Monday, August 6, 2012

Elephant Style

Well hello, hello! I hope everyone is enjoying their week so far! Cheer hard for the red, white, and blue during this fantastic Olympic season that I am missing! This letter is going to be short because well, not much has happened unfortunately this week. My companion has been really sick, and we haven’t gotten a real day of work in since a week ago from last Thursday. I am praying so hard that she can start feeling better, so that we can get back to work! We were able to have a few experiences though that I will share with you now :).
      Monday- Like I said my companion wasn’t feeling too well, so we decided it would be best to just relax. She had the dvd Despicable Me, and we got permission to watch it. I had never seen it, but it was a cute, cheesy, cartoon perfect for a pair of missionaries! haha It was super weird to watch a movie that isn’t Finding Faith in Christ or the Restoration....whooo, maybe I am getting weirder than I thought!
      Monday also brought an appointment with Melanie. I wanted to take to her about fears. We read the talk by Pres. Eyering from this past conference called Climbing Mountains. I remember it blowing me away the first time I heard it last April, and I thought it was a perfect selection for Melanie. It was such a sweet lesson. It really touched her when we started talking about her fears with getting baptized and how upset her family is going to be when she tells them. She is such a strong girl, but she like everyone, has fears that are preventing her from doing something that she knows she needs to do. I have all the confidence in the world that Melanie will be baptized one day when she can find a way to put her fears aside and move forward with faith.
     After our appointment my companion really wasn’t feeling well, but the thought of going back to the apartment for another minute was enough to kill me. I prayed super hard and felt that we really needing to go OYMing with is a term we missionaries use for talking to people on the street. I got a strong impression to go to a place called Pirnaisher Platz. I was a little confused because this is by no means a"hot-spot" for street contacting. But nonetheless, I have learned not to question impressions, so we were off. When we got to Pirnaischer Platz, there wasn’t anyone in sight. We started down a street and there she was. Frau Shulze was just strolling along and was happy to talk with us! We talked for 40 minutes with her on the street! She is so awesome and said that she is coming to church this coming Sunday, we look forward to seeing her there!
      Tuesday brought President's Interviews. We have these every other transfer, which is about every 3 months. Everyone in your Zone gets together and we hear from the President, his wife,the AP'S, and then of course we have a one-on-one interview with President Kosak. As always, it is fun seeing people and catching up! My interview was short but good. He was concerned with how I have been handling everything dealing with companions.
       Wednesday and Thursday were spent all day in the apartment. However I was going crazy by Thursday night and begged my companion to go to institute. We got there and within 5 minutes I noticed Steffi, a member I have talked a lot about, leave the room really quickly. I had the feeling to follow her. When I got to her in the hall she was sobbing. Steffi just recently got out of rehab. She had just received a text informing her that her closest friend that she made in rehab, just committed suicide. It was so hard to have her just sobbing on my shoulder and not understand anything that she was saying. It was a miracle I even got that her friend had died. Even though my German is seriously so bad, you don’t need language to communicate emotions. Steffi is strong, and I know that she will overcome this hardship she is going through right now. I am glad that I could offer a shoulder to cry on, even if I can’t tell her words of comfort.
     Friday and Saturday amounted to more time for me in the apartment with a sick companion. This past week of being in the apartment has taken me to a crazy level, I must admit …ha. I have read cover to cover 13 Liahona and Ensign Magazines, written 12 letters, reorganized our entire apartment, gone through every contact we have had in Dresden, and divided them up into groups that we can visit; and last but not least, when it got real bad I tried to brush up on my dance moves. That was a bad idea. I have lost the ability to do "the jerk".....oh the things you sacrifice for a mission!
     Yesterday was a great Sunday! We had an appointment with Aros, after having to cancel the last 2 because my companion was sick. He is so amazing! We started teaching him the commandments and he is taking everything so well. We put him back on date for Sept. 22nd. He is really excited and has been doing everything we have asked him :).
     Well although my week wasn’t exactly eventful, I thought I would tell you some more weird things about Germans. Because, lets be honest, there are a LOT of weird things about Germans, haha. First, they blow their noses elephant style. I swear their brains come out every time. Plus, they blow it anytime, anywhere! Like in the middle of the prayer yesterday.... I was almost expecting someone to start playing the piano to join in with the symphony of nose blows! Also, there are no drinking fountains or bathrooms here. Well they have bathrooms, you just aren’t allowed to use them, or you have to pay to use them. With my drinking habits, my biggest stress in the day is planning for bathroom stops every few hours at either our apartment, the church, or the one public restroom we have found....this is a challenge I tell you what!
      Funny Story of the week: Well let’s just start off with I can’t believe I am actually sharing this embarrassment. But with this past week being uneventful, and this email running the risk of being dangerously boring....I will take one for the team! So I was in the store last week just walking down the aisles, when I started rounding the corner and there was a child there, crouched down on the ground. I did a quick jab to the right to avoid a collision, but as I did that the little boy decided to dump out the container of strawberries he was holding. Now I have heard and even seen the theory made famous by Mario Kart, of slipping on banana peels......but, I have never known strawberries to be as dangerous. Well if you are wondering they are!; especially, if you are lucky enough to get one under both of your shoes. This is when you reach the "oh crap, I am going down!" zone. I know from experience. I ate it good in the store that day. Superman into a display, say what? Thank goodness the spaghetti sauce display didn’t tip over with me. They really need to make a reality show that follows around missionaries.
Spiritual Thought: With the abnormal amount of time to just ponder this week, the majority of my thoughts have been consumed with the question of what I want to be. Right now you are the sum total of what you have thought, said, seen, heard, and done. What you think, say, do, hear, and see, causes you to change; change for good or evil, to become either stronger or weaker, to either internalize the qualities of light or the qualities of darkness. But ultimately you decide and you are responsible for who you are and who you will become. I have been out on my mission long enough to see a wide range of missionaries. Some I really look up to and others I pity their decisions on how they choose to spend their time here. But it has really got me thinking... what kind of amissionary do I want to be?
That decision doesn’t just end there though I have realized. My answer to that question then effects the answer of what kind of person am I going to be after my mission? How we handle our current trials, projects into the type of people we will be. I know most of you reading this aren’t on a mission, but each and every one of you has a situation right now that you are required to answer; How are you going to choose to respond to this and how are you going to choose to be? We all have things we are faced with right now,… you right now have the choice to let it help you grow in faith and therefore closer to Christ or....not. Think about what your sum total is. So ask yourself; Who are you? And, What are you becoming? I pray that we can make choices every day that are saying, "I choose good.” We can choose to trust God and have the faith that if we do, he will make a masterpiece out of us.
      Well that is all for this email! Ilove you all so much! I appreciate the emails and letters more than you will ever know, so keep em' coming :)!

Love, Sister Linford

Kirche Jesu Christi
Sister Jessica Linford
Wiesen Strasse 8
01277 Dresden

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