Monday, May 26, 2014

"By small and simple things"‏

This change, on my agenda I put a picture of a tree and the words
 "cosas pequeñas y sencillas"
 or, small and simple things.
 Through small things, like a seed, we can have a huge tree and it is my goal to make my faith and testimony become as large and unbreakable as possible until I return home.

There were many small and simple things that happened this week that really helped me learn and grow.

Funny thing: Hermana Carias misplaced her hymn book for a few days, then I misplaced mine, then we misplaced both of our little ones and just had one big one. Normally when we go to a lesson, we start with a hymn. And when there is only 1 hymn book between the 3 of us (sometimes more!) then what do we do? 

Sing "I Am a Child of God" 

Seriously though, I'm pretty sure we sang it like... 15 times this week.

More serious thing:

Kristian is a 16 year old who is super chill and really loves this gospel. When his mom didn't want him to go to church he told us, 
 "Hermanas she just doesn't understand, Joseph Smith is a prophet and the church is true!" 
But sadly, there was nothing we could do. We have been trying and trying to talk to her but she's never there when we go over.
Well we go to visit Kristian. He isn't home, but we start talking to his neighbors in front and decide to go up the stairs and visit some people up there. When suddenly "Hey, hermanas!" He had left to go buy some beans :)
So we go and teach the plan of salvation and it was rocking and he loved it. Just as we were about to end he says, 
"Did you hear that? My mom's home."
 We got excited and asked if he'd go ask her if we can talk to her. So he leaves. I said a quick little prayer, hoping that we would be able to touch her heart so he could go to church and more importantly so we could meet with her and tell her about something that her son loved so much.
He came back and said,
"She said no guys."
 but since when has Hermana Snelson ever given up? We said the closing prayer and as we were leaving I yelled,
 "See ya hermana!" then I turned back and said, "Oh I love your shirt!"
Compliments: never fails. 
So we started talking and she explained her reasons but we explained ours. We have to understand these people, it's something weird and scary- I was scared to jump off a cliff the first time worried about what would happen. But I knew that this gospel could touch and change her heart. After chatting for a bit, we were FINALLY able to get an appointment with her.
I just said a silent prayer in my heart as we walked home- so grateful for God's hand in my life.

picture: scavenger hunt- where's hermana Snelson??


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Thanks! Obrigato! Gracias!‏

Hey everyone!
Changes were last week- we didn't have changes but they put 2 new hermanas as Hermana's Entrandadores.
And they are.... Hermana Vazquez and Hermana Flynn!
I called Hermana Flynn after and she said,
 "Hermana I think I know exactly how you feel!" 
I am so excited for her! And Hermana Rodriguez is here in Teguc! Opening an area and training! She is so amazing :)
aaaand Hermana Zarate is home in her house! She is so lovely and she is probably sleeping in right now! haha.

Moises (or, if you speak English, Moses) is a young guy of 15 years that we met randomly looking for references. Turns out his 2 older siblings were baptized but when they moved to my area went inactive. His mom is darling and always make us food, but doesn't want to hear anything.
We were walking home one night when his mom, Valentina, yells at us and told us that Moises has been acting really rebellious and she was worried. We were confused because he's a really chill, really cool guy and we even got a reference from him and are teaching one of his friends! But we'd agree we'd talk about it with him.
We decided to teach the 10 commandments and concentrate on honoring your mother and father. As soon as we brought it up, it was just Dr. Phil while we sat there as each person, Moises, Valentina, and his sister Elena talked.
That is the biggest problem I have seen here- lack of communication. People don't tell someone if something is bugging them, but they don't tell them the good things either. I was amazed to see as they communicated their true feelings- something they had never done before.
As they sat there and cried I just sat there in awe listening and feeling so so grateful. First, for my incredible parents. For the fact that I have always had an open relationship and that have always wanted and encouraged the best for me. I felt grateful that they are constantly lifting me up and wanting me to feel good.
Then I also saw the torn relationship he had with his sister. It felt like they were strangers living in the same house. I felt so happy and grateful, and even more because I had just talked to my family a few days before and just felt so happy and so much love from every single one of my crazy siblings.
I thought of how lost I would be without each and every member of my family. How so many here believe that they are just better off on their own and it's just easier to do things alone.
Thank you so much family! As we left we were just in stunned silence at how grateful we were to be raised in such great families- families rooted in the gospel. I felt so happy not only for my family, but for each one of you who write me and encuorage me to do good each and every week.

With Hermana Acevedo, from Guatelmala at the Mac Shack :)

Thanks so much everyone! I love you all so much!

Monday, May 12, 2014

The lady on the bus

Hi everyone! 

I don't have much time, but just wanted to tell you real quick what happened last Tuesday. Hermana Carias and I were leaving to go on divisions to Tatumbla- which is about a half hour away from our area. Since it's so far, we were both leaving there together and then would be in 2 trios with the 4 hermanas there (Normally when we do divisions, we meet somewhere that is like 10 minutes away for each person, then split up so there are people in my area and the other area).
The bus was really full, so Hermana Carias sat down and I sat in front. The lady next to Hermana C looked super excited to meet her- turned out it was someone from our area who she had met before  when she was on divisions and had said she would call her and then promptly forgot (story of our life) so it was awesome the Lord had his hand to help us meet this woman again. Hermana Carias kept talking to the lady, but since I was sitting in front of them it was kind of awkward and dangerous (Hondurans are crazy drivers) so I turned back around. I saw the woman sitting next to me- looking out the window and I felt that she felt uncomfortable sitting next to me, so I decided to talk to her.
I found out her name was Yohana. She had gone to Teguc. to get vaccines for her son who has an allergy. She had taken the day off of work (and does once a month) so she can get this medicine for her son and bring it back to him. She was pretty closed off- immediately telling me she was Catholic and is happy in her church but seemed interested to know that we are volunteers serving for 18 months, and that the prophet chose where we served. She got off before us, so I gave her a card. I didn't bother taking her information, figuring that we weren't in her area and she had said something about her neice being a member so I just told her to go to church with her.
Then I met up with Hermana Tooley and Hermana Campos and we went to work. Hermana Campos said we had to take a bus, so we took a bus and stopped by a members house. Then we went up to a house and Hermana Campos shouted, 
When out walked Yohana who looked a little bugged until she saw me. She was surprised, then looked really excited. "What are you doing here?"
I had no explanation other than I was sent from God. I hadn't told Hermana Campos about what had happened, I was just following her lead. I found out later that the member we went to was her neice. At the member's house Hermana Campos had met Yohana's kids and had always planned to go back to the house to meet the Mom, and Hermana Campos had chosen the exact day that I had met her, at a time that she normally wouldn't be home because she normally works in the afternoon to contact her.

Isn't God incredible?

Long story short, we went in and taught the first lesson. Her son and 2 nieces were there and we were able to invite them all to be baptized. I'm not sure if they will be baptized this month, or if they will progress, but I do know that a miracle happened, and that we touched her heart and mine.

Love you so much! Have a great week!

-Hermana Snelson

Monday, May 5, 2014

I am Happy!

My darling Mother, best friend and example because this weekend is Mother's day and I love her so much!
My other Mother Kim:) who sent the BEST package complete with 2 cute skirts that we modeled at the baptism. Thanks Momma Kim, you are the best! :)
Letters from: Elder Spencer, Elder Walton
and finally..... Congrats to Miss Kate Cutchins who is tying the knot next week! Your invite was beautiful and all the hermanas in my zone were ooh-ing and aah-ing. :)

Now for this week:
1) Pompilio got baptized and confirmed and is now the newest member of the Girasoles Ward!
2) I did divisions in MiraFlores B (aka my first area) for the day.
3) This week passed by faster then the last one. Scary.

Let's get some details:
First of all, going to MiraFlores was crazy and awesome. Crazy because it just felt so weird. I haven't been there for so long but Hna. Garcia said,
 "okay, let's go to the family salinas!" 
and my internal compass just started walking. It was SO WONDERFUL to see them all. Everyone is doing so great (I didn't see Jose, but he's doing great too!) and I just felt so so much love! If I was feeling down it was impossible to not go the entire day without a huge smile and so many people saying 
"you look so tan! your spanish is so good!" 
Charity. It was the biggest thing radiating in my mind the entire day. I truly felt the purest most beautiful form of Christ's love and you know, it's the best!!

Saturday came and the air was a buzz! We had some people to visit before the baptism but we decided to stop by and visit Pilo. On our way to his house we saw him in the street and I said, "Hermano, are you running away?" 
to which he said,
 "No hermanas, I'm just gonna go invite someone!"
 Did I mention that a week before his baptism he asked if he could leave with us to visit people?
There was just so much happiness because Pilo was so happy. Lots of family members came and you could see that they truly felt the spirit. 
The best part was when the first counselor was in front welcoming him to the ward. He went over to shake his hand and Pilo promptly stood up and gave him a huge hug. Then he asked, "would you like to say a few words?" 
Pompilio stood in front just beaming and talked about how we had met him a month ago and how he truly felt a difference in his life. But I just about started crying when he looked forward and said,
"I was sad, but I am happy. I can truly say that I am happy."

I just love that so much. That is what the gospel is all about. When people see Hermana Carias and I in the street, they probably think we are crazy because we are just laughing so hard or singing or something. But the truth is that we have found true happiness and aren't afraid to show it!

I hope you are happy! But if you aren't, then take the necessary steps to find the true happiness that God has waiting for you. He wants to bless you, but we have to do our part. It isn't always easy, but God has given us so many great friends and family to help us on this journey.

Here we are with the normal "fancy p-day breakfast" tradition- Hermana Carias bought Nutella, so making crepes was in order!

I love each and every one of you! 
To my crazy Snelson Family I'll see your beautiful faces this weekend!