Sunday, July 12, 2015

Several new postings and photos

I've posted several new letters on the blog as I was quite delinquent. Here's a few photos too. Sorry for the delay. More to follow. 

A new transfer (6 Jun 15)

A new mission president and companion all in the same week plus a whole new teaching pool. Exciting stuff in Spain. Enjoy.

Begin forwarded message:
Date: July 6, 2015 at 10:42:25 PM MDT
To: <>
Subject: FW: A new transfer!

> From:
> Date: Mon, 6 Jul 2015 17:17:10 +0200
> Subject: A new transfer!
> To:
> I think this was the fastest transfer I've had. I have no idea how six
> weeks have already passed by! Nuts.
> It was a bit of a roller coaster week haha. Lots of ups and downs. I
> guess that's how the mission goes! But even through the downs, it's so
> good! And I'm so happy! It's weird. Haha
> Well anyways, here's for another weekly summary.
> Monday I already wrote about our bomb pday in the pueblo Arcos. Then
> there was a farewell party at the church for a member who was left
> this week for his mission in Argentina. It was so weird to think about
> how I felt during that whole beginning part. It's crazy to see how far
> I have come and how different things are!
> Tuesday we visited with some of my favorite people, and we also got
> two great news! They are Bolivian and family of our recent convert.
> They've listened to missionaries but it's been hard to get in contact
> with them, but we finally were able to! And they are golden! One of
> their sons comes to church all the time with his cousin, and wants to
> get baptized. Ahh miracles!
> Wednesday we found another new investigator, as we were searching for
> this potential investigator we contacted a while ago. The thing about
> this potential is that she had just moved here, but didn't remember
> her address, but just knew the street name. And she was golden! So we
> kinda feel like detectives because we go and try to find her and
> everytime we get clues and get closer to actually finding her haha.
> But anyways, this led us to this lady named Flor who is from the
> Dominican Republic. And she invited us right in! She as well had
> listened to the missionaries but lost contact because she moved. She
> is also golden!! She is searching for the truth, and loves learning
> more! She goes to a new church every few weeks, searching for one she
> likes. I know the Lord guided us to her on that day! There was no way
> that was just chance.
> Also this day, we had a dinner cita with a male member, that we set up
> weeks ago so we could make sure we had another woman to come with us
> (part of the mission rules.) well, last minute this girl bailed on us,
> so we are frantically calling people to see if they can come, but no
> one was answering/able to. and well with permission from the
> assistants to president, we could have had the elders come with us to
> eat. Which they normally have given. But when we called, they said
> no.. Haha so long story short. The elders stole our eating cita and
> ended up eating with him, and the APs gave us a challenge that if we
> talked to 45 people, we would see 2 miracles. And well, we talked to
> 47, got rejected by 44 of them, and are still waiting to see our
> miracles. Hahaha. I'm sure there's something to learn from this. But
> it did make it easier to talk to anyone and everyone! And we had some
> interesting conversations, like this guy who cursed us. Good times.
> Thursday.. We both were deathly sick, and hermana read couldn't even
> get out of bed. I actually started getting sick Monday night, and it
> kept getting worse. I just had a cold, but hermana read had that plus
> maybe the flu! We don't know. But we spent all day in piso, and we are
> still trying to recover!
> Friday we left early to go to Sevilla for a tri-zone conference to
> meet our new mission president! So we got to meet and get to know
> President and Hermana Anderson! They are awesome! They're from Idaho
> (Wooho Idaho!) and love snowmobiling, and all things outdoorsy, have 7
> kids, six of which are married and the youngest just got back from his
> mission. I'm super excited to have them here! Love them already, and I
> know they love us and that they are the ones who need to be here to
> help and guide us:)
> Saturday, we had a Fourth of July party in Puerto de Santa Maria with
> the missionaries from Jerez and from there. It was super fun! We made
> hot dogs and hamburgers, and the senior couple that are there brought
> us some root beer and dr pepper from the American base. We were a
> happy group of missionaries.
> Yesterday, we added two new investigators José and martín, the sons of
> the two women we added on Tuesday. I'm so excited for them! It really
> amazes me to know that Yes, there are people who are prepared! There
> are people who truly want to listen and are searching for the truth.
> The Lord is preparing these people, and he just leads us to them. I
> know this work is not something that we do alone. We are simply the
> instruments of the Lord. But how great is it to see and be part of
> these miracles? I love the mission!!
> And today, we went with our district and the puerto district to play
> air soft!! It was sick! And really really hot. And I've got some nice.
> Bruises now:)
> Oh, I forgot to mention. My comp is finishing her mission this week!
> I'm so grateful to have had her as my companion. She was such a great
> example and one of my best friends!
> Anddddd.. My new comp is going to be Hermana Hurtado! She's from Peru
> and is absolutely great! She's my sister in the mission (my trainer
> trained her as well, right before I got here!) I'm stoked!
> Lately, I'm been working really hard on being more charitable.
> Sometimes I get frustrated with people or I'm impatient, but I
> rediscovered the verse in the 1 Corinthians 13, that says charity
> never faileth. That is completely true. And have being trying to apply
> that, whether it be with certain elders who make me frustrated, or
> investigators that aren't progressing, that applies to everything.
> I've been trying to not react in ways I would have reacted before.
> It's a long process to change and become better, but I'm progressing:)
> Charity never faileth.
> Well that's all. It's been a great week, and I'm so happy to be here.
> I know I'm where at and with who I am with for a specific reason. I
> know there are certain things I am supposed to learn and people I am
> supposed to meet. It's all for a reason!
> Well, les quiero mucho! Gracias por su amor y por sus oraciones. Que
> tengan una buena semana!
> Con amor,
> Hermana Knowles
> 1 Corinthians 13:8

The struggle is real (29 June 15)

Heyyyyy family,
> How has your week been!? Well, mines been pretty crazy. Basically I
> was just riding the struggle bus the whole week. (Apparently that's
> something they say now according to my comp.. But I think it's just a
> weird Michigan thing).
> As an overview.. Monday we went to Rota for pday! And saw some pretty
> places, and ate some ice cream at a baskin robins! Didn't even now
> that existed in Spain but we were stoked! Then we had some great
> lessons with two of our investigators and a less active member.
> Tuesday.. I don't even remember.
> Wednesday we both headed in a five hour train to go to Jaen for
> intercambios! Jaen is one of the prettiest places I've seen here in
> Spain. It was such a fun intercambio! I went with hermana Anderson,
> and we found 8 news in one night! I just wish it was in our area cuz
> we need that.. Haha but now they have some great new people:) and we
> did a lot of walking up a bunch of hills in the HEAT.
> Thursday we worked with them some more, then headed the five hour trip
> back! Yay. I love traveling.. But it was my half birthday! Cheehoo
> Friday, my comp went to Sevilla for her final interview with pres, so
> I went with the Hermanas in puerto. Then we had a great work activity
> and watched meet the Mormons! I finally got to see it!!
> Saturday, we had weekly planning, then taught a few lessons. And then
> i dropped this super heavy pan on my toe and thought I broke it, cuz
> it hurt so bad and the pain would not go away! It was the most painful
> thing ever!! Ahh. But now it's bruised pretty cool and I can walk on
> it fine, so it's all good:)
> And yesterday was church!
> Basically, we spent almost three days out of our area, which was a
> struggle! So we had some really great numbers. Lol.
> And it is SO HOT. And I know it's probably hot in other places and
> back home, but at least you have air conditioned cars and air
> conditioned homes! Why don't they believe in air conditioning here!!??
> Gosh. You just can never escape it. So we walk around in the heat of
> the day, and no one else will leave there house cuz of the heat. But
> honestly, I believe that the Lord is giving me a lot of strength to
> push through it, cuz it doesn't bother me as much as it should!
> And now, we are in this super pretty pueblo called Arcos de la
> Frontera! Someone said we should go, so we decided last night and now
> we are in one of the coolest places in southern Spain! I have lots of
> cool pics to show!
> This week, our president leaves and our new president comes! So it's
> quite the exciting week here in the Spain Malaga mission.
> Even though it was a bit of a tough week, I have learned a lot. I know
> the lord is blessing me and helping me to reach more of my potential.
> He is shaping me more into the missionary and daughter of God that I
> should be. I have developed more patience, more faith, more diligence,
> and more knowledge. Through Christ and his Atonement, we all have the
> opportunity to repent and to change ourselves and our nature. Through
> Him, all is possible. I'm so grateful for my savior, and I will do all
> I can to dedicate my time to him.
> Thank you for all of your prayers and love and emails! They mean a lot!
> Les quiero muchisimo!
> Love,
> Hermana Knowles

Enjoy (22 June 15)

 Soo can you guess what!? I'm 9 months in to my mission.. I'm halfway
> through! Wow. This next half is going to fly by! I don't want it to go
> too fast!!
> It's been quite the interesting week.. Last Monday we had an awesome
> pday in Cadiz! And went out to this castle on this little island type
> thing.. It's so pretty there!
> Haha Tuesday we celebrated my nine months with some churros and
> chocolate with our district! NINE MONTHS.
> On Wednesday, we did intercambios with the Hermanas from Puerto de
> Santa Maria. Hermana Stradling came with me to Jerez! I was so happy!
> She's from my same MTC group and like my best friend on the mission!
> And were companions in the park:) it was so fun, and also so crazy
> because I had to stay in the area! I've only been there three weeks
> and our area is huge and super confusing.. It was a bit stressful. But
> I learned so much from hermana stradling! I'm sure much more than she
> learned from me;)

