Wednesday, January 22, 2014

January 20, 2014, Kearney, Missouri

Dear Family,

Yup, another week come and gone. On Sunday, only one of our investigators came to church which was a little disappointing, but we were able to take 2 of our investigators and one of our recent converts to the " Mission President's Devotional". It is a fireside where recent converts are invited to come share their experience with joining the church, and they get to bear their testimony. It happens about twice a month. It usually switches locations between the Independence Visitor Center and The Historic Liberty Jail. This last Sunday it was at the Historic Liberty Jail. We were able to take our investigators and recent convert through a presentation of the Historic Liberty Jail before President's Devotional started. It was so great to hear the testimonies of 6 recent converts. They were so sweet and powerful!

Going to the Liberty Jail, I was also able to see Sister Jacobs, one of the sisters from my MTC District. She reminded me that today, Sunday, was the”7 Month Mark” of our mission! It kind of stressed me out, ha-ha! I also met with my first trainer, Sister Halverstadt, who I get to go on exchanges with on Thursday. I am so excited !
J I also saw Sister Grange from Washington State, who I lived in the same apartment building with and served with at the Visitor Center for the first 5 months of my mission. So, we had became great friends!! She goes home in 2 weeks! I am going to miss her so much! I also saw another sister from the Visitor Center that I went on exchanges with once and I also saw the Visitor Center Directors, Elder and Sister Brenchley! It was awesome to be able to see so many missionaries that I know! J

Otherwise we had another cool miracle this week. So, the Elder's gave us a referral for a young woman in her 20's with a little girl. We went to go see her for the first time and we knocked and the door. To our surprise a guy in his mid-20's answered the door. In my mind I was quickly trying to decide if we should ask for Alisha, the girl the guys told us to contact, or if we should do our usual kind of door approach to see if he was interested. Well, Sister Morris piped up and started talking to him and told him who we were (we didn't mention Alisha). We found out he had just moved here from Blue Springs, which just happened to be Sister Morris's last area. We found out he is more spiritual and doesn't attend church, but he said he was a truth seeker. We talked to him at his door for about 10 minutes, and then he was shivering like crazy and asked if he could grab his coat. It was about -5C outside, so after he grabbed his coat and came back out on his porch. We taught him about the message of the restoration for about 20 minutes. It was so cool! He was so excited when he heard about Joseph Smith's experience! We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and invited him to read it and pray about it. He was so excited and said that he accepts our invitation. We asked him if we could come by another day, so we are going to see him on Thursday.
J It was so cool! He just seemed so excited about everything we asked him about and taught him. He was absolutely right when he said that he was "seeking for truth".


Also, on Thursday we are meeting at Bishop's house to teach his neighbour family the message of the restoration, so we are really excited for that. Bishop Walker is awesome! He has come up with a plan to invite us over every Monday night for FHE along with three other member families. Together we will decide how we can best help less-actives in their area and also bounce off ideas of people they know who might be ready for the gospel, to give us more referrals. Last Monday it worked really well. He invited two families that lived in the same area, and we discussed who they know, or who they are working with, that they want to share the gospel with. They ended up discussing for a whole hour a list of people they want to share the gospel with or invite to activities. So, we received about 3 referrals out of it, which was really cool and helped make a game plan as to how they can easily and non-threateningly share the gospel with these people. It was really cool! I'm excited to see how this continues, because now the members are really getting involved in the missionary work. It is awesome! 

Actually the other day I was reading in Alma 22, the account of Aaron teaching King Lamoni's Father about the gospel and it reminded me of how important the help of members is. In verses 18-26 and Alma 23: 1-5, I’ll sum it up: basically King Lamoni is struck dumb, the queen and his servants fear and are angry with Aaron and his brethren because they don't understand what is going on. It isn't until King Lamoni's father wakes up and tells them how blessed he is and testifies to them about the gospel that their hearts are softened. (He shares the gospel with his friends/family and bears his testimony- member missionary work). Then after telling them about the gospel and sharing his testimony he invites Aaron and his brethren to teach his household (referral).  Their hearts are softened (they have fellowship from King Lamoni- member) and then they are baptized. They all share their testimonies and King Lamoni tells them to go throughout the city to preach, " ...and thus they began to have great success. And thousands were brought to the knowledge of the Lord..." ( Alma 23:4-5). So cool, the importance of member missionary work and the success that comes is right in the scriptures! It is like Elder Luening mentioned about what President Hinckley said: 
“If the members would do their missionary work the number of convert baptisms would double!”

I love the gospel and I have seen how much difference it makes when members really are involved with the missionaries and the success that comes when we, as members and missionaries, are yoked together in the efforts of bringing others unto Christ. I love you all and hope things keep going well. I hope you are praying for and are seeking out missionary opportunities and take hold of them when they come. I pray for you, love you and hope you see the blessings that come from being so anxiously engaged in the work of our Father in Heaven.


Sister Luening 

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