Wednesday, October 28, 2015


The hermanas and I have this thing we say, "SUPERAR!" which means “overcome” in Spanish. It was kind of a joke at first, but now it's kind of a cool mission motto.

We decorated our door with SUPERAR! 

I'm doing much, much better. I barely have anxiety anymore. Still feeling pretty lonely at times, but overall, I'm just way too busy to think about myself that much or that often. Friday night was when everything turned around for me. Three miracles happened on Friday night that really were tender mercies. The first was my amazing letter from Dad. He said some seriously helpful things and bore a great testimony to me. I keep that letter in my bag that I carry around everywhere, so when I start to feel a little sad or anxious or need to feel the spirit more, I can read it. I just got mom and sister’s letters yesterday, so now I carry Mom's around too!! I'm so, so, so, so glad to see that my family is already being blessed for my service. It helps me remember that this is all worth it. It is SO hard.

The second thing that happened was I taught my first "investigator" (he is not a real investigator anymore. He was baptized 2 years ago) it was a RUSH! And holy cow the gift of tongues is for REAL. I was speaking Spanish all over the place! It also reminded me of another huge reason I wanted to be here; I love to teach, and I love to help people, and I LOVE SPANISH.

The third awesome thing Friday night was actually a cool dream I had. I was praying really hard Friday night for comfort and reassurance that this was the right decision. Then I had a dream that my district and I were sitting around this huge table and at the head of the table sat Pres. Hinckley. We were all so excited talking to him because he was our president [of The Church] all growing up and we miss him so much. We were asking him all these questions and stuff and we were all crying. He told us he was so proud of us for this amazing sacrifice we are making. He said he knows it is so hard, but to not give up, because he is best friends with Heavenly Father and Heavenly Father told him to tell us we are doing great. How cool is that?! I know it was just a sort of weird dream, but it was exactly what I needed. I know Heavenly Father is so proud of me. I had been praying for help and that just really made me feel like I was doing the right thing. God is so cool!

I've mentioned my "district" twice now. Basically we have companionships, then a district, then a zone/branch. My companion is Hermana Annie Aldrich. She's really nice and is a master of trivia. Seriously she knows everything about everything. Then there is Hermana Naulu, who is half Tongan (cool), and Hermana Alexander, who is from Washington and totally knows mine and Hna. Aldrich's mission!! She and Hna. Naulu are going to Fresno, California. We four are the girls in the district. Then we have six Guys. Three are going with me and Hna. Aldrich to Yakima, one is going with Hna. Naulu and Hna. Alexander to Fresno. The other two elders are going to Ecuador. All of us are Spanish speaking. They are all great and I'm making friends with them a ton because we spend like 16 hours a day together. It's pretty weird though, because 4 of them are younger than Libbie!!  It's actually pretty fun because I am the district "big sister" I'm at least 9 months older than everyone else, so they are always asking me questions and I love to give advice. I'm also WAAAAAAAAAAY farther ahead in Spanish than everyone else because they put me in a beginner district! It kind of sucks, because class is boring at times.

 Hermana Aldrich & Hermana Knight

 Hermanas Knight, Aldrich, Alexander & Naulu

The Elders

We don't have a bunch of classes we move around and rotate, like HS or college, it's more like elementary school where you stay in your classroom all day and only have one teacher. Except our teacher is only actually here 3-5 hours of the day. The rest is self-taught study time, or we are having devotionals, or meetings. Except David A. Bednar told us not to call them "meetings", he said "revelatory experiences”.  Anyway my teacher is Hermana McBride, She is about 24 or 25 but she looks like she is 12! We are becoming good friends.

For the most part I'm really really enjoying the Spanish, but when Hna. M. is here I am so bored. She teaches us stuff that is like super, super basic. Like "hello, how are you" the alphabet, numbers, ser & estar, how to conjugate verbs, basic sentences etc. It's basically like Spanish kindergarten. The other day after class was over she pulled me aside and asked if anyone had told me about the intermediate or advanced Spanish tracks. I said no (because I didn’t) and she said she really wished they could move me to an intermediate level because she could tell I already knew everything she was teaching. I was already praying and bearing my testimony in Spanish on the 2nd day, and these days I'm speaking about 80% Spanish most of the time.

