Monday, May 28, 2012

The elections went well - no incidents!

Bon nochi famianan i amigunan stimá!
We had a great p-day today. I finally got to play some basketball and have fun, it was the first really good P-day that I've had in a while. A great blessing from the Lord!

Well, it sure does feel like I've been busy non-stop over the last few months, but it's been such a blessing that it's been busy work doing things that I like. That has been a really big blessing from the Lord. He has blessed me so much, I cannot think of any other way that I could have served that I would have enjoyed more than what I have been able to do being in the office and serving in the ways that I have served here. What a blessing it has been.

It's been amazing for me to see how much the Lord will bless us for going through our trials, if we will keep walking faithfully through them when they come. It seems to me that my mission has been kind of like one big lesson of that. Life always seems to have it's challenges wherever we may be in it, but it has been amazing for me to see that as I started my mission and went through the first part of my mission, it wasn't easy, in fact, I went through many moments and situations that I might classify as trials. But, as I did my best and kept pushing through, the Lord, little by little, most of the time without me even noticing it, actually helped me move forward through my trials, and to the other side of them where I found many, many great blessings. That's not to say that it's easy now, but I definitely have seen miracles in my life and I think I have grown and I feel that I am very blessed now for passing through the trials at the beginning of my mission. I know that sometimes we have to wait for the blessings that come from passing through trials, but I know that the Lord knows us perfectly, and everything that happens to us happens for a reason. I also know that the Lord will always go with us through our trials, because He knows exactly how we feel, even if that is hard to feel sometimes when we're actually going through things. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He knows us personally and knows personally how everything feels that we have to go through in this life, the good, and the bad. I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who has a perfect plan for us. How grateful I am for that knowledge that comes through the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Juan Carlos did not end up getting baptized on Saturday, but he has a baptismal date for this coming Saturday, and he already passed the interview, so hopefully everything works out there good. I feel kind of bad because I haven't really been able to be in a lot of the teaching appointments with him lately either, but I'm doing the best I can, so I guess that's what counts.

The elections here last Sunday luckily didn't end up being too bad, people were able to go out of their houses by Monday night. It was kind of quiet on Sunday too. We actually left our house both days because we took pills to a missionary on Sunday, and then on Monday we had to come in to the office and work.

This week was zone conference, so I did a big presentation on the new policies that we are putting in place here. Hopefully everyone doesn't think that I'm a grump, we're just trying to get everything in line with the Church Policies.

I hope that Dad keeps getting better! I see that you were able to go to Leah's Graduation, good deal. Congratulations Leah! Haha, I remember being a little bit scared when I graduated, but you're going to love college. It's a great transition!

Wow, I can't believe that I'm next on the wall of plaques, haha. I never thought that day would come. Pretty crazy. (There is a plaque case on the wall outside our Bishop's office with a missionary plaque for each missionary currently serving from our ward.  We told Jeff this week in our letter that his plaque is at the top of the list now which means he is the next missionary to come home!  Our case is totally full which is awesome!  Just before Jeff gets home we will have a total of 17 missionaries serving from our ward!) 
I saw that Andrew Lebaron spoke in our ward too, I can't wait to go to some ASU games with him again when I get back!

Well, I love you all. Thank you for all that you do and for the examples that you are to me! I am so grateful that I got to come from such a wonderful place and grow up with such great examples all around me. I love you!

Elder DeSpain

P.S.- Sorry that I didn't send any pics today.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Dad!

Bon dia!
I'm really sorry that it has taken me so long to write! I love you all, I promise, I have just had so many things and deadlines that I haven't been able to sit down and take out some time to write.  We were supposed to write on Saturday because of the elections on Sunday but we had to take someone to the doctor instead that day and I had to finish up stuff in the office so that I was good to go for this week.  We did get to come in to the office today after all so I am writing today.  

Things here are good, I have been busy all week with financial secretary work, and I think that this week I'm just going to have to try to take out time for the audit and save everything else that I can for later.  

Happy Birthday Dad!  I hope that you have a great day and that you can get a good birthday dinner soon! I hope that your recovery continues well, and sorry that it's taking so long.

Wow, I never knew that Leah got her braces off! Wow, I can't believe that you are graduating Leah! I wish that I could be there, but I will get to see you soon enough after you're all done! Congratulations, and enjoy it! Tell Megan hi for me too!  Wow, so now the missionaries from Grandma Joy's area are writing you, wow! Let me know how that goes.

