Monday, May 28, 2012

Body Odor-----Yes this is from Jess

As the temperature rises here in Germany, so does the famous European stench known as B.O. Confined areas such as buses and trains are a special treat to your sinuses. I have two choices: take the risk of passing out and hold my breath the entire ride, or try and endure the painful burning sensation that fills my nasal cavity. It’s what we like to consider a win-win.
Well I really don't know where to go with this letter. In fact, I have been dreading having to write it for the first time. My mom wrote me last week and said, "If this is going to be a particularly hard week, know that we are praying extra hard for you!" Well she has never said anything like that exactly, but I remember thinking that it was going to be a great week and finding her comment odd. Well.....mothers do know best don’t they! Unfortunately, this week has been the hardest one yet, no doubt. I have a fear that my email will come across negative and I don’t want that. I will try and focus on the good that has happened this week, but I also want to be honest and will inform you all of the hardships.
Before I came on my mission, if asked what my biggest fear was, I would immediately respond with "Companions!" There was two types of companions I feared the most- first having one that was very un obedient and put me in situations that were not okay, and the second, someone who was extremely lazy and did not want to leave the apartment. Well I am happy to report that I have officially had both! haha. I have really been struggling the last month with my companion. It started weeks ago but has progressively gotten worse. I did my best to ignore and focus on myself and remain faithful and obedient. Through that I was still able to see miracles and continue to see miracles. My companion on the other hand, doesn't want to be here anymore. She became a trainer in efforts to help motivate her. Unfortunately it didn’t work and it has come to peak this past week. I will fill you in more later but I will give you the teaser of....."Do you need an emergency transfer"- My mission president
Okay so Tuesday started out very special. We had a district activity where we went to the mountain that Thomas S. Monson gave the dedicatory prayer for our mission. It is gorgeous up there with an incredible view! There are 6 elders, myself and my companion, and a pair of couple missionaries in my District. We had a Devotional and a testimony meeting on the mountain top. I was so filled with the spirit and just ready to take on the day. My companion however, felt differently and insisted that we go home. After an entire day once again stuck in our apartment, I finally cracked a little. I got really frustrated at the fact that I have been in Germany a month and don’t feel like I speak any better German than when I left the MTC. I got frustrated feeling like there was so much that I didn’t know about the mission in general that I feel I am just not getting from my trainer.
The frustration carried over to Wednesday morning and before District Meeting I asked for a blessing. Some of the things it said were, “You will experience many trials at the beginning of your mission. But it is important for you to know that god has prepared you for very specific things in your first area of Dresden. This is an area that will be a part of you for the rest of your life. There are things that have been waiting for you to arrive for. God has prepared something special for you here." Well to answer your question Alex, it happened finally, I cried. Just a little bit, but it still happened.
At district meeting they made me American cake....yay!! It was heaven in my mouth! The birthday surprises for Wednesday didn't stop there either. Right after district meeting a less active girl named Danita had a picnic for me in the park! She is so sweet! She got me a gift and brought a ton of food. Elina the girl who gets baptized this Friday also came with a gift. I honestly feel so loved by the people of Dresden. And here I am the one that is supposed to be serving them!!
Thursday, was my birthday first and foremost :), but tauches (exchanges) as well! I can’t even tell you how nervous I was for my first tausch! I am so insecure about my language ability, that I was nervous to put  a burden on some poor sister When I got the call Tuesday night that I would be going to Leipzig and serving with S. Martinz, my fear managed to increase. My companion told me this was her last transfer and that she was from first thoughts, great I won’t be able to talk to her AND I am going to ruin her last tausch. So, unlike most birthdays I woke up less than excited for the day to start. The time came for all the sisters in our Zone to meet together. We all come together in one place and then disperse to the various towns and cities. When I was informed that the Leipzig sisters train was late and that I had an additional 26 minutes, I was overjoyed. It gave me time to talk and get to know some of the other sisters better. But, way to quickly, each one of the precious 26 minutes was gone. She came up and gave me a huge hug and started speaking perfect word, relief. The next thing I knew we were on our 2hr journey. We talked the entire time. She is freaking awesome!
Right when we got to Leipzig it was straight to work....something I have been longing for! We met with some really cool investigators and even put a family on baptismal date! When we got back to the apartment, Sister Martinz had a surprise up her sleeve for my birthday. Get this....she made a little campfire out of a pineapple can and we roasted marshmallows on the deck! Let me just paint this picture for you.....Outside on the deck, perfect night, stars are out, beautiful scenery, she is playing her guitar, and I am roasting a mallow......It just doesn’t get better than that!
I only got a short time with S. Martinz but I learned so much from her. She is truly an incredible missionary. So much knowledge and so much strength. Her companions are lucky! Plus, I found out this isn’t her last transfer she has one more.....what I would give to be able to work with her before she went home!
Heavenly Father knew I needed her for tauches. He is very aware of me and Thursday he showed that in so many ways. I feel like it was a pretty good birthday present from the man upstairs!
The next day was zone conferences. It was a long 6hrs of listening to people talk but a very uplifting time! I was asked to bear my testimony in German, it went pretty well! This was also the day that my companion agreed that she needed to talk to President about all of her issues she is having. I asked her about it and she said she had. I was excited to hear what he said and also very excited to get the long awaited packages and letters! Thank you so much they are fantastic!! Well back to the story ha, on the train ride home I asked her how it went. She admitted that she didn’t really talk to president. This was not at all what I wanted to hear. That night once again, despite my protest, we ended up at home not doing anything. All I wrote in my journal on Friday was, "I am about to flip."
Well Saturday is when the flip happened. I woke up that morning and had studied really hard and prayed about where we should do finding that day. I got the impression and it was go time, or I thought it was anyway. We got to the building and I felt impressed that floor 12 was where the gold we needed to find was. I rang the first door and turned to what I thought would be my companion, but instead found nobody. I walked back towards the elevator and she was sitting on the floor. Our conversation went a little like this.... "What the crap are you doing?"-me "I'm done. I don’t want to."-companion "You are calling president right now than because I am going  ape." "You know I don’t understand that kind of English." Well she called the president and told him everything. He had no idea how bad it was. He asked to talk to me and asked, "Sister Linford, this sounds awful. Do you need an emergency transfer? I know transfer calls are in a week, but it might be something that needs to happen." I assured him that I could wait a week. He insisted that we do an extra exchange for the week though, and this time a 2day exchange.  The rest of the day was spent in the apartment with my companion feeling once again too overwhelmed to work. Yesterday was the same.
As frustrating as this whole thing is. I know that heavenly father is very aware of me. He knows that I am doing everything I can. He knows that I have a strong desire to work. And even though I have been beyond frustrated this last week, he is taking care of me.
I am scared for what the transfer call is going to bring this week. I am scared that I am going to have to take over Dresden as a first transfer golden and be expected to know the area for my new companion. I am scared to leave Dresden, because I love it here so much and feel like there is so much more I want to do here. I am freaking petrified that I might have to stay with my companion, even though it is highly unlikely. But in my fear I found a scripture and as always I found the answer I needed in them, "Be strong and of good courage, be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord they God is with thee withersoever thou goest...."´Joshua 1:9
It really made me think of Christ. Missionary work is not easy because it's not easy to obtain salvation. It was never easy for Christ. All those that want to come to know the price he paid, will have to pay a price. Christ himself even asked if the cup could pass from Him and if there was an easier way. I have found myself doing the same this week. However, I am learning to let the Atonement carry me. I know that Christ can fix our hearts and dry our tears. He is there for us, we just need to go to him.
I am excited next week to be able to update you with much more uplifting news :). I love all of you and I have felt your prayers with me especially this week. Thanks for all the love and support!!
Sister Linford

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happy Birthday!!

