Thursday, May 5, 2011

May 2, 2011 - Big News!!!

May 2 Big News!!!

Hello friends,

I don't know how big this is for you, but it is too me and here are the things:

1) Since the new mission president is coming in a week before I leave, well my group, President Hill realized that it is just too much for a new mission president. So, he has been in touch with Salt Lake and they are sending us home a week early. So my release date is now June 28 and not July 5. Mom got my flight plans for when I come home July 5, but those are no longer the flight plans. I am sad, but mostly excited to see all of you again really soon and to spend the fourth of July in AMERICA! I will be more patriotic than you have and will ever been in your life! Just to let you know! So I will be having my first and only 8 week transfer instead of nine and I still get two more weeks than most sisters.

2) Transfers have already happened, but not for me and Sister Laws since we are waiting for Sister Creager (Sister Laws' companion) and Sister Milius (my companion). If you don't recognize the names it is because they are coming straight from AMERICA, FRESH FROM THE MTC!!!!! AHHHHHH! That is right, I am going to be a trainer, aka have the new missionary show me up in everything I do and me be very humbled. I am really excited though since this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, especially since I didn't think I was going to be able to. She is coming in on Wednesday from Ljubljana and I am really excited to meet her. Fortunately I thought this might happen so Sister Laws and I made case charts and other things for the language and we put it up by our study area and also we labeled everything in the apartment in Croatian. So that means I see tuš every time I got to take a shower or fridžider every time I open the fridge ha ha. I hope she is a visual learner!

Also for some other news, we had Zone Conference yesterday with all the other missionaries in Croatia. It was nice, except for the part where our district had to do a musical number! Just to help you understand the gravity of the situation I was put in, I will proceed to explain that sentence. First off, our district means FOUR people. Of those four people, two are musical geniuses, 1 (Sister Laws) is not to that level but has a great voice and plays the piano, and then that leaves one slot left and that would be the musically inept, Sister Dillender. The Zone leaders called Elder Wood, the evening before and asked if we could do a musical number. The Elders wouldn't let us out of it, and so they proceeded in their patience to teach me alto, so I would not have to screech my way through Redeemer of Israel. I must say I was quite impressed with their patience with me. They were so enthusiastic and every time I did something right they treated me like the most talented person in the world. So needless to say it was a very comfortable learning environment for me :). So instead of just learning to sing my one part, being the only alto mind you, and singing the song a full note down, they wanted to sing it acapella....what? Are you insane!?! So, somehow I get to that point and then they want to do a key change for the last verse.....What!?! Are you even human anymore? But somehow we did it and it was very fun and fulfilling and stretched me a lot. I say fun and fulfilling because it is all over now. We had someone film it and you can't really hear me because I was too nervous and I didn't look up once from my paper ha ha. Oh well, it was a great experience and I am so glad that they didn't let my inability to sing deter them from making a beautiful piece.

I often feel that way with Heavenly Father. He has so little to work with in me, and somehow He makes everything go just right. He really does make weak things strong and make our weakness strengths just like it says in the Book of Mormon in the famous verse, Ether 12:27, "I give unto men weakness....and if they sufficiently humble themselves and come unto me I will make their weaknesses become strengths unto them." Okay that is not word for word, since I am trying to do it off the top of my head. Now don't see this and say Sister Dillender is now a great singer, oh no no!, If you sign me up for a musical number, I will "defriend" you on Facebook come June 28. Take that for a real insult.

I hope you are all well and I am sorry for doing yet another mass email. But as you know, I have no time, but I am sending this to you personally because I think about you personally all the time and miss you. I hope you are doing wonderfully and I will write you a more personal email next week!


Sister Dillender

April 26, 2011 - To My Loved Ones

April 26 To my loved ones


I only have an hour to write today so I had to do a big email to all of you, sorry for not making it individual! But here are some questions I thought you might like to read that my Mom asked me:

1) What was your favorite thing you saw last week?
We colored Easter eggs for Easter with the Plentaj's on Saturday after we had seminary with them. They did a really cute job with them and it was just fun to be with them. Then we made deviled eggs with them and still didn't eat them all. We had a bbq with the Elders on Sunday also, but all we really did for the bbq part was to eat outside on their land lord’s patio. It was really fun though and we had lots of food, hence the surplus of deviled eggs.

2) Is it Spring there yet?
Yes and it really smells good. It has been a nice 70 degrees most days, but today it is muggy and overcast, I feel really bad for the tourists. I see flowers and so much more green everywhere. The fig trees are really coming out too, they are everywhere. There are olive trees everywhere and all I can think about are the parables and allegories of the fig tree and the olive trees.

3) How is your scripture reading going?
It is going well, I faithfully do ten pages a night in the Old Testament and it is kind of boring right now, I am in Psalms and I thought it would be better, but still good. I missed three days on my D&C countdown, but I made it up today and I love all the things that I learn and read there. I can't believe I never read it through before now gosh! How is yours going? I am sorry that we don't "study" together every week. I have such sporadic studies and I am really supposed to be using personal study for lessons, but we don't have them too much. But if you want you can read in D&C starting 74 and going till the end of the week that is what I will for sure be doing this week.

I hope you had a great Easter. I wore a nice blue sweater that I got from Sister Fitzsimmons, (my old companion) and I know you are reading this right now Anu. I wore that sweater as a symbol of the resurrection and how much I am looking forward to seeing dad again. I am so grateful to know what I know, that the Lord has a plan for us and that He has it all worked out. Last week a lady from our English class asked, "If Heavenly Father wants to answer our prayers than why are there people starving in Africa?" I thought to myself, Ahhhhh where is that one scripture I keep meaning to memorize???? I frantically prayed that the scripture reference will magically come, but it didn't so I started to talk. I said something to her that I needed to hear, and it came from the Spirit. Bad things do happen sometimes, so that we can learn to lean on our Savior. I thought about the millions of times I prayed for Dad to get better, and now, after all is said and done, those prayers weren't answered the way I thought. I am closer to my Savior and Father than I ever have been before. I am grateful that the Lord helps me to see His purpose and plan in all things, and it has taken a lot of patience and faith. I wish my faith was stronger and that I was more patient, but I know that He makes weak things become strong and He is working with my suborn heart :).

We went to a Catholic mass on Sunday night and it was really nice to hear some of the things that the priest said. Normally they don't stray too much from the normal things they do, but this priest was good. He used a lot of personal experiences and I could see he had a lot of faith, especially in what he was doing! We'll get him!

Oh and to let you know, we did get to go to Swan Lake, and it was amazing. They set up a stage in the basketball arena and there were so many people that went. I was so happy to watch it and not a moment was boring or unimpressive. Wow! That is really all I have to say for it.

Well I hope you have a great week! I miss you!


Sister Dillender

March 7, 2011 - Yahooooo

March 7 Yahooo


How are you all doing this week? It is very cold but really sunny today and really nice!

So lent is coming up on Wednesday and I decided to give up chocolate bars and ice cream. I am really excited! We have Fat Tuesday this Tuesday so we got some chocolate bars for it HaH! I already started eating them and they are GOOD! But I am not worried about not eating them for 40 DAYS!!! It will be so fun especially since all the Elders probably think that I will give in, but just to prove them wrong I will survive. I remember when I stopped eating meat for six months and how good I felt physically and mentally because it felt good to have some discipline. Yahooo.

So a mission goal that is in my free agency boundaries that I made was to read the whole standard works before I go home. I had studied all of them and read a lot from all of them but have only read the Book of Mormon all the way through. So as of today, four months left almost exactly, I have read the Book of Mormon again, the New Testament. I will finish the Pearl of Great Price this transfer probably early because I am really far already. I am doing the D&C countdown which is a section a day before I go home. So I started that when I had 138 days left and now I am on section 25 I think, or 24. I started from the beginning and I am going to the end. Also I have to read 9 pages a day in the Old Testament before I go home ha ha. So with a lack of time to do all the reading I have been reading the Old Testament at night and have been using a lot of discipline to do it because I am really tired at night. I read Numbers in a week and I will have finished Deuteronomy by next Monday. All these goals that I have made and this one in particular I start to think why did I do that and is that a goal I should really be focusing on? Then right after I see why it was a good idea and that I should and will keep doing it. For example, with this goal I read everything except the New Testament every day and everything relates together so well and brings so much more understanding and light. I am so happy to have the standard works, it has been amazing to read them and find little gems all over the place.

You know before I left the MTC, I was thinking I was going to send dads scriptures home and buy a cheap set so I can mark them up and say these were my mission set. Well I prepared for that and I even bought a new cheap set, but you know for two days I was so depressed and I thought how am I going to do this and I didn't want to part with them and dreading the time I was to send them home. But them after a day it hit me that....I don't have to. Ha ha, so I returned the cheap set to the MTC book store and I felt a load lighter Ha ha. I am so happy ever since that day that I have had his set. I plan to pass them around to my siblings so that we can all read his scriptures from cover to cover like he did. When I read his comments and see what he marked I feel like I am reading them with him and see what he has to say to me. It is very nice and special to have that time with him and the Spirit. I marked everything green so I see what I marked and I have written in comments or corresponding scriptures. So when we pass them around we can all read the scriptures together. Isn't that such a good idea!!!!! It will be hard to part with them but not that hard since they will be with my family and not too far away!

On another note, we live by the Zadar soccer stadium and there was a game the other day. I hate it because there are all the guys from the age of 15 to 40, very awkward for a young missionary to walk by groups of them. Also they have the police out for riots in their gear - ahhh scary looking. So we were walking by this horrible crown and some guys from the stands looks at us on the road and starts yelling JEHOVNI SVIJEDOCI (yehovnee sveeyedotsee) which is Jehovah's witnesses. We were like, dang it, if we are going to get persecuted we want to get persecuted for the right church at least! So later that night we were walking home and this big group of guys sees us and starts yelling Moroni, then Sister Laws turns to me and pumps her fist and we high fived and said, wohooo it's for the right church this time. Ha ha. it was great.

Well it is beautiful and sunny today! But it is really cold, there is a wind that comes from the mts and it is bitter cold. oooo we got a hair straightener last week and it is so fun to wear my hair down. It is past my shoulders so I will have to send you a pictures so you can see. I love you and thank you for the emails!!!


Sister Dillender

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Jan 31, 2011

Well this past week we had a branch activity Saturday night. We celebrated one of the member’s husband’s bdays. The member made tortellini and other great food and we sat around and ate it in silence. ha ha it was a little awkward, it was really good so that was part of the reason for not talking too. I guess everyone was tired or something. We pretty much just ate and left and talked a bit. But it is always nice to be with them.

Elder Brown is going home at the end of this transfer which is at the end of Feb. When he first came he was this funny guy with not much to say and now the real Elder Brown has come out before he goes home, and he's just gotten really sassy. We now call him sassy Elder Brown. He goes along with it even though it makes him more sassy. He even puts up his finger and does this head roll because he can't do a neck role ha ha.

Two Mondays ago we went to Biograd which is a small city south of us. We didn't know what was going to be there so we just walked around and found out it is a whole lot of nothing. It was a cute whole lot of nothing though. It was on the coast so we sat by the water and ate our kinder egg surprises, which has little toys in a chocolate egg shell that is so tasty. It was a beautiful day so it was really nice to see the clouds over the sea with the sun shinning through them. You could see all the islands too, which just looks like big chunks of brown. We saw a small Catholic church and a dog hanging out on a roof, I don't know why he chose that for his leisure spot!

Well the whole point of talking about Elder Brown was that if feels like I am going home soon. Sometimes I wonder where all the time went and why I still don't seak hrvatski well? I feel like I have been away from home only a couple of months and not over a year.

Well, Sister Laws had her bday this past week and she is now 22. It was the same day as district meeting. She didn't know at the time that it was a Harry Potter district meeting until we came out in our costumes. I was Hermione and all I did was take my hair out and comb it so it looked like a fro. Elder Rhodes was Ron Weasley and he put a red plastic bag on his head and taped it down for red hair, but it ended up looking like he was wearing a plastic do-rag. Then of course our district leader sassy Elder Brown was Dumbledoor and he used a cream rag and hung it from his ears as a beard. I made black glasses from construction paper for Sister Laws to be Harry and they looked great on her. We had sticks for wands too to make it all real. My favorite part of district meeting was when Elder Brown gave the spiritual thought with his beard on ha ha it was hard to concentrate.

I hope you all have a great week love you!

sister dillender

Jan 17, 2011

Dear loved ones,

I hope that after a year you are not sick of these letters by now, but you only have to hold on for a little longer and then I will be done with them, and when I say a little longer I really mean six more months because I hit the six month mark on the fifth.

I haven't written for a couple of weeks because things are crazy! I applied for a postbacc degree to Oregon State for the Fall of 2011. I stated my major as Education and that also helps me to get certified to teach. Rachie said that mom got a call saying that I have been accepted...I think that is what I read, but I haven't gotten a letter or anything I will tell you when it is official. Yahooooo for being able to take care of a few more years....and I can start paying back all the people that have helped me for so long, I am more than just grateful to you.

Well I never told you that on new years we had to be in by six o clock because it starts to get a little crazy. So we were eating dinner and decided to make goals we made goals for the rest of our mission and for when we go home so that we don't go crazy! It was really nice and it was nice to have the time to evaluate and think of the person I want to be when I get back to wearing jeans and saying in English, "Hi my name is Kristy." (Weird sounding) Then we played games till 11:30 (since we were told we could stay up till 12 but had to be up at 6:30 like usual.) We got ready for bed and then we out on the balcony and realized we are going to miss the fireworks there so we walked one set of stairs to where our land lord lives and found the whole family out there. We live on the second floor of a three story house and each floor is a full on house, with bathroom, kitchen, bedrooms etc. The son lives below us and the landlord lives above us with a family who is somehow related. It was so nice to watch the sky light up at midnight with all sorts of colors and sounds. Well there were enough fire works going on before that too, but 12 o'clock was its own show. It was so wonderful! Then when the fire works died down, we went straight to bed.

A couple of Mondays ago we went to Uglean which is an island close by and I mean thirty minute ferry ride. If you stand on the sea you can see it and it looks like I am on the San Francisco bay looking at Oakland....but European style. We hiked, and I mean hiked all the way to the top and it was so worth it. Fortunately the day was perfect for a hike, perfectly sunny and blue skies but it was around fifty degrees Fahrenheit. We ate some chocolate when we got to the little fortress at the top, since we need so many calories for the trip down, and then realized we are going to miss the ferry and ran some of the way back....just to miss the ferry and have to wait forever for the next one. This may all sound boring but don't you worry I will send pictures next week!

I have been trying to finish the New Testament before the transfer is over, which will happen because that is in the beginning of May. I read a while ago Romans 5:3-5 that tribulation works patience, patience experience and experience hope because of the love of God which is shed forth among all the children of men. It is so nice to know that trials are here for a reason and that we have someone helping us through them. I know that my trials have brought me great experiences that I know are specifically for me and that the Lord knows why they are specifically for me and further knows how to specifically help me through them. The Lord loves us!

I hope you have a wonderful week, even to the ones who just came home from a mission! aka sam.
s ljubavi,

Sestra Dillender