Elder Stockard

Elder Stockard
Mexico Cuidad Obregon Mission

Monday, December 19, 2016

December 19, 2016 - Week 78

December 12, 2016 - Week 77

Mom and Family,

So the ever so anticipated (by some) and dreaded (by others) weekend of Nutcracker!! Wow, I think I mentioned this to you last year but it´s kinda funny how much I would have sincerely enjoyed attending the Nutcracker this year, considering how much I complained about it for like 9 years previous. But the pictures are almost as good, and it sounds like Alyssa tore it up like always, and that it was a success. Wow, I can't believe how good Dad looks, like a new person!! That's so awesome.

So how are all the other preparations and loose end tying going for all the business that you have in life?? It sounds like you are all handling the potentially stressful situations with a lot of grace, and that it will all turn out wonderfully. You will all have to send me ample pictures of the wedding dinner and morning, and reception!! How long is the honey moon gonna last? If I understand correctly, they will NOT be home for the holidays?

So for the Christmas day call I'll have like 50 minutes. We are gonna do it on Christmas day, I just am not 100% sure on the hour though. Ill find out for sure this next week. Probably in the afternoon, around like 4-6(?) 

This week, the work moved along well. We worked hard and saw a lot of good results. One of those was a new investigator whose name literally means miracles so we have high hopes for her.  We met her on Saturday and she went to church on Sunday! She seems very interested. The other two are pretty set on the baptism on the 23rd of December as well. This week, the ward put us in charge of organizing the spiritual part of the Christmas party. So we´ll be occupied with that, the party will be on Friday. And this past Friday, the Myers took 90 missionaries from all of Sinaloa to a professional baseball game. So we went up to Los Mochis, they bought us all dinner, and then took us out to the ball game!! We had to leave at like 10:00 PM so we didn't see it all. But after, elder Christensen and I stayed with elder Beecher and his comp, who we are very good friends with. Well I won't tell you how many of hours of sleep we got, nor how many liters of a soda that will remain nameless were consumed. (Shout out Pres. Uchtdorf lol) But it was such a fun experience, and we came back to Guamuchil the next day, which is like a 2.5 hour trip on bus. And we got out to work and had a good day. The work is moving along here and we´re having a lot of fun. 

Well family, I guess this is the last time I will write you while Tommy is still single. Just wanna congratulate Tommy and Courtney on the wedding. I know I won't be able to make it, but save me one of the slim fitting groomsmen suits, and make some funny, witty, somewhat borderline appropriate comment at the dinner the night before lol. Have a great week, and enjoy the special moments with the family and the special occasion. Love you all!! 

Elder Stockard

Monday, December 5, 2016

December 5, 2016 - Week 76


Hey how's it going, Mom?? Yesterday as we were watching the Christmas devotional I actually was wondering if you guys would be watching it too. I assume that you did?? We had it broadcasted here in the church and there were a good amount of people who came out to it, including some investigators which was good. I enjoyed the messages and beautiful spirit that was felt as well as the decorations, but none of that even held a candle to the cream tuxes that the MoTab wore, lol.

So how has the weather been out there? People always ask me if it´s snowing back in Nevada, and I imagine that the first snowfall has happened?? Here it´s dropped drastically over the past few days. I mean we´re talking from like mid 70´s to like 55-60 degrees. So it's still pretty comfortable, but the brisk mornings and nights coupled with the uninsulated house that we live in call for some blankets and sweatshirts, haha. Today in the morning, we got up really early, before dawn, to get out to a dam that's like a mile or two from our area, to watch the sunrise. I promise you it wasn't as odd as I just made it sound. It also made for a good joke about saying we were watching the dam sunrise. Get it?? Then we gave our house a deep clean and went and did the most economic, but effective (in terms of buying delicious, filling, easy food) shopping. I really appreciate Elder Christensen because he also appreciates things like that, as I know you do too, haha.

The rest of our week was good. There are a few challenges with some investigators, but right now we have two who are gonna get baptized the weekend of Christmas, yes, a white Christmas, if you will. So we´re excited about that and we´re hoping for smooth sailing with them. We are also working with a lady who we found this week and also seems very interested. This week we are going to Los Mochis and go to a baseball game, which I'm super super excited for. I am not expecting to see any Mike Trout-caliber players nor MLB caliber stadiums, but it will be a good time nonetheless. We´re going with all the missionaries from Sinaloa so it'll be a fun time. The Myers are awesome and like to do fun things like this with the missionaries haha. I love them a lot and feel blessed to be in their mission. 

Well, family I can only imagine all the stress and chaos of what's going on, but wow, what an exciting time!! When times are hard and stressful, but for a good cause, I love the words of our beloved prophet Joseph Smith in D&C 128:22. ¨Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing.¨

It's a great time in the family!! Enjoy it all and don't get too stressed out!! Well, I love you all, and hope you have a great week. Lots of love.



Monday, November 28, 2016

November 28, 2016 - Week 75


Wow what an awesome Thanksgiving you all had!! All the pics look great. I'm so glad to see that the pizza was a success as well as your doctor´s appointment. I'm sure that you'll be back to seeing 100% in no time at all :) And I had almost forgotten completely about the black Friday tradition, but that's fun that you guys could do it in Utah this year. I'm sure its a little bit more high powered there. Any big purchases?? 

