Monday, October 1, 2012

October 1, 2012

Dear Fammmm:
Yes, it continues to be so true that the time just keeps on runnin'. I think it has run faster in these past couple weeks than ever before in my mission because we are having more success right now than ever before in our mission. Elder Garry and I be straight runnin' Victoria. We are the only area in the entire mission that covers two wards but I couldn't be happier with the situation because both of our wards work super well with us and we are baptizing like it's hot!! I'll get to that in just a second. Also, I didn't know that Elder Parry was training! I'm so stoked to hear that, he is seriously one of the greatest missionaries that I have ever met, he has such a big heart, he will do wonders with a new missionary. I talked to his old Ward Mission leader up here in Victoria and he just raved about all the good work that he did up in Victoria and how they miss him to death up here.
So today I finally got a huuuuuggggeee stack of letters! Thank you all so much. It's hard, I don't get 'em very consistently in Victoria because we are 4 hours from the mission home and I'm going to try to respond to some today, but the time is very limited.  I do appreciate every one, especially from Lalo, Brandon, and Dad who have hit me up every week. I love hearing from you all, thanks so much.
So this past week was straight nuts!! Elder Garry and I are having such a great time, let me start by telling you that we had a baptism yesterday. I told you a few weeks ago about the Obra de Salvacion that we started doing where we work with the Ward counsel and pick families to teach the mission lessons to in an effort to reactivate them. Well we have been working with a less active family, la Familia Hernandez Sacramento, and yesterday we baptized the daughter of the family. Her name is Paulina and she's 11 years old. It was a great service. The whole family was there and have gone 4 of the 6 Sundays since we started working with them. Nothing like a baptism in a family to get them remotivated. That was really great. But that really doesn't even scratch the miracles from this week.
Let me start with telling you about the greatest missionaries in Ciudad Victoria, La Familia Maldonado. La Familia Maldonado is our greatest ally. President Maldonado was the stake president until last year up here in Victoria, he is only like 39. They have a son named Eduardo who has his mission call to Guatemala and leaves this month. One day this week we got a call from Pres. Maldonado and it went something like this, "Hey Elders how are you doing? Guess what, we have a family that is going to be at our house at 6 o clock tomorrow night, they want to listen to the missionaries, can you be here at that time?"
In case anyone is left wondering, yes... yes that was the greatest phone call of my life hahaha. The Hermana Maldonado had gone over and invited a family (that she didn't even know) to her house to hear the missionaries. Well that was great. We taught the family, Sandra (mom) and Carla, and Andrea (daughters over the age of 8, the dad was working out of town). They loved our message and it was a great lesson, so that was awesome. Then Saturday we had a lesson all together at the chapel and set baptismal dates with all of the family. They were all at the baptism we had yesterday and at church! It was super awesome. That is how missionary work is supposed to work. If more members had the attitude that President and Hermana Maldonado had about missionary work, the work would progress 100 times faster and retention would be 100 times easier. When the have friends in the gospel even before they walk in the chapel two things happen: One, they have a way better system of support that doesn't change areas every six weeks and two, they aren't so attached to the Elders that teach them that they go inactive as soon as they leave. Everyone who reads this should follow the example of the Maldonados and do the same! It is how the Lord wants missionary work to happen.
So that was probably one of the sweetest parts of the week. Elder Garry and I have had some incredible spiritual experiences this past week, too many to count. We set 11 baptismal dates this week with a wide variety of new investigators. We are straight up loving the work, I don't think that I've ever been so happy or fulfilled in my entire life. The wards help and support us like crazy and as we work together, we are seeing miracles. I say it almost every week but it's because its so true, Obedience brings blessings! Its the only way. You don't obey, you don't qualify for the Spirit. It's a lot like Ryan failing his drivers test the first time, he did great work, he scored great, but he disqualified himself from the get-go by not obeying. Haha my bad little bro, but it really is a great mission analogy. We can work hard, but if we don't do it and obey it serves us nothing.
Well the work goes forward. Victoria is still the promised land. Elder Castro and I are still on track to be at the temple next July with la Familia Preza. The Church is still true. And yeah, that's about it. I love you all to death. I miss you all, but only while I'm writing you haha. Jk... But seriously.
#143 #JakeHeaps #SpecialK #GMC$
Elder Stockard

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