Monday, June 29, 2015

6/29/15 - 13th LETTER FROM BURNABY

Dear Readers,

"Sanctify yourselves and ye shall be endowed with power, that ye may give even as I have spoken" (D&C 43:16). In this mission, we change natures. Heavenly Father's whole purpose for us coming to this earth, and receiving a body, and being tested and experiencing mortality, is for our natures to be changed. He is not content with us just "getting through" this probationary state. He wants us to thrive, to stretch, to grow, and to become like Him one small step at a time. To leave this experience changed and experienced, and ready for whatever comes next. A mission is the same exact concept. We don't come out on our missions, contrary to popular belief, to "pass something off" of the check list of Mormonism, to gain some R.M. status so that we can get married quicker, etc. We come on our missions to invite others to come unto Christ, to submit our whole will and whole soul and whole heart to God, and allow Him to change us in the process. We come out as blobs of clay, and Heavenly Father starts to make us into something much better than we can ever imagine.

But this change of nature doesn't just start happening as soon as we are set apart and we clip on that famous black name tag. It doesn't just happen one night when we're six months out and realize that this isn't a summer camp anymore. No, this change of heart, this complete and utter makeover of our natures, is a choice. Just like everything in the gospel, we must exercise our agency and CHOOSE to change. Now, how do we do that? I firmly believe that we need to purify our hearts if we want to change anything. And that is the quest that I embarked on yesterday with my amazing companion, Elder Robinson. If this Work is truly to be driven by the Spirit, then we need to be clean and able vessels of the Spirit, to be the tools or the instruments in God's hand that are ready and clean enough for the job at hand. We can't get by on our own strength, intellect, charm, etc. (All of which I basically don't have, anyways...) Rather, "if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach" (D&C 42:14). So Elder Robinson and I have begun a 40 day fast from the behaviors and tendencies that we have that don't necessarily invite the Spirit into our lives and our hearts. And our goal with this is to change our natures, so that we can change the natures of those in our zone. Crazy, huh? Yeah, it's pretty awesome. And it's been very rewarding so far. I feel like the Spirit has been with us in an abundance recently, and we're becoming a lot better at teaching by the Spirit, which is what we are called and set apart to do.

And because of this, "this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work" (Alma 26:3). Our week has gone by so well. We're finding so many new investigators to teach, and we're teaching more than ever in this area, and we're preparing people for baptism, finally! It's the greatest feeling in the world to start to purify yourself. Something that I've struggled with my whole life. But I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, that we all can change. We can all become better, and He can cleanse us and purify us. He can change our natures.

This week, we were able to do many things. We enjoyed an awesome BBQ at one of our member's homes. I didn't realize how much I've missed home grilled burgers until that night. SO good. We also got to do another social media blitz, this one wasn't nearly as big, but it was still fun. Our ward mission leader, Brother Silva, is a boss. We're gearing up for Canada Day this Wednesday! It's basically the Canadian Independence Day. Our ward is having a hugh BBQ, and tons of nonmembers and investigators are expected to be at the event. We're pumped. It's just fun to go out now and to talk to everyone. Just to share the message of the restored gospel brings me a lot of joy. Those we're working with are awesome. PLEASE pray for Norman, Nhi, Basil, Kris, Angela, Jerusalem, and Suki, that everything will go well with their teaching, and that they will all have a strong desire to be baptized. Thank you all so much for everything that you do. For the support through prayer, the counsel that you have given me throughout my life, for just being good friends. I hope and pray nothing but the best for you all, because you are all awesome. So have a great week, and keep praying for opportunities to serve and share the gospel with others!

Elder Stock

Elder Robinson and I emailing
 Elder Robinson's GQ-creeper-monkey face

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

6/22/15 - 12th LETTER FROM BURNABY

Happy Father's Day! Colton gave a wonderful tribute to his dad in his letter this week. We also celebrated his 10 month mark on Saturday!  Can't believe we are so close to his year mark!!!!  Here's his letter:

"O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God" (Alma 37:35). The precious teachings of Alma the Younger to his son, Helaman, in whom he was entrusting the records later known as the Book of Mormon and other sacred artifacts exclusive to the prophets, ring so true in my mind as I read them. It's possibly the best advice that a father can give a child, because obedience unlocks miracles and blessings, and learning gospel obedience in your youth creates a foundation for your entire life. See, the Book of Mormon is FILLED with accounts of father and son relationships. (That's why it's the perfect Father's Day gift for all of your non-member friends. ;) You've got accounts of Jacob and Enos, of King Benjamin and his son Mosiah, of Alma the Elder and his son, the Younger, even of Mormon and Moroni. And it all starts with an amazing example of fatherhood: Lehi, the "father" of them all, who bravely led his family and consequently an entire civilization to the Promised Land.

