Email 22/5/17

Hello everybody,

A lot of things happened this week. Monday and Tuesday were pretty normal days. On Wednesday, it seems like Elder Moffat had came down with the cold that I had last week, so we spent the day on Wednesday mostly resting. On Thursday, we went to Granada to have our interviews with President Andersen. Then, on Friday, I had to go back to Granada for a meeting with the Zone leaders and the other district leaders in the Zone. Definitely it was a bit of a crazy week.

We’re still working with our investigator from the Ivory Cost, Benjamín. We originally had a baptismal date set with him for this Saturday, but we’ll have to move it back a bit. The only thing that’s holding back his progress a bit right now is the fact that we weren’t able to meet with him as much during the week as we wanted to just because of some conflicts between his schedule and ours. It’s going well though, he’s been to church for three weeks in a row and has come to a few of the activities during the week like English Class, Family Home Evening, and a fútbol activity we had on Saturday. His roommate came to church too yesterday, so that was super exciting. 

Besides that, we don’t have many other people that would be considered investigators. We still have a good amount of futuros to work with, so that’s great, but it’s definitely pretty easy to get someone’s information that you meet on the street and pretty hard to actually sit down and have a lesson with them. Élder Cerna, one of the other missionaries here, told me in the nine weeks that he’s been in Jaén, he’s found 250 futuros just by street contacting. Of those 250 people, he’s only taught five of them, and only one has turned into a progressing investigator. I don’t even know how many people he had to talk to in the first place to even find those 250 people since, obviously, the vast majority of people on the street won’t even want to stop and talk. So that’s what we’re up against here.

On Sunday, I had the opportunity to carry out a baptismal interview for the first time. It was for a man named Juan, who is actually the father of Rebecca, the woman who was baptized a few weeks ago. Even though he’s got the appearance of a big, tough mechanic, he’s a super nice guy who really just wants to do what’s right. Hearing him talk about the changes that he’s made in his life because of the gospel and the person that he wants to become was incredible. He was bearing his testimony at the end of the interview and the spirit was so strong. Being able to participate in that interview was such a blessing.

Earlier in the day yesterday, before the interview, I was reading in The Book of Mormon, in Mosiah 18, the account of Alma baptizing in the waters of Mormon. After Alma had taught the people about “repentance, and redemption, and faith on the Lord,” and asked the people if they were desirous to be baptized, “they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts.” I know that keeping the commandments and following the example of Jesus Christ gives us that joy. It always has and it always will, and I’m grateful for the chances that I’ve had to see people experience that joy for themselves.

Love,

Élder Stark 🇪🇸

Photos

1: This archway is the last remaining part of what was once an ancient cathedral

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2: We love hills

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3: Hill city

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4: Clouds

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5: Fútbol on Saturday

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6: Until next time

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