I know it's only been like a week, but it seems like forever to me! There's a saying here that the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days and it is so true!! We all do pretty well though, except around 3-5 pm when we start to get burned out, plus we all get homesick because that's the time of day we are used to going home and telling our moms about our days. Once 6pm hits though, we are usually fine though. 

It also helps a lot on Sunday and Tuesday nights when we get to see our Branch President, Kevin Doman and his wife and the counselors and their wives. The wives are really good at giving "mom hugs" and seriously "Father" Doman is like a future apostle or something. He is really good at giving specific advice that I'm just like "how did you know that about me?”

I have to go pretty soon but I just wanted to tell about 2 more things! First, we got to hear from an apostle, Elder Neil Anderson last night. COOL. And 2nd, we had a testimony meeting with Father Doman, Mother Doman and our district last night afterwards. The Spirit was so strong. We all went around the room and told our name, where we are from, where we are serving, why we decided to go on a mission, and what we had to sacrifice to be here. When I was talking about my sisters and missing them so much it made me cry, but then I shared my testimony and told about how I was already seeing little miracles and blessings for my dad, and I cried even harder! But for the first time, they were happy tears. :)

I love you all so so so so so so so much. I can't even put into words how much I miss you, but I know it will all be worth it, and as long as I am selfless and focus on others that I am teaching (I have 2 investigators right now) I am fine. Heavenly father is for real, and his love is for real. A cool quote from Elder Anderson last night. "Heavenly Father knows it is so hard, and it hurts to be away from your family. He might not always take away your pain, but He will always give you a way to overcome it." SUPERAR!!! Overcome. My new fave word. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Last Days at Home, First Days in the MTC

Last Sunday was a wonderful day. We enjoyed listening to Alison speak at church (the text of her talk is in a separate blog post), as well as the four sisters singing together, a song called, "Wherever You Are." In the evening, we had an open house to let everyone say goodbye. We were happy to be able to squeeze nearly 100 people into our house! It was great to have so many people come show Alison support. She felt really loved. We are so lucky to have such wonderful friends.

On Monday, after doing all our final packing and last-minute shopping, we had the opportunity to go with Alison to be "set apart" as a full-time missionary. We met with our Stake President (a local church leader), who shared some of his thought with us about missionary work and also shared his testimony. He then placed his hands on her head to give her a blessing and set her part for mission service. Click here for more information about what "setting apart" means. She was now officially a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! It was a special and spiritual experience, and I am thankful to have been able to be there for it.

Tuesday morning we left early for the airport, where we met Grandma and Grandpa, to see Alison off. We tried to make our goodbyes quick, so it wouldn't be as difficult for Alison to leave. But it was still hard, especially when the four sisters huddled in a group hug, crying. They all have a special bond, which I absolutely love. I'm sure these are the three people she will miss the most!

After flying to Utah with her dad, Alison was able to spend the evening with our dear friends before heading to the Mission Training Center on Wednesday morning. This is a video that tells a little bit about the MTC:

I have heard a lot of people say that the first few days in the MTC can be an overwhelming experience. It is hard being thrown into this new, regimented and busy schedule, spending much of your day in gospel study, missing home and family, and for some, learning a new language. This has been true for Alison. She wanted me to share with you her experience "without sugar-coating anything". She wants others who may be entering the MTC later on to understand that it is a difficult experience and to prepare for that. But also understand that through this struggle, missionaries can become closer to God and learn to rely on Him for support.

On Wednesday evening, I received a phone call from Alison. This is not typically allowed, but in some circumstances, missionaries might be permitted to call home if they are struggling. She had been having a really rough time and went to visit with a counselor on site. She was feeling completely overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious. She was feeling unprepared for this experience and wanted to come home. I have heard of many missionaries that feel this way in their first few days. I was able to talk to her for quite awhile and help her feel better about things. I assured her that her feelings are completely normal and that I knew she could handle this. She felt she could keep trying for a little longer.

Friday we were surprised with an email!

Surprise! I get to email you real quick this morning just to say hi and let you know how I'm doing.

On Wednesday I had a meltdown and went to talk to the counselor who's on call here at the MTC 24/7, and then I ended up calling my mom. I felt like a wimp but it really helped me so much. Yesterday was really good most of the day. But I have Spanish class for 5 hours straight every day, and about half way through I started to lose my cool. I was just getting stressed and restless so I ended up going to the counseling place again after dinner and talking to my district president. It helped me feel a little better, and he gave me a blessing. Then I went to meet my branch presidency and their wives and got a good "mom hug" from Sis. Hughes. It made me cry, but then I talked to her and Bro. Hughes for a minute and felt totally better. I keep having to remind myself how many people are rooting for me.

My compaƱera es (companion is) Hermana Aldrich. Also there are only 4 Hermanas (sisters) in my district and usually there are 6 or 8, so we have a lot more space in our bedroom. (all the sisters share rooms with all the other sisters in their district) I room with Hna. Aldrich (compaƱera),  Hna. Naulu, she is Tongan, and Hna. Alexander, who is actually from the Yakima Mission! Both me and Aldrich are going to Yakima, so that's cool because we will get to see each other after the MTC. The other two sisters are going to Fresno, California.

I normally will write emails and send my letters on Wednesdays (so this is not my usual p-day), but this morning we are doing a service project, cleaning someone else's residence hall, so we get to wear p-day clothes and use email for 15 minutes. (P-day is “Preparation Day”, when missionaries are able to get things done like laundry, grocery-shopping, and emailing home).

We are teaching our first mock investigator today, too. His name is Antonio, and he actually joined the church a few years ago, but he is pretending to be an investigator at the MTC, using his own story, to help us practice. I have to teach a 20-30 minute lesson completely in Spanish!! Also, we have to prepare a 3-5 minute talk every week for Sunday, because the branch president just randomly calls on people in the congregation to speak!! AAAH! I barely have time or energy for that! Oh gosh, it is crazy. 

Right now I'm surviving, but this is seriously, seriously hard. I didn't even put on makeup today because it's pointless. I'm always crying about something. Either the anxiety and stress, or I'm just super tired and emotional, or I feel queasy, or I am just feeling the spirit super strong. It's funny because I thought I was going to like the break in the day of having Spanish and being purely intellecutal, with out a lot of church stuff, but I find myself craving the church stuff during Spanish class, because the only time I feel peaceful is when I am feeling the spirit strongly.

I don't have much time left, so I just want to end by bearing my testimonio en Espanol!

Yo testifico que JesuCristo es el Salvador, y mediano el Espiritu Santo nos puedemos superar todos luchas tenemos. Yo se que las familias son eternales. Yo se que el Libro de Mormon y La Bibila son veredades, y Jose Smith es un Profeta de Dios.

Te amo mucho, 

Hermana Knight

Please join with us in praying for Hermana Knight and the other missionaries in the MTC, as they are getting used to their new routines and being away from home. Also, she would love letters! If you would like to write, her address is: 

