First of all, an announcement: I will be speaking about my missionary experience THIS SUNDAY, the 20th of May at 1:00 PM at the LDS meetinghouse located at the following address. Anyone who has been reading these emails for the last two years (or not) is welcome to attend!
Okay, so let’s see what exactly happened this week.
Monday was a really fun preparation day! Right now, is fair season in Spain, and Jerez has one of the biggest in Spain! Everyone dresses up in their flamenco clothes and goes to eat, drink, and be merry. There’s also a lot of amusement rides. We met up with the Jerez missionaries and basically just walked around and checked it out. We also played some games at the church. It’s nice to escape the Pueblo every so often. In the evening, we had a really good lesson with Mike. A lot of the family problems he had been dealing with have subsided and he’s way more focused when we teach him now.
After our district meeting on Tuesday
, Elder Wood and Elder Harris came with us to Sanlúcar for Intercambios. It was a good time. Elder Wood and I went to the Noche de Hogar with Ángel and Yessenia and Aurora, and talked about patiently enduring to the end. I think I needed that message more than anyone else
. On Wednesday
morning, Elder Harris and I passed by Matilde to see how she was doing, and spent some time trying to find a reeference we got from another area, but to no avail.
Thursday I got really sick and ended up going to the hospital, which I was hoping would never happen on my mission, but everything turned out OK in the end.
On Friday, we went out to the Campo to visit Manuela. She’s always doing the same: bad. Later in the day, Elder Castillo Skyped into a lesson with his old investigator from Cáceres that speaks French, and we passed by some less active members.
About 2/3 of our plans on Saturday ended up falling through, so we did a lot of walking as we were passing by people.
On Sunday we had church and I got to talk with my family on Skype.
In case you haven’t realized, this is the end. I am so burnt out, but so grateful for these last two years that have burned me out!!! Even though the journey has been long, hard, and steep, I do not have any regret whatsoever of serving a mission. Paraphrasing a quote I saw recently, every day, I wanted to go home. But every day, I wished that I could never leave Spain and all the wonderful people I’ve met along the way. I guess that’s the way it has to be; one cannot know the sweet without knowing the bitter, and I know those two extremes very well thanks to this mission experience. Most of all, I am grateful for Jesus Christ, and for the personal relationship I have cultivated with Him as I have served Him. I want to share the way I feel about Him by sharing the words of this hymn that was penned by Joseph Fielding Smith:
Does the journey seem long,
The path rugged and steep?
Are there briars and thorns on the way?
Do sharp stones cut your feet
As you struggle to rise
To the heights thru the heat of the day?
Is your heart faint and sad,
Your soul weary within,
As you toil ’neath your burden of care?
Does the load heavy seem
You are forced now to lift?
Is there no one your burden to share?
Let your heart be not faint
Now the journey’s begun;
There is One who still beckons to you.
So look upward in joy
And take hold of his hand;
He will lead you to heights that are new–
A land holy and pure,
Where all trouble doth end,
And your life shall be free from all sin,
Where no tears shall be shed,
For no sorrows remain.
Take his hand and with him enter in.
Praise to the Lord.
Élder Stark 🇪🇸
1: Found him
6: Spanish food
7: UNTIL NEVER HAHAHA