Monday, October 22, 2012

Time Warp

      Hallo!! Another week come and gone! Really a mission is the weirdest time warp.....but it is amazing! Well I can’t wait to tell you about this week because it has been another incredible one for the books. We were able to break the Zone record with our numbers this week! Holy Cow it was the CRAZIEST week....but absolutely full of miracles. We are booked out a week and a half! Whaaaaaatttttt?!?!?! When I got here we planned for 3 people that we didnt even have appointments with, just a hope to get one. Last night, we planned lessons for all 25 people we have appointments with! I am completely in love with this city now. I really pray I don’t get transferred. My blessings were right, as they always are, about this city......I just needed to be patient. Don’t we all just love that "p" word d: haha.
      Monday- We had another fantastic FHE. It grows every week and we are getting a lot of less actives and old investigators back because of it. It has been so fun to reorganize, execute, and watch this new program that we designed take fire.
      Tuesday- We had Zone Training in Berlin. It was a long day of 10 hours total of traveling, but it was worth it to get to be in the capital city even just for a few hours! I love that city. We had to give a workshop at the Zone training. It was on the topic of finding, which every missionary has heard about 1000 times, so we really tried to spice it up. Call me crazy, but I love doing workshops. As long as it is in English :) haha. It went well though! We also got to have lunch with the sisters that are serving in Berlin. Oh how I love seeing other sisters!
      Wednesday- I had yet another eating appointment at the famous Brudder Schmidt. Seriously my stomach expands to the equivalent of a woman who is 6 months preggers every time. But, he is such a dedicated member and we love spending time with him! We organized a huge service project with him to go to the Zoo! November 10th our entire ward and zone of missionaries will be serving the lovely Rostock Zoo. So stoked :).
      We also got to see my very favorite members the Preets. I have talked a lot about them, but I haven’t given an update with them for a while. They have come to church EVERY week since I got here which has been so amazing! They even traveled with us to Berlin to see the Thomas S. Monson last week. I challenged Amanpreet to bear her testimony which she hasn’t done since her baptism a year ago....well yesterday she did :). It was the sweetest testimony! I feel so blesses to get to work with these people!
      Thursday- We had 8 lessons this day! Whoo, we were running around town like crazy! They almost all were first time lessons too. It was amazing to get to know better some of the people that are now investigators. We also had an incredible street lesson with a man named Zoram. He was baptized in Italy, but fell away shortly after his baptism. At first, he refused to make an appointment with us and was kinda being rude. But the spirit softened his stone heart :) ha, and in no time he was nearly in tears. We have an appointment with him Friday :).
      Friday- Because the zone I am in is really struggling right now for investigators....we are now doing what is called zone finding every week. That is when everyone in the zone goes to one city and we tear it up and try and get a lot of new appointments for the missionaries in that city. Rostock was first up, so we hosted everyone on Friday. Because we share the city with Elders we didn’t get all the appointments but we did get 3 new ones, hopefully good things come from it! It was fun to hear the experiences of all the other missionaries in your own city.
      Saturday- Our morning started out with a cute surprise. One of the Senior Sisters who has taken a particular liking for me called and said that she made us crepes. We got to go over to her apartment and have a crepe great! With a morning like that we knew good things were coming ha. We had another appointment with Degol, who has a baptismal date in December. It went really well!! He is awesome! I also got to speak French to a young student. We made an appointment and are taking her a French Book of Mormon on Wednesday! Woot woot for a language I can actually speak haha. The day ended with TischTennis or as we call it in the states PingPong! This is something we will be doing every Saturday night now! It was sooo much fun! We got a few investigators to it!
      Sunday- Degol came to church!! Oh my heavens it was such a fun surprise! He is so awesome! We also had the coolest miracle ever happen! Here is the story: A few weeks ago we fasted about people that we needed to go by on. I got really strong impression that we needed to focus on a woman we call Frau Vyno-kur. We have tried going by on her like 5 times the last 2 weeks and called a few times but nothing. Well we were walking home from church when we got a phone call. It was from her friend that got her mail and saw the note that I wrote for her attached to our card. We found out that she has been in the hospital and when he took her the note that she said these were the two she has been praying for!! Oh my so cool! So on Tuesday we are going to go see Frau Vyno-Kur!
      Well that sums up the highlights. Everything honestly is going amazing!! I have never worked harder on my mission, but there is so much to be done here that is makes it so worth it! I can’t wait to see where some of these people are going to go!
      Oh and another miracle.....last week in my email I talked about how I saw an investigator Melanie from Dresden. She means so much to me. Well after I left for many reasons she has not been able to meet with the missionaries. Well I flipped because I had been gone for 7 weeks at the point and we met with her once to twice a week. I talked to her for 40 minutes and it was the most spiritual conversation. I challenged her to rededicate herself and to really tell her parents and recommit to a baptismal date. We talked about it and we set a date right then for her to be baptized in December and I made her promise to meet with the missionaries again.....well I just got a call and she told her family finally!!! They are okay with everything and its confirmed she is getting baptized December 2nd!! I have only cried once on my mission, but I must admit there were some major watery eyes when I was hearing that this was a reality. I couldn’t be happier for her! And I can’t wait to fulfill my promise back to her, and return to Dresden on that glorious day!
      Spiritual Thought: Have you ever asked yourself why it is important to obtain or understand the word of god? It’s not just to read ancient stories of people with funny names. It’s not to learn how to build an ark and shove lots of animals on it. It is so we can avoid suffering and misery in our lives! It helps us to develop the trust in God to do the things He says we need to do. What we desire is what will ultimately determine our eternal judgment. In Alma 29:4 it says, "...granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life" I would like to further this by adding a part of Elder Bednar's last conference talk when he talked about the parable of the ten virgins.
      I now want to use one of many possible interpretations of the parable of the ten virgins to highlight the relationship between testimony and conversion. Ten virgins, five who were wise and five who were foolish, took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Please think of the lamps used by the virgins as the lamps of testimony. The foolish virgins took their lamps of testimony but took no oil with them. Consider the oil to be the oil of conversion.
      But the wise took oil [of conversion] in their vessels with their lamps [of testimony]. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps [of testimony]. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil [even the oil of conversion]; for our lamps [of testimony are weak and] are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves” (Matthew 25:4–9)
      Were the five wise virgins selfish and unwilling to share, or were they indicating correctly that the oil of conversion cannot be borrowed? Can the spiritual strength that results from consistent obedience to the commandments be given to another person? Can the knowledge obtained through diligent study and pondering of the scriptures be conveyed to one who is in need? Can the peace the gospel brings to a faithful Latter-day Saint be transferred to an individual experiencing adversity or great challenge? The clear answer to each of these questions is no.
      As the wise virgins emphasized properly, each of us must “buy for ourselves.” These inspired women were not describing a business transaction; rather, they were emphasizing our individual responsibility to keep our lamp of testimony burning and to obtain an ample supply of the oil of conversion. This precious oil is acquired one drop at a time—“line upon line [and] precept upon precept" (2 Nephi 28:30), patiently and persistently. No shortcut is available; no last-minute flurry of preparation is possible.
      “Wherefore, be faithful, praying always, having your lamps trimmed and burning, and oil with you, that you may be ready at the coming of the Bridegroom” (D&C 33:17)
      I pray that we all can desire and then act to obtain the word of god, so that we too can be prepared and choose wisely what our eternal judgment will be, I know as we do this we WILL avoid so much misery and suffering in our lives.
      Well thank you all for everything you do for me! Letters and packages are always welcome :). I am so grateful for all the amazing people that are in my life, both in the US and her in Deutschland! Man I am a lucky one!! I hope you all have an amazing week!
Sister Linford

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

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