Monday, November 26, 2012


1. Me and Sister Moon in Prenzlau
2. Me being silly muhahah
3. Okay so children are NOT allowed to sit on your lap and this kid just came over and plopped right down and my companion wanted to get a pic for black mail hahaha. 

160 mph

      I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving feasts and great sales! Oh how I miss both....I must admit the latter of the two gets me more excited though :). I would like to think that J.Crew was sad that I wasnt there this year. Although I didn't not have a Holiday this week in Germany, I have much to be thankful for! Everything is going so well here. My companion and I have gotten into a really great groove together and the work has never felt more enjoyable.
      This week I am warning this letter is going to be short and rather boring. Me and my companion got about 2 hours of sleep last night is all. There was a massive party in the apartment next to ours until 4am At first we were laying in bed loving life singing all the words to music we haven't heard in what feels like ages. And although I may have screamed in sheer joy as 50cent and Nelly came on.......after a few hours we just wanted the much needed shut eye. P day nap is going to be a must.
      I am excited to share some good news of the week.....we have two more baptismal dates!! Their names are Patrick and Charles! We are extremely excited to get them ready for such an amazing event in their lives :). The date that we set as a goal is December 29th. This is going to be a big month in Rostock! The average baptism in this city for the last 10 years, is one per year and I think we can get 3 or 4 this month hopefully :). So cool to be apart of! They are both really cool guys. They are roommates and it will be nice for them to have each other as a support through this whole thing. And of course they are English speakers!! Haha once again, I am now more sure than ever my mission was to come to Germany to find English speakers! We currently have 10 English speaking investigators haha. Everyone just shakes their head and says, "Sister Linford....I have no idea how you find them, but you are a magnet for English speakers!!" That's just how I roll.
      Anna is doing amazing! Wow she is a missionary's dream to teach. She is really soaking everything in and always has the best questions. She is even going to sing at our ward Christmas night this Sunday! We are excited to see her vocal stylings in action :).
      With this week being the first of the new transfer, we got to meet our new District leader. He is from Austria and is super nice. He is a transfer younger than me as crazy as that is, but I have been super impressed with him already. I am excited to get to serve with him. We also welcomed our new Zone Leader.....however, he is not new to me. Elder Riesen and me served in Dresden together my first 3transfers. He was the one who helped me plan all the fun pdays. He is stellar and I am exited to get to serve with him again as well.
      This week brought a unique experience. It wont exactly sound unique to most of you, if not all of you....but, I got to ride in a car this week!! Haha it has been SO long since this has happened! The only area in the mission that sisters get a car, just got shut down last week haha, so my dreams of not only riding in a car, but actually driving....just got shattered. Wow....18 months without driving might kill me, or my passengers when I finally do get behind the wheel again ha. Oh and yes I did drive on the Autobahn and we went approximately 160 mph. It was pretty freaking great!  
      Spiritual Thought: This week as we were teaching Anna the commandments, she gave a simple answer that has stuck with me for some reason. I asked her, "Why do you think that God gave us commandments?" Her answer was right on and ended with a sentence that was around, "so that you can become the person that you want to become." This is definitely not your typical answer involving safety or is much deeper. Jesus asked a similar question. He said, "What manner of men ought ye to be?" Then answering his own question he said, "Even as I am." Jesus not only came to atone for our sins, he also came to show us the way. He is the way. You may not only become like Him, but everything is stacked in your favor to become like Him. Think of this life as a path on which you never stand still. As you move forward, you incorporate into your being the characteristics and qualities of God. As you move backward, you take on the qualities of Satan. Every challenge you face, every hard thing you confront, every unfairness, sadness, tragedy, temptation, etc. all happens for one purpose only: to give you the opportunity to respond by applying in your life the teachings of Jesus. As you do so you are changed to become more like Him. In short when you choose to follow Christ you move forward and assimilate attributes of light. However when you do not, you move backward and acquire attributes of darkness. So ask yourself, who do you want to become? What will happen if you don't plan? What will happen if you have no vision of who you want to become? There are two ways to evolve. Deliberately and accidentally. You can either decide who you want to become and deliberately work towards that, or you can just go with the flow and become whatever life makes of you. Whatever you become accidentally, it will not be nearly the full measure of your potential. Choose deliberately to move forward towards light and you will choose intelligence, strength, capacity, peace, contentment, grace, power, happiness, mercy, and every other good thing.
      This next week should be rather exciting. We have Zone Conference in Berlin! We haven't had a Zone Conference in SO long and they are everyone's, its our Christmas one! The mission gets split in half and there is two different ones.....which means I get to see half the sisters! Couldn't be more stoked about that! Also, I may get to go to a baptism in Dresden! I am really hoping my Mission President will allow this to happen. Melanie means the world to me, and being there for her baptism is something that I would remember forever. So cross your fingers with me :). Thanks for all the wonderful support! I love each of you! I hope you have a fantastic week, bis nächste montag!
Sister Linford

