Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Bracken's Niece

Baby Olivia Nicole Snyder
Born January 30, 2017. 3 1/2 weeks early! Bracken told Elise in his email to her that he can't wait to meet Olivia in person next year! 

Staying in Grants Pass

Hi mom!!
I am so excited!!! I am an uncle and that Olivia's birthday is not on the first!!
Thank you for sending me a package! Sister Haack said she has it! I am staying here another 6 weeks with Elder Chiu!!! I'm so excited!!

This week has been really good. We've done a lot of good work, and I'm excited to work with Elder Chiu again. We found a new investigator this week, and we're super excited about that!
I can't believe that the countdown block is at 60! The time is going by super fast, I can't believe I'm almost at Year Mark!

It looks like you've had a good week though, I'm glad things are going well. My second companion, Elder Cook, is coming to the Grants Pass zone! I'm so excited to see him again. I'm really excited to have this opportunity to serve in the Redwood ward again, it's really a great place!

Our investigator's doing well, she has cut down smoking a lot and I have not had a single cookie so far. The Lord really blesses his missionaries because all the members for dessert have made brownies this week not cookies so I've been extremely blessed.

They've also change the missionary schedule this week! It's a little bit different, but we still do work from 10 AM to 9 PM. They have rearrange the way we do morning schedule from 630 to I 10, and made it much more flexible to what works best with the companionship. They have also changed nightly planning to the morning, and move companionship study wherever works best for our schedule, so the individual companionship's can choose where to do companion study during the day. They have also done away with some of the key indicators that we report to our mission leaders. We used to have 11, but now we only have four to report. They've done this to help motivate us to finding ways to bring people to Christ instead of focusing on numbers. These are really exciting changes that I know will help us improve our missionary work.

This week I have been studying the Saviors Ministry to the Nephites as found in 3 Nephi. I was overcome with the spirit of love that the Savior has for all of his people. I feel prompted to share that I know that the Savior lives, and loves us as well. 

Thank you all for the love and the Birthday wishes! I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Snyder

Oh guess what??
Two investigators that I found in Eugene got baptized this last week
and I got to talk to them today!! I was so happy to hear from them!
President let me call them and I'm just so happy! They should be going
to the temple for baptisms soon and then go to the temple in a year
from now! Isn't that amazing?? I'm so happy for them! I feel as Ammon
does at the close of his missionary trip to the Lamanites, and how
full his heart was!
Staying with Elder Chiu!! Hooray!

 How many missionaries can fit in a car? All of them if you throw Bracken in the trunk! j/k!

Grants Pass is a beautiful place

This picture makes this mom's heart happy! No shoes on in the house!! :)

Friday, January 27, 2017

Thank you Sister Nelson!

The Stake President's family had these guys over for dinner on Sunday and his wife, Sister Nelson text me this picture after they left. Here is what she said:
"Thank you for sharing your son with us here in Grants Pass Oregon. We had him here for dinner tonight. He is a good missionary."  :)

Just because 60 is a cool #!

Nice to see the numbers dropping! 

10 Months Down!

Hi Mom!
This week has been awesome!
We did a ton of stuff this week. We taught a total of 10 lessons, and found a new investigator. We have been having all right weather, one day will be sunny and in the next day will be rainy. Welcome to Oregon.
I gave up cookies this week to help an investigator quit smoking. I don't understand what it's like to give up smoking but I can understand what I'd like to give up cookies. So I won't be eating cookies anymore until she gives up smoking.
We had a zone conference this week, and that was super good. We drove down to Medford and we had a good time. We learned a lot about repentance, the Atonement, and how the sacrament room and our chapels represent Christ's tomb. It was real good.
The members have been taking real good care of us. It is super nice!
Let's see, other than that this is the last week of the transfer! It is super crazy how fast this one went by!
I hope that all of you are happy! It looks like you had fun at monster jam! I wish I could have gone!!
Oh, BTW, a missionary in our zone finished the 6lbs burrito challenge this week. He trained for like 3 weeks and inhaled that thing in 38 min. It was crazy!
I hope you all have a great week!! Love you all! You're in my prayers!
Elder Snyder

 I can't believe it's been 10 months
today! It's crazy!
This pic came with the email and he said "this is the only pic I have for the week." I was like ??? because all I could see was the horse on my phone! It wasn't until I got on my computer later that I saw he was in the picture. Hahaha! Silly kid!

Then he sent these after the horse pic. :)

Missionaries love basketball

Missionaries love to have fun

crazy kids! 

These next two pics I stole from President Russell's blog. They are from the zone conference they had on Friday. Bracken is in the Grants Pass Zone. I'm glad his mission president posts pictures too! 

Bracken then sent these. I think they are from the zone conference too. Hopefully after! Haha

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

No sunshine

Hi Momma,
Well, we don't have rain.... but the sun is definitely not shining over us this morning. Nothing but thick fog and mist.... blah! I looked at the weather forecast before I wrote Bracken and saw he was supposed to get sunshine. Too bad I brought it up! No sun for him :( 
I am so glad that Nathan got his mission call!! He is going to be such an amazing missionary!! When does he leave? And that is 3 missions above me. We have the Us, Salem Mission, Portland Mission, then Vancouver Washington Mission.
That's awesome. I love the Haacks! Joshua is going to be such an amazing missionary! I have a picture with him that I'll attach later.I told Bracken Sister Haack got in touch with me and she sent me that picture I posted yesterday. I love them already too! What a great family. Wishing their son the best as he leaves today. 
This week has been great! We taught 10 lessons and that was super awesome! We found a new investigator this week as well!! I'm super excited about that!
Let's see, oh this week, I got called to be a district leader. I'm not sure what happened but the companionship with the DL in it got emergency transferred out so I'm the new DL for the next two weeks, and probably the next transfer as well. We shall see.
Nothing else has really happened this week. It stopped snowing, which is good, but it is now back to rain (for the most part)
I got nothing else... this weeks been pretty slow otherwise. I have been thinking about the Atonement this week. I know that the Atonement is not just an ambiguous thing, but it should be a personal thing. We can turn toward Christ and he will help us become the person he wants and needs us to be.
Love you all!
Elder Snyder
Bracken with his companion Elder Chiu in the back and Elder Haack leaving for his mission to serve in Ecuador today, January 17th. 

Bracken's friend and our ward member Nathan Holman getting his mission call! So fun we got to be there to watch him open it. Lots of love and prayers go with these kids. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Mom's have to stick together

A cute momma Marci Haack from Oregon sent this today. Bracken and his companion Elder Chiu were at her house yesterday for her son's farewell open house. Her son Joshua Haack is leaving Tuesday to go to the Missionary Training Center in Columbia. He will serve his mission in Ecuador. Her son was the young man who did that mini mission with Bracken a couple of months ago. Also the Haack family took great care of the missionaries at Christmas time. They spoiled those boys! Bracken loves this family and I'm so happy the mom reached out to me today. I was feeling a little down today so this was a pleasant surprise.  

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Zone Meeting

Bracken's Mission President keeps a blog and puts pictures up. Sometimes I can catch Bracken. Here he is in the center back row at a zone meeting. :)

Snow, Snow and More Snow!

Hi mom!
I know! It's crazy!! I can't believe I'm going to be an uncle!! 
This week has been a weird one. We have been in some pretty crazy weather, and I'm really not enjoying it. It snowed on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. There was so much snow on the ground it was crazy to drive around it. Our driveway had a foot of snow on it, I was super not fun to try and get up because it's super steep. Luckily we did not have any accidents, but we did get stuck more times than I can remember. One day we were doing service for a less active member, and both Us and Spanish elders got stuck in their driveway. It took us like 30 minutes to get out. And then the next day, the Spanish elders went to the same house and got super stuck for like an hour, and we had to call somebody with a pick up truck to pull them out.
Another time we were at a lesson, and the priest that we brought with us got his truck stuck in their driveway. In the process of getting them unstuck, I got my khakis super muddy so that was a good time. Luckily, it came out in the wash.
We had a zone meeting on Friday that was super good. That's all I have to say about that.
Elder Chiu was doing great. His English is improving so much, and also our teaching skills have been developing, which is great! The next three weeks are going to fly by for us!
Let's see, we don't have much else to talk about. We are just relaxing today, I really am enjoying it! Hahaha
I had a cool scripture that I found. It is Alma 13:28
"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 really like this scripture because it shows us how to defeat temptation. As we humble ourselves before God, and watch and pray always, we can overcome temptations.
Love you all!
Elder Snyder

Friday, January 6, 2017

Happy New Year!!

Hi Mom!
Happy New Year!
This week has been awesome!
Tuesday was great! We spent some time contacting and Tracting, but nothing came of it. On Wednesday we did service, then we went to see some people. We had a few lessons that went super well.
On Thursday we had interviews and they went well. It is always a good time being able to talk openly with our mission president.
On Friday we had district meeting, and then drove to see some people. We had a couple good lessons as well.
Saturday we got to come in early. We made a big meal at our apartment then chilled for the rest of the day.
Sunday was great! Guess what?? It snowed!! It's snowing today as well.
Today we went sledding, then had some fun here at the church.
Anyway, my week was pretty legit. Elder Chiu is doing wonderful and I'm enjoying being here.
This week I had a revelatory experience. I heard this story about an eagle being raised by chickens. The eagle acted like a chicken, with completely no traits of the eagle that he is. No matter what people tried to do, the eagle kept acting like a chicken. One day, a man took the eagle far away from the chickens that the eagle grew up with, then the eagle was able to become. 
My thoughts were, we are all eagles living with chickens. We have a ton of potential, but sometimes we have "chickens" that we always turn to. Please, family and friends, identity what those chickens are, get away from them, and soar like the eagles you are.
Love you all! You are the best!
Elder Snyder

The Sun Came Out!!