Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lots of news, including...another Angel!

First thing to say: I am truly shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of Ryan Alder. He was truly one of the best and brightest people I have ever known, and I always looked up to him as a near-perfect example of what a young man should do and should be. In many ways, Ryan has been my role-model throughout a good part of my life. And I am extremely glad to hear about the protection and survival of Kate and their child. I am sure they will be well cared for by their loving and supportive families. Wow, I just... don't know what else to say. My sincerest love and comfort to the Alder family in this time of difficulty.

Secondly, I FOUND ELDER OGDEN AGAIN! Today for preparation day we decided to come to the temple here in Madrid, and he has recently been transferred here to serve as a district leader, so we gave him a call and arranged to be at the temple at the same time. It was a wonderful, refulgent experience to meet him there and share a bit of time together. It felt so complete! I'm so glad for the blessings of the temple and for the blessings of missionary work. I truly felt that my joy was full today. As a matter of fact, he's sitting only a few computers down from me right now, writing his email to HIS family.

The fact that I'm content with where I'm at right now is also helped along by the fact that our area is suddenly doing amazing! Segovia, and I think missionary work in general, is a true rollercoaster. Sometimes people listen and sometimes they don't. Sometimes people follow through on their commitments and sometimes they don't. And, well, in the past couple of days, some people have been listening!!!

First, a man named Alfredo, who has come to sacrament meeting twice already on his own will, has really begun to investigate the Church. He meets with us often and reads all the scriptures and things that we ask him to before every lesson. He's a quieter, more serious, thoughtful person, but he's very interested in the Gospel and he will be blessed. Elder Zollinger and I both feel very good about him and his potential to get baptized.

The other new investigator is a whole subject in himself. His name is Angel, a 50 year old Ecuadorian man with a grown up family of 4 children. He's currently living here in Segovia with his wife and working towards getting a professional truck driver's license so he can work. Oh, and one other thing: HE LOVES AMERICA. And I don't mean a fleeting fancy either, this man is a red-white-and-blue fanatic! At our second meeting he brought in a bag a full size official American Flag and gave it to us as a gift. I don't really know what to do with it so it's currently in our apartment properly folded up and tucked away. Because of his love of the USA, we were afraid that he only wanted to meet with us so much because we're Americans, but he's actually shown a lot of real interest in the message of the restoration as well and has done the reading we've asked him and is on his way to getting a great testimony. We taught them both yesterday, back to back, and got a bit of long-overdue relief! :)

So, things are all butterflies and roses in Segovia right now as we work to keep these two amazing men working towards the goal of baptism and conversion to the Gospel. I thank you all for the prayers that you've offered that have helped me along and kept me working hard even when things weren't looking so great.

Yes, yes, I'll come right out and say that I have put on exactly 10 pounds ever since my entrance into the MTC. So it's mostly still just the MTC food that I haven't worked off yet. I can see it a bit around my neck (I can now make one or two more chins than I used to be able to make when pretending to be a whale or something at the public pool). My companion and I walk all day but I don't think that does a whole lot to burn fat, honestly. The runs we do in the morning are better. And I have been cooking a lot for myself, a lot of chicken and rice, and I make a lot of pure fruit smoothies as well.

Glad to hear that BYU beat that team! I was told by my sports-savvy companion Elder Zollinger that they were in for a hard time against Oklahoma but it looks like the ol' blue and white won the fight!

I'm sorry I've been leaving things out of certain letters to certain people. I'm not doing it on purpose, it's just that I have a rather hard time remembering what I've written to who and who I've written to what and where and when and why! So I'm sorry about that and I hope that parties with unique information that they feel comfortable sharing will come forward and share it so that no one misses anything they don't want to miss.

I sent the tapes last week! I sent one to Kristen and one for the family. I sent them both to Kristen to save on postage so expect those soon! (assuming that they don't disappear forever into the mail system) I've got to go now, but I love you all! Thank you for the news, both good and bad, and know that the Lord knows.

-Elder Knorr