This was a tiring week, but a good week. Last week for preparation day, we hiked to the top of the hill that overlooks Jaén to the Castillo de Santa Catalina. It was a really fun hike, and it felt nice to get out of the city for a little. We only got a little sunburnt and we were only a little sore for the next day or two, but it was definitely one of the most fun preparation days I’ve had in a while.
On Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, we had our intercambios with Elder Cerna and Elder Rigby. It was the first time on my mission of hosting an intercambio, where the other elders came to our area and there were twice the number of feet on the ground in out area. It was a really good intercambio, just a really solid afternoon and morning of work. Because of the extra push from the intercambio, this week we actually got the largest number of future investigators that I’ve ever received in any one week on my mission.
I feel very blessed, because the work here has still been going along really well. There’s this one future investigator named Bernardo who lives in a pueblo 45 minutes outside of Jaén. We’ve been trying to stop by and see him this whole transfer, but things didn’t work out to us getting out there until this week. On Friday morning, we had Carlos, the Elders Quorum President, drive us out. The lesson with him went really, really well, and we set a baptismal date with him for the 22 of July. The best part is that he seems super ready to do his part and keep his commitments, so we’ll see how things go!
Benjamin has been doing well too, except this week he was pretty stressed about his family at home and wasn’t sleeping well, but he has so much faith that everything will work out. We finished teaching him about the commandments, and all we need to have is President Andersen come out to interview him, and then he can be baptized!
Also, we’ve had a baptismal date set for the 8th of July for a while with a 14-year-old investigator named Pablo. He’s basically a member already, but his parents haven’t consented to let him be baptized, but it seems like now they’re going to let him! So we are going to start teaching him and preparing him to be baptized this week!
I was reading this week in The Book of Mormon, in 2 Nephi 5. This is the chapter where the righteous Nephites separate themselves from their wicked brethren, the Lamanites. In verse 27, Nephi makes the remark that his people “lived after the manner of happiness.” When I read that, I went back through the chapter and identified four things that the Nephites were doing which permitted them to live in such a matter. They were observing the commandments of the Lord (verse 10), having the scriptures (12), temple worship (16), and being industrious (17). These still are the things that help us live in a manner of righteousness. It’s amazing how the gospel, and the things that bring true happiness, never change, isn’t it?
I love you all, thank you so much for your continued prayers and support from afar.
Élder Stark ??
1: Above the city a little
2: The other Elders’ area
3: Elder Moffat, Elder Cerna, Elder Rigby, and I
4: We hiked to the top of the castle, and realized we didn’t bring money to pay for the admission.
6. Bird’s Eye
7: Where we live
8: Castillo de Santa Catalina
9. The edge of town
9: D&C 4:4….El campo ya blanco está
12: Castillo from down below
13: Driving in Spain
14: Until next time