Monday, December 29, 2014


Nimen Hao!

First week in the mission field was great! Very different to the MTC, that's for sure. I didn't realize how much different the work load was. Luckily, I have an awesome trainer, Sister Berrett! She is so helpful and hard-working! I think she is the best example of the type of missionary I want to be. I'm so lucky to have her in this transition.

With having Christmas this week, it was so difficult getting any appointments because everyone is out of town. But we did have a ton of dinners scheduled with the members. We literally had 4 dinners on Christmas and Christmas Eve. By the time we had our last appointment on Christmas night with Sister Helsing (a sweet 91 year old lady), we were stuffed. Actually, I was stuffed by the first meal, but there was nothing I could do about that. So we get to her house around 8pm, and she prepared steak sandwiches for us! Haha we didn't even know how to react. Luckily I used my gluten allergy as an excuse, but she still expected Sister Berrett to eat the whole thing. So while she was telling us some stories, Sister Berrett started slipping some food to the dog haha. It was so funny. It's sad that the holidays are over, but at the same time I'm grateful that I don't have to eat that much every day..

We have a few investigators, but it's hard to know what they need since I'm brand new to the area, and came into Georgia in the middle of a transfer. Our main focus is on a lady named Ashley. She has a baptism date for Jan. 17th. I don't know much about her except she has been on date 2 times, but keeps pushing it back because she won't keep her commitments or come to church. We were both pretty sad when she didn't show up to church yesterday. But we'll see what happens with her this week. We want to just find out her commitment level, and see how much she truly understands what her role is in receiving conversion. She has to put in the effort herself, and she has to exercise her faith in order for her to have the desire to live the gospel. I guess all we can do is continue to love her, and push her to make these good changes in her life.

We want to focus on getting new investigators this week. That's our biggest goal right now. I didn't realize how many people there are who haven't heard about our church, and who are searching for a purpose. We met a man at The Waffle House on Christmas morning before we skyped our families who seemed really interested in our message. I asked him if he was religious and he said he definitely believes in God, but doesn't go to any congregation. He said he thinks that what we are doing as missionaries is awesome, and he wants to know more. It's been hard getting a hold of him, so I don't know how serious he was, but there's something awesome about opening up to people on the streets and sharing what you know to be true.

I'm still brand new to the area, and to missionary work. But I have an awesome companion who has helped me so much, and I have a desire to share this happiness with others. I want others to know what I know, and to feel what I feel when I live the gospel. I was sitting in a member's home on Christmas Eve I think, and we were watching a video about Christ's Atonement, and it hit me so hard how much I love being a missionary.  Even with the homesickness I felt this week, I just cannot deny how powerful missionary work is. I can't even express how important it is to rely on Christ's Atonement to be freed of guilt, and that to be forgiven of our sins. Being a missionary gives me the opportunity to help others experience that relief and happiness.

I'm so grateful to be here! I don't even know how long I'll be in Georgia, because I don't know when my visa is coming. But I'm not complaining. Anyways, I miss you all and I wish you happy holidays!

Sister Hendricks
Christmas Morning!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Day Skype!

Not the best picture because of the glare from the computer, but Skyping with Zoe and her companion Sister Barrett was such a joy!  We got to talk to her for about an hour.  The members in Marietta, GA have taken good care of her this week!  She is happy to be serving in this area.  Her new address is posted above, and her e-mail remains:  P-days are still on Mondays. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Lost Mountain!


We've arrived in Georgia! It's been such an eventful day! We left the MTC at 3:30am, and made our way to the airport. We flew into Georgia at around 2pm and met some elders and our mission president, President Harding, who told us where we were all going. I was sent to the Lost Mountain area which is west of Atlanta, and then Sisters Oviatt, Kirkham, and Lindsay are all going south of Atlanta in Peach Tree City. I met my companion, Sister Berret and she seems really awesome based off of the 45 minutes that I've known her. But I can't wait to start working with her!
It just feels so surreal to actually be out of the MTC. It's so exciting to be in this new area and to start my missionary experience in Georgia. I just feel so eager and ready to get to work. I don't have a whole lot of time to write today since we have our (first) member appointment pretty soon! But I just wanted to send a quick email home and let you all know that I am so excited to be here! I will really miss the people at the MTC, especially my roommates and district. And I'm so glad I had the opportunity to be Sister Lindsay's companion for a few days. She is going to be such a great missionary.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Sister Hendricks
 Us with Jose and Hely
 Last District Photo
I needed a sentimental photo of me sitting in my desk
  Sister Call and I! Good luck in Korea!
 Last night with the greatest sisters ever! I am so lucky to have made such great friends.
 3:30am shuttle to the airport!

 We made it!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Re-assignment/Travel Plans!

