July 29, 2013 Dad’s letter to Moe

An especially HAPPY hello from Boise, Idaho! It is SO awesome to be home with family. I drove home last Tuesday, taking 18+ hours since I did not have 5th gear in my Toyota and could only travel about 63 miles per hour. I got started much later than I expected and arrived around 1 a.m. I kissed Terri hello and went off to do the paper route, finally getting into bed around 5. Long day! We were supposed to spend Wednesday packing for the reunion, but I passed out around 2 p.m. and slept till 5. But we were completely packed by 11 a.m. the next morning when the boys were getting out of BYS (mini-EFY) and after a few short stops at Costco and Walmart were on our way to Glenn’s Ferry.

The outlook for weather was “miserable” but for a few short hours we had plenty of shade, and with fans and electrical cords strung everywhere we all stayed comfortable and tolerated the heat rather well. It REALLY helped to have the city pool to escape to at night! Fieldings and Stockingers for the most part are WHITE folk… 🙂 Farmer tans were in abundance!! Madison and Bailey (I think Bailey) are egg toss champions. We had enough eggs to do a second round, and Ken and I took “2nd Champions” in that one. I had the very rare luck this reunion and defeated Lorin in horseshoes! 21-12! Richard John defeated me 21-19, then beat Eric 21-10(?) for the championship! There were no horseshoe pits at Three Island Crossing park, but the staff was very friendly and accommodating and actually mowed the dry sagebrush/weed area so we could setup our horseshoe pits. Plenty of brother-in-laws had those pop-up shelters, and we moved them about to create pavilions. Those and our fans kept us happy and cool enough! Super clean bathrooms and showers were greatly appreciated by all!

The only real downer is all the idiot adults who did not think to water down the coals after the awesome Dutch Oven meal by Eric. Poor Sloane stepped on the coals later that night. I was asleep when it happened, but I am told she was badly burnt on the bottom of her foot. Shannon and her slept sitting up with Sloane’s foot in a bucket of ice water. It looked much better in the morning I am told. I told her how sorry I was that it happened. She said “it was my daddy’s fault”. Kids say the darnedest things, right Sister Fielding? Poor Eric was telling her that all night, so she just related the “facts” to me. Truth is, the thought even crossed my mind we had to water those down, but even I shrugged it off in passing. Stupid idiot adults, just like I said!

I think everyone agreed that camping for the reunion was a success and not all that miserable. It got cool enough at night to need a sleeping bag, but it was decided at the adult meeting to try to get the Logan/Paradise, Utah site every first weekend in July. I know the reunion will be there next year at that time for sure. Sister Fielding – We all agreed it would be fun to get the Mix’s cabin in Island Park, but so many of the siblings could not even remember how big it was. Ken remembered it being big, but admits he was small when last there. The Mix family is good friends with dad and mom Fielding from way way back. They had cabins near each other in Island Park for awhile.

Well, I do not have much more to relate. Terri and I are looking at out pregnant bulldog Pippa sideways every chance we get and jump at every burp and other sound she makes. I did not know bulldogs grew udders when pregnant and that is ALL I am saying on her condition.

I hope you are finding something joyful to appreciate about your missions today and everyday this week. I know you both face struggles, but imagine what, it must have been like for Jesus Christ and what He faced, and what temptations and disappointments the brethren today must face and deal with. Satan wants us all to struggle and give up! Refuse to let him win today, and when tomorrow comes, be resolved tonight to make him the biggest loser tomorrow too!

I love and appreciate you SO much! I am super excited for Sister Anna Fielding as she nears completion of her first week in the MTC! My love and prayers are with you!!!

Best Wishes and Love,

Dad

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July 29, 2013 letter to Moe

Dear Sister Stockinger,

Hello sweetie! You are right…cute boots that you purchased. Lucky you who can wear kids size shoes.

This past week was so fun seeing family again at the family reunion. It was held this year at Three Island Crossing State Park. Do you remember me taking you kids there a couple of times for the Oregon Trail wagon train reenactment? It is a nice state park with lots of grass and huge trees, showers, and flushing toilets. But, it certainly was hot and a sweaty experience; course, probably nothing like what you get to experience in Texas. Keith and our family were the first ones there this past Thursday afternoon. Lorin’s family was the last to arrive around 9:30 that night – usual traveling issues along the way, I guess. Anyway, we got our tents set up, campsite set up, and hamburgers and hot dogs with all the fixings ready for everyone’s arrival. We also made homemade root beer and it was delish! The root beer extract wasn’t brown and kinda threw me when I went to do a taste test. The soda was clear. But it tasted excellent and people wanted more made the next night. I had brought extra extract, but didn’t have extra dry ice. We all then went swimming at the city pool from 7 – 9 pm. It felt SO good, nice breeze out. All the uncles and nephews played basketball in the pool the entire two hours. They had a blast.

Friday consisted of our family fixing breakfast. Eric was able to pickup bacon and sausage from somewhere that was already precooked and came packaged with like 300 pieces so this year everyone had plenty of bacon and sausage. It was nice to visit in the mornings when it was cool out. The horseshoe tournament covered two days. There wasn’t an actual horseshoe pit at the park and we’d hoped they would let us set up in the grass, but they wouldn’t. They were very accommodating though and weed wacked down the brush right along the backside of where we all were camping and let us make our pits there. The guys just carried over a couple of the portable awning coverings that had been brought and we all dragged our chairs and sat and watched the horseshoe tourney. John was in charge of this event and it was fun. At one point through the bracket rankings, dad and John became paired up and that was a close game. John ended up beating dad by two points. It was also interesting that Eric and Shannon ended up playing against each other and Eric won. The final showdown was between John and Eric. John won!!

The little kids all enjoyed the treasure hunt and the fish pond in the afternoon. I’d also gotten prior approval and we also went over to the LDS church in town to let all the guys play some basketball and play board games in the coolness of the building. We all swam again that night and came back and Keith and his girls taught everyone to make homemade ice cream in a ziplock bag. That was fun.

All the family photos were taken on Saturday morning; we had the Dummy Doll, and a bit later we all went down to the day use area of the park and had the egg toss. It’s always fun to see eggs bouncing along in the grass. Laurie fixed grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch with all the fixings. Bacon got made in them too since we had so much bacon this year. Was great! Love bacon!

That night was a short talent show and then the testimony meeting. Grandma had emailed her testimony to Uncle Ken to share and that is how we started off the meeting. It was a perfect thing to do. Lots and lots of good testimonies were shared. Afterwards, at 10 pm at night I made up scones and we had a late night snack of those. Homemade root beer and scones are some of my childhood reunion memories so it was nice it got done at this one while camping. Lots of people stayed up late on this night playing games.

You know, I have never minded camping, but it has been a lot of years since I’ve been camping due to paper routes tying us down. My back certainly didn’t appreciate sleeping on the ground and the heat was challenging at times – course, it really helped that we had our redneck air conditioning with fans plugged in to long electrical cords all day long. That was extremely helpful. And we all were so grateful to have the city pool to enjoy. Interesting to me how much the generations have changed with so many modern conveniences. We all have it so easy really.

The Dutch oven meal was that evening and I guess dad told you about Sloan stepping on the hot coals late at night when they were forgotten to have water thrown on them. The Dutch oven cooking was done on the driveway pad. (There were no fires lit at night due to a ban in the entire state due to such hot dry conditions.) Burns are the worst the first day – so painful! She was all willing to show everyone her foot the next morning and she can step on her heel. The blisters are all on the pad of her foot and down the side.

So anyway, guess you’re emailing as I type. Better end this now. Pippa is due this Saturday. She looks miserable! She’s not eating today and has a cold in her eye. I just fed her some cheese the breeder said to try. Gonna take her to the doc at 1 pm about the eye.

Awesome awesome letter Moe! So thrilled for you! Aunt Kris can’t wait to get their first letter from Anna. It has been such a whirlwind the past few weeks. Guess Anna said it hasn’t really even sunk in that she is graduated from college because there were so many various items vying for her attention. But it all got done. Brock just cried his eyes out during the testimony mtg about Anna getting dropped off at the MTC. Next is Amberlie!

I’ll try to send some photos here soon.

Love,

Mom

July 22, 2013 Moe’s letter

I HAVE TO TELL YOU RIGHT NOW: I bought the CUTEST boots! ahhhhh!!!!! I got them in the kids section (: Hurray for small feet! hahaha they’re way cheaper and are the exact same ones I wanted in the women’s section. The lady at the store was amazed; I got the boots I wanted for nearly half the price 😛

This week has been awesome. We have been so blessed to receive referrals. We have been struggling with contacting people (tracting just isn’t effective and we don’t have any other resources in humble) so we rely heavily on referrals from members and other missionaries. And the Lord answers our prayers! On Friday we got 5 referrals, and Sunday we got 1. So now we have TONS of work to do this week (: I’m so excited!

This week we had meetings with President Crawford. It was short and to the point! I was kind of surprised; he didn’t chastise as much as he usually does. haha He was actually pretty easy to talk to this time. We talked a lot about how being a trainer has been and how we can help Valerie more. I was very grateful for his advice and guidance.

This week my favorite scriptures have been 2 Nephi 4:15-end. It is SO GOOD! I love the way it starts; “Upon these I write the things of my soul…” you just KNOW he’s about to be real with you – giving good advice and telling you of his struggles. In verse 17 he exclaims, “Oh wretched man that I am!” and goes on to talk about how he’s so easily tempted to sin. A PROPHET! Tempted to sin? What the… He just talks a lot about his weakness but how the Lord has lifted him up. I’ve thought about it all week. I love it so much! It’s very inspiring.

On Saturday we had a ward party. Most of our ward is inactive but we were able to get TONS of people there! We did all kinds of pioneer geared games; homemade ice cream and root beer, biscuts, a photo booth that looked old with tons of clothes to dress up in, watermelon eating contest, a stick pull contest between all the men, a little fish pond thing, tug of war… It was so fun! We had Valerie and 2 of her grandsons there, and then the Cantu family we are teaching came as well. It was so awesome! Our ward did a good job introducing themselves and making everyone feel welcome. I was a little worried about that… but it turned out good!

We have been so blessed to get on better terms with a less active family – the Marksberrys. We were on shaky ground for various reasons but we’ve managed to strengthen the relationship again. They came to the party, went to a birthday party for a member’s kid, went to church, AND – here’s the best part – we were going to take them cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Sunday to help wake them up for church (and they knew we were bringing them) Megan texted us and told us not to. we were bummed. BUT she called us that morning and said “are y’all almost here?” “uh… what?” “I’m making us all breakfast. are you coming?” So we booked it over to their trailer and ate some not-so-delicious French toast (: BUT it was awesome because that means she loves/trusts us and that she’s willing to get up for church all on her own. It was so great. We were pretty pleased. Progress is beginning to happen!

We also met this super cool guy named Thomas. I’m pretty sure Sister Kaelin is in love with him hahaha it’s funny cause he looks like a total sweetie; tan, strong, nice smile with dimples… and then we find out he’s been out of prison for 4.5 months. But he has the kindest spirit. He’s so humble right now; we need to get him to church! He was touched by the Restoration lesson – it gave him goose bumps. So we’re praying that he’ll stick with us and that he’ll begin to progress!

So that’s the most exciting part of my week. We have had been so blessed to teach many, many lessons. Way above our average! I’m thankful for that. Check out this video: www.mormon.org/jason. He’s from BOISE! It was so cool! I was all, “Hey, I recognize all this stuff!” hahaha

So yeah… Things are going really well. I adore my companion, I love teaching the gospel, I love living in Humble, I’m getting fat and learning to cope with it, we have an ant problem again but I’ve learned how to not be scared of squishing them with my fingers, the church is SO TRUE! and I love being a part of it!

I hope you all have the best week. I love and miss you all!

— Sister Stockinger

July 15, 2013 Moe’s letter to home

This week has been pretty exciting…. I’m going to type as fast as I can!

Tuesday I got my brand new companion (: Her name is SISTER KAELIN! I adore her. She is so stinking cute. She’s from SLC – Holiday area. We hit it off instantly. I can tell these 3 months are going to be a bit smoother…. (: Heavenly Father answers prayers! She’s just so humble and willing to learn. She tells me all the time, “I just know heavenly father knew I needed you to be my companion! I love you sister stockinger!” awwwww! I love her too. She’s awesome… I think she struggled a little bit with her companion in the MTC so she was worried that’s how the whole mission would be. haha sooo we think a lot alike (:

The mormon.org videos for the week are www.mormon.org/tim and www.mormon.org/paora… They’re pretty inspiring for me, so hopefully you’ll like them too (:

Poor sister kaelin has been welcomed to Texas with 100+ degree weather. We were having a lesson on Thursday with a less active man, so we had to sit outside, and she was sweating SO MUCH that he turned to her, mid sentence, and asked, “are you okay?” we were laughing pretty hard cause her body just isn’t adjusting and a lot of people keep asking her that… it’s sad, and we’re praying she’ll adjust… i am actually loving the heat now. I’m used to being sopping wet all the time(: haha the sweat is something I’ve learned to get over… still not a fan of humidity though. but it was so hot that we decided to get some snocones. we had a delicious pina colada, nectar, and cream one. OH MY HECK! Texans know how to do snocones. They’re to die for. mmm….

On Friday we had a lesson with Valerie. She told us how she was just feeling SO HAPPY because she had the Lord answer her prayer directly that day. She just bore testimony left and right about how she knew this church is true, how the prophets are real, how God is aware of her, that Christ is her savior… I was blown away. She’s never been so direct! And we weren’t asking her anything! She was gushing. ALL because Heavenly Father answered her prayer. She just knew everything else had to be true! She also told us how she hadn’t smoked a real cigarette in 3 days, but was using her electric ones (which we still have to get her off of). I asked how many real ones she still had. “I’ll just show you” she said. Before I could say anything else she was ripping up her last two cigarettes! I was stunned. Never, did I EVER, think she’d ever reach that point. She sort of sat there like, “What did i just do?” but then yelled, at the top of her black lady lungs (which are powerful. holy cow), “I FEEL SO GOOD! I LOVE THAT GOD LOVES ME!”. and that was that. She is done with real cigarettes and we are working on the electric ones now! This was such a huge answer to my prayers. I was so relieved.

On Saturday we went to the Cantu’s home for their son’s, Brandon, 12th birthday party. Mexican’s know how to throw a party… Paul did all the cooking and it was GOOD! So much food. We’d just had lunch, so then we had to eat a full meal at their house, then we were force fed ice cream by Valerie later, and then had a Chinese buffet for dinner! SO much food on Saturday. i probably gained 5 lbs that day. Ugh.

After the party we got to attend a baptism for the Spanish Elders. It was the most incredible experience. We were able to bring Valerie(: We didn’t tell her it was going to be in Spanish till we got there though… hahaha we were sneaky. I told her to listen to the spirit and figure out if this is truly something she wants to be a part of. She wasn’t listening very well since it was in Spanish, but once the actual baptism was taking place her eyes were GLUED on the font. She subconsciously stood up – she was in awe – mouth wide open. Tears started streaming down her face… She looked at me and said, “Oh baby girl, I felt that! This is true!” and when we were talking about it later, she said, “I know this was her day, but I feel like it’s MY day! I WANT IT TO BE MY DAY! but I know i have things to work on…” I was so happy for her. What made this baptism so incredible (i was crying like a baby) was cause I walked in and both of the elders were dressed in white. I didn’t really make that connection, that only one of them needed to perform the baptism, until right before it happened. Elder Gamez is the elder with cerebral palsey. He and Elder Duke both got in the font with Yolanda. Elder Gamez said the ordinance prayer, and when it was time to dunk her, Elder Duke helped ease her in. It was so amazing to watch. Elder Gamez was BEAMING! This was his first baptism (he’s been out for 1 transfer). I was crying so hard. The spirit was so strong. Elder Duke is the best – he gives every opportunity to Elder Gamez. I am so impressed by them.

And that was the most amazing part of my week. It was honestly so spiritual I don’t think I could write about anything else…. Things have just been pretty wild being a trainer. There are things I’m still learning, but elder duke helps me out each night. He’s really patient… I’m thankful for that!  But I hope y’all have been seeking out missionary opportunities. It’s an amazing experience! Keep praying for the courage to act on the opportunity once it presents itself (:

I love you all! I miss you very much, but am LOVING Humble, TX (: It’s a fantastic place to live! I love you and miss you.

— Sister Stockinger

 

July 15, 2013 Moe’s letter to mom

Wow. I’m amazed you bought a car. NO PICTURES?! I’m glad it all fell into place though. I’ve been praying it’d all get sorted out! Whew. Heavenly Father listens. He even cares about silly cars (: How many miles did it have on it? I’m glad the reunion isn’t HOURS away; now you’ll get to save on miles there! haha since we track our miles for the mission cars, that’s all I really care about when it comes to vehicles right now… Meh. Driving distance takes a toll on cars! I’m learning that. haha.

We haven’t officially commited the Cantu’s to a date. We are extending it to them this next Sunday. So I’ll keep that a secret until we give it to them… We have a good feeling about it though! And we are going to start teaching their son Brandon as well. So we’ll have pretty much the whole family taking the discussions; they have kids who don’t live at home.

Being a trainer is pretty much like being a junior companion. Except I do more paper work… haha sooo it’s kinda cool I guess. Sister kaelin is awesome. We get along really well. We have been on the same page of communication from the beginning so it’s been smooth sailing so far! We’re open to discussion on anything; I’m thankful for that. I try to be open to her promptings of the spirit and act on them. I’m really working to not dominate, even though I know the area and our investigators best. I’m just trying to keep in mind that she’s been called to Humble for a reason and that she’s entitled to revelation for it. So we’re working pretty good together! She’s super cute. I’ll send a picture!

I’m glad y’all read that talk. It’s awesome! a little scary – but it’s not church doctrine. So keep that in mind… I feel it’s good advice to apply though. Hopefully the boys will get their act together! Being on a mission is awesome. I love it! I can’t believe I’ve already been out for as long as I have… Man oh man!

Well I need to get going! I love you so much! Talk to you soon

— Sister Stockinger

July 14, 2013 dad’s letter to Moe

Hello hello!
 
How are Sister Fielding and Sister Stockinger?  Life for Terri and I has been “active” with car hunting and researching, but as Terri will no doubt fill you in, we have a newer car! I will leave the details to her!
 
My life is the same… Working long difficult hours, interspersed with fitful sleep and a desire to be elsewhere. I did get the excitement of being in a vehicular accident with my truck, but the details are so blah blah… Basically, I was filling my fuel tank with diesel when the truck in front of me lost control of his brakes and rolled back into me. Cost me a day of work… so unhappy about that!
 
Work has been slow, and we are limited to 3 loads per day. That is okay if I get loads from QEP sites (an oil company) but not so much if from Halcon sites. Today is a Halcon day, and I am stuck at a disposal waiting for their high levels to drop so I can offload.
 
Sister Fielding – I am shocked at the story of the fire in your building! I think your companion is on her last mission….
 
So Sister Stockinger… the Trainer!  How is your greenie? Where is she from and all that…? Being a leader is a struggle and a blessing, as you are no doubt learning.
 
I hope that all is well in your missions.  I pray constantly that you will teach by the Spirit and be inspired to do what is needed. I hope that you are both well and happy, and Terri and I and the boys miss you both very much. 
 
Best wishes and love,
Stephen Stockinger/Dad

July 14, 2013 mom’s letter to Moe

Good evening Sister Stockinger,

How goes it? Another enjoyable Sunday here; the day seems to go by so fast with church being in the afternoon, fix dinner, have FHE, and write you! All good things!

Well, guess dad’s left it up to me…yes, we bought a new “used” car on Thursday and I got to pick it up Friday about noontime. Dad and I have both poured over Consumer Reports online researching to death about the best choice of a car. Hands down, Hondas and Toyotas beat everyone else by leaps and bounds. And I also learned that you shouldn’t spend more than 20% of your net income on a vehicle whether you’re buying one car or six. So that bit of info gave us the guideline we needed – I realized I’d been test driving cars out of our price range. Anything we test drove in a Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4 was so many years older with so such high miles that if wasn’t feeling right. Then I got in touch with my cousin’s husband who lives out by Simplot soccer fields, and he has been a car dealer for the past 18 years. He used to have a business in Utah, but they moved to Boise a couple of years ago. Anyways, he has an office and a shop, but not a lot; he goes to auction and bids on vehicles that people are specifically looking for. So, we had initially given him quite a few types of cars we were interested in, and Tom was with me when we test drove a bunch out in Nampa, and amazingly enough the list shrank down and everything fell into place. Dad had told me about the Scion cars being made by Toyota so I went and test drove two – an earlier model and a more recent model. The newer model definitely had a lot more pick up and go, and I was hooked the minute I drove it. Then when I spoke with Troy, he was going to auction the next morning out by the outlet mall, and he says to me, “Have you ever considered a Scion xB? There looks to be one at auction in excellent condition.” The next morning he starts texting me that it was in “diamond” condition and we needed to jump on this one. Three dealers bid on it and a couple hours later we found out he won the bid and so we now own a 2009 plum color Scion xB that we all love! It has spunk! I feel like I’m in a sports car. It certainly is way different from the van image, and it will be an adjustment to not have so much cargo hauling capacity, but we were ready to drive something smaller with better gas mileage.

The van is still in the shop. The owners have managed to get us a brand new rebuilt transmission instead of buying Honda components and keep rebuilding our original transmission. We are waiting for that to come in. We originally wanted to get the van fixed and trade it in, but everything came together quickly to get this Scion, and dad and I have decided to give the van one more chance and he is going to drive it back and forth to ND. The RAV4 needs transmission and engine repairs on it that we are going to let be a project car at Meridian High School, if they’ll take it, and then let it become a teenager car for here locally.

I have also spent a lot of time helping Uncle Keith fine tune the layout and decisions with the reunion. In a nutshell, the lower campground site we had reservations at at Three Island Crossing State Park, has had mechanical failure that won’t give us water or electricity so I spent five hours Saturday on the phone getting all new reservations switched around to the upper campground site. Once again, all that is falling back into shape. The end of this week I need to start gathering up all the camping gear and have the boys set up tents to make sure we have all the poles and stakes.

 

Thomas is getting all four wisdom teeth pulled Monday morning! I am taking him over to Nampa to the same oral surgeon that took out Richard and Megan’s wisdom teeth. They did quite well from it all so here’s hoping the same. He has the entire week of work off.

Yes, I enjoyed the birthday card you sent me. I got quite a laugh out of it! Sorry I forgot to mention it earlier.

Uncle Eric called me again today to double check your address and sure enough, it is the same as what he wrote on the envelope. The message stamped on it said, “return to sender –  insufficient address – unable to forward”. Odd. He’s sending out again.

Well, sorry to hear about Valerie and her smoking. That’s why they’re called addictions – hard to quit. Uncle Keiths email is:   That is way cool you’re teaching a family! So when is their baptism date? And how is it being a TRAINER?!?!?  Aaaahhh! Congrats sweetie! Hope you two have hit it off. Looking forward to the entire scoop….

Keirsten went to doctor this week – 18 pounds now. She got two shots – one in each leg and hated her mom for that.

For FHE tonight I found the talk by Pres. Kimball “Lock Your Heart” and read it to the boys. Hope it sunk in. They did listen. I love all the recommended learning stuff you’re sending our way to use. So much to try and implement. Boys are hardly home between work, basketball at the Y, and computer games, I can’t seem to instill in them the importance of finding a little time to improve on the spiritual side of their lives on all this stuff you’re sending. All in time I suppose.

I’d better end this – long day ahead with Tom and his teeth. Love you bunches sweetie. Got the package you sent and the money you mailed arrived just fine. Thanks. Love all the stuff in the package too.

Love,

Mom

July 8, 2013 Moe’s letter home

Well, It’s official… Thomas writes the most hilarious letters. Holy cow. Either my sense of humor has reduced since becoming a missionary, or Thomas is actually funny now! 😛 hahaha I could hear the way he’d tell his stories and I just laughed sooo hard… Holy cow.

Anyways – on with my week! It was a good one. Lots of stuff happened… but since the transfer just ended, i have a new planner and left my old one at home so I hope I don’t forget anything important.

I guess the most important thing to mention is: I’M PREGNANT! Which means: I’M TRAINING! I get my greenie tomorrow morning around 11… two hours before that I get to be trained on how to train… then I’m just tossed in. I heard it isn’t really a training though; just a lot of humbling words from President Crawford. AKA: let’s be chastised for two hours (: haha looking forward to it! But the way transfer calls happen is like this: Friday flush calls come (BOTH missionaries are leaving the area), Saturday regular transfer calls come (one missionary leaving) and Sunday President calls and informs the trainers that they are training. However, I knew on Friday that I’d be training cause we had to go to the mission home so Sister Haller could talk with President. Since we were there – that means I get to be interviewed for as well! He sat me down and said, “So do you know why I wanted to speak with you?” “Cause of my emails? (we’ve been having a good discussion)”, “No! I want to call you to be a trainer!” *awkward stare down*… *Sister Stockinger starts crying* “Why are you crying sister stockinger?”, “I’M NOT READY!!!!” *full sobbing” we had a good and chat and he assured me that he was fully confident in my ability to lead the area and train. We only have 6 english speaking girls coming out, so to be picked out of the WHOLE mission makes me feel a lot of pressure… But I’m becoming a little less sickly and a bit more excited! And am thankful that the Lord trusts me with the Humble, Texas portion of his vineyard. That makes me the most excited (:

I’m amazed at how quickly my 12 weeks have gone by. It seems like I just got here! Mom is allowed to say, “I told you so” since she knew by the end of this I’d find some love in my heart for my companion… and I did. I’m not heart broken that we’re separating, but certainly not throwing a party. I’m thankful that President Crawford saw the benefit of keeping us together. I will be forever grateful for the lessons I have learned; that the Lord was able to send me through his refining fire and teach me what I needed to learn. and trust me – i’ve learned quite a bit. I am so thankful for my mission! T.H.E mission is the best on earth!

So I think I told you how we found a family to teach, but we can only get in with them every other sunday since the mom has a crazy work schedule… Well yesterday was the second day we got to teach them. It was probably the most spiritual lesson we’ve had since I’ve been here. I was fighting back tears the whole way through it. This family is SO prepared. After we recited the joseph smith vision, the 15 year old daughter, Ashley, described feelings of the spirit; she wanted to cry and didn’t know why! That’s when I did start crying; I was so happy for her. We then went on to an AMAZING discussion; openly talking back and forth. Her dad, Paul, is the sweetest man i’ve met here. He loves his family SO MUCH. He is very interested in the priesthood and the ability we have to seal families for time and eternity. His wife, Mirabel, is very sweet; she is very excited to keep learning. Paul said some of the best things though; stuff missionaries always want to hear. He said, “Ya know, we always say we don’t have time for church. but apparently we have time for y’all to come over! I want to take my family to church next week” We were stunned. Then we extended the baptismal invitation, (will you follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?) Mirabel immediately responded with, “Well Paul has been baptized already, but I want to!” and Paul said, “WAIT A MINUTE! Let me speak for myself! I DO want to be baptized. I don’t think my baptism counts! I was just a baby!” So he too is preparing for baptism. Ashley as well… I am SO EXCITED for them! They are such a beautiful family. I feel so much love for them and hardly know them. They are so special. I’m excited to take my greenie to their house because they will be an excellent example of progressing investigators.

On Thursday we had a lesson with Lawrence. He sort of broke our hearts. He doesn’t fully comprehend the priesthood; needing to have the authority to act in the name of God. He said a lot of things that hurt our feelings, but still wants to meet with us. He comes to church every week, so as long as he keeps that up, we can keep teaching him. Otherwise we’ll probably drop him… We just keep swimming in place. From what I can see, his faith isn’t increasing. He’s doing the things we ask, but he isn’t internalizing things. So it’s a little disappointing, but it just might not be his time. As long as he’s at church and feeling the spirit there, I’m happy to keep helping him along.

I gave up sweets for a week and 2 days, trying to be like my mom… but that ended. I did that to help motivate Valerie to quit smoking, but she was smoking anyways! but i didn’t know this till a week and 2 days had passed! I’ve turned down some of the BEST desserts for her sake, and WHAM. She tells me she’s been smoking anyways! I don’t know what to with that woman… I love her to death but she will NOT quit that habit. Maybe someone can get me Uncle Keith’s email address? I’d like to pick his brain…

So I believe that was the most exciting events for the week. Testimony meeting yesterday was so great. I love this ward SO MUCH! I’m so thankful to be staying in Humble. It’s such a great place to live and serve! Even with the 107F degrees outside, 70%+ humidity… It’s a GREAT place to be. I’m glad I get to spend the first 6mo of my mission here!

I love this gospel more than anything else. I am so thankful for all of y’all supporting me out here! Thank you for making it possible. I am loving every minute of it!

Choose the right and go to the temple OFTEN!

— Sister Stockinger

 

July 7, 2013 Dad’s letter to Moe

Hello Sisters!

There was no work today (Saturday the 6th), so I turned it into a laundry day and car search (frustration) day. I am taking the time to write just a bit before bed. As usual from dad, it won’t be much, but it WILL have a couple pictures of Keirsten for Sister Stockinger to see. Western themed temple wedding in Boise on Nic’s side of the family.

There is not much for me to report. I work. I went to Beulah 30 miles away to do laundry today when I got told there would be no work. I would do it here, but the machines have taken my money enough that I can’t see taking the chance… I keep trying to shift to 5th gear…. Baked Ziti from Stouffer’s tastes good but there is a strong aftertaste. 

Well, that is all I have. I ran into another driver who was looking for paper plates and I told him I could give him some. He stayed about 45 minutes talking. It’s now 12:41 am.

 Love to all,

 Stephen Stockinger/Dad

July 7, 2013 Mom’s letter to Moe

I’ve been waiting all night for Thomas to finish his letter to you, and he tells me he can get off, but I want him to finish! So, here goes writing on my iPad.

I had hoped to have accomplished more this Sunday because Megan and Nic won’t be over since his family reunion starts today. His family is doing things here in Boise throughout the next few days. His youngest sister, Jillyn, got sealed on Saturday in the Boise temple. I took care of Keirsten outside and she was so good for me…kept walking and walking and walking. It was real cute when cousins showed up because you could instantly tell she likes her cousin Alyse and kept laughing and chasing after Alyse thinking a game was going on and there really wasn’t. The other grandma that showed up to take care of some of the grand kids was prepared with coloring books and smartie candies. It never occurred for me to do that. Course, the other kids were older, and Keirsten wasn’t about to hold still for very long. I did try to have her color on my iPad and Megan did have a diaper bag well packed. But Keirsten was scarfing down those smarties…a big hit over colored mini marshmallows, which surprised me.  Jillyn’s wedding dress was simple and, of course, pretty. I then went in and did some temple work for an hour. I wasn’t able to attend the temple Friday afternoon, so I’m glad I was able to go on Saturday.

I forgot to tell you last week that Sister Smithee came up to me after church to tell me she had received a letter from you, but the bottom right corner of the envelope was torn off in a square so when she opened the envelope the entire middle of the letter was gone and she couldn’t follow what you had written. Oh no! Bummer. Can’t remember if I told you, but her husband has just gotten out of the hospital – was in for ten days. Guess he got coughing so hard he gave himself a double hernia and then after surgery his heart went into afilibration so they stopped and restarted his heart again. Then he got a massive infection in his surgical site, has been on three different oral and IV antibiotics, and didn’t eat for eight days. He was at church today, but didn’t have a chance to talk with him. AND, their oldest daughter is home visiting from Kentucky for the summer (her husband is in the military and deployed right now), and has recently come back to being active in the church. She bore her testimony and is so grateful to ward members who worked with her as their ‘project’ although she never knew she was their ‘project’, which she’s glad about or she says she would have pushed back. She looks good and seems happier.

Sister Marla Allen is not doing well with her health. She is flying to the Mayo Clinic on Monday. Her cancer is back but also having major issues with her bones – they want to do hip surgery, shoulder surgery, a rod in her back, etc. She has asked people to pray in specifics for her to have a miracle of healing. I now visit teach her and like her so much. She is amazing and so knowledgeable and such a strength to her family. I’ve been praying for her lots.

Oh – and Uncle Eric said they had one of your letters come back that they’d mailed to you so I gave them your mission address this time.  We are anxious to hear if you’re being transferred or not. Thought the new greenie missionary training program was a three month thing and you haven’t quite been out in TX for three months so didn’t think you’d have a chance of being a trainer.

The transmission went out on the van coming back from my aunt’s funeral in Utah. I broke down near Glenns Ferry again. Dang. Due to the long 4th of July weekend, the van just got towed today and we’ll soon find out what’s going on. I don’t dare drive it to the reunion the end of the month; we may be forced to get two newer vehicles. Sigh. So waiting to be told what’s up with the van.

Relief Society lesson was way good from the Daughters of Our Kingdom book taught by Sister Smith. I don’t have a lot of time to go into details like I had wanted…Oh by the way, Sister Sondra Chandler passed away a week ago. Her funeral was this past Friday.

And your cousin, Teal, is working in SLC now before going to college and he fell asleep at the wheel coming home from work after only having his car for about four days and at 65 mph he crashed into another car. Cars totaled, no car now, has to ride the city bus. Glad he is okay though.

Guess Richard John got slightly hurt doing fireworks with friends –  nothing stupid he said. It’s just the firework didn’t go where it was supposed to, got his leg bruised/burned and the eyelashes singed off of his right eye, I believe it is. Gol dang! That will take a couple of months to grow back in. I got home on the fourth and boys were gone with friends, but Megan, Nic, and Keirsten came over late and we hung out and did a small fireworks show with Keirsten. Was fun.

Well, gonna have to cut this short. Looking forward to hearing from you. Glad you liked the box and that it made you happy.

Love,

Mom