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Monday, January 26, 2015


"The Hulk"

Well, this week has been kind of like the first part of "the Hulk" roller coaster at the Universal Studios theme park in Orlando: shot up at the speed of light and then a gut and heart wrenching drop. 

We had several appointments with Irina this week and she made a lot of progress: she gained a testimony of Joseph Smith, accepted that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God, was reading in the Book of Mormon, and was incredibly excited for her baptism. On January 19th, we got a text from her saying: 

" Dear Lovely Sisters, I am reading the Book of Mormon now from the beginning and I'm already feeling something really positive in my heart again. I prayed and thanked God from deep inside and I felt that special connection to God again. I'm feeling so happy right now and I feel there's still so much to find out for my mission and what God's plan is for me. I do feel that I'm at the right place here in Bremen right now and through praying and reading, I do get answers. That's so beautiful. Thank you that you are there for me. Have a good night! Lots of love, Irina." 

It was amazing to see her grow and to feel the gospel heal her. 

Then, after hanging out with one of her friends, Irina didn't contact us for 2 days. Then she sent us a text saying that she was happy where she was in her relationship with God  and that she didn't want to meet anymore. My heart broke. It makes no sense. It goes against every single experience that we've had with her. I don't understand how someone can see so much good change come into their life from the gospel, feel the spirit, build a testimony, and love the Book of Mormon and then let it all go. Perhaps this is a small glimpse into the pain that Christ feels when people don't take advantage of His Atonement. 

But I promise you that I am not discouraged. I am sad in a way that I have never felt before, but I am not discouraged. It's like President Kosak always says: Tenacity and Resilience. The ability to bounce back from hard things with even more passion, even more determination, and even more love. 

On the bright side, we have two new investigators. We taught one of them on Saturday and he seems really excited to learn about the gospel. His name is Musa and he is a university student from Senegal who is really bright and can speak 5 languages. He's a gem! 


Moroni 9:6 --

"...notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in the tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God." 

Liebe Grüße, 

Sister Hendricks

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

P Day Milkshakes.  My wink needs improvement.

Lost en route to an appointment.

Bruder und Schwester Knabel.  She knitted us scarves!

Less active/non-member Barufe family.

That Lime Green Karmann Ghia

This past week was the first week of my 2nd transfer on my mission! That means a new planner (family - I have a "collection of Russian Nesting Dolls" *insert Nacho Libre voice* on the back of my planner! SCORE! Thank you Liahona magazine from 2 years ago!), some changes in the district (goodbye Elder Morales, Hello to Elder Fitch, Elder Bakly, Sister Stacy, and Elder Pilling), and only a few more weeks left with my trainer. It has been one of the longest yet fastest weeks I've ever had. So many appointments, miracles, disappointments, relying on the Lord, and so many sincere prayers. 

Sister Moffet and I are determined to have a good relationship with the members of our ward. We had many essentermins and lessons with members and less active members. All of them went really well! I found that if I am just myself, the members start to open up and bond with us. We were able to get them excited about sharing the gospel and the Spirit helped them remember their own conversion stories. I'm really grateful and feel like a lot of progress was made. 

One of the biggest highlights of my week was seeing an Audi R8 in Gröpelingen and a lime green Karmann Ghia in Innenstadt! Tender mercies of the Lord, let me tell ya. 

One of our invetigators, Frau Schlalos, committed to be baptized on March 15th! She has a long way to go to be ready for that date, but we are determined to help her in every way that we can. 

Irina Gottwald, our 22 year old investigator, is progressing by leaps and bounds. The only hinderances to her progress are a few emotional stresses, but the Spirit was so strong as we taught her about the Plan of Happiness.She now has a better understanding of why our Father in Heaven gives us hard things and how challenges in our life allow us to become stronger and learn. Later in the week, we taught her about commandments... I don't think that anyone could have accepted the law of chastity and Word of Wisdom with so much enthusiasm! She wants these blessings. She is progressing so surely and steadily towards her February 1st baptismal date. 

