Monday, April 28, 2014

Hey Everyone!!
Yesterday we had 3 of our investigators come to church! I was super excited! And of those three was one of my first investigators. I don't know if you guys remember me writing about Katie? Well anyways, we had lost contact with her for a couple weeks.. I was seriously so sad. She literally was the definition of a "Golden Investigator." Well we finally get into contact with her this past week. Oh and keep in mind that we have been trying to but her on a baptismal date for a long time now. She just hadn't felt ready, and then she wanted her sister to be there for her who is about 8 1/2 months preggo! Also she lives 2 hours away in Columbus. Well she kept telling us that she felt she needed to be baptized on the 6th of May. However that wouldn't of worked because she wanted her sister to be there, and that would be right around when her sister was gong to have her baby. So we tried for earlier, didn't feel ready yet. Then we found out that she started going to Catholic mass again. However when we talked to her she told us it just didn't feel the same as our church. They were focusing on his death, while we focus on his life and that He still lives! So me and sister Bergeson have been praying what seems non-stop for her. And we come to find out that her sister had an emergency c section last week! So now her sister would be able to come to her baptism, as long as she heals up okay. But Man! The Lord really does work in mysterious ways! Katie is awesome! And I know that this gospel has been changing her life. She has been a lot more happy lately too! :D
Yesterday me and sister Bergeson went to the park to personal contact. It was a really nice warm day, so we decided to soak up the sun!(: Well we write on all of these pass along cards our # and a mormon message video. We had talked to so many people! And I definetly know that Gods grace was with us, because we were able to get a bunch of new gators! Wooo! It was AWESOME! I love being a missionary so much, I love seeing the gospel bless peoples lives. Well anyways, one of the more memorable contacts we had at this park was with a lady named J___ sadly I can't remember.. Lol. Not so memorable after all I guess.. Haha. Well anyways she was walking her dog passed us, and we said hi and talked a little bit about her dog. However she didn't once look at us, and just kept on walking. So I thought nothing of that. Well we are working our way around this little lake thing when we run into her again. We start talking, and she is actually looking at us at this point. Then she tells us that she had met with the missionary elders in the past and just loved them! Then she told us that she didn't realize that we were missionaries at first, but could tell there was something different about us. She also said that she felt this spirit that she had felt once with the elder missionaries in the past when she walked past us, and it made her feel really good! Then when we were talking to her again she said she definitely knew that we were servants of the Lord. I gave her the address for our church and time and she said that she would come this coming sunday! I am super excited about her. She was super cute.
Another gator we are teaching is this really cute lady named Chrissie. She is 55 and she lives with her boyfriend Raven. The funny thing is that she knows it is wrong to be doing that, so that saved us an awkward conversation! Lol. Just kidding, kinda.. Well we taught her the restoration, plan of salvation, and we taught her about the book of mormon. She LOVES the Book of Mormon! She has just dived right into it! And the best part of it all is that I know that I have seen her change drastically from the time we met her to now. She has let the gospel change her, and it has truly been cool to see it changing her life. She told me on exchanges the other day that, she knows that she is going to come to our church and be baptized eventually, but she said that she was just being a little stubborn! Haha. She is great!
Well I hope everyone back at home is doing awesome! I seriously love my mission so much, and don't even get me started on my companion! She has forever changed the way I look at my mission. I am finding so much joy in this work! I have also come to the knowledge that you gain a testimony of something by sharing it. If anyones testimony is faultering I want to invite you to bear it to someone. I can promise you that as you do so, you will be able to feel the spirit bearing witness that what you are saying is true. Right as you are saying it!  So bear your testimony to someone this week! Just Do It! - as Nike would say
Also I learned this really cool incite the other day by listening to one of John Bytheway talks. This is for those people who have made mistakes, who now feel as though they aren't worthy to go to church now. He basically was saying that you don't fix your car and then bring it into the mechanic, you don't clean you house and then have a house cleaner come over. That completely takes away the point f their job. You don't try to fix your teeth and then come see my Dad!(: Lol. He would say, "Why would you try to do that yourself? That is my job to help fix your teeth." No, you don't fix your problem and then ask for help by someone who knows how to fix it. Just like those people who don't come to church because they don't feel worthy and they feel like they are going to be judged while there. You go to church because you sin. We all sin, therefore we NEED to come to church. Church is a place were sinners go to try to become better. Aren't we all trying to be better? Don't judge others, just don't do it. If they are coming to church, that means that they are trying. Like Jesus Christ said while on the earth. Paraphrased: Let him that is without sin cast the first stone. Be loving of your brothers and sisters. We aren't perfect. I am definetly not perfect, but I am trying. That is all that matters. Try your best and help lift others in the process! Have a great week! Love you all!
Love always,
Sister Steffani Stokes

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

 At the Western Hills sister's apt. heading to Chiropractor
 Got UDF Ice cream
 bright sun; we are crazy

 gotsta love allergies..

 me and Blessing

Steffani's Short message this week :)

I am going to surgeon in SLC but I might be sent home to recover for 3 weeks.. Oh and its not called a pilonidle cyst, its called a pilonidle disease I guess. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

At zone meeting
 Zone meeting; tracting
 Just being silly.. haha

 When you have a crazy driving companion <Sister Bereson> 
This is what happens.. Haha

 They forgot to put me in the mish news letter 
when I first came out, 
so I got a special spotlight!