Todd, I got your video from your drum solo man, great job! Wow, that is so cool, I always wanted to play the drums, but I never was that good at the rhythm, but you are really good at it man! I can't wait to get to see you play when I get back!

Bob, I've been seeing all of your videos of your football plays that Dad has been sending me, and you are doing great man, you are a tenacious defender! Much better than I ever was. Keep up the good work buddy!

I would like to talk to Brother Richardson some day too! He served in the same area that I have served in for a majority of my Mission!

I am busy here, but doing very good. A little bit tired, but good. It has been a great learning experience for me on my mission and especially in the office to see that all I can do is the best that I can do. I think that many times I and many other people like me beat ourselves up for not being perfect. I've learned a little bit more in my experiences in the office that I can just do the best I can, and that is not perfect, but that is ok, and it's what the Lord expects of me. He knows that I am not perfect, but that I am doing the best that I can. If I do my best, then the difference between that and perfection is where the Atonement applies. The Lord will make up for the rest if I just do my best. I am so grateful for that Eternal, Infinite Sacrifice.

I love you all!

Elder DeSpain

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Great Talking To You!

Henry received a few lines on Monday of this week.  Jeff said that he wouldn't be able to write that day because he and his companion had to make a trip to the Campo (countryside) so they would try to take their P-Day on Wednesday.  This is the letter we received Wednesday.

Bon Tardi!

It was awesome to get to talk to you on Sunday! That was big blessing from the Lord. It really was a big aid and help to me. It was so nice to be able to hear you all again and feel your support. I love you!

Today has been a little crazier than we expected, sorry. That is why I'm writing so late. This morning we got a call from Sis. Hernandez (Mission President's wife) and they needed us to pick up a couple of elders and take them to a physical therapy place because one of them is having neck problems. Nothing serious, it's just that it's been bothering him at night and things like that, so we took him in, and then we needed to get him an X-ray, so we took him to Cedimat (we always use that hospital for the missionaries) and we got an x-ray for him there. But President is such an understanding man, he moved a meeting that him and the Assistants had for tonight so that we could take the rest of the day and evening as our P-Day. I love President and his wife. They are straight thinking people who seem to understand life in general and how things go some days.

Alma's Baptism went good on Saturday, it got started late, but that's nothing new here, haha. She had a daughter, and I think two sons come to the baptism, so that was awesome that she could have support from her family at her baptism. I feel kind of bad because I haven't been able to go to a lot of the appointments that my companions have had with her to teach her. I've had to stay in the office with the Assistants a lot of times to do the different things that need to be done right now as the Financial Secretary. On Saturday I was trying to take care of the support payments, so I just had to leave it while we had the baptism, and then I came back and was working on it until it was time to go home. But, in the end, all I can do is my best, and that's all that the Lord has asked of me, so I guess I'm doing the best that I can.

Man, you guys didn't tell me that Dad was going to have his surgery! You think that it's going to scare me, huh? Wow, they removed part of his uvula? That is crazy, haha. But I hope that he is feeling better.

I'm doing good here, just going to be time to start preparing for the audit. It's a little bit of a bear to tackle, haha, but I'll do my best and the Lord will make up for the rest. That's what life is about, right? That has been a big lesson for me in the office. The Lord has taught me that I just need to try my best, and after that, try not to worry too much. I guess that's part of trusting Christ and having faith in His Atonement. I'm not perfect, nor will I be in this life. I just need to try my best, know that I'm not perfect, try to be better and repent if needed, and then leave the rest in the past and trust that Christ has made up for it. It seems like that's a way that we learn to trust in the Lord and grow.

So how are all of my teams doing? Is the Pac-12 still the Pac-12? How is ASU Baseball? What about the Diamondbacks? How is Highland doing?

I will try to pick a new camera up. I can use the one that I've got for a little while if I've got tape to hold it together, but I think it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to invest in a new one. The next time that we are in a mall to deposit checks, I will try to look into it.

I love you all! I attached some pictures of our road trip on Monday and one of the baptism on Saturday.  (Pictures are on the blog!)

Have a great week! I think that we are going to have to email on Saturday this coming week because the elections are on Sunday and we will be in the house on Sunday and Monday, so we will need to email before that. Elections can be a little bit dangerous I think, but I'm sure that we will be fine here in Gazcue, and everybody will be fine because we will all be in the houses, so there is no need to worry.

Elder DeSpain

Monday, May 7, 2012

Temple Opportunity Tomorrow!

Bon nochi!

I'm sorry, I had several things come up today that I needed to go and do, so this was the first chance that I had to get on and send an email!

I'm doing good, today was fun, we got up and played basketball in the morning with all of the elders. The elders who are working in Villa Francisca, which is the ward north of us, are living with us right now, and guess who is serving there, Elder Irizarry! (This is the new missionary that just arrived from Gilbert!) It's been sweet, I just feel kind of bad for them because they really have to walk a long ways everyday to get to their area and back. They are a companionship that got put into that area this transfer, and they haven't been able to get a house all set up for them yet. Villa Francisca is kind of a hard place to find a house in, because it's a really poor and a really dangerous area. I went to the old house that they used when there were missionaries there before (I had been there on exchanges because Maria Auxiliadora and La Cienaga actually border Villa Francisca on the north border of the ward limits) and it wasn't a very nice house, it was really small, and it didn't get water all of the time. Elder Jensen who I was with in Aruba actually served there for a while. But, the Elders have found a house in Villa Francisca, but there are a few things that need to be fixed on it before the elders can move there, so they are working on that right now. It's been sweet living in the same house with Elder Irizarry, we have found out about so many people that we both know and different things that we have in common from Gilbert. It's been cool!

(We asked about Elder Jenson that was Jeff's companion in Aruba.)  I don't know if I told you last time, but Elder Jensen is my Zone Leader now!!!! He got called back from the islands straight to be the zone leader of Santo Domingo. I've seen him several times already, and I actually got to go and pick him up from the airport, so it was awesome! He is doing great, I can't believe that he finishes in four weeks! He told me that Snow College will be playing MCC on October 7th I think at Mesa, so I will definatley go there! That is so cool! And he will hopefully be able to play EAC next year too, so I hope that they go to Eastern so that I can see that one in the Gila Valley too! I miss that place!  (Elder Jensen plays football for Snow College.)

I got a lot done this week, it was just really busy again. We had several late nights, and so I'm a little tired, but it will all be alright in the end. I'm doing good, now I have to start getting ready for the audit. It looks like they're going to re-plan it later after they do the audits in the other missions.

Thanks so much for taking care of all of my stuff on my MYASU account, I really appreciate that, it has been a huge help to me!

Alma is doing great, she had her interview on Saturday and she is good to go for this weekend! It will be sweet to see her baptized, even though I haven't been a part the whole two years of her investigating the Church, she really has waited a long time for this, and that will be a sweet baptism!

Juan Carlos is doing good too, we passed by yesterday, and he seems like he has a desire to do what's right. He just has to keep marching forward and preparing, and I think that he can be ready. We really have been blessed by the Lord with a lot of success in such a short time.

Yes, there is font here in the building we use, so no more baptisms in the Ocean, haha, but I had my fair share of them.

I think that Ulda is going to have to declare herself all over again to get her papers right. That requires money and two or three witnesses if I remember right to be able to get that done, but we know that the Lord has a Plan with everything.

I got my itinerary today for my flight home. It's kind of weird, I don't think that the times are right yet, but I will be flying the 17th of July, and I'm pretty sure that most of the time the Arizona elders get home by about 3 PM or 4 PM Arizona time. That should be a Tuesday. I will let you know when I get final word on the times, but it should be those days.

President Buckley and Brother Webb from the Saint Nicholas Branch in Aruba are here right now, and President is going to let me go to the Temple with them tomorrow! What a blessing!

My companions say that it is fine for us to do the Mothers Day call at 4:30 PM this Sunday. That should be 1:30 your time.  It would probably be the best quality for you to call me here in the office.  If something happens, we will just switch to my cell.   

Well, I better go. I love you all and I thank you for the wonderful people that you are. I have been so blessed with good examples in my life. I hope that you all have a great week and I will hear from you on Sunday!

Elder DeSpain

P.S.  Thanks for the pictures of Fathers and Sons.  Wow!  I can't believe how different Todd looks!  He is tall!  That is crazy!