Saludos Familia y amigos (hi family and friends)!
Things are going great here in Maria Auxiliadora! We were able to get Henri and Karmen married this week, but Henri I think still needs to get a testimony of the Book of Mormon and that this is the only true Church of Jesus Christ. Jose Luis and Claribel were able to get Chello's new ID (Chello is his nickname). Then that very same day Chello's mom called from the United States and said that she might be able to get him a visa to go to the United States, but it says that he is single, so he would have to get a divorce to go there if he wanted to go there because his mom listed him as single. He has waited for that opportunity for like 30 years! Wow, what a trial! I think that he would work in the United States for a few months or something and then come back to the DR. But he's got so much faith. It sounds like he's going to get baptized and then let The Lord's Will be done. So I think he will wait to go to the states until he is baptized and is reclassified as married. He is such a good example to me of faith.
Christopher Columbus's House was actually closed! But I did manage to get a picture of the outside, and we went to some other pretty cool places too, a big cathedral and an old fort. It was awesome, and I took what pictures I could, but now my camera is acting up. No matter how long I leave it plugged in, it keeps turning off and telling me that there's no battery. Wow, I have bad luck with cameras, haha. We got to go with Elder McBride again today. We played basketball and ate lunch. It was way fun! It is really hot here, really hot! Wow! And it's way humid!
Two questions. Do you know who Rob DeSpain is? He lives in Utah, and he is Elder Clayton's Great Uncle! So, we might be related! And also, I've already met a cousin, someone who's grandpa is the DeSpain that lives down DeSpain Ranch Road that we see when we go to Holbrook! So how are we related to them? Also, one more thing. I met Elder Elders from the Gila Valley. He's actually from Thatcher. (I think Elder Elders might be the son of one of the girls I went to EAC with! We will have to check that out!)
It would actually be really nice if you could send me a watch. (We asked if we should send another one to replace the one that was taken.) Right now we're just going off of the cell phone time, and it works great. I'm not wearing anything for them to steal that way. What I actually may need is new shoes. A guy in our ward put new soles on these ones, and they're really tight. I think it's actually cracking my toenail, haha. He still has my other pair, so I've got to go and get them too, but if I can get them to break in, these are going to be good shoes! The other soles had holes in them. (Wow! He's been out six months and already been through two pairs of shoes! That's a lot of walking!)
Ok, the news for this week, I'm getting transferred! But right across the street! Right now, I'm in Maria Auxiliadora B, and that area is bordered by La Cienaga, and that's where I'm heading! It's directly east of here. I've already been to the area over there a couple of times and been in their house over there a couple of times for baptismal interviews and house checks and things. My companion will be Elder Jackson, and I've already been on an exchange with him! He is awesome, a way cool, funny elder. He is in the same group as Elder Blake, my first companion in the field. Elder Jackson is from Utah and spent a year in the army before his mission! The way it goes is Maria Auxiliadora is a nicer, city part, and then a hill begins that heads down to the river Osama. Where the hill starts is Guachupita (a good part of our half of the area of Maria Auxiliadora, there is a Maria Auxiliadora A and a B), and then across the street from the street to the bank of the river is La Cienaga. It is a sweet view from their house! I'm going to have to try to get my camera to work and send you a picture from their balcony!
Hey, one problem, both my Church card and my bank card are not letting me get money out. Don't worry, I'll be fine. I just need you to call Wells Fargo if you can and make sure that there's not a block on my card, because I have to get money off of that card. (Jeff and I made a special effort to make sure I was on his accounts and everything before he left so that I could take care of things like this for him while he is gone. I called the bank today to ask if there were any problems with his card because he is not able to draw money out. The nice lady at the bank told me she can't talk with me about his card. I explained that my name is on both his savings and checking accounts and the card I am asking about is linked to the checking account. She kindly explained to me that she can talk to me about the savings account and the checking account, just not the debit card! So apparently I have the power to draw out every cent in both accounts, but I'm not allowed to know anything about the debit card! How crazy is that!)
Well, Elder Clayton will stay here in our area and train. He is going to be a great trainer, and he will still be my District Leader! Haha, wow!
I'm sorry, I can't get my camera to work, so I can't send any pictures this week.
We got to go to a regional conference yesterday for the Caribbean Region of the Church. I love how simple the message was: keep the commandments, and be blessed and have peace. I love the peace that the Atonement can bring into our lives. It is amazing to see in reality that there really never is an end to the power of the Atonement. Every single moment of our lives, every doubt and fear, pain and sorrow, difficulty and trial, has been felt by Jesus Christ. He knows exactly how we feel, at every single second of our lives. He loves us so much that not only did He take upon Him these pains, He conquered every single one of them. I testify that He lives and that He knows you by name, yes, you, whoever you may be, member or nonmember, old or young, healthy or afflicted, He knows you by your name and I testify that He knows how you feel in this very instant. He always knows, and He always can overcome whatever may be in our lives. I think someday we will look back after this life and see that in our lonely or sad moments, we were never alone, Jesus Christ was already right beside us! He is there, and He has conquered our struggles!
I love you all very much! Thanks so much for all that you do!
Elder Jeff DeSpain