Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Señor, Te Necesito

Hola familia!

This week has been pretty busy. There are a few people we're working with pretty regularly it's so awesome! They are all going through very different things that aren't familiar to me but we are still able to help them and provide comfort because we are representatives of Jesus Christ. It has been continually reconfirmed to me that this is NOT the missionary's work, but the Lord's work. Now obviously I won't explain each individual trial of these people, but let's just say they are way bigger than me and I've never experienced any of these things first hand. So some of you may be thinking, how can a 20 year old girl (along with her companion, of course) help these adults overcome trials that she doesn't fully understand? I'm so glad you asked! I'll tell you. It is because she is a representative of Jesus Christ and this is HIS work, and when we are doing His work we are entitled to His help. So I may not know everything or haven't had as much life experience as others, but that's ok! I may not understand these specific trials or know how these people feel but the Lord does and so long as I am worthy I can be His instrument in providing that relief. Beautiful isn't it? 

The mother of one of these people we're helping came up to me before a meeting on Thursday and with tears in her eyes she told me something her son shared with her. He said, "Mom, I'm so thankful Hermana Knowles is here to help me come back to church." That touched me so much. I had one of the most tender moments of my mission during an appointment with this Hermano and his wife. At the end as I bore testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and shared personal experiences I couldn't help but cry and as I kept eye contact with this Hermano tears started to fall down his cheeks too. I know one of the reasons I am in Cicero, Illinois is to help this Hermano and his family. I know that I've never been though what he's going through, but I know the Lord has. I will cherish these sacred moments of being an instrument in the Lord's hands for the rest of my life. 

Also, DANNY IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY! So that's pretty awesome. We've been teaching this sweet 10 year old boy since I came into the area and now he is getting baptized and his mom is starting to come back to church! Blessings all over the place! And these people are relatives with the family I was talking about in the paragraph before. I SURE DO LOVE THIS FAMILY. Let me tell you, there's nothing sweeter than having someone come up to you and say, "Thank you so much for teaching the Gospel to my family." I can't even handle it! It's just such an immense blessing to be able to serve them. 

On Tuesday we went to a members house and I made arepas for our lunch appointment! She cooked everything else but I taught her how to make arepas and it was so fun! Her name is Rosa too so there's that! So much fun. 

We're also working with a sweet little investigator named Lucy. She's awesome! She's progressing little by little and really enjoys meeting with us. On Saturday after the Elder's baptism Lucy invited us to eat with her and her kids. They're such an adorable family! She wants to take us to China Town one of these pdays so I'm looking forward to that! 

Well I hope everyone is doing so well. I'm looking forward to my Skype call on Mother's Day in just a couple weeks! I love Chicago, I love this Ward, I love being a missionary, I love each of you, and I love my Father in Heaven and Savior, Jesus Christ. I testify that this church is true and this is not my work, but the work of the Lord. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I finished it again and I cannot deny the truthfulness of it. I know anyone can know for themselves too if you PRAY and ASK God. But you can't pray just to say you've tried it, you have to "ask with a SINCERE heart, with REAL INTENT, having FAITH in Christ, [THEN] he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost" (Moroni 10:4). If the Book of Mormon is true, then Joseph Smith truly did see God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ and everything that followed was done by the hand of the Lord. All we have to do is ask God. #spiritualrantoftheweek 
I love you all so much! Stay strong my sweet family and friends.

Keep Smiling,

Hermana Knowles

Oh I guess you'll probably want to know how transfer calls went on Saturday. Hermana Starnes and I are staying in Chicago 2nd for 6 more weeks. Nice and simple! I love you all have a great week! 

Señor, te necesito
1.Te necesito, sí, bendito ser.
Ninguno como Tú paz puede dar.
Señor, te necesito; sí, te necesito.
Bendíceme, oh Cristo; vendré a ti.
2.Te necesito, sí, consuelo das.
En mal, poder no hay si Tú estás.
Señor, te necesito; sí, te necesito.
Bendíceme, oh Cristo; vendré a ti.
3.Te necesito, sí, en mal o bien.
Conmigo a morar oh pronto ven.
Señor, te necesito; sí, te necesito.
Bendíceme, oh Cristo; vendré a ti.
4.Te necesito, sí, mi Salvador,
y tuyo, por amor, seré, Señor.
Señor, te necesito; sí, te necesito.
Bendíceme, oh Cristo; vendré a ti.

Peter - Please note the tacotime apron ;) I love you Hermano! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Me Encanta Ver el Templo

Hola Familia y Amigos! 

Monday night got pretty crazy as soon as pday ended! We had three appointments in a row starting with our dinner appointment with la familia Cousiño. We see them every Monday it's great! So they fed us and then we shared a quick message before we sprinted over to our next appointment which was a family home evening with a returning less active member. 

I'm not exactly sure why or how but our entire district and our zone leaders got permission to be there. So it was a full house for sure! Well we got there and they were just about to start DINNER. So of course Hermano fixed us a plate and gave us a nice big glass of jamaica. That was pretty rough but we got through it. Hermana Starnes ended up sneakily putting the majority of her food on an elders plate so props to her! Then we moved to the spiritual message and we were only able to stay for about 10 minutes because we had to run to another appointment but it went really well. Hermana Starnes and I kicked off the FHE by singing Mas Cerca Dios de Ti (Nearer My God to Thee) and what the Hermano said afterwards really touched me. He said that while we sang he felt the Spirit just as he does whenever he feels like he needs to come back to church. So that was a very sweet experience. We ended the evening with our investigator, Lucy. We didn't have a lot of time with her but the Spirit was there and we know she felt it too! She has a real desire to come closer to our Savior and we're so excited to keep working with her.

Tuesday was super busy too which was awesome! We went over to a less actives house to help her clean her home and pull some weeds from her garden. She was so thankful for our help and we very much enjoyed serving her, listening to her, and getting to know her better. We also sang to her and her daughter too before we left. Singing really brings the Spirit we love it so much!

Then we had lunch with a member in her beautiful home! She basically made an entire pot of this meatball soup and had Hermana Starnes and I eat the ENTIRE thing. She had a couple bowls too but still it was a ton haha! She literally poured more soup in our bowls herself when she saw that we were running low and did that until it was gone. Only a little absurd but what can you do? ¡Con confianza, sin vergüenza! She's super cool. We were also helping her plan an activity/lesson that she has to present at a stake event next month so that was fun too! 

On Tuesday we also taught a lesson to a little 10 year old boy, Danny, who we now have on date for baptism for the beginning of next month! His mother is a returning less active member and they are such an adorable family! Danny said the closing prayer and it really touched my heart when I heard him thank Heavenly Father that the Sister Missionaries are able to be here to teach him about the gospel. We taught Danny again on Thursday and we made him 10 cookies to talk about how tithing works. It went super well! He was a little hesitant to pray on Tuesday but on Thursday he offered to say the closing prayer before we even asked! He's such a sweet kid! 

We had dinner at the bishops house on Friday night. He has such a beautiful family! So during dinner he asked where I served before so I was telling him all about the Chicago 4th Ward then he asked if I knew the Rodriguez Family. I was like, "OBISPO I LOVE THAT FAMILY! We had dinner with them every Monday night!" It was so nice to talk about the beautiful ward I served before Chicago 2nd with our bishop! 

 So the other day we had a little extra time so we picked a couple people to stop by and on our way to the last person we met a really sweet lady named Rosa! Well the person we tried to visit didn't end up being too interested but since we were able to meet Rosa we set up an appointment and were able to teach her entire family about the message of the restoration! It was awesome! We're going back on Thursday! We've got lots of work right now and I'm loving it! It's exhausting but I love it! 

I absolutely loved our district meeting on Wednesday. Elder Gomez had us do this activity where we closed our eyes and he told us to think about our happiest moments and the things that lead up to it and what happened afterward. For me I was thinking about a moment I will cherish forever and that was during a lunch break when I was working at Firehouse. My mom called me and told me that when I come home and go through the temple, we would be able to do that together and I just started to cry of pure joy. Then of course I thought of the experience I had when I went to the House of the Lord for the first time with my mom. As I thought about the experiences that lead up to and followed that event I thought about a lot of hard things I had been through but I also recognized that I had the Savior by my side the whole time. Then of course, I considered how all these experiences have equipped me to be able to serve the Lord as a full time missionary. My sweet family and friends, our Heavenly Father knows us perfectly and He has a plan. He finds joy in our happiness and wants more than anything to have us return to live with Him again someday. In order to reach that goal "He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). I testify that we have a Savior, who is Jesus Christ, and through Him we can overcome all things and one day return to live with Him and our Father in Heaven in a fullness of joy even as eternal families. I love you all so much! Stay strong my beautiful family and friends! 

Keep smiling,

Hermana Knowles :)

Me encanta ver el templo
1.Me ̮encanta ver el templo; un día ir podré.
Me ̮enseñará ̮el Espíritu Santo ̮y oraré.
Pues el templo ̮es Casa del Señor,
lugar tranquilo ̮y bello.
Desde niño me prepararé;
es mi deber sagrado.
2.Me ̮encanta ver el templo; un día entraré,
y ser fiel a mi Padre, allí prometeré.
Pues el templo ̮es el lugar sagrado
donde la familia puede ser sellada
en unión y ser familia ̮eterna.

Zone Activity!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Te Damos, Señor, Nuestras Gracias

Hola Familia! 

I feel like this week went by crazy fast! Hermana Starnes and I are having a good time in our wonderful area. I seriously LOVE Cicero! It's awesome. Well on Tuesday we had the new missionary training meeting which was sweet! After that I was finally able to get to the mission office to pick up my birthday cards and packages so thanks to everyone for that it totally made my day. 

On Friday we had exchanges! I went over to Midway with Hermana Mansfield! She's the BEST. We had a good time playing Jenga, visiting members of the ward, and making a balloon ARCOIRIS (rainbow)! So that was way fun and we ended the day having dinner on 26th street which is like a Little Mexico strip it's great. 

Saturday was AWESOME! We went to a park by the church building and drew out the Plan of Salvation in chalk on the ground. It was so fun contacting everyone and walking them through our drawing and teaching them about the gospel right then and there! We had a lot of great experiences and met some really nice people. 

I finally got to meet our wonderful Chicago 2nd Ward on Sunday because last Sunday was General Conference. They're so great! They also freaked out when they found out I can play piano. So that was cool haha! 

We have a lot of exciting plans for this week. Mostly trying to find a few people and meeting with INVESTIGATORS. We have a lesson tonight with this really sweet lady and I'm so excited to teach her! 

Well I'm sorry this email isn't as long as usual I don't have too much time, but I just want you all to know we're working so hard! I love being a missionary! I can't say it enough. Sharing my testimony with others just makes me so happy! This church is true. I have no doubt of that. I know my Savior lives and loves us. I also just wanted to mention that I'm so thankful for the power of the priesthood and to have inspired leaders. I'm always so amazed at all the things I learn each day from modern day prophets and apostles and my amazing mission president. I love you all so much and if any of you haven't had the chance to watch conference or the video Because He Lives on I invite you to do that! The messages are so powerful. Stay strong friends and family!

Mantener la sonrisa,

Hermana Knowles

Te damos, Señor, nuestras gracias
1.Te damos, Señor, nuestras gracias
que mandas de nuevo venir
profetas con tu Evangelio,
guiándonos cómo vivir.
Y gracias por todos los dones
vertidos por tu gran amor.
Tenemos placer en servirte
a ti, nuestro gran Bienhechor.
2.Al sobrevenirnos peligros
que ̮amenazan quitarnos la paz,
tenemos en Dios gran confianza;
vencido será Satanás.
De Dios no dudamos en nada;
probamos ya bien Su bondad.
Los que a Sión se opongan,
al fin sentirán su maldad.
3.De Dios cantaremos la gracia,
bondad, compasión y amor.
Gozamos de Su Evangelio,
alegres de ver su fulgor.
Así, a la dicha eterna,
los justos y fieles irán,
mas los que ̮el mensaje rechacen,
tal gozo con Él no tendrán.

Gave my ninja CTR ring to a recent convert outside of Walmart.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Gracias a que Él Vive

Hola familia! 

So this week has been pretty crazy for sure! On Tuesday night I was transferred to my new area and now I'm back in ESPAÑOL! I really miss working with Sister Fangupo but I'll get to see her soon at the new missionary training meeting so that'll be good! I am now serving in Cicero, Illinois with Hermana Starnes and we are in the Chicago 2nd Ward. So far I absolutely LOVE my new area! I might as well be living in Mexico with all the tamale stands and other vendors with their Hispanic foods in the street. And now that the spring weather is coming people are actually OUTSIDE thawing from winter! So now we have so many people we can talk to its awesome! So Hermana Starnes is from Colorado Springs and this is her second transfer in the mission so she's been out a few months. I'm finishing her training right now and we're having a blast and a half! 

We also had zone conference my first day here and it was SO GREAT. We had an awesome lesson about faith and brainstormed about how we can be more creative in the work just as Elder Perry asked us. We also did this activity where we got in a circle and threw oranges and hardboiled eggs to each other. It was so fun! The purpose was to think of the objects as our investigators and less active members and how we have to work together to make sure we don't lose any! So that was a pretty awesome first day. The rest of the week has been filled with planning about how we will be working in our area and I'm very excited for this new week to work hard and share my testimony with so many people. I've also been able to meet a lot of members from the area and they're amazing! I can't wait to get to know them better. 

I hope everyone had a great Easter Sunday and enjoyed conference this weekend! I absolutely loved conference and learned so much from the general authorities. The leaders of the church are so inspired and I am so thankful we have the opportunity to hear from them twice a year! If you haven't seen it yet then go online and WATCH IT! There's a really awesome Easter video that is on the church website as well! It's called Because He Lives and its like 2 minutes and it's so beautiful! I also invite everyone to watch that if you haven't already! Especially being Easter Sunday yesterday I just wanted to say how much I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know He willingly came to the Earth to Atone for the sins of the world. I know He lives. I know that because He lives we can turn to Him for anything and at anytime and He will make us strong. Because He lives we can live with our families forever. Because He lives we can have hope that one day we can be even as He is. Because He lives I am a missionary in Chicago. I know this church is true and I find so much joy in sharing the restored gospel with everyone here! I hope everyone is doing well, I love you all so very much! 

"God loves us deeply, perfectly, and everlastingly."
President Uchtdorf 

Keep smiling,

Hermana Knowles
Mid week transfer.

City Lights

Most of my new zone!

Fun signs in my new area!  ha ha