June 24, 2013 Mom’s letter to Moe

Dear Sister Stockinger,

Good morning good morning! I am hurrying to get this written and sent to you before you email us. I’ve had a rough morning – didn’t fall asleep til 3:30 am. I haven’t been sleeping well for a week and a half. Only thing I can think of is I’ve let my routine get out of whack with it being summer and thus I’m sleeping in in the mornings. So, I really need to get things turned around.

Okay, the Garmin has been ordered and has shipped out to your mission office. With taxes, shipping, and $7 for a two year protection warranty that is supposed to be better than the manufacture warranty, the total cost came to $90.90. I also mailed you another box that you should have by today, but I wouldn’t recommend opening it in front of Elders. I also have just remembered within the past couple of days that you had once asked for the address of the young man who lives across from the Hopkins that the boys said recently joined the church so I have that for you. It is: 11850 Combes Park Drive, Boise 83713.

Yesterday was a terrific Sabbath. Church was real good – Shane Alder spoke – he can be so funny, Kimball Smithee spoke (he and his wife & little baby girl live in our ward for the time being), and Patriarch Judy spoke about agency, which was very good. Church got out a half hour earlier than usual because of the worldwide leadership meeting on missionary work. I had had every intention of attending, but ended up not going because Uncle Ken and Aunt Kris were passing through Boise on their way back to Washington from taking Teal to Utah where he will work for the summer. Teal will be living with Kris’ parents and working for my cousin’s husband (they live in Logan) who has several construction type businesses throughout the Salt Lake valley. So the boys and I only attended sacrament meeting so we could be home and see them. I prepared a simple feast – baked potatoes with toppings, salad, homemade French bread, grape juice, cherries, and homemade strawberry ice cream. We all were in heaven.  As usual we had quite the belly laughs with them. They were here about an hour or so before heading on their way. Teal will be attending SUU in Cedar City in the fall, and I thought your cousin Aaron was attending there as well, but Uncle Ken tells us that Aaron is going to go on a mission!!!! Oh my gosh, I was so surprised! That is awesome!! Gosh, when we saw him in February at grandma’s house, I hardly recognized him. He had changed so much and looked so good.

We were told at church we could also listen to this broadcast via lds.org, but I could never get it to work, so I missed it. I had really wanted to hear it. Out home teachers, the Wilkins, told us all about it though and it sounded wonderful. Pretty exciting about the internet going to be used more for missionary work, and tours of chapels soon to happen. I’m assuming you got to attend this meeting….

After Ken and Kris left I actually took a nap for about an hour. I don’t usually ever do that so you know I was pretty tired; like I said earlier, I haven’t been sleeping well. Then home teachers arrived, then we had FHE (didn’t let Satan win – not on my watch!). Megan and Nic also arrived about then too. The boys and I finished marking seminary scripture mastery scriptures, the boys putting in the colored stickers I’d gotten them at Christmas time. We then read a conference talk out of the November 2012 issue (because that is what I had here & we’ve never finished it) and read a talk about missionary work! It was Elder Russell M. Nelson’s talk entitled, ‘Ask the Missionaries! They Can Help You!’ It was very good – all about younger and older missionaries serving with the sole hope of making life better for other people. He shared an excellent story about the missionaries being heaven-sent to a protestant gentleman in his 60s whose parents were both ministers and a close friend who was dealing with the death of her child during childbirth and a bitter divorce soon after, now a single mother with four children. She opened her heart to this guy, and confessed she was thinking of taking her own life. This guy, Jerry, tried to help her understand that her life had value and invited her to attend his church, but she said she had given up on God. Jerry didn’t know what to do. Later, while watering trees in his yard, he prayed to God for guidance. As he prayed he heard a voice in his mind saying, “Stop the boys on the bikes.” Jerry wondered what this meant. As he reflected on this impression, he gazed up the street and saw two young men in white shirts and ties riding bicycles toward his house. Stunned by this “coincidence”, he watched them ride by. Then, realizing that the situation required him to act, he shouted out, “Hey you, please stop! I need to talk to you!” The young men stopped and as they approached, Jerry noticed they wore name tags that identified them as missionaries for our church and so he told them of the weird experience he had just had and asked, “Can you help me?” They smiled and one said, “Yes, I am sure we can.” Jerry told about the plight of his friend and soon the elders were meeting with Pricilla, her children, and Jerry. Her thoughts of suicide turned to hope and happiness. Their faith grew through sincere prayer, study of the BOM, and fellowship with members of the church. They all were baptized and became members of Christ’s restored Church. The entire talk is excellent – so many good life situations shared.

Then as a family, we all went out front and played a game of crochet. I actually won!!

This past Thursday, June 20th, I went and got cherries from the church orchards in Caldwell. They had just been picked and are delish! I got 41 pounds, which I know sounds like a lot, but I have already pitted and froze them to use in my smoothies throughout the year, and I only got enough to last six months if I’m lucky. I haven’t decided if I’m going to drive all the way back for more, but need to decide soon because the season is very short. I’m very lucky to have cherries at all – most of Emmett lost their entire cherry crop due to weather situations this past spring. Apricots will be coming on this week, but I don’t think I’m going to get any for leather. I’ve been blending up the bottle peaches and pears into fruit leather.

I was so surprised to receive a handwritten letter from you! That was nice. Lucky you that you get so many emails! Are you allowed to hand write letters whenever you want or just on PDay? You had mentioned about possibly dropping Paula & Fenae but hadn’t at the time. So have Tate and also Hilda let you meet back with them? Hope so. Sounds like Monica is making progress – I’m tellin’ ya, people LOVE sister missionaries. And sweet Valerie – I love her too! She sounds adorable. Just really make sure that she gets a firm foundation of members who will truly be her friend and help her build the foundation she needs. To this day I still feel very frustrated over the friend of Megan’s that joined the church right out of high school – one of those twin sisters – can’t think of her name. I attended her baptism and just wanted to stare at her. I could see such a change in her and never could pinpoint it. It was her countenance…something – the light of Christ now in her life. It was undeniable. And then, her guy friend went on a mission, and Megan got married, and she got a job here in Boise and didn’t go to BYUI, and before you know it she fell back into old ways. Broke my heart. Ugh! She just needed people to keep helping her strengthen her foundation and now she’s made all these commitments to the gospel and doesn’t go anymore. Sad.

We can’t visibly tell if Pippa is pregnant. She is certainly gaining weight because I am now feeding her a higher protein content diet. She gets a layer of dry dog food, a layer of wet can dog food, and then a layer of cottage cheese. This is what the breeder told me to do. I guess Ken just feeds his pregnant dog puppy food cuz it is rich in nutrients. Maggie certainly knows that something is up…that Pippa is getting special food she isn’t. Pippa needs to be fattened up cuz puppies are going to suck her dry. At about 30 days I can take her in for an ultrasound – the babies I guess are about the size of ping pong balls; my breeder says to wait til about 40-45 days when they are abit larger. The entire gestation is only like 61-63 days. Aunt Brenda bred two of their dogs – one is having puppies in a couple of weeks and the other one didn’t take, but they tried breeding her on her first heat and it didn’t work. Too young. That’s why ya wait til the 2nd or 3rd heat. So here’s praying for puppies the first weekend of August!

Well, this has turned out long again so I better stop. Oh ya! I almost forgot!!! Grandma was talking to an elder in her mission that is headed home and asked him where home was and he said Texas so she asked where. HE’S FROM HUMBLE TEXAS!!! His name is Elder Malone, and he lives on Fountian Lily Drive. Small world!

Love ya!
Mom

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June 24, 2013 Moe’s letter

Howdy Y’all!

I’m going to get my own questions out of the way… Is Pippa officially pregnant? Is thomas and david alive? Has dad bought a new car since he was shopping around in ND? WHAT IS MEGAN AND NIC’S BABY?!!!? That’s what I really want to know… haha

I don’t really have a whole ton to report this week. We gained six new investigators, which is awesome, because it felt like our area was beginning to lag. We have been praying for the work to pick up! And hey look – the Lord answers our prayers!

3 of our new investigators is a family; it could have been 4 but the son didn’t join us in our first chit chat. So we are hopefully going to continue to teach a mom, dad, daughter, and then the son can join. They are so cute! The dad, Paul, has worked for coca-cola for 13 years and they have TONS of awesome coke products. Like, really old signs, collectors items… It’s sweet. Their living room is decorated all Coke. They offered us any kind of cola product but guess what… I had a ceremony to celebrate my last soda. So I had water :/ and by ceremony i mean, “sister haller, this is my last soda.k?” “Should i take a picture?” “nah”…. and that was it. It was a knock off Dr. Pepper. Pretty sad way to let it go out…. hahaha

I got my first blister since being in Texas! We showed up at a less active member’s house who lives semi in the country, and she was about to go speed walking. Soooo we went with her! She has a super long private driveway so we just walked up and down that for 45 min, in our skirts and tracting shoes… It was great! 2nd work out for the day. haha but it was REALLY awesome because her nonmember husband wasn’t there so she really opened up to us. Oh – her name is Shelly. She’s a sweetheart. I really like her. She has one of the thickest southern accents (for these parts). Not too many people have a drawl in Humble cause it’s more city-like. but She is a native so she’s got it! I love it.

On Wednesday we bike the whole entire day. We didn’t put a single mile on our car! I felt so accomplished. I have no idea how many miles we biked, but I enjoyed it. I don’t think I’ve ever sweat so much, and I got really burned on my upper arms, but it was worth it. When we told our elders they were WIDE EYED. I don’t think sisters ever bike in our area… So they were pretty impressed. It was awesome; earning our keep. haha

On Friday we helped a member unload a HUGE uhaul truck. It was HUGE! It took forever… but we had tons of missionaries show up and a few members of our ward. So that was nice. It was this sweet sister who’s daughter just moved back home from North Cali. This family, the Elzinga’s, do so much for us so it was really great to be able to help them out. Of course – they bought a ton of gatorade for us and pizza, but… it felt like we mainly helped them without anything in return. hahaha but it was an average of 100F that day, and I was wearing grey workout pants soooo… It was a little embarrassing when i had sweat marks on my pants. all along my booty and knee pits! hahaha ahhh… I wanted to die. I have a picture but my back was completely soaked, so it doesn’t even look like I was that sweaty.

On Saturday we took valerie shopping to get some new church clothes so she would feel comfortable coming…. I got really sick because we’d been eating nothing but pizza for a few days (everyone has been giving us pizza) so I had to sleep for a few hours cause I was going to vomit the way sister haller drives (: so that was fun. haha but it worked out! we still had a super productive day. but the Spanish elders, Elders duke and gamez, they had to come and give me a blessing. Elder Gamez is the handicapped elder and he sealed the anointing. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more sincere and tender blessing. This elder is SO AWESOME. He is such an example to me! But i felt so embarrassed cause I was sick, then he made me cry, and then I had to stand there and shake their hands and they asked a few more questions,… it was lovely. But I just have such a testimony of the priesthood. It’s amazing that people who hardly know us know exactly what to say. I am so thankful for the Lord allowing such young guys to work in his behalf! It’s incredible. I don’t think i’ve ever realized the power of the priesthood and how STRONG it is now that i’m seeing it in action so much.

but I think that’s the most exciting things that have happened this week… it really was an amazing week. We were able to teach a lot of lessons, we’re becoming more obedient, and we have been so blessed to find people. Our ward is also really stepping up and coming out with us. I am so thankful! I just love being able to see the Lord work so much in my life. He is so kind and loving; I hope y’all realize that.

But i have to get going! Still a lot of people to email and pictures to send… But I love y’all and miss y’all so much! Thanks for everything you do for me. Y’all are the best family in the world!

— Sister Stockinger

June 18, 2013 reply to mom’s letter

Dear Mom,

Did you have a good birthday? Did you like my card? hahaha I hope it was a great day! I love you!

Your letters don’t make me homesick very much. So don’t worry about any of that. They used to, but I’ve really prayed for strength to lose myself in the work! I enjoy hearing about what’s going on and would love more pictures printed and sent in the mail… Candid shots of keirsten and the dogs would be appreciated (: but no rush.

Did I tell you how much I love my name? You talking about Maurie just made me think of this… I love my first name! I love that I got to be named after someone from you mission. It makes being out here that much more special! Especially since Grandma is out as well. I just feel like I have so much power behind me! You served, I’m serving, I’m named after two amazing ladies… I’m so blessed! I just have fire inside me right now!

Mom, you work too hard. You really do need to take care of your spirit. I was thinking about this the other day… We had our spirits before this life, we have our spirits now, and we’ll have them when we pass away. Our bodies are truly temporary! But who we become now is who we will be for the eternities. Our personalities carry over! We need to build our spiritual strength NOW. So ignore the boys and read your scriptures(: They can fix a grilled cheese if they’re hungry. haha

I’m super jealous that you’ll be going to the temple each week! That’s so awesome. I was just asking sister haller when we’d be able to go next… I’m seriously craving the temple. A lady in our ward just took out her endowments. She’s in her 50’s i believe. But she introduces herself like this, “Hi i’m Jill Jaquote! See how i’m glowing? I just went thru the temple!” I don’t think she realizes how long i’ve been here… She introduces herself to me all the time. and it goes like that! hahaha she took them out about 2 weeks ago. I’m so happy for her! Her husband isn’t a member, so she isn’t sealed. but her niece just got married so that was the push for her to get to the temple! I”m so happy for her. Other good news: the elders in our ward are teaching her husband! so there’s hope (:

I’m so proud of you for posting a video! But when you’re on mormon.org, on the video you like, just copy the link in the bar at the top and paste it into your FB status bar (where you type your status). It will convert into a link/video thing for you! It’s easy peasy. But make a profile! You never know who you will reach… Literally. you NEVER know who sees your mormon.org profile! but imagine the millions of testimonies on that site, and the feelings a person will feel when they stumble across it for the first time… It’s amazing! truly inspired.

Thanks for going half-and-half with me on the GPS. Did you get it ordered? and sent it to the Mission office? I’ll send $40 home soon; i’m trying to finish putting a package together with various things in it so it will be included in that. That way I won’t feel sketchy putting $40 in an envelope. But THANK YOU SO MUCH! I really appreciate it. Please tell dad for me as well.

I have to get going, but I love you a lot! I will try to answer more questions in a hand letter… Tell dad I love him and miss him! I didn’t get to email him today, but tell him I hope he had a great father’s day. hopefully he will get my card soon…… i’m bad at getting those in the mail on time. Shoot. but I love you all and miss you tons! kiss the dogs for me – keirsten too! Tell megan I wanna see pictures of her stomach as soon as she starts to show. AHHH!

Love you lots,

— Sister Maurinda Joy

June 18, 2013

Well howdy y’all!

It’s been another fantastic, sunny, average of 98 degrees, no clouds, lots of humidity WEEK here in Texas (: I love it! I don’t think i’ll ever understand how i get out of the shower and i’m still sticky and wet… It’s super!

This week we bought baskets for our bikes. The whole ‘entire back is soaking wet’ thing is getting really gross and old. So we’re trying to minimize it by using baskets! haha I’m so embarrassed… It’s bad enough wearing a skirt on a bike, but toss in the helmet and basket we look AWESOME. as in: completely ridiculous. But oh well (: helps us stand out! haha

We met this really cool lady who’s a pastor this week. haha she and her husband own their own church… She had no intention of letting us inside, so we stood on her sunny porch for 45min and talked about serving others. We asked if she knew a place where we could do some service and she started telling us about this organization, “Somebody Cares America” that her husband is a volunteer for. Within 48 hours he’s on the scene of the largest natural disasters. It’s super cool! I had to tuck that away in my brain… maybe someday I’ll be that cool… and own my own church? NAH – jk. hahaha but if you’re ever in the market, Houston is the belt buckle to the bible belt! You can start your own church in a matter of minutes (: Yeehaw!

The last week when I made Sister Rogers do hours upon hours of tracking with me (on exchanges) we had met a young mother named Michelle. She told me very quickly that she is catholic an intends to remain so. I said, “Oh cool! My dad used to be catholic. We’d love to come and build on your faith!” so she gave us her number and said to come by. Sister Haller and i stopped by this last Thursday and we had an awesome visit with her. She’s engaged, has a son, and is trying to get married thru the catholic church. Her fiance is not catholic though, so they have to do a year of catholic marriage classes before it can happen. So we talked a lot about the plan of salvation, forever families, and all that wonderful stuff. She seemed really interested and insisted we come back. We meet with her this Friday i think, so I’ll try to keep y’all updated.

Wednesday we took a girl who just go home from her mission with us to a lesson. She served in the Mesa Temple Visitors Center, Spanish speaking. She is SO CUTE! her name is Holly. Her mom reminds me of my own mother, and she also works in the office. So Janice is so sweet and lets me hug her all the time. She says i can bring a blanket and cuddle on her lap sometime. hahaha she’s a little weird but is willing to be my ‘Humble Mommy’. BUT ANYWAYS: Holly came to visit Lawrence with us. We went over the plan of salvation with him. He really liked it, knew some good general stuff… but he can’t get past Joseph Smith. he contradicts himself a lot. He’ll say, “I believe he was an inspired man who had help from God to translate the book of mormon, but I don’t think he was a prophet”. ???!??!!! It makes no sense to me. But Holly invited him over to his house to watch the hour long Joseph Smith History video… We did that on Friday and his opinion remained the same. My heart was broken. I just don’t understand how anyone can watch that movie and NOT feel the Holy Ghost testify to them that he WAS prophet, and he DID restore the gospel, and that he did so with the POWER AND AUTHORITY OF GOD! It makes me crazy… but we are being patient and are continueing to teach him. he’s very willing to let us come and really wants to know, he just can’t step out of his ‘logical mindset’ and let the holy ghost work in his heart… It’s rather frustrating. But he’s a good man! We are seeing him this Thursday.

We had two investigators at church this Sunday, Valerie being one of them! It was AWESOME! She accidentally left her lighter at home so she couldn’t take smoke breaks. She was having a hard time, but then we got to relief society. She was so cute. Our teacher was talking about tithing and proposed a question. Valerie said something COMPLETELY off topic. I had no idea what she was talking about. The teacher just sort of stared then moved on, not really sure what to do… A few more ladies answered, then valerie raised her hand again! She said, “I just want you to know, that I know now that I did not answer correctly. I dont think i understood. but it’s okay! I have my two BEST FRIENDS! my ANGELS! (she’s pretty much yelling and patting us on the heads) and they are going to HELP ME LEARN! I love this church! i love all y’all ladies. i’mma shut up and listen now. God is trying to tell me to shut up and listen now”. It took all the power in my heart not to bust out laughing. Our whole relief society just smiled and refrained from laughing as well… and then we just moved on! hahaha it was awesome. She is so great. We love being back in her home and teaching her. She finally said “enough” to her daughter and no longer helps with the new baby. She’s also cutting back on smoking. We will hopefully be going over the quit smoking program soon with her… I love teaching her! She’s progressing really well. She’s enjoying our lessons, she’s reading the book of mormon, she tells us all the time that it helps calm her down and she reads it every day now. We are praying for a date for her to work towards, but we have to get smoking and the whole “living with the boyfriend” deal figured out. But that’s the joy of the gospel. Change is one of the core principles! Change is possible and it is necessary. I am excited to help her even more!

Well you’re probably all, why the heck are you emailing on a tuesday? I forgot to tell y’all that we had the pleasure of having Elder Christoffel Golden Jr. of the seventy come and visit! Sunday night he had a fireside for all of our investigators. Yesterday (monday) we had a wonderful dual zone conference that lasted from 7:15am-4pm. It was… long… I’m still digesting everything he talked about. It was pretty heavy. I also feel like i have been beat with a whip. he really laid the smack down! He told us what we were doing wrong and how we needed to fix it. Which is great! but also sort of… uh, hi? you don’t really know us! you’ve been here for less than 24 hours! RUDE! but he’s inspired by god so we love him and accept his criticism (: haha he told us that in our mission, out of 100 investigators only 4 get baptized. Isn’t that crazy? Other missions have 10/100! We’ve really gotta step up the game. so that was fun…

But all in all – it was a great week. i’m somewhere in mormon…. Mormon 6 i think? I forgot. I read a lot this morning. but a lot of great things just happened! I especially loved the middle of 3 Nephi talking about the coming of christ. It’s probably the most beautiful chapters! I believe it’s chapter 11… It is stunning. the imagery and vividness of it all is incredible. I really enjoyed it.

But I need to get going. I love y’all so much! I hope y’all are doing good. Thanks for all the prayers and love!

— Sister Stockinger

June 16, 2013 mom’s letter to Moe

June 16, 2013

Sunday

Dear Sister Stockinger,

It’s a glorious beautiful Sunday once again in Idaho! I love it! Well, this past week has been so wonderful. Once again I feel I have so much to say and so little time…it is already 8 p.m. at night. The boys are waiting for me to make homemade strawberry ice cream. Course, I need to make my healthy version. I too am trying to stay off dairy. Makes me think back to my mission…. Maurie and I were companions and we were teaching a young lady that had some hard addictions to give up. She told us one day that we couldn’t relate to what she was going through because we had never had to give up smoking, or drugs, or alcohol and that it was hard. So, Maurie and I gave up sugar the rest of our mission…and that was hard, but we did it. I had well over half of my mission to go without, but we did it for her. So you are a lot like your mom after all.

SO ANYWAY….. you have been so inspirational and it has motivated me to get back to my old self in regards to all the spiritual stuff I enjoy. With all my many jobs, it really wears me out and leaves me so tired with trying to catch up. Thus, the blessing of summer…get back to basics and what really matters. 

Let’s see… The boys and I did better on getting family scriptures read this week. We weren’t 100%, but we did well the first half of the week. Then the boys were gone camping Thursday thru Saturday. They went to City of Rocks and had a really good time. It was nice to see some of these older boys going with the younger scouters. While dropping them off at the church I thought, “Yes, we finally remembered to bring everything in one trip!” We sat there for about twenty minutes waiting for others to show up and then at the last minute Thomas shouts out to me, “Mom! We forgot to bring the bacon and sausage from the outside fridge! Will you go home and get it please?” Br. Johnson just smiled. Ugh. So back home I went. 

I’ve done much, much better with reading my personal scriptures. I too LOVE the Book of Mormon! Sounds like we are about in the same place, although you have passed me up with as much time as you have to study and read. The boys and I had family home evening tonight. IT FELT SO GOOD! My spirit really craves this stuff, and I feel so strongly I’m supposed to be teaching my boys stuff, but physical life gets in the way now that I work more. I spoke with the boys about some of what you’ve been challenging us and challenged them to spend just a little time in the scriptures each day this summer and get back on track with prayer. No solid commitments… wonder what could be an incentive….  And for our FHE we took the time to put the scripture mastery stickers I got them at Christmas time onto some of the scriptures in the New Testament. I’ve wanted them to be in their seminary scriptures, which were always at school, and they never remembered to take the time to put them in while at school, so we are going to do that during the summer. I’m gonna get me some too. And David has so many glue-ins from Br. Deeble! I need to copy them and put in mine.  So many choices suddenly before me for scripture study! That is so cool that you’re doing the BOM library thing from Bednar! Last year, Sister Shreeve had encouraged her Sunday School class to do the same when he had her for a teacher. He’s never used the book…didn’t quite get it, so another challenge we need to do at home sometime.

And guess what?!! I did one of your other challenges – I figured out how to post a mormon.org message to FB! I couldn’t get it to work this morning, but I now had the thought while on FB to search for mormon.org on FB and it worked that way! I had to post a different one, but this morning I read the Lorin one who is blind. Yeah, pretty inspiring, and like you said, hum, what can I say/do to make my life more interesting? And the videos…they look like they have a professional movie crew following them around. What’s up with that?

AND… I also made it to the temple on Friday afternoon! That too felt terrific. I’ve wanted to go weekly for several months… that challenge from our stake leaders to increase our temple attendance… but was always so tired after work. And now that Thomas can drive it will be so helpful to not have to be taking the boys to sports practices this fall, which will help with getting to the temple in the afternoons. I met up with my manager from work, Shirlene. She’s wanted to go weekly too. So, every Friday afternoon we are going to attend throughout the summer!

You mentioned struggling with positive thoughts. Apply that situation to others you’ve already dealt with such as bearing your testimony in church so you wouldn’t let Satan win by not bearing your testimony. Do the same with your thoughts. Don’t let Satan win. Just choose to immediately transfer your thoughts to something else. Remember, that is how Satan works is through our thoughts. He doesn’t have a body like the rest of us and that is the only way he can get to us. That single fact alone makes us more powerful than him. Pretty awesome when you think of it like that. Ha! I just had a primary song pop into my head:

If on occasion you have found

Your language is in question,

Or ugly thoughts come to your mind,

Then here’s a good suggestion.

Just hum your favorite hymn,

Sing out with vigor and vim, (which means energy & enthusiasm)

And you will find it clears your mind.

Hum your favorite hymn.

Before you say an angry word,

Remember you’ll regret it,

For once it’s said the harm is done,

And some folks won’t forget it.

Just hum your favorite hymn,

Sing out with vigor and vim,

And you will find it clears your mind.

Hum your favorite hymn.

So, pretty wonderful week, if I do say so myself. Yesterday I got all caught up putting letters into your binder and into your blog. That took me about four hours. Whew! Sister Shreeve posted on FB that she has already read all the posts. She is such a sweetheart! Now to get pictures posted. And by the way, feel free to reply to both dad and I in the same letter if you want, or even in your big letter if you want. Up to you.

You mentioned Blue Bell ice cream. Haven’t you ever seen that Blue Bell is sold in the grocery stores out here? Wal-Mart sells it and we’ve bought it…unless I’m thinking of Blue Bunny. Now I guess I’m gonna have to go see if the stores do sell it here. J And about the GPS – I’ve seen them sold at Costco too – not sure that exact model. I just checked Costco online and the Garmin nuvis they sell are $140 – $230. Just checked walmart online and yep, they have the one you want for $72 then tax and shipping. Yep, we can go halvsies with you. The ants…! Oh my. Please tell me you shook off your sheets outside before you washed them. I keep picturing all these ants in the washing machine with your sheets. And are you still being able to keep your headaches at bay?

So, how are your investigators? Have you been able to meet back with Hilda that you just met? Is meeting with Monica improving with helping her develop a stronger testimony of the gospel? When will Valerie be back from helping with her daughter? And what’s the deal with Paula and Fenae? Did you ever get to meet back up with Tate on Saturday? Sounds like you have lots of potential people to be working with. And how is Sister Hunt doing since her trainer has decided to go home? How could anyone leave her? How long had the trainer been out on her mission?

Well, I better bring this to a close. It’s 9 p.m. and I still need to make that ice cream. So…… just so you know….. I’m going to be getting a box together to send to you tomorrow – hopefully – so you’ll get it by the end of the week. Nothing majorly spectacular.

By the way, church was so fantastic today. Had wanted to share all that, but I’ll have to do that another time…think I’ve said that before in another letter. 

Keep on swimmin’! Walk tall you’re a daughter, a daughter of God!

All my love,

Mom

 

June 10, 2013 another letter on same day to Moe

Dear Sister Stockinger,

Hoping you might get to see this still today. I’m absolutely devastated about Sister Hunts trainer going home! It’s made me cry. No no no, she can’t do that! If she hasn’t left, call and talk her out of it! Poor Sister Hunt. That’s gotta be hard. I’m glad you and your comp are getting along better. The time will come when you will miss her believe it or not.

Lemon juice drink … Use half a fresh lemon in a cup of hot water first thing in the morning. I heat up the tea pot. I don’t put anything in it. If you can stand it, two hours before leaving apt drink down two tblsp extra virgin olive oil with half a lemon. That’s what’s really supposed to flush the toxins from your bile and liver. Sister Alder did it faithfully and look at all the weight she lost. Otherwise at breakfast drink the hot lemon. Then drink a fruit smoothie if you have a blender. Half a banana, 4 oz almond milk, berries, 4 ice cubes, ground flaxseeds if you can get it, I put a packet of emergen-c in, and I like to add grapes and orange sometimes but not part of original recipe. I now make my own almond milk and like it so much better. Super easy but you may not have time and you need a powerful blender. Soak 1 cup raw almonds in 4 cups of water six to eight hours or overnight. Drain the water, put almonds in blender with 4 cups of new water,  and blend til creamy. then strain using a nut bag but I’ve just been using a turkey stuffing bag. catch all the almond milk into a bowl. return milk to blender and add about four medjool soft dates, 2 tsp vanilla extract, and 1/8 tsp salt. Blend til dates are completely broken down then store in fridge. I pour mine into glass canning jars. Chill and enjoy!

Since you’re trying to give up ice cream, once again you need a good powerful blender (maybe someone in ward would let you come over on pday and make these up), uncle Daryl and I have loved this recipe…choco peanut butter banana milkshake. 1 frozen banana (peel it and break in pieces and put in Baggie in freezer), 3-4 oz almond milk, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, 1/8 cup natural peanut butter, pinch of salt, 1 tsp vanilla, about 4 ice cubes. Throw all ingredients into blender til smooth and creamy. TOTALLY like the real thing! And totally healthy! I’m dying to try a cauliflower pizza crust that everyone says is to die for.

Another healthy snack I enjoy is greek pita flatbread, spread hummus on it, top with sautéed veggies or could do fresh. TOTALLY love it. Course, I make my own hummus now…only made from chickpeas and they’re like 70 cents a can. So much cheaper, but once again, time.

Brother Hunt brought huge grocery bags stuffed with homegrown lettuce to church and dad got us one. And Sister Luke had me get some from her garden the end of last week cuz they’ll be out of town. Dad and I have really been craving salads lately. I often like to thinly slice zucchini into my salads instead of cucumbers or use both!

All in all, I say follow the word of wisdom. It is truly inspired. My old set of scriptures from my young adult days or early marriage are marked up with all kinds of notes and cross referencing about the word of wisdom. Am in the process of redoing it all into my larger scriptures. We truly lie in a day and age of conspiring men who truly don’t have our healthy best interest at hand. So much wisdom too from prophets telling us to grow a garden…. Course, I still struggle trying to eat different from the rest of the family and be strong….

So don’t you and comp try to do some type of exercise early in the morning? Course, sounds like you’re getting lots of walking in.

Well, enough. Know I love you and am proud of you. If anything, I am extremely pleased with your personal growth thus far and appreciate you sharing with us. The atonement truly is a miracle into ones life. I remember teaching it on my mission but still couldn’t wrap myself with total understanding of the concept. That didn’t come til years later when I got to go through some trials that then gave me a personal understanding of the atonement. Continue losing yourself in the work. Thanks again for your inspiration and I will try to have us all do better at home. I just so want my boys to be strengthening their testimonies, be willing to share in testimony mtg, and be prepared for a mission. It is hard but so worth it. The gospel is amazing and we are so richly blessed.

All my love,

Mom

June 10, 2013 letter to mom and dad

Dear Dad and Mom,

I have some requests…

1. Dad, try to slow down and relax when you get home. you’re going to run yourself into the ground! my graciousness. But way to be helping that boy out with his route.

2. I’m trying to save some of my mission debit card money stuff (the $150) for a GPS. There’s a specific one I want and was wondering if you could order it for me. My companion has it and it works great! She thinks it was about $80 on walmart.com. But I’m also wondering if y’all would maybe pay half… If not, that’s okay. I’ll keep saving. Just let me know when you order it and how much it costs and I will be sending money home. The GPS model is the Garmin Nuvi 30. Please have it shipped to the MISSION OFFICE cause A) it’s expensive and don’t want it to get stolen from my apt complex, B) if it comes close to transfers I don’t want it left at my apt. complex; it will get delivered to me from my zone leaders no matter where I go.

I’m sorry I don’t have a whole of time left to respond! Dad – I’ve been praying for blessings to come to the family for the work I’m doing. I’m so glad that you’re able to see where the blessing surely to come and that the Rav4 is now fixed. whew! keep it nice for me 🙂 haha jk.

Mom – don’t even care that Myles is getting married. hahaha i just wish He was marrying someone better… but I guess he knows what he’s doing! i will pray for him (: hahaha and thank you for getting me some slim and sassy! Will you also let me know what you put in your warm lemon water? (how much juice, is there honey or other stuff…). I had this revelation that my shoulders might break out because of my lactose intolerance. So i’m cutting ALL dairy… They have this awesome ice cream here, Blue Bell ice cream (the factory is right next to our apartments) and it is to die for. but I’m saying to it! and cheese. i’ve already been drinking almond milk… but my shoulders have been nasty :/ so hopefully they’ll clear up.

I’m glad that y’all have been watching the Mormon.org profiles! I forgot to add one to my big letter. Look up www.mormon.org/lorin… he’s a blind guy. It’s amazing!

I hope you both know that I love you. I think about you both all the time and pray for you often. I know y’all are praying for me and I appreciate it more than you know. Things are good with my companion most of the time, but my own head gets in the way. Sister Hunts trainer made the decision to go home. She couldn’t handle the stress… I don’t want to be like her at all, even though giving up crosses my mind. I really struggle with positive thoughts and not having exercise as my outlet. I’ve really learned a lot about relying on the Savior and the atonement. When i do my BofM reading, i read out of one of the little blue copies. I only mark things on the atonement in this one… I’m making my own library – bednar counciled us to do it once. So by the time I come home from my mission i should have multiple copies of the BofM, all marked with different topics. I’m almost done with this one, and I started it on 4/22/13. I don’t think i’ve ever read so quickly and learned so much! I love it. I can’t wait to start it again – I’ll probably research faith.

But I’m sorry I had to combine your letters this week. But I wanted y’all to know i’m doing good and that I’m working on utilizing the Lord’s refining fire. I’m trying to allow my mission to change me. Change is hard, but it’s important and possible. I’ve been reading some incredible talks that President gave to me. I’ve marked them up, but I’ll still make copies and send them home… You’ll just have to promise not to judge me since my personal thoughts will be marked on the pages (: hahaha but I trust you both.

I want you to know that I am so thankful for the examples you’ve each given me. I’m thankful that you’ve each remained strong in the gospel my whole life. I can’t imagine i’d have ever reached the decision to serve if it hadn’t been for y’all. Even though I miss y’all so much, I know that coming home is not an option. Your disappointment would destroy me! So please know that I respect you that much (: Thank you for working hard to support me and provide the means for me to be out here. I’m trying to not let it all go to waste.

I love you both! Can you belive i’ve been out here for 2 months already? See you soon (:

— Sister Stockinger

 

June 10, 2013

So this week has been interesting! Oh man…

I’m going to be jumping around the week cause I want to tell y’all what happened on Thursday. It was horrifying! We have had an ant problem. It’s slowly been getting worse and worse. On Thursday we had an exterminator come and spray our base boards and dump stuff all around our windows outside. I was feeling pretty good about this! He said to wait 30min before pushing all our beds and tables back against the walls… So after about 45min, I went to our room to push my bed back and THERE WERE HUNDREDS OF ANTS ON MY BED! Just mine! Nowhere else in the room, except on my bed. I had a freak out. I screamed, almost cried… completely in despair. We called Elder Ivory, the guy in charge of all our apartments. He came over and lysoled the heck out of my bed, then bundled up all the ants in my sheets and told me to go wash them 😦 it was disgusting. But that was probably the most eventful part of my week.

We had exchanges this week. A sister came to my area and my companion left, so I was the “senior companion”. turns out I know more than I thought I did! So that was good. I also learned that I need a GPS… So that’s fun (: hahaha. all of our appointments fell through so I ended up tracting about 7 hours in the 24hrs this girl was with me. I felt kinda bad cause she hates tracting more than anything… I had a good time though. One house we went to, this old lady opened the door and said, “Aunt Norma is in the mental hospital. So she’s not going to be back for a couple weeks.” then began to close the door. Me, being ever so christlike, said, “Oh we are so sorry to hear that! We’re missionaries and would love to share an uplifiting message with you” she stopped, stared at us and said, “Who are you?”, “Mormon missionaries!”, “Oh. I’m Jehovah’s Witness” SLAM. It sort of made my day, just cause she assumed we were from her church… It was lovely.

There’s been a lot of crime happening in neighborhoods lately, so people aren’t opening their doors much. Some guys have been knocking on doors where cars aren’t in the driveway, then if no one is home, they break in, open the garage, back a truck in and close it, empty the house, then open it and pull away as if they were the ones who lived there. SO we were in the neighborhood were this was happening, unknown to us, and we knocked on a door. No one answered so we started walking away. We then heard a lady yelling at her kid, so we turned back and peered around the car. The kid obviously opened the door, so we just started talking and walking back! haha Heavenly Father was very aware of us and knew that I was sweating bullets, so He softned this lady’s heart and she invited us in. We have an appointment to go back, so hopefully it works out! Her name is Hilda. Super cool, eh?

I’ve been really working on myself and studying a TON on how to improve my missionary work. I think about this scripture all the time; D&C 130:20-21. It’s about controling the controllable; which is myself and my obedience to the Gospel. When I get frustrated with people and them not keeping commitments, I just think, “control the controllable” and remember that they have their agency and I have mine. It’s a beautiful gift that our loving Heavenly Father has graced us with. I hate it at times, but am SO thankful that it’s available to us. I can’t imagine being a slave to addictions. Having complete control of myself is so important to me! I’ve been working on making my thoughts more positive. It’s sooo hard. Actions are easy to fix since people are always watching us, but fixing the internal thoughts and desires of your heart are so hard. I know that this is the way Satan is trying to take me down, so I’m working on improving that! I try not to think about Boise too often (: I miss everyone so much! I’ve come to realize that literally everything I have in life is from our Father in Heaven. Food, clothes, housing… It’s only my heart and my will that He cannot take; I have to give that to him. I have to be willing to turn everything over and trust in his will. So that’s what I’m striving for; to give my heart and my mind 100% to Him.

I’m in Helaman 12. How’s y’alls scripture reading coming? Keeping up? The Book of Mormon is AWESOME! Oh my goodness. I’ve never loved the war chapters in the end of Alma so much! It’s so intense. And now we’re coming up to Samuel the Lamanite. THE BEST! Oh my gosh. I can’t even describe how much of a desire and love I have for The Book of Mormon now! I can promise y’all that it is inspired words from our Heavenly Father. There are so many things to learn about ourselves and our circumstances and all you have to do is read. I hope y’all are reading daily! It’s so worth it. Just 5 minutes for a smoother flowing day. That’s nothing!

But I have to get going; I want to try and send pictures. I love y’all and miss y’all so much! THE CHURCH IS TRUE! Don’t take the knowledge you have for granted. I’ve met a lot of inactive people and they live such sad lives. They are so dumb. They know what to do to improve the quality of their lives and they just don’t want to put forth the 5-30min a day! The Lord doesn’t ask for very much. So buckle down and show Him how much you appreciate the atoning sacrifice our Savior made for us!

Go and be good! I miss y’all so much!

— Sister Stockinger

June 10, 2013 letter from mom

Good morning Sister Stockinger!
 
It’s a beautiful day in Boise Idaho! I love it. So grateful that summer is here. I’m moving slow this morning trying to get my act together. Feel like my mind is going in circles….
 
The past few days have been very productive on getting yard work done. The boys and dad have gotten all the weeds and grass out of the flower beds, instead of paying out for concrete flower bed edging right now, we’ve made use of all those stone blocks we have and had the boys bury them into the ground level with the lawn and it all looks real nice. Sister Luke had put out an email if anyone wanted some of her daisy plants that she has too many of so I went and got some…the plants are still going through shock and I hope they take. I’ve also got a smaller garden planted – only six rows instead of eleven. I’ve planted tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, zucchini squash and crookneck squash, and onions. Dad thinks I won’t be doing any canning this fall cuz that’s when all these puppies will be born and I will also be back at my school job, so I am going to be swamped again! So we will see…maybe just a tiny bit of canning. Dad also got all the grass out of the spot up at the mailbox, we dumped more dirt in there, and I’ve bought a couple new plants to put back in there. I’ve also planted flowers in pots by the front door.
 
IT IS SOOOOO NICE TO FINALLY HAVE THOMAS DRIVING HIMSELF AROUND!!!!!!  Oh my gosh, yes. Need I say more…. 
 
Yes, John finally got the letter you sent to him via home. I gave it to him with a bunch of other mail/stuff Memorial weekend when he was home, so don’t know what he’s done with it since then. I got me some slim and sassy from Sister Allen and for you too so will work on getting that to you. I’ve gotten off track with my healthy eating the past month, but am restarting today. Drank warm lemon juice water this morning….gonna get back to that every morning. So many benefits on helping to flush out toxins from your bile and liver and other benefits. Had one of my healthy breakfast smoothies this morning too. Although I may have to give in to Razzleberry pie from Marie Calendars….got that for yesterday when everyone was here to celebrate an early Father’s Day and my birthday. BTW, got your card and looking forward to opening that on my birthday. Thanks!
 
Pippa seems to be her happy self, although dad noticed today one end of her stitches looks red and a little puffy so I’m freaking out. My breeder guy, Jason, has told me to start now fattening her up so she’ll be ready to feed puppies. He’s told me to feed her a layer of dry dog food, a layer of canned dog food, and a layer of cottage cheese. Some don’t like the cottage cheese, but have to eat through it to get to the wet dog food. Pippa loves it all. Maggie smells that she is missing out on something….  I get a little nervous about having her put on all the pounds cuz I just spent the last year getting her weight down to where it should be.  But, who am I to argue cuz Jason ended up being dead on right about her progesterone levels and wouldn’t listen to him so I’m gonna listen to him more. And he wants me to get a dog multivitamin ordered for Pippa too, so gotta do that today.
 
I enjoyed the pics of your scrapbooked planner. That’s cool. Don’t expect anything fancy with the binder I’m doing for you. All I’m doing is putting all letters into sheet protectors…although that is another project I need to spend a day catching up on….along with your blog….. That was so nice of Carolyn to send you a package. Did I tell you I ran into her at Winco late one night? She recognized me of all things…which I wasn’t too thrilled over because I was EXTEMELY TIRED that night and looked awful. Sigh. Oh well. She is such a sweetie.
 
Can’t remember…do you get grandma’s emails? She has really enjoyed this week with Eric and Jason and their wives. Sounds like they’ve seen a lot in a short amount of time.
 
For FHE last night we accepted your challenge and watched a couple of the people on mormon.org you told us about. I had bought a cord so I could hook up my IPad to the TV and watch this stuff that way. Pretty nifty. People are inspiring…. Such an awesome inspired tool the church has come up with. Need to get brave and put myself on there. BTW, the elders here spoke in sacrament meeting yesterday. The newer elder (been out seven months) admitted he was way nervous and a specific topic wasn’t given them so that threw him off cuz he’s always been told what to talk about…. His talk was hard for me to follow…not the most eloquent, but truly sincere. His companion got up with no notes, loved the fact they were free to talk about whatever, did a fantastic job of sharing family stories from his past family history of those who’ve served in wars throughout the ages up til now and tied it all in with the current battles with Satan in this day and age that we all deal with and tied it to missionary work and scriptures. He also mentioned that he is autistic but has learned how to deal with a lot of it…never would have guessed…obviously high functioning. He stood up for his companion though on the fact that his comp may be rusty around the edges still with speaking, but can stand his ground with anyone on defending truth. All in all it was a good meeting. And I can see the elders really trying…feel they could probably do better on trying to get more from the members like I have seen past elders do in our home…maybe scared to ask… Course, I remember having good intentions but never following through with past elders on what they challenged us to do. In fact, wish I still had some of the stuff they left in our home…was really good…like how to create a family mission statement type of thing….
 
Your story of running into the Spanish elders was hilarious!  And the warm peaches story!! Ha haha! I can just see you enduring that. Don’t you like peach cobbler? I do have to admit..ice cream with fresh peaches does sound wonderful.  And tell me more about the deep discussion your district leader taught you all about prayer. That is way cool the Elder Gamez gets to serve a mission. Maybe he slightly has cerebral palsy? Which leads me to …
 
Dad has been subbing a paper route while home and an 18 yr old kid just took it over; he has cerebral palsy, attends Capital High School, and hasn’t been able to get any response for a summer job, so he has taken on this paper route right in his neighborhood. Good for him. Apparently this large route all behind Winco and clear over to Cole Rd has recently been combined from two smaller routes, thus, that explains why the route listing was a mess and your dad, being such the wonderful guy that he is, has reworked it all and got it flowing much more smoothly. I was just telling dad yesterday that he puts too much time into the routes he sometimes subs and no financial reward for doing so, but your dad told me that’s just how he is…he likes to leave the listings better than he finds it. This kid was even running way behind today (did the route all on his own this morning) and your dad went and helped him finish when he was done throwing mine. Now that it is this teenager that has taken over this route just to have a job and struggles physically, I am touched and humbled your dad was able to help him out in a small way not knowing it would be someone who struggles in this way. Hope he can survive the route.
 
Yes, I don’t think I’ve touched Jesus the Christ since I was on my mission and I’m pretty sure Richard has tackled reading it. All your experiences are inspiring me to do better. I’ve let so much slip with regards to keeping up with scripture reading, FHE, just reading books in general. It’s so hard with me working now and just keeping up with it all. Tell me again where you are in your scripture reading. I want to read along with you. That will help me, hopefully. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your thoughts about when we don’t do what we’re supposed to be doing it lets Satan have power over us. I have heard that somewhere else too recently……..  I think it is a very cool concept that when we do what is right we have power over Satan.  And I love how you add, “not on my watch!”  OH, by the way, Levi Larsen has his mission call and is going to Mexico Saltillo Mission leaving October 2nd! Wow. And Anna’s mission farewell is this coming weekend and I don’t think I will be attending like I so wanted to. 
 
Well, I better bring this to a close and get it off to you in time. Love you bunches! Thanks for being such an inspiration!
 
Love,
 
Mom

June 10, 2013 letter from dad

Hello Sisters!

I hope you two do not mind that you both get the same email letter from me, but
time always seems to catch up and suddenly I am out of it. I need to do better,
I know.

I sure have been busy this past week! I decided to leave North Dakota a day
early, and was feeling a bit guilty about passing up the opportunity to earn
more money, so I told Terri’s paper route manager I would throw a down route if
she had one. She wanted me to start that day ( a week ago Sunday ) but I was
not prepared to do that. She said okay, and that she would let me know when.
She never did let me know, but I as I was preparing to walk out the door at
3:45 a.m. to throw Terri’s route Terri got a phone call ( waking her up )
asking if I was gonna throw this down route. So Terri had to get out of bed to
throw her route while I took on another. It turned out to be 191 papers that
day, and I did not finish until 8:40 a.m.! You are supposed to be done by 6!
Wheel, that route turned into a 7 day nightmare. I found out today that it was
two routes just combined into one. I spent hours and hours reworking the
delivery sequence and getting it typed up. I ended the week training the new
carrier hired to throw it, but had to throw half of Sundays route for him and
48 papers today. I have been getting up at 1:30 a.m. everyday to give myself
time to complete the route. I am still tired, and I am even falling asleep in
the recliner as I type this. It’s gonna be a long day…

I had a TON of work done to my RAV4 this past week, and
Terri and I just dropped off the van to get an oxygen sensor and spark plugs
replaced. Strangely, we seem to have the money to pay these bills! Benefits of
having a missionary in the field – a polite way of saying “Moe, you can’t
come home till Thomas goes out!”

I have been so busy I am losing track of what happened when, but Terri had
Pippa in for artificial insemination and she is now pregnant ( we hope ).
Puppies in 8 weeks? Let’s hope so!

I leave Wednesday for North Dakota. I plan on returning the end of July for the
family reunion, now being held in Glenn’s Ferry, Idaho. I am sure Terri is
covering it all in her letter, so I will let her cover the details of what and
why.

Sister Fielding – awesome letter! I am SO glad your Hawaii vacation is going so
well. Very interesting fact about pineapples! I am sure Terri and I will pick
your brain on what to do and where to go when we are ready for our trip there.

Sister Stockinger – We held F.H.E. last night, and hooked up mom’s iPad to the
t.v. downstairs to watch those recommended profiles on Mormon.org. Very
interesting! Sunday church was all on missionary work and it had me thinking of
you a lot. Someone asked if you are dealing with tornadoes. I said I did not
think so. Hurricanes are your thing, right?

Well, I gotta run. I hope everything is going great for you two. Keeping you in my
prayers.

Love ya,

Dad – Stephen John