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, May 25, 2015

Things are great!


I am happy to say that this week has been better than the last. Definitely not perfect. This companionship is a little like a roller coaster, but we're smoothing it out. :) Hermana Bustos is from Chile, a convert, and the only active member of her family. Her mom isn't a member and her younger sisters aren't active. I've met so many missionaries with similar stories, they're seriously incredible, these Latinos! The sacrifices that they make to come on missions are not small. So I have a lot of respect for my companion and all she's been through. 

This week has been a good one! We were able to accomplish our goal of 15 lessons with members present, a testament to how great the ward is. They're great! It's so organized and everyone really magnifies their calling. It reminds me of the talk by Elder Uchtdorf when he said, "Lift where you stand." And they give us references and go with us to visit their friends. Seriously, in Somerset, PA we need to pick up the slack! Actopan's got you beat!

This week, we're going to have a MIRACLE BAPTISM!!! Carla in the girlfriend of a member named Fernando, who is actually inactive right now because he works out of town on the weekends. But she 19 years old and has been investigating the church for 4 years, ever since she and Fernando started dating. She has even gone to seminary! She has a very strong testimony and can feel the Spirit testify over and over again to the truth of what we teach. The interesting thing is... we've only taught her 2 times! She has wanted to get baptized and for one reason or another she hasn't been able to. Recently, we inherited her as our investigator and we're pulling the trigger! On Thursday, her baptism is planned! We are so excited. She really is a huge blessing and miracle. I love being a missionary.

We also have Francisco who has stopped smoking and is just a champion! He has a prosthetic leg and has quite the story. Another day with more time I'll have to tell you. :) But for now, I'll just say that he is awesome. And he will be baptized on the 13th of June. He is so excited and always prays that he will be able to be baptized on that day. Let me just tell you, there's nothing like hearing your investigator say something like that in a prayer. I imagine it's somthing like seeing your child take his first steps. Haha. But seriously it's the best. :)

And, in other news, RAUL RECEIVED AN ANSWER!!! Hna. Sosa wrote me and told me that they fasted with him and he has his answer! He is scheduled for baptism on June 6th! Oh my gosh, words cannot express what I feel for Raul. I love that guy with all of my heart. He is going to be an incredible member in the kingdom of God! 

Well, that's about it this week! What else... I cleaned the house today. Haha. No, I don't have anything else very exciting. But I just want to tell you I love you with all of my heart! Thank you for your prayers and your love. This scripture strengthens me because I know it's true. Moroni 8:1-3: 

An epistle of my father Mormon, written to me, Moroni; and it was written unto me soon after my calling to the ministry. And on this wise did he write unto me, saying:
My beloved son, Moroni, I rejoice exceedingly that your Lord Jesus Christ hath been mindful of you, and hath called you to his ministry, and to his holy work.                              I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he, through his infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on his name to the end.
Love you so much! 
Hna Snyder

 An old one from Hauchi... Juan and Valentina loaded me up with presents! Hahaha

 Did I happen to tell you that Hna. Z is my STL?! So amazing. I love her so much.

Me and Hermana Bustos :) 

This little girl has the same dress as Vannie! I had to take a pic. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015



First of all, a huge SORRY because I forgot to tell you that p-day was going to be today! I knew you were going to worry but couldn't do much to change anything. Yes, I am alive!

And in... Actopan! It's a little city about 40 minutes outside of Pachuca. The ward here is GREAT. They have about 190 every Sunday and the members are really great. Way more organized and put-together than Huauchi. But oh how I miss that place! Everything definitely does not function in the perfect way, but I love it. It's like a little family and it will forever be my first Mexico home. But I am trying not to think about that! I am here in Actopan and here I'll stay until the Lord has other plans for me. And, great news! Hermana Zenteno is my Sister Training Leader, in my district, and my ward! Honestly, I thank my Heavenly Father because it is a blessing that has brought me a lot of comfort.

...The reason why is because this change has been very hard. More than anything is that my companion and I are, well, very different. In just about every way. She basically thinks that I only care about numbers and how we compare to other missionaries and nothing else. I won't get into the details (and obviously you all know that I do NOT feel that way), but I will just say it's been very hard. The hardest week of my mission by far. 

I have been thinking so very much about Mosiah 14. "...And he opened not his mouth." I have fasted and prayed with all of my heart for patience, humility, charity, and hope. And when I did EVERYTHING in my power to assure that I didn't bug her, the night came on Sunday and the gloves came out once again. I just blinked back the tears and said, "Ok, Hermana. I will try not to do that again." Really I thought I was going to have to call President and say I couldn't do it.

With that said, I am so, SO grateful for the conference with Elder Bednar yesterday. For me and for my companion and for this area. Elder Bednar told us that he doesn't go on these big trips to meet with missionaries or leaders, all though that's a great plus. He goes to find the "ones" that the Lord needs him to find. I feel as though maybe my companion and I were some of the "ones" that needed the influence of an apostle of the Lord. My companion returned from the conference with a very different attitude that has made things 200% better. Only a day has gone by, and things still haven't been rainbows and butterflies, but I can say now that I think we can do this! I think that we can make this work. Elder Zeledón reminded me yesterday of a goal I had set when I was with Hermana Sosa: "find the reason of this companionship." And now, I am applying this goal with Sister B. There has to be a grand reason for why we are here together. In this week, I have already been refined and changed, and I suspect that the Lord needs even more of that until we can call it good.

I didn't get a chance to talk with Elder Bednar (no one did), but Brooke or Craig, if you get the chance to talk to him soon, please tell him of this experience. I am so very grateful. 

Don't worry about me! We're gonna crank it out here in Actopan! Sorry I don't have much time today. My email time was cut short. But I love you all so much! You're the best!!!

"Change is the essence of the gospel. DON'T BE SOMEONE WHO RESISTS CHANGE." -Elder Bednar

With all my heart,
Hna. Snyder

Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

So... although we get to email with our missionaries once a week, they are able to Skype home just twice a year - Christmas and Mother's Day. We were so excited and blessed to be able to talk to Kelsey yesterday! It turned out that the computer she was using did not have a microphone and they didn't have the greatest connection, so the call was a little spotty and we ended up having to make a phone call to Mexico. But, she looks beautiful and is so happy and that makes us happy!

Okay, first thing's first. How about that phone call yesterday? Super annoying! Ugh! But I'm already over it... It was so great so see you! I was really looking forward to seeing all of you on Skype but these things happen I guess. In all of the madness I totally forgot to say THANK YOU FOR BEING SO INCREDIBLE MOM!!! Happy Mothers' Day to my fabulous mamita and abuelitas. Love you all so much. President Egbert says thanks for having a missionary in this mission - must mean that you're an excellent mom. He's right! Literally the bayyyyst!

So many great things happened this week. First of all, 5 NEW BAPTISMAL DATES YESTERDAY! I don't know if it's the same in all the missions in the world or just here in Pachuca or what, but in our mission this is how it works: you can place all the baptismal dates you want but they don't count until they go to church. The standard of excellence is 2 new dates every week, but there are tons of weeks that pass that we don't have any at all, and it's a super achievement it you get the goal of 2. But yesterday, we had 5. And it was fabulous. So great. SO HAPPY! Also Juan and Valentia and Raul all went to church, so I couldn't have been happier. 

The sad part is... I'm being transferred. Yep, it's official. So hard right now with all of these great things happening! The only thing that gives me a little hope is the knowledge that President is so inspired in everything he does. Which means that I guess my time in Huauchinango is up. 