Sister Alison Irene Knight
Dec01 WA-YAK
2005 N. 900 E. Unit 50
Provo, UT 84602

Monday, October 19, 2015

Faith in God's Plan- Alison's Farewell Address

1 Corinthians 13:12 says- “For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part, but then I shall know even as I am known.”
Even through all the trials, I have become somewhat of a hopeless optimist in my last 3 years of mission preparation. I didn’t know I was preparing for a mission for most of that time, but Heavenly Father was preparing me anyway, because He knows what’s ahead, and all things work out for eventual good in His timing, as long as we let them. That’s the subject I would like to talk about today, because looking back it has been the main theme of my mission prep and in my life- Faith in God’s Timing, and His plan for each of us. As of a couple years ago, I wasn’t even going to serve a mission. But then a series of events happened, and I would love to tell the whole story but we don’t have enough time here, so I’ll give the short and sweet version. I went to high school in Utah and in 6 months time after graduation 70% of my classmates were gone on missions. I’ve never been a trend follower, and hate doing what everyone else is doing, and there was also a lot of social pressure to go. So naturally with my slightly rebellious and extremely stubborn nature, I was really sure I wasn’t going to go. I went to college for a year and a half, and grew spiritually by leaps and bounds. Then I made plans to transfer my life to Nashville Tennessee, to get more serious about my songwriting career. I had a job and apartment all lined up, but when it came down to it, the timing just felt wrong. Driving back to the hotel from meeting my new roommates, I started to feel sick to my stomach. I knew this was not the right timing, and I started to panic a little, thinking “God, If I’m not supposed to do this, what am I supposed to do?” All the other education and job options I had, replayed in my mind, and none of them seemed right. There must be something else. And then it was like a voice spoke right in my ear. “Go on a mission” and the most overwhelming feeling of peace washed over me. From that moment on, I was 100% in, and never had another doubt in my mind that the Lord needs me in the mission field right now. Through that whole experience I learned a very important lesson that Heavenly Father is very much in control, not me, and he only wants what is best for me. I still want to move to Nashville after I get home, but I’m going to keep my mind and heart open to whatever God places in my life. The phrase, “I’ll go where you want me to go, Dear Lord, I’ll be what you want me to be” from our hymn, has definitely become a motto for me in the last year.
Often time things happen in our lives at a different time than we planned or expected, because God’s knows more than we do, and he can see the whole big picture. All we have to do is trust him. In Proverbs chapter 3 verses 5-6 it says “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.”
The day I decided to serve a mission was January 3rd 2015, and it took me all the way until August 1st to finally receive my mission assignment. What took so long? Well, I had to decide to move to Texas with my family, then pack my house, move, unpack, meet my new bishop and stake president, and spend enough time getting to know each other so that they could actually give me a recommendation. You can’t really vouch for someone’s character or ability to serve a mission if you don’t even know them! Then, there was filling out all the paperwork, going to doctor appointments, getting dentist records sent over from Utah, and figuring out insurance! I hit so many stumbling blocks along the way.    There were a couple of times when I would think I was so close to submitting my application, but something would come up and tack a couple more weeks on. Why did this have to take so long for me? Most of my friends that have gone on missions have done their paperwork in 2-4 weeks! I was so confused and frustrated. Even after I sent my papers in, it still took me 3 weeks to get my letter! After I had opened my call, and all my friends had left, I was sitting at my kitchen table reading and re-reading my packet kind of just in denial. It had taken me 8 long months to get to that day and I couldn’t believe I finally knew where I was going. I was so grateful, but at the same time still so confused. I started to pray, “Heavenly Father, why did this have to take so LONG? I’m just trying to be a good person and help you out!” A few minutes later my mom came in and told me something really cool that she had just noticed. My mission is brand new! It wasn’t even formed until this summer. The reason it took so long for me to get my paperwork submitted is because my mission wasn’t ready yet! I was overwhelmed. I really felt so much love for my mission and the people of Washington already. The more research I did about Yakima, the more I realized what a completely perfect fit it is for me. First of all, I get to speak Spanish, which is truly a dream come true. My childhood best friend was Mexican, and being a part of her life, and a culturally diverse community instilled in me a deep love for Latino culture and the Spanish language. Right now, I speak enough to get by if I need to, but I want to be fluent so badly! My Mission is also one of the largest produce meccas in the States, especially for Apples. That’s a huge blessing for me, because I have a health problem that requires a special diet, and I basically live on produce. Heavenly Father is so aware of each of us, and our needs.
