Monday, February 29, 2016



"What even happened this week?" inquired Elder Stock to his companion as they emailed. "It's just a blur..."

"Yeah, I don't know..." responded the great Elder Stirland.

Well, there's your update! Have a great week!

Kidding. Kind of, it was a blur, but some noteworthy things happened. Our zone received transfer calls. We are staying, but nearly everyone else in the Nanaimo zone got a transfer call... So a lot of fresh faces for this next transfer! We are excited for what is to come.

We had a really good district meeting this week, and talked a lot about how we need to really be committed as missionaries to this great work we are a part of. Commitment is such a powerful concept. As we fully commit ourselves to anything, we will see greater success.

I love being a missionary in the Canada Vancouver Mission!!!!! This place is where it's at!

Elder Stirland and I have really focused on following the Spirit as we go finding so we can find those people whom the Lord has prepared for us to find.

We have seen miracles as we have done so! We are finding families to teach and to baptize. I know without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord is in this Work, and that He is leading His servants to those whom He has prepared. Let's all get on board. This is the Work of salvation. And it is moving full-steam ahead!!!

Something I have really been trying to help my investigators, my fellow missionaries, and myself really understand is the importance of repentance/improvement in our daily lives. I have learned through reading the Book of Mormon that the pattern and application of repentance will bless us greatly, if we will follow it. We must follow the example of the people of King Benjamin. "And they viewed themselves in their own carnal state...and they all cried...O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ, that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified, for we believe in Jesus Christ: (Mosiah 4:2).

The first step in repenting is viewing ourselves. We as missionaries constantly look for ways to improve, and in doing so, we of course find the flaws. And as we APPLY the Atonement, in its enabling and redemptive power, we will be purified. I know that to be true. I am grateful to be able to teach it and help others to experience the same joy of repentance that I do. I am grateful that we can repent, and love that we can see it for what it really is: a blessing in our lives.

I am grateful for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, it is true. Whenever I teach and testify of it, I feel the Spirit and I know that the Spirit carries it unto the hearts of those I teach. Joseph Smith did see God and Jesus Christ. And because of that, your life is blessed! Think of the blessings, and your fears, doubts, and disbelief will no longer even be relevant.

Let us all remember Him. To always remember Him means always forgetting ourselves. I hope you all have a great week!!!

THE Elder Stock

A dragon light the way...
 Nanaimo South Island District meeting!!!
 The next three photos were taken by Ashwani Kumar Sinha in Colton's area in Nanaimo. Thank you, Ashwani!!!

Monday, February 22, 2016



"Whoa!! Did you see that?!" exclaimed Elder Stirland.

"No....What happened...?"

"Two cougars...huge ones...they just flew across the road!"

"Aw, man! I missed it....How close are we, do you think?"

"Probably still about an hour away..."

There was silence in the car, only interrupted by the muffled tune of an EFY song.

"Anything for a baptism..." grinned Elder Stock, as they tore down the scenic highway to the northern tip of Vancouver Island.

This week, my companion and I embarked on an epic adventure that spanned an entire Canadian island, and involved wild cougars, extremely prepared investigators, and an incredibly beautiful tucked-away town called Port Alice... if that's not exciting, I don't know what is!

A few weeks ago, the branch president from North Island (a branch of twenty members up in Port McNeill, Port Hardy and Port Alice) called us and notified us of some children who wanted to be baptized in their branch. We made some calls and were cleared to go and take a trip up there to teach them and start helping them prepare for their baptisms. We drove all the way from Nanaimo to Port McNeill, which is about a 5 hour drive of pure, natural beauty.

My companion and I found that once you pass Campbell River, which is the last major city before it goes into basically pure wilderness, you are in the celestial kingdom on earth. It's a touch of what heaven's postcards look like, I'm pretty sure...

We arrived in Port McNeill this Tuesday, and were greeted by the incredible President and Sister Terry from the branch. They had a place for us to stay and everything. We enjoyed a meal with them and got the bearings on the area. We decided to go out and work, and to see if we could find some new investigators in the area. We realized very quickly that the town was INCREDIBLY small. Like, we're talking SMALL... We started prayerfully tracting and were able to meet a lot of incredible people...that all knew the missionaries from the past when the area was still open VERY well. We found an investigator named B and were able to teach her with President Terry. We visited some of the members in the branch and helped strengthen them. It was a blessed trip.

The highlight of it all, though, was being able to go to Port Alice (which is GORGEOUS) and teach the Rydalch children who want to be baptized really bad. We met with them and taught a very simple lesson on the Restoration, and helped them understand why it matters to them, and how much God loves them. We watched these nifty little cartoons on that explained to them VERY well who God is and the concept of the apostasy and the restoration. We can't go up to Port Alice all the time, so we are face timing them until their baptism in March. They are doing so well, and it's been incredible to start to teach them!

I am learning each and every day just how much Heavenly Father loves me and loves all of us, and just how patient He is. Whatever we face, no matter how challenging life may get, we are never alone. What a glorious message we all have to share to the world! That God has not abandoned us, but that He speaks today! Truth is restored, people. Let's share it!

After our trip to Port McNeill, we traveled back to Nanaimo and finished our week strong. We have found some really cool families to teach, and are just being continually blessed from the Lord. He is at the helm of this Church and this great and marvelous Work. I know that to be true with every fiber of my being!

We went on a hike this preparation day to the top of a mountain near Westwood lake. The view from up there looks out on all of Nanaimo and you can even see the tip of Vancouver (on the mainland) if you look across the Georgia Strait. It was a tremendous view. It's the city I am called to serve in. It's where God has placed me at this time. For a wise purpose in Him. And I am enthralled to be here.

My sentiments of the work are echoed in the allegory of the olive tree. "And thus they labored, with all diligence., according to the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard...and they became like unto one body; and the fruits were equal...[and] the Lord of the vineyard...called up his servants, and said unto them.... behold ye shall have joy with me because of the fruit of my vineyard" (Jacob 5:74-75). I know that as we labor with all of our diligence, that He will direct us in this work, and we will be able to bring forth fruit, or success. And joy comes from successful missionary work.

I am grateful to be here in British Columbia and to be serving the Lord as His missionary. Let us all press on, in the work of the Lord. And let us all do whatever lies in our power cheerfully. I know as we open our mouths and share the light of the gospel, that the Lord will direct us to those whom He has prepared to receive this restored gospel. And I hope that I will be able to continue to serve Him until the very end of my life. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Stock

The long road from PORT MCNEILL!!!
 The view of the ocean on a blustery day....
 The Rydalch kids!
 President and Sister Terry from North Island branch!
 THE place to be!
 The road back...
 Face time lesson with the Rydalch kids!
 Stock Frog...
 Stock and Stirland. Dream Team!
 Dream Team and the city they are called to preach repentance unto!!!
 Elder Stirland's flight through the woods...
I don't want to forget to mention that Elder Stock hit his 18 MONTH MARK two days ago!!!!!!! I was thinking of him all day and was so happy to receive an email from Sister (and Elder) Wilson. They are a missionary couple serving in his mission and helped him and Elder Stirland move to a different apartment on Saturday. She took these photos and sent it to me. Best present for a missionary mom.....EVER!!!!!!!!

Thank you, Sister Wilson!!!

Monday, February 15, 2016


THIS WEEK ON MISH LYFE: 'NAM-NAIMO: Valentine's Day Special <3

"Come on, Elder Stirland...I know it sounds like a dumb idea, but...think of the ramifications if it succeeds. We could find a new investigator. Someone to BAPTIZE!"
"I don't know,'s just..."
"What? Weird? Unorthodox? I feel like it's what we should do. Would you be down to go with me and we try it and if it doesn't work, then we high-tail it out of there?"
Elder Stirland sighed, realizing that his companion was super weird, but that they were unified, so they would go in together. "Let's do it..." he said, finally.
The car doors closed and Elder Stock slipped on his MEC shoulder bag equipped with the words of Christ and a camera. Elder Stirland followed suit, and they started walking down the long street in downtown Nanaimo. Lights were flashing and people were blasting loud music in contemporary restaurants.
"Man. This is going to be...legit!" exclaimed Elder Stock, obviously nerding out at the prospect of what was going to go down.
They walked past stores and herds of people in small alleyways partaking of some BC grown herbs...Finally, they came to a small building consisting of one room on the side of downtown Nanaimo. Paintings of Jesus Christ and the three wise men covered the grimy windows. People with e-cigs crowded the doors.
"Is this place a church?" inquired Elder Stirland.
"No. It's a gathering site for people to bear their testimonies. Now let's go 'Dan Jones' it!" (had to look up Dan Jones.....He was a very influential missionary in the early days of the church)
The two representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ walked into the building. People were crowded onto tables, listening to the latest person brave enough to walk up and start reading poetry about Jesus. They were singing songs and drinking cranberry juice and "worshipping" as best as they knew how. But we had something that would help all of them know more about the Savior than they could ever imagine.
"Would you like to say something?" one of the regulars at the gathering sneered at Elder Stock.
"Oh, would I." He grabbed the microphone and stared down the barrel at about thirty people. Elder Stirland stood beside him. Companions go together.
"Tonight we would love to share the message of the Restoration, which we have come to know to be true. It is centered on the Lord Jesus Christ, for it is only through Him that we may be saved. He is God's Son, and came here to save us from our sins. I know that to be true. Everything we teach is motivated out of God's love for us. He is our Heavenly Father, and we are His literal children. He loves us, and wants us to be happy and successful in this life. To teach us how, He calls men as prophets to help us understand His plan for us, the gospel of Jesus Christ. He has always chosen to work through this pattern, calling prophets to guide us throughout time. These prophets have always pointed to Christ, whose earthly ministry changed the world. He taught His gospel, and established a church so that we could all learn of it. He called twelve men to be His Apostles to help lead this Church. Sadly, even He and His Apostles, like the prophets of old, were rejected and killed. The truth that they taught and the church that they established was destroyed. Corrupted. Changed. Altered. The authority that they held to lead it was taken from the earth, and there were no prophets of God upon the earth. But our Heavenly Father loves us. And in the year 1820, chose again to reach out to us in love by calling another prophet to restore His plan and Church. His name was Joseph Smith--"
"Get out of here, you cult!"
"Hey! Go away!"
"You can't talk about him! Only Jesus!"
"I think they're Mormons!!!"

And just like that, Elder Stock's "great idea" was exposed for the weird, ham-fisted concept that it was. He and Elder Stirland were kicked out of the gathering. But as soon as they were, the Lord seemed to show His approval of their testifying and blessed them to be placed in the path of a man who just moved to Nanaimo and has been looking for a church to join. His name is W, and we'll be meeting with him soon.

I thought I'd share that story with you all. Just to illustrate that we may not know all of the reasons why we are doing certain things in our lives, but the Lord is leading us. Don't every lose sight of that.

Similarly, later on this last week, Elder Stirland and I were prompted to go to a street and knock on some doors there. We had never been over to this part of Nanaimo, but we decided to go and follow the Spirit. On the third door there, we met a man named L.

Fifteen minutes before we showed up, he was praying and thinking about his life. He had been a member for about 30 years, but ever since he moved to Nanaimo, he stopped going to church. He was thinking about becoming a Jehovah's Witness, because he thought they were nice people and they had come to his house more than his home teachers and missionaries combined. So he finally decided to throw in the towel. He called his mom, and told her that she and him were going to go to a Kingdom Hall this Sunday. Flash forward to us. Heavenly Father loves all of His children. So He called His two representatives in Nanaimo through the Spirit. We showed up at L's house, and he immediately recognized it as an assignment from God. He was so grateful that we came, and we went back and taught him and his mom, who is a nonmember. She is interested in learning more. God will not leave us abandoned. He will help us, even in our times of despair.

And if Les's home teachers had been more on the ball, who knows...maybe he would have never had to go through this. So do you home teaching!!!

We have been privileged to see so many miracles this week. I am grateful to be in Nanaimo. I am actually in Courtenay - kind of north Vancouver Island area - with another missionary, Elder Persson right now for a fun exchange. We have had a blast and got to play capture the flag with a member family this preparation day. But I know this week more than ever that we are on the Lord's errand, and that this Work is His Work. I know He lives, and I know that we are all children of God with divine potential.

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Stock
Capture the Flag in Courtenay with the DeMarco family!!!
Great p-day!
A recent convert named Akshay...Great guy!
 Godzilla was pretty awful....but the bottle wins the prize!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016



This week, I went home for about 24 hours.... My suitcase was all packed up and everything. Got to see old friends, and be back in a ward I haven't stepped foot in over a year...

That's right, ladies and gentlemen... This week, I went to....


Yeah, so...we went on an exchange with the elders out in Duncan, and it was incredible. I got to attend a cottage meeting....and it was really something to see how these little firesides we started up almost a year ago have transformed into something pretty incredible. I still remember the first one we put together, and it was just us, the sister missionaries, our ward mission leader, and our then very recent convert, Judith Shaw. This time around, she was still there, but the attendance has grown quite significantly.

It was good to be back. Should be going again soon, too, so I guess I was fated to be in Duncan forever! No complaints, there!

We ended up having the absolute privilege of going to a pretty fancy meeting with our mission president out in Richmond/Vancouver. It was a blast getting to take the ferry out there, again. We ended up in Vancouver with the YSA elders, there, and had a blast eating some really, really cheap Chinese food and contacting in the big city itself! The metropolis of Can Van! Van City is the place!!! We had a blast, of course.

Nanaimo is going well. We are planning on going on a hike to enjoy the island, so this email is short, but I want to let you all know that I am grateful for your support and for your encouragement. This is the work of salvation. I am reminded of it each and every day. I am reminded of just how incredible it is to be apart of, and of the importance of this restored gospel in our lives. The scriptures are true. I know that they are, and I know that they are truly our iron rod, and as we continually hold steadfast to it, we shall reach the hope of eternal life we all look forward to. I hope that we never tire of partaking of the fruits of the gospel. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Have an awesome week,
Elder Stock

P.S. - Shout out to the Baxter family, to my mom, my grandma, Uncle Jean-Jacques, Bishop Call, Brother Peterson, my dad and everyone else who either sent packages of whatnot. I loved it, and am grateful for your support! I will enjoy those Oreos for you!

Driving to get on a ferry to the mainland...with a gingerale!!!
 Elder Stirland and I in front of a really fancy mission banner at a really fancy meeting...
 Got to see Judith Shaw again! Blast to the past!
 THE fabled sign. Too much sentimental value.
 My comp in the best. 'Nuff said.
 Back to the birthplace... Cowichan Valley!!! :D

Monday, February 1, 2016



So...there're three basic facets of missionary work. The first is finding. The next is teaching. And the last is baptizing... The three work together. You can find people to teach as you are teaching. You can teach people as you are finding, and you can baptize. These three basic fundamentals are how we fulfill our purpose to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them live the restored gospel. And there is a very important element of the gospel that MUST be present in order for all of these facets of missionary work to be successful. It's called the Spirit of God. Otherwise known as the Holy Ghost, the third member of the Godhead.

I learned this week more than any other week just how important the Spirit is in this work....especially in finding people to teach.

This week, Elder Stirland and I realized that the teaching pool we had inherited in this area as we whitewashed in was not too solid.... So we decided to go out and find some people to teach. By seeking the Lord's help and His vision and will for us in our area. I testify that although it was hard word and took a lot of fervent prayer, that it was incredibly successful.

We now have a teaching pool that is continuing to grow, and we are so happy in this work. We now are continuing to fulfill our purpose here and connecting to heaven. I know that our Heavenly Father is real and that He deeply loves each one of His children. With a love so incomprehensible that it overcomes any flaws we could ever have, any mistakes we could ever make. As we seek His help, and show Him we want to do His work His way, He will help us. I know that this is true in all areas of life. If you are ever feeling down, alone, lost, hopeless, unsuccessful, unmotivated, I plead with you to turn to your Father in Heaven and discuss with Him how you can be the person He sees you becoming. He will answer back.

He has promised that He will speak unto us through the power of His Spirit. And through His scriptures, we shall find the answers we seek, for they are His words. "[These words found in the scriptures] are of me and not of man; for it is my voice which speaketh them unto you for they are given by my Spirit unto you...and save it were by my power you could not have them; wherefore, you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words" (D&C 18:34-36). I know that to be true. Every time you open the Book of Mormon, or any of God's scripture, you shall hear His voice. Through His Spirit. For they are His words.

This gospel is true. We are in the Hastening of His Work. A really wise person recently sent me a quote from President Hunter that I feel is so true. "It's an exciting time in Church history. Today, walking isn't fast enough. We have to be on the run to keep up and move the work forward." It's the time. Let's jump into the work. He is there to guide us.

We found some incredible families this week. The gospel blesses the family so much. I have seen that not only in my own family, but in the families around this province who I have been able to teach. I know that whatever trials we face as a family, we can overcome them through living the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Nanaimo is the promised land. I am grateful to serve here, and am excited for this next week to go and do His holy work. Have a good one!!!

Elder Stock

Oh, and I found someone who looks exactly like my little brother, Kyler up here. His name is Ronin...He's the bomb!
 Exchanges in Courtenay!!!
 Screenshot of Called to Serve: Mission Warfare...a new first person game that lives up to the hype. ;)