July 29th, 2013

Well let’s see…..This week was pretty hectic. I was the trainer of two out of our four mini-missionaries. They were both laurels from the stake here in Davenport doing a program called “called to serve” They were with us from Thursday to Sunday deciding if they would actually want to serve missions…their decisions based on three-ish days… No pressure at all. 🙂 They were awesome! I am fairly sure when I was their age I would have not been as confident in knocking doors. At the end of the program they bore their testimonies how they want to serve so much. The spirit helped them out there.  We did tons of service this week. Mostly weeding people’s yards, moving them, and even cleaning out someone’s basement after years of neglect. It leads to a very interesting and physically tiring week. I don’t have much time today because our p-day is only a few hours long. We are heading to Nauvoo and the pageant on Friday which will be our p-day. We get to go with Bret and Chelsea Grimes. They are awesome!  Anyways, we set a date with Kamden for August 25th and he is going to be so ready. He is constantly learning and asking questions. I wish everyone we ran into had the faith he had to do whatever Heavenly Father told him to do. MaryAnn felt the spirit so strong (she told us she did) in one of our lessons but ever since then she has been grumpy and really unresponsive. We will keep working on helping her bring the spirit into her life. Well the weather here in Iowa is Bipolar. One moment it can be super hot then it is pouring rain and cold. Pray that Friday will stay clear skies in Nauvoo. Sister Near, one of our mini missionaries told me this quote. “Dare to be Mormon. Dare to stand alone. Dare to have a purpose. Dare to make it known.” I love that. Have a wonderful week and happy birthday Mike!

Love,

Sister Despain

Zone Conference

Kelsey and Sister Hunter with their “mini-missionary” companions!

 

July 15th, 2013

Family!

*Life is good and the gospel is true!

This week was FANTASTIC! It started out on Monday night with Sister Canfield having us over for dinner and inviting her friend Alison. Alison had so many questions and we look forward to talking with her more but she wanted to just communicate through Sister Canfield for now, but hey at least it is a start! Then out of the blue we received three new investigators that are excited about the gospel!

1. Dwayne…yup the man who ran away from us. He was a member referral and he finally wants to hear more. We will see how that goes but still he isn’t running away 🙂

2. Becky. She is awesome. She said she recently started going to a new church but when they asked her to be baptized she felt there was something missing so she didn’t. She accepted a baptism invite and is excited to learn. She has no real background in the bible so it is fun for me to have to really learn the simple way to explain the gospel to others.

3. Last but not least, MaryAnn! She is an older lady so prepared by the Lord. We were trying to find a man from our potential list but his address did not exist (not uncommon for our potential list, luckily we could read the hand writing). We decide to ask the nice old lady sitting on her porch if she knew him and she said, “Hey I have been waiting for you to come back. I have that book the boys gave me.” We looked confused and she went inside and dug out her book of Mormon elders had given her years ago. It was insane. She has a baptismal date set for August 11th. On the first lesson she said she knew the Book of Mormon is true and when could she be a member of our church. Haha! We offered to help her clean up her house and she has had us working hard 🙂

The Lord is preparing people everywhere!

We were blessed to have Madelyn’s baptism yesterday (she is 8 but we have been teaching her since her mom is inactive). The day before the baptism we had a lesson on modesty and then a fashion show of all the clothes that would be appropriate for church. She is like a sponge soaking in the gospel. Her baptism really sparked interest in her family and especially her cousins her age.

We are excited for the baptism of Bret this week on Saturday! He kind of reminds me of Chet for some reason. His new wife Chelsea is the exact same age as me, kind of like most of the newly married people in the ward here. It is strange but nice because we get along super well 🙂

Well a few strange/funny things happened this week. Famous Dave’s the restaurant gave us a free huge bottle of barbecue sauce for coming in…Pretty sweet! We were also given a gift by one of our less active families that we adore…a beaded necklace with a cross on it. I am not sure they don’t know we don’t really use crosses in our church? It was very kind though.

That is all I can think of now but I will write again next Monday. Thank you all for the letters and the examples you are to me!

Sister Despain

 

p.s. Grandma and Grandma Despain and Grandma Holladay. Do you know the Ray’s that work in the Snowflake temple? Their son Brother Ray lives here and works at the Arsenal.

 

(Me with Carol, a less active, we had almost mathcing shirts…except hers was a mumu!)

(Me with the hose to fill up the font. We have to run it all the way across the church because our font doesn’t fill up fast enough)

(All of us at Madelyn’s baptism)

(Me with Madelyn at her baptism)

July 8th, 2013

Hello Everyone!

What started out as a rough week turned around very quickly! Tuesday and Wednesday were full of “spiritual finding” we talked to tons of people and had a total amount of …zero people interested in what we were saying. On Thursday, Happy Fourth of July, we met our awesome new mission president and his wife, The Jensen’s! Zone Conference is the best because it is like a nice long drink of spiritual water after being drained day after day with rejection. President Jensen didn’t have the opportunity to serve a mission, but he is stoked to be serving now! He helped create the GPS system and taught at the University of North Carolina I believe. The enthusiasm they both have for the work here in Iowa is contagious! We spent our evening with a less active family having a cook out. Paula and Tera, the mother and daughter, have such strong testimonies but haven’t been to church in a while. They are great people and make delicious food! America’s birthday was a big success!

Friday we were blessed with the baptism of Gage and all went well! He is 13 and really was excited to make this huge choice in his life. The spirit was so strong! On Saturday we set a date for Bret to be baptized on July 20th. Bret is going to Palmer Chiropractic School and recently married a member. Bret and Chelsea are such a strong couple. When we asked Bret if he remembered what the elders before had taught (our teaching records are not complete…) He pulled out his own copy of preach my gospel. We were amazed and then he basically taught us from it. Wow.

Image   Then Sunday….the best day of the week! Most of the people we invited to church came (mostly less active families) and then in testimony meeting after I sat down from bearing my testimony a large black man with tattoos stood up at the pulpit. I thought he was a member back from break (most of our ward has been gone since we have been here for Palmer break) and bore his testimony. Except he said my friends invited me here today and I know what everyone has said here is true. I love this church. Sister Hunter and I were amazed. He is in the elder’s area and we are so excited for them! The past five-ish new investigators they have found have been given to other areas. The last miracle of fast Sunday was Breeta! I had met her while on exchanges and she said we could come back but didn’t seem too interested. When we returned and taught her the plan of salvation, she agreed with everything, said she felt the spirit, and accepted a baptismal invite. She is Sister Hunter and I’s first new investigator that we have found. Such a wonderful feeling. The Lord really does listen and moves his work forward in his own time.

Tonight we have dinner with family in the ward and their friend that really wants to learn more. Sister Canfiled texted us last night and said, ” I am not sure if you are already planning on it, but Allison really wants a Book of Mormon so could you bring one for her.” We about died. The gospel is true and when we do our best to be exactly obedient, he will bless us.

Love you all!!

Sister Despain

p.s. I got to pet a tiny wild baby bunny. He was just sitting near the sidewalk. Made my day on Tuesday.

July 1st, 2013

Well Hello Everyone!

I must say Davenport summers have been very good to me. Today I was outside and I felt…cold. Strange! Last p-day I was in an extreme tornado warning. They have sirens and everything. I was talking to Sister Hunter and all of a sudden the sky was dark behind her. When we looked at the phone our district leaders had called like five times and we had to go into the laundry room in the basement for safety. Eventually it passed and we could resume our day but I guess a tornado was spotted about a mile from our apartment. That is the word on the street from our investigator Gage.

Speaking of Gage, he is getting baptized on Friday! So excited for him! He has so many questions that I have never even thought of before. I learn from him.

Our week was a little strange this week. We had exchanges and I was with Sister Little. She goes home in about a month and is heading back up to Utah State so we got along 🙂 Then we had a member referral that we visited. He seemed receptive at first and invited us back for a second visit. When we got there for the next visit he was walking down the street, saw us, and ran the other way. I kid you not; a forty year old man ran away from us and hid behind a see through bush. I was so upset because I have never felt so unwanted in my life, I don’t have leprosy people. Anyway things like this happen all the time. We had to simply shake it off. Next we had an appointment with a lady that we met while finding and she invited us back. When we got to her house she was clearly home (cigarette in ashtray still smoking and car in front) but she didn’t answer. We decided to go onto the next street to find. When we got on that street we both had the impression to go to this cute little house so we went. A lady answered and we started talking about her nails (sister hunter loves nails…) and I got the feeling that I should ask if she needs a hug. Now I am friendly but seriously spirit. I just knocked on her door and now you want me to hug her. So I asked, she then burst into tears. Her daughter was dying of Kidney Failure in Iowa City and she was about to leave when we knocked on the door. She really needed a hug and told us she would call us when she gets back from saying goodbye to her daughter. The spirit puts us in places we need to be if we listen. And if our appointment wouldn’t have fell through we wouldn’t have been able to be there for her. I love it. I also found out that day that blue hydrangeas (I think that is how you spell it) are my favorite flower!

Yesterday the missionaries taught two hours of church. The young couples in our ward are awesome. Basically they are the same age as us…but they are married….and we are on missions. Anyway there is a sister Anemd & sister Canfield from the ward that totally reminds me of Zoe. Visiting with her is great. Also an old man in our ward made (yes made) us jewelry. I got two pairs of earrings and more to come; he said…they are actually very cute.

We get to meet our new mission president on Thursday! Thank you Josh for sending me that missionary pocket reference book! If anyone wants to send me a cd of Mormon Tabernacle choir singing anything but hymns (that is the one cd I have) I would greatly appreciate it. I have already memorized the cd I have that isn’t hymns and I need something new 🙂 If anyone wants to join me and Gage in reading the Book of Mormon from front to back in the month of July please join. Read 18 pages a day! It’s doable.

I love you all and have an amazing Fourth of July!

Love,

Sister Despain

*Mosiah 24:15 – And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord didstrengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.