Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Week 37 Conference & Happiness


Dear Family,

Today is the Council of the Ward Mission Leaders, so I don't know how
long I will be using the computer. We learned a lot about light,
obedience, looking forward, doing our duty, chastity and many other
things. The mission is a big one and I am proud that we can have over
65,000 missionaries in service right now. What a special time and it
truly is the time of the fulfilling of all things.

Right now, now that the prophets have shared their words with us, we
need to put into practice what we have learned and start doing so
quickly and promptly, as the attacks of the adversary to distract us
from the wonderful feelings we had during the conference commenced the
moment the conference ended.  And though that is a run-on sentence,
the point is that we have to edify ourselves now! Wake up from the
more or less feelings.
Truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as
they are to come. And whatever is more or less than this is of the
spirit of the evil one who was a liar from the beginning.  D&C
93:24-25 (I think)
How much I want to walk in the perfect light of Christ and become like
him! But we learn that it is one constant step at a time to walk
towards our Heavenly Father, in whom there is no darkness at all! I
loved Elder Nelson's talk and Elder Bednar's as well as all the talks
from the first presidency. And of course, Elder Holland, how could I
How much tenderness and goodness stem from these men. I would like to
comment on Elder Holland's talk as to regards to what we know and what
we should build upon .

While I certainly am not perfect in my knowledge (or the veil would
have been taken from my eyes) I do know some things:

I know that God exists;  He is our loving heavenly Father.
I know that Christ is the Son of God, and our Savior and Redeemer.
I know that Christ established One Church, which Church is the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that Joseph Smith was a
chosen vessel of the Lord and His prophet in restoring the Church.
I know that we will live again and that death has been conquered and
we need not fear.
I know that we are an eternal family that has been sealed for all time
and eternity.

There are many more things that I believe, but I wanted to share this
testimony with you.

Many great things will happen in these next 6 months. The matter that
excites me a lot right now is that I will have the time right now to
study the words of the prophets and apply them to my life. I hope that
everyone will have the audacity or good fortitude to be able to share
the general conference with somebody that is not a member of the
church but needs the restored gospel, as all people do. I am very
happy right now and am happy to report that we will have four baptisms
this Saturday, right after the Ward gets back from their Temple trip
to Curitiba (about 2 hours from Joinville). The ward is very
supportive (or at least compared to what we have had so far). We have
been teaching Jean and There (19 and 63, son and mother) as well as a
simple couple which is trying hard to do well. With support and with a
firm testimony, all of these people will do well and thrive in the
restored gospel.

Please get up saying “Oh what a beautiful morning!” I am so happy
for all of you and happy to be on a mission, even though I am not
perfect. I do not know if I have given all but I certainly am trying
to. Think of the glorious stories which Todd D. Christofferson left with
us, the great understanding Elder Holland expounded to us and so much

I want to send you a resume of my thoughts of the conference and will
try to do so next week!


Elder Luschin

p.s. while on the three-hour bus ride to here, I think I prayed for an
hour. It was a special experience between me and the Lord, and I feel
like that He hears me, even though I may have not learned how to hear
a still, small voice yet.


Elder Frederick Luschin

Week 36 April Fools!

April Fools.

And that is the extent of my prankster nature. I do not like pranks
and do not like hurting people.

Off to the letter proper.

Elder Frederick Luschin

A chocolate chip cookie recipe might be appreciated. They
bake a lot more than the Americans in Utah and California (that is to
say bakery-wise, as bakeries don´t really exist in those states) but
they don´t really make any good cookies or cakes. I am going to buy
flour and yeast today, I think. I found out that health-food stores
sell some things like oats in flakes really cheaply (ie 3.90 reais per
kg, or about $1.95 per kg) as well as cheap dried plums ($4.00 per


Dear Family, In typing the date I started with 2103, though I am very
glad that we have not got that far yet, as my mission would have been
a very long one indeed.
Speaking of missions, I hope that everyone was able to think of the
most special mission that was ever fulfilled in this universe: the
great and infinite Atonement. Infinite because it applies to everyone,
everywhere, and because it reaches across time, and because we truly
can repent of our sins.
Of it, the Master says:
For behold, I God, suffered these things for all, that they might not
suffer if they would repent. But if they would not repent, they must
suffer even as I. Which suffering caused myself, even God, the
greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, to bleed at every pore
and to suffer both body and spirit, and would that I might not drink
the cup, and shrink -- Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, for I
partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men. D&C
What scriptural power. We learn that Christ, as written in Luke,
really did sweat blood and that his suffering was terrible and

