Monday, April 7, 2014

March 30, 2014, Kearney, Missouri

Dear Family!

Thanks for all the emails! I always love reading them and they are seriously the best part of P-day! Dad, thanks for the email and advice! And yeah, we figured out that we desperately need comp unity. I've noticed a trend that it is generally certain days of the weeks that we do well, and then other days we do terrible. So, I guess on those bad days, we need to try harder! 

 Mom, thanks for your email. Boy oh boy, I sure am "one lucky lady" those talks are like Gold! I only skimmed through some of them, so I'm excited to print them off and read them J!

This week went from the lowest of lows on my mission to the highest highs.... I know - weird! Monday was kind of hard. And we had a situation with a member that was the final straw with everything and we got home frustrated, angry and upset. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back and it broke it really good. We had the biggest mental breakdowns of our lives. Tuesday I received a blessing from Br. Shafer after dinner, and on Wednesday we met with the member to discuss the miscommunication on Monday that hurt us so much. The member took it all really well and told us he didn't mean to offend us, so we decided to move on. Also, we were finally able to bring to the Bishop's attention other concerns we had that were going on in the ward. So hopefully now that it has been brought to his attention it can be resolved.


On Friday, Sister Rogers took us out to meet some of her friends who she was delivering invitations to for her son's “court of honor eagle scout award” party! It was great being able to meet some of her friends. Then, in the evening there was a ward party at Bishop's property! It went so well! There were 160 people there in total and there were 17 non-members. We got to meet a family that the Shafer's invited to the ward party. They have told us for the last 7 weeks that they have been trying to work with them and our ward BBQ with a little training on food storage and emergency preparedness was the perfect introduction for them to the church. They are such a sweet family and we had a great time to talking to them. The Shafer's invited them for dinner and a games night in two weeks that they want us to come to. We're so excited for it J Also, quite a few less actives we've been working with came to the party, which was wonderful!


This week Sunday was the BEST DAY EVER! Normally, Church is super crazy busy for me and my companion, and we are always running around everywhere to stop and talk with LA (less-actives) who show up and Investigators, and so we leave church feeling exhausted and ready to have lunch. But this Sunday was AMAZING! For Fast Sunday this last Sunday, I had pretty much spent the whole week thinking of things I wanted to fast for, and it really helped me to be more focused throughout my fast; it was awesome! Also our Fast and Testimony Meeting was incredible. We had so many investigators, less-actives, potential investigators there! So cool!! Our investigator Sam got up and she bore her testimony, it was soooo cute! I love her!!

 We also had a special combined third hour because it was the fifth Sunday. The topic of Church seemed to be "Sharing the Gospel out of Love for Others". At the beginning of the year our ward was pretty pumped about our Ward Mission Plan and doing missionary work, but over the last few months, the hype has died. So, for combined meeting Bishop had some recent converts, members and myself do short 2-4 minute talks on miracles of missionary work. No doubt everyone mentioned the only reason the miracles happened is because of the love they have for one another. When I prayed for a specific miracle to share that I have seen while in the Kearney 3rd Ward, the miracle that came to mind was just the love that I have been able to witness in the members as I've entered their homes and discussed with them the people they are currently trying to share the gospel with. So my talk was on Love. The Spirit was so strong at church, and it was cool how we were all able to remind one another about the real reason behind missionary work and sharing the gospel. Ultimately, we aren't asking people to go out of their way to share the gospel with each other, we are inviting them to love their friends and family enough to offer them the same blessings that they have been able to enjoy throughout their lives. It was just awesome!

Also, Sam and Jeff brought a friend to church, his name is Charlie. After Sunday School, Sister Jarman and I went up and introduced ourselves to him and told him he could keep the Gospel Principles book if he wanted to. I asked if he had a church he normally went to and he said not really because he was currently looking around for a church to go to. We told him what we do as missionaries, and told him we would love to meet with him. Jeff and Sam told us if we wanted all of us could meet at his house on Sunday and we could teach him a lesson and answer any questions he had. He said yes! Wohoo!! New investigator.

I'm so grateful for the how much the Lord has placed unexpected missionary opportunities in our path throughout the day. Just today at Walmart and while emailing, we have run into non-members who recognize us as missionaries and so we stop and talk to them for a little while. It is neat making little connections with people everywhere we go. The cashier, Denise, at Walmart, she said she has had missionaries visit her over the years and she will always have a special place in her heart for missionaries. She doesn't live in our area, but we told her she should go to church on Sunday and check it out; she said she wants to. So hopefully she will. Also, after we helped with the food pantry move, one of the ladies, named Trish, who calls me "Sister Lavern" (no idea why, lol!), asked us some questions about the temple. It turned out the lady standing right beside me, was a member from the Kearney 1st ward and so we had a great discussion about the temple. It was amazing!

I'm grateful for the blessings the Lord extends to us, as we show our willingness and desire to work and help others. The Lord never lets us down. I've been trying really hard to be positive and see the positive one likes a whiner
J!  I love you all and I keep you all in my prayers. Lately, I've been reading the talk by Elder Ulisses Soares from the October General Conference last year called "Be meek and lowly of heart", its pretty good J! I love you all and I'm grateful for all the love and support you show me in your emails! I'm getting really excited for mother's day, even though it is a month away! Can't wait to see you all!!


Sister Luening


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