Monday, October 27, 2014



This week was great.  I dont really remember it actually... haha it went by so fast!

But here is the bitter sweet news of the week.... my companion sister story got her visa!! :( (:  haha. she will be heading to argentina a week from today! its crazy!!! but we are happy for her that she actually gets to go to the mission she was called to.  but everyone here is kind of sad. i am going to miss her so much! but yeah, it will be interesting to hear transfer calls this saturday because i have no idea what is going to happen.  

I spoke in church yesterday!! that was fun.  I think it went well.  I gave like an 8 minute talk on the pure love of christ.  so yeah i used a lot of things that i used in my farewell talk.(: but it went well! the members all kept thanking me for it and telling me that it touched their hearts.  and one of them congratulated me for my spanish being so good. haha so yeah i think it went well.(: i felt good about it.(: it was awesome though! i am so glad that i am more comfortable with spanish now.  i really do love spanish.

umm.. thats pretty much it.  we did a ton of service this week! it was fun.  we helped carlos move... it was the saddest thing in the world.  seriously, we have like 5 people we teach in that house.. and now they are all moving out of our area. and nico, the dog, is being taken away too.  i want to cry everytime i think about it!!! ahh im so sad.  i am going to miss that house so much!! but it will be okay. everything will work out.  

We found some more new investigators this week. right now its hard. because the only investigator that comes to church is carlitos. and he just cant get baptized because of his mom. then we have like 5 women investigators that are doing great.. they read their scriptures, they say their prayers, they believe everything we are saying.. but they wont come to church. and why wont they come to church? well they want to, but they all have husbands who wont go with them.  and they dont want to leave them at home or something? idk.  basically, all of our investigators husbands are causing them not to progress and its so hard because we really dont know what to do about it!  i mean.. how do we help them?  because like gabby for instance.  she told us she was going to come and we were so excited.  thennnn we get a text before church saying that her husband didnt go into work that day and then she couldnt convince him to come so they didnt come.  ahhhh.  what can we do about that? its just so hard because out numbers for investigators attending church have been so bad.. but i feel like we are doing everything we can! man. husbands.  hahah but yeah, hopefully it gets better.  Either the wives need to accept it and go to church alone, or the husbands need to try it out and come.  hopefully something changes this week though!

But yep, that is pretty much it!  the mission is still awesome! i love it so much.  seriously, i was just noticing how i am alwways happy.  i love that about the mission.  but yes.  everyone, have a great week!! i love you all!!! 

here are some pictures from por que yo creo yesterday! it is always fun seeing old companions, and hermana arellano(:

hermana stokes

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Dear friends and family!!

Hello all!! how are you all doing? I am doing amazing. seriously, this week was great. we have been seeing soo many miracles! and The coolest thing is that I know why we have been seeing so many miracles.  It is because we have been opening our mouths and talking to everyone!! Really though, everyone said it worked.. and I always struggled with it.. but the last couple weeks I have just put away my fears and talked to everyone I can.  And from that, we have seen a lot of little miracles in the work.  It's amazing.

I want to tell you about the biggest miracle we had this week.  Seriously, we were all kind of in shock.  When things like this happen... you don't know if you are dreaming or not.  So long story short, theres this girl named Raquel.  She is an old referral we got when I first came here.  We have never forgotten her, and have always looked for her but never found her, except the first day way back in july.  Anyway, two weeks ago when I was on exchanges.. I had the thought that we should put her as a backup.  I didn't want to because I was scared because if we found her I didn't know what to say.  But I kept getting the prompting.  Then the next day, when our appointment fell through, I knew we had to go try and find her.  We did, and we didn't find her.  But we found Miguel Angel.  Who we set a return appointment with.  Well when we went back to teach him... we knocked on the door.. and this girl answered.  We didn't recognize her but she started going off on how miguel angel never lived here, he was just visiting from mexico, and how he is her brother in law.  Then she tells us that she is Raquel and that she has seen us looking for her and wasnt sure if she wanted it.  and that she moved apartments and that its crazy that we found her.. and that now she wants to learn. yeah. crazy. so we set up a return appointment. the next day, we are trying to find another investigator in the same apt building.  raquel walks by, and we tell her we will see her tomorrow.  we are walking away... and i look back for some reason.  i dont know why. but i see her at the top of the stairs yelling for us to come back. she asks us if we have time right then.  we say yes.  she then tells us that she was going to go out with her friend but had the strong feeling to just ask us to come now.  so we teach her! we find out that she has had CRAZY things happen to her.. and she tells us that she knows God saved her.  She told us the reason she wants us to teach her and her family, is because she wants to know what she needs to do in order to follow in God's way.  So we have another appointment with her tomorrow.  She is amazing!! We are soo grateful for her!!! It's just amazing the way heavenly father worked it all out.  If we would've done one little thing different than our promptings with planning.. we never would've found her.  MIRACLES.

But yes.  That is the biggest of miracles we saw this week.  We also had a man we left with our number call us and ask to meet with us tomorrow to learn more.  So yeah, missionary life is awesome.

This week we had Zone Conference with Elder Hamula, a member of the 70.  It was amazing!!! I wish I had my notes with me so I could share it all with you.  But I want to tell you a part I remember.  So he was talking about how sometimes we feel like we don't get answers from our heavenly father.  because sometimes he wants us to choose, because he trusts us.  And he told an analogy for it.  He said that its like parents teaching there kid to ride a bike.  We start out with our hands on the kid, so we are doing a lot of the work.  But then we take our hands off, but our hands are still close by them, to catch them when they fall.     I just though that was amazing.  And it's true.  Heavenly Father may take his hands off us to let us steer for a little bit, but his hands are right there close for when we stumble or fall.  When we are making decisions, we need to trust his trust in us.  And we need to remember that it will be okay because if we make the wrong decision, he is going to put his hands back on us and let us know.  He isn't going to just let us fall, as long as we keep trusting in him and continuing forward in faith.

I don't know, I just thought that was cool.  His whole talk was amazing.  I love zone conference.

Yesterday we had stake conference in Oakland at the interstake center right by the temple.  They have a huge auditorium.  It's awesome!  It was really good.  An 11 year old girl spoke and it was AMAZING.  I was in awe.  Hahah.  Also, they had a childrens choir and it was the cutest thing ever. man, I love kids.  Being with that many americans for a church thing made me feel like I was back in utah.  It was a weird feeling.

I have a ton of pictures to send this week!! some from driving to zone conference, some from going to stake conference at the temple.. and on top of the temple with oakland and san fran behind us.. and then some from the best thing ever.. ahha cuco and carlos taught us this week!! we told them they had to be our missionaries for a change, and teach us the restoration.  THey did AMAZING!!!! we were so impressed.  And the best part, is idk if you can tell in the pictures, but they made little missionary name tags that say elder jimenez and elder barajas.  hahaha it was the best thing ever! cuco is 14 and carlos is 10 and they are BEST FRIENDS.  they remind me so much of spencer and caleb.

Thank you all for all you do!! I am doing so great here.  I love the mission.  Have a great week!!!

Monday, October 13, 2014



How are you all doing? my week was great!

but really though. this week was great.  We started off the week with exchanges!!! which was amazing.  I stayed in the area. with my comp sister story. and the sister training leader sister knight. WHAT. yeah. you read that right. i was incharge of a spanish area for a day. i was TERRIFIED. seriously, i dont think ive ever been so scared in my whole life.  but... it was amazing. i made it! i found out that i actually know a lot more than i though.  so yeah. it was amazing.  it was kind of sad, because all of our lessons fell through. but... we did a loooot of contacting! something that is a struggle in the mission for almost everyone is talking to everyone. because we are supposed to do it... but its hard. but this day. i talked to EVERYONE.  it was amazign! i dont know what happened, but all of the sudden all of my fear was GONE. it was seriously the most amazing thing ever.  I was so happy.  i learned so much on exchanges.  mostly my potential.  and then... it was cool because the next day we had interviews with president. and i had no problems so it was a quick happy interview.  but something that he said that caught me off guard was "well yeah sister stokes, i mean, you are ready to be senior companion.  it could happen at any time now."  WHAT. this is only my 3rd transfer in the mission field!!! so yeah. that freaked me out a little. but we will see what happens.

