Thursday, August 29, 2013


  My week:
We went to a meeting for new trainers last Tuesday and it was so fun seeing all the ladies from the CCM, including Hermanas A. and T.! We were so excited and were just sitting and talking and catching up and loving each other.
 People I´m teaching the gospel who are progressing:
Family Salines: So we were hoping that we could get the girls baptized this week but it looks like we won´t be able to. They´re timid, and the oldest one, Katherine seems scared and aprehensive and we aren´t quite sure why, so we´ll try to get her alone and ask her tonight. It´s hard when you want to help people, but aren´t sure how. And it´s not just the language barier, it´s that people aren´t very open here, and won´t express themselves. Unless I directly ask "Hermana C., do you want me to change this song, do you like this song?" she won´t say anything. The little ones are so ready, and absolutely darling, but once again, they´re aprehensive and timid anytime we bring up baptism. We went over all the questions with them yesterday, and they knew them all! (with some help.... but still :) )
Francisco: So he´s another security guard for our neighborhood. We´ve seen him a lot, but it was just "good afternoon! How´s it going?" One night we were walking to Plaza, which is the mall slash strip center near our house. It´s cheaper to take a taxi from there, so we normally walk there. But it was about 7ish which is when it´s starting to get dark, so we were walking fast when we saw this guy. Now the rule is to walk the other side of the street from anyone that we see, so we started to cross when someone is heading straight towards us! He said, "Don´t worry, I´m the security guard!" Boy, were we relieved! He offered to walk with us and we talked to him while we walked, and we got a taxi and as we were leaving I handed him a pamphlet and said, "Just read it when you can!" Well, a couple days later we visited him at work, and he told us that he had read it! Wow, normally they haven´t and we just explain the Restoration. So we asked if he had any questions and he said, "Well, what´s the book of mormon?" We were on our way to another appointment, so I handed that to him and told him to read it if he had a chance and we left. We were able to sit down, explain the restoration and the book of mormon but boy, this guy is ready for the gospel. He is the nicest guy and when we´re teaching him people are walking up and tell us "you are so lucky to be friends with this guy!"
The only problem is he works on Sunday, but he doesn´t on Saturday and he´s been working for a year and never has asked for a day off, so he´s going to see if he can change his schedule so that way he can work everyday except Sunday. He also went to Family Home Evening (our ward does FHE) and loved the church and everything about it and is so excited to go to the actual show ;)
Here I am with Francisco. He wears these glasses because he´s outside all day and he wanted me to try them on. Pretty cute, don´t cha think? ;)

Marvin: A security guard for another members neighborhood. Haha! So many security guards. We finished dinner at Hermana M.  (I don´t think I´ve mentioned her.. but she calls herself my Abuelita (little grandma) and is always making sure we´re fed and our clothes are washed, so mother, please don´t worry!) and were waiting by the gate to her neighborhood for a taxi. So we´re waiting, and waiting and nothing. So one of the other guards called Marvin, who was having his day off, but lives in the guard station because he lives about 2 hours away. So he walked us home that night and we asked if we could teach him about Jesus and so we visited him one day and taught him  about the plan of salvation. Wow, the first lesson was so tender. He opened up right away and told us about his life and how he has 2 kids that he can´t see very often and how his wife abandoned their family about 2 years ago to go to Spain. He told us that it was a very very hard time for him, but he learned to rely on God a lot through the process and I thought about how he is exactly the kind of person they describe in  Alma 32:6:

 "And now when Alma heard this, he turned him about, his face immediately towards him, and he beheld with great joy; for he beheld that their afflictions had truly humbled them, and that they were in a preparation to hear the word." 
  Yesterday we had the third lesson with him and he went to church on Sunday and FHE last week. We taught about the word of wisdom, and he told us that he drinks coffee, but said that that would stop immediately because he wanted to do the things that God wants him to do. Such faith! At the end of the lesson I asked if there was anything else he wanted to say. (remember how they are kinda closed with their feelings?) He looks up at us with tears in his eyes and just told us just how grateful he was for us. For the good that we do. He said that he feels so much love from us and felt so much love from the ward when he went to church and FHE and said that he was so grateful that we were there. Wow! I was just sitting there trying so so hard not to hug this man in all of his humility. I felt like a teacher feels at the end of the school year when the student gives them that thank you card, but ten times better because I taught him how he can have eternal life!
(side note: I was trying to take more pictures with investigators, but either forgot, or didn´t have time. When I asked Marvin he said he didn´t want to. I explained it was for my mom, and that made it ten times worse because he said he didn´t want you guys to see him in his work clothes (a t shirt and jeans) but he promised that when he goes to church we can take a picture :)

Here we are rewarding ourselves, which happens occasionally (especially if it´s hot out) with chocolate bananas. They are about 20 cents, and we love them! 

And missionaries can have fun too! The other day it was raining and we were in the office and I was so cold from sitting in a plastic chair! So for language study I suggested that we watched a movie in English with English subtitles (we only do this about once a week) and Hermana C. said, eh okay. Then I asked if we could do it in my bed so we snuggled up with our blankets and watched "Finding Faith in Christ". I´m already such a baby with the weather, can´t wait to turn into a popsicle next year!
And last but not least, I went to the temple today! 

It was amazing! The temple was dedicated in March, and is new and gorgeous and everything about it was perfect. We went in and got our clothes and the sisters said we had about an hour before the session started and did we want to do initiatories? It was great, because I haven´t been able to do them since I went to Virginia, and it was all in Spanish! So that was fun too :) Then we went to our session which was so lovely. Guys I love the temple so so much! If I didn´t have a love for it before I certainly do now since we can only go about every 6 months. I stayed in Celestial room just soaking in all of the happiness. I literally don´t think my heart can contain it all which is fine because that means I´ll just give all that I can to these people of Honduras.
I´m alive! I´m well, I´m preaching the gospel, and I love you all! :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

So much to say!

Hi guys! :)

First... shoutouts! Things move slow here, so I finally got (what I hope) are all the letters sent in the month of July! If I don´t mention you.... then it might be lost... so let me know!
Elder Preston Hale in Germany, Elder Chase Weight in Alabama, A letter from a future sister, Claire Neilsen
Darling Nicole Hopkinson, And of course, one from Brooke Michele :)

Aaaand finally a package put together from my parents, left in the care of Chad, and mailed by Rachel. Thanks to Lisa Mott and Marilyn Steffensen for contributing! And a bunch of pictures from Brooke. Thanks! We had so much fun looking at them and sharing stories!

Now to the good stuff....

The family Salines, Rolando, Rosa, and their daughters came to church yesterday! Boy, was it an ordeal! We left our house at about 7:45 and walked over there. We got there at around 7:55ish. Rolando was up, eating breakfast and he said that the girls were still asleep. Rosa was saying that she couldn´t go. Awesome. Well, then Juliet came.

Pause: let´s talk about Juliet. 
The same night we found Marta Flores (miraculously) in the street, we were walking to the pulperia (kind of like a gas station store, minus the gas station.) to get tortillas. This car pulls over and asks where we´re going and we explained just to the pulperia. She asked if we were in our area and we said yes, and then she said she had a reference for us. Yippee! So we hop in the car so she could drive us to show us where the reference lived. She told us her name was Juliet, and that she had been a member for 7 years. In the time we´ve known her, we´ve learned more of her story. She´s a single mother, and was feeling sad when she had her second child because she didn´t understand why God would bless her with these children but not with a father to care for them. She had a dream where a man came to her, and then he turned out being one of her missionaries! Anyway, she lives farther away, but her mom (a nonmember) lives in our area, so she was driving to her house.
So then a couple days later we go with Juliet to visit the reference who isn´t home. So Juliet asks if we have anyone else she could visit with us, so we go to visit the family Salines. We are at the gate to their pueblo when she said, "Oh, Rolando Salines? I know him! We´ve been friends for 20 years". oh, well alright then.
Guys, there are no coincidences. 
So pretty much Juliet has been there every step of the way, and we call her our angel from heaven. She has such a strong testimony of this gospel and a desire to share it with everyone (hey! kind of like me!) and has been hugely helpful. 

So Juliet comes and asked where Rosa was and I guess talked to her because Rosa came out 15 minutes later dressed and ready to go. The girls woke up one by one (only one bathroom) and after we braided all their hair, everyone was ready to go. Woot! The girls rode with Juliet, and we rode with Rolando and Rosa. 
Well, we were 15 minutes late, but made it in time to get the sacrament in the hall, then went in and listened to the talks. Rolando, Rosa, and Katherine (the oldest) all left because Rolando had work, Katherine had homework, and Rosa just goes where Rolando does. But Katia and Alison stayed for Primary and LOVED it. 
After church, one of Juliet´s sons (Alejandro is 13, and Ricardo is 10), Alejandro had a super bad head ache and wanted a blessing. So he asked the Elders and we went in one of the rooms so they could give it to him. As soon as they anointed the oil there was just this beautiful spirit. These boys were called of god, and they have the preisthood authority. I knew the girls could feel it too, and it was so great :)

We taught them law of chastity last night. They understand the importance of marriage, but said that they want to talk about getting married. Makes sense... but frustrating at the same time. We think right now that the girls will get baptized first (the 31st of this month) But we´ll see :)

We went to the temple, but didn´t go inside. It was a trip with the missionaries in our zone, another zone and their investigators. We had a FHE where we talked about the temple, and the importance of it. In the first picture is Juliet and her kids on the left, Katherine, and on the right is Francisca, one of my students in the English class. She lives in our area, and we´ve tried teaching her but she thinks that all the churches are good, and doesn´t think that one church can have the power and authority from god. and so it goes.

 And here are some more of my adventures with pictures attached!:)

So, the other day we get home and realize the bedroom door is locked. Well, this is a problem because Hermana C. lost all of our keys the day I arrived. The only key we have is the one that lets us in the gate to the main house. So we´re trying to figure out what to do. Well, Hermana C grabs our mop and tries opening the window. (our hallway is outdoors, and so we can touch the window that way. She´s too short, so I took over and managed to open the window.

Now we had to get IN to the room. So I stood on the banister, and straddled between the window and the banister, then pulled myself onto the window ledge, then into the room.

 It was hilarious, and we hope it never has to happen again.  :)

And here is another view of the city

 Love you all!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013


"Coincidences are God´s way of remaining anonymous"‏

This quote has long been a favorite for many reasons.
1. Because I´ve grown up with it. Thanks to my dad repeating it and putting it in my brain, I realized many times how God was blessing me.
2. Because it´s so true right now!

And here´s why :)

1. Ignacio hasn´t been baptized... yet. But oh, he is so ready. He´s a security guard, right? Well, because of a situation he was involved in at his old job (security for a bank) he must get approved by the First Presidency before baptism. Well, that usually takes about 3 years, (or even more!) and so they pretty much just say, "hmmkay, well go to church and wait", which can be hard for  those who are ready. So this last week there have been many phone calls with the mission President and figuring out what we could do. Last Sunday (a week ago, not yesterday) I felt this incredible sense of peace that this would work out. Ignacio would be alright and that we would be able to figure out the best thing to do for him.
Prayer and faith is the best we can do right now.

