Monday, July 30, 2012


Guten Tag! I hope you all have had agreat week! Germany has been freaking hottttt and crazy; It keeps things exciting that way!
Last Monday, we had a stellar P-Day at the.....Zoo! I must admit it was a serious disappointment compared to Hogel Zoo, but when in good company, all is good! My entire district went and made it quite a fun adventure! I will be sure to attach a pic or two! After the Zoo, it was time for FHE at the Bishop's house. He has all 6 of us missionaries serving in Dresden over to his house once every transfer. It is always fun to be around a family since it doesn’t happen all that much here. After eating a good ole' fashion German meal, I got a surprise that has been long awaited......I got to play basketball! Oh the joy! Germans are weird and they just don’t have any basketball hoops....none. However, the bishop just put one in his backyard and his kids were begging us to play. Twist my arm. Playing in a skirt was a challenge, I only managed to break a shoe and rip off a toenail (sorry for the gruesome details). Was it worth it in the end? Absolutely!
This week hasn’t been near as eventful as last week. My companion was sick most of the week and that left me stuck in the apartment once again. However, miracles were still witnessed and the work must go on!
Thursday brought a tausch (exchange) with Sister Schneider. This was actually my second tausch with her. She is awesome! The day started with us taking a train to Chemnitz, where Sister Schneider is currently serving, making the switch, and then heading right back to Dresden on a train. Oh the joys of never being allowed to be alone :). sikkkeeeeee! Right when we got to Dresden, it was straight to work! This was my first tausch where I have stayed in my city and was in charge. It was really fun showing Sister Schneider the ropes of Dresden! She has been serving in smaller towns and was quite shocked at "the big city life" :), oh how I love it here in Dresden! The first thing we did was doors. This is where we choose a big apartment building and just start knocking away! She was super nervous because she had never done doors before, so I made sure to take her to an International Student Dorm, where most people would speak English. We met some really awesome people! One was Sarah, she is from the middle east and speaks English and Arabic. We had a great lesson with her at the door and even made another appointment for tonight that we are bringing her a Book of Mormon in Arabic. Another great story came in the form of an Italian couple. She spoke Italian and English, he spoke Italian and German....this makes for a confusing situation when I speak no Italian, a little German, and English.....and my companion is a native German speaker, no Italian, and pretty good English. whoooo. But it was so cool! Sister Schneider and I work very well together and we were able to make it into a very special lesson that lasted 50 min. We have another appointment with them as well later on this week!
After doors, it was time for me and Sister Schneider to meet with Elina! Elina has been doing so amazing since her baptism, but she has just felt something is missing in her life the last few weeks. After a long chat, we figured out that she is feeling a tad lonely. Here is a girl who gave up her entire life to join the church. Moved countries, switched careers, and now lives an entire different lifestyle. Although, she has all of her friends in YSA, she feels that she doesn’t have a really close friend that she can really rely on. This just broke my heart! I want so badly for her to be happy, and I think everyone has had this feeling in their life before and knows how painful it can be! We taught her that she can pray to be directed to friends. She is so incredible and is trying so hard to be diligent; I know she will find the friend she is looking for in no time :).
After Elina, it was time for Institute. This week they had a special activity planned instead of usual class. We got to watch 17 Miracles. Wow, what an incredible show!! I must admit I have never found the pioneers to be that interesting. I have always been thankful for their sacrifice, but, just never connected to the story because it has always felt so unrelated-able to my life. Boy was I wrong! If any of you haven’t seen that movie, I highly suggest it. There was also a special shout out to one of my ancestors, John Linford, in the movie. I have always avoided Genealogy like the plague. However, I felt a real sense of pride when I saw that was my blood and family that did such amazing things. Man, this mission really is making me all sorts of weird!! haha jk......but seriously :).
This week many crazy things have happened. I got eaten alive by mosquitoes. Most of you know, I am quite allergic. After 24 hours there was one that wasthe size of a grapefruit. My mission president’s wife freaked out when we sent her a pic and told me to go directly to the E.R. I had a very calm and assured feeling that a trip to the E.R. was definitely not necessary, a nice long prayer would suffice :). Well the next morning I woke up and all 9 of my bites were minuscule. All I got to say is....the power of prayer is freaking awesome!!
The highlight of my week came in the form of vitamins. Gummy Vitamins. They are the tastiest little buggers! Now I am sure there is more sugar than vitamins in these things....but wowza if there is any bit of nutrition in them, give me another handful please! Thank you German candy gummy thingies!!
Lots of changes to my mission were announced this week. With a new mission president in place, we knew lots of changes would be coming, we just didn’t know when. This past Wednesday the first bomb was dropped. Two major changes as to how we are allowed to teach. The first is, we are no longer allowed to teach Muslims that do not have a long term German visa. Good bye Farman and Hassan :(. The second one needs a little bit more information given. So our mission was very unique in that we did not have to follow opposite gender rules as closely as other missionaries in the world. Normally you are not allowed to teach someone of the opposite gender alone, there must be someone of your same gender present. We never had to worry about it before, we just would teach whoever, where ever. However, now we are complying with the rest of the missions in the world and have to follow this rule. This is going to make a significant change is our lessons and teaching to all of our male investigators. In Germany everyone is required to work, even mothers. So, getting members who are able to come with us (and we have to have a woman) in the daytime is going to be extremely difficult. Therefore, we are having to give some of our investigators to the Elders ;(.......good bye Dentleff (hells angel man), Kokob, Zerritt, Ifaneayi, and others. Even though this was a tough pill to swallow, I know that our President is being guided by inspiration. Everything happens for a reason, and even though it breaks my heart to have to let go of some of our closest investigators, it will be for the best in the end!
Oh and sad news, the Meissen sisters moved out last night ;(. Man that was a fun 3 weeks living with them! I will miss them greatly!
Funny Story of the week: So I don’t know if I will be able to properly paint this picture for you all, but I am certainly going to try! We were on a very crowded bus a few days ago. I was smashed up against the door. When it came time for the next stop, I was a little too close to the door than one would want to be. The door kept trying to open....however my head was preventing it from being able to do so. My companion was then preventing me from being able to move, so the door could actually open. She was in a hardcore day dreamand was unaware of the repeated smacking noise that was being caused from the large metal door beating against the back of my head. After saying her name 10 times failed, I eventually resorted to shoving her and yelling"Mooooove!" That definitely got her attention and she was able to witness the final 3 smacks of the door against my head. She found it quite hilarious as well as the 30 people around us on the bus who all were laughing. I am glad I could take one for the team that day; bus route 62 was happier that day because of it. Just trying to serve those around me.
Spiritual Thought of the week: So this week as I was moping around being all bugged that I was stuck in my apartment instead of being able to work, the words of President Uchtdorf during the last conference came to mind, "Stop it!" I saw that and just thought about how important it was that I not let my thoughts get so negative. I have sooo much to be grateful for in my life! As do all of you!! Our Father in Heaven has commanded us to be thankful in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We all know that his commandments are intended to make us happy, and furthermore we know that breaking commandments leads to misery. Choose to be happy! Choose to be grateful! To avoid misery and to feel happiness in our lives, we must have a grateful heart. Sometimes it is challenging to constantly feel gratitude when life is full of trials, sicknesses, disappointment and sorrow. We sometimes take good things for granted. However, with our Father's help, all of us can choose to feel more gratitude. We can ask him to help us see out blessings more clearly, whatever our circumstances. My prayer is that all of you will choose to be more grateful this week. Choose to be happy with your life. I challenge all of you to write down 100 things you are thankful for. If it sounds like too many try this: 10 physical abilities you are grateful for, 10 material possesions you are grateful for, 10 living people you are grateful for, 10 deceased people you are grateful for, 10 things about nature you are grateful for, 10 things about today you are grateful for, 10 places on earth you are grateful for, 10 modern inventions you are grateful for, and 10 things about the gospel or god you are grateful for. When we make a list like this we are able to see that 100 things, doesn’t even scratch the surface of the things God has given us that we are grateful for!
Well that is all I will bore you with this week! I hope everyone is doing well! I miss everyone so, so, so much, but I know this is exactly where I am supposed to be right now. I count my blessings every single day I wake up in this beautiful city of Dresden! Keep the Faith! Bis nächste woche!
-Sister Linford

