Last Tuesday during Transfer Meeting they had each of the new missionaries stand up one at a time and open their cute little envelope that had their call and I was called to serve in the Madison SP area( West of Nashville) with Hermana Hendrickson who just happens to be from La Mesa in San Diego! Then as we were leaving I found out that Hermana Hendrickson had only been here one transfer and we have been called to open a new area for the Sisters....wait what? Oh and we don't have an apartment yet! So the Elders in our area were so nice and gave us their apartment until we find our own. They are living with the Zone Leaders down the street. We have actually been called to serve in the Madison Branch and the White House Ward, so we will be speaking Spanish and English this transfer. I guess eventually our area will be a "Spanglish" area and they might have one Sister who speaks English and one Sister who speaks Spanish. We are "white washing" the area, which means we have a fresh new Area Book that hasn't been touched so a lot of the first few days were spent tocando (knocking). Our fellow Elders in the Madison Branch were so kind to give us some referrals they had received so we had a little bit to start with. We knocked a lot around these trailers 5 minutes away, where a lot of the Hispanic community live. I LOVE the Hispanic community because no matter what they will invite you into their home and talk with you. I love being in their homes but let's be honest...I only pick up like 10% of what they are saying! But it's so amazing how I can know what they are saying not by their words but by the Spirit. I won't understand a word they are saying but then I will feel the Spirit of their words and 9/10 times my promptings are correct and I can contribute what I can to the discussion. Keep me in your prayers because I have a long ways to go with this language! The White House ward is incredible, they made a goal as a ward to hand out a 1000 Books of Mormon this year and they are just on fire! Sister Wolferts who is my favorite person ever has already handed out 16 and I'm pretty sure she was called as a ward missionary because of it! Both our Bishop and Branch President are so humble and so helpful. We are so lucky to be where we are! We're living in Madison right now but we're trying to find a place to live in White House, we think we've found somewhere but we'll see what happens. We share a car with the Elders in the White House ward but since we're not in the same area we get to keep the car 24/7 right now :) Thanks Elders! It's kind of crazy because there are two sets of missionaries in the White House ward and THREE sets of missionaries in the Madison Branch because the area is just so spread out- we have so much work here! Since we're in both we get to go to 5 hours of church, which I absolutely love! We were at church for 7 hours yesterday which is kind of crazy! All of the Elders here are so amazing and are super helpful and are so much fun to work with.
I am having a hard time finding the words to say because there's just so much going on here and in my mind! I'll just share two miracles that I am so grateful for this week:
Miracle 1: We felt prompted to stop on May St on our way home Thursday evening and we started walking up to the fist house we felt drawn to and Hermana Hendrickson mentioned she wanted to sing a hymn, How Great Thou Art, and so I went back and grabbed my hymn book and when we knocked this nice woman named Vicky answered and said that she had company over but that we could visit another time. We asked if we could leave her a song and she replied "Is it going to take long?" and we said no, we'll just sing one verse! So we sang her the hymn and afterwards she was quiet for a moment and she said "That was my mother's favorite hymn and we just lost her in 09." We know that we were prompted to go to that house and sing that song. We returned Saturday and she welcomed us with open arms and we sat and talked to her for a little over an hour. During that time she revealed to us that not only had she lost her mother, but that she had lost her husband in 07. She had been dating a man for 3 years, they lived together for over a year and they had just broken up last month. She said that she felt that she needed the Lord more than ever in her life (She's Christian) and that she really felt like He led us to her house and that she needed us. I am so grateful that she was able to recognize and feel that miracle. The Spirit was so strong. We talked a little of the Plan of Salvation and a little of the Restoration. She told us that she would read and pray about the Book of Mormon. The faith of Christ is so strong in this woman, even as she was smoking her cigarette as we were teaching (uhhhhhhh) we felt the Spirit touch her heart and it was amazing to witness her heart open more and more to what we were sharing. We are seeing her again tomorrow and I cannot wait. I am so grateful to have witnessed the truth that the Lord truly does prepare the hearts of the people and he prepared people specifically for us. I know that he prepared me specifically for her. I related to so many things that she had been feeling and going through recently. She had two little adorable dogs(Pretty and Mio) and so we bonded over our love for our dogs too :)