I am so grateful to my Lord and Master that I am able to repent, that
I have a new month to do better in than the last, and that I can look
forward to blessing the lives of others in a greater and more inspired
This Sunday, I started using better scripture cards to keep track of
where and what I am memorizing.
Additionally, I saw a dishwasher and mosquito nets for the first time
in a household on my mission.

We had two baptisms yesterday of two little boys, of one 9 and one of
8. I think they were prepared and I hope that they can continue strong
in the church. The ward is really great here and they gave us a great
bunch of chocolate and things like that.
We have two baptisms scheduled for this Saturday, a couple of two
sweet and simple people who said yes when of the AP´s and I were
teaching them from Mosiah 18. Furthermore, we will have two more the
next week.

Time is flying but I am hoping to bring out my concerns to the Lord to
find an answer this weekend.

Thought for the day: Sanctification comes through trials and tribulation.


Elder Frederick Luschin

Week 35 Fred is on Fire!

2013_03_25 Family Letter
This last week we didn't really have anything too special happen, though I guess getting 5 investigators from 3 different families go to church is pretty incredible. I am grateful for the wonderful ward here and a ward mission leader that not only talks, but is willing to act as well. Great things! We have Carlos and his wife and daughter (four) coming to church and Jean (well-studied fellow of 19) and his mother coming. His mother confided in me at the ward activity on Sunday that he has said that he doesn't see himself in the Quadrangular Church anymore. To me it shows the power of the Book of Mormon as a witness and a testimony to the fact that God lives and that he continues to reveal himself to the world through his prophets, ancient and modern. A lot of missionaries say that the most important event in the Book is Christ's appearance to the Nephites. While that may be true, I find myself drawn to the Lord's explanation in 2. Nephi 29, where the Lord says why he has the Book of Mormon  come forth. Fascinating and real proof that there is only one true church on the face of the earth, the name of which is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

And that is my testimony of one simple and important truth. It saddens me that so many people are blind to the fact and do not want to hear the truth. A lot of spiritualists, as they are called, accept anything but refuse to have one church be true. A lot of people, mainly evangelicals, also claim that it isn't the plaque of the church that saves. Very true, as it is Jesus Christ that saves through his atoning power enabled in our lives through saving and redeeming ordinances. And only one church has the authority to do so, thank you very much.

As I think to myself, it really has to be a calling; just as the apostles were called and Joseph Smith was. You can't just have read the bible, feel good about yourself and then open a church. That is way off the mark. But there are a lot of false churches around here. We need to have courage in bearing our testimonies as the Holy Ghost will support our heart-felt witness. We encounter different people, it rains a lot here, people have a hard time accepting the need for one true church.

I am hoping to learn how to make it clear to the people that the restoration is indeed important for them. Scripture for the email and one that I want to make especially applicable to me and to anyone else in the family that may need this incredible profound statement of Paul. Philippians 3:13-14

This one thing I do, forgetting about those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press forward for the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. What a precious little thought that he shares.

Some of us in the family (cough) have some problems worrying about. TIME.

Let's look at Paul. A very depraved sinner, if we can apply that to persecutors of Christians, he had applied or let the Atonement apply so fully to his life that he was able to move forward in hope of his exaltation in the presence of God. While we may not be in the state that Paul was in before his conversion, we certainly can learn some things that are applicable to our lives.

In other words, in a message from Elder Holland, the best is yet before! Rejoice, everybody, we can take hope in the fact that whatever was sad in our lives is now passed and won't change a thing, and whatever is good about our lives will be repeated in better and better forms. Our hope is Celestial, in fact, in a glory so incomprehensible to our mortal understanding.

This is something that I was thinking about incredibly on Saturday night and Sunday morning. Can I say that I have given all in the service of the Lord? Can I sincerely say that I have given my all and my body and my strength in his service? I have been apologizing to God and asking His forgiveness.

