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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Don't worry, Mom!

It was exciting to go to Berlin! I stayed with Sister Frenkel and Sister Wilson in Tiergarten and they were so kind to me. I liked going with them to appointments and seeing how they teach - it's nice to see something different and to get ideas for how we will teach in Bremen. 

My trainee is Sister Gina Ballard and let me tell you, Sister Ballard is great. She is from Montana/Rexburg, ID, is a European Studies major at BYU, and is about 10 inches shorter than I am. She is so ready and willing to work hard, she isn't fazed by some of Bremen's quirks, and she speaks German! She helps me with the language, and I have the chance to show her what I have learned about being a missionary. 

We really hit the ground running as soon as we got back to Bremen. We have been able to make a lot of progress with our investigator, Irina. She was supposed to move to Berlin this past week, but changed her mind and we will keep teaching her here in Bremen! On Saturday, we had an appointment in the church and after, there was a Primary activity! We ended up staying for a little bit and she absolutely LOVED it. It was her first interaction with the ward and I think it really helped her to start to envision herself as a part of the ward... Next Primary teacher? Fingers crossed! 

We also have made a lot of progress with Irina's mother, Michaela. Last night, she called us and wept as she told us how lonely she felt as her children have kind of kept their distance from her, how much she misses her ex-boyfriend, and how she feels like she is trying to do the right things, but her life is still so hard. It was too late for Sister Ballard and I to go over, but we knelt down and said a prayer with her on the phone, shared and discussed some scriptures that would comfort her, and tried to help her feel how much we and her Father in Heaven loved her. We gave her some reading assignments in the Book of Mormon and we will discuss it with her today. 

It is amazing to see the Lord use us, His servants, as instruments to comfort and support His children. It is one thing to understand it intellectually - indeed, our calling is to bring others unto Christ - but it is amazing to actually see the difference that the gospel makes in people's lives. It has been a huge blessing to see the promises that the Spirit prompts us to extend to these people be fulfilled as they keep commitments and walk in faith. This gospel really and truly is changing their lives - as it should with us all. 

This is a new transfer. Something that I want to change this transfer in my missionary work is really reaching out in faith. I think that sometimes, I have been hesitant to ask for really specific blessings in my prayers for fear that nothing will happen. Which is, in reality, ridiculous. I am beginning to better act on the understanding that my relationship with my Heavenly Father is not passive. "Ask and ye shall receive; knock and it shall be opened unto you." That is how our relationship with the Lord works. Our family motto is "Pray to God; Row Towards Shore." I think that a big part of that is that we have a direction: we row towards the shore. Our prayers are pleas to help us reach the safety of the shore. Specific goals, specific prayers, calling down specific blessings. 

I love being here. I love the work. I love my Savior. 

Liebe Grüße, 
Sister Grace Hendricks

PS Sorry that there are no pictures this week - there are a bunch of viruses on these internet cafe computers... Sketch. ALSO if you hear scary stuff about Bremen in the news, our Mission President is keeping us in the loop and we are just being really smart and careful about who we talk to. But we are totally okay don't worry! (mom..)

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