Monday, November 17, 2014

Zone Meeting, Food, Cold Weather, and a BAPTISM

* quick note: sorry this has taken forever to post an update. Michelle has spent a few weeks sending only personal emails to those who have written her. Here is her latest update from a group email she sent out today! thanks y'all! 

Hello friends and family!!! I hope y'all are doing well and enjoying the (almost) holiday season. We've been listening to Christmas music for a while now, so it feels like the holidays! Also this past week has been "cold". So like in the 40s. Haha. Which is pretty cold for here in November. So we've been able to wear sweaters and coats and gloves and scarves and hats. Which is a dream come true for me! So that's been a lot of fun. Also, hot chocolate! 

This past week was so great. We taught some really good lessons, were asked some really challenging questions, and met some really great people! Also, the members of our ward completely spoiled us and took us out to eat like 50 million times and made us massive meals each night. We left each meal so beyond full. We're so blessed to have such great members here!

Thursday we had Zone Meeting, which is always a good time! President Slaughter spoke first and then did interviews. It's crazy how in my first transfer, I literally could not think of one thing to say to/ask President. This time was the complete opposite. Haha. But that was all great. I really wish y'all could meet the Slaughters. They are the most amazing family. Some day you'll see him speak at General Conference or something. Haha. 
     During the rest of the meeting, we receive some awesome trainings. When Elder Hamula was here, he talked a ton about being fully consecrated and paying the price to be successful and consecrated missionaries. So that's what the meeting was really focused on. We talked about how once we truly, truly understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ, then we can become truly consecrated because we will desire to share the gospel with everyone, our thoughts will be focused on Christ, and our actions will prove what our thoughts and desires are. 
     We also talked about having the faith to succeed. Elder Hamula told us that all of us had the faith to serve because we're here, but that many of us lacked the faith to succeed, and it's necessary to be a successful missionary. So we focused on that a lot too. All of the trainings were great and were a huge reminder of my purpose as a missionary, which is to boldly invite others to come unto Christ. So that's something I'm really trying hard to work on. 

So the very greatest thing about this week was that our sweet Ukrainian investigator(A) was finally baptized!!!! Best day ever. She has been taught since January, so I was so honored to be  here when she was baptized. She told me I was the special one. Haha.  The baptism was Friday night at 7, and the Castle Hills B sisters were having a baptism also. So we were supposed to meet her at the church at 6:30 to get her ready. Of course the traffic on the freeway was awful and there was an accident, but we made it by 6:45, she had got there at 5:50, and was all excited and ready to go! Haha. She took 1 million pictures, loved her white dress, and was so happy. It was so great. We had talks, we did a musical number of Nearer My God to Thee with the other sisters, then they were baptized!  It was such a great night.

       Then yesterday, she was confirmed in sacrament meeting, and it was amazing. She felt the Spirit so strongly and was so happy all throughout church. Everyone was talking to her and welcoming her. Sister Slaughter was at our sacrament meeting because her daughter was speaking, and A went up to her and they talked and now they're facebook friends. hahaha. Oh man. Too great. I wish y'all could meet her, then you would just know. She's too great. After church, we were some of the last to leave, and we saw A's car still in the parking lot. We went up to her and she rolled down her window and said that she couldn't drive. So we asked what was wrong and she said that she just needed to think and that she felt so "full". She said she just felt so good and different and that things had changed within the last few days since being baptized. It was so awesome and she was just so happy. It reminded me to never take for granted the gift of the Holy Ghost. It really is so special and unique and it's not something everyone has. The next goal with her is to go do baptisms at the temple in December. We're so excited!

Sorry this was long, it was just a great week! Thank you for the love and support y'all give me! Keep praying for missionary opportunities and don't be afraid to be bold. I love y'all so much and hope you have a great week!!! :)

Sister Snyder

hola y'all - October 27th email update

Hi y'all!! Sorry I didn't email last week, I ran out of time! 

We got transfer calls last night....Sister Stidham is leaving, doubling into a new area, and training. And I'm staying to finish training Hermana Ormsby and we're getting another missionary to train! Haha I hope I do a good job! I get to drive the car now which is really exciting for me, because it's kind of been a while. But I'm really excited and I'm so happy I get to stay in the Castle Hills ward because I love it so much! But I will miss Sister Stidham terribly! She has been the best trainer ever and I love her dearly! But she's been here for six months, so it's time to move on! She did say something really funny yesterday though. She was trying to say "we all", and it came out "w'all", like "y'all". Haha. Texas. Another thing that = Texas is the fact that every Sunday night as we walk around apartment complexes, everyone is barbecuing and the air is just full of the haunting aroma of smoked meat. Haha it kills us.

Because I didn't email last week, many of y'all probably don't know that my sweet Ukrainian investigator wasn't able to get baptized because she had to work, and she's been out of town for the last week. But hopefully soon! Thanks for caring so much about her!

This last week, as always, was full of its ups and downs, but overall, it was really great and rewarding! We had a lot of lessons that we were really excited for, and then no one would answer, and we got dropped by an investigator. It got super frustrating and I felt very whiny, and then Wham! Blessings in the form of meeting new people, or having a different lesson go really well. It made me feel so ridiculous to have been complaining in my mind so much, and then Heavenly Father still blesses me. Very, very humbling, and very motivating. It was a really good reminder not to get so caught up on the dumb little things that I let the good things slip by. 

On Thursday Elder Hamula of the Seventy came to talk to our mission. It was awesome. His wife is hysterical and really stressed to us the importance of talking to EVERYONE and using our area book all of the time. Then Elder Hamula talked a lot about being consecrated missionaries and truly giving every day our all. Something that he said that I loved was, "You cannot teach what you are not living." And it's so true.

         Another thing he talked about was the fact that many of us had enough faith to serve. We're here, we're doing it. But do we have enough faith to succeed? Do we start everyday with complete faith that we will find people and with the determination to work our very hardest? 
      The last thing that I really enjoyed him talking about was receiving personal revelation. He gave 4 steps to receiving personal revelation. 1. You need to ask. 2. You need to have a true desire to receive an answer, and you must have faith that you will. 3. You need to be committed to act on the revelation you receive. There's no point in receiving an answer if you're not going to do anything about it. 4. You need to listen. He talked about living in a way that allows you to be able to hear. He said, "If you cannot stand the quiet, you won't hear the quiet voice that speaks." To me, this means during study time, or at the temple, or just slowing down for a second to really listen and seek answers.

He taught us some really great things, and we were blessed to hear from him again at stake conference on Saturday and Sunday. The weekend was awesome and I seriously learned so much.

Remember the father and son we've been teaching? Well we went for a lesson on Friday night, and his son wasn't there, so we still taught. He had 4 more things to be taught, and a baptismal date was still up in the air, so we asked him about it.

Everything is coming along great, and this next week will be really exciting! I'm excited for our new sister and this upcoming baptism!  I'll let y'all know how things go next week and I'll send some pics! 

Thanks for the continued support and prayers. It means the world to me, and I'm so grateful to have y'all backing me up while I have the best experience of my life!!

Have a great week!!

Love, Sister Snyder :)

P.S. We have the ward Halloween party this week and our costumes'll have to see next week what we're going to be!