Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Monday, March 27, 2017

Hey Mom!
I don't have much to say, other than the church is true. I'm glad that you've been able to go and have fun! I'm so sad the gators lost! I was hoping for them and the ducks to play, but oh well. I hope the gamecocks make it and beat them!
I don't have any new pictures, but I have one of a meal elder Adams and I made! Fried chicken and waffles. It was good! But now we're out of chicken 😂
Anyway, love you!
Elder Snyder


The Brackenator is a pretty good cook!

I asked Bracken if he could hang out with the other missionaries in his zone and this was his reply:
Heck no mom, were out here in isolation! We're not allowed to do
anything with the zone. We drive in for district meeting and to shop
at Target or Walmart, then drive back. We can't stay for Zone lunch or
anything. 
We got permission to email and do laundry at our Branch President's
house, so we do that.
Love ya!
I was pretty teary and missing Bracken especially on Sunday when his oldest brother Jason and his wife Nicole blessed their new baby Olivia. It was really hard to be there without him. To say he was missed was an understatement. I know Bracken is excited to meet his new niece in person next year! What a reunion that will be. I am comforted in the knowledge that families are forever and even as we die our families are waiting for us on the other side. What a blessing it is to know we will all be resurrected one day and live together forever because of the sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ made for us. This knowledge is what Bracken is sharing when he spreads the Gospel and it brings me comfort daily. My friend Kathy Strong gave me a beautiful wooden plaque for Christmas and perfectly states what Bracken is doing: 




Monday, March 20th and Wednesday 22nd: Half Way There!!

Hey Family,
Crazy out here in Oakridge, we are so far isolated from everybody
else. Sorry, I'm actually going to be emailing more on Wednesday,
tomorrow we are going up to Springfield for interviews, then staying
the night with the ZLs and going to the Portland temple on Wednesday!
It'll be so fun! I'll talk to you then! Love you


Hey Mom! 
Today was awesome!! I love the temple! I have so many pictures to send home!
I love Oakridge! It is a crazy place! It is so small! The whole area has under 4,000 people in it, so it is kinda a small town! Hahaha!

Our car is the Subaru. I'm so happy! It is needed because it has four wheel drive, which we need. The road kinda ends sometimes! Hahaha! Driving into Springfield (Eugene) is kinda crazy though. It's like an hour and a half or so drive, so it's not that fun. We pass a really pretty lake/dam thing, so I tried to get some pictures. We have some pretty cool people we're teaching. There is a youth that was baptized a year ago or so, who we somehow started teaching both her grandmas. One is on her moms side and the other is her birth fathers mom. It's all kinda really confusing. We are also working with a couple less actives, so it is fun. We only have 8 active priesthood leaders, so the branch is really small. The Branch Mission Leader is also one of our less actives, so it is kinda hard for us sometimes. The members try to do what they can for us, but there isn't a lot of income here, so member dinners don't happen too often, we might have one a week, two if we are super super lucky. But the branch is awesome. They do what they can and keep working along.

Elder Adams is super cool! We have had lots of fun together so far! We have a lot in common, and like to have fun, so it is really great! He is from Modesto California and came out in July of '16.  He has a super strong desire to work and bring people to Christ. We get along pretty good, and so this transfer should be great!

Well, as I was in the temple today, I had a really strong desire to read the account of Jesus Christ Atonement for us as recorded in the Gospel of John. As I read, I had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for what Christ did for us. Christ suffered, He bled, He cried, He died for us. But with this suffering, he overcame death and lived again, thereby paving the path for us to take. I know my Savior lives. He loves us too. I know this because the Holy Spirit has told me it is true.

I love you! You're in my prayers!
Elder Snyder




Love that cheesy grin!

video

Thank you all for your love and support of Bracken. Your letters, e-mails and packages keep him going. I am so happy he made it to his halfway mark. We sent him a package full of re-stock supplies like deodorant, shampoo, soap, toothpaste/brushes and of course treats! He loved it! This time next year he will be home!! That makes this momma's heart happy! 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Shout out to Sister Haack!!

Sister Haack from Grants Pass was my lifeline to Bracken these last few months! We got in touch with each other as her son Joshua was the one Bracken did that mini mission with back a few months ago. Marci always text me pictures of him when she had him over for dinner and whenever she ran into him. She let me send his birthday package to her house so Bracken didn't have to wait for it as well as his new bike tires but most importantly she loved him!! She sent these pictures to me this week. :) Thank you Marci, you truly are an angel on this earth and I hope people look after your son as you looked out for my son.

