March 11, 2013 by sisterrachelknecht
Thank you so much for your letters! Oh my goodness, you can never write too much! I love reading them.
Let’s go through the week
Monday: P-day! We went by Irma’s salon (one of our investigators) and Hermana McCalvy got her haircut! It’s super cute and Irma was cute and showed her how to style it. We’re really starting to grow in our friendship with Irma. She’s so wonderful, and defends the gospel when clients see her Book of Mormon and start to tell her things (false things, obviously) about the church. Wow, such a great example.
Tuesday: Hermana McCalvy went to Zone Leader Council in Brentwood, so I got to spend the day with the sisters in Donelson! They’re English speaking, so it was quite a new and interesting (well, everything here is new and interesting to me!) experience to be greeted, less than warmly, by those who wanted absolutely nothing to do with us. A few people we met simply hand motioned us to leave, no words needed! But, we did meet Robert who was so receptive to the Book of Mormon. We talked with him for awhile and I think the sisters are going to go back and visit him. AND there was a tornado warning I’m pretty sure…haha. We were walking in the neighborhood, and it started to get super windy! Crazy, and it was already raining, so we had our umbrellas and looked like goofs while trying to keep them from flipping inside out. And then we heard the sirens!! And ran back to the house where they’re living. So fun/scary.
After ZLC, Hermana McCalvy and I went and visited Liz. Liz lives with the Alduenda family (her aunt and uncle) and her sister Liliana (Chikis) was baptized in November. Neither Hermana McCalvy or I had talked about setting a baptism date, but we both felt like Liz was ready. After reading Lehi’s vision of the Tree of Life, which she loved, we asked her if she would be baptized this Saturday! (March 9th). She was so excited and so was her family! She’s so amazing.
Wednesday: Things were a little busier this day, but during personal study, I felt like we should visit our next door neighbor Linda. She’s older and lives alone, with her dog Huggie Poo, and she’s had a little contact with the missionaries, mostly because we live next door. When we got there, she was in a lot of pain. We sat and talked with her for a long time, and read some scriptures about the Atonement from the Book of Mormon. Heavenly Father is so amazing. I know that this is truly His work, because even though we had different plans, He knew that Linda was suffering both physically and spiritually, and that she needed our help.
We met with Liz that night and taught her the commandments, using the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet (which she had already read! Of course, that girl!) and she committed to live all of them (she already is living all of them). It’s so amazing because she understands why, and not just that we should. She understood that we keep commandments to show love for our Heavenly Father, and to show that we want to follow His Son, Jesus Christ. She just gets it!
Thursday: Thursday was our first day without a car, and oh my, we must sound like babies but it was tough! I have a bike (I borrowed it, but it’s way too tall!), but both Hermana McCalvy and I feel like it’s too dangerous to ride around here, at least in some places. They don’t really have bike lanes, or sidewalks (which makes walking dangerous sometimes), BUT it means that we have to rely on the members a lot more. They’re always so willing to help, and Hermana McCalvy and I know that the Lord has a reason for all of it! It sounds so silly thinking about it now, but it was really such a source of stress! At the end of the day though, we always feel so blessed to be doing this work.
Friday: Friday we had Liz’s baptismal interview! It went so great and it was fun to finish planning the details of the baptism. That night we also met with Francisca, the investigator I mentioned last email. Hermana Calvillo (the primary president) went with us, and it went so well. It was exactly what Francisca needed, and the support that she needs from the church. If we had our car, we probably wouldn’t have asked Hna Calvillo to come with us; isn’t Heavenly Father just so amazing? I just realize more and more everyday that His plan is so perfect, and that I need to learn how to better follow it.
Saturday: Liz’s baptism!! It was such a beautiful, perfect day. Before the baptism, we worked in Hermana San Juan’s garden. She lives in the Alduenda’s basement, and she is so amazing. She’s always so willing to help, and knows exactly what we’re experiencing, as she served a mission herself in Mexico.
Almost all of the branch members were at the baptism, including lots of family and friends from other branches. Just so perfect. So so perfect! Her sister Chikis gave such a beautiful talk, and the Spirit was there so strongly. It was so clear to see just how pure and happy Liz was after her baptism; and I feel so blessed to have been a part of it.
Sunday was church! Busy, but wonderful as always. Our branch is so great, and we’re really growing to have a good relationship with the branch president and his counselors.
Again, I can’t express just how grateful I am for your support, and to be here in Tennessee. Hermana McCalvy and I were talking about how blessed we are to serve here, to love these people, that we otherwise never would have met. I still don’t completely understand why I’m here, but I know I’m supposed to be!
The members of this branch of so great. All of the families are so great, and their children are all so cute! The Reyes family has three girls, and oh my goodness, they are the cutest. Paola, the middle one, seems to be my best bud. She’s 8 and so sweet, and so are her sisters. Hno and Hna Reyes are so sweet as well, and so willing to help even though they’re so busy. They’re so patient with my Spanish (well, all of the members are!!) and they totally understand my excitement/worries/cluelessness about the mission so far.
And Hermana San Juan! She’s the greatest. I mentioned earlier, but she served a mission in Mexico. She’s been so helpful, and so willing to give us rides, which has been one of the greatest blessings this week. As we drove home from Liz’s baptism, we were all hungry (and so was Mia, the Alduenda’s five year old. She’s a doll.), so she stopped and offered to pay for our dinner. We were insistent that we could pay, but she told us this, in Spanish of course: “Don’t worry about it! Just promise that you’ll do the same for all the missionaries when you return home”. It’s the same thing one of the members told her in her mission. And it’s a promise I definitely intend to keep. From this perspective, I want to do all I can to help the missionaries at home!
This week was so great. Don’t get me wrong, it was really hard. Of course. But, I know that your prayers truly strengthen me and help me to do this work. In an email Kels sent me, she talked about the Atonement. The Atonement is the reason I’m here; the reason why I’m worthy to be here, and the reason why I’m doing this work, to help others change their lives through Christ’s Atonement.
I know that this is where I’m supposed to be, to help strengthen this branch, and to find those who are prepared to accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I love this work and I love my Savior.
Love love love you all,
Hermana Rachel Faye Knecht