Monday, August 12, 2013

I love you handsome buffalo

We were teaching this older couple in our ward this week whom we LOVE. They are a mix of all of my grandparents. S B told us she knows some Lao and then said a phrase and we asked what it meant and she said "i love you H1some buffalo" and S H2 and I were like uhhhhhhh.... Good times....

Honestly I'm getting so lazy at  writing emails because I want to spend all my time reading and replying to the emails I get. I really wish I could write longer responses but please know that I look forward to reading emails A LOT. At the same time though I do love telling y'all about my week. Have I mentioned that I have awesome family and friends? Cause I think that about 20 billion times a day.

I guess you could say Saturday was a pretty exciting day. M WAS BAPTIZED! Afterwards Elder B asked "how does it feel?" Basically I was just so happy and beaming the entire program. A lot of people from the ward came and also most of her family (they aren't members). Afterwards people gave her presents and a lady even gave her scriptures with her name on it! S B who we brought to almost all her lessons got her a cute necklace and a book for her kids. Elder G asked "Do you feel like you did anything?" and immediately I said no and he said "Those are the best ones :)" It really is true. She is so converted to this gospel which is something that can be hard to find in recent converts. She has the cutest little kids; R girl (4) and R boy (2) and they are always excited to pray and are now counting down the days till they can be baptized. R girl is so cute. Every time we are there she shouts "SISTERS" about 50 different times. The funniest is when we were sitting in Relief Society waiting for it to start and we hear outside "SISTERS" There is R announcing that she has entered the building and just assumes that if she shouts we will hear her. M is pretty sad that we wont be coming over as often but we are trying to start teaching her little sister so maybe we will be over there frequently again :) While visiting M before her baptism that evening she told us how she woke up, went into her mom's room and said, "Since I'm being born again today you might want to wish me happy birthday." haha! We were talking about baths in our lesson with her and S H2 said "Bath time! Best night of the week!!" Oh man, we laughed so hard. I'm glad S H2 gives our investigators the impression that we only bathe once a week.

Another funny moment- we were walking to an appointment and there was this older guy and a 20 year old guy out working so we went to talk to them. After chatting for a while the older guy said "Are you two married?" And I said "oh no- I'm only 19 and she's 20" and he said "I'm okay with that." This would be the second time an old man has brought up marriage with me. We gave him a card and said adios.

On Tuesday we had zone conference. It was SO GOOD.I love that spiritual uplift. Guess what. President Toombs told us that our mission will end up being half and half, 125 sisters and 125 elders. SISTER POWER. We're taking over the world, watch out. After zone conference I went on exchanges with S H1 until Wednesday night becasue she is my STL :) Apparently STL's are going to be companions starting next transfer, just like Zone Leaders. It was fun being with S H1 again. I'm going to be sad if she gets transferred because we have enjoyed seeing each other almost everyday. We taught a super anti lady and brought the Relief Society President in S H1's ward and, holy cow, was the RS Pres bold. It got a little contentious.The lady told us about all this stuff her preacher had told her and The RS Pres said "Well, that's because your preacher doesn't want you to leave his church" oooo hooo.. The appointment even made S H1 cry afterwards and S H1 does NOT cry. I think it was mainly because they said some pretty incorrect things about agency and S H1 feels really strongly about agency so it bothered her. At the end of exchanges the older missionary always talks with us to see how things are going and I told her my favorite part of training is seeing how much people grow from day 1. She just smiled really big and told me how much I've grown and how proud of me she was :)

On Thursday we met with our investigator T and his less active mom, S. I don't remember if I've told you about them. When I first met them it was really hard for me to see the end result. Their house always reeks of smoke, it is never clean, you can't feel the spirit there, they are always sick, they don't have any money or a car and are living off the government, and are just all around living a really sad life. I've been praying a lot to be able to love them and see them as God sees them. This week there was finally a change. S read out of the BOM finally and she was so excited to tell us! She was smiling! She summarized the whole chapter to us and was really proud of herself. It was amazing to see her have some self-confidence. T didn't read but he expressed his desire to be baptized so we committed him to Sep 22. At the end of the lesson he said the prayer and was very sincere. It was awesome. Later in the week he called and asked what chapter they were supposed to read so I'm excited to see them tonight. We met another lesss active woman this week who I had the same feelings towards. It was so difficult for me to see how her life could get out of the situation it was in. I kept thinking "It will take years to turn this around." She's a hoarder and I've never seen that much stuff in my life, she also has no money or education. I'm so glad God is letting me meet these people because I'm really learning to have  faith in what God can do for them. I know that the gospel is the answer to any problem. As they feel the spirit, they will slowly but surely have the desire to do good things and change their circumstances. The talk "Redemption" by D Todd Christopherson gave me a lot of hope for them and what they can become. God loves them so much and he knows they have the strength to change their lives as long as they decide to turn to him.

Friday we went to see A the schizophrenic woman and it was kinda creepy becasue when we walked in she was whispering to the corner. I wonder about her so much. I wonder what she was like before her illness. She talks about her family but I don't know if they exist. I don't know how she found the church because she knows a good amount. 

Saturday- BAPTISM DAY. But also, there was a referral I got from a member the first week of my mission (I think that is the only member referral I've been able to get thus far). She told us never to give up. I lost count of how many times we knocked on her door but I think it was about 20. We have been trying to contact her since that first week of my mission. We went to try again one night and prayed really really hard that she would answer the door. Of course, she didn't answer like every other time. This time we wrote a note to leave on her door. While writing it I saw a mom and two boys across the road and so we walked over to talk to them. We chatted for a while and they weren't really interested but we left a BOM anyways. On the way back to the car there was a car pulling into K (referral)'s driveway. We wouldn't have made it in time but thankfully some neighbor stopped to talk with her so we were able to get to her before she pulled into the garage. She let us come and talk with her and basically we spent the whole hour listening to her teach us about her church. We didn't get to share a message because we had to go home. She seemed really against the church and laughed at anything we told her but agreed to let us come back Saturday. Honestly all week I was scared becasue I knew she would be prepping some crazy questions. I prayed and prayed to have faith that we would know what to say and how to help her. I found a quote in my MTC notes that said "feed your faith and your fears will starve to death" Long story short because I'm running out of time and I write way too long of emails- we went back and shared a little about the history of the BOM and answered some questions about what we believe and she sat and listened. When we were done she said "Are you sure you're Mormon? You really believe that? I am amazed and surprised. You two are just the sweetest girls. You really know what you're talking about." She made clear quite a few times that she was not joining the church but we are going back again to hopefully clear up some more misconceptions. Heavenly Father really answered our prayers and gave me faith to listen to the Spirit.

I better send pictures! I love you all so much and I'm sorry my emails are so dang long. I even wish I could tell you more!

One more funny story- You know how I said everyone in the ward knows I love potatoes so we eat them like every night? Well at church S H1 (their ward is right after ours) told me that at their Relief Society activity they had potatoes and she overheard a lady say "It's too bad that sister from the malley ward isn't here. She LOVES potatoes!" Wow- you know it's bad when even the women in the other ward know.....

Have a fantastic week! I truly love you all more than you know and think about you everyday!
Sister Knowlton

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