November 28, 2016

- شكر گذارى مبارك -‎

Happy Thanksgiving Week! 
Sister Missionaries found English class

We were taking care of here in Santa Monica. We attend the Westwood 1st ward with our little Persian group, which is an English ward, so we got to eat a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with some of our favorite members in the ward :) Plenty of leftovers too, both from members and the Visitor Center sisters. 
Thanksgiving dinner

This week was awesome! We had a great lesson with a guy named Abraham who was born in Sudan here at the Visitor Center. It was an amazing lesson filled with the Spirit. We asked him how he felt after we listened to a clip of Jesus Christ speaking and Abraham had trouble finding words to describe how he felt. We continued talking about Gods love for us and how we have a living day prophet and he was so ready to accept everything we had to share. We ended with Abraham offering a prayer that was simple but so personal, its as if he was just talking with God right there in the room, it was awesome. :)
Persian time at the Visitors Center

Skype calls are continuing to go well. One of the previous Farsi Elders had a friend serving in Sweden and apparently there is a decent population of Persians where he was serving so we started teaching them via Skype and now the whole zone over there in Stockholm is requesting lessons with "American Farsi Elders" haha. Outside Iran, Los Angeles, Toronto, Sweden and Frankfurt Germany are hotspots for Persians to hang out.

For things here in LA, we are teaching a couple tourists who are here on vacation or here to better their English. Its been really exciting to see how accepting they are and to see them diligently read and study. We had a lesson with our friend Mahyar the other day and he just got emotional talking about how after we shared with him about Joseph Smith, he was thinking and it just hit him that God loves his children so much. Super cool. :) 

God loves you! Hope you all have a great week! 
Cheesy Thanksgiving selfie

Classic Cali sunset

When it rains you can actually see things #nosmog

November 21, 2016

Return to Farsiland

Return of Far-Kor

Its good to be back in the good ol FarsiLand. Definitely surreal, but Im grateful to be back. Its unique to be able to return to an area on our mission, it doesnt happen very often but Im glad I was able to "come home" haha. I do miss the people down in PV, but Im excited to continue to kick it uptown in Santa Monica.
Persian Food

We got right back into the swing of things. Right out the gate we had lunch with two Persian investigators, Mahyar and Saide. We had Persian food (its been a while ans was so good) and then sat and talked about the Book of Mormon. We were explaining it to Mahyar and Saide chimed in and wanted to explain all about it (investigator present lesson?). We ended up reading 3N11 and they were fascinated that Christ had come to America. Super cool. 

Visitors Center

Something different in the Persian Program is that we now get to teach via Skype. So about 3-5 times a week we teach people in Stockholm, Sweden. Its been very interesting and good practice for my Farsi. Its been weird having Elder Wiedrich just know everything but a big help for sure. I retained a lot more than I thought I would and itll definitely take a little to get rolling again, but Im excited and have started to pick up on a lot more of whats going on in just the past week. 

Church was good, Mahyar came and brought his friend Danny to church. Super cool that Persians bring their friends to church, you should do that, its easy! They enjoyed it and we are excited to meet up with them again this week. 

There was a lady in church who spoke and she compared life to a community college art class that she took. She related how great it was that all she had to do to get an A, is show up, do the work and try her best. Thats all she had to do and she succeeded! There was no tryouts, no prior knowledge needed or skill set required. She got an A in art class despite the fact that she didn't have any artistic skills in her. I think life is much the same way. As long as we show up to life, do the work necessary and try our best to improve, we will succeed! God will reward us for our efforts. He is not going to say, "Ohh, you're not good enough to get into heaven." 

I was reading in 2N2 this morning and it was talking about how salvation is free.  Its up to us to decide where we end up. It shouldn't be a hopeful surprise when we scoot on up to judgement but rather be able to stand before God and say, "I tried my best." We are good enough and we are going to make it. Keep trying and hang in there. It all starts with the desire and then we gotta commit. :) God loves you. 

