Dates of Mission

November 2011-November 2013

Monday, January 30, 2012

Recent letters

January 30, 2012

Hola Família!!!

This week was a week of miracles. Lots of great things happened. Not everything happened exactly like we thought it would, but it was a really good week. 

Elder Anderson and Elder Ballard were amazing. I doubt I have ever had allergies as bad as I did that morning, but it was still one of the most incredible meetings of my life. Elder Anderson, speaks portuguese, spoke first about the Atonement. It was very simple, because his portuguese is about as good as mine, but very powerful. It was good for me to see that even he did not speak super well, and occasionally mixed in words from Spanish, that it was very moving. I have the same problem with Spanish words every now and then haha. Elder Ballard spoke about missionary work. He spoke about many ways that missionaries need to improve. It was really obvious that he has truly mastered the doctrines, lessons, and skills taught in Preach My Gospel. A lot of what they said was really great and I learned a lot, but what I was really inspired to do, was to learn how to teach the way they taught. They were not only teaching what to teach, but how to teach it. They are not only teaching us what we need to be, but also they are true examples of what we can be. Elder Ballard, answered many questions, by first asking the question of what would our Savior do. Elder Ballard and Elder Anderson truly live by this principle, by doing what Jesus Christ would do. 

Unfortunately though, our Baptism fell through. He still needs to prepare some more for baptism, and we are now working for the 12th of February. But we ended the week with many people with dates for baptism, 7 investigators at Church, meeting most of our goals except for lessons com membros. But, the ward is so excited about Missionary work now. 7 investigators was an inspiration for them. And I am pretty sure I smiled for 3 hours straight, it was incredible. So the ward is more excited about missionary work, and we are working harder then ever. 

The mission is really great! I love every single day!

Thanks for all of your emails, letters, and prayers. I really do appreciate them. I could not do it all without them. 

Something cool I learned this week:
The pizza.... is really good. They are a lot more creative with pizza here, lots of different toppings and flavors. And the Doce Pizzas are soooo good! I will have to try to make one when I get home.

Love you bunches!

Elder Knowles

January 23, 2012

Oí Família,

Sounds like a crazy week for you, but also a very fantastic week as well. What a great experience to have Elder Grow with the family. I was definitely inspired, just by hearing about it. And it is really tough to even imagine what snow is like, because it has been so hot here. I have never been this tan in my life, and guess what mom, my hair is turning more red than it is blonde. Crazy! Your children are related to you somewhat. 

So this week we get a awesome present in our mission! Friday morning, we get to have a mission conference with Elder Ballard and Elder Anderson. I am super excited. It will be incredible!!! It is pretty cool to get to have 2 apostles come visit a mission, let alone at the same time. Should be fantastic! I will write about it next week.

Thanks for the prayers, one investigator made it to stake conference with us this week!!!! It was so awesome. Church is so much better as a missionary when you have an investigator with you. It was a really good stake conference for us too. President Cordon spoke, and it was a great talk about the role of the book of mormon. He is an incredible leader. I had the opportunity to have an interview with him on saturday, and I left, feeling so uplifted and inspired. Fogo nos ossos, we always say on the mission. It means fire in the bones. That is how I feel about the work right now. It is awesome!

Last week, was a little difficult. We lost a lot of time due to trainings, and policia federal. (I am legal though, so that is good). And pretty much everything we had marked, fell through. It just felt tough, but we kept working really hard, and it seems to have helped a lot, because we are pretty excited about some of the people we found to teach. This will be a great week, I can already feel it, and if everything goes well, my first baptism will be on Sunday. Carlos is incredible, he is a humble gardener that is so ready for the gospel and wants to do all he can to change his life, so that he can bless his family. We are so excited for him!!!

I love the gospel so much. One thing that I have learned a lot about on the mission is Faith. We need to exercise faith every single day of our lives. Missionaries of Faith are the ones who do all the little things, believing that if they are exactly obedient, that they will be blessed. This is so true, we all need to be people of faith, doing all the little things in our power, so that we too can receive the promised blessings of the Lord. True faith is something desperately needed in the world today. 

Other cool things about Brazil:
The bus system in curitiba, is pretty cool. 
All the kids can fly kites in my area really well. It is pretty incredible how natural it is for them, 4 and 5 year olds are pros at it already. 
I played soccer with brazilians today, and it was really awesome, I have some learning, but they all thought I played like a german, and not an american. which is cool I guess. 

