Monday, December 3, 2012

Winter Wonderland!

      Hallo! all I got to say! Rostock has been colder than ever. It has been snowing lots here this week. The wind makes it so much worse too. I remember when I use to complain about winters in Utah.....hahaha yeah, that wont be happening again! Despite the frigid temperatures, awesome work was still to be had here!
      Last P-day we spent the majority of our day at something we call in Germany the Weinachts Markt. Which just means Christmas market. It was a Christmas dream!! I remember watching Christmas movies and seeing towns that were decked out in decorations and always thinking, "I wish this really happened, and it wasn't just in movies!" Well I know where Hollywood got all of their ideas! Germany! It was seriously right out of a incredible! I loved every bit of it :). In addition, that night for FHE we decorated the Christmas trees for the church. Its official....I am now in the Christmas Mood!!
      This past week was our Christmas Zone Conference. We actually got to spend the night in Berlin Tuesday evening because we needed to be in Berlin really early in the morning. We stayed with Sister Child and Sister Larsen who are currently serving in Berlin. It was a blast as always to spend the rare and cherished time with others of the female gender. Zone Conference was amazing! It has been so long that I have gotten to just sit and enjoy a spiritual message that I understand!! The only meetings that are in English now are Zone conference and we haven't had one in ages. It really was such a re-charge of the spiritual battery. It was also fun to see my trainer, Sister Neukomm there, along with Sister Dieterich. We are reppin' the Holla-hood(Holladay) well in Germany!
      We got to do a service project this week! We helped a family move. They use to be investigators and they said that the Elders just stopped coming by and they aren't sure why. It was a perfect opportunity to build up contact with them again. However, it provided quite the workout! They live on the top of the 9th floor. In Germany not too many buildings have elevators either, so LOTS of stairs and heavy furniture it was! My calves and biceps are still hurting, but the pain was worth the gain!
      Yesterday was our ward Christmas program! It went so well! We had 5 investigators at church!!! It was so awesome! The elders also had 3 investigators there, totaling at 8. The bishopric came up to us and said that have never seen so many investigators at church :). The musical numbers were awesome and everyone felt the spirit so strong. We also had quite the German feast after the program. The investigators got right in and were talking to the was so cool! Most of them didnt leave until 3pm and church starts at 10am!! It was seriously the best Sunday I have had on my mission!
      Our investigators are all doing well for the most part! Charles and Patrick who we put on baptismal date last week are doing awesome! They are both reading lots in their scriptures every day trying to get ready for December 29th :). We actually started teaching their friend now as well. Me and Sister Moon actually split up and I teach Patrick who likes to get really deep in the Bible and she teaches Ali (their friend) and Charles who need just the basics, It works amazing because that just fits our personalities better. Than at the end we all come together and have a testimony meeting/ review of what we learned. They are awesome!
      We are also still having such incredible lessons with Anna! Wow, I love teaching her so much! This week we really felt that instead of continuing to teach her the commandments, that we needed to do something else. We prayed all week, but nothing was coming to us. It came to the point that her appointment was in 5 minutes and we still had no idea what we really were going to talk about. I still can't tell you exactly what was said....but the spirit guided that time we had together. We talked a lot about Christ and what Christmas really means, It was more of just a discussion but she got emotional at the end and said that she really needed that and  she hopes that we don't stop meeting with her. Don't worry Anna, we have no plan of stopping!
      Spiritual Thought: This week at Zone Conference a missionary who is going home in just a few weeks was bearing his testimony. He said he has learned that in his time here that you can either choose to go on your knees or be forced. He was referring to trials that we all experience in life. I loved this statement because it is so true! We need our Heavenly is just a fact. We can either recognize that from the beginning and make it easier on ourselves....or we can be stubborn and wait to the point where we can't take it anymore and get forced to ask for help. It reminded me of the quote, "Sometimes the Lord brings you low, so he can bring us higher." And that is exactly what the process of trials and asking God for help does for us! This is a gospel of Becoming. We aren't expected to be perfect. There are just ways of life to become like him that make it a lot easier if we choose to do them. Take the story of Lehi's family going into the Wilderness. Laman and Lemuel were obedient just as Nephi was.....they all left their belongings and traveled away from Jerusalem....but their attitude was very different. They fought their trials and asked questions such as why is this happening to me? Such questions can overtake their vision, absorb their energy, and deprive them of experiences the Lord wants them to receive. The difference is that Nephi was willing to go to Heavenly Father for help and put his trust in Him. "Whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day."(Alma 36:3) I hope that we can all be quick to look towards Heavenly Father this week in help with our trials!!
      Well thank you all again for another great week of emails! I am excited to hear more of the happenings in your lives next week! Thanks for all the love and support!! Bis nächste Montag!!
Sister Linford

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