Saturday, September 27, 2014

Transfers, the Temple, and our new Hermana

Hi y'all! Hope everyone had a good week!  

This past week was really great!

We were super excited all week to get our new companion! I was getting a bit nervous to train, but after our training meeting on Wednesday with President Slaughter, I was feeling good! He is seriously the greatest person. For real. Transfers were Wednesday, so that night we were planning an getting everything ready. 

Thursday morning was transfer meeting! We got there and sat in the chapel singing hymns waiting for the new missionaries to walk in. When they did, we all sang Called to Serve and then a few people spoke. Then all of the new missionaries introduced themselves. There was a sister who stood up and said she was from Sydney, Australia, but she was spanish speaking, so i was bummed, because i figured we wouldn't receive an hermana. But sure enough, when they announced the Castle Hills A Area, they called out Hermana Ormsby! yay! So now we have an Aussie with us and we get to do language study with her, so it's awesome. And the night before she got here, I received a package from the Ramseys in Australia, and they sent me a bunch of Aussie treats that I was able to share with her! It was awesome. We're all having a great time together and it's a lot of fun. Biking in a trio is really funny. Haha. 

Friday we went to the temple grounds with our Ukrainian investigator and a woman in our ward. The temple grounds here are amazing and it's the highest point in San Antonio, so it has a great view. We talked about the importance of the temple, what kind of work we can do, and she absolutely loved it. She made me take literally 100+ pictures of her. Haha she's the greatest. Her baptismal date is still set for october 10th, so we're really excited! 

A really cool thing happened this week while we were knocking a neighborhood. it was in the early afternoon, so not a lot of people were home, but this man answered, and said that he was a marriage counselor at a christian church. We started talking about Jesus Christ, and he shared with us that he thinks that we can truly come to know and love Christ through others, and by being Christlike ourselves. We talked to him for a while, he showed us some really cool Christian artwork, and he asked us for advice on how to counsel a man and his wife who was struggling. It was a really cool experience, and he told us to stop back if we ever needed anything. 

I love how much people here love Christ. They may not accept our message right now, but realizing how much our Savior has done for us is so vital to our lives. Christ and His Atonement are really what it's all about. it's amazing. The scripture we've been sharing with everyone this week is Alma 5:48:

"I say unto you, that I know of myself that whatsoever I shall say unto you, concerning that which is to come, is true; and I say unto you, that I know that Jesus Christ shall come, yea, the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, and mercy, and truth. And behold, it is he that cometh to take away the sins of the world, yea, the sins of every man who steadfastly believeth on his name." 

I seriously love being here so much. This gospel is the biggest blessing in my life, and we need to stay steadfast in it. 

I love y'all so much and hope you have a great week!

-Sister Snyder

Friday, September 19, 2014

Pepper Challenge, Zone Meeting, and Transfer Calls

Hello friends and family! I hope that you have all had a fabulous week like I did! Instead of writing out what I did each day, I just wanted to tell y'all about some fun things I did and some amazing things I learned.

First lets start with the pepper challenge. Remember when I first got here and said that a family in the ward always makes the new missionaries eat the Ghost Chili? well i didn't make it over there until this last week. We had a really great dinner, then it was time for me to eat the pepper! It's the 3rd hottest pepper in the world, and I ate like 1/4 of it. They film the whole thing and their kids sat there fanning me. Hahaha. They counted down as i chewed for 20 seconds, then i had to swallow, and it was the worst/funniest/i dont even know what feeling! haha. SO HOT. my eyes watered, I was sweating, and i just kept drinking milk and eating ice cream! after like 15 minutes, it started to wear off. ah man, good times! hopefully i can attach some of those pics. the whole time sister stidham was laughing at me haha! so much fun! 

Another fun thing was that our sweet investigator from the Ukraine came to church yesterday! We totally didn't expect it and her baptism date for october 10th is still on! she LOVED church and is making good friends with all of the Relief Society women. Hooray! Also, Sister Stidham and I taught young women's about how what we say affects us and those around us. So think about that and use kind words and tones! Watch the video called "Bullying--Stop It" that the church made, it's really good! Also, she wanted me to ask my friends and family to please pray for Ukraine, that they will have peace.

Last night we had transfer calls!! We knew that a third missionary would be coming into our area because the elders dropped off another bed earlier this week, but we didn't know our fate. So last night one of the APs called and said that we were both staying, and that we'll be training a brand new missionary! Yay! So we're really excited about that! Transfer meeting is on thursday, so we'll meet her then and then get going! I'm super happy I'm staying in Castle Hills. I love it so much here!

Another thing that really hit me hard this week was my purpose. I'm finally in a really set routine as a missionary and it's just what I do, and i just really love having such a strong and life changing purpose. Our missionary purpose for our mission starts with "I have been called of Jesus Christ through inspiration to serve in the Texas San Antonion Mission." I truly believe that, and it's so humbling. I'm so thankful for my calling as a disciple of the Lord. "I have been called of Him, to declare His word, among His people, that they might have everlasting life." (3 Nephi 5:13) 

I just wanted to tell y'all that I firmly believe in this gospel of Jesus Christ. I know without a single doubt that He knows each of us by name, He sacrificed Himself for each of us, and it is through following His gospel and commandments that we will return to the presence of our Heavenly Father to live with our families eternally. It is the greatest blessing we ever have and ever will be given. Don't ever forget it, and keep working hard to serve others and be like Christ. I'm beyond grateful to be serving in the TSAM, and I seriously love every second of it. I can honestly now say that there is nowhere else i would rather be than here. 

I love y'all so much and wish you the very best, happiest week!

Love always,

Sister Snyder

              Here's the pepper challenge! Haha. This family is the best, and their kids were fanning me the whole time!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 5: Sickness, Rain, and a Birthday

Hello everyone! This past week was really bizarre and funny, but really good and rewarding as well! Sister Stidham and I laugh at everything and we just have the greatest time. Thank you for all of the sweet birthday wishes and packages! I'm so happy to know all of you and I hope that y'all are doing well!

Monday was quite the experience. Haha. We went downtown to the Mercado with the other sisters and the Parsons, and were having a great time. We ate street tacos, and my sweet companion bought an horchata. On the way home, my sweet companion got soooo sick with the worst food poisoning you could imagine from the horchata. For real. Like everything you would think, plus hives and passing out. All in the men's bathroom at a random panda express. Hahahaha. we got her home and she rested for the night, and then she was good! So it was a fun/sad day! haha.

Tuesday we met with a lot of members, active and less active and it was really fun! We took it pretty easy because we didn't want Sister Stidham to get sick again.

Wednesday we had district meeting! I gave a training on diligence and beginning with the end in mind. Perfect for me right? It went really well and we had a great discussion and I sure learned a whole lot! Later that day we taught 3 more lessons that went really well! Seriously we have such great investigators and their faith is amazing. We set a baptismal date for the woman from Ukraine! wooo. She wanted it to be on 10/10, so october 10th it is. Haha. That night we didn't have a dinner, and it was starting to get stormy. we were going to stop at this bagel shop, but it was closed, so we bought lunchables and gatorade from a walgreens, took cover from the rain in a donut shop, then finished eating outside after the rain was done. It was too great. We love it when it rains here! Any cover from the sun is awesome.

Thursday was my birthday! yee. We had cake and ice cream at the Parsons, and Sister Parsons made the most amazing cake ever. She like shaves the chocolate by hand and curls it and stuff. Haha so that was awesome. Then we did some knocking and visiting, it rained (!), and we went to dinner with Brother Green, which was so much fun. Then we saw a cat climb a tree and almost get stuck. when it finally got down, I rolled down the car window and clapped at it, and it turned back, stared right at me, then ran off. oh man, I DIED laughing.  We ended the night with a really good lesson about the commandments! it was awesome.

Friday and Saturday we visited people, taught a lesson, and Sister Smith was with us. We went to the mission office for some stuff, so that was fun. Also we found another cockroach in our closet! ahhh.

