Thursday, February 25, 2010

Brazil is beautiful!!! (and Erin's new address!)

I have definitely found a purpose here. We have now found 3 families that have special needs children. The first is the one I told you about already. They are doing really well. We have stopped by their house about 4 times now and taught little pieces of the lessons. The mom said she read 3 Ne 11 that we left with her and wants to talk to us about baptism. The second lesson we taught we invited them to be baptized, and the dad talked to us about how they had visited the church and he´d been overwhelmed with information. They have a really really close friend who is an amazing member and has been such a good example to them --she is in the other ward, not ours-- but they came with her and some of the people took him on a little tour and told him a lot of stuff about the gospel, etc. I think it was just overload so he is hesitant to move fast. So we hadn´t brought up baptism again since we wanted to help them understand everything and build their faith up, but she brought it up on her own right before we were leaving and wants to talk to us about it next time. They are such a special family. An amazing example to me! I told the mom the other day that she reminds me of my mom (Yes Mama, YOU!) because she is so selfless and loving! The way she takes care of her son is just like how you are always so willing to give your all to us, your kids, and to our special little Erik!

The other 2 families: The second woman was out in the street in front of her house with some other family members and her son who was in a wheelchair and we contacted her. She wasn´t interested at first, but after we talked a little bit and I showed her the picture of my family with Erik, she said we could stop by sometime if we wanted. We went by the other day and she said she was too busy, but we are hopeful that she will let us in one day.

The third was yesterday. We were knocking doors in this neighborhood thats one of our farthest in our area as we headed to an appointment we had out there, and the first person we see is this little boy run out the front door completely naked! haha! Its was so funny! Then the mother came out and we told her who we are and a little about out message. We usually ask if we can share our message with them and their family but IF they say yes they usually want us to just share it really fast with them right where we are standing. So she wanted us to just say it right there. I had just done one where I just started talking and didn´t really breath and it was really terrible. I'm not really use to it yet because most people say no! But anyway, because I had just done that and Sister Winters and I had laughed about it and I had talked about how I need to remember that its still a lesson and get to know them and ask questions, etc still...I started the message and then asked her what blessings she has in her life. She told us that her son is Autistic and that she has really been doubting God because she doesn´t understand why children have disabilities. She is really worried about her son´s future and how he won´t be able to get married and have a normal life, etc. She told us she has been really struggling and her mom who is catholic keeps telling her to have faith and that it will all be okay. I told her that I think we are answers to her prayers and there to help her figure everything out (not in those words though because i dont know how to say that in Portuguese...but that is the jist(gist?)!) Anyway, she said she feels like she really needs religion right now but just doesn´t feel like she has faith. We are going to go back next week to talk with her more. Pray for us to have the spririt and to know what we need to say!

So I need to wrap up now. I´m sorry I can´t write to each of you more personally. I love you very much!

Oh, and my Pday is Wednesday now which I'm sure you have already realized!

Anyway, that's all! I was going to send pics but I don´t have time again because apparently it takes forever to upload them to computers and I´d rather write...but i will figure out a way to do it!

My testimony grows each day here and I hope yours are too. This is the one and only church with the COMPLETE GOSPEL. I am soooo grateful to be a member and so have this knowledge!

I love you all!

Sister Erin Knudsen

Ok and also here is Erin's new address!! It was listed on the bookmark's she gave away before she left. I was just thinking there would be a more direct address to send to, but this is it. Both letters and packages can be sent here.

Brazil Sao Paulo North Mission
Rua Dr. Rui Bastista Pereira, 165
Jardim Caxingui
05517-080 Sao Paulo-SP

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

First email from Brazil!

It has been a CRAZY week and a half! So much excitement and change. I could probably write a novel about everything, but that would takes days! PS: I get one hour now for internet, but part of that is for writing my mission President my weekly report so I have just a few minutes more than before. I´ll take it!

So I got to talk to most of you on the phone! That was AMAZING! I tried calling Devin, but none of the pay phones would take my coins. Then Elder Lew let me use his phone card but it ended up having insufficient funds for the call. :( But Devin, know that I was trying and I´m really sad I couldn´t talk to you. I love you!! Happy Birthday passed!

Hailey, did you get my message? I hope you liked it! How was your birthday?! love you!!!!!!!!!!

So, on the plane over here, Elder Edlund and I talked to a really awesome Brazilian man just a little older than us and ended up giving him a Book of Mormon! It was great!

So luckily I saved that much because my email was deleted! I don't know how and so I have to rewrite the rest really fast!

Anyway, I am just going to skip to what is most important...

I am in Sorocaba and it's in the interior. My companion is Sister Winters from CA. She is cousins to our friends the Winters from Chandler! Small world! Our ward and area is Progresso and it was closed for 2 months because of lack of missionaries so we are opening it...ahh! Anyway, our apartment was trashed when we got here with a broken and window and toilet and other bad things so it was an adventurous beginning to the mission. But after a hard week with almost complete rejection, we had 4 miracles yesterday right at the end of the day. the best one was the family we were led to where they have a special needs boy they ADOPTED when we was little. Their only son. He is precious and the moment I saw him I started to bawl....because he reminded me of Erik...and it was crazy and amazing! We are going to start teaching them and they are so ready and I am so happy!

There is so much more but that is the most amazing part! The members here are amazing too and I love them and my companion!

Sister Knudsen

She's in Brazil!!

Dear Family of Sister Knudsen,

It is our privilege to send a few pictures of your daughter, Sister Knudsen, when she arrived to our mission on the 2nd of December. We are very happy to have her here serving in our mission and that we will have the opportunity to work with her. These pictures attached are of the first day she arrived to the mission, one of her group of missionaries that arrived with her, and the other with President Cooley. We thank you for your sacrifice, support, and prayers for your missionary and our mission.


President Jeffry L. Cooley

Sister Melodee T. Cooley

São Paulo North Mission

Friday, February 5, 2010

The unthinkable has happened!!!!

*So...sorry if the toes thing is TMI but...I decided to leave it in. You want to know what she's doing right? Well...*

So...the right side of the big toenail on my right foot has been bothering me for the past month or so. After seeing Irmao Smith's mission pictures, which included ingrown toenail pictures and stories or pain and anguish...I realized my toenail might be heading in the same direction. This was NOT okay with me!

I had been meaning to stop by the health clinic to ask them about it. It seemed very beginning stages, but its better to prevent than let it become terrible, so I finally stopped by this past Monday to ask them about it!

First, I visited with the nurse and she said since I could get my visa anyday we should send me to a doctor now to check on it. So I went into the scheduling area, and they asked me about insurance. That is when, RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, she calls Papa and asks him about it! Unfortunately, I couldn't hear his voice, but it was exciting to know she was talking to him right there!

They told me they would call me to the office once he called back and they could schedule my appointment. Sister Riggs and I left and went back to class where we found out that some people in other districts had received visas! Woo! Always good news!

THEN...Our dear Brazilian friend from the travel office walks into OUR ROOM...with a HUGE stack of travel plans in her hands...DUN DUN DUN!

She starts saying names...Elder Athans...Elder McQuivey...Elder Floyd...Elder Webber...Elder Armitstead...and last but not least...








Two of my Elders and some of my adopted district Elders and my campanion!!!! Leaving the next morning!!!!!!! AHHHHHH!!

It was so bittersweet!! So the rest of the day was very crazy! Especially when I get called back to the health clinic and my appointment is later that day! So we went to the doc, and decided the best option for me would be to perform a little surgery/chemical burn on my toenail so that it will stop growing out the wrong way. Because my toe nails curve so much already, they are high risk of ingrown toenails. Since my left foot hasn't bothered me yet though, he doesn't think it will be a problem at all. But the right side was already heading in a bad direction, so we took care of the problem!

So for the next week I get to soak my foot/toe for 20 minutes morning and night and then return to him on Monday for a check up. Other than that I can go about normal activities and it doesn't hurt really at all. Pretty painless, but now I can say I have been CHEMICALLY BURNED! Kind of cool, no? we get Sister Riggs all packed and ready to go and take pictures with our Elders and cry a little and all that jazz. The next morning at 6, we go say goodbye to our other sister (Sister Smith who is incredible!) and elders in our branch that got their visas and pick up Sister Smith's companion, Sister Simpkins (also so very amazing!!) who would be becoming my companion after Sister Riggs left. At 8, she had to be at the travel office, so we sadly took her and all said out good byes. I lost it just a little because I love Sister Riggs so dearly! We have been together 24/7 for almost 3 was really hard to say bye!

It was a strange couple of days after that! The Mega District has slowly started dissolving! Our classroom because the last one! Sister Simpkins and her 3 Elders that were left came into our room where there was now only me and my last 3 Elders and 3 more of my adopted district Elders! All the rest have been reassigned or received their visas! CRAZY!



Some more visas came in...

and halfway through the day...

Another travel office lady came in and annouced four more names...

Elder Teichert...Elder Edlund...Edler Lew...SISTER KNUDSEN!

My and my Elders (all of us going to SP NORTH) received our visas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We leave together on Tuesday at 11:30!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


It has happened...and I am in shock still! It is so crazy!!

**********So here is the good news: I get to call home later today for 5 minutes. I'm calling around 5:45 Utah time...I'm leaving a little time on my email so I can check back if that is good, so write back just writing in the "subject line" YES or NO (If NO write in the better time for me to call in Utah time because i don't know if its different or the same right now) OKAY? I'm so excited and I will talk to you all then!!!!**********

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sister Erin Knudsen