Saturday, July 18, 2015

The blog has been pretty quiet for about 6 months now, but Elder Dallen Stark has been busy. In April he was transferred to LaFayette, Georgia, where he has been serving. He seems to like it there pretty well. It is the first time he has served in an area where there is a ward congregation instead of a branch. A few weeks ago they were able to baptize a teenage girl who has already had the chance to visit the temple. Dallen is doing well overall. here are some excerpts from his weekly emails, with some photos below:

April 6:
Conference was fantastic this weekend. A trend I noticed was that concerning temple marriage and families. A topic that is kinda bitter sweet for missionaries. There wasn't one talk that really stood out more that the others they were all really good. I liked the "I can teach you how to dance but you have to hear the music." talk, and elder Oaks talk, and many others. Those just come to mind right now.


"Complaining is like rocking in a rocking chair. It passes time but doesn't get you anywhere."
 - Pres. Gilbert

Some photos from Harlan:

April 13:
Dallen ran into the Hales from our ward here in Utah. They were there to greet their granddaughter, just finishing her mission:

It was really odd seeing a familiar face at the transfer meeting. I looked over and I thought I recognized them and sure enough it was the Hales. It was Awesome, they took a few pictures and we chatted for a few minutes. What did you think of my loud paisly tie at the transfer meeting???? I think it is great. Their Granddaughter was going home and I didn't know her. We never crossed paths. But that's fine. Elder Tucker is going home, back to Utah. So, I'm back in the Chattanooga Stake. I went from the northern most apartment in the mission to the southern most apartment. I am living in La Fayette (la-fay'-it), Georgia. It is similar to Athens in landscape but a lot less people. But there are still a lot more people than there were in Harlan. We are in a small Ward. Around 100 people or so. So a lot more people than I'm used to but the ward is really great. We get fed and get teamups and the ward is extremely involved in the missionary work. It's great. My Companion's name is Elder Bateman. He's from Harriman Utah and he's only just barely finished being trained. 3 months out. He's great. We're gonna get work done.


I'm in the Chat stake again. This time in La Fayette GA. It is a cool little town and it is a lot hotter than Kentucky. I am companions with Elder Bateman who has been out for 3 months and is great. Transfers were crazy because I saw someone from the Mapleton ward there. The Hales came because their granddaughter who was serving in the mission was going home. It was really cool. I am in a Ward for the first time on my mission. I've been in branches the rest of the time. It is a little odd. But I like it. It was hard to leave Harlan but I will get over it because I am needed here, otherwise I wouldn't be here. Well, That's the news this week and the goings on.


"He's got his nose so high in the air he could drown in a rainstorm."
 - I don't know

April 20:
This week was really good, We had investigators at church, people have baptismal dates, I split my eye open playing Basketball. Great!  It sure was a trip getting Our investigators to church. They were all set to go, but Saturday night we find out that Will, the husband, had to work on Sunday so he wasn't able to go but Sarah, the wife, was still good to go and the ride was ready and everything. So we get home and at like 10:00 pm we get a call from Bro. Collins, their ride, saying that his wife ran the car into a ditch by their house and that is was stuck in the mud and they wouldn't be able to get it out until the next day. They obviously were not going to be able to pick up out investigators. We then start scrambling to find a ride for them but it is like 10:30 so it is too late to call anyone so we have to wait until morning. We were able to get out ward mission leader's wife to go get sarah and her 5 kids and everything went great. It was extremely stressful, but worth it. It has been a long time since I've seen an investigator at church. Fun stuff.
Now I'll tell you the story of the crazy baptist that we talked to. We knocked on his door and immediately he started telling us what we believed, that we're not christians because we don't believe that Jesus is the Father, that we are a cult, the works. Knowing that bashing isn't going to solve anything I sat there and took it, even though I could have crushed him with scripture and doctrine, I stopped myself. My companion, being out only a few months tried to explain that we were christian and not a cult and stuff. But this guy was determined and decided he wasn't going to listen to us no matter what we would have said, which my comp soon figured out. I interrupted him and explained that we respect everyone's beliefs and we would appreciate it if he would respect ours. He wouldn't even take that and wanted to keep arguing so we just said "have a good day" and left. It goes to show that even if we teach truth and have the spirit others need to humble themselves and let the spirit teach them. It is sad and at that moment kinda made me mad. We got over it pretty quickly and just laughed it off. Sometimes that's all you can do.

Well, I'll send a couple pics of my eye and stuff,


"He's so rich he buys a new boat when he gets the other one wet."
 - Just some guy

May 11:
Yesterday was Mother's day and I had a great time talking to my family. It is always a good experience. I also was able to give a talk in sacrament meeting the righteous women in our lives. It was a really cool experience that I really didn't know how it would go. It went really well and I learned quite a bit about the vast importance of women. I'll share a quote that I used in my talk from Elder Quentin L. Cook,
    He said, "God placed within women divine qualities of strength, virtue, love, and willingness to sacrifice to raise furture generations of God's spirit children."
It is true, Women are truly endowed with these divine qualities.

May 18:
This week has been strange. We weren't able to talk to a bunch of people but some strange things happened. We had Stake Conference this weekend Which was normal. We had a battle with some creepy shiny blue and black wasps. And some strange lady gave us $80 worth chocolates. Stake Conference was good, Lots of talks and training and we had an area 70 there. It was great too because I got to see and talk to a bunch of people from the Chatt Branch that were there. It was great to hear how they are all doing. About the shiny blue and black wasps, we go outside to get the mail and we find our mailbox infested with these creepy looking wasps that I've never seen before. This is what it looks like. It's Creepy, but we captured one to get a close Inspection, Nothing too crazy, It's just a different kind of wasp. And it probably would hurt if it stung you so we need to watch out

The chocolates is pretty self explanatory, Not much more to say. She gets these chocolate baskets from her rich boss and she gave us a couple. It is really good chocolate too. It was Awesome!

Well, That's what happened.


Something tells me I've used this one but I'm not sure.

"Butter me up and call be a biscuit."
 - Elder Adamson

May-June various dates:
This week has been pretty good. we were able to teach a lesson at a members house after dinner to one of their friends and her son. They both seemed really open and it was probably one of the longest plan of salvation lessons that I have ever taught because they participated a lot. It was really good. I love when people actually communicate. It makes it a whole lot easier to help them.
This week was really good. We were able to find some new people to work with and were able to teach some of our investigators. We got a call on thursday evening from our ward mission leader that one of our investigators, a 14 yr old girl named Olivia, was being interviewed for girls camp and the bishop was very bold and basically just said "why don't you get baptized on the 20th?" so she is now getting baptized on the 20th. It was awesome and it took us completely off guard. We were also able to go up to Knoxville on wednesday, spend the night at the mission home and on thursday we got a bunch of training on the "Missionary Work in the Digital Age" thing with iPads and stuff. Elder Zwick of the 70 and Bro. Hemingway from the missionary department came and taught us and trained us. It was all about having a change of heart and training ourselves now to use technology righteously before we go back into the world where our lives will not be quite so consecrated. It was really good and I learned a lot. It is going to be a really good tool but our purpose is the same. To bring souls to Christ.
This week was great with the highlight being a baptism in the ward. The other Elders in the ward had a baptism. I was able to interview here and it was great to be able to participate in that. She was so excited. It is great to see people that are just ready for this. I am basically out of time on the computers so I will have to call it there. I will send two quotes next week to make up for the lack of one this week. Unless I forget which is likely... so yeah.
This week was actually pretty good. President Griffin came down to Georgia to visit and give us some pointers. It was really good. I always enjoy talking with him.  He just makes you feel better no matter what. It's great. The assistants also came down to our district meeting on Friday and I had no idea they were coming until they showed up. I love surprises! But it was good. THey gave some good advice and they showed off the iPads that they got earlier in the week. So they are actually here. I've been hearing about them for a year and a half and they are finally here. It'll be an interesting adjustment and I hope it goes smoothly. It will be good. Other than that it was a normal week.\


"She's so tall if she fell down she'd be halfway home."

"He's one fry short of a Happy Meal."

This week was actually really crazy. We got iPads, the city shut our electricity and water off instead of our neighbor's who moved out, we got a new bishopric in our ward (the ward mission leader, so they'll have to find us a new one of those). Just some odd things. The iPads are pretty cool. We can't use facebook or anything like that, all we have is the gospel library and other teaching and study resources. I will probably never see the day where we get to use facebook, There are steps that happen. we are on step one right now, step two is the area book planner, and step 3 is the online proselyting like facebook and stuff. I'm not sure how long it will take though. Our electricity is back on because they sent someone out who knew how to do that but our water is still off because they are closed over the weekend except for emergencies. kinda dumb but whatever. We've been borrowing our neighbors water because they moved out and our landlady gave us a key. So that is good. It's a little annoying but we survive.

It was really cool to see the calling of the new bishopric. You could see the mantle lift from off the old bishop onto the new one. Bishop Evans (new) looked ready to take on the role and he had perfect confidence that this was what the Lord wanted and he stood there and addressed us with that confidence and power. It was one of the coolest things I've seen while I've been out here.

That summarizes this week pretty well. We have a baptism scheduled for next friday which is really exciting. I would appreciate prayers for that to go through without hiccup or problem. Thanks y'all for all the support. I Love all of you

This week was great! We had a baptism! We were able to see Olivia our investigator step into the waters of baptism and begin her journey on the path back to our heavenly home. It was a great experience.

There's a picture attached.

That is the Highlight of the week obviously.

We found out that my companion will be transferred this week and I will stay in the area to lead it off. We'll see how this goes. That is the extent of the experiences worthy of this email I think... or at least that I can remember...


"My finger was swollen as a dead possum."
 - Ellis Forrester

This seems like a great place to pause. More updates to come! So proud of our missionary!!!

Monday, January 19, 2015

January, 2015

Starting the New Year off by updating Dallen's Missionary Blog!

January 19th
Well everyone, Transfer week. They are always odd. Lost of goodbyes and lots of Hellos, just not from me because I stayed up here in Harlan. I am glad too. First, because I didn't have to pack. Packing is the worst. Second, and more importantly, the area is starting to move. We had a couple investigators at church this week. We met them on Saturday and they were there the very next day. It Helps when you have a senior couple who can go pick people up. That is one of the biggest hurdles I've noticed, Getting people to church who don't have reliable transportation. It happens a lot over here. But it was great to see them at church. I got a new comp this week. His name is Elder McRae. He's a cool guy, and we're going to have a lot of fun together while still getting work done. That's all I really wanted to say this week so..


"She’s so clumsy she could trip over a cordless phone!"
 - Another random guy

 Elder Stark

Elder Stark and Elder Langsmith at the transfer meeting. We had fun, but time to move on!

January 12th
Hello guys,

This week has been a pretty good week. There was one experience that was rather refreshing. We received a referral from church HQ to deliver a bible to someone. This type of thing happens a lot, people see, "Free Bible" and they jump on that. So we were expecting someone who wanted a bible but not really someone who cared to learn about the church. But we get there and This guy comes to the gate and stops us so his dog doesn't bite us and he sits out there with us for a good 15 minutes in the cold asking us what we believe and us asking him what he believes and he ended up inviting us back at a time that his wife wasn't going to be home because she doesn't like meeting new people, it makes her kinda anxious. So we go back and go inside and He asks us all about the restoration and the plan of salvation in kinda round-a-bout ways. But during the conversation I think we covered just about everything. It was awesome to see someone who is actually open and willing to listen and just have a nice conversation with us. It was a great Highlight for the week.

We also found out that my companion will be transferred this week, I will be staying in Harlan for a little while longer. So that will be an interesting change.


"We'll learn ya!"
 - Elder Langsmith

In tribute to my departing companion.

That's all, talk to you later.

Love, Elder Stark

January 5th
Well everyone, It's 2015!! Where has this year gone? It went by so fast but so much happened. People always ask something along the lines of, "looking back on the year, what are your resolutions?" Personally, I don't  like making New Years resolutions. I think things that are worth making resolutions about shouldn't have to wait until the new year to change. That being said, sometimes we do need to stop and take a look at ourselves and recognize changes that need to me made. I encourage all of you to do this. Not for the sake of any New Year's resolutions, do it because it is just some thing that needs to happen. We should all be striving to be better every day. Ok, Now that I am off my soap box I'll tell you a little bit about the week.

We were able to find a couple new investigators this week. We had been working with them for a little while but they never showed much interest in learning but this past time we went over they actually wanted to. So now we are going to start working with them more and hopefully help them progress towards baptism. We are really excited because we haven't had any solid investigators here in quite a while.
New Years was also pretty fun, about as much fun as you can have on new years as a missionary. We went over to the senior couple's house and played some games and ate some good food. We even had sparkling cider. It was a fun night.
Those are just a couple highlights from the week.

"If wishin' was fishin' we'd all be at the lake with our fishin' poles."
 - Dewey Sizemore

Love Y'all.

       Elder Stark

December, 2014 Updates

Sorry for such a long break between updates. We (Dallen's family) have now returned from England, and settled into life again. Dallen is now in Harlan, Kentucky. He has been companions with Elder Langsmith. Here are some highlights from December, and another post from October/November!

December 29
Well, Christmas! It was a really good week with christmas and everything that goes with it. Kinda hectic and not a ton of people have time because they want to spend their time with their family. Which is fine. But it leads to us not being able to do a whole lot this week. It was super nice being able to talk to my family as well. This time around wasn't nearly as hard as the firts go around. I am more settled in to the mission life and not really homesick anymore. Every once in a while it will hit but for the most part it is done. Well, I thought I would have more to say this week but I really don't. so...
"She could sit on the back of a dead cow and eat a beef sandwich."
 - Frankie Green
    (She was cleaning up something real smelly and it didn't even bother her)
That's it.
 Elder Stark

A couple of our Christmas gifts to Dallen!

Some of the Christmas gifts we sent to Dallen!

December 22
Well, This week is Christmas!! The first one away from home. I'm excited for it but it is going to be super weird. I don't even know what to think about it.

This week has been pretty standard. We were able to meet some cool people but no one was terribly interested in learning about the gospel. But we'll keep going. We had an awesome pot luck on Saturday, Lot's of people came and the food was great. I love pot lucks in the south. There's always lots of food. I really am surprised that I haven't gained any weight so far. Maybe a couple pounds but no more.

There was a point this week when someone asked us why we were out on our missions. I love and hate when someone asks that question because the answer is always different. It is constantly changing. It is always good to ponder those types of questions, even if you aren't a missionary. Why are you doing what you're doing? You might find something within yourself that you hadn't seen before.


"He’s so skinny, his pants had only one back pocket."
 - Another random guy


    Elder Stark

December 16
Well, how's it going guys?

I'm emailing today because we had a conference yesterday and were there all day so today is p-day. This week has been full of driving and lots of meetings. We had a mission conference with Elder Renlund of the 70, a Zone Conference, and other stuff. It was long and great. Sometimes meetings are just awful, but these ones were great. I've heard that it takes a really good meeting to make it better than no meeting at all and this is true. These were really good meetings. Other than that I can't think of much else that I need to talk about. umm


"He’s about as handy as a back pocket on a shirt."
- Random guy



       Elder Stark

December 8
Elder Holland told me there would be days like this. (That was for you Elder Langsmith)

Hey guys,

How's Everyone doing. This week was one of those weeks that just feels like the tires are spinning and you're not really going anywhere. But it wasn't all bad. There was a really cool experience that we had a couple days ago. We were driving home to eat some dinner and we see these police barricades and we're just like, 'What's going on?' We soon find out that a parade is about to start and people are gathering. We're just like, 'Let's go!' So we go down and just start talking to people left and right and handing these 'He is the Gift' cards out to everyone we get the chance to before the parade actually starts. We were able to had out a bunch, we lost count. But it was a nice bright spot at the end of a trying week full of threats and rainy weather. I really hope that we are able to talk to some of these people again, and that they actually watch the  video.


"He could get into more trouble sittin' down than he ever could standin' up,"
 - Stephanie Green (Harlan)

Tha- tha- tha- that's all folks...

   Elder Dallen Stark

December 1
Guess what? It's December. That is so weird. I feel old. Thanksgiving was the best. I got to eat 3 times and just about explode. I felt so sick. but it was awesome!! Um, this week has not held many exciting events other than thanksgiving. I am drawing a complete blank, well... Neither of us are getting transferred this week. We're staying up in Harlan. YEAH!!! The mission is going through drastic changes and I don't even know what to do with any of it. so much crazy stuff is going down but I don't know what any of it is. One really cool thing that happened this week was that we were finally able to contact on of our referrals that we've had for the past month and a half. And she was super excited to see us and learn about the gospel. It was really refreshing and it shows me that there are people ready and waiting for their chance. I Love it.


"I know people who would climb a telephone pole to tell a lie before they told the truth on the ground."
   - Samuel Gilber (Harlan)

That's all, Bye


Elder Stark

Updates October/November, 2014

November 24
Hey Y'all

Life has been busy. I feel like I am sending the same stuff over and over again and this week I don't have anything new to say really. Um, This upcoming Saturday we get transfer news and I Really have no Idea what is going to happen. Usually I have some sort of idea but this time around I am really clueless. Anything can happen. Life in Harlan Kentucky is just pushing along and things are going well. Well, I feel super lame right now because I have nothing to say... Well there is one thing. This week has probably been the time of my mission where I've noticed the change in myself the most. I really took some time to reflect and I realized how much I really have changed. I do things now that I wouldn't do 10 months ago, I refrain from doing other things that were just a normal part of life back then, and my whole demeanor is different. I am still the same kid, just a better, different, yet still recognizable version of myself. It is cool to see. But it is always hard to see change within yourself, so I might have changed even more than I think I have. I really don't know. I guess we'll see in  a little while.


