Seven days later, here I am again. We figured out last night that I have been a missionary for 91 weeks—about the same number of days that Elder Clark has been in the mission field.
We found ourselves in San Fernando on Monday for the usual “preparation day with many missionaries from the Zone.” It was fun to see other missionaries and play Fútbol and email. That’s usually about it. The only downside is that we have to spend a few hours of our p-day traveling but it’s worth it to go every six weeks.
That evening was our normal Noche de Hogar with Aurora. We focused the lesson on reviewing the importance of baptism. As I indicated in my last letter, it’s been hard to meet with Maru due to her new employment, so she wasn’t able to be there. That allowed us to focus more on Ángel. The both have baptismal dates for the fifth of May, but Ángel is basically ready and willing to be baptized now. We tried to see if he wants to move the date sooner, but he wanted to keep the same date because he’d like to be baptized when Maru is. However, he told us thst if Maru, for whatever reason, doesn’t end up getting baptized thst day, he still will. That seemed like a good enough plan to us.
Tuesday afternoon was really special. Many of you will remember Raquel, our 19 year old member, who got her mission call to the Argentina Cordoba mission a few months ago. Tuesday was her setting apart and farewell. It was nice to see all of our members there supporting her, and you could feel the spirit so strongly as her, her father (who served a mission) and the Stake President shared a few remarks. When it came time for the setting apart, to our surprise, Elder Clark and I were asked to be in the circle, given that we both have the Melchezideck Priesthood. Helping to set apart another missionary was not something I had expected to do on my mission, but it was a great experience. So, for a short time on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, before she left for the airport, there were three missionaries in Sanlúcar! Haha. We also were able to see Maru (she came to the setting apart) and Alfonso that day, so it was good.
One of our big long-term projects for a few weeks now has been updating the branches member list. We spent some time on Wednesday passing by people who are on the list that we don’t know. Throughout the week, we’ve seen moderate success with this and there have been a some people who have invited us back.
Also on Wednesday, we had English class, but it turned into more of a web development class. You see, the only reliable student we have coming to English class right now is Vanessa, the branch Relief Society President. She is from Nicaragua and studied/worked in IT when she lived there. Because there’s not that many jobs in that field availble here in Sanlúcar, she’s been branching out and was looking for a way to get her hands on a domain name and hosting to make up a mock website for a client of hers (which happens to be Bibi, our investigator). I have been waiting my entire mission to use my computer skills to help someone, and I was even able to give her some space on my server and an unused domain name to help get her started. That was really cool.
Thursday, honestly, is just kind of a blur. Friday and Saturday too, for that matter. We were able to meet with Bibi somewhere in there. We’re still focusing a lot on helping her build Faith in Christ, because she believes that he existed, but I don’t think she understands very well what he did and what we need to do because of that.
“He [went] forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind…and he [took] upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he [took] upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities” (Alma 7:11-12).
So, He did all that, and what he asks us to do in return is “repent, and be born again…therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness” (Alma 7:14). This is the doctrine that we’re trying to get her to understand better so she’ll actually act on it. Poco a poco.
Sunday morning it was raining, which usually means a lot of people flake out of coming to church. Well they missed out. In the afternoon, we were able to coax Mike down to the chapel to give him a tour of it. This is the first time he’s really taken a comprehensive look at a Mormon meeting house. I think his favorite part of the tour was a singn of the Young Women’s values that he took a picture of. He said he was surprised at how organized everything was, like all of the different programs and classes and meetings. He seems a lot more interested in coming now.
Well, that’s another one. See you again next week, same time, same place.
Élder Stark ??
1: Te echaremos de menos, Hermana Valencia!
3: One of the member’s little daughters named this doll “Richard,” after my middle name
4: Another day, another car accident outside our house
5: Mission call letter from 1989
7: Us and Chimney
8: Until next time