Tuesday, September 28, 2010

September Kristy Letters

Sep 6th


So I hope you were not all wondering where I ran off to since I didn't write a big letter last week, because I know you hang on all my letters every Monday. Don't worry, I know you didn't notice, I wouldn't either if I didn't have a designated time every week to just write emails.

So as I have told you, there are four of us ladies all stacked into one apartment in one big city. For us that is big since there are only six sisters in Croatia. Sister Whitaker and Fitzsimmons are on this last final stretch and I am literally half way through my mission, okay not for another week, I will report when I am half way.

I can't believe that I am almost half ways done, I mean when am I going to change for the better, become this amazing missionary and proficient at the language? Wait, I still am the same person just with a name tag and a big responsibility to fill. But you know I am happy to do it. Comparing this to a marathon I do see the mile marks and I will see a big difference once the race is over. But right now I am at a Gatorade stand checking out the flavors and have to catch up to the other three sisters - Ah!

I remember when Becky came down to San Francisco for her marathon and it was such a sight to see. I made her signs the night before and we got all my running stuff ready to do the end with her. When we went to Union Square in the morning before day break, I could barley recognize the place because of all the people. When I went to stand on the side line to watch the beginning I kept choking up, how lame. A half an hour later the last person went over the start line and I rode the bus back to Grandma's with all the bums. Mom and I planned out where she would be in a half an hour, an hour etc. The first stop we came and saw all these people running. We got out walked over and watched people grab water, Gatorade, there were cheer leaders and other people with signs. I couldn't see Becky, but I grabbed my sign anyway and jumped and cheered....and felt like an idiot... until I saw BECKY! I gave her a big hug and I was so proud of her. It was just when every one was splitting off for the half marathon and the full. I finally got to meet her at the end and run with her until my legs felt like they would fall off. It was such a sight to see! But I say all of that because that is how I feel here. I think of my family that was there to see me off and I think of the people far and close by running with me on the way. But the best part is to think of the people that are going to be there at the finish line!

I have been meeting a lot of friends on the way and one of them is my Chinese friend....uh I can't spell his name but it sounds like, okay here goes just sounding it out, chee-pie (like chia pet and pie). This is obviously way too difficult for me to say and spell so I have Americanized his name and he is now T-pain. I think he will be very happy with this name and I am too because it is way easier to say. I asked him how to say a lot of things in Chinese and he taught me some things. The conversation goes like this, (english translation because I can't spell it)

T-pain: Hello
Sister Dillender: Hello, How are you?
T-pain: Good and you?
Sister Dillender: Good thank you.....good bye!

And then he tells me I speak Chinese and I say, "T-pain no I don't, I don't even speak Croatian." He is a very humble and amazing person. He plays the bassoon for the Croatian symphony here and is 6'4'' and the son of a professional Chinese basketball player...I think he was professional, oh you know how missionaries like to exaggerate. He is so humble that he says he doesn't play the bassoon well. So I don't ask him if he can do things I just assume he is amazing at everything, because he is, I mean he is T-pain!

Thank you for all your emails I love them. You all are so good to me and I am grateful for all your prayers and support.

Puno Hvala,

Sestra Dillender

Sep 13th

Dear loved ones,

I am a big jerk! I thought I would get that settled really fast, just because I thought you might be wondering. So many people tell me," oh you have such a great attitude and you are so positive." Well, all I have to say to that is, ha ha ha, just ask my companions if that one is true. I really am a jerk, but I am working on it and working on it by having a better attitude.

Oh, if you were here with me right now and could see the person I am. I mean I don't do everything wrong but sometimes I do think of pizza when people talk to me, or I do role my eyes when people make fun of me, and sometimes I just don't care what's going on. But you know what, the Lord loves broken things and so the Lord loves me. Fortunately there is the Atonement to fix and repair me. I had a very humbling week last week, so I am very down. But you know when you are on the bottom there is nothing else but up.

But there were highlights last week, like when we helped an old drunk guy home. We watched him walked all crazy pushing his bike. We asked if he needed help after we watched him almost fall over on the side walk. He held my arm and Sister Whitaker pushed his bike. As he slurred a bunch of Croatian words at me I thought of, not pizza, but about Christ. He told the Pharisees, what need do the whole have of a physician? He came to heal physically and spiritually. He spent his life with the mean, meek and lowly and I can spend a little of my time with people that need help too. I was happy to be his servant and do something that is out of my comfort zone. Plus we were rewarded by watching him go, "Čekaj malo, Čekaj!" (Wait a second) and then he would hold on to the bike with two hands explain that his hip hurts and then do some squats and say, "ovako" (like this) AHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Like squats are going to help a hurting hip. The Lord sends blessings in so many ways, that night in a funny story. So sometimes when we are walking we do a few lady like squats and keep going, just kidding. But we walked him safely to his gate and then home where I promptly washed my arm and hands.

Hopefully when you see me next I will be a better person. I know that our Savior makes broken things new again and He can do that for me too. I know you are seeing this as a positive attitude, but really it's just hope and faith in our Redeemer. Don't forget the eternal perspective and remember your blessings... and to do a few squats when the going gets tough.


Sister D, D as in Dirtbag.

Sister Dillender

Sep 27th

Hello my friends,

I am a much happier person and I want you to know that when you pray for me I really feel it. I hope you know that you help me more than you know. Honestly even when you think good thoughts of me I am sure that it helps me in some way, so thank you for all you do for me.

I thought I would share just a few things with you this week, one of them being that I received a coconut. We have a "district meeting" every week where all the missionaries get together in the district and plan for the week and go over other things. So one of the things we go over is player of the week. Player of the week is something that someone did well that week. The person who had player of the week the week before looks to see something that someone did well and then gives them a candy or something and says why they choose them for player of the week. But lately it has been, who hasn't had it in a while and what can we make up to say that they deserve it? So Elder Hadley presented me with a coconut and said because he heard I played Frisbee well the day before for p-day. It was nice of him to think of me. Anyway he and Elder Pasche said that they couldn't get it open and they had been banging it on the cement trying to get it open. So I said okay we will have to try after district meeting. So we take my little coconut friend and I go out to the cement, put my arms and the coconut far above my head....Jump.....and put my whole body into throwing it on the cement. You know what that devil of a coconut did? It shattered into pieces. Sister Whitaker and I laughed and laughed that on the first try I managed to shatter the coconut and Elder Pashce and Hadley just stood there. I told them they just need some pent up estrogen to get the job done. Then we all enjoyed the coconut...not really it was kind of gross.

So I am officially half way done with my mission! I can't believe how fast that time is going though. It is all going so fast that I feel like I have to sprint to keep up with it. I saw pictures of my family and I was blown away by what my nieces and nephews look like. They are so stinking cute and so stinking big! But I have been working on my last half of the mission goals so that I can better the Lord's time. Here are some of those goals:

1) Have the whole New Testament memorized by heart. In Croatian too.
2) Get proposed to.
3) Get through with only using one umbrella
4) Watch a chicken fight. (we have chickens in the back of our house.)
5) Loose 50 pounds……
and lastly
6) be the most popular girl in Croatia

I hope that you can help me with them like talking me up to Croatians on the Internet, or sending me weight loss pills or pretty much a parasite in a pill. No, but I really did make more goals to maximize my time out here. I am so grateful for this experience to be here and I can see so many things that I have been learning.

I hope you are well and happy!

Sister Dillender

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Aug 23, 2010

Dragi Obitelj i Prijatelji moji,

I know that I have promised you information on what is going to happen for transfers. I know they are not exciting for you, but they are for me and I love to hear where everyone is going. We make transfer predictions all the time since there are only 25 and three coming (in Croatia). Don't worry, I don't get distracted. Since there are not many of us, President just calls us all a couple of nights before and lets us know what is happening to us. But this time for our Zone meeting he introduced the Box B. He said Box B was used in the early days in the church where the presidency would just call out where missionaries were going at the pulpit from Salt Lake City. So after telling us that he said that is what we are going to be doing today and then says, " We will be starting right now" ha ha. A rush of excitement came over the room and I quickly grabbed a pen and paper to write down who is going where. So he started with Zagreb. Everyone is staying the same except for Sister Fitzsimmons who is going to be training Sister Stratton the new one in Zagreb. Then he said, "Sister Dillender, you will be with Sister Whitaker.....in Zagreb." AHHHHHHHHH! YAAAAAAY! He said, “So that means that all four of you Sisters will be in that apartment." Everyone is talking and laughing and then I yell, "WAIT! Can we stay up past ten thirty?" We all just laughed and President just shakes his head...and laughs.

But then the next most exciting part was where the 7 footer was going to go. So a little later President says, "Elder Rhodes you will be training Elder Bakinski." We didn't know what the 7 footers name was since we always just refer to him as that, so we were all left wondering if he was the tall one or not when president says, "Elder Rhodes stand up! Elder Lee, stand on your chair.!" Elder Rhondes stands up to his tall frame of 5'6'' and Elder Lee, next to him stands on his chair, towering about 18 inches over him. Then president says, " the new companionship in Zadar." We all laughed and so did Elder Rhodes. They are going to be such a great sight. He really is 18 inches taller than him and Elder Rhodes is one of the two shortest missionaries in this mission. HA HA HA HA HA! The nice thing for the 7 footer is that in Zadar most men reach at least 6'5'' and it's not uncommon to see 7 footers. He will feel right at home.

I was reading over some of my old Zone Conference notes from when Elder Causse was here. The part that really stood out to me was when he was talking about planning being a sacred part of the day. He told us to be specific in what we do. So Sister Fitzsimmons and I decided to do that and before we left the apartment to do go talk to people we prayed for a lady to be interested and want to learn more and give us her phone number so we could get a hold of her. The first person was a rude old lady the second was a rude old guy and the third was a lady who wanted to give us her phone number. We told her about family history and offered her a chapel tour. She said that would be great and told us that we can make an appointment with her, so, we asked for her phone number and she was happy to give it. She actually asked if we live close by because she sees us walking here all the time. We walk home that way everyday and I wonder what kind of an impression she got from us. Well it couldn't be that bad since Sister Fitzsimmons and I are best friends and we are usually running for the tram anyway. But the faith building exercise for me was : THE LORD BLESSES THE FAITHFUL!

I am sorry I don't have much time to write beyond this today. But from now on I will still have stories of Sister Fitzsimmons plus two more sisters. It's pretty much going to be a party every day!

s ljubavlju,
Sestra Dillender

Aug 23


I just also wanted to let you know if you wanted to send something not via email you can send it to my apartment, and I will be there at least until October 24 and if it comes later the other sisters can give it to me:

Sister Babe
Hermanova Ulica 13 H
10000 Zabreb

The name you send it to is very important by the way!

If you send it to the Sovenia address it just goes to the mission home and takes a little longer to get to me because we wait for them to come down to Croatia so they can give it to us. But either address you have is a good one just the Zagreb one is faster.

Hvala ljepo!

Aug 16, 2010

Hello my loved ones,

This week has been a very long week for some reason, but not at all bad just really long. There have been a lot of changes in the mission since I got here and one of them is that there wouldn't be anymore Zone Conferences, where all the missionaries get together once a month in the country. We talk about a lot of good things that really help us and boost our morale. Plus, my favorite part of Zone Conference is hearing from President and Sister Hill. They truly are amazing and I am so happy every time we get to see them. But then we heard that for the next six months there will be Zone Conferences here in Europe every month, yay! It's nice to see the other four sisters in the country, swap stories and have a little bit of girl time. I love the ones that are here and it's always so fun to see them. But I am happy that I get a few more Zone Conferences before I go home.

Oh here is something funny, sometimes Sister Fitzsimmons talks about wanting to see an Asian person because we never see Asian people here, and then we see one that day. The other day was no exception. In the morning she talked about how she wanted to go to Asia just to see an Asian person. Later around lunch time we were talking to this really nice lady on the street, when all of the sudden this huge swarm of a Japanese tour group surrounded us and the guide was saying something in Japanese. We started laughing sooooo hard just because of the irony of it all. ha ha Heavenly Father even gives us things we don't ask for in prayers. He really knows the desires of our hearts ;) he he, but he really does.

I feel like a mission is the funniest thing I have ever done in my life. I feel like I am laughing all day long, you would think I would have stronger abs by now. I feel like there are so many funny things that happen everyday and there hasn't been a day that has gone by that I haven't had to bend over and put my hands on my knees for support. You know m,e I love to laugh, so Heavenly Father does send us what we want.

Thank you so much for all your emails and letters of love and encouragement. I always here what I need to every week. I love you!!!

Sister Dillender

Aug 9th, 2010

Aug 9th

Dear loved ones,

Since yesterday was my dad's birthday, I thought I would write him a letter to show how much I appreciate him.

Dear Daddy,

First off I would like to say that I miss you dearly! I thought of you all day yesterday and I thought you probably don't care to celebrate your day of birth into mortality, but I wanted to celebrate who you are. Yesterday, Sister Fitzsimmons and I made a cake in honor of you and we both blew out the candles together. It was really tasty and we ate it at ten o'clock at night (since that is after proselyting hours). It was fun to have a party for you and we didn't even care about the few extra calories :D.

After we got home from church we were really tired. I thought as a present I would try to work as hard as you do. So, instead of taking an extra hour to weekly plan we went out and talked to a lot of people. No one was interested but we did talk to a group of six crazy old ladies. They complimented us on how modest we dressed and they were really fun to talk to.

Being out here is so much different than I thought it would be. But I am so glad I came and I am staying out here. Sometimes I wonder what my purpose is, or if I am even being what the Lord needs me to be. But you know what, I read your old notes and your favorite scriptures and quotes you wrote down all the time. They help me more than you probably know.

I miss not being able to just walk in the room and ask you questions or get your advice on something. I miss hugging you and holding your hand. I even miss the garlic fries and the Giants games we went too. But I know it's worth it to be here and to get help from you in other ways.

As I wear my badge I think of the two names I wear over my heart. I wear Christ's and yours. It's such an honor to represent my Savior and it's such an honor to represent you. Every time I think about chickening out on doing something I just remember how much I want to live up to both the names I wear and it gives me a lot of courage. I wish you could hold my hand through a lot of these things, but that wouldn't help me grow at all. Instead Sister Fitzsimmons holds my hand till I can do it myself :).

I think of the person you are all the time. Don't get me wrong, I want to be like my Savior and I don't think of you more than Him, but you are just such a great example of Him. You show me what discipline is, how to wade through adversary, use faith to bring about miracles, love people, and lead by example. I am so privileged to know you!

Just to walk down memory lane a bit, I remember driving home with you one time. We were driving up Wallace road and you were telling me about how we lived with our Father in Heaven before we came here. That He knows us and loves us. I remember feeling so strongly that that is true and praying to Heavenly Father to never let that feeling fade away. I love all the simple moments we have together. Like the time we went to Sausalito before a Giants game and had dinner in a restaurant on the Bay. Then we took the Ferry back over to San Francisco and watched a game. I don't even know if they won or lost, I just remember how it felt to be with you.

I hope you are proud of me. I know you love me and are always praying for me. I feel your love and I feel your support. I really need that! Thank you for being what I need and I am more than grateful to say I am your daughter. I just want to wish you a very Happy Birthday or Stretan Rođendan, and know that I am grateful for you.

I just can't wait to see you again! I love you!

Your Sister Dillender