Email 27/6/17

Hello everybody,

For the second time on my mission, I am having preparation day on a Tuesday. We changed it this week for two reasons. First, because there is a museum here in Jaén that we wanted to go to, but as with most museums in Spain, it is closed on Monday.

Second, we had interviews with President Andersen down in Granada yesterday. Interviews with him are always so good, so yesterday was a great day.

Last Tuesday, I turned 20 years old! It was a great birthday, especially because it was Elder Rigby’s 20th birthday as well. We celebrated by eating something like four different cakes, going over to the Bishop’s house for lunch to eat caracoles (snails), and then having a nice Kebab dinner later in the day. Needless to say, we were absolutely destroyed by food by the end of the day haha. It was a really fun day.

For the rest of the week we kept ourselves pretty busy with the pretty typical missionary work rhythm of finding and teaching. It was a tiring week, but we put some pretty solid work in. A big miracle that happened this week involved the dad of our teenaged investigator, Pablo. When Elder Moffat and I got to Jaén, we were told that because of some negative experiences that Pablo’s dad had with the missionaries in the past, it was better if we didn’t pass by their house. Up until this week, we hadn’t ever seen or talked to his dad, but we decided to go over and see what happened. We ended up staying there and talking to him for well over an hour, and hopefully helped to fix any misunderstandings that he had between him and any other missionaries in the past. Everything went just about as well as it could have. 

I was reading Elder Hale’s General Conference talk this week, “Becoming a Disciple of Jesus Christ” (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/04/becoming-a-disciple-of-our-lord-jesus-christ?lang=eng). While I was reading this talk, I was thinking about His life and His example. He was the perfect example of love, charity, patience, virtue, forgiveness, and every other positive attribute that exists. In the words of Elder Hales, “Many people hear the word disciple and think it means only ‘follower.’ But genuine discipleship is a state of being. This suggests more than studying and applying a list of individual attributes. Disciples live so that the characteristics of Christ are woven into the fiber of their beings, as into a spiritual tapestry.” Something that I learned this week was that “developing Christlike attributes” isn’t done by going down a list and checking things off, but rather striving to emulate the Savior in the little things day by day. I love Him, and I’m grateful to be one of His missionaries.

I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Love,

Élder Stark 🇪🇸

Photos

1: District Birthday Picture of Elder Craven, Elder Stark, Elder Rigby, and Elder Moffat.

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2: Another one

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3: District meeting can’t wait even for birthdays

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4-5: Jaén ❤ 

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6: “Leave If You Can” Street

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7: Another day 

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8: With Pablo and his parents 

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9: Until next time

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