> Thursday, we all went to Cadiz and had a special zone conference with
> president and hermana Deere. They are heading home at the end of this
> month, so they were coming as a farewell. They are the best! And I'm
> going to miss them a ton. Our new president, President Anderson, comes
> the 30th of this month. Big changes!

> Also, that day we did intercambios with the Cadiz Hermanas and Hermana
> Estes came with me to Jerez. She's such a great missionary! And
> graduated from Centennial high school.. I had no idea?! So I had two
> full days in my area on intercambios.. Haha I was so stressed. But it
> ended up okay:) I love my call because I love being able to serve with
> these Hermanas and learn so much from them. Sometimes I sit and wonder
> why I was called to be a SHE.. Cuz I just feel these Hermanas are so
> much better than me! But, I know the lord has a reason for everything,
> and it's a time for me to learn and grow, and I get to learn so much
> from everyone I serve with. Plus it's a lot of fun:)
> We were able to find a few new people this week! We have an awesome
> new family, that has already become like our family here. And then we
> added this guy and his mom, who excitingly accepted baptismal fechas
> in the first cita!
> Saturday.. Was a very rough day haha. This catholic lady argued with
> us about how we should do baptism, it was HOT, we had to walk up the
> hill of death five times, and the three fechas we had, all dropped
> their baptismal dates. We had one that was supposed to be baptized
> this Saturday, but it seems she needs more time, which was a little
> disappointing because I felt she was so ready! We're not sure what she
> needs..
> Im also really frustrated with all the people who promise.. Promise
> that they will come to church. And DONT COME. Gahhhh! But I know
> everyone has their albedrio, their agency. as long as we invite and
> teach and serve with all our might, we've done our part and there's
> nothing more we can do. God will bless us for our efforts. I just wish
> they could understand the joy they will receive as they accept the
> gospel!!
> Basically it was a stressful, crazy, frustrating week that was also
> full of miracles:)
> I love the mission!!!
> Have a great week! GO TO CHURCH. :)
> Con amor,
> Hermana knowles



Halfway point of the mission! (15 June 15)

Alyssa has officially reached the halfway point of her mission. Time is flying by so fast. 

Begin forwarded message:

Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2015 13:18:32 +0200

Well... Nothing much happened this week, I'm not sure what to say! 

We ate a LOT of food.. And something we ate made us both sick. I wasn't too bad , but we did have to spend one whole day in piso. And while I was still not feeling very good, one of the families we visit made us some pig head soup..  Haha

We finally did some intercambios (exchanges) with our Hermanas in San Fernando! It was great! I got to go to San fern and be with Hna caushaj, an hermana from Albania. It's already halfway through the transfer and we've only had one intercambio.. Haha but we have two more for this week, so it will be crazy! 

Last pday we went to the capilla and made some burritos and played some games!
And today we are in Cadiz and we are going around to see some castles and parks! Woo!

We are working really hard with our inv Daiana to help her prepare for her baptism! we are so excited and praying really hard for her.

My comp and I are getting along super well, she's one of my best friends! And we've had spend too much time laughing and having fun, while still working really hard! 

I don't really know what else to write.. Soo.. I'll write more next week haha 


Love you all!!!
Hermana knowles :)

Matthew 11:28-30

Sent from my iPad

Tiring week (9 June 15)

This was one of the best, most tiring, exhausting, physically exerting weeks I've ever had on the mission. And there a lot of miracles we have seen and a lot of things that I have learned. I honestly don't know if I've ever been so tired in my life! And it's been a miracle to get through each day haha. But the Lord gives us strength! And has strengthened me a lot this week. 

We have seen a lot of great miracles. Like I said on last Sunday we added three new investigators, and we are really excited for them. Then, on Wednesday, and we were searching for a less active member, we came across this family who happened to be old investigators and had come to church twice (which is one of the requirements for baptism). So we added them all that day, and they are coming to church this Sunday and we are working to get fechas with them! It was just a miracle! We have been working really hard, and the Lord has just been giving us these people, they are just falling into our hands.  

A couple things I've learned this week.. 