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

Monday, November 19, 2012

I beat the Asian

      Gobble Gobble. How stoked are you all for Thanksgiving?? Not gonna lie, I am tad bit jealous. I wish Columbus would have landed on Germany and met some Indians so we could have a feast this week too. I dont even know if they sell turkeys here haha. Well this week has been another one down in the freezing city of Rostock! Lots of traveling, transfer calls, president interviews,emergency medicine, and much more all in the last 7 days....madness I say! Lets get into the details shall we?
      Last P-day was one for the books. The sisters in Hamburg got special permission for a group of us to be able to spend our Pday in their beautiful and exciting city. The sisters in hamburg hosted one fun day! Not only was the day filled with a massive carnival, shopping, and ice cream....every girls dream day.... but we were in stellar company. My favorite sisters were there together. Sister Bohne(MTC companion), Sister Shearr(my soul sista that is sadly going home tomorrow), Sister Niebergall(I lived with her when I was in Dresden, laughs are a guarantee with this one), Sister Thornton(Also was in the MTC with me and we are very close), Sister odenwalder(I'll be honest, dont know her very well because she is new, but she is a sweetheart), and Sister Laubaugh (My last exchange was with her and she was the baller who dyed my hair). The list just can't get much better than that! We really do have some hilarious sisters in this mission. They are just so normal to my surprise haha. I cant wait to hang out with all of them after the mission!
      Tuesday night turned into quite the operation, literally. I got a call from the elders who serve with us in Rostock. I couldnt understand them very well but from the phone call I did get that Elder Pollard had hurt his foot and that they were on the way to the church. Elder Stanley was laughing and kept saying, "Stop wiggling!" Needless to say, I was confused and intrigued. I went outside to the front door of the church to see Elder Stanley carrying Elder Pollard on him back, piggy back style. I knew whatever the story was it was going to be a good one. When they got closer I saw a shoe was missing from Elder Pollard and his foot was very bloody. They told me that they were walking in the dreaded place of Toitenwinkle (where the angry midget lives) and Pollard was being an idiot and was jumping over the train tracks and somehow landed on a piece of glass that went through his shoe into his foot. We got him inside and I saw there was still a piece of glass in him foot. You can call me Doctor. I got the glass out and examined it to see if he needed stitches. He got really lucky that his shoe took most of the beating so he didnt need stitches. After I patched it all up he said he was feeling A-Okay. First EMT experience on the mission, check.
      President Interviews were this week! I haven't had an interview since July because President Kosak doesn't do them very frequently. I am not going to lie I was a little nervous. My mission president can be quite the intimidating German. It actually went really well. It was only about 5 minutes. He said lots of praises about the turn around that Rostock has seen and how I have done really well with my companion. Then he told me just straight up, that I would be staying in Rostock with Sister Moon for one more transfer. Yep, I got told before transfer calls :). Such a relief to find out! I was pretty stoked to hear that, its everything I wanted for this next transfer. He did say though that I only have one more transfer here and that I would be training very soon and that the last half of my mission would be training. He also made a crazy announcement....with the major increase in missionaries that the church is experiencing right now, we have been told that are mission is expanding. Next year we will receive 4 more elders and......drum roll......36 new sisters!!!!! OH MY HECK!!!! Um hello, thats a jump from the 26 we have now don't you think?! On March and April nearly every sister will be crazy! It is going to put our mission at 280-290 missionaries, being the largest in the world. Holler. So amazing! I cant even imagine it here with so many sisters but it is going to make such a difference. The sisters in this mission on average have significantly more success than the elders, so I cant wait to see the work here boom :)
      We also had our last district finding this past week. Every week this last transfer we have been traveling to a city in our zone and all the missionaries in our zone do finding there for a day to help boost investigators. This week was in Neubrandenburg. It was freezing, literally. Yep the temperature was 0°C....and when the temperature is freezing here is SOOO much colder than Utah. The wind off the Ocean is just straight up gnarly. To warm ourselves up we all took a lunch break. The elders chose this Asian Buffet. The end result was.... Asian Buffet 1, Sister Linford 0. I got destroyed. That food was not normal and I got so sick from it. haha it was a long train ride home.
      Saturday brought transfer calls. Although I already knew the results of my companion and I, I was still very excited to hear the verdict on the rest of the mission! As tradition has it, the missionaries in Rostock always listen to transfer calls together. Us and the Elders meet at the Senior Sisters apartment and make a big breakfast. Then we all sit around the phone listening intently with our plate of crepes :). We all shouted with joy when we found out the elders in Rostock would be staying as well and that we all would get to spend Christmas together. There were some fun surprises as always! One of them being that my MTC companion Sister Bohne is training!! Everyone was shocked!! I wish her the best of luck though and I know she will do a great job.
      Ping Pong was pretty epic this week. Every Saturday evening we play ping pong at the institute here in Rostock. It is a great activity to get investigators and potential investigators to. There are some pretty intense ping pong players that show up every week. I have never come close to winning, but this week I got my game face on and finally beat the nearly profession asian kid that comes and trumps everyone normally. It was a proud moment. He also invited me to come play basketball with him, the elders, and a bunch of his friends on Saturday. A whole court of people to share the gospel with? I think this is going to be a great week.
      The work is still going really well! We are making a lot of progress with Anna. She is seriously amazing! She loved every bit of the plan of salvation! This week.....we are talking about baptism wish me luck! Now onto an amazing miracle of this week! There is a kid named Marcel. He actually found and research the church out on his own. Through facebook he got in contact with a member that lives here in Germany to find out where he could find a church. Amazing right? well this kid shows up a few weeks ago. The elders and us have both been teaching him. He knows SO much already and has such an amazing light about him. Yesterday in Sunday school, he said he wanted to be baptized!! We were all a little surprised but so excited! And....he doesnt want to wait. This saturday we are having a baptism :)!!!!!!!!!! Marcel is going to become a member of the Kirche Jesu Christi Der Heiligen Der Letzten Tage!! Things somehow just keep getting better and better! I am loving my time here! Even though I am sacrificing a turkey day to be here, it is so worth it!!
      Spiritual Thought: I was reading in Alma chapter 26 where Ammon says, "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." The thing that struck me in this verse is the humility that is displayed by Ammon. To be humble is to recognize gratefully your dependence on the Lord. We need to understand our constant need for His support. Humility is not weakness or fear, it is strength. It shows that you know where your true strength lies. The lord will strengthen us and we humble ourselves to Him. "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble..... Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up"(James 4:6,10). Sometimes its hard to accept that we are not perfect or that we need help.....that we might actually need the help of another; or even the help of the Savior through the Atonement. But as we humble ourselves we will see the enabling and strengthening aspects of the Atonement in our lives. We will see what we need to do to become better in ways that we could never have recognized or accomplished with our limited mortal capacity. Let us resolve to Humble ourselves and work with diligence to become the person we were designed to become. As we humble ourselves we will become more receptive to the Holy Ghost. Through this Heavenly Father will reveal to us things we never knew about ourselves. He will illuminate the path ahead and open our eyes to see our unknown or perhaps unimagined talents. Humble yourself to where you will be able to follow Jesus Christ will your whole being. Rely on the Savior. Rely on his Grace. The more we rely on him, the more we will feel. that we are on the track out Heavenly Father has intended for us.
      I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving! Please know I am grateful for each one of you in my life. I am grateful for my amazing family who has been the best support system I could ever ask for. I am grateful to be here in Germany and have this incredible opportunity to be a representative of Jesus Christ. And most of all I am grateful for my Savior who has made it possible to have all of this for eternity. LOVE YOU ALL AND KEEP THE FAITH!!!
Sister Linford

Sister Jessica Linford
Friedrich Str. 14
18057 Rostock

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Zone Training Meeting/Interviews Neubrandenburg 11-12

Post from the Mission blog, Zone Training Meeting/Interviews
Zone Neubrandenburg without District Eberswalde 11-12

Monday, November 12, 2012

Skinny Jeans

      Guten Tag! I hope everyone is doing fantastic on this chilling Monday! I also hope everyone had a great week! We were pretty busy here in Rostock. Which means I was a happy camper! I don't have very much time to write today because we are going to Hamburg for P-day.....can I get a woot woot? This means I will get to see a bunch of other sisters, which is always laughs and smiles :).
      Last Monday something monumental happened......I convinced my 3rd companion in a row now, to buy her first pair of skinny jeans! I am taking the hick right out of Sister Moon haha jk.....but only kinda :). Right after we were leaving from the store where we bought her new pants, we got a call from the elders in our city to come quickly to the church. When we arrived there was a slight situation coming from the mens bathroom and flowing into the hallway. It was a doozie. We titled this event as "pooh carpet". The poor elders spent the rest of their Pday ripping up carpet hahahaha.......there are some perks of being a sister.
      Tuesday we had a lunch appointment. An investigator of ours wanted to celebrate the special voting day for us Americans. So naturally, we went to Asian Imbiss for lunch :). Naturally.
      Wednesday was one of the greats on my mish. We have been teaching this really amazing girl named Anna. She is 20 years old and is a student. I think I may have mentioned her in my last email. The girl speaks perfect english and German. You all know how I love them english speakers :). Well I had one of the most powerful lessons on my entire mission with Anna on Wednesday. We were teaching the plan of salvation and we were reading in 2 Nephi 2 and her response was, "Nephi is a really smart guy, like he really knows his stuff!!" haha we all started laughing way hard....I couldnt agree more with Anna. Then at the end we had run out of time so we told her we would have to finish up next time. She then asked if our next appointment was learning this same stuff because she wanted to stay and hear yeah, is that not every missionary's dream to have an investigator begging you to stay?! She is amazing! I cant wait for our next appointment!
      Thursday was a day of Travel, to Prenzlau that is. It is a really small city about 4 hrs away from us. We went there to help the elders that are serving there find people to teach. We were able to find a lady named Carri. Wowza she is awesome! We sat down and basically gave her 2 lessons because she didnt want to stop! It was so great. Those elders are lucky to have her as a new investigator!
      Friday we went to the Preets for FHE. They have been dying to have us teach them how to make American brownies because the ones here are awful. They surprised us with dinner after we had already eaten lunch and had another surprise eating appointment right before.....I was not cut out for the mass amounts of food some days on the mission require! However, preets food is always my favorite! I will take Indian food over German any day! haha.
      Saturday was the day of our big Service Project that me and my comp have been planning all transfer long. It took place at the Zoo, how cool is that?! We raked a TON of leafs and then we got to go around and see the animals for a bit. Our entire zone of missionaries plus members from our ward came. It was a big success!!
      This week really was a stellar one! Our numbers were higher than ever! Sister Moon is a great companion and she is willing to work incredibly hard which I appreciate SO much. There are amazing things happening in this city and I honestly feel so lucky to be apart of it all :). This next week we have some pretty awesome things planned as well. Hamburg today, Berlin on Thursday for president interviews, Neubrandenburg on Friday to help the elders there, Saturday is transfer calls, and Sunday is a fireside that we have planned.....whooo it is going to be a crazy week! I really hope I get to stay here in Rostock for another transfer!! We will see on Saturday!!
      Spiritual thought: Since I don't have much time today, another Mormon message it is! It is such a great film that really makes you grateful for the life that you have. The story of this woman is touching. She is so full of the light of Christ despite all that she has gone through. The light of Christ is an influence in tfor good in the lives of all people. It is such a powerful attribute to have. I pray that we can all focus more on our Savior and becoming like him so we too can shine as strong as the woman in this film does!

Thanks for everything! Love you all!
Sister Linford

Monday, November 5, 2012

Back in Black

      Hallo my homies! Where in the world did October go?? Whoo, time is flying by! I hope you are all enjoying the drop in temperature ;) haha. I keep getting emails that basically say, you don't need to be homesick because it is freezing here in Utah! I assure you I know how you feel haha, it is much colder here in Rostock......2 pairs of thermals with a pair of tights over it?? say what?? NORMAL.
      This week was a blast! I felt like I wasn't in Rostock that much, but it was awesome! Traveling had us up at 5 am on Wednesday morning to head to DCM in Greifswald. We returned at about 4pm and then the next morning the whole traveling thing started over. Thursday morning we traveled to Hamburg for our one exchange of the transfer. (I will talk more about it later.) Then it was off to Kiel where I would be doing my exchange. Friday, we traveled backed to Hamburg to exchange back. Saturday morning it was finally back to Rostock. was 3.5 days other cities and 15 hours on a train!
      Exchanges are my favorite!! I love them with all of my heart! Getting to see other sisters is such a blast! Especially, since we are the only sisters in our entire zone, so we never get to see other sisters. I finally got to see Sister Bohne my companion from the MTC!! Oh how I have missed her! It was like a cheesy movie scene where 2 people see eachother and run to a dramatic embrace haha. If that wasnt great enough, I also got to see Sister Thornton who was in the MTC with us as well. It was such a funny reunion for all 3 of us. All the other sisters were just laughing as we did a group hug for like 15 minutes.
      My exchange was with Sister Laubaugh who is freaking hilarious. I met her my very first transfer and have been hoping for a exchange ever since. With her going home in a few weeks, I felt pretty lucky to claim her last exchange! Every said that we would be a hilarious combination because we both are just too fabulous with a little bit of black flare. Whatever that means haha. But they were all right....that was one dangggg good exchange! Full of deep chats and lots of laughing, just like all the good ones are ;). I got to be in the city of Kiel for almost 2 days. It is so pretty! I loved it there! It is weird, my first week I was on my mission I told my trainer that I felt like I would serve in Rostock and Kiel. The first one came true, so it will be interesting to see if I ever serve in Kiel.
      We had lots of fun adventures in Kiel! Kiel is a bike city, which for me is always an adventure! I have lucked out with avoiding bike cities ha, but its just has to :-/. It was pouring rain and I just found myself lauging so hard as I am just peddling my heart out and riding basically blind due to lack of visabilitly due to mass amounts of water running into my eyes. Too funny. Laubaugh also talked me into letting her dye my hair.....haha such laughs. I have now been welcomed back to the dark side :). Back in black!
      With our second day of exchange, the laughs kept on rolling in. We got a call that morning saying that the ward really need our help getting a funeral together. It surprising was a lot of fun! We went and decorated the church for the families lunch afterwards. Then set up tables and chairs, the whole she-bang. Laubaugh just kept apologizing that this is what I was seeing of Kiel, but it really was fun. I got to get to know a lot of the ward members, and they were awesome! I really would love to serve in Kiel. Friday evening it was time to travel back to Hamburg and meet up with all the sisters again. However, we planned a little special something. the day before while joking around with Sister Moon (my current companion) and her exchange companion, Sister Niebergall (She lived with me for a few weeks when I was in Dresden)......there may have been a challenge to have a rap battle. Well the rules were set and the time and place was the hamburg train station when we all met to exchange back. It went down, the throw down that is. SO FUNNY. We rapped about our funeral and lots of other funnies. The other sisters were dying. We may or may not have had a small croud around us....which probably isnt the best while rocking the black namtags, but it made for some epic videos and memories that will last for years! Yeah thats how we do it here in the Berlin Mission......holler.
