Monday, September 29, 2014

Mounda, "Meet the Mormons" & More Missionary Service Moments!

You wouldn't believe what happened. Last Monday night after dinner, we called up Mounda and asked if we could stop by real quick and share a message with him and he said yes. So, we went home to get our motorcycles (JK....I wish!) and rode over to his house. We knew that we had to do something different because he just wasn't understanding things. We watched a church video with him called the "John Tanner Story." It is such a good film and it is only like 20 minutes. I paused it periodically and asked Mounda how he was feeling and what he could do to increase his faith. I was being lovingly bold and he was actually restating doctrine to us. After the movie, I asked him what his biggest hold up is and he said he just didn't feel like he knew enough about the Book of Mormon and I said, "Well, do you think it is true?" He said, "Yes," and I told him that was all he needed to know. I told him that "I" don't know enough about the BoM, but learning comes over time and with experience. (Scripture study in this case). I told him that when he is baptized he is showing his love he has for Jesus Christ and making promises with Heavenly Father. I said it is a new start and he will learn over time and I said, "Do you still feel like Saturday is too soon?" And he said, "NO!!!!" He was going to be baptized this last Saturday, but when he was interviewed by our Zone Leader he had said he had a feeling he should wait a little. So it is a bitter-sweet thing. He wasn't baptized this past week but he will be on October 18 because his Dad is out of town the week prior and we have General Conference this coming week. I'll keep you guys updated on Mounda but will you all please keep him in your prayers? Thank you soo much! 

We also had the opportunity to watch "Meet the Mormons" on Wednesday. I'm not sure if it is out in theaters in Arizona and Utah, but it doesn't come out to theaters here until October 10. So, yeah, we are VIP's you could say. It is a really great film and I would recommend you see it when it comes out. You can also request it in your area. 

A couple other fun facts about this week are that we did a ton of service! (Mosiah 2:17-18) We helped out one member cut and lay bricks in his backyard and we helped another member mow their lawn and they have close to an acre of grass in the backyard. That was the first time I actually drove a riding lawn mower for cutting the grass. My Papa has one, but we just rode it around Pinedale for fun in the forest! Haha.....Zack knows what I am talking about!   ( : Sorry Papa!! We put some hard miles on that mower!!! We also went back over to the Turner's house for dinner and I got to see my great aunt and uncle too!!! We had a great Alaskan salmon dinner again!  (( : They also hooked me up with so much produce!! It was seriously like Christmas for me. I am trying to get down to 150 lbs and so I have been eating mostly fruits and veggies and lean protein like grilled chicken and fish. I was 156 this morning so hopefully I'll reach my goal in a week or so! 

I love being a missionary you guys! It is the best. Texas is where I need to be. As some of you may know, today is my 8 month mark and that is just cray. I cannot believe I have been gone that long! Time is flying soooo fast. I love you all and please let me know if there is anything I can do for you! 


Elder DeLuca (the first, but not the last)

So, I pretty much have the cutest little sister ever. This is my 8 month picture that she sent me. I know some of you may have seen it on Instagram, but you get to see it again. Thank you, Buddah! I love you so much!! 

Editor's note - The caption  this 8-month picture  of Bailley's was, "Donut it make you happy he's been out 8 months?!?!"  This one is definitely my favorite so far, Miss Bailley!

​This is my district, the best in the mission!!

Here are my great aunt and uncle! Sorry it is a little blurry!

​Caroline took the pic, but there are the rest of us! 

​I am trying to get down to 150 and Elder Bergman is trying to get up to 150. 
You tell me whose lunch is whose?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Another Week! 9/21/14

So I am gonna be really brief today! 

When we were contacting one day this week, there was a lady who had walked to her car and she seemed to be in a bit of a rush and we were about to just pass by but I felt a prompting to go and talk to her so I did. I walked up to her and just opened my mouth. I don't even know exactly what I said but I just started talking! She was very interested and I pulled out a Book of Mormon and I introduced her to the book and she accepted a copy. I was like "I won't even charge you! hahaha!!" I learned something that day and that was that if I hadn't listened to that prompting, she wouldn't have heard about the Book of Mormon and why our church is different (at least that day). 

We finished up the commandments lesson with Mounda on Tuesday and we asked him to pray specifically for this coming Saturday to know if he felt like that was a good baptismal date and he told us yesterday that he wanted to wait. I was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO sad. He wasn't feeling well so he went home right after Sacrament so we will meet with him tomorrow and discuss what the hold up is. I'll let you know! 

Today, Sister Prince from College Park Ward came with her son Cory to have brunch with us and that was awesome! I was so happy that they came all the way out here! It is like a 45 minute drive from The Woodlands. They just love me (not as much as Bailley though)! I love them too. The Prince family is awesome!!!! Cory actually was companions with Elder Costello and they served in the Utah Ogden Mission so I met him before I came out. It is a small world in the church!! 

I love you all and I hope you have a great week!


Elder DeLuca

​It was sprinkling when we came back but the just of that is me making my fat cry! 
I am not very nice in the gym! I go hard!!!!

This is Cory and his mom, Sister Prince! They are awesome!  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Another Week!

Okay, this is going to be the shortest email ever! 

This week was pretty sweet. We met a homeless guy and we talked with him for a few minutes one night on our way home and he was really nice to us, but he has a bit of a potty mouth. I didn't realize how terrible it sounds until I met this guy and he says them like every other word. So, we went home and we saw him again the next morning and we wanted to go get him something to eat rather than just giving him money because he told us straight up that he was an alcoholic. We went to Wal-Mart and I bought him some food from McDolanld's and Elder Bergan bought his dog Shadow some doggy food. He was so grateful for our service, but I think I felt even better than he did! We saw him again that day and gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he would like to discuss more later so we may be meeting with him. I'll let you know how that goes.

We started teaching Mounda the commandments lesson this past week and he has been keeping the commitments we leave with him! He came to church as well! 

So, Chris and his girlfriend actually came to church too. We finally met with Chris this past week and we explained our purpose to him and he expressed that he did not want to be baptized because he was already baptized in another church. He had listened to the restoration lesson many times, but he still doesn't want to work towards baptism, so we told him that we are not going to continue meeting with him because we have to find those that are prepared. This was really tough for me, but I know that we had to do that. We told him that we would stop by periodically and check up on him. He totally understood why we said what we did and he said, "I want you guys to find those who are prepared too, but I am just not one of them right now." I know that we definitely planted some seeds there. He is a great guy! 

So, that is a really brief update for this past week, but I'll let you know more next week! I love you all so much! 


Elder DeLuca

This Alaskan salmon is seriously the best! Eat clean everyone! You will feel so much better! 

So I got my hur all done upp! Hahaha! 

This is my favorite salad ever! 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Another Great Week!!!

Hello everyone! This week was awesome, but it seemed to fly by!

We met with Mounda on Wednesday and we taught him the third lesson and it went super well and he came to church Yesterday!

Friday, we had District Meeting and we talked about the doctrine on redeeming the dead discussed in D&C 138. This month's training is a little bit different because we are focusing a lot on family history and temple work because our entire mission is getting iPads within the next month or two and we are going to be training members and investigators how to use family search!

Saturday, we met with Charly and we committed him to be baptized and he was very hesitant which caught me by surprise because I thought that it would be something that he was wanting to do. He said that he didn't feel quite ready and he asked me "Where do you think I need to be spiritually in order to be baptized?" My response was "That is a really good question, what do YOU think? Because that is something that has to come within you and you have to want to do it" He said that he would just need to be willing to follow Jesus Christ and keep His commandments. I told him that he was right and he said I am just not one hundred percent sure that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way I can make it back to live with God. I then asked him if he came to the realization that it was only in and through Jesus Christ that he came be saved, "Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?" Before I even finished the invitation he was nodding his head and he was like, "YES!" So, we are going to continue working with him and help him come to that realization. If you have any suggestions, holla at your boy! Send me an email and let me know what you think would be good for him!

Sunday was the best! We go to mission prep to help the prospective missionaries prepare for their missions and we take turns teaching them with a couple of returned missionaries. This past mission prep was awesome. Brother Walraven gave a devotional before we started the lesson and he was covering "A Successful Missionary" part on page 10-11 in Preach My Gospel. As you may know, some missionaries base their success off of baptismal statistics alone and if I were doing that, I would be a failure. In know even though I haven't found, taught, and baptized anyone I am still successful. I have changed SO much these past seven months and I am closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ more than I have ever been. The part that really stuck out to me was on page 11 and it is the very last bullet point. It says "You are successful when you are obedient, live righteously, and do your best in helping other live the gospel." It doesn't say you can be or you could be, it says you ARE! I love that.

