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Monday, December 15, 2014

 Bremen is beautiful.
 On the train with a random man.
 Bowling with the District on P-Day


I can hardly begin to articulate the gratitude that I feel for my experiences this week.

Sister Moffet and I felt the need to really try to find new people to teach this week. In the rain, wind, and cold we walked, trying to find people on the street who wanted to talk to us. We had no success. I was a little bit disappointed because we really did feel like we should go finding. On the train back home on Thursday night, we met the coolest Palestinian guy. His mother is from Jerusalem (!), his father is from Bethlehem, and he moved to Amman, Jordan when he was 17. Small talk about Jerusalem led to us talking about why Sister Moffet and I were in Bremen and lo and behold we got to talk about the gospel and bear testimony right then and there! He sounded really interested in our message and we hope that he will call us next week. 

Martin Guhl, a 28 year old university student, has been investigating the church for 3.5 years. On Friday, we committed him to be baptized on December 28th. We talked about faith and how faith yields confidence (he has been so afraid to tell his parents that he has been investigating the church and that he wants to get baptized). We used some of my very favorite scriptures: James 2:17 and 26, D&C 6:36, and Ephesians 3:11-20. The Spirit was so strong as we testified that he is ready for this - that it is time to ACT on his faith. We are so overwhelmed with love for this awkward, sweet 28 year old man. We know that he is ready. 

Our day on Saturday started out pretty slow - studies, finding in three different cities with no success, and then we needed to let the Bremen 2 Elders into the church building (we wish they had a key). Right as we were leaving the church building, the church doorbell rang and a lady said that she always passed the church and wondered about it and asked if she could look around. Sister Moffet and I gave her a tour of the church and as we walked into the chapel, the spirit hit us like a wall of bricks. Her face was indescribable as she told us how she felt that this place was holy, sacred, and a place of real worship. We asked if she had time to talk with us for a while. While we talked with her in the classroom, she told us a bit about her life. She's had a really hard time. We taught her the 1st lesson and she loved all of it. She was in tears. We invited her to be baptized and she accepted. We are so excited to meet with her more (we have an appointment for tomorrow at 11!). Sister Moffet and I just sank to our knees in prayer after she left. 

I apologize for the length of this letter, I just am so overwhelmed with gratitude. As one very wise Elder serving in the Russia Rostov mission explained, 2+2 does not always equal 4. I think that despite our lack of success on the streets, labor is labor in the Lord's eyes and He puts prepared people in the path of prepared servants.

Big things are happening in Bremen. I love my companionship: Sister Moffet and the Spirit. We're working really hard. 

Liebe Grüße, 
Sister Grace Hendricks

Greetings From Bremen!

Hello from Deutschland! Oh my goodness I don't even know where to begin - the past week has been such a whirlwind. I am serving in beautiful Bremen with my trainer Sister Moffet.
President and Sister Kosak picked us up from the airport, then we spent time on paperwork and interviews and getting oriented in the city. Later in the evening, I turned a corner in the church where we were meeting and ran right into Elder Brigham Gallacher!!! We were so happy and kept accidentally calling each other Brigham and Grace. The next day, I met my trainer, Sister Moffet, and we traveled (slowly but surely as trains broke and were delayed) back to Bremen.
My district is wonderful and we're especially close with the the other two companionships of Elders that serve right here in Bremen with us. We had our ward Christmas party on Saturday and we got a lot of our investigators and Less Active members to come!
My favorite part of the week was having one of our investigators, Martin, come to church! He has been investigating the church for 4 years and has a really strong testimony of the gospel, but he has a hard time coming to church. BUT HE CAME! Sunday was his first time to church since General Conference! I have a feeling that this week is the week - we're going to help him finally accept the invitation to be baptized!
Other interesting moments here have included being hit on by very drunk Bulgarians, having one of our investigators cry so hard during Sacrament meeting that we had to leave, talking to a high Persian guy who kept calling us nuns, getting a phone call that our recently-baptized Bulgarian family all of the sudden just decided to move back to Bulgaria today, and bearing my testimony in Sacrament meeting yesterday completely auf Deutsch.
German is hard, and quite frankly a little overwhelming BUT I know that with the Lord's help, I can do it. I've already learned so much. I love all of you and I know that I'm supposed to be right here in Bremen!
Liebe Grüße, 

Schwester Hendricks

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

MTC: The Final Chapter

Such a happy week: Happy birthday Markie - your midichlorian count goes further and further off the charts as each year passes. Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow to everyone! 

