October 19, 2013 by sisterrachelknecht
Dear family and friends (and a special shout out to Baby Berry Eli!),
Last p-day we were able to go to dinner at the Sargents’ house, they live in the apartment right across from the tennis court! Their balcony actually faces our back porch, so we’ll wave to the kids when they’re playing outside. They’re such a sweet family, and we had a family night on missionary work. In that moment, I was just so grateful and humbled to be a missionary, to know that those little kids were looking to me as their example. And someday, I’ll be able to bear my testimony about missionary work to my own children, which is really surreal…and in the distant future, of course.
I spent a good chunk of last week out of my area; Tuesday we had Mission Leader Conference at the mission home with all of the zone leaders and sister trainer leaders. It was so fun to eat breakfast, be trained, play Conference Jeopardy, do roleplays, eat again, discuss the needs of the mission and missionaries, learn from the APs and President and Sister Andersen, etc. I was pretty nervous, and very self-conscious as my abilities as a leader, but I learned a lot, and by the end of it, I definitely felt more comfortable and more purpose. Thursday we went to zone meeting, where I gave a training to the zone of working with members. I based it off of a training that President Andersen gave on the counsel we received in General Conference about working together as members and missionaries; I think it went pretty well, for my first training in front of the zone. I definitely learned a lot, that as missionaries, we need to recommit ourselves to hastening the work of salvation by working together, as members are. It is such an exciting time, and it would be so easy to overlook it all and continue in our own separate ways. But now is the time to really work together. Just read conference, it’s said a lot better than I can.
After the meeting, I went to Franklin, KY on exchanges with a sister there. It was an eye opener to both Kentucky and English work. I’m still trying to figure out what my role is as a leader, but I’m sure with prayer and study and practice, I’ll figure it out.
Lebanon on Saturday. I’m learning a lot with Sister Kepler. She’s a great missionary, and I often feel like I must be holding her back. But I know that I have my strengths as well. I also broke down Saturday. I woke up, realizing that we hadn’t eaten with a member of the Spanish group that whole week. I was DEVASTATED. I’m not joking. I cried about it, and text every Hispanic in our phone a scripture in Spanish because I missed everyone so much. I felt like I was letting them down. We’ve been doing more English work than usual, which has kept us busy, but I don’t want the Spanish group to think that we have forgotten about them. We definitely have not, we just need more work to do. So I was struggling and feeling awful about that, and just home sick for all of them. I’m feeling much better now. We’re praying to find more Hispanic people to teach, and we’ve already seen blessings. I’m very hopeful.
I am so grateful to be a missionary, I can’t even describe it. I’ve learned so much, and I have so much to learn. Sister Kepler shared a talk with me from President Uchtdorf called “Always in the Middle”. He describes how he tells missionaries that they should always live their mission like they’re in the middle of it. Not afraid because they’re in the beginning, and not unfocused or slowing down because they’re reaching the end. And I’m grateful for that, to live each day like it’s the middle.
I hope that all is going well there. I love you all so much and it was so wonderful to see pictures of everyone. Eli is adorable!
The gospel is true! And it is so wonderful and beautiful. Let it bring you the happiness that it was made to bring!
Hermana Rachel Knecht