Elder Stockard

Elder Stockard
Mexico Cuidad Obregon Mission

Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26, 2015 - Week 18

Dear Familia,

Pretty hard to believe that it is already week 18 right?? That is cool that you guys have been organizing the house more. It's necessary every so often, but it's a pain nonetheless haha. But good on you guys for doing it lol!! Really exciting news about the LSAT scores and all you guys finishing up with your midterms/quarters in school. Time really goes by quick when you stay busy. But you´ll have to keep me updated on all the Law School and Med School updates. I'm hoping and praying for everything to go well for those guys, and I know it will. Also, how sweet would it be if Ashley and Brian could move out to Reno and join the party!! Well in reality, I wish all the family could move so close. And I'm keeping Brandon in my prayers this week with the surgery for sure. 

Wow so I had quite a bit happen in the last 24 hours with the transfers, it is pretty interesting so stay tuned haha. So there has kinda been some debates about the ward here; however, they kept Elder Ruiz and me here but both of us are with new companions and in new areas that we haven't worked in before, (and Elder Ruiz will also work in our old area.) So we don´t have any investigators, only references. My new companion is actually named Elder Ruiz as well haha a little confusing, right?? So tonight we´re going to head over to our new area and start working there. I'm actually really looking forward to the challenge of it and I have faith that we´re gonna see a lot of success in the area. So this morning I had to move all my stuff and bags to a new apartment. Elder Ruiz and I are happy that we´ll still be in close contact for at least another 6 weeks haha. And with my NEW Elder Ruiz as well! He is really cool, he´s from Yucatan Mexico. Haha it is always promising to start a new transfer and I am excited to get to work with everything!!

This was a good week to close out in my old area. We had a lot of good lessons and a lot of our investigators are starting to move forward! I'm happy to see that, and that I will still be able to check up with them in the weeks to come. It is so awesome to see people have the spirit testify to them that the things they are reading and hearing are really of infinite worth for them. I have really grown to love teaching the people and helping them find that stuff out for themselves. We have been working really closely with the Elders Quorum president here in Esperanza and he is really awesome. There´s a real lack of elders here and we are working to try and teach some inactive members, as well as some recent converts so they can receive the priesthood. Members really are critical to the work of the lord. So never hesitate to help the missionaries!!!

So no, we haven´t had any effects of the Hurricane in Mexico but we sure have heard about it. It sounds pretty devastating. The weather here has been relatively mild. I say relatively cause it´s still really really hot and humid, but less than before haha. I am pretty sure that I won´t actually feel real cold for 2 years. But that´s fine by me, it will help me maintain my figure with all the good food that we eat. We have been lucky these past two days, and eaten tacos for lunch with the members and they are soooo delicious!! Yesterday we had tacos de cabeza. Which is basically the tongue, and who knows what other parts of the head of a cow. They were veryyyyy good. 

All is well here and as usual I'm so glad to hear all of you guys are doing so well back at home. I love you all and keep you in my prayers and thoughts. I printed out a picture of us and keep it in my scriptures. Lots of the investgatores like to look at it and they all comment on how beautiful my mom is. Then I get to tell them about you guys a little bit and it is pretty sweet. I love you all, until next week!!

Elder Stockard

Monday, October 19, 2015

October 19, 2015 - Week 17

Dear Family,

Here we are again, another week has come and gone. I always love so much sitting down at the internet cafe, at the computer that´s loaded with viruses because I get to hear all about how great you guys are doing back home! I got some pics of Tommy´s birthday party and it looks like it was poppin, haha. Still weird to think that he is 23 years old, haha. I also got a a pic from Tyler of him and Lauren in Kansas City and it sounds like they´re doing great. Although that really sucks that they have to spend time in North Dakota right now lol. You will have to send me pictures of the upstairs apartment and keep me updated on how it goes. That room will forever be hallowed ground with all the nights that we spent going hard on the PS3, haha.

This week I was able to see a lot of support from the Lord in His work. I want to tell you guys a few little things that happened that might not seem super significant, but that I was really grateful for as a missionary this week. The first one was on Friday. I was working in my area with Elder Salazar. He´s an elder in my district who has the same amount of time as I do. It was like 5:00 PM and we had only found one person that day, and it was super hot all day. We decided to head over to this guy Jorge´s house and as we were turning onto his street, he called us and asked if we could come over and teach him something and that since our first visit he´s felt super peaceful and good. We told him we would be there in like 30 seconds haha. Yesterday we also visited an investigator who told us that she had been hoping we would go by her house the last couple days, and she was receptive to the message. Later that night, we were teaching an inactive recent convert, and her daughter wandered in and joined us in the lesson. Afterwards, the daughter asked us why we always seem to teach exactly what she needs to hear. Her mom, then explained that it was because of the guidance of the Holy Ghost. Like I said, I know those sound just like your typical mission stories, but it was all very powerful to actually be sitting there and seeing it with my own eyes. We are moving along nicely in the work of the Lord and I know without a doubt that he helps us in the work. 

This week our whole zone had to go to Obregon to have our periodical interviews with President Munive. It was nice to talk with him and get advice from him. He really is a super big stud and I'm really glad that we have such a good President at the helm of this mission. Afterwards, we got to have Domino's pizza which was a nice taste of America. I have actually been surprised with how I've seen a lot of random things of American culture here that they´ve kinda adopted. I can´t think of a specific example right now, but I think it´s because we are so close to the border. In one of the more random exchanges of my life, I met this guy who was wearing a Lowry Buckaroos shirt, and it turns out he lived in Winnemucca for like 5 years haha. Suuuuuperrrr random.

This is the last week of the transfer and our whole district is speculating about what´s going to happen because we´ve all been together for 3 months now, which is usually the max amount of time. I will be sad to leave my companion, Elder Ruiz cause he has been such a big help to me. I can honestly say that I can understand everything that´s being said in Spanish now and I can speak my mind, which he has helped me with a tonnnnnn. At the same time, I know that I´ll be able to meet new people and learn new things from them. 

To answer your questions... Yes there is Boy Scouts in Mexico, there isn´t much changing of the seasons here and so there isn't much color in the trees. It is just a tad bit cooler though. Like 87 degrees, haha. And Sonora doesn't do daylight savings, but the other states in Mexico do. So right now we are on the same time as Nevada, but when the rest of the world changes their clocks, we will be one hour ahead of you guys. 

Thanks for sharing that scripture, I have really liked that and it is definitely true. We dont have to understand everything, but we can always know that God loves us and helps us make correct decisions. Every Monday, without fail, is always a great reminder of how much I love you all and how blessed I am to have you guys as family. Thank you for everything and I love you all.

With Love,

Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12, 2015 - Week 16

Dear Family,

What up, what up?? It sounds like you guys all had a great week too!! It sounds like you´re super busy with all the stuff in the morning, and I'm sure that you´re dead exhausted at the end of the day with exercise, teaching, studying, and making sure our house continues to function. But It´s a great feeling going to bed dead exhausted after a very productive day. It´s good that you´re setting goals. As missionaries we always work in goals. With ourselves, our companions, our zones and districts and our investigators as well. It´s something that the church has always emphazied I feel like. And for good reason, with goals we always have something to work towards and it really does help with productivity. 

Anyways, this week was pretty solid. We had an investigator that came to church with us, and a few less actives came that hadn´t been in quite awhile. It was definitely a highlight of the week. We also had ward council for the first time since I have been here, and gosh, it was a lot different from meetings I had attended before my mission. The main concerns were what verses of the songs the primary are going to sing in their primary program, and what time they would go to Obregon to set apart a sister missionary in the ward. It has been tough to get help from the ward with the investigators, but we´re gonna keep on trying and it´ll all work out. I really like teaching some teenagers that we have cause they´re all very attentive, and ask really good questions. It´s sweet to see their sincerity and to be able to talk about some things we have in common. The hard thing is that they´re all pretty busy with school and other things, so it makes it more difficult to find time to teach them, but Im really excited with moving forward with them! We have plans tonight to teach the plan of salvation with an investigator that just had her dad die like 5 days ago, and we´re really hoping it goes well. 

Today we deep cleaned the bathroom of our apartment. We had to rig a few common house hold supplies into cleaning supplies (For example, we found an old TShirt and taped it to the bottom of a broom to use as a mop) but in the end we got it done, and it looks a lot better now. All of Mexico uses only tile floors, so it makes it a lot easier to clean the floors, because all we have to do is sweep. We also went into Obregon to buy food for the week, it is always very exciting when we have a kitchen stocked full of food at the beginning of every week haha. I actually really have enjoyed being able to cook my own food, and I think it will help me out a ton in the years to come knowing that I actually am capable of preparing food haha. The weather here this week has been super super nice. It has finally cooled off a little bit, and it makes for very nice days walking in the streets. It was kinda funny, we were talking about how nice it´s been with the cooler weather and someone noted that it is only like 85 degrees. I thought it was funny because I used to think 85 degrees was miserably hot, but it feels like perfect temperature after a couple months of 105-110 haha. And the rain has turned into just a light drizzle every few afternoons, which I actually really like. Things are good here and it´s so hard to believe that we are almost through with my first two transfers here in the mission field. I will miss Elder Ruiz a lot. He´s honestly been a huge help to me with lots of things out here in the mish. But we still have 2 weeks together, so we´ll make the most of it!!!

Did you celebrate Tommy´s Bday with some sort of cake even though he wasn´t there to enjoy it with you guys haha?? It sounds like he´s gonna be having a pretty dope party to celebrate this weekend haha. Let the good times roll at the Midway house!!  So crazy to think that he´s already 23 years old, it doesn´t sound right saying it out loud. You are definitely right, that with all the wonderful things you´ve done in your life, being a mom to us has been the most important job and Im sooooo grateful for the job you´ve done and example you and Dad always set for us. I realize it more and more every day that I spend away from you guys too!! I  love you all and I'm always keeping you in my prayers. 

Love Always,

Elder Stockard

Monday, October 5, 2015

October 5, 2015 - Week 15


Ayyy, what up, what a quick week yet again right?? It was quite a busy one on this side of the border and from the emails and pictures, it sounds like it was busy for all of you guys as well. How crazy that Alyssa is 17 years old now and that this week Tommy will have his 23rd birthday, I feel like my siblings shouldn´t be that old, haha. I was saddened by the fact that I wasn´t there to enjoy the birthday cake, so to cope with my emotions, I started using the cake batter flavored chapstick, haha. No but really if you could wrap up everything good and sweet in this world, it would be my little sister Alyssa. And Tommy has always been and will always be my best friend in the world and I wish them both the best birthdays. 

So this week was pretty routine during the week, but with conference during the weekend it was pretty different. I'll give ya´ll an update on the work... So on Wednesday I went on divisions with our new zone leader, Elder Adams. It was cool because we were in my area and it was the first time I was responsible with getting us from place to place, planning our whole day, and making all the phone calls and talking with all the people and things like that. It was a big change but I was able to handle it well and we actually had a really effective day, one which included introducing the Book of Mormon to the teenager we´re teaching and setting a baptismal date with him. We have other ones set right now, and we´re working hard to do everything we can to get the people ready to enter into the covenant of baptism. The dates are constantly changing (based on church attendance and other things) but the important thing is that they really understand the importance of baptism and that it really is a necessary step for us. We also found this other teenager who has taken the lessons about a year ago and wants us to teach her again. We have an appointment with her and her mom tonight which I'm excited about. 

Conference this weekend really was super great. It brings a totally new prospective as a missionary, and I think the biggest difference was watching every minute of it without the usual distractions. We got to watch it in English with all the American missionaries in the zone and that was super nice, because we can hear their real voices and the messages are easier to understand in my native tongue. I also really enjoyed Elder Durrant´s talk about ponderizing the scriptures and it´s something we do in the mission. Right now we´re working on Jacob 1:19. During Elder Holland´s talk I thought about how blessed I was to have you as my perfect mother throughout my life and also how big a role you, and my grandmothers played in helping me become the person I am today, and who I will strive to be in the future. Another one that I enjoyed was President Monson´s, I could really feel the power in his testimony even though he was noticeably exhausted at the end. Unfortunately none of our investigators were able to go to General Conf, and during each talk I just kept thinking, "Man, how nice would it be to have them hearing a lesson taught from the 15 biggest spiritual monsters on earth??" I´ve been reading the Bible lately because I love to read about the plain and simple doctrine that existed in the primitive church of Christ, and how big of a role the apostles played in that church then, and in this church now. It really is a huge blessing to us to receive their guidance. 

So do you guys have any other plans going on for the week, or any trips to Utah planned?? Pretty crazy that it´s already October right? I heard it rained a few times there this week, here as well. The good news is that it really is cooling off now to a comfortable temperature. Today we enjoyed our Pday by having a zone activity in the morning, then going to Obregon to buy food at walmart for the first time in a couple weeks. For breakfast I usually eat oatmeal, yogurt and fruit, and water. Then for dinner I always do peanut butter sandwiches, in case you were wondering about my meals, haha. Oh and I ate stringray this week too! Actually pretty good. There´s a dish called cauamanta here which is basically stingray soup. But that´s about all from my end. Thanks for all the emails and loving support I receive from the best family in the world. I love you all so much and pray for you all often. Until next week!!

All Love,

Elder Stockard