Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas follow-up...

Mi querido familia. (my dear family)
Just talked to you all yesterday. I love you all!

Mi mensaje del Presidente esta semana, "El tiempo de crecer ha llegado e irá a Cuichapa a servir con todo su corazón y aplicará lo que hasta ahora ha aprendido, le amo"
(My message to the President this week, 'The time to grow has come and he will go to Cuichapa projects to serve with all your heart and apply what until now has been learned, loved him" )

El mensaje general del Presidente:
Algunos podrán pensar: ¿Hay un futuro para mí? ¿Será segura mi vida? ¿Puedo confiar en el Señor y en el futuro? ¿O sería mejor mirar atrás, volver atrás y vivir en el pasado? A los de toda generación que se hagan esas preguntas, les digo: "Recuerden a la esposa de Lot". La fe es para el futuro. La fe pone los cimientos en el pasado pero nunca anhela quedarse allá. La fe confía en que Dios tiene grandes cosas reservadas para cada uno de nosotros y en que Cristo es en verdad el "sumo sacerdote de los bienes venideros" (Hebreos 9:11).
Mantengan los ojos puestos en sus sueños, por muy distantes y fuera de su alcance que parezcan. Vivan para ver los milagros del arrepentimiento y del perdón, de la confianza y del amor divino que transformarán su vida hoy, mañana y para siempre. Esa es la resolución de Año Nuevo que les ruego que guarden.

(The President's message:
may think: is there a future for me? Will my life be secure? I trust in the Lord and in the future? Or would be better to look back, go back and live in the past? To those of any generation that made these questions, I say: 'Remember Lot's wife'. Faith is for the future. Faith puts the foundations in the past but never longs for staying there. Faith is confident that God has great things reserved for each of us and that Christ is indeed the 'high priest of future assets' (Hebrews 9: 11).
eyes in his dreams, very distant and outside its scope that appear. Live to see the miracles of repentance and the forgiveness of the confidence of divine love that will transform your life today, tomorrow and forever. That is the resolution of new year that I would ask that they keep.)

Les amo (I love you all), Elder Knight

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Querido familia,
This week has been super great! I'm always learning alot here, I love it. Especially here in Carmen! Our branch is super great. And I love everyone here so much. The only sad thing is that I'm probably going to leave this next week. Which is a super bummer, especially since I feel like we have so much success here! Although I know that success in the mission does not depend on where you are, but in who you are. Elder Ibarra and I had a good week, Yamilet and Mari got baptized! Yamilet's family is almost complete baptismwise. Every member in their family is amazing, and so destined to follow the Lord. But its a matter of time with every one. Yair was baptized 2 weeks ago, Yamilet this last week, and Joaquina (their mom) plans on getting baptized this week. Speaking of which, she had to make such a big sacrifice to be baptized.
Last night, Elder Ibarra and I were on the way to Carlos and Rosa´s home, to share a message of marriage with them because they have a few problems in their relationship. On the way, we decided to stop by Joaquina's because she has a dvd player with a control(so we can select spanish on bilingual dvds), so that we could watch Together Forever with Carlos and Rosa. Upon arriving at her home, she opened the door with tears in her eyes, and a más o menos smile. She invited us in, and explained to us what happened. All I can say is that it was a big sacrifice she had to make before getting baptized. But after she had prayed and received confirmation from God that this is the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth, she knew that she had to do whatever it takes to be baptized and join her family. So we talked with her alot about the Atonement, and how we are never alone. How no matter what we do, the Lord is always willing to pull us out of trouble and help us to get back on his road. And no matter what it takes to get there, will be worth it because this road leads to eternal life. Eternal happiness in which we will like with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ once again, and we will be together with our families in God's kingdom forever. We then gave her a priesthood blessing and she told us she felt so tranquil and peaceful. I know that the priesthood is the power and authority of God here on the earth with the only purpose of blessing us when respected properly. I am so happy to be here, there really is on other place I would rather be than on this mission of the Lord.
I love you all so much, and look forward to speaking with you on Christmas! Never forget to remember not to forget to remember Jesus Christ in this season. And never forget the true meaning of everything we do in these days. Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate in this season, sacrificed his life to give us the greatest gift in the history of the world: Eternal Life. What will we give him as a sacrfice this Christmas? Jesus Christ himself said "And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit." It is my prayer that we can all do so, and I share with you my love and testimony that He is the Christ, and He lives. That He will bless us as we come unto Him and prove our faith in Him and His word. In His holy name, even Jesus Christ, Amen.
Love, Elder Knight
P.s. Dad, I'm still on letter #2! I was going to share the story with Carlos last night, who has been postponing his baptism for almost 2 years. But it was when we ended up visiting Joaquina and giving her a priesthood blessing. I shared the story with her, because it touched on sacrifice and how much our Heavenly Father loves us. ..but she's not a tough investigator at all, she was prepared well before we found her.. I know its not 100% complete, but you're the judge, what say ye? =] ....Remember I love you!
P.s.s. Thank you so much, my long lost sister, for writing me! I absolutely LOVED hearing your experiences in the temple. I know they are really the house of the Lord. Speaking of which, I gave a talk yesterday (after the President notified me on saturday haha), and I chose to speak on temples. I know it just had to be inspired, because I didn't even think of it until Sunday morning, and felt so right. All of the members loved it. I shared the story of the Hawaii temple during the attack on Pearl Harbor, and I saw a few tears in the chapel. I love the temples, and cannot wait until I can enter again! Its so lame, because I thought on my mission I could go a lot to the temple, but still have yet to even see it... Well, patience is a virtue. I love you!
P.s.s.s. I love all you, my other sisters as well. And mom, who by the way is the best mom in the world. Never forget it. There is no question or doubt  that we have the best parents in the world. And that Heavenly Father must love us just a little bit more than all of His other children, because our parents are proof of this love. Haha, I love you all! ¡Feliz Navidad!

Monday, December 12, 2011

December 12, 2011 letter home...

Mi familia,

This week has been very special, we had the baptism of Chema (Jose Manuel) this week! His dad finally returned from seas, and even came with us to his baptismal service. Also his older sister came, and they both loved it. We, the missionaries also had a musical concert this week along with Pres. Naun (our branch president) and 40 of his music students playing recorders. It was all based on Christmas, and us (the missionaries) all shared spiriutal thoughts in between every song. I spoke of the families, and the love I have felt with my family, especially in Christmas times, and how I wish that every family could feel this love and happiness that I know only comes from the eternal bond we have as a family sealed together in the temple for time and eternity. It was a great concert, especially since all of the students' parents came who weren't members of the church. And we got a lot of references from the concert too. Only that we sang 2 songs in english (Jingle Bells and Jingle Bell Rock) (totally not Christ related, but the students loved to play it haha) in which the missionaries asked that the american elders sing as loud as they can. I just about lost my voice haha, also because we sang 14 songs, some repeating themselves. So I have been talking really low-voiced the past couple of days, but my voice is already coming back haha.

This week, we are planning that Mari and Jamilet both get baptized, as they have been waiting very long. Mari has wanted to, but we haven't been able to find the time to teach her as she works alot. And Jamilet has felt unready until now, because of a truly misfortunate past that she has gone through. But we have talked with her and resolved all of her doubts, as well as helped her through the repentance process. Her mother is also planning on getting baptized, but on the 23rd. Because she also has something she has to let go before she gets baptized. It seems that no matter what the problem or roadblock in the way of this family, they just keep pushing through everything. They are so faithful and have all the desires to follow Christ. I am truly grateful for the opportunity my Heavenly Father has given me to meet and know all of these lovely children of His. I will never be able to repay Him, but will do the very best I can to make Him proud. I know that the restored gospel is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God. I know that the Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and without its precious contents and principles we would be lost in these days. I am so grateful to be a missionary. These truly are the best two years of my life.
Love, Elder Knight
P.s. Not sure if you got the email I forwarded from Pres. Castañeda, but he gave us permission to talk with our families via Skype this Christmas! =] Wahoooooo!! Get ready Knight Family!
P.s.s. What did you do with the Christmas invitations this year? I am a bit curious to know
P.s.s.s. You are always in my prayers. I hope you are all doing great, and that you don't let a day pass without recognizing a miracle/blessing in your lives. Love you!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Greetings from Mexico and Happy Thanksgiving!

Mi querido familia,
I do not have much time, as I got way over excited writing to the Presidente this week. But I'll post what I wrote to him, and try to touch on the other stuff tht happened this week for you.

Here is the letter to President, I'm sure Dad can translate it for everyone. ...because we really don't have much time. Thanks!

Querido Presidente,
Una semana excelente que hemos tenido aquí en la rama Universidad. Todo está bien, tenemos un consejo de rama lo cual es excelente. El Presidente Luis Naun Arias es un hombre fuerte. Tenemos muchas dificultades con algunos conversos recientes en nuestra rama, y está arreglando todo en una manera muy buena y guida por el Espíritu. Estoy agradecido a tener un líder ejemplar como él, siempre está dispuesto ayudarnos aún si tiene sus propias precupaciones. Siento que usted debe escribirle una carta o llamarle un día si tiene el tiempo, algo de agradecimiento porque en verdad es un hombre excelente y tiene muchas ganas a trabajar.

(Dear President, 
An excellent week we have had here at the University branch. All is well, we have a branch Council which is excellent. President Luis being Arias is a strong man. We have many problems with some recent converts in our branch, and he is arranging everything in a very good way and is guided by the spirit. I am grateful to have an exemplary leader like him, he is always willing to help even if you have your own worries. I feel that you must write a letter or call it a day if you have the time, something of appreciation because he really is an excellent man and is eager to work.)

El hermano Guillermo llegó de Merida ayer, y vamos a ver si puede ser entrevistado mañana cuando usted viene para la capacitación. Tenemos la mamá, dos hermanas, y cuiñado de Yair(se bautizó en sábado)quien todos están preparando a ser bautizados muy pronto. Ellos nos dan muchísimo animo cada vez que les vemos. Tienen problemas, pero están dispuestos a dejar todo para seguir a Jesucristo. El Señor realmente ha enviado el Espíritu Santo para testificar a ellos de la veracidad del mensaje. También, hay la prima/nieta de dos otros conversos recientes quien se va a bautizar esta semana. Toda su familia ha cambiado mucho porel Evangelio, y quieren compartirlo con sus familiares en los Estados Unidos, nos van a pasar sus direcciónes para que los misioneros pueden visitarles allá.

(Brother Guillermo arrived from Merida yesterday, and we are going to see if you can he can be interviewed tomorrow when you come for training. We have a mother, two sisters, and nephew of his (was baptized in saturday)who all are preparing to be baptized soon. They give us much encouragement every time we see them. They have problems, but are willing to leave everything to follow Jesus Christ.  The Lord has truly sent the Holy Spirit to testify to the veracity of the message. There are also a niece and granddaughter of two other recent converts who we will baptize this week. His family has changed much for the Gospel, and they want to share it with relatives in the United States, we will pass your address so that missionaries can visit them there.)

Ayer, vimos un milagro que todavía me da asombra. Elder Ibarra y yo pensabamos que el ensayo ayer iba a durar hasta las 7 en la noche, y después ibamos a ver la devocional en el distrito. Pero terminamos el ensayo temprano proque Presidente Naun tuvo que ir a un reunión. Entonces todos salimos a visitar investigadores. Elder Ibarra y yo fuimos sin saber adonde ibamos, hasta que en el combi discursamos un rato, y decidimos a visitar unos antiguos investigadores. Entonces fuimos a visitarles, se llaman Leydi y Roberto, pero solo encontramos a Leydi y su hija de 12 años, Diana. Pero Leydi necesitaba nuestra ayuda, y consolamos a ella con las promesas que la iglesia y el Evangelio de Jesucristo son las respuestas para todos las problemas en su familia, su salud, y su matrimonio. En fin, yo sé que el Señor nos utiliza a hacer Su voluntad, porque el Espíritu nos guió a su casa de ellos. Después les dejamos a esperar Roberto a llegar de su trabajo. Y casi en el fin de la devocional, todos llegaron para verla y disfrutar de las palabras del profeta viviente y escuchar del himno "Noche de Luz." Sé que el Señor bendicirá a su familia mientras se acercan a él por medio de la oración, estudio de las escrituras, y obediencia a sus mandamientos.  Milagros pasan, cada día. Pero tenemos que buscarlos, y estar dispuestos actuar con los susurros del Espíritu cuando nos dirige a ellos. 

(Yesterday, we saw a miracle that I'm still amazed. Elder Ibarra and I thought the trial yesterday was going to last until 7 in the evening, and then we went to see the devotional in the district. But finished the trial early but President Naun had to go to a meeting. Then everyone went to visiting investigatorsElder Ibarra and I went without knowing where we were, in the outskirts of town a while we taught discussions, and decided to visit older investigators. Then we went to visit them, who are called Leydi and Roberto, but we only find Leydi and his 12-year-old daughter, Diana. Leydi needed our help but we consoled her with promises that the Church and the Gospel of Jesus Christ are the answers to all problems in your family, your health, and his marriage. Anyway, I know that the Lord was used to do his will, because the spirit we guided them home.  We left them to wait for Roberto to arrive from work. And almost at the end of the devotional, everyone came to see her and enjoy the words of the living Prophet and listen to the anthem 'Light night'. I know that Mr Bendicirá's family saw the light and felt the Spirit while approaching it by means of prayer, study of the Scriptures, and obedience to his commandments.  Miracles happen every day. But we have to find them, and be willing to act with the whispers of the spirit directs us to them.)

Gracias Presidente, le amamos. Y estoy agradecido tener los líderes que tengo aquí en mi mision. Apriendo cada día, y siento la veracidad del Evangelio mucho más a estar aquí. Espero que todo está bien en las oficinas, y con su familia. Siempre están en nuestras oraciones. Cuídese mucho, Presidente. Le necesitamos.

(Thank you, President, we love you. I am grateful to the leaders that i have here in my mission. I am thankful each day, and i feel the power of the Gospel much more everyday that I am here. I hope that all is well in the offices and with your family. They are always in our prayers. Take care President. We need you.)

Con amor (with love), Elder Knight

(Trevor and his companion opening up his two Thanksgiving packages from home)

Also, he wrote me back from last week. And Haley, I have permission to receive a call from you while you open your mission call, but (only) for 30 minutes(Wooo!!). So I'll pass the number onto you in another email. I'm so excited for you!! Presidente also congratulates all of the Knight family, I honestly can't remember why. But you are all congratulated. ¡Felicidades familia Knight!
As for things in our area, everything is going super great. We are seeing so many miracles. If there is one thing I have learned here in Carmen, its to teach people not lessons. We always study it, but I don't think I ever really understood this principle until now. I have always tried to make sure we teach doctrine that our investigadores will need to progress until baptism. But as of recently, I have found that what we teach does not always have to come from one of the missionary lessons. I don't know why I never understood this completely. But we have really been focusing on teaching what our investigadores need here, and I love it. We become so much closer to the people here, and they really see us as respresentatives of Jesus Christ. They look to us for advice, and trust us with their doubts and questions. They don't just let us into their houses expecting to be lectured, but wait at the door to receive heavenly guidance from God's servants. I know that when we really, I mean REALLY love the people we teach, the Spirit teaches and the people are blessed immensely. I pray every day that I can teach by the Spirit, so that His children can be taught what they really need, and that they can be motivated to obey the commandments of God. Obedience is key to receiving blessings. "I, the Lord, am bound when you do what I say. But when you do not obey, YOU HAVE NO PROMISE. ....Its like ordering a pizza, where you have to send the money before its delivered to you. Our obedience is the money. We do not receive the pizza until we have been obedient... Be obedient and eat pizza.
Also, we got your packages last week! Thank you so much! I ate oatmeal for breakfast today. It was sooo good. Reminded me of Philmont and all my brothers, when we were trading oatmeal for trail mix. And the ties are all great! Thank you so much! I love you all so much. We are going to look for a small family to share our thansgiving dinner with haha. It was the greatest package I have ever received in my life. Thank you so much <3
Well, I love you all so much. May God bless you all, and guide you in every step you take. Look for His hand in every work. I know that everything happens for a reason, look for the purpose in every thing that happens to you.
I love you all, but wouldn't like to be anywhere else but here.
Elder Knight
P.s. To Dad: I'm game. Thank you =) You are amazing (I sent him a little series of letter with challenges to complete-mostly for fun and some adventure)
Also, included are pictures of our baptisms, a few of the young men who work in a mechanic shop of a member. And us opening the packages last night. Love you!