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