Sunday, December 13, 2015

Several new photos

Okay. So I've been delinquent in updating the blog. But it's interesting to see all of them together and note the continual progression. We'll do better with the updates.

Here's some photos to catch you up. It involves monkeys, Gibraltar, Costco, Christmas tree, and Flamenco dresses.



















Hermana Knowles (7 Dec 15)

HAPPY DECEMBER!!!! Christmas treeWrapped presentFather ChristmasūüŹľGreen heartFace throwing a kiss

I can't believe it's DECEMBER! And that my second to last transfer has
started! Last transfer flew by! Probably because it was only a four
week transfer.. This next one will be 8 weeks so hopefully it doesn't
go by as quick! Haha
Transfer news! I'm staying in Alcal√° with Hermana Vigo! Woo!

So, it's been a really good week here! And we were able to see a lot
of tender mercies from the lord. This week we were able to meet with a
lot of less active members. We had some great lessons and were really
able to help them with their needs. And a lot of them a progressing,
which I'm super happy about!
This week we added four new investigators. One we found as we were
knocking doors, and she happened to be the sister of a member in our
ward! A coincidence? I think not. She didn't have time but told us to
come back another day, so we passed by two days later and she let us
in. We were able to share the new Christmas video "ha nacido un
Salvador" (a savior is born:) ) and talk about her beliefs in Christ
and what Christmas means for her. She has some.. Interesting views on
religions haha but it was good, and we are going back this week to
teach more about the plan of salvation, because she had a lot of
questions about that.
Another new we got is from Peru and has been listening to the
missionaries for awhile. She's come to church many times, but hasn't
accepted baptism yet.. Were not sure exactly why, but we know she
doesn't want to feel pressured into it. Which we understand and
respect. It's a little hard for her to come to church now because she
lives far. But we are working on that!
The other two news are a couple a couple that stopped us in the street
the other day to ask for directions, we ended up talking for a minute
and found out that they had just moved from Jaén, and they said we
could pass by their house another say. So we passed by two days later,
and the wife was like "we were wondering when you would come by! We
have been looking forward to your visit!" It was so sweet! We had a
GREAT lesson with them. We talked about the love of God and his plan
for us, and the wife began to cry. They are going through some hard
things right now, and she said that they had stopped going to church
but that this is what she needs. They were definitely put in our path
by the hand of the Lord. We invited them to church yesterday.. And
they came!!!!:):) Milagros!
We've met with Pedro several times this week and had some great
lessons! He believes that what we teach is true, but he also believes
that all Christian churches are true.. So we've been talking a lot
about authority and the priesthood,, but he doesn't seem to get it
yet. Jaja. poco a poco.
This week we had a zone conference and a member of the seventy came
and spoke! Elder laemer from Germany. We spoke about a lot of
different things, including what kind of Shepard we want to be, the
difference between testimony and conversion, and about how the Holy
Ghost is the true teacher and that we need to get out of the way of
him. One question I really liked was "what motivates me?" What
motivates me to wake up at 7 am, or leave the piso in the morning?
What motivates me to be here on the mission and dedicate all my time
to the lord. What motivates me is not social pressures or fear of
disobeying, but it is the love I have for God, and for his children. I
want to serve him the best I can.

I hope you are all enjoying the Christmas season! And if you haven't,
go watch "a savior is born" and share it on Facebook :)

Os quiero!
Hermana knowles

Hermana Knowles (30 Nov 15) Mountains to Climb

Mis queridos amigos,
Que locura esta semana. Siempre es así en la misión y me encanta!
Nunca estamos aburridas. :)

Well, nothing too big has happened this week. Just a lot of getting
lost on buses and such haha. We didn't have a week full of quite as
many Milagros as the last, but we had a lot of success in other ways.
Tuesday we had a great district meeting and talked some more about how
we can work better with the members and leaders to keep hold of our
fruits and labors, our converts. We don't want just baptisms, but
people who will stay in the path and endure to the end. That afternoon
we visited with a less active member and talked about temples and
family history week. We set some goals to help her prepare to go to
the temple and make these covenants for herself. She got super excited
as she realized that she prepare and go do baptisms for the dead. She
went on and on about how beautiful the temple was and what she
remembered from when she had gone to see the open house, it was so
sweet! Having his goal is something that is helping her to progress.

Wednesday morning we didn't have much success, we talked with a bunch
of people and got a few futures. In the afternoon we went to do
service for a less active family and helped them paint on of their
bedrooms. That night we had English class, and did a special activity
where we cooked banana bread and learned kitchen words and phrases in
English. It was fun!

Thursday we had weekly planning, and then went to TGI Fridays with an
American couple from Sevilla. They've kinda just adopted all of the
missionaries as their grandkids, and are super super sweet! Afterwards
we went to contact in our area of palmete.. So our ward consists of
Alcal√°, which is a pueblo right outside of Sevilla, and also has a
little chunk of the city of Sevilla which is called Palmete and
Sevilla Este. So we went there finally and got a few futures and met a
few awesome people, and then went to our bishops house that is there
in palmete. They had prepared a whole thanksgiving meal for us 4
missionaries! It was so sweet, because thanksgiving is not a tradition
here but they knew how important it was to us and how much we would
probably miss our homes that day, so they tried making it special for
us. And they did! It was so sweet and special! We went around giving
thanks, and then enjoyed the feast! Let's just say I'm still full. And
our bishop is the best!!!

Friday walked to our less actives house which is super far away.. Like
an hour walking there going up hills and stuff and an hour back haha.
But we had a great lesson with him. That not we visited with this cute
older couple in our ward, and they shared heir conversion story with
us. And then we met with Pedro, our awesome investigator from Colombia
that I told you about Last week!

Saturday we went out to work in palmete again.. But got kinda lost
taking the buses haha so didn't have much time to work.. We still got
a future and met a few antiguo investigators. Later we met with
another less active, and then with Pedro again! We taught the plan of
salvation and he completely accepted it. He's great! I'm still trying
to figure him out though haha. We get there and he's just like
"alright what are you gonna teach me today" he's just so focused! He
still has a fecha but we will probably change it because he hasn't
come to church yet.

Yesterday, one of our less actives came to church finally which we
were happy about! And we visited with a less active family and
stressed the importance of reading in the scriptures. We did a little
object lessons, and then afterwards asked if there were any comments
or questions and the dad was like "yes just one.. Can we start right
now?" So we sat there and all read one chapter of the Book of Mormon
together:) it was awesome!!

Anyways to explain my subject line.. We are applying that literally
and figuratively:) I mentioned that Alcal√° has a lot of hills, so
sometimes we play the EFY song mountains to climb (that we have on our
phone) to give us strength!! And it works:)
But one thing I am thankful for is trials. We must have these
experiences so that we can grow and progress. As we went around saying
things that we were thankful for, someone said trials because it is
what has made them strong. I know that every experience that I have in
the mission and in life is to strengthen me and help me, and will be
for my benefit if I allow it to be.

Love you all! Have a great week!

Love, Hermana knowles

Hermana Knowles (23 Nov 15) Happy Thanksgiving

Mi querida familia!

I can't believe another week has flown by.. We are already halfway
through this 4 week transfer! And yes, this week has been a lot
better! And yes... We finally have electricity! It only took a week...
Hahah it finally came on Thursday.

This week has been great! We have seriously seen so many miracles
here! We have seen the hand of the Lord in this work so much these
last few days. I feel like he is really blessing us for opening a new
area so that we can get up off our feet. I'll try to explain them the
best I can! But it's still just hard to write it all in emails.. I
have so many stories for after the mish!

So we have been finding a lot of potential investigators.we have found
a lot people who are super prepared! The SHEs (Hermana Nelson, I was
her she before! And Hermana benavides my third comp!!) came and we did
splits. We found quite a few people, but none that became
investigators yet. But Wednesday morning we did a cosecha in which the
missionaries from our district and the SHEs all came to our area and
contacted the whole morning. I went with Hermana benavides and we had
found a few futures, and we were walking down the street and decided
to talk to this young guy.we ended up sitting with him at a bench and
teaching about the Book of Mormon and the plan of salvation a bit. He
was awesome and so sincere!! We set up another cita with him.
Another day, I think it was Friday morning, we were walking down the
street and this police officer stopped us. Hahah, you can imagine we
were super nervous!! But he asked us who we were and what we preached.
We ended up talking to him for about 45 minutes!! We explained about
the Book of Mormon, and he had a lot of great questions! We set up a
new cita with him for tomorrow. So that was a cool miracle!

Saturday we had a cita with this great guy that we had contacted a few
days before. He's about 25 and from Colombia, and we brought out
member Raul with us. It was one of the coolest lessons ever! He just
ate everything up and loved everything we were saying. When we
contacted him a few days before, we gave him a book of Mormon, and he
had been reading it!! We taught him the restoration, and he said it
made perfect sense, and believes that there should be prophets in this
day. So we invited him to pray about it, and also invited him to
baptism, which he accepted! We set a fecha for him on the 19 of
December:) he is such a maquina!!! So prepared:) and his mom has
listened to the missionaries before, and she came in for a mine or
two, but we will definitely teach her in the future:)

Along with our few great new investigators we have found, we have been
working a lot with the less active members. I think this last week we
met with at least 6 different families of people, and are helping them
with their needs. We've seen a lot of cool little miracles with that
as well, and two came to church this Sunday!! Ahh it was awesome. But
none of our investigators came which I was a little sad about. But
it's alright. This week is going to be even better, we already have a
lot of citas set up with new people!!

I have definitely felt guided as we have gone throughout our day.
There will be times where we won't know where to go, but we'll decide
to go down some street, and there find this person who was ready to
listen to us. It's been great to feel the spirit working through us.
So many times in the scriptures it says that they were instruments in
the hands of the Lord. Currently, I'm reading in alma and learning
from the greatest missionaries there were! It says that "they had
searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of
God.. They had given themselves to much prayer and fasting, therefore
they had the spirit prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when
they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.. [and they]
had much success in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth."
That is my goal. To be as the sons of Mosiah, and be that kind of
instrument and bring many to this knowledge and truth!

It's been a great week. I love Alcal√°! It's so pretty and the people
are SO NICE! And there's a lot of hills.. So I get some good workouts
everyday.:)

Hope you all have a great thanksgiving! I'd forgotten it was
thanksgiving this week (Cuz claro they don't celebrate it here) until
our bishop invited us over to eat with them, so that we could have a
thanksgiving meal:) the bishop is so awesome! Also, an American family
in the stake is taking all the missionaries in the zone out to tgi
Fridays for lunch! I feel so blessed!

Hermana Knowles (16 Nov 15) Life Lessons

alrighhhhttttttt. first of all, disculpe for taking so long to write today! it has been a crazy day (well, crazy week!!!!!) and we didnt have time to write until now, and we have been searching around alcal√° for an hour trying to find wifi! the church doesnt have it.. weird huh.

let me summarize this by just saying we finally have a piso, and FINALLY have furniture, but still no electricity or hot water! ahah yep. so when i got to the sevilla train station on transfer day, we learned that we didnt have a piso yet! something about the contract, and we didnt have the keys. so my new compie and i waited in the train station for a few hours, and then ended up staying at the hermanas piso for the night. the next day, we finally got keys and headed out there! and when we get to the piso... it wasnt furnished or anything yet. .which is not normal haha. even if you are opening an area and getting a new piso, its required to have certain things like a bed.. table.. couch.. etc. but the members were going to donate some of that stuff for us. which they did! and honestly i am so grateful for them and for the love they have already shown us. they brought that later that night, but the mattresses were super gross and smelled like smoke.. the couch was falling apart (and gross) and the table and chairs were borrowed from the church. we didnt even know how we were going to sleep that night cuz we didnt have sheets or pillows (or decent mattresses). but we couldnt help but laugh at our situation (maybe so we wouldnt cry hahaha jk) but the elders became our heroes, because they not only brought us blankets like we thought they left to go get, but they brought us two mattresses from their piso! they were life savers!!! 

oh, and on top from all that, we didnt have electricity yet or hot water.. and we actually still dont have that!! hahah all we have for light is one flashlight, and some light bulb that is connected to this cord that is plugged in somewhere outside. its been an interesting few days.. living off of seriously only very basic needs.

these days have been full of us searching around alcal√° trying to find stuff for our apartment, and traveling to and from sevilla, becasue weve stayed with the hermanas in their piso a few nights. and literally, we have been so busy trying to get all this stuff that we havent had any time to actually work. its been really weird. i feel like it would be so much different in the states to do all this. you just get in your car, go to walmart or target and just pick up the stuff you need and then go home. but spain is not like that! we have to take a train, then a bus, then another bus, and walk forever, and search around everywhere for hours. haha. thats what all our time has been spent doing. and honestly ive learned a lot of real life stuff!! such as budgeting, focusing on what your needs really are (like for example, what do we need TODAY so that we can get by? hmm-- a pillow so we can sleep, and some bread to make a sandwich.. etc.) haha and on choosing good items for your home that are good quality yet inexpensive! so these are the good life lessons i have learned this week! 

today though, our mission president came and took us to ikea, and we were finally able to buy all of the things that we need! we finally got mattresses, dressers, tables, pots and pans, plates, glasses, etc. and then afterwards, he and his wife came and helped us put everything all together. it was so sweet of them to help us, cuz there is no way we couldve gotten anything without them or their car. we have honestly received so much help from them, from the elders, and the hermanas, and the members. its been awesome! 

and like i said.. as far as the work goes we havent been able to do hardly anything. we were able to plan with the elders and they talked to us about the people we should go visit, and we were able to visit with a few members. 
church was the best! its a smaller ward, with only about fourty, but i already love it! the bishop is so great! and so is our ward mission leader. they are very loving and so on top of things. and the members were so excited to have hermanas finally! everyone got so excited when they saw us, cuz there hasnt been hermanas there for over 30 years! i can tell we will have a lot of support from the ward. 

and my comp hermana vigo is the best!! shes from peru, but has lived in spain for a few years. shes a convert of about 4 years, and has the best conversion story and the strongest testimony. im so excited to be with her and learn from her.

well, i hope i was able to explain myself okay, there was a lot more i wanted to say to explain this week haha. but i know it will be a better week! because we will finally be able to work, we have furniture finally, and we should have electricity and hot water tomorrow!:)

spiritual thought for the week.. so there has been a lot i have learned this week, such as patience and to be happy in every situation that life throws at you. also that God is very aware of us, and he is always looking to bless us. we have seen so many tender mercies, from the members bringing us food, the elders sacrificing their stuff, president coming out to help us, and so much more. he is always blessing us! i love the verse in 1 Nephi 1:20 that says "but behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance."

love you all. i hope you can exercise your faith, and see thes tender mercies that the Lord showers upon us all. have a great week! and pray that we get elecricity tomorrow!:) 

love, 
hermana knowles 

Hermana Knowles (9 Nov 15)

Hoooolllllaaaaaa que hay.

Pues, this week was definitely not as crazy as the last (luckily, I
wouldn't be able to handle that) haha but nevertheless it was a good
week. And I was able to learn a lot.

The week started out with pday and consejo! Since we had to travel to
M√°laga, and we had car this time, we decided to stop by Ronda for our
pday on the way! It was just as beautiful as when I saw it almost a
year ago! Then we got to the mission home, ate dinner, and started our
consejo. It was great! We talked about a lot of topics, and focused
especially on ways that we can plan better.
Tuesday morning we got up and ate breakfast at the mission home, and
president called me in to his office. Our new president says that he
likes to call missionaries to be leaders as they are a little younger
in the mish, and then as their last few transfers, send them to open
an new area or train, which is a little different than our last
president. But he thanked me for all my work as a SHE, (STL) and said
he had a new assignment for me! That I would be opening up an area in
Alcalá de Guadaíra!! A pueblo of Sevilla. I'm super excited because
I've always wanted to go to Sevilla, and this area has never had
Hermanas before. I'll be going with hermana Vigo, who I've only met
once or twice. So I'm excited! I'm also a little nervous because
opening an area can be a little hard at first.
Every transfer I've been pushed a little more. After my first
transfer, my trainer left and I had to take over the area, I was
scared beyond belief! Then right out of my training, I went to go
finish the training of an hermana, then train a brand new missionary.
And then I was called to be a SHE, and halfway through we white washed
an area! And all that time I thought "well, that's gonna be hard, but
at least I don't have to open an area." Hahaha but look where I am
now. But I am also very excited! So this Wednesday I head there!
This week has been great! We've taught the most lessons we've taught!
We were also able to do some more service, and say some hard
goodbyes:( so we have this great new investigator named Richard who's
from the Dominican Republic. We had a couple lessons with him this
week, and he is progressing great! He's been reading, and guess what,
he came to church yesterday!!!:):) and loved it! He also became
friends with some of the recent converts:) we also set a baptismal
date with him for the 28th of November. I'm so excited for him!
As for other investigators, we don't have to many haha. We had found
Richard through another investigator of ours, and he is progressing a
little, but not as much. Poco a poco!
Sunday was great, we had an inv at church, and ran from house to house
saying goodbye to members and eating A LOT of food! And we have two
more days full of farewell citas! Woo!

We also had my last intercambio as a she with the San Fernando
Hermanas. It went great, except that the hermana that came here with
me had accidentally brought their keys for the piso! So we had to go
back there that night and bring the keys, and just ended up staying
overnight haha. Then we had zone meeting the next day.

Hope you have a great week! I'll let you know how my first week in
Alcal√° is! :)
Con cari√Īo,
Hermana knowles

Mosiah 3:19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from
the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to
the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and
becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and
becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love,
willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict
upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

I have been working to fight off the natural man, it is a process that
we all have to go through. I have a lot of imperfections, and a lot of
things that I need to work on. But we must conquer the natural man and
become a saint through the atonement of Christ.
Love you all!

Hermana Knowles (2 Nov 15)

Hooooolaaaaa!
So we always have crazy things going on every week with intercambios
and traveling all.. But I think this week might have to take the award
for the craziest week I have had on the mission. There were a lot of
unexpected things!! I have a lot to write.. I'll see if I can explain
it well enough without making it 848 pages. :) and on top of
everything, I'm sick with a cold and don't have much of a voice. Haha
but it's not bad so no worries!

So.. Pday!! One of the coolest I've had!! We went to gilbraltar, which
is about 1.5 hours away. First we went to the church and the Guffey's
made us all waffle! Best senior couple EVER! Then we went to actual
Gibraltar, which is English territory, and a really cool British
styled town! It has this ginormous rock the just sticks up, haha it's
a mountain! I'll send pics to explain better haha. And we hiked up,
and they have wild monkeys everywhere! SO COOL!

Several funny moments of the week..
-A monkey jumped on my head! And another one stole my Book of Mormon
and attacked me when I tried getting it back.
-Another monkey stole one of the elders chapas and tried eating it!
-after pday we did intercambios with the missionaries there, and we
had a great time! But, on our way back to Algeciras to take them back
and pick up our comps, the car broke down!! In the middle of
nowhere!!! So we waited two hours for a tow truck, stayed in the car
shop for a while, then ended up having to stay in Algeciras for the
night. Then the next day we went back to Jerez in taxi. Yay for
adventures!!
-And when we got back, we had fifteen minutes to change clothes and
grab stuff for our next intercambio!  we ran to an eating cita, and
then ran to the train station, and then the hermana who was supposed
to come with me didn't get off on the train when she was supposed to,
she ended up getting on the wrong train! But she came eventually haha.
Then we had another great intercambio! So those four days were crazy!!

This week, there were also some big things that happened in the ward.
Two members of the ward passed away this week. Both had been very
sick, but one was younger and a very loved member here in Spain.
Yesterday, we had her funeral in the morning before church. It was a
very special service. We were also invited to the burial. Afterwards,
we had sacrament meeting but no classes. It was really neat to see the
members come together with two very hard losses, and see their
testimonies of the plan of salvation.
Also, we got a call Friday night hearing that our recent convert had
gotten in a bad accident and was in the hospital. She had gotten hit
by a car as she was crossing he street. We went to visit her Saturday,
and she luckily doesn't have any broken bones but was in a lot of
pain. Crazy stuff..

So Tuesday night during intercambios it was almost the end of the
night, but we decided to pass by this guys house, and he was finally
there with his wife and friend, and they let us in and we taught all
three! Three awesome news! He's listened to missionaries before, and
it was cool because he was like explaining everything to his friend
and testifying about it! I love when that happens!! When investigators
testify to other investigators, it shows themselves that they do
actually believe this to be true, it helps them to realize their own
testimony.

I spoke last week about the awesome new investigator Isabel that we
have! So sadly, we had to miss our cita with her because we were stuck
in Algeciras ūüėĎ and she was busy the other days so we couldn't meet
with her. But... SHE CAME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY!!:):) and she loved it!!
She said she came with questions and doubts, but that she left so full
of the spirit! Ahh it was an answer to our prayers! And the all the
fun moments we had this week, the happiest moment I had was when I saw
her walk through those doors. We didn't teach many lessons this week,
but I'd prefer that over teaching 30 and not having anyone come to
church or want to progress. We were so happy!

This week, we have also been able to find more service opportunities.
There is a member in the ward who is in a nursing home, and we went to
go visit her on Friday and yesterday as well. We were able to talk for
a while and help feed her dinner, and it was so cute as she talked all
about the missionaries who would always come to her house and how she
was baptized only four years ago! That doesn't happen much! But she's
so cute!! We've decided that we want to find more service
opportunities, because we just leave so happy. As I've said before,
I've been a little down because we just can't seem to find people to
teach, and we have received so much rejection! But service is
something we can always do, and it has helped me to just be happier. I
hope everyone can go search out more service opportunities!

We have been talking a lot about how grateful we are to be on the
mission. It really is the mtc for the rest of your life. I've learned
so much, and everything just seems to click now! I'm like "oh, that
makes sense!" Haha like the gospel for example. It's something I
understand so much better now! And also the importance of every
calling, and of temple covenants and keeping the sabbath day holy and
paying tithing and reading the scriptures daily.. I wish e dry one had
the opportunity to serve a mission, because there is so much that I
have learned here that has changed me.

Oh, and I have the best companion ever!!!!!

I hope we can all focus on those things that matter most in life,
because our time here is short. And choose to be happy! Happiness is a
choice, and the gospel truly brings us happiness. We know of God's
plan. We know that it doesn't end here. We can have hope through this
knowledge that we have! But, we also know that we cannot procrastinate
the day of our repentance, so we must work now, today, to fix those
things that need fixing, and mend those relationships that need
mending. And we must share this glad message to everyone we know!! The
gospel is a message of love, of peace, of joy, and of hope. I hope we
can all experience a mighty change of heart and all of the blessing
that this gospel brings. Choose today to make that happen!

Love you all!!! Have a great week!

Hermana Knowles

Mosiah 5:2 And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe
all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of
their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent,
which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we
have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.