Friday, December 26, 2014

Before I start, I just wanted to thank everyone who contributed a
beautiful selfie to my Christmas present. That was so awesome to see
everybody! It made me really happy.

This week was good. We did service on the U.S.S. Missouri again, that
was fun. Elder Ili and I gave the missionary moment at a baptism, with
no heads up this time. To be honest that was still pretty scary, but
we have improved so much on teaching simply and transitioning fluidly,
it went a lot smoother than the last one. We started the After baptism
lessons with Keonie, he is doing really well and remembering a lot
more than before. He also received the Priesthood yesterday in priests
quorum! That was awesome.

It has been really hard to get into the doors of non members homes
during the Holiday season.. Thad and Heather were both headed out to
do Christmas errands during the time we had scheduled for a lesson.
Twila was sick. Luckily they are still ok to have us come back after
the new year when they are less busy, but this week has been rather
slow.

We did however, with Bishops help, get into a home of an older non
member couple. To put it bluntly, they were kind of hoarders, and had
to hide/throw everything away so that they could fit the visiting
families in their house for Christmas. It took 3 days with 4
missionaries to clear out their patio, garage and house, and there was
still lots of stuff lying around when we left. But they were very
grateful for the help and so there is a good chance we will be able to
teach them a lesson sooner or later.

Turnout for Sacrament meeting was pretty good this week though. There
are quite a few who only come to church on Christmas, and Brother
Maekawa used that to his advantage get one sister and her family to
come to their house after church for dinner. She was baptized last
year, and due to some really tough times went back to her old ways and
stopped coming to church. He then invited us to dinner as well to get
to know her and share a Christmas message. It went well, hopefully it
got the spark lit back up inside of her.

Also thank you to those who sent letters and Christmas cards. I love
those! The Church is true, I will see you next week. Love you and Mele
Kalikimaka!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Jake couldn't find anything to wear for the Christmas pageant, so he used the shower curtain with frogs on it. :)
A great week it has been!

Keonie's Baptism went so well on Saturday! Elder Ili and I gave the talks on Baptism and the Holy Ghost, and Brother Maekawa performed the Baptism. It was such an amazing day, the spirit was strong, and he had inactive and non-member family who attended as well. I hope he will continue to be the example he already is being for the rest of his life, because he will have the ability to touch so many more people that we would not have been able to. After that we got to stand in on Sunday as brother Ing gave him the Holy Ghost. It feels like he is my new brother, I am glad we get to keep teaching him the after Baptism lessons because I am not ready to leave him yet, and he has much more to learn. It was really funny because the other night he heard me say "Dang it" and he looked up at me and said, "Wow Shnell, Word of Wisdom!" 

We got to go visit a few of the people from the area book we re-organized. We had surprisingly good luck finding them too, because usually people we visit are not home. One of the people we ran into had been taking the lessons from previous missionaries and the only reason he had stopped was because he had been so busy at work. He invited us to come teach him on Wednesday so I was really excited about that, and to top it all off I noticed the company on his shirt and realized it was the same company that Keonie works at.. Coincidence? I doubt it. We are going to try to get Keonie to come to one or more of the lessons and help him do missionary work with us!

Other than that life is still great here in Hawaii, it feels cold because of the winter drop to the mid 60's-low 70's but you kind of get used to it. I also got to try turtle, it was really an interesting taste, kind of like fishy chicken, but I felt bad eating it because I love turtles. The new missionary in our area is awesome! The members love him because he is so funny. He got called as our Zone motivator. Christmas in the tropics is more amazing than I thought it could ever be without snow. Lots of ward parties and food, and of course lots of amazing people doing amazing things for each other. Thank you for your continual prayers and support, I love you and wish you all a Mele Kalikimaka!      

Monday, December 8, 2014

This week was packed! We weeded 2 ponds, that was something I never thought I would do. We taught Keonie the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a member, Brother Lee. It went very well, he congratulated him on his decision to be baptized and got him even more excited to be a member of the church. They have become close friends since we introduced them to each other. Keonie's brother in law Luke also started listening to the lessons and came to church yesterday! Only 1 lesson to go and he will be ready for his baptism this Saturday! :)

Elder Ili and I completely re-did our area book and found quite a few people from the previous missionaries who we will definitely be checking up on. Twila is our newest investigator, she has been very nice and listened to everything we had to say, it is just hard to catch her because of how busy she has been lately. We are going to try to share "He is the gift" this week with her. It is a Christmas message the church has put a lot into, and if you have not seen it yet I would encourage you to watch it and share it with whoever comes to mind. It can be found on mormon.org/christmas and is only around 2 minutes long.

We also had a new batch of Missionaries come to Hawaii this week. That was really exciting because some were transferred and our Zone is super awesome now. The new Zone leaders are very energetic and much better at getting you pumped to serve and improve. Also, we received 2 new "greenies" so I am not the new guy anymore! Crazy how fast things are flying

Mission tour was last night. That is where all of the missionaries on Oahu meet in the same place and listen to some speakers. We got to here about missionary work from Elder Johnson of the 70's and Elder Aona of the Area 70's. That was a really good experience to here from them and to see some of the guys from the MTC! 
Other than that, things are starting to pick up and we are teaching more. Thanks again for your continued prayers for Keonie. Hau'oli Lanui! (Happy Holidays) from
-Elder Snell

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Much more happened this week. Last night Elder Ili and I taught the Restoration to a fairly large crowd of maybe 50 or so investigators and members. It was terrifying. I messed up on reciting Joseph Smith's vision but they were all really nice about it and said we did a great job. Good thing that the spirit is the real teacher! 

We taught Keonie the Word of wisdom this week because he mentioned some previous problems with it, but he has already gone 2 or 3 months without drinking or anything! The only thing he didn't know about was tea but he committed to give it up! I am so happy for him and his progress, he is more ready than I thought any investigator could be. 

Thanksgiving was great! We got to play in 2 turkey bowls, which worked up just enough of an appetite for the 3 Thanksgiving dinners we ate. I was surprised how similar the meals were to home, pretty much the only difference was they have rice with everything. The members are so nice though, we were invited to eat with families from other wards who have never even met us before. 

One of those members had us help prepare their turkeys by making a traditional Hawaiian Imu (pictured). To make one you have to dig a hole about 3 feet deep, fill it with wood and card board, cover it with lava rocks, and light it. Once the rocks are super hot and glowing red, you cover it with the banana leaves/trees that you previously cut down, and the turkeys and let them cook over night. It took a lot of work but it was so good it was worth it! 

Other than that Hawaii is treating me great! Thank you for all of the love and support and prayers and I hope y'all had a fantastic Thanksgiving! 

-Love Elder Snell




Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

11/17/2014

Here is a pic of the monster I reeled in this morning. Elder Ili caught his first fish today same with a couple of the Elders. It was fun hopefully we can go again!


Monday, November 10, 2014

This week was very happy and very sad. Had to say goodbye to one of my favorite Elders, Elder Stulce. I didn't get a chance to get a picture with him but he was on the left of last weeks yard work picture. Also the inactive man who we have been teaching since the first day I got here asked us to stop visiting with him. It was really hard for me. He stopped chemo therapy for his cancer about 7 months ago and the doctor said he had 6 months left to live. We tried and tried to get him to just read a small bit of scriptures, or to pray, but he just isn't interested. He believes that he will be forgiven of his wrongs and sealed to his family without any efforts in this life, and that those things come for free. While he will have another chance after this life, we tried our best to explain why it is best to act now, and how easy it would be, but with no luck. 

We are making great progress with our new friend Kioni though. We met him at church 2 weeks ago, he is not a member. We went to sit by him and fellowship him and he actually invited us to dinner the following Wednesday! His wife has been a huge influence in his life, encouraging him to go to church and reading the Book of Mormon with him. He is already progressing a lot! When we arrived we really hit it off! He is a professional cook and made an amazing meal for us. We talked for a good portion of the night and really broke the ice with him and his wife. They both came to church yesterday and his wife gave the talk. We even got him to come to the classes after sacrament meeting and found some ward members to be his friends. We get to take him to the visitors center this Friday and start teaching him the lessons soon! I am beyond excited for him! The Lord has already been preparing these people and it is so rewarding to meet them and to help them come closer to him. 

I took a picture of this sunset as we were walking home from a family home evening lesson last week. Hawaii is so beautiful! 

-Love Elder Snell

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Hey everyone! The days are going by crazy fast, I hit my month mark on Saturday! It feels like I just got here. 

This week was good! Lots of service and lots of walking. We had the opportunity to do service for a member in Waipiolani on Wednesday, she was wheel chair bound and needed her garden watered and weeded. It was the biggest garden I have ever seen in my life and with 2 of us watering it took around 3 hours to water every pot. I don't know how she ever did it by herself. Part way through it I discovered a Noni Tree and decided it would be a good idea to open one up, and taste it if it smelled good. Not only was it the ugliest fruit I have ever seen, but just the smell of it made me gag until I nearly threw up. I would recommend a Jabong instead. Attached is an intense picture of us doing that work. 

Another cool thing that happened this week is that I had my first "Bible Bash" with an older baptist man as we were walking to a dinner appointment. He approached us from behind and asked if we were Mormons, we answered yes. He tried to sound interested in what we believed but we both got different impressions. He brought up a scripture in the Bible to show us why the Book of Mormon was false doctrine. Neither of us really knew what to say, but I had the feeling to open to the scripture he was talking about to know how to reply. When I replied, I caught the Baptist, my companion, and myself off guard. He didn't know what to say. I don't take credit for what I said either, it just goes to show that D&C 100: 5-8 is true:) We finished talking and even though I felt he was not really interested, I gave him a Book of Mormon and bore my testimony along with Moroni's promise, and that was it. This experience really helped me know that my companion and I are not alone, as long as we are willing to speak by the spirit, we "shall not be confounded before men"

Love Y'all, and Aloha Oe!
-Elder Snell

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

This week was a good learning week! We did lots of service and teaching. While I am discovering that I have lots of practice to go, I have found that as long as you are being obedient and making your best effort to open your mouth, the spirit will be the teacher and the lesson will end up working out. It definitely can be difficult at times, but looking back, all of the people we have taught have started to change for the better, and you can see it! 

Yesterday we attended my first Cottage meeting. It is where the recent converts in the area tell their story of how they found God and then they bore their testimonies. It was so good! The entire time that one of the sisters who recently joined the church was speaking, the spirit flooded the room and I was left thinking, If I could help bring this much change and joy into one persons life, I could return home at the end of my mission knowing that I had succeeded.

I met some really interesting people this week. I just finished talking to a man in his 30's from Florida who had finally saved up enough money to buy a one way plane ticket to Hawaii so that he could spend the rest of his days surfing. I asked him how he covered his living expenses here and he introduced me to the "white collar" conspiracy and about mind control, and how he would rather live off of the money that the government gave to him. It was a very enlightening conversation. 

On another note, this is a picture of our zone at the visitor center last week after we went to the temple. It is another amazing place where we get many of our referrals from the sister missionaries who serve there.
Thank you for all of your prayers! The church is true and I can feel them helping as I serve. 

Love, 
Elder Snell

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hey guys! This week has been pretty amazing! I taught my first lesson right after I got settled in, and it was with Elder Ili and Bishop. The mom is active in the church and she was very supportive, but her daughter and husband were not. We studied and prayed and taught by the spirit, and Bishop and Elder Ili both said that the lesson went unusually well for a "greenie" haha. 

The Hawaii mission actually has the most cars of any mission, but we did not get a car. I am actually grateful we didn't though because walking all over the place has really gotten me into shape, and given us more opportunities to teach people, and to see things as they really are. In one of the neighborhoods we were in, I saw a tree with massive fruits all over it, so we went to talk to them. They were members but they told us to take as many of these fruits as we wanted, it weighed over 7lbs and after asking 4 or 5 different people we discovered it was called a Jabong. When we got home and cut it open it was a beautiful pink and white color and tasted like a sweet grapefruit! It was amazing! 
The area we are working in is extremely wealthy and the work is fairly slow. There has been 1 baptism in the entire zone this year, but Elder Ili and I decided that we are going to change that! The missionaries depend heavily on ward members to help find people to teach, so we have spent a good chunk of our time serving and building trust with the members to find teaching opportunities. 

One of the highlights of this week was actually today. We got to visit and do a session in the Laie temple! It is my new favorite! It was an amazing experience. 
The people I have met here in Hawaii are amazing! They are very kind, loving and generous. I have made lots of new friends and shared my testimony with lots of new people, hoping that the seeds I leave in their hearts will someday grow. 

I love you all and God bless!

-Love Elder Snell
​ 

Monday, October 20, 2014


Members, who were feeding Jake and his companion, sent us this picture.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It is a pleasure to write to you of your sons arrival in the Hawaii Honolulu Mission. 
He was met at the airport where he arrived well and in good spirits.  His companion
picked him up and he is now in his new area of labor.  His companion was carefully
selected to insure him of a proper introduction to missionary work here, and we are
confident that their relationship will be a mutual blessing.

At the Mission Home we took a snapshot of your missionary with Sister Warner and myself, which has been attached for you.

Thank you for sharing your son with us.  We already love him as one of our own and are thrilled to have him in this mission.

Sincerely,
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President Stephen R. Warner
       Mission President



This week has been one for the books! 

