Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Missionary Christmas

What did we get for Christmas? The best call EVER!

Elder Snow sounds really happy, busy, and working hard.  He loves his area, his ward, the members, and his work.  He is being challenged,  humbled, and  blessed.

It sounds like they had great Christmas Eve, with caroling and a dinner with members.  Then, home to play board games until late at night.  Today, he was able to call him, and we all got to hear his voice.  It was AMAZING!

Here' s a little poem that was recently shared with me, called "A Missionary Christmas"
(author unknown)
I skipped the sales after Thanksgiving. The thrill just wasn't there.
No pictures taken with Santa Claus, my decorating has no flair.
His presents are shoes, shirts, and ties, two suits and fun. I've bought him all white clothes because...
This year I'm giving Christ my son.

I've spent more time in the temple, my testimony stirred.
I've reread November's Ensign, Felt strength come from His words.
Our family prays more frequently. My tears are quick to run.
Abraham seems closer because,
This year I'm giving Christ my son.

I wonder how those Lamanite mothers, gave their sons to war?
Or how the pioneers chose Zion, their sacrifice was so much more.
My loss will be his presence, I'll miss his smile a ton for two years we will pray for him,
I'm giving Christ my son.

I stare at his face when he's not looking. I memorize his eyes, their shine.
He's always hungered for the part of him, that makes his soul divine.
The stories and lessons he always heard, His choice and mine are one. I'll put my faith in God's hand, This year,
I'm giving Him my son.

Past gifts have lost their glitter; I think I finally understand Christ's birth should be celebrated by giving Him a hand.
It's because I know Christ lives and reigns that all his packing's done. My gift has taken years to make, This year...
I'm giving Christ my son.

I know there's One who understands, the sacrifice I'm making.
Who knows the gift I willingly give, The toll it will be taking.
For He has done it all before Greater love - there could be none. For years ago God gave to me, His only begotten son.

The hands I washed, the hands I held, The hands I taught to pray; Now knock on doors to find the ones Who will listen to what he'll say. Because I know Christ needs him, Until all the gathering's done, My gift has taken years to make. This year...
I'm giving Christ my son. —



Well, last Monday was the greatest day of my mission.  WHY, might you ask?  Well, because I got a package. Not just any package, however... This package contained two baseball mitts, two baseballs, a ton of socks, and my patriarchal blessing!  Those were like ALL I EVER WANTED since I’ve been on my mission, and they all came in at once!  It was so sweet! 
I immediately played catch with Elder Swonson for like a half hour, which I regretted the next day because I couldn't move my right arm.  I should've known better.  I'm all fat and outta shape.  Who was I to think I could just be chuckin’ curveballs and cutters at Elder Swonson, without being a bit sore?

The other great part was getting my patriarchal blessing.  I've seriously been wanting that SO BAD since I’ve been on my mission.  I read it like 10 times, and I actually put a little "legend" at the bottom and marked up the entire thing in different colors correlating them to different categories.  For example, I would highlight promises in purple, blessings in blue, gifts in green, commands in yellow, my future in red.  I'd box things about my purpose, and so on and so forth.  So, the entire thing is marked up.  I read it a lot and learned so much.  It really was fantastic.  Now, I read it like every other day. It’s pretty sweet.

So apparently, according to my district leader, Elder Wright and I have had the best numbers in the zone for the last two weeks straight.  We're killing it with our members present during lessons, other lessons taught, etc.  I thought I'd just throw that in there. 

This week was kind of tough to get a lot done, because of Christmas.   Tuesday, we had to run ALL the way out to Yorktown, so Elder Swonson could interview someone for baptism. Yorktown is in the middle of NOWHERELAND.   Texas is crazy.  Some towns, are just like home, fairly populated with lots of stores, etc.  But, Yorktown? Yorktown has one streetlight and 400 people that live there.  The missionaries out there live in a trailer, and they actually cover 6 towns.  Their area is massive!  

So, after our district meeting, then the two hour drive to Yorktown, we spent some time there and drove ALL the way home.  That took up most of the day, and we actually had to cancel our dinner appointment for Tuesday night.  We saw so much land on that drive.   I just don’t get it.   It’s insane!   I am like just staring out over these plains thinking, "what on earth is all this for...?" haha us Californians!!  We just don't understand.  There are cows and goats and deer, and I just get all confused.  I’m definitely out of place out there! 

On Thursday, we had a Christmas conference for the ENTIRE mission.  We had to wake up really early and drive out to the location.  It was sweet though!  We took zone pictures, and then everyone just stood around talking to each other FOREVER.  I saw a few people I knew in the MTC.  We heard from President Slaughter, which was great.  He taught us the REAL Christmas story of Jesus' birth.

It’s funny how the world actually sees the nativity.  When you actually REALLY go through Matthew and Luke, it’s quite different than how it's explained nowadays, with all the wise men and shephards getting to Jesus RIGHT when he's born and praising him.  When, really, the wise men weren't even kings, and they didn't get to Jesus until he was a toddler!  There's a lot of stuff like that; it's just funny.  We also heard a lot of very great musical numbers during the first part of that conference as well; including one sister who sang the first noel in 3 was amazing.   She was a fantastic singer.  We also had a RIDICULOUSLY big BBQ in the gym, and I almost threw up from all the food I ate.  I swear, I’m like a dog sometimes; you never really KNOW exactly when you're going to get your next meal, so I just eat and eat and eat like it’s my last!   Oh, man, that’s got to stop.   We also had a talent show, and I got volunteered for another musical number!  I seriously don't know what the heck is going on here, and why I keep getting volunteered for musical numbers.  And, let’s just say my district here can’t compete with my district at the MTC.  It’s all male, and only two of us can actually hold a tune.  So, you know it isn't very good if I consider myself one of the "good ones" in the group!   The rest of the show was fantastic as well, some people are so talented!

Speaking of talent, I've been learning how to play the ukulele this week.  Elder Swonson has one, and some books on how to learn.  SO, at night I try to teach myself.  I can kinda play Silent Night on it.  I want my own uke to play though!  I think I could learn this one, no joke!

On Saturday, we had a Christmas party for our ward, and we invited a lot of non-members.   Elder Wright and I helped set up for the whole thing!  It took forever, but it turned out fantastic!  The party was a big hit; lots of good food, lots of people showed up, and lots of nonmembers came!   We had a great time.  They also had a talent show and a presentation on the birth of Christ at the end.   It was all just great; I really had a good time, and I think the non-members did, too.

Some COOL stuff that happened this week:  I gave three more blessings this week.  One blessing was for a man with Parkinsons that’s pretty bad.  On Saturday, another member called us to see if he could come pick us up to bless his 14 months old grandson, who was very sick.  This time I did the sealing...for the first time EVER.

Something else that was cool was that we had two lessons with “S” this week, one of our investigators, and they went very good! She's really reading the Book of Mormon now, and she's killing it and having lots of questions.  So we come over and help her in all the ways we can.  She's great; she's really putting in an effort now, and she loves the Book of Mormon.  I even came up with a great response this week when she asked if there were any instances in the bible, where it referred to the Book of Mormon.   So, we talked about Ezekiel 37, and I talked to her about the stick of Judah and stick of Ephraim.  I've only actually HEARD someone bring up that scripture once in the MTC, so I’m not sure how I remembered it!  

I also had an opportunity to bear her my testimony as well, which went great.   And, I didn't cry, so I felt like it was good. She was kinda making fun of me for it the second time we saw her, but that's okay.  She could also see how much I meant it, and how important it was to me.  I think that's helping her with her motivation to keep reading and meeting with us.

We finally got some good biking weather, but we also had to ride a lot those days! I think I rode 80 miles in 3 days?  I know that doesn't seem like a ton, but it gets a little old.  I live in the hill country, and I carry a big bag on my back and I’m wearing church clothes, so it gets a little tough going up those hills...BUT, I mob down the hills with my extra weight haha :D.

Well, I’ll leave you with a little spiritual thought.   When we met with the “R” family this week, Brother “R” shared a story he was reading.  It is called "The Parable of the Bicycle." In the story, there is a family, and the mother is doing EVERYTHING she can do be perfect.  She's trying to be a perfect person, which we all know is impossible.  One day she just gives up and tells her husband she can't do it anymore, and she breaks down crying saying she just CANNOT be perfect.  He just stares at her and tells her the following parable:

He talked about how one day his daughter came up to him and asked him if she could get a bike.  They were not very wealthy, so thinking he was clever and he could get her off his back he said "okay honey, if you save up ALL of your pennies, one day you'll have enough for a bike!" So, she got excited and said "okay!" For weeks, she saved up her pennies.  Then, one day, about three weeks later, she comes to her dad and says, "I’ve saved all my pennies, and you said if I did I could get a bike! Can we go to the store to look at them?" Of course, being the loving father that he is, he takes her all around town to the various bike stores, looking for "The One." Finally, they found the perfect bike.  His daughter, being very young and naive, gets giddy with excitement and runs to the bike and declares that it's the one.  She then turns over the price tag, her smile disappears, and she begins to cry.  Her dad asks her what is wrong and she says "oh daddy, I’ll never be able to buy this bike, as I don't have enough pennies!" He says "well, how much is the bike?" She replied, "$100.”  He said "and, how much money do you have?" She said, "62 cents." Being her father, and loving her very much, he said, "well I’ll tell you what, how about you give me all of your 62 cents, a big hug and a kiss, and I’ll pay the rest. How does that sound?" Of course, she agreed.So, why am I telling you this story?  As I'm sure many of you can guess, this is a perfect example of the atonement our Savior has provided for us.  Because as much as we want to be, we are an imperfect people. We can try and try, to no avail; we cannot be perfect as our Savior was.  However, because of the love our Heavenly Father has for us, he sent his son here to earth so that we COULD return to live with him. Jesus Christ came here, atoned for our sins, and died for us, so that he could, in essence, "pay off" the rest of the debt.  HE is the father in that parable.  Because when it comes down to it, we'll try our entire lives, but when we die, we'll only have 62 cents to give our Father in Heaven, when what we really need is 100 dollars.  But Jesus beckons us over, asks us to give him a big hug and a kiss and our 62 cents, and he'll pay the rest. And the best part is that Jesus has ALREADY DONE this for us.  He's already performed the atonement; it's already through.  All we are asked to do is take advantage of it, so why wouldn't we!?

I hope that everyone remembers the real reason of Christmas.  It’s great getting gifts.  It's awesome seeing the lights and trees and candy and cookies.  But, for a moment, let's all remember what we're celebrating. We’re celebrating the birth of the single greatest person who has ever walked on the earth: the birth of our Lord, our Savior, and our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. 

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! I love you all!


Elder Snow

Monday, December 16, 2013


How's everyone been doing?  Another week flying by, its crazy.  The days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days.  It's super insane to think I was sitting here a week ago writing a letter; it feels like it was just yesterday.

I suppose I'll start out with talking about splits.  Basically, the ward that I'm in was divided, not long ago.  It used to be one big ward called New Braunfels, and now there are 2 wards.  And, let's just say, there's a lot of work to do here!  What I'm trying to say is that it doesn't seem like the ward has really been doing splits with the Elders, until now.  I'm not saying that they are doing it now because I am here, but they just recently started signing up to go on splits with us.  For those of you that don't know what splits are, it's when you have two members of the ward go with you to teach lessons, one member with each missionary.  SO - you get TWICE as much work done.   On Tuesday, we had the opportunity to go on splits; Elder wright went with Brother C, the ward mission leader.  I went with Brother B and his son, "D," who I think I'm actually related to by the way.  They are related to the Snows up in Utah, and they're related to Lorenzo Snow as well.  It's also weird, because they have a 15 year old daughter named mason, but she spells it differently.  They're a super cool family, and they look pretty similar to me, so you never know haha. 

ANYWAYS, I took them out to go visit the "C" Family and "T," the young man who lives with them. Brother "B" and I worked super super well together.  We were talking about the importance of praying and reading as a family.  We were talking about church attendance and how it's basically a spiritual recharge for the week.  It went awesome, no joke.  We killed it.  Brother "B" was rocking it, and so was his son.  They were all very involved.  Then, towards the end of that lesson, "T"  walked in and listened to the lesson, so then we taught "T" about the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and he committed to reading some of the Book of Mormon this week.  It really went great.  As we walked out, brother B and his son, D, were stoked.  They had a super good time, and on the drive home we literally had to park and stop to talk because "D" had so many questions.  He was so fired up about missionary work.  And, "D"  is 13 years old!  He's a freaking stud, no joke.  He is inviting the less active kids his age to church now,  he's giving out book of mormons, it's great.  Brother B thanked me for taking them out and told me how stoked "D" was and how much they want to come back out.  It was an awesome experience!

On wednesday, as elder Wright and I were teaching, we got a text from a less active woman in the ward asking if we could give her a blessing.  We obviously told her we would be happy to, and we brought brother "O" with us, who is the first counselor in the bishopric.   Basically, the woman was having problems in her relationship, and without divulging much, I will just say that it was a very interesting experience.   I just told her that we didn't have any advice that could make her feel better, but then I said that we would love to give her a blessing to see if we could receive any inspiration from the Lord, and see what he would have for her.  I anointed her, and brother O performed the blessing.  The blessing surprised me a little bit.   And, although I was feeling the same way, as he performed the blessing, it seemed bold.  However, after the blessing she thanked us and told us that is what she needed to hear.  The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Also, Wednesday, we took a youth from the ward to teach a recent convert about the aaronic priesthood.  This kid is named "A," and he's like 18.   Very cool, it went very good. I've made a POINT since I've gotten here to work with the youth, and I've almost taken every young man in the ward out so far.  I hope to continue that trend.  I am so grateful for people, like Doug, back home.  I'm trying to do the same with the kids in my ward.  I want them all to look up to me as an older brother, not some lame boring missionary.  I try to have fun with them, so they can see how much joy the gospel can bring into their life, and others' lives.

Thursday we went on splits again, except we couldn't get TWO separate members to go with us, so we just had brother Ca (second counselor in bishopric) and his son, "B" (17 year old),  come with us. We visited a less active member and then we went over to "H's" house and did this card trick (it's a   magic trick with cards that I know) that we related to the gospel.   We related it to how God is our loving Heavenly Father, and how he always knows where we're at, through all of our challenges and struggles.  It was a very cool object lesson.  We actually have been using it a lot lately.  Brother Ca actually recorded it.  The lesson went well.

Saturday, we went to visit the "R" Family again; they are seriously SO AWESOME.  I love this family so much.  We visit them on Saturday nights now because that's the only time we can get all of them together.  They are a part member family for various reasons, but they all have a strong faith and belief in the gospel.  We chatted for a bit and gave a little lesson.  His wife was there this time, and she LOVED us.  She's actually a gamer, so we hit it off and talked about world of warcraft and stuff haha.  Brother R (husband) gave us a ride home, and was just profusely thanking us for coming over and seeing his family again.  He keeps telling us how much the kids love it when we come over and how much he wants us to come again.  There are for sure two baptisms coming in that family.  We are just waiting for a few things, but it should be happening very soon!

Yesterday was a very good day.  We actually got TWO awesome referrals yesterday.  We went to visit sister "P" yesterday, a single woman who was baptized a year and a half ago.  She had brought her mom to church that day, and her mom was AT the house when we visited.  We taught the card trick lesson, and the kids loved it.  Sister"P"  loved it, and so did her mom.  Her mom then proceeded to ask us tons of questions.  We answered them all, gave her a book of Mormon, and offered to come over and help her out.  She said she'd love to have us over every weekend when she's with her daughter because she's super interested.   She is going to be coming to church every week and she wants to take the discussions.  How awesome?!   She has a super strong desire to be baptized - she even told us.  We basically just have to get through the lessons and she's baptized.  

Also, another cool referral was when we went to dinner with the "B" family, and the mom's sister  told us she had a friend who she was bringing to church,  and was very interested.   She even had multiple dreams of her friend being baptized, and that's why she invited her to church in the first place.  So, we have a lesson with them next week, and she's very interested.  I feel very good about that, as well.

Now for some of my more frustrating parts of the week.   Friday was really, really hard. It was raining, cold, and I was on my bike.  I didn't know it was going to rain, though, so I was wearing a pretty nice tie that got pretty messed up. I will have to get it dry cleaned now.   It was cold, wet, and NOBODY would let us inside.  I also popped a tire that day.  Walmart didn't sell tubes my size, so I had to walk my bike home to fix it there.  As I was leaving,  I saw a homeless man sitting in the rain,  FREEZING his butt off.  I had a pretty strong urge to go and talk to him.  As I talked to him, I gave him a couple dollars, and a Book of Mormon,  and I told him that I knew that if he read it, it would bless his life.  We chatted a bit, then I walked my bike home.  It was a good experience, but I was still down because of everything else.  It was the hardest day of my mission, so far, and I really missed everyone.  Then that night, I got a package from Amber, and I almost cried from how happy that made me.  It really was fantastic.  We later went caroling that night, all four of us elders, and it was so bad that it was fun, haha. The elders in my apartment can't sing at all...oh well! 

Well, that's all for this week! I hope you guys had a fantastic week.  I love you all like crazy and wish you a Merry Christmas!

Elder Snow

A Poem....Author Unknown...

Today I am frightened
My heart is beating a silent fury.
Before me are my family and friends.
I love so much and must leave behind.
Pray that I might have courage.

Today I am studying
WIth all my intellect I am diligently preparing.
Preparing for the days ahead,
That I might be an effective tool in the hands of God.
Pray that my mind might be clear and alert.

Today I am homesick.
The memories of fun, school, family crowd my mind.
I almost long to return to the carefree days of my youth.
Pray that I might feel the spirit of love.

Today I am successful.
The doors of those seeking truth open to me.
They are receptive to the word.
They will be baptized!
Pray that I may be humble.

Today I am discouraged.
Lowly I trudge home through the rain.
Pondering the slammed door,
The cruel hasty words, the laughing jeers.
Pray that I might have faith.

Today I am happy.
The light shines in my eyes.
From within me I have found joy.
Today I have lived close to the spirit
Pray that I might always find this joy.

Today I am sad.
Reluctantly and with tears in my eyes
I must someday leave this place and the people
I have taken into my heart and loved.
Pray that I might always remember.

Today I am full of love.
Love for the Lord who called me on this mission
Love for my family who supports me.
Love for the friends who installed the desire within.
Love for those who had faith in me.
Love for those who prayed for me.
But remember today, today.
I miss you. I love you. I need you.
Pray for me always.
I am your missionary.

Author Unknown Missionary

Getting Settled In...

This week probably won't have quite as many stories as usual, probably because I'm getting settled into things - But, I'll start it off with wasslefest!

I know what you're thinking: what on earth is Wasslefest.  Well, I live in the city of New Braunfels, which is largely German influenced.  Therefore, there are a lot of little German festivals; one festival/competition, called "wasslefest," was this week.  Basically, it's a giant competition to see who has the best wassle, which is kind of like apple cider, but with a little twist on it.  It's German apple cider. They close down most all of downtown,  and you walk around and try it all out.  Everything was decorated nice and all lit up; it was sweet!  Elders Wright, Wright,  Swonson and I all cruised down there and tried the wassle, walked around, and handed out Book of Mormons and talked to  people.  It was a good time.  I was all wassled out at the end of it, let me tell you.  AND, it was FREEZING.  It was super windy and cold.   AND, I didn't have gloves, sooooooo I bought a pair at one of the little shops there, and let me tell you, that was the best investment I've made in the mission so far, my goodness.  Speaking of the cold, it started getting cold while Elder Wright and I were on bikes (we are in a bike share, so we have the car half the week and bike half the week),  It got the coldest its been since Elder Wright has been on his mission in the days we were on the bikes.  It dropped into the  high 20's, but there was a ton of wind and the humidity which just made it so much more cold.  I looked so goofy on a bike, wearing a sweater and big snow jacket, gloves and a beanie.  My face was always numb when we'd ride, it was a blast.  Go figure, it starts to warm up a bit when Elder Wright and I are in the car.  Story of my life, right? It was probably 50 degrees yesterday - on the day we got the car.  The other elders lucked out!

