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, October 26, 2015

(Hermana S.) I Love Training!


We got the transfer call this morning and they told us that Hna. Vasquez has transfers tomorrow (obviously, she's going home!) but that Hna. Cerna and I weren't going to have transfers. But President just called me and gave me the news that Sister Cerna and I are going to be in trio again because WE ARE GOING TO TRAIN!!!!! And then at the end of this cycle, Hna. Cerna goes home and I am going to finish training her. I AM SO HAPPY! First of all, our trio this cycle must have been a huge success because President really doesn't like trios at all. But I am so grateful for this opportunity. I LOVE TRAINING! I LOVE THE MISSION! I LOVE LIFE! I am just a little happy. Haha. LOVE YOU!

(Later in the day)

Hello!  Before you die from worry, stop it. Haha. I am fine! We are experiencing verrrrry light effects from Hurricane Patricia. A little rain and wind, and that's about it! They say that as soon at it hit land it decreased like 4 degrees in severity. So, don't worry! All your powerful prayers calmed the storm! 

It's been a good week! I am SO HAPPY because we are going to have a baptism soon! The first in a long time in the area... like 10 months or something. WHOO!!! There are no "bad areas," at least in this mission. I love what Jake told us in his letter this week: "Make your area a baptizing area!" That goes for all you folks at home too! We still have two weeks to wait for R's baptism but we reviewed the baptimal interview questions with him yesterday and he is READY! We are just going to wait so that his parents can come. :') That's a happy cry! His girlfriend (the bishop's daughter) is so ecstatic and I'm pretty sure she is already planning her temple wedding for a year from his baptism! :)

***Sorry, at this point I am flipping out inside because President just called me with the news that I sent you!!!!!!

I had the great opportunity to study the talk "Eyes to See and Ears to Hear" by Elder Kim B. Clark this week. I loved it ever since the first time I heard it (maybe because he's the President of BYU-I so I paid special attention ;) but this week, wow, it took on a whole new meaning. I realized I need to better recognize all the tender mercies and small miracles of the Lord every day. By realizing them and thanking Him more often and more fervently, I may be more receptive to the Holy Spirit and be able to follow Him at all times. I set a goal to write in my journal how I have been able to see the hand of the Lord every day. It will be a little difficult to find the time to do it every night but I know that my spirituality will increase and I will become more fluent in the language of the Spirit. 

I think my mind is jammed up with excitement so that's just about all she wrote. But I love you all so much! Have the best week ever! I will send you pictures next week with a new little trainee :) Love you all!

(Elder S.) Short but sweet

Hellooooo!! I have not a lot of time today so this will be a quick
one! First I'm going to reply to Kelsey's commitment to us all from
last week. The part of that talk that stood out to me the most is when
he says "...the Atonement is also for saints--for good men and women
who are obedient, worthy, and conscientious and who are striving to
become better." No matter how Christlike and obedient we are there's
always room for improvement. Through the Atonement and by the grace of
Christ we can always become better! That's why we have to seek from
the spirit what we are lacking yet.

This week we met an awesome new investigator! He's 20 years old and
his name is T. We're going to meet him again tonight and I'm so
excited. It's amazing to see the miracles wrought from God through the

I'm doing great and loving it here in Japan! I know this is God's work
and that he is blessing us with miracles every single day. I love you
all and commit you to strive to be better at sharing the gospel with
your friends and people you associate with. Help make your ward/branch
a baptizing area!

Love you all,
Elder Snyder

Monday, October 19, 2015

(Elder S.) Life is great!

Hellooooo! Another awesome week in Japan! Life is great! We're seeing
many miracles and I know Heavenly Father is guiding and blessing us.

We got to meet with D's brother R this week! We do teach them
in English, which is way nice. Anyway we taught him the
restoration and then committed him to be baptized when he comes to
know these things are true. He replied "but, I've already been
baptized.. You want me to get baptized again?" We taught him that
because the priesthood was restored through Joseph Smith, we now have
the authority of God to baptize. When I was testifying of this to him
I felt a burning in my chest and knew that the Holy Ghost was
confirming my words. He then told us that he understands and will be
baptized by someone holding the priesthood. So awesome! Unfortunately
our gold K is so dang busy that we weren't able to meet him this
week. But he's still awesome.