"It was like water off a duck's back."
- Random


Love, Elder Stark

November 17
Well Everyone,

This week has been rather odd. We did a lot of tracting in the cold and in the rain. It was nice. We met some really weird people. For example, we tracted into two gay, 60 yr old, men who let us in. It was super awkward, we knew they were gay before we even knocked on the door because they were flying a 'gay pride' flag on the front of their house. It was still a nice conversation though. One of them was an excommunicated catholic and spent the better part of an hour telling us all about what he disliked about the catholic church and how much he didn't like the pope or some of the policies. It was so funny. I learned a lot about Catholicism though it was really informative. We also shared about our church and answered some of his questions. His 'boyfriend' didn't say a lot. It was just an odd experience. And we laughed our heads off after the visit. It was great. Oh yeah, he also told us that we should be the "Reformers" of our church. That we should start being more accepting of everyone and that is how our church would grow. haha.


"All that AND butter? Wow."
 - GlennEtta Martin

That's all for now. Bye

Love, Elder Stark

November 10
Well, my Birthday was this past Saturday and it was the weirdest birthday yet. mission b-days are kinda just there. I did make a cake and blow out some scented candles but it just wasn't the same.

Anyways, We had a great week. We are starting to find new people to teach and seeing the blessings that are coming through diligence. Tracting isn't always fun but sometimes it can be rewarding when you find people that are just good people. Through diligent work the lord blesses you with more opportunities than would be there otherwise. It is just cool to see examples in my personal life.

Also, We has to take the car into the shop to get the brakes fixed so we wouldn't die. So now the car drives a lot better. But now that I am in a car I car feel the fat that is in my near future. And it is terrifying.


"When the Grits hit the fan."
- Bro. E. Jahn


Elder Stark

November 3
This week has been weird. We ran out of miles on our car so we walked a lot and rode our bikes a lot too. We're tracting a bunch still, and Halloween was legit. We got to party at the senior couple's house. We had an absolute blast. We are talking to a bunch of people with little receptiveness but we're gonna keep going. I don't have much to say this week. I'll say this though. Whom God calls he qualifies. I've seen it these past few weeks. There is no way I could do what I need to as just Elder Stark. It wouldn't work.


"You want me to start Speaking in tongues?"
- Linda Wynn

This just made me laugh.

That's all

    Elder Dallen Stark

October 27
Well guys,

I'm in Harlan, Kentucky. One of the smallest if not the smallest branches in the mission. I am with Elder Langsmith, my MTC companion. And Halloween is this week. Even though missionaries can;'t do anything on halloween it is still cool. Being a District Leader isn't too bad. just a little more stress. um, that's it. I am going to have a lot of fun with my comp this transfer, I am super excited.


“She’s as happy as a dead pig in the sunshine.”
- Again random person

I have no idea where this one comes from but I liked it.


Love, Elder Stark

...and a clip from a separate email:

Well, Halloween is going to be odd. We got permission to go over to the senior couple's house and play on the wii and tell scary stories from the bible and the book of mormon. They are cool, their name is the Garretts. I'm in Harlan, Kentucky. Very small branch and pretty big area too. Being a district leader is alright so far. Not too tough except for the trainings that I have to prepare for district meeting every Thursday. other than that it in cool. The work is going to be hard here for a little bit while we get things going. But it will be good.... Well, I am out of things to say so I will call it good.

        Elder Dallen Stark

October 20
Well everyone, I am being transferred from Chat town. I have spent the last 3 months here and they have been great. Full of growing experiences and fun times. I have also been called as a District leader. I have no idea where I am going, who will be in my district, I don't even know what I'm doing at all. It is safe to say that I am freaking out and will need all the help I can get. I will need to rely more on the enabling power of the atonement now than ever and really put my trust in the Savior. I am excited for this opportunity and am really looking forward to growing from it. That is the bulk of what I wanted to talk about today.


"He's about as useless as a screen door on a submarine."
-Random person

Well, that's all I've got for you this week. I'll let you all know where I'm at next monday


 Elder Stark