My, my, my. Time surely does pass.
On Monday, we had our classic Noche de Hogar with Ángel and Yessenia and Aurora and Domingo and Antonio. We have been focusing a lot on getting Ángel ready for his baptismal interview. He has some problems with his memory, so we have just been reviewing the basics to help him remmeber things a bit better.
Tuesday was our classic district meeting in Jerez. Between walking, buses, and trains, it takes about two hours to get from our piso to the Capilla in Jerez and then two hours to get back. But, there’s not much that we can do about that. There was some good that came out of it, though. Last transfer, Elder Clark and I contacted this guy named Adam, who’s from London, but lives here in Sanlúcar. Well, as we were waiting for our bus, Adam came up to us and was like, “Hey, you guys remember me?” And then we proceeded to teach him most of the restoration on the bus! Classic miracle.
In the evening, we had a classic cita with Antonio Bernal. Frank accompanied us; he was one of the missionaries that taught Antonio when he was a missionary serving here, so that’s probably the best member we could have with us haha. Rather classically, Antonio said he was going to come to church this Sunday and then didn’t come, so we will keep trying with him.
Wednesday morning was pretty uneventful, we were just doing the classic routine of passing by Menos Activos. None of them were home. We did pass by a future/former investigator named Dalila and invited her to church. She said she would come, but classically canceled the last minute. In the evening, we had a little visit with Bibi and talked about prophets for a minute, before heading over to English classes. We have about four solid students, three of them non-members, so I would say that they’re going pretty well.
We were in the chapel most of the day Thursday. In the morning, we had our classic weekly planning session, and then in the evening, we went back to help clean the chapel. Then, there was a mission-wide district leader training meeting over video conference. That was something like the fifth or sixth of those meetings that I’ve attended, and they are always exactly the same. Exactly. Classic. There’s always something new to be learned, but it certainly does get repetitive.
Friday evening through Saturday morning, we had our classic Intercambios with the zone leaders in Jerez. However, the other week, Elder Harris rolled his ankle pretty bad, and has been ordered to stay in Piso to be able to recuperate. For that, on Friday evening, while Elder Castillo and Elder Wood went out to work, Elder Harris and I stayed inside and played chess. Haha. Elder Harris is also from Colorado, from a town by Grand Junction named Montrose. On Saturday morning for exercise, we got all of the Jerez missionaries together and played Fútbol. A classic missionary thing to do. Then, Elder Wood and I did some classic missionary work for a few hours of passing by people who weren’t home. That was a wrap for another Intercambio.
Yesterday was a pretty classic Sunday, basically all of the members came to church and the chapel was looking pretty full. Our new branch president has a lot of positive plans for helping the branch grow, and all of the members seem more excited right now. Elder Wood and Elder Harris were here for a few hours on Wednesday to give a classic baptismal interview to Ángel, who passed it, and will be getting baptized on Saturday! More on that next week.
Well, after having completed 100 weeks in the mission and 34 weeks in this area, everything has just turned into a bunch of ritualistic routines. But I suppose that’s just what life has to be like sometimes. I found a classic talk this week by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin called “One Step after Another” (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2001/10/one-step-after-another?lang=eng). He said:
“An old proverb states that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
“Sometimes we make the process more complicated than we need to. We will never make a journey of a thousand miles by fretting about how long it will take or how hard it will be. We make the journey by taking each day step by step and then repeating it again and again until we reach our destination.”
“We don’t have to be fast; we simply have to be steady and move in the right direction. We have to do the best we can, one step after another.”
That certainly is good advice. The mission is certainly a journey of a thousand miles. I certainly have fretted about how long it takes and how hard it is. In fact, even though I only have two weeks left before I go home, in a way, it still feels like I’m going to be a missionary forever and that there is no end. But there is an end. Jesus Christ is the end. “…Have peace,” He said. “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). That classic scripture is what has helped me trust in Christ to clear the obstacles that crowd my course. The only reason why I have been able to make it this far is because of Him, and He will help me, and each one of you, keep moving on, one step after another.
Élder Stark 🇪🇸
1: Going for a stroll in Jerez
2: More productive district meetings
3: “I am an older man, a widower without children. I need a lady no older than 55 or 60, who is honest and is nice to look at. It would not matter to me if you were a single mom. Both her an her children would have all of my care, love, and respect. I’m willing to get married if that were an option.”
4: Hamburguesa + Patatas Fritas + Bebida = 3€
5-6: Fútbol on the intercambio: Elder Harris, Elder Burnard, Elder Wood, Elder Darrington, Elder Stark, Hermana Grover, Hermana Villanueva, Hermana Matos, Hermana Aguilar
7: Views in Jerez
8: Until next time