I just don’t even know how to begin… I can’t stop crying!
I just love getting emails from everyone. I wish y’all could all see the out pouring of love you’ve sent my way! It is amazing. After shoulder problems, illness, discouragement… I honestly didn’t think I’d be right here, right now. I guess you could say I am living proof that God works miracles! If He can take me: a broken down, worn out, stressed out, heart aching missionary, He can truly heal anyone (: This has been the ride of a lifetime.
We spent my last week watching movies… no joke! (: okay – just one movie. MEET THE MORMONS! Oh my lanta – it was amazing! The first presidency gave us a sneak peak. President Drake traveled the mission from zone to zone and we got to sit and be uplifted and inspired by some incredible members of our church! If you haven’t seen it, GO! If you haven’t ‘liked’ it on facebook, DO IT! We want it to be popular enough to get on Netflix. It’s amazing!
This week I said goodbye to Xavier. Oh my goodness – that boy is a mess. He still has a lot of family problems… But he’s getting a grip! He just got a car, so he drove himself to church yesterday. He came all dressed up and looking good! I was so proud of him. He even stayed after to support us at Jonathan’s baptism.
What was that? JONATHAN GOT BAPTIZED! What a great way to end my week (: I just love this kid so much. Our YW President, Lacy Ruggles, made him some baptismal invitations. He went around (look at how Christlike this boy is!) and gave invitations to his biological family. Yep – the family that kicked him out and told him he was worthless. He still wanted them to be a part of this special occasion! When he went to see his dad, his dad hollered at him. But Jonathan stuck it out, gave him an invite, and turned to walk away. But (Look at the spirit go!) his dad briefly apologized, then told him he was proud of him. PROUD OF HIM! We saw Jonathan right after the fact – he looked like he was floating. To hear his dad say he was proud of him meant everything and so much more to him. We all cried a little, bore testimony that the gospel blesses families and brings us together… it was a tender moment. But okay – day of the baptism: Jonathan’s dad, aunt, and cousin came. They got to see the baptism, confirmation, and even stayed to mingle afterwards. When I saw his dad get out of the car, my heart was raging. I just thought, “There he is. the man who cant even love his own son” I was furious. But as the service progressed, even my stubborn heart softened towards him. After he left, we talked to Jonathan about it. You could see it – he was floating again. It meant SO MUCH to him that his dad came. When I asked him how he felt about his baptism he said, “Good” (typical 18 year old!) but I kept pressing on him. “How does your heart feel?” and he paused, closed his eyes for a minute, then said, “I feel amazing” then he teared up a little!
Teaching Jonathan has been the icing to the cake. This is what missionary work is about – like in Luke 22 when the Lord tells Simon Peter that once he is strengthened and has gained his testimony, to go and strengthen his brethren. The Lord took me, a broken down daughter, and strengthened me. Seeing Jonathan gain that same testimony and strength from his LOVING Heavenly Father means EVERYTHING to me.
All in all – it was an incredible last week. I was STRESSED OUT OF MY MIND! But God – as usual – was there for me. Saying goodbye to members has not been my favorite thing, but knowing I can call them whenever I want after this “transfer” makes me feel better. Whew! This ward is great. Silsbee is a special place!
Oh – Ma Boddie’s son, Ian, is home. He’s super awkward. I just looked at him and thought to myself, “Oh no… That’s going to be me!” HAHA! I’m so scared.
I just want to leave my testimony one last time with y’all… I know that this church is true. I know that God is my loving Heavenly Father. I know He is aware of me. I know that the gospel Christ had established on the earth is here again today. I know that Christ restored His gospel thru the prophet Joseph Smith and that The Book of Mormon is a living witness of that fact. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God today! I know that families are eternal and are meant to be together forever. I love everything about this great work – there is nothing more joyful or fulfilling than being apart of the Lord’s team. I am excited to take all these truths (and so much more!) with me throughout my life and to continue to share them with others.
To my Texans: I am going to MISS YOU! Y’all have changed me. I hope I’ve done even just a tenth of what y’all have done for me. I love this great state!
To my Boise-ites: I’ll see you soon. I love y’all so very much!
THE CHURCH IS TRUE!
— Sister Stockinger