Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 28, 2011

Querido familia,

This week has been great! The Lord truly does pave the way for us missionaries. And when we choose to walk in His road (Obey his commandments, rules, and ways of doing the work) He truly does bless us. We as missionaries here in our mission, have a goal to baptize every week. Every week we should be changing somebody's life through inviting them to following the example of Christ through Baptism.

This week we were waiting for Guillermo to return from Merida, where he has medical appointments, and he still hadn´t returned. We had a date for the next week for Chimi, a mom who has been an 'almost' member of the church for more than 2 years here. Her son was the only one who could get baptized when the missionaries first visited them 2 years ago. But she hasn't been able to get baptized because her husband would not get married with her (so she hasn't been living the law of chastity, so she couldn't get baptized). Well, turns out 3 weeks ago she kicked him out of the house for some word of wisdom problems. So we put a date for her baptism the 3rd of December. Well turns out on friday she came to the missionary farewell of Alexis, and upon talking with her and one of our ward missionaries, we all decided to push her baptism to this Sunday after church. So we had her interviewed the next day, and baptized on Sunday. It happened fast, but was all so beautiful. So many people already know her, and were so happy for her. She also was so excited and happy, her smile was glowing all day on Sunday, even until we went to visit her that night.

Well, not much time today, (sidenote, 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' is playing in the ciber cafe we're in right now, but in Spanish.. Reminds me of my sister Haley everytime haha) The power went out this afternoon so we haven't been able to write until now. But quickly. I'll keep an eye out for the packages you've sent. The zone leaders go to Villahermosa tomorrow for a conference, and they should bring back all the mail and materials we need here in Carmen when they return.

I am so grateful to be here, this city is so beautiful, and the people are so amazing. I really do love them. I feel so at home with our branch of the church here, I don't want to leave haha. Elder Ibarra talked on the phone with the mission President the other day, and President mentioned something about me training next transfer, so hopefully I can stay here! hehe, moreso hopefully I can train well ha! I feel ready. Well, I love you all so much, everyone.

My family, friends, acquaintances. I hope you are all doing great, I pray for you all every day. Never forget how important you are to our Heavenly Father. Trust in Him, and in our Savior Jesus Christ, trust in the commandments and words of the prophets. Never doubt in His word. Read the scriptures, Pray always, and don't you dare miss a Sunday in the sacrament meeting. I love helping others, providing service to them, and teaching them about Jesus Christ.  I love missionary work. There is nothing else I would rather be doing right now. I know this is the true church, and is the pathway to return in Heavenly Father's presence, along with our families for eternity. I love you all so much. Take care,

Cuídense todos (take care all),
Elder Knight

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November 21, 2011 letter home...

Querido familia,

This week has been great! I think I say this every week. But every week is amazing when you're on a mission, in the service of the Lord. This week especially though.
Elder Ibarra and I have really been trying to better ourselves in the work we do. Not that we're not working hard, but we are working on working more in the way Christ would. We have changed our companionship studies completely so that they are entirely focused in our investigadores. And it helps us so much, because we feel so much more prepared when we arrive at lessons and talk with people in the streets. Also, I feel like I'm getting better and better with my spanish every day too. Also, our entire zone made a new cambio resolution to exercise every morning, so that we are obedient. Because alot of mornings we wake up with no desire to work out, but I've been pushing it off and exercising every day so far(except Sunday)! Also, we talked with our apartment neighbor Daniel, and he said he wants to start running with us every morning. How grateful I am for the pair of running shoes I found in our apartment while cleaning last cambio. They were ripped in the front, but I took them to a zapateria and he sewed em up real nice for 30 pesos (like $2.50). Good as new.

Carlos and Jesus got baptized this week. Our branch is really stepping up and doing the missionary work here. It is so awesome to see. I LOVE all of our members, Sundays are seriously the best days because we can see all of them at church. Carlos was a reference from Norma, a member who pretty much adopted him because he was without a house. She is having tough economic times, and is such an example of faith and Christlike love. Even in her times of trouble, she takes in a young man to give him a home and food and a family. He loves the church, and shared his testimony in the baptism of how loved he feels to be in this family our ward. Jesus was a reference from the Hermano Ulises, who is a mechanic and has his own shop. Jesus is 16 years old and started working with Ulises as an assistant. He had a few problems with his grandma who takes care of him, and with drugs. But Ulises is his boss, shared the gospel with him, became a father figure, helped him overcome his addictions, and baptized him. He also is so great, we see him almost everywhere too, riding Ulises's bike around the colony running errands for him. This week Guillermo returns from Merida from a few medical appointments he had, and wants to get baptized this friday. We will see how things go, in the meantime we have been teaching his grandson Henry, and his girlfriend Ysenia. And their 4 year old son Alejandro, who always runs out and calls to us when we walk by their house. He is so funny, always smiling and happy no matter what happens.

Well, I love you all so much. Thank you for the emails. Best wishes to Grandma and Grandpa, it must stink to be so far apart. How great for Chelsea, Danny and Connor! I know that God answers our prayers. Caitlynn, you should email me something about whats goin on, because I don't know almost anything right now haha. You too Reagan! Mom and Dads explanations of your lives are not good enough haha. And Haley, keep working on your spanish, and then you Dad and I can all have our own language to talk in. And keep working on the mission prep. I totally regret not going to mission preparation classes when I had the chance. How dumb of me. We have started a program with our branch missionaries, where everyone should be reading the Book of Mormon daily, Preach My Gospel weekly, and going on visits with the full-time missionaries weekly. This will help you so much to prepare. Get to know the missionaries, and help them with whatever you can. Ask them to pass by your house and share a message with you and a non-member friend. No effort is ever wasted. And pray always for missionary experiences to find you every day.

This advice goes to all actually. I miss you all, and am so happy to be on a mission. Even though we are far away, I feel your love and prayers every day, and hope you all feel the same too. I know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. And that having faith in Him and obeying His commandments is what truly brings us peace and happiness in this life, as well as eternal life. Be obedient. If you have the priesthood, woooo be even more obedient, for you can not afford not to. Be examples of Christ in all things, in all places, and in every moment.

Love to all,
Elder King / Nike
(This is how people usually pronounce my name here haha)

Monday, November 14, 2011

What's up?

Mi querida familia,

You are awesome. Ciudad del Carmen is awesome. This week has also been very awesome. Well, I can't remember what I said in last week's letter, but Carlos Vera and Guillermo did not get baptized. They both are waiting for their baptismal interviews with Presidente, who finally comes this week. But they are both so excited and come to the church with such great attitudes! Carlos and I were in the hallway yesterday after church talking about the classes, and he told me that he wanted to pay his tithing, but didn't know how. I felt kind of bad, because Elder Ibarra and I had forgotten to explain how to fill out the tithing slips (which are different in Mexico btw). But I showed him where to find the envelopes and how to fill it out. He was so happy, and we went looking for the President so that Carlos could hand it to him. Ah, he is so ready to follow the commandments and put his life in order with the Savior.

Also, we spoke with the parents of Fany (pronounced Fawn-E), and they permited her to get baptized. Her parents are members, but inactive. Fany is 9 years old, and has been going to church for the past few months with her aunt Sandy who is active and lives next-door. Her parents both came to the baptismal service, and it was such a beautiful one. Afterwards, Elder Ibarra asked Marcos, Fany´s dad, if he liked it. And he said he loved it. On Sunday, her parents still didn't come to church, but Fany came with Sandy and was confirmed in sacrament by our branch president Guillermo. Who is now not the president, because he's moving to the other side of the island. Our new president is Pres Luis Naun (Loo-eez Nah-oon). He is the brother who plays the piano, and is a ward missionary. Super great guy, we all knew he was going to be the new branch president haha.

Elder Ibarra and I are doing great, we're always working. Thank you for the packages, I'll keep my eye out for 'em. Cambios(transfers) are today, and Elder Ibarra and I are both staying another. So I'll be here until Christmas!

Oh! And something super funny I learned this week. This one's for Ryan, Kristian, Kenny, Tyler, and all my brothers. "Popo", which we all used to signify police or cops, in spanish is poop. =) And I heard the Kooks the other day, it was way surreal. I didn't believe it at first, but it was true. It was a guilty pleasure since I'm in the mission and all. But I only heard a bit of it because we were walking...

Also, I couldn't think of anything I really need except for socks. All of mine are disappearing since we started washing our laundry with the zone leaders.. hmmmm.... So if you'd like, I could use some black or gray socks for christmas, some good ones. Not like thin dress socks, but not like thick hiking socks. But good ones haha you know how I am. I only need like 5 or 6 pairs. Also, corbatas (ties) are always good too, because I start losing them when I gift them to investigators and baptisms. Candy, notes, Rice Krispies Treats Cereal. Whatever you can think of, I'll accept with ready arms. Oh and a shout out to all those who are getting married already: You should send me a wedding invitation, I'm pretty sure if you're reading this that my address is one the same page. hahaha Sidethought, there is a family here exactly, I mean exactly, like the Bolsters'. I love them just as much too.

Haley, my sister, don't worry about the money for the mission. The Savior will support us in all of our righteous desires and actions. He will provide the way. Just keep preparing yourself to be a servant 100% dedicated to his work, and He will prepare the means for you to do just so. And most importantly, over all other things in this world and universe: I love you!! (And Jesus loves you too...)

My favorite scipture this week. Mosiah 18:8-10 .. This is what all of us covenanted to do when we accepted baptism. Never forget to care for the needs of our brothers and sisters in the church. They all need your help. Get to know every single member that you can, because you just might be that blessing that they are looking for.
I love you, and love Mexico too.

Saludos, Elder Knight

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mi querido familia,
      Pues, another time my email to President got deleted. I really need to learn to copy it before I send it, but...these things come with time I suppose. Because I still can´t remember to do it until its already gone jaja (haha in Spanish).

      Anyways, This week has gone really well, Super fast, but really well. We worked and taught a lot. We taught a total of 47 lessons this week to investigators and inactive members. Unfortunately, we didn't baptize but I'll tell you about that in a moment.

      We had interviews with President Castañeda last week. WOW he is one of the most spiritual men I have ever met in my entire life. I just want to talk with him for hours, but the interviews are only like 15 minutes because he has to interview all of the other missionaries. Long story short, I had the greatest conversation with him, we sang a hymn and it has been stuck in my head forever this week. I think its "Jesus the Very thought of Thee" in English.

      Also Elder Ibarra and I have been teaching a young man named Carlos Vera this week. He just moved in from Candelaria with some members in our ward. I guess he originally came here to Carmen with a group of friends, and they all shared a room that they rented together, and they all worked at different times of the day. Carlos works in a Café from 9am-10pm every day. And I guess he returned to their room one day and all of his friends had left him and taken all of his stuff with them. So he was without a home, but a friend from his work (Julio Cesar - a member of the church) invited him to live with him and his family. He has told us how grateful he is for this family, and how they help him feel so loved. So we received permission from the mission, and we have been visiting him in the mornings at 7:00am this past week to teach him all of the lessons. He is progressing so well, and has already come to the church 4 times. (We had tried to visit him earlier these last few weeks, but his day-off from work always changed. Until we started visiting him in the mornings this past week…) He has made the choice to be baptized, and we will hold his baptismal service this Saturday morning at 10:00am, along with Guillermo…

      Guillermo is an 82 year old man who we found contacting. He always sits in front of his house, doing nothing really, but just sitting there. So anyways we went and spoke with him one day, and sang a hymn to him and his wife, and left a prayer and blessing in their home. Later, we returned to try and teach him, but it didn't seem like he understood us very well. So we returned again to at least concrete everything for him, and he had already read the pamphlet we left him. So we then left him with the Book of Mormon, and the invitation to pray to know it is true. Upon returning, he had done exactly so. As well as invite his daughter and grandchildren to listen to us too. We took him to a Branch Family Home Evening on Friday, and watched the Restoration. In which we then asked for testimonies to follow. Guillermo himself stood up and expressed his understanding of the First Vision, and how the Spirit had confirmed to him the truthfulness of all these things. ALL of the branch was so animated and surprised to hear this testimony from him. The video made everything so much clearer for him. I am grateful for television.

      I know that this church is true, that it is really the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  I am grateful for the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that he was chosen by God to restore the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ in these days. I am grateful for his example, as a righteous young man with undying faith in the Lord. If we look for the truth, we will find it. If we pray, He will answer us. If we are righteous, He will bless us in every aspect of our lives. We need to follow Him, nobody else. I know that my mission was chosen for me by revelation, that this is exactly where the Lord needs me right now. And I will do all that I can to make Him proud, and bring Him all of the glory. I pray that we all can make ourselves closer to Him, and put our will more in line with His.

      I am so grateful for the family that I have been blessed with. I hope everyone is oh so happy with the direction in which our Heavenly Father has placed us in this life. Congratulations Reagan! I hear so many amazing things about you. You are such an example to me, NEVER give up. Always look to do just what is right and the Lord will accompany you in every second of your every day. Caitlynn, Mom told me she stalked your boyfriend’s blog, and that she approves. I am happy for you and your future man, and wait for the day in which I can meet him. I hope Chelsea and Danny are doing well, I am praying for you all every day. I hope things are going how you plan and in a direction that helps you to see the blessings of the Lord in your lives. Mom and Dad, well you know you are both amazing. I couldn't have asked for better parents. I know God loves me because He has blessed me with the most beautiful family in the history of the world(no bias).. I am SO happy for you Haley, to be putting yourself in this path. I promise you that no matter what it takes, you will never regret the efforts you have made to be where I am today. Never.

      It is a pleasure to work in the vineyard of the Lord. And it is an honor to preach His law and His light to His people. Listen to the word of God, with fervor and faithfulness. Always remember His purity, truth, and love. Everyone, wield to the banner of god. If we guard the faith in our great God, we will all see each other soon while dwelling with Him in everlasting love.
      In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.  Yours truly, Elder Knight