Monday, April 24, 2017

The Hardest Thing I Ever Loved To Do

I am 22! As of Wednesday! Thank you so much everyone for your sweet emails and letters! My mom sent me some chocolate covered strawberries, too. They were so yummy! She also sent a very sweet note, that was even more special to me because it was in Spanish! Muchisimas Gracias, Mama! Te quiero tanto. No puedo esperar hasta ma├▒ana cuando nos vemos! Que LOCO! 

This week (the final week of my mission) has been SO GOOD. I seriously could not ask for a better last week of my mission. I have so much to write and so little time! Here's a list of the week's highlights. 

Monday we had FHE with the rama. I love our Spanish rama so much. I'm going to miss them all! We played a funny game at the end where they taped some cups to the edge of a table, then gave each player a ping pong ball and a balloon. They had to blow up the balloon and set the ping pong ball on the table, then use the air from the balloon to move the ball across the table into the cup. It was hilarious. 

Wednesday was my birthday!!! My roommates and companion are seriously the sweetest ever. I am going to miss them so much! My companion gave me a $25 target gift card! WOW. She knows me so well :) and my roommates gave me chocolate, nail polish, and a few other little things. Then I made some fried pickles (a birthday tradition) and we headed off for district council (my last one! SAD) I love this district so much.  When we got there everyone sang happy birthday to me and then they asked me to impart my wisdom, since I'm so old literally and as a missionary. They asked if there was one thing I wish I had learned earlier in my mission, what would it be? I said that I wish I had realized sooner that ALL of me was called to serve this mission, all my talents and personality traits. So don't hold anything back! I was worried about coming off like a show-off , but really my musical talents have really come in handy and miracles have happened. 

Elder West (district leader) said, "We have really enjoyed having you in our district, you have brought a special spirit into our district." At the end of the meeting Elder Sanchez picked out "Para siempre Dios este con vos" (God Be With You Till We Meet Again) and then Elder Nunez said the closing prayer and was like "Thank you that Hermana Knight could be in our district." I felt so loved! This is definitely my favorite district of my whole mission. Then Wednesday afternoon we did another service project for Colleen. She is a hoot! We were having so much fun. At one point there was this metal box thing and we were like "what is that?" and she said, "Maybe it's a credit card machine? Idk what do you guys think?" We were all just like *crickets chirping* then I spoke up and said, "Colleen, we don't know what a credit card machine looks like..." hahahaha she said, "Wow I feel old now!"
Thursday was a great day, too! We got to go to the temple! (perfect thing to do on my last week!) Sister Reiersen (the bishop's wife) drove us there and we had so much fun telling mission stories and she told us how her and bishop met and got married, etc. That's always such a fun question to ask people.

Friday night we had the BEST visit with our investigator Katie, she has the most perfect questions. Later that day we had planned to do a service project for Sister Lea from the branch, but she actually cancelled on us at the last minute because Amada and Karina needed help moving! So I FINALLY go to see Amada again! I love her so much.

Saturday we had a busy day! First at 10:50 AM I saved my companion's life! There was a bee in our car and she is deathly allergic to bees! It was pretty funny looking back on it. At the time it was really scary, though. Then at 11 we sang at a baptism, then we ran out and changed, because from 12-2 we went to Sister Lea's house for the rescheduled service project. We ended up digging up a whole section of grass in her yard so she can put rocks in its place. It was fun to do service with the district members and we got to talk a lot and I learned a lot about them. 
Then at 4 was Hayley's Baptism!! It went SO WELL! I was so happy. It was my first female baptism, so I've never gotten to hang out "backstage" before! It was so cute when she first got out of the water and we gave her her towel because she said, "Guys! I feel amazing!" She was glowing. After she got done changing, I sang a song. All by myself, no partner and no piano! That was a little scary, but it was the best gift I could think to give her at that time. It was such a great baptism program, one of the best I've ever been to! Such a great way to end my mission. After the program, we went to Hayley's house for a potluck dinner. It was so sweet to see all the support from the ward. It was so wonderful! Saturday night we got transfer calls! Sister Shewell is training! Woo hoo! Also Siste. Fano, who is in White Salmon right now, so that made me excited that White Salmon is getting another greenie! #greenieluck, and Sister Powell will be receiving Sister Robinson here, who is Hermana Aldrich (my MTC companion)'s baby! Sister Powell is nervous to be a "dad" (weird mission lingo) but I think she will do so great!

