Elder Stockard

Elder Stockard
Mexico Cuidad Obregon Mission

Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30, 2015 - Week 23

Dear Family,

Yo what´s happenin?? So you guys all survived the busy Thanksgiving weekend there without too many bumps or bruises (just a little flood lol) But I hope you all had your fill of pie, turkey, family, and busy black Friday shopping. I'm sure you did. It always makes me laugh when I read about experiences at home that happen exactly how I would expect them too. Like the chaos of getting everyone back to Provo in an efficient manner haha. Some things never change right! So for anyone who´s wondering how the people of Mexico celebrate Thanksgiving it is by asking all the Americans on the streets if they´re going to be eating turkey that day lol. I was actually surprised by the number of people who made that comment to me, but it was really funny. 

So as for my week... It was a really good week out here. I got to work with another missionary named Elder Cruz on Tuesday and he is really good and helpful. We worked here in my area and had a good day of work, I always really enjoy doing divisions with other missionaries. It´s a good opportunity to get to know someone else and learn more from them. Other than that, the week was pretty standard. We´re moving along with a couple families, and one of them is getting baptized this Saturday. The conversion in people is always the coolest thing to see. One of the families mentioned to us that they really wanted to get their hands on a bible, because they didn´t have one. So Elder Ruiz and I got one for them, and we surprised them with it. They were super excited, and they gave us cookies and juice in return, so it was a good trade off, haha. I also helped them change a few lights in their house cause there wasn´t anyone who could reach them before hahaha. 

We started teaching a married couple with a 3 year old boy the other day and I'm really excited about them. The husband is actually a member and his parents are really active in the church. They told us they have been reading a little bit of the Book of Mormon again and go to church with his parents in Obregon every few weeks. He´s super cool and easy to talk to, which makes it really fun to teach him. The only thing is that they are kinda in a tough spot to teach cause the wife is very pregnant, and they are gonna have their baby any day now. But I feel like once the baby's born they´ll be even more inclined to listen and accept the gospel in their lives. Tonight we´re doing a family home evening with the Stake President, his family, and some friends of theirs who are interested in the church and I'm really excited for that. Having members being there to help investigators is such a huge help!!

So other than that I'm planning on enjoying this week and working hard, cause it might be my last one in Esperanza. We´re already on the last week of the transfers and I really don´t know what is gonna happen. In other news, I heard Kobe is retiring at the end of this season. Sad that I´ll never get to watch him play again, but all in all, it sounds like it´s time for it to happen. How is BYU football doing? I haven´t heard much about them recently. 

I like what you shared about get to instead of have to. It is very easy to talk about how we know what Christ can do for us, and the blessing we will receive by doing something, but we really show our faith and GET TO receive those blessings when we actively look for ways to live more like Him. This time of year is a great opportunity to remind of us things like that. Focus on what it means that Christ is our Savior and why it is important that we have a Savior. The church put out a really cool video on that. 

So that is a rundown of my week, business as usual. Finish out these last few weeks of school and the semester strong, and then get ready to recieve my call on Chirstmas, I'm super excited to talk to all of you guys!! I love you all, and am so glad to have your love in each email. Know that I'm praying and thinking of you guys every day. I love you all!!



Monday, November 23, 2015

November 23, 2015 - Week 22

Family, what´s happenin??

So another week back at this whole mission thing! So basically what I gathered from all of your emails is that this week is Thanksgiving, which is not celebrated in Mexico, but I was never a huge turkey fan, so it´s all good lol. Also everyone is back at home this week to celebrate, and it sounds like you´re all doing super good which is awesome. And shout out to my friends and HS for the state championship, that´s pretty sweet. Well, this week was pretty good to be honest, we´re seeing a ton of progress in the work and the weeks really do fly by! 

So some highlights of the week with the people we´re working with. One family is meeting with us almost every day and they love to hear about the gospel and all the things we teach them, which as you can imagine, makes our job a lot easier and more enjoyable. They´re really awesome. Reading the BoM and applying the principles of it in their lives and their testimonies grow by the day. They´re super stoked to be baptized and we are excited for them as well. We also have another family, who are also growing their faith by the day and very eager to learn more and more.

