Sunday, April 3, 2011

Farewell Spain


"Welcome Home" Open House
at the Knorr home
beginning at 7:00 pm on Friday, April 8th

Spread the word, then come and welcome Christopher home!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The last email...

Hello Family and Friends! Thanks for your letters and emails this week. I'm supremely grateful for all the help that you've been to me during my mission. I am truly blessed to know people like you.

Well, what to say, what to say... I'm still working hard, though I feel odd. The baptisms went great! Now the family is all together in the gospel. They're very happy and we're very happy for them!

The next few days we have plans just like normal: work hard, meet with lots of people, do the work of the Lord. Halfway through Saturday, we'll be heading down to Madrid for General Conference. We'll go back Sunday for the rest of it. And then Monday, well, it will have been 2 years since I entered the MTC.

Yes, I am planning on leaving a good amount of clothing here
in Spain. Bringing my two-pant suit home would make about as much sense as bringing home a bag full of garbage. I may or may not leave a pair or two of my shoes. Most of my "white" shirts will be excluded. My black suit is still ok, and my pinstripe is more-or-less ok. Other knickknacks and hygiene products may not make the cut. I have to get everything into 2 suitcases, both of them under 22 kilos (50 pounds). Tough. So far, I'm trying not to think too much about it. There are still other things to do that are more important.

As for the plans, they sound good. I would be fine with either dinner option, but I know that it will be more fun for you guys to eat out, so
we'll do that. You can choose the restaurant. Somewhere that has root beer, please. :)

Wow, so many emotions, so many things I want to say... I feel very blessed that the Lord gave me this opportunity. I can't imagine having gone thr
ough life without this experience to help me learn. I am pleased with the opportunity I've had to watch God work miracles in the lives of his children, and even more pleased that I have been able to participate in making those miracles happen. The future (as always) is uncertain, but I have confidence that, come what may, if I do what God wants me to, things will work out alright. I love you all, and again I thank you sincerely for the ways you've helped me. Take care, and may God bless you.

Till we meet,

-Elder Knorr

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Danna, Paula and Sofia are getting baptized!

Hello everyone!

Thanks for the email, Mom, even if it was basically a wedding schedule for the whole summer. I can't believe how many of the people I know are getting married! Especially in my own family! I mean, Emily, for cryin' out loud! You'll have to forgive me if that still seems like a figment of my imagination, as I have
n't really had to face the reality of any of this yet. But I'm glad everyone's taking this big step in their lives. Very good. I guess I'll get to go to a lot of receptions. Sweet! :)

Anyhow, I'm glad to hear from everyone. Especially you, Ethan! Sounds like there's a bunch of cool stuff going on in your life lately. Taekwondo testing? Awesome! And I might just make it to the launch of "The Magnum." And I've always wanted to memorize all the extra verses of the Star Spangled Banner too.
I'm looking forward to spending some good time with you, Bro. I hope you're up for some adventures!
Just so it's all clear, my current companion's name is Elder T
hurston. He's even taller than Elder Holub was. It's true, it's an ironic twist that my trainer was a short guy and my last companion is very tall. The cycle continues...

I'm sorry to hear about President Christianson's heart attack, but I'm glad to hear that he's doing well and that he plans to finish his time as mission president. President Christianson has helped me in many ways growing
up and deciding to come on the mission. I hope to see him again soon.

Alright, now for news on missionary work:

The biggest news right now is that Danna, Paula and Sofia are getting baptized this Saturday at 6 o'clock in the Villalba chapel. You're all invited! :) They are all very desirous to be baptized and have very good testimonies. It will be a beautiful service, and the young women will be providing the musical number.

Our other investigators are progressing along well, but slowly. We think that setting some clearer goals for their progress will help them resolve their doubts and move towards baptism.

We are also putting a greater focus on passing by members and helping them fulfill their missionary responsibilities. We are sharing with them the inspired promise given by our mission president that if they refer 5 friends to us, at least one of those friends will be baptized. So far, we're coming up against the usual "I've shared the gospel with everyone I know and there's nothing left to
do" excuse, but we're helping them work past that and see that they really do know a lot of people who aren't members of the Church who could benefit from the gospel message. It's a whole new ball game, but I trust that with time, things will begin to open up more.

Another fun note: I'm almost completely out of money. At the end of the mission, we have to answer for our reimbursable 100 euro travel fund. Unfortunately, problems with my reimbursement forms in the past have caused a cash flow dilemma and I've been forced to go very cheap on food thi
s month to come out with those 100 euros. It's been rice and hot dogs for the past week and I'm feeling just fine! :)Well, that's about all that's going on. We keep working hard and enjoying missionary work to its fullest. There are so many people who need the gospel and there's so little time! I'm grateful with all of my soul for the opportunities that the Lord has already given me to share his gospel, and I pray that he gives me a few more yet.

I love you all, thank you for making all of this possible for me.

Take care,

-Elder Knorr

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Onward, Ever Onward!

Hello Family! Thanks for the email. For starters, no, I haven't yet received your package. I'm sure it will arrive soon though, and I look forward to it. Thanks for all of the nice things you've sent me on my mission; they've really helped me work better and more effectively.

It was a good week! Alvaro an
d his family continue to progress. This last Sunday, both parents were working, but his 3 daughters (Danna, Paula, Sofia) got ready for church all on their own, and we went together. This is especially impressive because when I was 13, 12 or 9, I don't know if I'd have been so responsible! They really enjoy church! They're really great and they're progressing along very nicely. As for the other investigators, we're helping them progress and keep their commitments. The hardest part is definitely getting them to come to church where we can worship the Lord together.

Things are going slowly, but we keep working.
As for recent news, we j
ust got done with a 2-almost-3 day exchange with the Barrio 5 zone leaders. I was working down there in Madrid while Elder Cerro took my place in Villalba. We ended the exchange by going to Cercedilla to hike. When we arrived, it was snowing! But we still got out and hiked around a bit and had fun.

As for life after death: anything that can wait till I get home, I'd like it to wait. I want to be able to work these last few weeks as if they were no different from any other three weeks in my mission.

Wow Emily, moving up the wedding to June 4t
h? At least you haven't moved it up to April 4th yet! :)

Other than
that, I'm just doing my best to work hard. Nothing has changed, just the calendar. And thanks for the love and support you all show me.

Till next time,

-Elder Knorr

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

23 months down, a whole eternity to go!

Hey Dad!

First off, I'm glad to hear that your personal scripture studies have been better than normal while I've been a missionary. However, just because that era is ending, it doesn't mean that that needs to end! In fact, if you're willing, I'd like to keep doing morning scripture studies with
you for as long as I'm at home. And Mom, if she wants to or can, and Ethan too, if he's feeling "man" enough. :) The reason for this is that I may feel like I have a strong testimony now, but it if I say I have enough, it will be taken away from me even that which I have. Same story with Spanish, I figure. So, onward and upward spiritually! and we'll have to think of some ways to keep my Spanish up too. Maybe my future career can involve it.

Things are going well in the area. Sadith and his now completely baptized family are progressing very nicely. We are doing our best to help them prepare to enter the temple and be sealed. We have full confidence that they will be able to do it.

As for our other investigators, we've found some new ones with decent potential, and we've had some difficulty with our
old ones. Some families are just going to take some time, while others aren't going anywhere and seem to be losing steam. We're still doing everything we can, and trying to use our time with efficiency.

I got sick yesterday, and had no desires to eat all day. I got very tired, had chills, aches and pains, a headache, and had a few other undesirable symptoms... I was worried that it was a repeat of the sickness I had almost exactly a year ago in Barrio 4 (remember, the one that put me out for almost a week?) but today I feel much better, so I don't think there's anything to worry about for the time being. Still a little weak, but I think that once
I get some good food into my body, I'll be good as new.

I'm sad to hear that the fruitless pear must be chopped down. You know what they say: every tree that bringeth forth not good fruit must be hewn down and cast into the fire. Just as long as you don't cut down the pine tree, we're good, ok? :) But I am curious: why are we going to build a tree fort in a tree that we're just going to chop down?Well, thanks for the email. It was grea
t fun reading it and enjoying it. And I hope everything goes well. Let me know if anyone dies/gets engaged. Till next time,

-Elder Knorr

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The work goes on!

Happy Birthday, Max! Wow, 8 years of puppy love? Where did the time go. Why, it seems only yesterday that Dad brought Max home. He's such a good little puppy...and I'm glad to hear that he still gets a kick out of shredding the egg cartons. He always did love that, didn't he? I wonder if he'll still remember me after all this time. It's sure been a while.

Well, things are going great! You asked for a run-down of our investigators and the work in Villalba, so I decided to write a bit of a summary:

Sadith was baptized as planned this last Sunday. It was a great experience for all those present, including Isaac. Now all 4 members of Sadith's family are members of the church: Sadith, Maritzah, Michelle and Bryan. They're awesome people and I love them a lot. We're all very happy for Sadith and his decision. Now, just one more year and they can be sealed in the temple! :)

We have basically 3 other families that we're working with at the moment. Diana and Daniel, and their kids Michelle and Daniel. They're good. Daniel Sr. avoids us a lot and doesn't have interest like the other three. Also, Diana's father, Jose Maria, is interested in learning more and coming to church, so we're working with him too. Their current challenge is that they're not coming to church like they should be... it's a bit discouraging but we will keep working with them.

Alvaro, Lani and their family are doing well. They're th
e ones with 3 baptism-age daughters. They came to church last week and the daughters just LOVED it! We need to help Alvaro just as much as his daughters, but all in all it was a smashing success getting them all to church. Our visits are falling through too often with them and that's a little frustrating.

Our third family, Maria and her kids, is doing well. She is the most reliable of the three but has been sick lately and thus incapable of meeting or coming to church. She has come once, however, and is a good inve
stigator. We're helping her work through her problems so as to help her young family.

Then there's a good group of young people who have been referred by their friends to investigate the church. Alejandro, Fabiola, and Raquel (youth from the ward) have all invited friends to learn more about the church. All of their friends are good, have interes
t, and many of them are coming to church. It's a very nice trend that we're seeing.

Then there's Isaac
[who is hearing-impaired]. We are moving slowly but surely to help him understand basic principles of the gospel, such as faith, prayer and the need for baptism and repentance. The other day, I spent about 10 minutes just on repentance and what the word means. It's a whole new challenge.

Well, that's more or less what's going on right now. I'm loving missionary work and sucking all of the enjoyment out of it that
I can. I thank you all for your concern, love, and prayers on my behalf. I will continue to do my best to help others and keep the flame alive.

Till next time, your missionary son/brother/friend,

-Elder Knorr

Elders Barlow, Thurston and Knorr

Snow White's wishing well?