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