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 28, 2016

(Hermana S.) I'm happy!

Hello wonderfuls!

It's been a great week. I'm happy today! I'm pretty much happy every day, so today I'm happy too. :)

On Saturday, Laura was baptized! :D She is so happy and we are too. After her baptismal interview she walked up to us and just started crying; she was so happy that finally she would be able to be baptized. Then after her baptism she bore a little testimony and she got all choked up. She is so cute!!!!!!!!! Her dad was able to baptize her, he's been a member now for about a year and a half. It's just such a happy story. I love watching how the Gospel of Jesus Christ changes lives. 

Ha sido bien difícil encontrar a nuevos investigadores esta semana. Pues, no tan difícil encontrar a nuevos, sino encontrar a los ESCOGIDOS! Muchos son llamados pero pocos escogidos. Uno se hace escogido, pero las personas a las que hemos encontrado en esta semana no han querido hacerse escogidas. Me da mucha tristeza ver que realmente no tienen el deseo de cambiar ni cumplir con los compromisos. Es una prueba de nuestra fe pero seguiremos trabajando y buscando.

This week I could really learn about the need to be humble. I loved the General Women's Session of conference on Saturday. Service, charity, love, humility... so many things we can work on! I learned about forgiveness and repentance. I learned about Jesus Christ and His perfect example. 

I love you all so much! Have a great week!
Hna. Snyder

(Elder S.) Happy Easter from Japan!

Hey everybody! Another fast week has come and gone. And another month? Can't believe it's almost April already. Time flies way too fast! 

Today was also transfer calls. I'm staying in Koga with Elder Ogata, which will be our third transfer together. That will be the most I've been together with anyone, so I'm excited for another good transfer! I've learned so much from him so I'm looking forward to another 6 weeks. This past week was tough but also really good at the same time. Our investigator Ibata didn't quite pass his interview because he doesn't yet have enough knowledge or testimony of the gospel. But, it's okay because we're still working hard to prepare him! 

Last week we had a ward barbecue which was super fun. Almost all the members came and we had a few investigators come so it was great. The Koga members are pretty great so we're trying really hard to work with them. Also still hitting the streets a lot.

I hope you all had a great Easter! They don't celebrate much here in Japan. Of course the members celebrate it but it sure is interesting being in a country that for the most part has no idea about Easter. But I love the spirit that always comes with it. Taking the sacrament was a really special experience for me this Sunday. I know our Savior lives and loves us. Turn to Him!

 Love you all and talk to you next week. Elder Snyder

Monday, March 21, 2016

(Hermana S.) Last interview and a quick note...

Hey fam!

I don't have too much time to write today... we're grocery shopping but just stopped at an internet cafe to write quick. Don't worry, I'll tell you lots of stories in person real soon! 

Today I had my last interview with President. SO WEIRD. But so great. I love President so much.  

This week Laura will be baptized! She's the mom and daughter of a family of members, so she's excited. Somehow, she just fell through the cracks and was never baptized. I like finding those people, the ones who are ready and desirous to be baptized. It's great uniting families! So next week I will send you lots of pics.

That's about all I have for this week!
Hna. Snyder

(Elder S.) Lots of great stuff going on!

Hey everyone! This week was great.

 First off, our investigator Hideaki Ibata is looking really good for baptism this coming Easter Sunday. He has his interview tomorrow so pray for him! This past week we've covered everything with him and he seems really excited for his baptism. We also have Eiki's (youth) friends Yuki and Yuya who are doing awesome. Last week we taught them the restoration and it was great. We had zone conference with President and Sister Nagano and the assistants. It was awesome, as always. I learned a ton and am trying to apply everything. We also went down to Tokyo last week and went on exchanges with the assistants, Elder Miller and Elder Sugimoto. It's always fun learning from other missionaries on splits. It's also super fun proselyting in Tokyo. There are so many people to talk to on the streets.. It's awesome. Well I don't have a lot of time today but those are the major highlights of our week. Lots of good stuff going on here! I love it! Everyone have an awesome Easter week! Let's all remember the true meaning of this season. The reason we will all be forgiven of our mistakes and will live together forever.