We finally got our travel plans!!! Yesterday, 20 of the delayed Taiwan missionaries missionaries got their reassignments.  Me, Sister Oviatt, Sister Kirkham and Sister Lindsay were the only ones who didn't receive any flight plans. So everyone left this morning except for us 4 and a few other elders that are leaving on Saturday to Washington. But FINALLY today, we 4 received our flight plans for Atlanta, Georgia!! Sister Good, Elder Mertz, Elder Davidson and some missionaries in the other zone were all sent to Colorado Springs, and then Elder Tan and all of the other missionaries were sent to the Washington, Federal Way Mission! Our flight leaves on Monday (December 22nd) at 8:30am. We will be at the airport from around 4:45am-7:45am. So expect a call from me around then! We are so excited!!

Sister Hendricks

Monday, December 15, 2014

WEEK 11!

Nimen Hao!

Wow what an awesome week! It's amazing how fast time goes by when you're just focused on learning and growing. There's still no word on our visas. All we know is that if we don't leave this week then we can't leave until after the black-out dates during Christmas - meaning we will be here until January! I don't think our visas will come this week, but I guess they could give us another reassignment before the black-out dates. But honestly I don't know, and I'm not really worried about it anymore! This week was SO good, and I know it's because I just didn't think about when I was leaving, or how "burnt out" I feel. Our first teacher, Sun Laoshi came and talked to our district and told us about this area she was in when she served in Taichung. She said it was a very difficult area and her and her companion faced a lot of discouragement the first week they were there. Then her companion told her "Sun JieMie, I think we need to 'move in' to this area" meaning they need to act as if they're literally moving in and LIVING in that area. She said it made all the difference in the world on their success. 

I related that to my experience here at the MTC. I think I've made this experience harder on myself because I've been in the mindset that 'I'm about to leave', for the past 3 weeks. After Sun Laoshi shared that with me I decided that I'm 'moving in' to the MTC. It reminded me of this talk I read called "Always In The Middle" by President Uchtdorf. He talks about having a perspective of "always being in the middle" and how it helps us live our lives a little more meaningfully. Kind of along the same lines of living in the moment, and appreciating all the blessings we have in this life. "Forever - is composed of Nows".

Having this mindset has changed my entire perspective on my mission so far and it's helped me realize why I'm here. I realize that it's not about what I want. When I signed up to serve a mission, I knew I would be sacrificing a lot - but now I realize that my whole mission will be a lot of uncomfortable changes, and a lot of adjusting to different surroundings.

So this week, all of the Taiwan missionaries that are delayed/will be delayed for their visas got together to say a prayer. We decided to pray and ask for courage and motivation to continue to work hard, even though we are all eager to leave. I knew that the prayer wouldn't magically make our visas appear, but I think it did something ever better. The other day, Sister Good, Sister Kirkham, Sister Oviatt and I were walking through the French building to find one of our old teachers before class and we came across a man named Jose and his wife Hely. Jose was a 'gold tag investigator', meaning he is a guest at the MTC who heard about our church somehow and is here to learn more. There are gold tag investigators all over the MTC, which is awesome because they aren't actors or anything so it gives us missionaries the chance to have a real lesson with someone, not just practice. 

So he came up to us in the french building and started asking us a bunch of questions about how we are learning Chinese in so little time, and he asked us about Joseph Smith, and we just started talking with this man for about 45 minutes, just answering his questions and sharing with him our testimonies and they were both so touched. And the whole time I was thinking to myself "man I wish I had my scriptures with me" and right at that moment, I looked over at the table and saw a Spanish Book of Mormon. In the French building. what!? So we showed him some scriptures and he asked to meet with him again, so tomorrow morning we are meeting with him again!

Today, we had to move out of our residence hall into a different residence hall because of construction. After we did our laundry, we were walking over to our residence to get our suitcases and Sister Good and I were talking about how awesome it was that we met Jose, and then we walked into 18M and there he was with Hely! So we went up and talked to them and asked them how they were doing, and we told Jose about how we all prayed together the night before we met him for motivation and help to get through our MTC experience, and we told him that meeting him was the biggest answer to our prayer and that we were so excited to teach him tomorrow. Then he got all teary eyed and said that the day before he met us, he was so sad and discouraged about something that had happened in his family. He said all he wanted was a sign - and he said that when he met us, he knew that God was watching out for him. It was so cool. Hely is so sweet too, she asked Sister Good and I to teach her Chinese, so we said we would do that for our language study with her every morning.

We are just so excited to meet with these amazing people. I can't wait to be doing this everyday on my mission. There's just something so powerful about sharing your testimony with people who want to listen. And although I know the work is going to be difficult in Taiwan, I know there will be people that need to hear our message. I'm so excited to be here and to be learning more Chinese and taking advantage of this time to start learning characters, and for chance to grow closer to my zone, district, and companion, and I'm grateful for the friends I've made, and the goals I've set! This gospel is so true. There's absolutely no way for me to deny it. I am so proud to be a missionary!

