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Monday, March 21, 2016

Room For Miracles

Well, folks, I'm looking back through my planner for this past week trying to wrap my head around everything that happened and I'm realizing that almost everything turned out differently than planned. Fallen out trains, emergency exchanges, demonstrations in the inner city, klingeling random buildings, and more taught me one very important lesson this week: flexibility allows room for miracles.
After an absurd number of hours stuck on delayed trains trying to do our exchange with the Osnabrück/Bielefeld sisters, Sister Wayment and I had already missed two appointments and my patience was wearing very thin. We were already late for our last planned appointment of the day and I was thinking about just canceling. Luckily, that quiet voice of reason told me to stop overreacting and to just get to the appointment as soon as we could.
Thank goodness we did.
Thirty minutes later found us sitting on the couch in Jacky and Edi's apartment, talking about cars, Star Wars, God and religion, as baby Marissa held onto my knees and laughed at my lame winking skills. Getting to know this half-German half-American family had me laughing harder than I have in a long time and feeling the Spirit in a way that has sweetly coursed through the story of my mission and has become one of my greatest treasures. Jacky had randomly walking into the church a few months ago to ask for help moving, and since the move they had lost contact with the missionaries. ''I'm so glad you found us again,'' said Jacky. We showed them the new Easter ''Hallelujah'' church video and during the video, I felt like the message that we had prepared for them wasn't what we needed to say.
A question fell out of my mouth: ''Do you know what we do as missionaries? Do you know why we came on mission?'' Well that was a weird thing to say...I thought. ''To teach the word of God?'' said Edi in his thick, southern accent. ''You know,'' he continued,''I believe in God. I may be a little rough on the outside, but I do believe in higher power. I don't know a lot about Him and I wouldn't say that I always have the best relationship with Him, but I tell you right now - I say my prayers every night before I go to bed.'' We smiled and explained that that's why we are missionaries - because we've experienced how happy living the Gospel of Jesus Christ makes us, how it has strengthened our families, and how it helps us understand and deepen our relationship with God. We explained that we teach people lessons to learn how to do just that. ''Yeah yeah! Come teach us! You guys got brochures or something? We wanna learn!''
Sitting next to them in Sacrament Meeting two days after was wonderful. They soaked in every word, sang every song, and even asked ''Is it okay if we come back next week?''
Another happy change of plans had us klingeling in an unfamiliar part of town. We had been at it for a while with no success, but decided to try one more. Immediately after ringing, we were buzzed in and greeted by short teenager with a huge smile and big, kind, brown eyes named Christian. After a few seconds, it was clear that he spoke neither German nor English - just Spanish! And so in my awful Spanish, I was able to explain that we talk to people about God and about families. His face lit up and we made an appointment for Saturday.
That appointment - Skyping in the Spanish speaking Berlin Zone Leaders - was perfect. Straight out of Preach My Gospel. Christian agreed with everything and said that he felt like Joseph - he is on the search for the truth. And I understood almost all of the Spanish! We left him with a Spanish Book of Mormon, the Restoration pamphlet, and a promise to come back next week. He sent us off with a promise to read, two Dominican Republic candies, and an invitation to eat food from his  homeland with his whole family.
Have a wonderful Easter Week, my dear ones. I love my Savior. I know He lives. I know that He is ready and willing to pour out miracles when we make room for them.
Liebe Grüße, 
Sister Hendricks

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