Another thing i wanted to mention about this week.  We started this new program called just serve.  which, basically, we now have a key indicator of service hours. and we are to try and get 10 a week. so to help accomplish that, we started serving at kindred care! its a rehab center, and i loooove it.  oh my. these people are so sweet! we really just go and visit all the women.  and we just walk into their room and talk to them and sing to them.  it makes me soooo happy.  there is one named salvation.  shes from the phillipines. and i love her so much.  she tells us we sound like angels. and theres also doris, she is hillarious.  yeah. all these people are just amazing.  i love kindred care.  old people are the cutest.(:

Also, miracles are always happening here.... one we had yesterday was that... WE SET A BAPTISM DATE WITH THE GARCIAS!!!! just the mom and the daughter, but still. the dad will come one day.  we did it in a different way though. we challenged them to just try, try living the gospel for 3 weeks. and we said that at the end of the 3 weeks, if they feel like this is the life for them, they will get baptized.  and well they agreed, and then hermana garcia told us that she feels ready. that she wants to get baptized because she knows these things are true and she knows that this is the path for her.  but she told us that she wont get baptized until her daughter brenda does. and brenda is the hard one. shes the reason they dont come to church.. and so we now decided to go through her. so we are hoping she really does try and live the gospel for 3 weeks, and that she will get the answer that yes, this is the path for her. its just hard because shes a stubborn 13 year old girl. she wont come to church because she doesnt want to leave the house.. and stuff like that. shes reallly stubborn. so please, pray that her heart will soften.  and i know that if these two make it, the dad will come with time.  (: 

Also, I just wanted to talk about something i studied this week. for one of our less actives, dagoberto, we were studying about the temple. because he wants to prepare to recieve his endowments! anyway. i was studying ordinances and covenents.  its amazing.  if you read in true to the faith, both those topics, its amazing how important those things are.  Then go read Moroni 10:33.  It talks about God's covenant with us.. that actually, when heavenly father sacrificed his son for us.. he was making a covenant with us.  isnt that amazing?  He was willing to let his son be crucified for US.  for our remission of sins.  Thats how much he loves us.  if you ask me... i think its pretty amazing.  and compared to what He did, we really got nothin.  We just need to follow him.  And in my opinion.. it is totally worth it.  Oh man, how would it not be?  Heavenly Father has made these amazing covenants with us... why wouldn't we follow in his path to show him our love in return?  man.  I wish I had more time to explain more. but I challenge you all to go study these.  Also read DyC 82:10; 97:8; 98:13-15.  Those scriptures are amazing.  I also challenge you all to make and keep covenants with out heavenly father.  Because it is worth it.  He has an amazing plan for us, and we need to show him that we love him.

Thank you all for reading, i hope you have an amazing week!! 

Hermana Stokes

pictures.. just me and my comps having fun.  and mom, in one of the pictures you can see our apartment! you wanted to know what it looks like. well thats basically it. hahah and a kitchen and bathroom and study room. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Another conference passed?

Hola family and friends.

This week was great!! we definitely saw a lot of little miracles, and I don't know about you guys, but I LOVED CONFERENCE. You should all watch it if you didn't get the chance to watch it this weekend.  I was blessed to be able to watch it in spanish.  We watched it at the chapel, and they had english in the chapel and spanish in the relief society room.  Since we didn't have investigators.. we watched it in english. except the last session our investigator carlitos came, but he wanted to watch it in english of course so yeah still english. but it was great! we actually went into the spanish room when they guy spoke spanish so we could actually hear him and not a translator. but that was really cool, even though i didn't understand much of it. hahah i got some of it, its just a lot harder to understand over tv for some reason. but yes, conference was so great!  it was so fun watching it with carlitos.  He was so interested and sat by me asking me questions the whole time.  "what does member of the seventy mean?"  "oh so hes an apostle?"  "when do we get to hear the prophet speak" "this is in utah?"  "can we go there?" hahah it was so funny.  he also lovees the music. like when the motab sang, he would ask me to find it in the hymn book, and he would follow along, whispering the words. he loves to sing, its adorable.

We also had an interesting day on Friday.. we were asked to go speak at a funeral. in spanish. me and sister cefalo. so yeah. now let me explain.  There was this boy, Nacho.  Yes, that is his name. Well its Ignacio, but they call him Nacho.  Anyway, he was 22... and got stabbed.  So sad.  But he was a member of the church, he got baptized 5 years ago into the Tongan ward. (they convert EVERYONE and just get translators)  soo yeah anyway, his family is mexican so they only know spanish.  They are actually former investigators in our area! but yeah, the tongan bishop called and asked if we would speak in spanish at the funeral about the plan of salvation, so that his family could understand.  Tongans are so sweet, they all knew where Nacho is, and they just want his family to know that too. So anyway, it was an amazing funeral.   It was in english, tongan, and spanish. haha bet you not many people can say that. anyway. sooo the program was in english, but all the music was in tongan, and then i gave a talk in spanish and so did sister cefalo.  The spirit was so strong. I was so scared to speak becasue of my spanish and stuff, but as i was looking at the congregation, even the tongans who couldnt understand me were looking at me so intently.  the spirit was so strong. it really was a beautiful funeral, and a cool experience.  we are going to go try and visit the family this week.  hopefully their hearts have been opened and maybe they will want to talk with us.  I think that Nacho definitely died for a reason, as tragic as it is.  we are going to ease into things though, by first just asking if there is any service we can do for them.

Also, a highlight of this week! the church is actually having all the missionaries see Meet the Mormons before it comes out! so we got to watch it this past week! it wasawesome! i don't know if you have heard about it, but it is a movie that goes around and shows 6 mormon families, just how they really are.  it is an amazing movie!! i suggest it to everyone! i want to see it again! ha it is funny, because they do things that you just laugh because you know it is sooo true.  also, its awesome because you can definitely feel the spirit a lot.  I think it's a great way to really show the world who we are.  So yes, everyone, go see it. it's awesome.

But yep that was this week! we also saw some great miracles.  Had some good finding miracles with actually setting up returning appointments! and we added a new investigator yesterday, who was a referral form our other investigators, the garcias! that was awesome. Her name is Gabby, and she actually has a lot of family that are members down in mexico! its pretty awesome! also, the missionaries visited her when she was little in mexico, and she wanted to get baptized when she was 9, but her mom wouldnt let her. she also dated a guy that left on a mission. so yeah shes really prepared. we just have to work through some drinking problems, but i am praying that it will all work out. she is awesome.

So yeah, that was our week! thank you sso much for all your love and support! i love you all!!! 

Also, I realized as we were leaving this morning that we havent took any pictures this week. so we quickly took some selfies this morning. hahah enjoy.(:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Hello everyone! 

We had a great week here in concord!!! I love my new companion.  She is visa waiting to go to argentina buenos aires west! pretty cool.  She is awesome! she is my age, her name is sister story, and she is from nampa, Idaho! pretty cool.  II love her so much! her spanish is amazing! I'm impressed.  She was in the Provo MTC in the intermediate program. and she did two mini missions before her mission.. so shes basically pre trained.  

Sorry I don't have much time today, and i still need to write president.  but a couple quick updates!

Sister Story also sings! so yesterday for porque yo creo (why I believe) which is a thing we do every 4th sunday at the temple, recent converts come and give their testimonies! anyway. me and sister story did the musical number! it was super fun. we just sang acapella. but the spirit was sooo strong.

This week has been great.. for some reason, this week, my spanish has really started clicking.  I still have a lot to work on of course.. but like this week something is different. you can ask sister cefalo, she will testify to it. haha she is amazed every time we walk out of a lesson.  I talk soo much now.  but yeah. i love spanish. and yesterday i understood ALL of church. it was awesome. and one day this week we were teaching and i said something in spanish and after i said it i was like wait... i didn't even think about that! it was awesome!! Also, After sister story prayed the other day carlos told me she reminds me of me when i came... and that my spanish is amazing now.  and brother merrill, the High Council for the spanish branch.. yesterday we had a fireside with the stake president and the missionaries of the stake, and brother merrill bore his testimony and talked about how hes seen me grown so much in the past 3 months in spanish and other ways, and how it reminds him of his daughter.(:  so yeah pretty cool.

yeah, we also ate with the merrills yesterday! i love them soo much! seriously, their family reminds me so much of ours. hahah. dad did you get the pictures?  in those, the little blonde boy.. his name is colton. and he reminds me sooo much of benjamin. hes hilarious. they also have a 10 year old, thayne. and he reminds me so much of caleb. obsessed with basketball and knows all the statistics. he started talking about it and asking the elders if they knew certain basketball players and i was like oh my word this is caleb. hahaha so funny.

alright wellll thats pretty much it! we saw a lot of little miracles this week! its awesome.  i love this work sooo much. the church is true people. 

Hermana Stokes
Here are some pictures.
The first is on transfer day.  With the english elders who covered the same area as us.  they got transfered. :( lame. and i also miss hermana zarco soo much.

the second is the bay. we had to drive around oakland last week for something and it was GORGEOUS.

the third is a funny story... we got a referral, went to contact it, no one was there, everything was fine..we left a note. went back a few days later.. and this sign was there. hahahaha people. no worries, we didn't knock. or go back.

Here are the pictures of me and my companions! and some of the merrill kids!! the cute blonde is my new comp, hermana Story.  but yeah.  Here you go people. Enjoy.(: