Thursday, June 20, 2013

June 17th

Well I am happy you made it to Elder Warners homecoming. Hes such a good kid. Haha the funny thing is is that hes lost a lot of his spanish haha. Like by the end he couldnt really speak it too well. He had gotten a lot slower and we all made fun of him about it haha. Like we gave him a spanish preach my gospel and it was just super funny.
I can recieve pictures in my email. All my friends send me pictures like every week. I dont really know what your talking about haha.
Well nothing really is new here. Didnt have anything too exciting that happened. Like the lady I told you about last week has been super busy and we havent been able to teach her too much. She hasnt been able to come to church yet either and its been super frustrating. This was probably the most discouraging week of my mission. Just nothing happened and like we have no investigators and now Cristina is going to start attending in Lexington and like I really dont know what to do. Like President wants us to start a branch here, but how are we going to be able to do that when everyone we teach start going to the lexington branch and all of our spanish members are starting to go there as well. I feel like I know everyone here in this area already and they all attend a church called "The house of the Restoration" Its the only spanish church in all of Georgetown so every person we meet tell us they go to that church and dont want to listen to us. And they have church services like 3 days a week and so its just super hard.... Like I dont know what to tell Elder Torrico cause he is always like "well, now what?" And I have no idea. We have knocked every door where spanish people live in our whole area and I am just starting my 2nd transfer here.  Its rough for sure.
This week was just a blur. Like we go to the exact same 3 places every day. Its like 15 miles that we ride every day as well. Were working hard, but man its hard.
Its so crazy how fast time is going now though. Like when I got with Elder Baker he was just starting his 10th transfer. I just started my 10th this week. And now Elder Baker has single digit P-days!!! LIKE WHAT!?!?! All my missionary friends are dying haha. Like Sister Pasquale will be going home in like 3 1/2 months.
I hope you all had a great fathers day and I hope dad had a good Birthday. I promise I didnt forget about it. I had it written in my planner and I was going to say something last week, but I totally forgot to write it. I also got the package and the package from Grandpa so thanks for that.
Love you all

Elder Knudsen

June 10th

Wow this week was so amazing I have no idea what happened. It is weeks like these that everything is worth it. So the baptism was so amazing of Cristina. She insisted that I baptized her, and so I had the wonderful privilage to do it. She was so amazing. We had a very big program and it went so well. It was so powerful to see her enter into the waters of baptism and to able to allow the full effect of the Atonement work in her life. It was super hard for her to walk into the font, and was almost in tears as she did. Then as I raised my arm to the square and baptized her, she was washed clean and she just broke down crying right there in the font. It was so powerful. She is so amazing. She also brought 2 of her friends and they really liked it, and a member named Frank got his whole family to come who are less active. And the daughter started crying afterward and told her husband she wants to start going to church again, and the husband is not a member so were going to start teaching him as well. And Franks sister came and shes not a member.
We had an amazing miracle this week. Like wow.... I really have no idea what to say. So we went to the trailers and it was like 1:00 pm and usually no one is home at that time. We just go to a street corner and just sit there wondering where we should go. We both decided we should knock doors. Elder Torrico asked me where and I had no idea, so I said a prayer in my heart to lead us to someone in need. We begin to ride and I feel like we need to knock this one street. Its a street that we had already knocked, but not many people answered. The first door we knocked a hispanic lady named Nancy opened up. (Like our tracting approach now is to offer to say a prayer to bring the peace and blessing of the Savior in their home) and so thats what we did and we asked her what we could pray for and she didnt really tell us anything. I offered the prayer and I honestly have no clue what I said. As I looked up tears were streaming down her face.  We then asked if we could teach her and she said yes. As we began to talk she told us she had been praying to find peace here on earth and havent been able to find it in years. She had just gotten back from the court and had prayed to God to send her something or to help her find peace. Within an hour we showed up at her door and she said she knew immediately it was an answer from God. She told us she had never felt so at peace in years and that she knew that we were sent from God to help her. She accepted to be baptized. We then went over on Saturday and set a baptismal date with her whole family. Shes single and has 3 sons whose ages are 14 10 and 9 and they are all going to be baptized at the beginning of July.... WHAT A MIRACLE!!! I dont know what is going on here. Like.... no clue...
So Elder Torrico confirmed Cristina on Sunday as well so that was really cool. Like I really dont know what else happened this week. I saw Elder Howard and Elder Singleton. They came out to do Cristinas baptism interview and they said she was the most ready person they have ever interviewed. Like just so penitent. It was super cool.
Oh ya I had saviche Saturday. So we go over and its the ward mission leaders house and he wanted to make it for Elder Torrico because thats his favorite thing. So they have fresh raw tilapia and they put it in lime juice for about 4 minutes with some cilantro and onion and then we ate it haha with some sweet potatoes. It was actually pretty darn good.
Thanks for the package it was great. I think thats about all for me. I dont got too much time today. Love you all

Elder Knudsen

June 3rd

Hey this week was pretty good. Cristina is for sure getting baptized this Saturday so thats really exciting. We had a really powerful lesson with her, cause like before she was just super iffy about it and stuff, but at the end of the lesson I was like so will you be baptized on that date and shes like, Yes I will. It was so legit. She has been so prepared and shes already been inviting her nonmember friends to come to her baptism on Saturday. She wants me to baptize her, but I want to have Elder Torrico do it, so we will see what happens. We have a lesson with her tonight and then we will find out for sure who is going to baptize her.
Ya its so crazy Elder Warner is going home. I talked to him last week cause the Zone Leaders told me to call him to see if he could come out to do the baptism interview just cause there arent any spanish leaders any where close and he said he was busy so to have the lousiville central zone leaders to come out and I was like man Elder Warner this means I will never see you again. And that was that haha. Its super crazy to think about.
So isnt it crazy to think I am officially under 10 months left. Ya I know exactly what day I am coming home, not going to tell you, but we are officially under 10 months haha. Like that is not a lot of time at all!
There wasnt really too much that happened this week though. Like I really dont even remember what we did. It absolutely rained a ton on Saturday. We got straight up drenched! It was super funny cause Elder Torrico was like freaking out haha it was a good time though.
Oh ya haha funniest thing ever. So we show up to our investigators house and we like walk up to his porch and we see a bucket in front of his door with something hanging out of it. So it was a huge snapping turtle that he had caught and put face down in the bucket and tied its tail. I didnt have my camera with me because of the rain, but man I really wanted to show it to you. It was like at least 3 feet long and just these huge spikes on his tail, it was like it was a dinosaur. Our investigator was going to kill it the next day and eat it haha. Only in Kentucky!!!
We found 2 really cool investigators this week that I feel like could be baptized in July. So we knocked on this mans door and offered to say a prayer with him and he invited us in and he said he really needed one cause his wife just had had a seasection and his mom was really sick in mexico and they had just moved into the house and so we prayed and taught the restoration and it went really well. Then we taught a guy last night that had some crazy weird questions and thoughts, but we committed him to read the BOM and he said yes, and we asked him when and he said right after we left, and then was like, how bout we just read it right now. So we started reading and like 7 verses in hes like wow this book is amazing. Can we stop and can I read it by myself because right now were going too fast and I just want to take my time and think about the story and how it will apply to me and all this stuff. It was super amazing!
So if grandpa hasnt sent out a package, if you could send me a new towel that would be super nice cause man they are pretty expensive, if not its ok.
I think thats about all. I am trying to really get in shape now haha. We have been waking up and going running or waking up early at like 545 and going to play basketball and i have been eating super healthy lately haha. I am hoping to shed a few lbs before I get home haha. I gotta look good if I want to find me a good wifey haha.

But thats about all from me. I hope dad feels better. Love yall

Elder Knudsen

Friday, May 31, 2013

May 28th

So this week went by really fast actually. I dont really know why, but it did. There isnt really anything too much to tell yall I am not going to lie. Like we are having success with our investigator named Cristina. She is going to be baptized next Saturday so thats pretty exciting. She told her work she couldnt come in because she was going to church and then her boss asked what church and she said the mormon church and he was like I thought you were Catholic and she was like ya, but this is where God wants me. And then like people always ask her why shes choosing the Mormon church and stuff and she just always tell them, Well why dont you ask God and then he will tell you why. Like shes super legit. Last night we taught the word of wisdom and she drinks coffee and she was like thats kinda weird, but if its a commandment from God that means I have to obey it so ill do it. Like shes so prepared its not even funny!
We had Zone Conference this week. It was the last time ill see Elder Warner!! Crazy right!! So always at your last zone conference you get to bear your testimony so there was a lot that bore there testimonys and man. Warner straight up made me cry! So I have never seen him cry my whole mission, like with Eufemia or anything. Hes not an emmotional guy, but at the end of the testimony he just starts talking about his companions and just starts breaking down, like man. I dont know why I was so lucky to have him as a trainer. I was the only companion he had had that was in that room. He said you better go to his homecoming and hes going to look for you, like you have to say hi to him no matter how many people are there. But it was a super powerful moment.
Nothing really too exciting. We have been having a lot of food from other countries though. Like this week we had a dish from Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Ireland, and Mexico. Like its been super good. I have actually been eating salads lately for lunch haha just some spinach with some ranch and maybe some chicken, ya no bigs. I had to buy some more spinach this week cause like I went through a whole bag last week.
We went to the most amazing house last night. Its in the middle of no where. They own 35 acres of just like straight up forest and you have to go on a gravel path for 2 miles to get to their driveway and  then their driveway is like a gravel path through the woods for another mile. It was super legit. We had hamburgers and brats and orange salad and potato salad and all that good stuff. Like I really want to just live in the middle of no where in Kentucky haha. But like he paid for it all in cash, like he built his house himself and everything. Hes pretty nuts. His son is going to Brazil on his mission. But man do I have a story for you. ONLY IN KENTUCKY. So we are sitting at the dinner table with them last night, they go and pull out 2 baby racoons and start feeding them milk from a bottle and the dinner table haha. It was so dang funny. Can only find it in kentucky. And then they have like 4 snakes as well.
Elder Torrico is super funny though. Like today we saw a pretty big truck and he was just like man!!! Elder Knudsen look at that and asked me to take a picture of him in front of it. But everything is going really well.
Thats nuts about all that has happened with Dad and everything. Ya translation was pretty rough on Sunday. Like all it was was about memorial day and soldiars (wow I dont know how to spell any more) and so it was super hard to translate. Like when you try and translate and english talk, it usually makes no sense in spanish because english people just ramble on and on about things. Its the worst haha.
Well I hope all is well. Love you all
Elder Knudsen

May 20th

So I dont really have too much to tell you this week I am not going to lie. My companion is doing really well and its been really fun. Its fun to be able to see him try like some stuff for the first time. Like he had never had Peanut Butter before and lots of other stuff haha. Its super great. Hes a really good kid though. Hes a really good teacher.
So we set a baptismal date this week with Cristina. She said she already knows the church is true and this is where God wants her to be. She reads the Book of Mormon every day at work and there are jehova witnesses that always ask her why Mormons and then she tells them why dont you ask God haha BAM!!! Shes super legit though. She didnt come to church this week because her son was sick, but she will be getting baptized on June 8.
This week has been super hard though. I have been super tired and no one will let us in to teach them. Like I have never had such a hard problem of getting in doors. Usually its been cake to at least get in a door and teach, but usually they dont do anything, but here I cant even get let in. Like I literally have been begging them to let us in and they just wont. They are just hard hearted out here and I dont know what to do. I have pretty much knocked everywhere there is spanish already and we maybe have 3 people that we are teaching. I am going to ask President today if he could give us a car and make our area bigger and like give us Paris, cause really right now there is not enough work to do in Georgetown.
So I got my package so thanks for that. You couldnt have added a treat or anything or a letter? haha jk but thanks and yes they all fit fine.
So we just had a lesson with a lady named Lupe like an hour ago and she lives in a horse farm haha shes pretty legit though. We met her at a bbp at a members house and like all of her friends/family is members and so she is for sure going to be baptized soon. But that was pretty cool as well. Oh is grandpa is going to still send me a package like i could use some zebra pens and like there is a cracker barrel here if he wants to send a giftcard to there or I dont really know where else there is.
So Spanish Conference was pretty good. Its so weird that I will only see Elder Warner 1 more time before he goes home. I will be seeing him this week at Zone Conference, but after that hes dead! Like you want to know whats crazy. So the at the last Zone Conference you have you bear your testimony.... I only have 2 more Zone Conferences left after this one until I have to bear my testimony..... THATS NUTS!!!!
Oh man I feel so embarassed. So Elder Torricos card didnt work this week so I had to buy food for the both of us and I didnt have too much money, but we had enough. Well this week we had an apartment check from senior missionaries kinda and like she went through our apartment and was appauled cause we didnt have food and so she called the ward and the ward brought over like 10 bags of food for us. And then like the whole ward was asking to feed us and stuff, but like we had pasta and eggs and bread and some ramen and so we had enough to get through the week, but apparently they didnt think so haha.
Well I think thats it for me. Love yall

Elder Knudsen

Monday, May 13, 2013

May 13th

Well Ill be honest I dont really have too much to tell yall cause I already talked to yall yesterday. Nothing has really changed from 12 hours ago or so haha. But everything is going good. We dont really have any big plans for the day. Were going to go play basketball with the English Elders here in a couple hours so we will see how that goes. I actually bought some new shoes haha. So there was an Elder that bought them and he decided he didnt really like them so he bought some new ones haha. He bought them for 130 and gave them to me for 50. Yall probably wont like them but they are so sick haha. They are pink haha. But you know how I do, I gotta go a little flashy with my game haha. Ill have to take a picture of them and send them to you. They are like pink and grey with like hot pink laces haha.
So like I told you all this week was pretty good. We are seeing some good things. Like this week we got a really good referral from a member. Like so we went to a carne asada bbq with some members and there was a lady there that wasnt a member and she just started asking us all these questions and now wants to learn more and like all her family/friends are members and so its should be super great. We have a lesson with her on Wednesday.
And then the lady from Honduras will probably be baptized in June. I am going to let me greenie set the date with her haha it will be a good experience for him in the first week of his mission. Shes super ready because once you feel the spirit testify that these things are true, nothing else really matters.
I have been reading Jesus The Christ a lot lately and its been super great. I have been learning so much more about my Savior. I started it about 2 weeks ago and I am on page 300 now haha I just read it at night before I got to bed and I have gotten pretty far haha. Its super crazy though. Like even if I didnt know the church was true, reading that book would have to give you interest in the church because there isnt a man on this earth that could expound the bible in such a way without the help of the Holy Ghost.
This week we have Spanish Conference. That should be pretty good and be able to see Elder Warner and Singleton and Baker and everyone so I am excited for that. Its going to be weird though cause we will be doing a lot of role plays and stuff and me and my companion will have not taught a single thing together yet haha so we will see how that goes for sure.
We also have like 2 meal appointments. Ill be honest I have really missed American food. Like I love hispanic food so much, but when thats like all you eat, some good home cookin is really good. So I am excited for that. And like Josue and Norma will give us spanish food whenever we want. Like last week we had a bbq with them and had carne asada and carnitas and chorizo and it was super good. Its super funny cause like in Honduras they dont eat spicy food and so Elder Castillo was like dying because of the salsa and stuff. Its the same way in Peru so we will see how my companion handles it. His name is Elder Torrico.
I think thats about all for me. I hope everything is going well over there. Love yall and talk to yall in 7 months haha.
Elder Knudsen

May 6th

Hey yall so its been kinda a crazy week to say the least. Georgetown is a super cool town. Its super small and old, but super pretty. Its like all horse farms and stuff, but its super fun. So my new address is 125 Hiawatha Trail #10, Georgetown KY. I am serving with an Elder named Elder Castillo, but thats going to be getting changed. So Elder Castillo is from Miami, but President called us yesterday and told me that I am training starting today.... So ya.... But then he called and said he misread the letter and he wont be cominguntil next Monday. So I will be with Elder Castillo for one more week and then I will be training. His name is Elder Torrico and he is from Peru!!! Like straight up wont even speak much english haha. Like hes not going to the MTC really cause his English is good enough apparently and hes been waiting to come out for like 6 months but hasnt been able to get his Visa. So our apartment is like an hour and a half away from the mission home so you can just send it to the apartment. Its a pretty safe area.
 Its pretty nuts though. So there are now 6 Elders in Georgetown, and 5 of them are new to Georgetown. So there is an english companionship who is whitewashing and then the other one got transfered and so its been super hectic cause nobody knows the area and the one that does is super lazy. Like I really dont like the other elders that we are serving with cause they dont do anything all day. But oh well. Elder Gonzalez is now in my District haha so thats pretty exciting. But everything is going pretty well.
So I am really not sure what time I will be calling home. I am pretty sure I will be skyping and I think we are going to go to a familys house from Chile. They are super legit. But I think I will call you Sunday to let you know when I am actually going to call. I think it will be around like 4 or 5 our time. Like our church gets out at 1230 and so ya, something like that. I dont really know. Cause this week was Stake Conference and so we didnt even get to meet really any members and so we havent been invited to any houses, but then we were talking to a member about it and he probably would be fine for us to come over, but we will see.
WOW. There is this place called Franks Doughnuts!!! Best EVER!!! And... HES A MEMBER haha. Hes gives us free doughnuts whenever we want and hes actually from Honduras. Wow they are so great though. But I dont really have too much else to say this week. Like its just been a lot of bike riding and a lot of knocking doors to try and get something going. We would have actually had an investigator that we found come to church, but since it was stake conference it was in Lexington and so thats like 30 min away and so she didnt want to drive out there, but said she would come this week. Shes from Honduras and seems pretty legit though.
There are like 2 spanish areas in our whole area and they are on opposite sides of town. Like one of them is like 4 miles uphill one way and then the other one is like 4 miles the other way haha so we have been riding probably a good 15 to 20 miles a day, but its been good. Elder Castillo got his first flat tire haha. He was like what do we do?? And I was like.... we start walking haha. We had to walk like 2 miles home haha. It was super funny though cause hes never been in a bike area and got super scared.
Can you believe Elder Warner only has 5 weeks left in his mission!! WHAT!!! Its nuts haha. But ya our apartment is super nice. Like we have the same as the english elders do, but all 4 of them sleep there and only 2 of us in our apartment and its super new. Like its pretty big and a lot nicer than Okolona, but Okolona will always be my home haha. Oh and the size of pants just get what you got me at the beginning of my mission.
Elder Knudsen

Sunday, May 5, 2013

April 29th

Well its official, I am finally leaving Okolona and it has been super hard to say goodbye to the people I love so much. I got a call Saturday morning and President asked me to open up a new area and to train.... AHHHH haha. So I am now going to be going to Georgetown and opening up a spanish area. Its going to be super hard, there isnt 1 spanish member in the whole ward. I have really been stressed the last few days just thinking about it cause its just a big undertaking. I am also going to be on a bike and its a huge area. Like I will be covering a whole county on a bike and so the people said that most of the spanish areas are like a 45 min bike ride from the apartment haha. But then I got a call from President last night and said something happened to the Elder that I was going to train, so hes not coming out anymore and so I will not be training but I will be with an elder thats been out a few months and still open the area. President told me I will be training next transfer. So thats what is happening with me.
So this week has mainly just been saying goodbye to everyone and just doing some crazy things. The baptism was so amazing. So Powerful. And no the temple is not open on Mondays. The missionaries that go home go on Tuesday after transfer meeting.
Its so crazy to think that Elder Warner only has 6 weeks left. I talked to him yesterday and hes just freaking out haha. I was like Man I am never going to see you again. Ill probably see him like 3 times before he goes home. Its gone by so fast. He has changed so much its not even funny. He is not the same Elder I worked with a year ago. You going to have to go to his homecoming. It will be like June 16 I think. They get home the 12 of June so whatever that Sunday is. I am going to miss that kid for sure.
So I am not going to be District Leader down there, but its kinda nice just to be able to focus on getting the area going and not focusing on other missionaries problems. President kinda hinted that I will be going leadership again soon. He was like well Elder Knudsen I am realeasing you as District Leader but trust me, its not the end to your leadership haha" Elder Singleton and Elder Howard are convinced I am going to go Zone Leader in July, but we will have to see about that one haha.
So it was super hard to say bye to Vicente. He was like your coming back though right? And I had to tell him no. Then in the opening prayer he was like "God I am sad because my brother is leaving and so please help me be happy and please help him to help others find the truth" And he also wanted to say the closing prayer and prayed for me as well. Hes so legit. I am super sad I am not going to be able to see him get baptized. And then I told Eufemia yesterday and she started crying. IT SUCKED!!! And then she is making us come over today to have lunch, I am not really excited about that, but I couldnt say no to her. Then Amiley is just like the cutest ever. I asked her to write her info in my journal and she wrote me a note saying thanks for helping her be happy and shes going to miss me for her whole life and all this stuff. Shes the greatest. Then we had dinner with Aidee and her family and it was super hard to say goodbye to them. Like the youngest son was super mad. They are great though. I am not excited for tonight though. Tonight will be the hardest one. Pablo and Fabiola. I love them so much. He got the priesthood on Sunday so that was cool to see.
I got sick this week though. We went and ate at Eufemias and on our way home I just felt so sick and started throwing up onto someones lawn. I felt super bad, but it was so gross. So that was something else that happened this week haha. I dont know why I have been so sick lately. I feel like I am just dying or something.
I feel like thats pretty much all for me.
Love you all
Elder Knudsen

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April 24th

Well its been a weird week to say the least. So I am sorry I didnt write you on Monday and it is because as a zone we got to go to the temple this week and so we had to change our P-day from Monday to Wednesday and so we have been working the last 2 days! I forgot to tell you last week. It was super amazing though. I miss the temple a lot! Its a super small temple though, like tiny, there isnt even a chapel inside. But its really nice.
So I dont really even know where to start at this week. So probably the craziest thing that happened was President gave all the missionaries in the Lousiville area permission to go to "Thunder Over Louisville" Its like the biggest firework show in the nation to start off horse racing season. It was nuts. It started at like 9:30 and went until like 10:30 and so we didnt get home until 11:30 haha. But the crazy thing was was like the night before the show, President had a dream that there was a bomb at Thunder Over Louisville like there was at the Boston Marathon haha but he still let us go. It was super fun. I really didnt feel like a missionary that night, like we had to go in our suits and stuff, but like before the fireworks we went to a wedding for a lady in our branch and so it was just a weird day.
So the next thing.... WERE HAVING 3 BAPTISMS TONIGHT haha. So Pablo Fabiola and Marcela have decided to get baptized again and so we are doing thattonight. It should be exciting. Also the Northside Elders are having a baptism tonightand so were having 4 in the 5th branch tonight so thats pretty exciting. Pablo asked if I would baptize him so that was really cool. Warner is going to baptize Fabiola and then Adams is going to baptize Marcela. I am super excited now cause like if they can go through the temple before I go home I get to go no matter what because technically they will be my converts. I love that family so much. They dont really want to be baptized again, but they are sick of waiting and so its probably for the best.
So Vicente came to church this week so that was really good. He is looking like 100% for being baptized on May 11. The crazy thing is.... I might not be getting transferred now. Cause like it was like 100 percent sure a couple of weeks ago but one of the visa waiters left and he was in the area where I was going and so the Elder that is there is going to have a different Elder, another visa waiter and he will at least have to be there for another transfer. So I am thinking I am staying in Okolona for another 2 transfers haha. I will find out on Saturday and so you all will know on Monday.
So its been kinda a weird week. So I went on an exchange with Northside so I went to there area and Elder Singleton went to Okolona. So that night when I was in Northside, Okolona found a ton of bed bugs, like it got infested, so we had to get the exterminator to come and now we dont have box springs so were just sleeping on the mattress on the floor. We also had to throw out the couch. But its funny cause I was never bit and Elder Singleton woke up with like 30 bites that night. And then this week I got like bit on  my hand by a spider and then like I didnt really know where it came from.... then Elder Adams sees that there is a spider straight up living in my handlebars!! Like whats up with that!!
But I got the glasses and the brownies. They were all great. Everyone said they are the best brownies they have ever had and they asked me to ask you for the recipe if you can.
Ill be honest I dont really want to be in Okolona much longer. I am running out of places to go. I have knocked like every door 5 times and I really feel like I know everyone here. I really want to see the baptism of Vicente but its really hard staying motivated in an area that you have just destroyed for 10 months. Like there are definately pros and cons about staying or leaving.
So I will probably call home if I am still here in Okolona like between 430 and 600. I am going to skype again just so you know, well if thats ok I guess. Like its going to be hectic though cause we have church until 4 and then we are going to have a fireside at 7 at the mission home so that doesnt give us a lot of time to run call and then leave again haha, but its ok. Its crazy to think I will only have one more phone call after this one!
Thats pretty much all I have to say this week. Sorry yall. Love ya
Elder Knudsen

April 15th

So this week was pretty normal, nothing really too exciting. So we had interviews with President and my interview was really lame haha usually he gives you like a pep talk or something like that and then talks about some cool things, but pretty much he just talked about the rest of the district with me and stuff like that and then he told my companion that I am leaving at the end of this transfer which is in 2 weeks. So thats kinda sad, but its time for a change. He said he was proud of me for the work Ive done in Okolona and hes really seen an increase in the work. So it made me feel good, he said I was doing a good job with Elder Adams as well.
So Vicente didnt come to church this week so he will not be baptized this week so thats sad. Were going to try and reset the date for the 27 so that I can be here for it. We knocked on his door sunday morning and apparently he was sleeping. He called us and apologized, but we will see what happens.
We found a really cool new investigator this week. His name is Juan Carlos. Hes from Cuba and has been in the states for like a month or less. We actually taught his brother one time and we went by to teach his brother again, but his brother wasnt home and so we started talking to Juan Carlos and he didnt really want to talk to us. But then I started talking about Cuba and where hes from and so he let us come in. We started kinda just asking him questions about religion and then shared a little bit of the restauration and he was like "Oh that sounds familiar" Then he pulls out the Restauration pamphlet that we had given his brother and he had said he had read all of it and it was really interesting. We then gave him a Book of Mormon and he also came to church yesterday so that was exciting. Hes a really cool guy.
So probably the most eventful thing of the week was going to the restaurant called El Rincon. Its a cuban restaurant and Darely and Amiley really wanted to take me there because they found out I was going to be leaving soon. So we go over to Darelys and like everyone is getting super dressed up and stuff and im like man where are we going!! So we show up to this restaurant and pretty much it was how I pictured Cuba (utter caos) Like there is like 30 people dancing and drinking and just lots of yelling and stuff haha it was nuts. Then Amiley asked me to dance and I was like I cant Amiley haha she loves me. It was a super good time. They threw down so much money for it though. So like there was 9 of us.... it cost $190!!!!! Like I probably got the least expensive thing. My meal was $13. But like man they threw down so much money. I felt so bad cause I know that they dont have the most money in the world.
But really there was nothing too exciting about this week. Just same old same old. But it would be super cool if you could get brownies sent off cause I want to bring them to my last district meeting. It would be super nice. And I am going to go send off the glasses today and so Ill be getting that done.
It was kinda hectic this week with Lousiville winning though. There are like stands on every corner selling shirts and stuff. There is a shirt I am looking for and I havent been able to find it yet. They are always sold out so we are going up to the main store today. It says "CUT THE NET, National Champions" Its super legit.
Eufemia kinda chewed me out yesterday at church. So she was like Elder Knudsen you dont love me anymore. You dont come over as much as you used to and you dont call me and stuff and I was like man!!! I am sorry!! Cause like she wants to feed us like every day and shes been working a lot in the afternoon and like we are busy pretty early on, but it made me feel really bad. Shes so amazing though. She taught gospel principles this week and did an amazing job. It was kinda super funny. The lesson was on Repentance and she like called the whole class to repentance. But thats about all for me.... I felt like I was going to tell you some other stuff... but dont really remember.
Well love yall
Elder Knudsen

April 8th

So this week went by super fast. We got like no time to work in our area, but we really had some cool things happen. We set a baptismal date with a family of 4, but only 3 are over 8 years old. They are the cutest family ever and they are going to be such kingdom builders. We set the date for May 11 and so it kinda sucks that I wont be here to see it. Its pretty much set in stone that I will not be here in 3 weeks. It really makes me sad. Vicente still has a date for April 20, but he hasnt been coming to church and so we will see. I really want to see him baptized before I leave. I have worked so hard for him its not even funny. I would do anything for him.
So General Conference was really great. Man I feel like every talk was about family and marriage haha. Thats like all they talked about, or maybe thats what I was searching for haha. But it was a really good session of Conference. So we were there all day saturday and sunday to watch it, like at the stake center. It was the first time I watched it in spanish, so that was kinda weird. I only have 1 more conference in my mission too. Nuts right!! Marcus hits his 18 month mark in like 3 weeks!!!! Its going by so super fast.
So we went to buffalo wild wings this week. Man it was so good. There is member that always takes the missionaries  out there to eat and so he paid for 6 missionaries to eat. And like hes the guy that is like if you dont have left overs you didnt order enough haha. Hes a lawyer, but our meal was like $130.
So I have been sick all weekend so that really hasnt been fun. I have had the worst headache and sore throat ever, and so it didnt help having to watch conference all day in spanish. But idk. Today we had a zone activity and that was pretty fun. Can you believe Louisville is in the championship. Like pretty much we cant be out tonight cause we are so close to the city. Like last year when UK won the missionaries had to stay inside cause it was just utter caos.
So i got the year package and thank you so much. It was great. I also got the glasses.... so... they are really thin and dont really look good at all..... I dont really want to ask you to order the other ones.... but like these ones look like girl glasses...... So its up to you. I think the other ones were only like $10 and so I could pay you if you want.
The Spanish Conference went really good. Like it was pretty much just teaching the the missionaries to go back to the basics and do everything by the spirit. But I got the nicest compliment from sister hansen. Shes a sister in my district and we were doing a role play and elder adams and I was teaching sister okey and then sister hansen was watching, and she said she could feel the spirit so strong and that she really learned a lot from me, so that made me feel really good. I really have been focusing all my trainings lately on baptism, people just dont understand why we baptize, but I think now they are going to be mainly on teaching skills. I feel like they have gone down a lot as a district.
Are you happy we have started to count down now?? Its so crazy. Its been the fastest year ever. But I think thats about all from me. I love you all..
Elder Knudsen

April 1st

Can you believe its been a year since I have been gone. Well not teachnically, but pretty much. Like last Easter I was sitting in the MTC listening to President Packer and his son Elder Packer. Not going to lie... I fell asleep in President Packers talk cause I was so tired because it was my first week in the MTC. So I couldnt really tell you anything about what he talked on.
So I dont really know what happened this week haha. It went by really fast and this week I am going to be so busy I am going to have no time for anything. Ill share with you the cutest thing ever that Amiley said to me last night. So last night we went and had dinner at Darelys with Amiley and everyone. It was super fun and then we had a lesson and for some reason I mentioned that I would probably be leaving in like 4 weeks and she liked freaked out. Like she looks at Elder Adams (the one that found them in the first place) and was like no offense but I trust Elder Knudsen more than like anyone cause he has been here so long and we have gone through a lot together. And then Darely was like I thought you were going to stay here for the rest of your mission?? Haha cause that has been a joke around the spanish elders and in our area. But it made me feel super good that they were super sad about the thought of me leaving haha. Like I really thought Amiley was going to cry. But I told her we will for sure stay in contact on Facebook and things like that haha.
So church was really good. Eufemia and Amiley and her whole family came. We are probably going to be able to baptize the daughter of Amiley this month. Shes come to church a couple times and has always hated it and didnt like us teaching her, and like yesterday in church she was just crying saying she didnt want to be there and stuff, but then we sang abide with me tis even tide and she really felt the spirit and calmed down and was blown away by the song and then she loved primary and so it was a really good turn around. Shes 9 years old
We also talked to Claudia this week. She was baptized in Peru and we found her a little while ago. We had started teaching her husband and he had a baptismal date, but he was just super busy and now were going to start teaching her kids. They are 9 and 12 and are friends of the kids of Pablo and Fabiola. They have been to church 1 and were supposed to come yesterday with pablo and fabiola, but for some reason pablo and fabiola didnt come and so I am not really sure exactly what happened.
So Vicente has kinda been really wishwashy. He cancelled like all the apts and didnt come to church. It just kills me. We will have to see what happens with him. We are teaching the coolest family ever though. They are such kingdom builders. They have been searching for a church that their kids feel comfortable in and like they live in a house (SOOO RARE!! First lesson I have taught in a house) and like speak really good english and shes going to school to become a nurse and are so great. We went by again on Saturday and like they asked us to teach their little girls about Easter. They are 5 and 7 and so cute. So we taught them. They were supposed to come to church, but he got called into work. I think they will for sure be baptized.
So do you want to know how busy my week is going to be. Tomorrow I have to go to the library to type up the monthly report of the district for the zone leaders and it takes around an hour and a half and then Wednesday I have District Leader Council from like 11 til 3 and then Thursday we have the first ever Spanish Conference as a mission and then Friday we have District Meeting and Weekly Planning and Ward Coordination and then Saturday and Sunday we will be at conference! Like I really dont know how were going to find any time to do anything. Oh and we have a meal apointment everyday this week and so thats even more!! AHH!!! Like I dont really like dinner apts because usually hispanics dont make the food before hand and then it takes awhile, and honestly I would rather be teaching the gospel and even tracting to try and find someone new. Like its the easy thing to do, but ya...
Ya I got my easter basket so thanks for that. You didnt have to send me another package haha. How was Easter for yall??
Elder Duran came back this week to visit. It was super weird. I could tell he felt super uncomfortable being there without the tag haha. But all is well. Man I was going to tell yall something but I forgot. Like I got a couple flat tires and stuff, but ya.
Well I love  you all
Elder Knudsen

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March 25th

So I am not with Elder Gonzalez. I am with an Elder named Elder Adams. Hes been out for 21 months, the same time as Elder Warner. Hes a pretty good missionary. I am still the District Leader and I am actually the Senior Companion as well. But I am kinda sick of President putting me with older elders and making me senior companion because sometimes it makes the other elders upset and dont want to work and stuff, but I know he probably just did it cause he knows I will push him. It could definately be a long transfer though. Hes the one that trained Elder Gonzalez.
So there is a new rule from the First Presidency, we can now email friends. So you can throw up my email on facebook or something if you want if anyone wants to email me. Or just whatever but its world wide so now I can email all my friends on missions so its kinda nice. I feel like it could cause problems in the future, but we will see.
So we now have 5 sisters and 4 elders in my district. Its kinda weird. 3 of them are new sisters. 1 of them is actaully from South Jordan. I never knew her though. But they seem like a really good group of missionaries. It was super sad to say bye to Elder Duran. He was such an amazing missionary and just like the funniest kid ever. Hes actually coming back this week haha so ill see him this week. Hes so nice though. Like he became my zone leader my 2nd transfer. So he was a zone leader for 6 transfers which is a ton of time for a zone leader. He wrote in my journal and said I was the best District Leader he ever had like all  jokes aside in the 2 years he served. So that really meant a lot to me.
I am super happy you went to their wedding. I got their invite in the mail last week and I was wondering if you were going to go. I love Sarahs mom so much. We got a long so great. She said my Christmas card was still up on their fridge the last time I saw them haha. And Thomas is the greatest kid ever haha hes so funny! Man I miss that family a lot.
So a lot of cool things happened this week. Guess what?!? EUFEMIA IS BACK!! So we were on our way to coordination meeting this week on Friday and Darely calls and is like Elder Knudsen there is someone here that wants to talk to you. Then she put on Eufemia and it was just so great. She really missed like all her friends here so they decided to move back. They just left everything and came. So we went and saw her on Saturday and she was so excited to see me haha. Shes just the cutest lady ever. She was like ya the missionaries visited me up there but its not like my hermanos here. And just started talking about me and Elder Warner and how it was such a great time and how nobody will replace us haha. I cant wait for you all to be able to meet her!
Also remember Vicente?? So we had a lesson with him last night and set a bap date with him for April 20. I love that man so much. Like I really can see him being a future branch president. He is just the most humble guy and loves studying. Its going to be really hard for him, but he said he will give all his free time to us. Like he works at a slaughterhouse and so its a really hard job, but he said we can come over like 3 or 4 times a week to help him prepare to be baptized. It was a really cool lesson.
Elvira and Teresa they actually got offended by a member and so its not looking really good for them. They still really like meeting with us but dont really want to come to church because of what happened and so they wouldnt be able to be baptized. Also Osvaldo and Marta have been super busy. They both still have a date for April 13, but that probably wont go through unless they can meet with us more often. We still have a lot more to teach them and they need to start living the Word of Wisdom by the end of this week.
So the mission has really changed with all the sisters. President decided hes doing a mission wide English Sisters Conference because they have had a lot of problems this week and lots of crying and things haha and so that didnt take too long. Were also having the first ever Spanish Conference with the whole mission so that should be exciting.
So thats pretty much all the exciting things that happened this week. Its crazy that easter is this week and I was in the MTC last Easter. Its gone by so fast.
Its still pretty cold here. It snowed today and wont be above 40 the next couple of days. I am not too excited about that, but were about to come out of it haha so then it will be great. I hope all is well. Love ya
Elder Knudsen

