July 16, 2013 by sisterrachelknecht
Dear family and friends,
My heart is so full.
Today is the 6 month mark of me being set apart as a missionary! Well, Wednesday is the 6 month mark of me entering the MTC, but either way, I’ve officially hit 6 months!! It’s been a sweet day so far, for some reason. I just feel so much love for the Savior, and for you all, and for the people here in TN.
This morning, I read the talk “Mountains to Climb” by President Eyring. Whenever we show the Mormon message to our investigators, I always cry my eyes out, so you can imagine that the whole talk had me crying even more. It was Sister Ayre’s copy, so I signed my name next to the teardrops I left on the paper. Not even joking. Though I love the whole talk and should just copy and paste it right here, I want to share just a few of my favorite quotes.
“It is serving God and others persistently with full heart and soul that turns testimony of truth into unbreakable spiritual strength”
Oh, I love it. I want that quote in my house. I want his whole talk quoted around my whole future house. Our foundation of faith that will help us endure trials, is based on personal integrity. To choose the right, no matter the situation. And serving and loving as the Savior did.
“When hard trials come, the faith to endure them well will be there, built as you may now notice but may have not at the time that you acted on the pure love of Christ, serving and forgiving others as the Savior would have done. You built a foundation of faith from loving as the Savior loved and serving for Him. Your faith in Him led to acts of charity that will bring you hope. It is never too late to strengthen the foundation of faith. There is always time. With faith in the Savior, you can repent and plead for forgiveness. There is someone you can forgive. There is someone you can thank. There is someone you can serve and lift. You can do it wherever you are and however alone and deserted you may feel”
I can’t put into words how much I love this talk, but I think those quotes say it all.
This past week, we had a zone conference with our new mission president and his wife. It was wonderful, and I really like them. President Andersen gave a training about the nature of God and our Savior Jesus Christ. I don’t know where the scripture is, or what it exactly says, but it reminded me that our Heavenly Father sent His Son into the world, not to condemn us, but to save us. Heavenly Father knows I’m not perfect. He sent me here on this mission to help me learn and grow, and to help others do the same. He sent me here to help save others through the gospel of Jesus Christ, not to fail.
Though I feel like sometimes the difference I make here is small, this week reminded me that Heavenly Father can work miracles through my small, insufficient efforts. We had an activity with the youth about missionary work, and to hear the girls talk about how excited they are to go on a mission, how they want to be like me and Sister Ayre, and how they’ll never forget us, oh my goodness, it melts my heart. And yesterday when a little 9 year old boy came up to us at church and asked if we would teach him the lessons at his grandparents’ house after dinner, in the sweetest way, I just felt so much gratitude to the Lord for letting us be a part of His work. We taught the 5 and 6 year olds in Primary yesterday, and I just felt so grateful to be teaching these sweet kids about missionary work.
And I think about Reina and her family, and how they listen to the Primary songs. I know that they can feel the Spirit when they do, and when we teach them.
Sister Ayre and I are determined to show more effort and sincerity in all that we do, more love for others and the Savior, in order to be the instruments that Heavenly Father needs us to be. His work will go on no matter what, I just simply want to be a part of it.
All is well in TN, it’s pretty hot and rains pretty often, but I really like it. It’ll just start pouring out of nowhere, and I love the thunder and lightning. It’s so beautiful at night. A new ice cream shop opened up downtown, Adelita’s, and a cute couple runs it. They’ve actually met with the missionaries before, so I think this is a perfect opportunity to get to know them better. Mmm, and who doesn’t love a good nuez paleta.
Also, I had the opportunity to sing at zone conference and at Peter Salazar’s baptism. I’m grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had to sing more; I really want to sing more when I get back too, don’t know in what capacity, but I need to just do it!
Love you all so so much, grateful for you, and for Sister Ayre! Seriously, we have so much fun together.
All my love,
Hermana Rachel Faye Knecht