Monday, August 25, 2014

Week 7: Tudo dreito? The City of Champions

So. I'm in Brockton, Massachusetts! Elder Friebe is actually in Brockton too, so he's still in my district, which has been pretty fun. My trainer is Sister Melo, who's from Brazil but grew up in Utah, mostly Spanish Fork! But she got there way after we did. She's awesome and super sweet. We live with 2 other sisters, Sister Belchoir and Lowenthal. I don't have a pic of all 4 of us, but I'll get one. I'm trying to attach one of me and sister Melo.

I'm way excited to be here. Most of the people here are from Cape Verde, which makes them the Portuguese population. But get this: they speak creole. Which means that I need to learn not just Portuguese, but CREOLE. I already don't have a good enough handle on Portuguese! But it's okay, I've learned a few basic words/phrases, and I know for sure that the Lord will help me and the gift of tongues is real. I have a hard time understanding people when they talk, but I'm trying my best.

In Brockton, there are 4 sisters and 5 (almost 4, one is being transferred tomorrow) elders. There's just that much work to do! I really like our district. Everyone except me and elder Friebe and the elder who's leaving are native speakers, sooooo yep. We play soccer together MWF mornings, and this morning I got 2 goals! Beat that! Just kidding. But I really did make those goals, and I'm pretty proud of that, not gonna lie. We have a car that all 4 sisters share, but a lot of times we end up walking, because Brockton is pretty small. I like walking though, because that means we street contact! I'm learning to love it, mostly because the people here are so open to the gospel, so we get a lot of great contacts. Apparently, though, people have commitment issues, which I've started to see... we had 5 or so people say they'd come to church, but none of them showed. Oh well. I have faith! The Lord's work will continue on. But Brockton is a little scary at night, since we are definitely in the ghetto, so we usually go home a little early, just to be safe. Don't worry too much though--the worst that happened this week is some random guy hit on me by telling a little kid to come say his friend liked me. And I think we talked to some people who were drinking... but it's all good! Tudo bem! Or, in creole, Tudo dreito. It will be interesting to see what will happen if I'm here during winter when it gets dark at 4pm.. I know the Lord will protect me, as long as I don't do dumb things. And I'm always with my companion, no worries. :)

The day we got here to the MBM, we got off the plane and Sister Packard picked us up at the airport. Pres. Packard would have come to pick us up but he was swamped with interviews. It's okay, though, because we drove to the chapel in Westbridgewater (one word? who knows...) and met him there. He is really such a cool guy, and I've learned A TON from him so far. That's also where I met Sister Melo and the elders found out where they'd be going (Sis. Packard told me while we were driving there... Brockton's about an hour or so from Boston?). I had my interview with Pres. Packard, ate pizza, and just went straight to my apartment with my trainer that night! We did come in the middle of a transfer, so we had an unusual entrance, so to speak.
Which is why the next day, we went up to Belmont, where the temple is (try to find pictures of the chapel there, it's so cool!!) for "Return and Report". All the other greenies have been here for 3 weeks, so it was mostly for them, but we were asked to go too. It was pretty great, but I was pretty exhausted. I learned a lot, though! Afterwards, we went to do a session in the Boston temple. And it is so beautiful! I love it.

Ahhh running out of time. But. I am really learning how the Spirit is essential when we teach. But also that the church is DEFINITELY TRUE. Last night we were in a lesson with an investigator, Eugenia (pray for her to receive an answer please!!), and I had such a difficult time speaking. So I bore my testimony about how I know that I am here and trying to learn Portuguese/creole because God wants me to be, and because the church is true. There honestly is no way I would do this if I didn't know that it was true. The Spirit was so strong in that lesson, and hopefully she will receive her answer that this is true soon.

I'm learning to love the people here, and I am doing my very best to do the Lord's work. Brockton is called the Promised Land here in the mission, and I am seeing that it is true! There is a lot of work to do, but it's good. Sometimes lessons are in English, some in Portuguese/creole. But tudo dreito, I love it here. I love being a missionary and actually going and helping people hear the gospel! It's an amazing feeling.
Love you tons, my time's up, but I hope to hear from all of you soon! Please send letters :)

Sister Knutti
This temple is beautiful, I would consider getting married here. But, unlike Elizabeth, I won't get married for a long while.

