June 6, 2014 by sisterrachelknecht
Dear family and friends,
I LOVE YOU! I am learning so much about love; love for myself, for
others, and for my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Last week, when I
talked to Mom and Dad and Kels, Dad talked to me about taking all of
what I’ve learned here and living it when I go home. I’ve thought
about that a lot. When people here see me, I want them to see me as a
representative of Jesus Christ. When I go home, I want them to see me
as a witness of Jesus Christ as well, including a returned missionary.
By no means am I perfect here, and by no means will I ever be perfect
when I go home, but I want to be seen as a dedicated servant of the
Savior. Continually striving to improve, to repent, to be better, to
serve, to love more. Why can’t these words really describe how I’m
Okay, example. Yesterday, I was tired. I think more emotionally than
anything. The past three days had been spent knocking practically all
day, fallen through appointments, and no new investigators to show.
What was the point of trying all these people if they were going to
drop us, ignore us, or reject us? That evening, we couldn’t get a hold
of a less active/part member family we wanted to see, so we just
stopped by. Weren’t home. So Hermana Rich suggested we try another
family in the same apartment complex. We hadn’t gotten to know them
very well yet. Honestly, I was a little intimidated and feeling a
little burned from the weekend.
But Hermana Rich called this young sister, who said we could stop by.
I think we were both really surprised. So we knocked on her door, and
she let us in. After getting to know her a little better, I felt
myself softening. She then opened up to us about a recent traumatic
experience that pretty much changed her whole world. This sweet, young
mom needed us in that moment. And because of my selfishness, I almost
missed out on an opportunity to help her, to be the Lord’s hands in
her life. I was so so humbled. I prayed for forgiveness in that
moment, and later that night. We watched “Mountains to Climb” and
invited her to attend the temple as soon as possible. We offered our
help, in any way that we could. How badly I wish I could do more, but
how grateful I am that The Lord allowed me to have that experience
despite my weaknesses and selfishness.
So my point is, this past weekend, although I thought I was just doing
what I was supposed to, and I was, I wasn’t doing it with my heart. I
was going through the motions and focusing on myself. I wasn’t doing
anything bad, but I wasn’t doing anything necessarily good. I was
lukewarm in the worst way. I want to give my whole heart to my
Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ in the service of His
children. I want to be obedient all the time, to live a clean,
wholesome, consecrated life. Of course, it’s a daily work in progress,
but I never want to lose sight of that.
One of the brightest parts of this weekend was the Madison Stake
Women’s Conference “Scatter Sunshine”. We invited EVERYONE. Hermana
Reyes (the Relief Society President) and I were talking afterwards
about how good the conference was. I personally learned so much, and for
that I am so grateful. I learned about the importance of studying the
scriptures, the importance of agency, the importance of gratitude, so
so much more. Sister Thompson, one of the sisters in White House Ward,
gave a great class. She talked about flowers that she grows in her
yard. All the flowers are good options, some are better, some are
best. For HER, personally. Not for everyone. She has trouble
remembering to water her flowers everyday, so geraniums are one of her
favorites. But for someone else, maybe not the best option for one
reason or another. But no flower is the perfect choice. In life, most
likely, there will be no perfect choices. And therefore no perfect
results. The Lord knows that, of course, and has prepared a way for us
to have happiness in every good choice that we make. And there is
repentance for every choice that is not a good choice. He has prepared
a way for all of His children. He sees the whole picture.
I learned from her class that opposition takes us from green,
untested, innocence, to ripeness, maturity, fullness, and richness.
And too often we focus on only two trees in the garden of Eden. But
there were many more trees to enjoy in the garden. The Lord has given
us so many things to enjoy in life, to have a fulness of life.
And I was able to see so many women from the stake that I look up to.
From Lebanon, White House Ward, Madison Branch, and other women that
I’ve met from stake activities or on exchanges. And I saw Liliana and
Liz!!! Oh how I love those girls so much. And Liz is planning on
getting married in the temple August 29th to Zion (who’s from Lebanon
and actually baptized Liz!). I was, and am, so full of joy for her. I
just felt so blessed for the examples of faithful, strong women all in
one place, women who have blessed and influenced my life for the past
So, I’ve poured out my heart, and I don’t really know how to
transition to what happened the rest of the week, so bullet points
here we go:
-Exchanges with Sister Penrod. I love that sister. We didn’t have the
car that day, so she had her first day ever on her mission walking!
And taking the bus. It was a pretty hot day, and we knocked quite a
few doors, so it was the perfect experience for her. Also, how could
you not love riding the bus? She did a great a job of contacting
someone on the bus, who later called the Goodlettsville Sisters! Also,
the sisters let us borrow the car for about an hour, and within that
hour, we saw an old investigator walking twice, and had a lesson with
Linda, who we hadn’t been able to see in a long time. We set up an
appointment for later that night with Guillermo, the old investigator
we saw who we hadn’t been able to get in contact with for about 2
months. It was a really good lesson, and he was excited for a Book of
Mormon. His phone rang after the lesson and he picked it up briefly.
He was speaking in a dialect that starts with a Ch-. I can’t remember
the rest. But it was so cool. He’s such a humble guy, and I felt the
Spirit so strongly as I testified to him of the Book of Mormon.
-8:45 one night, didn’t get to see who we wanted to. I kept having
this sticky thought (as Sister Hargadon calls it when the Spirit keeps
trying to tell you something) to knock this house we had tried a few
times. So we walked down the street and back up to our car after
trying to see the other person, and I finally just told Sister Rich
that I felt like we should knock the door. So we knocked it. It always
scares me a little to knock past 8:30, but we did it and I’m so
grateful we did. Margarita answered the door, was so kind, and said we
could come back next week on Wednesday, her only day off. It just
happened to be Wednesday as well, so maybe that’s why we had never
been able to catch her at home before. So we’ll see what happens this
week. I love experiences like that.
-We rode the bus allllllll day Thursday. We are bus pros. No one was
home, our appointments cancelled, and hardly anyone wanted to open the
door. In fact, quite a few people closed the door as soon as they saw
us, or went back inside. But, we had a cool experience. As we were
walking, we walked past a house with some kids sitting outside. I
recognized the girl, but didn’t know where from! She recognized me
too, and I realized that we had given her a pass along card one day
while she was riding her bike. We had tried to see her whole family,
but briefly met her mom who was in a hurry. Her grandma yelled at us
in Spanish asking who we were, went back inside angrily, then came
back outside with a smirk on her face and told us that we needed to
teach her disobedient granddaughter. She set up four chairs, for us
and for Leslie and her little brother Alan. Such smart kids, and it
was so much fun to talk to them. We shared a little about the
Restoration pamphlet, and as we were about to leave, their mom came to
pick them up. She was so sweet, asked for a pamphlet in Spanish, and
said that she would call us. Well, she hasn’t, but Leslie said that
her parents are usually home after 4, so we’ll stop by soon. Also, we
got to talk to lots of homeless people, and we gave a sweet man some
bus fare. It was a good day.
At times, it was a discouraging week. But I learned so much, and I am
so grateful to be a missionary. After over a year of reading the Book
of Mormon, I finally finished yesterday and I’ve started it again. Our
mission president has challenged us to finish it by the end of what is
my last transfer, and I will do it!
I love you all, hope you have a great week.
Hermana Rachel Knecht