May 2, 2016 ;)

Mom and Family,

I am so excited to write you guys this week, but every week I am excited to write you. This is a special email though because it's not all the time that you have an Apostle of the Lord visit your mission and stay 90 minutes longer than scheduled. As you know we as a mission were privileged to have Elder Jeffery R Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Seventy visit our mission and give us some awesome training's that were wonderful to listen to and very interactive. We got to the North Stake Center at 6:45 AM so that we would be set to go in at 7:00 AM to go set up the whole mission for a picture with the General Authorities. I was so excited and it was so cool seeing the whole mission there together ready for when Elder Holland would enter the building. We were getting ready for the picture and had everyone set up for it when Elder Holland walked in and all of a sudden it went really silent, we were all very reverent as he waved at all of us, we took the pictures and then President Passey made the announcement that we were going to enter the chapel reverently and we were going to get to shake hands with everyone, and then said "lets go." And then Elder Holland got up and said "Elders and Sisters as you enter the chapel reverently I want you to tell me your name and your hometown and then I want you to find your seats." So we were all so very excited that we were going to shake his hand and everything. When I got up to him he was looking me in the eye and I said "I am Elder Snyder from Taylorsville Utah" and he thanked me and patted me on the back as I entered the chapel.

President and Sister Passey were asked to give there testimonies when the meeting started and followed after them were the testimonies of Elder Lynn G. Robbins and Elder and Sister Heyman (Area Authority.) After all of those wonderful testimonies Elder Holland got up to speak, and you could just feel the spirit that was in that was so amazing. I made sure that we sat near the front and we were in the 3rd row back, everyone had a great view of Elder Holland. When he got up he told us the reason why he was listening to our names...he said he asked for complete reverence so that he could have his interview with us, so that the spirit could speak to him about each of us. He said this "President Passey you have a good mission here, there are about 2 or 3 missionaries who are struggling but don't worry it's nothing too serious...over all you have a great mission." Then he proceeded to say "Aren't President and Sister Passey so cute? Don't they look like Bride and Groom wedding cake toppers?" It was so funny, we had some good laughs! Then he said that besides his family he would rather be with missionaries, and that the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve wanted him in Salt Lake but that because of his hardheadedness he felt inspired to visit our mission but he did have to leave after his training which was only supposed to be 45 minutes to an hour but it ended up being 1 1/2 hours which was so awesome!

Elder Holland told us that he loves missionary work, and that is what he does all the time... he told us that we were basically apostles with a little "a" but that he was an apostle with a big "A." Haha and he told us that he has to die to get out of his calling, but all we have to do is serve two years and we are done...he said he has one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel! LOL He then told us about when he was preparing to go on a mission and he had 1000 reasons not to go but he went, and for five decades  there is not a day he hasn't thought about his mission, and the lessons he learned from his Mission President, and from members and less actives and many more others. Then he told us that the message that changes men's lives NEVER changes! And encouraged us to tell our kids about our missions, and our grand-kids and our great grand kids...teach and testify to them about how missions helps change others lives.   Then he said "people in the Church think missionaries are perfect and you're not, and the Church thinks your perfect so honor that trust, you do NOT have the right to damage the reputation of this Church or of Missionaries! Wow, you know Elder Holland and I was kind of expecting him to be very passionate about this subject! It was cool because I have always wondered about this but he told us that as an Apostle of the Lord he does not have the right to transgress, that his agency was out the door as far as the Lord was concerned. "You are engaged in the most important work in the universe and you need to be SERIOUS about this, the salvation of the human family is a very serious thing!".

The awesome thing he got to after he had given his awesome testimony of the Gospel and Missionary work, was the training on the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He then got a mic and put it on his lapel and started to come down into the audience, then all of the missionaries were kind of freaking out wondering what he was doing...he was going to use the white board to help us learn but he knew that we were kind of freaking out.  So after that he started to ask questions and start the training and there was one point he was walking down the isle and he locked eyes with me and it was like he was talking just to me, and I mean his eyes were LOCKED! After he looked away I looked around and everyone had noticed so I had my companion and some Sisters smiling at me after! :D It was so cool, by the end of his training we got to how the Atonement enables us and it's by the Gift of the Holy Ghost and having the priesthood, I can share more about it when we Skype which I am so looking forward to it. And then Elder Holland left and the rest is a blur. It was so AWESOME!

Jordan is 3rd row back, 2nd one in ;)
Mom, I hope that you get feeling better... I can't wait to get Sean's graduation announcements in the mail soon, it sounds like his pictures are going to be really awesome so I can't wait and I do wish I could be there for that. I am so happy that Katherine is getting her Masters this week, that is going to be so awesome and I am glad that you guys get to go up and be a part of it, once again I wish that I could be there but I am here blessing lives an it is AWESOME! I am so glad to hear that Alexa's birthday went really well, she got a lot of cool stuff for her birthday! Did she like the temple picture I put in her card? I am so glad that Arlene's surgery went well, I am so happy to hear that and I hope that Athalee's goes well too...I hope she gets a blessing before hand. I hope that some good people move into Maxine's home...I hope to see Ann D. when I get home, I can about imagine how much the chemo is taking her down...this really is a trial of long-suffering and enduring to the end.

I am thinking about Skyping around 1 o'clock that way it will be after Pantano Ward gets out of their service. Things are going really good with me and my companion, we are working well together and I can't believe transfers are coming up really soon it's crazy! Remind me to tell you about the investigator that we got last night, and the lady in Walmart today as well, I am kind off getting tired of writing now and this is already a really long email! LOL

I love you guys and pray for you ALL the time, I love the pictures by the way it looks like Lexa had a good birthday and there should be something in the mail for Mother's Day tomorrow ;)

Elder Jordie