Monday, June 29, 2015

Festa junina e despedida do Presidente

This week had many events, which was rather exciting! First of all were transfers, Sister Alcântara went to Cidade Jardim (small world. or mission I guess) and now we have Sister Quespaz, who is from Ecuador, so Sister Nascimento is the only Brazilian in a house with Spanish speakers. I have a feeling this will be the transfer of Portuñol... hahaha :)   Portugués + español = portuñol
Also, our dear mission president, Presidente Siedschlag, finished his mission. We had a farewell zone conference with him this week, where basically everyone cried. Especially with the musical number. Elder Walker, Elder Engle, Elder Young and I (the Americans in our zone) did a special number where we combined Presidente and Sister Siedschlag's favorite hymns: "Lord, I Would Follow Thee" and "Each Life That Touches Ours For Good". It turned out pretty well I think for us coming up with the idea and practicing in all of 30 minutes, and everyone cried. I love how the Spirit touches our hearts through hymns.
Another neat adventure of the week was the ward activity: FESTA JUNINA! Its a cultural party where everyone dresses up in Caipira clothes (basically Western outfits Brazilian style, I' m not sure how to explain, Google will do a better job than me :) ) and they danced awesome typical dances and had lovely food. Basically it was my favorite thing ever, and we had tons of visitors and less active members!
To finish up, a thought from my scripture study this week: I'm studying the Book of Mormon, in the middle of Helaman. The prophet, Nephi, is warning the people of their wickedness and how they are neglecting the Lord and turning their hearts to riches and other not great choices. But the part I love is that Nephi is ALWAYS reminding the people to repent. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has given us the privilege of repenting. I know that no matter what sins we have in our past, we can become clean through repentance and the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for my loving Heavenly Father, who gave His only begotten Son so that we can become clean and pure and receive the greatest of all the gifts of God: eternal life! I am so grateful that families can be sealed for all eternity. I love the Gospel!

Have a wonderful week!
Sister Knapp

Monday, June 22, 2015

Oito meses!

Oi a todos!
So here is yet another 22nd, and today marks 8 months as Sister Knapp! I can't believe that in a month I will be halfway done.... It has gone by so fast and I am loving every second of being a missionary and serving in my beloved Brazil. :)
Anyway, transfers are today and I am excited for this next transfer! Sister Nascimento and I are staying together in Maiobão and continuing as STLs so that will be a lot of fun. We are excited to keep on working with the wonderful people here and seeing all the awesome upcoming miracles!!!
I am also so thankful to be able to keep on teaching music lessons. Everyone loves them (even though I' m not sure that they' re that great) and it's neat to see ward members and visitors come up to a piano and say "Look! I found Do!" and such. I love being able to share my talents :)
Neat adventure of the week: our recent convert, Miguel, started giving Capoeira lessons. Capoeira is a traditional Brazilian martial art/dance and its really cool. The first day (Saturday) was mostly a demo and there were TONS OF PEOPLE who were visiting the church for the first time. Us sisters set up a table with lots of pamphlets and pass along cards and everyone loved it! Lots of people said they really liked the church and wanted to come visit, and a few did this Sunday! 
We are also working with a young man named A, whose sister is a member. He really wants to be baptized and we have a date set for July 4th! We are teaching him with the help of his friend who is a member. It' s so great to work with members!
I hope you all have a marvelous week! I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ, for the happiness it brings to my life every day! I know that God loves His children and that He always hears and answers our prayers!  Have a wonderful week!
Muito amor,
Sister Knapp

Mark 16:15 - And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, andpreach the gospel to every creature.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Batismo de Joires!!

This week was pretty wonderful! The best part was Saturday evening, when Joires was baptized! Our ward mission leader had filled the font part way that morning but had to go to work, and when we went in the afternoon to finish up the water wasn't working for the font, so Sister Nascimento got to finish up with buckets. It was worth it though, she was so happy to be baptized! My favorite part was that she was baptized by her husband, Carlos, who was baptized a few months ago. It was such a special day! Another investigator, F, told us after the baptism that he really wants to be baptized too. He turns 80 in October and asked us "Will God forgive my sins if I repent and am baptized? Even the sins from the past 79 years of my life?" YES, FRANCISCO! YES YES YES! The Spirit was so strong when we testified that repentance and baptism wash away all our sins through the atoning sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Fun fact: this week at least four people didn't believe that I am American when I told them, they thought I was from São Paulo!! My American accent is going away! Woohoo! :D
Another neat experience: on Friday I got to spend the day with Sister Alcântara (companionship exchanges I think it is in English haha) and our last lesson of the day was with a family they had found a few days ago. We taught about the Restoration of the gospel and the father of the family basically slept through the whole lesson. The mother and son paid attention and accpeted the challenge to pray and ask if the message was true. When we invited them to be baptized the father paid attention for the first time and when we talked about the Book of Mormon he got really angry and started yelling that the book was a lie and he'd never read it and all sorts of stuff. The Spirit was gone as soon as he started yelling, but when I looked him and his wife in the eyes and started bearing my testimony that I knew the Book of Mormon was the word of God, he stopped talking (a miracle) and it was incredible to feel the Holy Ghost testify that what I was saying was true. I know the Book of Mormon is true not because my parents told me, because any pastor or bishop or anyone told me, but because I read and prayed asking God and the Holy Ghost testified to me of the vericity of the Book of Mormon and the Restored Gospel. I know that every single person who puts the promise in Moroni 10:4-5 to the test will receive an answer when they pray in faith, they too can know that God loves His children and that the Church of Jesus Christ is on the earth today, lead by a living prophet.
I hope you all have a marvelous week! 
Muito amor,
Sister Knapp

Monday, June 8, 2015

Muito amor de Sister Snape

Oi a todos!
So, the latest variations of my name (how much variety can you have in a one syllable last name? Apparantly a lot :) ) are Sister Snaps and Sister Snape. It cracks me up, and every time specific ward member calls me Sister Snape, Sister Alcântara starts singing "Snape, Snape, Severus Snape" from PotterPuppetPalls (a youtube video). I thought it was quite funny :)
Anyway, about the missionary work! This week was wonderful! The ward members in Maiobão are super excited with missionary work and we were able to have the majority of our lessons with members this last week and received a few references!! It is SO MUCH BETTER to work with members, and the investigators have immediate support in church and everything. I love love love this ward! :) This week we had a holiday and the ward had a churrascho (barbaque) and it was great! 
Another neat miracle is that Joires is excited for her baptism this saturday! She threw out all her coffee when she was interviewed for baptism, no minor miracle!! Carlos, her husband who was baptized a few months ago, is going to baptize her and he's super excited. We helped him memorize the baptismal prayer yesterday and it was such a special moment! 
Also, the sisters in our house (Sister Nascimento, Sister Espinola, Sister Alcântara and I) have decided to start Personal Progress (a program for young women in the church) and help the young women in the ward be more excited with it (there are only 2 young women). Its pretty great, I love doing it again but this time in Portuguese! :) 
This past week we had zone conference, and I was able to accompany the musical number. A couple of Elders sang Nearer My God To Thee and it was beautiful! The Spirit was so strong. I love being able to sing hymns (we've been singing a lot lately in our lessons too) and feel my Heavenly Father's love through the beautiful music and words. Even if we're not the greatest singers, we do our best and the Spirit does the rest. :)
Have a wonderful week! 
Muito amor,
Sister Knapp

Monday, June 1, 2015

Viaje, zica e outras aventuras

Oi a todos!
This week was quite full of adventures! We had a wonderful family home evening on Monday with our recent convert Carlos and his wife Joires (who is going to be baptized this month!) and we talked about tithing. Sister Nascimento gave Carlos 10 limes and he counted them and then without even asking he stopped at nine and said "No, this last one isn't mine, its the tithing lime!" And then when I bore my testimony about the blessings of tithing, Sister Nascimento handed him a cup of lemonade (well. limeade I guess) and he was so excited and wanted to share it with everyone :) Tithing blessings! 
Sister Nascimento and I also traveled with the zone leaders to Teresina for a leadership training, which was fun and we learned so much! Zone conference is tomorrow and we're excited to share all the great new things we learned and focus more on helping FAMILIES understand the importance of BAPTISM! It's pretty great :)
One not so fun adventure is that Sister Alcântara and I got sick (although it didn't last too long or interfere with the work). The virus is called zica here, and Sister Nascimento thinks its hilarious because where she's from "zica" means "bad luck". And it is! haha But we're better now and officially São Luis missionaries because apparantly most missionaries here get it at some point. :)
We are working with a new family this week, Francisco and Maria, and they are so great! They are friends with our ward mission leader and when we taught them the Restoration they loved it and are so excited to learn more. I love working with members, it makes everything so much better!
Last story: we had a ward activity where everyone was given ten talents (like the story in the New Testament) and you could buy food, play games etc and in one room you could earn more talents. In the end the amount of talents you had left determined which kingdom you ended up in, the telestial (which was a room in the church with the light off and no fan), Terrestrial (a room with a fan and a semi dim light) or the Celestial (the room with AC and all lit up and CHOCOLATE). Its kind of hard to explain by email, but it was a really neat activity and really made me think how our choices TODAY determine our destiny! Im so thankful for the Gospel of Christ that teaches us the path to follow so we can be in the Celestial kingdom with our families!
Muito amor e boa semana para vocês!
Sister Knapp