Monday, September 22, 2014

I'm finally getting a baby sister!!(;

Hello family and friends!

This week was AMAZING.

do you want to know why????


yes, it's true. I have pictures to prove it. oh my gosh and I am sooooo happy. like really. it was a miracle. he told us he still wanted to get baptized on the 20th, which we didnt expect. and then he worked in order for it to happen. when he got to the baptism, i started jumping up and down i was so happy. really though.  it was amazign.  I am so happy.  the baptism went really well. he asked carlos jimenez to baptize him.  it went so well! and then he got confirmed on sunday! it was amazing! I asked him how he felt and he said he felt so happy. after he passed his baptism interview he told hna zarco... "I feel so happy i dont even know how to explain myself. i just feel peace" ahhh and this is amazing for marcelino. he usually never talks. but he just kept saying how happy he was. and when someone asked him who was the missionary who helped him convert, he said "all three of them" that made my day as well. i love him soo much and i am so happy that he took this step to eternal salvation.

Also, funny note... me and my companions got stuck at an investigators house on saturday and soooo the baptismal font overflowed. hahahahahaha. Soooo me and hermana zarco had to put on baptism jump suits and get in the water to pull the drain then put it back in. hahahah it was hilarious and so fun. makes a good story(: hahaha i was laughing so hard.

yeah thats pretty much it. this week was really great. a lot of little miracles, the the huge miracle of marcelino.  ahhh i still cant stop smiling. so many blessings have come in these last two weeks from this trio. i love it.(: 

oh Transfer calls!!! i almost forgot! yeah, let me explain my subject of my message. hahah wellll now i am officially done being trained... and my trainer, sister cefalo, got called to train!!! wooo! and here is the best part... we are still staying together!!! woooo!!!! but they are reopening sis zarcos area, so we are back to only covering our area! so my address on fox way is still good! but yes. me and sister cefalo are going to be in a trio with my new sister... we dont know her name yet. she is a visa waiter, thats all we know. thats why we are still in a trio, because president wasnt expecting visa waiters. we pick her up on wednesday and i am so excited!!! so im technically not training.. but at the same time i am. hahhaa president told sister cefalo to have me help train(: so i basically get to learn how to train. haha pretty sweet! i actually really am sooo excited. it will be so great! and since we are back to only our area, i get to start riding my bike! yay!!! yeah, a lot of changes happened. like... me and sister cefalo are the only ones staying from our district. everyone else is leaving including sister zarco:( im so sad.  i am going to miss her sooo much! but we are getting 4 elders in so that will be cool. we will now have 4 elders and 3 sisters in our district! fun stuff.

but yep, thats it. everything is great and i am so excited for another transfer! it will be amazing, i know it! 

oh and i hit my 4 months yesterday... what. weird. hahaha. 

marcelino is the one on the end in the baptism picture. and thats carlos, who baptized him.
the other pictures are when we had to fix the font.. and also when we went to the visitors center again with some less actives and members and carlitos.(:

love you all!!!

hermana stokes

Sunday, September 21, 2014

best mission.

Dear Family and Friends,

Ah this week was so good! really, this weekend was so good! hahah. 

So Saturday, we had the latin america independence day party!  with the branch.. it was sooo fun.  I decided I have the best mission in the world.  Because everyone is from different countries.  So this day, is the day that they all get to celebrate their country.  So they all brought things from their country and set up tables, and also brought food from their country! so we just go to go around and try foods from all the latin america countries(: it was awesome!! Really though.  They also were playing music and they were all doing their latin dances.  It was really the best night ever, I couldn't stop smiling.  I love our branch so much.  I will be sure to attach pictures from it.(:

Sunday was also amazing.  Because... it was THE PRIMARY PROGRAM!!!!!! ahhhh favorite thing ever.  There were I think 16 kids.  Including Carlitos, who isn't even a member.   HAhah I was so proud of him.  He did so well!! Really though.. you know how every year the primary program makes me cry because i see my cute little brothers up there? wellll this one made me cry too. becuase i love all those little kids so much.  So every time they started singing i just started crying. they really are the cutest, and touched my heart.  and they sing sooo loud and good.  I think they sing just as loud as an american WARD.  Really though, I was amazed.  

Carlitos' mom... ripped up the permission slip and threw it away when he gave it to her.  So it is still a no on baptism.  BUT it's okay.  We talked to him and we are not going to lose faith.(: Heavenly Father has a plan.

We had 23 lessons this week.. this work with two areas is AMAZING.  We are definitely seeing miracles from the trio.(: I love my companions so much.  AND WE HAVE 4 BAPTISMAL DATES. WOOO!!! they are almost all for after the transfer.. so I don't know if I'll be here, but it doesn't matter! I am so happy that these people are progressing!!!

You should all go read Jacob 3:1-2.  I love them.

Thanks for all the love and support!! Les quiero y les amo muchisimo!!! 

Hermana Stokes

I will attach pictures to another email. its easier(: sorry, it just takes soo long.

This is Sadie's Bike.  She said she hasn't gotten to ride it yet so they must have a car since they are in a Trio and have to cover so much area.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

a trio otra vez(:

Hello family and friends!!!

