“Sustained Peace and True Joy”


Email 27/3/17

Hello everybody,

The first week of the transfer has passed. Of course, neither my companion nor my area changed, so there was really nothing new to have to adjust to this week, which was nice.

Our progressing investigators, Miguel and Jessica, are still doing well. They came to church yesterday and even brought a friend with them, so that was great! We spent the week teaching them about all of the commandments, and those were really good lessons. The only thing that could potentially be a problem is Miguel quitting smoking, which he acknowledged would be hard for him to do, but not impossible. So we’ve been helping him and hoping and praying that he has the ability to quit smoking.

Here in Europe (or at least Spain), it seems like there’s some commandments that are easier to follow here than there are in the States and vice versa. For example, because all of the stores here are closed on Sunday’s, there’s a much smaller temptation to go shopping on the Sabbath here than there is in the US. But here, smoking is way more common than in the states, making it more likely for someone to struggle with that part of the Word of Wisdom.

On Friday, we had a rare opportunity to have a Zone meeting with just our Zone, rather than the typical tri-Zone conference. It was to introduce us to the church’s Easter Initiative and special video for this year. I really liked it, and the video will be released to the public by the end of the week.

Yesterday, our branch got a new member! Well, kind of. There’s a man named Sid from England who has a summer home within the boundaries of our branch, so he spends a few months here every year. He also doesn’t speak any Spanish (and all of our members who don’t speak any English still love him) so I had to translate all thee hours of church for him. That was fun, but definitely a bit taxing on the mind.

Spanish feels pretty comfortable, but that in no way means that I’m prone from mistakes. I was talking about my YSA, young single adult, ward during a lesson this week. In Spanish, that translates to un barrio de JAS, Jóvenes Adultos Solteros, except in this moment, I combined Adultos and Solteros and said “mi barrio de Jóvenes Adulterios,” which translates to “my ward of young adulterers.” Haha, didn’t take me long to correct that mistake.

As always, we spent a decent amount of our proselyting time this week contacting in the streets. There are some weeks where contacting goes great and you meet a ton of prepared people and get a lot of futures, and then there are weeks like this where 75% of the phone numbers you get are fake. (They say that for every fake phone number a missionary in Europe gets, another person is baptized in South America, haha.) The following council from President Nelson’s talk “Becoming True Millennials” was especially appealing to me some moments through the week. He said:

“You will have days when you will be thoroughly discouraged. So, pray for courage not to give up! You will need that strength because it will become less and less popular to be a Latter-day Saint. Sadly, some whom you thought were your friends will betray you. And some things will simply seem unfair. 

“However, I promise you that as you follow Jesus Christ, you will find sustained peace and true joy. As you keep your covenants with increasing precision, and as you defend the Church and kingdom of God on the earth today, the Lord will bless you with strength and wisdom to accomplish the impossible. “

There were definitely a few days during the week when I was feeling down and discouraged because of my duty as a missionary to defend the truth, but I took President Nelson’s and I prayed for courage not to give up, and that helped a lot. I love the straightforwardness of his advice there. The Lord requires us to do hard things, but he’s also there to lend a hand to help us accomplish them, and following his example will lead us to “sustained peace and true joy” even in the hardest of circumstances. I know that’s true.

I love you all, thanks for all of your support from afar. 

Élder Stark ??

P.S. I was just published on @mormonfaces on Instagram, go check it out ?


1-3: Mostly I just took pictures of clouds this week.

3:27B 3:27C 3:27D

4: Myself, Elder Cerna, Elder Pack, and Hermana Christensen at our Zone meeting.


5: Until next time.