Friday, April 18, 2008

a young man who lives in petrozavodsk, Karelia, Russia has been here in the states for the last few weeks, emailed me today. he is amazing! he has served a mission and is a strong leader in the branch up in petro. he creates a branch newsletter for the members and includes a section about missionaries that have served there (it is a heavenly spot. i was able to serve there for 6 of the 8 months i was in the country. it is because of these men and women that i love and cherish Russia. they were my family away from home.). Roma asked that i write something up for the month. he didn't tell me how much to write, so i hope it's not too long. he instructed me to include things i have done, what i am doing, and share my testimony. when i sent it to roma, i told him he could trash whatever he wanted. he asked for pictures...i've already posted the ones i sent, but here's one just in case...

When I left Russia in November of 2000, I traveled home with the possibility of a brain tumor. I had to leave Russia 8 months earlier than I was suppose to, but at the time I was in so much pain, I was just glad to go home to my family. Seven years later, I am missing Russia - especially Petro - tonz and needing to find a moment of life to get back!!

(i left petro at night, but this is the view from walking out of the train station. the road in front is the main street - many a random stories along this long street, including getting my leg smashed in a bus, a blue grocery bag of apples getting stuck in the door of the bus, slipping on the hardened layers of ice, and getting separated from my companion. just to mention a few!)

A handful of things have happened in the last seven years - no of which were things I had planned!! I didn't have a brain tumor, but the pain of explosive headaches lasted for about 8 months (ironic I know). I finished school ready to teach either Elementary kids of English to junior high kids. I taught 6th grade for 5 years. During that time I was engaged, broke it off, and found out that I had thyroid cancer. I had treatments which included digesting a radioactive pill and had to be isolated in an apartment all alone for about a week (my little sister loved to door-bell-ditch food and treats)!!

There are a few consequences I get to deal with for life...since I have no thyroid now, I need to take a supplement every day. My energy is low, but overall, I am a healthy and happy lady!!

I stopped teaching last August and am working for the Relief Society general presidency at Temple Square. I get to wear a dress and nylons every day!! It makes me feel like a missionary - just without the Russians whom I love!! When you read the Conference talks and see any of the sisters that speak, I work on the same floor with them and they are wonderful!

I am learning lots about who the Lord would have me be. I know that He has a special and specific plan just for me. He reminds me that I am His precious daughter many times a day as I read my scriptures, pray, ponder, smile, interact with others, etc. I get to teach an institute class at BYU each week. We just finished studying the New Testament. I have been in awe of the characters of the disciples that chose to follow Christ. I have gained great appreciation for the decisions they made, daily, in their efforts to know Him, to follow Him, to watch Him, and to be with Him. I am thrilled at the reality that we get to abide in Him. We get to walk the roads He walked...the beautiful, hard, painful, blessed paths that He was asked to walk upon. I have realized again and again that as I know Him, know His doctrine found in His holy writings, seek Him out in all situations, and am willing to follow Him - even on the really long, tiresome, painful paths - that I get to be with Him forever. I get to partake and be embraced with His perfected love and understanding for all of eternity. And I get to enjoy the confidence of His love and understanding IN THIS LIFE as I make, renew, and keep the ordinances I am have made and am continually preparing to make in the Temple and each Sabbath.

How I dearly love and miss my heart-mates in Petro!

love always, sister snyder

i'll have to scan and add some real pictures of my petro experience. they are much better than these i found on the internet! =)


The Sands Crew said...

What a beautiful spot to share the gospel. I showed your pics to the boys and they have requested pictures for our fridge. You are an amazing woman I count myself lucky to have you as a member of my family.

Natalie said...

Emily- It's been fun to read some of your experiences. You have always been a great person.

Peter Jay said...

Those were fun times in Petro. I am friends with a bunch of people from Petro on my facebook. My little brother actually served in Petro a couple years ago.

Roma said...

Hey hey sis, it was so much fun to read it. you are so cool, I am always telling everyone that Sister Snyder is our PETRO SISTER!!!!!!!!! I love you tonz sis =)