March 14, 2016

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Elder Tuifua’s parents sent me a tupenu, bracelet and necklace. So this is my Poly style 🙂

first week with elder lapana! hes a great guy. very different than elder tuifua but still awesome and a hard worker. i enjoy being with him. so on tuesday, the day of transfers. i said a sad goodbye to elder tuifua and elder hawkins who drove together to the stake center. i was on exchanges with elder lowe (elder hawkins previous companion). we thought wed only be together for a few hours, until our companions got here. they then informed us at around noon that elder lapanas flight from samoa would not land until late in the evening. poor elder lowe was stuck on his bike that didnt have a seat because it got stolen. haha and we biked all the way to the top of our area, like a 30 minute ride, mostly up hill… haha trooper. that night at about 9 oclock, i met elder lapana. straight from the airport. he wasa bit jet lagged understandably. he just got back out after 5 months of being home to recover from a torn acl. he tore it here playing rugby. haha and had surgery here then went home to heal. honorably, he has returned to the work.

 

This week though we contacted a ton of the less actives in the ward. we just would go knock on all of them in one area. kinda like tracting for lessactives. we met the husband of a part member family and he told us to come back friday. so we did. they didnt answer. we were bummed. then he came walking around the corner with his dog and said they were at the park and asked us to come over there because the weather was too nice to be inside. which was true its been some gorgeous weather most of the week. anyway i asked him about his dog and he said it was his bird dog. so of course i got into a nice conversation about bird hunting and shooting and he offered to take me on his turkey hunt next month! except we totally arent allowed to do that so i had to sadly decline the beautiful opportunity. haha but he was just that nice of a guy. theyre letting us “practice” going through our lessons with them. but they committed to read the book of mormon everyday. so i think good things can come for them.

 

We had a good lesson with the m’s. she opened up to us about some things that really matter to her. and he is progressing slowly but still is nonetheless i believe. i got the strongest impression that the biggest reason i am still here in sand creek has to do with brother m. i think there is something the lord needs me to do that will help him. i dont expect he’ll be baptized while i am here but i do think it will happen one day. and an exciting day that will be. the mission has a goal for each companionship to teach 20 lessons a week. and ive never hit it. some areas are pretty much always able to and we havent. but we got really close this week. we hit 18. that was cool. i think well be able to hit 20 soon. kailan and his brother have been doing pretty well. we met with them together once, and then just kailan once. were planning on trying for baptism after spring break which is next week for them.

 

valerie will be moving which is a bummer 😦 for now i think she’ll still be coming here. because theyre staying around here for awhile, then hoping that he gets well enough soon theyll be moving down to texas. itll be sad to say goodbye but they have good things for them in the future.

 

hope all is well there. love you guys and loving colorado.

 

elder stark

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a week of firsts

well, let me start with this. VAL GOT BAPTIZED. that was pretty neat… haha it was awesome. tuesday night we set it up for after young women’s new beginnings. so there were quite a few members there which was awesome. Brother Terry, out ward mission leader baptized her and elder tuy and i were the witnesses. so those were a couple of first timers. ive never had some get baptized, and never stood as a witness. oh and while she was changing we taught the restoration to everyone there (something our president has asked us to do now) for some reason elder tuy and i were super nervous cause we were teaching like 30 members at once. kinda humorous how nervous we were to teach a lesosn wed taught so many times. but it went really well and it was awesome.

 

so because of vals husband, don, being in the hospital and not being able to make it to the baptism, we did vals confirmation in his care center room. however in order to go into his room we had to wear gowns, gloves, and masks. oh and she asked me to confirm her! so that was a first time, and ill always remember it, being dresssed up like a doctor! ahah good memories. yes i got pics so i will send them soon. haha but it was amazing to be a part of a confiramation which had 3 people standin gin and 1 watching. and to feel that simple yet powerful spirit was something else. indescribable.

and yes elder tuifua is getting transferred. a bummer becuase ill miss him and i know he’ll miss this ward. but still excited to be able to stay here. its most common for the trainer to leave and the trainee to take over the area. so we assumed that that is what would happen. we got the call from our zone leaders while we were at the calls still and we stepped out to talk to them. it was so weird to hear that it was him leaving, not me. elder tuifua was a little bummed. but hes gonna be awesome up in castle rock where hes now going. as for my new companion. his name is elder lapana. hes samoan. haha poly to poly. the hard part is that i dont know how hard of a worker he’ll be. its hard to compare to elder tuifua. so it sounds like elder lapana went home early, like before i got here, because of a broken leg, and now hes coming back out. so hopefully he’ll be ready to bike and work hard. haha looking forward to meeting him tomorrow.

 

we helped with a couple different moves this week. that was nice to get to do some service like that. its interesting how you have some poeple that doubt missionaries’ ability to llift stuff, and some who over estimate us – like thinking two of us can move a piano. haha but saturday elder tuifua and i were helping unload a truck for a guy and one guy that was there was like, be careful this one took 4 of us to get in here. itll give ya a hernia. haha and we were like okay well see if we can do it. and elder tuy and i had no problem alone with it. hahaha. silly people.

 

this week well be focusing on finding some new people to teach.. i get to exercise that faith i taught to people in zone conference about. haha

 

love you all! take care

 

elder stark

 

Feb 29, 2016

yes my emails have been shorter. haha ive been getting lazy as far as how much i want to type, and figure ill just focus on whats really improtant: the people im working with.

 

this week we had everything set up for val to be baptized on saturday. we had copies of the program and everything. saturday morning we found out though that don went into the er in the middle of the night. val felt the need, as expected, to stay with him in the hospital. he didnt want her to leave him. so we postponed. we went to visit yesterday and shared the gospel principles lesosn with her in the hospital because she was sad to miss it at church. we also gave don a blessing. that was cool, i really enjoy giving blessings now.  the plan right now is to do the baptism on tuesday night. so we shall see!

 

we met with kailan this week, finally. and his younger  stgep brother was there. hes 12 and an awesome kid. hes interested in continuing to learn more. but the only problem is that he stay with his dad on the weekends usually, so it will be hard for him to come to church. but we are supposed to meet with him tonight.

 

the m. family has been progressing pretty well. sister m. has been coming to church for like 4 weeks in a row, and he husband came yesterday! he still doesnt show much interest but i beleive there is very slwo progression happening. he is slowly opening up to us a little more. last time we talked about his beliefs and things. this time were gonna talk to him about what questions he has in his life. hoping the best for him and for his family. wed life him to realize the potential they have for an eternal family. because i think thats a pretty neat aspect.

 

this week we went on erxchanges with the zone leaders. so wednesday we were both in their ward with the,. it was neat to have that experience of hearing ways that other missioanries teach and do things. it really helps get ideas of things to work on. this week two sisters we are working with ahve given up smoking through a stop smoking program. come tuesday they wil have finished the program. they sound like theyve been doing awesome and have given it up completey. exciting to see.

 

this week we also had our zone conference. i got to speak in the beginning for about 5 minutes on the topic of using faith in our finding efforts. it was neat to be preparing for that and find a general cofnerence talk that helped talk about faith. then a few scripures and stories that helped too. it was a cool day getting to learn so much and have such spiritual experiences.

 

things are going well. hope you guys are good. ill probably get transferred march 8, but ya never really know for sure. so i guess well see!

 

love you all

 

elder stark

Feb 22, 2016

so this week at church, both the d’s and kailan showed up a little late. so when the meeting started elder tuifua and i were out in the foyers. i went to walk to the other side to see if they were coming from that side and when i got the the other side, brother jimenez – a great guy – said “did you know youre praying??” i was like uhh no.. haha so it was like the first verse of the song. so i stepped in walked over to my seat and the entire bishopric is staring at me like trying to see if i heard – so i gave em a thumbs up and waited for the end of the song. haha apparently the exec secretary didnt tell them who was praying, so they just defaulted to us. haha pretty funny to almost miss the prayer. but brother jimenez saved the day.

 

my other slightly humorous story is about a couple weve begun working with. they are the couple that lost their 3 month old baby suddenly last month. that was the funeral we attended. the husband is a computer guy and says religion “isnt his thing” (hes a nonmember). so we asked him to commit to read the book of mormon and his wife is looking at him like yeah! will ya? haha and hes like “honestly, its dry. too boring” and i was like ehhhh, no its not (in my head of course) so i said here how about this, read alma chapter 17, its about a guy cutting off people’s arms. hows that for boring? he admitted it wasnt boring, but he thought it was a bit much. haha now he’ll be reading into the next chapter with his wife, and we encouraged him to pray about it, bet he sounded reluctant. so stay tuned for that!

 

and yeah there are quite a few people that have word of wisdom issues. haha theres just a lot in the world. but val has given up coffee! and the plan is for her and her husband to be baptized this week! hoping and praying for no complications, but well have to see and roll with it. val is so appreciative of the support she has received and feels that prayers have been answered. we have one last lesson with them tonight and thing should be good! don is doing better as well. he is still very tired. but he has begun chemotherapy and things are looking up it sounds like! so yay for that.

 

i did get the valentines package. the day before valentines i believe. i cant remember for sure. everyuthing is a blur. haha i have some pics for ya today! so hopefully ill remember to send them.. haha

 

i think thats what i got for ya guys! love ya much. and this gospel too! hopin the best for you all!

Heyo, fambam

hi there yall. this week has been pretty good. we did a lot of service for donna. an investigator thats been investigating for a lifetime. she’ll be moving at the end of the month, so weve been helping her get ready for that. she had this super nice recliner that she wanted to get rid of so she gave it to us! now we have a nice n comfy massage and heated recliner. hahah nice for sitting it at night and playing uke to wind down. haha but what we didnt think of was the fact that shes been a chain smoker forever, so theres a bit of a smoke smell to the chair. hahaha gonna try to figure out how to get that out. if its even possible lol.

as for the d’s, theyve been doing okay. val committed to quit coffee and green tea on tuesday which is awesome! shes had one cup of coffee since but thats it. so were gonna continue to help with that. today she gave us her box of green tea (“gave”) to throw away. lol we went over to give don a blessing because today he is starting his first treatment for cancer, and he wasnt feeling well at all this weekend. hoping for the best for him.

sister c is continuing to improve on the smoking problem and we have a program were going to try this week probably that i believe will help her quit completely. im excited for her. oh and we had an interesting experience with the m family this week. we were on exchanges on friday, so elder hawkins and i were here in sand creek. we had stopped by the day before and set up an apt. with them. the background is that shes a member but her hubby isnt and they are the couple that lost their 3 month old baby a month or so ago. the lesson was interesting, because elder hawkins and i could feel the spirit super strong and the teaching went really well. but there was something off with them. i know they are having a rough time, for obvious reasons. but they didnt seem to be particularly open to feeling the spirit. him more than her. were going back tonight and hoping for the best.

so the uke has been awesome. i got the new one yesterday – packaged much better this time. lol and i put on my new low g strings. its fun to play and im figuring it out again. haha i think elder tuifua and i might try and play/ sing for people as part of our spiritual thoughts. not sure how id transport it… but well need a bit more practice first any way. haha. its fun though for sure.

this church is amazing and has something special, the entire truth. its cool to see these people were working with come to know that a little bit better and i hope i can share it with more people this week. i enjoy the opportunity i have to serve the lord in this capacity and know this is His work. its a special feeling to know that..

love you guys

elder stark