Monday, March 31, 2014

Amazing Week!

On your Mark

Get Set

finish line

Cleaning up after hauling mulch for 3 hours

Beautiful Sis. T and Sis. Snow

Chelsea's newspaper interview is tomorrow. Any extra prayers for her and her companion would be really appreciated!  We don't know how we will be able to get a copy of the article-Chelsea will check on that tomorrow. 

THIS WEEK WAS SO AMAZING!!!!!!!!! T GOT BAPTIZED FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sister Tarwater has been bouncing back into the swing of things. I honestly forget that she just had major surgery... she is amazing. We worked hard this week and pushed through much opposition. We were out all the long days searching diligently to find people to teach. It was one of those weeks where we try so hard. Coming home every night SO exhausted but ready to do it all over again. Knocking on doors in the freezing weather, walking around the streets talking to strangers all day (who really aren't strangers-they are my brothers and sisters) in the humid heat... there is nothing better and more rewarding than this. I LOVE being a missionary. I don't want the time to be moving so quickly! But yes.... Sadly this week most peoples agency was not in line with God's will for them… however, there was much to be smiling about this week :)
T-She is amazing. We taught her a couple times this week...she even CALLED US to be taught the day of her baptism. This woman is so elect. On Saturday (the day of her baptism) we taught one of the most powerful lessons with tori I have ever been in. We talked about how the Book of Mormon provides safety for our souls and referenced the conference talk by an apostle of the Lord, Elder Holland.  If you have not read this talk, "Safety for the Soul," go read it!!! It's amazing. T was in tears, telling us how she walks into church and sees the women of this church so confident and so beautiful. She said she knows we are like this because we know our worth. We know that we are children of God and in tears she said," I just know, and I cannot wait to come out of the water clean, and feeling for the first time like a worthy daughter of God," the spirit was so strong in that room. It is a very humbling feeling to be able to feel a small fraction of the love the God has for His children, and to be able to have thoughts come to mind that you KNOW God needs you to tell his precious children.
Saturday at 3 T was baptized. I got to give the talk on baptism. It was an honor :) When T walked into the relief society room before the baptism she saw us, the people there, and she just cried. It was a very emotional  day for sure. T had been waiting a long time for this, and she has been preparing herself very carefully for this day. She kept saying after, "I feel so at peace."  Then on Sunday she was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She was absolutely glowing. So many people pointed out to her the power of her testimony and how grateful they were to see her happiness in the gospel... it was so powerful and reminded all of the congregation how truly lucky we are to have the gift of the holy ghost and Christ's gospel in our lives.
K-we had a lesson on Tuesday with her and she opened up to us and told us she has been struggling with the word of wisdom. She committed again this week to really live it. Sunday comes around-its fast Sunday... and Sister Tarwater and I are already crying because we just saw someone we love so dearly receive the greatest Gift God has to give....The holy ghost... and all of a sudden I see K marching up to the pulpit!!! I hit Sister Tarwater's leg like 50 times and we are both giggling and freaking out in our seat. K stands at the podium and BARES HER TESTIMONY of her love for God and how this gospel is changing her life and how she's not a member yet but she knows that the sacrifices to become one are worth it.  Amazing. She also participated in every class and after church we taught her an amazing lesson about receiving the gift of the holy ghost. She expressed not feeling ready to be baptized and has been acting very flaky about her date on April 19. After a  powerful, spirit led lesson she agreed that she was ready to be baptized and committed to April 19.
Mr. S has been coming to church a couple of times, last week with his sons. We taught him about receiving revelation from the scriptures and prayer through the holy ghost and committed him to be baptized on April 26! He is going to have a lot to over come. He likes to make his own beer.
I am so excited for general conference!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I am preparing by having lots of questions I know will be answered. I hope all of us takes advantage of the MIRACULOUS privilege we have to hear from the modern prophet and leaders of Christ's church.
I have come too feel more than ever the power of this eternal truth:  I am a child of God.  This week has been full of a lot of trials and tests and I know that God is with me every step of the way. I have seen so many tender mercies along the way this week, and so many powerful yet subtle answers to prayer. God is real. He is loving. He really does want us to be happy, and has a plan for this to be so. I know with all the energy of my heart that there is a living, loving father in heaven who sent his son to this earth to suffer and die for us, and then to live again.

have a fab week! love y'all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! chose Christ and be happy
sister snow

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Field Trip

That awkward moment when you get a ticket

Transfer day

Transfer can

First skirt officially destroyed! Success for a hard working missionary.

This week was very interesting....
Monday was a very sad day when we dropped off one of my best friends at the mission home.... bye bye Sister Wylie :( We had her companion Sister N with us. We saw Miss T on Monday night and T was all fired up because she wanted to be baptized NOW. She was sick of waiting for these blessings and didn't want her soon to be ex controlling her life. We were prompted to read from the Book of Mormon in 3 Nephi 11, one of my FAVORITE chapters- when Christ himself appears to the people of Nephi in the Americas!!- and before we started we promised her that as she read she would receive revelation as to what she needs to do. As we were reading she said, "We need to call president Baker. I am getting baptized asap." So that night we called President Baker. He needed to talk to T and pray about it..... but the next day he called and authorized her baptism!!!!!!!!!!!! T IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON MARCH 29!! Finally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She is SO excited!!! She really has CHANGED my life. Her faith in this gospel is inspirational. She knows there could be complications with this decision regarding custody of her son... but she knows God will bless her. amazing woman.
On Tuesday we dropped off Sister Tarwater at the hospital. She had a surgery. I felt like a worried mother this whole week away from her! She was recovering at a member's home down in north Carolina for the rest of the week. It was a very tough week. Sister N and I left the hospital around 9:30am after being there since 5 AM and rushed to our appt with K. She is still doing awesome. She passed her finals and now is applying for jobs. She is still planning on April 19 for the baptism!  We met her husband who is a very inactive member. THEY BOTH came to church on Sunday!!!
Tuesday and Wednesday we were in Great Bridge working... we had some amazing lessons and wonderful spiritual experiences. The investigators we taught are really progressing well. Then we drove to Portsmouth (which is ghetto of all ghetto....just like my first area!!! <3), where I was until Sunday. It is very hard to take care of an area when you are not there.... lots of phone calls and prayers. Thursday was transfer day so another sister, Sister S joined us. While they weekly planned, I took some sisters out who were waiting for the transfer van and we worked the "skreets awlll" day, talking with everyone and having hilarious encounters. Too many to tell!! Met a one legged man who does roofing and construction and skis. Amazing.
Sunday afternoon, Sister Tarwater came back up. She is doing okay. The surgery was pretty major but she is amazing, she is still working hard and being so humble. She is my hero.
Last night we got a call from President Baker saying he has a special assignment for us... A reporter for the newspaper the Virginia Pilot is coming to the mission home, and President Baker selected me and Sister Tarwater to be interviewed! Scary!! We have a conference call with SALT LAKE a couple of hours before and then we will be with the reporter for 90 minutes. Scary stuff. I'll probably embarrass the whole church by saying something stupid or tripping over something... but hey! It will be fun. The interview is next Tuesday.
Thank you everyone for all of your love. I have been so privileged to serve a mission. Every single day my testimony is strengthened, and I feel my commitment to the Savior and his work double, "erryday."
I KNOW that this is His gospel, and I know that we are all good enough to do his work! No matter where you have gone, what you have done, who you are.... you are good enough for his love.
have an amazing week! Keep smiling
Sister Snow

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Ups Trumps!

Hey Y'all!
I honestly cannot believe that another week has flown by. These last couple of months have gone way to quickly. Yesterday was transfer calls, sister Tarwater and I are staying together for another transfer! This is her last transfer before she goes home... we are going to make it the BEST. We were so excited to be together for this last transfer. We are just too good of friends to be separated! :)
Monday-Tuesday we had our last exchange for the transfer down in good Ol' nags head! It was amazing to see family. Kyle ( a recent convert from Nagshead) told his mom that I would be back down, and she got SO excited and invited us over for dinner with the sisters. It was so kind. She has a book of mormon and she agreed to a return appointment!! MIRACLES!!! Kyle is doing SO awesome. He is a home teacher and he is passing and blessing the sacrament on sundays. He is also planning his temple trip next year in salt lake city with me and sister hymas! He looks so happy. The gospel really has changed him so much.
Monday night we also saw the Farrenkopfs. They haven't been coming to church in a while. When I walked in the door brother Farrenkopf jumped in his seat. It was so nice to be able to see them. We had some really amazing opportunities on tuesday to talk with everyone, and we saw many miracles. God is amazing. He really does keep his promises. One of the sisters I was with is brand new. She reminded me so much of myself... absolutely terrified. While we were walking down the road in Manteo, NC, the other sister we were with stopped to talk to some hispanics (she's an hermana) and I gave the new sister a little pep talk. Read D&C100 with her-the scripture that motivated me to talk with everyone-open your mouth..."and you will not be confounded before men."  The next person we saw, she was going to test it out. So we walked past a couple getting into their car.... I slowed down and the sweet sister mustered up all the courage she had and said hello. From then it was so natural. She did amazing. The girl she talked to accepted a return appointment... and the sisters called us a couple days ago and told me she has a baptismal date!! GOD IS SO KIND!!!! All it took was that one step of faith... to open her mouth... and the miracle happened.
It was definitely a highlight of the week.
This week I got to meet a woman with a goatee who yelled at us because she was pagan.
We finally got to see K. She is super stressed with school and life, so we had a very spiritual lesson on the importance of doing the little things: read your scriptures, pray, and go to church. Do these three things-and you will keep your testimony strong. K got a blessing also.. and on Saturday she passed her final exam!! yayyyyyy!
We had a rough day on thursday. 2 days before T's scheduled baptism..  We get all these texts from her about her family wanting her to wait until the legal complexities regarding custody is finalized. We had President Baker call T and a couple hours later we get a call from President Baker telling us that the baptism is going to be postponed until we hear back from Salt Lake.
It was rough. T was so upset. We called her and offered the opportunity for her to have a blessing. She accepted. Throughout the day I had to push myself to be understanding, and to accept the will of the Lord. It took a litle bit, but President assured us that she will be baptized, and everything will work out. I learned very quickly and powerfully how important it is to really and truly TRUST in God. He has a plan for all of his children, we just need to humble ourselves and go along with it-his plan is much better than our plan for ourselves.
So as of now... we are still waiting on salt lake. Tori's blessing was the sweetest most powerful blessing I have ever heard. Bro miller, a member of the bishopric did it, and he didn't know anything about T at all. The things that came out of his mouth were spot on. We were all crying and filled with the spirit. The priesthood power is so real.
Sunday and Saturday was stake conference! T came in a dress and carried a notebook with her! She is honestly already LDS. She is so perfect. We have gotten so close with her in these short 3 weeks. C came too!! And his mom wants to take the lessons from missionaries!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 We were invited to the priesthood leadership meeting on saturday evening. It was so uncomfortable. We were the only sisters there for a while until the rest of the sister missionaries in the stake showed up. That was definitely a first and last experience!
After the adult session on saturday... a girl who recently got baptized within the past month (she had to bare her testimony in conference) was standing in the hall. I was finishing up a conversation with some members from the Nagshead ward, and I heard her ask Sister Tarwater, " Are you a SISTER missionary?!??!" so excitedly. I guess she has never seen one before. hahaha we both started talking to her about a mission and poured out hearts out to her about the blessings of serving a mission. I don't even know what we said… but she had tears in her eyes and said, "It's sealed. I'm going on a mission. I know it." She had been praying about it and said she got her answer. She's she can start working on her papers soon! ahhhhh
On the Sunday session, we had the opportunity to watch a broadcast from Salt Lake. L Tom Perry spoke!!(Chelsea's favorite of all time) The messages from the speakers were all very inspiring, and we had a couple investigators there! One was there for the first time.
This week definitely had a lot of ups and downs... but like always.. the ups trumped. 
Love yall so much! keep on smiling and remember who you are!!
sister snow

Monday, March 10, 2014

By Small and Simple Things...

Chelsea is being very calm even though she is terrified of birds!

Text from recent convert

Hey Y'all!! So obviously a lot has happened this week! God is so real.
The event we had last night was AMAZING. So many people came... over 250 showed! The chapel and overflow were filled. Not bad for a "missionary devotional."
Someone recorded it... I'll try and get my hands on it. We had president baker invite everyone to read the book of Mormon, so many beautiful musical numbers... the spirit was SO STRONG. Strong enough to hit me even when I was so stressed out I couldn't breathe!  Everyone came up to us and thanked us for all the hard work we did. Everyone was impressed and wished the friends they invited had come. Success!!
We  had Zone conference this week and learned a lot about teaching simply. It was a good refresher for all of us missionaries. We had our testimonies strengthened, our visions lifted, and took what we learned and WORKED.
Chris is doing amazing!! We had a family home evening at the Wettstiens about family history work and the spirit prompted him many times to do the work for his grandpa!!! He's working on getting it done so he can go to the temple!!!! ahhhhh.  He texted us and said this is the happiest he has been in his whole life :) :)
K isn't going to make her date.... She has gone MIA this week :(  so sad.
Okay I will get to T now because I cannot contain my excitement:
Monday, We finished up at the library, came outside and it was HAILING. Like really hailing. The ice was sticking to the ground and it was beginning to snow. So all of our plans to get together with our zone got cancelled because we are grounded from our cars when it snows. We got permission to pick up our car from the shop (b/c of the car crashes...)and were stuck inside the rest of the day. We get a call from a sister who used to be in this ward but her family moved to DC. Sister Tarwater had the phone so she answered and this sister begins to tell us about her dear friends and old neighbor, T. apparently, on Sunday she was sitting in a baptist church, (she's a Lutheran) and she had a feeling she needed to go to the Mormon church that day. So she gets up and goes to church at 9. This was the other ward, but apparently she had an amazing spiritual experience at church, and loved all the people there. She told this sister that she wants to learn more and what was the process of doing so.  She was told that there are missionaries that teach people about Jesus Christ and his restored gospel. She said she wasn't ready for that... so the sister told T to read the Book of Mormon then. So T comes by and we give her a Book of Mormon. Before I go on... rewind to about 8 months ago... Sister Tarwater and her companions at the time were early to their dinner appointment with the Thayne's. I'm just going to say their names. This is the same lady who was calling us who moved to DC. So they knocked on some doors, they weren't interested, the missionaries asked who they knew who was going through a hard time... and they referred T. So they knock on T's door, she answers, they tell her they are from the Thayne's church, she explains she just got served with divorce papers that came out of nowhere and she has no idea what to do. Missionaries feel inspired to pray with her. They say a prayer, give her a Book of Mormon, and plan to follow up. Missionaries invite the Thayne's to have T and her family over for a family home evening, after a couple follow up appts, T gives them the book of Mormon back and says thanks but no thanks, and to give it to someone who needs it. This opened up many gospel discussions with the Thayne's, and provided T the chance to watch and see what makes us different. So fast forward now to Monday. T comes to get the Book of Mormon, Sister Tarwater answered the door and T gets this huge smile on her face.... "It's you! Do you remember me??!" She was so surprised that it was the same missionary after all these months. Seriously how rare is it that Sister Tarwater has been here the whole time.... working on 10 months here!
So T grabs the Book of Mormon and runs away before we could talk to her more. hahha.
Tuesday. We get another call from Sister Thayne. She says "so remember how T didn't want missionary lessons, and she wanted to just read the book of Mormon and see what she thought? Well, she wants the lessons. Today. WHAT?!?!?! So we scurry around and find a member who we can do the lesson at their place the last second, teach T the MOST SPIRITUAL LESSON I HAVE EVER TAUGHT IN MY LIFE. Literally every scripture that we used she related to. She felt the spirit so strongly. Scriptures would come to  mind... I would say them or sister Tarwater would, and T would sit there and say wow. I wish y'all could have been there. I cannot even put into words how powerful this experience was. When we first began teaching, we told her that she would know this is true as she prays, and recognizes the Spirit testify it to her. She stops us and says... what do you guys mean... this is  true? How will I know. We invited her to keep her heart and mind open and she would know. Fast forward to the FIRST VISION. After it was said.... Silence. At least 20 seconds. I wasn't even fidgeting in my seat! (MIRACLE) She kind of starts laughing after this pause and says. "I know what I need to do. Now how do I do it? God has given me enough signs already. I know what you mean now by knowing this is true. I know this is true...what do I do now?"  So we invited her to be baptized. ON MARCH 15. THIS WEEK. She agreed.  She said,  "I didn't come here to say yes. I came her to ask questions and observe. I didn't come here to say yes. But I know what God needs me to do."
Tears. All week. Just tears. She is so elect!
The most prepared person I have ever met.
Another amazing part to this story... she was terrified to tell her brothers and sisters about this.... They are all strong Lutheran.  Before this first lesson she told us that she just got off the phone from a 2 hour conversation with her brother.... WHO HAS BEEN MEETING WITH THE MISSIONARIES FOR MONTHS NOW. He said if he wasn't stuck as a Lutheran he would be a Mormon. What ever that means. But so many tender mercies. We taught her 4 lessons this week and she had her baptismal interview yesterday. She loves the ward, and she LOVES this gospel.
T has been the biggest tender mercy. My testimony of the small and simple things has been strengthened so much. I KNOW that no effort is wasted. For the missionaries... those hundreds of people who close their door in our faces, those NO's... they all amount to something. Sister Tarwater is the luckiest person I know to have been able to see the fruits of that labor from so long ago. I have been so humbled this week as I have felt the LOVE that God has for all of his children. It is not about us. It is about being an instrument in Gods hands for the salvation of his children. No effort is wasted. For members... all the invitations we extend do not go unnoticed. They REALLY ARE planting seeds. The Thaynes had no idea the extent of their example went for T. Now she is getting baptized on saturday because she noticed how happy they are.
I know that God knows and loves all of his children. We are placed in certain areas for a reason. To meet people, to connect with them, to love them as Christ does. I know that we are placed in peoples lives for a reason.  It is our job to find that reason and ACT.
I know that Christ is our savior. I know that forgiveness is REAL. I know that the book of Mormon is true. I have seen it change so many peoples lives. I know that it is our job to humble our selves and act as God would have us act... so that we can truly be instruments in his hand.
I KNOW that miracles are REAL. Everyday I have witnessed them. They are possible not because God is going against His will, but are possible because his children have faith and humble themselves before him. Repentance is a miracle. Baptism is a miracle. Eternal life is a miracle. The restoration of the gospel is a miracle.
God wants all of us to be a part of one of his greatest miracles... the hastening of his work!
I LOVE this work so much. I have never been happier.
Never forget that your righteous efforts are not wasted. The seeds we are planting will harvest. I have been so blessed to have seen one of them :)
sister snow

Monday, March 3, 2014

His sheep hear His Voice

Another week gone! Time is so weird. I wont even try and understand it.
We went on 2 exchanges this week, and had a leadership meeting. Weeks like this always fly by.
We had a lesson with one of our investigators, K who is seriously SO prepared. She is the cutest person ever. I just love this girl. She has an adorable 3 year old and her husband is a very less active member. She wants to take the lead with her family and she knows the gospel will improve their relationships. On Sunday she told us that she was done making excuses for not joining the church. On our lesson on Tuesday, she told us that she knows this is true. She was having a hard time understanding/recognizing her answer to her prayer. So many of us think that answers to prayer come in big manifestations, but this is not always the case. With Krystal for example, she had little confirmations one day, and a little more the next day. She would describe it as, someone would say something in church that rang true and she would feel "the warm tingles in her heart." Or someone quotes the song "Families can be together forever" or we read her a scripture from the book of mormon. When we explained to her that those were answers to her prayer… the lights came on. From then on, it clicked. All her concerns were washed away and this brightness came to her eyes. I felt the Spirit prompt me to invite her to be baptized.... But on March 15. In like 2 WEEKS. I don't know why but when God tells you to do something... you do it. She agreed so excitedly (is that a word?) and bore her TESTIMONY to us. What is going on!??!?! She is so elect.
Missionary leadership council was this week. We have it every month, where the zone leaders and sister training leaders meet up with President and Sister Baker and the assistants to the president. We had special training on the gift of the holy Ghost. I was definitely enlightened as my understanding and appreciation for this miraculous gift was strengthened. So many people here in the South have "already done been baptized." And what was so strongly brought to my attention was that they definitely have not been given the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. That is what sets us apart from all other churches/religions. The way we do baptism and that we receive the gift of the holy ghost. This is SO vital. The only way we can receive these 2 sacred ordinances is through the priesthood power that has been restored on the earth again through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that this is SO true, as I have taught this to individuals this week I have felt the spirit bare witness to myself and also to others.
After MLC we had another exchange. Before this exchange we went to sonic so sister T could get a BEV and the lady that came out looked at me and jumped. Uhhhhh. I have Never gotten that reaction before. She kept staring at me. Finally she said, "Do I know you from somewhere? You look so familiar...." People say this to me a lot out here… but this one was so unique. She was seriously shocked and speechless to have seen me. I told her I'm not even from here and gave her a passalong card and told her about the pre-earth life and we gave her the church address for the nearest one and our number and the missionaries in the areas number. She said she would call. She said she is very interested in learning and also that she had goosebumps every time she looked at me.  It was a very interesting experience.  No call yet... but she will :)
This exchange I was in another area for a day, and I got to help clean up throw up out of one of their investigator's new Lexus, then teach them about baptism. I always love coming into other missionaries areas and meeting the people they teach and feeling the love heavenly Father has for all of his children, regardless of being a member, missionary, or nonmember!
Remember C's friend who we set up a time to teach this week? Well, he bailed :( he got antied by his mother. But it's okay because we know where he works. Kidding, thats creepy. Sadly we already stopped by once to visit him at work and see what was going on. He will come around!
C is doing SO great. He is loving having the holy ghost and has been recognizing the big difference it has made in his life. I just LOVE watching the gospel change peoples lives. Oh, it is fabulous.
Little Miss A is also doing great. Her whole family was so calm and peaceful when we were over on Friday. It was a big change from the normal scene there :)
On Friday night we went out to dinner with one of my favorite couples... the Picones. Our waiter was super friendly, gave us free cupcakes (which was too bad because we aren't eating sugar btw....) and he was taking FOREVER to give us our check. SO we made the most of it.
Gave him a passalong card, asked him if he's ever heard of the church, talked about his background, found out he lives here, set up an appointment to teach him on Sunday. It was awesome. He thought the Picones were our parents. It was hilar. We taught an awesome lesson on Sunday at the Picones, and Mr. I  definitely felt the spirit. He has only prayed once in his life, he doesn't believe in God, and he is interested in learning about religion. When he heard the first vision he looked so shocked and impressed... turns out the first thing he said was "I'm impressed you memorized that." Hahhaha never gotten that one before.
Also when we taught him about the apostasy he asked if he was in a state of apostasy. This man really had some great questions and actually listened to the lesson. We have high hopes for our waiter!
We found a couple new investigators this week just by talking with everyone, it is SO nice when the weather is nice, because people actually are outside. Fingers cross that the snow doesn't get to bad tonight!!
This Sunday is our event: Come Follow Me: an invitation to come unto Christ
A music devotional. We have worked sssssssssssooooooooooooo hard getting this thing going. The ward is super pumped for it. It should be brilliant!
Love you all so much. This week my testimony of the Holy Ghost has increased so much. I know that it is SO real. I know that through the spirit we can feel a taste of the joy that is to come in the eternities. I know that through the spirit our questions can be answered, and we can know Gods will for us. I know that the church of Jesus Christ of Later Day saints is true. I know that God really is our loving heavenly father.
I also know that I am so blessed to be able to have such amazing family and friends. Thanks for all y'all do. Keep being good examples and being missionaries!!!!!
Have a blessed week!
Sister Snow