Elder Zachary Snow

Elder Zachary Snow

Monday, November 28, 2011

I Really, Really, Am Grateful - November 28, 2011

Elder Curtis

Elder Curtis and Elder Snow
Dear Family,

So great to hear from you all!

Thanks for the great letter with the updates on Thanksgiving. To answer Dad`s question, yes I did remember it was Thanksgiving but we didn`t really celebrate it, haha. We were just working away and there isn`t really time to cook so we didn`t eat too much. Apart from that we were a little bit sick on Thursday so we weren`t in the mood too much to eat. Oh well. I did get that package this week though so I think I`ll make some Beef Stroganoff today to celebrate Thanksgiving a couple of days late. Sounds good to me. Thanks for not going into detail on all the great things that you ate at Thanksgiving Dinner, that would have been kind of mean, he he.

Well we have had a really good week. I`m trying to think back and there doesn`t seem like there is a whole lot to write about. I think I just feel a little tired because we have been sick but still working really hard and we also did some divisions this past week.

A highlight from this week was that we had Stake Conference yesterday. It was really incredible. The focus was missionary work. In the stake there are 5 or 6 young men that have their mission calls and are getting ready to leave within the next couple of months. They all bore their testimonies and spoke for a couple of minutes. The Spirit was super strong. There was one young man that spoke a lot about his parents and how much they helped him to make the decision to go on a mission. He said that growing up he always said he wanted to go but it was more just to please his parents by saying it. But as he grew older and started gaining a testimony of the gospel, he felt true desires to go on a mission. He thanked his parents and it was a really tender and spiritual moment. Elder Snow may or may not, but definitely did, shed a tear or two. I thought back to my decision to serve a mission and I am so grateful for you, my family and how much you helped me with my decision to serve a mission. I look back now and realize how much it has blessed my life. I will be eternally grateful for the decision that I made to come on the mission and I would not give it up for anything.

Thanks Mom and Dad, I really love you so much and am so grateful for your patience, love, and testimony. I really, really am grateful. I love you all!

Sorry this letter has been so lame and short, I promise that next week`s will be better. I love you all! Chau chau

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lord Has Strange Ways to Help Missionaries - November 21, 2011

Dear Family!!

Hey, thank you so much for writing another great letter this week. It was great to hear from you and get updates on how everyone is doing. This has been kind of an up and down week here in Costa Bonita. It seems like every other day we had a lot of success, were able to teach many lessons, find some great new people, etc. And then the the other days we weren`t quite able to get it going. The great miracle is that even in the rough days, if we are perseverant and diligent, the Lord will give us a couple of great miracles in the end. Those are great testimony builders.

I want to share a little bit of an experience from this last week that was 1) kind of funny (for me, not for Elder Curtis) and 2) a great testimony builder. The story starts out about a week and a half ago. We are teaching a great man named Jacinto. Jacinto is like 75 years old and lives alone in a small little room that he rents out. He has really bad arthritis to the point where it`s hard for him to even walk. So he just kind of hangs out in his room all day and rests. Elder Love and I found him a couple of weeks back and started teaching him. He is very humble and a great guy. He really understands the doctrine and wants to get baptized. We just can`t get him to church. We could take him in a member`s car, but he doesn`t feel ready yet because he has a lot of pain from the arthritis. Anyway, he lives in a small single room and when we first started teaching him, it was realllly dirty. So about a week and half ago, Elder Curtis and I cleaned up his room and fixed his light and just did some service. It felt really good. We did it when just Jacinto was there and nobody saw it, it was pretty low key.

Fast forward a week and a half. Thursday afternoon we are working about a block and half from Jacinto`s house. Elder Curtis and I were walking on like a dirt path type thing and there were three kids having a bike race. They kept riding past us and around us and every which way. One time, as they are passing (and they were really flying fast) they were coming at us like kind of spread out. Elder Curtis and I were like 3 feet apart. The first two passed between Elder Curtis and I. After they passed, Elder Curtis moved like he was going to come closer to me. The third biker was going to pass between us as well, just as Elder Curtis started moving towards me. Long story short, the biker (his name was Walter, btw) WHAM! crashes right into Elder Curtis. Elder Curtis went flying and the biker kid took him into next week. It was funny for me, but kind of painful for Elder Curtis.

So then some people start running towards us, offering help and what not. Elder Curtis was fine, he just had to sit down for a minute. One lady brought him some water and started talking to us. She was really nice and asked us some questions about the church. So we talked to her and another man that came to help for a couple of minutes. It turns out that the lady is Jacinto`s grand daughter. She went by his house the day after we cleaned up for him and Jacinto told her what he had done. So she was pretty happy and really grateful and was receptive because of it. So we wrote down her info and we are going to try to teach her and her family this week.

So moral of the story, the Lord has strange ways to help the missionaries find his prepared children. Hopefully we will see some results from teaching them.

Another highlight from this week was zone conference on Tuesday. It was so great, just what the zone needed. We are really focusing on finding new investigators right now and working well with the members. The Spirit was very strong and I am grateful for all of the help that the Lord is giving us. I know the church is true, this is the Lord`s work!

Elder Snow

Monday, November 14, 2011

Miracles & Tender Mercies - November 14, 2011

Dear Family!

Thanks so much for another great letter!! Welp, Mom had several questions, I`ll try to answer them in a minute.
This week we have been working our tails off, it has felt sooo great. In the end we weren`t able to have the baptism. We have taught Manu and Melissa everything, they are suuuuper prepared and have really strong testimonies. We just haven`t been able to get permission from the mom for them to be baptized. They had their baptismal interviews on Friday and they passed them just fine. Their Mom`s name is Amalia. She is a very nice lady and has always been very open to us sharing with her kids. The Dad is also a very nice man, he is in Argentina working right now and should be coming home soon. 
Anyway, Manu had talked with her a couple of times about the possibility of him being baptized and she kept saying that she wanted to think about it. She has some doubts as to whether they need to be baptized again because they were both baptized in another church. So Friday she made the decision that she didn`t want them to get baptized yet. Manu and Melissa were really sad, because they really want to get baptized. I was a little bit sad, but I also felt calm because I know that we have done our part and that they have done their part as well. On Saturday we made a cake for them and left it at their house with a note. A couple of hours later Manu called us and he was really excited. They found the cake and the mom was really happy and really appreciated it. We stopped by later that night and she opened up a little more and said that they can keep going to church and we can continue teaching them. We didn`t push the baptism part yet, but I know that the Lord will provide a way.
I am really grateful for my new comp, Elder Curtis. He is a really hard worker and likes to work with the members, which is exactly what our area needs.
We have seen some really great miracles this week. We have found a lot of super sincere people that are looking for the truth. We had a bunch of people that were committed to go to church yesterday. We woke up yesterday morning and it was raining really hard, so that was a little bit of a bummer. It rained all day and was raining pretty hard during church. Getting people to church when it is raining is somewhat of a challenge. But we had a great miracle and had a couple of new investigators that made it. One of them is named Ana. She is the daughter of a member that is living in another area. Ana lives with her grandma, who is also a member. She turns 9 pretty soon and wants to get baptized. She wanted to go to church, just not alone. The grandma is really old and doesn`t walk well, so she couldn`t go with Ana. We were planning on having Ana go in Bishop`s truck to church, but then Bishop didn`t take the truck because it was raining. So we were kind of in a hole. We talked with a member that lives close to Ana and she was willing to walk like 25 minutes to church with Ana in the pouring rain! It was so great to see their faith. So Ana went to church with her cousin that was visiting the grandma over the weekend. They both really liked church and are going to go again next week.
Some other great miracles that I saw this week happened when we did exchanges on Tuesday and Wednesday. Elder Chatterley, one of the district leaders, came to my area and we worked together. We found some incredible people that are looking for the truth. We try to finish every lesson with a kneeling prayer. We invited some of the new people to asked Heavenly Father during the final prayer if the church is true. With some of the new investigators, they felt the Spirit for sure and accepted baptismal dates. I love finding sincere people like that, it`s such a tender mercy!

Ok, I`m running low on time, I`ll answer a couple of questions.
How was your birthday?
It was great!  We found some super great people on Wednesday.
Dad also asked if I am writing in my journal.
I hate to admit it, but I`m terrible at writing in my journal. I really need to do better, there are so many great miracles every day and I need to remember them. 
I know that if we keep the commandments, the Lord will take care of us!

I love you all so much!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Everything Went Espectacular! - November 7, 2011


Wow!! What an incredible week!! As you will notice from the pictures, we had a wedding and a baptism for Juan and Victoria this week!! Wow, we just saw miracle after miracle in order to have everything go well. There were some difficulties because Victoria is only 16 and neither of her parents are here so we had to get lots of stuff organized and work with a juzgado de paz , don`t know how I would say that in English. But in the end, everything went espectacular! We had lots of help from the members of the ward to set up for the wedding, get the cake, get witnesses for the wedding, all sorts of fun stuff.
Victoria & Juan with Juzgado de Paz
Elder Love, Victoria, Juan & Elder Snow
Letitia, Victoria, Juan, Dario & Jonathan

Victoria, Baby Jonathan & Juan
A very happy day!

And then the baptism was so incredible! It was the first baptism that I`ve had in a good while, so it was just so special. The Spirit that I felt was incredible. I don`t know if I have ever felt that happy in my life. The happiness that you feel in the mission is like nothing else, it makes all the tough times so worth it. Juan and Victoria were both super happy as well. I could tell that they were excited to take that important step of baptism. The next day in church was really special also, because they received the Holy Ghost and their baby, Jonathan, received a child`s blessing. It was a very special day yesterday, also.
In the baptism, Leticia (Victoria`s sister that gave us the referral to teach them) gave a talk during the baptismal service on baptism. It was so great. The spirit was super strong. All in all, it was a great day.
In other news..... I have a new companion. His name is Elder Curtis. He is an absolute stud. This week we got a call from President Callan that there was going to be a special change. Elder Love left to Ka´aguy Rory and he will be serving as the assistant with Elder Durrant. So after the baptism on Saturday night we made the switch and Elder Curtis has been here with me in Costa Bonita since Saturday night. I will really miss Elder Love, he is such a great missionary. I learned a lot from him and he really helped me to become more focused on the mission and to love the people. 
My new companion, Elder Curtis, is from Utah. He was serving in the office as secretary for  a while and just got out, so he is excited to work hard. We are going to see lots of miracles together, I know it.
Other great news, we are planning to have another baptism this week. In the letter last week I wrote a little bit about Manu and Melissa. They are so super prepared! It`s great to see their progress. They are reading the Book of Mormon every day and are understanding it really well. This week Manu made it to church again, he is really excited for his baptism on the 12th. Melissa was sick and didn`t make it to church, so we will probably move her baptismal date back for the 19th. We just have to talk really well with the parents and make sure that they give their permission for them to get baptized. 
Welp, I`m so grateful for all of you! Thanks for writing every week and always being such a great support.
Congrats to Dan and Lauren! So what are the finalist names for the baby girl?  Do I get a vote in this?  Haha just kidding.
I know that this is the work of the Lord.  I am so, so grateful for the happiness that I feel here.  I know that the Church is true and that it changes lives.
I love you all,
Elder Snow

Blessings Come Through Hard Work & Diligence - October 31, 2011

Hey Family! No, I didn`t forget about you. I wrote out the letter last week and tried to send it, but it wouldn`t work. I was out of time so I figured, ehh I`ll just wait. Here is the letter from last week, I am going to write a letter for this week right now. Love ya!

Querida Familia!!!

Hey! It has been really great to hear from you another week. This letter was especially great. I really enjoyed reading about the family history work as well as to read more of Dad`s mission experiences. I really enjoy hearing about your mission experiences, Dad. Thank you for sending them, keep it up! I can tell that your mission was so important to you and it helps me to understand the stud you are today! Haha, I love you!

Today I am writing a little bit later because we had a leadership council this morning. We have them once a month on a Monday morning. This council today was really great. The Spirit was super strong. We talked a lot about the Doctrine of Christ. We read a lot from 2 Nephi 31. It was really great. I love studying the Gospel and the Doctrine of Christ.

The Spirit was very strong during the entire meeting, but especially at the end. In the mission, there are 9 out of the 22 zone leaders that are going home this change, and President Callan asked each of them to bear their testimonies at the end. The love that each missionary expressed for the work was truly amazing. It was so apparent the joy that they have felt in the work and how converted they have become. It made me reflect a lot on my personal conversion to the Gospel. I realize that the Gospel has really saved me. I am so grateful for the mission and the joy that I feel serving.

Elder Love and I have had a great week! We really are working hard. This week we saw many blessings from our diligence. We had several investigators in Sacrament Meeting and we have seen a lot of progress this week. We are hoping for a lot of baptisms in the month of November.

Juan and Victoria are doing very well, we are planning their wedding and baptism for this week. They are super prepared, we are just waiting on Victoria´s mom to get back from a trip so that we can have the wedding and the baptism.

We also have two other investigators that have a baptismal date for the 12th of November. We found them this week while trying to teach a less active member. They are the nephew and niece of a less active member. Their names are Carlos Manuel (14 years old) and Melissa (9 years old). They went to church several times before with their uncle before he became less active. They are reading the Book of Mormon a lot and went to church yesterday. We want to talk more with the parents this week, they are really nice, but haven`t been as receptive as their kids.

I really enjoyed the story that Dad shared about Pilar. I remember you telling me about her a little bit before I came on the mission. That is a really great example of diligence. Even though your companion wasn`t so willing to work, you persevered and saw great miracles. I am very grateful that in my mission I have had great companions that have desires to work. I know that the Lord prepares people for us to teach, and if we are willing to work hard, He will bless us to find them. I have a great testimony that the Gospel answers the questions that so many people have. I really know that the Lord prepared Pilar in that moment and that she was prepared to hear the message. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, It has the answers to the questions of the soul. A couple of weeks ago I started reading the Book of Mormon over again from the beginning. I can`t read it without feeling the Spirit, I know that it is true. It was written for our day. I know it. It gets me excited to go out and work hard in order to help as many people as I can!

Thanks for being so great and for always being a great influence, I love you all so much! Have a great week!

Elder Snow