Today is Sister Linford's Birthday! Happy Birthday!! We love and miss you lots!! You are doing a fabulous job and we are so proud of you. Wish we could celebrate with you. Keep up the great work!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Photos of Bostei

S. Linford sent some pictures of the hike she and her companion went on with 4 elders in their district. (mentioned in today's letter- here)They went on a train ride to a mountain town called Bostei and went on a big hike.

Zwei Tauftermine!

Time just flies by when you are having fun! And what is more fun than announcing a SECOND BAPTISMAL DATE! Can I get a woot woot! It is the investigator that I have developed the closest relationship with, her name is Elina and she is getting baptized June 1st :)!! This week has been too good to me. Once again I have had the blessings of seeing so many miracles. We have given out Books of Mormon in Persian, Arabic, Albanian, Russian, Vietnamese, Bangladesh, English, and of course German! The joys of being in Dresden :). This city takes more and more of my heart every week. I just dont know what I will do when I have to leave, yikes I dont even want to think of that! I don't have much time to write today, so I will just do some highlights and less detail this week.
Last P-Day was a blast! Me, my companion, and 4 elders in our district took a little train ride to a mountain town called Bostei. It is absolutely gorgeous! We did a big hike that was seriously incredible. This country has so many beautiful places. I will be sure to include some pics!
Tuesday we were finally able to track down a family that we have been looking for. One of this sisters that use to serve here told us about them and how they had to move to Russia for a few months but they should be back by now. We have gone over to their house about 7 or 8 times prior and never had any luck. However, we finally found them! They seem awesome! I am excited to teach a family, this will be my first one. Our first appointment with them is tonight :).
Wednesday- My companion was sick again. So it gave me some extra study hours. We have a motto in this mission, "Start right, work hard, and finish strong!" I started thinking of how this applies to me and my life. Life is like a story, there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. But further more we can break every year, month, week, day, and hour into this concept as well. For me obviously my biggest thought right now is my mission. In the big scheme of things I am in the "start right" phase, but I have just completed my first month, I am at the beginning of a new week, and I am in' the middle of my day, and that at  this moment. It really made me think carefully about every hour I have on my mission. What am I doing with them. This applies to all of our lives though. What are we doing with each hour, each day, month, ect. Are you starting right, working  hard, and finishing strong? I know cheesy missionary here, I will be done now :).
Thursday- Institute! Love love love, teaching the Book of Mormon class. We had a guy name Fransicus come this week too. He was a name on the old contact list that I had a feeling to call. We told him about instiute but didn't think he would come. He came bringing his Book of Mormon that the sisters gave him.....get this, 2 years ago. He was awesome! We met with him and gave him a lesson after institute too. He is coming again this week.
Friday. Was. Amazing. We met another family, die familie Mramori. They are originally from Albania, but have been living in Germany for 20 years. They have 4 kids from the ages of  8 to 17. We got to meet with them yesterday and they are so nice. We have another appointment with them next Sunday as well.  We also got to meet with Jamshid. Jamshid is about 40. He is from Iran and we knocked on his door 30 min after he had moved into his apartment. Coincidence? Nope, they don't exist! He is muslim, but doesnt believe it. We have already taught him twice. His english isn't very good so it can be challenging, but the spirit is so insanely strong everytime we have met. Then there is Wolfgang. Sadly, that is a common name in Germany. He is also a name we found on the old contact list. He is a student as are most of the people we meet. He was raised catholic but feels something is missing. (its called the book of mormon! haha) Anyway, he is pretty great and we have another appointment with him tomorrow!
Saturday, my companion was sick again. However, I was able to have a lesson with Elina over the phone and she agreed to be baptized! I have talked about Elina in my last few emails I think. She is amazing. She has been taught by many diferent missionaries, but hasnt committed becuase of her family. I met Elina my second day here in Germany, and we have met about 3 times a week since. She says I am her best friend here in Germany, and I am willing to say the same about her. I am so happy for her decision to be baptized and I couldnt be happier that she will be my very first baptism that I have :).
Well I could go on for hours more about so many more people, but there just isnt time! I have been getting a lot of random questions so I will answer them now. Yes I am still strongly detesting the food here sadly ha. I never thought I would say this, but I actual miss the MTC food. Yep, thats how bad it is. MY thumb that I fractured in the MTC is still messed up and looking quite deformed, but what do you do haha. The weather is seriously crazy! It is 90° one minute and freezing the next. Makes knowing what to wear each day quite a difficult task! My challenging haha. We get along great, but we have a very different work ethic. Oh companions :) haha. My district is awesome! I have great elders that I get to work with here in Dresden! My German is still pretty bad, but 80% of our investigators right now speak english so it makes it kind of impossible for me to learn.
Well I cant believe I have already been here a month. To see people light up, change, gain hope, and get so happy just by sharing your message of the gospel is amazing. Miracles happen right in front of my eyes so often here. Missions are hard, you spend 16 long hours each day working as hard as you can; but they are rewarding beyond belief. I feel like I am in a dream still. Am I really in Germany? Do I really spend every minute talking about God and Jesus Christ? Do I really get to see miracles every day? Do I really get to know happiness on a new level over here? The anser to all of those is YES! And I know I will be eternally grateful for it.
Sister Linford

My address for the next little while:
Kirche Jesu Christi
Sister jessica Linford
Wiesen Strasse 8
01277 Dresden

Mission office:
Germany Berlin Mission
Sister Jessica Linford
Zerbster Strasse 42
12209 Berlin

Monday, May 14, 2012

Its Raining Cutes and Dogs

Hallo! I hope all is well for you in the land ofthe red, white, and blue! As for me, this week has been fantastic here inDeutschland :). I had the special opportunity of getting my first baptismaldate or as we call it, Tauftermine! On top of that, I got to Skype myfamily....this week just couldn’t be better.
Last Monday was fantastic. After emailing, we went shopping again....I think mycompanion might have a slight addiction haha. Anyway, with this crazzzzyweather, I was in search of a good rain jacket. There are good rain jackets,and then there are rain jackets needed in Germany.....completely higherstandard needed. When it rains here it is monsoon status. After searching forquite some time and must need for a bargain not being satisfied....I came upona great sale rack. There it was. My perfect North Face jacket for 60% off. Itwas a Miracle!
After shopping all 6 of the missionaries in Dresden were invited over to theBishops house for FHE. This is the first time I have been around an actuallyfamily in over 2 months. It was so much fun! Even though I couldn't understandmost of what everyone was saying haha, I still had a blast! Plus, they servedPizza. Eating Appointment fear #1 of the week.....cleared. Miracle!
Oh and funny story from Monday: My companion and I were walking out of thestore and during the 15minutes we were in there, a huge storm magicallyappeared and it was a down pour. She turned to me and said, "It's rainingcutes and dogs!!" haha, we are working on her English phrases :).
Tuesday was also pretty great. It was the day for my first President Interviewshere on the mish. Everyone in the area comes in and we obviously meet with ourpresident, have district meeting, get a lesson from the A.P.'s and also alesson from the President as well. It is a really fun day because you get tointeract with other missionaries. My mission president is amazing, I am sad Iwill only get a few months with him, but he said  something I thought was funny. We weretalking about how I have been really frustrated with the language and he justturned to me and said....."I know you can learn it. Don’t tell my wife Isaid this but, much dumber people have done it. And I mean MUCH dumber people!Please go off my faith that I have that I know you will learn it and I have afeeling you will become one of the best German speaking missionaries we have. Imean that." I thought his bluntness was hilarious. It was really fun tosee 3 of the elders that were in my zone from the MTC. It was also a reliefwhen they said they were really struggling with the language as well. I alsogot to get to know some of the sisters in the missions. All the sisters I havemet have been super nice and hard working.
The best of part of Tuesday was after Interviews. It was when Melanie came intoour lives. Melanie is 18 and still in High school. She noticed one of herclassmates acted very different than everyone else and was curious. One day shewalked up to him and asked him all about his religion. She loved everything hesaid and asked if he could get her a Book of Mormon. He was shocked and didn’tthink anything would happen with it, but the next week she came up to him andsaid I went to church last Sunday and I have read almost half the book. How doI become a member of your church? He had no idea what to say and gave her ournumber haha. Well she walked in and honestly the room became brighter. Sheglowed. There was the biggest smile on her face, which Germans don’tsmile....ever. We proceeded to give her the first lesson. She wanted thesecond. So we gave her the second. She wanted the Third, but we didn’t havetime so we made another appointment for two days later. We continued the restof the week to teach her and she loved everything. She is already half waythrough Alma and she started reading 2 weeks ago and she is going to school ontop of it all. On Saturday, she said June 17th was the day she wanted to bebaptized.  I probably will never have a story like Melanie again on mymission but what a miracle she was when she walked in that Tuesday. She glows,and that light in her is only going to get brighter when she receives the giftof the Holy Ghost to be with her always on June 17th. Such a miracle!
Wednesday, I know you are all waiting for it......Doris Day!! For all of you whoare just tuning in, Doris is a crazy cat lady. I can’t properly describe myhatred for cats but they are all over her apartment that is tiny. Well uponarrival, Doris was excited to introduce us to the newest addiction of herfamily.....a creepy black cat. I acted like I thought it was so cute and tookmy usually position on the hair ball aka chair. I think this was the hardestappointment I have ever had. Reason being, I did not have the spirit with me atall due to my severely contentious thoughts towards this new black cat. It justkept jumping all over me and clawing at my backpack. I wanted to cry. So I didwhat any desperate missionary would do......I started praying my guts out thatthe cat would either die or that it would just get away. Well I was blessedwith the later. It then started attacking my companion for the next 25 minutes.I felt bad, but only a little haha. It was a miracle though!
