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This past week, I’ve officially crossed the halfway mark for my training in the CCM. I thought six weeks was going to take forever, but time here passes in the blink of an eye, especially when you’re learning a new language.

Here are some highlights from the week:

Elder Hollowell (sorry, probably spelled his name wrong) and I both celebrated our 19th birthdays. His was on the 18th, and mine was on the 20th. They had some cake in our honor last p-day, and the Portuguese district sang us happy birthday in Portuguese.

On Saturday, Elder Hollowell and I were companions for proselytizing in the park! And probably because it was the day in between our birthdays, we spent the entire time talking to people about the Church in English. At one point, we both felted prompted by the spirit to go talk to a woman on a bench, and even though she was smoking and doing something on here phone, we still went over and talked to her and had a really good conversation about the power of prayer as well as about the Book of Mormon and the restored gospel.. It was a good reminder to me that God loves all of his children and will respond to any prayer offered with humility and faith. That I know for sure to be true.

Every Sunday, we have the opportunity to sing on the steps of the temple. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it before in my emails, but it’s one of my favorite parts of the day and it’s a great feeling to see people walking by take time out of their day to stop and listen to us sing hymns.
Monday was my birthday, and it was pretty great. No difference in the amount of work that I had to do, but my my companion set up a little birthday scavenger hunt for me and my district gave me a really thoughtful card. It was so nice of them, I love my district.

Also on Monday, about half of the CCM, including all of the Russian, Portuguese, and French missionaries left for the mission field! It was sad to see them go, but they were all a great example to me and I look forwards to seeing what they’ll be able to accomplish in their respective areas. The next day, a big group of Russian bound missionaries from Provo, and some native Italian and Russian speakers arrived. My friend from BYU, Elder Gerratt, was one who arrived from Provo, so it’s super cool to see him around so much!

We also got new progressing investigators this week. They’re teachers in the CCM, not real investigators, but the lessons that we teach are real and the spirit that is present when we teach is real as well.

I’m still struggling to send pictures, so it’ll be nice once I can figure that out. But besides that, life here in the CCM is fantastic, and I look forward to another rigorous week!
Love,
Elder Stark