Kirche Jesu Christi
Sister Jessica Linford
Wiesen Strasse 8
01277 Dresden

Monday, July 23, 2012

New kid on the block no mo'!

Hallo! I hope every one's week has been a fan-freaking-tastic one! As for mine, it has been nothing short of stellar! Dresden has been booming this week, ah so many miracles have been seen!
     Monday- With my old companion we really tried to make it to the YSA's FHE as often as we could, just to greet and make sure our investigators were good there. However, ever since I have been with S. Kläy we have not be able to make it there. We were heading to visit some contacts and I just had an uneasy feeling. I said a pray and got the strongest impression that we needed to turn around and go to FHE. I battled with the idea a little bit because we were not close to the church at all and we would be pretty late. But as the feeling persisted, I knew there was a reason we needed to be there and so off we were to the church! As I walked in, I was immediately greeted by Elina. She gave me a big hug and wasn't letting go. I asked her if she was okay and she responded that she wasn't and that she said a prayer earlier that night that I would come to FHE because she needed to talk to me. These mean people from her home country of Latvia had sent her some pretty harsh emails about her joining the church. She said she prayed to know what to do and my name came to her head. We talked it through, and I suggested that she get a blessing. She was really happy at this idea. The senior couple here in Dresden came to the rescue and Elder Margetts gave her a blessing. The spirit was so strong. After the blessing was over a different Elina was in the room. She was calm and confident again. As I sat and watched her the biggest feeling of gratitude came over me. Here was a girl that I have had the amazing honor of teaching, watched her enter the waters of baptism, and have seen her as she makes incredible steps of growth in this gospel. It hit me so strong. If my mission was just for her would all be worth it. She is my best friend here, and someone that I honestly would do anything for and she knows it :). I cant wait to see the power house member she is going to become in her life!
      We normally don't get to stay and participate in the activity for FHE, but given Elina's state, it was table tennis time! Now, these Germans take their table tennis aka ping pong VERY serious. They had this huge white board that they were keeping track of all the games on. I am proud to say that I got second place, can I get woot woot! The only one who got me was Elina, whose father is the Olympic ping pong coach for I felt pretty pleased with the results haha.
     Tuesday- We had the great pleasure of teaching Barbara again. Barbara is one of the ladies that we met doing doors. She is about 70 and is amazing! We taught her the plan of Salvation and she loved everything about it! She had the best questions and was so open to what we taught. As we started to read some scriptures she said that she needed to go in the other room and get something. She came back with a Book of Mormon that missionaries had given her a long time before. It was so old and so cool to see! She has been reading in it every night since she met us and is already in Alma!! Holy Cow she is so amazing!
In my last letter, I told how we ask members to pray for streets that we can do doors on. This week was die familie Shulze! We went to the street that they told us and we found some amazing people! The first one was right in the elevator. His name is Lorido and he is from Brazil. He was super excited when we started talking to him. We dropped off a Book Of Mormon in Portuguese later on in the week and have an appointment with him tomorrow! The members really do help guide us to amazing and inspired locations all around Dresden!
     Wednesday- I absolutely love working with the YSAs here! One of my favorites is Steffi. I have talked about her in a couple of letters before this; she is the one that calls me here best friend. She has seen some tough times lately though. Steffi has some self esteem issues that has landed her in rehab the last few months for cutting herself. She has the strongest testimony but like many young woman, has a hard time believeing just how amazing she really is. I love getting together with Steffi because her whole demeanor changes by the end. We went on a a little train ride they have here in a famous place called Grosser Garten (it is a massive park that takes up 1/5 of Dresden, and Dresden is definitely not small).  As always it was a lot of fun!
     Wednesday also brings the new found German and English classes. German class has been amazing for me. I am at the same level as a lot of members that have moved here and are trying to learn German as well. The Zone Leaders do a great job of teaching it every week! It is super nice to have a classroom setting to help me improve instead of me just trying to figure it out this crazy language by myself.
English class has turned out to be a real big success! We are getting about 8 people there every week. It is so fun to teach it! It has also been a really good way to integrate investigators in so they can make friends with members.
    Thursday- Holy Cow Thursday was just a powerful day! We had 7 lessons and 4 new appointments! In missionary talk, that is a big deal! Everywhere we went we were meeting people who wanted to hear what we had to was a nice change from the daily grind of the grumpy Germans :) ha.
We also got to meet with Melanie on thursday. Melanie has been struggling a little bit lately. She started dating a boy in the ward shortly after she began investigating the church. Things with this boy have been a little rocky lately and have her worried about how things will be if their relationship were to end and she still wanting to come to church on Sundays and things. Ugh, so sad! We are really trying to help her separate her relationship with him and her investigating the church. I really hope everything with her works out. She is so incredible. We are praying that we can get her back on date this week.
     Friday- Can I get a holler for another killer day?! Add another 7 lessons and 3 appointments to the tally board! whaaaat! Such a miracle! I also got to go chumming for the first time on my mission. Chumming is where you get lots and lots of these cards we pass out, go to big apartment buildings, and you put one in every single mailbox. It gets our name in peoples mind and then we try and return to that building within a few weeks. It helps those who are interested from the cards, be much more ready to accept the idea of us teaching them.
     After chumming we did doors on Hochschule Straße. It is a street that is right by the big university here and is full of students. I had a super strong feeling that floor 8 is where we needed to that day. Miracles happened on that floor that day. First off, every single person we talked to was amazing. Second, every single one of them was an international student which means they spoke english :) cha-ching! Third, every single one of them wanted a Book of Mormon. Holler for big time miracles in Dresden!!
    Saturday- Yep, another strong day for the week! The day started out with District Meeting. Which normally happens on Wednesday, but we got a new golden in our district so we had to wait for him to arrive! His name is Elder Saunders and he is from Ohio. I must admit it feels great to no longer be the "new kid"!
Saturday started looking a tad rough when we had 3 apps fall out, BUT, it paved the way for us to meet some amazing people on the street. 1. Andreas. He is about 50 years old and had such a light about him. We talked about the Book of Mormon and he was SO excited when we gave him one. He sat down right there and started reading it while he waited for the train :). 2.Old Man with a really German sounding name that I couldnt understand because it was really German sounding of course. He was on the way to see his wife in the hospital. At first he was really rude, but when we started talking to him the coldness left him. We shared with him a scripture that we thought he could use in this scary time of his life with his wife sick. He started crying and marked it and said he was going to go read it to his wife right now. He was so cool. 3. Well number 3 came in three. Three guys names Marc, Sabastian, and Heins. They are from Leipzig and were just visiting Dresden for the weekend. They had actually ran into the Leipzig sisters the day before! They walked right up to us and had all these questions that they had thought of since they had talked to the other sisters. We had an amazing lesson with them right in the train station and sent them on their way with the Leipzig sisters information. 4. A student named Kai. We were walking down the street and across this busy street I saw this guy walking. I knew I needed to get to him and fast. I looked at my comp and said follow me. She kept asking me what the heck I was thinking as I was rushing to cross this 6 lane road. When we got to Kai, I knew why I needed to get across the street to him. He had met with sisters  before. He said that he was just thinking about our church the day before and how he wished he would have listened better to what they were teaching him. He was super excited to make an appointment, as were we :).
     Sunday- Okay....this is a good one. I get to Relief Society and they informed me I needed to translate. I laughed and basically said you know how bad my German is, there must be someone who can do a better job. Apparently not. So although I was very apprehensive I translated for 3 woman who don't know German. Holy Cow was I blessed! I have never understood more German ever before! The lesson was on Mercy and I understood almost everything! It was such a neat experience to feel Heaven Fathers help so strongly with me through that lesson. Dont worry, I returned to my normal self of not understanding anything by the time sacrament meeting started :) haha.
     Wowza....this week really has been SO incredible. Last transfer we really struggled getting lessons and new appointments. Our numbers were so much lower than I was use to here in Dresden. However, this past week we killed it. There was work that needed to be done everywhere! I came home so exhausted every night and could not have been happier! Plus, the Meißen sisters are still living with us.....ah, i love them so much! The lord is being to good to me right now I tell you what! And, I get to go to the zoo today and have an extra exchange this yeah!
     I love you all so much! I pray for all my amazing family and friends like 15 times a day :)! I couldnt do it without you! Your letters are always a boost in helping me do the work here in Germany. Keep the faith!
-Sister Linford

Kirche Jesu Christi
Sister Jessica Linford
Wiesen Str. 8
01277 Dresden

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Picture from Elder & Sister Margetts

S. Linford and her companion had Sunday dinner with Elder & Sister Margetts a few weeks ago. They are a Senior Missionary Couple in Dresden Germany. They emailed a nice letter along with a picture of S. Linford and her companion S. Klay.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Me at Radebeul


Dresden for Two More!

Well this week was pretty eventful! I know many have been asking about transfer calls and I figured I wouldn’t tease you and put it right in the Subject line! I will be staying here in Dresden! It is crazy too because with S.Kläy going home after this transfer, it means that I will be staying in Dresden for 2 more transfers! 6 months in my Golden city! So craycray! I will be in this city 40% of my time spent here in Germany! Good thing I love it here right :).
Monday- We decided to do another District Activity to Rautebeul. This is where President Monson came and said a dedicatory prayer for our mission. It is perched on a mountain with this amazing look out. Our Ward Mission leader came and brought a recording of the actual blessing that took place in 1975, it was super cool! It made it so much more powerful to hear the words and not just read them. Our Ward Mission leader borrowed this huge van and we all got to drive together there which was a blast! Plus....we got to listen to Jack Johnson the entire little road trip....perfection.
Tuesday- Started bright and early with the Jorgensen Family. They are the ones that just moved from Salt Lake and know zero German, so we help them out when they need a translator. She had another appointment with her daughter’s school and needed us to come along. I love doing this because that means while my companion has to translate I get to just play with Portia, their 4 yr old little girl. She called me her "best friend missionary" all day because she can’t remember my name haha. " friend missionary, do you want to play on the slide now?" So cute!
After the Jorgensens we met with Dentleff again. (Hell's Angels man) He is doing awesome! It was funny, we were reading the book of Mormon together and shortly after we began he told us to hold on and that he needed to go get his reading glasses. He got up and went into the other room to grab them. When he returned, he had just put his reading glasses on right over his regular glasses haha. He rocked two pairs of glasses the rest of the appointment.....he is a baller.
Also on Tuesday, we went and did some power visits with some Member families. A power visit is when you just meet for about 15 minutes. You give a spiritual thought, pray together and ask for referrals. It is a great way to get to know the members and it reminds them about doing missionary work in their lives. We asked each family to pray about a street that we should do doors on too. It helps them feel like they are really helping us with the work. We love it! We always are sure to call them after, and tell them of the miracles and people we met while doing the street they prayed about.
Wednesday- Well Wednesday started out with a call from the office. They said that the Meissen sisters were having problems with their apartment and they needed to come live with us for a little bit until it was resolved. Um, dream come true! We have been plotting the entire transfer to find a way we could convince President to give us approval to let have a sleepover....and this just fell into our lap :). Sleepovers NEVER happen, and there is no area that 4 sisters live together, so this is extremely rare! We are having wayyyy too much fun together! Oh I love them living with us!!
Wednesday also brought District Meeting and a service project. Both of which were in Meissen or as they write here in Germany Meißen, which is about 45 minutes away from Dresden. We went and did landscaping at get this....a monastery haha. It was great to see all the nuns and monks just stare at our missionary name tags. The city of Meissen organized this project for us, I am sure they got a good laugh! We had a blast though!
Thursday- The major University here has been having finals the last few weeks which has made it hard for us to meet with a lot of our investigators. However on Thursday we were able to get in contact with a lot of them and it was so good to see them! All my English speaking students, Oh how I have missed them!
Thursday is also Institute class of course. It was a grand ole' time as usual! We are now into the summer schedule of institute so we stopped teaching for just a few weeks. They have special speakers come, which is awesome for us to be able to be a part of as well!
Friday- Oh this day was perfect! Why you may ask? Because I got to go to the temple! I am so lucky to be serving in Dresden and have the opportunity to go to the temple every transfer! Most of the missionaries in my mission are lucky to go once on their mission and here I have already been twice and get to go at least 2 more times! The temple just heals you every time you go and allows you to leave all the worries and stress of the world at the doors.
Saturday- Transfer calls! I already spoiled the results earlier but it was a really fun time. My entire district got together and we had breakfast together as we listened to the conference call that told us our fate! haha. Only one elder got transferred out of my district, and we have a brand new missionary coming in to take his place.
We were also able to make 3 new appointments on Saturday in just a short 30 minute time frame....such a miracle!
Sunday- Well Sunday brought the test. The test that I have been dreading. The one from the MTC. The one that sees just how behind the program they made us do puts us in comparison to the normal program. The one that confirmed our program was an epic fail. Yep ha, that one! I only scored a 44%. I left the MTC at a 36%......I am supposed to now after 2 transfers be at around 90 to 100%. The other sisters scored the exact same as I did. Wowza....that is scary just how far behind we are. It also is SUPER frustrating to see that I have truly hardly improved after 3 months of being in this country! I mean I could have told you that, but seeing the results just confirms the frustration I have been feeling with this language. Everyone keeps telling me it will come......yep.....I am trying to believe them haha. What do you do...just keep going on I guess.
Well this week really has been an awesome one! Having the Meißsen sisters living with us has been an answer to prayer. I know the lord is watching out for me. I am so blessed to be here in Germany. Man, I love what I get to do every day. I know I have a lot here in Dresden to do with my next 3 months, and I can’t wait to find the miracles that are just waiting to be unfolded. I couldn’t do it without all of your love and support. Thank you for all the emails and letters, they help me so much stay charged out here.
Spiritual Thought: In our day there is a focus on Looking young or feeling young. People spend vast amounts of money in efforts to "restore" their youthfulness. Which got me thinking is this search for youth just a thing of our modern day? Which is when I came across a story in an old Liahona by President Monson. He told a story of a famous explorer Name Ponce De Leon. He was most known for is many, many voyages looking for the myth of the "Fountain of Youth" Which was said to be water that if you drank, would turn back the clock to a more youthful self. So why did he spent the majority of his life looking for this fountain? The best answer I can come up with is that he wanted to live forever. And although, we know there is no fountain of youth- I know of a more precious fountain, that contains the waters of eternity.
In 3 Nephi we read, "Truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come----The spirit of truth is God.....Jesus Christ received a fullness of truth....and no man receiveth a fullness unless he keepeth his commandments."
This then led to a quote by Thomas S. Monson, "There is no need to sail uncharted seas in search of the fountain of truth. For a loving Heavenly Father has plotted our course and provided an unfailing map-obedience!" Ain’t that the truth! We have the amazing opportunity to have eternal life, and it tells us here what we need to do to obtain it. The course is already set for us, we just need to obey Him and keep the commandments!
There is strength that comes from obedience. Nephi said, "I will go and I will do!"
Last quote I promise :), "The strength which we earnestly see today to meet the challenges of a complex and challenging world can be ours when with forthright and resolute courage  we obey the lord and serve him"- Thomas S. Monson.
I know this is church is true, and I love all of youu!!!!!!! (Yes that was meant to rhyme :) )
-Sister Linford

My address until the end of October:
Kirche Jesu Christi
Sister Jessica Linford
Wiesen Strasse 8
01277 Dresden

Monday, July 9, 2012

Immodest Missionary​!

Hello! Another week down here in Deutschland! Lots happened so let’s get into it!
Monday- Was a fantastic p-day! The family that just moved from Utah (that I had dinner last Sunday with) the Jorgensens, needed some help. We went with the mom Katie, and her daughter to her new school to get her all signed up. The Mom was really nervous that there wouldn’t be someone at the school who could help translate for her, so she asked if we could come along. I got to play with her 4yr old daughter Portia while my companion translated. It was a lot of fun!
After that, we were supposed to go bowling with my district. But after many weird events it sadly got canceled. I and my companion decided to go shopping instead. Oh how the clothes here are to die for. Just too dang cute. If only I weren’t on my mission..... The best part wasn’t even the clothes though, it was the music. The stores all play American music. I heard GaGa, Nelly, Jack Johnson and so many more. It made me happy this entire week!
Tuesday and Wednesday were both sadly spent in the apartment. My companion was sick again, so I was confined to our flat. The joys of having to be within sight and sound of someone 24-7 :).
Thursday- Oh how this day could not have been better!! It was Tausches (exchanges)! I got the honor and pleasure of going to Meissen with Sister Curtis. Meissen is actually in my current District. It just barely was made a sisters area this transfer, and holy cow it has been a city of miracles. When tausches happen all the sisters in your zone come together in one place and then disperse so that no one is alone ever. Where we all got together Sister Curtis comes up to me and says, "I forgot to call you! I was going to tell you to make sure to wear a skirt that you can ride a bike in!" I look down.....of course I am wearing my pencil skirt. Well let’s just say my first 10 minutes in Meissen can be summed up like this.....Me+pencil skirt+bike that is way too tall=immodest sister missionary. Thank goodness I packed an extra skirt that I could wear the rest of the time on the bikes! Sister Curtis got quite the laugh every time she turned around and saw my G’s. I was just praying that no members would see us!
Our first appointment in Meissen was with an older member. She got baptized about 5 years ago but still insists on meeting with the missionaries weekly. Well in true German form the blue skies that were out when we got to her house, quickly disappeared. Within 10 minutes of us being with her it was a full blown thunder and lightning storm. Well little did I know that Sister Curtis and this older member both are extremely scared of storms, while I happen to love them. After one of the loudest thunder I have ever heard, I see both of them dart away from the big glass door we were sitting by. After they pressed themselves again the wall furthest away, they both turned to find me lauging. They were less than amused with my reaction, but it was so funny to see both of them run as if something was about to explode.
Our next appointment was a first time appointment with a Referral named Julia. She is 17 and just got back from an exchange student program in Provo. She is incredible! After an amazing lesson with her we played with her turtles and rabbits and at the best cake ever.
As if I wasn’t already exploding from being full, it was time for an eating appointment at die familie Preiss house. They are the cutest young family with 2 kids. I must note that I have gotten REALLY good at hiding the food that I just hate in my bag.....yep there was a whole lot of this gnarly cheese that was put in my bag at their house and no one knew....muhahaha.....thank you elders for teaching me this life-saving trick!
After dinner, we had very little time before we had to be home, but we really wanted to make out a new appointment. We hit the streets and found 2 amazing people in 15 Meissen really is such a city of miracles right now! The whole day was so fantastic. I also had SO much fun with Sister Curtis. She is someone that I will most definitely be friends with after the mish. We are a lot alike and laughed so hard together. Taushes provide such a great break!
Friday was Zone Conference!! It was the first one with our new Mission President. All I have to say! The Kosaks areamazing!! I gained the strongest testimony that he is meant to be my President for my mission. I can’t wait to learn more from both of them. I must admit the abnormally warm welcome I got from them didn’t hurt either. I had the opportunity to meet them a few times before this week, and they remember everything I have ever told them! They could not be sweeter! Pres. Kozak also pulled me aside and asked how my trainer was. He had heard about my last situation and was very concerned. Oh man, I just love them already!
It was also a lot of fun to really feel like I know all the sisters in my Zone now. It helps so much to feel like I have some friendships forming here. Even though we only get to see each other every 3 to 6 weeks, the other sisters can be a great support!
Zone Conference was everything I needed after a tough last couple weeks! It pumped me up so much and addressed all the things that I felt I needed.
Saturday- We had a first appointment with Dentleff! He is about 70 years old and LOVES to talk! I seriously can’t believe that we have 3 people that are elderly for investigators right now....unheard of in Dresden. So cool though! He even got me a present because he remembered that I was learning German. He got me a child’s bible that has CD so I can listen as I read sweet is that?! When it was time to go he asked where our next appointment was. When we told him he got concerned and said,"That is not a safe area for you two to be walking around! My best friend is the leader of Hells Angels for Germany. He knows people. If you have any problems at all you call me and I will get someone to take care of whoever is bothering you!!" Now I have heard that while you are on a mission there are angels with you, but now I got Hells Angels too haha. No more need to worry mom :) ha.
After Dentelff we were able to reconnect with Aros. Aros is the student that we committed to baptism in the first appointment and the first Day with my new companion Sister Kläy. He has been super busy lately with finals so we haven’t been able to meet with him. However, Saturday night we finally got back in contact and had such a spiritual lesson. He is such an awesome guy. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and he loved everything about it. We are excited to continue to watch him advance and prepare for baptism.
Spiritual thought: "Todays test is tomorrow's testimony!" We all have trials in this life. They are difficult and often make us ask why we even have to deal with it in the first place. But, we have to have tests to gain a testimony! Our trials are gifts. They humble us and allow us to keep growing and receiving a testimony. It is not up to us to determine how long our trial last. But it is up to us to decide to have patience and faith. When we look in the eternal scheme of things, our trials are so short lived. They are just a moment in eternity. So have hope and have faith. God is with you and will help you through whatever tests you may be facing. Let your trials help you grow and let them bring you closer to god!!
Well I hope you are all doing amazing! Thanks for all the love and support! Transfer calls are this Saturday.....I think something is going to change for me and I am ready for it! Love you all!!! Keep the faith!
Sister Linford
Mission office:
Germany Berlin Mission
Sister Jessica Linford
Zerbster Strasse 42
12209 Berlin

