Sunday, April 10, 2011

Christmas Phone Call

The Phone Call Was AWESOME!!!!


Dear Family, So what a great week right? I enjoyed it so much!! I love the mission its great! Saturday night we a less active member called us and said he needed a blessing and this suprised us because we have been working with him for like three months now and haven't seen too much success. Infact I was about to just give up. This man had served a mission ten years ago and his father died while he was on his mission. Then he had all sorts of health issues on his mission and had to come home a little early. When he got home the ward gave him a calling of course and put him to work because they needed him. I guess something happened and he got affended. He was also on some kinda of church disinaplary action. Anyway today he is 30 years old and hasn't been back to chruch for like 7 or more years. His mom goes every Sunday and prays for him and invites him but he wont come. Anyway he called us over to give him a blessing. When we got there we had it all planned out. We were going to share about how if he wants a blessing he has got to have faith and he has got to show his faith by coming to church and all kinds of things. Anyway when we got there and sat down he started out by saying, I have made a promise to the Lord and I need help to keep my side of the promise so I need a blessing. He said in the year 2011 I will got to church EVERY sunday and pay my tithing.... We all were stunned and after a couple of seconds my two companions and I stood up and just screamed out of happiness for him!!! I couldnt believe it. he went on to explain how this week he feels the spirit has just kicked him in the but and shown him that his life isn't very happy and he explaied that he misses the sacrament and wants to have that again. Anyway this last sunday after 7 years a return missionary put on his old suit (which most people dont have here) and came to church with his mom. It was SO AWESOME!!!! I loved it!! The mission is awesome!! I miss you all so much but I know this is where I need to be and if i end up extending I know we will all be blessed for it!! The president had us over for dinner new years and we enjoyed the time with him and his family. He really takes good care of us ha ha if you ever get a chance feel free to call him up and tell him thanks for me haha. I met someone who served in Buenas Aires oeste the other day. His name is Sambrana. Elder Sambrana. I dont know if you remember him Chris. I think he remembered the TV show you did though. If you can send me one of those DVD's you have of that TV show you did in Argentina please. I hope nobody is dying of the cold there. I actually felt a little wierd the other day and just realized I wasnt sweating and actually I was a little chilly. I think it was like 65 of 70 ha ha Anyway everything is going good!! If I can do anything for any of you let me know!! The Chruch is true and have a good one!! Love Elder Knudsen
Dear Family, This week was aweomse!! Josue was baptised and it was sweet because he had his friend baptise him!!! When we got to the baptism his friend was already there so I started talking to him. His name is gabriel and he is sweet!! They seem like kids that have been out in the world but are just trying to do whats right but they are realy down to earth and they remind me of me before the mission. Anyway as I was talking to Gabriel I asked if this was his first time baptising someone and he said yeah, I'm so nerveous!! He then went on to tell me how Josue asked him to baprise him and he was like "we were just sittin playing some X-BOX and josue was like hey gabriel I think I'm going to get baptised. and I was like, what yeah right, and then josue was like yeah really I think I'm going to get baptised and I want you (talking to Gabriel) to baptise me. Then Gabriel stopped playing and looked at him and was like comeon man shut up your going to make me cry!" Josue is 18 and Gabriel is 20 and for either one of them to say something like that is SWEET!! Anyway the church was full! There has been a miracle in Puerto Rico and that is that the Young single adults program here in the two stakes by me has increased so much!! Sorry the Institute. I think they went from like 40 people to almos 100 this year and SO many showed up to the Baptism!! It was crazy! The Bishop said he thinkgs its the most attented baptism they have had! It was and awesome experience. So its offical My new date to come home will be 18 of june so dont worry mom I will be home for your birthday!! Things are going good here. We will be changing our area soon so that will be exciting! Except we are teaching a couple really good familias and a soon to be Priesthood holder. IF you could pray for the familia Mercano, he works on sundays and is working to get it off. Also the familia ortiz and also Hector. The work here is awesome!! I just wish that my body could work harder! I feel like the days are too short!! I'm super excited for you all to go to mexico!! I hope you enjoy the spanish!! You'll have to have a PiƱa Colada for me. We were walking through a parking lot the other day and i passed this guy that i thought about talking to but then didnt and then the spirit told me to go back and talk to him so I did and this guy just broke down and started crying I guess his mom is sick and he is super worried because his family is falling apart. I had the chance to once agian testify that this is the true church and that the family is ordained of God!! Its so crazy how thick the spirit is out here!! I love this work and I love every one of you back at home!! Keep up the good work and dont stop learning more and more about the gospel. We should always be continually learning!! Have a great week and enjoy paradise!! Love Elder Knudsen
Dear Family, Thats great the Mexico was so good!! I hope someone drank a Pina Colada for me. ha ha So Justin is getting a Tercel? Thats awesome!! I totally recomend it!! Everyone has one here!! Just remember 20 dollars a tire!! CHRIS NEEDS TO GET ME THOSE DVD'S HAHA ASAP. Anyway I really want to here from Brody! I hear he is totally different. Chris and Jared still longboard? Aren't we getting a little old for that... Ha ha just kidding. My week was awesome!! Super fast and hectic because transferes were this week and it seems like it always gets down to the wire before we finally figure out what it is that the Lord wants. The President was in the islands this weekend along with all the office staff so Elder Zenger and I had to plan things out and hope that it was okay with everyone. We also had Stake conference and it was sweet. Elder Oaks spoke super clear saying that in the carribe a lot of people do not pay their tithing, People are wearing imodest clothes, and they dont undetstand the importance of getting married. It was really intense. It was also all about families and youth. Exactly what we are focusing on as a mission! Its really cool to see whats going on here. All the zones are the same as the stake boundaries and the zone leaders are suppose to be like the stake presidents right hand man so we can work together and work under the keys of the stake president and the bishops. Its really really cool to see how the confidence of the stake presidents is slowly growing and they are slowly putting more trust in the missionaries and the mission president. Its really cool to see the difference in the work when we work under the keys as well!! Anyway family I love ya so much and I hope you all have a great week Let me know if you need anything! Love Elder Knudsen
Dear family, Congrates on the baby blessing Jared and Stacey, thats awesome! This week was awesome!! We had 122 people in church and that is a new record since I have been there I think. I have been there for like 4 months or more now!! So it was packed and another one of those stressful Sundays that i love! I don't know if I told you about Hector. The guy who just showed up to church a little bit ago because the member invited him. Anyway recap if I didn't. He came to chruch we got to know him and taught him and then set a baptismal date. He is super cool and at that point was telling us that he has a daughter thats 15 and she is like a rocker he would say. She paints her nails black and everything. He was really worried about her and wanted her to come to chruch and everything but didn't really think she would. Anyway this last Saturday we went to teach with Hector again and his daughter was there so we got to know her and she sat down and listened and the member that was with us just rocked. he committed her to come to church!! The next day the Hector her dad woke here up at like 5 to start getting ready haha and obviously she was just complaining and saying she didn't want to go and all this but finally the showed up at church that started at 9:30. The young women in our ward are awesome and the relief society is as well. After Church this Girl was like totally different!! She loved it!! you should have seen how happy hector was!! That night we went by to teach them and it seemed like everything had changed. Hector and his daughter were joking together and laughing together and everything!! These two love the chruch and are praying right now to make sure that it is the true chruch so please pray for them. they want to get baptised feb 12! The Gospel Blesses Families!!!!!!! There is this other family that we are teaching that just loves everything! They are not very wealthy but it is a family of 5. we have been going over for a some time now and they are doing great. They would Probably be baptised already if the father didnt work on sundays!! They live on the 8th floor of a building that doesnt have elevators and last night when we left and were going down I just heard someone yelling KNUDSEN!! And I went back up and The father,Luis said you forgot something really important... when are you coming back!! they love the gospel! This work is awesome!! I love it!! And good news is Elder Zenger and I are also going to be working with two missionaries and so i might get to go back to bike!!!!! Finally!!! I love you all so much thanks for everything!! I hope everything is going good!! I know Eric is going to love that song at his farewell! I've been singing it throught my mission and nobody knows what it is ha ha anyway have a great week!! The Church is true! Love Elder Knudsen P.S. Has anyone been to WOODYS lately. One of my really good mission friends is back from his mission now and his family owns it so he is probably working there and I would love it if someone went and said hi to him!! Oh and has anyone talked to Robby gray or DevinHerd?! I think they are back from there missions already and I havent heard anything from them!!
Dear Familia, How is everyone?! It sounds like everything is good. no news is good news right?! ha ha This week was aweosme!! Like always ha ha I dont think there will ever be a bad week in the mision. I dont think there is ever a bad week ever. "nothing is ever as good as it sounds or as bad as it seems" haha Anyway yeah FINALLY they let me ride bikes again. I love it!! The work is SO much better! You can get places faster and still be among the people and the whole day you have energy because your always moving... Its awesome!! We also have like a passanger train that goes through our area and we got passes to jump on thatwith our bikes so we got this whole travel thing down. Sometimes I have to be in the car becasue Elder zenger likes the bikes too so I let him take them every now and again. Basically what happened is we are in a foursome. two missionaries that went home like 6 months ago to work some things out CAME BACK and with more fire then ever. Its interesting because you can tell that they now understand how lucky we are to be on the mission. So the ward I am in right now is awesome!! When we have families come to chruch and they are always like a little unsure at first, well by the time the mother leaves relief society and the church is over these families are diferent. Hector's Daughter went to a stake dance already having only been to church once and then they both came to church on sunday and then we went over to President Alvarados house for a family night with him and his family and all the investigator families that live close including Hector and his daughter.!! It was super cool because Hectors daughter is like the same age as the Presidentes daughter and they are already friends! Keep praying for them. Also the Familia Marcano that lives on the 8th floor of this building.. He is looking for a new job so he can start coming to church on sundays. We are going to pray and fast with him so if you could pray for him to find a new job that would be awesome! As a part of the non spiritual things my comanion just reminded me that we had a pretty cool day yesterday when he started a greese fire in our kitchen and Elder Zenger was fumbling around trying to put it out and broke a number of things in our house then we finally got it out by putting all our flour on it and later that day elder Zenger got pulled over and then in the night a big old metal dest almost squished him in the car. Meanwhile I was with my other companion from guatemala on bikes in a pretty ghetto area where there were a lot of drunk people and bums around and when we took the train bake home in the night one of these Drunk kids started saying things to my companion like you know I could just take that bike from you and take it home, my companion just ignored him and then the guy said HEY give me one of them books you have and so my companion was like okay an started to open his bag when this guy Grabbed the bag out of his hands. We are told that when people try and take things let him happen so he did just that but everyone else in the train wouldnt let it happen!! People started yelling at his kid and standing up for my companion and everything ha ha it was super cool! I got really mad but it was just a teenager that was drunk or somehting Finally he just gave it back because everyone on the train was getting mad at this guy! The people love us here in Puerto rico. And the Lord is in front of us and behind us and his ageles are around us always so we are pretty much always ready for anything!! Anyway family I love you so much I have to go but I hope you are all doing good and have a great week! Love elder Knudsen Tell Chris I'm Still waiting for those videos and he needs to send them quick if he can so we can use thme here if the President wants to
Dear Family, So it sounds like everyone is doing great and super busy like always!! Thats good! I think something might be wrong if were't anxiously engaged in a good cause!! Yeah so I called Presidente Alvarado yesterday and he said Elder Knudsen I bet your not as excited as I am.. and I said try me and he said I just talked to Brother and Sister Knudsen!! ha ha And he went on to explain how excited you sounded and how happy he was for me to have parents like you. haha So I'm glad you got to talk to him. He's a good man. Oh yeah and I got those videos!! I will have to see if maybe we want to do something like that here in Puerto Rico. Thats quite the responsibility to have the originals. I'll see if the Sienor couple the Pietz can figure out how to copy them for us. And thanks for the Valentines letter ha ha I didnt even realize it was close to valentines day! Did you happen to check into my schooling by chance? This week was pretty cool!! We've been doing trainings monday and tuesday however saturday to sunday we actually fasted with one of our investigator family so that he could find work were he doesnt have to work on sundays. It was really cool! Even down to the 11 year old did it. We started saturday at like noon and went till sunday at like 1 or so and they were going to have us for lunch to break the fast together so at like 12 they called me and said ELDER KNUDSEN we have a problem and I was like uh oh what happend and they said I have been fasting for so long now and I dont want to ruin it but I have to make sure the food still tastes good! I felt relief that it wasn't anything bigger ha ha The whole family fasted and then when we broke the fast.. Kneeling in this very humble living quaters, the spirit came so strong! It was awesome!! I think they will be baptised in march. The familia of Hector and his daughter are going to be baptised this saturday and are recieving a lot of oposition lets be honest everyone does and when they make it through it they are just that much stronger! We just have to help them through it and I know everything will go great! Sadly I might not be there for the baptism because the President and I and another missionary are going to go to Dominica this weekend maybe. So we'll see. IT should be really cool. Anyway family I have to run but I love you all so much and thanks for the great examples you are to me. The Church is true! God loves us and will always be there for us no matter what! Jesus Christ suffered everything so that he would know how we feel always and he could truely comfort us! Please dont forget to read daily and pray daily in your families and personally!! It has blessed me SO much! Have a great week! Love Elder Knudsen
Dear Family, wow this week was crazy!! And I really have like no time. This week we are going around
the island doing zone conferences and it is awesome but I dont really have too much time for a P-day. So I will get straight to the point. As far as going to the islands.. We got to the airport and the main reason for going was because I was taking this Latin missionary out and going to try and get back in with more days on his visa so he could extend with us. As we were sitting in the airport waiting for our plain that got delayed we started chatting about the feelings we had because we didn't feel that great about what we were doing. So we counciled about it and decided it would probabaly be a better idea if we didn't risk it and just stayed happy with the time he already has on his visa. Just then a guy from imigration came by the president started talking to him and come to find out if we would have left with that missionary he would have been deported because of the new laws with the visa. It is so awesome how the Lord is protecting us here!! But I will be heading out on tuesday next week to go anyway with the President. It will be super cool. The people there speak Englilsh, they are super black and its really hard to understand them because they talk with a thick accent.. Like Jamaicans. So there was a lot more to the story but there it is in short. As far as school goes I think I want to major in business and I want to get in to BYU as soon as possible. I know Some of my buddeis are going to BYU Idaho but I dont want to go there unless I dont get in to BYU provo. I'd like to get in as soon as possible but if its better to get my assoc. first then I'll do that maybe at SLCC or wherever, thats not very important. I dont know if that will get you anywhere. Just let me know the possibilities and I'll probably just go with what you all think is best after reading this. Also Hector and Itzamara were baptised and it was SO SO SO cool!! We have sisters missionaries in our area so we were having them work a little with the daughter and thursday night the daughter called the sisters telling them that she didn't want to be baptised.. I guess her other side of the family was really giving her a bunch of trouble. So we prayed for her super hard and then the sisters went over and talked to her and they knelt in prayer with her and finally at the end of the prayer she said alright I am going to be baptised I feel the spirit i know it is true! She and Her father were baptised and the ward came out HUGE!! The young women did an awesome musical number and everything was taken care of! We just sat back and enjoyed the baptism. The president also came! Okay next subject.. This zone conference that were doing has a lot to do with the book of mormon actually Everything to do with the book of Mormon and I was wondering if the story I Heard about Grandpa Knudsen is true.. Where he just found an Old book of mormon someone and read it really quick and was converted or something.. If you could let me know that would be =greatly Apreaciated. Wow so much has happened and I just dont have too much time to tell you all sorry. But everything is good!! Keeo prayig for the Familia Mercano.. they have slowed down little bit. We have a lot a lot to do so if you could pray for us that would be awesome!! I know the Book of Mormon is ture family. Think about how much are family has been blessed because of it!! Think of your lifes blessing because of the Book Of Mormon and THink about how sad it would be without it. This is the True Church. THE BOOK OF MORMON IS TRUE!! We are starting a 100 club. Basically meaning that we are going to read 100 minutes everday out of the Book of Mormon outside our personal study. So basically We will be reading at lunch, in the street and just everywhere!! We will always have one in our hand so we can find time to do it all and I wanted to invite you all to do it too!! Its going to be hard but we need to make sure we are not taking for granted one of the biggest gifts God has given us!! I love you all so much! Love Elder KNudsen P.S. Someone needs to go to WOODYS and ask for Jason wouden and tell him that I say hi!! He was a GREAT missionary!
Dear Family, So here I am in Antigua. Its sweet!! We got here last night and right now Elder Zenger and I are in the Hotel writting you all. The people here are super cool. Its English speaking but their accent is super strong but I love it. Its just like you Imagine Jamaica. I was Suprised to see the Church here. It is super nice and new and pretty big. The Island has about 45,000 people here and it just feels like everyone knows everyone. At times it feels rough becasue everyone is black and we're two white guys walking around in a place were everyone is basically close desendents to slaves but the Lord always protects us. Oh and everyone drives on the Left side of the road its weird. So this last week was crazy! We finished the Sone conferences and Elder Zenger and I had 2 days to finish our foundation. To explain really quickly the foundation is made up of two promises from apostles. One is if every missionary cotacts 10 more people a day the baptisms will douple and the other is if you teach 20 lessons a week your baptisms will double. So en like July only 4 or so companionships were doing it. Now Everyone does it every week! So we have added on to that with families. We try to contacto 140 families a week and teach 20 lessons to families a week. Right now only like 8 or so missionaries are doing it. It is really really hard. Anyway we had two days to do it and it was just expected of us and so we prayed really hard and set hourly goals and we pushed ourselves SO hard. I think harder than I ever had in my mission (It could have been as well because we were running a low sleep) but the Lord blessed us and we did it!! He also blessed us at church when we had an attendence of 129 people! I believe thats a new record for our chapel, it is the second highest en Puerto Rico.. The first being an english speaking ward with all return missionaries basically. The Lord really blesses us. Anyway I just felt like it was a little more preparation for the project that the president has for all of my group that extended. If I looked haggered when I get home its because I am. I am going to leave EVERYTHING out here! So yeah we were just sitting in the airport and the President started talking about how we can use those videos here in our mission and he said he wanted to talk to Chris about them a little so I gave him Chris's number thinking he would just call him another day but he just called him right there. It was kinda funny I just kept reading. Anyway I have to get going but I love you all so much and thank you for your great example!! I do challenge you to be part of the 100 club with us. Just study the Book of Mormon everywhere! Wherever you are in whatever moment. I know it is true. Think about how much it has blessed our family. We are the only Church that has it and if it is true them this is the only true Church and I testify that the book of Mormon is true and anyone who reads it, ponders over it and prays will know it too. Poeple hae been trying to discredit the book of mormon for years because if they can then our church falls but they CAN NOT DO IT, it is true, It is the keystone of our religion Joseph Smith would not leave his Wife a widow and his Children Fatherless and the saints to be persecuted by guarding with his life something that he made up. He would not do that. I put my testimony along side that of Elder Holand and many others that the book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith did see God the father and the Savior of the World Jesus Christ whom I testify lives and loves us. Lets not take for granted The Book of Mormon. I Love you all family and I hope you have a great week. Love Elder Knudsen
Dear Family, I was begining to think you werent going to write this week! So this week has been pretty crazy. A lot of work and then we had transferes and that is always super stressful to plan how everything is going to happen. So to say the least we really to take advantage of this p-day. So It sounds like your all doing well. Everyone is going down south to get into the heat... You know what we are actually enjoying the heat every now and again because we just moved into this house where they dont have heated water and so we just get up and work out really hard and then jump in! I actuall love it! The Book of Mormon reading is going awesome and my Knowledge is really growing. I love this gospel. This week we have had a lot of stuff going on. We had zone leader council on Sunday and Monday and then Tuesday we had the new missionaries come in and we worked with them all day and then today we had transferes and then tomorrow we will get to work in our area but then Friday we have a visit from Elder Coleman of the first Quorum of the seventy and so we have to plan for that and then we will have the weekend in our area. It is all going good! It sounds like the ward is doing good and all the missionaries are representing Telford Ward well. I cant believe Brody has a serious girlfriend. He seems like he has changed a lot! I cant wait to talk to him! You all sound great I love you all but have to get going to see what I can get done. Have a great week!! The Church is true!! Love Elder Knudsen
Dear family, Hey everyone how is it going?! Things are going great here in the mission. Just working hard. So pretty crazy what is going on with BYU right? some member shared that in our ward consejo yesterday for like a spiritual thought.... It was interesting. I think our family travels more than anyone. Every letter it seems like someone is going somewhere or someone is coming or who knows what but that's cool. What do you mean the missionaries weren't in a hurry to get somewhere?! That's crazy!! I guess your right I don't have to deal with snow here. So This week has been great! We had a really cool experience with the family that we are teaching. We went by the other day and the dad Came to the door wrapped in a blanket, which is weird here because its super hot, and come to find out he was super sick. We was hunched over and just looked miserable. Anyway we taught him what a blessing of health is and at the end of the lesson he decided he wanted a blessing. So we gave him one and headed on our way. Well we returned the next day and he looked a lot better. So we started teaching them and then his wife just said, "Look did you notice my husband? He is better! He said to me yesterday that I don't know what those guys did to me but when they took their hands off me I just felt like everything was better!" So we invited him and his kid to be baptised by the same authority that healed him and they of course agreed but the thing is he has to stop working Sundays and stop smoking which he can do. It was sweet! We also had the blessing of having Elder Coleman of the first quorum of the seventy come to our zone Leader council and it was awesome!! He has been serving for something like 18 years and when he got into our council he started by saying something like, "Elders this is one of the most powerful groups that I have been with." and then he went on to explain the doctrine of the Priesthood and everything but when he said that my eyes just filled up because i know how hard we have been working and Every time we lead a Zone Leader council I look around at all of the Zone Leaders and think wow these are men of God that are really young but are here for the same reason as me. They are the ones that Elder Zenger and I Have to directly minister to and we have seen them all grow so much. The thing is in the middle of April President Alvardo is losing about 10 leaders because they were all in the group that came into the mission with me and he is going to get us all together and send us on a 10 week project! There is like 16 of us but 10 of us are leaders right now and we are super super excited to just go and work as hard as we can for the last 10 weeks!! It will be cool. I was studying this morning about our family history and the impact that the Book of Mormon has had on all of our family. I felt the spirit so strong when reading about my distant relatives and how they feel the same as I do about the Book of Mormon. I invite all of you to check it out. Its awesome. Anyway everything is going good!! Thanks so much for everything you do. IF you could pray for the Mercano family and that we will find more families and better ways to work in the Universties that would be awesome thanks so much. Love Elder Knudsen
Dear family, Wow BYU is really doing good!! Thats so awesome!! Is Jimmer a senor? But that all is super sweet!! The work out here continues!!! Its awesome!! Last week we actually had a lot of time to work in our area it was so nice!! I loved it. We actually found a lot of cool families as well. We now just need to go back and follow up with them!! If you could pray for Daniel and Minelva, they are Dominican and they are reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it. Also keep praying for the family Mercano, we taught them last night with the President. It was awesome! They are a great family and they want the President to perform their marriage. I don't remember if I told you but the President is having us work in the Universities and it is intense. I love talking to the youth but when we are on campus and with white shirts and ties we totally stick out and that is fine, i actually love that because everyone is looking at us but as soon as we start talking to one of the students then it makes that student feel super weird. But it is awesome and totally different then the missionary work I have already been doing for like a year and a half. We have seen a little success though. A group of kids came up to us last week wanting to know more and then they had to go to class so we set a return appointment there in the University and we taught them this week. it was awesome!! They are going to read and pray to know if what we said is true then we're meeting again the next Monday. Also we taught this 19 year old kid who actually wanted us to come to his house and he lives with his parents and brother in a very nice house. They are very well off and he is really interested. Its so cool working with all these youth they usually are very accepting but to be honest walking into that university is like walking into Babylon. We also have a group of teenagers that we teach on Mondays at a members home. Its like 7 or 8 teenagers that seem to be straight off the street but we have been getting them interested and they keep coming back. So the work continues to roll forward with the families and the next generation. We're building a temple here in Puerto Rico. Anyway family I love you all so much I hope your all doing good with the Book of Mormon reading and everything and I hope every ones family is good! If you need anything let me know. Love Elder Knudsen P.S. Did you sale all of the farm? Including the picnic area?
Dear Family, WOW BYU ROCKS!!!!! Thats so awesome, this church is so true! It sounds like everyone is super super busy! I think everyone is getting more and more busy lately!! I had an AMAZING week! It is going to take a long time to explain but I will try. So a few weeks ago I went to the Island of Antigua for one day and had the chance to talk to a young man who was undecided about a mission. We talked to him and bore strong testimony and just explained how cool the mission is. Anyway Friday the President called me and asked if we could delicate everything that we were going to do that week because he needed us in the islands again. He said I have 6 young men who you need to send on missiones. SO we went to work delicating and were on a flight the next night. I went to Antigua with Elder Sinclair who is a black elder from England. We got there and spent the first night with a senior couple and went to church the next morning. The Church there is beautiful even though it is just a branch but there is like 93 people in church. When church got over President Alvarado came over to me and said this is your new companion for 4 days (a young man named Teran Giddings from Antigua) and he looked me in the eye and said hymn number 77 (let the holy spirit guide) then he shook my hand and with tear filled eyes said I love you and left. He was flying to another island. So there I was on an Island that was complete strange and that I knew nothing about, without food and without a place to stay and with a young man for a companion and another missionary with a young man that I was expected to watch over. I just kept thinking okay let the spirit guide and send 6 kids on their missions, which six kids i didnt know and where they lived I didnt know and what their names were I didnt know. The people there talk so broken of english I honestly cant understand them a lot of the time. They are all really big muscular guys which I am not used to. HOwever everyone is extremely nice. They have the attitude that everything is good and alright and they have no worries but for that same reason drugs are really big there so you never know whats going to happen. Anyway the relief society stepped up and fed us every single night and a recent convert opened his house to us and so we just went out to work! I took this youth and we were just like Alma and Amuleck we walked around the whole island i felt visiting people that he knew or remembered from the church or all kinds of things. I made sure he was converted and then taught him the importance of converting our bretheren once we are converted and so we made a list of all the young men and went and visited them. Come to find out only 2 were actually thinking about putting in their papers, the two that were on splits with us. So we worked hard on converting the others. One of them when we got there was not even thinking about a mission. We talked to him about Alma the younger and helped him understand that he didnt recieve his testimony when he saw the angel but he had to fast and pray to feel the spirit and to be converted and then we asked this young man to pray about if he should serve a mission right then. So he said a very humble prayer and after I said how do you feel and he said he felt Great. We invited him to pray one more time by himself and then if he wanted to meet us at the church that night to start his papers. We did this visiting and converting sunday and monday and tuesday was the night we called a meeting with the young men and the Branch President (all who i am just meeting). The meeting was so powerful. The Branch president shared his experience on his mission and then I asked if they had any question and them we went to the computer. Well the Branch President was called on Sunday so he wasn't registered and to make a long story short we couldnt do the papers that night so we set up another day to come back and do it and we finished with me bareing my testimony and then Elder Sinclair and then the youth started getting up to bare their testimonies. 4 of the 7 we Found showed up to start their papers and one got up to encourage the others and then the next got up and with tears coming down his face explained that to go on a mission is the hardest decision he is ever going to make because he is the only member in his family, he lives with his mom and she doesnt understand why he has to leave her and possibly lose his citizenship but that he was going to do it and then the young man who had been praying about the mission got up and bore his testimony for I believe the first time in his life even though he has been a member for about 16 years or something and he said he has let every oportunity in the church just pass him bye and he has watched everyone change but him and this time he wasnt going to let it happen. His prayers were answered and he is going to get rid of his corn rows and dew rag and serve a mission. I can not believe the spirit I felt there. I felt like I was helping others enjoy the same blessings I have had. When my first friend left on his mission he called like six of us out and got us together and said that if we didn't go on a mission he was going to kill us and that he wanted to be at each of our homecomings and we had the spirit of unity. I also explained that some of my biggest regrets is that not everyone of my friends felt that spirit of unity that night and made the same decision we made and now they aren't as happy as I have been and as I told them this story they started thinking of ways they were going to have the other 3 young men there to all start the papers together. The spirit was so strong. Other than that we just walked around the island with my local companion visiting all kinds of people. Everyone there thinks we're racists too and that the LDS church is a "White Mans Church" and so we showed everyone that we are not all white in fact I was the only white one ther so They would come up yelling at us and all that but then my companion would just talk to them in there own dialect and explain that he is from there and then they would have an eye opener and would want to come to church. I dont know how the missionaries survived there without black companions. The place we stayed was just another story but I dont have time we have to go So much more but no time but I love you all so much and am so thankful for all you have done to me. I have been very humbled lately and I am just VERY grateful for everything I have. Love you all so much and the Church is true!! Love Elder Knudsen
Dear family, All is well in Zion. I'm back in Puerto Rico talking spanish again and its good to be back but I'll be honest i love those islands! The people there are so humble and so nice. It was a great experience and I'm really thankful to have had it. I think President Alvarado is going to send me there a couple more times in the next little while so we'll see. This week has been good!! Just working really hard to get all our goals by saturday so we can enjoy the confrences. Also getting everyone really animated to come watch a living Prophet and Apostles. Its been great. GOOD NEWS!! The family that I have been writing you all about for the past like 4 months are making some big steps! he skipped work last week to come to church with the whole family! The ward loved seeing a big family with lots of little kids!! Also they are talking about having President Alvardo marry them and then be baptised! Thank you so much for your prayers they really help!! Right now we are focusing on passing the mantle to the upcoming assistants and them getting ready for our 10 week project with all the Elderes that came in with me. We came in to the mission in a really big group of like 13 and we all decided to extend a little together. All these Elders are like my best friends because we have served our whole mission together and we have all progressed so much! The thing is almost all of them hold a lidership position right now in the mission and so we have been working hard looking for the upcoming leaders of the mission. President Alvarado is going let us all live together in a house and work to explode and area. We will all probably be on bikes (FINALLY) but we'll have the big mission van because probably 2 days of the week we will all travel to a zone and minister to the missionaries there. Its a pretty huge project! So we are focusing on getting ready for that as well as we have been in interviews this whole week. We are also going to have an easter Confrence like the Christmas one I told you about and I think we might do a FLASH MOB agian but in the biggest mall in the carribean. So we are all practicing singing too. Anyway i love you all. I have to get going, we decided to cut our P-day a little short so we can finish our goals before confrence! I know that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of the Lord. I know we have a living Prophet today who recieves revelation daily. I know the Book of Mormon is true and Love how I can learn more and more about my Savior as I read it! I love to testify of Christ and this great work. I know our Heavenly Father knows and loves us and is watching over all of us. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen
Dear Family!! It sounds like everyone is doing good!! All these mission reunions seem pretty intense!! Thats so cool I guess it would be a little awkward for all the wives of the missionaries. It also sounds like everyone has their hands full with there families and work and school and everything! I hope everyone is excited for easter! So everything is going good here!! Confrence was awesome!! I hope you all enjoyed it!! I love it how they do it here! They come to the stake center to watch it and sometimes between sessions everyone brings loads of food and everyone shares and all kinds of stuff!! Its really cool! So... I learned a lot of things in confrence that apply to the people here and things we can do better and all kinds of things but it was kinda hard to ignore that fact that I need to get married soon after I get home... Keep your eyes peeled! It was a great confrence. The Mercano family came and enjoyed it!! They are in the process of getting married right now and they told me that they didn't have rings and they she found an old one that they could use and so I just gave the father, luis, my CTR ring to use. I explained what it ment and everything and told him to use it for his wedding. I guess we'll see. We are also working with a new family that is so good! They have seven in the family and they are already getting ready for baptism. They seem to be golden because they just accept commitments like nothing. We taught a sweet lesson to them last night and really got the kids involved! So anyway probably in about a week I will be moved to a different area and will be there for the rest of my time! It will be in the most populated area of Puerto Rico basically because we are having all the Missionaries that came in with me move to that area too. We all extended together and so now we are just going to go explode an area. There is 14 of us and we will live together in a house! Also 2 days of the week we will all travel in the big mission van to different zones to help train missionaires. Almost all of the 14 missionaries were leaders in the mission so president Alvarado is going to squeeze us for all we got and I am so ready to just get out on a bike again. We have some pretty high goals for the 10 weeks so if you could just start praying for me now that would be great!! Anyway family I love this work!! It is so true!! I know that we can all be togethr forever!! What a statement right? But it is true the family is ordained of God! I know He loves us and sent His Son even Jesus Christ to Atone for us! Remember scripture study, prayer, temple attendence, family night and being an active learner in church!! I love all and hope you have a great week! Love Elder Knudsen