Well. This week was pretty crazy.

I went on exchanges! spent 24 hours in San Ramon with Sister Wiser(: it was fun.  Two highlights of that... we taught an english class to about 20 chinese old people.  it was the best ever. hahhah they are sooo cute oh my heck.  when sister wiser announced me as a guest teacher they just all started clapping.(: hahaha it was so fun.  but yeah, so it was cool.  they all know the basics of english.. i mean neither of us speak chinese. so we just help them, and they have devices to look up things when they dont understand what we are saying. but yes. i loved it.  
THe other highlight was Rashi, the STLs investigator. shes in her late 20s and came from india a little bit ago.  So her first language is hindi, and she has a very thick accent.  and she is the CUTEST. oh my gosh.  i just loved teaching her.  i think i have the best mission because i get to experience all cultures.  spanish, chinese, indian. yeah. i have it the best way.  but yeah. Exchanges were good.  then i come home and my companion tells me...

oh by the way we have to wake up at 4 in the morning tomorrow and go to oakland and we are going to be a trio. WHAT. so yeah, a lot can happen when you leave your area for 24 hours. hahah. but yeah, sister garcia, a sister in our district, went back to her home in texas.  so now we are in a trio with sister zarco! who is from el salvador! i love her soooo much! really though.  weve just been like this for 3 days, but we work really well together.  i love being in a trio again! its crazy, because we are covering two areas.  so we are always going from appointment to appointment, and stressing trying to get everything done.  but it is so fun, and we are definitely seeing the blessings from it.  i love it so much. plus, i think working this hard is just the best.  i really just love the mission. and there are tons of perks! like we get to teach the people in her area now! like cuco!! we get to teach him as a recent convert. its amazing. also, yesterday we added a new investigator.. one of our less actives sons, yahir. hes 11. I am getting so blessed in this area getting the opportunity to teach so many kids.(: i love teachign kids so much! heavenly father is definitely blessing me.  

also, yesterday we fasted with carlitos, so that his mom will give him permission to get baptized on october 4.  so yes, we have a baptism date.  i have faith that it will work out.

I am doing sooooo well. this week was great.  I am so grateful to be here. everyone is just amazing. thank you for all your love and support!!! my spanish is improving like crazy. it helps having a salvadorian companion.(: but right now, i talk a lot. its going great, i am so grateful.  

thank you all for everything! love you!!

Hermana Stokes

Friday, September 5, 2014

happy labor day(:

Hello my dear friends and family.

Well. This was the hardest week of my mission. but i am okay!!!(: that's the wonderful thing about missions...Even in the hardest times, we can still be happy. We can still do this. 

Some highlights of my week. 

I bought a bike! the bike store is ordering one in for me because i didnt need the newest model(: it should be here this week! woo im excited. now lets hope i stay in a bike area for more than one transfer(:

Dagoberto.  Dagoberto is our less active member who we have decided we want to get him coming back to church.. well. we had an amazing lesson friday night with him.  it had been the hardest day of my mission, and i was really emotional.  but it was 8:30 and i was determined to turn the day around with this lesson.  So then we are about to start.. and i kept getting the impression to sing i know that my redeemer lives.  i kept pushing it away because i knew that if we sang that song, i would start crying... and i didn't want to start crying again.  But i knew i couldn't deny an impression from the Holy Ghost. so i said a prayer in my heart and asked heavenly father that i would be able to sing strong and not cry.  So i suggested that we sing it.. and in this lesson we had dagoberto, carlos(member), and Maria Elena (member). So as we were singing everyone kind of faded away and i was just singing. And I was able to sing strong and clear and not cry(: and the spirit was strong.. and by the end.. Dagoberto was crying. He told us he hadn't felt the spirit like that in a long time. Yeah it was amazing. I'm glad I followed that prompting(:

So some things I forgot to tell you last week... Cuco! Cuco is an investigator of the sisters.. but I wanted to tell you a little about him.  He has been being taught by the missionaries for about a year.  And he has always wanted to get baptized.. but he is 13, and his mom never gave him permission.  Well... last month we all fasted for it.  And the next day we got a call from him that his mom signed the paper.  When he announced it in a family home evening with the branch members.. everyone stood up cheering!!! the spirit was so strong. all the branch members were so excited for him. it was amazing. i almost started crying.  then he got baptized by his dad on saturday.. at the end they just hugged and cried.  it was the sweetest thing ever. Miracles!!!

Thank you everyone for all of your support and love. I love you all so much.  I know this church and I am so grateful to be here doing the lords work.  I love it so much and wouldn't want anything else.  The mission is hard sometimes just because it is so hard to see people reject this amazing gospel.  But when you see it bless someones lives... it is all worth it.  I love this work so much and am so blessed to be sharing it with others.  I love you all! always remember that if you desire it, this gospel will bless your life.

Hermana Stokes

the pictures.. one is taken from the top of the oakland temple.. it is looking over oakland and you can see in the back san francisco.. but the picture doesnt show it nearly as beautiful as it is in real life.(:  and the others are of the temple.(: haha but yeahhh thanks love you all!