The family is the most important social unit in all of time and eternity...and so it's no small wonder that God, the most powerful, perfect, and loving being in the universe, chooses to be referred to as our Heavenly Father. I had the amazing opportunity just yesterday to be a full-time missionary, a representative of Jesus Christ, on Father's Day. I even got a Dad's root beer and cookie along with all of the older males in the Burnaby Ward! But that's beside the point. Listening to the talks in sacrament meeting caused to reflect for a brief moment on the importance of fathers in our lives, and the tremendous importance of having a Father in Heaven.

I have a lot of father comes with the territory of being a missionary. The elder who trained me, Elder Orr, is my "father" in the mission. He taught me obedience and hard work, as well as how to find success. For that, I am super grateful and indebted to him. We learned a lot back in the Duncan days, and he helped me get through a lot of things.

My other father figure in the mission is President Burt, the greatest mission president alive. He has taught me so much about consecration, personal worthiness, and challenging yourself. Without him, I don't think I would have nearly as much motivation to work. I am so grateful for him, and for the way that he leads this mission and ministers to his missionaries individually. I definitely know that he has been called of God to lead the mission at this time.

I learn a lot on a daily basis from my Heavenly Father. Gaining a personal relationship with Him through prayer has definitely blessed my life more than I can describe. He teaches me through His Spirit the gospel of Jesus Christ, and how to personally repent and become better each and every day. He leads me each day back to Him, and helps me to love those around me. Without my Father in Heaven, I would be utterly lost. He authored the plan of happiness, chose a perfect Son of His to fulfill it, and allowed a personage of Spirit to teach it to us all. And He is a perfect Father. So pray always, and "cry unto God for all they support" (Alma 37:36)

Lastly, my earthly father has been such a blessing in my life. Yeah, I'm talking to you, dad! Anthony Stock is truly a hero of scriptural proportions. Dad, you've taught me so much. And you've helped me so much in my life. Thank you for that. It's always good to have the type of father that you can sit in a McDonald's drive thru line with, ordering an American sized cup of Dr. Pepper, and talk about the intricacies and mysteries of life with, someone who can teach you the gospel in the most simple and fervent way, someone who can help you when you need him.

As much as I love my dad, I love the principle that he taught me that I am using every single day up here in Canada. And that is service. I've never seen a man more devoted to serving others and forgetting himself than my dad.

He won't tell you straight up, but he is ALWAYS serving his family. No matter what he's doing. Whether he's at work, or he's sitting down and talking with you, his life is just service to God. I remember vividly all of those crazy elders' quorum moves where it just ended up being me, my dad, and my brother, Asher, going out to the people who decided to move out of their third stories apartment complex in the middle of the week when everyone else was too wrapped up in work. And instead of leaving them out to dry, my dad would make time. And he would make sure to bring us.

And that, even though at the time I was very reluctant to go out and serve, has helped me so much. Because it's ingrained in me. Whenever I serve, I feel so good. Because King Benjamin (another great father in the Book of Mormon) was right in saying that, "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God" (Mosiah 2:17).

That's what I am out here to do. To serve. And to do so selflessly! And I am grateful to have had a father that has taught me the importance of service, and the importance of serving an honorable full-time mission. Because he has set that example for me.

He encompasses every great father figure you can read about in the scriptures, because he is a father of scriptural proportions!

This week has been amazing. We saw so much success. We found a guy names Basil on the street who is from Bella. Bella (a small First Nations' town up north in BC), and he is so awesome! He's on track for baptism, and loves feeling the Spirit. The Burnaby Ward is so awesome, by the way. We have so much food at our apartment because of them! And they're helping us so much by fellow-shipping those whom we are bringing into the church.

This transer has been a blast, full of miracles in the realms of finding, teaching, and baptizing! I love it. AND, I have some epic transfer news, by the way! So, with Elder Marchand's death (he goes home tomorrow!), I am getting a new companion here in Burnaby. His name is Elder Robinson, and he was in Korean work at the beginning of his mission. Which is a Godsend because the Koreans are in our zone! Aw yeah! So, I'm pumped! Thank you all so much for everthing that you do! I will keep you up to date on the crazy stuff that happens. Like this week: we got to eat a pig at a Tongan party, to teach a guy literally receiving God's words in real time, to accidentally punch a wall and destroy my arm, and to cry repentance to everyone we could see. In the process, we found some crazies. Aw yeah!

Member missionary work is where it's at!

Elder Stock
This is Hermana Wilson and Hermana Hoth standing in front of a picture hanging in the MTC. These Spanish speaking Sisters arrived in the Canada Vancouver Mission in April. People had commented how they looked like the women in the painting because of their hair, they happened to have the clothes to recreate this. I think it's awesome!
 Elder Porter and I on exchange. We decided to take a bus selfie...Aw yeah!
Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 15, 2015

6/15/15 - 11th LETTER FROM BURNABY

Dear Humanity,

Alma the Younger is such an example to me. While teaching his son Helaman just before entrusting him with the records we now know as the Book of Mormon, he expounds on his conversion story, and what he felt as he accepted the Atonement of Jesus Christ into his life. He says that he was "harrowed up to the greatest degree and racked with all (his) sins", and that he felt so bad about what he had done that he wanted to "become extinct both soul and body" (Alma 36:12, 15). He felt so terrible, so hopeless, that he didn't even want to face God at the judgement. I think that sometimes we can get caught up with stuff in our lives, whether it be a grievous sin or not, that make us feel guilty and shameful, and just overall uncomfortable with being in the presence of our God.

In missionary work, it's easy to get discouraged, beaten down, or to feel hopeless. The adversary sneaks in sometimes. He can cause contention between you and your companion, a lack of faith in your area/the ward, or even tell you that you're not good enough. But there is one who has "descended below them all" (D&C 122:8). And He has the power to change us. To help us. To heal us not only physically, but spiritually as well. His name is Jesus Christ, and He is our Savior and our Redeemer. Whenever we go through a rough patch in life, whenever we make a mistake, He is there. Because He has been there. He has felt exactly what it is like to go through anything we can ever go through. He knows what it's like for all of my investigators. He knows what they need to do--exactly what they need to do--to change. To repent. Why? Because He has felt it. All of it.

I'm teaching someone who smokes and drinks to relieve his stress at work. His job is stressful, and the only way he feels he can get relief from this is through the substances that have chained him down. But the cigarette he picks up doesn't know what he's going through. It can't help him. It just prolongs the problem. But Christ can help him. He can solve the problem. Because when He knelt down in that Garden, He suffered for each of us. He went through everything we will go through. Individually and intimately. He felt, for a moment in that Garden, exactly what it's like to try to raise a young family in an expensive neighborhood, to work all day in a stuffy, dirty kitchen, and to try to quit the addictions that drag him down. He's felt exactly what it's like to go out onto a street, with a desire to share the gosepl, and to get turned down by every single person walking by. What it's like to get yelled at, to get threatened, to get ridiculed. Because He's gone through it all. For us.

And once we reach out to Him, once we live His gospel, His doctrine, by exercising faith unto repentance, being baptized and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end, we can feel His strength in our lives. Because we will have shown unto Him that we accept His sacrifice for us.

That's what Alma felt as He repented. Everything in his life changed for the better, "When I thought this, I could remember my pains no more...yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain! Yea, I say unto you...that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains...on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy" (Alma 36:19-21).

That's what we do as missionaries. We invite ALL to come unto Christ, to feel that power of the Atonement. Because it really does change us. It washes away our pains, our sins, and replaces them with joy. That's our message. That through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all mankind may be saved...

My mission is going so well. This week was a blast. My understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ has grown so much these past 9-10 months, and it will continue to grow through my entire life. And that is why I am thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the opportunity I have to share it each and every day. I am even grateful for the hard times! Because I draw closer to my Savior in those moments.

My companion and I are doing so well. This is the last week of his mission coming up, so you'd better believe we are going to go hard in the paint* and work so diligently to preach repentance to everyone we see! I don't care what happens. I just want to send him off well. Elder Marchand has taught me so much. (I have NEVER heard of the saying go hard in the's a definition: To approach a problem, obstacle, or challenge with supreme confidence of success through a commitment to use all facilities available to one's self to achieve a goal.)

