Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September 24th

It’s going to be different for sure to say the least. Um Ya I’m not really sure where to start I’ll be honest. My area is the largest in the mission. I take up 4 counties so it’s really hard because they only give us a certain amount of miles for the month. So our apartment is in Versailes but most of our work is in Frankfurt. And so there are 2 English Elders that live in Frankfurt so we usually spend a few nights a week at their apartment which isn’t the best cause that means I sleep on a couch and we have no food in their apartment haha. There isn’t a lot of Spanish work out here either. They haven’t had a baptism in almost a year so that’s not to reassuring, but we have 3 people with baptismal dates, I think 2 will be getting dropped but I’m pretty sure this one guy will be getting baptized. His name is Pedro. He’s from Nicaragua. You’re never going to guess how he was found, so someone from the last branch I was working at ran into him at the airport and like got down his info and gave it to the missionaries so it’s kinda crazy. He’s really elect though.

Um I got to talk to Eufemia yesterday. That was really cool. She said her baptism was amazing and she loved every minute of it and she feels like a new person. Elder Warner baptized her and gave her the Holy Ghost. She said she really misses me and that the new Elder doesn’t speak Spanish at all so he can’t understand her at all. She was asking when I was coming back, I think she expected it to be really soon but then when I told her the earliest I could be back in the 5th branch would be probably in about a year and she was really sad about that haha

Um it’s going to be really hard I’ll be honest.... So Elder G, like I said has a rep for being a little lazy. He’s been "sick" most of the week and then the district leader has been pretty sick too and so I have been working with a greeny in an area that I don’t know at all. He’s been out about 4 weeks and he’s from Alaska. He’s afraid to tract and freezes up in lessons, so needless to say it’s been really rough. And so if it’s a Spanish lesson I have to do all the talking and then tracting I do all the door approaches and then in English lessons he just doesn’t know the keys of good teaching yet so he’s just kinda awkward. Also all 3 of them fight like every night because they have ADHD. Like my companion yelled at me because I forgot to remind him to grab some medicine for the elder from Alaska so then he made me drive back to the apartment and get it and stuff. It really bugged me. My companion and the greeny are really immature and like the greenie tries to boss me around. Like it really makes me mad haha but oh well. It’s going to be a really hard trial in my life.... this was the longest week of my life.... I really wish I could go back to Okolona....

It’s a really cool setting out here though so it’s really pretty. Very much country and farms and stuff. We actually worked on a farm this week for service haha. She has chickens and rabbits and then just grows a lot of stuff haha. I had to do stuff to prepare a chicken coop/feeder haha I’m not really sure what I was doing then I was pulling out all the corn plants from the ground cause there not growing anymore and then ya. It was really some hard work and I guess we work there every week. She fed us rabbit stew for lunch haha it was pretty good. With some lima beans and squash and homemade bread and stuff. We get feed soooo much out here haha I haven’t even bought any food since I’ve been out here haha I’m going to get fat!!! We went to the coolest house yesterday!!! It’s like out in the middle of nowhere and we had to take this like dirt path in a Toyota Corolla haha it’s such a sweet house. They are just in the middle of nowhere up in the forest with a cabin and some turkeys and chickens and stuff haha.

Um one of the Elders I’m serving around is from Murray so that’s kinda cool. He’s really apostate though because he only has 2 months left. And my zone leader is actually from West Jordan haha he went to Copper Hills but I didn’t know him before. He lives up by sunset ridge.

My apartment is really nice though. It’s like double the size of my old one and we have a washer and dryer and a dish washer haha so that’s nice not having to spend money on that stuff but ya. It’s pretty nice out here. I really hope my companion gets transferred at the end of this transfer but we will see. I really am trying to get along with him. He’s an amazing teacher, but just apostate and it’s been affecting me. Like when were in Frankfurt apartment the DL is very apostate too and so I’m sleeping on the couch in a different room and they don’t set an alarm so then I don’t wake up until like 730 and so I guess I’m going to have to bring my alarm clock to that apartment. It’s been a real challenge the last week. The members are great. The ward is in English but ya.... idk... I hope all is well down there.

There are a few things that I need. I need a GPS. You don’t need to buy one, but just send the one we have out. Cause really with how big our area is, ill need one once my companion leaves cause he’s the only one that has one. Um also... have you tried the white chocolate m and m's? Haha not that great! They pretty much just taste like frosting.

Um my new address is 139 Macey Ave. Apt X
                                   Versailes, KY, 40385

Saturday, September 22, 2012

September 17th

Haha well its been the hardest last 2 days of my mission.... and probably not the reason you think! Haha so.... we have had amazing things happen this week, i dont really know where to start. Heck ill just give you the news. So.... Yesterday the Assistants called us at like 9 in the morning and then they said they wanted to talk to me. They are doing an emergency transfer (which is ridiculously rare) because an Elder is coming in tomorrow and so.... Im getting transfered..... Elder Warner is training again. I really dont want to leave this area.... Its so hard to have someone have to tell you your leaving 5 days before your first baptism.... So its been a really rough few days but im staying strong. I know that there is a reason in all things. Who knows maybe ill just be like  John the Baptist and just prepare the way for baptisms. But ya I leave tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM so I hope you havent sent anything to our appartment... cause I wont be there haha. Um im going to the boonies of Kentucky. Its called Versailles. Its about an hour away from here and the 2nd farthest spanish area. Its in a richer area, but its just hick country. Its the place I was describing when I thought I was getting transfered. Like they eat posum, raccoon, and rabbit out there haha so that should be fun. My companion is going to be Elder Granodos. He was Elder Warners tranier.... like I dont want to judge him yet and im not.... but everyone says hes the worst missionary. Hes really lazy and disobedient. Everyone says its the longest time in there mission when they are with him.... but we will see what happens. Im going in with an open mind and im not going to lower my standards for him. Im making him work!!! But it should be pretty fun out there. Im in a car so thatll be nice during the winter thats for sure!!! I think Elder Warner is kinda bumbed he is staying here. If he trains this kid all the way through the training program he will have been in this area for 10 1/2 months and then he will go zone leader for sure so his whole mission will have been right in downtown louisville pretty much, but hes being a trooper.
It was the hardest thing to have to Eufemia that I couldnt baptize her this Sunday. She started crying at church and was just saying the Lord wont allow it to happen. But today she was more ok with it.... she started crying again today though. Its been really hard to just say goodbye to everyone I have grown so close to. Its worse when its so unexpected ya know? So im all packed up and everything. Like I guess the zone leaders really loved me.... like Elder Simms, I felt like we were on ok terms, but just like friends ya know and he like took me aside and almost started crying when he said he was going to miss me. Its been really rough to say the least.... but im sure its not the first time its happend to anyone so its ok. Um I actually have a letter from Eufemia to you all. Its in Spanish so I translated it and ill just type it on here!
"Dear Brothers/Sisters
I would like to write this letter to you all to congradulate you for the son so marvelous that God has given you. He is the most beautiful thing that has come into my path at my age of 55. I have been blessed to meet him and get to know him. The Lord has used him as an instrument so that I came to know the Gospel. And which I give thanks to God because I am sure that it is the true religion and that this is the true church. So my life has changed completely and I can assure you that I am ther person most happy now that I know the Gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In all my prayers to the Lord I pray for all of you and for all the missionaries. I ask the Lord everyday that he will continue blessing your family and their lives.
It was just so sweet. You dont know how amazing this woman is! She is so elect and is going to be such an amazing member of the Church.
Um we also had a really cool lesson this week with Darely and Amiley. They are investigators that have been investigating for almost a year now. We pretty much dropped them, but we see them every once and awhile cause they live right by Eufemia. We walked in and just started talking to Darely and then Amiley walks in with her Bible and asks if we can teach something. So we just taught a little bit about Baptism.... then at the end of the lesson Amiley asked if she could be baptized. That she thinks its the right time in her life. It was the most amazing thing ever! And Darely knows the church is true and so does her mom Marth, they just dont like going alone, and they are friends with Eufemia... so now they want to come to church.
So we had a party on Saturday for all the branch and all investigators and stuff with just a bunch of food and then dances from like the elders and the primary and relief society and things like that. Amiley and Darely and Eufemia and her husband and then all the kids of Darley and Amiley came to the party and loved it. Then on Sunday they all came to church too. So its looking like this area could have 6 baptisms in the next transfer. Cause Eufemia will be baptized sunday. Then Darley and Amiley and Martha want to be baptized and they have 2 kids that tell us they want to come to church and be baptized. So needless to say... we had a very successful week and so thats why its so dang hard to leave. But they saying is always leave an area better than when you got in it....and this area is pretty dang white to say the least!!
Um thats pretty much all I can remember with whats been going on this week just cause Ive been really caught up in just all of this thats just happened. Um If you could maybe send out my singulair and maybe some stamps that would be great but make sure you send it to the mission office and they will get it to me.
Elder Knudsen

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September 4th

Well this week has been pretty successful and really funny. Haha man do I have a story for you. But first I’m going to start off by telling you a story I don’t think I told you yet from like the first day of my mission. So we left the MTC Monday ya know? And so I get to Colorado and I sit my carryon with all of the other missionaries and go to make my phone call to you guys. I talk to yall for awhile and then decide to go get food ya know. I come back and ask the Elders where my backpack is. They told me security had taken it and my plane was starting to board at this point!!! So I had to run as fast as I can to find a security person... they tell me I have to go to this certain place. I show up and ask them for my bag and they said that no one has been able to go through it yet so ill have to wait. I’m freaking out at this point because like I really need to get on my plane!!! So the lady comes to check in and sees me in a panic and she was like it was left unattended and its really heavy and you didn’t have a tag on it so she asked if I could say what was in my backpack and I’m like scriptures and preach my gospel and just all religious stuff and so she opens it up and sees it and politely gives it back then I had to run 100 miles an hour to catch my plane.... hahaha..... ya... I forgot to tell you that in my first email out here.... SORRY CHARLIE!!!! haha

Well today was a pretty good week. I don’t really know where to start like always. Um let’s start with Vicente! Probably the classiest nicest guy I have ever met in my life! We had a really good lesson with him on... Friday?? Ya I think it was Friday. Like he had one earlier in the week with him, but it wasn’t very good because we haven’t really had a chance to teach his wife because she’s always gone so she was home that day and so she was asking questions and just getting off topic, but Friday was just great. We retaught him the Restoration and it was pretty good. We just wanted to review it with him. But before the lesson he was like hermanos (brothers) I’ve been reading like you asked me too... and praying... and just thinking about it wondering if it’s true and one day the thought just came to me that it’s true. And then with tears in his eyes he’s like I don’t have a doubt that this church is the true church on the earth and I know that the Book of Mormon is true too!!! Elder Warner and I were blown away. Then at the end of the lesson he brought up baptism. He’s kind of nervous because it’s a big step in his life and he really just wants to know all that comes with it, but we set his date for September 23. So he will be getting baptized in less than 3 weeks. Our goal is to get him baptized and then get him ordained a Priest and then he would be able to baptize his wife!!! I think that would be really cool. But he’s been amazing. He couldn’t come to church on Sunday because his son was sick and ya.

Eufemia... man where do I start with her. So this week is the week she’s going to quit her job. She always brings it up and so we're really hoping she will go through with it. We’re just trying to get her spiritually jacked and increase her faith so she will do it so she can come to church and then be baptized on September 23 also. We have applied at places with her so were going to try and apply at more places just to give her some optimism that it will be ok if she quits her job. So everything is going well with her. Now I have to tell you a story about her. She feeeeeds ussss soooo much food like it’s not even funny. She’s makes us a feast for 6 and expects us to eat it all and if we don’t she’s like appalled!! It’s always grey rice, some sort of meat, a huge pitcher of juice, a salad, and then something else usually. Like the rice not even kidding is probably like 4 lbs of rice. But anyway ya she wants to feed us like every chance she gets and she won’t eat.... she just makes it for us and sits back and watches us eat its awful. It was also her 55 birthday on Sunday so we went over there and said happy birthday to her. She said they had moved her party to Monday and that we should stop by so we said we would. So yesterday.... Elder Warner and I decide to go to Texas Roadhouse (yes I got grandpas gift certificate!!! Thanks) and so we went there at like 430 because it opens at 4 out here. We eat until we are stuffed and get done at like 6. Then Eufemia calls and tells us to stop by at 7. We stop by and she has made sooooo much food! Elder Warner and I were already stuffed beyond belief. And her husband is kind of crazy. That’s a story for later on in the letter. But she made so much rice and then ribs that were over cooked by like 5 hours without any sauce, yucca marinated in vinegar (YUCK) and then a salad with a bunch of juice... Elder Warner and I just start trudging along eating it. Like we’ve eaten a lot and she’s just like eat more and more and more and we're like hermana were full. And then she gets all mad asking if we don’t like her food. So I take another rib and she’s like no elder and gives me more ribs!!!! Ahhh like I really wanted to throw up with every bite. I finally finish that and I really felt like the food was up to my throat. And then I made the mistake of telling her I haven’t been feeling well.... so....she goes and grabs Alka-Seltzer..... (awful way to end a meal) and like I had to drink that. THEN!!!! She starts like criticizing my faith saying if I had enough faith the Lord would have healed me by now and like yelling at me!!! IT WAS CRAZY!!!! Like I really don’t even know what happened. Then she gave us like a ton of leftovers.... we just threw it away..... and we were trying to get the dog to eat our food while she wasn’t watching haha.

Ok back to her husband. So we show up and he’s like come in. We could tell he’s a little drunk cause we see some beer and stuff (don’t worry eufemia doesn’t drink) but then he starts like offering us beer, Were like no sir we can’t drink it and he’s like I know you’re not supposed to but just have 1 just to refresh yourself and we were like No haha and so we had to get Eufemia to finally tell him. Then.... he starts karaoke. He’s kind of deaf by the way so he turns it up as loud as you can and so you can’t hear anyone in the room. He starts singing this romantic song (all Hispanics love the romance) and he starts like serenading me!!! Elder Warner was like on the ground laughing. He just was like looking at me and pointing at me and it was so awkward.... I wanted to laugh, but like I couldn’t and like I couldn’t just look away and finally when he stops looking at me I look at Elder Warner and he is just like crying his eyes out!!! It was soooo funny apparently haha but then he started dancing like a machine by himself and then Elder Warner thought it would be funny to tell him I want to sing.... good thing we got out of there before that happened, but anyway.... yesterday was crazy!!!!

We also have started teaching a guy from Brazil. It’s really sweet. His name is Dijonio and like he knows enough Spanish that we can communicate pretty well, but like Portuguese is crazy!! Good luck Preston haha. It’s pretty much Spanish with a French flare. It’s a way sweet language and I don’t think it would be too much harder than Spanish but ya. He’s doing well. Actually the English Elders are the one that found him and taught him for like 2 weeks and then finally asked if he would rather have Spanish elders come and he said yes so they turned him over to us. He’s been to church 2 with them and had a bap date, but it got dropped. But we will probably be setting one with him this week for October 7. He’s super legit though. He’s only like 24 and just the nicest guy too!!

We also have been super busy with this lady named Micaila the last 2 days. So she just decided to come to church on Sunday. Like she somehow got the numbers of the Zone Leaders, but she’s in our area and she came to church because she really needs help. She’s from Guatemala and apparently she’s supposed to be getting deported this week. So she asked if there was anything we could do. She gave us like no time to work! She’s known for like 3 months but she had just found our card and she was crying in church because she really felt the spirit and really wants to stay. So there is actually a member that is an immigration lawyer, so she met with her today so we're going to see what’s going to happen, but really we need a miracle. But if somehow she stays.... she will for sure get baptized. So that’s been really hectic the last few days.

Um Rolando and Yasmin have kind of fallen off the deep end. He’s started drinking again and they just don’t return our phone calls and so we haven’t "dropped" them, but like there is nothing we can really do with them. We see them like 1 a week now and it’s just like there not keeping their commitments. Same with Ronal. He says we can visit him and then he’s never home and so he’s been really hard to get a hold of, so this week we really have just been trying to find new people to teach and try and get some new solid investigators.... it hasn’t really happened yet.

We also had something really cool happen with a lady named Mora. So she’s been having a rough time financially and she’s a member. She asked for money from the church, but they wouldn’t because she’s kind of inactive and doesn’t pay her tithing and we have caught her smoking. So we show up at her house and you could just tell something was wrong. We start talking and she is like "I decided I’m leaving the church because no one can help me and no one comes to visit me and stuff like that" At this point I’m freaking  out not really knowing what to say, but Elder Warner handled it like a beast. We pretty much just showed her that she has a testimony and that she knows that its true and by the end she was feeling pretty good and asked if we could read something with her in the Book of Mormon. So we will see what happens with her. She said she was going to come to church, but then she called and said she was at the hospital, Elder Warner thinks she has started going to a Catholic Church. Because she told us she had gone a 1, but we think that’s where she was and not the hospital.

I think thats about all that has happened with  me haha.... ya...

Elder Knudsen