Send the package or mail to either address, truth is, the address is the same exact place. But I would follow the instructions in the packet. Things sometimes go missing in mail as well, but not nearly as bad as the stories we heard about argentina. 

Love you soooo much!!! Thanks for everything

Elder Knowles

January 16, 2012

Tudo Bem!

This last week was really good. And it looks like things are just going to get better as well. Thanks for all the letters, support, and prayers. I really appreciate them. It always gives me a lot of confidence to know that you are praying for me. And also, the example of my brothers as missionaries and the rest of my family also helps a ton. Thanks a bunch!

I am starting to get the hang of things on the mission. My Companion, Elder Stevenson, and I work really well together. We have a lot in common and we are both working really hard. We have a investigator named Carlos who is awesome. He is changing his life, including giving up drinking and smoking, and he really sincerely wants to be baptized. Unfortunately, our area has a really difficult time getting people to church, and we still have to get him and other investigators to Church. It is so disappointing to show up to church and have no investigators there, but we made the best of it and our focus is to help get investigators to Church this week. Carlos is so awesome, and we are really excited for him. The other day, we were teaching the plan of salvation to him, and while I was looking for the right work to say, oftentimes he would just say the right word for me, as if he knew the lesson plan. You could tell that he feels like he has finally found what he was looking for. People are ready to hear the gospel, we just have to find them. 

This letter will be a little short, because I want to send some pictures of the MTC. 

But other things about brazil/my life/language etc:
There are dogs (cachorros) everywhere. I have already had some close encounters...
They speak a ton of diria aqui, or slang here. I am starting to get it down, but it still sounds strange compared to what I heard in São Paulo.
The Food is incredible, they make fresh Juice all the time, and incredible lunches everyday. I will not get fat though because we only eat lunch and breakfast and a tiny snack if we have time at night.
My apartment just has me and my companion. Today we spent all day cleaning it out, it is not quite mom´s standards but it is much better. 
I have lots of alergies here, but I think it is mostly the house. 

Oh and if you send a package things I could use are
contact solution
music-(must produced by the Church-EFY cd´s are good and on p-day can be other inspirational music)
maybe a sounders jersey... haha okay I do not really need that one but it would be cool.


Elder Knowles

Monday, January 9, 2012

First letter from Curitiba, Jan 9, 2012

Tudo Bem!!!

Curitiba is pretty incredible! I absolutely love it here. The transition has gone really smoothly and I am started to get the hang of things. I guess I will talk a little bit about my first day and then what has been going on since then.

On Tuesday, we flew into the airport, I do not know if they put a picture on the mission blog, maybe they will one day, but Curitiba the city is a really nice place, including the airport. We met President and Sister Cordon, who are incredible, and then we ate at their house. After some quick interviews we went off to a local building to meet our trainers. My companion is Elder Stevenson. He is from the Lynnwood Stake and went to Meadowdale High school and so we have a lot of common friends.  Pretty Crazy, that I come all the way here and my companion is someone I lived 15 minutes away from. And then we took a couple buses out to our area and began teaching that night!

The name of my area is Caiuá, it is on the far outskirts of Curitiba. It is a very intersesting area. Here in Brazil, there are lots of what are called bairros (pronounced bye-hose) which are like little neighborhoods. We have 4-5 of them in our area and they are all pretty different. Some of them are pretty nice while a couple of them are pretty poor kind of like favelinhas. But the people here are incredible. Pretty much everyone has faith in Jesus Christ here, and lots of people will let you in to talk with them or set up an appointment for another time. The people are much more friendly and open than in the states.

The weather has been pretty interesting. It can be super hot and humid, and then the next hour, be pouring down rain. And every morning is super cold. So pretty much I get a little bit of everything every day. We just always carry around umbrellas and are prepared for anything.

Our daily schedule is study until 12:00 (the first two transfers we have an extra hour of study) and then we have lunch at a members house. Everyone told me that I would have the same thing everyday, beans and rice, which is true. But what you eat with that is always different, and I love it. We eat a lot for lunch and that is about it for the day, because after lunch we work until 9. No dinner. I love it that way. We contact so many people in the time that we would take off to eat dinner and it really is our most efficient time of the day because families are together in their houses.

The language at times is coming along really well. It was a little tough to get used to all the slang here, but I am starting to get that down and understand them. They speak a little different here than in São Paulo. And there are so many different accents here too, so pretty much every one has their own accent. Curitiba really has people from all over brazil and the world and so it has a lot of different accents.

I may not speak the best, and I may not understand everything, but I have been living by three rules: Sorrer, Amar, Trabalhar e Aprender. Smile, Love, Work and Learn. I have a strong testimony of this, because I am not fluent, but when I do these things, miracles have happened. Miracles happen every single day of the mission. I love the mission. It was great to hear from you! P-days are mondays! Love you bunches,

Elder Knowles

December 28, 2011

Hola Família!
Estou Bem. I am doing well. Christmas was fantastic, a little bit strange, but fantastic nonetheless. And it sounded like Christmas was really great there. I looked forward to being whooped by my little brothers, well all my brothers for that matter, in FIFA and whooped by the girls in Just Dance 3 haha. (not implying anything, but just dance 3 doesn´t seem like trevor´s kind of game)
But yeah Christmas was incredible. Christmas eve, was pretty much a day off. We played basketball and volleyball for a really long time in the gym and then had games in the afternoon. And in the evening, we watched a Christmas Carol. Sunday was laid back too. We went to Sacrament Meeting, but all other meetings were canceled. Sunday night we were finally able to watch the Christmas Devotional from the First Presidency. That was incredible and I absolutely loved the music as well. Overall it was a great weekend, but by Monday I was really ready to get back to work again.
On Monday we got the wonderful opportunity to go Proselyting around the CTM. The boundaries are pretty small and there were about 20 missionaries out proselyting but we were able to talk to some people and place some Livros de Mormon. But because the missionaries do this every monday, the week before they go out to the field, we contacted 20-25 people before we placed our first one, and in the three hours, we contacted soo many people. Everyone would just say that they either had a Book of Mormon (some had a couple) or were not interested. It was great though. One person that we gave a Livro de Mórmon to was a 13 year-old boy and he really seemed to want to read it. When I was talking to him, I remembered that I was around that age when I finished the Book of Mormon for the first time, and shared that with him and how much it had changed my life and blessed me since. I am excited to do this kind of stuff every day in the field. And honestly, I understood a lot more than I thought I would too, which was a miracle!
As for my plans for next week, I really do not know a whole lot. I know that I will not be able to call you when I am in the airport, and that I am flying to Curitiba. There are 10 Americans here with their visas that are headed to Curitiba and there is also 2 Brasileiros. So I will definitely be traveling as a group. I will leave next tuesday morning. I think P-days are Wednesday or Tuesdays in Brazil, but honestly, I do not know. They do not tell us a whole lot, because that might be a little distracting for us in our last week. It is tough enough for most of the missionaries to focus in their last week as it is, because the majority of them are tired of the CTM.
I personally love it and am working even harder this week. I know everything I learn this week will be a blessing next week and in the campo.
Thanks so much for the Photos, I appreciate it. I can now kind of explain lacrosse to Brazilians. They still do not really get it. But they think it looks cool. And thank you everyone for the letter you sent through my teacher, I really loved that too.
Be sure to thank Bishop for his dearelder that he sent, and also the ward for their letters. Oh and also the Stake Presidency! I got theirs yesterday so it was nice to have Christmas spread out a little bit.
As for stuff I could use... I am not sure. Maybe a Tide Bleach pen and a tide pen, ties, pens pencils, notebooks, etc...
Love you so much
Elder Knowles

December 21, 2011

Feliz Natal Everyone!!!!
It sounds like everyone is doing good at home. Christmas definitely has a really different feel for me right now. It is extremely different, but I love it.
So one of the rules here in the CTM is that we are not supposed to give gifts of material things to other people. It is just the rule here and probably for good reason. At first I was bummed about that, because I wanted to get stuff for my district and my brasileiros for Christmas, but then someone informed me of that rule here which I never learned because I missed orientation here due to arriving late. But obedience is worth everything as a missionary and so I dropped those plans. But I still wanted to do something make it feel a little like Christmas, so instead I have just been trying my best to do random acts of service for everyone. It is the best that I can do, and to be honest it is much better than anything I could do for them. I do not know if my acts of service have even been noticed by anyone, but they have made all the difference for me. It is interesting how we are given so much, when we give of ourselves. Those are the best kind of gifts that we can give, and the best gift we have every been given was our Savior truly giving of Himself, for us.
Today we got a special treat, we got to hear from Elder Claudio Costa. It was amazing!!! It was such a good fireside. It was good to hear from him. The General Authorities are such amazing men. The promises he made to us were amazing, and I loved them. It was a great christmas present to me!
I also got the cards, but I will not open them until Christmas!
Thank you so much for everything. I appreciate all the prayers and everything you do.
Feliz Natal!!!
Elder Knowles