We had a zone meeting and interviews with President Slaughter, as well as a Spanish training.  My interview with the president went great;  he seems to like me a lot and felt like I was doing good.  I was asked to share a scripture and a mini 2 minute devotional with him in Spanish, and I rocked it. I shared DC 84:88 (Amber made this  one of my favorite scriptures) and he said my Spanish was very good.  I figured he said that to everyone though so i didn't think much of it............until i got to my Spanish training with the assistants. That was interesting.  I discovered that there is quite a range of fluency among the missionaries.  I'm not trying to be mean, don't get me wrong...a lot of them who weren't too good at Spanish have ONLY had English areas, so its difficult to get good, which I totally understand. I'm just saying..that isn't gonna be me. I better be fluent, at least a little bit, when I get back.  I think I'm doing pretty well, so that's good!
Well, it is Mistletoe Ave guys have to order Bluebell ice cream. You can't beat it. You just can't.  It is the best ice cream I've ever had.  Do it!

I met an RLDS man when i was tracting (for like 20 minutes between appointments) with Elder Wright! It was crazy! He was so nice, so kind, and so accepting of letting us talk to him.  We actually got a return visit.  But, I never expected to meet an RLDS person in my life, much less the first week of my mission! We're just wondering how to teach him, though..because... he believes in everything our church believes in, minus the line of authority.  We have a few we will see how that goes!

As far as lessons have gone this week, we taught this old man named "J" this week (he's like 85), who is the kindest old man I've ever met.  He let us in, chatted with us, and let us talk to him a bit...its just tough though because jack TAUGHT religion for like 50 years and knows the bible better than anyone I've ever met, but he's lost his faith and basically just believes the bible not to be true anymore.  He, therefore, doesn't want to read the Book of Mormon.  He was apparently throwing out deep doctrine very subtly into the conversation that I didn't even pick up, but Elder Wright did.  I felt pretty stupid, not gonna lie.  He's very smart too, so he can get you off topic like it's nothing and he can basically tell you I don't want to hear what you have to say, without you even realizing it.

He just wanted to talk to us.  I kind of just interrupted him once, though, and asked him "hey "J", can I ask you a question? Why do you think we are here?"  He basically just told me because I was born and raised in the church, and I was doing what I was told to do.  I said 'well you're pretty much right, except for one little part...I may have been born in this church, but I definitely would not have served a mission just because someone TOLD me it was something I was supposed to do. I serve a mission because I know without a shadow of a doubt that this gospel is true and it blesses the lives of everyone who comes in contact with it. "J" - I  had a lot of things I had to leave back home: I had opportunities to play baseball and go to school, I had lots of friends, I had a family who loved and cared about me, and I had a pretty serious girlfriend.  But, I left all that because I want to share this message with everyone I can because I know it to be true." Then, I basically bore my testimony.  I felt the spirit strong, and felt like I was doing pretty good.  But, it was a little disheartening.  He just said "well that certainly is a very strong testimony, and I guess the only way I'll know if you're right is if I read that book you gave me."  He inferred that he might read, but i dunno. we'll see.  It wasn't the response I was hoping - Oh well... it's that noobie fire.

We also taught an older woman named "S" this week.  She was super kind and very nice. She already believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet and believes everything she has read in the Book of Mormon, but she is basically waiting for an angel to visit her. So we shared some scriptures about how the spirit testifies truth to you.  It seemed to have a little bit of an impact on her...she said she would be better about her Book of Mormon reading and she would pray to know if it is true.

We visited a lot of less active and part member families this week just to chat with them and see how they were doing. It generally ended up with us doing some service for them, which I'm totally cool with.  I had two really cool experiences with these families.

On Saturday, we visited the "R" family, and the father let us in and was super stoked to see us and talk to us.  He recently moved there with his family from Utah and he was very excited to meet me. He told us all about his mission and was getting very into it.  It was very evident that he had a love for the gospel.  We shared a scripture, and he offered to give us a ride home (It was 29 degrees outside and windy).  Despite having a strong faith and love for the gospel, his family fell away. But, when they moved down to Texas, he decided to get back and to go to church.   He was super super excited and grateful for us coming over.   He has a son who is 11, who hasn't been baptized yet.  Our plan is to help them, so he can baptize his son.  He's an amazing guy.
The other experience was with a man named, "D."  He is a recent convert of a couple years, and he baptized his daughter a couple weeks ago. We met with him last night, and he told us about the problems he was having with his wife not wanting to go to church.  Then, he told us his conversion story. Man, it was amazing.  I honestly haven't felt the spirit so strong since I've been on my mission.  He was just an amazing man.  His faith is so crazy, and his willingness to do whatever he can to bring his family back is awesome.  He takes his daughter and newborn to church every Sunday he can (he works) by himself, just so they can grow up in the church because he loves it so much.  He was an inspiration to me, and I love the guy after meeting him once.  He was awesome.

I've met a few other families here, and they've all fed us GREAT.  I met the "B" family a couple nights ago, a member family.   They were super super super cool - probably one of my favorite families in the ward. They were awesome. Fed us and everything!  I also had dinner with the "C" family last night...they're awesome too. And, the "M" family are really young and just super cool. The M's are probably the most attractive married couple I've ever met in my life, too.  They're both like models, its crazy haha. Well, I think that's about it for this week.

I love you all, and i hope you're having a good time back home! stay outta trouble, write me every once in a while and keep reading the blog...
Love you!
Elder Snow
Letter was actually written on 12/9 - Sorry, mom was slow to post

Monday, December 2, 2013



FIRST: Please note that my personal day is NOW on MONDAY!  I will reply to all emails on Monday, so write me!  My email address is

SECOND - New Mailing address:  
Elder Snow
1231 Huisache Ave # 710
New Braunfels, TX 78130

Alright this weeks adventures!!

I'll start out with my travels from Mexico, back to the states.  Basically, I woke up at 5 am on Wednesday, and arrived at the airport WAAAY early.  This was OK because I was able to make phone calls in the airport.  THAT was fantastic! 

Once on the plane, I kinda just slept for a while, but then Elder Burdge woke me up half way through for food.  From that point on, the lady next to me wouldn't stop talking to me.  But, it was fantastic because she spoke only in Spanish, and we had a great conversation about the restoration.  She's a pretty hardcore catholic, yet she seemed very interested in the Mormons, so I gave her a Book of Mormon and a pass along card.  I answered all the questions I could for her.  I kinda messed up the first vision, though, it was a little embarrassing, but I stuck through it, and it went great. 
I landed in Texas, went through customs, and of course I got "randomly selected" for a bag search (I'm convinced it's because I was so handsome).  After that, I walked out the door and there was my mission president and his family waiting for us!  He gave me a big ABRAZO (Mexican greeting: you shake their hand, hug with your head going right, not left like Americans do it, then you shake their hand again).  Then, I shook his wife's hand and his daughters hand.  They took us back to the mission home, fed us, then we met the assistants of the mission.  They were super cool.

