Email 29/5/17

Hello everybody,

A year ago today, on Sunday, May 29, 2016, I was set apart as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It’s hard to believe that so much time has already passed so quickly. They say that the mission is “the best two years,” and during this last year, I’ve learned that “best” doesn’t mean “least stressful” or “easiest,” but rather, “worthwhile.” I’ve spent the past year doing the hardest, but most worthwhile things that I’ve ever done in my life. There are a lot of highs and lows that are experienced in missionary service, pero, sí, vale la pena (but yes, it’s worth it).  I’m excited to see what my (approximately) one year left as a missionary will entail! 

Unfortunately, this week was probably one of the “lower” and “more stressful” weeks that I’ve had on the mission; I won’t get into the details of why, but even during weeks like this, I still know that the mission life is the good life.

We spent approximately four days outside of our area this week: on Tuesday and Wednesday, we went to Granada to have intercambios with the Zone Leaders, then on Friday, we went to Málaga for the Zone Conference. That meant leaving Thursday afternoon, taking a bus down to Málaga, and then spending the night there in an “empty piso” (empty in the sense that missionaries used to live there, but the area was combined with a neighboring area about six months ago, and the mission keeps paying for the piso in the case that the area opens up again, or to have an extra place for missionaries to stay in Málaga since there’s always a ton passing through, or something along those lines). That was pretty fun, and the Zone Conference was really good as well. 

Yesterday, Juan was baptized! He was the other Elders’ investigator, but he was the person I interviewed for baptism last week, and I was asked at the last minute yesterday to be one of the witnesses to the baptism. It was a really great baptismal service! Juan’s daughter was the one who was baptized a few weeks ago, and Juan came to her baptism with no plans in his head to get baptized, but there, the spirit touched his heart, and a few weeks later, here we are. Everyone has their time.

Speaking of baptism, our investigator, Benjamin, is still on the right path headed towards entering into that covenant! If everything goes according to plan, he’ll be baptized about two weeks from now, on June 10. We gave him a Bible in French this week, and he was so happy to get it. “If everybody would read the Bible and The Book of Mormon,” he said, “there would be so many less problems in the world.” That is so true.

The scripture I want to share this week comes from 2 Nephi 2:6-8, which says:

Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.

Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.

Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.

Me encanta este evangelio. Me encanta esta obra. Estoy muy bendecido porque me queda con un año más en la misión, haciendo esta grande y maravillosa obra aquí en este parte de la viña del Señor. No hay una obra mejor.

(I love this gospel. I love this place. I am very blessed because I am left with one more year in the mission, doing this great and wonderful work here in this part of the vineyard of the Lord. There is no better work.)

Os quiero. (I love you.)

Élder Stark

Photos

1: Olives

5:29A

2: Clouds

5:29B

3: Pueblo

5:29C

4: Not our car, haha

5:29D

5: Accidentally matched ties with Elder Pack

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6:  Elder Hollowell, Elder Krummenacher, and I, one year into our missions. They’re the two other Elders in my group, this is the first time that all three of us were together since arriving to the mission.

5:29F

7: Jaén

5:29G

8: With Elder Moffat

5:29

9: Bautismo de Juan

5:29I

10: Until next time

5:29J