My mission president is awesome. President Burt is so inspired. And our zone is doing so well! I've learned this week more than others what being a leader really means. It's humbling stuff, and I hope and pray every day that I can just rely on my Father in Heaven, and seek His help in all things.

Missionary work is a blast. It's fun, it's energetic, it's chaotic at times, and sometimes it can be hard. But it never ceases to be the most rewarding experience of all time each and every day I go out. We're teaching some awesome people. Please keep Angela, Suki, Michael, Stephanie, Deano, and Alba in your prayers. Because they need all the help they can get.

I hope you all continue to feel the joy that only Christ can give to us, because it will propel you through everything. Thank you all for everything you do for me and for the missionaries around the world! I love you all!

Elder Stock

Last week for Elder Marchand in the field

Monday, June 8, 2015


I love that it's summer, I'm home and ready to email my boy on Mondays!  It was so wonderful to "chat" with him today.  I'm already looking forward to next week's chat.  Here's his letter!

Dear Everyone,

"For behold, Nephi was baptizing, and prophesying, and preaching, crying repentance unto the people, showing signs and wonders, working miracles among the people, that they might know that the Christ must shortly come" (Helaman 16:4). Wow. Talk about Book of Mormon heroes. I just imagine Nephi, running everywhere, talking to everyone, doing everything that he could to invite other to come unto Christ. He was finding, teaching, and baptizing. That's what I want to do. And it's fun to do! Very little will you see missionaries on the street corners, crying, "Repent ye! Repent ye! Or else ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God!" BUT, you always see missionaries talking to everyone, and telling them that this message of the restored gospel that we have to share will change their lives.

We cry repentance as missionaries, as representatives and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The purpose of the gospel is to cleanse us of our sins, and to help change us to become the person that our Heavenly Father knows we can become.  This is a gospel of change, because repentance is just changing our natures.  Changing our will and aligning it with God's. While reading the Book of Mormon, it is impossible not to notice the repetition of the simple word: repent. That book of scripture is the book of repentance, basically. Us as humans always make mistakes. We are flawed. We're designed that way. This life is a "time for men to prepare to meet God" (Alma 34:32)

That's the purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the plan of salvation, the commandments, everything! They help us repent, or change, and by so doing we are prepared to meet God after this life. We are then comfortable to be in His presence. And that's our job as missionaries. To cry repentance.

Just yesterday, I was on exchange with one of the assistants, Elder Rolfson. We were fasting from Fast Sunday, and before our dinner appointment, we were going to go and teach someone. But the lesson fell through, thus opening up a long time for us to go finding. We stared out at Kingsway, a long stretch of road by the Metro Town Mall, and start running. Talking to everyone, helping people out, teaching the gospel, etc. It was epic! It was an unusually hot day, and we were sweating so much, but it was awesome to just go out and serve, working so hard for those 4 hours. And then when the dinner appointment came, it was heaven.

This week, a lot of stuff (i.e. our plans, people, etc) fell through. It was crazy! So we had to kind of go back to the drawing board. But as we did, the Lord blessed us with strength and helped us find those whom He has prepared. We were able to cry repentance to everyone, and felt so much joy from doing so. I know that this Work is the Lord's Work. Otherwise, I probably would have died early on out here, because we work crazy hard. But Christ sustains us.

This week was really good. Just last P-day, Elder Marchand and I went to the Vancouver Aquarium to check out the place right after emailing. It was pretty awesome! African penguins, beluga whales, dophins, etc. You name it. And plus, they had this sweet exhibit called Sea Monsters Revealed (no, kaiju were not a part of this exhibition, unfortunately...) where they cut open all of these sharks and stuff and put them on display. It was pretty sweet. Think Body World, but with sharks and eels and stuff.

I went on exchange with both Korean areas this week.  Back to back, Anjun-hassee-yo! I loved it. Super fun. I felt like I was on my mission in Korea. Elder Okamoto is a stud. We went out and did work! He taught me some cool Korean lines to use on the street. I am so white it's not even funny. But I'm trying to expand my culture out here... I went with Elder Kim into the heart of downtown Vancouver. Holy cow! Literally talked to so many people. It was a blast! I had a quality gospel conversation with a Japanese lady about Godzilla. Only on the mish! It was sick! Everything is going so well up here. Seriously, I'm loving it, and I love the support that you all give to me. I feel the prayers! So keep that up, please!

