Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

P-Day After Christmas

Hey Mom!
It was so good to see you yesterday!
This makes this email hard, because I don't know what to write. I guess that I will just tell you what happened after I Skyped ya!
We went to the Haacks for dinner, it was so awesome! They got other people in the other wards to give us each a stocking of goodies, then we ate an amazing dinner! We then played a game with them! It was so fun! They then had us pose with the Martinelli! It was hilarious!!
After that, they gave us some elf shoes!! They are so comfortable! I can't believe it how comfortable they are! We can only wear them inside, so they are now my apartment shoes 
After that, we went to the church and hung out with the other missionaries. It was a good time!
This week is looking to be a busy week! I'm so excited to be working here in Grants Pass! This town kinda reminds me of those small towns up in North Carolina that we would go to. I can see why returned missionaries would want to come back here or Florence.
It is awesome to hear from ya! It sounds like you had a fun day too!
Anyway, I love ya! It was good to see everyone! Next call will come up quickly!
Have a good week! 
Elder Snyder

Christmas Day

Bracken was all smiles when we talked with him on Christmas Day. He was so excited to have Jason and Nicole join in the Skype session too! It made my day to have all my kids under one virtual roof. I'm so thankful for the technology to allow this special hour to happen!! What a blessing! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Almost Christmas!!

Hi mom!
I am so excited to skype home this week!!
Yes! I got your packages!! Thank you so much! I can't wait to see what is in them :)
Tell dad Happy Birthday for me! 
That is so cool! We have wild turkeys and that is about it for wild life. I miss the manatees! They are so cool! I'm glad that you are having fun with Grandma and Grandpa Snyder! I bet it'll be a fun few days! (Deryl's parents were in town for Deryl's birthday and we took them to see the Manatees on Saturday morning at Blue Springs off St. John's River).
This last week has been a blur! We re-arranged our apartment and did some cleaning the other night before bed time.
How has the weather been? The weather here is super cold and wet. The other day Elder Chiu and I had to walk in the rain all day and got soaked!! Luckily it didn't rain the rest of the week. It is supposed to rain tomorrow but we have a meeting all day tomorrow in Medford. I'm super excited for that!
This week was alright for missionary work. We have another set of missionaries in the Redwood Ward, so that is super awesome. We put someone on date for baptism, so I am excited for that! We keep praying that she'll keep commitments and will continue progressing closer to Jesus Christ.
Not much else has happened this week. With the ward split between two sets of missionaries the work has definitely slowed down. Everyone is too busy to talk to us, so we're hoping at the end of the holidays that they will want to hear from us more often.
I am so excited for Christmas! (I know I already said that) I am so excited to see everyone:)
Well, this week I have been thinking about the Atonement. The Atonement is the reason that we celebrate Christmas, because it is through the Atonement that Jesus Christ was able to save all of us from our sins. As long as we turn to him, he will bless us and help us to feel charity. I pray that all of us can feel the Christ like love as we approach the celebration of the most perfect baby to have ever been born.
Love you all, I can't wait to see you on Sunday.
Love from Grants Pass, OR,
Elder Snyder

New Companion

Hi mom!
How are you doing?
I'm glad that you're well! So, Skype home... we have sacrament at
10:00 am, so maybe we can Skype at 12:00pm? I hope that works for you!
It is transfer day so I don't have a ton of time.. I have a new
companion! It is Elder Chiu! He is from Hong Kong! I'm so excited!
I have to get running... I wish I could write more... I'll write a ton
next week I promise!
Love you mom!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December 5, 2016

Hi Mom!
How are you doing? How's the warm weather?

This week was pretty good. We got to see a lot of people and do a lot of super fun things. We didn't find too many new investigators this week but that's OK.

Elder Johnson and I are doing pretty well, but transfers are next Monday and we're hoping that none of us leave here. Hopefully things just stay the same so that we can stay a companionship through Christmas. We will find out Friday or Saturday what is going to happen.

