Email 1/8/16 (August 1, 2016)

Today marks the beginning of my third month of being a missionary. I’m not counting down the days until I return home or anything like that, but I did calculate yesterday that I’m about 9% complete with my mission. I suppose I’ll just be focusing on making the remaining 91% better and better.

Speaking of better, this week was a significant improvement over the past week. Yes, a mission is still tremendously hard, and many of the same challenges that existed in my life last week are still present, but through prayer, fasting, and making the choice to not feel frustrated, everything feels significantly better.

Last week, we were visiting a menos activo and when we got to her piso, she had the DVD of The Restoration movie in her hands and she was talking about how she was angry. So, I started to get a little worried about what from the restoration and history of the church would make her angry, and was trying to think of responses to any possible problems, but it turns out that she was angry because the movie had to end and she wanted to see more haha.

Because of that, I started looking for more videos and other resources from the church that go more into depth about the restoration. I found the “Church History in the Fullness of Times Student Manual,” and have read almost 500 pages from it since Monday. Reading about the trials and struggles that the early members of the church had to experience, including widespread persecution, extermination orders, and leaving their homes and possessions and walking across the plains and through the mountains under the most difficult circumstances makes me proud to be a missionary. I have ancestors included with the early saints and I feel so privileged to be able to carry on with the work that they sacrificed so much for. I am so grateful, everyday, to be able to share The Book of Mormon and the powerful witness therein of Jesus Christ with those whom I talk to everyday.

With Love,

Èlder Stark

P.S. I’m in a public plaza by our piso using free public Wifi. We just finished our last appointment and are about to return for the day. It’s 10 minutes to 10, still a little light out, and there’s kids and people everywhere, the Spaniards truly are a people of the night.

Photos

We took a district trip to a castle in Alicante today, but I need time to process through all of the pictures that were taken, so I’ll send those next week.

1-5: We went ice skating last week during our P-Day! Since I have many challenges with skating related activities, the part I enjoyed most was the coldness of the room. Most buildings in Spain have no type of central heating or cooling system, so I often spend much of the day inside pretty warm environments.

1: Elder Pesce and me

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2: Elder Pesce, me, and Hermanas Moore and DeBoard, the other missionaries serving in our ward.

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3: Elder Pesce and me on the ice

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4: Me wondering where I went wrong and reflecting on why I made such bad decisions to get me onto a skating rink for the second time in a year

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5: Everybody!

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6-7: Lunch and some service out in the campo

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Until next time.

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