Well, well, well. Here we are again. We got transfer calls yesterday, and unsurprisingly, I’m staying here in Sanlúcar to finish training Elder Clark. I’m happy for that.
It was sad to receive the news of President Thomas S. Monson’s passing this week. As Elder Clark and I were walking around last evening and talking about how to help some of our investigators and members, inadvertently, half of the things that were coming out of our mouths were just strait President Monson quotes. I know that He has not only had an impact on my life, but on the entire world through his prophetic ministry.
Last Monday was a really boring preparation day because everything was closed and when we tried to go play a little bit of Fútbol at 10:00, people who were still sleeping were coming out of their houses to yell at us. So we spent most of the day in the chapel playing chess. That night we visited Frank and Ana Belén, the perfect young family, and had a Noche de Hogar with them about service. This is something we’re trying to do with all of the members in the branch because it seems like an effective way to get member referrals. The cool thing about Frank is that when he was a missionary, Sanlúcar de Barrameda was one of his areas. We’ve even been able to look in our area book and find old registros with his name on them.
On Tuesday, I woke up sick. Luckily, it wasn’t too bad, so we were still able to go to district meeting and go to the Noche de Hogar at Aurora’s house with Maru, Angel, and Yessenia. I was still feeling not well on Wednesday morning, so we just stayed in Piso. That evening, we made a stop where Marí and Alba live because we haven’t been able to see them for a while. That was really good, because not only were they there, but they invited us in and told us that they really like it when we come by to share la palabra de Dios with them.
Thursday was kind of a weird day because that was the evening of the parades for El Día de Los Reyes. We had planned to play our weekly game of Fútbol that evening, but only us and one other guy showed up because that was the exact time when the big parade was going on. Luckily, the parade passed right by the high school where we were playing, so we were able to watch it for a bit. Basically it was just all of these kids on floats throwing candy at the people watching. And then after the parade, everyone went to the center to party in the bars. So, the rest of our night was spent contacting the few people in Sanlúcar who weren’t in the center. We met this old guy from Boston. It still blows my mind how many Americans are in this little corner of Spain.
On Friday morning, we went to go teach Fernando, who is this Argentine guy that also speaks English. We read through the restoration pamphlet with him in English, and it seems like he understood everything, but is just a bit afraid of commitment. We thought it was still a good lesson though. In the evening, we had a really good lesson with Bibi. We read 3 Nephi 11 with her and talked about following Jesus Christ. After a lot of negotiation (haha) she agreed to be baptized on March 3, assuming that she’s prepared by then. So that’s what we’ll be helping her do.
The first thing that Christ talked about in His visit to the Nephites was His doctrine: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. These are the things that He asks us to do to follow Him. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon, which explains this doctrine so well and so clearly. As it says in 3 Nephi 11:37-41:
“And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.
And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.
And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.
Therefore, go forth unto this people, and declare the words which I have spoken, unto the ends of the earth.”
Saturday was Él Día de Los Reyes, which is the main gift giving holiday in Spain, rather than Christmas. Basically the only noteworthy thing we were able to do was go visit Mike in the evening. He’s having a lot of various problems happening to him right now, so he’s really looking for the peace that only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can give.
Yesterday was a pretty normal Sunday. Ángel, Maru, and Yessenia all came to church. Ángel says that he has been reading and praying everyday, and feels like the Book of Mormon is true. Maru has been doing a good job reading, but still needs to pray. Yessenia is still 10 years old, but she still knows what’s good. We’re really happy with all of their progression.
Love you all,
Élder Stark ??
1-5: Here are some belated photos from the Christmas Zone conference
6: El Día de los Reyes
7: There was another car accident right outside of our Piso
8: Until next time