Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Semana 2

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!!!

I can't believe It´'s already been a week... like this is my second week here and that's crazy because I have already learned so much I feel like. WOW. hahah I don't even know where to start.

Family you asked some questions. Im trying to remember what they were. I see Hermana Olsen ALL THE TIME. Our districts have the same schedule so we have eating times, p day, gym time.. everything at the same time. So yeah we talk a lot and yesterday we played bball together. It's suuuuper hard not to call her her first name haha. But yeah it's great! Also, I don't even know how many times I've prayed in spanish... I have to all the time. At first it was scary, but now I'm pretty confident with it. I also lead the music the day we met the president so that was cool because he came and met me personally. But yeah I love it here.

So I guess I will start with my investigator! Susi. I LOVE her. It's really crazy how much of Christ's love I feel for her. Ahhh our first lesson was on Friday... and it was HORRIBLE. hahahahah we didn't know any spanish. But she said she learned prayer so that's good I guess. But then saturday she didn't do her commitments so that was sad... but then our lesson Saturday was SO GOOD. Definitely the most amazing experience on my mission so far. We didn't teach her what we were supposed to though.. she ended up asking about Christ so then Hna Simmerman shared an experience... then Hna Morey bore her testimony.. then Susi told us she really felt something in her heart (she had to keep pointing to her heart for us to understand her) but right as she said that... the spirit was sooo strong. Like I felt a burning in my chest. And so then me and my companions started crying... yeah that was fun. Because then I had to bare my testimony. But yes it was so happy and we got her to commit to pray and then monday she told us SHE DID IT. AHH best feeling ever. So yeah yesterdays lesson went really well. We taught about the restoration and I recited the first vision MEMORIZED IN SPANISH. So proud of myself. I also have the purpose memorized in spanish now. But yeah esta bien. So anyway, yeah that lesson went good annnnd we got her to pray for us (after some begging) and gave her a book of mormon for her to read alma 32. And she said she wants to get baptized when shes ready (: (: (: ahhh it's so great.

Oh so yeah I forgot to tell you! My companions!!! I have 2, we are a trio.. and I love it! I love them! It's super nice having a trio because we are beginners so 3 brains is better than 2. We have a ton of fun together. Also, I have the best district ever. Yeah we are district 12a(: district 12.. we thought that was cool especially since cannons go off here ever so often. But yeah in our district we have 3 hermanas and 7 elders. Hermana Simmerman is from Cedar City Utah and hermana Morey is from Burley Idaho. They are awesome. I feel like a princess here... we are treated sooo well by the elders. We never ever have to wait in line unless its from other hermanas. haha it's great.

So we have the best p day ever because today is also pizza night and Devotional!!! So Tuesdays are my favorite. We played volleyball in the sand today with our district.. it was so fun!!!! Ahh and now it's a tradition. My district is my family. It's kind of like an efy company? just in the way that we spend 24/7 together and so we create this spiritual bond. But it's not like EFY because we don't have a counsilor.. we are just thrown out there and expected to know everything. But we do have two teachers and they help us a lot! Hermano Carmona y Hermana Montoya. They are so sweet. Ohhh my gosh which reminds me... EVERYONE speaks spanish here. It's actually a reason I am so glad I got to come to the CCM. Because we are all learning the same language. I love all the people here, everyone is so friendly. When walking around we always say hola! or Buenos Dias! It's just great I love everyone. But yeah the best part is the Latinos...hahahaha they are all trying to learn english too so in huge mexican accents they go GOOD MORNING SEEEESTAAAS. hahah it's soo funny I love it. I bet they laugh at us too though. We also made a friend! I will try to send a picture. But his name is Hermano Soto. hahaha we looove him. He's learning english so he asks us for help. He is soo funny. He's getting married in July so we are all so excited for him!!

I really just love it here. Seriously, it's been the longest week of my life.. but it's been so happy. And yesterday and today have flown by sooo I know it's gonna be over before I know it. I love sundays. Holy crap. Why can't every day be sunday??? They are the best. Soooo much spirit. They love us too because relief society is in english.. but priesthood is in spanish.. ahhahaha. but sacrament meeting is in spanish... yeah I didn't understand much on Sunday. it's okay though. WE also get to watch a movie every sunday night so that's super exciting for us. We watched the Joseph Smith movie and everyone was freakin out when they kissed.. hahaha missionaries can be so immature sometimes. hahah but we also had Devo, which they just play an old one. It was Elder holland from 2003 and it was amazing. It was to the missionaries.. ah it was just good.

So I slept through an earthquake last week.... hahahaha. it was sooo funny. all of the sudden I hear Hna Simmerman yell HERMANAS and I woke up freaking out thinking we were late. Buuuut then I looked at the clock and saw that it was 3:30... and I was like what the heck. Then I realized there was a siren going. Yeah totally didn't notice it. But I was still in a daze so I walked outsde with my companions but then it stopped so I went back in. The Hnas next door told us they happen about every 2 weeks but they aren't ever bit. But they have circles on the ground outside for us to go to when it happens. I will attach a picture of that too!

It's really so fun here.... All the people are amazing. I can already tell that I'm going to be so sad when I leave. But yeah that's my week! I love the gospel. El Evangelio es verdadero.

