Friday, May 28, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I forgot I still had to write my President, so I wrote to him about this cute family we found that we are really excited about. I talked about them in the last email. At Interviews with President Cooley he told us that we need to focus on teaching their daughters because as we teach on their level the spirit will teach the parents on their level. He told us to teach them I Am a Child of God. So here is the email I wrote him about how it went and everything:
"You were very inspired in your advice to teach the children. It didn´t go as well as we planned because the little daughter was being a little bit...crazy, but it still worked wonders with the dad, Aldénio. He had been hesitant about church, but when we invited them to come again he said Yes without hesitation! We were so glad!! They came on Sunday and absolutely LOVED it. Well Aldénio was really tired, so he didnt get much out of it, but he still liked it and Michele and the girls adored it! When Michele walked into the chapel, it moved her to tears. She said it was so beautiful and she felt something and got very emotional!
The problem: We found out they aren´t legally married. When they got "married" Michele was 16 and he was 29 or so. Her family didnt approve so they went to a Catholic Bishop and he gave them a blessing -- so they count that as being married as far as God is concerned, even though they aren´t married by law. They want to get married legally, but were thinking they might do it at the end of this year so they could save up money and go all out with all their family and everything. We knew this would be a hard we planned a really good lesson about eternal families and temples that we were really excited about. The execution didn´t go as well as we had planned, though. One of their daughters wouldn´t sit still and was asking her mom to do everything for her as we tried to teach, so it was hard for Michele to focus. When we came to the invite for them to be married sooner rather than later so that they could be baptised and receive the blessings of the temple, Aldénio said it would be impossible because they dont have the money now. Michele talked about how she really wants to have a wedding dress and get their families all together. We testified and invited them to pray about it. They said they would pray about it.
We fasted for them yesterday and hope that when we go back they will have received a response that these things are true. And that they will show the faith to go forward with the response. Neither of us have really had to help people get married before, so we are learning together...its a really hard situation!! But we are trying to rely on the Lord that he can help us say the things they need to hear to follow his commandments!"
So that is the update about their family. I really love them and I hope they continue to progress.
Thats the majority of whats been happening this week! I love the gospel and I love this work and I know that we have the restored church of Jesus Christ on the earth again. I know that when we put God and Jesus Christ in the first place in our lives, everything else works out. I promise that is true because I am seeing it in the lives of those I meet and teach here in Brazil.
I love you all!!
Sister Knudsen

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


So I think I told you guys about the fun rain adventure we had after Policia Federal and meeting the apostles. This is a picture of us soaking wet after we finally made it to the right bus stop (this was after we walked against traffic on the freeway...good times!)

Brazilian Pay phone booths! It looks like a helmet! They are great! This isnt the exact one, but I used one just like it in front of our apartment when I called you on Saturday night!!

HOLY AVOCADO! Look how big they are here! I think they are a tad bit sweeter too. Mom and Andy, you would be in Heaven here with me with these big avocados! Just one makes more guacamole than 4-5 of ours in the United States and they are pretty inside...I havent seen one yet that has so much gross stringy yuckiness as a lot of the ones we have to deal with. Do you think avocados would travel well when I come home...?

We had a zone activity 2 P-days ago and after the activity we got milkshakes. Elder Gratil bought pistacchio in the largest size possible...which was a big mistake because it was GROSS! So then he had to get the taste out of his he went and bought another one and asked for the smallest/cheapest one. This was the result. Everyone was laughing because of how tiny it is!!

This is a little path through the field in front of our apartment complex. It was a pretty sunset as we walked home through it so we thought we should take some quaint photos!

THANKS AMANDA!! Amanda sent me a lemon poppyseed muffin package so my companion and I made them into pancakes! Delicious as always! I wouldnt mind a few more of those packets...hint hint. ;) Sister Winters mom had sent her maple flavor so we made syrup and everything! It was perfect!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hello everyone!

Another week has come and gone! Man...its passing by soooo fast! And today I found out that instead of staying an extra 3 weeks longer that 18 months like Sisters usually do, it has been changed and I will probably be coming home a couple weeks shorter than 18 months. CRAZY. I´m already almost at 6 months on the mission! I have SO much to learn still...but I think that is how you always feel out here and in life in general. My perspective on life has changed a lot already.

Okay so the most exciting adventure of the past week was Sao Paulo! I had to go into the capital to do my fingerprinting with my visa stuff. All of us americans who came from the provo MTC and all the missionaries from the MTC down here came into the office on Thursday night to be up and at the office by 6 AM! We stayed the night with the sisters that are close by and had a big sleep over! There were 6 of us. Sister Winters and I, Sister Steinbeigle (who I met in the MTC) and her companion Sister de Souza (who was Sister Winter´s comp before she came to be mine) and then the 2 sisters that live there, Sister Abreu and Sister Lopes. Sister Steinbeigle and I woke up at 4:30 to get down there by 6 and then we got to see all of our Elders from the MTC and ride to the Federal Police office with all of them! It was so much fun to see everyone and talk to them. I got to know Sister Steinbeigle better and I absolutely love her, and I finally got to see Elder Teichert who said he is serving in the Time Square of Sao Paulo that is even worse and louder than NY!! He said it is CRAZY! He is loving it though! Him, Elder Lew, and Elder Edlund are all doing well though! I had a lot of fun catching up with them! I got to teach a lesson with Elder Lew to this cute family that was there too. They had a little girl who has CP and they are from Colombia (I think...) so they were doing visa stuff too. I gave them a restoration pamphlet. I totally froze up not having a companion though, so I forgot to ask them if they wanted missionaries to pass by their house and to get their address....oops. Like I said...I still have SO much to learn!!!

After we got everything finished, we went back to the office and I finally got to pull out all the stuff I need from my other suitcase! I dont know if I ever told you guys that, but I left one there and took one with me to Sorocaba. I had to repack the stuff I wanted to take really fast so there was a bunch of stuff I forgot! Now its all good though and I got everything I need and took some stuff back that I wasnt using too! It was good!

THEN...Sister Winters and I headed to the Distribution store on the side of the Temple with another set of Elders who were going to help guide us back home to Sorocaba after we bought a few things. As we passed by the beautiful Sao Paulo Temple and chapel next door we saw a bunch of old men in Suits standing a few feet away from the gate. We looked a little closer and as some of them turned we realized it was Elder Nelson and Elder Holland!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They saw us and walked over to shake our hands and see how the work is going!! They were also there with Elder Carlos Codoy (or something to that effect) and some other members of the seventy and I think one from the presiding bishopric! We shook all of their hands and Sister Winters hinted at a taking a picture with them, but they didnt really say yes so we just talked to them for a second and then went on our way. It was AMAZING!

The crazy part is that as I was walking past the Temple there were some other people passing in the street too and its a busy street so there were lots of cars too, so I was thinking about how strange it is that so many people pass a sacred temple of God and dont even realize what it is. Then we met Apostles of God and it was magnified. They were just strolling past these men who they had NO idea were, all caught up in the other tasks in their lives. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have that the church of Jesus Christ is restored on the earth with a Prophet and 12 Apostles who have the authority to act in the name of Jesus Christ through the priesthood. As I shook their hands I could feel the Spirit and the power of their position and devotion to our loving Heavenly Father. I testify to anyohe who may be reading this, that these are men of God. That the truth is here. That all people everywhere can know that these things are true if they pray to God and ask him with a sincere heart. Anyone who prays to know something, with real intent (intent to act on the answer whatever it may be) will receive a witness that this church is true and that they can be apart of the fold of Christ through baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost through confirmation. There are men on earth with the authority to do God´s work and they are found only in His church: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It was an amazing experience.

We had a fun adventure finding a bus home too...Lets just say it was pouring and at one part we had to walk against traffic on the side of a freeway....don´t worry...I´m still alive. And very grateful that I am!

I love you all so much and I hope you are doing well!! I know I say this every week but Ill try to send picture next week. This computer isnt working with them. :(

Sister Knudsen

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

An AMAZING story!!

Okay so on to the other amazing news about Saturday...

Miracles!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are having a baptism this Saturday! We have been praying to have a baptism this transfer even though we didnt know how it would happen, but a 17 year old girl, Jessica, who we have been teaching with her mom, Mariza, told us on Sunday night that she wants to be baptised!!!! She said this Saturday would be perfect! She is so excited and her mom is too. Just a few days ago when we invited them to be baptized yet again, Mariza responded that she just isnt ready yet and neither is her daughter. The Lord works wonders though because all the sudden Jessica is ready and Mariza is completely supportive!! We fasted yesterday and today that when we arrive on Thursday for the interview that Mariza will have had a change of heart and decided to be baptized with her daughter. We will just have to see what the will of the Lord is. But yes, we are finally seeing a baptism in this area! I am so excited and so grateful to the Lord for his tender mercies!

It is seriously a miracle...this week has been full of miracles!

The other miracle was this past Sunday. While Sister Winters and I waited in the front of the chapel for an investigator, a woman pulled up and told us she wanted to visit the church and asked if she could. We told her that of course she could!! So she parked and came up to us and asked her she could ask her questions too...we told her we could answer her questions! She also asked if all members talked funny like us...but we assured her that we are the only 2 americans with funny accents there! haha!! So she came to church with us and told us that she had a dream where a childhood friend who passed away not too long ago was there and asked her if she wanted to be friends for eternity. She said yes in the dream and he showed her our church (or maybe the temple) and told her to go there. When she woke up the word eternity really stuck with her so she looked up the church on the internet and saw Sealed for Eternity. She felt a peace and understanding with that word. She loved church and our Principles of the Gospel teacher (who is AMAZING! I love her!! )) answered her other questions and bore a powerful testimony about temples and the gospel and we all cried and it was amazing!! Unfortunately, this woman doesnt live in our area but we got her phone number and passed it to the Elders in her area. She is definitely an Elect...and I am so grateful I got to meet her and feel of her Spirit. It was an amazing day...and it was that day too that Jessica told us she wanted to be baptized. Talk about a good Sunday on the mission!!

So yes, life is good, my testimony is as strong as ever, and I love the Lord with all my heart!!

Love you so much!!!