Monday, September 30, 2013

The good times will come

Hello everyone!

Things that have happened this week:

We had interviews with President. Mine went a lot better than the first one, which was my first day here. Not only could I understand everything this time, but I wasn't crying my eyes out from the fact I was in a new country, speaking a new language, severely sleep deprived, and just plain overwhelmed. Anyway, it lasted a few minutes and I was clear and free. 
He asked about the parents (everyone does!) He told me that I'm serving in a very difficult area, but is grateful for the enthusiasm and happiness that I always have. Well,  It's impossible for me to not be happy, because I'm serving a mission! :)

Anyway, Hermana C's interview lasted almost 20 minutes. Once she was out of there, I said, "well, what did you talk about?" and with her sneaky smile she does she said, "you!" Which is normal since I'm the new girl! :)
Once we got home she turns to me and says, "hermana, you're next to train!"
Transfers are coming up on October 16th and right now it's a toss up. With the amount of time that Hermana C. has left (she leaves in February) she could either end her mission here, have another change here, or leave at this change. She is now convinced that she is going to leave and I'm going to be a trainer! This brings me some mixed feelings, but I know that President has the spirit of revelation and will ship me off to where I need to go.

Now to some funny facts:
Things Hermanas Snelson and C. have done to get people to come to church:
1. Brought them breakfast in the morning and ironed their shirt
2. Washed their laundry (if you're going to say you can't come for three hours because you have to wash clothes, we'll just help you)
3. Gone to their house about an hour before sacrament meeting to get everyone up, washed, fed, and in the car. 

But yesterday was a new one...
4. Helping build a dam in the river in the front of the family Salines house. 
 Rolando always says he has to work, (aka. build a dam) and so he can't stay for all of church. Sunday is his day off work and only time he has to build it. So every week we have said, "hermano, we'll just come over with the elders and help you!" but every time he says, "no, this is my work". Well on Saturday, for the first time he said we could help!
    So we rallied some people and went over there to make this dam. Mostly the guys helped, but we moved rocks, and put cement too. 
   During the construction, Hermana R. was preparing lunch for all of us, so Hermana C and I were helping. We didn't know where the elders went so we went to look for them and found out they had gone with Rolando´s dad to look at his garden. Well, they gave me this pepper and say, "hermana eat it, it´s super good" and I was hesitant so I took a small bite. Not a sweet chile, and most definitily the spiciest thing I´ve ever tasted! I couldn´t last any longer, I said, "nice banana trees!" then took off running to the house. There was soda on the table so I hurried and drank that, then Marta (rosa´s mom) ran out with a thing of sugar.
 Number of table spoons of sugar consumed: 4.
 Elder P. wanted to try it too and his reaction was ten times better than mine. 
Long story short, I am now able to proudly say that I ate the spiciest chile that Honduras has to offer. :) 

You can kind of see where they live. There are about... 4 houses back here, all full of their family.
 So humbling!

We are meeting new people everyday and working with all of our might. We are so grateful for the prayers, love, and support that we are receiving each and everyday!

Love you all! Have a great week!

Hermana Snelson

Monday, September 23, 2013

All the Talents

 Mission lesson I learned this week:
If you are going to write yourself over to the Lord, he is going to use your talents, but he is going to use all of your talents. That´s already been apparent by me helping people with their math homework and teaching English. But I love the moments where I do something that I definitely never would have thought I´d be using here in Honduras.

This is Gabrielle.
 Gabrielle´s parents came to the English classes a few weeks ago, and they brought her the next week. She´s deaf, and has been her whole life so she can´t really talk. She is the nicest, sweetest, lovable girl. Anyway, I spoke in sign language (american sign language that is... they´re a little different, but I´m learning!) to her and she got so excited. Obviously :) The rest of the English class she followed me around like a little puppy dog. 
But guys, here´s the coolest part, she´s learning English! She is learning to read and write. So if you are ever feeling frustrated that you can´t learn a language, just let someone who is deaf inspire you!
Anyway, we´re best friends and she´s always asking to see my pictures and how my day was. 

2) A couple weeks ago we were at a members house. I was off talking to another missionary, and the member asked about the scars on my legs, and Hermana C. explained that they´re from when I lived in Hawaii. So then Hermana R. asked if I could Hula, and C. said yes.
So this led to the idea of me dancing for Relief Society. 
Well, two weeks ago we got a new Relief Society President. We went to meet with her and asked if there was anything we could do to help her. I put the idea that we had enrichment night and someone could share a talent. Like a chef could teach a recipe, and a seamstress could teach how to sew. So I was, "and I mean, I can hula, so I could teach that or something...." and she jumped into action and said that she was going to have a birthday part for everyone in Relief Society and we could make it Hawaiian themed and I could teach a dance.

Well, alright then.

There were going to be 6 of us, but it ended up with 3 which was fine. They learned it in one day 
 and I´m so proud of them!
 We had a ton of fun, and after all the ladies in relief society came up and danced with us which was even funnier. 

The work is progressing here. The elders (there´s 4 in the ward) had 5 baptisms and a wedding this last week! Hermana C and I are learning patience and love, that´s the only way we can teach these people and help them realize that they want and need the blessings of this gospel in their life. 

Now some more pictures: 

 We took these with the family salines the other night.

Well... we were going to play a joke on you and say this is where we live (it´s an abandoned house in the middle of the park in front of our house), but you can see an example of the poorer places here. 

 and in other great news....I got a bag of bananas, 3 tomatoes and 2 apples for 2 bucks!
Gotta love honduras:)

Love you!

Hermana Snelson

 P.S. A great big thank you to Matthew Baird (who leaves the MTC this week for Texas!), Aaron Weaver (who has been called to Mexico!), Mother Anderson, and Sister Holly Butler (my CCM comp) for the lovely letters I got from them this week! And a package from Brooke, that I think will be in my hands today!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Hey- the church is full of indexers this week, which means I'm in an internet cafe which means no pictures... which means more next week! Wahoo!

First: thanks to Aaron Michael Weaver and Rachel Hei Chow for the letters, loved them so much!

The Family Salines: They're great! We wish they would just read the Book of Mormon... I feel like they change on the daily. One day Rosa is super pumped about the church and loves it and the next day she's wishy washy. It's the same with Katherine, the oldest. Pretty much this entire past week she was "busy" and sleeping anytime we came but last night she was participating and everything. Our biggest focus is to help them as a family, strengthen their relationship with each other. Golly, I can say with certainty I am so so glad for my family and that we all love each other. A couple lessons ago we decided to set goals with them- for that day, the next day, one week, one month, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, and 10. One of Katia's goals was to still talk to her family in 5 years, and for the next month have family prayer. Last night we talked about the role (family proclamation) everyone, not just the moms and dads have in for the family. Then we made everyone go around and say one thing that they will do for every member of the family. The girls goals with each other was just to talk to each other with kindness. 
I'll tell you this much- they love us as people. It doesn't matter if Rosa doesn't always want to listen to what we're going to say, they definitely want to be our friends. The other night they invited us to go to market with them. So they told me it would be outdoor so I guess I was expecting the swap meet in Hawaii. Disclaimer: not the swap meet in Hawaii. Rolando told me this was one of the tamer markets here. Awesome. We went to the store section first: sugar, flour, oil, toilet paper. Everyone is holding out money, shouting what they want while there's 10 people running around in this tiny store trying to find everything everyone wants and give them their correct change. Then we went to the meat section. Just a ton of tiny little stalls with all of this pig, cow, and chicken hanging up and you just walk up and they just chop off the part you want. The sea food section was the coolest. Literally anything you'd see while snorkeling was there. Crab legs, sea cucumber, literally, everything. And last night, we were walking towards their house when Rolando calls and asks where we were. Confused we said walking towards the house and he says "well good! We're waiting for you to eat dinner" Well, alright then. (something you learn in the mission, never turn down food)
There's a lot of work to be done, but a lot of progress that has been made as well, so I'm happy :)

Jose: We met Jose when we taught his Mom Miriam who we had to drop because she kept saying she was too busy to read the book of mormon. He went to church yesterday, and loved it. Everytime we talk to him he keeps saying that we have such good things. Yesterday after church at our appointment I asked if he had anything he wanted to say to begin. He said, "Look, there's just one thing I don't understand... Why do so many people dislike the Mormons? I mean, the Book of Mormon?  It's good! It's from God! And when I went to church today? Everything was good! It's all from god! I don't understand why all these people say bad things about the church." We taught Word of Wisdom and there's problems there (no surprise :) ) but also a ton a ton of potential.

Unfortunately these are our only progressing investigators- everyone else was either dropped or said they didn't want to learn from us.

But I'm good! I'm happy! I'm currently full of tortillas, avocado, eggs, beans, and mantaquilla, and you know? I couldn't be happier :)

Love you all to bits!

Hermana Snelson

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Counting them one by one

Yesterday, I turned to Hermana Concoha and said, "Hermana, I have no idea what to tell my family tomorrow! What are you going to tell them?" She laughed and said, "well, that my companion is a crazy greengo who dances and sings and she´s crazy!" 
 I decided that probably wouldn´t suffice because, I know my dear mother wants to hear more :)

So this week we´re going to talk about blessings.

