Elder Zachary Snow

Elder Zachary Snow

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tasted More or Less Like Sandy Chicken - October 26, 2010

Dear Family!

As always, it is great to hear from you. The temple today was awesome. We were there from about 8 til about 1, so that is why I´m writing my letter a little bit later today. To answer mom´s question, it wasn´t a special temple trip or anything. We just go twice a year and it happened to be our turn soon after I got here, that´s why I was excited to go. But it was very peaceful. It was kind of weird listening in Spanish. Wasn´t too difficult, just different. The spirit is always very strong there and I always learn something new. I´ll answer a couple more of your questions.

Do the members help a lot by providing referrals to you?  
Yeah, sometimes. We have to ask for them a lot. This is something we definitely need to do better in. We are talking with some great investigators right now, but we need to do lots of finding. This week we are going to focus more on references.

Also, how big is your ward and how many attend each Sunday?  
The ward is pretty big. There are lots of members, but the thing is sooo many are inactive or barely active. We talk a lot with less active members, trying to get them to church, trying to get references, things like that.

How many missionaries are there per ward or do you actually cover multiple wards?  
Our ward has 4 missionaries. I´m not sure but I don´t think that is super common. I live in one of the few 4 missionary apartments in the mission. So our ward is divided into our area and their area.

Do you have to play the piano during church or is there someone else that knows how to play?
Haha, I haven´t played yet. There is one member that is pretty good playing with his right hand so he just bangs it out haha. It´s funny though, the sister who conducts sings louder than the rest of the congregation combined. And most of the members aren´t the greatest singers in the world, myself included. But nobody cares, everyone just belts it out, so hymns are pretty funny/great overall.

Sounds like you all have had a busy week. Congrats to Dad on beating Eddie and Matt several times. Good to hear that you made empanadas! I eat those on the regular. A couple times a week at least. They are very delicious. I don´t know if I should eat them from the ladies who make them on the street, but I haven´t gotten too sick yet. Really the water situation isn´t too bad, we have a couple jugs of filtered water delivered every couple of weeks, and I just use my little water bottle filter for other things and it all works out. The only scary time is when the members give me juice and I have no idea what water they used to make it, and I don´t want to offend them so I just down it. Haven´t got too sick yet, I think the water quality is better here in the city than in other places.

A couple weeks back, Dad mentioned that I would need to learn the area for when Elder Bonilla left. I forgot to mention that about a week and a half ago, when I had been here for 9 days, we did divisions and so I was basically guiding the area with another missionary that had never been here. It all went well though, my area isn´t too tough to figure out and I think I´ve got it down mostly now. It´s kind of crazy to think Elder Bonilla will be gone in 3 weeks though. I hope I stay here in Ybate for a while, I think it´s a good place and I like it.

I also forgot to mention last week that I ate crocodile. It wasn´t too bad, but it wasn´t great. It tasted more or less like sandy chicken. I haven´t eaten anything too weird yet. Got offered cow stomach, turned it down, hope I didn´t offend. Bascially every meal here is some variation of meat and pasta or rice, then bread. Beef and rice every day is pretty normal. Then if you want vegetables, it´s potatoes or mandioca, which is like potato. But I like it, so all is well.

The Spanish is coming along alright. I can speak a lot more than I understand. When I do understand, and can contribute in the lesson, it is such a great feeling to now that I am helping God´s children progress. Some people I can understand close to 100 percent, others it´s more or less around 50 percent still. Some speak very clear and others very unclearly. I know all the grammar and most of the vocab, the only thing is I can´t understand what they are saying. From what I hear, most people understand everything after about 2 months. I´d like to be understanding everything by the end of my first transfer, that´s kind of the goal so I´m working hard to understand more and more.

But like I said, when I am able to understand and help investigators, it is really an amazing feeling. The best days are when we come out of spiritual lessons, or when we are able to help others come closer to Christ.

I read this awesome conference talk from Pres. Monson from I think 2008 which was talking about cherishing life and the moment you are in. At that point, I had really not been thinking about exerting myself all the time and always enjoying the moment. So that talk was something that has really helped me and I consider it a great blessing that I read that talk. It was perfect for me in the time I read it. I really have a strong testimony about the importance of the prophets. Oh! Another cool thing, last Sunday was our stake conference.  There was a satellite broadcast where Elder Ballard, Pres. Packer, and Elder Claudio Costa all spoke to some of the South American Nations. I think it was Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay. They were awesome. I wish I could have understood all of it, it was in Spanish, but I caught almost all of it. Very awesome. So yeah, listen to the prophets! But anyway, I read that talk by Pres Monson, and it really helped me to refocus on my mission, even though I´m still very early in and to cherish this experience because it will be such a short part of my life.

Cool to hear that BYU won, and also that Max Hall has been starting. Did he start for a couple of games then?  How´d he do? But it´s a bummer that he got knocked out.

Also good to hear that the Yankees and Phillies are out. I was getting really sick of them. Go Rangers! Tell Mason he´ll have to root extra for me.

Next week I might try to send some pictures. I keep procrastinating that. I forgot to take pictures of the Temple in Asuncion, I´ll have to do that next time. It´s a very cool temple. I haven´t taken too many pictures yet in Paraguay, maybe I´ll try to take some more this week. Anyway, I gots to go. But I love you all lots.

Elder Snow

Baptism Last Week - October 18, 2010

Dear Family,

Before I forget, my p day next week will be on Tuesday instead of Monday because we are going to the temple! I´m pretty pumped for the temple trip. I took for granted being able to go every week in the MTC and I´m super excited for it. So when you don´t get an email from me next Monday, no worries it´ll just be a day later.

I realized that in my letter last week I forgot to tell you guys about the baptism last week. We ended up only having one. His name is Cristian Silva and he is about 20. He is dating a member and he had been talking the discussions with Elder Bonilla and his past companion. The baptism was awesome and I felt the Spirit very strong. The other 3 didn´t happen. It was going to be a dad, Victor, and his two daughters, Yessica and Macarena. The mom is already a member. But the parents aren´t married and so they were going to get married before the baptism and then all would be well with the law of chastity and what not. Everything seemed fine through Thursday but then on Friday Victor was telling us that his mom is Catholic and doesn´t want him to get baptized. Then it kind of turned into, well and I´m Catholic and I don´t really want this. Since then we´ve given them a little time. We talked to them again yesterday and I think we are going to start visiting them regularly again. I really hope that all goes well there.

