Monday, June 3, 2013

Connected, Changed, Ready, and Fresh

Hello hello!
      Can you believe its June?? Time just doesn't make sense these days! I hope everyone enjoyed May, I know I did :). But I am ready for June and here it is!
      This week started with an amazing P-day adventure to a castle! We went with our entire district and had a blast! The elders in my district are really awesome and hilarious, so it makes district time something to look forward to. We went in and toured all the rooms as well as explored the massive gardens. I will be sure to send some pics!
      This week was such an incredible week! I got to go to a concert (hey now, just a symphony one!) at a castle :)! Yep, how many people can say that one? Man I love serving in Vienna! It was Sister Drury's birthday, so we got permission from our mission president to go enjoy some authentic Austrian culture :).
      The birthday celebrations continued as the family I am closest with threw me a surprise party with the best food and friends a girl could ask for :). A member took us to a restaurant that was really nice and one that we pass all the time making dreams that one day we might get to eat there.....that one day happened :).
      But most important is the story of Oyuka!! :) We met with Oyuka everyday in preparation for her baptisms. We shared sooo many incredibly spiritual moments this week. Her simple perspective always seems to pierce me in new ways. She sums up feelings and experiences in just a few words, but they are always spot on. On Monday she got a blessing from the elders for the first time. She was having to make a lot of big decisions in her life and she wanted a little extra guidance. After the blessing, I asked her how she was feeling. She said, "Connected. Gods hands were just on my head. I feel connected to Him."
      Then another night we watched the Joseph Smith movie with her as we reviewed the Restoration. She watched it so intently. At the end, I once again asked how she was feeling. Her response, "Changed. My whole body feels it, but my heart feels it the most. It is true, and because of it, I am changed." The next day, we were trying on baptismal dresses to see which one fit Oyuka. As we concluded which dress was the best, I asked her once again, how she was feeling. She said, "Ready. No more black stamps on my white. I am ready to be clean."
      On Saturday, as she stepped out of the water from being baptized, I didn't have to ask her how she felt. As she walked up the stairs from font, water still dripping in her eyes......she said with the biggest smile, "I feel......fresh! I am pure now. This is the new me."
      The spirit that accompanies a baptism is unmatched. It always finds a way to shock me with how strong it is. It has been such an amazing week that led up to a beautiful day. It just seems to wipe away all other worries in the world as if they don't matter, because they don't. Incredible. Simply incredible.
      Well I don't want to take away from the amazing story of Oyuka, but you deserve a funny story of the week, right? Well here it is! Yesterday we gave the lesson in relief society. We gave it on member missionary work. Well right in the middle of a really good discussion, something was said from a pretty feisty sister, that many of the other sisters in the room did not appreciate.....the next thing you know......full on screaming.....a near brawl! hahaha it was awful!!! The Relief Society president was having to separate people and calm everyone down! I was standing at the front of the room soooo confused at what was going on. It was nothing we said or did, but needless to say, I was questioning if I had said something wrong in German or something. At the time this experience was horrifying, now it is just hilarious! Worst teaching experience.....CHECK!
      Spiritual Thought: This week I have been thinking a lot about the Holy Ghost. At the last supper, Christ saw that his apostles were going to need help after his Crucifixion. He told them, " Let not your heart be troubled....And I will pray to the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.....But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14;1,16,26) The promise of The Comforter blesses are lives immensely. This is the most precious gift that Heavenly Father gives us on earth. It allows us to always feel His love and presence in our lives. It also says in Moroni 10:5, "And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." This promise is not just for the Book of Mormon. The spirit is sure. It is real. And it shows to us all truth. We just must remain worthy of it. This worthy of the Holy Ghost to be your CONSTANT companion. If you do this you will feel, Connected, Changed, Ready, and Fresh.
      I hope you all have an incredible week ahead of you! Transfer calls are this Saturday. I am pretty sure that I will stay with my companion here in Vienna, but you never know. Last transfer of the mission here we come!! I miss you all and hope that you KEEP THE FAITH!!!!!!!!!
Sister linford

Kirche Jesu Christi
Sister Jessica Linford
Hormayr Gasse 59/top/9
Wien A-1170

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