Monday, February 24, 2014

A Week of Pictures

Sorry, not much time this week! :)

Shout out to all the letters I got! 
(Elder Walton, Elder Weaver, Sister Glaizer, Elder Spencer, My sister Brooke, Sister Johnson)

and Miss Hermana Bennett who sent the most thoughtful notebook! I literally jumped and yelled with joy. 

We also had a lot of FHE's this week.
 We made flowers:

played red light green light:

and ate watermelon!

I also did some service making mashed potatoes :)

I love you all! 
Thanks for your love and support and I hope you have a great week!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Let the Good Times Roll!

Not that I have forgotten you all, but I often come in here, read the e mails, take pictures of the ones I want to read later, and then think "Wow, that was quick!" then realize that I in fact failed to send out my weekly e mail.

Well, I'm alive! Talk to you next week!

Haha, anyway, a lot happened this week! I often don't realize what happened during the week because we're so busy moving on from one day to the next. It isn't until Sunday night when we count up all the stats for the week that I look at it and say "We did all of this this week??" But I love it. I'm so busy, time is flying way too fast, and I wouldn't ask for it any other way. :) 

1. Hermana's sleepover.
Don't worry, it was more spiritually edifying then it sounds. All the sisters here in the south (I think there were like... 25-30 of us?) went up to Tegucigalpa in the bus (don't worry, not school bus style, greyhound style)
 arrived at the mission home, got unpacked, ate sandwiches for dinner (moving here makes you appreciate things like washed lettuce and tomatoes on your sandwiches. Otherwise it's just ham and cheese) then we had our meeting. We talked about our divine potential, and specifically marriage. Man, if I thought they talked about marriage a lot in young womens, they talk about it at least 10 times more when you're a missionary. 
And you know why? It's because it's important! The more times the prophets and leaders speak about something, the more we need to pay attention and do it! Calm your horses, I'm not saying I'm getting married a month after I get home, it's just a lot more intimidating now because before when they would talk about eternal marriage, I'd just push it away and think, "eh, I don't need to worry about that until after my mission" but freak! I only have half my mission left! and I'm milking it for all it's worth.

It was a really good experience. One of the cool thing that happened was Hermana Flynn and I sang a song. Every companionship was supposed to do something together, so the four of us (Flynn, Ramierez, Rodriguez, and myself) did something, 
then Flynn and I sang a duet. We sang "Joseph Smith's first prayer" to the tune of come thou fount. We were going to record it this week, but I'll try to get to you next week :)
We actually sang it twice, once Sunday night then again Monday morning with the presidency from the temple (two of whom are from Utah. Mom and Dad, I'm predicting your next mission- Serving in the temple of Accra, Ghana, or South Africa). The last verse, where it says, “Joseph, this is my Beloved;
Hear him!” Oh, how sweet the word!
Joseph’s humble prayer was answered,
And he listened to the Lord."

We sang more soft. And then we sang louder "Oh, what rapture filled his bosom,
For he saw the living God."

I was paused briefly waiting to come in while Hermana Flynn was singing and saw a picture hanging on the wall of the first vision. 

Just all of this love and happiness flooded my heart. People say that we talk about Joseph Smith too much, and I feel that we are just trying to do justice for all that he sacrificed to bring the church about. In that instant I knew the words that I was singing were true- Joseph Smith truly was a prophet called of God. Through him, we restored the power and authority that we are blessed to use and exercise today, and I am so grateful for that!

2. We had interviews with President.
It made the day just feel really weird since we couldn't really work. My entire zone went to the stake center in the morning, where we met with President and he chatted to all of us. We got mail (I can't remember everyone, I'll let you know next week if I got your letters or not!) then went to eat lunch, then home to wait for President. We left after waiting a half hour to work, and then I got a call from The ZL's, then the phone cut out (no ones phones have been working for the last week) so I assumed they were coming. So we ran home, waited, then left again. Finally, President, Hermana Hernandez and the Zl's came. We had the interview in his car, and it went really really good. He emphasized how blessed I am to come from the family I come from and I just smiled and nodded because it's so true. I am the person I am because every one of my siblings influenced me to be the person I am today. And especially of course my wonderful parents. He told me, "Hermana Snelson, are you obedient? Are you working hard? Great, just keep doing what you're doing" and I told him I'd try my best :)

3. Cultural Night!
We decided to have a cultural night, and it actually turned out awesome! Each organization was in charge of a performance. The youth danced salsa and bachata, the primary kids sang "if you're happy and you know it" and the missionaries sang!

The missionaries sang?!?!

