Monday, August 11, 2014

July 22, 2014 Liberty, Missouri

Dear Family,

Well, this has been quite the week, but a great week. Mom, you are right on the ball with knowing that transfers are this week. All I have to say is I should know by now that every transfer has a little twist to it. No mom, its not another "recycled" companion, haha! I am officially training a brand spakin' new missionary- SCARY! I am definitely nervous and just to add to the stress it turns out every companionship at the jail is training a new missionary. So, basically we are really going to have to be on top of our companions in helping them to memorize the history material at the jail and then the lessons that President Vest wants them to have memorized. Hopefully I can be encouraging, and helpful to my new companion and help relieve the stress that she will most certainly be faced with, haha. Elder Brenchley, the Visitor Center director, is pretty nervous and stressed out about our predicament at the jail, seeing as it is the busy season and there is usually only one companionship at the jail at a time, and both companions are giving presentations simultaneously all day long. So, it should be an interesting twist with now having only one companion that can really give the history because the other companion won't know much, if any of the history, for the first few days or week. But, I have complete trust that the Lord is going to help all of us band together and continue having things run smoothly for our guests who come into the Historic Liberty Jail. I am excited to train a missionary. I think it will be a lot of fun. And I am super excited to learn just as much from my companion as she will hopefully learn from me. New missionaries are incredible they carry the spirit with them so strongly. I feel like they bring the Spirit even more into teaching appointments because they have to completely rely on the Spirit. They don't know much, aside from their testimonies of the gospel. They don't have lessons memorized or a rote way of doing things, they just go for it with the faith that the Lord will help them know what to say and how to say it. That's one of the biggest reasons I am excited for a new missionary, because miracles seriously happen with faithful missionaries who are fired up from the MTC :)

So otherwise our week was pretty slow. We tried to meet with investigators but appointments fell through, and on Friday I got to go on exchanges for the day to Kearney. It was awesome being able to go back and see some of the people I left behind. I got to see the S family. Even though J isn't baptized he has a home teaching assignment. At first I was a little skeptical about him being allowed to hold such an assignment, but as I talked to him, I've come to realize it is inspired. I've tried to figure out how we can help J see how much he needs to be baptized and what he is missing not having been baptized yet. When he told me he had the home teaching assignment he told me he kind of feels like he shouldn't have that assignment because he feels he can't fulfill his responsibilities since he doesn't hold the priesthood. Just the fact that he came to that conclusion on his own, really shocked me and helps me see that this is directing his eyes even more so towards the waters of baptism. On Saturday I went to the Trainer's training meeting. Basically where we receive instruction from our mission president's and his assistants on how to train our new missionaries, which went really well. Basically there are three main things that stood out to me. First, follow the missionary schedule exactly. Second, be exactly obedient in all things. Third, love and serve your new companion. Pretty simple, but vital in being able to fulfill our responsibilities and have the spirit in our companionship.

On sunday, sister Morris and I had a huge miracle. So, Br. R brought his less active wife, and son to church. And his son brought his non member wife, A. We talked with them in class and after church we asked A if she knew too much about the church. She said she had skimmed through the Book of Mormon, but didn't know too much about the church. She said its a little different compared to what she is used to, because she grew up Baptist. We asked her if we could come over and teach her about the church. She said she would like that, so we are seeing her on Saturday. Sister Morris was sad that I scheduled the appointment with A for after she leaves, but I tried to keep in mind that this would be a great opportunity for my new companion to jump straight into things and start teaching a brand new investigator from the very beginning. so we are really excited to see how things go with A. Otherwise, Sister Morris and I are teaching the first discussion to a lady named S and her 15 year old daughter C. We haven't been able to meet with them for a few weeks, but last week they told us to come back tonight, so I'm praying they don't bail on us again. I'm hoping with my new companion we can get the ward picking up a little more in helping in finding people to teach. We have so many members that are willing to help out in teaching in our investigators, but its hard to teach people that don't exist, lol! So we are trying to find new ways of how we can help the members see that there are opportunities around them to share the gospel with friends, neighbors and acquaintances. In sacrament on sunday we had the high councilman come and speak and he spoke on the hastening of the work of salvation. You know he said, " In Liberty the field is white and ready to harvest". That just kind of hit me in a different way. We recite Doctrine and Covenants Section 4 every day, but hearing him say In LIBERTY the field is white, just gave me a new perspective and determination to find those who are ready. Sister Morris and I haven't really found new people to teach this transfer, but it reignited that fire in me to know I am here in the Liberty area because this is a white field. There are people prepared, we just need the help to find them. Either Sister Morris and I can reap all day long by ourselves, or we can get the members to reap with us and do it in a few hours. Either way the work will move along, but it just depends on if the members truly want to help the Lord in His process of Hastening of the Work, or just watch it happen. It reminds me of Elder Uchtdorf's talk, are you sleeping through the restoration? What are we doing to help the Lord in His work of bringing souls unto Christ?

I love you. I pray for you everyday. Have fun at the lake, stay safe working and doing everything that you are engaged in back home. I am excited for yet, another adventure this transfer. This work is truly being hastened, the prophets and apostles have told us. They have extended the invitation to join in this great work. I love that I get to be so deep in this work at this time. It is amazing! I'm just glad to be a servant at this time. Let's square our shoulders to the plough and continue forward, united as members and missionaries, with a determination to serve Christ to the end.


Sister Luening

P.S. President Vest called me yesterday and wanted me to tell you that they figured out my release date. It will be Tuesday, November 25th. 

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