Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Week 6, Once Again (march 19th-25th)

can you believe that 6 weeks have already passed?  (6 weeks from what?  Um since the transfer began... :) )
This week was a wonderful week.  Since I last wrote, we went to Saddleblanket (on Tuesday), had awesome lessons, had exchanges and overall just had a wonderful week. 
Saddleblanket:  It's just like El Paso Connection, but a different place.  That's where the pictures are from.  But yes, it was really cool :) Enjoy the pictures.
Exchanges:  I went to the Sister Training Leader's area with Hermana Cederquist.  It was such a great experience.  We had a couple lessons and taught some really cool people.  It was a great experience for me too, because I came to the realization that with this up coming transfer, I will be happy with whatever happens.  Happiness is a decision we make and on exchanges I made the decision to be happy no matter what happens.  I'm sorry to leave my area if that's what's to happen, but I'm excited to meet new people if it's my time to leave.  What a blessing transfers will be.
On Saturday we had a call from one of our less active, recently coming back sisters.  Her 97 year old husband had passed away that morning and so we went over and helped comfort her.  We talked about eternal marriage and the ability she still has to one day be sealed to her husband and to see him again.  What a blessing the plan of salvation.  To know that we have a purpose in this life, that there is a purpose in everything that happens and that there is a life after, where we will continue living with our families.  What a better motivation to live righteously, that our families can be together forever.
And yesterday we had some awesome family home evening lessons.  Have you all seen the grow pots in the dollar section of Target?  Well, they're amazing.  And a gift from God.  For a dollar you get a little pot, dirt, and seeds.  But the great thing about it, is that the dirt is dehydrated or something like that.  So you teach faith using Alma 32:28.  
Now, we will compare the word unto a aseed. Now, if ye give place, that a bseed may be planted in your cheart, (where do we need to plant our seeds of faith?  In our heart... so then use the pots.  They can be your heart) behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your dunbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to eenlighten my funderstanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.
And then the you grow the dirt, putting it in and the dirt can be like going to church.  And then you have the seeds (your faith).  And then you have to give the seeds light and water everyday, so like prayer and scripture study. 
How great is Target?  They have this faith thing all down :)  We currently have strawberries in our apartment, but we've down this lesson a couple times and we have less actives growing all sorts of different flowers :)
But here's another great thing I learned about faith this week. :) In my studies, I've been studying the section of Preach My Gospel on effective studies.  Well, through out the section, there are suggestions for personal study activities, and one of them is reading scriptures and then applying it to your life.  So I studied the section on faith (Alma 32:21-43).  It talks a lot about faith and how we can plant and increase our faith, but you can totally apply it to anything else in life.  Let's say you want to become a certain person, or you have certain goals.  If you apply the same principles that Alma teaches, then anything is possible.  You first have to have a desire, then you have to be able to put it into action.  I think the most important part though is when we have to keeps nourishing our seeds and trusting that they are good.  With decisions in life, it's not if they're not good or not, but whether if they're the most perfect thing we can be doing, the thing that Heavenly Father wants us to do, over what we possibly want to do.  Sometimes, that's the hardest, is just pushing past our desires and focusing on God's plan.  But when we get to this point, than we find true happiness in what we do. 

Pics from Saddleblanket:

Bike Week (march 11th-18th)

Well, you all already heard about our Monday biking adventure.  We were chiples (?spoiled) the rest of the week and received rides from members, less actives, investigators or we walked.  Or biked a little, but not as much as Monday.
We started a less active and an investigator on the LDS stop smoking program.  SO we ran around all day trying to find all the needed materials for this program, we present the program, leave to go to our other lessons and then a couple days later find out they both failed and started smoking right after we left. So yeah.... we need to work on that a little better...
One of our lessons cancelled and a less active member was going to go out with us, so we just went to her house instead and had a lesson.  And she taught us how to make... SUSHI!  Really, who would have thought that it would take me going to EL PASO to eat sushi (and spam for that matter... it was spam sushi).
We had a lesson Wednesday night with a less active family and we decided beforehand to watch the Testaments dvd, the one about Christ coming to the Americas.  Well, we're watching this movie with the 2 little girls and both me and Hna Wilcoxson keep feeling like it's a waste of time, we could be doing something more productive.  But the movie ends and we look over and see the other of the two sisters just sitting there sobbing. 
To me, it made me stop and thing.  It was such a humbling experience to see her feel the Spirit strongly for probably the first time in her life.  And it reminded me of my purpose as a missionary.  To teach, to testify and to help others feel the love of their Savior Jesus Christ.  It also reminded me of how we need to follow the Lord's plan for us, in every little detail.  Which, Wednesday night, involved showing 2 young girls the Testaments.
We had zone training on Friday and it was really good.  Super spiritual and a great opportunity to feel the spirit and learn to become better missionaries.  Afterwards the Bishop's wife came out with us, and all our set appointments fell through, so we went and visited a less active family and sat there as they discussed food.  From what I understood (food Spanish is completely different than Gospel Spanish...) it sounded really good but it was also a great hermanamiento opportunity for our less active.  And a great chance to talk to the bishop's wife about changes in the dinner calendar, and how to get members more involved.
We biked a little.  But then I ran through a patch of espinas, and Hna got an asthma attack so we went home and she rested.  And then we taught a couple lessons.  We had a pass off lesson Saturday too, which was really sad.  But that happens when you start teaching and decide that they'd progress better in an English ward.
Church.  Life.
My companion was sick, so she slept all day and I sat there practice my Spanish by reading old Liahonas.  We had a couple lessons, but everyone cancelled until we went to the Salas.  Had a quick lesson and in the process figured out that the family had the stomach flu going on, or something like that.  So now we're hoping we REALLY don't get sick.

Hermana W making sushi. Em didnt send any of herself

Friday, March 14, 2014

Baptism Week! (March 5th-11th)

More news from Hermana Hendricks!
So here are some wonderful things that we learned this week:
1) Car week goes by so fast.  Sunday came by quicker than we realized and we had to hand the keys back to the elders.
2) your area is flat until you start biking.  Then it's all ups and no downs.
3) biking for the first time helps you discover muscles you never knew you had.
So yes, we biked for the first time yesterday because our bikes showed up Friday!  But let me start at the beginning of the week.
We had a lesson with a less active member who the first question she asked was "how can I become more active?"  She says she has a testimony but it's just feeling like she's part of the ward, more of a belonging.  So we talked about relief society, become more involved and doing activities but also making sure she keeps doing the little things with her boys so they grow up in the church.  And her husband isn't a member, but we invited her to keep involving him and we're trying to figure out events to invite him too.
Lots of really good lessons this day.  We drove around contacting potentials, people who have talked with the missionaries in the past and might have shown a little interest.  Well, we found the parents of a girl who invited us back this week (we'll see them tomorrow) but we had to inform the husband that he couldn't bring his tambourine to church.  And we have yet to tell him that people don't shout "Praise Jesus" during our meetings.  BUT, we really really want him to come to church.  It might liven things up a little, but in all seriousness, church here is really good.
The young women's leader went out with us and we talked about helping some of the less active young women come back.  The problem really is people who have moved and their records stay in the ward so a lot of what we have to do as missionaries is go through and find out who is still living in their homes and who has left.
Friday night we had a first for me... we had a lesson from the car!  We were visiting one of our less actives just to drop off a Libro de Mormon, because all he had was one in English and we found out that he had been kicked out of his place (landlord had had enough) and so we drove down the street and sure enough, he was out drinking with his friends.  We, per missionary rule, we can't teach a man without another women present, and he was drunk, so we had no desire to get out and teach him anyways, but we called to him and gave him is Book of Mormon.  We told him that if he wants us to keep coming he needs to start making changes and coming back to church and then we called Obispo and let them talk for a little bit, and then ended with a prayer.  So it was a really short lesson from the car.  And hopefully it helped... we haven't been able to see him again... and he didn't show up to church...
BAPTISM DAY!  I had never filled the baptism font and Hna had only filled ones up North so she thought the font took longer to fill.  So we were there at 8 to start filling a font that only took an hour to fill... the baptism was at 12.  So we did studies at the church and prepped for the baptism.  And it was beautiful.  Everything happened perfectly!  And A was so excited.  And his dad was so excited too.  And then in typical Mexican fashion we had a lot of food afterwards- mole and tres leches cake!
Then we had lessons, and we taught this less active family about the Tree of Life in Lehi's vision.  We had them draw it out as we read and then we read 1 Nefi 11 and 12 so we could talk about what each thing meant in the dream.  They were super cute and excited to draw the picture.
And dinner Saturday night was with the G family!  It was really good, and they're such a sweet family (Thanks Dani for letting us know they were here!)  We talked about Jonah and the whale afterwards and made our own little story books.
We gave back the car at church.  Got a ride home, got a ride to dinner and then got a ride to our next appointment.  Well our appointment wasn't home, our back ups weren't home and so we walked from one investigator to visit 2 more and then realized we should probably start walking home.  So we walked and made it home by 9.  But it was a long walk...
Our first day biking!  Thanks to Sister Mitchell, I have a bike and it's just the right size.  We biked around to find people and we able to have a lesson or schedule lessons with investigators we haven't seen in a while.  But it was definitely a challenge, being the first day biking.  But yes, the first day is the worst and we can now get on and just be awesome biking hermanas!  And my companion just informed me we biked 11.8 miles yesterday.  Luckily we have a member who needed a lesson and so we met her last night and she took us and the bikes home.  But wow.... we both woke up sore.  But hey, we feel like official missionaries now, because we've walked, biked and driven :)
Life in El Paso is great!  Loving missionary work and  I hope that things are going great with you all!  Love you to pieces and enjoy your week!

And more pictures!

 Hermana Hendricks and Wilcoxson with A

The Hermanas with the family pre baptism and the relief society president with all the food (including Mole!)
The hermana's ready to bike

Emily finally got a bike that fits her! whoo hoo!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Slow Walking Week (Feb 25th-Mar 4th)

Sorry this is almost a week late....but never the less here it is!

So this week was kinda slow.  We did a lot and had some great experiences but we also spent a lot of time walking because we were bikeless, careless and memberhelpless some days. But to look at the bright side, I'm getting a nice tan :).  So instead of going through day by day, I might just share some thoughts today.
We taught a couple less actives this week.  Sometimes they are very frustrating because they know what they need to do to come back to church and they talk the talk but there is no action.  We had several those lessons where we just sat and listened to the same spiel (is that spelled right) that we get every visit.  So then we get to the point where we as missionaries have nothing else to teach, because we are just waiting on their decisions to act.  
We walked Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. I won't tell you how long on each day, but it was a lot of walking, we slept well those days. The mission is moving away from tracting or knocking on doors and doing more street contacting, talking to those who you see out in their yards, walking their dogs, etc.  Well we street contacted while we walked but we also tried contacting potentials who have talked with missionaries in the past or formers, who have visited with missionaries in the past.  And honestly that is not the most productive way to find or contact investigators.  You hear general authorities and missionaries talk over and over again about member help and member missionaries but I think that most members don't realize what it is.  And why we need it so badly. 
We took a member out with us this week and all our appointments fell through.  But we asked her if she had any body in mind and we went to visit her friend.  That right there was a great member missionary opportunity... and those are the ones we need more of!  I love the verse in 3 Nefi 5:13.  In it Mormon is talking and he says "he aqui, soy discipulo de Jesucrist.  He sido llamado por el para declarar su palabra entre los de su pueblo, a fin de que alcancen la vida eternal"  ("For behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.  I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.").  I received an official mission call last May, but for everyone else, this can be their official mission call.  We have been declared to preach the word of Jesus Christ.  So how to we do that? Well we can serve, we can go out with the missionaries and help them (member help is amazing!), we can help others, we can share inspiration quotes and stuff from the prophets on facebook.  It doesn't have to be difficult.  But trust me, it helps the missionaries.  And your friends.
We had stake conference this weekend and then zone conference yesterday.  So it was 3 wonderful days of incredible counsel.  And we talked a lot about missionary work.  What I loved about the Saturday night session of Stake conference was that the general authority(Elder Perkins :) ) who was there called on recent converts, and recently reactivated members and had them share their testimony.  It was such an amazing experience and I learned so much.  As members, all you have to do is invite.  You don't push, you don't force you just invite.
Zone conference was yesterday and it was incredible I just love being in the same room as president and sister Miller.  They are incredible and an wonderful example.  We learned so much and I am excited to start implementing it into my teaching and helping people!
Sorry this isn't a regular email, but it's what came to mind.  Thank you all for your love and support and I love you all tremendously.  Have a fantastic week  and I can't wait to hear from you again!

