Monday, October 8, 2012

Youngest companionship??

    Hallo! I hope every ones week has been fantastic! Mine has been nothing short of incredible. Last week, as you know wasn't the best week for us here in Rostock. In fact, it felt like a cherry on top of an extremely difficult transfer. However, just when you are about to break and cant take anymore.....things seem to turn around. This week was miracle week. One right after another. We were baffled at everything that was happening. We reported the highest numbers my entire zone has seen in over a year. 4 new investigators, 9 new appointments, and over 10 Books of Mormon placed. MIRACLES. I also got to have my first English appointment here in Rostock, and ended the week with getting to do 4! Oh how I love being able to communicate what I really want to say to people!
    Monday- Our quest to spice up FHE is still in affect. We assigned one of the YSAs to come up with the activity that night. We played a game called Ware wolf which a German version of Mafia basically. It was a lot of fun and we had 2 Less Actives show up!
     Tuesday- Tuesday we took a trip out to a town that is a 45 min. bus ride away called Bad Doberan. We had a referrl out there of a Newly Baptized woman that we have been trying to get a hold of for weeks. Our appointment with her was so incredible. It is also so fun to see the glow of someone who recently got baptized! We were able to make out some new appointments with other people in her building as well.
     Wednesday- After district meeting our entire district went to lunch at an American restaurant. It was weird to 1. be at a restaurant (first one of the mission) and 2. See normal food as my options haha. My entire district mandated that we order a hamburger and really make it an American experience. Oh the joys of american food.
    Thursday- So many miracles this day. I swear time just stopped multiple times for us to be able to make it to everywhere we needed to. We were making it to places in 15 minutes that normally take 30. We were able to get 2 new investigators that are so awesome. It started with an appointment with a man named Herr Börnchen. Everything was going really well and then all of the sudden his friend showed up. We finished the lesson with both of them and it was so awesome! They are making us lunch this week and cant wait to learn more!
     We also had a neat experience with a girl named Robin and her boyfriend Johannas. We were walking along the street and I had the feeling to go up and talk to this younger guy. I went up and talked to him and he got way happy and replied back with perfect English "Missionaries! My american girlfriend and me and have hunting for you! I went to the U of U the last year and she was there the last 3 years, that's how we met. Anyways, she just got here in July and has been dying to find the missionaries because she knows they will most likely be American! Where are you from??" Well hello fellow Utes! His girlfriend Robin arrived only 2 minutes later. We had the best talk and laughed lots. Both Robin and Johannes aren't LDS, but both, especially Robin since she grew up in Utah, are very familiar with our religion. I cant wait to meet with them again!! Yep, they were hunting for us... that's never going to happen again the rest of my mission haha.
Friday- Went to Bad Doberan again.....more miracles and more appointments made. We also had a way cool appointment with a man named Degol. He is a student from Africa. He is so awesome! He even made us spaghetti! It was such a busy week both me and my companion passed out on the Bus to and from Bad Doberan. We both prayed that we would wake up when we needed to get off.....both times we woke up 15 sec. before our stop....MIRACLES.
     Saturday- Transfer calls in the morning! Oh the drama! Gotta love it! Here in Rostock there are us sisters, a pair of elders, and a pair of senior sisters. The senior sisters invited us all over for breakfast so we could listen in all together. Everyone was a tad nervous because we knew there was going to be a lot of changes made to our district. Yep, that was the truth! Elders were up first.....Elder Stanley is staying but Elder Lichner is transferred. Then to the city of Greifsfald where my district leader is......Elder Smith is staying, but Elder Dalton is transferred. Oh and surprise....they are putting in another pair of Elders in Greifsfald now. Now it was our turn......"Sisters in Rostock! Sister Linford and......(long pause for who knows why!!)......Sister Moon! You will be co-senior companions together in Rostock!" I was SHOCKED. Sister Moon is just one transfer older than me. Our time in the MTC overlapped by just one week. The thing that is having me more than slightly nervous, is that the only one that is known for struggling with the language more than Sister me. Yep, the two worst speakers in the entire mission just got put together in the youngest companionship. Oh my heck.....I am going to need lots of prayers!!! My companion got sent to Eisenhüttenstadt for her last transfer. She was not excited to be transferred at all. We get along so well and things that we have been working so hard on just started all coming together. I am excited for sister moon because she is hilarious.....but we both are SO nervous for how we are going to make things work. This transfer is going to push us both so hard. I feel like I just got thrown in the deep end to learn how to swim.....but I know Heaven Father is watching out for us. The first thing Sister Moon said when I called her to figure out the trains....."God has a reeeeeeaaaallllll good sense of humor, doesn't he?!"