We planned to be on the plane and headed to Honolulu by 12:00. Our plane decided not to work and we had a delay of almost 7 hours, but we made the best of it! I made quite a few new friends when I attempted to play my new Uke, and one of them even taught me how to play my favorite song, Somewhere over the rainbow! The people at the airport are very nice to the missionaries! One lady gave me $80, and wouldn't take it back until I informed her I would be breaking the rules to take it, another man wanted to take selfies with us, and many others just wanted to talk! I handed out quite a few pass along cards, and it was very helpful to make me think more like a missionary would.

This was my first plane ride and it was truly amazing! The cities at night are beautiful!! We landed in Hawaii at around 11pm Hawaii time and got to sleep at the mission presidents house at around 430am Utah time. The next day I actually got to take a look outside of what everything really looks like and I could not believe how beautiful this place is! Pictures just can't capture it! The plants that would require tons of care in Utah, grow like weeds here (Dragon fruit, Oranges, Mangoes, ect.) It feels like you are in a dream when you go outside!

That day we also got to meet President and Sister Warner. They are great! We also went to a baptism performed by one of the local missionaries, which was an awesome experience as well! Then we opened our "Christmas Presents" which were the calls to the specific areas we will be serving. I will be proselyting in the Mililani area for the next 6 or so months! It is on the same Island, north of Honolulu! I also was assigned to my first official companion, Elder Ili. He is such an awesome missionary and he is Samoan, so I feel like I have my own body guard! This is a picture of him and I just outside of our pad

Now that everything is officially unpacked and situated, I am so excited and ready to hit the ground running tomorrow and start bringing some people the gospel!!

-Love Elder Snell
To put things in perspective and to answer some of your questions, my roommates and I did a full fast on Tuesday, and I still have not felt hungry! They feed us like crazy here and it is really good food and hard to not eat it! One sister I met gained 30 lbs just at the MTC! I am weighing the same but I'm not sure I will be able to maintain it in the big leagues. 
This week was a little bit harder for me, it is pretty exhausting sitting in class all day, but the spirit is still very strong and I am making lots of friends and learning a lot, especially in role playing! I invited an investigator to be baptized for my first time this week and I could feel the spirit strongly in the room. We are leaving for Hawaii on Monday so that really helps cheer me up when I get tired! I am so pumped to get there and start teaching real investigators! 

We also got to go on a temple walk this week to the Provo temple! It was really nice! I wish we could have gone in but luckily we get to do that today! Looking at pictures of the Laie Temple in Hawaii is killing me. I want to be there right now! It is so beautiful.
Thank you for all of your prayers and support! I love hearing from you, especially in letters! I'm sorry I don't have a ton of time to email but they give us more time to write letters if you would like to go that route, I love receiving them. My new mailing address starting on Monday will be 

1560 S Beretania St
HONOLULU, HAWAII 96826-1102UNITED STATES
If you are having any problems seeing pictures or you would like to share any of this, my mom is hosting a blog where you can look at everything at http://elderjakesnell.blogspot.com/

I love you all and the church is true! 

-Love Elder Snell

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Mom and Dad, I want you to know that I am safe and doing much better!

The first day and a half here at the MTC were rough, but I do have a pretty cool companion, and I am yet to experience the feeling of hunger. The spirit here is unbelievable. I am understanding my studies better than I ever have before. Everyone here is so kind to each other. I LOVE my room mates, they are an amazing bunch of guys. We got along since the very first day and we can talk about anything together. 


​I wanted to introduce them to you, my companion, Elder Cox is on my left. He is a very energetic and spastic guy who loves to rock climb and anything else out doors. If you have met Brother Davis (the Seminary teacher) you could very well compare his personality to his. Elder Kang is the first on my right, he is from South Korea and he speaks English pretty well, as well as Korean, Japanese and a little bit of Spanish! He let me try his spicy Ramen that he brought from his home. It was super hot! He was called to serve as our District leader last night! Elder Hill is the farthest to the right, is hilarious! He loves Captain America, Star wars, and is very smart. He also wears bacon socks. We talk about computers and tech all through the night. Together we have had some amazing experiences and it is only day 3! We have all been assigned to serve in the Honolulu Hawaii mission as well, so we will hopefully see each other again in the field. 

Brothers and Sisters, the church is true!! The MTC is an amazing place, and I have never felt the spirit like this! Thank you for all of your support in getting me here. I would not have made it without all of your help. I love you and I look forward to hearing from you next week :)

-Love Elder Snell