Friday, July 6, 2012

July 2, 2012

Well, it's been another week and the work and time continues to move on. This week has been sooooo much different than any other before in my mission. But it's been really good and I have learned so much! First of all, incredibly glad to hear that you went to the temple with Hadley. If I were you I would say for sure go again. There is nothing like the temple and when he is out in ViƱa Del Mar, he's going to want to go and not have the option. Go again this week! But it sounds like it's been a great week for everyone at home!  I can't believe that it has already been over a year since Kev, Mitch and Hub left. This summer Miles and Had leave and the next Kev, Hub and Mitch will be home. Time is an interesting thing especially as a missionary, because for sure there are times when every missionary thinks that 2 years is forever, but for the most part, if you're working hard, 2 years seems incredibly short.
The biggest event of the week was for sure the Zone meeting with President and Sister Jordan. President Jordan served his mission in Uruguay with Ed Swapp and then they were both in the MTC together so it was fun to talk to him about that. Pres and Sister Swapp had talked with them in the MTC is what President Jordan told me, so that was kind of cool. For sure keep all the new Mission Presidents in your prayers. It has got to be incredibly overwhelming to step into a mission and all at once have it all under your command, especially in a foreign country. But the meeting was super fun. President speaks super good Spanish and seems like a really fun guy. To answer your question mom, there are 24 missionaries in Cuidad Victoria and about 300,000 people live here so its a little bit bigger than Fallon, probably more comparable to Reno but not as many members. It's a really pretty city though and probably a little more Americanish than Madero. Both Francia and one of our two wards (barrio Victoria) were like right downtown in the centro but Victoria's centro is a little bit more Americanish I think. There are some huge mountains here which are really pretty and something I haven't seen in a while haha. Victoria has a much more dry climate than Madero, but it's also wayyyyyy hotter. My first day here it was 112 degrees. You are thirsty alllllll day long haha.
It is so different being here because Francia was a tiny area, as in 12 x 20 blocks was our whole area haha. Here we have two wards and in total I would guess that our areas here are probably 12 times bigger than Francia. It's a whole different dynamic, also it's been fun learing a whole new area after 3 months in Francia where I knew everything by heart haha.
The biggest difference though has been going from trainee to trainer. My past three companions were comparable to the 3 wise men, the 3 Nephites or something like that. Elders Swenson, Rindy, and Castro had the whole mission thing down. Now it's a whole new ball game. Elder Castillo is a really awesome, happy guy with a really strong testimony but it's a whole new set of strengths and weaknesses working with someone fresh out of the MTC.  He has an awesome testimony and some great personal experiences to draw from which has been really great. It's been really different taking the lead in every lesson, every comp study, and every planning session but I have seriously learned so much this past week and really felt the help of the Lord in this last week as well.
We have some really awesome investigators up here in these wards and it was fun to meet/teach them this week. There is a lady who was baptized last transfer named Alicia. She is a super awesome new convert now and we are teaching her two teenage kids who now want to listen. Their names are Lucia and Luis. They are really awesome and their family is on the right track. Also we received a really great reference from missionaries in another area of a lady named Jessica that they had been teaching that works in their area but lives in ours. They taught her the 1st lesson on the Restoration and we took over this week. She is really awesome as well, her comprehension is super super high. She has been reading in the Book of Mormon and was asking us questions about which church is the Great and Abominable in 1 Nephi 13, which is something that usually is way over people's heads when they're first reading haha. But all three of them came to church this last week. We also have a really good investigator named Oscar who is really progressing well.  The problem is he works on Sundays. But, we taught him the commandment of the Sabbath Day and committed him to talk to his boss about changing his work schedule. Were confident that that will work out well.
Yep, another week in the books and things are only picking up speed. I love you and hope that you are all still mindful that I want each and everyone of you to pray and consider who you could share the gospel with, and then when you know, DO IT! Invite your friends, family, and loved ones who aren't members to hear the message of the Gospel. EVERYONE needs it and YOU have it. SHARE IT!
I love you all so much,
Elder Stockard

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