Monday, March 31, 2014

2nd Bike Crash in 2 Weeks!!

March 24, 2014

So, this week was pretty sweet! It flew by too, my goodness. crazy crazy, I'm getting transfer calls this next Sunday, so lets hope I stay another one; we have lots of work in this area and I wanna stay! hahha. Anyways - lets get into this week.

This week, we found a new family. The “W” family. They're absolutely AMAZING. So freaking sweet!  They are a part member/less active family, and the parents were both military and the dad was just like this special forces guy;  he's just a flippin’ boss.  He's so cool haha. They love us, and they're wanting us over for Sunday dinner every Sunday now, and we're thinking that the dad (not a member) is interested in taking the lessons, because he actually just accepted a blessing from members of our ward this week. We’re excited to find them, and we're super excited to see how it goes! They have 4 kids: 14 year old girl, 11 year old boy, 8 year old boy, and 4 year old boy. All the boys love baseball, so I immediately had an in with this family haha. We went over yesterday and I played catch with the 11 year old and the 4 year old for a while. The 4 year old is super funny; he just calls me "snow" and he's always wanting me to watch him and play with him. He's such a stud. We had a great time with them, and we're super excited to start working with them!

So it's official! “A” is being baptized this Sunday, March 30th! and i'll be the one performing the baptism! super cool, I'm super super excited.  It's going to be a great experience. I wish you could all meet this family; they really are fantastic. I'm becoming like a part of the family.  “A” is basically like a long lost brother and the dad is super super legit. I think the reason I like him so much is because he's a lot like my own dad; same sense of humor and interests and everything. He's awesome. We got the baptism set in stone, so we're super excited!

We met with the “B” family again this week and they've officially been taught everything! “S” even went to mutual this Wednesday, and we were there, and we played some basketball with him for a while and got him to fellowship with the other young men. THEN, he went on the camp out on Friday, and he absolutely LOVED it! He's super excited and he can't wait to be baptized. We're meeting with them tonight, and we're going to try to set a date. He's ready, I know he is, and the Lord knows he's ready. i'm so excited for him and his brother. They're just so sincere and they want to change and become better, and they already have such awesome testimonies. It’s inspiring to see a 15-year-old kid be this awesome. It makes me look like a turd. I was so lame when I was 15. But, yeah, he's so great. I was sitting next to him in church this Sunday and he leaned over to me, and he's like "hey, where can i get some shoes like yours? I feel bad for wearing my normal shoes to church.  I want to wear some nicer ones" and I was like "well that depends, what size are you?" He replied, "10." And, I was like "alright we'll talk about it later." But, it was just so cool that he wanted to be that much better. He already dresses up and wears a tie and wears matching shoes.  They're just a little beat up, and he wanted to know how he could get some better ones so he could look more respectable at church. 

After church, we went back to the apartment.  I have acquired quite a few pairs of shoes already, so I grabbed a couple pairs of my shoes and took them over to his house let him pick between my pairs of dark brown and cordovan shoes. He picked the dark brown ones. Good choice; they matched his clothes better. And, they were my newest pair of Kenneth Coles.  They were good looking. He's got a good sense of style. He was just so excited though and so stoked to get them; he gave me a hug and everything. It's just so cool to see people change and become better and WANT to become better. I don't know, it's just great haha.

Oh, I crashed my bike again this week. It was also a fluke. Pretty lame. I was wearing shorts this time, so I got a little scrape on my knee, so at least this time I have battle scars.  I am sending pictures to my for the blog! 

That’s it for me this week! hope you all had a great week! love you, seeya!

Elder Snow

Misc. Photos:

No Crying Over Spilt Milk

March 17, 2014

hello hello! this week's events, coming up! I had ome sweet stuff has happen this week.  I'll try to do it in chronological order, but I forget a lot of the time so bear with me haha. 

