Thursday, February 9, 2012

Parque del Este Time!

Bon Dia!

Wow, sorry, we were so busy yesterday that we didn´t get the chance to email!  We had the big get together yesterday called Parque del Este.  When we have that, we all go to a big park that's call the Parque del Este where they have all kinds of stadiums and fields from when the Dominican hosted the Pan American games in 2003.  We always go to the soccer stadium that they have there and all the missionaries serving in the capitol city come in and play a soccer and football game.  It was a huge treat for me to be able to play football again!  I hadn't played in so long.  In fact, I think that it's been about 10 months since I played in a football game, other than me and Elder Jensen throwing the ball around like we used to do in Aruba.  It was sweet, I had two touchdown catches, but other than that, I dropped most of the ones that I should have caught.

Transfers were busy, but a fun experience.  I love that experience of picking up new missionaries.  We got a couple of 45 minute naps that night, but other than that, we didn't get any sleep that night.  Haha, pretty crazy, but a good experience.  So, in this transfer, since the missionaries came in at night, we just stayed at the office until it was time to go and get them at the airport, and it's about a 30 minute drive, so we got there, and then we had to wait a little while for them to get through customs and security and everything, and they came down the red carpet, at least that's what it feels like, because here the arrivals terminal is set up so that you kind of feel like you're on exhibit at the zoo if you are arriving, haha.  There is a door after the security checkpoints and the customs desks that is the final door into the arrivals terminal, and when you walk out the door, there's just a make shift guard rail set up on each side and what seems like a million people on each side just staring at you when you walk out, and then you have to walk all the way down that "lane" until you get to the exit door of the airport, so it kind of feels like everybody is watching your every move, but luckily by the time that the Elders got there, there weren't many people left, so they didn't have to walk down the red carpet, haha.

We brought them back and stopped by and got some burgers from a place called Don Tato's, and then we brought them back to the office and we ate it there, and then we took them to a hotel to stay for the night.  It's not as nice as a hotel in the U.S., but it's pretty nice still.  Then, we had to go back to the office and then we finally got to go to the house, but by the time that we finally got to the house, it was about 2 AM and we had to be up at 3.  So we got a 45 minute nap, and then we got up and went and got the elders who were leaving and took them to the airport.  Then we came back and got another 45 minute nap, then it was time to go and pick up the new missionaries and bring them back to the office and they had their introduction meetings.  I got to do part of that introduction meeting and talk about the basic financial rules for the credit cards in the mission.  It's a pretty fun process.  Then, we went and picked up the food for the lunch for the meeting, and then after the meeting finished we helped missionaries in the office, and then we helped people start getting to their areas.  First, we called several taxis to for the missionaries who were going to be serving in the capitol, and then we took the elders who needed to go to the bus stops so that they could catch a bus to go out to the countryside, and then we took some other missionaries to houses that were newly being opened.  Then, we came back to the office and finished up some other work, and we didn't get in bed again until about 9 PM or so, haha, quite the experience, but definitely an enjoyable one.

Jessica wasn't able to make it to church yesterday, but we are still being blessed, we actually have switched areas with the sister missionaries and now we have an area that goes from the church (the road called the calle Delgado) to the border of the mission, the Maximo Gomez.  But we have also been given a couple of investigators from the sisters.  One is an awesome guy name James.  He is a Haitian guy I think, and he is doing great!  He is reading the Book of Mormon and he is attending church as well.  He is praying about being baptized, and we were able to teach him today, and I'm hoping that that helped him to see that he is more ready to be baptized than he thinks.  He wants to feel ready and moved upon to be baptized, which is great, I think that he will be able to show his faith and take the step.

We had our best "campo" trip yet this week.  We went out to Higuey, a town in the middle of the island way out by Bavaro almost, where Elder McBride served for a while.  It was sweet, we got to go through two major towns, called San Pedro and La Romana, which are both zones in the mission.  It was really cool, there was a lot of countryside, and in La Romana, we passed a couple resorts and even an airport!  Pretty sweet.  We got out to Higuey and brought the missionaries serving there a new fridge and worked on a stove that they had that needed to be fixed.  We also passed by a place in Higuey call the Basicala.  It is a gigantic Catholic building that is famous in the country for being a cathedral or something like that.  I will try to attach the best picture that I can in the email.  (New pictures are on the blog!)

Things in the office are going great, I really love the office and it is a great privilege to get to work here.  I get to do something that I love every day.  Things are getting better and better here too, it seems like the Lord is showing me more and more ways to streamline the financial system here and get things done even more efficiently.  

I feel like one of the most important lessons that I have learned on my mission is that the Lord will pull us through our trials, if we will just trust in Him, then He will carry us, even though it may not feel like it.  He will make us strong enough to meet our trials.  Many times in my mission I know that I have been carried through trials by the Savior, but I haven't been able to feel it - until later.  When I look back on some of the hard times in my mission, I can really now see the help and aid of the Lord, and how He molded me to be who He needs and wants me to be. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live, and I know that Jesus Christ made an eternal sacrifice in the which He truly descended below all things, so that He always knows where we are, and He can conquer whatever may come our way.  I am eternally grateful for His support, aid , and love.  

I love you all!

Elder DeSpain

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