Monday, September 29, 2014

Ocala is a blessed area!

        Florida is awesome! I love the area so much! The humidity has been the worst today but even then I feel like its not too bad. All the trees have moss all over them and they are very pretty. I live in Tuscany place apartments and they are very nice-- much nicer than my dorm! We have a gym we go to every morning or sometimes we run around this pond.   There are lizards and frogs everywhere.   I've caught 2 so far but they are so fast!   The mosquitoes are bad.  We have two investigators that we teach on their porch so when we get home I have huge bug bites! 

    My companion and I are best friends! We have so much fun together and with the members.   The members here love us! I think we went 1 night without having someone feed us dinner! We have two other sisters in my apartments one pair is in our ward the other is in the earlier ward, we all work out together though so we are close. Well my companion and I had fun this last-day we made pretzels and did face mask.  
           I have to buy a bike this week! We had to give one of our cars to a sister who had an injury and who needs to have a car.   We are in a car share with the other sisters, but they didn't compromise the miles for us so we are super restrained we already went over for this month but we have a huge area! We cover 3 towns!    It's the biggest area in the mission and we have a car share, its super frustrating.   Sisters usually don't have to bike,  its only our area really. 
        The investigators have been wonderful!   We have a family named the Shearins and they cant wait to be baptized and they want to come out and teach with us.  They already gave us another investigator and she is getting baptized in 2 weeks! It is great! We have a family of 6 we are trying to teach, the mother is an exotic yeah its going to take some time to get their family going, the parents like to talk to us, but they don't care much for religion, the kids however really want to come to our church and they are reading the Book of Mormon! One of the daughters has down syndrome and she especially wants to come to our church.   I'm hoping we can convince the parents through their kids hahaha!  
       We met another family where the dad used to be Mormon.  He fell away from the church.  He has some concerns about our life on earth and how it was planned out.  He thinks its not right for God to "trick" us and put us here on this earth for this experience.   My companion and I were able to talk to him more about the plan of salvation and why things are the way they are.    We helped him with some of his doubts and he asked it we could come back when his wife and kids are home. (don't worry we had a member with us in his house).  He said he would like his kids and family to have a Mormon experience.  He would like them to be a part of girl's camp, church, scouts and all that jazz.  It may not be the right reason to come to church but it is a start and we will take it.  
        Ocala is considered to be a blessed area and I agree.  We have only had 6 hours of tracking so far.  We have been constantly busy with appointments and we have 11 potential people for baptism.  We have been very fortunate that the times we did go tracking we found people who was interested!  I am very excited for conference! We will be inviting so many people to listen to conference.  We made flyers and handed them out everywhere! I hope we get a good turn out.   The movie "Meet the Mormons"  is coming out soon!  The church wants members to spread the word and get friends to watch it!   I think we will be having a zone get together and we will be watching it then.  
The mission hasn't been too hard yet...knock on wood. the hardest part is not being able to take a nap everyday! haha but tracking and teaching has been really great! Sister Pasko is amazing and has been teaching me a lot!   I am seriously so happy I am here!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Zone Conference and I will be serving in Ocala Florida.

Ran in to Daniel Dan at Zone conference
Hey mom! We had zone conference yesterday so our PDAY got pushed back to today. Florida is so amazing! The humidity hasn't been at all, I've barely noticed it. It rains everyday and I love it! My new companion is amazing! She's a lot like Kendra and we have become very close, it's so fun and simple to work and teach together she's been trying to push me out of my box and to be more bold with people it's kind of scary to invite people to be baptism when we just met them 10 minutes ago! She reassures me that I am doing a good job! She said she wouldn't even of known I was new, she is very sweet and encourages me to be more like her. Elder Golden talked to us yesterday he is an amazing teacher and answered a ton of our questions! Also guess what.. I saw Elder Dean! Hahaha It hasn't even been a week out here till I found him. I'm in Ocala which everyone considers the blessed area, it's the most baptizing of areas, it's odd how many different churches there are out here, there's churches in old school building,In the strip malls, and in old homes! The lucky part is that every one is so religious, so when we bring up Jesus Christ they get all excited, most of the people live good Christian life's, it's just the matter of the priesthood! Haha I apologize for such a short scrambled letter, I am still adjusting to this new life. I have had no setbacks of any kind, yes I do miss you guys but missionary work is too exciting to be hung back! I learn so much everyday compared to my testimony now, I'm not sure if I even had one before! Everyday I'm finding more reasons why I was sent here, there is no other place or thing I should be doing then the Lords work in Ocala! I love the people, the ward, and the word, I love reading the BOM everyday! Also I have to buy a bike! I have money in my account so it's just the means of finding a good bike! I love you guys dearly and I'll try to take more time and write more next week! My comp is Sister Pasko, from Washington.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Arrived in Florida!

Hi mom! I made it in Florida okay.  Here is my mission presidents.  Flying was super fun! We are getting out iPads today! I will have a Facebook account for the mission in about 6 weeks.   I love Florida!  Today has been cool, which is great, its so pretty here! I love you!  Also they have a blog for our mission!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Letter in the mail before Kelsey heads out to Florida

Kelsey wrote me one more handwritten letter before she leaves to Florida.  It was mainly because she needed me to send her a few things before she heads out.  I decided to type the part that tells more about her experience. 

