Saturday, January 5, 2013

January 5, 2013

What's crackin' fam?
So is it possible that it's already Saturday once again? It seems like every time I turn around, it's Saturday, but I guess I could say that about almost everyday of the week cuz the time is straight flying more and more. I love hearing how well everyone is doing. That has been one of the greatest blessings of my mission to this point, hearing every week just how well everyone back home is doing. There are so many missionaries who don't ever hear good things from home or very rarely do and it's just such a blessing to hear in each email that all is well both temporally and more importantly spiritually.
This week got chilly, well relatively chilly, here in Tampico. I think it actually got as low as like 45 or 50 degrees and it's been raining like nonstop. It's been a nice lil' change and just enough of a reminder to me that I should count my blessings for serving in a warm weather mission because being my boy Elder Adams in France would be sooooooooooooooo hard for me with the cold. Best of luck Miles, haha. It's really interesting because here in Mexico, rich, poor, or middle class, all live in houses made of cement. It's funny, I've realized that house building here is legitimately like playing a game of real life Legos haha its all pure cinder block stacked one on top of the other. I think playing with Legos is a dual program of entertainment and training for later in life, haha. But back to the point of where I'm going with this is that these cement houses are NOT built to hold in heat, obviously considering that like 95% of the year is crazy hot here but what that also means is that these two weeks of the year that it's cold makes for some REALLY COLD nights, haha. But it's been a fun little change, I've also learned how quiet our house is at night without like 15 fans blowing haha.
So yeah, this week has been a really fun, kind of different week. To start off, last Sunday our Elders Quorum President, Marco, came up to us at church and told us that he had a reference of someone that wanted to hear our message which is always like the greatest thing that a member can say to you. I mean that's 100 times better even then when someone says they want to buy you tacos al pastor. So Sunday night we taught Marco's friend, Lizeth about the Restoration... Turns out that Lizeth is totally GOLD!!! She had a ton of questions, but Elder Salazar, Marco and I were able to help her understand it all really well and she was totally ready to accept and read the Book of Mormon leaving that lesson. So we met with her and with Marco once again this Wednesday and she had read a TON in the Book of Mormon and was really receiving her answer. So we all read 3 Nephi 11 together Wednesday and we set a baptismal date with Lizeth for the first week in February, which she accepted without problems! That was a total miracle, the first one of the week. The second miracle came later on in this week with Christian, Berenice (his fiance), and la famila Cruz de Santiago. We were there teaching Ricarda and Pascual one night this week, when Cristian and Berenice walked in like right as we were getting ready to leave. Berenice told us that she had gone up to the temple and had been reading the Book of Mormon and praying and that she finally received her answer that it's true. Another one of the greatest phrases that you can ever hear!!!!!!! This was soo awesome, both her and Christian have a baptismal date for the 25 of January that they should hit without any problems, they are all ready to get married and everything is right on track.
I straight love family so so much. These two miracles really made me think this last week on the way that the Lord directs his work. Since I got to the offices, I have heard a lot of Elders complaining about how hard it is to find new investigators without being able to knock doors and wondering how we are going to focus on reactivation with the Obra De Salvacion and still baptize. As I studied on all this I started to reflect and found a scripture that I really like in Ruth 2:12. It starts out with the phrase that sums it all up: The Lord recompenses his work. Think on that for a minute. The Lord recompenses his work. What a comforting thought that is. In the world, patients recompense the work of doctors, clients recompense the work of lawyers, fans recompense the work of athletes, and Barack recompenses those that don't work (LOLZ, I know, I'm still hilarious). There is no other field of work like missionary work. The Lord recompenses it, and with that being said, there is no set number of doors that a missionary has to knock or people in the street that he has to talk to in order to baptize. The Lord recompenses his work, and he has set the requirements in order to receive that recompensation (I hope that's a word). What the Lord has required to receive his blessing in missionary work are as follows: 1. Obedience to all of the commandments and the other requirements specifically set for missionaries. Even if you work crazy crazy hard, if you don't obey, you disqualify yourself from the very beginning, He CAN'T bless you. 2. He requires diligence. I think this is where the idea that those who knock the most doors or contact the most are those who will baptize comes from, because it's true that for so long that has been the test, those who are diligent are those who contact even when they don't want to. That is very true, but here in Mexico, the Lord has said through his servants that we will now not contact, and so that's what we will do. And we must be diligent in doing it in order to receive his recompense. 3. The Lord has required that we exercise faith in missionary work. That we live the doctrine which we preach. That we have faith that we will find, baptize, reactivate or whatever it may be, even when it seems impossible. As humans, we so easily forget that God can so easily violate the laws of normality and bless us with a miracle, when we exercise the faith necessary to see that miracle. The Lord requires us to repent every day, to be examples of faith and repentance. When we do these things, the Lord will overcome the laws of normality with the higher laws of heaven by which He lives, and bless us with miracles. New investigators, a changed heart in someone who is less active, or even just personal improvement are all miracles. I have been thinking and honestly, every single baptism I've had in my mission has been an absolute miracle... No idea how it happened, but when it happened, we were doing and had been doing these things that I wrote beforehand. If we do these things: obey, be diligent, exercise faith, and repent, it really doesn't matter how, but the Lord will bless us and we will still find, teach, and baptize those that we have been sent to do so. The Lord recompenses his work. What a blessing it is to serve our King. I love you all so much. I hope to make you all proud every single day. Thank you so much for your love and support, it truly means the world to me.
#143 #GMC$ #JakeHeaps
Elder Stockard

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