Have a great week!
Elder Knudsen and Elder McCracken--completing their missions

Just walking by the temple

Palos Verdes

November 14, 2016



Twas a good week! :) Big news is that transfers happened, and I will be returning back to Farsiland. Im pumped to go back and serve with the Persians but Im sad to leave this area. Ive grown real close to a lot of the members and people here and its hard to leave. Good thing I only live 6 hours from LA! :) I will be back. 

Sunday, we were able to attend the baptism of the Spanish Sisters' investigator Jessica! Cool story, E Williamson and I were walking out trying to find a potential investigator and we ran into Jessica and started talking and she was super willing to invite us back. We remember thinking that it was super easy to "get her info" to recontact her. Then we referred her to the sisters and boom she has taken the step of baptism! It was awesome :) 

Quote of the week: - “Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed. Most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. … Life is like an old-time rail journey--delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.” - Jenkins Lloyd Jones

Count your blessings :) The Lord loves you, despite all the imperfections, mistakes and uhh-ohhs we make. Keep trying your best, it will work out in the end. :) 

Have a great week! :) 
insert cheesy selfie caption

Service--only one paintbrush :(

Look at that shiny Toyota Corolla

When you run out of paper to draw on...

Catalina Island

November 7, 2016


It was a great week! Im so glad to be a missionary. Quick notes, the Farsi elders had a baptism, in Sweden! There is also a woman from Iceland, who was living here with her friend in Santa Monica, that I was privileged to meet and do service for, who has decided to be baptized over in Iceland! Its awesome to the work moving forward all over the world! :) 

A lot happened this week, its hard to remember it all. Basically, the work is moving along. We went to go find a referral and ended up talking to this guy, Carlos. He was very open and ran over to us when we called out to him. We posed the question, "Ever thought about why there are so many churches?" And he was very intrigued. We taught him about the Restoration of the Gospel and he accepted the invitation to be baptized as he comes to know that these things are true. He is awesome and very enthused about meeting up again to talk about his findings in the Book of Mormon. 
Elder Knudsen and Elder Jung, Korean Elders who make it happen  #FarKor

We also came into contact with Linda, who was miraculously saved by "some young guys in white shirts and ties" last Christmas eve. She is the mother of 4 and has been through a lot, anywhere from deaths in the family to ER trips that keep her from church (dang it Satan.). She is very sincere though and was so thrilled to hear that we have a youth program for teenagers at our church. We are also excited to see her tonight at Family Home Evening at a members house. :) 

Halloween was good. Yes, we still have candy. Yes, I have a hard time having self-control.

Here is the zone after Zone Training Meeting. They are stellar. Super grateful to be serving here. 

I read this talk by Richard G Scott the other day, Finding Forgiveness, and thought Id share a bit. He talks about how we can overcome challenges, sometimes the effect of sins and mistakes we have made. He relates "The process [to being happy and clean] is called repentance; the destination is forgiveness." 

“To every forgiveness there is a condition. The plaster must be as wide as the sore. The fasting, the prayers, the humility must be equal to or greater than the sin.” “It is unthinkable that God absolves serious sins upon a few requests. He is likely to wait until there has been long, sustained repentance.” (SWKimball)

At times, most times, I have felt that forgiveness and the pain of my own mistakes should be swept away when I want them to. I feel as if I have a change of heart and demand that the consequences are removed at once. Thats not how it works. We dont set the conditions of forgiveness. We should feel so blessed to have the gift of repentance. Imagine a world without any mention of 'Im sorry'. 

“Certain forms of suffering, endured well, can actually be ennobling.. “Part of enduring well consists of being meek enough, amid our suffering, to learn from our relevant experiences. Rather than simply passing through these things, they must pass through us … in ways which sanctify [us].” (NAMaxwell)

D&C 121:7-8 -> My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.

Rely on God and what He has to give. Its a lot easier when we understand that everything we go through has purpose. There must be a reason why I am going through this. Understand that God is not out to get you, but wants you to return and become clean and sanctified. Have patience, and accept the peace He offers through His Son Jesus Christ. It will all work out in the end. :)

Have a great week!