Yesterday was a very bittersweet day. Church was wonderful and so sad all at the same time. Hayley got confirmed, and her baby got blessed! It was so cute! Also, during Spanish sacrament meeting, Elder West, Elder Gallacher and I all gave a goodbye testimony. Elder West and Gallacher got doubled out and are going to Dalles and Omak respectively. The rest of our district is staying the same, and now Elder Amat will be the new district leader. Man I wish I could have more time here.

I don't know how to describe what my mission has meant to me. I don't think it's really possible, honestly. All I have to say is that if anyone is reading this and considering going on a mission, just do it! You will never regret it. It will be so hard, but SO worth it.


























SUPERAR! See you tomorrow

Monday, April 17, 2017

My Mission Expires Before My Milk!

Yep, realized that this morning. It was a really good week! Definitely some ups and downs, but fortunately the highs were really high and the lows only a little low. 


Last Monday was my last normal P-day! We are having a different P-day schedule this week because we are going to the Temple on Thursday morning. (happy birthday to me!! ) So rather than loosing 2 whole days out of the work week, we changed Thursday to P-day. We'll get home around 2-3 PM so there will still be plenty of time for shopping, laundry, and cleaning. (AND PACKING AHH)
Okay so Monday night something so cool happened! I have to tell a little background story though! So I never wrote about this back then because it was all very confidential, etc, but when I was in Yakima a little over a year ago, one of my companions had a pacemaker, and on our third day together she actually fainted, so that was really bad. I called the mission nurse and she told me to take her to the ER to have her pacemaker interrogated (make sure it's working correctly). My companion was super scared and uncomfortable because of the ER. She is from Utah, so she wasn't used to people not knowing who Mormon missionaries are and what our rules are, etc. so it made it even harder for her because she was dealing with culture shock, too.  The one ER nurse left, I guess her shift was over or something, and then a new ER nurse came in. She introduced herself as Jackie and said she was a Mormon too, and actually had served a Spanish-speaking stateside mission herself, so she totally understood us! She was able to talk to us a lot and help my companion calm down. Hermana H had to get her blood drawn, too which she totally hates, and she felt a lot better about it with Jackie there. The coolest part about it was that after it was all over with, Jackie told us that that week she had been on vacation in Arizona to visit her family and that she was not planning on coming home until Saturday or Sunday, (this was on a Friday) but that on Thursday morning she had woken up at like 5 AM in a panic and had the strongest feeling come over her that she needed to go home NOW and go to work the next day! She had no clue why, she just felt very strongly that she needed to go into work that morning because someone was going to need her. It was SO COOL to see God's hand in all of it, and how even though He doesn't always take away the heavy loads we carry, He does strengthen the bridge.  This is one of my absolute favorite mission stories that I tell all the time! I even used it in a sacrament meeting talk back in White Salmon! 

So also, a few weeks ago when I first got here we asked a lady in the ward to come to a lesson with us (I hadn't met her in person yet) and when she walked up I was like "Man she looks so familiar! How do I know her!" So I asked her where she was from, how old she is, etc, she's from Idaho and is 26, so I was like... hmm that's not it. I asked her what her first name is and she said "Jaclyn" For some reason that made so much sense to me, I have no clue why! So I kept asking her questions and she was like "I don't think we know each other"... she started to seem a bit annoyed so I just gave it up. But then on Monday we were at their house for dinner and we walk in and she's in SCRUBS. I was like "Are you a nurse?" and she said "Yeah! I work at the ER" But for some reason I was apparently very ditsy that day so it still didn't register in my brain. So we go through the whole dinner appointment, and share our message, show them the awesome Easter videos #princeofpeace and everything, and then right as we're about to leave it just all comes flooding back into my mind. I was like " WAIT A SEC, YOU'RE JACKIE THE ER NURSE!" and she was like "What?" and I was like "remember last year when you helped my companion who had the pacemaker?" and she was like "Ooooooh yeah!!!" And I was like "I KNEW I WASN'T CRAZY! I KNEW I KNEW YOU!!" haha it was so funny and satisfying. Then we took a picture together and I'm emailing it to Hermana H today :)

Jackie the ER nurse!


Then Monday night elder Sanchez called us and asked me to sing at their investigators' baptism on Sunday. I was so excited and said, "Of course! I love to sing! Thank you for the opportunity!" But then the next day I woke up and my voice was 1000% gone... like super super gone. I got so sick! haha I saw Elder Sanchez later that evening and he was like "What happened?" I just pointed my finger at him and whispered (because that's as loud as it got!) "You did this to me!!" haha it was super comical. All day people were whispering back to me. Lol I was like "Y'all didn't lose your voices too!" 

During tracting on Tuesday we met this amazing lady named Aly. She's so sweet. It was weird because she opened the door and let us right in. (that never happens, especially with white people!) and she was like "I used to meet with missionaries like 8 years ago, they were the best people I ever knew. I love them so much we still talk on facebook all the time." Then she just opened up to us and poured her heart out! She is going through a LOT. And she said she used to believe in God but is really struggling right now. She's trying so hard to hold on to the little seed of faith she has, but it's hard. looks like we found her right in time! 

Wednesday was a great day. We had District Council in the morning. I LOVE MY DISTRICT. Then we went to the Dentist because Hermana Powell has been grinding her teeth and needs a night guard. After that we went to the mission office to do My Plan (Cry plan) and that week it was all about Marriage and Dating..... at least there was a cute dog on one of the videos. Then we went to the church and Mike had his baptism interview! Woo hoo! He's such a smart kid! We also got to wash a member's dog! haha at first I was like "Well this is weird!" but then it was the same kind of dog as Tobie so it was a piece of cake. I was like "I used to do this all the time!" 
Thursday was good, and my voice came back! Well, mostly. I still sounded like I smoked 5 packs a day, lol but that's okay.  

Me and my daughter being trendy (double dutch braids are so in right now)

dentist time!



Friday was also really good. (my last weekly awesomeness!!) We had a good lesson with Brittney. Her friend actually committed suicide last week, so that was really hard for her. She is getting through it though. We watched "Like a Broken Vessel" by Jeffery R. Holland with her. If you have not read/seen that talk, you should go watch it right now! It's so good. 

Saturday was a crazy day! We had Mike's baptism, which went SO well! It was so cute, right as he got out of the water he was like "I finally got baptized!" It was so so so cute. We could feel his mom was there too. She died a few years ago, and was the only member in their family. Mike's dad, Albert, and his step-mom Brittney are making wedding plans right now and will soon be following Mike into the waters of baptism! We are so happy for them, I love them so much. They are such a special family! I hope I can somehow come back to see their wedding and baptisms. Albert was crying in Mike's baptism. it was so sweet. 

Right as soon as we got finished with Mike's baptism, we had to rush off to start driving to Moses Lake (shout out to Mama Cox!) because 3 of Sister Powell's investigators she taught there for 6 months were getting baptized at 5:30. (it takes like an hour and a half to drive there and Mike's baptism ended at 4!) so we drive over there really quick (actually the Mitchell's drove us. They are truly angels!!) and we run into the church just to get told by some people that we missed the baptism, they had actually changed the time last minute to be at 4pm! Hermana Powell was devastated! We had worked so hard to be able to be there!! I was like "Why?! How?! After all we went through to be here?" So I went to the bathroom and prayed. Fortunately one of the members that was there at the church had Shawn's (the dad of the family that got baptized) phone number and she called him. He said he was at this retirement home in town visiting their grandma. So we called our Zone Leaders (also angels) and they gave us permission to go to the retirement place and Hermana Powell still got to see them and talk for about 30 minutes! It was a miracle for sure. On the way home in the car, the Mitchell's told us their story of how they met/got together. ITS SO CUTE. I wish I had enough time to write it! but It took Sister Mitchell an entire hour to tell it to us. Maybe someday!

Mike's baptism!!

Moses Lake! Shoutout to Dannai :)


Yesterday was a great day, too! HAPPY EASTER! I'm so glad He is risen!! I started writing my homecoming talk yesterday morning in personal study. (weird but exciting!) We had such a good day at church. Hayley made it again and even brought her husband! He's never been to any church before and hasn't showed any interest in learning from us before, It's so exciting! 

Last night was the Valdez Family's baptism. (I LOVE SPANISH BAPTISMS) and my song actually went well! I'm still super sick with a chest cold so I just prayed so so so so so hard before Elder Sanchez and I went up (he played piano) and somehow my voice held out! I was so intimidated because President and Sister Lewis showed up, and because there were so many people there the primary room was getting too full so we had to move to the Chapel, which meant I was on a microphone! Also, It's very rare for me to sing a solo. But it went well, thank goodness! It was so cute at the end of the service, the 13 year old son, Isain, went up and bore his testimony and at the end he looked down at his missionaries, Elder Sanchez, Beaumont, and Colunga, and started to cry and thank them! This is what it's all about people. Those are the moments we live for as missionaries. It's the hardest 18-24 months, but it's the best!! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. 

Us and Sister Lewis. Happy Easter!!

Valdez' baptism yesterday night

Coloring on Sister Don's journal




I love you all! see you in 8 days

Monday, April 10, 2017

Pangaea

So the other day the sisters had a great idea (we actually stole it from the STL's). We took all of our mattresses off of our beds and put them all on the living room floor together and we've been sleeping like that for about 3-4 days now! It's so fun. Pangaea bed! The other night Sister Adamson and I discovered that we both super super love Little House on the Prairie. We also decided that Laura Ingalls Wilder is our spirit animal.

Anyway! The most exciting news of the week is that Haley is on date for baptism!! Mike will still be getting baptized this weekend and Haley next weekend!! Woo hoo!! We are SO excited for them. Haley's story is so cool, too. She has been through so much in her life and her journey to find God has been rough, too. All her family is pretty anti-religion, and have tried so hard over the months to convince her to give up the Church. But she's realized over the last few weeks that she's so much happier when she's praying and going to church and reading scriptures every day. So she's jumping back in, and boy has everyone at church missed her! She came back for the first time this week since having her baby a month ago (there were a lot of complications) and she's getting baptized on April 22

Mike's plans are going well, too! He's set for this Saturday, the April 15. We're so excited for him! His parents will be baptized soon, too. They just have to get married first. There were some big obstacles in the way that we finally got to the bottom of this week. Thanks to the Mitchells (golden members), some miracles are happening and they will be getting married soon! 

Some other fun things of this week:

Saturday we had Zone Training Meeting! My last one.... :/ It was SO AWESOME. I love this zone so much, and my district, too! Everyone gets along really well. We're all super hard working, super obedient, and funny! There was one point where they used a GIANT teddy bear in a role play situation to demonstrate the necessity of our investigators understanding exactly what it is that we (and God) want them to do. They were trying to teach Hermana Young how to do CPR lol. Also, I got to sit by Hermana Hull (best friend ever) and I was so proud of her for all her answers and just hearing her ideas. Everything made me so pumped up and motivated! She really brings out the best in me. I love her so much! Before ZTM that morning we went to a funeral for this lady in our English Ward. Her name was Sister Crane. She was so sweet. It was incredible to see how many people were there, and so many non-members especially! She touched so many people's lives for good. 








We also had an awesome fast Sunday yesterday! I bore my testimony in both the Ward and Spanish branch. I figured I should because it was my last testimony meeting of my mission! It was so weird. We also had a break the fast potluck with the Branch after church. It was so good! I love Mexicans. <3  My district really is so great, too. It's fun being all in the same branch. We all get along so well! Also, last night Sister Powell and I did a presentation about Holy Week for a fireside. 


You know you're an old missionary when your shoes are so worn out you have to put duct tape on the bottom of them to cover up the holes. Haha! 


I HAD to get this picture before two of them went back to BYUI for the summer semester. These are 4 guys in the branch. Elder Nunez (his first name is Helaman) then the kid is Isaiah, the next guy is Jacob, and the guy on the far right is Moroni.



Sister Mrozek back for a visit to the mission!



I think that's about it for the exciting stuff, actually! I can't believe I'm going home in just 2 weeks! Wow. I love and miss you all. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

"They can't take you unless they find you"

That's what sis. Adamson said to me 2 nights ago. We are quickly becoming best friends and she kind of doesn't want me to leave. Haha! This was SUCH a good week! And so jam-packed! Hopefully I have enough time to write about all this good stuff!


Tuesday we did a service project for a potential investigator named Colleen. She's so cute! And HILARIOUS. She was telling the Elders to lift with their legs and not their backs and was like "Squeeze those butt cheeks!" We were laughing so hard and also mildly horrified. She's like 65-70 haha! We also had an awesome lesson with Mike! He's still on track for baptism April 15th! Woo hoo! Maria is still deciding on the exact date for hers because she really wants her nephew who is Mormon to come down from Spokane to baptize her! Lets just all pray and hope that it's before April 25th so I can be there!







Service project!

Wednesday - District council was SO GOOD. We did a deep study of D&C 4 and dissected every word. It was so cool because Elder Galliger made a list of all the verbs and did an analysis for all of them. Something ironic and awesome that he also pointed out was that the very last verb in the whole section is "knock" and it's the missionary section! Then I went to the mission office and worked on "My plan" aka "Cry plan"... I told Elder Call (mission office missionary) about my name for it and he was cracking up so hard! After that we went back to the church to have interviews! I actually didn't have an interview this time around because I'm "dying" and will be having a departing interview soon *gulp* so I just talked with Sister Lewis. She is really the best. I love her so much! I've been stressing about the future and she was very helpful to me trying to figure this out. :) Then we went back to Moxee and had a great lesson with Connie. She's SO CUTE and the spirit is always so strong when we are around her! Then we found out our investigator, Tom, is in the hospital for his heart! Please keep him in your prayers. After that we went home and had exchanges with our STL's Sister Dungan and Sister Torrez. Sister Dungan came here to be with me in Moxee. It was such a great exchange! She taught me so much. Especially about specific prayer. 


District Council


Sister Dungan, Sister Romeo, Sister Knight


Sister Torrez, Sister Dungan, Sister Powell, Sister Knight




Thursday I woke up with my back hurting SO BAD! I could not stand it! But the work must go on, so I just took some ibuprophen and went on with my day. We had an awesome visit with Haley finally. She's actually struggling really bad right now with some doubts that have crept in. She is praying about baptism in May right now, please remember her, too! We did some cleaning for Sister Johnson that afternoon, which was super satisfying (I love to clean) but also super painful! Then we drove to Yakima so we could exchange back. The sisters really changed up that apartment! (where I lived last year when I was in Yakima with Hermana Dee) and I like it a lot! After we got back we had 2 back to back stellar lessons. I love how busy we are here! It's so refreshing.

Friday we had the most amazing lesson with Britney. It was all about the Plan of Salvation and when we were talking about temple work and eternal families the spirit was so strong. I haven't been in a lesson like that for a while. There were tears shed! I just wish everyone could know how much Heavenly Father and Jesus love them! YOU ARE IMPORTANT. We had dinner with the branch president, Presidente Juarez and his family that night. It was so fun to get to know them better! 

Saturday - General Conference was SO good, huh? I just loved it. :) For the Saturday morning session, we went to the church and watched in English with a bunch of other missionaries and investigators. It was funny because I made the mistake of sitting by Elder Sanchez. He kept tapping his legs, making noises, and trying to prop his pencil up against my leg and then pick it back up without touching my leg!! It was hilarious and obnoxious. We had lunch with Britney and Mike Waters (Albert was still at work). She made the most delicious enchiladas (except for my mom's of course) and then we watched the Saturday Afternoon session with them. It was so good! It was funny because obviously I've been making some goals and plans for the future lately, and then Elder Ballard's talk was all about goals and plans! I was like "Guys! This one is for me!" Then we had dinner with the Romeos. Sister Romeo's friend, Diego, was there and we had another "fuego" lesson with him! He lives in Tacoma so we referred him to the Tacoma mission, and I'm so excited. He's totally going to get baptized. Go member missionary work!! 

Sunday morning we went to the Englewood building and watched General Conference in Spanish, which I absolutely LOVED. I have never watched conference in Spanish before, but it was awesome! Then after that we went to the Pimentel's for lunch (carnitas!!) and then went to Haley's house to watch the afternoon session with her! It was so cool especially to be watching the talk directed towards investigators with my investigator! Last night we were at the Bastillo's house and turns out Brother Bastillos is a chiropractor! I told him about the back pain I've been having for like a year now, and how it was especially bad that week, so he checked it out and turns out I had 2 ribs popped out of place! No wonder! So he worked them back into their spots, which hurt SUPER BAD by the way. And now I'm so sore today! My whole back is like, "what is going on!" and my shoulder and my collar bone! haha. Trying to sleep last night was fun, too. Builds character hopefully!


Us and Lebron (from Ellensburg). We got to see him at conference!


"guerro chiles" THE HOTTEST THING IN THE WORLD




we love carne asada!



I think that's about it! I love you all! See you in THREE WEEKS