Monday, December 31, 2012

Verdict is in

      Guten Tag! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas! And can you believe it is nearly 2013?! Wowza where does time go? Christmas here in Germany was fantastic! We weren't allowed to go and talk to people on the streets most of the week. Here in Germany they would take that very offensive with the Christmas season, and it would do more damage to the church than help. So, our week was spent in members homes! I cant wait to tell all about it! Monday, was Christmas Eve or as we call it here Heilige Abend! This is even a bigger deal than Christmas here in Germany. We left at 1 pm for a day spent with our Bishopric. (The entire bishopric is related.)  We started with a table full of different cake and cookies with hot cocoa of course. My companion looked at me so stoked and said, "This is Christmas, we even get to start with dessert!!" After they kept piling our plates full of sweets they announced they had a little surprise for us. They took us to their little towns old beautiful church that was built in the 1600's. It was incredible! Many people from the town piled into the wood benches with us and we all sang Christmas songs together. It was right out of a movie :) with hundreds of candles being the only light. This country is so rich with history and it is so fun to see it everywhere you go.
      After our amazing Christmas Performance, it was back to the house for more carols sung this time only by the Eckloff family and the missionaries! We then opened the presents they got for us. It was so much fun! However dinner was still to be had! Next was our Christmas feast! We didn't get home until 9:45pm. I couldn't have asked for a better Heilige Abend here in Germany!
      Tuesday brought Christmas! We got to sleep in an hour more than normal which honestly is the best gift you could give any missionary haha. You would think with me only having 7 months left that I would be use to this whole 6:30am bidness.....but this is just not the case. Then it was off to the church to make breakfast with the elders and senior sisters. Us sisters manned the kitchen with the elders to make a mean batch of breakfast burritos. That experience was hilarious in itself. Then after breakfast, it was more presents! People in our little branch were so kind to us :). But what would Christmas be without some Christmas Bingo?? haha the rest of the afternoon was spent playing bingo, phase ten, and many other fun games. We really do have a little family here with our elders and senior sisters. We are all extremely close and I was super grateful that although I couldn't be with my real family on Christmas this year, I did get to be with my Rostock family!
We saved the best for last though! SKYPE!!! Oh man, it was sooooo amazing to get to talk to the people who mean the very most to me! I didn't know what to expect.....was it going to be weird? Awkward? Would we run out of things to say? But, it was none of those! It just went right back to normal!! Time seemed to fly by way too fast for my liking though. I cant wait for Mothers Day when I get to skype again!
      The rest of the week was filled with many eating appointments, One of which was with an American couple. SO FUN! I really just don't think missionaries in the states know how lucky they are haha. It was so nice to just be comfortable with conversation, etiquette, and the food! I have never laughed so hard in an appointment than with the Dunn's. They are a young couple that are just here for a few months while he does a research project. She even gave us skittles at the end that she got sent to her from America.....yep thats sharing the love if I do say so myself!
      My week ended with a trip to Hamburg. President asked us to do an extra exchange this transfer. My MTC companion, Sister Bohne was in need of some help. Her companion went back to Rostock for the weekend, and I got to reunite with my very first companion :). My job was to help them patch up the problems in their program. I met with nearly every single one of their investigators during my time there. It was such a powerful weekend. They have some incredible investigators in Hamburg. It was amazing to see how fast connections were built to them. At the end I found out that there is a chance I might be sent to hamburg and that I was sent there to learn the program in case that happens. Wow, I would love to serve there. It really is SUCH a big difference from East Germany where I have spent my entire mission, to West Germany. Even though the wall has been down for years now, the effects are still very evident. It was also amazing to spend time with Sister Bohne. We went through so much together in the MTC and have really kept up an incredible friendship and support system with one another throughout our missions. It was interesting to go back to the person that I started this whole adventure with and to realize where I have grown and become different. I am still very much me, but just more refined in certain areas.
      Saturday topped off with Transfer calls. All the sisters where just buzzing around with their predictions. Everyone and their dog was just sure I was leaving Rostock. President as well as my zone leaders had also  told me I was leaving. So needless to say, I was also pretty sure I would be leaving. Well to my shock as well as everyone Else's, no changes were made really. I am staying in Rostock with Sister Moon!! I was soooo stoked! I LOVE this city and my companion is awesome! It was definitely a BIG surprise, but one that was more than welcome! Spiritual Thought: A quote by Holland is what I will leave: "Some of you may wonder: Is there any future for me? What does a new year or a new semester, a newmajor or a new romance, a new job or a new home hold for me? Will I be safe? Will life be sound? Can I trust in the Lord and in the future? Or would it be better to look back, to go back, to stay in the past?To all such of every generation, I call out, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the “high priest of good things to come” (Hebrews 9:11). Keep your eyes on your dreams, however distant and far away. Live to see the miracles of repentance and forgiveness of trust and divine love that will transform your life today, tomorrow, and forever. That is a New Year’s resolution I ask you to keep."
      Well this sums up my week! Our investigators are doing well! We have missed many of them with the Holidays and we cant wait to get back to the swing of things! I hope you all have a fantastic New years! KEEP THE FAITH!! Love you all :)
Sister Linford

Kirche Jesu Christi
Sister Linford
Friedrich Str. 14
18057 Rostock

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