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Monday, April 20, 2015

A "classy" investigator / car sightings in Hamburg

Hello all!

Some highlights from this week, which was a wonderful one: 

On Wednesday, we called a former investigator named Cherif. He said that he was actually free right then and there if we were available. SCORE. So we hightailed it to Domesheide and right as we were going to cross the street, we heard someone say "Sisters?" We turned around and saw the classiest guy in a velvet dark blue blazer and spiffy shoes sitting next to a hobo. He asked us to wait a minute and then finished up his conversation with the hobo (Manny), handed him a 2 euro coin, and told him to take care. What a first impression. Cherif is wonderful. He is from Benin, has been in Germany for 7 years, speaks perfect German, is an interior designer for BoConcept, and is so kind. We went to a cafe just to sit down and talk and we told him about what we do as missionaries. Throughout the conversation, Sister Ballard and I were each able to bear testimony of the Book of Mormon, bear testimony of the Plan of Happiness (which he kept asking us about), and how our message and invitation would bless his life. He accepted all of it and wants to know the truth for himself. He asked such wonderful questions and kept asking each of us for our personal testimonies. We committed him to read in the Book of Mormon every day and will be meeting this week. It was the best lesson that Sister Ballard and I have taught together, my German was so much better than usual, and HE IS SO PREPARED! I am so grateful. 

On Thursday, we had soccer as usual and Martin came. Martin was the first investigator I ever taught and ever put on baptismal date. The baptism fell through as his fears of his parents' reactions prevented him from telling them that he had been investigating the church for years and now wanted to be baptized. It was heartbreaking because he was so ready and had such an unshakable testimony. Anyway, we had had pretty limited contact with him since, but he occasionally came to soccer. This time, after we played, we were all sitting on the gym floor. Martin was kind of quiet, so I scooted over and the conversation turned into a discussion of his testimony. I decided to be really direct and bold with him. I asked him if he believed that the Book of Mormon was the word of God. He said yes. I asked him if he believed that Joseph Smith was called of God to restore the gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth. He said yes. I asked him if he believed that Thomas S. Monson is a living prophet of the Lord. He said yes. I asked him if he would prepare to be baptized on May 9th. He thought for a second and then looked at me intently and said yes. We talked about what held him back the last time. I shared the story of my dad joining the church and how his mother did not react well. I told Martin that I couldn't promise that his parents would react well. But he knows that they love him and just want him to be happy. We ended up doing a role play with him for him to practice being direct and sharing his testimony with his parents. We set goals with him to talk to each member of his family by a certain date and explained what needed to happen for him to get baptized on that date. He is so excited. 

Stake Conference in Hamburg was also amazing. We stayed with Sister Stacey and Sister Bell (two absolute gems). Hamburg is the coolest city. I saw three Audi R8s, an I9, an old Shelby Cobra (DAD!!!), and 4 Aston Martins. Plus it's just a gorgeous city. I really appreciated President and Sister Kosak's comments and the remarks made by Elder Adler of the 70. He reminded us that the Lord sends us the Spirit when we are ready to DO something with it. This is about action. I am so grateful for each of you. 

Liebe Grüße, 
Sister Grace Hendricks

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