We prayed that the Lord would guide us last night on our way home from our dinner apt and we were led to a little side street off the main road by where we live. The first house we knocked was hilarious because the woman opened her blinds, looked us in the eyes and sat back down on her couch and continued watching tv haha. (I'm so grateful for the sense of humor the Lord has blessed me with!) Then we both felt like we needed to go to her neighbors and when we knocked a teenage boy answered the door and I started talking to him in Spanish and then when he opened the door I realized that he was not Hispanic! Ha, his family was actually from Egypt! The Adeeb family is so amazing. They had moved here in 07. The mother was so warm and so inviting. She was holding her 3 month old son Steven and asked us to please sit down. Soon her husband, two daughters, her two sons and her were surrounded around us on the couch. They told us that they were Catholics and they had to leave Egypt because it became more and more (as we see now) unsafe for them to be there because of the Muslims and their acts against the Christians. Everything we said would be interpreted to the father who only spoke Arabic and then they would translate his response for us and he would just have the most incredible things to say to us- he would always just find ways to build on top of what we were sharing and make our message even more powerful. He said that he and his family would listen to anyone who spoke in the name of Christ and that he really appreciated us for coming into their home to speak of Christ. We had a really interesting and beautiful discussion about the Book of Mormon and the father said that they would definitely read from this book and find out for themselves if it is of the word of God. We showed him how to get onto LDS.org and translate the scriptures into Arabic and we also promised that we would bring him an Arabic hard copy soon. I just felt the Spirit so strongly in their home and the faith that they had in Christ was incredible. They had given up so much for their faith in Christ. They asked us to pray for the people in Egypt, especially the father's brother who is still there and trying to get out to America to get away from the violence. They allowed us to leave them with a prayer and there was just such a powerful and sweet Spirit and I have such a respect and love for this family. They invited us to come back this week and share more with them. I will never be able to express the Spirit that was there in that home, in that family.
I kind of felt like I was dropped into the shark tank at first- such a crazy experience my first few days here. I wouldn't have it any other way though. I was so blessed to find joy in every moment. I feel so blessed that the Lord trusted Hermana Hendrickson and I to open this area and to get the ball rolling for Sisters here. The Lord knew I would need to be put into this situation to really grow and to really rely on Him. I feel the Lord everywhere I go, I feel him on the doorsteps where we knock and in the homes that we teach. I see Him in the children we meet. I see Him in Vicky and in the Adeeb family. The second I looked down from the airplane and saw Tennessee, I had a feeling that I was home. This is my home. I know that this is where the Lord has been preparing me for- for probably my whole life. We are teaching a woman referred to us from the Elders- Telma. The moment we walked up to Telma's door last week, I recognized her house. I dreamed of this house 2 or 3 years ago. A little two story pink town house with Lions at the bottom of the stairs. I was filled with so much peace because the Lord testified to me through that dream and in that moment that I was exactly where I needed to be. I am so grateful for the faith that the Lord has in me. I feel so blessed to be here and I am loving every single moment of it. I even loved when a crazy cat lady slammed the door while I was in mid-sentence!(We walked away singing There is Sunshine In My Soul) I have been humbled so much in this last week but the Lord has helped me to grow so much. I feel that the Lord has prepared great work for me here and I find so much joy in that.
I can't believe it's been TWO YEARS!!! I can't believe he'll be stepping off of the plane in just a few hours! Everyone back home give Trevor the biggest hug for me!
My dear dear dear brother,
I don't think I had a clue what your mission would be and would mean to me. Because of your example I found myself back in the fold of our Savior. I found myself answering the call to follow in His footsteps. You are a huge part of why I have the testimony that I have and why I'm here on a mission. I just want to thank you for your example of faith and your example of courage and joy in this work.
I love all of you so much! You're all in my thoughts and prayers daily and I hope that you are finding ways to come closer to Christ and come closer to the children of God that you have been created to be.
With so much love and so much joy,
P.S. Thank you so much Rocky for sending me the program from our ward! I feel so special to be featured on the back! And I love that I have a picture of my MTC zone to look at everyday now! My address here in TN is:
Sister Haley Elizabeth Knight
Tennessee Nashville Mission
105 Westpark Dr Ste 190
Also I get to go to the Temple on Friday and I'm sooooo excited! It is such a little temple because I guess the people here made it really hard to build but it is so beautiful!!!!