Sunday, October 20, 2013

Worst Week Ever. October 14, 2013

Worst Week Ever     October 14, 2013  A few pictures thrown in.
JUST KIDDING! Sorry if I scared you. Just thought I'd shake things up. Are you tired of hearing how happy I am? Well that's too bad because I'm still happy. Yesterday I came out of the room and said "Sis.  P., I'm so sad we can't email today." She said "Is Collette sad? Because Sister Knowlton is never sad."

Seriously, are we allowed to have this much fun as a missionary? Sis.  M. and I have SO MUCH FUN. She really likes attacking me....... It must be a Tongan thing but she always is tackling me. I don't get it. She is super funny and I just laugh at her all day. You know what we figured out? When she was graduating High School, I was in 8th grade. Weird right?

IMPORTANTE Can someone please go on pintrest and print out a couple workouts I could do inside in the morning and then mail them to me? It's starting to get too cold to go outside. Speaking of cold- it snowed last Friday and I forgot to tell you all
Thursday we were on exchanges again and I was with the new missionary Sister G. She is an awesome missionary but is having a hard time adjusting to missionary life as most new missionaries do. Thankfully it wasn't too long ago that I was a new missionary so we did a lot of talking throughout the day about how to find joy in missionary service. Wednesday evening when we exchanged we had 10 minutes and I went to an apartment complex and we prayed that we could use these last 10 minutes effectively. We went to knock on a door and some shirtless guy in his 20s or 30s answered and long story short we found out he is a song writer and I said "Can we hear one of your songs???" and he says all confidently "oh yeah, it goes a little something like this:   “Baby girl you lookin so flyy (insert more romantic song lyrics)"   I was trying soooo hard not to bust up laughing. When he shut the door Sis. G. was like "wow, you just got serenaded." Then while walking back to the car there was a guy outside so we talked to him. Apparently he was a less active member. By the end of it I challenged him to pray about serving a mission and told him that through the Savior he can be forgiven of anything.

I have really enjoyed my studies lately. I have been trying to focus on being Christ like because if the Savior were teaching our investigators they would be able to understand,

feel loved, feel the spirit of God, and want to be baptized. As a representative of Jesus Christ it is my responsibility to repent and become more like the Savior so that God's children can come unto Christ. If I do my best to be Christ like, I will be able to teach with power and authority. I have also been trying to increase my faith because we set a goal to have 2 people baptized this transfer. Sis. M. is really helping me increase my "vision to baptize." There is one more person that is going to get baptized in the next 4 weeks. Since people have to come to church 3 times we need to figure out who that is fast. This morning I really felt like J. has to get baptized before I leave. He has come to church twice but he isn't our investigator any more. I know that faith is a power. I was wondering how can my faith make a difference if God's will is not for J. to be baptized? Sis. M. told me that God does take my will into consideration and faith really can make miracles happen. If everyone could please pray for J., I would greatly appreciate it!

I love this work. I need to start writing down funny moments again because there are so many. Sis. M. and I get along really well. She is teaching me how to hula and T. dance so now I'm a pro at shaking my hips! She also calls me Collette sometimes and it messes with my head haha. I don't know how I have been blessed with 3 awesome companions so far! 3/3! Let's keep it going!

Love you all and you are in my prayers!
Sister Knowlton

"With a Tongan Companion, Anything is Possible" October 7, 2013

With a Tongan Companion, Anything is Possible    October 7, 2013
Wow. What an incredible week. Emailing about my week is starting to overwhelm me because I just can't express what missionary life is like haha. So much to say!

So my new companion, Sister M. is a BOSS. She has been out for a year and is good at everything. She also is extremely funny so we spend a lot of time laughing. Sometimes I get a headache because I'm laughing so hard.

Wednesday was our first exchange! AHH! As Sister Trainer Leader's we have to go on an exchange with every sister in the zone. It was a little intimidating because a leader's area is supposed to be the example for other missionaries and obviously I don't know what I'm doing yet! I went with the brand new sister and Sis.  M. went with the trainer. Our zone consists of: Sis.  M. and I, Sis.  H. and her new missionary, and 2 other sisters and their new missionaries. Besides  Sis.  Har. and the new missionaries everyone has been out longer than me so I asked Sis.  M. if I could be with the new missionaries on exchanges ;) While we do exchanges we have to show them every aspect of work, finding, teaching, planning, working with members, etc. I went with the new Spanish missionary, from Ecuador, who speaks English but hasn't learned how to teach in English, and Gospel vocabulary is something you have to practice. Therefore, she was pretty quiet in lessons but I tried to help her talk as much as she could. I let her know that every time she spoke it was powerful because she phrased things in such a simple spiritual way. I learned a lot about teaching simply in that exchange! It really is powerful!

Friday was Mission Leader Council (MLCs). It was a little intimidating hearing about how good of missionaries we need to be and how we need to take care of the missionaries we are serving. I'm just barely getting used to taking care of myself and my investigators and ward! It's okay I know that God would not give me this calling unless he was planning on helping me and He knows I will be needing a lot of help! Of course Sis. M. is a great help as well. Everyone loves her!

