Monday, February 20, 2017

Love and Humility

It was a great week this week! As of Monday we got to officially implement the new missionary schedule! It was awesome! P-day was so much less stressful, and we even had time to go down to Selah to play sports for a couple of hours with the rest of our zone. When we go to the Selah Stake Center, I walked in and had an awesome surprise, Hermana Hull was sitting there on the stage writing a letter to her mom! It was so awesome. I basically had a heart attack, I miss her so much! I guess there was a funeral going on at the Englewood building so the Yakima Valley Spanish Zone was having their P-day activities at the Selah building, too. It was really really fun! We played ultimate football and also some soccer. 

Hermana Knight and Hermana Hull

Double zone P-day!

Tuesday we went to days for girls! I love doing that service project. I wish we did it more than just once a month! We also had language study at the Garcia's house that day. One of the nice things about this new schedule and flexibility is that we can now study at member's houses! It was super helpful. We also had a lesson with a new investigator (WE HAVE 7 NEW INVESTIGATORS THIS WEEK), named Edmundo, and we brought Rosa with us! She did SO great! She was so good at connecting with him, and teaching simply and powerfully. We also heard an amazing story from one of our less active families about when their daughter had a brain tumor! They had so much faith holy cow. The little girl was only 8 at the time, and ended up having to learn how to walk and talk all over again in a children's hospital for 2 months afterward. The first thing she said when she started talking again was a prayer! Gah she is just adorable and perfect. 

I had a really cool experience in my studies on Wednesday. I was reading in Jesus The Christ (which is an AMAZING book by the way if you haven't read it) and found this beautiful part about why the Savior used parables in his teaching. It's interesting because he used to speak plainly and clearly at the beginning of his ministry (example: Sermon on the Mount) but then after that He started using a lot of parables. He used them out of love, because if someone was in a spiritual and mental place to be able to receive those deeper doctrines and principles, they would be able to understand, but someone who wasn't ready wouldn't be able to understand, therefore would not be responsible for keeping those principles if they were ignorant of them. Everything He did was just so loving. It's amazing. Wednesday was also super icy and snowy! It was gross. The rest of the week was pretty nice though! Like 40-50 degrees. Except for now today it's back in the 30s and snowing again :( 

Thursday was another great day. We had district council in the morning which was pretty good, and then that evening we got to finally have a lesson with Miguel, the Reina's nephew. He's lived with them for about 5-6 years now and has gone to church a couple of times but has never really learned much about the gospel, so we asked him if he'd be interested in learning more and he said "sure!" He loved the message of the restoration and seems to be picking up on everything pretty well! 

Helping out at the blue and gold banquet on Thursday

Friday we met an awesome kid named Manuel. He's 14 and his English is really good, so we were surprised when he said he's only been in the states for a year! We taught his whole family the restoration and they really liked it too. They said it just makes sense that God wouldn't want just people in Jerusalem to know about His son! Of course he would call ancient prophets over here, too! After our lesson with them we went to the Reina's to watch a movie with Miguel. It was great. He's a visual learner so it helped a lot. 

We also had Interviews with President and Sister Lewis that day! It was so great. Crazy though because it was my last interview with them before my departing interview! Also President informed me that I will be giving my departing testimony at Zone Conference tomorrow! GAH! That's just crazy. Sister Lewis gave a great thought about the 4 characteristics of Christ's love. 

1- His love was  non-restrictive and not exclusive. Love is not something we should be stingy with or keep track of. 
2- His love was given without being asked for. He never asked, "Let me know if there's anything I can do for you!" He just filled unspoken needs.  
3-He gave tender attention to people and feelings before things and events. "Why is it that we usually choose the thing over the person even when we know that the thing (like cleaning the house or making it to the concert on time) is temporary and the person is forever?"-Sis. Lewis.
4- He loved mankind in particular, not just in general. Yes, He overall loved mankind, but He also loved every single person individually that makes up mankind. 

