Monday, September 21, 2015

La Iglesia de Jesucristo

September 14, 2015

Hola familia y amigos!

So the ward had a Noche Latina on Saturday night and it turned out great! We even had two of our investigators come and they loved it too! They're a husband and wife, Lucrecia and Daniel, and they're hilarious. The whole night Lucrecia was chatting it up with all the missionaries and her and her husband were kind of obsessed with taking pictures with all of us too. Later there was a talent portion of the evening and my companion went up and performed a traditional Mexican dance and she did great! I was definitely not planning on doing anything but just a few minutes beforehand one of the members came up to me and asked if I would participate. She was like, "One of the Hermanas brought a guitar will you go up and sing?" Como no Hermana! Good thing I had all those hymns burned into my memory from last transfer. So the Noche Latina was definitely a success.

On Sunday a little boy the elders have been teaching got baptized! I always love the spirit I can feel at baptismal services. After the baptism and confirmation was over one of the elders told me that he had a really cool experience as he was standing in the circle when the boy was receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost. He said, "It was so cool because I felt the spirit so strong. I first felt it in my heart and it might sound weird but later I felt it super strong through my arm as it rested on his head." I guess you could say the church is true or something. We're hoping to have another baptismal service in a couple weeks so I'll keep you all updated about that. 

We had two very sweet miracles on Sunday! #2newinvestigators. Kind of a long story. Not sure maybe I guess we'll find out. So last week Hermana Mendieta and I spent a good amount of time street contacting and met a nice old Mexican man named Daniel! Well we had a return appointment with him the next day so we went and of course he was nowhere to be found. So we do what any good missionary would do and knock around the building we found him. Well from that we met Miriam! Shes a younger lady who just lives with her daughter and she's very sweet. We set up a return appointment with her which was yesterday! So we stop by for our appointment and old Mexican Daniel in his sombrero is just hanging out by his garage again so we asked if he would still be there after we finished our appointment with Miriam and he said yes. Then we had our first lesson with Miriam and it was awesome! She's super willing to learn and see what we're all about. After her we go outside and Daniel is waiting for us with a couple plastic chairs so we could sit and teach him! He was just asking all the PRIME questions. Why are there so many churches? How can I know which one is true? Well, we will gladly tell you sweet Mexican Daniel! He loved it! Also I just want to express my gratitude for the opportunity to teach Mexicans the gospel because I can relate the apostasy to eating only half of your taco and then when Joseph Smith comes around you can finish the other half and IT MADE PERFECT SENSE TO HIM. Again I feel it would be appropriate to mention here that the church is true my friends! 

Well I hope everyone has a great week! I sure love what I do and I'll say it a third time, I know this gospel is true! I know we have a loving Heavenly Father and Savior who care ever so deeply about every little thing in our lives. I love them and I love each of you. Until next Monday!

Keep Smiling,

Hermana Knowles

La Iglesia de Jesucristo
1.Yo soy de La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días.
Yo sé quien soy; sé el plan de Dios. Lo seguiré con fe.
Creo en Jesucristo el Salvador. Su nombre honraré.
Lo bueno haré, iré tras Su luz, Su verdad proclamaré.

Viví en los Cielos

September 7, 2015

Hola familia y amigos!

Well it was quite the first week serving here in Gurnee! There is definitely a ton of work to do here and Hermana Mendieta and I are off to a great start! So a little more info about my new companion since I didn't really know her too well to say much last week: Her name is Hermana Mendieta and she is from Puebla, Mexico! She was born and raised there and came to the United States a little over a year and a half ago to go to college and learn English. She went to Utah State so that's pretty cool! 

So this area is basically poppin. We have some awesome investigators, two of which are on date for baptism and we're hoping for three by the end of this week! This past week we've been doing a lot of teaching, organizing things in the area, finding, and I've been able to meet quite a few members too. The members here are great! They're pretty concerned about making sure we are getting fed so don't you fret momma we're in good hands. Although I'm sure if that wasn't the case my tortilla consumption to this point could sustain me for quite some time if needed haha. 

We were at the church on Thursday night doing our weekly planning and some of the youth were there too for mutual. It was cool to get to meet a few of the young women in the ward. They got together to practice what they will be performing for La Noche Latina that the ward will be having on Sarurday. While we were planning we heard one of them playing guitar and singing so we went to watch for a few minutes and they're so talented! My companion will also be doing a traditional Mexican dance for the activity so that'll be sweet.

