Elder Jared Stark

Serving in the Spain Málaga Mission

Month: December 2017

Another week. Another email.

Email 11/12/17

Hello everybody,
This was a pretty basic week. Besides a trip to Jerez on Friday morning for Consejo de la Zona, nothing too out of the ordinary happened. There were two festivos this week and it seems like people were just a tiny bit more flaky because of those. Nevertheless, we have helped move the work of the Lord forward a week more.
Our investigators Maru, Ángel and Yessenia are the ones we are probably seeing the most to progression with. We had a Noche de hogar with all three of them on Tuesday and all three where at church on Sunday. On Tuesday, we were talking about faith, and Maru made the comment that she wasn’t sure if she had seen the hand of God in her life before. So on Sunday, we were able to take advantage of gospel principles class to teach about recognizing the hand of God in our lives. The conclusion we came to is that this recognization usually comes looking backwards and recognizing all of the small and simple things that perhaps seen like coincides but really are parts of Heavenly Father’s divinely designed and personalized plan for each of his children. Yessenia is also going to be asking her mom this week for permission to be baptized (her mom is a less active member), so the hope is that her mom will consent to her being baptized.
We found a new investigator this week named José Antonio. He was this guy we contacted sometime last week who is really smart, but really really likes to talk haha. We met up with him on a bench in the center of town and were trying to teach him about the Restoration, but were having some issues keeping the lesson focused on, well, the lesson. We saw one of our members walk by and we flagged him over, and he joined us in the lesson which really helped it stay more focused. All in all, we got through the whole thing, and he committed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, it was definitely work to get to that point to haha.
Besides that, everything was pretty normal. Alfonso has disappeared off the face of the earth since a few days ago, so he still hasn’t been confirmed. Surely we’ll be able to get ahold of him soon and help him with whatever has been preventing him from coming to church and being confirmed.
Yesterday in sacrament meeting, I was asked to give a talk, and was given tema libre. So, I choose to talk about faith and how that relates to believing that God and Christ have the power to do anything, but in the end, choosing to accept their will over ours. Elder Bernar explained in this way in an Ensign article titled “Accepting the Lord’s will and timing” (https://www.lds.org/ensign/2016/08/accepting-the-lords-will-and-timing?lang=eng):
“Righteousness and faith certainly are instrumental in moving mountains–if moving mountains accomplishes God’s purposes and is in accordance with His will. Righteousness and faith certainly are instrumental in healing the sick, deaf, and lame–if such healing accomplishes God’s purposes and is in accordance with His will. Thus, even if we have strong faith, many mountains will not be moved. And not all of the sick and infirm will be healed. If all opposition were curtailed, if all maladies were removed, then the primary purposes of the Father’s plan would be frustrated.”
President Uchtdorf summed up this principle with the following words: “No, the purpose of faith is not to change God’s will but to empower us to act on God’s will. Faith is trust–trust that God sees what we cannot and that He knows what we do not” (Two things that faith cannot do, Ensign March 2017). Developing this type of faith takes practice and patience. It is a principle I am still working on developing. When things don’t go as I wish they would, I have the tendency to think, “if only I had more faith, than this thing would have happened.” What I should be thinking instead is, “if only I had the faith to accept more easily what God is having happen.” Faith is all about accepting the Lord’s will and timing, and being empowered to act accordingly.
Love,
Élder Stark 🇪🇸

Photos

1: Just read the dang Book, okay?
IMG_5568
2: View from the top of the castle. We live somewhere down there.
IMG_5573
3-4: Visiting the castle
IMG_5582
IMG_5578
5: Our district = Un equipo
IMG_5591
6: By the beach
IMG_5599
7: Underpass in Jerez
IMG_5611
8: Until next time
IMG_5614

Training

Hello everybody,
Good day to you all. This week was a long one, but a good one.
On Monday, we went to Sanlúcar Fernando for zone p-day. It was a bit crazy because that evening, I had to take a train to Sevilla to spent the night, and Elder Kassing went to Jerez to stay with the Elders there. I caught a train early Tuesday morning to get down to the mission office, where all of the missionaries that were training were, and they gave us the trainer’s training. After which, we were driven up to the mission home where all of the new missionaries were waiting to get their trainer assignments. I think that we were more nervous than they were haha. I was assigned to be companions with Elder Clark, from Moses Lake, Washington. Training him has been a really good experience so far. We’re been getting along really well, and it seems like it’s going to be a great two transfers. Although it was sad saying goodbye to Elder Kassing, it’ll be a good experience with Elder Clark.
Wednesday mostly just involved traveling back to Sanlúcar. It was pouring rain most of the day. It always seems to rain hard on transfer day. It had rained enough that parts of the train line from Sevilla to Málaga were flooded out, so we were sent on a long, cramped bus ride to get there instead. Later in the day, we actually found out that there was a train from Málaga to Sevilla that had left right before ours was scheduled to leave that derailed and had injured 35 people, so it was good that neither us nor any other missionaries were on that train. There’s actually another companionship in our district that is pinkwashing / training in one of the Puerto areas, so we were with them the entire journey. Needless to say, it was a relief when we finally made it back to Sanlúcar.
Every Thursday, we play a game of Fútbol. Lately, attendance has taken kind of a nose dive. after showing up to play and it being only us and two other guys that came, we played for a little while, and then spent some time walking around in our Fútbol clothes, contacting jóvenes in the street playing Fútbol. It sounded like a lot of them that we talked to were down to come. We even walked past some of them last night, and they recognized us and were confirming where and when it is. It’d be great if we had a higher turnout this week.
Then, on Friday, we had interviews with President Andersen. Which is unusually early into the transfer. Also super soon for the new missionaries who just were interviewed by him two days ago. It was really good though, as always. It’s not unusual to see President only 2-3 times a transfer, but last week, I saw him four out of seven days.
Well, the work here continues chugging along. There were a few minor setbacks this week though. First, Alfonso, was baptized two weeks ago, still isn’t confirmed because be couldn’t come to church yesterday due to a family situation. Second, we’re having a difficult time figuring out when we can visit Alba and María and their family, because we haven’t been able to teach them in over two weeks now, and that’s been kind of frustrating. Also, we called Alejandro, who I think I wrote about last week, and he told us that he probably won’t be able to meet with us again for a few more weeks. Furthermore, a few other of our investigators are out of town at the moment. But, on the bright side, Maru and Ángel were able to come to church yesterday, and both keep progressing little by little. Yessenia couldn’t come, but she’s doing good too. And, the schedule for the coming week is already looking like it’ll be a good one. So we’ll see.
We’ve been having a fun time trying to incorporate #IluminaElMundo #LightTheWorld in our every day work, and it’s been going well so far. Although really everything that de do for missionary work is service already, it’s been nice having an extra charge to do more things we probably otherwise wouldn’t do. Go to http://mormon.org and see for yourself what you can do to make the difference in someone else’s life.
A nice quote I found this week comes from the book, Adjusting to Missionary Life. It says: “Using these resources will enable you to rely on the Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement. He is the ultimate source of help in dealing with the demands and stresses of missionary life.” I like that because it is true that there are a lot of good things out there to help us cope with the trials and hardships that come to us all in life, but Jesus Christ is the ultimate source of help. I like the way that President Nelson said the following in his April 2017 General Conference talk, Drawing the power of Jesus Christ into our lives. He said:
“When you reach up for the Lord’s power in your life with the same intensity that a drowning person has when grasping and gasping for air, power from Jesus Christ will be yours. When the Savior knows you truly want to reach up to Him–when He can feel that the greatest desire of your heart is to draw His power into your life–you will be led by the Holy Ghost to know exactly what you should do.
 
 
“When you spiritually stretch beyond anything you have ever done before, then His power will flow into you.
 
I know that promise is true for I have felt it in my own life. And, I can’t think of any better time to stretch towards the Savior than this time of the year when we celebrate his birth.
Love you all,
Élder Stark 🇪🇸

Photos

1: Que awkward
IMG_4925
2: Train station
IMG_5534
3: Showing up early to trainer’s training
IMG_5537
4: The mission home
IMG_5538
5: With Elder Clark!!
IMG_5543
6: The hermanas from my group went home 😭
IMG_5551
7: Some clouds
IMG_5553
8: Until next time
IMG_5535

© 2017 Elder Jared Stark

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