With Sister Melo at the temple

Elders Rodrigues and Friebe at the temple

At the Boston temple my second day here, and with Sister Melo!

 with Sister Lowenthal this time! Love her. The other sisters eat healthy, but we bought ice cream today sooooo we connect on many levels.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

MTC Week 6: One Day Moreeeeeeeee

The title this week is to be sung in the loudest voice possible, as is Les Mis style. (Rachel wrote this on Monday, 8/18)

Well family, this is it. Tomorrow morning at o'dark thirty I leave to head to the airport to go to Boston! I should be calling between my time of 7:30 and 9, or 9:30 and 11. AND THIS IS IMPORTANT: I got a calling card. If you do not pick up the first time, it counts as a call and basically that means I have less minutes to use to call you. So please please please pick up right away, it makes things easier. And if I call dad and home separately, I need to split the time a little, so that might be a bit of a struggle. But I'll make it happen.

A few quick things about this week since I'm almost out of time and I'll talk to you all tomorrow anyways:

-I saw Bro. Jewkes on Wednesday!! He was in the cafeteria so I stalked him a little until he sat down, then I went to go talk to him! That was pretty cool. He got a picture of us and promised to send it to you, so ask him about it if he hasn't.

-Spencer: I will sing Happy birthday to you tomorrow. Be prepared. I'm glad it's sounds like you had a fun birthday! Also. We got your cookies. And they are so good. Sister Wood said, and I quote: "Spencer, you freaking rock." She would like the recipe, so if you send it to me I will send it to her. They were pretty much the best cookies ever.

-Jenny Oaks Baker spoke at the devotional last night! That was way cool, especially because she performed like 5 songs too. She's ridiculously good. Definitely a good devotional to end on.

-I had a new companion this week! Go figure. She's a Brazil visa-waiter, so she kinda got lumped with us. I love her though, she's so awesome. Her name is Sister Schwendinger (say that 5 times fast), and she's from San Diego or thereabouts. I'll attach a picture of all 4 of us, since we stuck together mostly. I leave her tomorrow, but 4 new sisters will come in, so all will be well.

-Irmão Nothum told me today that I have the most fun name to say out of all the missionaries he's ever taught, and that's out of maybe 180, since we're his last district. You say it Ka-noo-chi, so it sounds Japanese, but it's really Swiss! Go figure. So. I consider that a win.

-The elders gave my companions and I blessings today, and it was so amazing. I am so so so grateful for worthy Priesthood holders, and that these elders who I consider my friends were able and willing to give us beautiful blessings before we go out into the field. The church is true, the Priesthood is amazing, and I know that Heavenly Father loves me and each one of us SO MUCH.

I have learned so much at the MTC. I'm sorry my time is short; if it wasn't quite so short, I'd write even more about what I've learned. But here is one of the things I've learned/discovered that is most important to me and my mission: Sister Wood said one time that she wants leaving her mission to break her heart. And I agree. I want to love the people so much, love the Lord's work so much, and have done my very very best so that I will leave with my heart breaking, but no regrets. This work is so important, and I need to work my brains out in Boston to help people come unto Christ. And that'll start tomorrow!! Finally!

I love you, I'll talk to you more tomorrow, and I'll send some pictures in just a few minutes. A igreja é verdadeira!

Sister Knutti

P.S. I'm like 95% done packing, which means I'll be done before my comps, so you should be way proud of me for that. Also, no overweight baggage. I'm improving!
Rachel with John Jewkes, one of our favorite people in the world.  He teaches Institute at the University of Utah and the MTC once a month

Our district with Irmão Lemperle and Nothum. Lemperle is the really tan one in the classroom.

I love our teachers, they're super great. I'll miss them, but I've definitely learned a TON from both of them!