I think that the absolute highlight of my week was captured at the end of a lesson with our "less active member," Amira. I spoke with conviction that was so beyond what my normal capacity would be. I really felt like even though my German grammar is imperfect and my vocabulary is limited, the Lord was filling in the rest. Some other highlights:

- We Skyped with a member in Germany and taught him a lesson! He was so hard to understand, but by the end of the lesson, we got the hang of things. 
- Choir is THE BEST. For Thanksgiving, we're singing Come Thou Fount with 8 part harmonies.  The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has nothing on the voices of 480+ missionaries singing with their whole hearts. We've been hearing rumors that Elder Bednar will be speaking on Thanksgiving for weeks!
- Elder Dallin H. Oaks spoke to us last night and the devotional was broadcast to all of the MTCs across the world! 

I am so grateful for all of you. I am grateful for the opportunity to be here on a mission. This time next week, I'll be in Germany! 


Sister Hendricks

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Go Go Go!

Guten Morgen! I can't believe that its P-Day again. Sister Smith is back in good health so we have been go-go-go to catch up! Some highlights: 

- Sister Judd (one of my amazing teachers) tried to explain how the gospel is kind of like a pair of shoes. Everyone needs shoes for comfort and protection - just as everyone needs the gospel of Jesus Christ. But each of us apply the gospel in a very personal way - it fits each of us differently. To make a long story short, in order to illustrate this point, Elder Gibbs and Elder Coombs both ended up wearing my high heels. It was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. 
- Okay I promise that we're not crazy BUT... the other night, we were all in our beds when we heart the weirdest noise coming from outside of our room. I don't know how to describe it other than a UFO/Twighlight Zone noise. Bizarre beyond belief. All of our Elders' talk of "Star Gates" and extraterrestrial activity is clearly messing with us. But its okay - we have Sister Smith's "Called to Serve" pocket knife to defend us. 
- This week we heard from Sister Rosemary M. Wixom ( the Primary General President) and Sister Linda K. Burton (the Relief Society General President). They pull out the big guns for us missionaries! Both addresses were wonderful and I loved the focus on the Savior. I have been focusing my personal study on His life, Atonement, Resurrection, and role in my life each day. 
- I restarted the Book of Mormon a few days ago and have set a goal to finish it before I get to Deutschland! 
- Sister Smith and I have started memorizing Doctrine & Covenants Section 4 auf Deutsch! 

I'm out of time but I want to invite you to watch Elder Holland's Conference address "Lord, I Believe" and the "Because of Him" video. Both have been incredibly powerful tools in our lessons with investigators and less active members this week. Watch them and think about what you feel - I felt so strengthened by these two messages. 

Only 2 more weeks until I ship out! The time is going much too quickly! 

Thank you ALL for your love and support. I love being a missionary. 

Sister Hendricks

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

MTC: Halfway Done!

Week 3/6 down! This has been an interesting week... Some main points:

- After Sister Smith and I went to the Temple last Wednesday, a man stopped us outside. Apparently, he served in Germany in the 90s. He said that he would pray that we would learn German quickly and then said "You sisters are the ones that we missionaries prayed so earnestly would one day come to Germany and teach the people that we loved so dearly." 

- I love my district. Our Elders went to lunch a few minutes before we did and they made me a potato in the microwave so that it was all ready to eat when I got there. 

- All of the sisters in our Zone sang "Come Thou Fount" in Sacrament meeting on Sunday! It was our own arrangement and it was so powerful.

- Sister Smith has been really sick since Sunday evening. On Monday, we went to the BYU Urgent Care (it was so weird to be "in the real world") and the doctor put her on some meds. She's slowly but surely healing. Our roommates have been so nice and we've done companionship exchanges a few times so that I could go to class once or twice. 

- I have the Missionary Purpose, Moroni 10:5, and the First Vision memorized auf Deutsch! 


I was really worried about German earlier this week. Learning a language is hard!  But I read 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 

 And I, brethren, when camto you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
 For determined not to knoany thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
 And was with you in weaknessand in fear, and in much trembling.
 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, buin the power of God.
I will not be going to Germany in 3 weeks with "excellency of speech" or "enticing words." But I know that through the help of our Father in Heaven, I won't need "excellency of speech" because the Spirit will be the real teacher. 

I can't believe that I'm halfway done with the MTC. My testimony has grown so much. I testify that Heavenly Father knows each of us as individuals. He knows our trials, joys, insecurites, and desires. He loves us. I testify that Christ is our Redeemer and our perfect example. I love Him so much. I know that through prayer and searching the scriptures, every single person can come to that knowledge. All we have to do is ask. 

Sister Hendricks

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Grace's MTC District

Berlin Sisters!

Laundry Multitasking

Devotional Marathon!

Hello, all! Week 2 down at the MTC and the pace is really starting to pick up. Last P-Day (Wednesday), my district got to go to the Provo temple together. Sister Smith and I taught Jenni (our "investigator") that evening and for the first time, we ended up completely ditching our notes and scripted lesson and just let the Spirit guide our lesson. It was amazing. Our German was obviously far from perfect, but it was incredible how words or phrases came to our minds that guided the lesson beautifully. I know that its only practice here in the MTC, but it was great to feel prompted to be bold even in practice and extend that invitation. Good times. 

Unfortunately, we lost an Elder in our district the next day. Elder Haberkamp went home early Thursday morning and there was an obvious hole in our district. Elder Coombs, Elder Gibbs. and Elder Spangenberg are in a tri-panionship now and all is well. Elder Haberkamp, know that you are loved, that you are missed, and that we pray for you. 

I lucked out big time in the teacher department. Class with Bruder Jones and Sister Judd is always so instructive and uplifting. I really feel like I'm learning and progressing every day. Halfway through class on Friday, I realized that Bruder Jones' handwriting looks just like Dad's! It killed me a little bit. I love you, Daddy. 

Sunday was Mission Conference and my favorite comments were given by President Nally (the MTC President). He talked about our similarities with the Apostle Peter: our struggles with faith (Peter walking on water and then falling as fear entered his heart), the Savior's outstretched hand to catch us and lead us to safety when we falter, and the call to "Feed My Sheep" as we bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the whole world. He encouraged us to be a "rock" like Peter. After, we got to watch a few Mormon Messages (quality flicks, folks) and I saw Elder Lyman Ballif in one of them! Surprise! That evening, my companion and I were invited to sit in the front row for Sister Wendy Nelson's (wife of Elder Nelson of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles) Devotional. She did an amazing job. She assured us that "serving a mission was for sure on your checklist for this life."

Yesterday, we missionaries were invited to attend the BYU Devotional given by Elder Evans of the Quorum of the 70. He spoke on tenacity and how it relates to spirituality. It was SO WEIRD to be back on BYU campus and to sit in the Marriott Center as a missionary. We had a double devotional day as we attended a great Devotional by Elder Christoffel Golden and his wife. I sang in the choir (Mom, I think that this was the one that was broadcasted - look it up online! I'm wearing an orange long sleeve shirt and made sure that my name tag was showing!) and we sang "Be Still My Soul." The speakers had super sweet, thick South African accents. Sister Golden talked about the importance of being a happy missionary. Elder Golden reminded us that we, as missionaries, are called of God and that while it is normal to feel inadequate, it is vital to remember who called us. 

I know that it sounds like we do nothing but go to Devotionals, but they really are a high point in MTC life. 

A few thoughts: 

- 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

- "We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day." - Elder Richard G. Scott. Like Elder Golden said, it is easy to feel inadequate in any calling. I've spent my whole life wanting to be a great missionary. And now, the best that I can do is rely on the Lord and try to do all that I can to get to that point. 

- The Deutsch word for "fun" is "Spaß." Pronounced "Spass" or "spaz". That's for you, Abby.
Sister Hendricks

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Week 1 - German Is Hard


First week in the MTC down! Holy schnitzel there is so much to say. 

Highlights of the week: 

- My companion is Sister Smith and she is a sweetheart. She's from Pittsburg and is an amazing pianist. She's reteaching me and I'm learning new hymns! 

- We Germans have 5,000 lbs of language books but they are so helpful. German is HARD. I've been here for only a week and tonight my companion and I will teach our 4th 40 minute lesson completely in German to our investigator, Jenni. There is no way that we should logically be able to teach so much in German after only a week (our first lesson was only 2 days after we got to the MTC!), but we are learning so quickly. 

- The tissues in all of the classrooms at the MTC are "Angel Soft Tissues." I just found that hilarious... angelic MTC tissues. 

- I love our district. We have quite an interesting bunch of characters. Our Elders are all straight out of high school (its really obvious when they spend 30 minutes talking about kangaroos fighting), but they are maturing more and more every day. 

- I have loved seeing familiar faces here at the MTC: Sister Karin Fuller, Sister Chloe Bray, Sister Karenna Meredith, and Elder Jason Davis from freshman year at BYU, Sister Alyssa Greenwood, Sister Jenna Erickson, Sister Theresa Gottfredson, and Elder Seth Bunker from Jerusalem, and our Australian mate Elder Hunter West! I also loved having lunch with friends that work at the MTC. 

 - On Sunday, all of the Sister Missionaries got to watch Music and the Spoken Word and I have now learned that one should NEVER EVER watch that program when you have to go to the bathroom even a little bit... So many nature shots of waterfalls and rivers and lakes and dripping rain and goodness that was brutal. 

My first two days here were rough. But those first two days drove me to my knees and motivated me to work as hard as I possibly could on the language and I am learning to completely put my trust in my Father in Heaven. I know that this is where I am supposed to be and I know that through Christ, we can do hard things. 

Thank you for the letters. I love you all so much and am so grateful for your love and support. 

Schwester Hendricks

2 Nephi 22:2