Monday, March 18, 2013

March 18th

So I am staying in Okolona for my 6 1/2 trasnfer haha. Elder Singleton is leaving and going Zone Leader. So I am not training because the Elder from Peru didnt get his Visa so he wont be coming in until next transfer. We get 3 Spanish Elders next transfer so Ill probably be training in April. So this week was kinda nuts, but it went alright.
So Tuesday was probably the worst day of my mission so far not going to lie. So we walk outside and I hop on my bike, my chain has fallen off and so I had to put it back on real quick. Then we usually take a short cut by the elementary school if its the weekend or after school, but for some reason we took it, and I came around the corner and there was a lady and her daughter and I slammed on my brakes and I ran into them. Like Elder Singleton came around the corner first and didnt warn me haha but I didnt really hit them too hard, but I felt super bad. So we were riding to an appointment that was about 4 miles away and a member was going to meet us there cause he said he couldnt pick us up and we were running a little late so we were going as fast as we could. Elder Singleton started to hit some green lights and I started to hit some red lights, and then eventually I couldnt see him cause he kept riding. He never looked back. So I thought he was going to take the way he usually does to get to this appointment, so I decided to take that route, but.... on this day.... he didnt take that route. So he didnt get too far when he realized I wasnt behind him and so he stopped, but I was going a different way than him and so I never caught up to him. During this time I had prayed and decided I think I should go to the apt because either Elder Singleton and the member will be there or just the member and Ill be able to use his phone to call Elder Singleton. So I show up to the apt and nobody is there. Its in the most ghetto part of our area that were not supposed to really go unless we have a reason. So I am just sitting there in front of this house just waiting for like 10 min when I decided I needed to find a phone to call Elder Singleton. So there were some workers working on the telephone lines and they let me use there phone. I called Elder Singleton and he said the Zone Leaders were going to pick him up and they would then bring him to me.  He also had called the member and cancelled the apt cause we didnt know when we were going to be able to meet up. So here I am sitting in this sketch  neighborhood for like 40 min by myself haha it was sooooo scary!!! And then later that day we contacted into this guy and he seemed super legit and he kinda acted dumb that he like didnt know anything about the bible or about us, so he wanted us to come in and share our message with him, it turns out he was a Jehova Witness and all he wanted to do was bash with us. Like after 40 min he asks "So whats the name of God" And that just gave it away. But we actually won the bash haha he couldnt say anything on us. It wasnt like a hostile environment, but by the end he had nothing to say. But it was a really bad day and just nothing went our way. Like at the end of the night we had set up an apt to meet with a super less active that used to be the relief society president. She hadnt been to church in about 3 years and the whole time I have been here shes never allowed us to come over. We talked to her and she said we could come over Tuesday. We sent with a memer.... and she wasnt there. So then they asked me what I thought we should do. I decided lets go see Amiley. We show up and shes just crying. She had been having a really rough time. But she asked me to give her a blessing and after the blessing she stopped crying and was actually smiling. It was for sure a tender mercy from the Lord. Cause I had complained about all that had gone wrong, but she was having it worst and I was allowed to help her feel better. It was a really cool experience. Then she came to church on Sunday and just seemed so much happier and better!!
So Wednesday wasnt the greatest day either. Just nothing really happened. All of our apts fell throught and we just had nothing going for us. Like absolutely nothing happened. Then Thursday we had Zone Meeting and so that was pretty good. And then Friday nothing really happened either and then Saturday a few things happened, but then Sunday was just great!! So Pablo and Fabiola, like there kids, invited 2 kids to come to church with them and they were 2 kids that we were actually teaching. The mom was baptized in Peru and she wanted her kids to be baptized, but we had no support from her. But now we can hopefully get them on the right page with the help of Pablo and Fabiola. And then after church we had an appointment with Osvaldo and Marta and they were just great. They have been super busy and so we havent been able to meet with them forever, but they still love us and we talked about there baptism and what they need to do and they are still looking good for April 13. Then we had a lesson with Vicente!!! We had stopped by Saturday just to see how he was and he asked for some help with his internet, so we helped him, and then he said we could come by on Sunday. So we went and it was so amazing. It was like the Vicente of Old and he will for sure be baptized in April. He was just like I feel like something has been missing ever since you all have left and I really want to have that back in my life. He was saying hes really busy but hes willing to have us over every day of the weekend to help prepare him for baptism!! He is the most amazing guy ever!! I was so happy! I was like a kid at Christmas after! So I learned a big lesson of diligence this week and to not get discouraged. Like I wasnt the happiest all week but I kept trying and then the Lord rewarded us this weekend!!
So we are now going to have more sisters than Elders in my District haha. So Sister Okey is going to be training 2 sisters and then they are opening up a new area and so we will have 2 more sisters! So we will have 5 sisters and then 4 Elders. Oh and so we think Elder Gonzalez is going to be my companion. Im excited about it though. Hes had a rough mission and hasnt seen much success and hasnt had the best companions so I am excited to show him what missionary work is supposed to be. It should be good.
So there were like a couple of glasses that I really liked. I think the white squares were nice. They had like a little bit of black on the sides. But like I forgot the paper in the apartment. And I really like the ones that were like kinda more round and the bottom and thick frames, but ill try and maybe send a letter with the ones I want today just so you know. Then you can pick which ones cause like I dont really know the prices and I think the squares would be more mission appropriate. But thats about all for me.
Love you all
Elder Knudsen

March 11th

So i guess ill give you the fasting story before I forget. So it was with Micaela. We had a baptismal date for Jan 12 and it was January 4 and she was not ready and didnt feel comfortable and said she was going to be baptized. Elder Baker and I decided to teach about baptism and while we were teaching it didnt seem right. I got the impression that we needed to fast with her and teach her a little about it. I promised her that if she fasted with us that she would recieve an answer to her prayer (super scary making a promise like that) Then we started the fast with her the next day. And I can honestly say I have never prayed so hard in my life. I was just pleading with the Lord that he would give someone the words to touch the heart of Micaela. Like fast and testimony meetings are sometimes a little weird in the spanish branch, but literally every testimony that was said was directed right at her. Then in Relief Society someone sat down and talked with her and really helped her realize her answer. That Monday we saw her at Family Home Evening and she didnt say anything just that the fast was good. So then we went over Tuesday (5 days before baptism) and the first thing we asked was if she had recieved an answer. She said yes. She then asked when her date was and looked on her phone and realized it was in 5 days, but she had recieved the answer and she went through with it. I have also found a lot of many prepared people as of late by fasting so its been really cool.
So this week was a super fast week. Like we were super busy, but yet I feel like nothing really happened. I wish there was more hours in the day to get the work done because the work is hastening and there is just not enough time to get what you need to done. Like I really dont even know what happened or what to tell you this week. We had a really cool experience today. So we had zone activity today and so some English Elders picked us up and they needed to pick us up early cause they needed to go to the mall. So we were strolling through the mall and a hispanic lady just randomly approaches us and asked if we spoke spanish and they she really needed to speak with us. She then told us she had went to the church 2 weeks before but nobody was there (because of stake conference) and that she really wanted to speak with Elders. She knew all about the church and she was dying to meet with us. She asked when church was and we told her Sunday at 1. She then told us she thinks shes going to quit her job so she can come to church!!! LIKE WHAT!!! For anyone who has served a mission.... that never happens!!! Like especially spanish people in the states. They are very nervous to approach people and to make the innitial contact. But it was just another testimony of being in the right place at the right time. She actually lives in the Zone Leaders area, so we wont get to teach her, but I was an instrument in the Lords hand at that time. It was really cool.
So Osvaldo and Martha are just killing it. They are going to be baptized probably on the 13 of April. They couldnt come to church this week because Osvaldo picked up a job, but they love us so much and just love going to church. They are the cutest cuban couple ever. Like everyone at church was asking where they were cause just everyone loved them so much. I just love missionary work so much.
So this is the last week of the transfer. We are pretty sure that Elder Singleton is going to be transferred and be Zone Leader and I will stay in Okolona and train the Elder from Peru. I guess the Zone Leaders referred me to train, so we will see what happens. I think it would be a super great experience. Elder Singleton also thinks Ill be his next companion as Zone Leader, I honestly think hes crazy, but he said im his favorite companion and hardest working companion and so he thinks Im ready to be one, so that was good to hear, but its not a big deal, I just try and do what I need to do every day.
I dont really have anything else to say for this week. Oh thanks for the package, I got it this week so that was nice. So one thing you could get me would be some new glasses :) Like you could just use my old prescription and order them off You could send me some pictures of some and then I could tell you which ones I want. I think white frames would be great. Like white thick ones, but just send me some pics or something. I dont know if you would be able to do that. Its just my black ones are a little scratched and then the other ones are just getting a little beat up cause I wear them a lot and stuff. But just an idea.
Being a District Leader is really fun. Cause I get to give the trainings every week for District Meeting and so its really making me learn a lot more cause I am studying a lot more rigorously. I felt like my training this week was really good. The Zone Leaders say they have been spot on every week, so revelation is real haha.
I took a few pics.... but I dont have my camera with me so I am sorry about that.
Its so weird to think that I hit my year mark in just a few weeks. And like Elder Duran goes home next week and when I came in the mission he hadnt been out too long. Like a little more that Warner, but not much. You better plan on going to Elder Warners homecoming. It will be in June. ITS SO SOON!!! Its super weird to see him as an AP haha. Its funny though cause im like following right where he was. He became District Leader in his 7th transfer in Okolona. Then he picked me up in his 8th. Haha it could be the same exact thing, not expecting to go AP or anything like that, but its just kinda funny. Everyone just says "Like father like son"
So we had no clue about day light savings time. We didnt know and like Elder Singleton has been getting up at 530 to work out a little longer cause hes at 6 months to sexy and so when the alarm went off he just was like its my work out alarm just go back to bed cause like the clock said 530. So then the Zone Leaders called us at "630" but really it was 730 and asked us what time it was and we were like, um 630... but then we looked at the phone and it said 730 haha it was funny cause they woke up at the wrong time too haha.
Well I love you all and thanks for everything
Elder Knudsen

March 4th

So I dont even know where to start this week. It was a really weird week to say the least. Like all the days went by super fast, but the week went by soooo slow! But it was absolutely amazing! So on Monday we had a zone activity where we played basketball and volleyball and a bunch of other stuff and so that was really fun. Like I love just getting out of the apartment for a few hours and just letting loose haha, but it doesnt happen very often.
So then Tuesday we had an exchange with the Zone Leaders. In the morning we helped a family move and it took a good amount of time. I feel like missionaries are the officail movers of hte church. But it was ok. After that Elder Duran came to Okolona and Elder Singleton went up to North Side. We had a pretty successful day. We set a baptismal date with this couple from Cuba. They are the most amazing couple ever. They are for sure going to be baptized. They went to stake conference this weekend too. We set it for April 6... and we forgot that is conference weekend and so its really hard to get baptisms to go through that weekend, and so we might move it up to the last saturday in March or maybe the 13 or April. They are so amazing and so prepared. They are so much fun. Cutest couple ever. They are like early 30's and they have been here about a month and so they arent working, but just going to school to learn English and are just loving life.
So then Wednesday we had Zone Conference. It was super good. Its super weird to see Elder Warner as the AP and giving us training. Haha but it was super good. They talked about serving our companion and we talked about contacting everyone and also how to help people overcome the Word Of Wisdom. It was a really good day though. Its super weird cause like the missionaries that are going home share there testimony at the last Zone Conference and Elder Duran shared his today. Like he was barely out a year when I came in and now hes going home in 2 weeks!! This next year is just going to fly by!! I am just loving the mission life right now. I feel like im at my prime!
Then Thursday I had a meeting with the Zone Leaders because at the end of every month we have to do a District Leader Report, and so they come over and just talk about how the district had done that month and things like that. It took like 2 hours. Oh and I got like my first flat tire this week since being in Okolona. It cost me $16 to get it repaired cause it was a bad one, but ya so I wasnt happy about that.
Then Friday is our weekly planning day, but we really wanted to work. So we only did about half of it and then went to work. We had a pretty good amount of success that day and taught some really good lessons. This area is just so white. There is so much work here and it just kills me. Like we dont tract in neighborhoods cause its a lot harder to find spanish that way and its not really using our time effectively and so we tract apartment complexs. But it just kills me cause I know there are hispanics ready for the gospel that live in neighborhoods, but its just super hard to find them and teach them.
So Saturday we had the Mission Conference and it was so amazing. Like they told us they couldnt remember the last time they had that many general authorities in a meeting that was as small as ours. So we had Elder L Tom Perry, Elder Quintin L Cook, Elder Clayton (Presidency of the 70ty) Elder Munds (Area 70ty) President Lund (Former Lousville mission president and now Temple President) President Woodbury, and then likr 6 stake presidents! It was so powerful just to hear their words. Before the meeting started we got to shake all of their hands. I guess Elder L Tom Perry came here because his grandson is actually serving here and its the only grandson he hadnt visited yet that was on a mission. But Elder Cook talked about how importand we are because of the serge of missionaries. Cause we have to be better than everyone else before us or else this serge is just going to bring mediocre missionaries and thats now what the church needs right now. It was a really powerful talk and really helped me cause a lot of people thing I am going to train in 2 weeks. Then Elder L Tom Perry talked about the organization of the church and talked about how the Prophet is called and it was just super cool and then talked about his mission experience and gave a really powerful testimony. Oh and Elder Clayton talked about D&C112 and it was super cool. All and All they were there for about 2 hours and it was amazing.
Then Sunday we had a special Stake Conference where Elder Quintin L Cook spoke. It was super cool. He just talked about how keeping the commadments is what brings us peace and happiness and how its such a blessing for us to be members of the church and how we have to do a lot of things to maintain this happiness. He talked for about 45 min. Hes a really powerful man. Its just amazing to see a Special Witness of Christ. The amazing couple came and they absolutely loved it. Elder Duran had to translate, but it was actually something really cool cause it was something that was on his bucket list, was to translate for an Apostle and he got to do it haha.
So another big thing that is happening this week is Pablo, Fabiola and Marcela are getting baptized again. So they werent able to find Pablos records in Mexico, and since he baptized Fabiola and Marcela, they have to be baptized again. I am super sad for them. They were so ready to go to the temple and now it looks like they are going to have to wait another year to do it. Like were going to try and do all we can to try and pull some strings to get them there faster, but were going to have to see. This means ill be able to go to the temple with them if they go during my mission now, but I just love them so much and want the best for them.
So we had a pretty successful week, but not as successful as last week but I think its because we didnt really have as much time. Its been really hard to get in contact with our investigators and so we havent been able to see them as much as we would like. Like Renberto is trying to find work and so hes always in the street just looking for jobs. And its been super hard.
Then I had a really cool experince with Elder Duran on Saturday night after the Mission Conference. So we went out to a taco place and we were sitting down and Elder Duran looks over at me and is like Elder Knudsen will you come with me for a second and I said yes. So we walked outside and I asked him what was going on. He said he had a feeling that he needed to walk down the street. So we start walking and we find ourselves in a parking lot and we see a Cuban in a corner. We go and talk to him and he was super nice and excited to talk to us and we set up a return apointment for today so we will see what happens. It was just super cool though.
There is not really anything else I can think of for this week. Everything is going really well. I am sick of the cold for sure. I am just waiting for it to warm up when I can where short sleeve shirts outside and not my suit. Thanks for all that you do. Love yall
Elder Knudsen

Monday, February 25, 2013

February 25th

So this week was absolutely amazing. I dont really even know where to start. It was probably the most successful week in my mission. The Lord's hand was literally in everything that we did. So first I will talk about a man named Renberto. Hes from Cuba and hes just super legit. So we found him just contacting people on the street and he said we could go by last Tuesday (P-day) And so I was really nervous cause he didnt really seem to excited and it was a pretty long bike ride to get there, so we knock the door twice... no one answers.... but then he answered and we taught him the first lesson and he just loved it. He is the most muscley guy I know! And he was just talking about how much he loves his family and how he doesnt want them to grow up like he did and he said he was going to go to church yesterday, but something happened and so he couldnt make it so that sucked. But I feel like he will for sure be baptized. Like his wife is best friends with Darely we found out, so he already has good fellowship.
Next person I will talk about is Jose. We found him contacting as well. He told us we could go Tuesday (P-day again) And so we decided we would go. He is the most legit guy ever. Hes from Mexico and he loved the first lesson. He said just everything made sense and he didnt understand why the Catholic church baptizes kids because he felt like they were innocent and that its not really their choice and then he talked about how a lot of people are blind to change and so they might be in the wrong church and just not willing to accept it. But hes super legit. He couldnt make it to church either cause he went out of town to Tennessee to see his family.
Then we found a couple named Osvaldo and Martha. They are a young couple from Cuba and just super legit. They have been here for about a month and so doesnt really have anything, but are so cool. We found them knocking doors and like the first time they said they were busy so they couldnt sit down and have a lesson with us, then the 2nd time we knocked on the door they said they were busy, but were for sure going to go to church (before we even had a lesson) and then we finally taught them and then they came to church yesterday and they just loved it. Like it was a really strong testimony meeting, gospel principles was the worst lesson ever, but then priesthood and relief society was good I guess. So everything worked out and they really like us, so we are really excited for them.
Next is a lady named Elvira. We set a bap date with her. She is the nicest lady I have ever met! She is from Cuba and shes 69 years old. I feel like shes almost my Grandma haha. But she always is so nice and wants to come to church so bad, but she has been really sick because of the altitude and she has emphasima, but she doesnt smoke or anything anymore. But she said she wants to go to church sooo bad, but her health just isnt the greatest, but she will for sure be baptized. This is the mom of Teresa, the friend of Amiley and Darely.
Then we taught a lesson with Javier. The grandson of Elvira. He is the smartest 12 year old I have ever met. He speaks 3 1/2 languages and wants to be an ortheptic surgeon and just the nicest well mannered kid. So we went over and started talking to him and we taught him about prayer and how it really is a communication with God. He then had a question if heaven was real and we told him he could pray and God would give him an answer. So right then and there we kneeled down with this 12 year old and he said a silent prayer for about 5 minutes, and when he was done he just looks up at us and smiles and says "Yup I know heaven is real now, I felt really happy and peaceful after I asked if it was real!" It was the most amazing thing ever just to see an answer to a prayer so fast. Hes read in the Book of Mormon and has read to 2 Nephi 9 in one week! Hes so legit, he will be getting baptized as well.
Then there is a lady named Tayame. We found her knocking doors and shes new from Cuba and no man was home so we couldnt go in. So one day we just decided to try back and she was so excited to see us, but again we didnt have a man and so we couldnt go in so we said we could bring a member with us the next day, but she was like hold on let me go see if my cousin is busy to see if he could come up. So.... She went and got Renberto, our other investigator and he was like "Oh ya I know these guys, there my bros!! You should for sure listen to them" So we taught her the first lesson and she wanted to come to church, but again something happened and its hard to be able to get a man to teach her. So we will see what happens with her.
Then there is a man named Omar. Hes from Cuba, and man does he scare me. So he came to chuch a few weeks ago with Amiley and we could never find out where he lived. So we were in these apartment complexes and we see Amiley about to leave and we aske her why she was there and she said that Omar lived here. So then she showed us where he lived, but to get to his apartment, the complex is locked, so she called him and got us in to teach him. Hes kinda crazy and hes catholic, but he said he will for sure read the Book of Mormon. He is always home cause hes on crutches. He actually has a crazy story. Hes like a freedom fighter in Cuba and was in jail for 23 years and then when they were transfering him to a different jail, the car got in a crash and then Cuba didnt treat him and so he lost the feeling in his legs. Then Cuba kicked him out and made him go to Spain and then he came here. Cuba wont let him go back to see his family, and wont let his family come to America. So hes like super famous and he has a wall of like news articles and he had lunch with George Bush when he was President and a picture with him and stuff.... hes crazy!!!
But ya we just had miracles happen all around us this week and it was sooo super cool. Like if missionary work was like this every week, it would be easy haha. Oh ya and then we found a lady named Maria and shes super interested in our message. She went out of town too and so we couldnt really get too much done with her, but were excited to teach her for sure.
So then the other day we ate so much food. So Elder Singleton and I made a pretty big lunch at like 1130 and then we ate a huge meal at Elviras at 230 and then we had a dinner apponitment at 5.... it was soooo gross. We ate so much food. We threw up..... It was just too much food to handle in one day. Cause like Elviras was not planned, we just went to see her and then she made us a huge meal.
And so this week is going to be super hectic. Today we have a zone activity. Tomorrow we have an exchange with the zone leaders. Wednesday we have Zone Conference. Then thursday I have to do a monthly followup with the zone leaders cause im the district leader now and that usually takes a few hours. Then I have to make a district leader report on Friday because I have District Leader Council next week and then Saturday is the mission conference and we found out its Elder Cook thats coming and Elder L Tom Perry and  then one member of the presidency of the 70ty. So its going to be epic. And then Sunday morning we have a stake conference with all of them. This week I feel like were going to have no time to prosylite.
But everything is going pretty good. I found my new favorite Ice Cream. Its a Kroger Icecream. Its called Coconut Overload!!! WOW!!! Its so dang good haha. But everything is going pretty well. I love yall
Elder Knudsen

February 19tg

Well this week was not very exciting to say the least!! I am sick again!!! I dont know why!! Elder Singleton was sick when he came in, and so he gave me it. I just have a sore throat and a stuffy nose and all this stuff!! Its really annoying! I just cant stay healthy and I dont really know why at all! I am still having the same old problems before...
So Elder Singleton and I are getting along really good. We are working really hard!! Like I feel like this was the best week Okolona has had since Ive been back. Like I love Elder Baker so much, but I guess we just didnt really know how to use our time as wisely as we could. Elder Singleton and I have found some really cool new people this week and were really excited about them. We actually had a car this week so that was nice, but then yesterday we had to give it away..... and man I wish we could have kept it for last night haha well it rained last night and was super windy! Like when I called the weather guy yesterday morning he said we were going to have 40mph winds.... thats super hard on a bike haha. Especially going to Holiday Park. But it was ok. We were pretty wet by the time we got home too haha.
So this week I had the best tacos ever. It was at Pablo and Fabiolas!! Man it was so dang good. They made Al Pastor. Like I really think when I come back they are just going to have to give me a crash course on how to cook because man, I could get a great wife if I could cook like that haha jk.
So I feel like ever since I got made District Leader I have just got even more tired! My eyes just dont want to open in the morning haha. I still get up every morning at 630 dont you worry, but its rough to say the least.
Haha funny story about Elder Baker. So he got transferred it Shelbyville, and then Sunday he got a call and said he was getting transfered to Lexington haha. So he is now in Lexington on a bike. He was kinda mad haha. But he was sick on Monday night and Tuesday at transfers and I guess he wasnt feeling good as they drove to shelbyville and a member was driving them and he needed to throw up, but he kept praying he wouldnt.... but then it came and he didnt have time to ask the driver to pull over... lets put it that way haha so he was super embarassed by that.
So the Louisville Central Zone is just filled with new leadership haha its kinda crazy. So we have 3 districts in my zone and all the District Leaders are brand new this transfer and then Elder Howard is the new Zone Leader and so its kinda crazy to see how new everybody is. I saw Elder Warner a lot this week. Hes doing really good. I think he misses being a Spanish Elder though for sure. Hes serving with Elder Murphy... his dad is... Dale Murphy I think... I dont know but he was a professional football player and hes going to go play at Utah this year. But Elder Warner said serving in the Singles Branch is just super awkward haha.
So thank you so much for the package. Um.... the photo album... the binding broke and so its kinda all messed up, but I can still use it. Haha not to seem ungrateful the tie wasnt my favorite! But man those Oreos are amazing!!!!! WOW!!!! Like they kinda remind me of Kaluha Cheesecake and its amazing.
So we found out it will be Elder Cook here speaking to us. And there will also be a member of the 70ty and I think maybe one more apostle... we will just have to see!! I am super excited for next week though! Its going to be epic to say the least!! Monday we have a zone activity for P-day which are always just super fun, then Wednesday we have Zone Conference which are just super spiritual and are forever long haha its 6 hours long. And then on Saturday we have the Mission Conference with Elder Cook and whoever else is coming. Its super short though! Its only like 430-6.  And then on Sunday we are having a special stake conference with Elder Cook and some other people. So next week is just going to fly by so fast!!! Its super weird to think Im almost a year out. Like Its very possible I could only have 2 more areas after this one!!
So Oaklee is getting so big!! She kinda does have a little red tint to her hair! Shes going to be huge when I get home! And I cant believe they are building a house! And Lindsay is already half way done with her pregnancy?? Just seems like yesterday I found out she was pregnant haha.
The mission is going really good though. I am excited to be a District Leader. Next transfer I might be training and I think that would be super fun. I would love it. Hes coming from Peru. I dont know if Ill train him though. Cause if I trained him for the 12 weeks, I would be in Okolona for a total of 7 1/2 transfers which is like unheard of. The longest an Elder has been in an area is 6 transfers haha. So it would be pretty much a year in 1 area.
Thank you for all the prayers and support!! Love yall
Elder Knudsen!

Friday, February 15, 2013

February 11th

Well this week has been super weird to say the least!! So the first news is.... ELDER WARNER IS AN AP!!! Haha it was so crazy! So AP's get picked up on Thursdays and like we were riding our bike and Elder Duran called us and was like freaking out and said he had to be with us for a few days and then Elder Baker was super nervous, he was like What happened to Elder Warner and then I was like AP? And thats what happened. Its kinda super sad cause now I wont be able to see him very much and he is an English Elder now! He came over Thursday night with the 2 AP's and Elder Duran to drop him off and he wasnt excited to be an AP cause he loves the 5th branch and like because they get picked up so early he didnt get to say goodbye to any of the people that he loves. Like he served in the 5th branch for over a year!! Hes an amazing missionary though! So then we were with Elder Duran, but then one of the Visa Waiters got sent to his mission and so then Elder Duran just went with Elder Singleton for a bit, it was just a super weird week!!

So whats happening with Elder Baker and I??...... Well he is getting transferred. I am staying in Okolona and I am going to be the District Leader. I am going to be here so long!!! Cause like the Elder thats coming in will be going Zone Leader next transfer and so I will be here for at least another 2 transfers. Im going to be with Elder Singleton and I will be the District Leader and Senior Companion but yet hes been out 17 months. He was in Arcadia as a District Leader and they just shut down his area, so hes coming here with me for a transfer, and then in March im pretty positive that he will be going zone leader. So I will be here until the middle of April probably, unless something really weird happens haha. So thats pretty exciting. It breaks me heart to see Elder Baker leave. He loves this area so much and was devastated to leave. And his next area hes not going to be a District Leader so he just keeps feeling like he did something wrong. I feel really bad.

We have some really cool things happening in Okolona though. I think we might have a lot of baptisms next month. So we just got a referral from Amiley and Darely. We taught a lady named Teresa, her mom named Elvira, and then Teresas son named Javier. They are all so ready for the gospel and they will for sure be baptized. They are cubans. I have never had such a good first lesson, usually there are kids screaming or just something happening, but they have a super nice apartment and were just super quiet and it was so amazing!! I loved it so much!! She just got a job and so its going to be harder to see her, but we will get it done. She couldnt come to church yesterday for a stupid reason, but she said she will be there with her whole family next week. It was such an amazing experience.

So we have a baptismal date with a man named Cesar. His wife was baptized in Peru and she wants her husband and children to be baptized. The hardest thing is that they arent legally married yet, she is trying to divorce her husband in Peru and so shes in the process right now and then they will get married and we will baptized him and 2 kids. But we had a super cool lesson with him this week. He actually read his reading assignment and then we were just sitting there and he asked about the 10 commandments and then we talked about Sabbath Day and he was pretty much just teaching himself. He just looked at us and was like Man I really need to go to church dont I?? And committed to come yesterday with his whole family... it didnt happen though... so were going to have to go over and see what happened... But they are super cool. Hes from Mexico and shes from Peru. They have 4 kids.

So last Monday we went to a taco place with some English Elders that serve in our area and it was super good. I got tacos de Lomo and then Al Pastor.... And then we went and hung out with them at there apartment. Then.... I got food poisioning!!!! They had a bad batch of Al Pastor and Elder Clarke and I got super sick!!! Im so sick of tacos now haha 2 times in a row!!

So I havent got your package yet cause we couldnt go to the mission office this week, so ill probably get it tomorrow when we go to transfer meeting. Elder Baker is going to Shelbyville. Oh and we have a car right now!!! We have had it for like 3 days so thats been super nice!! We might get to keep it for the whole transfer because they closed Arcadia. President said we can just keep it until something comes up and he needs it, so I hope we can keep it for a little while.

So one of the most exciting annoncements this week is that at least 1 member of the quorum of the 12 apostles is coming to our mission on March 2. There might be more. Cause apparently they have a meeting with an arc bishop of the Catholic Church and so there might be more than one. And then March 3 is a special stake conference where at least 1 will be there. I kinda feel like it will either be Elder Holland, Elder Bednar, or Elder Oaks. Cause Elder Bednar is from Kentucky, but like Elder Holland seems like he would be the one to go to a meeting like that and then Elder Oaks is just super smart so I feel like he would be good to go to it too. But its super exciting!! And I think Elder Munds of the 70ty will be there too.

So I cut my finger pretty good last night so that kinda sucked haha. I was using a razor blade and I was just being kinda stupid, and it dropped right on my finger and cut me pretty good. Im fine though haha. Elder Bakers mom is so nice. She sent us a Valentines Package with like 2 of everything so we got ties, Arizona Shirts and then just a ton of candy. It was super nice of her to do it!!

Its been pretty warm here in Kentucky. Not too bad lately. I think Thursday was like up towards 60 and then today were in the 40's so it hasnt been too cold lately. Its still a little cold on bikes, but I think were past the worst of winter. I sure hope so. But thats about it for me.

Love yall

Elder Knudsen

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

February 4th

Haha I thought I told you that transfers werent untill next week?? So I will find out this Saturday if im leaving or not. I kinda dont feel like I am and I really home im not. Cause like when I talked to Elder Warner he thinks Elder Baker will leave before I do. So Im hoping 1 of 2 things happen. So either I hope I leave this transfer and go to Shelbyville to be a Senior Companion and stay with him for a transfer and then train the Elder thats coming in from Peru, or I hope Elder Baker and I stay together one more transfer, and then he goes Zone Leader and then I train the Elder from Peru here. Like everyone thinks im going to train him. It kinda makes me nervous, but it would be super fun, but kinda hard. Like he doesnt speak English, he has to go to the MTC for 6 weeks to learn in though so he can talk to President Woodbury. I think it would be fun/hard to have a native. Like you for sure get in more doors if you have a native, and then you dont have a language barrier to worry about, but sometimes they are just stubborn. Then the next Spanish Elder doesnt come in until April, and hes actually from Brazil. Hes lived in the states for about 4 years, but thats super cool. His name is Nefi (or nephi) but ya. So pretty much every Elder wants to be at the March transfer meeting cause its just going to be epic!!! We are getting 30 missionaries!!! Thats like unheard of, most of them are sisters, like Im really excited to see how the areas all work out cause they are thinking about white washing areas with sisters and then have Elders open up  new areas and stuff, we will just have to see what happens. Like right now there are only 10 Spanish Sisters in the mission and 12 are coming in in March and so every sister is going to have to train, and either 2 sisters are going to have to double train, or there going to have to have them go with an English sister. Its going to be epic to say the least.   Not many people write me anymore haha it kinda is lame, but its ok.

So fast and testimony meeting was so great!! It was kinda shaky in some parts, but man there were some powerful ones. Like Fabiola, she told us last month that shes not going to share her testimony until they go to the temple, but this week she shared the Gospel with her family in Mexico and the Spirit was just telling her that she had to go up. She thanked the Elders for the material they had given her (my idea) but it just made me so happy to see her up there. Shes come so far!!! Like when I got to this area, they never went to church and now they dont miss a Sunday. She is in the presidency of the Relief Society and he just got a calling. They are just waiting to get his records cause they cant find them. So they either have to recreate them, or he has to find 2 witnesses of his baptism and priesthood confirmation. So like if they cant find them, Pablo, Fabiola, and Marcela would all have to be rebaptized. Cause Pablo baptized Fabiola and Marcela, but if he doesnt have a record, they have to be baptized again.

So we found the coolest family last night! They are a referral from Amiley (she was just baptized right after I left this area) and like is so interested in the church. So she asked us to go by yesterday at 5, but it ended up she wasnt there, so we taught her mom and her son. Her mom just loved it and said it was just so beautiful and it makes sense and it was so cool. She said she had seen me before. She thinks it was on the bus. But something told her that we were from a religion and she had to find out which one. She said she felt like she should talk to us, but we didnt look like we spoke spanish, so she got scared and didnt say anything, but then when she saw us, she recognized us immediately and allowed us to go in. She asked if she could come to church and were just so excited!! Were going to baptize 3 generations in one day :) Its going to be so epic!! But like they are just so ready and so prepared. I seem so familiar, I really hope I get to stay to teach them and watch there progress.

The weather kinda sucked this week. It snowed 3 straight days, and so it was pretty cold and like it is just 100 times worse on a bike. Like we werent really riding in the snow, but then the snow starts to melt, then it makes puddles, then the bike flips up the water on you and you just get really wet and dirty. Its just really annoying. The overnight low for like 2 nights was below 0 then during the day it was like low 20's, but with wind im sure it was much colder.

We worked really hard this week though and got some really good names. We also set a baptismal date with a man named Cesar. His wife was baptized in Peru, and they want there kids to be baptized too. They have 2 that are eligible, but they are just really hard to keep in contact with, and the wife works on Sundays and they have 4 kids and so he doesnt really want to come to church by himself with 4 kids, so thats kinda hard. Were going to keep working at it though.

Its so crazy that I have been out over 10 months!! Im in the double digits!!! Like its just going to fly!! Like cause not this coming transfer, but then the next transfer I hit my year mark, then we get to talk on skype again and then I will only have 1 more conference left on my mission. I feel like its just going by real fast.

But thats pretty much all thats new with me. Its always the same old same old, but its great. Im getting more and more tired though haha. This morning I fell asleep on the couch after we had cleaned the apartment and were going to write letters. I felt like I had just dozed off, but it was like 30 min!! I was like man!!! But thats pretty much all thats new with me!! Man I cant believe Mindy is engaged!! Shes great!! Well I love yall

Elder Knudsen