Monday, December 21, 2009

A sweet Sister Missionary's wish list!!!

I asked Erin to send me a little wish list of things she would like for Christmas. I had a couple people ask me what she needed. Anyway, here are some ideas from her!

Cute stickers
BYU mens chorus cd's
3 hour mints
Cute thank-you/ blank cards/ stationary
Dryer sheets!!
Lint roller

What a sweetheart! I'm sure she'd also appreciate stamps!

All letters or packages can be sent here;

Erin Nicole Knudsen
MTC Mailbox # 169
BRA-SPN 0112
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-179389

Merry Christmas to you all! I know Erin loves hearing from you, and hearing the comments you leave on the blog. (I have been emailing them to her!)

Sunday, December 20, 2009


This week has been SO AMAZING!

Highlights of the week:

1. I may have talked about this is in my last email, but on Dec. 9 we were given forms to fill out that are new requirements for our visas. They are police clearance forms. We just had to write our name and home address on them and then put a thumbprint at the bottom. We filled them out right away and turned them in that night. They have been having the districts fill those out for the past 3-4 weeks starting with the oldest districts. Some Elders and Sisters were told to do it before (like Sis Kessler)--we don't know why some were told and some not...its kind of a mess I think! But Sis. Kessler got her visa so we think its related! Anyway, we were excited to know that we had done everything we could and are really just waiting now...

2. Related to this....Yesterday 31 visas came!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not anyone in our district, but most of the "Mega" districts got theirs. You become a Mega district after your allotted 9 weeks in the MTC are up and you still don't have a visa! The second week we were here the first district to go MEGA was temporarily reassigned to different missions in Tennessee and in Georgia.

Okay, so one set of missionaries from that MEGA district were reassigned to Marietta, Georgia. There they were told they would stay companions and were given an apartment to live in. It just so happens (AKA God Exists!) that the apartment complex is 80% Portuguese-speaking Brazilians who were praying for missionaries to come. They are teaching about 8 lessons a day in their mission language when they thought they'd be getting rusty on their temporary state side assignment. AMAZING?! I think so. I love this Gospel!!!!!!!

Anyway, back to the visas that came in: So great!! We are so excited for everyone! We were told that these visas were all from the LA consulate too, which is the one that has been the most problematic, so this is a VERY good sign!! We also heard that the USA is the only country having problems getting we don't know what that is about but I hope it all gets resolved soon! I want to go to BRAZIL!!!

3. Sunday. SO GREAT! First the sisters in our branch sang Mary's Lullaby together in Sacrament Meeting in Portuguese! I LOVE that song and its so beautiful in Portuguese! Then we had an AMAZING fireside by the BYU Men's Chorus! I didn't even know they existed! They are INCREDIBLE! The spirit was so strong! A few members shared their testimonies and conversion stories throughout the program. Each one brought me to tears and testified to me of the truthfulness of what we know about our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is TRUE! There is no way the many miracles that occur could happen without a Supreme Creator who has a PERFECT, LOGICAL Plan! THEN, after the fireside, Sis. Riggs and I went up to the common area on our floor to do our personal study. We hadn't had time to do it yet that day. There was a district of Elders up there that were talking and goofing around. We started our study and I began by writing down all my thoughts and impressions from the fireside. I was on a spiritual high. The Elders were being pretty disruptive and started talking about inappropriate things and I had a prompting to start a testimony meeting with them. The idea terrified me. I argued with the Spirit for about 10 minutes--which I hate to admit--and finally prayed to my Heavenly Father asking him if it was really what he wanted me to do. It was. I asked him for strength to do His will. The next thing I knew I was standing up and walking over to them. We had an amazing testimony meeting together. It was incredible. One of the Elders ended up sharing some very personal stuff with them that he had said he'd felt prompted to share but hadn't known when to do it. After wards Sis Riggs walked over and closed the meeting with her amazing testimony. Then we both went into the bathroom and cried our eyes out.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

We love P day!!

Today is my one-month anniversary at the MTC! CRAZY! Time has flown by!! Did I say something similar to that in my last email?! I apologize if so...but time really does disappear here! It's insane!

Being the one-month mark, today is the day we stop talking in english in our classes! We also start teaching our TRC lessons completely in Portuguese! Up until now, we have had a 15 minute segment in the beginning where we do an activity in Portuguese (like a street contact, or getting to know someone, and then come back and teach in english.) Nao Mais! Its all Portuguese from here on out!

I love the Portuguese language! I still cannot make the nasal sound (correctly, that is) but besides that, it's going good! The grammar rules are complicated, but I'm trying to get them down! I am pretty sure its going to pick up and really sky-rocket now that we are stopping the english. I haven't been practicing enough, but I have a new goal to really hit it hard since it is MUITO IMPORTANTE!

The teaching is going well too! I love teaching the gospel....just have to say that! And I hope I can continue to learn more about it and have the Spirit with me more constantly in my life!

Other Randomness: I have a cold right now. Its lame! But I am SO grateful its not swine flu, so all is well!

I love love love my companion, district, our adopted district, our new roommate Sis Hansen, and my teachers. They are so much fun and are teaching me so much!


Sister Knudsen

Friday, December 4, 2009

Apparentely I email Erin a little too often.....

This email was titled: Bom Dia! (Good Morning!)

Its not actually morning, but I wanted to say enjoy!! It literally means Good Day so it works!

Okay, so I only have 15 minutes to write since I had to read all of Andrea's emails (HAHAHA JK I LOVE LOVE LOVED ALL OF THEM!)

But I will try to write a handwritten letter with more personal and exciting news and just give you some updates on clothes and other news right now.

Everyone who hadn't gotten the swine flu shot had to get them yesterday to I am now "immune!" I was really trying to avoid that shot but when it becomes a rule here at the MTC with so many people in quarantine, I guess I can oblige them!

My poor friend Sister Jenny Bullock from my single's ward had to be quarantine last week! It was so sad! I was wondering why I wasn't seeing her around and then as my companions and I walked past the door of the sister's quarantine she came to the window and told me her sad tale! Luckily she is out now and I saw her at lunch. She was as bright, beautiful, and happy as ever!

I forgot to tell you guys that the first day I got here Laura got to be my host sister! It was so meant to be! They took me to the check in place to get me a host sister and she had just got there to get a new sister when I walked in! We got very excited and she said "This is my cousin, I'm taking her!" It was great! We see eachother around pretty often and have had a few chances to sit and chat about our lives, so that is good! We took a picture, which I will send via mail as soon as possible....see #5: (I think that is so cool, we miss Laura so much too!!)

I am SO SO SO sorry you haven't gotten pictures from me yet! I don't know why or what is going on, but none of the computers are allowing us to email pictures (or open them so I didn't get to see any of the ones you sent :( ) so I am going to send hard copies soon. Every time we have gone into the bookstore to print pictures the machines have been broken or with SUPER LONG lines, so I still haven't printed any. Hopefully tomorrow!

Okay, only have a minute left so I'll write the rest in my written letter!

I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH!! I'm glad your thanksgiving was so good!!

Sister Erin Knudsen

Monday, November 30, 2009

She titled this one..."Happy Black Friday :)"

Hello my dearest family!!

Thanks for the letter about Thanksgiving! I loved reading about the fun events of your week! BB KING and MARK MABRY?! Lucky Lucky!!

The thing I am most jealous about is the Double Cream Blueberry pie though!! I did get some blueberry pie, but it wasn't the same!

Our food was pretty good! They take care of us here, but it wasn't family style of course! We did get turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, pie (they had many different ones but I just had apple and blueberry!) green beans, rolls, etc. It was yummy! I got to sit with my friend Sister Jenny Bullock (from my single's ward) so that brought home a little closer at least!

The day was INCREDIBLE though...We did indeed get to hear from Elder Jeffrey R Holland and his wife, Patricia, in our Thanksgiving devotional! They are such an amazing couple. Sister Holland spoke about our potentials and how God knows us each individually. How our calling as missionaries is a holy calling. That we are holy. That we were made by His Holy Hands. It was really good.

Then Holland came up in tears from the Spirit his wife and the musical number had brought and said, "Thank you Honey" Followed by the sweetest testimony of a man in love that I have ever heard about how grateful he is to have an eternity with the dear woman he has been sealed to. It was precious! He gave us many divine words of advice, but I want to share something with you that really hit me and will stick with me my whole mission. He talked about how the thanksgiving and Christmas after his oldest son got home from his mission were some of the sweetest moments because of the reunion of family members. He told us we SHOULD be homesick because we SHOULD love and miss our families. He said when we get home our joy will be immense when we reunite. Then he said that God is feeling homesick for his children all the time. He wants them back. And that is why we are serving. We are going out to bring His children back to their loving Heavenly Father. I am so so so SO grateful to be apart of that reunion in whatever way I can be.

We were also blessed to have Elder Dallin H. Oaks and his wife, Kristen, here for our Tuesday night devotional...WE ARE SO SPOILED!! It was also amazing! The biggest message I took from their talks was that we have a mantle as missionaries to represent Jesus Christ. That means we need to be striving each day to be like Him. It is a weighty calling, but we are promised that He is with us. That as we have the Spirit with us, we can say what He wants us to say, and that he will make us into the amazing individuals He knows we are meant to become.

It has been a great week. But I AM homesick especially as they put up the Christmas lights on the MTC campus and I think about the holidays. I miss you guys tons! I am excited for the sweet moment when we are reunited just as Holland talked about. It will be wonderful!

Other points of interest:
One of our teachers was gone this week for Thanksgiving so we had a substitute from another district. His name was Brother Silva and he served in Rome, Italy. He had an amazing story about his mission. He went and came home early many many many times because of health reasons but knew he needed to serve so he kept going back out. Finally he was able to serve the full amount in Rome. He shared some amazing experiences with us and just has a great perspective on life. About our visa troubles, he said, "The work is going so well in Brazil that Satan found another way to slow it." I thought that was pretty funny/true!

I still havent talked about my teachers or the Elders in my district yet, have I? I'm slacking!! They are WONDERFUL though!! We have so much fun together. I will talk about them in my next email...hopefully! I also have a new mission motto from Hebrews 12:1--"Run with patience the race that is set before [me]." Isn't that amazing?! I'll explain it more in my next email.

Anyway, I hope you are all well! I love you so much!!

--Sister Knudsen--

Friday, November 20, 2009

Another email and visa information....

So the past week has still been busy (I don't think that will be changing any time soon!) but we have a set schedule now so that is nice for planning! Planning Planning Planning! That is so important here! I hope I can keep these good habits when I get home because they really help make life more productive!

So a few updates on the Brazil Visa issues: When I got here I found out that the problem is in the Brazilian consolates (sp?). A lot of them are really backed up so that is what is keeping us from getting through. L.A., Salt Lake, Texas, and many others are having major issues, so we just have to wait and hope they get to them soon. My companion Sister Kessler was told that her Visa did go through and didn't have any problems, but there weren't enough missionaries with visas to send to the MTC in Brazil, so she was sent here with us. A District of Elders who just reached their 9 week mark still hadn't gotten theres last week, so they got sent to Tennesee and Georgia missions for the time being! Crazy! They are telling us to assume we will be in Provo for the full 9 weeks. There is some talk that most issues will be resolved in the middle of December, but we aren't counting to count on it.

The more we learn, the more ready I am to teach in english...I'm so excited to do it! I am definitely not great at it yet, but I feel the importance of the work and so I want to share it! So I think I would be okay in some ways to go somewhere stateside if I needed to. It seems crazy that I have to learn how to teach AND learn how to teach it in PORTUGUESE, but I'm sure its all going to be coming together more soon...

That being said....I really hope we get to Brazil soon! I really wanted to go the Campinas temple and if I'm not at the MTC there at all I won't get to. That really isn't a huge deal, but I was excited about it!

Agg...No time...I will hopefully give you a better more informative email next week!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Our first email from Erin!

Oi Familia! Tudo Bem?!
(Hi Family! How are you?)

I already know (with some help from my notes) how to say a simple prayer in Portuguese and how to bear a simple testimony! It's exciting!

I love all the learning! We are in the classroom for most of the day but it is broken up into personal study, companion study, teaching/PMG lessons, and language lessons. Our goal with portuguese is to be completely off english by December 11! That is soon! But I believe it can be done and I'm excited!

So I am really loving it here. Don't feel sad, I DO miss you, but I am focusing on what I am doing and it is AMAZING! I am in a trio companionship with two fantastic sisters: Sister Riggs from the Dallas Texas area, and Sister Kessler from King City, California (Monterey county). Sister Kessler is the sister who is from Nana's ward I'm pretty sure, so small world!! They are both really fun and definitely here for the right reasons! We have a lot of fun together! (*Edit from Andrea....Nana is my husband Devin's Grandma, she had told us when Erin got her call that there was a girl in her ward that also got called to Brazil, now they are companions! Weird!!)

Address update: The address I gave you for the MTC is right, but my mailbox number is 169, so you can add that in.

Anyway, I hope you guys are doing well! I love you so much!! Your love and support mean everything to me while I am here!

The church is true...that is confirmed to me in everything we do here. The spirit is very strong here!

Well, I am running out of time (30 mintues per P-day) but just so you know, we had a half P-day today but it will usually be on Fridays, so you should get another email from me next Friday! If you email me back by then, I'll update you on the visa stuff! haha!


Sister Erin Nicole Knudsen

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's official....

Erin is officially at the MTC! We took her to the airport early this morning and after a lot of hugs, and tears, we finally let her go! We all have missed her so much today and can't even begin to understand how much we will miss her for the next 18 months. But we are all very proud of her choice, and know she is doing exactly what she is meant to do. All of you that know her, know like we do that she will be an amazing missionary. Her sweet spirit, fun personality, and strong testimony are going to bring so much joy to the people of Brazil. I will keep you posted on her visa situation, and of course update as soon as she sends me anything to post! Also, I started a flickr account for all her photos. I just uploaded a bunch of family photos as well as some from this morning! Thanks to all of you for being so good to her, I know that she loves all of you very much and appreciates all of your support!