Let's see what else. One of the days this week we had a lot of open time so Hermana Mendieta and I did some good ol street contacting around one of the busier roads in the area. We talked to a lot of really nice people and got two confirmed return appointments from that. So that's pretty neat! I'll keep you all updated if that gets more exciting. Also! Yesterday after an appointment with a member we were heading to the car and saw a sweet older couple sitting outside their house so we went to talk to them and they invited us to sit with them to talk more. We had a pretty great conversation with them that lead into the restoration of the gospel. At the end they seemed interested in the Book of Mormon and since we were right by the car I ran over to get one but we just gave away the last one we had the day before. Luckily the relief society president lives across the street so we knocked on her door and she had an extra copy we could use. It worked out great! THEN, later that night we went to go pick up a cd and a skirt from some members and when we got out of the car I saw their neighbor in the window and waved at them and she waved back with a big smile on her face. Then as we were walking passed her house she came out to say hi and she ended up mistaking me for someone else. She was like, "You look just like my friend! That was the only reason I came outside." Long story short we were able to talk a little about the gospel and were planning on meeting with her later this week!

Oh yeah! I guess transfer meeting was a good time! President threw in a tender curveball and asked Hermana Warnock and I to go up and sing, "Where Can I Turn for Peace?" He let us each pick one person to come up and help us so we invited Elder Sami and Sister Fangupo and it turned out great :) Overall it was a great meeting and there were a lot of new missionaries so that was fun to see! It was hard when it was time to finally head our separate ways because I'm kind of obsessed with Chicago 2nd and I absolutely love Hermana Anderson to pieces, but I know that this is the work of the Lord and He sends His missionaries to specific places for specific reasons all to bless the lives of our brothers and sisters and bring them the joy of the gospel. I can't think of a greater gift to give, or motivation to serve than that knowledge. I know this gospel is true. I know we have a loving Father in Heaven and Savior who would go to any means to let us know they're aware and that there is a divine plan that we can each follow to return to live with them again. 

Speaking of this divine plan I just wanted to share something I got out of my personal study the other day. I was reading Mosiah chapter 18 where Alma is preaching the gospel to the people by the waters of Mormon. I love the famous verses that talk about what it truly means to be a disciple of Christ when it says "mourning with those that mourn and comforting those that stand in need of comfort," and of course as he goes on to talk about the invitation of baptism. I would have to say though that the verse that follows is my favorite. After Alma finishes his message it says in verse 11, "And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts." Can you think of another time when a group of people were so excited about the gospel? I imagine we all reacted in a similar way when Heavenly Father presented the Plan of Happiness to us in the pre-mortal life before we came to earth. Clapping our hands and rejoicing at the opportunity to come to earth to receive a body and participate in those earthly experiences that would help us become more like our Great Exemplar. Something I considered after reading this is that I suppose it would just make sense to rejoice in a similar way when we make decisions and take steps here on earth to fulfill that great plan such as baptism as the righteous people at the waters of Mormon demonstrated. 

This reminds me of a quote by President Packer found in Preach My Gospel, "A teacher of gospel truths is not planting something foreign or even new into an adult or a child. Rather, the missionary or teacher is making contact with the Spirit of Christ already there." I love this Gospel. It's so perfect! I would invite everyone to think of the joy they experienced the day of their baptism or any other personal experience you've had related to the Gospel, then think of someone you know that has yet to experience such joy that you can share your testimony with. 

I love you all and I hope everyone has a great week! 

Keep smiling,

Hermana Knowles

Viví en los cielos
1.Yo en los cielos viví y amé, cierto es,
a las personas que ̮ahora conozco, traté
y nuestro Padre un plan presentó con bondad
para salvarnos con Él en la eternidad.
2.Dios requería que ̮un hijo capaz de amar
diera su vida y ̮a todos quisiera salvar.
“Quiero la gloria” ̮insistió Lucifer con maldad;
dijo Jesús: “Padre, hágase tu voluntad”.
3.Dios eligió a Jesús y ̮el Mesías nació;
para salvarnos sufrió, luego resucitó.
La puerta ̮abrió para darnos oportunidad
de vivir otra vez en Su mansión celestial.
Comp can you back me up? Introducing team Knowles & Mendieta
This is Hyrum an adorable two year old that already knows his abcs! #presh

Allí Donde Hay Amor

August 31, 2015

Hola familia y amigos! 

This past week in Cicero was quite exciting! Hermana Anderson and I kept pretty busy with our investigator Briana, finally finishing heart attacking all the members in our area, reorganizing things, a bbq at a nursing home where one of our members lives, and more!

Saturday was just full of anticipation waiting to see what would happen this transfer. We ended up getting a call and I'm finally leaving the land of Cicero and on to bigger and better things. I'm way excited but I'm not going to lie, that call definitely tore my heart out a little. I love this area I love this ward and I most certainly love my companion! Sunday we basically just went around visiting members so I could say bye and take pictures and of course Hermana Anderson and I sang to each of them as well! 

Today has been pretty busy too saying bye to more people, packing, and cleaning the apartment. Well I've heard nothing but great things about my new area! ***drumroll*** I will be serving on the north side in Gurnee, Illinois! I cannot remember my new companions name at the moment but I met her at sisters conference and she's awesome! I'm pretty sure she just started her mission a couple transfers ago and her family is from Mexico so Spanish is her first language. I'm really excited to serve with her and for all the things that are in store in my new area. 

This gospel is true! I know it with all my heart. I love being a missionary and I love this work. I know that it is not mine but the Lord's work and He is in the very details. I love you all so much and hope everyone has a great week! Sorry this email is pretty short I'll try to send a more detailed one next week. 

Keep smiling, 

Hermana Knowles

Allí donde hay amor
Las primeras dos estrofas se cantan separadas y después juntas con el tercer final.
1.(Niñas) Veo ̮a mi madre ̮hincarse cada día en mi ̮hogar;
escucho sus palabras cuando se ̮inclina a ̮orar.
Sus ruegos al Padre calman mi temor
y yo doy gracias pues allí hay amor.
2.(Niños) A toda hora ̮hay en mi ̮hogar
de Dios bendiciones sin cesar;
papá y mamá me guían al bien,
me ̮enseñan siempre ̮a obedecer,
y ̮es tan claro cuanto ̮aprendo yo
pues lo ̮hacen con amor.
3.(Tercer final) A menudo siento ̮al Salvador,
allí donde ̮hay amor.

El Espíritu de Dios

August 24, 2015

Hola familia y amigos! 

On Friday we had a conference for all the sisters in the mission! It was great! Before I forget this was a video they showed us and I just love it so I want to invite all of you to watch it :). 
We talked a lot about the young women values: Faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice and accountability, good works, integrity, and virtue. One of my favorite things that was shared was a story in the first class we went to. One of the sisters shared an experience about when she was struggling on her mission and how she pleaded with our Heavenly Father in prayer and just asked Him to help her be a better missionary, a better servant, a better representative of His Son, Jesus Christ. She said as she was there kneeling and pondering the words of comfort that came to her mind were, "you are my daughter first." Sometimes we may feel like we have a lot on our plate or that we have to live up to a standard that is out of our reach. Perhaps we just have to take a minute to pause and remember our divine nature that each of us are sons and daughters of a loving FATHER in Heaven and that we can turn to Him for anything and receive comfort that only He can provide. I loved that message and I invite each of you to think about what that statement means to you personally, that you are His son or daughter FIRST. :)

We had a pretty awesome lesson yesterday after church with a part member family! It was a mom (returning member), husband (investigator), daughter (investigator), and grandma (returning member). How cool is that? After sacrament meeting we taught them the restoration with hermano and hermana Villegas which went really well! Please pray for them that they can keep progressing! This is the Tellez Family. They have definitely stolen a piece of my heart.

Sorry this email isn't too detailed but I hope everyone is doing great! I love this work! It is the work of the Lord and I know He is in every detail. This gospel is true. I know that our Father in Heaven loves us so much that He has provided direction for us through a modern day prophet just as He did in times of old. I know the church was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith and through the power of the restored priesthood he was able to translate the Book of Mormon so we could have something that we could physically hold in our hands and study to know the truth of these things for ourselves. I invite anyone who hasn't already to sincerely read and pray about the Book of Mormon. It has changed my life forever and brought me more joy than anything else. 

"3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."
Moroni 10:3-5 El Libro de Mormón 

I love you all and hope everyone has a great week! 

Keep smiling,

Hermana Knowles

El Espíritu de Dios
1.Tal como un fuego se ve ya ardiendo
el Santo Espíritu del gran Creador.
Visiones y dones antiguos ya vuelven,
y ángeles vienen cantando loor.
Cantemos, gritemos, con huestes del cielo:
¡Hosanna, hosanna a Dios y Jesús!
A ellos sea dado loor en lo alto,
de hoy para siempre, ¡amén y amén!
2.Aumenta ̮el Señor nuestro entendimiento;
tal cual al principio nos da Su poder.
El conocimiento de Dios se extiende;
el velo del mundo se ve descorrer.
Cantemos, gritemos, con huestes del cielo:
¡Hosanna, hosanna a Dios y Jesús!
A ellos sea dado loor en lo alto,
de hoy para siempre, ¡amén y amén!
3.Haremos con fe asambleas solemnes;
el reino de Dios vamos a extender;
y las bendiciones y glorias del cielo
como ̮una herencia podremos tener.
Cantemos, gritemos, con huestes del cielo:
¡Hosanna, hosanna a Dios y Jesús!
A ellos sea dado loor en lo alto,
de hoy para siempre, ¡amén y amén!
4.¡Qué día dichoso en que los leones
con mansos corderos se acostarán!
En paz Efraín gozará bendiciones,
y Cristo, en gloria, del cielo vendrá.
Cantemos, gritemos, con huestes del cielo:
¡Hosanna, hosanna a Dios y Jesús!
A ellos sea dado loor en lo alto,
de hoy para siempre, ¡amén y amén!