I´ll talk about a couple of other investigators we are talking with now also. One is kind of a cool story. When we were walking and doing street contacts almost a week ago, this teenage kid named Eduardo, I think he´s 18, came up to us and said, hey I´ve read the entire BOM and I want to get baptized. And Elder Bonilla and I kind of looked at each other and are like, alright! We´ve talked to him a couple times since and he has a baptismal date for the 6th of Nov. We might try to push it up to the 30th of October because we think he is ready. He is a pretty awesome kid, he came to church this week, and all is going well.

Another good investigator we have is named Juan Ramon. Kind of similiar, he and his friend Elena called us over to the porch one night while we were passing on the street. It started out as kind of a gossip session about Elena´s crazy sister who lives with her haha, but we turned it into a gospel discussion. The next time we met, the committed to get baptized on the 6th of November. We´ll see how everything goes. Juan Ramon is a really good guy, he helps out his mom all the time and does a good job of keeping his commitments.

There is another family we are working with. The parents are German and Sunilda and they have two kids, Victoria and Gerardo. They´ve been progressing well and were very excited to come to church this Sunday, but ended up not coming. We were a little disappointed, but that happens. He had to work because the person who was going to work for him couldn´t do it.

This week I´ve been working very hard to love the people as much as I can. The most spiritual lessons that we´ve had, have been when I´ve really focused on the needs of the investigators and how I can work through the spirit to help each one of them, as the child of God that they are.

So that´s just a couple. We are very busy. It´s nice we never have to do any tracting. The people are so interested in religion we can talk with almost anyone so we have appointments all day long. But we do need to focus a lot on finding still so that we can find the people who are prepared at this moment to hear the gospel.

All in all, we work very hard. But 10:30 each night I´m out just as soon as my head hits the pillow pretty much, haha.

This week we have one baptism commitment, but I´m pretty sure it´s not going to go down. It is this other investigator named Christian, there are a lot of Christians haha. But he has to quit smoking and still hasn´t done so, so... we´ll have to keep working with him.

Sounds like BYU got killed, sigh. But that´s alright, sounds like they´re improving, kind of. I´m with you, Mason, go Rangers! I hate all of the other teams left, hah.

Sounds like you had another busy week. Congrats to Olivia Dowd for the baptism, Baldwins on the reception, Dad for getting through the tax season, Lauren for singing awesome, and everything cool that happened.

Good to hear you sent Lyse a package. Happy Birthday Lyse! and late Happy Birthday to Kim and Dan! Love you all. I sent Lyse a letter last week, from what I hear it will take almost a month, so... that will be a while.

So this week I talked to a missionary in my district that knows Jake Adams! I guess they were in the same MTC district. A bunch of the Colombian missionaries and Paraguay missionaries were together. Also one of the office elders knows him really well. His name is Elder Dance and he is cousins with Jake´s gf/ I have no idea what the status is there.

In answer to Mom´s question, I have no idea about what I need in a birthday package. Anything would be just great. The postage is nuts. One of the other elders I live with just got a package last week, which took two months to get here, and his parents paid like 100 bucks to ship it. Yikes. So I have no idea. Maybe a couple of spiral notebooks would be nice. Some candy. There is peanut butter here, so no worries there.

I´m working hard to continually put my trust in the Lord. It is true what the missionary that just reported said, we must put our trust in the Lord because no matter how great our abilities we may or may not have, with him anything is possible.

Love you all lots!
Elder Snow

"Speaking" or Trying to Speak Spanish - October 11, 2010

Dear Family,

It was good to get a nice, long email from you guys. The last couple had been lacking. Haha just kidding, but really this one was great.

Congrats to Mom on the 194. Have you broken 200? That would be sweet if you did. In my bowling class the closest I ever got was 189 I think. It sounds to me like you are still bowling almost every week even though you aren´t in the league. That´s pretty cool.

Good to hear that you are watching all the conferences. I think the Saturday ones were the best. It´s really important to review them multiple times. I think it was President Monson in the closing talk that said he would like everyone to read each talk over again in the Ensign in November before the April conference. Also Elder Costa´s 14 points of following the prophet was great. I can´t remember who it was, but another GA (General Authourity) gave almost exactly the same talk in the next session. He even reviewed the 14 points over again. This just shows me how the Lord really knows what we need to hear and inspires the GAs on what to tell us. Elder Bednar gave an MTC devotional a while ago in which he talked about how he had to rewrite his talk at the last  minute one year because he felt impressed to do so. Then when he gave it, there were like three talks in a row on the importance of the temple, temple marriages, work for the dead, stuff like that. And he had no prior knowledge that the others would talk about that as well. Just shows how the messages really are inspired.

I am doing super well in Paraguay. Are you doing well in California? I am ¨"speaking" or trying to speak Spanish. I can speak it ok but I have a really hard time understanding the Paraguayos speak it because they speak so fast. So it is a little hard, but I am learning lots. It´s good to hear that you are doing a good job in school. Is math still your favorite then, or do you like spelling more now? I didn´t know people in Paraguay before I came but I know lots now! And I am very busy all the time. We work very hard and have lots of people that we talk to so there is never enough time in the day to do everything that we would like to do. But that´s a good thing. Keep working hard at soccer, and maybe one day you´ll be able to beat me. Haha...just kidding. I´m sure you already can.

I´m glad that you pray every morning and night. It´s something very important to do. A scripture you would like is Alma 37: 37. I love you lots!
Love, Zach

That´s crazy that you´ve already had your braces for an entire year. I remember I had mine for a little bit under two years, so there is hope for you yet! Are your teeth getting nice and straight?

Paraguay is very cool. It´s very different, but I´m getting used to it. I think the second day I was here it was very hot. But it´s still only spring time here, so it´s not even getting that hot yet. Everyone tells me that from November to February it is very hot, so I´ll let ya know. But I am definitely enjoying it!

Good to hear that you´re enjoying Mock Trial and everything. How are the contacts working out? When do you think you will get your liscence? Sounds like Mason needs to listen to Elder Uchtdorf´s talk about pride, you should share that with him. Haha just kidding. You should actually be his sport´s agent when he grows up then you can make lots of money off of him, haha. Hope you´re doing well.

So, was it pretty hard communicating with everyone to get your revised airfare worked out?  Did they only speak Spanish at the airline counters or did some of them speak English?     There were some
people in the airport that spoke English. It wasn´t the best but we were able to communicate well enough.

Did you get a chance to get to know some of the other elders that were in your group?
I got to know a couple of them, not super well, but they all seem like good guys and I think they had a pretty strong MTC district. One of them is in my district now. His name is Elder Clanton and he´s from Mesa, Arizona. His Spanish isn´t great but he works hard.

