Monday, October 15, 2012

October 15, 2012

Queridos Familiares:
So first of all, I was thinking about this a lot last Saturday, I cannot believe Elder Johnston is home! Time straight up flies on by, doesn't it! I still remember when he got his call. That was probably the first time it ever really hit me about how excited I was to go on a mission and how close it was. Now that's been well over two years ago. He's gone and come back. Great work Elder Johnston. Now try not to convert everyone in Fallon before the rest of us get home, haha. I will seriously love having a chance to sit down with Elder Hubbard and Elder Johnston one day to talk Mexico, we will all have some crazy stories to tell, that's for sure.
So it's been another good week here in Victoria. It's been a lot of fun. My guess is we are still in the high 80s or low 90s every single day here, it's straight hot, not gonna lie, although I will take hot over freezing cold any day. Can't really complain there. Everyone told me in September it gets cooler, but September has come and gone, haha, so we will see if it actually ever cools down.
President Jordan was up here in Victoria this last week and we had a really great zone conference with him. He is really pushing this new program that's called the Obra De Salvacion that is all about finding through menos activo families that we teach and reactivate. We've had some good success and some baptisms with it. As of right now, we have reactivated three families, including a family of 7 whose daughter is getting baptized this week (but she's 8 years old so it doesn't count as a baptism for us haha) and it's really going well. President Jordan also talked a lot to us about teaching the Book of Mormon more as part of the Doctrine of Christ. As he talked about that, it just totally clicked for me. As missionaries we totally have this problem sometimes where we launch off into teaching the Restoration and throwing all these crazy facts and statements at them and at the end, we explain the Book of Mormon and how it's evidence of it all,and we ask the investigator to pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true... And that's good, they need to know that it's true, but for all you How to Win Friends and Influence People fans out there, you know that people don't want to hear just all this information and pray to know if something is true. They want to know what all this can do for them. It hit me that I need to teach the Book of Mormon less as the key to know if our Church is true and more as what it really is, that is the Guide of How Find Happiness in this life and How to Qualify for Eternal Life. The Book of Mormon is our guide of how to change and be better. It teaches the Doctrine of Christ, which teaches us how to become better, how to perfect ourselves, it makes us better. Elder Garry and I have started teaching the Book of Mormon more in this way and having investigators write down specifically things that they want to change in their lives, and then praying specifically for the power to change those things. We commit them to read and pray and watch the miracles happen, and so far so good.
Also, this week Brandon sent me a really cool article all about making covenants and exercising "perfect faith" in a moment in order to build a working relationship with the Lord. Elder Garry and I started applying this and we've seen some miracles. The article talks all about how we should pray specifically, and then act in all obedience and some of the miracles that can come from this. It was a really cool article and we learning how to apply it as we work.
This week we had like a record high of people in church since we've been here in Mainero. We had almost 90 people.  Our goal before the end of the year is 100, so we're on our way there! We have had a ton of support from the ward and worked well with reactivation and baptizing. Mainero has been a really small ward for a long time, but now it's really growing so that has been super good to see. The Lord has really blessed us.
Well, I love you all so much, I'm really working on encouraging both Lauren and Logan to go on missions so everybody help me out with that. I would have never suggested that before, but now that they've changed the age to 19 I think a lot more girls will serve.  I've seen the change and progress that comes on the mission. There is nothing else more important and more rewarding than the work of the Lord.
Love you all,
 #143 #JakeHeaps #GMC$
Elder Stockard

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