July 9, 2014 by sisterrachelknecht
Dear family and friends,
My heart is so full!! I feel so blessed to be a missionary. This past week, I’ve been reminded of all the many people that I love, the people that I’ve met on my mission. And I’ve been especially reminded of Heavenly Father’s love for me, as His missionary, and as His daughter. He is so merciful, and I am so blessed.
First of all, Elvia got baptized!! It was such a beautiful day. She just glowed with the Spirit. She is so young, and yet so blessed with the gift of knowledge, understanding, and a willing heart to live what she learns. There were a few issues that could have prevented her from being baptized, but they were resolved almost as soon as they came up, with the help of President Andersen, and it was truly the hand of God. I was being taught patience too, of course. Heavenly Father knew that her desire to be baptized was stronger than anything else that she was facing, and He allowed it to happen. She is truly amazing. Her aunt Lizeth, who was baptized in January, gave the talk on baptism. Hermana McNeill gave the talk on the Holy Ghost, and we sang a musical number. There were so many there to support her, so many members of our little branch have welcomed her so quickly and easily. Sister Andersen came as well, and held Angel when he got fussy. I will probably never forget that. And Sister Abernathy, who drove Hermana Kepler and Hermana Rich down, saved the day as usual by buying paper plates, etc and extra treats. Seriously, she has been an angel on my mission. It went smoothly with everyone’s help.
The best part, though, was being there to help her out of the water. She was so nervous ahead of time, but went in so bravely! Jose Don, a recent convert did so great, he was nervous too. It was so beautiful to watch so many people nervous, Lizeth about her first talk, Jose Don about performing his first baptism, Elvia about getting baptized, and yet going forward and doing what the Lord had asked them to do. Maybe if we weren’t nervous, we wouldn’t depend on the Lord? When you move past your nervousness because you trust the Savior, that’s when your fears can turn into faith. They were beautiful examples to me.
She dove right in yesterday, participating in class, explaining the pre-mortal life perfectly having only been taught it once, giving the closing prayer and asking Heavenly Father to bless us in our fasts, volunteering to give Angel’s old baby clothes to a sister who recently had a baby, and then being confirmed in sacrament meeting. She is so amazing. She just glows with the Spirit! And that same day, had an interview to go do baptisms for the dead!! She wants to do her mom’s work, and we may be able to go this Friday!
It was just a beautiful week all in all, completely highlighted by yesterday. There were the most people at church I’d ever seen, several less actives bearing their testimonies. I felt so full and so blessed.
Also, we met Brandon this past week. We were walking down Elvia’s street after a fallen through appointment with someone else, and saw him sitting outside. We saw him, smiled, waved, and asked “can we give you something?”, he said “yes, are you Mormon missionaries?!”. We of course said yes and introduced ourselves! He’s a member that hasn’t been to church since he was 13, he’s 23 now. He got baptized in the Cumberland branch, and has been through so much since then. But he had been praying for a way to get his faith back. After talking to him, we learned he was worried about coming back to church, but we assured him that he would be loved and welcomed back. We met with him again later that week, gave him a Book of Mormon, which we later learned he had posted about on FB, about how excited he was. And guess what?! He came to church on Sunday! He’s in the Elders’ area, in the Smyrna Ward, so we got in contact with them asked them to help him. The Elders were so great and on top of it, they thought of a member who would be a good friend, and to meet him in the foyer. Brandon text us a half hour before church started for them, saying he was already there. Is that not amazing? We learned later from the Elders that the ward loved and welcomed him in, and that he even stayed for choir. He’s continued to post about church, and even the Nashville Tribute Band! We are so excited for him. I truly have felt so much love for him, and he’s such a miracle. I know that the Lord also gave me extra knowledge, strength, and love to know how to address his worries and fears. This work is so real!
I love you all. I am excited for this week. My goals: have fun, laugh, have charity, be obedient, focus on having the Spirit, and love every moment! The Atonement is so real, and I know it will carry me through this week, and the week after, and the week after, if I rely on my Savior. I have seen it change my life, and I have seen it change others’.
Mosiah 18:30 “And now it came to pass that all this was done in Mormon, yea, by the waters of Mormon, in the forest that was near the waters of Mormon; yea, the place of Mormon, the waters of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever”
Love you all so much!
Hermana Rachel Knecht