Elder Zachary Snow

Elder Zachary Snow

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Submitting Our Will to the Lord - April 18, 2011

Querida Familia! (This computer doesn´t have a key for upside-down exclamation points. Oh well.)

Thank you soo much for your great letter from this week. I always enjoy hearing about what´s going on back there.

Please tell Jenn, Joel, Lucia and Cortez hi for me! You should send some pictures one email, I want to see how big they are getting!

Sounds like you have had another crazy/fun week.

I really enjoyed reading about dad´s talk in ward conference. That has been a theme that President Callan has touched on a couple times recently, having a change of heart and submitting our will to the Lord. I really love that topic. The quote that Dad shared from Elder Maxwell really hit me. It is really awesome to think that we can give that to the Lord, our will and our obedience. There is a scripture in the Book of Mormon that comes to mind...not sure exactly where it is... I think it´s in Mosiah 4. Nope, Mosiah 2:23-24 It says something like, even if we do everything the Lord asks of us, we will still be unprofitable servants because he will bless us immediately after. And because he gave us life and the ability to choose in the first place. The Lord is always looking out for us and will bless us when we submit our will to him.

Things here in Santa Rita have been going really great! This week has been kind of crazy. On Tuesday, Elder Stewart and I went to Asunción for a training for leaders in the mission. It was really great to see some of the missionaries I have come to know. They all are such great people. Elder Bradley Foster from the second quorum of the 70 was there and gave us training. He is an amazing man. It was really neat, he arrived there during lunch time and walked right in and sat down at the table where I was eating. He served as a mission President in Arcadia and said he knew Thousand Oaks, small world.  He talked a lot about work with the members. We received some really good personal revelation for our areas and how we can do better.

Last week I made the decision to be better about writing in my journal, but so far it still hasn´t stuck. I´m really bad at writing. But this morning I was reflecting a lot and received the impression that I need to write down the miracles I see, and realize how much the Lord blesses me and how His hand is in this work. So I think I will do better hah.

I really love that talk that Dad mentioned from Elder Uceda. Many times in my mission I have had to slow down and really humble myself. I realize that I am too often a victim of the pride that President Uchtdorf spoke about in October and that I need to do better in my humility.

This week was so great in church! The second counselor of the Stake Presidency of Ciudad Del Este came and spoke. It was a really great talk and many of the members made it to church so it was really great that they were able to hear.

Jorge, Rosa, and Gunter made it to church again. Gunter is preparing to receive the Aaronic Priesthood, I love that kid. He is so awesome, they are a phenomenal family. We are talking a lot with Jorge and think he will be able to get baptized. We are preparing him well and he really does understand well.

Sorry I´m short on time, as always. The Rojas family also made it to church yesterday. They were investigators from a super long time ago that almost got baptized, but ended up getting baptized in another church. The hermano has been praying and reading a lot lately and got a little answer about the church in a dream. So know they are dedicated to attend again. We will see how things go. They are a really great family.

I love you all so much! I am very happy here and know that the church is true!

Elder Snow

Monday, April 11, 2011

Más Tranquilo - April 11, 2011

Dear Family!

Thanks so much for your awesome letter! It really was a crazy week last week to get to conference but it was all so worth it! This week I have been trying to review my notes and think more about the conference so that I can gain more out of it. We have been able to apply many of the messages from the General Authorities with investigators and help them. I love to apply the general conference messages to myself as well as investigators, it always provides me with the testimony that their messages really are inspired from God and that these messages reflect God´s will for us in these moments.

You asked if that was my first time being to Ciudad Del Este. I´ve been probably 7 or 8 times now. In order to get to Santa Rita from Asunción, we have to go first to Ciudad Del Este, so the first time I went there was in December. The missionaries here in Santa Rita are really isolated, so whenever we have zone conferences or activities, we go there as well. We went there for the baptism guazu also. It´s always fun to go to Ciudad Del Este, until you have to cross a street. I fear for my life every time hah. It´s like playing on a freeway. It´s always nice to come back to Santa Rita, más tranquilo, as the Paraguayans say.

We have had a really great week. We´ve been working really hard to find new people and to prepare them for baptism.

