Subject: A week down ... WOW it went FAST!
My companion, Elder Johnson and I have spent yet another week trying to find people. Good News! We may have found two solid investigators! (I really hope this is the case!)
I am seeing faith to its fullest every day. It seems to me that faith is something a lot of the investigators and church members are struggling with. Obviously it is just an outside observation. But it is playing a major factor in all things. It's really surprising to me. I am kind of shocked to see how Satan is tempting even those who are solid in the church. I believe faith is the key to staying strong. I have been doing a lot of studying on the topic and it is super apparent that is really what I need to work on to help others build their faith stronger. I read Mormon 9 and Alma 32 as well as Ether 2-3. In addition, I have been reading the Doctrine of Christ and this is helping. President MacDonald has been putting a lot of effort into teaching all of the missionaries to focus on this. I beginning to understand why we need to make a concentrated effort to teach this more.
Elder Christian James Delis
(Mom Note: I have heard from numerous experienced missionary moms that the letters always begin long then as the missionary's life gets busy their letters get somewhat smaller. Today is an example. We normally recieve our notes between 1 and 2 pm, today is was at 8 pm--only after he was done playing basketball with the other missionaries...Yep, I guess we should be proud his health is as important as his spiritual growth!)
Elder Delis with his first companion Elder Mackay and at his first baptism...Yes, those missionaries shaved my boy's hair! Luckily when he skyped on Mother's Day it looks like its growing back!
Subject: Hola! as we gringos say :)
And that is kind of what I wanted to talk about today! I was reading in Alma 26 about the Sons of Mosiah--love those guys. Actually, do you have a copy of PMG? I did the activity under "Patience" in capitulo 6, you can do it too for family night or something. It is a good good representative of missionary life. It is just so hard--it blows me away some days, ha. But I came in with just a few things that I wanted for my investigators--just to know who the savior is for them, and to know that they have a HUGE potential--bigger than we know--because our Heavenly Father loves them. And right now, I'm in the middle of the sons of Mosiah's journey--when the days are really long and the rejection is pretty obvious. But the joy Alma has at the end of it all is TOTALLY in the Lord and his work, and he just feels so lucky to be an instrument. I totally understood that today. He talks of "thousands" that were converted unto the Lord--I won't have that experience, but I know there are people here that will receive the gospel. Man, I can't tell you how happy I am just knowing that somehow, somewhere people will receive this message while I was an instrument for the Lord. I am so so grateful. We met a family yesterday that I am SOO excited to continue meeting with. Man, we got in the car afterwards and I almost started to cry, I love them so much, and I just felt so good about them. Familia Martinez--I hope I can tell you more stories about them soon. :) One family we really really love told us this week that they didn't want to change anything about their lives--the church was just too much. That was the hardest rejection so far. I cried on the way to our next appointment, ha. Then, at our next appointment, this funny, skinny little man we've been teaching with his daughter asked us when he could be baptized. WHAT! We told him soon. Haha. June 11, actually. We have another person being baptized that day, too, actually--Gerardo! They are both great. Lleno (the old man) was like "Will there be singing at my baptism? I KNOW the angels will be singing, so we should too." Haha, I was literally blown away--honestly, I didn't really believe it that night--I came home almost confused, ha. No way that was really happening. But he loves the Book of Mormon, loves praying, and he loves the message. So he's getting baptized! Pray for them to keep trusting in their faith. :) It's been a wild week, claro, but awesome. :)
Today, I just really have a lot of faith that great things are going to happen on this mission. Ha, I am really grateful for that today. I get so worried throughout the week, and family, I really love these people so very much, and it is so hard when they don't see how great they are and how much our Heavenly Father really loves them. I really have a hard time not knowing the language--I'm at the point where I understand a good portion of what is going on, but I can't respond like I want to. But I just know that all that I want for these people WILL happen. I just really know that the Lord will make up for what I lack, and I can really be what He needs here. It's hard to feel so inadequate for this call some days, but I just know that the Lord gives me so much more than I see. Great things are happening in Woodstock--thanks for helping me be here.:)
(Mom Note: We recieved a fun surprise from the mission president's wife...both a snapshot and a video of Katie's first couple of days in Chicago. They interviewed all the new incoming missionaries and sent us a copy. Here is the link http://vimeo.com/23186017. (Cut and paste the link--not sure how to download videos yet.) Be warned it is over 30 minutes long, but it if you are willing to watch it you will see Hermana Delis' smile as she arrives in Chicago, while she is touring you will hear about her first experience delivering a Book of Mormon and see her greet her first companion. Yes, we have proof she is alive! Enjoy!)
Hermana Delis, Hermana Miller (her companion), President & Sister Doll