My knowledge and faith has grown so much .  I love it here!  My sister companions are all so funny.  We have slowly began to be more close, and open with each other.  The Elders are very funny.  We had interviews with our branch president and I was the only one to make him cry with my testimony. 

Oh by the way I am the Sister Training Leader!  It's kind of like the zone leader except that it is with both districts. 

I LOVE YOU ALL!! The MTC is great!! There is an Elder here that reminds me of Jordan!  I Love You Guys! 

Also my flight is at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday the 16th.  I'll probably be able to call at like 5:00 a.m. and maybe again in Georgia around 1:00 p.m. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

First email from MTC

Hi I love you! did you get my letter?  Thanks for the package!

The MTC is awesome! Everyone is super nice. I have class and studying 10 hours a day, the remaining hours are for eating and exercising. My Companion is awesome! Shes 22 and graduated from BYU in film. She used to work at the MTC, so first day here she knew where everything is! We have two other sisters in our district, Sister Mann, and Smith. They are both my age and Sister Smith went to USU - go Aggies. We have 6 Elders in our district but only 3 of them are in my mission the other 3 are actually going to Ghana! They are all fun and like to quote movies, sometimes its hard to get some serious studying done, but we have a good time! Its so great to be here, I feel like I am finally understanding things that I have known my whole life! its such a testimony and faith building experience!
 I wont be able to email you again for about 2 weeks! I leave on the 16th but then p-day is the next Monday!

I love you! Tell Jordan to read John 20:1-4 I think its funny that John points out that he ran faster than Peter, and that Jesus loves him haha anyway I miss you all the MTC is the best!

Monday, September 8, 2014

First letter from MTC

I am including Kelsey's first letter from the MTC today.  This was written to Gary and I the day she arrived in the MTC.

Dear Mom and Dad,
                                           Wednesday September 3rd
           Thank you for supporting me in my choice to serve a mission.  The MTC is great.  After you dropped me off I had a quick check in and then I was straight off to my class.  My district is super fun.  Oddly enough we have some Elders going to Africa in my district.  The Sisters are awesome.  There are four of us heading to Florida.  We share a 6 person room so it isn't cramped.  My companion is Sister Taylor, she is 21 and she graduated from BYU.  The other sister is the girl I met online before we came and her name is Shelby Mann and she is a lot like me.  The last sister in our group of four is Sister Smith.  She went to Logan and did a year of USU.  Yea Aggies!  We did a combined teaching with 40 missionaries and investigators it was cool to see these investigators and their interest in the church.  We also got free BYU ice cream so that was cool.  Our dorm isn't too bad it reminds me of my dorms at college except for one bathroom we have for a entire floor.   I can't say I miss home yet.  The MTC is very fun, spiritual, and very educational.  I don't think I will even have time to miss home.

                                        Thursday September 4th
         Today has been a long day!  I did not sleep well and I struggled staying awake.  We are going to start teaching investigators tomorrow.  Okay well it's actually our teachers pretending to be investigators but still!  We have to prepare lessons and help them to come to Christ!!

        We met our branch president today and they are fun.  One of the couples are from Alpine.  Also I met Grandma's friend Holly.  She was so sweet!  My P-Day is on Wednesday and I will be able to email you then, but I wont be able to email until about 2 weeks after that.

         Thank you for the notes that you put in my scriptures!  That was so fun to open them up and see what was written for me.  I Love you Guys very Much!  I Love that I am here and that I am going to teach it's Awesome!!!!

                                                    Love Sister Knudsen 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Going into the MTC--September 3rd, 2014

Today I had to finish up the last things to get ready to go serve my mission for 18 months.  On our way to the MTC we went and visited my Grand-dad one last time.  Then we went to lunch at Sizzler and then I was on my way to be dropped off.  Here are my pictures of my day:

Being set apart--Tuesday September 2nd

Tuesday evening I was set apart to be a missionary serving for 18 months in the Jacksonville Florida Mission.  It was a very nice evening with my grandparents, and my family and my friend Mackenzie Williams.  President Bangarter and Dave Summer came over for the setting apart.  I was given an amazing blessing by President Bangarter.  These were some of the bullet points from the blessing: 

Kelsey's blessing
- rights powers and responsibilities
- born to goodly parents, 
-You are seen for your beautiful spirit.
-You have implemented things of the gospel into your life
-You are now armed with Gods/Christ's powers
-Angels have charge over you 
- You will preach with authority
- You will be an outstanding missionary with exact obedience 
-Work hard at everything
-Example of the believers, others look to you as one of steadiness, and dedication 
-You will be able to study and learn quickly 
-Spirit of humility/be teachable 
- You will pray repent every day and sharing your deepest thoughts with God
-Sacrificing own will for His and see the blessing that you receive.
-Unity with your companions without conflict, drama or contention. 
-Established atmosphere of love in apartment and with the relationships you have with your companions
-Others will want to be your companion and be grateful for your companionship. 
-You will gain friends in your companions
-Long lasting relationships with companionship 

Pictures from this event:  

My farewell--- Sunday August 31st

Today was my farewell at church.  Afterwards my family and friends came over to my house for a light luncheon.  Here are some pictures from my day: 

Group Picture!

Missionaries who have served or will be serving in Jacksonville Florida

Some fun pictures with my friends:

My siblings: