Thursday, January 29, 2015

I don't think I will have time to fit this whole week into an email. It was amazing! Elder Ili and I got a new car and we were able to visit at least 4 times more people every day, and it has made all the difference in the world.
To start off, we got 2 new Elders in the Zone, Elder Killpack and Elder Cooley. They are great!
Tuesday I went on Exchanges with Elder Henderson. That just so happened to be the day that my prayers were answered for an experience that would give me a boost. We planned that night and felt that we needed to visit a few families that I have never met because they were in his area. The next morning the first house we visited let us in. When we got in we talked story for about 20 minutes and then this man and his wife stopped talking and he just started to cry.. We were not sure what was going on but then he told us his story about how he went inactive in 08 and that he "prayed us here." The spirit was very strong. He said that the church members stopped visiting him after a while and that we were an answer to his prayers and would start working to come back. After our visit with them almost everyone we visited after let us in and listened to us, which happens pretty rarely.
Wednesday Elder Ili and I visited our Part member families and were able to meet some new people towards the bottom of our area who we have had a hard time getting to. We got into a couple houses and are working as much as we can with the PM families.
Thursday we did the same, but also visited some other Potentials. We got 4 new investigators in one day! One of them is really solid, and Twila let us in finally. We helped clear up some of her concerns about the Book of Mormon, and she has really opened up to us. We have been working a lot with the less actives as well, and brought 2 back to church this week.

Friday we had to go do car maintenance in Honolulu so we couldn't visit many people..
Saturday was awesome, we planned to visit about 25 people but on the 2nd visit we stopped and found Jeff, he was working on his truck. He is a member and has one of the hardest lives of anyone I have ever met. He does not feel worthy to come to church but is working towards it for his kids. We ended up listening to his life story and getting to know him and then we offered to help him fix his truck and he let us! We spent most of the night under his truck and learned a lot. We invited him to church, and he explained how he did not want to because he felt that he had let down the members who have done so much for his family. We worked some more, and re-invited him and guess who showed up to Sacrament meeting? Jeff! You could tell it was not easy for him, but he talked to the bishop and is ready to start again. Him and his kids live with some really rough guys, but he is much more optimistic for the future now.
Sunday we went to Jeff's again because he asked us to help him change his spark plugs. When we went over he was still doing good and he is trying to get one of the guys he lives with to come to church with us!
The Lord works in mysterious ways for sure. There is so much work to be done, and not all of it is baptizing. If I learned one thing this week it would be to never give up on someone. Persistence will pay off, people just need to know that they are more than a number and that they are cared about. Please keep Jeff in your prayers that he may overcome his trials. Love Elder Snell

Thursday, January 22, 2015

This is Elder Henderson (the Zone Motivator ha), this was his first Temple trip. He has become one of my greatest friends in a very short amount of time.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Hey everybody!

This week started off pretty rough. We had to spend the first portion deep cleaning our pad and double bagging everything edible into gas proof bags. We had to do this because our entire apartment complex was infested with termites. How the process works is they cover the whole building with a tent and pump a very deadly chemical into it that kills pretty much anything it touches,  we had to stay with some other Elders pretty far from our area for 2 days and 2 nights. It was not as enjoyable as I thought it would be, the 4 of us were packed into a pad half the size of our old one, and the food there was really old, so we ate out. On top of that we had appointments at different times, and only 1 car so that slowed things down. We ended up just going on splits in our area to visit people but not very many of them were home.

On a more exciting note, we were able to try Balut! I really didn't want to at first but I was convinced otherwise. For those who don't know what Balut is, it is a Duck Embryo, still inside of the egg. It is considered a delicacy in the Philippines. The idea of eating a baby duck was pretty messed up and almost made me throw up, but it didn't taste horrible. Here is a pic of what it looks like. 
The best part of this week happened just yesterday. We had dinner with a part-member family, the husband has been investigating for 10 or so years and had not joined because of other members and missionaries pressuring him to be baptized. The bishop told us this so he asked for us to just share a message and leave it at that, but after we shared a scripture, he asked us when we could start teaching him the lessons and that he finally felt ready to take the next step! It was so out of the blue we both just paused like we had misunderstood him. It was such a great boost after a pretty slow week. We are scheduled to teach the first lesson this Thursday, but his wife is due to give birth this week as well so that may change things.
Things are great other than that, we are back in our pad and ready to go. Transfers are this week and against all odds, Elder Ili is staying in Mililani because of our performance together so far. We also might get a car, I will let you know. Until then-
Elder Snell

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year! 

