Dates of Mission

November 2011-November 2013

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

First letter from Brazil

Hola! Tudo Bem???
Brazil is amazing!! I wish I could send you pictures and share what I get to see every day with you. It really is amazing, and I am so grateful to get the chance to be here.
Before I continue writing the letter, it is quite possible that there will be a lot of mistakes. Writing in English is getting really dificult. I really struggle to remember how things are spelled. Spelling in English just looks funny to me, because I dont write in english very often.
Sounds like Thanksgiving was a lot of fun. We really didnt get anything special for us. They made turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing for us for lunch, to go along with our rice and beans haha. I love the food here, but the other elders in my district think otherwise. For breakfast we always have oatmeal or porridge (im not sure how to spell that one in english) and rolls and some fruit. Lunch is the biggest meal, with some really good meats or main dish. Dinners are also pretty good. Once  a week we have pizza night, and most of the elders dont like it, but I do. It is different than american pizza, but it is really good.
Here I get to spend a lot of time talking to the Brazilian Elders. They are so fun. I love Brazilans. It was really difficult to talk to them at first, especially because they talk soo fast, but Im getting better at it and developing some good friendships with them. Sister Stevens was soo right though, you really do need a sense of humor to connect with them, because they are always trying to have a good time. It is really fun to see them talk about soccer and their teams! They are so passionate about their teams, several of them have spent a lot of time trying to convince me to root for their teams haha.
Im also really impressed by their dedication to the Church. A lot of the brazilian elders dont have very much, but they are here. Most of them are converts. One elder, from mozambique was only baptized 2 years ago, and he has read the book of mormon several times in portuguese and twice in English. They are incredible examples of what it means to be converted to the gospel, because they truly give up so much to join the Church and leave their homes.
The CTM is way different that the MTC. Everything is much more relaxed here. I dont get to teach as often because I am in a bigger district. I miss getting to teach twice a day at least, that was really fun for me. But here I have way more study time, which I have been using really well, so I feel like I am really growing in my portuguese skills more here and also getting to spend more time in my personal study of the gospel. My teachers, Irmão Zamboni and Irmã Elias are really good. Irmão Zamboni is so great with the district and he absolutely love learning which is contagious. Because he knows like 3-5 languages, I am not sure, he has some really cool insights to share with us.
I also got to go to the São Paulo temple today! It is a really beautiful temple!  
My new companion is Elder Tanke from Kennewick, Washington. However he is the only other kid from washington here, it seems like the washington elders are not getting their visas as fast as they were, because most of the kids who got their visas on time are from elsewhere.
About Christmas packages, dont worrry about it! I will buy myself something haha. But you could send pictures of the family, and me playing lacrosse so I can try to somewhat explain that to the brasilerios. They can not really understand what I am talking about when i try to explain it, well sometimes that cant understand me period.
Hope all is well. 
Love you all!!!
Elder Knowles

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Leaving For Brazil

Trey's visa has come through and he will be flying to the Brazil Mission Training Center on Tues,  Nov. 22nd, where he will spend the next approxmately 5 weeks.

