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

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