Being district leader is pretty fun but adds a lot of busyness and a
little stress to the schedule! At the beginning of the week I had one
of the coolest experiences I've ever had. One where God straight up
gave me the answer. The day after transfer calls I was feeling a
little worried about being a DL because of all the responsibilities
that come with it. During my morning prayer on Tuesday, the words
"Ephesians 7&8" randomly came into my head. I thought, "what the heck
is that, I've probably never read those chapters in my life?!" I went
and opened up my scriptures and of course there were only 6 chapters
in Ephesians. I then read all of the verses 7&8 in Ephesians..and it
was crazy. The verses go together like a separate chapter. In the
first 4 chapters, they talk about the grace of Jesus Christ and how
the apostle Paul was made a minister by grace, even though he
considered himself "less than the least of all saints". In the next 2
chapters they talk about being children of light and giving service to
the Lord. I will never ever forget that experience. I think I've read
those verses 20 times since then. And it still blows my mind. But, it
was just what I needed. God really is a worker of miracles!

I love you all so much! Have an awesome week!

Love, Elder Snyder

Finally, some pics of temple p-day and Japan SkyTree!:

(Hermana S.) What Lack I Yet?

Helllllooooo familia!

It's been a great week! This week I reached one year in the mission. That is SO WEIRD. I only have 4 transfers left, which feels like the blink of an eye. I don't even know what to do with myself. Just kidding, I know exactly what to do - WORK!

I just love the mission. This week was good. Interesting, because we are not going to have the baptisms that we had planned. But you know what, I think it's better that way. H needs to be baptized with his mom so that he has a strong support and remains active in the church. And I just isn't ready. He needs more preparation so that he feels comfortable and excited for this eternity-changing moment. I have been able to learn the importance of this preparation as I get farther into the mission. We are looking for real converts, and that requires patience, diligence, and preparation. We are willing to pay the price!

Also, we had two new baptismal dates in church yesterday! S, a 60-or-so-year-old lady that we are teaching that is SO CUTE! She really doesn't know much about religion or the Bible or anything, and she is so humble about it. She wants to learn and is reading the Book of Mormon and we are so excited for her. When we went to pick her up for church, she was waiting outside for us! Pray for her!!! And M, a 21-year-old kid that we invited to church in a contact and he said that he would go to church. So when we went to pick him up he was all ready and said he was worried that we weren't going to come! And then in the chapel he accepted a baptismal date! Boo-ya! 

I am happy. I love the mission. This week President sent us the talk, "What Lack I Yet?" by Elder Lawrence and we are to study it this week. I'd like to try a little experiment with you guys! This week, will you study this talk? Read it, study it, meditate it, and give me your thoughts. What did you learn? What called your attention? How have you been able to apply it? What changes have you made? I love you all so much, and since Christmas last year when President taught us this principle, I have changed. I know that by asking, "What lack I yet?" the Spirit can whisper what we can change in this moment to become more like the Savior. 

How grateful I am for Him! For His love! For His example! For His Gospel!  


Monday, October 12, 2015

(Hermana S.) Exact obedience brings miracles

It's been a good week! Yesterday we had 6 people in church! That was pretty good! We are happy :)

I realized that it would be good to tell you a little more about the people we are teaching, so here's a little rundown of the most importants:

1. L and J: It's a mom and son of almost-8-years-old. They are awesome and we are hoping she can be baptized with her son on the 24th!

2. I: He's a 15-year-old who has 2 sisters that are members in another ward in Pachuca. He is reading the Book of Mormon and says he's received an answer from God that it's true, so we are planning his baptism for the 24th because he's already been to church like 5 times. :)

3. A and I: It's a beautiful couple with 2 little kids. The dad is Christian but hasn't gone to church in like 2 years for whatever reason (la flojera - laziness). And the mom is Catholic by tradition but doesn't go to church. They are looking for a foundation of faith in their home. We knocked on their door and they accepted a baptismal date and are AWESOME! We just have to get them to church now...

4. R: He's the boyfriend of the Bishop's daughter. He has been to church a lot but we can't hardly teach him because he always works in the week, but we are going to get him baptized here soon!

And there are many more...

But also something amazing happened yesterday! This cute little couple that no one knows showed up in church yesterday! Turns out they live in our colony, just stopped by the church to see what it's like, loved it, and are AWESOME! What a miracle!

I am learning so much in the mission. Obedience brings blessings but exact obedience brings miracles. We are trying to be as obedient as we can and I just know we are going to see miracles. I've been learning a lot about the Christlike attribute of hope lately. I don't have much time so this is what I wrote to President about hope:

Estoy aprendiendo mucho del atributo de esperanza. He podido entender que es el anhelo que recibirá las bendiciones prometidas por su obediencia. Entonces me puse a meditar mucho y me di cuenta de que la esperanza, igual a la fe, es un principio de acción. Se nos ha prometido un bautismo cada semana si cumplimos con exactitud los 10 contactos (entre otras cosas) pero a veces se nos olvida de esta promesa tan grande. ¿Dónde están los bautismos? Creo que tenemos que actuar según esa esperanza. ¡Tenemos que buscarlos! They don't just fall into our laps! Entonces ahora estamos enfocándonos mucho en buscar y enseñar y mostrar nuestra esperanza en las personas que ya han ido a la capilla o han sido investigadores por mucho tiempo para que ellos puedan progresar y se cumplan las promesas - ¡tengamos bautismos! 

I love the mission! I know that we are going to have great success here. This area's been pretty dead for a while. Looking at their past numbers is a little depressing. But my DL just got done being assistant for 3 cycles and after voicing to him my concern for the area, he said, "Well, Hermana Snyder, that's exactly why you're there." He told me that the assistants and Presidents didn't quite know what to do with this area because there really wasn't anything good going on, so he put me here for a very special purpose. I am so happy to be here and I know that great things are going to happen! 

Love you all! 
Hna Snyder

The best trio in the world! 


 Today's zone activity!


Hermana Cerna is a Nito addict. 

(Elder S.) Staying in Yachiyo

Well, another transfer has come and gone. They go way fast! I'm very
happy to say that I will be staying for another transfer in Yachiyo.
And my companion is still Elder Kuroiwa. I'm also becoming a District
leader for the first time.. Little nervous but should be fun! I'm
really excited for the next transfer! How about General Conference? That was
sooo good! I hope you all found ways to improve, because I sure
did. Imagine if everyone in the world watched conference.. I think
they would all be converted, haha.

So we had an awesome lesson with our investigator Kaito last week and
invited him to baptism when he comes to know these things are true. He
said, "Yes, of course.  I already know these things are true!" He is so
awesome! He's 19, loves baseball and is a college student here in
Japan. Right now the big focus in all of the missions here in Japan
has been "sweet spot" aged investigators. Those are people ages 15-26 

that will be able to go on missions, marry in the temple and
raise families in the gospel. Another awesome thing is that Dennis
referred his 17 year old brother to us! We're pretty excited to start
teaching him now too. We also had a few bummers this week, having to
drop our investigators Flavio and Takano. Right now neither of them
want to progress and we decided that we need to have enough faith to
drop them so we'll have more time to go find more golden sweet spots!

Well I hope you all are doing great! I sure am and loving serving here
in Japan. Love y'all!
Love Elder Snyder


Monday, October 5, 2015

(Hermana S.) I'm 21!

Hellllllo familia! I just received a picture of my sweet little niece!!! AWWWW! I am so happy!
And well, I turned 21 this week! That was weird! I am offically an adult! You know what we did on my birthday? The same things as all the other days! Haha. But it was super sweet because my district threw a little surprise party for me on Thursday. Love them! Being a missionary is the best because the people around you (other missionaries) are always trying to improve and serve and be more Christlike, so I think the little party was a manifestation of that.
General Conference was SO GREAT!!! Once more I'm going to copy and paste what I wrote to President :)

¡Estoy super feliz! He sido completamente edificada y enriquecida por la hermosa conferencia de ayer y sábado. De verdad, nunca habia preparado tanto para una conferencia y puedo decir que 100% valió la pena. Fuí a la conferencia en ayuno y realmente Presidente fue una experiencia muy especial para mí. Recibí respuestas a cada una de mis preguntas y sentí mucho el Espíritu y el amor de Dios. Tengo muchas cosas que aplicar.

Lo más especial fue que podía seguir sentiendo ese Espíritu aún después de la conferencia. Encontramos a una familia y tuve tanto calor en mi pecho que supe que esta familia era una familia escogida. Hemos buscado muchísimo y he sentido a veces que los nuevos que hemos encontrado son buenos pero no son los escogidos del Señor. Sé que Él quiere que encontremos a estas familias, sólo tenemos que seguir al Espíritu para encontrarlas. Y sé que Él nos guió para encontrar a esta familia.

Sé que nuestros líderes son inspiriados y ahora mi oración es que yo puedo tener "ojos para ver y oídos para oír" lo que el Señor quiere que haga en esta área.
It was a very special conference for me. I felt the Spirit so strongly! Did you? I already started "ponderizing" 3 Nephi 5:13 which says,

Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life."
Can we ponderize this together? I love you all so much. I know this is the truth and I feel so happy to declare it everywhere I go all the time. Do it and you'll feel the same!

My 21st birthday party! 

 A big futbol like 2 blocks from our house. It's the "World of Futbol", 
a museum or something cool like that. :)

 Chinese food in Mexico? Weird but delicious!

Mcdonalds?? Yes, please!

(Elder S.) Grateful for Grace

Hey! Sounds like you all had a really great and exciting week! We had
a pretty good week and a half here in Yachiyo. And you might be
wondering why I'm emailing so late this week.. We had Temple p-day
this week and it was on a Wednesday for some reason. I loooove that
our mission does temple p-day every transfer. It's awesome being able
to go every 6 weeks. So great!  Also, it's my companion's second to
last transfer so he wanted to go to Tokyo Sky Tree after the temple.
That was pretty fun and we got to go up one of the tallest buildings
in the world. Pretty cool experience!

I'm glad to hear my li'l niece has touched ground safe! She's quite the
cute, chunky baby. Seth I loved those videos of Tuck. He's so awesome.
Also glad you all got to watch conference. It sounds like it was a
pretty exciting and spiritual one. Because of the time difference we
will be watching it this coming weekend. So excited to hear from our
Prophet and leaders!

So this week... for some reason I haven't had an appetite. I think
I've only eaten 3 meals in the past 4 days.. Not sure why 'cause I
don't really feel sick but my stomach just gets uneasy with the
thought of food. Pretty weird. My companion says he doesn't know where
his companion went.

Sorry I don't have much time, but I'll share with you one thing that I
have learned this past week and received spiritual confirmation of.
God doesn't ask us to not have weaknesses. God has given us many
weaknesses that we can learn from, be humbled by and overcome. As a
missionary, I think all of my weaknesses are put under a magnifying
glass. Because I'm hard-headed and want to be as good as possible I
tend to get angry at myself for having weaknesses that I feel like I
shouldn't have. I read the other day Ether 12 and in the Bible
Dictionary "grace". If you haven't done so lately, do it. I'm so
amazed at the grace of our Savior. Although we are unable to overcome
all of our weaknesses on our own, by His grace we are able to be
propelled forward. He will make up the difference. Please seek it out,
and do all you can to overcome your weaknesses because you won't be
doing it alone. I'm so grateful for our Savior and all the blessings
we receive from the Gospel.

Love you guys, have a great rest of your week!
Elder Snyder