Week 2 in the Provo MTC 11/15/11

Ola Familia!!! Tudo Bem!!!
Thank you so much for the email´s and thank you eliza and thaddeus for the dearelder. I really appreciate it. It is wonderful to know I have such a loving family who prays and supports me back at home. That truly is a blessing and will help me be a better missionary.
It sounds like getting to see Elder Anderson was a great experience. I'm hoping we get one of the twelve tonight, but last week's devotional was super good. We got to hear from Eduardo Gavaret of the First Quorum of the Seventy and his wife. They were incredible! I walked away inspired to be a much better missionary.
Not much changes in the day-to-day routine for me. But I'm loving it all, (except for the food... I'm starting to eat a lot of cereal and pb&j's because I'm getting a little tired of the food.) We no longer teach super long lessons, but have begun teaching 20 minute lessons. Sharing a message in 20 minutes is kind of difficult when you're still learning the language. It has taught me to really rely on the spirit, and to really focus on bearing simple testimony of basic truths. It would be a lot easier in english, but I really love speaking portuguese. It seems to be a perfect language for me. I absolutely love it.
On Sunday, right before Church, my companion and I were stopped by a member of the branch presidency and asked to be the new Zone Leaders. So I get a little bit more to do for the time being. I was really surprised, because my visa should be coming any day now. People who put their electronic visa in the same week as I did are starting to get their visas. People find out if they got their visas or not on fridays, so that's when I should find out. They were aware of that when they called me, but I guess the Lord works in mysterious ways. I love the opportunity to get to serve my branch, it is great. My branch president is incredible, he has taught me so much already.
It has been really nice outside this week and so I've been able to play soccer during gym time. Taft would be proud of me, I'm actually getting pretty good. I love the sport and look forward to playing it in brazil. I think our days of soccer are numbered though, it should start snowing any day now.
To answer mom's question... I love you a lot would be said "Te Amo Muito!" The Te is said like "che" and and the muito would be kind of difficult to explain, but I'm learning that portuguese is a really nasal language. I think my accent is getting better but spanish interferes with my accent pretty often still.
Vos Amo Muito! Obrigado por seu amor! Tem um semana bom!
Elder Knowles

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sorry for the "highlighting"

For some reason, Trey's letters come "highlighted" in grey. We cannot figure out how to get rid of it. We will let him know. Hope you enjoy it anyway.

Dad and Mom

1st Letter from MTC

Tudo Bem!
So the mission, is awesome! I love it. My Companion's name is Elder Lakey. He's a pretty awesome companion. We get along really well. He played lacrosse in high school and so we definitely have a lot in common. You can probably guess, but he's also from the Pacific-Northwest (Salem, Oregon) and he's also going to Curitiba! He hasn't even got his online application yet though... so I'll probably be there before him.
My District is really awesome. All six of us are from Washington or Oregon. We get along super well which has been quite a blessing. Everyone is committed to learning and growing as much as they can, and I've learned a lot from their examples already.
The status of my visa is still unknown. However, a Couple elders in my branch who filled out their online applications the week I did, just got their visas last week and left today, so my visa should be really close to coming through. I certainly hope it goes through, but I love it here too. I'll really miss the chocolate milk from the creamery when I leave though!
Portuguese is going really well! I'm picking it up super fast. I've still got a lot of work to do, but my Spanish definitely helps a ton. They throw you into the mix of things really quickly here though. We had only 2 Portuguese lessons before we taught our first lesson to an investigator. And because we have a small district our lesson had to go for 1 hour!!!! It was pretty overwhelming, but exercising a lot of faith and studying every moment possible, we were able to teach for an hour. We pretty much teach for an hour every day except for on p-days and Sunday. It is way more than I thought I would ever be asked to do as a missionary, but as we learned in our mission conference on Sunday, we are not called because of who we have been, but rather we are called because of who we will become. The MTC is definitely helping me become the missionary the Lord would have me be. I also say all of my prayers in Portuguese now. It really is a beautiful language and I love learning it. The other elders in my district aren't catching on as fast, so I spend a lot of time helping them learn it as well.
Today we got to go to the Temple! The Provo temple is very beautiful. It was such a great experience.
I got your package. I'm really grateful that you were able to find the yellow card! and the no-bake cookies were throughly enjoyed and consumed within minutes of opening the box... I did share a couple of them. I'm not getting fat like lots of other elders, besides the chocolate milk, I'm not that excited about the cafeteria. And I run every day in gym, it really helps me have more energy during the rest of the day for some reason.
Other side notes... I ran into the Kellers last night! It was great to see them. They leave next monday for Argentina, so I was glad I got to see them before they left.
I'm glad the family is doing well. I'll write some handwritten letters to my siblings if I have time today. What's Trevor's address???  Anyways, life is great, I love it here and wouldn't rather be doing anything else!
Miss you and Love you Lots!!!!!
Elder Knowles

Elder Trey Knowles' MTC address

MTC Mailbox #310
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, Utah 84604-1793