Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cousin James in CA seeing miracles!

Hello, everyone!
Well, first of all, I owe you for last week. A story I was going to tell but didn't have time to type up: We visited our investigator who is an alcoholic and she had a friend from Nashville visiting. She had told us that this friend was coming to give her some help, but the friend did more than we expected. Already this friend had had her completely sober for 3 or four days so far (and that has continued, now she's almost at two weeks without alcohol!) and had been fixing her very healthy meals. The swelling in her legs and feet had gone dramatically down. Physically and emotionally she was in a much better state than she had been just a few days before. But that's only half the miracle. This friend was also very spiritual and knew the bible well. She asked us some questions and was surprised at our knowledge. She asked us "well, what do you believe about this, I bet we differ" and more often than not found that we shared beliefs. And when we asked her about the scripture that says "and other sheep I have which are not of this fold, them also I must bring" she told us (without our telling her anything about the Book of Mormon) "Well, not very many people know this, but Christ did visit the Americas! There's plenty of archaeological evidence." We were completely shocked. And excited. The friend is back in Nashville now but before she left we visited once more and she told us that she has a friend who she is pretty sure is LDS and she wants to go to church with her. I hope that the seed we planted will be able to be harvested sometime soon!
This week has also gone pretty great. The alcoholic investigator now wants to quit smoking too and we're going to go over tomorrow and help her start the LDS stop smoking program. This week we were also able to start teaching a military guy we met at the park last prep day and he seems very open-minded. And while we did have several appointments cancel, we've set this next week up to be quite eventful. Oh, and today we got transfer calls and I will be staying with Elder Johnson in Pacific Beach. He's going home at the end of this transfer, so I'll either be taking over the area (and possible becoming district leader) or this area will be whitewashed (missionary slang for putting two elders in the area at the same time).
♫ Onward, ever onward! ♫
-Elder James Evans

Week 5


Dear Family,

This is the last time that I will be writing in this August, which really is an indicator of how quickly time has been going. As to some previous questions; I was not able to throw a coin in the Trevi fountain, but I'm sure I'll be back in Rome yet. In the meanwhile, I'm certainly happy to be able to use my experience here to learn a lot. I've learned this last week that I can really be a support to the other missionaries in my district by helping them in their concerns and trials. I really am praying to know how to bring out the best in each of them; ultimately. I'm trying to bring out to light some of the talents that have been hidden away in other people up until now. I'm learning a lot.

Last week my instructor told me directly that the purpose of being here in the MTC is basically to learn the foundations of the lessons, not necessarily the language, and that it will come in the field. Thus having taken my learning experience into my own hands, I find that I'm able to make progress step by step as I apply what I learn by myself in talking to the natives. Yesterday, my district had an all-day English fast, which was incredibly frustrating at times but certainly worth the experience. I believe I've never gone that long speaking so little English.

I've finally received some letters, and I'm glad to hear that my letters have started coming through as well, at the very least. I really am trying to focus entirely on the work, which means having memorized hymns and scriptures ready to drive any errant or wayward thought away. This really works, and I'm exceedingly grateful for Dad's list of scriptures, which I've been marking up as I try to memorize three different scriptures a day. Between Portuguese and Religion, I fall asleep quite exhausted (esgotado) at night. Great experience.

This last week was great. We watched President Monson's Birthday celebration last Tuesday for devotional, which was a touching experience. On Sunday, we had President Martins speak to us. President of the Sao Paulo North Mission. He was the first black man to be sent on a mission after the 1978 proclamation. A very humble, friendly and spiritual man; I got to meet him, which was nice. He said that I'll love St. Catarina.

The newspaper article was nicely written. It's a little different to see yourself in the paper, though. I hope that I can live up to the expectations that have been placed on me.

Anyhow, here's a thought from my journal: "Tomorrow is TRC, and I need to show my brightest spirit, which I hope never to tarnish through inattention to personal and spiritual matters."

Scripture of the day. Luke 24:36-39 which was great in the temple.

I had the brief prompting the other day that I'm really in the same work as Grossvati, Immo Luschin (who was a translator) and every other Luschin.


Elder Luschin

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cousin Elder James Evans serving in San Diego,CA

I know this is Fred's Mission Blog but right now he has a cousin, James Evans from Tucson Arizona serving in San Diego and it is nice to share a special Missionary Moment that James has had this week.
Hello, everyone! This past week was awesome! My favorite part was going to see the baptism of the Vega's daughter. Last time I had seen her, she had thrown up an "I'm catholic" wall, so I was curious as to what had changed. Apparently a lady from the ward took this girl (she's high-school age) to the temple grounds and she had felt the spirit vey strongly. That, along with talking to this lady sparked her interest. The next day, on a whim, this girl picked up the Book of Mormon and started reading. To her surprise, she really loved it! Also, as she read, she felt a profound peace enter her life. She then read the Book of Mormon every day for a week and her parents said she seemed completely different, totally relaxed and happy. Then, when she did stop reading for a few days she felt all the stress of life cascade back in. All these things plus other incredible blessings she felt led her to a testimony and that led her to baptism! I was so happy to see the Vega family and everyone else from that ward. Brother and Sister Vega were talking of how excited they were to get sealed next year, too. A mission is tough, but there are certainly moments that make it worth it.
There were so many other amazing things this week that happened, but unfortunately I'm running out of time to email. Well, I'll have to make a note and include them next week!
♫Onward, ever onward!♫
-Elder James Evans

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Week 4 "How to learn Portuguese?"

2012_08_21 Week 4
Hi Everybody,
It has almost been a month here at the CTM. I'm still happy to be here, even though we still hardly receive any language instruction. Several of the elders from my district think that I have a German accent when I speak Portuguese, but that is the least of my concerns. .
On a fun note: the person in charge of maintaining our floor is called Adolfo Jeeves.
Does anyone have any especially good tips for language? At the moment I've been trying to write flash cards in the morning, and then use them all day, using phrases from the book to complement them. I know a lot of the conjugations by now, but am not particularly fluent at speaking them.
Teaching lessons is becoming more fluid, but I'm not certain I can listen very well. That has always been my problem: my accents are always good, but I have a hard time understanding people. Practice, I guess, is the word.
Today and last week, we were able to go to a different temple, namely the Campinas temple. When going to the temple, we leave at about 6:30 and get back at around 12:30, though it's an hour later for Campinas.
I am able to stay healthy; we play a lot of volleyball here and I try to ignore the fact that I rarely see sunshine. My companion and I have started studying outside, though, as we might be able to concentrate better.
There is not really any formal language instruction, and the people who transfer here from Provo feel like it's better over there. Our instructors are nice but.... (Blog editor Julie edits to...:very Brazilian)
I'm excited to watch Pres Monson's video tonight.
Elder Luschin

Fred's address in Brazil

Until the 25th of Sept. 2012
Mailbox number 5 Districk number 30-A Mission:Florianopolis Birthday 21 Sept. 1992

Elder Frederick Andreas Luschin von Ebengreuth
Brazil Florianópolis Mission
Brazil Missionary Training Center
Rua Padre Antônio D'Ângelo, 121
Casa Verde
02516-040 São Paulo - SP

After the 25th of Sept. 2012
Mission Office Address:

Elder Frederick Andreas Luschin von Ebengreuth
Brazil Florianópolis Mission
R. Feliciano Nunes Pires, 42
88015-220 Florianópolis - SC

Friday, August 17, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Elder Luschin featured in German Newspaper

Prior to leaving on his mission, a journalist from the German newspaper, Frankfurter Neue Presse, interviewed Elder Luschin. The article she wrote was recently printed:

For all non German speakers a very short summary:  The article explains Elder Luschin's preparation for his mission, what he will be doing on his mission, and a little explanation about the church.

Auf Mission in Brasilien

Der Nidderauer Frederick Luschin von Ebengreuth wirbt zwei Jahre lang in Südamerika für die Mormonen

Ein Auslandsaufenthalt, den sich viele Jugendliche in seinem Alter wünschen, wird für Frederick Luschin von Ebengreuth Wirklichkeit. Doch der 19-jährige Windecker muss dabei hart arbeiten: Frederick missioniert die nächsten zwei Jahre in Brasilien. Es ist für ihn eine Reise ins Ungewisse.
Von Georgia Lori
Nidderau. Man sieht ihm an, dass er stolz ist, für seine Kirche zu missionieren: Frederick Luschin von Ebengreuth und seine Eltern Julie und Hanno halten in ihrem Windecker Garten mit der brasilianischen Flagge Fredericks künftige Heimat in den Händen. Foto: Georgia LoriMan sieht ihm an, dass er stolz ist, für seine Kirche zu missionieren: Frederick Luschin von Ebengreuth und seine Eltern Julie und Hanno halten in ihrem Windecker Garten mit der brasilianischen Flagge Fredericks künftige Heimat in den Händen. Foto: Georgia Lori Der junge Mann ist für seine Kirche in Santa Caterina in Brasilien unterwegs. Frederick missioniert für die "Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzten Tage". Ihre Anhänger, die sich selbst zum Christentum zählen, sind als Mormonen bekannt. Für männliche Mormonen ist die Missionstätigkeit Pflicht, Frauen können diesen Dienst freiwillig leisten.
Der Name Mormonen leitet sich vom Buch Mormon ab. Neben der Bibel wird dieses Buch von den Mormonen als Heilige Schrift verehrt. Das übrige Christentum erkennt diese Schrift nicht an. Die Mormonen glauben daran, dass eine Gruppe israelitischer Auswanderer etwa 500 nach Christus Amerika besiedelte. Das Buch Mormon beziehe sich auf deren Geschichte.

14 Millionen Mitglieder

Der Amerikaner Joseph Smith stieß nach eigenen Angaben auf die überlieferte Schrift und gründete 1830 die Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzten Tage. "Die Zahl der Mitglieder ist von einst sechs auf heute 14 Millionen gewachsen", sagt Frederick Luschin von Ebengreuth.
Er gehört der Hanauer Gemeinde der Mormonen mit ihren rund 200 Mitgliedern an. In den USA sind die Mormonen mit rund sechs Millionen Mitgliedern die drittgrößte Glaubensgemeinschaft, in Deutschland gibt es rund 38 000 Mormonen.
Zum Pressetermin erscheint Frederick Luschin von Ebengreuth im frisch gebügelten weißen Hemd, mit blauer Krawatte, Anzug und Lederschuhen. Seine Kleidung entspricht dem strengen Dresscode seiner Kirche. Diese möchte ihre Missionare gepflegt in die Welt entlassen. In Frankfurt geboren, verbrachte Frederick mit drei Brüdern und einer Schwester den größten Teil seiner Kindheit in Nidderau.
Er besuchte von 1999 bis 2003 die Kurt-Schumacher-Schule in Karben. Weitere Stationen waren das Georg-Büchner-Gymnasium in Bad Vilbel, Schulen in Kiew in der Ukraine und die Mormonen-Schule in Provo in Utah. Seit einigen Tagen und noch bis Mitte September wird der 19-Jährige an der Sprachschule des Missionstrainings-Zentrums der Mormonen in Sao Paulo in Portugiesisch unterrichtet.
Im Anschluss wird der Nidderauer in Santa Caterina als einer von rund 100 Missionaren in diesem Gebiet tätig sein. "Mein Vater Hanno missionierte in England, meine Brüder Arnold in Frankreich, Christoph in Südkorea, Philipp in Russland", erzählt er. Trotz allem wird es Frederick in Brasilien nicht leicht haben: Portugiesisch, die Sprache, mit der er Menschen für seinen Glauben gewinnen möchte, ist ihm fremd. Frederick wurde mit acht Jahren getauft. Er studierte an der kircheneigenen Brigham-Young-Universität in Provo.
Auf seine Mission bereitete er sich mit intensivem Bibelstudium vor. Die Kosten für die zweijährige Missionszeit, rund 10 000 Dollar, werden von der Kirche nicht vergütet. Sie werden überwiegend von Fredericks Eltern übernommen. "Ich habe als Deutschassistent an der Uni in Provo mit zur Finanzierung beigetragen", sagt Frederick.
Dass er nach Brasilien gehen würde, wusste er bei seiner Meldung für den Missionsdienst nicht. Der Einsatzort wurde ihm von der Kirche zugewiesen. Allein ist der Deutsche in Südamerika nicht: Er wird, wie bei den Mormonen üblich, von einem Kollegen begleitet.
Mit diesem teilt er auch ein Zimmer, steht jeden Tag um 6.30 Uhr auf, studiert die Heiligen Schriften und begibt sich dann bis 21.30 Uhr zu Fuß und mit öffentlichen Verkehrsmitteln auf Missionsarbeit. Dazu zählen die Ansprache von Leuten auf der Straße und Hausbesuche.

Disziplin und Gehorsam

Frederick glaubt, dass es nicht einfach werden wird. Man müsse bereit sein, alles zu geben und wirklich zu dienen. "Die Arbeit erfordert Disziplin und Gehorsam", meint er. Darüber hinaus muss er sich an strenge Regeln halten: Er darf weder rauchen, noch Alkohol, Kaffee oder Tee zu sich nehmen. Fleisch ist nur in Maßen erlaubt.
Freizeit haben die Missionare der Mormonen nur einmal die Woche für die Erledigung von Hausarbeit, Sport oder um Briefe zu schreiben. Flirts sind tabu, Telefongespräche in die Heimat nur an Weihnachten und zum Muttertag erlaubt.
Auch Freunde von Frederick Luschin von Ebengreuth sind derzeit weltweit unterwegs. So reiste Benjamin Uhlig aus Echzell nach Provo, um Griechisch zu lernen. Michael Fiedler aus Büdingen ist in der Schweiz unterwegs und Rima Avanesian aus Fulda in den USA.

Week 3

2012_08_14, Tuesday
Dear Family (and possibly friends),
I am able to write every Tuesday between about 13:00 and 16:00 or so, for the time period of 30 minutes. I currently suppose that Mom is able to take care of forwarding my emails to anybody who might be interested. I am trying to worry about anything extra-Mission as little as possible, and I would like to think, have been succeeding quite well at that goal. I have to admit that being at the MTC is a little different than I expected. We still do not really have any proper language immersion, so I've been trying to get help from Brazilians that I've been meeting during the meal hours. Needless to say, the language is making improvements but it is my teaching skills that are seeing the most progress. It strikes me every single time that I'm able to give a lesson how quickly the Holy Spirit testifies that what one is teaching is true. We have two progressing investigators in our teachers and their respective characters, Carlos and Iemanuel. They act quite realistically and so I have been able to get into the idea that these are real people that I need to share a message with, as I can bring great joy to their lives. However, feeling like I'm not measuring up to the ideal lesson is somewhat frustrating, but not considerably so. I must say that I feel incredibly blessed at having been prepared by much living-abroad to be able to face living here without any degree of homesickness. Of course I miss my family, but realizing that my time is not my own is a great incentive to get to work and forget myself.
On Sunday I was able to hold a district meeting with my district, which was nice as I was able to use a talk that I had prepared (we need to prepare a talk every Sunday as we might get asked to speak during sacrament meeting) about the Book of Mormon. It really is a powerful witness, and I'm finding out more and more how I can apply it to the lives of investigators. All I can do now is hard work to prove that I'm willing to expend myself in the service of the Lord. Anyhow, I saw the occasion as a blessing as I felt prompted to say certain things that I hadn't even prepared.
On a different note of being blessed, I had lost my temple recommend last week and hadn't been able to find it till Sunday evening, when I felt I should unscrew the safe from the closet and check between the safe and the wall. I took out my safe and found my temple recommend! That really made me happy. I didn't want to seem like I was being trivial about something as important as that.
I'm sorry I can't send pictures, but the thing is that I'm not even allowed to take pictures except for on P-days, and that only at the CTM. We have a good group of missionaries here. The missionaries here go to all over SA, it seems. I haven't met many others who are going to Florianopolis, but I meet Brazilians who all love Florianopolis. Apparently, it is a happening place. It made me really happy that I found a friend in a Brazilian who was impressed by my knowledge of the country, as apparently very few people would know what I do about its history. That made me grateful for the all the history books I read before coming here. Go reading!
I've starting reading Jesus the Christ and I really enjoy it. Additionally, I find myself gaining more insight into the scriptures as I ponder them  Galatians 5:25 is pretty great.. We had a very positive experience in having an English language fast. I need to share a bit about the food. Papaya is not what I expected, but I've had cashew juice and a fruit called goiaba. I've actually lost some weight here, unlike many others.
I'm surprise at how fast time is going, but that is because I know that the time I have here will pass by like a dream. In reality, the only answer, and a time-proven one at that, is to use every single moment we have well.
In love and faith,
Your dear Elder Luschin