Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year!

Dearest love ones....
I can not put into words how hard it was for me to push end on that ipad on wednesday. I am so lucky to have such crazy loving and supportive family. christmas was one of the best Christmas's I have ever had. I was VERY aware of the real meaning of christmas.
christmas Eve and Christmas were filled with singing christmas songs and being with the people I love. We spent Christmas Eve at a nonmembers home and saw some hearts being softened because of the spirit of Christmas. We also went to a senior missionary couples home and Christmas caroled and had a white elephant and talent show. We had a totes wicked time.
Christmas we did our usual studies, read about the savior and his birth, sang lots of Christmas hymns and read a lot of scriptures. I will never forget the strong sense of peace that overcame me. Even though i was across the country, away from my family, i felt at home. I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost, our comforter for the feelings of peace and love and warmth I had this Christmas! There are no words to describe the power of peace that comes from the Savior and his messanger, the Holy Ghost. These feelings will be a memory I will reflect on for the rest of my life, that's for sure.
We spent a lot of our time at the Schlossers home, one of my favorite families here. They are so fun. They made us feel like family for sure :) shout out to the SCHLOSSER FAMILY!!
I am too blessed!!
Christmas night I came down with a horrible sickness. It was sooo bad, I was up all night coughing up a lung it felt like. I had to learn a hard lesson on humility this week, I am too prideful to say I am sick, so I kept working and got even more sick. Sister Tarwater helped me to recognize the importance of rest when I'm sick..haven't really learned that still. My mentality is I can rest when I'm home! I only have 6 months left out here!!  Scary.... but multiple missionaries came up and told me I am not being effective, so I took the advice and grudgingly rested. I got better too. Who woulda knowwwwn?!?! Despite these trials, we found 3 new investigators this week, which is a miracle because we had hardly any days to procelyte due to Christmas Eve, Christmas, and my infirmities. I am so excited for the new year. New investigators, added burst of excitement.. this is going to be a great year.
I am so grateful for my Savior. My testimony of Him, our Father in Heaven and this gospel grows immensely every single day. I know that He loves me and is aware of ALL of us. He made me feel at home and happy on Christmas :)
The highlight of this week was definately the Love and peace I felt from the spirit this Christmas week. I hope all of us had these experiences that we reflected on the true reason for the season.
OH! some exciting news! We have an investigator set for baptism!!! Atlantis who is afraid of water! She saw her younger sister get baptized and now she is ready to take this important step. Sister T has been working with this family for 8 months and finally we are seeing the fruits.  Her date is Feb 5, please pray for her! :)
 I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and has a happy New Year. Thank you everyone for all the packages, letters and cards. You have no idea how much they meant to me. I promise I will make you all proud and give the Lord my all this next year. I'll see you all THIS year!! CRAZYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!
Sister Snow
ps i have so many pictures to send, but my camera died :( sorry! next week!


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Post, pics, and We got to talk with CHELSEA!!

