"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." Ether 12:27

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Week of March Twenty-SEVEN--Posting late, but emails feel like HEAVEN!

Elder Christian Delis

Subject:  The beginning of the week

I hope all is well!  It's P-day and I hope you are all enjoying yourselves today!

Well, I had an eventful week!  Monday was really a day of Good-bye's for Elder Mackey (he was transferred last week, he was a district leader & now is a zone leader). He was spending a lot of his time saying goodbye to the investigators and the ward members.  That evening I had dinner at the Later's home.  They are a super nice family!  All the missionaries call Sister Later "Mama Later" since she acts like our mom on our mission.  She is really nice so I can understand why they would say that :)!

Tuesday was just as busy as Monday!  I didn't have time for studies which was not fun (again, is this really my child?!?)!   The reason for this is I had to be at President Street Building at 9:45 a.m.  This is the our mission transfer spot for the Eugene area, I'm not sure where the other spots are.  After that I spent the rest of the day with the Office Elders b/c I had no companion.  Elder Neeley and I went tracting.  It was SUNNY and so NICE!  I grateful I am learning to overcome some of my weaknesses.  I am now more able to speak and be in front of others and no longer feel at edge.  I am also getting better at tracting, but it's still hard to do and I am gaining the ability to be myself at the front door of people's houses.  It's not that easy but, it is something that I am working on, but talking to people isn't that hard & I'm super stoked about that!

Wednesday, I picked up my new companion, Elder Brower.  This is his last transfer and that means I am "Killing Him OFF!"  Really it is how we say that when a missionary ends their mission in their last area their companion sees them off--or kills them off!  He is a nice guy and is very funny!  We spent the next two days introducing him to all our investigators.  I am getting the hang of the area so well that it feels a lot smaller.  I am shocked at how close all the members live!

Saturday, I went with Brother Jacobson (the gentlemen who is housing Christian and his companion in Springfield) and helped him clean the church.  It was not hard, but it never is.  We then helped a member move.  I am seeing how service helps people feel loved.  It is super simple, but it teaches me how I can help.

I hope you are ALL enjoying you day!  I LOVE you guys and hope to hear from you ALL soon!

Elder Christian James Delis

MOM NOTE:  This past Sunday after Sacrament meeting a friend of mine in the ward told me I needed to meet her parents.  Of course I was excited, always happy to meet someone new!  But then I remembered her parents lived in Oregon.  I inquired where in Oregon they lived.  When they said "SPRINGFIELD" I squealed and gave them a HUGE hug!  This couple not only knows who my missionary is, they heard him speak in church couple of weeks ago!!!  They said he is working hard!  He looks healthy and happy!  It was such a happy day for me & still is!   It is what is sustaining me through our rainy weather!

Hermana Delis

Subject: Well, Hello family!

Happy today!  I hope everyone is doing great!!  Thanks for all your letters and love this week--it was great to get them!  I can't figure out how to work the camera on these computers, so I will have to send hard copies and the disk when it's full.

Well, this week has been great!  I literally cannot believe how fast it's gone.  It is weird sometimes the way time works here--honestly, it warped.  But as always, I am very happy.  My companion is doing great--we have so much fun together.  An elder told us we were the favorite companionship of the zone today--we blushed and told him he should stop sucking up to sister missionaries! Jokes :)  A word on my zone though--it's made up of "favorite companionships."  It is an AWESOME zone--everyone loves the work, the people, and the gospel--it is literally impossible to pick a "favorite companionship"--they are all exemplary missionaries.  (And I don't just toss around the word 'exemplary'!!)  I feel really lucky to be around such great people all the time.

I'm starting to see some neat things about missionary work.  It's hard work!  Weird, but true.  It is incredibly easy to feel inadequate.  This message is so much grander than any words I have--English or Spanish.  It is true and simple, and I just want people to have it.  It's hard, though, when I know that nothing I can do will do this message justice.  But I don't have to be perfect to relay the perfect message.  I work so hard to know the lessons (Katie is learning the Preach my Gospel in Spanish!), the language to speak the lessons in, the scriptures, etc.  But almost without fail, the minute the discussions starts, I can't understand a thing and I forget X,Y and Z.  You would think that would drive me nuts, but I am so grateful to know that the Lord is in charge of this work.  The words just come. And they come in a new language.  It's crazy, but it's true.  I am so grateful for that truth and reality.  This work is not about me.  It's the Lord.  I am so grateful to forget myself.  I'm bad at it most the time, but I am starting to see how important it is. I love it.  I am grateful for it.  The work is happy!  Thank you for your love and support--I think of you often.