First.. Apparently no one here believes that hot dogs are real meat hahah. I forgot to mention it last week but my new comp is basically vegetarian too (2 comps in a row.. Haha) because any kind of meat or milk makes her sick. But she'll still eat it sometimes:) haha but she says this to members and they prepare us this "special food" that doesn't have meat, but there's always hot dogs in it! Like yesterday we are at a members house and she said "oh hermana I remembered you could eat meat so I made something special." And comes out with rice with hot dog pieces haha. And apparently this has happened several times! 

Second, satan will try anything to interrupt the work! We had several awesome spiritual lessons where we were about to invite them to baptism, but then their drunk roommate comes in and says we are trying to tell him his black phone is yellow (hahah, idk..) or their mother in law comes in and starts going off about the kids. Or he just makes us really tired and really hot! Did I mention it's really hot?!? But, we won't let him do that! He can't get to us! 

We were able to set a fecha with one of our investigators! Which was a miracle because we have been teaching her for months:) we are so excited for her. 

Also, I've learned that if you can understand the andalucian accent, you can understand any Spanish. 

On Monday and Tuesday we went to fuengirola for concilio with president Deere. It was so great! We listened to some great tallers (talks/workshop in English?) and were able to learn a lot. I love concilio! 

Then on friday we had zone meeting in Cadiz, and Hna read and I gave a taller about John 15, explaining the relationship we have with Christ as his servants. I love the wording when he calls us friends. :) and it also gives us counsel and blessing. go read that chapter! 

It was a great week! We were able to find a lot of news and see a lot of miracles. The Lord is truly blessing us. 

Have a great week! And go to church! And pray! and read!! 

Hna knowles 

JEREZ. So demba (1 June 15)

Sorry this is late. Alyssa is in her new area on the other side of the country in Jerez de la Frontera. 

Her new address is:

Plaza las serranas No. 5, 1B
11401 Jerez de la frontera

She always enjoys letters. 

> From:
> Date: Mon, 1 Jun 2015 11:23:02 +0200
> Subject: JEREZ. So demba
> To:
> Sooo... This is my very first email written from my IPAD!!!!! Hahah I
> am currently sitting in a McDonald's in the Malaga train station:)
> writing emails with their free wifi!! Toma. Hahah
> It has been a crazy awesome week!! I'm not sure if I'll be able to
> remember if all...
> Monday- pday we signed transfer journals and tried on some parachute
> pants. And had a great noche de hogar and said some really hard
> goodbyes :(
> Tuesday- we had district meeting and the elders made us a delicious
> paella!! Then some more farewells!
> Wednesday- started the long trek to the other side of the mission to
> jerez! Finally got there at about 9:45'at night.. Ugh
> Thursday- we did weekly planing, and then visited with some menos
> activos and investigators,
> Friday- we went to Cadiz (holy cow that place is so beautiful) and had
> a meeting with the zone and got IPADS!! Woohooo!!! And then a member
> is teaching us how to dance flamenco:)
> Saturday- lots of walking. Haha
> Sunday- church with my new ward! Ahh the church building is so big
> (for Spain) and so far.. Like a 40 min walk. I'm used to living 2 mins
> away! The ward is awesome.
> We were also able to add 3 new investigators. 2 are references from a
> member, and they are Chinese. So one thing about Spain is there are a
> lot of "chino" stores that are all really cheap and have everything,
> and I guess they have some deal with the government. But, we went and
> visited them, and just the daughter speaks Spanish, so she was able to
> translate for her mom. BUT, we were able to use our awesome new IPADS
> and show some things in chinese! I'm so excited to use these tools to
> progress the work like we couldn't before. :)
> The lord is blessing us and guiding us to great new people!
> Now we are in Malaga, we left at 5:45 this morning to take a train
> here, because we are having concilio, a meeting with all the SHEs and
> zone leaders and APs. I'm really excited!
> A little about Jerez, madre Mia it's BEAUTIFUL! They have the
> prettiest buildings and trees and brick roads and fountains and
> statues.. I'm in love. It's definitely the prettiest area I've served
> in. I'll have to take some pics and send them next week!
> So as SHEs, we will be doing intercambios (exchanges) every week. We are over 5
> companionships of Hermanas from a few different zones. I'ts going to
> be such a great opportunity to learn from all these hermanas!
> Oh. And my comp hermana read is the best!! She's from Michigan, and
> this is her last transfer. We have a lot of the same interests and the
> same sense of humor, so we clicked right away! I don't know how I've
> been blessed with such great companions!! We've already had way too
> much fun. And we are working really hard to find, teach, and baptize!!
> She's so demba!
> Well, I know this church is true! And I know that as we show that we
> are working diligently,my he lord will trust us and guide us to the
> prepared people.
> Love you all!
> Con armor,
> Hermana knowles
> (Look below! Hahah vvv)
> Sent from my iPad

Transfers (26 May 15)

Alyssa is off to a new area. We'll update with new address when we get it. 


WOW. some exciting news!!! i just need to start out explaining a few Spanish words that might make my email(s) easier to understand. its just things we never say in english haha. just a refresher on these words.. 

cita= appointment. fecha= baptismal date. SHE (Super Hermana Entrenadora.. they had to put the super in front haha) = STL (sister training leader). intercambios- companion exchanges. 

Okay now that i got that out of the way... 

I am being transfered to Jerez, on the other side of the mission.. to be a SHE! a sister training leader!! ahhh im so excited and so nervous! but, i dont like being too comfortable, you arent able to grow that way:) so i get to do intercambios with all the hermanas in my zone area. ahh! 
plus, i hear that my new area is beautiful! and HOT. soo, ill let yall know how that goes:) 

it has been quite the week! we had some form of intercambios almost everyday.. haha tuesday hna smith came with us because her comp went to the mission home for trainers training. then wednesday our SHE came early and spent the night with us. Thursday, i headed out on a 3 hour bus to Alicante to be with her comp for intercambios. Then friday i came back, and saturday, hna Johnson was with us as she waited for her comp to travel back from intercambios! wheewww. we were never bored though! 

ALSO, we had a pretty great week as we found a few news and set FOUR new fechas!! one with a reference of a member, and the other three are new investigators, all african, all live in the same piso. so we were able to teach them all and they all committed to a fecha for the 7th of june. milagros! i hope they are all able to continue learning and be baptized all these days. im sad i have to leave!

i was in denial about leaving Cartagena.. this is the best place with the best ward! Saying goodbye to the members was like saying goodbye to my ward back home. one of the bishops daughters asked if i could stay a few more weeks, hahah. and his wife asked if i had found anyone here that i could come back and marry so that i can live there. and i was like umm nope. not looking for that. ahh im gonna miss everyone here! all the members, converts, investigators, and missionaries. there are lifelong friendship that you make on the mission.

im also so sad to leave my comp. she's the BEST!!!! 

Well this Wednesday i head off on a long bus ride out to Jerez! I'm sad to leave! but excited for the new adventures:) this will give me the opportunity to grow even more. i have the strong belief that we dont get callings because we are qualified or ready for them. we get them so that we can raise our bar and be raised to that standard. that was true with me with training, and definitely true for me now. 

trust in the Lord!!!

love you allllllllll!!!!! thanks for the prayers and support:)

and family, dont have too much fun in Orlando without me!!

con amor, 
hermana knowles 




8 meses.. MADRE MÍA (18 May 15)

No sé como pero he cumplido OCHO MESES en la misión! esta ha pasado muy rápido. no puedo creerlo! 

8 months! basically like next week it will be 9 months and then all the sudden i'll be half way and then preparing to go home. AHHHH. hermanas missions go by so fast! 

well.... family, it's crazy that its pday agian! this week flew by. and it was so fun! I'll do a quick day by day..

Monday- pday!! we went to the puerto and centro with the other hermanas and went to an awesome sword shop where they have a chair outside with a bunch of swords with a sign that said "choose a weapon and take a picture".. so we aprovechared that and had way to much fun.. haha and then we went to a store and tried on flamenco dresses! again.. too much fun..

Tuesday- we visited with Abraham our RC. hes the best!! and we found a new family that we are teaching, that we are really excited for! we were also finally able to meet with Solomon, and set a new fecha with him for the 7th. pray for him please!

Wednesday- we had interviews with president Deere! the last ones that we will have because we are getting a new president in July. ahh! we had a cita with our ecuatorian investigator and she fed us some dinner.

Thursday- weekly planning. and we ate at our less active members house. she is the best! and makes the best food. She feeds us every week, even though sometimes its hard feeding her own family. But she says it is a testimony to her because no matter what, she always is able to provide for us. 

Friday.- zone meeting and some homemade mexican burritos from the elders!

Saturday- helped a member moved, and ate at another investigators house and taught her friend and her daughters! 

Sunday- our investigator Mady came to church. this is the guy that we have only had one short lesson with, but who has come to church twice and to a baptism. But always has to run out right after! haha we havent even been able to teach about the book of mormon yet! crazy! but hes great. we have a cita with him tonight! 

This week we have been working on developing our Charity, and i have seen such a big difference. It can be hard to change your nature, but as you make conscious decisions, it is possible. 

Hope you have a great week! love you all! Send me more updates on your lives pleaseeeeee:)

Moroni 7:45-47

Hermana knowles