That was all for the week, but you can tell that hermana Hendricks is really putting her heart into teaching :)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Transfers Week! (Feb 18th-25th)

"I don't know really what happened this week.  Honestly.  But here are a few key things.
Tuesday:  We had transfers.  So we went to the other side of El Paso and I said good-bye to Hermana Callaway and then waited around for a couple hours and studied Spanish with the other sisters in the area.  And then my new companion came.  Her name is Hermana Wilcoxson and she's from SEATTLE!  Yep, so both of us sisters are Seattleites. (She's actually from Marysville, but then again, I'm actually from Bellevue, so yeah...)
And we found out that our area is a car-share again, so we spent some time trying to figure out who we can borrow bikes from. 
So earlier this week we had set up an appointment with a family.  Well it just so happened that the husband and wife were in the phones under different last names.  So we had an appointment with the M family, but when we got to their house and no one was there, we called the wrong J, because his wife in the phone had the name R.  So we had a very very confused J on the phone.  And we thought our appointment had just stood us up.  Well, as we were driving around later, we get a call from the right J and they wanted us to come over.  Well since our other appointments had cancelled, we did and they are simply amazing!  We taught the plan of salvation and invited them to church.
It was another day of driving around (while we still had the car) and trying to find appointments when our other appointments cancelled.  We had a lesson Thursday night with R, one of our recent converts of the year, but also one of our less actives.  So we visited him and talked to him about stopping drinking, and the priesthood, how God loves him and has a plan for him.  Even though we were outside and it was really cold and windy, Hna Wilcoxson was able to bear her testimony and help him feel the love of God.  It was incredible.
We had a member out with us and all our appointments cancelled, so we asked her if she know anyone who needed a visit and she directed us to a member who we haven't seen at church recently.  Well, this sister's car doesn't work (which is why she hasn't gone), but we were able to set up a return appointment and we taught about the Book of Mormon.
Lots of Miracles on Saturday.  First we'll start with A.  This past week he asked his mom if he could get baptized and she got mad again.  But as he bore testimony to her and continued talking to her she finally said "fine, do whatever you want."  And since you only need 1 parent to sign the baptismal form and she gave her consent... guess who's getting baptized!!!  When we told A that he could finally get baptized after waiting a year, he was so excited.  And his dad was in shock.  We taught about the baptismal covenants and how we can keep them.  And it was just a really exciting lesson.
Then Saturday we had a lesson start late (and thus end late) and when we went to our other appointment, she had forgotten.  SO we sat in the car reviewing our backups and I just felt like we needed to visit J and S (the ones we had visited earlier in the week).  We had tried contacting them earlier to see if we could have an appointment, but never got a response, so we went over anyways.  And it was an incredible experience.  J answered the door and then looks at us, and walks back inside to get his wife.  She comes out crying and tells us that she had been praying that we'd come.  We were able to comfort her, teach her and help her feel the love of our Savior Jesus Christ because we were in the right place at the right time. 
As children of a Heavenly Father we are given the opportunity to serve and love his children.  Even though we serve daily we are not always given the opportunity to see how we help, or how the little things we do really impact people.  Sitting in the car Saturday, I felt like we just needed to visit the family.  It wasn't like something told me "go visit s right now, she's praying that you show up"  no it was more like "dang it, normal cancelled what are we going to do now.  Well J and S never responded but I bet we could go see them"  But knowing that we were an answer to prayers.  That that prompting ever so small, was a silent cry for help somewhere.  That is powerful, and I am so forever grateful that through obedience and striving to listen to the still small promptings of the Holy Ghost that we were able to help.
Sunday night we were driving around because of cancelled appointments and we decided to stop by R's and ask him a question.  Well, his landlady wasn't home, and the person inside, didn't think R was home, so we went to check his usual spot and he wasn't there either.  As we were walking back to the car, I remember how touched R was by a message left by some sisters in the past so I thought we'd write him a note.  So I wrote it, and then walking back to his door, we figured out he was actually home.  So once again, a little prompting to just go back and check.  He needed a lesson that night and if we hadn't checked, we wouldn't have found out he was home.
We planned.  And then drove around.  This transfer is a little more stressful because instead of just worrying about having lessons and seeing people, now we have to figure out how to get there.  Bikes will supposedly coming down next week, but by then we'll have the car again.  But this week, we'll just be going a lot of walking and begging for rides.
Missionary work is awesome, even with all the ups and downs that come.  It is a blessing to be serving the Lord and to see the changes that happen in people, but also me.  Being able to serve and love is one of the greatest things I can do right now and I am so happy for this opportunity.  And for the little glimpses into God's plan for us.  Thank you all for your support and have an awesome week!"

She did send a couple pictures as well. One is of her zone just before everyone was transferred, and another is of her and "Batman"