Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Me Encanta Ver el Templo

Feliz día de preparación!
Our district has this super great activity planned for this Saturday where we're going to teach the plan of salvation at the church! We're going to go room to room explaining each part of the plan and we have all the members involved. It's going to be SICK. It is also a ton of planning and preparation to make sure it's a success! So that's been taking up a good chunk of our time. We've been meeting with members and making sure they're on board with their assignments, handing out flyers to our investigators and members, taping flyers to lamp posts, discussing the details in district meeting and ward council, and inviting everyone! It's a good time. I'm way excited to see how it turns out! Oh and also this activity will be part of a missionary farewell for someone in the ward that will be leaving on her mission at the beginning of next month! And her name is Jasmine too! She will be serving in Paraguay.

I would also just like to mention how much I love my district. They're so great! We all work so hard and we really have fun together at the same time. We went to lunch as a district this week and they're seriously a fun group to be around! Just thought I'd mention that haha.

Hermana Starnes and I didn't really have a ton of food in our apartment this week so we've been getting pretty creative with our meals when we don't have appointments with members. Let's just say I feel I've mastered the technique of the omelette and perfectly portioned cereal. One day I found this soup mix that a member gave us a while ago so that was exciting! I thought I'd be all fancy and make that so I did! While I was cooking the elders called us and they were like, "Are you in your apartment? Well don't be weirded out but we're outside." They had an appointment nearby and stopped by our apartment to airdrop some sheet music to my iPad so I could start practicing piano for a song we're singing on Saturday. It was taking a while for airdrop to work and I almost forgot about my soup that was on the stove! I left our non-omelette/cereal delicacy at risk! But don't worry I got to it on time and it was quite divine. #lamemishstoryoftheweek

We had exchanges this week with the wonderful Midway Hermanas! I stayed in our area with Hermana Warnock. She's kind of super awesome! We spent a good majority of the day putting up flyers for our activity and we basically sang the entire time. It was so great! By the end we were pretty pleased with our How Great Thou Art harmonies. We also met some cool people who have just been on the road traveling for the past couple YEARS. We asked, "Where are you all from?" And they were like, "Well I'm from Montana and I met this guy in New Orleans and I met her in LA and we picked him up in Nebraska" or something like that. Their names were Nash, Zack, Demar, and Drifter with her dog named BOX CAR WILLIE. WHAT? They were great. When we were about to part ways Drifter said she had a question for us and asked, "Has anyone told you today that you're wonderful? Thank you so much for doing what you do." SUCH A GEM! #slightlylesslamemishstoryoftheweek #extremelylonghashtags

Highlight of the week was definitely when our zone went to the TEMPLE! This temple trip was easily one of the most spiritual experiences I've had on my mission. We had the unique opportunity to witness our mission president and his wife be sealed for a couple that didn't have the opportunity to do so in this life. There were also names of children that had yet to be sealed to their parents and President and Sister Woodbury each chose a couple missionaries to participate. Well I had the privilege of being one of those missionaries and I will never be able to deny the powerful spirit that I felt. The spirit of the temple is so amazing. I know that it is truly the House of the Lord. Afterwards we went to the mission home for some training/instruction and I just learned so much. I had a very specific question that came to mind while I was in the temple and President, being the very inspired man that he is, answered my question without me asking and it was so direct. My testimony was strengthened so much that day!


I love this gospel! I know with all my heart that it is true. I know my Savior lives and I know we have a loving Father in Heaven who knows each of us perfectly. He knows our needs, our worries, the burdens we bear, and He knows how we can find relief and comfort and He will provide it. I love being a missionary. So. Much! Stay strong my wonderful friends and family! I love you all so very much.

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.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Dios, Bendícenos

Hola familia y amigos! 

Another busy week in the life of a Chicago missionary. 

Hermana Starnes and I taught during our district meeting this past Wednesday. Elder Gomez asked us to talk about chapter 7 of preach my gospel which is about learning the mission language. So we thought it would be appropriate to bring guacamole and chips and a sombrero to top things off as we discussed how we can better learn the Spanish language. We've learned very quickly that when you teach 4 elders you can't go wrong with bringing food! The lesson went really well and everyone participated so ...success! Afterwards some of the elders from the other district came in and helped us finish off the food and Elder Lee brought his nerf gun. I'll try to remember to send a video from when Hermana Starnes shot Elder Metro in the forehead. 

