Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Sunday, October 15, 2017

October 9, 2017

Howdy mom!

I’m glad that you got to see Jason and his family!! I will definitely keep him in my prayers. I’m excited to see everyone so happy! I can’t wait to them when I get home!

This week has gone by so fast!! It was the last week of the transfer, so time always flies by!

Transfer News. I’m staying in Yreka with Elder Smith, AND I’m going to be a District Leader again! I’m not sure who is in my district yet, but I’m hoping Elder Atkinson and his comp are. We shall see what happens next week.

This week has gone by fast, but there is not much to report on. We tried talking to lots of people, but nothing really came of it. We didn’t find anyone new or have any real solid lessons, but the work goes on.

I do have some pictures from Etna. Fall is here, and it is beautiful. The colors are bright and the are is cool. I’m worried because it’s going to get cold here in a bit, but for now it’s really nice.

I’m up in Medford today to get some stuff and to run some errands for the mission office. It’s going to be a fun day. I get to hang out with Elder Atkinson so I’m pretty happy about that.

I don’t have much time or much else to say. I know that the church is true and that Jesus lives. 

I love you so much! I’ll have lots of stuff to talk about next week!

Elder Snyder

That goofball---I miss that boy of mine! I was thinking of him today and just want to hug him! 

October 2, 2017

Hi mom!

How’s it going?

No, we weren’t able to go help with the pig... we got too busy to go help... but we are going over to the Pollocks sometime soon! They’re the coolest aren’t they?

This week has been so great! General Conference was just the best wasn’t it?

Let’s see, this week has been pretty fun of the mill. We tracted a whole lot, and we had a lot of great lessons!! Monday and Tuesday we have nothing to report on.

Wednesday was fun! 
We went to do service cutting wood, then went out to Etna to help a lady build fences for her horses!! We were exhausted!! After that, we ate dinner at a members home down in Etna, then went out and contacted some families. We didn’t stay the night in Etna, because Thursday morning we had to drive up to Medford, so we went up to Yreka and slept there.

We had interviews with President Orton. We drove up to Medford around 8:00 to be there on time. It was so fun!! President Orton is such a great man. We had a really good interview and I’m excited to see where the mission goes in the next six months.

Friday was a fun day. We went to District Meeting with the Sivulas. We chatted about the Book of Mormon and also the Zone Conference we had a week and a half ago. After we did power hour (the whole zone Tracting in one area) then we had lunch with the Zone. After we had a few appointments and we went and did some more Tracting. It was a pretty good day. We only got told we were going to hell once!! Hahaha :)

What a great day of conference! We watch Conference with a family in Yreka. They were so nice! Since the morning session started at 9:00am our time, they had us over for breakfast. We did work between the sessions, but they invited us over to watch the other sessions with them. 

What another great sessions of conference! We watched the first session again with the same family that had us over for the Saturday sessions, then we watched the other session at the church. What a wonderful conference. I learned so much!

I am so thankful for prophets and apostles to speak to us. I’ve learned so many insights to the gospel by listening to these inspired men. Some cool stories. Remember Elder Parrella from the Seventy? He spoke in the Sunday afternoon session. He was one of the seventy that spoke to us at Zone Conference. Also, remember the talk on miracles? Where he talked about Mt. Shasta? That’s half in our mission. I’ll send you a couple pictures of it.

I love you so much. I love that book that’s blue, I know the church is true, and I’ll see you by next Conference :)

Elder Snyder

P.S. We were at the dealership and the shooting was on the news. So sad to hear... my prayers go to them.

Tell Miss Kristin I found Cheerwine!! 

I got to hang out with Elder Atkinson

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

More Pics...

Elder Snyder sent a few more pics from Monday...

This pic was taken by Elder and Sister Danley and text to me with this message:
"Guess who we found this morning? He and Elder Smith helped move couches out of a senior couple's apartment. Elder Snyder is always so happy to help wherever he is!!"
I am so thankful when I get pictures of Bracken. If you ever run into a missionary, take a picture of them and text it to their mommas!! 

We love seeing these numbers go down!!

Monday, September 25, 2017

18 Month Mark!!

Hey Momma!

How are you doing? I'm so glad that you're doing well!! I'm glad that you went out with the Missionaries!! I love when members come with us, it's the best!

How are the missionaries in our ward? Are they stellar? Our ward deserves the best :) make sure you tell those missionaries I'm thankful for their service!

I'm sorry you're having poor air quality. We've had excellent air since the fire in Etna got put out. I've been breathing a lot better since all the smoke got put out.

I hope you'll have some good rainfall to help put the dust out of the air. How's is the clean up doing? Are things getting back to normal? How's Elise doing in school? Is the school back up and running?

My week has been great!! We had a wonderful finding week. We found 7 new investigators and placed 9 Books of Mormon. That puts us at 27 for this transfer!! Not that it is a competition (which we are in competition with the Zone) but we are leading the Zone by a considerable amount.

We taught quite a bit of lessons. We've been really working on making sure every contact is a chance to teach. We've made a great effort to teach both in Yreka and in Etna. The area is really growing! The Sivulas just put a 9 year old on date for baptism as well. Both us and them are doing so great!!

Any cool stories... well, Elder Smith almost got bit by a dog in Etna!! We were Tracting and this hyena dog came up and tried to bite Elder Smith!! It snagged his pants!! It was crazy!! It's a laughable thing because Elder Smith is okay, and with no bite. We were a little frustrated at this dog, but we laugh about it now.

I also hit my 18 month mark this week. I recorded my testimony to send it to you so I'll do that. That night we BBQ some chicken and brats and I burnt my pants for the 18 month mark. I'll attach a video and pictures for that.

Other than that my week was pretty routine. I did, however, have a bit of revelation this week with the help of an Elder in my district. We were doing practice teaching and the Missionary taught me this scripture.

Alma 13

"28 But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering;"

I've heard it said that God won't give us anything above we can bear, but that's not the case. We need to watch and pray continually, THEN we won't be tempted above what we are able. God loves us, as we turn towards him, we will be protected because of our foundation we are built upon.

I love you momma

Elder Snyder
Bracken's Testimony

Burning of the Pants

Sept. 18th

E-mail #1
Hey Mom!

I don't have a ton of time right now, but I'll send out a big email in an hour or so, we need to run to the store.

Two things though. Yes, I got the package :) I loved it!! Thanks for the shirt and for the gift cards and the snacks!! It's so weird that my time is winding down... 

Second, the General Authorities were Elder Whiting and Elder Parrella. They were so cool!! I chatted with Elder Whiting one on one after the conference in an interview with him. It was so neat! He was so kind:)

Anyway, I love you! I miss you too!

Elder Snyder

E-mail #2

Hola Momma!

Now we're back and I'm going to tell you all about my week!

My week has been long, but extremely good. We started out by having so many appointments on Monday night and Tuesday that we were always rushing around and had no time to tract!! It was so fun (but exhausting). I'm not sure if I've told you, but I cover two wards that are very big. The main area we cover is Yreka, and the furthest away area is Etna. Once a week we stay in a members home in Etna and we do work down there. That's what we did on Wednesday and Thursday. We tracted the whole time, but found two new investigators and placed six Books of Mormon.

On Friday we had Zone Conference. It was so great! We had Elder Whiting and Elder Parrella from the Seventy come and speak to us. Elder Parrella is from Brazil, and was super funny! He apologized for his English (which his English was really good) by saying "I'm from Brazil so I have an excuse!!" And made everyone laugh a lot by sharing some super neat stories.

Zone Conference was also fun because I saw three of my past companions there. Elder Davis (when I was in Florence) Elder Johnson (when I was in Grants Pass) and Elder Atkinson (when I was in Oakridge). It was tons of fun to see all of them. You develop such a love for those whom you serve with. I count all my past comps as my brothers.

Friday night to Saturday we did exchanges. Those were so fun!! I loved being with my District Leader and his Comp. we had a blast and learned a lot. 

Sunday we had church, tracted, visited Coleton (a less active member) and we had dinner at a member's house who lives out in the middle of nowhere, so that was super fun, but it took all our time up

That about sums up my week. One of the Talks that was given at Zone Conference was about the character of Christ. The Character of Christ is to turn outward with Charity when our natural selves would turn inward. There are many examples of this in the scriptures, and in modern day application. The service work you're doing is an example of that. The natural man would stay in and only care for themselves and complain about the mess. The Character of Christ is to get out and serve. 

I'm so thankful that we have opportunities to serve and show our Christlike love. I'm so thankful for Jesus Christ and his Atonement that helps us become better. I want my words and my example to exemplify the example the Prophet Mormon gives, by saying 

"13 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."

I love you and I miss you.

Elder Snyder


A special shoutout:

Happy 25th Anniversary!!!

I love you and dad so much. Thanks for sticking together for so long
and being an awesome team. I look up to you both so much, and I hope
to pattern my marriage and family after yours.

Love you lots!!

Elder Snyder

Sept. 11th- Hurricane on the East Coast, Fires on the West Coast

 Hey Momma,

How's it going? I'm glad you're safe!!! I was worried all night about y'all!

The whole district has been praying for you, and the Ward has as well. One of the members, Glenn Overman, called me last night and said that all of us were in his prayers and that he is thinking about us and stuff. It was really comforting to hear all the prayers and thoughts send to our family.

Are you on curfew? Is there bad flooding in the area? No damage to the vehicles or anything like that?

My week was good. We were inside for half of it because of the smoke. It cleared up real nice by Friday, however. We did a lot of good work here and down in Etna. Elder Smith is killing it!! He's such a hard worker and it's a pleasure to serve with him.

We are having a Zone Conference with a member of the Seventy this Friday, I'm super excited about that. We are also planning a companion exchange this Friday to Saturday. Also we have a lot of appointments set up for this week so I'm super excited about that!! We also have a new person on date for baptism! His name is Ryan, and he is a brother of a convert to the church. He wants to take the lessons and be baptized so that's super cool!!

We also did lots of finding this week. We found 6 new investigators and have placed 6 copies of the Book of Mormon this last week. We've been working really hard to teach people and to set up appointments so that's really exciting!!

In Etna, we found a fire. The had a tent city with all the firemen and it was insane!! I'll send a video from when we drive past. I have determined that I hate fires... the smoke is good today but it's been horrible the past week. I felt like I was suffocating every time I stepped outside.

Anyway, I'm just really glad that you're safe and have power and stuff. I have been worried since I heard it was coming your way. I love you and I'm happy everyone's safe.

I love you mom!


Airplanes out there to help fight fires

Sept. 4th

Email #1:
Hi Mom!!! 

I got so much to tell you this week, but we're going to go shopping real quick. I'll send a big email out here in an hour or so :)

I'll send the pictures first though!

Look who I found, my Oakridge buds are training this transfer!

All of us with our fresh companions :)

Email #2
Hi Momma!!

How's it going today? I hope your holiday is going well :)

This week has been busy busy busy!!! So on Monday I made it up to
Eugene alight and stayed with a couple of Elders in that area and hang
out with them while I waited for my companion to get here from the
MTC. Monday was crazy!! So many missionaries are training... we had 30
missionaries come into the mission. It was crazy to find out the
logistics of finding places for the training missionaries to go.

Tuesday was good. I spent all day with the Elders I was crashing with
and helped them visit people and teach lessons. In the morning we
helped this lady in her yard. She told us she had a freeze-dried
dog.... it was hecka creepy. Rumor has it that she snuffed the dog
because it was being annoying, then she got it freeze-dried to keep
him forever because she was sad it was dead. I'm not sure if that is
true or not, but it makes for a fun story!!

Wednesday was cool!! I had a trainers meeting with President Lowery
from the Mission Presidency. It was super neat!! Pretty much, he was
telling us that we have so much control on the future of these
missionaries.... so don't mess up. It was great! The new missionaries
came in Wednesday night and they had there own training process.

Thursday was the best. We have this program where we sing a hymn to
the new missionaries and there is such a special spirit that is there.
President then addresses the new missionaries and make companionship
assignments. It was so cool!! My new companion is Elder Smith!! He is
such a great missionary!! He is excited to work hard and get stuff
done. We then have breakout training sessions, then head off to our
area!! We rode the transfer van to Medford, then drove our car down to
Yreka and got to work.

Friday was great!! We had Elder Smiths first District Meeting and
Elder Searcy did such a great job at teaching. We then picked up Del
Taco and brought it back to the church and ate with the Zone. We
headed back to Yreka and got to work!!

Saturday and Sunday were great!! We hit the pavement hard. We found 4
new people to talk to, and got cracking. We also got in contact with
the WML in Etna and are going to get to work down there. We will spend
two day a week there getting good work done.

We have some sad news though.... We are being limited on how much we
go outside. The smoke in this are is toxic... so we have been asked to
limit our time outside until the smoke starts clearing up. If you
could fast for heavy rain to put out the fires... that would be

I have been thinking about the Atonement this week. I didn't tell you
this, but last last Sunday (not yesterday but the week before) I was
down with a stomach bug. I couldn't keep food down very well, and I
was in a lot of pain. (Sister Danley helped me out though with some
home remedies to help. She is so awesome!!) I was in bed all day
thinking about why this was happening to me, I am a missionary. I need
to be out inviting people to Christ. As I was thinking this, I read in
D&C 121

"7 My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine
afflictions shall be but a small moment;
8 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou
shalt triumph over all thy foes."

This scripture gave me so much comfort. Because of the atonement,
because of Jesus Christ, we are able to get through anything that is
in our path. And if we Endure it well, we will be able to live again
with our Father in Heaven. That I know to be true.

I love you! I can't wait to see you at Christmas time!!! We're coming
up on that again! I can't believe it!!

Love ya!

Elder Snyder