Thursday, December 28, 2017

Christmas Caroling Miracles!(2) Merry Christmas 2017

Hola Familia! 

   Hey everyone! I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas weekend! This wonderful Christmas Spirit can be felt all year round, don't let it die out! Keeping the Savior in our thoughts always brings that peace and happiness we feel so strongly during the Holiday Season!
    I love Pines! The members here are so kind, I love them so much already! Sister Bohlen and I get along great, and I am excited to see the miracles that are coming our way as we work hard and find those we need to this transfer. We will be biking a lot the next few days, ha, (we are low on miles!) which I am excited for,(the weather is super nice and I LOVE being outside!) because that means that more people with see us out and about, and we may knock into some who will have seen us and then we can answer their questions as to why we do what we do! 
   We have seen several miracles this week! When we went caroling in the Plantation sisters' area, we knocked on one of their investigator's doors, and when we started caroling, she started to cry! She said that the whole day she was trying to feel God's love and to feel SOMETHING from Him, but couldn't. And then we showed up on her doorstep, and she knew God had answered her prayer! It was one of the sweetest, most tender moments, because it was so personal and meaningful to her. It was wonderful to be able to have been a part of that experience! Caroling is just so fun! On Christmas Eve, the Silver Lakes Sisters who live with us ( Sister Thurman and Sister Measles) went caroling with us to an elderly lady who is a neighbor to a member in our ward, and she loved it! She pulled out her high school and college year books and showed us all her boyfriends in 1942! Haha, we loved it! Everyone dressed so classy back then, haha, it was great.
    After caroling Christmas Eve, we all went to Presidents house (just the Coral Springs, Ft. Lauderdale, and Hialeah Zones, everyone else met as a zone) and ate some food (forgot to take a picture of that!) and talked with all the missionaries for a while, then we all came back together and sang a few Christmas songs before the Mission-Wide Conference Call where President Garns spoke to us and talked about how "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" came about. The author went through so many trials, and after the tragic death of his second wife, he wrote that song. We then sang that song all together, and it was amazing! Ah, it was so cool to spend Christmas Eve all together as a mission!!! When we got back home we all changed into Christmas PJ's and watched "Nora's Christmas Gift" and "Mr. Kruger's Christmas" and then in the morning "The Fourth Wise Man." We got Christmas movied out! (All church movies, so no worries there!) We later had a district brunch and pumpkin pancakes! It was super fun :) 
   I loved being able to talk to everyone over FaceTime yesterday, I love you all so much!!! And Congratulations!!! (You know who you are! ;) ) We had dinner with the Stephen family, and they have three young boys, the oldest is 4 and a half, and they are the cutest thing! I love them so much!!!Also, brined turkey wrapped in bacon is amazing! It was so moist!!! And homemade cheesecake, yum! I forgot my camera, but you will see the pictures next week! We went caroling again later that night, which was super fun again :) I love singing so much, and plus its Christmas, which makes is so much better!
  Also, we had our investigator Clarisa come to church! This past Sunday was a little funny, ha, because you could tell it wasn't well planned out, ha. We sang Christmas hymns the whole time and had several spur of the moment musical numbers, haha. I went up with the Spanish branch(Silver Lakes, we were joined for Christmas at 9am) and sang with them. The bishop went up to the mic during a lull and said "Brother Elis, your name is calling." Hahaha I was dying inside! Brother Elis is an amazing vocalist and sang "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" to a recording on his phone of just Christmas bells chiming, it was amazing! Luckily, Clarisa  loved all the Christmas music and the members were so nice and friendly to her, we are excited to keep teaching her. I first met her transfer day, and we taught her the Plan of Salvation, and she felt so peaceful and it made sense to her. I just love the Gospel!
   I am studying right now in the war chapters in Alma, and there is so much to learn from their work ethic and faith. I love thinking of how we can build up our own walls of protection from the "fiery shafts" of the adversary through living and studying the Gospel, how we put on the armor of God every day to go out and battle sin and temptation. We are truly on the Lord's errand, and we have a mighty work to accomplish! I recently read one of this past's general conference talks  "I Have a Work for Thee" and it goes right along with that thought, on how we each have something meaningful to contribute to the Kingdom of God!
   I love you all so much, and will talk to you again next week!!!

Love,
Hermana Stokes

Pictures:
Pictures on Christmas Eve, District Brunch, and I don't know what else, ha.
At the bottom, there are two pictures of a giant blow up Snowman and Santa Claus, the snowman is 45 ft. tall! We caroled at their house:)​

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Merry Christmas!!!











December 19, 2017 Transfers

Hola Familia!

   So this week is Transfers! So, I am going to Pines! It is in the Fort Lauderdale Zone. Back to English! Good thing I finally have my English tag :). I am a little nervous, haha, because I know there are many gated communities and I have never been kicked out of a neighborhood before, but it will be a fun new adventure, and Sister Bohlen is amazing! We were in the Hurricane together. She was trained by Sister Napier, who I have been living with this Transfer (she is going to be an STL!) and was in the MTC with her. I know that this transfer is inspired from the Lord, and that I have things to learn there, and people to help.
   I will find out once I get to my new area when we will be calling home, and have permission to send a quick email home to let you all know! I am so excited to hear from you all!
   This past week has been really good, we had an amazing lesson with our investigators Lais and Yaima on Saturday, and Yaima's Husband Jose joined us in the lesson. He started to read in the Book of Mormon and is very interested in it!  They asked us to share our testimonies, haha, and it was so wonderful! The Spirit was so strong, as both Sister Chugg and I bore our testimonies(in Spanish!) of the Restored Gospel and shared personal experiences where we each received our own witness from the Spirit of the truthfulness of the Gospel! I shared how when Grandpa Stokes was really sick and we thought he was about to pass away, how I really needed the confirmation from the Spirit that the Plan of Salvation was truly real.  After about two weeks of worrying, sorrow, and a lot of prayer, God answered my prayer in the sweetest way, I truly felt His love for me and that I will one day be able to see my Grandpa again, and though it was still hard knowing the pain his passing would and was causing my loved ones, I can never deny that I know Families can be Forever, and sharing my testimony with our investigators has made it that much stronger! Sadly, Lais ate something that night that made her really sick and they weren't able to come to church the next day, but we (Sister Chugg and her new companion sister Cardoso)are meeting with them this Wednesday and they are so excited! 
   Something that stood out to me in my personal study were verses 49 and 50 in Alma 43. This is where Captain Moroni and his armies are fighting with the Lamanite army around the river Sidon, and verse 49-50 state:
 49 And it came to pass that they turned upon the Lamanites, and they cried with one voice unto the Lord their God, for their liberty and their freedom from bondage.
50 And they began to stand against the Lamanites with power; and in that selfsame hour that they cried unto the Lord for their freedom, the Lamanites began to flee before them; and they fled even to the waters of Sidon.
   When I read this, I felt the Spirit testify to me of the truthfulness of this account, and how powerful prayer coupled with faith and a good cause truly is. This is so applicable to missionary work! We are like Moroni's army, fighting for the Lord, and we are inspired by a Better Cause, which gives us strength and power to overcome the adversary and accomplish the Lord's will. Ah, I just love the Book of Mormon!
   Thank you, everyone for all of your love and support! I love receiving Christmas Cards, letters, and emails from everyone, it is so much fun and amazing to see how everyone is doing and feel your love. I love you all, so very much! Have an amazing Christmas, and always remember the Light that Jesus Christ has brought to the world, and do everything you can to share that light! It WILL make you happier and make your life so much better! It has in mine, and I will forever be grateful for that! 

Love,
Hermana Stokes

Pictures:
Saying Goodbye to Sister Cowart (She is amazing!)
Christmas Presents before Transfers! Thanks Mom! Haha. And everyone else, too!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

December 13, 2017
















December 13, 2017

❤Hola Familia! 

    This week has flown by! Stake Conference weekend was SO GOOD! We were asked to attend the Saturday Night Session with Elder Foster from the Seventy, and he is also the department chair of the Church's Family History Department, so It was really amazing! I loved all the speakers, and on Sunday we had three talks given by members of our ward, two of those being youth speakers! It was a proud moment, our little ward has some stong members in it for being only 2 priesthood holders away from a branch, I love them so much! I have never spent so much time in one area, and I love it because it has allowed me to really get to know the members and the area ,and also work with our Investigators and develop trust and love, it is just so fun! And then Zone Conference was absolutely AMAZING! I felt the Spirit so strong the entire time, I know it has given me the spiritual rejuvenation I need to continue going out with high faith and positivity, every single day! I want to treasure every single minute of my mission, for as long as I have left, so be able to know that I have no regrets! Elder Foster's training was so powerful, he and his wife stayed after stake conference to speak to the mission, it was really cool. He started his message with watching a 4 minute video from the First Vision and Restoration to how the Church has grown over all the world! There wasn't a dry eye in the room, it was powerful! Later he went into a training and talked a lot about how we as the missionaries need to have high spirituality and certain skills like planning etc, and how when we have both of them together, members will notice and want to be involved in missionary work with missionaries they can trust. Also, how easy a tool Family History is in helping members get excited about their family history and sharing that with their friends and neighbors , which of course comes full circle back to missionary work and establishing the Kingdom of God on the Earth! Ah, needless to say I LOVED it!!! Also, we are officially getting smartphones, probably by January, which is exciting and a little nerveracking, but it will be a great tool and help to missionary work.
   So coming off of such a Spiritually High Weekend, I am so excited to get back to work, harder than ever, and share the Gospel with everybody! A miracle this week was that our investigators Lais and Yaima, who we had dropped because they never came to church, came to Stake Conference!!! The LOVED it! Yaima loved the peace that she felt, and Lais has always wanted to come to church but couldn't until her semester at school ended, and they are excited to come back! We are so happy for them! :)
   In my personal study, I am studying where Alma teaches his 3 sons. I love how he shares his conversion story with Helaman, and how he testifies so boldly about Christ's Atonement. Jesus Christ is the center of the Father's Plan, and because of Him and His infinite and eternal sacrifice, we have the hope that we, too, may return to our loving Father in Heaven's presence and rest from all our labors in peace. I am so grateful for the countless of times on my mission where I have felt that Love from God, whether for myself, for a struggling companion, or for the people we work with everyday, it has truly changed my life more than I ever knew it could. It is amazing!
   Another fun thing we were able to do this past week was go Christmas Caroling as a district! It was So fun! We sang the 1st verse of "Joy to the World" and then "Silent Night" (as almost no one had hymnbooks and that's all we knew, ha) but it was fun! We made an older couple cry, especially the wife, she hadn't seen anything like it in years and it was so cool to see how something so simple could touch her heart. At another door, we were able to share more about the Gospel and get a potential investigator for the sisters who worked in that area! 
   We performed "Away in a Manger" for Zone Conference, Sister Harrison (YSA) and I sang and sister Chugg played the piano. It went pretty well, considering we were asked just Thursday night! Haha, it made us all a little more nervous knowing we would be singing in front of a general authority, but it was really fun. We made sugar cookies and everyone loved them! We finally took our house Christmas picture and made our Christmas Card, which may soon be heading your way! Its pretty Cute! We have had a lot of fun, its been great:)
   I know this Church is true, and that this Christmas season offers us the chance to truly show our love and Gratitude for the Savior by going out and serving those around us! Once we figure out our own part in The Father's Story, we can take that conviction and share it with others and help them understand who they are as precious children of Heavenly Parents. Merry Christmas everyone, and know that God truly does love you!

Love,
Hermana Stokes​

Monday, December 4, 2017

DECEMBER 4, 2017

 Pictures:
I'm not sure what order they are in, but we had a District BBQ last P-day, which was fun, with the ZL's and Coral Reef sisters (we live with them:) )
The one with the baby is Sister Cowart's, they were able to be a miracle in a homeless couple's life yesterday, and it turns out the  wife is Mormon! They lost everything in Hurricane Harvy, and have been working for traveling Carnivals but were treated so badly that they left. Brother and Sister Cowart are amazing missionaries, and Brother Cowart went full missionary mode on the nonmember husband and friend while we talked with the woman, Sandra. It was cool!
Not Sure what else is in there, but enjoy!!!