Talk to you soon!

Hna Delis

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Week of March Twenty-ONE & Missionary Mom is still having FUN!!

Elder Delis

Subject:  A week that ends with transfer....

I hope all went well this week!  This week a lot of appointment cancelled on us, so that was kinda a bummer but, oh well, nothing I can do about that.  Since so many of our appointments cancelled it was actually more of a planning week so we spent a lot of time trying to make sure that the week would go by smoothly.  We had the opportunity to eat at Chipotle again (yes!) because another dinner appointment fell through.

Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday were fairly normal days without anything major happening.  Thursday was ZONE CONFERENCE.  It was really interesting.  3 times I was asked to participate.  I did a recitation of Section 4 of the D&C, I taught in one our classes & I was part of a role play.  Zone Conference went until 4 and then I had a quick transfer with Elder Dietrich (from Idaho--would love to know if he is any relation to the Dietrichs Jim grew up with) in my district.  He is a good missionary, he actually goes home in May.  We first went tracting for a while.  We started out by going on a road called "V Street" (it's kinda weird a lot of the roads here are just called by a letter in the alphabet).  We didn't find anyone who might be specifically interested in the church, but there was a lot of people to talk to. 

The end of the week was much like the first, we had little success with getting to see our recent converts and our investigators since they would cancel on us...that was not fun.  Well that is how my week went, not tons of exciting things happened, so sorry I do not have an email that was as long as previous ones (mom note: it's okay!  we still love hearing about your slow weeks too!)

I love you guys a lot!  I hope you are enjoying your day!

Elder Christian James Delis


Hermana Delis

Subject: We love prayers!!!!

Beunas noches!

Thank your for the camera!  In light of my new present (mom note: her camera broke and we sent her a new one), we deemed today "The Day of Photo Journalism"!! :)  Okay, I deemed it that, but my favorite new friends thought it was an okay idea too.  Seriously Hna Hoer (her companion) is great.  I could not have asked for a better companion.  She does weird things with me.  YESS!!!  Speaking of which, some nutty things we do: sing songs about our instructors--Hno Clark & Hno Keeton.  One is always tired in the mornings, but at night he is seriously the funniest guy ever.  We love it.  "Hno Clark in the evening" = always a blast.  Also, WE climb on our closets at night.  Why?  Because it is fun.  We have a "Pregunta de dia" (question of the day) at each meal--our elders have some WILD stories.  So funny.  Anddd...OH!  At the MTC we have to practice "contacting" people on the streets, and some elders SING when they contact us!!!!  We eagerly await their visits OFTEN.  Always so happy.

THANK YOU for your letters!!! They are wonderful to get.  I LOVE to hear about things that are making everyone happy!  They make me happy too.  I love this work!  More than any time in my life, I am so calm.  I go to bed SO happy.  I know who I am, I know I'm taken care of.  I know this feeling is not exclusive to missionaries, though.  Everyone can have it, and the Lord wants everyone to have it.  We must share it!! I love the gospel. :).  Thanks to all for helping me be here--I wouldn't trade it for anything. :)

Te amo mucho!!

Hna Delis

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Week TWO--Look What I CAN DO!

Elder Delis' Week @ a Glance:

Subject: A little bit of everything!

Monday:  Wrote letters to Grandma Delis, The Meyer Fam, The Steve Delis', Grandma Rose & Grandpa Dave, Katie & Elder Larsen (my MTC companion).  I can write while I am doing my laundry!  Had lunch @ President Lowry's (as usual ;) ) he (meaning he is the cook!  I found out this week he makes our meals!  they are delicious!) made chicken sandwiches.  Bought my mountain bike.  It costs $380 and is pretty awesome.  The thing I like best is the bike has disk brakes, so it should be a fast stopping bike!!

