Monday, August 11, 2014

Texas Week 1: The Arrival, the Humidity, and the (almost) Evicition

HEY Y'ALL. Haha I feel like that's something i have to say! WOW i am here in texas in san antonio and i love it more than i can convey over this email!! Mom and dad, why have we never been here before?! It's the best place, seriously. And everything is awesome and good and I'm just having the best time here! I'll break down the past few days for y'all:

Wednesday: We got up at like 3:55 to report to the MTC travel office by 4:30. We were doing great on time, then we actually realized how much luggage we had. Haha. It took us forever to get it all to the travel office. We were like 15 minutes late. The whole bus was full of people and when Sister Best and I got on, they all clapped. #somuchshame. Then they drove us to frontrunner, which we took to trax in salt lake. Imagine like 17 missionaries hauling all of their luggage up an escalator. yep, that was us. then we took trax to the airport. then we checked in, went through security, ate cafe rio burritos(never too early for that!), and called home. It was so much fun. Then we freakin boarded the plane to our MISSION. AHh. Spook city. The plane ride was nerve racking. Then we landed, there were no mountains, and we stepped off into so much humidity. President Slaughter was there with a bunch of other missionaries. He is probably one of the very best people you will ever meet. Ever. A total of 31 missionaries arrived to our mission on Wednesday, and 28 had just gone home that morning. Crazy, huh? So we loaded our stuff into these giant vans and our luggage into a uhaul, and we were off to the mission home! We took pictures, ate lunch, talked with the sisters, and had interviews with President. Then we went to the Alamo! We crossed the line committing ourselves to the Lord's work for the next 18 or 24 months. It was awesome. Then we went and placed a Book of Mormon. Sister Best and I gave ours to a mom and daughter who were visiting San Antonio with some cousins who happened to be LDS. So that was scary and fun all at the same time. Haha. Then we went back to the Slaughter's, ate a delicious barbecue dinner, BLUE BELL ICE CREAM(because that's a normal thing here!), and went over mission stuff and got to know the Slaughters. They are seriously amazing people. Their children are the best too. They're all teenagers except one, and two of them have decided to do online school so that they can focus more on missionary work. #wut #blessed. You all have permission to feel bad about yourselves now. Haha. ALSO i saw elder rasmussen from lehi utah that night! so that's very fun! So then all of us headed to a sisters' apartment for the night. There were like 15 sisters, and we just slept wherever. we were soooo exhausted, it didn't even matter!

Thursday: we woke up at 5:30, got ready, and headed to the Stone Oak Stake center for TRANSFERS! there were also a bunch of youth there because they're doing a mini mission for a week! we ate breakfast, had a meeting, then president slaughter had us line the halls. we walked in as called to serve was being sung, and all of the other missionaries were in there watching us new ones. haha it was awesome. Then they called out transfers and companions. My companion is....Sister Stidham! She is from Sandy and she is awesome! She has been out for 3 months, so she just finished her training, crazy, right? We are in the Castle Hills A area, in the Castle Hills Ward, so we're right by San Antonio. and we have a car! it is so hot and humid here, so i'm very grateful for that! we went to the apartment(which is like WAY nice) did weekly planning, then went knocking, visiting less actives, and meeting ward members. Everyone here is so awesome. It was a gooood first day. We ate at a members house that night, so that was fun. then we had a meeting with brother zernzach, the ward mission leader. he seriously puts all others to shame. He's a convert and is beyond dedicated to his calling. he helps us with literally everything we need and he's the greatest.

Friday: we got up at 6:15, went to the gym in our complex(seriously, the best) then got ready and did all our of studies. I am so sleepy during study time, it's the biggest struggle ever. haha. but nothing new for me, right? We went to lunch at Zoe's Kitchen, super great pitas and such. Then we had more training. then we did a lot of knocking. I'm kinda scaredy of street contacting and knocking because it's so different, but i'm getting better! We went around and met a bunch of ward members. Our ward is seriously so incredible. Lots of the members you see on The District 1, are in our ward. So that's cool. We headed home to eat dinner, took a NAP(!), then headed off to our appointments. We watched the people we went to see leave as we pulled in, so that was sad. Then we did a lot of knocking. So there are 2 things I had no idea about when coming here. 1. EVERYONE has a dog. and most of them are small, weird dogs. so every door we knock, a dog barks and freaks out. it's thrilling. 2. there are more apartment complexes here than anywhere in the world i've ever been. seriously it's rare if we are near houses. it's so weird.  So we just visited people, got a referral from the elders of a lady who is super interested, stopped to get drinks and came home to a note on our door. There are other sisters that live with us (but they're moving out tomorrow, so Sister Stidham and I each get our own bathroom. Hahaha.), so we thought it was a note from them. Nope, it was an eviction notice telling us to move out by Monday night because we hadn't paid rent! hahaha. so great. I'll send pics of it. we called the elder in charge, and he said he'd take care of it, so false alarm. still so funny though. 

Saturday: we worked our tails off on saturday! It was SOOO hot and humid out, but hey, when you're sweaty and gross, it doesn't really matter anymore! at this point i had 7 bug bites, i now have 8, so it's Itch City USA over here. All of our appointments fell through, so we did a ton of knocking. People are really nice to us when we knock. We usually just give them a card and we talk about how a Christ centered home is important. Then they tell us they're impressed by what we do, tell us to stay cool, and we move on. They're so nice here and so genuine. Everyone loves Jesus, so it's nice that we can all agree on that. We stopped by the Martinez family's house in our ward for water, and they gave us salsa. spicy, but good. this family makes every new missionary come for dinner and try really, really hot peppers. So this wednesday should be fun. haha. After that we kept on knocking. We knocked this huge street of houses and talked to a few people. The second to last house, we met this pastor. He basically told us that he was worried for our salvation because of the church, that we shouldn't worship joseph smith, that we are the false churches the bible warns of, etc. Haha. Then he said that he believed in Jesus. We just nodded along, and asked if we could give him a card. He said yes, if he could give us one of his, so we exchanged. He was really trying to sway us from our beliefs. We walked away and looked at the card, which was black and titled "Who will NOT be saved?". It's just interesting that we give him a card with a picture of Jesus and he gives us that. Definitely built my faith, didn't break it down. We ate dinner at the RS president's house, that was really fun. Then we did more knocking and visiting LAs. Then we went to another referral from the elders, a man who requested a book of mormon and gladys knight cd. Hahaha. He was so excited and said "now i have something to listen to, and to read!". so we're going to visit him again tomorrow.  so saturday was a hot, really good day. My companion is seriously so great. We totally get along and we both like to take naps during lunchtime, so what more could i ask for? it's awesome.

Sunday: We got ready studied, and headed to meetings and to to church. I experienced my first ward council, so that was fun. Lots of people to meet and lots of names to remember. I'll have to work hard at that. We had one investigator come, so that was nice. But i haven't met him yet. Haha. He left after sacrament meeting. My embarrassing moment thus far: Brother Zernzach asked me where I was from, and I replied "The MTC." #green haha. We meet with all of the ward missionaries and such. They are all the greatest people. Seriously I LOVE everyone here in Texas so much. They're all so hardworking and willing to help. The ward is amazing and they feed us basically every night. Brother Green is another ward mission leader and he has already said he's taking us out on my birthday. When we left church it was 107 degrees and very humid. I picked up my water cup in the car, took a sip, and realized that I should start carrying little hot chocolate pouches with me, because it was the perfect temperature for that. Haha. After church, we ate, napped, then headed out to visit people. We had two really amazing appointments, one with potential investigators, and another with a part member family. It went soooo well and it just felt so great. I love being here so much. It's exactly where I'm needed, and I feel so welcome. 

Today we've cleaned, I bought a new blanket and pillow (Spiderman comforter!), we went grocery shopping, went out to eat, then came here to email! We have Zone Pday activities next, then dinner with members and some lessons. I'm working hard and loving it! Seriously this is the greatest thing I've ever been a part of, and I'm so happy to be here. I wish y'all could meet the people i have and see how green and pretty and flat it is here! thanks for the support and the letters and everything. y'all are amazing! 

Love y'all!!!

-Sister Snyder


                                    with the eviction notice

                                         Walking around town

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