I don't have much to report on this week.. the holidays are rough around here! All of our return appointments are in January. But all  s well :) This week we had the most member present lessons set up that Great Bridge has ever had.. and guess what? All but 2 cancelled. Brutal. I have been learning a lot of lessons about "Receiving no witness until after the trial of your faith." It was one of those weeks where everything that could have gone right went the opposite. What I have learned so far from my mission experience is how IMPORTANT it is to be optimistic. There is no point in worrying, complaining, or being pessimistic about a situation that you can't control. All we can control in these situations are our attitudes and our willing hearts.  God will take care of it.
The two lessons we had set up with a member were very extreme. One was with two kids about my age, we brought sister Baker with us, the mission presidents wife. These guys are in a bible college and the whole lesson they fought off the spirit. It was so spiritually draining.. I could literally SEE them feeling the spirit, and then shrugging it off and coming up with a new concern about how the Book of Mormon is evil. After bearing sincere testimony, to the point of tears... J looked at me and said... " I agree that a book can change your life. My friend read Meinkopf and it changed him into a bad person." This guy just compared the Book of Mormon to Hitler! Man, it was rough in there. Luckily, Heavenly Father was providing all of us with the peace to not argue, but testify and carry on. I left that lesson feeling so dark inside. It was one of the first times in a loooong time where I didn't feel the spirit. It really shook me up. I never want to live in such a way where I drive the spirit away, it is not a fun feeling.
We had a lesson planned in a members home on Thursday, and our investigator, lets just call him H for privacy purposes... decided not to show up. This is USC guy-the one we met on his roof. I was devastated! Like 6th person in a row to not show up this week for a lesson. We left the members house gloomy, going on to our back up plans and 30 minutes later we get a call from him saying if it's possible for us to still meet! MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!we taught the plan of salvation and the spirit was so strong!
Last story.... then I have to go!
Last night we went caroling with some members and our district. The member owns a 15 passenger van and at church yesterday he told us he was not going to take us if it was raining. He said the weather forecast said it would rain at 5. Well, around 430 the clouds were coming in. We were praying all day long that the rain would not affect us. So it didn't rain at the time we were supposed to meet, and the whole time we were caroling we didn't see any rain. We got outside to sing to President and Sister Baker, and the ground was super wet. As we thought back, everywhere around us the ground was wet. President told us that it had been pouring rain about 20 minutes ago. It was like there was a bubble around us, protecting us. It was a Christmas Miracle!
Heavenly Father is so kind. He loves us all and wants to bless us.  We just need to be doing our part, and working hard and we will expect miracles. I expect miracles everyday because when you are exactly obedient, you get miracles. :)
So much for being a short email!
Also on Friday we had the missionary Christmas conference and we watched the Muppet Christmas Carol...first movie in almost a year. I felt so guilty the whole time. #missionaryprobs
This is by far the toughest time of the year to be away from family, but I am grateful to be serving the Lord. There is no place I would rather be :)
Merry Christmas Y'ALL
sister snow

Buffalo Wild Wings Challenge- guess who won?

Talking with the Family!

Our beautiful Chelsea!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Early Christmas Miracles/Doubt Not

We had transfer calls last night and Sister Tarwater and I are staying together for another transfer here in Great Bridge!!! We are soooooo happy!! we screamed and danced with happiness. We really love each other.
This week we only had 2 exchanges again, well more like 1 and a half. There has been a looooot of things going on with the sisters we are working with, so a lot of the week was spent planning and pondering what we could do to help. One of my favorite sisters was in the hospital this week and actually has to go home early now because of medical issues :( so saddd.
On Tuesday we had the wonderful opportunity to have a mission tour with a visit from Elder Perkins of the Quorum of the Seventy and I learned so much. One thing he taught us that I thought would be nice to share is that we need to think of every "meeting" as a revelatory experience. Come to church, meetings, firesides, camps with questions you need revelation for. For example; I asked how can I develop leadership qualities? And I got my answer within the first 5 minutes. God is so aware of us it is not even funny. Elder Perkins told president Baker he was very impressed with our mission! We had to prepare roll-plays of a lesson teaching the gospel and Sister Tarwater and I had a feeling we were going to be chosen. After Monday when the docter diagnosed me with vertigo, I picked up the prescription prescribed and during dinner I was out of it. I didn't know what was going on.  I was falling asleep... it was BAD. So I had to take the night off and rest. That is the WORST thing in the world being sick as a missionary. So we tried to prepare a lesson that night while I was drugged up and obviously the spirit was not there. The next day when Elder Perkins was looking through the crowd he kept looking at us. I couldn't make eye contact. He chose some other sisters, and it was the weirdest thing because several missionaries came up to us and told us they could have sworn it was us, that he kept looking at us but there seemed to be a shield. God was definitely looking out for me. I didn't even know my name that day.
Luckily after Tuesday the medicine worked and now I am feeling so much better!!! I can walk straight without tilting into the wall! Miracle #1
 Wednesday we finally had our lesson with the S's. They both had read the Book of Mormon and brother S even highlighted and tabbed the verses that stuck out to him!  The spirit was the strongest I have felt in a very long time. It was undeniable that the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon was being felt by both of them. The S's have a daughter that was baptized about a year ago, and they both were pretty anti about it. So it's a miracle in its self that they are meeting with us. Missionaries have been trying for months to make this happen. The S's admitted they felt the spirit and set up another appointment. They didn't accept the invitation to be baptized.. but they will!
I had a really awesome spiritual confirmation this week. Wed morning I was super down. I kept comparing myself to my companion( Satan's fav thing to do!) and convincing myself I was uninspired, and a horrible missionary. During weekly planning the previous week, I had felt the need to share a chapter of the Book of Mormon with a less active man in the ward. It was Mormon 9... We started our studies that morn and while reading the chapter I was thinking "why on earth did this chapter come to mind? this has nothing to do with him. I suck." I pushed the thoughts out and the spirit pointed out some scriptures in the chapter that seemed to relate. Then during comp study sister Tarwater was also very confused. So we decided to push back making lesson plans for Bro N and continue on. Near the end of comp studies we still couldn't think of anything. At this point I had no trust in myself AT all. Everything I did was wrong in my eyes. I doubted every thought that came to mind and just waited for my companion to think of something because she is always inspired. This negative, poisoning thought process kept on until we got into bro N's home and the first thing he bought up was his doubts and how he doesn't come to church because the leadership is horrible. Instantly the scripture from Mormon 9 came to mind and the peace of the spirit entered my heart. I seemed to hear the reassurance " See, you are in tune. You can do this. I love you.   I knew Heavenly Father was aware of me. I knew I needed to learn this lesson... doubt not. I learned to trust the spirit and trust myself!
Thursday we went on exchanges to Norfolk!! Yeeeee my first area! It was crazy. We contacted a member referral and the woman asked us what she needs to do to become Mormon. We walked into her home and she instantly told us that she believes she is already Mormon. She had notes on her whiteboard that said "law of health, eternal marriage, focus on families." her favorite things about the church. We set her for baptism on January 4th then she asked us what do i need to do to prepare? then she asked how she can get to the temple. I've never seen anything like it!!!!  She and her hubs are both preparing for baptism to be a forever family :)MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Saturday a 8 year old we have been teaching, Amanda, got baptized :) First baptism we have seen in Great Bridge in  months!! Sister Tarwater has been working with Amanda and her family for 7 months! Amanda's sister, Atlantis, is 10, and she came up to us on Friday while we were over prepping Amanda and said she wants to be baptized tomorrow. Atlantis is a former investigator who didn't get baptized because she has a fear of water. ironic huh?
She said she's going to have to sit at least 3 feet back so she doesn't just jump in there... hahhaa we told her luckily there is a glass shield there to prevent that.
So we will be having another baptism in a couple weeks!
Sunday we got permission to go back to Nagshead <3 to see KYLE GET BAPTIZED!!!! After 4 months of working with him he did it!! I was so emotional. Kyle!!! I don't remember how specific I was with him, but when we first taught him I said, "We are not teaching him again. He thinks this is a joke and he won't progress."  Of course we did teach him again.. and the spirit changed his life. He lost a girlfriend, friends, and parties for it and he is still going strong.
Patrick baptized him! It was an amazing feeling being back "home" seeing all my family I had to say goodbye to, and watching Patrick, a recent convert, baptize his best friend! I got to give a talk about the holy ghost. It was fun!
Well this essay is finished! my fingers hurt.
I am excited for another transfer here in Great Bridge and the privilege I have to be an instrument in the Lord's hands. There is no greater blessing and miracle!!
I love you all!!
sister snow

 1. this week i learned dish soup and dish detergent do not do the same thing. ( I swear I taught her that when she was little....must be the medicine:)
 2. Amanda baptism!!!
3.some elders in my district. Elder Crump over on the left carried his suitcase like that for the 30 min walk to the church
4. kylleeeeeees baptism and Patrick on the right!
5.Sister Hymas, me, Kyle his momma

Monday, December 9, 2013

Claim to Fame

Hello Everyone!
This week went by super fast, as usual! Life has been flying by. It is so fun to see everyone in the Christmas spirit, hearing Christmas music all around Chesapeake, and seeing people much happier than usual :) it's the most wonderful time of the year! so cheesy...
This week was a strange one for Sister Tarwater and I because we only had 2 exchanges this week! We didn't have any back to back so we actually got to be companions! Tuesday we exchanged with the sister missionaries in Cape Henry. I went to that area and got to see how other missionaries are doing in their areas. It is always fun to go to other areas and see how the members are around them and such. I really love doing exchanges!  On Wednesday we had a big meeting and I got to see a lot of my best friends! It was amazing. I love President Baker. He is so inspired, so thoughtful and aware of the missionaries and the direction we need to take in our efforts to see miracles out here.
Thursday we had another exchange and we worked sooo hard here in Great Bridge. I am not sure why this has been happening, but we have seen MIRACLES this week. Great Bridge has been pretty slow the past six months, but this week we are having a baptism, and we found a handful of new investigators. Crazy things are happening and we are finally seeing the fruits of our labor! God is good.
I have learned such a huge lesson this week about how REAL the spirit is and how important it is to be in tune. Countless times I have felt prompted to try a certain person and then people are outside or walking to their homes and we go up and talk to them and they are SO prepared. Miracles I'm telling you! at least 6 people whom we have taught this week let us talk to them, spoke to us about the Book of Mormon and excitingly accepted the invitation to read it and to meet with us. Crazy things are happening here. I like it.
On Friday our stake put on a Christmas Program and performed the forgotten carols. It was pretty good. We invited EVERYONE we met to come.
I got to be in a parade! I was onTV!! Highlight of my life. The city puts on a CHRISTMAS parade. Yeah they actually call it a Christmas parade here. People aren't afraid to say Merry CHRISTMAS instead of happy holidays. It is a completely different world here in the "south."  So our ward made a float about the true meaning of Christmas and the youth dressed up for the nativity and the rest of the youth and the missionaries handed out pass along cards and candy canes along the parade. It was SOO fun! Never mind that we were freezing cold and I got super dizzy... it was WORTH it. There were soooo many people there, like the whole city. I felt personally responsible for every ones' souls! So many people, so few pass along cards! We are excited to see the result from our efforts!
We had a few wonderful lessons this week. One especially was SO spiritual. Sista T and I had been planning for this lesson with Brother B a less active individual who was baptized 2 years ago and left the gang he was involved in to join the church and change his life. Sadly he got back into old habits and got out of rehab in the past couple of months. Sense I got here he has been popping in my mind, so we met him while I was on an exchange with sister Savage. We set up an apt with him, and so on Friday we were all ready for this awesome lesson we had planned! We were going to teach him the restoration and he was going to be reminded of the power that comes from the spirit when we learn about the restoration. However, as soon as we got in there, the Spirit told us to teach about repentance and the atonement. We hadn't prepared anything, but I was confident that God was guiding my words. He did. It was one of the best lessons ever, and it was so wonderful to be able to tell someone that it IS possible to feel guilt-free. It is possible to be FORGIVEN. I could tell him this because I have FELT it and know it is REAL. The repentance process is necessary and the atonement of Jesus Christ makes it all possible. It makes no sense to suffer through life carrying burdens of sin and failure... give them to Christ!!!
We also are supper excited about a FAMILY we are teaching!!!! We had a lesson with Sister S and it was soo good. She felt the spirit so strong and we are so excited to see them progress. Keep them in your prayers!
As the holidays are coming up, I am more aware of how we need to remember our Savior every day! Not just at Christmas! I loved the Christmas devotional broadcast... what an amazing opportunity we had to listen to the prophet of God and the general authorities testify of the Savior.
I know that this gospel is true and that our Savior knows us perfectly and loves us.
Choose Christ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
sister snow

2. went to oceanfront in VA beach on monday to be with some sisters! king Tritan?? Neptune? something like that...
3.i accidentally put my finger in frozen bird poop. i thought it was a sea shell

6.  chasing birds...
7. some of my fav elders
8. we got lost
9. One of the floats from the parade!!!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Trojans are True

The Trojans are true!

Hey Ya'll!!!
Oh my goodness, Thanksgiving was the craziest day.  We ate dinner with an Asian lady from Hong Kong. It was actually a traditional dinner so that was unexpected!
Then 30 minutes later we headed over to another dinner appointment and Sister Tarwater and I had a fun game of sneaking bread and food onto each others plates when nobody was looking.  I have never been so full in my life! The mission president told us that Thanksgiving was a non prosolyting day so Sister Tarwater and I spent the time we had taking Christmas pictures. Hahaha It was hilarious.
We had 4 exchanges again this week... We went to Elizabeth City and Nagshead!! I got to see Sister Hymas and Mr. K and the Kellys again! K passed his baptismal interview!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He should be baptized this coming week! Miracles are happening!! I am praying I will be able to make it. He wants me to sing for it? Not happening.
Anyways... on Friday was our first day in the area to work that entire week. Our key indicators so far were at all zeros. That is not something that makes you feel successful for sure.  We taught a wonderful lesson to a less active sister in the ward and her 14 year old daughter who openly expressed that she doesn't want to live in the celestial kingdom because she wants to settle for average. It was one of the saddest things I have ever heard. It broke my heart to see the lack of faith and desire to be with God again. We were bold and told her the only way we can be happy is if we use our free agency for good. 2 nephi 2:27 in the Book of Mormon.
Saturday we had another exchange. While we were walking back to the car, the sister I was with who is a visa "angel" (instead of visa waiter-she's going to AFRICA) who is from LA, California saw a man on his roof putting up Christmas lights. Guess what he was wearing??? A USC sweatshirt. She loves USC as well...…so we yelled up at him and said, "Nice sweater!" We started talking and taught him about the Savior's gospel that has been restored to the earth again! He is now a new investigator!! Go Trojans! That was one of the most exciting parts of this week.
We had another exchange on Sunday. I got to meet the most prepared family ever. They are all planning on being baptized on January 4th. They came to church on Sunday and Sister R was feeling the spirit so strongly, she was crying all at church, and kept baring her testimony to us that she KNOWS this is the right place, that she has been to so many churches and she has never felt at home. She is going through lots of opposition with her father who doesn't want her to be baptized, but she was strong. Honestly it was one of the best lessons I have ever been in. I could feel the spirit guiding my words as I spoke to them about the importance of recognizing and acting on the spirits promptings.
I have SUCH a strong testimony of the importance of living in the spirit. We need to live our lives worthy so we can have the spirit with us. We need to follow the promptings we receive. The Lord will guide us, we need to listen. From the words of Elder Ballard, "It is impossible to lose when we are on the Lord's errand!"
I am learning more and more the Lords vision for me as a missionary. I got a blessing this past Monday, and it gave me so much strength. I Know that God is real. I also know that Satan is. He wants us to believe that we aren't good enough, that we aren't worthy, that we cannot be the people we have set goals to become. But those are LIES. I have made it a goal (again...repentance is REAL) to ELIMINATE NEGATIVE TALK. We all need to stop letting Satan lie to us. I chose to follow Christ, and I know that will bring me the continued peace and happiness I feel throughout the rest of my life. I also know that when we are focusing on how much we "aren't good enough" we are thinking too much of ourselves. Whenever you are feeling down, sorry for yourself, not good enough, you are thinking to much of yourself. My motto is from president Gordon B Hinkley... "forget yourself and go to work!"
I know this gospel is true, real and powerful!  With Christ, darkness will not succeed. We have the power to choose every day. Chose to be happy. Choose to be diligent. Choose Christ.
Sister Snow
ps:  like my bolded words? getting artsyy

1.sneak peak to xmas card 2013
2. more sneak peaks
4.sister tarwater = aunt Jen... it's so weird
5.this is a wall in great bridge... i don't understand it
7.thanks giving meal #1
8. #dank
9. Thanksgiving meal one!