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

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