Elder Zachary Snow

Elder Zachary Snow

Saturday, October 30, 2010

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 

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