Monday, May 12, 2014

April 28, 2014 Kearney, Missouri

Dear Family,

Well, I must say I was disappointed to click on mom's email and see absolutely nothing, haha! So, I guess mom had technological issues ;) But, thanks dad and Chris for your emails! I'm glad to hear things back home are good. Dad I am super proud of you for getting the online college classes done, that's awesome! Mom, I bet you had a crazy weekend at the stake relief society conference. Well, I'm assuming you guys don't keep up with the weather down here in Missouri, but we were on Tornado watch all of sunday! It seriously looked like we were going to get hit by a tornado, and were told to get inside and find shelter by our Assistants. I was excited and Sister Jarman was terrified, haha!

Well, a tornado didn't hit, but it looked like one would come down any second.  We went out to the rural area to eat dinner yesterday, and the sky turned so black, and then you know how everyone says "you know a tornado is coming because the sky will turn green"....well it literally turned green!! I'm not kidding it was a gross dark sage color and the whole storm cell was right above us, it was SCARY!! The whole drive home, we kept telling our member, we should just turn around and spend the night at her house because we are going to get stuck in a tornado on the way back home, but our member was convinced everything would be fine, and it was, thank-goodness. It was down-pouring and lightning and thundering the whole way home, but she was all like, "oh no, if there was a tornado coming there would be hail and lots and lots of wind".  

Chris sent me lots of pics of his adventures with Madi :) It sounds like they had a lot of fun and really took advantage of all the fun and beautiful places to see up in the Kootenays and Okanagan. It also sounds like you guys had a good time interrogating her and finding out lots about her. 

Well things here in Kearney have been good! We had a super crazy miracle happen this week. At first it was really frustrating because of the way the whole situation was handled and handed over to us, but all in all it was a huge miracle! To sum it up the elders gave us a referral of a girl they were supposed to go teach out in Plattsburg, but they couldn't find any members to go with them and they didn't have a ride to take them out there, so they asked us if we could go teach her. We didn't have too much going on, so we went out there with Kyrie, a girl who is planning on going on a mission. Well we got to the investigator's house and she was awesome! She is 20 years old and her name is K. She invited us in right away and as we talked with her and got to know her, we testified of how the gospel can help her in her life. She has a 5 year old son and has been living on her own since she was 16 years old. She's had a hard life and she says she wants to be forgiven from her life and find greater peace in Christ. She is so cool and we invited her to be baptized on May 31st. She accepted, and we are excited to keep working with her.

Also, later on in the week, Sister Jarman and I had to go on exchanges. Sister Halverstadt ( my first trainer) came out to Kearney and spent 24hours with me. We ended up going out to Plattsburg to teach K. We got to Plattsburg about 40 minutes before our appointment so I looked at Sister Halverstadt and said, well lets tract our way to her house. Luckily it was a gorgeous day and so there were a lot of people outside. Unfortunately the first 5 people we tried to talk to didn't want to listen to us, but we still kept moving on trying to talk to everyone we saw. Eventually, a man finally stopped and talked to us. He was older and outside doing some yard work, but we started up a casual conversation with him. His name is C and he was so nice. He ended up telling us he doesn't attend a church because he doesn't like the hypocrisy of many of the preachers. We talked to him for a while and asked if we could come back next week to which he agreed. We headed back to our car, because we realized we were only halfway to K's house and we were already 10 minutes late because of the long conversation we got into with C.

As we headed back to the car, a black guy sitting on a picnic table grilling yelled at us " you Mormons?" We yelled back, "ya!" and headed his direction. We talked to him for about 2 minutes to find out that his name was R and that the elders had stopped by his house 3 weeks ago and left him a book ( the Book of Mormon). I asked if they had stopped by since their first encounter and he said they hadn't. I asked him if he wanted to learn more and he said he did. So we set up an appointment with him and invited him to check out We told him either us or the elders would stop by. Sister Halverstadt and I decided it would be best to have the elders teach him, so we referred the elders to him, and hopefully they'll go see him this week, otherwise we will :)

On heading to K's house we got a text from her telling us she couldn't meet today because she had to go into work. Unfortunately we had to reschedule with her, but thankfully the Lord saw how we were talking to everyone and so he placed people in our path who really were prepared for the message of the gospel. It's awesome and I got a nice tan from being out in the nice weather ;)

Well, this week is transfers and all the members and my companion are convinced that I am leaving. I've been here for 6 months and Elder Brenchley the Visitor Center Director says he wants the experienced sisters at the Visitor Centers during the busy summer season. So, it sounds like I will probably get transferred to the VC or the Liberty Jail. But who knows; its all in the Lord's hands. I would love to stay and continue helping our investigators and especially last week we have seen so many miracles happen of finding people to teach.....but usually that is also a tell tale sign that someone in the area is going to get transferred. So, we'll see what happens.

I'm so grateful for the time I've been able to spend in Kearney. I'll be grateful to continue being able to work in this wonderful ward if I don't get transferred. So many of the members are like family to me. Especially the LeNeaves, Shafers and Dietrich Family! It was funny on hearing transfers are coming up, Sister Shafer asked when do you have a dinner open before transfers. We had Tuesday open and she said we are CRAZY busy that day, but we will make it happen. Also, Brother Shafer was insisting I give him President Keyes number so that he can tell President Keyes what's what and have me stay here, haha! Also, Diana, our catholic neighbor was ready to cry when Sister Jarman told her I'm probably getting transferred. So basically its going to be hilarious if Sister Jarman made everyone make a big deal out of transfers coming up and I stay, AND it will be really sad if I really do get transferred. Kearney even with all the challenges, frustrations and all has really become my home on my mission!

I love having the opportunity to serve others and reach out to share with them what I know to be true! I love all of you and guess what?! 2 more weeks until Skype time!!!  :) :) :) Have a great week!


Sister Luening

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