Monday, July 31, 2017
Holy Cow tomorrow I hit my 9 month mark!!! I cannot believe it's already been that long, and now instead of counting up it counts down... but that's okay, because I still have a year! (That's what I tell myself all the time, ha. Sis. Colton passed her 6 month mark a little while ago, so I'm looping myself in with her, ha.)
I don't even know what happened this week, it goes by WAY too fast, haha. If it wasn't raining bad today, we would have gone to Sanibel today, which is a big tourist attraction with shells on the beaches (which we would admire from afar, ha) and I don't know what else, but hopefully a P-day in the future you will get those photos and I will get the experience! Haha.
Friday we had a full day exchange with our STL's, but sadly Sister Adams was sick with an infection, so I stayed with her while Sister Soto and Sister Colton had a baptismal interview for YSA (which he passed! Miracle for the sisters!) and they later found a family for us to teach! I am so excited to meet them this Wednesday! Exchange miracles! Sister Adams and I watched Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration, which was so good! It made me cry a little, but strengthened my testimony of Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which I absolutely LOVE! I also finally got the Gordon B Hinkley manual in the mail (I never got one, so I caved and bought one and then it went on back order, so I got it over a month later, but it came and I am so happy!) so I read a bit from that, colored, watched some cheesy 80s church videos, ate some cotton candy(Sister Adams told her dad that she and her companion were craving cotton candy, so he sent her a huge box of the little tubs of cotton candy, haha) so it was like an extended P-day! Definitely happy to be back at work though! There is nothing quite like thrusting in your sickle with all your might, mind, and strength! Ha.
We had an investigator at church! Jose came, who I think I wrote about before. He is such a kind man, (also really goofy! You should see his impression of Adam and the creation, and then eve, and oh man, he's a crack up!)and he is going through a divorce right now. He is going to two other churches, so we weren't sure when he would make time to come (we've invited him and talked about church with him a lot), but he texted us right before sacrament and said he was coming as his church had already ended, and it was so cool to see how he took everything in from the meeting, he even took notes! He couldn't stay for class, but later that day he texted us and told us how much he loved church! We are excited to keep teaching him and helping him understand that this is the only true church on the Earth!
Also, Scott didn't make it to church (Sister Mayfield [a member] is a family friend of his, he is 30 and really struggling right now, he lives out of his car and is doing those labor day jobs where you get paid when the job is done) but he came after and had a good lesson on the Book of Mormon, and chapel tour, and he accepted baptism when we opened up the font and invited him for the 26th of this month! He has to come to church 3 times before being baptized now, and also smokes, so he has a ways to go, but we are excited to help him and help him understand who he truly is and feel God's love for him.
Oh, last P-day we had a Zone activity with Pioneer Day themed activites/games, ha, we did a stick pull! And a different game where to try to knock your companion over with just hiting their hands, like pushing someone over as they balance on a curb with a double high five, it was fun! I beat the sisters! Definitely not the stick pull though! I have some ppictures of the elders, ha. Also tried out our Fondue maker/melter thing! It was delicious! :) Hopefully we won't use it for a while, we are trying to eat and exercise better, any advice would be appreciated! Ha!
I love you all, have an amazing week!
Monday, July 24, 2017
How is everyone??? I am doing great! We had some really funny experiences this week, haha, I love it. Especially the super awkward moments...😅 I'll start with that one first. So we were knocking either yesterday or the day before (can't remember!) and we knock into this sweet middle aged woman who is an active Christian and accepts a prayer. We find out that she is visiting taking care of her mother who had a scare a few days ago and just got out of the hospital yesterday. Perfect! We would love to pray for her mom as well! So I start praying with this woman, and we can feel the spirit, its awesome, and then her recuperating mother opens the front door and says weakly, "I need you" and pulls her daughter back inside, and I hadn't ended the prayer yet and I open my eyes and the lady apologizes, goes inside and shuts the door... um, what just happened?? It was so awkward, you don't even know! That has never happened to me or to sister Colton, I was literally praying and then she left right smack dab in the middle of it, ha, oh man. After she closed the door sister Colton and I looked at each other and I quietly said, "In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen" Hahaha, so funny!!! So, new knocking adventures 8 months in, gotta love it!
We found 7 new investigators this week! I love it when we hit our weekly goal!!! It was awesome! So last week I mentioned Ayman, right? So we got to teach him with our member Hope, who is going up to BYUI in the fall and planning on serving a mission! She is awesome, ha, we will have to get a picture before they leave. Anyways, His english is spotty, so we are not sure how much of the lesson he understood, BUT we brought it up in ward council and the ward clerk, Brother Gertler (who is affectionately called "the candy man" by the ward because he is always handing out little chocolates to people) ordered a Book of Mormon in Arabic for him! We showed Ayman the Gospel Library, and it has some stuff translated into Arabic, but we didn't see the scriptures, mainly just the ensign and conference and whatever else, but we will get there! We met his wife yesterday when we knocked on their door to see why they didn't make it to church, and she is looking for a church to attend as well! Ayman is back at work now though, and she said he works from 10am to sometimes midnight, and his only day off is monday, which is our day off, so... we will see what happens. I've sacrificed an hour of Pday before to meet and teach, and I know God blesses us for the sacrifice!
We also went and taught part of the Restoration to our potentials turned 'Gators Jane and her 11 year old grandson AJ! They are awesome, but she is so talkative! Holy cow can she talk! She loves us, though, and we helped her hang up a cross above her door, so we are basically family! Haha (Our member/ recent RM Mark (Hope's older brother) came with us and sister Colton and I didn't really want to hang up the cross, so Mark did it, ha, he said something along the lines of "one more crazy story!" When she wasn't in the room, of course! The cross itself has a pretty funny story too, ha, this lady is a crack up. So back in Palm Beach where they were living before they moved here, she had a roommate who they liked but then Jane started to feel a little creeped out by her and finally her roommate moved out. Right as she left, Jane ran out to their Oak tree in the backyard and cut down two sticks and made it into a cross, and put it above her door. Her friend then told her to throw some salt by the front door, because she was still feeling uneasy, so she did!! Hahaha, you have to hear her tell the story, its HILARIOUS!!!)
We had a blitz this past Saturday, which is when the other missionaries from our district and the zone leaders come and we all knock someones area, and we knocked ours because they all work in the same area, haha, plus we probably need the help :) Our district leader and one of the elders from the Rio Vista west area(I was Rio Vista East, ah Spanish..) taught a full resto and we have two new investigators!!! Blitz miracles!!!
Okay, so on last P-Day we tested out our Ice Cream Maker, but we used a recipe her mom sent her but we didn't have the measurement for the milk, so we guessed two cups of milk when we put over 2 and a half cups of sugar and 2 tablespoons of vanilla... lets just say it didnt turn out quite right, haha. We made it for the district and only the creole elders ate all of theirs ha. Sister Colton took a bite of hers and died laughing on the floor, which made me die laughing on the floor, too, haha. Ah, man, the fun never ends!!! I have had so much fun the last few transfers, its been so amazing!!! While also working hard, of course! I have learned that you are happiest when you are obedient and working hard, and I feel that I am finally developing a decent hard work ethic!
Sister Colton and I tried to cartwheel this week, too, and wow am I rusty! Ha.
Something that was really cool, is that on Sunday we had our Stake President give a training in ward council and then a talk in Sacrament. He shared the story of Alma the Elder and his people who split off from King Noah and were living righteously, and then an army of the Lamanites happens upon them and they fall into captivity, even though they were righteous. He expounded on how the people prayed in their hearts (they would be killed if they prayed out loud) and how the Lord promised that He would make their burdens light, not that He would take them away immediately. I have always loved that story, especially when it talks about how the people of Alma submitted cheerfully to their circumstances so that they could not feel their burdens even while they were on their backs. Later that evening we met with a member and a friend of theirs who is going through a really hard time, and we shared a part of what we had talked about that day with this young gentleman, and are going to continue to teach him later this week!
Cape Coral is awesome, I love the ward, the members, the sky is breathtaking EVERY DAY, and I am a missionary, a disciple of Jesus Christ, called to declare the truth and call people to Repentance! That was slightly dramatic, but I love it, because it is true! This is exactly where God needs me to be right now, and I encourage everyone to really think and ponder about where they are in their life, how they are doing on the path back to Heavenly Father, and maybe what changed you need to make in your life to get back on track. When we align our will with His, MILAGROS happen! I testify of that!
I love you all, have an amazing week!
This is the cross we hung up, ha
Also, some Igrits that hang out in our back yard eating worms, and sometimes bread...;)
Monday, July 17, 2017
This has been a great week! Everyone in our district but us went down to transfers on Wednesday, so we were holding down the fort! We joked that we went and proselyted in all of their areas for them to help them out, haha. (We didn't!)
So I don't have much time, but here goes!
We went to visit a former investigator Lori yesterday, and when we got there we found out that they are moving! They have to be out of the house by tonight, so we got to do some miracle service! We found out all about her life and how she use to be so active in the Lutheran church before it became so worldly and corrupt and how her own children are turning against her because of her abusive ex-husband. It was so sad, but she is with an amazing guy who truly loves her so much now, and they really need the Gospel in there lives. Its so funny, on the Teaching Record the past sisters had written she talks like a Mormon, and she super does! I am truly so grateful to have been born in the Gospel and to grow up in an amazingly strong family. So many people know nothing about what a family truly is like, it breaks my heart. It was so funny though, because we wanted to leave but it was raining and lightening pretty hard, and they wouldn't let us because it was dangerous, haha. They were so sweet, we shared a prayer with them that I know they truly needed. Sister Colton is so funny, she will just look at me when she wants me to say it, ha. We got a free ice cream maker and fondue pot out of it too! Haha, they were basically giving everything to Goodwill, and offered it to us, so why not, right?
We finally made it out to Pine Island this week! It was cool to think we were proselyting on an island, ha. There is this little island town called Matlache and it has the cutest, arties little stored all brightly painted! We will have to check it out one P-day, for sure!
A miracle we saw this past week was that on Saturday, we knocked into this man from Palestine who didn't know English too well, but accepted a prayer and said "We love Jesus!" He was so sweet, and is of the Islam faith. I have a soft spot for Muslims because I went to Indonesia a year ago for dance and the people there were so humble, kind, and willing to share with us what little they had. It was an amazing eye-opening experience, and so when this man said he was Muslim, I was just so happy! We shared a prayer with him, and walking away from it, I could feel God's love for him so strongly, it was incredible! I couldn't help but smile! Just about an hour later, we received a media referral saying that he wanted us to come back! So cool!!!
I love you all, the Gospel is so true, and if you don't know if it is yet, just ask God! He truly does answer prayers, I testify of that!
Love, Hermana Stokes
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
How is everyone? Things in the Cape are moving along! This week has been so fun, haha. We both gave talks in Sacrament on the Law of the Fast, and I went a little long (oops) and a returning missionary in our ward also spoke, and he talked about the Restoration with funny mission stories in between, it was a great Sacrament meeting! Poor Sister Colton, I was told two weeks prior, but the youth speaker was out of town, so we got called by the 1st councilor that she would be speaking saturday, so she was pretty nervous, haha. She did great, a full 10 minutes! (which is how long mine should have been, but I over prepared and didn't run through it at all, so... ha)
So we got a new mission President! We met President Garns and his sweet wife of thursday, and we got to be with them for about 2 hours. It was so cool! They are really awesome! She made homemade chocolate chip cookies for everyone, and they reminded me of home :) in the best way! I have tried to make them here, and they fail utterly, so, ha, it was a nice treat. So we have had a few minor changes, but not much. One cool one though is that we can call and communicate with people/ missionaries outside our mission now!
We got a media refferal over a week ago, William (Bill) Lewis from Navoo. The sister who sent it texted us on friday to follow up, see how it went, that sort of thing. She has stayed in contact with him. Well, normally we would have to call the office and the senior sister there, Sister Burdick, would talk to her, but we called Sister Burdick and told us we could call Sister Gobel directly!! So we did, and you'll never guess... some of you might recognize her name,... She served in our home ward!!!! She was literally just with the Elderado Pass ward! She was at the BBQ Luau in our backyard, and Megan, you went out and worked with her!!! SO CRAZY!!!!! Also, her companion... is Sister Sydney Andrews!!!! Um, WHAT??? I totally talked with her on the phone, and she didn't realize I had been out so long, haha, so crazy! That was really cool, but of course we got back on track rather quickly, but so awesome and what a small world!
So its been a week, haha. I don't have much more time, but I love you all, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is restored in its fullness today on the Earth in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! You don't have to be a full time missionary with a plaque on your chest to declare it, paint one on your heart! It is so much fun to go out everyday and do what the Savior did when He was here, and what He would still be doing if he were here today! The work never stops!!! I Love it!!!
ister Colton just gother earsrepierced!
🎇🎆HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!🎆🎇
And a happy birthday to me, haha. Can't believe I am turning 20!!! And I hit my 8th month mark!! Time goes by WAY too fast, haha. Its been such a blast though, I definitely recommend serving a mission! You learn so much every stinkin' day, it's crazy!
So funny thing that happened last Sunday, and then a funny story about this Sunday.
So last Sunday we were on bikes, completely out of miles for the next week (we went over, oops.. DT and Church, what can I say?) and we didn't have a meal appointment. So, we figure we can stop by this single member's house and he'll take pity on us and feed us. NOT! We show up and a different brother from the ward answers the door, and we can smell the food cookin! Turns out, he had a date planned and so we kindly left as she pulled up... Awkward, ha. So then we look at our GPS to see who is close by, and decide to visit a LA woman who is living with the Galang family, who are super active and awesome and their son just came back from serving in the Idaho Falls mission two weeks ago (I speak with him this sunday!) So we go and share a message with this really old, sweet lady who used to work in the temple but is so close to finishing her life she can't even talk, sad but sweet, and then we didn't want to leave because we came there with alterior motives aka FOOD ha, so we ask if we can share a message with them as well! They say Yes of course! But then Sis. Colton goes "Before we start, Can I have a piece of Bread?" It was sooooo funny! But awkward too, because then she started crying from being so hungry and scared if they would say no and also embarrased, and I had no idea why she burst into tears at the time, but then she starts dying laughing and crying at the same time, so im dying laughing, too, and this poor family is like "these poor sisters!" and start pulling out all this food from the RM homecoming dinner the night before with the Phillips family whose son came home a week prior to Bro. Galang. Oh, man, It was awkward!!! Haha, she put the quote "Can I have a piece of bread" up on her wall, and we quote it to each other now, haha. We now know not to let Sis. Colton go hungry!!! Hahahaha!!!😂😂
WE HAD PRESIDENT UCHTDORF COME SPEAK!!!! You might ask why I said its a blessing that no investigators showed up...... Wellllllll it was the kind of sacrament where you are like is it over yet??????? A man who recently came back to the church got up and shared his testimony and then said "I believe in the art of story telling so I just wanted to share with you this: (then he quickly whips out his phone and presses play) and that's when President Uchdorf's voice floods the room along with music. It was a Sacrament meeting for the books! The video paused half way though and what was already an uncomfortable situation became doubly so....... So after that it was up to the missionaries to save the meeting!!!! So sis. Colton goes up and then the Ward mission leader, and then it ends, ha. What can you do? ha,
I am out of time, but I love you all so much!!! Have an amazing week!!!
Love, Hermana Stokes
Sis. Colton took a picture of a grasshopper on a tree, and I thought it was funny!