Tuesday, May 30, 2017
So training was fun, for how long it lasted. I am now Greenie Breaking Sister Colton, and she is the best! Just met her today, we had an Emergency Transfer this morning, Sister Parker went home. But that's okay! She is great, and I know the Lord has a perfect plan for her. She learned so much from just being a missionary for a month, I know she will do great things back home. I came to love her so much in just the short time I was blessed to be a part of her life, and look forward to getting to know and working with Sister Colton.
We forgot to take a better picture, so Sister Colton and I took one at the Library Computers, ha.
I don't have much more time, but I love you all, and the Mission is the Best! Just DO It!
On the way to transfers, we stopped to switch drivers and there was a dock, so we went over on it and almost immedaitely 3 and then 4 alligators came out to say Hi! It was so cool, and also scary, ha.
Hey Dad, I am glad everything went well with visiting Grandpa's grave, and I am so sorry you got so sick yesterday! If I had known earlier I would have prayed more specifically for you! I hope you are doing better now!
It's funny that you said that about the Lord, because that is the perspective I've begun to have on the mission, that I want to teach and love the people as He would, were He here. Though I was nervous to train after half training and feeling like I needed a more experienced companion to see is I am doing everything I am supposed to or need to in an effective way, I am grateful and humbled to see that God has a greater plan for me. Something pretty sad happened this week with my baby, Sister Parker. She hadn't been adjusting well and had expressed to me since day one that, though she felt bad saying it, she was having a hard time wanting to be here. We talked it over and I shared with her my experience of not being super excited to go to Florida, like "What? Florida? What is that?" ha, and trying to help her see that the desire to be here comes as we pray for it,and as we give it time. That went on for the first few days, and she got nervous in our first lesson and just being out and about so I tried to make it light and fun. Friday she got really emotional about it, but she knew she would make it through the first twelve weeks at the least. We talked and I shared my love for her, God's love for her, and how we have to trust in Him. Basically doing my best to strengthen her spiritually and calming her down to deal with what she was feeling. She has anxiety, though, and the next morning had a panic attack at the beginning of personal study. I could tell something was upsetting her, so after we prayed and got our scriptures out, I asked her if something was wrong. She told me the same thing, about not wanting to be here, and how she got a whiff of her dad from one of her shirts, and started to panic. It was so scary, Dad, I didn't know what to do, she couldn't even breathe. I said a prayer and it calmed her a little bit, and she started coming out of the fit. We talked and I testified and I though about calling sister Richardson, but didn't. Then we went on with the day. We had correlation with our WML and right after that we shared a prayer with a member who was looking for her son over the phone, and as we ended that call Sister Parker let me know she was feeling really anxious again, the meeting with the Ward Mission Leader did it. Its whenever we go out and talk to people, have meetings, etc that makes her anxious, and she kept having the mindset that she still has 18 months of this. Looking back, I am grateful I couldnt think about how long I was going to be in the mission when first starting out, or I probably would have freaked out a little too. But anyways, she started getting really emotional again, and I didn't know what else to say other than what I already had, so we called sister Richardson and on the phone she had her second panic attack that day... We went home and she took a bath and we watched a movie. I remember walking into the house and I don't remember exactly when after that, but I felt so much love for sister Parker, I know God granted me the gift of feeling just a small portion of the love He has for her. It made me so happy and brought me so much peace, but also resignation to the fact that she was probably going home. Church made her anxious as well, and she called sister Richardson and really wanted to go home, and started freaking out over the possibility of not being able to go home. She got permission to call home and right as she called, she had a really really bad panic attack, I feel that Ive never been so scared for anyone in all my life, and I couldn' t do a single thing to help her. I just wanted to take it from her. She was so scarred of what everyone would think, and if her parents, especially her dad, would be disappointed in her. They talked for and hour and a half, helping her calm down and discuss if she really needed to come home. She kept saying I can't be here, I don't Want to be here, and it hurt so much, dad... They decided that she should come home and work through her challenges, she also has had a constant stomach ache since being here, whether that be food or stress of both, not sure. And she was so happy to be going home, and of course I was happy for her, but it hurt all the same, every time she said "I'm so excited to see my family" of "I can't wait to see my puppy"... So she went home today, we had an emergency transfer, and my new companion is Sister Colton. I hadn't let myself cry much at all until today, it started from stress from being late to the mission office (bad address and I KNEW we were going in the wrong way...) and then and the office I could,t hold it back very well, especially when the senior companions tried to see how I was doing, and then when president talked with me for a few minutes after talking with sister Parker and sending her off to the airport. I just feel sad right now, but I know itll pass, it always does, so sorry for the mopey email, ha. Im fine, really, and Sister Colton is so awesome and im greenie breaking her (she just finished her training) and loves missionary work, which is what I need to hear from my companion right now. But I Love you, and I love the mission, and I DO NOT want to come home, AT ALL, maybe never... haha. So I am grateful for that mindset, as well. But I have to go, bye!
P.S. Show mom bc I don't have time to write much more
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
So, transfers.... I am going to Cape Coral, white washing and TRAINING!!!!I am super excited for this next challenge and phase of my mission, and I hope to be able to help whoever the Lord has seen fit to be my companion, and to learn from her as well! I am so grateful for this past transfer with Sister Thurman, I have learned so much from her, I love her so much!!! She is staying here and Sister Quimbau is coming of from Doral South! She was just training there. We will still be in the same zone, Ft Myers, so we will see each other at Zone activities (but no more zone trainings.. :'( but thats okay I guess, its inspired, too.
So funny nickname a member gave me a few weeks ago--Hermana Alimentacion! Which basically means Sister Food/nutrients o algo asi, because apparently my last name Stokes has something to do with food when you google it, ha. I love members, and he is a recent convert and his wife is having a baby, and the are the cutest little thing ever! I am sad to be leaving them, they have a baby shower this June as well as another sister in the ward. But I am super excited to go to Cape Coral!!! They had 3 BAPTISMS THIS WEEKEND!!! So awesome! One actually got baptized yesterday, because on of the Sisters is going home to Brazil this week! she doesn't want to go, poor girl. That will probably be me, ha.
We have had so man adventures this transfers, and I have had a blast! I love the mission, and anyone wanting to go---DO IT! You bless the lives of others and in return, the Lord blesses you AND your family ten fold! I know that that is true, I have seen it as I have served. I know this Gospel is true, and that it brings the truest happiness one could ever find! I love you all, have an awesome week!!!!
Hermana Alimentacion (Stokes) 😂
Monday, May 15, 2017
Happy Mothers Day!!!
I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! I sure did! We celebrated Mothers Day as a ward Saturday Night, which was super fun! We left a little after 8 when they were doing games, and after we left is when people started dancing, and the elders stayed longer because they live close to the chapel and saw our ward mission leader and his wife dance! They are such a cute old couple, I love them!
I loved getting to Skype home and see everyone! I love you all so much! Thanks for coming over or facetiming!
So we have been working with a young mom, Yesenia, who we knocked into. She is 24 and has two kids. She is so awesome! We gave her the Book of Mormon the first lesson and to read 3 Nephi 11, and she has been reading a ton! Usually Investigators don't read or only read a chapter, but by the second lesson she had already read to 3 Nephi 13! We shared the plan of Salvation with her last Friday, and she loved and accpeted everything! It was so cool to see her face light up as we taught her that everyone will have the chance to learn about and accept our Savior and His Gospel, if not in this life, then in the next! She took a picture of my little Plan of Salvation puzzle piece thing and is going to show her friends and family! We love her, ha, and she was so excited to keep reading and praying!
So, our other Investigators, Jorge and Jose who we dated for the 27th of May just Friday night at an awesome chapel tour, apparently are now in Northern Florida working for the next year, so sad, but all in the Lord's timing, I guess. They will accept the Gospel one day!
So those are our adventures! Love you all so much! The Gospel changes lives everyday, go out and be a part of it!!!
PS. We are "The Machetes" District, hence the machetes! The elders in Immokalee got them for us because we are making all of their planners!
Monday, May 8, 2017
Hey everyone! I hope you are all doing Great, because I sure am! We had so much fun this past week! I don't have a lot of time (disculpa!) but we had some super awesome things go down!
We had 2 investigatord at Sacrament! Two brothers, Jorge and Jose came to Sacrament and it was awesome! Jorge said he felt peaceful and calm, and we are going to continue teaching them!
A member in our ward had her Farewell saturday night, which was so awesome and the food was amazing! We had Honduran Baliadas and a soup that means Meat in its juice! (carne en su Jugo!) Ha, it was great.
We had a boss MPL last night at an Investigators house. Maria and Lelis are not married, but Maria has a huge testimony of God's hand in her life. She has gone through really hard times, and came out super strong! We are hoping Lelis jumps on board, but so far, its been tough. We only met him for the first time last night.
So the "Funnies" for the week:
-The elders we share the ward with teach an English class wednesday nights, and two weeks ago they taught an Egyptian Family. The wife's name was super cool, and Elder Alaniz told us to guess what the Dads name was bc it was super Egyptian. I don't kjnow any Egyptian names, so I guessed PHAROAH, and we all busted up laughing! It was great! Turns out his name was Muhammad, ha.
Sister Thurman spilt melted butter down her shirt without even realizing it!
We had a huge thunderstorm come through in the middle of the night a few days ago, with lightening lighting up our room, and sister Thurman dubbed it "Dinosaurs in the Sky"
We also keep seeing HUGE grasshoppers, and one was on our car after helping a member clean a home they are putting up for rent (we tried to scratch off purple paint off a door with our fingernails.. I have pictures..) and she caught it, froze it, and is going to send it to her younger brothers back in Oregon, ha. She sent a frog corpse we found outside on our patio thingy to them, and they named it Frank! :)
Love all of you!