One thing that I have realized, though, is that my service may have been in accord to what I knew at that time, and perhaps not as to what I know now. Basically, I hope that I can work out for myself what hard work means as it seems like that it may mean something different to my companion every single time. It is still a big concern of mine, as I am not talking to every single person I see; I do not teach the best I could every single time; I do not love every single person which such love that they wish to have the Atonement become a part of their lives by making covenants with God by taking upon them the name of the Holy One of Israel in hope of redemption and thus obtaining a remission of their sins.

However, I hope that I can use whatever I've gained in these 8 months of mission to use the rest that I have well, in fact, perfectly. I am trying to look forward with my own hope, trying to establish habits and thought patterns and traits that I will employ for the rest of my existence as an intelligence.

I do sincerely hope that all of you are happy and will enjoy Easter by thinking of the Savior.

Oh, Easter eggs are huge (both in size and popularity) here and they have thousands in the store. Also an Easter Colombo (dove for all of you) which is just a panettone in a different shape.

Love, -- Elder Frederick Luschin

Week 34

Sent: Mon, Mar 18, 2013 4:06 pm
Subject: 2013_03_18 Family Letter
Dear Family, We had a wonderful conference with Elder Mazzagardi last week. He is a very good man and a very inspired one too. While I will focus on his talk, I will also mention some details from the week. I think I have figured out that the best way for me to memorize a scripture is to read through it a good number of times and then recite it in my head about 25 times. Doing so keeps it in my memory for a quite some time and seems to point to the fact that learning something better in the first place is better than doing a sloppier er job of it and then having to repeat it later on. Just to show how that works, we have the following scripture: Cease to be idle, cease to be unclean, cease to find fault one with another, cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated. D&C 88:124 All the while I hope that I can be using my time in memorizing the scriptures as a way to lead a more elevated life but also with the thought and desire that I will be able to carry this with me for the rest of my life. Seeing that my currently professional brothers have very little time, I hope that I can use my time now to learn a lot of scriptures to use throughout my life. That is not to imply that I won´t continue learning more and making more progress yet, I just want to have a certain foundation, if that makes any sense whatsoever. It should not be thought that I am also just doing this to satisfy my curiosity. I realize that many great men have fallen because the search for knowledge and obtained it, as the Lord will give to him that asks, but they failed to learn wisdom and thus fell to the trap of focusing on deep doctrine in stead of applying the simple and yet more profound doctrines of repentance and the atonement in their lives and in the lives of others. That is also in reference to something Presidente Fernandes said, with some of my own thoughts added in to the mix.

We picked up some missionaries at the bus station on Wednesday night in order to leave with a bus at 4:00 on Thursday morning from the Itaúm chapel (which, by the way, is on a hill and is on the street Santa Catarina, for you to look at in google maps, if you should so desire.) Missionaries around here are a bit of a loud bunch. .

As to any questions and concerns. Traveling for the Zone Leaders is generally done by bus, though for those which are out far in the West, planes also come into account. Even the assistants travel by bus, as Presidente Fernandes loves driving his Toyota Hillux (very quickly and in a determined fashion, I might just add). There are no bicycles in the mission. We have bus passes in Joinville and will have to also order bus tickets for when we have divisions with the areas that are outside of the city, some even 3-4 hours away from us. We have been doing alot of walking, but I still love walking just as I did before the mission.

We have 18 Elders in total in our Zone, which is relatively big but not the biggest. We do not have any sisters. Joinville Norte is the zone to the North of here and Itajai the zone to the South. I need to memorize the names of the Elders and will try to know the names of all the missionaries in the mission.

Additionally, I have a whole lot of scriptures to memorize. However, it is comforting that I am starting to know the scriptures that general authorities use in talks or in Liahona articles, which I think is fun. Back to the conference with Elder Mazzagardi. He talked a lot about sanctification and devoting all your time in the service of the Lord. My initial feeling was of that I really have not been very good and that I may have been failing. However, that is tied to the fact that rarely, in my life, have I felt like I have given all that I could have given, as my potential may just be that high. Or maybe I am just conceited. Nevertheless, Pres. Fernandes and his wife as well as Sister Mazzagardi spoke a bit about the temple and making sure that we remember the temple and makes its light part of us as we try to be a light for the world in all that we say or do. That makes me want to think a lot more about the temple and what it means to me and all that it entails inside.

