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. 

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.


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
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