Monday, July 27, 2015

Metade da missãoooo

Olá a todos!
Soooo I can't believe it but... My time as Sister Knapp is halfway done... AHH! Its going by way too fast, but Im loving every moment. And I know these next nine months will be even better!
This week Sister Nascimento and I worked super hard and had more miracles than I can even start to count! We marked baptismal dates with new families and found lots of awesome new people, had TONS of people in church yesterday (Relief Society was so full that three of us had to stand because there was no more room for chairs!!) and so many more great things. :) Here are some of the miracle stories:
First of all, a lady we taught for the first time who when we went to give her the pamphlet of the Restoration said "Hang on, I have that booklet!" She went and brought it to show us and said "I dont know where it came from, but I found it a few days ago sorting through some papers and I wanted to read it." Yeah, no coincidence. Heavenly Father is preparing her and her family to receive the gospel! :)
Adventure of the week: Sister Nascimento and I sang a duet in sacrament meeting yesterday. It turned out pretty well, my favorite part was that we invited all of the people we talked to to this once in a lifetime event and one of our investigator families, JL and S, came to church! (No minor miracle :) ) S even cried during the musical number. (Fun fact, this is the same family who's church meeting we sang in last week.) It was so neat, I couldnt believe that they were actually in church with us. :)
Another miracle of the week (which Carlos asked me to share) was on Saturday, while I was teaching with Hislene, an 18 year old from our ward. Our appointment fell through so we went to visit Carlos and Joires. They said we had arrived at just the right moment because they had been arguing. Carlos had been gone all day and had come home with a big bottle of beer and a box of cigaretes. Carlos insisted he hadnt had any, he had just given into the temptation to buy them and bring them home. I asked Carlos what he intended to do with them and he didnt give a definite reply, he just said that the devil had tempted him. I suggested he throw them out, but he didnt want to. So we just let it go for the moment and studied a chapter in the Book of Mormon, like we do each visit. In the middle of the reading, we asked Carlos if he was understanding and he got up and said "Yes, I know I was tempted but I dont want to give in!" He jumped up and grabbed the beer from the fridge and opened it and asked us to follow him outside, where he dumped thecontents of the entire bottle in the gutter. He then smashed up all the cigaretes and gave them to me as he cried. We bore our testimonies about the Atonement and repentance and forgiveness and before we left he said the most sincere and humble prayer I'd ever heard. Seriously, Carlos and Joires have made so many amazing changes in their lives to live the gospel, and on Sunday when I saw Carlos in church with his white shirt and tie, I felt so happy to know that forgiveness is for everyone. Carlos and Joires thanked us when we left, saying that God had sent us, but I told them that we werent here for ourselves, we were just doing what Christ would do, for it is He whom we represent. Its such a privilege to be a missionary!
I hope you all have a marvelous week! This week we shared Alma 7 a lot, especially the part where it reads that Christ suffered all of our pains and sorrows so He could know perfectly how to succor us. I am so grateful for my Savior!
Muito amor!
Sister Knapp
P.S. The latest variation of my name is "Sister WhatsApp". No clue where that came from, maybe because Knapp and App rhyme? Gotta love it. :)

Fashion... in the mission? :)
Teaching music lessons

Having lunch with wonderful people

Monday, July 20, 2015

Tanlines on tanlines

Oi! Bom dia!
This week was great, as usual. I'm just loving life here in Maranhão! (about the subject, my feet are a mess of stripes due to sandal tanlines, I literally have tanlines on tanlines. Exciting :D )
A neat adventure of the week occured on Wednesday, when we had companion exchanges. I was working in Vila Palmeira (near the center of São Luis) with Sister Maria. We had just left a lesson when we passed a woman sitting in the doorway of her house. She called out to us and asked us which church we were from. We told her that we were missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and she replied "I knew you are women of God because of the way you walk, and you just have a light." She told us a little bit about herself and was super excited when we invited her to go to church on Sunday. She pratically begged us to come back and teach her, and then next day Sister Maria and her companion, SIster Lima da Silva, went and taught her. This lady, Maria (there are lots of Marias here), is amazing! She is super super prepared and is going to be baptized THIS SATURDAY! Woohoo! Miracles are real! :)
Another miracle of the week was in church yesterday, we had tons of less active members! There have been at least 4 that this past month have just shown up at church wanting to come back. I know that miracles are real and that Heavenly Father guides those who are seeking truth!
Now for the music stories of the week: the music lessons are going great! This past week everyone learned how to play a bit of Come Follow Me, understanding the rhythm and notes too, not just playing keys on the piano. Its so so so neat to see the faithful music students learning! :D Also, Sister Nascimento and I went to a worship meeting that a family we are teaching had (the father of the family is a preacher and they have a church in their garage). They kept inviting us to meetings as we invited them to church, so on Saturday we went. They introduced us to the congregation and then asked us to sing a hymn. We werent really prepared, I'm just thankful that I always carry around my pocket hymnbook. We said that we didnt know any of the hymns they sang but we wanted to sing one of our favorites. Sister Nascimento and I sang "I Stand All Amazed" and the Spirit was really strong, one of the preachers even wiped his eyes. I love how powerful music is. 
I'm about out of time, but I wanted to share a quote I found in my studies this week! 
"One of God's greatest gifts to us is the joy of trying again, for no failure ever need be final." - President Thomas S. Monson
I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, that through Him we may find forgiveness of our sins and strength to bear the burdens we face daily. I know He lives!
Have a wonderful week,
Sister Knapp
Can you see the tan lines?

Atlantic Ocean!

Last P-day some members took them to see the beach!
For rain and sunshine, an umbrella is really useful!!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Frango mágico e mais milagres

Oi! Bom Dia!
I hope you all had a marvelous week! This week was full of funny stories and miracles, so Im going to share a few of my favorites:
first of all. the story of O Frango Mágico (the Magic Chicken). On Friday our almoço (lunch, its the main meal in Brazil) fell through, so we cooked and ate at home. As I was hunting through the fridge to find something to eat with rice, I found some frozen chicken that Sister Espinola and I decided to invent a recipe with. While it was in the microwave thawing, Sister Nascimento comes into the kitchen and we asked her if she thought that chicken with tomato and onion sounded good with rice. She asks "Sure, but where are we going to get chicken?" to which I reply, "The microwave!" She sarcastically replied, "Oh, because our microwave magically produces chicken now,right?" Sister Espinola started laughing as I answered "Just open the microwave!" The look of suprise on Sister Nascimento's face was absolutely hilarious, and now we joke that our microwave is magical. :)
Another funny story was on Saturday, we were walking home at the end of the day when a man from a house we were passing shouts at us "IRMÃS! QUEREM BOLO?!" (Sisters! Do you want cake?!" Well, there is nothing like free cake to make missionaries pay attention :) haha Turns out it was a man we had met the day before, his son was having a birthday party, and we were able to teach his family about the Restoration AND eat cake. Best thing ever. :) We are super excited to contine working with this family, J and L! L came to church yesterday and theyre both excited to come next week!!!
We also had many miracles this week! We have a new investigator, D, who is the 14 year old sister of N (the investigator of the other sisters who is going to be baptized next month!). D wanted to learn about the gospel as well and be baptized with her brother. She's wonderful, and we are excited for her baptism on August 1! (last Saturday of the transfer!)
One super neat miracle happened yesterday at church: C, our recent convert, passed the sacrament for the first time. It is such a privilege to see the gospel changing lives. C and J' testimonies are growing every day, and its amazing to see them reading the Book of Mormon, serving in  church, and sharing the gospel with their family and friends. C tells us all the time that his life became 90% better after learning about the restored gospel and the joy that his family is finding is amazing.
I am so grateful to be a missionary and serve with these wonderful people.
Our quest is to find joy, and I know that true joy is found when living the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Muito amor,
Sister Knapp
This is not magic chicken, but a fruit from Bazil that also seems quite magical

Monday, July 6, 2015

Batismo e viajem!

I hope everyone had a lovely Independence Day and a wonderful week! We had many miracles this week, well, its impossible not to see miracles all the time as a missionary!
My favorite first of all: André was baptized on Saturday! Woohoo! He was pretty excited, as was his sister, M. She's no longer the only member in her family, and as she told me on saturday "Now only 4 siblings left!" :) She gave a wonderful talk at André's baptism and was absolutely glowing with happiness, it was so sweet. André was baptized by another André, counselor in the Young Men's presidency, which was super neat. AND now our ward has THREE Andrés so it makes life exciting. (Especially because the third André was one of the witnesses)  :)
Another neat event of the week was the Zone Leader and Sister Training Leader meeting in Teresina. We got to meet our new mission president and his wife, Presidente and Sister Melo. They're wonderful, and I'm super excited to work with them! We had great training on applying and teaching the doctrine of Christ (2 Nephi 31 is the best!) and how to better use the Book of Mormon in our teaching. When we got back on Saturday, we wasted no time in applying the training. :) We taught a woman named M and talked about how the Book of Mormon answers important questions such as "What is my purpose on Earth?" and "Where do I go after I die?" When we said this second question, M practically jumped up and exclaimed "Where DO we go after this life? Do you know? Can you tell me?" We were stunned for a moment, and she added "Im really afraid of death because I dont know what happens." We bore our testimonies that Heavenly Father has a wonderful plan for us, that she could live with her family forever. We gave her a plan of salvation pamphlet, marked 2 Nephi 31 for her to read, and are going back tomorrow to answer her question! It was a neat experience, and I am so grateful to know the answers to these important questions thanks to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ!
Another neat miracle of the week was yesterday at church. It was fast and testimony meeting, and N, an investigator that Sister Espinola and Sister Quespaz are working with who is going to be baptized August 1st, bore his testimony and pretty much everyone cried. He talked about how grateful he was to know that God loves His children and that he prayed a lot to know about the message the missionaries shared. He told us how excited he is to get married on July 31, baptized August 1st, and confirmed August 2nd, and in a year, go to the temple with his wife F and be sealed as a family for time and all eternity. Seriously, being a missionary is the best ever, to see these miracles in the lives of our brothers and sisters!
Have a wonderful week!
Muito amor,
Sister Knapp

With a letter from her Spanish grandma

Whith a baby duck