Elder Stockard

Elder Stockard
Mexico Cuidad Obregon Mission

Sunday, January 31, 2016

February 1, 2016 - Week 32


Mom, thank you for the political update back in the states. It seems like I've missed all the chaos with politics here over the last 7.5 months, considering that gay marriage still was not legal when I left on the mish. I'm sure that with the presidential election right around the corner it's pretty crazy there. You'll have to keep me updated on all that. Also, can we take a moment to all laugh at how random and hysterical it is that Tyler is the new sex ed teacher at Oasis. Also pretty exciting that the Superbowl is this weekend, it will be weird to not hear anything about it in Mexico. And that's dope that you get a snow day, well a snow delay I guess. The weather here is actually heating up quickly, and I'm catching glimpses of how hot it was during the summer haha. Anyways, I'm glad to hear that the week went well for everyone!!

So this week was really good for us as well. The 2 baptisms went really well and both Frida and Osiris were excited to be baptized. I will include pics for you guys. We are actually working with this part-member family, who is also inactive. It's tricky because it's a family of 5, 3 of them are members, but all of them are at different stages in their conversion. We are planning a baptism of one of the non-member kids this weekend and hope that it will turn out well. 

Yesterday my comp and I gave talks in church. I talked about the importance of prayer during trials, and how our attitudes can help us through trials. I didn't share your story about your eyes but it was what I had in mind as I prepared it. After, a less active member told me that he really needed to hear that, and asked me to give him a blessing after church. It was a really cool experience to be able to help someone like that without knowing at all what he was going through before. 

So how are things going in school and work for everyone?? I wanna get updates on the Ashley and Brian move, and also the Matt Lee election status. I heard that Brandon and Jacob both are waiting mission calls, and I wanna make my predictions for them right now. For Jacob I'm gonna say Seoul South Korea, and for Brandon I'm gonna say Los Angeles California. But keep me updated on that. I realized the other day that on Jan 30, 2015 I received my mission call to Ciudad Obregon and how excited I was since that moment. It's a special time in someone's life and it truly is the work of the Lord. Well, I want you all to know I love you, I will be fasting for you this week mom, and always praying for you I hope you know that. You're the best earthly example I could ask for. Love you always and we will talk next week.

Elder Stockard 

Monday, January 25, 2016

January 25, 2016 - Week 31


Yo what up world, how ya´ll been?? Haha no one told me Alyssa was going to prom, did she roll solo or did she go with someone?? The dress she made turned out great and she looked beautiful as well, and how embarrassing that she had her parents as chaperons lolol. I'm kidding, but it is kinda funny. I'm sure you and dad played it cool and went low key. It seems like this week was pretty chill for all you guys, nothing too grand that happened. Pretty fun that grandma and Steve´s family are gonna go to Florida this week, that should be  a sick trip. I have to clarify that, yes Ruiz is a common surname here in Mexico, but not THAT common. There are now only 2 Elder Ruiz in my mission, and my first comp is already home. So it really is funny that I've had all 3 of them as comps. 

So this week was super busy for us. We worked and worked and worked to find new people to teach. So we contacted a ton of people in the street, then searched for them, and started teaching them. That's pretty much how we find new people. We found this one family with 10 people that we´re now teaching. Well it´s like 3 families living together, but it´s one household. They´re super nice and have some kids that love to listen to us, so we´re really excited about that. At long last, we will be baptizing Osiris this Saturday and with a little luck, we will also baptize another investigator. Both of them have learned a lot and are making the final preparations to make that holy covenant with God and we´re excited for them. 

One of the highlights of my week was that we finally received the general conference edition of October´s conference. We get them in English and in Spanish but I love reading them in English because I can hear the voices of the apostles in my head as I read them. General Conf was something I definitely took for granted in my life but it really is such a blessing to have those inspired men leading our church. The work of the Lord really never ceases to amaze me. Dad will be happy to know that I'm not stopping to work hard on the language even though I am at the point where I can easily communicate. Each day for language study I think of words in English that are kinda random or uncommon and find the definition in Spanish. It amazes me that there are so many words that we know perfectly, but hardly ever use in a normal context. But it´s fun and I want to have a really big Spanish vocabulary. In one of the more random exchanges of my life, I found this huge American from LA walking around the street here in topo and he very desperately asked me if I knew any English, and I told him I was from the USA. He somehow arrived in Los Mochis on accident and in his efforts to return to the United States, only managed to distance himself more from his home and arrived in Topolobampo. But to his delightful surprise, he likes Topo and so he decided to stay awhile. Occasionally I see him in the street or in a store and he always asks me to translate for him, and that's kind of fun as well lol.

Mom, the FHEs we do preferably consist of a family of members, an investigator, some sort of short game or video and a quick message that we can relate to the activity. We have made cards to play taboo with church related stuff, we can watch Meet the Mormons or another church video, and sometimes we do it with less active families as well. It makes me at long last appreciate the FHEs we did every Monday night without fail :) 

It is super great to hear from you all and the time sure is marching on. Thank you all for your words, emails, encouragement and support. I will continue praying for y'all like always and I can't wait to hear how this week goes for everybody. 

Love you all so much, 


Monday, January 18, 2016

January 18, 2016 - Week 30


Well another week down and here we are again... I feel like I write that a lot lol. Anyways, so good to hear from you guys yet again and I'm always so happy to hear how great you're all doing and the exciting things that go on in the life back at home. Big shout out to Lauren and Tommy as they're hearing more great news and widening their field of options for med and law school.... That's big time. And mom I'm glad to hear that you're keeping yourself in shape, even if its to a point that you can't move afterwards lol. 

This week was really good here in Sinaloa as well, and packed with lots of things and the transfer ended so Elder Salazar and I unfortunately had to part ways. I don't know if you guys are going to find this next part as funny as I did but I receivied my new companion and his name is.....Elder Ruiz.  Who would've guessed it, right? 3 of my first 4 comps are named Elder Ruiz lolol. This one is also from Chiapas (Where the first one was from) and he is pretty new on the mish. He has like 3 months here. I'm super excited to get to work with him and see how everything goes here. We have a lot of exciting things that are right around the corner here. There's still a lot to work, but 2 of our investigators are getting married so that they can get baptized, and we have another investigator who wants to get baptized and go on a mission, were just trying to get her mom on board with the whole idea... But she'll come around eventually! I was super super excited cause this weekend the Nuñez family ( Some converts from my prior area) went to the temple for the first time to do baptisms, and they are preparing to enter to get sealed. What a blessing it is that we can be together forever as a family. Other than that, we keep working and we see what the Lord prepares for us. 

We're starting to work really well with the members here in Topo and this week we're doing some family home evenings with them and asking them to invite friends who they would like to hear the gospel. It really is the best way to complete the work of the Lord, and I hope you guys are always willing to help the Elders there in Fallon. It brings blessings to your lives and to the lives of others as well. That's exciting about the new calling dad got, but I guess we can't really call it a new calling because he served on the HC for years. I really can't think of a much better place for him, it really lets him use his abilities to help other people and carry a powerful message to them. 

Mom, I continue to pray for you and I too feel like your vision will shortly improve. Sometimes we have these things in life that are super super inconvenient and uncomfortable, but it's all about the attitude we carry throughout. I think of Nephi and his family traveling in the desert and he took all the afflictions in stride and always saw the blessing of every situation, while his brothers were constantly complaining and saw it all as a hardship. In reality the Lord had a promised land prepared for them, and he has the same for us. I'm glad that you have such a positive attitude with something that would be so easy to complain about. You'll always be my example because that's what you've always taught me, even though I didn't always listen. I want you to know I love you and I'm doing great out here, and miss you and love you. Always keeping you all in my prayers. I wish you all the best week, and love you all.

Elder Stockard

Monday, January 11, 2016

January 11, 2016 - Week 29


You are very correct, the weeks sure are flying by! It seems like each one goes by faster and it's hard to keep up with it all. I'm glad to hear you guys are easing back into the semester, I'm sure its easier that way. How's the weather out there? I got various reports of like negative 10 degree weather and I strongly considered staying here for the rest of my life to never have to experience that again. Lol.  I'm very content with my 70 degree weather. But we have started having a lot of wind here these past few days, reminds me a bit of Fallon. 

So anyways, this week went well for us. These past few weeks Elder Salazar and I had been able to find every person we wanted to, taught a ton of people, and it was really nice, but this week it went back to normal a little bit. People start going back to school and work, and we realized we were a little spoiled. Something interesting is that here in Topo, there are a tonnnn of people familiar with the USA because they all go to Louisiana to work for 6-8 months of the year. It's interesting haha cause everyone in Obregon has lived in AZ or California but here with all the fishing, they go to Louisiana. But we are preparing this lady named Frida for baptism, and right now shes scheduled to be baptized in 2 weeks. And if all goes well, there will be 3 other people who get baptized with her, which would be huge for this branch. There hasn't been any new members for over a year so we're working hard to change that. 

So for the big news of the week... I got to live an episode of The Blacklist in real life, kinda. The world's most wanted man was captured like 15 minutes from our house, and it's like the biggest news in the world here in Mochis and Topo haha. There was a tonnnnn of movement and it's what everyone is talking about but it was sure exciting. I immediately thought of Raymond Reddington surrendering himself on the pilot episode, lol. 

That's so awesome that you guys have such a great ward council and an ex mission prez and total stud like Rob Weed that can set up a killer ward mission plan. I don't know why I never realized it, but it honestly is so important. the missionary work in the ward. We each have a responsibility to learn, strive to perfect ourselves, and also to help others do so. It makes me happy to know that you guys are willing to help the missionaries in the Lord's work.... In doing so you will only help yourselves grow more! 

Mom, the closest place to buy a hymnal is in the temple in Hermosillo, like 4 hours from Obregon and 8 from Mochis. We can send money with the members to buy them, but I think it might be easier if you order one from the lds store online and have it sent to the mission home. It should be shipped from Mexico and arrive here soon. If you could do that that'd be a huge help!!! I am continuing to pray for you with your vision and I know it will get better soon... I can only imagine how hard it is, but keep your patience and it will all be good. I love you all soo much. Moroni 8:3, for all of my family! Keep killin it, I'll talk to y'all in a week. All love.

Elder Stockard

Monday, January 4, 2016

January 4, 2016 - Week 28

Dear Family,

Another week huh?! So how are all you guys?? It sounds like we had very different New Years Eve, including the weather but I'm glad you guys had a safe trip to Utah and enjoyed your time there. You guys always seem to be so busy back at home, were we always that busy and doing that many things before my mission?? Haha. No, but I had a really awesome week myself and I managed to stay pretty busy too!!

So to start the week, we did divisions with 2 other elders in our district and it was really fun. Usually they last for like 24 hours, but with Topolobampo being so far away from everything, we did them for 2 days. So I spent Tuesday, Wednesday, and half of Thursday in Los Mochis working with an Elder who arrived in the mission with me, Elder Ochoa from Oaxaca. It is always really fun to experience another area and get to know other Elders and members. On Thursday we had a zone conference that was really fun, but the best part was at the end I received the package that you guys sent me of the picture book, it made my whole day to be able to see all of the fun times and memories we had the last 6 months before I left, and the first 6 months of my mission! Thank you guys so much for sending me that honestly. Oh, and you said I have one more package coming right? If you could tell me if there's a Spanish hymnal in that  package that would be awesome, because if not I need to buy one because I don't have one. Oh and I also received the package from Matt and Adge, my comp and I enjoyed some starburts,  and I already wore the tie 2 times, haha. The pics of their family look great as well. 

So the rest of our week was really good considering the circumstances. There were a few days where it was hard to find people with all the parties, but we had some really awesome moments. We found this girl named Michelle who has already been to church like 3 times with her best friend, her aunts and uncles are members, and she learns super well. We also started teaching two new families that I'm really excited about. It was a really good week and it felt good to work hard and see results, even when it was hard at times. So here in Topo, there's a tonnnnn of parties on the 1st of January, but not all that many on the 31st.... Kinda weird huh? It was fun and kinda weird to be in bed at 10:30 and up at 6:30 on those days, but Elder Salazar and I had fun reflecting on the fun NYE's we had had before. Wow how fast time goes that a year ago we went to Disneyland and the Rose Bowl and the Laker game! Seems like yesterday, but it was a trip I won't Forget.

I'm glad to hear you guys are doing so well, and like always the new year brings new opportunities. How blessed we are and I invite you all to reflect on the blessings of the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior who gives us an opportunity to have a new start in every moment of our lives. Mom, I continue to pray for you and your eyes, I know it can't be very comfortable, but it's good that it's nothing more than that. I want you all to know how much I love you and give thanks that I have you as family. You're the best. 

All Love,

Elder Stockard