Well – first things first: I GOT A NEW COMPANION! It was horrible to have Sister Allison go. I’m stinkin’ terrified to lead Woodville… The area is huge and there’s too many county roads. haha ahh well… Time for growth (:
My new companion is Sister Clegg. She’s from Roy, Utah. I love her to death already… You’ll never believe this. She’s into BODY BUILDING! Heck yes. Her parents own a pro shop and a golds gym? Something like that… basically this means we get tons of delicious protein powder and supplements. Thank goodness – I’ve been getting fat. We’re both outta shape though; she broke her leg and had to have surgery so she hasn’t had a good workout in a while. But she’s been out for 6 months. She came out with Sister Allison. She also likes to cut all her hair off and dye it funky colors. She’s basically my twin. I’m okay with it.
We ended up getting to transfer meeting 2 hours early. Milton and Betty Odom took us. They were WAY too excited about it. haha they always pray someone will get transferred so they can go to the meeting… Can’t blame em though! It’s so spiritual. But since we were so early, Milton and Betty took me into Humble so I could cry my eyes out and say hello to Sister Elzinga. They used to live in Woodville, so everyone knows them… Small world! I wanted to see Bishop Call and Sister Davis too, but they have to work. But it was so bitter sweet. I loved seeing them! I don’t know if that was breaking the rules; going to my old area… but it was worth it. haha!
Sister Allison is now companions with Sister Haller! If you remember her… She’s the one who trained me my first 12 weeks. Weehooo!
I had to say goodbye to some of my favorite missionaries yesterday. Sister Tuigmala is on her way back to Samoa. I was doing SO GOOD not to cry, but then she hugged me and I let loose. Oh man… It was embarrassing. She said she’d come live in Idaho with me, as long as we don’t live in the Mormon bubble… HA! I miss her too much already 😦
It’s officially stinking cold here. Apparently a cold front was coming towards Woodville that was going to freeze everything, so everyone’s been freaking out about all their plants… Stupid plants. I’ll never enjoy gardening! haha but anyways – it came. Holy cow! It’s like 25-30 degrees in the morning now. Working out is PAIN! Cold humidity is the devil. I was thinking about asking you to send me my pea coat, but I don’t think even that will protect me. I’m just going to subject myself to frostbite.
So I’m not even sure where to start with the past 10 days… Things have just been really weird. The country is weird. I think the most exciting thing that happened last week was on Thursday… A cutie pie named Karen had to be rushed to the hospital because her appendix burst. Her dad gave her a blessing and she had zero pain the whole time! So she got to come back from Lufkin early. We decided to drop in and check on her; we love this family. Her mom is from Mexico and barely speaks English. So we have a good time haha. Whenever we go over, her dad isn’t there because he’s working. So we go to their house and Brandon’s work truck is home. We couldn’t see the porch cause of their cars, but SOMEWHERE there is a giant great Dane named lluvia. I LOVE THIS DOG! She reminds me of Cooper. I could cuddle with this dog all day. So we’re walking up to the house, and I yell, “Heeeey lluvia!!!!!”, arms wide open, and she comes bounding off the porch at me. All of a sudden she’s a foot from my FACE ready to rip it off. I have never screamed so much in my life! She kept gnashing her teeth, jumping at me… It was like when the scriptures describe hell and the devil. PURE EVIL. So I’m trapped between the car and the dog, screaming my head off, and sister Allison leaves me! she ran away! she started to climb into Brandon’s work truck. So Brandon saw her from the window and decided to find out why a missionary is getting in his truck, NEVERMIND MY DEATH SCREAMS! So he called lluvia off me and we were able to visit with them. Apparently she only does this when he’s home. So she’s cool. We’re still bff’s. I’ll just never walk up to the house when the work truck is home. haha
So you’d think my day couldn’t get any worse. Well thanks to the time change, we have to do hour of power in the dark. Tracting in the country is already scary enough, but in the dark… it’s just a dumb idea. So we were contacting this lady at a dark intersection. A truck rolled up to the stop and had his lights shining on us. And he just sat there… lights shining on us while we were talking to this lady. So we were wrapping things up and the lady was walking away, so we turn to start going back towards our truck. This truck suddenly sped up and pulled off on our side of the road and this guy leaps out! My first thought was, “Can I take this guy?” then i thought, “Nah – just book it the 200 yds to the truck”. But I knew sister Allison wouldn’t keep up with me! So we stood there and this guy walks up to us and says, “Hey, y’all got a car nearby?” “Uh, yes”. Then he kinda just stood there and stared at us. I know this is all happening in about 10 seconds, but it felt like an eternity! I was thinking, “Okay. I’m about to get kidnapped. There’s 3 men, and all we have are BOOKS! Why don’t I have pepper spray?!” So then i just started praying, Sister Allison was shaking, and then he just walked back to his truck without saying anything else. As soon as he turned his back I RAN! So good news: We’re alive!
Heavenly Father kept me alive twice that day. It was nuts. He is so mindful of our needs. haha.
BUT as you know – we have terrible hour of powers. We usually have nothing happen during them, except near death experiences. But in the last 5 minutes of our hour of power, a less active called us. Sister Allison was in Woodville 6mo and never met this lady. She just doesn’t let us in. But so she called asking for Betty Odom’s number. We were about 3 minutes from her house, so we asked if we could come over annnnd she said yes. MIRACLE! So her name is Pat. She has a lot of health problems (I think she’s a hypochondriac). But she sits in her bed all day and does crafts. She talked our ears off for 2 hours about drugs, beads, and painting. She was so nice though! She asked us to share scriptures, told us her conversion story, acted like she was completely active… haha! I love her. She’s awesome. She gave us these gypsy bracelet things that wrap around you middle finger then come up over your hand then around your wrist. FANCY! haha I love it though. And we got some little angel earrings… cause we’re her angels. Yep – first time we ever met the lady and we’re ANGELS! I’m a big fan. Honestly – I think she could come to church pretty soon. It sounds like her meds are getting cleared up and she could be pain free soon! So stay tuned. Pat is awesome. AND her husband isn’t a member. And he makes bomb deer jerky… I’ve learned it’s good to be friends with the people who make deer jerky (:
So we had our zone meeting on Friday. I absolutely love the Beaumont Zone. Everyone is so much fun. But we were talking about pride and companionship unity. Elder Bock (who just got transferred from Fred. So sad) gave some good perspective. I know I’ve heard this before, but I just really liked hearing it again. He quoted someone and said, “Satan doesn’t care if you think high of yourself or low of yourself – just that you’re thinking of yourself”. And it’s true. As missionaries we have to learn to let go of a lot of things and set our own desires aside. Which is a lot more difficult than I’d anticipated it to be. I know I struggle with it each day. I just know that Satan is constantly working on me; trying to remind me of everything I used to do and enjoy. But I also know that the times when I’ve been the most dedicated and focused as much as I can, I’ve seen miracles happen. And I just think, whoa! What if we did that as regular members as well? I still think about Bishop Call from the Humble ward, and how he said anytime we don’t share the gospel it’s because we’re selfish. “I don’t know enough”, “What if I can’t answer their questions?” “I don’t think they’re ready”… We think about ourselves too often. I wish I was risky enough to stick everything on the line, but I’m not! I’m chicken. I’m a baby. BUT why hold back? Hm… things to consider.
This week has just been a lot of connecting with less actives. One less active, Rebecca, is doing soooo good! She’s kicked her boyfriend out, she’s coming to church, and she’s going through a lot of changes with our branch president… It’s amazing. It’s incredible to see the gospel work on people. Her family life has improved so much! She has three little boys and even they have improved. The hard work is worth it when you see people like her change. The gospel is for families. No doubt about it.
We got our stone knives from Tim Durr! This will probably be my most prized mission possession. I don’t even know how to describe this baby, so I’ll just have to send some pictures. Skinning the bob cat was well worth it!
So pretty much: The church is true. I absolutely love it! I still can’t believe I’m a missionary sometimes… And I’m almost half way done?! What the… Seeing friends go home made me realize I am SO not ready to go home. Haha I’m good staying right here. I’m pretty sure Merrilee Davis from Humble would still take me in… Maybe I’ll just never come home (: haha
I love and miss y’all so much. I am so thankful for our eternal family! Can’t wait to hear from y’all…
— Sister Stockinger