Since this is Elder Bonilla’s last transfer, I assume you will need to pay close attention so that you get to know the area for when you receive a new companion.
I actually hadn´t thought about having to learn the area. Since he´s leaving, does that mean that I´m definitely going to stay? I still haven´t found out all the intricacies of the mission, hah. The area isn´t too big and the streets do have names (unlike some other areas) so I think I could manage, but I still am kind of lost all the time so I´ll have to work on that.

Good to hear that BYU finally won. JJ tearing it up was good to hear. Sounds like the running game worked pretty well. Heaps stats weren´t bad either, lots of completions. They´ll figure it out eventually.

But it sounds like you and Dan both need some practice in the golf game haha. But Tierra is a tough course so I won´t give you a hard time.

As far as teaching about keeping the Sabbath Day holy, I think there was a conference talk about the basketball player who was in the NCAA in Europe or something whose team made it to the finals but the game was on Sunday and he had committed himself to never play on Sunday. He made the choice not to, and said for the rest of his life he was grateful for this choice because it made it easier to keep commandments later. I think this was one of Pres Monson´s talks, but I´m really not sure. And I think it was in conference, but I could have heard it somewhere else. The point is, 100 % obedience is easier than 98% or 50%. When we make up our minds to do something, do it all the way. Breaking a small commandment is the same as breaking a big one. If we break one commandment that may seem harmless, it enables us to justify breaking others.

I´m out of time, but I love you all. The week has been tough trying to learn the language, but I´m doing my best to keep a positive attitude.

Love you all lots,
Elder Snow

Just Smile Big and Nod My Head - October 7, 2010

President Callen, Elder Snow & Sister Callen
Hey Family!

It's great to hear from you all. I arrived in Paraguay safe and sound, but we did have a couple of mishaps so it took much longer than expected. It was great to be able to talk to everyone a little bit in the airport and great to hear your voices.

So I'll go ahead and tell you about the travel down here. Everything was going pretty smooth through Dallas and we boarded the plane on time and everything. But we were sitting there waiting for close to 2 hours to take off because they were doing some work on the plane and had to adjust some of the cargo around so that the weight would be balanced. So our flight took off late and we were stressing because the layover in Buenos Aires wasn´t going to be that long. The flight from Dallas to Buenos Aires was very long. Everyone around us was watching the in-flight movies but we couldn´t so it was a little bit dull. Then trying to sleep on an airplane when sitting upright and not being able to move at all was rather difficult. I was able to sleep semi ok but others (like Elder Durrant, he is too tall) only slept for an hour or two because they were pretty uncomfortable. One of the blessings of being shorter I guess. So anyway, we get to the Buenos Aires airport, and they are like sprinting us to the gate because the next plane is about to take off. Then it turns out only my boarding pass printed off in Salt  Lake (this was something we had been worrying about earlier because only my boarding pass had printed) and it turned out the airline over booked or something so only my ticket got through. But I couldn´t go by myself, so we all missed the plane. In our travel stuff, it said that if we missed our plane, it would be another 6 hours until the next one. They were wrong... it was 12 hours hah. So we called the secretary of the mission and the church travel office and they all figured it out to get us another flight but it was over 12 hours later. So we got to know the Buenos Aires airport really well, haha. But we did some good contacting and were talking to people. Rather, they were speaking Spanish and we were just smiling and nodding our heads. They speak so fast it is crazy. I think my comprehension is 20 % or less. For the most part, I know what they are talking about, but I have no idea what the details are. So we finally got a plane to Asuncion and we landed at about midnight. Then we met the Pres and his wife at the airport. They are awesome and I can tell that I am going to love them already. Then we spent the night at the mission home, by the time we got to bed it was after 1 in the morning Wednesday and we had to wake up at 6 the next morning to get started on some papers early (so that we can get a temporary residents visa). Then we interviewed with the mission Pres, they gave us a bunch of information, then we went to meet our trainers.

My companion´s name is Elder Bonilla, he is from El Salvador and this will be his last transfer. So he has lots of experience and is helping me tons. He is a great missionary and many of the office elders told me that I am very lucky to have him as a trainer. I´m the 5th elder he has trained I think, so he has lots of experience. His English is pretty good too, so even when I have no idea what anybody is saying, he can help me out haha. I can understand almost everything he says in Spanish, but the Paraguayans are much more difficult.

So then we went to our apartment, so different than the states. It´s kind of dingy but compared to a couple of the places where we´ve taught it´s like a palace.

The people of Paraguay are all very nice and very loving. The members all tell me that I need to smile more, haha. Considering that I can´t understand that much, this is probably good advice to just smile big and nod my head for the mean time.

Elder Bonilla is very good at teaching and I think he has lots of success. We have 4 baptisms scheduled for this Saturday (all committments from Elder Bonilla and his former companion). We are working very hard to keep the investigators on track to be baptized and preparing them for Saturday. 3 of them are a father and his two daughters. The mother is already a member but she has been inactive for quite some time. So we are re-teaching her the discussions and she is receiving them very well. The daughters names are Yessica and Macarena (at least that´s what I think they are, Spanish is hard hah) and the parents are Victor and Maricela. Victor and Maricela have their wedding planned for Saturday before the baptisms and I think they are both very excited so I hope all goes well. But their family is awesome, especially the girls. On is about 13 I think and the other maybe Mason´s age. They pay great attention during the lessons and love to read the little kid´s story book version of the Book of Mormon. So, hopefully all goes well there.

The other baptismal commitment for this week is Christian. There are 3 Christians that we are teaching right now, so it gets very confusing. But this Christian is very cool. He is dating a member and has several friends in the church I think. All the investigators have bapstimal interviews today or tomorrow, so that is good.

The culture shock isn´t too horrible, but I am definitely going to have to get used to it. We have to wear shoes all the time inside so we don´t get pique (this little worm thing that burrows in your foot and lays eggs, gross). We have a big bottled water jug in our aparment so I haven´t had to boil water yet. Then I just use the tap to brush my teeth and stuff, I think it´s safe (famous last words, right) and I´m feeling pretty good and not sick yet so I hope all is well. Everything I´ve eaten so far has been good. We haven´t had food with a member yet so we´ll see how that goes tomorrow.

My p days (preparation days) will be on Mondays. Just during transfer week the p days are on Thursday, I think, so the new missionaries can write their families and such.

I´m more tired now than I ever was in the MTC. We work very hard and on top of that there is a lot of walking. Plus it´s like a million degrees and then humidity (and it´s just coming out of the cool season). They tell me that November through about February are just awful, so we´ll see how that goes ha. But then it rained last night and today is actually pretty nice. The weather is rather unpredictable I think.

Already I can see that the mission will be full of challenges. Yesterday was a pretty rough day. But I am so grateful that I can turn to Heavenly Father in anything. I know that he is helping me and sustaining me. I know I´m going to turn to him a lot, especially over the next few months where I really learn Spanish.

But I´m doing well, so no worries. Hope you all are doing awesome back home. I love you all lots.

Elder Snow

Got My Travel Plans & Pumped For Conference - September 28, 2010

Hey Family!

It's always great to hear from you guys. 

Starting next week, I'll probably be the one complaining about heat. Hopefully it isn't too bad in Paraguay right now, but who knows.

Last Tuesday at the devotional, we heard from Paul Johnson. He did a great job and talked about how to understand and teach spiritual things, it must be done by the spirit. Also, in order to learn and teach by the spirit, we have to do our part and keep the commandments. I think I already talked to you guys about this, but he shared 1 Nephi 15. Where Laman and Lemuel can't understand the meaning of the natural branches of the olive tree. The first thing Nephi asks is "have you inquired of the Lord?". If we really want to learn something, we have to show Heavenly Father that we are keeping his commandments (like prayer) and trying to understand. Also, we have the prophets (like Nephi) to help us out.

On Wednesday, I don't have much in my journal. The days are really blurred together because we do the same thing almost every day and so there isn't really a way to have a reference point.

Thursday, I got my travel plans. So I leave Monday at 10:00 AM from the MTC I think my flight is at like 1. Then I'll fly to Dallas and land there at like 4 Dallas time. Then I'll have a 3 hour layover till 7 (so probs like 2-5 your time). So I'll have plenty of time to call you all. Then I fly from Dallas to Buenos Aires. I thought there would be one other layover then a flight to Paraguay, but I don't have any other flights, so I think I'll just be taking a GIANT bus ride from Buenos Aires to Asuncion. They aren't that close so that might be a nice, fun drive. But I'm still excited, all the same. 

On Thursday, we also went to the Referral Center again. We hadn't been able to go for like 3 weeks because they changed some rule  I think. But it was great to go back. I talked to one person in Sapnish for about 25 minutes and it went really well. I had to ask him to repeat himself quite a bit, but overall it was very good. I helped him get the missionary's numbers in the area where he is moving and talked to him about the gift of tongues. He is a little bit along in the discussions I think.

I talked to another guy that was like 22 years old I think. He had some family problems and he told me that his grandma died a couple years ago. So I told him all about what we know and I shared some scriptures from Alma 40. The spirit was very strong and he told me it felt like this was what God wanted him to know and that he felt lots of joy when I talked to him. It was awesome. I asked him if he wanted to talk w/ some missionaries (he lived in like Illinois I think) and he said yes. So I clicked the "send the reps!" button. Hopefully they are able to find him and talk to him b/c he was moving soon. I told him I would call him back, but I forgot to write down his #. I was bumming. So I hope all works out alright.

Friday the TRC (Teaching Resource Center) was good. We taught an "investigator" that was a student at BYU learning Spanish so E. Durrant and I both spoke better than her so it wasn't as great as usual, but the Spirit was the same.

On Sunday we had Mission Conference. The miss presidency always speaks and it is great. One thing that really stuck with me was what Pres. Clegg said that God loves all his children. He chooses to see the good, and chooses to ignore the bad. He shared a really awesome experience he had when he gave a blessing to a young women who had a drug problem and how during the blessing the love from Heavenly Father was so aparent.

I've never been so pumped for General Conference. It will be a great way to end my time in the MTC. I feel like I've been doing a good job of keeping myself focused, but it's always difficutl to avoid counting down days. I always feel so blessed when I read your e-mails and I love you all very much.

Love you all lots,
Elder Snow

P.S. Tell Aunt Karen thanks for the package. I don't have her address and this is my last week so I wouldn't be able to write her today.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Good Year to be on My Mission - September 21, 2010

Hey Family!
It's always great to hear from you guys. Yeah, I talked to Spencer Call and he told me he got reassigned. I think he is just excited to get out of the MTC. Some missionaries that go to Mexico end up staying here longer because they get their permisa but not their visa; I know one elder who is finishing up his 13th week and he still isn't sure when he will leave. 13 weeks in the MTC would be a little rough I think.
Bummer to hear about BYU. I ran into Drew and he was telling me that this is a good year to be on my mission, haha. Hopefully they'll be really good when I return home. Tell Mason good job and to keep it up. He should just play soccer in high school, hah. The gym is finally going to open tomorrow here in the MTC so my soccer days at the MTC may be coming to a close. Elder Durrant is a big basketball fan so I think we will probably switch over to that tomorrow. But I like to play anything so no biggy.
On Tuesday, we heard from H. Bryan Richards. He used to be in one of the presidencies of the 70 but I think he was released to be a mission pres or work in the mission dept or something like that. But anyway, he was great. One thing he said that I really liked was that 20 minutes of my time can change a family's life for generations. That really helps me realize the importance of my decisions and how I need to always strive to do what's right, and work hard so that I can have that positive affect on people. Another thing he touched on was the power and the blessing that missionaries are endowed with. D&C 109 is a really cool section that talks about the power we receive from the temple.
Then today for p-day I did some sealings as a proxy for a son for the first time. That was really cool
On Wednesday, we did a self-evaluation on how we feel we are doing as missionaries. The things that I'm working on the most right now is being patient with myself and more patient with others.  Wednesday, I started to feel a little bored and I felt like I'd maxed out on MTC Spanish and that I just needed to go to the field in order to learn more. But on Thursday we were talking about that a little bit in class. Hermano Milne shared some really good ideas about focusing in the MTC and trying to avoid counting down the days but rather counting up in what we are learning.  Now I''m trying more to focus on how much knowledge I can gain and things I can learn in the language before I leave for Paraguay rather than count down the days until I leave. This has really helped me focus and work harder. Thinking about how much I study here is how much I will be able to share with the people in Paraguay really helps me to stay focused and remember that I need to use my time here wisely.
We also watched this great video of Elder Bednar giving an MTC Devotional last year. I think it might have been when Jake was in the MTC, and if so, he was lucky because it was an awesome talk. He answered the question "How do we recognize if it is the Spirit talking to us or if it is just us thinking something?" His answer was a little different, "To not worry about it!" What we should focus on is being a good person, doing what we're supposed, and pressing forward. If we do these things, we will make the right decisions and not even realize it sometimes. A lot of the time the spirit directs us and we don't even know it. If we are doing what we are supposed to be doing, we'll be where we need to be.
On Friday, Elder Durrant and I had a really good talk about the positive influences that our families have had on us. I am really grateful for you guys and for everything that you have done for me. Learning the gospel better has helped me to realize the great importance of families and how I should really cherish my family. We also talked a little about how we came to make the decision to serve missions. It was a good bonding experience and helped us to grow closer together as companions. We also decided to work more as a companionship on having patience with others and always being good, nice people.
On Saturday we did an activity in our class building where we rotated thru the rooms and talked about Christ-like Attributes. Hermano Milne talked a little bit at the end about consecrating our time to the Lord. While on a mission, I am working with Heavenly Father's time and always need to remember to be doing productive things.
On Sunday at the devotional we heard a really good talk on the things we need to do to become what the speaker (can't remember his name) called a "100 Watt Light Bulb Missionary." Everything we do builds up to having and teaching with the Spirit.
Elder Snow

Better Than Sounding Like an American - September 14, 2010

Hey Family!

So, how are things with your Visa application? 
I think they are good. Elder Durrant and I went over to the travel office to see if they knew anything. they didn't have any information yet but the guy we talked to said that Visas for Paraguay are generally very good and they never had problems. There were a couple missionaries that left yesterday to go to Asuncion Norte that Elder Durrant and I have kind of become friends with. They said that they never talked to anybody in the travel office and just got their travel plans right when they were supposed to. The elders going to Argentina in our district had to meet with a consolate to make sure they weren't insane or something like that. But the elders that just left for Paraguay said they never had to do that. They also told us about this tutor here at the MTC that teaches Guarani and they had been going there a little bit. Elder Durrant and I might go check that out and take a couple of lessons, we'll see.

Do you have any idea on when you will be leaving for Paraguay? I am almost certain that it will be early morning on Monday the 4th. And I think I'll have 2-3 lay overs so I will definitely be able to call and chat a little bit.

Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Vac for the ties. They are so sweet! After 6 weeks in the MTC, I feel like I've worn every tie about 123940 times so I was way pumped to get new ties. I've never been so excited about new ties, it's a little weird maybe. But anyway, thanks!

So last Tuesday the devotional was by Lowell Snow of the 70 and his wife. Mom, I'm starting to think that you may have been right about the pedigree chart but then again I always figure that it was just some lame idea thought up by an old guy in the missionary department, so oh well. Also there is another Elder Snow here, he got here the week after me and is going to Mexico Tampico. We live on the same floor of the same building so I keep hearing people yell "Elder Nieve" then I turn around to realize that it was for someone else. But anyway, you should let me know if we're related to Lowell, I'm sure Grandpa would know. Elder Snow's talk was very good. He talked a lot about choices in our lives and how they form us. We always need to strive to make the right choices. Also, if we ever try to dodge a rule or break a commandment, asking permission from leaders won't work because in reality everything we live by is God's commandment and his rules. It is him that we need to follow. He also talked about how when we pray, we should try to shape our will to fit that of God's rather than try to conform God's will to fit ours.

On Wednesday, my new teacher Hermano Milne, was talking about how a lot of the time the gospel will have a familiar ring to people. This may be because we learned everything about the gospel in the Pre-existence and now we are just re-learning in. As a missionary I need to help people realize that.

One cool thing I was thinking about on Thursday was the need to always follow the spirit and recognize when it is giving us multiple promptings. I was reading in PME (Predicar Mi Evangelio or Preach My Gospel) about how the spirit presses things on our minds when we need to learn something. When we ignore these promptings initially, the feelings of the Spirit keep pressing and we need to follow them. It's like in 1st Nefi when Nefi kills Laban after hesistating for a little bit then the Spirit keeps prompting him. Or like Joseph Smith's experience after reading James 1:5 and the thought to pray kept finding its way into his mind.

On Friday, I was reading about how we need to study the scriptures and do everything to the Lord in prayer. I get so much more and am so much alert when I have a prayer in my heart and am making a conscious effort to learn. It was kind of a bummer on Frieday the TRC mis-scheduled us and we didn't get to teach. The TRC is usually one of the highlights of my week so that was kinda disappointing, but oh well.
But then on Friday or Saturday, Elder Durrant and I started doing a different teaching method instead of just practicing the 1st and 2nd lesson over and over (it gets boring) where we come up w/ legit questions or concerns that our future investigators might have and then the other companion has to answer it using the Scriptures, and the BOM (Book of Mormon) in particular. It always amazes me how much we have learned and how many answers to anything that we have a question about is in the BOM.

On Sunday we didn't have a devotional b.c they have been redoing the gym the whole time we've been here. It's kind of a pain. Up until this week, we have kind of worked around it and had devotional in the gym anyway, but they jsut refinished the surface so we couldn't. So we haven't been able to play basketball and Elder Durrant is kind of in pain becuase of that. So it's been lots of soccer and I'm starting to get pretty good! But anyway, no devo so I just talked with some of the native speakers on Sunday night for a while. It's always really helpful to talk to them. They told me that I don't have an American accent, which I was pretty pumped about. But they said I speak with a Portuguese accent a(nd that I put my emphasis on the last syllable so it sounds like I'm from Portugal. So Dan might be pumped because of that. But I'll take that I guess, they said it's better than sounding like an American, hah. I can tell that my Spanish is getting better though.

On Monday, I was reading in the allegory of the olive tree. In Jacob 5: 21-26 it talks about how it doesn't matter what spot we are in, but with the counsel of the Lord, we'll be alright. I know this is true. I know that if we strive to follow the commandments of the Lord and do what is right, we'll always be okay.
I forgot my camera again. I only have like 10 pics anyway so not that exciting. But maybe I'll send them your way next week.

But I love you all lots and I'll talk to you later. Have a great week! Oh and it's a bummer about BYU, but oh wells.
Elder Snow

Exactly Where I Need to Be Right Now - September 7, 2010

Hey Family!

It's always so great to get your letters. It's fun to hear all the updates from what is going on back home. 

Tuesday, we heard from Richard G. Hinckley. He did an awesome job. One thing he said that I really liked was that the part from his mission that was the most important to him, and was the best part, was being able to see the lives that he changed. I really think it is amazing how the gospel can change lives and I can't wait to see it change the lives of people in Paraguay. Elder Hinckley also talked about President Hinckley a little bit. There was a question and answer at the end for about 10 minutes and one elder asked him to tell the most important thing he learned from his dad. His response was to work hard, to be dedicated to something you love, and to live your life as an expression of your faith. His wife talked about optimism as a missionary. She was very upbeat and awesome.

On Wednesday, not too much happened. My journal enty on that day is pretty short. I haven't been taking many pictures in response to your question, but I have been writing in my journal each day so that is an accomplishment I guess. We can only take pictures on p-day and Sunday temple walks. 

