Feb. 3, 2014

ImageDear Family and Friends!!
So this week has been good. Something my mission president taught me
about is how right after the peaks of your mission will be the fall.
There will always be a fall. How you react to it shows your faith.
So the most incredible thing ever was all the missionaries got to go
to Accra and hear an Apostle of the Lord, Elder David A. Bednar, speak
to us. It was the most inspiring and spiritual discussion I quite
possibly have ever been a part of. I have been very moved to do God’s
work with more purpose and dedication and faithfulness. I wish you
could of all heard him speak…
Following the conference this week has been tough in the area and as a
companionship. I won’t say to much. I love my area and companion
though. I really do. Sometimes it’s a struggle though. I am truly
learning patience to a degree I didn’t know was possible. I have
learned so much, and I pray that being inspired by Elder Bednar and
acting upon those words will help me to handle all my challenges in
accordance with the spirit, in a way that will help me grow.
We have one really good investigator in particular that just got back
from school. Her name is Sister Keskar. She is someone who is truly
searching for the truth, reads the book of mormon, comes to church,and diligently searches. We are going to start teaching her fiance soon
also.
I’d like to bear my testimony of action. Something that was very much
stressed by Elder Bednar was the difference between Agents and
Objects. Which one are we?? And with  every action, there is a
required action that will build on it. With out acting, we can go
NOWHERE. Without action we cannot know the truths and answers we have
to our questions. We cannot learn. Even If we learn, how can we grow??
I can learn how to become a good runner. But if i don’t run, why does
it matter? God has given us so many gifts. In my life some include the
priesthood, the book of mormon, prayer, music, the Holy Ghost, and the
opportunity to serve a mission. I can learn about all of them. But if
I don’t do anything about it, and expect God to do something for me,
than I am making myself into an object. Being an Agent means acting
continuously  on the things that we have. I know this is the work –
emphasis on work – that God wants me to do right now. I know this is
where I am supposed to be, and it is what I am supposed to do and act
upon and ultimately become. I bear this testimony in the name of Jesus
Christ Amen.
I love you all so much. Stay safe and keep in touch!!
Elder Despain
 
Devin also shared with us that he cut his own hair this last week.  He mentioned that Ghanaians don’t know how to cut “white men hair”.  So he took matters in his own hands.  He said it didn’t turn out to bad, but he also said, ” I won’t be doing that again”!!!  Ha ha Jared and I laughed out loud. As a boy I gave him my fair share of bad haircuts and finally turned him over to the experts.  He is loving Mangos and eats them every day. Mangos sound so much better than the “CAT” he had a couple weeks ago.   I know that each day has it’s own challenges but he works really hard at staying positive.  
 
FIRST TRANSFER!!! JAN. 27, 2014
Dear family and friends!

This week has been long, hard, and a lot of change, but things are good over here in Ghana. So I’ll start off by saying this. The one thing I am learning is you can’t control anybody else. Not the members, not the investigators, not your companion, just yourself. So as I have learned that I have focussed a lot about just making myself the best missionary I can be, and then working from there. So anyways. Transfer news!!
I am now in the Area of Ho2A. Ho is the capital city of Volta region, which is the region bordering Togo and is bush. But because Ho is the capital, it is actually super nice here. It’s pretty much the opposite of Ashaiman. It’s bush. It’s developed. It’s spread out. It’s quiet. It’s beautiful. And I miss Ashaiman. Tuesday was a hard day just cause I had to say goodbye to everyone. Saying good bye to the investigators that I was close to, LIke Daniel, Tony, And Asare broke my heart, cause there is a good chance I will never see them again. Tony gave me a shirt as I was leaving, and Asare almost cried. That’s the other thing. IF you can make a Ghanaian cry, you are either their best friend or worst enemy. For Asare, it was best friend. I miss them a lot. Especially Elder West. IT’s strange being away. But Ho will be nice.
So my new companion is Elder Bagazwaga (Bag-ah-swagga). He is 21 and from Uganda. He is an interesting guy… he knows the scriptures really well and is willing to work hard. As ong as we’re working, we’ll get a long really well. I good actually see us being pretty close friends as long as nothing gets in the way. A lot of African missionaries aren’t always excited about white missionaries, but he says he can tell I’m different. So we’ll do good together.
On my way up to Ho,we drove through a lot of little villages. Legitimate, mud huts and palm leave roofs. It’s insane. the other crazy part is the size of the Ant hills. Not exaggerating. Some have to be 20 feet high. No lie. I’ll take a picture next to one. Also because it is the capital of Ho, and it’s in the Bush so it is quite, a lot of white people (ok not a lot, but more than in Ashaiman) actually stay in Ho. I have seen more white people in 3 days in Ho than I have in my 3 months in Ashaiman. And to be honest. White people that aren’t missionaries are really strange people.  Kinda funny that I think tht right?? I just don’t feel like they belong in Ghana. But anyhow. Becuase there are a few more white people here, they have some somewhat American things. The one I got to take – a CHEESEBURGER AND FRENCH FRIES!!!! It was kind of African and doesn’t come close to a nice burger from McDonalds…. but It’s been three months and I don’t remember what a real Cheeseburger tastes like so it was ok. 
So because it’s a different region (the regions are like states) it’s a different language, so all the twi I learned (which actually wasn’t much) is useless and I have started learning ewe (Ay-way). So that’s pretty cool.
the best thing about Ho so far is the members. The members actually support the missionaries here. They feed us, they help us out, The branch president actually is involve in the work, the ward missionaries actually come out with us sometimes, and overall, even though the branch is small (like around 50 or 60 people at church) it’s pretty incredible. I know I will love it here. When I gave my testimony it just reaffirmed my testimony that this is where the Lord has called me to be,a nd I’m supposed to be in Ho.
Last thing is just the district. So there are 8 in Ho district. 4 in each apartment. In my apartment (Ho2) there is me and my companion, a french speaker that has learned english who was in my MTC from coted’iviore name Elder Grissignon. He’s an awesome guy. And his companion, the former AP who is awesome name Elder Bongomin, from Uganda. In the other apartment is my MTC companion Elder Monday (formerly Elder Aheebwa), Elder Handcock from California, Elder Henderson form England, and Elder Von Wagoner from bountiful Utah. I like my District. Anyways. That was my week!! I’m working hard and I’m doing well, I hope you all are too!
I love you all so much!  Until Next Week!
Elder Despain