Friday, June 7, 2013

Only a 9 page Letter!

Mon., May 27, 2013

Hola Family,
Sorry it took me so long to send this…it has been crazy busy since I saw you. But here are something’s that happened since the visit...

Friday, May 17th:
After you left we went & visited people. We had lessons planned, but they fell through, so we just visited with some others. One lady we visited, Star was a referral I think. Each time we have tried to visit before she wasn’t home. Today she was. We got in, visited with her, got to know her & ended up teaching the first lesson. Pretty good visit I’d say. She is very open to our message & had a lot of questions about what we taught.  We visited a few others, tried to contact some and actually ended up visiting a fella David & Sylvia that night, so I was able to talk to her some more. She is an awesome artist & I guess her dad is too. So they are able to share that.
Saturday, May 18th:
Like I wrote in dad’s email, Saturday was a day of service. The morning was hard for me to focus, so it was a good distraction to have service, even though it was dark & slightly depressing outside.  Us Hermana’s & the Elders in our Zone were asked to help out with the Blackfoot Marathon @ the finish line. While the Elders directed traffic. It was actually super fun being there, cheering the participants on as they crossed the finish line and a perk…we got to listen to real music.  Haha Bonus. Which lead to us all kind of dancing in place. I sent dad the picture that we took at the end. The reason we three aren’t wearing the yellow helping nanas vests is because they ran out…we were rather sad. Anyway I don’t think I wrote names when I sent the picture so here they are: from L to R:

Elder Finau, Elder Morales, Elder Klepach (not right spelling sorry) Elder Fisher, Elder Crumpton, Elder Parks, Elder Davies [zone leader] Elder T

As we were leaving the marathon to go to our other service appointment it started raining. Good timing, only our other service was going to be helping out a recent convert Michael with his yard…yea that didn’t happen. When we got to Michael’s it was pouring!! When we pulled up Michael was standing outside with a large Red & White little tyke umbrella…I will send you a picture. It was super funny. Well we chatted until the sports activity that day [where we had a record # of people there…20 including the 6 missionaries who were there. It was so cool!] After the sports it cleared up & we went and helped Michael with his yard we each took turns weed whacking & mowing his 6 – 8” grass & weeds…yes I helped mow his lawn…don’t be too surprised. Then we helped him spread more seed. Well we ended up being late to dinner so we showed up in our sweats, apologized & told them that we had just finished service & didn’t have time to change…they understood.  So it was all good. Overall it was a very good day spent mostly in jeans & sweats…minus the marathon where we had to go in our proselyting clothes as we were representing the church. ..but for us it made it even colder to be standing outside for 2 hours. But it was still fun.

Sunday., May 19th:
We had our 6:30 correlation meeting & went to a couple of ward councils. After we saw a lady we are teaching. She was complaining about a fight her & her friend, another lady we are teaching got into or something & she was complaining about how her apartment was trashed & her things were stolen & it all seemed to get out of hand. Well we went & visited the one who was not at church. She hit rock bottom or so it seemed. She was smoking again & feeling like she was all alone. So Hermana Gorriti told her to go shower get cleaned up and we were taking her to church. And that is exactly what we did. I think it was really good for her, she said she didn’t want to at first because it wasn’t her ward, we told her it didn’t matter. But I felt like the talks were really good for her to hear.  She seemed to be doing better after the meeting. Didn’t seem to be as depressed and she knows that if we call or text her & she doesn’t answer that we will pay her a visit & that she can’t get anything by us. Haha.

Monday, May 20th:
P-Day while we were shopping in Wal-Mart we ran into Hermana Clark’s mom & talked to her for a little bit. She said that Hermana Clark got transferred to the Mesa visitor’s center & is doing great. We had dinner with the Davis’s even though we don’t have dinners with others on Monday’s unless we have a FHE with them, so that’s what we did, as we were leaving they found out that Sister Gorriti's birthday was on the 14th & told us to come back after appointments for ice cream. Well, our appointments fell through so we visited Ofelia, David & Sylvia…again. We saw them Friday, Sunday & Monday. But it was fun. Then back to the Davis house for ice cream…I am going to miss them when we leave…they are so fun to talk to & hang with. You guys will have to come up & meet them. 

Tuesday, May 21st:
We did some service, vacuumed the car & went to visit a recent convert who passed out/fell asleep during our lesson & told us she wasn’t well after the nurses (she is living in an assisted living residence) woke her up. So we let her go rest. We had 4 or 5 teaching appointments & only one cancelled. We were teaching this family about 10 min. outside of town in one of the wards we cover who live on the reservation. We taught them about fasting & fast offerings. Talked to them about what they read & then mentioned that we would talk about tithing another day. But they just kept talking & talking & we love talking to them but we were about 40 min. late to our next appointment…that we were having at the Bishop of that wards house…yea, we felt absolutely terrible that we were so late. We called him & apologized and told him what happened. He said he understood and that we would only be able to have a short lesson seeing how it was almost 9 and we had to be at our apartment at 9:30. Anyway, we were invited by the Bishop to teach a kid that they have as a foster child. He is physically disabled. He can walk & do almost anything and he has to be fed thru a tube but what he lacks physically he definitely makes up for in spirit, excitement & desire to learn as much as he can. This boy is golden. The Bishop has given permission for him to be baptized and his birth mother has given him permission, the only problem is that he is in current custody of the state and we don’t know if they will give permission or not. So they are trying to work out an adoption. By the way this kids name is Keygan. I will get a picture with him next time we teach him, so you can see him. Then we went & met the sister training leaders (the sisters who are over all the sister missionaries in an area) for exchanges. Sister Gorriti went down to Pocatello with Sister Tomsic & her companion Sister Dingle stayed here with me & Sister Froerer.

Wednesday, May 22nd:
Exchange day, Sister Gorriti spent the day in Pocatello with Sister Tomsic going to all her appointments and such. And Sister Dingle did the same with Sister Froerer & I up here. She went to our district meeting with us and all our appointments that day. This poor girl is very allergic to anything dairy & I mean anything with dairy in it. And we thought Shay didn’t have much to eat…[Shayla is lactose intolerant] but it was exciting to have her even though we were nervous to begin with. She is such a fun & cute girl & is going home in like 2 – 3 months. So she has had a lot of experiences. Anyway, the highlight of the day: we were teaching Star the second lesson & it was just what she needed to hear because before we started teaching she was telling us about her parents, how they have passed & how she wants to do their work in the temple one day which lead right into our lesson on the plan of salvation. The lesson went really well, she was receptive & had a lot of good questions. So we were able to get a good discussion going. Near the end of the lesson she gets a knock at the door & it just so happens that it was the Bishop of the ward she is living in, one of the Counselors & the Ward Mission Leader…well it was cool to have them there to bear their testimony’s to her. But side note: that morning Tuesday morning while talking about what we were going to teach her & who was going to invite her to baptism…it was decided that it was my turn. Okay back to the story; now before the Bishop & everyone showed up I was just about to ask her to be baptized…then the doorbell rang. At first I was a little nervous to have them there when I asked her, but once we all got settled back down, with Star now sitting next to me, I asked her to follow the example of Jesus Christ & be baptized & she said YES! We were all excited, we set her a date to work towards (she still has to quit smoking) and I told her that I can see the desire that she has to learn more & to one day get to the temple. Honestly, I think that having the Bishop there really helped the spirit come alive when I asked her.  She wasn’t nervous or very hesitant, but rather had the look of deep sincere thought when she said yes. And the spirit that was there was amazing. So that was definitely a high point & an exciting point for me.

Thursday, May 23rd:
Not much happened or at least nothing really exciting. Visited some referrals taught a couple of lessons & went and visited Ofelia, David & Sylvia again. It’s cool to see what I remember & what comes back to me from school & I am even learning some more signs…although there is a ton of fingerspelling going on. But that’s okay she understands. I almost forgot transfer calls came in this day where Pres. Brinkerhoff calls all the missionaries and leaves messages about all the changes happening this transfer, who’s going home, who is getting new companions & who is getting transferred. Hermana Gorriti was on edge every time someone called. It was actually kinda funny.  But us three are staying here in Blackfoot together. Still no word on the VISA situation so I assume I am here for at least another 6 weeks.

Friday, May 24th:
We had our new missionary follow up meeting with Pres. & Sis. Brinkerhoff and the AP’s in I.F. they talked about the 12 week training program & then we split into 2 groups, all the new missionaries with Sister Brinkerhoff where we talked about the experiences we have had so far. It was cool, I was able to see Elders Peterson & Stowell and all the missionaries that I came up with again. And the Elders & I chatted about what was going on about how Elder Peterson got transferred to a new area. I told them about Hermana Andreasen & we talked about what was happening, or I guess not happening with our VISA’s. We taught a few lessons after coming back from the meeting and another high point, or I guess the high point of the day, in our last lesson of the day we taught the first lesson to a family that lives near us. The dad, Raul is Peruvian & speaks a little English but mostly Spanish & understands the gospel more when taught in Spanish. Hermana Froerer & I were teaching the rest of the family, Anna & her 3 kids Austin, Alyssa & Lotecia. With Hna Gorriti translating what we couldn’t in Spanish. We had only planned to teach part of the lesson & stop before we got to Joseph Smith [side note: in the MTC we only memorized the first vision in Spanish, not English & Hna Gorriti knows this…] well we were getting closer to the part about Joseph Smith & I got a feeling that I was going to give the first vision in Spanish to Raul, keep in mind that I have only really said it in the morning during comp study & not in a lesson yet. But I thought no I can do this, I know this, just then Hna Gorriti nudged me & whispered ‘give the first vision in Spanish’ haha oh the subtle workings of the spirit. So it came time & I gave it only messing up once or twice, but the spirit that flooded into the room was so powerful. When I started reciting it you could definitely feel a change & this family that is usually not very quiet or attentive, was quiet, still & paying attention & I know they could feel it. It came pretty close to the feelings we had in the MTC during class when our teacher would role play with one of us. When she would recite the first vision in Spanish, the spirit was so powerful it gave you chills. So for me to have that same experience here but with me reciting it was pretty sweet. All three of us came out of that lesson on a spiritual high & feeling just…I don’t really know how to describe it…we just felt really good as we drove home. As we talked on the drive back I told Hna Gorriti that I had the feeling that I was going to give the first vision & how after got that feeling she nudged me. She told me that I did good which helps boost my confidence & we all said that we could feel the spirit and a change in the house. So it was a good lesson for all of us.

Saturday, May 25th:
Not a very exciting day. We helped clean the Stake Center. Went to the sports activity where we had total of 18 people there. Not as many as last week, but pretty close.  Then we taught a couple lessons, tried to visit some people & came back to the house to finish our weekly planning & do progress records for our Sunday Correlation Meeting.

Sunday, May 26th:
So far every other day has had a high point since Wednesday, this day was no exception. Started with correlation at 6:30. We went to a couple ward council meetings, then spoke in a ward (they finally got us, last time they asked I was sick & we weren’t able to do it) and all this happened before 10:00 am. Anyway, the high point of the day…so when we were in I.F. for our sisters temple trip we talked to the visitor center front desk & asked them if we could use the theater that Sunday to show Ofelia & David a movie while we, we being myself and an Elder who is serving in I.F. who we found out speaks ASL, gave Silvia a tour of the V.C. They said it would be fine & they would contact Elder Bills, the one who signs. Well it didn’t end up happening that Sunday (and we found out later that week that David was waiting around for us, so excited to go, & Ofelia forgot to tell him that we weren’t going to go because something’s got mixed up, he was really sad) so we rescheduled for this Sunday. We stopped by their house so they could follow us to I.F., Ofelia was all dressed up from attending her Catholic service earlier that day & they had been waiting for us ever since bringing along 2 of her grandchildren, David & Shelby. We get there, introduce them to the missionaries who would be helping Ofelia & David, introduced myself & Silvia to Elder Bills & we got started. 

We started at the Statue of Christ, like the very large one they have in Temple Square where He is showing us the nail wounds in his hands & feet. They played the story in Spanish, then in English so we could understand what to translate for Silvia & I think between Elder Bills & I (with our companions patiently keeping in sight & sound of us) gave Silvia a tour starting with a Kiosk that was full of Books of Mormon in all different languages. Elder Bills & I (well mostly Elder Bills with a little of my help) taught her the first lesson, about Christ & his ministry & Joseph Smith & he recited the first vision, a shortened ASL version but it was still cool. Meanwhile, I am watching him & trying to pick up new signs & gospel vocabulary while Silvia was looking at the books Elder Bills & I got talking & he told me that he hadn’t used sign language in years until his mission & that he had already taught the first lesson in ASL 4 times. I told him my background in signing & he said that we could help each other try & get the important points of the gospel across to Silvia.

Next we showed her pictures of Pres. Monson & the 1st Presidency, pictures of the 12 apostles & I explained who they were & what they did.  They had a Kiosk about the building of the Idaho Falls Temple that explained who was prophet at that time, the dedication & the placing of the Angel Moroni, that we showed & explained to her. They had a case that had the glass that was used for the chandeliers & windows & the stone that was used, and I told her that only the best goes into making temples. She understood all of what we told her so far, which was cool.  Elder Bills told her about Angel Moroni & why he is on top of the temples. Then we moved to a displayed pictures of rooms in the temple. We explained to her about the font, she pointed out the oxen, so we talked about those & explained Baptisms for the dead & what happens with that. When it came to explaining the other rooms, the Garden Room, the Ordinance Room & the Celestial Room, we weren’t really sure how to go about doing that until Elder Bills had an idea, we used them to tell her about the 3 kingdoms of glory. The garden room as the Telestial Kingdom, the ordinance room as the Terrestial Kingdom & the Celestial room as the Celestial Kingdom. She was very open & receptive to all of it. She contributed what she knew (which was quite a bit) & we explained what she didn’t know or understood. It was really really cool. Afterwards we took pictures in front of the Christis (not sure on spelling) & we got one of Elder Bills, Silvia & I in front of it. (I think I will send you another letter with my memory card, like I did before explaining all the pictures) we then took a walk around the outside of the temple & just pointed out different things around the grounds & such & then we got a couple more pictures & all went home. We at least were on a spiritual high as we left. I hope they were too. Talking about it I know they felt good, peaceful & noticed a difference.

Monday, May 27th:
Just another P-day, nothing really exciting happened.  We had dinner with Ofelia, David & Silvia. Ofelia taught us how to make tortillas & salsa.  While we were emailing Hna Gorriti found the Book of Mormon in sign language on, so we tried to show her on her phone cuz they don’t have internet, but it wouldn’t bring it up, so we told her we would see if we could download it for her. But we did leave The Testaments Movie with her because it has a ASK subtitle option & with Ofelia & David, we left them the 1st disc of the Book of Mormon cd’s so they could listen to them. Turns out they have listened to quite a bit of 1 Nephi, which is really cool because Ofelia is a hard core Catholic & she told us that she would listen to us, but she’s not going to change religions…we will have to see what happens there. She is super nice & generous & Hna Gorriti says every time we leave their house, that she would be the perfect Mormon mom. Haha of which I totally agree. (p.s. I got your email, but as we were emailing at the Davis’ cuz the F. H. Library was closed I didn’t have a lot of time on the computer to read & respond. I am very sorry)

Tuesday, May 28th:
We helped Michael put them on his truck, [not sure what they put on his truck] we held it in place while he screwed them into place. Taught a couple lessons & did more service helping an elderly lady pulling up weeds in her very small garden square & getting ready to plant new flowers.  We finally were able to teach Robert again. [Large husky redneck with mustache that goes to his chin] We had him read the Joseph Smith pamphlet with his story & testimony & he liked it and understood it. The only question he had was why was he the one that was chosen, we explained that he was chosen to restore the church because he had a deep sincere desire to know which church was true. Then we each bore our testimonies about the Book of Mormon & Joseph Smith & including when we had our “Ah-ha” moments of realization that this Church is true. I told him that I have read & prayed & have known it is true but I shared an experience that happened in the MTC of when it really hit me & hit hard, that the Book of Mormon is a true book & that Joseph Smith was the prophet that brought about the Restoration of this Church. It was a Sunday night after the devotional & my district & I were in our classroom, usually this was the time that we would watch Mormon messages, but we decided to watch the Joseph Smith movie on instead. I have seen it before, I know what happens, but there is a part towards the end, I don’t know if it was because I was in the MTC or what, but this part hit me like a ton of bricks. It is when he is just about to leave his friends & family & head for Carthage Jail. He is talking to a group of his neighbors & family & he said “My job is to testify. I know that He lives” Immediately after he said that I was crying, and had that reassuring feeling that there is NO WAY that I can deny that this gospel is true.

When I shared that experience with Robert, I started tearing up, but as I looked him directly in the eyes & shared that with him, I saw a change in his eyes & felt a change in the room. It was cool. No it was so cool! But then he told us that he hasn’t found his “ah-ha” moment yet & he is waiting for it to come. We invited him to be baptized & he said yes, but if & when he gets his “ah-ha” moment. So we are going to keep working on him.

Wednesday, May 29th:
Zone Conference day. We had Zone Conference with the Zones from Shelley south to Pocatello (zones 1-5) & we all met in Pocatello at a Stake Center down there. We had to be there by 8 am so we left here at 7:30 to get there in time. It was really good, it was super long, so starting at 9 to 12:30, then lunch, then from 1:15 to 3:30, then interviews & a sister’s meeting that went until 4:45 pm. But we had Elder Don R. Clark of the Seventy come & speak. So even though it was super long, it didn’t feel like it because he is a really good speaker & did a lot of interactive examples with all us missionaries. And there was about 140 missionaries give or take a few there. Needless to say I took a lot of notes. He talked about ways we can improve & be more bold in teaching & committing & things we can do to become extraordinary missionaries. We made it back in time for dinner (of mashed potatoes, gravy, roast, rolls & green beans, it was really good) and a couple of our appointments, another overall great day.

Thursday, May 30th:
We had weekly planning for most of the day and a couple of our appointments fell thru but to end the mission tour & zone conference they had an investigator fireside with Don R. Clark speaking & the only way we could go was if we brought an investigator, member or recent convert. So we invited as many as we could, but only one said they would & that was fine with us. That one that said yes was Robert & we were super excited because we had the feeling it would be really good for him, so him & his wife came to the fireside with us. Elder Clark spoke on things the missionaries should be doing when teaching investigators & things to do to help recent converts stay in the church. He listed 5 things, 1.) they need to pray 2.) they need to read 3.) they need to attend Sacrament and other meetings 4.) they need a friend. He said if their friends are in the church, they will stay in the church. If their friends are somewhere else, they will be somewhere else and 5.) they need a calling. They need to be involved with the church & those in it. Again, he was really interactive with all of us. Having the recent converts stand up & asking them different questions. Having the investigators who were not yet members stand up & having all the missionaries stand up. It was cool to see all those that the missionaries brought.

Afterwards we gave Robert & Sandra a tour of the visitor’s center. Showing them the Christus & listen to the short audio that goes with it explaining the different kiosks they had and ending it in watching a Mormon message on forgiveness. Robert said that he still had some questions; but that he did get a lot out of the fireside he thought it was good. And that was what we had hoped for. I am really really sorry I haven’t sent you anything in a while, but here ya are. I will respond to your notes in the email from Monday. It sounds like things are going well & busy for all of you & I hope things continue to go well for you. As you have read things are good here. If you could let Cyndi know that her letter is coming, it would be much appreciated.[kind of an ongoing inside joke] Thank you tonz. Love you all. Miss you lots. Te amo! Hermana Snow




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