Monday, September 10, 2012

Head Lock

Hallo! Greetings from the beautiful city of Rostock, Deutschland! I absolutely love it here! It is beautiful being around the water all the time! The air is so fresh :). However, it has been so cold! I was wearing my north face two day joke. I went from 90s in Dresden to begging for 60s....this winter is going to be an adventure!
I don’t have a ton of time to write today, so I apologize for the bobbling of topics in advance! I will start with answering a lot of questions I have received. How is the companion? Still liking her? I absolutely LOVE Sister Nielson! She honestly will be one of my very closest friends forever. She is incredible and so powerful! We complement each other really well, and I hope we get more than just one transfer together... but we are both skeptical because it’s almost too good to be true haha. She may have had me in head lock where I couldn’t move for 15minutes the other day...NBD. So funny. How is Rostock? It is amazing! We have a TON of work to do here, but me and my companion are on it! We have seen SO many miracles this last week! We both have gotten blessings that have said there are going to be amazing miracles during our time together and that there are people that have been prepared for us to teach them and bring them into the gospel!! Pretty amazing huh? In my blessing it also talked about how this would be one of the hardest times of my mission due to trials. That trial is this little thing called German. Which leads into the next question, How is your German? It is slowly killing my soul. Okay that may be a little dramatic, but it really is SO bad. I am very very behind where I am supposed to be at this point. I don’t understand anyone’s accent in Rostock either. In Dresden we used so much English, I didn’t truly grasp just how bad my German really was. Well, a nice wakeup call has come upon arrival in Rostock. President is really hounding me to learn it quick too because he wants me to train early. Yikes. I have no idea what to do to improve. My companion only speaks German to me and it kills me but it is also so good. Hopefully some improvement will come soon or else I am going to die. Oh well.
Well this week we had our first zone training. It is something new that our new mission president has implemented. We will be doing president interviews and zone conferences only quarterly now, but we will be doing these Zone Trainings every month. My new zone is TINY compared to my last one. Everything is tiny compared to Dresden haha. All 12 of us missionaries got together in Neubrandenburg for our first ever District Training. We focused a lot on refining skills out of Preach My Gospel. President and Sister Kosak also attended. It's always good to see them and talk with them. It was a long day but a good day! I am still getting use to all the traveling that this zone requires! It took us 3hrs there and 3hrs back on train just to get to the Zone Training!
Wednesday brought a great appointment with a woman named Swetlana. She had a baptismal date a few months ago but couldn’t pass her baptismal interview. She got really mad and offended and hasnt had contact with us since. Well I had a feeling we just needed to take her cookies and that everything could be smoothed over. It worked like a charm! Last week we went and explained everything and in the end it was just one big giant miscommunication. We have seen her a few times since and are re-teaching her everything. It is going really well and she still has a very strong desire to get baptized!
We also have been working a lot with Manpreet and Amanpreet. I talked a little bit about them in my last letter. They are doing so good! We have FHE with them every week now and there has been such an incredible change in them! They went from not going to church in 6 months to meeting with us all the time, bearing testimony is sacrament meeting, and attending every week since I have been here! They are incredible!
Miracles have been everywhere. Serious it's insane. We had a man just walk right up to us and start talking, plus about 5 minutes ago someone just called us on the phone and asked to meet with us. This kind of stuff just doesn’t happen, but it is! We are working so hard right now to find all of the incredible people who are ready for this message! Me and my companion found this talk about purifying yourselves. It has been our goal this past week. We have fasted and prayed about the little things that we can give up and work on to truly purify ourselves. We want to be the best we can be so that we can truly devote 110% this next transfer. This leads me into my spiritual thought. Get ready for LOTS of scripture references! Read them along with it!
Spiritual Thought: What does it mean to be purified and how can we purify ourselves? Some synonyms that I found in the Scriptures were cleanse, refine, sanctification, and wash. In Mosiah 4:2-3 It talks what they did to obtain pure hearts....they humbled themselves and pleaded for mercy through the atonement. When they did this they were filled with joy and Peace of conscience because of their FAITH in Jesus Christ and furthermore their FAITH that they truly can be cleansed through Him. This taught me that the process of purification strongly involves repentance for what we are not doing correct and then having faith that Jesus Christ really can heal us. I see so many times that people claim to have faith in Jesus Christ....yet they dont believe in his Atonement. That truly mocks Jesus' very sacrifice to not believe he can heal you. If you have an issue in your life with having joy or peace of conscience, look for ways you can purify yourself. In Heleman 5:35, it discusses another people that did a very similar process to obtain purification of heart. It also answered how purification comes-it says it comes through yielding your heart to God. That is what faith is. That is what being humbled is. It is yielding your heart to God. Purification comes through Faith on Jesus Christ name. It says in Moroni 7:48 That we need to pray with all energy of heart. If we do this he will fill us with His love, which he gives to those who have faith on Him. We need to do this to truly understand our relationship with God. When I work to know my Father in Heaven, I gain understanding in my role as a Divine Daughter of God. Through that I then know what it really is for me to say I am a Child of God. This is how we become like Christ. Christ too was a child of God. He understood his relation to an almighty father in heaven. He always put the will of the father before his and yielded his heart to God.....that is what made him The Savior of the World. Yes he was perfect, but he was perfect through his unwavering knowledge of where he stood in relation to God and his faith that God knew best. So when we work hard to know our own standing, this is how we become like Jesus....this is how we see like he did and does, and this is how we obtain the hope that we too can be purified even as He is. This life is hard, but as we work to yield our hearts to the lord through faith, we can obtain a different viewpoint.....that viewpoint is lenses of more pure eyes. The more pure your eyes the more you can discern the spirit (D&C 131:5-8) With that spirit, it is promised in D&C 76-116-119, that he gives us seeing and knowledge to know for ourselves, power of manifestation that we may be able to bear his presence, and.....we will be glory, honor, and dominion forever to God and the Lamb. Wow. That is a powerful list! Through purifying ourselves we are promised that this is how we will be prepared to abide with Him when He comes again. I would like to bear my testimony of the power of purification. As me and my companion have been looking for the LITTLE things we can tweak to become better, the miracles have been poured out. I love studying the relationship that I have with my father in heaven, and through this study, my relationship and faith in Jesus Christ has increased. I pray that we can truly give our hearts to the Lord and let him make of us what we never could on our own. I know that this is the key to get through life with joy and peace of conscience. Life will be hard no matter what, but the journey can be enjoyable if we choose it.
I love all of you, and I pray for the people back home every day! I am so grateful for the blessings that my father in heaven has given me and for the immense humbling I have felt during my last week of focusing on purification. I hope this email finds all of you well!
Sister Linford
Kirche Jesu Christi
Sister Jessica Linford
Friedrich Str.14
18057 Rostock

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