Tuesday: Got up and got ready and went about my studies, which is always fun! (mom note: is this MY child?)  Went tracking w/out much luck.  Had dinner @ Chipotles--it was soooo good! (our dinner appt fell through). 

Wednesday: Went to breakfast w/ the zone leaders and the district leaders.  I just love getting to know the other missionaries!  Went to the Institute at Oregon University for correlation.  I studied while they met b/c I'm not a district leader.  Did exchanges w/ the zone leaders.  Tracted & placed 3 BofM's.  Dinner appt. with a family who lived in D.C. @ the same time as the temple was being dedicated.  It was cool to talk to them about how they liked Virginia!!

Thursday:  Got up @ 5:45 am w/Elder Sorenson (zone leader I did exchanges with) and ran in the rain, I didn't mind.  Elder Mackey (current companion) & Elder Peterson were waiting for us.  By 7 am, I packed up my stuff and headed back to the Jacobson's home (the member's home I'm living in).  We studied til 8, fell asleep (from running sooo early!) Woke up at 9 am, got ready & studied some more.  I am reading a boat load!!!  I am on my 7th week & to be honest with you, I truly do not think I have been out this long--it feels like a couple of days!

Friday:  Long day, spent most of it @ Institute.  I got there @ 12 noon & didn't leave until 4.  Afterwards we came back to get our stuff to go to our dinner appt.  It was with a recent convert, Betty White (not the actress, but she is almost 80!)   She had some amazing stories about her conversion.

Well that was my week--it was really a kind of tiring one, so I am exhausted today!  Yet there is still a bit left to do.  Hope all is well!

Love you!
Elder Christian James Delis


Hermana Delis' Weekly Email

Subject:  There is Sunshine in my soul todaaayyy!!

Hello familia!  Happy today!  I hope you are all doing great.  My district is literally always singing "There is Sunshine in my Soul Today"--ahem--"Hay es gozo en mi alma hoy!!" It is stuck in my head, hence mi subject.

Now for the week: It was lovely!  Mi companera and I only speak in Spanish to each other--difficult goal.  It's actually kind of Spanglish, but it works out okay.  We're getting better!  Wahoo! That is important.  I love my Spanish, though.  I associate it with the gospel now, because most of the words I know are gospel related, so it's really close to my heart.  I really love that.  I still sound crazy, but I love it and I get more courageous about it as the days go on.  We sang "Armies of Helaman" in Spanish the other day in church--it was AWESOME.  We sing it as "We are NOW the Lord's missionaries" in Spanish, and it's like a primary dream come true.  AH!  So happy!! 

One neat thing I coming to realize is the blessings of living and loving the gospel in obedience.  So often I associate my actions and the way my day goes as being directly correlated.  If I do X, Y will happen.  But I've learned some cool lessons revolving around the idea that obedience simply let's you be more responsive to the things that matter most.  I'm grateful for "rules." 

Being a missionary is so happy!! Hard as heck some days, but I go to bed literally feeling like the Lord says "Well done, Katie.  I love you.  Keep going."  I am so grateful for that.

Love you loads, familia!  Talk to you soon :)
Your Hermana

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Missionary Mom online!!!!!!!

Hello to one and all!

Miracles are happening at the Delis household!  Not just in my children's lives, but my own.  Look here I am attempting to compose my first post from both our missionaries!!!!  YEAH!  Katie will be soooooo proud!  (Between you and me I am sure she thought this was NEVER going to happen!  But look I'm doing it and I haven't even referred to the awesome slide show she created!)  (Katie, if you are reading this...after this post I will consult your tutorial and try to be fancy like you in the coming weeks.)

The intention for this blog is to help keep family and friends current on what is happening in Elder Delis' and Hermana Delis' lives.  My goal is to post a portion of each of their weekly letters here with photos!   So here goes...ENJOY!

(Background information:  Christian is in Springfield, Oregon (even after his tonsil surgery he was able to fly out with his MTC District and arrived in Oregon February 7th) with his first companion, Elder Mackey.  He and his companion's area includes two wards covering both an Eugene and Springfield area.  They live on the second level of a member's home.  Christian has described the area as looking just like Vienna--he could not believe how much it feels like home!  Today's post is what his what his Monday schedule was like last week.)
SUBJECT:  The simplest things come from acts of love!


