Elder Zachary Snow

Elder Zachary Snow

Monday, July 25, 2011

Power Walk Like Champ! - July 25, 2011

Dear Family!

Well it`s so great to hear from you again and to hear about all the news from the week. 
So you had the annual Pioneer Day Party? I remember going to that last year. It must have been like only a week or two before I took off, huh? Time flies. I remember the water balloon competition where Mason and Chip won and then had like a mid-air celebration hug. Haha, they`re so funny.
Sounds like mom has been running a bunch. I would probably die if I ran that much, but I power walk like a champ. Even with the empedrado. To answer your question, empedrado is what they have on pretty much all the roads here. It`s not really like cobblestone. It`s more like a ton of big rocks cemented into dirt. It`s not the smoothest road, so it kills my shoes. I`ll have to send a picture of it some time. Speaking of pictures, I`m sending some pics of my shoes.

We`ve had a great week here in good `ole Puerto Pabla. We`ve been working hard and trying to find lots of new people to teach. We have found some really great people that I believe will progress. Yesterday, the investigators that really needed to go to church weren`t able to make it. We have had some really great weather this week and so I figured that a nice, sunny morning would help them to go. But I think we need to keep working and help them understand the need to go to church and how it will help them to receive more revelation and progress towards baptism.
Another thing that is so important to help investigators go to church is the work with the members. It`s so much easier to make the transition and to feel comfortable going to church if there is a friend. For example, yesterday the people that we have been working with the most didn`t go to church. A couple of investigators that made it are people that we really haven`t worked very much with but their friend invited and took them there. The friends that took them to church are this amazing couple named Jorge and Betty. They aren`t members but practically are. They have been attending church for about 6 years and have super strong testimonies and are so ready for baptism, but are waiting for a divorce so that they can get married and baptized. They are such great missionaries and are always sharing about the gospel with their friends, even though they still aren`t members. They have a son, Hugo, who is a member and he is such a great young man too. Anyway, this family invited and took a couple of Hugo`s friends to church yesterday and they really enjoyed it. We will work with them and I really believe that they will progress.
This week I have been studying a lot in the Book of Mormon and searching for how we can find more peace and joy in our lives. It is a question that many investigators and members ask, and the Book of Mormon has so many answers. 
I was studying a lot in Mosiah 2 and 4. Something that really stuck out to me is the emphasis on how those that keep the commandments of God are happier. They are blessed spiritually and temporally. In chapter 4 there are a couple of great verses that mention the joy that comes from having a remission of sins and a clear mind and conscious. It is so true that we have and feel so much more joy when we are repented and living the commandments of God. I have seen so many times in my mission the joy that people find from keeping the commandments. I have seen it in my own life. I also love Alma 36, where Alma is telling Helaman the story of his conversion. I love how through the Atonement of Christ we can receive the remission of our sins and find this happiness. I am so grateful for Him and for having done that so that we can be happy.

So this week is also the week of changes. There are actually some surprises. Drum roll..... Elder Geary is going to train!! I`m so pumped for him. He is very prepared and will be such a great trainer. So that means that I`m leaving after just 1 change in Puerto Pabla. I still don`t know where I`m going but I will be serving as a zone leader. President Callan called while I was shaving this morning and was talking to Elder Geary for a while. Then I got out of the bathroom and he talked to me and told me that the Lord has called me to serve as a zone leader. I`m pretty excited. It`s kind of sad that I`ll have to leave Puerto Pabla after just one change, it`s such a great area. I`ll miss Elder Geary too, he`s been a great companion and we`ve grown really close.  But I`m excited to go to a new area and be able to serve the people there. 

Well that`s about all I`ve got for this week. I love you all so much. I hope you have a great week.

Elder Snow

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Empedrado is a Shoe Killer - July 18, 2011

Dear Fam!

Hey, how`s everyone doing? I`m doing great down here in the jungles (ehh, not really) of Paraguay. We`ve had a great week filled with missionary work and Copa Amèrica. Wow, I don`t even want to imagine how the World Cup was here because the American Cup is pretty crazy. Paraguay has been playing the last couple of weeks. This week they had a couple of games and it just about shut down missionary work yesterday because they were playing Brazil. It`s pretty crazy, everytime something good happens for Paraguay everyone goes crazy and you can hear it in all the country. So they beat Brazil yesterday and were going wild here. So now there will be another game some time this week so that day might be a little bit tougher as well.

But nonetheless we`ve had a nice week! This week we found this sweet family and started teaching them. They are super prepared and really sincere. We found them by asking references from their neighbor and then we contacted them a bit later. The family is a young couple, and they have a 3 year old daughter. His name is Minchu and her name is Rosana. We taught them the first time about lesson 1 and then in the second visit we taught about the Book of Mormon. They are a really united family and really have a good family sense about them. At the end of the second lesson we had, they asked the question about why God permits that there is suffering and why bad things happen to good people. So we left them with 2 Nephi 2. When we went back they had read it all twice and gave like a perfect summary. And they were really happy to find the answer and understood it really well. They didn`t make it to church this week, but we`re excited for next week!

To answer a little bit about the shoes. Mom asked which shoes are toast. Uhh, both pairs. The empedrado is a shoe killer. I actually went to a shoe repair guy last week and he is going to put a new sole on my eccos. I`m going to pick them up soon so we`ll see how that turned out. The Hush Puppies are worn out on bottom too and have a big hole in the sole. 

That`s really funny that the missionary in the ward knows Elder Geary. Elder Geary says he knows him as well. He also says that of course Burley won the games every time, hah! Small world, eh?

Another small world moment from this week. In our district we have a companionship of sisters. This week we went to their area to do a baptismal interview. One of the sisters is from Colombia and she said she was in one of the Bogotà missions. So I told her that I have a cousin that served in Bogotà, but I didn`t remember which mission. So she asked me what his name was, and I told her Elder Adams. And she`s like "Elder Adams, from Arizona, I know him!" Haha so I guess Jake served in her area. She said he would remember the Familia Paipa from his first area. She`s in my mission know and we`re in the same district. Small world.

We are continuing to work with Nelson. He didn`t make it to church yesterday and said it was because of the rain. It`s been a little bit frustrating, but I really believe that he will take the step to be baptized in the near future. He really is so prepared and has a testimony of the church. I know that he will receive so many blessings by taking the step to be baptized and I really hope he can do so soon.

We have also seen a lot of progress this week with Arnaldo. I don`t remember if I`ve mentioned him at all. He is the son of the Mesa family. He is super prepared and a really great person. He is 19 and really likes to read the Book of Mormon. This week we watched the video of the Restoration with him and the Spirit was really strong. He believes the church is true and wants to be baptzed. Now we just need to get him to church too!

I`m very grateful for this work and I`m happy to be here. I love you all so much and I am very grateful for your support. Everytime I see Hermana Callan she tells me that I`m lucky to have a great family that writes me great letters and loves me. It`s true! You are all so great. I love you too!

Elder Snow

Monday, July 11, 2011

Good Ole Puerto Pabla - July 11, 2011

Dear Fam,

It`s been great to read all about your week and the fun vacation up in Idaho. While I was reading, I definitely had some nice flashbacks of past family vacations to Utah and to Uncle Tom`s farm in Idaho as well. It was funny that Dad mentioned his flashback of us playing cards at Yellowstone. This week Elder Geary and I were talking about Yellowstone a little bit (I don`t remember how we got on that theme) and I had some flashbacks of that Yellowstone trip as well. So, all in all, it was great to hear from you all.

We have had another really great week here in good òle Puerto Pabla. This past week I had the chance to do divisions with the zone leaders who are in Ybatè, my old area. So I headed over there back to where I started the mission. I was in the zone leaders area, so I wasn`t able to go visit at all my old area, but I actually did run into several people that I know. We saw some of the members and most of them remembered me, so that`s a good sign I think. And Eduardo, the young man that was baptized with Elder Bonilla and I went out and taught some lessons with us so that was pretty neat. It was really good to catch up with him, he seems to be doing really well. He was preparing a talk that he was going to give in church yesterday, so that was pretty neat also.

Apart from that, we had interviews with President Callan on Thursday, so that was really great also. The interviews are always a very spiritually uplifting and motivating experience. I left feeling that I had received some good revelation on what I can do better as a missionary. I`ve been working on keeping more focus and always having my missionary purpose in mind.

This week was kind of up and down. Yesterday we were a little disappointed because the investigators that had baptismal dates this week and the week after didn`t make it to church. We went by Nelson`s house and he had a visit from some of his neighbors and didn`t want to leave. It was a little frustrating, but we talked really well with him after church and he is more committed now to go to church next week.

Saturday night we had a really great experience. We had been working hard all day and had had a pretty good day. We were able to teach many lessons in the afternoon. More towards the evening it was getting tougher to find people and a couple of our appointments fell. So we were thinking about who we should visit. Elder Geary suggested Santiago, an investigator that we had taught a couple of weeks ago. We had taught him a couple of times and the lessons went really well, the Spirit had been really strong. But after that we weren`t able to find him for a really long time and had kind of given up. So I was kind of doubting a little bit at Elder Geary`s suggestion, but we went to look for him anyway. We found him at home and we were able to teach him. The lesson turned out so well and he had sooo many great questions about the doctrine and the church and everything. So I felt a little humbled at the experience and learned a lesson because I didn`t feel like he was going to be home. But I`m grateful for a stud companion like Elder Geary and I`m grateful that we followed the impressions of the Spirit that he had.

Well that`s about all I`ve got for this week. I`m trying to think of a funny experience that comes to mind, but there`s nothing of the top of my head. So I`ll just finish with my testimony that I know that this church is true. We have been sharing lately with an inactive family where the mom has doubts on how she can really know that we are in the true church. We shared with her Alma 32 on how faith isn`t a perfect knowledge, but through an experiment on the word we can have a perfect knowledge that the church is true. I`m grateful for a Heavenly Father that has been patient and answered my many questions that the church is true. I know that as many times as we ask with faith, He will answer us. I love Him.
I love you all lots, have a great week!

Elder Snow

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cuando Hay Amor - July 4, 2011

Dear Family,

Wow it was really great to get a nice, long letter from a bunch of you! I`m glad to hear that everyone is doing well and that no one died on the collapsing ice bridge, that sounds kind of scary. It sounds like it`s starting to heat up a little bit up there. Whew it`s getting really cold down here. I`ve had to use my suit jacket and my big winter jacket together for the last couple of days. I`m like shivering as I type this email right now haha. But no worries, I`m here in Paraguay in the work of the Lord! I really enjoy being with Elder Geary, whenever I start to complain, he always reminds me "Wow we are so blessed to be here, huh?" And it`s true, Elder Geary is a champ.

Speaking of Elder Geary, we had a funny realization the other day. We were walking in the street and we hear kind of some shouts or an argument from a house nearby. He started singing "Cuando hay amor" which is "Love at Home." Haha it reminded me of Mom always singing Love at Home whenever someone fights a little bit. I told Elder Geary that my mom would always sing that and he said his mom did exactly the same.

Just so you know Mom, I really love you lots! I am very grateful for being raised in a gospel centered home. I know that there is always more love in the home when we are following the teachings of Jesus Christ, so I`m grateful that I was blessed with parents to teach me the gospel.

Anyway, it`s been a really great week here. We`ve been working hard to help people to progress towards baptism. On Saturday, we had a bunch of people committed to go to church and the day went great. Yesterday we had a little bit of disappointment because Adolfo and Nelson didn`t make it. Adolfo had a baptismal date for the 9th and Nelson for the 16th so it was important for them to go. We will keep working with them. They are both really great and have the desires to be baptized. We just need to help them understand the importance of their committments and help them know that they are making committments with God, not us, the missionaries.

Some really good news is that the entire Mesa family made it to church yesterday, that was so awesome. Brother Mesa is doing much better and from the last time that we asked him on Saturday, he hasn`t smoked or drinked (drank? drunken? my English is terrible) in almost a week. We are hoping and praying that they can be baptized on the 16th.

It was great to hear from Grandma and Grandpa, thanks for writing! I really appreciated your notes.

You`ll have to tell Jake Adams hey for me. I wrote him in Colombia while I was still in Santa Rita a while ago, but I don`t know if it got to him. I`m sure he`s having a great time adjusting back to normal life, whew that`s gonna be weird.

I love you all very much and always love hearing from you!

I know that this is the work of the Lord. I feel so blessed to be a missionary. I`m very grateful for the Spirit. I was reading a conferene talk this morning by Elder Bednar (I love his talks) about the Spirit of Revelation. I know that what he said about receiving a gradual answer to the truth is true for me. I feel very grateful towards the Lord for having blessed me with constant assurances of the truth. Thanks for being so great. I love you all lots!

Elder Snow

P.S. I threw in a picture of Elder Durrant and I at the leaders conference. I saw Elder Merrill there too. They`re great Elders. Notice my comb over, What!!!!
Elder Snow and Elder Durrant