Monday, February 20, 2017

Hello Everybody

Well this last week has been great. Rain, then sunshine, then rain, then clouds, then rain again. I mean all this rain is really great but why does it have to be windy as well. So yeah that was this last week. We did a lot of tracting and some great less active work and met with some investigators.Here are some of the less actives we are working with
Brother Grow - Really cool guy. He is a college Chemistry Professor and spend alot of his time doing that. It seems like a lot of work. He is really close to coming back to church. but with midterms happening it has been hard to finish all the stuff he has. but it is happening
Brother Gibbs - He is Part-member convert whose wife is very devout Catholic and he just seems to have lost the desire to Come to church, but he still seems to have a strong testimony of the Church. So that is Great!
Tera - a recent convert baptized for about a Year now, we have been having a really hard time meeting with her. But I have heard that she is interested in meeting with us. So that is a good sign
Brother Thompson - He is a cool guy. He is really interested in gaining his own testimony. He was born into the church but never gained a testimony of his own and He has found all the really old Book of Mormons that he showed us. they are really cool.
Edgar - Edger is another less active who needs to gain his own testimony and seems really willing to change and he is working on his Word of Wisdom problem right now(drinking coffee) We have been helping him every way we can think of and we hope that hes is doing well.
Stacy Harold - another recent convert less active we have been trying to meet with So that is great that she is trying to find time in her busy schedule to meet with us.
We were able to find 2 new investigators this week. and they are pretty cool. One Lady from Egypt and a guy who is really old but really likes to stick to the bible for things. which has made him distance himself from other churches that have supported gays too much because it says it is wrong in the bible. So that was great. Well time is up now. thank you for reading

Elder Stokes

Pics of the inside of my apartment
New Hat and bird picture
Eating at a Thai place with other missionaries in the zone
and A super cool note thing(I really love it)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Castro Valley 1st

Hey all,
this last week has been exhausting, I have been learning a new area and doing alot this week. Tuesday was transfers and then I was off to Castro Valley, It is a really cool place. We have a cool apartment. It is on the third floor, and it is pretty small. butt considering all the time the spend there(which isn't very much) it is definitely good enough for what we. especially since it has a really comfy couch. On the first night I had the chance to meet our Ward Mission Leader and Our Bishop. So besides a lot of tracting(which I have done.) I am going to kind of tell you about some people.
Bro. Barajas - investigator - Bro Barajas is a long time investigator(otherwise known as eternal investigator), you know, the one that come to church all the time because he is in a part member family but hasn't decided to be baptized yet. I got to meet him while on splits with the priests. on my second day in the area. I was also told this is the first time that they had had splits in this area, so that was fun. but Bro. Barajas is cool.
Barbara - investigator - Barbara is a very funny person who is ready to be baptized, but she can't because she is on parole. She does still need to stop smoking. but there is progress in that regard and I think she will be ready when her parole ends. We have been told to treat her like a less active.
Shaion - investigator - Shaion is an teenager. Who has very little knowledge about god. In fact he is atheist. but his dad is catholic so he encourages him to learn about god so he listens to our lessons and tries to follow our commitments. he is really cool.
Robert - investigator - Robert is a teenager who they apparently met tracting and he is really cool and a great guy. I haven't had much time to evaluate my thoughts on him but he says he goes to another church and seems to have only basic knowledge of Jesus Christ.
John - investigator - haven't met him yet. but he has a baptismal date!
Service - for service we have done 2 things. Help mulch trees at this big orchard( this is a lot of work but a good amount of fun. any we have also went to a senior home where we go and hang out with the members. I got to play chess with a guy for 2 hours so that was a lot of fun.
Finding is hard in this area but we are trying a lot.
District - in our district, we are the only ones in the English program, everyone else is Spanish, they are also all in the same ward San Leandro 2nd. So we are kind of the left out ones. but that is cool.
Our Zone is great. there are a lot of cool missionaries in it. And we had a great time at the temple then we got to do a zone sports afterwards which was a lot of fun.
Well that is all for now. More will be told next week.

Elder Stokes

Pics: This is me and my new companion(E. Changchum)
Also the outside of my apartment.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Hey Everybody

We had some really cool things happen this week it was awesome.
The First thing that happened is a change in the rules. During the missionary broadcast they let us know about two things happening. There was a change in the schedule that Missionaries need to follow and a change in the the Key Indicators that we are supposed to keep track of. In the Schedule change they changed the time we are supposed to do planning to the morning and they changed everything into blocks. In that as long as you do everything you need to do in the time block then it doesn't matter what order it is in. I think that this change will help Missionaries be more responsible in making there schedule for the day. Instead of it being a rigid schedule, it is now more up to the missionaries what they need to do and is thus more flexible. The change in Key indicators is that there are now only 4(Baptized, Confirmed, Investigators at Sacrament Mtg., and New investigators.) this is a big change from the old 9 plus one that the Mission President is supposed to create. They said this is to more focus missionaries on baptizing converts and Our Purpose. I think it will help missionaries be more accountable for what they do in a week and will hopefully focus more on bringing Investigators to church.
On Tuesday I had a great day of Exchanges. I got to go with Elder Pike and it was great. I was in the YSA for a day and we had a lot of driving to do. I think that the coolest thing that happened all day was a dog. There was this dog in the one are that we went to. It looked like a shag rug and it was small and cute. but then it tried to get us to go away. When we walked toward it, it ran away wimpering. Then it came right back barking at us.
The next awesome thing that happened was Jacobs Baptism. There whole family was there and it was great. I am so happy that he was baptized. I also had to give a talk in Brentwood 2nd on Member Missionary work. so that was cool that is what happened Sat. and Sun.

Elder Stokes

Pics: Bowling, Baptism, and cool car

Monday, January 23, 2017


Hello all,
Well this last week has been really boring. We have been trying to get together a baptism that will be happening this next Saturday so that has been stressful. I think that it is even more stressful is that we kind of procrastinated some of the things so we will have to be really fast in setting everything up. I hope that it goes well and that he will be be baptized without any problems. I think this will be great. This last week got to meet with some really cool members and try to get some referrals. But we haven't had any luck. Most of them just talk a little about how they are working on somebody but don't give us any referrals to help them so that has been kind of interesting. It hasn't really helped that I have been here for a long time so I have noticed that they sometimes say the same person but had forgotten that they had told me this before. My highlight for this last week is that we have been doing a lot of service so that has been great and it really fills the time when everyone is gone. well this week wasn't super eventful so that is it.

Elder Stokes

Monday, January 16, 2017

the week of stuff

So this last week has been really awesome and a lot of fun. I has a great time being out here in the rain. yes it rained, and yes I loved it. but it really rained a lot out here I mean there was this little stream that had a little water but after the rain it filled almost to the top and was almost overflowing. It is a very interesting kind of rain it will be light but then I will just pour for about an hour. But we had some great lessons this week. We had our lesson with James that went well and our lesson with Jacob. We also started teaching Julian the New Member Lessons. We haven't been able to meet with Garland and We really want to because I think that him and Elder Dewitt are a lot alike. When we try and go finding in the rain it hasn't really worked but apparently if you tract in the rain you will have a more beautiful wife(yes, I did here that from a zone leader). So yay for tracting in the rain. Though we seem to be getting potentials that we can go by and hopefully find some investigators. My favorite part of this last week was that Trina and Derek came to church. Even though Trina is pretty far along pregnant. She says I will be easier for her to come at 9 than at 11. so that is really cool and we hope everything keeps going well with them. Well that is it for this last week. Goodbye
Elder Stokes

Monday, January 9, 2017

hey everybody

Hello all,
Sorry about last week I had some troubles with my computer and there was a messed up district activity because the sisters changed the time of it and we forgot. So the time we were planning to email was taken up so that was lame. but it seems like you got to see a picture of my new companion E. Dewitt. We are having a great time here in Brentwood and we are doing great. We are still teaching James and Jacob. And Jacob is still set to be baptized on the 28th of this month so that is great. We haven't had very much luck with finding investigators but we have done a ton of service. We got to help out alot with Kathleen. We helped get a old car going and it runs great. We also helped put together a 4 wheel drive wheelchair. It was so cool. But we did have some trouble with Elder Dewitt getting sick so I got some time to work on the puzzle and I finished it. It only took me tons of time working on it( I hated the Frame) but I was getting better at them so I got faster and Faster. Him and Elder McDaniel knew each other in high school so that is cool. Mcdaniel also had a trainee but there was an ET(emergency transfer) so now we have Elder Shingleton in our district. He is really good at talking to the members and gaining member trust. not much has happened this last week but we are trying really hard to find investigators. Oh yeah, we ended the year with 339 baptisms and President is having our new goal be 400 again. Only this time it is going to be much more organized and each district will have their own goal assigned to them.thank you for all the support.
Elder Stokes

Pics - Elder Dewitt and the finished puzzle

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year!

Letter to Rachelle - we are posting this because he wasn't able to get his main letter out due to technical difficulties.

Hey Mom,

So this last week has been kind of crazy and a lot of fun. My new companion is great. I don't know if I will be able to send pictures because there is a virus on this computer and I don't know how to get it off at the moment. So that is kind of sad. but I will try and get on another computer to send them. Something fun about my new companion is he has a lot of card games. In the mission you are either new(year 1) or trunky(year 2). And I am so sorry I might have to finish up my main email later. We had a district activity that went way to long and it messed up our schedule so much. I won't be able to finish the main email. plus with the virus problem it has been very annoying. I will send the main email later. Also I guess my goals are to set goals.

Elder Stokes

Here is a photo Sadie received from her friend Toni, who met Joshua and his new companion Elder Dewitt last week.  It is so great that Sadie has people who watch out for Joshua there.