Mom had asked about Hernán and Sandra. They haven´t really been keeping their commitments to go to church and she is too laid back about quitting smoking. I´ve been praying a lot for them lately and really know that they are among those chosen people that God has prepared. It´s just tough sometimes when they don´t do their part. It´s been a little difficult because they have some neighbors that are from another church that are putting a lot of negative thoughts in their head. We shared one lesson with them along with Izaías and Mirta. Mirta gave this awesome testimony about how happy they have been since their marriage and how they also had people who were putting negative thoughts in their heads but just decided to follow what the Spirit told them. But I really believe that we can do more and that they will be baptized one day.

This week we have also started visiting Rosa´s other son, Jorge. Rosa has two sons, Jorge and Gunter. You´ll remember Gunter who was baptized a couple of months ago. They are all doing very well. Koki (that´s what they call Jorge) was living at his dad´s house for a couple of months and just finally came home this week. He wasn´t baptized before with Gunter because he has some learning difficulties and there was the question of whether or not he needed to be baptized. On top of that, he wasn´t there very often so it was hard to talk with him. But he moved back this week and it seems like he´ll be there for a while. He understands the doctrine well and also understands the difference between right and wrong. We will need to work with him a bit, but he really wants to get baptized and we believe he´ll be able to. All three of them made the long walk to church yesterday (they are such studs, they walk like 45 minutes to church) and Rosa gave this incredible testimony. She shared a story about how when Koki was born, the doctors told her he would never walk or talk. She prayed so hard for the Lord´s help. She is a woman of really great faith. Long story short, Koki walks and talks and is such an awesome person.
I really love this Gospel. I know the church is true. Thank you so much for your testimonies and the support that you always have for me. I know that Christ directs this church.

I hope you have a great week!

Elder Snow

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Thing That I Love Most About Conference - April 4, 2011

Dear Fam,

Wow! What a great week it has been. 

As usual, we´ve been working very hard to find great people, teach them, and run a church unit all at the same time!

To answer some of your questions, Hernán and Sandra have not been married and baptized. We were planning for last Saturday but it didn't happen. So now we are working with them more.  On Tuesday night we were there teaching. We taught this great lesson about the plan of Salvation. They really enjoyed it and the Spirit was there. I always enjoy teaching the Plan of Salvation. One thing I really love about Elder Bazán is his love of this lesson. He loves to teach the Atonement and really bears an awesome testimony, he´s a great missionary. So we taught that lesson, ended it and went off on our merry way, todo tranquilo as the Paraguayans say.   I think I am learning more patience and I really believe that the Lord will help them to be baptized, they just need to do their part.

We have found a couple of great new families also. There is one family named José and Nancy that we have started teaching recently. They have three daughters and are a really great little family. They have been progressing really well and really enjoyed the video of the Restoration of the church. It was so great also, Nancy and her mom and the 3 daughters and another nephew named Victor all made it to general conference with us. The kids lost their attention a little bit, but Nancy and her mom really enjoyed it I think.

Speaking of conference, it´s been a wild week getting all ready for it. We rented a bus to take us to Ciudad Del Este, the closest place where it would be showing. So we headed up there to watch both of the Sunday Sessions. So I´ll have to wait for the Liahona to be able to read the rest of the talks. We prepared some sandwiches to eat between the sessions and we had a good time. The first session I really enjoyed Elder Uchtdorf´s talk as well as Elder Bednar´s. In the afternoon session, I couldn´t pay as much attention as I wanted because I was trying to chase some kids down and help others out. But I really enjoyed Elder Scott´s talk a lot. Like Dad said there was a strong theme of the temple. I am very grateful for the blessings of the temple in my life. It really is a comfort to know that I was born into an eternal family. Elder Scott´s testimony of the opportunity to see his wife and 2 deceased children really hit me strong.

But the thing that I love most about conference is the blessing to receive a confirming witness of the truth of this church. I know that the Lord is directing this church and that what we heard this past weekend is His will for the church. Elder Holland´s talk was also very powerful and I know that as we study and restudy the messages from conference, we can pick some of the Lord´s will out for us personally in every message. I am so excited to reread and put it in practice.

I love you all so much. Keep it up with the great missionary work, Melanie. You are a great example!

Elder Snow