Monday, April 27, 2015

2 decades old?(:

You know, it really is great having a p day on my birthday.  hahah I haven't read through my emails yet but thank you all for the wonderful emails.(: 

So far, 20 is the best age yet(; acutally... this is the best birthday so far I think that I've had.  Mission birthdays are the best!!!!

This week was CRAZY.  But I don't have much to tell.  Dropping off Hermana Orantes was super hard.  I just love her so much:( But her time was done.. I'm sure she is doing great at home. (:

Then I love my two new companions!!! they are so great!! So cute.  It is crazy covering two areas, two wards.  It honestly results in a lot less work for either of the areas, and a lot more time in the car.  But it was a good week!  We are just trying to figure everything out.  Hermana Vargas' companion comes May 6th. (: 

Hermana Housley is awesome, she is from North Carolina!  And here is a random crazy small world moment.. she grew up in new Hampshire, and knows the Olsen's!!! Yes Brooke and Natalie, if you are reading this, she remembers you really well.  Actually she remembers all of you. so funny. Ha such a small world!! But yeah she's super tall and awesome.  I love her already. (:

Hermana Vargas is the best too.  She is from El Salvador.  They really love putting me with Salvadorians(: hahaha. but its fun. 

Thursday when we went and taught Sandy and Robert... I was surprised to have them bring out a cake after and birthday hats! they threw me a little surprise party!! I had no idea.  They did it because they knew they wouldn't see me today.   Ahhh so sweet I love them so much!! I have never been so grateful.  Ha I thought I was gonna cry. 

Then yesterday was the BEST DAY EVER.  It may as well have been my birthday.  First of all, my trainer sister cefalo was at church!! I love her so much.  And also,  we had porque yo creo!! and a bunch of concord found out about my birthday, so the espinozas were there, and carlos and carlitos, and Stephanie and her mom.. and more!!! that was the best present I could have ever received.  I love them all sooo much!! seriously.. I can't even express my happiness to see them.  I love reunions.  We freaked out. (:  Really though, as I was thinking about it I was just so grateful for all the people the Lord has let me meet on my mission.  I am so grateful to him for all the relationships he has given me. (:

Today so far has been great.  Don't know what we are gonna do..  Probably go to Jamba Juice. .(: oh and Costco!  haha. then tonight we have a family home evening with the ward to watch meet the Mormons.  I am excited about that!!  so yeah.  best birthday yet.

I would write more but I don't know what to write plus I just want to read my emails.(: haah so I hope you all have a great week!! remember, the church is true!!!

I will send lots of pictures. (: bye love you all!

Hermana Stokes

pics:birthday party with sandy and robert

 My awesome new companeras - Hermana Vargas and Hermana Housely

My friends from Concord with Hermana Cefalo.  She came back and visited us.  It was wonderful to have her on my birthday.

The Espinozas are the best!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Life as you know it

Hey guess what!!! I'm staying in El Camino for my birthday!!!!!!!! yes. my birthday is a week from today and I will be here. (: wow... weird.. am I really going to be 20? anyway.

My new companion, who I pick up tomorrow, her name is Hermana Housley. I'm getting another VC sister!!! so excited about that.  (: she came out the same time as Hna Hilton so she is one transfer behind me.  And this will be her first time being STL so I get to train her. (: so that will be fun!! We also will be in a trio for 2 weeks with Hermana Vargas! The same sister that I've gone on exchanges with.  She is training and her trainee isn't coming for 2 weeks.  Man, the lord just loves putting me in trios.  (: but that's good because I love them!! So yeah.  I feel like I just have a whole bunch of responsibility now and it just keeps coming.. ha when did I grow up!?!

I'll be sending Hermana Orantes off tomorrow:( ahhh so sad.  I am going to miss her soooo much. she truly has been a blessing in my life. She will do great things at home though. (:

We had a great week!!! We had a fun zone activity last Monday going up to twin peaks and looking over the city. I will send pictures. (: I have the best mission.

We had a mini exchange this week! I was with sister Cammans.  It was super fun!! I love her. (:

I also got to go to VC training this week since it was my comps last. that was fun. (:

Sorry, I'm short on time today. we have sooo much to do!! So the only other thing I have to tell you is our miracle!!!