 It is interesting to me that Elder Mazzagardi said that he learned more about the temple while driving down the dusty roads of Bahia while serving as a mission president there in 1990 while repeating the words to himself than in the 10 years before that which he had been a temple-going member. That is powerful and inspiring.

We also re-watched the same video clip that we had watched in the Zone Leaders´ conference the week before of Elder Holland and President Eyring speaking about the atonement. Pres Eyring says that he uses the phrase ´remember him´ when things get hard and he feels like he has done his part in the Lord´s service, and when his body begs for rest.

Needless to say, I do wish that I could have the determination to give absolutely all. Shall we not press on in so great a cause? Elder Holland presupposes that since salvation wasn´t easy, continued conversion would not be easy as well. D&C58:10 is a scripture Elder Mazzagardi used to help us understand that we should convert rich people (like he was) as they already are ready leaders.

I love all of you and am getting up earlier and studying more. It´s great. I am also now allowed to write to friends and converts by email, if I want. Love, Elder Luschin -- Elder Frederick Luschin .

Week 33 Hurting Hands & Ripped Pants

2013_03_11 Family Letter

Dear Family,

I should say first off that I am very excited to be here and, I
suppose, to face new challenges that will bring new growth if I rise
to the task. If I don´t, I might just crash and burn (literally-pardon
my grim sense of humor) but I have hope that the Lord will bless me if
I avoid complacency and go to work with all my might, mind and
strength, so that I might lay up store to myself. Just thinking of D&C
4, I suppose why the reason for that might be is because you will have
that which is good restored unto you at the last day. Ergo, if you
laid up good works by persevering until the end and not faltering,
you will have great things to look forward to at the end.

Today we, ELder Longo and I, have been able to already get the
apartment quite a bit cleaner. There may be quite a bit of
self-benefit involved as it is likely that I stay here for at least
two transfers or even some time more. But either way, I hope that I
would be a good steward of whatever the Lord puts into my hands.
Though in due course, it will become dirty again, I believe that we
can avoid quite a bit of filth by just having some good sense. Hurrah
for cleaning supplies.

I am currently in the store-attached mall, which would normally be
something prohibited (malls are a no-go) but as it forms a part of the
local BIG store (actually WAL-MART- I would like someone to look into
why the name is different when WAL-MART also exists in the country) we
are allowed to use the Lanhouse here. Needless to say, the city is
quite huge and thus has a very large shopping culture, of which this
store makes a part. There are a lot of things here and a lot of
imported products, though I haven´t even been in the store´s entirety
yet. But as always, it is fun to be in a new area.

Yesterday I was able to meet the ward and see a big ward for the first time in my stay here in Brazil. It has over a hundred 
attending members and has a wonderful stake center on top of the hill. For pictures, looking for Joinville Stake Itaúm Ward. There are a lot of active men and the WML even has two assistants.
My hands are currently hurting which I believe comes from a fall that I took two weeks ago and still haven´t told you about: I had wanted to go contacting in a different area, but Elder Romero wanted to check at the chapel and see how the branch was doing.
He ended up wanting to play volleyball and though I insisted on going, we stayed and played volleyball for a bit. At one point I went to get the ball (sigh) ....
and fell, ripping one of my gray slacks in the process. It was something that hurt physically and emotionally, because I felt like I had been punished because of lack of determination to do my work. Elder Romero took the blame upon himself but I didn´t blame him... . That night, we
had the Zone leaders in our apartment doing a division with our District Leader. One of the Zone Leaders told me that I was a good missionary and that one could tell that. Two days later, President Fernandes called me. Anyhow, back to Joinville. The Ward is really great. I met a sister Gerda (I didn´t understand her last name though) who was baptized in 1934. She is 92 but still remembers her German quite well and was tickled pink to be able to converse with me in German. Her German was quite good though she had a different manner of expressing things. I still am speaking German fine but I realize that I have the tendency to add a ´ne´ at the end of nearly every phrase, which is because of the necessity of doing so much of that in Portuguese. I am still hoping for any ideas of language study books. I really need to get back on task for that because I only have little over a year and 4 months of mission left. My accent is getting better and better but I need to become more nasally, ie think Cleopatra. I still have the tendency to speak a lot with my throat and my chest because of English and German, but to lose my yet remaining accent, that will have to go in Portuguese. I still don´t know the area particularly well in terms of geography, but I already will have the chance to get to know another area this Friday doing the baptismal interview for one of our District Leaders. Additionally, I need to memorize the names of all the missionaries. Furthermore, we don´t have many investigators, but Jean and Therezina (son of 19 and mother of 55) went to church on Sunday and liked it, as well as Carlos (25- lives far away but one brother independently organized to pick him up every Sunday morning). This week will be lots of traveling again, as we have the Conference in Florianopolis on Thursday with Pres. Mazzargardi. Beyond that, I suppose that I will get back to shopping now and then some more cleaning of the apartment. Good to hear from everyone and from Morgan. Love to all of you, -- Elder Frederick Luschin

