Monday, October 26, 2015

Um ano de missão e conferência!

Yet again, this week has been crazy awesome and miraculous! First of
all, transfers: Sister Reis and I are staying another transfer
together in Parnaíba! AND Sister Robins and Sister Lockhart too!!!
Which is wonderful, because I love those sisters!
This past week I hit my year mark, officially old in the mission now.
I cant believe how fast time is flying! I was able to celebrate my
year mark with MISSION CONFERENCE, where we traveled to Teresina and
were able to have a conference with Elder Marcos Aidukaitis which was
wonderful and super spiritual! We left feeling very repented and
wanting to share the Book of Mormon with every living soul on the
Earth even more than usual :)
Funny story of the week: yesterday we had lunch with Presidente Rocha
(our branch president) and his wife Nalda, who are super great. Pres.
Rocha teased us that we were going to eat chameleon because he had
climbed the cashew tree to get one just for us to eat. :) Lunch was
delicious and even though we ate chicken, we said that it was
chameleon. Example "Sister Reis, would you please pass the chameleon?"
and "Irmã Nalda, this chameleon is wonderful!" :) I didnt get to eat
any lizard creature this week though, but I did eat chicken heart so
thats interesting-ish!
Miracles of the week: B and J are progressing so much! They loved
church yesterday and told us that they are excited to come every week
and to all the activities. :) Our big miracle of the week was a SUPER
AMAZING FAMILY that we found and have started to teach. Their names
are F and F, and they have the cutest daughter, B, who is 2 and talks more 
than any other kid I've met. They loved
the message of the Restoration and the dad gets up early to read the
Book of Mormon! So excited to teach them more and help them progress
to baptism and having an eternal Family!!
This week I've been finishing up the Book of Mormon, which has taken
me forever to read in Portuguese, and I've been reflecting on how much
Ive come to love and appreciate this magnificente book in this past
year. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God because as I
study and apply what I learn, I come to better know my Savior and find
answers for my specific questions and struggles. The promise that it
contains, that EVERY person who reads, ponders, and asks God can KNOW
by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true. I'm so
grateful that our loving Heavenly Father gives us scriptures like the
Bible and the Book of Mormon and the words of modern prophets to guide
us on our path to return to Him.
Have a wonderful week!
Muito amor,
Sister Knapp

Monday, October 19, 2015

A semana voou! (Como o morcego!)

This week FLEW by! (like our apartment bat, we havent seen him anymore but the bats live in the trees outside our window and make their bat sounds all night. They send greetings. :) )
Anyway our biggest miracle of the week are two of our progressing investigators, Bia and José. They are SO awesome! They have quit drinking coffee and alcohol no prob, their challenge was with smoking. They smoked a pack of cigaretes (I totally forgot how to spell that) but when we taught the plan of salvation and the word of wisdom and made a plan of conversion with them, they decided to go from smoking 20ish a day to THREE! ANd they're keeping with their goal! The coolest part is they tell us every day that they dont even feel the desire to smoke much! They are so excited to come to church (they went once and loved it) and work towards baptism. Its amazing to see the changes theyre making and the results. We were Reading Alma 5 with them yesterday and talking about the "mighty change of heart" and they said "Thats us!" :) They thank us every day for bringing Peace to their house and every time that someone comes to the door during our lessons, José Always says "No, not now, the servants of God are here and we are listening to them." :)
Funny story of the week: on saturday the 4 of us (Sister Robins, Lockhart, Reis and I) went to clean the church and we ran there. As we were running we received these three diferente comments: some guy shouting "1, 2, 1, 2!", another guy shouting in English " LETS GO!" and another guy shouting "Women, stop running!" haha It was quite funny, people here dont jog or run apparently.
And another funny story/miracle: we called our district president, Pres. Santos, to confirm a visit with him and his wife. When we called, he had his phone on speaker and a friend with him. After the phone call, he commented to his friend that we were missionaries. The friend said, ""Yes, I could tell that the one who was speaking is from São Paulo." (which is funny because it wasnt Sister Reis who spoke, it was me) and he didnt believe it when Pres Santos said I was American! Pres Santos told me story and I told him that he should invite his friend to church to meet me and see that I really am American. ANd the best part is his friend came yesterday!!! :D He stayed for all of church too, and loved it! And is still thinking that Im Brazillian :)
The spiritual thought today comes from Ether in the Book of Mormon. Im studying the part where the Jaredites are crossing the Waters and Heavenly Father protects them from the storms. Likewise in our lives we have big storms and waves and sometimes are in the depths of the sea, but we dont have to fear because God is sending those waves to help us reach our promissed land.
Muito amor,
Sister Knapp

P.S. Today is the day of Piauí, the state Im in. Eu AMO PIAUÌ! :) Fun fact

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Milagres e murcegos

This email is a day late due to yesterday being a holiday and all the lanhouses being closed. This week has been pretty awesome, as usual, because Parnaíba (in fact, all of the Brazil Teresina Mission) is the best. :) We had lots of miracles finding people, Im going to choose a few of my favorite stories to tell. First of all, our biggest miracle of the week is our less active member family who is COMING BACK TO CHURCH! Woohoo! They've come the past two weeks and are so excited to work with the branch, espeically with us missionaries! The sister, Lorena, is our superhero of the week, she's come with us to teach lessons on FOUR different days in one week AND they gave us lunch on Sunday. They're awesome :) Anyway, the first day Lorena went with us on splits she stayed with me and we were walking past a fancy house by the church when I felt strongly to knock on the door (which we had already knocked on with no success in the past.) I ignored it for like 3 seconds and then said "Wait, Lorena, we need to go back." So we did, but there was no doorbell and the door was the kind you wouldnt hear the knock. So I said out loud "Okay, Heavenly Father, what do I do?" and I looked through the fence and made eye contact with the gardener, who after talking a bit was super receptive and turned into our newest investigator! :) Another cool experience was while we were on the bridge over the river (where it is super windy) we helped a lady with a bunch of groceries and a two year old son, and she super willingly invited us to teach her. And today we passed an adorable lamb and we asked if we could take a picture (because sisters are all about taking pictures with cute animals) and when I gave the owner of the lamb the Restoration pamphlet she LOVED it because the cover has a picture of Jesus Christ holding a lamb. :D
A funny but not so awesome story of the week is that all of us sisters now have a  new phobia: bats. A GIANT bat somehow got in our apartment and when we saw it we may or may not have all ran screaming and jumped onto the safe-ish shelter of my bed (because its the lower bunk) in order to escabe the bat. In the midst of our laughter and fear we decided we needed to somehow get the bat out of the house and we decided the best method was prayer because no way were any of us going to chase a bat with a broom (I know its Halloween but come on.) So Sister Robins said a powerful prayer and we are not sure where the bat went but it disappeared. Moral of the story: bats are scary and prayer really works. :) 
Scripture of the week is 2 Corinthians 5:7 -- For we walk by faith, not by sight. Yesterday we taught a SUPER POWERFUL SPIRITUAL lesson to Luzilene and she asked an awesome question: Why isnt Christ on the earth with us if He lives? This scripture immediately came to mind. Im so grateful to know that we need to develop our faith every day, and that our faith works miracles.
Have a wonderful week! Dont forget to ponderize!
SIster Knapp

Monday, October 5, 2015

Conference Weekend!

I hope that everyone had the opportunity to enjoy conference this weekend, because seriously, General Conference is one of the best times of the year! I had the opportunity to watch it at our church with the rest of District Parnaíba (4 branches) and there were lots of people! When we sang the congregation hymns I had a hard time deciding whether to sing in English or in Portuguese so I would trade off between the verses and everyone around me laughed. :) 
Funny/awkward culture story of the week: so this week in Parnaíba was a big Catholic festival of São Francisco. As part of the celebration, many people wear brown clothes. I didnt know that fact when I bought a new dress for Conference which happened to be brown. Sunday morning (the biggest day of the festival) I wore my new brown dress without giving much thought to the fact that brown was the color of the festival. Yeah so.... It was rather funny as we talked to people in the streets because they would look at my name tag and then my dress and you could see their minds wondering whether to believe that I was really a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or to assume that I was participating in the festival.... Oops haha Lesson learned: never underestimate what message the color of your clothes say. :)
Thought of the week comes from Elder Robert D. Hales' talk this conference: "If we are here for the Lord, He will be here for us." I know that this is true! Every prayer we say is heard and our Heavenly Father is always reaching out to us, His beloved children.
Have a great week!
Muito amor,
Sister Knapp