Sister Moffet and I are very different people, but we are so blessed to have each other. When we have the spirit with us, we teach really well. Our strengths balance really well and the most important thing is that we LOVE the people we teach and we know that what we teach is true. Each of us have found that out for ourselves. 

Mom, I remember you observing how missionary emails/letters are so lovey - even from people you wouldn't expect that from. I'm beginning to understand it. The love that you feel for the people you teach engulfs your whole heart. You want more than anything to know that Heavenly Father knows them, loves them, and has a plan for them. You want them to be happy and to feel the peace and structure that the gospel of Jesus Christ has brought to your own life. I think that Heavenly Father lets missionaries have a little glimpse at just how much He loves His children as we teach them. 

Liebe Grüße, 

Sister Grace Hendricks

Monday, January 12, 2015

Reunion with Elder Gallacher

Döner - love it!

Cold, Cold, Cold!

What a WEEK. 

On Wednesday, we had a mission tour in Hamburg with Elder Kopishke of the first Quorum of the Seventy. Elder Kopischke had each of us write down questions that we had and he promised us that by the end of the meeting, our questions would be answered. IT WORKED. It was awesome. I also got to see Elder Brigham Gallacher and that was just the happiest reunion. 

After the tour, I went on a companion exchange with my Sister Training Leader, Sister Jeffry, and it was so great. She came back with me to Bremen and I learned a lot of new ways to talk to people. She also helped me with German a lot! We got along so well. We were together for the rest of Wednesday and all of Thursday. We spent most of the day finding in the pouring rain. I don't think that I understood the word "soaked" until I got to Bremen. I was wet through my huge grey puffy coat, two sweaters, and shirt. Cold water was running down our backs and it was just cold cold cold. 

On Friday, I was super super sick. I had a high fever and was chained to my bed for almost the entire day. BUT later that night (after hours of sleep, Ibuprofen, lots of water, and some push ups), we went and taught Michaela a wonderful lesson. She had been having a really hard time, so Elders Morales and Hall came with us and gave her a Priesthood Blessing. It was beautiful and she found so much comfort in knowing that what they said was exactly what her Father in Heaven wanted her to know. The spirit was so strong as we testified that Heavenly Father knows her and knows exactly what she is going through. We testified that Christ's Atonement allows Him to feel every single emotion that we feel and because of that, He knows how to comfort us.

We have three investigators with baptismal dates and we hope that two more investigators will accept the invitation to be baptized this week. Please pray for our investigators - the Adversary works incredibly hard on people that are so close to making this huge step.

Dad, you've told me many times that the first thing that identified me as your daughter in the hospital were my hands. My hands look just like yours. I think that right now, as I'm serving in Germany, I'm working to make my hands like my Father in Heaven's hands. 

I love the work. I love being a missionary and I love the message that I get to share every single day. 

Liebe Grüße,
Sister Grace Hendricks

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Checking out an investigator's sweet Nikon 7000D - I was in heaven!

Happy New Year!

Well, almost all of our appointments fell through this week and I'm pretty sure there was a Bremen-wide movement to ignore our phone calls, BUT ...

On Tuesday, when we went over to Michaela's apartment to teach her, her 22 year old daughter was about to leave to have coffee with her friend. Right as she was about to leave, she got a text from her friend saying that she couldn't meet anymore and she got to stay! Her name is Irina and we love her! Irina is so ready for the gospel - she wants to know what God's plan is for her. We had an amazing 1st lesson with her, and Michaela bore powerful testimony of the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. We have plans to meet with her again this week. 

One of our other investigators, Victor, called us and said that he really needed to meet with us. We met with him the next morning.  Apparently, he had been talking to a friend about the nature of God. His friend proposed the correct concept that the term "God" as used in the Old Testament does not refer to our Father in Heaven, but rather to Jesus Christ. Victor was really confused, but as we talked to him and read the Bible Dictionary and some scriptures that I had miraculously studied the day before, it all made sense to him. He called us later that day and told us that he wants to be baptized - an incredible step forward. 

