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 :)