Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24, 2017

Hola Familia!

I hope everyone had a GREAT week, because we sure did! This is the last week in the #RISEoftheFFLM and everyone is going hard this week to find those Miracles God is ready and waiting to give us to help us reach our goal of 100 Baptisms!!!! We are halfway there, and we learned from our leaders that is every investigator with a date gets baptized this weekend on their date, WE WILL MAKE IT! We are sooo excited, its awesome! 

So we were working with two investigators since before I got here, but they are not married and have been together 19 years, and we are not sure if they are truly willing to act, so what we thought were elect gators might not be, but thats okay! We are always planting seeds, and someday in the future they will be ready to harvest! The Lord will always bless us as we strive to do His will and use this time we have as full time missionaries, HIS time, wisely. So that is our goal this week, is to continue putting forth every effort to find that miracle and baptize in The RISE! We met a family of four last week and the Dad was super elect, and Sister Thurman and Sister Adams went and taught them the Plan of Salvation(we were on full day exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders) and the Dad is so ready to be baptized! We went over briefly the BOM our first visit, and he has been reading it ever since and accepted baptism!!! Unfortunately, he and his family left the next day for a long 15-20 day work trip (he drives semis..) But we will meet with him the moment they get back! 

So, we are super low on miles (!) and have done a bit of biking this week, which is super fun! We biked in the rain on Saturday, ha, it was great. Funny story--> So we have been trying to find a ride to Zone Conference tomorrow, and our last option was to ask our ward mission leader who took us to transfers not two weeks before. So we show up to his house, but his adult daughter ansers the door and lets us in (shes a nonmember) and tells us they are in the temple. She pulls our a roticery chicken for us to eat (we didnt ha) and then some crackers and hummus (we did!) and used the bathroom. She was so funny, trying to give us anything we needed while also working on homework on the computer. But anyways, so we leave and knock in the area and then come back to their house 45ish minutes later to pick up our bikes, and lo and behold, Hermano and Hermana Valverde come back as we are walking up their drive. Its still raining at this point, ha, so of course they feel super bad for us and practically insist on taking us inside and going our to eat. Sometimes members just dont understand No, thank you, we need to keep working ha, especially latinas, ha. But we did bring up needing a ride to Zone Conference, and so we kinda sorta maybe guilt tripped them into it, considering we were "mojada" (wet) and that may or may not have been our whole goal in the first place, ha. I love it! They are so sweet, though, and they love us, and I know if we asked them in the first place they would have been more than willing to help us. I also considered showing them my toe (I stubbed it pretty bad at the STL's house) but I wouldn't have actually done it. It was fun to joke about it with Sister Thurman, though, ha. 

Sister Thurmin keeps a list of funny things that happen during the week, so here goes:
-We were warned by a lady while knocking about "sexual predators" in the area, haha, she told us we should google it! Maybe in a year!
-We lost our keys for a day, and I was freaking out bc they are my responsibility, but tender mercy! They were in the parking spot we had left that morning, right where they had likely fallen out of my bag/hand/bike helmet or whatever they were in, ha, I don't remember, 
-We knocked into a Mexican family who thought we were Brazilian! Spanish is on the upward climb!
- So I shared a prayer with this young couple who had just bought a TV (we helped them carry it inside, it was huge) and I accidentally called him Kevin instead of Carlos, and everyone burst out laughing! Ha , oops. 
-While knocking(the best stories come from knocking, ha) we went up to a house where someone had slaughtered a snake on their front porch with a shovel. Blood, ants, chopped off head, the works.
- There was a fire in Naples and in Lehigh, and the Lehigh elders had to be with the Zone Leaders for the day. I was with the STL, so we heard from the Sisters in Naples that some of the members homes were on fire... Not good. I would love to be a service missionary, though!
-We were biking, and this squirrel bursts out of the brush on the opposite side of the road and darts in a diagonal right in front of sister Thurman's bike tire--he had to have lost at least a few hairs, haha, super spastic squirrel. 

Also, we just deep cleaned our porch and so now its super nice and we do weekly planning/ whatever else outside now! Pictures to come!

So yeah, I am finnaly making this email more of a priority! I hope you all enjoy it! I know this Gospel is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and by abiding by His teaching and commandments, we will find true and everlasting Peace and Happiness! I don't know about you, but that sound way better to me than anything the world could ever offer! Stay Strong! I love you all, so much!

Hermana Stokes​

Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy Easter 2017

Happy Easter 2017

Hola Familia!

