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, August 31, 2015

(Hermana S.) I love this work!

It has been a fabulous week!!! Seriously, so great. I just love Actopan so much. It's such a great ward. Let me just tell you, the ward loves us. Haha. Every second I turn around and someone has something to tell us. Sometimes I forget that there are Elders, too (I think the members forget, too). But just as an example of how we cannnnnnnn't do this work without members and their trust in us, this week we had 12 new investigators, 7 from references from the members! We are finally starting to work together in this. Yesterday the Bishop asked me to speak again in church (on family history, I told the story of the first member of the family, Daniel Burbank) and then later in the third hour he asked my companion and me to teach everyone in combined Relief Society and Priesthood how to study efficiently the scriptures like President Egbert has taught us. Great things are happening in Actopan! Eight investigators in church yesterday. I never want to leave!!!

We had zone conference this past week and - wow - it changed my whole life! Presidente taught us how to study in the way of the Lord. You can take any verse from the scriptures and do this, because let us remember that not even the hundredth part could be taken down in the Book of Mormon. If we study this way, we can discover that every verse refers to the Savior and we can strengthen our testimony and relationship with Him. 

1. Ask "What?" What is the context? What do the words mean? What is the message we want to share the prophet? 
2. Ask "Why?" Why this message? Why is it important? Why does it apply to me? 
3. Look for Patterns: There are patterns in the scriptures that are repeated many times. The lives of many people in the scriptures are alike and all point to the Savior. The scriptures show and teach "symbols and figures" of Christ. (Mosiah 3:15) If we seek, we will find them. 
4. Meditate in the Savior: When we learn any principle of scripture have to meditate in Christ. We know that the scriptures teach us concerning His life, mission and facts about Him. When we meditate concerning the principles we learn, the Spirit can teach us and help us know how these principles lead us closer to our Savior. Without meditating, we will not learn by the Spirit and we will forget the principle that was learned. Meditation is essential. 
5. Apply it to myself: Finally, every effective study only becomes effective if a change occurs in the life of the learner. When we learn this way, we realize the need to follow the teaching that we have learned and maybe change some things in our lives. It is through these changes we draw closer to our Heavenly Father and the Savior and we benefit by studying.  

I don't have much time, so I am just going to copy and paste what I wrote to Presidente this morning and you can Google translate it! Or ask someone who knows Spanish or something! Haha. 

El estudio eficaz está haciendo milagros. El día después de la conferencia, me puse a estudiar en la manera que nos enseñó y fue una experiencia muy especial para mí. Yo estudié Mormón 6:1 "Y ahora concluyo mi relato concerniente a la destrucción de mi pueblo, los nefitas. Y sucedió que marchamos delante de los lamanitas." Lo leí y pensé, "Ummm... no creo que sea posible extractar más de esta escritura." Pero, pues ni modo, y estudié en la manera que nos enseñó. Después de meditar un tiempo, mi di cuenta de algunas cosas. Primero, que Mormón en este momento seguramente conocía las predicaciones. Él sabía que iba a ser destruido su pueblo. Entonces, ¿por qué marchó adelante? Hice una lista: su familia, su fe, su libertad, sus antepasados. Y al pensar en el Señor, lo pude relacionar. Obviamente, Jesucristo sabía Su llamamiento. Sabía que iba a sufrir y morir y que iba a ser el momento singular más difícil en todo el mundo. Entonces ¿Por qué lo hizo Él? Por amor. Por obediencia a Su Padre. Para cumplir con todo lo que fue llamado a hacer. Este estudio me ha fortalecido el testimonio del Salvador. Me ha dado una resolución más grande de obedecer y hacer todo lo que fui llamada a hacer. Y esto no es todo, Presidente. ¡Cada día, cada estudio ha sido así de increíble! ¡Gracias por amarnos tanto para enseñarnos esto! 

También, mi compañera y yo hemos aplicado esta enseñanza con las comidas. Toda la semana pasada, enseñamos del estudio eficaz y hicimos tarjetitas con los pasos para hacerlo. Los miembros se han comprometido a estudiar en esta manera. Pero esto no es todo... Empezamos un estudio del Libro de Mormón para cada semana y también hicimos un estudio eficaz con un versículo que leímos (1 Nefi 1:12). El obispo le gustó mucho y nos pidió a enseñarlo la tercera hora ayer a todos mayores que 12 años.