I know that this gospel is true and life-changing, that repentance is the way to unlock the mercy of Christ, the only way back to our Heavenly Father. We are all Jesus' disciples. So go and do as He would do. Share the light of the gospel, and bless lives!

Sincerely, Elder Stock

Fatburger in Canada! Aw yeah!
 Shark...on the inside!
Not gonna lie...just seeing the words Sea Monsters got me pretty excited ;) 
 A sting ray...on the inside!
Another shark...on the INSIDE!!! 
 An Orca's skul...they're pretty thickheaded. Bah-dum-ch...
 A vertebrae of a blue whale's spine! Holy!!! Now THAT's a kaiju!
That penguin, tho!
 Elder Okamoto studying. Diligent Koreans these days...

Monday, June 1, 2015


Dear Humanity,

"And it came to pass that they did go forth, and began to preach the word of God unto the people, entering into their synagogues, and into their houses; yea, and even they did preach the word in their streets" (Alma 32:1). As simple as that verse is, it's so powerful! Alma and his brethren were incredible missionaries. And they did the same thing we do. They preached the gospel to everyone. Wherever they were. On the streets, in their homes, you name it! They realized that teaching wasn't just reserved for a sit-down lesson in a solid investigator's house, but rather an all-day event. Something they were called to do all day, every day. They invited everyone to come unto Christ, for "there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ" (Mosiah 3:17). They had such a drive to do this, that they saw so much success. They literally demolished the areas they were assigned to, in a good way. What made them such good missionaries, though?
At least for Alma, it was that he realized the magnitude of his calling as a missionary. He says, "I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy" (Alma 29:9). It all comes down to that. Realizing that we are all just instruments in the hands of God. He is the one Hastening His Work. We are His servants. But that doesn't take away our own personal responsibility to do all that we can to "keep pace with His Hastening", to labor diligently, to cry repentance to all we can. Everything in the gospel is a choice!
This week, I had the privilege of attending Mission Leadership Council. President Burt is inspired. He talked a lot about hard work, diligence, faith, etc. And the bottom line of it all is to do as Lehi advised his sons to do, to "come forth out of obscurity, and arise from the dust" (2 Nephi 1:23). Last week was good. But Elder Marchand and I knew we could have done so much better. This week, we worked as hard as we could to invite everyone to come unto Christ, to reach our standards of excellence as a mission. It was hard at times, but God literally blessed us so much as we were able to just be diligent and go out and cry repentance to everyone. It all started with a choice we had to make first, though, to work. To go out there and show true faith. Anyone can say they want a miracle, that they hope for one. It takes something else to expect a miracle and go out and find one, leaning on the Lord for strength and working so hard to earn that strength. We had 5 people come out to church this week! It was incredible! We found an amazing family whom we are teaching now. The wife, Stephanie, is LOVING the Book of Mormon. She's reading it so much and hanging on to every word. they're good people that just want to change to provide a better life for their two-year old daughter. I know that as long as they do the things that He has commanded, that they will see this blessing for their family.
Our other investigators: Angela, Suki, Cecile, and Curtis, are doing so well. We have found some solid people we're teaching, and we're just going to continue until we have found all who our Heavenly Father wants us to find, teach, and baptize! Something I've noticed a lot recently is that the stronger opposition gets, the closer you are to a miracle. The adversary wants us to give up, to throw in the towel, and he is active in this fight. We are all enlisted. There is no more neutral ground. So let's all do everything we can do make sure that we are on the Lord's side! Because He can provide us with the strength we need to withstand the temptations and discouragements that are being thrown at us from all sides. 
I know that the Savior lives, and that He loves each and every one of us perfectly, that His Father, our Father in Heaven, loves us as well. He is so passionate. We are His children! This is His work, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Yes, we are at war. But we already know who's going to win. So put on a jersey and start running! 
I love this gospel. It is truly the only way to find happiness and joy in this life and the world to come.

Elder Stock

P.S.: I was in New West this weekend, talkin' to everyone, and there was a huge nerd convention there! North West Fan Fest! It was literally a dream come true! I got to talk to Deadpool, Spiderman, the Ghostbusters, the Winter Soldier, and tons of anime people....and be on purpose!!! Haha. God knows His missionaries, and where they can be effective. ;)

Who Ya Gonna Call? The missionaries! Duh! 
Elder Marchand G-Q cover pose.
 E-mailin'. 'Nuff said.