Dear Family and Friends!
December 1, 2014
Dear Family and Friends!!!
December 8, 2014
Dear Family and Friends!
December 1, 2014
Dear Family and Friends!!!
December 8, 2014
August 11, 2014
Dear Family and Friends.
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!!
August 18, 2014
Dear family and Friends
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
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!!
Dear Family and Friends
Here are Devin’s last three letters. We have not received any pictures from him yet. He has been out 4 1/2 mos. He said most of the computers in Africa have virus’s on them. So He is nervous to download pictures. He also said the computers have missing keys and some keys that work “some times”. I try to proof his letters a bit.. (but mostly just copy and paste) 🙂 We find it funny though because he would always correct our grammar and how we spelled things. ha ha
The kids received their first letters from Africa this week from Devin. ….It was like Christmas for them. We are happy to report that so far all of the packages we have sent have made it to him. I have 19 empty packages sitting on my desk…Each month we will send him a package and when the stack is gone, Devin will be home! It takes 3 to 4 weeks for a package to arrive in Ghana.
I will share a quick side note about the family (since this blog is for Devin). Last Monday Lilly brought her CD player downstairs and asked, “Mom, Do you want to feel closer to Devin?” I answered, “yes”. She put on a CD of piano music that reminded her of Devin. We think and pray for him daily. He is courageous and brave and we are so very proud of him.
FEBRUARY 10, 2014
Dear Family and Friends!!
Dear 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
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
I love you all so much. Stay safe and keep in touch!!
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
Here I am again…catching up Devin’s blog. He is doing really well. We had a NICE, LONG, visit on Christmas Day. We talked for 2 1/2 hours. He sounded so good and has immersed himself in the culture and with the people. He is basically living in the slums. He described his living conditions and their routine. As a mother I showed my concern…but his answer to me was, “MOM, as long as I’m following all the rules I will be watched over.” He is where he wants to be and LOVES the people so much. We have seen incredible growth in him over the last 11 weeks while he has been in Ghana. He does his laundry by hand, lives on $3 a day, eats pretty much the same thing every day…lots of rice and interesting foods, he loves playing basketball on his p-days. We are grateful that he has an amazing trainer for his first area. He also gets to play the piano every Sunday at church…which he LOVES!
We were so excited to hear that he received ALL the packages we have sent him. They included mostly snacks and “powdered milK”. I also sent him a small box of lucky charms. He was soooo excited to have Powdered milk and lucky charms!!!
We miss Devin terribly…but we Know this is an amazing experience for him. He is an example to our family of LOVE, LIGHT, and all that is GOOD! He has an incredible heart and ability to Love people everywhere. Enjoy his letters……He sure appreciates all your thoughts and prayers and sends his love to you all!!!
DECEMBER 30, 2013
Dear family and Friends!
Happy new year!!
Last week was good!! Not to much exciting or new stuff. I have a couple funny stories but other than that I’ll just bear my testimony of Christ because Christmas has just past.
So there was a man walking down the street dressed as a lady in a woman’s traditional african dress with fake breasts talking in a fake high pitched voice selling womans products. Kinda crazy. We also contacted the crazy man who drinks alcohol mixed with weed and sniffs tobacco. He asked us for our bible. So we gave him the book of mormon. The funniest thing is he reads it before drinking in the mornings. Me and Elder West joke about baptizing him but who knows!!
Also on christmas a drunk man poured non alcoholic champagne all over me. worst thing ever, except I’m grateful it was non alcoholic.
Hmmm. Other than that, nothing too interesting has happened, other than the normal daily routines of a missionary in Ghana.
But I’d like to share my testimony of Christ. I know he lives. I know that he willingly came to earth, knowing before hand of the suffering he would go through, yet he still came because of his love for us. He could have quit, but he didn’t. He was the greatest gift that this world has ever received. So how can we give a gift back? No gift that we give back will ever match his eternal gift to us. But what we can do is love others. Follow the commandments. And not quit following God. It will never make up for what Jesus Christ did for us, but it’s what we can do, and it’s what he asks of us.
Anyways! We’re going to have a baptismal service on saturday!! I’m super excited, because the guy we’re baptizing is so strong in everything we’ve taught him. His name is Abraham and he used to be a preacher. He’s an incredible guy, and although we’ve had to tell him straight up that he’s been incorrect about some things, he has such an open heart that he has accepted it all.
So have an incredible new year, hopefully I’ll have some fun stories about new year! I love you all!
DECEMBER 23, 2013
Merry Christmas!!!!! 🙂
December 16, 2013
Dear Family and Friends: