Another week has passed. Tomorrow will mark nine months in the mission. If I were an hermana, that would mean hitting my halfway point, but luckily I still have a little bit of time left before that happens.
In Spain, there’s a very popular juice beverage (or in other words, non-alcoholic wine), that a ton of missionaries like to drink called Castillo de Salobreña. Salobreña is part of our area, a little town about 10 minutes outside of Motril. Last p-day, Elder Pack and I took a bus over there in order to drink Castillo de Salobreña on the Castillo de Salobreña. That was a lot of fun, and I think we’re literally some of the only missionaries in Spain who can say they’ve done that haha. I’ve included a few pictures from the trip.
The work this week started off good and were looking upwards because we were having some good success finding a lot of interested futuros, and that was really exciting. But then, on Friday, I woke up, and out of the blue, was feeling extremely dizzy and nauseous and had to spend all of Friday and Saturday in bed, lying down. That kind of stalled our plans to meet with some of those futuros for a few days. It was pretty rough, I couldn’t even sit up without feeling super sick. I’m still not sure what caused it. I think that it was a problem with my inner ear, but thankfully, it has resolved itself and I’m back to feeling normal.
Yesterday, something great happened during church. It was my turn to teach gospel doctrine class, and right I was about to begin the lesson, our branch president beckoned Elder Pack and I out into the hallway. Standing there was this guy named Miguel Ángel, someone who came up to Elder Jarvis and I in the streets months ago, wanting to meet with us and learn about the church. I think I’ve mentioned him in one of my previous emails. He doesn’t have a phone and we were never able to catch him at home, so eventually we had to stop trying to meet with him. But he and his girlfriend decided that they wanted to come to church today to see what the meetings are like and so that we could start meeting with them to teach them! So, I had to ask the Branch president’s wife to teach my lesson for me at the last second so we could go and have a lesson with them. President Hänni, the stake president, happened to be visiting our branch this day, and actually helped us teach our lesson Miguel and his girlfriend, and we had a great little lesson with all of them focused on faith. We have another appointment set for Wednesday. I wasn’t expecting to be teaching a lesson that day to two new investigators with the stake president as our member present! But it went great. He even gave them his phone number and told us that he wants to call them and personally invite them to the upcoming stake conference. Definitely a miracle.
I love the Mormon Message “Earthly Father, Heavenly Father” (https://www.lds.org/video/mormon-messages/2013-01-002-earthly-father-heavenly-father?lang=eng). We used it in a couple of lessons this week. It makes me grateful to have such great parents on the earth as well as to have a loving Heavenly Father. There’s a line in it where the father says, referring to providing for his family, that says, “I do it all for them.” Everything that God does is out of love for our benefit. After all, “this is [His] work and [His] glory, to bring to pass [our] immortality and eternal life” (Moses 1:39). He knows us each perfectly, and knows exactly what what we need to experience in this life to learn and grow and better ourselves. “I work that they may grow.” Sometimes the hand of the Lord manifests itself in our lives by giving us trials, and at other times miracles, but they’re all given to us by Him for our benefit. This week I experienced both. I know He is real. I know He loves us, and because He loves us, He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world in order to redeem us to allow us to return to Him. “He really wants us to come home.”
Os quiero. I love you all.
Élder Stark 🇪🇸
1: Chillin with my Castillos
2: Elder Pack and I preparing to drink our Castillo on the Castillo
3: After drinking the Castillo
4: Kebab selfie with the District: Myself, Elder Pack, Hermana Woods (being k-baptized!), Hermana Gentry, Elder Köhler, Elder Jones, Elder Morgan, and Elder Bird
5: When it feels almost like America
6: Until next time