December 4, 2017 #LIGHT THE WORLD

Hola Familia,

   Hey everyone, how are you all doing? Another week goes by, and time continues to fly by on the mission! I love the new Christmas video, and it makes a great way to introduce the Gospel to so many people!!! Last P-day, we started knocking and the first door we knocked, we met Miguel and Oura and their little girl Paula! We shared a prayer with them and then we shared theLight the World video, and they loved it! Miguel knew a little bit about the church, he had heard of the Book of Mormon and of Joseph Smith, so we started teaching  him the Restoration. We met with them last night and taught the Book of Mormon and how it came about, he has so many questions, but seems interested in learning more, and accepted baptism! Their daughter Paula is around 2, and she has so much energy, haha, it can be a little challenging to teach them, but she is super cute!
   We also met with our investigators Yaima and Lais on saturday, Lais is Yaima's 24 year old daughter who is in Nursing School. We teach them in Spanish, but they haven't ever been able to come to church and are waiting until the semester ends on December 9th, so hopefully they will come then. We really emphasized the Sabbath Day on Saturday, and why it is so important, and I know that as we keep God's commandments, that we truly are blessed. God only asks for one day out of seven, and as we dedicate our time and our energies to serving the Lord through weekly church attendance and remembering and renewing our covenants, we are given Spiritual Power that carries us through the rest of our week. I need the Sabbath Day! It truly is a delight:) 
   We finally were able to meet Emily face to face on Saturday night after calling and trying to set up appointments, unsuccessful visits and her not being able to come to church. It was a miracle! And it was so good to talk to her again! We shared the Christmas video with her, and she loves the Church so much and how service oriented she is, and she set her own date for February 9th! We are excited to help her progress in the Gospel and become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!
  Something that I really love from my personal study in the Book of Mormon in Alma, is what he writes about Faith, and it is so beautiful. Even if we can only muster the desire to have faith, when we "try the experiment" and take it to God, our faith is added upon, strengthened, so much so that we can see the change in our lives and go out and help others do the same! This is so applicable to missionary work, as we help so many people act on their Faith, no matter how small it is, and they are then able to see God's hand more noticeably in their life, and it is amazing! I love being a missionary and helping people learn about and come unto Christ! 
   So we are having our Christmas Conference/Zone Conference next week, so P-Day will be on Wednesday. Elder Foster is coming for our Stake conference this weekend, and will be staying to tour the mission, and I am so excited! We were supposed to have stake conference in September, but then Irma happened, ha. Oh, well, better late than never! I love you all so much, have an amazing week, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Love,
Hermana Stokes

Pictures:
I'm not sure what order they are in, but we had a District BBQ last P-day, which was fun, with the ZL's and Coral Reef sisters (we live with them:) )
The one with the baby is Sister Cowart's, they were able to be a miracle in a homeless couple's life yesterday, and it turns out the  wife is Mormon! They lost everything in Hurricane Harvy, and have been working for traveling Carnivals but were treated so badly that they left. Brother and Sister Cowart are amazing missionaries, and Brother Cowart went full missionary mode on the nonmember husband and friend while we talked with the woman, Sandra. It was cool!
Not Sure what else is in there, but enjoy!!!

Monday, November 27, 2017


November 27, 2017

🦃🎄Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!!!!!🎅 ðŸŽ

Hola Familia!!!

   Ha, if you couldn't tell, I love the Holidays!!! This time of year is so special, full of warmth, love, brotherly kindness, and a feeling of gratitude for all of one's blessings! :) And then you can magnify that by 10 as a missionary, and it's just wonderful! Haha. So, something awesome that we found a few days ago in the junk closet in our house (just random stuff collected over the years being a missionary house, ha) was a Christmas Tree!!!! It's pretty big too, so we set that up and it already had beautiful lights and tinsel, it looks nice:) We are going to buy some ornaments for it today, we are excited!!!
   So before my excitement for Christmas takes over (haha, BEST time of the year!), Thanksgiving was super fun, too! We had lunch at our Relief Society President's house, Sister Velez. So funny, so lunch was supposed to be at 1:00pm, but the Latin timetable is WAY late, so much worse than just Mormon standard time, so nobody came but her sister and nephew at 2:00pm, and the rest of the family would be coming over for dinner at 5:30pm, haha. So funny. Sister Velez was hungry so we ate by ourselves, haha. Then we went out and knocked, asking people what they were grateful for, it was fun! Sister Chugg felt a little bad knocking on their doors on Thanksgiving, ha, but so many people were home! It was great:) Especially when they mentioned a turkey in the oven, haha, THAT only happens once a year! (Maybe on Christmas, too, I suppose[turkeys are a lot of work!]) We ate a later dinner with our members Brother and Sister Brown and their family, they feed us almost every Sunday, it was super fun! At first we weren't going to be able to eat with them because another member had asked us to eat with her family a few weeks prior, but she then told us on thanksgiving that they wouldn't be ready until late, so we called up Sister Brown (who had called us that morning to say Happy Thanksgiving! and to see if we could eat with them, again, haha) and let her know we could come over! She was happy! Haha, so cute, she is from Nicaragua:) So that was our Thanksgiving! Some of the missionaries went Caroling around 7pm, and I really wanted to go, but we were still eating, so next time for sure!
  We had Zone Conference this past week, and it was super inspired! Sister Chugg and I definitely need to Role play more and practice our teaching and plan more effectively, and that was what it was about! Here are some highlights:
  • Excellence isn't a part-time job, it's not something you turn on and off
  • We will be accountable to the Lord for all we did on our missions(and in our lives), including the opportunities we DIDN'T take to share the Gospel, so don't let them pass you by!!!!
  • A daily goal sets URGENCY
  • Planning is Revelation
  • Spiritual experiences we have when reading the Book of Mormon with anchor you life in the Gospel
  So Zone Conference was amazing! Also, we can now listen to more than just MOTAB music on the Mission! We can listen to any rendition of the Hymns, so if you know of a good one that you love, send it to me! I'm sure I'll love it, too!
   Christmas is coming, and a great way to make this season really special, is by watching the newt the World" video, and serving others everyday this month! The church has come out with a cute calendar for each day in December with a scripture and an Idea of how to serve in your community! It can be as simple as donating a case of water bottles to your local shelter! We can all make the season a little brighter as we let the Light of Christ shine though our eyes and our actions, and #LightTheWorld this Christmas!!!
   I love you all, so much, and I know this Gospel is true! I know that the Fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, with His Authority, is only found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This is HIS church, and we are building His Kingdom on the earth and preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive Him at His Coming. There is a little more each of us can do to be a part of the Hastening of His Work, and I encourage everyone to pray and find out from God what you can do NOW to serve Him. It will make your life better, brighter, lighter, and more full of love and of the Spirit, so "Just Do IT!"
Have an amazing week!!!!<3

Love,
Hermana Stokes

Pictures:
No one wanted to take a picture at zone conference because we like to have "A Speedy Departure" so I took one with Sister Lynch back home :)

Monday, November 20, 2017

November 20, 2017 Key Biscayne!!! :)





November 20, 2017 Key Biscayne!!

Hola Familia!

How is everyone? This week has been great! We found 3 new investigators yesterday while knocking, and all three of them are named Ana! We had a good laugh about that, haha. We went to Key Biscayne today and Downtown Miami with a Member, Sister Cowart, (she is amazing and we love her and her family, SO MUCH) and it was beautiful! We had her take pictures of our nametags in the sand, since we aren't aloud to walk on the sand, and they are really cute!
  I don't have any time today, sorry! But I love you all, the work is great, God is Good, and this Church is TRUE!!!!

Love,
Hermana Stokes 

November 20, 2017




Monday, November 13, 2017

November 13, 2017

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

November 7, 2017





November 7, 2017

Hola Familia!

So, Transfers! I am staying, thank goodness!!! I am SO GRATEFUL to be staying!!!! I know this is where God needs me, I know I am here to help our investigator Emily make her baptismal date and be truly converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know she is at least one of the people I am supposed to find and teach on my mission, even in my life, and the funny thing is, is that SHE found US!!! God's timing is truly perfect!!! We are so excited for her baptism this Saturday!!!!! She has been facing some opposition from her family and some friends in getting baptized this weekend, so any additional prayer on her behalf would be greatly appreciated! There is so much power in prayer, I just love it! I love when the scriptures talk about "Mighty Prayer," too, ha. 
   So something new I am trying in my personal study of the Book of Mormon, is writing down on a separate sheet of paper the details of the chapter, like the characters, a short summary, the key events and words, and the Doctrine, Principles, and Applications taught. I am still organizing how I want it to look, but I tried it out yesterday, and I love it!!! I am focusing so much more, and am seeing the little details that though I may not miss them when I initially read the chapter, they are easily forgotten. It is so cool!
   A miracle that we saw this week is that even though our Investigator's schedule has been super crazy, we have still been able to teach her, and each time it is amazing. Our lesson with her on Friday was so powerful, we testified of the Savior's Atonement and I promised one of the most powerful promises I have ever promised, the Spirit was so strong. Then we had dinner at a members house who was baptized a year and a half ago and another family who is amazing and we talked about the Gospel the whole time, she loved it! She wants to learn everything, haha. She met with the bishop on Sunday and they really hit it off, too, she is so ready for her baptism!!! I am so grateful to be a part of her conversion, to be that tool in God's hands to help Emily feel His love for her!!!

   I honestly can't remember too much more about this past week, haha, but we did go to the Keys again on Saturday!!!! It was awesome! We got eaten alive, though, its been pretty rough, haha. But totally worth it! We also got a bunch of coconuts, which is always great! I love fresh cocnut water, its kinda tangy ha. We also saw some dear and even a buck on Dear Key!
   I love you all so much, have a great week!!!

Love,
Hermana Stokes​