Tuesday, June 28, 2016

6/27/16 - 10th LETTER FROM VERNON


“Ron! How do you feel?” Elder Meline asked the elderly First Nations man as he came up out of the water, baptized by priesthood authority.

There was a silence, as the Spirit bore witness to us all that the baptism had been performed properly to provide a remission of his sins.

“I feel like stayin’ in the water a little more…I feel clean…” he said.

Wow. I couldn’t have had a better week in the mission field. We have worked with Ron for a little less than a month now, and he has progressed in leaps and bounds. Conversion truly is a miracle. I’m so grateful that this gospel is true, and that the Holy Ghost truly teaches and testifies of it with actual Godly power. As we were teaching Ron, he would always remark that he felt a strength building within him that helped him to keep God’s commandments and repent in preparation for his covenant at baptism.

The Spirit that was there at the baptism was so strong. You could feel of God’s love for him. I love this work, and I love the absolute privilege it is to be a part of it, and to be able to feel a fraction of our Father in heaven’s love for each and every one of His children.

We had some incredible experiences this week. Teaching our investigator, Earnest, is just insane. He is so solid and studies the teachings of all the latter-day prophets on his own. He is eating the gospel up like the feast of the Restoration that it is!

We are teaching a man named Carlton, as well, and he is so faith-filled! It’s incredible to me to see what you can learn from the people you teach on your mission. I have been privileged to have met some stellar people here in British Columbia so far, and how grateful I am for all of their examples to me! To those who are reading this and who are some of those people, I commend you for your faith and your devotion to this gospel. I also testify to you that you are on the right path, that the choices you made to be baptized and confirmed a member of the Lord’s true Church is good and right. This is the work of salvation. No matter what trials or challenges we go through, no matter what persecutions arise or doubts surface, just know that this is His work. And “I [the Lord] will not suffer that they shall destroy my work; yea, I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil” (D&C 10:43).

I’ve learned this week just how important it is to always remember the “why” of missionary work and the gospel. To recognize the true purpose behind everything; to bring us unto Christ. I’ve learned the importance of giving everything to the Savior as you do His work. As Bruce R. McConkie said, “We are not as other men. We are the Saints of God and have the revelations of heaven. Where much is given much is expected. We are to put first in our lives the things of His kingdom”. I know that if we give all we have to Him, our will, our desires, our inadequacies, that He will make us into something great. We can all be instruments in His perfect hands to change the lives of those around us. As we nurture our faith, let it mature into charity. Let us turn outward. For “pure Christ-like love flowing from true righteousness can change the world” (Jeffrey R. Holland).

Thank you for your support and devotion to the Master and His gospel.

I know that He lives, and loves each and every one of us, and that He has restored His truth to the earth today. Draw near unto Him, and He will draw near unto you. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Have an epic week!
Elder Stock
Ron Felix’s baptism!!!
 From left: Elder Stock, Elder Meline, Elder Nakale, and Elder Scully
(Stock-Meline-Scully AKA Save-Many-Souls)
The perfect tri-force!!!
(They are standing in this order: Scully, Stock and Meline)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

6/20/16 - 9th LETTER FROM VERNON


“Please bless him to know if these things are really true,” Elder Scully said as he finished his prayer at the beginning of their lesson with Earnest. After he said amen, there was a silence as the Spirit distilled upon them all.

“Well, it’s not an issue of ‘if it’s true’…rather, it’s an issue of, ‘if you’re ready for a long-haired guy to join your group’…” he said in response…

To which Elder Stock grinned from ear to ear.

This is the work of salvation! My week has been fantastic. My testimony that God lives and leads His work today grows deeper and stronger each day. Can I just say that I am grateful to be a missionary and for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ that is available to us all?! Someone told me that what we teach was too good to be true this week. To which I replied, “Yes! It is too good to be true. But that’s the remarkable thing: it is true! In fact, it’s even more than just true, it is life!” At this point on my mission, everything’s going to sound cliché, but that’s the beauty of it, everyone: the gospel is true, our Heavenly Father lives and loves us, and we have the fullness of truth restored to the earth today. You can find it in the pages of the Book of Mormon and the words of the living prophets of God today!!!

This week, we’ve hit the ground running doing our absolute best to follow the Spirit, be exactly obedient to the commandments and mission rules, and worked with ALL of the time we have in the day. As a result, the Lord is guiding us to people whom He has prepared to receive this restored gospel. It is incredible to see how that works. Our friend, Ron, is planning on getting baptized this weekend and is excited for his big day to make a covenant with God. We are so grateful for him and for God’s hand in his progression. With it being Father’s Day yesterday, I’ve reflected a little on the father figures I’ve had in my life. I’m grateful for my missionary trainer, for my mission president, for my earthly father, and especially for my Heavenly Father, and how they all have helped me in different ways to progress and really grow here on earth and on my mission.

I want to give a shout out to my dad, Anthony Stock! He is incredible, and is such an example to me of hard work, of selfless service, and of perseverance. I’ll never forget the lessons he has taught me, and the gospel conversations we had throughout my life. They’ve helped mold me. Thank you, dad, for everything! And happy Father’s Day!

I know that this work is the Lord’s work, and that there is nothing that is going to stop it. We just need to give of everything we have, and He will show forth His power through us.

I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the way to eternal life, that Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness is perfect, that it has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that His infinite and eternal sacrifice can rescue us all. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen!

Have an awesome week!
Elder Stock

Cherry pickin’…the Okanagan Valley bares fruit at last!

Monday, June 13, 2016

6/13/16 - 8th LETTER FROM VERNON


“All right, well we’ve got a dinner appointment out there in Armstrong, so maybe we can just tract on some roads on the way out there?” Elder Stock brainstormed with his companion, Elder Meline as they loaded up their scriptures into the Nissan Rogue.

Elder Meline grabbed the map, and pointed to a street. “What about this one?” he asked, pointing to a road out in Armstrong.

“Um…sure, if you’re feeling it.” The two started the drive out to Armstrong, and drove to the street they had picked. Looking around, there was nobody outside the very few houses. “Well, here we are,” Elder Stock sighed.

Elder Meline smiled. “We’re going to find the reason why we were sent here,” he said, and they both walked onto the empty street. After talking to a few people at their door with no luck, they began to wonder if this really was a smart idea to come out on this random street. And then, they saw someone walking their dog along the sidewalk, and immediately came over to her and started talking to her.

Her name was Irene, and she had been going through some hard times with the deaths of some loved ones, and had a lot of questions weighing on her about the life after this one. We were able to testify of the plan of happiness and of the Restoration of Christ’s gospel that allows us to see our loved ones again and to live with them in Heavenly Father’s presence. While she was hesitant to believe in a modern-day prophet, she accepted the invitation to learn more and really wants to know if what we are teaching is true. She’s going to meet with us this week, and as we left her that day, we couldn’t help but realize that that was the reason why God sent us out to Armstrong. He leads His work. He knows His children. We, as His missionaries, are His spiritual search and rescue team.

I’ve learned a lot this week about true charity, and how to really develop that gift from God within ourselves, how to really have a Christ-like love for the people around us. As a missionary, it’s so key. Because the only way to do the Lord’s work is to do it in His way. With love, patience and faith. As a companionship, we have really been focusing this week on giving our hearts to the Lord, and being so exactly obedient, that we receive the blessings of having more people to teach the gospel to. It’s worked. Because it’s a law of heaven. Obey His commandments, and you receive His blessings.

It’s an absolute honor and thrill to teach people the gospel of Jesus Christ. A certain scripture we’ve all heard comes to life when you do. As King Benjamin taught that, “the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man”. I see that as people accept our message and begin to repent and to change their view of God and of themselves and of the world, and truly “becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father” (Mosiah 3:19). I know that this is true. That the gospel of Jesus Christ will change us. He can heal us and redeem us and strengthen us in ways that we didn’t even know were possible.

He lives. I know it. And He wants us to come unto Him. Every day, every hour, just forever… He loves us and will do anything for us, and has done everything for us. This is His Church: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is at the helm of it, and leads through His prophet, Thomas S. Monson. The Book of Mormon testifies of Him and is the only way that we can truly come to know Him and to know that His kingdom has been restored. Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Have a great week!
Elder Stock
My “deep-in-thought-writing-emails” face…

That’s what you get when I neglect my camera for a week.

Monday, June 6, 2016


“What’s your name, sir? Is this your first time here?” the first counselor in the bishopric asked our new investigator, Ron, as he sat in the priesthood opening exercises for the first time in his life.

“The name’s Ron Felix. And yep, it’s my first time here…” the old man answered in his gray cardigan.

“And why did you end up coming?”

“I don’t know!” he joked. Everyone laughed.

“One of those three young men convinced you, eh?” the bishopric member retorted.

It got quiet after some nervous laughing. Then, Ron turned to everyone, his already crinkled copy of the Book of Mormon clutched in his hands.  “I came here to start to change my life… And it’s working.” 

The Spirit entered the room, and everyone was reminded of the purpose of this Work.

Vernon is incredible. It’s been getting super hot here, lately, but it’s been nice! (I just checked Vernon’s temps and they got up to 97 degrees Fahrenheit – which is pretty hot for them. It’s still hard to feel sorry when we had 117 degrees Fahrenheit in Gilbert!) We had a ward luau this weekend and got to devour two spit-roasted pigs… Talk about feeding a multitude! We have had the opportunity to teach so many of our friends and investigators here this week, and it’s been so great! Elder Scully and I got a new companion this week, and his name is Elder Meline. He’s from Pleasant Grove, UT and is practically a perfect human being. Like the Holy Ghost, he has a cleansing, purifying effect on those around him…so, it’s nice to have him around. He is such a hard worker and is fiercely obedient. So, we get along quite well! We are seeing so many miracles together as a tri and the ward is just so supportive of missionary work here. It’s incredible to see the excitement continuing to build in this great cause that we are a part of.

I love this Work! It all comes down to an invitation that Christ has given us, for He has said, “O all ye that were spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?” (3 Nephi 9:13).

That’s what it’s all about. Continually coming unto Christ, and being converted to Him and His gospel. Right now, I’m hanging out in Merritt, a super small town by Vernon and Kamloops, with one of my favorite missionaries, Elder McGaughey. It’s been fun…we went by the city hall, and grabbed a city pin to remember the place…I call it my “Merritt” badge… So, if someone could report that to the Boy Scouts organization? I’ll take a silver palm or something in the mail…thanks…

I know that this is the Lord’s work, and that our purpose as missionaries is truly God’s purpose for all of us. He is ever at the helm of His great work, and He is there for us. In our sorrows and in our triumphs, I know He lives, and that He guides His Church today through a living prophet, Thomas S. Monson. That He speaks to us today through modern revelation. That He has revealed more of His word. As we draw closer to Him through prayerful study of the Book of Mormon, He will draw closer to us. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Have a great week!
Elder Stock
My “Merritt” badge….a city pin! :D
 The new tri…with the perfect Elder Meline on the right…
 A creatively decorated map of Vernon…
 Elder McGaughey and I…from the same stake back home in AZ!!!