As most of you know, we are in England until December. We keep in touch with Elder Stark via weekly e-mails, but haven't had a chance to update the blog very often. He moved from La Follette to Chattanooga this past summer. He misses his old area, but loves where he is now serving. We hope you enjoy some of these posts from our Tennessee missionary!
June 30, 2014
Well, I've decided to try to send a mass email to everyone. I don't know If anyone even want's these. But too bad. It's gonna happen. At least for a little bit until I give up and stop. I thought I would kick this off with a quick summary of what's gone down the past few months.Well, I've been in a little town called La Follette since Feb 11th and have really enjoyed it. I love it here and no matter what people tell you about hillbillies don't believe everything you hear. They are some of the coolest people you'll ever meet. The people here have inspired me to start my "Little Book of Southern Phrases and Metaphors" Every time I here a phrase or metaphor that makes me chuckle or is just awesome I right it down. I'm not very far into it yet but It'll get there. I still have a while. While I've been here We've had 2 baptisms and should have a couple more in the coming weeks and months, I've been welcomed with open arms, and I've just learned a ton. I've learned not only about the gospel but about life. I've learned skills that I will take with me for the rest of my life. I've probably sweat more here than I ever have before in my life. And you know what, I've learned that a mission is just plain hard. It's totally worth it, but it is hard. I've never cried so much in my life, I've never prayed so much in my life, and I've never loved so much in my life. I've really learned that I have to love everyone to do this. And sometimes it is definitely hard.
Well, that's all for now. If you feel so inclined, email me back. If not, don't. It's that simple. Bye.
A new week and another chance to make a difference. Highlights from the life of Elder Dallen Stark this past week...
First, our new Mission President arrived. President Griffin is a great man and is going to do great things during his time here in Tennessee. Fun fact: I was the first formal interview that Pres. Griffin conducted as mission president. Cool right?
Next, the 4th of July. We had a great Independence Day. We were at an investigator's house and we launched huge fireworks. He said he spent about $400 on fireworks. Pretty good right? We even got to stay out until 10:30 PM. Crazy!
Last, Fast Sunday. Fast Sundays are always the best. I love hearing from the members of this wonderful branch and their great testimonies. It helps mine grow. Never miss a fast and testimony meeting. They are just so good.
Other than those highlights we taught people, served people, and just had a great week. If you ever have any questions for me don't hesitate to ask. I love questions, because questions have answers. Bye everybody
Elder Dallen Stark
July 14, 2014
Hey Yuns,Elder Stark here reporting from LaFollette, TN. You know what? This week has been very uneventful. I don't have much to say about it really at all. Oh, our investigator who has a baptismal date scheduled was at church today! Cool right? Um, I recently acquired a mandolin, free of charge, and am currently learning to play it. It will definitely take some practice but I'll get there some day (maybe). And I have a quick story. It goes something like this:
Earlier this week we decided to take some action on the ant infestation that has been plaguing our apartment for the past few months. We got some of those things you set out and the ants eat it and take it back to their hive and it kills them all. Or at least that is the theory. So we do this and everything is going great. They start going for the bait, some of them are dying, Good right? That's what we thought too. So we leave it there in our kitchen for a few days like it tells us to and then last night my companion yells for me to come check something out. So I go downstairs not really sure what to expect. So I look in the kitchen and he is crouched down by the little ant trail that this bait is causing and he asks what these little white things are. They weren't ants, ants are black. They turn out to be little ant larvae. The ants set up shop on our kitchen floor right under our noses next to the corpses of their friends. So we spray them all of them with bleach and then go to bed. It was terrible. The apartment smelled like bleach all night long.
July 21, 2014
Over here in Tennessee things are going good. The work is really progressing. The sisters in the branch had a baptism this past Saturday and we have one scheduled for this Friday. Things are going great. This past month has seemed to just fly by. You know what? I can't really remember anything that happened this week. There is one thing that I am super pleased with. We went to this cool souvenir shop and I got this awesome Jack Sparrow pipe. I don't really know what compelled me to buy it but I did, and I have no regrets. I will attach some close ups just so you can admire the awesomeness.
