Email 19/20/17

Hello everybody,

First off, thank you to all of my friends and family who sent me cards for my birthday tomorrow. I wish I could thank all of you personally, every card meant a lot to me. The 20th will be a golden birthday indeed! 

This was another crazy week. As I mentioned in my email last week, I was in Málaga/Fuengirola on Sunday/Monday in order to renew my residency. It’s a two part process, so I’ll have to go back in a few weeks, which is great, because it was super fun to be with all of those missionaries, and also super important to follow the law.

This week was transfers week. Elder Cerna was finishing up his mission and going back home to Peru. The new missionary here is Elder Craven, who is going home at the end of the next transfer. He arrived in Jaén on Tuesday night, and actually spent the night with us before meeting up with Elder Rigby. 

Also on Tuesday night, Elder Moffat and I were teaching Benjamín, our recent convert. Somehow, the topic of speaking English got brought up, and he said to us, in a perfect accent, “Actually, I speak English better than I speak Spanish.” That absolutely blew our minds because we had been teaching him for the past six weeks in Spanish haha. Benjamin is doing super great. Yesterday, he received the Aaronic priesthood! The unfortunate thing is that he’s probably leaving Jaén this week for Luxembourg, but we’ve been in contact with the missionaries and bishop there, so we’re hoping for a smooth transition for him.

There was also an American family visiting Jaén on vacation at Sacrament Meeting on Sunday, and I was able to translate for them. Super nice people! It’s the little things like that which make the mission nice.

One big thing this week that we did was starting the “big list” with some of the members in our area. It’s an activity where the missionaries help the members come with a list of 100+ names of friends, family, etc., have them pray about specific people from that list that they could share a gospel message with, and then we work with the members to help them do that. There’s no better way to do missionary work than through the members!

On Saturday, there was a Stake Super Saturday for all of the young men/women and young single adults in the Granada chapel. In the morning, all of the missionaries in the Zone went to Granada to help out with a missionary activity. We all got assigned to us a few of the jóvenes/JAS, and then left to contact, knock doors, etc. for about two hours. The people I worked with included an 18 year old about ready to receive his mission call, and two investigators (one of them being our investigator Pablo). Everyone a missionary!

Also, it has been getting up to at least 100°F almost every day, and the air conditioning in our piso doesn’t work! But hey, no pasa nada, right?

Every day, I’ve been trying to read a talk from General Conference during personal study. It’s really helped me increase my testimony of the importance of modern dah profeta. We read in 2 Nephi 26:8 the following: “But behold, the righteous that hearken unto the words of the prophets, and destroy them not, but look forward unto Christ with steadfastness for the signs which are given, notwithstanding all persecution–behold, they are they which shall not perish.” Read the scriptures! Follow the prophets! Heed their counsel! It’s that simple.

Love,

Élder Stark 🇪🇸

Photos

1: Until this time (oops)

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2-3: (Almost everyone) from my CCM group in the mission office: Hermana Trujillo, Hermana Richardson, Hermana Clark, Hermana Wood; Elder Krummenacher, Elder Hollowell, Elder Stark

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4: With Elder Cerna, Elder Rigby, and Elder Moffat

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5: Elder Cerna went home 😭 

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6: El Corte Inglés

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7: Jaén

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8: Missionary activity in Granada

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9: Elder Moffat and I with Benjamin after he received the priesthood

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10: I love you all!

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11: Until next time

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