Email 24/10/16

Hello everybody,

First, I want to express my deepest sympathies to family of Scott Maser. The news of his passing has saddened me deeply. Brother Maser was an important mentor, teacher, and leader during my teenaged years. When I was receiving my Eagle Scout award, he was the immediate first choice in my mind to give a mentor pin to because in reality he had taught me so much throughout the years, not just about scouting or the gospel, but he has always been a great example to me of the kind of person I want to be, and I know he will be missed deeply.

Exactly the opposite from the previous, this week was just about as normal as they come on the mission. There were no special meetings, exchanges, interviews, baptisms, or whatever else. Because of this, I was initially having trouble coming up with anything to write about in this email. I’ve been in Elche for around three and a half months now and am pushing five months as a missionary, so going out and teaching and working everyday has started to feel a little like nothing more than a regular routine. But it’s not! 

As President Uchtdorf said in his last general conference address, referencing our attitudes towards the “eternal and soul-expanding doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ”: “It seems to be human nature: as we become more familiar with something, even something miraculous and awe-inspiring, we lose our sense of awe and treat it as commonplace.”

Although there is often a tendency for me to feel this way, there is nothing commonplace about being a missionary! Looking back, there are so many things I experienced during the last week alone that were incredibly special. There was the lesson that Elder Catmull and I had with Andrís, a new investigator who had been so prepared and excited to learn about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. There was the moment where we were guided to the far corner of our area for seemingly no logical reason but ended up running into  Samuel, a less active member in the street, who wants to start meeting with missionaries again. There was the lesson we taught to Maricarmen where she kept continuing, more and more, to open up and understand the things we were teaching her. 

All in all, there were so many little moments, so many non commonplace experiences, for which to be grateful this week. I’m so happy to be a missionary and be able to experience firsthand, again and again, day after day, the power the Gospel can have in a life.

Love,

Élder Stark 🇪🇸

Videos

1: Mayor of Strike City

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2: How the British celebrate birthdays 

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Photos

1-2: We went bowling again last week for P-Day! Elder Llavina, Hermana George, Hermana Gentry, Elder Darrington; Elder Catmull, Elder Goates, Elder Stark, Elder Larsen, Hermana Prior, Hermana Sanchez, and Hermana Giraldo.

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3: A picture of the Elche chapel to show you all that “seasons” aren’t really a thing here. The never ending summer continues…

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4: Just because you’re serving a mission in Spain doesn’t mean you can’t eat French Toast.

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5: Until next time.

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