Judith is doing great, although she had an accident on her bike with a motorcyclist and has a few wounds. Prayers would be great. We also are teaching some great people who went to church yesterday and are teaching a new family of references who are stellar! And to top it all off, Sister Sosa sent me pictures of the baptism of RAUL!!!!!! I am so happy I could cry. Actually I did cry. Thinking back on everything we experienced with him, I can't help but to think of how he has changed in these few months. He has already read the BoM and is working on the Pearl of Great Price and Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. 

I love this work!!! I love the scriptures and I love the Savior. I am so happy to be a missionary and to be changed by these amazing people and the Savior Himself. 

Love you all so much,
Hna. Snyder

(Elder S.) Receiving revelation

Well today we had our transfer calls! Elder Canfield is getting shipped out of Yachiyo and I'm getting a new companion named Elder Kuroiwa. I don't know him but I looked him up on Facebook and he looks like a pretty goofy guy! Haha, it should be fun!

Elder Canfield and I finished off this transfer pretty dang well this last week. We had some really great lessons with some really great investigators. First I'll tell you about Dennis. He's  about a 20 year old kid from Uganda who moved to Japan about 5 months ago. He's a really cool kid. We met with him for the second time last night with Bishop Fukawa. It's a huge blessing that Bishop Fukawa speaks perfect English because he is really powerful. We has a super spiritual lesson with Dennis and committed him to baptism if and when he finds out these things are true. It was sooo awesome. I think Dennis is going to start progressing very quickly. He's already looking for a new job so he can come to church on Sunday! Bishop Fukawa is definitely the coolest Japanese guy I've ever met. He loves basketball and talks about it with me all the time. We're starting up a basketball night every Friday night and it's gonna be awesome! I've heard he's pretty good so it should be lots of fun. 

Next I'll tell you about Steve. He's an American man that we also met with for the second time last week. He's really funny and great to talk to. We taught him the Restoration and he accepted what we said. He told us its a lot to take in all at once so he's going to ponder about what we said and felt from the Spirit. He took a Book of Mormon and told us he is going to read it. I love teaching in English. It's the best!

We have some other people that are looking really good, too. I'm so excited for the next few transfers here in Yachiyo. 

These past few weeks, I've felt the Spirit stronger and more frequently than I ever have in my life. I've finally found out what the some of the keys are to feeling the spirit and receiving revelation:
1. Live righteously. We all know this one.. The spirit can't dwell in unholy Temples.
2. You have to recognize the revelation that you're already receiving. That revelation may just be a thought that pops into your mind to do something kind or nice, but if you recognize those thoughts as the spirit, you will be more willing to act upon that thought. 
3. The more we act on promptings, the more willing Heavenly Father will be to give you those promptings. Then the promptings and feelings will become bigger and more frequent and you will be able to receive the revelation that you need.

I invite you all to recognize the promptings that you have from the Spirit, and then act. Thank Heavenly Father for those promptings. I promise that you will see a night and day difference in feeling the Spirit. I love you guys!

Love, Elder Snyder

We love our "lion" scented soap. We see this kind of thing everywhere:

Monday, August 24, 2015

(Hermana S.) Have you seen the hand of God in your life this week?

Hellllllloooooooooo! What a wonderful week is has been! Lots of sun, a little rain, and lots of super awesome people. I just love Actopan. The ward is so great. It is a dream. There are members who go with us just about every day and little by little we're starting to work together in this great work. They're giving us references and going with us to visit their friends and I couldn't be happier! 

Yesterday was Stake Conference and it was so beautiful! We asked Bishop to help us out with transportation for our investigators so he organized for a combi to take us (it's basically a big van that has benches so that you can stuff like 20 people in). So we called the driver and asked him to meet us outside our apartment in the morning to go pick up a few investigators. So first we went with Maria de Jesus, who is an investigator that hasn't gone to church because her husband has prohibited her from going. So we arranged so that her son could watch her little shop while she went with us to church. But when we went to pick her up, her husband came out and told us that she wouldn't be going. Long story short, this guy needs a lot of help and a lot of prayers. I won't go into details but he's just a very mean person. So, she couldn't come with us. Sad way to start the day. After that, we went to pick up Joselyn, who is the daughter-in-law of an investigator that we've been teaching and has told us 100% that she would go to church for the past 3 weeks and every time we've gone to pick her up it's a no. Long story short we waited for a half an hour for her to get herself and her 2 little girls ready, but she went to the conference! Whooo!!! Finally! A new baptismal date! Seriously I feel like we have been working so hard and doing alllll that we could do, and no one was going to church. FINALLY! We are happy. :)

And we were even happier for the beautiful conference. President and Sister Egbert gave beautiful talks and there was a Seventy, Elder Martinez, who was a privelege to listen to. Have I told you about the stake president? He lives in our area and we like to have FHE with his fam. :) The last time, we gave a lesson about family scripture study and he said it was definitely inspired. Speaking of which... How's your family scripture study going? I hope very well... Let us not forget that it's a commandment! Aaaand, we are reactivating his sister-in-law, who went to church yesterday for the first time in years! We are so happy for her. 

Boy oh boy, it's never been so good to be a missionary! We are working hard. We are having fun. This work is a lot of sweat and tears, but it's worth every second. I know that this church is true. I know that God lives. I know that through the grace of Christ, we can be redeemed. And, we can be a lot better and do a lot more that we can alone. The miracles come every day here. How have you seen the hand of God in your life this week?

Love you will allllllll of my heart!
Hna Snyder

(Elder S.) Shibuya Crossing

Hey everyone!

Last week started off really, really great, probably the best week of
my mission. We saw tons of miracles and met so many new people. It was
really awesome and Elder Canfield and I were feeling on top of the
world! We had five people promise to be at church on Sunday, which we
were super excited about. Only two of them came which we were kinda
disappointed about. Then Monday started off really well. We had a
couple lessons before dinner and set a new baptism date with Takano!
That was a great thing that happened. But... Then we had a lesson with
Flavio and he told us that he's not ready to be baptized on Saturday.
That was a pretty hard blow for us. We thought he was ready!! On
Sunday we decided to fast for him and I've been praying really hard
for him. He told us he hasn't felt the Spirit yet so he doesn't know
if these things can really be true. All we can do for now is try to
get him to have/recognize spiritual experiences and find out where and
why his faith is lacking. He met the missionaries about a year ago and
has been taught everything a few times... Tough!

Temple p-day was really fun today! I love that our mission does this
every transfer. It's sweet to see everyone from other areas of the
mission and talk to old buddies. But today for some reason, in the
Temple I felt the Spirit stronger than I ever have in my life. It hit
me pretty hard! I think Heavenly Father is trying to tell me to keep
having faith. We also went to the Shibuya crossing in Tokyo which is
the most crowded intersection in the world. It was pretty sweet and
there were tons of people there with video cameras and everyone
videoing on their phones. Pretty cool!

I hope you find ways to strengthen your faith every day. The church is
true and Christ lives! Praying for you all!

I love you! Elder Snyder

愛しているよ! スナイダー長老

Monday, August 17, 2015

(Hermana S.) Working hard, physically and spiritually

How great has this week been? Very great! Yesterday was a little stinky because it's the second week in a row that we went to pick up a bunch of investigators before church and no one ended up going. That's hard. But I actually turned out being pretty happy at church because two families and another individual, all less-actives that we have been working with, went to church! I must confess that my vision has changed a lot in these few weeks. I have become a lot more aware of the importance of working with the less-actives. There are so many members here and so few that go to church, relatively speaking. We have begun to work with more less-actives and really it's beautiful. I never knew the joy of hearing a less-active say that they've read 8 chapters of the Book of Mormon or see them in the chapel. It really lifts my spirits and gets me pumped to keep working!

Today we had a zone activity. Fun fact of Hermana Snyder: in my 10 months in the mission, I hadn't gone to one zone activity. To defend myself I'd like to say that I have only been in areas where you have to travel a ways to get to the stake center. Hahaha... But today was an activity of the whole mission at the Egbert's commands, so we had to go. We did a bunch of exercises and then ate a healthy lunch. Pres. and Sister Egbert are super healthy so they want us to understand the importance of exercise and diet. So it was fun. We played ball so I was happy. Haha. But just for the record, I'd like to tell you all that I am a good little exercizer! I really like to exercise in the morning and get a good sweat on! 

Judith (it's ju-DEETH in spanish) is doing good but she didn't show up to church yesterday. :( She had company that arrived on Saturday night and I can only guess that it's the reason she didn't go to church. Sadness. But we're gonna get her to stake conference next week!

What's more to say? I'm doing great in Actopan and I really love it here with all of my heart. The bikes are great even though sometimes they tire me out. But we get around so much faster, I can't complain. Hermana Cevallos is so great. I love her so much. We are working so hard. 

I love you all so much! Thank you for your emails, your prayers, constant support and love. You are my favorite people ever!

Hna. e-snay-dair :)

Our exercise zone activity:

The bikes tire us out but I'm still the happiest missionary you've ever seen!

(Elder S.) Sacrifice brings blessings

Hey everyone! We had a super busy week last week. On Monday we had
zone p-day and we went bowling with all the missionaries in the zone
which was pretty fun. I couldn't remember the last time I went bowling
but I think I had the best score I've ever a 115, haha.
Pretty impressive! I also went on companion exchanges and got to go
back to Narita for the day which was my very first area! It was sweet
and I got to see some old members and investigators and they still
remembered me. It was pretty fun!

I've had a lot of great spiritual experiences lately. It's so awesome
to have that great feeling and knowing that the Savior is right there
with us. We had Zone Conference the other day and we learned a lot
about our new mission president, President Nagano. He is so awesome!
You can tell that he is just full of love for all the missionaries and
all of our investigators.  I think that he's very inspired and is
coming up with a lot of great new things that are really going to help
the work here in Tokyo. I'm really grateful for the opportunity to be
involved in this great work.

We're still working really hard with Takano and Flavio. Flavio's
baptism date is coming up here on the 29th! We are super excited for
him but we're still trying to work with his parents to get permission
for him to be baptized. They've had some bad experiences with other
churches in the past so they're a little worried. I know that when we
put complete trust in the Lord, His will will be done. We have some
other new people that we're teaching too which is great!

Recently I've watched the church videos about John Tanner and John
Rowe Moyle. It's so amazing to me the sacrifice of the early saints.
We can all learn from their sacrifices and try to give just a little
more to the Lord each day. I know that we can recieve countless
blessings if we do. I love you all and stay safe!

Love Elder Snyder


 This is me in Dad's old missionary suit and a fun member!

Bowling pins!!

Monday, August 10, 2015

(Hermana S.) Are we doing our part?

How great has this week been? Very great! I am so happy to be in Actopan. It's one of the best wards in the mission and I feel so lucky. The area is... large. Haha. But it's great! We inherited some great investigators from the Hermanas that left so we're happy about that! And the bikes..... I think I am in love. Seriously, it's the biggest blessing! What used to take half an hour now takes five minutes. We are finding it a lot easier to do the work. We're teaching a lot of lessons and finding a lot of people! This week we taught 43 lessons and had 13 new investigators. What's important now is seeing who really is the Lord's elect. 

Judith is doing so great. She is soooooo awesome. She reads the Book of Mormon or talks from the General Conference Liahona we gave her every day for literally 2-3 hours. Yesterday she came to church dressed up in her cute little skirt and brought her granddaughter. Ahhhh, I just love her! We are looking forward to her baptism on the 29th and getting her good and prepared.

I have really come to learn the importance of the preparation for a convert baptism in these past few weeks. As missionaries, the First Presidency has recently counseled us to teach ALL of the lessons before baptism (including all of the commandments, laws, and ordinances in chapters 4 and 5 of PMG). Then, we must teach all of the lessons again after baptism. What has made me a little sad lately is reviewing the teaching records of many converts and seeing that they were only taught like 5 lessons before baptism and then not taught anything after. My comp. and I now have the huge responsibility of teaching all 5 lessons to about 10 recent converts in our area. The really sad part is that most of these converts are already inactive. 

I have come to understand the importance of the members in this process. How many less-active members do you know? Have you ever visited them? How is your visiting and home teaching? Ask the missionaries how you can help!!! If they're good, they'll give you a list of inactives to visit. If they're not so good, grab the ward directory and get to work! These people need us. They need love. They need you bring the Spirit into their home to help them remember why they were baptized in the first place.

Yesterday something happened that I think has changed the rest of my life. A family of recent converts didn't show up to church, so my comp. and I went to visit them in the afternoon. We hadn't been there a half and hour when an hermano and his wife with their RM son showed up to give a blessing and just visit. They keep the Sabbath day holy. They showed up in their Sunday clothes. No one had to tell them. They were quick to observe and act. I am forever changed by this great example. I understand better what the Lord expects of us and what His true disciples do to honor His holy day. Let's all do less sleeping, less watching TV, less cooking and less cleaning so that we can live one day a little more like what will be every day in the eternities. 

Love you all so much!!!

(Elder S.) Yachiyooooo!

Hello my family! It's been a great week. Elder Canfield and I are
just working like crazy. I don't remember waking up in the morning
feeling so sore since high school football camp! Haha. There aren't
many city places here in Yachiyo to do streeting so we do a lottt of
housing. It's really helping my Japanese out a lot. I'm glad your
vacation was awesome! I love good ol' Montana.

