Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dec 20 - Snow By the Sea

Stretan Božić!

I hope you are happy and well! What are you going to do for Christmas? We are having a great week! We are going to see the rest of the missionaries here in Croatia on the 23 in Zagreb. Then the 24th we are going to go and visit some cute older people that we do service for. When we asked one couple if we could come on Christmas Eve the wife started to cry and was really happy. Then we laughed because she cried about it. But it always feels good to do something nice for someone and see them so happy. Then our Christmas consists of eating with the elders, place and time. We are having French toast breakfast and a turkey dinner. It will be nice! We are going secret Santas between the four of us and I can't believe that no one has spilled who they have yet. At random times during the day Sister Laws will all the sudden ask, "who do you have?" For example,
Me- "Oooo, do you want to get this new kind of cereal this week, it's even on sale?"
S. Laws- "Who do you have?"
It is usually followed with an excited looking face and then when I don't answer she just laughs and then we move on till the next time she randomly asks. It's great! I told her that I was going to tell her while she is sleeping who I have. One night she passed out really fast, and I said, Sister answer....I have blah blah blah and then I giggled as quiet as I could and then fell asleep. So technically speaking, she already knows.

It has been exceptionally cold and then BAM, it snowed! We were teaching English class and all of the sudden I look out side and yelled, "Snijeg Pada!" (it's snowing) then we all ran to the window like five year olds, even though all our students are retirement age. It was great. We waited for Spanish students after but no one came obviously. It was fun just watching the snow fall. We sang xmas songs and if we didn't know the words we just mumble sang till we knew a word, like this, I'll be home for Christmas hummrammnummm ram num. Now I am hoarse from all the singing. Not really. We made a little snow man and then I got hit in the head by some punk kid who threw a snow ball at me. So in return I rubbed snow in his face and made him cry...okay not really. I just went wahhh and we laughed and kept walking. I hope he ate yellow snow!

I am reading in the New Testament about when Paul wrote to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 15) about the resurrection. He says that if we don't believe in the resurrection than our faith is in vain. He said as in Adam all die and in Christ we are all made alive. That is more than just metaphorical speaking, what a wonderful blessing to know that He came, that He came and then he fulfilled all he came to do and was resurrected to bring us the gift of life. How exciting it is to know that the things we do here are preparing us to be together forever. I am grateful for our Savior and I am grateful for His love for us.

Merry Christmas!
Sister Dillender

Dec 13 - Sub Way Sandwich

So this is going to be a short one today sorry! I have to tell you about my amazing dream last night! (Don't get excited)

I was in a room full of people. This person came in and shot me in the back but no one seemed to care or think it was a big deal because I kept doing things like I normally do. No one called the ambulance and we had to wait for the meeting or whatever was happening to be over before this guy, apparently I knew really well, could take me to the hospital. I kept crying and wondered why it didn't hurt and that this must not be a big deal. I was then waiting on the side walk out in front of Grandma Ray's house for this guy to pick me up. I kept crying and wondering why no one cared that some guy just shot me in the back. But the best part is that I laid down on the side walk to wait for him and the only thing I had for a pillow was my hot subway sandwich. But I was kind of hungry too so every now and then I would grab it take a bit and then cover it up and use it as a pillow while crying. Ha ha ha. I hope this isn't sad to you, I thought it was very funny and every time I think of it I start to laugh!

I am enjoying the Christmas season and we are trying to think of new things to say to people for Christmas When we are at their door or on the street. It is so nice to have this time of year on us. I love doing lessons according to Christ's birth and remembering the great day of Hope. I wonder where we all were when He was born? I know we were all cheering and so excited. I was reading about charity in 1 Corinthians and I was thinking about how grateful I am that Christ had enough charity to do what He said he would do and be what He said He would be. He truly is our Savior and Redeemer!

I will talk to you before Christmas but have a very merry one!
Sister Dillender

Dec 6 - Marinating in Salsa

Bok svima!

Here are some questions my mom asked I thought you all would like to hear them.

How are you're C'mas plans going? Good. No, not really we haven't been planning, just singing Christmas songs and talking about it like it's the end of the world and this is the last thing we are going to celebrate. Do you get to share any C'mas with the members, or with other people you're trying to contact? No, but we are going to have a branch activity for it. The plans are still up in the air but I will let you know how awesome it will be. Oh, and if you have any ideas of what 10 or 12 people can do together for fun and games around Christmas let me know! You had said that you really enjoyed Easter in Croatia, because the people celebrated the Savior so much with the holiday. What is C'mas like? Well, I don't really know what it is so much about here. Obviously the day that Christ was born, but I think people are more excited about it just being the Christmas season. There are decorations and Christmas trees up, including ours :). A lot of people have been setting off fireworks and we asked a couple Croats that we know and they said, oh I don't know, people are just excited that Christmas is coming. Do they have a Santa figure, or do they celebrate the spiritual side more? Well they have a St. Nicholas that looks like the pope but with long hair and a beard so it's really just a pope like Santa and it looks awesome. Today on the way to emailing there was this pope looking Santa guy dressed up and standing in the back of a wagon being pulled by a donkey with a guy with devil horns and a big stick behind him. The Santa guy would give people and mostly kids candy and if someone wasn't holding a baby then the Satan guy would swipe them with a stick. Yeah I almost wet my pants on the way over here. The best part is when the donkey got scared and wouldn't walk. The driver had to get out and pull it, but the Santa-pope wasn't ready for it, and then FELL OFF THE WAGON!!!! His wig almost came off, but his pope hat went flying. I started crying because I was laughing so hard. Actually I am crying right now just remembering all of that. What about C'mas traditions, like C'mas trees, and lights, and caroling? All the same! Are you going to make C'mas dinner with some of the other missionaries, or do you go to members homes, and 'feast' with them?¨ I think we will leave the turkey up to Elder Bachynski again, since he passed the really tasty turkey test for Thanksgiving. But we will definitely reel in the Elders for a Christmas day dinner. I know you're going to have a get-together with the Mission President, and some of the other missionaries; what's that going to be like? We have Zone Conference every month like I talked about before. So this month it is pushed back till the 23rd so we can all be together right before Christmas. I don't really know what we are going to do for it, but I hear that it will be great. So if you sent letters or packages I will get it the 23rd which will be perfect so I can save it for Christmas day wohooo.

We were teaching a lesson last night about family prayer and I talked about how much I feel that family prayer has helped my family. We all have our problems but I know that one is NOT that we all love each other. I feel like family prayer has been a uniting force for us and has given us an unseen help through the years. Sometimes we had family home evening, sometimes we did scripture study, but we always, always had family prayer and I am so grateful for it. I feel like it has always been such a nice time to be together as a family just for a little bit. It didn't matter where anyone stood with God because at the time we all stood together and thanked him. I am so grateful for my family and the love that they show toward me.

So when we go door to door we have decided to have new approaches when people open the door. This is what we do, we look at the last name on the door, then look in the dictionary that would be close to the name and link it to the gospel. For example, one person's last name meant to marinate, so we decided to say, when we marinate in the gospel then we become nice and tasty....and then Sister Law's finished with and then Satan comes and burns us in the fiery pits of hell. Ha ha ha I laugh so much. The other one was blacksmith and she thought of, God is a blacksmith and made us in his own image. Well that last one is a lot funnier in Croatian standing in front of someone's door.

I hope you all are well and I miss you!

s ljubavi,
Sestra Dillender

Nov 29 - Thanksgiving Hurts!

Dobar Dan svima!

I forget every year why I think Thanksgiving is a hard holiday to have. I stuff my face like a fat kid in a room full of candy and then feel the pain affects of it afterward. Oh well at least it was fun and worth all the pain I went through. So this is how it went down. First off, we got some good recipes from family members and then we just split the menu and went on our ways cooking. Sister Laws and I made FOUR pies! Yeah! They were good too. We made mom's cherry pie, apple pie, cheese thing pie, and Elder Rhodes mom's chocolate pie. We weren't going to and then he was really sad so we did it as a surprise. We weren't going to because we didn't know what corn starch is in Croatian. But we put our faith to the test and randomly found some and considered it a sign. We made some roles too and they were awesome!!!! Oh and to remind you it was all made from scratch even the pie crust, thank you thank you. All the pies were great except for the cheese thing one, it ended up tasting like plain egg pie, and so we didn't really eat it. Remember when I made the chemical pumpkin muffins mom? I accidentally put in table spoons of baking soda and powder rather than tea spoons, ha ha even Vanna wouldn't eat it. I found a muffin with a bite taken out and next too it the chewed up, undesired piece in the trash can.
Anyway, the Elders did the turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy. They did an excellent job too!

So we sat around the table at the church and pigged out. Elder Bachynski used a towel as a bib since it's the only thing long enough for him. Then we made grateful plates and wrote all the things we are grateful for on them. I will send pictures of them next week, it was great. We then had pie and I almost burst. I was in so much pain. We finally finished the left-overs Sunday and now we just have to finish the pie.

We bring lunch to elderly people every Tuesday and Friday. Everything about service is sooooo great. I love the people we bring food to. They are so great and fun to talk to. They all are around ninety and are so cute and grateful. This week we went over to this couple’s house and we talked to them for a while. At the end the wife pulled off her one glove she was wearing and told us about a disease she has, she asked what to you call it in English and her husband said, "herpes". Obviously she doesn't have an outbreak right now, but told us how it has hurt the circulation in her hands. Then right when we were going to leave she grabs my hand with her HERPES HAND. Fortunately it was my left hand, so I didn't have to touch anything until we got back to the home with the kitchen we bring the lunches from and wash and scrub. All day I would threaten the Elders by saying. "if you don't give me that Book of Mormon I am going to touch you with my Herpes hand." they would always comply.

Well I hope your thanksgiving was wonderful and I miss you all so much!
s ljubavi,
Sestra Dillender

Nov 15 - I Need Thanksgiving Recipes

Dobro Dan! Dobrodošli! Dobro, Hvala,

That didn't even make sense but it will be funny to read it when I am back home looking back at these. I wonder about how many things I read that I will regret saying :). Mostly just he embarrassing things.

Well, Thanksgiving is coming and we are planning our meal out for what we are going to do. If you have any good recipes then please email me, but you have to email it by next Monday because that is the last time I will look at it until Thanksgiving comes. Oh, and if you want to send anything to me hand written, this especially goes out to my fan club, please send it to my home address here in Zadar because I won't be getting any letters from the mission home until Christmas time, literally until two days before Christmas. Here is my address, (Lynny don't put my address on the blog, there are a lot of creeps out there)…………………..

But don't worry that is not saying hat you have to send me something just in case if you wanted to and you wanted it to come fast than Christmas.

So I brought a little bit of Dillender fun to Family Home Evening on Monday night. We have it as a branch and one week the Elders are in charge and the other week we are in charge. For the lesson we read about when Peter walks on water to Christ and how sometimes like Peter, we are all ready and willing to follow him and we are walking on water. But then sometimes the storms we see look like too much and we start to sink. But fortunately for Peter and for us, Christ is always there to catch us, all we have to do is to take His hand. then after we had the lesson, we played a Dillender classic.....LOADED QUESTIONS.....I didn't translate it to Croatian, but if I did I would say something like Punina Pitanje ha ha ha that is weird, that's like filled questions. Whatever! It was really funny, but I didn't bring up anything like carnies, hairspray, hallmarks or PMS because I thought the first and last would be a bit inappropriate. It is always more fun inserting inside jokes when you 1) Don't have to translate them, and 2) the people hearing it are on the inside of the joke.

So Sister Fitzsimmons left a bunch of clothes and I feel like all the women in Croatian are having a field day with them. On Sunday, Two girls from the branch and Sister Laws and I were all wearing something from the pile she left. We were like, "Sister Fitzsimmons still lives on least in Zadar.....where she never served." We miss you! Don't worry we miss you too....Melinda....not Sister Whitaker...weird!

So we had language class sign ups and Elder Bachynski ate all our Nutela and we had to buy some more this week. We had palačinke, aka crepes and they were really good. We just put chocolate Nutela in them and crushed Butterfingers, aka 8 thousand calories each and only Sister Dillender is going to get fat off of them. Also when I say crushed butter fingers I mean, we would hand the fun size butterfingers to the Giant, aka Elder Bachynski and he would crush them in one motion with his fist that is the size of our face. Actually we made hand Turkeys for our Thanksgiving decorations and Elder Bachynski's hand is literally bigger than my face....I measured! But to end this paragraph, the classes are really fun and we have a good group for both of them.

Well I hope that you are doing well and I wish you a very Happy week!
s ljubavi,
Sestra Dillender

Nov 2 Stretan Svih Sveti

Bok svima!

Yesterday was all Saints Day, so I wasn't able to write since all the big stores etc were closed down. We went to a graveyard and it was nice to look around. I have always found them so peaceful to go to.

This week has been so nice for me here. I got to see the sea organs, where the waves come up and push air through a few holes in the ground and make....well organ noises. I get to see the sea and the islands. When I look it almost looks like I am looking at the bay area with San Francisco on one side and Oakland on the other, but really it's Zadar on one side and the island on the other. It is very beautiful and the weather is so nice. It is so warm here that we only wear our sweaters mostly.

So we will be starting our language classes next week and Elder Rhodes and I will be teaching Spanish together. I hope a lot of people will come. I think they will because the closest thing is Italian. I am glad that he will be teaching with me since he is amazing at the language and can explain everything way better than I could. We pass out flyers and I usually pass out the whole stack sometimes to people when I freak out and I can't separate the flyers. But that is okay, maybe they will give it to their friends.

Well sorry this is a lame letter this week I don't really have much to say right now. I will tell you about our mini Halloween party next week. I have no time right now, so I will write more next week. Sorry! Bye!

Sister Dillender