Monday, February 24, 2014

February 18, 2014, Kearney, Missouri

Dear Family,

Wow! I can't believe that Elder Luening will be on a plane home in a few hours......weird! In my mind I just feel like he shouldn't be home until I get home, so I can welcome him home off the plane. I will be sad to have to miss that. Elder Luening I am so proud of you! You really don't know the kind of example and impact you made on me. It was really you and your decision to serve that got the ball rolling for me and I don't know that I would have ever really made the decision to serve my mission if it hadn't been for you. Thanks for being a great example for me every step of the way and I know there are still things that I see from you that I know I need to apply into my own missionary service right now. So thanks and keep emailing me about how things are going back home and any advice for my investigators etc.

Well, Mom and Dad, sounds like you got the nasty flu! I wonder if it is the same thing we had down here between the months of December and January. It is a stomach and digestive bug that knocks you right out for about a week, yuk! Mom, thanks for reminding me to take my vitamins and things...I should probably do that, lol!

Kass, let me just say "NAILED IT" on guessing that you were called as YW President. You will do awesome and I know the girls will have lots of fun with you. There is an awesome scripture in D&C 121:40-46 that talks about responsibility and authority of a calling. It also mentions attributes to help us qualify for callings, many of which you already have and then it ends in  recognizing the Holy Ghost and how it will be "your constant companion and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth....and shall flow unto thee forever and ever". Pretty cool promise, huh! Anyways, just look to that and I know you will do great especially in times where you feel inadequate and well...stumped on what to do J Love, ya! you'll do great!

Another week come and gone! It was definitely an interesting week! Monday was P-day. Then on Tuesday we went out to Plattsburg with a member to go see some investigators and tract. It was awesome! Sister Cox, is so wonderful, she is literally a ball of fun and she is moving to Utah this week, which makes me really sad. Unfortunately our appointments fell through, but it was so great being able to go out and tract with Sister Cox. It was weird, a lot more people answered their doors and we even were able to go inside and talk to a man. His name is R. and he's black. He looked like he was in his 60's, but it turned out he was actually 82. As we were talking with him, it came into my mind that the Elders have mentioned that they were working with a black man, who's name I was pretty sure was the same. Well, he is Baptist and he is awesome and was very receptive. He told us we could come back this week. After we left we called up the Elders and they told us, they were working with Richard, and that he ha s dementia, which is why when we asked him if missionaries were meeting with him, he said Elders hadn't come by for at least a year or two. We were kind of bummed, but the Elders told us there would be no harm in going back and sharing something with him, since we told him we would be back. He does have a daughter who just had a stroke, who we were initially looking for at his address, and he said she should be back home next week. So hopefully we can share the gospel with her and see if she is interested.

On Wednesday, Sister J and I had quite the adventure. She had a pain in her lower left abdomen since Tuesday and it had only intensified. We knew it wasn't the appendix, because the pain was on the wrong side, and I told her it could be an ovarian cyst or something. Sister J. refused to go get it checked out and finally by early afternoon told me we should go to urgent care after our appointment with Morgan. Well after our appointment with Morgan, Sister J. told me she didn't want to go anymore, but I made her go. I dragged her to urgent care and what do you know! I was right, again! Turned out Sister J. had an ovarian cyst, so the doctor told her there wasn't much they could do and it should go away by Monday. Well Monday has come and gone and she is still in pain...unbeknown to her we will be going to urgent care again today to check it out, cause that's what the doctor said to do.

Thursday, was AWESOME!! We had Zone Conference and Elder Martino from the Quorum of the Seventy was there. He is so cool! He talked a lot about working with members and having the "Right Member Present" at lessons with investigators. He also talked about and suggested ways we could get referrals from members. Think about it, there are a lot of people we know, but maybe not people we think would be interested in the gospel. Well think of things going on in their lives right now that you could see the gospel helping, strengthening and uplifting them in their various situations. For example, people who have had a recent baby born, or a death in the family, or moved into the neighborhood or who are raising teenage kids. Those are all people that in one way or another, the Plan of Salvation and ultimately the gospel can help and strengthen them. So, Mom, dad, Jeremy, Kass, Scott, and Chris (since you will be home) I want to invite each of you to think of someone, who isn't a member who has something going on in their life, (like something I have suggested or not) where you can see that the knowledge of the plan of salvation would benefit them in their lives. Will you think of someone and make a plan to invite them over for dinner with the missionaries in the next two weeks, and specifically have a date to invite them for dinner and invite them over in the next two weeks? I hope you all said yes! I will follow up with you next Monday :)

Missionary work doesn't need to be hard. Having friends, acquaintances and neighbors meet the missionaries over dinner is very casual and non-threatening, and it doesn't mean you have to have a full blown lesson after dinner, even just discussing the gospel through casual dinner conversation is missionary work. I know that if you take this challenge and pray to know who you can invite for dinner that faces and names will come to mind. I know that doing your part in sharing the gospel with friends, and acquaintances is something that will bring the spirit more strongly into our home and will strengthen your testimonies and help you to develop more Christ-like attributes. I have seen Bishop Walker and his family change, as they have shared the gospel with their neighbors, the Stringfellow Family, and have allowed me and my companions to teach them in their homes. Their son now wants to serve a mission and is going out with the missionaries. Their family as a whole has become more unified and their testimonies have grown immensely. It has been a huge blessing to see how their family has been blessed and strengthened through member missionary work. These are the same blessings and more that Heavenly Father desires to bless each of you with, if you will just go forth and pray to know whom you can truly be a disciple of Jesus Christ for!

I love you all and feel so blessed to have your support and love in all phases of this great work. There are some missionaries out here that don't have that from their families. I'm grateful that you guys always keep me in the loop and let me know how things are going back home. I don't worry because I know the Lord is taking care of you guys and you don't have to worry because He is also taking care of me. I love you and hope you get healthy soon J I'm proud to be a servant in this great work and as my Mission President likes to say, "I'm all in!"


Sister Luening 

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