Email 9/1/17

Hello everybody,

As I am writing this, I’m sitting on a bus bound for Granada. The plan is to spend p-day going around to a couple of commercial centers and participating in the winter round of rebajas, which are basically these clearance blowout sales that every store has for a month in the winter and then a month in the summer. Then, we’ll be staying the night there and having intercambios with the missionaries there on Tuesday, and the next day, we’re heading over to Málaga for a Zone Conference. It should be a good couple of days.

This week was also the Día de Reyes here in Spain. Instead of Christmas, this is the main gift giving holiday where the three kings bring gifts to the children instead of Santa. There are a bunch of big parades the night before with all of these floats and people throwing candy from them, and that’s basically the biggest part of the holiday season in Spain.

The week before, we had received a reference from missionaries in a different part of the mission from a member there who wanted us to share the gospel with one of her friends that just had someone in the family pass away. Sounds great, right? The thing that made it more complicated, however, was that this person lives in a little town named Almuñécar which is unknown territory for us and about a 40 minute bus ride away. Additionally, I guess she couldn’t remember his exact address either, so the only information we had was his name and the approximate part of town that he lived in.

So, when we arrived in Almuñécar, we went to the area where we thought he lived and starting asking random people if they knew this guy. I guess you could say it was a bit like a scavenger hunt. So, we talked to a few people that told us maybe this lady in a nearby bakery knew him. That lady gave us directions to his exact street, and then one of his neighbors led us to his house. All in all, it took less than 20 minutes. To me, how friendly and willing these people were to help us was a great example of charity and loving your neighbor. Although these people might not have been interested in what we do as missionaries, they all still took time out of their day to give some strangers a helping hand. Although the guy we were looking for wasn’t in his house when we finally found it, I still feel like I learned someone from our brief trip to Almuñécar.

As the Lord has said, “thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Once we look past differences of background, religion, race, or whatever it may be, and remember that we’re all sons and daughters of the same God, we can focus on loving and serving those around us despite our differences. That’s what Christ did and what we should be trying to do as well.

Love,

Élder Stark 🇪🇸

Photos

1: Crowds gathered on the Día de Reyes to see the parades

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2: Closer up

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3: 🎵Caminamos hasta las 10, hasta que duelan los pies. (We walk until 10, until the feet hurt.)

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4:Part of the bus ride we take every week from Granada to Motril

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5: Until next time

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