We're awkward. We're missionaries. It's okay.

All four of us! Sis. S is on the right. She's way cute, and I'm sad to leave her

Me and Sister Schwendinger!

Our entire zone!

The departing missionaries, or, we could say, the "veterans", the "originals", the "best". You choose.

Sister Larson's Plan of Missionaries. It may not be 100% true, but I enjoy it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

MTC Week 5: Everything is awesome! Everything is cool when you're on the Lord's team!

Yes, I did think of that heading myself. I'm quite proud of it. 

First. TRAVEL PLANS!!! I got them on Friday. Elders Friebe and Rodrigues and I are flying out to Boston Tuesday morning, August 19!!! It's a straight flight, so that's way nice. We'll be getting there right smack dab in the middle of a transfer, Sister Asay told me so, so that will be interesting to see how it all works out (Rachel's childhood friend is serving in the Boston mission). But I'm way excited. Also, this means I should have Pday on Monday before I go. Be aware. 

I will likely call home between 8 and 9 am my time, so 10 and 11 yours. I'm not 100% sure how crazy it will be, but I'm just planning on buying a calling card at the bookstore and using the payphones. That should work just fine. Hopefully it will help that there are only the 3 of us on our flight. 

Thank you for your emails, I really really love hearing about what's going on! Sorry I get a little antsy about it. Letters mean 100x more than you think they do here.

Also, Sister Mancuso and I will perform our musical number! Thursday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY SPENCER JOHN I LOVE YOU AND WILL SING YOU HAPPY BIRTHDAY IN PORTUGUESE ON THE PHONE. BE PREPARED. IT'S AWESOME.) the 14th, we'll skip out on 10 minutes of in-field orientation to go perform at the Senior Missionary Zone Conference. I'm excited! I think we'll probably also do it in sacrament meeting for our branch on Sunday. It's way pretty.

I saw my Book of Mormon teacher, Brother Merrill, on Sunday, and he remembered me. So that was awesome. 

I realized yesterday that I have learned essentially the equivalent of 5 years of french grammar in 5 weeks. How's that for learning a language fast? This past week we learned subjunctive and command form and past participle and past subjunctive and conditional, not to mention preterit and imperfect and one word future and two word future and present. But I'm really loving it. I'm getting to the point where I understand almost all Portuguese I hear (at least in the MTC haha, that could be different in the field), and I can speak decently. I've got a lot a lot of work to do, but I'm excited. I really love Portuguese, even though I literally cannot speak any French anymore. Sister Larson and I lament over that from time to time. Alas. C'est la vie. 

Last week we decided to write on the white board all the words we know (see picture below), and it ended up being really cool! We tried to do all the words we could think of without looking at anything, and we got a lot. Still far from fluent, but it was a neat visual.

Let's talk the Gospel.

Yesterday night, Irmão Nothum taught us a lot about the Holy Ghost. Meaning that we kind of taught ourselves, haha. But it was so good. First, we wrote down specific times that we really felt the Spirit, the situation, what happened, how we felt, and what we did. Wow. That was powerful. I remembered when I got my answer to come on my mission, when I received a confirmation that I was still supposed to after my papers were delayed, Pres. Uchtdorf's April 2014 talk, a talk someone gave in my Sparks ward about relationships (just roll with it haha don't worry about it), the time when I felt so down about Portuguese, and when I read Moses 5:5-7. There are definitely more times than that, but what I noticed is that whenever I really feel the Spirit, I know for sure that it is the Spirit and that I have received an answer. That was neat. Think about those times in your life, and try to recognize how the Spirit speaks to you. It's different for every person. 

We also studied a lot of scriptures about the Spirit. These are the ones that stuck out to me: 1 Nephi 22:2 (look up prophets in the Bible Dictionary), Alma 17:3, Alma 8:10 (really study "wrestle"), Ether 4:11, and 2 Nephi 32:1-2 (tongue of angels). So many neat things. O evangelho é verdadeiro!

