Sept 21, 2015

i am finishing off my first transfer today and ending with a tri-panionship! so my district consist(ed) of 2 comps of elders, one of sisters. last wednesday an elder went home early so our district leader, elder h, got emergency transferred to wescliffe to take his place. so we went to the mission office on wednesday for the official transfer and we got johnson: harris’ comp.

it just so happened to be that they were supposed to be moving out of the member’s home they’d been staying in soon anyway. so since our apartment is so big, and elder j would be staying with us for a week anyway. we cleaned out the member’s home and moved it all into our apartment. the housing elders have a silverado that they use for moving and we borrowed it and moved all the beds and stuff over. took a long time and a couple days. so we did a lot of driving and moving.

earlier in the week we found out a family from our ward, the ones that took us to cabelas, are moving. he got a new job in oregon so we were helping them pack up a lot of stuff and get it out of their house. which is a bummer, we really like them. i can agree with elder forsyth (yes i remember him – good guy) when talking about moving. weve already done a ton of moves and i do kinda like it. our wards EQP constantly says, im sorry but the elders quorum is not a moving company and cannot be expected to move people with a short notice. but the thing is he almost refuses to call and try to get people to help with that being his excuse. we had a move of someone staying in the ward just a new neighborhood find out the day before that she had to move. we were the priesthood helping for most of it. it was insane. they finally got a little more help, but not much. but i do like getting to use muscles. and we lift some heeeavy stuff.

so we went to the dentist again thursday cause last time he saw more cavities on hunter on the other side. so i got to watch him drill them out a little bit and talked to the assistant as she filled in the cavity. so the way that came about was that kara got me thinking about it about a month before i left. she was pointing out that i hadnt ever considered it cause i just never really considered anything medical. mostly because of the extra schooling. but she pointed out i would want a masters for any engineering eventually. so why not just get the schooling out of the way all at once. so i started thinking about it.  as i learn a little more and more it sounds a little more interesting. he absolutely loves the work too.

being in a trio this week was weird cause all the sudden we had 3 missionaries but 2 areas, because we were covering our ward and his. so we would do some lessons or some dinners with people in our area then some with people in his. oh and my companion is the new district leader since elder harris got transferred.

but saturday we spent all day with a family in j’s ward. actually a couple. its a recently baptized wife and a soon to be baptized husband. kinda rougher ex military people but suuuuuper nice. they have basically adopted j and call him “son” they fed us lunch and dinner.

there was a community night at the park by our house last tuesday and the sign advertising it said “vehicle display” so we were like boo ya! theres a car show to go talk to people at! then we get there and it was city vehicles… haha like firetrucks and pg&e style trucks. there were some cop cars (they have cop razors here – like the side by side polaris) and we got talking to a firefighter lieutenant. super nice guy. gave us a business card and said to stop by the station. he was like i dont think many of the guys are very religious but you should still come by. his wife and her family are from utah it turns out. super cool guy.

thats so crazy that taylor cox served here. i know the H’s. nice couple. this friday we are suppose to go shovel manure for them. yay. haha but ill have to ask! haha and yeah we live above gods pantry right now. thats so weird that he lived there too! haha so he went home in 2013 that would mean that there probably arent much of anyone still left that knew him. darn.

american ninja warrior finally had someone make it. and it was 2 of them! that is insane. i cant believe it happened. i kinda knew it would soon but too bad i missed it. thats so cool though that 2 guys made it. bummer the younger guy with the family didnt win though. but caldiero is one of the wolf pack or whatever right? i figured itd be one of them eventually.

but everything is alright and im doing well. love you so much and the gospel is most definitely true.

elder stark

Sept 8, 2015

DSCF2107 DSCF2096 DSCF2102 DSCF2105

sorry that the email is on tuesday this week! we use city libraries and they close on labor day! haha so emails are today.

i did hear about the byu game. it was pretty crazy. i met a nebraska (is that who it was?) the day of the game that my comp and his previous comp had played disc golf with before and he was like hey im playing against you mormons today! haha hes a funny old guy thats like crazy good.

so this week. i emailed you last monday morning. and the rest of the day included some disc golf with another companionship. it was a guy that came out with elder hunter, and anothe district leader from my zone in the mtc, elder clancy from south carolina with an accent and everything. hes super cool though. so we got about 7 holes in and it started pooooouring on us like no other. so we ended a little early and the companionships went our separate ways. haha we went to walmart to pick up some more groceries, then to a sports store that had super cool football nike dri fit t shirts for 4 dollars! so we bought matching shirts. theyre actually CU shirts (colorado university) but it dont matta.

but we also went to this pet store that a member from our ward frequents for his fish. his name is brother wayne arnold (knows nana and grandpa from like ’02). he was a convert in ’01 and is like 60 years old now. he is the sweetest guy and absolutely loves the missionaries- especially helping us with stuff. he does our laundry most p days for us. and this friday is feeding like 10 missionaries at his house. so we decided to buy him a fish. well i bought it, and my comp named it ironman. hahaha we took it over to him and added it to his 50 gallon tank of cool fish. he loves it.

tuesday we had zone conference. its from 9am to 430 pm. insanely long and a  bit slow. but it was good. after we stopped by a recent convert that moved out of our ward to see how he was doing. he apparently had a little relapse with alcohol and him and his wife (a life long less active) are separated and thats why he moved. but were gonna pass him to the missionaries in his area. hopefully he picks things up and does well. but then we had dinner with the C family. she is a british woman and her american husband with some young kids there from their marriage, one there from a previous marriage anf a few others out of the house. anyway, they have a little farm. and we do service for them a lot. i think were going over there tomorrow. we usually do like 6 or so hours when we go though. but anyway after dinner, i milked one of their goats!! and she was sharing books about great britain and its landmarks. shes from southern england and it looks super pretty. but what really got me was scotland. i want to go there soooo bad now. it was so gorgeous.

wednesday was service at the C’s for super long. cutting down maaaaassive branches like 6 to 8 inches thick. with a sawzall. elder hunter was climbing in the tree to cut them and i was catching them. he has a way of taking the fun or easy jobs and leaving me the short end of the stick haha. but yeah it was some insane stuff and only right before a massive branch got cut and fell at me did i realize how stupid the idea really was.. haha but it was fun. sister c said we sound like a married couple sometimes. hahaha that night though we had dinner with the h’s – quiet and slightly awkward at first. but nice people. black dad and white mom. nice kids. we went to mutual that night. it was glow in the dark volleyball – pathetic. but then we just flipped on the lights and it was okay. fun still but nothing special.

then that night i got dropped off in the other ward for exchanges again. this time i was with the district leader’s junior comp. cool kid. elder johnson.

so thursday we went and did some contacting at a park that had a disc golf course in their area. we talked to a bunch of people and passed out pass along cards and even 2 book of mormon’s. super cool experience but still havent gotten to do that in my area… but we switched back early so that i could meet the g’s. sister g is german, active member and recognized that stark means strong. haha but shes super nice. but her husband is a nonmember ex military guy that they call grumpy. like that is literally his nickname eeeeveryone calls him. hes sooo funny though. hes short and stout and seems almost deaf. but he showed us a lot of his guns – super cool old novelty guns most of em – and then his cool collections. he collects coins like no other. has almost every year and version of like every coin. haha he is such a character! but after that we went to the s’s. a young family in the ward- to teach their 7 yr old the lessons before getting baptized in a couple months. they have a 4 yr old, 7 yr old, and like 13 yr old i think. super funny little kids and they were showing us their nerf guns and airsoft guns. then the dad took me and elder hunter to see his real guns. he had some sweeeet guns. so i got to hold like 30 guns in one night. we didnt get around to our lesson with them but were developing a good relationship with them and they had us over again on saturday.

friday was zone training for a few hours which was alright. kinda funny. but then after lunch we went to help sister g move and were pretty much there the rest of the night. that would be when you got the picture. haha thats so cool that you got to chat with hunters mom. but yeah hunter is super cool and we have a ton in common.

we went and did service for “gods pantry” its the thrift store thing that is beneath our apartment. it turned out to be really good that we went because they had had a bunch of volunteers bail and we did a bunch of work for them. then was dinner with the s’s. we had pizza and a massive nerf war. we have a big nerf sniper in our apartrment that a moving family gave hunter awhile back. and the s’s have a ton. so we took our sniper and had a big war with them and the kids had a blast. then the little girl wanted to play cards so we all played some go fish and spoons and it was a bunch of fun. we didnt share a lesson but the parents were super appreciative of the spirit we bring into the home just by being there. it wasnt til sunday that i realized theyve only come to church once while ive been here and they didnt go this past sunday. so im hoping as we continue to come and share actual lessons well help them come more. they just moved in a month or two ago. oh! and the kids wanted to give us a bunch of their darts and another gun so they did. and as were walking away the 4 yr old runs out and gives us HIS gun. it was so sweet. and now hunter and i shoot eachother all the time. hahaha

sunday was fast sunday. not easy. haha but good none the less. we had dinner with the l’s- dads a hunter just got another elk this weekend. he needed to make room in his freezer from last years elk. so they fed us elk steaks! pretty yummy stuff. i love talking to peopple about hunting and shooting cause almost everyone does. we also went to try and contact some less actives after dinner but with no luck..

and yesterday for p day. that was a good day. we had some members drive us up to cabelas! i looked for a jacket and some winter stuff and a backpack but we werent there long. and i didnt find anything i needed. bummer. haha but still cool. the lehi cabelas is way better though… then the members dropped us off in hunters last area (parker) for a couple hours while they shopped a little. we went and visited some of the families he was close with. cool to meet them. super nice area. pretty wealthy area.

over all good week. always room for improvement. . love and miss you all

things are great though over all.

the scriptures are great and the gospel is so true its unreal

elder stark

August 31, 2015

well thats weird, ive been gone for a whole month. not the first time ive been away from the yoch for a month but its a bit different thats for sure! everythings going well. we have thigns we could improve on this coming week – as we always will – but there were a couple days that were just a bummer because there wasnt much we could do.

friday mainly was rough because we had our district meeting, but the housing coordinators told us thrusday that they were doing a cleaning check friday. at first they said to be ready at noon. so we got home right away from district meeting so we could finish up a few things cleaning wise and be there when they got there. but they kept pushing it off saying theyd be a little later and a little later until all the sudden it was 5 oclock that they showed up. so that wasted a ton of our day. then dinner was getting delivered by a member between 6 or 630 so we didnt have time to go anywhere and bluh it was just lame. they literally took 2 seconds to check too. like they walked in and said yeah youre good. 25/25. my comp was disgruntled.

weve been better about sharing a spiritual thought every time were at someones house, sometimes before it didnt happen. but were doing better about that. our teaching in of itself has gotten better i think and were meshing pretty well. still no new investigators but not a whole lot done on the finding side of things. wednesday we had exchanges, so i was in the other ward with our district leader (hes awesome, goes home soon – from ssacramento area) and he took me tracting cause i had never gone. and we went and visited some people. and i actually biked for the first time. it was really cool. i learned quite a bit from him.

then thursday was elder hunters 1 year mark. so he got to go on whats called temple jubilee – which is at your year mark you and everyone else thats been out a year get to go to the temple for the day. so i got a guy that came out with elder hunter but went home after a couple months then came back out with me. his name was elder dugger and we had the fountain ward for the day.

i picked him up when we dropped off elder hunter at the mission office. we usually do service once a week at the bishops storehouse and since its right next door to the mision office we went there til about noon. then there was a companionship working in the office for the day (one of em was my buddy from the mtc) and they were about to go to lunch – which we needed – so we went with them looking for some famous authentic little mexican place. took awhile to find. but it was pretty good. not salsa status. but good nonetheless. so then its like 140 and were finally about to drive back to fountain. and thursday is the day we help out at this food bank normally – run by another church – and that was on the way – so to save miles we stopped by to help them out. and good thing we did. they had a lot of work that they needed done and some heavy stuff moved. they were super grateful, and we got a little bit of a talk about the gospel in with one of the ladies that works it. not much at all but they know who we are.

saturday we had a plan to bike to see some people between studies and volleyball. but then we need to run to the library to look up where people lived on lds.org, but naturally got distracted and missed the chance to go bike and see people. i think i should take the blame for that one…. but after volleyball we visited with a family weve grown close with because hunter really likes them. they are a cool family but the dad is sorta less active. like he goes to church but usually leaves early. hes only ordained a priest (pretty common here with all the military people) and didnt have the best experience serving in a branch somewhere in europe while stationed there years back. weve grown pretty close and hopefully can help him get more motivated to press forward a bit more.

oh as far as meals go, we get fed pretty much every night. weve had to fend for ourselves once or twice while ive been here. most people atelast deliver or have pizza delivered or something. we rarely have to make our own. we went shopping this morning and i got some different lunch meat. still has a little nitrites but this stuff actually tastes like meat. i got the cheap turkey before. and it just didnt even taste like meat… haha but im figuring stuff out. i havent gotten a letter yet but hopefully i do today. did you ever get the one i sent with a little present?

its interesting the way the stake president mentioned a couple times before i left that i would thirst for the scriptures. this has really come to pass. i looove reading the scriptures. theyre amazing. ive been reading in alma and theres so much goodness! haa so much misisonary work. i love reading about alma and amulek and the sons of mosiah. i just got to really seeing the fruits of their labor. they anti nephi lehis are a result of some simple service and missionary work. its truly amazing and the clarity i receive while reading is astounding. stuff sometimes comes up where we dont get to do our studies all the way or what not but ive figured out that while my comp takes his shower, is a great time to sneak in an extra thirty minutes of reading. i have troubles studying in the afternoon ( ie sunday cause we have 9 am church) and i nearly fall asleep. or actually do. haha i took a little nap last sunday, but it was really like 15 minutes at most. but boy it felt good.

sorry i dont really have any pictures, ill try to be better about taking pictures of stuff. i never think of it… haha but were going disc golfing again later today so maybe ill take some there.

thats so awesome that they went to church to hear you speak dad. i hope they enjoyed it. i cant believe how soon nathan leaves. im sure his open house was pretty awesome though.

i miss you guys for sure. its so cool to see these families in the ward and their kids will remind me of us all hanging out being goofs. there are times where it hits me, but i know you guys are doing good and the reunion after two years will only be better. its fun to talk to people about my family cause ive got a pretty special one.

mom, you might need to accept that josh could beat dv. is lou even gonna be coaching do you know? but josh is really good and jake perkey is super tall. haha theyve got a chance.

oh and mom did divine voices sing the song homeward bound? i heard it by motab on my ipod and recognized it. haha i dont think i sang it… but 2 notes on music (pardon the pun) but first i realized i didnt put very much on my ipod. i might need to figure out a way to get more. some piano guys, pentatonix. anything else really. i can listen to pretty much anything but theres definitely only good stuff that i want. but im running on repeat with just voice male and mo tab… haha then the other is wow i never realized how much id miss choir. make sure those kids in your class understand that they cant take it for granted the music divine creates is something special to be a part of, and show choir is really just a blast.

well i love you guys endlessly! ill try to take more pictures for ya. haha

elder stark