Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Spirit of God, like a fire is burning....

So.... Saturday night we received a call as we were getting ready for bed that President had called a last minute Mission Conference in Franklin TN on Monday. Tons of rumors had been started and everyone had their theories and guesses as to what it was regarding. Some thought they were changing our mission boundaries and I thought that we were all going to be translated as a whole mission! It was so exciting to be with all of the missionaries Monday morning- there are over 200 of us now! We chatted and caught up with one another until we were invited to sit down and read our scriptures to invite the Spirit. After about 20 minutes President and Sister McKee walked in and my heart began to hurt because I had a sense of what they would be announcing. President McKee got up and told us that many times in their lives, he and Sister McKee had been able to do hard things and that the Lord has placed a lot of trials in their lives that they have been able to overcome. He said that what they were about to do was going to be the hardest thing they've ever had to do. Tears and sobs filled the room as President McKee announced that he had received a letter from the First Presidency and they had been released from their calling as President of the Tennessee Nashville Mission. They have been invited to return home back to Idaho as of July 1st. 

Brothers and Sisters, I cannot describe how much this man and woman have meant to us missionaries and the people here in this mission. They have changed this mission forever through their vision and their complete love for the Savior and for us as missionaries. I have only been serving with them for 3 months and I have already felt that love so strongly and I have developed so much trust and confidence and love for the McKee family. It's really really hard to imagine them leaving and it's hard to understand why when Sister McKee is doing so much better but that is where faith needs to come in. A lot of things will happen in our lives that we don't understand and that won't seem fair- but we need to have faith in the Lord and in His will. The first thing President said before he announced anything was that we need to remember that this not about us, this is just about the Lord. We need to remember that in our lives everyday- whether we are a missionary, a dad, a mother, a single sister or anyone- we need to have eternal perspective in our lives and have faith that the Lord knows what will help us receive eternal life and eternal happiness and sometimes what's going to help us most is being molded and humbled and taught through really really hard things. This is a hard thing for me, but I know that the Lord has a plan for me, He has a plan for this mission and I have faith in Him and faith in his plan for us. Always have faith in your own personal Plan of Happiness.

We are children of our Heavenly Father who knows all of us individually and we can feel that love through our Savior Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit. Christ suffered the things he did for us so that he would be able to know exactly how we feel and exactly what we need to endure and have peace and happiness in this life. If you do not have a testimony of these simple truths then I encourage that you start praying and searching the scriptures to feel of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's love for you through the power of the Holy Spirit. These simple truths are absolutely life changing. They have changed my life forever and I will never be the same person after knowing of my Savior and his pure love for me and knowing that I am a daughter of God and that I have divine worth.

The Pastor family came to church again Sunday and we visited with them last night and they are amazing! Sister Ihler and I were struggling to translate for them during sacrament on Sunday and then by an amazing miracle the third speaker was a guest and he gave half of his talk in Spanish JUST for the Pastor family. It was so incredible and I'm so grateful they were able to feel so loved and so welcomed by the members of the church- even by the ones who can't speak Spanish! Santa and Domingo are not married and so we're finding a way to get them married soon so they can all get baptized next month!

I LOVE MY MISSION- it really is the best mission in the whole wide world! I don't know how I got so lucky- I can't wait to work so hard and see so many more miracles. After yesterday, my heart is finally more in the work. We have been asked to work towards having 100 baptisms as a mission in June- the McKee's last month here- and I want so badly to work as hard as I can to help our mission meet that goal and to show President McKee one last time how willing we are to do the Lord's work. Something kind of clicked today and I'm so over being homesick or enduring the days- I'm going to enjoy every second because I'm going to spend every second giving my all to the Lord and sharing his love through his Gospel with others! There is a fire that has been re-ignited within our mission to show the Lord how grateful we are for the McKee's and our willingness to follow his council and do the work. We will see so many miracles this next month. Pray that we will find those who have been prepared and pray for our mission as a whole. Pray that we will have the courage and faith to see the miracles that the Lord has prepared for the Tennessee Nashville Mission in June!

I love y'all so so much! I miss you all the time and I LOVE hearing from you! Send me all the letters you have time to write- your words of support and love mean so much to me.

Hermana Knight

Monday, May 20, 2013

Spiders and hot biscuits!

Sister Ihler, Me :) Santa, Ana, Domingo, Nate, Manuel, Tanner and Tyler!

HOLA!!! So, lately I've been kind of feeling lost and don't feel like we're making any kind of progress here- especiall with the Spanish work. I felt really impressed last Sunday during sacrament that the next week was going to be so important for some reason. Hermana Ihler and I fasted and prayed this past week to receive extra help and guidance from the Lord regarding the Spanish work here in Paducah. We took time to really go through each Hispanic family and prayed about who we should focus on. Then a miracle happened! We met a young man, Manuel, about a month ago and set up a return appointment with him but when we went back he wasn't home and we have never been able to get a hold of him since- well on Tuesday we were on exchanges with Sister McCrady and we were visiting some of our investigators and we walked past Manuel's house and his whole family was outside sitting on the porch! We introduced ourselves and made a return appointment. We went back Thursday and taught them about the Book of Mormon and invited them to church. They are so sweet- they're from Guatemala. We went back Saturday night to invite them again and they said that they would come! We showed up Sunday morning with a member at 9:45 and they were all ready to go! We were a little nervous because our Spanish is still horrible but then another miracle happened! We had met some returned missionaries earlier that week who were selling security in our neighborhood and 3 of them speak Spanish! They are still fresh off their missions and are so fired up about missionary work! We asked if they would be willing to come to our ward and translate for us and they said yes! They played a huge part into helping the Pastor family feel comfortable and welcome. They even taught them the first lesson during second hour- it was so funny because they totally got into missionary mode and were calling each other their companions.  Everything came together and we can't believe that we had the first real Hispanic family come to the Paducah ward!!! Hermana Ihler and I were walking on cloud nine. They said they enjoyed church and Brother Pastor said that he really wanted this for his family and when we invited him to baptism during Sunday School he said that if he continues to feel that this is right for his family then they all will! Then on the way home from church they had Brother Syphus stop at Little Caeser's to get a pizza :) haha we'll go over keeping the Sabbath day holy next time! The Lord has shown to us that there are families here who have a desire to come into the gospel and that it's possible to have them here at church! MIRACLES ARE REAL!! We're having FHE (family home evening) with that family tonight and we are so excited to continue teaching them and help them come closer to our Savior.
 One day there will be a huge Spanish branch in the Paducah Zone! We also had a less active youth who's family(The only Hispanic family in the ward) hasn't come to church in years come to mutual on Wednesday and plans to start coming to church if we get him rides- we're hoping his mom will soon follow his example!

 Transfers were anounced Saturday and Hermana Ihler and I will be staying here! Woo woo! Hopefully we'll continue to see so many miracles happening!

This morning was INCREDIBLE! We left our house early to go over to the Harris' home for a true southern breakfast- homemade biscuits, gravy and sausages with eggs- SO GOOD! Then we went back into their beautiful giant yard and started planting their blackberry bushes for them. I felt like a little pioneer pulling the heavy bushes in my little handcart across the yard. And oh my goodness- I saw SO many spiders! A black widow and the biggest spider I have ever seen in my life- I'm pretty sure it was a female wolf spider. It was seriously huge. The bugs here are unreal and the humidity is crazy! We just keep hearing that it's going to get worse and worse! Yipee! It's so beautiful here, I feel so blessed to be here in Kentucky!

I miss y'all so much! Thank you for all of your prayers and support! I love y'all to the moon and back!

Hermana Knight

Monday, May 13, 2013

Howdy Y'all


I don't have much time today! I'm on exchanges with Sister Turner today in Nashville and we've had a little mini vacay here! We came down with our Zone Leaders for Mormon night at the baseball game here. We went to the Grand Ole Opry Hotel this morning- so beautiful! We've had a lovely day- it's been like a missionary mormon style of Ferris Bueler's day off! Anywho, here's one of my favorite miracles from this week:

We were at a gas station a couple weeks ago when I noticed a Hispanic man putting gas in his car as well so Hermana Ihler and I jumped out and talked to him and got his information. His name is Venencio Cruz. We visited his house last Sunday and invited him to our Gospel class we have on Wednesdays and gave him a Book of Mormon. To be completely honest, I wasn't really sure if he would truly come to class because everyone here tells us they'll come and they never do. BUT as we were standing outside talking to the Elders we saw his red car pull up and our hearts jumped out of our chests and we had to keep it cool so we wouldn't scare him. We had a member in the ward there to help us interpret for him and he loved it. We taught him a little more after class and got to know him better. He is from Mexico and is here on a work Visa. In the three days that he had the Book of Mormon he read 40 pages! He has a sincere desire to be baptized but is not able to come to church because of work. We are going to continue teaching him at nights and will see what comes of it!

Sister Iherl and I feel prompted to really dedicate this whole week to Spanish work. I felt prompted during church yesterday to fast and pray all week and to ask Heavenly Father if there are Hispanics here that are ready to hear the Gospel. We have found quite a few people to teach but I'm having a hard time feeling like they are sincerely interested. We will be working really hard with everyone this week and praying to have the Spirit's help in discerning who really has a desire to learn and how we can be more effective teachers for them.

I love you all so much! Talking to my family yesterday was AMAZING! I have the best family ever and they just motivate and uplift me in so many ways. I hope you all had great wonderful mother's days!

Hermana Knight

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Monday, May 6, 2013

Out of the Ditch...

Brothers and Sisters,
 This week has been so incredible. The funny thing is, I didn't realize it until last night! I didn't think that a lot had happened this week until we called in our numbers and had to actually look at what we had done in total. It's incredible the miracles that the Lord blesses us with and it's incredible to me that I don't even see them half the time! We have come to find that there is a lot of Spanish work to do here. We had 8 new investigators this week - 6 of them being Hispanic! We are teaching two different families (who we just found out are related!) who are from Guatemala. They are ancient descendants of the Indians there- they even speak Ke-chea (?), the ancient language there that is slowly becoming extinct. They have such a love for the Book of Mormon. We've only been able to visit them a couple of times and read a few chapters with them but they absolutely love it. It is such an incredible gift to be able to share this book with these people and be able to look them in the eyes and tell them that this is a record of THEIR people. This is a record of their testimonies of Jesus Christ and a record that He did not forget them. I feel so lucky to be serving in the Spanish language and have the opportunity to teach the kindest most humble people here in the South. There is definitely need for us here! It feel so amazing to be able to say that and KNOW that because I have felt so lost these last few weeks! I feel like I'm finally out of the ditch that I found myself stuck in last week!

Do y'all want to hear something hilarious? I wrote President McKee last week about the car and how truly sorry I was and his response was that he was wondering if I needed a booster seat. I died when I read it! He is such a funny man and is so thoughtful. I am SO lucky to be serving under him and his sweet wife Sister McKee. They are truly incredible people. And our Assistants are amazing, and the senior couples who work in and run the office. I really am serving in the best mission ever!

I don't have much time because we're cutting out P-day in half so we can have a zone sports day after our meeting wednesday but I wanted to share a miracle about a couple we met:
Last monday we had a bunch of plans to go visit people but the moment we stepped outside after dinner I felt (NOT strongly) that we should go knock an apartment complex by where we live. We saw a Hispanic woman going into her home in one of the apts and when we knocked we came to realize that she was actually Indian from India and she was busy but invited us to come back another time. Next door we knocked was a sweet woman who had no desire to listen to us. The third door we knocked this man answered the door and as we were introducing ourselves his girlfriend walked up behind him and had the strangest most confused look on her face. They welcomed us in and they explained to us that they had literally just opened up a letter saying that they were being evicted in 48 hours and were just about to start fighting when they realized that arguing wouldn't get them anywhere. So they calmed down and then they heard a knock at the door- us! There names are William and Arisha. William had a lot of questions for us and Arisha kept saying that it was a miracle that we knocked on the door because she didn't know how to help him. We resolved his concerns the best we could about some things in the bible and then we taught them the Plan of Salvation. The Spirit was so strong. They revealed to us that they had both lost their jobs a couple weeks ago and which is why they were getting evicted. We went the next night- the night they were packing up all of their belongings. Within ten minutes of being there they received a call from their landlord threatening to bring his lawyers if they weren't moved out by the next morning. In the midst of all of this, all they wanted to do was sit down with us and hear our message. The Spirit was so strong as we spent an hour sharing with them the message of the Restoration of the Gospel and what blessings and comfort it can bring. They are so incredibly humble. I cannot believe that with all of their worries they chose to spend an hour with us to listen to and feel their Savior's love through these two young girls who they had just met the night before. They don't have a phone but we left them with our phone number. We hadn't heard from her since Wednesday and were getting worried but we received a call from her last night and she gave us the address of the motel they're staying at. We are hoping to go by tonight and visit with them. Please keep them in your prayers. They are such incredible examples of humility and hope in our Savior.

The Lord is preparing His people to hear of His truth and we are the ones to help bring them to the path back to Him. Please please choose THIS day to serve. Choose this day to open your mouth and share the beautiful message of hope and peace with everyone you see. I promise that the Lord will give you the courage and opportunities to be an instrument in His hands if you pray for them and have faith. I love all of you so much.

With so much love from Paducah,

Hermana Knight

P.S. I have received a lot of emails or letters about my address- my address stays the same my whole mission because the mission office will forward all of my mail to me. Their address is:
105 Westpark Dr Ste 190
Brentwood, Tn