Thursday, August 3, 2017

Stick of Apple, Stick of Android

July 24th, 2017

"... And they shall be one in mine hand."

Happy Pioneer Day!!! :)

Wow, what a week this has been! I have seen so many miracles, it is incredible! So, I didn't really get to tell you all much about last week, but that is okay because nothing uber special happened.

Last week was a really hard week for me. Our teaching pool was super dead. We didn't have anyone to teach. No one would give us the time to listen to our message. My attitude was a little sour and my motivation fire was a little dimmer than I would have liked. It made me feel like I wasn't capable of anything and I started comparing myself to others. It was not good for me or the work at all! So, I was studying the scriptures and a bunch of talks hoping to receive inspiration about how I could flip my mood around. I came across a talk about becoming a successful missionary. In it, there is a quote that says, "Gratitude is the antidote for comparing yourself to others". I thought to myself that they are right! Being grateful for the things you do have helps you to notice more blessings that you are receiving, and ultimately brightens your mood and helps you to be much more productive. So, I decided that every night I am going to write in a "Gratitude Journal", much like the one I would always see my Mom writing in every night back home. I wrote in this journal little things that would happen throughout the day that I was grateful for. I noticed a change within myself almost immediately! The next day after I started this journal, I was so much happier and was so ready to get out and work hard. This mood hasn't slipped since! This past week, we have found 9 solid new investigators!!! God is SO good!!! Each person we found was a miracle and we wouldn't have found them with the guidance of the Spirit.

We found Tonya the morning after I started my gratitude journal. We had district meeting scheduled for 11:00 that day, and we had to be out of the apartment around10:00. So, Elder Cubas and I decided we would walk around the block the church is on and talk to everyone we could see outside. We passed the church and hadn't run into anyone yet. As we were walking just after the church, we saw a woman sitting in her car with the window rolled down. So, we started talking to her. She said she was just waiting for her friend to come out of an appointment in 30 minutes. Wahoo!!! She had time to talk! We found out that she just lost her apartment and was living with her friends and family while looking for a new apartment. We expressed to her that Heavenly Father knows exactly how she feels and that the message we share is one of happiness, hope, and peace. Tonya said that she used to be religious but fell away, but now as an adult wants to get closer to God and improve on her spiritual side. So, we told her our message can do exactly that, and she asked us what our message was. That was probably the most powerful, spirit-filled 5-6 lessons I have ever been a part of. As a mission we have been focusing on becoming better at short, powerful lessons, and our lesson with Tonya standing outside her car was definitely one of those. As I told her the story of Joseph Smith and told her about his vision of God and Jesus Christ in Joseph's own words, Tonya had tears streaming down her cheeks. I know that the Spirit told her what we were saying was true. At the end of our lesson, and after her asking us for the Book of Mormon we talked about, I invited her to be baptized on August 19th. She immediately grabbed a pen and paper and wrote down the date for her baptism so she wouldn't forget and said, "Yes!". 

So, Elder Adams and I were on a split for the night right after church yesterday. We grabbed some dinner, and headed out of the house to do a look-up and knock doors around the house we planned on going to. As we were walking, I was thinking about something one of my favorite people in the world told me the day before. Something they had done was asking Heavenly Father to help them find someone specific (like a man with a red hat, or something like that). Well, I was thinking about this and said a silent prayer to myself that we would find a man with a red hat that night. Well, we kept walking and talking to whoever was outside when I saw a man with his daughter putting the trash out on the curb. I asked him if he needed any help and made my way over to talk with him. He started asking who we were and what we were doing. One thing led to another, and we ended up teaching him the Restoration through our conversation. Elder Adams and I also talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and he (Marcos) said he would love to read it! We ended up talking with him on the street for over an hour! As I handed him the Book of Mormon while testifying of it, I looked down an Marcos shirt. On it, there was a black and white picture of a man wearing a fluorescent red hat! Marcos eagerly set a return appointment with us when his wife and all three of his daughters would be home! We found a family!!!!!!!!!!

Miraflor is a super kind and sweet old Philippino woman. Her husband had recently passed away, so she moved to New York to have a change of pace and get her mind off of things. One night, she was searching the internet for a church nearby and came So, she requested a Book of Mormon. We got the referral for her request and gave her a call. She told us that she would love to come to church and meet with us on Sunday! So, yesterday, Miraflor came to church! Before church started (she came over an hour early), we taught her about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration and gave her what she had requested from Miraflor is really excited to continue coming to church and learn more and more from meeting with us!

Zaida & Christelle
Elder Cubas and I decided to go knocking one night really close to our apartment. We knocked for quite a bit with almost zero success. As we were knocking a door, we noticed a woman sitting on the balcony outside of her second floor apartment. So, with the drive to talk with everyone, we started yelling up to her. She (Zaida) though we were really weird, so she was curious enough to continue talking to us from her balcony. We attempted to teach her the Restoration, but cars would not stop driving past us and making tons of noise! Eventually, Zaida decided she was curious enough to come down to us to talk more. When she came to the door, she brought her 19 year old daughter, Christelle, with her! We taught them both the Restoration and invited them to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. They both committed to read and pray about it. We set up another appointment with them and invited them to come to church. They said they would definitely try it out sometime soon! They are both really awesome investigators!!!

Wow, missionary work is the best!!!!!!!!!!

Well, I am sorry for the super long email this week! I am just blown away at how much the Lord is truly blessing this area right now! This field is definitely white and Heavenly Father has just hit His harvest season in Astoria. 

I will wrap up my email with just a couple other highlights from the week:
After 60 days of our new smartphone test, we finally got our iPads back! In better news, we passed our trial run and now the Church is starting to introduce smartphones into other missions in the United States! I honestly can't imagine trying to do missionary work without the technology we have been blessed with. It is so incredible! President Reynolds always says that mission presidents from other places in the US ask him how he handles having Facebook and smartphones with data and how they could never be able to do it. He just tells them, "Well, if you haven't ever driven a Cadillac, you don't miss one!" 
I gave my talk in the family ward yesterday! I thought it went very well :) I talked about how members and full-time missionaries can become more united in the work of salvation through studying and applying Preach My Gospel! If you would like a copy of my talk, just let me know and I will send it your way :)
I had exchanged with Elder Adams on Thursday and Friday. He is going home in 4 months. Elder Adams is a really great missionary and a fantastic teacher! I had a lot of fun on my exchange with him and learned a lot from him. I only hope that I was able to teach him something new and help him out a little.

Well, I think that is finally it! Hahahaha Thanks for sticking with me and reading this much. I sure do love each and every one of you! I hope you have the most amazing of week! Know that Heavenly Father loves and knows you!

Love ya!
Elder Snell

1-4) Me and my bird friend! He was the best! Sadly, he wasn't able to
fly very well. It was slightly windy, so when he tried to fly he ended
up doing summersaults into oncoming traffic. I rescued him, and he
tried to fly one more time. This time, he made it a little further,
but the wind was again not his friend and he ran into a light attached
to a building 3 stories up and fell to the ground. I ran over to him
and watched him take his last breath before passing on into the next
5) Elder Adams giving a workshop in District Meeting! :)
6-7) I made Ninjabread Men for Preparation Day! They were super yummy!
8) Sweaty man with a stick! He told me he was planning on using the
stick for firewood.
9-10) District pictures! (Sister Kim, Sister Panoussi, Elder Adams,
Elder Snell, Elder Cubas, Elder Heiner)
11-14) Here are some pictures of Long Island City! Welcome to my new area :)
15) Just a quick video :)

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