Monday, February 24, 2014

Two buff angels in a red truck and Fruits of very long labors

This week was one of the most amazing weeks EVER!!!
We were lucky enough to witness 2 baptisms this weekend after almost a year of nothing here in Great Bridge!
Before I start rambling on the baptisms...
This week was a pretty stressful one. We had two exchanges this week, back to back. Usually this isn't too big of a deal... but the first exchange I was in another sisters area, and then halfway through the day we switched and I went back to my area around 4 with no idea what was going on. Let me just explain what happened on that second exchange....
I am so dumb. Really,  it isnt even funny anymore how many unfortunate events take place in my days. So we were rushing to our last apt with C before he was getting baptized in 2 days. We just got out of a "lesson".. the member decided to teach and go into deep doctrine and cut me off everytime I tried to bring it back to the doctrine.  It was crazy.   Anywho... so I missed a turn and decided to flip a u turn in the middle of the street. In Chesapeake, the roads don't have curbs. Instead... there are HUGE trenches on the sides of the roads to prevent flooding. It is crazy. This place was built on swamp grounds so it is very floody and muddy. I actually didn't even know this until wednesday when I got our car BURRIED in someones yard.  I'm not even exagerating here. The tires had sunk into the mud (which looked like grass. It was like quick sand or something!) I was freaking out and Sister Cahoon who was with me was just laughing. We called a member and she rallied up her neighbor and they came and pushed us. We almost got out... but at the last bit of giving it all we could.. the car wouldn't budge. I am sitting in the car pushing the exceleration, praying sooo hard, the other three are pushing against the front of the car praying and all of a sudden, just when we were about to give up... two huge buff guys in a red truck pull up, run to the car, push us out, and then leave. Two angels in a red truck.  They came and went so quickly. We were in tears at the miracle that took place. I am never going to try and flip a u turn in a neighborhood again.
as we taught C I used getting stuck in the mud as an analagy for what happens when we don't obey the commandments. So that was a bonus. The next day I learned more about the repentance process as I repaired all the damage I had caused. The tire tracks in the peoples lawn...delivered them brownies with a pass a long card and an invitation to a musical devo we are putting on, on march 9th. Yes, I am singing. Wish us luck... they wouldn't answer the door... but I know they will be baptized someday!  hahha
We had some really strong spirit led lessons this week. We prayed about certain things we should teach the people we were visiting this week... and a random talk came to mind. As we began to share it.. tears came to this individuals eyes... she looked at us and said " was this for me?" we explained to her how we always pray for what to teach and it's not the message for the day. She said "I know it's from God. He knows I need this."
What a wonderful experience it was to witness God's love and awareness for His children, and to be able to be a worthy instrument in his hands. No better feeling!
Friday was C's BAPTISM!!! his family came after he had been getting some opposition. Chris brought his friend.. and after the baptism we and the elders were talking to S. We got to get his info, and C looked at his friend and said "the Book of Mormon will change your life. It changed mine." THIS GUY DIDN'T EVEN BELIEVE IN GOD!! NOW HE'S TESTIFYING OF THE BOOK OF MORMON TO HIS FRIENDS AND FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! C kept saying how this was the longest week of his life and he just wanted it to be friday already. He is so converted!! Then on Sunday, he brought S to church, and his  mom came as well. She was running a little late, but she made it just in time for his confirmation. After sacrament meeting was over, we gave his mom a book of mormon and C grabbed it from her and looked up Alma 32, doggy tailed it, and said "y'all gave me this chapter to read, and mom, you need to read this one." She looked at him and said she has never seen him so happy and that she is so proud of him.  It is true... I have never seen such a drastic change in someone so quickly! his eyes are literally brighter! it is amazing.
Also on Sunday Miss A got baptized. HALLELUJAH!!! afteryears of missionary efforts, and 10 months of sis T working with that family.. and much drama this week.... she was baptized. Miss A... with a fear of water... faced her fears. how wonderful is that!?!??! We were all SO HAPPY! My camera died but even President Baker was praising the lord after this baptism took place. I will send the picture of his text next week. its hilar.
Also at church on Sunday, President and Sister Baker decided to come to church at our ward. The 1st counselor to the mission president came up to president as we were talking with him and says "you have two of the best missionaries in this mission right here. " And president looks at him and says I am very aware of that. WHAT. Then Sister Baker comes up to us after relief society and says how we are doing such an amazing job and how we are the reason why so many people have been coming to church. WHAT??! people were weirdly complimentary to us yesterday. Probably because they could see how stressed we were with A's baptism.
Love you all so much!  Thanks for all your support and love! this week really was such an incredible week full of many miracles and testimony builders. I am so happy and SO lucky to be a missionary. It has given me the most joy and satisfaction ever. I love our savior Jesus Christ and I know he LIVES!! be happy!!!
Sister Snow

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

For when I am weak, then am I strong/Remember to be strong!