      Well my precious companion got our train time mixed up so we ended up missing our train back to Rostock and the next one wouldn't put us in Rostock until 1 am. So after a call to the AP's we got approval to sleep at the Hamburg Sisters apartment. Yes that just happens to be where Sister Bohne is serving currently! As well as Sister Moons old companion who I love dearly, Sister Schaerr. We didn't want to call them and tell them because we decided it would be funny to just show up and surprise them. Hamburg was my current companions first city and so like a pro she navigated us right to their apartment before they got home. We waited for them with our cameras ready. We may or may not have scared them to death by jumping out of the bushes to surprise them, but it was funny so it makes it all okay :). It was so refreshing to be able to just chat with Bohne even just for a little before we went to bed. The next morning we were off, but man it was a blast!! Don't worry, even though it doesn't sound like it, lots of missionary work got done these few joyous days!
      To update you on people......William, has a baptismal date and is doing awesome! We actually met with him 3 times this week. He is doing really well and he is even getting some friends for referrals to give us.... couldn't get better than that! Degol has been gone, but he is still doing well and is still planning on getting baptized with William in December. Sarah came to church yesterday! She is an amazing 20 year old student who asks the best questions. She speaks perfect German and English We are excited what will come with her in the future. The Preets are doing better every week. We are having FHE with them this week and teaching them how to make American Brownies haha. I honestly cant wait, they are my family here in Rostock!
      Lessons and New appointments just keep rolling in. Things here are going really well! I feel pretty lucky to be here in this city with a great companion!! So many miracles every week, its impossible to email them to you all....but they are happening, We are completey booked this next week with a service project at the Zoo and a day in a city called weeks email should not be boring.
      Spiritual Thought: On my way to email today I stopped and talked to a lady. I asked her what she wanted in life. She gave just a one word answer.....Peace. In a world where peace is such a universal quest....we sometimes wonder why we still see so much violence and hate that smother tranquility. Anger, hatred, and contention are foes that are not easily subdued. They leave their destructive paths in forms of tears, pain, sorrow, and shattered hopes of what could have been. World peace may seem like a lofty goal, but it is an outgrowth of the personal peace each individual seeks to attain. I am not talking about the peace promoted by man, but the peace promised of God. Peace after the way of man is perishable. Peace after the manner of God will prevail. "anger doesnt solve anything. It builds nothing, but it can destroy everything." The consequences of conflict are so devastating that we we seek for guidance-even a way to ensure our success as we seek the path to peace. So how do we get this peace in our life? President Monson has suggested 3 ideas. First is Search Inward. Self Evaluation is always a difficult procedure. The price of peace is righteousness. "Men and nations may loudly proclaim peace, but there shall be no peace until individuals nature in their souls those principles of personal purity, integrity, and character which foster the development of peace. Peace cannot be imposed. It must come from the lives and hearts of men. There is no other way." To find peace we must live in honesty, honoring each other, honoring obligations, working willing, loving and cherishing loved ones, serving and considering others, with patience, with virtue, with faith, and forbearance. Life is for learning, serving, repenting, and improving. "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
      Second is Reach Outward. Though exaltation is a personal matter, you cannot live in a vacuum. Occasionally discouragement may darken our pathway; frustration may be a constant companion. Trusting in the lord let us turn our heads from such feelings and make certain our feet are firmly planted in the path of service and our hearts and souls dedicated to follow the example of the lord. "In moments when the light of resolution dims and when the heart grows faint, we can take comfort in His promise: "Be not weary in well-doing....Out of small things proceedeth that which is great. Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind"
      Third, Look Heavenward. "As we do we find it comforting and satisfying to communicate with Heavenly Father through prayer, that path to spiritual power-even a passport to peace." His divine plan can save us from sin, complacency, and error. His examples points the way. When faced with temptation, He shunned it. When offered the world, He declined it. When asked for His life, He gave it. He lives! And because he lives, we shall indeed live again. This knowledge provides the peace we need in our lives.
Thanks for all the love and support!! Love you all! Bis nächste montag!
Sister Linford

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