Monday, September 28, 2015


An Epistle to the World,

I am tired. That's a good thing. It's a sign that you did some work. And when you're physically tired but spiritually energized...that means you did some missionary work! Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is not a passive, one-day a week deal. It's a binding, solemn, and epic covenant we make with out Heavenly Father at baptism that consumes our very lives and shapes our very natures. It is a promise of eternal life in the presence of our Creator. A promise that He will never break. It all comes down to us. Our commitment. Our desire to follow Him. To do as He commands. To really endure to the end by thriving on our covenant path and making the gospel of Jesus Christ, in its pure, beautiful form, a pattern of living.

I have seen in missionary work, on this short time that I have been out, that God is actively and anxiously engaged in His work. At this moment, as you are reading this, He is preparing His children, our brothers and sisters, to receive the message of His restored gospel. And as missionaries/members of Christ's Church, we have the privilege of listening to the Spirit and inviting these people to come unto Christ. And to prepare to return to live with their Father in Heaven. How great is our calling!

Our desire to share this gospel needs to be something that shapes what we do and how we interact with people. Because the gospel of Jesus Christ will bless everyone's lives, regardless of where they are spiritually, physically, emotionally. Our desire needs to be like that of Alma's, who declared, "O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mind heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!" (Alma 29:1).

If our desire is there, if our desire is really to help others to partake of salvation, then miracles will happen. Because we will have shown forth our faith, and God works miracles according to our faith (Ether 12:12). Now, with that being said...our desire shouldn't overrule God's direction and plan for us. Alma goes on to say that, "I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me...why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called?" (Alma 29:3, 6).

All we have been called to do is to Invite and to Help...

This week was full of miracles and blessings from the Lord. We were able to teach our investigators and apply the counsel that we had received from the Lord during our planning sessions, because we have started planning more for our investigators and less for ourselves. I feel a new light come into our companionship and our area...and our zone, for that matter! We were able to show the video of the Restoration to our investigator S, and she finally understood the magnitude of Joseph Smith's life. Whoa! Testimony in modern-day prophets = yes. She's progessing so well, now! Who knew that if you focused on helping your investigator receive a testimony, that God would work that miracle...?

We also had a goal of helping our investigator R to live the word of wisdom. He's been smoking forever, and to live it takes a lot of courage from him. Finally, we sat down with him last night and really let the Spirit into our lesson.

We testified of the gospel of Jesus Christ and how it can bless us in all aspects of our lives, that Christ can help us overcome addictions. We then taught him how Satan wants to keep us down by giving us these chains of addictions. We read Helaman 5:12 with him and testified that we cannot fail when we build our foundation upon Christ. He burst into tears and literally gave us all of the substances that he had in his home to dispose of, and now he is living the word of wisdom and on track for baptism next month. Holy cow. It was the most intense and Spirit-driven lessons of my life. I testify to you that God is preparing and helping His children to live the gospel. We found some guy from Uganda names J....he is such a solid investigator! Teaching like angels has changed our mission and our areas specifically, I love it.

We have a new emphasis on driving safety in our mission due to some weird car crashes recently, and so President Burt has re-instituted park the car day in a big way. Our area covers, like, 4 were stressin', but then we realized that we have members that can give us rides! And so we did just that. And all day Saturday, we used 0 ks! Aw. Yeah. It was a feat to remember, and we couldn't have done it without our amazing members here in the YSA. Shout out to Ty and Adam!!!

My companion, Elder Gawrys, is great. He's super good at cleaning apartments...which is surprisingly a great skill to have in life and especially in missionary work. We're having a blast and always are on the go. YSA work is super fast faced and unstable...but it is fun haha.

I got to be reunited with some of my mission heroes/friends in Richmond this week for a meeting. It was fun being able to see them again and to talk about how the mission is changing a ton and how everyone's doing clear up north. It's a brotherhood of spiritual warriors around here.

I am having a blast up here. Been eating a lot of McDonald's because I ran out of money....oh, the hubris of Elder Stock, but it has been so fun to just go out and do the Lord's work. When we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are truly only in the service of our God (Mosiah 2:17)

I testify to you that the gospel is true. The Work is God's work. And our Savior lives and loves us.

Have an awesome week!

Elder Stock
The Articles of Faith...color coded to fit the missionary lessons. I love the mini-quad!
2 Nephi 31...marked up according to the lessons...what an epic chapter! Live that gospel, peeps!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


An Epistle to the World,

"And now, my beloved brethren, ...hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words, believe in Christ. [For] they are the words of Christ, and He hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good," wrote Nephi (2 Nephi 33:10). I can imagine his fervency and his boldness in desiring that his people come unto Christ. In reading 2 Nephi, we learn of the care that he and his brother Jacob put in to really teaching their brethren, their families, the truths of the gospel. Before my mission, I avoided 2 Nephi -- mainly because I looked at it as the Isaiah trap - - but it's full of gems.

I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. And I know that the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ contains the fullness of His everlasting gospel. As we strive to increase our faith in Him, as we repent daily, strengthen and renew the covenants that we have made with Him through baptism, and as we strive to remain worthy for and enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost, we will experience the joy and the peace that comes from living the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our Heavenly Father loves us so much, and He is so actively involved in our lives. He is blessing us and guiding us in ways that we will not comprehend for a long, long time. And He has a perfect, divine plan for us. As we follow His commandments and obey His counsel and direction willingly, we will find and recognize the blessings that He has promised us.

During the week, I found a lot of opportunities given to me by Heavenly Father to testify of the restored gospel. It was pretty awesome. I've really been working throughout my whole mission on cleaning up my teaching skills and really refining them so that the Spirit can be there, unrestrained. He is the true teacher. It's been sweet to watch the miracles happen as I have been able to teach more simply, more quickly, and more powerfully. I know the Lord has helped me in this endeavor.

As a mission, we've really been working on focusing on our investigators, on those we serve, rather than ourselves. Studies, planning sessions, conversations with our companions, are all more or less focused on the people we are teaching and helping to receive the restored gospel. And it's helped a ton. I definitely have a testimony of losing ourselves in the service of others.

That is what life is all about!

We had a super fun experience this week. We were able to take our best friend, Scott Hoffard, out on his mini-mission for three whole days! He was a trooper. He's testing the waters for serving a part-time mission here, and so this was a mock-beta test for that. We had a blast with Scott as he told us the goofy stories of his childhood and early adult life while we drove around from appointment to appointment. The highlight was him being on our conference call for the zone: "I'm Scott Hoffard...I'm being trained in the Langley...." Classic.

We almost got attacked by a drunk guy at Surrey Central, we hardcore cleaned our apartment, we taught some really cool new people, etc. It was a blur of a week with transfers and everything. We were back and forth across our area basically the whole first half of the that was crazy... It rained a lot, that was awesome. Glad I have a good rain jacket! That is all I have to say. I love it up here in BC. And I love the investigators that we're working with.

My companion, Elder Gawrys, is hilarious. Love him to death. We're having tons of fun out here in the YSA wilderness.

The church is true. The book is blue. Live it, love it, preach it!

Have an awesome week,
Elder Stock

Scott Hoffard (our mini-missionary for the weekend) with his two best friends--the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel.
 Elder Stock, "Elder" Hoffard, and Elder Gawrys
 "Elder" Hoffard and Elder Gawrys
 "Elder" Hoffard and Elder Stock

 The Dynamic Duo: Stock and Gawrys


A General Epistle to the World:

Well, you might have guessed by the title that we got transfer calls this week! Oh snap! So, I'll let you fester on that thought for a little while. Where in the world could Elder Stock go? Well, your choices are in fact limited to most of the province of British Columbia...and, with tons of areas to serve in down here in the Lower Mainland, you could be pretty safe in guessing an area within the fabulous cities of Vancouver, Burnaby, Langley, Surrey, Abbotsford, Coquitlam, etc. You could also be pretty safe in guessing somewhere up North, e.g. Prince George, Terrace, Smithers, Burns Lake, etc...since I've collected 3/4 sub-missions thus far (sub-missions within the Canada Vancouver Mission include: Island, Lower Mainland, Okanagan, North). You COULD also be accurate in guessing that maybe I didn't leave the Fraser Valley YSA, because I've only been here for one transfer...and maybe my companion went somewhere else and I am still here...

But then again, if you had been studying your copy of An History of Elder Stock's Missionary Journeys, you would note that at one point, upon his entry into the desert landscape of Westbank, he left within one transfer and trekked out to Burnaby. But regardless, your guess is as good as anyone else's. Because transfers are unpredictable.

I wish I could say I was tranferred to the area my father and I often discussed in our many trips to the infamous McDonald's drive-thru: the moon. A lunar colony populated with ridiculously prepared people to hear about the gospel of Jesus Christ, something so amazing and everlasting that surely it was...out of this world..... Eh? Eh? But...alas, the moon colony mission hasn't quite opened up. Give it some time, and I'm sure it will all come around...might be race between it and China, know how the cookie crumbles...

Anyways! Tangents. Secants....geometry? What the...? I totally forgot did...? The Spirit really DOES bring all things to remembrance... Speaking of remembering...

Oh yeah! So, my tranfer news is as follows:

My companion, Elder Miller, will be heading out the party city/vacationing spot of western Canada: Kelowna!!!

And I will be....

STAYING IN LANGLEY YSA!!! My new companion is going to be Elder Gawyrs. He's awesome. I've met him before and am super excited to finally serve with him. It's going to be good times. Especially because the work here in the YSA is seriously hastening! I am excited.

This week has been great. We were able to teach so many lessons. Which is something I always love doing. No matter the setting, the lesson, the person, it's cool to see that God loves ALL of His children enough to allow His Spirit to testify of the truths we teach as missionaries. Every. Single. Time.

