Sunday, December 27, 2015

Week 26: 5 Days till Christmas and a baptism!!

Nancy's Baptism
Well we had a baptism this week. Woohoo! Nancy was baptized this Saturday and it was really great. We were a little scared that not that many people were going to show up because it was the ward temple trip this weekend and there was a big youth conference thing for all the youth that live in the mission. But it all turned out to be okay. Many people came and all was well. It is also really sad because her parents and grandparents are members but they are inactive and they dont really want to reactivate so they dont really help Nancy with much.

And we are going to hopefully have another baptism this week. Woohoo! The daughter of one recent convert. We read Alma 18 with her and explained what the chapter means and after, we challenged her again to be baptized and she accepted. So, hopefuly we will baptize her this saturday also.
This week we had our ward posada or christmas party. They asked us when we arrived if we as missionaries could all sing silent night. But it started really late, so we didnt really have much time to do things there. We just sang our song and then left and we were still a little late getting back to our house. 

We are really struggling to find people to teach here. And after we baptize these two people we are hardly going to have anyone to teach. We are contacting alot of people in the street but we are hardly recieving people to teach. This week we recieved more references for the area of our district leader than for our own area. And in this time of year there is hardly anyone here. Everyone is leaving to go visit their family. We have had so many people tell us that we have to wait to pass by until January because everyone is leaving. So ya we have alot of contacting to do in the new year. 

Also we are all excited because tomorrow is la posada por la misión. So all the missionaries in Los Mochis will be getting together. We are not really sure what this entails because we have heard that we are going to have a bunch of trainings, but we are not really sure. Hopefully it wont be all trainings. 

Today we all played soccer at the church with our district and some of the youth from Libertad. Then we went to Sam's Club and bought a pizza and as we were leaving we saw Elder Ochoa. He says that he has been doing well in Macapule and that they have investigators that are attending church. 

But not to much really happened this week. I am so excited to get to skype with all of you. I think that I am going to try and skype at about 3 pm here more or less. We are going to be in the house of the member that lives below us so we shouldn't have any problems connecting. Just send me your skype username so that I can make an account and call. 

I am super excited to see and talk with you all. Love you so much.
Elder Snyder

At Our Ward Christmas Party
Our apartment - we live in the upstairs of a member's home
My desk
Our kitchen

The dog that always "greets" us whenever we go in and out of our apartment. 
View from our apartment

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Week 25: Another Temple Dedication in Mexico - Tijuana Temple

Elder Salomon and I
bueno!! (that is how everyone answers the phone here)

Thanks for the updates. I totally forgot that back home there is a christmas choir. And I am happy to hear that so many people participated. We also had our christmas choir performance yesterday. The only thing is that I think back home everyone can sing a little better. haha! No, but it was really good. I really love hearing all the different hymns in spanish. Also it was really cool because all the different wards in the stake had their own part. Sadly, we didnt get to participate, but it was cool to see all the different wards participate. There also were not any special musical numbers just choirs from different wards. Also it was really awesome because there were a bunch of people from Macapule that went. They are not in our stake but alot of them went because they have family members that were singing. But is was really awesome to say hi to all the people from my old ward. 

Also this Sunday we had the dedication of the tijuana temple!!! It is so awesome and cool that in my mission I have now seen 2 dedications of temples and both are in mexico. It was really cool because the whole time Elder Uchtdorf was making little jokes. He really is hillarious. And it was funny because all the americans would laugh first because the rest of the people had to wait for the translator. 
One of the things President Uchtdorf said that I really liked. He said that translatores are like the holy ghost if you listen closely you can hear and understand the message that is being taught. Or something like that :) 

Libertad is really awesome. We dont have that many investigators, but we have alot of members and they all want to help, so that is really great. Also I think I forgot to say that Elder Tice, my companion from the CCM is in my ward, so we see each other pretty often. Libertad is also alot bigger than Macapule. I have not seen what our sacrament meeting is like because of the temple dedication, but I will see this week. 

This Pday was the first time that we actually did something really fun. My comp and I, my old zone leaders and the missionaries in my district all met at the church this morning and we all played soccer for a while. It was really fun to play and to just hang out and talk with the other Elders that are serving here. 

That is so awesome that you were able to show the Savior is Born video at the choir performance. We have the video in spanish but it is not as good because the words dont match with what the people are saying. Alot of the Latino missionaries like to see it more in english rather than in spanish. haha. 

Here in Mexico christmas seems the same as it is back home. Everyone has christmas trees a few people have christmas lights and it is awesome because there is a family that has invited us to have carne asada with them this christmas. 

And, Yes, I opened my first gift today, and we put the lights in front of our door. My companion said that we should make an M with the lights above our door. And I was like "Why M? for Missionaries?" and he responded, no "M" for Merry Christmas haha. It was just funny because this whole time we were speaking spanish. 

As for my christmas call, our president has told us that we can talk for 50 minutes and that we can use the computer of a member to call. So I think we are going to call from the house of a member, but as for the time we dont know yet because we are going to do whatever works best for the member.
Well that is about it. I love you all so much and I am so excited to talk to you all on christmas. 
Con mucho amor
Elder Snyder

A blind man who is a recent convert here in Libertad. He came to the Temple dedication with us.
Me and Elder Tice and our companions.
Christmas package arrived safely and all 12 days of Christmas presents were there. :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Week 24 - Transferred!

Saying Goodbye at the bus station.
So alot of things happened this week. Hermana Richardson finished her mission and she left for Obregón on friday. And we also recieved our cambios. 

So to answer the big question... Yes! I have been transferred. I am still in los mochis :) but I am in Libertad B with Elder Salomon. A different stake and ward, but I am happy and sad at the same time. I am happy because I get to change areas and I dont have to contact the same people over and over again. But I am sad that I have to leave right before Christmas and I am going to miss all the members that I have come so close to over these past few months. But the crazy thing is that Elder Tice and Elder Reid are in my district. The same people that were in my district in the CCM. 

Elder Salomon is 22 years old and is a recent convert to the church. He's from Monterey, Mexico and he is pretty cool. I am also the senor companion here because Elder Salomon just finished his training. It is very crazy... our district is so young.

But our house is so awesome! I cant wait to take pictures and send them to you. It is so much bigger. haha We live in a house that is right above a member, who also has a daughter that is on a mission. But ya, there is actually space! It is so awesome. I dont really know too much about Libertad, but I am really exited to be here. Elder Ochoa is kind of freaked out that I have been transferred, he says because he doesnt know the area very well, but he knows the area more or less. So when everyone has transfers, we all meet in the bus station because it is the only place that everyone knows. So we went to the bus station, and I found my new companion and we said goodbye to all the missionaries that were leaving. Then we left and went to our house in Libertad because all the missionaries that were in Obregón werent going to arrive for a while. Then while I was unpacking my stuff, we got a call. It was from Elder Ochoa and he was asking me what the name of the street is that we live on. Ahhh! Hopefully he will be alright in Macapule. haha!

I am doing really well. In the beginning, for me the mission was pretty hard. Thankfully, I had an American companion that could understand me and communicate, but still I could not understand anyone when I arrived, and I was always so dang tired. The first month of my mission, I was practically falling asleep in our lessons because I could not understand anything. But I think that happens for everyone who serves a mission in a different language. But now, I am doing really great. I can understand everything that people are saying, and I can pretty much say anything I want in Spanish.  Its not perfect, but I still have a lot of time to perfect my Spanish. :) But truthfully, I am enjoying my mission. Yes, it is really hard, but I am happy and enjoying it.

As missionaries here we are doing everything we can to get the members excited about sharing the church's Christmas video, "A Savior Is Born." So if there is anything that you can do for the missionaries in your ward, I know that they would really appreciate it. 

Well that is about it. Thanks for the pictures, and I am so excited to see you all on christmas! :)

Con mucho amor
Elder Snyder

With Carlos and Lolita. Going to miss these great ward members. 
Got my Christmas Package!

Reunion with my friends from the CCM

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Week 23 - Thanksgiving Turkey Enchiladas