Tuesday, we went to Brother W’s house (whom I’ve mentioned a couple times before) to do service. Elder Wride and I pulled weeds for a couple hours on a beautiful day; it was so nice. Those of you that read this that have served missions know what I mean when I say it's awesome to do service for people, especially during the early hours of the day between like 12-3.  So, while we were doing service, we saw these guys knocking door to door trying to sell, from what it looked like, security systems. Wlder Wride saw them and was just like "dude I bet you those guys are mormon… no, i promise you those guys are mormon." As we were watching, they actually got in someone’s house, so we kept weeding.  But, then they came out and one of the guys was walking across the street and he started talking to us, trying to sell, but we talk to people for a living so we saw right through him. Elder wride just like stopped him and was like, "can I ask you a question? are you mormon?" and he was like "well yeah, i am? how'd you know?" and we were like "psh dude we're mormon missionaries, we're just doing some service right now so that's why we're not in our regular clothes." and he started laughing and starts talking to us. Then ,the guy he was working with came up to us and starts talking to us, and the first guy is like "yo these guys are missionaries!" and the guy was like "no way!? guys, okay i'm gonna give you my name and number, I'm the manager around here and this company is nationwide, so when you guys get off your mission give me a call alright? You guys are perfecting an art out here serving your mission, and you could do great with our company. Tell you what, just because you're missionaries, we'll give you a $3000 dollar signing bonus." He was totally trying to recruit us! hahah it was so funny. We ended up just talked to him a bit and took his card and he was like "seriously guys don't lose that card; I'm telling you, you can do big things! Especially the one that lives in san diego, our company is huge out there!" I thought that was pretty funny.  I mean, I'm never gonna do it, no thanks, i don't feel like knocking door to door trying to sell security systems, but it was still pretty cool. 

I got your care package mom! You sent me that powder stuff and it inspired me to want to eat healthier, so I've actually been eating a lot healthier this week, but it's hurting the funds haha. Eating healthy isn't cheap! But it's sweet.  I hear Brennan is getting ripped back home and I just can't have my little brother be way better looking than me, so I gotta try to work a little harder on my physique haha. oh, and speaking of Brennan, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I know it's tomorrow, but I just wanted to let him know now because I probably won't be able to tomorrow.

Back on track. We got to teach three SWEET lessons this week. We taught “A”, S&J, and the “M” family. First, we taught “A” about the commandments using jenga haha. we like to play games for lessons. It's fun. It went really well! He learned all the commandments, and his grandpa was there for the lesson (who isn't a member), so we're hoping that “A’s” baptism and these lessons will spike an interest in his grandfather.  We also set a for sure date for the 30th of march for “A”.  It's locked in, it's happening, we're so excited. I can't wait! we've been stopping by “A’s” a lot lately too just to make sure he's still doing good with his reading and praying and stuff, and he's been doing pretty well. we went over once to read with him and we sat on his front porch and read with him and “E”, his 5 year old sister. I don't know if I've told you about “E” before, but she's my favorite person in all of New Braunfels.  She is so dang cute, and she has the BIGGEST crush on me. I'll have to send you pictures next week of all the pictures and things she's made me. I have them hanging up on the fridge and my wall and everything.  She painted this big picture with colorful hearts on it, and she made me this other thing in primary with pictures on it, and she gives me a new picture every time I come over.  I love “E” haha, she's so dang cute. I told her I'd write her on his birthday, which is October 9th, and she almost started crying she was so happy. ah man she's great.

We also taught the “B” family this week, and we brought brother and sister “M” with us to teach them. We taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ, using the Mr. Egg lesson.  It's pretty fun; I'm sure you all have seen the little science experiment where you put a match in a bottle and put a boiled egg in the top and have it suck into the bottle? well, we make a lesson out of that, and it always like blows kids minds, it's so fun. We taught that lesson and man, “S” is so golden.  He is so ready to be baptized. His family is sort of wanting him to take his time, which is fine, but I can tell you right now he's ready to be baptized. We've tried setting a date with them, but he hasn't been able to confirm any dates yet. We're hoping for the 29th of March, or the 5th of April, that's the goal.  I can't wait to baptize him though; he's so awesome. He comes to church, week every week with his brother “J”, regardless of whether or not the rest of his family comes. It's amazing.

We taught the “M” family this week as well;  it was an...Interesting lesson.  We watched the mormon message about the currant bush and talked about trials in our life and other stuff like that. I shared 2 Nephi 2:14, and talked about how we need to have sorrow in order to feel joy. 

It was going well, and then I got the courage to ask sister ”M” (not a member) if she'd be interested in learning more about what we as missionaries do, and be interested in taking the lessons, since she's been coming to church.  She was like "oh, I've been talking to the internet missionaries for months now.”  I looked and Elder Wride, and we were kinda just dumbfounded for a second and I was just like "oh man that's great! I had no idea you were doing that!" and she was like "oh yeah we kinda kept it a secret on purpose." I just laughed, and I was like "so they've been giving you Book of Mormon reading assignments or how do the internet missionaries work?" and she was like "oh, I've read the whole book of mormon. i did it in 30 days." Our jaws just dropped. We were like "uhhhhhhhhhhhh" we didn't know what to say. It was super interesting. We're definitely going to try to start teaching her if we can!

Okay so on Wednesday, we had like the best day ever! It was something called "Camp Helaman." it was freaking legit. Basically, for three days, the young men in ALL of our stake, learn about the life of a missionary and play missionary for a few at a camp.  On Wednesday (second day of the camp), they had EVERY real missionary in our stake go to camp helaman, and every missionary was paired up with two young men, so we were all split from our companions for a day. We worked with our young men and helped them learn the lesson we were going to be teaching later that day, and helped them practice so they could teach the lesson. Then, after we spent about 3 hours working with our young men, we went out into the real world and taught REAL LESSONS.  It was nuts. We had a driver take us to our appointment at 6:30, and we went to meet J and L… people I've never seen or met before because they aren't in my area. We went in there, and I basically had the kids teach the lesson, and I cleared up stuff at the end...but oh MAN it was such a powerful lesson. Like, those investigators were golden; i'm so jealous of the missionaries in the Kyle area. They had never been taught before; that was the FIRST lesson, and I got to be one of the missionaries that taught them! it was sweet though, my guys were so freaking nervous about the lesson haha. I got dealt a pretty tough hand.  My two young men were a little different. One of them was super shy and nervous, but he did absolutely great. The other one had Asperger’s, and he was a little tough to work with...but he did absolutely fantastic. The spirit was strong; we invited them to be baptized and they said they would.  It was a great lesson. Then, afterwards, we knocked doors for an hour and a half! It was awesome; the kids had a great time. I got to build a really good relationship with those kids, so it was a super cool experience. they felt the spirit very strongly and they really loved it. I’m glad I was able to have a little bit of an impact on those young men so they could hopefully be a little more prepared when it comes time for their mission.

Last thing I wanted to mention is kind of just a funny story that happened.  I think it was Thursday night.  We were heading home at like 8:40 because our appointment fell through, and we didn't have anywhere else to go, and we needed trash bags for the apartment, so we stopped at HEB to get trashbags. While I there, I bought a gallon of milk, oats for oatmeal, and some greek yogurt or whatever it is ('cause i'm trying to eat healthier remember?).  We were on bikes that day, so we had to ride bikes back to the apartment, no big deal.  I'm doing just fine.  I have all my stuff in the two grocery bags and its kind of on my left handle bar, and literally RIGHT at the entrance of my apartment, the milk falls through the bag and smashes on the ground and goes everywhere, and I look back and I'm like ……"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!" and Wlder wride starts laughing. Then I start to turn around to pick it up out of the street, and the grocery bags were on my left handle.  As I turned to my LEFT (for those of you that don't know, your front brakes are on your left handle), and as I straightened out my handle bars, the remaining groceries got caught in the little brake handle and they basically slammed on my front brakes without me realizing it.  At which time, I went over my handlebars.  Oh, but to make it better, the New Braunfels Elders (elder gray and elder swonson) were pulling in RIGHT as it happened, and they started honking and laughing and making a big scene, which made everyone else in the area see what just happened. As I got up, I was so mad.  I took off my helmet and threw it into the bushes and tossed my bike out of the street and go to pick up the stupid milk that I dropped.  Afterwards, I got it all cleaned up and had like 10 people come ask me if I was okay. It was super embarassing. I was totally fine; I wasn't even going that fast; I just went over my handlebars and landed on my hands and chest.  It was pretty funny. I was angry for like 20 minutes, but then i realized how funny it must have looked, so i got over it haha. alllllllllllllllll because of the stupid milk haha. Anyways, that's it for this week!

Have a great week, love you all, talk to you next week!

Elder Snow

St Patrick's Day Photos:

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Puddles and Lessons...

March 10th, 2014

Hey hey! Another week gone by, crazy crazy.  I hope everyone's week was as good as mines was! 

So lets see, what happened this week. Well, we started off the week real strong, we taught the restoration to S & J last Monday, and man did it go well. We're super excited to be teaching them, and we're tentatively planning their baptism for the 22nd of  March, which we're super excited about!  But it was also a lot of fun; we taught the restoration using a jenga set.  I'm sure you could all figure out how it worked; we likened the standing Jenga tower to the church that Christ established, and over time when the apostles and prophets were killed and the priesthood was taken from the earth, the church crumbled. When it crumbled, everyone took all the parts of the church (the blocks) and built their own towers. Technically, the church was still there; it was just divided among many different churches. All the doctrine was still there, but it was scattered. Then we likened the restoration to building the tower again. It was fun. I got to play jenga with some kids, and in the mean time I taught the gospel.  It doesn't get much better than that! haha. 

Wednesday, we taught the their family again, actually. We taught them about the plan of salvation. Although “S” received it very well, and so did his mom and brothers, we didn't feel we did as good as we could have in teaching the lesson. There were distraction, which to us felt like it was inhibiting the spirit. We weren't very happy with how it went. However, we met “S” (he's 15) at mutual to introduce him to the young men, and he was SUPER stoked about the lesson. He loved it! It just strengthened my testimony that the spirit can speak to you no matter the circumstances. The spirit has no language barrier and can touch people, even among many distractions. It was very cool.

Then, we went to mutual with “S” to get him some good fellowship there, and it was great.  We played jeopardy with the young men, then afterwards we played some basketball with them. it was me and elder wride versus 3 YM. We stomped em. Well, not really.  We beat them by one point. I was sweating so bad, and my shirt got untucked, and my feet were just about to blister, which is embarrassing because they're all like 14 and 15, and i'm 19, but no matter!  I still won. That's all that matters. hahaha.  It was a ton of fun though. “S” loved it.  He can't wait to go next week, we're super stoked!

Other than those two lessons, we had very little success (that I can see at this moment) the rest of the week. We're working really hard to find new investigators, so we knocked a lot of doors, tried to meet with a lot of potentials, and tried to meet a lot of less actives. We may have gotten in two doors from thursday-sunday, other than dinners.  And, those were our bike days, and it was raining a LOT this weekend haha.

it was fun though. It got to the point where we were so stoked that we were just trying to ride through the biggest puddles we could and splash each other.  The way I see it is we could be bummed about not getting in many doors and not teaching much, but it's kind of like life...things aren't always going to be prime and perfect, and we're all going to have challenges (side note, i almost typed desafios, that means challenge in spanish ahha). But you have two choices when you have those challenges, you can either get all upset and depressed, or you can make the best of it. Hence, the puddle water splashing.  You gotta have fun on a mission.  If you aren't having fun, you aren't doing it right. That's the way I see it. I’m probably wrong, as I don't know much about being a missionary yet haha.  It's good to be humbled at times though. It's good to realize I'm not this super missionary that can talk my way into any door I want. When you're humbled, you then become teachable and moldable so you can become better. So, all in all, those days were way good. We learned a lot, and we learned that we need to find a new way to find investigators. So, although we didn't see the immediate success from those days, we may have planted some seeds, and we definitely learned, which is going to lead to more success down the road!

Last little note. We knocked on a door of a less active member.  She let us right in, and we soon found out she spoke ONLY SPANISH.  You have to understand, this was my first time ever being in a house or trying to teach a lesson that was solomente en espanol.  It was super frustrating haha. Elder Wride killed it, and I understood about 90 percent of the vocabulary she was throwing out there.  I was getting main ideas, but i'm still just not used to how natives speak. I can understand when white people speak Spanish fluently, but when natives speak, it’s tough. They talk faster and slur and use slang, and although I can understand most of the words by themselves, when they put them all together it's hard for me to understand. But it's okay, I still talked to her a bit and it was a nice visit. Very short, but that's okay. It was another learning moment – I learned I need to study Spanish harder! haha. it was fun though. Definitely interesting!

Well I think that's all for me this week. I hope you all are doing well! Love you all like crazy, have a great week!

Elder Snow

Super Successful Week...

March 3, 2014

Hello hello! How is everyone doing? Sorry about last week everyone; I didn't really have much to write about, it was a pretty big transition last week with transfers and everything so i didn't really have anything at all to write about. But, now I do! So, here we go!

My last companion, Elder Wright, got transferred down to Uvalde, which is in the border zone.  He spent 7.5 months here in New Braunfels, and he absolutely killed it.  He built a lot of relationships and found a ton of people to teach, and he was a great guy and did his job here.

My new companion, Elder Wride (I know, I thought i got another elder WRIGHT as a companion when they called his name during transfer meeting, but it's WRIDE, as in taking a ride in the car) just came from Eagle Pass, which is basically Mexico. It's right on the border. Like, right on the border. It's across the border from Piedras Negras, which is a town in Mexico. So, he's a Spanish speaking missionary as well, and he's been out for a little over a year. When I first met him I'll be honest, I was slightly disappointed. He seemed lame. But, I repented of that, because, man is he great. He's hilarious and super hard working and we have so much fun together. We've just had a blast this week, and we're both getting to know the area super well and working hard with potentials and part members, and guess what? We found a family! It was LEGIT! I'll tell you about it in a little bit though.  Let me talk about Elder Wride a little more. He's from Ogden Utah, 20 years old and he was actually in ROTC at Utah State before his mission and has his spot saved for him in the army for when he goes home. He's legit though, super smart, super cool guy. He has that witty kind of humor that I like. He's also probably the nicest person I've ever met. We've had like two minor, minor, minor disagreements. And, both times like 5 minutes afterward he would apologize to me profusely, even if “I” was the one in the wrong, and ask me for my forgiveness.  He seriously compliments me all day about things; he's super nice. It's a nice change of pace though. He's definitely upped my confidence in the mission, and it's paid off because we've been doing work!

Let me tell you about some of the events that happened this week.

We set Austin’s baptismal date! It’s set for the 16th of march. We're so excited. We can't wait. We're teaching him the final lesson tonight, and we're going to reset that date to make sure he's still good with it. We're super excited!

We also found another family. We got a referral from the Call family a couple weeks ago, for a part member wanting to get involved with church again. We FINALLY knocked at a time where they were home; they answered the door and let us in and we met the whole family. Oh man, GREAT family. We invited the family to church this Sunday, and all the kids and mom made it.  We hung out with the 15 year old son, during church, and he loved us.  The little ones loved us, too, from our visit earlier that week.  But no joke, after church they all came up to us, and both the 15 & 9 year old asked us "can we get baptized? What do we have to do to be baptized?"  We were like oh wow uhh yeah of course you can be baptized! Can we come over tomorrow? They said yes.  So, we're going over tonight with the bishop to teach them all the first lesson! Then, again Wednesday, and twice more next week, and we're going to set them for the 15th of March tonight (hopefully). So, we should have three baptisms this month! How legit is that? It all just fell into place, so sososooso cool. We're so excited you can't even believe.

We also have been doing a lot of work to visit with all the part member families that we can this week. I'm befriending all of the youth of these part member families so they're parents feel comfortable having us over, and it's been working like a charm. We have two more part member families we're wanting to start teaching the lessons formally.  I feel really good about both of these families, they seem to like us a lot, so I am very excited! The work is really picking up in this area.  The Memorial Ward had only 2 convert baptisms last year, and after this month we'll have at least 4 for this year already! We're stoked!

We had a real busy week.  I knocked more doors than usual, but it went well. I met some really cool people, including this 23 year old guy who just let us in and told us he wanted nothing to do with religion, but he felt bad because we were sweating and it was hot and he just talked to us for like 20 minutes and learned a lot about what we do. He's atheist, but we planted a seed. Now he'll know what missionaries are when he sees them, and maybe some day he'll want to hear the message.  I don't know, but either way, he was a real cool guy and saved my life because I was super super thirsty haha.

Oh, I forgot to tell you this! I went on an exchange last Friday with the AP's! Elder Rogers came here and we just did a mini exchange. Man, he's a cool guy. So nice, so funny, so goofy. We had a blast. He also hasn't been on the bikes for a while since he's had all car areas for a while.  So I kinda kicked his butt a little bit for fun haha. I thought it was funny.  I don’t' know if he did, but oh well! haha. we had a great time. He taught me a lot about Spanish studies and how I can improve my Spanish studies. He also taught me a lot about just the attitude of missionary work. He's a great guy. Very inspiring, I'm glad I could go on exchanges with him.

Well, that was my week! Super successful week, we got baptisms coming up folks! Be excited! I sure am! Have a great week, i love you!

Elder Snow