Monday, August 20, 2012

All Out Dash

Guten Morgen! I hope everyone is having a fantastic day! For all of you Utes, enjoy your first day of school! So jealous....sike!! :). This week flew by! I feel like it was just yesterday that I was writing last week’s email. So crazy. This week had some amazing points that I am excited to share though!
We will start on the topic of Elina. This was her last week here with me in Dresden sadly. But it was an amazing one. While we were all together with the Young Single Adults in the Ward, Elina shared an experience she had with a girl who stayed with her. This girl was a friend of a friend and needed a place to stay for one night as she just passed through Germany. Elina started asking her questions to get to know her better and eventually the topic of religion came up. She said, "I just thought what would the missionaries say if they were here, and it worked!" She is so cute! Well, my little missionary ended up basically giving this girl all of the lessons and now she is planning on meeting with the missionaries when she returns to her home country of Estonia!  She ended with bearing her testimony to all of the Young Single Adults; how if you look for people to share the gospel with, they will come. The entire time she was telling me this story I felt like a proud mother! She is so incredible, how lucky am I to get to be one of the missionaries that got to work with her!? It made having to say goodbye to her Saturday that much harder! We went over to her apartment early Saturday morning to help her get all of her stuff together and to the train station. We exchange lots of amazing memories, pictures, presents, tears, and hugs. Lots of hugs. We will stay in close contact forever, she made me promise :). I am so proud of where she has come and I wish her the best of luck in Southern Germany!
This week also brought a tausch (exchange)! This was the big tausch of the transfer where all the sisters in the zone meet together and then disperse out to the various cities with their temporary companion. I am in the zone that has the most sisters by far so it’s always a fun time when we get together! Trains are coming in at all different times so it gives you the chance to just chat and catch while you wait for all 10 sisters to arrive. I really do love all the sisters in this mission, they are hilarious! We always joke around that us German sisters are a different breed haha.
My tausch was with Sister Curtis. After living with her for 3 weeks, and already tausching with her multiple times, its safe to say we are tiz-ight! Love this girl. We had a super busy day planned with not even 5 minutes to spare in the schedule at any point in the day. I was so happy that Sister Curtis would be with me, because I knew she would keep up just fine! She is an incredible hard worker and such an amazing missionary. Teaching with her is so....relieving is the word that is coming to mind. She is so in tune with the spirit and we work very well together. We had such good appointments and saw so many miracles. I will share one cool experience that we had. While we were walking to one of our appointments, we stopped on the street and started talking to a man from Romania. Sister curtis started right in talking to him. He looked hesitant and kept making the noise "uhhhhh......uhhhhh........uhhhhh....." over and over again. It hit me that he may not know German. I asked him, sure enough he said he didn’t. So I then asked if English was better. Nope didn’t know that either. This is always where it gets hard and the game of charades starts. I suddenly had the feeling to ask him about Jesus Christ. I hesitating because I didn’t think he would be able to understand given that nothing we said before made sense. However, I asked him in German what he thought about Jesus Christ. Immediately he lit up and put his hand over his heart and said, "Yes!! Jesus Christus!" I honestly don’t know what happened after that, but somehow we were able to make an appointment with him where we can give him a Book of Mormon in Romanian. It was the most amazing experience that strengthened my testimony in that we did not communicate with him....the spirit did. It was a miracle.
Friday brought an early 5am start! It was the day of Zone Conference and this transfer it was held in the city of Leipzig. Me and Sister Curtis may just have too much fun together, making watching the clock sometimes not our first priority. This led to us running like mad. So the fastest we have ever made it from our apartment to HauptBahnhof (the main train station where we needed to go to travel to Leipzig) is 30 minutes. Well we left with 20 minutes to spare. We had to make this train or else we would have to wait an hour for the next one and be really late for ZoCo. I have NO idea how we made it, but after the sprint of our lives we got on the train with literally 5 seconds to spare. We only got about 50 weird looks as we ran, and when I say ran I mean rannnnn-all out dash, in our little sister missionary attire with our bags flying everywhere. NBD. The elders got a good laugh out of seeing us book it across the train station. It was a miracle though!
Zone Conference was amazing as always! I have no idea how I am going to wait every 3 months to have one now with our new president! I will miss having them every transfer, but oh well! Zone Conference provides such a boost! My new President and his wife are both amazing! Wow, I am always blown away by their lessons. Before I knew it, it was time to go back to Dresden. The 2 hour train ride with 14 missionaries all together was such laughs. Train rides are always fun. It gives us time just to chill out and chat where we don’t have to worry about not doing what we are supposed to or working hard enough.
Yesterday was a great day at church. The number of Americans moving to our ward increases every other week I swear. This means I am translating for more and more people every week. This week I got a break from Relief Society though and got to translate in Young Womens. I loved it! I feel the gift of tongues so strong when I it is time for me to translate. I always get so nervous but the spirit helps me so much to understand and be able to relay what is being taught. I love having all of the English speakers in our ward as well. I feel their struggles as they are in a country where they feel so out of place. We have gotten so close with some of these families through that connection.
Well this week has been a busy one, but some really amazing seeds were planted. We have some great prospects that we are excited about for this coming week as well. The work here in Dresden is starting to pick back up… just in time for new companion to come. Which I get to find out whom that is this Saturday, I am so stoked! I love that I know that I will be able to stay in Dresden for another transfer! I would stay here my whole mission if I could :). I also get to go to the temple this Friday again.....ah I can’t wait!!! This week is going to be amazing I can just feel it :).
Spiritual Thought- So i was reading in Psalms 23 where it is talking about the Jesus Christ being our shepherd. So what does it mean to hear 'The Lord is my Shephard'? It is stated as a fact. The Lord is our caretaker. So if the Lord is a Shepherd, who are the sheep? We are of course! Which got me thinking, what kind of animals are sheep? They are kind of dumb actually ha. They are stubborn and don’t follow very easy. Does that sound like us as human beings? I encourage you all to read this chapter. I am going to break it down now with my own thoughts. In Verse 1, It talks about how we need to trust him to the point of forgetting our own desires. Verse 2- Sheep are animals that don’t lie down until they feel completely comfortable or secure. He provides that for us. We can rest in the knowledge that he will provide safety for us. It also speaks of still waters. Sheep are very clumsy animals and they can’t handle much force. However if they were to fall in still water they would still be able to get out. He leads us to still waters. Verse 3- He can heal whatever is wrong with us. He leadeth us to righteousness so we can come to Him. Verse 4- We all have to go through trials in our life to get to a better place. It brings improvement. I will not fear, because I know he is my Shepherd! As Elder Anderson said in his last conference talk, "Faith is not just a feeling, it is a decision." He is with you. The rod and staff that are talked about are his tools that he uses to help us. He has tools today as well, such as the Book of Mormon. Verse 5- We will have everything we need, even if the enemy is there trying to distract us. It also talks about oil. Oil back in old times was put on sheep to protect them from harmful insects. Today, we have blessings that sometimes use oil. Use blessings- never be afraid to call upon the priesthood. It then says "My cup runneth over....", we have be given everything in abundance. We don’t need anything, the Savior has given us everything. Verse 6- No doubt goodness and mercy shall find us all of our days. You WILL live in the house of the lord forever if you choose to. All we have to do is believe. Believe that he is your Shepherd!!

Thanks so much for all your love and support!! Things here are going just swell in Deutschland!  I can’t wait to share with you all who my new companion is next week. I pray so hard for each one of you. Keep the faith!!
Sister Linford

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

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