Elder Zachary Snow

Elder Zachary Snow

Monday, February 27, 2012

Miracles Far Outweigh the Tough Moments - February 27,2012

Dear Family,

Sorry, I don`t have very much time to write today. We are in Asunción for a leadership council and we have to catch a bus back to Pilar really soon so this will be a quick one.

We have had an up and down week. This past couple of weeks we have been working very hard but haven`t been seeing many of the fruits from it. Yesterday, however, we did see several really great blessings and things are looking up. This week we have the baptism planned for Gabriela and it seems like everything should go through great this time. Gabriela and her mom made it to church yesterday and we had the mom sign the permission slip so it seems like everything will go as planned.

Last week I had written a little bit about Lorena. She is the girlfriend of a less active member. This past week she started to progress again and we put a new fecha with her for the 10th of March. However, yesterday she didn`t make it to church and we weren`t able to visit her after so we aren`t sure what is going on there.

Yesterday one of the great miracles that we saw was that Hector made it to church. Hector is the boyfriend of a member (luckily they don`t live together). When we first started to share with him he was doing great, progressing very well. But then we weren`t able to find him for a while and he started taking a night class so we couldn`t teach him. All last week we had a goal to get a new person in church (apart from the progressing investigators that I have already written about). We worked hard up until sacrament meeting Sunday, but didn`t have anyone new there. Then just as Sacrament meeting started, Hector showed up with his girlfriend`s brother (who is a returned missionary) and attended church. It was a great tender mercy from the Lord to reward us for the hard work we had put in. Afterwards we had a lesson with Hector and his girlfriend, Nelida, and Nelida´s brother Marcos (the RM). The lesson went really well and Hector recommitted to do his part to find out if it is the truth. He accepted a baptismal date for the 17th if God helps him to know that it is the truth. So we are excited for that.

All in all, there are some rough days, but the miracles we see far outweigh the tough moments. I really love my companion, Elder Shaw. He is very upbeat and can always make me laugh and excited to work hard. He is a great blessing.

Some other great news from today. At the leader´s council I met up with Elder Curtis (I love him). He passed on the good news that Ana María from Costa Bonita was baptized this past week. It was exciting to hear. Also, Elder Curtis´ younger brother is going to the Chile Concepción mission, where Brother and Sister Kimball will be serving. Except Elder Curtis' brother leaves the MTC next week for South America. So him and the Kimballs will see each other in South America!

I really love you all so much and appreciate everything that you do for me.

Mom, you had asked a couple of questions...

My shoes are actually holding up pretty well. I don`t know if I have mentioned, but in Pilar we are on bikes and there is no empedrado so it doesn`t kill my shoes as fast.

I know that this is the true church. I am so blessed to be a member of it. I hope you all do great this week! Love you!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pilar is a Great Area - February 20, 2012

Dear Family!!

Thanks for a great letter of what happened last week in good ´ole Newbury Park. Sounds like you have been really busy! Running from here to there. But it´s better that way, life is more fulfilling. I know that in the mission I feel so much better when I have been busy working in the Lord`s vineyard.

We have had a busy and great week as well. It`s has also been a tiring week since we have been traveling all over the southern half of Paraguay. On Monday, we went to San Ignacio to have interviews with President Callan. It went very well. He is such a spiritual man, I have grown to really love him. Speaking of which, we received an announcement today about the new mission president of my mission. His name is Pedro Agazanni, he is from Córdoba, Argentina and will take over on July 1.So I will have a new mission president for about a month. If you could send some info on him I would be interested to know a little about him.

Then on Monday afternoon we traveled to Encarnación. Elder Shaw and I did divisions with the zone leaders in Encarn on Monday night and on Tuesay we had zone conference. The zone conference was really great. We focused a lot on how to become better teachers and did lots of practices on teaching the message of the Restoration. It really impresses me over and over again how perfect the doctrine of the church is. It is such a blessing to live in a time when the restored gospel is here in the earth. I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and that through him the Gospel was restored.
Then on Tuesday afternoon we did a lot of traveling to get back to Pilar that night. Then Wednesday through Sunday we worked hard to make up for the time we missed and get our investigators excited for church.

