Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Feb. 16, 2013

¿Que onda? Another good week for y'all? Man it's been a good one down in my hood. Visits from the 70, office time, working on transfers once again, divisions with other Elders, lessons, baptisms, goals, Book of Mormon and more. It's been a really crazy week and I'm almost sure that I was just sitting here writing like an hour ago, but it's already been a week. Isn't it crazy how fast the time flies by when there is a lot to do? Well, kind of a bummer that Ryan's season ended, but sounds like it was a pretty bummer season all around. I'm stoked for him that he is going to play golf. Elder Adams and Elder Faught would be proud. But if he gets good that'll be a problem, cuz then I'll be the only one of all my friends who is totally horrible at golf. AND, hahaha, I can totally picture Dad when he heard Lauren say she had a paper due in an hour and a half as you all waiting in line to buy ice cream, hahaha. I would have paid to see that one. Good old Pops with the academic killer instinct.
So, once again we don't have a P Day today. Today has been a really crazy day. This morning, our zone had a meeting with Elder Benjamin De Hoyos, the 1st counselor in the Area Presidency of Mexico and With Elder Aaron Martinez of the 70, their wives and also Pres and Sister Jordan. It was SUCHHHHH a dope meeting, Elder De Hoyos like answered a ton of questions that I had been talking about recently with President that I'm not gonna type cuz it would take me hours, but needless to say, the eyes of my understanding were opened about the Gathering of Israel. I'll explain it to y'all when I get home in 2 years. But yeah, it was a really awesome conference. Elder De Hoyos also really laid it down well and gave us some more direction on the Area of Mexicos plan, la Obra de Salvación and how we should be going about doing that. We just finished the conference like 20 minutes ago and the day is going to stay crazy because in like 30 minutes we have to go and... FILL THE FONT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm sooooo excited, tonight is the baptism of la Familia Ruiz. They are such an awesome family. I have really been amazed by how they have exemplified the principle that true doctrine, understood, changes our nature. We inherited them when we inherited Barrio Boulevard due to a lack of missionaries and the Elders that were there in Boulevard had done a great job with teaching to their needs and understanding, we really just had to finish the job, but needless to say, I feel very blessed to have been able to take part in the teaching of that family. They have really understood and made a commitment to the principles of the gospel. That is somethings that I'm really glad that I learned from Elder Rindlisbacher and Elder Castro in Francia, there is no point in baptizing somebody who hasn't yet grasped the principles and developed the habits that will lead them to conversion. Elder Castro told me once that if a person isn't reading the Book of Mormon EVERY DAY before baptism, there is no reason to baptize them... I really took that to heart, and it has been even more reinforced in all this work in the Obra de Salvación that there is no reason to baptize numbers, better to baptize converts. I think a HUGE part of that as well comes with the importance of teaching entire families. The gospel is 100% designed to bless families, Prophets teach the parents correct principles and administer correct ordinances, and parents teach those same things to their children, those children grow up unto the Lord etc. etc... That's God's plan. That's why we should always, whenever possible teach and find families.
And so we have the baptism here in a few hours and when we finish with the baptism it'll be right back to the offices tonight to finish the transfers that will be this next Monday after this transfer of three weeks that we are finishing right now. We really should have them all done ( the transfers) but this week has been nuts cuz President has been with Elder De Hoyos visiting and training the stake leaders and missionaries the entire week. Haha so hopefully we will finish the transfers and have them sent out at a decent hour tonight.
Elder De Hoyos today, and all of Mexico really, is putting a HUGE emphasis on what the prophets have always taught; that the responsibility to find investigators is not one of the missionaries, rather it is one of the members. Stockard Family, and EVERY member who reads this, I'm gonna put it to you pretty clear: IF you aren't inviting at least one person a week into your home to hear the missionaries, you aren't fulfilling your missionary responsibilities or your promise you made when you became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. If once a week we invited someone we know to hear the missionaries in your home, think of how fast the gospel would spread and how many blessings you would receive within the walls of your home. Think how many more stories of success, conversion, and change like that of Elder Woodburn we would be able to be a part of. The Lord is hastening his work. Put the goal of one invitation a week to hear the missionaries in our home and report back to me every single week if you did it or not. I promise you will see the blessings in your lives. I know it because I have felt it and seen it.
Besides la Familia Ruiz, Chris and Ber continue progressing and should be getting married in the coming weeks.  I'm loving the work. I'm loving Tampico, it's such a cool city, sooooooo different than all the big cities in the US. I would love it if one day you all got to see it and experience it. Elder Salazar and I put a goal with the mission this last Monday to have over 700 less actives in church this Sunday and everyone has been working hard to get it. Last week we had 550, so we will see how it goes tomorrow.
I love you all so much. I'm so happy that I have the family that I do and especially the Mom that I do that has taught me so well the gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm also grateful for Logan Faught who is like the only girl that still faithfully writes me which makes me totalllllllly #TeamLogan now and forever ;) (haha, there's the shoutout that you asked for, Log). Nah but I love you all keep doin' yo thang. #143 #SpecailK #GMC$ #JakeHeaps
Elder Stockard

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