Monday, January 26, 2015

reunited and if feels so good...


Ah what a great week.  I guess I will start out with the transfer doctrine.  I'm staying!(: woo! and since sister corbitt is going home, my new companion will be Sister Orantes!! She is coming from the english program in the visitors center. Shes been STL there for a while. She has been english vc her whole mission.. and shes almost done.  So this will be her first time full pros and first time in the spanish program.  But shes from el salvador so she knows spanish(:  that is all I know about her, but she seems pretty awesome and I am sooo excited to get to know her!

It was a good week here, don't really know what to tell.  Armando couldn't come to church because of work, but seriously.. I am witnessing a miracle.  Every time we meet with him, he talks more and more.  He truly is changing right before our eyes.  He is so attentive and responsive to the spirit.  He really has started feeling the spirit. It is so amazing.  I love it.

We had a great week but not much happened.. we did have some great dinners this week! ah monday we went to a couples house and it was so fun.  We ate dinner and played some games.  it was a good martin luther king day.(:

The only other thing i can think of to talk about is the best thing ever.  Yesterday!!!! guess what we had!!! porque yo creo!!! for the first time since october! do you know what that means?  I saw all my concord people again!! well, a lot of them.  I haven't seen them for 3 months!!! oh my goodness I cannot even tell you how happy I was.  I walked in and saw Carlos, Carlitos, Carlos pena, Felipe, and Karina.  I FREAKED OUT.  Seriously, I don't think I've been happier.  And CARLITOS SPOKE. ahhhh because when you get baptized you can speak and share your story, and that little kid did it! and he did it so well!! I was sooo proud of him.  He even did it in spanish.. which... le da pena.  but he did so well!! I definitely cried.  There is nothing happier than seeing your recent convert still going so strong, telling the congregation that it is worth it. and that the church is true.  I really was just truly happy yesterday.  I can't even explain it.  Being a missionary is the greatest thing ever.  You get to feel a true, spiritual, eternal love for these people.  And you love them so much that seeing them, and seeing that they are well and strong, gives you a true happiness that I don't think you can find in many other places.  I was smilin so big last night, I couldn't help it.  I love my people in concord so much.  AH I LOVE THE GOSPEL.

Also, Carlitos wears the bracelet we gave him every day that says "go and do"  and he also wears his tie pin every sunday that we gave him of the oakland temple.  Man. I am so proud of him. He also has grown like 3 inches it was weird.  I can't wait to see him go on a mission in 7.5 years.

Yep, that was my week.  Ha I can't get over how great it was to see that yesterday.  I feel like its a little of what it will be like in the after life.. i know thats cheesy.. but i really believe its true.  I love reunions.(:

Welp, I hope you all have a great week! I love you all!!

picture 1: me and my favorite concord people. and hermana cefalo of course.(:

picture 2: me and Hermana Hilton.  We showed up, not seeing each other for 6 weeks, matching. hahaha we are hilarious. also, she is going to concord, so i am so excited for her.(: love.

Picture 3:  just another pretty picture of the bay bridge.  I love my mission.

Monday, January 19, 2015


Hi family and friends.(:

Malo Lelei! Fefe Hake?  Ofa Tu!!

yeah. im fluent in tongan now. hahaha.  Had 3 exchanges this week! two in tongan land.  with sister pulu, from tonga, then sister kaufana, from tonga. super fun.(:  They are both learning english here in the mission, its so cool to see people learn english. we had a lot of fun.

I'm going to apologize right now, I have like no time today.  because of the annoying monday holiday... which the only purpose of this holiday is to close all the libraries... a lot of missionaries are waiting to use the chapels computers, so i will just go as fast as i can with this.(: sorry if you dont get a good reply today.

This week was so great! I forgot to tell you, last week we had MLC, mission leadership council, and it was so cool! I think that is one of the best parts of being sister training leader.

Also, went to a birthday party for a members child, they hired a taco man. the best ever. i decided im just gonna hire a taco man for every party i have from now on. i love real tacos, im sorry that hardly any of you have had them. they really are amazing.(:

Okay so now the good part. wanna here a miracle!?  We are teaching this one family, robert sandy and aidan.  sandy is less active coming back, aidan is the son.  they both come to church every week. robert is not a member and we have been teaching him.. but we have been focusing on sandy because he doesnt want to be pressured.. he isn't even sure if god is real.  so during the lessons he doesnt say much, he just sits there and absorbs.  every week he drives his family to church and drops them off, then comes back later.. well this week we walked in the church building.. guess who is sitting by his family? ROBERT. oh my goodness i have never smiled so big.  i dont know what got him to church but it wasnt us.  it was a miracle.  Ahhh happiest moment of the day for sure.

