Letters from August 11, August 18, and August 25, 2014

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August 11, 2014

Dear Family and Friends.
Biribiara boko.
This week we developed a lot of Faith in Finding. we found so many people. we’re still turning this area over and building it. But we found some incredible people this week and we’re excited for what the next month or two holds. but anyways!! It was a good week.
So some highlights of the week. I found a place that sells peanut butter and Jam sandwiches. ya. I know. I almost had a heart attack. So I had two last week and that number will continue to rise. After 10 months without a peanut butter and jam sandwich.. well. Lets just say that God really does know and love each one of us and miracles do happen.
Also we found the smartest most prepared man, Ekoh. 25. Graduated with a degree in marine engineering at the age of 21 and has a job working off shore in central region. The worst part is he does 28 day shifts. 28 days here in my area resting. 28 days working in the middle of the Ocean. So now he has traveled, but he is looking forward to baptism next month. He’s incredibly prepared. We also had an amazing experience. We were supposed to have a baptism 2 sundays ago. The candidate failed his interview for various reasons, the main reason being pride. But this week we saw him and he was so Humbled. It’s amazing to see somebody have a complete change in heart. We re-scheduled his baptismal date for the 24th. This month won’t be easy because of some people failing to come to church but it’s wonderful to see the hand of the Lord work in this area preparing for the future.
also we’ve been without Water for two weeks now. However i’ve learned something that is going to sound crazy. we don’t need running water to live. Crazy right?? Something I’ve realized is how it really doesn’t make much of a difference. Western society has this skewed idea of what a necessity is. Electricity. Running water. Washing machine. Dish washer. A/C. so many things. And throughout these last two weeks, if anything I’ve gained an appreciation for the basic things, and I don’t feel a need for some of the luxuries. Are luxuries nice. Well ya. Without a doubt. But when those luxuries go away, what do you have?? If your answer is nothing, well, change it. We still have our relationships. We have basic needs like food and some clean water. We have God and the scriptures and the Gospel. We have so many things without luxuries, and it’s amazing to be grateful for the basic needs in life.
The only other thing that is new is that some of the missionaries from sierra leonne and Liberia have been placed in our mission which has brought a few changes, although not around my area. Pray for the people who are being effected by the Ebola virus.
Anyways. I love you all so much. Have an amazing week!!
Elder Despain

August 18, 2014

Dear family and Friends
Eye-paaaa
Things are great in Ghana. This week was a solid week. A lot of progress is being made int he area. Also I’ll briefly update on the water situation. We got water back this week. So it’s nice to have the running water back. Our house can be cleaned now!! And we could clean the dishes!! In the words of our Branch Missionary Leader we were living in a “Rasta Missionary Apartment.” but it’s good now. It feels refreshing to have running water.
This week we had an All Africa service project. We cleaned a place called Agbekope. Can’t really describe it but it’s pretty run down and dirty. So the wards came together and we had almost 250 members there. And the amazing part… When we started cleaning, the whole community joined in with their own brooms and shovels and cleaned the entire place in maybe 2 hours. It was incredible!! It’s amazing what can happen when i group of people decide to do something and people support and follow.
So the area is moving along well. Me and Elder Tyokolwana are doing great and will have our first baptism together on sunday, a man named Benjamin who is so young and smart and is going to greatly add to the Branch. He’s one of my best friends int his area and it will be an amazing feeling seeing him enter into the covenant of Baptism.
We also had an incredible experience this week. The Branch President decided to come to our area with us on Saturday to see a recent convert. the recent convert was baptized shortly after I arrived here but the wife wanted nothing to do with the message. Anything about it. At all. But we taught her family prayer and scripture study which she loved and followed up on that. Anyways. The branch president met the family and taught something small in Twi, so I didn’t understand everything he said, but I understood enough to know it was mostly small talk and there wasn’t an invitation to do much. We’ve been working with this lady for a LONG time so we were just developing relationships. Well. the next day guess who shows up to church. Yep. Miracles happen. Me and my companion and the branch president all just looked at each other with dropped jaws and smiles bigger than the Volta Lake.
Well. Other than that, there’s not much else that is new. everything is going great. The last 6 weeks with Elder Tyokolwana have flown by. I hope everyone is doing great!! Have an amazing week.
Lots of Love
Elder Despain

 

August 25, 2014

Dear Family and Friends!!! This week was a solid week. Greatest news.
1st Baptism together with Elder Tyokolwana!!! It was the young man Benjamin. He’s one of my best friends in Ghana and it’s been a long time coming. I was so happy to see him enter into the waters of Baptism. He’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met in my life and more than that a future leader of the Church in Ghana and a life long friend. It was an incredible thing for me and Elder Tyokolwana to get that baptism together.
Other news. Transfers happened. Me and Elder Tyokolwana stayed together because of his training. So we’re excited about that. But Elder Gballo was transfered (he spent the first 7 months of his mission in Klagon) and elder Johnson from my MTC has joined us!! It has been new and exciting and will be a great transfer.
We had a cool experience this week in Branch council. The Branch has been struggling in certain capacities so a stake high councilor came to give an instruction. We talked a lot about accountability and fulfilling our callings and how we make the step from simply being invited or called to do something to being chosen. The ward council left with a deeper and better understanding of their rolls and responsibilities, so it will be interesting to see what happens in the next little bit.
Also the quote of the week has been “Happy is the man…” by the missionaries in my apartment. Think about that statement. There are a lot of things to complain about. But let’s try to think of a reason to say “Happy is the man that…”
For example, one from Elder Mea, our district leader from Ivory coast that finishes his mission in 5 weeks.
Happy is the man that goes home in 5 weeks.
Or from Elder Tyokolwana
Happy is the man that washes small small everyday for on monday he gets to rest small
Or from Elder Despain
Happy is the man that is a missionary of the Lord. Happy is the man that is choosing the right. Happy is the man that gets to pound a ton of fufu and die because of how much fufu he eats.
But really. Lets all think of something to be happy about, cause God wants us to be happy. It’s simply our choice.
I love you all so much!! Have a great week!!
Love
Elder Despain