Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February 8, 2012

iQue Tal!
Mi familia y amigos!!!!!!!!!! What's happening!!? This week has been so awesome, Sunday and yesterday might have been two of the top five days since I've been here.
But how is life out in the real world? I was so excited to hear bout lil bro gettin off for 15! That is awesome, keep working hard and hittin' treys homeboi. Also Lauren, so happy that you had an awesome weekend in Vegas for the quizbowl, yes, you are just that much smarter than I am hahaha. Also, so stoked to hear that the BadHad might have his call by the time you guys go to Rexburg! I cannot wait to hear where he is going.  I'm standing by my original guess of Brazil.
To answer your q's real quick momma, the shoes are great, I haven't welcomed missionaries yet because Wednesday is our P day and Elder Parry and I go so hard on letter writing the whole time but I am so excited for Elder Buttah Biscuit to hit the field today! Oh and so I was looking all week for Elder Thomas and didn't see him until finally yesterday leaving the cafeteria! He told me the first two or three days were rough, which is totally normal, but that after Sunday he has been absolutely loving it! It was so good to see him. I have not gotten the one strap bag yet so if you could send that it would be great. Also, I am taking lots of pics and will send them home next week.
So last Sunday was Fast Sunday and I was able to bear my testimony completely in Spanish. It was such a great experience. The thing that inspired me to get up there is that our branch president, President Roundy, was starting off the meeting and he talked about how much of a difference the small and simple things in life can make, such as daily scripture reading and prayer. As soon as he said that, I was just overcome with gratitude because I thought back to my own life. Mom & Dad: I cannot tell you how grateful I am that every single morning you read scriptures with us and once a week we did FHE, and every morning and night you prayed with us. I didn't know it until recently, but it truly has made all the difference and it built a firm testimony of the power of the Book of Mormon, the power of prayer, and of the joy of families. I am so blessed and proud to call you two my parents and so grateful for the way you raised me and I hope that you can always look at me and say that my decisions make you proud. But it was a great experience to bear my testimony in Spanish.
The really awesome thing this week for me was a scripture I found in Deuteronomy 31. I have for a long time now loved verse 6, but a few weeks ago I decided to read on a little farther in the chapter to verse 8. I think I like verse 8 even better, we used it in a few of our lessons this week for our "investigators" and it is an awesome scripture. I encourage you all to read and remember that verse.
Yesterday was awesome for a few reasons. Every Tuesday night at the MTC, they have a general authority come and speak at a devotional. Last night was Bishop Edgely and his wife which was great, but what made yesterday special is I had dinner with Ed & Jane Swapp (President and Sister I guess). It was crazy how I ran into them. I was holding the door for some couples missionaries on the way to lunch and I looked up and there they were! I was on the lookout for them because Grandma had told me they were here for language training, but it's still so crazy how I saw them! It was so awesome to have dinner with them and catch up with them! They are such awesome people and they are truly faithful servants of the Lord! I'm guessing President Swapp has already called Grandma because he said he was but I took a picture with them and I will send it home next Wednesday!
Besides that my week has been pretty normal with class and studying. The MTC is truly such a blessing. In true Tommy Stockard/Hadley Faught/Kevin Christiansen fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants form, I had neglected to sign up for a haircut for the past like two weeks so I have had to resort to this straight swaggin combover with my hair tucked behind my ears, lolzz! It's so gross looking, the MTC version of #LongHairDontCare, but I am getting a haircut today, haha. Still no news on my VISA, but this week while I was thinking about the whole visa thing I remembered some more advice from Uncle Brandon (He gave me a lot haha). Miles and I were at his house one night and he was talking about the MTC time and how, although it wasn't his favorite, he accepted that his 2 year mission was God's time and that He had a plan. If God wanted him to sit in a classroom for 8 hours a day for the next two years and study the whole time, then that is what you do, and you do your best at it. It's the same thing with the whole VISA situation. God has a plan and whether I am supposed to go straight to Tampico or to SLC or Boize (lolzzz once again, I know there are two z's in Boizze Kenna) then that is what I will do, and I will trust him and His plan.
I am so thankful for all the letters and support and prayers from all of you. You have no idea how much each letter means to me. A favorite quote from one this week came from my boy Maeser Allen at college. He said, "Sometimes all of us here read your letters together, we are all so excited to see how you are doing, it's like you're the first one to go take the American Heritage test and we all want to know what your score was."  Hahahaha, I liked that one, and it's so true. Well college amigos, hopefully I get a Drew Hooper-like score in my "American Heritage" test. I'll take care of Elder Rodenburg for all you clowns. Keep it classy on your end of town and we'll hold it down on this end ;)
I love you all so much and sincerely hope that all is well with each and everyone of you. Know that things couldn't be better in el CCM, and that I miss you all dearly.
Hasta la proxima cemana,
Elder Stockard

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