Elder Stockard

Elder Stockard
Mexico Cuidad Obregon Mission

Monday, February 29, 2016

Feb. 29, 2016 - Week 36


Heyyy whats up everyone?? How are all of you guys? I'm glad to hear that everyone´s good and hope everyone is enjoying this extra day of the year lol! Hard to believe it´s almost March! Super big congrats to Tommy on accepting the Clark Scholarship at BYU and I am confident that he´ll continue to do work in the law school there too. Sounds like there was a lot of excitement and weddings that are going down out there. So Donald Trump is looking like the front runner for president huh? Who is Dad´s vote? Pretty interesting to watch, even when its from a distance haha. Also, huge shout out to Ryan H for receiving his call to Buenos Aires Argentina!!!!! Way sick. 

So this week was the last week of the transfer, and yesterday every missionary was on his toes waiting to receive the call to what was going to happen with them. Elder Ruiz and I are staying the same and we´re going to continue working together in Topolobampo for another 6 weeks. I'm super excited and grateful because I honestly love it here, and we´re doing a lot of good work. Yesterday we had 5 investigatores come to church with us, which was about 1/5 of the attendance! It´s nice to bring people to church because the investigators and the members already know each other, cause almost everyone here knows each other haha. We´re teaching Angel, Hilario, and Edgar who are brothers. Superrrr cool and smart kids. They want to get baptized, and a super ready, we´re just waiting on the permission from their parents. Which is coming, but slowly. We read the Jeffrey R Holland talk on mothers with their mom this week to try and soften her up a bit and encourage them to treat their mother with the utmost respect. I shared with them how great of a mother you were for me, and how you always want to best for us. 

We´re also working with other less active members to try and bring in some priesthood to the branch. Its going little by little, but it really is a process. Its interesting because like 70% of the men in Topo work in the ocean, in some facet. Their schedule is governed by the weather, the wind, and lots of other little factors, but it makes it really hard to find men who are willing to go to church on Sunday and work it out with their work. It's a definite challenge but it's not impossible! We have some really sweet investigators and references though so I'm seeing big things coming.

This week I had a new companion for 2 days, cause we did transfers with the zone leaders. Elder Miller, from Mapleton, Utah came here and worked with me. It was super fun because we talked a lot about things we liked to do in Utah and some of the things on the mission. We get along really well and it was fun to show him around for a bit, while I got to learn new things from him. I'm really grateful for the people we get to meet here on the mission and the friendships we´ll have for many years to come. 

Thanks so much for the support and for sending that package to me. This family will be so excited and surprised to receive it and I'm excited to give them their Kool-Aid haha. So how are the treatments going mom? Are they sure that birdshot is what you have, and when are you expected to see results from the medicine?? I keep praying for you every day and I'm comforted to know that we have a Father in Heaven who is listening, and has all our best interests in mind. I hope you know I love you all and that I'm doing great here and I'm glad to hear from everyone of you and what you're doing. The time really is limited and we gotta make the most of it!! I love you all and I'll talk to you in a week!! 

Love Always,


Monday, February 22, 2016

February 22, 2016 - Week 35


Wow, Mom that's great that you got some sort of diagnosis and treatment for what's been bugging you in your eyes for so long. Only 104 cases in the USA, that is honestly the definition of rare. Like I think the black plague is probably more common than birdshot disease. Well, with that in mind, I'm ever so thankful that there is a treatment for it. And that you were able to receive the help you need and I'm sure everything will be great. Other than that part, how was the rest of your guys week?? I'm sure it was nice to have a shortened school week like always. How is the weather back at home? It's starting to heat up here, but it doesn't stop us from working hard.   

This week was really good.  We had a baptism on Saturday which is always a really cool way to end the week. Those days are filled with a lot of last minute preparations and tasks, but it is always worth it. It's made a little bit harder because we are really isolated here in Topolobampo, and have to coordinate a lot of things in Los Mochis. But this investigator, Vanessa, was really well prepared and it makes it a lot easier. I was super happy to be able to see her make that big step in her life. I forgot my camera, so ill have to send you guys pics the next week. Other than that the work is good. 

We have a lot of people we´re teaching and its just a matter of helping each of them understand the feeling of the spirit and they´ll all be good. We were put on special assignment by the Stake Presidency to search for more priesthood among the less actives, in hopes to find a branch president that lives in Topo. They are all on assignment from Mochis right now. So we have this list of like 150 less active men and we have to try to visit them all little by little.

Thank you for the political updates, I hear a lot of negative comments about Donald Trump here, apparently he's not too fond of the Mexican people, according to them. I'm not sure though, I feel pretty disconnected with the American politics. Are any of the candidates coming to Fallon or Reno this week to try and sway the polls, or is Nevada insignificant enough that we don't get any attention? I am kinda weirded out by the fact that when I come back we will have a new president. But you will definitely have to keep me updated on all that, I will be curious to know.

This is the last week of the transfer here so it is possible that it´s my last week in Topolobampo. We will see, but in any case I know that the Lord has a special plan for each and every one of us. Whether I'm in Topolobampo, or some other area the gospel is the same, which is such a blessing. I love to see the positive effects that it has on those in our family in Nevada, with the powerful blessings of fast and prayer that we have seen, and I'm positive we will continue to see with your eyes, Mom. From Grandma and Gpa in Ukraine, to me in Mexico, and all the others in every part of the USA I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who heard those pleas, and blessed you. Its a special blessing to be able to devote my life for these two years to helping people realize that those are blessings that each one of us can receive in moments of need, and it is the only way to find true and everlasting, eternal happiness, through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Well, I love you all and encourage you to keep looking for opportunities to serve others. Love you all.



February 15, 2016 - Week 34


Wow, pretty cool weekend you guys all had. From what I've heard the Provo temple is really great. Pretty sweet that from any given point in Provo you're only a stone's throw away from a temple, haha. I definitely look forward to going to those temples with you guys all together one day, but we should probably plan a trip during the summer so that there's not so much snow, haha. Dad graduated from law school there many years ago, and now its a temple, kinda funny haha. But I'm really glad you guys got up to Utah to see everything and everyone there and enjoy a little cold weather.

This week was really good. We are going to start doing mutual with the kids here in the branch, but we´re doing it differently so that each week the kids can each bring a friend with them. It started off as an English class with 4 investigators that we have, and we thought of doing a small activity every week with the kids we are teaching, and inviting the members to come and bring their friends as well. All the youth were really excited about it and so we'll see how it goes. This week we planned a service activity with a part member family, and then after we´re gonna play a game. I'm thinking about instituting Chubby Bunny, but I wanna pull that one out at a prime opportunity. No but I'm really looking forward to it and I think it will be good for the branch.

This week was kinda funny casue the Pope is in Mexico and everywhere we go people invite us in to watch him on tv, and its all over the newspaper and everything. I honestly had no idea that it was that big of a deal but I guess so. But regardless of the Pope excitement, we were able to find some new people to teach this week which is always exciting. I love to see people feeling the spirit testify to them of the validity of the message, even when it's just the first visit, and even when they don't always recognize that as the spirit. Also, super sick that there was a member of the 12 presiding at your sacrament meeting, and it was as if nothing happened. Did he give any remarks or was he just chillin?? 

This Valentine's day I want to tell each of you how much I love you all. I really appreciate that you sent me those 3 things, Mom, and I wish I had time to send 100 things that I love about all of you, but I will keep it short and tell you all that I love you and appreciate each one of you. Each of us is a son or daughter of a loving Heavenly Father, who has a plan that includes us living in his presence together forever. Quite a remarkable blessing, and I want you all to know you're loved and missed. Untill next week.


February 8, 2016 - Week 33


Heyyyy whats up yall. So the snow keeps going there in Nevada, huh? It's funny because everyone asks me where I'm from, I tell them "Nevada" (which means 'snowy' in Spanish) and then they always follow up with asking me if I've ever seen snow and I can tell them about the weather updates from over there lol. So how was the week for everyone? Seems like it was pretty low key with the highlight being the Superbowl haha. We had a good week here, just with a lot less snow!

So to answer your question, it's still a little too early to tell but we keep visiting the converts and they're both doing good. We started teaching this man named Miguel this week, as well as another family. Miguel is a reference from a member and he is super nice and really likes reading the Book of Mormon. He came all the way to Los Mochis with us for a stake conference and there we heard an Area 70 deliver a very powerful message, and I was super glad to have him there to hear it. Vanessa also came, she's a girl whose family is less active but they're reactivating, and she's gonna get baptized this weekend, if all goes well! 

This weekend and week are kinda tough to find people because there's this week-long celebration here in Topo called Carnaval. It basically includes a tonnnnn of food, people, shows, celebrations, and drinking. There are fireworks every night and it's all really cool to see, but from a missionary's perspcetive its hard because starting at like 6:00 PM it's kinda impossible to find people in their houses. But it's ending this week so it's all good. 

On Saturday at the stake conference as I was leaving, someone came up to me super super excited and asked me if I had a brother who served in Tampico, and then told me that they served together. It was really cool for a couple reasons, one of which is that it was fun to hear some short stories about Tommy's mish, and make some connections in that aspect. It was also cool to see how big of an impact that Tommy had obviously made with this RM and see his example. And also to have a little connection to those who I love most. Funny to reflect and think that 2 years ago Tommy and this guy were on the other side of Mexico together as missionaries, and now he and I are together here in Los Mochis.

Mom, I'm glad to see your humility in this whole situation with your eyes. 99% (if not more) of your life is devoted to helping others and seeing to others needs, and its a special experience for us, as your family, to be able all rally together and use the powerful tool that God gives us and fast for you. It was a really special opportunity and I was glad to be able to have you on my mind and know that many others, including our Heavenly Father had you in their thoughts this weekend. Well, thank you all for the updates. And huge shout out to Jacob for his mission call! I wish I could say I knew where Armenia was, but I do not. He'll be a great missionary and member of God's army in this special calling. I love you all, thanks for writing me! Until next Monday. All love.