Monday, September 17, 2012

Norma Jean

Hallo! Well it's official...I have been on my mission over 6 months now! Crazy I tell ya! Life in Rostock has been really great still! However, both my companion and I were sick this week making it a tad uneventful! I apologize for the lameness of this letter in advance! Last Monday, was a great night! It was the first FHE that we did with this new program that I came up with to try and boost things around here. It went really well! We had more people there than they have seen in months. We played pudding Pictionary. Germans don’t do things like that.....their faces when I told them what we were doing, were nothing short of priceless!! Too funny! It loosened everyone up though, and people really got into it. This week we also had an amazing appointment with a now investigator. Last week I make a quick comment about how someone had just called us and asked for an appointment. Well this is so insanely rare and freaking awesome! That person ended up being Herr Saß. He is about 65 and lives in a little town outside of Rostock. We had an appointment last Wednesday and it went so well! My companion and I both had the strongest feeling that he will be baptized one day! He is so prepared! He asked the best questions and was so open. We are excited to go back to see him tomorrow and he is coming to church this Sunday! This week we also met with a lot of members. I will tell you about two of them. The first is Bruder Schmidt! He is the funniest member that is famous mission wide! Unfortunately Bruder Schmidt had to get a pretty serious heart surgery and so visited him a few times. He is always good for some laughs! We also met again with the Preets. I have talked about them quite a bit. They are still coming to church ever week I am happy to report :). Plus, they helped to put on the Primary program yesterday. (Which by the way....its a whole new experience to have a primary program with only 3 kids....oh the joys of a tiny branch!) We love going to see their family though! However, as I commented before, both me and my companion have been sick this last week. We both got a weird flu. We pulled ourselves out of bed to make it to our appointment with the Preets. We hadn't eaten really all day and that is where Norma Jean comes in. It was so bad we named it. The Preets are so sweet and always are sure to have a little snack for us....but this time it was a frothy, pink, thick, some type of fruity, Indian concoction of wrongness. And just when we finished choking down the first glass.....the second glass came before our objections could. It was so bad. When me and my companion left we were both just trying to hold it down. We were laughing so hard because one of us would start gagging and it would make the other person start. It took us 30 minutes to get to the train station because we had to keep stopping at bushes and trees. You know you are good friends with your companion when you can laugh through the entire time of feeling like you are going to die. Norma Jean is what we decided to call those drinks. R.I.P. Norma Jean. Funny times didn’t stop there, we found ourselves way outside of Rostock in the Ghetto this week as well. We made some great videos out of it! Don’t worry mom, we were protected :). It's so nice having a companion that can make any situation a good time! We had some really awesome appointments this week. We are still trying so hard to build up this program here in Rostock. It has been tough, but we know some incredible things are going to happen! Hopefully this week we can get feeling better so we can really hit it hard and catch up for some lost time :). I also got an amazing blessing this week! As you know, I have really been stressing the language. The priesthood is incredible, that’s all I got to say. It promised me that I would be fluent one day; I just needed to be a little more patient. Gotta love that word :). It also said that I would be staying in Rostock for a while because there are people that Heavenly Father has been saving for me. The man upstairs is too good to me I tell you what! Anyway, there is my update! Spiritual Thought: Well for this week I had a request for Faith; and more particularly how to have faith when it may a difficult time in your life. I thought a lot about this, but every time I really got into studying I was led in different directions. Not that there isn’t ways to have faith in times of difficulty, but that maybe we need to focus on other areas to really have the faith necessary to get through the tough times. Where you will find your faith, is in your heart. Which is why I am going to focus on the Holy Ghost and having patience with the Holy Ghost. There are 3 things that I think we can do to keep the Spirit in our hearts. 1. Keep the commandments. 2. PREPARE. 3. Have the desire/willingness to be led by the Spirit. I think if we sort our priorities and lives, and listen to the Holy Ghost....You will never make a mistake. Which is where the fear with trials comes in....we are afraid of making mistakes or of pain. But, we need not be afraid of our trails. I am confident that if the Savior could take away anything in your life right now it would be fear. Fear is the opposite of faith. You are powerful! Know your own strength and believe it. Fill yourself with faith, by filling yourself with the spirit. This is where number 2 comes in. The Holy Spirit dwells in us, guides us, and testifies of truth. We need to learn to rely on the Holy Ghost. If we do, we will ALWAYS know what we should say or do. Without the spirit you will never succeed no matter how talented you are. The Holy Ghost brings the peace to your hearts that we seek in this life. That is the foundation that will bring balance to your life. In trials we often feel unbalanced. But that is just the feeling of our "comfort bubble" expanding. It is crucial that we look to the Almighty for our strength and power! It's always there! Prepare yourselves for the trails that are current and those ahead by studying topics you need help with and finding answers. As we search for answers don’t look for a voice to come....the scriptures are the voice of the lord! Don’t wait. Okay now onto the desire and willingness to be led by the spirit. This is actually sometimes the hardest one. I know for me actually going on a mission this is the one I struggled with most. Sometimes we don’t want to do what we know we need to. But God uses times like this to mold our character. This is where we need to have a great deal of patience. If we get frustrated, it creates a fog that makes it difficult for us to be receptive of the spirit and therefore it makes it difficult for God to work with us and help us. Luke 21:19 "In your patience possess ye your soul." We need to be willing to submit to all things that the Lord seeth fit for our lives. We ARE called for whatever we are dealing with currently. Patience sometimes can be found when we look for reasons why you are where you are right now. Put yourself in the Lords shoes....why is he having you go through this? I love what President Uchtdorf said about impatience, "Impatience, on the other hand, is a symptom of selfishness. It is a trait of the self-absorbed. It arises from the all-too-prevalent condition called “center of the universe” syndrome, which leads people to believe that the world revolves around them and that all others are just supporting cast in the grand theater of mortality in which only they have the starring role." Just go forward. Forget yourself. Sure you will get discouraged, but forget yourself. Let us not forget why we are really here on earth. Finding faith in trials can be extremely difficult. But I know by focusing on just living with the spirit in our lives and being worthy of its direction we truly can be filled with faith....even more than we can imagine. The Lord is always there for us as well. Rely on his atonement. Let him carry you when you can’t go anymore. He has done that so many times in my life, and nearly every day of my mission. Come to know his love and you will come to know of your worth. Our worth can be found in Him. That is why we are here. To do his work. Lets us never forget that. Well thank you so much for everything! I love you all! I hope life is treating you well! I can’t wait to hear the happenings of life for you all in America, so don’t be email shy :)! Until next week, KEEP THE FAITH!!

Sister Linford

Kirche Jesu Christi
Sister Jessica Linford
Friedrich Str. 14
18057 Rostock

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