Sunday, March 27, 2016

Family and Friends,

Man so much happened this week! First of all - it stopped raining! It's been raining every single day this transfer until a few days ago. I didn't realize how warm it was on the East Coast until I came back to Taipei. But it's warming up again, and there's nothing that makes me more naturally energetic and happy than sunlight after weeks of rain. And not only in the weather, but we saw some really cool miracles this week in our area. We went from literally no one, to 5 progressing investigators! One of them is actually getting baptized this Saturday! Her name is Yan Zi Juan. She is in the 新浦XinPu ward, and we are in the 新板XinBan ward. But there are no sisters serving in the XinPu ward, and Yan's husband won't let her meet with elders, so we are helping her finish the lessons! She is so sweet. Sister Kitchens (my roommate from HuaLien) was actually the one who started teaching her. I'm so excited to tell her she'll be baptized! Then we have some really amazing member referrals, and new investigators from English Class! It's been really cool to see things pick up again. And It's made me so happy to see Sister Lee expect miracles every day :)

This transfer has been exactly what I have needed. I can just see so clearly how well every experience I've had on my mission and in my life has lead up to being here. Being in HuaLien really helped me learn faith, patience, and diligence in picking an area back up, and I'm doing my best to apply those principles here in 板橋BanQiao. I also feel like Heavenly Father is giving me another chance at being more understanding and putting myself in my companion's shoes. I think that's the biggest thing this transfer is testing me on. Obviously Sister Lee and I are in two very different situations, her being a bit older and a native is a lot different than what I'm experiencing, not to mention she's only been on her mission for about 3-4 months. I've had to remind myself that we need to be open and understanding to each other. It's been really amazing for me to learn how to communicate in love and patience and offer good advice rather than being condescending. For example, helping her understand that we have to keep dinner appointments to only an hour, or when we are contacting on the street we have to be a little more bold and personal, or helping her understand how to plan well for lessons, etc. I've learned that as I use compassion and love when approaching those kinds of situations, rather than assuming the worst in her decisions or actions, it always works. 

I feel so much hope and faith in her and in this area! I know things will only go up from here!

Sister Hendricks

Sister Lee and I went ice skating last Pday :)

Shi JiaTing!
Sister Lee and I :)
​Guo JiaTing! We get fed a lot in this ward haha
Guo JiaTing again
Lin JiaTing!
This is the street we live on.
Beautiful day in ZhongHe! We had exchanges the other day and we went finding at this beautiful park with so many cute families and little kids. It was a day of miracles.
"No success can compensate for failure in the home."
These stickers are on almost every member's mailboxes.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Such a happy surprise! Yang Ming Fang, Lai 
JieMei, and Sister Haupt!

Another happy moment shared with my favorite family from
 MuZha!! The Lin Family :) 
Hello everyone!

I just love missionary work! It's been another great week of teachin and preachin and just doing our best. I've gotta say it's not the easiest thing in the world starting from rock bottom, but I think it's really inspired that I've been blessed to whitewash an area twice in a row because I've seen how the diligence and patience really pays off. Right now we're in the phase of no one to teach, so our days are filled with finding activities! Here's a great idea for every member of the church: introduce your friends to the missionaries! It's the most effective way for us to find people with interest, and it will bring you and your friend so much joy.

It's been really, really humbling being in this situation and realizing that the things we do as missionaries is just crazy without God's help. Really, how else could anything get done if the only thing trying to make a difference was two little missionaries trying to talk to a bunch of people that are busy in a country with not a lot of Christians and most people work or go to school every single day and claim to not have 20 minutes of time to meet, and then when they say they do, they don't show up. It sounds ridiculous and I can't think of a single person that would want to do something like this voluntarily if there wasn't a God of miracles that will work through us to change peoples' lives. So the cool thing is, it'll only go up from here! In every phase of my mission, whenever I've been in an area that is struggling, it ALWAYS picks up after a lot of patience, faith and diligence. So right now, we're just doing our best to do the things we love to do and be happy while we do it. The rest is up to God and His plan for the people in this area.

Also, we had the greatest experience doing Temple Tours last Saturday. I loved my last area so much, but I didn't want to spend this whole transfer thinking about those people and that ward, so I've been praying to be where I am now and experience this amazing new area with my companion. And when we went to do temple tours, it just happened to be Temple Day for the HuaLien ward, and guess who came to the temple for the first time? Yang Ming Fang!!! I was so happy to see her. Sister Haupt and her new companion went with her and we were able to give them a temple tour! It was such a tender mercy. Just another reminder that God loves us and knows the desires of our hearts.

Sister Hendricks
Look who I saw!
​This moment was just extremely happy. I am so grateful for the amazing life-long friendships I've developed here. I love Sister Stevens! She's in Taiwan visiting with her family. What a coincidence that I was able to see her!
My new companion, Sister Lee!

Our apartment from the outside

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Welcome to my 6th area!

Welcome to my 6th area! Yep, I've moved again! I'm back to the very center of Taipei in a place called 板橋 (BanQiao) It's been a bit of a culture shock since I've been far far away from the city for about 5 months. I kinda forgot how many people are in Taiwan. My new companion is Sister Lee! She's about 31yrs old from Taiwan GaoXiong, and just finished training. I'm excited for this transfer!

Yang Ming Fang!
For a while, I was just praying that I wouldn't leave HuaLien. Everything about that area was just perfect, and I feel I grew so attached to the members, the missionaries, our investigators, my companion, even the mountains and beach! There was nothing within me that felt comfortable with leaving this perfect area on my last transfer, especially with all the times I've had to say goodbye on my mission already. But the night before we got moving calls, I was saying my prayers and the thought came to me that there's a lot more to life than just being comfortable, and I felt impressed to ask God for what I needed rather than what I wanted. I wanted to see if I could handle whatever challenge lays ahead with all the things that my mission has taught me. The next day during District Meeting, we received the text saying that we would move and I just had a pit in my stomach. I don't think I've ever experienced such anxiety on my mission. It was probably the hardest thing saying goodbye to those members and to Yang Ming Fang and Li Chong Wei. My heart was just broken. But I didn't want to go into this new area with this anxiety. So I decided to go in with faith. I knew it was where I was supposed to go. It's been the biggest blessing seeing that God has helped me learn how to deal with difficult situations. I really believe this is where I'm supposed to be. 
Li Chong Wei!
This area is basically being whitewashed. We have about 2 investigators. But the best part is it can only get better from here :)

Also! Li Chong Wei got baptized :) Even though I wasn't there to see it, I'm still so happy for him!
Have a great week!

Sister Hendricks

I will never ever forget this district!!
Our TaiQi Class! (Guess who that is in the back? Sister Griffin! She came to visit and helped us peike!)

I will miss our roommates!
Our whole zone woke up at like 5 in the morning to go to the beach on our last day together

Best place on earth!
I'll never forget our ultimate frisbee games!

This is my leaving smile

Monday, March 7, 2016


I LOVED this week. I don't even know where to start. We had two zone meetings and two exchanges, so time just flew by. Sitting here emailing feels pretty weird. It feels like it's been 2 days since I last came to this internet cafe. But here I am!

Speaking of which, time is just going way too fast for me. This is the last time I have to anxiously wait for "the moving call". It has randomly stressed me out a couple times this week, but one day I sat down to talk with my companion about how I was feeling and as we talked, I received a clear impression that I just needed to work hard and enjoy every minute. So simple, right? Almost too simple. But it works! There's a million things I can't control, but I can control my happiness. We exchanged with our roommates the other day and Sister Tinsley and I got fang'd (they didn't show up), cancelled and dropped the entire day, but it was probably the funnest day of the week and we actually had a lot of success the rest of the day! And I realized it was because my focus was more on talking to people and "finding" because I love them and I believe in them. There's nothing happier than just talking to as many people as you can and relating their concerns to the gospel and helping them feel the spirit. It's so much more simple than I sometimes make it out to be in my head. 

Li Chong Wei after his interview! So so so happy
The best part of the week was Li Chong Wei passing his baptismal interview! He hasn't smoked in 5 days, and he feels like he's completely done. We had him over at a member's home, Lai JiaTing, and they just love him so much. They are such a big support to him. He voiced a concern that a lot of his friends are questioning him for coming to church and preparing to be baptized, quitting smoking and drinking tea etc, and he said that's the hardest part for him. But after talking about it, he felt like his true friends will support him in the positive decisions he's making. A lot of them came to visit him this weekend and we were a little nervous that he'd smoke again with them but he was just beaming when he came to church on Sunday and told us that his friends and family support him, and he hasn't smoked again! We are so happy for him! He's getting baptized on March 12th!

I just hope I don't leave this place. It's funny, in Chinese the word Zion is 錫安 (Xi'An) and the place we live in HuaLien is called 吉安(Ji'An), which sounds pretty similar. So we always refer to this place as Zion! It's just been the most incredible experience seeing such a difference in this area - especially in our ward. I feel like we started from nothing and we've come so far and I have grown so close to the people here. I've never put so much effort into building up an area, and the results have just been so fulfilling and joyful. I'm so humbled by the power of God and how much He loves His children. I know that God places us where we need to be...but please pray that I stay!

Sister Hendricks
Elder Crawford gave him his interview.
Let me tell you a story. Our zone consists of 2 sets of sisters and 6 sets of elders. The choice of where we go to eat for zone lunches is almost never in the sisters' power. So, this is me documenting my first McDonald's meal in Taiwan. Yes, it's just as terrible as it is in America.

​We have this really cute Philippino investigator that bought us cake haha