Hello everybody,
Last Monday was the preparation day in San Fernando with many missionaries from the zone. It was fun, mostly we just played fútbol and emailed all day. We had a cita planned for that evening, but it ended up falling through at the last minute. Luckily, we were prepared and I think our backup plans turned out even better than our original plan would have. There were some cookies we had made the day before with the intention of giving them to a few specific people. One of them was Dani, who is our neighbor and also the boyfriend of Yessenia’s mom. He’s a really nice guy and we always stop and talk to him when we see him, but Monday was the first time that we were really able to talk about religion. He was really interested in the Book of Mormon and graciously accepted a copy.
Something which we have been attempting to do with all of the members in the branch is having a Noche de hogar with each of them to teach about “going about doing good.” That way, we are challenging them to think of people in their lives that could be benefited by an act of service because serving others is one way to open their hearts to learn about the restored gospel. One quote from Preach My Gospel that we’ve been sharing with the members as we teach them about this is:
“Your consistent efforts in serving and teaching as many people as you can is one way God prepares His children to eventually receive His servants. He often reaches out to His children through you. Even when people do not accept the opportunity to learn the gospel, your service and words are evidence of God’s love for them and may plant seeds that future missionaries and members of the Church will harvest.”
We’ve been sharing that story of Dani to illustrate this principle. No, he’s still not an investigator, but thanks to the kindness and service of other missionaries in the past, we were able to start introducing him more directly to the gospel. Service, even something as simple as kind words or a smile, is one of the most powerful ways to teach.
Larter on Monday evening, we stopped by Juan’s house. He’s a guy that I’ve taught once or twice before, but never really went anywhere, so we hadn’t been by his house in months. Well, it was a good thing that we went over because we were able to teach him and his wife and one of his daughters about the Restoration, and it seemed like it went over really well. We shared about how the Book of Mormon answers the great questions of the soul, and they were really interested in that. We also were able to get the address of one of his other daughters who just had a baby so that we can go bring her cookies. Truly there are many miracles in bringing people cookies haha.
So it turns out that I wasn’t quite done being sick and was basically without a voice for the entire week. That’s really hard when all missionary work involves is talking with other people. On Tuesday, we had district meeting, but then on Wednesday and Thursday morning, we just rested. We had stuff planned all of those nights, so we still went out and worked, but I just came back home dead every time. It was all good though, we had a good Noche de Hogar with Ángel and Maru on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, we taught Saraí, a new investigator from a while ago we haven’t been able to see because of the festivos and such.
On Wednesday, we also got an email from President Andersen announcing that we are now a Facebook proselytizing mission, and that we were to download Facebook and get our accounts ready for training on it during Zone Conference this week. So that is why some of you might have noticed more activity on my Facebook account than normal. We’re also going to be getting smartphones and WhatsApp at this conference too. Out of all of this new technology, the thing that I am most excited for is to have WhatsApp, as that is the de facto mobile messaging service here. I must admit that it has been super weird figuring out how to use Facebook again after almost 20 months of not using it, but it’ll be good to see how this can help us in our missionary work.
Friday was an interesting day. We had piso checks in the morning. Luckily we keep things clean around here, so those went off without a hitch. After that was over, we decided to pass by this one family of menos activos that are preparing to move to Málaga right now. It was a good thing that we passed by when we did because they really needed some help moving their bedframe down a flight of stairs. They gave us jamón and cheese as a token of their appreciation. That evening, we were given permission to watch President Monson’s funeral. It was a really nice tribute to a great man.
Saturday was also a good day because I was more or less better by then. We were able to teach Bibi and later in the day Maru and Ángel and Yessenia again. Those are all of our investigators with baptismal dates. Bibi just needs to come to church. Maru and Ángel and Yessenia are still progressing well, we’re working our way through the commandments with them right now. Maru and Yessenia came to church on Sunday (Ángel was sick), and we were able to talk about following the prophet. This is a really interesting time because of President Monson’s recent passing. It’s really helping the idea that God still calls prophets really come alive to those we are teaching. There was also an American family in our branch on Sunday, so I had to translate sacrament meeting for them. If only they had know about the American branch that meets is 20 minutes away from our chapel haha.
Well, there you go. That’s about it.
Élder Stark ??


1: District language study
2: Sanlúcar
3: Noche de Hogar
4: There’s some weird stuff going on here
5: Until next time (Don’t worry, it’s not alcohol!)