Forgetting Thanksgiving

Elder SnowMcGrath and I completely forgot about Thanksgiving… it was pretty funny. We are so old! And we’re busy…yes I am a Zone Leader now… McGrath and I are zonies..so I have a lot more to do than I used to. I have no internet time… I am thinking of just writing you (Mom) from now on because there is SO much to do. It is SUCH an interesting learning experience. I have to pretty much make all of the decisions… So if my updates are lame that’s why. We have a multizone conference, and I am speaking in it… I also had to be in charge of the interviews with President, and I have to machete the wicked missionaries… hahaha… its fun… so yea… that’s what’s up.

McGrath and me at a house with a really short roof. We didn't fit!!

McGrath and me at a house with a really short roof. We didn’t fit!!

Our Thanksgiving dinner... a simple churrasco... that's what it is called. potatoes, steak, tortillas, beans, and a thing of buttered bread.

Our Thanksgiving dinner… a simple churrasco… that’s what it is called. potatoes, steak, tortillas, beans, and a thing of buttered bread.

We played paintball today! It was a lot of fun!! This is McGrath and me. It didn't hurt or anything, but I got a huge welt on my back. I got shot, and hardly noticed, but at the very end the instructor lifted up my shirt and touched the welt, then it started to hurt. Ha! So we did some fun stuff. It went really well.

We played paintball today! It was a lot of fun!! This is McGrath and me. It didn’t hurt or anything, but I got a huge welt on my back. I got shot, and hardly noticed, but at the very end the instructor lifted up my shirt and touched the welt, then it started to hurt. Ha! So we did some fun stuff. It went really well.

That’s my week… We are going to have some interesting updates now that I am Zone Leader. I am super freaked out to be honest, but McGrath says that I am doing a great job. I hope so. I have a lot to learn. I am over the most sacred Earth on the American continent, and one of the hardest zones in the mission. Yay!!

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Back to Momos!

IMG_5170Hey!! I am in Momos again!! The second half of the city called Los Riscos. There are 2 areas in Momos central, Patzitè and Los Riscos. I get to see all of my old Patzitè buddies all the time. It is awesome!! =D

There is so much work to do here though. I know these people, and what they are like, so I can really get some good work done =)

Really that is it. Time is FLYING! We are midway through November already, and my father, Elder Paniagua, is home!! In his house!! Ridiculous… I can’t believe it. Elder McGrath, my new companion, is a super awesome guy, and we work super hard. He is, I am pretty sure, 100% obedient. It’s great to work with him.

This is us at the changes... with my dad (who is now home!!!) Elder Paniagua, and my son Elder Ponce (who is a zone leader!). It was good to see them again.

This is us at the changes… with my dad (who is now home!!!) Elder Paniagua, and my son Elder Ponce (who is a zone leader!). It was good to see them again.

After we got to Momos with the other newbies we went to eat. Here is another pic of my comp, Elder McGrath, my old friend Elder Oborn and another buddy Elder George at the pizza place that we always ate at.

After we got to Momos with the other newbies we went to eat. Here is another pic of my comp, Elder McGrath, my old friend Elder Oborn and another buddy Elder George at the pizza place that we always ate at.

Here is Elder McGrath who has 20 months in his mission. Here we are eating a dish that my old friend Magdalena made us! ANOTHER GRINGO!!

Here is Elder McGrath who has 20 months in his mission. Here we are eating a dish that my old friend Magdalena made us! ANOTHER GRINGO!!

So by the way... I am an inch taller than my companion... just BARELY!! But everyone calls us the two towers... we attract a lot of attention.

So by the way… I am an inch taller than my companion… just BARELY!! But everyone calls us the two towers… we attract a lot of attention.

Tanner Sullivan sent me a mustache

Tanner Sullivan sent me a mustache

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I love this place!

Elder Snow

 

 

So I had a crazy week….. picture number 1…

IMG_5140That thing in my plate….. is squirrel… yup… squirrel, surprisingly it was delicious. I really liked it. Tastes like chicken… literally.

Picture number 2.

IMG_5139I entered into a Tuj (Tooc) for the first time this week. It is what the aldea folks use to clean themselves. It is a big pyramid thing where a fire is lit inside and water is poured on it, and makes steam. You just chill in that pyramid with the steam for 20 minutes or so while you wipe yourself with these crazy medical leaves that open your pores, and clean you off. They make the Tuj really hot so that you sweat all of the impurities out of your skin, them you start to wipe with the leaves. It is crazy… but afterwards you feel so good, relaxed and refreshed. It is wonderful. A bit of Guatemala culture for ya!

Picture number 3, we went to the mission’s tallest waterfall today.

IMG_5153Well, more or less. They really just took us on a death hike around a place called San Fransisco. It is actually bigger than what the picture dictates. Trust me. It was a good hike though.

Picture number 4.

IMG_5081A picture of our zone… it is called the San Francisco zone. Pure aldeas, nothing more… very tried, patient, humble Elders hahaha. But a really good zone.

That’s about it for this week.

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Hello from Tierra Blanca!

Elder SnowI am in an aldea (translated as ‘little village’)! It is called Tierra Blanca!! Or white earth… nobody here speaks Spanish… all Quiche… (well they speak Spanish, but not that much…heck my Spanish might even be better than theirs! Ha jkjk…) BUT!! Yea… lots of super cool lookin bugs…and lots and lots of nature… it is a jungle… trees, rain… frogs… rivers etc. It is actually pretty awesome! We sleep in the little building next to the chapel (yay no rent!)

I am no longer the DL… but I have a fun fact for you. I was district leader for 1 year… and there have been no other DLs who have been DL for that long in the whole mission!! DAAA

We have a great member who washes our clothes for Q100 a month and does a great job, and we have food and water, so I am fine! I think I will be great here. We will go to Xela for our groceries just like when I was in Momos.

We are doing some great things here as well…investigators are showing up to church, so people in the ward are getting excited.

Hey I love you! Have a great week. I’ll talk to you next Monday! I gotta go…

-Elder Snow

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Some fun things

Elder SnowSo get this… we got to go to the Xela Zoo to render service as a stake! We got to wear those funky looking vests as well… (the yellow shirt things). We painted, constructed, and moved rubble away… it was fun! I also got a few pictures of some animals. Of course the zoo was pretty sketchy… but I am glad I went. It is closed on Mondays so it is impossible to go on Pdays…

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And then of course, the wedding! We are so darn excited for them… they got married yesterday… they had very teary eyes, and we are planning an awesome baptismal service for them on Tuesday so that they feel good for Saturday.

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AND–this recent package only took a month to get to Guatemala!

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Love Zone

Elder SnowI ran into Elder Oborn today and his companion Elder Hays… old buddies that I met when I was in Huehue. We talked about how much we have changed, how much we have experienced, and how old we are! We never thought this would happen… but it has! It scares all of us, but it is good to know that we have experience and that we are starting to see changes and see fruits of our labors… and how bad our English is getting!

Attached is a picture of us last P-Day together as a zone… I can just tell you that everyone you can see in the picture is in my district except for 3 of the Elders… it is so crazy! But I am actually really liking it now. I am finally able to go on divisions with other areas now that I have Elders in the district. In fact I went twice last week to 2 different areas, and we put 2 baptismal dates each! It was a lot of fun!

??????????Here we are after playing volleyball as a zone, and going to a restaurant together. This picture was taken when I wasn’t paying attention, that is why I look pretty ticked, but yea! It was fun. This was the first thing that we did together as a zone since we have been here. We found out that we actually really like each other, and so we planned a zone service last week as well where we all got in a small pickup and drove a million miles away to help a member reap corn in her corn field.

Heading to the corn field

Heading to the corn field

It was even more fun so we are buying zone jerseys with our names on it and everything. This unity has been great for us. We all feel comfortable with our leaders, and are more happy when we work. So that has been a good blessing. We have lots of baptisms coming up, and hope for the best for this month.

IMG_0140 IMG_0141Here is another pic of the Santa Maria right before we got pernowned with rain. It is a pretty legit pic.

I love you! I hope you have a great week =) Don’t worry about me… I’m doing good! Hey!! I hope you haven’t sent the Christmas package, but I need Centrum vitamins… if you have already sent it, I’ll find something else. Don’t worry.

-Elder Snow

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A lot of work to do

Elder SnowSo get this… because of changes, and because of some other uh…. stuff that has happened in the zone, they put me in charge of 3 other areas in this zone! They dropped the other district leader, and now I am in charge of 2/3 of the zone! 7 companionships in total technically… GAH!!! Its hard… but interesting…

We got really close to marrying my friends who I have been working with for months this week… but they got in a fight and postponed it… please say a special prayer for them… we want them to be back to normal by this week, and baptize them this month… fingers crossed!!

We have a lot of work to do this week… I wish I could tell you more… but…

I love you… I hope you are well.. Have a great week! Pray so we can get my friends married…

-Elder Aaron Jacob Snow

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A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Balkans

WildKat Formation

When it comes to traveling in Albania, it’s wise to abandon all preconceived notions about safety, reliability, and punctuality. Getting from pikë A to pikë B here can be stressful from a foreign perspective, but it’s actually pretty simple. You just have to–as with all things in the Peace Corps–be flexible, and then you’ll succeed.

I do the majority of my traveling on furgons and buses. Furgons are nice and fast (unless you get a driver that goes too fast, which can be terrifying), but they are often uncomfortable. Buses are cheaper and roomier, but much slower. So if I’m traveling for business, I usually choose a furgon because it gets me there on time, but if I’m on vacation, I’m fine with a bus. However, there are certain circumstances where neither of these choices are available. Public transportation is scarce after sundown, and unless it’s summer, the daylight runs…

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Two thirds

IMG_0102So changes are tomorrow, and I will be here in Panorama for another change. However Elder Schmidt is going. We took a goodbye picture together at our Zone Conference to commemorate a good buddy-ship… and a goodbye.

Here is another picture of our whole zone! If you look closely you will see my first MTC companion Elder Barringer in there… This is a fun Zone…IMG_0097

Today, thanks to Elder Banks for reminding me, I am 2/3 of the way done with my mission. What a horrible feeling it is. So to help me feel better, I celebrated with a banana split… check it out! It was delicious. This landmark in my mission has caused me to reflect a lot. I feel like I only have 8 months still, not 8 months to go! At least I feel like I am an 8 month missionary. I wish I were better… but I have learned that I am not on the mission to serve myself, but the LORD! And his children. That always helps me feel better. But I also feel like I will be back in no time. So I better work super hard while I still can. There is much to do!IMG_0110

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Mission calls

Elder SnowFirstly: My first kid Elder Rios’ mom sent me a package Christmastime, and I received it 3 weeks ago! I completely forgot to tell you… but I was still grateful to receive a package 9 months late… the candy was old, but it was still a lot of fun.

So get this… you can call your converts from time to time to give them support and help them along in their conversion process. And because it was the year anniversary of my first baptism, Josue, in Cuchumatanes, I decided to give him a call. I talked to him this morning, and he told me that yesterday he got his MISSION CALL!! He is serving in San Pedro Sula Honduras!! He leaves in January! To be honest, I did not think that he was going on a mission. He always talked about how he was going to med school in Cuba, and that he would be leaving in 2013 and would be there for 8 years. That being the case, we still used him a lot when I was in Huehue. He accompanied us a lot on divisions, and we even contacted with him. That and a lot of super awesome support from the ward throughout these 9 months have changed his mind apparently. I’m glad that the Cuchu ward hasn’t forgotten about him, and the he has made this decision. He also said that a reactivated youth got his mission call yesterday too. He decided to come back to church when I was with Elder Ponce. It was awesome to hear that this morning, and made me happy that the hand of the Lord is behind everything. Cool beans!!

-Elder Aaron Jacob Snow

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