Monday, September 29, 2014

09/29/14 - 4th LETTER FROM DUNCAN

Today, Tony and I are in beautiful San Diego!  Since we aren't working, we have been able to email back and forth with Elder Stock this morning.  It's really the best!!!!!!  Wish I could do this every week. For now, I'll be thankful that I am available for three Monday's in a row. This week Colton wrote us a private family letter and then one for the blog.  This is how he addressed everyone!

Dear Loyal Fans,

How's it going?! I'm still alive up here in Canada. The Island is awesome. great weather, very laid back life style, etc. And the gospel, as it always will and always has, is moving forward. The Lord is hastening His work in every single place of His vineyard. I have a firm testimony in Him and His power. As long as we put our trust in Him and walk by faith, knowing that He will provide for us, we will succeed. Granted, we're going to fall short, and we're going to make mistakes, but He is there to lift us back up, to help us to return to our Father in Heaven by walking beside us and helping us every step of the way. I know this to be true, because I've seen it in my life and in the lives of others already.

This week in Duncan was crazy. We did a lot of tracting, and had some awesome dinners with members. However: it seemed like no one was willing to listen, like no one was ready to receive this gospel. It was frustrating. But, the Lord works in His own time. I think something cool I've already seen out here is the fact that there are SO many different religions and faiths, all claiming to be the one way of life. And then when you come back to this gospel, and when you truly realize the eternal nature of it, and the fact that this is Christ's church restored on the Earth, and that He is at the head of it, and all other churches have parts of the fullness of His gospel, but we're the only ones that have it all, then it makes your work more urgent. I am literally the messenger of salvation and exaltation to these people. We should feel that burning desire to reach out to them and give them this gospel. It is the only way that we can find everlasting joy. True, we're not the only church that offers happiness. You can be happy by doing just about anything. That's not what we're offering: this gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ, gives us everlasting joy and eternal life! Think of it: living in the presence of God, your creator, alongside your family, and then receiving all of the blessings He has?! Crazy stuff.

When you think of the gospel in its rightful respect like that, you just can't help but run out there and scream it from the rooftops. It's awesome. So, we've had some cool experiences. There are spiders EVERYWHERE out here. We go to doorstep and flippin' Shelob decides to show up.
(for anyone who isn't familiar, here's Shelob....can't you just picture this laying in wait as Colton walks up to a door?!?  For video click here to see Frodo's encounter with Shelob)

 I'm all, "Dude! Ask Frodo! I'm not affiliated with you!" And there are crazy people out here. We were walking up to talk to some guy about the church who was working on his car when these punks sped by, yelling, "I'm a Satanist!" the car-worker thought we said that so he got super scared. Not a good image for the church lol. Anyways, we're having tons of fun. Prayin' for everyone back home as well as everyone here. Lots and lots of prayer. I love it. I've never felt so close to God before in my life. The Lord is literally by our side as long as we let Him. Super insane to think about. Missionary work is awesome. It's crazy, terrifying, and awkward as heck sometimes, but it is the best and most important anyone can be doing. It is the way we can return to live with Him.

I love this gospel, and the strength it gives me. The power and clarity it offers all of us is something we can't simply overlook. it is Christ church restored to the Earth. Joseph Smith was and is a true prophet of God. The priesthood's real. It's available to us to bless the lives of those we come in contact to and those we love. This is the only way we can return to live with our Heavenly Father, and He wants all of us to partake of that blessing. I know this to be true. Thank you all for your support and don't forget to e-mail me if you have any exciting news or stuff like that haha.

Elder Stock

We're so happy for Colton and the experiences he's having!  This Wednesday, one of Colton's EFY friends will enter the MTC and two weeks from then he will fly up to start serving in the Canada Vancouver Mission too!  Elder McCown's dad took this photo after they both had their calls.

Monday, September 22, 2014

09/22/2014 - 3rd LETTER FROM DUNCAN

Another week has gone by and Saturday marked a special day.....He's been out a WHOLE MONTH!!!!!  Tony and I celebrated by packing up his room.  So happy that is done and he can deal with the three boxes (and his arrow from his Arrow of Light that doesn't fit in any of boxes) when he gets home.  I love having an email waiting for me after work on Monday.  Here's the latest:

