Sunday, October 31, 2010

News about Elder Knorr from a recently returned missionary!

Elder Pedersen, former Assistant to the President, told his mom about some of the missionaries he knew. This is what he said about Elder Knorr.

"Elder Knorr: He sings very well. All the missionaries love Elder Knorr. He's very patient and helpful. He's quick to be patient and nice. Doesn't lose his temper."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fresh Pictures!

Me brushing my teeth

Our district last transfer

A zone leaders meeting (right after we all got stuck in the same elevator)

Me hugging a rock at La Pedriza

The five elders of our piso

Inside the castle wall

The castle and the lake

The lake, and the castle

Elders Bartholomew, Driggs, and León, bundled up against the cold

"band picture"

Me down one of the corridors

Inspecting the armor

A spiral staircase

The castle at sunrise

"I know where I'm going!"

Hello, it's me! Elder Knorr! Writing again to inform all of my general state of well-being.

First, I'll start with the biggest news. I'm going back to Barrio 1! Crazy, eh? I'll be in a trio with Elder Cerro, and Argentinian from the Canary Islands, and Elder Tyndale-Biscoe, a half-British, half-Spaniard new elder who's lived in southern Spain for a good amount of time.
I've been frankly shocked ever since I got the news last night that I would be moving. I wonder what it will be like to go back and work in the very same area that I started in... Knowing what I know now about Spanish and missionary work, I should be able to do more. I can't help but fear, however, that I will regress. I don't know, it's an odd feeling. I guess all I need to do is work hard and trust in God, and everything will work out just fine. I can't help but face this transfer with slightly higher-than-normal apprehension and nerves. Transfers are always weird experiences.

Secondly, OH MY WORD!!!! ISAAC IS ENGAGED?? :O :O :O :O :O :O Crazy! That would be the first of my close friends to be engaged. When I read that, I was once again shocked beyond all reason. I know that my age group is approaching that stage of life, but still... it's a very large shock to hear. Congratulations, bud! Send me an announcement.

Wow, how original, Knorr Family. Another Honda Civic. Wow. Now that's a real shocker. :\ At least you haven't doubled-up on colors yet, but silver, gray, and brownish gray isn't exactly what I'd call a "plethora" of hues.

It's good to hear that people in my family are doing great things. I mean, obviously Megan would rise to greatness, but it's nice to hear that she's already started. I'd like to get a picture of the painting, if possible. And it's good to hear that Ethan's doing well. Yes, finally doing a spook alley! That's been a Knorr Family dream for as long as I can remember, but we never quite went through with it. I guess it just took Ethan's drive and initiative to get it done. Plus, now that we have the strobe light, we have a useful tool that we didn't before, right? I really was floored when I saw the pictures you sent me last week. Both Ethan and Megan look like they've grown up so much! It's crazy. I guess that's what I get for removing myself from the picture for two years, especially as they're both growing so much. But it's good to hear that everyone's doing well.

Today we went to La Pedriza, which is a natural park just north of Madrid. There were a lot of big boulders that we climbed up and down on, and we had a fun time. I really like doing nature hikes as a missionary. It's a good, wholesome change of pace that reminds me of the greatness of nature and God. We also visited a classic castle in Manzanares el Real, situated by a glossy lake at the foot of La Pedriza. I took lots of pictures and we had a good time.

Things are going well. We keep working hard, and doing our best. We found a man named Milton the other day, and the last visit we had with him, we set a baptismal date. He's really good! We will keep working with him and will help him reach his goal of baptism.

I love you all. Thanks for all of the support and love you always show me. I anxiously await the package and all of its goodness. :) Take care.

-Elder Knorr

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Training New Mission Secretary, Elder Driggs

Elder Knorr is doing well here in Alcobendas. Elder Driggs, my new companion, has arrived. We're in a trio now in the office as I train Elder Driggs to do my job. We're not sure exactly how long it's all going to take, but he's a very fast learner so I think he'll be trained and good to go in no time and I'll be OUT OF HERE!!! WOOOO!!!! :D Back to the field, full-time! I've noticed a lot of things that I've been missing as an office elder: the opportunity to cook good meals, working in the mornings, extra language study time, being able to focus 100% on my investigators and my sacred calling, and not have to worry about other things. I also miss being able to walk around all day (as strange as it sounds). The car is comfortable, but I miss being outside.

