Email 5/3/18

Hello everybody,
This week was unusual because it rained pretty much all day, every day this week, with rain continuing today and through the majority of the coming week. In a place that’s known as “The Southern California of Europe” for how nice the weather usually is, a rainy week like this one always throws me off a bit. Notwithstanding my inadaptness to this weather, it was a good week.
Last Monday we were doing some more work trying to get in touch with menos activos, and we found this one guy named Manual, who is the brother of one of our active members. We had a good cita with him and read Moroni 6 together. Verse 4 is especially good because it talks about how we don’t forget about those who were baptized but have lost their way for whatever reason.
“And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith.”
After that, we went over to Mike’s house and taught him a little about temples since he had some questions about them from the church tour we have him the day before. It was a nice visit. It really made me miss going to the temple, though.
Tuesday was a productive day. It started off with our district meeting in Puerto that morning. The Manwarings, the senior couple assigned to military relations on the base, made us a nice, big American lunch. When we got back to Sanlúcar, we had a cita with Frank and Alfonso where we reviewed The Restoration. He’s doing OK, he still has a lot of health problems and it’s still hard to get him to church, but he’s doing better than he was a few months ago. Poco a poco.
We also got a call from Domingo (member) asking us to give a blessing to his granddaughter. So, we met up with Domingo and went to his daughter-in-law’s house. His four year old granddaughter has chronic bronchitis and it gets pretty bad in the winter. However, she thought that we were doctors there to give her a shot, so she ran away from us, crying inconsolobly. That made us feel like trash haha. After talking it over with Domingo and the mom, Cintia, we decided that we’d try coming back the next day in normal clothes to not freak Lola (the granddaughter) out.
We went the next day and even brought some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, but kids are smart and Lola still didn’t let us get anywhere near her. So, we just started teaching Cintia instead! We talked about the part of the Bible when Jesus instructs the Apostles to let the children come to him, which led us to showing her the part in the Book of Mormon where Jesus blesses the children one by one, which led us to teaching a bit of the restoration. She wants us to come back again, so that was a super cool way to find a new investigator!
The rest of Wednesday was pretty slow as it was a very rainy day and a holiday (Andalucia Day).
On Thursday, we went to Jerez for the “Zone Council” meeting with the ZL’S, SHE’S, and the other district leaders from the zone. It was a really fun meeting, part of it included playing “Knockout” with church trivia, and I won twice, which I was really proud about. (Mental note for myself: “beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old” (D&C 38:39).) The big news from this meeting was that we are now known as the “Cádiz Zone” rather than being the “San Fernando Zone”, so the name coincides with all of us being missionaries in the Cádiz Stake of the Church. Then, we went to the Domino’s all you can eat pizza buffet, and life was good.
Friday all of our citas for the evening fell through during the morning, so we started working in the evening not sure what was going to happen, but it turned out really good. First we had a visit with Bibi that was supposed to be only 10 minutes but turned into 2 hours. Hahaha. We got her to commit to start reading and praying about the Book of Mormon every day again, so that was good. After her, we decided to pay Tomas a visit. His daughter, Raquel, is the one who left for her mission last week. We shared a few scriptures about how the Lord watches over his missionaries. Like these:
“And king Mosiah went and inquired of the Lord if he should let his sons go up among the Lamanites to preach the word.
 
“And the Lord said unto Mosiah: Let them go up, for many shall believe on their words, and they shall have eternal life; and I will deliver thy sons out of the hands of the Lamanites.
 
“And it came to pass that Mosiah granted that they might go and do according to their reques” (Mosiah 28:6-8).
 
“Therefore they did not fear Ammon, for they supposed that one of their men could slay him according to their pleasure, for they knew not that the Lord had promised Mosiah that he would deliver his sons out of their hands; neither did they know anything concerning the Lord…” (Alma 17:35).
 
“Now we see that Ammon could not be slain, for the Lord had said unto Mosiah, his father: I will spare him, and it shall be unto him according to thy faith—therefore, Mosiah trusted him unto the Lord” (Alma 19:23).
 
The Lord really does protect his missionaries. As many are aware, there were four missionaries and an investigator involved in a head-on colision with a semi-truck this week. Miraculously, nobody died, and it seems like they are all going to make a full recovery.
Nothing that interesting happened on Saturday. Oh wait, I take that back. We got a call out of the blue from a menos activo, Antonio, with whom we had contact way back when but eventually we lost contact with him. We were able to meet in the chapel and he expressed with us his desires to come back to the church. That was nice.
Sunday we had like 5 people (investigators and less-active members) who said they were coming to church flake out. ;( Oh well, we will try again. That’s what we do.
Love,
Élder Stark 🇪🇸

Photos

1: The weird things you start doing when you’ve been with the same comp for three transfers
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2: Chapita
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3: The District: Elder Clark, Elder Stark, Hermana Moncayo, Hermana Walker, Hermana Malcom, Hermana Pinkney
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4: Another photo with the Manwarings, who give us American lunch every once in a while
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5: Beach
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6: Domino’s
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7: Until next time
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