Thursday, January 31, 2013

2nd letter to family and friends

Hola mi familia y amigos!

    Life at the MTC is great! It's really really hard at moments but then the Lord blesses you with these amazing moments that just fix everything and put your mind and heart at peace. We were reading in Ether yesterday about the brother of Jared and the stones the Lord gave light to with his finger- please go read it! - but I had this realization that we too, like the brother of Jared, need to prepare stones for ourselves so that when we are in need, the Lord can give us the light to get through our storms. I also realized that there are SO MANY out there who have been preparing these stones for themselves and are just waiting for someone to show them how the Lord can light them- we as missionaries have the divine calling to be an instrument in the Lord's hands and give light to other's stones- please please please please find ways to share the gospel with others whether through your words or actions- share the spirit of Christ with them and give light to those stones that they carry around. 

Elder Clayton of the seventy spoke this week and gave a wonderful and powerful message on the importance of having a loving and strong companionship- JUST WHAT I NEEDED TO HEAR! Sometimes I forget I have a companion and I'm like why is this girl following me everywhere??? I need my space! But then I remember that the Lord sends us two by two and I stop thinking about myself and think about how I can serve her and how we together can serve our fellow hermanas y hermanos. OH! and Elder Clayton had just gotten back from Villahermosa and was at the same conference Elder Knight was at!! (my brother Trevor)  I about died and had to go shake his hand after so I could get as close to my brother as possible haha. I miss mi hermano so so so much but I'm so happy we both get to rejoice in this work right now. 

Thank you SOOO much for all of the amazing, loving and inspiring letters! I am so lucky to have grandparents, aunts and uncles that love and support me so much, I got all of them on the same night and felt so incredibly loved! I love how my brother-in-law is the only sibling I've heard from since I've been here haha but oh my goodness Danny, your words meant so much to me and were so powerful- I could tell you were representing Chelsea and the boys as well! I'm going to do my best to write everyone back personally today!!! I just feel so lucky to have the family I do and I'm so happy to know that I get to live with all of you forever and ever :) 

We just got back from going to the temple this morning and I love being there because I always feel my nana and grandma Gwen and the love and support that they have for me and for all of you. I don't really have a whole lot of time and so I'm sorry if this email is so random and jumbled up! Oh, this week I thought to start playing 'guess what Disney ride I am' with the hermanas when we need cheering up- you act out a Disney ride and they have to guess- and Hermana Knecht (my favorite little hermana) decided that we should dress up everyday with a different Disney theme and it's been so fun. All of the elders in our zone have been doing it along with us! Monday was strictly Disney rides or attractions and I dressed up as theTiki room! Tuesday was California Adventure ride and I dressed up as human Ursula from the Little Mermaid Ride. Wednesday was Prince and Princess day and most of the elders decided to wear ties that represented Princesses instead of princes, which I found pretty funny. Of course we can't actually look costumey so it's fun trying to find a way to look like these things as a missionary. Tomorrow is Pixar day and I'm probably going to be Edna from The Incredibles.

 I love you all so much and keep up the dear elders letters because they really really help me get through the week! Send me more treats and letters please! I can never have too many words from loved ones and too much sugar! I hope all of you have felt the love that the Lord has for you this week and have felt the love and appreciation I have for you. Miss you all!

Hermana Knight
Elder Brown

My favorite

My MTC district

My MTC companion Sister Clark

Elder Hunsaker who looks like my cousin Sawyer

My MTC desk

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Haley's first letter!

