called to serve

called to serve

Monday, May 1, 2017

Final Letter from the El Salvador

This week was WONDERFUL...apart from the fact that i ate some bad beans and spent a full day throwing up in the house. But the rest of the week was incredible!  I had my exit interview with President on Tuesday and he gave me some good tips of advice for when i get home :) We were able to put two baptismal dates this week! Sadly, we wont be having a baptism this week for some family problems within the family but they are set now for two baptisms in May. And whats even hija Hermana Martinez is coming here to my area to replace me! So that's super cool for her :) Anyways, I have a busy week ahead of me it seems. Cant believe its already come! But cant wait to see you all and to show Mom and Dad around a bit here!

I can hardly believe that this will be my last letter home. The mission has been the biggest blessing of my life. I feel a great pleasure to say that I could serve my Heavenly Father for 18 months in the only country that bears the name of his son, El Salvador, which means "The Savior". These last 18 months have changed the person that I am forever. I have met hundreds of people that are so dear to my heart. I have seen the way that the gospel can change hearts and brings us together. I will never forget the feeling that I had in my heart as I opened my mission call. I knew in that moment that this country was the exact place that the Lord had need of me. And I feel that even more now. The Lord has been by my side throughout these months. I have come to know with a surety that He lives and THIS IS HIS WORK. I want to leave my testimony with each of you. I know that we have a loving Father in Heaven that has an eternal plan for each of us. His son Jesus Christ fulfilled that plan as He came to the earth and suffered for our sins, suffered our pains, sicknesses and afflictions. He loosed the bands of death and through His mercy, we can all be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of His gospel. I know that Joseph Smith is the prophet of the restoration of the gospel and that President Thomas S. Monson is a prophet called of God to lead and guide us in these last days. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. It is the keystone of our religion and of my own testimony. The Holy Ghost testified of its truthfulness to me and I know without a doubt that it contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel. I know without a doubt in my mind that the priesthood authority has been restored and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church upon the face of the earth today. Through baptism unto repentance and  faithfulness to the end, I know my Savior will have a place prepared for each of us on the right hand of God. This life is not the end. We will live again and according to our righteousness, we can receive the blessing of living eternally with our families in the presence of God. I am so grateful for this knowledge. I am eternally indebted to my Savior for making it possible. And will forever be grateful for these last 18 months of my life. The truly have been the hardest, sweetest moments of my life. I thank each of you for the way that you influenced me in coming here, for your prayers and most of all for the support that you have given me throughout this year and a half. Thank you especially to my Mom and Dad. You have been my greatest supporters and I will never be able to repay you for that. Thank you Mara and Shelby for writing me every week and for helping me to stay motivated. Thank you Seth for your example... if it wasn't for you I wouldn't be here. I love each of you. And I guess I will see you soon!
With all my love,
Hermana Stoor

Monday, April 24, 2017

This week everything was so much better. We have had several struggles throughout this change, but this week was really really good. My companion and I are starting to work together again and of course, that makes all the difference. We were able to find some really good investigators this week. Yesterday, we had a unforgettable experience for me. We were contacting in an area that we found this last week and a woman came to the window to see what we wanted. When she saw who we were, she said that she didn't have time to talk and started to turn away. We told her that we just wanted to share a pass along card with her and return another day. With the attitude that she didn't want us to come back, she said just tell me now what you are here for and stood firmly in the window. So, I started to ask her a few questions to get to know her religious background and what she really needed to hear. She shared with us that she was Catholic but didn't go to church all that often. We then asked her why she had chosen to be catholic and she shared with us her feelings about Mary. After a few more questions that we asked, she then started to share with us that she didn't attend church because she did not like the way the the Catholic father preaches. She was later able to share with us that she felt that he was not worthy of his position in the church. I was amazed by the way that the Holy Ghost guided us through inspired questions to know what very quickly what her need was and how we could share with her the Restoration of the gospel. We talked about the authority of God and how He had only commanded the people that they should listen to His apostles because they were the only ones in authority to teach. We then shared our testimonies of a current prophet of God on the earth and the look on her face changed. We mentioned to her that we knew that God had sent us to her door because she had been chosen to receive his true gospel. She shared with us that she had been feeling desirous to congregate in a church and had decided to go to an evangelical church, but something had been impeding her. She accepted to read and told us that it was because she really wanted to know. And when we told her that we wanted to go back another day she said of course you can. It was amazing. We could have just shared quickly the pass along card and left, as she didnt show interest at first, but now I see that God had been preparing her and our efforts were worth it. I am excited to work with all that I can this week and to find more of these chosen investigators. I love being a missionary. I am so so grateful for my testimony of the gospel and am so thankful for the opportunity to keep sharing it. I have to admit, I am so so so sad that my time here has almost come to end, but something I have come to understand is that my call as a missionary never ends. I love this gospel. I love my Savior and I will be his disciple forever.
Love you all so so much, and I will see you a few short days.
Hermana Stoor

​We had LOTS of splits this favorite...a morning split with my best friend Hermana Romero while her companion went to San Salvador. It was a great surprise! ❤❤❤❤❤

​I also really enjoyed a split with Hermana Bello (the missionary by my companion) She is from Mexico and is a excellent new missionary!

​I let my companion do my hair.......It was cool but I felt like a ghetto girl. 
 ​The cat of a new investigator.....he has a mustache. 
​My companion made a Peruvian dish of fried tomato, onion, steak bites and french fries. It was super delicious! 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Not much from this week. It was "Semana Santa" so everyone left for the beach this week and our area was EMPTY. except for a bunch of Catholics doing their parades. Lots of fun and kinda weird traditions here in El Salvador for this week. Things are getting a little better with my companion. I am just trying to enjoy the mission the most that i can these last few weeks. I assure you that I am just fine and enjoying all the time that I have left. Sorry for ANOTHER short letter....but I love you all and send my best wishes from El Salvador!!!
Hermana Stoor

 ​Smoothies on a P-day...already saying my goodbyes.
​I had to take money out of my account because my shoes just weren't going to make it another 3 weeks. 
 ​My last zone meeting was last week....they even sang me goodbye. haha They are all trunky. 
​We made pastelitos with Familia Peña....they are fried potato cakes....something similar to that. 
​We were in splits that day as well....selfie with Hermana Cuyan :)
​& Hermana Vargas
 ​Do you remember Hermana Chapman? My favorite splits by far. :)
 ​We took the matresses down from the second floor so we could all sleep in the same room. haha It was a fun night :)
​And a project that I did a few weeks ago. Hermana Spjut taught us the whole story of the Book of Mormon in 20 minutes and it sparked my desire to make a story line as well...its a little crazy....but it was a blast. 
​And a picture of our cute little lunch group on Monday :) You may recognize a few faces...Hermana Martinez ❤

Monday, April 10, 2017

My dearest family,
This week has been one of the hardest weeks I believe I have had in my whole mission. I dont really know how to explain what I am feeling, and sorry if this letter turns out really sad, but I have to let it out to someone. haha Since the beginning of these last two changes I have really struggled with my companion but this week it was worse than what I can handle. BUT I am trying to just have patience a little longer and hope that everything can get better this week. Sad news as well....we were supposed to have a baptism of a family on the 29th of this month and they were going to get married on the 23rd...but they informed us yesterday that they are moving to the other side of the country at the end of this week. so that is really sad as well....but we still have hopes of another family baptism for the 6th of May....I am praying real hard for that so that Mom and Dad can be there too!
Anyways....really sad this short sad letter....but just know i am fine. I will be just fine! Love you all! 
And hope that you have an excellent week!
Hermana Stoor

Monday, March 27, 2017

So....heres another really short lame letter. Theres too much to do and go to see your last few weeks in the mission so don't get mad! Im sending lots of pictures ;) haha
The best part of our week was Rodrigo's baptism on Friday! After his baptism, he asked to share a few words and stood up to thank us and his family for the support that we had given him. It took a long time to decide if he wanted to be baptised, but I think he found what he was looking for. It was frustrating at first that he didnt want to make the decision to be baptised, but I know now that he will be a faithful convert to the church. And we could complete the Familia Paz! Now I just hope that we can get their minds on the temple so that they can be sealed as a family!
Veronica didn't get baptized this week...and I have kinda lost hope with her...but we will see how this week goes. I think we are going to focus a little more on a few families we are teaching right now. We have multizone meetings on Wednesday and splits two times this week so its going to be really busy. Plus general conference this weekend!! I hope you all get to see it and that your prayers are answered. I've sure got lots for this week so I am super excited! Love you all so much and I will talk to you a little more next week!

 ​FAMILIA ALFARO, HNA CROWLEY AND ALBY came to visit me from Turín. ❤❤❤❤❤
​I love my trainer! ❤ I have missed her so much. 
 ​Pday at the lake of Coatepeque!
​DISTRITO INDEPENDENCIA before Elder Jonovich left..... 

​Fried fish lunch ❤ Its my FAVORITE.  

 ​We surprised my companion with a birthday cake for her 22nd birthday :)
 This was unplanned.
​But this was totally planned. 
I felt like it was calling my name. 

​Goodbye lunch with Elder Garcia and Hermana Alvarado (the two missionaries between my companion and I) after district meeting on Tuesday :( 
 ​I need new shoes. haha

​And just a selfie Sunday pic 😊