ALSO on Friday I got to see Sandra Atkinson!!! (Sister Atkinson who used to live here but went home). It was so awesome and I was not expecting it at all!

Some sister missionaries with Sandra!

Hermana Knight and Sandra

Saturday morning was good because we had a district breakfast together after we played basketball, but the rest of the day was not the best for me. I was having a really hard time with my perfectionism. I was just so grateful for my companion though, because she's not usually a talker but she's so good at helping me and talking me through problems. We had a pretty good member dinner that night with the Robertson's! They have two little kids that are SO CUTE! Holy cow! 

district breakfast

Sunday was really good. Especially to be able to be so spiritually uplifted and be able to take the sacrament. It boosted my confidence back up quite a bit! Sacrament meeting was especially good because first of all, I had an amazing realization during Sister Warren's talk - that Heavenly Father is the most intentional parent ever. Literally all He ever does is be a parent. Isn't that deep? Like, Heavenly Father doesn't have a career, a house to clean, a TV show to catch up on, nothing! His kids are His everything. And also because there was a beautiful musical number of a family - a mom, dad, and son. The mom played piano and the dad and son played a violin duet. It was so cute and I really felt the spirit. We also had a great lesson last night with one of our less-active families and it helped us all feel better. 3 Nephi chapter 11 is SO GOOD everyone should read it. 

Hermana Tolliver and Rosa

Hermana Knight with the Hernandez family

a bunch of mail we got this week!

Well that's it for this week folks! 
Love and miss you all

Monday, February 13, 2017

Spring Fever!

Monday night we dropped the Ramirez's. Even after the amazing miracle lesson a couple weeks ago with Mark, they are still going around and around and around in circles. We flat out asked them if they want to know if these things are true and they basically said no. They just don't have real intent right now. It's okay, we know we did our best and that we've helped them a lot. Maybe in like 4 years they will be ready!

Tuesday we were in a trio with Sister McCourt. It was fun to get to spend time with her again. We did some service for Sheila and Esther (some elderly ladies in the community) and that was really refreshing. Honestly cleaning is so therapeutic! Even if it's just vacuuming an already clean house. 

We also had a really fun member dinner that day with the Charman's, they are so sweet and even though they don't have a lot of money, they're always doing so much for the missionaries and sign up to feed us so often! We love them. 

We had a really great lesson with Rosa that night. When we talked about the atonement of Jesus Christ, and how He literally understands everything that we go through, she started to cry. The spirit was so strong. Rosa really is just so special and we love her so much! 

That same night we went to visit the Hernandez family. They were a referral from Lizzie. She's a Spanish speaking member and her brother's girlfriend and her kids just moved in town and are a little less-active, but would fit in and do well in our Spanish group, so we went to meet them and they are so CUTE! The mom is Victoria, and she has 4 kids. Daniel (16), Melissa (13), Hanna (10), and Roberto (9). They are so so so cute, especially Hanna. She has such a strong grip on my heart already. We talked to them about the Spanish group and all the members, and got their information so we can help them sign up for seminary and get their records transferred, etc.

Wednesday we had an awesome lesson with Karina and Jamie Reina. They are catching on really well to everything we teach. It's so fun seeing them and we are starting to be friends, too. 
We also went to APOYO--a local food bank specifically geared towards Hispanics to do service. We met some great people this week and even got a little free cheesecake from one of the sisters who works there, Sister Hayworth. She's so nice. 

Thursday in language study, Hermana Tolliver and I decided to mix things up because she's been feeling a little overwhelmed with Spanish lately. We decided to translate a song! (something Hermana Hull and I did) and it was so fun. We translated one of my favorite songs- Joy Parade by Lennon and Maisy. It was actually really good practice for future tense verbs! Haha all the lyrics are like "I will bend and I will sway, I will fight to stand up straight" etc. All things that "I will do" in the future. Also a lot of new vocabulary that way. It's not a bad idea. We also had a great conversation in companion study, and we're both feeling a lot more positive and motivated now about our area. It's like we've been in a slump lately and been feeling pretty down but now we're doing better. I'm even being goofy again, which is good. When Hermana Tolliver was telling me how hard Spanish is, I was like "Hermana! Spanish is as easy as eating a free cheesecake!" haha it was great. We actually have a section on our whiteboard dedicated to "Important wisdom from Hermana Knight" now because of all my quality statements this week.  

We ate dinner with the Reinas that night which was of course DELICIOUS because Hermana Reina is the best cook ever. We also had a great lesson with Alendra and Amy Warren came with us. She's one of our stellar youth here in Ellensburg and is learning Spanish right now. We also visited the Hernandez again! This time the boyfriend and his 3 kids were there too, and they soaked everything up. It was great. 

Friday was a BEAUTIFUL day! It was like 35 degrees (like shorts weather compared to what we have been dealing with the last 2-3 months) and the sun was out! Some of our 2-3 feet of snow started to melt, so that was wonderful. Also we got to do planning (weekly awesomeness) with the new schedule finally official for us. It was a little hard but so great. We love the freedom! 

Saturday we had an awesome Zone Training Meeting. It was really edifying and we finally set some good high goals that I love! I've noticed that at least for me, if I set my goals super high, even if it's not 100% realistic, I'll hit a lot higher, but if I set my goals at something that I think I can realistically hit, I'll hit a lot lower. Example: Lets say I have a goal to talk to 100 new people this week, I'll talk to like 60-75, but if I have  a goal to talk to 60-75 people that week it'll be like 40-50. 

Some awesome quotes from Zone Training Meeting about goal setting:

"Consistency is good, but progression is better" - Sis. Boehmer
"If you're consistently reaching goals that are below your potential, you're consistently failing" - Elder Olsen. 
I left that meeting feeling super pumped up and motivated. 

That afternoon we had a great lesson with our investigators, Margarita and Juan. We actually brought LeBron with us, which was a first because we've never had him in a lesson with us before, but he did so well! He's a fantastic teacher. 

That night was also really great! We had our first group activity! It was so fun. We all got together at the Reinas house for some food and conversation, it was so great to see everyone bonding and becoming more tight-knit. 

Sunday was great too. We had such a good Sunday school lesson. It was all about the Holy Ghost and His role in our lives. It was so special that the spirit that was in the room, because it's the Spanish Sunday school class so it's all our group members that are there. Since they'd all just bonded a bunch the night before, the love was like magnified times a thousand! Belinda gave the lesson this time, and she did such a great job! At the end there were tears shed again just like Rosa's lesson earlier that week. We also had a great Relief Society lesson, which I loved. It was all about positivity and optimism. 

After church we stopped by one of our investigators but she didn't answer! Usually we knock 3 times or so and if they aren't there we just move on to whatever we had planned next, but this time I was like... "We should knock seven times!! Why not?" So we did and on the seventh knock, Sabrina (investigator) pulled up in her car! Haha it was so cool!

After we talked to Sabrina we were going to leave to go to our dinner appointment, but we still had about 15 minutes until we needed to go, so we skimmed the apartment complex and saw one across the street that had a broken down tailgate in the front yard with the word "NEGRETE" spray painted on it, that's a fairly common Mexican last name so we were like, "Let's knock on their door! Why not?" We did and turns out it was a huge Mexican family party! They were like, "Pasen! Pasen!!" (Come in! Come in!) and sat us down and gave us some water and then we talked to a bunch of them! We now have 4 new people we got contact info from! And a couple of return appointments, so that's cool! 

We then had dinner with the Walter family (love them!) and then had a lesson with the Gonzales family with Mark Shipman. It was so great!! 

It was a really good week. I'm so happy! I hope this fake spring sticks around for at least another week. The sunshine makes a big difference!

Monday, February 6, 2017


So it started snowing a few days ago and it won't stop!! There's SO much snow! It's crazy. I'm working on not over-exaggerating lately and I can honestly say I think there's about 2 feet out there... at least.

Something SUPER exciting this week was that we had 3 of our investigators come to church yesterday!! It was SO awesome. So it's actually the Ramirez family. We were teaching them a couple of months ago, but they just wouldn't keep any commitments, so we dropped them for a while. But then last week during the missionary broadcast their names kept coming to both Hermana Tolliver's and my mind AND we both had a strong feeling to bring Mark Shipman with us. So we called Joselin (the mom) and set up an appointment to visit them on Tuesday. We brought Mark with us. He just got back from his mission in Colombia about a month ago and he is such a good teacher! It was so cool because even though their concerns were still the same and our solutions were still generally the same, Mark was able to level with them in a way that we hadn't been able to and created a really great analogy. So with the Ramirez's, their main issue is that they've thought about baptism a lot, but they just feel like they need to know more and more and more. Earlier in the conversation Daniel (their 16 year old son) had come home from being at the gym and his parents told us about how he has lost over 100 pounds in the last year. We were shocked because he looks really good right now and we asked how. Joselin said she took him to the doctor who referred them to a child therapist and a nutritionist. After that he just started to change and go to the gym more, feel more confident, etc. So after they talked about wanting to understand more logically about the Gospel, Mark compared the experience with Daniel's weight loss to their family's experience with learning the Gospel. He asked Joselin why she chose to take Daniel to the doctor, and not just to a friend who happened to know quite a bit about healthy living? She said, "Well, because the doctor is a professional. Maybe my friend knows a lot but she's not a professional. She doesn't know everything." Then Mark said, "It's exactly the same way with the Gospel. Us as members and missionaries know quite a bit about God's plan, but we're not the professionals here, only God truly knows everything. The missionaries have taught you all the missionary lessons a few times, and you've received a lot of mental information and understanding. Have you actually prayed to God to know if it's true with your heart?" They sat there for a moment and said, "Well, no, actually." Then Joselin expressed that it was hard for us to understand them because the three of us all grew up in the church. After she talked about that, I shared a personal experience of my own conversion. I said that "Yes, I have grown up with a lot of knowledge of the gospel and the church because of Sunday school classes, primary, and seminary over the years, but it never meant anything unless it got into my heart."  I told her about the moment I was actually converted and then we shared Moroni 10:3-5 with them and they promised to pray and to come to church!! AND THEY DID. It was wonderful.

Moroni 10: 3-5
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

Some other highlights this week:

Thursday we got to go to the Doctrine of Christ training! It's something that is done every transfer for trainers and trainees in their second transfer of training, so I've been to it three times now (once with Herman Luevano, once with Hermana Hull, and once with Hermana Tolliver). It's still amazing every time and I still learn a lot. Something else fun was that we got to ride up to the meeting (in Quincy) with the Lewis's! It was great having some one-on-one time with them and getting to ask President for advice on our area. Sometimes it's really hard being a pioneer! We also got to ride back down from the meeting with the Assistant to the Presidents and one of them is a brand new Assistant to the President and just last week he was serving in the Englewood branch (one of my old areas and the most thriving Spanish area in the mission). So we picked Elder King's brain for ideas and tracting tips. So far it's all going really well and we're trying to apply it, even though we only have a few members!

After the Doctrine of Christ training on Thursday we finally got in with a potential (now actual) investigator named Maria. She also wants to come to church but is SERIOUSLY shy! It's crazy. She also gets embarrassed easily, so she was overwhelmed at the idea of meeting so many new people at once.

Friday we had 2 great lessons--with a new family that just moved in to our group (hallelujah) and also with a new investigator family. We actually made up a cool cup object lesson for the restoration. I don't have a ton of time to explain it all right now unfortunately.

We've also been shoveling a lot of snow this week! (as you can imagine)

This was SO FUNNY! Hermana Tolliver lost one of her tags the day it was really slushy because all the snow was melting, and then then next day we went back to the same apartments and she found it but it was frozen into the ground!

Doctrine of Christ training

I love and miss you all!