On Thursday, I started getting sick. It was kind of a bummer. Our entire district has been fighting it this week. It's definitely more difficult to stay totally focused when I'm sick, and I was feeling kinda crappy, but it wasn't as bad as a couple other missionaries in our district. One had pneumonia, bronchitis, and a fever all at the same time and he had to stay in the dorm for the last week and rest up. And I'm starting to feel better now so that's good. But one cool thing is that whenever I need to focus and whenever I'm practicing a lesson, I am able to really focus and I know that the Lord is helping me.

We also watched a video of Elder Holland giving an MTC devotional about 10 years ago. It was very similar to the talk he gave 2 weeks ago, but there was a part I really liked about why things are difficult in the church. He said he thinks it is because salvation isn't cheap and it wasn't easy for the Savior. We have to work hard and struggle in order to understand what the Savior went through and so we can understand him better.

On Friday, we had a cool LGM (Large Group Meeting) about using the BOM (Book of Mormon) and the spirit to convert people. The Book of Mormon is so powerful. It has answers for our day. I learn something important everytime I read it and I love to read it as well. One thing I liked from reading this week is in Ether 12:2 I think (top of my head, hope that's right) and it talks about how Ether couldn't be restrained from speaking because of the power of the Spriit that was in him. I think that is a good goal for all of us. I want to be at the level where my testimony is so strong that I have to share it.

We had another good experience in the TRC (Teaching Resource Center). I can always feel the spirit when we teach a lesson to a fake investigator there, and my Spanish always seems so great when we are doing that.

On Saturday, yes I could hear the cheers from the stadium everytime something exciting happened. It made me miss home and BYU a lot more. I couldn't help but thinking back to last year and going to all the games with Dan and some with Lyse. But I love being here and I know this is exactly where I need to be right now.

On Sunday, we had our mission conference because it was Fast Sunday. The mission presidency and their wives all spoke. They all did a great job and were very inspirational. One thing I was thinking about while we were singing A Poor, Wayfaring Man of Grief (one of Dad's fave's I know) was that the Atonement is a two-way thing. It may seem to be difficult to give some of our time to serving Christ, but in reality he gave his literal life for us. Also, if we are mindful of the gospel, Christ is mindful of us. And if we take his name upon us, he will vouch for us by his name at judgment. I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the role it has played in my life. I know that anyone can become clean throught he Atonement no matter what, and I can not wait to share that fact with the people of Paraguay.

Elder Snow

Thoroughly Humbled - August 31, 2010

Hey Family!

So, to answer your questions from last week: 

How is the new branch?
My branch is really funky because half of the districts have different schedules. What can you do? But I really like all the missionaries in it and the Branch Presidency is amazing. The native speakers in my branch help me with my Spanish and I help them with English so it's nice.

Do the elders just pick Guarani up on their own or do they receive some language training classes once they are in the mission field?
I'm not sure. I don't think they teach it. I'll have to ask Brother Bradley (the old mission pres for Paraguay).

So where are your new roommates going and how did they become fluent in Spanish? 
One is going to Guatemala and the other is going to Honduras. One of them grew up in a home that spoke both and the other just learned a lot in school, he isn't as good but still helpful for me
Are they in a different district than yours? 
They are in a different district, and in the branch I was in before mine changed

You also mentioned that you spoke to a woman in Spanish on the phone the other day.  How does that work, do you get an opportunity to man the phones for people who call in from media referrals or something?
Each monday night we go to the referral center and call on the phones. This week I had a 30 minute convo, but I didn't understand much. I was thoroughly humbled.

Last Tuesday after my e-mail was pretty amazing. Jeffrey R. Holland spoke at the devotional. What a spiritual giant, he was amazing. When he walked in was the strongest I have felt the spirit in the MTC. I think a good goal to have is that when we walk in the room, people can tell that the spirit is with us. He was very bold and frank in his comments. He said that he knows the 1st presidency asks a lot, but they do not apologize b/c this is the Lord's work. He talked about how this is Christ's church, Christ's gospel, His time, and His mission. So we should be very diligent in our efforts. He said that missionaries need to do some things better: 1) Personal and comp study 2) Plan Better 3) Teach with Power and Authority. It was very inspiring and uplifting. What a great man!

I really love the Book of Mormon and I can tell that it is true because of all the inspirations and answers to questions that I have when I read it. We have been practicing teaching the Plan of Salvation this past week, and I had been praying for some ideas of how we could improve in our teaching. The next day I was reading in 2nd Nephi 2. So perfect for the questions that I had. The Book of Mormon was written for our day and I know this to be true.

We have Large Group Meetings with special speakers on Friday. They are really great. This week the topic was on finding those who God has prepared and how we know when they are ready. A lot of it boils down to hard work and proving to Heavenly Father that when he places his children in our path, we are going to do everything we can and also that we are going to work very hard. If we do this then he will place those who have been prepared in our paths.

Saturday was pretty basic. We practiced the Plan of Salvation w/ native speakers in another district and I felt like my Spanish took a beating. They talk fast, but the hardest thing is that sometimes they mumble and talk so quiet that I have no idea what's going on. On Saturday we also taught a lesson to a tree. I feel pretty humor starved, so that was maybe one of the highlights in my week. Not really, but church jokes are 100 times funnier now than they were about a month ago.

Sundays are pretty sweet here. It's almost like a day off.. but not really. I have really come to love the new Branch Presidency, they are very uplifiting. During Priesthood, my branch President was talking about the change in Alma the younger and the Sons of Mosiah through the Atonement.

Sunday night devotionals are always nice. Then we get to watch church movies after. I have never been so excited to watch the Testaments as I am here. But anyway, back to the devotional. Richard I Heatan (never heard of him before Sunday) talked about putting away the distractions of worldly things. He proceded to put up pictures of worldly things that distract missionaries. Every one started groaning and it seemed like a pretty cruel thing to do. I was most distracted by the IPOD, I think music is what I miss the most. Maybe that is what I need to sacrifice. The t.v. and facebook and video games didn't bug me that much. But the point of the devo was that when we focus on the spirit and not on these worldly things, we can have the spirit with us all the time and I know this to be true. He also talked about how when we do this the Lord will put people in our paths, similar to the Large Group Meeting. Kind of a theme for the week.

My Spanish took another beating yesterday. I was takling to a lady in Spanish for a while. It was so tough to understand her. She spoke a little oddly so I don't feel that bad. But I did receive such a strong testimony of the Restoration when I was telling the story of Joseph Smith,

I am doing well and I am really happy in the MTC. 
Love you all,
Elder Snow 

Ether 12:6...So legit! August 24, 2010

Elder Durrant & Elder Snow
Hey Fam,

I'll answer some q's first:
You mentioned that one of your goals is to contact five people for five minutes each day.  What does that mean?  Do you make phone contacts or what?  