I have grown to love what we teach as missionaries and how we teach as missionaries. Simplicity is what the Spirit can testify of with power. I love helping people understand the message of the Restoration, in its beautiful simplicity. Helping them understand the need for a prophet and for the priesthood authority of God to be on the earth. And sharing with them the account of Joseph Smith's First Vision for the first time in their entire life. The hope and the love that that brings into our lives is unbeatable.

I love teaching people and helping them understand that we have a purpose here in life, that our life didn't begin at birth and that it will not end at death. That we lived with our Heavenly Father before this life, that we are here to learn and to grow, and that we have an opportunity to return to live with Him after this life.

I love helping people live the gospel of Jesus Christ. To build faith in Him, to repent and change, to be baptized and confirmed, to endure to the end and enjoy the presence of the Holy Ghost forever. I am grateful for the commandements of God, and for the direction they give to us and the enriching lives that they allow us to live. Surely there can be nothing so rewarding as being able to help our brothers and sisters to receive the restored gospel.

Everyone's so different, too. It's cool to be able to meet all of these people that are really reaching out to God for something they feel is missing in their lives. I taught a man last night by a campfire who literally asked me if God has a plan for him. Well, uh...yeah! And let me show you a pamphlet all about that! ;) The Lord is hastening His work. It's really energizing to be a part of. I know that He lives. And that He loves all of us. That matter where we are in life or what we go through, that He is there for us, and that living this gospel is more important than anything we can do. Sleeping, eating, breathing included.

I love missionary work. And I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior. They have done everything for me. And everything they have done has been given freely and out of love. The least we can do is follow their example and share it.

Elder Stock

Me, Kyle Fifeld (recent convert in the YSA and our walking set of scriptures), and Elder Miller. The lesson teaching dream team!

Monday, September 21, 2015


Elder Stock's Other General Epistle to the World,

What a week! Tuesday preparation days throw me right off... But it's good. Labor Day was an excellent opportunity to teach, because no one had work or school! We spent most of our day out in Surrey, teaching people over by the Simon Fraser University campus about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. What a day. We were able to see so many miracles, and we took a member of the YSA branch with us named Kyle. He's a recent convert of about 5 or 6 months, and has such a burning testimony. While sitting at McDonald's waiting for one of our investigators to show up, we started talking to a lady who was very uninterested in what we had to say as full-time missionaries. But Kyle bore a really sincere testimony on how much the Church has changed his life, and we eventually were able to teach her about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon.

I've really learned this week that it's all about the simple truths of the gospel. Those are what will change the world. As we strive to simplify ourselves, and make sure that our testimonies are strong and easy to understand, then the Spirit will testify of our words, and we will be able to help many of God's children -- our brothers and sisters -- to come unto Christ.

This week, I discovered an amazing new miracle. The pumpkin pie blizzard at Dairy Queen. Don't worry, a picture of this beautiful, decadent, divinely inspired treat will be included. So enjoy. What a glorious invention! That is all that I have to say about that...

The week was really great! We are preparing a lot of amazing people for baptism, and so that is always fun. We found a Chinese guy named Fred, and teaching him the gospel is a thrill ride. He soaks it all in, and it's all the first time he's even heard about Jesus Christ and about God, so it's pretty crazy. But he's doing really, really well. The YSA branch is super fun, and we are really trying to build up the faith here in missionary work and to do everything that we need to help them out. To truly be a SERVANT of God.

I have such a testimony of this Work. That it really is the most important thing that we can do to help our brothers and sister to come unto Christ. This is it. The work of salvation. And we need to be anxiously engaged in it. I know that our Heavenly Father works according to our faith, and that is because He is all loving and will never force us to do anything. But when we show our faith to Him and in Him, and we align our will with His, then that is when the conduit to Heaven and unceasing revelation flows. I know that there is no such thing as a dead area in a mission. But there are dead missionaries. And the way that we can revive ourselves is by stripping ourselves of pride and relying on the Spirit more than ever. When we do all that we can to invite the Spirit, then He will be there and we will find miracles. I know that my Savior lives. That He loves me, and knows me personally. That He knows each and every one of us the same way. And because of that. He has commanded us to invite all men to come unto Him, to "go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19)

We have a duty to perform. A labor. It won't be easy to follow Christ. Trials will come. But it will always be worth it and it will always be possible. Because we don't have to do it alone. He heals us, and He redeems us from misery, and from sin. So trust Him. Believe Him. I know that my Heavenly Father lives and loves all of us, and that He has a plan for us. That we can return to live with Him after this life. And that we are all a family of God. I love this Church, and I love this gospel. It has been restored today through a modern prophet. Joseph Smith really did see God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ that spring morning in 1820. And because of that, the world is blessed. I leave you these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

You already know,
Elder Stock

Oh mai goodness!!!! Church's Chicken! The cashier in this place is YSA and asked us for a Book of Mormon. We're going to teach him this week. Miracles!!!!
 The pumpkin pie blizzard, yet another evidence of God's love to the world...and that He does continue to inspire men, just as in days of old ;)
 E-mail time. In Surrey.