Another miracle... ARMANDO. okay have i told you about armando yet?  he is deathly shy.  hes our investigator and its hard becase he reads and comes to church and prays.. but he wont talk. he wont tell us his feelings or anything. so we never know what to do. well on friday we had an amazing lesson with him... HE TALKED. and now only did he talk, but he talked for like 10 minutes straight telling us his life story!!!! i know its hard to understand, but it was a miracle. i was in shock, and so happy. i know that this is a step to progressing towards baptism.(:

also.. a funny story with that.... okay. so we are teaching armando in the park. im sitting next to a tree at the table. all of the sudden i hear russtling in the bushes, like an animal is running.  I think its a dog and dont think much of it. but then i hear the gasps from my companion and the member we had with us, candelaria.  I turn to see a huge disgusting RACOON running straight towards me. scariest thing of my life. but actually it just ran right next to me and climbed the tree like it was no big deal.  I HAD NO IDEA RACOONS COULD CLIMB. the funniest part was hearing candelaria go "mapache" in this terrified gasp. shes like 80 so yeah you can imagine that. oh my. yeah. so that was a fun end to our lesson. oh and it gets better. we are all freaked out and armando goes "oh you are scared?  we eat those in my country, guatemala." hahahahaha i died laughing. yeah not only does he talk now, but hes funny. yeah. anyway. it was pretty hilarious. i hate racoons. or mapaches in spanish. they are everywhere. 

Anyway, that was my week! I love you all so much! have a great day.(:  

picture 1-- a latino man was pruning roses and told us we could have these. ha we were excited. SO PRETTY my favorite colors.(:

picture 2-- me eating tongan food for the first time.(:

picture 3--sister pulu and her food.(:

also, ive met like 10 people from fiji in the past two weeks. what? haha i have the coolest mission.(:

transfer calls this week! hermana corbitt is going home.. so we will see what happens!

Hermana Stokes

Monday, January 12, 2015

Hey. so, i'm bilingual.

Hi everyone!  I love you all.

Okay. So I had a great week here in San Mateo!! I love this work so much, it's just the best.

This wee we went on two exchanges!  I stayed in our area for both.  The first, Hermana McCarthy came with me!! she's a spanish missionary, serving in the other spanish ward in the stake.  She is amazing!!! oh my goodness. She is from new zealand/Hawaii.  We had such a great day together, with some hilarious things happen to us.  I hope we can be companions one day. Shes awesome.

Then the other was with sister Putong! Who also came from the city.  She is from the phillipenes... i have no idea how to spell that. Anyway, she is also amazing!  I learned so much from her.  I really love exchanges.  I love getting to know these amazing sisters in our zone.  I have learned so much this week on how to be a better missionary and leader.(:

Sorry, I really don't have much to write about this week.  But while I was on my exchange with sister putong, we did add a new investigator!  Eliazar!!  Oh my goodness he is awesome.  It was a miracle that we could see him.  We met with him and he loooved the restoration.  He has the desires to follow god.  And I asked him right off if he would get baptized.  He said he is going to read from the book of mormon and pray about it this week then next time we can set a date!!! sooo amazing.  I hope it goes well with him, he has definitely been prepared.  Tons of potential.  Really, he is awesome.

We also had some other great lessons this week! had a miracle of an old investigator show up to our english class that we teach!! and we got to teach her after.  Her name is Esly and she has doubts about the catholic church so she has been reading the book of mormon a ton.  she is amazing!!!! I just hope we can get her to church soon.(:  she has a lot of questions and it is awesome.  plus shes a great student in our english class.(:

Yeah, we teach english class every tuesday to hispanics who want to learn.  It is the best.  I really just love teaching, especially to hilarious hispanics.

A bunch of other little miracles happened this week.  We taught a recent convert, freidell.  She is from nicaragua.  Oh my goodness this woman is amazing.  She has so many great desires.   I know she is going to be an amazing member in the church her whole life.  (:

I had an amazing dinner this week from Honduras.  Oh man, I love working with all these cultures.  I really do have the best mission.

So yep, that was my week. Sorry that I'm kind of rushed.  I spent so much time emailing president today that now I'm short on time(: hahha. but also, I just wanted to say, after reading about the miracle with heather sami and griff.. It was on my mind all week.  I kept just crying out of gratitude to heavenly father for keeping my family safe while I'm here.  I am so grateful for his plan, and so grateful that heather sami and griff are needed here today.(:  I love all of you so much and know that The Lord is watching over you.  He has his angels with you, I know it.  I am so grateful for miracles, and I know that Heavenly Father loves us all and cares about our desires.

I love you all so much!  I hope you all have a great week and are able to stop and think what the Lord has given you.  We are all so blessed by Him.  (:

Hermana Stokes

Picture 1 and 2.  Me and some of the zone during the movie activity new years eve.(: fun stuff.

picture 3. the spanish sister training leaders at MLC.  Funny note, sister corbitt trained sister hooper and sister cefalo trained me! hahah we just are switched.  I love it.(:

ps. I love spanish.

Monday, January 5, 2015

hi so it's 2015 and I had funeral potatoes. life is great.

Hi my dear favorite people!(:

I love you all so much!!

How was your week??

Mine was great.

I guess I will start with New years eve!  For new years eve we get to watch two movies. You can imagine how exciting this is for us missionaries. Well, due to millions of technical difficulties... we only got to watch parts of two movies. you can imagine the saddness we felt because of this. hahaha we watched about a third of Frozen(: didn't even get to meeting olaf:( but hey at least i have seen it. there were lots of people who havent. then we saw about half of how to train your dragon two. so no, i dont know what happens next, and please dont tell me. i will watch it when i am home.(: but it was good! it was hilarious watching movies as missionaries..... haahaha we havent seen one in so long that i kid you not... every teeny little thing that most people wouldnt react to.. we freak out. haha we were laughing harder than ever and every other extreme you feel while watching a movie. it was so fun. It was fun to get to know the zone more too!

Thennn new years day! man. Not gonna lie. Hard day. Every lesson out of like 6 got cancelled. we were walking around all day. (Lets just say, that i am soo grateful that the holidays are over. im tired of people being on vacation!)  but then. We had a new years day miracle. which was that the wonderful baileys invited us over to dinner.(: AND GUESS WHAT THEY FED US. funeral potatoes. I have not had those for 7 and 1/2 months. I was so happy. They tasted like heaven I'm pretty sure.  Seriously though, it made my life. We also had homemade chocolate pudding like yours mom, which also made me so happy. yeah I am so grateful for the baileys.

But really though, even with everyone cancelling on us, it was a good week! I love this gospel soooo much.

This week I was studying for some investigators, sandy and adolfo, who just cannot seem to grasp the fact that really this is the only true church on the earth, and we have to be a part of it in order to make it to our heavenly father again one day.  I want you all to go read 2 Nephi 29.  It is such an amazing chapter.  I can testify to you all that we have the book of mormon today because God's work is not finished!  Why would he have his son come to the earth and establish his church, and then just let it be lost again? Of course he would call a new prophet to restore the church.  The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is THE true church.  The only true church.  And they only way we can know this for ourselves is by reading the scriptures and asking ourselves.  We have the book of mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ.  Of course God would give us another testament!  THis is for us! the book of mormon is the way to happiness.  I promise you.  We can find any answer to any question by reading that book and praying.  My dear family and Friends, I am so grateful for this gospel.  I know that it can bless each one of your lives.  Find out for yourself if this church is true.  I know that if you ask Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ, He will answer your prayer.  You can know for yourself.  You might as well try it, because what if all of this was true?  wouldn't that be the greatest thing ever?! Well I can testify to you that it is. It is true. And knowing it can change your life.  So will you all do that? pray about this church, about the book of mormon, and find out for yourselves.  I promise you as a representative of Jesus Christ that it will help you live a happier and fuller life.  

I love you all so much.  I hope you know how much this gospel means to me.  I want it to mean the same to everyone I love.  Have an amazing week.(:

happy new year(:
picture one: what happens at night after a long day of cancelled appointments. of course these things will cheer us up.(: #missionarylife
picture two:  The cutest girls ever. Isabella and Antonella. Or Isa and Anto.  I love them.

The rest of the pictures: last week at temple.