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

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

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 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.