Monday, December 17, 2012

On Fire Literally!

      Hallo! Well this week takes the cake for the craziest week on my mission! So much happened and so little sleep was had haha. Stellar combo right? But, it truly was an awesome week!
      It started off last Monday with the Preets. This is the family that I write often about. They are traveling back to India for a month and they needed help getting to the airport in Hamburg. We just happened to be going to Hamburg for exchanges last Monday as well. Manpreet is a single mother with 2 children, and 2 crazy children at that! We got her and all of her massive amounts of luggage totaling at well over 200 lbs. from Rostock to Hamburg. Our morning starting at 4 am and this adventure ended at 2 pm! Now that you know the end and the beginning, lets fill in the middle! Two of the 50 lbs. suitcases broke on the way. The youngest child Sam had a poopy diaper for a solid 2.5 hrs and there was nothing we could do. The airport workers made a mistake with their passports and called the police. Oh the drama. We worked that out right before they were going to be taken away. Me and my companion had to literally drag the broken suitcases through 5 different trains and finally the airport. And although my companion and I were about ready to pull our hair out at the end of this ended in the best of sorts. The chance of me getting transferred is pretty high and so this is most likely the last time I will see them. It was a tearful goodbye from the family that has just completely taken me in here in Rostock.
      As we walked out of the airport, we were  filled with relief as we thought we had the rest of P-day just to relax. Boy were we wrong. We decided we would go see the sisters that serve in Langenhorn, which is Sister Bohne my MTC companion, and then just do our emails there. My current companion use to serve in Langenhorn so she is a pro at navigating us all around Hamburg. To make a very long story short, we were just walking out of emailing our families when we got a frantic phone call from an elder we didn't know. He asked us if we were still in Langenhorn, which is a city right outside of Hamburg. We happened to just be walking to the train station to go to Hamburg to meet all the other sisters for exchanges. He said that the fire department just called him and we need to get to the sisters apartment as fast as we can to see what is going on because the Langenhorn sisters aren't answering their phone. Right as we hung up the phone we hear sirens and lots of them. We took off in a full blown run towards their apartment following the flashing lights. When we arrived a swarm of fireman were going back for the hose, pulling it off the truck as fast as they could. They all saw our tags and thought we were the ones who lived there. In seconds we had 7 different people yelling at us for the keys. See in Germany they have really really weird laws and they cant just break down a door. We were trying to explain that we didn't live there so we didn't have the keys but we were all come from the same organization. They accepted that answer and asked if they could bust the door down, we of course gave them permission. Within seconds we heard them axing away at the door and windows were opening with smoke billowing out of them. It was at this moment that my companion and I looked at each other and she let out an awkward giggle and all I could say is, "This is real life...." Our phone was ringing off the hook. It was my mission president, the zone leaders, the landlord.....everyone BUT the Langenhorn sisters. Everyone was in a frenzy. While my companion manned the phone I was having to give all sorts of information about us, the sisters who actually live there, the mission office, and so much more to multiple policemen and fireman. This is all in German too.....haha man alive it was stressful. In the end we found out that the fire was started in the kitchen from them leaving the stove on. The fireman that talked to us said it was a sheer miracle that the whole thing didn't blow. He said that the fire reached the gas line and everything. His last sentence was, "You really must be from a church!" haha yes we are! The damage was fairly minimal which was VERY lucky. After about 1 hour and 20 min. the Langenhorn sisters finally arrived. Just shocked and frankly a tad embarrassed. We were just laughing as we showed them around their apartment. Needless to say our meeting time for exchanges totally got butchered. The sisters from the cities of Kiel and Elmshorn had to rush back to appointments. So it was us Rostock and Langenhorn just left in a daze haha. We couldn't make it back to Rostock that night because we missed our train and we couldn't sleep in the smokey to Elmshorns sister apartment for the first 6 sister sleepover! See blessings always come :)! We had a blast that night laughing about the fire and talking about funny memories we all have with each other.
      The next morning started yet again very early. We decided to go ahead with exchanges and just meet back up the following day. So my companion took my MTC companion back to Rostock. The other two sisters went back to Langenhorn and I got to spend the morning with Sister Niebergall :). This is the sister I lived with in Dresden. Oh man we had too much fun! Before we knew it, it was time to exchange with the Kiel sisters where I was suppose to be the whole time. I may have been a tad tardy, but I finally got to have my time with Sister Thornton and return back to Kiel! I love that city! And I love Sister Thornton! She was the other sister besides Sister Bohne who I was in the MTC with. We had a blast that day together! And the night could not have ended better...I got to play soccer! Every Tuesday night all the missionaries in Kiel get to go play indoor soccer. Oh my heavens I loved every second of it!
      Wednesday started once again earlier than normal. We had to catch a train to meet back with everyone in Hamburg. Before I knew it I was on yet another train headed back to my own city of Rostock finally reunited with my real companion. The craziness was not over though. We had only a few hours in our city before we had to get on a train for Berlin. Because of all the traveling, we packed our appointments like sardines! We didn't even have time to go to the apartment. It was bam bam bam and then on a train to Berlin! We spent the night in Berlin because we had Zone Conference early the next morning.
      Zone Conference was amazing!! It was a special one where Elder Kent Richards did a mission tour. It was 4 hours without a break, but it was incredible! Wowza, he is an amazing general authority! He was a mission president in Texas and gave the best advice. Plus, we got to see half the mission again at this conference...which means more sister time! Oh how I love it!! It is always a blast being around the other sisters.
      Finally late Thursday I returned to my apartment for the first time in 4 days! I was so excited to finally sleep in a bed!
      There was so much drama and traveling this week but what I haven't talked about is our investigators! We had some of the most amazing lessons this week! This area truly is booming! We nearly tied our record this week and we were gone so much of the time! It was nuts! But its such a blessing to have people so willing to meet with you and learn more!
      Patrick is doing amazing and is looking good for his baptism in less than 2 weeks! Anna is having a great time with her family right now for Christmas. We are sad that we cant meet with her during her school break, but we still talk often :). Mark is a new investigator of ours. He actually requested to stop meeting with the elders and start meeting with us because every time I taught he felt that it was just for him. I have been saying I wish Mark was our investigator for weeks now, so I was super stoked for the switch to happen! We have met with him lots this past week and he is progressing really well! Bodo is still praying about when his baptismal date should be but he has the strongest testimony of the book of Mormon now and is doing fantastic! I know its only a matter of time with him! I would love to tell you more about our investigators but I just don't have enough time! We have been super blessed with a lot of people to teach right now. It will be interesting what transfer calls bring in a week and a half! Yikes I am nervous!
      Spiritual Thought: This month I have really tried to focus my studies on Jesus Christ. I was reading in the Bible when I read two different scriptures that struck me. The first is found in Mark 1:16-18 and says, 16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. 18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him. We all have nets in our live that keep us from walking with our Savior. Temptations or distractions of the world sometime create nets that prevent us from focusing on what is important. What are the nets in your life right now that are keeping you from going "straightway" towards Christ? The second is found in John 1:38-39 and reads, 38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? 39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day. When we walk with Christ we will see where he "dwells". We all say we want to be like Christ or we want to be full of faith, but what are we doing to get there? Christ has invited us to come and see what he has to offer. I pray that we can all focus on how we can "come and see" more in our lives by leaving our nets behind and following Christ straightway! Thanks for all the love and support! I love you all so much and am so grateful for each one of you! I pray so hard every day for the people back home. This season brings those feeling of gratitude to the surface.....I just love it! I hope you all enjoy your Christmas season! Also this next week I will not be doing emails next Monday because it's Christmas Eve, so emails will be done this coming Saturday instead. So email before then :)! KEEP THE FAITH!
Sister Linford

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

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