Email 16/1/17

Hello everybody,

Once again, I am writing this sitting on the bus bound for Granada, where we’re headed to spend our p-day once more. Today’s extra special because they just opened up a new bus station in Motril and that’s basically the biggest thing to happen here in who knows how long.

Last week was a good week. As I indicated in my last email, we also spent the last p-day in Granada, and then stayed there all of Tuesday for intercambios (exchanges) with Elder Egbert and Elder Köhler. The cool thing about doing intercambios with the Elders in Granada is that they have a car. I spent Tuesday evening with Elder Köhler basically just driving around from one little town to another teaching lessons. It was certainly an interesting change of pace as that was the first time in my mission proselytizing with a car, and I always love going up to Granada because there is mountains and snow and stuff there.

Speaking of snow, apparently it has been snowing really hard in the North of Spain, and I guess it’s been snowing in Utah and in Colorado as well. On Friday, Elder Jarvis and I had to go back to Almuñécar to find a reference (whom we found and set up an appointment with for a different day), and we found ourselves with a few extra minutes before our bus left, so we headed over to the beach area. It was about 75 degrees and sunny that afternoon, so definitely quite the contrast from the winters that I’m used to. There are some pictures attached.

But yes, our Zone Conference and interviews with President Andersen were on Wednesday in Málaga. I’m pretty sure this was a worldwide change, but now mission presidents are asked to conduct Zone conferences and interviews with the missionaries every transfer. In the past, Zone conferences and interviews used to switch off every other transfer. Less than a month after having the last Zone Conference, we already had another one. Interesting.

I was reading this week in the book of Enos, one of the shorter parts of the Book of Mormon, but one of my favorites. I especially love verses 4-8:

4 And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.

5 And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.

6 And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.

7 And I said: Lord, how is it done?

8 And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.

As Enos, when our souls hunger, we can receive spiritual satisfaction from crying to the Lord in prayer. Prayer is truly one of the greatest gifts that Heavenly Father has given us, and I know that when we pray, having a faith in Christ, we will always receive an answer to our prayers. I’ve seen miracles so many times throughout the mission as a result of prayers and promise all of you that as sons and daughters of God, you’re all capable of receiving answers to prayers. After all, He will give an answer every time.

With love,

Élder Stark 🇪🇸

Photos

1: A neat donkey that Elder Köhler and I found during an exchange

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2: The coast of Almuñécar. You can actually see Motril way off in the distance.

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3: Wave break 

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4: As Elder Stark looks out over the Mediterranean, basking in 75 degrees of warmth from the coastal sun, his thoughts pause momentarily on his family and friends in Colorado and Utah and he wonders whether or not they’re enjoying winter weather as much as he is.

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5: That’s my name.

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6: The Spain Málaga Mission has a very strict rule that, as missionaries, we don’t even step on the sand of beaches.

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7: The sidewalk leading to Apostasy.

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8: Picture from the Zone Conference at Christmastime, of us singing Christmas songs outside of a large and busy commercial center.

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9: Closeup of me and Elder Jarvis

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10: Candid shot of me and Elder Darrington #ElcheForever

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11: Participating in the Zone Conference from December.

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12: Me and Elder Jarvis again.

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13: Until next time

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