Monday, August 11, 2014

August 4, 2014 Liberty, Missouri

Dear Family!

Family Camp!! Sounds like you are really enjoying your time up at Champion Lake :) 120 POUNDS OF BERRIES!! Holy cow! I was waiting for you to say that you were kidding, but the joke never came. I wonder if the berries will be that bounteous next summer. But, now we know what time to plan to go to champion lake next year. The other day I was telling someone that I am just really glad that I am not serving in Michigan....the land of 1000 lakes. It would be mighty tempting to just "fall" into the water, just kidding I wouldn't , but still the water would tease me daily. So what is Jocelynn's boyfriend like? Do they seem serious, do you think it is going to lead down the gospel path towards important covenants anytime soon? ;) I'm glad everyone is enjoying themselves. So what is Jeremy up to these days, I caught that he got a new job, what is it? Also he's doing seminary?? Glad to hear he is keeping busy :)

Well, things this week were AMAZING!! The Lord truly blessed us as we went out with faith knowing that the Lord has prepared souls to join in His Gospel. As we went out and talked to as many people as we could we found 3 new investigators :) It was awesome! The Lord really provided for us this week. Sister Barrow is so awesome! She is always up for going out to work and doing everything. When we tract she always opens her mouth and proclaims the gospel and invites others to draw closer to Jesus Christ. Seriously, she came pre-trained into the mission field. She is bold, and I love it. This week we invited S and A to be baptized. I felt a little weary about inviting S to be baptized, but it didn't come as a surprise when we invited her. S, hesitated and said she needs to learn more before she will commit. We asked her if she's been reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, she said she hasn't been reading it, but she'd been praying about it. She said she got the feeling she needs to read the Book of Mormon, but forgets to. So we have been texting her every morning to read the Book of Mormon and so far she has been :) We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Her recent convert daughter K, was with us and testified to S that overtime she will come to know that the church is true. It was awesome and S came to church this Sunday. So she is still progressing and now she knows our goal for her which is great.

We taught A, who is on baptismal date for August 23rd, the Word of Wisdom. She committed to live it and the only thing we need to watch is that she drinks one cup of coffee in the morning, but she was positive that she could substitute it for hot chocolate. She is doing awesome and she has read over half of the Book of Mormon so far. She has been taking notes as she has been reading and writing down questions, we asked if she had any questions for us and she said she doesn't because as she continues reading her questions are answered in what she reads. She said she knows the Book of Mormon is true. She also watched the 20minute restoration video and she said she knows Joseph Smith is a prophet of God because of how she felt as she watched it. She is so awesome. She came to church on Sunday and we are meeting with her on Wednesday, we need to start meeting with her twice a week so we can teach her everything she needs to learn before she is baptized, but I know as she keeps learning and has the support from her family that she will definitely be baptized on the 23rd, I am so excited for her :)

We also invited An to get baptized. We taught her the first lesson with a member, and it went really well. An, however also was a little hesitant, but she said she will read the book of Mormon and pray and if she comes to know it is true she will be baptized. Oh and here is a HUGE miracle! Yesterday, on sunday, we only had 30minutes with the car, so we decided we would try to contact a potential investigator. It was actually the non-member parents of a young newly married couple I served around in Independence. We went by and the mom was home, and we found out that her husband passed away a month ago. We told her about eternal families and God's plan for us. We asked if we could come and share more with her, so we are going to come back on sunday. I felt so bad when we left because she was crying, but we gave her a hug and hopefully helped her see more hope than she had before. We're excited to really helping her find greater peace and knowledge in the eternal plan and purposes God has for us.

Otherwise, here is a good laugh for you. Embarrassing moment for serving in Liberty 1st ward. So, back in May when I was with Sister McDonnell we discovered that she had been giving people the wrong phone number to contact us. She had been giving the wrong number to people for the whole four and a half months she had been here. Well, the other day, Sister Barrow and I, went to go see a investigator we found at the beginning of the week named A. He had met with missionaries before, he's black, and he has been cancer free for a year. We went to teach him with some members and when we showed up he was on his porch ready to go somewhere. He proceeded to tell us he tried calling us three times, but his call kept going to a 10 year old boys cellphone number, so he tried the number again to make sure it was right. I guess the mom of this little boy got really mad and creeped-out so she called the cops on A, and the police traced his phone number and showed up to his house to make sure he wasn't a pedophile. I was like no way, so I double checked what our number is in our cell phone. Well, you bet I felt horrible when I realized that the first 6 digits were right, but then I gave him the last 4 digits of my old Kearney phone. So in my mind I had combined two phone numbers together which resulted in him calling a 10 year old boy and almost landing him in jail....WOOPS! Seriously, all day I felt so bad! Good thing is A wasn't furious and he is still willing to meet with us, phew.

Some of the less active members we are working with are also progressing, Sister M came to church and bore her testimony which was awesome. She told us she really feels like her faith is increasing and that she is recognizing the testimony she has. We shared the Mormon message "because of Him" and talked about the atonement of Jesus Christ and what the does for us in our lives in helping us to draw closer to Christ. I guess the very next day the elders showed up to her house and they also felt prompted to talk about the atonement, so Sister M's faith is being strengthened even by just seeing how the Lord really wants her to listen to the things we are teaching her and apply them into her life. It's been awesome seeing her progression in the last few weeks.

I really felt so blessed this week. The last week was the best week we've had in two months. It was incredible. I know it is because I have a companion who is just as eager and excited to go as I am. We push each other to be better and work our hardest and it is awesome. We go out knowing that the Lord will provide us with miracles and people to teach, and it happens. In preach my gospel it says "faith is having complete trust and confidence in the Lord". I know that is true. I have seen that as Sister Barrow and I have complete confidence in the goals we set for the day and just go out knowing that the Lord will give us his promised blessings as we work with all our heart might mind and strength that he has provided us with the miracles of even superseding our goals. It has been amazing!

I love the gospel! I am excited to keep working with Sister Barrow. Training has been a breeze with her, and all the new sisters in the Jail have memorized the information they need to share when they give tours at the jail. Sister Barrow is doing awesome on her memorizations. Its funny, last sunday, her second day out, she felt overwhelmed with everything she needed to learn, but she has picked up super fast and is doing awesome. I'm definitely pushing her, but at the pace she can handle, so its great! She is a lot faster with memorizing than I was. Hopefully we have another great week like we had this last week. I'm excited to keep serving with Sister Barrow, and our members are getting more involved in the missionary effort as well. Things are going great! Loving it out here everyday :)

I love you all and hope that you are all safe! Keep enjoying the lake! I hope the mosquitos aren't too bad for you. Sister Barrow is getting eaten alive out here and she's allergic to them, so if you look at Laurel's legs, that's the same way my comp's legs look. She has 30 mosquito bites that have turned into giant splotches, haha! But. we love it! It means we're working hard. I'm doing great!

Love You All <3

Sister Luening

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