¿Cómo están todos?
Well another week has gone by and we have arrived at the last week of the cambia (transfer.) We still don't have any investigators that are progressing but we have found a less active sister that we are trying to reactivate. We decided to contact this señora that was leaving her house. As soon as we started talking to her, she was like… actually, I am a member, and told us to come into her house. She told us that she and all of her kids were baptized in the church, but that she has not been to church in ten years. Then the next Sunday, she came to church and brought one of her granddaughters who is not a member. She also came last week and she made comida for us also.
Also hermana Richardson is going to finish her mission this week, which is sad because she has been in my ward and our district ever since I arrived.
But this week we have really been focussing on the new intiative of the church which is "Ha nacido un salvador" or "The Savior is Born." All of our meetings and lessons have been about this video. And in the 3rd hour of church, we were in charge of teaching. We ran the 3rd hour like it was a zone conference. We started with a hymn and a prayer and then we, the missionaries, lead the training for all the members. We showed them all the video and asked them what they thought and why it is important that they share this with their friends and family. Then we discussed the different ways that they could share this video with their family. Then we had all the members do a role playing exercise where they all had to contact one of their friends and gift them a card. It was really cool and kind of funny to watch all the members act like missionaries. But that is kind of what the church is all about, right?  
There is still hardly any progress here in our area because it is so dang small. A large portion of our area is taken up by the Ley, Walmart and Sam's Club. It is like a quarter of our area. So we keep feeling like we are talking with the same exact people. But I really hope that I will be here in Macapule for one more cambia…just because I have gotten to know all the members here, and I would really like to spend Christmas with them.
And instead of having turkey for thanksgiving this year, I had turkey enchiladas, so that is basically the same thing right? :) I am glad that you all had a great Thanksgiving and sorry that this letter is not too long, but really not to much has happened this week. I hope that everything is going well. Love you all so much.
Elder Snyder

Our Christmas presentation during the 3rd hour in church to help the members share the video "The Savior is born."  
A Family Home Evening with the members
"The Monster Dogg!"
Not really missionary attire, but it was actually cold in our apartment!! It has no insulation and the weather here now is a lot like California, cold in the morning, hot during the day, and then cold again at night. I never thought I would say this, but I almost wish I had packed a sweater. haha!
It rained all day Saturday and one of the members made this poncho for me out of a trash bag! haha! But it stopped raining right after.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Week 22 - Happy Thanksgiving!

Hola family,
I love mondays too haha. And I love being able to write and read letters to finish off the day before we have to go work again. I am so excited to skype with you too…only one more month. And in answer to your question... I am pretty sure that there is no Thanksgiving here in mexico but tal vez si hay. 

The work here is going very slow... none of our investigators are progressing. None are going to church, and it feels like every time we have a member come with us to one of our appointments, our investigators are not home. Its annoying because we didnt have that many lessons with members this week, so then everyone is calling us and asking why dont you have more lessons with members and yeah all that. But yeah we are trying and that is what matters. :) 

One of the goals that I want to start with our district is to have a noche de hogar everyweek (FHE). Family home evenings are really the easiest way to have a lesson with multiple investigators at once and for the investigators to get to know someone in the ward. It is also a really easy way for members to get involved with missionary work and the missionaries…because it is really easy to invite friends to family home evening and then the members dont have to stress about preparing a lesson because the missionaries have that covered :) But ya, Noches de hogar always are successful. 

Oh, mom and dad,  I FINALLY RECEIVED YOUR PACKAGE!!!!!! yeah my package all of a sudden appeared at the church. Someone told me that there was a package in our church locker. And yeah, sure enough there it was. So you dont have to worry anymore haha. I am really greatful for the hymns made easy book. We went to the church today and I was able to practice piano again. 

Oh and we had intercambios con los lideres de zona. So that was fun...the zone leaders told me that I would be staying in Mochis, but when they arrived at our house in the morning they told us that I was leaving and going to del valle and that elder ochoa was staying. It was really funny because elder ochoa got all mad and I don't know... it is just really funny to hear people complain in spanish because they start talking alot faster than normal. But one of the best parts about going to del valle was that I got to eat the "monster dogg." There is one guy who is a member in del valle that has a hot dog stand and he sells this one dogg called the "monster dogg." He has bread specially made for this dogg because inside fits 4 sausages. It was so delicious. And I forgot my cable today so I cant send the picture but dont worry i will send a picture the next time I am at the church. 

Mom, you asked me to share what I am most grateful for this year…I am so grateful to be born and raised in a family that has the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. When we teach the principle of how the gospel blesses families, I think of our family and all the blessings that we have received because of the Gospel. Living with the Gospel in our lives is truly the only way to find lasting happiness. I am so grateful I was blessed to be born into our family and with the Gospel. I cannot even imagine how hard it would be for me to find it, if I had not been born with it, and I think of how I would have missed out on all the blessings that come from having the spirit to lead and guide us in our lives everyday. A mission really gives you another perspective, huh. ;)

Love you all so much, and I am so happy that you will all be celebrating Thanksgiving. 
Til next week!
Elder Snyder

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Week 21 - Sam's club here we come!

