This is approximately my 30th week in and email from Sanlúcar de Barrameda. If all of my emails have been the same, that’s only a representation of real life.
Monday was a fun preparation day. We did all of the things that we normally do, namely, play Fútbol, eat out, play chess, and write home, but everything was just extra fun for some reason. In the evening, we had a really good lesson with Cintia, who you’ll remember is the daughter-in-law of Domingo. We were going to review what we had taught her about the restoration, but then she opened up and told us that she really worries about what happens when we die and why hard things happen in life. Isn’t it amazing that thanks to God communicating through prophets, we have the answers to those questions? It was a really spiritual lesson, and we even set a baptismal goal for May 5 with her.
Tuesday was another good day. We had our district meeting in Puerto. I’ve lately been planning meetings that revolve around one theme, and this theme was the Doctrine of Christ, or in other words, the things that Jesus asks us each to do: have faith in Him, repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. It’s always good to focus on the basics. In the evening, the stake presidency was here and wanted to do some visits to less active members and investigators with us and the branch presidency. I ended up going with one of the Stake Presidency counselors and the Elders Quorum President to visit Bibi. It was a really good visit, and slowly but surely, we are helping her overcome her doubts. Then, we did our normal Noche de Hogar and taught Angel about how the Priesthood is power. He’s definitely getting baptized on May 5.
Wednesday was the day when we finally got around to fixing the lock with the key stuck in it. Dani, the old French member, got the key unstuck in like 30 seconds, and then we just had to take it to a locksmith and get a copy. It was super simple to fix. We headed out to Chipidog to help out cleaning the dog cages, and taught another English class to Bibi’s husband, so we put in some good service that day. We also had a really good visit with Mike, who is such a nice guy but not the fastest learner, so we reviewed The Restoration and it seemed like he got it a lot better than times in the past. The Spirit was also super strong in the lesson, and he said a really sincere prayer asking if the Book of Mormon was true.
On Thursday, we did our weekly planning in the morning and then headed to Jerez to do intercambios with the zone leaders. I never look forward to doing intercambios, but they always turn out OK. I was with Elder Harris, who is also from Colorado (Montrose). He also just finished serving in my old area in Jaén, so that was cool. We finished the intercambio up on Friday and then headed back to Sanlúcar. Antonio Sarmiento called us again, wanting to meet. He wants to come back to church, but I guess it’s really hard after not coming for 20 years, so we’re trying to be really positive and as welcoming as possible with him.
Saturday was good, too. We had an OK cita with Bibi in the morning and then went and stopped by some investigators and Futuros with whom we set up citas for this coming week. Hopefully we will be having some good lessons with them. We also met with Alfonso, who is doing a lot better right now and is working and seems a lot happier than he has been for the past few months.
Sunday was an interesting day. It was the Sanlúcar branch conference, and a ton of people from the stake and their families were visiting, so the chapel was completely full. They also released our branch president and called a new one, which I don’t think anyone was expecting. It will be exciting to be the first missionaries to establish a solid relationship with this new president. The funny thing is that our last president is named Daniel and is from Jerez, and the new president is also named Daniel and is from Jerez.
Lastly, with this week being Semana Santa aka Easter, the church has given us a fun new initiative called “Always There.” I’m pretty sure it’s a Europe-only thing. I really like it, it is such a good message about how Christ is always there for us. Just as D&C 84:88 says: “…I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.” You can all see the video associated with this topic at http://lds.org.uk
Élder Stark ??
1: District. Elder Clark, Elder Stark, Hermana Malcolm, Hermana Moncayo, Hermana Walker
3: Some cats
4: Burger King haha
5: With Paco and Presidente García after our visit to Bibi
6: Intercambios with Elder Harris and Elder Wood
7: There’s trouble ahead
8: Until next time