Email 19/3/18

Hello everybody,

Well, well, well.

We live in a Piso in the centro of the city, in a building with about 10 apartments total. We are the only tenants which live here full time as the other pisos are either summer homes or up for sale. Normally it’s very nice because we basically have the entire building to ourselves most of the the time, but yesterday we ran into a major problem. There are two doors that you need to use in order to enter into the building, each having a separate key. There is one giant set of wooden doors that lead to the street, and at the end of a short corridor, a locked gate. As we were going back to Piso last night, our key broke off inside of the giant outside doors, and because nobody else lives here, there was no way for someone to just buzz us in. We were getting really stressed about it, but luckily for us, our across the street neighbor, Dani, is a great guy, and he showed us how to break into these types of doors using nothing but a credit card to get in. So we still need to get the lock fixed and the key copied, but we were almost in a pretty sticky situation yesterday.

Besides that, yesterday was an average Sunday. It was raining really hard in the morning, so a bunch of people didn’t come to church, as normal, but we helped out with a primary lesson about missionary work, so that was pretty fun.

It was also really rainy on Saturday evening and we decided to stick with our plan of passing by some menos Activos before the citas we had later in the evening, and we got absolutely drenched. We did find this one family who was sealed in the temple and everything, but left the church because of a fight they got in with some of the members. It’s frustrating that it seems like every menos activo that we’ve met stops going to church because of some stupid feud with another member of the branch! Aren’t forgiveness and charity supposed to be the basic facits of Christianity? It reminds me of the Lord’s chastisment to Joseph Smith after the loss of the 116 manuscript pages of the Book of Mormon, which is found in D&C 3:6-8 (emphasis added):

“And behold, how oft you have transgressed the commandments and the laws of God, and have gone on in the persuasions of men.

“For, behold, you should not have feared man more than God. Although men set at naught the counsels of God, and despise his words–

“Yet you should have been faithful; and he would have extended his arm and supported you against all the fiery darts of the adversary; and he would have been with you in every time of trouble.”

Anyways, that’s been a pretty annoying pattern we’ve seen several times as we’re trying to help out these less active members. If I sound frustrated, that’s only because I am. We’ll see what more can be done to help them.

On Friday, we had a decent cita with Mike. He’s doing pretty good. The only thing that was holding him back from coming to church this week was potentially being too hung over after a party on Saturday night, so I guess that’s what must of happened because he didn’t come.

We also had a cool finding moment, where we had about an hour in the morning between citas. We had planned to stop by this one antiguo investigator but as the morning went on, I stated to second guess that decision because it was kind of far and we didn’t have a ton of time. Well, something kept telling us to go there, so we did, and the guy wasn’t home. But, we contacted this lady outside of the building that was super nice and super interested in having us come back. One of her daughters was actually an investigator from a few years ago who stopped metting with the missionaries just because they lost contact, it seems. We’re headed back on Wednesday, and we will see what’s there.

There was a district leader training meeting on Thursday evening in Málaga. But due to technology, we were able to connect through the meeting through an app called Zoom. It’s a cool idea, but honestly wasn’t that good in practice because the audio was really bad so it was hard to understand anything, and it just felt weird to participate from the other side of a screen. So, I probably would have gotten more out of the meeting had I been there in person, but it was an interesting experiment at the very least.

Wednesday was a good day because we were able to go to the dog shelter with Guadalupe and work a bit cleaning out the dogs’ cages. There’s nothing like the unconditional love that lonely dogs can give haha. We also taught Bibi’s husband in English class and had a fun Noche de Hogar.

Tuesday was a pretty normal day. We had district meeting in the morning and our Noche de Hogar in the evening.

And then last Monday I can’t even remember, everything just fades together.

So, the moral of the story is the following: once you “have experienced a change of heart, and…have felt to sing the song of redeeming love” (Alma 5:26) and have “laid down the weapons of…rebellion”(Alma 23:13), do not become like the Nephites of old and “turn from…righteousness, like the dog to his vomit” (3 Nephi 7:8). Please.

Love,

Élder Stark 🇪🇸

Photos

1: Just a field and some clouds

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2: The District eating lunch

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3: Futuro misionera

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4: Castle at night

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5: Suited up, weapon in hand

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6: People here are really Catholic and really into Fútbol

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7: The future of missionary work?

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8: In December 2016, I made a goal to sing every hymn in the Spanish hymn book at the beginning of companionship study. I finally finished on Saturday.

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9: Until next time

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Élder Stark 🇪🇸