AH no time! But I have so much left to tell you. Okay, next week I'll send a picture of my notes from this past Sunday's devotional. So good. I can't type it all up. But here's a snipet: 

God is ABSOLUTELY there!

When did you come to know God? How did that happen? (Watch the New Mormon Message about Todd Sylvester. So good)

As missionaries, we invite people to come to Christ, but that doesn't mean that they will come. They have to accept the message, receive it, come of their own accord. 

No one stumbles accidentally on the Church, the BoM, nothing. God has a hand in everything.

Also, we watched the Testaments on Sunday night. It was a little cheesy this time around, but still good. I think it's most important to note the influence believing in Christ had on the people, especially at the end. The Spirit definitely testifies of Him.

Quick funny story--during the movie, Jacob is flirting with the girl. She says "You didn't ask my name." He says "I know your name." And all the missionaries in the room freaked out, it was so funny. Everyone was laughing like that was the funniest thing that has happened. You end up laughing a lot in the MTC, because sometimes there is nothing else you can do. Anyways, everyone stopped laughing and just as they did so, Sister Wood burst out laughing, since, of course, it was the funniest thing that happened (it wasn't). But THAT was really funny, and everyone else was so confused, our zone cracked up, and Sister Larson was so embarrassed. Maybe you had to be there. We enjoyed it though.

I know with all my heart that God is there. Trust Him. He loves you. From many experiences in the past 7 months or so, I have learned that He is there. He has a plan for you, and sometimes that won't go the way you think or want. But it's okay. He knows what He's doing.  When you've got nothing else, He'll always be there. I know it. Eu sei que Deus é real e Ele nos ama muito.

Eu amo vocês!!

Muitos abraçoes,

Sister Knutti 

(that was supposed to mean hugs. hopefully it did.)

Love these companions!

 Elder Roberts discovered that you need to actually open the scriptures in order to gain anything from them. And apparently they aren't a good pillow.

Elder Coutu (Poland), me, and Elder Woodward (Russia)! We were good friends at BYU. 

A good ole "we're missionaries so I can't touch you and my companion has to be in the picture" picture

Elders Selfie/Groupie

Trying paper bag curls

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

MTC Week 4: 1 Month Down, 17 More to Go!

Eu não recebi nuncas cartas esta semana. Exceto de Arissa: obrigada!! Mas família, eu quero que vocês enviem as cartas... 

Eu vocês amo nonetheless. Tudo bem.

Thank you for all the pictures! I loved them. Even the coonskin hats... although that one was just a little frightening. I may not reply to every letter or picture or whatever, but I love getting them. Also, I'm pretty sure we only have time to write letters on pdays, so sorry for any delays. 

Two weeks from today, I should be flying out to Boston! Hurray!! I think we should be getting travel plans this Friday or so, so I'll let y'all know when that happens. And this week we learned a LOT of grammar in Portuguese, which probably puts us at the equivalent of 2 - 2 1/2 years of French in school. We know the imperfect, preterit, and we started the subjuctive. So the gift of tongues has got to be real, because there's no way you could learn a language so fast. A igreja é verdadeira!

I'm just gonna jump right in. Last Tuesday, we went with two other sisters in the zone (in the picture below, sis. Macuso and Lacey, from left to right) to the temple, including going to the cafeteria for lunch just so we could eat food somewhere other than the MTC cafeteria. It was pretty much the same food, but fancier silverware. We decided on initiatories for the day, and it was pretty great. They let us change and go up to the celestial room for a few minutes too, so that was awesome. Today we're planning on doing the session, e eu estou pompado. (Irmão Lemperle made that word up = pumped. we use it cada dia.) Eu amo o templo:)

So my week consisted of a lot of portuguese, as you can imagine. On Friday, we were doing personal study, and I was reading about Adam and Eve in Moses (Pearl of Great Price). In Moses 5, verses maybe 13-15? (it should be easy to find...), it talks about how Adam was told to do animal sacrifices to the Lord. It specifically says "Adam was obedient". So a few days later, an angel comes to Adam and asks why he's doing these sacrifices. Adam says "I don't know, but the Lord told me to do so." And the angel's like "Perfect! This is why: the sacrifices represent Christ's Atonement" and goes on to explain it a little further. This was really interesting to me, and it hit me pretty hard. A lot a lot a lot of people ask me why I decided to serve a mission, so I usually tell them how I got my answer, and that usually suffices. But I honestly have said that I'm not quite sure sometimes why I'm on my mission, other than I know that the Lord wants me to be. SO. When I read this passage of scripture, I realized that it is an answer to some prayers I have asked--the Lord wants me to be obedient. It may take a while, but sometime in the future, I will understand the "why" for my mission. For now, though, knowing the Lord wants me to will suffice. And I'll work hard and do my best throughout my mission. Obedience brings blessings!! You should all go look up those scriptures and really think about them. As a missionary, I invite you to think of something you do in life where you are obedient to the Lord, even if you don't know why. And pray to be okay with not knowing for now. It will all come in His time. 

Oh yeah, last Tuesday's devotional was given by John H Groberg, the guy who the "Other Side of Heaven" is based on. So that was cool. He showed some clips from the movie, and I obviously must see it when I get home. Or before? I have no idea if that one's allowed or not. Anyways, he talked about how we bear testimony through what we say, write, sing, do, prayer, and who we are. Think about how you bear testimony--we should be constantly bearing testimony, and we should always show our faith.

Thursday (sorry this is way mixed up... hahah you can edit it around to make more sense if you want) I auditioned with Sis. Mancuso for one of the musical numbers they have in devotionals and stuff. I played piano, she sang. Because she's amazing. So. Anyways, we auditioned in front of Sis. Nally and Hacking, the MTC president's wife and counselor's wife, and they put us down for a yes! That means that if they have a spot, they'll let us know when they want us to perform. Which is exciting. We'll see... I hope we do though. We aren't guaranteed a performance, just because so many people are so good. I'll let you know if it happens.

Sunday. It was Fast Sunday, which proved to be easier than I expected. That didn't stop me from eating two bowls of ice cream at dinner. Hey, Elder Roberts had 4, so 2 ain't bad. But the whole day was really great! During testimony meeting, I bore my testimony--crying all the way along, as I do--and later we had a 2-hr mission conference, which is like stake conference. Much Spirit. Very good. Wow. After we walked around the temple, our district sat in our classroom to watch mormon messages--there's a new one that just came out, and it's way good, so go look it up--and some talks. We watched Brad Wilcox's "His Grace is Sufficient". Go watch that one again. SO GOOD. It reminded me too how much I loved having him as my Mission Prep professor. He's just the best guy. Christ's grace is sufficient. Isn't that amazing?? That night, the BYU President gave the devotional about teaching with power and authority. We as missionaries have authority through our calling--from the prophet of the Lord!--but we get power from keeping our covenants. Think on that for a while. After the devotional, they show church films, and this week they had the Joseph Smith movie in Portuguese, so we were like "hey! We almost know Portuguese! Let's ask if they have subtitles." So we went to that room and watched the movie. Without subtitles. I understood maybe 1/3 of the words, mainly Deus and Jesus Cristo, but I got the gist of it. But what really struck me from that and this whole weekend for some reason is that I REALLY KNOW that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I just know it. See the story below.... Anyways, I was bawling by the end of the movie, since they show Carthage and everything. I feel like watching it was a little more powerful now that I've been to Carthage. It's really such a powerful movie. 

Story time: yesterday, we were teaching our "less-active" Guilherme (our sub for the week, Irmão Staples). Last time we taught him, he told us he doesn't understand the necessity of prophets now, since the prophets before Christ testified of Christ, and then Christ came. So we prepared this long and kind of confusing lesson about the prophets and the priesthood. When we got in to teach him, we started talking a little about the priesthood and how important it is. Then he asked how we know that Joseph Smith is a prophet and how there are others on the earth now. Sis Larson and I both started to respond, but she let me have it. And oh, the Spirit was so strong. I almost cried like 4 times. But I said that I KNOW Joseph Smith is a prophet because of a couple of things--first, the Book of Mormon. I have read it multiple times and I know that it is true and it is the word of God, so because Joseph Smith translated it, he's a prophet. Also, I've prayed about it. And I just know. I realized during the devotional on Sunday that because of this one boy who was only 14 when he said "vi dois Personagens, cujo esplendor e glória desafiam qualquer descrição.... Um deles... disse... Este é meu Filho Amado. Ouve-o." Because of him, there are 83,000 missionaries in the world, 15 million members of the church, and one gospel truth restored. Obviously, he had a TON of help from Heavenly Father, but that just goes to show that he's a prophet. It's all true. When I bore my testimony in that lesson, I felt the Spirit maybe stronger than I ever have yet in the MTC, and that's saying something. It was so amazing. A IGREJA É VERDADEIRA! 

Well family, I'm a little short on time, and I've got places to go, more people to write... Pdays are crazy. But I love it. I love the church, I love being a missionary, I love Portuguese, I love my Heavenly Father, I love Jesus Christ, and I know that They love each of us, each of you. Have a good week this week, try to find ways to bear your testimonies. And know that I have one. Otherwise I wouldn't be here. I may not know a lot of Portuguese, but I know that our message is true, and I am willing to use all the knowledge that I have to help others find their way to Christ. Thank you for the emails, even if I don't reply to all of them this week, I will soon!!! And I love love love letters so those are definitely appreciated. :) Hurrah for Israel!

Com muito amor, 

Sister Knutti

PS Because it's a sacred calling, we are indeed called Sister, not Irmã. I didn't know that before. 

Also, the main campus is better than the west. So don't listen to Elder Wilhelm. He obviously is getting a little out of his mind due to the Spanish. ;) I'm mostly kidding. Mostly. 

Sister Lacey got cinnamon rolls, so she shared!

Drawings of each other...

Friday, August 1, 2014

MTC Week 3--Halfway Through???

Well hey there family and friends! This week marks the halfway point at the MTC and it is freaking me out. Like really. I'm going to be in Boston in 3 weeks. Sometimes I wish I could just go there now, but I still have way too much to learn haha.

Sorry this will be so crazy, but here we go: Thank you for the cookies, kiddos! My companions and I loved them. We still have some to eat, mostly because they're all crumbs. But they still taste delicious! And I really enjoyed Superman, Ryan, thank you. Also, my friend Betsy from ASL class sent me cupcakes! If you're reading this, Betsy, thank you thank you thank you. Next time I see you I'm gonna give you a big hug (since she works at the MTC, I've seen her a bunch haha).

So. I had a few hard days last week, just realizing how little I now in Portuguese, especially compared with what I want to know. My little slump lasted 2-3 days, where I just  was so frustrated, but during TRC (see below) I bore my testimony with as much sincerity and gusto as I could muster, and that helped a lot! I think it brought the Spirit, and everyone could feel it. After that, I got out of the slump. Even though I still have just a bucketload to learn, it's okay. I may not be able to converse with people right now, but if I can testify, it will work out. A igreja é verdadaira! And if I do my best, Heavenly Father will help me. And my best is enough. Sometimes I get frustrated because I feel like I don't have enough time to study, especially language--we have class for 6 hours every day, plus we're teaching 2 investigators now, so time is cramped--but as long as I do my best, all will be well.

TRC is basically when we sit and talk with members (in Portuguese.... most of them served missions in Brazil or wherever) about the gospel and their lives. We essentially can't "mess them up", because they are already members! That's nice, haha. We bear testimony and we're supposed to invite them to do something like pray or share their testimony with someone else, but we totally forgot. Whoops.

With our lessons, I have learned that I really love teaching about the Restoration! It brings the Spirit really strongly. The best was yesterday--we taught Jamieson, the one who wants to believe in God but doesn't, and Sister Wood recited it (our whole district now has the First Vision memorized in Portuguese, which I think is really cool.) and the Spirit was SO STRONG. I just know that it's all true. 

Honestly, lately I've been focusing on whether my testimony is strong enough. And it could be stronger, for sure, but I've really figured out that because I have tried to follow God and Christ and do as They would like me to do, I must be where the truth is. I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers, and because He has answered mine, this church must be true. Joseph Smith is the prophet of the restoration, and the Book of Mormon is the word of God. If you haven't read it, DO! It is honestly the foundation of everything we believe, and if it's true, everything is. If it's not, Mormonism is the greatest fraud in all of history. I mean, 15 million people fooled by one book? No way. The Church of Jesus Christ of LAtter-day Saints is Christ's church on the earth. Without a doubt. 

For some fun facts from this week:
-Four square is the bomb dot com. Oh meu goodness. It's so fun. We play with the elders in our zone, and it becomes so intense. But let me tell ya, I was ON FOGO yesterday--I was in the king spot for like 6 times in a row, and that was only one time I was in that square! Four square, or quatro-quadros in português, is a serious thing round these here parts. It's a highlight of every day.
-Sister Larson and I have taken to singing Disney songs in the shower, and it is fantastic. (we take showers next to each other... not together. That would be awkward) Sister Wood was a little... blown away by my talents I think, especially for how low I can go when singing "Be Prepared" from Lion King. Wowza. It's another highlight. And I know wayyyyy too many words to, oh, every single Disney song. Be proud of your daughter for that.
-So Sunday we watched a bunch of Mormon Messages, including the Bullying video. FUN FACT, the brother in that video is going to the Marshall Islands and he's here! We've seen him like 4 times now, and we talked to him on Sunday to make sure it was him. It was! Hahaha the elders were pretending to be fangirling, and it was great. One of them asked for his signature. But anyways, he's here and going on his mission soon! Crazy.

Sunday was the best day I think I've had thus far. Lemme tell ya why.
First: Sheri Dew spoke (we have speakers, not lessons) in Relief Society. You read that right. She talked about the Priesthood, and the difference between authority, keys, and power. Anyone, but especially missionaries, has access to some of the power of the priesthood (aka the power of God) ALWAYS. Isn't that neat?? I may not hold the priesthood, but that does not mean I am powerless or anything less than men. That's just not true! Her 5 main points:
1. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are perfect
2. The Savior's Church is perfectly designed to help both men and women receive exhaltation
3. We believe in a living prophet
4. The Church is not a democracy
5. God wants a powerful people (and that's why we have access to His power!)
Oh it was so good. I'll have to let you read all of my notes when I come home.

Second: we watched Elder Bednar's "Character of Christ" devotional from a few years back at the MTC. And it is so good. He talked a lot about how we need to turn outward, as Christ did, instead of inward, like the natural man tends to do. Also, "conversion is consistently being true to what you know" AND "NOW begin a lifelong pursuit to learn not about Christ, but OF Him". Wow it was so good. You'll want to see those notes too.

Also, church is in Portuguese. Sister Larson was called on to speak (in Portuguese), and she did so well! I still play the piano and it's fantastic. The prayers are all in the language, so that's exciting. Relief Society is all the sisters in the MTC together, so that's English, and we don't have SUnday School. But I really enjoy it.

I am learning SO MUCH here at the MTC! I love it, even if it is more of a bubble than BYU ever was. Wowza. But I have a lot of new and old friends here, and I like Portuguese a lot, and A IGREJA é VERDADEIRA! Deus nos ama! Eu amo o evangelho! O Livro de Mórmon é a palavra de Deus, e se nós lemos o Livro, podemos saber Deus e Jesus Cristo.

I love you all, miss you all, but don't want to come home for another 75 weeks! Tchau!
Sister Rachel Knutti

 Elder Friebe touched Sister Wood.
 Elders Saunders and Chase (Rachel's friends from BYU)
 The Majestic Joseph picture as referenced in the last post
 Matching shirts...well, except for Boston.
MTC district at the map. 
Elders playing 3-way slide