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