First: I was blessed to receive a letter from Sister Emma Smith! Through pouch (might I add that I actually totally forgot that you guys can use). 

2nd: We´re blessed to have a lady in the ward who does our laundry. We walk up this huge hill (carrying our dirty clothes) but it´s worth it because I don´t have to wash it by hand. 

3rd: We´re blessed to be fed by ward members pretty much every day and I am so glad for that because we never have time to cook.

4th: I´m so grateful that we´re so busy! Always visiting members, talking to people in the street and teaching lessons. I´m grateful that our entire days don´t consist of just wandering around and that we have a purpose. 

5th:I´m grateful to be learning a new language! It´s difficult at times, but the other day we were laying on my bed (Hna C and I) and she was talking for over an hour about her friends and life at home. Halfway through it clicked "oh man, we´re talking in Spanish!" I´m grateful to have the gift of tongues to understand and communicate better. 

(This is what happens when I try to teach her English. This is when she was saying "hermana, I´ll never speak english!" She´s getting a lot better at understanding, so I think we´ll be able to meet our goal of her understanding President Monson at Conferene. But we´ll see :)
  6th: I haven´t had any baptisms, and we had 2 people tell us last week they want to stop meeting with us, but I am so grateful everyday I am here. A year ago, I wasn´t entirely sure where I would be in a year. But I´m so grateful to be here, sharing my testimony and having experiences that I couldn´t have anywhere else.

7th: I know that I was sent here for a reason, and everyday I realize the truth of that. I know that the Bible and the Book of Mormon are the word of God and truly find joy in studying them everyday and often feel that an hour is not sufficient. Truly, the Lord has a plan for us, and I´m grateful that I am able to follow in the path that he has prepared for me everyday.

and a funny story to end with:
We were walking from lunch when Hermana C was saying something was wrong with her shoe. The sole was starting to come off, but we would be back in our area in a bit so we reasoned she could last a few hours. We walked a little bit more, and then the entire sole fell off! I carry the kit Mama Shields made for me, so we stood in the middle of the street laughing our heads off gluing her shoe.

Love you all! :)

Hermana Snelson

Monday, September 2, 2013

Everything you´ve wanted to know about Honduras‏

To begin,  Thank you so much everyone for the letters!
(Aaron Weaver, Hermana Aubrey Glazier, miss Brooke,
A wedding invite from Miss Janelle (no longer loosli). Congrats on your wedding!
and darling Mother Anderson)
Due to all the questions I have been getting, and my lack of talking about the country I´m living in, I now present to you:
Everything You´ve Ever Wanted to Know about Honduras
(in the eyes of Hermana Snelson)
The food:
Is delicious! I haven´t noticed any big difference... yes I eat more rice, beans, and tortillas than I did before, but I´m so accustomed to it now that I don´t think twice when I´m making the grocery list. That being said, we don´t cook for ourselves often, for the most part the members feed me and they feed me GOOD. They were right, you do gain weight on your mission! Haha. :) Here is  an example of the food we make ourselves. Corn we bought in the street, with ketchup, mayonaise, mustard, and cheese. It´s how they do it in Guatemala, and it was delicious.

One thing unique to here are baleadas. A huge tortilla piled with refried beans, eggs, cheese, and mantaquilla (a creamish thing... kind of like whipping cream?). That is a basic one, but they have the fully loaded ones with steak and bacon. Oh they are amazing. They have a lot of soups that are unique to here too... like Mondonga (with cow knees), and... I can´t remember their names. But I have yet to try anything I don´t like! Hermana C. and I were discussing this the other day... on  the mission you eat anything because you don´t know when you´ll be eating next! Haha.
Where I live:
I am in the city of Tegucigalpa! We have a grocery store within walking distance with everything I need, and if not we go to the mall next door and to stores just for paper. Haha It´s awesome. There would have been a picture of me showing that I do in fact live in the city, but it´s too dangerous for us to take my camera out unless there´s elders around. So next week hopefully. :)
We take taxi´s for everywhere we need to go not in our area. Like to the church! For a direct taxi it´s $1, for one that´s collective (makes stops) is about $0.75, and for the bus it´s $0.20. Obviously we try to take the bus anywhere we go, but I live in Honduras so the bus schedule is if you walk out in the street and see the bus you take it. I feel like we don´t really walk an extraordinary amount, or maybe I´m so used to it so I don´t think much of it.
The weather:
I think everyone thinks I live on the Equator.... I feel like the weather is the same as Hawaii, there are days when it´s hot so we just walk with an umbrella, there are days when it´s rainy (we´re in the rainy season now, but it´s not like.. a flood everyday) so I just walk with an umbrella. Yesterday it was raining so hard we stopped by the house so I could trade out my "cheap american umbrella" to get a beach umbrella. Haha. There´s humidity, but I seriously missed it when I went home from school, so I´m adjusting fine. :)
The language: I can pretty much understand everything people are saying to me. Everyone tells me my spanish is great, but I know it needs work. But this transfer is ending on Wednesday, and I have officially met my goal of wanting to say everything I want to to my investigators so that´s great! This next transfer´s goal (by my birthday) is to be able to communicate with everyone in the street- like people who want to talk about their trip to the doctors office.
And now we have some funny stories:
We were with the Family Salines and were getting ready to go. So we ask Alison (the 9 year old) to say the closing prayer. She´s the shyest one of the girls and was hiding behind her hands and was whispering something to her mom. Her mom was confused and said, "What do you mean? Hermana Snelson?" We found the problem- last time she prayed she said she was thankful for "las mormonas" and the girls made fun of her after. So she was wondering what she was supposed to call us. Ha! We told her the missionaries would be fine. :)
And something else that was funny was the other night we finished a lesson with them and asked if there was anything they needed. Katherine (14) brought out her math homework and was asking Hermana Concoha for help, who referred it to me. It was so funny because I was just sitting in Honduras, explaining Algebra in spanish, the usual :)

Here I am in the English class we teach.  One thing we do is learn 10 new verbs every week. Well, to help them remember we do an action. Like, in stead of saying "nadar, to swim" we just say "to swim" with an action. So in the picture I´m demonstrating "to send".

Another random learning the lingo example...We were walking down the street and I was skipping and singing an EFY song stuck in my head. (serve a mission, you WILL have EFY songs stuck in your head). Hermana C. was laughing and asked if I dance everywhere I go. Well, obviously I had to whip out the invisible maraca´s. She was laughing and I was trying to explain that my maracas were invisible... only problem was I didn´t know the word for invisible. So i´m trying to explain that it would be like if there was a person standing in front of you, and you couldn´t see them, "Hidden?" no... So accepting defeat, I then realized, "Do you know who harry potter is?" "The wizard?" YES. So I´m explaining his invisibility cloak, and then we found the word for invisible. In case anyone is wondering, it´s invisible. 
Every time we see this sign we laugh so hard, so we finally took a picture

Translation: "Careful! Women buying shoes!"
And last but not least, a great spiritual experience.
We were meeting with Marvin, when we asked about how he was feeling about his baptism. and he said he wasn´t feeling ready.
Well, the night before when we invited Jose to church, he said he wanted to know more about the doctrine before he went to church. (Many Christians here believe that you must repent BEFORE you go to church, so they are often wary to go to church with us until they feel ready to enter the Lord´s house). So I was studying for personal study for him, when I found this conference talk from President Uchdorf 
The part I like the best was:

"Isn’t it wonderful to know that we don’t have to be perfect to experience the blessings and gifts of our Heavenly Father? We don’t have to wait to cross the finish line to receive God’s blessings. In fact, the heavens begin to part and the blessings of heaven begin to distill upon us with the very first steps we take toward the light."
So I was planning on using this for Jose, but as soon as Marvin said this, I asked if I could share a quote with him. So we read this article together, and then emphasized how I got baptized when I was 8, and by all means did not have the firm testimony of the gospel that I have today. And he kept saying, "yeah... I don´t know." Hermana Concoha was just reiterating and I was thinking "we can sit here all day just talking but he doesn´t need to hear it from us, he needs to hear it from Him." so I had the impression to have him pray, right there.
So I looked up at him and said, "Hermano, we know that you are ready. God knows that you are ready. I want you to ask God to give you the same feeling that we have so that you might be able to feel ready as well." and he nods and says, yeah, I´ll pray tonight. And I just felt this... well burning in my heart and said, "No hermano, you have you pray right now." So we close our eyes, then waited.
It started out really soft and quiet, but soon it was louder as I could feel his courage and confidence building. It felt like there were just angels, standing all around us in this little security guard station and I just felt so perfectly happy.
The prayer was done and I sat there waiting, not wanting to say anything. I figured if Ammon could wait for an hour in silence, so could I. Finally Hermana C. said, "Marvin, how do you feel right now?" and he smiled and said, "Good, I feel really good."
So kids, follow the spirit- always.
Love you all so so much. Thanks for the prayers, love and support.
Hermana Snelson