Sept 19, 2016

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Elder LaRose’s apron. Definitely cooler than Elder Stark’s apron.
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Jimmy’s baptism

This week was quite nice! We had a baptism Saturday for Jimmy! That was a super neat experience. Jimmy was super excited and he even bore his testimony right after being baptized. It was seriously one of the sweetest and most touching testimonies I have ever heard. He powerfully spoke of his testimony of the priesthood, and the Restoration of the Gospel through the prophet Joseph Smith. I felt like a proud parent for a second. Then I remembered his in his 60s or something. lol. But it only got better as he was confirmed a member of the Church in sacrament meeting yesterday. He said that he felt a power and warmth come through him. I know he truly did receive the Holy Ghost and was cleansed of his sins yesterday. How grateful I am to be able to see these things take place in peoples’ lives.

The rest of the week was great too! We finished up some paperwork that usually takes way longer than it did this month, that was a tender mercy for sure. We helped with a couple moves this week. Thats always a good time. We were able to set a baptismal date with our investigator, Mike. He has a really strong desire to be a good spiritual leader for the family him and his wife are trying to start.
We were at the park on thursday to do our weekly planning session, and this guy was biking down the path when he saw us and pulled off and parked his bike. He asked at first if we worked for an office building, when we told him we were missionaries he just sat down and joined us at our table! He is French and a super nice guy, very interested in learning more. We spoke with him for about an hour, maybe even more, and through all his questions ended up teaching most of the doctrine that we teach people before they are baptized. He agrees with it all and is interested in coming to church! The Lord truly is preparing people to receive His gospel and will either put them in our path or even put us in their path.
Saturday I was able to attend the temple with a young man from 15th ward that was going for his first time before going on his mission. I was honored that he would want me to attend with him and it was a neat way to spend the first half of the day that ended so perfectly with Jimmy’s baptism.
Love you all dearly, keep on keepin on!
Elder Stark

Sept 12, 2016

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Do you know the muffin man?

This week we had a special Stake Conference because member of the Seventy was coming to visit. It was a neat conference, especially for those we are teaching about the church, that decided to come this week. It was cool to get to see so many familiar faces from both the Fountain and Sand Creek wards that i served in before, seeing as this is their stake. I enjoyed the opportunity of reuniting with old friends and people that i got to know so well, near the beginning of my mission. Many f these people truly helped me to become the missionary I am today.

One of the people that came to church with us today is Jimmy. Jimmy is awesome. He is supposed to be baptized this coming saturday. He is very excited and has a strong desire to be a part of the true Church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. I am so grateful for the opportunity to now know him and help him in coming to the church. His desire is strong, and he enjoys sharing the opportunity with others.
The rest of this week we saw some awesome success, 6 new people interested in learning about the church, that we have begun teaching. Its truly been miracles from the Lord in our area. All 6 are couples, so 3 couples that all have a desire to have the best for their families, each at different points. One is trying to start a family and wants to do it right. One has one but its a little broken currently and they are trying to make the best of a sticky situation. Finally a couple that has now sent all their children off from the home, trying to find the truth.
A pretty funny moment this week was on our way to help a young man with his eagle project yesterday and we discovered that the location was a trail right off of Drury Lane. My companion was quick to remember the song “do you know the muffin man” which informs us that the Muffin Man lives on Drury Lane. So, naturally we tracted the street, asking if anyone was the muffin man. Unfortunately, no one was. Just kidding, we didnt knock doors and ask, but we did however go out of our way to buy muffins and take pictures with the street sign. (see google drive)
The weeks go on, miracles never cease. The Lord truly is a god of miracles, although He is also an 11th hour God and gives us many opportunities to strengthen our faith and patience in Him. So grateful for all that I constantly learn. Love you guys dearly.
Elder Stark
ps Happy Birthday shoutout to the BEST MOM THERE EVER WAS.

Sept 6, 2016

crazy week, crazy blessings

This week was, as expected, pretty insanely busy, luckily everything went relatively smoothly as far as transfers and getting the new missionaries situated goes. we were driving people all over the place to and from the airport like 3 times throughout the week. It was hectic for sure, but the way it works out every time is a miracle for sure. The Lord definitely has His hand in it all.

As soon as all the new missionary and transfer craziness ended, we then got to take care of the departing missionaries. We basically got to hang out with them their last 2 days. Tuesday night was dinner and exit interviews (so us and the ones not in their interview just watch a movie in the basement of the mission home), wednesday was the temple all day followed by dinner and a fireside. That was super cool. Then on Thursday we took them all to the airport to send them off to their loved ones. All a very cool experience.
From Friday on we saw some neat blessings. Because we have so much time spent with missionaries, we dont get as much time in our area as most missionaries. Becuase of that the Lord truly blesses us with work to do. We had quite a few people referred to us by some other missionaries and were able to begin trying to get in touch with them, still a work in progress. but Saturday we had a few really cool experiences. 2 of which were the opportunities to give Priesthood Blessings to nonmembers. they both commented on the spirit they felt during the blessing. The Priesthood is such a cool thing. that the Lord would give the authority to act in His name to heal the sick and bring comfort to those that stand in need of it to his sons. Im so grateful to hold the Priesthood and to be able to be that instrument in the Lord’s hands.
I love you all and am so grateful for your support. The mission is the greatest thing ever. Im grateful for all that i am constantly learning.
love,
Elder Stark

August 29, 2017

leodonnyattheturtlevanastarkinhisnaturalhabitat

Crazy times

Hectic week down, insane week to come. This week coming up is looking to be pretty insane. Its transfer week, and there are 27 new missionaries coming out here to Colorado Springs tomorrow. All sorts of fun details with that. This last week has been a lot of fun though, for Pday we hiked St. Mary’s Falls – cool hike, so-so waterfall. Lots of good times had, especially as we ran down the trail back – more tiring than you would expect.

We had exchanges with some Zone Leaders on Wednesday. Elder Constantine and I stayed in our area and Elder Hagman joined us for the day. We had some really cool experiences with that as we were able to meet with a few different people we have been working with. The most notable from our current teaching pool being Jimmy, and investigator. He is scheduled to get baptized on September 10th. He wants to be baptized and is excited for it, but as we spoke with him that evening, we found out he didn’t quite understand why he wanted to be baptized. He knew he wanted to but didn’t know if the Lord wanted him to. So we talked about the true power of prayer and the answer that he can receive of what the Lord’s will is for him. It was a powerful lesson and he committed to speak with God on the matter.

We’ve had some last minute changes take place with the transfer this week and its always neat to be able to pray with our Mission President to know what the Lord’s will is on a specific matter. I had an interesting experience, yesterday, where I kept having a thought of the way I wanted to the situation to go, but found myself suggesting the exact opposite. As we prayed, I kept thinking of what I wanted and wondered why I had suggested the opposite. It was not until later that I realized the reason I felt okay with the decision: because it was the Lord’s, not mine. The Lord truly has a perfect plan for each of us, and sometimes it requires us to feel some discomfort. That is often what motivates us to make the necessary changes in our lives. I’m grateful that the Lord knows all and that his plan is higher than ours. He knows what is best for us, no doubt about it.

Love you all,

Elder Stark