Email 30/1/17

Hello everybody,

Well, my luck ran out. I woke up sick this morning. It doesn’t seem too bad, at least not when I think of the other missionaries in our district who had to stay in piso all of last week to recover from illnesses. Life goes on.

A big thing that happened this week was the Worldwide Missionary Broadcast. It was basically a continuation of the “Teach Repentance, Baptize Converts” training that was given a year ago. Something that was pointed out during the broadcast that I really liked was that the different parts of the Gospel of Jesus Christ — faith, repentance, baptism, reception of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end — aren’t separate from each other, but all together in one and interrelated in Christ. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So simple, so powerful. 

Of course, there were the other big changes that were announced during the meeting. The key indicator numbers that we report every week have been cut down from nine to four and the missionary schedule was changed for the first time in decades, I’d imagine. Our mission already had a modified schedule before the change taking into account the Mediodía practices in Spain, so our day to day schedule hasn’t changed too much here. Instead of the schedule being fixed in place, we now have the power to move things around if we so desire. For example, our lunchtime used to be at 2 PM everyday, but now we could move it to be at another hour, if we so desire. Because daily planning, which used to be done in the night after returning to piso, was changed to be in the morning, we can now go to bed around an hour earlier than before. I’m enjoying that change a lot, already I’ve noticed a difference coming from the increased time we have to sleep. Also, we get two more hours of P-Day. #Blessed

Other than that, it was a normal week of work in Motril. On Thursday, Elder Jarvis and I were out knocking doors, and we got to one door where the woman who answered surprised us by saying that she already knew who we were because she has a friend who is a member of the church here. Given the size of our branch, that was a surprise, and perhaps even the first time in my two transfers here that a random person we’ve talked to has actually known someone in the church. Her friend, a less active member, was actually someone we had been trying to meet with for a couple of weeks, and finally we had a lesson with her scheduled for that night. As we were telling her all of this, our phone rang, and it was her friend, the less active member, calling to confirm the lesson than evening! So we gave the phone to the woman and had her answer it, to the complete surprise of her friend! After the phone call, and as we were talking to this woman a bit more, she was telling us that she had actually met with the missionaries years ago while she was living in London and was open to having us come back, and so we scheduled a return appointment with her during the week.

That was one of those “right place, right time” moments that was just too perfect to have been coincidence. I know the Lord is watching over his missionaries and is helping us so much to find those who have been prepared to learn about the gospel. Obviously I don’t know what will end up happening with this woman, but I’m still so grateful for this experience of seeing the Lord’s hand manifested so plainly in our work.

Love,

Élder Stark 🇪🇸

Photos

1: I was trying to take a picture of the snow capped peaks of the Sierra Nevadas in the  distance and took a picture instead of this sign that says “El mundo necesita gente que ame lo que hace,” or, “The world needs people that love what they do.”

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2: Watching the Worldwide Missionary Broadcast in the Granada chapel

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3: Blessed to be Banana Bread 🙏🏼2️⃣🐝🍌🍞

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4: Churros and Chocolate 🌈

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5: Photo of President Monson for good measure

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6: Until next time

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