Hey everyone! Happy Easter! I hope you all had as awesome and Easter as I did! It was so good! I love my new area, it is so huge and everything is really spread out! It definitely has a small town feel, which I love, haha. Sister Thurman is my new companion, and she is so awesome! She is from Oregon, and we get along so well! I am finishing her training as her mom became a Sister Training Leader down in Ft. Lauderdale (where I just was, ha) 
On Easter we were invited by an english family to join them and their family friends(including our ward's bishop and a bunch of nonmembers!) for Easter dinner. It was so good! They are Hawaiian and they cooked amazing food! I should have taken a picture of it, ha. Oh well! They are so awesome, and we shared the Easter video with them, which they all loved! I definitely recommend watching it if you haven't, it is sooo good! Plus we got to watch it in English for once, so I got more out of it, ha. 
So we have been teaching two investigators Santos and Alfredo, and they had a date for the 29th, but they couldn't get a ride to church and live an hour away from the chapel... We also found out they aren't married, but have a family together and have been together for 19 years. We will work on that! 
Yesterday while out knocking we saw so many miracles! We saw this yellow house on the other side of the street, and we both said let's knock it! So on our way back we made sure to knock it and lo and behold, we find the Torres family, a family of four, and the Dad is so ready for the Gospel! He had been praying that friday for help, and an hour and a half before we knocked on his door, he had again been pleading with the Lord for direction in his life, and then we knocked on his door! He recognized us immediately as an answer to his prayer, and we testified that we knew that God had led us to him and his family. We go back to teach them tonight! We also met Waldan and his 7 cuban relatives (cousins, brothers, uncles, etc.) He was super cool, and we are going to start teaching him this week, as well.
I am so excited to see our area progress and to work up here. I am also grateful that it is still Spanish! Definitely not ready to go English yet, ha. 
So funny story from yesterday: when we were about to start knocking, we had to cross the street. Sister Thurman started walking but a big truck was coming, so she hurriedly got out of the street. When he passed, he was shaking his finger at us like you do with a little kid when you say "that was a No No" ha. We thought it was the funniest thing! Haha, we died laughing! Little things like that are just so funny.

Well, Im about out of time, but I love you all so very much! This Gospel is so true, and it blesses lives everyday, I promise you that it will bless you too! Have a great week everyone! 

Les Quiero,
Hermana Stokes❤

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

April 11, 2017

 Hollywood Florida Beach

April 11, 2017

Hola Familia!

So, transfers... I am going to Ft. Meyers, Rio Vista, and my new companion will be Hermana Thurmin, who I think is still training, so we will see how that goes! Ha, I am excited! Bye bye, Hollywood Hills! (We lovingly nicknamed it HollyHOOD) Ha. 

This past week we saw so many miracles! The fast we did as a Zone last Sunday to find really worked! We found more New Investigators as a zone this last week than in the last 8 months (on a weekly basis, not all combined) Prayer and fasting really do work, and if any one (really everyone!) needs a little more help from on high, I promise you it will work! We found 8 NIs as a companion, and yesterday we had an awesome temple tour (my first!) with our investigator and his LA mom (she was baptized at 10 and only attended for about a year or so, and we couldn't find her records this past Sunday, so hopefully we get it figured out, ha.) 

So it's been good, and I am excited to continue my service in a new area and see what the Lord has in store for me! We are always being prepared for our futures, and I am grateful for all the learning opportunities God is sending my way. I know they will help prepare me for a lifetime of service, and I couldn't be happier to be a worker in the Lord's vineyard! 

I love you all so very much, and I'll talk to you next week!
Have a great one!

Hermana Stokes

Monday, April 3, 2017

April 3, 2017

Hola Familia!

General Conference was So GOOD! It was like a spiritual mini vacation! I invite everyone to watch it and listen to the council from our leaders for our time! I know that they are so inspired, and that through their words God answers our own personal questions of the heart. 

Sadly, we had several people committed to come and watch conference in the chapel with us, but none of them came... But that's okay, because they can watch it on their own time now because technology is great! Sunday morning by far had the most attendance at the church, and the Creol Elders had a family they had met just the day before while knocking come, how cool is that? The Miracles are still out there, and they are coming for Sister Osborne and I, too!

This week we didn't really get to teach too much. We shared a lesson on Prophets/General Conference and shared the Easter Video (which is awesome, and everyone needs to watch it!) with our recent convert Gianni. He was baptized in February. Sadly, he didn't come to the 12:00pm session, but hopefully he can watch them all on his own. He has been watching church vidoes/talks in his free time already, so he is doing super awesome! 

It was kind of funny, with setting up for conference, the member who put it together made the chapel spanish (which was supposed to be english) the primary room english, and the relief society room ASL. While trying to make the Chapel streaming english, it changed to french! Ha, I thought it was hilarious, but the poor man was a bit frazzled. We ended up watching conference in the relief society room on a tv, so it was good. 

I don't have much time, and I forgot my camera, ha (I forget so many things...) I love you all so much! Have a great week!
Hermana Stokes