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

Monday, June 2, 2014

Cloud 9

This week was so rewarding. Sister Griff and i are still in shock.
We had two exchanges, one with the smithfield sisters and one with the hermanas in nagshead. we hardly had any time to breathe this week! On wednesday i was here in the area with a new-to-the-mish missionary, sister dalton who is not very new! she was such a powerhouse. we had a lot of fun together, and were blesssed with so many teaching opportunitues. Every hour of the day was booked with a teaching appointment, and non of the fell through! first time my whole mission that that has happened!! miracles happen on exchanges, that is a fact.
We had a lot of spiritual lessons this week where God knew exactly what his children needed to hear, and as we plead with him in prayer, things came to find as to what to share, and we followed the promptings and people were amazed at how much God is aware of them. Multiple times that morning and night as we planned for the lessons we were teaching, things would come to mind and we would look at each other with confused looks on our faces, shrug and study then teach what the impressions were. I will never forget the sweet spirit that is felt as people feel and understand that god really is our loving heavenly father, and that he truely is aware of everything going on in our lives, and that I am only a messanger and tool for the Savior!! He is always there to help us, we need to eliminate the things in our lives that are bringing us farther from him and let him into our lives fully.
Thursday we saw Finnegan get baptized into the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints. It was one of the most powerful baptisms i had ever attended in my entire life. We came to the church early to fill the font and get everything ready, and as we were doing so i had a really strong feeling that we needed to have a testimony meeting in between the time when finnegan was getting changed. I have never done that before, but i shrugged, told sis griffin, and we went for it.
The baptism was remarkable. Finnegans sister, bree came!!! also toris bro scott, who they are living with in WI came to support even though he is a die hard luthern, along with more of her friends. The talk on baptism was given by an adorable 11 year old boy named Blake, and then finnegan was baptized by the bishop. he got baptized twice because his little foot popped up. he was born a twin, and it was cool that he still does everything in 2s :)
While we was changing sister griffin and i had a mini lesson of the restoration, there were so many non members there! I totally started crying as i said the first vision.. that hasnt happened in a long time, but the spirit was so thick. I felt like i was in the celestial kingdom, seeing all of the many people that i love, feeling the spirit of the restoration and of the covenant that finnegan just made. sister griffin said it looked like i was glowing?? hahah who knows but it was just amazing to feel the spirit so so strong. We opened it up to anyone who wanted to express their feelings of christ and what just took place, and finnegans uncle jumps up and tearfully explains how finns twin brother died and how he knows matthew was here today, and how it was hard as an uncle seeing his nephew get baptized into a nother church but he happy with the decision he made and knows it was a right one. wow.
Finnegan recieved the gift of the holy ghost and afterwards, he leaned into tori and wispered "i am so happy right now."
This is what the gospel of Jesus Christ will do for all people who chose to accept it.
I know that this gospel is a gospel of change.
I had to privlidge to be an HERMANA for the day in nagshead, and we taught a woman named cecilia. Kyle, one of my recent converts from naghead was accompaning us, and he bore his testimony to cecilia in tears about how this gospel has changed him completlety and how he is the happiest he has ever been in his life, and he promised her that she would feel that joy as she read the book of mormon and prayed with real intent. he quoted scripture!! It was such a sweet experience. he told me friday that hes been praying about going on a mission!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i am on cloud nine today. it was such a wonderful week. I love being a missionary. It is the most rewarding, yet difficult thing i have ever done. this saturday is transfer calls... my last one. i hope i get to finish strong in great bridge!!
LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!
talk to strangers!!!
sister Snow