So this week we met a guy from America named Steve. He's married to a
Japanese lady and has been living here for about 10 years. He has a
Christian background and we teach him in English, two things that you
don't encounter much here in Japan. He's a really cool guy and is
interested in the church and wants to learn more! Takano and Flavio
are doing about the same. We're still just trying to find ways for
them to strengthen their testimonies so they can reach their baptismal

That's about all I have for this week. I've felt the guidance of the
Spirit in our missionary work as we strive to be obedient and work as
hard as we can. Sometimes it's just a small miracle of someone
accepting a pamphlet or giving you a bag of fresh tomatoes out of
their garden. When we seek this guidance through prayer, faith and
righteousness, God will bless us. This is the great blessing we have
as members of the Lord's church. I love you guys!

Love Elder Snyder

Monday, August 3, 2015

(Hermana S.) Another great week

Hola familia!

It's been a great week in Actopan! I had my interview with President and it was so great. He is so wise and spiritual. I feel like when we're in interviews, you can say two words that triggers a stream of pure inspiration from heaven. He helped me to understand many things, for which I am eternally grateful. More than anything, in my interview I was able to feel the love of Heavenly Father and a lot of gratitude for the opportunity to be serving a mission. Being a missionary is just the best. I can't think of a better place to mold yourself into the person that the Savior wants you to be.

This week with Hermana Cevallos has been great. I love her! We laugh and work hard and we are getting to be great friends. I told President in the interview, "At first you might think she's a little quiet or serious, but she's not! She's a little firecracker!" We love being together and received the confirmation today that we don't have cambios tomorrow, so it's Actopan for 6 more weeks! Whoo! 

It's gonna get crazy here, and fast, because tomorrow we're only going to be 4 missionaries. Zenteno and Langdon are outta here, which I am very sad about. I got used to having my mamá around all the time and now that we're going to be separated again (and probably for good), I'm sad. But I'll get over it with all the work we have to do here. The ward boundaries here are stinking huge! I am nervous. I feel like there is a lot riding on us and there are so many people to visit. So. Many. Members. There are about 800 on the ward list and the average number at church is about 200-230. We'll see how this goes...

The great news is... we got bikes!!! On Saturday Sister Egbert brought us bikes and we are loving it! We get around so much faster and I am so grateful. 

I feel like there are lots of great things happening but at the moment I'm not remembering anything specific. We have lots of investigators but we're having a hard time getting them to church. So we're kinda sad about that but we're just gonna keep working. I've got to start writing in my journal again every night. I've gotten into a bad habit of not doing it. I know that if I write every day, I will find it easier to recognize the hand of the Lord every day. 

I have been reviewing the General Conference talks and, wow, how great was this past General Conference? As I was reading and studing, an inspired question popped into my mind that I'd like to ask all of you: What changes have you made in your life since the last General Conference? I'd like to hear a short answer from everyone, please! 

 I love you all! I love the mission! 

Hna. Spider

(Elder S.) What a week!

What a week! This week was great. We saw a lot of awesome miracles
here in Yachiyo. The weather here is a bit miserable sometimes. Mid
90s and 70% humidity... It's kinda funny, though. We leave the
apartment at 12:00 everyday after studies and lunch and get to work. By
about 1:30 my pants and shirt are just drenched in sweat. Crazy!
Lately, we've been walking around a lot trying to find people to talk
to and share our message with. We just carry around 2 liter bottles
with us cause it's crazy how much we sweat. But I think Heavenly
Father is really blessing us!

So on Friday we had an awesome experience. We were housing and just
went to this random apartment building and on the first 3 floors there
were about 5 doors on each floor. We knocked on each one and they all
looked out their little peep hole and not one of them answered the
door. On the last floor there was only one door for some reason. We
knocked it and out came a kid named Bamba. We taught him the Plan of
Salvation and he was very interested and told us to come back whenever
we wanted. It was an amazing tender mercy of the Lord. Sometimes
missionary work here in Japan is pretty deflating. We do everything we
can to share our message with everyone but as soon they read the "Iesu
Kirsuto" on our name badge or we tell them who we are they just say
"Sorry, I'm Buddhist!". But I've noticed that as we put all our faith
in Christ and just go out and give all you have, we are really

We had great lessons with both Takano and Flavio this week. Right now,
Takano says the only thing that's holding him back is the Word of
Wisdom. He just can't give up is tea and coffee. He told us "I want to
find a loophole to receiving the gospel and still being able to
drink coffee and tea." We're doing our best to strengthen his faith
and his testimony right now. If you know any talks or scriptures that
could help him send them my way! Flavio is doing so awesome. 
We just need to get permission from his parents so he can get

I love being here in Japan. It's tough, but when I kneel down at night
and talk to my Heavenly Father I know it's all worth it. I love you
guys and hope you're doing awesome!

Love Elder Snyder


 The biggest bowl of ramen I've ever seen

It's so hot my shoe is sweating!