Monday, March 11, 2013

March 11, 2013

What's up Familyyyyy:
Yo yo yoooooooooo, what's up with life in the fast lane up north?  Wow I can't believe that Kai is already home! And now that I think about it, he has been home for a good little while already! That's crazy, time just keeps chuggin' I guess, although it really feels like since I've been in my mission, nothing should have changed from how life is for everybody else, haha.  That's awesome that the Fisher fam was back in Fallon. You are so right Momma, Bishop Fisher was suchhhhh a good bishop for us as kids growing up, he was perfect. I love that man to death. I hope to see him sometime after my mish just to be able to thank him for all he did. We really had/have a really great ward up in Fallon. Hey, I would be curious, about how many people attend our ward every week?  One thing is that the wards and the chapels down here in Tampico are much smaller than what I think we are used to in the Western United States. A big ward here is more than 120 and I think there's only like one or two wards in the whole mission that have more than 200 active members. If I had to guess I would have said that there are probably like 200ish active members in Fallon 4th but I really wouldn't know, so if you could tell me that, I would be curious to hear.
Our week was pretty sick, we are seeing some great progress down here in Barrio Tancol. I feel like with all that I learned in my time in the offices, it has made me a much smarter missionary. I feel like I finally have got a good grip on what I'm doing. I feel like I plan better than ever before, I lead better, I teach better, I study better, and I know how to work with ward leaders much better than I did 5 months ago. This week in our weekly planning session, Elder Quinones mapped out all of the investigators and less actives that we are currently teaching. For each of these people, we looked at what we have already taught them, what their needs will be, and also we started looking at specific actions that the ward counsel could take to help each of them in their progression towards baptism, priesthood ordination, or receiving a temple recommend. We then filled out not only a really detailed progress record to present to the ward counsel, but we also did a separate sheet with the actions that we wanted each leader to take for a certain person in the next week. For example, we put the name of one less active that is coming back to church. With Bernardo we put that he needs an interview with the bishop to set goals to receive the Melchizedek priesthood, he needs to meet the Elders Quorum president and he needs an assigned companionship of home teachers by the end of the week. We then went and made copies of these two sheets that we had made, one copy for every member of the ward counsel, and highlighted the names and necessities that pertained to each one of their organizations. We gave a copy to each one of the ward counsel members and walked them through the help that we needed for each person. We committed every one of them to do these things before this Thursday. Hahaha, the whole ward counsel was just blown away. But they were totally on board with it. We also started planning with them in how we are going to find, teach, baptize, retain, and reactivate men that are or could be priesthood holders. Overall, it was a really well planned, sweet ward counsel.
I'm learning more and more that the key to success in missionary work really does lie in the coordination between the full time missionaries and the members. The members are really helping us and getting behind us here in Tancol and we are seeing the fruits of it. We have two really solid baptisms for the 30th of March and also we had 13 menos activos that we are teaching that came to church. To answer your question Momma, the area plan for all of Mexico is that the full time missionaries are teach all 5 missionary lessons from Preach my Gospel to all less active members and extending them the same commitments such as read the scriptures and come to church, so that is basically how we get so many to come to church. There is a ward in the mission that in November had an average attendance of 85 and last week and 175 people in church. #CRAZZZY
As for me, I'm really focused on becoming better everyday. I'm really focused on getting to full consecration and making sure that I'm becoming more converted every day. Elder Quiñones and I really get along well. He really wants to learn how to be a good missionary and I hope that I can help him. I've noticed that since I left the offices, a lot a missionaries are kind of scared of me or something and stop doing what they are doing if it's inappropriate when I walk in the room. Hahaha it's kind of funny to watch. Now I know how Dad feels when he has everybody on their toes, hahahaha.
I got a sweet letter from Elder Faught today. Man I love that brotha. We have this sweet thing going where we have like two sets of letter responses going, so I just got a letter from him that he wrote in like January, and he probably just got one from me that I wrote him in January as well. It's cool cuz we get letters from each other twice as fast because we have like one on the way always.  But yeah, the man is a totallllll stud, I love him to death.
Well, that's what's poppin' down here in Tampico. I was gonna write the promised land but I remembered I'm not in Victoria. haha. I love you all so so much. I pray for you all daily. I feel your prayers lift me daily as well. Thank you all so much. #143 #GMC$ #JakeHeaps
Elder Stockard

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