Yesterday was such a good Sunday! We had our meetings before church, then church, which was SO good. A farewell and a homecoming for two girls, and they did such an amazing job! We had dinner at the house of one of them after, and it was so fun! I know I say it a lot, but seriously, the members are too amazing here! Then last night we ended up teaching a lesson to this amazing family! we're going back tonight, and it should be good! The husband already knows a ton about the church, and went to institute while he was at training for the national guard. so it's really cool and i can't wait to go back. today we're having a zone bbq, so that will be way sick.

every month my ward emphasizes one part of missionary work to share with others, and this month, it's to teach someone how to do family history, so y'all should do that too! and just take time to help others, even when it may not be most convenient for you. it will make you really happy, i swear! haha. 

thank you for your prayers and support! have a fantastic week!

-Sister Snyder

y'all 4 lyfe

we love texas

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Week 4: Exchanges, Cockroaches, and a Stray Cat

Hello everyone!
The biggest congratulations to my best friend Courtney Bateman who is going to SWEDEN on her mission!
This week was really hot and really fun!
On Tuesday, before we both got in the shower, we found a cockroach in our room. GROSS. so big and moving quick! we caught it in a container, then threw it off of our balcony, so hopefully the people on the first floor enjoy that. haha. but so gross. we visited some LAs, then taught our investigator from Ukraine. She wouldn't let us teach until we drank the water and ate the Butterfingers that she gave us. Haha she's the best. Our lesson went really well, I've never seen someone so willing to pay tithing. That day we also knocked this LA house where no one ever answers, but every time we knock, this dog just howls and barks like nothing I've ever heard. This time when we knocked, someone inside screamed at the top of their lungs, "COOKIE!!" over and over trying to get the dog, whose name is apparently Cookie, to stop barking. We stood there on the doorstep and laughed and laughed. Ah man, good times. Also we see like 5 dead birds a day here. I think the heat just gets to them.
Wednesday was awesome, we had exchanges. I went to Balcones Heights with Sister Simonsen, a Sister Training Leader who heads home in 2 weeks. I learned so much from here, and we talked to literally every person we saw. It was awesome.

Thursday we exchanged back, and Sister Simonsen and I ended up having matching shirts, so we wore them and it was hysterical. I'll try to send pics next week. So after we exchanged back, we headed out for the day, and we really tried hard to talk to every single person we saw. It was so beyond hot and we were just sweating and feeling miserable and knocking and knocking. Then someone let us in and listened to us, and it just made everything so much better. Seriously changes everything and makes any amount of biking or sweating so worth it! Later that night we had another lesson with the father and son we're teaching, but only the father was there, and the lesson went soooo well. He committed to baptism, and really understood what we were teaching. And yesterday, he came to church!! yay!! so hopefully things continue to go well with them.
Friday we had some really good experiences, and some really funny ones. We came across the scroungiest stray cat you could possibly imagine. He looked wasted and was so dehydrated, it was sad. So being the good sisters we are, we went to our car, filled a container with water, then brought it back to the cat. We set it down, the cat looked at it, then ran away so fast. #rudecat haha it was so darn funny. the other funny thing was when i was backing the car out, this guy was taking out his trash. I asked him if I could give him a card. He was like" wait, hang on i think i sense something. Yeah i do. Religion. I sense religion. Starts with an M....hmm... Mormon!" and he waved his hands around while he said it. so funny. so i said "yep, that's us." and he took the card and went on his way, but i just sat there laughing because it was the funniest thing ever.
Saturday we had another great lesson with the father and son, things are really going well there, so we're so happy about that.
Church yesterday was awesome. The very best.
Another thing: I've been able to use my spanish missionary intro like 5 times this week, so that's fun.
So it was a great week, and I'm sure this week will be too! Today we're emailing from the Parsons, then they're taking us to the Mercado, where we can buy our TSAM rings and fanny packs! haha. I'll send pictures next week!

Thank y'all for the continued love and support! Keep praying for missionary opportunities, and don't be afraid to talk to everyone!
love y'all!
-Sister Snyder