Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hola, como estan?? ojala que todo este bien con ustedes.(:

Okay so actually today is not my p day.  But we were given an hour of email so that our families don't freak out and think we died or something.  (:  but my p day is Wednesday because we are going to the temple!!! Oh my goodness I am sooo excited.  I love the temple.(: best thanksgiving ever.  But yeah,  I thought while I was on I would write a quick weekly email.

This week was great! Honestly, it was a little slow.  I have learned that missionary work is kind of hard around the holidays.  People are soooo busy!  But nevertheless, it was still a great week.(: 

I honestly don't know what to write about.  My companion is amazing.  We are the best of friends.  I know I was put with her for a reason.  We really just love each other so much.(:  We get so excited over the littlest things, and it's hilarious.(:

WE HAD AN INVESTIGATOR COME TO CHURCH.  Okay, so you guys don't understand how hard it is to get people to church here.  Like it was already really hard in concord, where the church was 5 minutes away.  Now I'm in a harder area, where the church is 20 minutes away.  Yeah it is sooo hard to get people to church.  So when Tena came, we were pretty feliz.  And Tena is just amazing!!! he is progressing so quickly and I hope it continues.  He told us he really wants to know for himself if this church is true, and he knows he has to try It in order to receive a testimony.  So he commited to follow the word of wisdom and everything!! He is so awesome.  He loves the members and really likes the feeling he feels when he learns about the gospel.  He definitely has been prepared by the Lord.

We also had a ward thanksgiving dinner this past week!  Oh my goodness it was so fun!! Seriously, everytime I go to a latino party, I just realized that I've been a little ripped off being American.(; hahah nah just kidding.  but latino parties are the best.  They just all dance and its hilarious.  Even Elder Bailey was out there dancing, trying to drag his wife with him.  It was so funny.(:

Also, yesterday I had the awesome opportunity of going to Angel's Santa Cena.  Angel is a recent convert who can't go to church because of his kidney dialysis.  Oh my goodness he is so amazing.  Every Sunday they have their own Santa Cena... uhh... Sacrament is what it is in english.  With just some members of the ward, and the baileys, and the other missionaries switch off every week. so we were there yesterday.  Seriously, I don't know if I've ever felt the spirit so strong during the Santa Cena.  And I definitely haven't seen many people who understand it as well as Angel.  It was amazing to see him, so humble, praying with all his heart to his Heavenly Father.  It reminded me how blessed we are to have the santa cena.  Jesus Christ, our brother, suffered everything for us so that we can be clean of our sins every week.  We are so blessed.  I challenge you all to really focus on Jesus Christ during the santa cena this week.  Really talk to your heavenly father and focus on the feelings you feel.  I can promise you that you will feel God's Love. (:

Yep wellll, this was my week.  it was a great one and I know I have another great one to come!  Happy Thanksgiving and also happy birthday dad.(:  enjoy eating turkey all day for that.  Have a great week everyone! count your blessings.(: be grateful!

Hermana Stokes

Ps read Mark 8:35 y Mark 11:22-24.

I figured it out! here are some pictures!! one of me and my companion the day we walked for hours in the RAIN!!!! yes it rained!!! I was sooo happy!!! I missed it.  but California rain is really wimpy. hahah it was weird. but good.  I liked it.(:

and a picture of us and angel at the party!!! hahaha we told him he had to smile and this was the result. oh my goodness I love him.  weird thing, but he actually reminds me of my grandpa major.  I mean those are memories from when I was 4, but something about him really reminds me of him.  mostly how he looks.  and his smile.  idk.  I could be wrong. but I like it.

Monday, November 17, 2014


Alma 26:12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not‍ boast of myself, but I will boast‍ of my God, for in his strength‍ I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

Dear family and friends,
HI(:  this week was great!! tons of miracles.  sometimes I don't even understand life and how so many miracles happen. like what is life?

So a week ago we had a lesson with Katty and Manuel.  Our investigators.  Oh my gosh and it was amazing.  So they started asking all of these questions about their concerns.. Like about the virgin mary... and about joseph smith polygamy (im getting really sick of that question.. the tv should stop making programs saying Mormons are polygamist.)  Anyway.  It was crazy.  Because we were able to answer their questions.  At one point I was just going off in Spanish about the virgin mary and I was thinking in my head... um how am I doing this right now... but I just kept going.  After that lesson I really just stopped and was like whoa.  there is nooo way we could do this without Heavenly Father.  Like.  It would literally be impossible.  We also had an amazing lesson with Sandy y Adolfo y lupita y diego.  aka the cutest family ever!!  I love them.  anyway we had an amazing lesson with them and we had made the goal earlier to set a baptismal date with them.  I was FREAKING out.  because they were saying things and I knew I had to ask them for a date but I was so scared that it would push them away.  because I don't want to lose them.  but then I was like no.  I care about their salvation. and that's baptism.  and I also had the thought "act in faith".  So I knew I had to bring up baptism in the sweetest nicest way possible.  I didn't know how to do it.  So I just opened my mouth and started talking, knowing the lord would helpe me.  I don't remember what I said. but it was the most amazing lesson we've ever had with them.  And they have a baptismal date that they are going to pray about as a family to see if it is right. (: please pray for them.  Anyway, it's like that scripture.  Seriously, without the Lord it would be possible to do this.  I mean think about it.  We are two 19 year old American girls who are randomly super close with these older Hispanic adults? oh and we are just teaching them about the gospel and they actually listen to us?  yeah pretty weird.  We are definitely nothing without the Lord.  All these crazy miracles that have been happening... are only because of Him.  Seriously it just blows my mind all the time. 

We also added this amazing investigator this week, Eliu.  Oh my gosh he is amazing and has an amazing desire to learn!! I can't wait to see where he goes.

Also another highlight of the week.... Elder David A. Bednar came to speak to our mission and the San Jose mission!!! It was amazing!! Instead of him talking to us, we had a discussion about three of his talks that he had us read before hand.  It was amazing! Seriously, I learned so much.  Sorry, I wish I could relate the whole thing to you... but I can't. haha So just to sum up what I realized... Man.  We are so lucky to have the gospel.  Honestly.. I don't understand why so many people turn it away.  It really is the ONLY way to true happiness.  You can't find this happiness anywhere else.  It is something that we just need to hold on to.  Because even when times get rough, the gospel is a better way.  Also,  Lets all study the plan of salvation and the atonement.  Because He promised that when we understand those, we will have motivation to endure to the end and make it back to our Heavenly Father in the top of the celestial kingdom.(: I promise you that it is worth it.  Also, go study 1 Nefi chapters 8 y 11.  Amazing. we are so lucky to have this gospel.. Don't waste the happiness that is right in front of you.  Also, if you are struggling if knowing this gospel is true... well you have the evidence of it right in front of you!!! Read the book of Mormon.  Go to church.  pray.  You can't not do those things and then think it's not true.  you need to try.  And I promise you that Heavenly Father will answer your prayers.

It's ridiculous how much I love this gospel.  Seriously, I just wish everyone understood how amazing it is. 

Also, some fun parts of the week... we went to san fran last p day! oh my heck it was so fun!! I love my companion so much. seriously, we have so much fun together. we are so much alike. its hilarious. but yeah we had a blast walking around san fran! it was my first time there.. man I have the best mission. be jealous.  Also!! at the bednar thingy, since the san jose mission was there.. guess who I saw!? Sister Jaden Bliss!!! and Also Elder Johnny Babcock!!! It was soooooo weird because I haven't seen either of them for over a year.  So it really just weirded me out mixing mission and home. hahah but it was so fun to see them.  Especially Jaden.(: HAPARI GIRLS REUNITE IN CALIFORNIA. Shout out to all my hapari girls. hahaha(: I wish I would've gotten a picture with her. but yeah. it was fun. it was actually hilarious because she yelled out my first name. hahahaha. #awkmishlife. its okay. we all make mistakes.(:

Also, I kept forgetting to talk to you guys about this.. but you know how like 3 weeks or something ago the giants won the world series? yeah even though I hate baseball I think I am officially a giants plan because I have to say that it was soo cool being here for that. hahaha it was crazy I think all of northern California started screaming at one time. yeah. my mission is cool. anyway.

Moral of story.  Never leave the gospel.  I love you all. the church is true. never forget it. 

Alma 41:10. 

Hermana Stokes

ps I will send pictures later.. we are gonna try and make it over to the chapel to use them to send pictures because these library ones don't work with a camera cord.:(

I got my memory card reader to work:  Here are my great companions with Stefani in Concord:

Pics of my tiny apartment in San Mateo - it's a studio.  I couldn't get the pic of the Kitchen to work but it only holds one person at a time :)

Hermana Hilton y yo


Self explanatory :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

El Camino B(:

Dear Family and friends,

HELLO!!! from the land of el camino.(:  that's our wards name.  yep you read that right.  I am in a Spanish WARD! what. it's so weird.  We have an American bishop even. hahah he speaks perfect Spanish though.  but yeah.  I love it here.  San Mateo is awesome!  I feel like I have so much to tell you all... but I don't remember it all. hahah so we will see how it goes.

