We’ve been working hard, biking like crazy, trying to meet more people and get into all the doors the elders contacted for us.
We’ve had some crazy ice storms. It’s been so cold. I don’t think I’ve ever felt the wind burn through me like this! Whoa.
Monday we had tons of groceries and since we’re on bikes… It was a little difficult. I almost biffed it in the middle of an intersection. SO embarrassing… My life. Man – it’s rough (: haha
There was one day in particular where all the rain froze overnight… We were riding our bikes (stupid. yes, we know) looking for some past investigators homes. We came to this bride that had about a quarter of an inch of ice on it. So what did we do? We hopped off our bikes and started skating! We took a pretty sweet video. However, as we were dancing our little hearts out, having a blast, trying to make the most of the frigid air, we turned around and found a couple staring at us. Yeah… They looked at us like we were stupid. Granted – we had our helmets on, we have bikes, we have skirts… we looked ridiculous. It was rather embarrassing.
We got to take Shelley to a lesson with us again and then she walked around her neighborhood with us. She’s awesome. She can talk to anyone! She puts us to shame. I stinkin’ love her guts! We spent most of the day with her… She’s great.
We got dropped on our booties by Jose. He sent us a million texts and told us he couldn’t meet with us anymore cause of his mom… I just remember how my own mom said if I was ever in a situation I needed to get out of, I could use her as an excuse (: He’s such an awesome kid! We almost cried. haha He says he’s loving the Book of Mormon he just can’t have us over anymore. we tried to work with him, but aren’t sure… It was disappointing.
I also accidentally tipped my bike over and knocked my handle bars loose. Whoops… I didn’t notice till we were far away from our apartment. I kept thinking, “This feels weird… what the…” and then I realized I could wobble them back and forth like a teeter totter. So we had to ride all day on the scariest road – West Lake Houston – and my bike nearly thrust itself into traffic a few times! I did not have control of that sucker. So I nearly died, but a member fixed them up real good for me that night. Whew!
We had transfer calls… We’re staying here – big surprise! haha. But we’re losing a lot of good people in our zone. HOWEVER: our district leader is getting moved out after being here only one transfer, and Elder Whimpey is getting moved out of Fred, so we’re praying he’ll come here and make Summerwood one big party! This round of transfers is bittersweet. We’re losing a lot of good missionaries. Breaks my heart!
I got to have lunch with some members from the Humble Ward; Niki and Jen. They took us to chilis! It was so nice. I am so thankful for the relationships I have with people here! They mean the world to me. I’m so glad people are willing to take care of me while I’m away from home… Heavenly Father is looking out for me!
On Saturday we had the best dinner appointment ever! Well – sort of. We had steak. The steak I was giving was so bloody I think it could have walked off my plate. So I just didn’t look at it and put it in my mouth. Thankfully it was marinated well enough you couldn’t taste the blood, but every once in a while if I thought about what was going on in my mouth I would gag. It was so gross. BUT at that dinner our member invited some friends to join us. Our member called us the night before and basically warned us we better be on our best behavior and not whip out lesson one or she’d kill us. So we were shaking and nervous the whole time that we’d say something wrong and make her freak out. Well, we survived. We shared a Mormon message video, “Earthly Father, Heavenly Father”, and the dad, Carlo, was listening intently. We left after that. Turns out they asked question after question about what missionaries do, the church, why we called our member by “Sister” and “Brother”… It was AWESOME! She was so happy and now she feels she knows what direction to take to share the gospel more with them. Her friends even said, “We would love it if they would come to dinner the next time we have y’all at our place!” Wow. We were so happy. Seeing members share the gospel is… amazing. I feel like a proud mama (: haha
So we’ve been dealing with some difficult ward members… I can’t go into details, but I want to share with y’all the things that have been helping me through it. There’s a song on a CD we have; just a mix from another missionary. In it there’s a line that says, “Earth has no sorrow heaven cannot heal”. It tickles my heart strings every time! I think about this phrase a lot. I also think about some scriptures in Luke 22. I think it’s in 32-34… maybe 33-35… But Christ, in the midst of his suffering, asks Heavenly Father to remove the pain. Then it says he was visited by an angel who provided strength. What the… Who could possibly encourage Christ to finish the most important event in history? What could that angel possibly say? Well I already firmly believe that we were with Christ while he suffered. I believe that one by one, we handed our pains and sorrows to him and watched him suffer for us individually. Could it be that we strengthened him? One by one? That we promised Him He was doing what was absolutely necessary; that so many of our brothers and sisters still needed His aid? In the next verse it says in His agony he prayed more earnestly. Whoever was there, whoever strengthened him, must have reminded Him that it had to be done. That we needed Him. He is our brother. We love Him. Without Him, we are nothing.
I know without a doubt that Christ is my Savior. He strengthens me because He too had a moment of weakness; He needed to be reminded of His purpose. I think sometimes it’s so easy to get lost and wander around. We lose sight of what we’re actually aiming for. Christ should always be the center of our focus. He can carry us through anything!
I love this gospel and I love being a missionary. I know that we are all given a divine purpose. I know this church is true!
Thanks for all the love, prayers, and emails. I appreciate it all so much! I miss y’all and love y’all!
— Sister Stockinger