Monday, October 26, 2015

MuZha is the promised land!

It's been a pretty great (short) week! The best part was meeting with our investigator, Chen Hong Yu! She's our investigator with the craziest work/school schedule and no time to meet. But she was able to attend a ward activity on Saturday because she didn't have work that day! It was a huge blessing we were able to meet with her because she had to go visit her family last minute in JiLong right after so wasn't able to come to church the next day. But I am just so excited for her. We started teaching her some commandments and focused on keeping the Sabbath day holy because she sometimes works on Sundays. We thought it would be a bit more difficult for her to commit, but after sharing some scriptures and inviting her to keep the Sabbath day holy, she was more than willing to make some changes. We also were able to schedule a couple more times during the week to meet with her besides Sundays so we can help her prepare for baptism as soon as possible! She was on date for November 8th, but we don't want to rush anything and we want to make sure she fully understands before she commits to be baptized. So we pushed her date back to the 29th (she'll be out of town for a weekend), and she is really excited for that day to come.

She's an amazing investigator. We actually found her through English Class and she's really the most prepared investigator I've ever had. The cool thing is, at first she was just super excited to learn about English and make some new American friends. She even said she didn't have much interest in God. But after coming to church, meeting members in our ward, attending General Conference, etc., she's really felt a special spirit here and has already experienced having answers to prayers on her own time. It's so cool that through the spirit, she found truth. Other than her, we have A LOT of people with so much potential. But we've struggled with getting them to accept a baptismal date and help them to attend church for a variety of reasons. We want to make that change this week though, and really get new baptismal date investigators. Our district made a goal of us all bringing someone new to church this week that hasn't been before.

I've learned a lot about setting goals and working hard to accomplish them throughout my mission. I feel like a lot of times, I overwhelm myself with a million things I want to improve on and feeling like none of it is getting accomplished. But I've started taking things one step at a time, and making measurable, achievable, reasonable goals. And it's cool to see that looking back at the goals I've set, and things I've wanted to change from the start of my mission until now, they've all improved overtime and through a lot of prayer. I'm also pretty lucky to have a very goal-oriented companion that's inspired me to be better in that way. I've made the goal to read the old and new testament, and Jesus the Christ before the end of my mission. I know that it will take hard work and lots of prayer, but I'm pretty excited.

That's about it! Have a great week!
Sister Hendricks

Scripture of the week: 1 John 4:9

MaoKong Gondola~They're closed every Monday... So since we had Pday on Wednesday, we took advantage of this opportunity and went with some missionaries in our zone! 

Sister Haupt, VanTonder, Wood and I

Catching Beetles

Dinner on the roof!

Ancient Grave

Some people we met on the street said they love Mormon missionaries, so they gave us vinegar. Haha.
FHE at Lin JM's house! It was supposed to be a single adult activity but then Zhui JM asked if she could come and bring her kids haha so it became even better.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Hello everyone!

Zoo trip!
I forgot to mention last week that temple day has come again, so P-day was moved to today. We get to go every three months, and holy cow that was a fast three months. I can't believe we're already going again! I'm pretty excited. 

Well this was a super awesome 10-day week, but Sister Haupt and are are both pretty excited we get to rest today  ha ha. We have been so busy and I'm just so exhausted. I don't know what happened to my bike, but it's been going super slow lately. I thought I was just getting out of shape and that my companion is just faster than the average human, but we went on exchanges and the sister using my bike said it's especially slow. So I've had to bike twice as hard until we take it to the shop, so that's been super fun!

I don't even know where to start! This week was amazing. My favorite part was probably going on exchanges with our sister training leaders. This time, I went to their area in YongHe. It's the second most densely populated city in the world, and I had the privilege of sharing the gospel with so many people! I was with Sister Wood, and she is seriously so awesome. I learned a lot from her. I've been working really hard on becoming a consecrated missionary. Meaning I do more than just what's expected of me, but really going to extra-mile. Really putting all my heart and energy into everything I do. The two biggest things I learned are to 1) Preach by the way, and 2) repent.

I feel like it's so easy to get used to only "finding" during the 2 hours we have scheduled every day. But when I was with sister wood, she would turn around on her bike if she felt like talking to someone. She talked to the guy we bought sushi from. She talked to EVERYONE and it really reminded me that from the minute we leave our apartment to the minute we return, we are always finding. I want to "preach by the way" (D&C 52:10) and open my mouth to everyone. The day after exchanges, we were running for exercise and I was praying in my heart that I would be able to apply this thing I learned to become a more consecrated missionary. An impression to talk with the girl running in front of me immediately followed. I was so quick to justify it being the spirit talking to me: "But I'm exercising right now", "I don't even have a tract to give her or anyway to get her number", "I don't want to bother her". But the feeling didn't leave. I said another quick prayer to have courage and I sped up my pace a bit to run beside her. Her name is Lin. She is a college student at Zheng Da University. We talked and agreed we could run together in the mornings, and she got our phone number and called us so we could have hers. She wants to meet with us and learn more!It was super awesome feeling - following that prompting. I know that's how God will truly guide us. When He trusts that we will submit to His way. He really pulls us out of our comfort zone to stretch us and challenge us. But it's because He loves us and wants us to grow.

The second most important thing I learned was to be worthy of those promptings by repenting. Sister Wood and I had a lesson in the morning before lunch. We didn't do the best at controlling time, and the lesson went over 45 minutes which is rule set for lesson times. I try to make obedience to the mission rules my first priority, but sometimes we just mess up. But the cool thing about this experience is this: we got on our bikes to go get lunch, and then Sister Wood immediately pulled over and asked if we could say a prayer to ask for forgiveness. So we did, and the feeling that followed was so peaceful. I hadn't even realized that each time I have messed up on my mission, I would only feel the guilt but sometimes fail to ask for forgiveness. Maybe by the end of the night, I was used to the guilt, which resulted in failing to truly repent. But why not just repent right then and there? Especially when the difference was so apparent in the rest of our day.

I really learned that we need to have the spirit to be with us in order to receive true revelation. We went finding shortly after, and it was seriously amazing how much easier it was to follow promptings of where to go and who to talk to. Eventually those feelings led us to this lady named Ding. Our experience with this lady was one of the most moving things I've ever experienced. She was sitting at this table outside of a 7-11. We introduced ourselves and asked if we could sit. She seemed a little unsure but agreed. We started talking to her about God, and she shared her opinion that she believes there is a God, but there is no purpose to our lives. We wake up, eat, go to work, go to sleep, and then do it again. She spoke with a lot of anger and passion. At first, I couldn't tell if we should keep talking to her. I didn't know if she'd even listen to anything we wanted to share. But something kept telling me to just listen. She opened up about her childhood that her mother died when she was very young and she never got along with her father. The pain and the heart ache rang in her voice and her words brought her to tears. "If God really loved me, He wouldn't give me such a horrible unhappy life". The spirit really worked through Sister Wood and I - looking back, I don't even remember all of the things I said. It was amazing watching her heart soften and the spirit touch her as we said the things she needed to hear.  As I looked at her and told her with every part of me that God loves her, the Spirit confirmed that it's true. God does love her. He told her through two missionaries that she'd never met before. She has a baptismal date for November 21st.

Oh if I could just express how lucky I am. There is nothing more amazing than the work that I get to do. I know God lives. There is no way that the things we share with others isn't true. I wish I could just sit down with every single person we meet for just 30 minutes and talk with them about the happiness that lays in store for them. I love this work more and more every day! I'm so grateful I get to be God's missionary.

Sister Hendricks

Ponderizing scripture of the week:
I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.
Alma 29:9

Taipei Zoo
We met two elders at the zoo :)
Zoo time!! Our area has the Taipei Zoo in it - about 5 minutes from our house. We went with some members for my first time!  
Got Bananas?
Beautiful area!
The elders in YongHe are pretty creative....
The zoo clan
Our new favorite place to eat: our apt. rooftop

Sunday, October 11, 2015

General Conference weekend!

