Thursday, January 29, 2015

Week #9 Mom... I ate Octopus, Octopus!!

Elder Garcia and Elder Stockman night time shot of Monclova.

Hey there momma, 
Things are going pretty great! Luckily I have a pretty great companion. It's cool because this week I got to go on divisions with the Zone leaders because Elder Garcia is our District leader. I went with Elder Macias one of the zone leaders. I don't know.... it was so cool because I got to go to Frontera with him and see how other people teach. He also is american so I got to speak some English! There is a guy that drives around and sells water here in Tecnologico but he is from the Frontera Ward and it turns out that we had an appintment in his house and he was pretty surprised to see me haha. 
 Ok I thought that I ate some wierd stuff last week but man was I wrong. I ate octopus mom. Octopus.... I want to know where the heck they got it...  aside from it being wierd it was pretty good. 
I'm happy and the language is at like 50 % comprension so I'm doing great! love you guys soooooo much! sorry Zach to hear that Yogurt Bliss is closed. I'm sure that was hard. Especially because right before I left I gave him my gift card. hehe 

Love Elder Stockman

Dad, you cant share this with Zach because it's just too funny. When you told me that yogurt bliss is closed I literally chuckled. It's sad and I'm sure that its not cool that I find it so dand funny! I just imagine that scene in star wars when darth vader tells luke that he is his father.    NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! hahahahaha
 Oh but really thats sad. tell him im sorry. 

Well it's definately not quiet here there is always something going on! haha dogs music fireworks or fights. 

Love you so much Dad. 

Elder Stockman

There are some stray dogs for ya! This is everywhere and you just got to build up the courage to walk right through there. Most of the time they don't even move unless there is a car.  (Perro Mestizos)

Missionary Graffiti. 

Streets of Monclova.

AHMSA, where almost everyone in Monclova works.

Panoramic view of the city. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Week #8 "Perro Mestizos"

Just doing a little... Ok a lot of laundry. 

Hey there momma!
it was pretty great to hear that story that you shared with me thank you for your testimony of prayer.
First of all Im so happy here! it is definately a whole new world. I have a funny story to share. We always walk around everywhere and there are a ton, I mean a ton of perro mestizos. But we always walk by and they kind of leave us alone. If they are behind a gate they always try to get through and kill you haha! but we were getting our hair cuts today and we walked there in our street cloths. luckily I had my bag because I had a couple of close calls. I had to swat them away it was actually pretty funny but terrifying! It just goes to show you the power that you have when you are a missionary. I mean even in my street cloths I'm still a missionary, but even the Perro mestizos can see that you dont mess with the servants of the Lord. 
I have never seen so many Jehova´s Witnesses in my life. They are everywhere. Not so much the people but their missionaries. Every person that I have come in contact that is not a member of the church is Catholic. There was one athiest but he turned us away. But its funny to see that there are so many TJ´s down here (Testigos de Jeovah) 

The food is absolutely great as dad will explain to you.
The sun is starting to come out a little more so I'm not cold anymore. But it's starting to get hot in the afternoons and I'm sure that I would take the cold over the hot any day! 

That's cool to hear that Zach got to go to scout camp! I was wondering when that day would come. Everyone is going to be so different when I get home. Abbie will be graduated from HS and Zach will be a deacon. I love you guys so much and I pray for you daily. 

Things are starting to be more normal to me, starting to get used to missionary life. I just can't believe that I already have 2 months!

That's also cool to hear that Quinn is putting in his papers Josh said that he will be soon too. Which is crazy to think of all these people starting the next wave of mission calls again. Hope to see some buddys in Saltillo!

Love you tons!
-Elder Stockman
Dad! Hola!
Dad it is important to me that you get your own email each week no matter how short it is. I'm getting better with time that's my biggest struggle. The Spanish was also hard for me this week. The people here talk so fast, they slur words together, and they mumble. It's quite difficult but I'm starting to be able to pick out words here and there. 

I have been feeling really homesick this week, not much it's just really the first time that I have felt it. It's probably just feelings of lonliness specially because Elder Garcia doesn't speak english. I'm fine I just want to speak english. It's pretty great to go to our zone meetings every tuesday morning because there are other elders who are americans and we can speak english. 

I pray for you guys every day. I just cant believe that I already have 2 months! only 22 left haha! 

Our investigators are great. we are in the tecnologico monclova ward where there has been a bit of a drought. There actually hasn't been a baptism for over a year. But we have like 9 investigators and we are working so hard! 

I finally know what you mean by coming home and passing out from the exhaustion. I have been thinking I could really use some american food right about now. The food is great though! I have had to eat some pretty skechy stuff hahaha! its mostly been in soup you stir it and regret that you stirred it. I've learned to not eat too fast or else they give you more! But man I have never had so many eggs and beans in my life. 2 of the least expensive foods possible they love to eat together. Andrew would absolutely hate it here. I have not had a day where I did not eat eggs. But they are wierd here because they don't wash the eggs from the chickens and none of them are refrigerated. 

The tortillas though. I mean I thought I had a pretty good idea of what a good tortilla was.... I was wrong. I'm not to big of a fan of the corn tortillas I like the American versions better, but the flour are so absolutely heavenly. 

Any ways I love you sooo much Dad.

-Elder Stockman
View coming into Saltillo.
Ahhhh fresh water.... 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Week 7- I have never been so cold in my life.

Mom! I'm alive! hahaha
first things first I`m in Monclova,Tecnologico. 
Whoa things are defiantly different here from the CCM. Well I swear I have never been so cold in all of my life! haha! i have plenty of cloths and stuff but that dang humid air cuts right to the bone. 
The Spanish is hard. I don't understand anything that anyone says, but I'm getting there. It's because the people here just babble off and they have funny accents. My companion is Elder Garcia. I love him sooooooo much haha me and him get along so well. He has 21 months in the mission and he doesn't speak a lick of English, But him I can understand because he is from Hidalgo Mexico. He is sad about the CCM because that used to be his school.
Mom I keep doing this to you but I don't have any time. It was my first real P-Day and so I'm still learning how to do things. you'll be happy to know that I learned how to make tortillas. Its actually really really basic. I'll shoot the recipe along later. But you know it was an old mexican lady there wasn't really much of a recipe. I love you guys sooooooo much. Im starting to be able to look at the Pictures of you guys without missing home. And all of the packages and letters are sent to the mission home which you already have the address for. I live in the middle of all the music, dogs, parties, and carne asadas now so it's funny to just hear random laughing right out side the window. Your like what the heck.... but it's not normal laughing its Mexican drunk laughing. After meeting some of the Members in the ward I know that this is where I'm supposed to be. Ive had to eat some pretty sketchy stuff so far but it has all tasted really good. 
I'm going to answer all of your questions...
i'm in the Monclova Tecnologico Ward.
Companion: Elder Garcia...
Packing was stressful I literally threw up in the airport, and so did 3 other people. Not because packing specifically, but because it's the real deal now.
FREEZING COLD... but in the summer everyone keeps telling me that it's Hell.
I supposedly have the best apartment in the whole mission. It's pretty nice. It's one of the only apartments in the whole mission with hot water and a gas stove.
Im not to tall for the bed, but almost, its like a perfect fit.
I've almost been full out attacked by like 2 dogs but most of the time its because they are starving. hahaha actually there are dogs everywhere but most of them run away from the missionaries its pretty cool. We talk to everyone! we tell everyone about Jesus Christ. It's pretty cool but different than  before for sure. Its like hey heres the gospel boom. the ward has tons of members but only like 30 active members. most of our meetings the first week were with inactive members. most of them don't even know that much which is sad because they got baptized and then never came again. we are working on it!!! 
and yeah I had to talk in sacrament meeting it wasn't too bad but I tried to crack a joke and everyone just still sat there. It was pretty bad haha. Crickets the whole time. !!! haha

please share this with all and send my love!!
I love you all sooooooo  much. (keep Elder Gallardo in your prayers. he got hit by a car, broke his leg, and has to go home for 2 and a half months, we are all hoping he can return.)

(Elder Garcia & Elder Stockman) promised mom that I would learn how to make tortilla. 

Week 6 - I'm here in Saltillo

Hey everyone I'm here in Saltillo! I love it so much already! President Rodriguez doesn't speak english but that's ok because I will learn a lot faster with only spanish.
I love Saltillo, especially after being in D.F. because there is room to breathe here. There you were amongst a sea of people but here its nice because There aren't millions of people. 
I don't have much time today (only 10 mins) 
We are all having a great time at Presidente Rodriguez's house right now eating Pizza and ice cream and quizzing each other on Doctrine. 
I loved the CCM so much but it was time to leave. I love you guys so much and just letting you know that I am here and that I am safe! 
got to ride in a Mexican taxi today and it was cool because I was with the President's Assistants and they speak really well Spanish. They only have like 1 month left. They were talking to the taxi driver about religion and they invited him to church. It was really cool to see missionary work in action out here in the field. He said that he wouldnt because his wife is in charge and because he is catholic. There are a ton of Catholic people here!
I've got to wrap things up but I want to let you guys know that I love each and every one of you and that I am here safe and sound. I know that I can do it as long as I am obedient. 
These next 2 years are going to be awesome!
btw I dont know where my first area is or who my first companion is yet. I will let you know as soon as possible!
Te Quiero!
-Elder Stockman

Friday, January 9, 2015

Week 5 Happy New Years

Hey Momma!
Hey I'm doing great. That Christmas call was pretty awesome! It was really cool to be able to hear all of your voices and to say hi! I can't believe that I will be in Saltillo in 4 days! I'm actually pretty excited to leave though. Mom they finally got more scripture cases in stock so I got 2 of them! It takes a week for them to do the thing with your name and your mission so I didn't want to risk it and not have them in the end. I got one with The Savior and one with the captain Moroni on it with him holding the title of liberty and doing some war cry or something. I love them so much and I am so grateful that I could get them. I think that the Christmas call was hard but it definitely didn't distract me. If anything it strengthened me. Thank you guys so much for your love and support that I feel. I started to pack today and thats an adventure. I know that the Lord will provide but It is definitely a challenge. So I forgot to answer about Elder Wasden. It was hard to see him go and we are all so close, but we gave him a blessing and that was seriously one of the most spiritual things. I guess that he has been home for 2 weeks now. There are 10 people going to Saltillo on monday. (there would have been 11) Me, Elders... Miner, Loren, Evans, Peterson, Smith, and 4 Latinos that are pretty cool! I'm so excited to go and meet President Rodriguez. Its kind of funny because we have known about Elder Smith this whole time but for some wierd reason he wasnt in our district. The air qualtiy is pretty bad here haha they are always burning stuff or it smells like the sewer. I'm hoping that's a Mexico City thing, but most likely its going to be that way in Saltillo as well. I really appreciated your Christmas Advent, and Stocking of goodies. I promise you I didn't open it until Christmas Day. It was hard but I just put it behind some stuff and tried to forget it.  Im so glad to hear that everyone is doing excellent. 
Love you forever Momma!
-Elder Stockman

New Years Party.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Week 4- Merry Christmas

(excerpts from letter to mom)
Hey momma!
Hey its really cool we get to have our P-day today so that we get Christmas off aswell. I dont have much to say this week. I feel like there really is anything that is different. This week week we were able to learn a lot about the importance of speaking in only spanish it is solo espaƱol week. It's kind of like fasting but just with English. I'm so excited that I get to talk to you guys tomorrow. I've been hearing that it's warm back home. It's actually raining outside right now and it has been raining for the whole day. I love you mom so much I cant believe that I will be in Saltillo in like a week and a half. 
Please keep Me in your prayer. I pray for you guys day and night that you will be ok. I know that because I am sacrificing my time that the lord will bless you. I can't believe it's Christmas already though. It seems like it's not because the other day I broke a sweat just from walking around outside. Everyone keeps telling me that I am going to lose a ton of weight and that's fine by me, but I hope I can still fit in my cloths. Honestly it feels like I have lost a little bit of weight. I haven't been going back for seconds unless of corse it is pizza night.
Thanks for the Christmas cake pops those were actually pretty killer good. 

I want you guys to think of all the questions that you want to ask me tomorrow because we only have a half an hour. Love you soooooo much mom!
-Elder Stockman
Feliz Navidad

P.S. If they have bueno bars in the US you need to get them. they are made by kinder. They are like a mix of kit kat, milkey way, and nutella. they have like a hazelnut caramel and the chocolate is real. ooooohhhh they are good.

They put lights on Palm trees down here.

Week 3 "The Root Beer was exactly what I needed"

(excerpts from spencers letter this week)
My momma. I love you soooooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ah but I feel bad because I haven't felt home sick that much. It's soooo amazing here in Mexico. I was sad the first night I was here but past that I havent been. I think about you guys but it's not sad I'm happy for this opporotunity to serve the Lord. I'm glad that you guys are hanging in there. I pray for Heavenly Father to be with you guys night and day. I know that he is answering my prayers. I'm not saying that it is going to be easy but I also know that this sacrifice doesnt go un-noticed if you know what I mean. 

I totally know what you mean by a warm Christmas! ;) haha its pretty likely that I won't have a white Christmas, but at the same time Mexicans go all out for Christmas with nativitys and lights and fireworks of corse.

Thank you soooo much for that package of root beer that is exactly what I needed. And thank you for your letter it was really cool to be able to read it and not really feel like there is a countdown or a time limit like there is in the computer lab. 

Its super wierd that I will be in Saltillo soon. I am really looking foward to leaving though because lets be honest I dont like sitting in class for 13 hours! haha... We got to go to the temple earlier today and I brought my camera this time. They have a really cool little gift shop where I got 2 like authentic Mexican backpacks. Pretty much the same as a poncho design wise. I also got a really sweet zip up tie. My district leader Elder Padilla started that trend. 

I am super excited to call home on Christmas that is going to be really special. 

So my favorite latinos left like a week ago and we finally got new ones in our apartment. They are seriously my favorite! but this time their spanish is a lot faster and its super hard to keep up with them.

I'm happy and doing good I will send pics soon

Love you Momma! 
-Elder Stockman

Crazy garbage truck. 

Just another day in Mexico.

Homes on the "B" mountian. There's a lot of people in Mexico city.

Selfie at the Mexico City Temple. We are not able to go in the Temple it is closed for renovations. We do get to go in the visitor center and spend time on the grounds. I love this Temple!
Look what I found!!! The NACHO bike. Sweet. 

Just another day in Mexico.

Our district visiting the Temple.

Week two -Reuniting with old friends

(Excerpts from letter to mom)
Momma! whew it has been a long week! I love it here so much. My district is awesome too! Elder Robbins is from Canada and we always crack eh jokes and call each other hoser. I hope I get faster at typing because I feel guilty when everybody types like an essay and I only have an hour. Pictures are really hard to send from the CCM because you can´t access any other website except and you have to send the pictures one at a time. I really do love it here a ton. Thank you for the little advent thing I get excited for it every day. 

The language is actually coming really easy to me and everyone in my district hates me becuase I have to translate for them. But I think that everyone has their own personal gifts and mine is that.  I can understand everything the people say as long as they say it slow. But speaking back takes a lot longer. I cant wait until I am fluent and can express my feelings. 

We got to go to the Immigration office today and that was anothger adventure out of the wall. It took us about 2 hours to get there with 2 busses. On the way back we got to go to the temple. Whoa it is awesome! it is closed for renovation but we had a really great time at the visitors center. I thought, along with many others that we would just be going to get our visas and be coming back so i forgot my camera. Not to worry Elder Afualo had his and he took some pictures. I will try and get those to you as soon as possible. 

I was walking though the comador(cafeteria) and I heard someone calling my name. It was Billman! haha I gave him a big hug. He looked exhausted! honestly the first week and first day really sucked but once you get to take the sacrament  and have your first P-day its all good. 

Im so happy and I know I'm doing the lords work. I love you and I know that the Lord is blessing you guys while I am sacrificing this small amount of time. HE LIVES. I know that this church is true, I definately wouldn't be here if it wasn't. 

Love you!
-Elder Stockman

(excerpt from letter to dad)
I'm soo sorry I got distracted and forgot about the taco tally. I know its going to be a heart breaker but oh well I guess I have been focusing on other things. The language is not that bad actually it is coming pretty easy, but the hardest part is teaching and trying to learn how to listen to the spirit 24-7. I get lost a lot of the time but I know that because I am being obedient that the Lord will bless me.

It was really cool to be able to run into Billman! I gave him a huge hug as soon as I saw him.

So far I have seen Stephan Nielsen, Birlyn Wilden, Zach Billman, Jenny Wallace, and Courtney Taito. I think I saw Levi Norman but I could have sworn he came next week. I will have to try and find him.

So come to find out that Dec 12th (tomorrow) is like one of the biggest Mexican holidays. Its their celebration for the Virgin Mary. Ok so the other night the hill with the big "B" on it was totally on fire and our teachers said it was for the celebration. They set everything on fire and have a ton of fireworks. They set of fireworks all the time as it is, But one of my teacher Hermana Alonso said that it literally does not stop from 12:00 midnight tonight to 12:00 on saturday. It is always a fiesta haha.

I love it here so much and I'm happy. 

look up Jeremiah 4.19-21 it describes the CCM food. Not really the food is great. I truly am blessed.

 Yo se que la iglesia es verdadera. Yo se que Jesucristo es nuestro Salvador y Redentor. Yo se que el Espiritu Santo puede darnos paz y tranquilidad. Yo se que Dios tiene respuestas para nuestras oracions.

Love you so much DAD!
-Elder Stockman
Pretty great night shot. I have to say my photography skills are improving.

​I know it seems like I'm wearing the same tie in every picture we are only allowed to have our cameras on P-day. I was gone today so I'm sending more that I didnt have the opporotunity to send. I promise I'm happy. 

The "Frozen" game. We like to play.. The Latino elders are the best at it.

Our District.

-Elder Stockman" 

Another view of Mexico City. These are homes and a hospital in the background.

Friday, January 2, 2015

First week "I made it safe and sound"


Mom!!!! I want to hug you and I keep regretting not looking back at the airport but I would have lost it. I am sooo happy!!! I have never had this much fun in my life but also I have never felt closer to my Father in Heaven. I know that he lives and that he sent his son Jesucristo for us. I am eating well and studying hard. I broke out the family pictures on Sunday night and lost it. I know though, that as I am in the service of my God he will protect me, and you guys. How is everything going with preschool and with home? I kinda miss being home and just talking in that chair up in your room. Make Zach sit in it hahaha! The Latinos are my favorite. I don't even understand what they are saying half the time but they literally make me cry.(in a good way) One of them caught another looking at a group of Hermanas walking by and now they call him a snake. hahah of all the words to know in English they knew that one. It feels like I have been here for 3 months but I'm only here for a week. It goes really slow but that's ok. I'm just a little anxious to get out in the field. Tuesday nights are Costco pizza night and that was awesome! American food is definitely appreciated. I found out that you can get packages here. but they have to be sent to that is elder Walstroms mom and she sent him stuff. I have been teaching an investigator named Luis. It has been the coolest thing to watch somebody come unto Christ. He lives in Mexico City and his parents are Catholic so that has been the biggest struggle is trying to get his parents to understand. He wants to get baptized but he said he cant because his parents said he already has. We taught him about immersion and he seemed to get it, but you know I don't speak Spanish and he doesn't speak English so there's that as well. I love you and I fell your love and support every day. Mom you are the best
-Elder Stockman
please tell everyone that I am happy and that I will try to write them back. I will also be sending some pictures

I got lucky and got the seat with leg room. ahhhhhh...

Mexico city view form the plane.

Entry gates at the CCM(Mexico MTC).