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 ofZenioptical.com. 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