So, when we got to church we sat with Charly up closer to the front because he was very distracted by crying babies last time. Even before we got to the church, I knew in my heart that I was going up to bear my testimony and I did! It was the coolest thing ever because right before I went up, I said a silent prayer and I asked Heavenly Father to help me not be nervous and not to sweat! I seriously sometimes will sweat when a lot of people are staring at me! So I had a couple things I wanted to mention and they were seriously all touched on by the previous people but I went up anyways. I said "I had a few things I wanted to say but they have already been said so it is my prayer to you that someone in here will take something from what I have to say." Both of my prayers were answered almost immediately. I got up there and I wasn't nervous, and the AC vent was pumpin' cold air onto my head and I didn't even break a sweat. Also, right after I went to sit down a returned missionary came right up and he said Elder DeLuca said something that touched me so I had to come up. Both of my prayers were answered! After Sacrament, Charly thanked me for getting up there and he said that he was going to go home and I was like what!? We have to go to class! He said he had a book he wanted to go read and I was like well there isn't even that much time left of Gospel Principles so will you please come? He smiled and was like, "Aww man, yes I'll come!" He actually thanked me for asking him to stay!

Later Sunday evening we had the opportunity to go over to the Turners house!! We had the best meal with them. Alaskan salmon!!!! We also shared a message about having faith in Jesus Christ and I shared one of my favorite scriptures, Helaman 5:12!

I just want you all to know that I am so happy and grateful to be out her serving a full-time mission. I know this is where I need to be and I wouldn't want it any other way. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family and friends! I love you all so much and have a great week!


Elder DeLuca

​Check out those ties!!!!

​This is Charly! Sorry for the bad lighting.

Here are the Turners!!!! I love my cousins! They have such a pretty family!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

New Gators!!

Alright. Well, this email is going to be soo short, but we had a great week! 

Elder Bergman and I are staying here!!!! So you can start sending those letters Buddah! (: We had a 5week transfer so this one will be 7 to even it out. 

So, On Friday morning we had Zone Meeting and we were still just talking about the importance of working with members. We had a really good lesson presented by the Zone Leaders! 

Friday evening, we started teaching a new investigator!!!! Brother Williams is a recent convert and his son Mounda Jr. wanted to take the missionary lessons! We taught the first lesson with him and everything went really well. We committed him to be baptized on September 27th, but he still wants to pray and see how he feels about that date. He does want to be baptized though!! 

Saturday we met with ANOTHER new investigator named Charly! He visited Salt Lake about a month ago and the Sister missionaries caught him! Hehe. They shared the first lesson with him and took him into the visitors center and he loved it! He told them that he wanted to learn more so they referred him to us! We shared the first lesson with him and it went really well. He asks super good questions which shows me that he really is taking in all that we teach him. It is so awesome being a missionary. I LOVE it!!!! 

Yesterday, we had the coolest thing happen. We had dinner at the Johnson's home and we invited Charly and Mounda! They BOTH came! There was also a less-active member there too. Yea you could say it was a party! We had a good meal and we shared the Plan of Salvation lesson with them and it went so well. We are really trying to be good listeners and to ask inspired questions and that makes all the difference. 

This week was seriously one of the best weeks ever. I promise you that missionaries are most happy when they are being obedient and when they are teaching. I am a happy missionary! I love being out here in Texas and there is no doubt in my mind that I have been called here for a specific reason. I have been called by a prophet of God and he knew exactly where I needed to be. My testimony continues to grow each day and I love it. I am learning so much, you guys. I am convinced that the reason I am going bald so fast is because I am gaining so much knowledge, that there really isn't enough room for some lousy hair! Hahaha I do love the hair that I do have, and I take extra good care of it! 

I love you all so much and I hope you have a great week!!!!

P.S. I bought a new toothbrush and it is seriously life-changing. I feel like I just left the dentist every time I brush my teeth and I LOVE it! Its a Philips brand if you are wondering. Also, remember to floss at least every night! It is so important! I never miss a day. Sometimes, I floss after lunch too, but always after I brush at night! I promise you blessings if you do that! Whiter teeth and less or no cavities!! 

Sorry this is the only pic but I'll send more next week! This is our Zone. We have one of the larger ones in the mission!