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Monday, September 14, 2015

Schwester Hendricks, now 20!

Dear loved ones, 

First of all, thank you so much for the sweet birthday wishes! It was a beautiful day full of homemade streamers and confetti, a chocolate cake baked by my cute 10 and 11 year-old neighbors, singing my favorite hymns with our investigator Orwa in Sacrament Meeting, teaching the Primary children what it means to be a 'fisher of men,' Sister Hubrich's curry for dinner, a million "happy burssdayss" wishes from our loving ward members, and sunshine and a perfect September breeze. I felt blessed beyond compare. 

Transfer calls came and Sister Rückauer will both be staying here in our charming little Freiberg. We're glad - neither of us felt like our time here was done. And that means that we will be together for 6 months - that's a third of our mission! Its a good thing we love each other :) 

This week, "Tour Guide Barbie" mode was put into the next gear with 7 tours. As you already know, adjusting to this mode of missionary work has been a bit of a challenge for me, but on Saturday, the Spirit kind of smacked me in the face and made me realize what it is exactly that we are doing. I realized that when people come here prepared, the Spirit of the Temple is a catalyst. Tour after tour, we saw that this was exactly what these investigators and recent converts needed. President Fingerle always reminds us that "the Spirit of Elijah is the Holy Ghost testifying to our hearts of the eternal nature of families." And it is. It is amazing to look in the eyes of the people who come to visit and to see it all finally click and realize what their goal is. And it is amazing to feel how the Spirit will guide what we say and share according to the needs of those who come - no two tours are the same. 

This week I have also been really focused on the way that I pray. A lot of people that came to the Temple this week have had problems with praying - they don't feel comfortable, they don't think its important, or they don't know how. And like the bible dictionary tells us:"As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part. Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. " 

God is the Father. And I know that He wants to hear from us. I believe in a God that is mindful of us, actively involved in our lives, and eager to bless and guide us. Developing and strengthening our relationship with Him happens through prayer. As Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught, "As we on occasion 'pour' out our souls in personal pleadings, we are thus emptied, making room for more joy." 

I pleaded a lot this week. I was emptied. And then I was filled. I am a firm believer that sometimes our souls need a little prayerful excavating, not just renovating, in order to expand. 

I am grateful for each of you. I am grateful to be a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and of my Lord. I am grateful for the gift of prayer and the healing, comforting, edifying, enlightening, purifying power that it brings. 

Sister Grace Hendricks

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