I hope all is well!  I am writing you this throughout the weeks so that I am not spending my whole Monday morning writing something that isn't short and not very good (note: he is NOT kidding, his email was 4 pages printed!  We loved it!!!). 

Well today is Monday night...We eat every Monday at President Lowry's (counselor in the mission presidency) home for lunch (I actually found out that I also have dinner with him next week so that is pretty awesome!) we had stuffed peppers.  They were sooooooo good!  This is a fun part of my week.  I have to say though I had to do another set of laundry since it was rainy and muddy.  I was SUPER dirty after I played football.  It was tons of fun!  After we came back and then got ready to proselyte for the night.  We first went to Glendakay Wilconson.  She is 9 or 10, her dad is a member but he is a little on the less active side, but a super nice man!  Anyways, she wants to get baptized and she is going to be on the 4th.  Luckily she has had most of the lessons so it's kind of easy to teach her.  But she does have a hard time concentrating.  We taught her the "Gospel of Jesus Christ," the 3rd lesson.  The lesson was quite short she was trying to watch Tangled so she was trying to kick us out.  hahahahaha!  After we were done we ate dinner at the Phellp's home.  Brother Phellp's works for AT&T.  After dinner we went to the Washington home.  They are investigators or their kids are.  The parents have a testimony of the truthfulness of the church, I just that they have some things that they feel they need to get over before they join the church.  LEt me see what did we do after that, OH! Then we went and saw David and Monica Smith.  They are AWESOME investigators!  They are so solid!!!  We went for a short time since it was so late, it was 8:30 when we got there all that we gave was a tracker of the lessons that we have completed and what we haven't done at all.  So it's really cool, it will help them see their progression.  I think that will help them to see what they think we can do to help them to understand the Gospel more fully.

Elder Christian James Delis

(Background Information:  Katie arrived at the MTC on February 23rd.  Her companion is named Hermana Hoer (sounds like her) from California.  Katie's comment about her in a previous letter says, "She is great! we are just two girls happy to be serving!"  She will be studying at the MTC for a total of 9 weeks and flies to Chicago on April 26th.  Yes this means she will celebrate Easter at the MTC, but not Mother's Day! Yeah for me!)

SUBJECT: Some goofy elder was just singing the "Digimon" theme song next to me in the laundry room...elders are WEIRD. :)

HELLO!  Happy today! 

Well, I can sometimes speak Spanish! This week's "Hna Delis language blunder" was that I blessed my district to become "Pig Missionaries" in the closing prayer the other night. If it wasn't so normal for me to make mistakes, I would makybe be embarrassed. BUT, my language triumph: I bore my testimony in Spanish in front of the whole zone in sacrament meeting totally unprepared!! It was so neat. We have sacrament in Spanish every week. I'm surprised by how much I can understand. But testimonies are the same in all languages. I am so grateful for the confidence and love that comes from having the Spirit with you. It is the most sustaining feelings. Thank heavens!
My favorite part of being a missionary is talking to people! We talk to everyone! About everything! It's awesome. Everyone has a neat story, and the gospel is always happy. It's a perfect combination! And it's my life these days. It's not always smooth sailing--it's kind of a rollercoaster most the time. It's hard. I don't know why that sometimes surprises me that it's hard, ha, but it does. Because I am dumb. But I've never been so grateful to be learning so much. I don't realize how much I am learning until I take the time to actually think, "Oh hey, I've only been here two weeks (not even!), and I can carry on a conversation in Spanish, I know how to teach a lot a bit better, and I am surrounded by really incredible people who are always teaching me by example." I was looking in my journal last night and couldn't even believe it was mine--so much goes on! I've learned a lot. I am one lucky girl. Thanks for helping me get here. I will always cherish this time. I really couldn't ask for more. :)
I have no idea how Christian managed to write so much--P-days are so stressful! I have so much to do in so little time! I think I might just be a more stressed out kind of gal. That's okay I suppose. :) I'm grateful for the gospel, I love it. I am grateful for the Spanish language, and more importantly the language of the Spirit. It testifies all the time of the truth. I love the Savior, and I know Heavenly Father loves us all. I am so grateful to represent this gospel. It's true. :)
Love you lots and lots!
Hna Delis :)