Some stories for the week:

In personal study the other day, something interesting happened. Right now in the mission, we are reading the BoM. So as mandate from President, we read for half an hour every day and for the rest of the time, I study for the investigators. This day, we had the day all planned out but all I could think about was Raul. The funny part is, Raul was not in the plan! We always have set appointments with Raul because he is very busy with work, but this day we didn't have an appointment. Nevertheless, I couldn't stop thinking about him! I ended up only studying for him. For half an hour, I searched the Bible for evidences of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, the Apostasy and Restoration, etc. It was a different study session! I always study for various investigators that we'll teach in the day, but this day in particular I only studied for Raul. So the day went on and turns out that ALL of our appointments fell through. All of them! And we couldn't find anyone to teach. It was 8pm and we had only taught one lesson - the meal with a member. We decided to call Raul and ask if we could teach him. He said he had just gotten home and to come on over! We had a lesson that I lovingly name "Proofs of the Gospel as Found in the Holy Bible." !!!!!!!! So fantastic. In the end of the lesson, he nodded his head slowly and said, "Looks like I have to study your book a little better." 

Second story. We went to eat with Hna. Caro, who has fed us every week for all 6 months of my time in Huauchi. Love her so much. In the meal, she told us a ton of things about her life and the life of her daughter. Incredibly difficult trials that they've had to overcome. I have even more respect for her now than never. At the end of the meal, we were going to share our little message; we had planned to teach of the Sabbath Day. So I opened my scriptures to one on the Sabbath Day and was about to read it when I felt "no." I thought for a second, and instead, The Beatitudes came to mind. So, I got out my Bible and flipped open to Mark. I asked her to read the Beatitudes out loud. She got about halfway through when she started to cry. With tears streaming down her face, she said, "I feel as though these were written for me." It was a beautiful moment of peace and comfort to a troubled heart.

Oh how grateful I am to be a missionary! I feel the Spirit more abundantly in my life than ever before. And I am becoming more and more aware that His promptings are ever so soft and subtle. If we are not ready or receptive, we could miss them in an instant. May we ever strive to be in settings physically and spiritually where we can always hear his quiet whispers.

I love this Gospel and I love you all! Have the best week ever! In a week I won't be in Huauchi any longer! Let's see what the Lord has in store for me next!

Hna. Snyder

Monday, May 4, 2015

Just another day in paradise...

...just kidding. Huauchi has not been paradise lately. I think Heavenly Father was laughing with me because right after the letter I wrote to you about how hot it was, it got SUPER cold for like 3 days! Huauchi's weather is crazy. But I love it! Unfortunately I am feeling pretty sure that I will have transfers in a week. After 6 months in Huauchi, it's hard to think about leaving. I love the members so much and we have some great investigators who I love with all of my heart, plus our seven sweet converts. It's going to be hard to say goodbye. But I can't think about transfers!!! I've got to stay focused on the work here in Huauchi 2! 

This week was great! I have more good news about Valentina and Juan! Yesterday at church, I got to talking with Josafat who is studying to be a lawyer, and he gave me some GREAT information! He is going to help us get Valentina divorced! I don't remember if I told you this or not, but the problem with their marriage has been that Valentina was married before and never got divorced, so they haven't been able to get married. But Josafat told us that all she needs is her marriage papers and we're good to go! They've lived apart for so long that their marriage is basically null, we just have to seal the deal with the paperwork! YES!!! That means that we're planning a wedding!!! AHH I am so excited. This is going to be such a great member family. SO happy!

And I love Raul so much. He is such an interesting person with so much a knowledge and a sincere desire to know the truth. And he's going to find it! Prayers for Raul!

This week, we had interviews with President Egbert. Ah, so great. He is really incredible. We talked about the things I have learned in these 7 months. I told him that what I have learned most of all has been humility. And really it's true. I have had many humbling experiences and thankfully they have helped me to learn so many life-changing things. But President also shared with me something very important - that we must also find ways to refine ourselves and work on these attributes even without an "experience" that forces us to do so. We must open our hearts and give Heavenly Father all of our will. Sometimes, our hearts want to change and be better but our minds say, "That will be too hard" or "That's gonna take a lot of work..." We must freely give Him our hearts AND minds so that He can help us become the person He needs us to be. 

 I love you all so much. Talk to you in 6 days!  

Hermana Snyder

Interviews with Pres. Egbert and apartment cleaning checks:

We're on a health kick... this is before a 6am run! WHOO!:

A wonderful family and the missionaries:

Perfect P-day - futbol and pizza!