May 19th, 2014

D&C 125:1 “What is the will of the Lord concerning the saints in the Territory of Iowa?”

This is what I get to think every morning when I wake up and all day long. This question has become one of my favorite scriptures because it reminds me why am I am here. Like most weeks we had so much interaction with the members in our ward. Doing service for/with them and teaching them. We are stoked because one of the ladies that has been exercising so much faith to be fully active in the gospel, gets to go to the Nauvoo temple this next week. Again, that change that we get to see is incredible!

We met with most of our investigators, and it makes me sad because the major issue that most of them are having is simply setting aside three hours each week to come to church. To them it isn’t important and they don’t understand that in those three hours we renew covenants, learn from each other, and so much more because they just won’t come learn for themselves. I am grateful for agency but for me it is a struggle to watch people not choose to do the little things God asks. Life style changing commandments, easy for them to give up. Three hours at church, nope… Sorry about my tangent but we have a few golden people so prepared to be baptized except for church attendance. Any advice?

For one of our investigators we helped her with yard work this week. She began by telling us how she hates dandy lions and she wanted them all out of her lawn, so we spent a little bit pulling up these flowers and I found many many worms….some that were accidently cut in half by my dandy lion digger… My companion tried to come up with the parable of the dandy lion that they may look nice at first(like many of Satan’s tactics) but they will eventually overtake your yard(and life). I on the other hand feel bad for the dandy lions because they probably don’t know they are weeds….for this Sister Zirker, Sister Paul and Teresa looked at me like I was insane. I am used to those looks by now 🙂

Saturday, Sister Paul was knocked out with a crazy bad cold that she then gave to me. Sunday with the Beytiens and Lowders for dinner felt like home as always 🙂 In a few weeks the Rasmusens(Jessica Nelson’s cousins) are moving to Idaho. I am sad to see them leave now but selfishly I am glad they will be closer when i get home. This ward in general is awesome.

Overall this week was fun! The weeks go by so fast now.

I love you all!

Sister Despain

ps if I already shared this video I am sorry but it never ceases to be my favorite https://www.lds.org/pages/mormon-messages#wrong-roads

May 12th, 2014

Skype Party!  I cannot even express how lucky I feel to have the best family in the world! Seeing everyone and talking to you all made me so happy! Thank you! 

I think it was Macie or Teagan that asked me what I love most about my mission and so I thought about that last night as I couldn’t sleep. There are so many things but a few of them are:
  • Watching people go from being just here on the earth to knowing their purpose, that God loves them, and changing. That is probably the number one thing that I love to see!
  • Having set aside time to study the scriptures! Every time I read, I learn and feel the spirit. I knew that before, but know my testimony of daily scripture study is solid.
  • Learning to get over myself and serve others.
  • Meeting all different kinds of people and feeling like they are part of your family because of how much you care about them. 
  • Being reminded of how important attending church and ward families are for strengthening us.
  • Getting out of my comfort zone and doing hard things!
  • Iowa’s green grass and cornfields
  •  Fireflies
I could go on but I think that is more of an answer than Macie or Teagan wanted 🙂 This week the work was slow but the gospel is still true! Here are a few pictures of my old district as of Thursday, Sister Toles, the Ensigns, and Bj Saito. 
I love you all! Have a happy week!
 
~Sister Despain
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May 5th, 2014

Happy day! All is well!

Well I am patiently(maybe not so patiently……Im trying!) awaiting transfer calls this morning. My Companion is dead set that she is leaving so we will see what happens. Either way it will be interesting! I am fairly certain we won’t hear anything until bedtime tonight.  That is not the only call I am anxious about 🙂 Mother’s Day this Sunday!!! I will have to let you know later what time I can call because since my companion is set on leaving we haven’t made plans to call home yet. I know it doesn’t make sense. Such is life. 

This week was a happy one!!! Beth was baptized!!! The entire service went wonderfully and she was beaming. Then on Sunday she was confirmed and her daughter Kaylee, who is a month old, was blessed. It is so exciting to see Beth and her little family have a clean slate and are working towards making a better life 🙂 The gospel brings so much happiness!

    We also had the opportunity to go to the Nauvoo temple with the Zirkers on Friday! As always the temple brings so much peace even when everything else is hectic! Plus the Zirkers are amazing 🙂
  That about sums up the happiness of this week. Well all the major moments at least. I am so grateful to be a missionary and to get to spend all my time in the service of others. I  feel I am learning more from the people here then I could teach them. Heavenly Father knows what we can handle even when we think we can’t do it. I always tell myself “I have made it through everything else. I can make it through today, or the next hour, whatever it may be.” Like it was said so many times in conference and throughout the scriptures. God always provides a way!
I love you all! Have a wonderful week!
Sister Despain
Beth’s Baptism!
Temple with the  Zirkers!

April 28th, 2014

This week was a blur and so great! As usual I met so many awesome people. The members here in Dubuque are bomb. It is crazy how fast you feel like family in a ward with people you have only known for a few weeks! The Hayes, Ricks, Toles, Zirkers, Beytiens, etc, etc, etc. Seriously I am learning so much from everyone. Not to mention the people we are teaching that are so prepared to hear the gospel! Beth is getting baptized on Saturday and she is stoked about it! We had a miracle this week of three new investigators. While on exchanges Sister Dixon and I went out finding all day while our companions were sick 😦 Anyway we knocked on the door of this guy named Cody who said he was interested. We planned a time to come back and it fell through like most appointments. But then he called us and rescheduled…and it fell through. Then the third time he scheduled an appointment it did not fall through. Not only that but he brought two of his friends that are also interested! The lesson was so peaceful and things just clicked for them. Lessons like that are a reminder that it is so not us teaching but the Spirit! 

 Some fun random things I did this week include: making a shelf(sanding, painting, the works) for a member, getting soaked by the rain, singing in an Easter catada(fancy word for ward choir), and  for p-day last Monday we went to the Mines of Spain. Basically it was a series of hikes and cool old monuments like old churches, gravesites, burial mounds. I went trail running with Sister Stahle and it felt good to feel normal 🙂 One of the elders that is from the Kitabis(probably spelt wrong) island said that the Mines of Spain looked just like hiking through Fiji. All of you that doubt how pretty Iowa is(sometimes myself included) I wish pictures could show you other wise. Iowa is unique you just have to search a little harder to find it 🙂
I love you all!
Sister Despain
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Wisconsin is in my area!

April 21st, 2014

Happy Easter Everyone!!  This week was busy but flew by! Since Dad told me last week that my emails are not long enough I remembered to bring my journal to fill you in a little more 🙂

Monday we had family home evening with the Saitos in our ward. They are Marshallese and make the best food! And lots of it! I will never starve in Dubuque with the Saitos around.
Tuesday was awesome exchanges! Sister Dixon who also went to USU(go aggies!) was my companion for the day and we had so much fun! She was semi-sick and so she said she had a pony voice….her voice was a little horse. While we were out finding we knocked into a guy named Cody who asked us to please come back and told us we were an answer to his prayers. Moments like that are why being a missionary is great!
Random happy moments: Aline and James(one of our investigators) finally set a marriage date for this summer so they can progress! Yay! Beth passed her baptism interview! Yay!  We found a new couch for a lady in the ward going through so many trials. I love finding simple opportunities to serve! For a Relief Society activity we tied blankets for the hospital in town. Sister Robison took us to get frozen yogurt and the tables were giant teacups.
On Saturday we had a Marshallese first birthday. The first birthday is the biggest party for them. We couldnt stay but they made us grab food and gave US gifts on the way out. So fun!
Easter Sunday was nice. Not only the weather but just how peaceful it felt. We ate dinner with Beth(she is getting baptized next week) and the Lowders at the Beytiens. I love Dubuque!
I have to go but I hope this is more information for you Dad 🙂
I love you all!
Love,
Sister Despain

April 14th, 2014

We woke up to SNOW!! What a crazy week! To be honest I can’t remember the first half but Wednesday we drove down to Clinton, Ia for interviews with President. It is so great to see President and Sister Jensen and the love they have for the work. I am grateful to get to serve with them! 

On Friday night we ate dinner at the Rassmusen’s in our ward and we got to talking about USU(they met there) and Sister Rassmusen said her cousin went to school there right now. Anyways I asked who her cousin was and low and behold it is my roommate Jessica! And the world continues to get smaller! They are such an awesome family and I even got to ride a home made zip line they had in their backyard(it was safe, he is an engineer at John Deere) They invited friends over so we also got to share the gospel with them. Ideal missionary dinner 🙂
Overall the weekend was great weather and lots of finding. Not much success with that since we know there is a better way 🙂
I love you all and have a Happy EASTER! This video about the Savior is amazing! Watch this Easter message! (http://easter.mormon.org/?cid=HPTU041514694)
Love,
Sister Despain
Kelsey’s “guilty pleasure” when she emails!! Check it out!
https://www.lds.org/youth/music?lang=eng

 

 

April 7th, 2014

Let’s see……This week was crazy with trying to get into the swing of things. We do service at an adult care center and I have never made friends so fast. I love serving with people that instantly love. This week was scattered with some strange and awesome visits getting to know the people in Dubuque 🙂 It is fun to see the huge range of people in the world. One of our investigators had a baby which was so fun to be able to go see (not hold since that’s not allowed 😦 ) someone that had just been with our Heavenly Father not even 24 hours earlier. It strengthens mine and the investigators testimony of life before we come to earth!

At the first of the week I was worried about Parker and through many prayers and a phone call from Dad to the mission mom I was able to calm my worries:) Not knowing how those are love are makes me crazy! That is one thing I have learned on my mission for sure!

We had Zone Training Meeting this week in Clinton. One for the Elder’s last name was Leishman so I took a shot in the dark and asked if he knew Leishman’s near Logan, Ut. He said of course his grandparents lived there. Haha he is Elder and Sister Leishman’s(who Grandma and Grandpa served with in Nauvoo) grandson. Small world! We took a picture to show to our grandparents 🙂

General Conference was exactly what I needed. Every single time questions are answered and I feel the Spirit testify to me of the fullness of the truth we know! I am grateful for that!

I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

Love,

Sister Despain

PS sorry for so many pictures but my camera is finally letting me upload them to send 🙂

An cool experience from this week that Kelsey wanted to share:

“So yesterday after conference I was talking to my bishops wife and she grew up around phoenix area so she had asked me if I knew a bunch of people in gilbert previously. But, yesterday She came up to me and asked me if I knew any brimhalls? I said of course and that my best friend is Lauren brimhall. She began to tear up and said she was your moms Laurel advisor in Chicago a long time ago and your mom used to baby sit her kids haha. I guess the last time she visited your mom was in 2003 when she was in az for a little bit but she had such great memories of seeing your mom grow up. Heavenly father puts us in peoples paths that help us feel peace.  It was a testimony to me that even in Iowa heavenly father could send someone to me that could comfort me. I just wanted to share that with ya :)”