Thursday, July 30, 2015

Week 5 - Last P-day at the CCM and "The Plague!"


Well this week has had a lot of excitement. First of all let me tell you about "The Plague" that has infected the CCM. On Sunday morning one of the hermanas in our zone was sick with something. Then later that afternoon, one of the hermanas in our district wasn´t feeling so well so she went back to her room. Then after the movie we got to watch, (It was Meet the Mormons, and it was cool because it was in English with Spanish subtitles and I was able to understand pretty much all of the subtitles.) But after the movie, the CCM presidency announced that there was something going around and everyone should make sure to wash their hands and be very careful. That is where it all started.

The next day, Monday, the plague began to spread. It showed no mercy. We watched all day people getting picked up by the clinic golf cart. Everyone who was on it looked like they wanted to die. One kid had his head just pressed up against the seat in front of him. And I am not kidding, we saw that golf cart everywhere... it was at everyone´s house! Then, towards the end of the day, the hermana in our district finally started feeling better, so she was able to come to class. But the plague would not stop there. Next, it took Elder Reid from our district. And he had to go home towards the end of the day. 

Then once we finally headed home, the plague had infected our roommate, elder East. So that night all the missionaries who had not yet been infected by the plague hung out in the living room. We seriously felt like we were the people that were in "I am Legend," just biding our time to see who the plague would take next. People started placing bets on who would be next.

The next day came and me and Elder Tice remained uninfected, but our roommate was still sick, and so was elder Reid. So at class it was just my companionship and the hermanas. One of the hermanas, we are convinced is immune because she has been on splits with all the other hermanas that were sick, yet she still remains uninfected. 

Tuesday seemed to be the last major day of the plague. We talked with doctors, and they told us that there were about 100 missionaries that were reported sick. It is just crazy. Me and Elder Tice seem to be some of the few survivors of the plague.

But other than that the week has been pretty average. We have continued to teach our investigators. We have had to teach the fun lessons, like the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity, where I have very limited use of vocab in those areas.

The Utah trip sounded like a lot of fun. I laughed at the image dad gave me of Katie hiking. Mom, I hope you have a fun time at girls camp and the mosquitoes don´t wake you up at night. Literally, every night I have been woken up by this mosquito that I swear was sent by Satan. It always flies in my ear and wakes me up. Then it just taunts me by flying in my ear every few minutes after that. I even put the sheet on my head and it still tries to fly in my ear. I can hear it through the sheet! Also if I sleep with any part of my body uncovered, I wake up covered in mosquito bites. I left my hand out the other night and I woke up with 8 bites on my left hand! It is crazy.

But I am so excited to get to my mission. Someone checked the weather for Cuidad Obregón the other day and said that it was 112 degrees!! I'm excited to go to a place where the hottest day in the CCM (Mexico City) is the coolest night in my mission! haha! I heard that the Senora desert is the third hottest place in the world!! But really, I am so happy to get the opportunity to go and teach the people. I feel that I have learned all the spanish I could learn in the CCM and I just need to practice speaking. I am very grateful for all the time I have had in the CCM and all the teachers that I have had. Next time I email I will be in Obregón!!

Love you so much,
Elder Snyder

My district and I enjoying those cinnamon rolls! Thanks again!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Week 4 at the CCM - The Mexico City Temple (Wednesday, July 22)


First...Thank you for the cinnamon rolls!!  Me and my district are going to enjoy them tonight! Everyone always gets so jealous when you send me stuff.  My companion, Elder Tice, emailed his Dad last week and asked if he would please send him a package through the Mexico missionary site, and he was so happy when he received a package yesterday.

Today we got to visit the temple in Mexico City. Unfortunately, the temple has been closed for several months, but they are going to be having a reopening once I leave. So sadly, I do not get to go inside the temple in Mexico City. And there is no temple in Cuidad Obregón. The closest temple is the Hermosillo temple which is in the mission above mine. So, if I want to go to the temple while I am on my mission, I am going to have to convert a family and then hopefully in a year, I will be lucky enough to be invited to join them in the temple when their family gets sealed. But anyways, the temple looks really pretty and hopefully someday I will be able to go through it.

So, yesterday they opened the brand new comedor (dining room), and it is so nice!! I´ll take a picture of it next week. It is just so much nicer than the other one we used to eat at. The church spared no expense. Also our building where our classroom is, is under renovation for the next few weeks, so our classroom was moved to the farthest corner of the CCM. Literally our house, our classroom, and the comedor are all on complete opposite ends from each other. If you were to look from above, those three places form a triangle in the CCM. So yesterday, we had a devotional and had to walk from our classroom to the Auditorium on the opposite side of the CCM in the rain! And by the time I got to the Auditorium, it looked as if I had just got out of the shower. My hair was completely wet! 

This week I had a very special experience with personal revelation. I was studying why bad things happen to good people. And that day one of the Hermanas received a letter that had caused her to cry. Then later that night we were practicing teaching, and I was teaching this same Hermana. The lesson started out as normal, but I could just see in her eyes that something was bothering her. Then she asked me that very same question in Spanish, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" The spirit immediately told me what was bothering her... she had just lost a dear friend. I was then able to share the words in the Book of Mormon, in Alma 14, about when the wicked people take those who believe in the words of the prophet Alma and Amulek and throw them into a fire. 

 And they brought their wives and children together, and whosoever believed or had been taught to believe in the word of God they caused that they should be cast into the fire; and they also brought forth their records which contained the holy scriptures, and cast them into the fire also, that they might be burned and destroyed by fire.
 And it came to pass that they took Alma and Amulek, and carried them forth to the place of martyrdom, that they might witness the destruction of those who were consumed by fire.
 10 And when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God which is in us, and save them from the flames.
 11 But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory; and he doth suffer that they may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them, according to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgments which he shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just; and the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day.
Then after the lesson was over, she asked if I could tell her where that scripture was and she then told me that she had lost a close friend two days ago. Now I don´t know exactly why bad things happen to good people, but verse 13 of Alma 14 perfectly explains it,"Be it according to the will of the Lord." 
To this point I had never been able to discern what was personal revelation and what was my own thoughts. But now I know that it doesn't really matter as long as I act. I thought that I was studying this topic, so that I could teach it to another investigator, when really the Lord had been preparing me to be able to comfort this Hermana. Had I not been inspired to research that topic, I never would have been able to share it. The Lord does not just tell us what we need to say, but he inspires us with what at times seems to be our own thoughts, so that we can first study what we need to, and then the Lord can use this knowledge that we have gained to help others. 
I love it here in the CCM!  Not only am I learning little by little to speak Spanish, but I am having experiences that help to strengthen my testimony. Love you all and I miss you so much. Have a great time in Utah and tell all the family up there I love them.

Con mucho amor
Elder Snyder

P.S. There are a total of 28 missionaries (including me) heading to Cuidad Obregón on Aug. 3...18 Americans and 10 Latinos. Only 2 more weeks! 

The Mexico City Temple is one of 5 (I believe) where the Angel Moroni is holding the Golden Plates in his hand.
My District

It was our roommate´s Bday last week so me and Elder Tice got him a tie that we personalized. We then put it in a box and wrapped it. But since we didn´t have wrapping paper we had to use toilet paper instead. We thought that he may actually like to unwrap something on his BDay. I think we did a pretty good job. haha!