Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Bus Crashes and Sleeping Bats

Well, this past week has been a bit slow but still full of movies AND some crazy things happened- I felt like I was in a reality tv show or a movie half the time!

Here are some of the weird crazy things that happened:

-On Wednesday, we were riding the bus to an appointment when a giant cargo truck took out the front right window of the bus! Luckily our driver wasn't hurt! We sat on the bus for 15 minutes while a woman across from us literally said "I need money! I'm definitely hurt! Call the paramedics here!" She really did wait for the paramedics while all of the other passengers all hopped on the next bus!

-On Thursday we took the bus down to the "states" and had an amazing lesson with a woman who we met through our other investigator.
Afterwards we were trying to get to the other side of the states and so we stopped and asked these guys in a mechanic shop for directions.
They offered to give us a ride there but we said no because we can't ride in the car alone with a man. Well as we were walking away they hollered at us and asked if we could just jump in the back of their snazzed up Tennessee pick up- we were like, "Holy smokes, of course!"
I'm not 100% sure it was the safest idea, but it was a lot of fun! It saved us like 30 minutes of walking. I love kind strangers!

-On Saturday we helped at the little pantry again and it was awesome!
When we left I gave them our # and told them to call if they had any extra carrots bc they had a lot that day. Well they called an hour later and gave us an entire crate! Like probably at least 150 carrots!
We had carrot juice that night for dinner!

-Saturday afternoon we were knocking someone's door and Hermana Schmit stepped back really fast and yelled, "What is that??!" I looked up and was terrified. Right above my head was a furry creature and for the first 10 seconds I couldn't figure out what it was. Then it came to me....it's a bat! There was a sleeping bat just chilling on some random apartment door! Hermana Schmit freaked out on the stairwell as I took some pictures!

Now, here are some crazy spiritual miracles that happened!

-Saturday night we weren't sure where we were supposed to go so we went and visited a guy we met a few weeks ago and then we went visit our favorite less active, Olimpia! Well on the way to her house we were crossing the street and let me give you some background really fast so you can see how crazy this story is- we love all of our bus drivers and one of them really loves us even though we never really talk to him- he always honks at us when he drives by, we love it! Well last week the Bellevue Sisters were in his bus and he mentioned to them that someday he wants one if the books that we give away. So Friday night we had some extra time while waiting for a ride from thr church so we sat in the chapel and I walked around and cleaned up all the trash and put the hymn books away in their proper places. While cleaning I found an English BOM and I was excited bc I wanted one to read through and mark for the last part of my mission and have as a
keepsake- but at the same time, in the back of my mind I thought about that bus driver. -so we were crossing the street Saturday night around
8 and a bus pulled up and stopped- it was the awesome bus driver!
First he looked at us and asked if we needed to get on, we said no.
Then I hurried and grabbed the Book of Mormon out of my bag, held it up over my head and yelled, "Do you want this book?!" He quickly replied, "Yes, I do!!" So I hurried and ran on and gave it to him.
After he pulled away I looked at Hermana Schmit and we couldn't believe how incredibly perfect the timing was for that- or that I had a feeling all day that I would be giving that book to him. I love crazy miracles like that!

-Tuesday we were all invited, every missionary, to attend the transfer meeting and it was incredible. We got to perform with the choir and it was so pretty. Well, a man named Dan Clark spake, and at first I wasn't too excited bc I was hoping an Apostle or someone was coming to speak. BUT, he was incredible!! He is an inspirational speaker- he speaks all over the world and he have such an amazing talk to us, specially catered to us missionaries. I have never been so inspired on my mission before to be better and to work harder. He shared some really special stories that I'll share when I come home.

-Tuesday after the meeting was so fun, getting to see all of the missionaries and all of my friends that I haven't seen in forever!
Well, we didn't have a ride home bc the Senior couple we came with, the Donaldsons (We LOVE them), were staying late to give a presentation to the missionaries who were leaving. So we asked the APs what to do and they said they would figure it out. Well, they came back in and told us they had the BEST news.....I was thinking we were getting a full-time car, but it was much better than that! They told us to go home with the Donaldsons and while we were waiting we could GO TO THE TEMPLE!!!!!!!!!!! Any missionary will know just how excited we were. I almost passed out when they told me! It was exactly what we both needed and such a special experience. I just felt so loved by Heavenly Father while sitting in the temple. He is so kind and so aware of our needs.

-Wednesday night we were out with our lovely member Hermana Santiago and after visiting our investigator she asked if we could just stop by and see if a less active that she tries to visit is home. Her name is Nohely and Hermana Santiago has been trying to visit her for over a year and has never had any luck meeting her! Well guess who was outside cleaning as we pulled up? Nohely! And her husband and her cute little boy JJ who's 2! We had a blast getting to know them and I was in Heaven playing soccer with JJ! They expressed how they don't know why they stopped coming really and they want to come back to church!
Hermana Santiago couldn't believe it! She was in a joyful shock after we left! Miracles happen when members and missionaries work together folks!

We had our second FHE for the start of the West Nash Spanish group here and it was so awesome! We had 2 member families there- 12 of them! Our ward mission leader and Olimpia who brought two of her friends who are investigating the church! Hermano Juarez gave a short lesson on faith in Jesus Christ and it was so powerful! We played charades afterwards and ate sandwiches and it was a blast! It is so important to have ward activities where our members can be together and feel unified AND so they can meet and befriend the people investigating the church- so the investigators can feel like they have a "church family."

We haven't seen Victor in over a week bc he's been busy with work and we didn't have a car to get to his place but we ran into him randomly last night and we're going to meet up tonight to eat and teach the plan of salvation! I am so excited, Victor is so amazing!

I was able to meet up with the Aguero family from Hoptown today and it was so nice to see them! They are such good people and I love little Andy! He broke his arm so they were at Vanderbilt hospital for an appointment. I just love them!

It has been raining with thunder and lightning since last night! Like super loud and booming thunder that shakes my soul! I'm not usually afraid of storms but this one has caused me to jump in fright quite a few times! It's expected to keep pouring until tomorrow night at least! Flash floods here we come! Good thing we live on a hill and are on the top floor!

I just want to bear my testimony that I know with all of my heart that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. I know that because of Him, my future is bright and full of hope. I am grateful for the person my Savior has helped me become and for the vision of my future self that I know I can be someday because of Him. That is what the gospel of Jesus Christ is all about- looking towards the future with hope and becoming the people we can be. This true and real hope in our Savior is what brings us everlasting happiness.

I also want to testify that what our families, communities, work places and the world needs is Christ like love. If everyone really took time to try and be like Him and love others for who they are and where they are at in life, we would be free of so much heartache and negative feelings like stress, anxiety, anger and bitterness. I feel like a hippie saying this but I Frau believe that all we need is love- Christ like love. I invite you to take time this week and evaluate how you treat others and react in certain situations. Pray and mediate about how you can be more filled with love and compassion for others.
I promise it will bring a greater light in your life. It will bring you closer to Jesus Christ and an understanding of how much He loves you personally. So regardless of how others treat you, just love them!
Because regardless of the things we do or say, our Savior, Jesus Christ, and our Heavenly Father will always love us!

I leave this small testimony with you in the name of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, amen.

Hermana Knight

Monday, April 21, 2014

Columbia and Cadbury Eggs

"Little Cat" from the Juarez family wanted to wear my tag for a bit and then show her dad that she wants to be a missionary someday!

The plan if salvation chalk drawings (more below)

Hello everyone!

I hope everyone had a beautiful Easter! I had the most beautiful one yesterday in Columbia Tennessee! We were at the mission office yesterday morning bright n early to meet some of the other missionaries in the choir and drive over to Columbia in the mission's giant shuttle! It was fun, I sat next to Sister Jarvis and she had a kazoo and a shaker and played Praise to the Man and Nearer My God To
Thee- it was awesome and I couldn't believe how amazing it sounded! At one point Elder Harris jumped in with his harmonica, it was magical!
Well my BFF Hermana Knecht was in the choir too so we got to spend the whole day together which was such a blessing bc we've never served by one another! We sang in two sacrament services and it was so beautiful. There was such a reverent and sweet spirit during both services. We were able to go to both wards as well and I fell in love with both of their Relief Societies. There are so many amazing woman in the church and I am so grateful for the blessing we have as sisters to have Relief Society. We ended our evening at a Presbyterian church and that was such a neat experience. No one from the Presbyterian church came- which I thought was so weird bc if they were coming to perform at our church then we would definitely all be there to support
them!- but we had many members there and other missionaries with their investigators and it was lovely. During the middle of the performance, I was completely overwhelmed with the Spirit, I was overwhelmed with the love that my Savior has for me. The songs we had been singing for weeks finally came to life for me and I just started weeping during one of the organ pieces. I just sat reading the words to our last hymn, I Know That My Redeemer Lives, and I just felt this cleansing power come over me, I felt my Savior take all of my weaknesses and all of my bad feelings from that day and make me new and make me stronger.
It's a hard thing to describe and it was a very sacred experience that I will never forget. Needless to say, I hope no one was watching me during our last song because I just wept while trying to mouth the words so it would kind of look like I was singing and not having a spiritual breakthrough! Afterwards we had a really fun drive home with our Zone Leaders and then the Assistants- it's so fun being with missionaries sometimes. It was nice to truly feel a part of the mission and feel unified with other missionaries.

This past week has been so so wonderful! We had so many incredible lessons with some people that we really love! There's the Albarenga family that is so awesome! There's about 4 adults living in the house and one of their little boys and their friends from Honduras are always there as well! Tuesday we read from 3 Nephi 11 and compared it all to the Bible and it was so amazing to see them warm up and realize that the Book of Mormon is the word of God too! It truly testifies of Jesus Christ and nothing more! People here in the south are so afraid of anything that's not the Bible- even the Hispanics, it's crazy! God has more for us people! He loves us SO much that He gave us MORE scripture to help us better understand His true gospel. Anyways, Thursday with the Albarengas was so fun bc they didn't know what an Easter egg hunt was so we brought some eggs and taught them how to
play- they loved it! It was super fun. Their pastor was coming by that night to study with them and we waited for a whole so we could join.
Finally he called and said he wasn't coming so Jose looked at us and said, "well, we have you here!" And so we shared a beautiful Easter message and the Spirit was so strong. Their friends were there too so we taught 7 people! They all were eating it up and they all had their phones out to video us singing Yo Se Que Vive Mi SeƱor (I know that my Redeemer lives) As we were leaving Jose was like, well are we going to see you tomorrow? And we were like, YA! They invited us to his wife Maria's baby shower and we had so much fun getting to know all of their church friends- they're the ones who threw her the shower- when we left one of them asked us to come by her house! We were like, "of course!" and got her info. I love this family!

We also had a super fun lesson with Elvin on Saturday! It was a perfect sunny day so we went and bought chalk and taught the Plan if Salvation on the tennis court! He loved it and it helped him understand all of it! I love using visuals because I am such a visual person myself, it really helps people understand more when they have something to look at. Elvin ended up going to church yesterday even though we weren't there, and he loved it! He's the best!

Elvin taking photos of our chalk drawings of the Plan of Salvation lesson

We had a lot of really crazy experiences with following the Spirit lately. We were knocking on former investigator's doors and I felt like we needed to go to Walmart and after I told Hna Schmit and she thought about it, she felt like we needed to too. So we went to Walmart and as we were walking in the bus pulled up and I was like, "Uh Hna, I think we need to get on the bus!" She was like, "Are you serious?!" So we prayed about it and got on the bus! We met some really cool people that day and I feel we did what we needed to, we just followed the Spirit and I know something amazing will come out of that whether we see it soon or not.

Cool story about a previous story I shared about following the Spirit....remember when we got on the bus to look for an address we knew didn't exist and ended up walking down the street and gave a random sad woman a hug and met two teenage boys? Well, we went and visited the address that the boys gave us and no one was home and just as we were about to leave, a car pulled up. It was their mom Anna! She immediately invited us to come in with her and shared a lot of what's been going on in their lives. She's a widow and has one son, Angel, who has been going through a rough time. Her other son, Miguel, is actually not her son, he's from North Carolina and had no where to stay when he moved here so Anna took him in and calls him her son.
Well we had an amazing visit with Anna and she basically said she was an answer to her prayers for Angel and she wants us to visit him and get him involved in our youth programs here. She told us to come back Sunday to see both boys. Well, we text Miguel the next day to see what time we could come by and he told us that Anna didn't want Angel involved in :/ we were almost in tears and decided that we would fast on Saturday. Well, Saturday we fasted that they would contact us or we would know what to do and went to volunteer at the pantry again (which was awesome!) and 30 minutes before we were going to break our fast, guess who text us?? Angel!!!!! He wanted to see how we were doing and we ended up setting up a time to go see him tomorrow! Fasting is so powerful! Miracles are real! I definitely do not fast enough!

