Okay – I’m sorry! I totally forgot to mention that, YES, we definitely won in our contacting competition. It was glorious! We were ahead the whole week, but the Kountze Elders were always just a few steps behind us. We only won by 9! In total, our whole district contacted 439 people.
This was the longest, most exhausting week of my whole life though. I don’t think I have ever felt so busy and gone without sleep so much on my mission! It started with Monday…
We went to zone pday in Beaumont and played a bunch of games. Thankfully no one fell of the stage and broke their arm this time! Whew! Elder Collet’s arm had some crazy surgery last month but he’s doing good! Later that night 3 other STL’s and I drove to Kingwood to stay the night in the mission home. It was so much fun. I felt like I had some new best friends and we were off on a road trip! It was Sister DeGuilio from Beaumont (my fellow STL) and the two STL’s from Orange Zone, Larsen and Walton. We made it to the mission home around 9:15pm and stayed up awhile talking to Sister Drake. It was a lot of fun! However… When it came time for bed, I couldn’t sleep. I was SO NERVOUS! Why?
Tuesday morning was the scariest morning of my whole life. It was time for my FIRST MISSION LEADERSHIP COUNCIL! AHHH! All of a sudden I realized… Almost 18mo ago, I slept in the mission home in the very bed I’d slept the night before. Now I was sitting in the Eagle Springs Building where I had my New Missionary Training. I thought to myself, “I’m supposed to know stuff” meaning, “I’m at a meeting with all the spiritual giants of the mission. What the heck??!!” All of a sudden, things have come full circle. I’m not new anymore! I’m old as dirt! I felt like I was going to barf. I think President knew it too; he had his eye on me the whole time. It was stinking amazing though! I got to see Sister Stofferahn who also just became an STL, as well as Sister Perkes, so that made me happy (: It was awesome to see them! I learned so much at this meeting though. Heavenly Father also blessed me and confirmed to me that the things I was doing were right. He helped me see how my studies from the previous week had been 100% inspired. Seriously – I had no idea how to be an STL so I relied heavily on my studies. Everything we focused on were the top 3 things my studies were lead to. It provided some much needed relief!
After the meeting we went back to the mission home to have lunch. I laughed so hard – President Drake is such a sports fanatic. Whenever President Crawford wanted us all to be quiet and reverent, or to get ready to pray, he’d always say “Elders, Sisters…” in his professional CEO voice. SO SCARY sometimes. Well President Drake used his coaching tactic and just yelled, “QUIET!” whoa. Silence. Then he chuckled. It was sooo funny to me! They are so different, but so wonderful all at the same time.
After MLC we all piled back into the car and drove back to Beaumont. I picked up Sister Johnson and back to Silsbee we went. We had enough time to eat, try visiting a couple people, then we had to drive to…. WOODVILLE! I had to go on an exchange with Sister Crump. I had been very nervous for this exchange due to previous circumstances, but after MLC I felt like I could take on the world! I ended up having the BEST time on this exchange. I got to know Sister Crump really well; we have soooo much in common! We stayed up till 1am talking. Yikes. This is now two nights in a row where I haven’t slept in my own bed and haven’t gotten a proper amount of sleep. Buuut here I go… I kept on moving! I was able to see some less actives in Woodville who are STILL less active… yikes. That was weird. But the sisters are having so much success up there! It made me sooo happy! It was also nice to be back in the most beautiful area of the mission. I loved it!
On Wednesday night I was finally able to be in my own bed. Whew! But then came Thursday… President Interviews! Oh my goodness – it was such a joy to be with the Drake’s again! I absolutely love them. Sister Drake is the most precious thing on earth. She is so nervous, but is doing such a marvelous job of stepping into her new calling. When I got to have my one-on-one interview with President Drake, I started to cry… of course… except this time I didn’t know why I was crying. I think I just had so many feelings bubbling in me that my Spirit didn’t know what to do. We talked about MLC, he chuckled cause he knew I had been nervous… but he paid me some of the highest compliments I think I will ever receive in this life. He told me things that pertain to my patriarchal blessing!!! This man, y’all, is very inspired. It made me feel so at peace; that Heavenly Father was aware of me and my simple minded feelings and is helping prepare me for greater things to come. I couldn’t believe it! Our interview only lasted about 3 minutes. This is something that blew my mind: he repeated back to me some of the very thoughts I had had while at MLC. He said, “Sister Stockinger, you don’t need to worry. You are a spiritual giant in this mission” I GASPED. I’m telling y’all! HE IS SUPER INSPIRED! So then I just cried a few more tears, he chuckled the way I imagine Santa Clause to, then sent me out the door. It all happened so quickly! But it was everything I needed.
On Friday we went back to Beaumont for Zone Meeting. It was amazing, as always. But now, by this point, I am TIRED. I had the worst headache when I woke up! Then I had to ride with Buna Sisters and their member… who drives a little crazy… so then I was super car sick. But then into yet another meeting with the zone leaders I went, then into our zone meeting, then off to lunch, then back to Silsbee. I DIED. but I couldn’t stop! We had so many set appointments there was no time to slow down.
Finally, Saturday morning, I woke up and made it halfway thru my studies before I HAD to lay down again. I had such awful vertigo, light sensitivity… the whole show. I was basically crippled. I ended up sleeping till 3pm. It felt like 10 minutes! Sister Johnson had made calls and cancelled all of our appointments. but my migraine persisted! I thought I could go out, but we ended up coming back after an hour. I fell back asleep and konked out till Sunday morning.
I wasn’t kidding when I said this was the most exhausting week! It felt like I never stopped moving. But I was okay with it! I have really grown to love my calling as an STL this week. I really felt like Heavenly Father helped open my mind and heart to revelation, as well as loving the sisters whom I serve. I am so thankful for the opportunity I now have to grow in this capacity and work, little by little, at becoming more like my Heavenly Father. I just love my mission SO MUCH! It is the best, most incredible thing I have ever chosen to do. I love my up’s and I love my down’s. I can’t believe that time is short!
I just hope everyone knows that I know this church is true. I just know that Heavenly Father places us exactly where we need to be. I know that Christ is my Savior. I know he knows me perfectly. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the he translated the plates by the power of God. I KNOW that the priesthood is here on the earth today to bless and guide all of Heavenly Father’s children. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that it testifies of our Savior. I know that Heavenly Father loves us now, as much as He loved His children in ancient times. That’s why we have a prophet! I am so thankful for the revelation our apostles and prophet receive. I can’t imagine what life would be like without such divine guidance! I hope everyone knows that i know these things are true, as well as so many others. I say it in Christ’s name, Amen.
Real quick, an investigator update… DiDi is going to have to push her date back. We’re having a hard time finding her a place to live so she doesn’t have to live with her fiance. She also has some word of wisdom issues. Victoria is still crazy but still amazing. haha! We started teaching two sisters, Keauna and Ashuanta. Yes- they’re black. I love them! They’re hilarious. We also started teaching a young black mom, Rachel, who’s dad just passed away 2 weeks ago. She is BEYOND prepared. She asked us all the right questions. We just need to get her to church!
Xavier didn’t move back to Houston, but he moved to Lumberton. He and his dad were able to find a place! Whew! The Lumberton Elders do their best to visit him, but he’s hard to catch cause of work. However, both he and his dad came to church yesterday! And his dad isn’t even investigating the church! WHAT A BLESSING! We and the elders were super excited. His dad, Theo, is so prepared. He just needs to make time to sit down!
It was an awesome week. Thanks for all the love and prayers! I miss and love y’all sooo much!
— Sister Stockinger
P.S. we found out Quentin L. Cook is coming on August 23rd! At first they said the 28th, so i was SUPER EXCITED… yay birthday! but no, he’s coming a little early. Still – it’s stinking awesome!