that we will continue to keep through the eternities. I love you all and pray that we will be able to recognize how we can continue the work of salvation moving forward and reach out to those who have wandered from the fold of God.

Sister Luening

Love Sister Luening!

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