Monday, September 8, 2014

Living the Dream!

Anytime someone asks me how I'm liking the mission, my response is
usually, "I'm living the dream!" Being able to dedicate your time to
serving others and teaching them about the Restored Gospel of Jesus
Christ is amazing. It's most certainly the hardest thing I've ever
done but I wouldn't give it up for anything. I pray more than I've
ever prayed before and I feel closer to my Savior. Each day I'm able
to study for approximately 4 hours and really focus on strengthening
my testimony and finding different ways I can share it with others.
Then I get to go out into my area of Chicago and share what I know to
my brothers and sisters. How cool is that? Serving a mission is such
an incredible blessing and I can't even begin to describe how
important it is to me.

So it was Hermana Michael's birthday on Tuesday and we went to a
members house to celebrate (she also got her face shoved in a cake at
the ward picnic on Monday. Apparently that's a tradition here). This
member is this super crazy, awesome Venezuelan lady. I think she's
absolutely hilarious! She's so sweet she got Hermana Michael a cake
and some ice cream and we even had the other Hermana missionaries from
our ward join us at her house. Then of course we shared a thought with
her and she invited us to come have AREPAS on Wednesday! I'm stoked.
She also served her mission in Maracaibo in the 90s! Pretty neat huh?

We're teaching a couple people right now and I must say that teaching
is one of my absolute favorite parts about serving a mission. I can
see that these people have a real desire to follow the Savior and it's
really beautiful to be there for them and help them strengthen their

We've been able to do a lot of service! Right now we're teaching an
hermana in our ward some English and starting on Saturday I'm going to
be teaching piano to one of the young women in the ward. She's so
excited about it! We also help people move a lot and while I was on my
exchange Hermana Michael and Hermana Hammond weeded and seeded (I'm
not sure if those are the right terms but hopefully you know what I'm
saying) in front of our apartment for our landlords. Service is the
best! It just makes me so happy! Mosiah 2:17 :)

So exchanges were AWESOME! I went to Logan Square with Hermana Izu!
She's so great! We had a pretty busy day teaching and serving, the
missionary life you know? I absolutely LOVE taking public
transportation because we can talk to so many different people. I gave
out a Libro de Mormón on the bus cause after I gave a pass along card
to this guy and talked to him about the Book of Mormon he asked "where
can I find one?" I was like "you most certainly asked the right person
my good man." Maybe not word for word but something like that haha. I
gave him the one copy I had in my bag and he seemed pretty excited
about it so that basically made my day. Hermana Izu is pretty solid
too. I was so thankful to be able to spend my first exchange with her!

Yesterday was pretty interesting. Church went really well! Fast Sunday
is always the best. We had a couple investigators come to church which
we were really thankful for. And they stayed all three hours! After
church we just studied for a while until we went to go find someone
who was formerly interested in the church. We went to his house and no
one answered, but as we were leaving a man standing outside his house
called us over. He had a lot of questions for us and presented a lot
of opposition. Most of the things he had to say were pretty rude, but
of course we were kind in our responses. His main point of view was
how man was superior and basically, for lack of a better way to word
it, that all women are horrible people. We tried to share our
testimonies but we soon realized that he was just not ready to hear
the gospel at this time. We left him with a card and started to walk
away but he called after us one more time and said "what does it mean
to you to be an Eve?" I was most certainly filled with the spirit at
this time and it touched my heart so strong. It was an undeniable
feeling that I am a precious daughter of God. I looked him in the
eyes, with tears filling my eyes, and said firmly but lovingly, "It
means EVERYTHING to me." My companion and I left after that and talked
about it in the car. She asked me why I was crying and I told her that
I wasn't crying because I felt degraded in any way but more empowered
and so full of gratitude for the knowledge I have of the Restored
Gospel. I was crying because I just wish that man had the gospel in
his life and was a little frustrated that I wouldn't be able to share
it with him at this time. I know our Heavenly Father has a plan for
each of us and that we are all precious sons and daughters of God. A
Heavenly King. He loves us more than we will ever be able to
understand and that truly means EVERYTHING to me. When we got back to
the apartment I got on my knees and thanked my Father in Heaven for my
knowledge of the gospel and to be here on my mission and I prayed for
that man, my brother, that our courage may have touched his heart in
some way.

So for pday we're going to check out the city for a while and I'm so
excited! I'll definitely be sure to send pictures whenever I get the
chance. So if you're wondering later today "where in Chicago is Sweet
Jasmine?" The answer is most likely going to be BY THE BEAN. Once
again, I'm stoked. Well I love you all so much and I'm praying for you
my wonderful family and friends each day. Keep on keeping on you
beautiful people.

The church is true, the book is blue. Keep smiling :)

Hermana Knowles

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