Email 17/7/17

Hello everybody,

This week was the week two of intercambios (exchanges). On Tuesday and Wednesday, we had them with Elder Rigby and Elder Craven, and since I’m the district leader, they came to our area to work. But, since they had citas set with some of their investigators, we actually ended up working in their area a bit. Which is fine, because we’re all pulling for the same team! So, on Tuesday evening, Elder Craven went to a pueblo called Mancha Real to teach an investigator named Juani who is a friend of Juan/Rabeca (who both were baptized last transfer), so things keep multiplying! Amazing! Elder Rigby and I spent Wednesday morning contacting and passing by some members, so that was great.

On Thursday and Friday, we had intercambios in Granada with the Zone leaders, Elder Ramirez and Elder Krummenacher. Elder Ramirez and I spent a nice night contacting, but what was super cool about this morning was being able to go with Elder Krummenacher the next morning and teach a lesson to one of their investigators. You may remember that Elder Krummenacher and I were companions in the CCM, and this week was coincidentally our one year anniversary of being in the mission field. It was super cool being able to be with him and see how much we’ve grown and changed within the past year. There, we would teach lessons to our “investigators” in the CCM just reciting pre written sentences out of the language books, and a year later, we were able to go through an hour lesson without even having to worry about the language, and just focus on the promptings from the spirit. I really wish that I could have seen that moment a year ago, because it was sure hard to ever see myself getting to this point in my mission. 

After all of these intercambios, I was just hit hard with feeling really tired and burnt out, and was just feeling really anxious and unsettled on Friday and Saturday. Luckily, we had a great service opportunity on Friday, helping a member move, and that service helped a lot. Then on Saturday, we took things a bit slower, and I’m definitely feeling better now, but wow, the mission sure takes it all out of you sometimes. 

I had a pretty special experience in church yesterday. Before sacrament meeting started, we had scoped out a seat near the back of the chapel, but felt like we should move forward to one of the front rows. So, we did, and sat next to an older member of the ward who was sitting alone. When we sat down, she turned to me and said, “Thank you for coming to sit by me. I’ve been feeling really lonely lately, and I’m happy that you chose to sit by me. It’s a miracle.” That was a very humbling experience to know that the spirit had directed us to go sit by her. There’s a part of one of the youth theme songs that says, paraphrasing President Monson:

I can’t think of anything more sweet

Than to follow where the spirit leads

Be the answer to someone else’s prayer

A lot of the times, we, in the words of President Hinckley, “never know how much good we do.” If we’re living our lives in harmony with the commandments to be worthy to have the guidance of the Holy Ghost, and if we follow the impressions which we receive, we are literally the hands of God, carrying out his purposes and helping out his children in need. So, that experience in church was a very special manifestation of that.

I love all of you, and hope you all have a great week!

Élder Stark ??


1: My companion was trunky


2: Going for a ride


3: With my angelito Elder Krummenacher 


4: The views


5: The views 2.0


6: The views 3.0


7: Until next time