So Sunday, we are sitting in ward council when we realized we forgot to call our investigators to remind them about church.  So we decided to leave and make those calls.  But we waited for a while.  Then we finally went out and while we were making those calls I saw a guy walk in.  I saw him and immediately KNEW that I needed to talk to him. It was the weirdest thing.  I waved and he waved back.  I figured if he had a question, he would come talk to us.  But he didn't . The impression came again to talk to him.  I pointed him out to Sister Orantes and she immediately turned to walk over to him.  So we talk to him and figure out.... He was taught by the missionaries more than 2 years ago.. and he has been looking for peace in his life and remembered where the church was so he came!!!! he lives in San Mateo!!! our area!!! and he just showed up to church because of something he remembered 2 years ago!!!! what the!!! and if we wouldn't have been out in the hall I honestly don't know if he would've stayed.  Because the reason he was so early was because he thought it was the same schedule as it was last time.  Oh my goodness miracle!! we have a lesson with him this week and he said he will be back at church this sunday, because he loved it!! he texted us telling us all that he learned.  He truly is prepared. It reminded me once again that this is the Lord's work.  So many miracles have been happening it's crazy.

I also gave a talk yesterday in church.  My companion did too. ha we were the whole program.  so I gave a 20 minute talk. in Spanish. It still kind of blows my mind that I can do that.  But yeah, it was great!(: I talked on Luke 7, the woman who loved much. my favorite story from the bible. (:

Welp, that's all! have a great week!! love you all!

Hermana Stokes

I have a ton of pictures from our zone activity last week, Hermana Orantes, and the wonderful people we work with.  Here you go.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Best week ever.

Dear everyone.

Okay so this week was awesome and I have so much on my mind to tell you guys.  But I don't know where to start, especially since we are short on time. (: anyway.

We gave two trainings this week on Tuesday!  Both went well.  The second one especially, we gave it on opening our mouths.  And the spirit really inspired us with everything we said.  I think the training was more for us than our audience.  (: It was so fun too.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Then Wednesday I was on an exchange with sister Kaufana! Super fun.  Then Saturday I went on an exchange with Sister Leuluaialii.  Both were in my area.

Wednesday at service with our cute old ladies, I witnessed the cutest thing ever.  We work on the Alzheimer's floor, so we definitely witness some great things.  But there is this new lady, Pat.  and her husband who doesn't have Alzheimer's comes and visits her every week.  They are soo cute.  So I was sitting there yelling (I have to yell or no one hears me).  We were doing trivia.  Pat was so intently listening, when her husband was trying to say goodbye.  So I finally stopped talking so that she would listen to him.  Then I heard him say "I love you.  I will always love you." then he left.  Her face just lit up but you could tell she remembers him, but still isn't all there and won't remember him soon. Yes, I started crying.  I hope I have a marriage like that when I'm that old. Me and Sister Orantes are trying to figure out how to get them introduced to the gospel and sealed(: its hard because we can't proselyte in there.

Then Thursday was soooo great!!! I had such a great interview with my mission president.  I love President Meredith sooo much.  I had a prayer answered in that interview. It was so great. (:  I am so grateful for him.  Then that night we did service for Sandy and Robert!! Eadan is in Colorado visiting their family, so they decided to get some stuff done in the apartment.  It was so fun! We painted their living room.  I love that family so much. (:

Then Friday is where the miracles get amazing.  So the elders had a baptism!! Remember that family that came into church a few weeks ago and said they wanted to get baptized? yep well they did on Friday! It was so great!! And randomly, this lady Nancy shows up.  I guess she was a former investigator of sister corbitt and sister miller when they were here!! So of course, we added her as and investigator and invited her to church! She came!! we will meet with her on Wednesday.  I don't know what made her decide to come back, but I hope she will get baptized soon.

Then Saturday!!!! Remember JoAnne who got baptized a few weeks ago?  Well her family got sealed in the temple on Saturday!! So of course we had a reception Saturday night for them. Oh my I almost cried when I saw them walking around hugging everyone.  They looked sooo happy!! I am so happy for them.  The reception was great! I saw Olga and Karla from concord! They are related to the family. so that was fun.  But yeah it was a good night.  I love Hispanic parties!!! hahahaha seriously though.  I want to go to them all the time after my mission. (: ahh I just love our ward! They are the absolute best!! but yes. anyway.

