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

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