 Our matching shoes! 
Me and Julie Wisenburger Aka my fav member!
 Out and about!(:

Hey everyone!!
So I dont have much time this week, but this week has seriously been so great! I know I say that all the time.. but I really mean it!
My new companion is seriously the best! I love her so much! She has been helping me see the positive in every situation. She has these little clicker things that she clicks throughout the day whenever she has a positive thought. She gave me one, and let me just tell you.. It seriously changes your outlook on everything! So we have been having competitions on who can have the most positive thoughts in a day! I have been winning, but don"t tell her that. Haha. You seriously can find something positive in every situation, no matter how bad it may seem. Thats going to be one lesson I hold dear to me when I get back. When you look for the good things in life you will be happier! That is a promise I give you guys! Keep you chins up, there is no reason to dispair. We have all the resources to help us keep going, happily on the path! Don't give up, that is what satan wants us to do. He wants us to feel like we can't do it. Just remember, those are satans thoughts, not yours!
We actually just had this less active member that we have been trying to visit the past couple of days. He was actually a DNC, in otherwords a do not contact member. Thats means that he had specifically asked the missionaries not to come back. However, we decided to go try him. He hadn't been contacted in over a year. So we go there and knock, no answer. We try back a few days later, no answer. We try again, no answer. Then we decide to try one more time, and this lady answers the door. She was super friendly and wanted us o come back and teach her! I saw the old man in the back of the room and he just walked away from the door. He was the one who told the missionaries not to come back. So we make an appointment with her, and we left thinking a miracle just happened! However we show up for the time we set up together and, no answer.. At this point we were a little confused, because both of their cars were in the driveway. So we decide to wait till next week to try again. So sunday comes along, we are in ward councel, and the first councelor in the bishopric points us out. He told us that someone by the name of ... called him during church and said to tell us,"If those sister missinaries ever come back to my house I will call the cops on them!" So of course me and sister Bergeson were astonished! We were like, they totally acted like they wanted us to come back. Unless it was just the old man who didn"t want us to come back, because the lady sounded genually interested..
In situations like that, you need to not get down on yourself. Remember that when we go out and share the gospel with people we are standing in Christs spot. We are doing and saying the things that He would if he was here today. It is Christ they are denying, not you. I am so grateful for this knowledge, because it really does keep you going. Don't think I dont care if the people arent wanting to hear and accept our message.. because I do care! Its just that I know I can take the weight of rejection off of my shoulders when I truly remember what I am doing out here.
I am so grateful to be a part of this gospel, and I am so blessed to be out here having all these experiences! I encourage everyone to serve a mission. There is no reason you shouldn't! It will bless you and your family more than you can even imagine! Well stay strong everyone, and don't let things get you down!
Love ya!
-Sister Steffani Stokes(:

Monday, April 7, 2014

 Skyline Chili W/ Katie, Sister Chapa, 
Talaja, and katie's nephews

 View from mission home, when we 
taught in presidents house! with Katie(:
 Our apartment
 Our apartment; sister Chapa Packing up for transfers

 Got sticky note attacked by Julie(Member) 
and Sister Payne! Haha ; 
Transfer meeting

 First full mish day with the new companion!
 Notice same outfit completely diff weather..
 Me and sister Bergeson!
 First signs of life in Ohio

Hey Everyone!!!
This week has been sooooo great! Transfer week was a little crazy, but non the less I survived! And let me tell you.. I LOVE my new companion so much! She is just great! Her name is Sister Bergeson, and she is from Boise, Idaho. And she is a figure skater! Pretty cool right? Well basically I have the best companion in the world. Sorry other missionaries. Actually, sorry not sorry. Haha.
Funny story: So yesterday we were going to see this family of investigators, and we were bringing their friend. Her name is Kate, and she is just the sweetest member! I seriously love the africans in our ward so much! Well anyways, in the African culture everyone is family. They will call you their aunts and uncles when there is no blood relation whatsoever! It can get REALLY confusing sometimes.. haha. Also because of how they treat eachother, they kinda just walk into each others houses. So when we brought Kate with us yesterday we forgot to look at the house number. Also I don't understand how all 3 of us didn't recognize that this house looked nothing like their house! Haha. But Kate goes on and just walks right into their house.. And there are two little white boys that are playing video games in the front room. They look at us with faces of surprise/terror/confusion! Haha. Then we probably made those same faces back to them. Then we all just started laughing, which I think scared the little boys even more.. Lol. So as we leave their house, the completely mortified little boys run to their door and lock it! Haha. Just thought that this might put some smiles on your face back home!(: I know that I was laughing about that the whole rest of the night! If anything, we probably taught them to lock their door so strangers don't walk in..
So conference was just amazing! I got so much out of these sessions, it was just ridiculous. We got our Investigator, Katie, to the first session on saturday. However so many things kept getting in the way of her going to the other sessions.. Satan definitely didn't want her to watch those, thats for sure. However, we plan on having her watch them on her phone still. So Ha! Satan we win. Lol.
Well I hope everyone is having a great week! Stay strong, and don't let Satan wedge his way into your life. We are promised protection from hime if we continually do whats right. Thats doesn't mean it will always be easy, but I know that you will be supported in your trials. If you are having a hard time right now, think back in your life. Are you doing the simple things like reading everyday, praying morning and night? The ONLY way we will fall from the church is if we stopped doing those things. President Porter said, "Every person I talk to that has fallen away from the church has always said they have some type of a problem/misunderstanding of something in the gospel. However He can always track it back to when they stopped praying/reading to when they started having problems with the church." Continually doing the simple things is sooooo important! Don't forget to do them every single day! They reaqlly are your protection from the crazy world out there! Stay strong with scripture!
Love ya,
Sister Stokes(: