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, December 28, 2015

(Hermana S.) Helping with the work

Hello beautiful familia! 

What a pleasure being able to talk to you on Christmas day. :) I love you all so very much! It was a surprise also being able to talk to Jake... that was fun. On Christmas, we had our district meeting and then we went to do a service project. We painted an elderly lady's house. We finished a little late so afterwards we just ate and then went to call you guys. It was pretty normal. And on the 24th we had a pretty normal day too. No one invited us to eat dinner so we just at the usual meal at 2pm and worked until the end of the day. 

But your packages were so cute and I loved them. :) Thank you so much. I had a great Christmas!

Today my companion and I had interviews with President and, wow, I learned so much. I had been pondering a lot about what we would talk about and I came up with a few questions. He answered them and helped me to understand a lot of things, like how to increase my faith, be humble of heart, and be a better disciple of Christ. As I gain more and more time in the mission I become more aware that Heavenly Father really could just do this work all by Himself if He wanted. Gratefully, He lets us help. This work is a lot more for ourselves that we know. I can understand a little better that I am here not just to be the best missionary I can be, but I am here to prepare to be the best wife, mother, and disciple of Christ that I can be. 

President Egbert is one of the most incredible people I have ever met. The more time I spend around him, the more I come to understand that he is a special witness of Jesus Christ, very similar to the prophets and apostles of old and of our day. I really believe that. I've felt the Spirit's witness that it's true. 

I don't know what else to write... it's been a great week. I love you all!

(Elder S.) Love this work!

Hey family! Well it was great talking to y'all on Christmas. Seems
like things are going well and you're all happy! On Christmas we just
had district meeting, did some normal proselyting, had some Christmas
KFC and then went to Bishop Fukawa's for Christmas cake and some
Christmas festivities! It was pretty fun. Thanks for the Christmas

We had Temple p-day today. It was awesome as usual. The temple is so
great, we're lucky to be able to go so often. Next p-day is already
transfer calls again! This transfer has gone so fast.. I feel like I
just went to the mission home to pick up Elder Hugo. I've been in
Yachiyo for 4 transfers so I'm thinking I might get shipped out. Never
know, though!

So we had a baptism of 2 young girls that the sisters here have been
teaching named Miyu and Rina. Elder Hugo and I got to baptize them
which was a cool experience. That was a pretty sweet Christmas
present! You can definitely feel God's love when you help bring His
children back home.

Well that's about all for this week. I love you all! Have a great week
and a happy new year. I hope you all are searching and praying for
missionary opportunities! God will bless and guide you as you seek to
fulfill His work!

Love Elder Snyder

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Day!!

So, besides Christmas being one of the best days of the year already, when you have a missionary out, Christmas is twice as wonderful!  We got to Skype with both of our missionaries and they both looked and sounded great! We are so grateful for their examples of obedience and their love for the Lord and the people they are serving. We are also so grateful for this time of year when we can ponder the beauty and simplicity the birth of our Savior was and what a perfect example he gave us.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

(Hermana S.) Talk to you on Christmas!

Turns out ldsmail wasn't working yesterday so I couldn't email... so just to let you know, I will call you on Friday the 25th at 6pm Pachuca time. I don't know if there's a time difference or not, but you can check out the situation and be ready at whatever time that will be for you guys! I am guessing the skype name is the same, snyderbunch08, so I will call there. Love you! Have a very merry Christmas! Love you!

Monday, December 21, 2015

(Elder S.) Christmas week!

It's already Christmas week? Time goes quick! We have a lot of awesome
things going on here in the Yachiyo/Narita district! So I get to
interview the baptism candidates who are being taught in my district
and I've had 3 interviews in the past 2 weeks, all passed! One lady
has already been baptized and was confirmed on Sunday. Two of them are
being baptized this coming Saturday! Andddd our investigator Takano
has a date for Christmas!! He's still looking good! He's being
interviewed by our zone leader tomorrow. He's been an investigator for
over a year now and has had a lot of things we've had to work through,
but we're so excited. Prayers for him! Our investigator Kaito left for
the Philippines yesterday for 3 weeks. We taught him how to find
church buildings and so he's gonna find a church he can go to on
Sundays. We also challenged him to read all of 1 Nephi while he's
gone. He's awesome!

Our mission right now has a big focus on consecration. Miracles are
wrought upon faith and obedience! I'm lovin' it! President and Sister
Nagano are awesome, and so funny.

So I'll be skyping on the 26th (25th for you) at 9am. You can find
out what time that will be for you guys. I'm looking forward to
talking with all of you!

Let's remember this Christmas what Christmas is actually about. My
testimony has grown so much deeper over the past few weeks from
teaching and testifying to a people who celebrate Christmas but have
no clue what it's about. I know Christ was born on this earth and
fulfilled God's plan by performing the Atonement and being
resurrected. That we will be resurrected and return to live with our
Father in Heaven again. I know He lives! Love you guys!

Love, Elder Snyder

Christmas caroling at the nursing home!


Kaito, before leaving for the Philippines.

Monday, December 14, 2015

(Hermana S.) Big things going on!

Okkkkk familia. Well, I had a little bit of a shock when they told me I was being transferred. What added to my surprise was the interesting transfer I would have... I am now with Hna. Guzmán in Villas de Pahuca, and we are the senior sister training leaders of the mission. What?! Yeah, I was surprised too. In the mission we don't have Sister Assistants anymore because the number of sisters is decreasing, so we are what they used to be. The other Sister Training Leaders report to us about the sisters and all that jazz... Weirdness. Also, another fun fact. Guess who's finishing Hna. Díaz's training? Hna. Cevallos! Yes! My daughter training my other daughter! Amazing. And my granddaughter who just finished up her training with Hna. Cevallos is training, which makes me great-grandma. Wow, I am getting old! Haha. So many crazy things happening.
I am learning the area quickly and we are searching, searching, searching. This week we found 17 new investigators! When I got here they didn't have too many progressing investigators, so I know it's going to be a cycle of searching. I'm pumped! We are going to catch Villas on fire!
My second day here, our appointments fell through and we decided to say a prayer to be able to find someone to teach. So we prayed and then started walking. After a minute or two I turned to look at a house we had passed and asked if we could go knock. My comp said sure, so we went and knocked. An old guy opened the door and told us we could say a prayer with him. We did a Harvesting Blessing and he accepted the baptismal date. Since then we have gone back 2 times and wow, he is so great! His name is Cecilio and he's 80 years old. He told us the other day, "Hermanitas, I need you to prepare me for my baptism, ok?" Ahhhhh, it was so cute. We are finding a lot of goodies; I'll keep you updated. :)

This cycle is going to fly, I just know it. This week we have the Christmas Devotional and then the next week we have interviews and we'll be doing a bunch of splits and visiting in on the sisters' studies... I know that it's going to go by way too fast.
I don't know what else to say! I'm definitely adjusting to the new area and the new assignment and I'm just grateful for the grace of the Savior and for this amazing season of Christmas. There's something so special about this time of the year. It's because a Savior is born! I am so grateful for Him and His mercy and love. I am such a flawed person, for that reason I am so grateful for the King of Kings, the Savior and Redeemer of mankind!
Love you all! Do something kind today for someone who least expects it. :)
Hna. Snyder

(Elder S.) Christmas cake and KFC

Hey everybody! Life is going great here in Japan. It's the Christmas
season, so Japanese people actually feel the Christmas spirit and get
some interest in Christ. The Christmas tradition in Japan is to eat
Christmas Cake and KFC. Why? I don't know but that's just what they
do. They think that's what happens in America! It's pretty funny and
that's what every Japanese person says they do when you ask them what
they do for Christmas.

So our investigator Kaito was not baptized on Saturday. He's still
100% gold, but his parents say he's not allowed to pay tithing. He
said that he wants to respect his parents and so he won't get baptized
until he is able to keep all the commandments. But, we'll be going to
talk to them with Bishop Fukawa and trying to help them realize what
tithing is and help them be okay with it. Takano still has a date for
Christmas! Right now he's looking about 50/50 on making his date. Pray
for him!

My companion Elder Hugo is doing great. He's working super hard and
trying his best with everything. I've already been back out 6 months,
so almost 10 months total. Crazy! I'm almost over the hill already..

I'm so glad to be here in Japan serving these people! There's nowhere
else I should be. It's amazing seeing the hand of God daily as you
seek His guidance. I love sharing the gospel with everyone and seeing
how it changes lives. Love you guys!


Monday, December 7, 2015

(Hermana S.) I'm getting transferred!

Hello family!
Well, I have news. I'm getting transferred tomorrow.
Yeah, I am surprised too. When Presidente called me a cycle ago, he told me I would finish training Hna. Díaz after Hna. Cerna went home (she goes tomorrow). Surprise! It's not so! I will be transferred tomorrow. I flipped out a little bit, but turns out it's not a joke. I can't even believe it.
Yesterday was one of the most incredible and life-changing days of my mission and of my life. I can't believe I haven't told you about one of our investigators, Juan. Juan had a pretty serious bike accident about 13 years ago, which left him without his 2 legs.  For all these years, he's been legless, and for the past 2 years, he's been wifeless because she left him and took their daughter. She left Juan with their young son, Ever, who is 14 years old. They live alone and Ever, well, he does everything that his dad can't do. He shops, cooks, cleans, everything. He had to stop going to school because they don't have money. They basically live off the charity of whoever will help them.
So we found them and started teaching them. Even with their situation, they're super great. Always smiling and with a postive attitude. We visited them this week with Hno. Monzalvo (an awesome member that always helps us out) and they agreed to go to church. So we went to pick them up for church with Hno. Monzalvo in the morning yesterday and Ever told us that his dad wasn't feeling well. We went to see Juan and he was laying in the bed twitching. He said he was having very strong cramps, and it was obvious that he was in great pain. Hno. Monzalvo asked if he had called the doctor, and he said that no, they didn't have even a peso to make a phone call. So Hno. Monzalvo sprung into action. First, he gave him a blessing. Then, he called the doctor. The doctor didn't answer, so we went rushing to the Red Cross for emergency care. Today in the morning he took him to do more tests and buy them food and... I don't think I am describing very well everything that happened but it was just amazing. The reaction of Hno. Monzalvo and his willingness to serve, no matter the cost, struck me to the core.
I'll tell you more about it next week. For now, I don't have time. But I love you all so much! Talk to you in a week in somewhere other than Tecnologico!
Love yinz!
Hna. Snyder

Me and Hermana Martha

A little elderly sister made us slippers. Love them!


(Elder S.) Things are great!

Things are going great here in Japan! I love the way things are going
right now here in Yachiyo. My companion Elder Hugo is doing well.
He's getting adjusted quickly! So our main man Kaito is looking great
for baptism this Saturday, the only thing that we're worried about is
him getting permission from his parents since he's only 19. Pray for
Kaito and his parents! Our investigator Takano that I used to
talk about a while ago is also doing really well right now and making
good steps in the right direction again. We set a date with him for
12/25, Christmas!

We had a few experiences last week that once again confirmed to me
that the power of the Holy Ghost is real. One of them happened
yesterday when we went to visit a less active member and shared with
him last year's Christmas video 'Because of Him'. While watching the
video, I felt the Spirit so strongly and I thought in my head that he
had to be feeling it too. When we were done watching the video, I
asked him how he felt, and all he said was "I liked the music..". So
why does that let me know that the Spirit is real? Because we learn in
the scriptures that the Spirit does not dwell in unholy temples. Both
my companion and I felt the Spirit so strongly but he didn't because
of that reason. Always be striving to have the Holy Ghost as your
constant companion!

I know that this is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for
the experience that I have here serving the Lord. Love you all, talk
to you next week!

Love, Elder Snyder