Monday, May 29, 2017

Week of Variety

Happy Memorial Day, Everyone! :)

This week was certainly an interesting one, that's for sure! I hope everyone is having a good time with all your Memorial Day activities! Here are a few highlights from this past week:

Transfer Calls
Yup! It is already that time again! This transfer just zoomed right past! It has been such a great one, though! The Zone Leaders called this morning to tell us who was being transferred. Here are the results for my district: Elder Sutherland - IN, Elder Cahan - OUT, Sister Persinger - IN, Sister Panoussi - OUT, Elder Snell - IN, and Elder Imlay - OUT! That is pretty much what we all expected. It's crazy though, because Elder Jensen is the only companion that I have had for more than a transfer. I have already had 7 companions in 7 transfers. Transfer meeting isn't until tomorrow, so I will let you all know who my new companion is next week.

Adrian Gonzalez
SOOOOO.........We have been meeting with Adrian for a little over a month now, and he has been progressing SO well! He truly loves the gospel and it has changed his life. He tells us almost everyday how much he loves the Book of Mormon and loves coming to church. Adrian accepted the invitation to be baptized at our fist lesson and is now ready for baptism! His baptism is going to be this coming Saturday. He is probably the most prepared person to receive the gospel that I have taught on my mission so far. It has been such a neat experience to see the gospel change him. Wow, missionary work is the best! :)

Family Home Evening
We have been having FHE every week with the ward for the past little bit, but it hasn't really gotten us anywhere. This week, Bishop jumped on board with the FHE and announced it in sacrament meeting! Yesterday (Sunday) we had about 15 members come to Family Home Evening! It is super cool how even just one activity like that has helped the member get to know each other really well! If FHE continues to go well, Bishop might give someone a calling to keep organizing it! The members said that they loved it and are going to try and invite some of their non-member friends. Super awesome!

On Tuesday, Elder Imlay and I were trying to visit one of our potential investigators. We were standing at the door when a Guyanese woman called out to us from across the street. She walked over to us and we started talking with her. She introduced herself as Hillary Clinton...... this through me off. This sweet woman was 100% convinced that she is Hillary Clinton. She told us that she was murdered and her body was eaten by congress. Her soul was then put into the body of a Guyanese woman. Hillary also told us that as she gets older, she is slowly turning white again. She was talking with us for about 20 minutes! It was very interesting! 
On Tuesday, we went to a funeral for the deceased husband of one of the members in our ward. It was a really beautiful service. Sister Persinger and I sang a duet of "I Need Thee Ev'ry Hour" which went pretty alright. I am so grateful the knowledge that I have of the Plan of Salvation.

That's about it for this week. At least, that's all I can remember right now hahaha. 

Oh yeah! I forgot that I got to speak in Sacrament Meeting yesterday! It was such a wonderful experience to be able to speak. I love this gospel so much and am so grateful for any opportunity I get to share my testimony with others. I definitely love this ward!

Have a wonderful week!!! Love you all!

Elder Snell

****PS- This is Added by Mom Snell-----
I received this letter in the mail today. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to share my son with New York. He is and always has been such and amazing happy person and ALWAYS wanting to serve others. Please read.....


1) Ward Family Home Evening!
2) Last District Meeting for the transfer
3) Cute kid in the ward named Kayden had a bunch of these action figures which we hung on the table :)
4) Super awesome picture Adrian sent me!
5) Another message Adrian sent us! :) :)
6) SUPER AMAZING violinist we ran into in the subway station! WOW! It was cool! :)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go

May 22, 2017

Hey, Everyone! :)

So, nothing super out of the ordinary happened this week. It was just another fantastic week of good ol' missionary work! However, the weather just could not make up its mind. For two or three days straight it was over 90 degrees and SUPER humid and the next it was below 60 and raining a ton! Gotta love working in all types of weather, though! 

I absolutely love being able to be part of this divine work. It is really neat to be able to see how Heavenly Father works to put us in the right place at the right time. Take yesterday for example:
Elder Imlay and I had a lesson scheduled for 7:00 Sunday night. We show up at their house, and it turned out that the man we were supposed to teach was called into work and forgot to let us know. His wife was the only other one home, so we just rescheduled with her and went on our way. We found ourselves with no one to visit, so we said a prayer and felt that we should go knocking in Forrest Hills (where Spiderman's house is). We got out of the subway station an randomly decided to choose a direction to start walking. We ended up finding our way into a SUPER rich area of Queens, and decided that this is the street we were going to start knocking. After knocking about 5 unanswered doors, a man leaving his house told us that we are wasting our time in a 100% Jewish neighborhood (hence the reason that Elder Imlay has so loving given Kew Gardens the nickname of "Jew Gardens"). Despite his warning, we knocked his next-door neighbor's house. They actually answered, and as soon as they did the man we were just talking to yelled at them telling them to close the door and stop talking to us. This was just a little frustrating, so Elder Imlay and I said a prayer and felt that we should leave. We noticed that there was a man who used to meet with the missionaries about a year ago living really close by. We walked to his apartment building and the man at the front desk called up to his room for us. Once again, we were rejected and had to leave. It was about time that we needed to head home, so we started making our way back to the subway station. I tried my best to start a conversation with everyone we passed, but it was dark and no one was willing to talk with us. When we were about a block from the station, we passed by a grocery store where a man walked out and started walking right next to me. I asked him how his day went and he responded "You know, I used to be Mormon once." WHAT?!? His name is Frank Madina. He was raised Mormon, but never went back to church after he left his parent's home at age 17. Frank asked us if he could have a Book of Mormon and if we could come to his house with him and have a chat. Of course, we went to his apartment and talked with him! Over the years (his is in his 50s), Frank has started practicing small fragments of all sorts of religions! He practices parts of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, etc. He asked us if we could give him a Book of Mormon and if we could come back to his house for dinner some time and continue coming back weekly! Frank's records aren't here in Queens, so we will have to have Bishop request them. I quickly found that I absolutely love Frank and his quirkiness, and I can't wait to keep working with him to hopefully get him to the temple and back to being an active member of the Church! :) 

I can only hope and pray that I am actually able to make a difference out here in NY, but I can definitely testify that the Lord (through all the people I have met) has already made a HUGE difference in me! I am learning and growing so much as a person and as a child of my Heavenly Father. I know that He loves me and that He is molding and shaping me to become the valiant servant He needs me to be in this life and forever. There is no place I would rather be right now that where I am serving the Lord with all I got! This work is hard, but it is worth it. I have learned how to truly put all my trust in the Lord. I am not perfect at that yet, but Heavenly Father is definitely working hard on me! The Plan of Salvation is REAL. Jesus Christ really DID atone for our sins and really DOES know exactly how we feel all the time, because He has felt it himself. I love Him with all my heart and can testify that He really does walk with us as we choose to walk with Him. I am so grateful for my Savior and the difference He has made in my life. 

I love you all, and I wish you all the best in the coming week! 

Elder Snell

A "Plethora" of Pictures

1) This is Leo Hewitt! He just turned 8 and is about to be baptized soon. His mom asked if missionaries would teach him before he was baptized, so this was our last lesson with him. Yes, it was at a restaurant. Yes, his mom was there, too :) Yes, he is a GENIUS, and probably knows more about the gospel than I do. And Yes, he is the greatest!!!
2) Here is the "average" door here in Queens. 8 doorbells! Hahahaha usually there are just 3-4 :)

Let's Hit the Streets!

MAY 15, 2017

Happy Mother's Day (yesterday), Everyone!!

It was really awesome to be able to see my family and some friends yesterday over FaceTime! I love you all!
This week was pretty awesome! I did my usual procrastination thing when it comes writing my mass weekly email, so it will be short this week. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused :)

So, first off, it has rained every day this past week. There was never a dry moment. Elder Imlay and I came home soaked almost every night. It was tons of fun, though! Sadly, Elder Imlay left his umbrella on the bus, so he bought a $4 one from a small convenience store. That one broke that night, so he decided to put a little more money into the next one and bought a $7 umbrella. That one broke within a couple hours! That night, we went to drop off a Bible to someone who requested on through Elder Imlay didn't have an umbrella, so we attempted to share mine. We both were wet on one side and dry on the other. As we were walking down the street to the man's house, someone gave Elder Imlay an umbrella! Such a kind soul! That one also broke right when we got home, but at least Elder Imlay stayed somewhat dry for the rest of the night!

We went on an exchange with the Zone Leaders on Thursday. It was SO much fun! The Sisters in their district made them a little sign for us to hold. So, we went to the busiest street corner they knew of in Queens, and talked to as many people as we possibly could! We found 4 new investigators for them from doing it for only about 2 hours. It was so much fun having people laughing at us as they walked past, or asking if they could take our picture, or asking us the weirdest questions about what we believe. It was the greatest thing!

Well, that's about all I have time for this week. I hope you all are well!

Love ya!
Elder Snell

Plenty of Pictures!

1-2) Pretty self-explanatory :)
3-4) Talking with my favorite people for Mother's Day!!!! Love you!
5) Sneak Peek of Manhattan from a subway station in Queens
6) Zone Leader Exchange
7-8) Pretty self-explanatory :)
9) Man who stole other people's trash so he can redeem 5 cents for every one of those cans and bottles! Hahaha
10) Our view every day crossing the bridge to and from our apartment!
11) Elder Imlay's $7 umbrella! Hahaha

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

It's Just Not NYC Without Public Transportation

(Greeting with an exclamation mark and a smiley face)! :)

So, I decided that I am a slight fan of writing my emails in bulleted-list form. It makes it easier for my scattered mind to comprehend what I am actually telling all of you. Here is what I have for you this week:

Ward Party
So, just a little back ground on the ward. The members here are fantastic!!! I really love them and love being part of their ward here in Rego Park. However, the members don't really know each other very well and don't take care of each other. A large focus we are trying to work on with the leadership of the ward is help the ward actually become a ward. Home and Visiting teaching aren't really a thing here, so if the members need help they always just ask the missionaries, not help from people they know in the ward. With that being said, we had a ward party on Friday! Wahoo! We had tons of food, a silent auction to get the young men money for a camp out, and a talent show! It was a ton of fun! It helped a TON with the members getting to know each other as well. It is going to take a lot of effort and a lot of time to get the ward where it needs to be, but they are definitely taking steps in the right direction. A lot of the progress of the ward so far is a result of our ward mission leader, Brother Nunez. A lot of the members really like him and he has some really good ideas on how we can further help the ward. I am excited to see what Heavenly Father has in store for the Rego Park 1st ward! Wow, being a missionary is the coolest!!!

All By Myself...
Funny story for the week: So, we were on our way to a lesson with Joe and we decided to bring Deyshawn (less-active member) with us. We were walking down the subway station and realized that our train had just pulled up down the stairs. We started rushing down the stairs. The train door was only half way open for some reason, so we looked at it for a second thinking about how strange it was. We then remembered we needed to hurry and get on the train. Deyshawn gets on followed by myself. The door closes and Deyshawn looks at me and says, "your companion!" I turn around to see Elder Imlay on the other side of the closed subway door as the train speeds off, leaving my dear companion in the station. Luckily, we were only planning on going a couple stops, so we waited for him to arrive in the next train. Nothing bad happened, so that is good!

Finding On the Bus!
Elder Imlay and I were on our way home for the night yesterday. We had meetings ALL day and were dead tired. We decided that we were going to find at least two people to share the Book of Mormon with that night. We talked to a bunch of people all night, but no one was really open to talking with us. It was time to go home, so we went to the bus stop. We were the first ones there, so we waited while the line continued to grow in size. After trying to talk with the people standing next to us for 10 minutes, the bus finally came. Since Elder Imlay and I were going to be the first people on the bus, we decided that in order to find our two people we needed to divide and conquer. I sat down in the center of the bus, while Elder Imlay made his way to the back. Once I sat down, I started praying that Heavenly Father would have someone sit next to me who I could have a conversation with. The bus filled up quickly as the HUGE line made its way into the bus. No one would sit by me. They would take a look at my name tag and turn away. I then decided to not make people feel awkward and just stare out the window of the bus. The seat next to mine was the last available seat on the bus until a woman sat there and immediately started scrolling on Facebook. The bus started to move, so after a minute I decided to talk to her. She turned out to be one of the kindest people I have met out here! Her name is Julietta and she is from Albania. As we started talking about where she worked and about her family, she put her phone in her purse and started asking me questions about what I do and about my family. I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to testify to her about the Book of Mormon and the powerful difference it has made in my life. I then offered her a copy and she said that she was actually going to ask me for it but didn't want to be rude! I gave her the Book of Mormon, and she said she can't wait to start reading it with her family. She also said she would love to have her family talk more with us about it and about God and Jesus Christ. She had to get off the bus before we could set an actual appointment, but we did get her phone number! I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for answering my prayers and putting me in the path of someone who He has been preparing to receive the Gospel!

There was so much more that happened this week, but time is running short. So, I will just leave it at that. I hope you all know that I love you and that I have a testimony of the gospel and of Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven. Thanks for everything! Love you all!

Elder Snell

Picture Parade!
1-5) Our new apartment!
6) My studly companion!
7) The view from the church building
8-10) The only way it was possible to get that couch out of the Elder's basement apartment.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

April Showers & Moving For Hours

Letter from May 1, 2017

Hi, Friends!

This week just seemed to fall right through my fingers! I can't believe it is already May! Sometimes, I wish time would just slow down a little. Anyway, here is a quick overview of the things that may or may not have actually happened this week:

Weather Changes
The weather got really nice this past week: overcast and raining every day! I love the rain! My umbrella has been getting a really good workout. However, on Saturday the weather decided to play a trick on everyone. It spiked up to the upper 80s and was super humid! It was pretty exciting, and just sucks the energy right out of you! It cooled right back down yesterday and this morning, though.

Chris & Nadia's Baptism!
Yup, that's right! After meeting with missionaries for over 4 years, the Kellers finally entered the waters of baptism last week! I was able to work with them in Plainview for the past 9 months. Words cannot even being to express how happy I am for them! I am super sad that I wasn't able to be there for it, but I am unbelievably happy for them :) I will put a picture of them at their baptism at the end of my email.

Moving, Moving, Moving, guessed it, more Moving.
So, the elders quorum president, Brother Inagaki, was asked to gather a group of people together to help move a family in the ward out of their apartment. So, he called us and asked if we would be willing to help out. We were happy to help along with some of the other members of the elders quorum. The Reeds, the family we helped move, lived on the 18 floor of their apartment building. It was a party fitting their sofa and kitchen table in the small apartment complex elevators to get them down to the dumpster! Right after we finished helping the Reeds move, we got a text from Bishop Lindstrom saying there are some other member who also needed help moving that day. No one else was able to help out, so we headed down to the southern part of our area, and helped them move some furniture and boxes into their moving trailer. This one didn't long at all :) When we got home that night (Friday), we got a call from a non-member friend of a member of the ward. The non-member, Kathy, had some friends who were moving and needed help with their stuff. So, on Saturday night, Brother Nunez (our ward mission leader) came with us to Bob & Marie's apartment to help them pack up and move out. When we got home Saturday night, we got a call from the Johnson's. They are the Senior couple missionaries in charge of housing for the mission. They informed us that the lease for our current apartment expired and that they just got us a new apartment. So, we are going to be moving all of our furniture and belongings to our new apartment tomorrow! Wahoo! I have been super exhausted this weekend. However, I haven't slept this well in a long time! :)

Adrian Gonzalez
We had another amazing lesson with Adrian this week! We taught him the first half of the Plan of Salvation and talked a bit about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The entire time during the lesson Adrian would say, "Ah, that makes so much sense!" It was a really neat experience to see his questions being answered and feeling the spirit. Part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Adrian loved that after you are baptized, you are given the gift of having the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. We invited Adrian to be baptized and was super excited to say YES! He is now on date for baptism on May 27th. I am so excited to continue to watch his progression in the gospel and feel Heavenly Father's love for him!

Family Home Evening
Sister Panoussi and Sister Persinger had a wonderful idea that we should get some our investigators and recent converts together with some members at the church Sunday night and have family home evening with everyone all together. It was super neat! We had about 10-11 people there. We did a little getting to know you game and then the Sisters taught the lesson. They did an amazing job teaching about Obedience and the blessings that come from doing what Heavenly Father asks of us. The spirit was super strong as we all read scriptures together, shared insights, and testified of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father to each other. Charles, one of our investigators, said that he wasn't going to come, but something within him pushed him out the door and over to the church. He was talking with me afterward and said that he was really grateful that he came. He felt that he had no one in his life--no friends to lean on and have support from--and that coming to family home evening really helped him feel the love of God and feel loved by others in the ward. It as really incredible! 

I love this gospel SO much! I am so grateful for the things I am learning from Heavenly Father every day. I am truly grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ, for always being there for me when I need Him :)

I love you all! Thanks for all the love and support! Have a beautiful week and party on!

Elder Snell

Presentation of Pictures

1) Elder Imlay, Jim Galloway, and I. Jim Galloway hands out bars of soap at church sometimes! He's the greatest!
2) The Reeds bought us Costco pizza after we helped them move!
3) Brother Nunez, our Ward Mission Leader.
4) Jamal and his pet turtles
5) This is the classic apartment complex out here. You should see then inside...Luxury.
6-7) HUGE cemetery we found the other day!
8) Chris & Nadia Keller's BAPTISM!!!!!!!! Love them so much!!!!