Monday, April 1, 2013

Vienna :)

      Wowza, I still am trippin' out!! Life has been sheer craziness the last little bit and it continues! So much has happened that it makes the task of narrating it all to you very difficult!
      Lets start with last Tuesday, I was sitting smack dab in the heart of Berlin at Zone Conference. It was amazing. I got to see a lot of people that mean a lot to me. It was all for a reason. I got to see the Rostock Senior Sister who I have missed dearly. They are like my grandmas :). I got to see the sisters who have gotten me through it all. Plus everything was in English :). Ahhhh, I will never take for granted having the gospel in my mother tongue again!
      The craze started Tuesday night as I got a phone call at about 8pm. I looked at the number and it started with 801.......My heart sank. Its been quite a while since I have seen that number combination, but its one I cant forget. I quickly answered it with a sense of caution in my voice. The man on the other line introduced himself as someone from the mission department in Salt Lake. He said that he just wanted to make sure that this was in fact my phone number and then told me that my parents would be calling me shortly. My stomach tensed in that moment and I don't know if it has stopped even now. I stared at the phone,.... wouldn't go more than 3 steps away from it,.... basically camped out by that thing. One hour passed.....I was so anxious. Finally 2 hours and 15 minutes pass and the phone rings. I picked it up in the first ring and nearly yelled, "Hello?!!?" The still, very familiar voice of my mother was finally heard. The voice I had been imagining the entire 2 hours prior. It took everything in me not to just burst out in tears. She told me that with everything that had happened, I had been offered to either come home on an honorable release or I could get reassigned to another mission. With no hesitation in my voice I said that I had signed up for the whole thing, and that I would not be coming home early, but I did want a mission reassignment.
      That moment was a hard one. My heart is in Berlin......but, I knew this was the path I needed to take. I knew that my plan was to take place elsewhere. Phone calls were made until nearly 2 am that night with other sisters that were considering the same decision. It was shear craziness.....It didn't stop on Tuesday, Wednesday morning I got a call at 7:30 am from the area presidency asking me for what my final answer was.....I boldly stated, that I would be taking a mission reassignment. He responded positively and said that when ever my call was reassigned that I would be getting a call. He didn't really give me a time frame though. Although my mind was so weighed down with this craziness and was racing a million miles per hour, the show had to go on!
      There was an Easter fireside that we had been planning for an entire transfer that was on Wednesday night! It went SOOO well! The spirit was so strong. We also had sister Moon and sister Bohne and their companions come in to help us with musical numbers. It was fun being able to spend my last night in Eisenhüttenstadt with them. Me and Moon just sat there and cried through the fireside. It wasn't even the fireside itself, it was that we both were leaving. We have been through so much together.....that girl means the world to me. I got to say good bye to the ward. I cried when I had to say goodbye to the most amazing members I have ever met, Ola and Ahmed. Ahmed gave me a blessing that brought more peace to me, that I think I have ever felt. I needed it. I needed the reassurance that this was all meant to happen. It said it was my plan the whole time.... many different times in my blessing and I truly believe that. (Side note: at 5:30pm just before the fireside I got the call that I had been waiting for......I have been reassigned to the Alpine German speaking mission!!!!)
      Thursday was a weird day because I had no idea when I would be leaving for my mission. I got a call from my new mission president President Miles, that morning, but not even he knew when I would arrive. I was just told some time that weekend. Well I started packing, but I didn't particularly feel rushed.....that was until I got the call at 11 that I needed to leave at 12! I started throwing everything in my suitcase in a frenzy. After 11 hours on a train, I arrived at the mission home in Munich Germany at 11pm. I was picked up by the AP's and 3 of the cutest sisters that made a banner saying. "Willkommen Sister Linford!!"
      The rest of my weekend has been getting things set up and waiting on paper work so I can go to my actual area of Vienna, Austria!! I am opening up a brand new program there!! Cant wait! I leave for Vienna tomorrow evening! I will be living in a 4 sisters apartment with the international branch sisters. I love 4 sisters apartments!! Plus, one of the sisters that I served with on exchange last summer is from Austria. She is now home and I am going to be serving in her ward!! I cant wait to see sister Martinz!!
      This has been the craziest week of my life. But, I know it is sooo meant to be! As I was on the train ride to Munich from Berlin, I got to pass through my first city of Dresden. As I stared out the window at the beautiful landscape memories flooded my mind. It was as if my entire mission flashed before my eyes on that train. The peace that accompanied it was ever present. I know that I am meant to be in Austria for the remain 3 months and 3 weeks of my mission. This entire experience has been such a spiritual one for me. I have felt my Savior so close to me through it all. I have felt him carry me when I just couldn't deal with it anymore.....he is always there. Always.
      I love and miss each one of you. I cant wait to share with you all how amazing Vienna is next week :)!! Keep the faith!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sister Linford

Kirche Jesu Christi
Sister Jessica Linford
Hormayrgasse 59 Top 9
A-1170 Wien

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