Monday, January 7, 2013

Hello 2013!

    Hello!! I hope this email finds everyone happy and healthy! Well happy New Year!! 2013 is going to be a good one, I just know it! Things started out with a bang here.....quite literally! Holly cow, the fireworks here are so different! I may be silly to once again be surprised that something is completely different than in the states....but it seriously felt like World War 3 had hit. See in Germany you are only allowed to use fireworks one time in the year and it is for New Years. Well people just go crazy with these things! Plus, they are SO much louder here. Mission regulations were that we had to be in by 6pm. We planned our day to the very limit and walking home was just nutso! There was no sleeping that night either but it was kinda funny. My companion and I just chatting about what we were doing the year before and how different life is now. As with many times in life, when we approach an ending of sorts, it is naturally to look back and review. 2012 was definitely the craziest year of my life, but I know it will be a year that I look back on as a monumental one. It has been a year where life became more real and many lessons were learned that I am extremely grateful for.
    With the craziness of Germany combined with the Holiday, we were asked to stay inside for January 1st. Which we weren't that sad about because when we looked out the window, it looked like a ghost town. When holidays happen here, seriously you wouldn't even know civilization existed! It definitely could have been contributed to the famous after affect of alcohol, hang-overs! This week was excited for us and our apartment! haha we have the worst sisters apartment, no doubt. To add to this already less than great place, many items have decided to retire recently. The last month we have been living without a washer, toaster, or microwave. These are just missionary musts! haha. Anywho, last week we got to do a little appliance shopping. We purchased a new microwave and a washer that will be delivered tomorrow! Whoo! We are so stoked to be moving up in the world :). Sadly, this truly was a highlight of our week!
    Our investigators continue to do so well. We really always find ourselves at the end of the day saying, "Things here are just too good to be true!" It makes me nervous for when I have to go to a new city haha. A funny experience that we had this week was with William. A few weeks ago he was asking us about food that we miss from America. My companion blurted out Mac N' Cheese. He said that we needed to make it for him when we got our next package. Well my package came and so did the blue boxes that are worth gold. Who knew Kraft could bring so much happiness. We all got together and cooked up so good old cheesy goodness. He was like...."THIS is what you crave?!?" haha, he like it, but was definitely expected something more extravagant! It was just laughs.
    Spiritual Thought: In Matthew 14:22-33 we can find the story of when Christ walked on water. As many of you know, he invited Peter one of his apostles to join him on the water. He was nervous, but proceeded out of the boat to step on the water. He was amazed as he was able to do as Christ promised and walk on water as well. However, he quickly became distracted with the wind and started to sink. Christ had his hand outreached and picked him back up to safety. This story reminds me of our trials. For us to leave the boat and walk towards the promises of Christ is sometimes very difficult. But as we do, we see that the promises of our Lord always do come true. However, we often get distracted and lose faith as our trials appear dooming or overwhelming. Questions of "What if?" and "Why?" flood our mind and destroy our focus in the Lord. Will we take ahold of the outreached hand from our Savior when we find times like this in our lives? If Peter would have remained focused on the Savior he would have never found himself sinking. This is a lesson we can apply to our lives. Do not lose focus on the Savior. For he is our example and as we center our lives on His, we will never find ourselves sinking in face of our trials. This doesn't mean that we don't ever have to overcome our fear and step on the water, but it means we need to let our trust and faith in Christ be our focus. So this week I ask then we focus more on Christ. I know as we do, we will find the difficulties of life to be easier!
    Sorry this week is extremely short and boring, but I hope next week to be able to make up for it! I really am grateful for every one of you! I hope school and work and whatever else life is bringing is going well! KEEP THE FAITH!!!

Sister Linford
Kirche Jesu Christi
18057 Rostock

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