Monday, December 29, 2014

12/29/14 - 17th LETTER FROM DUNCAN

We had 40 minutes to Skype with Elder Stock on Christmas Day and it was heaven!!!!!!  He was even able to talk to Brianna Baxter, Emily Codling, Laura Jones and Jeremy Call!  How could he call home and NOT see friends?!?  His Mamita and Aunt Jacquelen were here to chat with him as well.  It was a great visit and it was fun to see him and his companions.  Happy day!!!!!!!  The best part....we only had to wait 4 days until his letter!
Laura Jones, Emily Codling and Brianna Baxter (l to r)
 The Stock's
Anthony, Nicole, Colton, Asher, Kyler, Roscoe and Cocolette Amelie Genevieve Fifi Peney

Dear Everyone, just saw me face to face on Thursday,'ve probably had enough of me, but here I am! Like any good missionary, I ain't leaving you alone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas...because mine was fantastic!
So...this week was super hectic and crazy and jam-packed with awesomeness, so as I look back now on my journal to accurately depict the happenings of my week, I am struck by just how much happened...because it seems like this week was a lot longer than a week...but in a good way. Doesn't make sense, but hey...that's how missions work. Basically, there were three holidays this week: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day (they both have very different feels to them. Throughout my life, this has been true...), and Boxing Day (Canada exclusive holiday!). It was awesome. On Monday and Tuesday, the Duncan ward had their annual Christmas pageant, and it was awesome! 
I got to participate by lurking in the church's gym, waiting for the guests of the pageant to come in for hot chocolate. I pounced on those people like a lioness going after a gazelle at a watering hole. But in a gospel sharing sense, of course. I got to talk to a lot of cool people, as usual. 
I got some incredible Christmas packages this year, as well. SHOUT OUT to the Baxter Family! Your package was awesome! You better believe those Godzilla plates are up in my cupboard. And the Christmas card is stellar. That RC helicopter is incredible, too! I almost gave my companion an accidental haircut, but...that's alright. ;) Thanks so much! You all rock and Merry Christmas!
SHOUT OUT to my family (The Stock Family): you guys are pretty okay, too, I guess. ;) Just kidding: I love you all! Your package rocked as well. The traditional slinky was heartwarming. And those pajamas are super comfortable. The sweater's super nice, and the candy is awesome. 
SHOUT OUT to Emily Codling and Laura Jones! All I have to say is...Pacific Rim and Joseph Smith are a match made in heaven. Thanks a ton! :D
Yeah, Christmas rocked. Skyping the fam was great. Don't worry, mom! I'm wearing my retainer! :,( It was nice to see my companions' families as well. We had dinner at the Smith's home in our ward, and it was awesome! I got to tap maple trees in their backyard! I'm pretty much a full-fledged Canadian now... We talked to a lot of people this week, and taught some good lessons. I actually got called to teach the gospel principles class literally the night before by the teacher. I had to teach the last lesson in the book: exaltation. Yikes! It wasn't exactly the most basic of doctrine...but it turned out okay. Lol. No testimonies were shattered...I don't think, at least. So, I have these Nerf guns from Elder Jacobs' dad that shoot up to 90 FEET! And they are deadly. we have Nerf wars a lot, now...and to test out the gun's strength, I held up a Lay's potato chip and Elder Hansen shot it. The chip exploded into, like, a thousand pieces! AH! It's too powerful!
Man, I love the mission. Christmas was great. I know this church is true, and that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. He loves us and helps us each day as we come unto Him, follow Him, and walk with Him. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Colton Anthony Stock
 Package from the Baxter's!!!
 Elder Hansen!
 Elder Jacobs!
 Elder Stock!
 Spiritual Gangsta!
 w.o.w......just wow
 He's so lucky to be there!!!
 The tri-force Christmas morning
 Nerf Wars!
 Colton also said: 
"Looking forward to 2015?! I know I am! It's the one year of my life that I will do nothing but serve the Lord."
 Here's to a great year!

Monday, December 22, 2014

12/22/14 - 16th LETTER FROM DUNCAN

Today couldn't have been better once we heard the news that our Christmas phone call had been upgraded to Skype!!!!  We're so thankful to the Ruttan's for opening their home (once again) to my boy and letting him use their computer.  Can't wait for Thursday!!!!!  Kyler doesn't like to write long letters to his brother.  He decided to make his own meme's and send that to Colton.  Here's what he sent him today.

I expect we'll see plenty more of these over the next 20 months!  Now for the letter.

Dear Mission Blog,
Guess what week it is?! Christmas! I'm more excited for Christmas on my mission than I ever have been. Well, when I was a little Stock-meister I got pretty amped for the holiday. But I am super excited for Christmas this year, not just for the Christmas Skype call that I get to be apart of, but because of the miracles that I know will happen on Christmas as I go out and talk to our Father in heaven's awesome children! I have the utmost faith that we will see miracles this Christmas. So I am preparing for them now. I have been privileged and fortunate enough so far to see miracles on my mission, and I can't wait to see them continue. Especially during this week. 
This week has been pretty cool, not gonna lie. I got to watch a crazy early 80's church video called "Morality for Youth" with N and K this Tuesday. Holy heck it was hilarious. We kind of accidentally selected the video on the DVD, and then we kind of just let the video play. Lots of white water rafting euphemisms and just blatant chastity counsel that was pretty intense. But luckily it went over N and K's heads like a rogue airplane high-tailing it out of Berlin. After that experience, we went to downtown Duncan to do some street contacting. We were on exchange with one of my zone leaders (Elder Huni--he rocks) and we saw so many miracles that day! So many people were in downtown and willing and ready to talk with us. We had some great conversations with them. I got to meet a pastafarian in real life, and they're even crazier than I imagined! ;) Basically atheism but with a little bit more sarcasm and bitterness towards the concept of faith. Interesting conversations, but it was fun nonetheless. We met some people who were actually receptive and super cool, as well, so it wasn't a loss at all. We met with one of our investigators, and he's doing awesome! and we also got to have a big Christmas party with our gospel principles class at the Cyphers' home. It was sweet! Homemade pizzas are where it's at! 
I told one of my investigators in some "How to Begin Teaching" from PMG that I'm just an 18 year old kid who has little to no life experience, but Jesus Christ knows how to help you with anything that happens in your life. He was like, "You're only 18?! I thought you guys were way older! How do you have all of this wisdom?!" And then he gained a lot of respect for the church/missionary effort. It was hilarious and cool. 
So I had a crazy awesome dinner appointment with some members in our ward, and they made actually good Mexican food! Yeah, all the Mexican I've had up here has been pretty bland, but they did it right! (I might also just be desensitized to what Mexican food tastes like by now, as well...) It was awesome. I was so full after it, though, that I barely wrote in my was too much effort. ;) Oh, missionary life! I traded Elder Durfee (who'll be home in Gilbert soon) my purple tie for his awesome red and white one. It was sick! I'll send a picture! 
Pretty sad news, though...our awesome bishop in this ward suddenly moved up to the North... He got a new job, and the moving trucks were unexpectedly ready, etc. So he left yesterday...he was awesome! We got to go to his farewell party at some other ward members' house, and it was great. I got some packages this week. 
SHOUT OUT TO: My parents, Grandpa & Grandma and Austin & Reagan Mulleneaux! Thanks for the packages. They rocked. I'm gaining back my greenie weight loss, that's not good. ;) Just kidding, I'll shave it off over time. Lots of walking in this mission. It rained super hard on Saturday. 
We had a Christmas cantata in the Duncan ward yesterday, and it was great. I love this time of year that we have to focus on the Savior even more in our lives. It was a good week. I am looking forward to tonight. We have the famous Duncan Ward Christmas pageant that garners about 750 people each year. We have that tonight and tomorrow night, and it should be an excellent opportunity for us to find more people that the Lord has prepared. I'm so pumped for this week, and for Skyping on Thursday! I love you all, and stay safe for the holidays. Focus on Christ this Christmas. Watch "He is the Gift" until your eyes melt, and have a wonderful time. This truly is the best time of the year.

Your Truly,
Elder Stock
 Gilbert Boys!
Elder Stock and Elder Durfee
Elder Durfee will be home next month and I can't wait to have him and his family over for dinner!
 Straight Outta the Shower
(I guess he wears a white shirt ALL THE TIME!?!)
 Elder Hansen
 Elder Jacobs
Saying Goodbye to Bishop Coleman
 The Thinker.....Mormon style!
Can't wait to Skype with this boy on Thursday!!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

12/15/14 - 15th LETTER FROM DUNCAN

Christmas is coming!!!!  And that means a call from my boy!  The time is decided and he gave me his phone number.  Do you understand the restraint I have to use to NOT use this phone number except on the day and time agreed upon?!?!????!!!!!!!  Ten more days to go! 

Dear Spectators to My Life of Spiritual Awesomeness,
Hello, everyone! This week has been awesome! As usual....I don't think I will ever say that a week has been bad throughout my entire mission...but, then again, you chose to make each week a good week or not. "Attitude is everything...pick a good one." -That One Plaque in My Room.....
This week, I got to eat some Japanese curry at some ward member's house when we joined them for family home evening. Not a big curry fan. I know, I know, sue me... But we did have some incredible scout popcorn with them...that stuff redeemed the curry. They're a super nice family. Crazy with three little boys (no idea how my mom does it), but we were still able to have a great time with them and watch the most spectacular video this Christmas season called "He is the Gift". That video literally has a guaranteed spirit associated with it. As we share it on our social media outlets, we will be able to literally share Christ's love with everyone who comes in contact with it. We're using it as an incredible proselyting tool here. 
We made some homemade tacos (perks of being in a tri) and got to have an amazing lesson on faith with Judith! I absolutely love helping people understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is super rewarding. The highlight of my week was Wednesday. We headed up to Nanaimo first thing in the morning and attended a zone conference there. We'd heard a lot of rumors about this zone meeting, and how it was going to be very Christmas-themed. We weren't sure what to expect. The night before, my zone leaders called and told me I was giving a training on an article we received about Christmas by Elder Holland. So...that was a little nerve-wracking! We showed up and as a zone watched "He is the Gift" two times. What an incredible spirit we all felt! What a miracle it is for us as missionaries and as members to share this gospel. We also watched a short movie called "Christmas Mission" with the guy from the Saratov Approach! it was a really good movie all about the importance of the individuals we meet in our ministries here. I gave my training on the article, and it was super cool. Because of my crazy preparation, the Spirit was able to take over and testify to my companions in the zone. 
I related the story of my favorite Christmas. Me and my brothers were saving up all year for a Nintendo Wii. In a penny jar, we had amassed perhaps maybe $50 between the three of us (I guess Kyler only counted as a half, as he wasn't exactly pulling in major income at this time in our lives...), and that was far from the amount of money it would cost to buy a Wii. Let alone all of the controllers and the games needed to play it. But, we kept saving up with the hopes that would get there. Then, Christmas came. We had a ton of fun opening our stockings, etc. But then my parents pulled out a special gift for us. We opened it, and to our utter surprise, it was a Nintendo Wii! Controllers and games and all! this moment in our lives was captured with a photo. Our faces were the embodiment of pure joy. I'll never forget that incredible act of kindness. 
(Christmas 2007 with the Wii!)
To relate this back to the gospel, what we want more than anything is to return to live with our Heavenly Father, to enjoy all of the blessings that He enjoys, and to feel of His love for us. To have eternal life. We try everyday to make the choices we need to make to return back to Him. We have faith, we repent, we keep our covenants, and we endure to the end, but in the long run, we're going to come short. We'll be lucky if we even get one fifth of the way there! But our Heavenly Father gave us a gift. Jesus Christ. He is the gift. And through Him, we can return to live with our Father. We can become what He knows we can be, and it doesn't matter how many mistakes we make, because as long as we embrace the gift of Jesus Christ in our lives, we will rise above those mistakes, those shortcomings. Our Heavenly Father has provided us with the way, and all He asks us to do is to follow that example, to follow that gift. And He has promised us that if we do this, we will receive eternal life. 
Right after that, we had an amazing Christmas dinner for lunch. Santa even showed up to the Nanaimo zone meeting! 
Elder Hansen got, like, nine packages! Elder Jacobs and I got one. Lol! Shout out to my Uncle Jason, his wife Jennifer, and their kids Savannah, Autumn, and Cannon, and Brynn! Your package was awesome! Those almond roccas are divine! Thank you so much for sending it, and I hope you all have a blast at my homeland this Christmas! It'll be nice and warm... ;) 
Anyways, it's been a wonderful week up here in Canada! I love this gospel, and I love the joy it brings into our lives. It truly is the greatest gift that we can give to our brothers and sisters out there. I am excited for this next week and for Christmas being the week afterwards! It's perfect time to get out there and teach people about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I know that this church is true, and that that Book of Mormon is the word of God. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and He is real, and loves us, and lifts us up each day. We are so blessed. 


-Elder Stock
Santa and Elder Stock!
My mission brother, Elder Lee
 (Elder Orr trained both of us)
 Their Zone and Santa


Monday, December 8, 2014

12/8/14 - 14th LETTER FROM DUNCAN

Just found out today (not from my missionary, but from other moms) that we will NOT Skype with Colton on Christmas, just a phone call.  I'm really ok with that, just excited to talk to him soon.  I did want to take a family photo with Colton on the computer, but it's really no big deal.  We're all so happy that he's in Canada serving the Lord!!!  Tomorrow the Priority Mail Christmas box will be sent out- I'm so excited!!!!  Now let's here from Colton:

To Whom It May Concern (Hopefully Everyone):
Hello from Duncan! This is Elder Stock, reporting another fantastic week up here on the Island! To quote a beloved and time-honored movie: "Everything is awesome!" I'm having a blast up here and getting along great with my two companions. They're hilarious and while Elder Jacobs and I nerd out about stuff, Elder Hansen is able to reign us in. So it's a good balance. You might even say it was an inspired balance..... Duncan is an awesome place, and now that it's started to warm up a little bit more (7 degrees Celsius), all of the snow's melted and we're back to rain! Hooray! I'm rockin' the short sleeves today, so I think I've adjusted pretty well so far, but once it actually gets cold, I'll probably be hosed. 
Anyways, this week was an incredible week. We had an insanely good district meeting in which we studied the Holy Ghost and what his companionship truly means in our lives. If we keep the commandments and are clean, then we literally have the right to have a member of the Godhead by our side at all times! How cool is that?! I have felt the Spirit very strongly on my mission, and I am truly studying and learning how to recognize the Spirit even more in my life, so that I can heed the promptings that our Heavenly Father will give me and align my will with His even more in my life. 
My comp., Elder Hansen, hit his year mark this week. To celebrate, we went out to Cobble Hill ( a neighborhood about thirty minutes away from our house) and helped some new people in our ward move in. We taught W about temples and family history, and he loved it. We're going around the ward so that my new comps. can meet everyone in this awesome ward. 
We found a new investigator named T, and he is awesome. I love sharing this gospel with everyone! We walked a lot this week, so my legs feel ripped. I'm down to 199 pounds...I've lost a ton of weight thus far. Totally the reverse effect of what i was expecting... But hey, i ain't complaining! ;) I got to give some little kid in my ward a blessing after he had an asthma attack and it was a super spiritual experience. I am loving how when you live the gospel, you truly can be a conduit for the Lord to work through you. The priesthood is real. It works. 
Yesterday, we had our Christmas devotional ward social here in Duncan. We all gathered to watch the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional, and then we had a super classy ward social. It was an awesome atmosphere to feel the spirit and to become even better friends with our members. I love it. This Christmas season, I have been praying to truly know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He is real and that the Christmas story is true. I strongly, firmly believe it is, but I want to transform this belief into knowledge. So I'll give you an update at the end of the month as to what answer I received. Super excited. I love Christmas. It is awesome, especially on a mission right now. I'm feelin' the true meaning of it. I love this gospel, and I know that God is real, and that He lives and love us. I know that you all can know this, too. Discover the gift, embrace the gift, share the gift. He is the Gift. Love that video. And I love all of you. Talk to you next week!

