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

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