This is our blog about the adventures and experiences of two Snyder kids as they serve missions, one in Mexico and one in Japan, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These are the weekly emails and pictures they send home.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Because He Lives!

Hola familia!!!

Another week has come and gone and... WE HAD A BAPTISM!!! Josafat, the miracle man, was baptized on Saturday! It was so dang awesome. Especially because ALL of the missionaries in the district baptized on Saturday!!! Yep, in Huauchi we had 3 baptisms and the Elders in Xico also had one. SO AWESOME!!! It was such a beautiful baptism. There is a guy in the ward, Hno. Cristhian, that is so awesome and helps us out a ton. He has this little car and drives us around and goes with us to lessons, and on Saturday, he pretty much organized this baptism. He put out all of these pamphlets and pictures of temples and even put together a video to play in the foyer as people were entering. It was so beautiful. And the missionaries all sang my arrangement of "Because I Have Been Given Much"... Ahh so special!!! Josafat chose Rogelio to baptize him, who only has about a year in the church, and it was his first time baptizing. Soooo long story short, it took 5 dunks, but we got 'er done in the end and that's all that really matters! Haha! I feel so grateful to have been able to play even the smallest part in Josafat's story. He is going to be a great leader in the church, I can feel it. 

In other news, we had 4 people in church on Sunday, so we're getting back on the right track! Victor is getting excited for his baptism, so we are so happy for that. It's been a bit of a rocky road with him, and Hermana Sosa said that if I wouldn't have been so stubborn with keeping him, she probably would have dropped him in the beginning. But it's so obvious now that he is one of the Lord's chosen. He needs this Gospel in his life more than anyone and I just love seeing how it lights up his life. He came to the baptism and loved it!!! So exciting. Also, a new investigator - Raul - came to church. He knows a ton about the Bible (he's read it 9 times cover-to-cover!) and is reading the Book of Mormon now. He has so many sincere questions and has so many experiences to share that it's just so cool to know him, let alone teach him the Gospel.

Tomorrow are exchanges and..... I'M STAYING HERE IN HUAUCHI!!! Whoo! I am pretty happy about that. Hna. Sosa and I are staying. Honestly, I had a feeling that I would be staying and so I am so glad that it's true because I didn't say goodbye to anyone yesterday! Thank goodness I'm here for 6 more weeks! BUT, here's the kicker: they're closing one of the areas of Huauchinango! OH MY GOSH. Yep, they're shipping out the other Sisters. You know what that means? It means that we're going to have to divide up the city and our area is about to get a whole lot bigger. A WHOLE LOT! Holy cow... I feel like I am opening an area or something. We're about to inherit a ton a recent converts and investigators, and I can't say I haven't had heart palpitations within the past few minutes just thinking about it. Craziness! Next week's email is going to be interesting, I can feel it. 

But, you know, we can do it. I love so much the new initiative of the church, "Because He Lives". I watched the video for the first time yesterday and felt the Spirit so strongly. I know that He lives. And because He lives, we can do this. We can do whatever He requires of us, because He is always there to give us His power and help us along our way. I made a list of what it means to me that He lives:
  • He understands me
  • He knows me
  • Death is not the end
  • I can be forgiven
  • He wants to help me
  • He gives me strength
  • He can heal me
And then I was reading in 3 Nephi 11 and 17 where the Resurrected Christ appears in the Americas and felt so amazing. I wrote my feelings: happiness, light, joy, mercy, grace, goodness, peace, love. All because He lives. And because He lives, we have access to these feelings now. Today. We just have to look for Him. B├║scalo. 

I love Jesus Christ and I know this is His church. 

Love, love, love,
Hermana Snyder
Our District:

I fell!!

Ready for the baptism:

I love the people of Mexico!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Share the gospel!

Hi! In case you're wondering, yes it's still raining. But, whatever, life goes on! It's been a pretty good week. I have been thinking about what to write and it's just not coming to me! What even happened this week?

First of all, yesterday and Saturday was Stake Conference. That means that we had to take the hour-long trip to Tulancingo 4 times, yippee! Luckily, I didn't die. Although we did take a teeny-tiny little car and rode with the Elders, so it was pretty packed. And as you already know, Mexican drivers are crazy, so it was an adventure! First, we went for the Saturday afternoon session and the Huauchi Ward was invited to bring our choir. I played the piano and it was so great! They sounded amazing. :) After the conference, the Stake President asked me if I could play the piano for the stake choir as well as the meeting choir on Sunday. So yesterday we arrived early to practice with them and then I played for the conference. It was great! There aren't too many Mexicans that play the piano, so my skills are on high-demand! Haha. If only I was so popular in the States! 

The Conference was great... Hermana Egbert gave a talk in Spanish!!! It was so cute. She doesn't really speak Spanish, so she just read it, but it was so sweet and sincere. I love her! And President gave a great talk about our willingness to be true disciples of Christ. He is the best. I am sure he is going to be a Seventy or an apostle one day! And, Josafat, Pao and her little girls, and the whole family of Maria took the trip to Tulancingo to go to the conference! Whoo!!! I love these people.

Let's talk about Josafat. His baptism is on Saturday!!! We are so excited. He is seriously the dream investigator. He literally requires no work. We only meet with him once or twice a week, but he always comes to church, reads the Book of Mormon every day, and keeps all of the commandments. Can you say GOLDEN?! I just know that he is going to be a great leader in the church... bishop, stake president, etc. I feel so privileged to be part of his story.

So we're pumped for that. But today marks the last week of the cycle. How the heck did that happen?! It's forced me to reflect on these 5 weeks that have already passed and evaluate what we have done as a companionship. I can't say I am completely satisfied. We haven't had any baptisms (although we will have one on Saturday) and we have not had one new baptismal date in the whole cycle. I mean, we have placed a bunch but no one has come to church, so none of them count. They're not real. The only people that have come to church in this cycle are Josafat, Victor, and Maria de la Luz - all left over from last cycle with Hna. Zenteno. That makes me really sad. It makes me feel like we haven't really done anything to help the ward progress in these 5 weeks. All I can hope is that we have strengthened the members, our recent converts, and progressing investigators. Also, that of the people to whom we gave Harvesting Blessings in the past week or two, some of them are the Lord's chosen and prepared. I am really hopeful and faithful that that is the case. I felt strongly about many of them and continue to feel the same way. The task at hand is to teach them, get them to read the BoM and come to church, and get them in the baptismal font (and of course endure to the end and go to the temple)! Soooo, yes. Sometimes it's so hard but we can't lose the faith and buen animo!

There are always things that we can improve. More obedience, more diligence, more consecration. So that's the goal to finish up this cycle (and the struggle of the whole mission) - do more. I am working on trying to become the 4th missionary (hopefully you've read the talk and know what I am talking about), to give everything and even a little more.

Love you all so much! Share the Gospel!
Hna. Snyder

Look what Elder Zeledon (DL from Niceragua) and Elder Castillo made us!

More puppies, because you can never have too many.

Dogs of Mexico


P-day meal!
Nothin' like some good ol' fried chicken to remind ya of home!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Rain, rain go away...

So we meet again! I don't know if you've checked the weather for Huauchi lately, but let me just inform you that it has rained every single day this week. So fun. NOT. It's cold rain... rain means no sun, and no sun means that we are gonna have to bundle up and buckle down, because it's darn chilly! My pink rainboots were a very wise purchase. Hermana Snyder says good job, Kelsey!

Also, before I forget, I would like to say that I think that the Steelers are probably the most popular sports team in all of the world. At least here in Huauchinango, they're all the rage! Everyone has Steelers gear - young, old, rich, poor! I gotta say, I feel a little choked up with pride every time I see it. 

It's been a good week! We accomplished just about all of our goals, which is saying something because Huauchi has been tough on us lately! One thing that is really helping is the goals that our zone and district leaders have put in place specifically for us. Sometimes it seems a bit overwhelming, but I am learning that if we really try to be obedient to our leaders, even if we don't see the purpose, we will be blessed.

The zone leaders put a goal in place to do 1 Harvesting Blessing and place a new baptismal date every day. So we did it! And in every single Harvesting Blessing this week, we placed a baptismal date. Every single person that we invited to baptism said yes. YES! Imagine, we knock on their door and 15 minutes later they have a goal for a day to be baptized. IT'S INCREDIBLE! Am I the only person who thinks this is just amazing?! Now I am not saying that it's easy... You think it's a piece of cake to prance into someone's house and invite them to be baptized in your church that you say is the only true one in the whole world? No. It's not. But that just means that it's an incredible act of faith. And you know what happens when we swallow our fears, buckle down, and act in faith? Heavenly Father performs miracles. I am so grateful for the incredible tool that is the Harvesting Blessing. President really is inspired to give us such an amazing gift. 

In other news, I gave a talk on Sunday about consecration. I recently read the talk "Absorbed in the Will of the Father," by Elder Neil A. Maxwell and it inspired me. I invite you all to read it! It is so evident to me now more than ever that just being a good member of the church will not qualify us for the Celestial Kingdom. No, the Celestial Kingdom is for people who have really used this life to perfect themselves and consecrate all they have to the Lord. WE ALL NEED TO DO MORE! Well, I need to do more. And I imagine that "more" is what the Lord expects of all of us.

As for all of our investigators, things are going ok. Josafat is incredible. Rock solid. Victor is struggling with the law of chastity, poor guy - but we're gonna work it out! And we've had to drop a lot of once-very-potential investigators for different reasons. But we're working hard and I am sure we are going to see some miracles very soon.

I love Mexico. I love the mission. I love the Lord. And I love all of you! I am so grateful to be here even though it's the hardest thing ever sometimes. Keep on choosing the right!

Hna. Spider (Snyder is hard for the Mexicans so I like to compare it to "spider" so it helps them out a little:)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Lift up thy head and rejoice!