They, then, took us to the Alamo, where they shared the history of the Alamo.  Then they were just like "alright, we're gonna give everyone some Book of Mormons, and you guys are gonna go proselyte for an hour...go!"  I rocked it.  We handed out three Book of Mormons, and I actually placed one in Spanish as well.  This lady was like, "I don't speak English." So, I was like "pshhh esta bien yo hablo Espanol!" Then,  she was just like - ahhh crap he caught me, so I talked to her!  After that we went back to the mission president's house, and he talked to us for a bit, introduced us to the mission, and we ate a REAL authentic Texan BBQ. 

OHHH, man, the food down here is good, not gonna lie. After dinner, we had some Bluebell ice cream. Amber, if you're reading this, you might wanna skip this part.  Bluebell ice cream is the best ice cream I've ever had in my entire life.  It isn't an ice cream parlor like Coldstone or just comes in tubs of ice cream.  I don't know how they do it, but it's the most amazing thing ever.  It's everywhere too; it's sold in all the stores.   Apparently, it's a local business, so you can't get it anywhere else in the world!  It's so good, though.  I wish you guys could try it! 

After we ate, the assistants took us back to their apartment, and all 9 of the new elders just had a big sleepover with air mattresses.  That was an adventure the next morning, trying to get ready!

Then came the transfer meeting: the assistants told us who our companions were going to be, and which area we were going to.  This is the first and only time in your mission that you KNOW these things before you actually go into the transfer meeting, with all the other missionaries.  I was just sitting there, PRAYING for a super good trainer and area.  You know - one who is  really experienced, IN a Spanish area, WITH a car.  Can you GUESS what I got?  I got a brand new trainer, in an English area, in a carshare area, where I'm biking MOST of the time! hahahahah!  Go figure, right? 

But, actually, I am enjoying my area!  I'm currently living in New Braunfels, Texas. It is actually very largely German influenced, but there are still a lot of people that speak Spanish around here. Elder Wright, my companion, is cool, too.  He is a great guy, and he's super patient (especially when I accidentally fall asleep during my studies for a few minutes).  I'm working hard - really hard.  I'm trying to be as motivated as I can, to turn my ward around and get dates for ALL of the 10 progressing investigators that we have.  More about that, later....

Thanksgiving was the day of transfers! SO, right after I met my companion, we went to four dinners, I think? I'm not even sure.  BUT, I didn't even care!  I ate everything... and seconds of everything. People down here KNOW HOW TO COOK!  I don't know if it's because I've been having crappy food in Mexico for so long, or if it's because they're amazing cooks, but EITHER way - its great!  

We mostly just visited families on Thanksgiving.  We aren't supposed to proselyte on holidays much, I guess.  We shared a little Thanksgiving message from Alma 34.  It was about being in thanksgiving to our God daily, not just on Thanksgiving. A family asked Elder Wright and I to sing for them, so I was like "oh sure!" They happened to be Spanish and English speaking, so I broke out my Spanish hymn book.  You see, I was so used to my last companion being in the STATE choir, I hadn't even thought about whether or not Elder Wright could sing. He also didn't have his glasses, so he couldn't actually see the lyrics in my book.  Therefore, he was just humming along while I sang.  It was pretty embarrassing.  I rocked it...I guess. No, not really.  It was actually pretty terrible. But, whatever.

The night of Thanksgiving, I met the elders that we share an apartment with. Their names are Elder Wright (yep, another one) and Elder Swonson.  Elder Swonson is actually our district leader, and he is so awesome.  He reminds me SO MUCH OF TRENTON, back home.  I love him.  The first night, we were just talking as a group,  and I made a joke.  He laughed and was just like "Elder Snow, I think I love you."  I was like, "Elder Swonson, I think I love you too."  Then he just gave me a goofy smile, and I was like, "Did we just become best friends?!" And, he was like "YEP!" hahahahah, it was great! I hope someone gets that reference.  I'm sure someone will.  But yeah, they're great. We're going to do a Christmas card pretty soon here, so you'll see what everyone looks like in the upcoming weeks.

okay, PAUSE.  BEFORE I continue with my story, I need to confirm that saying "Everything is bigger in Texas." It is the truest of all true statements in the world!  Why do I say that?  Well, in my area, there is a place called "Buc-ee's," which is a gas station.  It not JUST a regular gas station though!  It's the LARGEST GAS STATION IN THE WORLD.  It has 124 gas pumps!  And, you know the "little store" you go into to buy snacks, like a 7/11 sized store?  This one is like a full blown Costco.  They have a butcher, bakery, clothes and pie samples!   IT IS INSANE... OH, and the bathroom is just AS ridiculous AS the gas pumps! The WHOLE ROOM is just spotless and covered in stalls and urinals, and everything is like made out of marble.  It's just, WOW.  So unnecessary.  But, so fantastic! 

Alright continuing...
My first day out actually doing work was so-so.  We biked around, visited people and proselyted, but nothing was really that cool until the evening when we met "H", who is a progressing investigator in this area.  We taught him about tithing and fasting.  I used my object lesson that I stole from Elder Odle (sorry) with using cookies.  You place 10 cookies in front of them and say, "I want to give you all of these cookies.  They are all yours now, but just remember that they came from me."  Something along those lines.  Then you say, "okay, since I gave you all of those cookies, would it be alright if I had just ONE of them?"  Of course they say, sure!  Then you say "thank you - and since you gave me back one cookie, I'm now going to give you X more cookies."  We described how its the same with our Heavenly Father.  He gives us everything we have, and he only asks for 1/10th back.  When we obey this law, he blesses us tenfold.  It was pretty cool.  At the end of the lesson, I was feeling the spirit pretty good, so i just sacked up and invited him to be baptized on February 15th (he has to get married first; that's why its so late).  He accepted my invitation to be baptized.  It was great! Now we have 1 out of 10 investigators with dates.  I'm gonna get another 4 this month, mark my words.  

The next day we visited this guy named "F" who is a recent convert.  All Elder Wright told me was that we were going to teach about prayer and scripture study.  A member, named Brother C. picked us up and took us.  We chatted for a bit, then I looked at Elder Wright, and he was just smiling at me.  I'm like, "ohhh he's throwing me under the bus; he's making me do this by myself!  He's not even going to say anything!"  So, I just started it up and punched Fred in the face with the spirit with my lesson.  I read out of 1 Nephi chapter 1, verse 12, which is super simple but profound.  It plainly and simply explains how we feel the spirit, as we read the Book of Mormon.  Then we talked about prayer and read out of Alma, where it says how we should pray...which is always.  Then I talked about how Heavenly Father wants to bless us with things because he's our literal father in heaven.  I read out of 3 Nephi chapter 14 verses 9-11.  It was fantastic. 

After we left F's apartment, Brother "C" was like "Elder Snow, how long did you say you've been in the field?" I replied, "how long do you think?" To which he replied "oh, I don't know, a year or so?"  And, I said, "CLOSE!...2 days!"  He was just baffled hahahah.   I apparently did a really good job!

Other stuff that's happened....Elder Wright and I went tracting one day, and we got into this old guys house.  His daughter was SUPER angry that her dad let us in.  She was telling us how we'd never change her... blah blah blah.  Then we somehow turned it around, and she got really interested in what we had to say!   We got a return date for next week! We gave her a Book of Mormon ,and she said she would read it.  I feel pretty good about it.

We visited the "C" family on Saturday, as well...they are less active.  They also have a younger man living with them, named "T" who is 18 or 19, and pretty interested in the church.  We were UNABLE to really teach a lesson, BUT we got to talk about the church a little bit.  "T" was saying that he wouldn't read the Book of Mormon until he finished the Bible, and the "C" family wasn't too interested in hearing a lesson either.   BUT, "T" told me "hey if you get a chance, can you write me a good review on (his employer's website)?" I was like ""T", I'd love to write you a survey, but I'll only do it if you start reading the Book of Mormon.  I don't even care if it's just the first chapter.  If you read it, I'll even go into whateverBURGERjoint, myself, and tell them JUST how great you are."  He was like "okay, I'll do it!"  It was awesome. and the "C" family was like "OH, you're Spanish speaking? Then, speak some Spanish to us!" To which, I replied "ehh...i only know Spanish that has to do with the gospel (little white lie), so if I talk in Spanish - I have to teach you guys a lesson."  So they agreed! Now we're going back next week and teaching a lesson to them in Spanish ... ahah. I'm sneaky.

My first Sunday here was a fast Sunday.  My companion bore his testimony first, which obviously meant that I had to, as well.   I went up there and basically just told everyone how ridiculously excited I was to be in their ward, and I told them all that I was there to serve them and help them in any way I could, and that I was ready to work as hard as I possibly could for them.  After that, Brother U (he fed us the night before) went up, bore his testimony, and told the ward how great I was and said they were lucky to have me.  I was just sitting there blushing in the front row.  It was pretty embarrassing haha. 

Alright last story.... last night we visited an inactive couple who hasn't been going to church for years, but they love the missionaries and feed us every time we visit ,apparently.  We were chatting for a bit, they fed us, and then Elder Wright asked if we could share some scriptures with them.  They said "yes" and he looked at me (threw me under the bus again).  But, I was fine with it.  I rocked it, and talked about charity, and how we need to show the pure love of Christ to everyone.  BUT, here's the kicker... Elder Wright made me do it Spanish.  He tried to throw me TWO curveballs, there.  But, guess what Elder Wright? I play baseball!  I sat on that sucker, and I took it to right field.  I rocked it; my Spanish was flawless, (OK - that's a huge lie, but it was pretty good) and was great! 

Okay, last elder's quorum teacher looks like M. Macky.  I'm not going to say who that is, but whoever gets it, will know... ahhaha.

Alright, I love you ALL. PEACE!
Elder Snow

Tuesday, November 26, 2013



Today is Elder Snow's 19th birthday, and he spent his birthday enjoying his last day at the MTC, saying goodbye to friends, teachers, and visiting the temple.  Here is a quick video of Mason, as he packs his room and says goodbye to the Centro de Capacitacion Misional Mexico.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Scored some TACOS!

 November 20th

Sup sup! I can’t believe it’s my last week in the MTC; by this time next week, I’ll be back in the states! This week’s stories coming up!  I tried to take notes this week, and mark stuff in my little notebook every time I wanted to remember to write about it, so here you go. 

First, TACOS!!! Elder and Sister Jones are two elderly missionaries that work here, and they LOVE, I mean, LOVE, the elders in our district.   One day we were chatting with them about how we were sad we had never been able to eat authentic tacos from Mexico.  We weren’t doing this to try to get them to get us tacos; that wasn’t the intention at all.  In fact, we didn’t even think it was allowed or possible, but they just told us "well…if you guys can keep a secret, we’d be happy to have you over in our dorm and get you tacos."  We were seriously dead silent about it for an entire WEEK.  Then comes pday – THE NIGHT of the big taco dinner.  We walk in, and they freaking LOADED US UP.  They got us tons of al pastor tacos, tons of pollo tacos, tons of pineapple juice and treats and stuff.  It was insane!  We pigged out, and they were the best tacos I’ve had in my entire life!  I can’t ever even eat one again in the states after those; they were DELICIOUS.   Then we hung out with them for a while and partied and had a great time! They’re actually inviting us over again to hang out with them because my birthday is on Tuesday.  They are the sweetest people ever.  It was awesome.

Thursday night we had a gospel lesson with Hermana Nishiguchi, and we were learning about how to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ (Lesson 3 in preach my gospel) Then, she tells us, "okay, you guys have 7 minutes to prep a lesson for me in Spanglish, except you are all going to work as a 9 person companionship, and you are all going to teach me at one time." Then, she left the room. We were freaking out a bit about what to do.  So, I stood up, and on the board I assigned a section of the lesson to each companionship.  I basically just assigned it real quick because our district leader was taking forever, and we didn’t have time for that.  I gave everyone a part of the lesson to teach.  Unfortunately, Elder Odle was actually sick that night throwing up, so he was back in the dorm.  In the MTC, if you’re sick, your bed "becomes your companion" apparently, so I was in a trio with Elder Burdge and Elder Hendricks.  As it worked out, I had to do my part of the lesson by myself.  I also had a pretty important part of the lesson: receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

So, I studied quickly and only had enough time to do it in English.  I didn’t have enough time to prep a lesson in Spanish, so I was just hoping our teacher would be cool about it (she wasn’t, as you’ll see). As it gets to my turn (I honestly had a smoking lesson planned), I started to speak in English, and she started interrupting me over and over saying "Elder Snow, how do we say X in Spanish? How do you say Holy Ghost in Spanish? Use your Spanish!" She kept interrupting me over and over and over again.  I was so flustered and frustrated; I basically forgot my lesson.  I was literally to the point of exploding.  I haven’t been that upset with someone in long, long time- haha.  I basically had steam coming out of my ears.  She then stopped me and told me I put no effort into it, and I almost lost it.  But, I was polite and said,” I’m sorry, but I’m at a disadvantage here.  I have one of the most important topics, I had no time to prep, and I don’t have a companion.”  She just nodded; I took a deep breath and just tried to calm down, then continued my lesson.  At the end of my lesson, I bore my testimony.  It’s really the first time I’ve born my testimony since I’ve been here.  I mean, I’ve testified of things in lessons, but its never been super awesome because it was in Spanish.  Well I had the opportunity to do this one in English.  Once I started going, it was just so awesome.  I’ve never felt the spirit so strong since I’ve been here in the MTC.  The room went DEAD silent.  When I finished I looked around, and everyone was crying.  It was a surreal experience.  Afterwards, Hermana Nishiguchi asked us what our favorite part of the lesson was, and without fail, everyone said their favorite part was when I bore my testimony, including Hermana Nishiguchi!   It was a crazy, super SUPER cool experience. 

