Sunday, October 25, 2015

Week 3 on the Island of Eua

Hey Mom and Dad,

Thanks for the emails this week. I’m glad that you guys liked all of my pictures I sent and what not.

This week I’ve been doing pretty well. We’ve been really busy, we have seven new investigators and taught 18 lessons. Time is flying by, I can’t believe that its p-day already.

I’m learning to play the ukulele and have already learned how to play the Lord of the Rings theme song. I gave the AP’s some money to buy me a ukulele, so I will get that next week.

I’ve gained a little weight/muscle I hope, and have lost some fat it seems. All of the protein is doing me good. Today we are going to go see the sights again. Apparently there is a ton to see on Eua. I found a way to get more pictures to you guys also. And next week I’ll be able to get my journal to you guys. So a lot is coming your way.

I hope you are doing well. I am.

I love you, Love Tay

Doing some laundry

Exploring the Island

A cool view

My awesome tan lines

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Week 2 on the Island of Eua

Hey guys,

I am doing a lot better this week. The language is coming a lot easier
and I am able to share and understand a lot more. The hardest part
about the language is that everyone talks so dang fast and slurs all
of their words.

I washed my laundry with a bucket this morning and am still showering
with one to. The poverty here is insane. I've only eaten three meals
not sitting on dirt or covered dirt floors. It's pretty crazy.

I wish I could tell you guys more, I've been keeping that journal on my
phone and it has sooo much information. But I'm not going to be able to
get that to you guys until two weeks. I hope all is well.

Glad to hear dad is getting some offers and isnt so stressed. I've been
praying for him. Its really hard being away from everyone and not
being able to do what I want to with who I want to. But I am okay. I'm
doing a lot better this week.

The work is slow. There are 5000 people on this island and 2500 are
members. The missionaries have literally been to everyone thats not a
member before, and they all really just dont want to here from us. We
do have two investigators we are working with though.

I've gotten like a thousand emails this week its nuts.

How is everyone? How are Hogan and Luke and Jack? I hope they are all
doing well.

I hope it is okay with you guys if I talk about all of the experiences
in my journal to you guys each month. Its really hard to try and
remember everyhting off of the top of my head right now.

I've read 250 or so pages in the Book of Mormon since I started my last
two weeks in the mtc and every page looks like a textbook now with my
own writings. Thats cool.

I'm still getting used to things and all but I'm doing better. Still
missing you guys and Nat a ton. Its hard

Love you both and everyone else so much. I'm going to try and get back
to as many people as possible now that wrote me that probably won't
again for a while.

Glad to hear you are keeping up a good blog to mom!

Love you guys. I'll try and send some pictures in a little while

Love Tay

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 1 cont'd

Dear Brother and Sister Despain,
Your son, Elder Taylor James DeSpain, arrived in Tonga in good spirits on 06 Oct 2015.  My wife and I greeted him at the airport and took him to our home along with the other new missionaries.  After a healthy dinner, a great interview, and an orientation about all aspects of the mission, we put him right to work.  We are excited to have him here to teach these wonderful people.  Enclosed is a picture of us taken with him after he arrived.
I ask that you please not call your missionary, as it is a distraction to them. They will be able to call you twice during the year, on Mother's Day and at Christmas. I would encourage you, however, to write them each week, as they enjoy hearing from you.
Elder DeSpain will do well and has already caught the spirit of this great work.  I am sure his mission will be a great testimony-building experience for him.  We are very happy to have your son serving here in the Tonga Nuku'alofa Mission and will do all we can to help him progress in the work of the Lord.  If there is ever anything you would like to discuss with me, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Leitoni M. Tupou, President

 Tonga Nuku'alofa Mission

Week 1

Hey Mom and Dad,

     I am staying on Eua Island, its in the Tongamama'o area. The Island that I’m on is an exact replica of Lost once you get out to the far sides, literally looks like it was filmed here. 

     How are you? I am struggling, this is so much harder than I ever imagined it would be. There is no wi-fi on Eua and there is little time allowed for emails. Its really hard not to be able to tell you guys everything I want to. My companion is the District leader so we will flying back to Nuku'alofa once a month for meetings. Then I will be able to send more info. and some pictures.

     Tonga is a very interesting place, the poorest place that I’ve ever seen in my life. All of the houses have holes in the walls and dirt floors that they put plastic down on the ground, and on holes in the roofs. There are pigs and dogs everywhere. I don’t understand anyone and I shower with a bucket each day. We have to buy water so we don’t die, it’s rough. Our meal from the ward the other night was 8 crackers and peanut butter.

     I’m trying hard to stay focused on the work, and I really do give it my all throughout the day, and we get a lot done. This is by far the hardest thing I have ever done.

Pray for me, I love you.

Love, Tay 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Missionaries in Tonga

                                                                      Taylor is 5th from the Right.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

He has arrived in Tonga!

                                                                                                                    Oct. 7, 2015
Dear President Tupou,

I hope the labor of the mission is going well. My wife and I are just wondering if Taylor made it to Tonga safely. We assume so, but would just like to have verification. We are looking forward to his emails and to see how he grows in service while in the field.

Warmest Regards,

James and Becky DeSpain

Our reply within an hour----

Parents of Elder DeSpain,

Your son made it to Tonga safe and sound smiling and happy. He got in Tuesday night (Monday for you) and then went and had breakfast with the president the following morning. They then went and had their meetings and met their new companions. Elder DeSpain got an excellent trainer who works hard. I will let him tell you the rest when he has his P-day.

I you have any questions feel free to email and we will do our best to answer them.

-Elder Anderson

Tonga Nuku'alofa office staff

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Week 6 in MTC , Flying out Sunday!

Hey Mom and Dad,

How are you doing? I hope you are doing well. I’m learning a lot and
doing well. Thank you so much for sending everything that you sent to me,
and for everything that you’ve done for me its been really great. And I’m really grateful.

I’ve been really into my scriptures lately. It’s amazing what you can figure out using all of the footnotes and with a little history knowledge. For example, I realized earlier this week how Churchill and Truman fulfilled one of Nephi's prophecies when they sent the Jews back to Jerusalem after WW2. And Isaiah is loaded with stuff for us. My scripture margins look like a coloring book its awesome, every page I’ve read is full of stuff that isn’t evident in the text unless you think about it. It’s really cool. I’ve also been trying to learn more about the nature of God/s this past week in the Book of Mormon and what not. And their are lots of things that lead me to think of a new idea. How spirit matter is finer than regular matter and stuff and such and just a ton of stuff about how God works and all. Anyway I think that before we came to earth we didn’t even know what a body was like, I think physical things may have been beyond our realm of understanding because I think maybe spirits/ intelligences might be two dimensional in nature. I think we knew perhaps the general concept and all and that it was necessary to become like God, but I think we really didn’t have a clue what it would be like (trying to grasp the idea that time neither started nor runs continuously but is ever present, we can’t wrap our minds around it). And I think that a large part of progression might be moving up to higher and higher dimensions. Its pretty clear that the Savior and God operate in a higher dimension. I don’t know, I just thought it was really cool to think about how wandering intelligences could have existed in a two dimensional nature and that we had no idea what this would be like and just took a leap of faith. The scriptures are great.

I can’t wait to call you, and let you know everything that’s been going on here on Sunday! I’m learning a ton and having a pretty good time. I can’t wait to get to Tonga though. I am excited to serve and experience the culture.

I love you.

Love, Tay

Me and X in front of the Provo Temple