Hola mi familia y amigos!!!!
I'm alive! I made it a whole week with only a few breakdowns!!! So, the MTC is totally Mormon Hogwarts, I love it!! Everyone has their own houses(zones) they belong to, there is endless amounts of food in the cafeteria, one of the elders in my zone has a potions class during meals when he goes and makes everyone weird drinks from the juice and soda fountains, we get to leave the grounds and go to hogsmeade (the temple) once a week and we have defense against the dark arts sometimes! When I first got here I was totally freaked out because the second after I said goodbye to my family I was in a class where there was a strange man speaking only spanish to me and they told me that the redhead sitting next to me was my companion- so weird! I had a breakdown my third day because the language was not coming and I had no idea what my teacher (who's amazing!- Hermano Zuzunaga from Peru) was saying to me and it was very frustrating. BUT the I'm finally starting to understand a lot and I can somewhat teach a discussion en espanol now! Third day here they gave us an investigaor and we had to teach a discussion in spanish- WHAT??? we've now met with him 5 times and through a lot of struggling and frustration we finally learned to just go in and trust that the Lord will provide and he WILL. Our last discussion was beautiful and I truly felt the spirit guiding me and I was able to say what I wanted to say in Espanol. Please pray that I'll be able to pick up this language in 6 weeks! Hermano Keller is one of our resource teachers and he's actually the Smithson's nephew! He's great- Everytime he walks in I just think about how much I love the Smithsons and how much I loved being Sister Nelson's visiting teacher for a month! I saw Johnny Slagle once and I freaked out because seeing someone you know here is the best thing ever- it just brings such comort for some reason. The fireside and devotional this past week were amazing and I feel so blessed to be here with all of these willing and excited young brother and sisters who have so much hope in the Savior and in His work. I feel so united- it's a very powerful feeling. My companion is Hermana Olson and she has bright red hair and always has a funny story to share....always :) haha. I really love her and I LOVE the other hermanas in my district, I room with the two 19 year olds and they're so innocent and adorable. There are 6 Elders and 6 hermanas in my district and the rest of our zone is allllll Elders! They're so nice and so funny. One of the Elders- Elder Lloyd pretends to be really shy and will have his companion make random anouncements for him in our class like- "Elder Lloyd will not be able to speak to any of the hermanas during lunch today" or "Elder Lloyd will be available for a Q and A during lunch" and then we'll have a Q and A with him and he's hilarious. I love everyone in our zone, I feel so lucky to be working with such amazing people. I EAT SO MUCH!!! I've finally taught myself how to calm down and not grab everything I see. I ate bowl of cereal after every meal for the first two days and soon realized that it wasn't probably the best idea- thank goodness sisters get gym time. Waking up early surprisingly hasn't been too much of a struggle- we actually wake up at 6 everyday because 30 minutes is NOT enough time for sisters to shower and get ready! We got to go to the temple and do a session at 6:30 this morning and it was amazing- such a beautiful way to start the day. I am so grateful for P day, I definitely needed a day to just calm down and take time to wind down because you seriously are go go go go go go go go all the time everyday- I still haven't figured out how to fit everything in yet, it's definitely a balancing act. The first days were so so so hard and I was truly humbled in so many ways and I was discouraged and I missed you all but I feel really good now and I feel like I have the hope and faith I need carry on! I had the most simple but profound thought the other day in my studies that totally helped me put everything into perspective- When Christ was atoning for our sins, he must have thought about each and every single one of us- because he knew all of us before any one came to earth and he LOVED us- and I truly believe that because of his individual and powerful love for every single person, he was willing and able to withstand the pains. At some point he thought about you and he thought about me, he knew of my weaknesses and he knew the things I would struggle with and he wanted to prepare a way for me to be made clean again through his sacrifice because of his love. I hope and pray that someday I will have this kind of pure love, I know it's hard in these mortal bodies. I hope that all of you will think of that love and strive to have that love for Christ and for others. I believe in this work and I believe that if I am faithful and I trust in the Lord that he will use be as an instrument in His hands. I am so grateful for this gift that he's given me. This mission is such a gift.
               Love you all!!!!!!!
                           Hermana Knight!
 I need to hear from all of you!!!! You have no idea how good it feels at the end of a long hard day and Elder Larson hands me a sweet dear elder from my mom- it's the best! Please please please write me through dear elder whenever you have a free moment! I would love to hear from you! My departure date is 2-25 and the mission or box # is 266. Also if any of you lovely people would like to send me treats or random hair accesories or lip stains, I would be SO grateful ;) I can't email anyone but my fam so please send me dear elders or letters through the mail and I promise to write back!!! :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Haley reports to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah

January 16th, 1:30 pm.  Haley reported to the MTC.  Her older sister Chelsea Hertig and her next younger sister Caitlynn Twitchell were with her.  Her two nephews, Chelsea's sons Connor and Porter were also there.