Sunday, August 2, 2015

Year Mark, Exchanges, and a Miracle!!!

Hello sweet family and friends!!!
This week was incredible. Every week is, but this week was just top notch. Here's why:
On Tuesday-Wednesday, we went on exchanges with our sister training leaders. I went to Georgetown/Serenada with Sister Record, and I learned so much! We focused on using scriptures more in teaching, which was one of the goals i had set for the exchange. But the thing I ended up learning the most about was the power and authority of my calling. And not in a conceited way. But throught the restored priesthood of Jesus Christ, missionaries are given power from heaven and the authority from God to preach the everlasting gospel to His children. It has been prophecied of for thousands of years. It is my blessing and my privilege. I am literally gathering Israel. We are all working to gather Israel. Knowing this, how can I not teach with power and authority? Knowing who I am called of, why I'm here, and what the everlasting gospel is enstills in me a confidence and love that makes me want to share the gospel with every person in this world. A good question was posed by an elder in my last district, and I've thought about this question a lot this last week: Do I understand the eternal significance of right now? 
On Thursday I hit my year mark. Booo. I really cannot believe I have been a fulltime missionary for a year. It blows me away. It's really sad if you think about it. I only have six more months to share the gospel with the people in Texas full time, to have such a great calling. But it motivates me too. I want to work my aboslute hardest during these last 6 months. And i've also been able to see the growth within myself. I have changed, and i could not be more grateful that i have.
Okay I want to share everything that i study with y'all, but i'll pass on that this week and just share some of the best quotes i came across.
"The choice to come unto Christ is not a matter of physical location; it is a matter of individual commitment." -Elder Russel M. Nelson
"Nurture your testimony until it becomes an anchor to your life." -President Thomas S. Monson
"Hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes." -Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
"Honesty is essential in requesting things from God...Often as I pray, the Spirit nudges me to admit that there is more I should do to receive the help I am asking from the Lord. Then I must commit and do my part. It is contrary to the economy of heaven for the Lord to do for us that which we can do for ourselves." -Elder J. Devn Cornish
I love the truths given to us by God through his servants on the earth today.
And now I will share one of the greatest things of my entire mission/life. So the Sanchez family was the family Sister Scott and I were teaching in Garden Ridge. I have emailed back and forth with the mom, and in her last email(last monday) she said that they were set to be baptized on Saturday at 6pm. I was thrilled, but kind of sad I wouldn't be there. I thought that being up in Austin would be too far to go. But Sister Storms said that as long as a member drives, we can go far distances for baptisms. So we called President Slaughter for permission and he said yes! Sister Scott is also in Austin, so on Saturday afternoon, we met at a church and Sister Scott and I headed down to San Antonio with some members while our companions worked together. The best part was that I had talked to the Garden Ridge elders, and we agreed to make it a surprise. The Sanchez family thought for sure that we wouldnt be there. So we got to the church, and waited and surprised them and it was such a happy reunion!! oh my goodness. 
The service was beautiful. There are few things that I can imagine are sweeter than seeing a family being baptized, and being so ready for it. My heart was and is so full of love and gratitude for them and their faith. They truly acted on a small desire, and it grew into so much more. I testify to you that the gospel does change lives and it changes hearts. It fills us with truth and light that cannot and will not be found elsewhere. And seeing them know that for themselves is incredible. After searching, they found it, and they love it. They have changed my heart as well. It has been such a blessing to teach them and witness them making sacred covenants with God. The restored gospel is on the earth, and IT CHANGES AND BLESSES PEOPLE.  The Lord keeps his promises, and His love for all people is real. 
Saturday was one of the happiest times of my life. I really cant describe it well enough. All I know is that the Atonement of Christ is real, and that His gospel has been restored, and with that, the priesthood authority that allows us to access the Atonement and be made clean. I'm forever grateful for these people, this gospel, and these experiences that allow me to feel of God's love, and in turn, love Him even more.
There is no denying that this is the Lord's work and church. The truth is there and felt through the Spirit. I love it, my Savior, and my Father more than anything.
I love y'all!! Have a great week!
Sister Snyder
1) Sister Scott and I with the Sanchez famiy :)
2) The garden ridge elders, us and the sanchez's :)

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