Next, on Saturday, we had the opportunity to teach NOT ONLY Juan (Hermano Gutierrez), but  also  Juan’s wife (Hermana Gutierrez), which isn’t something people generally have the opportunity to do. Usually, we only teach one investigator. But, we had the opportunity to teach two, and we wanted to make it a very special lesson because Juan’s “story” is that his wife left him and wouldn’t talk to him anymore.  Yet, she accepted an invitation to be taught by the missionaries - with Juan.  Since we wanted to make it special, we decided that we were going to open our lesson with a song, Love at Home (Cuando Hay Amor in spanish), and then teach about the importance of the family and how the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families.  We practiced twice and did it, and it went so good!  I’m not a very good singer or anything, but elder Odle is, so he carries me pretty well.  Miriam (Juan’s wife) was bawling when we sang the song; the spirit was so strong. It was so cool! Then we just went along with our lesson and taught her, but man it was such a cool experience.  If I have other companions on my mission who sing, I might do that more often, just because of the spirit it invites to the beginning of the lesson. So cool.  Here's a video of us practicing:

On Sunday, lots of things happened! I’m not sure if I told you this, but every Sunday we have to have a talk prepared in Spanish, and six people are randomly selected to speak in sacrament meeting.  Nobody knows how to speak Spanish, obviously, so it’s usually pretty boring.  I actually wrote a pretty decent one this Sunday, and what do you know, I got called to speak!   So, I cruised on up there in front of everybody, (fyi the topic was el perserverar hasta el fin, or, endure to the end), and I brought my scriptures up there with my handwritten talk.  I unfold the paper, look down, and my ink had smeared everywhere.  I couldn’t read a THING. I was just like ah no..what do I do?   So, I started making a couple jokes to lighten the mood.  Then, I painfully started trying to read through the talk.  I was doing pretty good too, not making any mistakes, until I got to the scriptures that I wanted to share. I’m not quite sure what scripture it was exactly.  But, I misread it off my paper and ended up reading a scripture about Jews and Gentiles - not about enduring to the end.  So, I just looked up, paused, and said, "yeah, that was totally the wrong scripture, but let’s just pretend like that didn’t happen and flip to D&C 14:7" and everyone laughed. I got through it.

On Sunday night, I met this girl named Alli Young (Hermana Young) and her dad is a 1/5th owner of doTERRA! His name is Rob Young, and he is the Director of Marketing. How insane is that? This chick is like 19 and has been working for doTERRA since day 1, and she’s actually done all the graphic design for all the bottles and since she was in high school. How insane is that?!  I told her that my mom was the hippie queen in San Diego, and she laughed.  Then, Elder Cook started bragging about me, and how I cured everyone’s bumps and bruises.  It was pretty funny – I thought you’d like that, mom.   

Also, another funny thing that happened on Sunday: the MTC president saw me sitting waiting to watch our devotional Sunday night, and he waved me over to come talk to him.  I was thinking, "awww crap what did I do.”  He just puts his arm around me and says "Elder Snow, how are you doing?" I responded, "I’m doing great president, how about yourself?"  He was like, "oh just fine - when are you leaving? I hope next week sometime, yes?" To which I replied, "yeah leave next Wednesday, so you’re stuck with me for another week.”  He just smiled at me and said, "well good, son, it’s time you get yourself a haircut. It’s getting ridiculous. Get your haircut on P-day.”  I just laughed and told him okay.  I saw him at the temple today and he said "I better not see your hair that long today; I want you to get it right when you get back!" hahah it was funny. He’s just joking for the most part.  He does want me to cut my hair, but he isn’t upset or anything; he just thinks its funny. 

Monday night was our last lesson with Hermana Nishiguchi.  She left for Provo today.  She decided that she wanted to interview everyone individually, before leaving.  She picked me first.  Now, I just want to let you know right now that I’m not quite sure what I did to become her favorite, but it was super evident that I was her favorite student. We start this interview, and we were just chatting, and she’s asking me questions.  She just straight up told me I was her favorite and there was something different about me.  I just chuckled like, oh whatever, but then she got serious.  She told me that I’m a natural leader or something and she’s really excited to see how my mission is going to go.  She specifically asked for my email address and gave me hers, so i could email her about my mission because she is excited to hear about my mission. I was like wow, I didn’t know I had that much of an impact on her. She was telling me how some of the things I’ve said to her have changed her and helped her and blah blah blah… sappy stuff.  She seemed genuinely excited to hear about my mission. I asked around afterwards, and she didn’t ask anyone else for his or her email, but me.  Kinda awkward.

Yesterday Elder Odle and I were supposed to teach Juan about enduring to the end.  I’m not gonna lie - we didn’t really prep for this one.  I was in a bit of a bad mood and was just hoping to get through it.  I was slightly worried and frustrated because I felt that my Spanish wasn’t too good the past few days, and worried I was forgetting some stuff.  Well, we get into this lesson, and I don’t know what happened, but Elder Odle and I went into Spanish overdrive and were just like "blahlbaslñdjlblahblahblalbhalh" talking all fast and good in Spanish.  I was like - what the heck - where is this coming from?  We were in there for 35 minutes; it was great! A really good lesson, honestly one of our best since we’ve been here. It was fantastic. 

The eventful thing that happened today was our temple trip: Hermana black (girl in my district) had a 15 second seizure while she was getting ready and had to skip the temple session. She has no prior experience with seizures, and its never happened to her before, but apparently lately she’s been talking to the other girls about how she’s been seeing some spots in her vision.  I’m kind of worried she has a tumor or something crazy like that. Please keep her in your prayers!

The driving here in Mexico city is CRAZY.  We thought it was nuts in Costa Rica!  Imagine putting like 32 million people into a city and driving even worse than that.  It’s so awesome!  Today I saw 4 people literally SITTING ON TOP OF A GARBAGE TRUCK and hitching a ride to their destination. It was so insane - hahahah. I laughed so hard!

Love you all; have fun; someone play my league account for me (travis/gagesnipe); someone keep me posted on walking dead PLEASE, and…. Yeah, love you.  See ya!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

4 weeks down, 2 to go.... at the MTC

What is this, week 4? I don’t even know. Whatever week it is, it went by quick!  Here’s the update, since last Wednesday.

I’ll start with the massive migraine i got Thursday night that kept me up all night.  I don’t know what the heck happened, but I woke up in the middle of the night and shaaabam, my head felt like it was being split. I was pretty nauseous too.  The next day was tough.  I have trouble staying awake all day, during all my study hours as it is, so it was hard. But, I went to the doctor the next day and he gave me something like prescription strength Aleve in America, but you can get them over the counter here.  I took one of them right then, but eventually just gave the rest away to people who had headaches throughout the week because my head was feeling mas or menos.   I gave one to elder Goodspeed, and another one to Hermana Nishyguchi (learned how to spell her name, heck yeah!).

I’ve had some pretty good lessons with my investigators, Juan and Judith. We taught Juan all about the word of wisdom.  Then he asked some questions about law of chastity.  So, guess what we taught him next time? Law of chastity! We kept it really basic:  We talked about the commandments and how they bless us, talked about what the law of chastity was, then gave him a folleta (pamphlet) and we were on our way! We taught Judith about the restoration.  I did most of the lesson because elder Odle was going to do the First Vision for her (by the way, I have the first vision memorized in Spanish but not English, weird right?) and man did he nail it. The spirit was so strong. I was showing her the picture of Heavenly Father and Jesus appearing to Joseph Smith, and the spirit was so strong.  Man, it was awesome. OH! Then we invited her to church and she said no.  But she said no last time, so I was persistent this time.  She was telling me she likes going to parties Saturday night (after we heard that, we decided we were going to teach her word of wisdom in our next lesson, which is tonight), and she said her head hurt on Sundays, but I had JUST gotten my pills that day from the doctor so I reached into my pocket and pulled them out and I said "my head hurts too! But guess what, I go to church on Sundays, so you can too!" I said it much more casual than that; it didn’t come off that rude. Long story short: she is coming to church! 

The language is actually coming along better than I thought it was.  I’ve been focusing a LOT on gospel study the past little while, not so much language.  My language skills are pretty far ahead of the people in my district, due to living in CA and taking Spanish in high school.  Speaking of gospel study, I’m in 3rd Nephi.  It took me all week to get through Mosiah/Alma/Helaman. Not quite as quick of a week as usual, but it’s okay. I still did good.  Last night I was playing ping-pong with elder Odle (we are super tight now; he’s like the only person in the district who never annoys me) and these two Latino elders walk in and he spoke really fast, but I totally understood him.  He said, "excuse me elders, we don’t know where the towels are, do you know" which I’m pretty sure comes out to "disculpeme elderes, nosotros no sabemos cuando los toellas, ustedes saben?" I probably just butchered that because I can’t spell, but I felt totally cool telling him where to get them J

We sang in the devotional on Sunday. It went really well.  I was wearing my light grey suit with my blue tie (Man, did I look good).  It was in front of a few hundred missionaries.  The MTC president and his wife made a point of finding us afterwards and telling us how great we performed, and how they wished they would have recorded it because they liked it so much. They said we were the best special musical number (singing) they have had in a while.  They were very impressed that our whole district could sing.  I’m convinced they just couldn’t hear me singing though, because they wouldn’t have said that if they did, haha. 

hermana black, hermana sampson, elder odle, yours truly, elder goodspeed, elder cook, elder hendricks, elder burdge, hermana smith, and hermana heule

That devotional was cool; the MTC director spoke to us.  He is this really young guy who has only been back from his mission for 10 years.  He has 3 kids and basically runs this MTC.  He is not the president, but he still runs this place.  He spoke a lot about jumping into the work and not looking back at our former lives, because it would inhibit our work. He talked about “Lots wife,” you know, the chick who looked back at Saddom and Gomorra, and then turned into a pillar of salt.  He said the reason she turned to salt is because she looked back longingly.  We need to not look back at our former lives longingly. It was a really good devotional. Then, last night’s devotional was a live broadcast from the Provo MTC.  We heard from Elder L. Tom Perry.  He just talked about the importance of companionships and talked about one of the best Book of Mormon companionships ever: Alma and Amulek (which I knew ALLLLLLLLLLLL about because I just read that section).

Ok, time to tell you about volleyball this week.  So, there are these elders who just got here like two weeks ago: Elder L and Elder P.  They are both pretty cool and nice guys, but they’re kind of still living in the good ole high school days and walk around the campus like jocks.  It’s pretty funny.  They recently have been playing volleyball with us, and we keep score (oops, not supposed to do that) and MAN, does Elder L get into it.  He is the reason missionaries aren’t supposed to keep score when they play haha.  It was so funny, though, because he is about 6’ 2 or so, and has a full ride to Harvard on a football scholarship.  He even has special privileges from his mission president to throw a football for an hour a day on his mission, to keep his arm good.  So he thinks he’s the bee’s knees.  He really is super athletic, though, don’t get me wrong.  It’s just funny seeing how seriously he takes it! Well, he was getting SUPER fired up during the game yesterday because the game was very close.  He got a beautiful set (I was on the other team), and he went up to hit it and he SMASHED it…..RIGHT into my hands.  I absolutely stuffed this kid harder than anyone has been stuffed in the history of the world.  When he got stuffed, he just turned around and went back to his spot in silence.  But, his face was BRIGHT red, and I could basically see smoke coming out of his ears. He was biting a hole in his thumb trying to contain his anger hahhahahahahah.  It was so great.  It is sad to say THAT was the proudest moment of my MTC career right there.  SO funny, man. 

I bought you guys all Christmas presents.  I got you all Mexican jerseys with your names and numbers embroidered on them.  They are pretty cool, authentic Mexican jerseys.  These are jerseys you would spend 90+ bucks on back home, and I got them for 35 bucks a pop!  The prices in Mexico are unbeatable, man.  Every weekend, since the store closes on Friday night, Elder Odle and I stock up on snacks.  We buy TONS of food, and we always walk out of there spending like 6 bucks tops.  It feeds us for the whole weekend! It’s great! I’ll send you the jerseys when I get to Texas, and I’ll also send you a box of bueno bars.  They are delicious Mexican chocolate bars you can only get down here. Just make sure to give Amber a couple of them!

That’s about it for this weeks adventure.  I love you all and I miss you like crazy. See you next time!

P.S.  When i just said see you next time, I totally wanted to finish it with "See you next time...on DRAAAGGON BALLL Z"  I miss that show.

Elder Mason Snow