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!