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Monday, June 8, 2015

Personal Revelation / Dresden

Another wonderful week here in Berlin!

Zone Conference on Tuesday was great - Elder Randall (our amazing District Leader) asked each of us to really think about how we were going to change based on what we heard and felt (as instructed by Elder Bednar). So, I spent the next few personal studies pondering what I learned and thinking about what it really means to 'apply' what I learned. Application involves change, and I realized that there are some things that I need to change. For example, I need to learn to better distinguish which self perceptions come from the Lord and which do not. There is a difference between humility and being too hard on myself. I need to recognize and use my strengths. I re-read my Patriarchal Blessing and went through my notes from my Father's blessing and setting apart. I asked Heavenly Father to help me to see what aspects of those blessings I have fulfilled, which I am continuing to fulfill, and which I still need to try to fulfill.  Needless to say, these past few days have been a time of incredible personal revelation.

I traveled to Dresden with Sister Cady and Sister Kooyman and we had a great exchange. I feel so lucky to work alongside such strong, dedicated, and loving sisters. Sister Rückauer and I pray for each of the sisters we work with daily. We want to help them and to have them feel our love and support. The rest of the week was a blur of a thousand appointments, chasing down buses, learning Bulgarian methods of calming down babies (apparently rubbing an egg yolk and some flour on their backs and then wrapping them in a tight blanket burrito does the trick), having an incredible discussion about the 10 commandments with our new convert, and much prayer and gratitude.

Sunday was the real highlight of the week. We had a lot of investigators at church on Sunday; including Plamen, Albena, and their three beautiful children. The whole family showed up 15 minutes early - white shirts ironed and not a hair out of place. Plamen wept as he bowed his head in prayer during Sacrament meeting. Albena loved the testimony meeting and held my hand all through our Relief Society lesson on the Holy Ghost - she told me after that that was exactly what she needed to hear. Ivana participated in Young Womens and Ivan and Sladomir drew pictures of Jesus in Primary. This week we will invite them to be baptized. We can already envision them being sealed together as a family in the temple.
Quick congratulations to my dear Elder Thomas James Colton who will shortly be finished with his mission in Russia. TJ, I love you and I am so grateful for your example and friendship over these many years. Time goes fast, folks. I remember when Thomas came down his front stairs in his missionary suit for the first time, about to be set apart as a full time missionary. I hugged him and cried like I would never see him again. And here we are - he will be giving his homecoming in a few short days. I'll be home before you know it, family. Love you, Thomas. Good work. 

I am so grateful to be here in Berlin. I love this city. I love my companion. I love the prepared souls that we have the privilege of teaching. I love being a missionary and I love my Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Liebe Grüße,
Sister Grace Hendricks

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