Monday, March 30, 2015

Happy Easter!!!

Oh my goodness, this week flew by! We were so busy and I was so tired throughout the week, but now it has passed already. Cray cray! 

Tuesday afternoon, we were helping a former investigator move out of his apartment.  It was getting late in the afternoon and we still hadn't heard anything from President Mortensen about the missionary department, so I called him. I asked him what was up with the situation and he said, "Did you not get my text?"  I was like, "No??" He, apparently, had texted us to meet them at his house at 4 and it was already 3 and we had to go home and shower because we were all sweaty from moving things. We hurried back and took quick showers then we went down to President's home which was like 45 minutes away from us with traffic. We met him, the missionary department, the assistants and one other zone leader companionship there and then we all split up to go get dinner and then head out to our appointments. We ended up going out with President which was really sweet. We went out to Texas Roadhouse for dinner and President Mortensen invited our waiter to meet with us. So sick. We texted him and he never replied so we have to call him and see whats up. 

First, we went to Jay's house and he ended up not being there so we then went to Brother Aaron Finch's house to meet with he and his mom Bobbie, who is a former investigator. We had a powerful lesson on temples and family history as we had with Brenda and Morgan just a couple weeks ago. Bobbie was so shocked to know that her ancestors are waiting on her. She said she had never thought about it like we explained it to her that day. Long story short, Bobbie agreed to start meeting with us again. We were not the ones who started teaching her, but she wants to start meeting with us now! 

After the Finch's, we went over to the the Smalls' house and we had one last lesson with Brenda before her baptism. We just went over some of the laws and ordinances and it was a really good lesson. Her and Morgan are set on going to the temple in one year to be sealed to each other. I promised them that I would come back for that!! 

Wednesday, we met with a lady named Pauline and we brought Aaron Finch with us and taught her the Plan of Salvation because when we tracted into her last week, she had some questions that could be answered with that lesson. As we all know, missionary work doesn't always go as we plan for it to. We received a call from her this morning and she left a voice mail telling us that she is Catholic and she intends on staying Catholic and that she would leave the pamphlets and the Book of Mormon we gave her on her front porch for us to come pick up. We hope that she will be prepared for missionaries in the future! 

Okay, so Thursday we had a special MLC with the missionary department and President asked all of the district leaders to come this time. Usually, MLC is just for zone leaders and sister training leaders so this was a large group! The missionary department threw it down. It was so sweet. Brother Gonzalas talked to us about planning both nightly and weekly. Brother Wade talked to us about "How to begin teaching" which is a section in Preach My Gospel under teaching skills in chapter 10. I don't have enough time to explain all that they talked about, but just know that they threw it down! These men are inspired and they are so good at what they do. The fun part about the entire meeting was at the end. President got up to give his closing remarks and was like, "Okay, now go and teach all of this to your zones tomorrow morning!" We usually have MLC on a Tuesday and then have zone meeting that Friday, so we have a couple of days to prepare but we had it the very next morning! 

Zone meeting went well, though. We had a lot of participation from the zone. We set a goal for 6 baptisms for the month of March as a zone and we collectively got 7, with the Lord's help. I knew He helped us because there was much prayer and fasting this month and I know He was listening and helping us all do the things that we needed to do in order to help our investigators progress towards baptism. 

Friday evening, we had the baptism of Sister Brenda Mertes and it was great! She didn't want to have a bunch of people there, but for the most part, everyone that she invited came. Morgan received the Aaronic Priesthood on Wednesdayso he was able to perform the ordinance. So sweet! 

Saturday, we met with Orian and we brought Brother Ben Ure with us and it was so helpful to have someone Orian's age to be there and to testify of the blessings that came from his baptism. Orian is still hesitant about getting baptized. He keeps changing his mind back and forth, but we know he wants to. We just have to help him see that he does! 

Sunday, we met with Brother Kendrick and he is doing really well. He is preparing to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. That evening we went back over to the Finch's and we started to reteach Bobbie the lessons, so we shared the message of the Restoration yesterday and it went really well. She is feeling hesitant as well about being baptized right now, but she agreed that Heavenly Father would answer her prayer if she were to ask Him if she should, so that was the commitment we left with her. 

This week was so busy, and came and left so fast. I don't understand where time goes. You have to make the most of every day because once it is over, you can't take it back. We have transfers next Tuesday and it is possible that I will be transferred, so if anyone sends anything, please send it today or tomorrow. We had a conference call last night with President and he explained that because there are so many missionaries leaving, there are going to be a lot of zone leaders that will be pulled from leadership positions because of the loss of elders. We shall see what happens!  I love you all! Have a great week and enjoy General Conference!! Happy Easter! Also, if you have not seen it yet, you all need to watch "He Lives" the new video that the church produced for Easter!  You can find it at or it is on YouTube! Check it out! 