The trials I experienced while trying to submit my missionary application reminded me of a passage from Matthew chapter 14, right after Jesus had blessed and fed the five thousand people with 5 loaves and 2 fishes. “And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship and go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. He then went up into a mountain to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit! And they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them saying, be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou; bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying Lord, Save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand and caught him and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.” There are so many times when we have trials and struggles, and times when we begin to doubt Heavenly Father’s plan for each of us. We see the boisterous trials we are going through and begin to loose our eternal perspective. We start to sink in all the stress, but all we have to do is sincerely ask for help or knowledge. It might not always be immediate like it was for Peter, but I know he will show us in time the important reasons why we have to go through the trials.
When I was 13 we had to suddenly move away from our home here in Rockwall, to Utah Valley, Utah. I stayed there for almost 6 years, and to be honest, living there was a huge trial for me. Utah culture is very weird to me, and kind of hard to explain. It is just so completely different from Texas. There’s hardly any separation from church and school because the community is 90% Mormon. The whole social structure there is based around extended family, and the only extended family I have is in Texas, Michigan, and California. Most families I knew had been in Utah for many generations, starting with the Mormon Pioneers, and there was a severe lack of ethnic and cultural diversity, compared to what I was used to in Texas. When we first moved there, there were kids at school who would laugh at me when I said “yall” or “fixin to”, and others who would call me a hillbilly when they thought I wasn’t listening. I never could quite fit in, and it made me miserable. I was beginning to have a hard time separating doctrine from culture, and losing my faith in the Church. For years I had been upset wondering why we were still stuck in Utah. We had made several attempts to move away, but all of them had fallen through. It wasn’t all bad though; there were some really good times and a lot of blessings that came from living in Utah. I met my 2 best friends, I was 30 minutes away from Temple Square, and I rarely had to listen to swearing at school. And the scenery was absolutely gorgeous. My family loves outdoor stuff, and we lived 2 minutes away from the mouth of the American Fork Canyon-which is the perfect place for camping, hiking, rock climbing, and zip-lining! I even had the chance to perform in a featured choir at Carnegie Hall in New York City, because of the high school I went to. It wasn’t until I had lived there for nearly 5 years, that I truly humbled myself and realized these blessings. I had always thought that probably when I graduated high school I could finally get out of there and go to college in Tennessee or somewhere. But after having a spiritual confirmation that I needed to go to Utah State University, I understood that obviously I wasn’t going anywhere, and if I was going to stay in Utah I might as well like it. I realized that I was the weird one, and no matter how mad or annoyed I was at the culture around me, it wasn’t changing anything. The only person it affected was myself. I felt guilty for all the years I had wasted being angry, and prayed to Heavenly Father that he would help me learn to love Utah, and then I went to work. I started channeling the peacemaker side of my personality, and started to see the positives all around me. It actually turned out kind of funny, because as soon as I accepted Utah and my life there, that was when I finally had an opportunity to move back to Texas, and succeeded. Living in Utah was one of the hardest trials of my life, but I am thankful for it, because I was humbled, and became a much more positive person. And I fully believe that timing was everything. Maybe I wasn’t ready when I was 15, 16, or 17 to be humbled like that. The greatest changes happen right after a low point. It’s like we’re starting over at the bottom, so Heavenly Father can build us back up, a much better and happier person.
In Conference a couple of weeks ago, sister Neill F. Marriot quoted a beautiful Protestant hymn called “Have thine own way”, which also just so happens to one of my favorite gospel songs. I would like to share some of the lyrics as my talk begins to close. “Have thine own way, Lord, have thine own way. Thou art the potter, I am the clay. Mold me an make me after thy will. While I am waiting, yielded and still. Have thine own way, Lord, have thine own way. Search me and try me, Master, today. Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now. As in Thy presence, humbly I bow.”
            I don’t know what is coming up for me. There have been some huge trials to face in the last couple of months, and I have learned so much already. Missions are hard, really, really hard, and I know I’m going to miss home so much, but I know that even if I only help one person, it will be worth it. I know that this Church is true. I bear my witness that the leaders of this Church are called of God, and that if we do our best to take their advice, and live the standards laid out for us in the Scriptures, our lives will be filled with good attitudes, peace, and lasting happiness. I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, and the restoration of the full Gospel through modern prophets. I am so grateful for my family and the knowledge that I can be with them for eternity. I have a testimony of the power of prayer, and that even if we didn’t get the answer we wanted, it doesn’t mean He didn’t answer. And most of all, I know that Heavenly Father loves every one of us. In the hardest trials, or happiest moments, and even just regular old days, He never abandons us. I am so grateful for my chance to serve the people in Yakima Washington, and my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I say these things in His name, Amen.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Hello all!
     This is Hermana Knight. I have just set up this new mission blog so my mom can post updates about me while I am gone. A lot of people have expressed interest in keeping up with me and learning more about my church and mission work. Thank you for your support!
Love always,
     Hermana Alison Knight