Dear Stock Fam,
Wow, it's always great to hear from you all. I'm so blessed to have such a supportive family and such a wonderful example of how to live the gospel. It comes in handy out here. Anyways, I am super excited that you all are doing so well, and of course: ACP Soccer getting a win?! Just another one of the Lord's miracles that I've seen/heard this week. Man, I am so happy for all of you. Yes, mom: I barely noticed it was my month mark until the day it happened, and I looked up at Elder Orr and said, "Elder...I've been out for a month!" And he just laughed and said, "How does it feel?" feels like I've been out here forever and yet it feels like I got here yesterday... I swear, these name tags mess with the time-space continuum or something, because days and weeks are flying by now. I hear it just gets faster and faster the more you get lost in the work. Dang! I only have two years to do this! I need to make it count. 
So, Elder Orr and I have made it our personal crusade to be exactly obedient to the mission rules and to the guidance and counsel we receive from the Lord through our own personal revelation as well as through the revelation the Lord gives to President Burt. We know that as we follow with exactness and utilize our faith and our diligence, that the blessings of heaven will open unto us. As Ezra Taft Benson said, "When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes a quest, it is in that moment that God endows us with power." Wow. I think that this is something that EVERYONE, not just missionaries, can apply to their lives. All we need to do is love God and because we love Him, keep His commandments. He doesn't give us a commandment, no matter how small or big it is, without giving us a way to follow this commandment, and blessing us for our obedience to Him. 
I think the most important thing to do is to obey not out of fear or out of our own desire for blessings, but to do it out of pure love for our Savior and for our Heavenly Father. That's key. So, we have seen blessings already come from this. As we go out and tract/find those who are ready to receive the restored gospel, we don't do it hesitantly or with even a bit of shame or doubt. We literally ran from door to door yesterday, almost out of breath from doing so, and talked to everyone we saw. We testified to them of the truthfulness and the crucial importance that the restoration of the Gospel has in their lives, and after we have done that, it is their choice to accept or reject it. But if we are not willing to give it our all and testify boldly, and teach them with full power, then we cannot stand spotless before God. It is our responsibility as members of His Church to testify and share this gospel with everyone we see. 
Now, whether that means we literally walk up to them and teach them these plain and precious truths, or testify of the glorious gospel with our actions, it doesn't matter: we just need to do it. We don't need to be star keepers or awesome midfielders to play on the Lord's team (SOCCER-GOSPEL ANALOGIES!!!), but rather, we just need to get a jersey on and RUN! Get out there and do something. Ether 12:12 says that unless we have faith, the Lord can do no miracles among the children of men. So as we seek to find those who are ready to receive this gospel, and the Lord gives us names of those who are ready, then we need to act on these prompting and put our faith and trust in the Lord. Otherwise, nothing can happen. That's what we've been teaching to the members of the Duncan ward. (They're awesome.) I know this to be true. I know that unless we act and put our faith in the Lord, we will not see the glory that is waiting for us. The Lord is literally sitting there, waiting to bless us, and unless we act, He can't.
We had our first dinner appointment yesterday. The Bachelders fed us...holy heck it was good! They prepared a ton of smoked salmon, slow roasted vegetables, and some awesome French bread. It was probably the best meal I've had in a long while. We were so sluggish afterward, though, but we ran from door to door to preach this gospel! It was great. We have a dinner appointment with the Ruttans tonight right after P-Day ends. Excited for even more food! but yeah, we're doing great out here. We had a guy we tracted into that was literally so excited about the news we shared on living prophets being called of God today, that he literally grabbed the Book of Mormon out of Elder Orr's hands and asked him how much he wanted for it. When we told him it was free, he was astounded. the guy was so prepared to receive this gospel. We meet with him next week. I'll tell you how it goes! We set another baptismal date with an investigator we picked up who came to church on his own (MIRACLE). It is awesome. The Lord really is mindful of us. He is on our right and on our left and is guiding us each and every day. I know this to be true. I'm so happy to hear from you guys, and I hope Gilbert has recovered from the Kaiju attack it suffered! I know the government's hiding something. ;) Oh: one request. SEND ME PICTURES! I want to see how you're doing, etc. It's awesome when I get pictures from people haha. I'm so glad to be out here. My faith has grown so much in just two weeks of field experience. I can't wait to see what the Lord can help me become in two years! Oh, also: do I have a missionary plaque?! If so: send me a picture lol. 
I hope you're all doing great, and I hope you have a wonderful week. 3 Nephi 11 is probably the most powerful scripture ever recorded. the very fact that Jesus Christ let each and every one of them feel the prints in his hands and his feet, and allowed them to form their own testimony of Him, is evidence alone that He is mindful of each and every one of us. I know He is. He knows us by name, and wants each of us to grow. Ah, man! The mission rocks! I'm lovin' it! I will send you pictures of my activities. They have been awesome haha. I love you all so much!!!

Elder Stock
Also: new favorite song is The Harvester by Brandon Heath. It gets you pumped up to tract. It's epic. I highly encourage you all to YouTube and listen to it in F.H.E. or something haha. Oh, and there are big spiders here on the Island. I call them Shilob. It makes door approaches interesting. We were knocking on a door and then one of them landed on my bag and Elder Orr screamed and slapped it off and we threw a card at the door and booked it out of there lol. Good times!

Duncan's Claim to Fame: Canada's Largest Hockey Stick!!! 
Comp Unity

Preaching to These People....They're Made of Wax or Something ;)
Study time with Elder Zilla!
  Pac Rim! I've Made It!
  Super Tired Elder Stock Selfie

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

09/15/14 - 2nd LETTER FROM DUNCAN

We're so excited to receive his 2nd letter from Duncan.  We're sending his first care package today.....his "GREENIE" package. (it will also include a pair of socks and garments he forgot!  That boy!!!)  I chose not to keep names of investigators/new converts intact in the letter.  You'll just see a letter in place of a name.

(if he doesn't send photos.....I pick them from my stash!)
Hey, mom! Elder Orr has us e-mail at 11;00-ish every Monday. but I'll try to bring it down to chat with you. Grocery shopping went well! Everything's going well! We're getting settled in Duncan, and so that's awesome. it's beautiful here. Yes, I tried poutine. that stuff is wicked good lol. Every restaurant serves it. Even McDonald's! I don't want to try theirs haha. I'll write Mamita. Sorry! I have too many women to write. ;) Lol jk. Sounds like you're pretty busy! That's good, though. I like when I'm busy up here, because time flies and I get a lot done lol. That YW in Excellence song is classic! Haha KIP!!! "Well I guess you can say...I guess you can say that people are getting baptized up here." Lol.
Elder Orr and I are teaching a good pool of people. Three of them are preparing for baptism, and the first baptism we have planned is this Sunday. So...yeah, gospel's true. The Lord is hastening his work. It's awesome. I'll give you a little recap of my week according to my journal.
Monday: P-Day! Epic.
Tuesday: Taught B. She wasn't too receptive. Oh well, good practice. We visited two recent converts, N and K. They are twin guys that are obsessed with Duck Dynasty and have huge beards to show their devotion lol. They're pretty funny and just good guys. They worship the TV. Everything they watch on it is sacred to them. they have Planet of the Apes collection in their apartment. Our Bishop, Bishop Coleman, is a boss. He's such a hard worker and went out with us to teach one of our baptismal investigators. Shared with us his vision for the Duncan ward. read Ether 12:12. By our FAITH, the Lord can bring unto us miracles. Cool stuff. We're on the winning team. We don't need to be gorilla linemen, or star receivers, we just need to put on the jersey and run. :)
Wednesday: Busy day, met with G, our 97 year old investigator! He loves dancing lol. Tracted for a while. Got some good conversations in. Taught one of our baptismal investigators. Tithing analogy was awesome.
Thursday: Planned for the week. It was a grind. But we persevered. Met a man who's Bahi. Learned about that religion. He gave us Triscuits, though, so....I count it as a win!
Friday: We had an awesome zone meeting in which they announced that we can now eat dinner with members!!!! Whoa!!! So that's awesome. People are so excited to have us in the home again. We met with some investigators and it went well.
Saturday: Fun day, lots of tracting, member visit at the Cyphers. We had a ward social at night....I heard worldly music! AH! Haha it was great. Don't tell my leaders.... :O We had a lot of investigators there, though. So that was good.
Sunday: Awesome day, as usual. A man named D just up and showed up at church. We're teaching him tonight.
The Lord works many miracles. I know He loves each of His children, and he wants to help them personally and individually. It's awesome. Elder Orr and I are doin' pretty well! I hope you have a great week! Also: in Lehi's dream of the Iron Rod, I find it interesting when he says there were some who clung to the rod, and there were others who held steadfast to it. Those who hold steadfast and never let go, even when their life is going well, endure to the end and return to live with Him. Those that cling to him in their hard times and let go in the good times are easily led away. It was a cool lesson I learned from the scriptures. Anyways, I love you so much, mom!
Have a great week!
Elder Stock

Sorry there were no pictures this week....I left my USB at home... Next week, though! Also, we have a CD of 9 hours of church/mission music in our car... One of the songs is Have I Done Any Good? by Alex Boye!!!!! Ya-yuh!!!! We love it. Haha. That's the mish anthem now... But yeah, we're doin' well. Love you!

Thursday, September 11, 2014


P-day is now on Monday and I plan on posting Elder Stock's latest email every week (hopefully, sooner than Thursday night).  Thanks to facebook, I was able to discover where Colton was on Saturday.  I love technology!!!

