June 6, 2014 by sisterrachelknecht
Dear family and friends,
Tomorrow, I will be on my way to Smyrna! Where’s that at…? Yeah, I don’t really know either. But what I do know is that I started off my mission with one transfer in the Murfreesboro zone and I’ll end my mission with one transfer in Murfreesboro. I am really excited. Of course, I’m nervous. And I’ll be riding a bike! A BIKE. I got away my whole mission without riding a bike. But don’t worry, they have extras there, so I’ll just buy a helmet (like the cute ones with the unicorn horn or a mohawk or something missionary appropriate) or borrow one, I’m sure. I am really excited. In my interviews, I told President that I would be ready and willing for anything! And so I leave Madison zone, where I know and love everyone, to a place I know nothing about! But I know I will love love love it. I’ll be companions with Hermana Ayre’s MTC companion, and my trainer’s other trainee! Hermana McNeill. We’ll work so hard, have so much fun, and make so many memories.
Of course, I’m really sad. This past week, I went to Lebanon on exchanges. I was with Sister Tenney, who is such a perfect fit for Lebanon. You can tell that the people there love her. She was nice enough to let me go say hi (and bye) to the Salazars. It was so sweet, and it was so special. I got a little choked up. And then Sister Gregory took us to my favorite Thai place and then we visited some people with her.
Other happenings of this week, Sister Clyde and I talked to EVERYONE on exchanges, we had zone meeting, we took the bus and walked a lot, we knocked a lot of doors and met lots of people, we taught some great lessons, we went to MLC (Elder Pino was there, and then he came to the branch on Sunday!), and so many other wonderful things. It was a hard week too, though, waiting for transfer news.
Probably the best thing that happened this week was Emily Garcia’s baptism! She’s 8, and her family is wonderful!. Her father was able to baptize her, and it was such a beautiful baptism. We got her a cute little white headband with flowers on it, and we were able to find the right size pants and a tie for the dad to wear! He really wanted to wear that instead of a jumpsuit, so we did all we could to find pants. Last minute, we found some. The Lord knew that Hermano Garcia just wanted to wear a nice shirt, pants, and a tie (you know, we’ve all been there. It’s not the most important thing, but it’s important to US), so He blessed us to find some! And a headband as well, we had been looking for a white one and couldn’t find one! Only one white headband in Target, and we found it! She looked so so beautiful. I was able to sing “Soy un Hijo de Dios” with Liseth and Salemi, two of the girls in Primary. Their family is truly special, and we feel so blessed that we were able to help so much with the baptism.
I am going to miss Madison stake so much, especially the branch. 5 transfers in Lebanon, 3 transfers in Springfield, 2 transfers in Goodlettsville, and a total of 5 transfers in the Madison branch. I LOVE the people here. I love our investigators. I love all the many people we’ve been able to teach. I’ve learned so much. As I went to bear my testimony this Sunday, I cried and cried. I didn’t even know that I was going to cry. I had been almost indifferent, kind of irritated since I had heard about transfers. I was doing my best to handle the news, because I truly do trust the Lord and His plan for me and for His children. But of course I was sad, and it was coming out as anger. But as I bore my testimony, I realized that I couldn’t hide that my heart was a little broken. Anger wasn’t really what I was feeling, but just a little bit of a broken heart. I love the people the Madison stake. I love Sister Abernathy, who we had dinner with on Sunday. The second I saw her, I’m sure I made the ugliest face because I was trying so hard not to cry. I am so grateful for her, and for all the many people that I’ve loved here.
But I am truly at peace, and excited. Interesting emotions to feel at once, but I’m excited to see why the Lord needed me in Smyrna. I won’t be STL anymore. But I’m so grateful for the chance that I had here in Madison to serve the sisters, to learn from them and to be their friend.
Anyways, this morning I said goodbye to one of my favorite families, the Ramirez family. She made the most amazing breakfast! And their boys are adorable, as I’ve already mentioned. And Smyrna is where she first came when she came here from Mexico! She still has family and friends there, so she’s planning on sending me some addresses and names of people to meet. Also, she’s opening up a restaurant not too far, I think. It’s never really goodbye, right?
This past week, I gave a training on the parable of the talents. I don’t know why, but I felt so strongly that I needed to talk about it and chapter 6 about Christlike attributes in our zone meeting. I guess it was my last training, and I’m glad that I put my heart into it. I learned so much from that parable, but to put it short, the Lord calls us in so many different capacities and callings, we experience so many different successes and trials, how could we ever compare ourselves to someone else? In the end, Heavenly Father has designed it so that we will all receive the same reward of eternal life if we live faithfully and endure well. Don’t let comparison take away the joy and worth, and potential that you have.
This may be all I write for today, sorry, not very many details, but just general emotion. I am grateful for my mission.
Love you all,
Hermana Rachel Knecht