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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

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