Elder Stock
Here's a link to the #ShareTheGift video
Colton sent us this photo taken right before we dropped him at the MTC in August.
Colton said: Sendin' the golden child off to the Great White North. Classic. 
2 more letters until our phone call....

Monday, December 1, 2014

12/1/14 - 13th LETTER FROM DUNCAN I knew that Colton had transfers this last week and couldn't wait to hear all about it.  Then I realized that I wouldn't have to wait if I got on Facebook and asked Sister Ruttan from the ward he's serving in if he's still in Duncan.  Of course, that's what I did.  This is what Colton wrote me: Yeah...Sister Ruttan told me what you did. I was laughing so hard. I told her that I can't even escape my mom all the way up here in Canada. She told me that you're just doing what a good mom would do. I kind of agree... ;)
Yes, Colton....there's no escape!  Here's his letter.

Dear Everyone,
This week has been fantastic. Maybe even a little bit better than last week, which is saying something! So, this week was transfer week! My trainer Elder Orr got shipped off to a city called Mission in the Lower Mainland, and I stayed in Duncan...with my new companions! Yeah, that's plural. When we got the transfer call, Elder Baker (one of the assistants) told me that I would be getting two new companions--Elder Jacobs and Elder Hansen. Elder Jacobs is the district leader here, so that's cool! Me and Elder Hansen get to chill out while he makes district phone calls every night. But anyways, the day we shipped everyone off to their new areas was crazy. I got a picture with Norm and Ken finally, which was a dream come true, and I also got to drive around pretty much the entire Island with Elder McCown, because we both had no clue where we were going. It was nuts. But, we made it to all of the respective places and ferry terminals and airports we needed to in order to send everyone off. 
So, I got Elder Jacobs on Wednesday night. He's from Jefferson City, Missouri and is going home in four months. He's hilarious and super outgoing and a total nerd, which is something I can relate to! Me and him found some guy on the street our first night in Duncan and we met with him Friday morning. He's getting baptized on December 27th! Oh yeah, miracles have not ceased! The Lord prepares us for the truth! We then got Elder Hansen on Friday night (his plane from Prince George was delayed) and he's super cool. He's from Provo,, 30 seconds away from the MTC, and has been out for a year. His dad served in the Portland, Oregon mission just like Elder Stock, Sr. did! Anyways, being in a tri is super awesome. We're having a ton of fun and seeing a lot of miracles together already. 
Also, it snowed on Friday night. Snow!!! It's super cool! I feel like a five year old discovering snow for the first time...oh wait, I pretty much am! My companions kind of chuckle when I go into my weird little snow trances. "Man, this stuff is so cool..." "Dude, snow just doesn't even just gets EVERYWHERE!" "Guys, look at me! I'm snow!"
Yeah...the novelty's already worn off for them... I'm still in the honeymoon phase of snow. But yeah, life is good, just hardcore cleaning my apartment today and getting stuff ready for another week of miracles! I love you all, and I want to bear testimony to you all that this is the true church, Christ's church, restored to the earth. God is real, and He does indeed love us. He sent His son to us to save us from ourselves. And His son is the gift. #sharethegift 

You all are amazing!
Elder Stock
 Elder Orr packing up and moving on :-(
 Colton and Norm and Ken
 One last group photo
 The Tri-Force! (according to Colton)
Elder Stock, Elder Jacobs, Elder Hansen
Can't wait to hear about their future adventures!

Monday, November 24, 2014

11/24/14 - 12th LETTER FROM DUNCAN

We've survived the first three months!  I feel I've adjusted better than I thought I would.....until I had this dream.  I've included my email to Colton and his response to me.  I promise, this craziness is not the norm!

Mom: I had a dream the other night and you came to see me.  I woke up so excited and then I freaked out.........HE CAME TO ME IN A DREAM AND SAID HE WASN'T COMPANIONS WITH ELDER ORR!!!!!!!!!!!  HE'S DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  HE VISITED ME AFTER HE LEFT HIS BODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Then I calmed down and went to work.  I just told myself, they will call if he's dead......don't think about it until they call.  When I didn't receive a call by the end of my shift, I figured you were alive and well!  ;-)  Just thought I would share that with you....I know, I'm crazy!

