Elder Zachary Snow

Elder Zachary Snow

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Great and Successful Week - May 28, 2012

Dear Family,

Well we have had a great and successful week. We have continued working hard with Pedro and his wife, Felisia. They are progressing really well and I think they are getting closer to taking the step of baptism. This week we had a really good visit with them in which Jorge Jara accompanied us. Pedro and Felisia have expressed doubts to be baptized because they don´t feel ready yet. They also have faced opposition from family members who aren´t big fans of the Church. Jorge has experienced similar challenges and we felt that his testimony would be able to help. Jorge did a fantastic job, he shared his testimony of how he also had to take a step in the dark and be baptized, even though he didn´t have a perfect knowledge yet. He spoke of how he needed to be baptized to continue progressing. Something that I have learned in the mission is that an investigator can only progress to a certain point before being baptized and, unless the person is baptized, won´t be able to progress more than that point. Jorge also shared an experience of how his family made fun of him a little bit for his decision to be baptized. But he knows that it was the right decision and continues strong in the church. Jorge is a really great convert and a future leader here in Pilar.

In the class of Gospel Principles yesterday, it was my turn to teach (my companion and I switch off every week). I felt like we should talk about baptism. Pedro and Felisia also wanted to know a little bit more about how is the baptism in the church. They wanted to see a baptism, but we don´t have any scheduled really soon. So in the lesson I decided that we could watch part of a video that we have that shows the baptism of a convert. (Dad also mentioned something about preparing talks on the fly, yesterday morning I had to prepare the class in about 15 minutes haha). So we talked about baptism, shared some scriptures, shared experiences from baptism, and saw the video. The Spirit was very strong and present. At the end I shared a personal experience from my baptism. I remember when Dad and I were in the changing room after he had recently baptized me and I mentioned to him that I felt good and that it was too bad that I could only be baptized once. I don´t remember the exact words that Dad said to me, but I remember that he mentioned that through repentance and the Sacrament that I could always relive those feelings that I had in the moment of my baptism and that I could always feel that happiness. Thank you, Dad, for that important lesson. I have carried it with me for a long time and I know and feel of its truth. Yesterday, sharing that experience helped Pedro and Felisia as well. They have felt some doubts of baptism because they are afraid of falling or sinning after being baptized. I shared with the class that after we are baptized, we are going to make mistakes, but that through repentance, the Atonement, and the Sacrament, we can always find our way back and feel once again the feelings that we have when we are baptized. I know that this is the true Church, that has the true Doctrine of Christ.

Another cool moment in church yesterday was that Jorge Jara, our convert from last month was able to bless the Sacrament and Eider Servín, who was baptized a couple of months ago served the Sacrament to us. That was pretty neat. I feel really blessed for our efforts here in Pilar. I feel good to know that I have helped to edify God´s Kingdom a little bit here and that the recent converts are staying strong in the church.

Like Mom I also had the blessing to give a talk in Sacrament Meeting yesterday. It was a pretty busy Sunday with teaching the Gospel Principles class and giving a talk as well. I talked about the importance of having a testimony and how a testimony will sustain us in times of difficulty.

We have also been working this week with a reference from a recent convert, Alan. His prima (cousin) is named Esperanza. She had attended church years ago when she was a girl. She is now about 25 and has two children of her own. She has been progressing but hasn´t made it to church yet. We will continue working with her as well.

I have a testimony that this is the true church of God, the only one on Earth. I know that Christ lives and that He loves us. I love you all very much!! Till next week...

Elder Snow

Monday, May 21, 2012

Still in Pilar - May 21, 2112

Dear Family!!
Great to hear from you this week. We have had a successful week. To let you know, I am still here in good ´ole Pilar with Elder Ramos. I am confident that the Lord wants me here and that there is still work for me to do. I am excited to continue working in Pilar and I know that there are still so many people that will receive the gospel here in the months that come.

But like I said, we have had a really great week. Last week we struggled a little bit because it was Holiday time here in Paraguay and everyone was pretty busy in those days. This week things have calmed down a little bit and we have had a lot of success. Yesterday in church Pedro and Felisia were able to make it for the second time. We have been inviting them to be baptized on a specific date but they haven´t accepted so far. Pedro wants to be really sure of the decision that he makes. They were baptized before in an Evangelical Church a while ago but don´t attend there anymore and had some problems in that church. For that reason, they want to be really sure of their decision. But I can tell that they are sincere and want to be baptized, they just want to be sure as well.

We have also found some really golden people this week. Yesterday morning we taught a man who is so prepared! We taught him all of the message of the Restoration and he understood it really well. He told us that he had the feeling that he needed to be baptized, but he didn´t know in which church or how to know which church is true. Anyway, he is the father of a big family. They are about to have their 5th child this month. The family is all really great and the mom is realy receptive as well. We are excited to see their progress, They are planning on going to church next week.

Well I´ve got to go pretty soon. I love you all very much. Thanks for all of the support. I am grateful for the blessing of being here in the mission. I know that this is the work of the Lord! Have a great week


Elder Snow

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day! - May 14, 2012

Dear Snow Fam,
Happy Mother´s Day!! I hope you had a great Mother´s day, Mom. I don´t know if I remembered to wish you a happy Mother´s Day when we talked on Saturday, sorry about that. I love you a lot and appreciate everything that you have done for me as my mother, including the extra two weeks of pregnancy that you never let me forget about :P haha

It was really great to talk to you all. I was really surprised to see how much Melanie has grown up. Is she almost as tall as Kim now? After I finished talking with the fam, Elder Ramos asked me if Melanie goes to BYU because of her BYU sweatshirt that she was wearing. I think he thought she looked a little older than 15 haha.
Mother's Day Skype

It was great to see Zach and talk to him!

I was able to talk to Dan for a few minutes as well. It was really neat to see London, she is a cute little niece. At one point Dan held her up close to the computer screen so that I could see her a little better and right in that moment she spit up and it got all over his keyboard. Haha, it was really funny. Dan said that she is a spit up monster.

This week has been really great. On Monday night we traveled through the night to get to Encarnación for zone conference on Tuesday Morning. It is like a 6 hour trip if you can get the connecting colectivo(bus) fast. So we were a little tired by the time conference was over, but I left really spiritually fed. In the conference we talked a lot about the missionary purpose, how to find new investigators, and how to teach the commandments.

President Callan talked a lot about the personal conversion of a missionary and the importance of understanding the why of the Gospel and Doctrine of Christ. The Spirit was very strong.

Tuesday afternoon we traveled back to Pilar, but didn´t get so lucky with the busses. We got home at about 11:30 PM. The rest of the week we worked hard with Pedro and Felisa. We´ve been trying to visit them with members but haven´t been able to schedule it well yet. They are progressing a lot. Before they went to church last week, Felisa didn´t really want to share too much. She would kind of wander off while we came to teach Pedro. But this week she has opened up a lot more and is really enjoying our visits. We visited them Monday with the Suarez family and talked about the first principles of the Gospel: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. Pedro wants to be really convinced in order to be baptized. He is reading a lot in the Book of Mormon and really enjoys it.

We saw a lot of progress this week with Victor, the neighbor of the Servín family. We were able to speak with his mom a few times. We taught them one day this week with the entire Servín family there. The mom is traditionally Catholic and a little self-conscious because she doesn´t speak Spanish very well. But we talked about the Doctrine of Christ and explained the blessings of baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost. She said that she thinks it is ok for Victor to be baptized but wants to talk with his dad first to make sure. Victor´s dad works far away and only comes about once a month to visit. So we are praying a lot so that everything goes well. Victor really wants to be baptized. It´s great because he has seen the positive example of Eider Servín, the oldest of the Servín kids and has been really positively influenced.

Today is Paraguay´s Independence Day. I remember last year while I was in Santa Rita (wowwww, it is crazy to think that that was an entire year ago) it was the 200th anniversary of Paraguay´s Independence. It´s pretty neat the have a parade and everything where all of the school kids march in the streets and have some type of talent (marching drums, twirly baton thing called ¨chirolera,¨ etc.) I think we will head over there in a little bit to take some pictures of the parade. It´s funny that they always have the parade on the street called 14 de Mayo (the day of Independence) because there is a street by that name in just about EVERY city in Paraguay.

I´m also attaching the fotos of when I ate la pata de vaca. Or as Kim said ¨cow hoof.¨ They served it with little corn ball things called ¨locro¨ and with beans. The actual soup part tasted pretty good but the foot was really gross. It was like all ligaments and fat. I was being really tentative trying to cut it and the brother that gave it to us told me, ¨Here, elder, this is how you eat it.¨ He grabbed the hoof off my plate and starting going to town on it with his hands like I would eat ribs when I was a little kid, haha.
La pata de vaca (or cow's foot)

Elder Snow enjoying la pata de vaca.  Yum!

Looks just like the rib bones Zach left on the table as a kid!

I really appreciate your letters every week! It is great to hear news from home and have your support. I love you all very much. I am so grateful for the Gospel in our life as a family. What a blessing to be an eternal family. I am really grateful for the blessing of the temple. I am grateful for the opportunity to live the a time where the restored Gospel is on Earth and, even more, to be a missionary teaching it. I know that this is the true Church. I know that God and Christ live.

I hope you all have a great week. Mom, if you could wish a happy mother´s day to Grandma Snow, Grandma Vaccarello, and Great Grandma as well. Thanks

Elder Snow

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Really Good Feeling... - May 7, 2012

Dear Family,

We have had a really great week and have been working really hard.
Yesterday in church we had a couple of new investigators attend
sacrament meeting. Their names are Pedro and Felisia. They are an
older couple that we have been teaching almost two weeks now. Pedro
has been really receptive. Before he attended in various Evangelical
churches for a long period of time but has since left them. He is a
really sincere man that is looking for the truth.

Up until yesterday they hadn´t made it to church. On Saturday we went
by with Brother Servín and his sons, the recent converts from a couple
months ago. We had a really good visit with The Servin´s and Pedro and
his wife. It turned out that they already knew each other and were
somewhat of friends. Visiting investigators with members always makes
it a lot easier for them to make it to church for the first time. When
Pedro and his wife made it to church on Sunday it turned out that they
knew several other members. It´s funny how much the people know each
other in Pilar because it is a small town type setting.

In church on Sunday it was pretty cool because Eider Servin was able
to pass the sacrament for the first time. He was ordained a deacon
just last week and this week was able to pass the sacrament to us. He
did a really good job and it was a really good feeling to be able to
be able to receive the sacrament from a recent convert of mine.
This past Saturday there was a baptism in the second branch of Pilar.
In Pilar, there are 2 companionships, 1 for each of the branches. The
other branch had a baptism for someone that they have been teaching
for a while. We are currently teaching the family of the young woman
that was baptized. It was neat because the family that we are teaching
also made it to the baptismal service.

Tomorrow we will have a zone conference. We will be traveling a little
far, we have to go all the way out to Encarnación, which is like a 6
hour travel. I am really excited for the zone conference, this will be
the last one with President Callan.

Anywho, I´m about out of time. I love you all so much! I hope
everything is going well.
Have a great week.

Elder Snow

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Help All to Come Unto Christ - April 30, 2012

Dear Family,
Hey thanks so much for writing another great letter this week. It is always a blessing to hear from you. I especially love hearing about how church is going and how the members are doing.

We have had a really great week again. We are working so hard to find new investigators and to help all to come unto Christ. This week we haven´t been able to find as many people at home as we are used to, but the Lord has blessed us to find some really quality new families to teach and work with.

For an udate with our investigator Zulma. This week we visited her a couple of times and taught about the first principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and also taught the Word of Wisdom. We have been working really hard to take various members to visit her. Yesterday neither Zulma or her daughter made it to church, however. We passed by after church and she said that she isn´t sure if she wants to continue attending. She had been going to another Evangelical church and stopped attending there to attend the Church of Jesus Christ. I think she is receiving some pressure from her friends to go back to the other church. We were able to talk to her a little bit about the importance for her to pray and really know from God what she should do.

After we finished talking with Zulma I felt a little bummed because I had felt like we had done everything right and that we had always taken members, were teaching with the Spirit, doing our part. So Elder Ramos and I shared a couple of scriptures with each other and offered a special prayer for Zulma. I thought a lot about Ether 12:6, one of my favorites. It talks about how we don´t receive a witness until after the trial of our faith. I feel like my faith needs to be tried a little bit more. The Lord knows what is best and has a plan for me to become the person that I need to become. Like Elder Waddell said in conference, the Lord sends us the investigators, companions, everything that we need to become who he wants us to become. This scripture helped me to realize that I need to show more faith in the Lord and that the Lord needs to try our faith sometimes so that we can receive the witness from Him that it is his work that we are in.

I feel like things will go well with Zulma and that if she really has the desires to know, the Lord will answer her. And even if she doesn´t accept the Gospel, I will still feel like a successful missionary because I know we have taught her through the Spirit and that the Spirit has testified to her of the truth of our message.

A really neat moment from yesterday is that two more of my recent converts received the Priesthood. Both Jorge Jara and Eider Servin (the oldest of the Servin children) made it to church on Wednesday despite the pouring rain for their interviews and yesterday after church were ordained in the Priesthood. Such a blessing to see that happen.

Today we are in Asunción for a consejo de líderes. These meetings are always such a blessing to attend. The Spirit is always there so strongly. We spoke a lot about the importance of retaining the recent Converts as well as continuing to baptize through asking for references, working with the members, working with incomplete families. A focus on the eternal family always helps so much.

President Callan shared several thoughts on the importance of always remembering our missionary purpose. We read a talk by Elder Christofferson on the importance of remembering our missionary purpose. If we are constantly focused on our focus of bringing others unto Christ we will be much happier, more successful, and better missionaries for the Lord. I am always drawn to the importance of the Atonement. The Atonement is what drives missionary work. A personal testimony of the Atonement and personal conversion help so much so that a missionary teaches with power. I want to rededicate myself to the work and really strengthen the testimony that I have of the Savior and His church.

I am grateful for this work and for the blessing that I have to be a missionary. I want you all to know that I know this is His true church. I love you all very much. I hope you have a great week!!


Elder Snow