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