The other day we had an appointment with this lady, and when we arrived she told us that she was really busy and had to leave soon. So we started to head to another area and she called us back and was like, "Actually, I feel like I really need to hear you guys, I can make some time." So we taught her, and she loved it and told us she had questions about exactly what we taught her. It is a great example of her exercising faith and receiving blessings for doing so.

As a mission we are gonna be helping with this Christmas initiative that the church is doing. We have cards to give to the people with the church website on it and a link to the video about the birth of Christ, and what it means for us to have Him as a Savior. It´s a really well done video, and I'm excited about sharing it with people. You guys I'm sure will see it, so when you do, think of me inviting someone on the street to watch it lol. We had a meeting this week about it and I think it should be really coool. 

The weather here really is pretty perfect right about now. It is funny every day when I write in my journal I notice the date and am sooooo grateful that I can enjoy 80 degree weather  at the end of November haha. I can literally wear short sleeves shirts for my entire mission. Other than that my week has been pretty normal. I want to start eating more healthy, so today I bought a ton of vegetables and eggs and stuff to start that goal. Maybe when the weather goes back up to 120 degrees I can afford to eat a little bit more freely and sweat it all off, haha. I actually haven´t gained any weight since I left, so that´s good. Oh and you mentioned the senior couple in our ward and to answer your question, we have 3 senior couples in our mission, one that just arrived from Southern Cal. They´re really awesome, I always think of Gma and Gpa in Ukraine when I talk to them. 

So even though I won´t officially be celebrating Thanksgiving with turkey, and pie, and football, and family this year I still want to take time and let you all know how grateful I am for each and every one of you. Each of you has so many individual attributes that have brought me so much happiness, peace of mind, and comfort throughout every day of my life. I couldn´t have hand picked better parents, siblings, and grandparents. With that being said, I know that it had to have been a blessing from our Heavenly Father to place me in such a perfect situation for myself. I am eternally grateful for His knowledge, love, and support of each of His children. His plan for us, and His son and our Savior Jesus Christ. I read the part of Alma this week where he is giving his last piece of advice to his sons individually, and it really caught my attention that he continually told them that the Lord has told us if we keep His commandments, we will prosper in the land. I'm grateful for you guys who have always instilled the perfect plan of our Father, and were always there to support me as I inevitably stumbled over and over. All of us will need help, but we can always be grateful for an Eternal Father that will be there to help us as we stumble. We are blessed.  Always give thanks and keep the commandments of the Lord. Love you all

Elder Stockard

Monday, November 16, 2015

Nov. 16, 2015 - Week 21


Yoooo what up y'all? Another week back at it, sounds like you all have been doing great! This week was filled with lots of positives, and great food so I can´t really complain. I think the best food I had was pineapple tamales. The weather is pretty perfect, and we´re seeing lots of people moving forward and gaining testimonies which is awesome! You guys sounds so good, from all parts of the nation too, haha.  

So this week was pretty solid, and with the new area it has taken time, but each day we know our way around more and continue to get more and more investigators and references. It makes the days soooooo much better when we have people to teach and visit. We have had multiple investigators in church every week though, and that is really good. I wanna share this really cool experience of the faith of an investigator and the power of the gospel....

We found this family a few weeks ago, and they have a little convenience store in their house, so as you can imagine, they´re pretty busy most the time, but they´re so nice and their kids are awesome. We taught them once our first Saturday here, then they all came to church the next day. But for the next couple weeks we passed by their house, tried to set appointments, they kept falling through and we weren´t able to teach them and we were starting to think that they didn't want to listen to us anymore. But this week we taught them like 3 times, they asked lots of great questions and they really felt good, but said they probably wouldn´t be able to go to church because their store needed to be open so that they could receive sufficient money to pay rent and they were very concerned about that, and rightfully so. However, we shared some scriptures and invited them anyways, and yesterday they came to church and told us they knew it was the right decision. They wanted to grow their faith and they knew they had to put forth the effort to show the Lord that they´re willing to do their part. It´s really true, if we sincerely look for the truth, through the power of the Holy ghost, we can find answers to our concerns or questions. The work here is good, we are teaching multiple families, and that always helps cause they automatically have someone and I feel like it makes the lessons and visits more effective. 

In a weird way, the land and desert here are really beautiful. There´s a ton of palm trees and cactus, and also some really sweet mountains that are kinda far off in the distance, but look really cool. The weather is at the point where it´s just about perfect and that makes it a lot more pleasant to go out and walk in the streets. So the other night we were noticing that our sink in the kitchen wasn´t draining very well, and there was a little leak every time we turned the water on. so we tried to remove a little tube that was underneath it, and a freaking tonnnnnnn of hair and other things that were clogging the sink came out and it was reallyyyyy gross, haha. So now we have a bucket underneath the sink to fix the leak, but it drains a lot better, so that's a plus. But I thought you would be happy to hear that I'm also developing my plumbing knowledge and ability here. I had to go all the way to Mexico to figure out how to do that lol. (Just please, never ask me to do it again when I get home.) 

So it sounds like that the family was scattered all across the globe this week, it´s always fun to here about your guys trips and adventures. Any news on the med school or law school with Lauren and Tyler, or have they returned from all the interviews yet?? How are school and preparations for Thanksgiving, and everyone returning home going? I imagine that you´re all doing thanksgiving in Fallon this year. Tear up Black Friday for me, here in Mexico they have Un Buen Fin which was this weekend and it´s kinda like black Friday but not as big and it lasts for 3 days instead of one. The year is coming to a close very soon and it´s so weird that I've been a missionary for like 5 months already. I miss you all and love you very much and pray for you. Thanks for all your love and support as always. Until next week!! 

All Love,

Elder Stockard  

Monday, November 9, 2015

Nov. 9, 2015 - Week 20

Dear Family,

How are you guys doing. I'm sorry we don't have question marks on this keyboard so I'm just going to make everything a statement and I hope you catch my drift haha. But anyways... So it sounds like you all had a really great time celebrating Dad´s birthday and I really liked hearing about all the fun things you did, and will be doing. I'm surprised that the new movie theater wasn´t more packed, but that's really cool that it turned out nice. I'm anxious to hear about all the interviews in Texas and how the weekend in Midway goes. I'm sure you guys will be having much different weather conditions than I am experiencing right now. The mornings and nights are like 55 degrees and the days are like 70,75 degrees. (Of course those are very rough estimates)

So this week was pretty solid. Elder Ruiz and I continue to explore the area, and we are getting more comfortable in it and know how to navigate ourselves around now. With that being said, there´s still a lot of times that we find ourselves in a part of town and we don´t know where we are, or where a street is or something. It's pretty fun because we get to see these two little towns, and they´re both really nice and have some cool things in them. We have a lot of really awesome people we´re teaching, which helps a lot. Some of them are inactive members that we´re working with, but they´re so helpful to us and are willing to always offer their help. Today, one of them helped us break into our house because we accidentally locked the keys inside. It was a success though, and we were able to retrieve the keys without too many scratches haha. There´s this one family that we´re teaching and they've been to church every week since we arrived, and super super sweet. They learned about tithing the other day, and that day in church they were asking us how they could pay their tithing. Really humbling experience, I can´t remember if I already told you about them or not. 

One really cool experience this week is that we got a phone call one morning and it was some missionaries who had received a reference in another city for someone that lived in our area. So we went to her house, and it turns out that she is dating someone who is a member of the church, and they want to get married in the temple, so she needs to get baptized. And she also has some siblings who were there too, it was really cool. We are going to visit her more this week and see how it all goes, but it was a definite blessing that we saw. 

On Saturday and Sunday we had stake conference in Obregon, and there was a member of the area 70 that was there to speak to us. He spoke very plainly to the members and offered a lot of great advice. He shared the parable of the 10 virgins and told everyone that we all need to be prepared and that now is the time to start to live the commandments, even the ones that dont seem as significant. President and Sister Munive also spoke, and delivered great talks. Its always nice when we have investigators present to hear such eloquent, powerful, clear messages because then the spirit can really testify to them.

So today for PDay we went out to this statue that the State of Sonora built recently. It´s of this huuuuuge Yaqui Indian, I'm gonna send you guys some pics of it. Basically the Yaqui tribe has a ton of influence on this part of the mission and you´re always hearing about them. It was a relaxing day and the best part about it is hearing from you all, the ones I love so much. I'm so grateful for your support, and for the knowledge that we have that we can be together forever. I love you all and hope you have a great week. 

Elder Stockard

Monday, November 2, 2015

Nov. 2, 2015 - Week 19


Wow, yet again here I am writing the ones I love!! (I'm in a different internet cafe and the space bar is a little sticky so right off the bat I wanna ask your forgiveness if you find a few extra spaces inbetween words haha.) So it sounds like it has been a successful Halloween weekend and I hope that you guys were the house that gave out the king sized candy bars, you know automatically making you the favorite neighbor. I hope you guys stay busy this week, and give Dad a great 50th birthday. I'm sad to miss milestones like that but I'm sure he´ll understand that I'm a little occupied for the time being haha. What a busy schedule for Lauren and Tyler, I'm really really excited to hear how everything goes for them with the interviews though. I'm glad to hear that the charter school and transition to HS for you and Alyssa is all playing out smoothly as well. 

So my week was a lot different than the usual, which was nice to have change, but it was hectic nonetheless. So we are in an area that is completely foreign to both of us, and so it is kinda like the blind leading the blind haha. Monday night we were informed that we had to move houses by Wednesday, right after we had just finished moving into our apartment. Luckily, we hadn´t unpacked a ton, so it was an easy transition. On Wednesday we moved to a house that is right in our area, and I have really liked it so it was nice. This week we have worked with some old investigatores, and also found a couple others. We are working on contacting lots of people in the streets to build up a solid base of people we can visit. So far it´s been improving steadily which is all we can ask for. We have a good number of investigators that are working towards baptismal dates and progressing well, which is always cool to see.

Our district now is only 4 elders and so it´s super small, but I like it a lot. There´s my companion Elder Ruiz and I, my former companion Elder Ruiz, and his comp Elder Hilton. They´re all really great missionaries and I'm blessed to be able to learn from such great people. My new companion is from like 2 hours from Cancun and has a lot of sweet stories and pictures from around his house. He´s a really talented guy with a lot of strengths, and I'm hoping that by the end of my time with him I´ll be able to emulate some of them. 

Today it was fun, I got to see a lot of other missionaries that I haven´t seen since the CCM and they are doing really well. It´s also cool cause after a few transfers in the mission, you grow your web of missionaries you know and it is always fun to see them again. We all go to Wal Mart on Mondays, so we run into lots of other missionaries there. Today is acually a holiday here in Mexico, called dia de los muertos. It´s pretty big, basically people do things to honor loved ones that have died. Like there are people that cook favorite meals of the person and other things they liked and put them outside of their house or at the cemeteries or all over. I really have enjoyed learning about the culture of Mexico more, so it is cool to see a different holiday. 

I also really  love the story of Abinadi and seeing how the Lord touched the heart of Alma and gave him the courage and strength to stand up for Abinadi, even though he then had to run for his life. Becuase of Alma the church of God was then established and lots of other good came from him as well. Today I read about his son, Alma and Amulek grilling Zeezrom. The Lord´s work will always go forward, and he will always provide a way for it to happen. It´s so awesome to see and I have gained a testimony of it. I love you all and love to hear from all of you. A special Happy 50th Birthday shout out to the best dad in the world!

All Love,

Elder Stockard