It's fun to see him maturing even in a couple of weeks.  Here's his letter:
I love you, bro!!! So much! You are super hilarious and awesome to be around. I hope I got to tell you that while I was home. But if not, if all you heard was my annoyed yells, then I'm sorry haha. I saw a kid in primary yesterday, a Canadian kid, that reminded me of you. He was the coolest kid in the class.... He had that same attitude that you do on life: he knew he was awesome, but he wasn't too annoying about it. Keep up the good work, Ky. Church is true. Stay in school. Don't do drugs. Even prescription ones. Lol jk. Well....just about the last thing: still stay in school....... ;)

Dude!!! That sounds like an intense schedule lol. I haven't had TOO much workout time....but I have lost, like seven pounds just from not eating a lot. So BOOM! beat that lol. It'll probably go back up to normal after Elder Orr and I go shopping for food after this... {:>O Anyways, I honestly laughed SO hard when you told me about your incident with Sam on the bus. Haha! Alma 37:35! That needs to be the young men's theme one year, am I right?! Fav. scripture. And the two after it. They are powerful testimonies of prayer, man. Keep up the awesome example at school, man. It makes a difference. People watch us. It's because we have the truth, and they know it. Humans are all the same underneath (pink and gross) In all seriousness, we are all children of our Heavenly Father. All of us recognize his voice, his truths, and his teachings. And so we need to realize that and act according to it, you know? Haha I'm proud of you, man! You're awesome. I miss you so much right now, and it's only begun! But don't worry about me: I'm a survivor. Who graduated ACP w/ AP Scholar with Distinction?! Who defeated Terramorphous the Invincible?!?! Who survived the harrowing journey through Hell's gate?!?!?! Muhaha! I'll give you a hint: it wasn't me. Everything you do is ONLY possible through the Lord and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Without our Savior, we would all be doomed for eternity. So, remain worthy of your priesthood, and be an example to others, as I know you already are. ;) I love you, man! Get those sympathetic hugs!!! They're only gonna last for two measly years, bro! And then you gotta use your own effort! Lol. Tell me how Destiny and all that stuff is next week lol. I bet you're having fun. Talk to ya next week!

Hello, my favorite mother!!!!!!!! Haha how's life without your favorite son?! Totally kidding.... ;) All right, I'm sure life in Gilbert is basically the, I'll tell what isn't: LIFE IN CANADA! {:O Ok: let me give you the run down of my week. I'll attach pictures at the end, too. Lol. Ok, so Wednesday we boarded the plane to Vancouver, Canada. No offense, but I wish I hadn't talked to you two before I left on the phone. My eyes sweat a lot! Lol. We're talkin' Bridge to Terabithia/Up level... But it was awesome to hear your voices again. Thanks for answering the phone. This one girl didn't get to talk to her parents and she was balling... Yikes! But anyways, we boarded the plane. I drew Elder Zilla. You'll see him later lol. It was a cramped plane ride. But fun. Elder Stone taught a whole first lesson to an Asian lady! Lol. I sat next to another Elder. We tried to convert each other, but fell asleep..... Then, we landed. I got off the plane wasn't hot outside... I knew I was in an alien world. There are SO many Asians in Vancouver! I felt like the minority, so we concluded it was ok to be racist. Kidding! Eventually, we made it through Canada's FABULOUSLY efficient border patrol thingy, and saw President Burt and his wife. They rock. Instant Christ-like love radiating everywhere. Chills! Love them to death, and they love us. We stayed with them for the day in Richmond, went over health care and driving stuff, and I found out that it takes, like, a month for mail to reach me at all times. :O So....stick to e-mails, and send big packages through the mail. Send them to the Point Roberts PO box thing. It'll cost less. So the next day, after we stayed in a luxury hotel in Richmond for one last night of bearable sleep for two years, we went to the transfer meeting. I got paired up with Elder Orr, my trainer. He's cool! We look pretty similar....just a little weight difference. ;) He says I look like Clark Kent. So we were assigned to Duncan, an easy-going town in the southeast corner of Vancouver Island, a little north of Victoria and Langford and stuff. But south of Nanaimo... It's very pretty here in Duncan. LOTS of trees, and a temperate climate. Like, it was eighty-ninety degrees yesterday. Or, I guess 28-32 degrees...Celsuis, remember lol. To get there from Richmond, we'd have to take ferry, and since our car was in Nanaimo (thanks previous Elders), we had to bum a ride with the Victoria 3rd Ward Elders. So, we went onto the ferry with them. All of our luggage was crammed in the back seat of the Chevy Cruze with us lol. It was cramped! We had a nice ferry ride, and ended up in the Vic 3rd apartment, then stayed there for the next day. We tracted ALL. DAY. My feet died. It was great, though, lots of rejection, but very rewarding when you actually get to talk to people it's awesome. We finally made it to Duncan two days ago and got settled in kind of. It's so overwhelming. We were whitewashed (so we're both brand new to the area) and so we have to start over with ward member relationships and at the same time maintain the teaching records that both the sisters and the elders previous have started. I'm super disoriented lol. To be honest, these past few days I've been kind of home sick. It's much harder to cope with life in the field than in the MTC I'm discovering. there it was like a frat house for soon-to-be missionaries. out here, it's the real deal. But I'm much better today and yesterday I was, too. I'm getting used to it, I'm lovin' it, I'm praying more fervently than I ever have, and I'm coming closer to Christ as we speak. It's awesome, super hard, scary, and intimidating at the same time lol. Our bishop is awesome here, and yeah... Canada is weird as heck. The people are strange but loveable. They really do say aboot and aboat and eh and stuff. I love you, mom. I miss you so much. You've been a true blessing in my life. Thank you for dealing with me and knowing who I can eventually become. :D It takes skill!!!!!!!!

Hahaha I love you, dad!!!!!!! Don't miss me: if I was home, life would be a lot worse lol. I know I'm out here in the right place, at the right time, and that we will all be blessed for my service. :) I choked up so much calling you guys lol. But I was so glad to hear you again. I love you all SO much. Vancouver Island is very pretty. Lots of trees, lots of wildlife, etc. We saw a deer just chillin' in Langford on Friday and we laughed. OK: the mission here is SUPER strict. They are very letter-of-the-law, a lot of which was brought about by former Pres. Tilleman. Hopefully Burt will lighten them up... They are very set on EXACT obedience, which is great, but...yeah...let's just say I've hidden my Godzilla toy lol. My comp. is very strict. It's good for me, but again....not what I'm used to. One of our investigator's name's is Billy jean. Like I'm not gonna break out into MJ song!!! Oh, and another one is named Walter White!!!! (He lives!!!) Lol jk. My comp. says it's too worldly. Ha! Ok...ok.... Submission's fun, too.... Lol! But in all seriousness, it's great out here. I'm having a good time, and I feel my Savior's love stronger than ever. I've never prayed this hard before. It's great! So keep being the awesome bishopric member you are and endure to the end. You're my role model, dad! (And mom!!!!) So keep it up. If you want to send stuff: cool ties and snack food would be greatly appreciated. Lol. Love you! Thanks for everything you've done for me. You are amazing. :D 

-Elder Stock

P.S.: Roscoe, Coco: be good. Lol.

Sister Burt, Elder Stock, President Burt
 Sister Burt, Elder Stock, Elder Orr, President Burt
First Companion and Trainer!
 Stock and Orr in a cramped car!
 Stock and Orr 
 Very at-TRACK-ive
 1st Apartment
 What a wonderful place.  I dream about it all day. lol
 Go ye unto all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15
Until next Monday.

Saturday, September 6, 2014


Elder Stock left the MTC for the Salt Lake City Airport Wednesday morning.  He was able to call us and talk for a few minutes before boarding his 11am flight to Vancouver, Canada.  I was so surprised to have him call me (since he didn't email that he would) and loved every minute of it!!!  Kyler was home sick and was able to talk to his brother....OK, really, he didn't want to talk as much as rub it in his face that he will be going to Disneyland this fall break!  After talking with us, he called his dad at work.  We were all thrilled!!!!  Well, I was so happy until he hung up the phone.  It was harder on me than saying goodbye to him 2 weeks earlier.  Later that night, we received another call.  Thankfully, this one was from Elder Olsen who was calling for President and Sister Burt.  He let me know that Elder Stock had arrived to the mission home safely and would be spending the night before going to his new area the next day.  I asked if he could tell me where he would be sent, he just said that my son will tell me on Monday in his email.  THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME!!!!!  Thursday I thought of him all day.  I wondered where he would be serving, who his new companion is, how they were getting along, where are they living?  In the afternoon, I was on facebook and saw a photo of  some new missionaries.  I quickly checked my email and here it was:
Sister Burt, Colton and President Burt
 Sister Burt, Colton, His First Companion (can't read the nametag!), and President Burt
They look so similar to me!
I'm so excited to hear from him on Monday.  I hope he gives me plenty of details! 
{a mother can dream, can't she ;-)}