Please don't worry, the Delis' are still alive and thriving in Virginia, Oregon and Chicago. Blogging life stopped for a busy interlude due to my first semester in graduate school. But now that the semester is over and life is getting back to its normal routine--but what's normal right?!--our posts should return to the weekly posts like before :).
Okay, since I am many weeks behind, we have made a executive decision to begin from today's emails and move forward. Sorry for the missed weeks, but this is the best solution. Let me catch you up on a few things:
Elder D is living in Coquille, Oregon. He is right near the coast and has been there for 14 weeks. Transfers were two weeks ago and he thought for sure he would be transferred or his companion would. Fortunately, (as Elder D told us) neither were transferred and they are still enjoying each other's company! His current companion was in his MTC district and they flew out to Oregon together. This will be Elder D's longest companionship on his mission.
Hermana Delis was transferred to Chicago the week before Mother's Day. After only living in two areas, she is finally experiencing Chicago, "the city!" YAY! (Jim and I thought it was weird that she would be called to Chicago and only have the opportunity to experience it the day she flew in and when she flies out!) She is VERY busy! Her previous two branches she served in were all about re-activating and building the branches. Now, she and her companion are currently serving in a ward with 3 missionary companionships. There are so many investigators that they have to weed out people and only schedule the most serious ones.
Mother's Day calls were HEAVENLY! Both missionaries Skyped which allowed us to see their smiling faces! They look healthy, happy and well! Christian had us laughing from the moment he said, "Hi!" Katie's "Hola, Hola!" brought instanteous tears! OH! Goodness--almost forgot--Katie comes home August 2nd! I'm not counting days until she reaches one month. (A dear friend of mine gave me some advice as soon as my babes departed. She told me to count "fast Sundays" because anyone can survive 24 or 18 Sundays!) Katie only has TWO fast days until her return! If your interested in how many days are remaining, feel free to ask Jim, he has a counter on his phone. :)! And Christian has SIX! We have almost survived! Can you believe it? YAY!!!
Enough from me, here are my babes...ENJOY!
Subject: Well, the sun is gone for a day, pray it will be back tomorrow!
Hello Family of the Delis kind!
Well, I have some news, it is official Elder D---- H. O--- will be coming to the Coos Bay Stake on the 9th and 10th of June! That will be intense! This is going to be an exciting event for everyone! The coolest thing is that we get to eat lunch with Elder O----.
So let me see...This was a fairly good week. We have been able to go and search for investigators. That can be hard. We haven't been able to have as many appointments as we would like too, but we are tracting lots and spent last week getting ready for the baptisms. We were able to have an awesome lesson with K-------. Her kinds are both non-members and she has been inactive for about 17 years. She told us her faith has not been strong. She told Elder D---- and I that she was planning to not let us in the door and tell us that she was NOT a believer in Christ, but when we got to the door, she couldn't say it! That was really amazing. And a great lesson for me. How important it is to just have faith and follow through with all your assignments!
Hands down the best part of the week was the baptism. J------, M------, and K----- R------ were all baptized on Saturday and confirmed members of the Church. Elder D---- confirmed M------. Bishop E----- confirmed K----- and I confirmed J------. That was really intense!!! The spirit was really really strong and we were both really spiritually drained afterwards. That was a lot to take all at once, to have the powers of heaven open and to tap into it for so long, it was intense! The baptism went great! Elder D---- and I were making sure that it all went the way we had planned. The funny thing is, that the whole experience was very different from how we thought it would turn out. But the girls really enjoyed it!
I love you and I miss you! I pray for your success!
Elder Christian James Delis
Subject: Prayer works
Happy today, familia! :) I hope you all are great, I am very grateful for you. Thanks for your letters and prayers. I feel them!
Okay, today I just want to tell you some fun things that are going on:
1. We meet someone who speaks a language other than English and SPanish everyday--it is SO COOL. We started asking people how to say "I believe in Christ" in their native language, and we write down all the sounds we can try to imitate and then try to say to them. They laugh, haha, and so do we. We've learned/heard "I believe in Christ" in Greek, Assyrian, Italian, Tagalog, Hindu, a native language to India that I can't say or spell, French, and Norweigan. JUST THIS WEEK!! I feel like I am just living the coolest life ever these days. I always kind of thought that I would just live around a city or in a suburbs-y area, but I could live in Chicago FOR REAL. Ah, I LOVE it. :) It is so fun to be here.
Okay, let's back track a bit. I will tell you some more cool things about the city soon, but today I have to tell you about the power of prayer. It works. Every part of who I am will forever testify that our voices are heard by our Father in Heaven. He lives, He listens, and He answers. This week He has made it so crystal clear that He is invovled in my life and this work. He lives, He answers.
M---- M------ is an investigator we re-found his week while she was cleaning a house she was getting ready to rent. We offered to help her clean it and we ended up talking to her for a good while. She just started to explain her belief in God and experiences that had brought her closer to Him. We listened and cleaned. When there was a small pause, 3 Nefi 13:31-33 came to mind--it reminded us exactly of her situation, and we read it with her, and she just lit up and said her life is a testament of that scripture. We kept chatting with her, and she started to talk about her commitment to God and how she wants to help people her whole life. We read in Mosiah 18:8-10 and talked about the covenant of baptism. She excepted a date, and we're now helping her be prepared to be baptised. It was such am AWESOME lesson--we felt like the Book of Mormon missionaires! I am so thankful for the scriptures. They are true! I know that God works with us today in the same way He worked with the missionaries of the Book of Mormon.
I prayed one morning for a chance to read something that would help L------ R------, one of the less-active members of the ward. I had a good study, and learned some cool things in Ether 12:25-27. The next day we went to her house, and it turns out she is in an absolutely horrible situation at home. As we listened, we read with her what I had studied, and she just looked at us and said, "That is exactly how I feel." We testified of Heavenly Father's love for her and that in her debilidad she is strong. She just bawled and bawled. We actually ended up fasting with her that day, and when we came back, she had gotten all the answers she needed. She is starting a super rough part of her life. But she is so capable. And so so strong.
It was actually really really hard for me to fast that day, too. I have to eat like every 2 hours or I just don't function well, ha. And when I found out we were fasting with her, my heart just died a little bit because I had no idea how I was going to do it. So I prayed. I was pretty good all that day. At 10:30 at night, I was laying in bed, and Hna D-- just asked how I was--just to ask, and I just told her "I'm actually not so good." I had a headache that was strong and I was naucious...."naw-shuss" haha. :) She just immediately got out of bed, and asked if we could say a prayer that I would be okay. We did. I kid you not, my pain went away. The morning was great, church was awesome, and when we sat down at L------'s dinner table, we had mexican eggs, torillas, and refried beans. Family, that meal was so sacred. That whole day was. So so special.
I prayed that Hna D-- and I could teach in unison, and we've been team-teaching better than any of my other companions and I have ever taught. Ideas just come to our minds at random points in the day that help us to be better teachers. We know what to practice, how to to do studies, thingsj ust fall into place.
I prayed that one of the members could be healed of this hip/back problem one morning. Haha, I forgot about it eventually, but we called her while we were driving in the middle of the day just to see how she was doing. She said good. :) Later, like 2 days later, we passed by and she told us that she knew when we called her that day that we had prayed for her back to be better. And she started jumping to show us that it was almost totally healed, haha. I just sat in my own little dumbfounded silence as she was jumping around, ha, because I was the only one that knew my prayer. Or so I thought. Heavenly Father just answers.
All week I had little sacred experiences like that--I kid you not, ALL week long. It was crazy. He lives, He listens, He answers. I am grateful to be His servant here.
I love the work, and I love Chicago, and I love these people. It's cool to be alive these days, ha. I am just grateful. :)
THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS. WIth all my heart, I know they are answered. Thank you. :)
Have an awesome week, we'll chat SOON!!