To continue the tradition, another fun saying I heard down here.
"Like a blister! You show up AFTER all the work is done."
Anyways, That's all.
Love, Elder Stark
|Pretty cool pirate pipe. I had to buy it!|
July 28, 2014
Greetings Friends and Family,
This week has been exciting! We had a baptism on Friday, we survived a tornado, and I found out that I will be transferred this week.
The baptism could have gone smoother but he got baptized so everything is good. His name is mark and he is 28. He has a Masters in Business Administration, and is working on another masters degree. He's smart. It came up so fast and we thought we had everything planned but it turns out that we didn't have everything, like the piano player or the video we wanted to play while they were all getting changed and stuff. So it could have gone smoother for sure. Ultimately that doesn't matter a whole lot though.
The tornado... Yesterday we were up at our branch president's house with the sisters in the branch having dinner and it was pretty good weather. Pretty soon clouds started to move in and everything went still. It's never a good sign when it is too still outside. The clouds started t turn greenish which is a sign that there is probably going to be a tornado. Suddenly the wind picked up very quickly and everything went crazy. We went down to the basement and waited it out. The wind was howling and the rain sure was coming down. When it settled, the branch pres. gets a call from the branch mission leader. The tornado had gone right through his yard and taken down a bunch of big trees on his property. We later found out that a house on the side of the ridge opposite from us was leveled. A few other houses nearby were taken out too. We ended up just staying the night at our branch president's just in case. It was crazy. Then this morning we stopped by our mission leader's house to check out the damage on his property. It was bad. A lot of the trees all around his house were taken out and there was debris everywhere. The cool thing was that his house wasn't touched. Talk about blessings from above. It was a crazy night.
And finally, I am getting transferred this week. I am super sad I am leaving La Follette. I love it here, I love the people, and just everything about it. But the next place will be even better. I hope. I'll let y'all know where I'm at next week when I a there.
Now for the Saying:
"He ain't got a pot to pee in, let alone a window to throw it out of!" (now that's poor)
-Pres. Trey Smith
That's a good one.
Well, this is Elder Dallen Stark Signing out from La Follette for the last time. So long for now
|The tornado got this tree!|
|The Smith Family|
August 4, 2014
Well everyone, it was transfer week. I have been relocated to Chattanooga. A Bike area. My legs are sore man. But hey, at least they'll be super ripped by the end of my time here. I have this great feeling that I am going to love it here. It's been a few days and I already love it. I sure do miss La Follette but they'll be just fine without me up there. This is where I'm needed. I just hope I will be able to accomplish all the things I've been sent here to do. I know that I'm here for a specific reason, now I just need to find it. Church here is Awesome. We meet in the old civil war mansion in downtown Chattanooga. It is legit. My comp is pretty cool too, We're going to get along just fine. Well, What else can I say...I can't really think of anything so I'll close.
Now for the Saying:
"I'm more wore out than a one-legged man in a butt kickin' contest!"
Elder Dallen Stark
August 11, 2014
This is going to be really short because I am out of time. The church evacuated every missionary from a couple missions in Africa because of that crazy disease. We got 3 of them here and one of them is my new comp. We are in a trio now and that's cool. His name is Elder Tucker and He's cool.
"He's as nervous and a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockin' chairs."
That's all Folks.
Elder Dallen Stark
|Elders Tucker, Smith and Stark|
August 18, 2014
Well, this week hasn't bee very eventful. We had a baptism scheduled for this past Saturday but they had to cancel. Nothing breaks your heart like seeing something like that. Seeing someone who is ready, not step into the faunt. But it will happen. His time will come. Elder Tucker, the one from Africa, is really cool. He is a really good missionary and has really taught me to not take anything for granted. He tells stories of people in Africa having it terrible. Even the missionaries over there just are not in good situations most of the time. It has really made me grateful for what I have. We should all be grateful for what we have. It puts everything into perspective. Well, that's my 2 cents this week.
"Her heart's as big as a wash (Pronounced warsh) tub."
That one is just sweet. He was talking about his wife and it was just good.
Anyways, that's all for this week
Love, Elder Stark
August 25, 2014
How goes it?
This week has been exciting and crazy and full of Weirdness. One night we heard a knock on the door at like 11 pm so we all walked over and looked through the peep hole and no one was there but we just didn't feel good about opening the door so we didn't. That's just one example of just an odd thing that happened.
Another thing that happened was really kinda funny. So we're about to go to bed and one of my companions walk into the bedroom and ask if we could smell smoke. We said maybe a little. So we look at the oven and nothing. We look outside and nothing. So we're like 'where is that coming from?' We then look in one of the last places we would have thought to look, the dishwasher. Smoke is just pouring out of it. We open it and it turns out a wooden spoon had fallen down to the bottom and landed on the heating element and started to burn. I would send you a picture of the spoon but I forgot the camera. But the spoon was all charred and the whole apartment smelled like smoke for a couple days. It was lucky that we caught it before it got too bad. But it was still bad. Stupid wooden spoons anyways.
I was given the 'opportunity' to give two talks this sunday. One in the YSA branch and one in the Family branch. I had a day to prepare the one for the family branch and a week for the YSA branch. It's safe to say that the family branch talk wasn't quite as good as the YSA. But it was a good experience. This was actually the first time I was asked to speak while on the mission and it's been about 7 months.
Well that was basically what happened this week with a lot of lessons and biking in between. So I guess I'll end there.
"Well, there's more than one way to skin a rabbit."
- Random Librarian
You would say this if you do something in a different way than someone else. just FYI.
Elder Dallen Stark
September 2, 2014
WHAT!! It's September already? Time really does fly. Anyways, Just a quick update because honestly I don't have anything to say this week.
Umm, next week is transfers and one of us in the tripanionship will most likely leave Chatt town. It's sad, we must just be having too much fun or something. It's still hot and sweaty on the bikes, and we're still teaching a lot of black people which is AWESOME!
"Grinnin' like a mule eatin' a sawbriar."
I have no Idea what a sawbriar is but is doesn't sound very appetizing.
That's all I've got for you. You're Welcome.
September 8, 2014
This week not a ton happened. One really cool thing that we are doing is we are teaching this guy who is agnostic. He has a ton of questions and is just a really cool guy to talk to. He is all ears and really wants to know whether he can believe or not. It is nice to be able to help someone like that.
Also we got to tour a news station and watch a newscast in person. It was really cool. One of our investigators is the weather man there so he was able to hook us up.
Other than that nothing real big to report on. One of my companions will be transferred out on wednesday and we won't be picking up a new guy so it will be back down to two. That will be quite the change.
"Lord willing and the creek don't rise."
When saying that you will probably be able to do something unless something else comes up. Never a good thing to hear because chances are something will come up.
That all I've got for you. Talk to you next week.
September 15th, 2014
We're down to a normal companionship of 2 here in Chattanooga. We lost Elder Smith on Wednesday. He got transferred away. We have a nice vision and some good goals for the next transfer. It's Gonna be good. It was a hectic week with transfers and really not a ton of exciting stuff happened.
There was one cool experience. We were at church before the YSA branch meetings and a 20ish year-old guy walked into the church and asks for one of the missionaries, so a member calls me over and start talking to him for a bit and we swap contact info and stuff and we plan on talking with him more in the next little bit. I love it when people find us. It's a lot easier. That's my story for the week.
"He could start an argument in an empty house."
Some people down here are just like that.
Anyways, I'll talk to y'all later.
Love, Elder Stark
|Any news? Teaching the gospel to the local weatherman made this pic possible...|
|Elder Bacon headed home!|