I do have a couple funny stories to share this week. First of all, I had a little wreck on my bike. What made it even worse is that Elder Johnson got it on video. We live on a super steep driveway, and we like to go pretty fast down the driveway to our apartment. Well, the ground was super slippery and my bike tires are getting pretty bald from all the biking that I've been doing. Anyway, coming down the driveway, I tried to stop, but my tires locked up and I slid down the driveway. Luckily, nothing bad happened. My bike is fine, and not a single scratch on me or my coat.

The other fun thing we did this week was at a Mexican restaurant. At this restaurant, they have a food eating challenge. The challenge is to eat a 6 pound burrito. Eight elders and one sister tried the challenge. None of us could finish the 6 pound burrito. I got about 3 pounds in, and I had to stop. One elder ate 5 lbs of burrito. He then hit the wall and could not press on. I decided that I will never ever ever ever never ever forever and ever forever and ever never ever do the burrito challenge again. I started a tally on how many burritos I can make from the 6 pound burrito that was left over. This next week I will probably have the tally completed.

Another fun thing we did this week was help set up for the nativity festival. It was a fun time, it was super fun we help set up lights, tables, moved a 50 foot ladder, help set up poinsettias, help move nativity things, it was fun. The nativity festival was on Friday night. It was a lot of fun there was a Ton of non-members there. It was super fun to talk to everybody, except there was someone that came who was trying to hand out anti-Mormon materials. The missionaries took care of talking with him and inviting him to leave the church building. Several of us walked around the church building collecting the anti-Mormon materials that were left behind. It was kind of sad to see to someone come into this community event about the birth of Jesus and tried to cause contention in our rejoicing in Jesus Christ. I don't understand why people want to cause contention because we read in the Scriptures of contention is of the devil but oh well.

Other than that, Elder Johnson and I found some pretty cool places to take some pictures. So I have a lot of pictures to send home this week. Mom you are welcome.

I had a super cool experience at church on Sunday. We had an investigator in sacrament meeting which was really cool. As the testimony meeting went on, I had a prompting to go and share James chapter 1 verse five, and bear my testimony about the power of prayer. What was really cool about all this was that the investigator was reading in the book of James this last week, and was thinking to himself that if during church on Sunday if anyone mentioned the book of James he was on the right track. It was such a neat experience for me to see the outcome of a spiritual prompting. This also lets me know how much Heavenly Father really loves his children, even those outside of the church. He listens to our prayers, and He answers them often times through other people's actions. I'm so thankful for this opportunity I have to be on a mission to serve my Heavenly Father.

Love you all, thanks for everything!
Love, Elder Snyder







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Some things you should just never tell your mom...




Thursday, December 1, 2016

Pictures from People

Every once in awhile we get a picture text to us or emailed to us. We got two last week. I'm so grateful for people in taking care of Bracken and knowing we would want to see him.
This picture was taken by the former ward mission leader in Florence, Oregon where Bracken was last serving. He said he and his wife have a special place in their hearts for missionaries. 


A couple from Utah traveling back home from a week in the Redwoods stopped in to use the bathroom at this McDonald's and walked in the same time as Bracken and his companions. The couple then bought them all dinner and left them with a treat. Then they took this picture and text it to all three families. It was so fun to connect to these awesome people and glad so many people care and look after my son. The couple's son is also serving a mission. :)
The young man on the left is the kid Bracken was talking about doing that "mini mission" with in his last letter.

November 28, 2016

Hi Momma! 
Thanks for the video! It made my day :) tell Elise that song was hilarious. Sorry, I'm not posting that...Elise would kill me! 
That is an awesome idea! I'm so glad Elise is doing well! It looks like everyone was grateful for a lot of things! (I told Bracken about Elise's activity she came up with on Sunday night. She did a web of gratitude. The kids had to throw the yarn and say something they were grateful for. It was so amazing to hear the youth talk about the Savior, their family and friends.) 


That's awesome! We were with a future missionary that day too! He is going to Ecuador for his mission in January, and we did what was called a "mini mission" where he spent 3 days with us, lived the mission rules, and was a missionary for three days. It was tons of fun!
The new church video should've came out this week! We've been sharing it with everybody. It is seriously the best video the church has ever come out with. If you haven't seen it yet you should definitely watch it. It is called Light the World.
Thanksgiving was absolutely amazing!! We ate a ton of food and are stuffed to the brim. Before Thanksgiving dinner we had district meeting, and afterward we went out tracting for one hour. While tracting we got yelled at by an old guy who said "what day is it?!?" And we said Thanksgiving! He then asked "what do we do on thanksgiving?" And my comp said "we give thanks!" He didn't like that.
We had a ton of lessons!! We taught 19 of them! It was crazy! We didn't find too many investigators though.
I am loving Grants Pass. Gosh it is super cold here though. I'm freezing!! On Sunday morning we walked outside and there was ice on our windshield. I guess there's a first sight for everything! It took forever for the window to defrost because we didn't have an ice scraper. It's a good thing that I brought my heavy coat because it is always super cold here.
Elder Johnson and I are still doing very well. We are having a really fun time here in Grants Pass, there are lots of people to go and see. I'm really excited to keep teaching and find people to teach!
Funny story from Thanksgiving, I sat next to a three-year-old who just talked my ear off. He told me lots of stories about random things that I didn't really understand but it was really a good time. I don't think he remembers who I am because I saw him again on Sunday but it's OK because he's told me his whole life story as far as he could remember.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I just want to say I'm so thankful for you. I'm so thankful that I am able to be in our family and have the friends I have. I can't wait to see you on Christmas! That is coming around the corner fast!
Thanks for everything! Elder Snyder


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I guess we need to get a Cars display for our Christmas decor. :)

November 21, 2016

Hi Mom!
Thanks for that! I'll be looking for that in the mail!
I'm doing alright, I got a cold... it is running rampant around here and my comp caught it in the beginning of the week, then my body didn't want to miss out in all the fun so I got sick.... it is a head cold, so nothing too bad. Ive been taking DayQuil and drinking lots of water. I should pull out of it here pretty quickly.
We do have plans this week! We're actually going to eat with the stake Presidents family. It will be super good! Pumpkin pie? Most likely, but if not, I won't be too upset:) I'm just glad we have a dinner.
Tell Miss Kristin I said thank you!! That is so awesome of her! I really appreciate her doing that for me. (Deryl was responsible for breaking one of Bracken's lego sets and our good friend and neighbor Kristin put it together for us one day while she was sick...love her!)
The entire thing was in pieces...kind of like the space shuttle drop with Uncle Aaron. ;) 

I'm glad Elise is done with rowing! That'll clear up some time for you all! I bet she is doing really well in that though. Do you know if she wants to do that next year?
It is cold here in Grants Pass. This week will be super duper cold, lows in the 30s and highs in the 40s and rain. I'm glad that I got a coat for sure!!
Oh funny story, remember in Utah when we'd put the blankets over the floor vents in the winter? Well, it was a cold night and we had just came in and right as we walked in the heater kicked in so I grabbed my blanket and well... there ya go! Hahaha I'll attach a picture!
This week was pretty good!! We taught 15 lessons this week!  It was super cool! We are working with some less actives this week that Bishop had given us. It was nice to be able to get into their homes to teach a lesson to them as well!
My biking has gotten a lot better! So we live on top of this giant hill, which is fun to bike down, but it is uphill on the way home...that is never fun to do but I can bike up the hill at the end of the day now. The weight I gained in Florence is coming off now as well. 
I don't have anything else to share this week, we are dealing with car problems today, but that should be over in a bit. The ZLs should be here in a bit to pick us up to go grab the car.
I have been reading a lot from the New Testament this week, and a scripture really stood out to me. It is in Ephesians chapter 2 
"19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;"
I am so glad to know that there are apostles and prophets in our time today. I am so glad that these men are here to leave behind their past lives and devote all their time, energy, and spirit into helping us make it back to our Heavenly Father. And to know that they do it with no payment from the church, but a pure desire to serve Heavenly Father.
I love ya! You are in my prayers
Elder Snyder 

This heater vent picture made me smile. All my kids loved doing that when we lived in Utah. 

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Surprise! Posting the week of!

Hi mom,
My week was very good. We taught a lot of lessons more than I've ever talk my whole mission, this area is a busier area than my past two areas!! I actually walked in on a baptism we had one on Saturday! Her name is Brandy and she is super awesome, she was so excited to become a member of the church. She has a 12-year-old daughter hopefully we can teach and baptize but Brandi wants to make sure she is ready and make the choice on her own.
We've found a couple new investigators this week which was pretty cool we are in a car share so we only have the car on the weekends, which means we do a lot of biking throughout the week. It's super cold here and I hate writing my bike when it's cold outside because it's too cold for me to go without a jacket but I get super hot or riding my bike so it's a struggle.this next week it's supposed to get supercold the low down in the 30s and it supposed to be raining a little bit this week but not as bad as it was in Florence.
Elder Johnson is pretty cool. He's from Utah and he loves to play soccer. Elder Johnson pretty much came pre-train I feel like he's teaching more than I'm teaching him so it's pretty cool. We're going to pretty much baptize all the redwood area. I'm super excited I had to teach this one lady named Chelsea, we met with her last night and she is super prepared. I hope that she continues to meet with us and has a desire to be baptized.
I've been doing all right the cold weather is a little annoying but I've been keeping healthy I haven't had any sinus problems or anything like that since a few weeks ago when I was in Florence. The vitamin C supplement that I've been taking has been helping me a lot. Thank you so much for sending me a package for Thanksgiving! I really appreciate having the support from home.
The remodel work in the bathroom looks spectacular! I'm glad that you got it done. I sure hope that you're not redoing my bedroom for when I get back home ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Too late ;)
I am so glad you got to go to the temple this last week! I love the temple, I remember when I went to the temple for my first time in Orlando and it was such a special experience. I actually used to go to the Medford temple on Saturday to do baptisms for the dead with a recent convert. The mission changed the rules so that we can actually go with them for the first time to the temple for baptisms. I'm so excited to go I haven't done baptisms at the temple for a long time.
In other news I hear in a couple weeks we're gonna do a mini mission with a 18-year-old in the ward. Is planning on serving a mission and wants to do it so be really cool to be with him for three days and he'll be a missionary for that time. It will be super duper amazing to help him experience the mission field.
This week I have been studying in mark and read about Jesus Christ's atonement. The thought came to me that as he was suffering, he must have felt completely and utterly alone. All his disciples left him, and even Peter denied him three times that night. As I was pondering this, the thought came to me that he went through the atonement alone so that we don't have to go through life alone. He can be by our side at all times if we allow him to. That is so special to me.
Love you mom! Thanks for everything! 
Elder Snyder



Saturday, November 12, 2016

November 7th Email- New area and new companion

Got a ton going on today, so I made this video instead! I hope that's okay...
I wanna let you all know I love ya!, mom happy birthday! Another year
of being the best mom in the world. I love you so much!
Thanks for everything!
This week I have been thinking about pride. There is an amazing talk
entitled beware of pride. I decided that I'm going to be better at
letting my pride down, and replacing that with all the Christ like
attributes such as Meekness, temperance, humility and charity. I know
that that is the only way that we can truly come to love those around
us
Much Love,
Elder Snyder
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New Comp :)

Tag Pics







Birthday Video

Bracken not only remembered my birthday but took the time to make a message. Love that kid!
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Halloween Shenanigans

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Scary Video
Hey Mom!
Happy Halloween!! 
Yes!! We got the package!! Thank you so much!! Elder Davis says thanks as well!!
It sounds like you had a great week!! 
I didn't get any of the pictures... but it sounds like it was a great party!! We had a carnival for our party, and we ran the donut dangle. It was so fun!! I was the fastest time!
We had a good week, and got a lot done. We didn't do anything cool this week except make a scary video and are at this missionary party.
I hope you have a good birthday! It is my first one not being home.... but I hope you have a good one! 
I decided to read the New Testament. As I read, I came across this Mathew 27.

"39 ¶And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,

40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,

42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

44 The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

47 Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.

48 And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

49 The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.

50 ¶Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God."

I noticed something as I read this. Jesus Christ was mocked, he was made a hiss and a byword. I know that Christ understands when we are made fun of. He knows what it is like to get yelled at, to get things thrown at us. To me, it feels like I am standing shoulder to shoulder with Him when I'm ridiculed for his names sake.
Love ya mom! Have a good birthday!
Elder Snyder 


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Pumpkin Carving Time Lapse


October 24th

Hi Mom!
It sounds like you have had a busy week!
That sounds so cool! I bet your bathroom will look really nice when it
is all finished up! That also sounds like you're going to have a good
time with your friends from High School! That'll be super awesome I
bet!
The weather this week has been actually pretty nice. On Saturday it
was sunny and cool, about 62 for the high, but it is cold and raining
again today, so I'm not too excited for that. Other than that nothing
much has happened this week. We did go on a couple exchanges, and it
was pretty fun for the most part except for reuse a lot of miles
during the exchanges so we're gonna be walking quite a bit this week.
I am super excited for Halloween. It is on Monday which means I will
be doing PDayuntil 5 o'clock and then we will have to go inside by 6
o'clock so we're not going to do very much. I also bought myself a
pumpkin so I'll be carving a pumpkin then as well.
This week we found two new investigators which is super sweet we are
hoping that as this week goes on the will be able to find some more
people to teach so we don't have to do as much finding.
Healthwise I'm feeling a lot better this week. I've been taking those
vitamin C supplements and exercising more often and I feel like I've
gotten out of the cold that I got myself into so that is really good.
I hope that I can stay healthy for the rest of my mission because
being sick as a missionary is literally the worst.
Instead of writing a super long email I made a couple videos this week
because I was bored. One of the videos you'll see the clock on the
wall it's broken so the time on the clock is always the same no matter
what day it is.
I love you all and I hope you have a good week,
Elder Snyder


That boy likes to eat! 



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Lunch hour break 

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Update

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7 months down! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

This week's e-mail...just two days delayed! Better than two weeks old!

Hi mom!!
It is good to see that the youth is helping out in the community! (our church youth group I'm involved with had a service project at West Orange High School and was bragging on Elise being there too). That is super awesome!! I'm so proud of Elise... she is turning out to be such an awesome young adult! And that is awesome! She'll be able to keep those A's all throughout school!! :P
The weather has been sucky here. It rains and is cold, and it rains. But that is only supposed to be that way for the rest of forever so I'll get over it.
We were asked to stay inside on Saturday as much as possible for the rain and wind (the Oregon coast north of Bracken got hit with hurricane force winds), which would've stunk but I got sick this week so it was a much needed day of rest. I feel better now and I picked up some of those Vitamin C supplement that always helped back home, the emergen-c stuff. I hope it helps.
Anyway, the rest of this week was pretty good. We taught a few lessons and helped out in the community as much as we could. I didn't take as much pictures as I would have hoped but I did take a video, so I hope you enjoy!
Nothing else really happened. It was a pretty slow week, but this week we have a lot planned. Hopefully finding some new investigators, we're going on exchanges and having a good, productive time.
This week at church, I had an interesting experience in priesthood meeting. We were having a conversation about when to show mercy or execute justice over really random and honestly, irrelevant issues. As I was listening to the conversation, I had a thought come to my mind. How many times have we transgressed Gods laws? How many times has he shown us mercy? Because of Jesus Christ, we can be forgiven of all our sins. Therefore, who are we to stop that for someone else? Christ says to forgive others as He forgives you. I'm taking that to heart and am working hard to forgive all, and to leave the rest to Heavenly Father.
Love you mom!
Elder Snyder

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Bracken misses the sunshine