In the end, we did not have the baptism on Saturday. We passed by on Wednesday and everything was fine, we had the interview scheduled for Friday. Then on Thursday night Gabriela´s mom said that she wants Gabriela to wait and prepare more. The mom is just getting active again, so she has a couple of doubts on if Gabriela is ready for baptism. So we attacked Gabriela and her mom with member visits in these past few days and put a new baptismal date for the 3rd of March. They both attended church yesterday and seem to be excited.

Yesterday in church we had a really great blessing from the Lord. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Rita. She is an investigator that attended church two weeks ago and was progressing very well. She has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and of the church and wants to be baptized. Last week she didn`t make it to church because she moved houses and we didn`t know where she was living. We called her a bunch of times and she never answered so we thought she was avoiding us. We couldn`t find her new house and she wouldn`t answer the phone so we thought we were going to have to drop her. Yesterday morning she texted a member and said that she wanted the member to pick her up for church. So Hermana Suarez (The familia Suarez are my heroes) took her to church and everything is fine. It turns out that Rita traveled to her mom`s house and left her phone because she didn`t have service out there. Now we will continue teaching her and she will continue progressing. The problem there is that she lives with her boyfriend and they aren`t married. We have talked with the boyfriend and he is really not interested and doesn`t want to get married. We will have to continue working there and have lots of faith that the Lord will provide a way.

This past week we continued teaching Lorena as well. Lorena is the girlfriend of a less active member (Alex) and they are living together. Lorena also really likes the church and wants to be baptized. But, it`s the same situation as Rita, the man doesn`t want to get married. So right now we are having a couple of challenges with couples not wanting to get married. Lorena is really great. She learns a little bit slower, but is sincere and is progressing well. Her boyfriend`s brother, John, is a really active member who helps us all the time with the work. Lorena didn`t end up making it to church yesterday because apparently her and Alex had a fight and Lorena left to her mom`s house. We will see what happens there.

So there are a lot of great investigators right now. We just have to tie up the loose ends and help people enter into the waters of baptism. I feel very blessed. Pilar is a great area, Elder Shaw is a fantastic companion, the members are very helpful, and the Lord is blessing us. That about wraps it up, I hope you area all well. I love you!!

Elder Snow

Monday, February 13, 2012

This is the Lord's Work - February 13, 2012

Dear Family,

ELDER SHAW IS THE GREATEST (He typed that, haha).

We are sitting here in an internet cyber in San Ignacio, about 2 hours away from Pilar. We had to travel early this morning to have interviews here with President Callan. Tonight we are heading out to Encarnación (another 3 hours away) for zone conference tomorrow. It turns out in this cyber there aren`t 2 computers next to eachother, so Elder Shaw and I are sharing a computer and that is why he wrote a little message to start things out.

We have had another very exciting week. We have been working very hard to help our investigators progress and to find new investigators at the same time. Last week I talked about Gabriela, the daughter of the less active member. She made it to church again yesterday and is excited for her baptism this Saturday. We are praying that all goes well because since we are traveling, we won`t be in our area until Wednesday. The members are so great though that they do visits when we aren`t there. There is one family (The Suarez family) that is so great and visit all of our investigators on their own.

We had another great miracle this week with a new investigator we found. Her name is Lorena, she is living together with a less active member named Alexander. They are a young couple and Alexander hasn`t been to church in a while. This week we started teaching Lorena and she has progressed a lot. At first, she was kind of slow to understand and didn`t show much interest, but as we taught the basic principles and about Christ she really started to open up. She offered a prayer for the first time and it went really well. Yesterday, Lorena went to church for the first time and really enjoyed it. So we are excited to see how she continues progressing.

Anyway, since we are sharing a computer, I don`t have that much time. So I will just finish saying that I love you all so much! Thanks for always writing and for your support. I know that this is the Lord`s work and I feel so blessed to be a part of it.

Elder Snow

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

One of the Greatest Weeks Ever - February 6, 2012

Dear Family!