So this week started out really rough for us. We walked for hours and hours. We were contacting all the people that said we could pass by their house, but they were either not home or later told us that they were catholic. That is always the excuse people use. They tell us that we can pass by a different day, but then when we come by again, they tell us that they are catholic and don't want to listen. So in the start of the week, it was really hard to stay positive, but things turned out to be all right at the end of the week. Sadly, our investigators still are not coming to church. I feel like the hardest commandment for these people is to keep the Sabbath. 

But other than that, things went pretty well. We had a meeting with the president and the assistants. It was really awesome because it was a meeting for all the district, zone, and sister training leaders. The meeting was awesome. We learned how we should be running our district meetings, which is something very helpful for me, and we learned how to work more with the members. And one of the ways that I think is awesome is to have a family home evening with the members where the members invite a family and then the missionaries teach a short lesson. 

Oh and something interesting that happened this week was that we recieved a reference from the sisters of someone who has a daughter that is at BYUI right now. So we contacted him this week and he told us about his daughter at BYUI. Then he called her up on his phone and gave it to me. And I asked her where she was living, but I don't remember now where it was. But it was really cool... we talked in spanish and because this guy has a lot nicer phone than we do, I could actually hear what she was saying on the other end. His daughter told us that we have to teach her dad, so we are going to continue to follow up with him. 

Also as of today, Elder Ochoa and I are officially Sam's Club members. Haha! Yeah, there is a Sam's Club right in our area. We mainly bought the membership because Sam's is one of the only cheap places that you can go to print photos. But we got a really good deal and it will be really nice to be able to go there. 

Love you all so much!  Thanks for everything that you do for me.

te amo
Elder Snyder

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 20 - Staying Positive!

Querido familia,
First of all, I love you all so much. I love reading all your letters and all the support that you give me. Thanks so much!

So this week started out very good. We found alot of new people to teach. By wednesday, we had 10 new investigators. But then on thursday, friday, and saturday it all went down hill. We barely had any lessons. We could not find any of the people that we had taught at the start of the week. And we were walking for most of these days. It was pretty hard to stay positive, but that is our goal for this week. We also fasted this week to help us to find new people and to find someone that will want to be baptized this cambio. :)

I never realized before, but to be a district leader requires a lot of phone calls. It has helped me alot though, because I have gotten much better at understanding people on the phone. Im still not perfect, but now I dont have to guess what people are saying all the time. 

Sounds like Parker had a great missionary opportunity by choosing not to go to Disneyland with the band on Sunday. That's cool that he was able to talk to his friends about his reasons for not going. I really wish that I would have had the knowledge I have now of the importance of the Sabbath day when I was swimming and in high school.  As a missionary it is so much easier to see that the Lord only asks us for one day. While we should always have our thoughts focused on him, he really only asks for one day - and by keeping the Sabbath day holy we show our willingness to keep all of God's commandments. And through keeping this commandment podemos ser perdonados de nuestros pecados. 

Sorry I dont have too much to write. It was alot of walking in the hot sun this week. But I know that this next week will be better! 

Love you all so much. Your letters really brighten my week and help to motivate me to work hard.
Love Elder Snyder

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Week 19 - "All Spanish From Here On Out"

Hola Familia,

Loved the Halloween pictures. Looks like it was super fun and your mexican pumpkins were pretty hilarious. Here in Mexico, it is called día de los muertos (Day of the Dead), but I honestly didn't notice a difference from any other day. Everything seemed completely normal to me. The only difference these past two days is that there has not been anyone home or in the calle (street). On weekends, it is much harder to find people in their houses because everyone leaves to visit family. And especially this week with día de los muertos. So we have walked around in the calle and literally have not seen anyone. 

But my first week with my new companion went very well. Elder Ochoa is hilarious. Literally everything he says makes me laugh. Also he does not speak any english so it will be all spanish speaking from here on out. He has been a member of the church for a year and 6 months and he and his brother are the only active members in his family. But he is so fun. One thing we have in common is that we both like spongebob. It is especially hilarious to hear him quote it in spanish. I dont know why, but some things are just funnier in spanish. 

So, I finally had my first interview with the president en miércoles (on Wednesday). It was very cool to speak with the president. He told me that he has been praying for me more than any other missionary because he has given me alot of responsiblity. It was really cool to be with him and I hope to be able to do my best to serve here. He also told me that I no longer have an extra hour of language study, so we now have to leave the house at 1030. Which doesnt seem like alot but going from leaving at 12 to leaving at 1030 has been a huge change. We have also been contacting more because we need to find more people to teach. We were both really sad this saturday because we fasted that our investigatores would come to church but none of them did :( It is just so dang hard for people to come to church. That is honestly like the hardest commandment for them. 

But that has just about been our week. Alot of contacting in the street. But today we went shopping. And it was pretty awesome. There is a Suburbia (basically a Mexican Walmart) in our area, so we went there to look for pants and ties. Well they didnt have any ties but they had pants. And the best part was they were on sale for like 135 pesos. It was incredible. Then when we got home Elder Ochoa taught me how to hem my pants. And they actually turned our really good. (So you dont have to worry mom, haha!) But that was about our week. Not to many things happened this week just alot of walking.

I hope that everyone is doing well at home. Love you all so much.
Con muchísimo amor
Elder Snyder 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Week 18 - Transfers! A New Companion and a New Assignment

Me and Elder Ochoa
I am glad to hear that the whole family is doing well. It sounds like everyone had a very exciting and busy week. I completely forgot that it is almost halloween. Your costumes all looked fantastic. And, Mom, I laughed out loud when I read that you were a little offended when Elly was raiding your closet looking for grandma clothes. haha! I'm so glad that Jon was able to translate the video that I sent for you. (I forgot that it is all in spanish.)

Okay so this week many things happened and the most exciting was cambios!! So mi papa (trainer) Elder Lowry was transfered to Obregón to be a Zone leader. So that means that I am still here in Macapule and my new companion is Elder Ochoa. He is from Oaxaca, México. So yes, I now have a native companion. And the best part is that I can understand everything that he is saying with the exception of a few words, but that all comes with experience. But the crazy thing is that I am now the District Leader here in Macapule!!! Yeah, I just finished my training and now I am the district leader. I still can hardly believe it, especially because since I have been here in the mission, I have not even had an interview with our Mission President yet.  Elder Lowry and I were so surprised when we found out.  So that means I am in charge of the 10 missionaries in our district which also includes the zone leaders that are in our district, and I have to lead the trainings that we have every week. It is a lot of responsibility for someone who has just finished training and who does not speak perfectly yet, but I have faith that the Lord called me to be a district leader because he knows that I can do it. But we will see how it goes this week.  :) 

Elder Ochoa is from my generation, so we have the same amount of time in the mission. And I am compañero mayor (Senor Companion) so that means that I am in charge of all the rent, the luz (the electricity bill), and I am in charge of leading the lessons.  For this, I'm really hoping that my Spanish will be good enough. 
As for the "hurricane" I honestly had no idea that there was one. haha! It didn't even rain here! Actually I dont think that anything really changed. We would have LOVED to have had more clouds, but there weren't even any of those this week either. 

So most of the exciting things happened this weekend. But I am so excited for this opportunity to serve the Lord as a district leader and I hope that I will be able to help the missionaries in our district. I know that these callings are inspired because there is no way that the president without an interview would know that a new american missionary who just finished his training would be ready to serve as a district leader. But, I have faith that the Lord is going to help me during this time because he would not call me to do this, if I was not ready and able to do it. 
But if you have any advice on what I should do, I would really appreciate it. :) And extra prayers would be good too!

Well that is pretty much it. I hope that everyone has a great week and that you are all able to feel the Savior`s Love.
Elder Snyder

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Week 17 - The Missionary Tower

Our Missionary Tower - (see video below)
Hola ¿cómo están?

That is so cool that Jon is back. Make sure to tell him hi from me. And wish Noah the best from me as well. 
So, the sisters in our district had their house robbed about two weeks ago. Luckily, they said not too much was stolen. But they said that someone had tried to steal their air conditioner because they found it outside their house. I don't think it was the same sisters you all heard about because our sisters were living in a house, and I know that they don't have an ipad. I'm actually pretty sure that no one is allowed to have an ipad in this mission because if they did someone would definitely try to steal it. But ya, in answer to your question, I feel very safe in our area and our apartment. Alot of people live in our complex, so it would be kind of hard to steal anything and because they all know that missionaries live in our apartment. And for extra safety, we also have a picture of Christ in our window :) so I dont think that we will get robbed. 

So this week we had a few long days. We pretty much walked all day and could not find anyone to teach. There was hardly anyone in the street that we could talk to and nobody was home or they just didn't answer the door, so for like two days this week we were just walking for hours in the blazing sun. Also this week the heat decided to return for some reason, so we have been battling that as well. But we were able to find someone new to teach this week. We were with a member and we went to visit an investigator that we had not visited in a long time, but she was not home. So then we decided to go to the home of a recent convert/less active member. (The retention here in mexico is not very good. For this reason people have to go to church 5 times before they can get baptized, but sometimes that is still not enough. So if you have any ideas that can help with the retention of members that would be great. Because it does not benefit a person anything if they are baptized but do not keep their covanents.) So we arrived at his house and he was asleep, but his step daughter was home and we asked her if she had ever spoken with missionaries before. And she told us that she has talked with a lot of religions but none could answer her questions. Well that phrase was like music to our ears, so we asked her  "well what questions do you have?" And all her questions were like Where did we come from? and Who is Jesus Christ and why is he so important in so many religions? So it was really awesome to teach her about the plan of salvation. And it seemed to all make sense to her... everything that we were explaining. 

So she all of a sudden had a huge desire to learn about our religion and she asked for more pamphlets and has been reading in the libro de mormón that we left with her. We even brought her to a baptism that the other ward was having to see an example of a baptism. But for some reason we seem to always lose our best investigators. So her name is Kimbery and she is moving to some place in Tijuana because she has some family problems here. So we are going to lose her in about a week. :( I'm happy we can at least teach her right now. But we are still looking for people that want to learn and actually stay in our area. And I feel really blessed because I have been lucky to have three baptisms already where as my other friends in other areas havent had any, so I am really grateful for that.

We also had an actividad de zone today where we cleaned the church, played some soccer, and ended up making a human tower. We made this human tower because we were playing with a vollyball in the multipurpose room and one of the sisters hit the ball into a screen that covers the vent and the screen fell off. Well, we did not have a ladder, so we did the next best thing and built a tower out of missionaries because the ceiling is like 15 feet high. So because I am one of the tallest and one of the lightest, I was on the top. I will send a picture so that you can understand what I am trying to explain. 

Also there is a tradition here in Mexico called "The Bite" that when it is someone's birthday they have to take a bite of the cake without their hands and then their companion shoves their face into the cake. So it was really funny because there are 3 birthdays this month. One set of the sisters was really funny. The sister went to take a bite of cake and yeah her companion shoved her face into the cake, but then her companion did not feel like she had enough cake on her face, so she shoved here face into the cake again only with alot more force. It was just really funny because it was like 1...2 times that she had her face shoved into the cake. Then at last, it was time for the other elder to take "the Bite" and he said that he wasnt going to, but then his companion told him to do it and four other hands from all the surrounding elders shoved not only his face, but his entire head into the cake. It was just so funny because no one was expecting that and he had cake all over his face and his hair. 

So this week was pretty fun and also this week is the last week of my training. We have cambios this Sunday, so we will see if anything changes or if it all remains the same. Thank you for all your letters and sorry this one is so long.

Elder Snyder

Week 16 - The coolest fast Sunday ever!


This week, we had another junta de zona. It was great. I always love to see all the other missionaries that are serving in our zone and alot of the missionaries that were from my generation in the CCM. Also it was funny to see them lugging this huge suitcase that was full of Libros de Mormón for our zona. But we learned alot about how we need to use our ward mission leader and members of the ward to help us find and teach and help our investigators feel comfortable in the church.

Yesterday was fast sunday and it was honestly the coolest one ever. First off Carlitos was confirmed a member de la Iglesia de los Santos de los Últimos Días by his dad and it was so awesome to be a part of it. Next, all of the stake presidents in our mission were meeting that day so they were attending our sacrament meeting and our mission president was there too. Then to add to that I didn't realize this till after, but there was a member of the 70 of Mexico who was presiding at the meeting. So it was so awesome to hear everyone share their testimonies most of which were about how they know that prayers are answered by seeing the baptism of Carlos. And then at the end, one person got up who we had never seen before and she bore her testimony of how she felt the same as Carlos to know that she needed to be baptized. She felt the same way that after the missionaries left her house she tried to run and find them to tell them that she wanted to be baptized. She said that she has been less active for many years and this meeting reminded her so much of the love our Heavenly Father has for each and every one of us. Then the member of the 70 got up and started saying "Brothers and Sisters, we have witnessed a miracle today..." and talked about everything that happened in the meeting. It was super cool and the spirit was so strong in the room. 