What a great week! I just wanted to say my favorite part of the whole week was ENGLISH CLASS! We had some amazing miracles from English Class this week, and Sister Haupt and I just have such a big vision for our class here in MuZha. We went english boarding (handing out fliers, inviting people to come to class) outside of Zheng Da University in our neighborhood, and we seriously saw so much success. It was the best english boarding I have ever had on my mission. Most of the time, I feel like I'm just handing out fliers saying "mianfei de yingwen ban" (free english class) and it doesn't seem to be very effective. But this week, I discovered a new way to really get people's phone numbers and catch their interest: Talk in English with them! It's so simple. But it works! I just talk to people in English and act very friendly to them to give them an idea of what class will be like when they come. They love it! The Taiwanese LOVE practicing English every chance they get. So if you ask about them in English, they're hooked. It's like magic. From this week's english boarding, I got 15 people with A LOT of interest who all gave us their numbers and then on Wednesday night we had 4 new students show up, and they LOVED it. And the cool thing was, when I talked with them on the street, they didn't seem to have any interest in the gospel. But after coming to our church and being able to feel the spirit, ALL 4 of them came up to us missionaries after class saying they wanted to know more about our church and come to activities and meet with us. It was such a miracle, and it really opened my eyes to see how amazing of a program this is. Sister Haupt and I are seriously so excited for all the changes being made to English Class and we know it will give us so many opportunities to find new investigators and build up our area.

We had a really awesome experience doing Temple Tours this week. President Jergensen is making so many amazing changes to our mission. English Class is getting better, and he also has this vision for Temple Tours to become a lot more popular like they are in Salt Lake, and he has a vision to get a Visitor's Center some day. So some changes that have been made is there's a new calling in our mission, the Temple Tour Sisters. And they're just in charge of working with businesses and scheduling temple tour times and what not. Before, doing Temple Tours was hard if you didn't have any tours scheduled, and we'd have to go out and try to get people to do a Temple Tour. But the day we did it was the first day it started picking up and we had tours ALL DAY it was so crazy and exhausting but so fun. There was one tour we had with these elders that brought their investigator and we did this activity where the investigator and the elders stand at the top of the staircase and the investigator closes his eyes and the elders guide him down the steps to the picture of Christ with His arms opened wide. Him going down the stairs was supposed to represent us going through life. If our eyes are closed, we need someone to guide us to truth. The Spirit was so strong as the elders guided him down the stairs, and when he made it to the bottom, we invited him to open his eyes to see Christ in front of him and when he did, a peace filled the room. I thought a lot about this comparison afterwards and realized that the investigator, he definitely could have walked down the stairs without guidance, but it would be difficult and he would be alone. And most importantly, he wouldn't know where to turn after making it down the steps to return to our Father in Heaven. And he probably wouldn't know the importance of it either. But with guidance, it was safer, more comforting, and it made more sense in the end. It was a beautiful experience.

The rest of the week was incredible I loved General Conference so much so it was great having that time to listen to our prophet and his apostles and leaders. I really learned a lot from all that was said, but nothing can compare to the influence President Monson's talk had on me. The Spirit that accompanies his guidance is so real. As he spoke, I could see the struggle in his speech and he was really exerting all of his energy to testify of our Savior, probably as a result of his old age. But I have never been more sure in my life that he is a true prophet of God because of how he expressed his testimony with all of his heart.  I know the words spoken at conference were truth, but the feeling I felt while I listened to the many words of wisdom is something that cannot be denied or debated.  I know the Spirit testifies of truth.

Our area is doing great, and we are constantly thinking of ways to improve. Our closest investigator to be baptized is Chen Hong Yu. She's amazing! Her date is for November 8th. She is super super busy and has work from 8am-6pm and then class from 6:30pm-10pm. Every single day.... EXCEPT Sundays :D So she can meet with us on Sundays and come to Sacrament Meeting! Yesterday was crazy. After General Conference, we only had 45 min before our whole ward went to go finding together again as an activity, so the ward put together a lunch for everyone. But it was the only time we could meet with Chen JM so we skipped lunch to meet with her because we knew it was important. I know God blessed us for it, because it was an incredible lesson and she's just progressing so much. Then right after we met with her, our members gave us snacks to eat. It was such a miracle, and we are SO excited for her!

I seriously love this area more than anything. MuZha ward is so incredible and I'm so happy to work with them and serve them. 

Sister Hendricks
 Our washing machine broke, so we washed our clothes in the sink. haha
Us with Xiao Pei Xuan! She's from nan bu but goes to Zheng Da university so she comes to our ward during the school year. There's lots of members like that here, I love it!
We made pancakes for General Conference weekend! But we're limited in out kitchen utensils, so we had to improvise....

Monday, October 5, 2015

God takes care of His children

This is one of the elder's RC from SongShan, Aimee Chen, that got baptized right after I moved to XiZhi! I saw her at the fireside and she gave me  a kiwi and a twix haha.Dear Sister HENDRICKS
  I'm so happy that I could met with you in fireside.I heard your Chinese better and better .I'm so happy for you and I know you always do your best everyday in your mission.I never forget the day you just came to sungsang .You couldn't understand what we say in Chinese.But now you are perfect!!!!你很厲害,很棒!!
God bless you all well.
Sister Chen yu mei
So last Monday, our Zone Leaders called saying none of us were moving. I'll be honest, we were all a bit disappointed and exhausted. Being in a trio has a lot of ups to it, but it's also very tiring. Especially when you've been together for 7 weeks, with 5 more to go. But nonetheless, we knew there was nothing to be done, except make the best of it. After preparing ourselves for the transfer ahead, our Assistants called us the morning of transfers saying "Sister Luo, where are you?" she said "We're at home" and he said "Oh. We forgot to tell you - You're moving"
Sister Luo with her new companion Sister Jenkins, and SIster Haupt and I! We went back to our apartment after transfer meeting to pack up Sister Luo's stuff.
Haha, pretty crazy. So we had to take a taxi to get to Taipei for the transfer meeting. She moved to XinZhu to be a Sister Training Leader! It was a little sad, but I'm so excited to be in Muzha with Sister Haupt!! I absolutely LOVE this area. We have grown so close with the ward over this last transfer. At first, I felt pretty nervous that Sister Luo was leaving, and to become senior companion. But the nerves left quickly and Sister Haupt and I are so excited to be in charge of MuZha. I discovered that I actually love having responsibility, because I love seeing that God is actually in charge and through Him we can do all things. We really saw so many miracles and I know God is watching over us. I learned that whatever we are called to do, we can do it if we have faith! Sister Haupt and I know that this is God's work, and MuZha is His area. I'm just so happy to be a small instrument in this amazing work.

It was a little hard getting sick with a cold RIGHT after recovering from the flu, but I can testify that it strengthened my faith in the power of the priesthood! We took it a little easy for a couple days, but Sunday came and we had so many appointments that we just couldn't reschedule them. We had this investigator, Chen JM that we couldn't get a hold of all week. She is seriously probably the most prepared investigator I've had on my mission, and she just disappeared last week. She didn't answer the phone or texts or anything. That happens quite frequently with people, and when it does we just move on. But Sister Haupt and I just had a feeling to not give up on her. Then suddenly she texted us yesterday morning saying she was coming late to church and would meet with us after! So there was no way we could reschedule. Then we had our less-active, Huang Pei Xuan came to church for the first time in months -maybe even years, and had such a spiritual experience. So we had to meet with her! We also met with another less-active that could only meet on Sunday this week who is really starting to develop a testimony. And we also had our Correlation Meeting, AND Ward Council. Then we had a dinner appointment with our Bishop, and then the Fireside, which our recent convert, Zhui JM was speaking at, and we had three investigators say they could come, so we obviously couldn't miss out on that. So basically, I was sitting in sacrament meeting with my head aching, coughing, blowing my nose, feeling so miserable, wondering how we would make it through the day. But Sister Haupt and I had a feeling we had to attend every appointment we had scheduled for the day, so I asked our elders to give me a priesthood blessing after church. I don't know how it all happened, but we were able to attend every single appointment and with smiles on our faces, and it was seriously one of the best days of the week, and I know that it wouldn't have gone so smoothly had I not received a priesthood blessing.

I really learned a lot in this. I know that God does not expect us to do more than we can handle: "And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order." (Mosiah 4:27). But I also know that if it is His will, He WILL provide a way. I think it's easy to feel guilty for getting sick especially as a missionary, but I know it's nothing I have control over, and I know that because I have such a desire to do this work, God has never failed to provide means for me to serve.

Oh yeah, Happy 1 year mission anniversary!
Sister Hendricks
​Oh yeah, there was a crazy Typhoon last Pday. We were told to stay in for the whole day. This is what happened to our bikes haha
I totally forgot to mention this- but the Elders had two baptisms this week!!! And one of them was our recent convert Zhui jiemei's husband! We are all so happy for their family!!

Sister Trouble took this picture at the fireside.
Basically I live in the Promised Land!
This is the view from our Bishop's house. the left side of the river is our area, MuZha, and the right side is XinDian which is our zone leader's area.