Well I hope you all have a good week and are enjoying to holidays! Read that talk by Uchtdorf if you get the chance!
 Once we moved to building 3M, we lost our two roommates Sister Carlson and Sister Gardner. We will miss having them in our room!
 Sister Crowell, Sister Payne and I. Going to Taichung soon! I will miss them when we go our separate ways (someday)!
 I love these sisters so much! Sister Carlson (from Georgia) and Sister Gardner (from Pocatello) both going to Taichung
I love them! It has been so fun having them as my running buddies these past two weeks. We made the goal to run a 5k together once a week, and a mile everyday! Definitely couldn't do it without them. Sister Findlay (from Murray, UT going to Taichung) and Sister Andrewsen (From Draper, UT going to Singapore). Our new Sister Training Leaders!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

WEEK 10!

District 39-A Jiemeimen Black-Out protest!

Yes, we have been here for 10 (and a half) weeks.  You know you've been at the MTC too long when you start speaking Chinese in your sleep. Sister Good woke up in the middle of the night a few nights ago to the sound of me mumbling "wufa xingrong" ("impossible to describe" - a line in Joseph Smith's first vision). You also know you've been at the MTC too long when you've learned how to say "Hello" in 9 different languages: Ni Hao (Chinese), Neih Ho (Cantonese), Kon'nichiwa (Japanese), Bonjour (French), Hola (Spanish), Annyeonghaseyo (Korean), Swasdicap (Thai), Chomreabsuor (Cambodian), and Xin Chao (Vietnamese). Or when everyone refers to you as the district that's "STILL HERE?", or when you become closely acquainted with several of the initiatory temple workers, or when you have to start sharing your mailbox with another district because we're not supposed to be here. But, alas - we still have no word on our visas, and no idea when we are leaving. We could leave tomorrow, or we could leave on the 17th. Basically, they told us that whenever we get our visas, we are leaving the next day. We'll see!

As you can all probably guess, it's been another long week as we've waited for news on our departure. So, we all decided to protest and wear all black until we got our visas. It was pretty funny, but then it was just depressing so it didn't last longer than two days. But our pictures made it worth it. But yeah, there's really not much to report about this week. Just lots of anxiously waiting, and going over the same grammar principles over and over. It's good that we have so much extra time to practice Chinese, but at the same time it's hard to focus when we were mentally prepared to leave the MTC a week ago. But I do feel like there were some things I learned this week that I wouldn't have learned if I had left on Monday. 

For example, we watched the Character of Christ again. It was awesome focusing on the things that I didn't catch the first time I watched it. This time around, Sister Good and I noticed he talked about Ether 3, which is about the brother of Jared praying to the Lord that he would illuminate the 16 stones to give them light in the darkness as they crossed the sea. He talked about verse 6 where it says the Lord touches the stones one by one, and he asked why He would do that one by one when he has all the power to illuminate the stones all at once? It stuck out to us this time because when we met with Bednar last week, that was the theme he told us to look for in the scriptures. If you haven't studied that scripture, I encourage you to. Ponder on why the Lord would touch each stone one by one..

Another thing I learned this week was how to have more love towards my companion. I think that Sister Good and I have always got along very well, but I also think we've been eager to get to new companions. But I think the Lord wanted us to be together for a few more weeks, and now I know why. I learned an important lesson about charity and having an understand for others by focusing on the needs of my companion and thinking of her when she's feeling down. I feel lucky to have learned this lesson so early in my mission to prepare me for companions in the future that I may not get along with as well. I truly believe the Lord has perfect timing for us.  

Anyways, the MTC is a great place and all but hopefully we're leaving this week! If not... well just pray that we do! Have a good week everyone!
Sister Hendricks
Our (hopefully) last Sunday with our Branch President! We love President and Sister Teng! And Sister Oviatt's cute faces haha
 Our Zhonglaomen! We love them!
 District 39-A JieMeimen! Our (maybe,possibly) last temple walk!
 These sisters are so funny haha I'm glad we are all going to the same mission!
(top row) Sister Proffit, Sister Nemrow, Sister Lindsay, Sister Kwong, Sister Haacke
(bottom row) Sister Hancock, me, Sister Good

Me, Sister Good, Sister Lindsay, Elder Bates and Elder Deipevene
 Christmas devotional with the homies
 All of the sisters in our zone!
 me, Sister Good, Sister Haacke and Elder Liston!
us with sister lindsay
This is the 'bite your lip and stare at the angel moroni' pose. except for me
Our blackout day

Monday, December 1, 2014


Nimen Hao!

This week was so good and so eventful, I don't even know where to begin! So after 8 weeks of our choir director teasing us about hearing from an apostle every single week, he finally spoke the truth! We all knew that we would hear from an apostle on Thanksgiving, but then on Tuesday night, we were surprised to hear from Dallin H. Oaks! Our choir number was Nearer My God to Thee. There's just nothing like singing such a beautiful hymn in the presence of an apostle of the Lord. He spoke about how we can be instruments in the hands of God by using an analogy of a pen. When we use pens, we want them to be able to work, we want them to be filled with ink, and we want to know that it will work every time we use it. Likewise, God wants us to be healthy and able to work, He wants us to be filled with a knowledge and a testimony of eternal life, and He wants to know that we will always serve Him. Even on our P-days, even when we're "too tired". We signed up to be missionaries - to be His instruments. It is our calling to diligently serve Him, and to work in His way according to His timing. 

So me, Sister Good and about 20 other random missionaries were invited to go to a private luncheon with the apostle that would be speaking on Thanksgiving! We didn't know who it would be, but some people hinted towards Bednar. Sure enough, Elder Bednar entered the room on Thursday morning prepared with a really interesting talk. He had his family members pass out cell phones to us and we could text questions to the number on the screen and it would send to his iPad and we could discuss the questions that were asked. It was very different and unique, but it was effective. Some people asked some really interesting questions. One of them was about Christ's atonement. Christ was a perfect being, but He still had agency and He still had to be baptized. Was it possible for Him to deny the will of the father, and not atone for our sins? It brought up an interesting idea, that Christ was sent to Earth TO DO the will of the father. He covenanted with God, and there is a big difference between exercising your agency, and breaking a covenant. Technically, Christ could have said no. But He didn't for several reasons. 1. He made a covenant with the father, and knew what the father's plan was for him. 2. He absolutely loves all of us, and being the perfect, charitable being He is, He didn't want us to suffer that pain. 3. If He didn't do so, none of us could be saved.

There were several other questions asked as well, but that's the one I think I learned the most from. After the devotional, Sister Good and I went to the luncheon prepared with several questions we wanted to ask him. He shook all of our hands and asked us where we were from and where we're going and then began a discussion about his talk and asked us several questions. So we didn't really get to ask as many questions as I thought, but it was a really cool experience. Afterwards, we shook his hand again and Sister Good asked him what his favorite scripture was. Of course he didn't have "just one", but he said his favorite theme is "one by one". That phrase appears in the Book of Mormon 6 times, and he invited us to find where they were without using It was so amazing being with an apostle of the Lord.

The rest of our Thanksgiving was awesome. It was very laid back. We wrote letters home, did a service project, and were surprised to see Meet the Mormons finally! It was just really fun relaxing a little bit and enjoying the holiday. They seem to really spoil missionaries on the holidays since we're away from home.

So I finally got called to speak in church on Sunday! I spoke about recognizing and understanding the spirit. I just knew I'd get called. I had that feeling. It was alright, not as bad as I thought it would be! And now I don't have to worry about writing talks at the MTC! It was pretty humbling though - and I feel like I should use these extra two weeks here wisely to improve my Chinese.

Oh yeah, speaking of which - our reassignments have been cancelled. They said that our visas are only going to be a few days late so there would be no point in sending us to the states for a transfer when we could just go straight to Taiwan. But then we went and talked to the Travel Office today, because they still haven't told us anything, and they said that our new departure date is Dec 15th. Our visas can come anytime between now and then so there's still a chance we'll get out of here by the 9th, but there's also definitely a chance that we're here for two more weeks. Not the best news we've heard, but I guess it does give me more time to learn Chinese whereas if I were to be sent to the states, I would lose a lot of it. We still don't know anything for sure, but this is what they've told us!

I think we're all going a little crazy. We were not mentally prepared to be here for 11 weeks!Our district has been pretty bummed out about it, but our Branch President came and talked to us and he made a good point. He thinks that if the Lord wanted us to leave for Taiwan today like we were supposed to, He would have made it happen. But for some reason he's keeping us here. Whether it's because we need to learn something, or the new districts need to learn something from us, or whatever it is - there is definitely a reason for this and we need to be looking for what that reason is. 

Well that's all the news I have for this week! It really was an awesome week despite the bad news about our visas. Such a cool opportunity to hear from two apostles, have a perfect Thanksgiving to reflect on the things we hold dear to in life, and to relax a little bit. I do love the MTC, and I'm still learning in ways I didn't think possible. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, and did some fun Black Friday shopping! Miss you and love you all!

Sister Hendricks

I love Mai Laoshi! She is such a great teacher, and she really has such a big heart.
Luo Laoshi never fails to make us laugh. He has the best accent.
Almost all of the Taiwan missionaries!
(Mostly) all of the departing missionaries! Eventually...
Service Project!
The roommates and I :)
 Having some fun with the lights on Thanksgiving!

Our attempt at a district photo ha ha