Wow! This has been such an incredible week. I have seen the Lord`s hand in the work so much. We have seen miracle after miracles. We are feeling full of faith and excitement.
I will try to send pictures of the wedding and baptism of the Servín family (They were both baptized!! It's an exciting story) but I'm not sure if it will work because this computer is spazzy.

Anyway, starting off with Tuesday. We had an incredible day. On Tuesday night we had an appointment set with the Servin family. Brother Servin had had a great experience in church on Sunday and we felt that we should invite him to be baptized with his wife. So on Tuesday we had a lesson with them and talked about church and how the faith of Brother Servin has been progressing very much lately. In a very spiritual part of the lesson, Elder Shaw extended the baptismal invitation to Brother Servin. The Spirit in that room was incredible. I could feel so strongly the love of God for Brother Servin. Just thinking about it now makes me all tingly, haha. Brother Servin thought about it for a minute, looked us in the eye and said "sí." Wow, one of the most powerful moments of my entire mission. From that moment on, that was it. They continued progressing even more all the way to their baptism. The service went super well. One of the incredible sisters in our ward was in charge of the decorations, another took care of the cake, and another prepared food for after the baptismal service. There was an incredible attendance and we had a lot of investigators there. Watching the progress of the Servin Family has been a true blessing. Everyone mentions how there is a visible change in the face of Brother Servin. The Gospel is so true, I know it. Elder Shaw and I have really grown to love that family.

But that was just one miracle from this week of many. This week we had the opportunity to do divisions with the assistants. Elder Durrant and I teamed up on Wednesday and Elder Shaw was with Elder Love. It was so great to be back with my MTC companion. The dream team was reunited, haha. We saw so many great miracles on Wednesday. We found 12 new investigators and put baptismal dates left and right. We had a couple of very spiritual lessons. One great family we found lives right in front of the church. They are progressing well. They weren't able to make it to church yesterday because they had to go out of town to take care of his mom. We are faithful that they will progress, however.
Elder Shaw and Elder Love saw a great miracle on Wednesday as well. We had received a reference from a member a couple of weeks ago of a less active member that moved here several years ago from another branch. She has a 10 year old daughter named Gabriela who has not been baptized yet. We had tried to contact them several times but hadn't been able to find them yet. On Wednesday, Elder Shaw and Elder Love found them and taught them. The mom has a strong testimony of the church, but has fallen into inactivity. She feels the desires to come back and the daughter really wants to be baptized. We set a baptismal date with Gabriela for the 18th. Gabriela and her mom attended both the wedding/baptism and church yesterday. It was the first time that they have been to church in a long time. They are reading the scriptures again and are really progressing a lot. What an incredible blessing from the Lord.

Another great miracle that we have seen this week is with a new investigator named Rita. We taught Rita for the first time about two weeks ago. The lesson went really well and she committed to read and pray to know the truth. After that we went several days without being able to find her. Finally on Thursday this past week we found her again. She asked us "¿Qué pasó de ustedes?" and said she had been waiting for us to come back. That is always a good sign. So we brought a member and taught her for a second time. We asked her about her reading and prayer. She had read the entire folleto and practically memorized it. After, she prayed and received a testimony that it is the truth. She told us that after she prayed she felt so peaceful and "ganas de llorar." :-O She is very prepared. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she is reading like crazy. She has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and says that she feels peace every time she reads. We invited to to church yesterday and she attended all three hours. She loved it and is planning on attending next week as well. She accepted a baptismal date for the 25th of this month. We will work hard with her to achieve the baptismal goal. We have some work ahead of us because she is living with her boyfriend and they aren't married. The boyfriend is not too interested. We have tried to share with him several times, but he hasn't wanted to yet. I know that with faith and patience he will become receptive as well. Rita is progressing very well and knows a lot of members because we've been taking members with us every time we teach her.

Anyway, to wrap things up, this has been one of the greatest weeks ever. I feel so blessed and I know that the Lord is working with us here in Paraguay. We see miracles and are really truly blessed to be in the work of the Lord. I love you all so much! Have a fantastic week!

Love, Elder Snow