Colton: That's super weird and crazy haha. I'm definitely alive. Lol!
Here's his letter:

Dear Awesome People,
This week has been a week of miracles. Easily the best week of my life thus far. What an incredible time we live in, right smack dab in the middle of the hastening of the work of salvation! To start off the week, I finally got my BC driver's license! Street legal, eh?! I invested in some hair clippers to cut down hair cut costs, and they are workin' out so nicely. I'm a self-stylist, now. Call me up in two years and I'll teach you the tricks of the trade! ;) I went on an exchange with my district leader, Elder Durfee, who's also from Gilbert! He's goin' home in about a it's kind of crazy to go out and teach God's children with him. We had a crazy day. We met the druid of Duncan--he has a crazy crystal staff that he carries around to ward off bad energy (he likes us, so maybe the staff actually works ;) We were tracting in a nice little neighborhood and found a snake just chillin' on the driveway! (Picture included) And we took an exchange selfie! (Also included)
Later on, we got to meet with W, our super solid investigator who's going to trade me something for his snazzy dress shirt. He's super hilarious and cool. Elder Orr and I are super unified now. It's weird. We're like, legitimate brothers. We say the same stuff when people ask us questions at the same exact time. We got to use my plan of salvation visual aid (click here to see what he's talking about), and we read Ether 3 with W. Wow. What an awesome chapter about faith! One of the members in the ward is taking a temple tour and is going through AZ soon! He's going to have to send me pictures... 
I went on another exchange this week with Elder Huni, one of my zone leaders. He's hilarious. He served in Vancouver most of his mission, so he is obsessed with Asians... We saw a deer in a suburb while driving away from tracting it, and so obviously I snapped a photo of it. But a miracle happened when we knocked on a door and a Chinese family let us in! Elder Huni was ecstatic. We were fed seafood by a Chilean investigator of theirs that just got baptized two days ago. So, we had a pretty fun week. But it all culminated in the greatest day of my life: Saturday, November 22, 2014. 
We were so fortunate and blessed to have helped S work her way to baptism, and when it finally came, it was incredible. The Spirit was never so strong. I was struck this week by just the simple reality of this gospel, and of God. He is real. He is there, and He loves all of us so much. Baptism is real. Like, it is actually a saving ordinance. It really does wash away the sins of whoever takes upon themselves this wonderful ordinance and makes this sacred covenant with their Heavenly Father. I have seen the countenance of both J and S change literally within the moment they were baptized. My joy that I have felt his week has come just from knowing that S is partaking in these covenants and ordinances that will lead back to our Heavenly Father. Her testimony in this gospel is so strong. At the end of her baptismal service, she said, "No matter how dark the times, there is always light if you just simply turn on the switch. For me, that is Jesus Christ and our Heavenly father. They are our light to fight the darkness." The Spirit was SO strong at this point. Stunned silence. Then, she raised her hands to the heavens (First nation's tradition) and said, "Haisatka!" Which means, thank you to a group of to God. It was incredible! Everyone was like, in tears. She was glowing by the end of the night. All you need to do in this life is ACT on your faith in God. And He will carry you the rest of the way. She was confirmed yesterday, and we got to meet with W and watch the Restoration movie with him, as well as attend an amazingly spirit-filled cottage meeting at Brother Schmidt's house. Man, this is what life is all about.
God is real, whether you believe in Him or not, this is reality. He's waiting there for all of us to reach out to Him so that He can bless us. he wants to help us, but we have to choose to accept that help. This is His church, His gospel. He is at the helm of this work. Missionary work is the most important work on earth. I am honored to be here, and I am honored to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. "I am a part of the fellowship of the unashamed..." I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Stock
Silly Elder!
 Ensign time!
Gilbert Boys!
Elder Stock and Elder Durfee
Driveway snake
Love the view
 Elder Orr, "S" and Elder Stock
We're so happy that he had the "best week of his life"!

Monday, November 17, 2014

11/17/14 - 11th LETTER FROM DUNCAN

Always so happy to receive our letter from Colton!  This week is extra special because one of his friends will be entering the Mexico City MTC on Wednesday.  Laura is called to the Washington Kennewick Mission, Spanish Speaking and is reporting in Mexico first.  We're so excited to hear all about her experiences too! Unfortunately, since their missions border each other, they won't be able to write to one another.  (Laura is in the dark blue shirt, just behind Colton)

Good luck, Hermana Hawkes!!!!

To Whom It May Concern:

Hello, loyal fans. How's life?! Man, the Island is nuts. It's getting super chilly, we're talkin' -2 C. No snow just yet, but tons of frost. We left our car outside at our ward mission leader's house while we were over there for a cottage meeting, and when we got out, the Chevy Cruze was sparkling. Like, we're talking an apple-cider-level sheen. (If that makes any sense to anyone but me...) So, serving a mission is 2,500 tons of awesome. I am getting good at it, too, now! Well, not to sound prideful.... I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm not the worst teacher in the world anymore. I'm starting to lead in lessons now, and I actually know the doctrine now! I'm getting better!'s pretty fun now that I'm not constantly worrying about my atrocious teaching skills. Now I just accept that we're eighteen-twenty year old we're going to be weird and clunky and awkward, but that's all part of it. It's getting awesome. So, I'll give you what you came here for: the secular history of my week in the mish... 
Monday: We ate at Boston Pizza right after e-mail time. Pizzaburgers are God's gift to the world. A hamburger wrapped in a pepperoni pizza... Chills. We did our thing, got some shopping done, and then we decided to clean out our fridge....oh, man. There are some things we neglected in the fruit drawer for a while (ever since we got to Duncan) and they legitimately smelled like death. So, I'll be sure to include pictures of what we did to combat the smell. Hint: scarves are life-saving. We taught a less-active family in our ward about the Book of Mormon, and it was awesome. Gettin' cold!!!
Tuesday: This day was packed to the brim with awesomeness. We started off the day by watching Mr. Krueger's Christmas and The Other Wise Men with N and K. They loved the movies. N, when called on to say the closing prayer, told us to, "Bow down!" He's fueling our mad theories that N is going to take over Duncan with his crazy schemes to take over the world. We then did some service for a family in our ward. Their kids are crazy! They kept shooting us with Nerf guns and trying to get us to play soccer...and we're all, "I'm here to work, boy!" Anyways, we had some great soup, and then we told the little kids we'll be back to play soccer one of these days. They liked that. Then, we went and dropped by a member referral that we'd prayed about and felt really good about. They are awesome! We talked with the wife pretty much the whole time while everyone else was making dinner, and she was so excited to hear about prophets on the Earth today. Then we taught W about chastity. He made it hilarious. When we told him about how the law of chastity forbids homosexual relationships, he said, "I like woman." And we started laughing so hard. Oh, man. You gotta love these times. We showed S a movie called Between Heaven and Earth all about temples. It was awesome. SUPER spiritual lesson. She told us that her grandfather who had died the week before (they were grieving for a while) was baptized into this Church. She wants to be as well, to be an example for him. Whoa. Chills!
Wednesday: We taught K about the Book of Mormon, and found a shortcut to our house from downtown where you climb up these weird moss covered stairs up a cliff pretty much. It's wild. 
Thursday: We planned our week out and got to teach W again about tithing. He expected us to have something like that in the church. He's too solid for us!!!! We met with the White family in our ward and their son Ammon was hilarious and adorable. They were talking about the story of Moses, and they gave him a hint: "He's in a movie you saw!" And the whole time, this kid was trying to figure it out. Then, as his dad was telling him how this guy parted the Red Sea, and turned a staff into a serpent, and all this stuff, he blurts out, "Is it a Jedi from Star Wars?!" I almost died from laughter. Man, Moses WAS a Jedi. Wisdom from the mouths of babes. 
Friday: Amazing zone meeting about baptism. I have pictures from it. One of them: me and my favorite missionary ion this mission, an assistant who's going home soon. Elder Lieber rocks. He greeted me from the plane when I got here, so he's the first missionary I imprinted on haha. That's my explanation for our relationship. He's super cool. And then me and Elder McCown got pink tie buddy pictures!!! Oh, and guess what: a woman in our ward works at a place called Pacific Rim Early Childhood Foundation! PAC RIM!
Saturday: We went to Lake Cowichan, a nice little town, to meet with a ward member that was running for mayor! We had steak with him and talked for a while and shared a lesson on prayer. We just felt like that's what we needed to share. Then, the next Sunday, we saw him again. He didn't win the election, but he was impressed. The lesson he was teaching in elder's quorum was on...prayer! That Spirit, tho! 
Sunday: We had a cottage meeting at our ward mission leader's house and it was hilarious and awkward because it was just us, the sisters in our area, Brother Schmidt (our mission leader) and Judith, our recent convert. Hilarity ensued....
Love you all! Church is true! The Book of Mormon is the word of God! We have a living prophet on the Earth today! #truth
Cleaning out the fridge!
 Cleaning the fridge!
 I have no idea!!!!!
It's wonderful to see he's as "interesting" in the mission field as he was at home ;-)
 Elder Stock and Elder Lieber
 Pink Tie Buddies!!!!!
Elder Stock and Elder McCown

Monday, November 10, 2014

11/10/14 - 10th LETTER FROM DUNCAN

No new photos this week......but the letter is here on MISSIONARY MONDAY!!!!  So here's a pre-mission photo.
And on to the letter!
To the general public: 