We have an AWESOME investigator named Kimberly. She truly has a sincere desire to know if what we teach is true. She's even come to church a few times! We're also working with Lizbeth and her family. They're progressing pretty well too! Lizbeth keeps telling us about how she wants to learn more and that the things we teach just makes sense. She's so great! We're also still working hard with Lucy. She's adorable. We met with her last night told her that it was getting late so we had to leave. So we closed with a prayer and then right afterwards (when we were already past curfew) she's like, "you know what we should do? I'll make you some tostadas con crema. You can't go to sleep on an empty stomach." Who said we had an empty stomach?! Well anyway, we ate with her and got back nice and late but that's ok. Please pray for our investigators! Lucy is just so great. Every time we ask her to pray she always prays for our family and friends. 

Saturday night as Hermana Starnes and I were walking back to the apartment before it got too dark we both had the impression to visit a potential investigator that we had contacted a few weeks back. I knocked the door and totally blanked on his name but it was ok because he didn't even answer! It was a different family that answered the door (it's like a complex with multiple apartments). We met a really sweet lady named Satu (for short, her full first name is like 4 or 5 syllables let's be real). Well the contact went pretty routine and it was leaning towards her rejecting us but I was feeling a little extra persistent so I started to testify more of the truthfulness of our message and how it can personally bless her life. I felt like the atmosphere changed and she was really listening. Well afterwards she asked about where church was and when it started and said she would come! So that was awesome! 

The work is moving forward here! We're definitely seeing miracles in Cicero! I sure do love being a missionary. It's kind of the best! Well I love you all so very much and I want you all to know that I know this church is true. I know Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father live and love each of us perfectly. Have a great week and write me sometime! 

Keep smiling,

Hermana Knowles :) 

We're at lunch with a bunch of hermanas and I asked Hermana Warnock what her favorite hymn is and so that's my email title and hymn of the week! 

Dios, bendícenos
1.Dios, bendícenos al irnos, con Tu gracia paternal.
Haz que cada ser mejore en su lucha con el mal.
Danos fuerza, danos fuerza; en el yermo sé solaz.
Danos fuerza, danos fuerza; en el yermo sé solaz.
2.Por el don del evangelio damos gracias y loor.
Que abunde en las vidas fruto de su esplendor.
Fieles siempre, fieles siempre, en la fe y al Señor.
Fieles siempre, fieles siempre, en la fe y al Señor.

This is me and Mary and her daughter Krystal! Mary always has us sing
for them at least once a week, she's awesome.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Por Campos de Trébol Paseo

Happy Tuesday! 

We switched our pday to today just for this week so we can go downtown to see a little boy in our ward play violin at the symphony center! So that should be awesome! 

I hope everyone had a very happy Mother's Day on Sunday! It was so nice to skype and hear from my wonderful family and friends! I love you so much and I'm so thankful for your support of me on my mission and I'm so thankful to my Father in Heaven for the many blessings my family has seen as I serve the people of Chicago. 

Well it was another busy week here in Cicero! Everyday is just nonstop I love it! We have a new investigator named Lizbeth who was actually a referral from the Plan of Salvation activity we did in the park as a district a few weeks back. At first it was kind of hard to get a hold of her but this week during a stop by to her house she actually answered and let us in! We taught her the restoration and it went really well! We have another appointment with her tonight and so I'm looking forward to it! 

Lucy is doing great! We saw her yesterday and she was telling us about how she's been reading from the Book of Mormon! She was saying how it's so cool that she can learn from and relate the scriptures to her life. So hearing that was just a little AWESOME. 

So we were at a members house for dinner and she was telling us that she smells peppers before she buys them to see if they'll be spicy or not. We couldn't really tell if she was serious and so we asked another member if people actually do that and she thought it was hilarious and said that she's never heard of that. BUT a different member said that was normal. We were just confused so we went to the store and smelled all these peppers and I bet we just looked super ridiculous. I couldn't smell any difference! Maybe you just need Mexican nostrils for that to work. 

Oh SHOUT OUT to Tami, Eric, and the kids! Thanks for the package I loved it! I most certainly got my companion with the silly string and it was hilarious for sure. When I saw the plastic pineapple cup I was like, good thing we have pineapple juice in the fridge! Putting anything else in here would just be absurd. And Juliann's picture is hanging on my wall by my desk! 

