Friday, January 24, 2014


Bom dia!
We had a week of service this week. First I went on an emergency split with the Zone Leader's third wheel and we did four hours of service to help one of their older investigators get his car running so he could get to Grand Junction for an appointment the next day. That day once I got to my area we went strait to helping one of our investigators move across town. Then we did service for the local food bank/thrift shop every day because they were short on volunteers and we helped another investigator pack her truck to move out to Tennessee! It was cool though to do so much service even though sometimes it felt like we weren't getting to teach as much as we wanted to we still got to make a difference.
New Year's Eve Sunset
Elder Smelcer - two spanish speaking elders - Elder DP

Saturday I went to the Spanish area on exchange and Elder Smelcer decided I would go with the Greenie in that area that hardly speaks Spanish which made for an exiting day. We had some awesome lessons though and even though it was in broken Spanish for both of us my faith in the gift of tongues grew as I was able to understand and communicate as much as was needed for the people we visited to learn and grow and feel the Spirit. While on that exchange we actually found a new English speaking investigator. It was so crazy because we had 15 minutes until dinner and so I said (dramatically and mostly jokingly) "Alright, we're going to knock two doors on this street and the first will not open but the second will let us in and we will say a prayer with them and he will invite us back and become a great new investigator." We knocked the first door and no one answered so I joked on how my "prophecy had been fulfilled" but we went down the street a little farther and knocked one more door and he let us in and we prayed with him and after praying he asked us to come back before we could even ask if it would be okay! It was so cool. I guess we'll see how it goes but it was just a really cool experience we had and I'm looking forward to going back this week and seeing how interested he really is.

I've been reading lately the story of Alma from his conversion through his teachings and I've been amazed by his perseverance and how he relied on the Lord even when he was dismayed. I love the scripture in Alma 4:15, "Alma... began to be very sorrowful; nevertheless the Spirit of the Lord did not fail him." I truly believe that the Spirit of the Lord will not fail us and I love reading of how it did not fail him either.

Eu amo voces! Que tenham boas semanas!

~Elder Della-Piana

Monday, January 13, 2014


Tomorrow will have been 5 months since I arrived at the MTC!! Boy does it fly by fast.
Every week is an awesome week as a missionary. This week was super hard because our car was in the shop from Monday to Saturday but we still got to teach a ton of lessons. Not having a car was a great motivation to invite members to come with us all the time this week and so we had multiple members every day coming out teaching with us or even just giving us rides. People here are so generous.
We also had an awesome Zone Conference with President Murdock and his first counselor President Atkinson. They are both so great. We talked a ton about finding new people and having the faith to do it. Our area has been so blessed with new investigators every week even though we've only knocked doors once because we've been so busy teaching. Now that we're in a "tripanionship" every time we bring a member we teach double the lessons because we can go on splits so we're seeing everybody as frequently as would be possible and running out of things to do! We're going to have to start walking and knocking doors again and finding every day. Another awesome stress was to invite EVERYONE to read the Book of Mormon. People can learn a lot from us but they will have their own spiritual experiences in finding answers for themselves as they read the Book of Mormon and that is when the Spirit will help them change their lives for the better.
An awesome scripture I found in the Book of Mormon this week was in Alma 3:26-27.

26 And in one year were thousands and tens of thousands of souls sent to the eternal world, that they might reap their rewards according to their works, whether they were good or whether they were bad, to reap eternal happiness or eternal misery, according to the spirit which they listed to obey, whether it be a good spirit or a bad one.
27 For every man receiveth wages of him whom he listeth to obey, and this according to the words of the spirit of prophecy;
I think it captures such a true principle that whichever spirit we choose to obey will guide us to either happiness or misery. If we submit to temptation the devil will reward us, but if we submit our will to God then Christ will reward us. I love the influence that this has had on my life and getting to share this with others.

~Elder Della-Piana

Monday, January 6, 2014


All kinds of excitement this week. First, on Wednesday we got a call from the Assistants to the President (AP's) and they informed us that Thursday evening we would be receiving a new companion! He had to get emergency transferred because his companion had to go home to have knee surgery and so he was sent to join us. His name is Elder Neville and he is a great missionary. He was actually in the same MTC District with Elder Smelcer so that's been kind of fun for them. We're still getting used to being in a companionship of three but it's been fun so far. 
So when Elder Neville was dropped off President Murdock and the AP's came to drop him off personally since they were on their way to do some other Emergency Transfers in Grand Junction. While he was there in our apartment (good thing we'd just cleaned) he said they had just gotten a call about my visa the other day. It looks like I'll head down to Denver on the 26th and I'll fly out to Brazil on the 27th!! It feels so weird to think about leaving Colorado and actually teaching in Portuguese. So many mixed emotions with finally leaving but also having to leave an area I've come to love.
Well we had an awesome week this week. We had members come on splits three times with us and we taught more lessons than any of us had ever taught on our missions. In some areas we have to worry about not visiting people enough times but here we were so effective this week we had to worry about seeing people too MANY times!! One of the most amazing parts of it all is that the three people we were seeing the most before this week were either on vacation or had moved out the week before. So many blessings. The Lord is truly watching over us and helping us to do great things here in Rifle.

One of my favorite scriptures right now is Phillipeans 4:13
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

Love you guys,

~Elder Della-Piana

Colorado Holidays

This week was one of the best weeks I've had on my mission
Maybe a number one highlight was Skyping home for CHRISTMAS!! It was so nice to see all your faces and hear how all y'all are doing. I love you all so much.
We weren't allowed to go teaching Christmas Eve or Christmas day so we spent time with members for most of that time. We also went and played some Rugby Christmas day with some members and an investigator which was SUPER cold in the snow but way fun. One of the Spanish Elders turned down a deal to play professional rugby in Australia so he could come on the mission so that was fun to take him on. Luckily the snow slowed him down enough to even the playing field just a little bit. Anyways, even though we didn't go out teaching Christmas Eve that afternoon we saw an awesome miracle. That afternoon we got two members to come teaching with us and I went with one member and Elder Smelcer went with another and for about three hours. We were hoping we might see two or three families apiece but we were able to visit 4 FAMILIES EACH!! The spirit was so strong in all of the lessons and it was just a miracle to be able to do so much good in so little time and spend so much time with people that we love. It was so cool.
We also met a really awesome family that the Spanish Missionaries knocked their door for kicks and they invited us back so we came and had a great conversation with him. It was cool because he's all tatted out and was cranking death metal when we came in but all his questions and what he was talking about was exactly in line with what we share with people. He really wants to be a good dad and loves his family and we're way excited to start talking with him more often to help him find the answers to the great questions that he had.
Another fun day was when I got to go on exchange to the Spanish Area again. We had a couple really good lessons and it was cool because I understood almost everything and remembered enough to participate a little bit so that was fun.
I'm looking forward to this week because we've got our work cut out for us. Two of our most interested investigators moved out this weekend. One we'd known about a week or so ahead but the other we found out about yesterday and barely got to see him before he left. It's too bad because we were getting to see them a lot and they were both studying one their own and we just had great lessons with each of them. Then our investigator that is most prepared for baptism left to Wisconsin with a one way ticket for a vacation that could be a month or permanent and we also found out that our final most interested and progressing investigator is moving on the 17th. So this means that we are going to be spending more time helping less-interested investigators develop their desire to seek answers and working harder at finding more people to teach. When we saw all this happening before our eyes it sounded like such a pain but now we're starting to see it as an opportunity to see more people we wouldn't have seen and meet more people we wouldn't have met so we're excited.
I'm loving it here, I'm sure there's a reason I haven't got my visa yet. I don't know if I've found that reason yet but I have faith there is one.

~Elder Della-Piana

Merry Christmas!

What a beautiful time of year!
We had a very fun ward Christmas activity Friday night. By very fun I mean there were cookies so I was happy. It was cool though because we had a bunch of non-members there both among the people we meet with and just with friends of the members. It was cool to see it be a community thing and not just a Mormon activity.
There's a question that I heard a teacher use in the Missionary Training Center that we have been using a lot in our teaching recently. The question is "if god were sitting right here beside you, what would you ask him?" When I first heard that it blew my mind! What a question! If I could get the answer to ANYTHING what would I want to know? It's been cool to see the reactions of our investigators as they think about what the biggest questions they have are. So often they are the same questions of the soul that I am convinced everyone has.
We asked this question to a man named Gene. Gene believes in God, he relies on God, he feels God has watched over him and that he has a personal relationship with him. His life has not been easy and he is having a rough time right now. He lost everything in the recent flooding late this summer in northern Colorado and is now homeless and living in Rifle with a less-active member of our church. His question was "Why does God let us Suffer?" We had a really good discussion about it and then came back a few days later and continued talking about how Christ suffered and even he asked that the bitter cup would be removed. He asked if there was another way. Even in the midst of agony he knew he would not grow without going through that trial, and so it is with us. Our trials refine and perfect us. As I studied his question between our two visits I came across a scripture that spoke to me:

"Nevertheless, Jacob, my firstborn in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain." (2 Nephi 2:2)

What I learned from talking with him is that God knows our trials and will give us the trials we need to grow. Ultimately it comes down to our decision whether we will power through them, relying on Christ, and grow or if we will let our trials get the best of us and knock us down. Either way we can always get back up and keep pressing on. I truly believe that.
Merry Christmas everybody,

~Elder Della-Piana