Wednesday, July 1, 2009

4th of July, Familia Mejia and Awesome Elders

Well, this is another packed preparation day, so I won't have very much time to respond to letters, yet again. I'm sorry about that, but I promise that I will do my best to respond to every single one of them, as time and circumstances permit.

Good to hear about everyone's fun little adventures! I've never been to a YW camp (imagine that!) but from what I hear they're fun, spiritually uplifting events. Any kind of camping sounds pretty fun, come to think of it. And a natural gas adventure for the boys? That sounds like a lot of fun as well. Hopefully they don't run out of fuel in the middle of the desert and find themselves up the crick!

I'll bet that you're all wishing you had the old, blue blow-up pool back to cool down. At least that's what I'd want if the weather in Utah is anything like the weather is here in Spain, which people are saying it is. It's hot, hot, hot here! Thank goodness for short-sleeved missionary shirts!

I'm quite excited for the 4th of July. No reason in particular. We won't be having much of any kind of celebration. I just really love and miss the United States of America. All of you Americans reading this, I'm going to tell you right now: Appreciate Your Country. They do things differently here. Good, but differently. Religious freedom is only a little more than 40 years old. The police force here is a bit more heavy-handed, in a lot of aspects. For those of you who have a house, appreciate it, because almost everyone here lives in apartments, and a good number of people have to even share apartments with others because they're too expensive to afford on their own. The unemployment rate is much higher here than it is in the United States. One thing I'm definitely taking away from this mission is a greater appreciation for the little things. So, when this coming 4th of July rolls around, I'll try not to shout "God bless America!" too loudly in the streets (I'm just kidding....). I'm just happy that it's the native land of my upbringing, that's all. On a somewhat unrelated-but-at-the-same-time-related note, I believe today is Canada Day (if my sources are correct). Hooray for Canada too!

I really enjoyed my visit with Elder Ogden. It was just like old times! We spent pretty much all the time we had together just talking about anything that came to mind, and it wasn't all that much time, mind you. Just the time in between coming in for the night and then going to bed. We did, as he said, record a bit of singing on the tape, which still isn't full but it's getting there. The story is the same with the memory card. In 2-3 weeks, I hope to make a CD or two or three with all the pictures from various memory cards that I've had to take them on due to my "unique circumstances." There are a goodly number of pictures, and I think you'll enjoy them.

I really like President and Hermana Farnsworth and it's going to be sad to see them go so soon. They're really good for the work here. We all know, however, that the new mission president will be just as good, and we are all eagerly awaiting and anticipating his arrival.

The work is going on well. Familia Mejia is progressing wonderfully! They've set a goal to all be sealed in the temple! :) We're working with Angel Jr. and the mother of his children Carla so that we can get them legally married. Once that's taken care of, then Carla can be baptized, and a year after that they'll all be able to go to the temple and realize their goal! It will take some time, but I think they have the ganas (tener las ganas=have the desire) and can really do it!

The gospel of Jesus Christ is really all about taking away people's pain, as Jesus Christ would. There's a lot of suffering out in the world right now. A lot of the time we talk to people and they just want to tell us about their lives, which oftentimes are quite difficult. I'm fine with being a sponge that absorbs people's problems. Everyone needs someone to tell things every now and then and I'm here as a representative of Jesus Christ to help them. I really love the people here and I'll help anyone in any way that I can.

In other news, we're working with a couple of other new investigator families and things are going well. We're doing our best to find more investigators to teach. Elder Parry is leaving the mission soon for home (he only has 2 weeks left), but he's doing his best to keep his focus on the mission, and we're having great success!

A little birdie told me that Elder Patrick Ketchum was saying stuff about me... in response to that, I'll just have Sister Ketchum know that her son is already an excellent missionary. I haven't seen him in some time now but I greatly enjoyed the time we were able to spend talking and sharing insights in the CCM. He's very smart, very sincere and very eager to make a difference. I would be a happy missionary if someday in the future I got called to be his companion. In any case, I have no doubts that he has great things ahead of him in the future and I know that the Lord will likely forge him into one of the greatest missionaries this mission has ever seen.

Well, it's about time I hit the dusty trail once again! Keep taking care of yourselves and each other, and be sure to have a spectacular 4th of July!

-Elder Knorr