Elder Stockard

Elder Stockard
Mexico Cuidad Obregon Mission

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

June 5, 2017 - Week 102

Family and friends,

Well this is it, family! The last time I will be writing you guys as a full-time missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! I'll tell you a little bit about how my week went, because it was one of the best ones I've had in my whole mission!!

Oh and btw, yes go ahead and invite all extented family to the airport, I would be thrilled to see them all!!

So, as you can imagine, lately there have been a lot of ¨Lasts¨ and a lot more to come in this week to be sure. But on Wednesday we went to Los Mochis and had our last zone conference with President Myers. He never fails to impress us, and this was no exception. Per tradition, all of the missionaries who are finishing their missions give their final testimony at the end. I got to hear very powerful testimonies from some of my closest friends and some companions that I started the mission with and that was really cool. After the zone conf, I did a companionship exchange with Elder Cuevas, we came back to Choix and were together for a few days. The whole time we were working as hard as I think I've ever worked and seeing many awesome changes in people, feeling the spirit, and finding new people who heard and accepted the message that we brought to them. I wish I could tell you about each one of them in more detail!! The best part of all was on Sunday when 36 people came to church, including 10 investigators!! It was so moving to see the tiny little church building filled to capacity and to hear the testimonies of the members. It was most definitely an experience I won't forget. I will continue to work as hard as I possibly can to continue finding and teaching people in the time I have left! Tomorrow we will be having a baptism which I'm also very excited about, so I will show you all pictures when I get home next week!!!

It's a definite mix of emotions to be leaving a place, a people, and such an important assignment that has been my whole life for the last 2 years. Over the past two years there have been a number of times where there was nothing I would've wanted more than to be in the comfort of my own home, with my normal life, doing the things I was accustomed to doing for the first 19 years of my life. However, there have been so many more times that I have found myself at a loss for words, amazed at the tender mercies of the Lord, his infinite love for us, His children, and the joy that living His gospel brings. I have seen people crying, begging, yearning to find the joy of the gospel. If I lived to be a million years old I will never forget the feelings that it brings to see those very people learn about these eternal truths, put them into practice, and experience the saving grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I have come to better know that same feeling in my life, and have the assurance that His way is the only way that will truly lead us to lasting happiness, and eventually to be saved and return to live in the presence of our Heavenly Father. I know that the Lord tests us, but never more than what we can withstand, and never without providing a way to overcome and ultimately become stronger from those moments. And finally, I know that the very Savior and Redeemer of the world, the omnipotent creator of this very universe and all of the things that in it are, Jesus Christ, loves us so much, with such an undying, infinite, perfect love, that he has restored His true church and in that church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the fullness of His everlasting gospel is found. It is directed by him through living prophets, it is the only church that has the priesthood of God. I know that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ spoke to Joseph Smith. That through him we now have the Book of Mormon, which is another testament of Jesus Christ. It has the power to penetrate even the hardest of hearts. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is upon the face of the earth. The church is true!!! I am sure of it, and I am so thankful for it!! I am so thankful for each and every one of you, you are my biggest blessing and I could never begin to thank you for all that you have given me. I love you all, and I can't wait to lay eyes on you, hug you, and catch up on time spent apart.

I close with the immortal words of Aubrey Drake Graham.... Tell them fix my suite up, cause your boy´s coming home.

All Love,


Monday, May 29, 2017

May 29, 2017 - Week 101


I'm glad to hear that you are all keeping busy with travels, appointments, activities and errythang else!! I am too, but with different things. It's really the best advice, like you said, to just keep busy and stay focused on the task at hand and everything, in its due time, will come! But wow it really is exciting, even surreal, to think about being back with all of you so soon, the people I love the most! I know that it will all go by so fast and so I want to take in every moment and make the most of these last 2 weeks. I like the analogy of the Plan of Salvation and the mission. Each day we learn more about what we must do better and how we can improve and the mission really helps me out so much with that process. 

So today was super cool, we got together with a few other missionaries and played basketball for like 3 hours in the morning. It was definitely a good little exercise since we were running around and sweating in 90 degrees haha. It was a lot of fun though. Earlier in the week we had a good amount of things going on too. I went to San Blas, a very small town that's part of our district about 2 hours away from Choix, to do companionship exchanges and also a couple of baptismal interviews. I went with Elder White, who is from that place haha. But he is in his first couple of months in his mission and a really awesome kid. It was so cool to be able to just tell him about all the awesome experiences he will have and the things he will see and learn throughout his time as a missionary here. I admire the courage and faith of the new missionaries who are learning so many things, such as a new language, and still working very hard. 

As far as our investigators. Well I was out of Choix for a good part of the week and so I wasn't able to see all of them, unfortunately, one of them actually went to the United States to bring back some products for their clothing store.  We told her about the Visitor's Center in the Mesa temple and she said she would like to go, hopefully she was able to make it, we are still yet to see her. Her baptism is programmed for this weekend, hopefully everything works out well with that! On Sunday we had one of Pres. Myers' counselors visit the branch and he trained all of the members on how to participate in the missionary efforts. They all seem really excited to continue with that so we should be seeing some fruits of those labors soon!!

Thanks for the advice on some things to bring home , I really like those ideas. I'll keep my eyes peeled. These last two weeks will be filled with many ¨lasts.¨ I really feel and appreciate your love and support for me. I'm so lucky to have you all as my family! There couldn't be a better one. Hope you all have an incredible week, you will be in my prayers, as always. Love you all so much!!!


May 22, 2017 - Week 100

May 15, 2017 - Week 99

A shot of Ryan during his Mother's Day call

Mom and Family,

Hey, I feel like I'm getting spoiled this week, talking to you guys two days in a row! Of course, its hard to top a video call with everyone present,but its still always so great to hear from you all!! Yesterday, and the other 3 video calls that I've had, have easily been the highlights of my mission, it's always such a fun time laughing and talking with the people who I love the most! 

Yeah, so the other really great parts of the week.... We continue to work with our investigators, who are super super awesome. They have been going to church, tonight they're actually going to a family home evening at a member's house. Fellowshipping plays such a big role in the progression of any member, especially recent converts because they see how one of the great blessings of the church is the support we receive from others. So I'm hoping that they will continue to progress and if I'm here for their baptism that'd be great. The branch is going on a temple trip in July, and they mentioned how they'd like to go too. 

Well it looks like everyone will be keeping pretty busy in these last few weeks before we reunite. The Lord will always bless those who work hard and that's the plan!! I love you all so much, it's hard to believe how great of a family I have been blessed with. I couldn't imagine it any other way! You all are the best. I hope you have a great week and continue to work hard. 



Monday, May 8, 2017

May 8, 2017 - Week 98


Hey family, what's happenin? What a week jam packed full of weddings! Big congrats to the 3 newly wedded couples, I'm glad to hear that everything went well with the weddings. So real quick to answer your question... Yeah so we know that if we have to leave Choix after like noon, we should pack an overnight bag because we won't make it on the last buses back. But yes, that usually means that we just sleep on the floor of an apartment or that we push the two twin sized beds together and sleep lengthwise across them. Either way its pretty uncomfortable, hahaha.

Yeah, so this week was a good one. It's always fun to get to know a new companion, I feel like I learn a little piece of a new culture too since Elder Cassano is from Peru. It always make me curious to go to places that my friends are from to be able to see all the cool things they talk about. Most everybody speaks very fondly of their home when they've been away for so long, haha. Yeah so we´ve been working hard with the members here. A couple of weeks ago we set a goal with the branch president to get a home and visiting teaching schedule set up, and this past week we were helping some of the members do some of those visits to the other members. And it works, there were 22 people in church including a family of 3 investigators! Haha, it doesn't sound like much, but there have been as few as 7 in church so it is progress. As far as my personal goals that I mentioned to you a couple of weeks ago... I am about to finish the book of Alma, and I figured out that I have to keep a pace of about 6 pages a day to be able to finish. I have read the Living Christ a lot in Spanish and it's pretty hard to memorize it completely but I am gonna try to have a good part of it down! haha 

This week the same organization that the doctors from America came down with last month came down again on Friday. I had been excited the whole month to work with them again, and so on Friday we went and it turned out a little disappointing, haha. The whole team of docs couldn't make it down, there was a little bit of miscommunication and there was just one surgery that day, and a lot of sitting around. It was still a good experience, but a lot less busy than the last time, haha. The surgery that they did was actually a little girl who was born with 6 toes, it reminded me of Abby Belle when she was born. And the doctor who did it was an LDS podiatrist from So California. 

It sounds like you all will have a pretty busy couple of weeks!! I'm super stoked to see all of you this Sunday and talk to you guys!! We will have a lot to talk about haha. I was thinking that we could do the call at like 4:30 Nevada time? That would be 5:30 here and in Utah. We have a pretty flexible schedule, would that time work out for all of you guys? I asked an investigator to let me use her laptop, which is one of the only ones in Choix I'm pretty sure, haha. So I will try to make sure that there will be no technical difficulties but just fair warning, haha. 

I got my flight plans today too... I will forward them to everybody in case you haven't seen them yet!! One more month, pretty nuts!! Well, I love you guys so much and I can't wait to talk to you all on Sunday! I'm blessed to have the best family ever! 

All Love,


May 2, 2017 - Week 97


Hey how are you doing?? I am coming in a day late because yesterday was our transfer day and by the time I got back to my area, it was too late to write. So on Sunday we got a call informing us that Elder Wood would be going to Navojoa, and that I would be receiving a new companion, Elder Cassano. So yesterday we woke up very early to catch a bus into Los Mochis and then Elder Wood and I parted ways and he caught a bus to Navojoa. It was really disappointing to have to say goodbye to him but he´ll be a blessing in a lot of people´s life, just as he was in mine. So a few hours after that, Elder Cassano arrived (he was coming from Obregon). He is a really nice guy, he´s from Lima, Peru and has a little over a year on the mission... this is my last transfer, so he will be the companion that I finish with... pretty weird to think about right?

So Elder Wood and I had a good last week together... It was very busy and included a lot of traveling but it was very fun and rewarding. At the beginning of the week we were nailing down the last few details with the baptism (Place, time, date, dress, etc.) which is always exciting. Then after that it got pretty busy. On Thursday night we had to go to El Fuerte to do a baptismal interview for some other missionaries and by the time we finished there were no longer any buses that took us back to Choix, which was kinda to be expected. It worked out alright though because the next day we had a meeting in Los Mochis that we had to go to. So we crashed with Elder Christensen and his companion, who live in between Choix and Los Mochis, haha.It was super fun just chatting with them and then going to the meeting in Los Mochis on Friday.

When we finally got back to Choix we had a really successful branch activity where we met a lot of the members´ friends and family which is pretty much what we were going for. Hopefully some of them can continue getting to know the church and the doctrine a little bit better and see that it will bring them lots of blessings and happiness in their lives. We are working with one of the families from the branch. Most of their kids are older now and are all really well studied so it makes for some good talks. But anyways, this weekend the baptism was a success and that made it a good week.

Big congrats to Colin & Hanna, Hadley & Shannon, and Travis & Corey! I can't believe that the wedding dates already here, I am excited for those guys. I'll wanna see some pics of the ones you go to.

Well, I don't have all the time in the world because of the transfers, but I will write you guys more next week and we´ll plan out the Mother´s day call - how exciting!!

Love you guys!!


Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24, 2017 - Week 96


Hey fam, how are you guys?? That is cool that you guys got the yearbook thing that the Myers made for us! They really do do a lot of cool things like that, they also gave us our personal copy of it at a zone conference we had this past week. They also made these little booklets that contain the Living Christ document in them with really cool pictures so that we can memorize that document. Its pretty long but a lot of apostles mentioned it this last conference and I want to at least get a nice chunk memorized. But yeah it is really really nice of them to do things that are so thoughtful, they've made such a huge impact on the lives of so many missionaries.

So for some of this week I worked in Los Mochis with Elder Callens, we originally did it so that his companion could go to Choix to do a baptismal interview, but they couldn't do the interview until today so I stayed here with him for the whole weekend and went to church in his ward. It was a little different seeing a huge ward with 120 people, instead of the Choix branch with 15! But it was super fun, we bonded a lot, met some awesome new investigators here and we have a woman that is going to be baptized which is the best part!! Elder Callens served in Topolobampo, as did I, at the beginning of our mission and it's about 45 minutes away from Mochis. So today we went there for a couple of hours. I really wasn't sure what it would be like, returning to an area after so much time ( I left there over a year ago) but it was pretty awesome! We had a short amount of time, but each one of the members´ and converts´ faces that we saw lit up and they welcomed us into their homes very warmly and fed us well, haha. I am happy I got to take advantage of one of my last Pdays to do something like that it was a humbling, special experience.  

This week will probably be the last one that Elder Wood and I spend together which I'm kinda bummed about, he has been such a good, fun companion. I literally feel like I watch him take leaps and bounds in his progress in Spanish and missionary work, and I am blessed to have this time with him. I've learned a lot from him. It would be awesome if we got to spend my last transfer together but I know the Lord will have us in where he needs us to be. This week we have a very very busy week with all the baptismal preparations and also we are going to be working with some other missionaries in El Fuerte, about an hour away from Choix! 

Well family, I love you all and hope that you are all doing well. I love to hear from you and know that you're well!!! Alyssa's graduation is the next big thing on the plate then right?? Her announcements look super good!! She looks a lot older and I was actually thinking that she looks like Lauren in those pics!! Cant wait to see all of y'all. Love you!!