Monday, July 28, 2014



Wow, another great week!!!

So... yeah last week I got an x ray on my thumb. found out... my thumb is fractured. Sooo yeah thats why its still not healed! because its not just a strain! but the good news is that he said its the good kind of fracture, and that its healing really well!

We had exchanges last week!! which means one of us goes with one of the sister training leaders, and the other stays here with the other sister training leader! so I went to san ramon with sister goddard, and sister wiser came to concord with sister cefalo.  It was so fun! I WAS ON BIKES. thats right... I rode a bike all day thursday in a skirt. hahaha. it wasn't too bad.. I actually like riding bikes so that part was fine... it was just that it was 105 DEGREES. oh man. I don't think I've ever sweat more in my entire life. haha but it was a cool experience.  I loved being with sister goddard. she is THE MOST amazing person ever. wow, seriously though,  I look up to her so much. I will send a picture of me on the bike.. and a selfie of me and sis goddard.(:  oh also, it was interesting teaching in english for a day. fun though! 

On exchanges with the training sisters.

Sister Goddard, my training Sister.

Minerva.  So cool story. last week. There was a girl on the other side of the street from where we were.  I had the thought that we should go talk to her. So I started walking across the street and told my comp we needed to talk to her. we did, and set a return appointment. I didn't think much of it. but then this week we taught her. it was the most amazing lesson ever. The spirit was sooo strong. and she told us that her and her husband have been looking for a religion to join, just weren't sure. and that us stopping to talk to her reminded her that god listens to her and cares for her!! ahhh!! AND we extended the baptism invitation and she accepted!!! well she said that if she keeps learning and knows its true. then she will get baptized!!! It was so amazing. I am sooo glad I followed that prompting to talk to her.  She is 8 months pregnant.. like shes due in a week... and she has a 7 year old. she is so cute, i hope we get to meet with her again soon!

Oh so I spoke in church yesterday! I was so nervous. But it went well! I think.. super fun. haha.  Also, so the high council man in our ward is american. he just knows spanish from his mission.  His daughter just left last week to the Mexico MTC.  So when he found out I just came from there... he was suuuper excited. and invited me and my comp to dinner. oh my. best. food. ever. hahahah it was roast and mashed potatoes and man, how i miss that meal. it was heaven. and i was so happy. and they are the cutest family ever, and it was just so fun.  they are the same as us. oldest, on a mission. then 2 girls, 16 and 13. then 2 boys. 10, and 6. so yeah.... it reminded me a loooot of our sunday family dinners. the little boy reminded me so much of benja. it made me happy. but yeah. that was just a highlight of my week that i wanted to share with you.(:

I still love the mission, and I definitely love this gospel.

Go read Alma 8:15.  Lets all be grateful this week and always have a positive attitude. (: 
I love you all!!!
Hermana Stokes

Ps I'm also sending a picture of me and the espinozas. I loooove the espinozas!! haha im standing next to Karina, who is the best. shes 20 and got baptized in feb. so shes just waiting for her year mark so she can go on a mission. She comes out with us all the time and is just the sweetest girl you will ever meet.(: this was after "por que yo creo" last night. a meeting where recent converts go and speak. from all over the mission. so its in oakland. super fun. they do it once a month! oh and sorry that the picture is yellow... haha

Service Activity with Hermana Arellano - Great time cleaning out the garage

Monday, July 21, 2014

2 months!!!

Today is my two month mark. whaaaat. I don't know about you guys, but time has flown for me. Especially this week!!! so much to tell!
Okay so this week I had way too much food. Like um... yeah its funny because last week we didn't have any dinners. well just a couple. but this week.. we had two dinners almost every day, and we got fed lunch and breakfast a lot too. ahh i almost died. Latinos feed us so much and I already really struggle with eating all the food... so imagine me eating two huge meals like that in a row! and i hate not eating all the food because i feel so rude. so this week i felt sick every night from stuffing myself full. ahhh the missionary life. hahaha but its okay. I am grateful for all the members who feed us with such wonderful food. (: the other day I actually had probably the best stuff ever. it was like this pasta dish with shrimp in it and it was so good. anyway. yeah. also, arroz con leche is amazing. i know that sounds weird.. but its good. haha.
Okay so wanna hear the best thing ever?? We went to teach the Garcia's the other day... they were watching Frozen in SPANISH. hahaha so when we walked in let it go was playing. so yeah first thing im doing when i get home is watching frozen in spanish. done.
Marcelino has a baptism date!!! wooo! august 9th. and he came to church on Sunday. He's really progressing, you can tell he really wants to get baptized. So excited for him! He's the best. And we are gonna have to talk to Letty and move her baptism date.. because she didn't come to church on sunday.. which means she doesnt have enough time to go to church three times befor baptism.. so we have to move it.:( And Carlitos is doing great!! looove him. He's the cutest. He's progressing really well.. and starting to think about baptism. I will attach pictures of us on here. He loves us. We are even his wallpaper on his iphone. haha its the best.

So we had interview with President this week! that was fun. Both him and his wife told me that I need to go to the doctor for my thumb... since I still can't move it... Sooo I have a doctors appointment today. we'll see how that goes.
Also, found out during the interview that its sooo hard for me to pray in english! hahah i kept saying y, and every phrase i thought of was in spanish. yeah it was hard.
Saturday I got my first OYM all by myself in spanish!! meaning i talked to someone all by myself in spanish and gave them a pass along card(: I was so excited! I also had my first conversation alone on the phone in spanish!! wooo!! Progress.
We went to the temple on Saturday! well I mean the visitors center. With Investigators and the branch. Carlitos came! perks of having a temple 20 minutes away. It was so cool. I still love that video about families so much. You guys should all go to the VC in SLC and watch that family video! its amazing and will make you cry.

YESTERDAY. Yesterday was crazy. it was good!! We met a guy and taught him on the street and have another lesson tomorrow... yay for a new investigator! it was way cool! He was surprised with my spanish when I told him I'd only been learning for 2 months. Then... we taught pablo. And Stephanie was with us as our member, and It was dark and we had to walk back to our car, so pablo walked us because he already doesnt like that we walk on monument alone, let alone in the dark... so anyway we were walking and this lady stopped us and started yelling at us saying she is a prophet like joseph smith. except reincarnated. and she started saying all this stuff about how she didnt read the bible she lived it. and how she knows too much about our religion that she wants to forget it. so yeah... that was interesting... the americans here tend to be kind of craazy... hahahah but yeah we were in shock. but all is well. haha.
Everyone here is finally starting to know and love me. meaning the members and stuff. I love it. yesterday we saw the espinozas and vanessa freaked out and ran and hugged me.. it made my day. because before I was just this new missionary.. now they all love me.(:
But yeah I hope you are all doing well!! happy birthday to Christopher Stokes tomorrow.. and also happy pioneer day this week!! enjoy east canyon...:((( hahah I want pictures! love you all!!!
Hermana Stokes

Monday, July 14, 2014


So. Wow this week was good. I really just love the mission.
We went on a hike last p day for zone activity... um i almost died. haha i love hiking. but it was so hot and sooo long. But overall I really enjoyed it. getting to know the zone was fun! we have a lot of great missionaries here. Its weird being around missionaries that arent spanish speaking... haha because everyone is spanish in mexico so I was just used to that! but yeah its still fun. I have some sweet tan lines now. haha yay #missionaryprobs.
Okay sooo I love the people here. Oh we had a crazy night last week... this investigator we have.. well did have.. her name is Juliana. She is 24, and has 6 kids. the oldest is 9. yes you read that right. wow her life is crazy. we had a night last week where we went to visit her but she wasnt there she went out with her boyfriend and left her kids with her mom.... oh those poor kids. they have no discipline, and are crazy. I have been praying that she will realize she needs this gospel.
The food here is great!! its funny... the food people cook is definitely not american... but its also not what you would expect if i told you we were having mexican food. but pablo, one of our favorite members ever.. he is awesome.. he took us to an italian mexican place the other day. that was weird. then carlos, another one of our favorite members... took us to a mexican place the other day and it was the most amazing food ever.. man why dont we have real mexican restaurants in utah?? hha. but yeah food is good.. my problem is that i dont eat much.. i get full too fast. but i have to eat all the food cuz i dont wanna be rude... its soo hard.
CARLITOS. we have a new investigator!!! Carlos's son.. carlos. so they call him carlitos. which litterally means little carlos. he hates being called that though. but he is 10!! Caleb, his birthday is may 17th.. he is almost the exact age as you. its so fun because i think of you when we teach him. hes the cutest. he is really interested in everything. and he is so smart!! man i love him.
So we had zone training the other day... it was so great. everything i needed. i love this gospel. the spirit is amazing!
OH! we have a baptism date for Letty!!! august 9th!! i really hope it works out. i love her, she is the greatest. shes really starting to realize she needs this gospel.
AGUA. they make this thing here called agua. its really just a fruit with water and sugar and its amazing. i will make it all for you when i get home. pablo buys us fruit all the time so we use it to make agua. pablo also buys us ice cream and gatorade.. hahaha yeah he is the best.
So i was thinking about it this week... i live in a sketchy place! seriously, if I weren't a missionary and lived here, i would be scared to leave the house. but I honestly don't even think about it. apparently, the area that we are in the most often?? yeah the english missionaries arent allowed in that area after 7 because its too dangerous. but i guess since we speak spanish its okay for us. hahah. also, pablo gets mad when he sees us walking around because apparently its really dangerous.. not trying to scare you mom, i really am fine. like its not scary at all for me. i just think its funny because i know itd be a lot different if i werent a missionary!! But i love it here. Also.. americans are the mean ones. we got some meannnn things said to us by different men this week. but never a latino. interesting. 
THE GARCIAS CAME TO CHURCH. you have no idea how happy it made me. I love them and hope they get baptized soon. 
Okay well thats all. sorry that these are always so spazzy. hahaha time is rough. oh but heres a picture of me and my comp and diana and vanessa espinoza! the espinozas are my favorite recent converts. and i love these girls.(:
Hermana Stokes

Sadie answered a couple of questions that Rachelle had for her:

ive only had 3 meals with families so far here.... but this week we have food every day! um when pablo or carlos feed us, they take us out. but other families make things that i dont even know how to explain to you. but i like it all! 
6:30 excersize
7:00 get ready/eat
8:00 Personal Study. 
9:00 comp study
10:00 12 week since im getting trained... its part of comp study
11:00 language study
12:00 lunch
1:00-5:00 proselyting
5:00 Dinner
6:00-9:00 or 9:30... priselyting
then we just plan and get ready for bed and have bed at 10:30!

Monday, July 7, 2014


ahhhhh i love it here oh my gosh i have so much to tell you all.
okay. well let me start off with... i keep forgetting im in america... enserio. EVERYONE speaks spanish. everyone is latino. the other day someone started speaking english and i was like what oh yeah im in america. so yeah. the only people i speak english to is other missionaries. but i cant really speak spanish.. so im kind of quiet around all the members and investigators. but my comp says that i speak way better than she did when she first got here.. and i understand pretty much everything. like i almost always know whats going on. and everyone is so impressed by that. but my problem is that i am too scared to speak... like i will be listening and know whats going on but i am too scared to say it because im too scared that i will mess up and make a fool out of myself. so i need to get over that. but ive been doing better! ill tell more throughout this email.
So I made it here alright. it was scary being alone in mexico, but i made it. and going through customs in phoenix wasnt that bad.. heavenly father was helping me because my second flight got delayed so i didnt miss it.. and i also didnt get randomly picked for anything. then when i got to oakland i didnt know who to look for but luckily this nice man saw me and told me where he saw an older missionary waiting for me. so i got it. then i had burger king and it was the most amazing thing i have eaten in my entire life... oh man guys... i missed american food. wow it was so good. hahaha anyway then we went to the mission home where i met the 18 other new missionaries. so 19 missionaries came on wednesday.. 18 from provo mtc and me from mexico. hahah but there were two other spanish speakers..  but they are latinas so they already know spanish. but i spent the day with them and they are so nice!! 
so in our mission there are 10 mission languages.... but there are about 75 languages spoken in the boundaries of my mission. what. yeah. i am seriously in the place with the most culture variety. except my area is all mexicans but whatever. haha anyway. there are missionaries from about 30 different countries. just in our group of 19 there were only 4 from the us.. two of those were latinas that were origionally from mexico.. then there were people from tonga, and an elder who is tongan from new zealand.. yeah imagine a tongan zew zealand accent for a second. so cool. there was also a tongan sister from australia. what. and some from hong kong. and i cant remember where else. yeah i am in the coolest mission hands down. but yeah so then we had amazing taco soup and then we met our trainers!!!
I have the best trainer in the entire world. heavenly father answered my prayers. she is amazing. Her name is Hermana Cefalo, and she is from clearfield utah! i love her! shes been out 10 months and loves the mission. her spanish is awesome. she gives me hope that i can do this. but yeah she is so helpful and i love her so much. and also... here is the best part. YOU REMEMBER ARACELI ARELLANO!? shes the girl that i met before my mission.. that we went to the temple together and stuff.. and we were hoping we would actually see each other on the mission.... SHE IS IN MY DISTRICT. okay our district is just the missionaries assigned to the concord 4 branch. two sets of sisters and one set of elders. hermana arellano is in the other companionship. oh man i was so excited. when my trainer came up in front of all the new people she said "okay so hermana stokes everyone in our area already knows about you because hermana arellano talks about you all the time.. and everyone knows you by your first name so sorry if that slips out. but shes really excited to see you." hahaha it was awesome. and she was right. everyone that meets me is like hermana stokes ive heard about you!! glad you are here!! its soooo funny oh my. even some of the members know. hahah i love it. so yeah its so fun seeing hna arellano every day. we have a lot of fun together. its great seeing a familiar face! 
so yeah I am in concord... and you guys are gonna laugh... so you know how oakland is perfect weather?? welllllll the east side of our mission is HOTTTTTT. and guess where concord is. yep. the east side. yeah. still not even the farthest east... but yes it is so hot here. yesterday when we were walking around... man. i was dying. hahaha but its okay, because as much as i hate the heat... it is so worth it. the people are so worth it. i love this area so much.oh plus im in a car. man. i love it... i wish you could all understand how amazing these people are. I love the branch. yesterday was the best. Okay.. I know why Heavenly Father called me to this mission. You know there were times where i am frusterated about the language. but i am so glad i am spanish speaking. because i love latinos. thats why heavenly father called me spanish.. because he knew i would love working with the latinos. i love it so much. they are amazing. yesterday meeting the branch was the best. everyone is so loving. they come and give a huge hug and the girls do the kiss thing that latinos do... why dont americans do this?? seriously it is the best i love it. ahhhh i just love these people.
But yeah.. what else. I am so happy here. I love it guys. i wish you could all serve missions because it is the most amazing experience. i love california. i miss everyone but i dont even have time to think about it because we are so busy. i love this work. i love everything. i love latinos so much. ive gotten so much better as the lessons go on!! yesterday i actually talked during a lesson and cefalo said that while i was talking to juan, carlos was looking at cefalo saying how impressed he was. haha because all the members know how it is and they know that im new... so they are always so impressed because i can actually understand! and then when i talk they think its cool. haha but i have osooooo much to learn.
okay cool experience oft the week. last night. so we went to visit our investigator juan. it was gonna be the first time i would meet him. he lives with carlos J.. who is a recently reactivated member.. so we still have to teach him until hes been active for 3 months. so. we get there and ask if juan is there. he says "no but im here" this is all in spanish obviously but yeah. then he tells us that he had a really bad day because he couldnt go to church and it made him feel terrible. and he really wanted us to come visit him but he didnt want to ask. and he texted us to see if it would put the idea in our mind. we then checked our phone and reallized he had texted us, we just didnt see it! he told us that he was praying for us to come and knows it was the spirit that brought us. cool huh. just wait it gets better. so we are teaching carlos j outside, when then juan shows up, the investigator. we start talkin to him. then dagoberto shows up. a less active. he starts testifying. THEN pablo y carlos p show up. both reactivated converts. they start testifying. we then had a 2 hour lesson with these four amazing men with amazing testimonies just testifying to juan how important it is to get baptized. how this gospel will change his life. it was amazing. every time juan said one of his doubts... one of the guys was just like no. and started testifying. because theyve all been there. they were all converts who used to be drug addicts. juan doesnt wanna get baptized because he doesnt want to give up his coffee. they all let him know how it is. even carlos p... WHO NEVER TALKS. who says he doesnt have a strong enough testimony to teach... he gave a 10 minute testimony. it was amazing oh my gosh. i was in awe. juan told us hes gonna give it a try.. try to stop coffee for a week... man i hope he gets baptized. i love him so much. so yeah... i wish you could understand how amazing it was. i cant even explain it. and the coolest part is that it ended up counting as a lesson! because even though we didnt have another women there for it to count.. we had three men with the m priesthood! so it counted! ah it was just amazing. soooo yeah... welllllll. thats it. i love it here.
i love the mission. i love all of you. anddddd i look forward to sharing more of my mission with you!!! love you all!!
DyC 63:47. end of story.
hermana stokes.

ps heres a picture of me and my trainer and the mish president.

my mission home address...
4945 Lincoln Way
Oakland, CA 94602

pps HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!! we watched fireworks from our window while planning(: i love america. 

ppps my name is SO HARD for latinos. idk whyy. and no oneremembers  it. i get stookes.. stocks... and most of all estokes. hahaha. super fun.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Off to the mission field.

I leave at 3 am tonight to the airport!! im so excited!!!! My whole district is gone and i feel so lost. Its like.. the CCM was our home together... now that they are gone... its just not the same at all. i miss them so much its not even funny.
okay so funny random story. Hermano Cruz, one of the teachers in my zone.. we always talk. hes suuuper cool. so we were talking (this convo is all in spanish) but he told me he went to culiacan mexico for his mission! so i was like no way i have a friend serving there! and he was like oh como se llama! and i was like elder dallyn holland! and he was like no way i think ive served with him how long has he been out?? and i said a yeah and he was like yeah i totally know him!!! isnt that so weird?? man when you are mormon, it is such a small world. i love it.
Another small world moment. GUESS WHO CAME TO THE MTC ON WEDNESDAY. Elder Alex Hansen. like from Washington. I saw him and I was like Elder Hansen!! and he was like whoa hermana stokes!!! it was fun. weve got to talk a few times since he got here. its weird because we really havent talked since we were 10. but yeah its fun. he seems really happy! mom, you should tell his mom that i saw him. and that he seems to be doing well.(:
okay so friday we had in field training. it started out really good.. they are really crative with everything! then our teachers did a play in english for us... oh my gosh it was SO FUNNY. hahaha i was dying. they are the best. after the play... it was super long and boring. but overall it was helpful! and made me even more excited for this week.
Sunday was amazing as always. such an amazing last sunday. oh my gosh. devo was amazing. and my district plus 2 hermanas from 12c sang for devotional. weve been working on the song for 3 or 4 weeks now... its a beautiful arrangement of yo se que vive mi seƱor. or... i know that my redeemer lives. but its gorgeous, and as ive mentioned before.. my whole district are amazing singers. and elder raymond is an amazing piano player. he  accompanied for us. so we sang and it was sooo spiritual. i saw jaws drop in the audience, i saw tears in eyes, and everyone was smiling so big. it was amazing. i cant even explain it. after devo... hermana jones came up to us and told us that we made her husband cry and that they wanted us to stay and record it. they said it was the best special musical number theyve ever had at the ccm. and theyve been here a year. so yeah thats a lot of devos to compare to. ahh it was amazing. so we got to come back and record it and that was amazing. i gave hermana jones your email to send you the video... did they figure it out?? it was seriously the greatest experience. i love my district so much.
Sunday was so good. but the end was so hard. those pictures i sent you? there is a video attached to..they do that every sunday for the people leaving. so we watch our pictures on the screenn then we all sing para siempre dios este con vos.... god be with you till we meet again. it was so sad. ahhh. then we had testimony meeting withnjust the ones leaving. that was amazing. everyones testimonies are amazing. and then our district had our last prayer together and we had to say goodbye to the trio.... it was seriously one of the hardest goodbyes of my life. i miss them so much. our district sang families can be together forever for our last song.. because we know that we will see each other again some day. we are a family.(:

saying goodbye yesterday to my companions was so hard too. i said that last comp prayer.. and cried the whole time. and saying goodbye to the rest of the elders was so sad too. i love them all with all my heart. i am so blessed to have had them. i know we were all put together for a reason. ahh i miss them.
but im with hna johnson y hna wortley right now! i love them too. its nice that today is just p day.
ooo also random thing that made me happy.. yesterday i was with 12c while they were doing tall. hermano cruz came up to me with another teacher and said hermana stokes can you speak to my friend here in spanish so i can prove to him how good your spanish is?? so then i did and the friend was like mm your right! apparently the teachers think i have good spanish? hahaha. but i guess its true. when our teachers said goodbye to us [(hardest thing ever, i bawled) they told us that we are one of the best districts and that they are so impressed with our spanish. but yeah. ah i miss my teachers too. i love them. 
but yeah that was my week!!!! pray for me as i travel to cali tomorrow! i am so nervous to go alone through customs and stuff. i think it will be okay though. i am so excited!!! love you all!!
Hermana Stokes

from left to right. boys: Doxey, Houmand, Raymond, Beazer, Gorham, Bronson, Maddox, and the two guy teachers soto then carmona!
girls: me, morey, simmerman, and teacher bernal(:

Sadie sent more photos:

 With Hermano Cruz (teacher)

 Abby Lane walk - just like all the other missionaries

 With her companions Hermana Morley and Hermana Simmerman

Flood at the CCM