Wednesday, March 27, 2013


     This week has been............Mind-blowing to say the least. I have no idea where to even start with this. So much has happened this week. Trying to figure out the best way to approach this email has been.....exhausting. I have always promised to be honest and real in my mission experience. Yet, there is so much that I cant share at this time. Where to begin....I just don't know, so I will start with last Monday and give quick tidbits of what has happened.
     The week started out normal. In fact incredible miracles were happening! I felt so much joy as I watched so much progress. I said goodbye to a companion that became extremely close to me; Sister Müller and I will be friends for a long time I know it. I was able to meet the new sisters that have entered to our mission. In a very very short time frame of 6 weeks, we have gone from 25 sisters to 45.......craziness. All of which are ready to work hard.
      Mission prep with Della who leaves in May for france continues to be a highlight of my week. It reminds me of all the blessings and lessons that I have experienced throughout my service as a missionary.
     I helped Ola translate important documents from German into fancy English haha, it made me grateful for my "little break" I have from school. Lots has happened with the Steinhorst family. Lea-Sophie wants to get baptized in the next few weeks :). Plus, the entire family came to church on Sunday! Claudia, continues to amaze me. We have developed a really strong friendship. She smoked her last cigarette last week! So proud of her.....she is working hard towards baptism and has changed sooo much to prepare herself.
      We got elders in our area! Both are stellar missionaries. Elder Coleman comes from London and elder Matthews is from South Jordon. It has really fun having them around. I had a big miracle. One that I will always cherish. It was in a lesson with a man names Detlev Schmidt. His wife is a very active member of our ward. She has been a member for 20 years and has been begging her husband to be baptized. He expressed a few weeks ago that his main problem is with Joseph Schmidt. We had a lessons and when we got there I had the feeling we needed to change things from our plan. We instead watched the talk from Holland abut the Book of Mormon. I experienced the gift of tongues so strong that night. I bore testimony is near perfect Germany for 15 minutes to Detlev that night. The feeling was sheer intensity. Spiritually intensity. Heavenly Father has a lot of things he needed Detlev to know that night. I spoke and he sat there with tears streaming down his face. His wife was as well. I don't know what happened that night......but it was truly special. Detlev WILL be baptized one day.......I know that.
      I had to eat weird things like raw fish on bread, and my companions lactose free milk.... We had 7 investigators come to match the 9 members :). Ola and Ahmed made me pancakes.....sheer joy. But the real craziness cant be avoided any longer. I cant go into detail as to the why, but events have made it so I have chosen to switch to a new mission. I find out most likely in the next 24 hours where I will be. The next time I will email, I will no longer be in this mission. Its been a crazy ride, but one that I am grateful for. I truly am at peace with everything and have never been more aware of my Heavenly Fathers love for me. Life is full of surprises and that's what makes it so darn fun :). I know that this is part of my plan and has been all along. There are people in another place whether that is in Austria, China, or the US that need me these last 4 months I have left. I am excited for this!!! I will give more details in my next email!! Sorry this is the shortest on date, and the weirdest......but there is more to come later!! I wish you all the best.
Sister Linford

Please do not send any letters to the Berlin Mission anymore. I will update me new location next week!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sisters in Berlin

All Sisters traveled to Berlin today for a meeting. Here is a picture from the mission presidents blog

S. Linford is in the back row, second on the left

Monday, March 18, 2013

Piano Man!

      Guten Tag!! I hope everyone enjoyed seeing every shade of Green yesterday! I however, did not participate and felt the results of it when I was greeted by my fellow American missionaries. I hope you all had a great week! Mine was full of a little bit of everything. Lots of good appointments and lots of traveling. Welcome to mission life here in Germany :).
      Most anticipated event this week, was definitely transfer calls. The results were.....shocking. I will be staying in this tiny town with Sister Schneider. She has been one of my two companions the last transfer. You would think that would be predictable results, however, it was definitely not what any of us were expecting. We are also getting elders in Frankurt Oder which was one of the towns we were assigned to. So now, we just are in Eisenhüttenstadt. We can walk around the entire city in an hour so this should be interesting. So prayers are welcomed :) haha.
      On a more positive note, a very pleasant surprise came yesterday! We had stake conference in Berlin yesterday. The stake is very large and many people were there. However, one I didn’t expect was Jon Schmidt!! Yes, I got to talk to him. He was like, "Oh my heck, you have grown up sooo much! How is your family? They are just my heroes!!" He was the first familiar face I have seen my entire mission. It was so fun to see him there. All the missionaries were freaking out that I knew him. He was definitely the celebrity of the day! He even got ATTACKED by my branch president’s wife who just started talking German at him a million words a minute. His face was priceless. I felt like his bodyguard.
      Stake Conference was just fantastic! Not only was Jon there, but we had a visit from a member of the quorum of the 70 named Elder Herbertsen. He is from Scotland, which meant....HE SPOKE ENGLISH! Oh my heavens I can’t express how incredible it is to hear the gospel in English where I can understand everything. Both he and his wife gave amazing talks and I was suuuupppper grateful for it!
      We have seen some great things with some investigators this week. I will start with CLaudia. She is a single mom who is 28 and so awesome. She has been working with the missionaries for a few months now. She is busy, but makes time for appointments when she can. She accepts things so humbly and has already read through the book of mormon almost 2 times now. Last time, we taught her about fasting. She showed up to Stake Conference and....was fasting!!! She said she knew it wasn’t a fast Sunday, but she wanted the experience. It was sooo cute to see her! She is developing such a strong testimony :). We are hoping to get her on baptismal date this week!
      On Friday, we had an appointment with a less active named Katrin that we have been working with. She is also a single mother with an autistic son. Alex is hilarious. Katrin asked him to say a prayer, it went as followed; "Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that we can pray. Now can I hurry up and eat already???? AMEN!!!" haha we were all laughing so hard :). We also got Katrin to say that she would return to church for Easter. She hasn’t come in a long time, so this is such a big step!! We are even going to get together and make muffins for all the members to take with us for Easter Sunday!
      Spiritual Thought: Today's will be short, but I had a thought that really hit me hard yesterday. Too often we fall into a trap of saying we believe in Christ. But, too many believe in Christ, but find some exception to apply to their lives about his promises. Don’t just believe IN Jesus Christ, BELIEVE JESUS CHRIST!! Believe what he said......believe what he promised. Thanks for all the continued love and support! I miss you all tons, but 4 months will come soon enough. I hope this email finds you well. I pray for the amazing people I have back home every darn day! KEEP THE FAITH!
-Sister Linford

Kirche Jesu Christi
Sister Jessica Linford
Glashütten Str. 1
15890 Eisenhüttenstadt

Monday, March 11, 2013


      Hallo! Well I think i jinxed the sunshine.....darn it! haha we are back to freezing temperatures and snow here in Germany! However, spring is just around the corner hopefully and that gave me a little preview into the good things to come. Last week for Pday, we enjoyed some of the wonderful things that Berlin has to offer! We went shopping, and boy do they have stores here!! Its heaven. Both my companions are all for looking too, so we loved it! (Maybe too much, because we are doing it again today haha) We also played soccer with our Zone. It was a blast! It got topped off by a fantastic family home evening with my favorite members watching The Best Two straight laughs. This is a movie that would not have caught my interest at all before the mish.....but it is SOOOO true. That stuff really happens. I LOL ed through that whole darn movie.
      Tuesday brought the adventure of this little town called Seelow. Its a little town tucked away, 50 minutes from us. We made out an appointment for a man that lives there so we figured we would make the travel time worth it and do some other work there as well. After being there all day we were starving. As we were walking down the street my companion all of the sudden yelled, "ICE CREAM!!" It was warm that day.....and there was, yes, an ice cream stand. It was heavenly. We just ate our ice cream with the sun in our eyes, and all of us wearing goofy grins. The little town of Seelow was good to us that day.
      This week was the week of the "big move". It was time for us to move from the apartment in Frankfurt Oder, to the little town of Eisenhüttenstadt. It is not fun packing up an entire apartment and moving into another one in just a measly few hours! It was exhausting! The church is keeping both apartments and rumor has it that elders will eventually be moving into the apartment in Frankfurt Oder. Our new apartment is....quaint haha. Well, it is TINY. Nice yes, but tiny. It doesn't even have an oven sadly! Plus, I have been downgraded from the couch, to the floor. At least its only for one more week!
      Speaking of which, transfer calls are this week!! I am soooo stoked to see what happens! Our drit will definitely be split up, which will be good. Apparently all of us will be training. I have no idea if I will be staying here, or going somewhere else....only time will tell! Can you believe I only have 3 transfers left??
      We have still been working a lot with part member families. We are trying to figure out what the problem is and create plans to over come them. It is been an amazing week with some of them, and I really think we can see some turn arounds in a least one or two of them. This week also brought the return of Ping Pong!! haha oh the sports here are so weird. I must admit it definitely was not as fun as Rostock, but it still was a great night! We had 4 investigators there and a few members. For this little area, that is really good! Hopefully we can continue to build this up every Saturday evening!
      Well I don't have much time today unfortunately to tell you about everyone we have been working with, but I will just tell you about my favorite people here in Eisenhüttenstadt. Ola and Ahmed come from Egypt. They have an amazing story that is known mission wide of them converting from the Muslim religion. They are in their 30's and both doctorate students. She is the relief society president and he is in the bishopric as well as our ward mission leader. We get to work with them often and I LOVE LOVE LOVE being with them. They are honestly some of the most incredible people I have ever met. You immediately feel right at home with them. Just as the Preets were my family in Rostock, Ola and Ahmed, are no doubt my family here. They make Eisenhüttenstadt worth it, because I know we have a friendship that will last the test of time. Plus, they made me pancakes last night I didn't know how much I missed freaking pancakes!!!!
      Spiritual Thought: If our desire is to discard all doubt and abide in faith, we have to accept the invitation found in James: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and abraideth not; and it shall be give him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed."  This promise motivated a young man to seek God in prayer. Just as with Joseph Smith, our prayers must be offered in faith, nothing  wavering. It was by faith, nothing wavering, that the brother of Jared say the finger of God touch the stones in response to his plea. It was by faith, nothing wavering, that Noah built an ark in obedience to a command from God. It was by faith, nothing wavering, that Abraham was willing to offer his son Issac as a sacrifice. It was by faith, nothing wavering, that Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt and through the red sea. Now the skeptic, may say  that these mighty accounts of faith occurred a long time ago and times have changed. But have times really changed? Don't we today, as always need the Gods divine and protecting care? Don't we need his mercy? Times have no really changes. Prayer continues to provide power-spiritual power. It continues to provide peace-spiritual peace. "There is a golden thread that runs through every account of faith from teh beginning of the world to the present time. Abraham, Noah, the Prophet Joseph Smith, and countless others wanted to be obedient to the will of God. They had ears that they could hear, eyes that could see, and hearts that could know and feel. They never doubted. They trusted."
      I miss you all! I hope everything is going well back in the states! Have a great week and always KEEP THE FAITH!!
Sister Linford

Kirche Jesu Christi
Sister Jessica Linford
Glashütten str. 1
15890 Eisenhüttenstadt

Monday, March 4, 2013


      Hello! The sun has finally shined in Germany!!! Oh my heavens, it has been SOOO long since I have seen the sun and it has been 3 days in a row! It just makes everything happy again :). The mullet for all of you who is wondering, is starting to look better, thank goodness!! Maybe its the sunshine haha.
      Anywho, this week has been a busy one! We have been back and forth from Berlin again, getting ready to move apartments, and of course meeting with peeps! This town is small, like real small but the members as I have said before are awesome. It is so fun to get to know them and hear their stories. We have a few part member families here that we have been trying to focus on. It has been awesome to see what has come of it!
      We can start with one of our investigators, Bianca. Bianca has been taught for over 2.5 yrs and acts like a member. She has a son that is 15 and got baptized a few years ago all by himself. She has 2 other children, one of which wants to be baptized too, but wants to wait and do it with her mother. Bianca, wants to be baptized but needs to get married to her boyfriend first for her to be able to do so. This week was a big week, she finally set a wedding date!! This is big time progress for her! Plus, her boyfriend, who wants nothing to do with the lessons came in on a lesson and CRIED!! Oh my heck, this is huge! Bianca was soooo happy to see him listening and feeling the spirit. I know this family can make it!
      Another story, is Schwester Sharf. We decided we would make out an appointment and try and choose a topic that would interest her nonmember husband. We decided on a talk by President Packer about the atonement. We get there and the table of tea (a german must!) was set for just the missionaries and Schwester Sharf. Her husband was sitting in his chair by the tv across the room. As we started reading the talk together, the tv turned off. Slowly, his lazy boy turned more and more until it was finally facing us. He just sat and stared. He listened to every word so intently. This was also a big deal! at church yesterday Schwester Sharf started crying as she thanked us. He apparently said he loved the talk and ask if we were coming by to visit her again soon. Awesome things are happening!
      The best part of my week came on Thursday evening! Every thursday evening we have the chance to go to Berlin for instiute. As if being able to be in a the city of Berlin isnt already great enough, someone very special was there this week! I remembered that Anna from Rostock was on vacation from school and her family lives in Berlin. I thought I would give it a shot and invite her to come. She accepted the offer and gladly attended on thursday! It was SOOOO amazing to see her! She is someone that means so much to me from Rostock. She gave me a big hug and we talked like no time had passed. She loved institute and hopefully we will be able to see her again this week there!
      English class continues to go really well! We are setting up the restaurant situation this week and the people could not be more excited! They make me pronounce everything like 5 times because they want to learn "real American English"! haha they are so cute! We also teach a mission prep class to a way awesome girl that is going to France on a mission in May. She is fluent in German and English, and is going to my dream place to speak french! Lucky Duck! It is so fun to try and teach someone else all the things that you wish you would have known before you left. For this weeks lesson she asked me how I teach Chastity. Haha thank you sorority program for helping me prepare for this one! It went really well!
      This week we also cleaned our new apartment! We officially move in on Wednesday. It is tiny!!! Oh my heck I don't even know if we will have room for a couch......this means I may be downgraded to sleeping on the floor :/. Good thing, there is only 2 more weeks of this two companion bidness! The place is really nice though! Well there are many other stories, but not enough time!
      Spiritual Thought: Why adversity? It has been said that into every life a little rain must fall, but why does it sometimes seem to pour? Why do we often face times that are unpleasant and challenging; times that may bring pain, sorrow, or heartache? Well lets first answer what are some of the causes of adversity. Some result from our own actions; others result from conditions of mortality or from causes of unseen or not yet understood. There is in fact, no effective way to comprehend or cope with all the difficulties of this life without faith in a loving Heavenly Father and without understanding of the Plan of Salvation. Perhaps the simplest way to look at difficult events in our lives is to separate them into two categories: those that occur because of our personal choices and actions and those that come from all the other events that impact our lives. We are responsible for the first.
      Afflictions have divine purposes. The Lord explained, "All those who will not endure chastening, but deny me, cannot be sanctified:" We have a choice when the Lord chastens us. We can be among those who, when faced with consequences of our actions, spurn our responsibility and turn from God and His chastening love. Or we can be like those who patiently submit, learn, and grow in righteousness. The apostle Paul taught, "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth..." That is a painful process!! ...."Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. How we deal with our challenges helps to define who we are and what we MAY become. Heavenly Father will never allow any trial to afflict our lives that will not be to our eternal good if it is properly dealt with. The Lord knows our trials. He has suffered far worse and can understand and help us through our adversities and sorrows. Our afflictions can be for our good.........if we make that choice.
      Thanks for everything!! I wish you all a fantastic week!
Sister Linford

NEW ADDRESS!!!!!!!!!
 Kirche Jesu Christi
Sister Jessica Linford
Glashütten Str. 1
15890 Eisenhüttenstadt