Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Feliz Navidad

Trevor was able to speak with us on Skype on Christmas day for 2 hours!  It was great!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Homecoming now March 4th- mission extended!

Mi querido familia,

Announcement: My official release date is now March 4, 2013! Can you say, "Awesome!!" ? ...I can!

I just filled out my flying information and sent it to the secretary. It's because the transfer that starts in January (which would normally end in February) has now been extended and will end in March. So, yep.  March 4th I'll be flying into San Diego!

Anyways, onto the work... This week has been awesome, like always. We went to the Mission Christmas Devotional, which was great. Only half the mission was there, but I still got to see a few familiar faces. Elder Williams, the Elder I trained was so happy to see me, he wouldn't let me go haha, hes doing really good now. He's in a zone called Gaviotas (Seagulls) which is a really great zone as well (next to Zapata that is-my zone- haha).

Here in the zone we are seeing a lot of miracles. Benemerito came with us to the devotional (Benemerito to Villa is like a 6-7 hour trip) and they had to stay with us the night before, and stay with us the night after. When they got back to Benemerito, their branch president called them, and told them that there was a sister who wanted to be baptized who lives in a family unit called Pico de Oro.

We've got Jared down for a baptismal date this saturday, he is going to be baptized with the Hermano (Brother) Fabian's son too. What a great baptismal service! Also, baptismal dates are exploding in all the areas. Its crazy. Who knows if its because of Christmas, or if the world is going to end on Friday, or what haha. (the Mayan calendar thing)  I'll let you all know how it goes next week. I love you all.

P.s. We're skypin it up again this year. Christmas day I'm assuming, but I'll let you know for sure next week. Love you all! I'll try and take more pictures to send to you next week, I have failed these last few weeks, I know.

Love, Elder Knight

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mi querida familia,

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

This week was awesome! We had zone training with Presidente, and I got to go on divisions again with Elder Marchant. It was great. We are seeing miracles all over the zone, including in our own area! Yesterday, Presidente Chichia (1st Counselor in the Mission Presidency) and I went on divisions in the night, and we visited Miguel and Cande(from Cuichapa). They were so in need, and its hard for anyone here to know how to help them. Presidente Chichia knew exactly how to help them and their son (who has a tumor) so that they can get their family back up and running again. It was a miracle that he came with me last night, and that I felt the need to visit their family. I know there is a lot more people we can help out there, we just need to go out there and do it! There is always somebody within our reach who we can help, we just need to be ready and looking for them.
Help our brethren. I love you!
Love, Elder Knight

P.S.- congratulations to Chloe on your mission!  The people of Ohio will be blessed to have you!

(Chloe Johnson on left)

(the last time Trevor was home with the family)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Mi querida familia,

I hope you have all enjoyed your week very much. I know I did. Elder Randolph and I have been working here in Zapata trying our hardest to strengthen our members and support them in their callings. We met frequently with Pres. Stenny (our branch president) and his counselors to try and train them a bit more. But as they are very well accustomed to doing things the old ways, we have to help them by reading the manual and often "learning together" with them as not to offend them by correcting them. It is working, because they are starting to hold more purposeful meetings, especially the branch council meeting on Sunday which Pres. Stenny directed way more organized than usual this week. It was awesome. As you know me, it just warms my soul to see things done right the first time. We are helping the branch to ordain and train more priesthood holders (both Aaronic and Melchizedek) so that we can see more leaders here in the future.
Wasn't the Christmas Devotional simply excellent?! Let me tell you, I loved it! And you can be dang sure that I was singing Silent Night almost by myself at the end because the words were in English (Atilana sang too because she knows English way good haha). I love that song. Actually, I think I just love hymns in English to be completely honest. For now that I hear any music in English, I always pay way focused attention to the words. And the hymns are just so beautiful.

Quick thought of the week. While we were teaching Victor on Wednesday we were talking about Pres. Uchtdorf's talk about "Waiting on the Road to Damascus". While we were teaching I just had some way heavy inspiration come to my mind about representatives of Jesus Christ. Truthfully, it came in handy later because later that same night I had a good talk with a troublesome Elder in our zone who has just been a bit distracted these past couple of weeks. While talking, I remembered what I had written in the lesson earlier and decided to share it with him, I thought it helped a lot. When I wrote it, I just paused myself out of the lesson for like 2 minutes and wrote the thought down fast in my agenda really quick before I lost it. I'm just going to share with you what my agenda says, but feel free to expand upon the thought more and let it work in your minds:

"I feel that being a missionary is, at the same time, an ENORMOUS blessing and a GREAT responsibility. As missionaries, we must conserve ourselves clean and pure in order to be able to reflect what is the light of Christ to all of His precious children. If I stain myself with the slightest sin, I will therefore NOT be able to properly reflect the whole light to them. It is expected of me to be worthy and ready, to be a useful MIRROR for light of the Son of God. His light is a perfect one, ALWAYS shining upon the earth, with an INCREDIBLE power to heal and free His children from the pains in this life. Now, if I fail to effectively reflect this light, I will therefore be the one responsible for the lack of light directed to such children. I will, also therefore, be RESPONSIBLE for the lack of light reflected, for those souls lost in the darkness. Those who depend on my usefulness as a tool in the hands of God to refect His bright light to them. For 'inasmuch as they are not the saviors of men, they are as salt that has lost its savor, and is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.' (D&C 103:10). We MUST be worthy and clean, we MUST be ready for when the Lord needs us. We cannot afford to lose those precious souls, nor our own much less.. This IS the work of the Lord. I know it. And I know that it is a serious one, in which all workers who waste time or work 'just enough to get by' will soon find out that really it is not enough. We must work, work, work, there is no other option if we wish to really bring to pass the will of our Father in Heaven. Will we do so?"

Love you, Elder Knight

P.S. President says you shouldn't come pick me up from the mission. Just wait for me to get home, do the whole airport homecoming thing, and yup. I guess it suggests against it in the President Mission Manual, as he read it straight to me over the phone yesterday. Also, if you're going to send me a package, I don't really need anything, but feel free to send candy =) Love it. And if anyone would like to write me a letter, those are always well appreciated. I have sent a few letters home, but I have absolutely no faith that they have gotten there. Elder Randolph sent a package a year ago, and it still hasn't gotten home yet (at least not to HIS home hahaha) Again, I love you! Until next week! Oh, and I share with you my new profile picture haha

Monday, November 26, 2012

Mi querida familia (my dear family),

You guys are so awesome! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving this week! Mexican Revolution day was pretty normal, haha, well for us anyways. We left the house and there was a huge parade going on, made up of the students of all the schools. They just march around town in their uniforms, some grades dressed up too. We only saw it as we walked by, but we managed to see some of the members' children marching around. It was great!

This week has been crazy! I just might say that every week though, but it sure is true. We are always doing something. We went for the last time to Playa Larga last wednesday. I didn't tell you because we didn't have time to write last week. But I included some of the pictures of our trip. The bus dropped us off at the entrance by the freeway, and we had to make the 4 mile walk in by foot. (attached are the pictures, one looking behind, and one ahead) Not complaining, but we're not going to miss that again haha. 

But we've been talking a lot with the district presidency to work on making Playa Larga a rama (branch), because right now its just a family unit there with like 30 people assisting. If it becomes a branch, then the missionaries can go work over there more! We're way excited. President Valencia and his counselor went over there yesterday for church and had a training meeting with all them to help them know what they need to become a branch. Its pretty exciting, all we really miss are tithe paying Elders. The women there have their husbands inactive for some reason, so we're trying to help their husbands out, but its hard because they live on the other side of the river. But we'll see what happens. The Zapata branch has to work with them because its part of their membership.

As for local news, we are helping alot of the families here in Zapata to become faithful members, and the leaders to be trained and independent. Well, not so independent, but dependent upon the Lord and not so much on the branch president or the district. We've been having more ward council meetings, and I've been striving to make them more efficient by helping the leaders focus on the people in our ward. Its going well. We are currently activating a family that Elder Randolph and I found (on not-so accident) the other day. Elder Callejas told us to go visit them. Sister Elibeth and her kids Cristel and Eladio are great. But Elibeth is a single mom and works every other day 24 hrs. She can't go to church because the schedule switch is at 8:00am in Villa, and it takes about 2 1/2 hours to come back to Zapata. So she doesn't get here until about 11:00am, with only the last hour of church. But her children are very excited, and we found out a lot of their neighbor family are members too! Its a gold strike! Its pretty cool. 

We're also teaching the family of Miguel and Cande still (the ones from Cuichapa) and they came to church this Sunday! Man, it just filled my heart with so much joy to see them sitting in a church again, I figured it had been awhile, and the members accepted them so very well. We're going to keep visiting them with members, (oh and ANOTHER inactive member who visits them with us, and went to church this week too! Her name is Ana) and see how we can help their son find help for the tumor in his mouth. Ana found a foundation that can help them, and they're going back this week to see what's up. We've found a Gospel that can help him, and so we're planning on helping him get baptized to be able to receive the blessing of health from the Lord's side. Maybe we can just get a 2 for 1 and kill 2 birds with one stone. I'm thinking so. Receive forgiveness for your sins = be healed physically? Oh yeah, you better believe it! We'll see! =)

Love you all,
Elder Knight

P.S. Shout out to Jeremy Rios, thanks so much for the email. Totally made my day! I'm working the hardest I can to make the best out of the time that I've got. Love you dude!

P.S.S. Parents, I finally remembered to ask President about your question of coming down. I asked him in my weekly letter, so you should have your answer by next week. Not to mention, I'm not even sure if my return date will still be the 18th of Feb. Because due to the new missionaries coming in, I heard they're going to move our changes ahead by 3 weeks, and we'll have to either come home 3 weeks early or 3 weeks late. But its just a rumor, I'm still not so sure because Elder Otriz still hasn't called me about it. But I will tell you as soon as I know too. No worries. I love you! Find your missionary opportunities this week!!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mi querida familia,
This week has just been amazing! First of all, I got a super surprise phone call on Friday evening from the to-be Sister Knight serving in the Nashville Tennessee mission! That is so cool! I have been thinking so much about it, and how great of an experience you have to make it, Haley! It surely will be the best 18 months of your life. Keep preparing yourself, especially by studying you Preach My Gospel manual EVERY day! Just be an expert on the manual, and you will feel so prepared for your mission, I promise you. You will be so much more prepared than I was anyways. 

There is so much time I feel like I had wasted in the first part of my mission for not being as familiar with that manual. Secondly, just learn to leave the worldly things. This goes for everyone, including those who are preparing for a mission as well. Learn to live without a cell phone for a day, and you will surely see that the world does not end. ha ha. Or try not looking at Facebook every day, as I'm sure everyone does, because here in Mexico its normal and there's not even as much access to internet as there is in the states! Learning to leave the digital world behind you will just make your REAL life just SOOO much better, and so much more enjoyable. 

We have a young man who just got his mission call here, he leaves at the end of the month. He's going on his mission to Chihuahua, Mexico. But he has the hardest time leaving his cell phone, he simply can't do it. And it kills me inside, because I can almost promise myself sometimes that he is so addicted that he won't even make it out of the MTC... But we're working with him more and more, oh Darwin. Please pray for him, because he's leaving soon, and it would be tough for his family to see him come back home early.

In other news, we found Cande and Miguel the other day. Miguel had to work this Sunday though and they couldn't come to church. But since the first time we passed by, they seem to be progressing a lot every day! They are starting to pray every day again, and are living more worthily too. In the zone, we went on a lot of divisions this week. We went to Balancan, Tenosique, Candelaria, and Triunfo. It was a crazy week, but we are seeing a lot of good in the Elders and their areas. We are praying to find the people necessary to complete our goals this month in the zone. It's looking pretty tight right now, but we've got a goal in the zone of 10 converts this week, with 7 areas. We'll let you know the results next week. We're going to Palenque tomorrow to interview everyone we can.

I love the mission more and more every day. I'm not counting down or anything, but Elder Randolph is, and he told me I'm in the double digits today, no more 3-digit number for the days I have left. Man, he's a dork sometimes but I love him. We get along very well, and work well together. I'll send you a picture of us on the ride home with a member family the other day, so you can see Elder Randolph, he's from Spanish Fork, Utah. Hope you all have a great week. And prepare yourselves to be missionaries, whether or not your going on a full-time mission. We are ALL called to serve him. =)

Con amor, Elder Knight

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mi querida familia,
This week has been crazy great! We went to the Zone Leader council on Tuesday and Wednesday in Villahermosa. It was seriously great! So much is changing in the mission right now, its crazy, we are for sure setting the new foundation for a lot of success in the next few months. Lame that I'll be leaving soon. Elder Collette is a zone leader now in Coatza so we saw each other in the council again, he's from my MTC district. He filled me in on all the Mitt Romney chisme, I'm pretty stoked, I think it would be so cool for America to have an LDS President. Just show U.S.A. whats up!! Anyways, the council talked a lot about the new form of work that we should be doing. Because we work WAY hard, but at times its not so effective for some Elders who don't work right. Its like they can sometimes be wasting all their effort trying to open a jar, but they're twisting it the wrong way. We have a lot of really great missionaries, especially in our Zone. Our goal this month is to help them find this effective way of how to work. How to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to all in the way most effective to bring all unto Him. We made a calendar and a zone book to keep track of everyone and their branches (Because or whole zone is branches, there are no wards) and their investigators. Its pretty legit. I'm stoked to use it in this month. We are looking to make a "Real growth" in the mission and its corresponding churches/members.

We are now going to be using a lot more, including with the people we teach. Instead of pamphlets and stuff, they expect us to hand out cards and expect the people to look up the website. Its gonna be gnarly awesome. We're even going to make profiles soon, to be announced in December okay. Check it out, I found a great page (you can go to it by clicking on the link above!)

Thursday we went to Palenque and helped the Elders because Elder Romero was sick, and they had citas (appointments) to visit. We set three baptismal dates with a mom and her daughter, and another young woman. The mom and daughter were baptized on Saturday, the young woman later this month. Then Friday we went over to Tenosique to interview another girl and her brother. She got baptized on Saturday, and her little brother this week! Benemerito was also baptized, it was quite a miracle! They are out literally in the middle of nowhere, but the church is super strong down there. They have some great members who are always bringing their friends and neighbors to church on Sundays to worship with them. Great!

So Saturday was the only day this week we had to work the whole day in our area. We busted it out though, left early and went to a colony kinda far away to visit a referral. They weren't home, but we went with a member and found a way inactive lady in her home. She was very receptive and looks like she just stopped going for no reason, and nobody had gone to look for her! More crazy, I saw this little girl just sitting their next to her about 2 years old. And I was thinking for like 10 minutes, "Where the heck have I seen that little girl before?!?!" Upon asking her, she told me that the little girl had been given to her to take care of, she came from Veracruz in a pueblo called San Martin. I was like dang I've never heard of San Martin, but I was in Cuichapa. Then she told me her parents names, Cande and before she could say the dad's name it had already blurted out of my mouth- Miguel! I was like "no way! Is that Citlali?!" She was flabergasted that I knew her name (as I was that I remembered it) and I explained that she was not from San Martin, but a pueblo close by called Cuichapa. I knew her family, and I was in Cuichapa when they all moved away and disappeared. I had never thought I would see them again honestly, but now I'm way stoked to go and see them. We found out their address and we're going to visit them today. CRAAAZZYYYYY, so then I called my Pres. Silva over in Cuichapa to ask him a bit about the family that I had forgotten, and he filled me in. Wow, what a small world. It makes me feel so much that our Heavenly Father is really the one at work in this mission. He knew where that family was going to go, and He puts us where we need to be to help them and reactivate them. I'm just so stoked.

Other news, we put a baptismal date with Victor, the husband of our Primary President for the end of the month. He's one of our "Ancient Men" in the branch who should be members, but aren't for some reason. We've still got 7 more to go, we're going to see how many we can pile up for the end of the month. =D

We're seeing miracles every day here, whether it be in our area or another's, its the same to our Heavenly Father. I love the mission and I wouldn't trade anything for it. No amount of money or anything could ever get me to leave here. And when I do leave, no amount of money or anything could get me to stop being a missionary for life. I KNOW this work is true, I could not possibly deny it when God blesses me with so many evidences of His hand in this work. I invite all to prepare themselves to serve Him as well, because no matter who you are or where you find yourself in life, you can find these faith and testimony building miracles too. Keep moving forward my family. Take care of yourselves, eh. =)
Con amor, Elder Knight

P.s. Included are some pictures of the week.
Palm fronds made into altar decorations for the day of the dead here
A stuffed cat/mountain lion thing we found in an investigators home

And a dead guy in the dirt in front of our house (really just a pair of stuffed jeans and boots from the teenagers downstairs)
*I have also taked alot of pictures here with the members, but they're on my other memory card because we're using it for a branch project. Later.... =) Love you all!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Querida familia,
This month has been crazy! We have had changes all over the zone, and so many things going on in our own area too. It can be hard juggling everything around at times, but as it is the Lord's work, it certainly gets done. My new companion is Elder Randolph, such a stud, I met him in Cd del Carmen a year ago when he first got here. He's from Tenedor Españoles, Utah, and has 16 months in the mission. He just got special transfers from his last area and had no idea he was going to be a zone leader. But he is doing such a great job, he is so in tune with the spirit and ready to work every day. He is just the leader we need in this zone!
One other thing that makes it so crazy, is that in every area there is not an Elder who has more than 4 months in his area. Some have less, up to where the two Elders in Palenque have just 2 weeks(Both of them!) They practically got "whitewashed" into the area, because neither of them really knows anything about the area. But I know their branch president pretty well from having worked with him, and called him the day they got there, and we set up some divisions with them and the members so that they could help the missionaries know the area, the members, and the investigators really fast. It turned out great, and the Elders said that they felt alot better about the whole situation after the members helped. Members are so great. I love members.
Elder Randolph and I are having a lot of references here in our own area too, the members are very supportive. Especially now that President Castañeda pretty much told us all not to proselyte knocking doors anymore. It was strange. I have heard about them doing that in the states, but I didn't think it would happen here! Knocking doors here can sometimes be all the missionaries do. Not so effective though, so we're grateful for the change!
Well, I just got off the phone with Presidente Castañeda right now actually. Just planched me a bit for not having spoken with the Elders in Triunfo about their branch's organization. I just talked with the Elders there today, and they told me that one of their recent convert men is in a calling that is pretty odd for him. And I mentioned it in my letter to President a few minutes ago. So I'm going to call the Elders back and talk with their branch president too to see what we can do for this branch (because president is thinking about closing it if they dont start having branch councils meetings).. but on the good side, good to know that president reads our emails! Haha
I love you all so much, I know that our Father in Heaven is so proud of us when we choose the right. He is always there watching us, even when we might now think so, and He loves us. I know that this is His church, and He watches over it as well, and blesses the members so that they may have strength to overcome the tribulations in this crazy world. I love you all, and hope the best for your missionary efforts every day.
Love, Elder Knight
P.s. Sorry for the scatterbrained letter. We've really got alot going on, I've still gotta type out our monthly report for the zl council tomorrow in villa. Thanks for the comprehension! =D haha
pictures next week!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Querida familia (dear family),

I have had a crazy week this past week, and now this week should be even crazier. We're having special transfers in our area. Elder Marchant is leaving, and we had plans to go visit ll the other areas this week, who knows what it will be like with my new companion. If he doesn't know the areas, it might get a little tricky. We'll do fine.

I have loved this week. i have learned so much. one thing i learned really moved me. I've been thinking about it alot since..

Yesterday I went to Playa Larga in the combi, and coming back to the church building to meet up with elder Marchant, I found a man named Manuel in the church building. An interesting man, very humble, not poor or anything, but in need of help. He came from far away, with problems with his papers because he's an immigrant in Mexico. He was just looking for some help, and it seemed as if nobody was willing to help him. With tatoos all over his arms, even some on his face, he was now a bit older, about 35 years old. But I felt when I saw him that he wasn't what he looked like. I went up and started to talk to him, to find out his story. And i talked with him, asking a few questions about his needs temporal and spiritual, and he was well receptive. He left for a bit, I had given him what I had in my wallet (some 70 pesos, 5 dollars), and he confirmed that he was going to come back and talk with the district presidente because our branch presidente said he couldn't help him.

Everyone was talking to me about how he just came to ask for money and that he was lying because such and such thing he said and then another thing he said to someone else. I listened to everyone, but something kept telling me to just help him, it doesn't matter if it's true or not. I wasn't really sure to be honest, whether he was being honest or just playing me. But I didn't care. What I was sure of is that he is a child of God, and therefore a brother of mine. I realized that he might have a dark past, with scars from it on his own skin that he could not remove. But inside we can all turn around, we can find a change of heart.

Well he told us where he was staying, apparently some people were letting him sleep in their house with him because he was traveling and didn't have money for a hotel for the week. We went to a member who had dispensas from the political parties, with rice and beans and sugar and soup and stuff. We asked them for a bag (because they have hundreds haha) and we went to find his temporary home. We couldn't find it, so we returned to the church building. There we found Manuel again, showered and returned, he had come to talk with the district president, who couldn't help him much either.  I think he decided to give him some oil to cook the dispensa food with.

I kept thinking if what had really happened was true or not. I kept asking myself if he really was in need or not and it was bothering me! And so i decided it didn't matter. If he needed it or not, who knows. God knows, and knows mine and his intentions. he will find more help someday if he needs so. I am content. And I feel like a better person, not for what I did, but for the lesson it taught me. It doesn't matter if I know whether or not they really need help, I should be willing to help them.

Love, Elder Knight

Monday, October 15, 2012

The baptism of Bety

Mi querida familia,  (my dear family)

Wow, I can't believe (cousin) Ryan just got married, that's crazy! I feel like weddings are just normal now, haha. We just married another couple this week. We're way good friends with the licensed in the Registro Civil, and so he's been helping us help a lot of people get ready to live the Law of Chastity. Its great. This week was the best story I have ever seen. (Probably right next to the wedding of Agustin in Carmen)

 It was so great, Bety has been pretty much a member not-baptized for about 5 years. Going to church and her 9 year old daughter was even baptized last year before her. She couldn't get baptized because her husband Armando wouldn't get married to her. Armando's brother is a member, but his mom- no. And I guess his mom didn't want him to get married to Bety because she's Catholic and said that they had to wait more time or something.. ( ?? ..yeah its pretty dumb) But anyways, I guess every time they've tried to get married, the mom freaks out and ruins everything. So its been a crazy week. Straight up novela (romance novel) no joke. So we were helping Bety turn in the papers and everything, and she got them all signed by Armando and the witnesses. And I guess she did it all without her mother-in-law finding out. And then we planned the wedding for Thursday, and Bety was sooo worried that if something happened everything would fall again. Because she had been waiting so long to get married (so that she could be a member of the church).
This is the awesome "Bety" and some folks from her Baptism- I'm on the far left :-)

Well long story short, they got married, and that night they told his mom and she got way mad at them i guess. But they're both like 27 years old already... Whatever =) Then Saturday was the baptism. By far, one of the best baptisms I have ever been in. The spirit was so strong in that room. Not too many people were able to come (but that honestly helped it to be more reverent) and we had her sister-in-law and brother-in law talk about the blessing they have had being members of the church (They also had to go through the marriage process before being baptized.) And Bety shared her testimony after the ordinance. It was amazing. She shared how she hadn't thought this day would ever come. She had always prayed that she could take this step, if it was God's will, and WHEN it was God's will. She was so happy. She then confessed that she had been crying the last 3 hours before her baptism in just pure joy. I was so moved. I loved her testimony, and I know it moved some of the other members who were there in the baptismal service. Then as we sang the last hymn, "I am a Child of God," I was just looking around the room as I directed and saw all the members singing this, and just imagined them all as children, it was such a beautiful moment. I was almost in tears too, just seeing all these men and women, and imagining them so humble and submitting themselves to God's will like a children submits himself to his parents.

I know that this church is true, and that we all must be like this. Then I sat down before sacrament meeting, and Elder Marchant sat at the door to usher (because turns out I didn't go to Playa Larga this week) and I set my stuff down to get some stuff from the library. When I came back, Bety and her 3 daughters were all seated right next to my chair, and I sat down to share my hymn book with her daughter. After the confirmation, Bety sat back down, we partook of the sacrament, and then the President announced that it was fast and testimony meeting. Bety leans over and asks, "Its testimony meeting?!" And I quietly replied yes and smiled. When a few minutes later after other members, she walked up slowly (never having done so before) and went to bear one of the most powerful testimonies I have heard. So sincere and humble. She is going to be an amazing member. I am grateful for the opportunities my Heavenly Father gives me to strengthen my own testimony by being an instrument in His hands to bring to pass the eternal life of His children. I know that He had been working a lot with Bety, and that He loves her so much as He loves every single one of us His children. I know that the Lord prepared the way from the beginning, since before we had even met Rolando in the Registro Civil, and that we met him with one of these purposes: That Bety could be a member of the Lord's true church.

We must become a "saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."
I would also like to share with you a bit of what I shared with the congregation yesterday in my own testimony.
I would like to share with you all what I really know to be true. I know that we all come from the presence of a loving Heavenly Father. We lived with Him before this life, and His infinite love led Him to create a perfect plan for us, in which we could acquire a perfect happiness. I know that this perfect happiness is found in the eternal life. He portioned us a Savior, Jesus Christ, by whom every one of us could follow to receive this happiness. I know that He sent us to this world, with guides, prophets, who show us the way in which we can follow Jesus Christ. I know that living His gospel, and obeying his commandments, and participating in the holy ordinances and covenants in His church and temples will guide us to this eternal life. I know that He is with us when we search for Him. I know that His Holy Spirit resides in each and every one of us who strive to live according to His gospel, and be worthy and clean to feel its presence in our lives.

 I know that Jesus Christ suffered for us in the Garden of Gethsemane as well as on the Cross, not to mention many more occasions in His life, to be able to carry out the Atonement. The Atonement is the greatest proof of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's love for us children. I know that they have blessed me with an eternal family, of which I am so proud to be a part of. Everything that happens to me, could never distract me from the eternal blessings of being with my so lovely family for all of eternity. I love them so much, and I know that we will be together forever if we can be together in His gospel here on earth. I know that these things are true. I am grateful for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the only true church of Christ upon the face of this earth. I know that this church must contain the wholeness of the keys of the holy priesthood to bring to pass God's holy purposes for His children. I know that the Book of Mormon is true because every time I read it I feel the Spirit's presence lighting my understanding. I hope and pray that every person can feel this same Spirit and love that I have felt, because it is true evidence of a successful life. I love this gospel of my Savior, as I do love Him. And I share with you these things that He has made me know, in His holy name, even Jesus Christ. Amen.

Love, Elder Knight

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mi querida familia,

     What a crazy week. We were hardly in our area, from Villlahermosa, to Triunfo, to Balancan. Its been quite the ride. I am not as big a fan of traveling as I was earlier in the mission, thats for sure. In the Zone Leader Council we celebrated the end of the 6 week plan previously set, and President gave the honor of cutting the cake to the zone with the best results of September (along with the Sisters, because ..well.. they're the sisters). Elder Marchant was so stoked he grabbed the knife and just about cut himself ha ha. It felt good, but awkward, because I haven't really been a big fan of being in the spotlight in the mission. We work for the Lord.

     And YES, the general conference was AMAZING! I did get to watch it, in English by the way. We asked the tech guy who came last week from Villa to set up a channel in English for us. He did, and we watched it in another room on the tv. Everyone else watched it in the sacrament room, with a projector. We walked into the sacrament room during every song to see how many investigators were there and count the attendance. It was an incredible experience. We had a table set up on which we could take lots of notes, and white board markers to write inspiration of what we can do in the district and the zone. At end, it was an incredible experience, but we have ALOT of things to do (especially this week) to be able to apply all of the revelation we received. It is great how God allows us to receive and understand His will. When His servants don't even say it, we start to feel His spirit and the thoughts come into our minds and hearts confirming the truth of the revelation we receive. I know He lives, and that He wants the best, and nothing less, from His children here on earth. As members of this holy church, we all have the duty to sacrifice ourselves for Him. Consecrate ourselves, our time, talents, and means to Him(aka: His church and other children in the world). I am so grateful for this privilege of serving THIS mission for Him. I know that He is blessing me more than I am blessing Him. There is so much that I have been able to see, and experience, and learn. I have never had so much love towards a people before, I think. I treasure every moment I have with these wonderful brothers and sisters of mine, they teach me so much. I can honestly say I had never seen such great examples of consecration before, than I have with some of the leaders I have met in my little time here. They are examples to me, and I know the Lord blesses them because of their faithfulness. They are always in my prayers. I thank my Heavenly Father for them.
     After the conference, I was filled with so much love, and positive ideas to help. Also with alot of worry, of possible problems here, as well as at home. I know that our Savior Jesus Christ has called these latter-day prophets to guide us, and warn us in these troubled times. I am grateful for their lives lived and worthiness to be such great instruments in God's hands, for me, in this world.
My hope is that, by reflecting upon these words spoken by the prophets, as well as mine, we can learn to apply them to our lives. We can be more converted to Him, our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. The words often come to my mind, "Believe in Christ, and Believe Him." This means not only believe that He lives, that He is our God, but to also believe in His words and obey them with exactness. "We should know this gospel is true, and be true to the gospel."

     I invite everyone to take a step back in your life. First, look at all of the blessings that you have received (as invited by President Monson). Second, look at everything you have done. Good and bad, and repent for those things and actions of which you wish not to carry with you. And look at what you are doing right now, everything you are doing or participating in, and meditate upon where it will take you. "What you do, where you go, and what you see...are what you will become." I hope we can all put many goals for ourselves to become what our Heavenly Father intended for us to become. Moreso, reach the potential that He has raised for us, by recognizing our spiritual gifts and USING them to bless others. It is true, lifelong service (without rest, "downtime", excuses, or "failure") is an obvious attribute of every disciple of Christ. It is what we should give, lifelong service that is, to really be true to our baptismal covenant with Him. In everything we do, we can ask ourselves, "Am I doing this for the Savior? ...or am I really doing it for me?" In every action we do, we need to be loyal to God. Loyalty is the crowning characteristic of true love. If we really LOVE Him, we would be completely LOYAL to Him. So that, in that final day, on the judgement day, He can look us into the eyes and ask us, "Did  you  love  me?" ...if we did, then we made sure that we remained clean from this generation, and followed His example by serving our brethren here on the earth. By being true disciples, feeding His sheep, loving one another, working tirelessly in His church(which is true). We will never look back until the work is finished. Until we have then BECOME what He intended for us to be. Until we have finally learned how to keep ALL of His commandments, and be wise enough to not cross them. I know that as we do so, His spirit will be upon us to lift us up and inspire us in this marvelous journey of which we are on in this life. I love you all, especially to those of you who are preparing to serve Him with me. Prepare thy selves, and sanctify thy selves TODAY. There is no greater battle awaiting you, other than the adversary in the mission field, and you must be ready to fight with all your heart, all your might, mind, and strength. This is real. This is the kingdom of God upon the face of the earth. If we are but true to Him, He will stay true to us..

I repeat unto you His own words, crying out: "Arise and gird up your loins, take up your cross, follow me, and feed my sheep."
     Come, all ye who are willing.

With love,

Elder Knight

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mi querida familia:
I just love hearing such great news from home. These will probably be the longest 3 weeks of my life... WOOO! But I am so excited!! Congrats Knight family, you are going to have 2 missionaries serving in the best service there is in this life. The mission has changed me so much, I feel like a totally different person now. Its cool haha. Anyways, this week has been just packed full of miracles. We have been SOO stinkin busy it is ridiculous. Running around all day just doesn't even cut it.

So Monday we were way busy with getting blood exams done in the hospital for Damiana and Sergio. We got it all worked out, talked with the Hospital Director, and had the exams done for free, sick! Then we went to the registro civil to talk with Rolando to make sure everything was okay for Friday. Then we were burning a bunch of old clothes we found in the house, up on the roof (we live in an apartment complex) (p.s. burning trash & stuff is normal here) Then all our citas (appointments) with Sergio, Marco, and Juan & Ada. Good day.

Tuesday we went to District meeting in Tenosique, then we had to go take Sergio and Damiana to get the analysis done in the hospital at 1:00 so we could turn in the solicitud (application) before the registro (registration) civil closed. Then we went running around lessons with Marco, Sergio, Janet, Fidel, and having a meeting with Branch Pres. Zenteno.
Wednesday we woke up early to go to Palenque (the temple ruins area). Elder Marchant went with Pakal-Na and I stayed with Palenque to do interviews and investigator inventories. We went on divisiones with Pres. Lastra from there and he is way sweet. We actually missed our bus that night because we were waiting for an investigator to come home from work to get her interview. We stayed overnight, I slept in a tiny little hammock haha. We woke up at 5:30 the next morning to catch a combi home.

Wednesday we got back, showered, planned really quick our day, and went to the ciber to make baptismal invitations for investigators who we felt were ready to be baptized. It was an incredible experience. We felt so surely that each of these people were ready, even when we hadn't taught a few of them in a while. The Spirit made us know who needed to be invited to be baptized this week. We went with each one, and pretty much invited each one to their own baptism. Kim was way excited, she just lit up and accepted, which was a miracle because we had stopped teaching her a few weeks ago because she wouldn't accept to make the little necessary changes to live the gospel. Miracle. 

Then we went with Marco, who was a bit nervous but he knew he needed to make that step. He has been struggling with the vicio (vice or bad habit) lately, and its been a tough fight with his family who don't support him positively sometimes. He accepted, and then we went next door to invite his Catholic neighbor, and in end teach her what the Lord expects of His children. Then we went to Fidel, who we didn't actually give the invitation, but he accepted to be interviewed by the district president to help him resolve his problems so he can be baptized. That was another miracle, because just 2 weeks ago he told us that he didn't want to repent. So that was way cool. Miracle. And then walked by Francisco's house, when I felt the impression to enter in their house because the door was open but the lights were all off. Normally I wouldn't do so, but something just led me to that house because I just unexpectedly stopped in the middle of the street before we passed the house without even looking at it. Francisco was pacing the floor with a lot of problems in his head, with his marriage. We helped him out and I gave him a talk I had been carrying around without knowing why, it was about divorce by Elder Dalin H. Oaks. The Lord had me put it in my bag the other day, just for him I am positive. That was a marvelous lesson with him in the park, we really felt and recognized the Spirit working through us to help Francisco. 

Then we continued to where we were originally going to Sergio's and Damiana's. When we came to their door they were just normal. And we were talking to them about the details of the wedding because it was the next day. And then (they live in a house like 1-1/2 feet below ground level) I crouched down to be at eye level with them both, and told them we had brought a surprise, and pulled out the invitations and copies for them to hand out. They both just LIT UP so much, and Damiana started to almost cry. She told us that their daughter Bety, who is a missionary in Mexico right now, had written them that Monday and told them that they shouldn't wait in getting married and baptized soon. She hadn't said that earlier, but Damiana recognized that the Lord had prepared the path for her family to follow Christ all together. Sergio was way stoked too. Again, Miracle. We went home that night just radiating happiness in the work. Friday they got married, and we went to the church to prepare the salon and clean the font. Then Elder Sylvester came and interviewed Kim, Sergio, and Damiana. We went to Marco like 3 times but still hadn't come home from work, and Elder Sylvester had to return to his area that night. We had thought that maybe he had gotten off work and gone to drink, and his wife thought the same and was way sad.

Saturday morning we called Marco's wife and she told us that he came home late, but fine. And he had left early to go work again, what miracle! So we told her we were going to come back in the afternoon to see him then. Elder Cepeda came to interview him, but he didn't show up, again.. So we went to the baptismal service which was so great, and spiritual.  The members brought a little dinner to serve to everyone after to celebrate the baptism, along with the wedding of Sergio and Damiana. Then we had everyone write letters of congrats to Kim and to Bety (Sergio and Damiana's daughter/missionary), so that's legit. She's going to love it.
Yesterday was a pretty normal day at church, I loved it as usual. I taught how to prepare our eternal families in gospel principles, and I am so doing everything like that when I get back from the mish. I want an eternal family. I love you all so much, I know that the Lord's plan will permit us to live together forever if we make and keep the sacred covenants available to us in his gospel and holy temples. We shall prepare us to enter in worthily always, and make our homes more like the temple every day.

"And that this house may be a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of glory and of God, even thy house;
That all the incomings of thy people, into this house, may be in the name of the Lord;
That all their outgoings from this house may be in the name of the Lord;
And that all their salutations may be in the name of the Lord..
And that no unclean thing shall be permitted to come into thy house to pollute it" DyC 109:16-20

With love,
Elder Knight

**Attached you will find pictures of:
-Sergio and Damiana in the registro civil FINALLY getting married! Woo! It was friday, we had panqué to celebrate, you know
-Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata with some mormon ladies in the Noche Mexicana
-A Mexican lawnmower
-Baptismal pictures of Sergio, Damiana, and Kim who all got baptized this week
-Kim with her uncle and cousins before the baptismal service

Monday, September 24, 2012

No letter this week...too busy traveling as a Zone Leader...

Martha taught me how to use a sewing machine, I don't know why Mom never taught me... haha 

A picture of my desk where I study, thanks for Kristian's graduation announcement Dad! =D that's so great

A picture from our Noche Mexicana (Mexican Night) last saturday, Porfirio and his wife did a cool dance where they tied a bow with their feet. And the temple president came to watch everything with his wife!

"Is that Black Friday in Mexico? Oh wait, no. That's the line of people waiting to get into the hospital at 7:00am to get treated.. No biggie, normal here."

Monday, September 17, 2012

1 Nephi 10:6

Mi querida familia,
     I tell you every week that its been a good one, don't I? I feel like every day here is just amazing, even when there are problems or tal vez (perhaps) things don't happen exactly how we want them to, we can't avoid seeing miracles every day.

Sounds like you guys too. So what are you driving now, Mom? That's gotta be weird having a different car, you had that Enclave for sooo long. I just love our family, I hope Caitlynn and Seth are doing great too, I worry about you all sometimes. But I know that our Heavenly Father is always watching over us. Haley, you just do what you know is right, Christ will never let us fall alone while we are following Him. Literally, when we follow Him, we obviously are always going to be with Him (or Him with us). It's inevitable. He loves us with an infinite love, which has NO limits. He expects every single one of us to do His will. Even when we don't know exactly what it is, we can follow the promptings provided by the Holy Ghost which are purely concentrated to just direct us to Him. When you follow His promptings, you cannot go wrong. Take the step, and have faith to continue. Reagan, you can do the same! Just follow what you know is right, always. You will not go wrong. You know what is right, because we have two incredible parents who have raised us in much wisdom. Speaking of Reagan, I was talking with the young men yesterday during the 3rd hour of church because their leader couldn't come to church. We talked about leaving the electronics (cell phones and computer) to strengthen our relationships with our family. I felt so grateful that I have such a great relationship with all of you. I shared the story of how I just loved going on midnight fast food runs with you all the time. Those are times I really treasure and remember enjoying with my sister. Its such a marvelous thought how little things can make such big impacts on our lives. I miss all my sisters so much. And my parents, my best examples.

     One thing I have especially learned this week is the power in sacrifice and pure dedication. I have never felt so tired yet so alive and satisfied than these last few days. Elder Marchant and I found one of our investigators drunk last Sunday, and it just broke my heart to see it. The Father of such a great family, not to mention such a great man. Satan really can turn the greatest men to make mistakes. We do not judge the people ever, I just feel so much love towards him, Marco, that we worry about him alot. We have seen the problems that alcohol brings into his life and the life of his family. It literally destroys families. It is one of the adversary's greatest and strongest instruments to destroy families these days. Because it is literally everywhere. "Everyone drinks; just a little doesn't do anything; Its only bad if you don't know how to control yourself; It helps me forget my problems; It would be rude to deny the invitation from a friend" Ahhh so many DUMB excuses to sin. Alcohol will destroy every particle of your life and your family, I promise you. Do not give into temptation, nobody can try to justify sinning. You just can't do it. 
     Anyways, after seeing him, we past by his home that next day. He was ashamed, sad, and knew that it was destroying his family. But we taught them clearly that day in this home that it would continue destroying their family if they didn't stop it. We then made goals with them. Especially with Marco. That he would pray every day before going to work, and every night before going to sleep. He leaves for work at 6:00 in the morning, because he's a mason. We wanted him to know that we weren't just saying things, and that this was the truth. When we pray, we receive power to resist temptations. We promised to help him. The next day we woke up early, and ran to his house to catch him before he went off to work, and we found him in the front room of his home with the Book of Mormon open, and him kneeling down praying. It made my heart jump! We talked with him like 2 minutes, and kneeled down again to say another prayer with him. And we've been doing so every day since. We even walked over Sunday morning to pray with him early in the morning too. Elder Marchant and I feel so tired sometimes, but then we just keep pushing forward and working, and the tiredness just goes away. Then we sleep, wake up the next morning and do it all over again. We went to Palenque and Tenosique the other day and it was soo hard, we were so tired in the combi. I totally fell asleep and almost fell over (Elder Marchant was just going to let me fall over too haha, I saw him just staring at me laughing haha) It was great.

It has really made me understand how much prayer can help us in our everyday lives. Marco used to drink daily, stopped drinking on weekdays 4 weeks ago, and hasn't drinken at all for a week. His prayers are so sincere when we pray with him too. He is so humble, and aware of what he needs to change in his life. He loves his family, and his family is so supportive, and so happy. Seeing them all in church this sunday together was so great! This whole week we have just been relying upon Christ to become better missionaries and see more miracles in our area. He is the only one who can provide such power in our lives to change ourselves, if we only permit Him to do so. With our faith and daily repentance, changing ourselves to becomes better persons through His Atonement. I found a perfect quote this morning in the hermana Atilana's house. Its by Hyrum L. Andrus (don't know him): "Man cannot be induced to reach up and acquire the goodness of God unless he realizes that in mortality he is in a fallen state and that he must rely upon Christ for mercy, truth, and power." If we are humble and recognize our faults, if we recognize that only Christ can help us, then we must depend on Him to help us make the changes necessary.

Sorry to get preachy, I just love sharing what I have learned this week. You are all amazing. I am growing so much here. Never thought so before. I just want to stay on the mission forever, but I know my time is running out. I will work the hardest I can, every force in my body should be gone, they're going to have to bring me back home in an ambulance. =) That would be okay with me. I'm not finishing the race walking, even if I have cramps, I'm running anyways... NI MODO (no way)

Con amor (with love), Elder Knight

Monday, September 10, 2012

-with a kid who didn't want to smile in a picture with me this week, but he warmed up to me and smiled

Mi querida familia,
Have I told you how much I just love sharing the gospel with all the people?
This week has been great. We had Zone Leader Council, divisions in Gaviotas, changes with Elder Marchant, Seminary trips again,
Lots of fun stuff. Quite the adventure I must say.
Even when things don't go how we would always like them to, we must know that the Lord is taking charge of everything
Whatever happens is obviously His will. And we don't necesarily need to fix everything that goes wrong, but more so find the way to go on.
Work with what life throws us. Certainly it is like Nefi says in 2 Nefi 2:24
"For behold, all things have been done according to the knowledge of Him who knows all things"
(I think thats what it says, I just translated it, maybe it'd be better look it up in the scriptures and rewrite it...)
Always know, God is at work in our lives. Everything that happens to us, He made it happen
And we must recognize that everything He does is for our good! So we must seriously look for the good in everything.
I love you all so much, try this week to look for the good in EVERYTHING
You will be so surprised with how much better you week goes when you just accept everything as the Lord makes it.

Elder Knight

-with Elder Garcia, he's a missionary in Gaviotas

-with the family we ate with, I guess they're like famous en Gaviotas with all the missionaries or something

-And a better picture of that church in Balancan haha

-Cool picture my companion took of me...I like the rusted fence- artistic don't you think?

Monday, September 3, 2012

My beloved family,

Felicidades to Chelsea and Danny! And especially to my sobrino (nephew) Connor Strong!! You go dude. When was he born? In August? That is the best month, after all... It is so good to hear that Chelsea is fine, I know God is taking care of our lovely family. Haley, let me know whats going down with your papers pleaseeeee. Caitlynn, I love you, but are you alive? And Reagan, You are awesome. I hope SMHS is a blast for you. Hope I didn't leave too many bad marks behind for the Knight's name haha.

This week has been great. I feel so revived really. Not in just this week, but I really love being in the mission. I honestly don't think there is anything better than to serve the Lord all day every day. My worries are His worries, my work is His work, my words are His words. When I got in the mission, I never imagined I would be so incredibly happy all the time. Even when something horrible happens, it doesn't really phase us because we know that it must be a part of His plan, and we should just go along with it, and make the best out of it as we can. Not to mention just how beautiful it is here, I love it so much. I took some pictures this week so that you can all know how beautiful it really is. Walking through the meadow to get to Ultimo Esfuerzo. Or just walking in the afternoon seeing an awesome sunset, I just had to take a picture. Reminds me of Dad alot, because I know you love nature and this kind of stuff. And its always around me, so I never forget about you. =)

We just got transfers last night, Elder Callejas is leaving. And Elder Marchant is coming in his place, we were in the same MTC zone together haha. I'm pretty stoked. But I'm also pretty sad too because Elder Callejas and I got along so well. But it will be the same with Elder Marchant. Speaking of which, he has convinced me to go with him to Comic-Con in 2013. He's way into comics and movies, but not in a nerdy way haha(what a miracle, eh). So we're thinking of taking a week vacation, hanging out in San Diego, going to Comic-Con, and then driving down to his house in Mexico afterwards so he can show me around. Its going to be legit.
We are just loving the area of Zapata lately. All of the members are just so excited and willing to help us with everything we need. Especially the hermana Adriana. She's the President's wife, and is always ready to accompany us to lessons, or help us to pass by for an investigator. In short terms, awesome. We call her our "secret weapon" because she is seriously such a great missionary. When Martha almost didn't get baptized last week, Elder Callejas and I stopped in the street and found a little corridor where we said a prayer to know what to do. We both felt certainly that we should call the hermana Adriana. So we called her and explained the situation and our prayer and she was more than willing to go and visit Martha. Long story short, Adriana showed up like the super hero with Martha for the baptism, and even had a talk prepared. She is just ONE of our many great members here in Zapata. I am so grateful for them, they really do understand the law of consecration, to the full level. Anything and everything for the Lord, and He certainly blesses us. (Picture of the family of Martha and Marco included)
In my studies this week, I have began to read the Book of Mormon over again, it gets better and better everytime you read it. I always find new things, even though I mark the crap out of my scriptures. This time, I even have a little chart that I fill out while I finish every chapter that says "Yo leí el Libro de Mormón" and my handy-dandy book of relatos of the Book of Mormon(haha). Its pretty cool, because while I read them together, I always think of ways we can teach the scriptures more simply and in ways that even kids can understand. And I always learn something amazing, siempre.
I wanted to share with you something that profoundly stuck out to me this week. I have been thinking about it alot. Especially since last week I did an activity in PmG about blessings we receive for living the gospel. It is found in chapter 11 under Promise Blessings..
"Sí, y también consideré que no podrían guardar los mandamientos del Señor según la ley de Moisés, a menos que tuvieran esa ley." -1 Ne 4:15 is so clear. First off, nobody can receive a blessing unless we keep the commandments (DyC 130:20-21). AND, nobody can keep the commandments, unless they first off KNOW them, or know what they are (1 Ne 4:15).
I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ, restored in its fulness, is upon the earth today. And it is true, it must be true. Our Heavenly Father has prepared His gospel within the organization of His church, so that we all might be able to enjoy the blessings that are available to us. Thanks to the gospel, modern day prophets, temples, and the Holy Priesthood we can all be blessed by His loving hands. This is certainly the great and marvelous work that He has prepared for us to participate in. Not only to stand by and watch, but PARTICIPATE! We can! As full-time missionaries, or if not possible, a ward missionary, or just a true disciple of Christ in everything you do. Everyone needs to KNOW the restored gospel is upon the face of the earth, so that they can all live God's laws and receive His blessings, including the eternal life. I love you all, do work.
Con amor,
Elder Knight
P.s. Don't even ask about the picture. All I know is that it is GREAT! John Smith, Pocahontus, Flounder, pelicans, Jesus.. Yep. It all goes together just great =)