Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Nimen Hao!

This week was such a drag waiting for news about our visas. We all got letters on Friday saying that we are getting reassigned to the states for a transfer since our visas haven't been processed yet. They said they would let us know by Thursday or Friday of this week, but we just got emails today for our new assignments! Looks like I'm going to Atlanta, Georgia for a transfer! Same with Sister Kirkham. Sister Good is going to Colorado Springs, and Sister Oviatt is going to Pocatello, Idaho! There are still some rumors that our assignments were cancelled, and we're going to stay at the MTC for no longer than one more week because our visas will only be a few days late. But we'll see!

All of the excitement of preparing to leave the MTC has really burnt us out. Sister Good and I met our goal for being prepared to teach the entire first lesson and then after that, I think we got a little lazy. 8 weeks at the MTC is so draining - I think we are just ready to leave. I cannot imagine being here for 12 weeks like some missionaries used to do. Anyways, so Saturday was a very unproductive day for me during our study time at night. I don't know why I felt so guilty for wasting that time until I realized that it wasn't my time to waste. It was the Lord's time. A mission is supposed to be hard and demanding. I learned that lesson pretty quickly, and I made some difficult goals this week to help me soak up everything I can during my last week here. Luckily our whole district feels the same way and doesn't want to waste our time here, so we made some goals together to appreciate our time here while we have it. It's not smart to wish our time away.

The language continues to challenge me. It's very very difficult. I had an interview with my teacher, Liu Laoshi this week, and I realized something. I realized how much negativity can shape your whole being. I have focused too much on the things I can't do - the things I can't say in Chinese. Why would I focus on those things? All it has done is weaken my confidence and drain my motivation. Those negative thoughts have influenced me for the worse. Liu Laoshi helped me set some goals to avoid noticing every little thing I do wrong, and to focus on my progress. He helped me see how much I have progressed and how much I can continue to progress with self encouragement and trust in the Lord. I've noticed that the more I focus on my growth and progression, the more excited I feel about learning a difficult language. I love the constant encouragement from our teachers - they really care about each of us.

Our devotional last night was so awesome. We heard from Stephen B. Allen - he talked about how the Father can only help us when we let Him in. Conversion can only happen when we are willing to humble ourselves before the Lord, and open our eyes, ears, and hearts to the scriptural guidance he has given us, the council of our Latter-Day prophet, and the Holy Spirit that testifies of this truthfulness. I know that if we let the spirit testify to us, we can know the truthfulness of this gospel.

I love you and miss all of you!
Sister Hendricks
Later that day........

I guess the re-assignment was cancelled. We are going straight to Taiwan because our visas should be here within a week or so, so there's no point in sending us to the states for 6 weeks. We should be out of the MTC by December 9th! Hopefully sooner! Sorry about the false alarm. Would have been cool to get to go to Georgia, but now I guess I don't have to worry about my Chinese getting worse. I'll keep you updated with anymore news we hear, but the people we talked to at the travel office said that we are for sure going straight to Taiwan and that the re-assignments have been cancelled. 

Sister Hendricks
Sister Good and I with Elder Asenjo! He left for Arcadia this week!
 Sister Komatsu, Sister Giang, Sister Oviatt, Sister Kirkham, me, Sister Haupt, Sister Good, Sister Gardner, Sister Carlson, Sister Andrewsen, and Sister Findlay

Monday, November 17, 2014


Nimen hao!

It's hard to believe that we just completed our 7th week! Time really does fly by here. Sometimes the thought comes to my head "I'm a missionary" and it just blows my mind. What happened to that college freshman fresh out of high school? One year later, I'm in a different place, doing different things. Time waits for nobody.

We got a new district in our zone on Wednesday! It was fun for Sister Good, Elder Davidson, Elder Tan and I to give them an orientation. Two of the sisters - Sister Li and Sister Giang are getting fast-tracked, and the other two Sister Haupt and Sister Komatsu are both going to Taipei! And then we get another district this week as well!

We all got a letter from our Taiwan Mission President this week, asking for us to be prepared to teach the whole first lesson, and preferably the second as well. It was kind of a slap in the face. We only have two more weeks! I felt a little stressed out this week having that on my mind. Our teachers gave us a lot of helpful demonstrations for teaching the first lesson, but it just made me feel so far behind and inadequate. It was very overwhelming - the feeling of being stuck. Feeling like there has been little to no progression in my language study for this past week. It may seem like so little time, but I feel like my time here is precious and I'm worried that I haven't given everything I've got to my studies. Sister Good and I made a goal to master the first lesson by Saturday, and we decided to SYL for the rest of our time in the MTC. My mouth already hurts just thinking about it..

