Tuesday, May 31, 2016

5/30/16 - 6th LETTER FROM VERNON


"You think we'll get one?" Elder Jenkins asked, staring at the Rugby III flip phone sitting on the elder's dresser. The time was 10:24 pm, 6 minutes 'til bed time.

"Well, all I am saying is that 'tri's' rarely last a transfer, man..." Elder Stock said, writing a whole three lines in his journal and tossing it on the dresser.

"I'm going to Haida Gwaii..." Elder Scully announced...with no authority to do so whatsoever...

A minute passed. The phone lay motionless on the dresser. No noise, no ring, no nothing...

"Well, this is awesome! We defeated the transfer cycle! No more must we suffer under the reign of sudden moving news, no more must we--" Elder Stock's speech was silenced by the ringing of the phone. The room went silent.

And with that, they discovered that Elder Jenkins was going to Abbotsford, and Elder Stock and Elder Scully (the dynamic duo of all time) were staying in Vernon with a new guy. Elder Meline, coming in to help them in their fight for the cause of Christ.

The week's been great. Too many miracles to record in an email, but I have just been struck this week by both the simplicity and power of the doctrine of Christ, His gospel. And how it is truly the only way to salvation through His infinite Atonement. Over my mission thus far, I have felt the power of His gospel affect my life. Having faith in Him and His sacrifice for us, choosing to repent and improve each day, keeping the covenants I have made at baptism and serving others, and enjoying the Spirit's guidance and comfort have truly become a pattern of living for me. 

It's my goal to have the doctrine of Christ written within my heart, infused in the very marrow of my bones, to be my very nature. And I am here on a mission to help others do the same, it is not enough to do this once. We need to be continually partaking of this gospel. And as we do, we will find eternal blessings!

My companions are great and I am excited for a new companion to be with and to be able to do this great work continually. This mission is on fire!!!! This work will roll forth. There ain't no stopping it. I know that God is our Heavenly Father, that He lives and loves us personally and more than we can comprehend. That His plan for us, centered on His Son, Jesus Christ is perfect. And I know that by the power of the Holy Ghost. And I know that even through hard times. He is there for me. And that is why I serve, that is why I do anything in the gospel. To show my love and gratitude to my Savior. This is it, people. This is the truth. The way. The life. We found it and what a blessing that is!

Never forget the Lord's promises to you, for "God is powerful to the fulfilling of all His words. For He will fulfill all His promises which He shall make unto you, for He has fulfilled His promises which He has made unto our fathers" (Alma 37:16-17). He is there. Of this, I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Have a great week!
Elder Stock
An antique smart car?
That lazy p-day selfie though!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

5/25/16 - 5th LETTER FROM VERNON


"What is that?" Elder Nelson asked his companion, Elder Pradhan, as they stared into the stormy Okanagan sky. An orange light descended from the clouds. Growing as it came closer towards them...
"Run!" Elder Pradhan yelled, realizing what it was. The two leaped out of the way, and an explosion of fire happened right where they stood. The object that had descended from the sky had landed. In the smoke and rubble stood a mysterious figure. His MEC shoulder bag equipped with extreme proselyting equipment glimmered from the heat of the blast. He slowly turned his head toward them, the hiss of smoke and the crackle of fire was the only noise heard for a mile. 
The elders were stunned. "Who...who are you?" Elder Nelson managed to croak as he crawled away in fear.
The mysterious man smiled coldly. "Stock. Elder Stock."

Alright, alright, this is getting out of hand....I just went on an exchange this week. I thought it would be cooler if I phrased it like that. Instead, it exposed my weirdness. 

Anyways, this week was a blast! So, we have taught some incredible lessons in the last week. Seriously, the Okanagan is so fun! I love being a missionary. It just simply never gets old. We taught a man named Brendon, and during the lesson, my inspired companion Elder Scully just laid out the doctrine of God being our loving Heavenly Father so beautifully and the Spirit was so strong! The Spirit truly is the teacher! Brendon wants to be baptized, now, and is loving what he is learning. 
We taught a woman named Debbie who seriously has been so prepared by God to receive the restored gospel. She told us that she really wants to come closer to Jesus Christ in her life and feels that the Book of Mormon can do that, and is willing to try it out. Golden!

We also found a Russian family that we are teaching now. So, that's incredible. Go ye therefore and teach all nations? Check!

On Sunday, I came up to Salmon Arm to work with and learn from the elders up here in this prime area. We have seen so many miracles! We decided to start calling and texting everyone we could who was saved in their phone or in the area book, and to just see if we couldn't drop by and visit some people and start teaching more! As a result, Heavenly Father blessed us with four new people to teach in that one day. It was insane! 