This week! Kind of another tough one. Also, this week has been the Fair, and so pretty much no one has been home. We have walked and walked and walked and walked, but it's been super hard to find anyone. I think we taught less lessons this week than any other week before. Sometimes it's so easy to get discouraged, but I am refusing to let myself feel down!

Sometimes I think that if we were having inspired nightly planning sessions or were really led by the Spirit with every step, we wouldn't walk 30 minutes to a house were no one was home. But then I think of Alma, who was completely rejected from Ammonihah the first time around. Obviously, the Lord knew that they would reject his servant. So why did he send him in the first place? Obviously, he had to learn something. He had to grow in faith and become a bit more refined before he was prepared to meet his ultimate teaching companion, Amulek. 

"Blessed art thou, Alma; therefore, lift up thy head and rejoice, for thou hast great cause to rejoice; for thou hast been faithful in keeping the commandments of God from the time which thou receivedst thy first message from him. Behold, I am he that delivered it unto you." (Alma 8:15)

I'm trying to be more like Alma. Of course sometimes I get discouraged when everything doesn't work out the way I want it to, but that must mean that Heavenly Father is trying my faith in order to refine it and prepare me for something more. 

...If we're following the pattern of Alma and Amulek, must mean we're going to baptize all of Huauchinango! :)

An update on my investigators! Sometimes it's so dang hard... To live the law of chastity these days seems like a crazy idea. Lots of our really great, golden investigators have big problems with this law. But we're working on it! Continued prayers for Victor, Narda, and Gloria would be very much appreciated. On the plus side, there's Josafat, who is so dang awesome! He already has a rock-solid testimony and is excited for his baptism. And, Abi and Paola are doing so great, too! I just love seeing my converts at church. It is THE BEST. 

That's about it for the week! Hna. S. and I are doing well! Sometimes it's so hard to be a missionary but it's the best. I am learning and growing in ways I never knew. The church is true! SHARE IT! About half of the Liahona this month is about sharing the gospel... It's so important. It's really the most important. At the end of the day, sports and music and tests don't matter. But sharing the gospel does. Someday, when we are in the eternities, we will wonder why we didn't try harder. President Eyring said something like this, "One day, when you know your potential, you will be sad you didn't use your time better." And it's true. Don't waste any time wondering who might be prepared. Just share it!

Love you all so much!
Hna. Snyder

As you might notice, the weather in Huauchinango is crazy! One day I burn
 in the sun and the next I am all wrapped up with tights, a scarf, and my coat!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Faith like the sons of Mosiah

Familia, familia!

Another week has come and gone, and it's been a bit of a toughie! For the first time in the mission field since my first week here, we didn't have anyone at church. It was painful. We had 4 very secure baptismal dates that all fell through yesterday. V., J., N., and G. are all going to have to wait another week. Plus none of our 8 new investigators came to church either. It was sad. It makes me reevaluate the way I've been working and teaching, and I am finding lots of things that I can definitely improve. This week we're hitting the pavement! I think my comp. and I have different views on success, but this week all I am going to say is that we are going to work 'til we can't work no more!

What to write, what to write... 

Abi bore her testimony in church yesterday, so that was amazing. She is inspiring.

Oh! J.! I am going to tell you about him. He is literally a dream investigator. When Hna. Z and I had intercambios with the Sister Training Leaders, Hna. Z went to Tulancingo. On the bus, she met J., who lives in our area (that never happens to us)!!! She must not have had much time or something, because she just gave him our number and told him to call us. Well, incredibly (this also never happens...) he called us! Hna. Z invited him the church and (also never happens...) HE CAME! Without a lesson, without really any help at all, he came to church. So, Hna. S. and I inherited this investigator de oro. He is pretty amazing. He reads and understands everything, and believes that the desire that was born in his heart every since he met Hna. Z is the Holy Ghost telling him this is where he needs to be. WOW!!! He reminds me a lot of Abi - very intelligent, thirst for knowledge, reads and applies the scriptures, a real convert. Which brings me to my next point... I AM GONNA TRY TO HOOK 'EM UP! Hahaha... they're both 20 years old and so great. It's gonna happen (after they both serve missions of course). And then I am going to come back to Mexico when they get married in the temple. I can hear the bells.

No, but all jokes aside, being a part of this work is so amazing. Sometimes it's just the hardest thing ever. I am working on developing a faith more like the Sons of Mosiah, who begged their dad to go and preach to the Lamanites. Sure, they knew that the people were wicked and bloodthirsty and no missionaries before them had really had success, but they had real faith that the Spirit and the true gospel of Jesus Christ would be enough to convert them. That's the kind of faith that I want to have... And maybe then I can help to convert a couple thousand people too!

It's the faith we all need to have in order to obligate the Lord to perform miracles in our lives, and believe me, He will. I don't have a doubt about that. I love the Savior so much and can't tell you what it means to me to be His representative. Here's to another wonderful week of that!

Con todo todo todo mi amor,
Hna. Snyder

The new district!

Huauchi plus your favorite missionary!

Every time we go to the centro, I see this painting for a restaurant and laugh so hard. It is so something that Dad would draw!