February 17, 2014 by sisterrachelknecht
Dear family and friends,
Today is a wonderfully warm and overcast day. It’s about 50 degrees
and I’m loving that I get to wear my rain jacket. I can’t wait for the spring, especially all the rain. But I’m really excited for the sun. The other day we got a glimpse of it
for a few hours, but not enough for a tan. I’m also excited for
tornado season, I just really want to see a tornado.
It was another wonderful week, the kind where I just am in awe of
being a missionary. Wait, I’m a missionary? I look at my tag. Yes, I’m
a missionary. I feel so blessed and I am so happy. Missions are
rollercoasters that I know will prepare me for the rest of my life, so
I’m taking it a day at a time and trying to treasure up everything
that I learn.
Lessons learned this week.
Monday: A good majority of the people who appear to be rough around
the edges, are actually some of the nicest people you’ll meet. A good
example last p-day, we were getting our car washed (and detailed, woot
woot living the high life because the Elders switched us and their car
wasn’t as clean. Not judging, just like a simple fact), the employee
helping us out saw the Book of Mormon in our car and said, “that’s a
great book. I have one in my office”. His parents are members
in a different stake, and he said we were the first sister
missionaries he’s seen in this area. We gave him our number on a pass
along card, didn’t get to chat for very long, and then called Elder
Rodak to see if he still wanted us to get the car detailed even though
it would cost $35 (he would reimburse us). He said to go ahead with
it, so we went up to the same employee, asked to add it on to the
cost, and he said, “you know what, it’s on me today”. Such a little
example, but it just made our day. Lately, Sister Rich and I have
faced some opposition and negative reactions, so we were so surprised
when he was so nice to us. It was probably a nice experience for him
to tell his parents too, that he helped out the missionaries.
Tuesday: People need to hear and remember the blessings of sharing the
Gospel. I went on exchanges to Hendersonville with Sister Penrod,
she’s a new missionary. Only been out for two weeks but she did so
great in the area on her own (well I was with her obviously but I
didn’t know the area at all). It was a fun experience, and
the apartment had lots of history from Elders who served there before.
I was really tempted to put my name up on the wall too, with a quote,
but I would be living a lie, so I didn’t. We went to dinner at a
member’s home, they are so sweet and so good about sharing the gospel.
She had been sick lately, so she felt bad that she didn’t have time to
follow up on the people who she had talked to about the gospel. But we
had prepared a message about the blessings of the gospel, D&C
19:37-39. She started to tear up as her children named all the
blessings of the gospel, and as we named the additional blessings they
would receive for sharing those blessings with others. She expressed
such gratitude for the temple, and the Spirit was there. I truly felt
Heavenly Father’s love for this family! I know that I need to remember
the blessings of sharing the gospel.
Wednesday: Sometimes, it’s better to just laugh. I let myself be
cranky (Sister Rich can attest to that), and then we laughed about it.
It felt so good to let it roll off my back, and then to just move on.
I could make the decision to bounce back from that afternoon, and I
did. It wasn’t a perfect bounce back, but I still made the choice to
do it. With prayer, of course.
Thursday: It feels so good to answer others’ questions. We had a great
time with Sister Smallwood. She has such a big heart and a desire to come closer
to Christ. We helped around her house and then sat down and shared a
Valentine’s Day themed lesson. Oh how I love Valentine’s Day. At the
end of our lesson, she said, “you know how you talk about studying the
scriptures, how you studied that in your personal study? I never
learned how to study the scriptures. How do you?” Ah, I just loved it
so much. I was so excited and we immediately wrote down a list of
steps/suggestions to studying the scriptures. I’m so excited for her
to apply it everyday and learn of the joy of studying the scriptures.
Friday: Live everyday like it’s Valentine’s Day. We had a wonderful
Valentine’s Day dinner at the Rascon’s house. Sister Rascon’s 14 year
old granddaughter is our friend and loves Valentine’s day too, so she
was so cute and made a beautiful Valentine’s Day dinner.
Saturday: The Savior taught in parables for a very good reason. First
off, it was Sister Rich’s birthday!! We went out to lunch with the
Kinneys, ate dessert, had deep fried Oreos and Twinkies at Melissa’s
house (with ice cream!), had a beautiful dinner at the Bennett’s home,
with a beautiful dessert, and then cake and a little party and the
Cortes’s house. Such a good day and I am now on a diet. After the cake
and ice cream the Cortes’s house, we shared a parable, kind of along
the lines of the talk “What Will a Man Give in Exchange for His
Soul?”. I think that’s the title. Oh how I love that talk. We
thought that maybe a parable would illustrate it best. Let’s say that
Heavenly Father has planned a birthday party for Sister Rich, and
promises to give her “all that He hath”. Sister Rich knows about it,
is excited for it, but also really tired. She’s a missionary and
doesn’t get a ton of sleep, so she decides that she’ll just take a
well deserved birthday nap. She sleeps through the party. Basically
the worst thing that could’ve happened, even though it’s not the worst
thing she could’ve done. But she missed out on a birthday party,
thrown by Heavenly Father, with all He has, just for her! Does that
make sense? Well, it made sense to them. And lots of sense to me. What
we sacrifice for the gospel is so small in comparison to what we would
lose if we chose something besides, or put something over, the gospel.
We are promised all the Father hath. Why would we exchange that for a
nap? Definitely inspired by the talk, and by the Spirit I hope. I’m
truly learning to love and understand parables better now.
Sunday: I couldn’t think of a good specific lesson learned. But, it was a great Sunday. Three investigators at church. Oh my goodness, I love them and I am so excited that they’ve come. Also, we had a coordinating council with the mission leader council, stake presidents, and Elder Meredith of the Area Seventy (I think Area Seventy, forgive me if I’m wrong). It was a really cool experience, to coordinate all together our goals
for this year.
Oh family, long email, but it was a good week. This morning, I was
studying 3 Nephi 13. What a great chapter, and such an answer to my
prayers. My mission is sacred, between me and Heavenly Father and
Jesus Christ. No honors of men will ever compare to the blessings they
have in store for me. I seek to glory in the Father, not in myself,
and I seek the blessings only He can give, not the reward of the honor
of men. And that I don’t need to worry about “the morrow”. It will
take thought of itself. Of course be prepared, but I don’t need to
worry about things I can’t control, and I don’t need to think too much
about the fact that I have five months left, I just need to take it a day at a time.
I love you and pray that all is well.
Hermana Rachel Knecht