Saturday, May 17, 2014

It's been a while since we updated the blog. Here are some "Elder Stark" highlights from the past month:

April 14:

Well, this week was interesting. There is good and bad. The good is that we have another baptism this upcoming saturday. Peter the puerto rican is getting baptized on saturday and confirmed on sunday. The bad is that the guy that was supposed to get confirmed yesterday was too sick to come to church so that didn't happen. But it will happen next week. so Easter Sunday will be a really good Sunday.

April 21:

Easter was fantastic. We went over to a member's house to eat Easter dinner. That was something we never really did as a family was eat a big Easter dinner. But it was really good. Also, some members here made us some Easter bags full of candy. I love how much stuff we get as missionaries. we are spoiled. And just to put a cherry on top of Easter weekend, we had a baptism and a couple confirmations. It was just a great weekend. I got the package today. They left a slip in the mailbox so I could go pick it up but the post office closes in the morning on saturdays, which we didn't know, and it isnt open on sundays. So I had to wait until today. The baptism was awesome. Peter got baptized Saturday evening and it was a great service. He brought a lot of family there that aren't members and we might start teaching them soon. Then he was confirmed on Sunday with Anthony. It was just a really good Easter weekend.

There isn't really much news other than the baptism. We have a couple potential investigators and just the same solid ones. They aren't really progressing though. It's a little frustrating but we're trying. We are still doing a lot of Less-active work. There are a lot of less-active and inactive members here. So that takes up a big chunk of our time. But I love working with them. A lot of them know what they need to do they just aren't doing it. Yep, transfers are on the 7th of May. I will know whether I am going or staying on the 3rd. I don't even know what to think. It could go either way. I don' really want to leave this area. But Wherever I need to go I will.

...Peter's wife is catholic, possibly teachable. Not sure yet. Elder Bacon is from Wisconsin and he has been out for about a year and a half. He goes home in September.

April 28:

This week has actually been kinda hard. I have been really stressed and normally to relieve stress at home I would play videos games and such, but I can't do that here so I try my best to find other ways to do it. It's hard. But I'm fine. Not much to report this week. Went on a couple exchanges and met some people from Bonneville communications while they were filming our branch president for a "I'm a Mormon" video. So that's pretty cool. So in about 6 months the Trey Smith I'm a mormon video will be up and running. They were really cool guys and they said that it was a really good shoot. I'm excited to see the videos when it comes out.

On May 4 we sent this blurb from the Church News to Elder Stark:

Steven Paul Griffin, 48, and Cherie Nanette Mitton Griffin, seven children, Meadows Ward, Plain City Utah Stake: Tennessee Knoxville Mission, succeeding President Richard A. Irion and Sister Gloria Irion. Brother Griffin is a former stake president, bishop, ward Young Men president and missionary in the Washington Spokane Mission. President/owner, Sky Blue Industries, Inc. Born in Ogden, Utah, to Rulon Alton Griffin and LueDean Bingham Griffin.
Sister Griffin is a former ward Young Women president, ward Young Women adviser, ward Relief Society instructor and ward Primary teacher. Born in Carson City, Nevada, to Von Allen Mitton and Suzanne Elizabeth Mitton.

May 5:

Hey Everyone,

Neither Elder Bacon or myself will be transferred this time. So we will both be here another 6 weeks at least. We will be able to call or Skype next Sunday! We are planning on using skype if we can find a member we can use it from. I'm not sure when we will be on. We get out of church at 1:00 PM, so we could probably be on as soon as 2:00 or anytime after that. What time would be best for you guys? You will be in Arizona? Because of the time zone difference we don't want to get confused. Is Arizona 2 hours behind or just one? We can plan for whenever so just let me know when you will be watching for it, whenever the best time for you is and I will see if that will work. That info about the new mission president is great. Now I can put a face to the name. So with that out of the way...

This week was an interesting week. For the most part it was a pretty standard week. Nothing real bad happened but nothing real good either. We basically just went throught the week until friday. We went on exchanges on Friday with an elder up in Whitley City, Kentucky for the day. But, he was pretty sick. So we were confined to the apartment for most of the time. So while he was resting I was reading and studying. It was actually a nice day. It was relaxing and I learned and was still productive. We ended up going out and visiting one family that night when he started feeling better which was great also. The next day we exchanged back and I went back down to La Follette. This Sunday was great. People who aren't normally there were there, but some people who should have been there weren't. It was bitter sweet. It was Fast Sunday so people got up and gave their testimonies and those are always good. The other classes were good as well. After church we visited a man named Eddy. We met Eddy tracting a couple weeks ago and were just able to go back yesterday. He is a great man. He recently went through a divorce and is raising a teenage son. He had some great questions like 'what questions do I ask God?', 'How do I ask them?', and 'How do I really forgive?'. Just some really good questions. I'm not sure how far he will go but I think he is a good one. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he would read and pray. So we'll see where that goes. Then we went over to Joey's (a recent convert) home to watch the CES devotional and that was really good as well. Joey is just the best. He was baptized in December. He found the church by looking for the right one. He was researching religions and he found The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and he wanted to know more. He ordered a Book of Mormon expecting it to come in the mail. The next thing he knew two missionaries knock on his door and the rest is history. He is awesome.

Anyways, that was my week. Is there anything else you need? Let me know when a good time to skype would be so I don't miss the chance. I'll see you then I guess. Love you all.

Elder Dallen Stark

May 11-12:

We were able to talk to Dallen for about 45 minutes on Mother's Day. So fun! but also hard to not be together. He was at Pres. Smith's home in the "Holler" and seems to be doing really well. He loves the members there, and is really working hard to be a good missionary. Here is his note from the next day:

The person who texted you I think was actually Pres. Smith's son Fleet. He is a really great guy. He went on a mission to Ogden and is now the Young Men's pres. here in the branch. I've tried to become friends with everyone in the branch. It is the easiest way for the members to trust you and it makes it a lot more enjoyable to have people that actually like seeing you.
It was awesome to talk to everyone yesterday, it wasn't nearly long enough but at least it was something. I miss you all too and at times I kinda wish I was there with you but I don't want to go home. I still have a lot to do here. How was the little video you took of me? Was it good? Not that it really matters but I would prefer if it was good.

There isn't much that I need to say because we just talked yesterday. But I will say that I am becoming more comfortable with everything the longer I am out here but by no means am I comfortable, ever. This whole Mission experience is completely the opposite of anything I have really ever done. It is really hard but it will all be worth it.

That sucks that Hayden wasn't able to skype with them yesterday. Maybe it will work today. That's funny that he has a mexican accent. They all get one. I'm sure all of my friends down in mexico have one too. Do I have an accent or are there just some words that I used that were funny. I can't really tell. I know I don't have a strong one if at all because I don't sound like most of the people here. A lot of people here have really strong southern accents.

Keep the advice coming, it does help. Say hi to the family for me and Happy Mother's Day again Mom. I'll talk to you later. Love you

Love, Elder Dallen Stark

Here are some pictures from the baptism. Peter got baptized, Robbie (the mountain man) baptized him, and there is President Trey Smith (Branch Pres.). I think dad should grow a beard like Robbie.