Well, went we went to the hermana's sleepover, we wanted to mix it up. Those who have seen "Pitch Perfect" have seen "cup singing" where you tap the cup to sing with it. So we sang "Give said the little stream" while we tapped the cups. It was great- everyone loved it! And now anytime I'm listening to any church song I think, "Hey, I could probably play this song with a cup!

This week was great- every week was great. :) This change is already over on Wednesday.. crazy! If we have changes (there's a fifty fifty chance. My comp has been here for 4 and a half months. They usually leave people in their first area for 6 months, but who knows!) we'll find out tomorrow. WE'll see! :)
And for some pictures:
We went to visit one of our less actives and he just finished building some swings and suggested we try them out. We of course couldn't turn down the offer ;)

Bishop Rivera

We just climbed a tree after a lesson. Haha :)

Love you so much! :)

-Hermana Snelson

Saturday, February 8, 2014


Haha not really :) we´re just writing today because we´ll be heading up to Teguc. this weekend- sleepover with all the sisters in the south, very important business :)

Anyway, we´re doing good! :)

Hermana Rodriguez says, "You have a very fun daughter"
Thanks man :) it might have been because this morning I was waiting for her to get all ready (one thing I have learned in the mission is  I have inherited my father´s characteristic and am ALWAYS ready first) and I was just dancing around in a circle clapping my hands. Then I started singing "There is Sunshine in my Soul Today" in Spanglish (some parts I forget in English and visa versa) Opera style and my comp was laughing so hard and said, "Hermana, I can´t put on my eyeliner!" 

En serio, this week was great! I had my own personal call to repentance because I re-read "How to Be a Concentrated Missionary" by Ted R. Callister  and oh how lovely it was! 

For those who didn´t know, let me say, Repentance is the best!

I´ve learned that repentance is more than confessing the "bigger" sins- it´s about becoming the best "us" that we can be! When I come home, we review our day- everything we did and didn´t do. Then we look at the areas we could have improved- what things could we have done? What can we do to have more lessons, more lessons with members, and more investigators? Then we humbly express to Heavenly Father the desire we have to better ourselves.

When I came to the mission, I wanted to be PERFECT. I wanted to speak Spanish perfect, have the answer to every question, know where all the scriptures were, and teach every single lesson.

A reality check came rather quickly, especially with the language barrier. I realized it was impossible to speak perfect Spanish, my Latina companions don´t even speak perfect Spanish. But you know, that´s okay! Heavenly Father didn't send us to the earth to be perfect. He sent us to learn how we can become perfect, and then seek that perfection. If we are humble, and recognize that we can´t do it alone, then he will help us, every step of the way!

We have plenty of investigators, a few that are positive, but we need to strengthen their testimonies and get them to church.

I can´t believe this change is almost over, but I´m enjoying every minute of it :)

 And some lovely random happenings: 

These are the daughters of a family that have been investigating the church for over a year. They´re practically members and even give us references but they´re waiting to be divorced before they can get married and be baptized. We were walking to Bishop´s house (where we´re writing now) when we heard "hermanas!" and 3 little girls came running up to us. Number of ninos who run up to me and hug me everyday- at least 4. I love Honduras!
I woke up the other day and thought to myself "I should definitely wear my grey skirt today" (it´s my comfiest item- I wear it at least once a week) lo and behold my comp put on her grey skirt too. Then I was doing my hair and she asked if she could borrow a top. Well what do you know! I have a mom who is super prepared and bought me 2 of the same shirts! So we were twins for the day! 
I apologized for not being as tan, and told her I´d try to work on it ;)

 This is one of our investigators- we started teaching her mom (who said she didn´t want to listen to us, but invited us to dinner tonight. The dinner conversation? We´ll probably talk about the plan of happiness God has for each of us :) )

ANYWAY we were at her house and she said, "oh I like your headband" "thanks" a pause "no I really like your headband" "thanks!" "can I have it?" (this is completely normal) "and what do I get?" she thought about it. Then brought out a huge pile of headbands and clips that her sister had made. So we traded. 

I also traded a pair of earrings with someone on the  bus the other day
 (yes mom, I cleaned them).
 Welcome to Honduras! :)
 And shout out to my bishop who e mailed my parents a couple weeks ago when I couldn´t write on Monday and who is currently letting me borrow his purple laptop.

Love you all! 
Hermana Snelson

Monday, February 3, 2014

Oh Remember, remember

Hi everyone!
(Shout-out to Wendy´s for the sweet photo opp :)

Several exciting things happened this week:
-I finished the Book of Mormon in Spanish
-I completed 8 months
-My companion and I literally got stuffed
Part of the day that literally everyone gave us food. When I got home that night, I ended up with a banana, 5 tortillas, and 1 and a half baleadas in my backpack :)
This is Hermana Yessi. She´s inactive and says she´s never coming back to church, but is so so nice to us!
-I met some wonderful people, invited people to be baptized, felt the spirit, and felt happy!
- I busted out the slinky my Mom had sent me during the Summer.

But one thing at a time.

In October we started reading The Book of Mormon in Spanish. Unfortunately, I finished the end of January- one month later then everyone else. But I finished!
I told my Sister Rodriguez that every time I read The Book of Mormon I feel like there is a new message that sticks out to me. This time It was the theme of remember. 
Helaman says it to his sons at least 20 times (sorry scripture masters, I don´t have time to count right now) in Helaman chapter 5. 

And why?

It´s so so simple. If we remember that we are children of God, if we remember the covenants that we have made with him, then we will be able to follow in the path of God.

I never really saw, or I guess thought about it before my mission. Why do people go inactive and or leave the church? It´s simply because they forgot. There was a time, perhaps long ago, when the spirit was alive in their hearts. When they truly felt a desire to follow God and Jesus Christ. When they covenanted to follow them always and stay true. These sweet children have simply forgotten. I don´t go into homes to say, "hey, what you've been doing is incorrect- I have the truth, let me teach you!" rather, I try to go in and help them remember. Remember how good it feels to be wrapped in the loving embrace of God´s arms and then tell them I know how they can feel that way again.

The Book of Mormon is such a powerful tool. Not only as missionaries, but as members. When I feel sad, I can read it. When I feel antsy or stressed, I can read it. It is the solution to any problem and holds all the answers. Literally every one! 

Everyday I tell people I can´t force my testimony, I can´t force the testimony and love I hold into their hearts. All I can do is invite them- invite them to partake of the same love and happiness that I have enjoyed in my life. If you haven´t had the opportunity, or haven´t read it in a while and might be forgetting some of the things you've always known, I encourage you to read it. In whatever language you prefer :)

Next I completed 8 months! Hermana R completed 4. I told her let´s swap and I´ll tell people that I only have 4 and she 8. She said no thanks :)

I heard it before and I can attest to the truth- the time goes by too fast, enjoy every moment. I can say that both are true. And I thoroughly feel like I have enjoyed every moment. It´s incredible to see all that I have accomplished in the past 8 months, but I know there is so much more required of me and I hope I can fulfill it all in the next 10 months! :)

I´m doing so well. My companion and I are best friends and are constantly laughing, singing, (in English and Spanish) and just enjoying everything. It´s so wonderful when you go into a lesson, and you can just feel what you need to teach. Everything is just in synch and the spirit is there and you can see in their eyes that they get it, and they love it.

The first time I used the slinky that Mom sent me in July! It got stuffed in a suitcase somewhere in Teguc, and I re-discovered it here and decided to stick it in my backpack. Legos are great, but they can be kind of a handful sometimes. 

Well, we had planned to have a family home evening with a less-active member. We saw him in the street earlier that day and as I was walking away I yelled, "remember, you´re in charge of the lesson! Maybe you could do it on keeping the sabbath day holy!"

Well, we show up at his house and he said, "alright everyone, we´re going to talk about keeping the sabbath day holy." It was actually a really good lesson!

We were in charge of the game, but he only has his 5 year old daughter Nicole, so while he got the soda and crackers ready we played with the Slinky! We made stairs with our books and she was literally so excited for a half hour. 

And he came to church on Sunday! Woooot!

This was from our last p-day when we went back to our apartment with the other hermanas, tres leches in tow and watched "singles ward".

This was right out of my apartment yesterday morning as we were leaving to church. After re-reading my Mom´s e mail, I realized there are so many things that might be normal for us (well, for me anyway) but completely unique for folks in the states.

There are always animals in the road- pigs, horses, cows, you name it. Rarely without any one in site. This morning there was a boy on the horse leading them, but I just love how completely normal it is.

And parents- I haven´t seen anyone on a motercycle with 20 chickens, but I did see 2 young men on a bike the other day- each wtih a live chicken in their hand
Here is another example of something that is completely normal here- I drink water out of bags. If I´m filling up my water bottle then I just rip one open and pour it in. But at home when I´m just chilling around I just drink it out of the bag. It´s really common to go to someone´s house and they give you juice or soda out of a bag- cups are expensive. :)

I love you all. The church is true! :) Have a fabulous week!

 (Shout out to Hermana Flynn for her cute skirt and dress!)