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Monday, June 22, 2015

Forgiveness and Bacon

This week was a good one -we didn't have to run after too many buses, sprint down too many escalators to catch the UBahn, OR get home late. We patted ourselves on the back for that one and I think the Zone Leaders were pretty proud of us. Some highlights - 

Familie Spasov: Plamen and his father haven't spoken in years, but this past week, after Sister Rückauer and I left after Family Home Evening on Monday, Plamen sat down, prayed, and then decided to call his dad. Albena (Plamen's wife) teared up as she told us how much Plamen's parents cried when they heard his voice. The whole family has been praying and turning to the scriptures for strength this past week. It has been amazing for Sister Rückauer and I to see the gospel heal broken families, hearts, and relationships. As they have learned of the ever present source of forgiveness found in the Atonement of Jesus Christ, their gratitude for that has encouraged them to forgive each other. 

On a lighter note, we had an appointment with a less active couple in the ward. The husband is ex American Air Force gone Berlin journalist and football coach. The appointment went pretty much as expected - he talked for an eternity and a half about 500 unrelated topics. Other highlights: I showed him how to make crispy American bacon in the microwave using paper towels as he ranted about how much he despises the French. I had to eat a bagel sandwich that consisted almost entirely of mayonnaise. We were finally able to get them to focus for our lesson where we tried our best to make it clear why we were there - to help them to come to church regularly and keep the covenants that they have made. They were a bit taken aback, but then realized that we were right. They promised to read in the scriptures and pray every day together as a couple. We're hoping to get them to church next Sunday. The appointment ended with them insisting on a bathroom stop for us both, where I was greeted by a porcelain Meerkat Manor (Animal Planet TV show) toilet seat. Yup.

As I watched Plamen take steps to heal his relationship with his father and as yesterday was Father's Day in America, I have been thinking a lot about Fathers. I am so grateful for my earthly father. He knows me inside and out, he has supported me on my hardest days, blessed me with hands that hold the priesthood authority of God, laughed with me, sung with me, cried with me, rejoiced with me. He has taught me to share my testimony with boldness, to work hard, and to care for everyone. I love him with my whole heart and I know that he loves me. And I am so grateful for this relationship, because it helps me to understand my relationship with my Heavenly Father. My Heavenly Father knows me perfectly. He loves me perfectly. He feels my pain, my joy, my regret, and my growth. He does all of this because He loves me. I am so grateful to know of my relationship with Him. 
Shoutout to Elder Nathan Golightly, who will be returning home from Russia tomorrow. Welcome home, my dear friend. That's 2 of the 3 of us home now. I'll be there in less than a year. Nathan has been my example and one of my best friends for many years now, and that example has continued all through his missionary service. I am a better missionary because of him. Someone take pictures at his homecoming and send them to me!
Shoutout to Sister Eliza Smith, my soon to be Filipino Princess. She and Sister Bethany Simmons report to the MTC this Wednesday to prepare to serve in the Philippines Cebu mission. Love you to Jerusalem, to Berlin, to Cebu, to the moon, and back. x100. 

Liebe Grüße, 

Sister Grace Hendricks

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