That evening we had a good lesson with the P.'s,  a part member family. We talked about covenants and the Book of Mormon. I shared some verses from Enos and then bore testimony about how the Book of Mormon helps us to understand that through Jesus Christ we can be cleansed from our sins and that if we want to access the Atonement we must have faith, repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end.
I love this work and I know this church is Jesus Christ's church on the earth today with Christ at the head. I'm grateful that every single day I get to walk side by side with my Savior as I talk to God's precious children. I know my Savior lives and I want to do whatever I can to become like him. The Book of Mormon is true, so go read it and then go share it. Have you made a family mission plan? a personal mission plan? How are you going to head the teachings of the prophet and take someone by the hand and bring them to Christ? God knows how you can do it! So ask Him!

I love you all so muchhhhhhh!
Sister Knowlton
ps. we went to visit an active family with 6 little kids and they all were running out the door at us when we pulled up. One of the girls (4) was just freaking out she was so excited and finally she exclaimed while shaking her fists "I JUST LIKE YOU!!!!" <3

"4th Times a Charm? Transfer Doctrine!" September 30, 2013

4th Times a charm?  Transfer Doctrine!    Sept 30
FAMILY! I love you! Here's the moment you've all been waiting for. I bet you have been holding your breath the whole week to find out more adventures of Sister Knowlton and what transfers will bring. I appreciate your concerns and thoughts but please be sure to carry on with your own lives instead of waiting by the computer every single day. Sorry, that was a failure of my goal to take sarcasm out of my language.

*I'm staying in Malley!* Wooohoooo going on 6 months in this ward. Obviously I need to figure out what I'm supposed to learn here because I haven't yet.

So Saturday was the trainer meeting for all who would be training next transfer. Because of that meeting you find out if you are training Friday night. Neither Sister Har. or I got a call from President that we were training which was a little bit odd because I always assumed I would train for the rest of my mission since that is what sisters do nowadays haha. We went on with our Saturday wondering what transfers would bring. Late into the afternoon (after the trainers meeting) we got a call from the President. He said he had transfers finished but he wanted to make a last minute change "S Har. we would like you to train a new missionary" (Sister Har. screams really excitedly ) "And Sister Knowlton, we would like to call you to be our new Sister Training Leader" uhhhhhhhhhhhh...... what?!? I've only been out for 3 transfers!! Needless to say, I have another very humbling calling ahead of me.

I am now one of the 14 STLs in the mission and youngest in age and time out on my mission. Guess who my companion is???? Sister M.!! You probably don't know who that is but she is my "grandma," Sister H.'s trainer. She is a straight up boss missionary. President  knew I needed a companion that could whip me into shape. I'm not sure exactly how long she's been out but it's over a year. You've seen pictures of her, she's the Tongan. So now I have to go on exchanges with all the sisters in my zone and attend Mission Leadership Councils once a month. I'm excited to get to see different areas and learn from all the other sisters in my zone.

S Har. is being swept into an area with her greenie. She's still in my zone so I will see her at least twice a week, thank goodness. She will be such an awesome trainer, she pretty much trained me! :) Elder G. is leaving the zone for his last transfer. That was really sad. He's been my ZL all 3 transfers and we are best friends.

We work with a less active 15 year old named S. who is really shy and has a lot of anxiety problems. I can picture exactly who she would be at my high school and know that she needs a lot of love. Since I thought I was leaving I gave her a bookmark with a Pres. Uchtdorf quote and wrote her a little note on the back, reminding her to always read her scriptures when she feels sad.

Yesterday we had about 10 minutes before an appointment so we quickly went to stop by a prospective elder's house. I've knocked on his door a fair amount of times and no one has answered even when I felt like people were home. This time someone actually opened the door! Him, his wife, and his little baby came outside to chat with us and the mosquitos. He kept saying how funny it is that we stopped by because he's been thinking about getting back to church. He told us, "I told her (his wife) about our beliefs and she's really interested" She said, "with our new son we have really been thinking about him and how we need to get to a church." Man, I love moments like that.

For zone awards this transfer I was deemed the award "Best White Girl Moves" I hope you are all proud.
Elder O. got permission from the  President to sing appropriate Broadway songs at the retirement homes so we are pretty excited about that.

Being a missionary is so amazing. I appreciate all of our prayers and will really need them as I go into this next transfer. I anticipate a lot of feelings of inadequacy but I know God is on my side so I will be fine. Who else is SO EXCITED for General Conference??????? We didn't get to see the RS Broadcast, I heard it was good. y'all are lucky. Thank you to Kimberly for emailing me and Amy for writing me, So far the only person who has emailed me weekly is the one and only: Aly Parco!! Izzie would've gotten that too but no email this week :( sad day. Do they still do missionary spotlights in Felicita Ward?

two other cool moments: At chick-fil - a couple weeks ago some guy gave us $20 to pay for our lunch. This week we were walking in (S Har. had lost her nametag) I said "Too bad you don't have our nametag because now no one will give us money. ;)" Right after I said that a lady came up and said "Are you sister missionaries? I'm buying you lunch. You have inspired my 10 year old daughter to serve a mission" I love moments like that.

The church is true. I know it, I live it, I love it. If it were not true, I would not be able to see miracles every single day. If it were not true this would be a total waste of my time. But it is! I never want to stop serving a mission!! Thank you Mom and Dad for all you have done for me. I feel so much gratitude for you everyday. Thanks to all those who read my letters, I really appreciate it :)

Sister Knowlton

"Oh no, Don't turn into Unicorns!" September 23, 2013

How is it already Monday again? I think I'm starting to get to that point when all the people at home vaguely remember that I'm on a mission but it's kind of this forgeign blob of distant information.

We pick up trash at a school for service and this week it was SUPER muddy. S Hardy and I got to a stream thing we had to jump across and she made it so I thought I of course could as well. When i landed on the other side I slipped and fell right into the mud and was COVERED. Thankfully Elder Guzman had his phone out and recorded the whole thing.

This week I got a cold/fever and Sis. Har. kept giving me drugs and kept asking me to ask for a blessing and I didn't because I didn't think it was that bad. Finally I told her "Sis.  Har. I'm like an Indian in the woods. The spirits of nature heal me." So for any who were concerned, I'm still weird. 
Being sick was sorta hard becasue I didn't sleep very well in the night and I had a headache most of the days. It's interesting how your health affects your ability to feel the Spirit. Comments in lessons didn't come as freely because I didn't feel good. That is why I'm so grateful for the Word of Wisdom! We have to take care of our bodies so we can, in turn, take care of our spirits. I'm still on the road to recovery but I get better everyday! Sis.  P. told me I could stay home and rest but she knows us better than to suggest that ;)

Wednesday we went to the temple!!! Man I just love the temple. Sis.  P. drove us so it was fun to be there with her. I also love being able to see Sis. H., she gives the best hugs in the whole world. No joke. We sat in the Celestial room for as long as we possibly could then got to go to Deseret book. I love the Celestial room so much, I feel so happy and can feel how much Heavenly Father loves me. Because I feel his love so strongly everyday it makes me want to make him proud so badly. I've never wanted to do his will more in my life. I don't care what it takes, I will do anything He needs so I can get back to him.

Sis.  Har. and I had a cool experience yesterday.   I told her she should ask the Zone Leaders for a blessing. They knew nothing about what she was getting a blessing for but it was exactly what she needed to hear. I felt like Elder Neppach was a mind reader or something. He very specifically addressed her concerns and answered the questions that she had. There is no possible way to deny that the blessing she received was from Heavenly Father. Therefore, there is no way to deny that the Zone Leaders hold the priesthood and the power of God which was Restored through the prophet Joseph Smith.

I love being a missionary with everything in me. Every Pday I study about families since we don't see as many investigators so I can be a little selfish. Sometimes I forget I'm on a mission because I put so much into preparing to have a family ;) I'll be saying my prayers about my family then have to remember that I'm supposed to be praying for help as a missionary haha. Teaching the Gospel is the greatest blessing. I love my Savior and Heavenly Father. I love studying their words in the scriptures and learning every truth I possibly can. The Book of Mormon is true. It doesn't matter if I know it, it's still true!

Siblings: you should email me more often because when I get an email from a sibling it makes my week 100000x better :)

I love you all so much!
Sister Knowlton

It's Raining, It's Pouring....... September 16, 2013

Yes- I am still above water ;) Obviously it's been pouring rain all week but we didn't let it affect our work. The gutters and sidewalks were pretty much rivers but we could still drive. The first morning of the floods Sis.  P. was watching the news and seeing all the flood and she said kept trying to convince us not to go out. She said, "Tom told his sisters that they weren't allowed to go outside and I asked him 'How do you tell them what to do??'" She knows that we wouldn't stop working anyways. Silly Sis. P.   A lot of people asked us what we were doing out in this weather but they still slammed the door in our face so no, the rain didn't really work to our advantage ;) haha. A couple basements of members flooded so we were helping clear them out and rip up carpets but that was the extent of our service opportunities so far.

We were starting to share a message with a young mother and asking how she was and she explained she was going through a lot of stress because her basement was flooding so we stopped the message right there and went down to help. We called Brother  L. and he got some other guys to come over and help out. It's awesome to see the ward work together to help others :)

On Wednesday we had the General Authority, Elder Corbridge, come talk to us from 9-3:30. It was AWESOME. He taught all about how to be better teachers and focus on the most important thing, the Atonement. Me and 5 other missionaries sang "Lead Kindly Light." I also sang with 3 other missionaries in a different ward this past Sunday. On Thursday we had a zone meeting. Especially in these meetings and in our morning studies, I am able to learn so much from the Spirit. I can't even explain how much I love truth and learning. I always think to write stuff down so I can tell you but I always think, "No way I'll forget this!"

Really I just want to be the best missionary I can possibly be. I want to be a good teacher, I want to be bolder in finding situations, I want to have greater charity, etc. It's always a good feeling to realize that I have 14 more months to learn and grow. I know that once I get close to mastering missionary work I'll be going home to learn and grow some more. Isn't it fantastic that we can always progress and be better?! Have I said that already? Because I've been obsessing with it lately. Like usual we work really hard and do our best but we don't baptize someone everyday. We don't even have anyone on date for baptism right now. I try not to let those things get me down. I know no effort is wasted and my goal for my mission is to make my Heavenly Father proud. I know that he loves me and is happy about the fact that I do my best. He is happy that I jump (not literally......) out of bed every morning, and take each day as a brand new chance to let His children know about His plan for them. He loves them so incredibly much and it's my job to help them understand that. S Hardy and I decided to treat everyday as if it is our only day to be a missionary. If you had one day to be a missionary you wouldn't walk past that man on the street, you would stop and tell him something meaningful.

I love being a missionary with all my heart and I just want you all to know I'm working hard. I'm not sure if you can tell that from the stories I tell so I want you to know! I'm so far from perfect and there are moments when I really just want to take a nap haha but I keep going and somehow God helps me! I will never lose my "greenie fire" :D

Love you all and I hope you haven't forgotten about me yet! ;) Crazy that I've been out for the amount of time I could've done a semester at BYU! BEING A MISSIONARY ROCKS!!!! :D (Sorry guys, I'm never coming home ;) Nothing against you)

ps. I still like letters a lot :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Miracle Week and the return of K. and B. (dun du dun dun)......September 9, 2013

So I guess you could say this week was pretty fantastic. Similar to most other weeks on a mission. Guess how many new investigators we found? The most we've ever found in a week before is 4 I believe. This week? 13. Yippee! 10 of them were found using the prayer approach. I think I told y'all about that.

Monday- M. and her grandson E. We invited them to be baptized and they said yes but we haven't been able to meet with them again this week.

Tuesday- We brought the Bishop to our appointment with our excommunicated investigator which I think helped a lot because the Bishop was really nice to him and talked about how wonderful repentance is.
We had a lesson with the D. family (active husband who is very old and a spiritual giant and his less active wife). R., the wife, works on Sundays and we brought Sis  B., an awesome member. Sis B. basically shut her down like a boss. Here's how the conversation went
Sis D: I don't think I can go to church anymore girls. I'm too old to go to church and then work all day. I'm sure Sis B. understands how that feels *polite laughter*
Sis B: *no laughter* No. I don't. I go to church on Sundays and work on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
oh man. It was pretty funny. Calling people to repentance turns out to be a lot harder than I imagined. I really want everyone to like us and know that we love them but no one likes to be told they are breaking the commandments. S Har. and I have been working on being bolder. In our lesson with the D. family it was getting near the end and Sis D. was not really having it (She usually loves us but that's when we teach nice fluffy stuff. We aren't there to teach nice fluffy stuff, we are there to invite others to Christ through faith and repentance.) I prayed really hard that I would know what the Savior wanted me to say because I had no idea. So I opened my mouth and promised blessings as a representative of Jesus Christ. Afterwards Bro D. said "The Lord has truly loosened your tongue." That was a cool answer to prayer :)

Wednesday- we finally got one of our less actives to tell us she doesn't want to come to church because she feels guilty about smoking. I've been teaching her for about 3 months and never even had a clue that she smoked. She still didn't come to church but she said the Saturday before she even went and bought a skirt so she's thinking about it!!
We did the prayer approach with M. and while doing so this dog runs up to us and obviously I'm excited because that's a super easy way to start talking to whoever the owner is but when I look up I see K...... Oh no.... S Har. knows about him but she didn't know what he looked like so she starts talking and asking if we can pray with him. He says no and when he was out of ear shot I whisper "Bible basher!!!" ON top of that we had M. with us. He goes on to tell us that if he prayed with us that would be like praying with a Muslim. "And many other things did he say unto us that I can not write at this time." (<---Haha funny scripture reference.) While walking away M. said "he's golden."
Later in the week, during companion study I said
"So when I read this scripture I was thinking about K.--"
S Har.- "Nooooo! In my prayer this morning I said, God if we need to go back and talk to K. have S Knowlton say his name during studies."
hahahahaha so- we're going back and we are going to boldly bare our testimonies that Joseph Smith is in fact a prophet.

Thursday- rough day. All our appointments before dinner fell through. But hey, that's because God needed us to be somewhere else so I'm not complaining!

Friday- we told SW that if she didn't start reading and coming to church we couldn't keep coming by. (nicely and with the spirit of course ;) )
We had dinner with T., R., D., and S. They're our investigators if you don't remember. It is really painful to teach them because I care about them so much and want it so badly for them and R. will not pray about the BOM. So we are teaching them tonight and hopefully things go well. We will be inviting him to be baptized for the 3rd time haha.

Saturday- 6 new investigators!
We found a family through the prayer approach. It's a mom, C. and her 3 kids, S., D., and T. We invited them to be baptized October 5th and they all said yes but we aren't counting them as on date yet because I don't think they understand well enough...
S Har. and I have really been trying to work on teaching clearly and simply. I feel a lot of times the people we teach don't fully understand the Restoration and that is something that everyone deserves to understand because it is amazing!!!!!
We also taught briefly about the BOM to a single mom named V. who we said a prayer for last week. She said she has been looking for a church and is willing to read. She mentioned a Mormon friend she had in High School who brought her to church a couple times. That friend has no idea how much she helped both us and V.!
We were 10 minutes late to ward correlation and Bro L. gave us a nice big talking to. That was not fun. Missionaries must be punctual! Lesson learned!
We had a good time in companion study. We decided to scripture chase to every scripture that we read together. S Har. beat me most of the time which was kind of upsetting.

Sunday- We sang in church. We told EVERYONE to come support us and no less actives or investigators came... That was the whole reason we sang haha. We sang I need thee every hour with the Webster Lake elders who are both really great singers.
Did I tell you about that wedding? I can't remember but anyways we taught them and picked them up as investigators. The husband is pretty interested.
Remember that family we helped move one night? We went and taught them. M. is REALLY interested. She kept saying how she has been thoroughly studying the Bible for 22 years and just feels like there is something missing. When we started talking about Joseph Smith she said "wait let me get something" and I was afraid it was going to be anti stuff but she came back with a pen and paper and started franticly taking notes on everything we said. When we gave her the BOM and asked her to read 3 Nephi 11 she said "That's what I just opened to!! I'm covered in goosebumps just holding this!"
Every Sunday Elder Mc. does "Malley district radio call-in" and he gives a challenge and the first companionship to call in with the answer and their weekly numbers gets a candy bar. 2/3 week that we won ;)

I forgot to mention some things last week and I have zero time.
1. I got a ticket for going 11 over last Monday............. First ticket ever :( Sorry Mom and dad! I don't know how to pay it so I'm using that emergency cash you gave. You can take it out of my bank account or something)
2. I gave another training in District Meeting. I don't know how after being out for 3 months I've managed to train 3 times.... I've had a new DL every transfer. Maybe I should let the new ones know that I already trained....
3. A general authority is coming to our mission on Tuesday and I was asked to sing!! I'll let you know how that goes :)

Love you all!! Congrats Aaron and Amy! you are the best!

p.s. shoutout to Aly and Izzie for that incredible package. S Har. and I LOVEEE the CDs I would tell you more specifics but I ran out of time. I will next week :)
p.p.s. S Har. and I have so much fun. We are really great friends and I will be really sad to not be her companion in 3 weeks :(

Awesome....awesome...awesome.....September 3, 2013

Most commonly used word as a missionary? "Awesome" We do so much listening to people and the immediate response is always "awesome...." To the point that if someone said "My dog just died today" I would probably say "awesome." Sister Har. and I always say things at the exact same time in lessons and one lesson we both said in sync, "That's awe-" and then just stopped and looked at each other out of the corner of our eyes. We made an agreement that if one of us says awesome in a lesson,  that person has to invite someone to be baptized at the door that day haha ;)

This week was another great week as a missionary :) We did a lot of work with less actives this week. When we called in our numbers on Sunday Elder M. said "The Zone Leaders are not going to be happy because you got more less active lessons than they got total lessons." The Elders are always commenting on how hard we work. On Sunday they said "Alright sisters this isn't fair anymore- either we all have to start working harder or you need to stop working hard so we can balance this out." I appreciate the encouragement but sometimes it's hard because even though we work really really hard everyday there is still so much for us to work on. In the mission it feels like there is so much pressure to get baptisms and I know, I know, baptisms do not show success but it's hard to not think that way.

We had a couple trainings this week and throughout them I just kept hearing all the things I'm not doing and all the things I need to improve on. We need to be better teachers, better representatives of the Savior, work better with the members, I need to train better, etc etc. When we got in the car to leave I asked Sister Har. if we could pray for help in becoming the missionaries we need to be. The instant we prayed and turned everything over to the Lord I felt so much peace. I know that I don't need to let myself be overwhelmed- that's what the Atonement is for. The Savior is there to help us become what we need to be. I often forget that I've only been out for 2 transfers and I have so much time to learn and grow but I just don't want to waste a single moment of this year and a half. 18 months is so short!

We are really trying to balance our finding and teaching. We do a lot of teaching because there are so many less actives but our finding efforts lately have been dependent on working with the members which is going! Just not quickly enough so we gotta step up our game :) Since tracting isn't effective, we now do what is called the "prayer approach." We knock on people's doors and ask if we can come in and leave a blessing on their family and their home. When we are in there we write down everything they need prayers for: friends, family, illnesses, work, peace, etc. then we kneel down with the family and leave a blessing on the home. For the times that we tried it this week be were completely guided. The first doors we knocked on each time became a potential or an investigator!

One of my favorite things and one of Sister Har.'s least favorite things is talking to random people that we see. (Sister Har. is getting much more comfortable with it. It's great! :) ) When an appointment fell through we saw a family moving a bunch of furniture and offered to help.   They said no like they always do but we kept on insisting till finally we just took the furniture and started carrying it. The mother had three kids and was moving out with help from her boyfriend. She seemed on the verge of tears the whole time and before we came we could hear her yelling at one of their boys. She was so excited to give us her new number and address for us to come by and talk with her and the family. We had more experiences but I'm running short on time and I want to answer some of mom's questions.

What is Denver like? It's a lot like Utah as far as weather and geography. We don't have a great view of the mountains but we can still seem them. We can see the skyline of the city really well from our area. We see about 10 airplanes a day because we are so close to the airport. The sky is HUGE and so beautiful. The sunrises/sunsets are phenomenal!  Our car is a white Chevy Cruze and his name is Kevin :) All the mission cars are really new. We live in a small room at Sister P.'s maybe I'll take a picture of it one day, and a picture of Sister P.'s home :) We don't live in a neighborhood because Sister P. owns a self storage place so we are just around that. My area has a ton of apartment complexes. People in this area are not super wealthy which makes it a fabulous area. I never ever want to leave the Malley ward I love it so much! The weather is wierd, it changes every 10 minutes from pouring rain to sunny skies. There are a lot of ghetto stores and the roads are a little beat up but if you drive right into the neighboring ward/area, everything becomes really nice haha. I would guess that we are the lowest income ward in the stake. I still sing! We sing all the time! We are singing in church on Sunday with the Webster Lake ward elders. We sing at nursing homes every Saturday and sometimes we sing in lessons. Hope that answers some questions about the Denver area. Our mission is REALLY small now but still 250 missionaries! It's all the metro area.

I absolutely love being a missionary. Even though this week I got more discouraged than usual (don't worry that means I was discouraged for maybe an hour on two days. I still am so happy :) ). I found that when I am discouraged it helps me turn to the Savior and it helps in lessons because I feel his love so much stronger. I love this Gospel and I know that it's true. Like just get this---


Okay got that out of my system. This week our invesitgator D. dropped us. I called and she said "I'm not going to be a Mormon." I asked her if she had read and prayed about the Book of Mormon and she said "yes, God told me that it is true but I can't be a Mormon" I didn't really know how to respond. I wasn't sure if it would be rude to say "you're telling me that God revealed that the Book of Mormon is true but you do not believe the things it teaches?" I kept asking if we could just come back one last time but she said no /:

I know the Savior lives, that the Book of Mormon is true, and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. How do I know that? Because I asked God. It just makes sense, if God had prophets to guide his children before he will have prophets now. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He loves his children so much and I know he loves me. I can feel the happiness that the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings. There is nothing like it and I will never deny it. If something you read or learn brings your confusion or sadness it is not from God and therefore it is not true. If something you read or hear brings you pure joy and revelation it is from God and it is true. I feel so blessed to know that we have absolute truth, there is a purpose to this life, this life is a time for us to keep the commandments and in so doing, be happy. :D We can find answers through prayer! There is one God and he will give you the answers. I love you all and appreciate all the prayers that are sent my way :)

I got a letter from someone named V. who just got baptized in Escondido. Is she in the Felicita Ward?

Have a wonderful week and share the Gospel! You all are such incredible examples to me and I admire everything you do :) Thank you :)

Love Sister Knowlton!!!!

"Luke 2:52"...................August 26, 2013

Well, here we are again. It feels like yesterday when I emailed. I didn't get as many emails this week and I was sad but then I got over it :) What a fantastic week. Are there such things as a bad week on the mission?

We dropped K. a little while back because we hadn't been able to meet with her for about 2 months and it was ridiculous. We would go by and she would say "Oh come back in 4 days at 2:00" but of course she was never there so S Har. and I would always quote her, throwing out random numbers "4 days.. 4 days!" We went to see her b/c we were in the neighborhood and set up another random time that probably won't happen but she was telling us about some scripture that has been sticking in her head all day "it's one about depending on God and finding strength in him... I can't remember... where was it.... OH Luke 2:52" We looked it up afterwards and were just like -_- yeah K., 4 days, 4 days... Luke 2:52...

I forgot to tell you that I got 16 bug bites. Lesson learned, no more teaching 8pm lessons outside. During comp study one day S Har. and I were watching the District and one of the sisters made a really funny face so we spent about 3 minutes laughing and imitating the face. Oh man- with 2 hours of companionship study you get a little crazy.

We are teaching an excommunicated woman named L., I can't remember if I've told you about her but I absolutely LOVE her. She likes us a lot but sometimes it is hard to get to our lessons because she just talks and we try and teach off of what she says. Last time we went over she was sorting through her jewelry and had a huge pile for us to go through and take whatever we wanted. It was legit. I got some super hipster bling ;) Speaking of hipster- S Har. and I went thrift store shopping last Monday and we're going again today. You can find some solid stuff in thrift stores. I think I will only shop at thrift stores for the rest of my life.

Wednesday we went to the TEMPLE! YEAHAAA!! I can't believe we get to go once a month. I just love the temple so much. I didn't want to leave. Our session was at 6:30 so we had to wake up at 4:30 in the morning /: By the end of the day my head was literally spinning, I was so tired. I love when I'm exhausted at the end of the day because I feel like I worked hard and did my best. It was a great day, we taught 6 lessons. It must be the blessings of the temple.

Thursday we were teaching our investigator R. (boyfriend of less active member T. I can't remember if I've told you about them). I absolutely love them. He is really really funny and makes us laugh a lot. But we invited him to be baptized-again- and he nicely told us that he is not getting baptized but we can keep coming back. BUT here's the good part. He always does his Book of Mormon reading, he just hasn't prayed, so we aren't giving up :) T.'s two kids are also our investigators. Anyways we were explaining baptism by immersion and he said "immersion.... sounds like some sort of ethnic group. Like I'm getting baptized by an Asian." hahahaha oh my gosh. We were laughing so hard. When we taught them yesterday R. PRAYED! We have been trying to get him to say the closing prayer for an eternity and he finally did it. He said "dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the chicks coming over and sharing their little.... mission." He always calls us the chicks. I was so happy. We read with the whole family Moroni 10 and I could feel the spirit strongly in the room.

We thought we were being super creative coming up with this baptism lesson for B. (the 9 year old) how we would boil an egg then have her draw all over it to represent sin then crack off the shell to represent being baptized. But apparently we didn't boil the egg long enough and it was kind of an epic fail but it got her to pay attention more so it's okay :)

We passed off TW to the zone leaders because they are over the YSA branch and we feel like that is what will help him the most. It was really sad but we still teach S. so we still see him often. They are truly changing. They haven't quit smoking yet but I remember first meeting them and making an immediate judgment that they couldn't change. Teaching them is definitely a tender mercy from Heavenly Father. It is helping me see how Christ sees people and their potential.

S Har. and I are trying to think out of the box and come up with new ways to get member referrals. Right now we are working with the ward mission leader on a "Member MTC" fireside where we will have fun classes on how to share the gospel. I'm way excited! I absolutely love the Malley ward. I finally feel like I know people really well and am starting to get a connection with a lot of the members.

Saturday we taught the Restoration to this newly wed couple in our ward. We are trying to get them sealed in the temple. They are SO DANG CUTE! Can I just please get married already? They came up to us on Sunday before Sacrament meeting all excited and said "We just got callings!! We're Primary teachers!" Afterwards S Har. and I were like, I don't think know they weren't supposed to tell us that yet haha.

Sunday- BEST DAY EVER! We had 3 investigators at church which is the most we've ever had and B. brought her friend N. who is taking lessons from missionaries in another ward. We had about 4 new less actives there, not just ones that have been coming back the past few weeks, but 4 brand new ones coming back. Including SW!! As we were singing the opening hymn and I was looking around, my heart could not have been more full. Bishop even got up after sacrament and made a comment about how many people were there and he started crying and said "please know your Bishop loves you and wants you to be here all the time." It was really awesome. S Har. and I taught the 9 year olds for Sis P. because she was gone. As we were sitting in sharing time the Primary president gets up and says "Since the Sister missionaries are with us why don't they come up and talk to us about prayer." So we gave pretty much the entire sharing time on the spot haha. People seem to think that they can do that, because it happens a lot ;) We have taught almost every class so far. I really really loved teaching Primary, I hope I get that calling one day. All the little kids love us. We get mobbed every Sunday by the whole Primary. Our investigator D. left after the first 2 hours because she wasn't feeling well so we didn't get to talk to her but she texted her fellowshipper and said "tell the girls I did their assignment. God told me to pray and ask if the BOM is true and I decided yes." SAWEEET Can't wait to see her this week.
Later in the day we ran out of gas so we had to break the Sabbath and we texted the zone leaders to ask if that was okay and they replied "#oxinthemire" hahahaha. Also, while we were contacting we met a girl named C. and I freaked out. She said she'd never met another Collette before.

I write waayyyyy too detailed emails. It's probably annoying. I didn't get any response to my question last week so don't forget about that please! :) I was wondering, siblings who served missions- what was the longest you were in an area/with a companion?

Shout out to Cheyenne! I will be writing you a letter today. Love you!

Funny moments:
When Sis P. said "Cabbage patch kids. I remember those. They were ugly as sin and everyone wanted one."
Friday I woke up having crazy nightmares about sleeping through my alarm and I kept getting up all night afraid it was past 6:30 #missionnightmares. S Har. was told me how at 1:30 she got up to close the door (She can't sleep with it open) and when she was getting back into bed I got out of bed and kneeled down to say my morning prayers and then started making my bed. Hahaha.

Malley Ward Round 3! August 19, 2013

I love responding to the emails I get.  Well it's transfer day!!!! Can you believe that I've been out for 3 months and only have 15 more? That is just not long enough. Elders are so lucky. Sister Har. and I are staying in the Malley ward. I feel like after these 4.5 months here I'll be transferred but who knows! Sister H. is getting transferred to the neighboring stake :( SO SAD. It's because STLs are going to be companions from here on out. The Sisters are taking over, just like zone leaders now. Elder B. and U. are both being transferred so we will have two new elders in the Malley ward with us. It will be weird not having Elder U. because he has been in the ward for 6 months. I'm also sad about Elder B. because he was such a great District Leader and it was fun to have a friend from BYU. The Denver North zone is really close so transfers are sad. Thank goodness both the ZLs are staying because they are awesome :) We got together at 8 Saturday night to announce transfers and I told the ZLs we should give away awards to everyone and that they better make mine good. Do you know what they gave me? "Girl who can get whatever the freak she wants because of that weird crying face she makes." Thank you. Thank you so much Elders. I can make this really ugly face and every time I do the ZLs will do whatever I want just to make me stop making the face. Charming, I know.

There is a member in another ward who referred us to a friend in our ward. We asked her to set up an appointment and then we would come. This member (A.) is AWESOME. We called before to let her known we invite people to be baptized on the first lesson and she said, "That's perfect! I think everyone should be baptized!" In our lesson yesterday she told D. (our investigator) that she had some friends she wanted her to meet and maybe we could meet at their house next time. This morning she texted us and told us she found a family in our ward that would let us teach D. in their home. I told S Har. and she asked "Is she one of the 3 Nephites?" hahaha. Why can't every member be as fearless as A.?

S Har. and I had a lot of funny moments this week. Have I mentioned that we laugh a lot? One night I was saying a prayer at the end of the day and we were super tired and I prayed "Please help Sister Ho. stop smoking coffee" and in the middle of the prayer we both just busted up laughing and it took a good 5 minutes before we could finish the prayer. I don’t know why it was so funny- but it was.
We were teaching the W. family and I don't know what the heck was going on with T. but it was hilarious. I think he was on something. We brought the ZLs because they are over the YSA ward and he might have been trying to be funny for them but he was saying the most ridiculous things. Here are some quotes of AMW:
(After asking what he learned from reading) "When I read the BOM it just all turns into wisdom and goes back here (motions to back of his head). It's just like wisdom teeth, in the back you know?"
"My doctor said I'm not allowed to stop drinking coffee because all my neurons are messed up. I mean- I'm not tryin' to be a scientist or nothin'...." 
(Referencing his obsession with Skittles) "TASTE THE RAINBOW! (Irish accent) Look a pot-o-skittles!"
I dont even know............
A funny moment from last week I forgot to mention. We were teaching this LA lady who is a hoarder and her house is crazy and it was impossible to talk because she talked so much. Halfway through the lesson she was telling about an accident she was in and said, "They took out my spleen. Want to see the scar?" and she lifted up part of her shirt to show us and S Har. and I were just like "uhhh nice..." When we got in the car S Har. started busting up laughing saying "She just showed us her spleen scar!!" We had a good time with that.

Overall this week was great. I didn't take very good notes of things to say. Mom- if you ever send me a package, I could use a lot of those white/black/beige modbod Tshirts. Also we are allowed to wear maxi skirts and dresses now!! So could you please send the ones I have at home if you know where they are? Thank you :) Whenever you get the chance. No rush but hopefully sometime in the next 15 months ;)

We went to mutual to talk to the Young Women (or should I say Young Woman, there's only 1) about Personal Progress and it was so fun! S Har. and I really tried to pump her up. And now we are redoing our PP to motivate her to beat us. So far we are winning.

My favorite part of the day (with going to bed at a close second) is personal study. I feel like I am able to learn so much! This week I was studying a lot about the fall because we have an investigator who believes babies are born with Adam's sin. It is so interesting to study about. Jesus the Christ is pretty much the greatest book ever written. Talmage is a genius. I've also been reading a lot in the missionary chapters of Alma and studying what they do when the people's hearts are hardened. I like Alma and Amulek a lot because that is total member missionary work right there! I'm trying really hard to cut all negative comments out of the things I say. I always remember what Dad said about missionaries leaving an appointment and talking about how dumb the people were. When he told me that I thought I would never possibly say something like that. I don't think I've ever said anyone is dumb, but it is easy when someone rejects you to not be loving towards them. It makes me notice how much more I need to work on my charity. I love how much I am able to learn and grow on my mission.

Question I want you all to answer please!! When you think of the missionaries that have been in your ward which ones would you say were the best missionaries? How did they gain your trust? How did they build a relationship with you? How did they show you that they were working hard? From a members perspective what makes a "real" missionary?

I love you all so much and talk about you everyday. I'm so proud to be a Knowlton :) I love being a missionary. I will quickly send some pictures then I have to go say goodbye to all the missionaries being transferred :( Thank you again everyone who writes me. Amy- the week you didn't write me I literally thought it was two whole weeks without a letter.  That is how long a grueling week it was without hearing from you ;)

Love Sister Collette Knowlton

Ps.   M. asked what our first names were and she really loved my first name. I like having a secret name no one knows. But she told us she could never think of me as anything but Sister Knowlton and I thought that was strange haha