This Florida boy LOVES the sun!! 

Sister Haack brought them each their favorite cereal


Bracken baked the Haack's a cake to say goodbye

Transferred to Oakridge

Hey Mom,
Yes I'm getting transferred. I was hoping President would keep me here for 6 more weeks, but it doesn't seem like it will be.
I am still a district leader! I will be a DL over in Oakridge (which is part of the Springfield Stake in Eugene, so I'm going back up north!) I will be in a branch. Oakridge is super tiny, but the boundaries cover a lot of ground. It'll be fun! My new companion will be Elder Adams!

I had a full week, it was also pretty rough and I'm glad it's over. We got set up with a lesson we had. The person invited some of his friends over to contend with us. We weren't having it so halfway through their "preaching" to us (really, just telling us why we don't believe in Jesus and are going to hell) Elder Chiu and I stood up and walked away. It was the first time (and hopefully last) we had to just stand up and walk out of a house. I don't get why people don't just say we're not interested and leave it at that? Anyway, I know I'm speaking from my point of view.

Anyway, I don't have much time but I do want to share my testimony of Jesus Christ. I know He lives. He is the Only Begotten Son, who suffered, bled, and died for us. But with His death came His Resurrection, which paved the way for us to break the bonds of death and sin, so that one day, we can be resurrected and return and live with God again. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that is because I've read it, and prayed to know if it is true. 

I love you! You're in my prayers!
Elder Snyder

(Yes, I'll probably go to the mission office today and see if the package is there. Thanks mom! I can't wait to get it!)

Us at the Haacks (Elder Palomaque is leaving too, so he needed a picture. 

All the Redwood Elders

The Hasting family and me (they are a part-member family that we worked a lot with. Mark (the grandpa) was baptized last August or September, and is a stellar member. They are all just so amazing!


Elder Chiu was taking pictures of me! Hahahaha 😂

Another quick e-mail late last night to us:
Hey Mom, Dad, and Elise!
I just want to send you a quick email telling you that I got here to
Oakridge safely! It was a long long long drive, but alas, we're here. (I looked it up and it was a 3 hour drive for him from Grants Pass)
My comp Elder Adams is super cool. We'll do great together. I did want
to tell dad, I can't wait to watch those videos!
Thanks for all you do for me! I'll attach a picture of us so you can
see my new companion!
Love you!!
Elder Snyder

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Don't Freak Out

Deryl and I: When you get a random phone call twice from the city your missionary is serving in and try to call it back but can't get through don't assume the worst (irrational thinking like he's dying in a hospital) and call the mission office to track him down and see if he's ok...it will just embarrass him. Do a little more research and see if that number is a solicitor. 

Bracken:

Just got a call from the mission office, and they said that you were
trying to get into contact with me, but I don't have any other emails
from you. Oh, well they're going to call you. They called me and were so concerned that the world had ended or I called home for something 😂😂 Yes, I'm okay! That is weird!
Normal e-mail: 
Hi Mom!
It sounds like you've had a busy week! I'm glad that you were able to go to the magic game! I miss going to those! I'm glad they won as well!
Tell Elise I said congrats! I'm so proud of her! She is so amazing! I'm glad she did well in rowing!
I'm sure that Elise will enjoy band at west orange. It'll be good for her and I'm sure the instructors will be great! Be sure to tell Ms. Ellis and Mr. Boyd Hi for me as well! I haven't heard about how the bands are doing but I hope they are doing well!
I hope you have fun in Utah! I wish I could go see baby Olivia too! She looks so precious! I can't wait to meet her!
Mother's Day is coming up so fast! It'll be so fun to skype everyone!
Well, here is my week.

Tuesday:
I'll be honest. I don't remember what happened. I think we had some
lessons set up, but they all canceled or something.

Wednesday:
We had some free time so we went Tracting and found two new
investigators! I'm not sure how solid they are but we're going to have
a lesson with them this week so that should be fun! We had dinner with
some cool members so that was good!

Thursday:
We had a Zone Conference. It was great! We talked about some pretty
cool things! We have a new rule in our mission and that is that in
Saturday and Sundays, we cannot start dinner later than 5:00pm, and
that is that so from 6:00 to 9:00 we can get some good teaching in.
I'll be honest (and this is why I'm telling you this) I was a little
frustrated but after some might wrestling in Prayer the spirit
manifested to my heart that this rule was of God. Just goes to show
that God will answer our prayers!

Friday:
We went Tracting in the morning and found 4 new investigators!! It was
so great! After, we went to a few lessons then went contacting! It was
such a good day!

Saturday:
We did a lot, but I only really remember the morning. Our Ward Mission
Leader went to visit people with us, and he brought his 4 kids who are
between 12-4 years old. It was so fun! Everyone that answered let us
in! It was so cool!!

Sunday:
We went with our WML to go get people to church. It didn't really work
out, and we missed sacrament, but that was okay because there was
another Ward after ours for us to partake of the sacrament. We didn't
have anyone come to church, but we did get some excited for next week.
We shall see!

We're eating at the Haacks this week! I'm so excited! 

Well, that's my week! I came across this super cool scripture 
It is in D&C 59 
"23 But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come."

This scripture is super powerful. We are promised that as we do works of righteousness that we will have peace in this world and eternal life in the world to come. How awesome is that?? If you're not feeling peace in your life, maybe try this out. Follow Christ, his teachings and his example, and you will find peace because we know that "10 I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise."

I love you all! You're in my prayers!
Elder Snyder


I don't think this Florida boy likes the snow


video
Yup, he hates it! ;)

video
Singing at Zone Conference 





 ;)

Friday, March 3, 2017

55 weeks remaining

Hi momma!
I will definitely keep Nicole in my prayers! I'll probably fast for her next Sunday as well.
I'm so glad that everything else is going well! I did get the package, thank you so much for that!!
I'm doing alright, I did sprain my ankle while I was out on a run earlier this week, I'll talk a little more later. I'm doing okay now  though :)
So without further delay, here is my week.
Monday:
Rode our bikes in the rain and got soaked, and somehow in the bike
ride I noticed my ankle started to swell really bad. So we got home
and I put ice on it. It turned out that I misstepped while running
earlier that day and I actually sprained it. Guess that's what I get
for being healthy ;)

Tuesday:
Was on orders from the mission president to keep off my foot the first
few days, so I studied a lot and watched the rain.

Wednesday:
We did a lot of finding! We actually found a guy at a bus stop and had
a really powerful discussion with him! It was awesome! After that we
went Tracting but nothing really came out of it, then we had a few
lessons and then the day was over.

Thursday:
We weekly planned in the morning, then we biked down to the Salvation
Army to see if we could do service, so we're going to be doing service
there next Wednesday if it is not pouring rain. After we ate at this
hole in the wall BBQ place literally in the same parking lot as the
dump, and it actually was super good! I had brisket sandwich that
could rival anything that I've had before. It was crazy good!

Friday:
I taught District meeting and that went super well! I do have one
companionship what doesn't really do anything. Their numbers show it
too... they shouldn't get strait zeros, but they have for the past two
or three weeks, and it's kinda frustrating. But I can only continue to
encourage them to do better! After that we went Tracting out in the
boonies. That was super fun! We didn't meet anyone new, but that's
okay, we met some pretty cool and some pretty sketchy people 😂

Saturday:
We literally tracted a mountain. We drove up this dirt road to visit a
potential and we got there and figured we might as well tract the rest
of the houses. With driving in the Cruz, I'm actually really surprised
the car didn't get stuck or give up on some of the hills 😂

Sunday!
We had 2 people at church!! It was super awesome! We then went and
tried to visit with a ton of people but literally most were not home.
We did find out that one of our investigators that we gave to the
other elders in the Redwood Ward ended up with frontal lobe dementia,
and is only expected to live 5 more years. It's kinda sad because this
all happened in a matter of two months.

Well, that's my week! I hope that everything goes super great this week! I love you mom!

Elder Snyder
made some killer fried rice

 Here is that BBQ place


The Sun!

P.S. Yes I got my bike tires okay and I put them on and they work great.
That sounds awesome! Those are some lucky missionaries. I told Bracken we were having our missionaries over for dinner and feeding them mexican food.Think I would
like this scripture on my missionary plaque. 

It is D&C 58:63-65
63 And let them also return, preaching the gospel by the way, bearing
record of the things which are revealed unto them.
64 For, verily, the sound must go forth from this place into all the
world, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth--the gospel must be
preached unto every creature, with signs following them that believe.
65 And behold the Son of Man cometh. Amen.

Oh, and tell Sister Holman I said thank you! And tell Nathan I am
super excited for him and I'll be cheering him on from Oregon! :) A young man in our congregation left to serve in the Washington Vancouver Mission on March 1st. His sweet mom had a plaque made for Bracken as well as her son. It will have the scripture above he picked on it as well as an outline for the state he is serving in. It will be on display at our church building. I'll take a picture of it when we get it.