      After transfer calls we had General Conference. It is very different for us here in Germany. The first session we watch live and starts at 6 pm Saturday night because of the time difference. The quality is awful and cuts out a lot, but hey its better than nothing!
      Sunday- Sunday morning we watch "Saturday Afternoons session" at 10am. This session is not live obviously. Then the men watch Priesthood at 2pm and then we watch "Sunday morning" session live at 6pm Sunday night. Sorry that was confusing. We actually don't get to watch the last session until church next Sunday. And given the fact that Monson is coming next Sunday we don't get to see it for 2 weeks! Its killing me!
      Conference could not have been more powerful! I love how it seems to mean sooo much more when you are a missionary. Can you say massive focus on missionary work? WHoo! I loved being able to sit there and not have the piercing feeling in my heart when they talk about going on missions that I had the last couple of years before I served...I just got to sit there and smile. I am here. I am doing exactly what I am suppose to. :). I have a couple favorite talks....Uchtdorf of course, Robert C.Gays on what we would sell our soul for, Eyrings, and always Holland. Wow......such powerful messages! Seriously if any of you have not taken the time to watch ALL of the sessions yet.....I promise it will be well worth your time to do so. General Conference is food for your soul. Even if you think you dont have time.....find it. So many amazing appointments happened this week. It feels so good to even have appointments and then to have them go as powerful as they are..... is just.....incredible. As this transfer comes to an end always makes you look back and evaluate the last 6 weeks. My conclusion is that Rostock has been insanely difficult for me. The first 5 weeks were discouraging and frustrating..... however this last week has wiped all of that away. To be a witness of Gods miracles is the most invigorating boost I have ever felt. I know that sometimes we must have a trial of our faith before we reap the blessings that Heavenly Father has in store for us.
     Spiritual Thought: My very inspired sister sent me a talk last week by President Uchtdorf entitled, The Infinite Power of Hope. Through my studies, I learned that the word Hope often has a hint of uncertainty. For example, I hope that the weather changes today, or my friend visits me. In these examples, the word Hope is uncertain. However, when ever the word Hope is used in the language of the Gospel, Hope is sure, unwavering and active. In Alma it say we must have a "firm hope" or in 1 Peter, it states that we must have a "Lively Hope". This kind of hope is both a principle of happiness and a commandment. As with all commandments, we have the responsibility to make it an active part of our lives or we will suffer the consequences of worldly sorrow. Moroni even said, That without hope we cannot receive an inheritance to the kingdom of God. Uchtdorf say, "Hope is not knowledge, but rather the abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promise to us. It is confidence that if we live according to Gods laws and the words of His prophets now, we will receive desired blessings in the future. It is believing and expecting that our prayers will be answered. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm and patient perseverance.With hope comes joy. With hope we can have patience and bear our afflictions." This type of hope in God, His goodness, and His power refreshes us with courage during difficult challenges and give strength to those who feel threatened by enclosing walls of fear, doubt, and despair. Uchtdorf ends his talk with, "And to all who suffer-to all who feel discouraged, worried, or lonely-I say with love and deep concern for you, never give in. Never surrender. Never allow despair to overcome your spirit. Embrace and rely upon the hope of Israel, for the love of the Son of God pierces all darkness, softens all sorrow, and gladdens every heart." I pray that we can all have more hope this week!!
     Well that just about does it for this week! Things have been so insanely busy and with my new companion coming tomorrow I have a feeling things are about to get even crazier!! I don't know how we are going to be able to do this, but the Lord always provides a way. I couldn't do it with out the continuous love and support from all of you! Thank you for the words of encouragement and prayers....they always help tremendously!! I wish you all a good week!
Sister Linford

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

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