Friday, July 6, 2012

Zone Conference - Zone Dresden

President Henry W. Kosak is the new Berlin Mission President along with his wife Sister Elke D. Kosak. Sister Kosak will be keeping a new blog for the Berlin Mission. The new blog addres is
This picture is from the blog, and is from Zone Conference in Dresden. You can see the whole post here.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Erda here we come

Well right now I am writing this letter in weird! This is the first time I have been in a pair of jeans in 3 months! Anyway just thought I would share that haha. This week hasbeen a pretty good one! Let’s get into it!
Last Monday was fantastic as all P-days are! I was able to find and stock up onsome peanut butter! yay! Peanut Butter is not the easiest thing to find in this country, but when you do find it you stock up because it’s Missionary’sfavorite! We also had a fin day full of shopping and ping pong with mydistrict.
Tuesday I finally anmelded. Now I am sure you all just asked yourself what theheck is that?! That is when you register in a city that you are living in. The rule is that you are supposed to do it within your first two weeks of living inthat city and you must bring your passport. However, when we first get here in Germany the mission office takes our passports and gets our visas for us. But getting a Visa takes some time, so I didn’t get my passport back until lastweek. I am happy to report though, I am finally an official resident of Dresden! haha.
On Tuesday my French also got a little practice! We went to go visit a contact that we found in our Area Book, however, the contact no longer lived there.....Elise did :). Elise is from Africa and she has the cutest little boy I have ever seen. She is here in Germany with her husband while he gets his masters. She let us right in and we got to know her a little bit. There is still a nice big language barrier because she speaks no german, very little english, and her french is african french which is really hard for me to understand....but we did okay considering the circumstances! She took a Book of Mormon in French and we have another appointment with her this week.
Also on Tuesday, we had our first appointment with a lady named Barbara that we had found the week before going door to door. Barbara was incredible! She is about 70 and extremely smart. She actually met with some Elders about 4 years ago and already had a Book of Mormon. She asked the best questions, and she is so open to everything we had to say. We already have to more appointments setup for this week with her! I am so excited to teach a German that is over 30yrs old! With Dresden being right in the middle of East Germany, it is rare to find someone older who is interested in any religion. They have been through so much in their lives that they don’t believe in God. I am very excited that Barbara is different though!
Wednesday was another great District Meeting. I really look forward to them everyweek because of how uplifting they are. The senior couple here is fantastic too! They have only been here about 5 weeks but they are my favorite! They come from Foothill area. They have definitely taken me in and always make sure us sisters are taken care of :). They feel like an Aunt and Uncle to us, they are too cute!
Wednesday also brought another round of German and English classes. I love have German class because they let me sit in and learn myself, which I am in desperate need of! English class went really great as well! I love teaching all the people that come to it! Their accents will never get old :).
Thursday was fun because I got to do my first Street Display! This is where we set up a big sign and a table and fill it will all different pamphlets and information about our church. We did it right in the heart of our busiest trainstation here in Dresden. It was so much fun! You just talk to everyone walking by and many stop and want to see what this whole display is about which gives you a great opportunity! We weren’t able to stay very long because we had an appointment to go to, but I made 3 appointments in 15 minutes! Such a miracle!
Thursday also brings my favorite, Institute class! We are still in Mosiah, which happens to be my favorite book in the BofM. We continued to talk about Abinadi this week. The incredible strength that Abinadi had was insane. To recap on thestory, Abinadi was asked to talk to King Noah and his people who were being extremely wicked. Of course the people didnt like having someone come in and tell them that they need to change so they threatened to kill Abinadi if he didn’t take back his words. Abinadi stood strong in his words because they were the words of God and basically said go ahead and take my life. Well his strength was noticed by a man named Alma. Even though Abinadi was unfortunately killed, his example sparked a whole generation of righteous people through Alma. This story teaches us how powerful our example is. We can influence so many just by the way we stay strong in our faith!
Saturday was a very unique day! We got permission to go see Elina play ultimate Frisbee! It was so much fun! And it gets week we get to play too:). So excited! The fun didn’t stop there though! We met....are you ready....another older German lady who is interested! What?? So amazing! If that is great enough, her name is Urda! haha. We met Urda at a bus stop. She too had met with Elders years and years ago. She said at that time she wasn’t very open to their message, but she feels now is a perfect time in her life to have us teach her! Urda here we come!
Yesterday was a fantastic Sunday. Not because I understood church, which I didn’t ha., but because of our eating appointment. Yes, I know I was as shocked as you. But before you jump to conclusions that this food is finally something I am should know that our appointment was with an American family!The Jorgensens moved here just 3 weeks ago from Salt Lake. They moved for the husband’s job and know zero German. They have 2 little kids and are the cutest family! It was so incredible nice to be able to understand everything that was going on around me for the first time on my mission. To be able to play with their little 4 year old girl and not silently was such a blessing. It was also so fun to really be able to talk and get to know the family that we ate with for once.All you serving in the states....not going to lie I got very jealous of you yesterday! I didn’t want to leave it was too fun with them! They also really enjoyed it as they haven’t been able to communicate with many people since they have been here. I think we are going to be good friends!
This week has been a pretty cool week! Some other events or things to note are: The Euro cup has been quite a focus here lately! Soccer is HUGE over here! However for us missionaries the Eurocup is dreaded. It means that no one is going to be out and when they do finally come out they are going to wasted drunk ha. Oh the joys of Germany! But Germany lost this past Thursday in the semi-finals, and the missionaries were the only ones wearing a smile come Friday:).
Bugs. Oh the bugs. I have never seen so many in my life. They are everywhere. I hate them. My poor companion has to kill them all the time for me.
I know I comment on the weather often, but it still just shocks me with how crazy it is. We are soaking wet no matter what is happening. It is either pouring or it is soooo hot and humid that you just sweat it all out. But it scrazy because I will start to feel some rain and look clouds and blue skies above me. It makes no sense. Even the rain is different here!
A funny story of the week… We were walking along the street and we watch this old lady who is about 75 come out of her house. By the time her side walk bet the road we were on, she was only a few steps ahead of us. Me and my companion were looking for ways to make a new path because this particular situation was hilarious and incredibly awkward. Just then the old lady looks down, says a few bad words, and expresses her apologies to us that she forgot to put on her clothes. Yep, all she had on were matching bright pink underwear and bra. This may be inappropriate to be sharing in my missionary letter, but it was just too funny to me to not share! enjoy :) haha
That about sums it up for the week! I am super stoked for this coming week  because we have taushes (exchanges) and I am going to Meissen again with Sister stoked! Also we have Zone Conference with our new Mission President, and transfer calls this Saturday! Whooooo!
Thanks so much for all the love and support! Wish all of you a fantastic week!
-Sister Linford