A few of Elder Despain’s last letters!!!

spring 2013, Devin's graduation 2013, 18th bday & mission photo 260

November, 17, 2014

Dear Family and Friends!

This week was a great week!! my mom asked me to clarify on why we shouldn’t run into road signs in the dark at military barracks. last week we forgot our bike lights. I was on an exchange with my former companion, Elder UDofia, who is now the AP and shares a proselyting area with us. We were riding down the hill in lights off, so no street lights, and I NAILED a sign that said dim your headlights. Everybody started freaking out, and I was actually threatened that I would be arrested because I’m a foreigner and I was in the barracks after 6 o’clock. One man must have had a bad day because he said next time he sees me in the barracks after 6, he’ll put me in jail for the night. As great as that sounds, we managed to get out of Burma Camp every day this week before 6.
Well, we were able to have  two baptisms this week!! It was so sweet. The first was Latina, the wife of Brother Augustine, who we baptized three weeks ago. After she came out of the water, she just said ” I’ve been waiting so long for this, thank you so much.” They are preparing to be sealed in the temple next year, which is incredible. I wish I would be here for that, but sadly, I’ll be home before that. Anyways. The next was a young man named Bennett. He has gone through so many trials since he started coming to church but hs incredible amount of faith. He has been so committed to his baptism and can’t wait to continue in the gospel.
Other than that, this week was pretty normal!! played basketball today, had some fun times with Elder Odume, and the district is doing really well!! I hope all of you have had an incredible week!! Be good this week and find somebody to serve!! Last thing, a poem from my mission president’s wife
People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
 Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives:
 Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
 Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
 Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone may destroy overnight;
 Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
 Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
 Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
 Give the world the best you have anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
 It was never between you and them anyway.
Love you all!!
Elder Despain

December 1, 2014

Dear Family and Friends!!!

Sorry for the blank message… My computer is wacked out this week so that’s why I’m emailing from the email last week. But i Hope everybody’s thanksgiving was bomb!!! For thanksgiving, we had
Chipatis and rolle eggs (ugandan dish)
Mashed Potatoes ( Me and Elder Moss, the other American, went hard)
Moi Moi…. ( A nigerian dish that takes a day to cook. Literally. We actually had it for our black friday meal… so ya…)
Ghanaian Ice Cream and Cupcakes, and Alvaro a really nice fruity malt drink!!!
Oh. And really Ghetto KFC chicken. But nobody actually ate that…
So it was a great day!! We got to go around the district and ask everybody what they are grateful for! I hope all of you were able to do the same thing!!!
Anyways, for the rest of our week!
I had the opportunity to go on two exchanges this week. First in a place called Jamestown. A town full of rough, loud, somehow obnoxious people who speak a harsh language called Ga. There’s a reason I’m not in that area. It was lovely to meet the investigators and members there but it would really try my patience if I was there… it gave me a reason to be grateful for my area!
The next exchange was in Osu. That was with the Zone Leader, Elder Moss. It was an amazing day. There’s something I’d like to share that were able to help an investigator understand. One of the most unique doctrines that the Church shares is that it is “By the grace that we are saved, after all we can do”. Now these two principles are in opposition, and sometimes, we can easily fall into the trap of laziness (thinking that the grace will make up for everything) or sometimes more common, humanism (thinking that our earn your salvation all by yourself). This investigator has such faith but it was driving him crazy because he was expecting himself to be perfect like christ. But that’s not the principle. Christ suffered and died for us so that when we do all that each of us individually can do, the grace will justify our sins and we will receive mercy. And While we try to do all that we can do, although we cannot be perfect, God allows for mercy to strengthen us and help us as we recognize it is through Christ that these things are possible. That’s why everything starts in our hearts. Actions, one way or another, will not qualify us for the grace of God. God looks at our hearts. And this time of year is a perfect time to examine our hearts and turn ourselves towards Christ.
Well. Other than that, a miracle happened yesterday. We had 9 investigators show up at church. Which is 4 more than I’ve ever had before. This work is amazing.
I love you all so much!! Have an amazing week!!
Elder Despain

December 8, 2014

Dear Family and Friends!!
I didn’t let you know my theme for last transfer!!! This transfer was cut short for Christmas so it’s coming to an end, and me and Elder Odume will be staying together in Cantonments which is SWEET! But here was my scripture. I’d like to start out with this because it sets the theme for this weeks letter.
Alma 36:24-25 (Alma the younger to his son Helaman, his labors for the Lord)
24. Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste, that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
25. Yea, and now behold, my son, the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors.
Alright. This week was incredible. We had the baptisms of Brother Anane (the ministry of defense senior officer of the Auditing department) and sister Patience (aka Evangelist Patience, former evangelist for various churches, now converted latter-day saint/future missionary). And the Lord has truly given Elder Odume and I great joy in the fruits of our labors. We have been able to strengthen our recent convert Bennett, who has an amazing testimony, and was able to really on the Holy Ghost to find a job!! We also have a military family that have a baptism scheduled. It is a family of 6 – The man and wife, a 17 year old boy, a 15 year old girl (who is at boarding school right now) and 12 and 10 year old girls. They all came to church on sunday, minus the 15 year old girl who is away, but it’s incredible. And we are working with an unmarried couple on their marriage and baptism. IT’s incredible to see the desire people acquire to repent and come unto Christ as they hear this message of the restored gospel!!
Anyways. a few fun notes.
A fun-fetti cake in a rock oven with Pillsbury frosting isn’t what it sounds like. Well. It is, as long as you remember it was made in a rock oven.
Microwaves in Ghana are useful for a lot of things. Like heating up Bread. And That’s about it.
The answer is never to throw it on the ground. Never.
And finally, fixing your flip flops with a toothpick and a box of matches might sound like a great idea. Ok. not really. But I thought it was.
 I love you all so much!! Give a gift this week for Christ!! #HeistheGift
Elder Despain