A teacher of mine, Wang Jie Mei, was telling me about her experience in Taichung on her mission. A time where she felt that similar sense of being somewhat stuck and lost for 9 months of her mission. She told me that those difficult times are key to our growth, because it is in those moments when we realize that we can't do anything without the Lord. We become humble during those times, because that's when we feel like we have nothing left to be proud of. She said that it taught her a lesson:

A Shepherd cares for his sheep. He loves them and provides for them. Whenever a sheep runs away, he carefully brings it back to him. However, if the sheep continues to run away, the Shepherd proceeds to break the legs of the sheep with the intentions of preventing it from running away. It's a difficult time for the sheep - painful, confusing, worrisome. But the sheep is never neglected. The Shepherd carries the sheep around with him - he nurtures it and cares for the sheep until its legs are fully healed. By the time the sheep's legs are healed, it won't leave the shepherd's side. It learns to rely on Him and trust in Him.

I love this analogy. Likewise, we are sheep. We tend to turn away from our Savior. But the more often we leave, and the farther we wander - the harder it will be for us to come back to Him. We have to experience the pain and the anguish that comes from the consequences of our choices. We don't always notice it - but it's during those times that the Lord is closest to us. He wants us to trust in Him and rely on Him. 

My other amazing teacher, Mai Jie Mei had a really good talk with me. I told her I was struggling and that I wanted to find a more effective study approach. I was also experiencing frustration and discouragement, so she directed me to a scripture that helped her on her mission.

D&C 58:4-6:

 For after much tribulation come the blessingsWherefore the day cometh that ye shall bcrowned with much glorythe hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.
 Remember this, which tell you before, that you may lay it to heart, and receive that which is to follow.
 Behold, verily say unto you, for this cause have sent you—that you might be obedient, and that your hearts might be prepared to bear testimony of the things which are to come;

I felt so touched. I always seem to forget those promised blessings. "The hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand". Sister Giang was also having a pretty difficult week so she came and talked to me that same night - she felt so overwhelmed, seeing it was her first week at the MTC. She was also sad to be separated from her companion so soon since they're being fast-tracked. So, I showed her that scripture. I love the power of the spirit that comes from sharing comforting words through verses of scripture.

Liu Laoshi shared with us his favorite quote by Elder Maxwell: "Recall the new star that announced the birth at Bethlehem? It was in its precise orbit long before it so shone. We are likewise placed in human orbits to illuminate" We are all placed in specific places at specific times for specific reasons to illuminate. I'm going to Taipei for a reason. I'm at the MTC, at this time, in this zone and district, with these amazing teachers, and with my companion all for a specific reason. 

I don't want to brag, but basically I have the most wonderful teachers in the whole MTC. They strive to lift us up when we are down. They know what we are all experiencing, because they have all been in our shoes. They are so loving and Christ-like. They give me hope that I will turn into someone like them. 

Well, that's all for this week. Another week gone. I can't fathom time here - I've tried but it's not even worth questioning the confusing aspect of time in the MTC. On Friday, we receive the big news of whether we will be sent to the states for a couple transfers, or what our flight plans are to go to Taiwan! Lots of excitement going on! I hope everyone is doing well! I sure do miss all of you, and home cooked food!
Zai Jian!
Sister Hendricks

Me, Sister Good, Sister Komatsu, Sister haupt, and Sister Giang
Our new sisters!
Sister Oviatt, Sister Kirkham, Sister Good, Sister Crowell, me, Sister Payne, Sister Komatsu, Sister Giang, and Sister Haupt
Our zone is so big now!! And we have another district this week on their way! 
Elder Ostler, Elder Mertz, Sister Crowell, Sister Payne, Me, Sister Kirkham, Sister Good, Elder Avery, Sister Oviatt, Sister Haupt, Elder Davidson, Sister Komatsu, Elder Tan, Elder Harmon, Sister Giang, Elder Jones, Elder Scovel, Elder Clawson, Elder Tolman, Elder Stevens, Elder Nelson, and Elder Cin
Me, Sister Good, Elder Tan, and Elder Mertz -SNOW DAY!

Monday, November 10, 2014


Nimen hao!

This week was really good! Lots of Chinese, lots of studying, lots of lessons (good and bad), and lots of growth.

We had the opportunity to go to the Marriott Center on Tuesday for a BYU Devotional. It was weird being in the midst of so many students my age. Elder Evens talked about having tenacity... an absolute determination to complete a task (AKA serving a mission). If we are tenacious in our missions and work diligently, we can experience a change of heart.

Sister Good and I started teaching a new investigator, Guo Jie Mei. She's super shy and very, very reserved. It was the hardest lesson we've ever had. We didn't really get to know her very well because she wouldn't open up to us. On top of that, Sister Good and I were talking about two completely different things and it was just so confusing and complicated, and the Spirit was not in the room at all.

It was so discouraging, but I talked to my teachers and they were so helpful. Liu Laoshi said he wants to help me with my listening skills so he sets aside an hour during coaching to tell me stories in Chinese based on the grammar principle we learned that day. That has helped as well as a lot of personal hard work. By the end of the week, we had TRC with a member from Taiwan who speaks a little English, but is studying Japanese. She was really cool. However, she speaks super fast and I was intimidated at first, but I was so surprised by how much I understood. She told me I sounded like I was in my fourth transfer. An encouraging thought, yet I still have more room to improve than I could imagine. 

Last night we watched 'Missionaries are Forever' by Holland. It was so inspiring.

"People have got to see something in you that they haven't seen anywhere else in their whole life." 

How can I be that person?

He also brought up a question he's had his whole life: "Why is it so hard for others to endure through this life by living the gospel of Jesus Christ?" - Because salvation is not a cheap experience. How could we expect to have an easy life on earth when Christ's experience was so difficult? We say that we are disciples of Christ - How can we say that, yet not expect to have a TASTE of Christ's experience on earth? Life isn't easy. Missions aren't easy. But that's because it CAN'T be easy. 

Well, other than that - our week was just like any week here at the MTC. Our days are still the same, the food still tastes horrible, the language is still hard, the days are still long, and we still work harder than ever before. But somehow, my experience is continually getting better. I'm starting to love the MTC, and I'm loving the service and the hard work. I love this opportunity I have to change and become something more. I can't believe we will be getting our flight plans in two weeks! It really does feel like time has flown by.

I hope everyone has a great week! I miss and love all of you!

Sister Hendricks

 Last day with Luo Laoshi as our teacher! Also, that's Elder Ethington in the back. He was on splits for a day since his entire district went to Singapore, and he was the only one going to Canada so his flight plans were different.
 Our tiny zone! this week we will be getting one more district though!  Elder Stevens, Elder Chin, Elder Jones, Elder Mertz, Elder Davidson, Elder Harmon, Elder Tan, Elder Avery, Sister Good, Me, Sister Payne, Sister Crowell, Sister Kirkham and Sister Oviatt.
Laundry Time!

Monday, November 3, 2014


Nimen Hao!

As of today, our district is the oldest in our zone! All of the Singapore missionaries are on their way to the field now. It's been so fun getting to know all of them, and they will definitely be missed! It's going to be weird having just our two districts for the next couple weeks. I guess we'll have some sacrament meeting talks to look forward to pretty soon.

Yesterday was such a long day. Fast Sundays here at the MTC are brutal. But by the end of the day, I felt uplifted and motivated. Sister Good and I were called as the new Sister Training Leaders in our zone, so right during dinner time we had to go to this meeting and wait another hour before we could eat. Not to mention day-light savings that made it feel like it was another hour later. I don't think I've ever been so hungry in my life, and when we finally had dinner, I think it was the first time I ever felt satisfied eating the MTC food.

Since it was fast Sunday, no one had to prepare a talk, but since there aren't very many of us in the zone, our Branch President asked all of us to share our testimonies. My initial thought was "there's no way I can bear my testimony in Chinese" but then I got that shaking feeling throughout the whole meeting, obviously indicating that I needed to suck it up. I was surprised at how much I could say that came from my heart, and not just memorized phrases and words. It definitely gave me confidence that I was able to share what I would have shared in English that I didn't think I could do.

It's kind of hard remembering everything that happens in just one week. Everyday starts at 6am and ends at 10:30pm, with a plan set for every hour of the day. Mostly everyday is the same as far as activities and scheduling, but everyday I learn something new. The way I start my day and the things I do to prepare for each day are essential to my learning and my growth here at the MTC. As I strive to direct my focus, and center my life primarily around Christ - it makes all the difference. The biggest problem I've had as a missionary, is forgetting about myself and serving others - especially the Lord. The more I do that, I worry less and I gain more from this experience.

I'm so grateful that I convinced myself to come on a mission, and allowed others to encourage me to do so as well. I'm so lucky to have this time to serve and become a better person. I'm grateful I can rely on the Lord and turn to Him for comfort.

I hope you all are having a good week! I miss you all and I love the letters!
Jia You!

Sister Hendricks
 Look who I found! Elder Glissmeyer! I love seeing familiar faces!
 Missionary Graffiti - "fire nation"
 Look who else I found! Sister Madi Riley, a friend from BYUI!
 Sister Good and I with President Teng.
 Sister Baird, me, Sister Tui'one, and Sister Kitchen! They're off to Singapore today!
 Sister Good and I on our temple walk!
 Look who I found!! Sister Emily Walch-my neighbor from BYUI! 
My 1402 roommates...she says Hi to all of you :)
 The pass-me-down for the Sister Training Leaders, and our pointless cell phone for emergencies.
 Haha, Sister Oviatt just reminds me so much of Wyatt. She gives me these awkward hugs all of the time.
 Me on splits with Sister Oviatt and Sister Kirkham while Sister Good was hosting.
 Elder Tan eating a bug!
 My Chinese nametag!
 Our favorite Asian missionaries going to Japan this week!