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Monday, March 9, 2015

Story Time

There are so many stories to tell you, but I'll share just a few: 

A story of Obedience: Our GML (Ward Mission Leader) and his wife invited us over for dinner on Monday night. After ending our P-Day a little early in order to travel all the way to Oyten, we got to their home and realized that his wife wasn't home yet. We explained to him that we couldn't come in until his wife came home (mission rule: we can't be alone with someone of the opposite gender in their home). He argued with us, mocked us, and said that the Sister missionaries had never before followed this rule before because he was our GML and he could be trusted. We insisted on remaining outside. About a minute later, it began to thunder, lightning, sleet, and hail. By the time his wife got home, we had endured the downpour for 30 minutes. Trial by ice. I'm happy to report that we survived it well and the Lord blessed us greatly for our obedience. 

A story of Fellowshipping: The next day, we had a wonderful joint teach with Irina and a wonderful 25 year-old sister in our ward who just got back from living in Cambodia for 5 months. It was wonderful for Irina to be with a ward member close to her age. 

A story of Boldness: After Zone Training Meeting on Wednesday, we had an appointment with Ulrike - a wonderful woman who had come to church and wanted to be taught. It was AMAZING. Sister Ballard and I discussed beforehand that our approach with her should be full of loving boldness to show her and Heavenly Father that we really believed in the power of what we had to teach her. We taught her the first lesson and the spirit made each of our hearts just burn in our chests. Her face was full of complete joy and awe. We invited her to be baptized and before we could even finish talking, she said yes! She is starting a new job and doesn't know her work schedule yet, but we will determine a concrete date this week.

A story of Repentance: A few weeks ago, I met Magdi at soccer. In all honesty, I judged him to be a suave pretty boy who spent too much time at the gym ... but on Friday, he came to Deutsch Class (he ended up being our only student...) and after talking to him and getting to know him, I realized that my prejudgment of his character was way off. Magdi is from the Egyptian countryside, studied literature at a university in Cairo, "lives simply," speaks perfect English, is a faithful Coptic Christian, and is incredibly nice and moral. He has a visa to be here for 3 years and his story of how he came to Germany is amazing. When he was applying to come to Germany, he had a translator in the room to translate from Arabic to German. The official asked him for a reason/story for why he wanted to go to Germany. Magdi had never been around the violence and political tension in Egypt, he simply wanted to work in Germany. He told the translator that he didn't have a story - he wasn't running away from anything. The translator looked at him and told him to make something up; everyone needs to have a story if they have any hope of getting a visa. Magdi refused to make something up. The German official realized what was going on and appreciated that Magdi wanted to be honest and gave him a 3 year visa. Magdi came to church on Sunday and really liked the focus on strengthening families. We met with him later that day and invited him to participate in the "experiment" that Elder Kopischke suggested we challenge people to participate in. In that same meeting, Magdi asked us to tell him our stories of why we were on missions. As each of us shared our stories, the Spirit came into the room so profoundly. He was fascinated and so impressed that we sought an answer from God and then acted on that answer. We will meet with him again on Tuesday. I felt so guilty for assuming that he was a certain way, and have since repented and thanked the Lord for blessing us with someone so prepared to hear the gospel. 

Big things are happening in Bremen, folks. I am grateful I can serve here. I love being a missionary. 

Have an amazing week! 

Liebe Grüße, 
Sister Grace Hendricks

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