 I love you guys! Elder Snyder

Monday, March 14, 2016

(Hermana S.) His Grace Is Sufficient

Hey family!

Another great week in the mission. I feel like the hardest weeks are the ones where we learn the most. It's been hard to really find the "chosen ones" this week, but I can't complain. The Spirit has been my constant companion. I feel like Parley P. Pratt, who said this after 25 years of almost constant missionary service:

“I have desired, after travelling for twenty-five or twenty-six years, mostly abroad, to stay at home and minister among the people of God, and take care of my family; but God’s will be done, and not mine. If it is the will of God that I should spend my days in proclaiming this Gospel and bearing testimony of these things, I shall think myself highly privileged and honored. And when the Spirit of God is upon me, I think it matters but very little what I suffer, what I sacrificed–whether I secure the honor or dishonor of men, or where I die, if it so be that I can keep the faith, fight the good fight, and finish my course with joy. I have all eternity before me, in which to enjoy myself.”

It's been a great week.

I learned a lot in leadership council this week. The theme was teaching by the Spirit. We are really trying to apply what we learned. We want to teach by the Spirit. I want to be just a conduit, nothing more.

This week while meditating, I realized all the things that still need to change about myself. I feel like the mission is the best place to do it, and the truth is that I have changed a lot in 17 months. However, time simply flies the mission. So many things to change, so little time.

I am immensely grateful for repentance and the sacrament. I had some special feeling yesterday and was purified by the Holy Spirit. I could understood the importance or going to sacrament meeting with a broken heart and contrite spirit. They Young Women's president asked us to teach their class and the theme of the class was the Atonement. I thought a lot about what I knew about the Atonement before the mission and if I'm really being honest, it was very little. I knew the "facts" but did not understand the doctrine and did not know how to apply it in my life. It made me so happy to able to teach the young women about the doctrine of the Atonement yesterday. Finally they understood; finally they can apply it in their lives.

I was reading this morning one of my favorites by Brad Wilcox, speeches "His Grace Is Sufficient." He gives an example of a little kid whose mom pays for piano lessons. The mom pays and asks for only one thing - practice! The practice doesn't repay even a little bit of what the mom hands over every lesson; it doesn't pay the piano teacher either. Sometimes the kid might complain, "Why do I have to practice? All the other kids are playing, I wanna go play... I'm going to be a pro baseball player anyway!" But by practicing, he shows the appreciation and love he has for his mom, the mom who has a vision of who he can really become. It's the same with the Atonement. The price has been paid. Whatever I do will never even begin to repay that price. His grace isn't just there to "make up the difference" between what I can do and Heavenly Father's high expectations. His grace makes ALL the difference. It is by his grace that I am saved. My obedience is just to show Him that I love Him and that I want to be who He wants me to be. He sees our true potential when we ourselves don't even have the slightest idea.

Love you all so much! Have a great week!
Hna. Snyder

(Elder S.) Ether 12:37

Heyyyy! This week was awesome! So we've been getting 200-300 meaningful contacts every week. This is significant because we live in Koga... There are no people on the streets! Haha. But we're working hard, we're serving the Lord and so that's why this week was awesome. Yes, there are hard days. Yes, I wonder why God won't send us a golden investigator. Yes, I just want people to listen to this message that we have to share... But, when I get to the end of the day and feel peace, I know that God is with me. I remember that this isn't my work, but the Lord's. If God were to give me everything I wanted, where would be my growth!? I'm grateful for all of the experiences that I'm able to go through.

Ether 12:37 "And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: If they have not charity it mattereth not unto thee, thou hast been faithful; wherefore, thy garments shall be made clean. And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father."

I know this is the Lord's work. I know this gospel is true. I've experienced this gospel change my life and seen it change others. I've seen miracles that I can't deny could only come from God. I love this work, I love Japan and I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior.

 Love you all! Elder Snyder

Monday, March 7, 2016

(Hermana S.) Baptism!

It's been a great week. Jenifer was baptized! WHOO! She's seriously a champ. And her mom is in the process, too. Poco a poco. :) It was a great baptismal service because the Elders also had a baptism. Their convert, Mary, is seriously one of the most beautiful people I have ever met. They're two testaments of inspired street contacts.

We had some amazing experiences this week. On Saturday,all of the appointments fell through and we decided to do some street contacting. We contacted a lady outside her home and she invited us in. We did a Harvesting Blessing and she accepted a baptismal date. On Sunday she went to stake conference. She took her two little granddaughters and they loved it We taught her after church yesterday afternoon; she had read the pamphlet we had given her and told us everything she had learned - prophets, priesthood, apostasy, and the restoration. At the end of the lesson she began to cry and told us , "I've seen you two in a dream." She told us about this dream and she said that what we were teaching her was filling an emptiness in her heart that she didn't even know existed. Wow ... This work is amazing! Talk about finding "the chosen ones"!

That same Saturday we weren't sure what to do in the night after all the appointments fell through. We said a prayer in the street, asking to be led to someone who needed us. My companion said, "Let's go to La Colonia," which is another neighborhood. It was a little weird because it was already 8:15pm, but we went anyway. On the way, I said, "Let's see if Gerardo and Serely are home." It's a part-member family that we haven't been able to teach yet, so we made the turn before La Colonia to visit them. They were sick so they couldn't let us in but when we asked for references, Serely said, "The only neighbors I really know live right beside us. Her name is Elizabeth." Okay... So we went and knocked on her door. Elizabeth is the sweetest lady, she's a chorus teacher! Booyah! She invited us in and we did a Harvesting Blessing. Now we have a sweet new family and we are so excited about them. 

Seriously this work is amazing. If we really ask for and seek the guidance of the Lord, He is always there. I am so happy to be a missionary. I love everything about being here. The Gospel is so true. The Savior lives.

I love you,
Hna. Snyder


(Elder S.) MLC

Displaying image2.JPGDisplaying image2.JPGHey! Last week was a really good week. So we found a kid named Yuki a few weeks ago on the street and then we found out he was a friend of one of the youth here in Koga. We have a tutoring service here every week for the youth and other kids learning English, or Elder Ogata teaches Math. We told Eiki (Yuki's youth friend) to invite him to tutoring and he came! So I was able to help them with their English homework and then Eiki said okay let's study about the church! So Yuki took the Book of Mormon that we gave him out of his backpack and we were able to have a lesson with him about the Book of Mormon! It was awesome and we're going to start having lessons at Eiki's house. Super cool! 

We also had Mission Leadership Council last week. I love MLC, it's one of my favorite things we do. We get to learn from the best, President Nagano! He really is awesome and you can just feel that what he is saying comes from God. Right now we are focusing on something we call "金人伝道, kinjin dendo" or directly translated, "gold person proselyting". We want to really start sifting the wheat from the tares right from the beginning. Now, that might sound like we are just robots, trying to find people that will listen to us. But what it is is just "finding them that will receive you" (D&C 42:8). Rather than wasting 10 minutes trying to get people to become our friends, we want to give 1 minute, powerful messages that will allow others to decide whether or not they want to hear the gospel. And in doing so, we can talk to so many more people and give many more people the opportunity to hear our message. But of course, there is an easier way and that is through the members, so that's always our number 1 focus. We also had zone meeting last week. I really like zone meetings, too, which gives us an opportunity to learn from and also teach other missionaries. We always come away fired up and ready to get down to business! 

Right now Ibata is still chuggin along. We're working pretty hard with him to get his testimony strengthened. He still has some kinks that we have to get worked out but he's still moving in the right direction. Prayers for him! My companion Elder Ogata is awesome! He's so good. I know this church is true and it changes lives. I know God is there and He loves us. I know Christ is our Savior. No matter how hard it is, no matter how many people rejected us that day, as long as we have faith that testimony it'll be okay. Love y'all! 

Elder Snyder