Sister Linford is currently serving in the Alpine German speaking mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This includes parts of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. As we get updates from her, we will post them here. If you would like to know more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or what a "mission" is all about, just visit www.mormon.org or www.lds.org, or you can leave us a comment and we can answer your questions.
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!
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 experience....it 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
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 apartment.....so....off 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!
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.
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
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!
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!
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!
Kirche Jesu Christi
Sister Jessica Linford
Friedrich Str. 14