Monday, March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014 Kearney, Missouri

Dear Family, 

Man, I'm bummed that I missed a "Young Guns vs Bishop's Bandits" Basketball Tournament! I love those!! I don't think you said who won...or maybe I missed that detail. Mom, thanks so much for the package, I got it last Friday, and no, it doesn't agree with my diet, ha-ha! But, Easter is 6 weeks away, so I'm sure by then I will cave for a piece of chocolate...everything in moderation right J. Also thanks for sending Uncle Glenn's Christmas card and for all of your Easter notes, it was an awesome surprise!

Well, this week was crazy! Poor Sister Jarman got really sick for two days so we were house bound. She got a nasty flu, and Sister LeNeave, the member we live with, was shocked I didn't get anything. What can I say, I have a really good immune system

Oh, I got to hold a baby duck at our member's house; hopefully you received the picture. Sister Shafer sent it to your email....I've held so many different creatures on my mission so far. Who would of thought that would happen in Missouri. Everyone has been saying their farewells to me, because transfers are coming up next week. I don't think I'm getting transferred yet and I don't want to leave Kearney yet.....not until Sam and Jeff Stringfellow get baptized.

So on Friday we went to the Visitor Center with Sam and Jeff and I took them through the VC. It was like old times. All the sisters were at some contata at the church, so the only people at the Visitor Center were the senior couple. The senior couple asked if I would just take our investigators through like old times. I couldn't believe how much stuff I actually remembered! The stickiest thing was remembering specific dates. It was awesome! Actually Sister Jarman has been asking me a lot about church history and different historical sites lately and it is cool that all the knowledge I gained at the VC, I've been able to share with her. Anyways, Sister Jarman and I had hoped to put them on baptismal date that night. However, they kept taking the conversation a different direction. We ended the night by going through God's Plan for his family, which I must admit Sister Jarman and I hoped would inspire them to get remarried. Hey, the gospel can heal all wounds right......but, I don't think it has worked quite yet. 

We had such a great evening and then right before we were about to leave, I quickly mingled with some of the sisters who got back from the cantata. As we were heading out the door, Sister Jarman and I looked at Jeff and asked where Sam was; she had literally disappeared. He said she was outside. Oh she was outside alright.......smoking in the parking lot! Aaaaaaah! But, hey, she's working on it and we have come up with a plan to help her completely quit smoking, but it will take some time. Of course, Jeff made some snide remark to her about her smoking, just to get under her skin, so she cussed at him. Needless to say our evening didn't exactly end the way we had hoped. We tried putting them on baptismal date, but Jeff refused to set a date because he says he's not willing to just kick Sam out of the house and so he told us he wants to get baptized in Bishop's pond on October 17th with his son Grant who turns 8 years old that day. OCTOBER IS FOREVER AWAY!! Also, how he got the idea of getting baptized in Bishop's pond, I had no idea until he said Bishop told him he could baptize him in his pond......Apparently President Keyes has ZERO tolerance for missionaries even asking if their investigators can be baptized in ponds. So we know that one is not going to fly and we are not accepting his idea of October 17th! That is way too far away for him.

So, we have a few challenges ahead of us, but we know the direction we need to take to help them progress toward baptism. The good thing is: Jeff wants to be baptized and he is so involved in the ward. In fact Bishop wants to give him a ward assignment since he can't actually give him a legitimate calling, which is something Jeff has been asking to have for the last few weeks. Even when he came for the church building cleaning, all he talked about afterwards was how much he felt the Spirit as he cleaned. He is so cool!

Well, things here in Kearney are going well. On Sunday Sister Jarman and I were asked to come in for half of Priesthood class and pump up the ward mission plan. Definitely, the first for me being in priesthood, but hopefully we helped re-motivate the ward. I'm thankful that Bishop Walker has so much trust in us and I'm thankful to be able to serve in this ward. They are making progress, slowly but surely. I'm really hoping I don't get transferred and that I get to stick around until May. Also, guess what today it is 70F, its warming up and you know what that means..... crazy drivers, allergies are starting up, lots of road kill is TORNADO SEASON!!

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Sister Luening 

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