Monday, April 7, 2014

April 7, 2014, Kearney, Missouri

Dear Family,

Well, things have gotten a lot better, which just goes to show that we need patience in all things and they will get better. Of course as Pres. Uchtdorf talked about, I could do a lot better, I am sure, about not just having gratitude once the trial is removed, but also throughout it every day.

So, on Friday we had a MIRACLE!!! We went to dinner at Jeff and Sam's and they had invited - and she told us they invited.... - and I quote, "3 Investigators". Ha-ha-ha, Sam is hilarious she literally called them investigators, and we were like wait, what?! You can't call them that!  YOU are an Investigator, lol! They are hilarious and I love them! So it turned out two of their friends bailed, but the one who came, was Charlie who had come to church on Sunday. So Sister Jarman and I decided we would teach the Message of the Restoration. Charlie was so open about answering questions and letting us know of experiences he has had in his life that have brought him to this point of wanting to find the right church.

The lesson went amazing and he accepted our baptismal invitation of May 24th J YAY!! It was awesome because Jeff even bore his testimony a few times and afterwards told us he feels again how amazing he felt the first time he had this lesson. Something else that was cool, was that after Charlie accepted the baptismal invitation., -  So, cool how the spirit is always there bearing witness of the truth of all things. - Sam piped up and started talking about how amazing Dalton's baptism was and showed him pictures. She bore her testimony about the importance of baptism and how amazing it is. It tickled me to death (that's what we Missouri folk say) that Sam was bearing her testimony about baptism as if she had already been baptized into the church.....and she hasn't, lol! They are awesome and we are excited to keep working with Charlie and to also help strengthen the Stringfellows’ testimony and desire to be baptized.

 Last night we actually stopped by and saw Sam and Jeff. For weeks Sister Jarman and I have been trying to figure out how to help them realize they need to get baptized and not procrastinate it. Well, last night we popped by and Jeff told us he had prayed to know if he should get baptized. Wait! What?!?! Did he just say that?! I was so excited!!! He told us he had a dream that confirmed to him that he needs to stop waiting and just do it already and get baptized. He told us he wants to sit down with us this week and specifically go over what he needs to do to get baptized, woohoo!! It was an answer to our prayers and we are so excited for him J

Now, here comes the sad part of this miracle....opposition in all things, right. Sam got really upset and emotional. Sister Jarman stepped outside with her and talked to her for a while. She knows she needs to find a place to live before either of them can get baptized but is all causing her a lot of stress and now she feels like we have brought this problem upon her because we specifically said that before they can get baptized they need to be living in separate homes.  We left last night feeling so torn about the whole thing and the scripture in Matthew 10:34, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." really sunk into our hearts. For this divorced couple they have at times felt the peace come into their lives from the gospel we share and they live, but now Sam feels the painful sting coming from the sword of truth. We're excited Jeff wants to get baptized and is ready to put things in motion, but we felt like the worst people in the universe as Sam poured her feelings out to us in letting us know she feels WE are bringing challenges into her life. We're praying that she will feel peace in this overwhelming situation and find reassurance in the blessings she will receive as she strives to live all the commandments, even ones that she doesn't fully understand and that are challenging to live right now.

General Conference was AMAZING!!! I don't know what it was, but Saturday session I felt like I was on fire the whole time! Every talk was incredible. Overall, I think the conference reminded me to re-evaluate and double check that I am using my time of "probation" wisely. Am I really doing all that I can to be on the right path and be continually moving forward on it? I also felt this conference was very bold in reminding us of the responsibility we have to stand for truth and righteousness in a world that is decreasing in morals and in the Lord's standards. It also gave us great counsel and wisdom in how we can truly be disciples of Jesus Christ in word and deed.

Wasn't Priesthood session AMAZING!!! The member we live with told us how awesome it was, so Sister Jarman and I decided we would watch some of it during our studies. My favorite talks out of the Priesthood session was Elder Oaks' talk on Priesthood keys and how women also act under priesthood power through their callings. It was cool because he really showed the necessity of men and women for the priesthood to be fully exercised. I also really enjoyed Elder Donald Hallstrom's talk on "cyber profiling". It really put into perspective how vital each choice is that we make on this earth. It all comes down to which path we want to go down. Also, Pres. Uchtdorf's talk on addiction was really good as well.

 Ha-ha, Dad, much like you, I have determined that when I get home I am going to subscribe to the Ensign. It is such a blessing to be able to review the words of our prophet and apostles. Even in the days of King Benjamin (Mosiah 2:8) they sent out messengers to bring the words of the Prophet to all the people because "they could not all hear his words". I feel that is the same for us as we watch General Conference, we really aren't able to take everything into our hearts and minds. And so we are able to re-read over the General Conference addresses that the words may speak to us in our hearts and minds in different ways.

How lucky we are to be living in a period of time where we have a prophet and apostles to lead us in the right way and give us instruction from the Lord?! It is amazing! I feel so blessed to be a part of this work in helping others come to know and understand that Christ's gospel has been restored to the earth in its fullness. That as we partake in saving ordinances we are placed on a covenant making and keeping path that will lead us to eternal life. I'm so grateful for this gospel and for the ability we have each day to learn more gospel truths and come to know through revelation how we apply that knowledge into our lives. I know this church is Christ's church on the earth. I know that my Savior lives and that His atonement makes it possible for us to perfect our path towards Him.

I love you all and pray for you daily. I hope you reflect on the words we heard this weekend and are able to receive additional revelation of the things you can do in your lives to draw ever closer to our Saviour Jesus Christ. Have a great week!


Sister Luening

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