Then the greatest miracle of all!

 So we got a referral from the sisters for a Rene. We had a set appointment for last night but couldn't find a member :/ we called all the usuals and then I thought of a different sister who we haven't tried in 3 months (she always works). She didnt want to come but felt impressed that she needed to. so she did, and as we were in the park waiting for him she asked us what ever had happened to an investigator named Hector. She told us that he was sooo golden and she doesn't know what ever happened to him. AND THEN.....a guy walks up to us. Our member got super excited and said that it was Hector! and then "Hector" looked at us (probably because we looked confused) and said, "I'm Rene!" So yes!!! that golden she was talking about was the same person who met other missionaries on the street and asked to be taught.  We had an amazing lesson with him and his friend Romeo, and now they are wanting to be taught by us and come to church!!! seriously.. I am still in shock.  It is so crazy how the  Lord will lead those who are ready to the gospel. This is the Lord's work.

I love this gospel so much.  During interviews President Meredith asked me what has changed my look on missionary work.  After thinking about it, I realized it is something that has made me look at life differently.  I have really started to realize that life is not all about me. Life is much more than me.  It is about serving children of God.  About loving those around me, and showing them my love for them, more than that showing God's love for them.  I have learned sooo much on my mission and I still have 7 months to learn!! I definitely have changed for the better.  I love this gospel so much.  I love this work.  This was the best decision I have ever made in my entire life.  I am so grateful for all the people I meet every day.  I just want them all do know that there is hope!!! they can be truly happy! but only through the gospel.

I hope you all remember that.  This gospel is the only way you can be truly happy.

I love you all! have a great week!

Hermana Stokes

us before we did our "salud" to the family (:

Me and our member, Freidell. I love her. (: shes from Nicaragua. (:

the decorations we did! also, this is me and sister leuluaialii from samoa.   in one of these pics im wearing sister orantes glasses... I LOOK LIKE A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PERSON. Haha weird. (: 

Monday, April 6, 2015


(: happy easter all! I hope it was  a great day for each and every one of you. (:

Umm I don't know what to write about this week. 

Oh last Monday we had for the noche de hogar (FHE) a talent show!!! it was sooo fun. And so successful!! we had so many people show up.  It went so well I was so happy!! So many fun talents! The Zabala's came too!! I think they really liked it so that was awesome.  Catharine, their daughter LOVES us. so does Alexis, the son.  They really love the church. (:

We had MLC on Wednesday.  So that is always great.  We had stew for lunch, it made my day. (: haha our senior couples are the best.  I honestly don't know how other missions survive without senior couples!  (this is a hint to all the senior couples out there who are not on missions to go,  the church *aka young missionaries* NEED you!!!) hahaha. jk. but really, the church actually does need you. (:

The rest of the week was filled with some random sister training leader responsibilities.  We had some things we had to do.  So that took some time out of our actual day, but at the same time it was really good and we got to magnify our callings as STL's.  Plus, I really just love helping the sisters. (:  I hope they can feel my love for them. 

And then, of course, CONFERENCE!!!! oh my I hope you all had the chance to watch conference!! It was soo amazing.  I love conference so much!  I would go on talking all about it but I would rather you all go watch it if you haven't yet.  (:  Of course I would not be able to choose a favorite talk.. I loved sooo many of them.  But one I really loved was President Eyring's.  Are we all doing all we can to fulfill our baptismal covenant and helping those who need help? 

Also, don't you love how Elder Cook gave San Francisco a shout out?  Haha I was pretty excited when he started talking about it. (: Yep, that's our mission.. a million languages.

Welp, that's about it.  I hope you all had a great week and Easter.  Don't let Easter be the only day to remember our Savior.  I know that Christ lives.  And I know that he loves YOU.  Because He lives YOU can be happy.  Because He lives YOU can feel peace.  Just look around at all the things in life that you joy.. all of that is because Christ died for you.  I love this gospel so much, and I am so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ.  I know that through Him, we can do anything. (:

Have a great week!! please watch this video and share it with your friends.  .. or if you want it in Spanish (;


Hermana Stokes