Saturday, February 1, 2014

January 27, Kearney


Seriously, these weeks are going way too fast! This week was wonderful and stressful. I must say, even though I am a missionary I still don't do last minute change of plans very well; my whole world just feels like it gets flipped upside down and then my brain turns into a scrambled mess. So, yesterday right before church the Bishop decided that after church at 3:00pm would be a great time to travel 30 minutes to the Historic Liberty Jail to do BYD (Bishop's Youth Devotional). It really threw off our plans, since that would be right in the middle of our proselyting time, so we asked Bishop if he really needed us to be there. He told us he did. So, we tried to go with the flow the best we could and found a member who could take us there with her kids. Then on the way to the jail we found out Bishop wasn't actually going to be in attendance because he and his family caught a plane right after church to go vacationing in Colorado. So all of a sudden it wasn't just that we would be bearing our testimonies at BYD but now we would be leading it and it all of a sudden turned into MYD?! (Missionary's Youth Devotional). But all was well, except that we weren't able to do any of the proselyting we had planned, mais c'est la vie de la missionarie! (but, that's life of a missionary!)

Anyways, my week has been great and filled with more miracles! Unfortunately our investigator Morgan is off baptismal date because he has some things he still needs to work on, but hey, at least he is still working towards baptism. We had an awesome lesson with Bishop's neighbour's at Bishop's house and we were able to put Jeff, Sam and their son Dalton on baptismal date for March 1st. Jeff was really concerned about being baptized because he was baptized into the Catholic Church and he took that step very seriously and with a lot of pondering. He said he literally felt Jesus Christ as he was baptized in that church. However, Sister Morris, Bishop and I were able to help him see that we respect that step he took in his life and that we don't want to take away from his experience of being baptized there, but that it is important for him to be baptized in Christ's one and only church with the authority to baptize. After our words and testimony, he accepted the invitation. The Spirit was so strong in that lesson, it was awesome!!

Also on Friday I went on exchanges with my first trainer, Sister Halverstadt! It was so awesome to be together with her again after 6 months of not seeing each other! J She is such an amazing missionary and reminded me of things I still could work on and things I want to do better. She is such a great example to me. It was really funny being with her because after every appointment she would just be looking at me beaming, kind of like a proud mother, I guess, because of how much I have grown and learned since she had taught me, ha-ha! It was awesome!!

Also, we went to go see this one man, who took his name off the record years ago, because he felt he didn't have a testimony and felt like a hypocrite. Last year he started coming to church again, and the Elders tried teaching him a few months ago, but the man ended up telling the Elders he didn't want to meet with them anymore. However, Bishop said he wanted us to go see him. So Sister Halverstadt and I went over there. At first it was kind of awkward, but he was very open with us and we ended up speaking with him for 3 hours. He is very intellectual and logical. He is a physicist, so things like prayer and faith he told us he finds very hard to grasp. He also told us he was superstitious about Sister missionaries, because the two previous times Sister missionaries had come and visited him, he had very sacred experiences after meeting with them that helped his testimony grow and develop in leaps and bounds. 

He was such a nice sweet man. He told us he knew he needed to be baptized, but he didn't want to be pushed into things. Also he had a lot of guilt built up, and was concerned that he was on the right path at this time, and that we would somehow disrupt his progression. We were able to dig out a lot of his concerns, and I was di not want to leave his house until he agreed that we could meet with him. I just kept being bold and testifying to him that the Lord specifically sent us here in his path for us to teach him and help him progress. He finally agreed that we could meet with him twice a month, and then I gave him our number and as he looked at it, he told us he needed to retract his agreement. I was bummed, but left knowing Sister Halverstadt and I had done everything we could to help him know we cared and that we were there to help him as Christ's representatives. So we figure we will just keep saying hi to him if we see him at church. Also, on Saturday night we ate at a member's house. They have a son who is 28 and has been less active for a really long time and has told us previously that he is trying to come back to church. He told us a few weeks ago he would come to church, but didn't come. So for our dinner message, I did a cool little visual lesson about the importance of church attendance for him and his two kids who are 4 and 6 years old. And guess what?! THEY CAME TO CHURCH!! Sister Morris was like jumping up and down when she saw them! Sister Morris told me that in the whole 6 months she has served in Kearney she has never seen him come to church, so it was a huge step for him, but HE DID IT!! So awesome!

It has definitely been an amazing week! I am a little nervous for next week. Next week is transfers, aaaah!! Pretty sure Sister Morris is leaving, since she has been here for 6 months now, and I am most likely training. So chances are I will be here until May 1st, since training takes 12 weeks to do. President Keyes said that there are going to be a total of 80 sisters in our mission and 60 of them will be involved in training this upcoming transfer, so they will either be training or are going to be trained. So the odds are that I will be training. Training calls are this Friday, so I will know by then. Anyways, I love you bunches and hope you have a great week!!

Mom and dad, I completely agree with Chris! You two are rock stars!! I don't know how you do it! You are such great examples of serving the Lord diligently and willingly. Whenever I have times where I think missionary work is hard, I just remember the two of you and how much you two need to do and how you just keep going without complaining, and just seem to recognize the good in all you do and are asked to do. I am so thankful to be your daughter and to have been raised by two of the best parents in the world!! I love you and hope you have a fantastic week! I love the Lord, I love His gospel and I am so grateful to be on my mission at this time in my life! It is shaping me into the person I know I want to become and into the person my Father in Heaven sees I can become!

All my love,

Sister Luening

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