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December 9, 2013 by sisterrachelknecht

email sent 12.2.13

Dear family and friends,

It has been a really, really fast week. Seriously. I continue to be amazed at how quickly the weeks go by. It’ll be one year this week since I received my mission call! I feel like I make big anniversaries/celebrations out of nothing (Three days since I bought new toilet paper! A month since I knocked that one person’s door in that one neighborhood!), but I love marking time like that.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am learning so much about gratitude. My favorite quote of this past week “Work at being grateful, you will find that it yields wonderful results” (True to the Faith, Gratitude). I am so grateful for the many families in our ward and branch that love and take care of us. I am so grateful for the calling that I have to serve them in return. And we had a great opportunity this past week to take care of our ward mission leader’s dogs while they were out of town, shout out to Maeser and Nora! Those are the dogs’ names. We didn’t pet-sit them, don’t worry, but we went and let them out to go potty every night before we went in. They live a street over in a beautiful house. So Victorian looking. Just beautiful. It was fun.

This week, Hermana Davis and I have really focused on just being a little better everyday. One of our assistants, Elder King, gave us a challenge in interviews this week: when an appointment falls through, don’t just go straight to the next thing you have. Don’t leave the neighborhood until you’ve talked to at least one person. We’ve seen little successes while doing that, and it’s actually pretty fun when you look at it like a challenge. I’m sure you all know that I’m not the biggest fan of knocking doors, but it’s not scary for me anymore. So it’s just become kinda fun and we meet some really interesting people, including a new family that we’re excited to teach. We know that members and less actives are our best source for finding, and we’ve seen a lot of good things happening with that, but we also know that the efforts on our part to continue to find on our own are so important. We’re figuring out a nice balance, and I’m loving it.

Thanksgiving (and Thanksgiving Eve), was great. We were able to see quite a few families, share some Thanksgiving messages, and of course eat some food. It was such a great opportunity to teach.

We’ve also begun teaching a brother and sister from Honduras! We met them at the festival, and they were fantastic! Originally, a different family won the picture, but they didn’t answer their door the multiple times we tried, and they didn’t leave a phone number on their survey. So, Hermana Davis drew another name, and it was them! We would have contacted them anyways, but it was sweet to see her face when we gave her the picture. Her children and husband are in Honduras, so she’s living here with her brother for a few years, to earn money. They’re both so great, and we’re excited to go back and teach them.

Things are looking good, we’re forming good relationships with the members that we didn’t know previously, meeting more and more less actives and part-member families, and finding people on our own. Honestly, not seeing a baptism real soon, especially for the White Christmas challenge President extended (someone baptized by Christmas), but I feel confident in what we’re doing in Springfield. We’re having fun, being obedient, loving the people, trying hard to follow the Spirit. What more could I ask for? That’s all I can do. Life is really sweet.

I’m so excited as Christmas comes, to share the message of the Savior’s birth.

I know that our Savior lives, and loves us. It’s incredible. What can we give to Him? Our hearts. And I love Elder Ballard’s challenge, “We are not asking everyone to do everything. We are simply asking all members to pray, knowing that if every member, young and old, will reach out to just “one” between now and Christmas, millions will feel the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. And what a wonderful gift to the Savior”. What a wonderful gift to the Savior. I want to give Him my whole heart! I love this work. I know it is true. We cannot control others’ agency, the decision they have to accept or reject the Gospel, but we can do our part. Our success is measured by our willingness, desire, and dedication, with all of our imperfections and imperfect efforts. I love being a missionary, and I feel so blessed to be here. It has not been easy for me. But I love it so so much. I can’t imagine my life without this mission experience, and I’m having a hard time imagining my life afterwards, not as a missionary…But I know that this experience is the best stepping stone I could have for the rest of my life.

I love you all so much, and am so grateful for your continued support. Please forgive me for my sporadic replies, but know that I think of you often.

Love you,

Hermana Rachel Knecht

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