December 14, 2011

Boa Tarde, ou Bom Dia in Seattle!
It is really good to hear from the family. It sounds like everything is going well! I feel weird saying Feliz Natal because it seems so different than Christmas here, but I am enjoying it. I hear they are going to take care of us super well on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve tambem. They take good care of the missionaries here.
Nothing New happened this week. I realized after I sent that email to Taft that I should have explained, that I am just the assistant to the president in my branch, so pretty much just the same thing I did in Provo, however, they only called me and not my companion and so technically I am the only one, but Elder Tanke comes along with me to everything as well, so they probably should have just extended this calling to him as well.
Class is going well, portuguese is going well. I am learning a lot every day. It is pretty incredible as well to see how much I have grown since entering the MTC in Provo. And it is truly a miracle that I can speak with people somewhat after only learning the language for 6 weeks. It is obvious that Missionaries receive some divine help.
We now have two brasilieros in my room, so there are six of us in our room. They are really nice! And incredibly humble. They have so much less than we have, and they never complain, or at least, I never understand them when they do haha. One of the elders is from one of the poorest parts of brazil and only has one pair of church shoes and some flip-flops. So I let him use one my pairs of running shoes. He was going to go to gym in church shoes, a pretty beat up pair of church shoes as well, but that was not okay with me. The people here sacrifice so much for the church. They are incredible. We have it so easy back at home. I love the way they smile and love life, even though it has a lot of problems.
Having them in my apartement has also been really good for my portuguese. Even with the major lack in ability to communicate clearly, they have become great friends of mine.
I love you all so much! Thanks for all the prayers! I truly need them and appreciate them.
Also, I am pretty sure that those dearelders you sent right before I left provo will never get to me cause I guess they do not forward them. Oh well, I am so grateful that we can email once a week though!
Elder Knowles

December 7, 2011

Sounded like a good week at the Knowles home. It is always good to hear from my family! I am sorry Boise State got robbed, what is new?
That is way cool that Dad got to spend that much time with Robert Millet. I have read some of his writings, and I know that Bro. Wilcox quoted him all the time in his book and in mission prep. That was a way cool experience I bet. And people put up pretty similar christmas decorations here, trees, lights, wreaths, etc. It is just not as big of a deal here. And it is a little bit weird because it is really warm. But I love it. I still get to sing plenty of Christmas music and we get to listen to music here so I have been enjoying my christmas music that I have.
So my typical day here is:
6:30 Wake up
7:00 Personal Study
8:00 Breakfast
8:30-12:00 Class
12:00- Language Study
1:00 Lunch
1:45-5:00 Class
6:00-8:00 Study/Practice/Fireside depends on the day
8:00 Gym
9:30- Snack (Supposed to talk to Brasileros)
9:45-10:30 Journal/get ready for bed.
The schedule here is way more laid back than Provo, and how much you get out of this MTC has much to do with how much you put into it. Each meal is an opportunity to develop your language skills by sitting with the brazilians however most American missionaries do not take advantage of it. I love them so much, and I try to talk to them every chance I get. I speak pretty well when it comes to the gospel and church stuff, and talking to them helps me develop the rest.
To answer Dads question, yes, I have spoken with people out on the streets during p-day and i hardly understand a thing they say, but they understand me apparently cause they talk back when I talk to them. Listening will come with time out in the field.
We have not seen the First Presidency Christmas Devotional yet unfortunately, hopefully we get to watch it this sunday.
Other notes about brazil... São Paulo is gigantic. It is so big. To put it in perspective, It looks just like the make believe city from the movie Inception. I look out the wind and I see skyscrapers forever. They are not as tall as some of the ones in America, but they go forever. I am not quite sure how big the state of São Paulo is but there is over 32 million people in the state. Que Loco!
Anyways, Love you guys lots. I am working really hard!
Elder Knowles