Earlier this week we went on splits and I got to take over the area for the first official time. My companion for the day was Elder Henderson, the Zone Motivator, also the newest missionary on the mission. It was my biggest learning experience so far. We walked around in the rain for most of the day, and we lost our map in the first 30 minutes in one of our members cars who gave us a ride.. I called them, no answer. I didn't know how to get to any of our investigators houses without the map, but I felt that we had left it behind for a reason, so I asked him where we should go and we tracted the streets that he felt we should. I showed him how to do a door approach and let him do the rest because he was very anxious to learn how to do it. It is actually harder to not be the one talking because you have to be able to jump in when they forget what to say.  Usually tracting is very slow, but to my surprise one person wanted to hear the message we were offering to share. Neither of us have ever made it that far, so it was a little awkward at first, but we just went with it and shared the Restoration with him at his door. It went surprisingly well, taking into consideration that this was his first time teaching this lesson. The cool part was that we practiced teaching that lesson that morning. He even accepted a Book of Mormon and said we could come follow up on his reading the next week! 

We were not allowed to proselyte on NYE or NY day, so we did a Zone scavenger hunt where we would hand out pass along cards or do acts of service for random people. Then we took more zone pictures, watched Despicable Me, and the fire works after that. They are all illegal here, but I saw more fireworks here than I ever did back at home haha. 

On Friday we taught a new investigator named KC. She is a friend of the Maekawa Family. As we got to know her we found that she knew the church was true, payed tithing, went to church, obeyed all of the commandments and had a strong testimony of Christ! We were in shock! When we asked what was holding her back from being baptized she told us that her mom was very hostile toward the church, and would shun her if she was baptized. She told us that it was just a matter of time before she was baptized, she just wanted to try to convince her mom that the decision she would be making is what she wanted. She ended up sharing her testimony with us and thanked us for teaching her and listening. She goes back to college on the Mainland but will be back later this year. Please pray for her

We taught 3  After Baptism lessons to Keonie this week. He is doing really well. Early morning church is hard for him, but he made it. It has been very stormy recently and when we arrived to the church we found that the wind had blown over a tree that was over 100 years old. We noticed that the roots were surprisingly shallow for it's size, and most of the people who bore their testimony that day mentioned the tree. Let our roots be strong and deep so that when the winds of the devil come, we will be ready. Helaman: 5:12

I hope you all have a fantastic New Year and stay strong to your resolutions whatever they may be. I love you and Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!
Elder Snell

Hey guys!
This week was pretty great! On Wednesday we got to eat with a former Ute football player, uncle Brady. He is actually one of Elder Ili’s uncles that he did not know. We met him at the turkey bowl during Thanksgiving and he recognized him from a video his family showed him! He is super cool, they made us an awesome Christmas Eve dinner and talked about all of the family they had in common and his background story. After that, we had a Zone get together at the church and watched Frozen. We just played pool and Air hockey though because we had already seen it, but the rest of the older Elders and Sisters were super excited to watch it.

Christmas day we all opened presents at our pad since it was the only one that could fit everyone. That was fun, I got an electric toothbrush and a lot of candy to go with it haha. Then we went and had breakfast with the Maekawa family, and they were kind enough to let us Skype at their home. That was such a privilege to be able to do that and to talk to everybody! It makes me grateful for the technology that enables us to do that. It almost felt like I was at home for Christmas.
We also taught the Plan of Salvation after baptismal lesson with Keonie, he is still doing great and learning lots. He told me that even though he had heard the lesson, it is just getting more interesting to think about. The Military Relations couple Missionaries even joined us on this lesson to help explain more. It was great! His wife also spoke about their conversion story in a Cottage meeting last night, it was cool to hear how it all played out and how she waited until he was ready to introduce the gospel in his life, and how his conversion also changed her. It was also a good lesson on always being a good example.
This week was pretty slow as far as teaching goes, most of our appointments were cancelled due to getting ready for the Holidays, but I am excited to get into some peoples doors this week. Anyways, I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas and hope everyone has the best New Year ever!
Elder Snell