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Monday, September 7, 2015

Looking For God

Dear ones,

I really don't feel totally comfortable in English anymore hahaha. I am incredibly grateful for your prayers which carried me through some trying parts of this past week. What a blessing it is to know of the gift of prayer and the power that can come from this direct line of communication to our Father in Heaven. And what a blessing it is to know that for every hard day, a better one is headed my way.

I felt that something was kind of off this week and I didn't really know what it was. I finally figured it out in an eating appointment with Schwester Seifert; a faithful, jolly, salt of the earth sister. Schwester Seifert suddenly went deaf 7 years ago and as she told us her story, I realized what my problem was. She told us "The thing about loosing my hearing is that I have to rely entirely on sight. And in those first few months, I really learned where to look. I learned to look for and to God." Sitting there, eating my Knödel and Gulasch, I realized that I had not been looking for my Father in Heaven as much as I should.

The reminder came again in a thoughtful letter in my mailbox at the end of a long, unsuccessful day of street contacting. Sweet Sister Walker - currently serving in Hamburg- wrote me a letter with a quote from Elizabeth Barrett Browning that reminded me again to keep things in perspective. She wrote: "Earth's crammed with Heaven, and every common bush afire with God, and only he who sees takes off his shoes - the rest sit around and pluck blueberries." It is totally up to me to
see the hand of Heavenly Father all around me. It is totally up to me whether or not I see the streets I walk as hallowed ground - already walked by a loving Savior who has prepared people to hear the very message that we have to share. It is totally up to me to realize that the most important times to look for God are when I feel far from Him. I am so grateful to Sister Walker for being in tune with the Spirit and writing me exactly what I needed to hear. God really does answer prayers through the hands of those around us.

I prayed to be able to more clearly see the hand and presence of God in my life and the lives of those around me. I told Him that I would do everything I could to see him and recognize Him. And my prayers were answered.

God was with us as we sat in the garden of the Senior Living home where our investigator Frau Kuhn lives. We discussed Alma 32 and what faith really means. She told us that the seed had been planted a long time ago, but that she had neglected it long enough and that she was glad that it wasn't too late to start watering. I felt like I was watching her bloom as she turned her face up to the sun and smiled so much that her eyes almost disappeared in her Lachfalten ("laugh wrinkles"). We left with her a commitment to reread the chapter and to think about what God wanted her to do to water and nurture the seed of her faith, and she left me with the commitment to bring my guitar next time so we could sing Elvis Presley and Primary songs.

God was in yesterday's Fast and Testimony sacrament meeting as almost every child in the Primary voluntarily stood up and bore testimony that God is our Father in Heaven, that Christ is the Son of God and our Redeemer, that Joseph Smith was the Prophet of the Restoration, that the Book of Mormon is true scripture, and that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet today. Sitting between Orwa and Noah (a friend of Orwa and new investigator), I knew that my prayers that they will appreciate the truth of that what we are teaching them are being answered - they are well on their way.

God has been at my bedside as I ended each day with a prayer of gratitude - regardless of how the day went. God has been by my side as we have walked through heat and rain and mud and the Temple construction site, helping me see each step as a step in a holy place.

I know that He is there. I know that He cares and listens and answers. I know that He loves us - each of us - with a love that we can scarcely comprehend. I know that it is up to us to feel it.

I love each of you and am so grateful for you.

Liebe Grüße from your Freiberg Fraulein,
Sister Grace Hendricks

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