This past week was crazy. Wow! We were constantly on the go. Yikes!
Monday night we went to Beaumont to meet up with the Hermanas. I got to go to Port Arthur with Hermana Christensen and Hermana Bonar – aka: my soul best friends. We had SO MUCH FUN! I learned so much from those cutie pies. We had all of Tuesday to go out and visit people. Listening to them speak Spanish was incredible… Hma Bonar has only been out 11 weeks, and Hma Christensen has only been out 6mo. They knew so much! It blew me away. Heavenly Father really prepares his missionaries to accomplish anything. I mean – hello – they’re fluent in a language after such a short amount of time, and they’re both only 19! Whoa! It made my heart swell. They had such excellent companionship unity too. I loved being with them! They call me their “Hermanita” or, “Little Hermana”. They want me to join them for my last 6 weeks 😛 ha! But at the end of our exchange, we went to grab a bite to eat cause dinner cancelled. We found this hole in the wall Mexican place – it made me miss dad! But we all ordered in Spanish (heck yeah! Never doing that again…) and so the workers gave us free horchata since we could speak Spanish. They were so impressed! hahaha the sisters had a good chat with them while I dug into my awesome food. Mmm. That horchata though – wow. It was sooooo good!
On Wednesday we had our zone conference in Vidor. It was combined with the Orange zone. Ohh my goodness… Sister Samantha Smith made me her homemade cheesecake for my birthday. When I saw her van pull into the parking lot I FREAKED OUT! I went sprinting to her and the girls! I was happy, then as soon as I hugged her, I started sobbing. Ohhh my goodness – I love this family. It was such a mix of emotions. I miss them so much! It was so good to see them for a few minutes.
But zone conference was excellent. I learned so much! I love being with the Drakes. They are so amazing. Sister Drake spoke to everyone on our Mormon glow, a recent convert came and spoke about her conversion that took 15 years, the assistants talked about setting end mission goals (yikes!) and we talked about our mission culture. President Drake has given us 3 things to focus on, Empathize, Visualize, Edify = Baptize. So we talked a lot about those 3 words and how we can use them to make a spiritual culture in our mission.
On Thursday we helped a pregnant less active build a crib. That was fun… and the elders went and taught Edward for us. We’ve been a little creeped out by him, so we asked them to go evaluate him for us. They said he was legit, he just has some major issues. So… we gotta work through that. I’m just not a huge fan of 64 year old men rubbing my knuckles while we pray. YUCK! Or in Spanish, GUACALA!
On Friday we went and met with Didi, finally. We talked about all the things that are necessary for her to be baptized. She picked her own date – Sept 13th. She texted us later that day and said that she and Mikey would be married in a week! Whoa. So all of a sudden, things picked up speed. We had the best lesson with her Saturday night as well. She came to church Sunday – a nonmember brought her! (more on that later). But we woke up to a text from her saying she was sorry she wasted our time and just couldn’t do this anymore. WHAT?! My first thought was, “Heavenly Father – this isn’t what I prayed for” It broke my heart! But we texted her and are trying to help her see that she doesn’t have to rush things. She doesn’t have to get baptized on the 13th, but that’s the date she picked so she can move it if needed. We’re waiting to hear back from her… It seems like we calmed her down a little though. She just has HUGE changes to make. I have faith though! Heavenly Father produces miracles when we are faithful.
Saturday… what a day! We were blessed to be visited by Elder Quentin L. Cook. Wow! Before the meeting started, we all shook hands with him. As soon as I shook his hand it was like electricity filled my body. I almost started crying! It was such a testimony builder. Then, we heard from a member of the Seventy, then one of our assistants, a couple other missionaries, Elder cook’s wife, and then finally him. I wish I could describe everything he talked about, or copy my notes to y’all, or something! It was amazing. At the end, he left an apostolic blessing on each of us. It was if he had laid his hands on my head and spoke exactly what I needed to hear. I have NEVER felt such a sensation fill my whole body… It was wild. It was incredible. It was nothing but the holy ghost! I cried and cried, and so did sister Johnson. It was a blessing on the mission, but it was a blessing for us as individuals as well. It was so powerful.
So yesterday, at church, didi got a ride with a nonmember. Her name is Marlo. She just moved here with her family from Utah! She was taking the lessons and was supposed to get baptized in July, but then they moved. Whoa! It’s crazy cause… As a mission, we’re asked to baptize weekly. So sister Johnson and I have been praying to accomplish this. Obviously, it hasn’t been going so well. But: we’ve still been setting the goal and asking Heavenly Father to send us someone prepared. Not just prepared to hear the gospel, but someone who is so prepared that they’ve taken the lessons, don’t have any chastity issues, don’t have any word of wisdom issues, and has attended church at least twice (: Haha. so we were basically hoping to steal someone’s investigator from elsewhere in the mission. Well… Here is Marlo. A literal answer to our prayers! She’s married, has had all the lessons, and went to church all the time in Utah. The only thing we need to do is make sure she is 100% okay with word of wisdom and check her understanding – so take her through the baptismal interview questions. Heavenly Father answers prayers!!!! It’s incredible. I can’t believe it – yet I can! Faithful goals get you places (:
So yes – what a great week! We’re starting week 6 of the transfer, and nothing major is going on. I don’t have any exchanges to do – whew! I just get to work in Silsbee (: I love this place! With how quickly this transfer has passed… I don’t even want to know how quickly this next one is going to go. It feels like I just got my STL call, that I just got to Silsbee… Oh wow. Time flies and I am not okay with it. Ugh.
I just want everyone to know that I know this church is true. I know without a doubt, that the book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that Joseph Smith gave his life for this gospel because he was called of God to be a prophet. I know that God operates the same; that a prophet is here on the earth today so we can come closer to Him and our Savior. I know that Christ atoned for my weaknesses and that He knows me perfectly! I know that prayer WORKS! Heavenly Father hears all of us and wants to give us everything. He is so kind and loving. I know all of this to be true, and so much more, and am so thankful I have the chance to proclaim it every day!
I miss y’all, I love y’all, and I can’t wait to hear from y’all. Thanks for everything!
— Sister Stockinger