July 14th, 2014

Where do I begin? I guess I will give a day-by-day description of my week starting with Tuesday 🙂

*Tuesday: Nauvoo! We had the awesome opportunity to go to Nauvoo as a district. We attended the Temple and the Pageant! As a church we are so blessed to have so many temples across the world, but I feel so lucky to have the Nauvoo temple so close to me. As always the pageant was a great reminder of all who sacrificed before us so we can have the gospel today! It strengthened my testimony that Joseph Smith really was a prophet of God and this is Christ’s restored church!

*Wednesday: Exchanges with the sister training leaders. Sister Cannon was with me and she is so fun! We worked hard even though I was running on not even four hours of sleep!

*Thursday: Planning for next week and the beginning of “called to serve”, a program the stake does where laurels and priests are “mini missionaries” with us for a weekend. I was lucky and got Sister Butler as my companion again. She was my mini missionary in Davenport last year! We were expecting two mini missionaries and had double booked all of our appointments so we had to reschedule. Busy busy!

*Friday: got an early morning call that we were getting another mini missionary…. so we had to re-schedule all of our rescheduled appointments haha. We are definitely learning how to plan! District meeting (I got to see Sister Larsen and Logan Larsen from Davenport), finding, and teaching!

*Saturday: ward Luau so we invited EVERYONE to it and we had over 10 investigators there, plus kids. Church tours and lessons all evening! Not to mention the activity was fun! Sister Jally even let me borrow one of her Marshallese dresses to wear 🙂

*Sunday: Teaching Jes is my favorite! I am so lucky to get to be even a small part in her conversion! I am sad she doesn’t live in Dubuque so I can see her more often but I am glad she is here most weekends. Church was uplifting and we had four investigators come! Social conversion is so important and something that sometimes we overlook!

As you can tell this week was busy but if every week could be like this I would give up sleep anytime!

Love you all!

-Sister Despain

Sister Brown & I at the Nauvoo Temple

Sister Randall & I

Logan Larsen (he’s still not sure about me)

Mini Missionaries!

WE MADE IT!!!

Ward Luau

Sweet Marshallese Dress, huh!?!

July 7th, 2014

Another fantastic week! Seriously the work here has been picking up like crazy! Today alone we already had one member call us to meet with her friend that all of a sudden wants to learn about the church. This really is the Lord’s work! Aside from all the wonderful people we are already blessed to teach we get to add two new people, Jill and Denise. They are both so nice and ready to learn more.

The members in Dubuque are amazing as well and we saw many of them this week at events and as always I found out a few of them are Aggies!

I wasn’t sure I would get to see any fireworks this week but on July 3rd we got permission to go with the Zirkers to the air show and fireworks. Then Saturday after Zone training in Clinton we went to a ward party that had fireworks. I am grateful Heavenly Father made so many pretty things in this world that we can enjoy 🙂 I love you all but I again my time goes by too quick on email! I will send lots of pictures next week of Nauvoo and the pageant 🙂

Love,

Sister Despain

Ty on the way to fireworks!

The Zirkers, Beth, & Toles at fireworks

Sister Brown & I

On the 4th in the cool frozen yogurt place in Dubuque

Our zone

DSC02989 (1)It looks like we are partying harder than we really were. haha just watching fireworks at the ward party 🙂

June 30th, 2014

Happy Happy Week! The happiest part was we got to teach Jes again and she is awesome. We talked about the plan of salvation and she said she has been studying it on her own and she knows it is really God’s plan for us. She is so prepared. She is working towards a baptismal date in August. For some reason we just get along really well and I feel like I’ve known her forever. She is three months younger than me and I am pretty sure she could do anything; she makes me feel like I need to accomplish more!

We did service and taught all week. These past few weeks are feeling to me what I thought missionary work would be. Just constantly busy and super focused on the work. Did I mention I love my new companion? haha We are so different in personality, interests, everything basically so it is weird we get along so well.

One of the service opportunities we found was helping our next-door neighbor move from upstairs to downstairs. We asked if we could help because we were weekly planning and could hear them outside. It was four older ladies and so we were put to work. They couldn’t say my last name right (apparently Despain is a tough one) so they started calling me sissy #1 and Sister Brown was sissy #2. We laughed and helped for almost 4 hours. I am very glad I not only know how to work but am strong enough to be useful haha They were going to throw out some workout machines so they gave them to us to put to use in stead 🙂 They had a million questions about the church and are coming to our ward Luau in a few weeks. I love having the opportunity just to serve!

I hope you all have a wonderful July fourth! I love you all!

Love,

Sister Despain

imagejpeg_0A picture Dad got from a member on the 4th of July!

IMG_8201Sister Paul & I

June 23rd, 2014

What a week! The majority of this week was Sister Paul saying goodbye to members and then preparing for transfers on Thursday. My new companion is also from California, but Northern Cali instead of the Southern part in a small town called Gridley.  Her name is Sister Brown and she is so sweet! I don’t know her too well yet but I am excited to be her companion that’s for sure! She has been out only one transfer less than me.  Other than that we have just been trying to find more people to teach.
 
Yesterday we had two miracles. The first one was having the opportunity to meet with Jestine who is the girlfriend of one of the ward members. She is amazing and for some reason we were able to instantly connect. As we taught about the restoration I felt the Spirit again tell me that what I was teaching was absolutely true. One of the many perks of being a missionary is getting the chance to have the Spirit testify to you over and over again. The second miracle was resetting a baptismal date with Shakari. I am so glad I get to stay in Dubuque!! I love it here!
 
Love you all!
~Sister Despain
My New companion Sister Brown
DSC02617
my now old district

June 16th, 2014

This week went by so quickly; if it weren’t for my journal I would have forgotten most of it. I think that comes from doing very similar things everyday and being exhausted while doing it. This week I have had “sick brain” where I can feel myself getting sick and I forget things, run into things, its no good but the only way for me to get over it is sleep and I don’t have time to do that. My mind has forgotten how to turn itself off.  Yet so many miracles happened this week. Last week we had barely one progressing investigator and now we have almost five. For some reason the desire to actively change kicked in some more this week. I am so grateful to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands because I know for sure I couldn’t do the things I do without Him.

This week as I studied the Atonement I learned so much about Christ’s love for us. I am reading a book called “The Infinite Atonement” and I really am amazed and confused at the love Jesus has for me, and each of us. I feel just a small amount of the sadness He must feel for us, when we simply choose to not put Him and the gospel first in our life, when these people I have grown to love see the happiness and comfort they could have and then reject it. It makes me even more grateful for a loving heavenly Father and father on earth that teach me by example!

The weather here in Dubuque has been gorgeous! On Thursday the Zirkers took us to Eagle Point Park overlooking the lock and dam on the Mississippi. Everything is so green. People keep praying for rain to make things green again…. I’m not sure they know how much more other places need rain haha.

Today is transfer calls and I am guessing I am staying again. I guess I will see sometime today haha I have almost gotten to the point where I don’t care anymore to be nervous about transfers. I am going to be happy doing whatever the Lord wants me to do. Wherever He wants me to do it.

I love you all!

Sister Despain

Ty Zirker and I at Eagle point park

June 9th, 2014

The Zirkers took us to a few sights on our preparation days these past two weeks. They are our Dubuque parents and take very good care of us!

As usual we had many opportunities to serve. The Rasmussens moved to Idaho so we helped them leave us, we gardened, and I even mowed someone’s lawn (it is a lot different that mowing our lawn at home…they have fields for lawns here). I love every service opportunity because “when ye are in the service of your fellow men, you are only in the service of your God”.

We also taught many many lessons this week. The Lord is placing many people in our paths. We met a man this week that goes by Yoda that happens to have a nine year old son and they both want to learn more. We had to move Shakari’s baptism back a week but she will be ready soon! This is the Lord’s work and that is very evident with His timing.

The only other new thing this week is we got a new ward mission leader. He is excited and ready to work! We are so grateful for all the work Brother Han did 🙂

I love you all and have a great week!

Love,

Sister Despain

p.s.Transfers are next week so we will see the verdict maybe next week on who stays and goes 🙂

 

Playin ball at the field of dreams

Possibly one of our last Marshallese family home evenings

Rasmussens that moved to Idaho

John Deere factory with the Zirkers

June 2nd, 2014

Happy June!! And Happy Birthday MOM on Sunday 🙂

It doesn’t seem long since I sent a long email last week but a lot has happened so I will try to sum it all up 🙂

Shakari came to church and she is still set for baptism in just a few weeks. She is excited to take the first step to come closer to Christ! We could not be happier for her.

The lady I mentioned last week that is currently confined to a wheelchair (Shereeda) is also getting excited about us teaching her. The spirit was strong when we read 3 Nephi 11 with her. She is a wonderful example!

We had exchanges in Clinton this week with the sister training leaders and they live in a mansion converted into apartments…..I took pictures but it did not do it any justice because it was strange!

The sad for us but very exciting for them, news this week is that they have formed a Marshallese group here in Dubuque. A group is just a smaller branch supervised by a bishop in a nearby ward. It is exciting for the Marshallese people because it is the final step before they can form their own Marshallese branch here in Dubuque. It will bring back so many less actives and strengthen them as they get to here the gospel taught in their native language. It is hard for us missionaries in the Dubuque 2nd ward because it means we can no longer meet with our Marshallese members or investigators. The man that was called as the group leader told me his conversion story last week. He “knew” the missionaries for a long time but he spends all of his time with them bashing them and even yelling at them while they would teach others. When he moved to the United States he saw missionaries again and simply ignored them but he kept seeing them. Then one day he just decided he wanted them to teach him. That day they taught him the word of wisdom and he quit all of his bad habits right then. He said it was just someone flipped the switch and he wanted so badly to change. Last night when he was called to be the group leader he came up to me and told me that he Knew that Heavenly Father recognizes the seemingly little changes we make and he is preparing us constantly for what and who He knows we can become. I am lucky to be surrounded by such amazing people!

Well the Zirkers are taking Sister Paul and I to the field of dreams for P-day so I have to go but I love you all!

Love,

Sister DespainThis is our usual Sunday dinner group at the Beytiens except this week TWO couples got engaged…….May does weird things to people haha The picture includes the Lowders, Beytiens, Mariah Small(without her fiancé), Kelsey English with her fiancé, Darren Herbst and his awesome girl Justine.