Hey Y'all!
I hope everyone had an amazing VALENTINES DAY!!!!!  I love valentines day as a missionary because we get to focus on the love that matters most: The Love of our Savior and Heavenly Father. I definitely felt an increase in charity for our investigators, members, and the sisters we work with this week!
I honestly do not have that much to report on this week... we had three exchanges this week with some sister missionaries and as we prayed about who goes with who we felt strongly that I needed to be with each of these specific sisters in their area. So out of the 7 days this week... I was only here for 2 1/2  full days. It's been hard to be away. I saw so many miracles this week as I turned to Heavenly Father and asked for his insight and help for what I can do to be a better instrument for him. It has been such an amazing experience to see a miracle every single exchange I have been on, and to be able to help the sisters know they are good enough! It is so crazy how Heavenly Father gives you certain trials and weaknesses for very specific reason. The many things I have been through these past 13 MONTHS SAY WHAAA???!! have been not only for my benefit, but for the benefit of other children of God. God knows that as we turn to him in our weaknesses, not only can they become strengths for US but for his children that are struggling with similar situations. I have been touched by this realization and my testimony grows so much every single day as I learn and feel of the love God has for me and each of us.
Thursday we had the chance to go to leadership training at the mission office. We had 5 hours straight of hearing pure revelation from President and Sister Baker and the assistants. I learned a lot about how to be a better leader and got motivated to step it UP! There is no time for laziness, fear, and idleness. this is the LORD'S WORK and it is the most serious of all matters.
After the meeting we went out with Sister Baker and we had many opportunities to teach, find, testify and boldly invite others to come unto Christ.
Some sad news for the week.... N and J dropped us. I guess you can't really drop the missionaries if you have already been baptized in J's case... but they want to take a break from church because they feel too guilty saying they are keeping commitments when they aren't actually doing it. Also Nancy's dad who is super anti is coming down really hard on them. We are so disappointed and sad about it. Some day they will be ready to come closer with their Father in Heaven :) we are looking forward with faith!
C is still doing AMAZING!! He had his baptismal interview on Sunday and our district leader said he has never seen someone so ready before. C has been such a blessing and miracle to teach. He is so humble and ready for this gospel. He told me yesterday at church how he's so excited to be baptized, and how he's been ready since LAST week! Let's do this already!!
A is also getting baptized this week. On Sunday. We are praying she follows through with this decision. I know she will!!
We have met a couple of new people this week to teach, and they show a lot of potential. This place is on fiyaaaaa.
During my studies this week I had some very sweet experiences. Sometimes, even when you are a missionary and are always studying, testifying, and relying on the spirit, Satan can get in our heads. This is something that has probs been the hardest part for me this whole time serving a mission. I have had so many moments of growth, but when these moments of growth take place, Satan will do everything he can to knock us back down. I came across a talk from one of my friends, Sister Anderson this week and it changed my life. Again. I am having a lot of these life changing moments hahah.
I thought I would share a quote:
   "The Key to happiness is to accept ourselves as we are, to be content and to live with what we have."
mind blown. At that moment I realized the reason I have been unhappy lately with myself is because I do not accept myself. I compare myself to my companion, other missionaries, members, etc and all it is doing is hindering my progression. I don't know why I am sharing this with everyone... but I really feel like it is needs to be said! So hopefully someone reading this will learn something from my experience. As we accept and truly LOVE ourselves we will allow the spirit more into our lives, we will have more success, and we will grow into the people we are destined to be. We will become like our Father in Heaven. That is an overwhelming goal but it is SO possible only through the atonement of Christ. As we humble ourselves, acknowledge our weaknesses, and turn to Christ these weaknesses, insecurities, and inadequacies will dwindle as we become strong through Him.
Love y'all mucho!
Life is good, the church is true, I am happy and HEALTHY! no more concussion or car accidents!!!
Have an amazing week and remember to BE STRONG!
Sister Snow


Monday, February 10, 2014

Look Ahead and Believe

No car accidents this week!! we are in the clear!
On Monday we had the chance to have 4 other sisters stay the night with us for mission leadership council the next day. it was a PARTY. It was a fun night, i got to see one of my best friends, sister Hurley! everyone calls us twins. I don't know how people kept us straight in Nagshead. MLC was great, we learned a lot about having the faith to find new investigators, and how people have prepared for the gospel, how WE have been prepared to share it, and how members have been prepared to invite. This is one of the most important lessons i have learned about missionary work. without help from members, it is near impossible. We need help from the members to invite their friends to learn more. There are so many misconceptions with missionary work. Before I went on a mission I thought it was preaching to people about my church, but as members it is our responsibility to OPEN our mouths and invite. The missionaries can do the teaching :) so much less pressure! it has been very interesting to work in three different wards so far to see how their focus is with member missionary work... this ward is probably the best I have served in. Most of the members are fearless when it comes to giving us referrals... but when it comes to inviting, that's when the slack comes. But it is all good! We are working so hard to help hasten the work and to find new people to teach as we work with the members of the ward!
We taught a man names E this week. He really struggles with organized religion, and so does his girlfriend. They both have really been burned by past religions and are on the verge of giving up hope. So many people believe that all you need to do to be "saved" is to have faith in Christ and try to be good. There is SO MUCH MORE than that!! We need to live our lives in harmony with the commandments and be baptized and receive other sacred ordinances (or ceremonies where we make sacred promises with God) with the proper priesthood authority! We taught this to E and the spirit just took over and he had a complete change. He told us he was so curious and he loved what we told him about church, how there is no paid ministry, no pastor. People from the congregation get up and speak. He told us he was going to have to talk to his girlfriend about coming and learning more, but she was very open from the time we talked with her until she had to go to work. Keep E in your prayers!
We got to talk to the youth on Wednesday about preparing to go on a mission. Sister T and I were in awe at how many of the youth...especially the sisters were planning on serving! The focus has totally shifted. I could probably think of 3 times people asked me if I was serving a mission growing up. Now its normal conversation!
C is doing very well! his baptism is now the 21 of Feb. Oh my goodness family... he is SO prepared. He really has changed SO much. He is humble, he keeps his commitments, he is eager to learn more. he makes being a missionary even that much more worth it! He accepted the word of wisdom without any hesitation. He's so great.
N and J,  oh man. one of the most awkie lessons of my life. We were on exchanges with the hermanas and we had to do an exchange midday, so we didn't have a chance to do any companionship study. It was not very unified. I basically taught the lesson. We had 2 couples there, one was a couple who experienced a lot of opposition from her parents before she got baptized. We brainstormed together lots of options N could do to tell her dad that she was getting baptized. Nancy said she knew that this was something that she wanted to do. she just needed to ponder how to tell her dad. So that was the good part of the lesson.... I asked how they were doing keeping the law of chastity and the word of wisdom. "J"'s face got all red and N shook her head. "Not good..." apparently when "J" comitted to live the law of chastity he didn't realize how "hard it would be." oh man.... I made some comment about removing your self from tempting situations but it came out as a super awkward comment that sounded so bad... oops. #awkwardmissionaryproblems.
So to keep this making sense and an update on what is going on....
Chris, Nancy, and Alantis are getting baptized within the next couple of weeks.
they need your prayers... Chris is all of a sudden having to work Sundays which he said has NEVER happened before... It is a common trend... right before we are about to take big spiritual steps in our lives, the devil will always try and stop us. We will face a lot of opposition. But we receive no witness until after trial of our faith. We need to exercise our faith and push along and hold strong and we will never regret the big spiritual step we took. It's such a testimony builder to me of the importance of baptism, and of the truth of this gospel. Why else would Satan be trying so hard to stop it??? Good news is... he never will.
We had a miracle at church on Sunday... during the opening hymn the ward mission leader from the other ward came and got us and told us a woman in our area is looking to be taught by the missionaries and she came to church today. People are falling in our laps for us to teach. Heavenly Father is too kind! We are so excited! We have an appointment with her on Tuesday, her hubs is a member (less active) and she said she knows she needs to take the first steps to lead her family and that will kick him into shape. She already wants this church in her life. There you go... evidence right there.. the Lord is Preparing people! We have just got to be doing our part, keeping the commandments, living worthily of the spirit, and opening our mouths to invite others to come unto Christ.
Jacob 4:7 this is my theme the past week. Satan is really trying to keep me down and make me wallow in self pity about my many weaknesses... but I know that he has no power over us. We need to chose Christ and cast out those negative thoughts about ourselves! It is SO hard changing. And SO hard to grow. but I have never been more happy and closer to my Heavenly Father than ever before.
I love you all!  Thanks for your prayers these past weeks... my headaches are GONE!! I am finally back to full capacity. The concussion is healed!!!! what what!!
Sister Snow

CHANDLER!!! congrats on BYU HAWAII!!! love you. stud!

Sister Hurley, Chelsea's Twin

Monday, February 3, 2014

This week in a lot of ways had worse luck than last week. Satan is trying to keep us down because MIRACLES are coming. I know it.
So as you are aware, last week we were rear ended and the result was that I walked away with a concussion. We were going stir crazy on Tuesday because I was FINALLY feeling better and then we got news that a huge snow storm was coming our way. MORE SNOW!! So we prepared ourselves for the snow, we had to rearrange plans for the night. Once the snow starts to fall President Baker puts a driving and biking ban on all the missionaries. No big deal at all, I would rather walk, but we were told the missionary nurse, doctor, mission presidents wife and mission president that I was not allowed outside in the cold. COME ON! Really God has taught me a lot these past couple weeks lets just say that. Tuesday night the snow started falling and it didn't stop. We had the most snow that chesapeake Virginia has had in 20ish years. We were told Wednesday that this day would be a tracting and service day except for Sister Tarwater and I.
We were still stuck inside. Did I mention last week that sister t has a horrific cold as well?? We are convinced God gave her a cold so I wouldn't feel as useless making us rest.We did go outside for a little to see what the outside world looks like. ALSO.. All of our appts cancelled because people freak out here and the city doesn't have plows! The roads are completely white and icy, no wonder we are banned from cars. Back to thursday, we had an amazing experience. Chris who is a member's boyfriend-doesn't know if he believes in God or Christ, limited religious background-had a complete change of heart. It was the most amazing experience of this week for sure. We started reading from one of my favorite chapters in the book of mormon,  Moroni 7.  Half way through I had the strong impression... ask him if he's prayed about the book of mormon. So I did.. he looked up at us with this huge smile and said  yeah I did. What happened?? He lit up, and told us that this overwhelming feeling came over him. He felt so good inside and he has never felt anything like it so he just started laughing. Hahha, I have never heard that one before! The member that was with us was like "so it was a good feeling yeah??" We invited him to be baptized and he said, "I was planning on it!" He is working towards Feb 15.
     Also Thursday night we had dinner at the Bennions home. He is the 1st counselor to the mission president. We invited Henry-USC guy over for dinner and a lesson and he SHOWED UP! We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and focused on ACTING. He is from some place in latin America and he is really struggling with commitments. The Bennions invited him to church beautifully and on Sunday Henry walked into church!! WHAT?!!  Sis T's jaw dropped to the floor and I couldnt stop smiling. It was so amazing!
On Friday we decided that we were healthy enough to do an exchange with some sisters.... I am not allowed to drive still because I have a brain injury, so the sister I am with had to get permission to drive. Sister J was Sister H's companion in the mtc so I already know about her... she is the defintition of a worry wart. She was freaking out driving the whole time because she "didnt want to kill  her sister training leader..." goodness. So we pull out of our parking spot on our way to a lesson, i am backing the car out like a good missionary, I walk back into the car, sit down, and BAM.

  We got rear ended AGAIN.

I rolled my eyes, grabbed our insurance and a pen and paper and did what I do best. The senior missionary in charge of cars didn't believe me when I told him. Two seconds after I called Elder Simmons, President Baker calls and starts with  "Sister Snow-what are you doing out?" I had to explain to him that I was just starting to feel better. I couldn't help but laugh at the unfortunate events that make up my life this past week! ahahah I am still laughing. I had to beg president to let us go to our appointments. Luckily the accident was very minor and I don't remember hitting my head again. My headaches are really really bad but I don't have as foggy of a brain anymore.
Everybody thought we were kidding when we told them what happened. Poor Sister J-her first time driving on her mission and she gets wrecked.

We called Sister T that night and turns out she slipped on black ice and totally destroyed her tailbone and back. Talk about companionship unity.
We are a hot mess this week.

I have had lots of time spent praying and asking the Lord what I can learn from this experience. I know that every experience can work to your good,you've just got to make it positive.  I  had time to grow closer to my Savior. I had more time to rely on the atonement. This has by far been the hardest time of my mission, but I have never been so close to my Father and have never had so  much peace. I know that is possible because of prayer. I know God gives us things for our growth and benefit and we just need to stop worrying about ourselves and all our problems, move from the darkness and chose Christ. Chose the LIGHT.
I came across this quote this week and it gave me so much strength:

"Everything will work out. Put your trust in God and go forward with faith and confidence in the future. He will not abandon you. It is not as bad as you think it is. Everything will work out."-President Hinkley

I love y'all so much! Thank you for all your  love and support. I KNOW that what I am doing is the Lord's work. I know we are all engaged in the most IMPORTANT work we could ever be doing. I know that what I teach and testify to people is true. Heavenly Father is a loving God, Jesus Christ is his son. I know with all my heart the gospel is true and I will defend it for all of eternity! I know the atonement is real. I have felt its power and influence more in this week than ever before. If you ever have doubts, questions or struggles-bring them to Christ. He will give you strength to overcome.
sister snow
ps: transfer calls came.... Sister T and I are staying togethaaa what what! She had been here for 10 months. This is her second to last transfer. She's been in the same zone her whole mission! She was promised in a blessing recently that she would see the fruits of her labors... this transfer is going to be full of miracles!!!  We are so excited!! Everyone else in the mission exploded though!  This is the biggest transfer I have ever seen. Sister H is now a sister training leader in North Carolina! I get to see her at meetings now!! so exciting!!!

Chelsea's double jointed snow angel

looks great!

because she can

1st night with concussion, poor Sister T having to be nurse to Cheslea

1st Snow in North Carolina