Elder DeLuca  

​This is Brother Wade on the left and Brother Gonzales on the right (on my left). They are so sweet! 

This is the great Klein zone! Thanks, Elder Christensen, for the pic! 

​Brother and Sister Mertes! They are the best!! It was a great baptismal service! 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Orian, Brenda & A Lost Dog!

Hello everyone! This past Tuesday, we met with Orian and he was building a little plane outside and he was 'too busy' to meet with us.  So we ended up just reading from the Book of Mormon to him and asked him questions as we read. To our surprise he was comprehending everything very well despite the banging of the hammer! Later Tuesday night, when we were out finding we received a call from President Mortensen and he explained to us that the Missionary Department is going to be coming to our mission and they are going to be going out with two zone leader companionships this coming Tuesday and he chose us to be one of the companionships! So tomorrow, we will be going out in the evening with someone from the Missionary Department and then all of the district, zone, and sister training leaders have a training from them this Thursday. Then we have zone meeting the next morning! We are going to have a really busy week! 

Thursday, we met with Brenda and Morgan at the Smith's house and we had a sweet lesson! We talked about obedience, the law of chastity and the Word of Wisdom with them and Brenda basically taught us about the Word of Wisdom. It was really neat to see how much she already knew and she was already living these commandments, so there were no problems with anything. 

Friday, after district meeting, we had Brenda and Morgan meet with us at the church and we finished up the commandments lesson and then we had Elder Graves conduct the baptismal interview! She is going to be baptized this Friday and we are so excited because Morgan is actually receiving the Aaronic Priesthood and being ordained to the office of a priest this Wednesday so he will actually baptize her!! SO sweet! 

Saturday, we went over to help with finding in an area in the zone that has had a tough time finding new people to teach. We have been asked by President Mortensen to be out knocking doors from 6-8 pm unless we are in an appointment.  So we got there just before 6 and the elders were not there. They live with a member and the member said that they were not home and it didn't help that their phone was broken.  So we decided to say a prayer and just start knocking doors for a little until we would hear from them. The first house was a Jehovah's Witness and he was really friendly but not interested. The next house we knocked was an older man and right as he opened the door a little dog bolted for it. SHE GONE! Seriously, this dog was waiting to just leave the house. It was cray. So the man was FURIOUS with us! He asked us to leave but in a very different way than just that. He picked a few choice words as he did so. We told him that we were really sorry and that we would go try to find his dog. He said "Don't even bother.  My wife spent an entire day looking for him once. You'll never find him."  We are hard of hearing sometimes, so we started searching for this little rascal and he was no where to be found. I was like, "Elder, there is no way we are going to find him so let's just go knock some more doors."  Elder Christensen was like, "If it's the Lord's will, we will find him."  I was like, "Okay," so we started walking back to our car to go drive around to find him and what did I see in the distance? A little furry ball running along the side of the houses! I was like, "Yo, that's it!!" He got down to call him over and luckily the dog came over to him and he grabbed him! The other elders got to see it too so it was kinda funny. We were like, "We will be right back!"  So we walked back to this guy's house and right as we were about to step foot on the driveway I had the impression to say a prayer so I told Elder Christensen immediately. I offered the prayer and in the prayer I thanked Heavenly Father for helping us find the dog and then I asked that this be an opportunity for us to have a discussion with this man and then I closed the prayer and we walked to the door. When he came to the door I was like, "We got something for you!" He was like, "Yeah, that is him." He took the dog and set him inside then he closes the door and this is what he said, "I am so sorry for the way I acted with you guys, it is a miracle that you found him. I typically wouldn't say this, but what are you guys selling? This calls for a discussion." We looked at each other and my chin must have hit the ground. He literally said, word for word, what I prayed for. Coincidence? Yeah, right. The Lord is so engaged in His work you guys, it is so real! We talked briefly about the Restoration with this man who went by the name of Bill. We talked to him for like 20 or 30 minutes and then he explained that he did not want a Book of Mormon, but that he would read the pamphlet that we gave him and if he was interested to learn more, he would call. Even though he wasn't all that interested, it was such a testimony builder for me to see that prayer answered almost immediately. It was good that Elder Christensen was persistent with finding the dog and I was grateful that I said the prayer. Sweet experience! 

Well, I don't like to be so short in writing, but we have to get going soon. We are going to go set up some appointments for our evening tomorrow with the missionary department, one of which is with a new investigator named Jay that we found earlier this week! I love you all! 


Elder DeLuca

​This is Luke! Our ward mission leaders son. He is the cutest boy ever. He gives the best prayers! 

​This is the plane that Orian was building when we met with him! 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Gators and Temple Tours

Okay, this week was saaweet! We are now teaching Orian who is Niki and Pamela Gessner's older brother. He is 14 and he is a stud. We have only met with him once this past week, but I'll update you on how this week goes! 

We also met with Julie this past week and we shared the Plan of Salvation lesson with her and it went really well, but we had a dinner appointment so we were crunched for time! 

There is a guy in our ward named Art and he had been less active for a while now but is back home living with his parents now, trying to clean up his life and he wants to start meeting with us. We saw him this week and we were just getting to know him and his brother and Art was explaining that he want to start coming back to church and learning more of the basic doctrines because it has been so long since he has been to church. I talked to him a lot about my past and how it was hard for me to start coming back to church after not going for a while, but that it was the best thing that I have ever done! I also gave him a heads up about how he would now be more of a priority for the adversary to work on him, but as long as he stays close to the scriptures and continues to communicate with his Father in Heaven, all would be fine. Then I shared one of my favorite scriptures Helaman 5:12 with him! The coolest thing about this is that the very next day he called us and he was like "YOU WERE RIGHT! As soon as I tried doing the right thing, my dads friend started giving me a bunch of grief for it!"  He called us asking for scriptures we could give him to share with this guy. So sweet! 

Thursday, we saw Brenda and we shared the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson with her. Before we got started, she told us that she knows the Book of Mormon is true and that she wants to go through with her baptismal date for March 27th! Yeah, baby!! But what is even cooler is that she explain that her and Morgan's marriage has strengthened during this time that they have both been trying to come closer to Heavenly Father. I seriously was about to cry because I was so happy! Then we talked about the temple tours and we were set on getting a ride with them to go down to the temple on Sunday afternoon. 

Saturday, we got a curve ball thrown at us! The assistants to the President called us and they told us that President wanted Elder Christensen and I to participate in giving the tours on Sunday and that we needed to be at the temple Saturday afternoon to go through the script. I was like, "Whaaaa!!??" So we went down there that afternoon and we met two other companionships and the assistants and President Mortensen. He walked us through each station and then at the very end he was like okay lets role play this. I was so nervous! We each had to pick one of the 4 stations and then guide them through it. 

So on Sunday after church, we went back to the apartment and we looked over the script a couple of times and then we headed off to the temple early so we could role-play through it together. I started us out by the flagpole and gave a brief history of the temple and how it came about. It is one of 149 operating temples today and it was completed and dedicated as a house of the Lord in 2001. There was a man named Don Hand (a non-member) who owned the land that the temple is currently on and much of the surrounding land as well in the Champions Forest area. He had intended on building a high end senior facility center there. He woke up from a dream one night with a voice telling him to sell the land, and he responded, "What land?" The voice told him, "You know what land.  Sell it to the Church."  He woke up his wife and told her what had happened and that very next morning he received a call from President Hinckley and he said that he had felt inspired that the temple should be built there and asked if he would sell his land. That was the end of that! Don immediately knew that he needed to sell the land to the Church, so he did. You guys, the Lord was in the details of establishing His House.  

Elder Christensen the took us over by the fountain and he talked about the angel Moroni and how he is a fulfillment of the prophecy in the book of Revelations 14:7. He talked about when Moroni came to Joseph Smith and then briefly about the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Then I let us over to the north side of the temple and talked about how we make covenants or solemn promises to God in the temple. I talked about the question that has confused theologians for centuries about the meaning of John 3:5. Then I talked about those who have passed who have not had the opportunity to hear about the gospel and how they are taught in the spirit world, like in 1 Peter 3, much of what I talked about in my last email, actually! 

We then finished by going over to the temple entrance and Elder Christensen talked about how our families can be sealed for time and all eternity through the priesthood that was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. 

The temple tours were really successful and there were many people who were there with baptismal dates or that set dates! We were really grateful for the opportunity we had to be a part of the tours! I was relieved after it was over though because I was a little nervous.  :) 

Anyways, we have to go now, but I love you all and hope you have a great week! 

Elder DeLuca

We were the last ones to leave! 

The temple is such a peaceful place. I love it!!! Have a great week!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Another Great Week in Tomball - March 9!

On Monday night, we were able to go have a lesson with Lois at the hospital and we ended up reading chapter one of 1 Nephi with her and we were able to meet her sister and brother in law. 

Tuesday, we had mission leadership council (MLC) with President Mortensen from 8:30am to 5:00pm and I was spiritually exhausted! I cannot even begin to tell you how inspired President Mortensen is. It is so crazy. I love him! Last year (2014) was the highest baptizing year since 2001 and we had a lot of discussion about this because President asked each of us to come prepared to talk about what we would need to do in order to double baptisms. He has been inspired to tell us that we can and we need to double baptisms. Just last month, we had 87 people scheduled to be baptized and only about 30 actually were. If we were to have the ones already on track stay on track, our baptisms would double. We counseled together and then he broke us up in zones. So, Elder Christensen and Sister Nielsen (the Sister Training Leader) and I talked with each other and felt like 7 baptisms would be reasonable for our zone. President Mortensen went around all 12 zones and asked us what our number was and then at the end he said this may sound arbitrary but I want all of you to commit to do all that you can to achieve that. He started on the opposite side of the room from me and he committed every person in there and everyone said "Yes."  So, there was like 20 something yeses and then I was the last one and I was like, "I'm in!"  And then President said, "So am I."  The spirit was so strong in the room I can't even explain what I was feeling. Everyone there knew it too. So now it is not a goal, but rather a commitment and, believe me, I am committed. We tracted last night in the rain for 2 hours and for, whatever reason, people were being so rude to us, but we just kept on knocking with a smile on our face! :) Get this, someone called the cops on us and it was just after the last house where I saw a cop down in the distance (I could smell them).  And I told Elder Christensen, "Great." and he was like "What?" Then I said, "We have company. That's a cop!"  Hahaha.....well, it turns out it was a female police officer and she got out of her car and she was like, "How are you elders doing?"  We looked at each other and we like "Whaaa??" She told us that she was in the Sam Houston 1st singles ward!! HAHA!! She was so nice to us and she told us good job for all we do and told us to keep going!! So sick! This really was a tender mercy of the Lord because we could have had some mean officer come and give us a bunch of grief. 

We also were able to go back over to the Popes house Tuesday evening and we read chapter 17 of 1 Nephi with Brenda and Morgan. Super sweet! Nephi is a boss!  :) 

Friday, we had zone meeting and we tried to bring some of the fire from MLC to our meeting! It was a good zone meeting and we felt like the zone received the training well. Sister Nielsen talked a lot about building our confidence and she did such a great job. After her training, Elder Christensen and I went up together and we watched a short clip from President Hinckley about when he said the with concerted effort, with recognition of our duty as members of the church, and with sincere prayer we could double baptisms! It was perfect! So we had a discussion on that and then we went in to Alma 17 talking about the sons of Mosiah and what they did in order to have the success they did and then we finished up in chapter 26 with why the Lord granted them what they had originally desired, which was to be instruments in His hands. 

Do you guys remember the guy named Ryan that I mention a couple months ago that I originally met when I gave a "He Is The Gift" pass along card? Well he came to church yesterday!! Soooo sweet! We actually had stake correlation meeting yesterday so we missed our Sacrament Meeting which ended up working out well for Ryan because he wanted to come to something later than 9:00am. We all went to Magnolia 2nd Sacrament at 1:00 and then we introduced him to those elders and we had to leave after that, but Ryan want to start meeting with us after he returns from a trip that he is going on this week. 

Okay, here is my favorite part of the week right here. We had a lesson with Morgan and Brenda again yesterday and we met at the Small's house. Great family by the way! So, we got there and we were talking about how her reading has been going and how the Relief Society activity went and what not and then a miracle question arose. Brenda was like, "Everything is going really well, but I want to know more about the temple."  Everyone is always like, 'Temple this and temple that, but why do we even go to the temples?'"  Elder Christensen and I looked at each other and just smiled because WE HAD PREPARED TO TEACH FAMILY HISTORY AND TEMPLES!!!! I actually got a little teary eyed when I said, "You know Brenda, that is such a great question and we have come prepared with a lesson that will answer your questions about the temple."  I started out asking her about her favorite part of the Plan of salvation lesson, what she understood the goal to be, how it makes her feel to know that families are forever, and what the key is that unlocks the door for us to be able to return back to live with God. Hoping she would answer with baptism, she said she wasn't quite sure, so then Morgan was like, "Well, I think it would be baptism." And I was like, "BINGO!"  Then I said, "So, if baptism is the key, what about those that passed on that didn't have the opportunity to be baptized? Would God punish them though no fault of their own?"  She was like, "Well, I would hope not!"  So, we turned to 1 Peter 3:18-19 in the New Testament and that tells us where Christ went after He was crucified before his Resurrection. He went to the Spirit World to preach. What did He preach? His Gospel (1 Peter 4:6). So, he preached His Gospel to those in the Spirit world.  So they were taught, but what about the key? How are they baptized without their bodies? Then we went to 1 Corinthians 15:29, where we read about Paul teaching about baptisms for the dead. It was like a light bulb went off in the room, but it was the Spirit! I want to bear my testimony that I know that this is true. I know that baptisms for the dead were done in Christ's church in biblical times, and I know that they are done now in His restored church. I have never felt the Spirit so strong in a lesson before. I truly believe that Brenda's ancestors were there helping us yesterday. I know it you guys. It was so real and she knew it too. Elder Christensen asked if any of their ancestors were on their minds lately and they both said, "Yes." His uncle has been on his mind a lot as of late and Brenda went to her parents house on Saturday and they had out a scrapbook of her Grandma and she learned so much about her grandma THE DAY BEFORE THIS LESSON. I told her right then and there that it was no a coincidence that all of this happened the way that it did. This was the best lesson ever. She now has her mind set on the temple and baptism is just a means to an end now. The temple is where we all ought to be. We also talked about the Houston Temple grounds tours that the mission presidency has started, and we are all going together this coming Sunday at 4:00. Be there or be square! Straight up, it is going to be legit. Last month, there were over 200 people that showed up, and they didn't even announce it all that they had desired to do. 

This work is SO real you guys. I am strengthened each and every day. I am too blessed to be stressed as my good friend Elder Sumsion would say. :) I know you can't tell by the looks of my hair.....Anyways, I love you all and I wish you all a great week! 


Elder DeLuca 

​Elder Tanner and I at MLC! He is myoyy! I love him!!

It's a new style! Basketball shorts and tie around the head! Er' day!!

Those are the assistants and that is Sister Nielsen as we planned for zone meeting! 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Shout Out from Tomball!

Alright this week was super sweet and we were able to meet with a few people, but I have to throw it down fast! 

Monday evening, we were able to go over and see Lois again and we brought two of our ward missionaries with us. Lois was really excited to have us over, to the point where we didn't even teach a lesson because she had so much to say! It was good to have her meet some people from the ward and she related well with them! Her sister that she has not seen in 18 years arrived today and we are going over there tonight to meet her after our dinner appointment! 

Tuesday, we have transfers and Elder Christensen and I are staying together. We used to cover the Klein 2 Zone, but now the zone has combined with Klein 1, so we have a lot more missionaries in the zone. There is more responsibility on our part, but we are super excited! As of right now, we have 12 people with baptismal dates so please keep them in your prayers! 

Wednesday, we met with Anca who is from Romania! We met her a few weeks ago while tracting and she was really interested to meet with us again. We met her at a park and we just walked around and talked to her about the Plan of Salvation and we answered a lot of questions that she had. So get this. One of her dogs has a heart worm and, apparently, it takes months to cure so she was debating on if she was going to move up to Canada in a week or two without her dog, or wait a few months so her dogs could be together. She had decided to wait because she loves her dogs so much and now we have the opportunity to teach her!! SO sweet. It is the little miracles that I see so often that strengthen my testimony the most. 

Thursday, we went back to the hospital to meet with Lois and this time we were able to have a lesson! We taught her most of the Restoration lesson and then we came back on Saturday to finish it. We brought Brother Clark with us on Thursday because he literally was the first one we thought to call. We weren't sure why. As we left the hospital he said to us "Thank you for inviting me Elders, I needed that." This really was a testimony builder for me because I did not know why I thought of him that morning, but the Lord did. It was great to have him there to teach with us and we were grateful for him coming with us. 

Yesterday, we had the opportunity to meet with Morgan and Brenda and we shared the Plan of Salvation lesson and it was powerful. I love talking about God's plan of happiness for all of us (His children). At the end of the lesson, we extended a baptismal date and she accepted. When we explained that baptism is the key that unlocks the gate to enter down the path that leads to the Celestial Kingdom (by using John 3:5), she understood why we asked her if she would follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the Priesthood authority of God the Sunday prior. She was like, "This all makes sense now!" It was so sweet! Our Bishop's wife was going through a similar situation when she joined the church and we were in their home so it was so beneficial to have her share her experiences as well. 

Sorry for the short-ish email, but I love you guys! Have a great week and remember who you are! 


Elder DeLuca

Missionaries are weird. Okay? So Elder Christensen and I do this thing sometimes where when someone goes to the bathroom, the other person will hide somewhere in the apartment. Well this was me hiding on the washer, but he found me then put the weights in front of the door..

​I was so tempted to ride this little guy, but I resisted! 

This is my little friend Katie. She would not leave me alone last night when we were at Aaron Finch's house last night having a discussion about the importance of the temple!