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

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