Hello! I'm Elder Stock!
Man, this week was awesome in Duncan, BC. Super crazy and busy, but that's just how I like it. I hate down time now. It's what the mission does to you! So, to start off the week after last Tuesday, which you already received an update for, I went on an exchange on Wednesday with the fantastic Elder Burns! He's a super awesome missionary that's companions with my district leader. We went and saw N and K and watched a movie called Together Forever all about eternal families. N and K were really touched by it, because they love their family and being brothers. It was super cool. I love that principles of eternal families, and how they truly go on forever. It's really sweet to know and brings a lot of peace into my life.
Elder Burns had a nasty leg injury earlier that week, and so we had to end up calling the mission nurse and get him some rest. But we did a lot of work on Wednesday and I got to give Elder Burns a blessing. Love the priesthood!
So, Thursday rolled around, and 50 K winds tore Duncan apart pretty much. Power lines were torn down all over the place and since we live on Sherman Road, we're on a separate power grid than Duncan, so we had power. But we drove out to downtown at night, and it was pitch black. It was pretty scary. Looked like a low-budget dystopian 80's action flick. Had an Escape from New York feel to it.. So, we went to our bishop's housed that night and taught his family about dispensations and prophets because we can't tract in pitch black...
Saturday was pretty cool, because we got to be a part of a lot of service opportunities. We helped a family move in, and we helped some YSA people shovel mulch into a goat pen and then wrangled the goats into the pen. I got to drag a goat by its neck into a pen in the middle of the forest somewhere on Vancouver Island! It was hilarious. Elder Orr told em he secretly wanted the goat to kick me or something...he thought that that would be funny. I must admit, that would have been hilarious. We met a guy on the street named R. We're going to teach him soon. He's super prepared. Bonus: we talked to him while our bishop was waiting for a red light right in front of us. How's that for building trust with the ward members?! :D
Sunday was INCREDIBLE! The Sabbath Day truly is holy. We had the Duncan Ward primary program yesterday, and so I got to enjoy the overpowering Spirit that comes from all of these little children singing hymns and sharing the pure and simple truths of the gospel. It reminded me of the program back home, except with less Joey Knight Iron Man....that was done better in the Islands Ward's. ;) It was super cool, and we had a lot of nonmembers at church because their kids were in the program. We taught our super-solid-baptismal-date-holding investigator named W right after church. He's so awesome. He's already making a ton of comments in class. More than most of the active members! I love watching people take hold of the gospel and letting it change their lives and mold them into something better. That's what this gospel offers to all of us. 
We went and taught the Ellis family (he's the first counselor in the bishopric) for our dinner appointment that evening. They're super nice. They home school their kids, and so I got to tell them how I was home schooled, too for second grade! Well...kind of...right, mom? (For the record: Colton was officially home schooled for 2nd grade!!!) ;) Sister Ellis is from Safford, AZ. Right next to the Gila Valley temple! I've been there! It's cool to find people that are from the same state as you up here. We taught their two twin children about baptism (they're getting baptized in two weeks) and they loved it. It was a fun little lesson. I love teachings kids, because you can just tear it down into super simple principles.
Anyways, I'm loving the mission. My testimony has grown so much already, and I can't wait to see what's in store for me. I love you all, and know that my prayers go out to all of you! 
Go to church, pray often, and read your scriptures!
All of Y'all's Biggest Fan,
Elder Stock

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

11/04/14 - 9th LETTER FROM DUNCAN

Well, Colton hasn't been out 3 months and I can't live without my Missionary Monday email.  So picture how happy I was when I didn't receive an email from my boy on Monday.  That afternoon I went to facebook and discovered other moms who didn't have their expected email.  (by the way, what did parents do before email?!?  I need my weekly letter, how did so many go without contact for weeks on end!) Someone finally posted that there was a Zone Conference on Monday.  One mom posted this, "I just read all the comments. Mine is in Victoria too, so that makes sense. I'll stop yelling at him now." (and NO, I was not the mom that wrote that)  Tuesday evening, we discovered that Colton had written!!!!!!  This is what he told me, "Hello, mother! How was yesterday?! I hope you didn't panic. When our zone leaders told us that the zone conference was going to be on Monday, the first thing I said to Elder Orr was, "My mom is going to be ticked!"  Oh, how that boy knows me!  Without further ado, his highly anticipated letter.

Dear General Public:

(The following must be read in an epic Law and Order-esque TV Narrators voice)
Last week on Canada Vancouver Mission: Duncan Elders' Adventures:
Elder Stock and Elder Orr had an amazing preparation day last week. With barely any money left from a stupid move at Boston Pizza that only two hungry teenage men could make, they were left to wander around in Duncan, looking for free souvenirs. They were saved by Elder and Sister Nickels, an incredible senior couple, who gave them homemade sushi from a man in North Island. Balance was restored. And from this experience, they now budget their grocery spending extremely well. Later, Elder Stock journeyed to the harbor city of Nanaimo on an exchange with Elder Camp, his senior zone leader. Together, they taught a Chilean woman about the plan of salvation who gave them hot chocolate and dulce de leche. It was epic. They read the Book of Mormon with a man in the hospital, and felt the Spirit very strongly there. They ended the night with two dinner appointments. Food is good. The next day, they all attended a district meeting led by the glorious Elder Durfee. Afterward, they ate homemade breakfast burritos at the zone leaders' apartment, where Elder Stock discovered that potatoes are worth their weight in gold in the mission field. The next day, Elder Stock and Elder Orr taught their incredibly solid investigator named Will about the Word of a coffee shop with a coffee in his hand. Hoping that he wouldn't beat them up for telling him that he shouldn't drink coffee, they waited for his response to the question: "What do you feel about the Word of Wisdom?" To their utter surprise, he said, "Well, sacrifice is necessary for the Lord..." and threw his coffee cup away. God is real. Every commandment He gives to us is for our benefit. The Word of Wisdom helps us remain healthy and live active life styles to help us serve those around us and help free us from addictions. It's so inspired. Then, Halloween came. The rule in their mission is to go inside by 6:00 at night and do weekly planning while the Hallow's Eve shenanigans rage outside of their windows. They entered the home of a member in their ward: Brother Gedcke. He gave them chocolate Santa Claus's. This was the only Halloween candy they received. And it was basically just a stocking stuffer... It was awesome. With them, they took a picture that will be their Christmas card for forty years at least. It was a crazy Halloween. Lots of lessons taught, and it ended with them celebrating the holiday with a feast at A&W (Canada worships American fast food). While they were walking on Saturday, they ran into extremely drunken people, and it led into a hilarious conversation. This truly is...Drunken Duncan as they call it. ;) We fasted for revelation at the zone conference on Monday, and when it came, it was awesome. We watched Meet the Mormons. Following is a review of the movie. 
This Monday, we watched an incredible movie as two zones on Vancouver Island combined. It was simply titled Meet the Mormons, and it briefly examined the lives of six LDS families that all have one common thread together: they're ordinary human beings, united by an extraordinary gift: the gospel of Jesus Christ. They're Mormons. It's a movie that aims to help viewers understand that Mormonism is not a cult, that it is indeed a worldwide church, even a worldwide family united in their beliefs and their values and their goal: to follow the example of Jesus Christ. Both hilarious (the 30 Rock and The Simpsons references were outstandingly and flawlessly edited into the film) and utterly heartfelt (the stories of these Latter-day Saints are genuine and incredibly inspiring), the movie is remarkable. It manages to introduce the world to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints without preaching to them. It's an incredible missionary tool. It shows what we value: that we enjoy life, that we are here to experience mortality with a physical body to one day become like our Heavenly father. That's what He wants for us. And we are here to serve others and to follow the example of Jesus Christ. Who didn't laugh their heads off when the football coach showed his perhaps unhealthily competitive side? Who didn't tear up at the missionary mom's story of sacrifice and faith in the Lord? Whether you're a pro-active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or the most ravenous Anti-Mormon fiend known to man, this movie will touch your Spirit in ways that you could never imagine. It is quite literally perfect. 5/5 This and Pacific Rim are pretty much Best Picture Nominees for Life... That's my review.. :D
What will happen next on Duncan Elders' Adventures? Will Elder Stock and Elder Orr baptize the entire town? Will miracles happen? Tune in next week for more!
Christmas Santas for Halloween....why not!
 The Clonts' in our ward sent Colton a care package.  I will let his words describe the rice krispies for you....."They're delectable."
And finally a shout out to the Young Women of the Central Ward in Tucson, AZ.  Thanks for sending him a letter!

Monday, October 27, 2014

10/27/14 - 8th LETTER FROM DUNCAN

Dear Followers,

Well, this week was awesome as usual in Duncan. It started off last Monday with us havin' an awesome preparation day. We cut our own hair to save money with clippers we got from our bishop. I have a semi hipster haircut that's awesome! We had a good day. On Tuesday, we visited "N" and "K" (as usual) and watched a video about temples with them called Between Heaven and Earth. It was awesome. Our stomach's were growling the whole time, "N" and "K" and us were laughing super hard. They're hilarious. We had our district meeting on Wednesday and it was awesome. We had the coveted McNasty at McDonald's and it was truly epic. (I was emailing back and forth with Colton today and had to ask him what the McNasty was.  This was his reply. McNasty=McDouble + McChicken. You tear the McDouble patties apart and put the McChicken in the middle. Mega sandwich! It's delicious!!!! Oh Colton, you will be ready for college when you get home!)  We had a great lesson with an investigator named "S", etc. It's raining super hard here, now. And it's pretty cold. It's like, Canada, or something! ;) I'm loving it, though. We have gotten a lot of chances to talk with everyone we can see, and that is awesome. We met a man named "J" who doesn't like God because of what his life has ended up as, etc. We are meeting with him on Tuesday to discuss the plan of salvation. He seems really interested in what we have to say. He's feeling that Spirit! We had to walk on Saturday, and so we did. It was pouring rain. There's no protection at that point. It's just pure wet...all over! We ate at a member's home--the Zeck's--that day, and it was super good. Spare ribs, potatoes, etc. They gave me some blackberry juice to pour in my cup. I did so. Then, I discovered that my cup was upside down.... Blackberry juice everywhere! Oh, man, living up to my father's legacy! ;) My companion can't stop laughing still! It was pretty embarrassingly funny. Then, we went to church and "N" asked us if we wanted to see the handcuffs. We were a little confused, and then he pulled out these handcuffs out of his jacket pocket.
"What are you doin' with those, "N"?" we asked.
"Don't ask me!" said "N".
"Are you going to take over the ward today?"
"Yeah..." said "N" with a creepy grin. Oh, man. It was pretty funny. So yeah, we're having a great time up here! The church is true! The gospel of Jesus Christ is literally flawless. I love it! As long as we live as the lord would have us live, we will find peace in this life and a fullness of joy in the life to come.

Elder Stock
I think someone might be missing the desert.
 New haircut!
 He's never needed a coat and beanie to keep warm at home....and it's only fall!  Can't wait to see him all bundled up in the winter.