¡Ey Que Onda! Whats up errbody?  Yeah, Momma it really is crazy the difference a year makes. Now all those teenagers that were always at our house are or will be sharing the gospel on almost every continent. I've been thinking a little about that and I seriously can't believe that it's been a year since I started school at BYU. That seems like yesterday. You guys are all starting up school and in a ton of different parts as well. BYU, CCSD, The Charter School, etc... but I'm super excited for you all, the start of school is always pretty fun, especially for Ryan I'm sure who will be driving to school haha.
Our week down in Victoria was a ton of fun. One thing I've found out about my missionary style is that I'm here to find the people that are prepared to hear the gospel. If we are teaching someone and they aren't showing forth a lot of interest, I'm not gonna keep coming back to them, it's not their time and if they're not going to keep commitments and progress, they're wasting our very valuable and short time. This is good, but sometimes it means that we have a few days or weeks where our investigator pool isn't huge, haha. This happened last week at the beginning of the week so Elder Garry and I had some good solid bonding time while contacting in the sweltering midday Mexico sun, haha. President has put a big emphasis on improving the way we contact and find people and I'm all for that. Contacting is incredibly ineffective, but sometimes it's necessary if there's not another option available at that hour of the day, so Elder Garry and I have been putting a big emphasis on contacting looking for specific people or houses, etc. What we've been doing is praying very specifically during our nightly planning, asking for specifics in where and how and when we're going to find these specific golden investigators, and then going and looking for them. One time this week we found exactly who we were looking for and they accepted us! It was a super cool experience and we're going to see what happens with him. It's also been kind of good because at the beginning of the week Elder Garry was getting lots of good practice with his Spanish and contacting people and talking to them in the streets. Man, after serving a mission, I'm very convinced that I will never have an awkward date because I have so much practice with talking to random people about nothing, hahaha. For example, when I door contact, usually I just pick the first thing I see and start talking with the people about it till I can make a joke, they laugh, and then if it's a sincere laugh, I have 2 minutes, if it's fake I have 30 seconds. Haha. Just a note from how we contact down here.
We found, taught, and had a new part member familia at church today.  They are pretty great. The dad and the daughter that is 13 are not members, but the mom, 23 year old brother and 17 year old daughter are. The mom has a really strong testimony and they came to church, which was stake conference yesterday. The familia Villanueva is still on to be baptized this Saturday and have already had their interview which was sick. Christian esta con ganas. I don't know how to say that in English but he's super on fire with the church and everything right now. He has taught with us and is reading everyday in the BofM. He's also going to three institute classes and has some sick friends that are all members. At first his fam didn't like that he got baptized, but they have all seen huge blessings and changes since he did and we're hoping to maybe start teaching them all real soon.
At stake conference yesterday, I heard something really cool. Estaca Victoria has had 200 convert baptisms in the last year! That is a ton. Also, President Jordan has this really good retention program that we are doing where we have two 20-minute lessons every week with our recent converts and we do this for 20 weeks. In these lessons we review, reteach, or even better, have them teach us, one point from one of the investigator lessons until we have covered them all. I really think this will be killer for retention.
Elder Garry is a super cool Elder. I really like him a lot and we know a ton of the same people. He knows a ton of my friends from school like Maeser and all the Mesa kids. He's a super cool guy from a super strong fam and I really like him a lot.
Well that's what good in our hood for this week. I love you all so much and miss you tons. Thanks for all your love and support and especially your prayers.
#143 #GMC$
Elder Stockard