Elder Stockard

Elder Stockard
Mexico Cuidad Obregon Mission

Thursday, July 30, 2015

July 30, 2015 - Week 5

Familia como les va?? 

So this was a good week here at the CCM, per the usual. It started off on Sunday night where we got to watch Meet the Mormons and then say goodbye to the district that was a generation ahead of us. There had been rumblings of us watching that movie for a few weeks and then on Sunday it became reality. Then on Monday and Tuesday, literally like 50% of the missionaries here came down with this virus, it was crazy. Luckily my comp and I beat the odds and both stayed afloat during the trial, haha. But that night we quarantined all the infected elders in our casa and had a big sleepover with all the clean missionaries in the living room of our casa it was so much fun. I'm gonna send a picture of it.
We got the flight plans for Monday! We leave the CCM at 2:00 AM on Monday morning, our flight leaves at 6:00 AM Mx City time, and arrive at 6:00 AM Obregón time, with the 2 hour time difference. I have heard that we are not going to be allowed to call from the airport, unfortunately, but I will wait to hear the final word on that. If not, I think I´ll be able to email that day so feel free to shoot me some emails that day and we´ll see what I´m allowed to do, but yeah. 

Today has been pretty crazy because we have to pack all our bags and and weigh them before the flight. I´m getting my suit dry cleaned and all the last minute preparations for el campo. So we have been packed with laundry, packing and other things. Tomorrow we have all our field orientation, so that should be clutch cause it is just a nice switch up from the normal grind here. I continue to hear lots and lots of good things from people who have served in Hermosillo and Culican (The missions that made up my mission before) I am very excited, but a little nervous as well. All normal feelings. I feel like my Spanish has improved a ton over the last week or two and that is a really comforting feeling, no doubt there is still a very long ways to go though. 

As I leave the CCM, I have reflected a lot about how I have had so many great times here. My companion is awesome, my district and friends here are great, the food, the presidency, the facilities, the teachers, the learning, it is all so great here and I can´t tell you how much fun and how positive of an experience these 6 weeks have been. So I made it through the MTC, and I am praying every day that I will have the strength to make it through the field now because this is where the real work goes on. I know the Lord qualifies his workers and I know that we will see that work firsthand. I am excited and humbled to be part of the work, along with other friends I have that are going all out around the world. Alma 26:12 is a scripture that really stuck out to me this week. [Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.] We are nothing without the Lord and he blesses us with everything. I love you all and I bear testimony that the Lord is furthering the work and gathering Israel. He lives and loves us. Love you all. 

Les vaya bien

Elder Stockard

Thursday, July 23, 2015

July 23, 2015 - Week 4

Que Hubo familia?? 

So another week has come and gone at the good old CCM. Today I am emailing later because we went to the temple visitor's center in the morning, it was super super well done. The church always impresses me with how immaculate all their facilities are. That visitors center was far and away the most impressive one I´ve been to, it was sweet. Other than that, this week has been pretty similar to the others. We have definitely been ramping up the number of lessons and Spanish speaking as we are down to our final 10 days here. It also never ceases to amaze me how crazy Mexico is, we don´t get exposed to it very often because we are, for all intents and purposes, living in an American embassy. But it is exciting to go out and see the craziness of the country and the different culture. Next time we leave, it will be for time and all eternity. It is bittersweet because I have made such great connections with people here, but like most of us are going to Obregón anyways so it's all good. So for our service activity each week we get the chance to welcome in the new missionaries that fly in and it is by far the best service project because we get to talk to all of them and be thankful that moment in our lives is behind us. Haha. 

One of the cool things of the CCM has been that we have really all grown a lot and it is cool to see my companion or I be able to pull out a scripture on the fly in a lesson and explain it in Spanish. We didn´t get to teach any real investigators this week but we did get to teach a 14 year old kid last night who was baptized on the 18th of July so that was cool. His name was Axel, and he told me that my Spanish was good but I need some more work before I'm fluent haha. I didn´t ask him, he just offered up that comment, but it was funny and definitely true. 

This Monday the first district from our zone is going to leave and go to the field. It is weird because they are the first group of people that we are tight with that will be leaving us. Then it´ll be us after that. Each Sunday night we get to watch a Mormon movie and then they do a goodbye slide show for all the districts who are leaving the CCM. We are all stoked because this Sunday it is Meet the Mormons haha. We also get to hear from our president, President Tenorrio, he is a total stud. We realized that when he showed us a clip from a talk at general conference in October 2007 to drive home his point, and he was the speaker in the video, haha. We also get to hear from Area 70´s each Tuesday which is cool.  

So to answer your questions: The schedule is good, I don´t have any problems and I am really well rested.  In the first few days I was the most tired I've ever been and literally had to fight to keep my eyes open at times. But now I don´t have issues with it. The food is really great so I'm not hungry ever. All my supplies and clothes are working great, the shoes are good but I'm glad we got 3 pair.  I am sure I will use them all. There is a tienda (store) here that we can get basic supplies from. Mom, I am honestly really thankful you and Alyssa taught me the button sewing technique before I left cause I think it´ll come in handy. Anyways, sorry I don´t have much time, but I love you all and bear testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, that Christ lives and he loves us and is our Salvador!!    I´ll sign off with leaving one of the best chapters in scriptures with you guys. D&C 87, written like 30 years prior to the Civil War. The Lord has prophets on the world today, follow them!! Love you all and keep it real in the USA for me. 


Elder Stockard

Thursday, July 16, 2015

July 16, 2015 - Week 3


What´s poppin?? So I now have over 3 weeks in the CCM officially, and only 2 more p-days left. So that means we will probably go to the temple next week, I was hoping it would be this week though. It´ll be cool to see it. So this week has been pretty mild, one of the bigger events that happened was some issues with our casa. like 3 days ago there was a sewer line that broke right outside our window and it smelled reallyyyy rank. Then on top of that, it had been pretty hot that whole day and so we wanted to have the windows open to cool it down but we couldn't because of the smell. So I got a little taste of what the Sonoran nights might be like with the heat, haha. Then today the water has been out at our casa so we haven´t been able to do laundry or shower or anything. Really grosss. 

But it has been another great week here, the weeks really do just fly by like crazy fast. I´ll be out in the field in no time at all. So I really like my branch president and the counselor too. The pres´s name is Presidente Campos and he is Mexican and doesn´t speak very good English, but he's a very good guy who is always happy. Then the counselor´s name is Presidente Henrrie. He is American but lives in Mexico City, super random. He works for General Motors Spanish marketing department or something like that. He is a super cool guy though and really wants to help us. His son is on a mish in Russia right now. His favorite topics of convo are what all our ACT scores are.  They are great. 

I´ve read a lot of the scriptures already, like probably over half the Book of Mormon in my time here, it is crazy how much more I get out of it when I am really zoned in on the reading. Last night Elder Shipley and I got to teach our first real investigator and it went pretty well. She was a 15 year old girl named Jasmine and her Uncle (who is a member) sat in on the lesson as well. All the Latinos speak soo fast and it is really hard for me to understand. It is weird, I feel like I speak better than I hear Spanish. But I feel like I can hold my own in a lesson setting. We will see when I get out to the field, lol. Since Saturday our district has been Solo Español, so we only speak Spanish which is tough at times because I can´t really get my thoughts across as well as I wish.   

I really like the other elders going to Obregon, there are 17 of us total so we will have a really awesome generation out there. Yesterday we got to welcome new elders who arrived at the MTC which is always a fun experience because we went through the same thing a couple weeks prior. By far the weirdest 4 days of my life were from the Tuesday night I got set apart to the first Saturday night here, haha. Next week when I email you, I´ll have a month down in the mish! Not that much but I only get 24 of them, so it´s a milestone. 

Anyway, what´s going on back in America? We hear bits and pieces from the new elders each week but nothing huge. I was reallllyyyy stoked to hear the Angels are doing so well and Mike Trout won MVP at the ASG again, no surprise. I love those type of updates about Lakers and Angels so keep them coming, por favor!! What did everyone do on the LSAT?? And how are the transitions to new jobs going (Tyler, Lauren, Tommy, Mom) ?? 

As my last part of the email I would like to give a shout out to my best friend, Mr. Hadley Faught. 1 year ago from today was the day we talked about for yearssss when he came down the stairs at the RNO airport. Lots of memories in the section of the airport haha. Hadley, Kev, Tommy and others were all such amazing examples to me my whole life and with their missions. There are a lot of kids going to Chile here now. Anyways, love you all and miss you all. 

Les Amo mucho,

Elder Stockard

Sunday, July 12, 2015

July 9, 2015 - Week 2


Well we are now on week 3, crazy how fast time flies, huh?? So that is really awesome that you guys are in Seattle this week, Elder Shipley said to take care of it for him while you're there. I love to see all the pictures you guys send so send me all that you post on insta or any cool ones that you have or whatever. And that goes for like the duration of my mission not just for this weekend, haha. It is nice to see what's going on.

So anyways, this week was pretty solid. Each day I think we are settling in more and more and that is a nice feeling. We leave for Obregon on August 3 so that is coming up fast. This morning we got to get up at 6 am and go into downtown Mexico City to get our permanent visas from the immigration office. It was so sweet to get out and see people of Mexico and see the city because at the CCM we are pretty much in America. Like they have this place gated up and it's pretty high security. It is so fun and crazy to drive around the city, it is so crazy. A lot of the parts remind me of NYC and a lot remind me of LA (like the ghetto part) because it is soo big. It took us 3.5 hours in travel time to get from the Northeast part of the city where the CCM is to get to immigration in the central part. It was fun though, I'll send pics of it. There is absolutely zero observance of traffic laws. Or maybe they just don't exist I don't know. But it was really fun nonetheless. It is just a different world that is hard to do justice with my words.

So this past week we have been teaching a lot. It's all in Spanish and I am pretty good at the teaching lingo and I love to teach new people because we get to talk to them on a personal level and get to know them. The Mexican people are so nice. A lot of people here served their missions in Hermosillo o Culican and they tell me about Obregon. Here´s the typical responses: It's very very hot. Like can get up to 130° more or less. The food is very good, they are apparently famous for their hot dogs. And the people are nice. So I guess that's pretty positive, I could really be just fine with like 40 degrees cooler but I'll take it, haha. So Like I said, when I teach or talk to the teachers here I feel like my Spanish is pretty functional and I feel really good. Then I will ocassionally hear a non-teacher latino and I realize that I cannot really communicate that well. Like it is very hard to hear what they say correctly because it´s so fast and it is totally spontaneous. On Sunday we got to watch the Testaments with the MTC and it was so nice. Like any time we get to watch The District or any sort of video it is such a blessing, haha. And for the 4th of July they did a really cool lunch for us. It was burgers, chicken, apple pie, and lemonade. It was super good. Our last meal before fast Sunday, haha. It was weird to think on the 3rd of July before I went to bed about how I won't be getting up at like 8:30 AM and having a brunch and celebrating Lauren's bday (by the way Happy belated BDay Laur!!) with strawberries bananas and blueberries depicting the American flag. And oh how I miss America, haha. We all wore red white and blue on Saturday and sang The Star Spangled Banner, it was really cool. I definitely have a much greater appreciation for the greatest nation on earth. Like unreal. But I love Mexico a lot too, it is such a great place but in a much different, less sanitary, more corrupt way.

I have given talks both weeks in Spanish in my branch here. Well this week it was a testimony, but still. The Calls actually attended my branch this week, which was kinda random but cool haha. And I'm elated to hear that the Lakers are IMPROVING. Dangelo Russell, Kobe, Lou Will, Hibbert, Randle, and I hope we get Jimmy Butler to round out our roster. Anyways that was completely random.

I miss you all and pray for each of you individually all the time, and we pray a ton here so don't take that lightly haha. I remember 7 years ago on a Sunday morning before I received the Aaronic preisthood Dad called me in and read D&C Section 13 where Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received the keys of the Aaronic priesthood and Section 80 something I think about the Oath and Covenant. But I am just so glad that I have a dad who would do that for me. I also want to share a scripture with you all. Matthew 7:7-11. It us when Jesus is teaching and it is about prayer but I thought specifically about verse 11 where it talks about if the carnal man can give great gifts, how much greater of gifts our Heavenly Father can give to us. With today being my first birthday out in the field, it just reminded me that no gift I've ever received can even hold a candle to the gift of you guys, my family, my loved ones, and the guidance the gospel gives me in all aspects of life. Yo sé que por medio la expacion de jesucristo, podemos ser limpios y liberados de nuestros pecados y podemos vivr in la  presenicia de dios y jesucriso con nuestras familias para siempre. Y sé que el libro de mormon y esta iglesia son verdaderos.

I love you all lots and I will talk to you in a week.

Les amo mucho y mucho 

Elder Stockard  

Thursday, July 2, 2015

July 2, 2015 - Week 1

Familia que tal!? The MTC is pretty cool. the first 24 hours from Tuesday night when I got set apart to Wednesday when I went to bed was definitely the weirdest day of my life. haha. So my companion is super cool. Lived in B9 with me, plays sports, from Issaquah, Washington, played against Kasen Williams in high school.  I love him. The two other elders in my district both went to BYU. One is from Fairfax, VA and one is from Albuquerque. We all get along super well. There are also 3 hermanas in our district and they are pretty cool. One is cousins with the whole Wadsworth clan. My teacher is named Hermano Villalobos and he is seriously the biggest stud I know. He is super spiritual and super cool and everything.

Mexico City is one of the coolest cities I've been to. The weather is perfect all day expect for like 2 hours in the afternoon it rains like crazy hard. The food here is super good. We have Mexican dishes most days but they will do American too. We have Costco pizza on Tuesdays. I met the Calls and they are super nice. Presidente reminds me of Dallin Oaks and Hermana reminds me of Elaine S. Dalton. They took a pic with me did they post it on FB?

Anyways I heard from the elders that came yesterday that the Lakers drafted Dangelo Russel and that gay marriage is legal everywhere. haha. How are the Angels doing? and how did the rest of the draft go? I can attest that everything Tommy said about Mexico is true so far. They only have PeMex, the food is great, everywhere only has tile floors, and a lot of the houses are like pink and yellow and all the sweets here are like 10x as sweet as in America. There are also a ton of mosquitoes here. My whole body is covered cause they eat us alive when we are asleep. But it's cool.

Everything that goes on here is a great experience. There's an awesome spirit that resides at the CCM. We have been able to teach this fake investigator like 5 times and we committed him to baptism. My Spanish is improving, especially with weird verbs and gospel lingo. On 2 of our Pdays here we will get to go out into the City. The first time to go to the temple visitor center and the 2nd time to get our permanent visas. I have learned so much about the gospel, the scriptures, myself, its kinda hard to believe its only been a week. It is fun and I love it though.

I love you all and I pray for you all a lot. We pray a ton haha. like 15 times a day. Anyways, I love and miss you and keep me updated. Talk to you next week.

Le Amo

Elder Stockard