On the other hand, there will be some things I will miss about the office. It's odd, but I've grown to love all of the missionaries in the mission a lot as I've served them. I've learned that the key to loving someone is to serve them (something I already knew, but something I've re-learned here). I've also liked being at the "center" of everything, being able to be in the middle of the crisis and plans and all of that. I think I'll probably miss all of the business of the office, though I know that was something I complained about before. It's really strange, isn't it? The grass always seems to be greener on the other side. All I know is that I was happy before I came into the office, just doing normal missionary work, and I'll be happy to go back to that. The office has taught me a lot of things.

On a related note, I'll also m
iss the ward and the area. Alcobendas is an incredible place to work. There are so many people! I've learned how to open my mouth and truly talk with as many of them as possible. That's something that I'm going to have to take with me to my next area, for sure. I've also really grown to love a lot of the members here, especially Freencky. He's really one of the missionaries (he goes with us to all kinds of visits). He's a great friend of ours. I'll miss him, and his whole family, a whole lot. Also, there are many other members and families that I've grown to love here that I will miss. That's how it always seems to be, though. I'll miss them, but life must go on and I'm sure that I'll meet more wonderful people. Ah, transfers. Always different, always the same.

[Elder Knorr's family has the following request
s covered, but anyone's always welcome to send packages too.]

I have a few requests for the next package (whatever it may be): Deodorant. I ran out of yankee deodorant (namely Speed Stick Irish Spring Icy Blast, my personal favorite). Without it, I'm once again relegated t
o use the woefully ineffective Spanish brands. I'm going to try buying some different stuff today, but I confess that I seek without faith or hope. I need more good deodorant, for my companion's, my piso-mates', and my investigators' sake. I can survive for a while, but eventually not even I will be able to bear my own stink. Also, I realized that I like yankee candy, but what I really want is a few compacted and rolled-up bags of Honey Bunches of Oats, Lucky Charms, and Peanut Butter Crunch. Maybe even Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Breakfast cereals are of a very limited variety here. Besides that, I just want more pictures of my family.

Now that I'm done being "needy," I'll talk a bit about our current investigators. We found a great, young Peruvian couple a week ago and have taught them twice. They are really interested in learning more. Also, we've found a good handful of other investigators, with varied amounts of real interest and desires. We'll see who accepts our invitations, goes through with their commitments, and comes to church.

I got a letter from my family, including the most recent school pictures of Ethan and Megan. Wow, they look so much older! Especially Ethan, my word! I really enjoyed all of the letters and the nice things that were said. Thanks so much!

I love you all very much, and I'm glad to hear from you and
of you. Take care.

Until next time,

-Elder Knorr

Pictures - Elder Driggs [new mission secretary trainee] and Elder Anderson, sweating it out in the office. Welcome to the jungle, my friend! >:D

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Leaving the Office...and PICTURES!!!

Hello Family and friends! This is Elder Knorr, your favorite Spanish Missionary (and that is now an uncontested title because Elder Ogden is now home).

I'm using a rather dysfunctional computer that has a half-broken space bar, so I'm sorry if this one is shorter than normal. I now relate with the difficulty Mormon experienced as he tried to engrave his words on metal plates. My words will be few, bu
t I will try to make them valuable.

It was a rather good week. We are now making all of the arrangements for transfers. We know who is going where now, which reminds me....I'm leaving the office! Yes, it's wonderful, I'll finally be
out in the normal field again to work as missionaries do. My replacement, Elder Driggs, will be coming from up north to be trained to do my job. I'm looking forward to slipping back into a pure missionary life without having to worry so much about the extra and unique stresses of the office.

We went to Guadalajara early this week in order to ta
ke care of some residency papers. It was a fun road trip. Today, we visited Toledo and got to see the sights, go to some museums, and take some pictures. So it's been a week of traveling and road trips.

About Freencky, he actually got rejected at the airport due to visa issues and they made him fly home. It was good to see that he was still with us, but he's been going through a lot of stress an
d disappointment lately due to that. He loves the United States just as much as we do (he grew up there) and he was really looking forward to getting to go back. Fortunately, he still comes to visits with us, which I'm sure takes his mind off of it to some extent.

The seasons are changing here. As my companion and I ate some nectarines today, we noticed that their quality was waning. Soon it will be time for oranges and the nectarines and peaches will disappear. It's been cold enough for the past few days that we
have been obliged to put on our jackets and long sleeve shirts. It's strange to think that I may never work in just slacks again...

I had the chance to go back to Barrio 4 and Barrio 2 during companion exchanges this week. I worked with Elder Oscanoa in Barrio 4 and introduced him to a bunch of less active members that I had taught during my time there and that he had never met before.
I also had the opportunity to be there for one of Barrio 2's baptisms in the morning. (This is a story of its own.)

I remember several months ago, Elder Benson and I were working in Barrio 2, in the big city of Madrid. We were walking away from a great lesson, after having set a baptismal date with J
osé Alfredo, when we ran into an elderly woman on the street. We introduced ourselves, and she responded well. Her name was Ana María, and she was a Spaniard woman born of German parents. We took her name and number and set up a time to visit. A few days later, I was transferred to the office.

Ana María was baptized last Saturday, and I had the opportunity to be there to witness it!

It has been strange for me to think about
how what to me was nothing more than a brief but good contact in the street that day has now become a baptism. I was not there for any part of her teaching, I did not take her to church or follow up on any of her reading or other commitments, but she was ready for the Gospel and the Lord needed me to find her. He didn't need me to teach her or to commit her, just to find her. Had I not opened my mouth and spoken with Ana María, she never would have gotten to where she is now. This is an example of what one contact can do.

We found some really good investigators t
his week, investigators that had been taught before in the past and had some obstacles, but are now willing and ready to fully accept the Restored Gospel. It's very exciting. They are Beatríz, David, Diana, and Leo.

Well, that's just about all the time I ha
ve. Thanks for all that you do to help me fulfill my calling as a full-time missionary. I'm loving it! Take care, I love you.

-Elder Knorr

(P.S. There is a letter coming soon, and it is just for Mom and Dad.)


Sebastian, Dean and I,
taken when I went to visit Barrio 4

The photographer of Photo 1
Our trip to Toledo today The Cathedral of Toledo
Shackled in the Prison!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Working our Hardest, General Conference Ponderings, Residency Close Calls, and........ PICTURES!!!

Things are going well for me. I've been trying to work in the area as much as possible, despite our office duties. Things have gotten a lot harder in our proselyting. People just seem less and less willing to listen every day. It's a bit discouraging, but we know that we won't ever have success here if we don't keep working our hardest, so... we keep working our hardest! :)

General Conference was very good. Probably my favorite so far up to this point. I was disappointed to have missed Elder Bednar´s
talk in the last session, but I'll get it soon enough. Elder Holland didn't quite fulfill my expectations (I was expecting another explosive talk about angels or the Book of Mormon or about virtue. Instead, I got a "Thanks Talk"). I mean, it wasn't a bad talk at all, but it was a bit of a let down from that hellfire and brimstone streak he was on. I very much enjoyed Elder Oaks' talk about the two lines of communication with God. That answered a lot of questions that I personally had about the relationship between prophets (Priesthood line) and inspiration (personal line). I learned that it's really supposed to be a balance of the two. Neither makes the other one obsolete or unnecessary. It was an eye-opening talk. I also very much enjoyed President Monson's talk on Sunday Morning (Sunday Night for me). It was truly powerful, as was his talk in the Priesthood session. After the talk, I was so moved that I could not deny that he is a Prophet of God. It was a very good one.

We've had a few minor crises with the whole resi
dency issue. Fortunately, everyone's on track now, but it was scary for awhile. We were worried that some wouldn't survive. There needs to be a reform as far as our residency process goes.

Well, that's all that I've got for now. Besides General Conference, it's been a fairly average week. Has Freencky contacted you guys yet? He flew on Monday, I imagine he should be there by now. Let me know if you see him. Actually, take a picture of you all together and send it to me in my
email.Speaking of which, I'll attach some pictures to this one! I love you all, take care!

-Elder Knorr

My companion
Me, Dani and Alfonso, friends and investigators (disregard how fat I apparently am)

Elder Bartholomew tickling Elder León

A sunset
Elder León "meditating"
Freencky, with Farrah his twin sister

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Check Out New Slideshow

Look to the right...

Current Area - Madrid Mission Office

It contains all the pictures he's sent home lately.

Thank you for the kindness and support you've given Elder Knorr on the first 18 months of his mission.