Monday, August 29, 2011

August 29, 2011

Querido familia,

     This week has been great! Elder Alvarado, my new companion here in Carmen, arrived on tuesday. He is from Michoacan, México and we get along really well. His last companion was Elder Rumsey, who is from my generation and was in the MTC with me. And Elder Lloyd, who also is here in Carmen, is training a new elder from the MTC this transfer. We got to meet him last night in the district building and it was really funny. It gave me memories of my first week! How I could not understand alot, but just went along with everything haha. He kept asking me what things meant or what people were saying. Later I was talking with Elder Lloyd and he said it is difficult for him now to speak english. Its crazy, but now its hard to speak english for me too. We were helping someone with yardwork the other day, and an American man drove by and started talking to me in English. Elder Alvarado was dying, because I seriously could not reply to him in english, it took so much work. Its definitely helping me to have a Mexican companion, because now I practically think in Spanish. ..still waiting for a dream though...

     This week has flashed by, I love working with Elder Alvarado, because he wants to work just as much as I do. I'm excited to learn alot from him, and help as many people as we can to receive the gospel here in Carmen. I've been focusing much on Christlike attributes lately in my studies. Mostly on humility and charity. I know that to be an effective missionary, I need to be as Christlike as I can be. And I don't feel anywhere close to the missionary I want to be at times. There are so many errors I make, so many things I miss, and don't understand.

     I had an incredible feeling of peace while in sacrament meeting yesterday, I cannot describe how I felt, but I felt so much love and peace during the passing of the sacrament. I felt a stronger desire to be better. I sat up, took out my agenda and wrote down what came into my head. It has alot to do with what I studied the night before, but it is something that I found to be so important. Something that we all need in our lives, to every child of God:

     "Obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ: is it that hard? I've been thinking about this alot lately.. What level of obedience is necessary to enter into the highest kingdom, exaltation, within the Celestial Kingdom? If eternal life is so special (exaltation even more special), I am sadly convinced that not everyone in this world of iniquity will be able to obtain it. It is not a happy thought, but it appears to be true. That if we do not live according to the commandments of the gospel of Jesus Christ, then we cannot win.. So, what do we need to do to earn our space in the Celestial Kingdom? We need to love one another, keep ALL the commandments, repent of our mistakes and errors, go to church EVERY Sunday we possibly can to partake of the sacrament to renew our baptismal covenants, have daily personal and family prayer, read the scriptures daily, be an example, and share the gospel with others. And more importantly, we need to be baptized in the true church of Jesus Christ (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), by someone holding the proper authority of God. And if a man holds the priesthood, he needs to magnify himself in every way possible. Which means that if he is of age to serve a mission, it is his priesthood duty to do so. And I know that it is a blessing to serve. I know that every priesthood holder between 19 and 25 years old should prepare themselves to serve a mission if they have not already done so. No matter what may appear to be more important, or more profitable in life, there is NOTHING more important than the work of the Lord.
There are so many blessings awaiting these men, as well as to those who need to hear the word of God through these priesthood holders. And finally, we should go to the temple to make those sacred covenants with our Heavenly Father, as well as be sealed to our spouse in the temple."

     I know that all of these things are foundations for a happy life, and that all are centered and begin with faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. There is not a single person in this world who He does not love, and He is ready to receive them in every moment. I know that He lives, that He makes it possible for us to be better every day. That He wants to help us return to our Heavenly Father. Accept Him, follow Him, be faithful in Him. And allow this faith to promote yourself to be more obedient. More trusting in the commandments of God. Trust that they are there for a reason, that they truly will bring us more happiness than those temptations of the adversary. I know that when we are obedient, we are reserving for ourselves the blessings of our Heavenly Father. How beautiful, and simple, it is. Of course, it is beautiful, and simple, because it is perfect. The perfect plan that our Heavenly Father has made for us, so that we can return to Him once again, and live in eternal happiness forever. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, and yours too.

Sincerely, Elder Knight

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hello family:

Thank you for the birthday wishes! Yes, I had a good birthday. I didn't really tell many people,  but I'm pretty sure they told everyone in our branch here haha. It felt just like another day, except at lunch Ha ha. Candelaria brought out flan for Elder De Los Santos and I, and their family to celebrate. And in the morning we went to shirley's home to teach a lesson, but her mom, Martha, was going to hold a meeting in their house. Her mom told me there is something really serious that she wanted to talk about, but that she wanted us to come back later in the day. I asked her what was wrong and she just kept telling us that we should come back in the afternoon. We left, and I worried all day about Martha, about what could possibly be going on. And we returned at about 8 in the night, and when we arrived they didn't seem worried or anxious at all. And when I asked Martha what was wrong she told me to sit down at the table so we could all talk...And then they brought food to the table, and Elder De Los Santos and I had to eat again. And THEN they brought out a fruity cake, and she told me that it was her problem. And I was like, "Are you serious? I've been worrying all day!" And she just laughed. It was pretty funny, and we sang a few church hymns and talked about their meanings. It was a good way to end the day, I felt. They are such a lovely family, I know Martha wants to get baptized too, and we have to teach her, so we will visit them often too!

Anyways, we're still working on getting Agustin and Manuela baptized. Its been pretty tough because Agustin is from Honduras and there's a bunch of other paperwork to do, but we pretty much became experts now on marrying people in Mexico. all we have to do now is help Manuela update a type of birth certificate, and they're clear! Hopefully we will be able to baptize them this week. I am excited to receive a new companion.

Elder De Los Santos just went home yesterday, he was really happy and excited in the bus terminals. Our work was really slowing down the last few weeks, I think he was ready to go home before this transfer even started.. So now I'm with the Zone leaders working in their area until Elder Alvarado, my new companion, comes tomorrow. I'm really excited, we're going to find new investigators, and help alot of people this transfer. In fact, I met a man in the bus terminal yesterday after I said goodbye to Elder De Los Santos. He is actually the security guard, and he gave me his address and told me we can visit him on wednesday. I feel like this tranfer is already turning around!

One thing I am going to work on personally this transfer is being more humble. I feel like I notice so many rude things and bad manners with other missionaries lately. Its really bothering me, being so negative. And then I realized the other day that I cannot judge anyone. For the least part, I should be bettering myself before thinking about giving advice to others in this manner. So, I can be a better missionary, closer to my Savior, and more prepared to hear and receive the guidance and promptings of the Holy Ghost in this marvelous work.

Well, I love you all, and I think about you often. I am so grateful to have been blessed with so many great family and friends to prepare me for this portion of my life. I am trying to write everyone, but only have so much time in P-Days. But I will try harder. Promise. Until next week!

Love, Elder Knight

Monday, August 15, 2011

Keep Moving Forward

Querido familia,

This week has been full of learning. Packed full. I am really learning to humble myself. Its something that I feel is way passed due. I keep thinking about how I can work harder with Elder De Los Santos (my missionary companion), so that I can also feel better about myself. President Castañeda gave all the missionaries 2 pages of new/altered/specified mission rules for us. Its pretty great. We read it in our district meeting and there's a list of things we cannot have. It was pretty funny because everyone was like, "ahh what?" if they had one of the things. I have one book a member gave me, that I need to send home because it is not in the missionary library. I was never planning on reading it here, but to keep it until I get home. But the rule stated exactly that "we should not carry non-permitted books." The book I have is Articles of Faith, but its not approved for some reason. Whatever, to home it goes, I'm going to try and find a mail-place out here in City of Carmen now, haha.

Rules and guidelines are pretty great, I don't know why I never liked them before hahaha. Out here they're all pretty much promises, each and every one of them. "Do this and you will be successful. Don't do this, and you will be blessed." How could I pass these opportunities by?! It would be ridiculous, wouldn't it? I'm sure you all can find ways to be more obedient, so as to receive the blessings of the Lord in your lives.

We had interviews with President Castañeda on Saturday! I would have to say interviews with him are one of the best things in the world. I always love to have just a few minutes alone with him to have him give me personal advice and motivate me to be so much better. He is so spiritually in tune with our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that He was called to preside over this area, and lead us in the way of the Lord in this work. I am so grateful for him, he talked in a musical performance that we the missionaries did on Sunday night for our investigators. It was awesome, we sang a bunch of songs about Jesus Christ, and each one of us the missionaries, recited a part of The Living Christ. If you haven't read that before: READ IT. Everyone, even if you're some random stalker reading the blog of some random missionary(me), just do it.

Also, I have come to feel more and more every day that this is really where I need to be right now. As I teach here(Which I love), and serve others, the Spirit testifies to me that I am in the right place. I know that I have been prepared to be here, all my life, even more in the premortal life. I know that I was given lessons before coming to this world, and that I made promises before I came here that I need to fulfill. I will do everything I can to remain faithful to those promises, to fulfill the work I need to do here in Mexico in these 2 years, in order to return to my Heavenly Father once again in peace of mind and glory. I cannot wait for that day, I will prepare myself as best I can to assure I will be worthy in his presence.

I am so grateful for the blessing my Heavenly Father has given to me through my obedience to Him, and my efforts to better myself every day. I know that He is blessing me, as well as all in my family. That we need to search for these blessings, and recognize them so that we can be grateful for them. There is no better feeling to me than coming home deadbeat tired, after serving a full day in the vineyard of the Lord. ..Find your opportunities to serve.

With love, Elder Knight

P.s. Congratulations to Jimbo, you're going to be a great missionary, my brother! Give Elder Hernandez a hug in the MTC for me, and tell him to give you a hug for me, too. Thanks.. =P

P.s.again. They finally moved the mission offices next to the church building. The NEW address is:
Elder Trevor R. Knight
Misión México Villahermosa
Av. Circuito CD. Deportiva No. 206
Colonia Atasta
Villahermosa, Tabaso
C.P. 86100
(Use this address for everything you want to send from now on)

Monday, August 8, 2011

August 8, 2011

Querido familia,

I cannot tell you anything that has happened this week! My head is just so turned around with your emails I just read!!! I am so happy I don't even know what to say! I am so grateful for temples, and for the Spirit of the Lord whom resides within. I really miss going to the temple, alot. A family that Elder De Los Santos baptized was married in the temple last weekend, but we didn't get the chance to go. I was a bit heartbroken to be quite honest. But I still feel so great knowing that my family can go. Please do, as often as you can! I loved loved loved hearing about Haley and Caitlynn's experience in the temple the other day, I cannot think of any other place in the world where you can receive inspiration as beautiful as that. The temples really are the most sacred buildings on this Earth, I know the temple is the house of the Lord. We baptized Cesar this week! And he is planning on going to the temple already to do baptisms on the 20th! I am so happy for him, and for the blessings that I have been able to witness through his conversion.
I was just writing my weekly letter to President Castañeda. Last week I wrote to him about how confused I have felt the past couple of weeks here. Here with my companion Elder De Los Santos, I often don't feel like I'm working as hard as I can, or should. And I've been a bit frustrated. I want to be the best missionary I can, no importance who my companion is. I want to help my companion and myself be as succesful and obedient as possible, so that we can fully reap the blessing of the Lord in this great work of saving souls. To the point in which our obedience blesses the lives of all Heavenly Father's children here. I have felt like correcting my companion at times, but I'm too afraid to be misunderstood or come across rude. I don't want to come across like I blame everything on my companion either, because I know I have just as much responsibility in our work here. Last week we didn't have a very good day, and we were planning for the next day when I felt like going back over the day we just had. And why things didn't work out as we wanted, and what we could do to assure they don't happen again. I was a bit hesitant to say anything, because I have been told that at times I am not very sensitive to others feelings out here. But I was going over everything with Elder De Los Santos, and he helped me to point out some of the things we could have done better. Needless to say, it felt like a great planning session, and I felt so great that we worked it out. Because when you don't have a very good day, nobody's really happy, and there is a bit of contention. But this night helped us alot as a companionship, and has helped Elder De Los Santos and I feel more comfortable talking about things openly like that. We didn't really hit it off at first, but now we are starting to understand eachother better, work more together, and recognize all the things we can learn from eachother. (Sidethought, I am really starting to forget some english words.. Not good)
Nevertheless, I am still here, still happy to be serving my Savior in this beautiful country of Mexico. I'm loving the people here, the culture, the food(haha), the work, and especially the gospel. I don't know where I would be without this true gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. I don't know how I would be alive without the blessings of it, and the influence I have had growing up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I don't know how any young man or woman could survive on a mission without the blessing of our Heavenly Father watching over us, protecting us, and guiding us in every single one of our steps. I am so eternally happy for the knowledge that I will live with my family forever, through the blessings of temple covenants and righteous living we will all see eachother again and live in perfect unity. The blessing of my mission are already innumerable, and I cannot wait to see the blessings of the service given by my Sister Knight. =) She will be the greatest missionary of our Savior Jesus Christ in the entire world, I honestly mean that. I am so grateful for the influence my family has given me in this life, I love each and every one of my sisters and parents and grandparents and cousins and uncles and nephew to death =D Not to mention all of my greatest friends; I know we were all sent here together to bless the lives of one another with our personalities, service, and love for eachother. I am so blessed, and so undeserving. I was reading in Our Search for Happiness a few weeks ago, and upon looking through it again this week, something really stood out to me. It said that, "There are many young men and women serving missions in this world, with the idea that they will be paying back their Savior through their service. But every single one soon finds out that the love and blessing He gives us are impossible to match. You cannot keep up with Him."
I love you all SO much. I'm missing you, but I know that there is no better place for me to be right now. See you all in Feb 2013, no sooner. It'll be worth the wait.
With love, Elder Knight

Monday, August 1, 2011

I love you all!

Mi amada familia,
I'm sorry in advance that I really don't have any time to write you this week. We went to Sams Club this morning here in Mexico, haha it was pretty fun. We went with Martha, the mother of Shirley who we just got baptized, because she offered to take us so we could use her card. I used like half of my monthly money, but I'm pretty sure everything I bought will last like 2 months!! So I'm pretty stoked. Which means we wont have to shop next week, which means I wont be rushed to write you.. Martha is super super nice to us, and I always have to bring up the gospel whenever I tak to her. This week she told us that she believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet, but doesn't see how we can pray to him. We quickly explained that we don't pray to him, because he wasn't a God. He was a prophet, like Abraham and Noah, and all that they were were middlemen between us and God. And that is what a prophet is. She understood and loved it, its awesome to see how excited people get when they understand the gospel. Because the gospel is so exciting!!!
Unfortunately, Agustin and Manuela were not baptized this week. There was a problem with their marriage because he is from Honduras, but we're resolving everything  as fast as we can with the ward members to get them married asap!  Also, we're going to baptize Cesar this week, another amazing story, which I'll have to share with you this next week.
It sounds like everyone at home is doing great! I'm sorry that you have to work so much Dad, know I'm always praying for you. And I know our Heavenly Father answers our prayers. I'll also share a funny story or two about that next week, of how I know he does =) But know that I am happy and loving it here in Mexico. No matter what happens, God will help me find a way through it. I'm getting more and more comfortable with Elder De Los Santos (my current companion), and he with me. Although its still a trouble trying to keep us on time and on track during the day. No worries though, its all in the Lord's work, I'm just trying to do it all in a way that would be pleasing to him.
Love you love you love you love you all! Please keep writing to me!
Love, Elder Knight