Oh I guess I should tell how my spanish is doing... ehh.... ahhaha actually I feel like I'm doing okay. It's nice because everyone here talks in a slow spanish so that we can actually understand. So I am pretty good at understanding.. its funny.. when we teach lessons my companions always have to ask me what Susi is saying. So the lord is definitely blessing me. I need to get better at remembering how to respond though.. its just a lot to take in! But I know I will get better. I actually love spanish. I love learning it. But I hate it when I'm teaching and I know exactly what I wanna say.. I know exactly what Susi needs to hear... but I don't know it in spanish. It's times like those where I wish I was english speaking... but I know it will be worth it. I will get it! I mean I've only been here 6 days. hahah but It will be okay.

Okay well Adios!! I love you all soo much and miss you all like crazy!!!
Oh and I was gonna say.. it's funny because you know how when you are in high school the seniors are sooo old?? Thats how it is for anyone whos been here at least 2 weeks longer than you... ahhaha but in reality they only have 2 weeks longer than you and they are all the same age as you... hahah but still. they seem like they know everything to me. Also there are only about 300 people at the CCM... which is super small especially since the ccm mexico is the biggest mtc in th eworld. but by next week there are supposed to be 500 then by the time i leave there are supposed to be 1000!!!!! It's CRAZY. hahaha but yeah just a fun fact i guess.
Okayyyy I really am done now bye!

Also we are only allowed to take pictures on p day... I don't just wear the same outfit every day. hahahaha.

Te amo mucho!!!!

Hermana Stokes

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Arrived in Mexico!!

Your Missionary's mailing addres is:
Hermana Stokes
[07/02/2014] [12A]
Carretera Tenayuca-Chalmita #828
Colonia Zona Escolar, Gustavo A. Madero
07230 Mexico, Distrito Federal

The estimated departure date for your missionary is [07/02/2014]. The use of the
above address on all correspondence will greatly faciliate delivery to your missionary
at the MTC. Please don't send packages.

Hello!!! Oh my gosh.. today has probably been the longest day of my life, and also the best day of my life.(: I just got to the CCM but I have been in Mexico City for a while now. Its so crazy!! I seriously thought I was going to die on the way here... traffic laws? yeah thats just a suggestion. so yeah thats cool. Glad I don't have to drive here. hahaha. also, spanish keyboards are different so that's why my grammar is kind of bad. I saw Hermana Olsen! She ran up and gave me a huge hug. Anyway.. Both flights were good, I've been with the same 8 people all day. We are already like best friends I love it. There are 6 elders and 3 hermanas counting me! We had fun together. My last american food for 6 weeks was Jamba Juice and I am totally okay with that.(: hahah sorry, I really don't have much time... It´s hard to say everything wow. But I love it here, the spirit is amazing. The CCM is HUGE!!! It's the biggest MTC existing... Sooo yeah that's pretty cool. Seeing Mexico city from the airplane was AMAZING. Oh my goodness I didn't realize Mexico City was THAT big? I mean I imagined it big... but it's even bigger. But yes I love it. I haven't met my companion yet and I don't know what my p day is yet. But I got my nametag!! yay!!! All official now. Okay well I got to go love you all byeeeee.

Monday, May 19, 2014

My decision to serve a mission

I am leaving to the California Oakland/San Francisco mission on Wednesday. I just wanted to tell the story of how I decided to serve a mission.
First, let me just say that during my senior year I had a very strong impression that I needed to attend BYU-Idaho in the fall for college. I now know that one of the main reasons I needed to go there was so I could figure out I needed to serve a mission. So a lot of things started happening while I was at school that I didn’t really get the reason for until the beginning of November. The things that were happening were things I didn’t really think too much about. Missionary work was just sticking out to me with EVERYTHING. During conference, every time missionary work was mentioned, it stuck out to me. We would talk about missionary work in church, in my book of Mormon class, and I even taught a lesson on it in Relief Society. I figured that the reason I was so obsessed with missionary work was just because I had a lot of my best friends out on missions, and I had just watched one of my close friends convert to the church the summer before. I just really loved missionaries. Then in book of Mormon class we read this scripture. It is 3 Nephi 5:13 and it says “Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.” When I read this verse, it hit me hard. It is probably the most powerful a scripture has ever been to me before. I was overwhelmed and became emotional. And I know what you’re thinking... this was the moment that I decided to serve a mission. Actually though, it still didn’t cross my mind once. I never had a mission in mind. I just thought it wasn’t for me. So when I read this, I knew I had to share the gospel. I just didn’t think about doing it in a full-time mission. But throughout all this there was other things going on. Like, I all of the sudden had no idea what I wanted to do for my major. Long story short, I started panicking and called my dad one day. I didn’t like the feeling that I had no idea what I wanted to do for my life. My dad had always wanted me to go on a mission, and knew I didn’t exactly like it when he brought it up. But he slightly mentioned that maybe I was so confused because I wasn’t supposed to be worrying about school right now. I was supposed to serve a mission. That got me thinking a lot about all the events that had happened the past month. I started to realize that all those moments where missionary work seemed so important to me, it was the The Lord trying to tell me through the Holy Ghost that I was supposed to go on a mission. All those times I was loving the lessons on missionary work, it was really the Holy Ghost trying to tell me something. I wanted to be sure though, so I prayed, talked to my bishop, read my patriarchal blessing, talked to a couple of my good friends, and me and my family fasted. The answer came to me very clear when I got an email from my best friend on one Monday. I knew I was supposed to serve a mission. Now. So then I immediately started my mission papers, and here I am today!
I am so excited to serve the Lord. I can't wait to share God's love.(: