Monday, April 16, 2018

Jamaican's Party Hard! April 16, 2018

Hola Familia!

   This has been a great week for finding! We found two new friends ourselves, and the AP's came and knocked in our area Wednesday night and found us 4 more!!! They are amazing!!! Sadly those appointments fell through (that has been happening a lot these past two weeks, what do you do) but we have plans to visit them this coming week. We, as a mission, have been steadily hitting our finding goal, and it is just the best feeling ever! This is who we are, and the excitement, the urgency, and the desire to truly serve from the heart, to "Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts" is growing! I love how Elder Holland used the term "mature" in his conference talk on Ministering, we are all truly maturing spiritually into more converted sons and daughters of God! 
   We went to Flamingo Gardens for service this week, and it was so fun! We were able to paint benches and walk through some of the park while we waited for one to dry so we could move the paint blanket underneath (the name of what those things are called is currently escaping me) They even fed us lunch for free :) This persistent Ibis bird stole Sister Thurman's tomato, though, and somehow she got an eye infection from it called Blufaritis(or something like that..) poor girl. Its kind of hilarious, though, because Sister Smith. who was companions with Sister Bohlen before I came into this area, had gotten it too! She is currently living with our STL's so she was able to call them and talk to her about what it was like, what she needs to do, etc.
   We were invited by our investigator Jennifer to go to a fundraiser lunch for Jamaican High Schools on Saturday, so we went after service(moving again! Word spreads fast!) and my oh my was that interesting! They had music blasting, I couldn't shout loud enough for my companion, right beside me, to hear what I was saying unless I spoke directly into her ear! Needless to say, we didn't stay longer that was polite, haha, as my companion said, "The Spirit left." We showed our support, though, she is the vice president of the organization that put it together. 
  Saturday night was the young men's auction/fundraiser//spaghetti dinner for their camp, and it was at the church. The feeling between the two activities was drastic. I love the church, and how when we get together in a spirit of love, support, and service, we make memories that are lasting, meaningful, and uplifting. The Church is true! What more can I say?
  I Love you all, have an amazing week!!!

Les Quiero Mucho,
Hermana Stokes

We got all of the leftovers from the Spaghetti Dinner, haha
Our Double Zone Activity last P-day--SO FUN!!!
This chain reaction of the two elders is so funny, he realized what Elder Marshall's "funny" pose was hahahaha

Monday, April 9, 2018

April 9, 2018

Grape Leaves, Landfill's, and More!

Hola Familia!

   This has been a really fun week! The past two Saturdays we have helped investigators from other areas move, and it has been so fun! Haha, I might just come home super toned! Haha, just kidding. It is really hilarious because our district leader is really scrawny, and we joke about how the Saturday of conference he got squished by a mattress, haha, we were all dying, poor guy! We had to take the moving truck we packed for out District Leader's part member family to the dump because they had to get rid of all their stuff (they had two homes but couldn't do it anymore, and so there wasn't time to sell a lot of their furniture. It was kind of sad because some pieces were newer and pretty nice). It was interesting because the County Officials highly recommended that we didn't drive our cars up to the landfill, only the moving truck, so we decided the elders should go up in the truck since they are more of the "muscle" haha. It was hilarious, either way. 
   We also were able to go back to Flamingo Gardens this week for service, Sister Richards hadn't been yet! She loved it :) We were supposed to be moving tables for the wedding they had on Saturday, but ended up just picking up trash. It was fun to show Sister Richards the Gardens, though, they are so beautiful! 
    While knocking on Saturday, we met a couple. The woman is from Colombia and the man is from Jerusalem! His mom taught her how to cook a few Arabic Cuisines and she had made "Grape Leaves" for dinner that day, and invited us in to try it! I t was really good! A different spice/flavor than I am used to, but it sure was tasty!  The cooked leaves were wrapped around seasoned white rice, and she had something about ground beef but it didn't look like there was meat in it, who knows, with a stewed tomato on top, Mmm Mmm MMM it was good!
   We stopped by to visit our Investigator Ana we found a few weeks ago, and were able to share with her the full Restoration. She felt so much peace as we shared Joseph Smith's experience in the Sacred Grove, it was awesome! I love how the Spirit comes and brings that peace into the hearts of our investigators, we could not do it without Him! 
     I cannot express the gratitude I have felt this transfer for the wonderful experiences God has blessed me with in my mission. It is so amazing! HE is amazing! I love how I am finally reflecting fully upon all that I have been able to accomplish, how I have changed, and how God has used me as an instrument in His Hands, even in some small way. It is so humbling, it almost brings me to tears, every time! Haha, I love it! Thinking back over the past month, I feel so blessed that we have been able to find at least one investigator each week, which has been my goal this past transfer to find every week. God is so good! Last night, as we were knocking and no one was too interested, I was about to give up on that goal because we hadn't found any new friends that week, and figuratively "throw in the towel," when we knocked on Bill's door, who readily accepted a prayer. His granddaughter is in a bad way right now, so we prayed for her and Bill's family, and he was so touched by the prayer and how we testified the Gospel of Jesus Christ would immensely bless and strengthen his family, that we are going back this Saturday to teach him and his family more! Such a tender mercy that I really appreciate, and it is so simple! 
   I recently finished the Book of Mormon, and there is no doubt in my mind that it is true! I know it came forth by the Hand of God! I am now trying to figure out ways to study it differently than chronologically, so I am working on that. By topic using Preach My Gospel and other resources is what I am leaning towards, have any good suggestions? :)
   I love you all so much, and hope that you all have a wonderful week!!! Do great things!!!
Hermana Stokes
Service and when the Elders locked themselves out of the Chapel ;)​

April 2, 2018

General Conference---Life Changing!!! Happy Easter!

Hola Familia!

    This week has been wonderful, especially this amazing Conference Weekend! Wow, what a weekend! General Conference was absolutely amazing! It was a feeling unlike any other when we were all able to participate in the Solemn Assembly Saturday Morning and sustain President Russell M. Nelson as the Prophet on the Earth today. This is something I will never forget! It was so cool to know that the Spirit we felt in our Stake Center with so few members was felt in the Conference Center and around the world simultaneously! Almost no corner of the Earth was unaffected by the sustaining of a new Prophet on the Earth!!! I loved seeing President Eyring get all choked up and smiling, that was so tender and sweet! 
   I feel like each and every talk was so inspiring and full of love, and President Nelson's talk on Personal Revelation was life changing! He is a powerful leader, and an effective tool in the Master's Hands to do His Work. If you haven't watched all of Conference, or even a little bit, I invite you all to do so, you won't regret it! I testify that all that was taught over the pulpit this weekend is undeniably true and it will change your life if it hasn't already! 
   Times is flying by so quickly now, I still have so much that I want to accomplish as a full-time missionary, but I know the Lord will help me do and accomplish His Will, and that is the most important thing. Though we are not perfect on our own, with Him all things are possible.
  This week we haven't taught as much as last week, but we will keep pressing forward with steadfastness in Christ, with a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God, and of all men. I love that scripture, I have shared countless of times on my mission with members and nonmembers alike, and I know the Book of Mormon to be true. Daily immersion in the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon which was revealed especially for our time, leads to increased Spiritual Power. If that is something you are seeking in your life, Look to God and Live. Do as He commands, ans He will do all things for our good.
   I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!

Hermana Stokes

Monday, March 26, 2018

Pembroke Pines March 26, 2018

One Month Left... GO HARD!!!!!! March 26, 2018

Hola Familia!!!

   This week was amazing!!! As a mission, we found 412 New Investigators this week!!!! Our goal is 400 weekly, but we haven't hit that since President Richardson's last week when we hit 420ish!!! It was awesome! And we are going to keep it up because "This is Who We Are!!!!"
   We found 4 new investigators last week and brought out 3 members to lessons with us and had 4 MPLs!!!! That is huge for our area, we are so happy!!!!! No one came to church, but Ana, one of our investigators who is a mom of 3 and has seen miracles in her life, siad she will come next sunday, so we are excited!  Something that was crazy that we found out about two of our investigators we knocked into, Jennifer and Michael, happened in ward correlation with our Ward Mission Leader after church. When he was looking at the new move in list, he found out that our investigators' daughter is an active member of the Church who just moved back in with them! We haven't met her, but her parents did tell us that she had a Book of Mormon, so we are really excited to meet her and start teaching her parents with her testimony to bring the Spirit! Haha, so crazy! 
   We had Zone Conference this past week, and we talked about having more faith and how to do that. Faith filled hopes, words, and actions all combined in one! It was awesome! I gave my departing testimony, which was so surreal, and they made me go first! I was so nervous, and even though I thought of things I wanted to say to pump everybody up, I forgot most of it right then and there, haha. It was good, though. I sang "Nearer My God to Thee" with Sister Thurman on the piano, and it was beautiful! It is one of my favorite hymns, and we are so glad it turned out so great, because I was nervous and when we practiced beforehand I sounded really breathy, but in the moment it was strong and smooth!!! God is SO GOOD!!! I meant to record it but then felt sefl conscious so I didn't, haha. Oh, well. 
   Church was super good, we had the Temple President and his wife speak about temples and family history. Something that President Fisher said I really like," Geneology will change your charts, Family History will change your hearts."
It is so true! Coming to know our ancestors is so important, and it builds resilience in youth and in all of us to stay strong against the temptations and evils in this declining world!
   Something that I really liked from Sunday School was a comment shared by Brother Okazaki(Tyson's friend from high school, small world!). We were talking about Joseph of Egypt, and he brought up that all of the experiences Jospeph had growing up with his brothers, and even before that with the jealosy of Jacob's wives, etc, was all a part of Joseph's brother's hatred of him, but because of that, and being a servant, and being in prison, Jospeph became a powerful ruler in Egypt and saved his entire family from famine. Sometimes(or all of the time
!) we face trials that seem insurmountable, just one thing after another( I just helped two seconds ago an elderly woman pick up her library card that fell way underneath the desk with the computer on it--we can do things daily to help those around us!!!) and those very dark trials mold and shape us and help us grow in ways we wouldn't have without them, until one day you look back on your life and see how all of the dots connect, everything that happened had a purpose, and God was in the VERY DETAILS OF YOUR LIFE!!! I know God is Real, that He loves us, and He has given us everything we need in this life to return back into His Presence and live with Him and our families for Eternity! I know the Book of Mormon is the Word of God, that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, and the Jesus is the Christ, the very Son of God.
   I love you all, and hope that you see miracles this week!!!

Love Always,
Hermana Stokes