So Sunday afternoon Elder Lowry went to Cuidad Obregón to renew his visa along with all the other american missionaries in his generation. So I spent the night and today with the Elders in Barrio Central. It was really cool to see their house and how it is much bigger than ours, but also to go to a different area even if it is across the street from us. And it is really funny because all the missionaries ask each other what they do on Pday because everyone is looking for something fun to do. It is really funny when we read the mission handbook and read about things you can do on Pday like go to a zoo or a museum. We always just laugh because there is nothing like that here. So we usually just stay in the house and study and read the Liahona. It sounds kind of boring, but I really like having the opportunity to read the messages that we recieve every month from our church leaders. But when we find something cool to do, I will let you know, but for now all we do is study and buy food for the week. 

Love you all so much and I hope that everything is great at home. 
Con Amor
Elder Snyder

p.s. Mom, I still haven't gotten my package because there were so many packages for our zone that the zone leaders could not bring them all back, but I think Elder Lowry is going to try and bring them back today.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 15 - Surprise! Carlitos is Getting Baptized!

I am glad to hear that all is well and that everyone had a great conference weekend. And glad that you are going to start "ponderizing" the scriptures. :) I was thinking as he was giving that talk, "If we had started doing that a long time ago it would have been so easy to memorize scriptures and to actually think about the word of God throughout the day." So that is so great that you are going to do that. I would start too, but I still have so much that I am working on memorizing. Our mission president has asked all of us that we memorize all the points in the 3 main lessons in preach my gospel. I started and finished the first lesson this week, so I still have 2 more to go, but we have a scripture of the month that we always try to memorize as well. This past month it was Jacob 1:19.

So to start off... this week was awesome because Carlitos (Carlos) was baptized!!!! It was such a crazy and amazing week. We were basically running all over los Mochis to try and teach Carlos the necessary lessons to be baptized. So basically it was a really fast run through of all the commandments. It was really funny because in one of our first lessons with him we were like "Carlos, we are going to leave you with these five pamphlets, try to read them ALL by tomorrow before we see you, but you probably won't be able to read them at home because your parents will know what is up if you have all of the missionary pamphlets with you." (He wanted his baptism to be a surprise for his parents.) But it all ended up working out. We were able to teach all the lessons and it was super easy because he already knew this was the right path for him, so we got him all ready for his interview with the zone leaders. 

The day of the baptism was crazy. So we had a lot of time before the baptism because we were going to have it at like 7:30 at night because that was when his dad would be back from work. So we got to the church at like 10 to start filling the font. Then like 3 minutes after we started filling the font we realized that the water that had been sitting in the pipes for a few weeks smelled terrible. It smelled so bad it started to stink up the baptismal room. So then to counter act the smell, we poured in soap used to mop the floor, so that seemed to mask the smell of the water to a nice lemon smell. :)

Then at night, we went to the church to get ready for the baptism and when we got there, we found that Lolita (Carlos´s mom) was cleaning the church. So we had to distract her so that her son could sneak into the church without being seen by his mom. So luckily we got Carlos in the building without being seen. He then got changed into all of his white clothing and waited for almost a half hour for his dad to arrive. Then when his parents were sitting down, (We were glad that they were sitting down because we thought that hermana Lolita would faint) we asked them if they would like to meet "Antonio" (the fake name we had to make up because his dad is on the ward council). They both said, "yes" and when they turned around there was their son Carlitos standing there all dressed in white. It was kind of fun because they both had to do a double take and then they both just said ¡¿¡Qué!?! They were both so happy! Hermana Lolita was just in tears and she went and embraced her son and Carlitos was in tears with the reaction of his mom. It was so beautiful, I almost started crying to see how happy their family was.

Lolita then told us how she is so grateful for our Padre Celestial (Heavenly Father) and how he answers our prayers. She later told us that when she went to the temple with the ward she put a bunch of peoples names on the prayer roll, but for her son Carlos, She put his name down like 20 different times on different pieces of paper. It was also awesome to hear the testimony of Carlitos' father, Carlos, and how he was so grateful. We then asked him if he was ready to get wet and he got a big smile when he learned that we had brought clothes for him to baptize his son. It was such an awesome experience. So many of their friends were crying  and were so happy when they walked through the door to discover that "Antonio" was actually Carlitos. It was really cool too because their family is like the heart and soul of this ward and to see their son be baptized was just truly amazing in a way that words cannot even describe. And now in a year they can go to the temple and be sealed together as a family for time and all eternity one of the greatest blessings that our Father in Heaven has given us. 

And yah, on top of all that, it was conference weekend so we all got to watch conference!! Thankfully, I watched it in English. All of the churches have smart TVs now, so we were able to watch conference on the mormon channel. It was pretty cool, we had a room that was full of American missionaries. 
I love you all so much and thank you for all the letters and pictures that you send me. 

Carlitos and his parents
The outside of Our Apartment

Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 14 - "I'm in Venice!"


So this week we had another junta de zone (zone meeting) with the president. It was cool because our zone got reorganized. We were the only district that stayed in the zone and we got two new districts. So it is kind of cool to see all the new people in the zone... two of the companionships were people from my group in the CCM so it was good to talk to them and see how everthing is going. But after hearing about their areas, it makes me grateful for the area that I have. Our area is small compared to theirs, so we dont have to walk as much as they do. And we have a walmart and another grocery store in our area so shopping is super easy for us. 

In the beginning of the week, it was raining a lot at night and as you can see from the picture, the streets here dont really have drains.  So usually after it rains, there are certain streets that are like lakes.  So we were walking down this one street and had to completely change course because the entire street was flooded. But it isnt usually that bad. 

We found a new investigator this week. His name is Leonel and we taught him the Plan of Salvation and we gave him a date to be baptized and he accepted. We were super excited but then he told us that this week he was going to the hospital to get a tumor removed. So we decided to visit him and when we arrived at the hospital no one had any record that he was there. So we went to his house later that day and he told us that the doctors had changed his schedule and now he has to wait until November for his surgery. Also he told us that he was going to go live with his son until his operation. And his son lives very far away. And so just like that in 3 days, we had someone with a baptism date and then we lost him. 

Then later that day we went to visit our other investigator Mirian. And we talked with her and she told us that she was moving also. She has been living with her boyfriend, but she is leaving him because he has been cheating on her. And it is really sad because she has 4 kids that are all super young!! So we are going to let the other missionaries in her new area know so they can help her and teach her. And then my companion and I were both really sad because we were like, Wow, we just lost 2 of our best investigators in the same day. But don't worry... the week got a lot better. :)

So this Sunday was Elder Lowrys birthday. And some of the members in the ward threw a surprise party for us on friday. It was super cool to see all the members that are in this ward and that they all have so much love for everyone. But the best part about this was what happened after. So the party was at the house of our ward mission leader, Carlos and Lolita. And their son lives with them, and he is 28 years old and is not a member. So as we were leaving and walking down the street, we hear a voice that says "Elderes" And it is Carlitos, their son. He then says to us "make sure to fill the pools this sunday." Me and elder Lowry were both really confused and said what? Then he told us that he wants to be baptized. He said that he talked with God and that it is the right thing to do. We both almost teared up because we love our ward mission leader and his wife so much. Because they dont have very much, but they do everything they can to help us. And so Carlitos told us that he wants it to be a surprise for his parents. So we are planning on getting him ready to be baptized this friday because there is conference this weekend. He has not had all the discussions, but he has attended church a few times with his parents, so we just have to teach all the lessons to him quickly. So our goal is to teach all the lessons with him so that he can be ready for his interview before Friday.  

Oh and we saw the lunar eclipse last night too! It was really weird because before the eclipse happened we were looking at the moon and we were like the moon looks alot bigger tonight.  Then like an hour later someone said hey look an eclipse. And there it was except the moon was a lot smaller. no sé por qué. But that is super cool that you all saw it too. 

Anyway, that was pretty much my week. The language is still a bit of a challege for me. I cannot completely understand what people are saying when they are speaking directly to me and this week Elder Lowry has been trying to get me ready by having me talk on the phone which is pretty hard. I usually just end up passing the phone to him because I dont understand. But the language is coming…very slowly, but surely. I have also started reading Jesus the Christ and it is so awesome. It just really helps you understand so much more who the Savior is and how important his purpose was and is.
Love you all so much and miss our family a lot. But I love my mission, and I am so glad I am called to serve here. 
Elder Snyder