We also had zone training this week! We talked a lot about being creative and shared our ideas with each other. We also discussed the scriptures in Jacob 5 about being laborers in the vineyard. What I got the most out of that discussion was to be DILIGENT and PATIENT. Caring for a vineyard is a lot of work and can be a long process but the fruit is worth all our labors. This is one of my favorite scriptures from that chapter: "72 And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with their mights; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them; and they did obey the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard in all things." At the conference we also talked about the sabbath day and how it can be a DELIGHT to us! This was from a talk by Elder Nelson in this past conference entitled The Sabbath is a Delight. I recommend it! 

I love you all so very much and I hope everyone is doing good! I love being a missionary and I love the people I serve. I know this church is true and I love bringing the happiness of the gospel to others. Stay strong my beautiful family and friends! 

Mantener la sonrisa, 

Hermana Knowles :)

My favorite Mother's Day song :) I love you momma! 

Por campos de trébol paseo
1.Por campos de trébol paseo a menudo,
y suelo manojos de flores juntar.
Recojo capullos por todo el prado,
y madre, las flores en ti hacen pensar.
2.Con cada flor quiero mi amor obsequiarte,
fragancia constante a tu vida traer;
si amo pasearme por prados y flores,
oh, madre, de ti yo lo pude aprender.

Can't forget that Skype group hug.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Cuando Me Bautice

Hola familia! 

This past week has just been so crazy busy! I basically got home each night after everything was done and collapsed haha. That's how you know you're doing missionary work right! I wouldn't have it any other way! Let's see, where to start. 

On Monday we had a family home evening with the Hernandez family. Hermano is our Ward mission leader so we were there with all the elders too. We basically just had a little testimony meeting for the elders that were being transferred. It was a lot of fun I really love our district! So now we have two new elders in the district. Elder Hautau who is AWESOME and Elder Randall who was in my district back in Chicago 4th! So fun! 

After district meeting on Wednesday we all went to a restaurant that one of our investigators and less-active members works at. We watched those poor elders ride their bikes the entire way from the comfort of our little Toyota Corolla haha. They're so great! Afterwards as we were about to part ways sweet Elder Gomez found out he had a flat tire. So we all stayed and helped him. We didn't have much to work with so thanks to a nearby Walgreens he crazy glued the hole shut and they were on their way to their next appointment! Good times. 

Yesterday after church we went over to a members house so I could help their sweet 7 year old son practice violin. That was definitely fun! The elders also live next door to them on the third floor so Elder Gomez just sat in the window and joined our conversation as we were having out in the patio. His companion, Elder Hautau, was making some kind of smoothie so we kept throwing more fruit to them through that window. It was so entertaining. We even threw half a watermelon. Our accuracy got pretty impressive! 

We met with Danny almost everyday this past week leading up to his baptism! He was so ready and it was such a sweet experience to see him make that covenant with our Heavenly Father on Saturday! His mom was so happy. She was telling us that right after he was baptized, as he was leaving the font, he hugged his mom and they were both in tears because they could feel the Spirit so strong. Now Jackie (his mom) has a goal to be able to go to the temple and do baptisms with him when he turns 12 in two years. THIS IS WHAT ITS ALL ABOUT. If I've ever seen the facial expression of pure joy it was on that sweet 10 year olds face on Saturday when he entered the waters of baptism, and also as I looked over at his mother with the same facial expression. Where else can you find such pure happiness? No where. THIS IS THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST. It is TRUE. It is REAL. This work is HIS. I just want to go to he top of Sears Tower with a megaphone and tell everyone! (Let's be real, that's not going to happen and if I had the opportunity I'd probably be taken away in that famous Chicago wind so probably not the best approach, so I'll just stick with ground level proselyting.) But you know what I'm saying! I love this gospel with all my heart. There is absolutely nothing else I'd rather be doing than sharing this perfect gospel with everyone here. I love you all so much and I love being a missionary! Stay strong my beautiful friends and family.

Mantener la sonrisa, 

Hermana Knowles :) 

Cuando me bautice
1.Me ̮encanta ̮el arco iris
después de ver llover,
y pienso en lo limpia que la
tierra ya se ve.
Tal como tierra
limpia cuando ̮acaba de llover,
yo quiero comportarme bien
y con mi Dios volver.
2.Cuando yo me bautice
se limpiará mi ser,
mi Padre me perdonará y ̮el
bien querré ̮escoger.
Tal como tierra
limpia cuando ̮acaba de llover,
yo quiero comportarme bien
y con mi Dios volver.

I gave Danny a race car CTR ring :P