About Me

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I've been dreaming of serving a mission my whole life, and I've always been "The Future Missionary". Now, I have been blessed with the call to serve in the Arizona Mesa mission, where missionary service has become a reality to me. What more could I ask for? Life is good!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What It's Like Serving a Mission in a Mormon Town

Over a year ago, I was called to the Arizona Mesa Mission.

Just to give you a little bit of background, I have always wanted to serve a mission, and I have always wanted to serve in a foreign country. I always thought that I would. I love adventure, people, food, music, and I love experiencing things that I'm not used to.

...Now it's super fun honesty time. When I opened my call I felt disappointment. Ah, I'm so ashamed to say that! It was a humbling experience to open my call, to read Mesa Arizona, and to claim my mission. It was a time in my life where the Lord told me to do something different than what I wanted. Telling people that I was serving in Mesa often led to a response like "Oh, wow, what are you going to do there? Everyone is Mormon already!" People often told me of their children serving in Europe or South America, and how hard their missions were and how lucky I was to be serving in an "easy mission". I lovingly refer to people who do this as "mission shamers".

Then, after a few months of that, I was finally able to come to Mesa. Oh man, I fell IN LOVE. The sunsets, the weather, the bikes, the members, the non-members(there are plenty of them to go around) It even smells good here. Arizona is the most wonderful place in the world. Anywaaaaaays, once I got here, I knew that it was my place. I knew that all of those thoughts of disappointment, and all of those comments of discouragement were wrong. I knew that even though I was speaking English, and I was eating normal, "Mormon mom food"(no complaints) Mesa AZ was going to give me an adventure, and I knew that it definitely wasn't going to be easy.

I often get asked by Mormons and non-Mormons, "What is it like to serve a mission here?" I usually just say "Oh, it's the best!" But, there is obviously much more to it than that.

So, what is it really like to serve a mission in a Mormon town? Let me tell you!

1. EVERYONE knows you.

Pro:When I go to Walmart on P-Day, I get a lot of friendly "Hey sisters!" That's always nice. Sometimes people even pay for our food (whoa, charity). Recently, we were walking around, and a little girl saw us, and recognized us as missionaries. She smiled and waved, and said: "HI ELDERS!" We got a good laugh.

Con: On all of the other days of the week, when we are trying to find someone to teach, people don't want to listen, because they are so used to it. Everyone knows the Mormons. Everyone already has three copies of the Book of Mormon. Everyone has already talked to the missionaries. The other churches around here even have "How to talk to the Mormon Missionaries" classes. C'mon guys. Would Jesus do that? ;)

2. Our areas are small. 

Con: Some areas are 1 square mile. The areas are SUPER picked over. Good luck trying to find somebody that you haven't already talked to.

Pro: We get to interact a lot with our fellow missionaries. We play sports with each other in the morning. We sometimes eat lunch together. Guys, it's pretty cool. There is just something about people that have been called to the same mission as you. I will love the people that I served with here, forever.

3. We have a lot of members.

Pro: Members have been the BEST part of my mission. They take care of us. They love us like our moms would. They feed us. I love the members here more than anything. This is my favorite place in the world because of them.

Con: With so many members, a few of them are bound to make mistakes (We all do it. The Church isn't full of perfect people.). Then, people remember those mistakes, and use them against the missionaries. It usually goes like so:
-Me- "Hey! We are mission-"
- Old Guy On Street- "Oh, I hate Mormons, because, one time, when I was in High School..."

(Just so you know, nobody can say anything bad to me about Mesa Mormons. They are the best kind. I am their #1 fan. #mesa4liiiife)

4. Also...

We have:
  • Cars (sometimes)
  • iPads (be jealous)
  • Dinner with members, EVERY NIGHT
Also, also...
  • We use Facebook and blogs (obvi.)
  • We work with a lot of strong church leadership. 
  • We have the coolest mission president in the church.

We are SO blessed in the Arizona Mesa Mission. I cannot deny that. We have a lot of things that other missions don't have. I am humbled by this. I often think "If I have all of these great things in my mission then why is it still hard?"

Luke 12:48 says: "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required"

I am proud to be serving my mission in a Mormon town, where much has been given to me. When I say I'm proud, what I really mean is that I know with a surety that this is my place. It always was, and it always will be. I am full of gratitude and joy for the experience that it has been so far. I have different challenges than others have on their missions. That's ok. I have learned that you don't go on a mission to learn a new language. You don't go on a mission to go home and brag about your mission.You go on a mission to invite others to come to Christ, and to grow closer to Christ yourself.

So, don't be a mission shamer :) Know that mission calls are issued by a prophet of God, who hears God's voice. The Lord needs and trusts His missionaries in Utah, just as much as the missionaries serving in Africa. In fact, He even trusts you, wherever you are in your life right now, to be missionaries with your neighbors, coworkers, and friends, and to support the full-time missionaries in your area. Whoo. God trusts us, guys. Think about that. What are you doing to deserve that trust?

I love Mesa with all my heart. My mission is everything to me. I'm learning that when others put my mission down, it's only because they don't understand. I know that I am supposed to be here in Mesa. I know that the challenges that I have found here are bringing out the real me, the me that God sees. I was created by Him to become someone great. Mesa is part of His plan to help me become that person.

So. What's it like serving a mission in a Mormon town?... It's the best.

Sister Snyder

Friday, February 14, 2014

What To Do If You Lose Your Name Tag

When you go on a mission, you get to wear this nice name tag. You put it on everyday so that others around you recognize you as a missionary. It has your name, and it also has the name of the church on it. This is my name tag:

I love my name tag, and I love everything that it stands for. One thing that I do not like about my name tag is that I have the ability to take it off, set it down somewhere, and lose it. This morning, as we were heading out, I realized that I didn't have my tag on, so I proceeded to grab it from it's designated spot on my dresser, and I realized it wasn't there. If you ever lose your name tag, or anything else of great worth to you, I recommend that you follow the same steps that I followed this morning:

1. Pray.

2. Look for it on the shirt that you wore yesterday. (Good luck remembering what you wore yesterday)

3. Tear apart your whole room.

4. Ask the household cat if maybe she has seen it.

5. Pray again.

6. Start crying. (on the inside, not on the outside)

7. Admit defeat, and wear your companion's extra tag.

Guys, lesson is: Don't let the small things bother you. I'm sure I will find my tag at some point, but until then, I will have fun having the same name as my companion.


Sister Snyder ;)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Perks of Serving in a Young Single Adult Ward

I've served in family wards for most of my mission. I LOVE family wards. They are wonderful. But about 6 weeks ago, I was transferred into a YSA ward.

What is a YSA? Let me tell you.

A YSA is a "young single adult" who is between the ages of 18-31, not married, has no children, and is AWESOME.

Serving in one of these wards is very fun, and I really love learning from all of these people. They are around my age, and going through a lot of the same things as me, so they are easy to love, and easy to laugh with. Let me tell you a funny story about an experience that I had with some of my favorite YSA's this past week. I think this will help you understand what I'm talking about.

Ok, so, this really cool kid in our ward signed up to feed us (we love it when our members feed us! It's the best part of our day).

During dinner, the fact that I am gluten intolerant came up into the discussion. One of the roommates that was in the kitchen asked "What happens when you eat it?"

I replied jokingly "I don't want to talk about it!"

Then, with no hesitation, the kid who was feeding us yelled "SHE TOOTS!"

This is why I love being a YSA missionary. There really is never a dull moment.

President Hinckley once said "Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." Serving in this area has helped me to slow down, and enjoy making memories and friends. Guys, life is SO good! Laugh a little. Enjoy the people around you. Heavenly Father wants us to have joy! We are a part of His "divine plan of happiness".

I know that His plan is real, and that we have a purpose here. He really does know us, and has so much in store for us. I am happy with the things He has given me- even the trials. I love my life, and I especially love the people in it. You guys are pretty cool.


Sister Snyder