Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hi y'all!

Hello dear friends and family!

We had such an incredible week and saw so many miracles! This will be
a short one, but I just wanted to share what's been on my mind. This week I was reading some old conference talks and there were two things specifically that I love. First, it was an opening address to a general conference and President Hinckley quoted a newspaper article about missionaries:

A California newspaper recently commented: “The white shirts, backpacks and bicycles give them away, even before you spot the Book of Mormon.

“They’re stereotyped, for good reason.

“These armies of young men--missionaries in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--are strictly regimented while serving missions around the globe.

“For two years, they spend 60 hours a week doing ecclesiastical work, praying, studying, and telling others about the Gospel that drove them to leave families, friends and the comfort of home behind.

“Contact with their loved ones is limited to letters and two calls a year.

“They live frugally, in private homes and apartments with companion missionaries, rising at 6 a.m. to study and pray for guidance in the work they will do until long after the sun sets. …

“This life, they say, is a sacrifice--and the most ‘fun’ they can imagine”.

I'm having the time of my life. Every day is so fun.

The next one is from Elder Holland's talk 'The First Great Commandment'. I think everyone should read this talk, it's incredible. Elder Holland puts in his own words for and exchange between the Savior and Peter, in answering the call to discipleship. I LOVE what
he says:

"To which Jesus responded (and here again I acknowledge my non-scriptural elaboration), perhaps saying something like: “Then Peter, why are you here? Why are we back on this same shore, by these same nets, having this same conversation? Wasn’t it obvious then and isn’t it obvious now that if I want fish, I can get fish? What I need, Peter, are disciples--and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do. Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world. So, Peter, for the second and presumably the last time, I am asking you to leave all this and to go teach and testify, labor and serve loyally until the day in which they will do to you exactly what they did to me.”

I think that says enough.

I love y'all and hope you have a wonderful week!


Sister Snyder

Sent from my iPad

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Hiiii (from June 8)

Hello everyone! How's it going? I hope everyone had a good week and
that y'all are enjoying your summer so far!

Last week was really great! On Thursday morning we went to a meeting where we got our iPads. So crazy that we actually have them. So we spent a few hours setting all of that up and discussing different things, so that's exciting. I'll be honest that I was kind of hesitant about getting one, but they are such an awesome tool. Seriously. Our studies are a lot better, the pamphlets on here are beautiful, and we can share videos and pictures with people right on their doorstep. What a blessing to have such a great tool, and to be able to use technology in a good way.

We met some really awesome people this week. Texans are so faithful and love Christ, it's the best. People love to talk about the importance of believing in God and Christ, and we're excited to get to share more with different people this next week.

Saturday was super awesome because we got to go help with flood cleanup up in Martindale. It's a a small town--population 1200. They had been hit by the flooding here, and needed help. So 140 people and missionaries from our stake met early Saturday morning and headed up there. The sweetest Baptist church hosted us. They fed us like 3 meals and were so sweet! So we split up into different work crews(wearing our awesome yellow vests) and went to help people. We helped this sweet older couple whose barn had been under 5 feet of water. So we cleared it all out. It was good, hard work, but it was awesome. It was crazy seeing the streets lined with everyone's ruined stuff, and seeing trees and everything washed up. They got hit pretty bad. But we're so glad we could help! It was really great.

One thing I really love about being a missionary is being able to answer these great questions of life that people have. We taught the Plan of Salvation to a guy who had never even thought much about where we came from and where we're going, and he loved it. It just clicked
for him and made sense. I also love being able to go into the home of someone you've barely met, and you get to comfort them and help lift them as they work through different trials. It's so important to help others feel the love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for them. And it's amazing she they feel that. One of the best ways for them to feel that is through the scriptures. This last week we were studying Preach My Gospel chapter 5, about the Book of Mormon. Wowie wow is it just the best.

The Book of Mormon is our complete witness of Christ. It unfolds to us doctrine that helps us, guides us, and comforts us. As Elder Holland says, it provides "safety for the soul". That talk he gave in October 2009 is incredible. There's a video that goes with it, called Testimony of the Book of Mormon. It's. Mormon message that I would urge you to watch. I love the Book of Mormon. Everything we believe rests on whether or not it's true, and I testify to you that it is. I know for myself that it is the word of God, translated by His chosen servant, and it provides everything we need to return safely to our Father in Heaven and to be happy in this life. I love this gospel, and the Book of Mormon, with my whole heart.

I love y'all and hope that you have a good week!

Love, Sister Snyder

Sent from my iPad

happy monday! (from June 1)

Y'ALL. Hello hello. What a great week we had. I'm thrilled to say that I bought and voice recorder and that my journaling(is that a word?) has increased by 100% during this last week. Haha. Shout out to my family and future children, you're welcome! We had lots of fun and met some good people! We have a new investigator who is a sweet woman, and hopefully we can meet with her kids and dad next time too! And we had dinner with some sweet nonmembers who just wanted to feed us. People here are SO KIND. I love it! Please keep praying for my sweet Texans and others affected by the weather here! 

I love the Savior and His gospel. I truly do. Every week I learn so much about Him, about Heavenly Father, and even about myself. I can honestly say that I am the happiest I've been in my life, and I love that it's true happiness brought about by learning and living the gospel. Yesterday I was studying helping people make and keep commitments, and Preach My Gospel lead me to Mosiah 2:41. I've read this scriptures many times, but I understand it in a different way now. "...consider on the blessed and happy state of those who keep the commandments of God". Sometimes people will ask us why we're so happy, and I know that it comes from living the commandments of God. It's easier said than done to live the commandments of God, but there is absolutely nothing that will bring us more joy than being obedient out of love. But the blessings continue on: "...and if they hold out faithful to the end, they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness." I cannot imagine anything greater than dwelling with God and my family eternally, and being in a state of never-ending happiness. How blessed we are to have commandments and promises from God that allow us to experience such peace and joy. And this is why it is so vital that those we teach make and keep commitments. They will be happy in a way they have never known. I love that. Keep pushing on. The reward is so worth it!

I love y'all! Have a good week!


Sister Snyder

Transfer 5 in Garden Ridge :) (from May 25)

Hi everyone!!

We have had a fantastic week here and we have been so blessed to be teaching a few families. That's the ultimate. Also we got transfer calls last night! Everyone in the ward was pretty positive that I was leaving because it's been 6 months here, but jokes, I'm staying another transfer here! Haha hooray! I love Garden Ridge. So that will be a total of 7 1/2 months here. I might as well just become a permanent resident. We had some crazy weather on Saturday. We got completely soaked Saturday afternoon, and it was like we were walking through rivers. We had to walk  our bikes to our appointments. Then Saturday night it poured BUCKETS of rain and there was a tornado warning. Good times! 

We had an awesome meeting this past week where we were blessed to hear from two members of the Seventy. This was kind of kickoff meeting for getting iPads, but we hardly discussed the actual iPads themselves. We talked a lot about the why behind iPads, and about how to protect ourselves and use them effectively. It was an awesome meeting. The thing that was stressed over and over again was that this isn't really about getting iPads now or having technology now at all. It's about preparing ourselves for the rest of our lives. The Lord is allowing us to learn good habits now, so that when we return home, we know how to use technology in the very best ways. We'll know how to continue our missionary work, to strengthen people, etc. by using our technology. It's amazing. The other thing they talked a lot about was how much this will bless our future families. Imagine children growing up in a home where they know how to use social media and the internet in a way that will lift and encourage others to be better and be more faithful. It was an awesome meeting and we're excited to get going with using our iPads soon!

Like I said we've been meeting with some amazing families, and it's so exciting. Seriously families are the best. Work is progressing well, and Sister Scott and I are excited to stay here another transfer and see the miracles that will happen! I love the people here and the ward and ahhhh i'm just really grateful to be staying.

Sorry this is getting long, but there's one more thing I want to share with y'all. First, I can't tell y'all enough how much i love being a fulltime missionary. My purpose is to simply help and invite, and it's the absolute greatest thing I have been a part of. I have learned SO, soooo much during the past ten months, and I've learned what really matters in life. I promise you that God knows us, because He created us. The Savior knows us and loves us, because He willingly gave Himself for us, and He suffered through it all out of pure love. He lives today. And I've gained a greater knowledge of the Holy Ghost as the Comforter. Being able to live the gospel and have an eternal perspective is having the Spirit with us.

 I was reading President Eyring's talk from the General Women's session yesterday, called "The Comforter". Please read it! It's incredible. In it, he says that "We lighten the loads of others best by helping the Lord strengthen them." We help others the most as we strengthen their faith in the Lord. What a blessing for both ends. And then what the talk ends with is so great. We read in 1 Corinthians that "charity never faileth." We also read in Moroni that "charity is the pure love of Christ." So then, we know that the pure love of Christ never faileth. That right there is what it's all about. That love, foregivness, and compassion will never fail anyone, no matter what.

I love y'all so much and hope you have the happiest Memorial day and the happiest week!

Love, Sister Snyder

p.s. i'll send pics next week :)

another incredible week (from April 27)

Hello sweet family and friends and fellow missionaries!
This week was just incredible. I know I say that every week, but for reals this one was SO good. Also, this email will be loooong, so if you don't read it all, I understand.

First, I thought I'd start by letting y'all know that I have walked into so many spider webs this past week. So many.

 We had zone meeting/interviews with President, district meeting, and a meeting for trainers/trainees. I learned so, so much about the importance of setting expectations, explaining baptism, and just how the church works. The training meeting on Thursday consisted of the 5 new missionaries and their companions, the assistants, the lead sister training leaders, and the Slaughters. It was so awesome because it was such a small group and you could ask questions whenever. President Slaughter says that we're here to build up the church, and to do that, we need to know the church. So we took some time to go over the church organization, who presides at what, the titles, offices of the priesthood, etc.

We also talked about being consecrated missionaries. I think a lot of it means going above and doing more than following rules, more than being faithful, but truly loving the Lord and allowing ourselves to be changed forever. In Elder Holland's talk "The First Great Commandment", he says "the crowning characteristic of love is always loyalty." If we truly love the Lord and rely on Him, our automatic response will to be loyal and obedient and live that higher law. That love comes from knowing who we are, and what has been done on our behalf. Once we can begin to grasp that immense love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for us, we can begin to love them in the same way and act in a way that shows that. Study Matthew 5 and 3 Nephi 12.
I could go on and on about the different things I've learned, but I'll tell y'all in person one day when I can explain it all better!
This week we had some incredible lessons with Palma and Karen. Palma is still the sweetest, frailest thing, but she wants to be baptized! We're working on her coming to church, but she is so awesome. With Karen we talked about the Bible and Book of Mormon working together, and it was one of the most powerful lessons of my entire mission. The Book of Mormon is true brothers and sisters. Karen also shared with us her point of view of when Sister Reece and I first met her. She said that she had a lot on her plate and that she was doing stuff in her house and said a prayer out loud to be shown what to do next and for help. She said that 15 minutes later, Sister Reece and I knocked on her door, and that's why she immediately let us in. I love her so much, and her faith is incredible. What a blessing to work with such amazing people.
The greatest thing that happened this week was that on Tuesday night we got a phone call from Brother Betancourt telling us that he got his temple recommend and was going to the temple on Saturday, and he wanted us there. So got permission, and on Saturday afternoon we, some other ward members, and one of the missionaries that taught Brother Betancourt, went to the temple for him to receive his endowment. It also happened to be the year mark of when I first went to the temple. There is no other place a missionary or member wants a recent convert to be. It was one of the most incredible experiences I have had at the temple and on my mission. Brother Betancourt was so ready and so happy, and he loved it. The covenants we make are so perfect and loving. Being in the celestial room with him and my ward members was unforgettable. I don't know how I got so blessed to be here with these people, but I am so grateful.
This truly is the work of our Savior and it is our calling to fulfill. I love every part of it.
I love y'all so much and hope y'all have a blessed week.
Sister Snyder