We did some service for a woman named Dorothy, and taught her about the Book of Mormon and how it can build her faith in Christ. We'll be seeing her again soon. We tracted into a man named Justin who has a huge collection of action figures and movies and video games and is a super fanboy of King Kong... It was a blast getting to know him and to be able to help him understand the message of the Restoration of the gospel. He wants to continue to learn with us!

We also met a man named John out in downtown Salmon Arm. He has been struggling in his life and has done some church hopping, but he just isn't sure where to go. He was interested in meeting with us, and once he found out that there are apostles today led by Jesus Christ just like in the past, he was hooked! And he found the principle of repentance so hopeful. He is praying about the Book of Mormon, and we are going to see him Thursday!

But the miracle of the day came as we felt prompted to go and drop by a less active member of the ward. We went by her home, and her daughter informed us that she wasn't available to meet up. So, instead of running away like chickens with our heads cut off, we decided to find the reason why God had sent us to that area. We started walking toward an apartment complex, and began knocking on its doors. No one was home, and it didn't feel quite right. But we looked behind us and felt strongly that we should knock on the left side of the complex. As we did, we were led to a woman named Nan. She immediately wanted us to teach her, and as we listened to her concerns in life and what she needed and wanted to do. As we did, the Spirit gave us what to say. We testified to her that God is her loving Heavenly Father. That He weeps with her when she suffers and is rejoicing when she does what is right. That we as missionaries were His messengers. That He sent us to her to help her feel of His love. The Spirit testified of that truth so powerfully. She is meeting with us tomorrow to learn how she can come closer to Heavenly Father through His restored gospel.

I'm just astounded that missionary work is so epic. As we do the Lord's work in His way, He will help to see His success. And that is bringing His children unto Him. Helping them to experience His love. 
Our Savior, Jesus Christ, lives and loves each and every one of us. "He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for He loveth the world, even that He layeth down His own life that He may draw all men unto Him. Wherefore, He commandeth none that they shall not partake of His salvation..." (2 Nephi 26:24). I know that this is true. That everything He does is for us. They, our Father and His Son, love us. This is Their work. And all They ask of us is to come unto Them and partake of salvation. As missionaries, we come unto Christ, receive His strength and increase in our faith in Him so we can go and do the same to others. 

Be evidence of God's love to someone else this week. The opportunities are there, and He will guide you. You just have to say, "Show me where to go." I know that this Church and this Work are true and everlasting with every fibre of my being. The Restoration of the gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith is true. The Book of Mormon will guide you to Christ. Can't wait for another great week!!!

Until next time,
Elder Stock
The baptism of Merlina West out in Kamloops! She is so solid!!!
 Canadian hockey legends collection... That's just impressive...
 Me and my boys, Elder Nelson and Elder Pradhan eatin' like kings at a fancy place called Bradbury's... Yum!

Monday, May 16, 2016

5/16/16 - 4th LETTER FROM VERNON


"What is this place?" Elder Stock asked in the back seat of a Nissan Rogue, Carl's Jr. wrappers sprawled across his seat (he cleaned them up later, don't worry). The three missionaries stared out over a vast expanse of desert flavored mountains. In the midst of a valley of them lie a huge city, hidden from the world and the mission. "Is this......?"

"Kamloops...." they all said in unison, stunned at the mystical sight. Smoke curled from chimney-tops and the skyline erupted over a sluggish river called the Thompson that cut through the valley effortlessly. The team descended into the city, soon thrown into the pits of the city centre and fighting through crowds of cars and pedestrians. Their adventure continued as they drove through a labyrinth of suburbia to reach the Church building. There, they found a Frenchman and a supermodel from Las Vegas who also happened to be missionaries like them. Elder Stock burst out of the car, his Carl's Jr. wrappers falling at his feet. The imaginary spurs on his slip-on dress shoes clicked as he swiveled to face the two elders in the parking lot. A rogue street-born bible basher flew toward him. In one punch, he was on the ground with John 3:5 stamped to his forehead. "What's your name, boy?" he asked the supermodel missionary. The sound of wind filled the air in the intense silence. A tumbleweed must have rolled by.
"Elder Anderson.." he spoke back.
"You ready to see miracles?" asked Elder Stock.
"Born ready..."
And with that they were conveyed in the Spirit and teleported from multitude to multitude in the city of Kamloops and preached the gospel to every creature that they could. Needless to say, it was incredible.

In reality, we went on exchange out to Kamloops. It was truly awesome. I absolutely love being a missionary with every fibre of my being. We have been seeing so many miracles here in the Vernon Zone and are grateful each and every day to the Lord for allowing us to be His representatives. This is the Lord's work, and He is ever at the helm of it.

This week, I was interviewed by my beloved mission president, President Burt. It was such a revelatory experience and caused me to rethink my life in a very good way. Needless to say, that man is inspired of God and is called of Him to lead this mission. I know that by the power of the Holy Ghost.

