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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