Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Donde Me Mandes Iré


I feel like this month is going by so fast! This week was pretty great we mostly met with members and spent the rest of our time trying to find people to teach! On Tuesday we went to visit Camerina in the nursing home and I think that was one of my favorite visits with her. We showed her a bible video and sang a couple hymns for her and she absolutely loved it! I definitely felt the spirit especially as we sang. On Wednesday we had dinner with the Gonzalez family in the ward! It was awesome because some of the young women in the ward made a little band and they get together at the Gonzalez home to play on Wednesday nights so I got to play guitar with them! It was awesome! 
Ok I don't know if anyone can recall in one of my past emails where I talked about how we got to hang out with president at a baptism because sweet little Columbian Ludivia had him and Sister Woodbury sit down and eat afterwards? Well at the baptism she was telling them about how they HAVE to try Columbian empanadas. We told her we would just take it to presidents house and she thought that was a great idea! We weren't too sure how serious she was at the baptism but we most certainly found out on Saturday morning when she called us and asked if we were still bringing the empanadas to presidents house. So we went to Ludivias house and took her and her Columbian empanadas to presidents house and it was a good time! President had some people from the spanish Ward in Midway over with some other spanish Hermanas so we fit right in! We all had a nice little visit with president and Sister Woodbury and I even translated the conversation between Ludivia and Sister Woodbury! I was rather impressed with myself haha. So saturday was awesome! 
Well these are really the highlights of the week! Other than that we've just been working really hard to find people to teach. Knocking doors, talking to everyone, asking everyone for referrals, offering service. I know that the Lord is preparing people to be placed in our path and I really look forward to the day we start teaching them, but until then we will continue to work hard and do all we can. This church is true! I know it is with all my heart and I know that this is where we can find eternal joy. I know the Book Of Mormon is true, that it really is the word of God and I invite anyone who hasn't, to really pray about it and ask our Father in Heaven if it's true because this knowledge has the power to change lives and help us reach our eternal goals. I know God listens to us and answers our prayers and that He does so all in His timing. Never lose hope that answers will come! I love this gospel and I love all of you! I hope everyone has a great week! Write me! 

Keep smiling, 

Hermana Knowles
A Donde Me Mandes Iré is what our missionary choir will be singing at a Book Of Mormon fireside this Sunday night! I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go. 

I live here!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Hijos del Señor, Venid

Hola familia! 

Another COLD week in the Chicago missionary life! This morning we got up a little earlier to go teach seminary again. It went really well! We taught about Doctrine and Covenants 60-62. It's an account of some of the first missionaries with Joseph Smith as the church was just beginning to grow and how the Lord asked them to open their mouths and share the gospel to all they met. I love in section 62 where the Lord comforts them and reassures them that He is with them as they do His work. It's the same with us today! You don't have to be a full time missionary to share your testimony and as you do so the Lord will be right there with you. All you have to do is have faith and OPEN YOUR MOUTH and He will help you to bless the lives of many. 

So we've gotten a lot of snow here in Chicago! It's getting nice and freezing but we're doing our best to stay warm! All this snow makes for great service opportunities. Let's just say our snow shovels are being put to good use. 

On Tuesday night someone that the elders have been teaching got baptized! I'm so happy for him and was so touched when he shared his testimony after he got baptized and said that he wants to go on a mission now too. After the baptismal service the relief society provided some refreshments and it was pretty funny because once someone catches you without food they will usually bring you a plate. Well President and Sister Woodbury were just about to leave after they said hi to everyone but sweet little Columbian Ludivia from the ward caught them and had them sit down and eat. Then she kept going into the kitchen and bringing out more food for them and Hermana Gonzalez and I were translating what Ludivia was saying each time she came out. So we got to hang out with the Woodburys a little longer which was pretty fun.

On Wednesday we had Zone training! I always love zone meetings we learn so much! We were at the church basically ALL day on Wednesday because we had our quarterly interviews with president afterwards. Before the meeting they always ask us to prepare a short talk and they'll call on someone during the meeting to share it with everyone. Well we didn't get the topic until the night before and I figured since I got called on last time I would be able to get away with it but of course not! The zone leaders called on me AGAIN. But it all went well and I came up with something to share from my studies and I'm pretty happy with how it went. I really loved my interview with president. At the end he gave me a blessing and I really felt comfort from our Heavenly Father. I know He has big plans and I intend to keep working hard and exercising my faith to make sure I do everything He would have me do. I love the priesthood and I'm thankful for worthy priesthood leaders. 

On Friday we went to visit one of the members and we were able to share a message of the restoration with her son who is not a member of the church. It was definitely a miracle! We visit her all the time and this was the first time that he sat down and actually listened. I'm so thankful for that tender mercy and I hope that we can continue to teach him a little more.

Yesterday after church we tried to find some potential investigators and knocked some doors. In between each place Hermana Gonzalez and I were really enjoying being in the snow. We wanted to see who could slide the longest so we both got a running start and Hermana Gonzalez most certainly won because I had myself a nice visit with the ground. The bruise on my hip is quite the piece of art. 

Anyway, I hope everyone has a great week! I'm sorry I didn't really take any pictures this week but if I take any good ones today I'll be sure to send them your way! I love you all so much and I love being a missionary and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the people here. This church is true. I know that our Savior Jesus Christ is at the head of the church and this is where we can find true joy and happiness. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is real and through the Atonement we can overcome ALL things and be truly happy. I love my Savior and my Father in Heaven and want everyone to know about it! Have an awesome week and please please please!.....

Keep smiling,

Hermana Knowles :) 

Hijos del Señor, Venid is definitely one of my favorites right now! 
Página 26 de los himnos 

Hijos del Señor, venid en acuerdo a cantar. Alabanzas ya rendid al Señor, que reinará.En el mundo sólo ̮habrá gran felicidad y paz. Hombres ya no pecarán; paz y vida gozarán.

Cuando veamos al Señor en Su gloria descender, dando fin a la maldad,¡oh, qué tiempo de placer! ¡Oh, qué cantos de amoralzaremos al Señor! ¡Oh, qué gozo reinará! Nuestro miedo huirá.

Revestidos de amor viviremos en verdad. Cánticos de gran loor alzaremos con bondad. Con el mundo limpio ya, todo ser la paz tendrá; de amor rebosará, y en gozo morará.

(For non-Spanish speakers this is Hymn #58 Come, Ye Children of the Lord)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

2015: My Year as a Missionary

Hola familia! 

So this week was full of knocking doors and trying to find people to teach! We had a cool experience on Tuesday while we were knocking. We were about to leave the building we were knocking but we saw another door with a religious bumper sticker on it so we decided to knock there too. The people we met are this super sweet family from India. The dad came to the door and told us that he is a pastor and thought it was so great that we were sharing a message of Jesus Christ so he invited us to come in! We sat in the living room with him, his wife, and two daughters and shared a little about the Book of Mormon and ended up giving them a copy. They loved our message and were so thankful that we knocked their door. They are so kind! The mom brought out some grape juice and almonds for us and the daughters even played the keyboard and sang us a song they learned at church! After they sang Hermana Gonzalez mentioned that I can play the piano too so the dad wouldn't let us leave until I played and sang a song for them. It was a pretty awkward but cool experience. I played the keyboard while Hermana Gonzalez and I sang Nearer My God To Thee. 

There's a less active family we visit every Tuesday and I absolutely love them! Hermana y Hermano Santos are the best! We went to see them and we couldn't stay for long because we had another appointment and they had a bunch of family over but Hermana Santos had two little Christmas gifts for us it was so nice of her! 

On New Year's Eve we had district meeting then we went over to the mission office to turn in Yareli's baptismal record and we visited with the senior missionaries for a few minutes while we were there. They're so great! One of the missionaries posted a picture of our awesome senior missionaries with just a portion of all the Christmas packages. It's great I'll send it in my pictures email. We spent the rest of New Year's Eve knocking doors and trying to find people and even though it was way cold we had a good time. 

On New Year's Day we had lunch with the Trentini family! They're the ones from Brazil I love them! Sometimes while we're talking with them they'll just start talking in Portuguese and it gets really confusing because I feel like they just kind of expect us to know what they're saying. It's pretty funny. I'm pretty sure we'll visit with them again this week and I'm way excited to be in their home again! 

Remember a couple months back when I shared that experience about the kid Hermana Michael and I met on the street? Where we drove past him and felt we needed to turn around and talk to him and ended up giving him a Book Of Mormon? Well we hadn't seen him in a while so we just decided to stop by his house and his parents let us in! They are the sweetest people! We got to catch up with Luis and talk a little more about the Book Of Mormon and what we do as missionaries. He seemed really interested and said he really wants to start reading the Book Of Mormon to find out if it's true. Right now seems to be a pretty busy time for his family but hopefully we'll be able to visit with them again soon!

Our downstairs neighbor Sister Jensen absolutely loves family history and when I told her I had a relative from Chicago she thought that was awesome and looked him up! We found out that he is buried only about 8 miles south of where we live! So for P-day today we went down to the cemetery and visited the grave of my great great great grandpa, Harry Forbes! It was so cool! Everything was covered in snow so it took us a little while to find. Hermana Gonzalez and I split up to find it faster and I remember being a few headstones down and looking at his grave thinking, "That one's grandpa Harry." It was such an awesome feeling when I brushed off the snow and saw his last name, Forbes. 

Well this entire year I will be a missionary! I am most definitely looking forward to what's in store on my mission. I know that the Lord has prepared people to learn about His gospel and I will work so hard and do all I can to bring this happiness and joy into their lives. This church is true. No matter what trials we all go through in life, the Gospel of Jesus Christ can help. It is the source of true joy and I want more than anything to share it with everyone here on my mission. Our Savior lives and loves us and because of His atoning sacrifice we are able to overcome all things and one day return to live with Him and our Father in Heaven again. I love this gospel and I love you all! I'm so excited for this year! 2015 as a missionary. 

Keep smiling,

Hermana Knowles

Hermana Trujillo just finished her mission! She's so great! And I
decided to wear contacts for the first time on the mish haha. It was
super weird.