Hope of Israel

Hope of Israel, Zion's army,
Children of the promised day,
See, the Chieftain signals onward,
And the battle's in array!

Hope of Israel, rise in might
With the sword of truth and right;
Sound the war-cry, "Watch and pray!"
Vanquish ev'ry foe today.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Someone sent us this picture of Elder Derek Thomas Knighton and his companion Elder Eliason today what a nice surprise!:

Friday, August 15, 2014

Elder Derek Thomas Knighton's mission president sent us these pictures of Derek and his new companion Elder Eliason:

Here is Elder Derek Thomas Knighton opening his mission call:

                                                               Sorry it took so long

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August 4, 2014

Hello everyone!! its an exciting day for me in the mission field! This week has been a very good week! we are going to be having a baptism in just a couple of weeks! Maddie is finally getting baptized! its very exciting! I have also learned that many of my investigators that i taught in Ontario are being baptized as well! i'm so happy for all of them!  We have also had the great opportunity of being able to see a few of our potential investigators and things are going really well with them. Jim Bell is probably the most exciting there, his home teacher told the missionaries never to stop by there, because he doesnt want missionaries stopping by! Well guess what??? WE STOPPED BY ANYWAYS! Hahaha and we have visited them several times now. His wife is a member, and she is active, and the visits we have had have been very good! he participates, he enjoys our messages, and its all been going well! We will hopefully be teaching him the lessons very soon!  Another exciting thing this week was transfers! And im going to be training! Im really excited and thankful for this opportunity for me to be able to grow and learn, and be able to help this new missionary to do so also!  There is a scripture that for some reason i happened to read the day before we got our transfer calls and knew where we were going.  It's in 2nd Nephi chapter 10 vs 20. it reads:

And now, my beloved brethren, seeing that our merciful God has given us so great knowledge concerning these things, let us remember him, and lay aside our sins, and not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off; nevertheless, we have been driven out of the land of our inheritance; but we have been led to a better land, for the lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon the isles of the sea.

Now at first reading this you might think, "what the crap does this mean? what are you trying to get at elder knighton?" Interestingly enough that is not how i saw it at all. To me it means growth. How? Because! the "Land of our inheritance" can be our comfort zone, or things we are used to, but unfortunately those "Comfort zones" don't allow a lot of growth.  The Lord knows what we are capable of, and any new change in our lives is a chance for us to grow. We might not always use it that way, if we don't understand what changes are for.  We may want to hide, and run, or we may complain the entire time like Laman and Lemuel did when there family left and traveled in the wilderness.  They didn't let the experience build them.  They didn't grow from it.  Now Nephi did.  He grew in faith, in testimony, as a person, and in his knowledge of his heavenly father. He was able to learn and grow and we know what type of person he became.  He was lead into a "Better Land" into a unknown place, that helped to build him.  We all have these things happen in our lives too! Change is good, because we grow. Drastic change is even better sometimes, because it almost forces you to grow. That's kind of how i feel right now with training! Its going to be a drastic change, teaching someone new, and helping them learn. It is going to be tough but rewarding! That is how all changes can be. They can be tough but they can be rewarding as well. 

Now don't let us forget the most important part!! Changes in our lives often come from God, and ALL of them are good if we look at them and use them correctly! How can all change be good????? the lose of a loved one, being fired from a job, etc... It all depends on your attitude, is your loved one gone forever? or is he in a "Better Place" in the spirit world? Are you not going to be able to provide for your family anymore, or is there a better job around the corner that if you look for diligently you will find?? These things reveal our true character.  One of the people Elder Parker and I would visit on a regular basis is Jack Kindle. One of his favorite quotes is "Adversity doesn't build character, it reveals it." Jack Kindle is a great guy, and he actually came to church this week! Anyways. All change can be good. And in order to make it good, we must do as it says in 2nd Nephi and remember our merciful God, lay aside our sins, and not hang down our heads, but rather look up with hope, and see that the lord has provided for you a chance to grow. A chance to leave your comfort zone and become better! Our Heavenly Father wants to build us! he wants us to grow as much as we possibly can, and that is why we have adversity, and the ability to choose what we will make of it. im very excited to train! and to see where the Lord decides to take me! I have been learning to leave it all up to him! And let him mold me into what he knows i should be. Anyways these are just my thoughts, i love you all have a great week!!

July 28, 2014

This has been a great week! we have been able to meet several new people, and have great visits with those that we have been seeing for weeks! This sunday was a very unique sunday, and i just wanted to talk about some of the remarks that one young woman said in sacrament meeting. They are something i want to be able to remember for the rest of my mission! So, on sunday there were 4! farewells! 2 in both of the wards that we cover, its an amazing thing to see so many young people leaving on missions, and remember that not long ago that was me! Anyways in 22nd ward, one girl spoke, who was not leaving on a mission, she is seventeen so she was just a youth speaker, and spoke before anyone else.  She told the story of a man who took his young family fishing for the first time. This man loved to fish, and wanted his family to follow in his footsteps. They were out there for hours, and he didnt catch anything. he was too busy untangling fishing line, tying on lures, and helping his family. He had very little time to fish himself, and caught nothing. As they were leaving another man asked if they caught anything, and with a smile he replied that they had not. This man had been there as long as they had and had caught quite a few fish, and asked the man how he felt about not catching any, being puzzled by the smile that the man had. The man replied "unfortunately there are times when we don't catch any fish. The important thing is to just enjoy the fishing." The girl in sacrament meeting that told this story then related it to missionary work, and said that Fishing doesnt always imply catching, And as missionaries, or "fishers of men", we might not end up doing a lot of catching, but as servants of the lord, the important thing is to enjoy the work that we are doing, "enjoy the fishing!" i want to be able to remember that, because it is very true! as nice as it is to catch, we might not always be catching. but as long as we are in the service of God, we should always enjoy the fishing! i know that is kind of a simple thought, but as a missionary it can sometimes be hard to stay positive, and this was a really good message for me to remember that it is in the lords hands, and we should be happy doing his work, and even if we don't always have success, finding joy in the fishing is success by itself in my opinion, just a different kind. it is personal success, because you are finding joy in serving the lord. i love you guys!! have a great week!!! :D i hope everyone is doing well!
Derek Knighton!

July 21, 2014

Elder Derek Thomas Knighton sent us this picture:

hey everyone!!! :) this week has been great! :) we have been trying really hard to find new people to teach, and have been succeeding as much as you can on the week of the 4th of July.  Its been kinda crazy, and very hard to sleep at night because everyone lights off big old fireworks as we are trying to sleep!! guess what time it gets dark around here so they can set off fireworks? yup 10:15-10:30, guess what time i am going to bed?? You're right!! 10:30! hahaha but its all good, we've still had a very good week :) we have had some of the greatest visits with our investigators this week than any other week! numbers wise we struggled, but the quality of lessons that we did have were very good. We have a recent convert that had fallen away little bit coming back to church regularly after not coming for 6 weeks! we also had a great visit with our investigator Maddie who will be baptized this month! its really exciting!  Our investigators John and Linda are growing in there testimony of the book of mormon, John even specifically told us that "you guys are sure making a believer out of me" He will likely be next to enter into the waters of baptism after maddie, He has some Word of Wisdom issues that we will need to resolve, but i know that if he continues progressing at the rate he is right now he will be baptized very soon! and i look forward to seeing that. 

This is actually a little bit about what i wanted to talk about today, we have a investigator that struggles with the idea of progression a little bit, and thinks that we should be able to be perfect immediately. Obviously perfection is the goal, and living with our father in heaven is also. But our walk to perfection is that exactly, a walk. When you walk there are check points, you get closer and closer to your destination, which for us is eternal life. Now it is possible to walk backwards, in the walk of life, there is no standing still, you are either going forward or backwards.  But we are all trying to "Walk to Christ" how fast we walk or how smooth the journey is determined on how closely our lives are patterned after the Saviors, how closely we are following the commandments.  
We all learn to walk to the Savior at a different pace, but we all start somewhere.  When we were young, we began our "journey" crawling, and eventually we try to stand and walk. What happens to a child when they first begin to walk? Obviously they fall down a lot, so what does a loving parent do? The parent cheers them on, and encourages them to try again, and if necessary they are the ones that pick them up off the ground. Our heavenly father does the same for us, he cheers us on and helps to lift us when we fall. Eventually the child learns how to walk, he has began to follow Christ.  Life is like a race where the finish line is Eternal Life with our families and our loving Heavenly Father.  We run the race by following Christ. We run the opposite direction when we choose not too.  This child has learned to walk, and eventually matures to adult age, where his experience walking is far above that of a child, but if you were to tell me that this man never tripped i would call you liar. I don't think anyone has ever completely mastered walking, and hasn't ever tripped.  We all make mistakes even when we are trying our best to follow Christ. But we can still improve our walk. When we trip or mess up in life, we need to as swiftly as possible stand back up and continue walking, this is known as repentance, when we apply it to following Christ.  We eventually become aware of the things placed in our path that will cause us to trip, and we try our best to avoid them. I would venture to say that this mind set, the mind set of continual improvement is what eventually qualifies us for eternal life. Everyone sins on a daily basis, trying to improve our lives and decrease the amount of sins in our lives, or rather the times that we trip, is the important part, our goal is the end of the race, our goal is perfection, but we do not get there with out PROGRESS, we cannot instantly become perfect, if you do, (and no one has so i don't feel bad about saying this) Anyone who has become perfect instantly might as well die, now i know that sounds a little morbid yes, but they have finished there "walk to Christ" and have no more need to be on earth, they have nothing left that they can learn here, and might as well move on to the higher plane of learning in the eternities. Earth life is "a time for man to PREPARE to meet God" once you have done that, your purpose on earth has been fulfilled.

To finish i would say we all need to continue to progress, to continue to watch for the things in life that make us trip, and prevent our progression to perfection.  As we strive to improve our lives and repent of our sins we will be able to become like our heavenly father.  We have no need to be on earth if we immediately became perfect, we are here to learn and grow, and progression is essential to our perfection, as we learn and see the blessings of following Christ, our desire to "avoid tripping" grows, and we are able to overcome our sins. Now don't get me wrong, we should try our very best to try not to trip, and that we are actually required to be perfect to live with God, what i am trying to illustrate is our path in getting there, God cannot look on sin with the least degree of allowance, but we cannot be rid of sin immediately, and i don't think God would want us to be he wants us to prove ourselves to him, continually trying to progress, by doing what is known as Enduring to the End, that is what i hope i've been able to illustrate, is how Enduring to the End looks. i hope you guys enjoy this analogy, i hope that it gives us all a better sense of what our purpose is in life. love you guys!!