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!