Wednesday, January 22, 2014

January 13, 2014, Kearney, Missouri

Dear Family,

 Well, like everyone else this week in their e-mail, I guess I will begin with "another week come and gone". It was really great to hear from all of you. Kass, your story about the toddler wondering if you are pregnant made me laugh! Elder Luening, I'm glad to see that you are still ridiculous as always. But hey, I think your "boy band" picture could totally make the cover of Teen Magazine, lol! Maybe you will be the next J Biebs, ha-ha! Mom, I'm glad to hear that you have been able to handle everything well so far, and that you haven't been super stressed out. Dad, I always love your e-mails and your high council talks you send. They are always uplifting and inspiring.

Well, this week has been CRAZY!! (I probably say this every week). So the first 4 days of the week we didn't see much success but we worked hard. Then suddenly during the weekend the heavens opened and Sister Morris and I seriously had so many blessings pour out on us we really don't have enough room to receive it. It is so awesome!!


So on Friday Sister Morris and I were in Plattesburg, and that morning during comp study we discussed how we can come to recognize the spirit more and be led to where we need to go. Well, we went out and ended up at this apartment complex area. We were going to try a person at the apartment #406. As we parked in the parking lot, I looked over and saw this one apartment door that said 404 on it. I asked Sister Morris if the apartment # we were going to try was 404, she corrected me and told me it was 406. After getting out of the car, I asked Sister Morris again if it was 404, again she corrected me. I just kept looking over at that door. So as I went to walk past, I stopped and looked at Sister Morris and said, “We need to try this door.” She agreed, and we knocked on it. Wel,l a lady in her late 30's answered. We told her who we were and asked her about her religious background. She said she was more spiritual than religiou, because she didn't go to any specific church. We continued to talk with her and she invited us inside. We asked her about her three daughters who were 3, 5 and 13. She told us she never went to church because she felt like she just didn't belong anywhere. We taught her about the restoration and the importance of families. She said that she would read the book of Mormon and pray about it and said we could come back on Tuesday. It was so cool! And it was really ironic how we started off that morning feeling like we are terrible at recognizing the spirit and then it was ultimately the Spirit that led us to her door!

On Saturday, Sister Morris and I taught our investigator, Scott (the goat man). We read over 2 Nephi 31 with him and tried to help him see the importance of baptism and what it will do for him. We were able to resolve some concerns he had about baptism and our Ward Mission Leader came with us to teach him. It went really well. We found out the main concern he has is that he doesn't like big groups of people and he is very emotiona,l so he is worried he will cry in front of people at his baptism. He committed to being baptized on February 15th, and we are hoping we can help him feel more comfortable by then. He also hasn't come to church yet because of his social anxieties. After meeting with him, we went to visit a less-active member. She has a lot of non-members living with her right now and as we met with her and a lady named Tracy that lives with her, we found out that Tracy wants to learn more about the church. She also really wants to come to church. So it was a double miracle because we found a new investigator who  will be a great pusher for getting our less active to come back to church.


Then Saturday night we got a call from M. (18 year old investigator who we decided to drop on Thursday because he stood us up three times in a row and wasn't keeping his commitments). Well, it is 9:30pm and we get a call from him. I answer the phone and he told us he was coming to church. He told us he knows the Elder's recent convert, Melanie, and that he will be coming to church with her tomorrow. We were really excited! Then he proceeded to tell us that he really did still want to learn, and asked when he could get baptized. I was in shock and had to get my bearings for a second, then invited him to be baptized on February 1st. After hanging up the phone Sister Morris and I sat in shock trying to figure out what just happened. Then Melanie texted us and told us she would be bringing another friend to church named Marissa who wants to start meeting with missionaries. At 9:57pm we got another call from M. He told us he had read 1 Nephi 1 and prayed about it. It's crazy how an investigator having fellowship with someone from the church can make the biggest difference! Before he was really quiet and didn't seem too interested, and now he is so excited and just eager to learn and change his life. So on Saturday we were able to get 3 new investigators and 2 investigators on date for baptism....IT WAS A HUGE MIRACLE!!

M. and Marissa, Melanie's friend, came to church and we were able to set up an appointment to teach them that night at a member's home, the Thompson's. The Thompson's are the most amazing member missionary family I have ever seen!! They allowed the Elder's to teach Melanie in their home and even now after her baptism have invited her to come over nightly for scripture study. They are amazing. They have a daughter on a mission and now they are excited to have Marissa and M. in their home for us to teach. Also earlier in the week, Bishop told us his non-member neighbours would be coming to church on Sunday and he wanted us to come to dinner on Sunday evening to teach them. They came and they loved church! They told us they felt so welcome and it felt like family. They told us they want to learn more about the church and have been wanting to find a good church to go to and raise their boys in. They are going to come next week, and Bishop told us he would set up teaching appointments with them and let us know! He had also invited another non-member family for dinner who are from Mexico and work for him. They were so sweet, and Bishop ended up giving them copies of the Book of Mormon in Spanish, and the wife promised she would read it. He is amazing!! So all of a sudden in the course of 24 hours we went from having 1 new investigator to 6 new investigators, and 5 of them came to church!! It is amazing!! And it was all because of the Lord and our members, it definitely had nothing to do with us!!


Sister Morris and I have been MEGA blessed!! We're excited to see how our investigators progress and we are even more excited to see how enthusiastic our members are right now about missionary work! We hope that fire keeps burning! This Wednesday we have interviews with our Mission President, so I am excited for those, and otherwise things seem to be looking up! Our poor Elders started the week off with having 7 investigators on date, now they are down to one. We aren't kidding when we say when they are up we are down, and we are up they are down. It is ridiculous! I wish all of us could just be up all the time. Anyways, I love you all and hope you have a great week!!

Sister Luening

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