Another highlight of the week was that Gordon, our awesome ward secretary, brought all of the missionaries these strange middle eastern burritos. I liked them and thought that they tasted like schwarma, but they didn't sit too well with some of the other missionaries. I guess I have a stomach of steel from 3.5 months of sketchy Israeli food.

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. I love being a missionary because I know that what I teach people about is true. I love all of you and am so grateful for your support and prayers.

Liebe Grüße, 
Sister Hendricks

Monday, January 5, 2015

Frohe Weinachten!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Christmas on the mission is definitely different, but we really had a great time. I haven't been able to write in a while so I'll catch you up:

Missionaries are the go-to moving force here in Germany. We moved two families last week! One was a family that has been investigating the church for a few months now, and the other is an older couple who are moving to Leipzig. I'll be honest, at first, these German men had a hard time letting Sisters help with anything heavy, but after I helped move an oven and a fridge, they snapped out of it and actually let us help. (Are you proud, Daddy?)

We've had two really great lessons with Sarah, a young Iranian mother, who loves everything that we have to say. Her English and German is perfect and her 3 year old daughter is absolutely darling. The Spirit has been really strong every time we meet with her. 

Christmas was great. We spent it with the First Counselor in the Bishopric and his family and it was so much fun! When we walked into their house, it finally felt like Christmas: Christmas music playing, handmade ornaments on the trees, family pictures, kids running around screaming. Perhaps the best part was the fact that they showed us THE NEW STAR WARS TRAILER!!! Best Christmas present ever. Markie and Dad: don't spoil it for me next December. We'll see it the day after I come home. 

The most important part of Christmas is the reason that we celebrate it - Jesus Christ. Taking time to think about the life, sacrifice, and resurrection of Christ is something that we should do every single day, not just on Christmas. I am so grateful to be here in Bremen. It's hard to be away from my incredible family, but I wouldn't trade this opportunity for anything. I get to wear a name tag every day that has two names on it: my name, and the name of Jesus Christ. I know that He is the Gift that our loving Heavenly Father gave the world. I know that He lived a perfect life to give us a perfect example. I know that He is our best friend. I know that He lives and that He is with us every single step of every single day. That is why I am on a mission. I love you all and I am so grateful for you. 

Liebe Grüße, 

Sister Grace Hendricks

"After the fire, a still small voice"

Well, this week was a little rough. Martin's baptism fell apart, two of our most promising investigators told us that they didn't want to meet anymore, and our efforts to work more with the ward have been fruitless. With regards to Martin, Enoch, and Victor, we are incredibly sad, but we are taking this as motivation to really clean out and rebuild our teaching pool. With the ward, my frustration comes from this pressing sense of urgency to find people, to teach, and to help them on their path to Christ in any way that I can. This feeling isn't exactly shared by the leadership and members in Bremen. And for me, I'm having a hard time accepting the fact that people have their agency in how they prioritize and act and balancing that with my burning sense of responsibility and duty. It makes me feel impatient and flustered - I don't quite feel like myself.

I was able to find some comfort in my personal study this morning. I studied the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 18 and 19. I learned that the Lord has the ability to make incredible miracles happen, but that that doesn't necessarily promise smooth sailing from that point on. Elijah had done nothing wrong - he was obedient, bold, and faithful. But Ahab and Jezebel were chasing him with an entire army, swearing to kill him. Elijah was exhausted. He was frustrated. He felt alone and confused. Then the Lord came to him and showed him huge winds, an earthquake, and a massive fire. But the scriptures say that the Lord was not in these mighty manifestations of power. Verse 12 says: "And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice." That is where the Lord is - in the small, quiet moments. He is always there. I am determined to follow the counsel of Elder Holland to "Hope on. Journey on." I am fixed in my purpose. I will move forward in faith. I love being a missionary and I am grateful for every day spent here in Germany.

I invite all of you to read those chapters in 1 Kings. Not only did I find a lot of comfort in these verses, but Elijah's sass with the priests of Baal is pretty entertaining. 

Liebe Grüße, 

Sister Hendricks