Monday, July 21, 2014

Called to serve

family and friends..
I can not believe i am actually writing my LAST email home. this is crazy. This week has been the toughest week ever. a part of me is so excited for the next chapter of my life, and another part is completely heart broken my time as a full time missionary is over. The future is bright, and i have learned so many lifelong lessons as i have served the Lord.
This week we were so blessed. It was one of the best weeks number wise we have had in a long time. We taught a lot of lessons, found new investigators, prepared people to come close to be baptized, and we lived our purpose everyday. 
we were blessed to see a family we have been teaching come to church, and they enjoyed it very much! 
I look back on this week with no regrets. I used all the time i was blessed with to work my hardest and to be bold in all situations. There is no greater happiness than that of bearing testimony and teaching people about their savior. 
That is what it is all about. That is why i work by hardest every single day. That is why i keep going, even when we get screamed at or made fun of. That is why i am obedient. Jesus Christ really did come to the earth and preform the atonement for US. The atonement is REAL and it heals us, gives us strength, and changes us. I am not who i was 18 months ago. Thank goodness! I know that because of the savior i can keep progressing. My time as a missionary is not over, it is just beginning!! 
Because of my service as a missionary, i honestly can say that i love myself. 
Because of my service as a missionary, more importantly i love other people. I have learned how to work hard, how to find joy, and how to trust Heavenly Father.
I know this will continue to grow. 
Alma 26:11-16, 35-37 has given me so much comfort today. God IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! he does have all power... this is HIS work and he will strengthen us to be able to do hard things. 
i love you all. Thank you for the prayers, letters, and love. 
sister snow

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Our times are in His hands.

Wow I am in shock right now... I literally feel like I was just at the computer 3 hours ago emailing about my week.. but that was a whole week ago. the closer the end is coming the quicker time is going by!
This week was great. Alot of ups and downs, but hey thats life. We spent a lot of time out of our area this week for exchanges and interviews, but we made the most out of the time we were blessed with.
We worked SO hard this week to involve the members in every single teaching appointment we had. We saw miracles because of it. I am seeing more and more every day how missionary work truly helps both parties involved. The teachers and the teachees. We set an investigator scott for baptism on September 2... hes had a date before but this time i feel it will happen. He is doing great!
We went down to nagshead for exchanges with the hermanas. they have been having some serious struggles and i am definitely learning alot about how important it is to rely on the spirit in every situation, and that every moment can and should be a teaching opportunity. I am learning so much every single day.
We had interviews with president baker this saturday and it was one of the sweetest experiences of my life. It was the last interview with him in the mission field. except my exit was very emotional. I was fine all week until i walked into president bakers office and he said such a kind prayer to start the interview. its been downhill ever sense. i cry a lot. im such a girl. President baker said that we couldnt talk about the fact that im going home because he would get weepy. he said when missionaries like me leave he thinks to himself, how can the mission go on... but then it does. He said the changes i have made and the work i have done is remarkable. I do not say these things to brag.. frankly i still do not see them as remarkable, but as evidence of what the atonement of Jesus Christ can do in our individual lives. We all can become stronger and learn to love ourselves as the Savior does. We have so much potential, we just need to be obedient to him and let him mold us unto the people he knows we can become. I have a long way to go, but im grateful for the start my mission has provided me.
I am out of time. My goal for this week is to be the boldest i have ever been... hahhah watch out virginia!!!!!
I am having so much fun out here, and finally i am at peace with the changes that are taking place. I know heavenly Father is proud of the work his missionaries are doing, and i know he will be with me everystep of the way this week and forever.
i will not lose sight of him. i will finish strong.
talk to you next week.....
Sister Snow

Monday, July 7, 2014

" there is One other than Walmart who saves"

My email title is from a church bilboard. love it. The south is so great with all its little churches everywhere. Everyone here looooooves Jesus. I am loving every second i have left here, every day is filled with so many opportunities to bear my testimony and to have mine strengthened.
This week was one of the toughest ones yet. But on the bright side... i loved everysingle day :) I had an inspired goal in weekly planning last week to focus on having a postive attitude always. i didnt know why at the time, but i do now! We had almost all of our investigators drop us this week. So sad. all the people who were set for baptism now are not, i got a call from a member here telling me that one of my favorite people inthe world passed away. it was brutal. Brothe spencer from nagshead passed away after a long battle with his health.I just wanted to cry and take a break, but we kept working and like i always say.. teaching cures all wounds. I am so grateful for the plan of salvation and the knowledge we have that families can be together forever. Brother Spencer was sealed to his wife for time and all eternity, and he lived his life in the service of others. I called him Grandpa spencer, and i cant wait to see him again someday. he changed my life.
we worked SOOO hard this week and saw little fruit from it numbers wise, but that is not what a mission is about. it is about doing what the Lord asks of us, forgetting ourselves and getting to work. It is about doing what the savior would do and helping his children come unto christ. We definately fulfilled our purpose this week. We got sooo many rejections, doors slammed in our faces, but i couldnt stop smiling! I am a representative of Jesus christ, how could i NOT smile?
We were blessed to see some investigators at church! How glorious!! it is a choice to be discouraged and unhappy.
I am SO grateful for the privlidge i have to be a missionary. sorry this email is SO short... there really is not much to report on for the week other than we worked our tails off, satan will not get us down, there was a hurricane here on friday- the nagshead sisters got evacuated!- we werent allowed to procelyte on july 4th :( OH! on friday at zone meeting i had to bear my "dying testimony" is what they call it... its the last time i will see most of these people- and i cried like a baby and i testified of the savior and how much he loves us. I have learned so many precious sacred lessons here in virginia and north carolina, and i cherish the moments i have to testify to othersof the things i have learned.
I  know we all can change. I know that Christ is our SAvior and we have unlimited potential. I know he heals, strengthens, and loves us. I know the book of mormon is the word of god and man will get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book!!!
I hope everyone had a fab july 4th. this week is going to have sooo many miracles... one of them being for the first time probably ever i am singing in sacrament meeting  this sunday.
wish me luck!!
LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!! CHOOSE CHRIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sister snow

"you recieve no witness until after the trial of your faith" June 30th 2014

hello again!!
i feel like i was just sitting at the computer yesterday... the weeks are cruising by. it is terrifying. these have been the quickest weeks of  my life. I am hanging on to each hour of the day, hoping they last a little longer but they dont.
This week was pretty brutal. All of the appointments that we had set up cancelled for the week, or rescheduled. Nobody was getting back to us. we worked hard everyday dispite the obvious let downs of cancellations. there werent a lot of people outside, or home. We did have an exchange this week with the smithfield sisters. We felt i needed to go there, and sister dalton and i had ablast working hard until we dropped. we found new investigators, taught lots of people, and felt the spirit leading us where to go, what to say, and what to do. I havent seen so many black people sense norfolk-but i do this really embarrassing thing and talk like them.... its bad. i get made fun of. please dont place me in LA when i am home. it will be a terrifying sight and i might get beat up.
We got a horrifying call from our mentaly/emotionally challenged investigator-lee on tuesday night. actually morning. it was 330 am. the call was sent to voicemail and he left a disturbing voicemail on our phone saying the church is just like any religion and its not good and he will destroy the earth with his powers and he is not a human-a fallen star. It was pretty frightning. we called him to tell him we wont be seeing him anymore and he said he didnt mean anything he said, that it was a nervous breakdown and he loves the church and us. We held strong. hes to dangerous.
so that was the end of Lee, or schitzophrenic, multiple personality, and bi-polar friend. I miss him.
We had zone conference this week and we heard great instructions and trainings from president Baker and the assistants. i cried the whole second half. It was depressing.
Sunday is when our week picked up. We were so tired, and trying not to get down from the weeks events. We continued to stay dilligent and hold fast, and then the miracles happened. Suzanne came to church again! She loved it, and her daughter is interested in meeting with us also!
AFter church we practiced the song we are going to sing in sacrament meeting on the 20 for my last sunday (gross) and then we SPRINTED.we worked SO hard. we found 4 new investigators and met some wonderful people. It was such a miracle. 3 of them are family members of a member here in greatbridge that i had met a long time ago. They let us teach them about thebook of mormon and agreed to let us come back and teach them more. They also asked if they could feed us dinner! so kind. I love the south! people here are the kindest.
the other investigator we met was outside, we were contacting someone and saw him outside. i love talking to strangers.
when we got in last night, sister griffin and i were almost in tears at the miracle God had provided for us,. After a whole week of struggling, being humbled and refined we saw the miracles. ether 12:6
I love you all! I know that only through being obediant and dilligent we are entitled to all the blessings heavenly father has in store for us. There is always alittle more we can be doing to come close to the Savior. Just when we feel like giving up, ask heavenly father to give you strength. the atonement is REAL. i feel its aid everysingle day. Isaiah 40:28-29. 31 have become my new favorite scriptures.
hope you all are having a great week! be safe at lake powell please!
and hope your day was special sum sum!! cant believe you are 11!!!!!!!!!
sister Snow

Monday, June 23, 2014

Opposition in all things

Holy moly jolley coley this week was so GREAT!!!
I hope that I can adequately explain the events of this week, the many miracles, and lessons I learned in a short amount of time! This week was one of the best weeks of my mission, but contained some of the hardest moments in these past 17 months.
We had so many amazing things happen... like meeting most of S's family and teaching a lesson to 15 people at once… that was cray. We called in the group after eating dinner: we had S, her kid and husband, her parents (the cutest old people I have ever met), the member family who introduced us (they have about 6 in the fam) and a senior missionary couple who have become our unofficial grandparents. They all listened intently as we bore our testimony of the savior and how we grow closer to him by reading the Book of Mormon. We gave them all copies of the Book of Mormon and we are waiting for  to tell us a time when we all can meet. So exciting!!
We also found a lot of new people to teach, one I will highlight. K. She is so prepared! We set her for baptism on the 26 of July. She is working on quitting smoking, she came to church on Sunday with her child, and she has such a desire to learn about the gospel. Sister A- who the missionaries have been working with forever, introduced us to her. K is so open to learning it is inspirational. We had two lessons with her, and they were so spiritual. Sister A was the perfect member present, she bore powerful testimony and promised her friend that if she would read the book of Mormon, meet with us, and come to church her life would get better and she would be happier. I was crying. typical.
She didn't even let me finish the whole baptismal invitation... she cut me off with a huge, excited YES after I said baptism. It was so great!
We taught the Ss's this week- expecting to drop them. We have been teaching them every other week since December, and we were hitting a wall with them. They won't commit to be baptized. So we had a very frank and bold discussion with them explaining why we extend invitations and where they see this going. They both said that they have been enlightened by the things we have taught them, and they see themselves being baptized in the near-future. I was in shock. We said baptism probably 50 times. no joke. They don't feel ready enough, but we assured them that they are. They are praying about it. They also came to church this weekend!!!
Lee is doing good... we taught him the word of wisdom and he called us an hour later and said he threw away all of his tobacco. He told us at church that he dug it out of the trash though... so we won't give up! Still don't know how accountable he is. We will see.
We had 5 investigators and their families at church yesterday. It was a miracle. The average for the Chesapeake mission is way less than that.
Although we saw so many miracles this week, we had some intense opposition. Got dropped very rudely and hostilely (I don't think that is a word???) by our investigator E. A less active that I have been working with these past 6 transfers decided that she wanted the elders to teach her son who is 9 instead of us because elders taught her daughter long ago and she wants him to see male figures in his life...  anywho it is not worth listing the speed bumps of this week because they don't matter. What matters is that we overcame the opposition. We faced our day with hope and faith and didn't let the disappointments shape our attitude for the work. Saturday was one of the hardest days of my entire mission. That morning I received a blessing from president baker for comfort and council and I received great help from heavenly Father. One thing stood out to me so profoundly- that I would have confidence and remember and use the literal strengthening power of the Savior. I felt so weak that day. E had just blown up at us and said so many unkind things to us, and I wanted to quit. I'll be honest, the thought of going to our apartment and updating our progress record and area book instead of going out and finding seemed so tempting. I said one of the boldest prayers of my life and pleaded for the literal strength through the atonement-that I would be energized and ready to work my hardest. After a week of so many miracles, of course we needed some opposition. God had given us so much, why would I just quit after seeing some miracles? I Love God and want to show Him that. So we worked. I wish I could say we found 3 families who had prayed for help and we knocked on the door, but most people we tried were not home. But we tried. We were diligent. And we felt better. The sorrow from the previous disappointments were washed away with the strength of the Savior, as we both felt at peace and realized we had and were doing our part. We can not control others agency. But we control ourselves. We have the power to make every circumstance great and monumental.
I have grown to love and appreciate 2 Nephi chapter 2 this week. It has easily become one of my favorite chapters in the book of Mormon and describes perfectly this past week.
Great things are happening. We need to have the spiritual eyes and hears to recognize them.
Love you all!! have a wonderful week.
sister snow
OH AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUM SUM SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!! 11... you are SO old.  I'm proud of you and the great missionary you are!

 craziest rain storm ever

Monday, June 16, 2014

God is a God of miracles

This week went by too quickly. The new transfer has gotten broken in and we are buckling down and cracking the whip to work our tails off and to see miracles!!
I don't know whether it is because I am at the point in my mission where I have stopped worrying and second-guessing myself, or if it's because I am nearing the end, but there has been so much opposition lately. Satan is working his hardest with our investigators and using everything he can to discourage and distract us. It will not work! It was such a wonderful experience to see how fighting off distractions and being diligent and obedient= immediate miracles.We pushed through the temptation to remain comfortable-it is super hot again. Not oven cooking hot-but humidity... where the heat never escapes you. The weather sinks deep into your skin and you feel like you are stuck in the bathroom after getting out of a hot shower... the air is moist and thick- and we find more people to teach.
We met a couple of great people, sadly only some accepted return appointments but I'm keeping my chin up because I get to share the message of hope with all of Chesapeake Virginia!
We taught our dear friend with severe mental disorders.I really feel like he is accountable! After we talked about the Book of Mormon He got a light in his eyes and said something about how the Book of Mormon is pure and it is the missing piece from so many translations of the bible! He got it! He is still working towards baptism. So far all is going great with him! We set S with a baptismal date for July 12! It was such a wonderful experience! We watched the restoration dvd with her and she has such an open heart. She felt the spirit and related to Joseph Smith. We set her for the date and a strong impression came to mind to ask her whom she knows that will benefit from this message. She lit up and said, "My family.  I want you to teach them!" So we are having a BBQ and lesson with the member family who referred S to us, S's whole family including her parents, and a Sr. missionary couple here from Utah! I am SO excited!!!! Missionary work is my FAVORITE!!!
Following the spirit is key. I finally feel like I am understanding how the spirit speaks to me and becoming quick to obey. I owe all the miracles I have seen on my mission to God, allowing me to know what to do next through the holy Ghost. I am nothing without the spirit. For example… last night we had a member coming out with us on fathers day! Big sacrifice and it was her first time coming with missionaries. Sadly our apt with Laura ( lady we walked up to in our apt complex. She did keep her apt on thursday and is sooo open to this message… She is super catholic and baptism would be a big deal for her to "give up her mass and family tradition.)cancelled because she got called into work-so after much fervent prayer and pondering our minds were still blank as to what to do with the time we had with our member. We just kept moving. Even though we only had 3 hours to come up with a solid plan (our backup plans for the day didn't feel right), we exercised our faith and kept moving. Randomly a sister who had just moved into the ward popped into my mind. I didn't even know her name. We texted the relief society president to ask her what her name and address was  and went on with our plans. We stopped into see the elders quorum president and he mentioned this woman's name and how she had received a blessing and was really struggling and could use a visit. Wow! Then when we left, our phone had a message from the relief society president with the new move ins address and name, saying she really could use a visit. Okay we got the hint. So we visited sister A. I was so sad our apts had fallen through because we had set goals with faith the night before that we would find a new investigator and have a lesson with a member present. As we walked up to sister A's apt, a man was standing outside so I started talking to him and he was super interested in the gospel! We taught him a lesson about Christ, said a prayer and set up a return appointment while the member testified of church. So not only did we get to visit sister andersen who cried and told us she needed us tonight and we lifted her spirits, we found a new investigator and met the goals we had set.
God is a god of miracles when we ACT in faith and desire his will.
This weekend we were privileged to listen to Elder Corbridge of the 70 at stake conference, and elder Olson, an area 70. They were here to call a new stake presidency. A member from the Nagshead ward and Greatbridge ward are the new counselors, and the new stake pres is/or was the current bishop of a ward in the stake. I am excited to have been here to witness this miracle. Revelation is real. I am grateful for the organization of Christ's church that is directed by him through his worthy servants! The stake is going to see a big improvement in missionary work and hastening the work. Cant wait!!
At stake conference, one of the people I taught who got baptized was sustained to receive the Melchezedik Priesthood. What a tender mercy to have been in the same stake as my old area so I can see life changing events like this take place. I was so proud. This gospel does change lives. I see it countless times again and again. Every day.We all have the opportunity to be cleansed. All the struggle of enduring to the end, or getting on the path to eternal life... it is worth it.
The trials of missionary work do not compare in the slightest to the joy that I feel every day as I get to put Christ's name on my chest and carry his gospel forth to all we see.
I love this work. I am so humbled every day to see Gods hands involved in His work. I promise I am giving this my all!!
sister snow
ps- CHAN YOU GRADUATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so proud of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and Brooke Farrow congrats on the mission call! Argentina is the luckiest country on earth to have a powerful dedicated angel like you to serve there!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

LAST TRANSFER!! Sister Snowfall incident

I don't even know what happened this week.
to be honest... it was a very stressful week full of a lot of trials.. but so many lessons to be learned :) Biggest lesson is that worrying is a  way of mentally practicing failure. It is never as bad as we think it is. Christ has already overcome the world!
We were in Nagshead again on Monday and Tuesday, got to see some of my favorite people!! shout out to brother Paul Kelly and Patrick Kelly
We saw SO many miracles and we talked with everyone no matter how awkward the situation... from gardening, to partying on their porch. Oh funny classic sister snowfall moment... we were on bikes and I am horribly uncoordinated at bike riding in a skirt-I tried to turn and crashed into a fence. It broke. Just a little piece... but still. It was pretty hilarious. God works in mysterious ways because I went to apologize to the owner and now she is a potential investigator!
Tuesday night we had 7 sister missionaries spend the night at our apt.. it was a crazy time. We all managed to fit in the living room. pictures to follow. hopefully.
MLC was grand. We learned how to correct people, that is always a humbling experience.
At zone meeting, our zoneleaders and President Baker asked us to share with the zone what happened in our area. The focus was faith to find, teach, and baptize. The zone leaders made a graph of the key indicators from before 
I got there and then had me explain what happened... nothing really changed. The missionaries were faithful every time. But we both knew that this area could explode and it did. I got emotional thinking of all the changes that have taken place here. I am grateful to have been able to witness so many miracles in the past 8 months.
We had a couple finding miracles this week! We had a very stressful week this week- not being in our area for a while, 2 meetings ( MLC and zone meeting) 2 exchanges planned, and transfer calls. God is his great goodness decided to ease our stress and place some very prepared people in our path. On Monday a man walked up to us in the library and asked if we were Mormon. We said yes we are! And he said he loves Mitt Romney and wants to become a Mormon. GO Mitt! hahaha so that was grand. He has a lot of struggles.. we taught him on Saturday and admitted to some mental disorders but we will see what happens! He came to church for a little yesterday and he is set for baptism on June 28. Pray for L please!
We also met  Miss L. We were walking around an apt complex, talking with people and contacting some people we had met before to follow up, and as I was getting into the car I saw a woman walk by and without thinking I shut the car door grabbed my giant purse and ran up to the lady. No idea what I said but I caught her attention and she opened up to us. Her dad used to be a Mormon, and her parents were married by a bishop! and 4 months ago a man at an auto shop gave her a Book of Mormon! Member missionary work... its gotta happen! any who- she's totally solid! She cried as she told us we had purity in our eyes and that God sent us to her to help her. When we set a return apt with her she said the soonest possible please!
Some investigators we have been teaching for a while are still slowly progressing: S and the S's were our focus this week.
We had people come to church on Sunday which was a miracle!! We focused so hard on teaching the doctrine and setting up expectations to keep commitments... and it worked.
I know that the Lord is aware of us. His atonement is what gives us the strength to do hard things. I am ready to see more miracles here in Greatbridge for 6 more weeks as I put my trust in him and am obedient!!!!!!!!
yep you heard it right!! i am staying in greatbridge! sister griffin and i are staying together. how blessed!!
i am so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
love y'all!!!!
sister snow