But I guess I will start with my companion!  Sister Hilton.  She is awesome!! Seriously, I love her so much.  And we are so much alike.  It's crazy.  Shes from bountiful.  But lives on the edge of Centerville.  so shes basically from there. but no she does not know any majors or crowders or colbys. hahah I asked.(: but she did go to viewmont!! so that's fun.(:  She is just a transfer behind me in the mission, so it's fun being together, kind of on the same level.  We are definitely learning the area together.  It's an adventure!!(:

My district is awesome! okay. listen to this. this is where we are all from.
Elder Rodriguez (district Leader)--Argentina.
Elder Wallace-- England.  Like yes. accent and all. speaking Spanish.
Hermana Corbett-- Gilbert, Arizona
Hermana Miller--Lehi, Utah
Hermana Hilton-- Bountiful, Utah
Hermana Stokes--Lehi, Utah
Elder Bailey-- Lehi, Utah
Hermana Bailey-- Lehi, Utah.

So yep.  we have the coolest companionship of elders who both have super strong accents when talking English... and then we have the rest of us who are basically all from Lehi. hahah I think it's hilarioius!  Hermana miller is Sarah miller.  She did go to lehi with me, and was just two years older.  I'm sure some of you reading this know her.  shes super cool! and the baileys are a senior couple in our district and they are the best!! they are both from lehi as well.(: So 4 out of 8 of us are from lehi. haha its pretty funny.  the ward thinks its hilarious.  (: because we all serve in the same ward.  But yep, that's us!

Like I said, this week has been a great one just really trying to figure out our area.  I LOVE SPANISH.  I really have discovered that this week.  I love it so much.  I love that I think in Spanish a lot now.  I even have dreams in Spanish sometimes!  I just love the language so much and I really hope I have the opportunity to speak it more throughout my whole life.

San Mateo is awesome.  There are tons of latinos.  I feel like more people here speak English here though.  But I just still speak to them in Spanish if I know they know it.(: haha but yeah its fun.  And the weather is a lot cooler, which I LOVE.  So much.

I'm trying to think of what else... hmm ive been pretty sick this week.  with just a really crappy head cold.  but thank you mom for sending me with medicine.  its helped a ton.  And so anyway, ive felt really crappy almost every day.  and every day I just want to rest.. but ive really pushed myself to keep working because I know I will be blessed for that.  Andddd its working!!! we have already seen so many miracles!! yesterday was awesome, and we had a first lesson with a man named tena.  And the baileys came, and also an hermano from the ward.  and seriously I think it was the most amazing first lesson Ive ever had.  everyone killed it with their testimonies and the spirit was so strong!! it was amazing.  I was so happy.  Also so this week we added 5 INVESTIGATORS!!!!! ahhh That's a lot for our mission.  at least for mine.  and its because we added tena and also we added a family! well, just the kids.  but 4 kids! who just came from Honduras 6 months ago and the 16 year old wants them all to learn because she attended our church in Honduras and loved it.  I guess everyone back there is Mormon.  they are soo awesome and we are so excited to see what happens!! we are also teaching a couple of other families, and they are all just so amazing.  there are definitely a lot more families here in san mateo.  I love it!! but yes.  the work is definitely hastening.

Um I think that's pretty much it!! Life is great, I love Spanish, I love the mission, I love my companion.. yeah its great.  I have been missing concord like crazy though.  ahhh they are my family:( I miss them.  but I know I'm here for a reason.  So it will be okay.(: Its just funny how home sick I am from them. hahah. the mission life is really weird.

Thank you for all your love and support! I love you all, have a great week!!! 

Hermana Stokes

I'm trying and trying to get the pictures to work but they aren't.. stupid library computers... sorry everyone!!! I will send them next week hopefully!!! I was just gonna send some of the bay(: because you know, nbd we live by the bay and run by it in the morning.. yay water.  but today we are going to sanfrancisco! sooo hopefully I will have pictures of that for you next week.(: man life is awesome. im so excited.

Monday, November 3, 2014

#Milagros #Frijoles #Cambios

Hola Hermanos y Hermanas.

Oh my goodness do I have a lot to tell you!!! For those of you who don't speak spanish... that says Miracles, Beans, Changes.  Yep. That's my week.

So to start out I need to tell you..... we got transfer calls.  I am being transferred to SAN FRANCISCO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahaha.  More specifically, San Mateo.  But I know none of you know where that is.(: It is a city outside of San Francisco.  Sister Cefalo started her mission there so she has told me all about it.   I am so excited.  From the moment I got my mission call, I wanted to serve in San Francisco.. and I think this is close enough.(: Plus I can go there on P days.  Woo. I'm excited.  Some other crazy news about that is that...  I'M GOING TO BE SENIOR COMPANION!!!! To a girl named Sister Hilton, who just came out one transfer after me.  So she just finished her 12-week training today.  I'm kind of scared.  Because I've been speaking spanish longer than her.  But i haven't met her yet, and I'm sure her spanish is awesome.  I'm soo scared but I know the Lord won't assign me to anything I can't do.. So I know I can do it.(: It is pretty crazy that i'm senior companion after only 3 transfers though ahhh.  And Sister Cefalo is also being transferred! to Brentwood, the end of the mission, to be sister training leader!! Pretty awesome.  

Okay now well I have a story for you.

I'm sorry if I've already told you some of this.  But 2 weeks ago we showed Carlitos the joseph smith movie.  After finishing it, he asked if he could take it home and show his mom to show her why he wants to get baptized. (so awesome)  so then he did, and asked her again.  1 week ago he came back with the report, that she said no.  Like no hesitation or nada.  Then.  Monday night.  Carlos, his dad, comes to FHE.  And tells us he has some news... and tells us... CARLITOS MOM SAID YES!!!!!!!! AND THAT HE COULD GET BAPTIZED!!!!!! My heart stopped when he told us... and I just started bawling.  Hahah it was really funny because everyone in the room thought something bad happened but I was like no carlos is getting baptized! I'm so happy that I cant stop crying!  so yeah  we pulled a baptism together in 6 days and CARLITOS GOT BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY!!!!!!! AHHHH!!!!!! Definitely the biggest miracle of my mission.  It was crazy.  We are still in shock by it, because it happened all so fast.  Its just crazy how Heavenly Father's plan works.  Because his mom said no.  But then it's like, Heavenly Father knew we were getting transferred.  He knew Carlos needed us to be here when he got baptized, and he knew we needed the same thing.  So he made it happen.  It seriously is such a tender mercy that I got to see his baptism.  I know that I was here in concord for carlitos.  For other people too, but I know for him.  Heavenly Father really does have a plan.

So Yeah it was the craziest weekend of my life!!! Friday was halloween! we had to be inside the house at 6.  Because you know... yeah sketchy if you are outside on halloween here even before 6! I can't imagine what happens after.  And then we had to deep clean our apartment.  Andddd right before this.... we were taking some beans home from dinner.... THEY SPILT ALLLLLL OVER.  oh my goodness i've never seen so much beans in my life.  And it was all over the back seat of our new 2015 corolla.  Yeah it was sad.  But after spending a lot of time cleaning it,  It looks okay now.(: No worries.  but it made some good memories.(:  Anyway.  Then Saturday was the baptism! it went so well! Carlitos and his dad Carlos were SOOO happy. oh my heck I have never seen a 10 year old so happy.  Then Sunday.  Sunday was ahhh emotional.  Because we knew we were leaving.  And I kid you not.  Every single person I saw, I just started bawling.  But Let me tell you, our branch is amazing.  They said theeeeeeee sweetest things to me.  They really are the family you need on a mission.  I really got taken care of here.  Actually, I am sorry to say this... but yesterday only I cried more than I did when I left home.  My heart is broken to leave this place.  But I know it's the will of the Lord.  Everyone is soooo mad that all three of us sisters are leaving.  hahaha they were like what!? they are taking all three of you!? it was sad.  but they understand.  Pablo and Carlos are mad though.  Anyway,  Carlitos' confirmation went great too.  And after, he whispered to us "I'm finally mormon"  it was the cutest thing ever.  Seriously, he was so happy.  I can't even explain to you all the feelings I felt yesterday.  Saying bye to carlitos was the worst thing ever.  He was sooooo sad.  Oh my gosh.  I hope the elders take care of him....:( ahh he will be okay though.  The Lord has a plan.

Then after all that emotional day we had to bring Hermana Story to oakland.  She is on an airplane to argentina now.  ahhhh so sad.:( why does life have so many goodbyes?! 

I can't express to you all the feelings I am feeling right now.  I am so excited to go to San Mateo, But I am so sad to leave my concord.  I feel like I will be leaving my heart here too.  I love these people soooo much.  And the way they care about me is just amazing.  I haven't had to say goodbye to the Espinozas yet and I don't even know how I'm going to do that.  AHHHHH.  goodbyes are hard.  But I know that the Lord has a plan, and I am so grateful to him for the baptism of Carlos Allen Jimenez.  I know it will be okay.  He needs me in San Mateo now.(:

Thank you all for your prayers and support! I know that it's partly because of your faith that Carlos was able to get baptized.  I love you all soooo much!! thank you for everything!

And remember,  since I'm being transferred.. don't send anything to my concord address! send it to the mission home! i will let you know my new address soon.(:  

Hermana Stokes

ps read DyC101:36

here is a district picture at our last district meeting!  And one of us on halloween.. yay mustaches.  and one of us with stephanie for the last time.:(