Sunday, July 26, 2015

XiZhi ls So Pretty I Never Want to Leave!

 Exchanges a few weeks ago with Sister Aldous!
This week (the past 4 days) was very up and down. For the most part, it was really enjoyable! Starting with attending the temple Wednesday. It has been way too long. Being on my mission has helped me see the importance of attending the temple frequently. The comfort I received at the temple that day was much needed. I feel refreshed.

Sometimes, I really don't know how I've been able to be a missionary. This week, we went to visit a member that lives on the top of a mountain. So, we started biking and after about 25 seconds, Sister Peng's bike chain (or something like that) broke, making her wheel unable to turn. So we parked our bikes on the side of the road, and hiked to their house. Then on the way back, we thought we would be able to fix it, but after dirtying up our hands and clothes trying to figure it out, we concluded we'd have to carry her bike to the bike shop near our house before curfew at 9:30 pm. We would have waited til the next day but since the next day was Sunday, we figured we should get it fixed that night so we could use her bike the next day. So we took turns, one person walking my bike with all our stuff, and the other carrying her bike. It took us about an hour and a half to get to the bike shop at 9:10 pm, where it turns out they were closed. The cool thing was, some members saw us on our way to the bike shop and got out and helped us. Since the bike shop was closed, Brother Huang helped us fix her bike enough so that she could still ride it, but can't switch gears. We still made it home by 9:30 pm, but wow. We were so exhausted.

So yes, sometimes I really don't know how I've been able to do it. While we're riding our bikes in some intense level of either rain or humidity with the weight of 4+ Books of Mormon and over a hundred pamphlets, fliers, tracts, etc. placed on our backs, up and down hills (sometimes on empty stomachs), arriving to a place to find for 3+ hours and hear the same excuses over and over and over, I really wonder how it's possible. But this week, I learned a lot. First of all, it is not ever by my own strength that I do these things. I know it's from my Father in Heaven. Second of all, God gives us exactly what we need to endure and survive, yet still learn and grow.

This week, the "boosts" that God offered me were through the love of others, specifically my companion. After a long day of working and carrying bikes, sometimes all you need is a hug and a listening ear, and my companion is always there to offer one with her ears wide open. The importance of developing that kind of unity is so grand. Recently, Sister Peng and I have put forth such great effort into showing love to each other, as well as members and investigators. It has softened my heart on the days when I really feel like I can't do it anymore. I know that love can change hearts, and give us the strength we need to keep going.

At the end of the day, I still can't deny the goodness of God and the truthfulness of this work. If anyone is being converted through my mission, it's me. No, we don't have any progressing investigators. No, we haven't helped anyone prepare for baptism. But, I myself (though I am unable to be counted as a "key indicator" to report to my District Leader on Sunday nights), am converted more and more every day. I know this work is true. I know God lives, and He loves us.

I also testify that carrying bikes down mountains strengthens your faith. 
Sister Hendricks
Costco trip last P-day
 Costco - Taiwanese style

This is what happens when you buy a basket for your bike: In addition to having Books of Mormon placed inside, our fellow Taiwanese give us free cigarettes...不要
There is nothing better than fruit in Taiwan~
Unity activity for our awesome members!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


This has been such a great week. Today we get the opportunity to go to the temple! It's been so long, it feels. I anticipate a fresh new start upon entering the temple doors. I've thought about how lucky I was before my mission to have the opportunity to go to the temple at almost any given time.

I feel like I'm learning and really grasping the idea of my purpose as a missionary. I've been thinking a lot lately just about how incredible this work is. Everything goes according to God's plan. I thought of this quote that I heard in the MTC this week, and it's really played a role in my work this week:

"Recall the new star that announced the birth at Bethlehem? It was in it's precise orbit long before it so shone. We are likewise placed in human orbits to illuminate." ~Elder Maxwell

We are placed in human orbits. I know that everyone I've been given an opportunity to encounter on my mission was placed there for a reason. I'm in XiZhi for a reason. I'm companions with Sister Peng for many reasons. We've had many many many many incredible, and perhaps even "prepared" investigators that wouldn't progress after two visits... for a reason. We've also been rejected and criticized day after day. But I know it's all for a reason.

I've learned that my purpose is to do what God wants me to do. That sentence has so much meaning to me. If there's one thing I've learned since the day I submitted my mission papers, it's that I want to be who God wants me to be. I fall short many times, because I'm human. But I have developed so much faith in the Atonement of Christ. I know that through Him, I can be who God wants me to be. I know that our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ, and help them prepare for baptism - but the most important part of that statement is to "invite". I'm here as a servant of God to invite everyone to listen to this message. Sometimes people won't accept. God has given everyone their agency. Abinadi was a very successful missionary because he invited. He declared the message to everyone, and really did what God wanted him to do. Yet, he saw no baptisms from his efforts.

But we are "placed in human orbits to illuminate". I know that throughout my whole life, I have been blessed to have people put into my life that have influenced me. Those people, whether they know it or not, have guided me to where I am now. I know that the same applies as a missionary. I have no way of knowing the results of some of the things I have done these past 9 months. But I know that when I am doing everything I can to invite, then I can trust that God is making up for the rest.

All is well~
Sister Hendricks

Monday, July 13, 2015

Typhoon Season!

Our favorite RC, Huang Mao Yu! He moves this week:( We will miss him!
This was a great week! Experiencing my first typhoon in Taiwan was exciting. Not as scary as I thought it would be, but probably because we were told to stay indoors. So I'm not sure if that actually counts as "experiencing" a typhoon. Nonetheless, I feel like everyday in XiZhi is a typhoon to some extent. Gotta love those summer downpours!

Lately, I haven't written much about our investigators because I feel like our most important investigator right now is myself and my companion. But lately we also have two really awesome investigators that are progressing! It's such a blessing and so exciting for Sister Peng and I. One is a guy named You Kai Jie. We were finding one day and had about 5 minutes left before our lunch time, but we both saw him across the street sitting on his motorscooter and felt impressed to talk to him. At first he said he has no time to listen about Jesus Christ, but after agreeing to say a prayer with us he kept listening and when we asked if we could set up a time to meet with him, he said he's free every morning before 12. He came to church the next day and yesterday as well. He's super great! Our other progressing investigator is Xie Wen Yun. She's an english class student that came a few weeks ago because some missionaries gave her a flier in a different area. She's very humble and wants to learn about God, and came to church as well. We're so grateful for these people and the opportunity to share this message with them!

This week was pretty cool. Sister Peng and I decided to follow every prompting we got no matter how ridiculous it may seem. The other day, we were riding our bikes after doing some service and had about an hour before a dinner appointment. We rode across this bridge and saw this guy sitting on a bench. We kept riding and then Sister Peng stopped and said she wanted to talk to him. So we turned around and started talking to him. Turns out he had absolutely no interest in what we were saying. So we kept going. And for the rest of that hour, we did the same thing, over and over again. Every time each of us felt to talk with someone, we stopped and turned around. It was interesting because I felt really good about it - I felt like we were really following the promptings of the spirit. But almost everyone we talked to had no interest in our message. I think only 1 person was at least willing to take an English Class flier in that whole hour.

Sister Peng asked me how we can know if we're really following the spirit or not. I said I believe that if it's a good impression, or a good feeling then it has to be from God. Then she said she doesn't feel like any of those "promptings" were a good feeling or a bad feeling. They were just thoughts that popped into her head. I thought about that for a while, and then realized that the thought in itself that came to her head - which was to share the gospel with someone even if they might not listen, IS a good thought. Therefore, it is a thought from the spirit. God encourages us to do good and to be good to everyone, even including those who won't accept the message. I learned that those thoughts do come from God, and when we follow them, we are showing God that He can trust in us.

Our purpose is to talk to as many people as we can, and give everyone a chance to hear the gospel. Our purpose and success as missionaries is not based on how many lessons we teach, how many people we help prepare to be baptized, or how many new/ investigators we receive, etc. We don't need to be a sister training leader, or seek the praise of others to be successful. Our success is measured by our desire and commitment to serve God with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength. Talking to all of those people that day strengthened my faith. I want to serve God with everything I have. Doing so brings so much happiness to this work.

Love you all!
Sister Hendricks

p.s. Our new mission president has created this website with videos and pictures from events in our mission. Go on, give it a look.

p.s.s. Next week we go to the temple! So our Pday won't be until next Wednesday.


Monday, July 6, 2015

9 months? 怎麼可能?!

Zhong DX, Zhong JM and Zhong Mama! 

This was a pretty good week. As weird as it sounds, I hit my half mission mark on Wednesday. I still feel like a new missionary.. but I guess since I'm done with being trained in America and Taiwan, I've officially been "broken", and I'm half way into my mission, I guess I can't consider myself "new" anymore. Time is going so fast and yet so slow.

Lately, I've been really praying to know what God is trying to teach me. What does He need me to learn? How can I let these next 9 months truly change me and turn me into who God wants me to become? I've really learned a lot about myself, and now I really want to take what I've learned to become the missionary that God can trust in.

I think everyone goes through this phase on their mission, where it feels like the whole world is on their shoulders, and being "successful" just seems miles out of our reach. The phase where no matter how hard you seem to be working, you still fail to get your investigators to church. The phase where no matter how much courage it takes to open your mouth, you're still rejected. The phase where faith in yourself, area, companion, and investigators start to slip away. The phase where you feel completely inadequate and incapable of being a missionary, wondering if you'll ever be able to change. The phase where no matter how hard, and sincerely you pray, it doesn't seem like God is listening. The phase where at the end of the day, you fall to your knees in tears wondering if you can take another day..

I've been studying about the grace of Jesus Christ, and I've come to know how infinite, divine, and completely available it is to everyone. Reading a talk on grace, I came across this scripture in Jacob 4:7: "Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.". This week, I realized I have been in the middle of "that phase", and reading this verse during my personal study a few mornings ago really spoke to me. As if God was writing me a note of encouragement.  'Sister Hendricks, you "have power to do these things"'. I was so quickly reminded that God has never failed me in the past. I have let doubt and discouragement blind me from seeing His mercy and experiencing Christ's everlasting grace.

Now it's time for me to really put my trust in God. That is how we find happiness. It is only through Him that has all wisdom and all power. 

Sister Hendricks

Psalms 84:11,12: "11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. 12 O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee."

Our STL's Sister Wu and Sister Branch when they came to take care of Sister Peng while she was sick. Love them!

​XiZhi is seriously so beautiful. I am so lucky to serve in an area like this
Zhong DX, Zhong JM and Zhong Mama! 
 Liao Jiating, Liu JieMei and Su Mama all took us out to lunch! I love this ward!
Went to visit some members that live at the top of a mountain. We were pretty drenched in sweat by the time we reached the top.