Saturday, March 24, 2012

Finally, a chance to write!

Bon Tardi!
Mi ta skirbiendo di e kas di e Presidente awe! I'm writing from President's house is what that says. I'm am sorry that it has taken me so long to get an opportunity to write this week, we've been pretty busy. Elder Jenson has pneumonia, so we have been doing a lot of exchanges trying to get stuff done. Me and Elder Green were pretty much on a three day exchange, it was actually great, we are pretty tight. For most of the week, we've been trying to do the errands of four missionaries with only two, and then when we would finish with the errands, we would need to go back and work more at the office, but it's work that I enjoy, and that is a huge blessing from the Lord. I really am loving it, even though we're so busy, it really has been a blessing to be busy. Last night was kind of cool, I went to President's house with Elder Jenson and President let me use his computer, so I actually set up a logmein.com account for the mission and put my computer on it in the office and then got on from President's house from his computer and was able to log on to my computer in the office through the internet and work through there. That was a huge blessing too! It's amazing what technology can do.
There's not a whole lot else to talk about here, haha. I'm working with the islands on some more stuff, and they were able to get their gas credit cards, at least Curacao was. That was a huge blessing! I think since the islands have been in the mission (when I say the islands, I mean the ABC islands), the financial secretary has always had to manually put money on the Church Credit Card of each missionary in the islands every two weeks or so. But the Lord helped us out and we were able to get fleet credit cards for them, so now they can do their own gas, and it will save the Financial Secretary from having to do that now, wonderful!
All is well here. I will not write too much because then I won't have much to write in two days, haha. I love you all and thank you so much for all that you do for me.
Elder DeSpain
P.S.-How is Scott Halbert doing? Didn't he just get home?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Another Prayer Answered

Bon Nochi di Santo Domingo!
This week went great, and transfers were a success! We got to have our P-Day today, Wednesday, which was a huge blessing. We got to rest from transfers and got to catch up on our sleep.

This time when we went to the airport in the morning, we only had one sister to take, Sister Ward from Thatcher. Then we headed back and tried to rest for about an hour, and then we picked up the new missionaries and they gave us breakfast at the CCM (that's what we call the MTC here in the DR), that was huge blessing too! We brought them back, and then we started the normal process there of the introduction meetings for the new missionaries and the meetings for the missionaries that are going to be their trainers. We also went back and picked up a new elder that just got set apart I believe. They are starting a new system here for elders who are Dominicans and going to foreign missions and will have to wait on visas. The elder that we picked up from the CCM is one of the first to be a part of this program. The new program is that when there are Dominican elders who are going to other countries like that and they have to wait on a visa, then they just go straight into the field in a mission in the country that they are coming from, so we get some of them, and they never enter the CCM here in the Dominican Republic. They will actually be in the mission here until they get their visa and head to their respective countries where they will serve their missions. Then, once they get their visas they will go the CCM that is in the country of their mission, which is the CCM where they should be. So there will actually be elders who have been in the field for a couple of transfers without any training who will then enter the MTC after a couple of months in the field and get their training in the MTC, pretty interesting, huh? I think that that will be the new system now for the Dominican Republic and missionaries who are waiting on visas.

(We asked Jeff if Senior couples are among those that they pick up and take to the airport each transfer.)  We do not pick up senior couples normally, and they don't typically come with the elders from the MTC. They usually come at different times, and up until now, other people have picked them up normally. People from the central offices I think. But that may change, I'm not for sure, because we are now going to be put almost completely in charge of senior missionary housing for senior missionaries who are assigned to our mission. We are going to be in charge of looking for housing for the senior missionaries who are coming to the mission. The next couple that we are looking for housing for is actually a couple from Arizona that should be getting here in April. Their names are the Haws, any chance that you know them? Haha, I doubt it.

James is doing great, I just feel kind of bad because he has been wanting to meet with us, but we just haven't been able to because of how busy we've been with transfers. We actually didn't go to our church on Sunday either. President invited us to go with him to Sabana Grande de Boya on Sunday and attend the meetings there with him and his wife. It was sweet, they have a really nice building there. There actually haven't been missionaries there for a while, but they are just getting put in again this transfer, so they are going to love that. We actually drove those missionaries out to their house yesterday, so they are there and ready to go. That was a pretty good story actually.

We took those elders (the ones opening up the area in Grande de Boya) out to their house in the office van because they had never seen the house. They were "white washing" as we call it, where two missionaries enter an area at the same time. In this case it happened because the area was closed prior to this transfer. So, we drove out there, probably about an hour or an hour and a half, and then I was supposed to show them where the house was, because I was the only one who had actually seen it before. So, we passed by the church and I said to turn down the next street, and we went down the street and down some more, but we couldn't find the house, so we tried the next street and couldn't find it, and then we ended up trying all over that area, and back down the first street again, haha. We finally called my regular companion Elder Delarosa, and he told me that it was by the police station, so we asked someone where that was, then we went there and turned down the street, and then we were able to find the house. I had told us to turn too early, haha, because I had never entered the town from that direction, I had always entered from the other side. So, then we finally got there, and as I was getting out of the car, I asked the others, "you have the keys, right?" And then they all started smiling and saying that I was joking, but I really didn't have the keys.  Being the financial secretary, I never thought about getting the keys from Elder DelaRosa before we left!    He is the missionary over housing so he keeps all the keys and I am usually with him.  This time I was with Elder Jensen.  No one had the keys. So we were on the northern edge of the mission, and the key for the house was on the complete other side of the mission! Wow, that made things difficult. So, we called the landlord who lives above the house on the second floor if he had a copy of the key, but he said that he didn't, and he came down and tried to help us. We asked him if there was a locksmith, but he said that the locksmiths only work during the day, so they wouldn't be out at that time. So then I thought about a door that I had seen inside the house that was a weaker door and just lead to the outside. It was actually a door that entered from the garage. So, the landlord let us in the garage, but the door wouldn't open. So, he backed his car out of the garage, and we had to move our van so that he could. As we were parking the van again, I jumped in the van real quick with Elder Jenson and we said a quick prayer, that was the only thing we had to try to get into this house. We just explained to Heavenly Father that we were trying our best to do His Work, but we had forgotten the keys, and we asked Him if it was His will to please help us to get into the house. So, we got out, and we talked with the landlord, and he said, "give me a minute, I'm going to see if a guy that I know can break the lock off." Before we had prayed, like I said, he said that all of the locksmiths didn't work at night, but after we prayed and got out of the van, he said that he knew someone that might be able to open the lock. He went and looked for the guy, and he found him and he came with a hammer and a chizel looking tool. He broke the lock off, and we got into the house, and the missionaries were still safe with the lock broken, because that door leads into a garage that is completely closed and has two other doors that lead out of it. What miracle! We were able to get the missionaries into the house (both of which are from Arizona, Elder Hiatt and Elder Ford), and they were able to get all set up and ready to go. We just have to take them the keys as soon as we can. I truly know that the Lord does hear every word that we say in prayer. How grateful I am that He helped us with those missionaries.

I love you all and am so grateful for the righteous examples that you are for me. Thank you so much Mom and Dad for helping me with my registration for school, that has been such a big help for me. I filled out the form and sent it back to you, please just let me know if you need anything else.

I should also tell you, there is a new missionary that came in yesterday named Elder Rainey. He actually went to Gilbert High, and we might be family. His mom is a Gillespe, and she is from Pinetop I think. He knows Aly Weech, Brother Grover, and Brother Abplanalp, and a bunch of kids from Highland that I know. It was really cool to get to talk to him and see how many connections that we have!

I love you all and thank you so much for all that you do! I will try to send pictures. Also, you talked about Matt Carlino in the last letter, does he play for BYU? How did Nick Jonson do this year as a guard for UA? Did you know that I trained for him too? His brother might be playing somewhere too, his name is Cris. Any idea what they're up to? Love you!


Elder DeSpain

Monday, March 5, 2012

Awesome Baptism!

Bon Tardi kerido famianan i amigonan

It was a great week, and it's looking like it's going to be another great one this week.  We are heading into the final week of the transfer, which means that transfers are coming up at the very beginning of next week.  Transfers are a lot of work, but I truly enjoy them.  It's such a cool experience to get to pick up the new missionaries and be a part of transfers and the behind the scenes work.  

Yesterday we had a big group of Americans who were here on a humanitarian effort.  I think that they've been here for a few weeks already, and they are doing dental work in the poorer areas of the country here.  It was cool to see them and very nice of that couple to send a picture home to you.  I cannot remember their names, sorry!  (A very nice couple from Utah surprised us early Sunday morning by texting a picture of Jeff and James, the newly baptized member to my cell phone!  What a happy surprise!)

James got baptized on Saturday!  It was great, he was so ready, and the service went great!  Then, on Sunday he showed up early and got confirmed and everything went great.  It truly was  blessing from the Lord to be able to be part of the baptism of a guy that was so solid after having a few transfers that were a little bit harder.  
Hey, so quick question, did you ever find out if we really are related to Rob DeSpain?  Because that would mean that we are somehow cousins with the other Elder Despain and Elder Clayton.  That would be sweet!

Man, that's too bad about ASU, I hope that they've got it all out for when I'm home and we can have good seasons in all of the sports, because it seems like they have struggled in general since I've been gone.  How is Highland High doing in sports?  

I am so sorry to hear about Sister Clouse.  She was a good lady.  I look up to Kevin, he is setting such a good example, and has such a strong testimony, he is a great man.  (Charlene Clouse, a wonderful lady in our ward passed last Monday after a two year battle with cancer.  She is the mother of seven boys.  Five are grown and married, one is 16 and still at home and the remaining son is Jeff's good friend Kevin who is currently serving a mission in Lima Peru.  We love Brother and Sister Clouse and are praying for their family and especially Kevin as he is away from home and family during this difficult time.  Kevin and Jeff used to go to the temple together once a week before their missions.  We love that guy and admire his strength and obedience!)

Hey, before I forget, there are a couple of elders here coming from Gilbert, Arizona, and I want to know if you know them.  One is coming in in the next transfer, and he is named Jenson Mikel Rainey, and the other one will be coming in the next transfer I think.  His name is Jacob Daniel Irizarry.  Do you know either of them?

We got to go to a really cool campo this week.  It's called Sabana Grande de Boya.  We had to check out a house that the mission has there.   It's the furthest area north that is in the mission I believe.  On the way back, we drove through a little bit of mountains that were probably more like hills, and it was gorgeous, I will try to send some pics when I can.  I'm sorry, we're really busy today and so I don't know if we'll have time.

Everything here is good, we are doing great, and being blessed greatly.  I truly have been blessed beyond measure here in the office.  I have a wonderful assignment, and am truly enjoying it.  We are helping things get better and better here in the office, at least as I feel, but I owe it all to the Lord.

I love you all!  Thank you for all that you do.

Elder DeSpain