Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Week 30 Shoe Inserts a BIG HIT !!!

2013_02_18

Dear Family,

I hope you are all doing just perfectly well, that Dorothea´s children
have recuperated and that everything is going with Amanda´s pregnancy.
I am doing well health-wise and really enjoying the new shoe inserts
that Mom sent me. They fit in well to the slip-on shoes that Phil gave
me and so I am literally doing well on my feet. Beyond that I am
enjoying the Summer come to a close. In this part of Santa Catarina,
it seems that it starts cooling off in March. My secret to success I
think is that fact that I am drinking about 4-5 liters of water every
single day. In all reality, it has not been that hot recently, only
staying around 25-35 degrees, which is good.

I have already received notice that I will be transferred from
the area and to a new companion, which is kind of sad on my part. I am
really enjoying the steep hills that they have here and all the good
people that live on them. To say the truth, I feel like a hill is a
manageable challenge and really one with which I can show the Lord
that I am trying to push a little harder. My secret for getting up
hills is to be constant and to apply more force when it gets harder. So
doing, I stay really happy about the hills. Some days it is harder to
get going for some reason, which I don´t think is due to increasing
weariness but rather the natural man in me not wanting to do a good
thing because it is more difficult than doing the easier thing. In
reality, this applies to many a thing and as I realized this Friday as
well as Saturday, I think one of the keys to success or at least some
happiness is really just to be doing something significant all the
time. That´s why I like standing so much, as opposed to sitting down
and slouching like a lot of missionaries do when we arrive at a
member´s house for lunch. Standing means that I can be readier to
spring into action when duty calls. In terms of contacting and all of
the missionary work, it also means that you have higher numbers as you
manage to talk to more people. What happiness! An example of this
would be that I decided that we would go contacting in the town square
right across from the bus station before taking the bus to a member´s
house for lunch. So doing, we were happier and more at a disposition
to work. In short, doing more work encourages doing more and doing
better, while laziness and slothfulness on the part of missionaries
will encourage more slothfulness, unfortunately. One thing that I am
praying for (and there are a lot of things that I am praying for) is
that I will always be willing to do, or as the Nike slogan which I
have so frequently quoted to myself goes: `Just do it!´

This goes along perfectly with a very interesting inactive member I
met this past week. His name is Roberto and is a fellow who took off
from home at 19 to go to the USA. He stayed in Utah for a time before
going off to Hawaii, where he was baptized. After that he started working
as a Hotel Resort Security guard and did that in Ecuador, Costa Rica
and Florianopolis. At the time he is living here probably till his
decrepit father deceases. When that happens, I wouldn´t be surprised
if he were to take off again and go to St. Petersburg to do the same
work. It was interesting to meet somebody again that has met a lot of
different people, which I am probably only saying because it has been
some time that I have even met somebody that has left the country. In
reality, most Brazilians, like Americans, generally stay in the
country. Truckers frequently go abroad, through the other Mercosul
(look it up, Arnold and Christoph probably already know what it is) countries. In
due time, the exchange reminded me both of the American expatriates
that I have met as well as the somewhat internationally flavored BYU
environment, even if that is only due to people having gone on
missions abroad.

This last week I started waking up at 6:15 to study the scriptures
before exercise, and that has been also going really well. With the
time change on Sunday (that is to say that we had `Spring back´ rather
than forward) the sun is going up earlier and so I switched to
studying at 6:00. Since I asked President if that was fine and he said
yes, I am now looking forward to being able to get more study in during
the day, as for some reason my scripture card study hasn´t been going
too well during the day.

Topic of the week: The company BRF (Brasil Foods).
Located in a straight course from the chapel road is the huge BRF
(formerly Sadia) factory, which employs somewhere around 10,000
people. Seeing that around 80,000 people live here, that is quite a
bit. In a recent acquisition, the old and popular company Sadia merged
with Perdigão and others to probably have a bigger hold on the
international market. From this city, meat goes all over the world
with England and Japan having been named as specifics to me before.
While somewhat noxious, the stench of thousands of chickens and pigs
entering the factory every few hours to be slaughter fills the city
from end to end quite frequently. It is amazing that we can be so
detached from something like that but I reason that the whole issue
would be very different from an animal´s point of view. Nevertheless,
I do see that I would never want to work in the food business. The
people here work long hours and the idea of reading a book (the Book
of Mormon) is generally more difficult of a concept to grasp.

Switching back to my current work using book as a segue. This week I
starting teaching using the Book of Mormon in the first lesson. So
far, it has been a good experience which cuts with the sharp sword of
the Spirit straight to the point. We taught a lovely couple on
Saturday, Mónica and Cristiano that by the end of the lesson seemed
really excited to read the Book of Mormon and learn more about Jesus
Christ and his Gospel. This same issue is tied to practice: With more
practice, Elder Romero and I have been enjoying our companion study
and our work more. Practice and do! What key actions.

On the topic of study, I realized on Thursday how much I love studying
and that I was a little peeved at the realization that most of my
studying in life is over. Maybe that is an indicator for me to go into
academics when all this is over.

We are praying for our investigator Victor, a sweet and humble fellow
who needs to stop smoking to be baptized.

Love,

Elder Luschin




--
Elder Frederick Luschin

Friday, February 15, 2013

Week 29 No Valentines

2013_02_11

Dear Family,

I am really doing quite well after having had a quite terrible
weekend. One of the members gave a churrasco (pronounced shoe-hasco)
for lunch on Saturday and the potato salad may have ended up making
me sick by the end of the day, and I threw up.
Oh well, that would be the second time on the mission. I am becoming a
little more meat averse and more Word of Wisdom conscious, I do
believe. In reality, vegetables are not too rare but there are never
too many of them which I why I have to buy them if I want them as a
consistent part of my diet. Recently, I do think that I have become
quite healthy starting off with a good granola breakfast and trying to
drink a lot and eat little portions. Needless to say, I do not think
that eating a huge meat lunch is a good idea for people that need to
be walking around in the sun all day.
It has gotten a bit cooler though, and we no longer seem to be facing
blistering sun. I guess fall is indeed coming.

I am very excited for my cousins Patrick Kramer and Johnny Dangerfield
for getting engage just recently. It is very special, and though I can´t be there I am
sure that the experience will be good.
It´s also great that Morgan will be heading off to the MTC. I suppose
that he won´t be staying there quite as much time as the missionaries
used to spend there , seeing that they changed the requirements of the
whole program.
I am sorry about Celeste. Sometimes I think that it would be good for
Doro´s kids to be in Brazil and to get exposed to a whole lot of germs
like I am being quite frequently. Hygiene and cleanliness standards,
at least amongst missionaries, are not particularly high.

I don´t really have much to report from this last week. It is a
constant struggle for me to try to get in more work and more working
time. My companion went on an unauthorized exchange last week to be
with another Brazilian instead of me. It´s not that he doesn´t get
along with me, it´s just that he wanted to be able to talk to him for
a few hours.
On Thursday we had our Zone Conference, where I received Mom´s
Christmas package from Germany as well as one from the Hanau ward,
which is nice, even though it seems like I don´t know half of the
people that signed the Christmas card. That´s life I guess and we keep
on moving. On an aside, I think that one other package that Mom must
have sent in November from the States containing cookies or other
things to the value of 32 dollars must have been lost as well. (The package
was rejected in Brazil and returned to Italy a little worse for the wear
but not worth the 85 Euros I spent to send it as it was only German
Christmas cookies and candy. I won't do that again. What a headache the
whole thing was with the Post Office and getting the 3 kilo package hand
returned to our apartment. DUMB!!!)
 Maybe it´s the same one that she sent from Italy, but maybe it´s a different
one. (No it was the same one)Either way, I think that Brazilian customs must have
snagged it, then sent me a UPS form asking for a certain number which I had the
office provide, and I haven´t heard from the package since.
The Conference was good though, and it was refreshing to see some
missionaries that I think actually work really really hard. Our mission seems to be one of the
lowest-baptizing missions with one of the higher actual growth rates,
whatever that means.

I wish I had more to say as regards the work. In reality, we are
losing a whole lot of time. For me, it is a struggle feeling like I have not been
the kind of missionary that I could have been already. Or maybe not.
I try to keep all the rules. I do keep on thinking that one of my challenges will
be how to motivate others to work hard and keep the rules,
even the small things like the hours, which is a very hard thing.
I grew up thinking that missionary work
was intense and a very focused time, only to be surprised that Brazil
is very different from Russia, for example; i.e. we rarely start work
until about 2:00 in the afternoon, which is not something that I´m
proud of, but I do not think that it is my fault (when we leave the
house to go to lunch, I already have everything that I need for the
day in my backpack).

In reviewing my notes from the last few weeks, I can see that I am
making some kind of progress. My programs are improving, and so is my
health. I see a lot of self-questioning as well as self-doubts due to
my lack of teaching skills and other things, as well as that I haven´t
been doing so well on my memorizing lately, but I am alert and ready
to spring forward. I have been waking up earlier to get in some more
study time, and that has been going well. Also, shortening my exercise
has made it more intense and I have been starting personal study on
time, which is also good.
One struggle for me  is practice. I believe that if I practiced a lot
more, that I would improve in just about all areas of missionary work.
I hope it´s true. Like all good things, it´s not easy though and I
think that merely the fact that it takes more effort keeps me and
other missionaries from practicing more.
I am not quite sure why, but I am quite happy right now. Maybe it´s
part of the roller-coaster of life, and I will start feeling worse
again, but I really don´t know. I read in one of my entries that I
feel like I have a whole lot to do. Well, maybe taking my chores like
I did today has made me feel better about myself.

I love you all and hope that I meet more interesting people to write
about this next week. Please pray for the missionaries and my desire
to work hard and keep the rules.

All the best,

Elder Frederick Luschin

Friday, February 8, 2013

Departure Frankfurt Airport 2012 July 25

As the editor of Fred's Blog I am just learning. I want to go back in time and post a couple of photos.  The dramatic departure from the Frankfurt Airport on the 25 of July 2012. To see our last child leave for his Mission to Florianopolis Brazil via a preparation stay in the CTM in Sao Paulo was happy and sad and extremely emotional for Dad Hanno and Son Fred.
 A fun visit in Rome. Summer  2012
 Exploring the Eternal City, shetching, singing the guitar, exploring with brother Phil, reading the history of Brazil. Just getting ready while savoring the joys of the moment and the absolute heat of Rome in summer.
July 19, 2012  A quick visit to say goodbye to Grossmutti Helmi Luschin. Who never likes to say goodbye but Aufwiedersehen (Til we see each other again) in the family home in Graz, Austria.  A place filled with memories of visits and photos of Grossvati Immo.

The garden is a paradise full of overgrowing plants, trees, bushes and flowers, and visiting deer.
Every goodbye with Grossmutti Helmi she is
certain we will NOT meet again in this life but so far we do! At 87 one never knows. The house, the big garden,
the animals, ducks who keep the snail population down and chickens giving fresh eggs.... memories and more memories !!!

On arrival to our home in Nidderau, Germany Fred received his mail which included the hard earned, last minute effort to get his Utah Driver's license. He did in on the last day Phil and Fred had in Provo.  We consider this a "tender mercy miracle!"  He probably won't drive at all for the next two years but he can say, "I have a driver's license! I worked hard to get it and passed on the very very very last day I was in Provo!"

Fred never ceases to amaze us with his accomplishments.



                          The whole family at the temple except for Dorothea and Warren in LA.
Brothers Frederick, Philipp, Christoph, Arnold and proud relieved Father Hanno! (it had been a long drive from Rome, but life is a journey )  We made it to the House of the Lord and could enter and receive blessings and promises of being an Eternal Family.

Goodbyes to neighbors, Thomas, Katharina and Lisa Strauch. (Leoni was hiding so she missed being in the photo)  Our (neighbors)  Elfriede and Martin Seiwerth, who keep a watch on our house, help me keep the trees and roses cut and are good for all around helpfullness. Actually all our neighbors are keeping watch over our home while we are in Rome. Maja Fiedler lived there for a year house-sitting and now Paul Baumann has taken the post.
 The Sunday goodbye dinner below which included Arnold Amanda and their 3 children Sam, Marieand and Elizabeth, Christoph's family with Emily and Franziska and 3 Baumann buddies. Paul is sitting next to Philipp in the photo below.  He is now in the favorite front bedroom that has housed whoever was the oldest child at the time.  Baumann sisters "Henni and Lotte" sit next to Frederick. 

            
Sam, Marie,  (Arnold's children, missed Elizabeth who was in another bush! and Franziska, (Christoph's daughter ) After Church in Hanau.
The Photographer and Newspaper writer  (Georgia Lori  from the Frankfurter Neue Presse) wrote an article about Fred going on a mission to Brazil. She did a great job interviewing Fred and spent 2 hours with him. I was impressed! Article can be found at the beginning of the Blog!
A goodbye dinner with parents and two brothers, Phil and Christoph in Frankfurt after Fred got set apart as a Missionary by   President Leimer. A yummy outside dinner at the Maredo Restaurant. Getting ready for South American Steaks from Argentina very close to his mission.



A last quick bite at Mac Donalds at the Frankfurt Airport. FRA.


Suitcases ready and Fred still smiling. At the airport pointing out his flight 957-JJ-TAM Lihnas Aereas Airlines. Leaving at 22.05, a non stop flight to Sao Paulo, Guarulhos International Airport, (12:05 hour flight)
Brave up until the last minute and then the emotions were overwhelming for Father and Son and the great unknown experiences awaiting this brave Missionary to a foreign language land and culture.
Even though tears were shed they were happy tears of gratitude and knowing we will all miss him but the time will fly by and Fred will return a man with a greater understanding of people, the Plan of Salvation a deeper Testimony of the Savior, and increased love of  being part of the Luschin Family on Earth and a son of our Father in Heaven and a brother to all.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Week 28 A Baptism !!!

2013_02_04

Dear Family,

I suppose that to start off I should share the good news. I baptized
for the first time in my mission! It was the same fellow I mentioned
that we extended the invitation to on the day of the dedication. His
name is Josnei Anton (pronounced Antun here) and he is of mixed German
and Polish ancestry. Really quite a special fellow of 18 years of age.
He was contacted the 27th of July, or the day after I got into the
MTC. The baptismal service on Saturday afternoon was really quite nice
and we had a good amount of members there present, though nobody
really participated and it was up to the missionaries to conduct, bear
testimony and play the music (that would be me - as we once again we have
a profound lack of pianists in the branch). After having had the
missionaries perform the Rainbow Song from the primary songbook,
(I like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain and ponder on the beauty of an
earth made clean again.  ... Chorus:  I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain. 
I want to be the best I can and live with God again.
I know when I am baptized my wrongs are washed away, and I can be forgiven
and improve myself each day. Chorus...) (sung in Protuguese!)

Josnei and I proceeded to the baptismal fount and I baptized him.
Really quite special, though the feeling was really just one that I
had been working as a tool to serve the Lord´s purpose.
While gratifying in the sense that I was able to help him progress in
his personal salvation, it wasn´t so in the sense that I had down very
much to get him to the point of baptism. I am not quite sure why he
asked for me to perform the baptism, but that answer came on Thursday
after his interview and after I had been asking myself what I have
been accomplishing so far on the mission. Clearly, the Lord works in
mysterious ways to bless us or make us feel blest in so many different
ways.
In reality, that was rather a new concept. Or not so much. But the
thing is, I might just work every hard and not ever really baptize
anybody again, but the point is is that I will have been able to say
that I truly did give all; though I do have a hard time figuring out
what that might just really mean.
Can my beloved and experienced family share what it means to keep on going?
One thing that has been on my mind is that the mission, while
physically demanding,I should be establishing habits that I will
continue the day after I get home from the airport, and so on for the
rest of my life. That is to say that I hope that I´ll be able to
return at a running pace and with working habits that will get me an
internship and then a good scholarship, both in pecuniary remuneration
as well as actually learned material.
Anyhow, with one baptism having taken place here in Concórdia, we will
have to continue at a strong place as it seems that none of the people
we already know at this point will really progress. A fellow named
Victor that we had started teaching last week was going along really
well. He was accepting everything about the gospel, but something
caused him to freeze up on Sunday. A very genuine and sincere widow
with three children that we had taught the plan of salvation to didn´t
come to church when she had said she would.

Maybe the mission is also just teaching me habits that I want to avoid
and things that I won´t do in the future. Perhaps that is a great lesson:
We can´t control everything in our time plan, as we are dependent on
others, but we can certainly do our part.

Two things I have been wondering about
-Things that I should maybe buy: what would be a good belt to buy? (my
plastic-type nike belt is wearing out because I had to put three holes
in it)
-What is the best way to drink water as well as to posture when
climbing hills? Some research would be appreciated.

Love,

Elder Luschin

--
Elder Frederick Luschin

Christmas 2012 Written letter to Parents

 

2012_12_25 Letter from Fred to Parents


Dear Parents, I just finished talking to you a few hours ago, and have been thinking since. I am writing this on the special paper, though in the process, I remember that Mom could just punch holes in something else I send. Oh well. It was very special to talk to you. I don't know if I am able or was able to communicate even an infinitesimally smallest part of the feelings I go through from over-thinking to some dullness of thought at times.

You said a lot about the promptings of the Holy Spirit, which is a really hard thing for me to do. The last few hours, I do believe that I have felt the Spirit bringing peace to my heart, especially as I thought that I would end our conversation in agitation due to my self- perceived lacks. I must confess that this is generally how I see the Spirit working in making sure that I'm generally happy and have been so a lot of the mission, and to witness to me when I bear testimony. I don't feel like I've frequently or much at all been prompted to talk to someone or say something a certain way, or go anywhere specifically which does make me feel like I'm not trying hard enough, which then frustrates me because I'm so self - critical. I do believe that my faith has grown, enough, and I have the feeling that I may yet again see a leap in the progress of any kind that I've made. One realization is that this moment is eternity right now, and that in writing to you I have been trying to give you a bit more of my time and thus, my life. Does that mean anything?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tho' e're past when this missive received, I want you to know that I love you from all my heart and that I'm doing something apart from you so that being a part of you and this family will be even more significant. Thus, I bear my testimony that I know that Jesus Christ lives and that through Him, we are enabled to live together, not just now, but for all eternity. This I know, dear parents. Do you want it to be true? Because I do, and I want to give my all to show that I know in whom I have well trusted.
In love, your son,Elder Frederick Andreas Luschin von Ebengreuth (FALVE)


Christmas Skype call to Fred at a members
Home in Brazil.


Dad (Hanno Luschin, Christoph and Franziska are part of the Christmas Skype call! )


p.s. Talk to you soon (ish) omega alpha