2. About... 2 weeks ago or so we were visiting an inactive member at her house. Her name is Diana :) her kids are all active and she has one on his mission and another preparing. So we leave the house and I realized I forgot my Book of Mormon. Not my own personal one- we always have a Book of Mormon and pamphlets in our hands everywhere we walk. So I was about to tell Hermana C. we needed to go back, but then I felt like I needed to leave them.
 Well, the next Sunday Diana shows up at church! What??? She literally hasn't come in.... 6 months I think. Probably more. Well, she walks up to us at church and hands me a stack of pamphlets explaining I left them at her house. And I had in fact forgotten that I did that until the moment she handed them to me. And then she said that she did not bring the Book of Mormon because she´s been reading it and is it okay if she keeps it? Well, we replied of course! 
We visited her a few days later where she opened up to us for pretty much the first time and admitted that she doesn´t truly have a testimony of the church. Obviously. 
Looking at us, she said "I want it. My kids have it, and I want to have a testimony for myself." Well alright! So we´re going to go over once a week in the morning and read the Book of Mormon with her, since that´s kind of the place to start :) 

3. On Thursday I got up and said "hermana, I have faith that we can find one person today who is ready for baptism. But we have to talk to EVERYONE." Challenge accepted. We opened our mouths over 50 times, just because we had the desire and energy to do so. It was nearing the end of the day when we were walking home from our dinner appointment (that we went to earlier than usual). So we were walking home at a time that we normally wouldn´t be when this woman walks up to us. She told us that she had seen us pass a couple times and wanted to tell us to be careful (at least once a day we have people telling us to be careful.. but that´s another story). We thanked her then told her about the English classes, gave her a Restoration pamplet, and asked if we could visit her. She said yes and to call her the next day.
We called Marta and met her on the street to walk to her home. We were walking when she went up to this gate and opened it. We walked down this steep dirt hill to find a neighborhood we never knew existed. Other than my first day, it was the first time I´ve seen such humble living conditions; dirt floors, houses that are held together with nothing and looking like they´re going to fall at any moment, cooking outside over a fire, the works. We go into their house which is actually suuuuper nice and had tile floor. Well, we are talking to her and she tells us she lives in this house with her 5 kids. So we ask if we can talk to them and one of her daughters Rosa came along with her 3 beautiful daughters. We start talking and she says that her husband had always said how good mormons are and he´s gone to church a couple times. So we´re thinking he´s probably inactive. We taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the spirit was so sweet. The next day we met the husband who is in fact inactive and has been for 20 years so he wasn´t on the wards records. We taught about the resoration and challenged Rosa and her kids to baptism. They said yes! They didn´t go to church on sunday (issue number one) because the husband is an alcoholic (issue number two) and felt too embarrassed. Also, they aren´t married (issue number three) but! If I´ve learned anything out in the field, it is that ALL things are possible through Christ and this gospel. We visited them with bishop last night and I really think we can help them. Their daughters (14, 11, and 9) are all amazing and I feel like they already have a testimony. Roldolfo (the dad) said he really wants this for his daughters, so that´s good because that´s where we start: the desire. :) 

In other random news: Last night at 7:15pm we get a call that we were having a surprise party for Elder B. (one of my ZL´s from Utah). His birthday is today. The elders had planned and coordinated everything- they just needed us to show up. So we visited our people we had to, then scurried over to one of the investigators houses (yeah, the usual. He had even baked the cake!)
 We ate a dinner of tortillas with cheese and tamales while we waited. Then we were sitting there talking and laughing when the door rang and we start running around putting dishes in the kitchen and cleaning everything up. We lit the candles on the cake, then Carlos, the investigator, ran to open the door. We sneaked out of the kitchen and yelled surprise! He was legitimately surprised and so that was fun. 
These are all the missionaries in our ward and we are the best of friends. :)

I´m doing good! Speaking spanish and getting asked if I´m a spy. When the Elders first came here, people thought they were from the CIA... the usual :)
And thank you Elder P. for the newest addition to my room!!

Thanks for all the prayers and support, each day I feel like the luckiest girl alive :)

-Hermana Snelson

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Another exciting week!

I saw this today while we were walking home from the store and realized I have not taken many pictures this week, so this happened :)

I feel like most of my days this last week were normal... normal for what is my new normal anyway :) Waking up in the morning, and attempting to work out in my room (which is tiny) and always looks hilarious. Then I shower, put on clothes, and start eating breakfast and finish up while I´m starting personal study. The goal for personal study is half in English and half in Spanish which actually helps a ton because when I´m reading my scriptures or PMG in Spanish I already have a small idea of what is going on and helps me gain vocabulary easier. Then we have comp study which is for 2 hours since I´m a greeny :) Right now that consists of practicing the lessons and watching the District for and hour, and then specifically practicing for our different investigators. So Spanish is coming along great :)

If we don´t have a lunch appointment then we make it ourselves, but pretty much every day we have a lunch appointment. We venture to where ever that is, which is often out of our area since there are only 5 families in our area. Then we go out to teach! Always always opening our mouth along the way.

 Funny story here:
 Hermana Concoha got a bunch of clothes from an old comp, and when we finished laundry she put the shirt on my bed because she thought it was mine! No siree, we have twinner shirts! The picture isn't the best... the member that took them is a little older but eh, it´s the best we could do.

The most progressing investigators are:
Ignacio: he´s the security guard in our neighborhood, and went to church 2 weeks ago for those who aren´t up to date :) He has a baptismial date for this Sunday because he has work on Saturday, so we´re planning on baptising him before church which means we have to get the entire ward to come to church at 8. We taught him about propehts last night (thus the picture. We teach him in the street and I realized just how hilarious this looked to passersby) and he was super stoked on it. Well, he loves everything we teach. Like, when we taught about tithing the other day. I initiate every lesson, so I started by asking "do you know what tithing is?" and he thought and then said, "Okay, I don´t know if this is right, but I think it´s when we give a part of what we have to the Lord because he gives us so much already. It´s like if I have 100 limpiras, then I give god 10. I think. I don´t know. Is that right?" Hna. C and I sat there for a bit in shock and then I said, "Uh, yeah, that´s right! But let´s talk about it more." So yeah, he loves the church, loves everything we taught him, immediately stopped drinking coffee, the works. But last night he was saying he was scared because it felt like a big commitment. So we explained for the umpteenth time that no one is perfect. I was baptized when I was EIGHT. I mean, I was no where as strong with my testimony as I am now, and we still have to grow and progress everyday, enduring to the end. 

Well, we went back in the night with our mission leader We thought he needed a friend, and someone else to help him realize he is in fact ready. It was harder because he´s busier in the night because there´s more cars, but we managed to make it through. Hermano Helaman brought up that he has an enternal family who is sealed in the temple and Ignacio got interested in that. So we are going to teach about the preisthood wtih a member tonight for FHE (because you have to have the preisthood before going to the temple to do baptisms) We are praying and praying everything is working out. I feel like it is, and I mean, the Lord has a plan but that doesn´t mean that I don´t want to see the future sometimes ;)

Noraly: I have no idea if I´ve talked about Noraly before.. Oh I did! Because we were hoping she´d go to church... Disclaimer: she didn´t. Which is frustrating because the other night we finished teaching about the plan of salvation and she loved it! And then I asked her "have you had an opportunity to pray about the book of mormon?" and she said no, but then she said "but i meditate after I read it, and, I believe it is true. I believe it was written by propehts who were called from God and Joseph Smith is one of them." 

Oh, well alright then. When can we baptize you?
Well so we called her Saturday night and she didn´t answer which is weird because she always answers her phone or always tells us when she is running late or something. So we were worried something was wrong. We managed to finally find her sister (after going to her house for the 3rd time that day) who explained that she was off doing something for school with her friend. She is in one of her last years of dental school, so a lot of her schooling is going to orphanages and other clinics and doing dental work. So we´re hoping to contact her today or tomorrow... hopefully this next week we can get her to a baptism and church in one fail swoop :)

Our other investigators aren´t going to church or aren´t keeping their commitments, so that´s all for now :)

I´m alive, well, and loving everyday that I am here. There is truly so much power in serving a mission because literally everyday I learn something new and grow. And I mean, that´s how it is the entire mission! As President Nicholyasen in the CCM told us before we left: "They send you out there and train you and teach you everything they possibly can, and once you´ve learned it all, then you go home." So really it isn´t just these first 3 months in the field, it´s the entire mission, I´m being prepared for my LIFE. 

Random fact: Close by our house is a strip center with little ceasars, burger king, dunkin doughnuts, and pop eyes. Pretty close by our house is pizza hut and wendy´s, and there´s also a mcdonald´s pretty close to the church. So yeah, America isn´t that far away :)

And now some questions I have been asked:

How's everything going for you and Sis C?
 It is going great! A few cultural differences but you know, I had that even with Jen Bennett and she´s from Canada. But I love it, and I love my little "mamacita"
  Were you able to get any investigators to church yesterday?
 Just one. It was super random because we have inviting him for weeks. Miguel has been taught all the lessons and has been challenged for baptism like... .10 times and each time he´s like "eh, better not." So Hermana C wanted to cool off, and then I arrived! His aunt he lives with is less active, but has been going to church a lot more since I´ve been here. So every time we are over there, it´s kind of just to say hey, and teach them about faith. His aunt Emilina LOVES us and is always asking when we can come over for dinner, if she can do our laundry or anything else for us. She told us yesterday she wants to go to the temple, so we´re gonna prepare her for that because she wants to do the baptisms for her family. Anyway, Miguel just showed up out of the blue and sits by me and says "Buenos dias!" so out of habit I respond and then I was like "Miguel oh my gosh it´s you!" So yeah, he came with Emilina, but I´m frustrated because Miguel is just such a punk. 
Have you guys found a method for contacting that works well for you? 
hmm... Street contacting? We aren´t allowed to knock on doors- too dangerous. The mission goal is to have every missionary "open the mouth" ten times a day, which means going up to people in the street. So that´s just what we do! Luckily, the culture here is completely different. Example: Yesterday there was a guy in the street working on his car, so I walk up and say "good afternoon, how are you!" and he responds eaqually as friendly. I always immediately jump to the chase "can we share this pamphlet with you? It´s about Jesus Christ." I have only gotten rejected twice, both times becuase they were in a hurry. They normally say "oh, yes of course!" (mas o menos, translating is tricky) "great! we´re missionaries for the church of jesus christ of latter day saints. Do you know any mormons?" yes, or no. and then "well that´s great! We would love to share our message with you in your house, where do you live?" then they point because no one uses an address here. It´s only "um the house in the 3rd street, on the left hand side, and it´s green". Mom you would do great with directions! That is why my mailing address is so long. ANYWAY. Then we get their number. Then it´s a toss up because sometimes we call and they say "oh sorry, can you call next week?" but about half of the time they say "yeah, sure!" and then normally half of those are home or show up. So yep, that´s our method. I don´t know if anyone has any better ideas?
 Do you keep in touch with Sis Butler? If so, how's she doing? 
I sent that darling a letter my first week here, but one of these days I´m gonna e mail all the adorable pictures of us because, let´s be honest, we were totally the cutest in the CCM ;) I´m assuming she´s loving the work like me, and a new country but when I get an update I´ll send it out :)
 How you doing- feeling good?
 I´M GREAT! I´m a missionary! I´m doing something I´ve dreamed of, and never thought I could be doing at this time in my life! Everyday is a new exciting adventure which is good because I cannot stand doing the same thing everyday! I´m learning, I´m loving, and I couldn´t ask for a better thing to do for the next 18 months :) (I guess 16.. happy 2 months!)


Hermana Snelson