We also had the opportunity to have our zone meeting combined with the Kelowna zone. It was so Spirit-led and I feel that each and every missionary in that chapel could feel the direction that their Father in Heaven wanted them to go in. And that our missionary purpose was more fully engraved upon our hearts as a result of the meeting. We talked a lot about how true conversion is our purpose. How if we are really, truly converted to Jesus Christ and His gospel, then we will fulfill His commission to do His work in His way.

I've learned a lot in my studies this week about personal revelation, as I have literally been given lesson plans from the Holy Ghost himself to deliver to my investigators. I have also learned a lot about the Lord and being a truly converted disciple of Him. And I am always drawn back to Peter, and his example.

In Christ's ministry, He taught that He was the bread of life, that only through Him could we return to the Father. After this sermon, some of His disciples left Him--perhaps not understanding the majesty of His mission, perhaps offended by his boldness--and He turned to the twelve whom He had chosen, and asked, "Will ye also go away?" And then, in a moment of faith and conviction, one of many in Peter's apostolic ministry, he said, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (John 6:67-69).

Are there times in our lives where we are faced with that harrowing question from the Lord? "Will ye also go away?" Does the crowd from the tree of life surging to the great and spacious building ever get to your head? If it does, then turn around. And say with Peter, "thou hast the words of eternal life", and then follow Him. I know that being His disciple is hard, awkward, uncomfortable, and taxing on every part of our heart and soul. But I also know that it is worth it. I know that this Work is eternal, and that our Savior, Jesus Christ lives and loves each of us. That His Atonement is real and can help you. I know that the sacrament is sacred, and that we can find peace with that ordinance each week. This is the Lord's kingdom once again restored to the earth! This is the truth! Let's go proclaim it!

Have a great week, everyone!

Elder Stock
Lazy p-day selfie 'cuz you have no pictures in the week...
 The accounting board at the zone meeting. Let's go baptize!!!

Monday, May 9, 2016



“So…we’re in Delta, and it’s about 7:30 right now, elder…” Elder Stock said as he and Elder Jenkins sat in their car after filling up with gas for the long road from Richmond to Kelowna. “Where do you think we’ll end up before this car turns into a pumpkin?”


“Let’s shoot for Kelowna…”

“That’s faith, right there, elder…” Elder Jenkins put the Rogue into sports mode and they flew away majestically from the dystopic city of Surrey and the hubbub of the lower mainland. Night fell quick. With their brights on, they sped through the mountains of British Columbia. Elder Stock saw a motorcycle gang chasing them, weapons drawn. Then he realized he was just half asleep and hallucinating. Classic. “Elder Jenkins, we’re not going to make it to Kelowna…” Elder Stock admitted, looking at the digital clock and realizing they were running quite late. The sign notifying them that they were close to Merritt flew by. “Prayer answered. Let’s go to Merritt!” After some phone calls, the two missionaries ended up in Merritt and entered the apartment…only to find that two other companionships had the same idea as them. In total, eight missionaries slept in that small apartment that night. Most spiritually protected place in the world? Probably.

This week was incredible! We found so many miracles. We taught a new investigator named Joyce and invited her to be baptized and come to church. She said that if she likes our church on Sunday, that she’ll stay forever. We bought a cotton candy machine to make sure she really liked her first visit. Kidding! We’re not that desperate, but if anyone knows of a good cotton candy machine deal, we’d love to use that tracting. Who could say no, then? Foolproof…

She came to church, though, and loved it. Helped that it was Mother’s day and she got food! So, she bailed before we could set a baptismal date with her, but we’re seeing her tonight.

We also found a man on the street named Lawrence. He stopped us, said he wanted to talk about God with us, and told us to follow him. Now, I normally only follow Jesus Christ, but when you’ve got an opportunity to help someone come unto Him, well, then I take that opportunity. We followed him all the way back to his home, which was about a ten minute walk. We taught as we did so, and he grew more and more interested as we did. We entered his apartment and taught him the message of the Restoration formally. He loved it, and we testified of Jesus Christ together. He knew that we were sent from God. And he is meeting with the other missionaries in the area, now. They are really grateful for him.

We also met a new investigator named Cindy! She’s been through a lot in her life and is really just grateful to God for being here. It’s just amazing to see that truly what we have is here to bless the lives of everyone in the human family.

Another miracle of the week was being able to Skype my incredible mother! She’s so awesome, and loving, and supportive, and magnificent, and I forgot the other adjectives she requested to make this look genuine, but there you go!

I’m kidding. She really is so good. I’m grateful for my mom and for her teaching of the gospel in a way that has allowed me to truly choose to live it and accept my Savior Jesus Christ into my life. Because of her guidance, I am here today serving a mission in beautiful BC and loving every waking minute of it. In the pitfalls and even in the soaring mountain tops of success, I can see the Lord’s guiding hand in my life and I am grateful for that. I truly do know that Jesus Christ lives. I know through the power of the Holy Ghost, which entered into my heart as it did to King Lamoni, for it has “infused such joy into [my] soul” (Alma 19:6). He is our only hope in this world, and of Him I am grateful. Of Him, I testify. And I know that through His gospel, restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith and delivered through the Book of Mormon, we can return to live with our Heavenly Father. And truly, I know that our Father in Heaven has a plan for each and every one of us. He will make us greater than we ever imagined. So let’s all go and share this glad message with everyone around us!

Elder Stock
Elder Jenkins and I in front of our sick mission banner…
 Stock and Stirland reunion!!!
 Making the accounting board for MLC. Let’s go baptize!!!
 Dinosaurs in Vernon…evidence….
Our Skype Call
 My Handsome Boy
 Blue Steel!
 I'm so impressed that he now closes his eyes for the prayer! Had to get proof!!!

Monday, May 2, 2016



"This is My Beloved Son, Hear Him..." There was a pause as the words of Joseph Smith's First Vision were uttered. The room grew quiet, and a peace entered from the Comforter. Elder Stock - and the member he was on splits with - looked at her, their investigator, as she reflected on what she was feeling and what she had heard.

"What were some thoughts and feelings that you felt as you heard about Joseph's experience?" Elder Stock asked, knowing that the Spirit was definitely here.

"That it's true. I felt a warm, fuzzy feeling in my heart. I know it's true," she said, filled with joy from the message of the Restoration.

Well, the Holy Ghost is real. And he testifies of truth. He did that day and he does today, and he will continue to do that forever. And that's how we missionaries find success. We let the Holy Ghost come in and do the real work.

Being a missionary never ceases to thrill me. This week, I had the opportunity to teach a lot about the Restoration, and I can testify to you that each time I was able to do so, the Spirit bore witness that what I was teaching and what I knew to be true was indeed the truth. And I'm grateful for a Father in Heaven that's willing to keep us on the right path and not abandon us. I know He lives and loves us more personally and magnificently than we can comprehend. And more than that, He sees our potential and actively helps us get there.

Serving here in Vernon is a privilege. The area is so beautiful and the work is moving along quite nicely. God is in the details! We have a great, supportive ward, and incredible investigators. And the Spirit is so strong here, it's amazing! I love my companionship. Elder Jenkins and Elder Scully keep me grounded and help me to keep working harder than I think I can. So, that's nice.

Seriously, though, the Okanagan Valley is getting BALMY! I feel like I'm tracting in Arizona or something... So, that's always fun... Heck, maybe I'll have a tan coming home. You hear that, people? This man got a tan while he was in Canada! I could be a success story for some skin treatment firm or something...

Anyways, the work is going well here in Vernon. I also got to go out to Merritt, a little town in the middle of BC, and work with the elders there. And against all odds in that little town of 7,000, we found some incredibly solid investigators to teach in just one day. Heavenly Father sure is mindful of all of His children. I am grateful to be serving here. And I know that I come closer to our Savior as I do, "for how knoweth a man the Master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?" (Mosiah 5:13). As we serve Him, we know Him. We are drawn closer to Him and to His intents, to His heart. And as we do, that is when the miracle of conversion occurs and we become instruments in His hand that can bring others to Him.

I've learned a lot about giving your heart in this Work, and what that really, truly means. I know that as we give of ourselves a little more each day, that He will lift us and aid us in our giving of the only gift we can truly give to our Savior: our heart--our willingness, our thoughts, our desires, our inner possessions. We can give them to Him, and He will bless us for it. With added faith, increased wisdom, confidence, boldness, a greater desire to obey, and firmer humility and reliance on Him.

I know that His Atonement is real and will redeem us as we turn to Him. But we cannot veer from His path. We cannot relax in this. Coming unto Christ takes effort and is not easy. But it is the most rewarding path we will ever walk. No matter what you've done, who you've hurt, where you've fallen, He is there to pick you up. You just have to reach out and He will lift you. I know that His gospel has been restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith and that the Book of Mormon is evidence of this and instruction on how to live it. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ really does bless families, no matter where they're at. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Stock
Shout out to Bahama Bucks! Thanks for the package. I'll pay you back with some almost Church-official product placement...
 Get your Vern' On!
 We got a flat tire...
(when I first saw this today, I thought they wrote "congrats on turning 50!" I was NOT happy. Thankfully, the next picture showed up much clearer.)
 "congrats on turning 30!" 
Much better, boys, much better.