Also, remember that crying lady we met in the thrift store a few weeks ago? We finally found her at home! Her name is Irma and she is crazy but I love her! We had an incredible lesson about the a Restoration and she was super receptive! We are going back Wednesday with a member!

Anywho, those were our crazy amazing stories this week. Sorry it was a lot! We are both staying here together one more transfer! I'm not going to troll mountain, woohoo! We are super excited to see what Heavenly Father has in store for us here!

I just want to share my testimony once again that I KNOW Jesus Christ lives. I know with all of my heart that He has restored His true gospel and church to the earth. I am so lucky to be a representative of Him and His church. I love the gospel, it is the only thing that gives me peace and hope in this life.

Even though Easter is over, I invite you to watch the Because of Him video, it's  under 3 minutes and is super powerful.

"Because of Him" 


I love all of y'all so much! Have a beautiful week!

Hermana Knight

Monday, April 7, 2014

Conference and the cat's meow...

Hello everyone,

Did all of you watch General Conference this past weekend?? Of not, get onto LDS.org and watch it! If you did, get onto LDS.org and watch it again! Member of the church or not, I promise there will be something in there for you. There will be something that will help strengthen you personally and strengthen your family. There will be something in there that will be your Father in Heaven talking directly to you. You will get peace and direction. I promise you because it has done that for me.

As I was listening to the morning session of Saturday this morning, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. I am so grateful that God still speaks to us through His modern day prophets and apostles. The world is becoming increasingly dangerous and corrupt. That is why we need, more than ever, God's guidance and strength through the words of His prophet. I am grateful for the hope that comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ. The hope that of we do what is right and live in harmony with Christ's teachings, all will be well.

I am grateful for my mission, it has taught me so much about myself, the Savior and my Heavenly Father. This week we have worked really hard and have seen countless miracles. One night we took the bus down to an address that didn't exist and as we wandered home, wondering why we were led down there, we met a woman who just honestly needed a hug.
I knew The Lord had sent us to her to bring her comfort, even if it was just for 5 minutes. A few more blocks down we met two teenage boys. One of them looked at us and said he was confused about religion and wanted us to teach him. We will be visiting him this week and he is coming to church on Sunday. Just because we went to an address that didn't exist! We had 3 investigators come to Conference- all who we had just met within a week n a half! One of them has a date to be baptized!

We taught Elvin for the first time on Friday night and when we asked him that if he knew these things were true, would he be baptized? He replied, "I know it's true! I just want to go to your church first and see what it's like!" We were like ya please! So he came to conference yesterday morning and loved it. The Lord loves this area and there are so many people here that have been prepared for the gospel. I feel so lucky to truly be an instrument in the Lord's hands.

We went back to see Walaa and her cute family from Iraq this week and her aunt had passed away from a blood clot so her mother was very upset and crying. We were able to translate to them once again that families are forever and that they can be with their aunt and sister again. We sang God Be With You Till We Meet Again and once again, the sweet spirit swelled within each of our hearts. Walaa moved this weekend and we are going to cook her lunch in her new place this week.

Our members here are amazing and truly understand that it's not only us who needs to work hard to see the work grow. The Santiago family explained to us that they need to be obedient and they need to do their part if we are going to get a Spanish group started here. I was so blown away by their humble hearts and their desire to work hard along our side. We are having our first FHE group this Sunday and we are all very excited! Directly afterwards I will be performing with the mission choir for our first Easter performance. An Elder in our mission has arranged a beautiful arrangement of hymns and songs for us to sing and we ran it all the way through and our Mission Mom, Sister Andersen, sat watching with tears in her eyes. The spirit is so strong as we sing of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and that He lives!

That is my testimony today. Our Savior lives. He loves us. He will always be by our side.

Hermana Knight

 Awesome banana soda someone gave us!
I had an exchange with this awesome sister- sister Oldham, she's going home in 2 weeks so it was so awesome to get to serve with her for a day!
That's Sergio from Hopkonsville the day he was confirmed! I couldn't be there so they took a picture of me on the iPad and him to prove that I was there in spirit!
 Waiting for our bus!
Below: Our new ward mission leader, brother Linderes is awesome and drove us and our investigator to conference on his way cool rv van! It reminded me of the one Rita had! Those are the elders in our ward too.
 More pictures in the van! That's our investigator Adony- Elvin's brother. That was my happy face- I was so excited for conference and to have Adony with us!