Week 32

Hi Fred,

please let us know if you get a CD player in your apartment at any time--we can send you some CDs to listen to.

On Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 7:53 PM, Frederick Luschin von Ebengreuth
Our Mission President has authorized Classical Music, which is a
change. Seeing that I am at almost 7 months in the mission and really
have not spent any time whatsoever listening to music, that is kind of
nice. It does mean that I could listen to one of the two cd´s which
the Hanau ward sent me, though lacking a music player in the
apartment, that really doesn´t matter. In reality, I am doing really
well and will write more right now.
My mission president has also said that I will be getting a new
companion this next transfer as well as a new area, which I think is
kind of a pity.


2013_03_05 Family Letter,

Dear Family,

Little did I know it, that even though I suspected that I would be
transferred, that I did not know that it would be both 1) far and 2)
with the calling of Zone Leader. Last email, Presidente already told
me that I would be transferred and be getting a new companion, but I
did not expect that it would come with such a change. I had actually
commented half-jokingly to Elder Romero that I was wondering if I was
doing something wrong that I was not District Leader yet. I guess
having been District Leader in the CTM, I could jump that step.
Needless to say, I left at 13:30 yesterday from Concordia and
traveled by bus to my current area which is Ituam in the city of
Joinville. Joinville is one that is quite heavily German-influenced
about 50 km from the coast of Santa Catarina. That means I started at
the coast, went really far inland and now have returned to probably
stay for some time. My new companion is Elder Longo from Bahia (the
coastal part). He is going home in just a month, so he'll be training
me how to be ZL and then leave me to continue I suppose. It seems like
I will be ZL for quite some time as that is how it works here  in this
mission. Exciting, especially as I thought that I would be training
somebody new, which I guess won't happen for some time now.

While I am not completely sure on what to think of it all, I am glad
to have a new area to explore, new people to meet, a big apartment to
clean up (don't ask me why missionary apartments always have to be
rather filthy- I would think Representatives of Jesus could be a lot
cleaner) and a lot of traveling to look forward to. Also, Joinville is
the city of rain and I have already passed through a couple hours of
it today.
James E. Faust served in this very city. This is also the first time
that I get to be in a Ward with about 150 people which is also
exciting. We'll see how it turns out to be but it does mean that I
won't be playing the piano any time soon.

But so far, so good. I leave Concordia quite happy, though I really
had come to like the hills and the different challenges that I faced,
and I believe that I faced them valiantly, more or less. Elder Romero
is a great guy and the time with him passed really quickly.
Fortunately I will be able to see him in just a few days when Elder
Mazzargardi comes to visit the mission. I will also be staying at the
bus station quite a bit and will be traveling to Florianopolis, two
hours to the south of here, on Thursday for ZLC.

We just found out that the ELder that was to come today already
arrived at the bus station. I will have to go.

I would just like to tell you all that I have a very good experience
with fasting this Sunday. I struggled with going without water, as I
frequently do, but managed to focus on the spiritual side of things.
When I knelt to close my fast after Church, I tried to literally pour
out my heart to the Lord and commit myself to His service. How I
prayed that I might have the faith of the Three Nephites, and in
reality, the sincerity to do everything that I do with all my heart,
willing to show unto others that I am trying to be like Jesus, and
testifying to the Lord in all things and in all places that I would
follow him and keep his commandments. While thus praying, I did feel a
burning in the bosom, perhaps as a confirmation.

I also had a very good talk with Elder Romero as I tried to help him
always stay encouraged and with the right things in front of him.

I am off, then, but I will write more about this in my journal and
then try to send a picture.

I really love you all,

Elder Luschin

Elder Frederick Luschin

Week 31

2013_02_25 Family Letter,

Dear Family,

It will be Christmas Day in 10 months, which just tells us how fast
things go. I am excited that it will be General Conference in just a
few weeks. One thing is that I have been wondering about the problem
of always being at a point that you are looking forward to things. I
guess that at this point that I have been looking forward to knowing
next week whether I will be transferred this next week or not, though
in reality, as I talked to Elder Romero about this last night, all we
have to do is go out and do this week.
We also have a Mission Conference with Elder Mazzagardi of the 70
coming up on the 13th of March, which will be nice, even though it
will be some distance from here or my next area, depending on how
things go.
The area of Concordia is doing well, though I admit that I have a hard
time or maybe I am not trying as hard as I could to be pushing my
companion and myself on to new and better heights for numbers and
lessons and investigators taught. We did not have any of our
investigators come to church this last week, which is a little
frustrating because I don´t know what more to do with some of the
people. My problem is that the people promise to come or say that they
will do something, but then simply don´t do it. Ie., they commit
themselves but then don´t follow through with the commitment.

Writing here is also very self-reflective and retro-reflective. I
realize once again in receiving President Fernandes´s letter how much
I could be improving. There is a lot I do and a lot that I don´t do.
He wrote about cleaning this week and even though I try to sweep once
a day and do other things to clean up, the apartment is messy beyond
my control and I confess to have fallen into the trap of being
accustomed to the messy or filthy state. Oh, the loss of perspective!
One thing that I am trying to do and have started doing since last
Thursday is to keep track of every 15 minutes of my time. Maybe, that
way my efficiency will improve and I can start making more progress. I
am at a stage on the mission, so I feel, where I am pretty much
established in my habits for the rest of the time, which may well be
quite a sad thing. As I shared in the little letter that I wrote to
Mom, I feel like writing home is always a little bit of a low point
because I am more aware of my flaws as regards others, especially my
dear ones, which would be you. I guess that is why we have family as
well, so as to help our little self-dependency bubble fade away and
help us see things a little more as they really are.

This weekend´s theme was actually that I felt a lot better about how I
have been doing things, but I guess that I need to get started again
on things.

Can somebody look into the subject of a good Portuguese grammar
learning book for me? The book that the MTC provided has somewhat lost
its point for me, even though I should be using it a lot more for
practice. The same thing is that I have basically stopped learning new
vocabulary, which is a bad thing, but a problem that is propelled by
the fact that the modern Brazilian doesn´t use a whole lot of words,
neither too much grammar. So Mom, if you could look into the subject
or maybe have one of your sons look and then have you send the book,
that would be greatly appreciated. Before you do anything though, I
think I will go check today and see if they have anything here.
Bookstores as a concept as well as locations are basically
non-existent in the country, as far as I can tell.

On the topic of goods: There are incredibly high tariffs on all
foreign goods, which explains that even basic cars like a Corolla cost
35,000 dollars here. Though you might be able to research a lot more
on the topic, it means that Brazilians spend on things which are
expensive and foreign, but also buy fake brands.  All the cars, for
example, are foreign and I am not sure that there are any Brazilian
car companies.

I realized today that even though I know, I realize that I have never
told any of you that I really don´t spend any time in the evening
reading letters or things from home. I am falling behind in my goals
of learning scriptures and things like that that I really don´t find
the time to do anything besides getting ready for bed in the evening.
My analysis is helping me become a better teacher, I believe, but I
think I am still falling short in a lot of areas.
I am lacking in discernment for how to use my time well, as well as
lack of understanding for how to study the scriptures effectively.

I am praying a lot for all of you. I will now go and try to practice
the piano as I kind of messed up on the youth of Zion during sacrament
meeting yesterday.


Elder Frederick Luschin