So our week was also really incredible here. The last week we focused our efforts on finding new people, and this week it started to pay off. It seemed like every day, we found someone who had loads of interest and potential to progress in the gospel. Granted, there were definitely a fair amount who were not as interested, but one forgets about that very easily with just a couple people who accept what we have for them. I'll give you the run down on a couple of them. So one is a kid who´s 19. He was working in like a carpenter shop when we met him and he told us he wanted to go to church. He works a very busy schedule, but one day we found him again by chance and taught him about repentance and the Book of Mormon and he was way interested. He accepted an offer to be baptized and is a really smart kid. The other one was actually an old reference that we went with, and before we could say a word he told us to sit down and went and bought us something to drink. He said he has been searching the scriptures for many years to find out what the true church of Christ is. Then we met two others, both of which have family members who are Mormon and have read the BoM and gone to church before. It really was a week of finding really prepared and smart people. We just wanna keep working hard and finding the other people the Lord has prepared here in our area. 

The rest of our week was pretty normal. On Thanksgiving day and Friday we took some time, Elder Christensen and I, to reflect on what our families would be doing. The wound is a little bit more fresh for him since he was just with his fam, haha, but he was a soldier about it and it was really refreshing and fun to talk about old traditions. I talked about how fun it was to have everyone back in Fallon for the holidays and to do nothing at all, save it be what happened to tickle our fancy in that exact moment. Citing Office and Blacklist marathons, great food, family traditions, basketball, and many other things. But I hope you guys all enjoyed that this year, we had a ward activity that night and played volleyball with some people in the church, haha. 

I'm glad to hear about all the answers to your prayers as well. It's reassuring to never have to doubt that we have a loving Heavenly Father who knows us, understands our worries and our needs, and is so willing to bless us and answer our sincere prayers if we´re willing to ask him humbly and faithfully. Well, I love all of you and hope that you have a great week!!!



Monday, November 21, 2016

November 21, 2016 - Week 74


So my first week in Guamuchil was a success! Despite this being one of the smallest church congregations and cities I've been in during my mission, it is also the one that most resembles the United States which is a little bit of a surprise. Haha, and with that being said, let me tell you, it's still a far cry from the USA. Elder Christensen and I are becoming great friends as well and he is really similar to me in a lot of ways which makes our time together enjoyable. With this week being Thanksgiving, its been fun to chat it up about old Thanksgiving traditions and things we would do at home. 

As far as big differences between Guamuchil and Navojoa or any other of my past areas... In the first week I didn't see any glaring differences, but I also feel like more will be made evident with a bit more time. The first week, you just kinda walk around trying to orient yourself. But its definitely smaller than Navojoa, but kinda in that same class of city. Think of Navojoa as Fallon and Guamuchil as like Fernley. Hopefully that gives you a vague idea. With the work, we started from scratch and found 3 people that we´re really excited about!! All 3 were excited about our visits, some have family who are members and have been to church. We´re hoping they can get baptized in December. This week we will definitely continue to get to know them a little bit better and have a few more details. 

A few people told me that the weather in Fallon this week was pretty great! Like 72 degrees and sunny haha. That sounds like just about ideal to me!! We are kinda moving into that zone as well which makes me excited. I was also in Sinaloa this time last year and the weather was like Southern California in October. I better live it up while I can, probably the vast majority of my winters after this one will be spent in the blistering cold lol!!

So how are all the wedding preps coming?? The countdown to the wedding is getting smaller and smaller!! Like 3 more weeks right? When do Gma and Gpa come in from Ukraine?? You guys will have my dream Thanksgiving this week with appetizers and pizza! Live it up, it's like Haley´s comet and only comes once every 70 years. I'll add that to my list of unbelievable occurrences I missed on my mission along with Donald Trump being elected President of the United States and The Chicago Cubs winning the World Series, hahaha. 

All world news jokes aside, I hope you all have a memorable and fun-filled Thanksgiving. I am thankful for each and every one of you guys. It would be an impossible task to find another person in the world that is more loving, caring, faithful, patient, forgiving, intelligent, and loves me more than you, Mother. With that being said, I'm forever and unimaginably grateful that I have a Heavenly Father who knows me and loves me enough that he would bless me with such a perfect, angelic, mother such as you. I love you, Mom!! 

Happy Thanksgiving, and have a great week!!

All Love,


Monday, November 14, 2016

November 14, 2016 -Week 73


Wow what a busy week!! Filled with lots of travel, lots of meetings, and lots of many great spiritual experiences. To start things off, yesterday I was transferred from Navojoa after spending 6 months there. I am now in the very southern part of the mission in a town called Guamuchil, Sinaloa. I'm with a new missionary named Elder Christenson, who is very smart and from Salt Lake City. I'm really happy and excited to be here, my compnion is great, the town looks really great and I know the Lord sent me here for a reason. 

On the flip side, it felt like I was leaving a place that had grown to be my home in a lot of ways. I spent a large chunk of time in Navojoa and I was so blessed by the people there and have many many life-long friends that will be in Navojoa. I told many of the people as I said goodbye that I want to come back with my family one day and I hope that's something I can do.

So during the week, we had Paul B Pieper, the area president of the church in Mexico come to our mission and talk to us. Wow what a blessing that was! He showed us the importance of the holy ghost in our missions and told many inspiring stories. The following day we had a leadership meeting with him, but this one was in los Mochis. Once again it was very powerful and special. 

Saturday, we had the baptisms of 2 families here. Wow, what a special place both families have in my heart and a special moment to see them take the first step towards creating an eternal family. Previously in the week, President Myers told me about where I was going, and I hadn't told anyone, so on Saturday night after the baptism there were a lot of people hanging around taking pictures, eating and laughing at the church and it was a great time for me to see a good number of people who I had seen from up close change their lives through the gospel all be gathered there and witness their hapiness. It was kinda like a last hoorah there in Navojoa. Then yesterday there was a special stake conference broadcast with President Nelson and Elder Hales. There, I told people about my transfer and said many goodbyes. 

But wow big time shoutout to alyss for the 36!! That's big time. Tommy sent me some of the engagement pics and they both look fantastic!! The wedding is coming up very quickly. As a missionary, a transfer becomes a standard unit of time. And this transfer ends on Christmas day, which means lots of exciting things will be happening during these 6 weeks, such as Thanksgiving, the wedding, Christmas Eve and day. It will be a good time!! Also, wow what a surprise with Donald Trump winning. All of Mexico is up in arms and convinced that he will kick every immigrant out of the country. Don't think they fully understnad how that whole thing works haha. 

But I am very happy and blessed to have such a good family in you guys!! I love you all so much and I'm happy to hear from y'all!!! Have an amazing week!!



November 7, 2016 - Week 72


Hey what's up, how are all of you?? Wow yesterday I was thinking about it and I actually wondered what you guys were eating for Dad´s Bday dinner, and I knew dad wouldn't disappoint haha. That sounds delicious, and I'm sure that the company is what tied the whole meal together! Last night we went with some converts who had made us hamburgers and cake to celebrate their baptisms. It was also really cool. Haha, unfortunetely I didn't bring quite the perfect gift to them, like you did to Dad.  But I'm so glad that you guys enjoyed the day and that Dad has got another great year ahead of him, and wow he really is looking stick thin, how much does he weigh these days??!! Happy 51st Dad!!

Wow, I think I've told you this, but you would think that being outside of the nation, you wouldn't hear as much about the USA election, but that is very far from being accurate. Everywhere we go people ask us about the election, about Hillary or Trump and everything. So I don't dare mention any political opinion or anything of the sort haha. I can only imagine how it is in the states right now. You'll have to let me know how the Matt Lee election goes as well.. I'm sure he is a shoe in as well, and he´ll be in my prayers!!

Putting all the craziness of the election aside, this week was really great for us. We have been preparing four people for their baptisms for a long time and this Saturday it is going to happen. They are all very excited and we are just getting the last few details together for that. It really is incredible to see such a sincere change of heart in a group of people. Like you said mom, there are zero things in the world that can have such a lasting, strong effect on a life like the gospel. With so much time here in Navojoa, it's very likely this is my last week here, so it will be really special to be able to see those people get baptized and then to be able to have life long friends here!! Aside from all of that, we also have a very busy week where we´ll be traveling a lot. On Wednesday, Paul B Piper who´s the area president of Mexico, will be coming to visit our mission. So we will all go up to Obregon to see him there, then the next day we will go to Los Mochis, Sinaloa (about 4 hours south) to get a leadership training by him. I'm really excited for all that, but I'm sure it will be a busy week.

I'm glad to hear that the treatments from the doctors are having the correct effect on your vision, and that you are seeing improvement in the other parts as well. How often are you gonna have to be going up to Utah? It seems like its been about every 2 or 3 months?? With all your kids up there it shouldn't be too much of a hassle. How are all of the wedding preparations going? Tommy has told me that they are going to Cancun on the honey moon, but if you have time I'd love to see some of the wedding anouncements or the engagment photos. Also some of the rough plans of the wedding!! It's gotta be an exciting time, but with many things to do.

Thanks so much for the encouraging words, Mom!! I love you so much too and feel and recognize more and more blessings every day. It's true, the mission is something I will always hold very very dear to my heart for many reasons and I'm glad to know that dad still has fond memories that are present in his mind, such as singing the song Dios Da Valor. I'm very blessed to have you as my family, and I feel and appreciate your love and support!! I love you all so much, I hope you have an amazing week!!



Monday, October 31, 2016

October 31, 2016 - Week 71


Thanks so much for sending the pics of the pumpkin carving. I guess the holiday season is now starting officially, huh?? It is really fun having Elder Osborn as a companion all of the time, but especially during the classic American holidays like Halloween. Today to celebrate, we had a zone activity and a lot of us dressed up. It was really fun, it's still super hot here so everyone wanted to be inside the AC and we played a bunch of games together as a zone!

Thanks so much for sharing the update about the treatments. I feel like I've just gotten the summary of what's happened and maybe only the big highlights, and the others are all there to get more of the play by play, but it really has been something that I've had present in my mind and my prayers to our Heavenly Father. It´s great to see all the tender mercies and the way you have dealt with it. It is a big testimony builder of the spiritual truth that the happiness we have has little or nothing to do with the surrounding circumstances. So with all that, I will continue to have you constantly in my thoughts and prayers. I know things will all work out how they should though.

So this last week was great because we continued to see how some of the people we´re teaching are repenting and changing their lives. Emilio was baptized on Saturday and comfirmed on Sunday. His son and mom are preparing for their baptism on the 12th of November. Also we are teaching two others who are preparing to be baptized on the 12th. We want to have a really awesome baptismal service which would be really cool because it's presumably my last day in Navojoa, so I would love to go out that way. We are also finding a lot of great new people. It's always such a process but it's fun.

I'm really glad to hear that Courtney is such a great addition to the family. I feel like I pretty much should know her because I've heard so many good things about her for the last 3 years haha. But that's good, that makes me really happy. Like you said, I only get one sister in law so I'm glad its her haha! I often feel the same way with people who I meet here on the mission. That I just grow such an appreciation and love for them. So it is kinda sad to think that soon the day will come where I will have to say goodbye, at least temporarily to them. But that is a great blessing of being a missionary. Developing a love for the people we are here to serve. #Blessed lol.

Well, I'm so glad to hear about all the good spirits and the good news from you all. You really are the biggest blessing I will ever have in my life. I love you all so much and hope you all have an amazing week. Thanks for all the letters :)

Love and Prayers,


Monday, October 24, 2016

October 24, 2016 - Week 70


70 weeks huh?? Pretty crazy, right? Well I'm glad to hear that you guys had a good week, now I guess it´s back to the normal schedule of school and work haha. This week was also really enjoyable here too. We had a pretty crazy week, traveling all around the zone trying to support and help out the other missionaries with their areas and investigators. It was really tiring but fulfilling. The heat still persists, and it looks like it will take us into November in the 100´s. I'm not gonna lie, I thought that I had survived the hottest part of the year, but I think the Lord wants to make sure I don't get too comfortable haha. That's cool that you all spoke in church. I actually spoke in church as well. I spoke about trying to always have an eternal perspective in all things. 

Thanks so much for sending all the pictures, you guys all look so good! I promise you guys I'll send some pictures soon. I lost the cable to my camera, and so I've just had them on my SD card. But this week was really awesome. We started working with the parents of 2 recent converts. They are great and very excited about everything we are teaching them, just the only problem is that they live in a small town 40 minutes away from Navojoa. But they have come to church the last few weeks. We have also been working hard with our other investigators.  Emilio is actually getting baptized this Saturday and is very excited. He's read almost all the Book of Mormon and made some very incredible changes in his life. The other two also went to church and are progressing very well. They are planning on getting baptized the following week! As for Rosie and Jared, they moved to Tijuana apparently. It is really disappointing because they were completely ready for baptism. But I hope they will continue in Tijuana. 

Yesterday we went to a baptism here in Navojoa of another lady. As I was there, a guy who looked like he was like 24 asked me if I would take a picture with him. He then told me he was gonna send it to Tommy, and that he had served in Tampico with him. He had very high praises for Tommy and was really excited to talk to me about what he was up to. It's always cool to have little connections with my family or my past life. 

So how are things going down with the elections? Who will win most likely? That's pretty crazy to see pics of Alyssa voting, and seeing Kylie in pics with her driver's license. I swear those girls are like 14 and 16!! Weird how the time passes. Also Thanks for sending me the pics for Gma's 70th birthday!! I love Grandma because she has always shown me what it is to be loving!

Mom, I hope you have a great week and that the doctor gives you lots of great news and help with your eyes. It might take a while to get everything back to normal but I have no doubt that the treatments will all work!!

Well we are going to continue working hard and taking advantage of every moment we can here!! I love you all thanks so much for your updates and support. Lots of Love....


October 17, 2016 - Week 69


Whats good errybody? So you're all on fall break? This is an unheard of concept by me, but that is really cool. Is it for a whole week? It sounds like you all got a much needed, and very heavy rain yesterday?? I'm glad that didn't deter you from beating Dad in the steps contest lol. To answer your question about the seasons here, no there isn't much changing in the color of the leaves, nor are there many trees with leaves like we´re used to in the states. But wow that's true you're entering that season of fires and pumpkin flavored things. Also, yes you're right the pumpkin spice flavored things are totally not a Mexican tradition. There are other things though, hot chocolate, fortunately is a popular choice. Although we´re still a ways from thinking about that haha. We stayed in the triple digits this week. Which I'm fine with, I take the heat 100x over the cold haha.

But wow this week was really great!! It seemed like people were almost always available to recieve us and accepting of our message. We ended up with 7 people in church! It was great. We are working with 3 families. I don't remember if I told you about them before or not. But they are reading the BoM and they went to church yesterday and really loving the church. We also kept working with the two brothers and now their mom is listening too, she actually went to church too. They have some problems in their lives but nothing the true and restored gospel of Christ can't fix. Aside from that, Rosie and Jared got back from Tijuana this week and we are trying to get all the details of their baptism worked out for this month. Many times we need lots of divine help, but so often it comes and its a real testament to the truthfulness of the work we are here doing.

This last week we also had our zone conference... We had had so many things to do leading up to that and it was kinda the end of all the business, and the conference went really well. President Myers spoke to us and I honestly wish I would just absorb every word he says when he speaks and teaches. He motivates me really well to be a good missionary for the right purposes. He shared a scripture from the book of Revelations chapter 3 that talks about how Jesus knocks at the door and calls to us, but it's us that have to let Him in. A good scripture to reflect on. Anyway, I am just really really grateful that we have such awesome mission presidents like him and Hermana Myers who really are inspired leaders for us.

I'm glad that you guys are also taking initiative to share the gospel. Really it is the best gift you can give someone. Maybe you guys could do like a family home evening or just an activity and invite a family and the missionaires over to just do something simple. That helps people more than we sometimes realize. But I have no doubt you guys will continue to be great member missionaries. Also, congrats on finishing the book of mormon!! I'm coming up on finishing it too. I wanna do it in the next month!

Oh and as far as the Christmas package... I like the candy like Starburts, and Tootsie rolls. I would also like to receive some solid ties. We are allowed to wear skinny ties as well so don't be afraid to send those. Haha but anything you guys see fit, will be perfect. I think I'm good on deodorant. I love you all, and will be praying for you. Keep up the great work!!! The church is true!!

All Love,

Elder Stockard

Monday, October 10, 2016

October 10, 2016 - Week 68


How is everyone?? I'm so glad to hear about your guys Fast Sunday being an enjoyable experience. It really is a special time and a wonderful opportunity to receive blessings from our Heavenly Father. That I am very sure of! Wow today I was thinking about it being Tommy´s birthday and how old he is getting!! I have a brother who´s 24 haha pretty crazy. Big birthday shoutout to him. I told him that since I've been out of the country for his last 2 birthdays, we will have to do the next one super big. I remember the first snowfall on his birthday a few years ago too. I imagine that wasn't the case this year but you're probably not too far off. I am really liking the weather here as of now.. Its low 90´s but seems a lot cooler with the stark contrast of the last several months climate.

I can imagine that everything is getting kinda hectic with the election. The other day there was a former missionary who returned here to Navajoa, Elder Hilton who was in my district at the beginning of my mission, and his parents were with him. They went to an activity at the church and we talked to his parents for a bit and it was funny to hear about everything that's going on in the US. It was also just really funny to be having an all English conversation with two Americans while being in Navojoa Sonora. Super random lol.

As far as the work goes with our investigators, there were definite positives and negatives. Lots of times, the investigators you have that feel the spirit and start off so well, and then other things start to happen, most the times things they hear or their family or for 100 other different reasons, they start to get tempted to stop the thing that will bring them so much good. And many times they fall into that temptation which is really sad to see. But the investigators that stay strong despite of all the outside forces are so awesome to see progress. We had a little bit of the both this week and we´re really grateful for the blessings of seeing the gospel work effectively in the lives of those we´re blessed to teach. On Saturday night, we found Emilio and his son, Juan Pablo. They were very excited to hear from us, and they went to church yesterday and it was really awesome to see. We´re gonna continue working hard to find those who the Lord has prepared for us!!

Today we got together with the zone and played some card games, a little bit of sports, and then we made hamburgers that were really delicious. Ive been in this zone for more than the average amount of time, according to whats normal so its been funny to see how it changes over time. I really like the new people who have arrived here though. Lots of great friends to be made thats for sure.

So for Tommy´s birthday make sure you guys do something really awesome. It's always a little hard to think back and know that its a day of so many great memories from years past. But I'm so happy to be here doing exactly what I'm doing now! Just as long as you promise to keep the new car for me when I get back ;) Lol. Well I love you all so much, I'm so lucky to be blessed with each of you as my family! Have an incredible week and know that you're in my prayers :) Love you all.

Elder Stockard

Monday, October 3, 2016

October 3, 2016 - Week 67


What up family??! How are you all doing? Well yesterday, we received the transfer info and I am writing you all from....... Navojoa Sonora! I'm gonna be staying here for another transfer and with Elder Osborn again, I am very pleased with it. I will tell you more about what's going on in Navojoa. But how are things back in good old Fallon?? Sounds like you haven't missed a beat. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALYSSA!! Wow i was just kinda reflecting yesterday when I knew it was her birthday about how she was 16 and  a half when I left, and now shes 18!!! And now Tommy is gonna be 24 but I left him at 22. I sometimes meet ´people here on the mission who are those ages and it is so weird to think to myself that my siblings are that age now. But, a very warm birthday wish to the both of them. Are you all going to see Tommy for his birthday? 

So I would like to touch on what happened a little bit this week.. We were able to find two amazing families. The first one was funny, we actually met them a couple weeks ago, but really started teaching them this past week. We met them because we knocked the wrong door, and then as we were leaving, I asked her if I could use her bathroom. (it was right after a large lunch, so you can imagine that beg would probably be a more accurate verb choice, considering my urgency level). So anyways, we returned this week and the mother, Lupita, has been doing everything we´ve invited her to do and is seeing the results. She is praying, reading and loving the Book of Mormon, and wanting for all of her family to do them same. The husband is coming along too, I have no doubt that he will do the same. And they have 3 kids too. The other family was a friend of another convert. She invited us to go over to eat at her house, and also invited her friend and her kids. They went to church together and heard the words from the apostles and prophet, which isn't a bad way to start off her journey in the church. As for the baptisms we had planned this week, well they had to go out of town and we haven't been able to see them the whole week. I really am not sure when they'll be back but I know that it will all work out no matter what. 

So with the conference, wow what an amazing experience, Like always to hear the words of the living Prophet of God and His apostles. It is interesting to see and hear our dear prophet speak to us. It reminds me of a piece of advice that Elder Bednar received from Elder Hales that he mentioned a few conferences ago. when you can no longer do all you want, you only do what matters most. We see that Pres Monson can no longer say all he once could, but his short messages are exactly what God wants His children to hear most. Interesting the two topics he chose to give to the whole world, and undoubtedly the blessings are unimaginable if we can take heed to his words, and those of the apostles. I really enjoy hearing those words and seeing my testimony grow of the Living Christ that directs His church. I enjoyed the messages from Elders Christoferson and Renlund. Very wise insights. I feel like there was a little BoM theme and plan of happiness theme. I couldn't help but remember all the times you read us the book of Mormon, and this conference during the talk about the little boy telling his mom that he wasn't listening, and his mom telling him she was doing it for his benefit, I really realized what a huge act of love that was when you so lovingly read the book of Mormon with us every single day. Thank you, Mom. 

So other than that everything here is pretty business as usual. This weekend I had to say goodbye to some of my very good friends I've met here, who are returning to their homes today after finishing their missions. Although they're scattered all over the western hemisphere, I am glad to be able to be in contact with them for what I hope will be a long time. Many of the missionaries who left today were some of my earliest friends here and had very little time as I was starting, it is really kinda weird. Haha the mission is kinda like high school where it all just goes by quickly and you see your good friends finish and move on. I hope that I can make the most of the time that I have left. 

Well I love you all so much, I miss you and pray for you. But I know you're doing awesome!! Keep striving to be more like Christ everyday. 



Monday, September 26, 2016

September 26, 2016 - Week 66


Hey whats up ya´ll !! How is errybody going with school and work and everything? We are now officially in fall right? Big shout out to all the pumpkin flavored sweets that will be eaten in these weeks. It sounds like Matt´s surgery went well. That's super cool that the ward, and his family and friends could all give him and his fam a lot of support in a moment where I'm sure it is much needed. Definitely some blessing for them living such great lives. 

So this week was really great, to start, Diana and Alejandra were both baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday! They were both really happy as were we and the rest of the ward that was supporting them. Its always a race trying to get everything prepared for a baptism, usually with very little time. It can be stressful finding clothes, cleaning and filling the font, making programs, inviting people, and doing interviews. All things that the missionaries have to do here haha. Then on Friday, in the middle of the craziness, there were a few other wards in our zone that were preparing an activity and needed us to hunt down a bunch of stuff last minute. So it got pretty hectic but at the end it all worked out and all parties were very happy. But the happiness makes it all worth it at the end !! Rosario and Yered were also able to attend the services and are preparing for their baptisms on Saturday. So we are fully prepared for another week of busy preparations, but lots of joy at the end of it!!

As far as the other investigators that are doing really well... We have this family we are teaching, that is Rosario and Lupita and their 2 daughters. They're both really smart and enjoy talking with us. We told them about general conference this week after teaching them about living day prophets and they seemed very interested at hearing what the prophet and apostles have to say. Really I think that this is one of the best 4 weekends in the entire mission because of general conference. I really have been counting down the days since the last one 6 months ago. A blessing that I never realized back when I was at home, but I did realize that the homemade cinnamon rolls were a blessing now that I don't get to eat them while watching GC. haha.

So how do you feel, all your children will now officially be 18. You got them out of childhood, and without any of us being arrested. (That you know of) I'll see if I can't get a felony now when it counts being an adult ;) No but in all seriousness, you've done a fantastic job as a mother. I notice it now more than ever being far away from you and although I could never thank you for that, I want you to know I am sooo grateful for you and dad. I love you both very much. Also very happy 18 th to Alyssa, go live it up kid and get ready for the next one back at BYU!! Well I love you all so much, have a great week! 



Monday, September 19, 2016

September 19, 2016 - Week 65


Hey what's goood everyone?? Wow I'm hoping that as you guys read this that you're not feeling as much heat as I am!! Haha I keep waiting for it to cool down a little bit, and it has a little bit, but it's still reallllly hot! How is the weather in Fallon and Utah? I was talking to Elder Osborn the other day about when it snowed on Tommy´s birthday. I've really loved having a comp that can relate to a lot of common experiences from growing up. We are starting our 5th week together and I'm on my 17th here in Navojoa. So we will see what happens going forward!

So this week we saw a lot of really cool things. I told you about Alejandra last week, and this week we also met her cousin who is also planning on being baptized on Saturday if all goes well! And then yesterday we had two investigators who showed up to church after awhile without going and they told us that they did what we told them to do (pray, ask for guidance, repent, study scriptures) and that all of a sudden their lives got a lot better and that they want to be baptized. We were very surprised but obviously it was a very pleasant surprise! But wow, it was really incredible to listen to their sincerity and desire! The gospel works, and they are living proof.

So during the week, with the Mexican Indepence day falling on a Friday, we kinda got to see a 3 day, whole weekend celebration. To answer your question, yes the food was incredible and very very abundant haha. We had a stake activity on Friday night, and it had a really great turn out. I was thinking about it and it has been a very indescribable experience to be here for 15 months and see and experience the Mexican culture. I think the most special part about experiencing a culture is seeing the passion of the people who so very much love all the traditions and history of their country/family/etc. I was thinking about it and I've worked with people from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatamala, Peru, Honduras,and even Korea. A pretty wide variety, haha. And it also makes me gain a greater appreciation and love for my own culture and traditions that I've been accustomed to for so long. But it was really neat to see such a great tradition up close and see how special it was for the people here.

Well it sounds like you're gonna have a lot on your plate in these days coming up. Matt and Adge's family will definetly be in my prayers and thoughts this weekend. Mom I'm also glad that you could get a functioning phone, I kinda forget what it was like to have the world in the palm of my hand lol. I'm super glad to hear that you're all doing great, you all make me so proud! I love ya´ll! Have a great week!!



Monday, September 12, 2016

September 12, 2016 - Week 64

Dearest Family,

How is everyone doing?? Today we have had a pretty relaxed Pday, we actually went bowling again which is pretty fun. I had never really played much at home, but now I'm pretty good. I bowled a 167 today haha. And last week was full of ups and a few downs but it ended up really great. I'm glad to hear you're keeping yourself busy as well, the time seems to fly by when we have a lot of things to do, something I had always heard and now I am really starting to see that it is 100% true!

So I'm gonna tell you a little bit about our week! So many kids in this area have been sick and incapacitated in these past few weeks, and during the week it hit my companion. He had the flu for like two days so we were pretty limited on time spent outside the house. Then later in the week we started working really hard and found some great people. But it was so weird, 5 of our best investigators had to leave town this week for a variety of reasons. it was disappointing, because a lot of them couldn't go to church, but we did have one who went. Her name is Alejandra, and all of her family are members, except her. She just moved here from Guadalajara (Think the distance from Reno to Phoenix) and she is ready to be baptized. It was amazing how the Lord put her in our path and prepared her and is helping us meet our goals that we set. She will be baptized next week!

Later in the week, we had a conference with like 75 missionaries and were able to listen to elder Jose Fernandez from the 70, who told us about his conversion story and how we can help so many kids like him to find true happiness in their lives. There were also many missionaries there that I don't normally see, but we got to see them and catch up, which was a positive. I saw missionaries who are finishing their missions, who were still relatively new when I first met them, which was really weird. I've made some awesome friends in the mission, that I hope to keep up with for a long time.

Did you tell me where Thomas Robertson is serving his mission? Is it Japan? Wow, that's really cool, it´s great to see other kids leaving and knowing that they're getting themselves into a whole lot of great experiences. So when my comp was sick it gave me a lot of time to study and to think of all the ways that the Lord has blessed me, and then people around me in these months as a missionary. We usually don't have so much time to think and reflect, but it was a nice little switch up. The mission has been, and I know it will continue to be a blessing in my life forever.

This week coming up is the Mexican independence day, my 2nd one here in Mexico! Its the 16th, this Friday. Our ward is planning an activity and It should really help us to get our investigators out there and meeting the other members. And its always a huge plus when food is supplied, and fortunately, that will be the case at this event lol. It really is so hard to believe that yesterday marks the 15 year anniversary of 9/11. I was only 5 but I still do remember that day, and running into your room and seeing you crying and then hugging me.

Well family, I'm doing great and loving the work. This week, a hurricane hit the Gulf of Mexico, and we saw some of the effects, mostly just rainstorms, but the streets were all filled with water. So at 8:45, Elder Osborn and I treaded through knee level water to get back home as the rain drenched us from above and just laughed at how it was such a unique experience to be having! I hope you know I'm doing great, and I do miss you all and love you all. Thanks for the support and undying love!



Monday, September 5, 2016

September 6, 2016 - Week 63


Wow, what a week! I'm super tired and a little bit exhausted from the heat, but today we´ve been able to rest a bit, and get ready for another week. So it´s already Labor day huh? Did you guys make it up to Midway at all for Swiss days, or when will the next Midway trip be? It feels a little weird to be missing all of these patriotic holidays haha. The Mexican independence day is actually coming up in a week or so, so that will have to suffice for the next few months lol.

So how is the whole 5k planning going? That sounds like something that's right up your alley. I'm sure your keen planning skills are helping you get everything organized, I'm sure it has a lot of moving parts to it, but it will also turn out great. What else do you have going on in school? Do you feel like a vet this time around in the HS level classes? It is funny how a little bit of time really can help us feel a lot better in a new task. I have no doubt that you're a popular and effective teacher there at Oasis.

This week, it was really nice to have the opportunity to fast, knowing that I was one of many joining in for uncle Matt. Wow, they have a tonnnn going on, but the Lord will bless them tremendously during this time, I have no doubt! 

So this week was really busy, and tiring, and hot, but it ended up having good results. we are working with a lady named Rosario, and her granddaughter. They are neighbors of a member, and they just started showing up to church. They have their fair share of difficulties, but I guess everyone does, right? We are also working with some of the family members of the lady who just got baptized last week. We have also been working with some of the less active members in the ward. There was actually this day a few weeks ago, when I was still with Elder Chichia, it was raining sooooo hard, and this family called us into their house. They then told us that they were members and just hadn't gone to church for a long time. But for the 3 weeks since then, they've come to church every week, with their whole family. 

Today we all got together as a zone here in Navojoa and played volleyball and ate some pizza. There's been a lot of changes in the zone, so it was fun to get a lot of people together and get to know each other better. This week we are going to have a zone conference, but there will be an Area 70, the stake president, and the mission president there, so we´re really excited to hear from such spiritual giants, but a little nervous as well to be honest haha. 

Well, I hope you guys have a killer Labor Day, enjoy the moments as a family and know that you're all in my thoughts and prayers. I love you and miss you all.



Monday, August 29, 2016

August 29, 2016 - Week 62


Hey what's up Mom, how are you? I'm so happy to see that you guys had an action packed week in Utah, what a cool experience that Lauren and you all shared at the white coat ceremony! And I heard from Tommy that the first week at law school was made a little bit more difficult without a home base in Provo, but I'm so glad to hear that both of them are loving their grad schools! Also that is very impressive what you and Alyssa are doing every morning. Really the only challenging part about an early morning are the first few moments getting out of bed. But I'm really happy you guys are doing that!!

So the first week of being here with Elder Osborn went fantastic, and it finished with the best possible outcome... A baptism with 4 new investigators in church who will be baptized in September!! Our investigator was unsure about whether she wanted to be baptized or not, and on Wednesday we went to her house and had the strong impression to just simply teach her and testify to her about the atonement of Jesus Christ, and then let her decide what she needed to do. And she told us she wanted to be baptized. It is so amazing. I saw a video today of when the church just started out, and how it was just barely surviving, but God inspired His children in order to fulfill His eternal purposes. Each day I see more and more evidence of the fact that the movement and spreading of the true and restored gospel of Jesus Christ will go forward. It's amazing every day how many people have been prepared to hear this message, and then to act on it. I feel so blessed to be a witness to the marvelous work.

It has been so fun to be with Elder Osborn for this week, and I hope for many more. We have sooo much to talk about, and a lot of common experiences, but also a lot that he can teach me about. For example, he plays guitar super good, and actually has one here. So he´s taught me a lot about the music scene and its really interesting. People here are sometimes a little taken aback to see two super white, blonde haired, blue eyed Americans in Navojoa but we have fun with it. I'm really grateful and blessed to be his companion.

So it sounds like you all had a sick stake conference with a few GA´s. I am very grateful for the time and service that President Williams gave to his calling as stake prez, and I have no doubt that President Sorenson will continue with that. I've heard that there are a lot of new families in the ward.. is that right?? How are things going in the RS mom??

To answer your questions mom, yes we are still zone leaders and the zone is really good, therere a lot of new people. We´re thinking of a lot of fun ways to improve the work in the zone, I think it'll be cool.

Well, thanks so much for the letter, Mom, I'm so glad to hear how happy you all are, I love and miss you all.


Monday, August 22, 2016

August 22, 2016 - Week 61


Wow, what an awesome video that you guys did for Grandma and Grandpa!! If I'm not mistaken they share the same anniversary as you guys right? The 19th, also the anniversary for President and Sister Myers, so it must be a popular date. But it was awesome seeing such a big, beautiful family with those awesome pictures.

By the way, happy anniversary!! I had totally forgotten to wish you guys a happy anniversary last week but I did remember, how many is it this year? Close to 27?? How did you guys celebrate it? I hope you all got your fill of summer fun, with going back to school and summer officially being over haha. Just gear up and rest during the next 2 semesters 'cause we will be spending next summer together hahaha!!

So anyways, Elder Chichia did get transferred today. He's heading to like the most southern part of the mission, and I got a new companion today..... His name is Elder Osborn, he is from Salt Lake and we arrived in the mission together and hes was one of the first people I met in the airport on June 24th in SLC, haha. He and I have been great friends for a long time and actually always talked about being comps, so I'm really excited for this time we will have together. Of course, it is always hard to leave a comp who has been such a good friend like Chichia, but it is part of the mission, and one of the best parts is meeting other people.

So this week with our investigators, we had a new schedule and location with stake conference, and none of them went to church which felt like a huge gut punch, haha. But we will be having a baptism for Dulce hopefully this Sunday. She has been learning a lot, and tells us shes ready to make the jump to join the church... We found a lot of new people this week, including a family of 6 people who we are excited about.

Lauren's white coat ceremony sounds like a really cool ceremony, just based off the name. You´ll have to send me some pics and a small summary of how it was. It is so cool to hear about all the amazing things that our family is doing while I'm out here, I know I only hear a limited portion and on a limited basis, but it really is so great and I'm so proud of each and every one of you. There's no better motivation to work hard than knowing that I have a very supportive family who loves me.

Mom, I also wanna tell you that I loved the email you sent to the family!! I didn't quite realize how many blessings the Lord has given us during that time, and that he keeps giving us. A real testimony builder.

Well, I gotta roll, but I love you all so much and I miss you guys. It makes me so glad to hear that you're all doing well. Have a great week, and best of luck in all your endeavors!! I love you all.


Monday, August 15, 2016

August 15, 2016 - Week 60


What up fam, how are all you guys doing?? So today is the official start of our 6th week this transfer, so who knows what is going to happen. I've been here in Navojoa with Elder Chichia for 3 months now, and I've loved it. We´re both really hoping that we can stay together for another month and a half and keep working hard with the people we´ve found. Its not very common to be together that long, but its possible so we´ll see how it all goes. 

But how did the first day of school go? Haha I love looking back and reflecting on how I felt going back to another year of school after an entire summer of vacations, my heart goes out to all the poor kids who had to go through another first day of school today, including Lauren with medical school lol. 

So this week has been really good. I've had a little bit of a cough for like the whole weekend but today I finally felt a lot of improvement which was good. This whole week it rained a ton here, and like 90 % of the streets are made entirely out of dirt, and were not designed by grade a civil engineers, so there's always sooooooo much standing, muddy water after each rain. Its kinda a catch 22 because when it's raining, it's super cool outside and really nice for proselyting. But it's also a great way to get very dirty, haha. But the heat wears off a little bit in like a month and the rainy season stops, so that'll be really nice haha. 

On Thursday we had a zone conference with President and Sister Myers here in Navojoa and it was really great. He talked a lot about how much help the Lord gives us in our lives each day, and has some really awesome stories to back up the doctrine that he´s teaching, which I like a lot. Pretty much everything those 2 have done in their short time here has just impressed me with how helpful and awesome they have been. Then for Thursday and Friday I went to a superrrrr small town like an hour away, that is called Etchojoa with Elder Koford. We had a great time working together and then just chatting it up, it's always super nice to get to know someone better and find great friends in the mission.  With other missionaries and also the people we teach. 

As far as our investigators, one continues to progress super well. Something that is a great sign is that she is starting to invite all of her friends and family to start going to church and listening to us as well, and she told us she wants them to see if they can be as happy with it as she has been. Maybe she doesn't 100% realize it as her being a missionary and a huge help for them, but it makes our job sooo much easier when the people can be supported by their family and friends to investigate the church as well. Another one unfortunately has kinda taken a step back and hasn't gone to church. He told us that he is very confident in the church and feels good there just that right now his family doesn't want him there and he is scared of the problems there could be with that. It's really too bad, but I don't feel bad at all for the seed we planted with him, and I'm confident that in no time at all he will feel the assurance to go ahead and trust that everything else will be okay. So we´ve been finding a lot of new people and doing everything we can to get them to progress as well. 

So how was the week with the house full of wedding guests?? I did not recognize a few of those names you mentioned that were staying there but holy crap that was a ton of people who stayed with ya´ll. That's super cool that Trev and Logan's sealing was so spiritual, big congrats to the newlyweds! Seems like everyone is getting married now haha. That's really cool that Gma and Gpa will be able to go to SLC for Tommy and Courtney's wedding... Are they getting married in the Salt Lake temple or which one are they going to?

Anyways thanks so much for the love, I love you all so much and miss you!!

Have an awesome week,