No, we just contact other missionaries around the MTC and give them a little message in Spanish about a topic that we are trying to get more fluent in or that we just recently discovered.

Just one more question, do you get to go to the temple once a week and are you enjoying that opportunity?Yes, we go to the temple every p-day (preparation day). It's always a nice break and I can feel the spirit so strong. The temple is a great place to get revelation. When Spencer W. Kimball received the revelation to give the Priesthood to all worthy males, he was pondering in the temple. I love the spirit there.

This has been a pretty solid week overall. I'll give the day-by-day (Tell me if you like the way I do my letters or not. I have no idea)

On Tuesday, we heard from President Walter Gonzalez of the 1st pres. of the 70 (Presidency of Seventy). He and his wife both gave awesome talks. He emphasized Christ-like teaching and talked about how we need to have the Spirit. She gave a great talk and mentioned her in conversion story how she couldn't understand much of what the missionaries were saying, but she could feel the spirit so strong and the language of the spirit is universal. It helped me realize the importance of teaching with the spirit and making sure that the investigator is able to feel the spirit during the lesson. Then let them know what it is they are feeling!

On Wednesday, E. Durrant and I got 2 new roommates. Up until this point, we had the room to ourselves and that was sweet. So now it's a little crowded, but they are both fluent in Spanish so I ask them questions all the time and they are super helpful. So all in all, I'm grateful for them.

My teacher Sis Smith gave a sweet spiritual thought about trials that we have. Earlier that same day, I had been reading in D and C 121 where Jose Smith is in Liberty Jail and he calls out "O God, where are thou?" Though it may feel like God isn't there sometimes, he is always there to help us out. we need to remember that our trials will only be for a short while, and that it will strengthen us in the long run. Ether 12:6 ! So legit.

On Thursday, I received this really strong witness about the importance of prophets in our lives. I have been continuing my close study of the BOM (Book of Mormon) as suggested by Elder Evans and it has been going awesome. It seems like every time I have a question that I would like answered, I read about it in the BOM the next day. I love that book. Anywho, I had been searching lately for reasons that we need prophets, because that is something that comes up a lot when E. Durrant and I practice lessons on fake investigators. Then I was reading in 1 Ne Chap 15, where Nephi is explaining the vision of the Tree of Life to his brothers and some of his fam. The brothers of Nephi may be able to receive a witness or feel the spirit on their own, but they need the prophet (Nephi) to help them with lots of things. Without Nephi, they would have had no idea what the meaning of Lehi's vision was. This was because Nephi was a prophet and had the keys to receive the extra revelation for his people. Bringing it back to today's terms, we need the prophet always because there are things that we don't understand and we need that extra help and info. Even though we might be able to receive a witness personally, prophets give us counsel of where to go and tell us what things mean.

Friday, E. Durrant and I taught the 1st lesson in the TRC (Teaching Resource Center) again to a volunteer actor. When we go to the TRC on Fri it is kind of a big deal because we are talking to investigators (even though they are fake) for the first time and they each have their specific special "needs" that we need to teach to. And they speak Spanish fast so it's harder. But I think we really nailed it. Our goal to teach the 1st lesson 2 times a day paid off. I think we taught it 15 times in a little more than a week. This was the best one. I am always amazed at how much easier it is to speak Spanish when I'm am talking about the gospel and when the Lord needs me to shine. Now we are moving on to the 2nd lesson, and we are working hard at that now.

On Saturday, we made the big goal to speak only in Spanish. Elder Durrant and I have been doing a pretty good job and I can feel my abilities in Spanish increasing. I've been speaking mostly Spanish for casi 3 days now. So writing this e-mail in English is messing me up, but oh well.

On Sunday, something crazy happened. Our district got moved to another branch, so I have an entirely new Branch Presidency now. The cool thing is one of the counselors in my new presidency was the most recent Mission President in Asuncion South Paraguay, my mission. So I will def have to talk to him about it. He says most of the good elders learn Guarani! So we'll see. He completed his mission presidency about a year ago and he said the current pres is great. 

The new branch is a mix between Americans trying to learn Spanish and international Spansih speakers trying to learn English. It is a little interesting b.c they want to speak Eng. all the time and we want to speak Span. all the time, so we will see how it goes. I am confident that they will be able to help me with my Span. skills.

Sunday night, we heard from Stephen B. Allen. He was great. The thing he said that I liked most was that in order to have the spirit and teach by the spriit, we need to have our ears and minds open, and our mouths shut.

Monday was great. I talked to a woman in Spanish on the phone for 10 min. She was a native speaker and went really fast. But I understood most of it. I sent her a Book of Mormona and bore my testimony like 123890 times.

I am out of time. Love you all so much
Elder Snow

Lofty Goals - August 17, 2010

Hey Fam!

I'll start out by answering some of the questions:
 1.) Have you had any general authorities come to speak yet?  
Yeah we had Elder Evans of the Seventy (can't remember first name) come speak to us last Tuesday night (after I e-mailed you so it's been about a week) and that was absolutely awesome. I could just tell that he was a prophet, seer, and revelator of the Lord. He talked about the importance of using the BOM in teaching the gospel. The big part of his talk was about how the BOM needs to be studied closely and in depth. He went slowly through the first couple of chapters, giving great insights that I have never noticed. And this can be achieved by going slowly and really feasting on the words of Christ. Since then, I have been reading very carefully about a chapter a day from the beginning. I get so much out of it when I really pay attention! I also received the strongest feeling that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and he has to be because of the truthfulness of the BOM. By their fruits ye shall know them!

2.) Does that mean that there are other missionaries going to Paraguay that are in other districts? 
Yeah, so my district is organized by intermediate speaking missionaries. There are 4 going to Argentina, 2 going to Carlsbad, 2 to Fresno, 2 to Salt Lake, and one to Houston. I have run into several other missionaries that are going to Paraguay and reported on the same day as I, but are in the beginner class. So they might be on the same flight down there with me and everything, not sure. But no, they aren't in my branch.

On Wednesday, it was awesome to see Mike. He gave this great lesson on the Plan of Salvation and everyone in my district told me after that they really enjoyed it. I know I did. It was very cool to see a different side of Mike; the side that really loves Christ and loves missionary work. Plus it was nice to see a familiar face. I've also run into Drew Geddes a couple of times and that is always sweet. He is such a neat guy.

I know that the Lord protects his missionaries. When I was reading closely in the BOM on Thursday, I came across a scripture that was talking about how the Lord protected Lehi and his family. I know that when we do the right thing he will protect us.

Let's see... on Friday our District set some pretty lofty goals. This week we are going to teach the 1st discussion in Spanish twice each day, contact 5 people for 5 minutes, read a chapter in the BOM out loud in Spanish, and memorize a scripture each week. So far my companion and I have completed it each day. That means we have taught the full first lesson in Spanish 8 times already! I can see so much improvement in him, myself, and our teaching of the lesson. I know that when we work hard towards our goals, we will be able to reach them and we will be able to improve. The quality of our lessons is getting so much greater and I love it when we get into the restoration part each time. The spirit is always so strong there when we are talking about Joseph Smith and reciting the first vision (which I have perfectly memorized). What's up!

On Saturday we watched this video of a talk Elder Bednar gave on becoming a missionary.  It was so awesome and I was able to gain some very good insights from it. One thing I realized is how important it is to go out and preach the gospel because of what we have been given. God gave us so much and we have been chosen specifically to preach this gospel. I also feel compelled to share it with everyone!

Sunday the Branch Presiden't wife gave this killer talk. One thing stuck with me: Prayer is never stupid. If something is important to us, it is important to our Father in Heaven!

I am also very grateful for my companion. I am grateful that I have a righteous companion because it makes it so much easier for me to do the things that I need to do without worrying about him. Plus he pushes me to do what is right and keep setting higher and higher goals. He is great!

Obedience is starting to become a goal and desire for us rather than a chore. I love having the Spirit as a constant companion becuase I receive so much more help and answers to questions that I have. The work is hard and the commandments a little difficult, but it pays off when we are totally obedient.

Sunday night, we watched Legacy, and it was way funnier than I remember. I laughed at everything. that is probably because I am so humor starved haha. After being so serious all the time, at the first sign of something slightly funny, I crack up. Me enjoying Legacy should be evidence of this. haha

Also on Sundy we had this sweet fireside about music and hymns where the composer of a couple hymns came and explained some of the music and how it dealt with the lyrics of the hymn. We sang Come Thou Fount at the beginning. Love that hymn! And the spirit was so strong during it.

Wells, I got to go.  Until next week

First Letter From MTC! - August 10, 2010

Elder Spencer Call & Elder Snow

Dear Fam!

First of all, Happy Birthday, Mason! I got your letter and it almost made me cry. I miss you lots too buddy and I am sending a letter to you in the mail today, so maybe you'll get that in California when you return!
So I sent you guys a letter on the first night that I was here. We were only allowed to send one letter that first night to tell you we arrived ok but I guess you haven't received that cause you've been out of town. But after that, we are only allowed to write letters on p-days so I guess you will only be hearing from me once a week.

1) Please tell us about your initial impressions of the MTC and about your companion and district. 
From the moment that I walked into the MTC (Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah), I knew that this is where I need to be right now. The spirit here is so strong and I think I've progressed more and felt the Spirit more this week than I have in my entire life. And that's no knock on my life, it is just truly amazing here.

My comp's name is Elder Durrant. He is from Provo, Utah and he just graduated high school. I love him so much already and we have gotten along very well from the beginning. He is such a good example to me and he works hard all the time. We have been setting lots of goals and trying to keep busy constantly. I can already see the blessing of hard work. I'll talk about that a little more later. But yeah, no complaints. The only thing is I won't be prepared for the first time I have a bad companion because my companion is so great now!

The rest of my district is great too. There are 13 guys in the district. I was called to be the district leader and I can already see the blessings from that calling. I have so much love for each missionary in my district and I can tell that they are all going to be great missionaries!

2.) Have you had a chance to run into any of your friends who are at the MTC? 
The very first day when I got here I found a little note in my bag of books from Elder Call. It was great to have that and it helped me feel more at home in the first hours. Serving a mission has caused me to love all the missionaries around here like Elder Call so much more. Then the first day at dinner I ran into both Tyler and Spencer at the same time. They are doing awesome! I saw them both again today while we were doing laundry (we all have the same P-day) (Preparation Day). Tyler leaves for the Peru MTC tomorrow and he is pumped! I'm excited for him. Cameron Labar is in my branch so I see him all the time. He is such a great missionary. The changes I have seen in him are so remarkable and I am so happy and glad for him. He is a great kid. I've also seen Max Hanneman (we totally recognized/remembered each other) he told me I look like dad. haha. And I've seen like 10 other friends/people I knew from BYU so that is also comforting.

3.) How is the food? 
The food is alright. It could definitely be worse. The only thing is it all smells the same. I tried the chicken cordon bleu on Sunday but it came nowhere close to Grandma's. I should just stop eating new chicken c.b. b/c I always walk away disappointed! All in all, it's not bad. Haven't gotten sick yet so that's good I guess

4.) How do you like your instructors? 
My instructors are great and very helpful. Just this Monday we started talking only in Spanish! After five days! The improvement I have seen in such a short time in both myself and my companion is remarkable. I know that Heavenly Father is helping us both.

5.) You’ll have to tell us a little about the first day at the MTC after Dan dropped you off.
So I wrote a lot about that in my letter home so you'll have to read that. Basically we just go straight into class and start working. After dinner we did this cool thing where they hire professional actors to act as investigators and we ask them questions and practice being missionaries. I could feel the spirit so strong right away and I know that this is where I am supposed to be.

I'm sorry to hear about Brother Hawkins. They'll be in my prayers. And it's good to hear that the funeral for Sister Pace went well and that the family is at peace with her passing.

Some of my goals have been complete obedience and trying to constantly be on task.
I've already noticed the blessings of my hard work.  By the second night I was praying and bearing my testimony (not well though) in Spanish and by Friday I had it pretty well down.  Just yesterday my comp and I memorized the entire purpose of missionary work and Joseph Smith's first vision in Spanish and read a chapter in the BOM (Book of Mormon) in Spanish and worked out our plan for the 1st discussion of Preach My Gospel. What's up! But yeah, I can totally see the blessing of hard work and obedience.

My overall theme for the last week has kind of been trying to love everyone. I have been praying for help in loving everyone that I come across. On Friday night, our teacher challenged us to read our fav passages in the BOM then ask God to renew our testimonies/faith. I accepted the challenge and the next day I received guidance and an answer to how I had been praying about loving everyone. We watched this clip with Pres. Eyring where he was talking about loving everyone through the pure love of Christ/Charity. I felt the spirit so strong and received a witness and counsel about when I need to do to improve. It's been going great so far!

How is Steph doing? Tell her I love her.
How is everyone else?
Well I don't have any more time, I hope this letter was sufficient.

Nos vemos,
Elder Snow