Thursday is always fun because we teach an institute class. I teach in Englishand my companion translates in German. There are two classes taught forinstitute on Thursdays, and the Book of Mormon class has been struggling. Theweeks before I arrived they were lucky to have 3 people there. Well I am proudto report that last week we had 10! I love teaching the class! Lots ofinvestigators come and it is fun to break things down for them. It is soamazing to watch the class grow so much, It is a miracle!!
Friday can be summed up with one word. Danita. I need to give some back storyon her however. My third day here we were going through all of the old contactsto see if we could reconnect with some of them. I came across Danita's name andfelt the spirit stronger than possibly any other time on my mission. It stunnedme but I knew that it was important that I pursue it. I asked my companionabout her. She said that Danita is a less active. She is 21 and my companionknew her family very well. In her last area, Danita’s Dad was the BranchPresident. My companion said she doesn’t answer our calls, we gave up on her.Well I wasn’t satisfied with that answered. We text her and to my companionssurprise she responded and said she would love to meet. Our appointment was forlast Saturday. As I was trying to prepare last Saturday in Personal Study whatI was going to say to her nothing was coming and I knew that meant she wasgoing to cancel. Sure enough, she did. It was hard for me because I have feltsuch a responsibility to her and the spirit seriously hits me so hard everytime I even think of her. She did however reschedule with us for this past Friday.Friday morning I woke up and that strong feeling was back. I was guidedcompletely to some scriptures in D&C. We went over there and she reminds meso much of my Xi Babes! She is adorable! She speaks perfect English because shedid a year of exchange school in Utah. She actually went to Brighton HighSchool. She pulled out her year book and we played the name game. She has evenbeen over to Stef Hallmarks house! Such a small world. Anyways, we talked andwe had the most powerful discussion. She started crying and said that shepicked up her scriptures that morning for the first time in a while and readthe very chapter in D&C. It was such a testament to me of how the spiritguides us if you let it. She agreed to come to church and not only did she showup yesterday but so did her Atheist boyfriend! MIRACLE!
Saturday was unique day. We did service for two of our investigators. Theirnames are Dona and Runa and they own a floral shop. With it being Mothers Dayon Sunday they were very appreciative of the help on Saturday. It was a blast!I got to make arrangements and it reminded me of the good times us Linfordsisters have had doing flowers for weddings.
But the real miracle that day came when a member of our ward who is from St.George brought me marshmallows. She is pregnant and had her mom send her someand she said that she knew I would appreciate them. I have never just eaten marshmallows......butgood ghandi it was heaven in my mouth. The food here is nearly killing me, butthose marshmallows brought me back to life......miracle!!
Sunday was so great! We had 5 investigators at church! Miracle! I also got totalk to my family on Skype! That was soooo good to see almost all of them! Ithought it was going to be a little hard, but it wasn’t at all! It gave me sucha boost.
My companion has been having some really rough times this week and so I havehad a lot of time to study in our apartment. I have some random thoughts I am goingto pass on. First of all, if you can’t tell....I have been focusing on findinga miracle every day. I have a friend Kayli Wakefield. She served here in Berlinand finished her mission while I was in the MTC. She left me a note here that Ireceived on Tuesday that said, "Be obedient and work hard. Put your heartand will into this work. If you do, you will see a miracle every singleday!"  Well I really took that to heart and started working myhardest to be exactöy obedient and looking for miracles. It was so amazing tonot only feel a difference but to see a difference by doing this. I know thatwe can apply this to all areas of life. If we stay close to the principles ofthe gospel....we can see miracles every single day in our lives. Never let yourfaith be difficult to detect. If we improve our dependability, He will increaseour capability. Man, I have such a strong testimony of that.
Thank you all so much for the prayers and support that has been sent my way.Mondays are the day that my "battery" gets recharged. Keep the faith!Bis Montag!
-Sister Linford

P.S. I get real old, real soon. 22 is coming up.

P.P.S. My address for the next while is
Sister Jessica Linford
Kirche Jesu Christi
Wiesen Strasse 8
01277 Dresden

Saturday, May 12, 2012

President's Interviews

Pulled more pictures off of her mission blog here. Dresden Zone had President's interviews. There are 4 districts in Dresden Zone. She is in the Dresden District. The other Districts are Görlitz, Chemnitz and Annaberg.

S. Linford, S. Neukomm, S. Pimentell, Sister & Elder Hoggan

Dresden District
Elders J. Baker, Riesen, J. Anderson, Christensen, Whitehead, Robinson
Sisters Linford, Neukomm (Elder & Sister Hoggan, above)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sauerkraut is a sin!

Hallo!!    Well I have officially been in Germany for 12 day! It still is beautiful, but has managed to get even more crazy :). Lets get into the details shall we!
Last Monday was really fun. After emails my companion took me to do some shopping here. There are stores EVERYWHERE is the city of Dresden. I only recognized one store the entire time however, H&M my one true love. Sadly, the prices are a lot more expensive here, so I will wait to by European clothes in the US haha.
 Tuesday after our 4 hours of studying, we had a picnic in the park! The parks here are incredible. They are massive and so pretty. We had lunch with Kira, Marta, and Elina. Kira served her mission in the Frankfurt mission and is here doing a study abroad. She is awesome when it comes to us needed a member at a lesson. Marta has sadly already headed back to her home in Poland. The elders found her on the street her fast day here in Germany. She came to Germany to do a 2 week language program. She came to everything the entire two weeks. She plans to continue working with the missionaries back in Poland. Last but definitely not least is Elina. Elina is one of those "golden investigators", she accepts everything we teach her and is so diligent. She doesn't speak German, so I am in charge of mainly teaching her. The lunch was awesome! We taught about fasting, and both Marta and Elina fasted with us yesterday.
After lunch, we taught Imran. Imran is a Muslim that we teach about 3 times a week. The first lesson with him was my first day here. We have a lot of Muslim investigators, and they are especially difficult :). They accept a lot about our religion and they want to know more, but they are having to not just let go of their religion but the way they were raised by accepting our message. Imran says he wants to be baptized, but we need to find out how much he really means that.
Oh and the ice cream here.....honestly is life changing. I don't know why we don't make it like this in the US. Just fyi haha.
Wednesday we had district meeting. We just talk about mission business and then get help with our investigators. Because we are in a big city, we have a big ward. There are 4 elders and us sisters assigned to the Dresden ward alone. So, we see all of each other's investigators and know who they are. It helps a ton in District meeting to talk about where each one of them are, so we can not only get guidance on how to progress with them but the other missionaries can help with it when they talk to them. After District meeting, we helped a less active member move into her apartment......all the way on the 9th elders. Service is fun.....haha. We ended the day at our favorite apartment complex, Gret Palluca. Gret Palluca is student housing. People from all over the world come to Germany for school because it is free here. It gives us the opportunuity to meet a lot of people, and that is where we find most of our investigators.
I dont know if you remember in my last letter a lady named Doris. She was my very first appointment and is the cat lady. Well you know you are going to have a great day when it starts out with Doris, ha. Doris is crazy, but you just got to love her. Her husband ended up joining us this time too. He has about 2 more teeth than her, totaling out at 10. They loved hearing about Jesus and asked us if we would bring a picture so they could put it next to the cat pictures.....hahaha.
Later on that day we had an appointment with Elina, we were gonig to choose a day for her to get baptized because she is so ready. However, we found her iceberg as we call it in the mission, or her real issue. Her family is really against it. She is 25 so she doesnt need permission, but she is very close with her family and its very hard for her. That is what we fasted for yesterday for her to have the strength to do what she needed to do. We have another appointment with her this week and I am confident that she will have a baptismal date very soon. Thursday nights are really fun, that is when we have institute for all of the YSA. There are two different classes, but we teach the Book of Mormon class. It is challenging because we teach it both in english and german. Obviously, my comp handles the German part and I handle the English. It takes patience and lots of planning but its great because it is able to reach both language speaking participants. I absolutely love the huge YSA focus in Dresden!
Friday was a special day. It was both frustrating and very rewarding. My comp has been having a tough time lately and really didnt want to get out of the house on Friday. I was super frustrated and so i decided to pray. I just kept praying for 2 hours straight. I got the strongest impression that we needed to do doors. (go knock on doors to find people) I got the impression that my comp would lead us to the right place. So I pulled her out of the door and we went finding. She looked like a zombie but she lead us to this apartment building we have never been to before. I knew it was the right one the second I saw it. Then she hit floor 4 in the elevator. When we got off the floor, the spirit was so so so strong. I knew that there was someone on this floor waiting for us. My companion was less than amused but we started knocking. After about 6 doors, Farmanula Yarkoon opened up. How is that for a name?? He said he didn't speak German and asked if we knew English....every time this happens there is a massive joy that comes over me haha. I started talking to him. He is from Pakistan and is just finishing up his MBA. He just moved into the apartment about an hour before joke. He said the most important thing to him in his life right now is finding the truth in life because he doesn't feel Muslim is right. Yep, we were shocked, happy no doubt, but shocked. Most people aren't this open and inviting especially in Germany. We made an appointment for the next day and were happy little missionaries.
Saturday, also started out with.....Doris! yay! We went to drop off the picture of Jesus.  She and her husband were thrilled. It pained me to watch Jesus go on a wall full of cat pictures but they did put it in the middle so that made it better haha. After Doris we returned to Farmanula's (he goes by Farman) house, he had cooked for us. It was amazing pakistani food, but freak it was spicy. Farman is going to be an amazing but tough investigator. He is a genius and he has studied and I mean studied so many religions. He knows nearly every word in the Bible. He asks extremely hard questions. But he has such a desire to learn.
After that, is was on to Downa and Runa. They are a couple that runs a store next to where we use the internet. They are soooo nice. They love it when we come and bring them things to read. Sadly it is just them that work at the store, they have no employees. Which means one is usually working while the other one gets caught up on sleep. They aren't able to come to church or meet outside of the shop because they are literally always working. So we try and visit them often and we give them lessons in between customers.
After that we took Imran on a church tour. I love doing church tours because it allows investigators to not on see a church building but there is a special spirit present. Lessons are always more powerful inside the church.
Sunday was a hard day for us. We had our main focus last week be to get our investigators to church. We had 7 who said they would, and for different reasons some more valid than others, only 1 came. We were still thrilled to see Elina at church don't get me wrong. But, it welcomed me to the more discouraging sides to missionary work. Church is all in German and therefore I understand about 5% of it ha. I cant wait to be able to hear church in English again, its been over 2 months. After church we had an eating appointment at the Familie Shultze's. My worst nightmare came true....sauerkraut. Half of my plate was just piled with sauerkraut. With every bite I had to hold back a choke or two. And I have no idea why America gets the wrap for big portions.....come to is unhuman. Members get offended if you don't eat it too. I nearly roll down the stairs every-time I leave an eating appointment. They are becoming my least favorite part of missionary work haha. And it is work to eat this... work I tell you what!
This week although productive, has been frustrating for me and my companion. We fell short of every goal but 1. I know this will just push us to try harder next week. It is hard with having such a language barrier as well. We have 6 investigators that we meet with multiple times a week. 4 of the 6 are English speaking, therefor it is my responsibility to teach them the lessons, and the other 2 plus all the doors we do are German, so my companion is in charge. We both struggle understanding the other language and have a difficulty helping each other. It has been challenging but I know it will get better. This is making me stronger. a quote that I came across helped me a lot. "In the end, your heart and your will is all that you have to give that the Lord does not already have." It is so true. I know that if I completely give my heart and will to the Lord in doing his work in Germany I will be blessed more than I can even comprehend. I know this principle is true in all of our lives. You don't have to be on a mission to be able to give your heart and will to the Lord.
I love all of you and I am incredibly grateful for your prayers!
Sister Linford

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Pictures of Arrival in Germany

S. Linford's parents got a letter from the Mission President a few days ago. They confirmed S. Linford's safe arrival to Germany and included a picture  of S. Linford with President and Sister Pimentel and a map of the mission. Her current zone is Dresden. The Mission President's wife, Sister Pimentel, updates a mission blog and they included the address. We were able to get a few pictues from the blog of S. Linford's arrival in Germany. Here is the mission blog address, it is also listed on the left sidebar. They don't see S. Linford all the time, since she is a few hours away from the mission home, but keep an eye out, she'll be on there occasionally. 

All the new missionaries to the Berlin Germany Mission.
Back: Elders Myrabo, Gibson, Ashby, Luening, Adams, Miles
Front: Elders Marshall, Shaw Sisters Thorton, Linford, Bohne
Elders Thorkelson, J. Larson, Gleason

At the airport, you can see her, thrid left (even wearing her glasses!)

All their shoes...guess which are S. Linfords?? Yup, the boots!

She' in the crowd, see the sleeve of green?

We think the sister to the right of her (green) is her new companion

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pictures - being dropped off at MTC

We wanted to share a few pictures of the last few days before Sister Linford left for the MTC.

S. Linford and her parents, just before being set apart as a missionary
S. Linford with more family members before being set apart.
Her last meal before being dropped off at the MTC. She chose Panda Express
Getting dropped off at the MTC
See ya in 18 months!