Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Zone Conference & More Miracles

Well hello everyone!! 

This week was saaweet!! This past Tuesday, we had a Zone Conference and wow! President Mortensen is inspiring. I stand confident in saying he could literally answer anything. He is so knowledgeable about the gospel. I hope to get to that point some day! He talked to us a lot about the Bible, mostly the Old Testament. He showed us a lot of cool things where some people do not realize or interpret it the wrong way. Everything about the gospel in in the Bible as well as the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. He showed us how to use the Bible more and explain to people that our religion is right here in front of their face! He didn't say it like that, but I had to put a lil' Elder DeLuca twist in there. ( ; I guess what I took from Zone Conference is that the more I study, the more things make sense. It's as simple as that, guys. We have to be in the scriptures daily, both individually and as families!

So, last Monday we met a lady who told us to pull over off the road and talk to her. She yelled it out of the window of her car so I was thinking "Oh great....did I do a wheelie or something and is she gonna chew me out??" But she was like, "I have always seen you guys around and I want to know about your church." I was in shock!! No one does this! So we talked to her for a few minutes and I took her to the introduction page of the BoM and explained to her what she needed to do to find out if it's true. She said she would read from it and pray! Then I invited her to come to church and she came!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was a miracle you guys. I called her Saturday night to remind her and she was like "Call me tomorrowmorning to wake me up. I give you permission" Hahah!! So I did and she came. This is the cool part. She showed up and she was immediately welcomed by people to the point where she was in tears. We had a great Sacrament meeting and she called us that night and told us that it felt warm there. She said "The Spirit said to me, 'Welcome home.'" I wanted to cry because I was SO happy!!!! She doesn't live in our area but she is moving because of a divorce so she may be moving into our area and then we could teacher her! I'll keep you posted. 

So, going back to Sacrament real quick, we had a youth speaker and she talked about the young woman's program and her personal progress and it was a good talk. Then a sister talked about strengthening families and the last speaker talked about strengthening our ward families. I want to sum up what I took from Sacrament meeting. It all starts with us as individuals. We have to strengthen us, then our families will be strengthened, then our ward will be strengthened, then our entire church will be strengthened. It is a step by step process and we all need to do our part. I know that as we become stronger as individual, our church will be strengthened as well! 

Sorry this is kind of short but I have to get going. I love you all so much and just a heads up. This is a 5 week transfer because of a new mission president seminar, so we have transfers next week. If anyone (like my adorable little sister Buddah!) sends anything this week, just to be safe send it today or tomorrow because if I am transferred, it will be a while until I receive it! Also, I will not be emailing next Monday due to Labor Day so I will talk to you all next Tuesday! Much love to you all! 


Elder DeLuca

​It was a purple tie kinda day. ( : 

​Okay so I went on exchanges with Elder Allen this week! Remember how I talked about him in the MTC!? Well, he told me something and it was really cool to hear it from him so I want to share it. He said to me, "You have changed so much both spiritually and physically." I said, "What do you mean?" and he said "At the MTC, you didn't really seem to care about being on-time and you just kinda went on your own time, where as now you are on the Lord's time and you care so much more." Then he said, "You are definitely more buff than at the MTC and you certainly didn't have abs there!" I was like, "That's whats up!" 

I share that because some of you have said you've seen a change in me and I promise you I have changed. I had a testimony when I came out, but now I am being converted. There is a big difference. And about the physical part, I have now lost 40 lbs and I am a lil' stronger. I feel so much better, though! I eat clean and I feel a huge difference. I told you all that I was done being fast without the S, and I have made progress. I haven't reached my goal yet, but I do my best to not do anything contrary to me achieving it. It's clear to me that when I get home and I start going to school, eventually get married, and have my own family, I will not have as much time to exercise. So, if I can establish good eating habits now, they will stay with me later in life. It's easier to prepare and prevent than to repair and repent. Remember that, not just spiritually but physically as well. Eating healthy is a lifestyle I want to live!

​I think this is why I am on a bike.... 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sacrifices & Miracles

 I see miracles every single day, and I don't like saying this but if I don't write them down, I sometimes forget some of them! I have repented and I have been doing much better this week. I have been writing down miracles in my planner right after they happen. I have seen so many this week, but I will just share a few. 

     District Meeting was one of them. Some of you may know that I get super nervous when I am speaking in front of a lot of people, so it is usually the same right before I teach my district. Well, this past week I planned really well in my studies and I just told myself that I will not be nervous. District Meeting was so good! I have come to the conclusion that the reason I was so nervous before is because I was wondering what "I" was gonna do, or what "I" was going to say. It's not about me though. As long as I am obedient and prepare myself well, I will be given exactly what I need to say and when to say it (D&C 84:85). Jesus also told his Apostles this right before he sent them to preach and administer to the sick in Matthew 10:19. I know that I was given certain things to say and we all had a really great discussion about the importance of working with members in Preach My Gospel pg. 160. 

    We were able to get in and teach a less active member that has not been to church in over a year and we also were able to talk with her boyfriend and he was interested in learning more so we were actually going to go over there this evening, but she told us it wasn't going to work out today earlier this morning. Anyways, it was a miracle that we even got in! We hope to start teaching her boyfriend soon!

     Okay, this one is going to be kinda funny/weird but this really happened. We went to check on another less active member this past Saturday and HE WAS ACTUALLY HOME! He was busy doing yard work so he told us to come back at 3:30 and we could come in and share a message with him. So, we went finding at some stores for a couple of hours and when we were about to get back on our bikes to head over to his house, I had noticed that I had stepped into some nasty gum. Party foul!!!! I am very particular with my clothes and I take good care of them, especially my shoes, so it took a lot in me to not get super upset about this gum. I scraped off the majority if it so it wouldn't get all over my bike pedal and then we headed to the member's house to find him not there. I was so upset you guys....I was heated, literally! So he has a bench out front and I was like well I am going to get more of this gum off so I sat down and started scraping away and then like 30 seconds went by and he pulled up. This was a miracle and then I immediately noticed that had I not stepped in the gum, we would have knocked twice then just left and we would have never seem him. He had to go pick up his autistic brother last-minute and then was rushing back. I felt so bad for getting upset because we were able to go inside and share the message of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it went so well. There are reasons for everything you guys. There are no coincidences, only miracles. 
 I could keep going, but I want to talk about sacrifices. We had such an amazing Sacrament meeting this past Sunday and the Spirit testified of so many things to me. Sister Juergens gave an incredible talk and I want to share some of the things that she had mentioned, so please note that this is all her and I take no credit for this! The thing that stuck out to me most was this: "Our degree of love for the Lord, the gospel, and our fellow men is measured by what we are willing to sacrifice for them". I LOVE that! It is so true if you really stop and think about that. She went on to say how we have different sacrifices today than what the pioneers had to sacrifice back then. For example, we aren't asked to leave our homes and travel across the plains, but we are asked to fill our homes with the light of Jesus Christ, and this can be difficult in today's changing world. We aren't asked to leave the temple we just built and move on, but we are commanded to hold a current temple recommend and be worthy to enter the temple. This can be very difficult for some people, and it may be easy for some. As we see, we have different things to sacrifice today, but we are still showing our love for God by what we are willing to sacrifice. To me personally, sacrifice is giving up something you like, for something you love. To me there is a big difference between liking something and loving something. Likewise, liking someone or loving them. There is power with love, and when we give up something we like for something we love, we are so much happier. Sister Juergens had mentioned the sacrifice that missionaries make when they serve a mission and it made me think a little. I know that I have made some sacrifices in order to be out here, but I wouldn't want to be anywhere else at this time in my life. I know I am right where I need to be and the Lord has and will continue to bless my family, my future family, and me as an individual more than anything I have had to sacrifice, just because He loves me that much. He loves us all that much! We are promised in Matthew 19:29  that we will receive an hundredfold as we keep the commandments. Also we read in D&C 130:21 "that when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated."
      I have changed a lot in the past few months that I have been out here on the Lord's errand and I promise you that it is all for the better! I was never a terrible person, but I certainly was not who I am now and who I want to become. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the center of my life and I will keep it that way throughout my journey here upon this earth. My Patriarchal Blessing has so many promises and blessings that I will receive on account of my obedience and faithfulness to the gospel. Like I said before, I am more happy now than I have ever been before and I promise you that it is because I am living the gospel. I owe everything I have and all that I am and who I want to become to my Father in Heaven. I love him more than anything and I have a strong relationship with Him. Every night before I lay my head down, I get on my knees and I thank my Heavenly Father for giving me the opportunity to be out here in Houston doing the Lord's work. I love being a missionary so much! I am really scared of snakes, heights, and doing flips on the trampoline, but it terrifies me how fast my time is going here. It seems like it is a new month every two weeks for me....it is cray. My time here is short, so I have made a promise to myself and to the Lord to be the best missionary I can be. I am so grateful for my family and my dear friends who all love and support me. Thank you guys! This would be so much harder for me without all your help. I love you all so much! 


Elder DeLuca

​It is a small world in the church. We got to go have dinner with my cousins! I love the Turners!!!!! We had a great night! 

​I know I don't look like it next to Elder Bergman, but I really have lost a lot of weight! 

​I don't know about you, but I think this was $5.99 well spent at Goodwill. My buddy Elder Zeke Strong would be so proud to see me in this shirt. It even has a pocket for my name tag, so I pretty much had to but it! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Stake Conference, The Atonement, Weaknesses & One Happy Missionary

Alright this is gonna be super short! 

Nothing too cray happened this week, but we had a wonderful Stake Conference, so I want to share some thoughts I had! 

There were so many great speakers and we had an area seventy there as well. Some of the things that stuck out to me were when Sister Mortensen spoke. She talked about how Christ waits for us to invite him into our lives. He doesn't barge in. She shared a scripture that made me think pretty deep. Matthew 16:25. Check out that scripture and see what it means to you! I love it! She said living a gospel-centered life means choosing the way of the Lord, rather than choosing the way of this world.

We all know that the world is changing so much, but I promise you that Heavenly Father and His commandments are not changing. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 

President Mortensen talked about a missionary experience he had with one of his daughters and he said, "We, as parents, often spend so much time and effort in preventing the evil ways of this world, but are we spending enough time preparing for spiritual experiences?" I thought that was super cool because he mentioned that his daughter was sitting in on the missionary lessons with her friend, and she didn't want the lesson to end because it was such a good experience. 

I apologize for my thoughts being so scattered, but I pray that someone can take something from this. 

Another thing that stuck out to me was that if we take our weaknesses to the Lord, he will make them strengths. But, more often than not, we take them to the adversary and he makes them worse. This really stuck out to be because I know how weak I am without the Lord. I know that He helps me out so much every single day. I could not do this work if I didn't receive the strength from the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

I know that I am more happy now than I have ever been before. Most of you may know about my family situation and if you don't, then know that I have two sets of parents and six other siblings that all love and support me. Back home, I always had whatever I needed, and I pretty much had everything I wanted as well, but I promise you that I am more happy now when all of my belongings fit into two suitcases. I have so little, yet I have so much. I love being a missionary so much and I love the opportunities I have everyday to share the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Listen, I gotta go for now. But know that I love you all so much! 


Elder DeLuca

Yes, I cut my companions hair! 

​Don't worry, Bailley. I'm coming home in a short time! 

This is me all sweaty after we got home one night. Yes, I know that tan line is nasty where my watch is! Don't worry, I'm fixing it!

I saw Elder Christensen again! That is one of my Zone Leaders on the right!

Editor's note---If you remember the story about Elder DeLuca cutting his sideburns from a recent blog post, this will make more sense.  Way to go, Elder!

Monday, August 4, 2014

The President's Smoking Car & Chris!!!


Okay, so Monday nights are leadership calls and I got a call to be a trainer and I was super pumped! I was gonna train a new missionary! So, there is a Elder in my zone (Elder Graves) and he was going to be training too, so we were just gonna stay in my area 'til Thursday because the trainees didn't come until Wednesday night. So, President Mortensen called me Wednesday night and he was like, "I have a curve ball for you! There were supposed to be 16 new missionaries coming and only 14 came and you and Elder Graves are the only ones affected by this!" Isn't that crazy!?! We were bound to be together. Not really, but kinda. 

So, Elder Graves is serving in Katy 3 and his area had a little more progress, so President told us to just get a ride from the Zone Leaders over there Thursday morning and just stay there until he lets us know what to do! So, I had to pack up a suitcase with all my stuff that I'd need. We were serving there and everything was going super good. Then I got really sick. I was a mess. I get sick very rarely, but when I do its usually bad. So, Friday night I was pretty bad and Saturday morning was the worst! President actually called us and told us that Elder Graves companion was going to be arriving on Saturday so I was going to be back in my area with a missionary that was in a trio companionship. He was actually with Elder Thomas in my old area! He was only there for four days, though! 

So we met President and Sister Mortensen at the airport and we rolled up with the Zone Leaders and President was like, "Here, get in the driver seat of my car, and Sister Mortensen and I will go get the new Elder." So, as we we were sitting there waiting his car started smoking!!!! It was crazy! I shut it off so it wouldn't overheat, and then we called him and he was like are you serious!? Elder Graves was like, "I'm getting outta here. This thing is gonna blow up!" Haha....it was just a radiator hose. Nothing crazy. It was a new car though, and we were all surprised. So, After we got picked up from the assistants, we all piled into the "Mormon Mobile Van" and headed back to the mission office. President was telling me to go get some medicine and to get some rest. I was so sick you guys! I couldn't even talk! So, Elder Bergman and I got back to our area and I seriously had to rest for the rest of that night. I was so sad. I was in pain, but I wanted to go do work! I love missionary work! 

Sunday morning we got a ride to church from a member and guess what!? I walked into the chapel and saw Chris and his girlfriend sitting in the benches!! He showed up! This was a miracle you guys. I had zero contact with him all week because i was out of our area and then I was sick. I just found out today that Christy had been praying for him to come! You guys, Heavenly Father answers all of our prayers. I know he does. Sometimes we don't see it because we want Him to answer on our time, but He doesn't work like that. He is all knowing, and He knows when they need to be answered, and when the best time to answer them is. Our lives are on His time! remember that! 

The Church is true, God loves you and so do I. My old seminary teacher would say that everyday we left class. I love it! So short, but so true! I love being a missionary you guys! i learn so much every day! Have a great week and ill talk to you next week!

Elder DeLuca

Elder French is gone! 

​Reunited with my boy Elder Tanner! 

This is my poker face. Jk....it's my missionary work face!! 

You guys, I just want to tell you that I feel so much better after eating super healthy! Its not cheap, but it's worth the price. This was today's 12:00 meal. Spinach, strawberries, blackberries, sliced almonds, cashews, and a tiny bit of lite raspberry vinaigrette dressing. I have been eating 6 smaller meals rather than 3 larger ones and its wayy better!! Like my cup? Hehe.....I meant to get that in there.  (: