Sunday, August 30, 2015

Several photos from the last two weeks

Muñecas, fuego, y fetching perros (24 Aug 15)

Hola familia! I'm not really sure what to say or how to write about
how our week was here. I'll just say it was full of ups and downs, and
twists and turns. I think it was a hard week for everyone haha but
it's a new week now! New opportunities!

Mentally and physically it was just a little rough, but despite all of
that, some great things happened! As well as some super funny stories.
I'll start with the funny ones and then get to our miracles:)

So.. We had a cita with this member, and we were sitting there talking
to her when her son who was about 7 comes in and says "mom, I want to
watch the tv." And she says well go watch it! And he says "but mom the
muñeca is in there!" a muñeca is a doll, and this little boy was
terrified of this porcelain doll that they had in their house! Haha he
and the older brother were so scared of it that they couldn't sleep at
night, and it was this beautiful doll!! So the mom was like well hey
do you want it?? And we were like are you serious?! And she said yeah!
It was an expensive gift from my aunt and I can't keep it in the house
anymore, so do you want it? And she gave us the muñeca and we carried
it with us for the rest of the night hahaha.

Saturday we went to go visit daiana and as we got there she was taking
their dogs out to the bathroom. So we went up and talk to her and all
the sudden I feel something warm on my leg and this freaking demon dog
that she's taking care of now was peeing on my leg! IT PEED ON MY LEG!
Hahahah we were laughing so hard that we were crying! I was so angry
haha. And the worst thing was that there had been a fire in the
building and they didn't have water! So I got a waterbottle and washed
it off. Fetching perros. Los amo pero los odio.

I also just learned not to eat jello here.. It's not the same.. And a
lot of the time it's made of meat..

So we also saw a lot of small miracles here! They are always there,
even when it's a hard week. We have our new inv Raquel, she is
awesome! She has gone through a lot, and I mean a lot, but is still
super faithful. She says that she has talked to missionaries on and
off since she was 16 and in Brazil, and also found them in Argentina,
and Paraguay, and now here in Spain! And she says that she thinks that
God keeps putting this in her path and that she feels like it's her
time to do something about it. We had a great lesson and the spirit
was so strong! She accepted a fecha for the 12 of September, it's just
a little hard for her to come to church for health and for her
daughter. Please pray for her!

Also we had a great lesson with one of our less active members and his
parents. We (and by that I mean my comp) cooked some delicious
Peruvian food for them and then we taught them. They are great! A lot
of the time the dad just wants to argue and stuff, but the mom is
super receptive. She actually accepted a fecha for the 12th as well,
but she's still not so sure. But she said she will pray about it and
work for it. I know that as we show God that we are striving to do His
will that he will bless us with His spirit and give us a confirmation
that it is what we should do. I have seen that so much on the mission!

One thing the Lord expects us to do is to use our agency. We learn
correct principles and learn to govern our lives, but we still go to
the Lord and get a confirmation if that is what we are supposed to do.
We can see that is true with the brother of Jared, that the Lord asked
him "What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your
vessels?" What he did is that he went, pondered about it, thought of a
solution, did the work, and when he had done all he could he went to
the Lord and asked Him to fill the stones with light. And He did. This
is what the Lord expect us to do as well. We use inspiration and
judgment, and receive the confirming seal from the Lord. That's how I
decided to go on a mission! How I decided where to go for school, and
how I'll probably make a lot of hard decisions in my life. We have
wisdom and agency, we need to use it! As long as we confirm it with
the Lord.

Well hey, I love you all! Hope you have a great week! Read your
scriptures and pray EVERYDAY. And do family home evenings:) and
fetching GO TO CHURCH. Don't go out partying late Saturday night and
sleep in till 2 and miss church. (That happens here wayyyyy to often.)
be smart!!!
That's all, thanks for everything!

Con amor,
Hermana Knowles

11 months and a new transfer (17 August 15)

I don't know how it's already Monday again, or how it's already a new transfer or how it's been ELEVEN MONTHS since i entered the mission! I blink and it's already Monday again, and here I am saying that I've completed another transfer and that I've completed another month. I feel like I say this every other week! Time is a crazy thing!! 

Well here's the good news, I'm staying here in Jerez for this next transfer!:) and hermana Hurtado is staying here as well. We are both super excited! We both got super nervous before our transfer calls on Saturday, because we both really wanted to stay together in Jerez, and we have no idea how our new president does transfers! But when we got the call, it was a huge relief:) there aren't too many changes in our zone so we are happy! 

It's been another great week here! We were able to teach a lot of lessons, and we have some great investigators that are progressing! We are most excited about our investigator Jose Eduardo. He's the boyfriend of our recent convert, and we recently started teaching him a couple weeks ago. He didn't seem really into it the first lesson, but as we've met him he has opened up a lot and has become more interested in learning! He has a fecha for the 29th of August, and he's pretty excited cuz he says he wants to get baptized at the beach haha:) but Saturday, we had a really great lesson with him, and he brought his sister to listen to us as well! After all of our lessons with him, he would go home and explain it all to his her. One of my favorite things is when investigators bring friends or family, because most of the time they end up teaching and testifying to them of the things they've learned. A lot of the times they haven't learned everything, but as they teach what they know or testify, they come to know that they really are gaining a testimony of what we are teaching. Ahh I love it! 

There was a lot that happened this week! But here are just some of the highlights. From Tuesday to Wednesday we did intercambios with the Cádiz Hermanas, and hermana Nelson came here to Jerez with me. I love intercambios! They are always fun and I get to learn a lot, and there's always cool miracles from it:) we got two new inv. that day. Wednesday night we went to a birthday party for one of our Bolivian investigators! Like half of our investigators and recent converts were there haha. We got some great Bolivian food! On Friday, the elders had two baptisms, which were so great! Both of them were so happy! 
We taught a lesson to Jose Eduardo with his sister in a park, and the benches weren't big enough, but there was this cool tree with big branches close to the ground, so we just sat on that and taught a lesson on a tree! Haha 

This week I was studying about patience (something I need more of) and read in a really good talk by Neal a maxwell. These are some parts that I really liked from it.
Patience is tied very closely to faith in
our Heavenly Father. Actually, when we are unduly impatient we are suggesting that we know what is best—better than does God. Or, at least, we are asserting that our timetable is 
better than His. Either way we are questioning the reality of God’s omniscience as if, as some seem to believe, God were on some sort of postdoctoral fellowship and were not quite in charge of everything...
 Patience is a willingness, in a sense, to watch the unfolding purposes of God with a sense of wonder and awe, rather than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance. Put another way, too much anxious opening of the oven door and the cake falls instead of rising. So it is with us. If we are always selfishly taking our temperature to see if we are happy, we will not be. 
Patience means that we can endure well our trials sigh faith and hope, and that we accept the Lords timing as He gives us these promised blessings. I know it's something I need so that I can overcome my trials and weaknesses that I have. Patiently I am trying to develop patience! Even though a lot of the time we think "I want patience and I want it now!" It doesn't work that way;) 

That's all for this week. Thanks for everything!! Love you all!!

Les quiero y les echo de menos! 

Con amor, 
Hermana Knowles

Consejo and sick days (10 Aug 15)

Heyyyyyyy my friends! What is up? Well, it's sure been an interesting
week. Haha. Nothing new though right??

Well there's not too much to say! On Monday we went to consejo
(missionary leadership council). It's always a blast! I love consejo.
We got there early for pday, and just hung around the train station
with the other missionaries and ate some food, and then headed to the
mission home and started the consejo! It was really good, and a really
great spiritual experience. I learned a lot from it. And it's always
super fun to be with all the missionaries!

Then we got back Tuesday afternoon, and my comp started to feel a
little sick, but we went out and worked and talk an awesome lesson to
daiana and then to José and martín! And then Wednesday came around..
And my comp got really sick and we didn't leave that whole day, and
same thing Thursday. Except when we left to go to the doctor! But we
have awesome elders, that came and brought us kebab and ate with us on
the stairwell, and the other elders who brought us ice cream. I love
our district!

Friday we headed to Cádiz for zone meeting (even though my comp was
still sick) and we gave a taller talking about miracles! Zone meetings
are always great.. And funny. Especially cuz the zone leaders had
intercambios right before and one of them missed the train so they
were 1.5 hours late... Hahah. We learned a lot of good things about
setting fechas and how to better prepare our investigators for

So then afterwards, we went back to piso because my comp was still
sick, but we were able to leave that night for our ward activity. So
that was good!

On Saturday, we did intercambios with the Hermanas from puerto de
Santa Maria. Hermana portas came with me here to Jerez! She's super
cool! Was born in Venezuela, grew up in NYC, and then moved to Spain,
and currently lives in London! She's in her training and is such a
great missionary! So we were able to visit a lot of people, and we got
a new investigator, Raquel, who is from Paraguay. We were walking by
her piso the other day, and she was sitting out on her patio drinking
terere  and said hi to us, and then invited us to come up but we had a
cita so we couldn't. The missionaries used to visit her before. So we
finally got to see her Saturday, and at the end we invited her to
baptism on the 29th and she said yes!! She went to go write it in her
calendar. We were so excited! Ahh! Miracles!

With Jose and Martin, we decided to move their baptism back two weeks
so that they could feel more prepared. Please pray for them!

I don't have much more time to write. But that's all for this week.
Love you all!

Con amor, hermana knowles

2 nephi 23: For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I
will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and
forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according
to their faith.

Bautismo (3 Aug 15)

Hello my favorites! It's been an awesome week! And crazy. I'm pretty
sure I say that about every week but it's because it's true! That's
the mission life.
Well a lot of big things have happened this week so I'll just say some
of the highlights! We had intercambios with the Jaén Hermanas this
week, so Hna Hurtado and I both went out there.. In a five hour
train.. And we did splits! It's always so fun! We saw some pretty cool
miracles there as well. Plus the place is BEAUTIFUL. It's all built on
a mountain so all these streets go straight up but it's super pretty
and really tiring. Haha it was great!
Then when we got back, we headed straight to see Daiana and she had
her baptismal interview!! And Friday, for medio dia we went to their
house and ate, and helped get everything ready for the  baptism and
the ward party afterwards. And then we had the most beautiful baptism
ever! It was so great. There was so much support from the ward. And
from her extended family! All her family came (basically they are all
investigators so it was awesome!) and Mirian, Daiana's mom, shared the
most beautiful testimony. Little miracles that I don't know if I
shared last week. But she is walking!! Mirian got in a really bad
accident a few months ago, and was in the hospital for a while and
then on bed rest for months.. She has just started physical therapy,
and has progressed super fast! It's been a miracle! Now she walks
around like its nothing:) ahh! What a beautiful day!
That night afterwards we had another awesome "diverviernes" ward
activity after the baptism. We had a lot of people that came!
We added a new investigator this week named Julio Cesar. He's the
boyfriend of an investigator that just moved back from Germany. They
are so cute! They're in their early 20s and have been together since
they were like 12 (crazy huh) and they want to get married. He's
listened to the missionaries before, but this is Marta's first time.
As we were teaching the plan of salvation she began to cry. She felt
the spirit testifying to her that this was the truth and that this is
what the Lord wants for her. What a miracle! We are super excited for
Last night we had a lesson with José and Martín. They both had fechas
for this Saturday, but we decided to move it to next weekend so they
can be more prepared. José said yes yes! I'm ready for that day.
Martín wasn't sure if he was prepared, but he said he would pray to
know if that was his day. Ahhhh I'm super excited for them as well!
Now we are sitting at McDonald's in the train station in Malaga. We
have missionary leadership council or consejo with our president
today. It's always the best!! So I'll send more updates on that later.
Have a great week!! Love you all!
Con amor,
Hermana knowles

Amazing experiences (27 July 15)

> Mi querida familia! Madre mía, hemos visto un montón de milagros esta
> semana! Estoy tan animada!
> Pues.. We have seen a lot of really cool things this week! Ahhh. So
> many cool experiences. My companion and I set a really big goal to
> find as many new investigators as we could.. So we ran around like
> locas the whole week trying to find. And we saw some super cool
> miracles!
> I've found that service really does work as you are finding. There is
> a lady who lives in the same building as our less active that we
> visit, and we've tried contacting her before, and she always just said
> ooh maybe later, another day. Well, as we were leaving this building,
> we saw her struggling to take her bags up the stairs, and we offered
> to help. After we took them up the 3 flights of stairs, she invited us
> right in and we taught her a great lesson! Bam! Finding through
> service.
> So last week I don't think I included in my email our terrifying
> experience when a guy came to our piso in the middle of the night..
> Haha it was like 12:30 and we were sleeping, when we hear a pounding
> on the door. My comp goes over to see who it was but was just talking
> through the door. And it sounded like some drunk guy who just kept
> yelling "let me in! Open the door!" And obviously we were freaking
> out.. Then we come to find out it was our elderly neighbor who was
> telling us we were throwing rocks down the vents?? Anyways long story
> short.. We wouldn't open the door and he finally went away, but we
> were still freaking out hah. The next day we went to go talk to him,
> to tell him hey! You can't do that! But he answered apologetically,
> saying that he was mistaken and asked us for forgiveness. So we
> started chatting to him and his wife who was so sweet! So we shared a
> message and they said we could come back. Bam! Two more news.
> Funny side story for that.. While the guy was pounding at our door we
> didn't know what to do so we called the elders. This is the elder's
> version of our phone call.. "Hey, are you okay?" -me (I said awake..
> But he misunderstood haha) "yeahhh..." -elder "were you sleeping?"-me
> "yes, but not anymore" (claro) - elder "oh good. Well I'm glad you're
> okay cuz there's an ax murderer trying to get in our piso." Hahaha.
> It's so much better when he says it. Anyways we're safe no worries!
> We had a lot more amazing experiences.. Too many to count! But the
> biggest miracle of them all.......
> Daiana, our inv whose mother and brother are recent converts, has had
> a new fecha for the 31st of July, but she was still iffy about it, so
> we didn't know if it would really happy. But, Tuesday morning she
> called us, and asked what we were doing. We said oh, heading out to
> district meeting! And she said "oh cool, well Hermanas, I was just
> called to say that I'm for sure getting baptized on the 31st." We
> flipped out!! Oh my goodness!! DAIANA IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS
> FRIDAY!!:)
> We had the best ward activity on Friday night! We have the coolest
> ward. Our bishop is the bomb and we are having "diverviernes" every
> Friday this summer! We had a bbq and futbal and dancing. We were sad
> we had to leave early but the party went on until 1 am! Haha. This
> next Friday will be SUPER diverviernes with Daiana's baptism before!!
> We also had some great intercambios with our chiclana Hermanas. Both
> hermana Hurtado and I went there and did splits to help them find some
> new people, cuz they are opening a new area and didn't have too many
> people. But together we found 5 news!
> Yesterday at church was the best.. We had 4 inv at church(daiana, Jose
> and Martin, and our new Muslim friend. He's come to church twice!
> Haha), 4 of our recent converts, and two of our less actives! (One
> that we had to literally go drag out of bed. Bahaha so fun.)
> Well, now we have a lot of great people to teach and are seeing a lot
> of great miracles! Jose and Martin are still preparing for their
> baptisms for the 8th of August, and they are excited to see their
> cousin Daiana's baptism!:) ahhh I love the mission! I love my comp and
> my area.
> I'm so grateful to be here. I love the mission and I love my Heavenly
> Father. And I know he loves us. So much!
> Thanks for the prayers and support:) love you all! Have the best week!
> And read your scriptures and say your prayers!! :)
> Love, hermana knowles

Consejo, intercambios, entrevistas, reuniones, y 10 meses!! (20 Jul 15)

 ¿Qué tal mi querida familia?

> It's been such a good week here in Jerez! And Malaga and fuengirola
> and San Fernando and Cadiz.. Haha we've been everywhere this week!
> And hey guess what.. I've completed 10 months!

> This Monday to Tuesday all the sister training leaders and zone
> leaders headed up to fuengirola to the mission home for conciliejo.
> (It used to be called concilio but now it's consejo but i always get
> confused and usually end up mixing them together haha). It was the
> first one that we've have with our new president! It was great to be
> able to get to know him a little better, and to work together with him
> to better our mission here. Plus it's always super fun to see all the
> other missionaries from all over! We normally get to Malaga at 11 am
> on Monday, so we can have time for pday there. And then we head to the
> mission home at around 6, and they feed us, then we have the
> leadership counsel and talk about our mission and what things we are
> doing well and how we can do better. Then we end, eat some ice cream,
> and then head to bed. And the next morning we all get up, eat, and
> continue the meeting. Then it's a mad rush as they take us to the
> mission office and we run to get all the stuff for our zone, and then
> we have to run and catch the train to Málaga to take our train to our
> areas. Haha we had 3 minutes to get from one train to the next and we
> made it!

> On Monday with our free time we headed to fuengirola to see some of
> our favorite people! Since me and hermana Hurtado both served there!
> So we went with the Hermanas who are serving there, our inv Andrea
> (who was finally able to get married and baptized!) and our less
> active member Ernesto that we would visit all the time. We ate some
> kebab and walked around the centro, and then went to visit my recent
> convert Rafael in his beach kiosk! Ahhh it was the best! They were all
> my favorite people ever!

> Wednesday we had weekly planning, and also a very interesting
> intercambio with some of our Hermanas! I had a great time here in
> Jerez with Hna Judy, my fellow idahoan hermana! I'll just say I think
> it was good for them to have that break haha. It was so fun though.

> And then on Thursday we went to San Fernando for the morning to have
> interviews with president Anderson. And on Friday we went to Cádiz for
> zone meeting, and my companion and I gave a taller about being a
> disciplined disciple. We talked about that in our consejo, and how we
> can grow to become true disciples of Christ through discipline.

> Okay I've got some pretty funny stories from this week. Hahah okay.
> During our zone meeting, our zone leader elder Marchant was giving a
> super good taller, and apparently I was really hungry or something,
> because my stomach make the loudest, longest, most horrific growl.
> hahaha. Like no joke, the elder In front of me turned around and said
> what the heck?! And people like 3 rows back heard it haha. I was dying
> laughing but couldn't laugh cuz it was during a spiritual taller so it
> made it even worse haha. But afterwards, I had to apologize to elder
> Marchant for disrupting it, to which he then asked if he could cast
> out the demon that was inside my stomach. Oh man. Now it's just the
> biggest joke.
> The next day, we were trying to contact some old investigators,
> without having much luck. So we rang the doorbell of this guy, and he
> comes out on his porch and starts yelling at us, just covering himself
> up with a towel or something. Let's just say now I'm scarred for
> life..
> Basically a lot more happened that I can't remember now haha. It was
> just NOT my week.

> Some great things happened this week though! We set fechas with two of
> our investigators this week. Their names are Jose and Martin and
> they're 14. They're both cousins, and related to some other members as
> well. We are super excited for them! They love the church, have come
> several times with their cousin, and want to receive the answer that
> it's true. so their fechas are for the 8th of August. Pray for them
> please!
> We were in a lesson with our new investigator named Marta, who is 19
> and the girlfriend of the son of our investigator. We had a member
> with us, and she was sharing her experience with the Book of Mormon
> and in the middle of her testimony, Marta got major goosebumps and
> showed them to us. She's like I know this is true! I can feel it! It
> was so awesome! I love the power of the testimonies of members. And
> also of the Book of Mormon. It is true!!

> I'm so happy to be here on the mission. I'm learning a lot and
> becoming so much closer to my Heavenly Father. Sé con todo mi corazón
> que esta es la iglesia verdadera, que esto es el reino del Señor aquí
> en la tierra. Sé que dios nos ama, y nos conoce personalmente, y
> quiere que seamos felices. :)

> Les quiero!
> Hermana Knowles

Hola familia (13 July 15)

 Holaaaaa familia!

> Well, it's been another crazy week here in Jerez. It was transfers, my
> compie died, and now we are here in Malaga for concilio for the
> mission leaders. With our new mission pres!! Woo!

> We have been seeing some Milagros here! Seriously all last transfer we
> didn't have much.. But in the last two weeks we have found a bunch of
> new investigators who are great! Ahhh I'm so excited for this
> transfer.

> Monday- we paint air soft! Woo pday! Then we had a cita with our
> investigator Flor, and I, so obsessed with her and her granddaughter!
> They're from the Dominican Republic, and the baby is so cute. She's
> nine months old, and white with curly hair! So they call her my hija:)
> Tuesday, we literally ran around all of Jerez saying goodbye to
> everyone for hermana read! It was an insane day. And so hot. I don't
> understand how it's 10:15 at night, and we are in a piso still
> sweating cuz of the heat. Gosh.
> Wednesday I said goodbye to hermana read! And my new comp hermana
> Hurtado came! We went and visited some less active members and they
> invited us to stay for lunch, so we helped cook with them.
> Thursday we weekly planned, and then we met with Flor and set a
> baptismal fecha with her for the 1 of August! She is so awesome! Then
> we added a new inv named Jaime and set a fecha with him for the same
> day.
> Friday we had district meeting and then ke-baptized elder beans new
> comp! (He ate kebab for the first time hahah) then we taught English
> class, and met with our less active member shiguedy and his
> girlfriend, who is our new investigator. she is so cute and has a big
> desire to know that it's true! We set a fecha with her for the first
> as well! It's gonna be a great day then:)
> Saturday we met with some investigators, and then had a noche de hogar
> with our favorite family! And with set a new fecha with our
> investigator Daiana for the 2nd of August.:) also some freaking niños
> threw lemons at us in our super chungo area. But it's cool, everyone
> needs a few stories like that in their mission right?

> It's been such a cool week! We are seeing a lot of miracles and I'm
> stoked for this transfer! My comp is a maquina, and I feel as if we
> teach really well together! Everyday we see amazing things! I love
> being his instruments in this work.

> Love you all!!
> Love, hermana knowles

> Sent from my iPad